Sunday, January 20, 2013

Preditors & Editors Awards—Rock Crazy Cover Art Makes Top Ten!

The Preditors & Editors Readers Polls are like the People’s Choice Awards of books.  Notice, I said books, not literature.  I don’t think there is a people’s award for literature.  Mark Twain once said, “The classics are books everyone wants to say they’ve read, but no one actually wants to read.”

That’s not what I want to write.  I don’t want kids a hundred years from now lamenting, “I’ve gotta read Weber this semester.”

“Aw, man, I had to read her last year.  Watch the holo and I’ll lend you my Cliff’s notes.”  Note to anyone who’s reading this while you’re still in school:  The movie version of The Grapes of Wrath stops about two-thirds of the way through the book.  I know it’s a tough read, but have tissue at the end.  I cried my eyes out.  It was even more powerful than Tom Joad’s soliloquy when he leaves the family.

I didn’t quite have the guts to nominate Rock Crazy itself.  I don’t know if people nominate their own books for the P&E awards.  It’s not like you pay a fee and send in your manuscript for this competition.  But I’ve always thought Delilah K. Stephans did an incredible job with my cover art and I was amazed none of the other MuseItUp authors had nominated her for their cover art this year, so I did.  Then I announced it on the Muse lists, Facebook and Twitter and kind of forgot about it.  So you can imagine my amazement when I opened the announcement from our Publisher, Lea Schizas, saying the cover art for Rock Crazy came in eighth!

So, congratulations, Delilah!  And thank you for such beautiful, award-winning cover art!

Length:  129 Pages
Price:  $5.50
Buy Link:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Beware of Sneak Peeks on Review Sites

A few years ago I edited a gay romance set in the world of BDS&M.  It was a difficult job because reading the book made me uncomfortable.  I have never been able to understand how anyone could derive pleasure from pain, but the person was a first-time author who needed a lot of hand-holding and was a really nice, sensitive man.  Toward the end of the book, he revealed the childhood traumas that led his characters to find solace in pain, turning the book from an okay gay romance to a really powerful, heart-wrenching read.  He dug into his own painful memories and in doing so created an award-winning masterpiece that mostly garnered rave reviews.

One woman, however, gave the book a scathing review.  The BDSM made her uncomfortable and she put the book down halfway through without ever reading the powerful revelations at the end.  I vowed then that I would never review a book I had not read from start to finish, no matter how badly I wanted to hurl my Kindle across the room and write, “This book stinks.  Don’t bother buying it.”

Recently I had the opposite problem.  I read a book all the way through and I would have liked to have given it a great review, but it was a complex thriller and one of the characters wondered if there was a leak in their organization feeding info to the enemy.  At the end of the book, the possibility of that leak fell through the cracks.  I thought I knew who it was, but since the author seemed to have forgotten to tie up that particular loose end, I never found out if I was right.  So at the very end, my review went from five stars to three.

Therefore, I do not understand how a publisher can expect me to review a book when they have not uploaded the entire book to a review site.  I just finished reading a “Sneak Peek” of Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed which was published by The Disney Group.  I suppose the words “Sneak Peek” should have told me the book wouldn’t all be there, but I’m somewhat new to the Net Galley review site and it never occurred to me that anyone would upload an excerpt to a review site.  I have no problem with loading excerpts to sales sites, but how can The Disney Group expect a person to judge part of a book?  How can one know that all of the loose ends will be tied up without reading the end?

Frankly, now that I feel so cheated, I am not inclined to buy the book in order to finish it, nor do I recommend my readers buy it.  I'm sorry, Ms. Rasheed.  Your publisher has done you a great disservice here.

Length:  No clue.
Price:  TBA.
Buy Link:  Release Date January 22, 2013, The Disney Group

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Six Sentence Sunday, Rock Crazy

“To the Moon!” Katie

Scott came home early one night a couple of months later.
“Hey, Babe, how’d you like to go to the Moon?”
Katie was suspicious. “Why?”
“I’m working an outage up there, and I thought you’d like to come along.”
“Is this some ploy to get me to have that surgery?” she asked.
 “I’ll be gone a full six months, and I don’t wanna leave you here alone. Not as volatile as you’ve been, lately.”
“So you want me to go up there so you can baby-sit me? I’m surprised you’re not telling me I have to move in with one of my brothers if I don’t go.”
Scott was silent.

Okay, that was more than six sentences.  I trimmed it as much as I could to get the point across.


Katie McGowan is bi-polar, and she’s run the gamut of medications.  Everyone is telling her she should go to the Moon and have microchip surgery, but she’s afraid she’ll become an automaton.  In a last-ditch, tough love effort to force her to get the chip, her husband, Scott takes her to the Moon and divorces her when she decks him. Then she discovers she’s pregnant.  She can’t have the surgery or take her meds until after the baby’s born.

Scott is elated when he hears he’s going to be a father and naturally assumes Katie will take him back.  He always intended to take her back as soon she had the surgery.  He has no clue how badly he hurt her, how thoroughly he’s broken her trust—or that he may not get her back at all.

Length:  129 Pages
Price:  $5.50