Reading…the great escape!

 

Oh! The places you'll go because...you READ!

We all need to disappear now and then. Be somewhere else. Be somebody else. Books are a much healthier alternative than some means of escape, wouldn’t you agree? ;-)

But how do you pick which book to read when there are a zillion or so choices out there?

Reviews can help. Word of mouth is still the most powerful advertising money can’t buy. (For everything else, there’s BookBub.)

My newest book released on Tuesday. So far, I have two reviews — one from a reader in the UK and one from Australia. (I love this so much.) I’d like to share them because Amazon doesn’t co-mingle reviews between its stores.

Offering a beautiful balance of humour and romance, this book was a real page turner f

 AMAZONUK: Romance with a nice touch of humour, 18 May 2016 By Shelagh

This review is from: Black Hills Outcast: a Hollywood-meets-the-real-wild-west contemporary romance series (Black Hills Rendezvous Book 5) (Kindle Edition)

It’s no secret that I love Debra Salonen’s books And Black Hills Outcast is no exception. Offering a beautiful balance of humour and romance, this book was a real page turner for me. There were rolling on the floor funny moments (imagine dumping a box of sex toys at the feet of a man you’ve just met), some nice touches of passion and also a backstory dealing with the difficult issues of death and cancer. I thought these were handled with grace and dignity.

Guilt can do awful things to a person and Rufus Miller, hero of Black Hills Outcast, is dealing with a bucketload of it over the death of his brother Stephen. This is not recent death but rather one that occurred while both boys were teenagers, but that hasn’t stopped Rufus from feeling responsible. He and his guilt are hiding out in the Black Hills after a cancer scare ended his modelling career..

Rachel Grey has always been the model daughter, living up to her mother’s expectations with regard to both her career and her marriage until the moment she finds her husband cheating on her. Her divorce acts as the catalyst for Rachel to spread her wings and launch herself into a new career, much to her mother’s horror.

I loved the interaction between Rachel, bursting with creative ideas designed to promote Rufus and his wonderful Dreamhouses, and Rufus, keen to sell as many Dreamhouses as possible while preserving his privacy and anonymity. You could just tell that there was going to be friction there!

Black Hills Outcast is the latest book in the Black Hills Rendezvous series and if you’ve read the other books you’ll quickly feel at home in the quirky town of Sentinal Pass, however if you haven’t, don’t worry. This book stands alone very well. I loved reading it and have no qualms about recommending it.

Outcast new wht

#2 AmazonUK – MF

I think this is my favourite of the series! Rachel’s helpless honesty and frank responses made me laugh. Rufus’s whimsical but insightful creativity touched me – plus I like a man who steps up for his girl. There are some great visual moments too!

The vein of recognition of wishes and aspirations, hope and second chances, runs through the book in many different situations and the reason for Rufus’s solitude is the grit within the pearl of this book.

It wouldn’t be Black Hills without family, dogs, gossip, fun and some hot romance – plus a magical ending!

This is part of a series but you don’t have to have read them in sequence, Black Hills Outcast more than delivers on its own.

So, go ahead, make some author’s day–and maybe help someone who needs to leave the real world behind for a bit.

One last picture. I’ve been in the mountains writing this week, and I want to share our glorious spring with you. Have a great weekend, wherever you are!

Deb Salonen hiking Lewis Creek

Deb

PS: in case you’re interested in escaping into BLACK HILLS OUTCAST, here are the buy links. :-)

iBooks: http://littl.ink/+ryZ8
KOBO: http://littl.ink/BHOutcastKO 
Amazon: http://littl.ink/BHOutcastAZ 
BN: http://littl.ink/BHOutcastBN

Can’t we all be friends?

Can’t we all be friends?

Not according to Amazon.

Not if you want to leave a review for a book you enjoyed reading but the author is someone Amazon has decided is your friend, that is.

So, here’s the deal. I’m a writer, published author, business person, yada yada…I’m also a reader. I love books. I love trying new authors–people I’ve never met. BUT I’ve been in this business a long time and I I know a lot of other authors. I read their books because I like their style, witty tone, deep angst, whatever!

I read on my iPad and when I’ve finished a book (Amazon knows exactly how many pages you’ve read because that’s the basis of payment for their new Kindle Unlimited borrowing scheme), Amazon requests that I leave a review. IF I enjoyed the book, I leave a favorable review.

Earlier this week, I finished reading The Almost Wives Club: KATE by Nancy Warren. And, yes, in the interest of full disclosure, I would call Nancy Warren a friend. We’ve attended numerous conferences together. We recognize each other on sight and greet each other with smiles. That doesn’t mean I’d fake a review for her–or that she’d ask me to.

:-( Good grief.

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So, here’s my review. (Remember, it was midnight.)

51gALm+zSuL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_5.0 out of 5 stars

“Another wonderful Nancy Warren charmer,” July 6, 2015
Verified Purchase (yes)
This review is from: The Almost Wives Club: Kate (Kindle Edition)
“A lovely and very human heroine meets a hero you can’t help but fall in love with. A great story with fun and original twists. I did feel sorry for the dress, though.”

 

Aside from the fact I typed my review at midnight on my iPad, it’s pretty generic, wouldn’t you say? Obviously, I wasn’t trying to hard-sell anybody anything. It is a charming read (in my opinion), and it does have some lovely twists that I liked it. And it wasn’t the dress’s fault. ;-)

The following morning I got an email from Amazon rejecting my review. They sent me a letter with a link to their rules. I hate reading long lists of rules that apply to everything from lawn mowers to romantic comedies. I’m not happy.

Turns out, I’m not alone. A lot of people are complaining about Amazon’s heavy-handed treatment of reviews/reviewers.  Here’s Elizabeth York’s experience: http://authorelizabethyork.com/2015/07/08/amazon-bad-author-policy/

If you’ve had reviews removed arbitrarily or have been denied your right to leave a review for a book you purchased, borrowed or were gifted, you might want to sign this petition.

https://www.change.org/p/amazon-com-amazon-change-the-you-know-this-author-policy

Or pray. I hear the response rate from God is way better than Amazon’s.

Deb

 

Happy Labor/Release Day

Today is the start of Labor Day weekend.

When I was a kid, this meant: the end of summer, the beginning of school, and a new season of TV shows.

My, how things have changed!

For one, I live in California, now, and it’s supposed to be hot all week.

weather CV

Second, about half the kids I know started school three weeks ago. My granddaughters start next Wednesday.

As as for network programming, the new shows, like Viola Davis’s new series, which I can’t wait to try, are still 3-4 weeks away.

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Luckily, I have something to keep me busy until then. ;-)

For me, today is a different kind of Labor Day. Today marks the release of Nobody’s Cowboy, my second book for Tule Publishing, and the first book in my Big Sky Mavericks trilogy.

NobodysCowboy-MEDIUM

As every author knows, releasing a book is a little like giving birth. You’ve labored for weeks/months. You ate right, took your vitamins, did the research, picked a name and crossed for your fingers that the fruit of your labor would be well-received by the world at large.

The thing about Nobody’s Cowboy that has me worried is my hero. Austin Zabrinski was introduced in Cowgirl Come Home. He’s that book’s hero’s older brother. He has older brother syndrome. He may have felt he was only trying to take care of his younger brother but in doing so he may have come off a bit…umm…abrasive. Or, as several readers commented, “Austen is a pain in the arse.” (So to speak.)

Luckily, so far, the early reviews have all been positive.

From Shari: “Reading Nobody’s Cowboy, my family was wondering why I was laughing so hard. Communal toilet…Austen is redeeming himself already.”

From Christina: You have no idea how awesome it was to read “Northern California” and not find out she was from the Bay Area! And the mention of Jefferson was awesome, too! Loved it all!!!”

Like any mama, I’m nervous about sending my baby off into the big, chaotic world, but I’m excited, too. Here’s a buy link, in case you want to take advantage of the release day price of 99¢. BUY

So, what’s on your Labor Day agenda? I will be R&Ring with friends on the West Coast of California–and watching the Amazon stats for Nobody’s Cowboy, like the hovermother I am. ;-)

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Have a great 3-day weekend, everyone!

Deb

PS: For those of you who love to hold a “real” book in your hot, little hands, Cowgirl Come Home is finally available from CreateSpace. http://bit.ly/CCHprint AND, the ebook version will be FREE at Amazon, Sept. 1-4, if you want a copy on your ereader, too. BUY