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May 2016

Why Am I Still Upset With Amazon?

I promise that after I write this, I am going to let it go! 🙂

Just to reiterate, Amazon decided that I wrote a biased review for a book  I recently read! (House Of The Hanging Jade, by Amy M. Reade). Well, my friends, you are probably thinking that since I know Amy, I probably did write a biased review! You would be right!!! After all, what does bias mean? According to webster:

  • a tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly
  • a strong interest in something or ability to do something

Although I don’t believe that I would treat anyone unfairly, I will not give a 5-star rating to an author who doesn’t deserve it. So now you are probably thinking; Well geez Sharon, every review we see you post on your blog is a 5-star rating. My answer to that is yes, they are because these are the books/authors that I promote. After all, why would I promote a 2 or 3-star book/author? And believe me, when I give a low rating I dwell on it for a long time. I hate doing it, but sometimes it just needs to be said, and hopefully I do it with grace! And I review 99% of the books I read. It is a rare occasion when the book is so bad, I can’t finish it.

I contacted Amazon to ask them why they removed my review. Although they eluded to the fact that it was biased, the reason they stated was that I did not follow their guidelines. Apparently I am not allowed to promote an author. Hello!! When you review a product, that is exactly what you are doing. Promoting a Product!!! In this case a book and an author! So I wrote to them a second time to explain my review. This time, they answered with the same canned letter saying that I didn’t follow their guidelines. And this time, they told me that they would not answer any more emails on this subject. How Rude! I was tempted to write them once more just to tell them off and it would not have needed a reply. However, I was raised not to be rude, and two wrongs don’t make a right!

One of the things I like to do when I write a review is to discuss why I liked the book from a personal perspective. Why do people read anyway? I personally like to escape reality and throw myself into the world of the protagonist. And sometimes I actually want the bad guy to get away, shhh… don’t tell anybody. That’s why I read fiction. If I want to read real life stuff, which I sometimes do, then I read non-fiction.

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t like personal reviews. In my opinion, that is a loss for all the readers. I would like to read more reviews with a personal take and less with a synopsis. Don’t give away the story.

So now I find myself hesitant when writing a review and going back to Amazon for three or four days to see if my review is still there. I have written three reviews since this happened and all three are still there. However, I withheld some of my comments in the review, which was hard for me to do, and I think unfair to the prospective readers.

I now write all of my 5-star reviews on my blog first. That way at least the author gets to see how I really feel from a personal point of view. I then strip the personal stuff out and send it off to Amazon. HaHa Amazon, where there is a will, there is a way. And by the way, it is my understanding that an author gets the same credit whether they get a good review or a bad one. If I am wrong about that, please correct me.

At any rate, my rant is over and as I said at the start, I am going to move on!

Have a wonderful week and weekend everyone!

And As Always, Live, Love, Laugh and by all means READ!

Sharon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery Mondays: Amy Metz

I think this is my all time favorite book cover!!! Every time I see it, I smile!

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I’m delighted to welcome back an old favorite of mine: Amy Metz. Here is my Mystery Monday Interview with her:AmyMetzpic

  1. What type of crime fiction do you write and why?I write cozy mysteries. That came about kind of by accident. I thought I was writing a mystery novel when I started my first book. I’d heard the term “cozy mysteries,” and had even read a lot of them, but I hadn’t given it much thought. I didn’t realize I was writing in that genre until I submitted my manuscript to a small press and the lady said my book was a cozy mystery. I’d say I write them because they’re fun to read and write; I also want my sons and father to read my books; and because I went to Goose Pimple Junction and can’t seem to leave.
  2. Did anyone encourage you to become a writer?I didn’t…

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The Journey By Chariss K. Walker

As everybody knows, I review most of the books I read. If they are worthy of a 4 or 5 star I review them on my blog and then take sections to upload to Amazon. I am not exactly sure how I happened to get this book; It could have been facebook or one of the blogs that I frequent. I am not sure, but the one thing I am sure about is that I am glad I picked it up! I received it for free in exchange for an honest review. So here we go, and honest review!

Synopsis:
She’ll do anything to escape the grasp of this controlling, abusive, and frightening man who hurts her in the most horrible of ways. She has to escape—if not for herself then for Sammy, her eleven-year-old daughter. Read one woman’s terrifying journey as she carefully plans and closely listens to the guidance of an inner voice. (Some graphic adult content; may not be suitable for those under 17.)

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My Thoughts:

Well first let me say that this is completely out of genre choosing. I never read anything that has graphic adult content, LOL, I think I am too old for it, or is it that I am just a prude? I don’t know, but in any case, I could not put this book down. No, it had nothing to do with the adult content; I found that the story being told needed that content to answer a few questions the reader may have if it were left out. The author did an amazing job building the characters, from the beginning of the Journey through till the end. Ms. Walker details the anguish felt from a horrifying experience and does a great job. The book was not filled with graphic detail, just enough so that the reader knew what was going on.The most prevalent in my opinion is the strength that this single parent has to change the bad choice she once made. She follows her inner voice and finds success. This novel can be read in 5 or 6 hours and is worth the read. I highly recommend.

 

About the Author:

Award winning author, Chariss K. Walker, M.Msc., writes fiction and nonfiction books with a metaphysical message. All of her books are sold worldwide in eBook, paperback, and many are in large print. Chariss lives in Amarillo, Texas. Connect with Chariss on social media sites. She wants to hear from you. Visit her website at http://www.chariss.com for a complete social media list, including AuthorGraph.

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I hope that everyone is enjoying their weekend, and As Always,

Live, Love, Laugh and by all means, READ!

Sharon

 

 

Amy Metz Does It Again: A Review of Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction (GPJ4)

Before I review Amy’s latest book in her Goose Pimple Junction Mystery Series,  Let’s talk a little bit about Amy. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky and is definitely a southern lady. How do I know you ask? Well, last November, during my trip from New York to San Antonio, I just so happened to drive through Louisville, Kentucky. And yes, I had the privilege of meeting Amy. As you know, I am an author stalker so I already knew we would be friends.  Amy has a wonderful sense of humor and it comes through in each book in the series. She is a former first-grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. And FYI, there is a great Apple upside down pie recipe in Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction.I have personally made it, and I can’t bake… This is a 5 Star recipe. The best crust and the best salted caramel I have ever eaten. 🙂

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Synopsis of Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction from Amazon:

Like any good Southern belle, Caledonia Culpepper was raised by her mama to be gracious, charming, witty, and above all, a devoted mother and loving wife, so she’s baffled when her marriage falls apart.

Wynona Baxter is a master of disguise but is often a ditzy airhead. A hit woman wannabe, when she’s hired for her first job in Goose Pimple Junction and things don’t go as planned, she’s forced to resort to Plan B. She’ll also need Plan C and D.

Crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenaged hoodlum – it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you look in Goose Pimple Junction.

When Caledonia and Wynona’s paths cross, they prove there isn’t a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama always said there would be days like this . . .

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My Review: Definitely a 5 Star and my new favorite GPJ book!

Just take a look at the cover of this book. So often I will read a book and try to make a connection between the book plot/plots and the cover. Sometimes it just isn’t possible. However, this book cover is brilliant! Whenever I think about it, I smile. The reveal is well into the book, but when it happens, you will smile too. One of my favorite things about this book and about Amy’s writing, in general, is that she uses quotes throughout. For example, with each chapter, there are mama quotes. I can’t imagine anyone reading them could do so without smiling. How about this; Mama always said…”Always remember it’s better to arrive late than to arrive ugly.” Or, Mama always said….”If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.” Now you can’t tell me that one of those quotes didn’t make you smile.

I have read all the books in this series and I can easily say that the character development is terrific. We get to meet a new character or two with each new book in the series. And, with each new story, you get to know a little bit more about each of the characters. Even if they are not the main focus of the plot, they play a role. For example, my favorite character in the series is Louetta. She is a typical Goose Pimple Junction resident whom everyone respects. And she deals with everyday stressful situations the way we all do, with FOOD!

So to sum it all up, this is a great story, (and series). I was hooked after reading the first chapter and had trouble putting it down. It’s easy to read and can be read as a stand alone; although I prefer to read a series from the beginning. 🙂

Definitely a Five Star Book, that I highly recommend!

Please visit Amy’s blog where she interviews authors with unique questions.

Click here for Amy’s Blog: A Blue Million Books

 

Until my next Book, Don’t forget to Live, Love, Laugh, and by all means READ!

Sharon

 

Gotta Love A Good Country Club Murder and Clouds In My Coffee is just that!

Julie Mulhern has released book 3 of her Country Club Murder Series, Clouds In My Coffee.,and I loved it.Ever faithful Ellison gets into trouble just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Is someone trying to kill her? Is someone trying to kill her sister or her aunt? Visits from Aunt Sis and her sister Marji bring lots of chaos into her life. Why are they here? Then add the two handsome men in her life, Hmmm! There are lots of twists and turns in this plot. As in the first two books in the series, Julie adds lighthearted fun and excitement throughout that is guaranteed to make you smile.Of course, we can’t forget that the setting for this book is the 70’s, no cell phones, no computers and good old Mr. Coffee! You gotta love it! Thanks Julie, I hope there is going to be a Book 4! Definitely a Five Star Book!

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About Julie: 

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders.

She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Julie always wanted to be a writer. She spent her childhood creating pen names and dreaming of exotic, mysterious, romantic places. To that end, she went to Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia (because, when you’re from the Midwest, the South is both exotic and romantic). There she earned degrees in politics and French. She even spent a year living in Paris. But the Midwest beckoned and she returned home. Now she lives with her husband, two daughters, and a dastardly dog. It might not be exotic or mysterious, but it is romantic.

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I featured Julie on my blog last winter. If you want to see the review of her first two books, The Deep End, and Guaranteed to Bleed, please Click Here

Enjoy your weekend, and As Always,

Live, Laugh, Love and by all means Read!

Sharon

A Neighborly Killing! Murder or Suicide?

Let me start by thanking Nancy Lynn Jarvis for sending me a copy of her newest release, A Neighborly Killing, A Regan McHenry Real Estate Mystery.  Am I surprised that I find it a big hit? Absolutely not!  I would like to GIFT a kindle copy of this book to a friend. Please let me know if you are interested by commenting on my blog here, or on my facebook page. If the link doesn’t get you there, you can find me with a search of Sharon Vertetis Aguanno.

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Synopsis and Review

Imagine driving through Bonny Doon, Ca.and seeing a very large barn in the shape of a table with two chairs. That’s exactly what you see in this riveting story. I wonder if this architectural design has anything to do with Tom and Regan finding their neighbor face down in their back yard.Well if you want to know, you will have to pick up a copy of Nancy’s latest Regan McHeny Real Estate Mystery. Number 6 in the series finds that not only Regan is eager to find out the truth, but so is Tom. They are both awakened by gunshots right outside their bedroom window. A murder or a suicide? HMMMM, I will let you decide.

Of course, we must not forget our  Santa Cruz Police Ombudsman Dave Everett. Once again, Dave entertains us with his sarcasm and his rolling glass eye. When is he going to learn that Regan has a sleuthing expertise to surpass none! She may not know who did it, but she certainly knows who didn’t. Although she may change her mind along the way when reviewing the evidence, in the end, she gets it right. Sorry Dave, she does it again!

This is an exciting story that has the reader turning pages quickly. There are so many twists and turns, it will have you guessing all along the way. What can happen next? Will Tom and Regan get hurt? They certainly put themselves in danger. Does Dave try to stop them? Maybe, maybe not. Did Dave actually compliment Regan? Possibly!

So, my friends, I highly recommend this new Regan McHenry Mystery. It’s lots of fun and the series is quite contagious. Go for it. If you would like to see a review of the first five books in the series, take a look at my blog posting on September 29, 2015, where I feature Nancy Lynn Jarvis. Click Here

About The Author

Nancy Lynn Jarvis finally acknowledged she was having too much fun writing to ever sell another house, so she let her license lapse in May of 2013, after her twenty-fifth anniversary in real estate. After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, she worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager for Shakespeare/Santa Cruz at UCSC. She invites you to take a peek into the real estate world through the stories that form the backdrop of her Regan McHenry mysteries. Real estate details and ideas come from Nancy’s own experiences.

So, it’s time for you to head on over to Amazon to pick up your copy of this wonderful book.Or you can comment below or on my facebook page and I just may choose you to send a kindle copy to! Amazon

 

I hope everyone is having a great week and don’t forget to

Live, Love, Laugh and by all means READ!

Sharon

 

It’s Been Awhile, so Yes It’s Time for a Book Review!

I’m Back

I have to say that I have been quite busy reading in the last week or so. I downed 3 books and started a 4th. I am so happy to be reading again. 🙂

So Today, I will stop and do a book review for one of my favorite authors. I know that you already know this author because I rave about her all the time. She has a talent for making the words fly through her books. I just love them!

Some of you have probably guessed that I am reviewing, Amy M Reade’s House of the Hanging Jade! 

Let me start by saying that I now have a new favorite Amy M. Reade Book. This is her third novel, and I loved all of them, but up until now, her first novel, The Hallstead House, was my favorite. That’s probably because the setting was the beautiful Thousand Islands of Upstate New York. By far, one of my favorite places in this glorious country of ours. The fact that my two beautiful little granddaughters live up there, well, that is just icing on the cake! Life is good.

Let’s get to the book

House of the Hanging Jade takes place in none other than Hawaii!!!! I know, I know, just hearing Hawaii makes you want to read it, right? I personally have never been to Hawaii, but while I was reading I felt as though I was right there. Amy has a way of drawing her readers right into the setting. She does this by describing the intricate details of the area. Every time she mentioned the hanging Jade, I could almost smell it. Of course, when I lived in Florida, I had some Jade around my house, so I know that glorious smell. Let’s talk about the food. Anybody who knows Amy already knows that she loves Hawaiian food. Me, well, I am not a lover of seafood, however, the descriptions of the foods and the use  of these words throughout the meal preparation and shopping for ingredients made me think. Hmmm, all kinds of delightful spices, fresh seafood daily, and fresh fruits and vegetables. And not to mention, the Jorgensons have their own Personal Chef! Who wouldn’t want a part of this world?

Oh, but it’s not all glorious, Kailani (I nicknamed her “K” to keep it at one syllable) has to deal with an ex-boyfriend who decides he must have her and follows her to Hawaii. Geoffrey turns out to be a formidable character. No, I don’t like him! My friend “K”and a certain someone will deal with him! Barbie, huh, perfect name for the lady of the house. 🙂 She is quite the Barbie Doll for sure. I tried to dislike her, but there was something about her, that just made me feel sorry for her. I feel as though, she will never find happiness. I guess that is because she is looking in all the wrong places. Cliche, I know! Lars, well, he is easy to like. A very kind man who does his best to hold his family together. You have to love a man like that. Liko, Shame on you! I expected more from you! You should have listened to your friend “K”. Good Grief! Then there were the kids, Marcus, and Justine. They were typical rich kids who learned to fend for themselves since the parents were never around. Kind of sad, but at the same time intriguing. They learn to both love and hate “K” throughout the story. Oh, I almost forgot Akela, (her nickname is “AK”). Every story needs a family gossip. That is “AKs” role, and she does a really good job.As, if that wasn’t enough of a character list, Amy throws in K’s family, who just happen to own an amazing bakery. Yes, you heard right, a bakery! WOW!

Amy does a wonderful job of building all of these characters throughout the book. It is filled with page-turning events including all of the above and adding mystery, suspense and yes, murder! As I tried to figure out the killer, I was torn between two of the characters. I ended up leaning in the right direction and figured it out before the reveal. There are tons of twists and turns throughout the story, some surprises and some expected, but undoubtedly,  this novel is definitely an attention grabber!  In case you are wondering, I must give this novel a 5 Star! No doubt about it!  I love a good mystery! And Amy does it well!

Before I end my review, I want to take a minute to discuss the cover. Imagine this, sitting on a lanai of a glorious beautiful home facing the Pacific Ocean and this is what you see! Wow, from pictures that I have seen of Hawaii, I would say that this cover does it all extremely well. It’s gorgeous.

House of the Hanging Jade cover with USA Today (2)

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About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author Amy M. Reade writes women’s contemporary and gothic fiction. Her books have been compared to authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Phyllis Whitney, and Victoria Holt. Amy’s novels feature vivid descriptions of exotic and fascinating locations, such as the Thousand Islands region of New York State, Charleston, South Carolina, and the Big Island of Hawaii.

A former attorney, Amy found that writing was her true calling, and is currently working on a new project, a series set in Edinburgh, Scotland. She loves cooking, reading, and travel. You can visit her website, Click here for website, where, in addition to information about her books and appearances, you will find a contact form, suggested playlists to go along with her novels, and notes and recommendations on wines.

So, it’s time for you to head on over to Amazon to pick up your copy of House of the Hanging Jade. You don’t want to miss this wonderful Novel!

House of the Hanging Jade on Amazon Books

 

 

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