Damaging behavior

I’m reading this book by an author I’ve not tried before. 35% in and I’m finding it hard going, not bad enough to stop, but a bit of a slog (cringeworthy metaphors, implausible actions, editing issues to name a few problems). When this happens, I usually look at reviews to see what other readers think and whether it’s worth continuing.

Unsurprisingly, many readers commented on the same problems and gave negative reviews. What prompted this post is the fact that the author engaged with the readers who wrote the negative reviews in an effort to defend the work. While the author’s comments were polite, they only served to elicit more negative feedback, and even went as far as to put off a number of readers (including myself) from picking up this author’s work again (I won’t name author or book so as not to harm another author’s career).

It’s damaging behavior and (IMO) looks unprofessional for an author to enter into a discussion over a bad review. Not everyone will like your work and that’s normal. Some reviews will be genuine and others won’t, and a thick skin is needed to survive in this business.

If you like action, adventure, and want a wild thrill ride, author Charles Carfagno has a brand new release that might be right up your street.

A Demon’s Quest is Charles’s first book and is a fantasy novel

Here’s a little about the book:

51PhVG3AkRLTorhan hunkered down behind a large boulder to think through his options. The monks were his priority, but how was he going to find them? The chamber was too large and there were so many ants. His first thought was to use the remaining flasks of White Light and blind the ants, but there were too many variables. Could he blind them all? If so, how long would they be incapacitated? If he was discovered close to the queen, and they came through, he would be killed.

Torhan watched as they were brought down the walkway and dropped in front of the queen like some sort of gift. Some of the ones that were alive struggled to their feet, but were quickly maimed or brought down by the warrior ants. The queen grabbed the first of her tasty morsels with her giant mandibles and began squeezing the human. The man’s dying screams were so loud it frightened Torhan. After he was dead, she swallowed him whole.


Connect with Charles at: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarfagno and see what else this writer is up to.

The Wrong Guy

WrongGuy_EbookIt’s 1969 and Catholic girls are a species of their own.

When Katie Hayes arrives at Eastern Michigan University to attend college, John Norman Collins has just been arrested as a suspect in the brutal rapes and murders of 7 co-eds.

Armed with her rosary and her Nancy Drew books, Katie settles into a picture perfect life…until she becomes the victim of a vicious crime. Now, her life and the lives of those she loves are at risk. She must use her wits to trap the real murderer as well as make certain that the man already behind bars isn’t THE WRONG GUY!

Today is RELEASE day for THE WRONG GUY, a suspenseful mystery based on the real-life serial murders of seven young women in the late ‘60s. In the words of the author, Claudia Whitsitt, “the book will appeal to new adults as well as those who’d love a chance to relive their college days. Never fear, there’s plenty of romance!”

I’ve read it, and here is what other readers are saying:

“A great who-done-it!”
“Gripping and suspenseful!”
“A pleasure to read.”
*This is the re-release of this previously published title.

Find out more about Claudia’s other works:


“One man is scrambling to stay alive…while another man is seeking the truth.”

The Blackest Night FINAL FRONT EBOOK 04132014 copy
Did you know The Blackest Night is a Kindle-countdown deal?

Yep, for a few days it’s currently available for 99c in the US and 77p in the UK.

The Blackest Night is the 3rd in the Jackson detective series and is a psychological thriller with just a touch of paranormal.

Homicide inspector Mac Jackson is leading inquiries in a murder investigation. When an anonymous tip connects two seemingly unrelated crimes, Jackson learns a wrongfully convicted ex-con might be the only person who can lead him to the truth.

Here’s what reviewers say:

“…great character development…strong plot…believable. A compelling and entertaining thriller with a touch of paranormal. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.”

“…when I finished, I wanted more. I’m looking forward to reading more of the Mac Jackson series…”

“…will have you gripped from beginning to end…”

“…psychological suspense at its best…the characters keep us wanting more. This is definitely a title I recommend to anyone who wants to get lost in a great suspense story.”

I hope you’ll give it a try.

Congratulations and best wishes to my friend Gayle Carline, whose new book is being released today in paperback and on Kindle. MURDER ON THE HOOF is a contemporary romantic suspense about a young widow who goes to a horse show to buy a horse. What she finds is danger, and romance.FINALMOTH-200x300

Here’s what the book is about:

Willie Adams is at the L.A. Eques­trian Cen­ter shop­ping for her first horse. A young widow strug­gling with the idea of dat­ing again, she never expected that a gor­geous trainer like Tyler Ran­some would notice her. But he did.
He wasn’t the only one, either. Bobby Fer­mino is not as hand­some, nor as pleas­ant. After attack­ing Willie he ends up dead in her tack room, leav­ing her the most likely suspect.

Willie has to con­vince Detec­tive Lucas Macy that she’s inno­cent, but her phys­i­cal attrac­tion to him isn’t mak­ing the task easy.

With grow­ing evi­dence point­ing to her, and two famous actors draw­ing atten­tion to the inves­ti­ga­tion, Willie decides to take the reins. She must find the mur­derer before they find her, but will she sur­vive open­ing her heart to some­one new?

Go to Gayle’s blog, http://gaylecarline.blogspot.com/ for all the details, plus a chance to win a free copy, and swag!

We’re celebrating.

THE BLACKEST NIGHT and CON GAME were released this week. To mark the occasion and to acknowledge our appreciation for our readers, Terry Ambrose and I are giving away copies of both books. For your chance to win, see below. But first…here’s a little about the books:

The Blackest Night FINAL FRONT EBOOK 04132014 copyThe 3rd in the Jackson mystery/thriller series, THE BLACKEST NIGHT is set in San Francisco and includes a touch of the paranormal: As a wrongfully convicted ex-con, William Law believed the darkest days of his life were behind him…until the night he is attacked in an alleyway.

Meanwhile, inspector Mac Jackson is leading inquiries in a murder investigation. When he receives an anonymous tip with startling information, connecting one crime to another, Jackson learns that the most unconventional path might be the only one that leads to the truth.

Con Game 600x900CON GAME is the sequel to License to Lie. Con artist Roxy Tanner just walked away with $2.6 million on her latest job, but left behind a dead body. Skip Cosgrove wants to help Roxy find out who killed her mark, but he has his problems – a man the former criminologist once helped put behind bars is back for revenge. With the cops closing in on Roxy, and a killer on the hunt for Skip, the last thing they need is a gutsy street kid turning their lives upside down – until it happens. Now, all three must decide how far they will go to survive a killer’s con game.


Click here: for your chance to win a paperback copy of THE BLACKEST NIGHT (US residents). For readers not located in the US, you have the chance to win a Kindle version by clicking here and leaving a comment requesting a copy. Two Kindle book winners will be selected at random at the end of May.

To enter the CON GAME giveaway for your chance to win a soft-cover copy (US residents), simply click here. Non-US residents are eligible for a Kindle version.

For more content on the authors:

Jenny: http://amzn.to/1kipJdW   http://jfhilborne.com

Terry: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0985954043  http://terryambrose.com/2014/03/con-game

An interesting blog tour is currently circulating and involves asking authors to give insight into their writing process. When I was tagged, I did a little inward groan and thought, “Uh-uh, who has the time?” followed quickly by “Oh, alright, it should be easy for me, because I don’t have a process.” So, I agreed to do it.

Thanks to the lovely and talented Linda Boulanger (the fabulous book cover designer for many authors, myself included) who tagged me to participate in the tour, you’ll get to learn a little more about my…uh…writing process.

The tour involves answering 4 questions. Here goes:

1. What am I working on?

The Blackest Night FINAL FRONT EBOOK 04132014 copyMy current works in progress include The Blackest Night, which is a paranormal thriller due out this month, and a new mystery/thriller called Easy Target (title subject to change). Easy Target is the sequel to No Alibi and is set in San Francisco, featuring homicide detective John Doucette. I can’t post more about it – I’m only a chapter in.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

While whodunits, thrillers, mysteries, and suspense may follow certain rules or a formula – plot driven, character driven etc – writers in this genre definitely have their own style. Some thrillers include romantic elements; others are dark and more sinister. I write on the darker side. My characters are always flawed and not always likeable. An amusing critique I once received called one of my works a ‘violence fest’. While they’re not meant for kids, the books only include moderate language and violence, nothing graphic. Romance does not feature heavily (and more often not at all) in my work.

3. Why do I write what I write?

Quite simply, it’s what I like to read, so it seems natural I should write it. Even though it’s fiction, I like to probe into and investigate the psychology behind the darkest of my characters. What makes them do what they do? I’m more interested in that than in the crimes they commit. Trying to understand the depths of some evil is disturbing, yet it’s fascinating to look into how the mind works.

4. How does my writing process work?


My method is different for each book. I might begin with a title or a general idea of the main plot, but I never outline and often I don’t know the ending until I get there. Inspiration for my stories comes from many places: conversations, my past, the pasts of other people I know, news. When I sit down to write, I write whatever comes into my head at that time. Editing is my favorite part of the ‘process’ as it’s my chance to clean it all up. A trick I learned at the first writing conference I attended was to keep a bio on each character, which I do. It’s especially helpful when writing a sequel and saves countless hours of hunting through former works for consistency. I usually have only one project on the go at any time. My head is filled with too many things to keep more than one story straight.

The tour concludes with tagging fellow authors to share the method of their madness, so I will hand over to the following:

Gayle Carline

Gayle and I go back a little way and have attended a number of book signings and festivals together. Among other things, she writes humorous mysteries featuring amateur sleuth Peri Minneopa. I’ve read most of her work and love the way she mixes funny with serious.


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