Incoming by Prudence MacLeod

Incoming Front Cover.jpg

The humans of Earth have been guided and nurtured as they bred indiscriminately.  Now the puppet masters are returning for the harvest.  At the moment of our greatest danger an unexpected ally returns from the stars and a leader of incredible ability arises from the vast numbers of the marginalized.  She seizes command of the allies and leads them against the enemy.  Will they succeed?  Can we even survive?  And if we do, will there be anything left of our poor battered battleground of a planet?

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Letter to Jeff Bezos of Amazon

I encourage every author I know, every small publisher, every fan and follower to write something similar to jeff@amazon:

Jeff Bezos

Chief Executive Officer

Amazon.com

Dear Mr. Bezos,

I want to thank you for providing such a platform as KDP Publishing and Create Space for authors to self-publish as well as small publishing houses to use print on demand and e-books.

Recently it has come to my attention how harsh the culling of reviews has become.  When we, as self-published authors or small publishing houses complain about a review that may have been a little harsh, or the book unread, or someone buys it and returns it in a few hours when they have read the whole thing, we are frequently ignored.  When we have faithful followers we will now be punished because you look at our social media friends list, our faithful followers, and decide that these reviews are not earned and remove them.

Personally, I have 4600 followers on Facebook alone.  I have another 19,500 on Twitter.  I also have 25,200 on my blog.  I couldn’t POSSIBLY know EACH and EVERY one of these people.  I’m just grateful that the hard work I have put into promoting myself as an author is paying off in the form of faithful readers who help support me by reading my Novels, Novellas, and Short Stories.  To find out that their continued support in the form of recommending my books via a review may be stopped is a little alarming.  Yes, any system can be abused, we see it every day in the form of those giving bad reviews because they don’t like an author, but if we report it, it can be and frequently is ignored.  Not every book or story I write is going to appeal to every reader, that’s the great thing about it though, variety.  If I deserve a bad review, I should take it, but if my fans choose to leave me a good one their integrity is questioned?

Yes, some of these fans have become ‘friends’ over the years of my publishing endeavors, but they started as fans, they read my works and the works of my authors, and I encourage everyone to leave a review whenever possible.  Now, because they are on my ‘lists’ they may be suspect?

I am also a small publisher, I encourage and in fact teach my authors to promote themselves through social media in the form of blogs, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and any other social media platform that may help them sell a book.  Finding readers is easy, keeping them is hard…and when they show that they are faithful fans their reviews are helpful.  So a practice whereby your people, your algorithm’s ‘decide’ which reviews stay and which go may not be as good an idea as you might think.

I have to question if this happening to the truly big sellers of books?  Do the Danielle Steel fans get monitored for this?  How about Johanna Lindsey?  Even dead authors like Louis La’Mour or Beatrice Small, are their reviews being monitored?  Or are you only targeting newer authors, smaller authors and presses?  They couldn’t possibly ‘know’ the millions who follow them, how could I know the tens of thousands who follow me?

I also have another question for you?  Is it true it takes 25 or 50 ‘reviews’ before Amazon will ‘promote’ a book in the same genre?  If so, then are you watching as 25 or 50 reviews appear instantly on some author’s new releases to make them best sellers?  Isn’t this suspicious?  When only 1-2 appear at a time you now are suspicious of those?  You wish to take away those from these authors?

I, personally, find it a little creepy that now our social media platforms are being ‘watched’ by the giant Amazon to see if we are ‘friends’ with our ‘reviewers’ so that these reviews can be flagged and taken away.  How ‘big brother’ of you.  Don’t you think there are more important issues to worry about such as the theft of someone’s intellectual work in the form of torrent sites, the targeting of some authors in the form of trolls, or simply, good customer service?

I personally hope that these rumors about these review practices are simply that, rumors and that it won’t happen large scale as it is being stated.  It’s a sad day when we can’t even trust that the company we place our works of art in the hands of is now second guessing things, watching out ‘for us’ in a way that is very invasive.

Amazon is a huge company, I understand that.  I personally spend hundreds of dollars at your site every year and love its convenience.  It scares me though as a writer and publisher that the dollars we count on to earn at your site may be in jeopardy because of some practices that are too intrusive.  Please rethink this policy.

Sincerely,

K’Anne Meinel, Author

K’Anne Meinel, Publisher of Shadoe Publishing

Return from Exile by Prudence MacLeod

 

 

Return from Exile front cover

Defiant young Annie Laurie Balfour is sent to a distant land in hopes of avoiding a devastating public scandal.  There she acquires a dark and dangerous ally, a guardian angel of great and terrible power.  Together they return to Scotland to extract vengeance and gain justice for Annie.  Will they succeed or die in the attempt?  Only time will tell.

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Website

You might wonder why companies or individuals use specific websites to host their product(s).  There are a lot of them out there!  Personally we chose WordPress because it allows such a variety of different templates and many of them are free.  It also integrates fully with our social media sites so that anything we do on our blog, website, etc is shared between these platforms.  Once you use WordPress for a blog (which is free), you will find using it for a website isn’t that far-fetched an idea from there.  It’s easy and once you find a host you are comfortable with, you can add on features that you may like.  We chose I-Page as our host not only for the business websites but for many of our authors.  It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and you can bump up as you learn and add things.  Most of our authors are not computer savy and that’s okay, we can teach them to use simple programs such as WordPress or Weebly.  There are many other programs out there to choose from as well and I-Page supports several of them.  So if you are thinking of getting a website, we would recommend I-Page for this very reason, it’s affordable, simple, and your learning-curve isn’t that painful.

We wish you luck if you are planning on creating a website anytime soon, we hope you take our recommendation as we have been very happy in our choices.  If you need some help, wish to ask some questions, feel free!  Check out the deals from I-Page here!  We are certain you will find something you enjoy as much as we have!  Check out OUR website at www.shadoepublishing.com!694

Disclaimer: We may be compensated for this review.

Fast Lane by Jennis Slaughter and A.D. Campbell

Fast Lane

In the male dominated sport of Formula 1 racing, Samantha ‘Sam’ Dupree is struggling to make her mark against the boys. She hears about a driver who is making a name for herself in NASCAR and goes to check her out.  Little does she know that she’s in for the race of her heart.

Addison McCloud wants nothing more than to drive.  She doesn’t care about fame or fortune; she just wants to be fast enough to get herself and her family away from her abusive father.  Meeting Sam changes her world and revs her life into overdrive.

When the two women meet, sparks fly like the race cars that they drive.  Will they be able to steer their relationship into something more and win the race, or will their families make them crash and burn?  The boys of Formula 1 are going to learn that Southern girls are a force to be reckoned with. 

TEASER:  Keying the headset to Addison frequency, Sam kept her voice calm as she spoke to the young driver, “Addi…show that damn Yankee how we Southern women drive.” Samantha Jayne Dupree let her Southern accent flow from her like honey.  “Blow him a kiss as you fly by for me Darlin’.”

Slamming on her brakes, Addison Gere McCloud let smoke pour up from all four of the thick Dunlop tires on her car. As Tatum’s car lost its buffer between itself and the wall, his own Mustang slammed into the barrier wall with enough force to pop one of the tires.

The blue, number 16 Conway Freight Mustang flew around its partner car in a stunning display of control using his wind tunnel to slingshot around him. Instead of Addison blowing Dana Tatum a kiss on the way by as she stole his job and his contract, she held up her middle finger.

Sam looked up and saw the motion on one of the many screens that they had around in the pit areas and pumped her fist.  “Good girl Addi, now finish up the race.  You’ve got some celebrating to do.”

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Lady Shadow by Prudence MacLeod

Lady Shadow

Lexa Condon spent too much time in imaginary worlds until she witnessed a murder.  Now the killers are after her.  With her young life about to be snuffed out, she cries out for help.  Lexa is granted the power to create imaginary worlds herself.  Flexing her new powers she goes on the hunt for the killers, but her power is strong, and seductive.  Will she be drawn completely into a world of her own construction and disappear forever, or will she gain control and bring down the killers.  It will be a long trail and will have to face her own darkness before it’s over.

Killers are hunting for Lexa, but what they find is darkness and shadow.  Shadow and form, and then shadow again.  Even as they hunt her, mystery and madness hunt them.  And then there is that damn dragon.

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