Thursday, October 27, 2016

Too dependent on the internet

Have you ever thought you're too dependent on the internet? Wondered what you ever did without it? I have and most recently, our internet went down which highlighted the fact even more.

Photo via

Let me start you on my internet journey.

It's 1998 and I'm stuck in Cairo, Egypt on a project on my own (sort of). I had colleagues with me, of course, but essentially, I was on my own. On my own with my dial-up internet connection. Back then, we used something called SITA. I don't even know what that stands for anymore but it was one of those internet services which had dial-up numbers from all around the world. Very useful for someone who works all over the world (me) at that point.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Guest post: paranormal romance, magical thrill ride or social study? by Juliette Cross | New Release: Dragon Heartstring (Vale of Stars #0.5)

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Juliette Cross' work. I have adored her writing from the moment I read Soulfire and learned about Morgons, her dragon-human hybrids and soulfire.

Since Soulfire, I've pretty much glommed everything on Juliette's back list, most recently her Vessel Trilogy. I'm very late to the game on that one but trust me, excellent series, excellent read. The bloggity's very own Mr Manview even gave it 5 stars!!

But we are not here to talk about her back list. We are here to talk about her latest release, Dragon Heartstring. This book has been very long awaited by fans of the Nightwing series. We've been wanting Demetrius' story ever since we met him in Soulfire. I, for one, have been dying to know how Juliette would redeem him. To say I am excited about this book is an understatement.

So aside from my fangirling over the book, I'll let you read a bit more about Demetrius.

Please give Juliette very warm welcome.

Gothic vaulted ceiling
Photo credit: mharrsch via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

While some may view the genre of paranormal/fantasy romance as nothing more than a thrill ride with the supernatural, there are often threads of the real world woven into the stories. Many stories in this genre address social issues of the day, but are simply framed within the confines of magical and supernatural elements. For all of my series, there is a central theme that threads through the overall arc of the novels. So it’s no great surprise that the hero of DRAGON HEARTSTRING is Demetrius Cade, formerly seen in the NIGHTWING series as the overprotective brother following in his father’s footsteps of bigotry against the Morgon race.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Changes to Amazon's review policy

As some of you might have become aware, Amazon made some changes to their review guidelines recently. In a nutshell, they are no longer allowing paid or subsidized products to be reviewed where the reviewer is sent the product for free or at a heavily discounted rate (like paying $1 for a $100 product) for a review on Amazon. To Amazon now, this constitutes a paid review, and existing reviews are being taken down. You can read about it in more detail here.

Amazon review being removed

For book reviews, you'll see in the article I mentioned above, book reviews do not count in the change in review guidelines ... sort of. However, it has always been stated that reviewers who were given books or Advanced Review Copies for free should state in their review that they were given the book for free in exchange for an honest review. This is no longer viable because being given the book for free in exchange for a review does constitute a paid review. You ARE getting the product for free. ... Even though the article says books are not included.

Being a blogger and a book reviewer, obviously I am given books to review and I belong to a number of book and author groups. In one particular group, the author posted this notice in the group, which I think is fantastic. With her permission, I am reposting what she said here. It's great advice.

New Amazon review policy

So, if you're a reviewer and you've been posting reviews to Amazon and / or Goodreads with the wording above, you may want to consider changing what you write.

What does this mean to Deanna's World and the reviews I post either here on the blog, on Amazon and / or Goodreads? Nothing really. After all this happened, I went to my blog review policy page with the intent of changing my review policy only to find I really didn't need to. I had been careful in what commitments I would make with regards to posting reviews.

One thing I did try to do was post a review as close to the release date of the book as possible, oftentimes on release day itself. This will change. It has come to my attention that reviews posted too close to release day may come into question since someone may not have been able to purchase the book, read it and post a review quite as quickly as at the moment the book is published without it being an Advanced Review Copy, which may then fall under the "paid review" umbrella, intentionally or otherwise. A lot of this is open for interpretation, and a lot of it depends on the person working for Amazon sitting on the other side of the screen and what he or she may perceive as a paid review or not. I'd rather not take any chances, so reviews for new releases, while I will attempt to be as timely as possible will probably see a lag in posting timing between the release day and the day the review is posted. It does not help myself, my readers nor the authors if any of my reviews are taken down, so I would rather be safe than sorry.

Reviews will always go up on the blog here first. Following that, then Amazon and Goodreads, usually at about the same time. I do not know the timing or lag between the review being on the blog vs Amazon and Goodreads, though I understand the importance of reviews being on Amazon with it helping search algorithms and Amazon recommendations to other readers. I will not follow a pattern when it comes to posting reviews to Amazon and Goodreads. They will go up when they do.

I can understand if some authors may be unhappy with this slight policy change on posting reviews with Deanna's World, but please be aware, in the long run, I am doing this for the benefit of the books (and authors) I am reviewing. It helps no one if my reviews are taken down from Amazon or if I am banned from posting reviews.

I hope this has been helpful and has clarified a few things. If you have any questions, please ask. I will be happy to answer them for you.

I will continue to review books, of course. This does not change my reading and reviewing habits. Reading is my drug of choice. :-)

So what do you think of the new Amazon review policies? Will they affect you in any way?

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Reading for fun or for research as an author

I am continuing with my reading series which I've been thoroughly enjoying. I hope you are enjoying this series as much as I am. The first in the series was about reading being gender or personality driven, and the second was reading as a blogger. For the third post, I roped in authors Cathleen Ross and Lily Harlem who very kindly answered a few questions for me about what it means to read as an author.

For today, I've asked another author who writes crime novels about her reading for research purposes. I'm certain there is a lot of research involved in writing crime novels, even romantic ones, so please welcome author Morgan Kelley to the bloggity today as we hear what she has to say about reading for reseach.

Girl in magnifying glass
Photo credit: Poe Tatum via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND