#FridayReads #BookReview Evangeline

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Evangeline (A Dark Faerie Tale, #0.5)

by Alexia Purdy

Book Overview

The Land of Faerie is calling.
There are places unknown, magic lures you in and love spans lifetimes.
Don’t resist. It’s in the blood…

Evangeline is a short story prequel to Ever Shade.

Book Review

I came across this book on Amazon Free Fantasy stories. I decided to give it a try, being it was a short story and I didn’t have to commit too much of my time before deciding whether or not I want to read the series. Sadly my first impression wasn’t that good, because:

The story was written in third person omniscient, which I’m not a huge fan of reading. It can become difficult to follow. Evangeline was no exception. The author didn’t have any transitions between the two POV’s Evangeline and her sister, Jade. She switched POV mid-paragraphs. So most of the time I had to re-read paragraphs to figure out who was speaking, taking me out of the story.

Next, the first couple of chapters the author spent a lot of time narrating and explaining backstory about the sisters and their powers instead of letting it unfold naturally with the story. However, she left off the most important part–character development.

The sisters characters were flat and hard to connect too. They had no personality. No unique characteristics. I didn’t even really know what they looked like, except Evangeline had black hair and brown eyes.

If that wasn’t bad enough, just as I finally felt the story was getting interesting when Evangeline met Jack, the story fast forwards to her leaving Jade to spend time with him, whom she had been dating for awhile and loved. Then the next chapter jumped again where she was living in Faerie Land.

I gave it 2 stars.

Despite my issue with third person omniscient, narrating backstory and flat characters, it had a potential. If the author had written in the interactions between Jack and Evangeline as well as Jade and the fairy king the story and the characters could’ve became interesting. However it didn’t.  It felt rushed and confusing instead.

Perhaps if you were reading the story, after have read book 1 it may have been more interesting. But starting with this book only turns you off from the series as it did with me.

Reminder: Today is the last day to download The Zeuorian Awakening Free on Amazon Kindle.


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

#indiechat Getting Better Reviews On Your Books

Every author faces the challenge of getting reviews on their books, preferably good ones ( 4 and above). They have a direct impact on sales. The more favorable, more sales and better exposure of the book on Amazon.

However, getting reviews can be a daunting task. Trust me, I know. I sent blind emails to bloggers and Amazon top reviewers. I filled out countless book review blog requests. I begged family and friends for their help (Which ended up being a waste of time, because Amazon blocks those reviews). I bartered with other authors (I review your book, if you review mine.). None of it worked. I got a few reviews that was it.

I finally resorted to using review services like Story Cartel and Netgalley, but several of the reviews I received weren’t that great. Like most writers I internalized and assumed my book sucked. But after I had time to think and put on my User researcher hat and re-read the reviews, I realized the bad reviews had nothing to do with my writing, rather the reviewer.

Majority of the reviewers who gave my book bad reviews weren’t my target audience. They liked to read paranormal romances not dark fantasy’s packed with action and mystery. No wonder why they hated the book. I would feel the same toward most literary fiction. I have no patience for slow paced, overly descriptive stories.

The rest of the bad reviews came from reviewers who like to bash books. You know them. The shock jocks who like to stir up others emotions to increase their blog readers, the pissed off reader who got irked about something in the book or in some cases, life, and take it out on the review.  Lastly, there were the reviewers who just wanted to add another blog article and didn’t bother to read the book at all. (i.e. a reviewer of my book The Zeuorian Awakening talked about how my lead character, Lexi, threw herself on all the boys. If she read the story, she would’ve known Lexi avoided everyone to keep them from figuring out about her powers.)

So I realized in order to get better reviews, I needed to think like a marketer. I needed to request reviews from my target audience. Unfortunately the pay for review services don’t give you the choice to be picky about who reads your books.

But How, you maybe thinking?

First of all you need to know what is your book genre and who is your real audience, because I promise you it’s not everyone.

When I say know your audience, I mean a general profile:

  • What is their age range
  • Are they male or female, if a mix what is the percentage (i.e 25% male and 75% female)
  • Do they have a blog, Twitter, Facebook and/or Goodreads accounts
  • Do they actively socialize online, if so where, how many posts per week and on what days?
  • What genre’s do they predominately read and give good reviews too. (Make sure your book Genre is on their list, specifically close to the top.)
  • Have they reviewed several books? (A must, if you want them to review your book)

The best way to figure out who are your audience without guessing and filling in the blanks, is to do a little competitive research. See who is reading similar books as yours on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and Blogs. (at least 25, but I suggest doing more to get a clear picture). Then list their answers in a spreadsheet and average them out.

For instance:

  • Ages were 25, 36, 29, 45, so the age range is 25 to 45.
  • There were 2 men and 18 women. So the audience makes up mostly women readers with a small percentage of men.
  • 10 readers had blogs, 18 had Twitter accounts, 5 had Facebook accounts and 16 had Goodreads accounts. So the audience predominately has Twitter and Goodreads accounts.
  • 5 readers tweeted 10 posts twice a week on Twitter, 12 tweeted 20 posts every other day of the week and 3 tweeted 1 post on Friday. So the audience is moderately active on Twitter, posting 10 to 20 tweets on M, W, F and Sun.

Next you need to find potential reviewers who match your audience using your research and solicit them. It doesn’t have to be a direct email. It could be:

  • A blog article, a tweet, a Facebook posting targeting them by using meta and hashtags.
  • An article written and posted on someone else’s blog that your audience views.
  • Join a discussion group who discuss your genre, but don’t hound them to review your book. Instead mention it briefly in a related thread.

If you can think of any other way to connect to your audience please share by posting a comment.


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

Fifty Shades Darker Review

I figure with the pending release of Fifty Shades Darker movie February 2017, I would finally read the book. I bought it after reading the first one, but it didn’t grab me right away so I put it down.

Official Book Overview

Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven, and demanding Fifty Shades.

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront her anger and envy of the women who came before her and make the most important decision of her life.

Erotic, sparkling and suspenseful, Fifty Shades Darker is the irresistibly addictive second part of the Fifty Shades trilogy.

Review

The story begins with Anastasia starting her new job at a small publishing firm. She works under Jack Hyde, who is a little too friendly. She spends most of her time crying since she is a total wreck over her break up with Christian. But it doesn’t last too long. Christian is back in her life and eager to rekindle their romance–a real romance this time: dates and all and away from the red room. Ana is all for it.

However, they are far from a their fairy tale love story. They have to workout their differences sexually and personally.

Christian is hesitant to go back into the red room, because he is terrified Ana will leave him again despite her reassurance it won’t happen. Ana is overwhelmed by Christian’s personal demons of being abused, his distaste for being touched and being bossy. One of Christian’s ex subs gone off the deep end. She bought a gun and sneaking around his house and Ana. Then there is Mrs. Robinson who Ana despises and doesn’t want in Christian’s life, but she won’t leave and Christian won’t let her go either. If that wasn’t bad enough, Jack Hyde tries to force her to have sex with him.

Overall the book wasn’t as good as the first one and rated it 3 out of 5 stars.

There were too many things happening at once, distracting me from the story. Some of it was a little unrealistic and felt as if thrown in the story just to spice it up. With that said, I still enjoyed the chemistry between Ana and Christian. If it wasn’t for that part of the story, I wouldn’t have read past chapter 1.


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

Mind Readers Book Review

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Cameron Winters is a freak. Fortunately, no one but her family knows the truth… that Cameron can read minds. For years Cameron has hidden behind a facade of normalcy, warned that there are those who would do her harm. When gorgeous and mysterious Lewis Douglas arrives he destroys everything Cameron has ever believed and tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a secret haven with Lewis; a place where she meets others like her, Mind Readers.

But as Cameron soon finds out some things are too good to be true. When the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs. Cameron suddenly finds herself involved in a war in which her idea of what is right and wrong is greatly tested. In the end she’ll be forced to make a choice that will not only threaten her relationship with Lewis, but her very life.


Review

Similar to my book My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) Cameron is gifted with the power of telepathy and people are after her, except she isn’t an alien, but a special human. So you can tell why I read the book: a little research and I like these kind of stories.

The story kept you interested from the very start after the coffee shop blows up. I like how she is struggling with trying to stay hidden and using her power to help others.

However I thought it was a little abrupt and unrealistic Cameron abandon her grandmother and to live with a group of other mind readers. But I understand why she chose that path, because her desire to do good won out.

Overall I liked the story and rate it 4 out of 5 stars.


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

Story Cartel Review

This is my experience using Story Cartel

Story Cartel Site

Story Cartel Logo

I decided to try out Story Cartel with my short story Monster. I paid $30 which included posting my book on their website for download by reviewers. I had to handle the advertising on my own, which I did through Twitter and Facebook.

11 people downloaded the story. Out of that number I received 4 reviews. Two on Amazon and two on Goodreads. All were favorable. I also gained additional books sales from the reviews. So overall the $30 dollars was well spent.

So I tried it again with my book Awakening. Same deal. They post it on their website for download by reviewers. I handled the advertising. This time I had 31 people download the book. Out of that number only 3 posted reviews. 1 on Amazon. 1 on Barnes and Nobles and 1 on Goodreads. Two favorable and one not so favorable. This time I didn’t gain any book sales.

Compare Story Cartel to NetGalley

Story Cartel is by far cheaper $30 to $150. I received close to the same downloads from NetGalley (37 to be exact), but more people posted reviews about the book 18+ and I also was given feedback from everyone who downloaded my book whether they got a chance to read it or not.

Interesting. I had 23 favorable reviews out of the 37. Almost everyone who disliked my book, because they thought it was a romance (due to a mix up in the overview) instead of a thriller, posted a review on Goodreads. Whereas the ones who liked it, only a few posted reviews. Which lowered my overall stars to 3.10. That’s why I don’t put too much into reviews. They don’t show the entire picture. Plus, just because one person hates a book, doesn’t mean I won’t like it. They might have an entirely different taste in books than I do.


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.