Sunday, April 8, 2018

Blog Update: I'm Not Going Anywhere

Hiya guys and dolls! 

After giving myself a couple weeks to chill out, step back, and figure out what I want to do, I think I'm finally there. I'm not going anywhere. My love of books will never die, and I absolutely love reviewing.

I started this blog because I love reading, I love helping authors, and I love reviewing. I've put a lot of energy into this thing, and I'm no where near done.

Amazon sucks - I think we can all agree on that. But to let them kill my entire blog and all the work I've done would be tragic - they're acting like bullies, and the worst thing I could do, is let them push me completely away. They're one company, and that's it. I don't like bullies, and while they may have made me an angry little hornet for a few weeks, I'm glad to be done with them & their stupid rules.

This whole thing actually turned out to be a good thing (as most everything always ends up). So many of you have reached out to me in various ways, and have shown me support as a reviewer I haven't gotten much of the last year or so. That takes a toll, and when everything else adds onto that, it becomes a hot mess.

To those of you who reached out to me and showed me support, I do truly appreciate it. 

Many of you commented how reviewers don't tend to get much support, esp considering how much they give to authors, and without sounding terrible, I think that's been part of my problem. We don't get the same kind of support we give, so after a while, it gets overwhelming.

When that happens, at least for me, I have to take a step back and remind myself why I'm doing this. For the love of books, and the awesome feeling it gives me to truly help someone else. I tend to bite off more than I can chew, or in this case, plan for a work schedule that changed on me, but I still tried to keep that same pace. Didn't work out that way, and I need to give myself permission to adjust - hopefully authors will understand, and if not, well, what can I do. I'm a volunteer, not an employee. I needed to remember that.

With that said, I am going to keep moving forward, but I am going to make a few changes to how I do things. Mainly, I'm tossing out my schedule, and replacing it with a flexible one. I will do my best to read several books a week, and will get everything done as quickly as I am able, but I'm not going to kill myself trying to get reviews done immediately, because with me, I end up stealing time I should be giving to other projects.

Some of you know and some of you don't, but I'm an author myself, and that needs to be a priority. Aside from that though, I also help run two small businesses, as well as a pet rescue, and all that takes up quite a bit of my time, as it should. We all have a lot going on, but I think it's important for me to at least throw it out there.

I will put up my reviews wherever the book is listed/I'm able to, obviously, and each book I review will still have a permanent post on this blog. I will still accept reviews, and I'll do my best to hit release dates or special dates authors mention, but I'm not committing to any specific "I'll have it done by this date" agreements any more. I just can't, with so many other things, this has to be a side hobby I do for fun. This isn't a job, I don't get paid, and the jobs I have that do pay my bills need to take priority.

So, hopefully we're all good to go. If you're an author waiting for a review from me, I do apologize for the inconvenience of having to wait, but it is what it is. If we've agreed to a review date, I'll still do my best to keep it, but I can't make any promises. One way or another, you'll get a review, I'm at least sure of that much.

To everyone who's stuck with me, supported me, loves books, and loves authors, I appreciate you more than you know. I'm glad to have had the chance to re-evaluate this blog and reorganize myself, because I'll be moving forward far more healthy and capable of supporting the authors I love. A big part of even wanting to keep going, is because of you awesome folks, so thank you. You guys are awesome, and it was super sweet of you.

Looking forward to reading a ton of great new books!!

Be sure to follow me here, on social media (facebook & twitter), and follow my book blog for more fun book-lovin' fun!

Thanks for visiting!

Have a fantastic day! =D

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What Now?

Hey guys and dolls. This post is going to be messy, but honestly, it's where I'm at right now, and you guys deserve some sort of explanation before I just disappear. That is, if you even give a shit. Right now, I doubt many do.

Honestly, I haven't been settled at all the past week, on what I'm going to do. As a reviewer with any sort of worth and good standing reputation, it's almost mandatory to post reviews on Amazon. I can't do that now.

Yes, I could make a new account specifically for leaving reviews, but honestly, without re-writing all my reviews so they don't end up being noticed and flagged again, I'll be setting myself up for the exact same headache after spending countless hours putting them all back up. To me, that seems massively impractical.

I honestly don't know if there is any point in authors going through me for reviews. Most authors make it clear they're only interested in an Amazon review, and anywhere else is just gravy. Maybe it'll just clear those authors out? I don't know.

As a reviewer and book lover, I'm seriously lost. This has been such a big part of my life for over 5 years. Do I quit? Is my business dead in the water from one egotistical company?

I still don't know, tbh. My normal mode of operating is to simply keep moving forward, and don't give up. It's more of a headache, and would mean more awkward conversations with future authors, as I explain why they won't see my review on Amazon, but is it worth it?

Maybe I should just give up the reviewing gig and focus all my energy on my own books? I'm a flailing author with my own well-received but lost-in-the-crowd books. Maybe this is a sign I need to move on from reviewing, and focus on writing and building my own books up?

I honestly don't know. For the moment, I'm simply floating, as I figure out where I want to go from here. Amazon rules our world, and since I've been cut from the club, maybe it's time I simply bow out. Another one bites the dust, so they say.

We'll see. I'll keep you updated. At the moment though, I just feel gutted. 5 years of work and 800+ reviews gone, and those are just the books. I reviewed so many things on Amazon y'all, you have no idea. I don't just review books. I review products as well. It's all just gone. In a way, I'm just heartbroken.

I used to love Amazon. I backed them up to people who bashed them. I stood up for them. I was supportive, and have stood by them since they were a tiny little company. I've worked with them for over 10 years, long before they were the massive company they are now. I've watched them grow, and have been proud of them.

Until now. It's akin to betrayal, I suppose. All that pride and all those arguments where I supported them and wouldn't change my mind. In the end, they stabbed me in the back while I defended them, and they've changed my mind instead.

The worst part is, they don't even care. They don't give a shit about me, the stress they've caused, or anything about me or my little blog. They wouldn't even care if I pulled my books from their platform, because I'm not making them a bunch of money. If J.K. Rowling told them reviewers are important and to stop attacking them, maybe then they'd listen.

As it is, I'm a little swatted fly, and I'm not sure if I'll come back or not. With the bullying that happened last week causing an author to attempt suicide from other authors being complete assholes, mixed in with my personal turmoil, I'm just so fed up with the book community. It's why I took a break a few years ago, and I just don't know if it's worth it tbh.

If you've read this far, kudos to you. I don't know why you care so much, but I appreciate it. Not feeling too much love lately, and I think it's finally taken its toll.

If I don't post for a while, I wish you guys the best of luck. To any author who didn't get a review from me, I do apologize, and I will try my best to get your book reviewed, and finish out my standing queue when I am able. At the moment, my heart just isn't in it, and trust me, any review right now wouldn't be worth the effort.

Not really sure any of it was, honestly. 5 years, down the drain. Screw Amazon.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

F*ck Amazon!!

I am so far past livid. Amazon deleted ALL my reviews. Every single one is just gone, and I'm banned from reviewing anything else.

I know I'm not the first reviewer to have gone through this, but I'd avoided it up til now. Fuck Amazon!! Why are we still using them!? FFS!

Barnes & Noble doesn't have this shit! Smashwords lets you download in ANY format once you purchase a book, usually for cheaper than Amazon! Why the F are we still using Amazon, and acting like they are all that matters!?!

Maybe they hold all the cards because we give them all the cards? What if we all switched platforms?

I know it'll never happen, but gosh darnit, this is ridiculous. 5+ years of work, gone. If it wasn't for Goodreads, which Amazon now owns (and will probably start censoring reviews for soon as well, if rumors prove true) all my reviews would be completely gone outside my blog. 


If anyone needs me, I'll be punching the shit out of some pillows, wishing I had my punching bag set up already.

Note to any fellow reviewers - don't rely on Amazon to save your reviews. Back them up!! They are on a rampage, and if you do enough reviews, eventually, you will get deleted and banned. It sucks. Back them up  somewhere else.

"Phi-Town" by Eric Vinc3nt!

Hiya guys and dolls! I've got a new review for you today - a political contemporary thriller/adventure by author Eric Vinc3nt (yes, there's supposed to be a number there, lol).

If you're into conspiracy theories, political dramas, and modern-day adventures, be sure to check out the Phi-Town action!


~Author: Eric Vinc3nt

~Released: December 25th 2017

~Length: 283 Pages

~Genres: Mystery, Adventure, Conspiracy, Adult Fiction

Pope Francis made it safely out of Philadelphia in 2015. Find out why.

Donna Modigliani, Philadelphia’s district attorney, senses a threat to a real-life 2015 event in the city hosted by Pope Francis. But when her effort to uncover it seems thwarted by a mysterious Washington official, she turns to freelance agent Tristan Boumann, a modern-day Benjamin Franklin, because Donna knows about Tristan’s uncanny knack for unraveling threats that cops and feds are prone to miss. PHI-TOWN is at once a portrait of a great city in the throes of a historic event, and a passenger-seat view of a native daughter and son’s stylish adventure in saving their beloved hometown from an apocalyptic infamy.

Friday, February 16, 2018

"Where's My Review?!?"

Hiya guys and dolls. Hope your year is starting out well. Did you have a good Valentine's Day?

I wanted to give you guys a little update, paired with a mini-reality check for a select group of individuals.

I've been down with the hellish flu that's been going around, at least around the U.S. I'm going on week 8, and I'm exhausted. When I'm not sick enough to be stuck in bed, someone in my house is, and I'm taking care of them.

Don't get me wrong, we all have our stuff to deal with, and this isn't a pity party. What it is, hopefully, is an explanation. Esp for authors, who are the main audience this particular post is addressed to.

*Cue Mini-Reality Check*

Anyone who's requested a review from me, is expected to have read my review policy. In it, I state I do not welcome emails and pms asking where your review is. It's rude.

If you haven't sent a "where's my review?" email, then this isn't written for you.

If you have, then let me issue you a friendly reminder: I am providing you a free service. You have not paid me. A copy of your book isn't payment, because with all due respect, I probably wouldn't have bought it in the first place, so you're not missing out on the couple of bucks you could have gotten from me. I already have over 200 books to read right now, and I'm not shopping for any others. Most of you are indie authors, who's books I never would have found, had you not emailed me.

You came to me, and asked me for a favor you probably don't plan to ever return or pay back. I'm fine with that. I enjoy reading, so in the end, we both win (if your book is good. If it sucks, then we both get screwed, but I digress).

I try to give general time frames for when a book will, lacking a hindrance, be done. Not one of the rather rude emails I've gotten the last several weeks, demanding to know where the review was, took me into consideration, at all.

I get your book is you. To me, your book is one in hundreds on my list to read, or has already been read, and I'm too damn sick to write a review that sounds better than a second grade book report. Hopefully you can understand that.

I'm an author as well - I understand the importance of reviews. They are gold nuggets we work our asses off to get, and hope to God each one is good, and if nothing else, isn't a total burner. It's difficult.

But for the reviewer, it's completely different. We're just trying to get through a giant stack of books, without forgetting one, or God-forbid, putting a review on Goodreads and not Amazon. It's difficult as well.

Working both sides gives me very little patience for rude, selfish behavior. Whether you're excited, micromanaging, or simply obsessed with your number of reviews, I don't care. I am doing you a favor, spending my free time reading your book at all. I do not have to do it when you want it done. Even if we agree on a date, most of the time, I still say I will try to accommodate, but make no promises. If you don't like that, then don't send me your bloody book - I didn't ask you for it! But don't come to me with attitude demanding your review - I don't work like that.

I love what I do, honestly. And most authors are amazing to work with. But some of you need a reality check. I have gotten several emails the last few weeks, and they're adding stress to my already exhausted body and mind, and that's just not okay. I don't have the energy to email you each individually asking you to be patient, because I'm sick. I'm doing the best I can, but honestly, it not doing too well right now.

If you're waiting for a review from me, I deeply apologize for any inconvenience my lack of health has caused. For those of you that have been kind, thank you. For those who have been rude - a couple in particular, you should wash your mouths out with soap - may not be getting a review from me at all, after your emails, and you know who you are.

I will continue to volunteer to read and review your books or products. I am, however, rather slow at the moment, which for me, is still averaging 8 books a week, and still have 200 or so to go. I will get them up on the internet once I can manage to get out of bed and focus for more than 10 minutes, but right now, I will puke on you if you push me. Get off my back. Hopefully I can kick it back up soon, but my health is more important, and to be honest, the negativity of several of you the last few weeks has pissed me off.

All that being said, I hope wherever you are, you're healthy, happy, and having a wonderful day.

Ciao for now,