Readers Spoke, Amazon Listened

I’m happy to report this morning that the one star “reviews” from “Robert Blumenstock” posted to more than one hundred inspirational novels on Amazon have been removed. This happened because book lovers—readers, authors, librarians, and others—took the  time to bring these malicious and harmful ratings to Amazon’s attention .And thank you, Amazon, for listening and responding.

My books were not targeted, but on behalf of my colleagues whose books were singled out, thank you to everyone who contacted Amazon, who reported abuse, who posted a positive review or took other action to hold this cyber bully accountable. You are wonderful!

Sometimes the good guys win.

Authors Under Attack from a Cyber Bully

First of all this is not about me and my books. So far, this Amazon  “reviewer” has not  targeted any of my books ( I guess there is some advantage to being obscure!), but many of my colleagues have been targeted and I’m hoping with this post to help reverse the damage by shining a bright light on this scurrilous person who goes by the name of Robert Blumenstock.

Mr. Blumenstock ( and I do not believe for one minute this is a real name) has singled out authors of Christian fiction and has given more than 150 one star reviews to their books. Among the fine authors who have been targeted are Irene Hannon, Siri Mitchell, Lynn Austin,Margaret Brownley, Laura Frantz, Deeanne Gist, Shelley Shepard Gray, Robin Lee Hatcher, and Julie Klassen.  Most, but not all, of the the authors are writers of historical romance.

This “reviewer” does not bother to write a single word explaining why he thinks the books in question deserve such a low rating–he simply gives the book one star and then types one letter–the letter z– into the comment field and moves on to the next book.

This person is either an aspiring writer who has been rejected by the publishers who publish these authors’ books and is seeking revenge, or else a person who hates anything associated with the word “Christian.”

Here’s why I believe these one star ratings are bogus: First of all, it makes no sense that a person would continue to read more than 100 books in a genre that has proven so unsatisfying.

Think about it: if you read 5 books, or ten, or a dozen, in the same genre and ALL of them were so bad that you gave them just one star, would you read 90 more books in the same genre?  Secondly, most people who are dissatisfied enough to rate anything one star–be it a book or a bicycle— can’t wait to tell others WHY they are so unhappy. But this “Robert Blumenstock” says nothing,

Amazon won’t remove these negative reviews so it’s up to people of good will to fight back against cyber bullying. If you have read and enjoyed books by ANY of the  authors named above, and have not already done so, please consider posting a positive review on Amazon. Another thing you can do is find “Robert Blumenstock’s”  reviews and where Amazon asks “was this review helpful” check ” No.

It’s a small thing and it won’t stop this person, but such mean-spirited behavior needs to be recognized and neutralized when possible, and  not ignored.

 

 

 

Winners of THE BRACELET arcs Announced

A HUGE thank you to everyone who entered for the ARC giveaway. I only wish I could send you ALL a copy. I’m so grateful for your online friendship. Some of you have been Facebook friends for so long I feel as if we are next door neighbors.

The names  randomly selected this time are:  Keren Lyles, Lisa Stifler, Connie Saunders, and Mary Koester.

Ladies, you will receive an email from me today requesting your full mailing address. Please just hit “reply” and let me know where to ship your ARC, and it will be on its way to you next week.

As we get closer to the release of this book, there will be more opportunities to win books and other cool stuff. If your name wasn’t chosen this time, I hope you’ll stick around for the official release in late November.  Again, thank you so very much. I appreciate each and every one of you, and it always makes my day to chat with you on Facebook.

The Bracelet ARC Giveaway Starts Today

I have three Advance Reader Copies of THE BRACELET to give away to three people who are willing to help me create some “buzz” for this new book which will be in stores December 9th. Are you game? Here are the details and FAQ:

I haven’t heard of THE BRACELET. What’s it about?

the_bracelet-199x300Right here on the site you will find the book cover and a short summary of the novel. If you love historical novels filled with romance, suspense, and mystery, I think you will enjoy this one.  If you are not a fan of historical novels, then this is not the book for you.

What is an Advance Reader Copy ( ARC)?

An ARC is a bound, UNCORRECTED proof of the book pages created to provide to reviewers before a book comes out. In an ARC you will find typographical errors, missing quotation marks, dropped words, repeated sentences, etc. You must be able to ignore these, which will be corrected in the finished book.

How do I help create “Buzz” for THE BRACELET?

It’s easy! Just post a short review on as many online sites as possible including Amazon.com, B and N.com, and Goodreads.com by November 30th, 2014. If you have a blog, you can post a review there, too.

Do you know a librarian at your public library, church library, high school library? Please tell them about THE BRACELET.

Are you on Facebook or Twitter? Mention the book on your social media sites.

Are you a member of a book club? Recommend THE BRACELET to your club members. If your club chooses to read the book, I will be happy to set up a phone chat with you during your club meeting.

I’ve never written a book review before. What should I include?

A great book review does not have to be long, and it is not necessary to tell the whole plot of the book. In fact it’s better if you don’t give too much away! Pretend you are chatting with a friend and telling them about the book and why you liked it.  Here’s an example of a review I wrote for a book I loved:

A Different Sun is a beautifully written story of a young woman who marries a missionary and follows him to Africa to establish a church. I loved the rich descriptions of the African village and the unfolding story of the couple’s unusual marriage. The author made me feel as if I were walking along the red dirt road right along with her characters. I laughed and cried right along with them, too as they experienced triumphs and great personal tragedy. I loved this book and I think you will love it too. Five stars!!

Want to try it?

All you have to do is LEAVE A COMMENT below, and tell me which of my previous books you enjoyed the most, and why. Three entries will be randomly chosen to receive the ARC of THE BRACELET. Then check back here any time after 12 noon CST on Friday, August 29th, when the winners’  names will be posted.

IMPORTANT: In order to stop spam, I approve all comments before they appear here on the site. So don’t worry if you don’t see your comment right away. I WILL approve all legitimate comments and you WILL be entered to win. Thanks so much!! Good luck.