The Face of a Hero

I’ve been AWOL from this blog lately, thanks to multiple deadlines and an ongoing bout with a bad knee, but today I completed work on my novel for  2015 and finally have a day off. Not that the manuscript is ready to turn in–far from it. There are rewrites a-plenty that must be finished before November 1st, but it’s always a great feeling when the whole story is down on paper, and saved to the flash drive.

orlandobloom300Many of my colleagues choose a photo of their heroes to guide their writing, but I work in the opposite way. I begin with a general idea of my hero–age, profession, etc, but I like to get to know who he is before I lock myself in to his physical description.By the time I finish the story he has revealed more of himself to me.

For this new as yet untitled novel, the hero is a Savannah,  Georgia lawyer who defends my heroine on a murder charge. He owns a failing plantation on St Simon’s Island, and is attempting to revive the island by attracting a group of investors to build a resort there. But he’s hiding a tragic secret that comes to light as he defends my heroine. After spending almost a year researching and writing the story, I decided that this shot of  actor Orlando Bloom captured the essence of my fictional  19th century lawyer Philip Sinclair. Next week I’ll share a photo of my heroine.

Till then, happy reading!

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.