WWIV Book 1

FOUR WWIV Books are now available on Amazon.
Click here for more information.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

WWIV - Book Three ---- Cover Reveal

Coming for Christmas 2015, book three of the WWIV series - Basin of Secrets.

(Click on the cover for all kinds of preview details)

This will be a different journey than found in books one and two (WWIV - In The Beginning and WWIV - Hope in the Darkness [formerly Kids at War]). Both of those books were set in the midwest; book three (Basin of Secrets) takes place in the Salt Lake Community and Rocky Mountains to the west.

Book one takes place when the darkness arrives, book two six years in. Now, for book three, time has moved forward another six years, giving the world twelve years of total darkness. And nothing has progressed; life has regressed, if anything.

Click on the picture above and let me know what you think of the full cover. Read the synopsis on my website; again, let me know if this novel sounds interesting to you, something you can't wait to read. I value your opinions, so please feel free to give them.

I have more news on a title change (briefly mentioned above), but I'll save that for another post to come soon.

Thank you for following me. Thank you for considering and reading my novels. I appreciate each and every one of you!

e a lake

(books below are interactive, so go ahead and click on any of them)


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Amazon Cracks Down on Fake Reviews

Okay, everyone with a blog is probably writing about Amazon's lawsuit this week. So, why not jump on the bandwagon while it's screaming downhill with no brakes I figure.

Anatomy of a fake review

Let me make one up for a friend's new book (which I may or may not have read):

Outstanding piece of literature from this author. Pace, dialog, and plot are perfect. Kept me engaged from the first sentence on. I'd give it six stars if it was at all possible. Can't possibly recommend this book enough to all readers. 

Perhaps a little over the top, but you get the idea.

Not all fake reviews cost money

I watched a fellow on an early morning news show talking about "fake" reviews. It seemed, according to his report, that most of these paid for positive comments happen on products, not necessarily ebooks or books in general.

Well, duh! Who needs to pay for fake reviews when you can simply have your friends and family hawk your writing. My faux review above is for my friend, and I could easily give it to her.

There are several tells in the game

1. The words "Verified Purchase" are missing from the review.

Here's one from my first book: WWIV - In The Beginning

Now that's not to say the review isn't legit - if those words are missing. But if they received a free copy of the manuscript in exchange for an honest review, well - that needs to be pointed out.

2. There are too many reviews in relation to their ranking on Amazon.

Again, referring to my first book, I have 52 reviews and I've sold almost 5,000 Kindle copies. That's a 1% review-to-sales ratio. That book ranks between 100,000 and 300,000 typically on the Sales List after a year and a half.

So, how can someone publish a book, a month later have 15 mostly 5-star reviews, and be ranked at 1.5 million. That tells me they have only sold A copy of their book (one).

But what about those grandiose reviews? Well, thank you friends and family.

So, what do we do about fake reviews?

Me, nothing. Couldn't care less. That's their problem, not mine. Doesn't effect my sales or ranking one bit. And I'm writing because I love to do it, not for the minor accolades.

My daughter wrote a review on GoodReads for Book One. She gave me three stars. Nice try in other words. My brother gave me four stars on Amazon. And that was after he went out and bought it for his Kindle.

Either Amazon will clean up these fakes

Or, people will learn to ignore them

And I'm okay with either choice. Already you will notice people questioning the inordinate amount of five star reviews on some books...even ones published by the Big Boys.

What are your thoughts on the subject? I would love to hear what you have to say about (obvious) fake reviews, and how you feel they effect our industry.

Until next week - when I really think I will have that #GoT post done - have a good one!

e a lake

(click on my books below to see more)


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Best One Star Review EVER!!!!

I know what you're thinking: How can a one-star review, something that brings down the overall rating of the book, be a good thing? Well folks, this one made me do a fist pump.

First, the review (covering WWIV - In The Beginning):

Grammar and punctuation were good. Story really sucked. Evidently it was written by a progressive liberal woman who never got out of the suburbs. If I had run across this wimp wussy main character, I would have shot him myself or even worse in the author’s eyes, I would have used really harsh language and unpleasant words. I am sorry I wasted the money on this Berkeley left-wing coward’s story.

On the surface, it looks bad

Let's see: Story sucks, wussy main character, wasted money.

Yep, that's a bonafide one-star review. No way to sugar coat or deny anything the reviewer mentions. Remember, everyone is entitled to their opinion. They give me their money, they get to say what they want. It's a fair system and I have no problem with it whatsoever.

But this reviewer really gets it...I mean REALLY gets it

 Let's take it point by point, shall we?

1. Written by a progressive liberal woman. 
      Nope, not even close. But thank you for observing the mindset I used when I wrote the novel.

You see, I'm a man and always have been. And while my daughter and her husband are quite liberal - as well as both my brothers - I'm quite conservative. As in I'd still be voting for George Bush (either one is fine) if I could.

2. ...even worse in the author's eyes...harsh language.
     And that's exactly how you should see Bill Carlson (the story's protagonist). 

Bill's not the bravest human being, he has little to no spine, avoids confrontation, and despises profanity. He'd rather have everyone join hands and buy them all a Coke when things went bad.

3. ...money on this Berkley left-wing coward's story.
     Here I'm a little lost. Is the reviewer speaking of me, or Bill? It kinda makes a difference.

Bill is a Berkley left-wing coward. Though I expect he went to another fine left-wing liberal college. Perhaps UW-Madtown. Me? Again, conservative...extremely. And though I've been to California, I've never been to Berkley. To be exact, I'm not sure they'd even let me on the campus. I prefer a gas guzzling SUV to a Prius.

I LOVED this review

You know why? Because the reader got the story. He saw Bill for what he was. And he hated the fact that people like Bill Carlson will survive an apocalyptic event.

And that's precisely how and why I wrote the story.

There's plenty of "realistic" doomsday books out there. Rambo leads the world to safety. Jesse the Body saves the President. Some rich dude saw the end coming and used his fortune to get prepared.

Boring, cliche, and over-written.

What happens to 85 percent of the world when an EOTWAWKI event comes? That's what this series is about. Real people, with real problems, and real bad luck and choices. (For you non-preppers, you'll have to look up EOTWAWKI...you'll get it when you see it).

I am not upset at all about what this honest reviewer said about Book One - In The Beginning. He was dead on with his assessment of the book. He saw exactly what I tried to get across. He just didn't like it.

And I'm okay with that!

Next week I hope to have another Game of Thrones post for you. I know, I've been promising that for a while now. I'm getting there.

e a lake

(click on my books below to see more)


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Come'on, Get Serious!

Gun control. There's a nice hot-button topic for this week. Too hot? Okay, how about we discuss liberals and conservatives? Or perhaps I can tell you all about Jesus. No??? Okay, gun control it is.

We already have gun control...sort of

If you own certain guns, you are aware of an issue plaguing your shooting ability. It's called ammunition shortages. No bullets means no projectiles. Thus, gun violence control.

Over the past number of years, certain calibers have been mighty hard to come by. These include all handgun sizes, mini 30 rounds, and still (to this day) all 22 caliber bullets. Coincidentally, these calibers are the most likely to be used in violence involving guns.

Well played, Mr. Government (or as some call you - Big Brother)

If you can't get ammunition for your weapon, it's hard to commit a crime with your gun, right? Well, sort of.

There's two sides to this. Most criminals can't legally own a weapon. Thus, the black market fills that need. The same is most likely true for the ammo they use in these illegally obtained weapons. 

The flip side is that law abiding sportsmen and women can't get the ammunition they so dearly desire. That's a problem for those of us who legally possess, safely store, and use weapons for non-violent purposes. And it's not fair.

Pay Attention now - this next point is important

Criminals are going to get their weapons, and ammunition for those weapons, no matter what the government does. A lot of people don't want to face the harsh truth, but that's the way I see it.

So why do I, Mr. Law Abiding Citizen, have the pay the price (and a false price in my mind) for a policy that doesn't work? People drive drunk all the time. People drive with their cell phones plastered in their face - all the time! I do neither. Is the government going to take away my car, or tighten control on gas supplies, so that people can't drive as much? Or perhaps they will ban the sale of alcohol (already tried, didn't work) or cell phones. Of course the government won't do either of these. And far more people die every year in auto crashes compared to gun violence.

There is a solution; It just needs to be well thought out

I don't have an answer for you today. I'm sorry. But I don't believe that limiting gun and ammunition sales will not necessarily bring a sudden halt to the gun violence that plagues us on an almost daily basis. If everyone, on both sides of the issue, will settle down and discuss this calmly and rationally, something can be done. We can all be winners here.

Two things that will help

1. Forbid the sale of ammunition to convicted felons. Note: not the overall supply, just the illegal selling of it. I am not opposed to having some sort of registry process (like a membership card) for buying bullets. I'm not sure how it will work, but I think it's a start.

2. We must, I mean have to, provide better care for our mental health patients. No matter how you feel about ObamaCare, it still misses the mark on addressing this issue. We are all getting hurt here, people. 

I know we have a problem. And I know there are answers out there. But knee-jerk reactions from both sides will not help. We have an opportunity to do great work here; our representatives in Washington need to get more serious about all of this.

In the post-apocalyptic future found in my WWIV series, there are still plenty of guns. But each year that the darkness passes, ammunition becomes more and more scarce. Dysentery will kill more people in this fictional future than guns. Many, many more. That's why I write from time to time about clean drinking water.

None of this is easy people, but we have to try. At least that's how I feel.

e a lake

(click on my books below to see more)