Thursday, August 31, 2017

When authors threaten reviewers...

I got an email this morning raging about a three star notice and threatening to post fake review on my titles. So this is what I’m doing about it... 

Every time someone reviews one of my books on Amazon, I get an automated message. If I’m doing a review tour, I go round instantly because I asked someone for their time and I’m grateful. 

If they loved it, I say . I also share and promote that review over FB, Goodreads, my blog and anywhere that will take me.

If they didn’t love it, I say, “I’m sorry you didn’t like it. Better luck next time!” but I don’t share the review via social media because I’m not a damn idiot.

I read all critical and negative reviews to see if there’s something I should be doing to improve on my work. There was an early notice of The Bonus that said I needed my characters to talk more. I took that to heart. There was a recent review of The Beast and The Sibyl that said the title was too obscure. That’s another good lesson.

In fact, the best thing I’ve done is to invite my newsletter friends to tell me how to improve my work. They were fabulous and I’m grateful for their honesty. Writing is a hard business and when you get straight-from-the-shoulder feedback, it’s a blessing.

Of course in amongst the pearls are the odd comments, like, “I never give more than three stars to an indie novel.” Those are outliers I ignore.

What’s more difficult is when someone just didn’t go nuts over my work. It’s a bit of a let-down but it’s okay. I wish they’d loved it but hey, you can’t please everyone.

Because all reviews impact on an author’s overall Amazon rank, book tour reviewers sometimes message to say, “I can’t rave over your book” and then offer not to post.

In those cases, I insist that they publish. Why?

First, all opinions matter. I don’t approve of stifling free speech.

Second, publishers game the system by rigging positive professional reviews. Until e-publishing, almost all notices were five star raves.  It’s just part of the industry but I’m glad that we now have independent reviewers.

Okay, after a bad review I do miss the days when it was all 100% rah-rah-rah. I’m human. But transparency is helpful for readers and I think it’s better in the long run for authors too.

Third, reviewers have their own followers. In fact, those who take part in tours, are bloggers, or who are avid Goodreads participants have hundreds of fans.

It’s nice when they endorse you, but even their critical notices can be helpful. Like I know that when my mate Jenn says a book is too dark for her that I’m going to love it. But if NilePrincess says a book is excellently dark, then it’s too dark for me.

So back to that evil email. I review on NetGalley. Recently I gave a history book three stars because I couldn’t make head or tail of it. Actually, I couldn’t finish it. I wrote that the research was great but it needed a lot of work. 

Now the author, a complete stranger, is lambasting me for giving an honest opinion and threatening to write fake revenge reviews for my books.

My first thought was that he’s a damn fool. If I were the kind of person who’d forward that email, it would get him booted by his publisher, Amazon, and Goodreads. It would also ruin his personal reputation. Luckily for him, I’m ignoring it.

I did go to Goodreads to see if I was the odd voice out. After all, it’s just my opinion and so it’s good to do a reality check. But as it turns out, the other reviews are also three and two stars. On Amazon, the one positive review comes from a publisher and the other is also three stars, and critical like mine.

The take-away is this. I do get it. It’s hard to see that your work isn’t hitting the spot. But frankly, writing is a difficult job, and negative reviews are part of the business. Readers have a right to express their opinion and as long as it’s an honest one, you shut your trap and respect it.

Threats and tantrums just aren’t on.

Want to talk to me about this? Come and see me onFacebook! 

Friday, August 25, 2017

I got some new reviews For The Beast and The Sibyl

The Beast and The Sibyl
A Prydain novel
By AJ Adams
75,000 words
Price $3.99

The Beast and The Sibyl is part of the Prydain series and it follows Beast, a very dark romance. However, this novel can be read as a standalone, and unlike the first novel it’s a paranormal romance.

“We caught a Beast! A real live poxy Beast!”
Bastards. Calling us beasts while they cheat, steal, and lie. I got kicked in the ribs, a whip laid about my shoulders, and all the time they were screaming.
“Hang him!”
“Beat him!”
“Kill the Beast!”
Then I saw her. She was standing there, staring right into my eyes. For a moment, I thought I was looking at a Valkyrie, one of Valhalla’s shield maidens. She had hair the colour of ice, and eyes as blue as the sky. Tall, willowy, and silent, she looked unworldly. There was a wolf at her side, too.
I blinked, expecting her to vanish, but it wasn’t a vision. She was real. The knowledge hit me with a punch that sucked the breath out of me. She was one of us, a Skraeling of Thule.
She leaned on the wolf, controlling it with a touch of her hand. “Lady Freyja always advises counsel before action.”
A Skraeling woman who invoked our goddess yet who was a traitor. I was filled with sudden hate, poisoned by the thought of one of our own people contaminated by foul betrayal.
If the will were a weapon, she would have fallen on the spot. Instead, the world blurred again. I think I passed out for a few moments because when I opened my eyes, he was there. The Patriarch. A cheat, a liar and all-round scum bucket.
He certainly hates us Skraeling. “Glorious Ullr will bring us wise counsel. And tomorrow we will flog the Beast to cleanse him of his sins, and then we will burn him alive!”

He’s a vicious Beast, violent and dangerous. Bliss knows she ought to walk away. After all, she has a dark and dangerous secret to preserve. When she can’t leave him to burn, her rescue tumbles them both into danger, adventure and romance.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Have you seen Marissa's new dark novel?

If you like very dark romance, you've probably heard of Life of Anna. Well, Marissa has been busy and she's bringing out a new book. Here's the release!

Welcome back to the world of The Brotherhood...

Sabrina Mansfield is compelled to be a professional ballerina for reasons she can’t explain. Ballet grounds her, completes her like no other activity, and attending dance camp in Boston is more than a dream come true. Her summer is full of amazing experiences, dancing, and laughter.
She didn’t expect to fall in love…
When Christopher “Chase” Ralston graduates at the top of his class from West Point, his only aspiration is to follow in his late father’s footsteps and join the elite Green Berets. He expects to spend his summer leave visiting with family and friends before heading off for training.
Love is the last thing on his mind, but a glimpse of a young woman has him questioning his desire to remain single.
Banished because he dared to become more than human, Vamar Thilduri has been waiting, plotting his revenge against Kronos, the father of the Immortals, for two thousand years.
Nothing and no one will stand in the way of what he wants.
And he wants Sabrina.

***Please note this book is considered dark erotica. If you don’t like, or are uncomfortable with, dark, taboo, twisted subjects, this is probably not the story for you.***

Available NOW!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The blurb for Dark Hunter

Okay, tell me what you think of this as a blurb for Dark Hunter, a Zeta cartel novel....

Rip Marston is a merciless killing machine. After a decade of hunting his prey, Rip joins the Zetas. The job offers protection and a new killing field but even the cartel are wary of having a monster in their midst.

Coming across a badly beaten unconscious girl, Rip sees an opportunity. Posing as her saviour will please the cartel - and provide him with his very own helpless captive.

Isabella Maria Franco is beautiful, wilful and used to making hard choices. Having grown up in the comfortable but lethal embrace of the Gulf cartel, she rejected a life of violence. But when a dark presence from her past returns, her world falls apart.

Betrayed and beaten, she escapes, only to find herself in a living nightmare. Surrounded by her enemies, one man stands between her and death. Terrified by her sadistic captor, she has little choice but to submit.

But embracing his darkness leads to consequences neither anticipated.

WARNING: This book contains explicit scenes of dubious consent, graphic violence, sex and probably every trigger you can think of.

Would you buy it?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Interview with Marissa Honeycutt, author of Finding Sabrina

If you like dark romance, you'll have heard of Marissa Honeycutt's Life of Anna. I was lucky enough to beta read the first draft back in the day, and it's been fun watching the series grow and take off.

What's even better is that Marissa is releasing a new novel, Finding Sabrina, Part 1: Master of My Body. Like Anna, this is a dark erotic paranormal political conspiracy novel.

Last week I asked her to share some thoughts about the new book - and I thought you'd be interested!

AJ: What did you love most about your most recent story? 
Marissa: I loved getting to know my new characters. They were a challenge, as they wanted to be their own people, not just rehashing Alex and Anna from The Life of Anna.

Chase, especially, was a challenge to get to know. I wanted him to be a really good guy, but different than previous "good guys" that I wrote.

It was fun researching West Point and learning the traditions that go along with that school. Most of all, visiting Boston a few years ago was a real treat. It's such a beautiful city...So different than other big cities that I've been to.

I imagined walking down the streets as a young ballerina, in a big city for the first time.

AJ: What do you hope to achieve in terms of your writing career?
Marissa: I want to connect with readers. I want to make them feel. Good, bad, ugly...If I haven't made a reader feel something, then I haven't done my job. I love it when a reader tells me that they felt everything that I wrote.

AJ: What's the most challenging thing about writing? How do you cope?
Marissa: When my characters won't talk to me. Writer's block sucks. I feel like I'm missing something if I don't have something to write.

I try and be productive in other things, like promoting, making teasers, stuff like that. And sometimes I just veg in front of the TV and wait for it to go away. Or get depressed. That happens, too. (Hey, I'm human!)

Sometimes I will try and write a scene anyways, but most of the time I just wait for inspiration.
AJ:  Tell us your best marketing tip!
Marissa: Interact with your readers. Take the time to answer their questions, their posts, their emails. Ask their opinion about things. Involve them. Tease them! Without them, we writers have no audience.

I love hearing from my readers and do my best to respond to every comment. Most of my marketing is done word of mouth... Readers telling other readers about my books. I think a personal recommendation does more than a blog post most of the time. Not that promoting through blogs and other sites isn't useful. You have to get the word out. But word-of-mouth is very powerful.

Want to Stalk Marissa?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Facebook Takes A Leaf From The Zeta Cartel Handbook Of "Free" Advertising

FB sends me an invite to try out an ad for free for my new book cover. "Free $10 credit" it says. "Click here to boost this post"

I say okay, and then I get a message,

Then I get another message saying, 

And when I look at my "free" ad I see they are asking me for money. 

Honestly. Lure me in with free stuff, then snatch it away, threaten me and then demand hard cash.

Facebook would be right at home with the Zeta cartel. 

Update: 23rd August 2017 FB wrote to me to say, "OK, you can advertise" I suspect a trap...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

OMG you are the best!

So I wrote to you all and asked for advice on how to get my books noticed. WOW!  Best move I ever made because you gave me some amazing ideas!


Here's what I've done so far.... 

I've opened my Facebook page again, so please do come and Like the AJ Adams page. 

I've claimed my Goodreads author page, and would love to see you there, too. 

I've started this dedicated blog, I'm making some new covers along the lines you all suggested, I'm buying promotional tours from tips you gave me, and I'm also working on better (okay much filthier!) titles for the new stories coming your way.

I'm joining Goodreads groups, putting my books on their bookshelves and tagging them properly. 

I'm also working up more plans based on the rest of your advice, and will come back to you in a few weeks with more updates. 

In the meantime, if you see conversations or groups or bookshelves where  I'd fit, would you please mention me or add me?

And if you have a chance, could you vote for me on Goodreads book lists?

The Bonus and Beast





Again, thank you so very much. Really, I could not do this without you!  

Monday, August 7, 2017

New hot cover for Dirty Dealings!

Here it is: the new cover for Dirty Dealings! <- this was back in 2017!

This was the old cover:

What do you think? Do you like it? Would you buy it? Would you think, "Now there's a smoking hot dark and dirty romance I want to read?" I really hope so!

 I love the red on the new cover, and it's much more dramatic, especially in a thumbnail, but I do miss seeing Quique's abs. I mean, the one man army is seriously built.But we tried moving him up and then we couldn't see his face, and he went from hot to just abs...

So totally conflicted!  Let me know what you think, and please tell a friend to check it out?

EDIT: and here's the current cover 2021

Friday, August 4, 2017

Welcome to Dirty & Dangerous Romance!

I thought I'd go totally independent and have a blog just for me. If you don't know me, I'm AJ Adams and I write dirty and dangerous romance. We've got bad boys from the Zeta cartel, the most violent and depraved organised crime organisation in the Americas, Belial’s Disciples, the biggest, nastiest MC in England and an assortment of sex slave buyers, marauding Beasts and other assorted villains from Prydain. 

I'm writing all the time, but in the next few weeks I'll be promoting Beast, the first Prydain novel. If you like your men nasty and your sex dirty, you're going to love Rune. He's an evil bugger who has no problems with rape, pillage and plunder. As for Wynne, she is one of my favourite girls. Tough and with an evil sense of humour, she is the only person in Prydain willing to take on the Beast....

A Prydain Novel
By AJ Adams

     He stuck the knife in the ground and stripped off his leathers. The tunic came off, revealing a long, lean, muscled torso, covered in tattoos. Snakes ran up and down his arms, his pecs and his shoulders. A skull blazed on his chest.
     Then he was pushing apart my legs, settling between my thighs, leaning over me. He smelled of smoke, leather and musk. It was terrifying, like being at the mercy of an animal.

Falsely accused, Wynne is determined to clear her name. However, a trip to petition the Steward at Brighthelme turns disastrous when the Beasts, fearsome warriors from the frozen north, raze the city. When Wynne is carried away, she’s determined to regain her freedom but Rune, her captor, has other ideas.

Beast is set in Prydain, an imaginary place that combines Anglo-Saxon England with Medieval England, the Teutonic Kingdom and the Viking Age. This story contains kidnapping, dubious consent and graphic violence. It is a standalone novel; no cliff-hangers.

Buy Beast from Amazon, B&N, Google and other shops