We’ve Got Mail—Nice, Nasty, and Just Plain Nutty. Writers Review Readers – by Ruth Harris…

Thoughts from the early days – two excellent articles.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Anne R. Allen:

My encounters with reader mail go back a long way. My first job as a very young editor at Bantam included slogging through the slush pile and answering reader mail. No internet or email those days. Everything was done the old fashioned way — by hand.

I’ve written before about my adventures in the slush pile.

Reader mail was an entirely different learning curve. Generic mail received a polite form letter thanking the sender for his/her interest. Letters from readers wanting to contact writers were forwarded to the writer’s agent who would take it from there.

We received quite a bit of mail from prisoners whose return address included the name of the prison and the prisoner number. Without omnipresent TV and certainly no WIFI, reading was their main source of diversion. I responded via the usual form letter thanking them for their interest, and…

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Mayhem, Maria, & Music

Amazon

Three Against The World started life as a book my “cover girl” Maria, would be allowed to read. In a word, clean. It came before lockdown, but here she is, two years on, taking her “daily exercise”.

Maria’s mother dumped her on Richard’s doorstep claiming he was her father, and he didn’t tell Maria when he found out it was a mistake. Ben would never have forgiven him if he’d lost her.

Ben is the Jack Russell Terrier Richard adopted from a rescue centre and he is modelled on my own rescued Weimaraner. Not that she bites… or she hasn’t yet, but nobody has threatened me. It is she who taught me how clingy dogs who lose their homes can be. Even now, almost 6 years on, she values routine and gets scared if someone is missing for a few hours, and the only place she can be left…

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Is it Even Ethical? – Guest Post by, Barbara Spencer…

Another thought-provoking aspect on reviews

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Amazon published a million books last year, does that mean that there were a million new writers, one person writing a million book (hardly likely) or many, many people for which the majority are on their second, third or even tenth book.Nevertheless, that’s an awful lot of people writing at a time when reading butts up against technology in the form of computer games, pop music, Netflix and reality shows.

When I think of the numbers now writing, I usually start humming the tune to ‘Stout Hearted Men’ which appeared in the film New Moon starring Nelson Eddy.

.

Give me some men who are stout-hearted men,

Who will fight, for the right they adore,

Start me with ten who are stout-hearted men,

And I’ll soon give you ten thousand more.

Shoulder to shoulder and bolder and bolder,

They grow as they go to the fore.

Then there’s nothing in…

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Indicted by the Goodreads Police

More unhappy news about reviews.

Frank Parker's author site

From time to time I take part in a Goodreads review round. The idea is that ten authors each offer a book to be reviewed. Four of the ten then review that book, within a set time. Within the round none of the ten has his or her book reviewed by someone whose book he or she is reviewing. Participants are supposed to inform the moderators if they have previously reviewed a book by another of the authors taking part. This enables the moderator to ensure that neither is assigned to review the other’s book.

It now appears, however, that the rule applies across all previous review groups. You are supposed to check all the reviews you have ever received. If one of them was from an author participating in this round, however long ago, then you should be aware that you are banned from posting a review of any…

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The 12 thank-you notes of Christmas

I was lookin g for a copy of this! Love it.

bluebird of bitterness

An oldie but goodie.

Dec. 25
My dearest darling Edward,
What a wonderful surprise! That sweet little partridge, in that lovely little pear tree; what an enchanting, romantic gift! Thank you, and bless you.
Your deeply loving
Emily

Dec. 26
My beloved Edward,
The two turtle-doves arrived this morning, and are cooing away in the pear tree as I write. I’m so touched and grateful!
With undying love,
Emily

Dec. 27
My darling Edward,
You do think of the most original presents! Who ever thought of sending anybody three French hens? Do they really come all the way from France? It’s a pity we have no chicken coops, but I expect we’ll find some. Anyway, thank you so much; they’re lovely.
Your devoted
Emily

Dec. 28
Dearest Edward,
What a surprise! Four calling birds arrived this morning. They are very sweet, even if they do call rather loudly — they…

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LUCINDA’S BOOK CHOICE 2020 PART 4

This is the last in my book choices for 2020. I could have included a whole lot more, as I enjoyed many amazing stories this year. But I also have to admit I’ve also battled through some really badly written books in the last 12 months. It can often be easy to tell those that are traditionally published, most are slick, fast moving and clever. However, and I’m not the only one who has remarked on this, several of the older long-time writers, often co-authoring are not quite as attention-holding as their earlier books. Maybe writers have a sell-by-date and become too formulaic and too repetitive? Might make for an interesting discussion.

On with my final choice.  

The Husband’s Secret   by Liane Moriarty

This is a bestseller and despite the easy read, with the everyday activities of three housewives – brought back memories – there is an underlying problem which permeates the book. I can see why it has been so popular, although I might not have even been aware of it except it was on my Book Club list. I enjoyed it and shall look for more by Moriarty, especially as the genre I’m currently writing is also along similar lines.

Exits and Entrances   by Leslie Hayes

If you are looking for a good quality, thought-provoking literary book to read you won’t go far wrong with any of Leslie Hayes’ works. They are so well written, flow beautifully and tell a story that moves along at a satisfying pace. I’ve enjoyed all this author’s books and this one is the first in a trilogy and I had to buy the next two immediately. Three schoolgirls whose friendship lasts decades, reminded me of the world events of the time, and mirrored the changing relationships we have all experienced as events and lifestyles pull us farther apart and yet bring us closer together.

Red Notice    by Bill Browder

A non fiction book that blew my mind. Bill Browder was a hedge fund manager who set up business in Russia in the early days as the oligarchs were beginning to flex their muscles. The behind the scenes of the trading and back handing of the movers and shakers of the time were vividly brought to life, all fact from Browder’s point of view. The story takes us up to present times, and if you read this book, and I highly recommend it, you will never think of Russia or it’s government in quite the same way ever again.

I hope you will find some great reading among my top choices and will have lots of time to bury into a good book over the festive season. I have no idea what is currently PC or woke but I’m wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas, or celebration in your faith, plus a peaceful New Year and here’s hoping that 2021 will be a happy new beginning for all of us.

Stay safe, keep distance and remain kind and loving.

Lucinda

Oh, forgot my links AGAIN!!! You may even like one of my books, or, check out my website and sign up for my newsletter as each month there are books to win and free books to grab.

author.to/Lucinda

https://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Happy Hallmark Covid Christmas–2020 style #humor #pandemic

Loved this. Trust Barb to nail it.

Barb Taub

Baby it’s covid outside…

I’ve made my Covid-Christmas To-Do list and checked it twice.

  1. Covid-correct the words to my favorite holiday songs.
  2. Cyber-stalk purely by chance happen to find on social media a person I went out with briefly in high school (and congratulate myself because the unfortunate soul he ended up with is obviously less intelligentsuccessfulcutecoolfunnygood sense of humor tall than me).
  3. Tell the grandkids Santa is self-isolating because at age 1750 he’s been designated as vulnerable.
  4. Set up our ironic-elf-on-the-shelf-hoarding-loo-rolls scene.

There’s only one thing left to do.

Christmas movies!

Hmmm… Notice any patterns to this ACTUAL recommended shows screenshot? You’re absolutely right. No masks.

Now I know it would be hard to make a typical Hallmark Christmas movie during lockdown. But imagine if they did…

My Secret Christmas Prince Saves The Christmas Tree Farm During the Pandemic

Holly-Mary-Eve-Joy is a successful kickass…

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LUCINDA’S BOOK CHOICE 2020 PART 3

Welcome to the third in my best books series.  

I’m very disappointed that I am not able yet, to make this post look exciting and artistic. I’ve still not found my way around the new WordPress, plus the geeks that be have also changed Facebook, my g.mail, my Mailchimp, and any other programmes I had downloaded. How they expect little non-techie people like me to write, publish, market, and cook and clean the house and read wonderful books is quite beyond me! On with the next three amazing books.

MOONSHADOW   by Joy Lynn Goddard 

I can do no better than repeat what I put in my review under the heading “WRITTEN WITH LOVE”.

I was curious about this book as I remembered my visit to a First Nation reservation when I went to Canada. Not since watching the film ‘Rabbit-Proof Fences’ have I been so moved. Only now the truth is spreading across the globe of the indignities fostered on young children by groups that decided how they should live and how they should behave. This book, tells in fiction, the horrors of the residential schools where First Nation children were sent to ‘civilize’ them. It should be prescribed reading in every school, and not just in Canada. I should also mention that the characters leap off the page, the settings are beautifully described, the story kept me on the edge of my seat and the words flowed seamlessly from beginning to end. A book I can highly recommend. Quite brilliant. 

HIGH RISK      by Adrian O’Donnell

I have a sneaky curiosity about jails and what goes on behind those high walls.

The beginning of this book is quite violent and I wondered if I was going to enjoy it. Having read on a little I discovered it was one of those ‘ignore the dirty dishes in the sink’ books. I was riveted to my Kindle and swiped the screen as fast as I could. It’s easy to tell the author worked in the prison system and he found that delicate balance between realism and excitement without overstepping the boundaries. Great book I shall be buying the next one the moment it comes out.

The Chainmaker’s Daughter   by Rebecca Brynn

I’m not sure if I should choose this book over the second in the series, The Chainmaker’s Wife, as both are really excellent. There was so much I didn’t know about the deprivations in the Black Country (the industrial English Midlands area) and what I learned shocked me. Any fight for the emancipation of women in whatever form has my vote. I became very involved with the characters and although it is a fictional story, it includes a lot of historically accurate information.  I loved both books.

One more post to go. As before, here are the links to my own books, and no, I can’t find a way to make them look neat and tidy – sorry!

author.to/Lucinda

https://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Until next time, do take care and thank you for reading.

Lucinda

LUCINDA’S BOOK CHOICE 2020 PART 2

Welcome to part 2 of the books I’ve loved this past year. Unfortunately, you will not find any erotica, fantasy, sci-fi or children’s books in my list as these are not genres I typically enjoy. With the lockdown, which was very strict in Spain, I had time to write and publish 2 books and a novella and read – and I read a lot – so it was difficult to choose only 12 of my favourites.

YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN  by  Damyanti Biswas

I downloaded this book from a promo but it wasn’t until I began reading it, I discovered it was set in Delhi. We had landed in Delhi only the day before. I was entranced by the author’s accurate descriptions of the city and the insight she gave into the Indian family in the story (not so surprising, although I believe she lives in Singapore now). It’s a meeting of two worlds, as the main character returns to India after living in the US and the contrasts in ideas, expectations and lifestyle are highlighted. I loved this book, it entertained me, educated me and kept me turning the pages long after my bedtime. I did hear that it has been picked up for a film option.

FATE IS A HUNTER    by Susan Wuthrich

I really enjoyed this book. An intriguing story, South African scenes that are familiar and characters I cared about. A scenario that might happen to any ordinary mother and wife which turns her life upside down. What can you do when your estranged husband takes your children out for the day and does not return them? And what if you found out everything he had ever told you was a lie?  It had me asking questions all the way through. Recommended.

METROPOLIS 1 & 2   by Ellie Midwood

I couldn’t decide between books 1 & 2 so I’m including both. This author has established herself as a name in historical fiction set during World War II. This book is set in Berlin in the years between the two World Wars, the background is photography and film making. I loved the characters, the descriptions and the accurate portrayal of movie production. It shows how in the last days of the bohemian lifestyle in the doomed city, it was impossible to stay neutral. I read both books in this series one after the other, which is unusual for me.

I’m quite hopeless at marketing as I much prefer to shout out about other authors. But, just in case you’d like to check my scribbles, here are the links. I’ve got a smart new web site and all my books, memoirs, action adventure and psychological thrillers are there and on my Amazon author page.

author.to/Lucinda

https://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Stay safe and take care

Lucinda.

LUCINDA’S BOOK CHOICE 2020 PART 1

My Goodreads list will tell you I have not met my challenge this year, but I have exceeded it and read well over 100 books. Those I review for Readers Favorite are not listed there and I have also beta and alpha read more books than I can remember.

The list below includes the first three books of those I’ve enjoyed and remembered long after I have read them – because they had an impact on me. They educated me, entertained me, shocked me, while some made me laugh and others made me cry. All of them were memorable for one reason or another.

I’m publishing the list in no particular order, other than when I read them. I hope you take a moment to explore a few and share my love of books. At the age of 7 I was threatened with eye surgery from all the hours I spent under the bedclothes reading with a torch. But I never had any regrets!

HOW DARE THE BIRDS SING – by Marina Osipova

A DANGEROUS FORTUNE    by Ken Follett

Ken Follett is one of my favourite authors and his earlier books are the best. This one was published in Kindle in 2008, and is set in late 19th century England. The story had me glued to the pages as a drowning of a young lad at a public (ie expensive private) school has terrible repercussions that continue for years. I also loved the peep behind the scenes of the banking world. I also enjoyed the way he tied up all the threads in the ending.  

FALSE IMPRESSION   by Jeffrey Archer

Another of my favourite authors of all time. Again, this book has been out for well over a decade but it is as fresh as the day it was published. It combines the 9/11 disaster with the art world as Anna Petrescu escapes across the world to uncover a cruel murder. Another page turner when the dishes pile up in the sink. It kept me guessing and reaffirmed my love of the books this author has written. He is a master of his craft.

These are the first three. Look out for more in a day or so.

In case you’d like to check out my books, these are the links to my Amazon author page, and my brand new web page. Several of my books have been translated into Spanish and Portuguese and a couple into Mandarin!

https://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com author.to/Lucinda

Stay safe and take care

Lucinda