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AlexandrasAdventures

Alexandra's Adventures in Books

The real world is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

 

Just an occasional lurker here.  I won't post much blog content until/unless Booklikes institutes Privacy options.

I'm on Patreon

Authored by Lornographic Material:

I've had friends, fans, and followers ask about helping me out monetarily in between book releases, or to help fund future books, so I've created a Patreon page. This isn't for donations. You get rewards at certain price points, which start at $1 and go up to $20. It's been awhile since my last major release and funds are tight. If you'd like to help, click on the link below. 

 

Right now I'm working on getting my novel FAIRY LIGHTS hammered into shape and could use help with paying for final proofreading. To be completely transparent, I can afford this by myself, but not until the beginning of next year. If you'd like a new Lorn novel before next summer, this is how you can help make that possible. 

 

You may share this post, if you're so inclined. Thanks for your past, present, and future support.

 

Edward Lorn on Patreon

The Rook on sale for $2.99 (Kindle)

The Rook - Daniel O'Malley

The Rook is a Kindle Daily Deal today for $2.99.  I really enjoyed this one.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Rook-Novel-Files-Book-ebook/dp/B004QX07EG/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469617842&sr=1-1&keywords=the+rook

Here's My Ticket

(And no, I don't want to discuss real politics :D)Comander Shepard & Garrus Vakarian 2016

 

 

 

 

Review: The Assassin Game

The Assassin Game - Kirsty McKay

"It is about 4:00 a.m. when they come for me.  I am already awake, strung out on the fear that they will come, and the fear that they won't."

I won't recap the basic plot, as that's covered in the blurb.  If you're worried (or hoping) this is a slasher type book, it is not.  It is a suspenseful Young Adult mystery.  There's a bit of romance, but it's more in service of the question of who the guilty party is than really romantic.  Something I actually preferred.

I enjoyed the isolation aspect.  With the island cut off from the mainland except at low tide.  Although it's not all that unique in the genre, I think it was handled well and added to the tension of the plot.  

We're fairly quickly introduced to the game, "Killer", and don't have to wait too long before it starts.  Still I found that things really picked up during the second half of the book, as it was then that I really started to find it un-put-down-able.  The first half of the book was fine, but the second half really gets good.

I had several potential suspects in mind while reading this, and kept going back and forth on who I thought the guilty party was likely to be.  It kept me guessing.

I was very impressed with the showing, not telling, in this book.  In Cate's head I could really feel the way we can freak ourselves out when stressed, just from her inner dialog.   Where you start to get spooked over things that aren't anything to be spooked over, just because you're so on edge or become suspicious of everything.

Another example of the showing, not telling, is the way I began to not trust one of Cate's friends in particular, simply due to what he said and did, and the way he said and did them.  He (to me) felt like someone who either had boundary issues or was socially inept, or he was a jerk in that fake nice way some people have a talent for.  And this was accomplished without the reader being told what to think.  I enjoyed that.

Overall I think this is a very enjoyable story for young adults who like mysteries and suspense.  

I do not think this one would do as well for those adults (like me) who enjoy reading YA.  Although well done, and having some personality of it's own, I think most adults familiar with the genre will probably find it a bit tame.

Reading Progress - Finished: The Assassin Game

The Assassin Game - Kirsty McKay

Finished this one.  Think the YA target audience for this will likely enjoy it, not as much for adult readers of YA.

 

Saying that though I did like it, particularly as it picked up the second half, and toward the end I didn't want to put it down before I knew who-done-it.

 

I had a few suspects along the way, and I went back and forth about who I thought was most likely.  I'll admit I'm not always the most savvy figuring those things out, but at least it wasn't glaringly obvious.

 

And I do think the author did a good job with showing-not-telling.

 

Review to come.

Reading Progress 45%: The Assassin Game

The Assassin Game - Kirsty McKay

So far I'm a bit befuddled about all the negative ratings this one has so far. I suspect it's due to the fact that adult readers have different expectations/requirements for Suspense and Mystery, and the ratings aren't in consideration of what teens might like.

Reading Progress 32%: The Assassin Game

The Assassin Game - Kirsty McKay

When I started this I noticed it had quite a few low rated reviews on Goodreads, which made me a bit nervous.

 

So far I'm finding it well written and interesting enough, although at this point I think it's definitely going to appeal to actual YAs rather that cross over well to us adult YA readers.

 

At about 1/3 of the way in the game has started, a few imaginative fake "kills" have occurred, but nothing really to suggest anything more nefarious is going on.

 

I am impressed with how the author shows the unsettling and possibly creepy way one of Cate's friends, Vaughan, has some serious boundary issues, as well as that off-putting way of coming off as not nice, but doing it in a way that is nice - if that makes sense.  So that it's unsure if he's up to something or just really socially awkward.

 

I don't trust the guy, and the author achieved that all by what he says and does, and how he says and does them.  That should be something fairly common, but sadly in this day of rampant telling-not-showing it is not.

 

I'm enjoying it well enough, but so far am not finding it un-put-downable, and I'm only mildly invested.  But I thing teens will find the story interesting so far.

 

 

Amazon (Finally) Suing Sellers Over Fake Reviews

Authored by GreyWarden:

(reblogged from MarketingLand.com)

 

 

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One of Amazon’s most appealing features is the unbiased reviews provided to members. Unfortunately, it turns out that some sellers have taken it upon themselves to feed fake reviews to their customers-to-be. This wouldn’t be a prudent idea. Amazon is (and has been) suing those sellers that are buying positive reviews.

 

Amazon has previously sued to stop websites that sell fake Amazon reviews, along with individuals offering to write fake reviews. This latest batch of lawsuits is against the companies that buy fake reviews for their products.

 

A story from TechCrunch this week reports that three new lawsuits were brought against sellers where the fake reviews made up 30 percent to 45 percent of the overall reviews. According to TechCrunch, the defendants are Michael Abbara of California, Kurt Bauer of Pennsylvania and a Chinese company called CCBetter Direct.

 

We reached out to Amazon for comment and received the following in regard to these cases:

While we cannot comment on active litigation, we can share that since the beginning of 2015, we have sued over 1,000 defendants who offered to post fake reviews for payment. We are constantly monitoring and will take action against abusive sellers by suspending and closing their accounts and by taking further legal action. Our goal is to eliminate the incentives for sellers to engage in review abuse and shut down this ecosystem around fraudulent reviews in exchange for compensation. Lawsuits are only one piece of the puzzle. We are working hard on technologies that allow us to detect and take enforcement action against perpetrators while also preventing fake reviews from ever surfacing. As always, it is important for customers to know that these remain a very small fraction of the reviews on Amazon and we introduced a review ranking system so that the most recent, helpful reviews appear first. The vast majority of reviews on Amazon are authentic, helping millions of customers make informed buying decisions every day.

The rules in this type of a case are fairly straightforward. Amazon has sellers agree to the following:

You may not intentionally manipulate your products’ rankings, including by offering an excessive number of free or discounted products, in exchange for a review. Review solicitations that ask for only positive reviews or that offer compensation are prohibited.

Furthermore, when sellers choose to break selling policies, they may find themselves without much recourse. The seller policies make it clear that any disputes or claims will be resolved by binding arbitration and won’t go to court and that each party waives their right to a trial.

 

So sellers take heed, if you want a good review, make sure your product/service earns it. To make sure that you are adhering to Amazon’s rules, read the full Participation Agreement in its entirety.

 

NetGalley Needs A New Rule

A Little Knowledge: The Split Worlds - Book Four - Emma Newman

I think if a person has read and enjoyed all the previous books in a series they should be automatically approved when they request the next book on NetGalley.

 

What is up with NG declining me for this one anyway? So unfair!

 

(And yes that is just my sour grapes tongue firmly in cheek but still!)

 

Darn NG anyway, what do they know?

 

I'm reading this one and you can't stop me! I'll show YOU!

Just Starting: The Assassin Game

The Assassin Game - Kirsty McKay

Hope it's good!

Just Have To Laugh

Please excuse me while I laugh.  A certain BBA who ranted and raved about reviewers not liking her first self-pubbed effort, who chased them from site to site to site personally insulting them, published a second novel in March.

 

I just looked and it currently holds a 2.8 average on Amazon.  Most of the positive reviews look to me to be the Friends and Family type.

 

And while this author seems to have learned something - after being banned and blocked from various places - she still could not help herself from commenting on one of the negative reviews.

 

But still, I laugh.

Help a Friend's Dog?

Authored by Themis-Athena's Garden of Books:

 

I don't believe what vet's bills can be these days.  Sophie, the dog of friends of mine, had to have ACL surgery last week - and it cost over $4000.  There's a go fund me page for her here.

 

She hasn't had an easy life before this, either - they found her in a ditch on the side of I-40 between Durham and Chapel Hill, N.C., when she was just a puppy.  She had been beaten badly and left for dead.

 

I hate people who abandon puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats.

 

 

The Looking-Glass Portrait

Authored by Grimlock ♥ Vision:

 

 

Kindle exclusive, so available for Kindle Unlimited members, at Amazon now.

 

When Thomasina Ryder inherits her grandmother's house, she expects to quickly arrange for the sale of the estate. She soon learns the disposal of her legacy will be a more complicated process than she expected. And nothing could complicate matters more than the return into Thomasina's life of a forbidden love from the past.

The further she delves into the secrets of that past, the more she is made aware of something sinister and hidden, never to be spoken of even in whispers. She begins to suspect this secret is connected to the silent forms she has seen moving in the old house, from the corner of her eye or in the distorted reflection of a mirror. Then, as her investigations bear fruit, the shadows in the mirrors become more threatening.

Help a Friend's Dog?

Authored by SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady:

 

I don't believe what vet's bills can be these days.  Sophie, the dog of friends of mine, had to have ACL surgery last week - and it cost over $4000.  There's a go fund me page for her here.

 

She hasn't had an easy life before this, either - they found her in a ditch on the side of I-40 between Durham and Chapel Hill, N.C., when she was just a puppy.  She had been beaten badly and left for dead.

 

I hate people who abandon puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats.

 

 

Review: Click Here To Start

Click Here to Start (A Novel) - Denis Markell

Ted barely knows his great-uncle when he visits the dying man in the hospital.

“I have a flashback for a movie I saw where a guy laid out like this had a monster burst out of his chest and jump on someone’s face.  I’m not saying I expect that to happen here, but hey, it does go through my mind.”

During the visit Ted’s great-uncle (who is also Ted), asks him about his love for computer games, and escape-the-room games in particular.  Turns out the younger Ted not only enjoys these games, but is very good at them.

“Wait. Is a real, live adult person actually asking me details about the games I play? This is unheard of.”

At the end of the visit Great-Uncle Ted gives Ted a strange message, insisting on a promise.

“THE BOX IS ONLY THE BEGINNING. KEEP LOOKING FOR THE ANSWERS. ALWAYS GO FOR BROKE! PROMISE ME!”

Ted doesn’t understand what all that is about, but as his great-uncle falls into exhausted sleep he gives his promise.

This sets Ted off on a path of mystery, suspense and puzzles.  Aided by his friend Caleb, and reluctantly by the daughter of his dad’s boss, Isabel, Ted sorts through the junk filled apartment his great-uncle left him in his will.  The will mentions treasure and that Ted is good at solving puzzles.  What will they find there?

The trio comes across numerous puzzles to solve throughout the story, and there’s mystery, suspense, humor and of course – villains.

The boys figure out Isabel isn’t just a snooty know-it-all, and Isabel finds the boys aren’t just dumb nerds, slowly developing friendship and mutual respect.

And along the way we learn a bit about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, including mention of the excellent book, “Farewell to Manzanar”, “The Maltese Falcon”, and the Nisei brigade – the Japanese American unit that served in World War II.  Don’t worry though, the book is pretty sneaky about hiding any educational value in all the fun and excitement.  Kids will never figure it out. I'm sure they won't.

Well, ok, they will, but they'll find it interesting, really, I promise.

As an adult reading this I found the kids, and our narrator Ted in particular, hilarious and quite charming. I lost track of the number of times I laughed out loud.  Even the parents are funny, in that grown up way of being funny because they think they’re funny when really they’re just lame.

I’d put this book in a similar category as “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”, but of course written for the current crop of young people to relate to and enjoy.

The kids’ voices are authentic and quite funny. The story is engaging, with puzzle after puzzle, each like a real life point and click computer game. I think both boys and girls who enjoy mysteries will like this one.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

On Sale: Rosemary and Rue - Kindle version $1.99

Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire

The Kindle version of Rosemary and Rue is on sale for $1.99.  Looks like it's a monthly deal, since the post I saw alerting me to this was posted July 4 and I found it's still on sale today.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Rosemary-Rue-Book-Toby-October-ebook/dp/B002N83HAW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468801755&sr=1-1&keywords=rosemary+and+rue