Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Piracy Sucks

Can I borrow your Blu-Ray and burn a copy?  How about you download Adele's new album for me? See no harm in the inquiry?  Well, I do.  First line: Can I borrow? Yes, to watch. Not to copy.  It's plain and simple, it's piracy.  Actors and musicians produce their craft because they love what they do.  Actually, they love it so much that's all they want to do.  But for some reason the human body requires nutrition so they would like to get paid.  That 'free' copy you just made, it's pirating food right out of the artist's mouths. 

What about eBooks?  

Recently I've had the unfortunate opportunity to read not one, but several Facebook posts about Plagiarism.  In my mind, it's piracy.  You've copied the words and called them your own. Shame on this troll.  And shame on you if you buy because 'it's cheaper'. You are creating a demand that a few pirates are more than happy to fulfill.  Just don't do it.  If you feel like one time won't matter, it does. These authors work hard to put their thoughts into meaningful stories.  If the author offers to give you the book, fine. Otherwise, pay for what it's worth. Too expensive? Then it's not worth the cost to you. But that doesn't give you license to be a downstream pirate. 

Why are my panties in a twist? I fully support authors.  I love to read. Just today, another post like the one I'm sharing below was in a book lovers group asking: "Is this real?". 

I read this on a shared post from another author.  This author, Amanda Young, is taking the time out of her day when she could be writing to create this photo.  It serves as a warning to authors that there is a person stealing. And a plea to reader to not buy this pirated copy. 

Now, recently there have been a several other indie authors battling the plagiarism beasts that come their way.  Amazon is very pro-active in shutting down these copies. B&N, Google Play, etc. not so much.  As I see this posts, my vision goes red.  Swear words exit my mouth.  I'm saddened and offer support.  Now, I run across a post from Ella Fox.  I'll provide an excerpt here.  However, click on this link and read the whole thing. I'm not an author, but she articulates every argument that is swimming in my brain.

 "I'd have stayed silent this time, too... if it weren't for the lovely poster on the stolen books Facebook page who decided to try and school a bunch of authors about stealing. I've attached the screenshot so you can all see what we're dealing with. Don't EVER come at me or anyone I know saying you steal shit because you're poor. It's an insult to every person who has lived or is currently living below the poverty line to imply that it's a license to steal. It isn't."

Ella Fox's post goes on to give excellent examples of how sharing can be done legally and to the benefit to both the income restricted reader and the author.  Read and share Ella's post. It's the one way for fellow bookworms can make sure our beloved authors can do what they do best, write, not fight piracy.

After all this, I realized that I too would have been an unwitting pawn in the piracy game.  If you follow my blog, you'll know I did a giveaway in October on my Facebook page.  I was legit.  Each week drawing, I input the names into's List Generator and number one was picked.  I PM'd the winner asking for their email to gift an copy. Well, one winner, took over 10 days to respond.  When they did they said:

"Is it possible for me to receive in PDF or .doc instead? I am also travelling right now and Kindle denies me access.
Sure I would love to write good reviews smile emoticon Appreciating the artists (authors) for a job well done is very essential to me. Upon Request, I can also post Reviews on goodreads, Amazon, Facebook Pages, and more."

Hmmm, I think the giveaway was clear. The eBook version from Amazon was part of a fundraiser. And where are you traveling outside the World Wide Web you can't log into your Amazon account?  I gifted them the eBooks instead because that's what I said I would do. As of 12/17/15, their gift goes unclaimed.  Hmmmm....yep, makes me ill to my stomach. If I would have had what they requested, would they have 'shared'?   I think I owe the swear jar about fifty bucks.

Join in the conversation.  What can be done to stop the piracy? And those who think it's okay to allow these pirates to profitWhere do you draw the line at 'sharing'?  

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fan Girl Activated: Bibliobules Author Signing and Mixer Event

It's December.  What else do you do except decorate, go to parades, eat cookies, etc.  Well, what do I do? Author Event!!

Bibliobules hosted a small, intimate book signing event.  Events this size are my favorites. I had the opportunity to actually chat with the authors for longer than it takes them to sign their books.  In addition to speak with two additional vendors I will feature below. Hint: Chocolate!

First, I need to give a huge shout out to Authors Martha Sweeney and Thomas Sweeney .  Okay, really Martha *wink*.  This was their first event and worked tirelessly to promote, get authors and vendors. Their next event is schedule for April in Florida.  You can find all the details at their website: Bibliobules.

First stop on my Author room sweep, Melanie Shawn.  I love these Central Cali ladies. If you haven't read their Crossroads series - it's a recommended series read from me. And shout out for donating a third book for Dexter's giveaway! 

Round the table to the fabulous Julie Prestsater.   I'm so looking forward to reading her Fire Me Up series. On the TBR. I love her Against The Wall series. She was a gem to speak with. She didn't even mind when I called her character Chase a 'douche'.  Well, he is  -although I did love that she gave him a book in Playing Chase and I found his soft, squishy center. As the event winded down, we had the mixer portion and I won a copy of Against the Wall which I 'made' her sign for my personal collection. 

Now, as I move to the next tables, all three authors are new to me.  First was Melissa A Hanson, a young adult author.  Who is on my TBR.  I know - gasp.  But the synopsis sounds like a very awesome read. 

I love intrigue and books that keep me guessing.  Elisa Marie Hopkins' series Diamond in the Rough offers me just that.  So, add to my TBR.  Besides being one of the co-hosts for the event, her Mother was her PA.  Let's just say she's a hoot and an awesome cook!  The event had a raffle prizes and, ta-da, Elisa was the first winner.  I love when I can snap some candids. 

Last on my table journey was the gracious Jan Moran.  She writes Women's Fiction. Which I have lots of friends that don't always want all steam.  And true for me too. Sometimes a good story with strong heroines is what you need.  Her books promise to deliver just that.  In addition, if you choose one of her books for a book club, she is more than willing to Skype in. How cool is that! Jan and I sat next to each other during the mixer.  Loved getting to know her better.

Did I mention there was chocolate? And super cool bookmarks I got as gifts for friends.  Please click on the links to their websites to visit their wares.  PS: Sinless is guilt free.

So where is my picture of the event hosts?  Yes, I am lame. Did I have time? Yes. Did I do it? No. It didn't occur to me until after I reached home. #fangirlfail.  But, we did chat off and on. We did speak about their books.  Martha writes erotic *fans self* menage.  Okay where have I been? Click on TBR. Tom had a copy of The Harem just for me. (or at least that's what I'm telling myself). The novel started as a screenplay that morphed into a novel. Can't wait to read. I may not have individual pics of them, but here is Tom's book. 

At the end of the signing portion, group pictures were taken.  Wait, does it count I have those of Tom and Martha?

While authors are breaking down to join the mixer portion, I get this wild idea.  I'm going to do a week long giveaway at Darlene & Dexter's Book Nook.  So click on the link and join our fabulous group of bookworms.  From Dec 14th through 18th,  the giveaway will feature one of the authors or two.  Besides books signed by the attending authors, the winner will get plenty of swag, some signed. Not all invited authors could attend so I have a few 'Blind Dates with a Book' to add to the Friday's double giveaway.  
Bibby the elf approved of my bookish finds.

Now, I've got to sort it all.  Who's idea was this? Oh, yeah - Mine.

Last but not least, is my favorite raffle prize: A reading lap blanket. Want one for yourself or a bookworm friend, click on the link to Bibliobules to order today. 

What type of author signing events do you favor? Huge ones with lots of authors, models and vendors?  Or small intimate ones where conversation can happen?  Join in the conversation below in the comments. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

So where you been...?

Why yes, I did say I was going to 'try' to blog once a week when I restarted this whole blog idea over.  However, for the month of October I really wanted to feature the amazing author Tori Madison and her debut books, Beneath it All and Beneath, You are Beautiful.  She had the books boxed up together and donations going to Hope Chest for Cancer.  I wanted anyone visiting my page to just have the opportunity to get to know Tori and her books.  My Facebook page had a corresponding giveaway.  I want to thank the seven lucky winners, everyone who liked the posts and took the chance on reading her books.  As I disclosed, breast cancer awareness is a very special cause to my family so leaving the blog on her spotlight through October 31st was the plan.

But it's now November 14th?  What have I been doing the last two weeks? 

I've been hiding out in my TBR shelves.  Reading, reading, reading.  You see I had over a 150 books to be read.  Choices to be made. Time to be committed. 

Book touch photo booksshelve_zpswwd8vxto.gif

I started with one book, then another and it rather snowballed into a two week binge of 20 books read.  Throw in an ARC or two plus some beta reading.  My spare time has been eaten up. The blog can wait.  These books have my attention. Some more urgently than others.  There actually was a point where I had three books in the juggle on my Kindle app. 

Here is the price to pay: I have 16 reviews to write.  Yep, I was too busy reading. On to my next book fix too unwilling to sit and write down my thoughts about what I read.  I didn't live up to the sermon - I told you that the best way to show an author love is to write a review.  Man, am I a sucky fangirl but...

I like reading photo ilikereading_zps22qrqmrm.gif  

Now, I am on Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter time out until I am caught up.  What is worse? I have a book, HIM, sitting on my Kindle app begging to be read.  You see, one of the bloggers at ShhMomsReading said to.  And I do as I am told, most of the time. But, bad fangirls go the laptop corner on Goodreads and show authors love.  But as soon as I'm done, back to reading heaven.  

I know. You could really care less about my reading habits of the past 14 days.  What about the blog?  Well, never fear.  I went to Authors In the OC on October 3rd.  There are some great pictures and cool stories to share.  Soon, I promise, soon.

Okay, time to turn the questions around: Do you just want to hole up in favorite reading spot and forget the rest of the world and its responsibilities exist like I did? Or does the fact that whatever the things you've left undone weigh too heavily on your mind to just shut it off for awhile?  Please join in the conversation below

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Getting to Know: Tori Madison - author, mother, breast cancer survivor

October is Breast Cancer Month.  It's important to me.  Several women in my family have been stricken with this awful disease. You know about this illness.  You are inundated with information  each October.  However, very few books, especially romance genre, deal with the main character having breast cancer.   There is one romance book series that is on my "YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK" list.   If you friend me on Facebook, you know it is the Beneath Series by Tori Madison.  The main character is dealing with the journey from initial diagnosis to treatment of breast cancer.  It is everything you want in a book that evokes all sorts of emotions.

How about you get to know Tori- the author - first.  You can read about her bio on Amazon and Goodreads, but let's share now:

Happily married and the mother of two, Tori Madison is active in the world of philanthropy and finds joy in making a difference in lives of others. She is an avid reader, lover of life and a breast cancer survivor. Currently residing with her family in Minnesota, she can often be found at Caribou Coffee or at the dance studio with her kids. With a well-known weakness for dark chocolate with sea salt and cheesecake, she also has a fondness for chips and fresh salsa.

Writing a book was never on her radar. After a challenge from a friend to write 1,500 words the story came to life and a new opportunity to make a difference was born.   

I had the honor of interviewing Tori for a book readers group, Darlene & Dexter's Book Nook, for Author Spotlight on October 1st.  If you don't belong to this group, please consider joining this awesome bunch of fellow bookworms.  There is a lot of posting of book love there.  I need to make finding the interview easy to find, so here is the author spotlight with Tori: 

Author Interview
1.  Most often in this genre, the reader will identify with the Heroine. Many women associate part of their sexuality with their breasts.  They can’t imagine being without them.  Victoria’s story could have still unfolded but had a secondary character have breast cancer.  Maybe a parent, sister or friend.  Why was it important to have Victoria be the one with the diagnosis?  What considerations did you take when crafting the intimate scenes? 

When I was considering writing a book, I felt it was important to tell the story of a woman with breast cancer directly and for me writing in the first person was the easiest. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer, but it still feels like yesterday. It was necessary to write Victoria while going through it because I wanted to give people the emotions of being in her shoes. I applaud authors who write a character with breast cancer, but most of the time it is a secondary character or a family member of that secondary person. It was time for the woman battling breast cancer to tell her story. The intimate scenes were a challenge for me. I needed to make their physical relationship hot at the beginning to allow the reader to see and feel the changes that occurred throughout the process of losing her breasts. When a woman loses her breasts it affects her physically, but often the mental aspect isn’t seen by those around her. It was important to share those moments of doubt when she was naked and vulnerable. 

2. Secondary characters always bring a catalyst for the main characters to react.  Maybe a push in the right way, a ‘stern’ conversation, needed interference, etc.   Although Jillian has a small part, her character has a lingering value in the storyline. Jillian is definitely gives Victoria a push in the right direction.  This could have been Bobbie Jo, Jen or Dana that did the ‘push’. Why Jillian? What is her importance to you in telling Victoria’s story? 

Jillian wasn’t on my radar when I finished Beneath it All. I was about 25,000 words into Beneath, You’re Beautiful when she made an appearance and wanted to share her story, within the story. In hindsight, Jillian gave me another platform to tell the story as a person supporting someone diagnosed with breast cancer. It allowed me to build a really strong character whose presence spoke volumes in a small amount of time. I had a Jillian in my life and I feel like she was speaking to me to tell this part. I couldn’t have Bobbie Jo, Jen or Dana do it, it needed to be her.

3. Has your family read the series?  If yes, which ones and did they learn anything maybe they didn’t know before? Do you hope someday your daughters will read the series? 

Yes. My mother-in-law actually did some proofreading for me. She was a language arts teacher in Minneapolis for years, and I knew she would do a good job. I made it clear that it was fictional and that I wouldn’t discuss the intimate scenes with her. She actually told me she loved the books and was proud of me. 
My husband read Beneath it All while we were on spring break.  
“Hello?” he fumed when I walked back to our beach chairs with our daughters.                
“Huh?” I asked unsure what he was talking about.                
“You ended it with Hello. Who does that?”                
I began laughing, it was his first fictional romance novel and he wasn’t used to cliffhangers. 
I told them they can read it when they are 18, I’ve got four years. They were four when I was diagnosed so they don’t remember much, other than eating chocolate cake in my bed and coloring on my bald head.

4. You’ve given the reader two stories:  #one- Romantic HEA and #two- Solid Friendships.  Are there any plans to give any HEA’s to Bobbie Jo, Jen or Dana? 

Yes. I’m slowly working on The Martini Series. The girls will each get a book of their own, with Victoria sprinkled in there. Bobbie Jo is first and I’m about 12,000 words into her story. My goal is to have it finished in early 2016.

5. You’re a daughter, mom, wife, work-life refrigerator monitor, and author.  How do you balance it all? Twin teenage daughters would run me ragged.  When do you find time to write?

Between working full time, raising teenage girls and helping care for my mom who has terminal cancer, my writing time has been limited lately. I hope to hit it hard soon. Writing, like reading, is a nice escape from real life and I enjoy disappearing into another world for a few hours.

6. Favorite beach you want to have the Cabana Boys service you is? Tell us if you’ve been there or would like to someday. 

Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. It is my home away from home as I’ve been traveling there since the early 90’s and we have many friends there. We haven’t been for a few years, but hope to go back for our 20th anniversary next year…if I can sell a few more books! ;)

7. How many cups of coffee before we can coherently have a conversation in the morning? 

I need at least one 16 oz. cup of French vanilla coffee with sugar-free Italian Cream or Peppermint Mocha creamer. 

8. You compose an email campaign to right a wrong.  The CEO of Cheesecake Factory has discontinued the following cheesecake.  Which cheesecake is it? 

Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. It would be a travesty! I eat half of it right away and save the other half to eat in the morning with my coffee. However… I did try the new Salted Caramel Cheesecake on Saturday night and it was Ahhhhhhhhhmazing. 
How did I find Tori?  That's an interesting story.  We met thru another author's webpage through mutual admiration society.  As Tori got to know me, she asked through another mutual friend PM'ing if I would consider giving her book a read.  I click on the link and stared.  You see, Amazon had put this book on my "Recommended for You" several times.  I scrolled on by.  I had read the synopsis. Breast. Cancer.  I lived it, breathed it, and had heartache over it.  Why oh why would I subject my precious escape time to such a rotten disease?  What if the author brought back more painful memories by mimicking my own experiences?  I pulled on my big girl panties and said yes, I'll try to give it a read.  I figured at most, if it was too much, it would be my first DNF.  Not only did I finish, but pretty much had the same reaction as her husband at the end of book one.  If you want my entire reviews,  please hop on over to Goodreads for Beneath It All and Beneath, You're Beautiful. 

Now through October 31st, Tori is offering the Beneath series in a boxed set on Amazon.  

For every boxed set that is sold, Tori will donate $1 to a local breast cancer charity, Hope Chest for Breast Cancer. Their mission is to provide the quickest access to help for the most urgent emergency needs of local financially challenged breast cancer patients. Programs include providing emergency funds, such as rent, utilities, transportation, and deliver nutritious meals for individuals during their breast cancer experience.

Want a chance to get the box set and not spend a dime? There will be the donation of $1 per set.  Each Friday on myownbookshelves Facebook page, there will be one lucky winner via chosen during the month of October.  You just need to find the post with **GIVEAWAY** with the above picture and comment.  Just once.  If you don't get picked that first Friday you have entered, all previous unpicked commenters go into the pool for re-draw.  That means a total of four chances of you comment by October 9th. 

Does a book on Breast Cancer scare you?  Do you think you can put the fear aside to give it a chance? If you've read this series, give me your comments below.  Please join in the conversation. 

Author Tori Madison, Facebook, Google or Amazon are not responsible for this giveaway.