What makes me one-click a book?

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 15.55.22A few days ago, someone asked me what makes me decide if I’ll one-click a book. I say one-click since I buy a lot of books online, but this could just as easily be spontaneously buying a book at a bricks-and-mortar bookstore. I probably spend way too much money on books. I won’t even say how much my monthly book budget is because, as a rule, I generally go over the budgeted amount. Whether it’s an ebook or a trade paperback, it’s always pretty much the same things that convince me this is a must-have book.

the cover

What do all of the above books have in common? Great covers. Yes, I am one of those people who judge books by their covers. If the cover looks tacky or amateurish, then I will move on. A beautifully designed cover is the fastest way to grab my attention. If it stops me from moving on to another title, then I’ll turn to a random page and see if the first paragraph I read speaks to me.

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 16.49.38a good book description

Something snappy, something sexy, something romantic–all that matters is that it’s compelling. If the blurb sounds too passive or too preposterous or too vague, then I won’t one-click. I recently saw a new release that had a great cover but a god-awful description. I couldn’t figure out what the story was even about. It was really one of those “huh?!?” moments. I read the description three times and still couldn’t make understand what was the deal with the story.

advance reviews

Now, I don’t always rely on these, but I do tend to check if others have read and reviewed an ARC of a novel I think I’m interested in. I usually find a few on Goodreads or Riffle. If I like what I see, then my finger hits one-click in an instant. Mind you, I don’t always trust advance reviews–too many that gush over a novel might give me pause (unless I already know the writer’s work and know the gushing is warranted). If the reviews are vague, then I may wait a while until  a few more reviews pop up.

So any of those three things could make me one-click…and I do love filling up my Kindle or my tote bag with new books.

…and an off-topic shout out

Splendor ToteSpeaking of tote bags, I need to give a shout out to Obvious State. Just before I headed to the US, I ordered their “Splendor” tote, which features a gorgeous quote from John Keats. I had it shipped to my mother’s address in Philadelphia and was so happy to find it there waiting for me.

OMG. I.LOVE.THIS.BAG.

It’s gorgeous and it’s the perfect size for my MacBook Air, my Kindle, my wallet and my phone. There’s even enough room for a few more goodies. It has replaced my NaNoWriMo tote bag as my go-to bag. This tote bag with its lush print of flowers and sublime John Keats snippet–“LONE SPLENDOR HUNG ALOFT THE NIGHT”–has won my heart. I may have to order another one. 🙂

Let’s get Snowbound on the bestseller list! :)

dfw-kg-sb-cover-2-3d-nologoSnowbound has been live now for around two weeks and, so far, I’ve had two reviews on Amazona four-star review (paperback) and a five-star review (Kindle edition). Thanks so much to Tamekia and Erni for posting your reviews! It really means a lot to me to hear from readers who enjoy the stories I write.

Now I’m trying to spread the word about my book. I made a flyer, which I posted on my Facebook author page, and I would love it if my readers here could share it and help others who like holiday-themed love stories or who want a fun book to pass the time discover Snowbound.

We managed to keep Choose Me on Amazon’s Top 50 bestseller list for Women’s Fiction and IR Romance for close to a month and that was a novella. Let’s see if we can get Snowbound to skyrocket up the charts as well! 🙂

In the meantime, I’m trying to get my book in local bookshops. I don’t write for the money–even though it would be wonderful to be able to write fulltime. I can’t imagine a life without writing. It’s what fulfills me and it gets me through the rough times in my life.

I have a dream that within the next two years, I will be able to support myself solely through my writing, and I hope you’ll join me for the journey.

And remember–if you’ve already read Snowbound and enjoyed it, please post a review on the site where you purchased it. Thank you so much for your support!

Happy reading (and writing)!

Forget Twilight, You Need to Read Blood Shadows

ImageEver since I was a child, I’ve always loved vampires. I blame it on all the Hammer Horror films I watched on channels 17 and 48 (if you’re from the Philadelphia area and you grew up in the 1970s/80s, you’ll know exactly what I mean). Many Saturday afternoons were spent watching movies like the Horror of Dracula, the Vampire Lovers or the Satanic Rites of Dracula. I devoured any books I could find that featured vampires. When I was older, my taste in vampire movies changed a bit–I liked the idea of the sexy vampires–the Lost Boys, Near Darkand the Hunger were high on my list of favorite films. Then came the Twilight vampires. I was not a big fan of the books. The movies didn’t do much for me either. By this point in my life, I still wanted sexy vampires, but I also wanted them to have a dangerous edge. I didn’t want sappy vampires who sparkled.

Now I have a new favorite book to add to my list of vampire novel–Lindsay J. Pryor’s Blood Shadows, the first book in the Blackthorn series. It’s a dark, gritty paranormal romance that’s thrilling, sexy and a definite must-read.

Blood Shadows is set in a dystopian world where humans rule and vampires (and other supernatural beings) are second-class citizens. Enter into this world Caitlin Parish, a shadow reader for the Vampire Control Unit, who is on a quest to find the creature that killed her parents. She uses her VCU mission to hunt down master vampire Kane Malloy, who’s trying to get retribution for his sister’s murder, to further her search. Already from the onset, there is a palatable tension between Caitlin and Kane and as this attraction grows, the reader is pulled in–you know they’re enemies, you know they shouldn’t be together at all and yet you long for it. Perfect!

One thing I hate is when books are too simplistic or when everything ties up a little too neatly, especially suspense or horror novels. I want action, I want complications, I want to be sitting on the edge of my seat. Blood Shadows delivers on all three counts. As Caitlin gets closer to the truth, the pace quickens and the plot twists catch you unawares. I was sucked in, reading well into the night when I should have been sleeping. And I don’t regret it one bit!

After all the Twilight hype and the Twilight copies, I’d begun to lose faith in vampire novels. Now I can say my faith has been restored. Lindsay J. Pryor’s Blood Shadows is the sort of page-turner you never want to end. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. And I think you’ll be hooked too.