Early Reviews

I’ve had my first reviews! Only one on Amazon so far and that one was only a three star, though the reviewer says she enjoyed the book. There’s a second one on Goodreads with five stars who liked my character better and one on Booklikes who got the real heart of the story, the issue with the big cats! That one also gave me five stars, but how to convince reviewers to copy these to Amazon? I don’t have an account on Booklikes and I’m not going to become a stalker author. I only found it because I did a Google search.

I’ve sent review copies to another five or six people so fingers crossed, hopefully some good ones will get posted to Amazon! That’s where it matters most for sales. I’m tempted to link to the other good reviews, but I’m not sure of the protocol on that so I hesitate.

In the meantime, I have a start on my next novel. This, too, will be a Crime Mystery and there is a big cat involved, but I’m going to push further into the Thriller category with this one.

What’s that? You want hints?

A scientist doing genetic experiments searches the streets of Los Angeles when one of her subjects escapes. The feline predator is potentially dangerous and the experiments were unsanctioned. She fights a race against time to recapture the animal whose existence could end her career and possibly earn her a long prison sentence when all of the truth comes out.

An L.A. Homocide Department cop is called to the site of a killing that might have been committed by a large, feral animal, but a human slayer hasn’t been ruled out. A brief encounter with a black woman wearing a lab coat raises her suspicions that something more than an ordinary predator could be at large.

I haven’t ‘officially’ written my blurb yet, but I might cannibalize the above. Notice that both main characters are women, one is African American and the cop is Hispanic. I plan to get plenty of diversity into my novels in general but a strong dynamic between two female professionals features in this one.

Title? Yes it has a title, but I’m not giving it away yet. That would be telling too much! I also don’t know how long it will be until release but I have a wild fantasy about finishing it for Christmas. There’s a reason for that, the subtitle is: It’s not just for Christmas.

So I’ll leave you guessing for now. I’ve got lots of writing to do!

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Paperback and Identity Sorting

At last, the paperback version of A Spark of Justice is available on Amazon. Like the ebook version, it was first attributed to a different author who shares my name. I got that sorted out easily enough, but the recommendations still show books by the other author. Hopefully that will change as more people buy my book in conjunction with other books of a similar genre.

So, the pages were listed separately instead of having the toggle on one book page for prefered medium. I sent a request and that’s being sorted out too. As of today, if you click on the ebook page you only get the paperback option. I’ve been assured that it will all be right within three days. Fingers crossed, because I have a Countdown Deal scheduled from 23rd September.

I will be very patient and watch the page for those three days, then I panic because today, no one can order the ebook! It should be fixed in plenty of time, but fingers crossed!

Meanwhile the next book is in progress. It would be really cool to have it out for Christmas, but I’m not making any promises. Rushing writing leads to mistakes and lightweight stories. I want this one to have intricate subplots and a lot of suspense. It takes how long it takes. I promise it will be good!

Those First Reviews

While I’m new at this chasing reviews business, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about what to do or not do and how to solicit reviews in various places. Book bloggers appear to be the way to go, but it takes patience and a lot of work to approach a lot of them in hopes that a few will take an interest when their tbr pile is miles high.

I have one advantage in that by book is relatively short. If they have an interest in circus settings, there’s some chance that a shorter novel might appeal.

So, I’m going down a list and picking out those who list Mystery as one of their genres. I’m looking at some who say they read all genres as well, as readers with a broad range of tastes will probably like Mystery among their choices. There’s no point in trying to push a book on someone who lists other genres and doesn’t include mine on the off chance that they might read a little Mystery or might like mine. If they didn’t think of it when they were making their list, it’s not going to be a priority.

So, I’ve been looking through lots of websites, dismissing those that state charges or use the phrase, “Author services” and websites that have no navigation or don’t post review guidelines or at least contact information for making a request. I assume those are not open to having the barrage of requests that book bloggers undoubtedly receive.

When they do state their requirements, I’m following them to the letter. However, I’m very much aware that I won’t hear back from most of them. I’m not keeping a list to obsess over. Those who get back to me will be the ones who are interested in reading my book.

In other news, I’ve managed to get my author profile straightened out on both Amazon and Goodreads. There are about six authors called JU.D. Hawkins and my innocent little Mystery book kept getting listed under an author who writes Erotica! I felt that needed addressing and contacted the powers that be in both of these places. I still wonder how many of the followers on my Facebook page have mistaken me for that author, though I made some posts to mention that A Spark of Justice is my first book and that there are other authors with the same name.

Back to the grindstone for me now. I’m up to ‘K’ on the list I’m perusing. I have a second directory of bloggers to check as well. I’m looking forward to reading those first reviews. I understand that they may have criticism and not everyone likes the same books, but I just want to know whether people like the book. Hi Ho.

My First Mystery Novel

My first Mystery novel goes up on Amazon today. I’m not making a lot of noise about it yet because I want to wait for the 30 days on KDP Select and then do an introductory promotion.

Front200A fatal accident at the circus sparks an insurance investigation that leads John Nieves, a former New York cop, to a list of murder suspects. It seems that The Great Rollo, beloved of millions, had enemies… both at the circus and among his own family. All that is surreal and magical about the circus brings out Nieves’ deepest fears, blinding him to the very real danger that is closer at hand. A bizarre series of revelations and coincidences keep Nieves’ suspicions of the circus people high, even after the actual evidence suggests that the incident really was only an unfortunate accident. The furtive actions of Rollo’s wife and brother, the beneficiaries of his insurance, lead Nieves into even dirtier family secrets. Apparent attempts on his life from all quarters threaten Nieves, but he refuses to drop the case until the whole truth of who killed The Great Rollo is revealed.