Category: Amazon Petition

The Preacher’s Husband Cover; Bullies, Amazon Petition

The Preacher’s Husband Cover

2014 has turned into one of the busiest years ever. Tomorrow I’ll post about a short sequel to “Fangsters: Clan of the Jersey Boys,” that will be a part of a new vampire anthology, Until the Sun Rises, with German Publisher, Bruno Gmunder. I get a lot of e-mails about Fangsters asking if there will be more in the series and right now I’m honestly not sure. But right now I’d like to post the cover preview of my latest indie, The Preacher’s Husband. This one is part of the Glendora Hill series. The first of which was released at Christmas, Cowboy Christmas Miracle. There will be five books altogether in the series.

I’ll post a release date very soon. Edits are in, all is revised, and we’re just waiting on tech details.

Bullies, Amazon Petition

Since the beginning of the whole book review bully issue I’ve always remained objective on the topic because even though I’m a blogger I’m also an author and I stand by the rule of not reading my own reviews…ever. And, as a blogger I do think it’s important to remain objective sometimes. In other words, I try to think about what my blog readers want and in this case I think they want information, not my opinions. I also truly believe that most people want to feel good, not focus on negatives. There’s enough negativity in the world now and I’d rather not add more to it.

Earlier this week I posted a few things about Anne Rice and the bully petition asking Amazon to make changes to the review system so that no anonymous reviews would be allowed.  And now I’m linking to an op-ed piece that discusses how the fun in reviewing is starting to disappear for some thanks to so much controversy…and several other reasons. It’s a popular blog in the romance community, but it’s also a blog on the fringes of society in the mainstream. And whenever you get a gathering of passionate people on the fringes of mainstream society, things often get explosive.

You can read more here.

The only comment I will add is that none of this is really all that new. I’ve been in publishing since I graduated from college and landed my first (awful) job at Conde Nast in NY. I’ve seen it all before. Years ago something like this would have been in a newspaper or small book review section most people would have missed. The only difference this time is that more people are involved and more opinions are shared now thanks to Internet exposure. Frankly, I’m not sure if that helps or hurts. But sometimes you have to take things into perspective and look at the bigger proverbial picture. If you were to go into any supermarket in the US and ask anyone at random what they think of the bully/review issue I would bet most people wouldn’t even know what you’re talking about.

James Franco in New Jersey; Anne Rice, Reviews, Petition

Anne Rice, Reviews, Petition

An article written five days ago talks more about the online petition to get Amazon to make changes in its review policies, and talks more about Anne Rice and how she’s been such a large part of all this. The article begins with a comment about reading bad reviews of classic books…Lolita. I can back that up with one star reviews I once read about The Great Gatsby.

But this issue in a general sense seems to be gaining more speed and doesn’t seem to be going away.

What prompted Rice to sign the petition were her experiences in an Amazon forum this past January (although she’s been talking about the Amazon problem for some time). She was answering questions while “predatory career bullies” (screengrabbed here) spat venom and abuse, anonymously. She told the Guardian: “They’ve worked their way into the Amazon system as parasites, posting largely under pseudonyms, lecturing, bullying, seeking to discipline authors whom they see as their special prey . . .  They’re all about power. They clearly organise, use multiple identities and brag about their ability to down vote an author’s works if the author doesn’t ‘behave’ as they dictate.”

You can read more here.

James Franco in New Jersey

Had I known this I would have put on my best underwear and taken a quick ride down to Princeton. It’s less than a half hour from New Hope. James Franco is starring in and directing a new historical film, The Sound and the Fury, and he was shooting a scene not far from Princeton University.

Bundled up in a leather jacket, a thick black hat and dark sunglasses, actor James Franco stood near the Washington Road bridge today, sizing up the bridge over Carnegie Lake in Princeton where an actor had just jumped for a scene in “The Sound and the Fury,” an adaptation of William Faulkner’s 1929 novel directed by and starring Franco.

“What do you think about this for B camera? Just look at this first,” Franco said to a cameraman as he made his way around the West Windsor set on the Princeton border and fans gathered along Faculty Road, hopeful they’d get a look at the movie and the man making it happen.

You can read more here…with a photo of Franco suffering through this winter that just doesn’t want to end.

There have been a lot of films made around here in the Bucks County area and when I owned my gallery I saw customers that ranged from soap opera stars in New York to Mick Jagger. One well known actor I won’t name once asked me back to his hotel room in Lambertville and I politely declined and said I was married. Most people around here aren’t star struck and most celebrities feel free to be just like everyone else. But had I known about Franco I might have been tempted to take my iPad down there and have him sign a bookplate on the back for his novel, Actors Anonymous.

In any event, this was the only day Franco will be here, so I guess I missed my one shot in life to be a fangirl. Franco did, however, make the day of a few young women in Princeton.

“It’s so random that he’s here, but I’m a fan and he’s welcome here any time,” Byrne said. “We’re just some girls in love.”