Coming in 2019

It’s hard to believe we are already a month and change into 2019. Time flies!  January was a month of celebration for my family.  My sweet romance name, Ann V. Stewart, released a new book, Finding Her Forever, with Wild Rose Press, and I turned the big 4-0!  I’m so excited to reach middle age. I know that’s not the answer most expect, but there was a time I wondered if I’d ever see it.  Every day is a gift, right?

On to the fun stuff.  Lots of new stuff going on behind the scenes with my spicy romance.  The Blue Line series is getting an update. New covers, edits, more content, and a new series name.  Blue Line Brotherhood! Look for it coming during the first half of 2019.


Blue Line Brotherhood

And there is more! Last year Amazon closed Kindle Worlds leaving me with two published and two unpublished novellas with no homes.  So…later in the year two new series from Reagan Phillips will hit bookshelves.  Trouble in Texas leading with my Lone Star Sizzle release promises to spice up the ranches of western Texas, and Royal Affair leading with Royal Matchmaker, a sweet New York City romance. One series is super sexy while the other is on the sweet side, giving everyone something for the taste in romance.

Royal Affair

Trouble In Texas


For authors, I’m working on making my workshop, The Kaizen 5-Year Plan, into a blog series for authors to help plan their work and beat procrastination on the tush!

Developmental Self-Edits


I hope this year brings books you guys love and stories that make your heart dance. I can’t wait to bring it all your way!


Reagan Phillips (1)

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Seduced By St. Nick

Seduction never felt so festive.

Seduced By St.Nick picks up a few months after Confess ends, though it can be read as a stand alone novella.

seduced by St. Nick cover

A sexy, sassy, holiday romp.

Department secretary Trinity Jones isn’t looking for Mr. Right. She’s searching for Mr. Right Now, the Holiday Edition. Coming off the break-up of a long-term relationship, she’s looking for someone to take the sting out of the holidays without a commitment, and the police department’s playboy, Nick St. James is perfect for the job.

Vice Officer St. James is known for his love’m and leave’m lifestyle. Spending most of his time undercover leaves little time for relationships. That’s what makes a deal with Trin perfect; one week, no strings, everything goes back to normal the day after Christmas.

But he never counted on falling for her.

Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited here.


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Two years ago I set in my office in the corner of our playroom and whined to a critique partner about losing my writing mojo. The words just weren’t coming and I was growing more frustrated with every passing day.

Have I mentioned I have the best group of critique partners ever? So, of course one suggested I put down the contemporary I was struggling to finish and write something totally for me; make the hero super alpha and the heroine strong and opinionated. And of course there has to be sex and murder and redemption. The resulting novel was Confess.



When Nashville homicide detective Mitch Kilpatrick defies department orders to investigate a string of small town murders his singular goal is to catch a serial killer. That is until his investigation leads to Lacy Andrews, an uninhibited and sexy-as-sin bartender who happens to be the police chief’s only daughter.

Confident and alluring, Lacy is everything Mitch’s pride rejects, but that won’t stop him from getting her in his bed, especially when he learns she’s sworn off cops for good. Winning her over proves the perfect challenge until her secretive past connects with his current case and she becomes an unwilling pawn.

Confronted with repeating past mistakes, will Mitch push Lacy away to keep her secret hidden, or expose her to solve the most important case of his career?


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21 days to CONFESS #TeaserTuesday

The excitement is building! 21 days until Confess releases and I just received proofs for the cover of Uphold and a super secret project for later this summer.

I’m just gonna leave this right here for ya. Enjoy.

Confess teaser #1


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New Release Sustain by Tijan



Meet Bri & Luke in Sustain!


Amazon US:

Amazon UK:






I had a simple life.

I worked two jobs, made ends meet, and hung out with my mom and twin brother. The other part of my life was about avoiding him, but when SWAT raided my boyfriend’s home, that was the last straw. The boyfriend got tossed and to help me keep busy, my brother talked me into joining their old band again, but I had to be honest. It wasn’t a hard sell. Playing drums was in my blood. I used to be addicted and that craving hadn’t been satisfied in three long years. The only problem was their lead singer.

It was him.

The drums might not have been the only thing I was addicted to. I think I was still addicted to him too.



Excerpt: (Bri’s pov)


Luke hit a jarring note on his guitar below, drawing me from the past and back to reality. Seriously. I’d been ready to take on two thugs beside a dumpster for my stupid-ass cousin, but this had ice filling my veins.

I rolled my eyes upward. What was wrong with me?

The melody was addictive. I felt it reach deep inside me and take root. My breathing wavered as he kept playing. He moved down a chord, and the sound of it seeped into me, smoothing out the haunted memories. Then he began singing. His voice was soft and low, but I could hear it as if I were in the room. He was weaving a spell. It was like he threw a spear that had a rope attached to it at me from a hundred yards away, and it embedded deep into my stomach. Then he began pulling on it. I couldn’t fight because it would yank out my insides, but damn, I didn’t want to go with it. This whole thing with Luke was both painful and exhilarating at the same time. I had two urges going through me at once. One was to crap my pants, and the other was to start doing cartwheels.

I was just messed up, which is why I started down the stairs. I still had no clue what to say, but I had to do something.

He was hunched over the guitar in his lap with a beer at his feet. His eyes were closed, and his head hung over the guitar as he hit another chord, his thumb beating out the base. Since he was only wearing jeans, I saw some of the scars on his back. A storm of regret, shame, and longing all swirled inside me. I wanted to go to him, run my hands over those scars, and make them disappear. I couldn’t, though. We weren’t close anymore.

So many ghosts within you

So many haunts to pull you away

You look, I reach out and there’s nothing to do

They take you from me again, far away

I can’t, I can’t, I can’t take your hand

He kept singing, and my heart felt like it was splitting into two, but then he faltered. His eyes opened, and he looked up. He didn’t stop playing, but he stopped singing.

I felt like he was strumming me. I couldn’t look away from his gaze. His thumb stopped hitting the bass, and his fingers slowed on the guitar. “What are you doing here?”

Right. I was pretty sure I was seeing lust in his eyes. With that thought, a fever took over my blood, heating me up. “I,” my tongue wet my lips, “um, I’m here to talk about you and me.”

His gaze clouded over, and his eyelids lowered. He bent his head back over his guitar, but he didn’t start strumming again. “There is no ‘you and me.’ You’re in the band. That’s it.”

I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Luke,” I started.

“No.” He stood up abruptly, setting his guitar to the side. He advanced toward me, his eyes were smoldering.

When my back hit the wall, I realized I had nowhere else to go and could only watch as he closed in on me. A part of me wanted him to keep getting closer; the other part of me was still thinking about crapping my pants.

He leaned a hand against the wall beside my head, keeping a few inches between us. His eyes were hard as he said, “There is no you and me. That died long ago, remember?”


Excerpt: (Luke’s pov)


I’d been tense from watching Bri on stage, and it hadn’t lessened as we ran through the woods. If there was another remark about her, I was ready to swing. I didn’t care how big they were.

Gunn had been watching me. He moved close and said under his breath, “If it happens, I’ll do it.”


“Because we need your pretty face for the fans.”

I looked up to see if he was serious. He was, but he relinquished, “Kidding. If you have a busted face, I think Priss would piss her pants from excitement.”

Braden had overheard him and laughed. “No, shit. That’d be leaked to the gossip shows in two seconds flat. I swear, she has all the numbers for the gossip channels on speed dial.”

The football players had gone ahead, but stopped and waited for us. The third one asked, “What’s going on?”

“Nothing.” I shoved past him. While seeing the road through the trees, I saw the headlights for Braden’s car at the same time. When we cleared the trees and headed up the ditch, all of us panned out and walked in one line for the car.

When we got there, Bri opened her door and leaned against the car. Her hair was whipping behind her face and one hand was resting on her hip. She tugged her shirt and then adjusted it back, but it didn’t stick. It fell down, showing her black bra. Bri was clueless, scowling at us. She was the picture of fierce and alluring at the same time.

We were greeted with, “What were you guys doing there?”

She took in the whole line of guys before letting her eyes find mine, making me feel seared. It was the same effect every time. My insides felt yanked out, but I still wanted to touch her.

I looked away instead.

“We came to see you.” Braden motioned to the guys.

“Are you insane? How was tonight supposed to go down any other way? You guys are celebrities. You can’t be coming to house parties anymore.” There was a clipped bark to her voice, but it faded on the last word, and I glanced over. She sneaked a look at me.

“Yeah, we didn’t think ahead.” Braden threw a hand to the football guys. “Got some extra room?”

She shook her head. “There is no way this little car can fit all of you hulks.”

The guys laughed and one mentioned, “We can wait here. A bunch of our buddies are coming. They can pick us up.”

I should’ve thanked them for saving us from the chaos, and I heard Gunn and Braden doing exactly that, but I looked back at her. Her hand was still on her hip, but her shoulders were slumped forward. She was kicking at some gravel on the road.

The football guys headed farther down the road as Gunn and Braden got into the car. We were alone now, but there was still an audience.

She wouldn’t look at me anymore. I wanted to turn those dark eyes to me. I wanted to say something, but I had no idea what. I ended with, “You’re still really good.”

Her head lifted, and I saw it. There was so much there. Fear, caution, excitement, warmth, and another expression I couldn’t place. No, I did. She was still haunted.


She was mine.

No. She wasn’t.

She had gone to him that night.

Ah, fucking hell.

“We should probably talk.”

Her eyes opened at my tone, which was rough, and panic flared across her face for a moment. “Oh. Okay.”

Author Information


I didn’t begin writing until after undergraduate college. There’d been storylines and characters in my head all my life, but it came to a boiling point one day and I HAD to get them out of me. So the computer was booted up and I FINALLY felt it click. Writing is what I needed to do. After that, I had to teach myself how to write. I can’t blame my teachers for not teaching me all those years in school. It was my fault. I was one of the students that was wishing I was anywhere but at school! So after that day, it took me lots of work until I was able to put together something that resembled a novel. I’m hoping I got it right since someone must be reading this profile! And I hope you keep enjoying my future stories.

Stalk Her: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads



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Big News and Squeals and a Cover Reveal!

I’ve been a very bad Rebel leader over the last month, but I promise it’s because I’ve been super busy with writing which leads me to the BIG NEWS! In May 2015 Mitch Kilpatrick will be live. I cannot wait to share my dirty talking detective with everyone. Here’s a blurb about his book:

When Nashville homicide detective Mitch Kilpatrick defies department orders to investigate a string of small town murders, his singular goal is to catch a serial killer. That is until his investigation leads to Lacy Andrews, an uninhibited and sexy-as-sin bartender who’s keeping secrets of her own.

Confident and alluring, Lacy is everything Mitch’s pride rejects, but that won’t stop him from getting her in his bed, especially when he learns she’s sworn off cops for good. Winning her over proves the perfect challenge until her secretive past connects with his current case and she becomes an unwilling pawn.

Confronted with repeating past mistakes, will Mitch push Lacy away to keep her secret hidden, or expose her to solve the most important case of his career?

And now for the SQUEALS.  I am so in love with this cover by Paramita Designs. She captured Mitch’s dominance and Lacy’s apprehension and intensity perfectly. They are as beautiful in person as I envisioned when writing them.


Don’t you love it? You already know I do!

Stay tuned for more details and news about Confess and the rest of the Rebel Rapids officers from the Blue Line series. I’ll be sending out blog tour and ARC information shortly.

If you’d like to get a jump on all my news, join the Rebels closed group on Facebook here.


Sign up for my newsletter here. I promise to only spam your inbox when I have really sexy-hot news.


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Want to Get Lucky? *Cover Reveal*

Hey Rebels. stepping in between edits to let you know about an anthology I’m super excited to read. If you follow any of these fine ladies on Facebook, you know they share of love of fine man chest with yours truly. Get Lucky, an anthology of Irish-themed romances, releases March 16. You can pre-order your copy now. 


Get Lucky Anthology

What happens when six romance authors get together and write half a dozen brand-new, steamy, Irish-themed novellas? Everyone gets lucky! This 99-cent box set crosses genres and includes contemporary romance, new adult romance and paranormal romance novellas that will give Get Lucky a whole new meaning. Pre-order your copy today!

The Get Lucky Anthology features:

From USA Today bestselling author Nicola Marsh – Walking the Line

Finn Ahearn’s Irish luck is about to run out…

Reformed Aussie bad girl Ellie is a decade older than Finn but that doesn’t stop the charming Irishman from wooing her. Ellie doesn’t believe in the happily-ever-after dream any longer, not since hers imploded a long time ago. But can a smooth-talking Irishman sway a hard-hearted cynic to believe in love again?

From reader favorite Kelsey Browning – Amazed by You

Falling again for your first love…this time for keeps.

Author’s assistant Olivia McLaughlin must pull off an extravagant St. Patrick’s Day garden party to win a coveted promotion, but her success hinges on landscape designer Cody Kavanaugh, her old high school boyfriend. Now, Olivia must decide which she can’t live without—the job that will make her a success or the man offering her a second chance at love.

From sizzling hot and bestselling Robin Covington – One Little Kiss

The best things start with one little kiss.

Trapped by a snowstorm in the same place at the same time, Leighton and Jonas must decide if their hot night together was the end of their story or if they started forever with just one little kiss…

From RT Book Review Award nominee Avery Flynn – Big, Bad Red

She always gets her wolf…

There’s nothing little or naive about this Red Riding Hood. Red runs the biggest fencing operation for fairytale treasures out of the back of Granny’s Pub. But when she comes into possession of the Caladbolg sword things get hairy–as in hot, sexy Liam MacTíre the werewolf hairy.

From paranormal darling Sara Humphreys – Luck of the Irish

A leprechaun is powerless without his gold….

Banished to the mirrored realm for hundreds of years, Declan Aherne had nothing but time to plot his revenge and mourn the loss of his beloved wife. But when a beautiful human woman, with a familiar amulet, stares into the mirror….Declan’s luck was about to change.

From the sexy sweet Kimberly Kincaid – Something Borrowed

Her best friend is the best man for the job…

When her successful brother announces his plans for an impromptu wedding in Ireland, unlucky-in-love chef Sasha Arrington is stuck between the Blarney Stone and a hard place. Sasha needs a wingman for her brother’s wedding, and the romantic destination could be just what James Sullivan needs to tempt Sasha out of the friend zone.

Are you ready to Get Lucky? Pre-order today!


B&N: coming soon





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Top Ten Things I Love About Christmas a Guest Post by Lexi Lawton

Hi Rebels! I’m stepping in quickly to introduce my good friend, and fabulous author, Lexi Lawton. Lexi’s got the Christmas spirit and is sharing with her new release, Christmas Confessions. Don’t forget to post a comment, and check out her giveaway.

Take it away Lexi…

My husband calls me a scrooge, a hater of all things Christmas. He tends to be overly dramatic at times.

Why does he say this about me? Well, because I have a very strong dislike of Christmas movies. I find most of them to be over-the-top cheesy and the acting subpar. He, however, would watch them day and night if I would allow it. I also don’t read many Christmas themed stories, and this is the first Christmas story I’ve ever written. (And here’s my personal Christmas confession: I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever write another one. Lol)

But, despite my strong dislike of Christmas movies, there are a lot of things I do love about this holiday. Allow me to share them with you…

1. A CHRISTMAS STORY – This is the only holiday movie I will watch. I love little Ralphie and his unflinching quest for a Red Rider B.B. Gun. And that leg lamp? WANT! “Frah-gee-lay!” Love it. Lol.

2. SNOW – Okay, yes, I do often complain about the ridiculous amounts of snow we get, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There’s nothing quite like waking up on Christmas morning and seeing the world covered in white. And let’s face it, holiday lights tend to twinkle just a little brighter against the white stuff.

3. FINDING THE PERFECT GIFT – I like to get gifts as much as the next person, but finding that perfect gift for a loved one is amazing. I get so excited to give it to them, and the look on their face when they finally do get to open it…gives me happy chills just thinking about it.

4. LOOKING AT CHRISTMAS LIGHTS – As a child, my parents would take me out on Christmas Eve and we’d drive around town, looking at the houses decorated with all the pretty lights. We’d stop and get hot chocolate. It’s one of my favorite childhood memories; and now that I’m grown and married, I’ve continued this tradition with my own children.

5. COOKIES, COOKIES, AND MORE COOKIES! – I don’t generally bake much throughout the year, but when Christmas rolls around, I’m a baking fool. I give trays upon trays of cookies and fudge to family members and friends.

6. THE LOOK ON MY KIDS FACES ON CHRISTMAS MORNING – I stand near the Christmas tree and snap pictures of them when they wake up and see that Santa has visited. I’m pretty sure they hate me for it. lol

7. HAVING AN EXCUSE TO STAY INSIDE – When it really snows, and the roads become dangerous and impassable, it gives me a valid, inarguable reason to stay inside and write.

8. DECORATIONS – I love to decorate for this holiday. I have an entire décor of blue snowmen. They’re so adorable.

9. CHRISTMAS CARDS – I love getting them and sending them!

10. WRAPPING PRESENTS – I don’t know why, but I love this task. I take such pride in making sure the corners are just right and they look really pretty.

So, what do you love (or dislike) about this holiday? Do you have any favorite movies or books? Share in the comments, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Title: Christmas Confessions
Author: Lexi Lawton
Genre: Adult Romance
Release Date: November 6, 2013
Buy Link: Amazon


From the moment Brandon James hired Chelsea St. Claire to work in his bar, he’s wanted her in ways that cross every line of the employer – employee relationship. Even though he’s always kept things professional, when a snow storm strands Chelsea at the bar, forcing her to spend Christmas with him, he can no longer control his desires.

Despite being sad about missing out on Christmas with her family, Chelsea’s not sorry to be spending time in the home — and bed — of a man she’s wanted for over a year. But when Chelsea finds a note revealing Brandon’s true feelings, she must decide if she wants a Christmas fling, or if she has some Christmas confessions of her own.

Chelsea took a moment to really look at Brandon. He was wearing a pair of gym shorts and nothing else. His dark hair was damp, indicative of having just showered. She twisted on the couch to watch him as he walked toward the kitchen. Holy mother of God! That chest should come with a warning: Caution. Deadly weapon. May cause increased heart rate and a spike in libido. Proceed at your own risk. Ugh. She was so bad to be lusting after her boss like this, at a time like this.
When Brandon turned back toward her, pill bottle and a glass of water in hand, she was still staring at him. His shorts hung low on his hips, showcasing a perfectly formed V that pointed to the one part of him she’d fantasized about way more than she should have. A light dusting of chest hair taunted her. Her gaze travelled up the length of his torso until she met his eyes, which, if she wasn’t mistaken, sparkled a bit. It was almost like he knew what she’d been looking at, knew the thoughts that had accompanied her visual perusal.
“Here.” Brandon handed her the bottle of aspirin and the glass of water. Then he sat beside her.
Chelsea cleared her throat, which suddenly felt dry, and then popped two pills into her mouth, chasing them down with the water. Her hands trembled, but she wasn’t positive if it had to do with her fainting accident or Brandon’s closeness to her. They’d been physically close before, but never when he’d been half naked.
She glanced down at her legs… her bare legs! Oh, God! She wasn’t in her clothes anymore.

About the Author:  Represented by the fabulous Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency, Lexi is a romance author who is actively shopping a series of steamy romantic suspense novels. Currently, she’s knee deep in a spicy, contemporary New Adult series. Lexi is a member of The Romance Writers of America. With not much else to occupy her during the days, she spends a lot of time reading, writing, revising, and immersing herself in the world of publishing.

You can connect with Lexi here on her blog, on Twitter and Facebook.



Lexi will be giving away (1) Stocking full of Goodies that includes chocolate, decorations, and other trinkets (US ONLY) and (1) $5.00 Amazon giftcard

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Top Ten Tidbits of Advice for a Would Be Conference Goer

writerly wednesday


If you haven’t figured it out yet I’m a bit unconventional. I like to think that makes me normal. I’ve read several blogs on prepping for a conference. I’m assuming you guys know how to pack an overnight bag and don’t need my help picking out what underwear to bring so let’s move on to the more important advice, actually helpful conference going advice.

  1. Everyone you meet at a conference is there for the same reason as you. No one shells out hundreds of dollar to attend a writing conference to be an unapproachable snob. Well, not many at least, yet lots of writers are introverts. Don’t be afraid to sit at a table with people you don’t know. Don’t worry about asking the girl in the cool boots a question about where the next workshop is being held. See a party in the hotel room with an open door, walk the hell in and introduce yourself!

I’ve been lucky enough to travel with extroverts who don’t let me sit in my hotel room and sob. They’ve forced me out to parties and dinners and get to know you events and I am forever grateful for them. If you don’t have one of those in your posy, find a way to do it yourself. It’s what you’re there for!

  1. Beware of your resting bitch face. I’ve been told when deep in thought I could shrivel the balls of a Brahma bull. I take that as a compliment most days, but not at conferences. Remind yourself to smile. Loosen your mouth from time to time. Chew gum…wait…don’t chew gum. It makes it worse. Have a friend remind you to relax your face. Think friendly thoughts. Whatever you need to do, don’t send the wrong message with an unapproachable face.


  1. A drink or two is a grand thing but public intoxication is a death march to your career. Yes, I’ve seen it happen. I may have even come close to it once, but I had my girls to remind me to sheath the claws and come back to reality. A good rule to follow: Two for you and then you’re through. Two drinks a night. That’s enough to take the edge off yet stay professional. That said, what happens behind closed, locked hotel rooms doors is your business.


  1. Okay, this is a given but needs repeating. Trash talks spreads faster than an STD in a whore house. Don’t trash talk agents, editors, publishers, other authors, event coordinators, ect. You never know who’s standing two feet away and overhearing bits of your conversation, or who’s friends with who. Just keep your words kinds while you’re in the company of conference goers and you’re golden


  1. Safety first! Most conferences are held in cities you’re not familiar with. Before you leave make a plan. How are you getting to and from the hotel to make your flight? Will you have enough cash to pay the cab? Who are you traveling with? Never leave the hotel alone! Never stand around the hotel alone! Never accept rides from people you don’t know! Just because you feel all warm and fuzzy with your new group of friends don’t drop your guard. Predators prey on those in their comfort zone. Don’t be a victim.


  1. Volunteering is one of the best ways to network. From monitoring a workshop to handing out welcome packets, there is no better way to get one-on-one time with other authors/editors/agents than to volunteer. If you’re an introvert, it’s an excellent way to insure you’ll put yourself out there. Do it!


  1. Attend the workshops. As with the drinking tip, you’re not attending a conference to party…well some are, but not you. From the day you walk in the hotel to the day you slide into the cab home you are on an interview for a writing position. Even multi published authors are on display for their readers. Relax. Have fun. Enjoy your time with like minded writerly peeps, but keep it professional.


  1. Hang out in the bar. All the cool kids do! Really, the do, along with the editors and agents. True story, I recently queried an agent and mentioned the conversation we have in the bar of a hotel years ago. She remembered. I’m convinced that comment, and our conversation years ago is what got my foot in the door with her.


  1. By now you’ve heard not to shove your manuscript under the bathroom door, but what if an agent/editor asks you about your book in passing? Are you ready to drop a 60 second logline on them? Are you confident enough to free think a pitch and answer questions? Again, true story. This happened to me. I freaked, but I know my book so well I was able to hit the high notes off the top of my head in a conversation that started over coffee in a Starbucks before a workshop. Know your pitch, but be ready to wing it if needed.

10. This tip comes from the Officer. Safety always comes first with him. In your excitement to leave the house in something other than yoga pants and talk to real people instead of the characters in your head, don’t post specific details about how long you’ll be gone, where you’ll be, or travel plans on social media. You never know who’s watching your accounts and coming home from a killer conference to face a B&E report would totally suck, not to mention other things that could happen.


Most Important, enjoy yourself and take lots of pictures!



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A Torrid Tale of Pimping Other’s Pretties. (AKA-Why I Don’t Review Other’s Books…Most of the Time)

writerly wednesday
First a shout out to all my Pitch War peeps! Welcome to the blog!  It’s fantastic to have been included in such a warm and welcoming family. Love you guys.

Now the personal story behind my rant…

Hopefully I’m not the only writer compelled to click on the free book links on Facebook or Twitter, right? I, being the soft-hearted champion of all hard working authors I am, often click that link if the book looks even remotely like something I would enjoy because hey, it took  a second of my time and cost me nothing, but it may have boosted that author’s status just a smidge and to me that’s worth it.

Most of the time I click the link, at some point read the book, and if I liked it I post a short review on Amazon or at least give it some stars on Goodreads. If I didn’t like it, no one will ever know.

On this particular occasion the book looked like something I’d really love to read, so I clicked the link and actually had to hold off on reading the first page until after I’d hit my word count for the day. It was torture, but it had to be done. By that evening I was primed for a great story and opened the file expecting to be sucked into the pages…Let’s just say I wasn’t and leave it at that.

No big deal. The book wasn’t my thing. It was free. I could have been my high expectations, or my snobby need to be incased in a story from page one. Or,  maybe the fact that I know a little something-something about the world the book was written in and it didn’t ring true for me.  I was willing to forget it ever happened and let that author have one more free sale because of me. But I’d forgotten that when I clicked the buy link I also commented to the author about loving the cover and buying the book. (I bought it under a different name, so no worries they’ll find me here. I don’t talk smack. Really I don’t. But this lesson needs to be shared.)

So, a few days ago Facebook made me switch to that annoying new messenger app and in-between messages about meeting up for writer’s club I got a ding from said author asking, of all the things, why I hadn’t returned her favor of a free book with a review. Umm… is there some unspoken rule that obligates a reader to review a book if said reader received it for free? If so, I’m hundreds of reviews behind, Y’all. Hundreds, and very sorry, but you’ll be waiting until after your print run runs out before you get one.

Stunned, I let the message marinate on that crappy messenger app for about a day while I formulated an answer that didn’t sound like “Because 1. I didn’t like it. 2. It wasn’t all the back blurb promised. 3. A little more research into XXX profession and you might have had me fooled. 4. If you have to ask for reviews in such an abrasive way it really makes me NOT want to be your friend…But, before I could formulate a polite return I received another ding. “I have over 50 reviews on Amazon and 60 on Goodreads. Most people who buy my book thank me with a review.” and some other non flattering stuff I’ll leave out. Sure enough her book is on Amazon with over 50 reviews ranging from 5 stars to 1. Some of them quite glowing and some echoing the same issues I found. Good for you, author. Looks like you don’t need me after all.

By that point I was channeling my mother who taught me the golden rule of “when a fool opens their mouth, or in this case Instant Messenger, politely back away before they suck you into their black-hole of stupidity.”

The equivalent of backing away in this case was deleting the message and unliking the author’s fan page. End of story. At least I hope it is.


Moral to my yammering tale of woe…

I’m an author, and I will go way the hell out of my way to support any fellow authors as long as I am allowed to support them on my terms and from my comfort zone. Yes, I’ve received books from fellow authors with the request to write a review for them and I make it very clear that I’d be happy too if I feel compelled  after reading the book. Most of the time I do, but those few times when the book didn’t do it for me, I keep my mouth shut because I’m an author, not a book reviewer.

I really resent being hounded to pimp out an author I don’t know. An author who I did a solid for by buying their book (even if it was free) and by not writing a negative review. When did this practice of badgering readers to review your work become suitable author behavior? Not cool in Reagan’s world. Not. Cool.

So, has anything like this happened to you? Do you review every book you’ve read, good and bad? I’m I wrong for not post a review when I don’t like the book? Inquiring minds want to know.


Oh, and here’s a man chest. A man reading just does something to me…




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