Pursuing The Reader’s Standard

Danielle Lenee Davis:

Laekan Kemp has written an excellent post about readers. As a reader, I think this post says it all! I, too, am looking for a good story, and an authentic and strong voice. Yes, I agree! This is exactly why I continue to read the series books that I do.

Check out her post!

Originally posted on laekanzeakemp:

Earlier this month I completed the final line edit for my fourth novel and this week I’m working my way through the final line edit for my fifth. It’s slow-going and I find myself mulling over the same paragraph for almost an hour or tweaking sentences until they don’t even read like English anymore. The fact is, my brain is exhausted but I still have two hundred pages left to go before it will truly, finally, once and for all be finished. Editing and revisions are always difficult but there is something about that FINAL line edit that is so painstakingly sluggish, I practically feel like I’m moving backwards. Probably, because in many ways, I am.

The library I work at hosted an author event this past Saturday and I got the chance to catch part of the Q&A session. Someone in the audience asked the author when she knows a…

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Detective Sydney Valentine nails him to the wall, literally.

This is a short excerpt from chapter two of The Protector. Detective Sydney Valentine and Bernie (her partner) are discussing an incident from Sydney’s past, before law enforcement. Her best friend committed suicide after her rapist was acquitted. Sydney begins this conversation.

“Two weeks after the trial I found her in her room lying on her bed. She never made her bed, but she did this time. She was all dressed up in her favorite pink dress. Seeing her lying there reminded me of when she’d played Sleeping Beauty in third grade. Then I noticed the vomit on her dress. Found a nearly empty bottle of her anti-depressants and an open bottle of Tequila on the carpet next to the bed. She didn’t even drink booze. Wasn’t old enough to buy it either.”

“Was she already…gone?”

“Not yet. I called 911. She died in the ER. Never woke up.”

“Did she leave a note?”

“On my pillow. She said, ‘Syd, I’m so sorry. I can’t. Best friends forever. Love Allison.’ The ‘for’ in forever was the number four. We always did that when we were kids. We both wanted to go to law school. Work for the DA’s office. If I hadn’t pushed her into reporting it, she’d still be alive.”

“You don’t know that.”

“I do. I know it. That’s why I nailed that sonofabitch to the wall.”

“He went to jail after all?”

“No.” My laugh tasted bitter. “Literally, Bernie. I went to his condo, kicked his scrawny ass all over it. Broke his nose, too. When he woke up…”

“Whoa! Woke up?”

“Yeah…woke up. I made him stand against the wall. Then, I literally nailed him to the wall through his clothes with my dad’s nail gun.” I let my breath out in a rush. “I’m sorry it was through his clothes.”

“Seriously?” Bernie laughed. “I’m not going to ask how you happened to have a nail gun handy. Weren’t you afraid he’d call the cops?”

“Nope. I knew his kind. Rich boy. Couldn’t fight worth shit. Wouldn’t want anyone to know he got his ass kicked by a girl.”

“I sure as hell wouldn’t let anyone know if it was me.” He shook his head. “Shit.”

“Ironic, isn’t it?” I was sure my eyes were bloodshot and my face a blotchy mess.

“Ironic?” He tilted his head. “How?”

“I wanted to kill him, Bernie. I did. Now look at me. A murder cop.” And a damn good one. I opened the passenger-side door, slid in and buckled up. I removed my tomato stress ball from my purse and went to town. I needed it.

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The Protector ebook is FREE today on Amazon!

Get The Protector ebook on Amazon!
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When the body of a social worker is found on the stairway inside the building where she works, a mouthful of Scrabble letters tells Detective Valentine that this is not a random killing.

And it’s not.

A brutal killer with a sinister connection to Child Protective Services is prowling the streets in Detective Sydney Valentine’s jurisdiction. More letters are needed to piece together the puzzle, but that means more people will die.

A dead juvenile court judge, a single mother – the body count climbs.

Detective Valentine becomes a target and the stakes rise. Her sister is attacked and Valentine realizes she needs to step it up before it’s too late. Her courage and investigative skills are put to the test. She must protect her family and take down the killer before any more people die.

A fast-paced novel of mystery and suspense, The Protector will grip you from the very beginning, so hold on tight and leap into the dangerous world of Detective Sydney Valentine. She’s a sassy, contemporary cop with an edge and an attitude. Tough and potty-mouthed, she’s going to see justice served—no matter what.

Sydney Valentine is the friend you wish you had. She’s the cop you’d be wise to fear if you’re walking on the wrong side of the law.

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Kindle Unlimited: The Key Questions

Danielle Lenee Davis:

David Gaughran has some interesting thoughts on the new game in town (Kindle Unlimited).

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

amazon_kindle_unlimitedAmazon launched Kindle Unlimited on Friday, giving self-publishers a big decision to make.

The long-rumored subscription service will allow users to download unlimited books for $9.99 a month, and reader reaction has been, from what I can see, overwhelmingly positive – especially because they will be able to test the service with a month’s free trial. Writers have been a little more cautious, for all sorts of reasons I’ll try and tease out below.

The main stumbling block for self-publishers is that participation in Kindle Unlimited is restricted to titles enrolled in KDP Select – Amazon’s program which offers various additional marketing tools in exchange for exclusivity. Author compensation will be similar to borrows under the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – a percentage of money from a fixed pool. The only real twist is that payment will be triggered when 10% of downloaded books have been read.

At the…

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Do you always trust your instincts?

GasPump_iStock_000004144395Small_400x266I stopped at Sam’s Club yesterday to get gas after work. If you’re familiar with how Sam’s Club operates, you know that I had to first swipe my club card and my payment card before the pump was operable. I swiped both, filled my tank, and replaced the nozzle. While I was twisting my gas cap on I saw a man walking toward me from his car, which was parked at the pump ahead of mine. Initially, I thought he was going to ask for money. Surprise, surprise. He didn’t. Here’s how it went.

Man: “I forgot my membership card at home. Can you swipe yours for me?”

Danielle: “I can’t do that.” I was frowning and shaking my head. “That doesn’t seem right to me.” I walked behind my car, heading to the driver’s side. My mind was made up. No can do. End of conversation.

Man: “You just have to swipe it. I’m using my own money.” He followed me. “I’m paying for the gas.”

Danielle:  I looked around for the attendant. Where are they when you need them? I kept walking and said, “I can’t do it. That just doesn’t seem right to me.” I opened my car door and hopped in. As I drove away, I saw him heading to the other side toward another woman who was pumping her gas.

I don’t know if he was telling the truth, but it was suspicious to me. It’s not that I’m super honest, or anything. But, this situation was odd. Also, I think it’s highly unlikely that someone who bought their gas at a warehouse club would not have the card with them at all times. Why didn’t he just go to a different gas station? Was he looking for less expensive gas? Who knows.

Maybe I’m becoming as suspicious with people as my main character, Sydney Valentine. Sometimes, I think you’ve just got to go with your gut.

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e-Book Cover Design Awards for June 2014

I recently entered Joel Friedlander’s e-Book Cover Design Awards contest. I didn’t win, but I received feedback, which I agree with.  What do you think?  Agree or disagree?

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Sunday Bits – July 13, 2014 – Let Amazon donate to your favorite charity

Several weeks ago, I signed up for an Amazon program called AmazonSmile. If you haven’t heard of this program, I’m going to tell you about it today. Be happy!
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The charity I chose is Boxer Rescue Los Angeles.  Here’s their AmazonSmile link.
They do good work there and it’s where I found Mocha. Remember her?

Mocha - Dec 27, 2010

Mocha – Dec 27, 2010

The program contributes .5% of your purchase price. The percentage is the purchase price minus rebates, gift-wrapping fees, tax, S&H, service charges, bad debt, and returns. The donation is paid to the charitable organization of your choice at no cost to you or the charity. That’s a win-win, in my opinion.

Half of a percent might not seem like much, but it adds up. Amazon indicates the charity is paid 100% of the donation amount on a quarterly basis. Can’t beat that, can you?

I elected to have the AmazonSmile taskbar app installed on my taskbar.AS2

When I hover over it, I see the AmazonSmile page I’m currently on.

Charities registered with the IRS as 501 (c)(3) organizations who are in good standing are eligible to participate in the program. There’s more information about that here.

Like Amazon.com, there are millions of products available for purchase on AmazonSmile. Recurring subscribe-and-save and subscription renewals aren’t eligible at the time of this post. To determine if a product is eligible, notice they are marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation”.
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Purchases made from the Kindle E-reader device through the Kindle store and those made using the Amazon Shopping App aren’t eligible for donations. However, purchases made through your desktop or laptop computer, mobile phone, and tablets (including Kindle Fire) are eligible for donations.

When you create registries on Amazon.com they will appear on AmazonSmile, and vice versa. However, only purchases made on AmazonSmile will be eligible to receive donations. Be sure to tell people to make their purchases on AmazonSmile if you want the charity of your choice to receive the donations!

You can change your charity selection at any time. Click on the dropdown box in ‘Your Account’.
Or by going to ‘Settings’ in your account. What could be easier?
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If you have a favorite charity, check out AmazonSmile, sign up, then look up your charity and select them. From that point on, make your purchases from AmazonSmile instead of Amazon.com. You’d still login as you normally would. Your Amazon Prime membership is also available to use on AmazonSmile.

If you do not have a favorite charity consider selecting Boxer Rescue Los Angeles as your charity. They could sure use the assistance. I’ll be writing a blog post about them soon. Again, here’s their AmazonSmile link. They also have an AmazonSmile button on their home page near the bottom.

If you know of a charitable organization who isn’t registered, let them know about this program. You can still donate to them if you find them on AmazonSmile, but the charity will not receive the donation until they register themselves. Only authorized representatives can register the charity.

If you’re using Amazon.com for purchases anyway, why not sign up for AmazonSmile and help out a charitable organization? As I said previously, there’s no cost to you or the charity. Win-win!

Q&A

Can I deduct the contributions on my federal tax return? No, silly. You’re not the one making the charitable donation.

Are the products different from the items available on Amazon.com?  No.

If I make my purchase on Amazon.com will that count towards a donation?  Nope. The purchase must be made on AmazonSmile (http://smile.amazon.com)

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