The Kiss of Death eBook Review

Gilles_Demarteau_-_Buste_de_jeune_femme_lisant_Héloïse_et_AbélardWith the advent of cyberspace and the ability to become a self-published author, independent of a publishing company, the role of an author in the 21st Century is different than previous centuries.  He or she must be the writer, the editor, the proof reader, and the promoter, and he must do it to the best of his ability because competition is fierce.  Not only must the book be flawless, it has to be written to a category that people are actually interested in reading because to further complicate the Indie’s endeavors is the knowledge that society at large does not read the way other generations did as they are lost in cyberspace playing with games, gadgets, and texting. And then there is  the matter of a cover. It has to catch the eye of a stray consumer,  convey the story yet be appealing but not too busy, gory, plain, or give the consumer a misleading impression as to the book’s content.

Eventually, the book will find its way to the Amazon store, and there it will be with four million others languishing away and you don’t know why. You did all the right things, but most eBook authors will never earn more than a few hundred dollars; however, there have been those who have known great success. The point being the road to eBook success is fraught with disappointment, hard work, and careful consideration to details.  If done correctly, someone might read your book and leave a decent review.

Reviews are hard to come by and not to be expected, and the last thing an eBook author needs is a ‘kiss of death review’. These are reviews usually written by other eBook authors under the anonymity of an alias that can’t be tracked anywhere, and the main purpose is to kill the competition giving their book an unfair edge.  They usually start out by giving the book and the author a rave review, then comes the knife to the heart; and the reviewer starts talking about massive typos, bad grammar, and faulty punctuation. He then gives you a five-star rating, and moves on to his next victim.

If you are guilty of those crimes, you must fix the book because no one will buy it after reading what a deplorable writer you are, but if you are confident in your writing skills and smell a rat, there is something you can do. Reach out to the ‘KDP Quality Assurance Team’, and ask them to run the book through their systems to check for issues that might cause a poor reading experience. When the report comes back clean, go to the comment section right below the bad review, almost always in GoodReads, and give the reviewer a bad review citing the KDP Report. Any potential reader should be able to draw their own conclusion, and not pay much attention to the bad review, but make no mistake there are poorly written Indie books by the thousands.

It’s next to impossible to get a review removed, which is why these reviews are rated so high but you as the author must minimize the damage, and it will make you feel better. You have worked far to hard to go under to a ‘kiss of death’ review. Fight back, and don’t be afraid to write about it on your blog site and Facebook Author Page.

Cyberspace is the international highway where the good, bad, and the ugly meet and merge. Do not surprised when you run into an unscrupulous author. Let them be surprised when they encounter a tenacious writer.

What Happened To Common Courtesy?

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Imagine this scenario, if you can.

The above dog is but a picture, but for a moment pretend this is a real dog, and it is being mistreated, insulted, and ridiculed for no other reason than its breed or looks. It’s not a bad dog, but there are those who would take delight in inflicting pain, insults, and injury on this dog. Not only would they take delight in such acts, they would gang up on this dog and do as much physical and emotional harm to this dog they could, and walk away in smug self-righteousness with big smiles on their faces as the dog is lying on the ground mortally wounded and crying.

Would it surprise you to know this a scene that is being repeated across the nation on a daily basis, not to dogs but to people, and sadly, God’s creatures are being systematically brutalized for nothing more than their personal choices and value systems.  Essentially, they are being treated as the misfits of society.

No way! Don’t believe it? It’s absolutely true, and here’s why. The above dog with the sad look on his face is a Republican and voted for the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump; therefore, he is a subhuman life form and worthy of any and all disdain and punishment that can be heaped on him.  Any questions?

Where Is My Wayward Cloud?

I type on a Japanese computer protected by a Russian Anti-Virus program, and use a cell phone and tablet manufactured in Korea. All three companies have their support staffs in Indian staffed by personnel that speak English that is not recognized as such. ohio-114092_960_720

Add to that mix that I live off grid, and my internet connectivity is mounted on a silo in a cow pasture. This is where my internet journey begins; on that silo with cows walking around looking at it because they know it is filled with grain. I have no idea where the cows come from, but they eventually end up at the slaughterhouse as they are beef cows. I assume they are American cows; however, they could be Russian spies for all I know. Also, due to this strange arrangement, I cannot determine exactly where my cyber cloud is, but I know its not in my house or hanging out over the silo. It’s just out there somewhere.

My cyber footprint is large, and it causes me to wonder how the cloud thing works. I have a Facebook Account, of course, a blog site, I publish digital books through Kindle which are sold through Amazon, belong to the KDP Kindle Network and several other writing sites. All of those transactions occur somewhere in an invisible cloud that apparently travels around the world.

I believe the cloud spans the world because of my blog site which includes a map that is updated daily, and illustrates what countries have visited your site on any particular day. Today when I logged in, it was not hard to tell that someone had visited my blog site from China because that country is represented in bright orange, and covers most of  Asia. Although I have included comment boxes on my pages, my visitor left no comment but looked at my pages, read my content, looked at my books, and moved on. They were just visiting.

It’s a good thing to have visitors, especially foreign visitors because you know your content is getting out there, but never forget what goes into cyberspace stays in cyberspace. More importantly, always remember people around the world can reach out and touch you anytime they want, and sometimes, their intent is not friendly.

The Tale of Two Cities (a story about human frailties):

old-age-360714__340No one saw the old man shuffle in and sit down at the end of the counter, or knew how long he had been sitting there. He ordered a cup of coffee, stirred three sugars into his cup, and sat alone, although, he was surrounded by people. He smiled at a woman leafing through magazines. She turned away. A small boy appeared beside him to look at the pies in the glass counter. His mother snatched him away, and dragged him back to a booth. No one saw the old man leave, or noticed he left two one-dollar bills beside his cup. Another man sat down, saw the bills, and pushed them across the counter to the waitress saying whoever sat there before him left them as a tip. The girl put them in her pocket replying it had been some old bum.

The old man walked on enjoying the warmth of the sun. Every now and then he would smile at someone, and each time they turned away aghast that a street bum should be smiling at them. No one noticed when the old man in the dingy clothes sat down on at the bus stop, except for the woman he sat next to who stood, and walked to the other end of the bench. He walked on, and found himself inside a drugstore, not that he needed anything in the drugstore but someone in the drugstore needed the gift he had to give.

The small boy sat in a high wheel chair, a mass of twisted limbs and jerky movements that caused his little body shudder. Today was a bad day, and the boy looked up at his mother. She smiled down at him, and turned back to the pharmacist. The old man approached the boy’s chair, and smiled at him. The boy smiled back, his small face twisting with the effort. The old man reached out and grasped his hand, and turned away. No one saw the old man leave and only knew he was gone. Gone from cold distant stares, and people who refused to acknowledge his presence, save but for one small boy confined to a wheel chair. He was going, and as he went he heard the mother’s screams as she turned back to her stricken child now standing upright before her. He could not help but linger long enough to hear the small boy assure his mother, “Do not cry, mother. It was an angel.”

Brand New Look

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To my flocks of admirers:

In keeping with the occasion, I got my hard hat out, and pulled my favorite flapper dress out of mouth balls, and went right to work updating my blog page. Come check me out, and let me know what you think.

To my friends and family, a very happy New Year’s Eve.

The Year’s End

456px-thorma_reading_woman_1928 As others ponder resolutions as the year grows short, I tumble backward thinking about places I meant to go but didn’t, goals not met, gains that somehow came to fruition, and losses that made me a want to bang my head on the wall.

I’m still in the cornfield, and as I keep returning to the cornfield, I’m pretty sure I’m hiding out because I strayed too far from home and still haven’t found my way back.

Writing whimsical books has taken up much of my time, and the strange thing is, sometimes people actually buy them although I don’t know why.

I gained a greater understanding of human nature, and learned I exist in a ‘basket of deplorables’, but I am in good company so I don’t mind being labeled a deplorable. It’s not like the one doing the name calling possessed any great wit or charm, but was basically a poor loser and it’s great fun to watch the liberals and Millennials act crazed and demented.

It was the losses that left me walking around in a daze. I have cried for  dogs that died, crazy relatives that are beyond help, loved ones who passed on to that other place, friends I don’t know anymore but send me cards, rings that fell on the floor because my fingers shriveled up. clothes that don’t fit because I lost ten pounds. and Christmas presents I threw on the floor.

I guess I’m at that place where I’m  too young to be old but too old to be young, and I have a crazy ear thing going on that makes my ears pop and I keep falling off the bed when I bend over to tie my shoes, at least I hope its a crazy ear thing and not something else.

Actually, all is well in the cornfield, but I do believe I suffer from periodic holiday depression. Other than that and the no clothes to wear thing, it was a pleasant year, and I haven’t fallen off the bed or sofa for days.

Election 2016; After Shocks

The below simple painting was committed to canvas by me in Havana, Cuba as a reminder that somewhere other than where I was at, flowers grew, children played, and people lived in freedom. It’s not a masterpiece, but everyday I would look at it and smile knowing one day I would walk away and claim my rightful place because I was not trapped as I was an American. Actually, I was supposed to be in Nicosia, Cyprus but when the need was the greatest for someone to go to Havana, I rolled up my sleeves and jumped in the trenchflowers. Having been on the Pentagon compound when some fool tried to fly a jet through the building, something in me questioned how bad could it be?

It was worse than anything I could ever imagine, because the tender-hearted Cubans live daily under a totalitarian government with most never having known anything else, totally without personal freedoms or liberty, and are given the barest necessities of life. Truly, they are treated as second class citizens, but the thing is, they rarely complain and are thankful for the tender mercies that sometimes are bestowed on them.

The two events coming one after the other left me somewhat jaded and cynical, and put a bad taste in my mouth I believe is mine to have forever. These days I live on a sixty acre farm surrounded by cornfields, and although its a mundane existence there does come a sense of contentment living in such a rural environment.  I never worry about jets flying through my windows as we sleep, or terrorists hanging out in the cornfields, although, coyotes and deer use our yard for a runway to the woods, and I worry about ticks and Lyme Disease.

So here I am watching the aftermath of the Election and the chaos resulting from a win apparently no one expected, and I wonder what the hell is going on. Its just an election, WE have them every four years, and if you don’t like the outcome get off your duff and go vote the next time. The biggest surprise seems to be the middle of the United States from the upper Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico who did go vote, and it seems the East and West Coast were caught unaware because they forgot we were here. In a sense, they viewed us a second-class citizens, but given a voice we knew what to do with it. This system we live in is a democracy, and everyone gets a say, but it seems the biggest outcry is coming from those who did not vote and undocumented persons who cannot vote, although, as usual, dead people were voting in Chicago.

Is it me, or is there something wrong with this picture; people who didn’t even vote throwing temper tantrums like spoiled brats, and making absurd demands they will never get.

Who Are The Trump Voters? Surprise!

couple_lette_valeskaTrump voters have been described as illiterate, ill-bred, poorly read, moronic, white trash, trailer trash ne’er-do-wells who hang out in the country drinking beer shooting big guns and burping. According to the Democratic contender, “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

That remark could have well cost her the election because the basket of deplorables, being the heathens they are, have widescreen televisions and heard the remark verbatim as spoken at a New York City fundraiser in a rather strange introduction of Barbara Streisand. What that idle remark really represented was her utter contempt and disdain for middle class America who she apparently believes to be inferior to her genetic composition, and middle class America understood the message in its entirety disproving her contention that they were idiots incapable of understanding an insult when they heard one.

The thing is in that basket of so-called deplorables are found teachers, lawyers, police officers, firemen, hospital personnel including doctors, truck drivers, farmers, retired federal employees, civil servants, postal workers, aviation workers and pilots, professional sports figures, civil engineers, and so many other professions that comprise the working class. We live in cities, suburbs, rural America, and the larger share is educated, speak several languages, have traveled extensively, are well read, enjoy a good glass of wine, attend the theatre and ballet. Actually, we do just about everything the elitists do only better because in our world there are no deplorables but only people from all walks of life, religions, races, educational levels and professions, and now we are all Republicans, if only in spirit.

Success is a sweet tasting morsel, and you will not see us on the News protesting, rioting,  walking around holding our heads, crying and moaning and unable to attend our jobs and classes, swearing to leave the country, or yelling to the rafters about politics and how we didn’t get what we wanted.  Life is good in the ‘Land of Deplorable’, and we got exactly what we wanted. Such is life, and to correct the messenger, we most certainly are Americans.

Voter Confusion Reigns Supreme

Never Clinton’ and ‘Never Trump’, and half of the American voters say they are undecided as who to vote for. With only two candidates, the concept is to vote for one or the other, and with less than 90 days before the Election, let’s face it; if you don’t know who you are voting for by now, you should probably stay home.

It’s not that complicated.

If you are tired of businesses as usual and tired old politicians homesteading in the Capitol, want to keep your guns, would love to have more powers passed from the Federal Government to the State, want your Supreme Court justices to abide by the Constitution, want the economy stimulated with lower taxes, want EPA regulations streamlined to keep American companies and corporations in America, know there must be something better than Obama Care, want the NAFTA trade agreement renegotiated or eliminated because it decimated the factory and steel towns of the Midwest, do not believe in climate control or green energy initiatives but would rather harvest American fossil fuels and develop fracking, are in favor of the Keystone Pipeline, want to send your children to the school of your choice and keep the Federal Government out of your child’s lunch sack, and believe in borders that create a sovereign country while keeping terrorists at bay; vote for Donald Trump.

However:

If you are happy with the current Administration and want more of the same,  would rather have the Federal government dictate your health care options and educational choices for your children, want to keep your taxes sky high and employment opportunities low, are ready to surrender your guns, don’t care we are currently caught in the weakest recovery since 1949 or that home ownership is a low as 1965,  truly believe the most crucial problem the United States faces is global warming, can’t wait for another trade deal that will benefit Asia but not America (TPT), don’t want to open the Key Stone Pipeline and think you can heat your home with a solar panel or windmill, are overjoyed our Country passes out tax payer dollars to a country that calls Americans ‘infidel dogs’ and wants to blow Israel off the face of the earth, wants your Supreme Court Justices bought and paid for by special interest groups, don’t care the Democratic nominee compromised national security through the use of a unsecure Blackberry for classified information in addition to using the State Department for a hedge fund to ship money to the Clinton foundation, want refugees streaming in by the thousands with no viable means of support, and do not mind that your President is the most corrupt person to ever run for the Presidency, vote for Hillary Clinton.

And what happened to Bernie Sanders?

It seems he ran off with the donations the millennials sent him, and bought a new summerhouse. Imagine that, a dishonest career politician.q

Not My Grandfather’s Party

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My grandfather was a dapper gentleman who wore a suit to work complete with pocket protector, and it mattered not he was a committeeman at the old Dodge Main Plant in Detroit, nothing but a suit would do. In a younger day, he moonlighted at Detroit Arthur Murray Dance Center teaching ballroom dancing to immigrants with two left feet, and he could take shorthand at a proficient rate because he said it kept him mentally alert. During the 13 year confinement of James R. Hoffa, President of International Brotherhood of Teamsters, my grandfather became his pen pal truly believing he had been imprisoned falsely, and was rewarded by a visit from Mr. Hoffa after his release.  Most of all, I remember my grandfather being a dyed in the wool Democrat who spoke of Governor George W. Romney (1963-1969) like he was a family friend, and actively campaigned for the Humphrey/Muskie campaign in 1968.

These days, I look around at the Democratic Party that my grandfather held so close to his heart, and I cannot help but wonder if the current Democratic Party and the Democratic Party my grandfather so loved are one and the same?  That party my grandfather loved was a party for laborers, immigrants, blue collar workers, factory workers toiling in subhuman conditions for minimum wage, citizens who had been irrevocably damaged by the McCarthy Blacklist, persons without a voice falsely accused of crimes which they had not committed, and persons living without civil liberties as provided in the Constitution. Persons much like himself; the little people without political clout or great economic means.

It’s hard to say what happened to that party, but it appears to have died with Harry S. Truman. The Democratic Party of today supports radical groups that have made it a mission to kill police officers while refusing to support the Veterans, but is more than happy to increase the national debt through useless program spending and green energy and global warming initiatives. It is a Party for the elite who obviate, inveigle, and manipulate the Constitution to fit their needs, and is rife with special interest groups that have nothing to do with the little people and those without a voice but has everything to do with personal agendas and fraud, abuse and mismanagement of the government’s role in society. I don’t know whose Party it is, but I know it’s not mine, and sure not my grandfather’s Party, at least, not the Party he loved.

trump-1266569__180Vote For The Party That Cares