Here We Go Again With Amazon Changing Reviews and Policies Again Authors and Readers Thanks to TCK.

Not that it is already for authors to gain book reviews for our published works, it seems for readers as well.

Did you hear about the new rules for Amazon reviews?

Amazon has made several updates to their review policies recently, and that’s had a big impact on the industry.

In fact, many self-published and traditionally published authors have had Amazon reviews removed from their books for violating their new guidelines. So my Tom, my friend who runs TCK Publishing and who has a helpful blog too. He shares today for all of us about ALL the New Rules of Amazon Review Policies in hopes it helps all who give it a read!  ~CAT of Cat Lyon’s Reading Den

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Having problems with your Amazon book reviews? So are we.
Our team at TCK is always happy when new books get immediate reviews on our Amazon product page. Our authors are also delighted when positive reviews start to roll in.

Amazon reviews not only build customer confidence, but they also create momentum. Book reviews can help improve your book sales and improve your rankings in Amazon’s algorithms by increasing your conversion rates (meaning more browsers actually end up buying your book).

Higher Amazon conversion rates influence cross-postings on other product pages and increase the chances that your book will be read and recommended by influencers or accepted by book promotion sites.

Not surprisingly, when reviews that had been rolling in suddenly start to disappear, it can be confusing and disappointing. To make matters worse, Amazon’s Customer Reviews Guidelines state,

“We can only discuss specific Customer Review removals with the person who originally posted the review.”

So, you may never know what the review said, who posted it, or why it was removed unless the person who posted it contacts you directly.

Amazon’s New Reviewer Policies

Amazon continually experiments with different guidelines and algorithms to eliminate fake reviews and “reviews for hire.” Their algorithms use machine learning and data mining to assess the multitudes of reviews that products and books receive daily, a task that would be impossible for the Amazon Community Guidelines team to tackle on their own.

While we at TCK Publishing applaud Amazon’s goal of a truthful review process, we don’t want legitimate reviews from readers and book reviewers to get caught in the crossfire!

In a relationship- and word-of-mouth-driven industry we believe authentic voices and relationships should outweigh machine learning and algorithms.

Here are some of Amazon’s current reviewer policies you should know about if you’re selling books on Amazon.

1. You cannot offer anything in exchange for a review

“We do not permit reviews or votes on the helpfulness of reviews that are posted in exchange for compensation of any kind.” – Source

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Paying for reviews is an obvious way to have your review deleted in a hurry.
But we were surprised to find that Amazon reviewer policies allow “book authors and publishers … to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.”

It is therefore important that the review never states “I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.” If your reviewer insists on disclosing that they were offered a review copy, however, encourage them to use wording like “I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation from the author,” otherwise the review may be pulled.

2. You cannot review your own book and family and friends cannot review your book

 

“We don’t allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book.”

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Amazon has been cracking down ruthlessly on this policy. They have launched new data mining techniques in combination with artificial intelligence and machine learning to remove questionable reviews. Unfortunately, these tactics sometimes remove legitimate reviews as well.

“Family members or close friends of the person, group, or company selling on Amazon may not write Customer Reviews.”

For example, if friends or family leaving reviews use the same IP address as the author, Amazon may deem the reviews to be from “someone you know” and remove the reviews. They even go so far as to remove reviews from anyone that the author has “friended” on Facebook or other social media.

Before you panic and start deleting your Twitter, Instagram, and author fan page on Facebook, however, remember that social media is still a great platform for marketing your book and building your reader base.

One of our authors recently received this cryptic message from Amazon, which does not make it clear what similar information caused the eliminated review:

Hello,

We removed the Customer Review for your book because our data shows that elements of your Amazon account match elements of the reviewer’s Amazon account. In such cases, we remove the review to maintain trust in our customer reviews and avoid any perception of bias.

Customer Reviews are meant to give customers unbiased product feedback from fellow shoppers. Because our goal is to provide Customer Reviews that help customers make informed purchase decisions, any reviews that could be viewed as advertising, promotional, or biased will not be posted.

To learn more about this policy, please see our Customer Review Creation Guidelines (http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines).

3. Customers in the same household may not post multiple reviews of the same product

If you leave a review for a product, no one else from the same IP address will be able to leave a review for the same product.

4. If your book has only sold a few copies but receives many reviews they may be removed

If an influx of reviews appears immediately after a book’s release even though it has sold only a few copies, Amazon could deem this suspicious behavior and remove the reviews.

5. Reviews must be respectful

This is fairly obvious. If a review is slanderous, obscene, sexual, crude, etc. it will be removed. You can take a look at Amazon’s Community Guidelines for details of what constitutes a non-respectful review.

6. The review cannot post promotional content

This is also fairly obvious. Reviews cannot be used to market other products.

7. The reviewer must be a recent customer on Amazon

To contribute to Customer features (for example, Customer Reviews, Customer Answers, Idea Lists) or to follow other contributors, you must have spent at least $50 on Amazon.com using a valid credit or debit card in the past 12 months.

Amazon reviewers must be regular Amazon customers. Prime members are automatically enabled to leave reviews, since their purchase of Prime exceeds the $50 minimum. If they are still on the free trial of Prime, however, the $50 minimum would still apply.

8. The reviewer does not necessarily have to purchase the book

However, we recently spoke to an Amazon customer support agent who said that all nonverified reviews were being removed. That means that the reviewer would have had to purchase the product in question as well as other products totaling $50 in the past year. This contradicts Amazon’s current Community Guidelines, therefore we hope that this is just a temporary measure by Amazon.

Be on the lookout for fake reviews

We’ve seen several fake reviews posted about our authors’ books. We aren’t sure of the motive behind them, but it could be a tactic by a competitor to lower the product ratings.

Here are some red flags that can alert you to potentially fake reviews:

● The reviewer’s posts are all the same or similar.

● The reviewer posts only one- or five-star reviews, and there are very few helpful votes on any of their reviews.

● The reviewer has only one or two reviews, usually one star or five stars.

● The reviewer has posted many reviews in a short amount of time. We have seen hundreds of reviews from one reviewer on the same day.

● The review is brief and doesn’t provide any reason or explanation.

● The review doesn’t make sense or apply to the book. Here’s an actual review that was left on one of our author’s books: “The book took over my Kindle, the book crashed my computer.”

If you think a review on your book violates Amazon guidelines, report it

What can you do if you get a review that violates Amazon Guidelines? You can report it to the community help site.

To report:
1. Go to the review on your book listing

2. Click the “REPORT ABUSE” button

3. Click on the Report button

4. You can also contact Amazon Support at community-help@amazon.com. You must specify the location of the review (copy and paste the URL for the specific review into the body of your email) and explain why you believe the review violates the community guidelines.

How to Get More Book Reviews

If you want to learn how to get more high-quality book reviews, read our blog post on  How to Get Book Reviews: The System That Got Us 1,000+ Reviews on Amazon.

In-Depth Interview Share With Rusty Blackwood All About Her New Romance Drama ~ “The Perils of Autumn.”

Courtesy of  “ReadFree.Ly” . . .

The Perils of Autumn is a contemporary romantic drama, set primarily in the early 1970s, and centers on young Kentucky woman, Autumn Leeves, born in 1946 to Abigail Leeves, an unwed mother who struggles to make ends meet. By 1970, Autumn graduates nursing school and is sent on assignment from the local hospital to care for the terminally-ill wife of middle-aged, English equestrian master, Cyril Landon, owner of Landon Lawns Stables, a most successful thoroughbred racing stable located just outside Lexington, Kentucky in a posh community known as The Meadows.

Rusty Blackwood     The Perils of Autumn

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Tell us about Duff Taylor. He’s the other main character in the book, right?
Duff Taylor, world renown jockey who is tops in his field, lives full-time above the tack room at Landon Lawns and enjoys the many benefits it brings, but he also has a dark secret surrounding an unsolved racing incident from his past that he will go to any length to protect.

Autumn arrives at Landon Manor in time to be thrown into the fray and finds herself caught up in the ongoing disruption that ensues.

Oh? What genre does this book fall into?
Romance.

If you like a story that is filled with action, drama, and suspense, as well as one that will touch your heart in the process, you’ll love my book.

So it’s not just a simple romance story?
As there are a few different aspects and subjects entailed in this story, I feel it will appeal to a general audience, especially those who love the world of the Triple Crown, and professional equestrian events. However, people and situations do not always appear as they are.

It also shines a light on what it was like for single mothers in the 1940’s who endured the judgmental standards of the time. It applauds the resilience of Abigail, and her daughter Autumn, as they struggle to make their way in a world that is often against them. So for anybody looking for an insightful read, this is the one to read.

Talk to us about Autumn.
She is a young, strong, determined woman, born in 1946 to an unwed mother. Autumn refuses to adhere to the same standards that tried suppressing her strong-willed mother, and at age twenty-four, becomes a registered nurse who is excited to see where her career will take her. She is a compassionate, feisty, auburn-haired, doe-eyed beauty who loves animals, horses in particular, and wears her heart on her sleeve.

How much of Autumn is really just a reflection of you?
A fair amount, such as the love of horses, the excitement of riding, the need to constantly be strong regardless of how I feel, and the drive to succeed in areas that always seem against me. I have always borrowed from my own life experiences when creating a new story, and used them to create unique, interesting characters to immerse into stories that I would love to be part of.

Sounds like you’re not done with this character.
The Perils of Autumn is the first of two. The second carries on from where Perils of Autumn leaves off and takes the reader to end of the intriguing story. It is titled, Return to Autumn, and is expected in early 2020.

We can’t wait.

We know that you like horses – what else do we need to know about you?
I was born in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, and grew up on my paternal grandfather’s farm in rural south-western Ontario. I graduated with honors in Interior Decorating & Design – not writing – and I am not professionally trained in the field, however, I developed my love of writing while still in elementary school, and carried that love well into my adult years. I was fortunate to be blessed with the unique ability to express myself through the stories I wrote. I became a serious writer in 2001, and an independent, self-published author in 2009, publishing my first collection of contemporary and traditional poetry, entitled, Feelings: A Rhythmic Journey in Thought, which I later republished under the title, Impressions, containing the contents of Feelings along with new work. My first love is romance drama, and I love to create scenarios to immerse my often colorful characters into. I am a retired vocalist, and musician who plays guitar, and bass guitar respectively, and once performed professionally with two south-western Ontario bands: ‘The Midnight Ramblers’, country music, and the country/rock/blues band, MIRAGE. I love art, animals – mostly dogs and horses, boating, gardening, taking long walks in nature, and spending time with family and friends as well as my dear cat, Tipper.

Can we go back to your career as a writer? Tell us more about that.
The Perils of Autumn is my seventh title. I had published four titles prior, but they are no longer available, so I presently have seven. I write four different genres, and they are – with tiles, children’s short stories, ‘Through the Eyes of Innocence’, a comedy series, ‘The Misadventures of Derwood Tugbottom’ and ‘Derwood Returns’, poetry, ‘Impressions’, and romantic fiction drama, my favorite genre, consisting of Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary, and ‘Willow’s Walk’.

I have just completed the third installment of my comedy series, entitled, ‘Derwood Goes Caribbean’, which is soon to be published.

How on earth is it possible to write so prolifically in multiple genres? Where do your stories come from?
Mostly my imagination, as well as the different things I love to do. There’s always a story to be found within all of them.

Okay, can we test your ability to come up with stories? What if we give you 4 random words – airport, gun, Pepsi, floods? Can you turn them into a story?
A beautiful executive from a well known Toronto accountancy firm was in flight to South Beach, Miami. She sat sipping an ice-cold Pepsi when the captain’s voice came on the intercom, announcing his intention to land elsewhere as their designated landing strip was covered in oil, flooding the entire landing area. She was about to speak to the gentleman beside her, when someone screamed, “He’s got a gun!”

Wow, that’s exciting. How can our readers contact you on social media – if they want to nag you for the rest of the story?

Facebook.
Twitter – @rusty_blackwood
Pinterest
Goodreads

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Do you have a website too?
www.rusty-blackwood.com

What’s next for you?
I have just completed the third installment for my Derwood Tugbottom comedy short series, titled, ‘Derwood Goes Caribbean’, and will be publishing that through Amazon’s KDP platform. I have also begun work on the follow-up novel to ‘The Perils of Autumn’, titled, ‘Return to Autumn’. I have also considered doing a final poetry collection that will contain my favorite selections. I also have a historical documentary underway based on my years with my family’s country music band, The Midnight Ramblers, titled, ‘Rambin’ Years: The Midnight Ramblers: A Biographical Account’.

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Please Visit For More Amazing Author Interviews and Books!

Amazing New Book Blogger Review For Rusty Blackwood’s New Book – “The Perils of Autumn” By AmyBooksy . . .

Welcome Avid Readers and Visitors, 

This amazing review and post by my dear friend and fellow Book Blogger Amy Booksy of her blog  Locks, Hooks and Book Reviews!  and this review of  “The Perils of Autumn” of our Fine Author, Rusty Blackwood of 5-STARS means you need to give it a read!

CAT

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Review: The Perils of Autumn by Rusty Blackwood

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The Perils of Autumn by Rusty Blackwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Book Blurb: 

From the author of the riveting romantic fiction drama, Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary, and the celebrated, 5-star award-winning romantic fiction drama, Willow’s Walk, comes the intense romantic drama, The Perils of Autumn. 

This page-turner, set primarily in the early 1970s, centers on a young Kentucky woman, Autumn Leeves, born in 1946 to Abigail Leeves, an unwed mother who struggles to make ends meet. By 1970, Autumn graduates nursing school and is sent on assignment by the local hospital to care for the terminally-ill wife of middle-aged English equestrian master, Cyril Landon, owner of Landon Lawns Stables, a most successful thoroughbred racing stable located just outside Lexington, Kentucky in a posh community known as The Meadows. 

Duff Taylor, world renown jockey who is tops in his field, lives full-time above the tack room at Landon Lawns and enjoys the many benefits it brings, but he also has a dark secret surrounding an unsolved racing incident from his past that he will go to any length to protect. 

Autumn arrives at Landon Manor in time to be thrown into the fray and finds herself caught in the ongoing disruption that ensues.


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My Review: 

The Perils of Autumn is my first introduction to Rusty Blackwood’s writing. Within the first few pages, I knew she had gained a new fan. This is a great read, with relatable characters and situations. I felt connected to Autumn right from the start.

The Perils of Autumn is getting a well deserved five stars from me. I can not wait to read more by this author in the future. I have added her other works on my wish list.

Highly recommended!

I received this book from the author but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion. ~AmyBooksy 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

“The Perils of Autumn, by Canadian author Rusty Blackwood, is an English language, romantic fiction drama, published by Tellwell Talent, and released January 17, 2019. It is available in Hardback, Paperback, and Kindle editions.”

Romantic fiction author Rusty Blackwood, who chose her plume de nom by combining the colour of her russet hair with her husband’s great, great, Scottish grandmother’s maiden name, was born in St.Thomas, Ontario, Canada on October 5th, and grew up on her paternal grandfather’s farm in the County of Elgin, located in the south-western portion of the province of Ontario.

She acquired her love of literature while still in elementary school where she entered her original compositions into county fairs, school contests, and whatever venue allowed participants in the writing field. She has carried that love ever since and has put it to use many times since becoming a professional writer in 2001.

From the time of youth she has loved the Arts in their many unique forms and is a graduate with honors in Interior Decorating & Design. She spent many years on the south-western Ontario stage performing with her family’s country music band: The Midnight Ramblers, followed by the country – rock – blues band: ‘MIRAGE’ as an accomplished vocalist, bassist, and rhythm guitarist. She now resides in the cultural city of St. Catharines, Ontario.

Please visit her official website http://www.rusty-blackwood.com for numerous reviews and information on her work.

Now Happening …Announcing “Kim Carter Mysteries Book Club Tour” and Openings Abound For Kim To Visit Your Book Clubs In Georgia, New Orleans, and other States Too.

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Hello, Book Clubs, 
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Does your book club enjoy award-winning mysteries?

Would you enjoy a free appearance and reading by a favorite thriller author?

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If you answered yes to either of these questions, then don’t miss out on the opportunity to host Author, Kim Carter when she’s in town. Ms. Carter shows up with lots of fun free gifts, does a special reading from one of her upcoming books, and will sign books upon request.

Kim Carter Mysteries Book Club Tour has begun January 15, 2019, and will be scheduled as bookings come in. Appearances will be booked on a first come, first serve basis. She will do a special Sneak Peek reading of her new working title of “Murder On The Bayou” to release in a few months.

To learn more about Ms. Carter and all six published titles, visit on her Official Author website today! So, don’t miss out because Kim’s calendar is filling up quickly for Georgia and New Orleans areas!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~ KIM CARTER

Kim Carter is an Atlanta, GA, award-winning author of suspense, mystery and thriller novels.

She was a finalist for the 2018 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award and a recipient of the 2017 TCK Publishers’ Readers’ Choice Award for her book Murder Among The Tombstones. This is the first book in her Clara and Iris Mystery series. The characters in this series are a couple of overly curious widows who become private investigators. These funny women were inspired by Kim’s mother and her mom’s best friend.

Her other titles include Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle, When Dawn Never Comes, Deadly Odds, No Second Chances, and her latest, And The Forecast Called For Rain.

Kim’s writing career started after she suffered an illness that made her housebound for a couple of years. An avid reader of mystery novels herself, she embarked on writing as a means of filling her time. She began to share those early writings with friends and family who encouraged her to pursue writing professionally. Her health struggles and successes have been chronicled on The Lifetime Television in early 2000, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Women’s Day Magazine, and Guidepost.

Prior to her illness, Kim worked in many different capacities in county government as her “Day Job,” but ultimately, it was her job as a correctional officer that provided her the opportunities to talk and interact with a diverse group of people. Her experiences ran the gamete of inspiring success stories to tragic endings, much like her mysteries.

She self-published her first book No Second Chances. One of the guest speakers at the launch party she had at the Performing Arts Center in Newnan, Georgia included her close friend retired Atlanta Police Chief Eldrin Bell. This connection would become helpful as she started doing more research for other books, this time working with a small publishing house.

Kim began networking and made connections with numerous homicide detectives, medical examiners, and prison officials. Her research has taken her many places including morgues, death row, and the occasional midnight visit to cemeteries.

Kim is a college graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She and her husband have three successful grown children and reside just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

Kim’s books can be purchased online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM, and Indie Bound.

If your book club is interested, please contact her publicist, Catherine Lyon at lyonmedia@aol.com or call Catherine at (602-795-6345). 

We Sure Hope We Hear from you soon!

Respectfully yours, 
Kelly Keylon
President of Raven South Publishing

Lyon Media Services ~ Catherine Lyon

Author, Kim Carter of Kim Carter Mysteries

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Cat Welcomes Author, Rusty Blackwood To Our Fine Line-up of Authors. Her New Book is About To Release & An Intimate Interview.

Hello, Readers and Welcome New Visitors,

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You are all in for a treat today! I am honored and happy for everyone to meet and welcome our newest Author, Rusty Blackwood from Canada. Rusty and I have been friends for several years, and very soon Rusty has a BRAND NEW Book releasing that I get to share with all you! It is titled “The Perils of Autumn” a contemporary romance drama that is sure to please all readers! So let Cat get right to it and share a fabulous new interview she just did for Vinny at Awesomegang, an excellent place for all genre of reads, and all about this fantastic favorite Canadian writer.

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ABOUT THE PERILS OF AUTUMN:


Sometimes a book trailer is better than words … Rusty is pleased to bring you the official theatrical trailer for my upcoming, 5-star-award-winning romantic fiction drama, The Perils of Autumn. This page-turner is certain to become one your favorites …

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A Few Words from Rusty Blackwood

“It is my sincere hope that you enjoyed The Perils of Autumn, and I extend a personal invitation to continue reading about the often-unsettling life at Landon Manor, and Landon Lawns Stables. Rejoin Autumn and Cyril, as well as their staff, meet a few new, and interesting characters, and find out what happens to all concerned, as the story carries to its heart-touching conclusion in the coming, follow-up novel, Return to Autumn.”

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An Intimate Interview With Rusty Blackwood by Our Friends of Awesome Gang a Readers Favorite Place.

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Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.

I grew up during the 1950s on my paternal grandfathers farm in rural southwestern Ontario, Canada. My loving parents are both gone now, and I miss them every day, but I still have my brother. I am Mom to two wonderful sons, and loving grandmother to three beautiful granddaughters, and one handsome grandson. I am also a great grandmother – or G-G – as I am known to my delightful great-grandson.

I have always loved to write. This adoration for English composition began in grade school and carried into my adult years. Though I am unprofessionally trained in the field of writing, I have always possessed the uncanny ability of unique expression in stories that could grasp the heart and soul of the reader. I am an Interior Decorator by trade, and owned and operated a residential home service for twenty-eight years before retiring from that field. My writing venture began in 2001 when I became a serious writer with the intent on seeing where it could possibly take me. Over the years I had written an assortment of both contemporary and traditional poetry, and from this, I put together my first collection under the title, Feelings: A Rhythmic Journey in Thought which I self-published in 2009.

This was followed in 2010 with my first collection of children’s short stories, entitled, Young Minds. This collection was based on my own childhood as well as stories I wrote for my grandchildren. In 2010 I published the first part of the original two-part Passion in Paris that I began writing in 2001. This two-part romantic fiction drama was short-lived, and it was also not the way I had envisioned my first venture into this genre to be nor the publishing of it, and because of this, the end result was inept, so I took it off market it until I could revise it into my original concept, that of which I finally brought to fruition in the 818 pages, 4-star-Amazon awarded, romantic fiction grand scale novel, Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary, which I released in 2013. Leading up to this, I published a new poetry collection entitled, Impressions which I released in 2011.

I followed this with a revised children’s short story collection, containing previously published stories, including those written for my grandchildren plus additional new stories, under the title, Through the Eyes of Innocence. This was followed in 2012 by the comedy short, The Misadventures of Derwood Tugbottom. This was followed in 2015 by the 5-star-awarded romantic fiction drama, Willow’s Walk. In 2017, I following that novel with the second in the Derwood Tugbottom comedy series, entitled, Derwood Returns. The early titles, Feelings, Young Minds, and the two-part Passion in Paris: Connections and Directions respectfully, are no longer available.

The rest can be obtained at all Amazons, as well as other fine online bookstores, and brick and mortar order desks everywhere. The Perils of Autumn and Derwood Goes Caribbean are soon to be released. I hope everyone will watch for them, as well as check out the available titles I mentioned.

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What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

The Perils of Autumn. I have always adored horses and admired nurses. I find the horse a most intelligent animal – if not the most intelligent, at least in my opinion – and I always loved to watch them, speak with them, and applaud their wonderful movements. I loved to ride in my youth, even had my own pony as a girl, however, I never rode professionally, or entered show competitions, but I would take in as many as I could. I have always held immense respect for nurses, and the dedication they possess when it comes to healing those who are ailing, recuperating from surgery or an accident, and it is all done with expert care and compassion. Because of the admiration for these two subjects, I decided to combine them in a story that centers around both.

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Do you have any unusual writing habits?

I’m not exactly sure what ‘unusual’ means in this question. However, I do like to scribble ideas and dialogue in a notebook that I keep for ideas for future projects. My desk is always littered with small notes pertaining to whatever I’m working on at the moment. I used to write in the evening often well into the night, but since retiring from my business I now apply, and have for a while now, the day hours that I once worked to my writing. However, it can often be distracting and annoying when the phone rings, a dog continually barks outside, or the usual noise throughout the house as well as outside that carries in.


What authors, or books have influenced you?

I have great appreciation and respect for a few authors who are primarily known as authors of children’s books, and they are Canadian authoress, Lucy Maude Montgomery ( Anne of Green Gables, plus the Emily of New Moon series and more) British author Anna Sewell (Black Beauty) and American author Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie series of books). I also enjoy the workings of Mark Twain (Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, both classics). Fav authors of adult works are Nora Roberts, Kathryn Stockett (The Help), Stephen King ( numerous horror & psychological thrillers) and British authoress, Emile Bronte (Wuthering Heights). I also enjoy the work of fellow Niagara author, Gina IaFrate. There are many talented, self-published, local authors in your area; check them out, and give them a read. You might find yourself pleasantly entertained.

What are you working on now?

I am currently finishing the third installment of my Derwood Tugbottom comedy series, entitled, Derwood Goes Caribbean. Each book in this series takes the bumbling, retired London England City Hall Official, on another eccentric adventure, where he is sure to tickle your funny-bone with his hysterical antics. In the latest, he, and his best friend, Scotsman Robert McEwen, board The Travelling Minstrel as it sets course for the Caribbean with a ship full of singles looking for a good time.

I have also begun work on the follow-up novel to The Perils of Autumn, entitled, Return to Autumn. This second part of the ongoing story introduces readers to a few new characters, solves a deep secret and brings it out into the open, and carries the reader to the end of this touching, and not-soon-forgotten story.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?

I use all social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Goodreads, Google+, Authors.com, as well as my official website http://www.rusty-blackwood.com, where readers may find assorted information about me, my work, my titles, and keep caught up with me through my Journal/Blog. I also write a monthly, end of month Newsletter that carries my news of the month, whatever that may be. It’s a great way to keep engaged with readers on my contact list, and them with me.

I have worked with my stellar marketing rep & publicist, Don McCauley, since 2011, who looks after me well and also keeps my name before the public eye. That is most important, for if you are out of sight, you are out of mind. I also work with Joe Crawford, of the Niagara based The Joe Show on the TJSN Network, and I have recently begun working with author and writer, Catherine Townsend-Lyon of Lyon Media Services,  beginning with the promotion of the soon to be released, Readers Favorite 5-star-award-winning, romantic fiction drama, The Perils of Autumn.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Write what you know. There is nothing more discouraging or upsetting than to undertake a subject in written words that you know little about and make it entertaining and legible to the reader. Often writers draw from life experiences, I do, for there is no better research than what you have experienced first hand. But when you are very young, you have yet to have much experience to draw from, therefore research everything thoroughly. I believe this suggestion could be taken by any writer, seasoned or not, but if you write about things you know about, you will find your finished piece a polished, fine offering for the eyes of any reader that chooses your title.

Critique is a large portion of writing; it is not always kind, and you must learn to take what you can from that and apply it to your craft. Do not expect that your first, even second or third title will be an instant success. It may or may not happen, but if you love to write, have a passion to write, then you will find a way to stick with it. It can be a very long, drawn-out process. Finally, do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. Only you know the muse inside you, so let it speak to you, and have fun.

What is the best advice you have ever heard?

Pretty much what I said in the above prior question. Things take time, they rarely happen overnight, and if you go into this field with expectations that you put out a book and you are an instant celebrity with gold untold, then you may be badly disappointed. It may happen, there is nothing saying it won’t, but keep an open mind, and approach realistically.

What are you reading now?

Bestowed With Love And Splendor by Niagara author, Gina IaFrate. It is a wonderful story of a degraded-by-her-husband woman who finds herself in a heartbreaking, mentally abusive marriage. The heroine, an agent for a Niagara travel agency, is sent to the Island of Sardinia to assist their associate agency in setting up new programs for tourists. While there, she encounters the possibility of a life she could only dream about should she choose to remain in her present, loveless marriage and proceeds to struggle with a life that could be hers for the taking.

What’s next for you as a writer?

I am currently working on the 3rd installment of the Derwood Tugbottom comedy series, Derwood Goes Caribbean, and I will also be doing the 4th installment in the series, possibly the last, but that is still not decided, and I have started the follow-up novel to The Perils of Autumn, entitled Return to Autumn. This novel will carry readers to the end of this intense story. I am also planning a final poetry collection. I have written a huge array of contemporary and traditional poetry over the years, and I hope to compile them in a final collection.

I have also started a historical account of my family’s country music band, The Midnight Ramblers, entitled Ramblin’ Years: The Midnight Ramblers: A Biographical Account. I joined this band in 1963 at age 13 as a vocalist. I also learned to play acoustic guitar, and bass guitar, which I played from 1970 until the group ended in the mid-seventies.

If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Gone With the Wind, a map of the area, The Bible, and a photograph album of my family.

 

Author Websites and Profiles
Rusty Blackwood Website
Rusty Blackwood Amazon Profile
Rusty Blackwood Author Profile on Smashwords

Connect With Rusty Blackwood on Social Media
Goodreads Profile
Facebook Profile
Twitter Account
Pinterest Account
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Presented By Cat Lyon’s Reading and Writing Den

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More Amazing Amazon Book Reviews for Both Reads By Author, Joe Siccardi …

Hello and Welcome Avid Readers, Friends, and Visitors,

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Meet a fantastic storyteller, writer, and an amazing Author, Joe Siccardi …

Joe has been writing essay-style spiritual-reflection books for a while now. His first debut book titled “Heaven Shining Through” has been garnishing amazing book reviews recently, as we know as authors, it takes a while for the “book buzz” to get around to readers when we release our “works” to the world.

Joe has released his second new book that is also gaining exceptional Amazon and Goodreads reviews as well and has only been out for a short time.

This tells me two things, the first is my working for and with him in marketing his books is working! Lol. And second, avid readers are really enjoying his books! So here is a little more about him and about his amazing books everyone will ENJOY …

~Cat

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Best-selling writer and author, Joe Siccardi is a prolific storyteller of inspirational wisdom filled books about life. His first offering and debut release came in March 2018 titled “Heaven Shining Through” claiming rave reviews by book reviewers and book bloggers alike.

The author released his second book in November 2018 tilted “Wisdom From A Father: One dad’s thoughts about life.” A beautiful collection of essays about love, life, marriage and raising his children. With a dash of wit and fatherly life lessons. Both books are available on Amazon Books, Amazon Kindle, and many fine online bookstores.

He is a graduate of Dominican College of Blauvelt (NY) and holds a BA degree in Liberal Arts. Joe began his career with Paterson (NJ) News and continued for the next 52 years in a variety of positions as editorial writer, editor, and publisher. He now writes and publishes his works as a new Indie Author. He has an official website he called wisdomfromafather.com and shares all about life and fatherhood.

The storyteller says it well. Joe states, “I’m the ordinary Joe walking along this journey called life and sharing it with you.” And he has the life experience to back this statement as a proud father of five children, 18 grandchildren, and three great-granddaughters.

He has gathered all his life and work experiences from living in many places on East Coast and Midwest like Paterson, Totowa, Newton and Ogdensburg, NJ; Belvidere, IL; Toledo, OH; Washington, DC; Laurel, MD; and Seneca Falls and Willard (Romulus), NY.

When not writing Joe enjoys travel, cooking, and spending time with all his grown children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He also enjoys pleasure reading some of his favorite authors and writers like James Patterson, Tom Clancy, and his literary wish is a meeting with icon author Mr. Stephen King … Joe Siccardi currently resides in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine.

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Wisdom From A Father: One dad's thoughts on life      Heaven Shining Through

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Review and AboutWisdom From a Father’  New Release:

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

“I’m just that ordinary Joe walking on the path of life …and sharing it with you. There are joys.”

There are tribulations. There are reflections. There is everyday life. In each essay, I try to convey a recognition of a greater Power who colors my perspective. My comments are always filtered through the lens of my Judeo-Christian values and largely based on 40 years of marriage, raising five children, and life …

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Amazon Review – 5 Stars!


Cat Lyon
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming, Wisdom, and Funny Stories …

December 13, 2018 – Format: Paperback

I was honored and privy to receiving an early copy of this “Gem” before it released by the author …

What a beautiful treasure trove of wisdom filled heartwarming nuggets in this book! “Wisdom From A Father offers a little bit of everything about life from the heart of a faithful father and now a grandfather, as told by an uplifting storyteller and the Author, Joe Siccardi.

His writing style is flawless as he shares about marriage, raising his children, and now his grandchildren, with many life and spiritual lessons. Tales set and laid out in little story essays with both purpose and reason through aspects of life humor, sadness, loss, meaningful, spiritual and touching.

Not to spoil any of what is offered to the reader, some of my favorite essays are ‘MAD MAX,’ ‘FATHER SAYS which opens the book, and ‘Miracle.’ I really enjoyed them all. Many have faith lessons as well, but not to an extreme. This book will be appreciated and enjoyed by all!

Moreover, I think especially for those men who are now new dads who will get a glimpse of what “Fatherhood” is going to be all about and how life events and “oh, just the little things” about raising your children at times can be both challenging and humorous too.

The most “touching” you will read is the beautiful memories of Karen … I won’t say much more about this but to say … Do yourself a favor readers; DO NOT hesitate to read this one. I highly suggest this one to everyone …

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Reviews and About ‘Heaven Shining Through’ New Release:


“Samantha is dreading her return home. Throughout her life, she had a rocky relationship with her mother – and now her mother is all she has left.”

Through a nostalgic look back, Samantha recognizes the presence of God in an ordinary life. She learns more about herself as a wife and mother who has had her share of sorrow and blessings.

As her faith increases, she is able to see her mother through new eyes, leading to reconciliation …and is reminded of that every time she sees Heaven Shining Through.

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Amazon Rave Reviews:

January 12, 2019
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Though Heaven Shining Through is a shorter read, it is packed full of wisdom about both life and love.

Highlights:

The Narration
Though the majority of the book is told in a flashback of Samantha’s life up until mid-adulthood, the story never hits a boring spot. I devoured this book in one sitting. It is extremely rare for me to enjoy a book that relies on telling more than showing through actions or dialogue, but the author has a true gift for storytelling. He completely captured his characters’ unique traits and weaved a tale I won’t soon forget.

The Romance
The romance involves an unmarried couple who end up giving in to lust after remaining pure for a year of dating. The couple soon realizes that they should get married instead of continuing on in lust, so they begin their lives together in a way that honors God. The main character, Samantha, and her husband, Chad, have great chemistry and were adorable to read about. My favorite aspect about the romance was that it is portrayed realistically, as many Christian novels sugarcoat the fact that even Christians slip up and give in to sexual temptation before marriage. The novel emphasizes that we can find redemption in Christ no matter what our pasts hold, and that’s a message we need more of in Christian literature instead of judging couples for the slightest things or touches.

Relationship Between Samantha and Her Mom
The author perfectly portrays a criticizing mother and how damaging that can be on a child. Samantha and her mother have a strained relationship from the beginning, and it shapes Samantha’s decisions growing up. This is a fantastic reminder to Christian parents not to be so caught up on what a child is doing wrong that they forget to see what the child is doing right.

Overall, I applaud the author for tackling these subjects. Again, we definitely need bolder Christian authors in the industry. Highly Suggest this one! 

~Anonymously Allyson

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December 28, 2018
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Samantha and her mother do not have the best of relationships. This is a fast-paced story that gives the reader a sudden and deep romance, a deep loss of a husband, the journey of grief for Samantha and her kids, and then later, a last-minute relationship with her mother.

I loved this story. The romance of Chad and Samantha was beautiful. The loss she faces tore my heart out. The ending and the relationship she builds with her mother bringING this book a tender ending. I will be honest and say I was bawling for about half of this book. It is so well written and so touching I couldn’t help but shed the tears. The relationship between Samantha and her mom hits home with me deeply. I can relate greatly to her and her feelings as a young girl and later on in life as a mother.

Overall, this book was short and very heart-wrenching. People need to read this but don’t forget the tissues.    ~Boundless Book Reviews Stormi


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One More Amazing Review For”Heaven:”

4 out 5-stars: Jan. 10th, 2019 –
By: Nay Denise reviewed Heaven Shining Through

Emotional and Beautiful
This was a great read.

I enjoyed Samantha and seeing her life. She dealt with hardships at home, fell in love with a guy unexpectedly and was blessed with 2 beautiful kids. Samantha is a strong woman who pushed through all the loses. She may not have focused on God, but you could see Him working in her life and focusing on her. Chad was an awesome guy from start to finish to Samantha. He always did right and apologized even when he did nothing wrong. Samantha’s father was a loving man. Samantha’s mother was a hard woman.

There were times I wanted to jump through the page and pop her upside the head, but as the ending drew near I began to love her. She may have been cold to Samantha, but her heart was pure. Wish she showed it more. I adored JR and Kate-D — they were amazing kids and seemed to have grown into phenomenal adults towards the end. This story brought tears to my eyes and made me smile. Totally recommend this. Great one-sitter read that will leave you with a warm feeling in your heart.

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