OH, HAPPY CAT DAY!!
Couldn’t Have Done It Without All My Readers, Friends, and New Visitors Asking For More Authors and All Their #BOOKS! THANK YOU!
OH, HAPPY CAT DAY!!
Couldn’t Have Done It Without All My Readers, Friends, and New Visitors Asking For More Authors and All Their #BOOKS! THANK YOU!
Not that it is already for authors to gain book reviews for our published works, it seems for readers as well.
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 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.
“We do not permit reviews or votes on the helpfulness of reviews that are posted in exchange for compensation of any kind.” – Source
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.
“We don’t allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book.”
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:
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).
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.
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.
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.
This is also fairly obvious. Reviews cannot be used to market other products.
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.
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.
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.”
What can you do if you get a review that violates Amazon Guidelines? You can report it to the community help site.
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 email@example.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.
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.
There is a reason why mystery readers love Author, Kim Carter and all her Kim Carter Mysteries …She has a way of writing them packed with suspense, intrigue, thrills, and leave you not sure “Who Done It!”
All six of Kim’s E-books are now on sales for the Christmas season so readers can purchase and gift them from Amazon Kindle to their avid readers and friends for a special low price now through December 25th, 2018. You haven’t read a real mystery if you have not had the “pleasure” of enjoying a Kim Carter Mystery … Here are some New Amazon Reviews to prove my point! ~Cat Lyon 😸😸📚
About Murder “Among The Tombstones”:
“A Clara and Iris Mystery”
When Atlanta homicide detectives are called in to investigate the murder of a nineteen-year-old girl found dumped in historic Oakland Cemetery, they immediately begin working the case. But with no leads to follow, and their case log growing larger by the day, the murder quickly grows cold.
Desperate to keep the investigation of her deceased sister going, Ginger Baines hires two novice sleuths to solve the case. Widowed, well into their seventies, and new to the world of private investigating, Clara Samples and Iris Hadley aren’t your average private eyes.
When a second body is found in a neighboring cemetery, the plot thickens. With two bodies wrapped, almost lovingly, in a soft blanket before being discarded in a cemetery, could a serial killer be on the loose?
Joined by their young apprentice Quita, Clara and Iris are determined to stop at nothing to find the killer before they can strike again.
But, will their bodies be the next ones discovered among the tombstones?
Amazing New Amazon Kindle Reviews for KIM CARTER MYSTERIES:
While the detectives are focused on a case of a murdered young woman whose body was dumped in a cemetery, they soon find themselves victims themselves of a shooting incident by possible drug dealers. Their story is nitty-gritty and involves not only trying to physically heal from multiple gunshot wounds, but also trying to solve both cases.
The novice sleuths are focused on trying to fit into this new millennium with smartphones, texting, GPS, and something called Google. These ladies humorously work cases including insurance fraud, but soon find themselves also investigating the body dumped in the cemetery.
With a combination of suspense and thriller (the detective story) and humor and madcap adventure (the PI story), this book has it all for several difference genres of mystery fans. I enjoyed how the story mixed together in the last half of the book and how the elderly PI’s were able to help the injured seasoned detective solve the case. Read more
November 29, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition
When a dead girl’s body turns up in the cemetery, and it isn’t buried, Atlanta homicide detectives are called. However, with very little to go on the case soon becomes cold.
When another body is discovered in another cemetery, it looks like it may be a serial killer. With the detectives taken out of action, the first young woman’s sister hires Clara and Iris to find the killer. However, it looks like the murder may go unsolved. With supporting characters Sugar and Quita as well as various police, this mystery is a fun read. I wasn’t able to figure out the killer until the end.
I highly recommend this book. Since I love Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, I was really drawn in!
Reviews For “When Dawn Never Comes” E-book only .99 cents on Amazon Kinde!
November 19, 2018
This is the first book that I read from Ms. Carter and I thought it had a good storyline and great characters that keep you interested in the story throughout the book! Highly suggest this one for all Mystery Buffs!
As Jordan is packing for the move there, her neighbor is brutally stabbed. After seeing about her neighbor in the hospital, Jordan moves. Her life is about to change in more ways than one The small town, Solomon Cove in Maine is a post-card town, as idyllic as they come, yet a woman’s body is found on the beach. Other bodies are found in quick succession.
Jordan begins to wonder if the murders are somehow connected to her and to her extended family. What’s more, Jordan believes that she may be the next target. When Dawn Never Comes is a re-issue and for that, I’m thankful because I wouldn’t have had the chance to read it otherwise.
The story is very well written and draws the reader in and has an amazing twist. Why is Jordan connected? The discovery is stunning, making this book was impossible to put down!
Many thanks to NetGalley and to Raven South Publishing for this book to review!!
Jordan leaves New York City for Maine when she inherits a house from an unknown uncle. When she arrives, the murders in the small town start and she must figure out her family’s past to prevent her own death. This is the first Kim Carter book I’ve read and she does a good job of holding your interest with a well thought out plot and clues. It is a perfect stand-alone story. I received a copy of the book for a fair and honest review.
SO don’t hesitate to grab all of Kim Carter’s
Readers … if you love a good Psychological Thriller Romance Light Erotica Suspense? Then, Author, Adriana Gavazzoni’s New Novel Trilogy is what you should be reading! She is an amazing business lawyer by day and a sizzling writer by night … I just finished Book Three of her trilogy “The Hidden Motives” series and it is a fantastic read! I’m not saying this because I work for her in promoting her books, oh no!
It’s from loving all three books after reading them in this series. She is a talented writer and creative with all the twists and turns packed into all three of her titles. Now I am not the best writer of reviews as I never like to spoil a good read. But here is my review and a few others that tell readers this is a Highly Recommended book and why she is winning so many Book Awards!
Psychiatrist Simone Bennet feels like a pawn on a chessboard—as if some invisible, master chess player is toying with her life and the lives of the people she loves and cares for.
A series of horrific events—several murders and Simone being tortured at the hands of a serial killer—culminate in the kidnapping of her daughter and have turned Simone’s life upside down.
Struggling to stay afloat in the middle of a sea of chaos, Simone continues to receive her psychiatric patients and do more work for the New York attorney, Carl, while local police, the FBI, and Edward—Simone’s boyfriend, best friend, and business partner—are working hard to locate her child.
Simone is analyzing another set of Lara’s journals, and she becomes dragged into a vortex of sex addiction, suffering, and Lara’s struggle for some kind of balance in her life, while Simone battles an inner fight against her mixed feelings for the enigmatic lawyer.
Filled with twists and turns, this final book in the Hidden Motives trilogy reveals a deranged, steamy, and disturbingly brilliant game of sex, murder, and mystery and chronicles a woman’s conflict between love and reason.
Fasten your seat belts before you embark on this roller coaster, and prepare for the most unpredictable end! … NOW Available on Amazon
“Five Star Trilogy.”
Five Star Review on Amazon By Bailey
After reading all three of these novels, I don’t think there is a novel this author could write that I wouldn’t read. Even if I didn’t like the subject matter, I’m sure I would still read her books because she is such a fantastic writer. This is what made this books so special and such page turners… the author’s writing.
But I do not want to shortchange the story, the world the author built in these books. The story of Lara and Simone and the cast of other characters, was simply dazzling and wild.
My only disappointment was finishing this book and anxiously awaiting this author’s next book. Hoping it won’t be long.
About the Author
A. Gavazzoni is a Brazilian author and has been a lawyer for twenty-seven years. She won for her first book Behind The Door: The Golden Book Award 2017- Readers Choice; Book Excellence Award 2017; Bronze Medal on Independent Publisher Books Award 2018; Honorable mention at Paris Book Festival 2017; Honorable Mention at Reader’s Favorite Award 2017 and was a finalist to the Independent author.
Adriana is a lawyer, a former professor of law and a writer of novels and legal books, but she is also a voracious reader.
She speaks four languages: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. When she is not practicing law or writing, she enjoys many interests and is a very active person. She loves to dance (Tango) and workout.
She loves to travel, loves good wine, and has been studying astrology for fifteen years. She paints and loves to cook.
She has two poodles -Gaia and Juno -and loves all animals. She is an aunt of four nieces who enjoy to paint and cook alongside their aunt. She lives in Brazil and is in the process of writing her next novel. She invites readers to visit her website/blog anytime for updates on upcoming books and events. http://www.agavazzoni.com and check my blog agavazzoni.com/blog and my twitter account for news @a_gavazzoni
From the first awarding-winning “Behind the Door” begins a thrilling and steamy into of a sex game or was it murder? Through book one keeps you enthralled into then the backstory as Simone goes through all the journals in book two of “Lara’s Journal.” But book three? What a roller coaster ride of mishaps, circumstances, murder, and oh poor ‘Simone’ has been through more than one person could ever manage!
I never spoil a good read, that said, the author has seasoned her writing chops in the finale of this “Must Read Trilogy.” The author has a way of weaving in spicy steamy romance, sex, thrills, and suspense with loads of twists and turns all the while touching on topics like mental illness, psychiatry, sexual behaviors, and more interesting issues.
That is what makes this series unique and keeps you pulled in until the last page and exceptional plot and storyline. I think the end of this book’s description should really be at the VERY BEGINNING: “Fasten your seatbelts before you embark on this roller coaster, and prepare for the most unpredictable end.” Absolutely True!!
I Highly Suggest All Three Books As Book Three Is Now My Favorite … Cat Lyon
March 29, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition – RM Griffin alwaysdaddygirl
Another beautiful thing is how real this novel feels.
I would recommend reading this series in order. In each book, the author widens the reader’s knowledge of mental illness. Also, the development of the characters is woven beautifully into this series. I received this book free for review. Kudos to the author for her understanding and kindness toward people like me who have a mental illness, for how she makes the story come alive, and for the suspense she brings to her books. These are the reasons I give this book five stars.
Plus, by the end of thisbook, there are a number of surprises that surfaced to add to the it’s impact. I was very pleased.
Fresh off a fabulous Holiday Book Promotion for her new novel series, I caught up with Author, Kim Carter to see what has been happening with her and her successful novel launch held by Raven South publishing at “The Atlanta Water Gardens” where she launched book 2 of the series titled; “Murder Among The Tombstones,” as book 1 has been doing well titled; “Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle.”
Kim was also very excited as her agent submitted her books in several book awards and she is currently in First Place for a TCK Publishing 2017 readers choice award!! If you’d like her to WIN? You can go here Readers Choice Voting Page to vote for her in the Mystery Category for “Murder” on TCK!
Kim let me know it went FANTASTIC and they had about 60 or so attendees and signed many books! They had a book reading from “Murder” and her friend Lissha Sadler, Radio Host at “Lets Chat” and CEO of Writing Royalty Promotions , did a fabulous Question & Answer session with Kim. They had a ball! So I asked Kim what’s going on now? She is deep in writing book 3 of her series and just finished a new stand-alone mystery, and so far titled, “And The Forecast Calls For Rain.” She shared it will be a new story that takes place in and around Seattle Washington. So, readers, I can not wait for that new book! So let’s see what readers and book reviewers are saying about Books 1 & 2 of the novel series so far, shall we?
“A mystery suspense thriller in every sense of the word!”
With eminently admirable characters and exquisite imagination ‘Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle’ is a compelling read where author Kim Carter crafts mounting suspense that overwhelms skepticism.
Charming personality of renowned cardiac surgeon Dr. Grant Chatsworth lures a small town waitress-Lizzie to a deceptive ‘blissful happy marriage’ until secrets confined within the walls of Buckhead’s finest estates elucidate Lizzie about the darker nasty shades of Grant’s propensity of crime and cruelty. Terrible adversity and troubled faith lead Lizzie to take refuge at her sister Maggie’s doorstep, where destiny has more alarming adventures in store for her.
Author Kim Carter’s read is a mystery suspense thriller in every sense of the word with an intriguing narrative that moves at a breakneck pace, skillfully combined with a writing style that provides vivid mental pictures of the settings and characters sufferings. While many things are not what they seem, everything amazingly connects in a surprising finale.
Entertaining enough to engage even reluctant readers, ‘Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle’ is a powerful 5-star page turner that is highly recommended. ~Enas Reviews
Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle by Kim Carter. 5 Stars!
What a wonderful exciting suspenseful mystery!
So much intriguing twists and turns it had me completely spellbound.
And omg I fell in love with Clara and Iris, those two old ladies were a hoot. Grant and Lizzy are the couple that the story revolves around, their perfect life is not what it appears to be. He’s a very dangerous man and will go to extremes to accomplish his goal, even trying to eliminate those who double cross him.
Clara the nurse that works for Grant discovers things that not only play a huge part of the core of this story, but she also becomes, along with her friend Iris one of the most hilarious characters ever.
A rich surgeon, a Ponzi scheme, a few murders, 2 old ladies, a deranged housekeeper, some monkeys, and a wife on the run plus a ghost. Hmmmmmm, what would they have in common? Now there is a mystery that is begging to be solved!!
I have voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book by its author. ~Reviewer for Nook Books and More Blog.
“Joined by their young apprentice Quita, Clara and Iris are determined to stop at nothing to find the killer before they can strike again. But, will their bodies be the next ones discovered among the tombstones?”
Editorial and Reviews: “Murder Among The Tombstones”
“Widows on The Case!”
Two crafty septuagenarian widows turned private investigators; a crabby Atlanta cop recovering from a gunshot wound, and a cunning killer who dumps his victims rather appropriately in cemeteries. Those are just a few of the zesty ingredients in Murder among the Tombstones, the latest whodunit by Georgia-based mystery writer Kim Carter. It is a fast-paced, twister of a mystery that keeps you turning pages until the very end.
Private Investigators Iris Hadley and Clara Samples may be in their seventies, but don’t think they are over the hill. These ladies are witty, wily and with it. A Must Read!
A former correspondent for The Chicago Tribune and Award Winning Author of The Billy Battles Trilogy ~Ronald Yates…
Murder Among The Tombstones by Kim Carter 5 Stars!
One of the best Intense, Amazing and Hilarious Murder/Mysteries that I have read this year!!
A crime story about two old ladies who are private investigators. Brilliant!!
Clara and Iris have become two characters I absolutely love and can’t wait to see what they investigate and uncover next, lol…
This story also brings back some characters from the book Sweet Dreams Baby Belle. That book is where you first meet Clara and Iris, detectives Pitt and Nettles along with a great cast of new people like Quita and Sugar in this story.
Get lost in a story about a murder mystery that will leave you guessing until the end who did it. It also will leave you laughing at what Clara and Iris do and say.
I absolutely love this book and have found me a wonderful new author that has me captivated by her stories. Touche!
So like these mystery lovers who enjoyed both books 1 & 2 of Author, Kim Carter’s new novel series titled; “A Clara and Iris Mystery” series, come take the plunge with Kim’s books! I know I can not wait for book 3 of the series and her new stand-alone new mystery. Kim loves to engage with all her readers, so come over to her GoodReads Author Page and add her as a friend and even ask her a question or two while you are there. And as always, let Kim know Cat sent you! 🙂
Book reviews have become a valuable marketing tool for commercial and indie writers. When I look at the top selling books on Amazon and Goodreads, I realize they usually have a ton of reviews. The modern writer’s job does not end when they hit submit and send their creative babies off to publishers. As the publishing world evolves the lines between publisher, author and publicist blur. One powerful tool that can make or break an author is the book review.
Popular book sites like Kirkus and Indiereader know the importance of a professional book review. Authors pay $250-$500 to get a review that will hopefully give them access to an audience that will buy their books. Kirkus and Indiereader both go a step further than the professional review, offering publishing services such as editing and marketing. There is a debate in the publishing industry about the value of a paid review. With the rise of blogging, more book lovers from different careers and backgrounds have brought to life the freelance occupation called the “Book Blogger”.
Book Bloggers are book lovers who offer free, honest and in-depth book reviews. Successful book bloggers make money through advertising on their blogs and other freelance opportunities. Book Bloggers, unlike a paid review service, have nothing to gain from giving a positive review. This article will help writers get the most out of the writer blogger relationship to improve craft and to gain exposure. After reviewing other book blogger’s review policies and my experience as a book blogger and a lover of books, here are some tips for indie authors to create a positive blogger-writer relationship.
I cringe when authors submit a book filled with errors, some authors would even let you know ahead of time that it’s not the finished product. Book bloggers introduce books to their audience of readers, putting your best foot forward is best when you want to potentially grow your readership. Some authors confuse beta readers and book reviewers. Beta readers are readers that read mostly fiction to correct errors and to add suggestions in regards to character development, plot etc. Book reviewers are book lovers who read for enjoyment, they are giving you a sneak peek into the thoughts of your reading audience. Book reviewers critique the finished product, beta readers’ help with the development of your product. As a book lover with a lot of books to read and very little time, a book that’s has been thoroughly edited has a better chance of getting a review.
Read Book Blogger’s review policies and submission guidelines thoroughly before submitting a book.
Policies and submission guidelines are created to ensure a smooth process. Book lovers/ book bloggers create policies and submissions based on preference and experience. For example not reading submission guidelines an author might submit their nonfiction book to a fiction reviewer’s blog. Also, some bloggers request books or galleys in formats that support their devices. Sending the wrong format may delay your review and as an indie writer, your time means everything.
Most professional readers are readers who study the craft of fiction or literature. Writing a book is not an easy task, as a literature student, I understand the complexity of creating complex characters and making sure my plot is well-developed and consistent. As a book blogger to give a constructive review, one must separate those feelings of understanding and critique a book based on the product that is presented. One important piece of advice I received from a mentor is as a writer you must listen to all feedback and apply constructive advice based on your style. When I go on sites like Amazon and Goodreads and I see some authors respond negatively to unfavorable reviews, it deters me from reading that book. As an Indie Author creating a good positive image helps build a good brand and it lets the reader feel safe, to be honest with their favorite writers. Book Bloggers don’t enjoy giving unfavorable reviews but giving constructive criticism helps writers write better books.
You can get a list of book bloggers that you can contact to review your books from sites like “The Book Blogger List and The Book Review Directory. Book Bloggers can help indie authors grow readership and improve on your craft...
Submitting a book to a book blogger is an opportunity to get unbiased feedback on your book without the conflict of interest when purchasing critique. So go check out The Book Blogger List Authors and BeingAuthor.com Today!
Writing and literature student and Book Blogger at LaFifeReviews. Ms. Fife has posted reviews online and an article on school readiness on her school’s website. Latoya Fife is a life long learner with a great passion for reading books and connecting readers to her favorites.
“CAT LYON’S Reading & Writers Den” ~ Author, Catherine Lyon
“It is not often when a book comes along and can change your “life path” to a new direction and journey of spiritual healing and inner peacefulness no matter what life may bring you, good or bad. That is some of what you gain by reading Author, Dr. Jane Galloway’s new release titled; “The Gateways.”
We all know life can be a tough challenge within the society we live in today. There is so much unrest throughout our world, and believe it or not it can make many of us feel on edge. Especially if we are dealing with our own life roadblocks.
There can be many! We need to learn to have awareness of how to deal with life challenges and get back to living with less stress and drama that seems to happen all around us. This is why I highly recommend you read Dr. Jane’s book. It will open the gateways into living a life of freedom and a path to a real spiritual awakening in mind, body, and soul. That is how I felt while reading this book. Here is more about Jane, her book and what other readers felt…
About The Book: “The Gateways on Amazon Kindle”
“The Gateways are…A Gateway, a Bridge, an Opening into living the Spiritual Life that the Steps promise! What YOU get from this is TOOLS, Inspiration, Time to release the Shame and move into the FREEDOM.”
Is there more to recovery than just staying sober and clean? Dr. Jane Galloway offers an emphatic “yes” to this question in her groundbreaking 12 Step companion guide, The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality. Galloway presents the 12 Steps squarely in the context of 21st-century spirituality with breadth, skill, and sensitivity that helps readers of any faith (or of none) experience a profound spiritual awakening.
Too many recovery programs fixate on the sickness of addiction and, as a result, trap people in a pathology-centered mindset. Jane Galloway’s strength-based approach suggests “Rather than obsessing about what is ‘wrong’ with a person, learning what is ‘right’ with them may hold the key to understanding.” Incorporating ancient developmental systems like Chinese meridians and the Kabbalah Tree of Life, as well as more recent psychological systems like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Erik Erikson’s Eight Ages of Man, Gateways presents 12-Step Spirituality as a Wisdom Path. Galloway’s 12 corresponding Gateway Essences unlock the power of the Steps through spiritual practices and rituals that make up a customized, holistic Mind, Body, Spirit toolkit.
As a 30+ year member of Alcoholics Anonymous, ordained pastor and Doctor of Ministry and accomplished stage and screen actor, and community organizer, the Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway brings a woman’s voice to the chorus of men who have previously spoken on 12-Step spirituality. Her work is inspired by and devoted to AA’s founding spiritual vision as it appears in “The Big Book”: “To us, the realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek.” The Gateways opens wider vistas to the deeper wisdom within us all.
A Must Listen “The Gateways” ~ ~ Dr. Jane Galloway Shares Hosted By Omar Pinto of “The SHAIR Podcast”
Jane Galloway opens the Gateways…. 5-Stars! Amazon Reviewer.
Just finished The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12 Step Spirituality by Jane Galloway. Its subtitle is “Dynamic Practices that Work.” I recommend this book for anyone wrestling with addiction problems, but even more so for anyone seeking a deeper spiritual experience and inner healing. Jane begins with a theological exegesis of the traditional 12 step path and then leads us to deeper spiritual connections across a variety of traditions. The book is set up as more of a “workbook” than a didactic instruction book. It is intended to provide ways to actually explore and experience a richer spiritual life. My highest compliment would be that at a certain point in the introductory section, I began looking forward to the Gateways as a way to deepen my own spiritual experience.
It is also indicative of Jane’s commitments that she includes a section on how these practices can be used in building community. This is a book only Jane Galloway could have written. She has lived in both the worlds of traditional mainline “church” and also New Thought, worlds which often don’t touch, or see, each other.She is a very valuable “bridge person” between these worlds. As you will discover, she has also explored Wisdom literature, and practice, in the broadest possible way. She is a scholar, a theologian, a preacher, but most of all pastor. It is from that caring perspective this book is written. I will always be thankful for our years as colleagues at West Park and for what I learned from her Sanctuary community…
The Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway’s The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality combines the tried-and-true methods of the 12-Steps with dynamic spiritual practices that allow people to more deeply integrate the Steps into their own personal spirituality. Among longtime members of recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (such as the author), newcomers to the 12 Steps, and even among the throngs of curious onlookers wanting to know just exactly how this method miraculously transforms broken lives into productive, joyous, deeply spiritual lives, The Gateways is creating a different kind of buzz.
Rev. Galloway sets the stage by telling the story of the 12 Steps with all of the drama and detail of her significant acting career. Whether you know the adventures of Bill and Lois by heart or you’ve never heard of the founders of AA and Al-Anon, the first part of The Gateways reflects some of the best recovery writing I’ve seen. Galloway remains true to the letter of AA’s founding tenets as well as its original literature—much of which reads like a 1950s newsreel and is at risk of becoming outdated—in this timely, revolutionary book. But Jane Galloway’s The Gateways is much more than an update.
It presents the 12 Steps squarely in the context of 21st-century spirituality with skill and sensitivity that will carry the message into the next millennium. The Gateways invites devotees of every faith, as well people who identify as agnostic, atheist, and spiritual but not religious (SBNR), to share this journey into wholeness. And, somehow, Jane Galloway manages to map this vast topography with equal breadth and depth in a concise, direct narrative.
With honesty, candor, and a touch of wry humor, Jane Galloway begins the conversation on 12-Step spirituality by telling us her own story. She has nothing to hide—which I find one of the most refreshing characteristics of 12-Step philosophy. One of my favorite parts of the book is where the author transitions from her personal background to the bigger historical picture in a chapter entitled “A Country Spirals into Addiction.” The 20th century was indeed a breeding ground for widespread addiction, but it was also a time of great breakthrough in preparation for the spiritual and religious awakening that is upon us in the 21st century.
Dr. Galloway devotes three especially salient chapters to the ways 12-Step spirituality dovetails with New Thought spirituality, eastern Wisdom teachings, and the Christian movement known as the Jesus Path. Here’s where Galloway’s Doctor of Ministry from Claremont School of Theology sheds light on the full spiritual spectrum without becoming bogged down in any of the doctrinal dogma associated with religion. She’s well equipped with the necessary knowledge and wisdom—distinctly crucial attributes—to guide us on the inter-spiritual path of which the 12-Steps are a valuable part.
All of this builds up to the truly groundbreaking second part of the book, where the author introduces twelve “Gateway Essences”—a veritable smorgasbord of spiritual practices including a Chakra, a Chinese Meridian, color, sound, gemstone, and musical note that reflects the deeper essence of each of the 12 Steps. Galloway cleverly provides a metaphorical container for these practices, modeled on the Japanese bento box, whereby people can pick and choose which practices they’d like to incorporate, just as a typical bento box may hold rice, fish or meat, vegetables, etc. In today’s global spiritual marketplace with its overwhelming selection of spiritual teachings, it’s nice to visualize this tidy little personalized “to go” box of spiritual practices. Finding the spiritual practices that feed your soul can make the difference between lifelong sobriety and serenity, and the repeated relapse scenarios we see and experience all too often. The tangible rituals and practices of The Gateways unlock the power of each of the 12 Steps to make recovery a truly sacred experience.
But perhaps the greatest contribution of “The Gateways” is its emphasis on strength-based recovery. Too many recovery programs fixate on the sickness of addiction and, as a result, trap people in a pathology-centered mindset. Jane Galloway suggests “Rather than obsessing about what is ‘wrong’ with a person, learning what is ‘right’ with them may hold the key to understanding.” Recognizing the importance of addressing the root causes of addiction, she posits that “Drawing forth the inherent strengths in a person opens a world of self-realization.”
Herein lies the genius of The Gateways: Jane Galloway’s multivalent spiritual approach empowers people to not only live soberly but to live spiritually. The Gateways doesn’t replace basic Step work, but takes each of the 12 Steps to the next level and, in so doing, helps us live in greater alignment with our Higher Power, our life’s purpose, and the joy of living. Jane Galloway’s The Gateways is a priceless gift not only to the recovery community but to every spiritual pilgrim on the path toward wholeness.
Kate Sheehan Roach
Managing Editor, Patheos Spirituality
You can connect with Author, Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway on her many social media sites and a visit to her website is a must. With currently all 100% 5-Star Amazon book reviews, you know this is an Exceptional Read.