Category Archives: Contest

Independent Book Blogger Awards – Vote for me, Please

Bloggers, get out the vote!

I have successfully entered the Independent Book Blogger Awards. The polls are now open! It’s time to spread the word to my readers and drum up votes for my blog! Voting continues until 11:59 pm EDT, Monday, April 23. It is be okay with me if you want to Blog about these awards and let people know they can come visit my Blog so they feel good about voting for me.

There must be rules…


The rules: The polls allow one vote per person in each of the four categories, and voters must be Goodreads members so that we can accurately tally the results. When polls close, the top 15 blogs in each category will become finalists.


Winners will be selected from among the finalists by a panel of industry judges. Each of the four category winners will receive a pass to BookExpo America (June 5-7, 2012) with airfare and hotel accommodation in New York City.

For more details on rules and background on the judging process, please see the Contest Terms.

Key Dates:

  • Monday, April 9 (at 11:59 pm ET) – Deadline for entries
  • Tuesday, April 10 (12:01am ET) through Monday, April 23 (11:59 pm ET) – Voting
  • Week of May 1 – Shortlist of finalists announced
  • Week of May 7 – Winners announced

The awards are organized by the Association of American Publishers Trade Division members and Goodreads.

Let the voting begin!

The Mad Scientist (Author) returns!

Dark Shines My Love by Karen L. Syed

Don't want to be bothered with the contest? Click cover to buy a copy, no strings attached.

Okay, I have been trying to read the Blogs of others with the hope of discovering something that will help me increase my exposure as an author. Lots of people know me as a publisher and all around cool gal, but I still get so many surprised looks when I mention that I write. Huh, you woulda thunk it?

So, I’ve been trying up the level of promotion for the books and stories I have written. Not too happy with how that is all working. So, I have devised a fiendish…er…clever plan to let people know that I write. I’m going to give away books. ::gasp:: Can it be? Yeah, I know, it’s been done. But…

Here’s what I am proposing. I’d like to find new readers, perhaps those who do not read my Blog (Life as a Publisher), follow me on Facebook, or revel in my brilliant wit on Twitter. I would like to give a FREE download of my book, DARK SHINES MY LOVE, to the first five people who post a request on this Blog (if you’ve already read it, let’s give someone else a chance.)

In return, I would like each of those five people to pass that book on to ONE reader. Someone they know who has not read or heard of me. Once the book has been passed on, I would like the recipient of that book to hop onto my Blog here, and post who gave them the book. Then when they are finished reading it, I would like THEM to give it to ONE other person, and have them do the same thing. And so on. If it wouldn’t be too much trouble I’d like to know where you are from as well.

My goal is to follow the travels of those books through to March 31, 2012. Clear as mud?

On April 1, 2012 (yes April Fool’s Day-but this is no joke) I will do a random drawing from the names on this post and give away a $10.00 Gift Card. I know, it’s not much, but I’m giving this book away.  LOL

And even if you have read the book and aren’t giving away copies, please feel free to share this news with others. Oh yeah, and if you own it, don’t share that copy, the download I am using for this is a Special Edition.

So, who’s with me?

About the book:

Contemporary Romance

Darkness surrounds Patric LeClerc. Blinded in a tragic accident years before, he does nothing but drive everyone away with his anger and resentment over the life he’s been cursed with.

Everyone, that is, except Callie Carpenter. Desperate for a home and a job after the break-up of her dreadful marriage to a wealthy but abusive man, she tries to restore Dark Gardens Plantation to its former glory.

Patric lets his guard down and shows her that deep within, a spark of warmth and humanity still glows. Soon she finds herself more interested in him as a man than a patient. When her ex threatens to take away her son, Callie and Patric join forces to try to save the boy.

But can Patric’s dark past ever allow him to see Callie’s love for him, or will he drive her away as well, for having come too close to the true, if vulnerable, Patric LeClerc?

A few reviews:

“A moving novel…the love scenes are marvelous. This is an enjoyable story that will make you laugh, cry, and be glad you read it.” –Romantic Times Magazine aka RT Booklovers)

“A beautiful, moving story. Alexis Hart has the amazing ability to generate characters that literally step off the page in three-dimensional form. The dialogue is well developed and the entire story is a hauntingly accurate tale concerning a serious issue. I loved Patric from the first moment he appeared and Callie was as real as if I were standing next to her. Well done. Ms. Hart has written another winner.” –Leslie Burbank, author of To Tame a Viking

Be Still My Heart (Contest)

Every author craves reviews for their books. We love to hear what our readers think. Sometimes the news is good, sometimes not, but we want to know. Bottom line is we all want to be loved by readers. Rumor has it, reviews even sell books.

I am looking for reviews for all of my works, short stories and novels. Here’s what I’m gonna do.

You can read any of my published works and when you post your review into the comments section of this Blog post, you will be entered to win one of three lovely prizes…or my version of lovely prizes.

Post your review by Midnight February 13, 2012 to qualify.

  1. 1 person will receive a $25.00 GC to
  2. 1 person will receive a signed print copy of “Lost and Found.”
  3. 1 person will receive a FREE eBook download of any of my books.

Here’s the catch. I need to see at least 25 reviews to give away the Gift Certificate. If I don’t receive 25 reviews, I will only give away the 2nd and 3rd items.

I would love it if you would post your reviews all over the place, but it’s only required that you do it on my Blog for this contest. I can be flexible.

Here is what I have out there. You can find them at Amazon/Kindle,,  Smashwords, OmniLit, and all manner of other places that sell books and eBooks.

  • Lost and Found (Novel)
  • Dark Shines My Love (Novel)
  • Too Fast for Love (Novella)
  • Seducing Cupid (Short Story)
  • Devlin’s Wicked Wish (Short Story)
  • An Angel’s Wish (Short Story)

And the Winner is…

Family Matters by Jacqueline Vick

Buy Now at Kindle!

Well, it is just past noon on Christmas Day and I’d like to say my Begging for Reviews contest was a 100% success, however… I will have to settle for saying it was a huge success.

Last week I offered to give away a Kindle Touch to one lucky winner if reviewers (of any level) posted 50 reviews onto the original Blog post. Here is what happened.

Free Book Sent – 55

Reviews Posted – 25

It’s not bad overall, I hoped for more, but this makes me very happy. On behalf of all the author reviewed, we sincerely thank you for your time and willingness to jump at my request. Your reviews have already began earning us sales and for that we will remain sincerely appreciate.

Now, about the Kindle Touch. I had kept in my mind that if at least 40 reviews were posted, I would go ahead and give away the Kindle. Unfortunately that did not happen. So in the spirit of Christmas, I have decided that I would go ahead and give away a $25.00 gift card to instead.

The winner was chosen by my husband who had no idea what the heck I was doing. He picked a number and that was that.

Congratulations to Jackie Vick.  I will be sending her the gift certificate.

I hope in the future all of you will consider reviewing books (not just ours) on a regular basis. I can also tell you that I hope you will continue to read my Blog and Echelon books. You never know when I might have another contest, or what I might want to give away!!

May this day be filled with nothing but joy to all of you and those you love. Thank you again!!

So Close…Yet So Far

An Angel's Wish by Karen L. Syed

Not too late to read my little itty bitty short story. BUY NOW!

Here it is the eve of the eve of the eve of Christmas. Did I count that correctly? At any rate, I thought I would give you all an update on the WTF? Begging for Reviews Contest. These numbers are as of right now. So, before I go any further, you might want to tell a few friends about this one. You’ll see why in a moment.

Books Sent: 50 (notified that 3 people cannot meet the 12/24 midnight deadline, so technically only 47.

Book Reviews Posted: 12 (Okay, we need 50 posted if I am to give away that Kindle Touch. I know, grumble grumble…rules is rules.)

Books Selected: As of this morning all 10 books have been selected for review. THANK YOU!

Happily, I have only take a small bit of rubbish for my methods with this contest, but it served a very important purpose–actually several.

1. It helped a few people realize that they were qualified to review books and that they could in fact write solid reviews.

2. It opened up the eyes of many authors who thought (seriously) that the reviewers would come looking for them. I wish it were true. Would save me a lot of hours in many days, but as publishers and authors we MUST seek out the reviewers.

3. In at least a couple instances, it helped readers realize that its okay to step a little bit out of their comfort zone because they might just find an author, or a genre, they didn’t know they would enjoy.

4. And most importantly for Echelon and our authors, it got us out there into some new forums. For more than a decade I have sought reviews with almost no success, and without really knowing why, we have sat aside feeling neglected.

So far the reviews posted have been solid and I feel the readers have been pretty honest. I have learned a lot and will make every effort to enhance the quality of our books from this point on.

So, get out there and tell ALL your reader buddies that YOU want to win a Kindle Touch so they need to read a book or two by Midnight 12/24. If they really love you, they will. (okay, I know that never really works, but I couldn’t think of anything any more clever to close with.)

But since I just added that other stuff, I am now closing this post, in a non-comedic way. That means not funny, cause hubby says, I think I’m a lot funnier than I really am. He has other good qualities. LOL He irons his own clothes. I know, right. How cool is that?

And to lizziecracked (not broken) who write the Running Naked With Scissors Blog (which you really should follow) I give you this link. The History of Christmas. You asked about Christmas and when it actually started or something like that, and then somewhere you asked for links, I wasn’t sure exactly what links you wanted, but I assumed it was in reference to the whole Christmas thing, so I went out this morning (cause I had so much time to waste, and I found this link that I think gives a rather good description of the history of Christmas and while I was raised a Christian, I always had a problem with that whole Jesus born in December thing, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.

Pick Your Battles Wisely

Force of Habit by Marian AllenWell, it was bound to happen. After a week of begging for reviews (WTF? Begging for Reviews), I finally got the email I had been expecting–took a little longer than I would have thought. Yes, you guessed it. I pissed someone off by asking for reviews, no “begging like a spoiled child” is what I supposedly, actually did.

What kind of publisher would post a Blog telling the world that no one would review your books?” Have I lost my mind? What the hell as I thinking? Um, the fact that many of our books had no reviews might have been a sign to the world. Furthermore.

Is it your goal in life to ruin the careers of all your authors?” How dare I? No kidding, why would I want readers to tell other readers what they thought of our books. That might actually encourage someone to go out and buy one of the books. I suck!

Perhaps no one reviews your books because you publish mediocre writers who can’t get published anywhere else.” Um..yeah, that’s it. I only publish people who suck.

Come on, Asshat. Really? I have not, nor will I respond directly to this person–who by the way submitted to us and was rejected. Obviously they read my blog and can see my response here. So you all know, I am not taking my professional hat off, but I am tipping it a little to the side.

Who do you think you are? Seriously. You have the audacity to question my intentions and level of professionalism? Did you think I would not recognize your name when you signed your email? I do keep records. Did you think that sending a publisher a note calling them names and insulting them would gain you favor anywhere? Did you really think I would NOT post my response publicly? You obviously have not read enough of my posts. You should consider yourself lucky I did not take off the professional hat, or your name, email address, and web address would be in HUGE bold letters with this response. I’m sure I will get more than one request from Echelon authors to know the name of the person who called them all mediocre.

There is something you obviously have not learned about me throughout the years that I have been blogging and speaking freely about my role in the industry. I am not a lemming. I do not follow along blindly and let everyone else dictate how I run my business or my life. I have every intention of continuing to succeed in this business. I have not “failed to intrigue or energize readers or reviewers with lackluster plots and mediocre writers.” I have published damn good stories that entertain readers. And if some of our books have errors in them, then I sincerely apologize, but we are human.

People, authors, readers, etc, don’t let stupidity rule your life. If you don’t like something, then find a considerate way to say it. This isn’t about publishing, it’s about human decency. I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything I say or do, but if you don’t, then either give me constructive advice, or shut the hell up. Don’t keep telling me that I am doing something wrong until you have solid advice on how I can do it better.

I would wager there are tons of people out there who don’t agree with my tactics for gathering reviews, I thank you all for not sending me pissy emails calling me a “hack publisher wannabe.”

With all that said, please don’t think this has swayed me in any way from my path to riches and success. There are still four more days for you to request your book and get those reviews posted on the original blog post to be entered to win the Kindle. So send me those requests. The family won’t mind sandwiches another day so you can finish that book.

And to those of you who have requested books and are sending/posting your reviews. I cannot thank you enough. Your support of Echelon is very much appreciated.

Begging for Reviews: UPDATE

Betrayed by Sam Morton

Okey Dokey. I thought I would let everyone know where we stand right now with the review contest.

Don’t know what the hell I’m talking about? Pop over and read

I have sent out 23 downloads.

I have received 2 reviews.

8 of the 10 titles offered have been requested.

Don’t forget that there is a deadline for this contest, and I hate to be a grinch, but we need to see 50 reviews for me to give that Kindle away.

So tell all your friends. Authors, this is a GREAT way for you to get some promo because you can post your byline with your review. Yeah, I said it. I ENCOURAGE it. If you are willing to take the time to review one of our books, I am perfectly happy for you to get a little play from it. (Just don’t abuse it. LOL)