Monday, July 2, 2012

News, Chisme & Chit...Chat - July 2


Last week an author that I follow on Twitter announced how heartbroken she was because someone accused her of plagiarizing one of her novels. The person did it by posting a review of the book on! What made this so startling was that the reviewer didn’t even name the supposed book that was allegedly plagiarized or call out specific examples of the alleged copying. The author, of course, responded to the reviewer and asked that she explain her allegations, while others commented that Amazon needed to remove the review because it was potentially libelous. Last time I checked, the review was still there.

This served as a reminder of how important it is that readers share their honest opinions of books on sites such as Amazon, Goodreads or Barnes & Noble. Even if you are not a professional book reviewer with your own blog, you can still write a sentence or two if you enjoyed a book. Even it wasn’t your favorite, you can still mention what worked for you and what didn’t.
If the age of Yelp has taught us anything at all, it’s that word of mouth can hurt or help a business. I know I always consult Yelp if I’m looking for a new place to eat or even when I needed a new optometrist!

You’d think that after a book is published, an author’s work is done. But that’s so not the case. Many, if not all, of the authors I have come across spend hundreds of hours promoting and marketing their books to the masses. If they’re not attending book signings at tiny independent bookstores, they’re hosting giveaways on their Web sites or writing guest blog posts multiple times a week on other sites. They work hard because they want people to know about their books – their babies.

Reviews can make or a break an author, just like on Yelp. So when someone like that Amazon reviewer calls an author out on something and doesn’t even let her defend her work, that’s just wrong. Hopefully the tons of other positive reviews on her book will be enough to make readers ignore the lone, unjustified claim of plagiarism. In fact, I’m planning to download this book next on my Kindle and will gladly post a review when I’m done.

Although I’m an aspiring author, I’m also a reader. I’ve now made it a personal goal to leave reviews on books as I finish them. After all, when I finally get to sell something I created on Amazon, my hope is that others will do the same. This is what you call GOOD AUTHOR KARMA.
With that, here are links to my two recent reviews on Amazon. Fortunately, I enjoyed both books immensely and I was happy to tell others about them just as much!

“Married by Monday” by Catherine Bybee
Heat level is 3 besos

“Try Me” by Diane Alberts
Heat level is 3 besos


So were you sad or happy when you heard TomKat was splitting up? I have to admit that I’m not a Tom Cruise fan – never have been. While girls in high school were having lunchtime viewing parties of “Top Gun” in one of the classrooms just so they could drool over him, I sat there wondering why couldn’t we be watching “Santa Barbara” instead (loved me some A. Martinez!) That said, I’m never happy when a marriage ends, especially when there are children. I’m grimacing already about what kind of battle will be waged in the tabloids since Katie is filing for sole legal custody of their daughter Suri. Not going to be pretty…

In the meantime, I thought it was very interesting about the news reports going around that each of Tom Cruise’s marriages ended when his wife turned 33! Coincendence? You be the judge:


Happy July! So I’ve been lagging on my posts because I went to Chicago to visit my sister and her family. Highlight of the trip (well, of course, besides seeing them) was a visit to the third largest Whole Foods Market in the world. It has multiple levels and that cool escalator that your shopping cart rides on (as seen in Top Chef!). In addition, it has a make your own trail mix bar, make your own oil/honey bar (can’t remember which one it was) and all the bulk grains and rice you could ever want.

There is also a coffee bar and a wine bar smack dab in the middle. At the end is a food court, but this isn’t your typical mall kind of food court. Besides different stations for sushi, Chinese, Italian and a deli counter, there is also an expansive FOOD bar where you can pack up some salad, carrots, lemon chicken, beans, cole slaw, curry etc. to go. You just pay per the pound. Ah, and there’s the snag. My brother-in-law calls WFM “Whole Paycheck Market” because it can get pricey. We only went there for a few things and my sister ended up spending over $300 (sshhh, don’t tell her husband). So while it was nice to visit, I’m glad the third largest Whole Foods Market is a plane ride away. I don’t think I could resist – or afford – having something so glorious so close to me. At least not until I’m a successful bestselling author, right? ;-)

So today marks the official end of my vacation and I’m back to the day job. There’s really no rest for the weary. Tomorrow we’ll be celebrating my little girl’s FIFTH birthday! And then we’ll have a party for her on the weekend. It will be a princess party complete with a tiara for her and wands for her guests.

I can’t believe how fast time is going by. I keep thinking she’s still a toddler, but not anymore. Next month she’ll start kindergarten and soon she’ll be asking for her own cell phone. Oh, wait, she asked for that when she turned 4. Yep, this little lady may be turning 5, but she’s really going on 15.

And with my son turning 12 later this month and my oldest REALLY turning 15 in September, I definitely have my hands full….I think I'm gonna need another vacation soon!

Happy Fourth of July and have a great week!


  1. Hi Annette!

    Chica, I love your chisme column. You give us a soup and a salad. Love it, love it!

  2. Thanks Evie! Glad you enjoy it :-)

  3. Good points all around. I also know about that "plagiarism" accusation debacle. Just sad. Likewise, I have a friend with tons of five-star reviews on Amazon and then a scathing one-star that says the book is not an inspirational. Well the author doesn't bill herself as inspiration. She's "sweet." So no sex, and the character does attend church, but not necessary all the elements that come with an inspirational romance. One of her characters uses a bad word -- for shame!

  4. Hi Louisa!

    Thanks for your comment. That's a bummer about your friend. You would think that the reviewer would have given her a few more stars on the merit of the ACTUAL story rather than just trashing the entire book because it didn't fit a certain "category." Well, hopefully potential readers will see those five-star reviews and still give this author a chance. If anything, maybe that one-star review will even entice others to check it out ;-)

  5. I have learned to ignore reviews that blast an author. If you don't like a book fine, you don't have to degrade an author or accuse them of falsehoods to "excuse" the fact you didn't like their book.

    Great post and thanks so much for the mention.

    1. Hi Catherine,

      Very good point! Thanks for the comment.

  6. Aw, thank you for the mention! And yes, I agree completely!