This book guarantees you'll increase your sales via your Facebook business page or your money back. If you're brand-new to Facebook, it will walk you...moreThis book guarantees you'll increase your sales via your Facebook business page or your money back. If you're brand-new to Facebook, it will walk you through the process, starting with the very first sign-up page. Helpfully for Facebook newbies, these pages include screenshots with notes that make it super-easy even for people who don't know social media from Cheerios.
Those who already have an established business profile on Facebook can skip ahead to Advanced Profile Setup or even further ahead to chapter three, which explains how Facebook works. This includes a discussion of Facebook's Edgerank algorithm, with tips on how to keep your Edgerank high.
The marketing tips that follow are extremely specific, which is helpful. Colson-Knowles emphasizes consistency, which is always a good strategy for any social media campaign. He gives tips on what kinds of promotions work best in Facebook ads and on avoiding being categorized as a spammer by the Facebook powers that be.
The end pages of the book contain additional resources, such as a lengthy list of motivational videos anyone can watch free on Youtube. I'm not much of a motivational video type, so what I found to be much more useful was the excerpt from Corson-Knowles' book 57 Hot Business Marketing Strategies. Readers get the entire chapter on guest blogging, including a helpful screen capture of what a spammy blog looks like and a template for requesting a guest post slot on a quality blog.
Overall, Corson-Knowles' tips seem practical and specific enough to be actually helpful. I don't know how many copies he's had to refund the money on, but I imagine it wasn't very many.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair, honest review. (less)
Are you thinking of adding a Facebook page to help promote your business? If so, this book is made just for you. It explains the "whys" of using Faceb...moreAre you thinking of adding a Facebook page to help promote your business? If so, this book is made just for you. It explains the "whys" of using Facebook to help customers find and keep in contact with your company, and then it explains the "hows." It deals with social media strategies and best practices.
As the author states on page 29, "If you do something without any goal, it will only turn out to be useless." For that reason, business owners will want to read through this book once to get a basic understanding of Facebook, then develop a Facebook marketing plan - the author gives suggestions for both no-cost marketing and paid Facebook ads - and then keep the book close by for reference as the Facebook page develops.
While the book will primarily help those just starting out in the process of creating a presence on the social media network, those with established Facebook pages who want to know how to calculate their return on investment (ROI) and track their social media statistics will learn how to do so.
For me, the most helpful chapter of the book was "Applications You Can Use For Your Facebook Business Page." Even though I consider myself fairly well-versed in social media, I hadn't heard of some of these useful apps. Another particularly practical chapter is "Common Facebook Marketing Problems," which will help companies avoid some embarrassing errors.
I received a free review copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair, honest review. (less)
I saw the movie first, then decided to read the book. As I expected, the book was even better than the movie - and I liked the movie. I like Lissa, I...moreI saw the movie first, then decided to read the book. As I expected, the book was even better than the movie - and I liked the movie. I like Lissa, I like Rose, I like the romantic parts and the action parts. My favorite part was Christian and Lissa's kiss. I will probably read further into this series, because I want to know if Rose and Dimitri get together after she turns 18 and graduates, or whether she ends up meeting someone her own age. I never seem to get tired of vampires. (less)
Gayle Pace, reviewing the first edition of this novel, wrote, "The book is a page turner, as fast as you can turn them and a definite keeper. You want...moreGayle Pace, reviewing the first edition of this novel, wrote, "The book is a page turner, as fast as you can turn them and a definite keeper. You want to get to know the characters and step into the book and become part of them. Some of the sex scenes are fiery hot. The cover on the book was just simply magnificent, the coloring and the soft images make you think of Witches and Paganism." The second edition is revised and further polished. Readers of contemporary romance with a magical twist will enjoy this read. (less)
James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra (2012) is the first novel by Colm McElwain. With an 11-year-old protagonist, this fantasy will appeal to rea...moreJames Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra (2012) is the first novel by Colm McElwain. With an 11-year-old protagonist, this fantasy will appeal to readers aged 8-12. The titular hero is a foster child who's recently come to live with a vaguely neglectful woman named Anne Brown. Brown, as James calls her, has also adopted slightly-younger Ben and Mary.
When the reader first encounters James, he's in the midst of a petty crime, stealing warm hats and gloves for himself and his brother and sister from a store in the mall. Hiding from the mall security guard, he runs into a psychic who warns him of grave dangers. Her prophecy is fulfilled when Brown packs the trio off to James's (presumably) biological grandfather's mansion for the winter holidays.
McElwain lists C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling among his influences, and it's easy to spot the influence in his work. Like Lewis's Professor Digory Kirke in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950), James's grandfather, Wilmore Clyde, knows a lot more about a mysterious hidden world -and its connection to his own labyrinthine mansion - then he first lets on. That hidden world is the Orchestra of the title. Orchestra is divided into two kingdoms: fair Zara and foul Darken. The wicked Queen Abigail of Darken, who would get along well with Narnia's white witch Jadis, intends to rule both once she obtains Orchestra's fabled diamonds.
The trio of James, Ben, and Mary may remind some of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. Ben, more down-to-earth than idealistic James, serves as the hero's foil. Mary, the youngest at only eight, is often the damsel in distress, although she's capable of delivering wisdom when needed.
It rests solidly on the firm foundation of British fantasy novels for young readers, but James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra is original enough to delight. Its short chapters, fast pace, and brisk action make it an ideal read for the middle grade age group. Readers who enjoy this novel will have to wait and hope for another installment. Although McElwain has mentioned an idea for a second novel in interviews, he had no definite plans to continue James's story. (less)
'The Anonymous Girl' by Holy Ghost Writer (HGW) is the sequel to 'That Girl Started Her Own Country.' The first novel in this series is 'The Sultan of...more'The Anonymous Girl' by Holy Ghost Writer (HGW) is the sequel to 'That Girl Started Her Own Country.' The first novel in this series is 'The Sultan of Monte Cristo,' a contemporary follow-up to Alexandre Dumas' 19th-century masterpiece. 'Sultan' followed the further adventures of Edmond Dantes, Mercedes, and Haydee; 'That Girl' switched the scenery to the 21st century, following the adventures of a descendant of Dantes and his mistress Raymee.
At least one other volume of the series - 'The Sovereign of Monte Cristo' - takes place in the 19th century on an American plantation. Quite frankly, I'm not entirely sure what order the entire series is meant to be read in, but 'Sultan' definitely comes first.
The protagonist of 'The Anonymous Girl' is Zaydee, and she's still in the process of starting her own country. She doesn't know she's a descendant of Edmond Dantes and Raymee, but she seems to be edging closer to the truth about her heritage. She's also connected somehow to a secret society called the Sovereign Order of Monte Cristo. Like the previous book, this one hints at conspiracy theories, but very little is revealed. I keep hoping the next installation will tie things together in a neat package.
Within this fictional world, Zaydee may be the true identity of the fictional character Lisbeth Salander. Steig Larsson, in this fictional world, is a pen name of U.S. journalist named Steve Larson, and Steve is a former lover of Zaydee's. This volume introduces a new wrinkle to the story, though: Zaydee has an identical twin sister named Liz. Steve didn't realize they were two different people even though he had relationships with both of them - so, chances are, Lisbeth Salander is based on some characteristics of both sisters.
This time around, Liz is extremely concerned for Steve's safety, but Zaydee seems convinced he's safe but has been taken into some kind of custody for his own protection. This is the first time the sisters have spoken in several years.
Speaking of custody, Zaydee is still residing in a federal prison in Florida. She's getting increasingly fed up with the criminal justice system, and she uses her superior hacking skills to get some sweet revenge on a couple of FBI bozos. These scenes are typical of the wicked humor throughout these stories, some of what makes them so fun and enjoyable.
Zaydee has really grown on me as a character, partly because she's so smart and competent, and partly because in some ways she resembles her famous ancestor The Count. She plays fast and loose with the American legal system, but you can't help but root for her dream of starting her own micro-nation with mostly women in all the important positions of state.
A new character in this volume is Remey, the heir of a biotech company whose father is working on a transhumanist project involving manipulating the human genetic code and furthering evolution at a greatly sped-up rate. Zaydee throws a spanner in the company's works, much to the chagrin of Remey's father. Remey takes Zaydee's side, turning his back on his family and his connections to a second secret society, Skull and Bones. Remey's character is well-written because when he comes into Zaydee's life on one of her excursions outside prison walls, it's unclear whether he's going to be an asset or a liability to her. By the end of the novel he seems to be trustworthy, but there's a bit of mystery to his character.
This fast-paced series continues to draw me in, and I look forward to reaching the end and having some answers to the questions raised by the secret societies and the exact nature of the link between the present day and the Count of Monte Cristo's time. I tended to take the series a little too seriously at first. You have to have fun with it. It's like a fun, breezy Dan Brown thriller. (less)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this historical romance, set in a pleasure garden (an early version of an amusement park) in Georgian England, shortly be...moreI thoroughly enjoyed reading this historical romance, set in a pleasure garden (an early version of an amusement park) in Georgian England, shortly before the American Revolution (1770s). Henrietta "Hetty" Hart is a lovable heroine, a kind woman who dotes on her ailing father and finds her inner strength when circumstances force her to take over her father's act. In the Georgian era, performing was still considered somewhat scandalous for a "respectable" woman, and Hetty's animal act - innocent as it would seem to us now - is salacious simply because a woman is in the ring. Hetty pushes the boundaries even further when she alters her father's ringmaster costume and performs in male dress as "Henry."
Hetty finds a foil in Tobias Wolfson, the pleasure gardens' new manager after a change of ownership. Mr. Wolfson's vision for the gardens conflict with the way things have been done since Hetty was a child. Only the worthiest acts will make the new cut, and Hetty is unsure if she can continue to support herself and her father. Unsurprisingly, after many clashes, Ms. Hart and Mr. Wolfson find themselves falling in love.
I found myself wholly invested in these characters and wanting a happy ending for them because they were written in such a likable way, two people who are rather proud and stubborn but who, in many ways, complement each other nicely.
Obstacles in their pathway include Mr. Wolfson's past and sense of duty, a famous show horse who may or may not form a bond with his new owner Hetty, and the scheming local lord.
Grace Elliot is not only a romance novelist, but also a veterinarian, and her love of animals shows through her fiction. All of the Harts' performing animals are well cared for and essentially treated like four-legged members of the family.
This novel was a pleasure to read, and the ending was a satisfying one. I'm glad I had the chance to read it.
Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, fair review. (less)
Some of my favorite stories from 'HUNGER: A Feast of Sensual Tales about Sex and Gastronomy,' edited by M. Christian and Alyn Rossellini (other than "...moreSome of my favorite stories from 'HUNGER: A Feast of Sensual Tales about Sex and Gastronomy,' edited by M. Christian and Alyn Rossellini (other than "Hungry Things," the one I wrote, of course):
I mentioned in a blog post that Susan St. Aubin's "A Meal" is a nice opener featuring brave writing and Dominic Santi's "Jeb's Wife" is some very sexy writing.
I also enjoyed "A is for Apple" by Jessica Lennox. It's about a playful sexual encounter between two women who've just met, involving a little light bondage. At first I thought the ending was a little abrupt, but when I got to the very last line and it suggested the lovers would play together again, I decided I liked the ending.
"Happy Birthday to Me" by Heidi Champa starts off on a melancholy note, at the unwelcome birthday party of a man who's lost his girlfriend. Marcus is sad, but the cake and the caterer who baked it make him start to feel a little better. She runs out of cake, but the lack can be made up for in other ways.
Billierosie's "Fruits de Mer" is gorgeous, gorgeous writing. Not a single word is out of place.
This is not to say that I didn't enjoy the other tales in the anthology, but everyone has their own preferences, and these are the ones that particularly catered to mine. I do happen to have a favorite, though. It's "Un Apetito Robusto" by Cèsar Sanchez Zapata. Set at a family-owned small vineyard in Italy, the tale is romantic, evocative, and just plain delizioso.(less)
One caveat: I never read The Picture of Dorian Gray. I knew the basic plot, perhaps because I did a unit on Oscar Wilde in middle school and read one...moreOne caveat: I never read The Picture of Dorian Gray. I knew the basic plot, perhaps because I did a unit on Oscar Wilde in middle school and read one of his shorter works - I don't remember exactly. Before I started reading this book, I thought it was going to be a mash-up of the original with some of Szereto's original thoughts added in, like her Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts. At first I was a little disappointed, since I really enjoyed that Austen parody. However, as I read on, I was glad to discover it was a wholly original tale crafted from the "what if" of Dorian becoming an immortal - or at least very long-lived - being.
Because I didn't read the original, I don't know how true Szereto wrote Dorian Gray to the way Wilde wrote the character, but that didn't matter as I read this. Szereto's Gray gets into some very imaginative scenarios, starting with a run-in with some very famous expatriate American writers in Paris. This chapter is fun. The tale becomes quick a bit darker in the next setting, and the darkness continues as Gray spirals downward into total depravity.
Dorian is a b*stard, but it's a fantastically well-told story. Still, even Dorian Gray has some hope for redemption, and the ending of this novel is very fitting.
In the past I've enjoyed Szereto's signature blend of erotica and humor, so this novel is a definite change of pace from what I'm used to from this author. I like it. It confirms once and for all that Szereto is a well-rounded and talented novelist. (less)
I checked this book out from my local library, unwilling to pay for a book that's mostly blank space and pictures until after I'd given the text a cha...moreI checked this book out from my local library, unwilling to pay for a book that's mostly blank space and pictures until after I'd given the text a chance. I've been a very loyal reader of the Sookie Stackhouse series, starting around 2005 or so when my mom loaned me the first book. Although I've read all 13 books, I have to admit I don't remember a lot of the minor characters, so a lot of the entries in this reference book didn't mean anything to me. That will be frustrating to anyone who's a more casual reader and not an obsessed fan. It is good to know a bit more about the fates of the main characters: Sookie, Sam, Eric, Bill, Jason, Pam, and Alcide. The information isn't very detailed, but at least it gives you a general idea of who lived happily ever after. Some of the entries show signs of what I'll generously call unpolished writing, and that too is frustrating. Harris has an unpleasant habit of telling us about a misfortune that occurred to a character and then making us infer from context that the result was death. Was it really so hard to say that so-and-so died? Clearly she has no qualms about giving her characters horrid endings, yet she can't seem to bring herself to come out and say so blatantly. Hardcore fans may enjoy the information found in these pages (200 pages, with about 30 pages of actual text), but the average isn't going to enjoy this book.
On the bright side, the entries for Barry the Bellboy and Quinn seem to imply that these characters will get some kind of spin-off or sequel. (less)
Some may call it trashy, but it's an entertaining rock 'n roll murder mystery about a bisexual rock journalist who's being stalked. Lots of sex. It wo...moreSome may call it trashy, but it's an entertaining rock 'n roll murder mystery about a bisexual rock journalist who's being stalked. Lots of sex. It would be an excellent beach read. (less)
'Consequences' is an elegant tale of suspense. It hooks you from the very first chapter. You read it and wonder, "How and why did all of this happen?"...more'Consequences' is an elegant tale of suspense. It hooks you from the very first chapter. You read it and wonder, "How and why did all of this happen?" As the story unfolded, I couldn't help but anticipate a major plot twist at any time - surely things couldn't be exactly as they seemed. The "kicker" comes late in the novel, but oh, what a kicker it is! Clues are present throughout the novel in the form of short chapters set in the 1980s, while the main action takes place in the present.
Claire, the heroine, is a bit hard to identify with at times, because she comes to accept a lifestyle that seems so completely unacceptable, even though she seems to be a rather strong woman in general. She's treated horribly, and by the end of the novel she's forced to use every ounce of her strength to keep from falling apart. Will she able to hold herself together? Truth, the second book in the series, will tell.
Even though she's a damsel in severe distress, and I tend to avoid this type of suspense novel because I find them a bit unsettling, I came to like Claire as a character. She really does try her best to survive in some very harsh psychological conditions. I hope she triumphs in the second book.
Disclosure: I received an e-book copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. It took me an embarrassingly long time to read and review this book - Aleatha, I'm so sorry. This review represents my own opinion, and I received no compensation other than the book itself. (less)
I think I picked this up at a library used book sale. I didn't have very high expectations of it, but it turned out to have some very cool stories in...moreI think I picked this up at a library used book sale. I didn't have very high expectations of it, but it turned out to have some very cool stories in it. Worth a read if you happen to come across a copy. (less)