Friday, 21 February 2020

Amazon has really annoyed me this time.

I have been writing reviews, mostly for independent authors, for 7 years and sharing the reviews on this blog, Goodreads, LibraryThing and Amazon.

When I started, I was only required to purchase books of small value to qualify posting reviews on Amazon. I was able to post on amazon.com. as well as the sites in the UK and Australia.





The first annoying change was because I had not purchased books through the UK site, I was no longer qualified to post reviews. It was particularly disappointing because I review books by an English author.

Then, Amazon put the value to be purchased up to $50 but as I had already been accepted, I was able to continue posting my reviews on amazon.com.

I logged into Amazon the other day to post my latest review for Manipulation by TR Robinson only to get an on-screen message saying I didn’t qualify to post a review. It would appear Amazon have changed their rules.

Not only do you have to purchase books initially to the value of $50 but you are required to spend that amount on a yearly basis AND you have to do that for every Amazon site you would like to participate in reviews. That means if I want to share my opinion in the UK, Australia and the US I must spend $50 per year per site!

Even if I could afford to spend that amount of money, I doubt I could read that many books on top of my own purchases through Australian bookshops and those already in my personal library. The other difficulty is when I try to purchase an eBook (a simple download) I am forced to purchase only through the Australian site.

Furthermore, when I wish to purchase a print edition book my first choice is Booktopia (an Australian company) It is cheaper, more affordable, has faster postage and I am supporting an Australian company.

So, where is the future of my reviews and support for indie authors? I will continue to read and review the books on my ‘to be read’ list’. I will also read and review for authors who regularly send me their new work and post the reviews on my blog and Goodreads. However, I will be advising them of the situation, and I won’t be promoting my free service to new authors. I will also post reviews on Booktopia for books I purchase from them.

It is such a shame Amazon have taken this course of action. I can only interpret their actions as money being more important than supporting up and coming authors.




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Friday, 31 January 2020

Manipulation by TR Robinson

Manipulation is the latest in the author’s novella series, Bitches, featuring her main character, Tara. The stories are fictional but based on the author’s life experiences.

Tara, beautiful and clever but naïve is offered a higher paid job in London. While reluctant to move to the city, she brushes off the niggling feelings of something wrong and agrees to check out the position and location.

The story title comes from the situation she finds herself in when others try to manipulate her for their own ends. Tara is left in a house where the activities are obviously not the type of employment, she was hoping it to be. Struggling to come to grips with her discovery she needs to find an escape.

Another good short read from the pen of TR Robinson. My rating 4*



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Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Further Reviews on Amazon for Angel with Drumsticks

Vatican vs 60s band

A short interesting read that typifies the struggle of the 60s between youthful freedom and the establishment. In this case, the mere mention of the parties involved, a pop (later rock) band and the Vatican, will arouse the reader’s curiosity.

The many photographs interspersed within the text nicely depict the ambience of the ‘beat’ movement in Rome at that time and the main protagonist, the band Angel and the Brains. Those who remember this group should definitely read this chronicle of the injustices inflicted upon them by the Catholic Church.

5.0 out of 5 stars

 



Music History

Angel with Drumsticks is a history of the beginning of Beatles-era rock music in Italy. Without giving the story away, it recounts how a promising Italian Rock group developed the music originally at the request of the Catholic Church for a new style Catholic Mass that they hoped would encourage more young people to become involved in the Church. As in many situations, subsequent events did not turn out as expected, for the church or the musicians, and the influence of Italian rock music, compared to the British rock groups, for example, was minimized. The story is well researched and written, and students of the history of rock music should find this an interesting and informative narrative.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Loving Maria by TR Robinson

Loving Maria is based on the life of the author’s mother. It is set in a rural area in the early 1900s. It was a time when although attitudes toward the role of women and domestic life was generally changing in cities, life in rural areas maintained restrictive attitudes and conventions of society and class structure, including the tradition of arranged marriages.

Maria belonged to a wealthy family with extensive estates. They were a caring and loving family not only towards each other but also their employees and the people of their local village. This care extended to her mother providing healing to the citizens with traditional medicine.

Maria had inherited this natural skill from her mother and, to enable her to better care for her neighbours, went to Vienna to study modern medicine. She had a modern outlook with her own beliefs and needs yet she wanted to do what was deemed right by tradition.

Being at a marriageable age, her beauty and intelligence were attractive to men. With her mother’s blessing, she resisted convention of a loveless, arranged marriage to a man considered worthy of the family and who may want to take her away from the family estates.

Three men desiring Maria feature in the story. One is a quiet farm boy who admires from afar contrasts with a cruel stalker. The third, whose love for her becomes an obsession, manoeuvres the situation to ensure no one else will win her hand in marriage.

Does anyone win her hand in marriage? Will she be forced to leave her beloved home? I won’t spoil the story; you’ll have to read it for yourself.

I have read all TR Robinson’s books to date. Whether it is a short story, full length novel or biography I have enjoyed each one. Loving Maria is no exception.

My rating 4*





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