Monday, May 2, 2016

Hook: Kindle First, May 2016

Kindle First promotes six books every month. What a great way to study how books are marketed in the amazon environment. "GOOD Reviews" means reviews from other authors or recognized sources. Plan ahead to find these reviewers. Under a photo of each book is a one sentence "hook." This is shown in yellow.

Note: one review includes a beautiful sentence quoted from the book. Find a few beautiful, powerful sentences that can be sprinkled into reviews.

Note: one book has a review from a Top 500 amazon reviewer. It is dynamite. Find some top reviewers who would be interested in reading my book or being a beta-reader.

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.
As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…
About the Author  with 15 second book video (actually 21)  3.5 stars
Dot Hutchison is the author of A Wounded Name, a young adult novel based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and the adult thriller The Butterfly Garden. With past experience working at a Boy Scout camp, a craft store, a bookstore, and the Renaissance Faire (as a human combat chess piece), Hutchison prides herself on remaining delightfully in tune with her inner young adult. She loves thunderstorms, mythology, history, and movies that can and should be watched on repeat. For more information on her current projects, visit or check her out on Tumblr (, Twitter (@DotHutchison), or Facebook (

Contemporary Fiction: A House for Happy Mothers by Amula Malladi —  One woman will do anything for her child; the other will do anything to have one.

A stunning new novel—full of wit and warmth—from the bestselling author of The Mango Season.

In trendy Silicon Valley, Priya has everything she needs—a loving husband, a career, and a home—but the one thing she wants most is the child she’s unable to have. In a Southern Indian village, Asha doesn’t have much—raising two children in a tiny hut, she and her husband can barely keep a tin roof over their heads—but she wants a better education for her gifted son. Pressured by her family, Asha reluctantly checks into the Happy Mothers House: a baby farm where she can rent her only asset—her womb—to a childless couple overseas. To the dismay of friends and family, Priya places her faith in a woman she’s never met to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Together, the two women discover the best and the worst that India’s rising surrogacy industry has to offer, bridging continents and cultures to bring a new life into the world—and renewed hope to each other.

About the Author  4.5 stars, lots of reviews (GOOD reviews in the body of the amazon write-up)
Amulya Malladi is the author of six novels, including The Sound of Language and The Mango Season. Her books have been translated into several languages, including Dutch, German, Spanish, Danish, Romanian, Serbian, and Tamil. She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in journalism. When she’s not writing, she works as a marketing executive for a global medical device company. She lives in Copenhagen with her husband and two children. Connect with Amulya at

Fantasy: Enemy by K. Eason  She's a cartel assassin. He talks to the dead. Together, they're going to save an empire.

The Illhari Republic rests on the bones of gods, telling tales of conquest and forgetting its once-bloody devotion to its most powerful goddess. Snowdenaelikk, half-blood conjuror and smuggler, cares less about history than the silver she can win with sharp metal and sharper wits. But when the local legion blames her for burning a village, an outlander with a sense of honor intervenes, and Snow finds herself tangled in politics and an unwelcome partnership.

Snow and her new partner, Veiko, together with the legion scout Dekklis, uncover a conspiracy that will destroy the Republic from within. It seems that the goddess is back from wherever dead gods go. She has not forgotten the Republic, and she wants revenge.
Loyal Dekklis will do anything to save the Republic, and Snow reluctantly agrees to help—until she realizes that “anything” means sacrificing Veiko. Now Snow must decide whether her partner’s life is worth betraying her allies and damning the Republic to war.

About the Author — 3 stars (Book 1 of a series)

K. Eason started telling tales in her early childhood. After earning two degrees in English literature, she decided to stop writing about everyone else’s stories and get back to writing her own. Now she teaches first-year college students about the zombie apocalypse, Aristotelian ethics, and Beowulf (not all at once). She lives in Southern California with her husband and two black cats, and she powers everything with coffee.

Freshly trained detective Johannes “Hannes” Niehaus is brand-new to the Criminal Investigation Department. And his partner, unconventional veteran detective Fritz Janssen, isn’t the least bit thrilled to train a rookie.

When a woman’s body washes up on the nearby shores of the Baltic Sea, Hannes gets his first taste of real crime—and a chance to prove himself. Quickly the investigation pulls him and Fritz into a whirlpool of dangerous, decades-old cover-ups. As the death count rises, the clues begin to lead them back to the Third Reich—and to harrowing crimes some people will do anything to keep hidden.

With the dead woman’s beautiful assistant to protect and a missing girl to find, Hannes navigates an ever-twisting maze of concealed horrors and enduring vendettas. Will he be able to catch the murderer before another innocent life gets caught in the killer’s dark plan? 

About the Author … (translation, best seller in Germany) no reviews 
German author Hendrik Falkenberg studied sports management and works in sports broadcasting. The magical allure that the sea holds for him comes alive in his stories, which are set on the north German coast. His first book, Die Zeit heilt keine Wunden (Time Heals No Wounds), was a #1 Kindle bestseller in Germany and has been translated for the first time into English.

Modern Fiction: We’re All Damaged by Matthew NormanSometimes home is the last place on earth you belong.
Andy Carter was happy. He had a solid job. He ran 5Ks for charity. He was living a nice, safe Midwestern existence. And then his wife left him for a handsome paramedic down the street.

We’re All Damaged begins after Andy has lost his job, ruined his best friend’s wedding, and moved to New York City, where he lives in a tiny apartment with an angry cat named Jeter that isn’t technically his. But before long he needs to go back to Omaha to say good-bye to his dying grandfather.

Back home, Andy is confronted with his past, which includes his ex, his ex’s new boyfriend, his right-wing talk-radio-host mother, his parents’ crumbling marriage, and his still-angry best friend.

As if these old problems weren’t enough, Andy encounters an entirely new complication: Daisy. She has fifteen tattoos, no job, and her own difficult past. But she claims she is the only person who can help Andy be happy again, if only she weren’t hiding a huge secret that will mess things up even more. Andy Carter needs a second chance at life, and Daisy—and the person Daisy pushes Andy to become—may be his last chance to set things right. 

About the Author … 4.5 stars, GOOD Reviews

Matthew Norman lives in Baltimore with his wife and their two daughters. His writing has appeared on Salon, the Good Men Project, and the Weeklings. His first novel, Domestic Violets, was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award in Best Humor. Visit his blog at, or follow him on Twitter @TheNormanNation.

Quote from a review: "We're all damaged. Every single beautiful, stupid, precious one of us. Damaged, damaged, damaged."

Dream come true review: 
4.0 out of 5 stars Politics makes strange bedfellows. So does marriage.
Henry was the kind of husband, father, and grandfather every family would love to have. He was tough enough to survive being a Chicago Cubs fan and loving enough to remain devoted to his beloved Dottie after decades of marriage. As he lies dying in a hospice, Dottie (once again young and beautiful) snuggles against him and comforts him. But Dottie has been dead for years and the lovely young woman who's in bed with Henry is ..... Well, it's complicated.

I picked this book because it looked entertaining, but I was so irritated with the main character (Andy Carter, Henry's grandson) that I wanted to slap some sense into him. He's followed the path of least resistance all his life, allowing his family's expectations to mold his career and personal life. Faced with setbacks, he lashes out at everyone around him. It's a tribute to the author's skill that he's able to weave a fascinating story around such poor material. I see by the bio that he's an ad copy-writer and that explains a lot. NOBODY writes like an old ad-man.

It's a book about marriage. Henry and Dottie's happy marriage. Their daughter Nancy's tense marriage. Andy's broken one. People marry with insane expectations - sure that their partner will either never change or will become their dream lover. And then there are people who can't legally marry. Should we let them get married and be miserable like the rest of us?

It's also a book about the "fringes" of American politics. On both sides of any hot-button issue, leaders dig in their heels and behave as outrageously as possible while the media eggs them on. Who ARE those crazy people who stand outside the Supreme Court with signs and scream at each other?Read more ›

Literary Fiction: About the Night by Anat TalshirCan their love survive in a divided land?

On a hot summer day in 1947, on a grandstand overlooking Jerusalem, Elias and Lila fall deeply, irrevocably in love.

Tragically, they come from two different worlds. Elias is a Christian Arab living on the eastern side of the newly divided city, and Lila is a Jew living on the western side. A growing conflict between their cultures casts a heavy shadow over the region and their burgeoning relationship. Between them lie not only a wall of stone and barbed wire but also the bitter enmity of two nations at war.

Told in the voice of Elias as he looks back upon the long years of his life, About the Night is a timely story of how hope can nourish us, loss can devastate us, and love can carry us beyond the boundaries that hold human beings apart. 

About the Author  5 stars (1 review) 

Anat Talshir has been one of Israel’s most distinguished investigative journalists for over thirty years. She has hosted a television show on current affairs and taught creative writing at the College of Management Academic Studies. Talshir has written and produced several documentaries, including the award-winning program Israel’s Next War?
In 2002 she was awarded the Nahum Sokolov Prize for best journalism (the Israeli Pulitzer). Talshir is currently working on her second novel.