Posts Tagged With: reviews

Put On Your Kickin’ Shoes

We are live with my Kickstarter campaign! This one is more chill than my previous campaign, and more of a pre-order platform than anything else. There are several ways you can get your hands on my digital pre-release copy without committing to a pre-review. I have Day-of-release paperback options as well as some fancy stuff.

If you want to buy my book, I’d encourage you to go this route because you can get things earlier, and because you get a discount! If you want more swag, I’ve got it there too. (I do still believe firmly in the 99 cent ebook, but I’m going to start my book at $2.99 so I can discount it later and boost sales.)

If you are interested in pre-reviewing my book, you don’t need to buy it. I’ll send you the e-copy as soon as Kathleen has finished her fabulous editing magic on it. Email me to get on my pre-review list.

Categories: My Books, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Review Book List

I realized it has been a while since I listed the books I’ll be reviewing soon. Below is my list in a loose order. I may not release reviews in exactly this order but I’ll try. If you are supposed to be on this list but I don’t have you here, please reply so I can be sure you see where you are on the list. Some have links, and these are the ones I bought during my February Birthday spree, or that were included in the email request.
Also after some inner struggle, I’m going to limit my future reviews to books that are edited by another person besides the author. (Yes, your Uncle Frank does count, as long as he knows what he’s doing.) I’m going to require that you list the name of your editor in order to accept a review copy. I believe in good books and in order to encourage fellow authors to excel in their writing, I think this is the best course of action. 
  • Merlin’s Wood by Anne Hamilton (started reading hard copy with kids)
  • Revolussion by Kathy Bell
  • The Mine by John Heldt
  • The Footloose Killer by Michelle Johnson
  • Megan and Liam: a CITY WEDDING by Maggie Carlise (I downloaded the preview by accident, thinking it was the full book. This is why I posted no review yet.)
  • Mark of the Loon by Molly Greene (readying review for release May 14)
  • When Girlfriends Break Hearts by Savannah Page (awaiting finished copy)
Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shameless in Seattle: Begging Part II

This worked so well for me last time, I’m going to beg you again. You seem to like it, you sadists!

Please, please, please, please, please, buy my book, review my book on Amazon or wherever you bought it or didn’t buy it, like my book everywhere, and share my posts with your Facebook friends so they will also buy my book! I really want this book to succeed so I can pay Kathleen to edit How To Win Friends and Influence Magicians! You’ll really like this one and it is ALMOST DONE!

I know! I appear to be a Fiction Writing Monster with Mad Speed-Fiction Skills! Unfortunately I don’t have Mad Disposable Income Skills.

So to be really codependent with my compulsive fiction writing, please hook me up at these fine locations:

Thank you!

Categories: My Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Introducing…The Lustre!

The Lustre

by Kate Policani

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Hidden within Human society is an entrancing race of beings who look just like us. They are the Akataromai. Originating on Earth, they conceal themselves, blending within the Human population. Though they appear to be Human, mature Akataromai live for centuries and feed upon negative Human emotions. Angelina Quorra is an Akataromai, a Human-looking girl who might never die. But Angelina is unique among her people, absorbing pain as well as emotion and giving anyone who feeds her overwhelming pleasure. This is her story, told by the men who adore her. Her talent is called The Lustre, bringing her great fame, and great trouble.

Read all posted reviews of The Lustre as they go live at:

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Smashwords

Buy at Barnes & Noble

Buy on KOBO

Buy on Createspace: Red cover, Slate cover, Black and Cream cover

The Lustre at Goodreads

Categories: Book Launch | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Things I Learn From Reviewing Your Books

I started reviewing books long before I started my blog and they started as an exercise in analyzing books to improve my writing. Boy did that help! The difference over just a year in my writing is amazing! This is all thanks to my hubby, Marc. He suggested it.

For awhile my reviews were just of things I checked out from the library, which were all traditionally published books. The first few, I did as a long  English-class type book report. That got old fast. After that I started an easy and kind of fun review on my phone. I texted my email with a concise and meaningful few sentences that comprised my review. Some of these are on Goodreads, expanded a little to remove my personal code for some common things.

For you, I do a longer review and a deeper analysis of what I’m reading. I focus on:

  • What I really liked about the book
  • What I thought didn’t work, described with kindness
  • What your themes are and whether they came through or not
  • Some of the character highlights

The things I learn:

I learn a whole lot about you! What you write, though it may be fiction, is coming out of your heart and imagination. (This was one of my fears when first publishing, because it is a huge leap of faith to give the general public a piece of my brain!)

I learn about what I like to read and what doesn’t work for me. My “Never Do” list and my Quotes came from reading library books and taking notes on things that I liked and things I did. Most of them were there and I see them everywhere.

I learn about the universal themes that grip you as a writer. They are everywhere. Betrayal, forgiveness, loss, loneliness, these are just a few. I can then transfer my favorites to my own writing. Your writing also shows what is best and worst to you. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I don’t, but it all affects how I shape my own beliefs. If I don’t agree with you, it forces me to figure out why. If I agree, I see your perspective on the issue.

I learn how your mistakes look in my writing. I make many many many of the same mistakes and seeing them in another’s work is like seeing in a mirror. This is one of the best ways your writing improves mine.

I learn the way someone else writes the same thing I am writing about. Talking to some writer friends, we agree that, given the exact same story idea, we will all write a completely different tale. My story of a Vampire Chick will be similar but also radically different from yours. Even formula books will be completely different. Nobody writes like you, or me! Doesn’t that make you feel special?

That isn’t all either, but how long are you really going to spend reading my post?

If you are writing, you should be reading. If you are reading, you should be analyzing the reading in some way, whether through conversation or reviews. If you aren’t you are missing out on a treasure trove of learning about your own writing craft.




Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Happy February!

This is a big month for me!

Today The Lustre begins the editing phase! I am using a different editor this time mainly because she was my original choice for editor but was moving to California at the time and so passed me on to Kathryn who edited The Disenchanted Pet.

In addition to my exciting book news, I will be turning 29 (again) this month. For my birthday present to myself I will be combing through my followers list again to buy some more of your books! (I also might buy a new purse, but I’m not sure.) I will buy books from my blog followers I haven’t bought from before with the intention of reviewing them on Compulsively Writing Reviews. I will have a budget. If your book is more expensive, I have to bump it to the bottom of my list because I want to be able to buy more than 2 ebooks. If your book is on the expensive side and you miss out, I will still trade you a copy of The Disenchanted Pet or The Lustre for review!

I’ll also join a new blog tour group, Tribute Books, with my review of The Priest and the Peaches on February 10th!

Now I have to decide when to release The Lustre…. I think you’ll be seeing some posts soon on how to release a book the right way! Anybody have any suggestions for articles online? Post your links in the comments!

Categories: My Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Book Review: Chosen by Jolea M. Harrison


by Jolea M. Harrison

the first book of The Guardians of the Word

Sixteen-year-old Dynan Telaerin finds himself on a corpse-strewn hillside, uncertain if he’s dead or alive, charged with saving the soul of his ancestor, the most powerful telepath to ever exist. Dynan has telepathic powers of his own, only he doesn’t know how to use them. With monsters and minions trying to eat his soul, the demon’s lair isn’t the place to learn anything – except how to run and how to hide. Will courage alone be enough to face the greatest evil to exist? Will he lose his soul to save everyone else?

The running starts, and doesn’t stop to the end of this action packed adventure of a young man coming to terms with his life while he’s barely a spirit, through horrors he thought existed only in dreams.

Chosen is the first book of the series, The Guardians of the Word.

A review for Chosen can now be found on my Review site:

Or you can just go buy it right now! Chosen (The Guardians of the Word) eBook: Jolea M. Harrison: Kindle Store

For more info about the author please visit:


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I am really enjoying reading all the books I bought from my followers! I am seeing some fantastic writing, and some really wonderful stories. There have, however, been some problems therein. I won’t blab who they are or tear them down in public. I wouldn’t want anyone to do that to me. The thing is that usually we can’t see a problem with our writing until someone points it out. So I will! This may or may not be your problem, but regardless, you can learn from it.


  1. Explaining too much: This is the main reason I want to stop reading a book. When you explain everything in detail, you have to be careful not to tell us too much. Telling too much can lead to boring the reader who just wants the action to move forward, leaving no mystery for the reader to discover later on, or getting lost in scenery and description that doesn’t actually tell a story. I have read some published works by successful authors that begin with a protracted description of someone I don’t know who isn’t real and I don’t really care, so I move to the next book.
  2. Not explaining enough: There is a fine line between not enough and too much. You have to be really careful about that. A few things I read recently left me wondering what was going on and if I was accidentally starting with #2 in a series by accident. I really love the technique of experiencing the confusion of the protagonist as you move through your story, but don’t keep us confused. Make it long enough in finding things out to be pleasurable and short enough to be gratifying. Also, adding in a character with lots of back story as if we already knew them is a mistake. You should introduce characters like you introduce people. We don’t need tantalizing details about a character if you don’t intend to develop them. That makes it seem like an excerpt and not a full story. Also, we don’t want to hear their embarrassing private details just after we meet them. Later on, maybe we do, but we’re not loose, so don’t get fresh going to far too fast. I’m not that kind of girl.
  3. Unlovable characters: There are personality flaws that are endearing and personality flaws that are off-putting. You need character flaws or your characters don’t seem human. (Sometimes they aren’t human.) To connect the reader to our characters, we have to carefully choose their flaws. If you give your character too many bad flaws, then you won’t have a lovable character. Flaws that are endearing are things like clumsiness, awkwardness, chronic misfortune, and self-consciousness. They are lovable because we all have some or all of them and in a book they either harm no one or provide comic relief when they do. Flaws that nobody loves are self-pity (because if you pity yourself, we feel like your pity portion is covered), spoiled-brattiness, self-delusion, sullenness, inability to act when necessary,  selfishness, and smugness. These flaws should be used on a “bad guy” or on a main character who gets spanked and changes for the better. I read one character who essentially dared the world to disapprove of her. Bad idea. Even if we don’t disapprove, we might be convinced to disapprove on principle.
  4. Scattered story momentum: In one story I read, the writer was trying to pepper her story with scenes where the main character and the love interest were confronted with their attraction for one another. The trouble was that these were done randomly and often in inappropriate context. The scenes didn’t build in intensity toward a climax, rather the characters were flooded with a random level of attraction unconnected with the previous or following levels, and then suddenly remembering their reasons to hold back, seemed to completely forget their attraction. It was confusing and made the two characters appear mentally unhinged. Remember the flow of your story and chop out anything that gets in its way. It’s the boss, and gets to go first.
  5. Names that all sound the same confuse me!: I have a character flaw myself, and that is if you name your characters Mike, Matt, and Mitch, I will confuse them and forget who I am reading about. My own technique I use in my own writing is to always name my characters with a different first letter than all the other characters. I strayed from that pattern and confused myself in The Disenchanted Pet by naming the male brother characters James and Justus. My editor and my friends found repeated instances where I was writing about one and named the other. I had to read the whole piece through a few times to correct mistakes based on their names.
  6. The flow of the story gets lost in dialogue: Dialogue is vital and enhances a story, but when the characters just move from place to place and talk, it can bore you to tears. If you are reading a book that is supposed to be about people talking to one another in different places, that is one thing. If you are reading a book that claims to be a thrilling adventure, this doesn’t work. Move them around and do stuff to them, and let them talk about it a little.
  7. Too many feelings: I am a girl and I love hearing about people’s feelings. But even I can’t handle the level of feeling-sharing sometimes. Do share the feelings that are relevant to the action of the story as they happen. Do not share all the feelings of all the characters about everything. Some characters should be an enigma and not knowing what goes on in their head will be fascinating. Why did they do that? I don’t know! Maybe if I read more I can find out. It’s why Edward in Twilight liked Bella. It wasn’t wrong.

Don’t feel bad if this punches your story in the eye. I’ve made some of the same mistakes and a little beating does your writing technique good. If you are out to tell your story and get everyone to praise you without working at it, you had better just give your stories to your close friends who don’t criticize you. If it is your art, and you strive to make it better and more beautiful, then you’ll love and hate all the criticism, but you’ll grow from it.

Write on!

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Last Books for my Christmas Spree

I purchased two more books today! These are going to be my last ones for Christmas since that is the end of my budget. Thank you to all of you who paid attention and followed me! I’ll do this again in February for my birthday, so follow me whenever and I’ll track back through.

The Warden War (G.O.D. Corp.)’ by DL Morrese (this is the second since he sent me his first one for review before he followed me!)

Chosen by Jolea M. Harrison


Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Print-on-demand Company Comparison and Novelpublicity

Thanks to Quillweilder for the link to a beautiful chart comparison of all the web-based print-on-demand companies and ebook only companies out there and their policies. I love charts! Click here:

I also just signed up for Novelpublicity’s Whirlwind Tour. This means I’ll be participating in some more reviews and book publicity!

Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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