It would seem that we publish and are damned for doing so

Freedom-of-Speech-united-states-of-america-21760995-960-720Freedom of speech is guaranteed in law by every civilized country. So why is it only permissible within certain book sites for just one group?

It is evident that the insidious fictional organisation portrayed in George Orwell’s novel 1984 – the Thought Police, now actually exist. Two online book sites appear to have an unwritten policy to protect the right of free speech for their in-house trolls, while at the same time denying that self-same right to the victims of their invective – Indie writers.

While it seems to be perfectly acceptable in the eyes of the management of both sites for their tame trolls to go after a writer with no holds barred, the writer is not allowed to defend him or herself, or to make public their attackers, or even make the ‘Hate Lists’ of authors, drawn up by certain individuals within the troll community known to the general reading public.

What is wrong with this picture? Everything is the only logical answer.

Beyond the world of book sites, when someone is attacked by an overzealous journalist, the victim is guaranteed the right to defend themselves by right of rebuttal. But when your book appears on the two sites in question, according to them you the author have no such right. This disgusting scenario is beyond the comprehension of all writers and by most normal sane people.

How much longer must the writer suffer this gross injustice? Unless or until the sites in question are legally forced to end this totally unacceptable situation, I see no satisfactory conclusion for those of us who write the targeted books.

Freedom of speech does not just apply to the trolls. It is a guaranteed right for everyone concerned, something the two book sites fail to acknowledge. One thing both book sites conveniently forget is that without writers writing and publishing their work, the sites would quite simply not exist…

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Internet Trolls – what is their problem?

internet-troll

As far as I can make out, all internet trolls are failed writers with an enormous chip on their shoulders, who have never actually managed to produce a publishable book. Because of their anger at being rejected due to their own literary inadequacies, they see those of us who enjoy some modicum of success as the enemy. They cannot attack the agent, editor or publisher who rejected them for fear of retaliation in the form of a law suit, so they vent their spleen by attacking the easiest target – the Indie writer. Just take the time to look at the average one star review written by any one of them and it is obvious why they failed.

Here are a few verbatim examples of the typical kind of one star review. Every one of them is poorly written. I have deliberately left out the title of each book, to focus your attention entirely on the sheer vindictiveness, appalling spelling and grammar used.

***

“The author has based a character on a teenage girl he is obsessed with. He has used her real name without her permission. If that wasn’t bad enough, the quotes in the spoiler tag below show how absolutely disgusting the whole thing is. The only other notable thing is how poor the writing is; the author doesn’t even seem to know the meaning of some of the words he uses. It would be funny if it wasn’t so disturbing. This book makes me sick.”

“Perhaps one of THE worst books in the history of literature…..this history or any other! I WANT MY MONEY BACK! Any egyptian national would be offended by this book and any person of average or above intellect (clearly not the author) would be offended by this book. Even within the realms of fantasy this “work” would NOT be considered worthy or considered at all. Perhaps it should come with a clearly stated warning that readers beware of impending rubbish upon purchase? Have i already said I WANT MY MONEY BACK!? And while we are doing that please can i have all reference of this book cleansed from my memory? I will even put thought to financial contribution to the author never self-publishing any future “works” as clearly this would benefit mankind’s future.

“My expectations kept drooping as I read the book until I could stand it no more. I felt like I was reading a narrative put together by a 7 year old without the pleasure of a 7 year old’s breathless enthusiasm. What a waste of time!”

“The story dosent really pull the reader in. The writing is ment for a very young reader. The story line is rather boring.”

“i find myself struggling to like authors who come up with those strange surnames as well as other worlds.don’t claim to be any better at tho.this bunch of aliens were real sob’s do they get their comupance(sp)?read it & you will find out even if some of the protaganists don’t quite measure up more water could have solved the problems handily”

“This has gotta be the worst book I’ve purchased from Kindle – even at 99c it’s way overpriced. Meandering storylines that just peter out and the ending is pathetic. Best advice I can give you is DON’T!!”

***

Even when you take into account the differences in spelling between English speaking nations which a lot of trolls constantly bleat about, is it any wonder that they are failed writers when you read the above examples?

I think not…

Runner’s Gauntlet

Trench-Warfare

With the centenary of the outbreak of World War One about to occur next year, here is a short story set in the trenches of the British front line.

Lest We Forget

***

Albert Johnstone and his pal Dick Madison had both enlisted at the same time, barely twelve weeks after war had been declared in 1914. At the time, Dick was nineteen and Albert was barely eighteen. Since then three long and bitterly hard fought years had passed in the war to end all wars. It was now 1917 and by sheer good fortune more than anything else in the corner of hell they called home, Albert and Dick were now the only two left alive from the newly formed pals regiment that had marched to war in that first year.

To any newcomer to their section, both men seemed much older than they actually were. The last five weeks of constant barrage by the Hun artillery plus the filth, trench foot, body lice and chronic levels of disease which daily lived side by side with the Tommies in this small section of the rat infested stinking quagmire of a trench, which the remainder of their regiment called home, had prematurely aged both men here in the thick of the worst fighting on the Western Front.

“Bert, give us a fag mate?”

“Ain’t got any left Dickie,” Albert replied.

Dick lifted his Lee Enfield’s muzzle to his eye to check the cleanliness of its barrel. The section Corporal, Charlie Hobbs, had just threatened to put him on a fizzer if he didn’t do something ‘bleedin sharpish’ about the state of his filthy weapon.

“Bleedin stripes on his arm have gone to his bleedin head,” Dick mumbled to himself. “Go on Bert mate, give us a fag,” he pleaded once more, as he yanked on the string of his rifle pull-through yet again, “You can have my extra tin of Bully for a fag, go on give us one.”

Dick knew that his best mate Albert always had some spare cigarettes stashed away somewhere, deep inside the filthy confines of his clothing, competing for space against his skin with the thousands of body lice that constantly plagued him, like of all the soldiers in the line, which he reserved for those quiet moments during stand to at night when they took turns on watch from the trenches’ firing step.

“Privates’ Johnstone and Madison, over here, quickly now – jump to it my lucky lads!”

Albert and Dick waded through the stinking fetid water that sat in the bottom of the trench, hiding the wooden duckboards along its length, dodging the huge rats that were swimming along looking for scraps of food or to feed on the unburied soldier’s remains that lay wherever they had been shot.

“Bleedin furry cannibals,” Albert muttered as he smashed the butt of his rifle into one of the rats. Eventually both men stopped in front of Sergeant ‘Bull’ Thomas.

“Got a job for you me lucky lads,” Bull grinned coldly.

“Bleedin hell Sarge – not again, why us, why not someone else?” Dick muttered out loud.

“Now then Madison, now then; Corporal Hobbs tells me you’re a filthy little bleeder my son. So pin your bleedin lugholes back and shut yer trap unless you want that bleedin fizzer he’s already threatened you with to bleedin multiply!”

Despite all of his bluster and effing and blinding, Sergeant Thomas had a soft spot for his two most experienced soldiers. Like Albert and Dick, he had been here in the hell of the Western Front since it first began, and like them, somehow he had survived when so many hundreds of thousands of their fellow Tommies had not. “Now then me lads; as I was saying, I’ve got a job for you. The major needs a couple of runners to take a very important message back to HQ see, because the bleedin telephone lines is broke again after the last bleedin barrage. I knows just the very lads for the job, sir, I says to him; privates’ Johnstone and Madison I says. So my lucky lads, there it is.”

Albert and Dick’s faces, despite the thick layer of ingrained grime and dirt that plastered their skin, giving them the appearance of two men in late middle age, betrayed their natural lack of enthusiasm for being volunteered for something that was hazardous to their health. “Like I said Sarge, why us when there’s plenty of new replacements to detail off as bleedin runners?” Dick complained.  

“The major says that this particular message is far too important to be trusted to a newcomer, lad. Besides, none of them have your survival instincts. The route you will have to take is perishin close to the Hun’s front line as you well know me lads.” Bull sighed, realizing exactly what he was asking of them. Everyone knew that anyone who tried to get through that particular piece of the frontline trench system had less than a ten percent chance of making it to the other end alive.

 

Runner’s Gauntlet’, as the way back to the HQ dugout was equally known by both sides of the stagnant frontline, was looked upon as the real life version of the popular fair-ground shooting galleries before the war.

When the frontline trenches had first been dug into the muddy soil two years earlier, their zigzag nature combined with the depth they had been excavated to made them relatively safe. But since then, constant barrages by both sides had reshaped the entire trench system into a series of short intact sections and gaps filled with hundreds of shell craters.

Twenty yards beyond where the three men now stood was the end of the trench proper, and the beginning of the heavily damaged sector. The German snipers loved it. Whenever a Tommy runner tried to cross it, the snipers took bets among themselves over which one of them would send the runner to oblivion…

 

Bull thrust the message into Dick’s tunic top pocket and buttoned it up before shaking both their hands; there was no sense in wishing them good luck – doing it might bring them the exact opposite. The pair moved off silently to the end of the trench.

Albert carefully lifted the trench periscope just above the remains of the sand bags on top of the trench. Dick released his Lee Enfield’s safety catch in readiness.

“Two bleedin snipers mate, one behind the wall of the church and one behind the old iron gate,” Albert reported in a hushed voice.

“Wall first mate,” Dick replied quietly as the muzzle of his rifle slowly poked through the gap between two sandbags.

Albert brought his sniper rifle up in readiness.“Ok Dickie, get the bleeder’s attention,” he said, as he shifted his telescopic sight in readiness.

Dick placed his tin hat over the back sight of his rifle and ducked down, seconds before a round from the German sniper’s rifle drove a neat hole slap bang in the centre of it, sending it flying behind him. At the same moment Albert squeezed his trigger and stayed only long enough to see the German sniper’s head explode before ducking down alongside Dick. “Gotcha you bleeder,” he muttered grinning with satisfaction.

Now there was only one more sniper to contend with. “Ready?” Dick asked.

“After you mate,” Albert winked as he stood up with his trusty rifle ready for action. “Go!”

Dick jumped and rolled over the edge of the first shell hole, flattening himself at its soggy base. Albert corrected his telescopic sight’s aim as he briefly saw movement behind the church’s old iron gate. “Go!” he shouted.

Dick sprang to his feet once more and jumped and rolled into the next shell hole a split second before a bullet from the German sniper’s rifle kicked up mud behind the sole of his rapidly disappearing left boot, when he dived for cover once more.

“Gotcha,” Albert said with satisfaction as he watched the second sniper crumple lifelessly to the ground behind the iron gate.

 

With no more snipers to contend with for the moment, they crossed the rest of the pock-marked muddy landscape, shell hole by shell hole, until they were back in the relative safety of the next section of trench. The two friends sat for a few minutes savouring the exquisite delight of one of Albert’s precious stock of cigarettes, both laughing when the body of one of Albert’s body lice, which had hidden itself in the cigarette’s tobacco, exploded as the cigarette burned down, before they navigated the trench system to the HQ.

The colonel in charge studied the major’s message before dismissing Albert and Dick, telling them to go to the cook house for a meal before reporting back to him in an hour’s time.

 

On their return the colonel handed them his reply to take back with them along with a new roll of field telephone wire to pay out as they went.

“Bleedin’ hell mate,” Dick grumbled, “now all we have to do is get back home with this lot.”

“Like they say Dickie – be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home,” Albert laughed.

“Ready?”

“Ready mate, let’s go home,” Albert replied as he patted his sniper rifle, prepared for what lay ahead of them on their return journey back through ‘Runners Gauntlet’.

 

Are Internet Trolls Really a Threat?

Internet-Troll

As recent events have unfolded, I have begun to wonder how much of a threat or hindrance to the Indie writer the troll really is. I firmly believe that their pathological blind hatred of any Indie writer, be they a first timer or one who enjoys moderate success with their books, actually works to the writer’s advantage.

Far from deterring readers from buying an Indie’s book by employing their misguided campaigns designed to discredit and end a writer’s career, and by writing their often absurd so-called reviews, in fact all they achieve is the exact opposite. When the potential reader comes across a one star review in the midst of four and five star reviews, it heightens their curiosity. Often it is all the hesitant reader needs to convince them to buy, if only to see what all the fuss is about.

In Goodreads for example, one particular troll has created a hate list of books entitled When Hell Freezes Over, driven by her insane desire to do harm to one particular writer. The list is populated not only by that writer’s work but the books of all his fellow writers who he counts as friends.

Here is the link to that particular list:-  http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/when-hell-freezes-over

This is not the only list, there are many of them both on Goodreads and on other internet book sites and outlets.

So, are Trolls really a threat to the Indie writer? I think not. If anything we should be thanking them for making readers who otherwise may not have come across a specific book aware of its existence.

This is a list of known Trolls on Amazon:-

Amanda Welling

Amazing Grace

Anna Karenina

angela longstaffe

Bruins Gal

Carla

Cathyr

Coaxial Creature

Cphe

Curmudgeon

Charlene

Dog Lover

ETA: soon

G

Ginmar

Gunspurs

Hamstead

HJ Leonard

H.Stewart

In2Books

Iola

John Green

K.L. Clark

Kathryn

KarlynP

Kelli

Mahala

Marcus Pailing

Mayhem

Michael McKinney

Misfit

Miss M

Nana Janet

Ness

Nospin

Old Rocker

Pete Morin

peachbird76

Rachel

Scamp

ScottBooks

Sires

Strawberry

Teacher Mommy

Tansy Gold

TheInQuisition

Twinny

Note that like all cowards they hide behind pseudonyms. If you come across a one star review written by one of them on Amazon, you will find that by clicking on their ‘name’ you see exactly where Amazon places them in its ‘Top Reviewer Ranking’. Not one of them rates as a genuine top reviewer. Most reside in the system’s doldrums with a ranking of two million or more.

Will they ever wake up to the fact that their campaign of hatred actually favours the Indie writer – probably not? The average Internet Troll left their brain at the door when they entered their bedroom to continue their often vitriolic attacks. So I would like to thank them for actively promoting my books on Amazon and Goodreads via their hate lists and their one star reviews.

What each and every one of them forgets is that their actions constitute a criminal act under US Federal and State law. The same applies to their cousins in the United Kingdom…

One Man’s Response to Cyber Crime

The following press release appeared yesterday on the subject of organised cyber stalking and cyber bullying…

***

Dateline Minnesota                             For Immediate Release                           May 18, 2013

Serial Cyber-stalking, Cyber-bullying and Harassment Rampant on the Internet

A Minnesota man is troubled by a case of wide-spread, serial cyber-stalking he has uncovered.

Rick Carufel has found a disturbing number of reports and evidence of blatant, organized cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying and harassment all originating from the same online source – a public forum owned by a well-known global corporation. It appears to have been ongoing for at least three years and involves dozens of people victimizing hundreds.

“There seems to be some indication that the corporation in question may be deliberately shielding those responsible and may even be actively supporting them. Recently I have seen an alarming number of cases concerning attacks on a certain group of individuals.”

It is obvious to anyone who carries out a cursory investigation by going to the website in question that the corporation has some very questionable policies which it has made no attempt to address, resolve or even acknowledge. The company’s public forums are the origin of what can only be described as vicious personal cyber-attacks to date. Even in the face of thousands of complaints, the corporation does nothing to correct the situation.

While researching the US cyber-stalking laws, Carufel has discovered that the Minnesota statute 609.749 clearly defines the activities of these people as criminal acts. This is the same statute used to prosecute predatory sex offenders who stalk underage victims online. There are between thirty and forty people currently responsible for hundreds of organized attacks with the intent to damage careers, reputations and income. These are not merely isolated incidents. Instead, when the predator’s focus their attention on an individual they keep up a sustained attack trying in every underhanded way possible to discredit, demean, insult, demonize and harass their victims across the internet at every opportunity.

Carufel said that according to his understanding of the situation, these people are committing crimes which the particular company that owns the website is fully aware of. “It’s absolutely amazing how many people these cyber-terrorists have frightened into not speaking out against them because of the threat of very damaging retaliation. These stalkers have found the perfect cover for their crimes, protected as they are by the company concerned.”

Carufel went on to say that these attacks if allowed to continue, will potentially cause millions in damage over time. “They are the offshoot of an industry in transition that desperately clings to outdated models and these waning industry leaders are not happy with the current state of events.  I’ve had reports that there may actually be corporate sponsorships for some of these attacks, targeting a certain segment of the industry most responsible for their decline. There is much more to be uncovered, but I am out of resources to pursue this investigation much further. I’m hoping to gather enough solid evidence together to compel the State and Federal authorities to request indictments.  These people are spreading terror and misery every day and must be stopped.  Their cover is diabolically clever and they have thus far managed to weather every attempt to root them out.  Hopefully armed with 609.749 by proving the association between the cyber stalkers and the particular corporation, we can accomplish that.”

Carufel stated that were he to publicly reveal the details, people would be shocked.  He stated that he already has enough evidence from his own case to send several of the individuals concerned to prison. Combine his evidence with the many other reports of similar personal attacks and harassment condoned by the corporation and Carufel hopes to have a deeper investigation into it and its system of protection tailored to accommodate these criminals.

***

A book I am extremely proud of – The Forgotten Age

The Forgotten Age ReviewsForgottenClick to go to Amazon.com

In the world of archaeology, some things are just not meant to be. Only the brave or foolhardy will ever dare to challenge the establishment and its accepted theories. Previously, Dr Nick Palmer had proved himself beyond any reasonable doubt by saving the Earth and the entire Solar system from total destruction on December, 21st, 2012, enabling humanity’s seventh age to begin.
Now it was time to upset the academic world once and for all. He returns to Egypt to find the fabled library of the ancients to disprove the blinkered thinking over who was responsible for sculpting the Sphinx as well as establishing the true purpose of the pyramids. Along the way he is joined once again by most of his old team and a few new recruits. In their bid for proof they are subjected to all manner of obstacles put in their path.
Apart from attempted murder, kidnapping and torture, even the environment is hostile towards Nick and his team in his latest adventure. Will he succeed in his quest for the truth about the Sphinx and the pyramids? Find out when you read “The Forgotten Age”.

***

A short extract for your delectation:

When Nick, Victor and Mehtab returned to base with the news of their latest discovery, they found the rest of the team were crowded around Alexei, listening to his account of what had happened hours earlier. One thing was abundantly clear – Qudamah and Nicolai had to be saved at all costs.

“Where would they have been taken Faisal?” David asked.

“The nearest police station is the most likely place. It’s in the Nazlet Al-Samman district just beyond the plateau,” Faisal began, “I doubt that they would have been taken to police headquarters in Cairo yet. Aazim’s guards will want to have their fun with them first. If they are anywhere it will be there.”

The rescue operation went into immediate effect. Whether Nick liked it or not he had to put aside his suspicions about Faisal, plus his misgivings about using the hazardous sewers if they were going to be able to rescue their friends.

He called for volunteers. Alexei, Dmitri and Gheorgi immediately stood up. Faisal said he would act as guide through the sewers. Between them they each shouldered a dive bottle and mask, arming themselves with an AK47, spare ammunition, hand grenades, plus a side arm and what was left of the C4, before climbing the pit shaft ladder. The only one who didn’t volunteer for the rescue mission was Mehtab.

 

At the opening above the outfall they donned their breathing gear before descending to the sewer system below. Knowing they could do nothing to help for the moment, David and Kolya reluctantly returned to the base camp after watching the rescue team descend. Victor remained at the opening with the last mask and air bottle, ready to haul Nick and the rest back up when they reappeared below.

Nervously keeping an eye out for the large Nile crocodile, Faisal led them through the ancient sewer system to a storm drain outside the Nazlet police station. It was roughly mid-afternoon when they arrived. They could go no further until darkness fell and the streets became relatively deserted.

While they reluctantly had no choice but to wait, Nick casually asked Faisal how he knew so much about the sewer system. The answer was simplicity itself. He had been born here in Nazlet Al-Samman. When he was a child, he and his friends often played in the sewers, much to the great annoyance of their mothers. Back then their young minds were filled with wonderful tales like Ali Baba and his Forty Thieves. Many happy hours were spent searching for imaginary treasure, or pretending to be soldiers in Saladin’s glorious army, killing Christian crusaders.

Day finally turned to night. After Alexei and Faisal had pried the storm drain cover open, Gheorgi and Dmitri quickly and quietly climbed up into the empty street and stole off into the shadows making their way to the rear of the police station, while Nick, Faisal and Alexei prepared to storm the front entrance. 

Gheorgi set the last of the C4 against the station’s rear wall, using a grenade as a detonator while Dmitri kept watch from the street. Pulling the pin, Gheorgi dived for cover seconds before the grenade and C4 did the one and only job they were designed for. 

Inside the tight confines of the tiny police station the resultant explosion caused instant death for some, while total panic sent the rest diving for cover. Nick, Faisal and Alexei burst through the police station’s door firing at anything that moved in the swirling cloud of dust created by the explosion, while tossing grenades into all the rooms they came across, killing anyone hiding in them.

In the confusion Gheorgi caught Aazim as he tried to escape, quickly knocking him out with one blow from his AK47’s butt. At first he didn’t recognise him until Dmitri pointed out who he is. Sensing that Nicolai and Nick would want to interrogate him for themselves, he quickly dragged the unconscious Egyptologist back through the hole in the rear wall of the police station and across the street, before unceremoniously dumping him into the storm drain.

Within three minutes the operation was over and they were all making their way back to the base camp via the sewers, having left no clues behind to who was responsible. Nicolai and Qudamah had been found in a pitiful state. Common decency and revenge demanded that someone must pay for the way they had been treated. While Nick and Alexei supported Nicolai between them, Dmitri gently carried young Qudamah in his arms, sharing his oxygen mask with him. Gheorgi followed not far behind, dragging his unconscious prize through the stinking sewers. Maybe they could trade him for food. Or perhaps they could at last convince the authorities that he had deliberately hidden any and all information about the library of the ancients. At that moment in time anything was a possibility.

A few minutes after they had made their escape, Nazlet’s streets were in total uproar. Vehicles full of heavily armed police and soldiers had just arrived at the scene of total devastation.

 

The rescuers stopped briefly to take a rest and to ensure they weren’t being followed. In between welcome breaths of oxygen from Nick’s facemask, Nicolai told him what had happened to Qudamah. Before Aazim began questioning him, he had taken great delight in informing him how the young man had been treated, promising him the same fate unless he answered his questions. Nick was enraged. Qudamah had been brutally sodomised by two of the now dead guards, as well as being flogged mercilessly on Aazim’s orders.

An hour later they all stood around Victor at the opening above the sewer outfall, watching as the large Nile crocodile slowly appeared from a side tunnel to eat the meal he had been left. Aazim was now wide awake and completely terrified as he watched the killing machine slowly approach. He lay bound and gagged unable to move less than two metres away from the fearsome monster’s powerful jaws. No one above ground heard his final scream when he was slowly torn apart. Qudamah had been avenged.

***

And finally, some reviews:

4.0 out of 5 stars A Thoroughly Enjoyable Read, November 16, 2012
This review is from: The Forgotten Age (Kindle Edition)

I couldn’t help thinking about Indiana Jones while I was reading about Nick Palmer’s adventures in The Forgotten Age by Jack Eason. A rollicking adventure of caves, tunnels, hidden entrances and unreliable maps leading to …. well, I won’t write a spoiler here. Enough to say that this is a very well written adventure tale with plenty of twists and turns along the way. If you have any interest in ancient myths, Egyptology or archaeology, you’ll surely enjoy this new Nick Palmer story.

4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating writing style, December 7, 2012
This review is from: The Forgotten Age (Kindle Edition)

There are some people who never give up on their dreams. Nick Palmer was one of those people. After saving the earth from destruction, his next project would be to go to Egypt, once again, and locate the library of the ancient peoples to prove who was responsible once and for all for sculpting the Sphinx. He also added to his quest the ancient myth concerning the purpose of the pyramids.

Fortunate to have his familiar team members join him in his quest was an advantage for Palmer. But the fun part of The Forgotten Age, were the new recruits he picked up along the way.

The adventures Palmer and his team encounter are predictable to any adventure book or movie. It is the writing style of Jack Eason in The Forgotten Age that is captivating. Anyone who enjoys a good adventure story, especially about Egypt archaeology, will appreciate The Forgotten Age by Jack Eason.

I was disappointed the story was predictable. What makes a five star review, for me, is unpredictability.

5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT READ…, November 20, 2012
This review is from: The Forgotten Age (Kindle Edition)

“Jack Eason is a master storyteller of this historic-cum-science fiction genre. His latest book Forgotten Age is a riveting page-turner tale..read it!” Robert Bauval, author of The Orion Mystery

3.0 out of 5 stars Indiana Jones on fast forward!, December 19, 2012
By
Paula Boer (Badja, NSW, AU) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Forgotten Age (Kindle Edition)

For me, reading the Forgotten Age was a whirlwind tour of Egyptology. The story is good but I would have preferred many of the scenes to have been played out rather than described in a brief sentence or two. Having not read the prequel, I didn’t have time to get to know the characters so, with their unfamiliar (and to me unpronounceable) names, it was hard to keep up with who was who.

The action never stops and, although unbelievable at times, the civil conflict in Egypt and the forecast end of the world on Dec 21 2012 are very topical – maybe I read it a day early? (Today is Dec 20 2012) The twists and turns have goodies turning into baddies so fast it makes your head spin. Maybe that’s the idea.

Anyone who likes Jack Eason’s writing will enjoy this short book. But PLEASE Jack, make them longer in future and give us the full benefit of all your wonderful ideas and plots!

5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another Good Read from Jack Eason, January 14, 2013
This review is from: The Forgotten Age (Kindle Edition)

Jack has produced another page turner.. I do enjoy being drawn into a story and being kept in there as almost part of it.. For me this is a “Great Yarn” about a lot of subjects I like to discuss.

Mr Eason has done a grand Job of telling really good story.

4.0 out of 5 stars Keep them coming, Jack!, November 27, 2012
By
This review is from: The Forgotten Age (Kindle Edition)

Another cracking read from the up-coming Jack Eason.
With the Author’s flair for memorable characters and ancient knowledge, this is another page tuner in the Nick Palmer chronicles.
The story twists, turns and teaches as it unfolds before you. I find myself instantly relating to the characters, with all their complex human imperfections.
Jack Eason has a unique way of unveiling the unseen and changing your perspective on things at his whim.
All in all, a well written story that cannot fail to impress anyone with a spirit for imagination.

4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Archaeological Adventure, November 22, 2012
By
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Forgotten Age (Kindle Edition)

In this sequel to his book, The Seventh Age, Jack brings back Nick Palmer once again for a new adventure. I was lucky enough to buy the very first Amazon US copy. Another great read by a great author. I highly recommend this book. Keep an eye on Jack Eason, he is a rising star.

4.0 out of 5 stars I WANT MORE !, November 19, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Forgotten Age (Kindle Edition)

Jack Eason has done it again , I am anxiously awaiting the next novel after just having finished The Forgotten Age in one day . I could not put it down . His portrayal of such realistic characters embroils and invests you in their saga . Notwithstanding , the historical values and storyline combine to enlist you in an expedition with complete suspension of disbelief . He is a rare pleasure to read and I look forward to reading everything he produces . Definitely left me wanting more .
The Forgotten Age

5.0 out of 5 stars A roller coaster of a ride., November 28, 2012
By
Gerald Neal (Harwich Essex) – See all my reviews
This review is from: The Forgotten Age (Kindle Edition)

The Forgotten Age I don’t often give out five stars on a review but Jack Eason’s The Forgotten Age deserves all five. This book that follows on from The Seventh Age, enthralled me from Prologue to Epilogue and all chapters between. I have to declare an interest here, as I’ve always been fascinated with Egyptology and archaeology so it was no hardship for me to read this new Nick Palmer adventure that kept rolling along like a runaway roller coaster – and with such credible characters for first-rate company along the way. I can say definitely worth adding to your wish list or better still buy it today.

The Pitfalls of Writing Today

Dawn-in-the-DoldrumsMerron-2011

One current ugly stumbling block for all writers these days to be ignored at all costs is the average inbred moron seated at his computer who deludes himself into believing that what he says on a public book based forum actually matters. His kind set themselves up as self-styled critics, typically wittering on endlessly about subjects such as non-American spelling and grammar in books written by anyone living beyond the borders of the US for instance, thereby clearly demonstrating their ignorance of the English language to the world at large. The aforementioned description while general, nevertheless fits the individuals currently responsible for the majority of reviews for any book you care to name on Amazon, to the detriment of the genuine reviewer. Not one of them has ever written a book in their entire lives, let alone had one published, and yet they feel it is their duty to harshly criticise, especially when it comes to newbies, no matter whether or not they are self-publishers or mainstream. There are also a few unscrupulous individuals who see absolutely nothing wrong in adding a link to their review of your book advertising their own efforts – bad form!

Like most writers these days, I simply fail to understand why Amazon seemingly encourages and condones what amounts to nothing more than often vicious attacks. As a writer, for the sake of your sanity take my advice and never read the reviews. Above all refrain from entering the forums, no matter how indignant you may feel.

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Unlike them, as a successful writer I see far more pressing issues in a lot of today’s eBook offerings, the main one often being the new writer’s poor choice of genre. A lot simply jump on the bandwagon hoping to cash in on what is portrayed as popular by various publisher’s advertising campaigns, such as the current trend in nauseating vampire and zombie based stories and what can only be described as badly written pornography (Fifty Shades of Grey is the most recent example). While it is true to say that these genres appeal to a mainly young sector of society, those who write more thought provoking novels are left by the wayside, struggling to survive. Still others become convinced about writing for niche markets, which in effect means the product of their efforts will barely sell in the dozens rather than the thousands.

Face it people, the only book that will sell in its thousands is the one whose subject matter initially provokes curiosity in the mind of the often fickle potential reader. A growing number of writers cling desperately to the belief that by writing in a largely unpopular genre, the product of their toil will be noticed. How many times recently have I seen writers desperate to sell their wares, spend money time and effort to change a cover for instance and to produce actual paperback copies, which they then hawk around the many small time book fairs, largely at their own expense? In the end none of the aforesaid will make a damned bit of difference if your favourite genre is currently out of fashion. To my mind this kind of thinking is nothing more than an example of self induced vanity press. In other words spending money you can ill afford.

Just remember this – if you have to shell out good money to get your manuscript edited by a so-called professional, you have to recover that cost as well as the cost of the cover and printing before you are in profit – something which a lot of modern day writers ignore at their peril.

Next comes the biggest stumbling block for a lot of writers – editing and proof reading. Many pay someone to edit for them. But, using the ‘look inside’ feature available on Amazon, it would appear that many mainstream editors let alone self-published writers simply fail to use a Spellchecker, common to all writing software packages. The same goes for the humble Grammar checker – patently ignored by the majority. How many even use the Look up or Synonym features, accessed simply by right clicking over a word? Not many obviously.

We now arrive at colloquial language and writing in the first person. Many fall into the trap of using colloquial language when two characters are conversing within the context of a story – bad idea! The other big no-no is to write in the first person. It is not easy to do. The use of first person is chock full of pitfalls for the unsuspecting. Avoid using it if you can. Loathsome as it may be, even third person is preferable.

Finally remember this simple fact, the product of all your hard work is just one among millions currently available. If its content doesn’t stand out, it is destined to sit in the literary equivalent of the doldrums for ever more. No amount of cover changes, giveaways and signed copies in an internet contest will increase its chances of becoming a best seller one iota…