Release News! How Has the Writing Community Helped You?

by Jami Gold on August 13, 2015

in For Readers, News

Hands grasping to help with text: How Have You Been Helped?

Yesterday, I announced another book release, and the wave of congratulations and support gave me warm fuzzies all day. *smile* I feel so blessed to be part of the writing community.

Pure Sacrifice, my newest release, was my first NaNoWriMo novel. The encouragement I saw going in all directions during NaNo was beautiful to witness.

Although I participated as a NaNo “rebel” in 2012 (as I’d already completed the first 25% of the story), I ended that NaNo month with 61571 new words and almost finished the first draft of Pure Sacrifice. But I know I wouldn’t have collected nearly that many words without the structure, pompon waving, and yes, pressure of NaNo.

I loved the experience (and the word count) of NaNo so much that I’ve signed up every year since since then and plan to participate again this year. *checks calendar and to-do list* Somehow.

The writing community has been there for me at every turn, and I’m grateful. I hope all of you have received that support as well.

I’ll get back to writing-related posts next week, but for right now, I’m going to bask in the warm fuzzies of my newest release for just a bit longer. *smile*

Pure Sacrifice Release in Print and eBook!

Pure Sacrifice is the second full-length novel of my Mythos Legacy series. Like the short story and first novel of the series, this is a standalone story, and the whole series can be read in any order.

I’ve already alluded to the editing required by this story, as well as the difficulties I had with finding a cover model, but it all worked out in the end. See?

Pure Sacrifice print cover

To save his race,
he must keep the chosen virgin pure.
But she has other plans…

A shapeshifting unicorn desperate to save his race…

The last guardian of his kind, Markos Ambrostead must keep the chosen Virgin hidden and untainted. But when an attacker breaches his protective magic, he’s forced to reveal himself to defend her life.

A tenacious woman who refuses to be ignored…

Celia Hawkins wishes the world would get a clue and stop treating her like she’s invisible. Only one man notices her, or is that her imagination? After narrowly escaping an attempted rape, she demands answers from her mysterious rescuer—starting with why he’s been following her.

Rules were made to be broken…

Markos can’t risk being tempted by the Virgin, yet emboldened by his attention, Celia’s determined to become his friend. Maybe more. Maybe much more. Now he must hold onto his crumbling willpower to maintain her purity—or his tribe will become extinct.

Available at:

Amazon | Kindle | Google Play | Apple iTunes | Barnes & Noble |
Kobo | ARe

Click here for the latest links, or add it on Goodreads!

Ironclad Devotion Available for Pre-Order!

Ironclad Devotion is the third full-length novel in the series and was my 2013 NaNo novel. (For that year, I’d already completed most of the story, so I didn’t “win” NaNo because most of the words were already done.)

This was my “easy” story. The words, the characters, and the plot all flowed, so I finished more of it before NaNo than I’d planned. (It’s hard to complain about a bigger word count.)

I couldn’t help it. This was just such a fun story to write. Imagine a motorcycle-riding goth faeirie princess who can control fire and a Navajo cowboy blacksmith who controls iron. Yep, that’s just fun. *grin*

Ironclad Devotion cover

Safeguarding her freedom,
a faerie princess locks down her heart,
but a blacksmith forges the key…

A faerie princess evading her fate…

Earth is no place for a faerie, but Kira can’t go home without dooming her people. Desperate to avoid the pull of her homeland, she fosters an abandoned girl, the child’s joy a source of much-needed energy.

A blacksmith with something to prove…

When Zachary Chase discovers he has a daughter, he’s determined to be part of his child’s life and not repeat his mother’s neglect. But to open the little girl’s heart, he must earn her foster mother’s trust.

One night is never enough…

Despite their rivalry, Kira and Zac’s desires tempt them into one no-consequences night. Yet the more passion flares between them, the more Kira risks destroying the life she’s carved out on Earth—and endangering those she cares about in both worlds.

Available at:

Amazon | Apple iBooksBarnes & Noble | Kobo

(GooglePlay and a print version coming later.)

Click here for the latest links, or add it on Goodreads!

Ironclad Devotion is currently priced at $2.99 for the pre-order sale. When it releases on October 28th, its price will go up to $3.99, so order your copy soon!

The Awesomeness of the Writing Community

I’ve had lots of people want to help me with my releases as a thanks for my blog and worksheets for writers. *hugs you all*

Even though this reference dates me, I really do feel like the Wayne’s World chant of “I’m not worthy” applies because I already appreciate the support I’ve received so much. But since people have asked…

  • If you’ve read any of my stories, I would so appreciate an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, or your favorite retailer. (Yes, even if your review wouldn’t be all rainbows-and-chocolate-flavored 5 stars. *grin* Seriously. In fact, I think I need to do a post about just how much I don’t take reviews—good or bad—personally.)
  • Or you could spread the word through Pinterest. Each released book in my series has teaser quote images that can be one-click pinned to Pinterest. For the book you want, scroll down on the page to find the quote images or simply pin the cover at the top of the page:
  • Or click on those quote images anywhere other than the Pin It button to open the picture in another tab, where you can save the image or grab the URL to use for attaching the image to any social media post, like Facebook or Twitter.
  • Or scroll all the way to the bottom of any of those pages to use the social sharing bar to share the page itself, so others can check out the blurb, excerpt, and all the buy links. (I don’t have quote images for Ironclad Devotion yet, but its page can be shared like the other books.)

Others might have additional ideas, but honestly, I’m grateful for anything and everything. *smile*

Has the writing community been good to you? What are you thankful for? Do you have any questions about my books or ideas for how to help? Do you have other ideas for how we can help each other? Do you need help with anything?

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22 Comments below - Time to Add your own.

Angela Quarles August 13, 2015 at 8:57 am

Congratulations Jami *waves pompoms*

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Jami Gold August 13, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Thank you, Angela! I’m so glad we’ve been able to go through this journey together! 😀

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Buffy Armstrong August 13, 2015 at 11:19 am

Congrats, Jami! Can’t wait to get the paperback version for my keeper shelf. Amazon says I’ll have it tomorrow!!!

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Jami Gold August 13, 2015 at 4:27 pm

Hi Buffy,

Aww, thanks! 😀

Hopefully, they’ll send you a good copy. I just received my box of copies, and their subcontractor did an awful job (a different cover material and too much ink–the pictures in the backmatter were black and white instead of gray scale). Time to raise a fuss. Hopefully because you live on the other side of the country, your copy will be assigned to a different printer. *fingers crossed* And thanks for the congrats!

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Evolet Yvaine August 13, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Congrats on the release. During Camp NaNoWriMo, I would post weekly updates in an FB forum I’m in hosted by Jennifer Blanchard Williams. As well as from my cabin mates. So that was nice. However, I don’t plan to ever participate again. It’s way too structured for me. The writing didn’t flow as well when I knew I had to write a certain amount everyday. I’m a pantser by nature and sometimes the words don’t flow everyday. I started to feel the pressure and it stifled my creativity a bit.

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Jami Gold August 13, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Hi Evolet,

Thank you! And you’re right that we have to have the right mindset for something like NaNo. For me–a slow writer and a pantser–I had good days and bad days, but the consistent commitment to putting in the time worked for me over the course of the month.

In other words, I didn’t let myself stress out about each day’s word count (too much 😉 ), as long as I was making some progress. I was definitely the tortoise and not the hare. 🙂 But no matter what, we have to find what works–or doesn’t work–for us. Thanks for the comment!

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Serena Yung August 13, 2015 at 4:41 pm

On the reviews, I’ve been reading blog posts on ALLi about the validity of five star reviews. Different people do have different definitions on the star ratings, but I do sort of agree with some of the commenters that a reviewer who gives out five stars to almost everything, may lose credibility because they are so generous. I know that on Amazon, the stars are defined as:

1 = I hate it
2 = I don’t like it
3 = It’s okay
4 = I like it
5 = I love it

But I personally use a much stricter system. Mine is generally more like:

1 = I really hated it/ I absolutely hated it. Why did I even pick this up?
2 = I just hated it
3 = It was good or very good!
4 = It was really awesome!!
5 = It was ABSOLUTELY MIND-BLOWING/ PHENOMENAL/ SUPER AMAZING!!

Also, I guess I’m a bit unfair in that I only evaluate technical skill as far as 3 stars, and to get to 4 and certainly 5, it would have to trigger some substantial emotional resonance in me. Or it would have to impact me emotionally in a big way. So a book only getting 3 stars from me may be very well-written, and the storytelling quite good too, however if it doesn’t strike that special emotional chord in me, then it’s not going up to a 4, let alone 5! That does not mean that the book is bad. It just means that the book didn’t appeal to me that much personally, but would probably appeal to some other readers.

Thus, my 1-3 star ratings are about actual technical skill, and my 4-5 star ratings are about my personal, subjective emotional reactions. There are exceptions, though, like there are books where the author is very skilled technically, but I just hated the characters, subject matter, themes, story, or some combination of the above SO MUCH, that I had to give it a 2 or even 1 star. Haha I think I told you that my least favorite book ever was a literary classic that I would definitely give a 1 star to. (I would give it zero stars if I could! So strongly do I hate it, haha.)

On the other hand, there are books that are a bit wanting on the technical skill side, yet their story, characters, philosophies, or a combination of these just blew me away, or they so overwhelmed me, that I just had to give them at least 4 stars.

There’s a story I read that was pretty good on the technical side, though there were some things it could be improved on. But the story and characters really did emotionally overwhelm me, and I’m still so in love with it and it’s one of my favorite stories ever. So I gave it 5 stars anyway, even though it was not technically perfect. 😀

Well, at least with my stricter (and perhaps more unfair…) rating system, my four star and five star reviews would be more desirable than if I gave five stars to almost everything I read, right?

Interestingly enough, I might be really obsessed with the Chinese martial arts stories, or the authors I read must have been really good, or both, because I rated almost all of the martial arts stories I read 5 stars, haha. They really hit me hard emotionally! 😀 This is funny because for all other genres, my five stars reviews are relatively rare. Even the four star reviews aren’t that common. Most of my reviews have 3 stars, lol. (There were some reviews I wrote in the past that followed a much more lenient system, but for the most part I stuck to this stricter system.)

Aside from my long comment on book reviews, haha, I also love how supportive the writing community is! Yes, I know there are some writers who like to “flame”, “troll”, and verbally abuse others (as I’ve seen on the Writer’s Group FB group 🙁 ), but most writers seem to be decent and are often helpful or at least have interesting things to say.

P.S. I just started reading Pure Sacrifice and woah! It has such a strong opening!! The emotions really gripped me and made it hard to for me to stop reading, lol. And I’m really fascinated by Markos already. 😀

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Robin August 17, 2015 at 10:24 am

Serena – I love you definition of the stars for books… I think I use a little bit different system on Amazon than I use on goodreads. Like on Amazon, I am also weighing in the value of the read for my money (was it worth 99 cents?) while on goodreads it’s more pure literary value I’m talking about. I think that too much of my ratings are affected by how I happened to be feeling that day, too. it’s hard to be objective…

I would give about the same number of zero star reviews and 5 star reviews, if they would let me.

Jami – congratulations on your new release!! 🙂

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Jami Gold August 17, 2015 at 10:39 am

Hi Robin,

Oh, great example of how our review of books might change depending on other circumstances! I think taking the price and value into account for Amazon is completely valid. (I’d make sure to name the price if it was relevant, just because pricing at Amazon can change often, but yes, that’s definitely part of the equation.) Thanks for sharing that insight! 🙂

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Serena Yung August 17, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Hi Robin and Jami,

Yeah our mood really changes it. Oh speaking of price, I sometimes think that maybe I should use a more lenient system for self-published books than for traditionally published books, partly because the former may not always have enough editing due to the high funds that the author might not have been able to afford.

Indie books tend to be cheaper than traditionally published books too, where Indie books are charged on average $3 whilst traditionally published books about $10. (Do correct me if I’m wrong!) So if I took price into account, I would naturally need to rate Indie books more leniently, haha.

Back to the star rating system, sometimes I feel bad when most people are giving five stars or at least four to a book, whilst I’m giving only three, though I still stick to my rating anyway, lol. I do wonder if I’m too strict, but again, the stricter I am, the more desirable my five stars would be, right? lol.

Also, I feel that for a lot of people, five stars means they were satisfied and didn’t find anything really wrong with the book. Whereas for me, five stars means whopping wow amazing book! Not just a “it was a pretty good read without any conspicuous problems.”

Being satisfied and content with a book, is very different from being completely overwhelmed and stunned (in a good way) by one! So sometimes I worry that the author might think that my three or four star reviews mean that I found one or multiple glaring flaws in their work. Not always so! I might think a work is virtually flawless at least on the technical side, but it just didn’t hit me emotionally that much. 🙂 And so I would give it only a three star rating and hope that the author won’t be mad at me, haha.

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Jami Gold August 17, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Hi Serena,

I’ve seen some of your less-than-5-star reviews, and you’ve included a “disclaimer” for what your scores mean. I think that’s entirely fair. 🙂

This goes back to the issue I mentioned in my post about RITA scoring. Some judges start at 10 and subtract and some start at 5 and add or subtract. That’s like you with starting at 3 stars rather than 5. Reviewers (or judges) are allowed to follow their own ideas unless there are specific, authoritative instructions to do something else. 😉

Your explanation of review stars is more than many contest entries get. LOL! Thanks for the comment!

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Serena Yung August 17, 2015 at 11:28 pm

Haha I don’t write disclaimers every time, though, or else that would be tedious…But maybe I should! I recently wrote one for a friend’s book of poems, and explained that 4 stars doesn’t mean “leaves something to be desired.” 4 stars means “awesome/ really awesome!” 😀 Anyway, yeah, maybe I should go back to my reviews and add these explanations for those that are not explained.

Oh, that makes sense! The starting from full marks/ perfect and subtracting attitude, versus the starting from fair/decent and adding or subtracting attitude.

“Your explanation of review stars is more than many contest entries get. LOL!”

Lol. Aw! BTW, I feel even more now that my 3-5 stars depends on my strength of emotional reaction to the work. For my friend’s poetry book, I genuinely enjoyed it very much, but it didn’t “blow my mind” as to make it feel like 5 stars for me. 4 stars is still very good, though.

Also, I think it would be helpful if we could rate a book out of 10 or even 100, rather than out of 5. Sometimes I feel book X deserves a 4.5 rather than just a 4 or straight out a 5, and sometimes I feel book Y deserves a 4.8 instead of a 4 or 5. Even for my 5s, there are my less and more “intense” 5s. So for book X and book Y that both got 5 from me, though I would qualify both as “mind-blowing”, Y might be even more mind-blowing than X. Or Y might enter the “one of my favorite books ever” category but X doesn’t.

Thus, it would be great if I could differentiate between my “less intense” and “more intense” 5s too, so that other readers would know that I felt “different levels of love” for the two books, even though both are on very high levels of love already.

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Jami Gold August 18, 2015 at 7:52 am

Hi Serena,

I understand the pain of having to add the disclaimer text every single time. 🙂 4 stars is still very good review, and I wouldn’t worry about any author who thought that was too bad. But I could see 3 stars being taken that way, so maybe worry just about those. LOL!

As for the more nuanced stars, most people don’t want to think that deeply about giving a review. So I’d figure the review itself is good enough for providing that context. 😉 Thanks for the comment!

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Carradee August 14, 2015 at 7:39 am

Congrats on the releases, Jami! 😀 May they do well. 🙂

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Jami Gold August 14, 2015 at 7:50 am

Thank you, Carradee! 😀

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Karen McFarland August 16, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Congratulations Jami on your new release! Yay! That is so awesome. And I do think we belong to a wonderful community of supportive writers. I can’t thank you enough for all your craft posts. They’ve helped me immensely. Off to Twitterverse with a tweet about your release! 🙂

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Jami Gold August 17, 2015 at 6:35 am

Hi Karen,

Aww, you’re welcome! I’m happy I can help others. Thanks for the comment–and the tweet. 🙂

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Serena Yung August 20, 2015 at 8:43 pm

BTW I recently bought two poetry books from one of the Writer FB group members, and rated the first book I bought four stars because I really enjoyed the poems. But for the second book of poetry I bought, I would rate it only three stars because though I still enjoyed reading it, I didn’t like them as much as I did the first book’s, and also there were many more typos and errors in this second book.

However, I know that even if I put a disclaimer on what my three star rating means, the three stars would still make the book look unfavorable to potential readers, as she had few reviews on Amazon.com and zero reviews on Amazon.ca.

SO for the sake of helping her book gain more readers who might enjoy it more than I did, and for the sake of our friendship, lol, I decided not to post that three star review! Hopefully I can refuse to rate on Goodreads yet still add it to my Already Read list, lol. I know some others might not agree that this was the best decision, especially those who believe in giving even two or one star reviews, but well, that was what I decided to do anyway! What do you think?

Also, what do you think of review swaps? At first I thought it would be a good idea to get more reviews, and you could help someone else out at the same time. But I’ve been reading on the ALLi Facebook group, and I see a lot of people who would not do review swaps. Here are some reasons:

1) You might be forced or peer pressured into reading something you don’t enjoy.

2) This feeling of tit for tat doesn’t feel good. I (Serena) agree that I would prefer friends and acquaintances to review my books if they want to review it, not because they are obligated to do so because of this review swap agreement.

3) You might feel pressured to give higher ratings than you think the book deserves. One commenter on the ALLi Facebook group said that he did a review swap with this other guy. The ALLi guy’s book is a lot shorter than the other guy’s book, but the other guy posted his review after the ALLi guy did.

So the ALLi guy speculates that the other guy might have been waiting for the ALLi guy to post his review, to make sure the rating is good enough, or else the other guy would post a low rating review too. If I recall correctly, they both happened to give each other four stars.

Of course, these could all just be coincidences, but the ALLi guy nevertheless felt the pressure to post a high enough rating, just in case the other guy gives him a low rating in revenge. 🙁

4) A reason I thought of related to the tit for tat, is that I’ll feel like I’m reading this book not for my enjoyment, but because I’m obligated to do so to please my friend and to get a review on my own book. So the intrinsic motivation becomes an external motive, and this sucks out least some of the joy from reading the book. :/

If the book is my type, I will likely still enjoy it, but I think even I would enjoy it less with this extra external obligation/ business exchange motive. D:

Anyway, all these arguments have discouraged me from asking for review swaps, lol. It is also really a problem when you feel the pressure to not rate your friend or acquaintance’s book too poorly, maybe not even anything lower than four stars, lol.

Oh and I hate it when some authors arrange to have friends give them many five star reviews. I understand that those authors do this so readers would be more interested in their book, but if the friends didn’t genuinely enjoy the book, or are just doing this to please their friend, or haven’t even read the book, then that’s quite dishonest. 🙁

There was a book I quite liked, despite all the typos, and I gave it four stars. But there were some five star reviews on it that looked like they are from friends. One even said something like “….(Name of Author) is such a great/amazing writer!!”

That reviewer, whether a friend or not, may sincerely feel that the author is a great writer, and if so, I have no problem with that. But I was just wondering whether it was a deliberately hyped up review to boost the reader’s confidence in the book. I liked the story, but I personally thought the writing was only okay. As in it’s adequate, easy to read and understand, but I didn’t feel that there was anything special about the writing, didn’t feel any “special spark” from the prose.

Maybe the reviewer was talking about the author as great in storytelling, so in managing plot, tension, pacing, story arcs, etc. I do think these things were done well and were probably the main strength of this book. But I didn’t feel that it was THAT amazing to merit that level of enthusiasm! lol.

Who knows? Reading is subjective, so maybe that reviewer was being sincere, and I’m just being overly suspicious in thinking that that review might have been by the author’s friend who was asked to make such an unrealistic-sounding rave review.

Maybe I shouldn’t judge, since I tend to write quite enthusiastically about books I enjoy too, lol, but something about the review or the way the review was worded…made it sound kind of fake or exaggerated to me. :/ I didn’t feel that glow of sincerity that I feel towards some reviews.

P.S. Just in case you didn’t see me say so in the What Makes Your Story Unique post, I liked your tips on handling my less-than-four star reviews. 🙂

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Jami Gold August 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Hi Serena,

Yeeks. Yeah, it’s hard when we don’t want to damage a friendship. (That’s why I specifically mentioned that I don’t take mediocre or bad reviews personally. LOL!) Many authors would be upset by anything other than a 4 or 5 star review, so I can understand your reasoning.

I don’t participate in review swaps for exactly the reasons you mention. I don’t feel those are honest reviews, and the obligation issue is just not something I want to deal with. I know that means I’ll have lower numbers of reviews than other books, but I’m not going to sell my soul for reviews. 😉 Thanks for the comment!

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Julie Glover August 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm

I saved this post to read once I finished my own crazy-deadline edits! I’m so glad I did. Congratulations on your release, and I’m looking forward to reading Ironclad Devotion. All the best!

You’re so generous, talented, and classy, you make it easy to root for you.

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Jami Gold August 25, 2015 at 2:47 pm

Hi Julie,

Aww, thank you! *blush* 🙂

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