Broken

Three Recent Beautiful Reviews of BROKEN
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Three Recent Beautiful Reviews of BROKEN

Here are two three recent beautiful reviews of BROKEN, my historical novel set in occupied Paris.

This morning the lively Underground Book Reviews site posted Katie Rose Guest Pryal‘s review of BROKEN. The review snippet on the front page of the site said, “This book is beautifully written. The history is magnificent….”

What really thrilled me was Ms. Guest Pryal’s comment within the review: “Throughout it all, the author manages some truly gorgeous turns of phrase. In explaining why she can speak any language with perfect precision and accent, Alia refers in this fashion to her former ethereal status: “I am exempt from Babel.”

As a storyteller, I prioritize Story. Story must come first in a novel (or screenplay). As a writer, however, I am warmed in the deepest cockles of my soul when I hear my prose praised. These good words are especially appreciated because Katie Rose Guest Pryal is herself an author; she even writes books about writing. ! She is an educated consumer. So her statement about “truly gorgeous turns of phrase” simply ravishes me.

See the full review here.

Review of Broken by Traci L. Slatton

OneBookTwo Review Blog also recently posted a lovely review of BROKEN, starting off by saying “This is a fantastic book of love and light.”

Fickle Fiona went on to say,

Traci Slatton does a fantastic job of recreating Paris 1939 – 1942 with the fear and torture of occupied France…

To be honest there was nothing about this book that I didn’t like. It flows beautifully and it is one of those books that stays with you even after you are done reading it. For this reason I give this book five stars! I will reread this book more than once and recommend it to all my friends and, readers; I highly recommend it to you too.

To hear that my book will be recommended and re-read is a special joy and pride for an author.

Read OneBookTwo’s full review here.

These two reviews exemplify the kind of review that delights, thrills, humbles, and inspires me!

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I had to edit this post after publishing it because another wonderful review of BROKEN came in today from HighlightingtheMind Blog. Sarah Oliverson wrote,

This book did exactly what it was supposed to and it left me breathless. I say this because this was one historical fiction that sucked me in throughout the book. As she spun this historical fiction in Paris, starting in 1939, she made it possible to walk side by side with the main character Alia A. K. Mercier. These are the type of books that grab my attention, she nailed it.

When reading I find it rare that a writer holds my attention through the book. When I have a book that my nose is glued to and my eyes don’t stop moving until the pages run out, I keep that author in my favorites stash. Because of how well this book was written and the historical significance this book holds, I give this book a 5 out of 5.

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How cool is that???!!! Maybe I should go buy a Powerball ticket?

Pick up a copy of BROKEN on Amazon.

BROKEN on SALE via BookGorilla promotions
5 star review | book promotion | Broken | business | guide to independent publishing

BROKEN on SALE via BookGorilla promotions

FOR A LIMITED TIME, Traci L. Slatton’s BROKEN on sale for $0.99!!

Get while it’s hot!

Broken on sale
Free Kindle Nation Shorts
a free reader’s service from Kindle Nation Daily
April 21, 2015
An excerpt from Traci L. Slatton’s BROKEN

Paris, 1939-1942. A fallen angel who has taken the form of a beautiful woman is trapped in the web of Nazi occupation. Can she save her two lovers and the Jewish widow and child she has come to care for?

“…incredible…a beautiful, heart-wrenching tale of love, loyalty, betrayal, and defiance…”

Sensual, spiritual and elegantly written, BROKEN is enthralling readers…

“…stunning. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read..”

Experience BROKEN while it’s 83% off the regular price!
Alia takes full advantage of her human form
in this Free Kindle Nation Shorts excerpt from

Broken
by Traci L. Slatton

4.5 stars – 13 reviews

Special Kindle Price: 99 cents!
(reduced from $5.99 for a
limited time time only)
Here’s the set-up:
Power is pornographic. Can love sustain light when the forces of evil close in?

Paris, 1939-1942. A fallen angel is trapped in the web of German occupation. The deadly noose of Nazi control grows ever tighter, ensnaring her and two of her lovers, a bullfighter and a musician working in the fledgling Resistance. Can she save them and the Jewish widow and her child that she has come to love, or will betrayal take them all?

5-star praise for BROKEN:
 “…a wonderful escape….exciting, intelligent…captivating…”
 “Compelling and transporting…”
 

See the Facebook posting!

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Foreword Reviews Spring Issue: Broken is “beautiful”
5 star review | art | authors | book covers | Broken | guide to independent publishing | independent publishing | special | writing

Foreword Reviews Spring Issue: Broken is “beautiful”

Foreword Reviews is the “library journal” of independent publishing. It’s a content-rich, beautifully put together magazine that’s published quarterly. The top of their Spring 2015 issue is emblazoned, “THE INDIE BOOKS WE LOVE” and this periodical means just that: they love indie titles. Foreword Reviews understands the value of independently published books and appreciates the quality of those independently published books with excellent production values.

It was with great delight that I received word, some months back, that my novel BROKEN would be reviewed and featured in Foreword Reviews. Not only that, but the editorial director politely wondered whether or not it was possible to get a jpg of the cover image, the painting upon which the cover is based.

In fact, Broken’s gorgeous cover is based on a painting by the extraordinarily gifted Roberto Ferri, an Italian figurative painter, and a hero of mine. Roberto’s work is utterly ravishing.

After a Skype session in Italian with my husband Sabin Howard (for whom Italian is his first language), Roberto graciously gave permission for me to use the painting for the book cover. He sent me a large file.

It was the one and only Gwyn Snyder who took that file and turned it into the book cover. And what a beautiful job Gwyn did! She’s so very talented.

So I happily asked Sabin to check with Roberto regarding Foreword Reviews featuring his painting, and he, again, generously gave permission.

The review of Broken is absolutely lovely. There’s a pix below. Allyce Amidon writes,

Slatton has created a beautiful, heart wrenching tale of humanity during the Second World War. …Slatton writes poignantly, with lyrical prose: “I have been shattered, the shattering is still with me. I am only shards now. There is no core.” This is a gorgeous philosophical treaty on right and wrong, the “why” behind impossible decisions, and what remains when everything is gone. Slatton guides the reader gently through to the end, all the more heartbreaking for its inevitability, imparting powerful, resonant themes as she goes.

Take a look online, and do consider a subscription!

 

Foreword REviews

Foreword Reviews

Book Candy Studios Rocks Book Trailers
5 star review | art | Book Candy Studios | book promotion | book trailer | Broken | gratitude | writing

Book Candy Studios Rocks Book Trailers

There’s always this single, immutable question, in a marketplace absolutely avalanched with books, print books and eBooks, both traditionally and independently published: How do I set my books apart so that readers know about my books and buy them?

How do I make my books stand out? How do I make my books appeal to customers?

There are a variety of ways to market and promote books. One way is book reviews on book review blogs. That helps to spread the word. Another way is book trailers.

I’ve been so fortunate to work with Book Candy Studios. They’re extraordinarily gifted at making book trailers. They care if authors are 100% happy with the trailers and they go out of their way to ensure quality. Book Candy Studios made a trailer for my novels FALLEN and COLD LIGHT, with the old covers. When I updated the covers to my novels in preparation for the third novel in the series FAR SHORE, Book Candy Studios contacted me and asked if I’d like an updated trailer. I jumped at the offer, and they updated their wonderful trailer, free of charge.

That kind of outreach to customers goes above and beyond the call of duty. It’s more than just professionalism, it bespeaks a deep pride in their work and a real caring for their clients. It is the hallmark of integrity.

What about the trailers themselves?–Well, they’re amazing.

It’s not so easy to make book trailers, you see. The trailer has to tease, intrigue, and delight, while also being visually gorgeous. A trailer has to hook a reader and affect her so that she wants to go right to Amazon or B&N and buy the book. A trailer has to trigger desire for the book being showcased.

Book Candy Studios did all that and more with the latest trailers they did for my novel BROKEN. See below.

book trailers

The Business of Independent Publishing
authors | Broken | business | errors | guide to independent publishing | hard work | how to write a book | Huffington Post | independent publishing | Uncategorized | writing

The Business of Independent Publishing

Regarding the business of independent publishing: A few months ago, I received a polite email from Professor John Maxwell of Simon Fraser University. Some of his students had come to him. Between the covers of the text he had ordered for his graduate class on publishing, The Content Machine by Michael Bhaskar, was the novel Broken by Traci L. Slatton, in its entirety. He attached a picture to show me, see below.

Here was an opportunity to spread the word about Parvati Press in general and about my novels in particular, I thought. “Are your students interested in the novel? Would you like more copies?” I asked. I am always looking for opportunities to promote the Press.

He accepted with alacrity. Ten copies shipped out to him at SFU.

Sometime later, during an email exchange, he invited me to guest lecture to his class via Skype. I accepted. It was a good experience; his students were bright, polite, inquisitive, and thoughtful. I enjoyed talking to them but finished with a feeling of frustration: there was so much else to say about independent publishing.

Much of it I’ve learned the hard way, too.

It has been an intense journey since the day I decided to expand the Press and take on other authors. I’ve learned some tough lessons. My first time out of the box, I took on a writer who turned out to be certifiably insane. Not, like, a little kookie, but off-her-rockers lunatic demented. I’ve blogged about that elsewhere, including a Huffington Post article about How to Handle eMail Harassment.

The next three writers weren’t crazy, but I still made a big mistake in trusting one of them.

After the debacle with the first writer, I realized I needed a solid contract for dealing with potential Parvati Press authors. I hired an attorney who had helped me on other matters. She wasn’t a publishing attorney, and the contract put off the other writers.

That was my responsibility, I knew. So I went out and found a real publishing attorney, I mean, the guy in publishing law, to create a contract that was clear, simple, fair, and had precedents in publishing. He did a great job.

He also yelled at me about the deal I was giving the writers. He explained that I could not sustain the Press with that deal. He was right, but I felt that I had given my word to the writers, so those first few would still receive the deal I had originally offered them. He called me crazy. But I was going to keep my word.

One writer refused to do a revision that his manuscript urgently required. Line for line, his prose was polished and perfect. Unfortunately, it was a good story badly told. His novel was boring. He had to revise it to bring it to life. He didn’t want to do the work required because he’s had a storied career as an author. But production values matter to me, so I declined to send him a contract.

A second writer saw immediately that I was being scrupulously honorable. She signed the contract and sent it back immediately.

Ah, but the third guy. He had been hemming and hawing, wringing his hands, and dragging his feet about signing a contract from the day I sent him one. Days and weeks would go by. He was always about to talk to his attorney, who was so busy…. When I sent him the second contract, he said, “I’ll sign it right away, I’ll tell my lawyer that I want to get this done unless there’s something major wrong with it.”

As the months went by, with all the foot-dragging and hand-wringing and excuses, I was working on this writer’s manuscript. I stupidly invested a great deal of my own time, thought, and energy into his manuscript. Now, it had a germ of a good idea, and the writer showed flashes of serious, big talent throughout. But it was no where near publishable. It was going to require sustained heavy lifting to get it to the point where the manuscript was professional and polished.

Also, it was tricky to deal with the writer because of the arrogance involved. Taking editorial criticism is a skill that requires learning for most of us.

I paid for the Parvati Press editor to do a thorough manuscript critique. It was still going to be at least three more revisions before the manuscript was ready to be published, two that I could do and one more from the professional editor. Note that this editorial critique is the work product of Parvati Press.

Despite my honorable behavior, there was only continued hand-wringing and hawing and excuses about the second contract.

I woke up.

I realized–finally!–that this writer had no intention of signing a contract with me. One tip-off was when he asked why there was now no “out” in the new contract so he could go to a bigger publisher if one made an offer.

It broke over me that this writer was out to get free editing for his manuscript so he could shop it around to other publishers.

I conferred with several experienced business people close to me. One woman with her own PR company told me that it happens all the time. Clients come to her, get her ideas, and then don’t sign a contract and pay her. They go off and use her ideas either by themselves or with another PR firm.

Essentially, they rip her off, the same way that this writer planned to rip off Parvati Press.

Another businessman said to me, dryly, “Welcome to the business world.”

Another friend said, “These are the early business mistakes.”

My publishing attorney said, “Never work on a project without a signed contract.”

I emailed back to him, “I’m learning.”

This is just writer relations, a tiny slice of the whole juicy pie. There is so much else to independent publishing, especially the way I do it: with integrity. The book has to be high quality in terms of content, and it has to look good, too. It has to be copyedited, proofread, professionally laid out with an appealing, professionally designed book cover, and given an ISBN and accurate categories…And all that is BEFORE the hard work of marketing a book so it stands out from the crowd: so that readers will know about the book and buy it.

Marketing is a big challenge. It deserves its own post, so I’ll pause here. Meantime, here’s Professor Maxwell’s post about finding BROKEN in his textbook, called, cleverly, “My Content Machine is Broken.”

Maxwell is a good writer himself. His post is worth reading, though his characterization of my novel BROKEN is condescending and pejorative. I emailed him to let him know this:

I would like to put out there (please indulge me) that BROKEN is more than a paranormal romance. It is based on a serious philosophical question with which I wrestle every day: How could a good God allow such pain and suffering?
In this vein, FOREWORD REVIEWS, which is the Library Journal for independent publishing, is reviewing BROKEN for its forthcoming Sci Fi issue, and wrote, “This is a gorgeous philosophical treaty on right and wrong….”

To his credit, Maxwell agreed with me.  He has yet to correct his post to reflect the respect my novel deserves. And this is part of independent publishing, too: Making sure that independently published books are valued and respected.

independent publishing

Amazing Review of Broken by Seacoast Online’s Rebecca Skane
5 star review | authors | book promotion | book reviews | Broken | gratitude | sex | special

Amazing Review of Broken by Seacoast Online’s Rebecca Skane

I’ve been blessed with some lovely, thoughtful reviews of BROKEN.  Writer Rebecca Skane of SEACOAST ONLINE has written a truly wondrous review.

I have written in other posts about how dazzling, and ultimately humbling, it is when a reader GETS IT about what I am trying to do with a novel. Skane GOT IT, in the fullest way possible. It’s more than simply gratifying when a book is well and thoughtfully reviewed; it is a core affirmation of an author’s existence. Sorry to put it in such dramatic terms, but a writer works in solitude at a desk, pouring her soul, her heart, her brain, her blood, sweat and tears, and everything else she’s got, into her writing. To have her book received with appreciation is an existential validation.

Here are some of my favorite lines from Skane’s review:

Traci L. Slatton is back with another novel of fantasy, romance, and danger.  In Broken, angel Alia falls from grace, giving up her wings to live the life of a Parisian woman at the start of World War II.  Beautifully written and devilishly portrayed, Alia is a not your typical fallen angel archetype.  She is more human than anything else….

Alia is consumed with pain but enjoys life as a human by taking advantage of pleasures of the flesh…

Lush and poignant prose and a beautifully rendered time period and locale, elevate Broken from the traditional novels of fantasy into something of its own element.  With the first section of the book doubling as mild erotica, it’s refreshing to find well-written verse to accompany such wickedly scandalous boudoir moments.  This isn’t 50 Shades – this is thought-provoking literature that explores female sexual equality and the nefarious act of unwanted dominance in every form.

I am more than grateful for such a deeply thoughtful review.

Read the review here, and enjoy. I did!!

Amazing Review of Broken