Amazon… A virtual marketplace, or Big Brother?

imy santiago

A couple of weeks ago I read the third installment of a series I really loved. I will refrain from sharing the name of the novel and its author.

Like any reader, as soon as I finished reading, I wrote my review. When I tried posting it on Amazon (I did buy the eBook, just like any normal and decent human being would), I received a rather concerning email.

I will not share the screenshot of the email as it does contain the title of the book and name of the author. In its place I have copied the body of the email below.

Dear Amazon Customer,

Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:
http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines

Here I was, thinking I had included an…

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USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano

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The Detective by Adrienne Giordano

Today I welcome a friend of mine from my early days with the RWA’s Romantic Suspense Chapter known as Kiss of Death. I sent Adrienne a set of questions to find out how her career progressed from there. Below are her answers. Here are my questions and her answers. I hope you will hop out to your favorite store and grab a copy. Or stop by your favorite eBook retailer and grab a copy of The Detective. Now, here are the questions with Adrienne’s answers. Below her questions, I’ve posted an excerpt.

Hi Adrienne,
Several years have passed since we were in an online critique group together. You have come a long way. I’m proud to see you made the USA Today Best Seller List. I have a few questions for you.
1. How does your family react to all the great sales?
• In the beginning, they were extremely happy that the dream I’d worked so hard for had been accomplished. Now I think they’re just used to it and we’re all back to life as me being the “baby” of the family. My brother does enjoy going into the Barnes & Noble near his house and buying my books. I think he gets a kick out of it. I’m darned proud of him for not being afraid to buy romance novels!
2. What was your reaction when you walked into a store and saw your Intrigue book on the shelf?
• It really was a bit surreal. I think I had ten digital books out, but actually going into bookstores and seeing my book was amazing. For that first book, I drove all over taking pictures of each sighting. On one trip, my husband kept telling people it was my book. One lady didn’t even read romances but told me she’d buy it if I’d sign it. I signed it right there in the aisle at Meijer.
3. Were you excited?
• Beyond excited! I wanted to kill my hubby though because I had no makeup on and was in jeans and a T-shirt.
4. Was there a little bit of disbelief there too? (Like someone pinch me?)
• For me, the disbelief never goes away. Whether it’s a digital or print book, every time release day comes I’m just in awe. I’m also so thankful that I get to do the thing I love full-time.
5. Do you write a clean first draft or do you throw it all up there and go back through it?
• Oh, heck no. I call it the ugly draft. I like to just let loose on the first draft without thinking too hard about it. I’m a plotter so I generally know what direction I’m going, but I still like to let the muse take me. Sometimes I’m stunned by what comes out and a lot of times those stunners stay in the book. Most times they’re too crazy and I delete them. It really just depends. I probably have five or six drafts before I turn a book in. And then I go through it another three or four times.
6. What’s the writing schedule like for you with several books out?
• I typically have two or three projects in a different state of editing on my desk at once. I can’t draft two books at the same time. My brain doesn’t work that way. I think I write in such a deep point of view that drafting multiple books at once is difficult for me. I will typically write 2,000-3,000 words a day (give or take!) and once I hit a wall I’ll switch to editing my other projects. Right now I’m drafting a new book, proofing the next Lucie Rizzo book and doing copy edits on the next Justice Series book.
7. I know you have a son, how old is he now?
• My baby is going into high school. I’m sticking my head in the sand over it.
8. How do you juggle being a mom with his school activities and things?
• His schedule is one of the reasons I’m so thankful I’m a writer. He is active in sports and if I still worked in an office I would miss a lot of his games. I’m really in awe of the parents who work outside the home and still manage to get their kids everywhere they need to be.

9. How did you transition from Carina to Intrigue?
• I actually met my Intrigue editor at the NJRWA conference. I sat at her table at lunch and we got to talking. This is actually a great story for hopeful writers because I’d never written an Intrigue (or any category length book). I had five romantic suspense single-titles out at the time and my agent was shopping Dog Collar Crime, a light mystery. My soon-to-be Intrigue editor also acquires for Mira and told me to send her Dog Collar Crime. She wound up rejecting the book because it wasn’t a fit for Mira, but told me if I wanted to write an Intrigue she’d like to see something from me. Having never written one, I immediately downloaded several titles and decided to give it a try. I sent a proposal and wound up with a book deal. All because my editor rejected my mystery. You just never know what can happen at conferences!
10. Was it a difficult transition?
• Writing single-titles is different from category in a lot of ways. The shorter length of category was the biggest issue for me because I wasn’t used to it. This is where my love of plot structure came in handy. I was able to figure out how many words had to be in each act (based on three-act structure) and made sure I stuck to those parameters.
11. Are your Intrigue books different from your Carina books?

This is good to know for someone interested in writing for Intrigue. 

• My single-titles are anywhere from 85,000 – 95,000 words. My Intrigues are 55,000-60,000. Aside from that, the biggest difference is the characters in my Intrigues don’t swear and there is no graphic violence.
12. Are there any things you want to share about The Detective?
• I had so much fun writing this book. My plotting partners and I plotted the book on one of our marathon brainstorming weekends. It took us roughly six hours to nail down the plot, but I had great fun doing it. Lexi (heroine) was originally supposed to be a realtor while Brodey (the hero) was a homicide detective. One of my plotting partners suggested we make Lexi an interior designer because there was great underlying conflict between someone who saw the world as a canvas she could make beautiful versus a grisly homicide detective who saw danger everywhere.
13. Any little tidbits such as inside secrets we should go back and find?
• Yes, but I’m not telling because it would be a total spoiler.

A quick final question about your other series. Did you complete all the Private Protectors Series? I. E. did you cover all the men working with Vic and Mike?

Thank you, Kathy! I so love that ser That’s a great series too. I’m partial to it, I guess because we met online during your writing of Man Law.ies. I can’t say it’s done. What’s great about that series is the characters continually spin off so it can be open-ended. I just don’t have an idea right now for a next book in that series and I want to make sure I give my readers something they will love. I’d actually love to write a book with Courtney (secondary character from A Just Deception) as the heroine. I feel like she needs a happy ending.
Last, I want to congratulate you on your success and wish you a New York Times bestseller as well. Thank you, Adrienne for appearing here today. I hope you’ll pop by my blog again soon.
• Thank you so much, Kathy! I’ll come back anytime. I miss our old critique group. I learned so much from the folks there and I’ll always be grateful.

USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. For more information on Adrienne’s books, please visit http://www.AdrienneGiordano.com. Adrienne can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AdrienneGiordanoAuthor, Twitter at http://twitter.com/AdriennGiordano and Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/AdrienneGiordano. For information on Adrienne’s street team, Dangerous Darlings, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/dangerousdarlings.

Excerpt from The Detective:

Chapter One
Lexi Vanderbilt’s mother taught her two very important lessons. One, always wear coordinating lipstick, and two, recognize an opportunity when it presented itself.
Standing in the ballroom of the newly renovated Gold Coast Country Club, Lexi planned on employing those lessons.
All around her workers prepared for the throng of club members who would descend in—she checked her watch—ninety-three minutes. As the interior designer about to unveil her latest masterpiece, she would spend those ninety-three minutes tending to everything from flowers to linens to centerpieces. A waiter toting a tray of sparkling champagne glasses cruised by. She took in the not-so-perfect cut of his tux and groaned. The staff’s attire wasn’t her jurisdiction. Still, small details never escaped her. At times, like now, it was maddening.
Oh, and just wait one second. “Excuse me,” she said to a woman carrying a stack of tablecloths. “The sailboat ice sculpture belongs on the dessert table by the window. The Willis Tower goes by the champagne fountain.”
The woman hefted the pile of linens, a not-so-subtle hint that the sculptures weren’t her problem. “Does it matter?”
If it didn’t, I wouldn’t ask. Lexi sighed. “It matters. Unless you’d like to tell your boss, who specifically requested the placement of the sculptures, that it doesn’t.”
For added effect, Lexi grinned and the woman rolled her eyes. “I’ll get the busboys to move it.”
“Thank you.”
One minicrisis averted. And maybe she could have let that one slide given that the club’s manager had to be 110 years old and most likely wouldn’t remember which sculpture went where, but why take a chance on something easily fixed?
Besides, tonight everything had to be perfect.
Functions attended by the richest of the rich were a breeding ground for opportunities. Opportunities Lexi craved for her fledgling design company. At twenty-nine, she’d already been profiled by the Banner-Herald and all the major broadcast stations in the city. She was quickly gaining ground on becoming Chicago’s “it” designer, and that meant dethroning Jerome Laddis, the current “it” designer. He may have had more experience, but Lexi had youth, energy and fresh ideas on her side. A few more insanely wealthy clients touting Lexi’s work and look out, Jerome.
Then she’d hire an assistant, rehab her disaster of a garage into an office and get some sleep.
Lots of it.
Right now, as she glanced around, took in the exquisite silk drapes, the hundred-thousand-dollar chandelier and hand-scraped floor she’d had flown in from Brazil, no questions on the tiny details would haunt her. She’d make sure of it. Even if stress-induced hospitalization loomed in her near future.
The upshot? She’d lost five pounds in the past two weeks. Always a silver lining.
“Alexis?”
Lexi turned, her long gown swishing against the floor and snagging on her shoe. She smiled at Pamela Hennings while casually adjusting her dress. Darned floor-length gowns. “Mrs. Hennings, how nice to see you.”
Mrs. Hennings air-kissed and stepped back. On her petite frame she wore a fitted gown in her signature sky blue that matched her eyes. The gown draped softly at the neckline, displaying minimal cleavage. As usual, a perfect choice.
“I love what you’ve done in here,” Mrs. Hennings said. “Amazing job.”
Being a club board member, she had no doubt shown up early to make sure the unveiling of the new room would be nothing short of remarkable. “Thank you. I enjoyed it. Just a few last-minute details and we’ll be ready.”
“Everything is lovely. Even the damned ice sculptures Raymond couldn’t live without. Waste of money if you ask me, but some battles aren’t worth fighting.”
So true.
A loud bang from the corner of the room assaulted Lexi’s ears. Please let that be silverware. She shifted her gaze left and spotted the waiter who’d passed her earlier scooping utensils onto a tray. Thank you.
Mrs. Hennings touched Lexi’s arm. “By the bye, I think I have Gerald convinced his study needs an update. All that dark wood is depressing.”
Now, that would be a thrill. If Lexi landed the job and nailed it, the top 10 percent of Chicago’s executives would know it. And competition ran hot with this social set. Before long, they’d be lined up outside her office for a crack at outdoing Pamela and Gerald Hennings.
“I think,” Lexi said, “for him we could leave touches of the dark woods. Macassar ebony would be fabulous on the floor.”
“Ooh, yes. Do you have time this week? Maybe you could come by and work up some sketches?”
“Of course.” Lexi whipped her phone from her purse and scrolled to her calendar. “How about early next week? Tomorrow I’m starting a new project that might eat up the rest of my week.”
“I’ll make sure I’m available. What’s this new project? Can you share?”
Rich folks. Always wanting the inside scoop. “Actually, it’s quite fascinating. Remember the murdered broker?”
“The one from Cartright? How could I not? The entire neighborhood went into a panic.”
The residents of Cartright, the North Side’s closest thing to a gated community without the gates, employed private security to help patrol the six city blocks that made up their self-titled haven. That extra money spent on security kept the crime rate nearly nonexistent in those six city blocks.
Except for the offing of one crooked stockbroker.
“That’s the one,” Lexi said. “I’ve been hired to stage the house. The real estate agent suggested it to the broker’s widow and she hired me.”
“I heard they couldn’t sell. The market is destroying her. That poor woman. He left her with a mountain of trouble. He paid top dollar and if she lowers the price again, she won’t make enough to clear his debts. Add to that any retribution owed to the clients he borrowed funds from without their knowledge.”
As expected, Pamela Hennings was up to speed on the latest gossip. Gossip that Lexi would not share. Being told this information about a client was one thing. Sharing it? Not happening. “I’m looking forward to the project. It’s an incredible house.”
Being an interior designer didn’t always give Lexi the chance to change someone’s life. Her work allowed people to see the beauty in color and texture and shape and made their homes more than just a place to live, but she didn’t often get the opportunity to alter an emotionally devastating situation. Now she had the chance. Getting this house sold would free the broker’s widow from debt and give her children a comfortable life.
And Lexi wanted to see that happen.
Plus, if she got the thing sold in forty-five days, she’d make a whopping 20 percent bonus. The bonus alone would pay for an assistant and give her a life back.
Nap, here I come.
Mrs. Hennings made a tsk-tsk noise. “They never did find the murderer, did they?”
“No. Which I think is part of the problem. I may do a little of my feng shui magic in there. Clear all the negativity out. When I’m finished, that house will be beautiful and bright and homey.”
“The debt, the children and now the police can’t find the murderer. And it’s been what, two years? No woman deserves to be left with that.”
Again, Lexi remained quiet. Don’t get sucked in. But, yes, it had been two years, and from what Lexi knew, the police were no closer to finding the man’s killer. Such a tragedy. “The case has gone cold.”
Sucked in. She smacked her lips together.
“You know,” Mrs. Hennings said, “my husband’s firm recently did some work with a pro bono cold case. I wonder if the investigator who worked on that wouldn’t mind taking a look at this. I’d love to see the man’s family given some relief. And, let’s face it, it would certainly be good PR for the firm.”
It certainly would.
Investigative help wouldn’t hurt the real estate agent’s chances—or Lexi’s—of getting the house sold in forty-five days. “Do you think they’d be interested?”
“Oh, I’m sure it can be arranged.”
Gerald Hennings, a.k.a. the Dapper Defense Lawyer, pushed through the oversize ballroom doors, spotted the two women and unleashed a smile. Even in his sixties, he had charm to spare. Salt-and-pepper hair and the carved cheekbones of a man who’d once been devastatingly handsome—all combined with his intelligence—added up to someone who ruled a courtroom.
“Gerald,” Mrs. Hennings said, “perfect timing. The board meeting will be upstairs. Believe it or not, we’re the first ones here.”
The Dapper DL eyed his wife with a hint of mischief, smiling in a rueful way that probably slayed jurors. “Shocking.” Then he turned his charm loose on Lexi. “Alexis Vanderbilt, how are you?”
“I’m fine, Mr. Hennings. Thank you. And yourself?”
“I was quite well until fifteen seconds ago when my wife announced my timing was perfect. That means I’ll either be writing you a healthy check or she’s volunteered me for something. Either way, I’m sure it will be painful.”

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About the Book

Title: The Detective
Author: Adrienne Giordano
Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / BAM / Google Play / Kobo Books

Book Summary:

She’s captured his heart…and the attention of a murderer.

Injured homicide detective Brodey Hayward needs a distraction, and he finds it as a consultant on a cold case murder. When Brodey’s investigation delays plans to remodel the former crime scene, he uncovers another kind of distraction: spirited Lexi Vanderbilt. Despite her distrust of men, Brodey charms the alluring interior designer into helping him examine the case facts.

Working closely with the ultra sexy detective helps Lexi lower her guard, igniting a passion that even Chicago’s winter can’t cool. As they close in on the killer, Lexi becomes his new target. To save her, Brodey must either betray her trust—or risk losing Lexi forever.

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About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.

Connect with Adrienne: Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team

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Giveaway Information

Tour-wide giveaway includes a $25.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, a swag pack, and a signed print book!

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Blog Tour Stops

You can follow the tour to learn more about the book and author through interviews and reviews! Just click on the link or button below.

July 1, 2015
Recommended Romance (Review)
Romance Junkies (Excerpt)
Romancing the Book (Review)

July 2, 2015
Nerdy Dirty and Flirty (Review)
CK Crouch (Interview)
Lush Book Reviews (Excerpt)
Ms. Romantic Reads (Excerpt)
The Reading Café (Review)

July 3, 2015
Blakraven’s Reviews (Review)
Bottles & Books Reviews (Review)
Cricket’s Chirps (Review)
The Book Review (Review)

July 5, 2015
Em & M Books (Review)
Just the Write Stuff (Excerpt)
Ramblings From This Chick (Interview)

July 6, 2015
Ariesgrl Book Reviews (Excerpt)
Joyfully Reviewed (Interview)
Long and Short Reviews (Excerpt)
Read Your Writes Book Reviews (Review)
SOS Aloha (Interview)

July 7, 2015
All About High Heat Romance (Excerpt)
Happiness Is A Book (Review)

July 8, 2015
Amy Manemann (Excerpt)
Renee Entress (Review)
So Many Reads (Review)

July 9, 2015
Harlie’s Books (Review)
Coffeetime Romance – Coffee Thoughts (Excerpt)
My Book Addiction and More (Review)

July 10, 2015
Peaces of Me (Review)
StoreyBook Reviews (Excerpt)

July 11, 2015
Brooke Blogs (Review)
Jen’s Reading Obsession (Review)

July 12, 2015
A Little Big of R&R (Excerpt)
Becky on Books (Review)

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