Tag: reviews

Postive and negative ratingsThis could be the shortest post ever, because my point is perfectly encapsulated in the title of the entry.  I do not read Amazon reviews.  I used to, but I stopped years ago.  Similarly, I stopped reading reviews on Goodreads and so forth.  The only time I ever see them is when my publisher or readers send them to me directly.  I post them here, and move on.

Criticism is a real thing and can be incredibly useful.  By and large, however, what one finds on sites like Amazon isn’t criticism, but complaining.  Why isn’t the book like this other book?  Why did so-and-so have to die?  Why so many F-words?  Why is this so long?  Why is this so short?  The packaging on my shipment was lousy and my book got damaged!  And yes, you can find stuff like that last all over Amazon, because people apparently don’t know there’s a way to contact Amazon customer service about damaged or lost orders, and the author has nothing to do with that process.

I love hearing from readers, and have provided a way for them to get in touch with me via this site, but I won’t read what they have to say on Amazon, or anywhere like Amazon.  Because there’s a converse element to this which can’t be ignored: if one considers compliments valid, one has to consider complaints valid.  And, as I said, complaints are useless.  A well-reasoned critique is invaluable.  Grousing is not.

By all means, if you feel strongly about my books one way or another, post those thoughts wherever you like.  At the same time, don’t expect me to see them.  It’s not that I don’t care about getting better as an author, or continuing to do whatever it is I do well, but public reviews are more harmful than helpful.  And this goes for both writers and readers alike.  Everyone has an opinion, after all.  And what do we know about those?

Writing

Make Them Sorry, by Sam HawkenHot on the heels of the great review from Publishers Weekly, we hear from Booklist, who’s even more excited for Camaro Espinoza (link).  While I haven’t started hearing from you, the readers, I look forward to your thoughts.  I continue to think Make Them Sorry (link) is the best Camaro novel thus far, and you’ll love it.

Miami accountant Faith Glazer is sure she’s being stalked. She’s seen him outside her office, and she senses that he has even been in her apartment, so she goes to one of the city’s fighting gyms to learn how to defend herself. But she soon decides she needs a personal instructor and approaches the most formidable woman in the gym, Camaro Espinoza (Walk Away, 2017 [link]).  Reluctantly, Camaro agrees to train her. She also tells Faith to buy a gun.

Faith does so, and when the stalker invades her home and brutally assaults her, Faith shoots him six times. Soon after, Camaro’s home is invaded by three men with assault rifles. Camaro kills them. The three dead men are found to be Armenian thugs, and Hawken is off to the races in a violent, twisty story of Colombian coca lords, bent Miami bankers, and money laundering. Camaro is a fascinating character, adding several nice variations on the typical genre “tough guy.” She’s a decorated veteran of America’s various Middle Eastern military adventures who keeps even potential friends at a distance, explaining that she has an “anger problem.” Fans of head-banging thrillers will love Camaro.

I don’t think it gets more enthusiastic than that.  Thank you to Booklist and thank you for your readership.  It means the world to me.

Be sure to get your copy of Make Them Sorry, the latest Camaro Espinoza thriller, available for purchase right now at your favorite bookseller. (link)

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Camaro

Make Them Sorry, by Sam HawkenOnce again, Camaro Espinoza is a success with critics.  At risk of sounding immodest, I consider Make Them Sorry (link) the very best Camaro story yet.  So far the notices seem to agree.  But I look forward to hearing what you, the reader, have to say on the subject.  In the meantime, let’s see what Publishers Weekly wrote:

Hawken‘s kick-ass third Camaro Espinoza thriller (after 2017’s Walk Away [link]) finds the hard-drinking, motorcycle-riding, mixed martial arts enthusiast finally achieving some semblance of existential peace in Miami, Florida, where she runs a charter fishing business.  But when a woman approaches her asking for help dealing with a stalker, Camaro reluctantly agrees to teach her self-defense skills, only to become entangled with killers from a Colombian paramilitary cartel involved in money laundering and drug smuggling.

Complicating matters is Ignacio Montellano, a Miami homicide detective, whose friendship with the prickly Camaro may not only jeopardize his career, but also their lives.  Tightly plotted[…], the action-packed narrative derives its real power from the complex character of Camaro, whose toughness and bad attitude make Jack Reacher look like a choirboy.  Fans of Zoë Sharp’s Charlie Fox will love Camaro, especially her memorable one-liners: “I’ve never killed anyone who didn’t need to be dead.”

High praise from Publishers Weekly indeed.  I thank them for the compliments and I thank you for your preorder.  Let’s make the newest Camaro the biggest hit of the first three installments.

Be sure to get your copy of Make Them Sorry, the latest Camaro Espinoza thriller, available for purchase at your favorite bookseller on August 7th. (link)

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Camaro