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Monday, September 23, 2013

The Guilty by Vincent Zandri (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Guilty by author Vincent Zandri!

Author Guest Post

Don't Promote
By: Vincent Zandri

Yes, Burger King is into the "hard sell..." Not a good idea for authors...But you gotta love the "super seven incher" ad copy... 

Things change at lightening speed in this business. Which means, what was hot and happening and the absolutely only alternative yesterday is today, cold and old and as outdated as your great grandmother's underwear. 

Three years ago when I first started working with indie publishers you didn't go a day without posting something about your books on Facebook, Twitter, and even Myspace. Of course, you had to watch what you posted since you couldn't directly ask someone to buy your book. You needed to utilize a more indirect approach. For instance, you might post something on Facebook about "Identical Twins" and their uncanny ability to know what one another are thinking at any given time, which on the surface seems like the kind of interesting topic that might pull you away from your accounts payable reports at work. But within the piece itself would be a quick mention of my novel, The Remains. Of course, The Remains is about a set of identical twins who communicate even after one of them has died. 

Oops, I did it again...I just promoted The Remains

But not so fast. The point here is that even that kind of off-handed, soft, and gentle promo is not as effective as it used to be. Which is why I rarely do it anymore. Instead I just might post a piece on Twins and let it go at that. 

But then how do I get the word out about new books? 

I still use all the social media tools, but instead of shotgunning dozens of notices over dozens of engines, I elect instead to send out a mention of the new book on Facebook and Twitter on its release day. I'll also set up a Facebook event page in order to invite certain people who might be interested in reading it. Lastly I'll utilize a guaranteed reader's list of email addresses (which have been obtained with permission from the people who own them) by sending out a direct mailing. 

All in all, even this softer approach won't light the book on fire, but it will serve to slowly get the wheels turning. You don't want to see a huge surge in sales on Day 1 only to see your book fall to the back of the algorithm line on Day 2. Better to see your book slowly begin to make its rise to the top over a period of weeks or even months (It took The Innocent nine months to reach the Amazon Overall Top 100...The same for Godchild, The Remains, The Concrete Pearl, and others...). 

Things like virtual blog tours, the occasional free special, and blogging, remain important tools. So does careful pricing, as well as a great cover, and a great product description. But nothing sells like writing more books. The author who can put out great work speedily and consistently will find that he or she is writing faster than publishers can keep up. Even indie publishers. I suppose that's when authors begin to contemplate self-publishing (No, despite the rumor, I have yet to self-publish...Surprise, surprise...But I will one day). 

Amazon's algorithms have changed. Books that surge to the top are almost automatically now pushed to the back of the line. Better to focus on slow, steady growth than a fast shotgun approach. Don't think sprint, think slow jog. Think organic growth. But don't think for too long, because a week from now, the blog you just read will be old, and dumb, and useless. Like the Beatles once sang, "Tomorrow Never Knows..."

About The Author

Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, THE CONCRETE PEARL, MOONLIGHT RISES, SCREAM CATCHER, BLUE MOONLIGHT, MURDER BY MOONLIGHT, MOONLIGHT SONATA, CHASE, and more. He is also the author of the Amazon bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA. Harlan Coben has described THE INNOCENT (formerly As Catch Can) as “…gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting,” while the New York Post called it “Sensational…Masterful…Brilliant!” Zandri’s list of publishers include Delacorte, Dell, StoneHouse Ink, StoneGate Ink, and Thomas & Mercer. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri’s work is translated into many languages including the Dutch, Russian, and Japanese. An adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photo-journalist for Living Ready, RT, Globalspec, as well as several other news agencies and publications, Zandri lives in New York.

His latest book is the thriller, The Guilty.

The Guilty by Vincent Zandri ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours

Book Review

The Guilty by Vincent Zandri
Book 3: Jack Marconi P.I. Thriller Series
Publisher: StoneGate Ink 
Publication Date: July 8, 2013
Format: eBook - 237 pages / Kindle - 465 KB / Nook - 858 KB
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller

BUY THE BOOK: The Guilty

BUY THE SERIES: Jack Marconi P.I. Thriller Series
Book 1: The Innocent
Book 2: Godchild
Book 3: The Guilty

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours.

Book Description:

Jack Marconi is back. In The Guilty, Jack finds himself investigating a local restaurateur who’s not only obsessed with the sexy, dark romance novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, he’s accused of attempting to murder his school teacher girlfriend. As the now brain-damaged young woman begins recalling events of that fateful winter night when she was allegedly pushed down the front exterior stairs of a West Albany mansion, she becomes the target of the angry foodie/sex-obsessed boyfriend once again. Only this time, he’s cooking up a plot to keep her silenced forever.

Book Excerpt:

In the Beginning… 

…she falls for him as fast and hard as a plane crash. He has that devastatingly immediate effect on her, and she swallows up everything about him, like a woman dying of an incurable thirst. 

But then, he is so different from her now, ex-husband. 

This man…this ambitious young man…he is so different from the tight, pit-in-the-chest-loneliness relationship she’s endured for six long years. This man isn’t at all like the man she married. This man is kind with his words, caring in his actions, tender with his touch. When he makes love to her, he does so unselfishly and with a power so focused on she and she alone, it takes her breath away. 

There are other wonderful things about him. 

He is kind to her little boy. He’s the kind of man to buy the little guy a train set for no reason at all other than it’s a beautiful sunny Sunday. He plays with the boy. Cowboys and Indians. Reads with the boy. Carts him off to the movies. Shares Happy Meals with him. In some cases, he is more dad than his real dad. 

He is exceptionally handsome, in possession of the deepest green eyes she’s ever before seen on a man. A tall, slim but not skinny, muscular build, and thick, wavy, red/blond hair that just screams for her to run her hands through it. She considers herself an attractive young woman with her shoulder-length brunette hair and deep-set brown eyes. But not deserving of a man with his out-of-this-world looks. She feels blessed. 

Unlike her ex, who is a writer, time to him is not a commodity or something to be greedily horded. His generosity and selflessness seems to know no bounds, as if God placed him on this earth for she and she alone. 

It’s the same when it comes to money. 

He’s taken her places her husband couldn’t begin to afford. Weekends at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City. A full week in Paris. Deep sea fishing and nude sunbathing in Aruba. Dinner at the most expensive restaurants, and shopping at the best stores. Garnet Hill, West Elm, Bloomingdales, Prada…He even bought her a new car. A fire engine red Volvo station wagon which he claimed would be a safer ride for she and her little boy than her five year old Toyota Carolla. 

For the thirty-eight year old grammar school teacher, he is like a green-eyed dream come true. A knight in pure shining armor who has rescued her from a life of never quite making ends meet, from a husband who chooses career over family, from days filled with boredom and nights chilled by despair. For the first time ever, she has snagged the man of her dreams and she is not about to let go. She will do anything for him. 


But then things change. 

Not in a dramatic, earth shattering way. But subtly. He begins to ask her to do things for him. Things that surprise her when they come out of his mouth. Especially when he asks her to do them with a smile on his face. 

That. Smile. 

She’s never before heard of people doing the things he’s talking about. Correction…she’s heard of them before, but only if she’s happened to see them on late night cable TV or read about them in some shady, bestselling erotica novel. But then, the things he’s talking about are worse than those things. They involve other things besides human flesh on human flesh. They involve tools of wood, glass, leather and steel. They involve chants and pain and spirits summoned from anywhere but heaven. He doesn’t demand for her to do these things with him. He merely asks her to explore the idea of them with him. To explore the possibilities. To explore the depths of her sensuality. In a word, he feels the need and the want to share her. 

She feels at once shocked and afraid. But then she feels confusion too. She reasons with herself that perhaps he is just being playful. Deviant, but playful. That there is no harm in what he is suggesting. She’s an adult and so is he. So long as it happens amongst consenting adults, what harm can come of it? Still, she resists. 

But he keeps asking her to share herself. Day after day. Night after night. He never lets up. Her beautiful man, he is determined. 

Other changes begin to occur. 

Physical changes. 

His already thin physique becomes thinner, more veiny, his muscles more pronounced. The retinas in his striking green eyes always seem to be dilated now. As if he were secretly experimenting with some new drug or drugs. He rarely trims his fingernails, preferring now to grow them out like claws. And his teeth: He’s doing things with his teeth. Having his incisors sharpened so that when he opens his mouth, he resembles a vampire. 

The changes cause more and more anxiety in her. But she chooses to ignore it. He is still so kind to her. To her boy. So loving and protecting. She doesn’t want to ruin what they’ve built together. She doesn’t want to break the spell. She decides to keep her mouth shut and carry on like her life is all wine and roses. 

Then one day he reveals a secret. 

He takes her by the hand, leads her downs the stairs into the basement. There he reveals a hidden room. 

The. Room. 

He reveals the room to her and all the room contains. 

It makes her dizzy at first. So dizzy she thinks she might pass out. There are the four windowless, red-painted walls, the concrete floor with the drain positioned in the middle, the strange devices hanging on metal hooks, the video cameras, the lights, and the strangest thing of all: a large, heavy wood, spinning wheel balanced atop a ball bearing-topped pilaster. A wooden wheel with four heavy leather straps attached to it that can accompany a fully grown human being. Standing inside the door opening, she feels as if she is looking into a medieval dungeon. 

“I had this constructed for us,” he whispers. “Because I love you.” 

Her knees grow weak, her legs wobbly. 

She fears she will faint. 

But then he takes her into his strong arms and smiles that smile. That’s when he tells her wants to show her something else. Something very special. Releasing her he raises up the sleeve on his right arm to reveal a long, white, gauze bandage held in place with strips of white surgical tape. Reaching out with his left hand, he slowly, tenderly, peels away the bandage. What he exposes is as shockingly wonderful as that room is shockingly frightening. 

It’s a new tattoo. 

But not just any tattoo. 

This tattoo contains no artistic rendering. No red hearts with arrows piercing them. No Indian heads. No tribal insignias, wings, crosses, dragons, stars, or angels. This tattoo contains only a name. 

SARAH…inked in deep black, with rich scarlet droplets of blood dripping from each letter. 

For her, the tattoo isn’t just decorative body paint. It is instead a declaration of the purest love. The tattoo means he is declaring his devotion and his love for all eternity. 

“You don’t have to do this if you don’t want,” he says, his blue eyes shifting from her, to the sex room, and back to her. “I’ll understand completely. If you like, I can close up the secret room for good.” 

She slowly turns away from him, focuses on the heavy wood wheel, and as much as it pains her to even contemplate being strapped to it with other people watching…watching and doing things to her and themselves…she can’t help but begin to feel a hint of excitement beginning to run through her veins and between her legs. It’s as if in the revelation of this basement space, along with her lover’s new tattoo, a tiny door inside her has been pried open. The room and all it contains, might still bring out the fear in her, but her love and desire for him is so much stronger. 

“If it will please you,” she whispers, “I will do it for you.” 

With that, he once more takes her into his arms, holds her hard against his chest, his hands forming tight, angry fists, his sharpened incisors biting down into his lip, piercing the flesh, drawing blood. 

“Till death do us part,” he whispers into her ear.

My Book Review:

Former prison warden turned private investigator Jack "Keeper" Marconi is back in The Guilty, the third book in the Jack Marconi P.I. Thriller series. Author Vincent Zandri weaves a hardcore noir thriller that takes the reader on a wild ride as they follow Keeper's latest investigative adventures.

Set in Albany, NY, a single mother is seriously injured with a suspicious head wound when she leaves the home of her fiance, a wealthy Albany restaurateur. Private Investigator Jack "Keeper" Marconi is hired by renowned architect Harold Sanders to investigate the suspicious injury to his daughter Sarah Sanders, who had been in a coma, suffered brain damage, and has no recollection of the incident. Suspicion points to Sarah's wealthy playboy restaurateur fiance, Robert David Jr, who is accused of attempted murder. When Keeper investigates the fiance's life, he uncovers the playboy's kinky erotic sexual obsessions, and a wealthy influential father who will do anything to protect his son and family name. With the help of his side-kick Blood, a former inmate and ex-drug dealer, Jack gets too close to uncovering the truth, setting himself up to become the next target.

The Guilty is an intriguing crime thriller that captivates the reader's attention as they follow Jack on his latest investigative adventure. This fast-paced action-packed story will keep you turning the pages with its many suspenseful twists and turns. The Fifty Shades of Grey references of kinky erotic sexual obsessions/games that playboy Robert Davis, Jr. engages in are cleverly interwoven throughout this thriller. This riveting detective story delves into eroticism, obsessions, corruption and murder, with a multi-layered cast of characters, witty dialogue and a chilling storyline that is sure to keep hardcore fans riveted and guessing what will happen next.

The Guilty is the third book in the Jack Marconi P.I. Thriller series, but it can be read as a stand alone book. Once you get a taste of Jack's investigative adventures, you'll want to read them all!


Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

Monday, September 2 – First Chapter Reveal at Pump Up Your Book
Monday, September 2 – Book Feature at Examiner
Tuesday, September 3 – Book Feature at Moonlight Lace & Mayhem
Tuesday, September 3 – Interview at Between the Covers
Wednesday, September 4 – Character Interview at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
Thursday, September 5 – Guest Post at Lori’s Reading Corner
Friday, September 6 – First Chapter Reveal at B&M Review Gazette
Friday, September 6 – Book Featured at Must Read Faster
Monday, September 9 – Book Featured at Confessions of a Reader
Monday, September 9 – First Chapter Reveal at Review From Here
Tuesday, September 10 – Book Review at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Wednesday, September 11 – Character Guest Post at My Book Addiction and More
Wednesday, September 11 – Book Review at My Book Addiction Reviews
Thursday, September 12 – Book Featured at Deal Sharing Aunt
Thursday, September 12 – Guest Blogging at Literarily Speaking
Friday, September 13 – First Chapter Reveal at As the Pages Turn
Monday, September 16 – Interview at Straight From the Author’s Mouth
Monday, September 16 – First Chapter Reveal at Literarily Speaking
Tuesday, September 17 – First Chapter Reveal at Read My First Chapter
Wednesday, September 18 – Interview at Blogcritics
Thursday, September 19 – Character Guest Post at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Friday, September 20 – Book Review at Kaisy Daisy’s Book Corner
Monday, September 23 – Book Review & Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Tuesday, September 24 – Book Review & Interview at Authors & Readers Book Corner
Wednesday, September 25 – Book Review at The Self-Taught Cook
Wednesday, September 25 – Guest Blogging at Butterfly-O-Meter Books
Thursday, September 26 – Interview at Blogger News
Thursday, September 26 – 20 Questions with Vincent Zandri at The Writer’s Life
Thursday, September 26 – Book Review at My Book Addiction Reviews
Friday, September 27 – Guest Blogging & Book Giveaway at Darlene’s Book Nook
Friday, September 27 – Book Review at B&M Review Gazette
Friday, September 27 – Interview at I‘m Shelf-ish

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