Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Funniest Book Ever!

The Funniest Book Ever, The Drought, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Funny, Comedy, Chick Lit, Indie Author,
It never ceases to amaze me how humbled I am every time a reader takes the time to leave such positive comments and reviews for The Drought. Over the past couple of weeks, there have been a couple of real gems from Goodreads readers, and one reader was even kind enough to drop me a note to say it was the funniest book they had ever read!

First up was Goodreads member Andrew. You can read the full review here, but here is a quick snippet of what he had to say:

"It's a definitely recommendation from me. The book is very funny, will keep you entertained throughout - would advise to read in non-public places. Bring on the sequel... it cant come soon enough... this book has totally spoiled the next books i read and will find it very hard to compare anything close to it. 5/5"

And then a couple of days later, Maureen Reil (author of Chick Lit Saved My Life) posted a review saying how much she enjoyed The Drought. Maureen said:

"This is Lad-Lit at its finest and I loved it from start to finish and you can’t say that about many books" 

You can see Maureen's full review by clicking here and check out all of the reviews on Goodreads which now stands at 67 with an average 4 star rating (out of five) by visiting The Drought Goodreads page.

A huge thanks to all of the readers who keep posting their positive feedback! I am plugging away with the follow-up novel and hope to have it ready soon!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Exclusive! Star Wars VII Trailer! Sneak preview of Disney's first installment!

Last year Disney paid over four billion dollars to buy LucasFilm and the Star Wars franchise. Fans took to Twitter and other social media platforms to vent their frustration and concerns over what will now happen to their beloved Wookies, Ewoks, and Storm Troopers!

But they needn't had worried if this exclusive first peek of the new Stars Wars trailer is anything to go by! Disney's first installment goes back in time to look at what really happened to Vader after the first Star Wars film, which was obviously confusingly called Star Wars Episode IV. This new film is technically Star Wars VII, but it should really be Star Wars IV and a half...

Anyway, enough rambling on from me. Enjoy this trailer and get a little taste for what is to come in 2015!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Lad Lit Book Reviews: The Devil's Graveyard by Anonymous (The Bourbon Kid 3)

Books For Men Book Reviews! The Devil's Graveyard by Anonymous
Have you ever wondered what would happen if X Factor met Night of the Living Dead? Me neither, but I’m sure as hell pleased that the anonymous author of The Devil’s Graveyard chose to mash these two unlikely forces together!

The third in the Bourbon Kid series (following The Book With No Name and The Eye of the Moon) takes a detour away from the vampire and werewolf infested city of Santa Mondega, and instead we are plonked bang in the middle of the Arizona desert at the Hotel Pasadena, which seems to be the holiday destination of choice for the undead as well as every lowlife and murderer in the country! Throw in an army of flesh-eating zombies and you have a whole different meaning to the term self-catering!

The reason for this gathering of ghouls is to take part in a TV talent show called ‘Back From the Dead’ but unbeknown to them is the fact chief judge Nigel Powell (And yes, Nigel Powell is a parody of Simon Cowell from the bright white smile to the devil horns!) has rigged the contest and has hired a stone cold hitman to bump off the other contestants as an insurance policy.

Queue the appearance of everyone’s favourite mass murderer, The Bourbon Kid, to sweep in and throw a spanner in the works, especially when he takes it upon himself to make sure no harm comes to one of the contestants, Emily, who reminds him of someone he knew a lifetime ago before the bourbon transformed him into a raging killer.

But The Kid is not the only one to make a return to form as the hapless bartender Sanchez once again steals the show with some seriously laugh-out loud scenarios after turning up at the hotel after winning a competition to earn himself a weekend away. Only Sanchez could win something and end up in Hell!

What else can I say about this writer and this series of books that I haven't said in my previous two reviews? He/she has the uncanny ability to articulate the most gruesome of scenes yet they still leave you with a smile on your face. It is laced with wicked dark humour throughout which means the laughs come as thick and fast as the blood that scatters each page.

It’s simply another great triumph from the author, and it just as hard to put down as the previous two. If I'm being ultra critical it's not quite as good as the first two instalments, but they set the bar so high that it's by no means a criticism on what is a fantastically enjoyable read!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Amazon buys Goodreads: What does it mean for Indie Authors?

Amazon buys Goodreads: What does it mean for Indie Authors?
There seems to be mixed views on the news that Amazon have purchased Goodreads - the social book reading and sharing website. I can see the pros and cons of the argument, especially as an indie author. I have found Goodreads such an important tool to reach out and contact and engage with readers.

Over the last 6-12 months, The Drought has been picking up more reviews than ever before, and that is largely down to sites like Smashwords and Goodreads connecting me as an author with readers. But not just any readers, by spending a bit of desk time simply researching various members and groups on the site, I have been able to contact readers who I feel would enjoy my book based on their reading lists.

Goodreads is the largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world, with over 16m members. Most readers are happy to be contacted, especially when I use a Smshwords code to offer them a free download of The Drought in exchange for a fair and balanced review.

But on Amazon it is much more difficult to find and contact relevant reviewers to read my book. In the two years The Drought has been available on Amazon, it has only received a total of 27 reviews. In less than half that time on Goodreads, The Drought has nearly 70 reviews and has been download 500 times.

So what happens when Goodreads gets Amazonafied? Does it become increasingly more difficult for indie authors to connect with readers? Is this just another nail in the coffin for self-publishing success stories? Maybe not, but it does throw up the concern that Amazon will further increase their vice-like grip on the book selling and reading community.

Amazon put a stop on authors using their forums as a self-promoting tool, and any author who has attempted to give their books a little plug on some of the more popular independent forums will often have the door slammed shut in their face for even daring to mention their own book! I once posted a very positive review on a forum for The Book With No Name which happens to have an 'Anonymous' author and I received a rather snotty-nosed message from one of the forum's administrators accusing me of having something to do with the book.

Connecting with readers and getting reviews is just about as important to an indie author as it is to Luis Suarez having the salt and pepper within reach when he is snacking on Branislav Ivanovic's arm. Okay, it's a lot more important than that! But I could't resist a little dig...

These reviews not only help make other readers aware of my book, but it also gives me a sense that all the hard work is worth it. It's one thing having your friends and family tell you they like your book, but it is totally different when someone in Germany or the Philippines post a 5-star review saying how much they laughed when reading it. And it's fantastic when they compare your work to well-known established authors.

It's these reviews and relationships with these readers that keep indie authors going in the hope that they'll become that next big self-publishing success story. For every reader who gives you a positive review, it's two fingers up to the literary agent who said no. If Amazon take this function away from us, then it's Amazon who will be holding the two fingers up at indie authors.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Move over Mankini - the Willykini is here!

Willykini, Mankini
Finally the great British weather looks like it could be making a change for the better! And I for one am bloody delighted that the sunshine is finally out. Why I hear you ask? Because it means I get to wear my Willykini for the first time this year! Watch out ladies!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Protecting your pin number - you never know who is lurking around...

Protecting your pin number
You know the feeling. It's late at night, you need some money, but the only cash machine is in a secluded area. You have seen a few shifty characters lurking around in the shadows and naturally you don't want to become another statistic in the fight against fraud. So what do you do?

Well, you get your Granny to watch your back of course! If anyone even attempts glancing over your shoulder, she is ready to launch an attack with that handbag! I salute you Granny!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Jack's view on... Why men hate shopping

Jack's view on, Why men hate shopping, Jack Chatham, The Drought, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Funny books for men, Funny books, chick lit for men,
My good pal Dan Hilles had a bloody fantastic post on this blog last year called The reason why men hate shopping and I have to say I could agree more with what he had to say. When it comes to a man's worst nightmare, shopping is right up there with waking up next to Sarah Jessica Parker.

But just when I thought all hope was lost and that men were doomed to drag their heels around women in the shops forever more, I stumbled across this fantastic golden nugget from the Retired Husband. What a frickin' ledge this man is! Enjoy...

After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Sainsbury's Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women - she loves to browse.

Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Sainsbury's...

Dear Mrs. Harris,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behaviour and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Harris, are listed below and are "documented by our video surveillance cameras":

1. June 15: He took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away'. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to reserve a bag of Maltesers.

6. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers they could come in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department - to which twenty children obliged.

8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?' Emergency Medics were called.

9. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

10. September 10: While handling guns in the Sports department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

11. October 3: Darted around the Store suspiciously while loudly humming the ' Mission Impossible' theme.

12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.

13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'

14. October 22: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed the fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!

15. Took a box of condoms to the checkout clerk and asked where the fitting room was.

And last, but not least:

16. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, and then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here.' One of the Staff passed out.  

Jack Chatham is a character in the hilarious lad lit novel The Drought. Check it out now!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Update on second novel - expect a Flood this summer!

The Flood is coming! Steven Scaffardi
Just a quick update to say that I am about halfway through the follow up to The Drought and I am hoping for a May/June publication date! Watch this space! The new book - working title The Flood - sees Dan and his pals back in action, and this time Dan is not suffering from any sexual droughts. In fact, it is quite the opposite as he has too many to choose from!

More updates soon...!