Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken – Review, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway

Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken – Review, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway

DirtyExesGraphic 300x120 Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken   Review, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway

DirtyExes Van Dyken 200x300 Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken   Review, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway

Dirty Exes is a brilliant book about what happens when a women is scorned and sets out to expose cheaters. It’s witty, charming, and I adore this story.

If you’re looking for a fast paced caper story that centers around our beloved heroine Blaire who must navigate through her own issues as she works to catch men who stray. When her latest job finds her face-to-face with Jessie Beckett, an ex–NFL star she still has the hots for, she wonders if he’s still the same guy that left her all those years ago.

This story is not what you think it is readers, it’s brilliant and absolutely electric! Love doesn’t come around often and it’s going to take faith, trust and a whole lot of flirty shenanigans to determine if Blaire can find it once and for all.

A PI whose latest job finds her in the middle of a sticky investigation will discover that finding the dirt on a cheating ex comes with a price. When the subject in the one man she thinks she still cares about, can she do it? Is he really a cheater?

What happens when Colin, his sexy best friend is the one to ignite the flicker in her heart? All best are off as Blaire must discover who she wants more, the idea of what she had or a new love that knows no limits and can burn for eternity. Who would you choose? One man will win and I can’t wait to read more from Rachel, she’s on my auto-buy list now :).

4 Scorchin Larger Image Final 300x300 Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken   Review, Exclusive Excerpt, and GiveawayOh yeah, it’s time to one-click this scorchin hot read! Caution, may lead to unexpected need to turn on the A/C.

I received this ARC from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

Get your copy here: %name Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken   Review, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway%name Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken   Review, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway

Exclusive Excerpt 300x300 Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken   Review, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway

This was not how I pictured my life going.

Not even a little bit.

A rat scurried by.

I held my breath and closed my eyes.

The smell of sewer burned my nostrils and made me cringe when I thought about how much money I’d spent on my LuLuLemon yoga pants. Yeah, these stains weren’t coming out any time soon.

I was the adult version of Dora the Explorer crawling through the sewers of downtown LA like I was searching for fabled alligators.

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a princess, so like I said, not how I pictured my life.

I tried to stop myself from gagging as something that looked like dirty toilet paper floated past. I grunted and kept stumbling through the dark tunnel.

I hadn’t been close to my parents.

Their deaths left this giant gaping hole in my heart where I knew something was supposed to fit, but nothing ever did. My brother poured himself into sports—and I poured myself into this idyllic little fantasy that I would be the mom I never had.

It seemed like a good idea. Marry well. Be the mom I’d been denied. The mom I’d always wanted. One who’d make casseroles on Mondays, pot roast on Sundays, have a white picket fence—that was the dream. Or maybe the dream was just to be loved.

The sound of cars above me had me panicking, one earthquake and I’d go splat beneath a semi hauling fish.

Because that was the type of luck I had.

I checked the text message again and used the flashlight on my phone to peer up at the ladder leading to the street.

Isla: Downtown. Eleven p.m. Shaggy’s Steakhouse. Alleyway

“Bingo,” I whispered and quickly plugged in my fiber-optic camera. God bless iPhones and all the little gadgets that come with them. As quietly as possible, I climbed the ladder and shoved the camera up through the gritty metal hole.

“Come to mama,” I whispered as my adrenaline spiked.

Isla said she’d lure him out of the restaurant with the promise of a quickie, and the cheating idiot—the one who really needed to learn how to shop in his own garage, if you get my meaning—was clearly all over it. What was it with men who thought that money made up for their overactive sweat glands and jowls the size of my a**?

“God, you’re a beautiful woman,” lying, cheating bastard crooned in a gravelly voice that reminded me of those antismoking commercials. My face twisted with disgust while I recorded. The angle was perfect, and the street lights may as well have been spotlights on his eager face.

“Awww.” My best friend and business partner shrugged a shoulder and forced a laugh. “You’re such a nice guy. How are you not married?”

“Just haven’t found the right woman, I suppose.” He toyed with the black material near her shoulder, flicking it with his swollen and heavily ringed pointer finger. I kept myself from throwing up.

“Is that so?” She leaned in. “How is that even possible?”

“No idea.” He leaned in.

Oh, honey, I appreciate the dedication but he probably tastes like an ashtray. Don’t do it, don’t do it. I briefly contemplated closing my eyes so I wouldn’t have to witness any forthcoming kiss. Only a best friend would notice the slight grimace Isla made before backing up and sliding a manila envelope out of her bag and shoving it into his chest.

“What’s this?” He chuckled at the envelope while she made a gagging noise and wiped her mouth. The guy hadn’t even kissed her, yet her body was in distress, poor thing.

“You got it?” She looked down at the sewer cover.

I moved the fiber-optic cable up and down in an affirmative motion.

She smirked at him. “You’ve just been served. You’re also on camera, so say hi to your wife and the rest of the Dirty Exes, our live Facebook group. And while you’re at it, you may as well say goodbye to half of everything you own according to the prenup you signed three years ago. But you know what? Half doesn’t seem nearly enough to put up with you.”

I cackled.

His phone buzzed.

“Better answer that, I’m pretty sure that’s your soon-to-be-ex-wife just making sure you’re aware that she saw the live video.” She smiled triumphantly. “Oh, and nice doing business with you.”

With great effort, I removed the sewer lid then heaved myself up the rest of the way. The cover felt like it weighed twenty-five pounds, and I nearly smashed my fingers in the name of catching another cheater. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

“You smell.” Isla scrunched up her nose when she waltzed over to me. “But you’re dedicated, I like it.”

“It was the only way to get close enough,” I grumbled and made an effort to dust off my damp clothes even though I knew it was in vain. When she’d texted she’d be meeting the target, I’d been headed back to my apartment, so I was ill prepared for sewer sightseeing even though I knew it was a possibility, considering the location. Can one ever be completely prepared to do something like that? The answer is no. Just. No.

“You b*****s!” The Cheater ran toward both of us—lips curled in disgust, his eyes beady, angry little lasers, hand raised—like he was seconds away from attacking us with his cell phone.

Instinctively, I reared back and let my fist fly. Knuckles connected with flesh, and he whimpered and went down like the loser he was.

“Blaire!” Isla groaned. “You can’t just punch our clients’ husbands.”

“I slipped,” I lied. “Besides, it was self-defense! He’s twice my size and he made a threat!”

Isla just shook her head at me.

“He charged us! With his phone! That’s not normal behavior, plus it looked like he intended to use it as a weapon.”

I may have anger issues.

“Who are you people?” Cheater was on the ground, covering his face with his hands. Oh hell, was he crying?

I stepped over his sad, pathetic body and grinned. “The Exes.”

Isla looped her arm through mine and then dropped our black-and-white calling card on the ground. It was our final punch to the gut. Not only did it serve to warn our targets that we were watching … always watching, future clients who randomly found our cards called us based on curiosity alone. We grew our social media presence by being selective and only taking high-profile clients. Business was booming.

“Have a good night.” I waved and shoved my phone back in my pocket.

Isla sucked in a breath. “So, pizza?”

“Fries,” I countered.

“Pizza.” She narrowed her eyes like she was thinking.

“Wine,” we said in unison.

“Oh, looky here.” She pulled a bottle out of her giant Mary Poppins purse and waved it in front of my face like it was totally legal to drink while walking down the street.

“You have glasses in there too?” I laughed, poking my head in her giant bag.

She was already pulling them out.

Of course.

Always prepared, Isla was.

“And a screw top.” I pointed. “Best date of my life.”

“Isn’t it though?”

A couple passed us by. As I watched them kiss, I ignored the pang in my heart.

Just like I ignored the longing that came with it.

Stupid heart.

“You’re happy, right?” Isla asked. She was my other half. If the other half oozed sexuality and confidence. Most days I was lucky I even put on mascara and remembered to wash my hair. I was so focused on retribution, on not focusing on the past, that I was barely staying sane. I wanted to be that woman, the one who told the world where to stick it—I just didn’t know how to do it without acknowledging all the parts of myself that were still broken, still hurting. Because that meant I had to actually admit it happened, it was real, and I was alone.

An impasse, that’s where I was at.

“Of course!” I said loudly, realizing she was waiting for my response, and like an idiot I was peering into my wine cup like it was a Magic 8 Ball that would give me all life’s secrets if I just stared hard enough. Her eyebrow arched, and I could tell she wasn’t convinced. I took a deep breath, forced a soft smile, and said it again. “I’m really, really happy.”

I just had to repeat it.

And then add in two reallys.

She gave me a confident nod and wrapped her arm around me. “Good.”

And that was it.

Except it wasn’t.

Because a part of me was still thinking about that couple, about the look in her eyes when he kissed her, and about the way it felt to be kissed.

A really good kiss.

One that stunned you into silence. One that stole your breath and made you swear that if you died in that minute, it would be okay. A kiss that made you believe that maybe, just maybe, the world wasn’t all bad.

That maybe love existed.

It was that kind of kiss.

And I realized in that moment, with a jarring sense of insecurity, that I’d only ever been kissed like that once in my entire life.

And it wasn’t my ex-husband who had done it.

About the Author

RachelVanDyken 200x300 Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken   Review, Exclusive Excerpt, and GiveawayRachel Van Dyken is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and #1 New York Times bestselling author known for regency romances, contemporary romances, and her love of coffee and Swedish fish. Rachel’s also recently inked a deal for her Wingmen Inc. series—The Matchmaker’s Playbook and The Matchmaker’s Replacement—to be made into movies.

A fan of The Bachelor and the Seattle Seahawks (not necessarily in that order), Rachel lives in Idaho with her husband, a super cute toddler son who keeps her on her toes, and two boxers. Make sure you check out her site, www.RachelVanDykenauthor.com, and follow her on Twitter (@RachVD).

Social Media Links

Website: http://rachelvandykenauthor.com/home

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelVanDyken

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachVD

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4882127.Rachel_Van_Dyken

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The Red Ledger by Meredith Wild Blog Tour


RL pt 1 tour header BNW%2B%25282%2529 The Red Ledger by Meredith Wild Blog Tour

The Red Ledger Part 1 is thrilling, full of adventure and has wicked crazy chemistry. It’s the perfect way to kick-off the holiday weekend. Grab a drink, sit out on your deck chair and dive in!

All good thrillers have complex characters that must unravel a mystery and figure out how to recover after a traumatic incident. Meredith created a world of characters with many layers and delve into amnesia, family secrets, and shady business deals that ultimately impact multiple players.

Who has the answers? Is it as simple as the book in Tristan’s possession, or can Isobel fill in the blanks regarding Tristan’s mysterious lost years. It’s time to find out who put the hit on Isobel and unlock Tristan’s past. Will Isabel and Tristan survive their ordeal?

I didn’t expect to be so captivated by this story and was relieved to have part 2 already in my e-reader. So many secrets in this must read book kept me from doing anything else. Yes, I proudly binged because I had to know, and I still need answers! Who can shed light on why Tristan is really in Isabel’s life now?

It’s time for an on-the-edge-of-your-seat romance full of thrilling moments, hot chemistry and tons of plot twists. Are you ready for an adventure?

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Spicy  – Best enjoyed with your favorite iced-beverage, a cozy chair, and maybe a fan. I received an ARC from Bare Naked Words for a fair and honest review.



RL series announcement final%2B%25282%2529 The Red Ledger by Meredith Wild Blog Tour

Buy Part 1 NOW!
Amazon ~ B&N ~ iBooks ~ Google Play ~ Kobo 

Pre-order Part 2 – releases 29th May


Meet The Author
Meredith Wild BW 2017 0008 The Red Ledger by Meredith Wild Blog TourMeredith Wild is a #1 New York TimesUSA Today, and international bestselling author. After publishing her debut novel Hardwired in September 2013, Wild used her ten years of experience as a tech entrepreneur to push the boundaries of her “self-published” status, becoming stocked in brick-and-mortar bookstore chains nationwide and forging relationships with the major retailers.
In 2014, Wild founded her own imprint, Waterhouse Press, under which she hit No. 1 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists. She has been featured on CBS This Morning, The Today Show, the New York TimesThe Hollywood ReporterPublishers Weekly, and The Examiner. Her foreign rights have been sold in over 20 languages.
Living on Florida’s Gulf Coast with her husband and three children, she refers to herself as a techie, whiskey appreciator, and shameless sun worshipper. Find out more about what projects she’s working on next at www.meredithwild.com.
Social Media Links
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Until There was Us by Samantha Chase

Until There was Us by Samantha Chase

36403003 183x300 Until There was Us by Samantha ChaseUntil there was Us by Samantha Chase is the perfect book for your holiday weekend. There is something magical about this book that left me satisfied and longing for more! If you’re a fan of The Montgomery Brothers series than this book is sure to tick all the boxes. 

When Megan Montgomery meets a cute guy at a family wedding she does the unthinkable, spends the weekend with him. What will he do when he discovers the “real” Megan? One weekend without regrets was fabulous, but can it be a foundation for a long-lasting, forever kinda relationship? Time and distance ultimately put out the flames.

Alex Rebat went to a wedding and left with the one woman who just might complete his forever story. When she mysteriously lets him go, it will take time before he can move forward. Oh, the heartbreak. But can he really move on? No amount of time can erase the one woman he wants. I adore Alex and am so happy that he has his own story and will have a happy ending. :).

It’s time for Megan to make a change and that involves moving across the country. While staying with her cousins she will reunite with Alex and their reunion is better than I expected. There are things left to be resolved, secrets that could destroy their reunion and leave them heartbroken all over again. Who will uncover it? What will happen? This journey is smooth, fluid, and perfectly plotted that you don’t even realize how deep you are until you are living in the story. Samantha, I need to be with these characters, they need a movie ;). Lifetime, Hallmark … anyone?

Readers, your holiday weekend deserves this second chance must read romance adventure that starts with a slow burn, and then when you are settled into your journey, it becomes a toasty sizzle packed with witty dialogue and tons of humor. There is this organic connection that makes it so special, these two characters can’t avoid the obvious. Now is the time for two people to step outside their comfortable and orderly world to discover that sometimes trying something new isn’t scary and taking risks is the only way to find a happy ending. However, it takes courage, trust, and a leap of faith. Do Alex and Megan have that?

A few golden nuggets for readers are Maylene the dog and a few updates on characters we’ve missed! This family is amazing and one you wish you could be a part of. Since we can’t, we’ll dive into this story and for a few hours be a part of a world where family is first, friendships are lifelong, and the ones you can’t live without will someone be with you forever.

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Sinfully Sweet – Hotter than sweet with bedroom romance that tingles in all the right places, and a dash of spice to satisfy that slightly spicy craving.

I received this ARC from the publisher for a fair and honest review. While this is part of a series it can be read as a standalone. However I prefer to read this series in order to appreciate the cast of characters and all the love, shenanigans, and updates. If you choose to only read this book, you won’t be lost, you’ll still feel the Montgomery love and discover a master story teller who is sure to be on your one-click list!

Get your copy here for just $4.61 on Amazon today! Your holiday weekend must read!



The Extra Shot with an EXCLUSIVE excerpt


Author Info

Samantha Chase 300x292 Until There was Us by Samantha ChaseSamantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter / BookBub

Chef Sugarlips by USA Today Bestselling Author Tawna Fenske

Chef Sugarlips by USA Today Bestselling Author Tawna Fenske

Chef Sugarlips 200x300 Chef Sugarlips by USA Today Bestselling Author Tawna FenskeChef Sugarlips by USA Today Bestselling Author Tawna Fenske is almost here! This sexy and sweet story will invade your dreams with yummy goodness from the Ponderosa Resort.

Amber and her sister run a reindeer ranch down the road from the Ponderosa, and for fans of Studmuffin Santa, there is lots to love here! Two sisters are hoping to cash-in during the “holiday off-season” by using their ranch as a rustic wedding venue. When they find themselves without a chef, it’s time to think outside the box and ask for help. Perhaps the Ponderosa would be willing to help out, after all, they aren’t even open for business yet. There is just one little issue to work through, the Chef is about to turn Ambers world upside down ;).

Sean Bracelyn is putting the finishing touches on his new resort when a vision from his past walks through the door. Will he be able to keep his feelings in check? A childhood crush has returned and is standing in his kitchen and he’s about to discover that the little girl he dreamed of is now a grown woman he won’t be able to forget. This is sooo good!

What happens when the famous chef and reindeer rancher reunite?  One-click and discover a story full of fabulous one-liners, honest revelations, and the discovery that all families are not created equal but everyone has family issues to navigate. Throughout this story we are introduced to Sean’s siblings which is great news! That means there is more ranch excitement to be released in the future! The question is, whose story is next?

Dive into this story and satisfy that gourmet palate with some decadent eats. Be forewarned, you will find yourself hungry from the hot cooking and even hotter chemistry ;). Amber and Sean will discover that sometimes you need to have a little faith that friends can be trusted and that family isn’t perfect. Like relationships, they are often full of imperfections and in need of a little love to grow and be amazing.

4 Scorchin Larger Image Final 300x300 Chef Sugarlips by USA Today Bestselling Author Tawna FenskeReaders, this is one Scorchin must read! Caution, may lead to unexpected need to turn on the A/C.

I received this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review.

One-click here and dive into your next book adventure!

pattern 4 elements 0009 Layer 2 copy 3 300x290 Chef Sugarlips by USA Today Bestselling Author Tawna Fenske

Author Info:%name Chef Sugarlips by USA Today Bestselling Author Tawna FenskeWhen Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA-nominated, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, stepkids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. To find out more about Tawna and her books, visit www.tawnafenske.com.

Tawna’s Links:

Author Website: www.tawnafenske.com

Author Blog: http://tawnafenske.blogspot.com/

Author Twitter: @TawnaFenske

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TawnaFenskeBooks

Author Street Team/Facebook Group: Fenske’s Frisky Posse https://www.facebook.com/groups/678271329019151/

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tawnafenskebooks/

Chef Sugarlips by USA Today Bestselling Author Tawna Fenske

The Extra Shot – May 17, 2018

The Extra Shot Promo 200x300 The Extra Shot   May 17, 2018Welcome to The Extra Shot where we bring you EXCLUSIVE content from Authors who have books releasing in the near future.  

Stay connected with Rae Latte and Books I Love A Latte for Book Reviews, Excerpts, Teasers, Coffee With (Interviews), Giveaways, Authors Dish, Book Sales, and other Tasty Tidbits. 

Today you’ll find an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from Chef Sugarlips by USA Today Bestselling Author Tawna Fenske to jump start your weekend along with a fabulous giveaway too! This book releases tomorrow so one-click your copy now and get ready for a great new book adventure tomorrow! 

Be sure to stop by the blog later today for my review on Chef Sugarlips, you don’t want to miss the first book in the Ponderosa Resort Romantic Comedy series! If you read Studmuffin Santa you will recognize a few familiar characters who have their own standalone read! Haven’t read Studmuffin Santa? Be sure to check out the giveaway below!

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Exclusive Excerpt 300x300 The Extra Shot   May 17, 2018

I watch her exit my office in the corner of the barn and make her way to the side door and out into the crisp spring afternoon. The second the barn door closes, I yank my sweater off one shoulder and sniff my bra strap.

Nothing. It just smells like the lilac body lotion I’ve been wearing lately.

But I know I smell something, and I’m pretty sure I’m on the right track. I pull both arms inside my shirt sleeves and contort my hands behind me to unhook my bra. Mission accomplished, I snake it through the left sleeve of my sweater and pull it out at the wrist cuff like a deranged magician.

I hold up the bra for inspection, but it looks fine. Lavender and lacy, it’s one of my nicest pieces of lingerie. But when did I last wash it?

I hold it to my nose and have just started to inhale when the barn door flies open.

“Amber, hey—oh.” Sean freezes halfway to my office, blinking against the dim light of the barn. And at the sight of me smelling my bra.

Slowly, I lower my cupped hands to the desk and lay the lacy scrap there like a dead pet. “Sean.”

He looks at me, then at the bra, then back to my face, detouring only a little at my unsupported assets hidden beneath magenta cashmere. “I—uh—” He steps forward, hesitating at the door of my office. “Your sister said you were out here. I came by to grab my coolers?”

A quicker-thinking woman might shove the bra in a desk drawer or try to pass it of as a hanky.

I’ve never been that quick.

“So—I—right.” I take a deep breath and gesture toward the lavender lace laid out on my desk with the cups pointing jauntily at the ceiling. “I suppose you’re wondering why I’m smelling my bra.”

“The thought did occur to me.” He leans against the doorframe, and I can tell he’s trying not to smile.

I drop into my desk chair with a little more bounce than expected. Sean’s eyes flicker, but he keeps them on my face.

“Right, see, there are certain things no one really tells you when you’re a girl.”

He hesitates, then settles into Beth’s vacated seat. “Okay.”

“Like everyone knows you wash your panties every day, right?”

“One can assume.” He’s having a harder time holding back laughter, I can tell.

“But no one ever sits you down and says, ‘here’s how often you should wash your bras.’ Like is it once a week? Every few days? Monthly? I honestly don’t know, and then how do you remember which ones you washed when and whether there’s this one random bra in the back of the drawer that got skipped the last time you did delicates, and now you’re pretty sure it’s been years since the damn thing saw soap and water?”

My voice has risen to the pitch of a crazy person, to say nothing about my actual words. My God, he must think I’m insane.

Slowly, the smile spreads over his face. He folds his hands on the desk, and I’m conscious of the fact that his knuckles are scant inches from my favorite bra. Is it wrong that I’m wishing my boobs were still in it?

“You remember what I said in the chapel?” he asks. “About how you’re way different from Ethereal Mermaid Amber I used to imagine?”

I nod, not trusting myself not to say another damn word.

“I like this Amber better,” he says. “The quirky one who says stuff other people are probably thinking, but don’t actually say? I’m digging that about you.”

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Coffee With

Authors Dish

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Tawna Fenske author photo The Extra Shot   May 17, 2018Tawna Fenske: When Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA-nominated, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”

Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, stepkids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. To find out more about Tawna and her books, visit www.tawnafenske.com.

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GDPR – Guest post by Marina Reznor

GDPR – Guest post by Marina Reznor

regulation 3246979 1280 300x141 GDPR   Guest post by Marina ReznorGDPR and how to get in Compliance.

Has your inbox been filling to the brim lately with online businesses suddenly reviewing their privacy policies? Are you being asked to re-opt-in to mailing lists you never knew you signed up for in the first place? Welcome to the GDPR Panic Club.

As businesses scramble to get in compliance with GDPR regulations scheduled to go into effect May 25th, Rae asked if I’d do a guest blog about what authors and bloggers need to know about the new regulations (yes, they do apply to you). Thank you, Rae for this opportunity to write about a topic near and dear to my online heart.

My name is Marina Reznor and I’m a romance author. My other day job is web developer, and I firmly believe that the two most important things an author owns are their website and their mailing list. I don’t care if you’re an independent author or have a five book deal with a major publisher–you should control your name and have direct access to your fans.

You should also want to be perceived as a professional who takes their reputation seriously, so complying with GDPR is a good idea. The fixes are not difficult, and if you can edit your own website they won’t cost you anything.

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What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. It goes into effect May 25, 2018 after a two year roll out. You can read the entire text here OR watch a video here.

In a nutshell, the EU has ruled that a person’s personal information – name, email address, IP address (sort of a computer serial number), location, etc, are their property and not yours. And because it’s not yours, you have to handle it responsibly.

Why did they have to pass a law?

Because businesses were handling personal data in a sloppy fashion and people had no recourse. Yes, data breaches happen to the best of us, but they are happening too frequently. Even more frequently, information gets lost, stolen, shared, or otherwise in the hands of people who were never intended to see it. (Oh, hi Mark Zuckerberg).

Is GDPR enforceable?

Yes, although enforcement relies on customers reporting non-compliance. The old law  didn’t work very well because it didn’t have an enforcement mechanism. The new regulation is much tougher, and will come with a big fine because asking nicely didn’t work.

But I’m an American, and this is a European thing.

GDPR specifically states that it applies to you if you store information on just one EU citizen. The huge fine – upwards of 20 million Euro’s (about $25 million US dollars) – is for big fish like Amazon and Google. But they have said they will not hesitate to go after smaller fish.

It only takes one EU citizen to rat you out. Please don’t give them the opportunity to make you their US example.

What’s this re-engagement thing?

GDPR rules say that all information collected (email addresses, primarily) must have been collected using the new rules, even though those rules were not in effect when you collected those emails. Nothing is grandfather’d in.

There is a silver lining – having a bloated email list is expensive, and trimming it down will save you money. I’ve received some clever re-opt-in email requests from authors that have made me happy to re-engage with, I’ve listed them below.

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What should you do? 6 things to do to get in compliance:

1) Put a privacy policy on your website (keep reading for some technical points and examples). Great news! Google loves websites with Privacy Policies, and will reward you with a better page ranking.

2) If you are using cookies, put a cookie warning on your website.

3) Make sure your mailing list is using double-opt-in for sign ups. This is a good practice anyway; look at it as even more engagement opportunities with your new friend. (Note: for some reason, last October MailChimp made single-opt-in the default. You will have to go in and change that to double-opt-in).

4) Password protect your data, and be careful of who has access to it.

5) Make it easy for people to unenroll or delete themselves. Most email services like MailChimp and MailerLite have very good ‘unsubscribe’ buttons, but if you require commenters to sign in to your website, make sure it is easy for them to delete themselves.

6) What you can do if there are emails on your list that were not directly enrolled (meaning you bought, borrowed, swapped, or scraped them)? Do a re-engagement email campaign, where people can re-opt-in.

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What should you NOT do? 4 things:

1) Don’t share your mailing list, sell your mailing list, or buy mailing lists. You can, however, use your mailing list to suggest that your subscribers might like to subscribe to other mailing lists and provide the links.

2) Don’t send unsolicited text messages via mobile phones.

3) Don’t send unsolicited emails.

4) Don’t refuse to delete or unsubscribe people who request it.

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Does this apply to my Facebook, Goodreads, and other social media groups?

These social media providers have their own policies and data protection responsibilities. You are not responsible for them.


What about cross promotions?

Tricky question. Both Instafreebie.com and BookFunnel.com have changed their policies. After May 25th, Instafreebie.com will no long feature giveaways with mandatory opt-in. BookFunnel has made some big changes as well.

** Some technical points **

Privacy policies – should be tailored to fit your exact circumstances. I like Privacy Policy Generator Template. In most cases, creativity is not encouraged in  privacy policies so it’s okay to duplicate verbiage. And in all cases, make sure to include contact information if anyone has any concerns.

Log data – If someone leaves a comment on a blog post, or buys something from you, the event comes tagged with quite a bit of log data. This is the time of visit, your IP address, your location, and many other things that you can’t help but collect. Most privacy policies have a section that discusses how log data is handled.

Do I have to have a cookie consent? Cookies are little files that store information about a user’s interaction with a site. They don’t identify you personally, but collect information about your habits. It’s how targeted advertising is created. If you are using any types of advertising plugins, you are probably collecting cookies. Good video about cookies from Guardian UK.

Do I have to send a re-engagement email to everyone on my email list? No, only the ones that you do not have a record of them signing up using two-part verification.

Good news if you’re using WordPress: The next version, currently in beta, will offer a privacy policy page template, give users the ability to remove themselves from your site, and the ability for users to opt out of cookies. Check out this article.

  ** Who’s doing it right? **

My privacy policy. It’s okay to be a little irreverent, the new law specifically says the wording must be clear and understandable. I’m a writer, and my job is to be entertaining.

Rae’s privacy policy, golf clap.

Excellent re-engagement campaign email – Nancy Stopper from nancystopper.com

Books I Love A Latte re-engagement campaign email – Rae Latte from booksilovealatte.com

Great terms of service

Good variation on the privacy policy generator

You’ve made it this far, congratulations.

Having a website is tough, and this is one of the biggest changes I’ve seen come down the pike in a long time. I do a monthly email, Marina’s Academy, where we discuss author websites and mailing lists. It’s free, and you also get access to my resource page of tech topics for writers. Click here and scroll to the bottom (the footer) and click in the box that says ‘Academy’. You’ll be taken to a form where you can freely and knowingly sign up.  I’d love to have you join.

Questions? Comments? Please post them below so we can all see them – if you have a question there’s a good chance ten other people do as well. Also feel free to email me at marina@marinareznor.com


** pictures are from Pixabay