Category Archives: Amazon Top Ranking Reviewers

An Amazon TOP 500 REVIEWER Reviews “My Mother’s Shadow”

I woke up to some blessing this morning. Robin Lee, who wears Amazon’s coveted “TOP 500 REVIEWER” badge, has read “My Mother’s Shadow” and given it a 5-star review. You can see the book’s review page here: http://amzn.to/157JyBC.

Thank you so much Robin, for the professional and unsolicited review.

Wow, “My Mother’s Shadow” Receives a 5-Star from an Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer

Like Forest Gump said, life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get next.

I don’t know why but I decided to check on my book My Mother’s Shadow after lunch and, boy, was I surprised! The first review has just been posted under the book and it was form A Navy Vet…VT town, an Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer, giving it a solid 5 stars and calling it “Powerful!”

The review reads, “A powerful short story that speaks large volumes in a few words. It speaks of racism, discrimination and segregation without being ‘preachy’.

“In synopsis (without a spoiler) there are people that cast no shadows. These are the ones that are discriminated against by the powers to be.

“Most highly recommended.”

Take a look at the review here: http://amzn.to/157JyBC.

Thank you, A Navy Vet…VT town!

 

Robin Lee, Niece Like “My Life as a Cicada” and Give it a 5-Star

Robin Lee, who wears Amazon’s coveted “TOP 500 REVIEWER” badge, has read “My Life as a Cicada” together with her niece and given it a professional review. She’s given the book a 5-star rating. You can see her review here: http://amzn.to/16mmJYX.

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The following is the review Robin has posted on Amazon, verbatim:

I downloaded this book to read with my niece…School is over but this has been a topic the teachers have been talking to the students about in her class the last few weeks….This story about the “Cicada Bug” and it’s life cycle is adorable..It’s the easiest way to explain to little ones about these very large and loud bugs with big red eyes that they may be scared of…Especially, when they start hearing the shrilling sounds, or finding one lying on the ground…Beautiful, bright colored, large illustrations showed up really nice on her kindle….Plus the story rhymes, which are her favorite type of books and make her giggle….

The story starts out with a baby nymph, crying underground knowing she is now 17 yrs old and wishing she could be a beautiful butterfly instead….She knows once she changes she will be ugly and scary looking to people…This will show how cute they really look and how harmless they really are…The “Cicadas” tell children they more scared themselves because of natural predators like termites and birds….

This sweet book will show you that a “picture is worth a thousand words…..My niece loved it…..I highly recommend this book for all children…..

 

How Hard Is It to Sell a Short Story Collection In U.S.

So how hard is it to sell a short story collection in U.S.? Pretty damn hard, I will tell you that.

It’s a catch 22. No publisher will do your collection, unless you are super well-established. But if you are well-established, you probably won’t have time to write short stories. You’d be going for the kills — big 300-plus page novels and series of novels.

What about self-publishing? Well, the publishing part is super easy; especially when you have your short stories previously all published in magazines. That’s what I did with eight of my short stories that have been previously published in various magazines and of which the rights have reverted to me.

But the selling is hard. Bottom line is: very few people in this country read short stories for entertainment. When is that last time you spotted a trade paperback version of a short story collection in the racks of Walgreens?

To add insult to injury, most book promoters out there openly discriminate against the short form. BookBub, one of the tricksters that promote indie books available in Kindle store, openly rejects anything short of 50K words. It’s the portion of the meal that matters, not the meal itself.

By this Draconian “Size does matter” rule, BookBub would not even consider promoting Books like “Catcher in the Rye,” which has a word count barely at the 50K mark, let alone “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” of which the word count falls in between 20K to 30K.

So if Anton Chehkov or Guy de Maupassant were still alive today, they probably can’t sell their short stories either. They would be forced to write novels. Since they are not good with the long forms, they would just starve.

Or they could do it like me: self-publish their works. They could also be as lucky as me, and have some Amazon Top Ranking Reviewers look at the works and give them due credit.

Today, J. Chambers, who wears a “AMAZON TOP 50 REVIEWER” badge as well as a “REAL NAME” badge, gave my short story collection “Bitter Tea and Braided Hair” a 4-star! J (short for Jim) also wrote a heart-warming review, which I consider not only an encouragement for me alone, but all writers who are fond of the short form. The title of his review says: “The art of the short story is still alive!”

You can find his review here: http://amzn.to/120UVoe.

Simply put, people, it’s not the size of the burger that matter, it’s what the chef puts in it. The small ones could have truffles and Kobe’s in them; while the giant ones tend to be made from frozen patties, government cheese and industrially ripened tomatoes.

When a good story is presented in the short form, the author is respecting the readers’ intelligence. He or she has left the obvious unsaid. When the same concept is stretched, battered and deep fried and then coated with powder sugar and served with sides of mashed and Cajun fries, the author is underestimating the readers’ intelligence.

 

 

“If You’re in the Mood for a Bit of Literary Fiction to Read with a Glass of Nice Wine”

“Little Tales that Sizzle in the Mind.” — Grady Harp, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer

“A truly beautiful piece of short fiction…This collect is well worth picking up if you’re in the mood for a bit of literary fiction to read with a glass of nice wine.” — Alain Gomez, Book Brouhaha

“My fave of this bunch was Bitter Tea and Braided Hair. Short and very much to-the-point. A vignette of a terrible reality. Most affecting.” — Graeme Dunlop, PseudoPod

Are you a globe-trotter?
Are you inquisitive and sensitive to foreign cultures?
Are you an Aisn American?
Are you an ABC (American born Chinese)?
Do you like mainstream literary fiction with some fantastical twist?
Or, simply, do you like short stories?

If you can answer yes to any of the above, chances are that you will find something in my short fiction “Bitter Tea and Braided Hair” that can truly delight you.

Grady Harp, an Amazon Top 50 Reviewer and Hall of Fame Reviewer calls the book “Little Tales that Sizzle in the Mind”, Alain Gomez from Book Brouhaha says, “This collect is well worth picking up if you’re in the mood for a bit of literary fiction to read with a glass of nice wine.” She’s particularly fond of “My Mother’s Shadow” and calls it “a truly beautiful piece of short fiction.”

After reading the above short introduction, if you feel like reading the book, I’m sure we have something in common. And I want the voice of people like us to be heard.

How? You may ask. My answer? — by posting your optinions about this book on Amazon. Currently, the book is on a 99¢ special. But it is OK if you do not want to spend the 99¢ or cannot afford to spend the 99¢, just send me your PayPal email to my email at “eigh.com” (without the quote) at gmail dot com. Or you can find a way to direct message me your PayPal email via Facebook or Twitter.

You’ll enjoy it, you have my word.

Sincerely
M. Eigh

Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer, Gives “Bitter Tea and Braided Hair” a 5-Star

“Little Tales that Sizzle in the Min.” — Grady Harp, Amazon 38th Ranking Top Reviewer, on Bitter Tea and Braided Hair

On June 9, 2013, Grady Harp, an Amazon top ranking reviewer who wears many badges of honor including TOP 50 REVIEWER, VINE™ VOICE, HALL OF FAME REVIEWER and REAL NAME™, posted a review on Amazon for my short fiction collection, “Bitter Tea and Braided Hair.” The review can be found here: http://amzn.to/ZEGnyc.

Here’s what Grady said about the book, quoted verbatim as follows:

BITTER TEAR AND BRAIDED HAIR is a collection of short stories that serves to introduce many of us to a writer a=of significant gifts. He is able in a very brief time to gain our empathy for his characters, such as the half Chinese half Tibetan young man of the title story who falls in love with a Tibetan girl and just as quickly loses everything. In MY MOTHER’S SHADOW our main character is a first grade child who notices he has no shadow, discovers that this is a curse from God, and walks with his mother who has a shadow to the prison where his also shadowless father is held: his mother and the boy bear the spite of the town when it seems to everyone that each time they visit the prison and bring home an `uncle’ (a doomed shadowless man) causing the rumor that his mother is a prostitute.

Or take the case of OSCAR’S EXTRAORDINARY LIFE, PLANNED we meet an in utero fetus that can hear and think about everything that is happening outside his mother womb – even the sexual liaisons she has which put a question as to the fetus’ origin! In DEAR TERESA a young lad in the year 1979 attends school but also listens to his shortwave radio for English 900 and learns of a radio personality Sister Teresa, becomes a fan, communicates with her Letter to Teresa project, and makes portraits of her – only to find that his gift for pictures creates dissension among his friends. THE MANCHURIAN EXPRESS is a comical story that has at its core the dissolution of the Mao-style communism of China, but the style of A EULOGY FOR EDWIN BOGARDUS tops even that as we learn about the life of a man who died from an overdoes effect of Viagra!

In all, this is a fine group of imaginative fiction that spreads across the world from China to the US. The only thing we discover about the author M. Eigh who attended China’s prestigious Tsinghua University, is a highly published Chinese poet, and is a man with considerable talent. His next move should be a novella and then a novel to see if his imagination can sustain through a book long story. It would also be interesting to read translations of his poetry. But a helpful hint to this writer: secure the guidance of a good editor to extract the spelling and grammar errors next time round, because you are just too fine to let skips get into your work! Grady Harp, June 13.

An Amazon TOP 500 REVIEWER Reviews The Cicada Survival Guide

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I woke up to some blessing this morning. Robin Lee, who wears Amazon’s coveted “TOP 500 REVIEWER” badge, has read “The Cicada Survival Guide” and given it a professional review. You can see the book’s review page here: http://amzn.to/10Vk4lc.

Robin said the following about the book:

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“Biological Weapons”

This author wrote an excellent novella in a unique way..It is a mixed recipe, of an escaped man made virus, government conspiracy, cover-ups, and the emergence of Brood II….Which Scientists predict this year, the Cicadas will be in colossal numbers….It’s not just a survival guide, but a possible real depiction of an ecological disaster…This story is dark humor, intriguing, gross, thought provoking and real horrifying….The characters could have been fleshed out more but for this part of the story they are not the main point……Each new chapter is told from the characters view point…..

Through the yrs a biological infectious agent has seeped into the fungus of the trees…The Cicadas have been feeding off this for 17 dormant years….It has been named “Troma” and the bugs are brand new mutations, that Americans are unaware of…This new species smells the scent of blood and seeks it out…If you have a open cut, you better hide, because this is a blood born pathogen of death….The symptoms are: severe itchiness, complete disintegration of your body, eventually takes command of your brain and drives you insane….It takes 72 hrs for the full effect….
This is not a zombie novel because the infected don’t reanimate, they just become deadly killers in every way….

Warning: If you see a large Cicada with bright red blood colored metallic wings, instead of their green ones, you better run fast…..

This novel was just excellent.I hope this author thinks about continuing this as a series for the summer it has really great potential..I personally would like to see a Part 2 and 3……


Free Book on Amazon: The Cicada Survival Guide

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Any day now, billions of winged insects will rise up and swarm over the entire East Coast? Are we ready?

Troma is ready for us. She’s been underground for 17 years, while inside of her a deadly virus is slowly turning this queen cicada into a cannibalistic mastermind with one goal: To infect the human race.

It’s them against us in this fun sci-fi novella, which also includes the adventures of a CIA agent, Russian counterspy and unlucky FBI officer as they battle the swarm. Recipes are included for those inclined to culinary adventure.

Thank you for your consideration. Info about the book is here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CNKZ0GO.

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About the author:

M. Eigh was born in China and, before getting an MBA, he received a BSc from China’s prestigious Tsinghua University, where most modern day Chinese ruling elites obtain their academic pedigree. But the alma mater is about the only thing he has in common with the techno-dictators of today’s China.

In his younger days, M. Eigh was a published poet in Chinese; at the age of fifteen, he won the first-place award in a prefecture-wide youth literature competition. He can be found at http://m.eigh.com.

He’s on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/by.m.eigh.

He tweets at: https://twitter.com/m_eigh

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Readers say:

“This author wrote an excellent novella in a unique way.”

“creepy fun with spy overtones.”

“I survived, and I want to read more!”

“Gripping plot!”

“Such an interesting story.”

“Waiting For Part 2 & 3, If Available…”

The Silver Lining of a Swarmageddon: Cicadas Are Perfectly Edible

Well, the full title of this post should be “The Silver Lining of a Swarmageddon for a Third World Country.” According to a White Paper released by UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), insects are perfectly edible and should make up a good portion of mankind’s diet. If everyone in America substitutes a beef burger with a handful of insects once a month, our collective carbon footprint will be reduced by a whopping 5%! (Not an official statistics, just my own guesstimate. )

The FAO report, entitled “Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security” and available online at http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e.pdf, unequivocally lists cicada as one of the premium choice of an insect diet. On page fifteen of the report, it states, under the heading of “The role of insects”:

(Many more recipes are offered in The Cicada Survival Guide.)

It is estimated that insects form part of the traditional diets of at least 2 billion people. More than 1 900 species have reportedly been used as food. Insects deliver a host of ecological services that are fundamental to the survival of humankind. They also play an important role as pollinators in plant reproduction, in improving soil fertility through waste bioconversion,and in natural biocontrol for harmful pest species, and they provide a variety of valuable products for humans such as honey and silk and medical applications such as maggot therapy.

In addition, insects have assumed their place in human cultures as collection items and ornaments and in movies, visual arts and literature. Globally, the most commonly consumed insects are beetles (Coleoptera) (31 percent), caterpillars (Lepidoptera) (18 percent) and bees, wasps and ants (Hymenoptera) (14 percent). Following these are grasshoppers, locusts and crickets (Orthoptera) (13 percent), cicadas, leafhoppers, planthoppers, scale insects andtrue bugs (Hemiptera) (10 percent), termites (Isoptera) (3 percent), dragonflies (Odonata) (3 percent), flies (Diptera) (2 percent) and other orders (5 percent).

The FAO report is literally littered with the word “cicada”, “cicadas” and “cicadidae.” Apparently, in many countries or regions, cicadas constitute part of people’s regular diet. The report cites Lao People’s Democratic Republic, island of New Guinea as examples of places where people eat cicadas. The report even showcases the “diversity” of insects that go into people’s diet in the Central African Republic, where cicadas and crickets, along with some minor bugs, constitute a whopping 8% of their insectile diet.

Now that we’ve got the “are cicadas really safe to eat” question out of the way, it’s time to get prepared for the sarmageddon. As Confucius says, if you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em!

Tomorrow, I will post a killer cicada recipe. Or you can check out the many fascinating cicada recipes recorded in my Sci Fi novella, “The Cicada Survival Guide,” now on sale on Amazon.

M. Eigh

Cicada Recipe: Cicada Poppers

Serves four.

Ingredients:
•    1 & 1/2 cups cicadas, peeled and cleaned
•    2 eggs, beaten
•    1 cup cornstarch
•    1/2 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
•    3 cups vegetable oil

(Many more recipes are offered in The Cicada Survival Guide.)

Directions:
•    Place the cornstarch, eggs and bread crumbs in separate containers. Coat the cicadas with cornstarch; then eggs, then bread crumbs.
•    In a deep frying pan or wok, heat oil to about 400°(if the oil starts to smoke, you’ve heated it to too high a temperature.) Fry coated cicadas in few batches, for 5 minutes or until golden brown each. Drain on paper towels.

Serving:
Serve the poppers with ketchup or cocktail sauce.



(Many more recipes are offered in The Cicada Survival Guide.)