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REVIEW:  Zipper Fall (A Steel City Story) by Kate Pavelle

REVIEW: Zipper Fall (A Steel City Story) by Kate Pavelle

ZipperFall1

Wyatt Gaudens, an advertising executive and adrenaline junkie, has fine-tuned the art of breaking and entering into apartments, misusing his considerable rock climbing skills. Once inside, he steals a pretty, shiny thing or two. When his friend Reyna complains that her jerk of a boss makes her workplace a living hell, he breaks into her boss’s home to get even. More than any other pretty thing, what really catches his eye the most is her boss, Jack.

Working hard to overcome his own lingering problems, investment specialist Jack Azzuri focuses on his second chance at making his business grow. But grief for his sister, Celia, recently killed in a suspicious climbing accident, sabotages his attempt to start over. When he meets Wyatt, he’s strongly attracted even though Wyatt is the last person he should associate with. With Jack’s explosive temper and Wyatt’s adrenaline addiction, the path to a stable relationship will be a tough climb. They might succeed if they can sort out what really matters, as well as learn to take the good with the bad. Wyatt hopes to speed their progress by solving the mystery that’s weighing Jack down: how did Celia really die?

Dear Kate Pavelle,

Unfortunately your book was a frustrating reading experience for me. I bought it specifically because I was in the mood for reading the story about a bad boy, but not so bad that he would be a killer, and a burglar who enters into apartments to steal pretty things sounded perfect.

Things went south very fast for me, though. I understand that Wyatt was supposed to be portrayed as an adrenalin junkie, but there is a fine line between that and overwhelming stupidity. There is no way for me to be convinced that Wyatt could have lasted for years as a successful burglar. When he enters an apartment and finds the owner home asleep, he decides that he is so smitten with the owner’s Greek god looks that he decides to film him, instead of you know, waiting till it is safe and making his escape pronto. Sorry, but no. And he knows that he is smitten within minutes, if not seconds.

When Wyatt continued to behave like an idiot and lost his day job in the most stupid way, any sympathy I had developed for him evaporated and unfortunately never came back.

The growing romance between him and Jack gave me whiplash. It was as if the writer expected me already to know these characters before the book began and did not give them motivations for their behavior that made sense to me. A lot of things were touched upon – dead family members, alive but feuding family members, past love traumas that weren’t really traumas — but nothing was developed in depth and very little made sense to me.

For example, more than halfway through the book we learn that Jack apparently has a controlling personality, and that apparently Wyatt decides he is not happy about that. But what was shown on the page was not strong enough for me to buy into his controlling personality, and more importantly, he does a 180-degree switch very fast. And then, hilariously, Wyatt does his own equally rapid 180-degree switch – one minute he claims he is being controlled and not happy about certain things Jack has done, but then when Jack starts treating him differently (as I said – very fast page space wise), he is unhappy that he is being treated like a “girl”.

I was also extremely confused about Wyatt’s relationship with his family. Based on his monologue, he was supposedly feuding with his father, but his father was right there at the first sign of trouble Wyatt got himself into (that he told his family about). I could have believed that because no matter how much we argue with the family, they will often still come to support us in times of trouble (of course not always). What I was confused about is that the story seemed to go back and forth about how much communication he had with his father and siblings in the first place.

I was also confused about Wyatt’s past love life, in the sense that I did not understand the purpose that the appearance of one of his exes served. I felt like the story kept manufacturing conflict out of thin air, but then failed to really develop it, so the potential for drama just went away. Please do not get me wrong – I was *not* looking for manufactured drama and angst! Earlier in the review I used the word “whiplash” and I think this is the best word to describe how I felt after I finished with this book. The story was pulling me in many different directions and did not properly take me in any of those directions to satisfy me.

I cannot really say anything bad or good about the writing style. It felt competent to me, but as I tried to explain above I was not happy with the story and I really was not that in love with the writing that it transformed the story for me. I cannot even choose the quote to give you a taste – probably reading the sample is the best way to get a feel for it.

Oh have I mentioned that halfway through, the story decided that it wanted to be a mystery as well? The less said about that the better.
Grade: D.

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Thursday News: A Bit About DA, Agency Pricing Appears Doomed, Tamara Allen Leaves DSP

Thursday News: A Bit About DA, Agency Pricing Appears Doomed, Tamara...

The last few days have been frustrating for dear author readers and the crew here at Dear Author and it is mostly my fault. For the past year, I have tried to manage a self hosting option but I don’t know a thing about Apache and shell access and what not. Every time we had a problem, I could barely understand one of ten words in the error report and while the folks at the hosting service had amazingly prompt customer support, they didn’t support wordpress and thus I knew I needed to change. I found a wpengine.com recommendation at the WooThemes forum. I checked them out and they seemed like a good outfit. I emailed with them and they asked me about my traffic. I shared with them what I thought it was and they placed us in personal blog sector. My problem was that I didn’t understand my stats and I grossly underestimated the traffic here at Dear Author causing all kinds of problems with wpengine. They finally fixed it yesterday and the site seems to be loading great. (right?). Nonetheless this great speed and service comes at a steeper price so in order to maintain that I am going to put in another small ad to the left to cover the increased maintenance costs.

So what does this traffic look like? According to Google Analytics, we are closing in on 100,000 unique visitors a month. Wow.

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Let us recap some of the great content this week. I hope you will take some time and visit our past posts that you might have missed given our downtime.


Late last night David Wilk pointed to a Wall Street Journal article that reports the Justice Department is readying a petition against five major publishers and Apple for price collusion.  I’ve been a long time opponent of Agency pricing but acknowledge that without it, Barnes & Noble would likely not be in the game with its 26-27% of the digital book market share.  I don’t see how agency pricing survives  as the litigation costs keep mounting; yet a settlement with the Justice Department may mean that the publishers don’t have the stomach for the class action lawsuit.

The move toward Agency pricing will ultimately prove to be costly for publishers and the question is whether the two to three year reprieve from retailer directed pricing will be worth it.  One individual pointed out that Evan Schnittman suggested net pricing back in 2009.  Net pricing is when the publisher demands a certain set price regardless of the retailer pricing.

With net pricing, a producer offers a product to a reseller and asks for a set amount from each sale – or a net price. Rather than setting a suggested retail price or a list price coupled with a discount to resellers, Net Pricing establishes no list price but lets the reseller figure that out. For example, if a publisher decided it wanted to sell all ebooks at the same net price, say $10, that is what it would receive from each sale, regardless the reseller’s price.

This actually sounds like a great idea but the question is whether publishers have any leverage to move to that type of pricing instead of regular wholesale pricing.  My guess is that their leverage is fairly low coming out of a settlement with the Justice Department (if that is the outcome).  It makes sense for publishers to start negotiating for a pricing change now before any public settlement is achieved.

Perhaps Google’s newly announced Google Play means that Google is ready to engage in some serious competition with Amazon over the digital book market.  B&N’s survival post the fall of agency pricing seems iffy.


Tamara Allen, who published two novels at DSP last year,  has petitioned for removal of her books and DSP has agreed. Since ebook versions are no longer available at the DSP website or other retailers, she  is holding a giveaway for print copies of The Only Gold and Dreamtime at her website. The Only Gold made Sunita’s Best of 2011 list.


Fiction authors have long been warned about publishing scams, but its leeching into the academic market as well.

Although the author-pays model is not a new phenomenon in the realm of open access, its recent popularity has attracted some companies that try to exploit it. Some legitimate, peer-reviewed journals support themselves on the author-pays model, but other journals using the model are essentially vanity publishers that accept virtually any article to collect fees from the authors. The distinction between those two extremes, though, is not always clear-cut.

Thanks for the link, Askine.


Darlynne sent over this article from Smart Money on the 10 things ebooks won’t tell you.  There are some hidden costs to ebooks including that the larger ebooks can be 1 MB and if you are a heavy reader, you may want to watch your data consumption.  Frankly, I think you would have to be downloading a lot of 1 MB books to exceed your data limit, but it’s something to watch for.


And finally, Jennifer Weiner got into hot water tweeting negative things about 50 Shades.  This led her to fear backlash and so she has come out with a new policy that she’ll never say anything bad about another female novelist except Jennifer Egan.  Seriously, it’s a highly amusing post as Weiner starts with her intent not to criticize any female novelists ever again and ends with smacking around Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Egan.  Weiner conveniently leaves out Egan’s genuine and fulsome apology for her remarks.   Of course, Weiner’s unintentional message (besides the hypocrisy) is that women novelists need to be treated more tenderly than male novelist. Oh, you weak female novelists.

Not criticizing an entire swath of books because they were written by a certain gender smacks of disrespect, as if these female authors’ sensibilities are so weak as to be unable to face criticism.


Flavorwire has a post up about the 30 harshest author on author insults in history. It was originally published in 2011 and in January Flavorwire republished it.

Sigh. Authors just don’t insult each other like they used to. Sure, Martin Amis raised some eyebrows when he claimed he would need brain damage to write children’s books, and recent Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan made waves when she disparaged the work that someone had plagiarized, but those kinds of accidental, lukewarm zingers are nothing when compared to the sick burns of yore.