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“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”  ― Winston Churchill

The Arrangement (The Arrangement, #1)

The Arrangement (The Arrangement, #1) - H.M. Ward $2.99 for about one hundred pages. Yep, you guessed it, it's time for another round of "Let's Gouge the Reader!" I'm sorry, but I can get a professionally edited, professionally published romance for less than eight dollars. Why would I pay nine or more dollars for a series of sloppily written chapters? There's not even verification that the author finished the story before posting installments. What if she loses interest, or even more likely, inspiration? I'd be stuck with a bunch of chapters and no resolution.

If I want stories that have no promised end date, I'd go back to reading fan fiction. FOR FREE.

And what does my $2.99 get me?

Yet another self-pubbed author who can't be arsed to learn the proper way to use speech tags.

“Yes,” pointing ahead, huffing.


"Pointing ahead" is not a speech tag. One cannot speak with any part of the body that is also used to point (well, I suppose one could point with one's tongue - but not really.)

“Yeah,” I nod.


"Nod" is also not a speech tag. A nod is a non-verbal affirmative communication. Ipso facto, a nod is incapable of uttering the word "yeah."

“You want me to help?” he glances at the car and then back at me.


As anyone who graduated fourth grade with more than a C average can tell you, the proper way to punctuate that sentence is: "You want me to help?" He glances at the car and then back at me.

Or

"You want me to help?" he says, and glances at the car and then back at me.

And then there's the repeated:

“What else happened?” She asks


The power of capitalization is a curious thing. Makes one reader weep, makes another one sing. And I am WEEPING, people. WEEPING.

The set up is something we've seen a thousand times. Avery is super poor, y'all. So poor that her crappy car stalls at every stop light in New York City, yet somehow is still a target for multiple car jackings. Funny, in my city, it's the expensive cars that get stolen, but whatever. Let's pretend this is realistic. Like that a super poor college student would want or need a car in New York City in the first place.

OF COURSE when Avery's car is stolen, a totally hot and rich guy helps her. OF COURSE.

Later, Avery whines about having to work so hard and study so hard. She has a scholarship to college that requires her to keep a 3.5 GPA (most scholarship programs of which I am aware require only a 3.0. Just sayin'). She gives her, "As you know, Bob" speech to her gorgeous friend Melony, who is putting on sparkly earrings to go to work at a hotel late in the evening.

I'll give you three guesses what Melony does to make money, based on that description. And you'll have two left over.

Avery, of course, even though somehow she has earned a scholarship to college, has zero clue about Melony's work. No wonder she has to work so hard to maintain that 3.5. Making smart observations is not exactly in her wheelhouse.

And guess who Avery's first client is? Does he like to ride motorcyles and tell girls chasing after stolen cars that their car has been stolen? Toldja you wouldn't need the additional two guesses.

Then boom! "Story" is over, until the next gouge installment comes out.

If this is indicative of the quality the self-publishing revolution will bring us, then I think we're past the storming of the (New York publishing) Bastille and well into the Terror.