Book Pirates Are NOT Sexy

I like free books. I find them at the library, yard sales, book swaps, giveaways, and those awesome times when an author puts one of their books up for free for a limited time. Websites full of pirated books being sold without an author’s consent are not my choice for getting my book fix. The book pirates make money and authors get screwed. I don’t like getting screwed without my consent.

If you’ve just joined the club of authors whose work has been pirated out in cyberland, welcome. I’m pretty new to this club too but I’ll share what I know so far.

Out in cyberspace, thieves (and I don’t mean the Robin Hood types with a somewhat noble principle in mind) like to steal the digital content that writers and other creatives have labored over for hours, days, months, even years. These thieves then put the stolen content up on websites to be downloaded for free. While the authors don’t get paid for their content, the book pirates usually get paid plenty for their websites, most often in the form of advertisers paying to hawk their products/services or in the form of membership fees for subscribers. Many subscribers don’t realize they are paying X dollars a month to download books and content that is being distributed without the authors’ consent.

Some pirate sites blatantly offer the stolen content to their subscribers or anyone who visits their site. The sites just shut down and open up under another name after being caught one too many times. Then there are douchebag sites that masquerade as content sharing sites and post the disclaimer that they are “not responsible for the content uploaded by members”. Members of the sites upload the files to illegally share. The site owners then blink their digital doe eyes and feign innocence while hiding behind a legal loophole piled full of bullshit.

There’s a few steps that can be taken to keep your creative content out of the hands of digital pirates.

PREVENTION. Use caution before sending copies of your work to reviewers and other interested parties. As a newbie writer, when my first novel came on the scene last year I knew it was important to get reviews for my book. I started the process of sending out review requests to different reviewers I found through social media and other sources. I’ve met some talented and reputable reviewers who take pride in their work. Whether they love the book or hate it, the review will show that they read the book and took the time to think about the story. Problem is, not all reviewers with a web page and a twitter handle are reputable.

Best advice, check out the reviewer before sending any copies of your work. Visit their websites and social media pages to determine if their content is well designed and up to date. If they ask for review copies to be uploaded through their website, do your best to make sure the web site looks secure or contact them ask to submit your work in another way. Next, read through some of their previous reviews. Are the reviews they wrote thoughtfully written, something more than “I loved it” or “it sucked hard”? Short reviews or low quality review work may be the sign of a newbie reviewer, someone who simply does it as a fun hobby and likes to collect the free review copies, and hobbies are a fantastic way to feed one’s passion whether it be for reading, cooking, whatever, but a less than professional looking site/reviews could be the sign of someone ready to distribute all ARC copies they receive to whatever pirate site pays them well. But authors need reviews right? There is no progress without some risk.

If a reviewer you don’t know well is interested in being provided with a copy of your work, check out some of the services that store your digital work in a format that can be uploaded to a device for reviewers and interested parties, but not shared again to other devices. Perhaps gift the reviewer a copy of the story from one of e-retailers who sell your book (Amazon, I-Tunes, etc).There’s no perfect system, but caution helps.

ACTION. If somebody swiped your digital content and is allowing it to be downloaded for free, or maybe even selling it without your publisher’s permission (or yours), you can send a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notice to the internet provider, search engine, web host, etc. The DMCA is a request that your materials be removed from the offending website. I did learn that you can use this notice even if you don’t have an official copyright filed. The work is yours.

If you have a publisher, give them a heads up and they should be able to take care of this process for you. If you’re an indie, there are several examples, templates, and guidelines of the DMCA form online to print out and use. I liked the post I read on entitled How to File a DMCA Takedown Notice. She listed some step by step processes and advice.

THE SAD PART? Your work may not be taken down. If it is, your work may end up on yet another site. There are companies that monitor for this, just like companies that monitor for identity theft. That kind of service seems like a good idea though haven’t used one of these companies yet. Maybe it’s worth looking into? Maybe it’s bullshit. Who knows?

WHAT THE HELL ELSE CAN WE DO? As readers, we can make sure the books we download aren’t from pirate sites. As writers, we can share any information and knowledge we have about what sites are screwing us over and how to deal with this annoying crap. Even just commiserating with an author friend who’s just found her books on some hack’s site and discovered that 8000 people downloaded her book and that she’ll never see a penny of that money, that can help too.

Writing is never easy. The end result doesn’t just come together the way one follows instructions for building a bookcase. It’s a labor of love. Many of us write because we have to. We can’t not create. But we can’t lose hope either. Digital book pirates suck. But we still need to write our next article, next story, next series. I’m not going to give you an inspirational quote because sometimes inspirational quotes make me want to punch people. The hell with everything else, just keep writing.

New Year, New Chances

Whether you’ve got big resolutions planned or simply want to be a better version of your past self, even if you just want to see what the future brings, I want to wish everyone renewed hope and much success for 2018!

2017 taught me a few life lessons, some of which were sucky and disappointing, others quite the opposite. I learned that perseverance takes a bit of soul searching and can require energy that’s sometimes borrowed and sometimes steals sleep and peace to achieve. I’d like to think the sun can set on all the failures, mistakes, hurts, and angers of the past year. Maybe the symbolic new year can take the edge off the hard things we faced and bring us new, joyous reasons to celebrate.

The song Carry On by Fun says it best, “May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground”. And may the good memories be the momentum that keeps you moving forward into the new year. IMG_1685

What’s “Real”?

Recently, my daughter’s English teacher ragged on her for reading manga and comics. The teacher told my 13 year old that graphic novels and comics weren’t real literature and shouldn’t be brought to school. That got me thinking, what constitutes “real” literature?

Literature is defined as “written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit.” The definition raises a few questions for me.

Does “real” literature need to be in book form, written with only proper, formal English? Does “real” literature only discuss subjects considered by elite English professors to be relevant and worthy topics? Do these elite professors then send a note down the wire to inform the rest of the world what “real” literature currently consists of and then give a list of instructions for how to make people who read anything else feel like uneducated fools? If so, then “real” is still subjective. “Real” in that sense is defined by a group of people who aren’t able to (or maybe just don’t want to) step out of their own comfort zone.

Or maybe “real” literature consists only of reading material that teaches the reader something. If so, then a person can learn about sports form a sports themed romance novel. A reader of a Japanese comic can learn about Japanese culture. A person can learn about history, science, and a thousand other subjects and facts all through fiction as long as the author has researched the subject matter and given accurate details.  But does a story always need to teach facts? Can we learn without learning specific facts? Whether it’s a Spiderman comic, a murder mystery, or a historical romance novel, anything a reader wants to read should be considered “real” literature.

What makes a book come alive for a reader? Now that’s a better question. The element of a story that resonates with a reader could be the situations a character deals with. Readers might learn that they are not alone in the things they have dealt with. Does the story need to be in some sort of preferred format for that to be relevant? I’m thinking not.

The moment the written word makes someone question everything they thought they knew can come from a so many types of books.

I don’t have a formula for what equals “real” literature but I think if kids are reading, maybe we should just be happy and encourage them. They might have a comic book in their hand one day and be reading Dante’s Inferno on a different day. What’s “real” is the love of reading.

Deadlines, weirdness, and Halloween candy combine to fuel the progress on my latest romantic suspense

I’m hard at work listening to Starship, eating my kids Halloween candy, and working on finishing the first long draft of romantic suspense, Too Hard to Leave. Firefighter Matt is determined to find out who’s responsible for the death of his best friend. When Emma decides to leave her worries behind and hit the beach for a couple weeks, she wasn’t expecting to meet someone like Matt, much less fall for him. Matt’s got trust issues and he knows there are no guarantees in life for a happy ending. Emma is convinced she only wants a vacation fling.  Will fear and doubt keep them apart?

I’m having fun creating Matt and Emma’s struggles. Originally, Too Hard to Leave was written as a shorter story, maybe about 80 pages, but I decided it needed to be much longer. And then writer’s block visited me last month. Not just the being stuck on a scene kind of block but the kind of block where I questioned the story, my talent as a writer, my existence, humanity, and also the need for strangers passing one another to throw out the obligatory “hi, how are ya?”. And then, as it always does, the fog lifted and I had an idea, which led to another idea, which led to me deciding to take the month of November to finish the first draft and turn Too Hard to Leave into a suspenseful, steamy, twisting tale.

Over the past couple of days I’ve gotten about 15 thousand words on the pages. I had forgotten how happy the hectic, frenetic pace of a deadline makes me. I’m weird like that but I guess we’re all weird in our own ways- whether we fly a flag and tell the world or not. Me? I stay up too late writing and then I’m hateful in the morning. I have zero ability to learn from this mistake and not enough desire to change. I love the concept of love yet my thoughts are never flowery or sweet, just bent towards sarcastic and laced in profanity. Maybe this is the perfect mix to make a modern day romance novelist or maybe I’m a romance novelist because that’s the best way for me to channel my um… unique qualities.

Either way, I’m spending my afternoon listening to 80s music and writing scenes, all while trying to keep my short attention span from leading me to google unnecessary info or to clean things that can probably wait (but maybe shouldn’t). Sooo, wish me luck and patience as I try to figure out the rest of Matt and Emma’s story in the next 21 and a half days.


Romance fiction fans – the Foster an Author 3, 2017 online event features exciting new books, reviews, giveaways, and more! #FAA3

I’m excited to be partnered with Reading for the Love of Books book blog for the Foster an Author 3, 2017 event! Participating authors and bloggers will be posting book excerpts, character interviews, giveaway contests, and more throughout the week of October 16 to October 20, 2017.

To view my bio, excerpts from Bear’s Edge and Wolf’s Challenge, and other fun stuff about my Stranger Creatures series, you can visit Reading for the Love of Books blog site at throughout the week of October 16 to October 20th. #FAA3

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Bear’s Edge (Stranger Creatures book 2) is live on and other e-retailers!

Sexy shifter bears and hot bosses – oh my!

Here’s a little teaser:

Grant wanted more from Shayla than he should right then, and he needed to want less, or at least not so much at once. He needed to pull back from the edge and get himself under control, but he couldn’t do that with her touching him. He had the perfect distraction for her. He ripped her lacy panties off because they were in his way.

Copyright © Christina Lynn Lambert



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Bear’s Edge – Cover Reveal and Excerpt

Shayla and Grant’s story coming soon! After sexy bear shifter Grant lost his girlfriend and three best friends in a fire, he decided he was done with love, done with people, done with pretty much everything. One woman has him rethinking his whole strategy.

Click the link to read a sizzling excerpt at