Authors Talk About It Book Award Contest & Podcast

2017 Book Award Contest is Now Open

Earning a book award gives you clout and credibility!


Are you ready for the chance to be an award-winning author?

Yes! Excellent!

Everyone who enters recieves:

  • A 250-350 word critique/review of your book, which you can use/post wherever you like simply by adding “Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.”
  • You just never know where your ATAI contest critique will get used or who will see it. Check this out from a newspaper article in Ohio:


Those earning 3-5 Stars in their critique review receive:

  • Promotion across all of ATAI social media platforms
  • Featured blog post on ATAI, Authors Village, Readers Village, Download This Book
  • Promotion across our combined social media of 40K+
  • Digital Badge for 4-5 stars

Those earning less than 3 Stars in their critique:

  • Critique with helpful feedback is not posted in a featured post, but emailed directly to author/email used to enter.


Who/what can enter:

  • Authors 18 years of age or older
  • Published and unpublished books, manuscripts and ebooks are accepted
  • Books in the following categories:
  1. General Fiction
  2. Romance (Erotica is currently not accepted. Spicy and steamy? Yes, but nothing explicit.)
  3. Mystery
  4. Thriller
  5. Sci-Fi
  6. Paranormal
  7. Horror
  8. General Children
  9. Young Adult Fiction
  10. Non-Fiction

Can you enter more than one category with the same book?

Yes. You’ll receive one review critique, but you’ll be entered in more than one category. You can enter up to three with the same book. Simply select the correct choice when paying. Additional categories are $10 each.

Grand Pize – $3997 value

  • Author VIP Day with Rob and Janelle (virtually or in-person)
  • Promotion across our combined social media of 40K+ throughout 2018
  • Featured on homepage throughout 2018
  • Featured on sidebar through all of 2018
  • Extra blog posts via blogs as Grand Prize Winner
  • HeadTalker created to promote Grand Prize Winner
  • Announced during award ceremony via video
  • Pocast interview as Grand Prize Winner 2017
  • Badge as ATAI Book Award Contest Grand Prize Winner 2017
  • Finalist invitation into private mastermind

Category 1st Prizes – $1697 value

  • Promotion across our combined social media of 40K+ for 3 months
  • Extra blog posts via blogs as winner
  • HeadTalker created to promote winner
  • Featured on sidebar through January 2008
  • Listed on winners page as ATAI Book Award Contest 1st Place Winner
  • Badge as ATAI Book Award Contest 1st Place Winner
  • Announced during ceremony via video
  • Finalist invitation into private mastermind

You get to shout out that you’re an award winner during interviews or other speaking engagements, too! See an interview from 2016 Sci-Fi winner Josh Harding mentioning his award – Click here

ALL Finalists receive – $997 value

  • Invitation into private mastermind for 12 months
  • Monthly live calls – ability to participate
  • FREE monthly trainings shared online

Submissions Deadline: September 30, 2017

Finalists announced: October 15, 2017

Winners announced: November 1, 2017

**Finalists and winners are notified via the email they entered with as well as in a featured FB live video.

How to submit your book 

(If for any reason you can’t get Paypal to open, send an email to or message us via our Facebook page and we’ll connect with you to take your card number directly.) Upon payment you’ll be taken to a page that tells you how to submit your book. It will need to be in a digital format – pdf, doc, docx, or sent as an Amazon gift.


Reviews and Judging

Books are assigned to an Authors Talk About It team member and the review and area ratings and overall number of stars will be emailed to the author (or representative) within 4-6 weeks after submission. Ratings range from 2-5 stars. Anything less than 3 stars is written as a critique with helpful comments as well as pointing out the positives of the book. Though we do not give 1 star ratings, the reviews are honest and when necessary, are meant to offer constructive criticism.

Star ratings are based on the following areas:

  1. Appearance – cover, chapter headings, images/illustrations, etc.
  2. Plot/Concept – consistent tone, clear theme, etc.
  3. Development – realism, smooth progression, organization, pacing, etc.
  4. Description of Scenes of Concepts – vividness, smooth transitions, scene structure, etc.
  5. Grammar/Typos – well-written or numerous errors
  6. Target Fit – good fit for the target audience
  7. Overall – an average of the above 6 areas

The staff of Authors Talk About It will select three finalists for each category. They will then make a final decision on winners after comparing the ratings in the six main areas and the overall ratings. *If, for any reason, there is only one entry in a category, that does not guarantee a first place win. The author must earn his/her win by writing a high quality book. All rating areas are looked at before a decision is made.

What are you waiting for? Enter NOW!

Good Luck we and our reviewers look forward to reading your books!

Enter HERE Now!

**If you have an indepth beta read/critique done by the Authors Talk About It team, you may still enter your book into the contest. However, if you’ve already entered it into a particular contest, you must wait until the following year to resubmit it to that contest. On the other hand, you may enter it into a genre specific contest (or the overall contest if you have not done so yet).


Infected by Scott Sigler


Originally, this was a slow read and took me several days to finish. It’s not bad writing, just wordy with a high page count. I would get bored and wander away – for the whole day. But that’s only for the first half. It gets better.

The writing is somewhat centered on Margaret and Amos, who are the only scientists in the nation that are allowed to know about the infection (the title gives that tidbit away) and will hopefully soon understand how to defeat it. This requires a good amount of guesswork and fiddling with disintegrating, goopy bodies. Overall, they’re almost as clueless as I am. I did grow to like them, but not a whole lot. They are trying to save the nation from this horrible infection, so I would expect to see a little more drive and ambition. Definitely some demands made upon their employer; they have very little to go on and a small amount of help or tools.

When Perry Dawsey was introduced, I was fascinated with his character. He’s full of emotion, a need to be the best, and the ambition to overcome his childhood raised by a highly abusive father. Fortunately, he has his best friend, Bill, who is the only source of stability Perry has ever had in his life. They met in college where he had earned the name of “Scarey Perry” as a football player. It’s safe to say that he’s got some anger management issues. He’s also the main character who is infected. I believe that it is his mental hang-ups that make him a man who will not go down without a fight.

Perry, along with several others, has no knowledge of being infected and when he starts having a most amazing case of itching, he thinks he can wait it out. When this turns into a continuous distraction and hinderance, he is finally sent home by his employer. Perry sees no purpose in doctors or anti-itch creams, but comes to think that he just might need both. Pulling up his sleeve, he sees a blue triangle under his skin and soon discovers others on his body. I found the triangle intriguing, but the itching business needed to be dealt with straightaway. Fortunately, it does subside, but the triangles don’t. In fact, they’re rather busy making themselves at home in his body.

I don’t want to give away the whole story, but the second half of the book is where I got caught up in the story. We follow Perry as he battles physically and mentally against the infection. Also, the other characters come into play and, finally, we have a fascinating story. Suddenly, everyone, including me, is enlightened and we get an inkling as to who, what, why, and maybe when. I couldn’t tear myself away from it and finished the last half in one day. My final say on this book, is give it a try.

Now, the rating:

  • Genre and general reading age – Science fiction and for adults.
  • Level of sexuality – There wasn’t enough room in the plot for sex.
  • Was there graphic language? Yes. If I had uncontrollable itching and blue triangles I’d swear too.
  • Did I cry? No.
  • Did I laugh? No, it’s not that kind of story.
  • Is this part of a series? This is a cliffhanger. The second is Contagious, which is followed by Pandemic.
  • Level of character development – They developed slowly and not fully to my satisfaction, except for Perry.

Because I found the first half of the story slow, but a powerhouse of action in the second, I have to give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 stars. Perseverance paid off. The last half was powerfully written, grab your skirts (ladies) and go, go, go!

Available here on Amazon

FREE 50 Holiday Romance Novels


The Holidays are upon us!
I don’t know about you but I love hot men on a cold winter night to read about in my novels!

So now put your feet by the fire, wait for the snow and curl up with 50 FREE Romance Novels. Plus you get the chance to win various prizes

The authors have all joined together to ensure that the Holiday season is full of the giving from our hearts and we hope we touch yours with our stories that feature love and happily-ever-after.

Just follow this link: 50 FREE Holiday Books


Red Waves by Shannon O’Connor


I like books that have a lot of action, several characters to enrich the story, and some meaning that draws those people together, or perhaps, even apart. In this book, we just have Audrey and Chad. They met twelve years ago and she has always dreamed of a relationship with him. Chad, also, remembers how taken he was with her. Unfortunately, she has had a terrifying experience with her now ex-husband and shies away from involvement with men.

After all these years, they meet again and he pursues her, hoping for that special relationship everyone hopes for. I found Audrey a bit silly in that she wants Chad, but then decides she can’t be good enough for him. After her experience with her ex, I’m thinking that maybe she should be wondering if he’s good enough for her. But each time she pulls away emotionally, his aggressive pursuit overwhelms her and she seeks his closeness once again. This interaction is on a constant loop in the story.

The main characters are flat and one-sided. Their conversation centers around their sexual behavior, even when conversing with friends. I feel there is absolutely no intimacy between them in this kind of setting. Because she has been horrifically abused by her ex-husband, she has several hang-ups that she speaks of, just a little pinch here and a little pinch there. Every time she shied away from Chad, I thought, “Here we go again.” I wish she had just gotten it out, but she made him work for it. Throughout the entire story, we get unlovely surprises or hints that something ugly is about to be revealed. Sure enough, a few pages later, after a semi-climactic build-up, he is able to sweet talk it out of her. So, her tragic secrets aren’t secret for long. There were side characters, but for the most part they were fluffy filler. That left Chad and Audrey to carry the burden of the story by themselves. I found this too monotonous and unrealistic. No matter how in love people are, they still have to deal with the outside world.

The book appears to have been written solely for the sake of sex. Where can they do it? When can they do it? How many times can she orgasm screaming his name? Who knew zip-lining could be erotic? The popular writing style now is to write in the first-person. When an author adds sex into the mix, it’s just like someone whispering their naughty secrets right into the reader’s ear. In this case, there was nothing, and I mean nothing, left to the imagination. It was just like every other over-the-top sex I’ve ever read.

I consider reading an enjoyable way to have fun and gain interesting knowledge of places and people. Also, it can be an experience that opens my mind to different ways to approach hurdles that appear in real life and how to conquer them. Plus, the fun of reading about interesting characters is a big draw. Then there are the stories with unbelievable people and situations. They can be fairly entertaining unto themselves. This didn’t really fit any of the above.

Red Waves is a graphically sexual story that could have been interesting, but it amounted to nothing more than killing a few hours, while I didn’t have anything better to do. In reading this, I found that the author is hiding her light under a bushel. There is nothing wrong with the writing style, but I found fault with the subject matter and how it was presented.

For the rating:

  • Genre and general reading age – erotica/romance and definitely for a mature, screaming-orgasm seeking audience.
  • Level of sexuality – I believe I’ve made that quite clear.
  • Was there graphic language? Obviously. Lots of sex equals dirty language.
  • Did this story make me cry? Only with disappointment.
  • Is this part of a series? It is book one of the Waves Trilogy. It is not a stand-alone. In fact, it is a cliffhanger. Consider yourself warned.
  • Level of character development – as I said, it needs a lot of work.
  • How hard did I laugh? Well, I did laugh over the lack of embarrassment the two lovers showed on practically exposing everyone to their lusty ways.

I give this book a generous ⭐️⭐️ stars. I would like to think that she tried really hard and will produce more highly developed characters in the next books, which I will not be reading. But maybe they will strike your fancy.

Available here on Amazon

Building Forever by Cary Hart


It is incredibly rare for me to read novellas, but I decided to give this one a try. It’s a formula romance, nice and short, I was glad that it wasn’t any longer. Due to the exceptionally high number of books that follow this outline, I’m guessing that a lot of readers will enjoy this little story.

It has a typical beginning with a sweet, klutzy girl who walks in on her cheating fiance then sprints away to start a new life, and her long-lost love who will nail anything in a skirt and has to drop the f-bomb so many times. I’m not opposed to swearing, but like other stories, he was the only one with a potty mouth; as if it’s a requirement for being a man. Both are fairly predictable and that’s not necessarily bad, just copies of so many other guys and girls found in smut.

The heart and soul of most romance novels is miscommunication that leads to someone running away without even trying to talk to the other person. Read the blurbs on Amazon and three-quarters of them start with her returning to town where she never thought she’d see him again and how he left her broken, but she’s determined to stand strong. They never do, though. I’m not sure what that says about women in general, but I feel like it’s become a stereotype that we are always wearing our trainers. This book is no exception. Of course, years later, our heroine returns due to a mystical coincidence only to find out that he is even hotter and all the ladies in town have taken a turn in his bed. He is still angry that she ran without any explanation, but he never contacted her family in an attempt to locate her, so I have to wonder just how much he loved her. But if he had looked for her, the story wouldn’t exist, because it’s all based on the simple lack of communication; she thinks he cheated, but what she really saw was some hot-to-trot teenager trying desperately to get his attention.

The story is full of flashbacks that are crammed into the story, often in the middle of a thought. They are not separated from the story, but more of a sudden memory tossed into a paragraph. It’s the basic outcast girl finding friendship with the only popular hottie with a soul. The flashbacks aren’t bad and without them the ending wouldn’t be possible, because that is what it is based on: the happy place they found together as children. The flashbacks simply felt forced and out of sync.

Natalie is the sweet, basic heroine. She has a few funny moments, like when she is trying to run and hide from the hotter, older love of her life, Colin, and she pulls down an entire row of mannequins. A couple of other moments like this were rays of sunshine. She also uses filler words, like axe and Morgan Freeman, instead of swearing. It was supposed to be cute, and to a degree it was, but the groundwork wasn’t laid for it. I was very confused when she repeatedly said axe. I kept speculating as to why she referenced Morgan Freeman all the way up until Colin remarked upon this habit she has of never swearing. Apparently, she never outgrew it and eventually I just ignored it. The book is brief, so she wasn’t very deep, but she perfectly followed the cookie-cutter heroine outline of a woman who cannot take care of herself and must be saved by her hero over and over again.

Colin follows the cookie-cutter mold as well. He’s resentful that she bailed on him at the prom and raced across the country the same night, all without a word. It’s always a wonder at how they disappear before the sun comes up. Perhaps she already had her bags packed and a sizeable nest egg for a seventeen-year old stored away, just in case she needed it. The woman is a master of running and does it repeatedly. Back to Colin, instead of getting right down to it and having an open conversation about the hows and whys, he goes out of his way to make her uncomfortable. Of course, they work at the same place; the standard is that they are thrown together so that conflict can ensue and the lack of communication can continue. She ran away from her last problem and travelled back across the country to a job with a desk right next to his. Unfortunately, she didn’t know that until her first awkward day, but if she had she probably would have run somewhere else. So, he decides to jeopardize her job, by constantly changing meetings without telling her, stealing her memos, and giving her the wrong calendar. I was not impressed when it got to the point where her boss yelled at her in front of everyone that he’s about to fire her. It was not a chivalrous moment for Colin, but he makes up for it by carrying her around in his arms when she can’t stand on her own two feet, be it an excess of alcohol or damsel in distress. This happens more than once, so his hero status is secured.

Her Gamms provided most of the entertainment, but wasn’t in the story much. While Natalie isn’t allowed to swear and is reprimanded when she stubs her toe and lets a bad word slip, Gamms is allowed to talk as dirty as she wants. It makes sense that the eighty-year old woman who does aerobics naked and is proud of it when Colin and Natalie walk in, has roosters that she nicknames Cocksucker. She’s flighty and crude, with moments of intense wisdom that felt a bit out of character.

Daisy deserves a paragraph of her own. I was extremely confused when she was first introduced. Colin spoke as if she was dumber than a doornail and she was an inconvenience forced upon him. Then, the next thing I know, she is a composed, smart woman who keeps the entire office running. Suddenly, Colin views her as a sister. Daisy’s relationship with her boss Ferris, who is severely bipolar and has only a few painful scenes where he is verbally abusive to her and Natalie, is just as obvious as Colin’s longing for Natalie. The affair is more than hinted at, it is crystal clear.

The few other side characters were barely mentioned. I would have enjoyed more interaction with her supposed best friend Lexie, who just so happens to own the bakery that makes the scones Daisy is addicted to. Colin likes to bring them in every day to make her happy. Sadly, Natalie moves back to California and makes no effort to visit her best friend. The sweet, insightful BFF only appears when Colin calls her and invites her for a surprise girls day at the spa. She showed signs of promise, but her scones saw more action than she did.

The book was predictable from start to finish with all the characters playing their part. The lovers have been apart for many years, yet they are still the same people they were when they were teenagers. The happily ever after ending was not a surprise and for the most part, I could see everything coming from a mile away. Short stories and novellas are hard to write. There is a limited amount of space to tell a complete story, while providing readers with strong characters and a solid foundation. The great ones are few and far between. This one succeeded in being a lot like other romance novellas, including a very public spectacle where he tries to devour her and another where she gets plastered and he has to come to the rescue. Those moments were semi-cute, but typical scenes aimed at swiftly moving the story along. Even the crazy grandmother was expected and not particularly unique. For romance readers looking for a quick fix, this could be the book for you; it was light and fluffy. That said, it was definitely not my cup of tea, but I strongly believe that there are a lot of women who would enjoy this.

Now, for the rating:

  • Genre and general reading age – romance and for a mature audience.
  • Level of sexuality – lots of swooning and a sex scene that was fairly good. It had some of the cliche words and moments, but it was still sweet and personable.
  • Was there graphic language? Just his token guy f-bombs and her one moment of weakness when she almost broke her toe. That is one circumstance that warrants some langauge and she gets yelled at by her grandmother.
  • Did I cry? Eyes were dry the entire way through.
  • Level of character development – it’s a novella and the characters were shallow. With more time and more pages, they could have been better.
  • Did I laugh? I chuckled the first time Gamms called her rooster cocksucker, but after that it got a bit old. Her embarrassing moment in the department store was classic and I really enjoyed that.

The book was a good effort. It’s obvious that the author wanted to provide readers with a fun and quick read. Some people will love this little story, but after a day or two I will have forgotten everything about it. It’s one in a growing sea of romance that doesn’t stand out. I give this ⭐️⭐️.5 stars. It’s obvious she tried really hard, but for me, it fell flat.

Available here on Amazon