No stars for this book because I don't feel comfortable rating it at all.
Though he plays many roles in Native American myths, including that of the Creator, Coyote is often a trickster, who uses his abilities to cheat people and steal from them. I am listening to the local coyotes yip and howl right now, as the sun goes down and the moon begins to rise over the mountain that dominates my landscape.
If Coyote in Provence had been recommended to me by a friend or had shown up in a list of random recommendations, I might actually have been interested in it. But that's not how I heard of it, and I just can't get the author's questionable promotion technique out of my head. So when I started reading the Kindle sample, I knew I was predisposed not to like it.
I don't like any Kindle book that's published so it appears double-spaced. I don't want to feel that this is a paper I'm grading, or that I'm supposed to be able to write between the lines and in the margins, even though that's exactly what I may want to do.
I also don't like to read arial font. I never have, but I like it even less because it's what I have to work in on my day job. Most of my reading life has been spent with Times Roman, and even the dear old courier of my typewriter days was closer to a nice roman font than the harsh sans-serif arial.
Could I have overlooked that double-spaced arial if I didn't already have a bias against this book? Probably. Maybe. I wouldn't have liked it, but I maybe could have lived with it.
Maybe, if I could ever have gotten into the story. The book starts with hints of backstory, apparently from the previous number in this series. But it does so in a way that doesn't make me want to read the other book. It's all in narrative. It's all telling.
Could I have lived with that? Was I being picky because I knew what the author had done and I didn't like it? Probably.
Dianne Harman, author of Coyote in Provence, details her strategy in her blog at http://dianneharman.com/how-to-make-your-book-1-on-amazon/
What the author did was to list the Kindle edition of her book in Amazon categories where it would have little, if any, competition for sales. She admitted in the blog that getting a cozy mystery about stolen art into the "Museums & Art Collections" category was a challenge, but she managed it, and the book immediately went to #3 and quickly to #1.
She can now promote herself as a #1 Amazon Bestseller! And she's doing it by spamming 23 groups on GoodReads!
Is that what all of us have to do these days? Find some sneaky way to pay ourselves a compliment so people will notice us? Does dishonesty win the day?
I don't like what I've read of Coyote in Provence so far, even though it's only a few pages. I don't like the writing style, I don't like the formatting. But what I really don't like is Dianne Harman.