Tag Archives: amazon reviews #goodreads #amazon

On Book reviews – good ones, bad ones, and ones that make you go “WHAT??!”

I’m not gonna lie….I read my book reviews.

Many authors will tell you they never do because they don’t want to hear anything negative about the book, or that it makes them uncomfortable, or anxious or ( insert your own descriptor).

Not me.

I read every single, friggin, review I find, especially those from people I don’t know. You kind of expect the people you know to say something nice about your book. But it’s the ones I’ve never met, who don’t know me from Eve, who when they take time to write something about one of my books, I sit up and take notice. I’m not arrogant enough to think my words will inspire, entertain, and bring happiness into every single reader’s lives. It’s my hope, but not my reality, peeps, heehee.

What I always find intriguing though, is when one book has polarizing reviews – both ends of the spectrum from 5 stars to 1.

Let me e’splain….

This was a recent review from a very famous author I know through a publisher connection. We have never met, but I thoroughly enjoy reading her books and she is a one-click author for me. For TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS this is her review, up on Amazon:

Katie O’Sullivan

Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2020

Format: Paperback

Peggy Jaeger has done it once more, proving why I keep returning to her stories again and again. The vivid portrait of small town life, the depth of the characters and the breadth of emotions… I love escaping to the worlds this author creates on the pages.

Ms. Jaeger writes in a first person point of view that drags the reader along on a sometimes chaotic ride with Cathy O’Dowd, a small-town lawyer and the eldest O’Dowd sister in the small town of Heaven, New Hampshire. She took over her father’s practice and responsibilities when her parents retired, one of which was sitting on the board of the local Historical Society. When a well-known author comes to town to research his new book, the pair are thrown together and sparks begin to fly.

Okay, none of that sounds terribly exciting, does it?

Small town lawyer. Author doing research. Historical Society.

It all reeks of dusty pages and yawns hidden behind polite hands. And yet…

This story crackles with emotion and tension, as the main characters are instantly drawn to each other but trying desperately to ignore the electric connection. The stubbornly broken characters kept me glued to my Kindle rooting for them to give into their feelings, to get over their sad pasts and find a happily ever after with each other. The scenes with Cathy’s grandmother, Nanny Fee, add comical humor and lightness to the overall story. Ms. Jaeger does a wonderful job of creating real characters we can relate to and root for, with the strong background themes of family and forgiveness running throughout.

I finished this book in a day, and loved escaping into the world Ms. Jaeger created. The first book in this series, Dearly Beloved introduced the town of Heaven and the sisters… And I know there’s one more O’Dowd sister whose story has yet to be published (I can’t wait!)

Amazing, right? And such an ego stroke I can’t tell you!
Now, here’s the same book and a review from Netgalley from someone I don’t know from Adam:
Maggie – 1 star
I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have read so far in Today, Tomorrow, Always. I love the small town atmosphere, the family surrounding Cathy, and the love and patience she has for her family, her sweet dog and her community. The buildup of Mac’s background and loss of his family add to an intriguing mystery. Why did you throw in a gay marriage? My decision is to not finish this book and not request any more of Peggy Jaegar’s books. I read Christmas and Cannolis last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thus, I requested this book. Please leave LBGTQ topics no matter how small under LBGTQ headings. It may be only a minor one-page item, but I am not interested in finding out. I will not be leaving a review on Twitter or Amazon as I do not believe in writing negative reviews.
The last sentence made me laugh. THAT’S exactly what she’s done, isn’t it??
Like it’s been said many times in the past : You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Now, if this reviewer had said the story was boring, or the writing was sophomoric, or even that the characters were unrealistic, I would have taken her words to heart and chalked up the bad review to someone who just didn’t like the book. This is still America, people, and we are allowed to have opinions that differ.
But…. this isn’t really a review of the book, is it?
Think about it.
Reread her words.
This is about 1 scene, 250 words, 1 page of a book that she even claims she was enjoying up until these 250 words came into play. For whatever reason this was a trigger for her and she decided to condemn me for the rest of my book writing life.
This is just one of those aspects of being an author that makes me go… WHAT??!
If you’re looking for me I’m usually here ( or out reading my reviews!)Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me // Watch me
…And liked Katie mentioned above, Book 3 BAKED IN LOVE is with my editor, but you can read the opening scene here: PJBlog
Until next time, kids ~Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

A look back at my year of reading….

 

I’m a big reader.

I know: shocked ya, right? Hee hee.

This year I read 117 books for 2019 Goodreads Challenge. In reality, I read a whole bunch more because a large  number of them were print books and the goodreads ones were really only e-books I read on my Kindle.

The number is probably closer to 200 for the year.

It’s no wonder I love to write since I love to read so much. Goes hand in hand, eh?

Here’s the top of the list of my favorite read books in 2019. Some were print, some e-books, but they were all fabulous and I highly recommend them and their authors.

In no particular order, here you go:

UntouchableJayne Anne Krentz (My rating)

the third book in the CUTLER, SUTTER and SALINAS series, it’s a dark story woven through the golden age of Hollywood – and a goodie!

Passion on Park AvenueLauren Layne (my review)

 

In my review I stated that this might just be Lauren’s best book to date ( and that’s saying something because they’ve all been 5 star reads for me) and I wasn’t wrong. This first chapter of the CENTAL PARK PACK series is a great intro to the gals and their potential love interests.

Where the Crawdads singDelia Owens 

For some strange reason I never reviewed or rated this book and if I had I would have given it 5++++ stars. The story is so lyrically told I felt as if Delia Owens was sitting in my living room speaking it aloud to me.

Love on Lexington AvenueLauren Layne (my review)

Book 2 in the CENTRAL PARK PACK series is a deep dive into widow angst that is funny, sexy, and just up my alley when it comes to RomComs. Lauren hit all the right spots with this book and I am eagerly awaiting book 3 which is releasing in 2020.

The One for YouRoni Loren ( my review)

This 4th installment in the Ones Who Got Away series was my favorite for so many reasons. Read my review to learn why. And then start with the first book and read them in order. You’ll be glad you did.

Never TellLisa Gardner (my rating) 

You can’t go wrong with A DDWarren police mystery and now that the amazeballs Flora Dane is helping her, well, 5stars isn’t enough!

Quinn’s  ResolutionKatie O’Sullivan ( my review)

Rock star romances are a popular trope and most are just okay. But Katie’s take on Quinn MacDonald and the tragedy that occurs just as his career is taking off compelled me to give this book the 5 stars it deserved. Filled with sorrow and jumping with heat, this story is short but it packs a powerful punch.

Elusive DreamsKari Lemor (my review)

You usually read Marriage of Convenience tropes in historical novels. Well, Kari took the well-loved trope and modernized it to perfection. I went through almost an entire package of Kleenex’s while I was reading Tessa and Eric’s love story and I bet you will, too.

I can’t wait for 2020 and a whole new year of books to read by my favorite authors. And who knows: maybe I’ll find some new favs!

Until next  year ~ Peg

 

 

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Filed under Romance, Romance Books, Uncategorized

#LongandshortReviews 8.7.19 #Wednesdaybloggingchallenge

 

Books I loved but never wrote reviews for is today’s #L&SR topic. I had to think about this one. Really think.

In no order, here are the books I loved, wished I’d reviewed, but didn’t — for whatever reason!

  1. The Little Engine that Could. Best book about self motivation ever published.   
  2. Write Naked, by Jennifer Probst. A very well written, detailed road map on what not to do – and do! – in the publishing business. I carried the print book copy with me from NH to a Denver conference just so Jennifer could autograph it for me.
  3. New York to Dallas. JD Robb. In my humble opinion the best IN DEATH book. Why I never wrote a review is a mystery, considering I’ve mentioned it in about 50 blogs as being my favorite addition to the series!
  4. Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. My first “adult” romance, i.e. one that had SEX in it!

Click on the Long and Short Reviews Wednesday Blogging challenge to see what the other authors in this challenge have to say: L&SR

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Filed under Long and SHort Reviews, Romance, Romance Books

Opinions are like a body part—you know which one!

Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on author friend websites that start like this: “Just got a 2 star rating on my latest book. The reader really hated it. I’m out on a ledge! Send help!”

Well, maybe not that dramatic, but you get my meaning. The writer is upset because someone read and didn’t like their book and told “the world” through Amazon, or Goodreads, or whatever other venue they spew on. As a writer, I know how much this hurts. I wonder, do the readers know what this does to us?

Do they realize that reviews are the equivalent of  performance job reviews for us? And that just because a book didn’t resonate with them for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean it won’t with some other ( or thousands of!!!) reader(s)?

Do readers understand that places that sell our books like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, publish any and all reviews, not just the good ones? And that marketing plans, promotional updates, even placement decisions can and are made based on those reviews.

I had a person ( I use the term loosely) give me a 1 rating on a book that had nothing but 5 stars, stating I wrote the wrong story. I should have written the story of the subplot people as my main story. I wanted to respond to her review by stating, “No, bitch. I wrote the story I wanted to. If you thought it should be written differently, then you write that story, but don’t be bad mouthing me because you didn’t agree with what I wrote. How would you feel if I went to where you work and told everyone what a lousy worker you are? ” Now, of course, I didn’t do that. But I wanted to. I really did.

The whole review and rating system is cockeyed to me anyway. Most people who review it don’t even really understand the system. Think of it like you’re back in school. An A was 90-100, B 80-90, C 70-80, d 65-70 and anything below that an F. I’ve had reviewers write they loved the book but then gave it a 3. So, you loved it but it was only worth 70 points? And what does that 70 equate to, anyway? You can’t purchase 70 % of a book. Or 70 pages. Or pay 70% of the listed price.

See? The system is screwy.

I review new books for Netgalley. If I can’t rate a book as a 4 or 5, I don’t review it. It’s not because I’m basically a nice person ( because I’m not! Not even close.) It’s more that I know there was something about the book that didn’t resonate with me as a reader, but will, I’m sure, with someone else. I don’t think it’s my job, or place, to write a scathing review ( or a nasty one, or a snarky one). My books aren’t perfect and they don’t sit well with every reader, either. I put myself in the writer’s place when I’m reviewing and I know what a bad review does to my soul. I won’t intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings that way. The flip side is I’ve simply adored many books that other people rated 1,2, or 3’s and then wrote bad reviews of.

I recently replied to an author who was lamenting the poor rating she got on a book from a reviewer and was second-guessing her own writing ability. I wrote, “Opinions are like a**Holes: everybody has one, and reviews are basically opinions.” I meant it. One bad review does not end a career. It hurts the soul, deflates the ego, and causes tears, but ultimately, it’s just another opinion.

The kicker? as writers, we need reviews for marketing, promoting, and to get the word out about our books. Even some of the biggest bestsellers in history had some horrible reviews, though. And they still sold.

So. Reviews. A necessary evil for writers. My advice for bad ones? Develop a thick skin and laugh it off, because, ultimately, you published a book and the chances the reviewer did are practically nil, so you’re already ahead of the pack!

When I’m not reading my reviews, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance