Tag Archives: book reviews #bookreviews

Words hurt and reviews can be crushing…

I really have had some weird – but exact – blog titles lately, haven’t I? Hee Hee

I’ve talked about book reviews here many times – the good, the bad, the mean. Today I’m going to add confusing to that short list.

WOKE released the other day to good (mostly – 95%)  to excellent reviews. I’ve come to realize that the people whom I know personally are always kind even if they don’t like one book more than another, they always say kind words in their reviews. But I know a book is good if reviewers I don’t know from Adam ( or Eve) say something wonderful.

For an example, this review was put up on Bookbub and Amazon by a reader I don’t know:

Drugged at her 21st birthday party, Aurora nearly died, then spent 10 years in a coma. She moves forward after waking, thanks to her devoted mother and their housekeeper, to the point of training to run the NYC marathon, and meeting and dating someone she met at a fundraiser. AJ, as she’s now known, wants to know what happened, and goes in search of someone who can help her. I’ve read two other books from this author, both very nice romances. But holy crapoly – I had no idea that Ms. Jaeger could write such a captivating and suspenseful romance. This story roped me in at the beginning, and never let up. The romance is wonderful. Cade and AJ are just perfect together, until he omits something that she might think to be important. Her mother is a bit overprotective at times, but considering all that AJ went through, fairly understandable, and Mom is supportive. Maeve, their housekeeper, has worked for the family since she came to the US, and she’s so much more than just “the help” – she gave up her chance at forever to take care of AJ when she was comatose. Nick, the detective who worked her case, is a really great guy, and I love AJ’s matchmaking attempt. Best quote in the book: “Forgiveness is a gift, according to Maeve, that should be doled out often, and without incurring interest.” She gave it 5 stars

Great review, right? I think so and it made me feel I’d done my job as a writer well.

Then there are the confusing ones. The reviews that makes no sense to me, like this one, for example:

The plot had its engaging moments, the characters were interesting and their secrets were gradually relieved throughout the story.
It had mystery and twists, single pov, nicely paced.
Regarding the solution of how and why was Aurora poisoned, it was neither brilliant nor mind blowing. It was far fetched and spoiled whatever my mood was.
Is there a part two??? Where was the epilogue???? Where was the hea???? There was a hea, but for a secondary character!!! I was left dumbfounded, looking for an epilogue that never appeared and I could not believe how abrupt the story ended!!! 😲She gave it 2.5 stars.

I didn’t promote this book as a romance because, to me, it really wasn’t one. It was more a woman coming to grips with the hand of cards she was dealt in life and trying to learn how to grow from it. The book ended when it was appropriate to end. It didn’t need an epilogue and why does this reader think it does??? See? Confusing.

There certainly are days when I wonder why I ever wanted to be a professional, published writer, that’s for sure…

Oh well. Today I start writing Book 2 in my Pride of Brothers series. Different genre, different voices. I’d better just concentrate on that and forget about the confusing world of reviews for the moment.

Happy 4th, American peeps. Until next time ~ Peg

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A #5starreview & an ego boost!

I just adore InD’tale magazine! They not only gave me a 5 star review for  A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, they also made the lovely graphic above for me AND put the book in  you tube video:

This entire week just got waaaaaaaaay better, peeps!

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Filed under A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

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 question for book bloggers, book reviewers, and authors

So yesterday there was a tweet thread from a wonderful book blogger/reviewer who received an email from an author stating this:  I screen shotted it so you could see the actual tweet thread)

This struck me wrong on so many levels that my head actually hurt. Talk about elitist. Now, I recognize the author ( to play Devil’s advocate here) is probably an indie author who has to pay for her books and wants to make money. If she gives out arcs that don’t have the ROI in terms of a “good” review or no review at all, she probably feels she is losing money.

You know what? Too bad, Madame Author.

If you don’t want to take the chance that you will get anything less than 5 stars, then you’d better write a 10 star novel. My guess? Not gonna happen.

Did you ever think the people who aren’t leaving reviews are trying to spare your feelings? That maybe your books are so horrible they feel bad for you and don’t want to leave bad reviews for fear of hurting your feelings? Or that maybe they couldn’t finish your lousy book and that’s why they didn’t leave a review??’

I get lousy reviews when I put up arcs, too. All authors do, even the ones who have publishing contracts with major houses and rake in oodles of cash every year. Every single person on the planet has an opinion and not everyone who reads your book is going to adore it. To state categorically that if you, as a book reviewer, don’t leave a high review you will be removed from further arcs is tantamount to bullying in my book, and you know what? I would never read an author’s work who stated something like that.

I use Booksprout.co and Netgalley for my arc reviews. On Netgalley, some of the reviewers can be downright mean spirited, but that’s the nature of the game. Recently, I realized that several people who requested arcs on Booksprout never left reviews and I wondered why, so for my new set of arcs I put up a statement that said, if you don’t leave a review I won’t authorize further books for you. I immediately took that statement down because I realized what I’ve said above. Maybe the people who didn’t leave reviews didn’t like the book and instead of giving a low review, they simply didn’t write one. Or maybe they haven’t gotten to the book yet since everyone reads at a different speed. Whatever the reason, I knew right away that was the wrong thing to say, so I took the statement down.

Too bad the author of the above statement didn’t think as quick as I did.

So I have a question for anyone reading this who reviews books or blogs about them: would you continue to read an author who said something as blatant as the above mentioned author did? What are your feelings about her/his statement? For authors, do you think the author had a valid point to stating what she did, and if so, why?

Inquiring minds ( okay mine! ) want to know.

Until next time ~ Peg

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A matter of opinion…

This wasn’t the blog post slotted for today when I planned my week. Things have a habit of changing, though, so….

On Monday, two things happened at the same time and were in such direct opposition to one another, for a few moments I felt as if I’d been shot through a time warp and landed in a parallel universe.

Let me ‘esplain

My Limitless Publishing book, DIRTY DAMSELS, has been out in the book reading world since July 2 of this year. I have been roping in reviews from wherever I can because, as we all know, the more reviews you have – and good ones! – the algorithm powers that be at Amazon sit up, take notice, and help you promote your book to the masses. Before the book launched, I did a BookSprouts review campaign and did really well with all 4 -5 star reviews. People I don’t even know bought the book ( Bless their souls!) and also rated it, mostly as 5 stars, which is fabulous. Since it’s been two months since it was released, I wanted to ramp up some more publicity for it, so I had it listed on Netgalley. You’ve all heard me talk about this book reading and rating service before, because I’m  a Netgalley official reviewer. So, monday morning at midnight, east coast time, the book went up for read and review. Monday was Labor day in the US, so the masses had a holiday. When I logged on at 5 am that morning I saw the book was listed, noticed the number of cover “likes” and then saw that it already had one review. 5 hours after it was put up.

Let me repeat that: 5 hours after is was made available.

When the butterflies in my stomach quieted, I scrolled down to read the review.

That damn battalion of flapping insects went on hyper-flap again.

The review was…scathing, is the best word. The reader admits she didn’t even finish the book ( well, who could in 5 hours? Was she Evelyn Wood’s granddaughter, fer Chri’sake??) and then droned on about how she “knew she was going to be disappointed, but requested the book anyway.” Oh, and she gave me 1.5 stars. Then she proceeded to upload the review on to Goodreads. Under the review several of her “friends” commented that they were glad she put up her review because it kept them from requesting the book for their own.

Friggin’ lemmings.

I will truthfully say I have never not read a book because someone gave it a bad review. If her “friends” had thought to scroll down on Goodreads and see all the 4 and 5 star reviews listed, would they have changed their minds? I can hope so, but I doubt it. Once a lemming…..

Needless to say, I was pissed. I emailed Goodreads and Netgalley and asked how they could publish a review from someone who blatantly stated that they did not finish the book. Isn’t that…cheating? Wrong? Fraud?

No response from either entity yet.

Now, the part of my Monday where I felt like I’d been shot through a time warp came an hour later when I received a 5 star review from Reader’s Favorite.

This reviewer actually READ the book. How could I tell? Because she gave details that a reader wouldn’t have gleaned if they’d skimmed through the pages. That review went a long long long way toward making my Monday better, I have to tell you.

I consistently wonder if people ( and that’s being kind, my calling them that and not trolls) who do reviews who aren’t authors ever think about how their words effect the writer. Do they understand they are bashing what this person does for a living? Critiquing their livelihood? Netgalley is a free service to readers, so they don’t even have to pay for the books they request. I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion, I’m not questioning that. What I object to is blatantly stating you did not finish something and then being able to rate it, in turn, lowering the chance of other people wanting to read it.

I will tell you when I request a Netgalley listed book and then find it is not for me and don’t finish it, I always click the DNF button attached to the book review page. That gets me out of having to write a review. I don’t give any books I read less than a 3, and if I have to give a three, I always always always make some positive remarks about the book, ending with, it simply wasn’t for me. I don’t bash the book or the author.

Obviously, I was raised right.

Those lemmings? Yeah. Not so much.

Thanks for listening to me gripe!

Until next time ~ Peg

 

 

 

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A five star review of #DIrtyDamsels

I don’t usually do this on this page, but this review of DIRTY DAMSELS was so lovely, I wanted to give the reviewer credit and cite her review.

Reviewed By Tracy Young for Readers’ Favorite

Cynderella has battled to create a successful cleaning company despite having an evil stepmother who cut her off from the family. Just like her fairytale namesake, she thrived despite having an “evil bitch” who refused to pay for her education. Dirty Damsels (Dotcom Girls Book 1) by Peggy Jaeger is the story of Cynderella and her encounter with a Prince that makes her toes, and every other part of her body, curl! When Ella finds herself understaffed, she rolls up her sleeves and sets out to clean one of her favorite clients’ apartments. While she is cleaning the fireplace, a jet-lagged hunk with a twinkle in his jade eyes interrupts her and turns her world on edge. A chance encounter in a club seems to be a coincidence that leads to a night of passion. Ella is rocked when it turns out that her sexy Prince is part of a team that is seeking to buy out her company and also the company owned by her best friend Nell. Has he engineered the meeting in order to use personal information about them both? It would seem so, and Ella must decide how to handle her feelings for Buddy. 

This is a hot and steamy story of lust and attraction. Ella is a feisty, savvy woman who refuses to accept setbacks. She has close friendships but no man in her life – by choice. Dirty Damsels by Peggy Jaeger is a funny, sexy tale of our times that shows how a successful businesswoman is still entitled to a steamy sex life! Buddy and Ella make the pages sizzle with their encounters and take the reader on a roller coaster ride of pleasure. Peggy Jaeger is a master of romantic fiction and I look forward to reading further adventures of Ella and her Dirty Damsels!

Available at Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited.

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#BookReviews…the good, the bad, the DNF’s

I have to start off by telling you that to an author, a book review can mean the difference between enjoying a champagne luncheon and wallowing in packages of Milano cookies.

Let me ‘esplain.

Writers live and die by two things: book sales and book reviews and, apparently, they go hand in hand. The better the reviews, the more “buzz” there is about your book, the greater the readership, hence, the greater the sales.

For a relatively unknown writer such as me, I live for good book reviews because it means that, hopefully, I’ll garner more readers who will invest their time and their cash in my books after they hear and read positive things about the works.

I’ve had great 5 star reviews on books that have served to make me happy I am alive, to one stars that have thrown me into Milano cookie eating despair. Since I read and review books through Netgalley, I know the benefit of a good review and how a bad one can hurt the author’s soul and pocketbook.

I read a lot of books. A lot. And across all genres from romance to women’s fiction to biographies to police procedurals and even cozy mysteries. Most of the books I choose to read and review from Netgalley are from authors I don’t know that well from a professional standpoint. Some are tried and true favorites, to be sure, but the majority are unknown to me. And, I would imagine, when my books go up on Netgalley, I am unknown to most of the readers who request mine as well.

With thousands of new books being uploaded every day, statistics will ensure you that a large percentage of them are….horrible. And I’ve read my share of horrible. When that happens, I usually DNF ( Do not finish) the book and therefore, don’t rate or review it. If I do happen to finish a book I’m struggling with, I usually give it a 3 starred rating ( NEVER LESS) and try to point out some salient, redeemable points about the book and a statement that it just wasn’t for me. I don’t bad mouth the author, or rip apart the characters, or demean the work itself, again, because as an author I know the blood, sweat, and  nightmares that went into writing that book.

But, alas, not everyone does the same when they review a book. I’ve recently read some scathing things ( not about my books!) written by people who felt it was their duty to make the author’s life miserable by bashing their book. As if it were the author’s fault the reader didn’t like the book. Have they ever thought, like I do, that the book just didn’t speak to them? There’s no crime in saying that. We’re all different people with different mind sets and expectations. If a reader’s expectation isn’t met…okay. Move on to the next book and maybe you’ll be happier.

I truly believe that if reviewers who write horrible reviews or give 1 starred ratings knew how that damaged the writer from a professional ( read MONETARY) viewpoint, they wouldn’t be so harsh.

But….I’m probably wrong about that, because in this day and age of internet anonymity, where anyone can say anything they want without the threat of consequence or harm, rudeness and meanness run rampant.

Just saying’….

So, if you do happen to read one of my books and liked it – please consider leaving a review/rating on either goodreads, amazon, or Bookbub for me. Truly, every good review and rating helps. Bless you.

Until next time ~ Peg

And don’t forget, my newest book DIRTY DAMSELS, is out! It’s available in ebook or print and in exclusive to KU and AMAZON for now.

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2XmMfBn
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2JkOZpA
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2XcgTZS
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2xnWg2x

Here are some GOOD reviews to read about DIRTY DAMSELS:

Katie O’Sullivan’s review left me in tears!

Goodreads reviews

Amazon reviews

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Filed under Dirty Damsels, Dot Com Girls Romance, Limitless Publishing

A working vacation? Is that an oxymoron?

So if you can see the date in the bottom right hand corner of the above banner, you know my newest book, DIRTY DAMSELS,  released on 7.2.19, smack dab in the middle of my summer family vaca to England.

I didn’t know when the trip was planned and booked that I’d be having a release during the time away. And not only time away, but in another country. In another time zone. With lousy wifi ( Sorry, London, but it’s true).

Any hoo.

The day this book released my family went to Hampton Court to see where Henry VIII romped about, then to several other museums before finishing up at the Sherlock Holmes restaurant for dinner. (  I made dinner, but skipped the rest of the day because I had to be available for blogs and interviews during the day.)

Having a book published when you are, a: in a foreign country and, b: 5 hours ahead of home, was tough, to say the least. I spent 12 hours in my hotel room, glued to the computer and hoping the lousy wifi held. Luckily, it did. I didn’t have to reconnect and reboot more than twice, so thank you Jesus for that.

I was able to watch my Amazon rating all day during the release and I think this was my number one preordered seller yet. I guess I’ll know for sure once the royalty check comes in.

So the question my family asked that night as we all settled around the dinner table was, was it worth missing a great day of touristing to sit in the hotel during release day. I had to be honest and tell them…it was. A book is like a new baby. You want to be there for it, nurture it, watch it grow. In this case I was watching it grow in readership, but you get me, right? I’m not sure the extended members of my family did, but that’s okay.

Would I ever want to be away from home on holiday with another book release. Hell, no. Hopefully, this was a once in a lifetime thing. Or at least a once in a decade thing for me!

When I first saw Cynderella all covered in soot in that sexy maid uniform, I knew I wanted to be her Prince.

She’s a small and savvy businesswoman who’s built her cleaning company from the ground up. But now that Dirty Damsels is booming, I’ve been hired to arrange a hostile takeover.

But the temptation of having her was too much to ignore… We ended up spending one night together—a night neither of will forget. Now, I want more. I need more. I want to spend every night, skin-on-skin, with my beautiful Ella.

Problem is, when she finds out who I really am, she’ll never forgive me.

Available in KU and here:

Amazon US:

Amazon CA:

Amazon UK:

Amazon AU:

Until next time ~Peg

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Dirty Damsels, Dot Com Girls Romance, Limitless Publishing

Think you know me?

See that little two line promo in the bottom righthand corner of this magazine cover? RISING STAR SPOTLIGHT: PEGGY JAEGER. That’s me!!! (hee hee ) Who knew at 58 years old you could be a “rising star?” One look at me and you know I’m not an ingenue, that’s for sure. In a society where ageism is so rampant and people over the age of 35 are looked on as if their lives are over and they should just step aside for the younger folks to get their shots at success, the romance industry embraces writers of any age – and I am proof of that, since my first romance book was published when I turned 55.

This is by far one of the best interviews I’ve ever given. The interviewer’s questions were so in-depth and deep, I really needed to put my thinking and memory cap on to answer most of them. I love that – I love having to dig deep into my psyche to answer something thoughtful. There are a few revelations about me in this article, so like the title of this blog asks – Think you know me? – you may find out you don’t know me as well as you thought. Here’s the link to the entire article. It uploads into a PDF that you can download on any device. InD’tale article.

InD’Tale mag was also gracious enough to review 2 of my books in late 2018, and you can read those reviews here:  Dearly Beloved

 

and Christmas and Cannolis

If you’re a romance book lover, this entire issue is jam packed with great articles, including the one with Kendra Elliot – one of my favorite authors. But if you’re only looking for mine ( awww, thank you! Heehee) you can advance to page 32, where it starts. InD’Tale Magazine March 2019

I’ve got to tall ya, this was soooooooome ego boost for sure!

~ peg

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Still touring….and visiting.

I’ve got 2 stops today on this last week of my Goddess Fish blog tour for CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS.

Come join me over on Locks, Hooks, and Books where the author reviewed the book. ( Hint – she liked it!)

And then over on Sharking Links and Wisdom, where I explain my love of big families.

In another note, I’m over on WRP sistah Vicki Batman’s blog today as well promoting another of my books, DEARLY BELOVED. Vicki’s blog is for the purse-lover in every gal and you’ll want to see the little clutch she features from me!

As always, if you’re looking for me, you can find me right here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

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