Tag Archives: Reviews

#MFRWauthor blog challenge: What I’ve learned from my worst review…

There’s an old saying: reviews are like_______; everybody has one.

Now, if you’re like me the word you wrote on that line was one I really can’t use in a public blog, heehee, but it rhymes with ashmoles. The word that I’m replacing it with is opinions. Think about it. Everyone has an opinion about something, and a book review is really just the person who’s writing the review’s opinion on the work. Like in every day life, some people agree with you, some people do not. It’s the same for reviews.

I’ve read glowing, absolutely the best book you will read all year reviews on books I truly thought were horrible.

I’ve also read soul sucking, pass this one by people reviews on books I lovedlovedloved.

It’s all a matter of opinion. Unfortunately, in the business I now find myself in of writing and publishing, those opinions can mean the difference between a month of good book sales and one of disaster. I have  strong ego. Truly. Ask anyone who knows me. It takes an awful lot to rip me down emotionally and lay me bare, so reviews never hurt me or my feelings. I know not every book is for everyone because I know not every book is for me. The reviews I take exception to are the ones that were written by mean spirited, jealous little trolls who you know didn’t even finish the book because their reviews were full of mistakes and incorrect plotline summations. Trogdelytes who’ve never written a word of fiction, painted a picture with a well formed sentence, or won an award for ANYTHING, much less writing. Pissants who can’t put a constructed thought on the page in a way that conveys meaning to anyone reading it. Morons who……

Okay, so rant over. Sorry about that. Back to  the topic.

What I learned from the worst review I ever received was to laugh it off. I wrote a Valentine’s day story a few years back called 3 WISHES. The story was about CHLOE and MATT. I put their names in caps so you’ll remember them when I tell you this quick synopsis story of the review.

In the book, CHLOE AND MATT are the hero and heroine. I had a subtle subplot revolving around Chloe’s parents ( Francesca and Joey) and an affair Joey had that forced him to leave his family. Did you read the word subplot in the last sentence? I used Joey’s defection from the family as a way to introduce who Matt really was in the story and how he connected to Chloe. A reviewer on Goodreads rated my story a 1 ( A 1!!!) and said I wrote the wrong book. The story of the parents was where the real emphasis should have gone.

Look up the word stunned in the dictionary and you will see a picture of my face when I read that review.


                                           (Not really my face!! heehee)

But, Really? I could understand if the chick didn’t like the story, but to tell me, THE AUTHOR, that I’d written the wrong one? Really? When I could speak again I wanted to write the hag– I mean the reader– a letter saying if she thought I’d written the wrong story then she should go ahead and write the one she wanted to read, because 3 WISHES was ALWAYS CHLOE and MATT’S story. Always.  And just FYI, the individual who wrote that I penned the wrong story is not a writer herself. I never wrote the letter. There was no need to. Once people who had read the book got a gander at that review, it kinda instigated a little reviewer backlash against the chick, primed with vile slings and arrows aimed straight at her.

God, I lovelovelove my readers!!!!! The ones who will defend me, lay down their literary swords for me, and take on the trolls. They are, simply, the best.

So, again, back to the main point here. What I learned from the worst review I ever got was to laugh off the negativity, leave the person in God’s hands, and delight in the fact that I’m getting paid to live my dream life while that bad reviewer….isn’t. ( those of you who know me know I could have gone bat-shit crazy with that last sentence, but I refrained from doing to. Proud of me? heehee)

Sine this is a blog hop made up of AUTHORS who have all probably had at least 1 bad review, hop on over to their sites and read their posts for today.

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Sometimes, I get it right…..

You never know if what you are writing is going to be received well. It’s like a comic performing in front of an audience for the first time. He knows he’s funny. He likes his jokes, his routine, but he’s just not sure the audience is going to “get it.”

That’s typically the way I feel when I write. Is anyone going to “get it?” Are they going to understand what I mean? The intention behind the innuendo? My weird sense of humor?

Well, today I know someone got it – and a big someone at that. I received my first professional review for a story that is as near and dear to me as my own family – A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS.  I’ve included a link to the review here because I sososososo want to brag about, er… share it! The review is from LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS and I’ve been hoping they would review something of mine since my first book was released. It took two years and 7 books, but they finally did and I just have to pull a Sally Field and say “she liked it! She really liked it!!!”

Here’s the link to the review LASR

Here’s a little about the book:

A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind.

Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.

Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?

Excerpt:

After an hour of helping people move supplies from cars, I passed by mama who was carrying a humongous plastic swaddled baby Jesus statue for the crèche when she called out, “The new guy is here.”

“Where?” I put down the ladder I’d been carting and looked in the general direction of where she’d pointed her chin since her arms were full of the Lord.

I found him in an instant. It wasn’t difficult to do because he was the only guy in the parking lot I didn’t recognize who was under sixty. Plus, he was dressed head to toe in basic clergy black. Black long sleeved shirt under a black vest over black trousers and standard issue shiny black boring priest shoes.

His back was to me and he was carrying a table, but after he put it down and turned around I got a good look at the front of him.

And Holy Mary, Mother of God, what a front he had.

Close cropped military style hair the color of wind blown wheat topped a head which stood – truly – head and shoulders above everyone else around. The guy had to be six-three at least. Sharp, etched cheekbones God cut with a knife, sat under oval eyes which looked deep and dark from where I stood. His face was a composite of planes and angles, the carved cheeks meeting up with a chiseled-from-stone chin. Hardened concrete looked softer than this guy’s jawline. His nose was perfectly fixed in the center of his face, the slight aquiline bend at the tip bringing to mind Michelangelo’s David, the cupid’s bow under it deep and pronounced. Clean shaven, his mouth was full and thick and – God help me – looked utterly kissable.

I could tell even with the chunky vest covering his torso, he was closer to thin than stocky, but if I could guess from the way his biceps pulled against his sleeves, he had some muscle to him.

And some pair of legs. They went on forever, from heaven to earth in a full, hard line.

I don’t know how long I stood there, just gawking with my mouth open looking like a cannoli waiting to be filled, but I’m being truthful when I say I couldn’t move. My feet were frozen to the ground, my knees had locked, and my hips weren’t taking me anywhere soon.

This was one beautiful man.

The old masters would have used him as a springboard for their work, and I could actually picture him in a Botticelli fresco, garbed in Roman robes, lounging with naked, buxom-breasted plump women surrounding him, feeding him grapes and sweetmeats.

In the time it took for a hummingbird to flap its wings once, I pictured myself as one of those women.

Buy Links: Amazon //Wild Rose Press //  kobo   // Nook // 

When I’m not basking in the fabulousness of this review, you can find me here:

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A necessary Evil…Reviews

As a writer,  just like any artist, you can live or die by the reviews of your work. I’ve had 5 books published since March 2015 and many reviews. Nearly all of them have been positive, but there have been a few that have stopped me in my tracks.

First, a disclaimer: I’m going to be honest and tell you I really don’t care all that much about reviews. I know you’re probably thinking I sound conceited or snobby or even elitist, but when all is said and done, I write stories for myself. I’ve said before if I’d never been published I would have been fine because I still would have written down all the stories in my head, despite the fact no one would ever see them but me. I write for me.  Me. The fact that other people like reading what I write is a humongous bonus to my ego, but in the end, I’m my biggest fan and critic.

Okay, that really does sound conceited, but I don’t mean it to!

So, on to the clunkers.

My Valentine’s Day book 3 WISHES was a simple boy meets girl-misunderstanding story. Chloe thinks Matt is taken and, to boot, has a baby on the way. A miscommunication that drives the story. Part of the plot included the issue of Chloe’s father’s affair with a much younger woman. One reviewer gave me a one ( 1) star rating because she said I wrote the wrong story. I should have centered the plot on the affair and not on Chloe and Matt and that it detracted from the story I wanted to write. Okaaaaaaaaay. How dumb does that sound? The book was a ROMANCE, not a woman’s fiction novel about infidelity. Now, a one star rating sucks, no mistaking that. But the real issue was the statement I’d written the wrong story. That one made me mad. It was my story. I wrote it the way I wanted. If this reviewer wanted a story about a cheating husband, SHE should have written one.

Okay, rant over.

Another reviewer for the same book said that it wasn’t funny “at all.” I put that in quotes because that’s exactly what she said. Okay, I realize not everyone gets every joke, every innuendo, every nuance of a pun.  People’s funny bones are tickled by different things, I get that. But she’s the only one who mentioned the humor in a negative way. All the other reviewers stated it was  funny and filled with amusing moments and thoughts. I guess my humor just didn’t work for her.

It’s a good thing my skin is thick, my ego solid, because there’s no such thing as a perfect review for every book you write. I’ll admit that even some of my favorite authors have written books that I didn’t like, but I didn’t put up negative reviews about them, and second guess their talent or story telling. I simply held my tongue and continued reading their newest books when they were released. One very real fact of life my mother drilled into me growing up is that if  you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Keep your mouth shut and  your opinions to yourself. SHUT THE  **** UP, in other words.

Not everyone is like going to like everything you write. Fact of life as an artist. But do you really have to tell the world how much you didn’t like something? Have we become a society that just panders to the negative, degrading and insulting one another’s work?

I sure hope not.

Now, having gotten all that off my chest, I’m going to open my ego for another round of  – hopefully – nice comments and let you know that my newest book THE VOICES OF ANGELS, is a Netgalley offering this month. If you are a  Netgalley member you might want to check it out. Click here for the link.

And, please, if you do read and review it – be constructively kind, not maliciously cruel. My ego is intact, but it’s still fragile at times. Thanks for  listening to me b***h.

 

 

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Reviews – a Necessary Evil?

I’ve talked many times about how important reviews of your writing work have become to the present day author. The old sayings a review can make or break you and you are only as good as your next book seem to still be true. I heard a few days ago that Amazon uploads approximately 100,000 new books/novels/novellas/short stories per day, and even if that is remotely true, your ability to get your work “seen” by people who will buy it is crucial. And several excellent reviews can help you attain that goal.

But what about that bad review? A whole sea of 4’s and 5’s, with excellent comments and praise is sitting alongside that 3 –or even worse – 2 star evaluation. What happens then? Do people even consider it, since all the other reviews are glowing? Does a potential reader’s eyes glaze over it, not recognizing it? These are valid questions, but the one that always leaps to my mind is Why, if they didn’t like the book and had nothing – nothing – good to say about it, did they even bother to write a review?

I grew up in a time (in a galaxy far, far away it appears!) where I was taught “If you can’t say something nice or positive, keep your mouth closed.” It’s a practice I struggle with daily, but somehow manage to achieve. Most other people? Not so much.

You see rude comments everywhere these days: television commentators, political analysts, tweets, Facebook comments, music. Even reality tv shows that get the highest ratings are all about how the “housewives” or other cast members bash one another verbally. What the heck has happened to considering the other person’s feelings? When did treat others as you would wish to be treated fly out the window to fall to its civil death?

The internet has made anonymity and the ability to say any old mean thing that pops into your head a normal occurrence. There are no repercussions for rude comments; no responsibility for hurtful and just plain mean words; and no thoughts that you may damaging another person’s reputation – personally AND professionally.

Is it because the person writing and posting the poor reviews or comments feels powerful? Or are they so narcissistic they need to see their name plastered across the internet whether their comment is vile or not? And again, if you truly did not like the book, why waste your time reviewing it? Move on to another book you can like and say good things about. I have started and/or read hundreds – HUNDREDS – of books that I simply did not care for. Some I tossed down after the first few pages, forgotten, while I picked up another. Some I’ve slushed through only to find I shouldn’t have wasted my time. Those books never got a review or rating from me because (a) it would have been a waste of time for me to do, (b) even though I didn’t like it, someone must have because it made it to print, and ( c) as an author I know negative words can hurt, maim, depress, and cause physical pain and I would never want to be the cause of someone else’s feeling of grief or agony.

Am I the only one who feels this way? I’d love to hear from other writers – and even reviewers – about this. Do you post a negative review? If so, why? From authors, have negative reviews hurt you professionally?

And most importantly – how do you recover from, or steel yourself against – those horrible reviews.

Let’s discuss……

Coming 2/8/16 but avialable for PREORDER NOW:: 3 WISHES ( A Candy Hearts Romance) 

 Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Buy Links for 3 WISHES : On Amazon     From The Wild Rose Press

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, Wild Rose Press Authoe, WIld Rose Press AUthor