What I wish I had known about reviews before I got a bad one

by 
M.C.V. Egan
 
I come from a
huge family and married into another large one. I have (or would like to think
I have) many friends. My book came out on June 9th 2011 and many of
my friends and family read it.

I got beautiful
cards and e-mails with ‘review-like’ comments. One or two actually posted them
on my facebook page.  So I found that as
an author I had the wrong kind of friends and relatives. Perhaps not the wrong
kind, but not review friendly friends and relatives.

I had a publicist
last summer and through that PR the book was requested for reviews, but that
meant I had to sit, wait, hope, fear, wonder. What if my first review was a bad
review? What if all my reviews were bad reviews? What if my friends and family
were trying to spare my feelings? Should I start smoking again? Should I take
up drinking? I opted for massive amounts of chocolate; I am still trying to
lose the weight acquired during the waiting period!


A few months
later the reviews began to come in, and I got really spoiled. They were all
absolutely fantastic, one five-star after another including one from the much
respected Midwest Book Review.
 

I was flying
high, this time eating chocolate to celebrate, and learning so much from what
the reviewers/readers tapped into. Words like “unusual” and “unique” were
followed by amazing praise about my great ability to intertwine fact and
fiction. I could do no wrong and the five stars became the expected norm.

Then I got a
three star.

But I surprised
that I did not feel disappointed or offended. The review explained that the
factual historical aspect in the book was in great detail and was more than the
reader had bargained for.

I received a few
three-stars after that, and then the great blow.

A very scathing
one star review… no, I won’t tell you where it is posted, if you are curious
enough you will search and find it. I cannot deny it hurt. I ate a box of
chocolates; I believe I even cried. I try not to remember.

I posted it on
book blogs and I was amazed at the feedback from other authors: you are so
brave, sadly all the bad ones always hurt, not every book is for everyone and
the wisest one of them all look: up the reviewers review history it might be
someone who likes to give bad reviews.

Off I went in
search of my reviewer’s history and my heart sunk a lovely list of good
reviews. Five stars here and there, and then I saw another one-star review and I
had to smile and open another bag of M & M’s grinning from ear to ear the
other one star review was for Ulysses byJames Joyce. So, my book was not for everyone, no book is but I was certainly in
fine company.


Of course I have
absolutely no delusions of being in the fine gentleman’s category, but I do
have an Irish last name, even if it is acquired by marriage and not by
birthright.

I received a long
e-mail from a lovely blogger and reviewer, one of those that gave me five
stars, loved The Bridge of Deaths and even invited me back to her huge site for
an author interview and giveaway. She pointed out how many greats had received
bad reviews, her list did not include James Joyce, but I added him.

I have since
received other five-star, four-star, three-star reviews. I can only hope I do
not receive any more scathing or one-star reviews, they hurt, and they hurt a
lot.

I am very humbled
and honored by all my reviews. I have learned so much from each and every one.

I do need to know,
however, if any of you know a good way to end a chocolate addiction.
The Bridge of Deaths is a historical paranormal, romance mystery! Something for everyone:

Follow Bill and Maggie in London 2010 as they explore the events of August 15th 1939. When at the brink of World War II, an English plane crashed and sunk in Danish waters. Five deaths were reported: two Standard Oil of New Jersey employees, a German Corporate Lawyer, an English member of Parliament, and a crew member for the airline. Bill and Maggie find a conceivable version of the events. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
AuthorHouse
Website

The authors who did it RIGHT

The Ones Who Came
Before Us and Did it Right

By:
MK McClintock

How
often do we as authors and readers talk about the writers who have influenced
our writing-style or how we choose which books are worth to line our shelves?
I’ve done it often, usually without thinking about it. What I don’t always do
is answer the question ‘Why?’ Why do I choose those writers? Why do I choose
those books? Is it as simple as just liking the book? It made me laugh. It made
me cry. The author is just amazing. But if someone asked us to pinpoint the
‘why’ how many of us already know?
As
both an author and reader, I certainly have my influences. Writers who I feel
personify what it means to be a great writer. Writers who are able to capture a
single moment with such astounding clarity, the reader can’t help but feel the
chills, the tears, the touch of a hand, and the all-consuming love. They are no
longer a reader, but are in fact living the life written out on those pages. I’ll
admit, I really get into a good book. So much so, that I’ve read some of my
favorites upwards of two dozen times over the years. Is it because these
writers have influenced me in such a way that I can’t seem to get enough of
them? That can’t be it, because the books I tend to read for simple pleasures
over and over, aren’t written by those I’ve claimed to be my favorites (with
the exception of Woodiwiss), or by those I’ve claimed to have the most
influence over my own writing or reading choices.

Who
are your favorites? How have they influenced the way you write or which books
you choose to read?
So
today, I’ve listed my top influences – whether it be for writing or reading,
these are the authors who have had the most profound effect on me as a writer
and reader. If it has their name on it, I can only wish I wrote it and chances
are, it’s on my bookshelf.
·        
Kathleen
E. Woodiwiss:
I don’t believe I’m only in saying that this author is
a favorite or influenced me to become a writer myself and I’m certain there are
also those who would disagree. I didn’t begin writing with the arrogance that I
would ever reach her level of skill, but this wonder of historical romances
pulled me into her stories, made me long for the lives of her characters, made
me laugh with them, cry with them and she did it all superbly. As an author of
historical romance, I often think of her books as I write and imagine that if
my books come out even half as good as hers, I would have accomplished
something.
·        
Edward
Rutherford:
I haven’t yet read all of this author’s books, but I’m
working through the list. I will say that after I read The Princes of Ireland
and The Rebels of Ireland, I was sold on this author. From his style, to his
dedication to accurate history and his ability to creatively and effortlessly
intertwine fictional families with fascinating history. I longed to be a part
of that world, no matter how difficult or horrible it read at times, I wanted
to be there with the people, fighting their battles, tending the wounded,
loving the families. The images he creates of the landscape is vivid, the
characters equally flawed and heroic. His ability to incorporate the history
into his books, and still write a fascinating work of fiction, is one of the
greatest reasons why he is on my list.
·        
Louis
L’Amour and Larry McMurtry:
These two western authors share a spot on
my list and it may not make much sense to many people, but as western authors
go, they are the greatest I’ve ever read. Lonesome Dove. The Sacketts. Need I
say more? They both wrote westerns as I imagined the west would have been. The
cowboys didn’t ride horses bare-chested and the women didn’t swoon at the sight
of a handsome face. It was survival on the frontier, gun against gun, dirt,
grime, hardship, flawed characters, good families, outlaws who didn’t always
die and good guys who sometimes did. That was the west and I believe that if I
can learn to incorporate a bit of their style into my own writing, I’d have a
successful western. I’m still working on that, but I’d say that as far as good,
down-to-the-earth, love ‘em, kill ‘em, fight ‘em, real west would have been,
these two just may have captured it. Oh and did I mention that they not only
captured it, but made us want to read about it. 






McClintock was born on the west coast, but after less than eight
years she left with her family to the Rocky Mountains. After more adventures
around the country, business college and culinary school, McClintock found a place
to call home in Montana.

“I’ve always loved
books and spent more hours reading through school than any other activity. I
wrote stories when I was younger and even tried my hand at a novel. It wasn’t
very good and I shelved the idea for years.” She pulled the ideas off the
shelf and began working on her first novel, Gallagher’s Pride, the first in an
historical series about a ranching family in Montana.
Over the years
McClintock traveled the country and visited magnificent Scotland. She dreams of
a time when life was simpler, the land rougher and the journey more rewarding.
With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure,
McClintock still calls Montana home. McClintock is also the author of Alaina
Claiborne, the first of her British Agent novels. She is currently at work on
her next book.’

Genre – Western Romance

Format – Print and Ebook
Purchase Links:
Amazon
Kindle



Blurb: Brenna Cameron travels from Scotland
after losing someone she loves in search of family she didn’t know existed.
Alone now in the world, Brenna makes an arduous journey, following the trail of
discovery to Briarwood, Montana. Here she meets Ethan Gallagher, and the rest
of the Gallagher clan. Only with their help is she able to discover lost
family, heal old wounds and embark on a treacherous confrontation with a man
who destroyed her family. As head of the Gallagher clan, Ethan has more than
enough to occupy his thoughts and time-he didn’t need the complication of
Brenna Cameron and he certainly didn’t need the trouble that came with her.
Ethan takes on the unwanted duty of self-appointed protector to the headstrong
Scot, only to discover there is such a thing as second chances and more to life
than revenge.
Click below for a short excerpt: 

Are
you out of your mind?” The words tumbled from her mouth before she could stop
them, but he had gone and truly shocked her.
“No
actually I’m not. It’s your safety I’m thinking of,” replied Ethan, more to
himself than her. He loosened the hold on her arm.
Brenna
let out an exasperated sigh, something her mother had always tried to
discourage, and said, “I do appreciate your kindness, Mr. Gallagher…”
“Ethan.”
“…Ethan,
but I’m certainly not the type of woman to just go home with two men whether I
know them or not. It would be highly inappropriate, not to mention stupid.”
“And
you’re not stupid.”
“Not
as far as I can tell,” Brenna said with fire in her eyes. She rarely ever took
offense at what people said, too comfortable in her own skin to care, but this
man riled her and he did it effortlessly.

Meet Cora Parks: Your IRS Refund

My Foray
into the Blogosphere
by
Cora Parks
I first learned of blogging in 2007 as
a way to make money.  Unfortunately, I
promptly forgot about it until 2009. 
What precipitated my going into blogging was a desire to disseminate tax
information to a larger audience than I would be able to reach as a sometime
tax instructor at work.
So in August 2009, I commenced my first
blog post.  It was nothing special, just
a “hey I’m here” type of post. 
All I wanted to do was to talk about
taxes in plain English so that no one’s eyes would glaze over.   Although, others make money off their blogs,
I don’t make a penny.  In fact, I lose
money in that I must pay hosting fees every month out of my own pocket. 
Do I wish that I could make money?  Yes. 
Do I want more readers?  Of course
I do.  But my writing was and is not
predicated upon the number of readers or how much money I make.  I do it because I love it. 
The only caveat is producing fresh
material.  Except for a couple of guest
posts, I write and edit all the material on my blog.   This year, I made changes to the blog
template, the size of posts, and frequency of posts in an effort to attract
more readers. 
Right now, I take things day by day,
hoping that my posts make “taxes a little less taxing” in the lives of my readers. 
I would love to have you join us at blog.taxtoday.info. 

Cora Parks is a
lifelong Atlantan whose vision is to bring proactive tax counsel and personal
responsibility to the masses in the area of taxation.

She is the author and editor of the financial blog
Tax Today, a blog that provides readers with information on an array of federal
tax topics. She is currently collaborating with PYPTW Inc, a nonprofit
organization to start a low income tax clinic in metro Atlanta.

Email
Genre – Non-Fiction, Tax
Purchase Links: Amazon

In this book you will find all the information you need about an IRS refund, from the options that you have to get your refund, to getting a bigger refund, and getting it faster. In addition, we include little known IRS refund topics, like what to do when you have an expired refund, what to do if you get an unexpected IRS refund and much more.

Ever wondered how prophecies are conceived and brought into reality?

A collection of brand new prophecies about the world, about the world’s economy, about disasters and wars, about terrorist attacks and about survival itself. In this book Cesar takes prophecies to the next level. Each individual prophecy comes with two interpretations for readers to analyse. 

At a time where everyone still loves to talk about Nostradamus, comes this intriguing book full of clues and cryptic images that is sure to broaden the imagination of those who believe in prophecies.

Purchase Links:

All about Blogging
Guest post by the author of Book of Prophecies – Cesar

I found that I had a lot of time on my
hands after completing my Book of Prophecies in October, and I really wanted to
research the topic of prophecies seeing as though I had filled a book with
them!  I was drawn to search the web on a
constant basis, searching for anything to do with prophets, prophecies or
ancient documents.  I found plenty of
sites; some with skewered ideas based upon little fact and other sites with
religious perspectives.  I wanted to
examine the topic from a unbiased open minded approach so I opened up a
blogging account for the very first time and started to eagerly post the
results of my research.  That was only a
few short months ago but I am already addicted to posting onto my Blog.


My research has taken me to various places;
to the discovery that the theory of evolution was around since Egyptians
times, and to the idea that Nostradamus drew a lot of his knowledge from other
books such as ‘Mirabilis liber’
My Blog was soon the centralised location for all my writing, creating
page upon page, writing post after post; with the aim to come back at some
point to write a book containing the complete history of prophets.  But in the meantime, I hoped to create a good
resource for anyone who might be interested in the subject.


That was one of the most surprising things
about blogging, that using the statistics page I could see what countries my
readers visited from.  Yes of course,
there is a fair bit of hype about the possibility of 2012 being the end of the
world (not something I personally believe) but I get visits from a wide variety
of countries, some of which I would not be able to locate on an atlas.  There was a realisation that my simple words
could reach someone on the other side of the world without me leaving my
sitting room.  I love that idea and I
love to Blog.
Special Edition

Purchase links for the special edition:


Cesar has a very experienced background in the
spiritual world. He was brought up in a Christian family, but branched out from
that base as he got older, seeking answers about the world around him, and the
spiritual world around him.  In his mid-twenties dramatic events occurred
in his life which challenged his very existence, but he learned from these
experienced and most of learned that how that life is not just in our own
hands.  

Now Cesar is a firm believer that everyone has their own path to
walk in life, and part of that walk is all about the choices that you make.
Some people choose a good life and some a wicked life, but most of us live the
life in the middle, influenced by the world around us and our own upbringing,
Cesar understands that life is simply not black and white.

Where can I find the RSS URL on blogspot?

The
answer simplified!
RSS is the address of
the most RECENT blog post from your
blog. It is NOT the same as your homepage or blog URL. 
For instance my blog
address is http://louisewise.blogspot.com
but my LATEST post written (the address is usually found when clicked on the post
title) is my
RSS URL.
Still struggling?

Try adding  /feeds/posts/default?alt=rss
after your ordinary blog address.

Example: http://louisewise.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss