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Reviewing Reviews by Jenny Jensen

December 19, 2019 by in category On writing . . . by Jenny Jensen tagged as , , , ,

Caution: This is a pet peeve. A rant may ensue.

I enjoy book reviews. I read reviews of books I might want to purchase, reviews of books I’ve read and loved, reviews on the works of authors I I know and love, reviews of books I’ve just finished, reviews of my client’s work. And I read reviews because, well, I really love listening to fellow bookworms talk about books.

Reviews are important to any author’s success, of course, but they’re especially important to the Indie author. Indie authors can promote any number of ways, but reviews are the crucial fuel for sales. Readers rely on reviews, especially if the author is new to them; Indie authors rely on reviews to find readers. It’s this fact that makes me so crazy when a review is an elaborate retelling of the story, complete with outing all the twists and mysteries as well as the resolution. That isn’t a review; it’s a damn book report.

I can feel my head begin to explode when a reviewer prefaces a sentence with ‘spoiler alert’. That’s not a pass to spill the beans. It’s a glaring neon sign declaring that this reviewer, this self appointed arbiter of storytelling, has kindly read the book for me. Now I can save my money because reviewer person has graciously taken care of that grisly chore of actually reading. (Audacity always makes my blood boil.) I mean, what about the word ‘spoiler’ don’t you understand?

A book review should give me some indication of why and how the book affected the reviewer. Specifics are welcome, the more insightful the better. Perhaps the author’s voice is particularly unique and pleasing, or the plot was a refreshing take on a well-loved genre. Maybe it’s the characters that win the day, or the book presented a world view that made the reviewer thoughtful. And if the reviewer didn’t like the book I want to know why. If the book was terrible, what made it a stinker? If some aspect of the story was off-putting be fair; not all readers like the same thing, which doesn’t necessarily make the work bad.

It’s not about the author. If a reviewer dislikes a book because the F-bomb and it’s numerous cousins were used it does not mean the author is in need of spiritual counseling. If the political bent of the tale does not suit the reviewer it does not mean the author could use time in a re-education camp. A review is about the story.

Being of mostly open mind and generally democratic spirit I’ll take the one or two line reviews of the “If you like fill in the genre then this is a must read” or “I spent a great winter weekend with this book. Highly recommend” variety. I may not have any specifics but there is something wonderfully persuasive about that kind of joyful sharing.

You may say I should just give a pass to the book reports and the spoilers, and you would be right. But I raise my pen-sword in defense of every Indie author I know, and those I’ve yet to meet. Insightful, honest reviews are sustenance to a writer. They impact sales and the writer’s heart. When you review, do it with substance. Please don’t retell the story – it’s the author’s story to tell and the reader’s tale to enjoy, and for the love of the muses, don’t give away the best bits. You’re going to make my head explode and I do not want my heirs to have to clean that up.

Well, I did say it might be a rant.

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Geralyn Corcillo’s A Draken Fall Christmas reviewed by Veronica Jorge

November 22, 2019 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , ,

Drakenfall resort in the village of Tippingstock is the place to be for Christmas. Owned and operated by Lord Mark Shiley and his American wife Maisy Potter, gives credence to the belief that magical things happen at Drakenfall. How else could an American girl have become the wife and true love of a Baron?


As the resort prepares for the lavish annual Christmas Ball, hope and expectation fill the air. Employees and guests alike wonder if they too might find a little magic and love this Christmas. But different cultures, social stations, goals and confusion collide and threaten to derail everyone’s chance at happiness.


The house manager Glynis feels that love, like the years, have passed her by. Pippa the maid is convinced that she is not worthy of Kafi’s interest, much less his affection. And when Maisy’s parents arrive on the scene unexpectedly, she fears her secret will ruin her charmed marriage with Mark.


A Drakenfall Christmas is entertaining, sweet and fun. The characters are an assortment of holiday gumdrops: colorful, rich, spicy, sweet, and even a sour one or two.


Geralyn succeeds in making readers believe that Christmas is indeed a magical time. In the words of one of her characters, ‘We enjoy the people who are always with us. We take time to experience the best there is to have right in our very own lives.’


And love is alive and possible more than at any other time of year.


Veronica Jorge
See you next time on December 22nd!


A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS
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Veronica Jorge Reviews Christmas Once Again by Jina Bacarr

October 22, 2019 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , , ,

Christmas Once Again  by Jina Bacarr

Boldwood Books  2019   ASIN: B07V1QT9Z6

Once in a while you come across a book that makes you believe that impossible and wonderful things can happen, and that restores your hope in the power of love. A book like Christmas Once Again, by Jina Bacarr.

Childhood sweethearts Kate Arden and Jeffrey Rushbrooke pledge to love each other for always and to marry when they grow up.  But Jeff’s family is rich and Kate is a mere employee at the family’s mill in Posey Creek.  What’s more, Jeff’s mother will never allow Kate to marry into her family and Kate’s not sure how far the woman will go to prevent their union.

Kate and Jeff decide to elope during the magical Christmas season, but it’s 1943 and a new challenge presents itself, World War II.  Jeff gets called up for duty so the couple vows to wed upon his return.

Fast-forward to 1955.  Kate is a single woman and working as a food editor in New York City. She never saw Jeff again and she hasn’t gone back to Posey Creek in years.  Now, it’s Christmas time again and her sister Lucy begs her to come home. Kate gives in deciding that it’s time she let go of the past, and Jeff.

On the train ride back to Posey Creek, Kate reads a special delivery letter she had stuffed in her bag.  The writer reveals information about Jeff’s wartime activities and the name of the spy who betrayed him.  The discovery sets Kate’s heart racing. She would give anything to go back in time to warn Jeff about the traitor and give him a fighting chance to survive.

Whether it was some kind of magic in the letter, the wonder of Christmas, or the power of her love for Jeff, somehow when the Kate’s train arrives in Posey Creek it’s 1943 all over again.  Kate is determined to risk it all to save the man she loves.  But what happens when you know the future and tamper with the past?

Christmas Once Again unfolds during the holiday season, but the story is about so much more.  It’s about family and hope. Above all, it’s about the power that makes all things possible when you love with all your heart.

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on November 22nd.

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Would You Like to Write a Book Review?

October 16, 2019 by in category Book Reviews tagged as , , ,

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are all finding moments to enjoy this fall. I am looking for some fresh reviews for my 55K Christmas novel A Drakenfall Christmas. If you would like to read the book, here is a Book Funnel link so you may enjoy the book for free.  This link to a free ecopy of A Drakenfall Christmas is available thru November 2019.

https://dl.bookfunnel.com/lp3e30r5od


And if you like the book, I would love a review on Amazon! A word or two, a sentence or two would be fantastic. 

Ideally I would like some fresh reviews by November 8, to help with some promotional things I have in the works, but even after that, reviews are surely welcome!

A little about the book: 

It’s Mark and Maisy’s first Christmas together at Drakenfall . . .

The magic of Drakenfall is in the air as Lord and Lady Mark and Maisy, along with their madcap staff, welcome guests to the country estate-turned-resort for the season of nutmeg and mistletoe. Get ready for a Drakenfall Christmas . . . topsy-turvy and heartwarming, generously sprinkled with laughter and lavishly frosted with romance! 

Thank you for any reviews. I hope you enjoy this book, which I wrote to be a Christmas confection of delight. 

I hope that whatever you are reading, it is wonderful! –Geralyn


Editor’s Note: If you like Hallmark Christmas movies, you’ll love A Drakenfall Christmas. It really is a delightful novel, with great characters, and a lot of heart—a whole lot of heart. Grab a copy while it’s free on Book Funnel and leave a review.

Below you will find more books by Geralyn. Hover over the covers for buy links.


Geralyn Corcillo

When she was a kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to constantly pick up litter and rescue animals. At home, she loves watching B&W movies, British mysteries, and the NY Giants. Corcillo lives in a drafty old house in Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite.

4 IN THE AFTERNOON

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4 IN THE AFTERNOON

A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS

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A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS

CATCH A FALLING STAR

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CATCH A FALLING STAR

MISS ADVENTURE

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MISS ADVENTURE

QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE

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QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE

ROMANCING THE PAGES

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ROMANCING THE PAGES
UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS … AND THE LIFT IN BETWEEN
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TWO BITES TOO MANY BY DEBRA H. GOLDSTEIN—A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

September 22, 2019 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,
a cat and a dog looking at a glass of liquid

Debra H. Goldstein strikes again!  With the pen that is.  Her new cozy mystery, TWO BITES TOO MANY, Book 2 of her Sarah Blair Mystery Series, reunites the reader with the twins, Sarah and Emily.

We first met the twins in Debra’s debut cozy mystery novel, One Taste Too Many, (reviewed by this writer in the January 22, 2019 post).  Emily, a chef, was accused of poisoning her sister Sarah’s ex-husband.  The twins combined wits and skill to find the real killer.

In TWO BITES TOO MANY , Sarah’s receptionist job at Harlan’s law office is going well. The town is bustling with activity as the bank, town council, businesses and residents share ideas and lock horns debating rezoning plans. The battle lines are divided between those who want a more upscale Main Street and those who want the town to remain as is. In the midst of this tug of war is Sarah’s sister.  Emily’s culinary career is on the rise and she’s awaiting news on the bank loan that will turn her dream of opening a gourmet restaurant into a reality. Her hopes get crushed when the bank officer denies the loan.

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The twins’ mother, Maybelle, a formidable woman and a substantial client of the bank, takes it upon herself to champion her daughter’s cause. Unbeknownst to Emily, Maybelle confronts Lance, the bank president and leading town council member. When Lance turns up dead, the prime suspect is . . . Maybelle!

It appears that the killer has used the confusion caused by ambitious bankers, disgruntled relatives and residents, varying town factions, and chefs competing with each other to be the best, to create the perfect recipe for murder.

Sarah and Emily plunge into a frantic investigation and race against time to uncover the truth and save their mother from a murder charge.

A cozy mystery with just the right amount of intrigue, suspense and humor, TWO BITES TOO MANY is engaging and entertaining. Debra will keep you guessing, and reading, to the end.

If mystery is not your genre of choice, not to worry, Two Bites Too Many is a good story that will satisfy every taste.  So go ahead, grab the book and take a bite or two!


Sarah Blair Mystery Series

A Sarah Blair Mystery

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

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ONE TASTE TOO MANY

TWO BITES TOO MANY

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TWO BITES TOO MANY

THREE TREATS TOO MANY

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THREE TREATS TOO MANY

FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

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FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

FIVE BELLES TOO MANY

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FIVE BELLES TOO MANY
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