Monday, December 11, 2017

Customer Reviews... Good, Bad, and Best!

I always cringe when I see a new review has come up on my books. I'm never sure what they will say. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised, and some make me see blood.

The following reviews are for my first Sabrina Strong book Ascension.

The latest one went thus:

Topic/story was great. However, grammar and spelling drove me crazy. Too many gaps in the story line. Erratic starting and stopping of chapters. Towards the end there was a very large gap in the story. I realize the first book was free. However, I'm not sure if I am captivated to find out more about the story line.
Best of luck in your continued adventures.

This one gave me two stars. I must say I'm not sure what she means by gaps in the story line, or "Erratic starting and stopping of chapters". The start of a chapter is when a new scene beings and the end of it is either the end of a scene, or when the writer wishes to stop in the middle of something, and make you want to read on. Apparently, since this person did read on, that trick did it's job. It's not something I made up. If she ever reads other authors she should note this happens quite a lot. Patricia Cornwell will stop in the middle of things, end the chapter and start right where she stopped. It is a writer's perogative, I would think, how they want to do this, but in many writing suggestions by seasoned writers, what I do is what I've learned from those seasoned writers.

Let's take another one. This was one of my better ones. These are both taken from Amazon.

I LOVED this book. The intrigue really had me wondering what was going to happen next. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. If it is half as good as this one is, I am in for a real treat.
I would recommend this series for anyone loving this genre.

The above was a 5-star review. This woman did read all five books, and gave reviews on all of them. I was hoping to hear from her again. In fact she asked me to let her know when the 6th one came out. Unfortunately I don't know what happened to her. Her facebook entries ended sometime earlier in the year. I have no idea what might have happened to her.

Some of my best reviews come from facebook, in fact. People who are real fans will find me or my books and leave some sort of review.

This one was left for me yesterday, and believe me it takes the bite out of the first one I shared with you.

Absolutley LOVE your books ...can.t wait for #7 of sabrinas!!

I like these because I can thank the person directly on facebook. I find that interacting with fans is the best way to keep them interested. 

Even though my publisher has stated that reviews sell your books, I think word of mouth is better than a hand full of reviews. I can't make someone leave a review, and really paying for a review is just like bribing someone to say something nice. I find that somehow dishonest. I know other authors do this, and lovely that they've got money to burn on such things. (I don't make that much as a writer and even if I did I wouldn't pay for a damned review!) People make a review either because they want to, or have the inclination of leaving reviews of books they have read. If you check the names of those people who leave the review, you'll see what I mean. You can go and read all of their reviews and see if they are stingingly honest with all their reviews, never give more than 3 stars, or if they enjoy books of a certain genre and make nice reviews on most or all.

Here is one that I got at my Author Page on Facebook:

This morning I sent this out to one of the 'reading groups' I belong to;
Hey everyone;
I just last night ( ok- 1am!) finished the Sabrina Strong series by Lorelei Bell. Al 5 of them - started them on the 26th and could not stop! Most unique vampire series I have come across in MANY years- you do need to read them in order though - there must be a 6th and more coming & I just cannot wait!!!
Happy Memorial Day, All !!

As you can see, many of my fans are here and interacting with me there. Which is good. I know that people buy my books because there are sales all the time. A "free" ebook will boost sales on the rest of the books, which is what an author of a series hopes for.

Well, I'll end this rambling for now. Just wanted to share this with everyone. Hoping for more reviews on my books @ Amazon, though. I like to see them. Just don't like those 1- or 2-star ones.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Warning To Men and... Women

It's nearly impossible to miss the many, many sexual harassment suits coming down on men in high positions, these days. The most recent one being Al Franken, D-Minnesota, the former "Saturday Night Live" comedian who went on to become a liberal U.S. senator. He made a point of speaking out that the President himself has been taped admitting to getting away with sexual assaults and Roy Moore has been accused of going after young teenage girls.

Thing is this is nothing new. It's only now that women feel empowered about coming out with the abuse/horror, and threats they've lived through at the hands of powerful men.

I can say I've had a few brushes with such in my life time.

I've been able to bury the fact I lived next to a child molester most of my life. I never let him touch me, he told me what he wanted to do, and I told him I'd scream. After which, he did give me some money. I should have extorted more, I think. Had I been a different person, I could have probably gotten him to pay me hush money for years.

Young women, and especially teens have no idea that a man paying them a complement, showing them some sort of attention, offering them money or a ride (RED FLAG), they may think he's a "nice guy", that he's "harmless". But you can't know what a man's real intentions are.

When I was in my twenties, I gave a young man a ride once. I didn't know him. When I stopped to let him out, he thought he could grope me. What the hell? I never gave him any indication I was a hooker.

All that I'm saying is you just don't know what the opposite sex is thinking when you give them the slightest nod, even if you think it's harmless.

I've seen certain things that go on where I work, during breaks. Women talking and joking with some of the men. I've seen them get chummy, giving hugs. I'm not one who hugs another man, only my husband. I think it's inappropriate. I think it gives a guy the idea that if he can hug you, he might be able to touch you elsewhere.

I speak from another experience when I made the mistake of giving a man I worked with false signals that maybe I was interested, when I wasn't. I'm married. I'm not interested in other men, other than being friends. It's sometimes hard to realize how far a guy might take things, if given the chance. This one man I knew at my workplace [who I'll just call Mr. X and no longer works with us, and has moved away (thankfully)]. He had a great personality, very loud, and joked a lot. I never hugged him or showed that I was interested, but we joked back and forth a lot. Sometimes the jokes were double entendre. When he moved, he came back into the area for a visit. Mr. X got on my bus, his usual boisterous self, and leaned toward me as if to give me a kiss on the lips. I have no idea where he thought that was something I'd welcome. I quickly moved my head away so that all his lips got were my cheek. I think that cooled Mr. X's heels for the remainder of his visit.

One more example. I was going steady with a man (not my husband), who invited me to his family's Christmas events. His grandfather was/had been a tax assessor. At this time he was restricted to a chair. Since I'd been accepted by the whole family, it was hugs all around. However, giving grandad a hug was a bit difficult, but I leaned down and his big hands went under my arm pits and thumbs went right to my ta-tahs. I was embarrassed about this. Kept it to myself, but I never gave him any more chances to touch me. I felt badly for his wife. Maybe she knew, maybe not. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who got such treatment from him.

Let's be clear. I'm not vilifying men. I think most are gentlemen and know how to keep their hands (and thoughts) to themselves.

However, it's the ones who take liberties that give men a bad name.

Customer Reviews... Good, Bad, and Best!

I always cringe when I see a new review has come up on my books. I'm never sure what they will say. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised,...