A simple guide to writing a simple review

Book Review

You love to read.

Authors love to be read.

Authors also love book reviews.

Reviews trip algorithms in online bookstores, reviews open up advertising options. More reviews get your favorite authors in front of more readers. More readers actually do lead to more books being written.

But you don’t like to write book reports and aren’t comfortable putting out a review of that level.

But the authors keep asking for reviews.

And you like the authors and you want to help.

What do you?

Thats easy, you write a simple review. Authors don’t need those big elaborate reviews that include a synopsis, an analysis, and then an opinion.

Authors don’t need a Thug Notes level review (If you are not familiar with this brilliant literary reviewer, check him out https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLghL9V9QTN0jTgA1qrhWrBCB_Ln4xlVlB). Authors need you to share what you would want to know with other potential readers.

So here are some easy to answer questions that will help you to write a simple review:

Did you like the book? Yes? Fantastic keep going!

Why? What about the story kept you reading? Was it the characters, the location, the use of language, the hot romantic scenes, the lack of romantic scenes, the adventure, the intrigue….

Anything in particular really stands out? Plot twist you didn’t see coming, the character had a flaw and you really could relate to how they overcame it. You laughed out loud. You sobbed and dripped tears on the page.

Did you binge read the book and lose sleep?

And, lastly, would you recommend it?

You don’t need to worry about providing a brief spoiler-free overview. You don’t need to worry about analyzing the symbolism and pointing out any instances of foreshadowing. Just let us know you liked it.

Now what to do if you didn’t like the book.

At this point, most authors are going to say don’t leave a review. While that is an option, sometimes the book is so bad you feel the need to warn others off. Fair enough, but remember if you need to do that, do not level a personal attack on the author. That’s just rude and unnecessary.

What about the story bothered you? Were there overwhelming themes or storylines that you don’t like to read you were unaware were in this book? Was the storyline difficult to follow? Try to be specific in your reasoning for not liking the story. If you didn’t like the characters share that.

Make sure you are clear about the type of book you are reading. It doesn’t help anyone to complain about a relationship in the middle of your adventure if you are reading a romance novel. Or to complain about the violence in a war action novel.

Reviews don’t have to be complex. They really aren’t difficult or intimidating. And authors appreciate them more than you know.

 

 

The Flu Sucks!

So I got SICK!

Again.

I’m so tired of getting sick. Fall of 2017 I felt like I was pretty much sick constantly! I am ready to be healthy!

It totally messed all my schedules up. My family had to drag me out of bed Christmas morning to open prezzies. I had not wrapped any of theirs because I basically got bitch slapped by the flu 3 days before Christmas.

I am behind of files to the publisher, files to the editor, and word count.
I am behind of all the marketing for my January release, and anything else I should be doing.

I’m behind, but I’m still here kicking!

Let’s hope 2018 is a much healthier year for everyone!

Musing from the bread cafe, number 4

Random Thoughts

Uhm crazy lady doing yoga in line. She’s complaining that the guy in front of her ordered gasp bagels.

Oye.

Tonight I’m at a different location. Same chain, only this one is in a mall. I’m sitting behind a glass wall, and feel a bit like a goldfish. A really boring goldfish with all the people who are walking by.

Fortunately, I am not the subject of anyone’s attention. I didn’t put much thought into where I was sitting in regards to the mall but in regards to the other people in the cafe. Yeah. Next time I need to pay attention to the fact that people can see through glass walls.

On the other hand, I can also see through glass walls. This mall has a walker. Not a zombie, but someone who does their walking laps inside the mall. I haven’t seen that in a while. Then again it has been a while since I’ve hung out at a mall.

I’m considering entering a contest that is basically a sex scene write-off. Where two scenes go head to a-hem head, and readers vote for their favorite. I’m having a moment of “do I write hot enough.” (edit: apparently I don’t since I did not win my little write-off)

Which is directly at war with the whole “people I know might read this” and then again, the crazy part where my characters actually dictate how much heat they are willing to share on a page.

No seriously, I have some very private characters, they don’t want anyone reading about how they verb nouns and all of that.

Yeah, I know. I need to focus on my “brand.” The goal is to be a hot and humorous romance author, focusing more on the paranormal, but occasionally letting the normal shine through.

The Twelve Strippers of Christmas– what branding does this represent?

There are three paranormal stories, one sci-fi story, two virgins, two high school crushes, and a whole lot of feathers.

Humor, sexy, fun.

Musings from the Bread Cafe: the second installation

laptop at coffee house

I am inexplicably happy, the little book club men are back. They’ve been back several times now.

They all have the book open in front of them, and they are actively referring to passages they are discussing. They are too far away to overhear. I can only see them.

The book they are reading has an orangey- yellow cover. I know, helpful description. But they have been working on the same book for over a month.

Also, there seems to be another book group meeting. Its a bunch of ladies, I want to believe they are a romance book club. They are laughing a lot. I hope the book they are talking about is good. I wonder if they are actually talking about their book yet?

The other day there was a mother reading to her kids as they waited for their dinner to be delivered.

I’ve noticed a huge drop in how crowded it is here now that school is out.

I’m getting some good word counts in when I come here to write. I haven’t been able to come in twice a week as I had been because of changes to sports practice schedules, but that’s okay.

Last month there was some scary excitement. I heard a shuffle and the sound that a crowd makes as everyone gasps. I looked up and this woman was administering the Heimlich to a much taller person. She did not lose her cool, and managed to take care of the situation. The cops showed up and spoke with both her and the person she helped. I certainly hope the Bread Cafe people comped them some free goodies, both the hero of the day and the person who was choking. I’m glad that woman was calm and level headed. I’m glad this interlude had a happy ending.

Back to word count, and inappropriate search histories on my browser.

 

BIG NEWS

guinea-pig-1969698_1280

Happy Birthday to Me!

That’s not my big news- but it is my birthday. My big news is BIG, lots of moving parts! This post is just like an awesome birthday present to me!

Part One:
I am super excited to announce I’ve become part of the Griffyn Ink family! I’ve featured interviews here with several of their authors (Savannah Kade, D.B. Sieders, and Victoria Raschke) and now I’m one of them!

Super happy dance!

via GIPHY

Part Two:
Cover Reveal!!!
Did you see it yet?

Twelve Strippers of Christmas coming October 2017

Isn’t it awesome? It’s awesome! I’m excited!

http://lmsylvian.com/the-twelve-strip…mas-cover-reveal/

Part Three:
The Twelve Strippers of Christmas has a release date!
October 26th, it will be available in paperback and as ebook.
Pre-sale information coming soon!

It’s really happening guys! So freaking excited!

Part Four:
I’m excited to announce I will be one of the participating authors in November’s holiday release of St. Helena Vinyard Kindle World.
I will share more details as we get closer to the big event and roll out.

Each one of these announcements has me hand flapping happy!

via GIPHY

Musings from the Bread Cafe

bakery-1868925_1920

Musings from the Bread Cafe -the first.

The guy in the corner ahead of me is gesticulating frantically. It is vitally important the person across from him get his point. There is one problem, the seat is empty. I can’t decide if he is practicing a conversation re-hashing a conversation or completely whacked.

The odds are fairly high, based on how he’s dressed, that the ear away from me has a blue tooth phone accessory in it. I just can’t see it. So to me, he looks a little bit crazy.

There is a rather obnoxious woman drowning out the book club I’d be more interested in eavesdropping in on. All I know is next week they’ll be back to discuss chapter two. They are behind me, so I can’t even sneak a peak at what book they are reading.

I don’t eavesdrop on purpose. After all I’m here to work, not to people watch.

I feel a little S.L.O.W. in that it took me so long to realize I could drop the kids at their weekly sporting practice and come and write. I used to take grading and crocheting to sports practice. Dragging the laptop around, not so easy: I can’t balance it on my knees and write while sitting on bleachers.

I’ve been coming to the Bread Cafe for just about six months now. I haven’t tracked word count yet, but I know I can write a good chunk while here. Mostly I track what types of scenes I’m writing. I have this theory, all writers working in public should either be killing someone, hiding a body in their word count, or writing smexy. Honestly, I haven’t written or edited that many romantic interludes while here.

It’s time to refill my tea and get to work.

Bad attempt at book reviews

pexels-photo-113776

I recently attended a program on how to write a quality book review. I thought this is great, the more I get into writing and the more authors I meet and know the more I want to support them and help. This typically means read their book and leave and Amazon review.

Let’s be honest, my reviews kind of suck. I typically mention something random about the characters who—because I read romance A LOT—tend to need to either learn better communication skills, or need a clue fairy. Their do-they don’t-they relationships can make me batty, and that’s what typically comes across in a review. I might drop some spoilers, unintentionally.

What I don’t do its say this book was enjoyable because…..
I realized I only mention pacing when I admit to binge reading.

(have you noticed something yet?) I…I…I…I…

…and reviews aren’t supposed to be about me, but about the book.

When reviewing a book, it always comes down to my interaction with the story.

Ok, so the decision has been made: learn how to properly write a review and start adding book reviews to the blog.

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 4.21.51 PM

Hahahahahahahahahahah

WRONG

I honestly tried, really I did. But I fail so hard at pulling how I interacted with the book out of the process.

The plan was to run a practice review on one of two series I’ve been rereading lately.

So I’m thinking in my brain how I’m going to pull this off as I’m listening to the stories (I love audio books BTW), and I hit a wall. The character mentions not liking redheads. I take a personal affront to this. He mentions the Aventine District and Palatine Hill and I start thinking if these books influenced my subconscious over the Legantum characters and such. Ooh I really need to do more Rome research.

BAM I’m in the middle of it again.

And since I have no intention of turning this into a review site, I have learned that me composing quality reviews is probably not gonna happen.

But here go my reviews (cause I had this slot scheduled for book reviews):

The Didius Falco mysteries by Lindsey Davis

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 4.17.47 PM

The interactions between Marcus and Helena are delightful. The pacing of the books keep me interested. I can’t believe there are 20 books in this series already. I need to reread them all. Hey, I didn’t know Marsha was a Roman name.

If you aren’t familiar with these books, they are mysteries with a romantic element. They take place in ancient Rome and are a blast. Davis provides enough detail for you to get a real sense of life in the ancient Roman Empire–not so much that you feel the need to bathe immediately, but enough for you to realize modern TP and non-lead pipes are wonderful inventions.

https://www.amazon.com/Marcus-Didius-Falco-Books-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00URVJCZ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492809363&sr=8-1&keywords=marcus+didius+falco+mystery+series


 

The Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 4.17.59 PM

Yeah, Charles is yum, but damn Anna can put up with some serious shit. Only Patricia Briggs can make such a stoic scary man be so hot. I swear without Anna, Charles would just be pretty to look at and dangerous to touch, and a complete jackass to be around. I forgot once I got James McAvoy in my head as the model for Bran it was hard to focus on Charles as the book-boyfriend anymore.

Sigh

Werewolves, double sigh.

Oh and don’t forget to start the series with the short/novella Alpha and Omega from the On the Prowl collection!

https://www.amazon.com/Alpha-Omega-4-Books/dp/B00VZIE2KA/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1492809254&sr=8-16&keywords=alpha+and+omega+patricia+briggs


 

See I’m really no good at it.

No affiliate links or anything, I just think you should have links to the books, cause they are brilliant and you should read them.