What are they saying?

Female legs and revolverLast month, a member of my local chapter of the Romance Writers of America gave a presentation on Reviews. She did a wonderful job. She showed everyone how even best-selling romance authors can have two and one star reviews. That reviewers can even hate our favorite stories. You know, the books you catch yourself re-reading on those rainy, gloomy days in an effort to cheer yourself up.

Of course, being an author, my books are up for review. The funny thing about it, like so many authors out there, I can have mostly 4 and 5 stars, but it’s the 1 and 2 stars that catch my attention. Many authors say when they read the lower stars, they look for common complaints and then try to improve from there.

Personally, I find the common complaints to be the story didn’t go the way the reviewer wanted or the character wasn’t acting like a goody two-shoe. How boring! So I say, they need to write their own books.

I like my characters to have flaws. Not just that they place their elbows on the table as they eat type of flaws. But that they have low self-esteem, or too confident, or see the world as dog-eat-dog type of existence, or they can be a number one asshole/bitch. I like to think I make my characters real. I guess that’s why I hear “gritty” in a few of my books’ reviews. I take that to mean the characters and their actions are close to real life.

Unlike real life, I do make sure the ending is happy or at the least satisfying, especially when it comes to the main two characters. And they change by the end of the book and for the better.And thinking of stars, how often have you seen a reviewer write “I give this book three and half stars,” but show only 3 stars. What? First, don’t say half if the program doesn’t allow half stars (or coffee cups, hearts, or whatever).  Three and half should always be rounded up to 4 stars. I had to get that off my chest. It drives me crazy.

Or their review will read, “I loved this book!” And then give 3 stars. What? LOVE is only worth 3? Crazy.

I wish booksellers and review sites would get rid of stars (or whatever they use) and just have reviews. Or maybe booksellers should explain their star (or whatever) system to reviewers. All of it is inconsistent.  Once again, I had to get that off my chest. We authors know we cannot make comments on reviews or we’ll be gang-banged by the reviewer community, especially the trolls. So we grin and bear it.

With all of that being said, let me show what they are saying about my latest book, Crossing The Line.  My first hockey romance book. And yes, they will only the good comments. Thankfully, the yucky ones are fewer.

Per Marcia, I found the characters interesting, more so as they were developed. The provocative plot written with an appealing voice made this an engaging read. 

Per Diane, Carla Swafford did a great job with the plot. It was clever how things played out. The story was thought-provoking and heartfelt. This is the first book that I have read by Carla Swafford. I enjoyed her writing style. I am interested in continuing to follow this series. I recommend this book to people that enjoy sports romances. 

Per B., Kitty made my heart break from the first page. She had no self confidence, worth, or esteem. Casey (Roman’s agent) was a total [skeeze] and disgusting looser. Roman had a good heart and he melted mine with his intentions and actions towards Kitty from the first day.

Per lq, Kitty, especially, showed a great deal of personal growth and changes over the course of the novel in [a] way that I found endearing.

You can find the reviews on Goodreads or/and Amazon. 

Newly Designed Website

How do you like my newly designed website? I should’ve been writing but the way my website looked after changing it about a month ago really bugged me. So I worked on it all afternoon until 2:30 a.m. in the morning. I think I finally got it right and love it. What do you think?

If you’re wondering, it’s a template provided by WordPress. They have some great offers and no they are not paying me to say that. But I believe in saying up front if I had help and I sure did.

Now for me to get back to writing. That’s what I really love. Some good news to come soon. Probably by next weekend.

New Release March 26!

Female legs and revolver

Atlanta Edge’s hottest Russian hockey star made a big mistake. Now he must find a way to apologize big time to the girl he left behind in the States.

I’ve been a puck bunny most of my life. So when Roman Volkov, up and coming hockey star with the Atlanta Edge, takes me home and treats me like a queen, I believe I’ve found the man I can love. Then one morning, I wake to the news that Roman has left me behind while he plays in Russia. His agent takes pleasure in kicking me out of Roman’s house. I don’t believe anything the sleazy man says. Roman is good to me. No way will he treat me this way. So I go in search for the truth and I discover so much more.

I’m suffocating on the third line when the season ends. So when I get a call from Russia in the middle of the night to participate in a high-profile tournament, I go for it. I’m certain a gold medal will launch me into the top line with my team back in the States. No sooner than I arrive, I call Kitty Summerville to explain why I left without waking her. She’s not answering. Has my ambition destroyed any chance of a future with her? When I return, my sexy kitten and I will have a long conversation.

Only, I want to know why is she living with my Coach, and his wife and family?

The Heroine Hero

The Heroine Hero

No. I didn’t leave out anything between heroine and hero. Lately, there has been a debate of rather or not the word heroine is outdated.

Someone on Twitter had said that comics…oops…graphic novels (or whichever term you prefer) refer to superheroes no matter the sex of the character, not superheroes and superheroines. Okay. Sounds cool right? There’s more I can say about female superheroes and some of their costumes, but that’s not really what I’m talking about here.

I understand why people are saying there shouldn’t be a difference, but I disagree with that when it comes to traditional romance novels. So you can say there are certain stories or books that it should always be okay. It’s to do with their gender, and the two are equal in their importance in the story.

My novels have a heroine and a hero. They have a man and woman who fall in love. It is just my preference to write those type of stories.

Okay now on to the heroine hero point I want to bring up. I see this happen mostly in paranormal romances. I’m sure it happens in other genres. Maybe romantic suspense. You know, a female detective with a male lead who isn’t in law enforcement.

Anyway, it’s where the female lead has all of the skills to the point she doesn’t need the male lead, and she has big time control issues. As in she wants to control everyone and everything around her. It’s most tiring to read. While the male lead is there merely so they can have sex, and the book can be called a romance. Sure, he may come in and help out, but he is really just beefcake. Kind of like how the woman is sometimes treated in other books. (Then she would be just cheesecake. Look it up. LOL!)

I prefer that the male lead possess a certain skill or object she needs (get your mind out of tFemale legs and revolverhe gutter) to defeat the evil entity. That gives him a solid reason for being there.

While I’m writing this, I’m mentally going through my published books. Do I have a heroine hero? No. I have a few heroines with control issues, and the heroes certainly have their own issues, but they have skills.

Circle of Desire has a female assassin, and she loves to use men for relief (this is where you can let your dirty mind run free), but the hero is certainly there for a reason. He kidnaps her and works on bringing her over to the good side.

Hidden Heat_Swafford

In Hidden Heat, the heroine is bossy and unafraid of the bad guys. They are like uncles to her. Men who she grew up around. So she knows the Brothers of Mayhem MC inside and out, and the hero (undercover cop) can use her knowledge to bring the bad guys down.

My heroines are not wimps, but the two above are the most gutsy.

I like to think most of my lead characters are on equal footing, but the heroine is all woman and the hero all man, and that makes the dynamics of the romance more interesting.

RT BookReviews

RT BookReviews closed it operations on May 16, 2018. It was a sad moment for many including myself. I read the magazine from the time it was actually a newspaper (1980s). At least, my dream of having a review of my book(s) done by the magazine came true. Plus my name was mentioned a few times in the magazine.

Before the website goes dark next year, here are copies of the reviews and such. Side note: The highest star rating you could get at RT was 4-1/2 stars.

By the way, my first book came out 7 years and 17 days ago.

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(Out of the Shadows was the pre-published title.  Now it’s Circle of Desire)

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You can find the video at the bottom right of this website.

BLOGGERS: Book Haven Book Blog

Another romance review site. I couldn’t find a place to search for my name. So I have no idea if they reviewed my books are not. As you can tell, I’m not playing favorites. Be sure to check them out.  Here are the links below.

Website:  https://bookhavenbookblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bookhavenbookblog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ErikaBHBB

Instagram: https://twitter.com/ErikaBHBB

Blogger: Book Reader Chronicles

Here I am continuing the celebration of book reviewers, in particular, romance book reviewers.  And they don’t necessarily have to review and be part of my book tours as in this case. I just want readers to be aware of the different choices they have to check out new or old releases.

Here’s Book Reader Chronicles’s links.

Website:  http://bookreaderchronicles.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bookreaderchronicles/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BookReaderChron

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/brcbookblog/

Be sure to look at older posts here with other blogger information.

BLOGGERS: Joyfully Reviewed

1kansas cityI had the pleasure meeting Joy and Melissa at the RT Book Lovers Convention in Kansas City (2013) at the Avon event I was part of with my Circle series. Nice ladies indeed.

Be sure to check out the website. Link below.

http://www.joyfullyreviewed.net/

And their Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/JoyfullyReviewed/

See. I even like sites that do not review my books. One of my books did showed up there through a blog tour. It was just an announcement with an excerpt of Hidden Heat coming out at that time.

You Are Important For Real

So you never thought to do this, but I bet someone you know has thought about it or has tempted it or done it. So please copy and paste on your social media, everywhere.

Did you know that if you text 741741 when you are feeling depressed or suicidal, a crisis worker will text you back immediately and continue to text with you? Many people, especially younger folks, do not like talking on the phone and would be more comfortable texting. It’s a free service to ANYONE!

This text crisis line works in all states in the continental United States.

Or if you do want to talk with a human, call 800-273-8255.

So good to know for yourself, loved ones, coworkers, etc.!!! Asking for help is so brave and so worth it ❤️

#SuicideAwareness
#YouAreImportantForReal

If you are elsewhere, please insert your country’s phone numbers and website.

Want more info, check out the website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

And yes, suicide is on the rise in the USA.

Click here to see how it affected me.

BLOGGERS: SMUT BOOK JUNKIE

Here’s another review site you might want to check out. I’m a little partial to this one, not because she rated my book perfectly, she didn’t, but because I admire the woman who runs the blog. Sweet lady who loves romance books. Be sure to check her out.

Here are her links.

Website: https://smutbookjunkie.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smutbookjunkiebookreviews/

FYI – HIDDEN HEAT received a 3.5 – average -not everyone has to be totally in love with my books. Plenty of readers out there.  🙂

 

BLOGGERS: I HEART YA BOOKS

A couple weeks ago, I came across my list of book review sites/bloggers I like and decided to let my readers know about them. Kind of give back to them what they do for all authors out there. You may find a few books you have to buy.

The first site I’m pointing you to is one of my favorites. Yes. She loved my first two books in the Brothers of Mayhem series and even understood my heroine so well in HIDDEN HEAT she almost made me cry with happiness.

Side note: If you’re wondering about book three in the series. I just haven’t sent it out to be reviewed.

Here’s the link to her blog:

https://iheartyabooks.blogspot.com/

And her link to her Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/IHartYABooks/

She told me once that she likes more than just YA books. So true, considering the only thing about my books being YA is the age of the heroines and heroes. HA!

Oh, I see on her blog that she said, “I review Mature YA, New Adult and Adult Books. Romance is my heart!”

If you’re interested in the review of HIDDEN HEAT, click below.

http://iheartyabooks.blogspot.com/2016/02/newrelease-blast-review-excerpt_16.html

And here’s FULL HEAT’s review.  Click below.

http://iheartyabooks.blogspot.com/2016/07/newrelease-review-for-mc.html