Monday, August 29, 2011

5 Stars from Joyfully Reviewed for Alien Deceptions!

Imagine my delighted surprise last week when I was surfing Amazon and discovered a new review from Joyfully Reviewed! As you all can imagine I'm doing the happy dance like nobody's business. LOL
Anyway, thought I would share since I felt like this reviewer totally got the story line and everything I was trying to convey with this story. As an author I really strive to make sure my story lines are clear, and easy to understand, so when someone obviously gets it, that really makes me happy!

Here's the review for Alien Deceptions from Joyfully Reviewed Thanks Miranda!:

Angel Whitedove had been abducted by aliens. She has been a victim continually since she was three years old. Angel differs from other abductees' because she can remember every little thing the alien's subjected her to. As a teenager, she was abducted with her family, but that time they kept her parents and returned her alone. Now, she runs across the country never staying in one place too long, fearing they are going to find her again. Along the way she helps other abduction victims any way she can.

Darek is from the planet Larindon. He has traveled to Earth to find Laren, a criminal from his planet. In his search, Darek finds more than anticipated. It seems Laren created a family on Earth, breaking their non-interference laws, an unforgivable transgression. All half-breeds are to be put to death immediately by Larindon laws. There's only one problem, Darek can't seem to bring himself to kill the stunning Angel Whitedove.

Darek decides to use Angel to find her father but in doing so finds himself drawn to Angel. Angel provokes every protective instinct in his body, and when he discovers she has been a victim of the evil aliens that terrorized his planet for years, he is determined to protect her. Angel may not be so eager to accept his help when she discovers he is also an alien. However, she may not have a choice when they are attacked. These two will go on an interplanetary journey, incite a civil war, and race to save what they hold dear.

Alien Deceptions is an exciting thrill a minute adventure. Everything is very intense; you can feel the tension in the characters. It brings the seriousness to the forefront immediately. Angel and Darek have plenty of sexual chemistry, but they also have depth. Their two worlds are so very different and everything is life and death, yet these two wade through the complications to discover something beautiful between them. Angel is such a strong character; this is one of the many things I love about her, she is determined to kick butt even though horrific things keep happening. Angel is a fighter who never gives up. Darek's struggle with the societal laws that have been bred into him since birth is palpable.

Alien Deceptions features tons of cool gadgets for the geek inside us all. Regina Paul has created an impressive world in Alien Deceptions. I loved how the story started on Earth and then shifted to Larindon. The characters were all unique and exciting. Angel and Darek's love may be the center of Alien Deceptions but the societies are mesmerizing. I hope that Ms. Paul has a sequel planned because I would love to hear more about Angel, Darek and friends.

Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Amazing Difference Between Two Reviewers...

I got a bad review for A Gift From Home today, and while that sometimes makes me feel bad, this time is of course no exception, it also just cemented something for me. I knew this of course being a reviewer myself, but this particular review kind of drove it home; Reviews are personal opinions. A bad review doesn't mean you're a terrible writer, or that you wrote a bad book, it just means that someone else had an opinion about your book that was less than stellar. Incidentally I decided I could either get mad, or I could treat the reviewer much better than she treated me and my poor book. I wrote her a thank you note and posted it on Amazon in the comments so she would be sure to see it. What I wrote is the truth, all reviews whether good or bad help me to grow as a writer. Did it hurt to read her review, sure it did, but I refuse to return the favor and treat her the same way. After all she doesn't know me, and unlike another reviewer who gave my book a stellar review she didn't get the point of the story. And that's okay.

A Gift From Home is my first f/f romance, and I'm coming to realize something else. There are some in mainstream society that seem to consider f/f romance and sexual practices as pornography. I'm relatively certain that if this story had been about a man and a woman or maybe even two men that the review would have come out completely differently. There seems to something in the mainstream psyche that says, "Oh, two girls getting it on=porn!" Never mind that said two girls are in love, never mind that there are bad guys and a mystery to be solved, there are 4 love scenes and those make the book just dirty porn according to the reviewer on Amazon, with no plot to speak of. I suspect that some of the problem stems from some men's fascination with watching two women together. Obviously something tripped in this reviewer's mind, and I hit a nerve, which makes me wonder why she purchased the book, if f/f gay sex was offensive to her.

Here's what two different reviewers say about A Gift From Home:

Kathryn Walters (Rev. K)said:

Girl gets on bus, picked up by old school friend she doesn't recognize. Friend takes her home, declares her love, asks to have "her cherry popped" and suddenly becomes a sex machine. Meanwhile mother is arranging a forced marriage of her lesbian daughter to her employers son in exchange for a half share in his business... seriously??? Poorly written, no story line, nothing more than crude sex romp with no finese - no I'm not a prude and love a good sex scene when written well and has some context - this has none of that. Don't waste your money.

Now here's what Cherokee said at Coffee Time Romance:

Melanie never felt wanted or loved growing up. Her mother used verbal abuse every chance to make Melanie feel she was inadequate in every way, until Melanie could take no more.

Loraleigh is a PI hired to locate Melanie. She had no idea the sinister plans that lay ahead for Melanie, nor the deep emotion the two women would grow to care for each other.

It has been two years since Melanie’s mother, Magnolia, practically sent her packing, never wanting her back home again. Melanie is surprised to receive a bus ticket with a note saying, I’m sorry,’ just before Thanksgiving. Reluctantly, she returns home, hoping that her mother is ready to make amends and accept her for her lifestyle. Melanie never expected to meet Loraleigh, a girl from her past. The girls immediately hit it off, but Magnolia is still determined to change Melanie and make her find love with a man instead of a woman. When Magnolia puts her plan into action, will Melanie be able to stand up to her mother this time, or has her mother finally gotten her wish?

A Gift From Home is a page-turner. Magnolia’s actions were intense and definitely portrayed her character to the hilt. I found Melanie to have a secret strength inside that was dying to come out. With Loraleigh’s help, I believe she was able to conquer the challenges set before her. Ms. Paul instills a dynamite story about finding the right love, while forging through all the obstacles that life throws in our way. With incredible compelling characters, and canvassing Melanie, with a depth of emotions, and expressions to shower every page, this story power punches. There is a tenderness to the storyline that could really reach out and grab the heart.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

See the difference? One reviewer got the point of the story, and the actual story line, and the other didn't. Like I mentioned before, it's merely a matter of personal opinion. Incidentally, I've actually bought books that have gotten bad reviews, they always make me wonder if they're as bad as the reviewer said, about 90% of the time they're not.

My main reason for posting this was that I read on another writer's blog about how upset she was that she got a bad review and I think as someone who has 14 books published it helps for another author to kind of show that it's not all bad. I wish I could remember the author, but hopefully she'll see this post.

And all you authors out there, feel free to post comments about your own experiences with reviewers.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Have You Ever Been Accused of Writing Porn?

I write erotic romance, and quite frankly I don't make any bones about the fact. I'm not ashamed of it. I don't necessarily advertise it at work, but if someone asks me, I have no problem telling them what I write.

Now that being said, I occasionally run into people, co-workers, beta-readers, and others who have accused me of just writing "porn" or "smut." Sometimes trying to explain that there is a difference between writing erotic romance which has a plot, and dialogue, as well as, relationships, and porn which usually has none of the above is difficult.

I had a difficult experience not long ago where I had sent one of my beta-readers a copy of A Gift From Home, which was my first F/F romance, so I was already nervous about how it would be received. I don't believe this person read more than a chapter or two before they wrote me saying they couldn't finish it because it was porn and just nothing but sex. Since there are only four sex scenes in an almost 100 page story, you can imagine my surprise at having it labeled, "porn." To say I was upset, and even a bit angry would be the truth. I now have a clause in my beta-reader's contract saying they must read the entire book before giving any feedback. There is also a clause saying that the reader accepts that there will be different kinds of books including ones with m/m, f/f and menage scenes, or scenarios. This is so potential beta-readers know what they are getting themselves into and so I don't have this happen again.

Have you ever been accused of writing porn? What did you do? I ended up simply responding kindly to the beta-reader but deciding that I needed to re-write my beta-reader contract. Honestly, I'm reluctant to send this person any other books, because quite frankly it stung having something I worked so hard on described this way.

I'd love to hear from other authors about how they've handled it when someone called what they write pornography.