Happy National Read-a-Book Day!

Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.” —Kate DiCamillo

Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.” —Jean Rhys

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” —Anna Quindlen

Keep reading. It’s one of the most marvelous adventures anyone can have.” —Lloyd Alexander

Why Some Book Reviews Are Annoying #MondayBlog

Book Stack

When it comes to book reviews, authors and readers must contend with fake reviews, bought-and-paid-for-reviews, the I-didn’t-read-this-book-but-I know-I’ll-hate-it reviews, and of course, author-bashing reviews.

These taint a book’s review history and it can be difficult for the genuine reader who includes reviews in their book-purchase decisions to know what to believe.

However, the ‘review’ which annoys me the most is the response to a review, or as I call them, the review’s review… and it goes something like this.

A reader leaves this review:

It was an ‘ok’ read but not what I expected. Jill (the heroine) whined like a child for most of the story. Jack (the hero) couldn’t open his mouth without F-bombs falling out.

I have no problem with profanity or sex, but that’s all this book was. Where was the plot?

This just didn’t work for me.


And the response:

How old are you, 12? People swear, they scr*w. Grow up! Romance is different things for us all. Did you miss the part where Jack and Jill stopped scr*wing around and became a couple? Maybe you should download samples first, so your delicate sensibilities aren’t offended, and you won’t leave crappy reviews like you did hurting a book and the author.


This is a paraphrasing of an actual review—and it’s one of the nicer ones.

And it pissed me off.

The first reader is called juvenile, overly sensitive and accused of bashing because she didn’t think the book was the best piece of literature written since time began.

Who made the second reader the Review Police?

We have all been there. Someone gives a book we loved a 1-star review.

We’re like “Wait, what? Are you serious?”

Or we read the book drowning in 5-star reviews and think we were given the wrong book.

“5-stars? THIS? Really? I can’t find enough good in it to give three stars.”

But that’s how it goes, and we’re adults and understand no two people read the same book. No harm. No foul.

The review-reviewers, depending on which side of the book they’re standing, want everyone to love or hate a book… end of story.

That’s not their call, but they win quite a bit of the time.


Think about it.

How many times have you finished a book and your first thought is, “Ugh! Talk about a 2-star read.” But you either didn’t leave a review or changed it to a 3-star (and wrote ‘3.5’ at the beginning of the review) because you didn’t want to be attacked by the masses, make waves, or be singled out.

We can find a question about reviews every week on blogs, websites, Facebook, and Twitter, asking how readers rate reviews. A popular response is if three stars can’t be given, no review is left. Keep in mind that some readers (and most definitely, authors) consider a 3-star review an insult too.

So, what can you do?

Not much you can do except keep being you. Don’t let the possibility of what someone else may do or say affect YOUR review.

Good or not so good, authors need reviews. And, people who read and use reviews to make book purchases need HONEST reviews. Those could run the gamut from “I loved this book so much I want it placed in my casket when I die,” to “I wish I could unread what I just read.”

You don’t have to please the review-reviewers. You don’t even have to please the author. You simply need to know you gave the book the review you felt it deserved… in your opinion.

Because in the end, isn’t that all reviews are… personal opinions?

Keep reading and keep reviewing!

Have a great week!

East coast U.S. – stay warm!

West coast U.S. and desert states – stay cool!

~~ Book Tag ~~

Book Stack

The always amazing Maureen Driscoll tagged and challenged me, after being challenged by the incredible Melanie Friedman at Bookworm2Bookworm.wordpress.com.  I love these questions, especially since it National Reading Month, so I’m playing along.

What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. I will never tire of that book. It was my first non-kid book, and the subject matter truly hit home.

What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

My easily distracted mind leads me to read 3-4 books at a time. Just starting Ben Burgess, Jr’s Daddy’s Girl, half-way through Petra Durst-Benning’s The Glassblower, and finishing up M.L. Wilder’s The Vampire Mafia, and Uvi Poznanski’s The Music of Us. I highly recommend them all.

I have no clue what I’ll read next.

What book did everyone like but you hated?

50 Shades of Grey.  I can’t figure out the allure. I never saw a romance…or even a relationship. He was a bully and she was a doormat. No…just no.

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read but you probably won’t?

Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I saw the Dorothy McGuire-movie DECADES ago and loved it. I fully intended to read the book, but of the thousands of books I’ve read, I’ve never gotten around to that one… and probably won’t.

What book are you saving for retirement?

I’m not saving anything. My TBR is so big I’ve forgotten what’s on it. Any book I choose after I reach retirement age will be great… and a surprise!

Last page:  read it first or save til the end?

I love a story’s buildup and anticipation. The last page… remains the last page.

Acknowledgement:  waste of paper and ink or interesting aside?

Definitely an interesting aside!

Which book character would you switch places with?

None! Maureen already chose Rosalind, Liam Kellington’s wife in Never Deny Your Heart, book 5 of her Kellington series. So I’ll just pout!

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter – the true story of the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders committed by followers of Charles Manson. The book came out five or six years after the murders and subsequent trials. I was in my mid-teens, and even though the story scared me senseless, I couldn’t stop reading it. I started high school that fall and quickly learned the story scared most people. Just seeing the book or hearing the name ‘Manson’ created a stir.

So… I carried the book, making sure the title was visible, for most of the fall semester – then my mom got wind of it and took my book.

But it was fun while it lasted!

*Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

A retiring teacher gave me his copy of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I had absolutely no interest in Tolkien but grudgingly read it so I could tell him I did. The rest is history! I’ve wanted to move to The Shire ever since. I’m pretty sure my teacher knew what the end result would be when he gave me that book. Well played.

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

I gave every student in my niece’s first-grade class a copy of Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! for her sixth birthday so they could all read the book together. She’s eighteen now and still talks about it.

Which has been with you most places?

The Bluest Eye.

Any required reading that you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?


Used or band new?

New… always!

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope! I tried, I really tried. The DaVinci Code bored me. Even the movie bored me.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Hasn’t happened yet!

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Anything and everything written by the Barefoot Contessa – Ina Garten! (Except her pork dishes…Ew!)

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

Author A.C. Melody!

*Is there a book outside your comfort zone you ended up loving?

Tolkien’s The Hobbit. While it may not be ‘outside of my comfort zone’, it was definitely WAY outside of my interest zone. (See related * above!)

Okay, now I get to do the tagging….

A.C. Melody at https://acmelodyblog.wordpress.com

Kim from By Hook or by Book

Jordan Robinson from The Eternity Acts

Those are all terrific blogs.  Please check them out!

Last Day of the Valentine’s Book Sale and Giveaway!

Book Sale

 Looking for romance? You’ve found it!

Hurry over to Romancebooks.blog and take advantage of this great 2-day event! You’ll find books from authors like Nicole R. Locker, Kiru Taye, Kaye Carley, L.M. Halloran, Kai Tyler, and ME!

You’ll also find the genre you’re looking for – Contemporary, Erotic, Paranormal, LGBT, YA, Suspense, and Historical!

While you’re there, enter for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Do not miss out! When Sunday, February 12th ends, so does this great sale!

All books are #FREE or #99cents!