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Reviews…Do you do them?

reviewAs an author, I ask for reviews all the time, it seems. I post kindly reminders on Facebook, I message my friends that if they have a second…, and I nag my best friends in person! Do they leave one? No. I mean what’s the big deal? Okay…so I don’t always practice what I beg. Amazon sends me endless email notifications to leave reviews, but I usually scroll right past and keep reading what store is giving a 20% discount for this day only! That’s so not right. The very thing I peddle, I neglect to do. So this morning, I’m feeling all good about myself because I left a review for our family dentist. They completely rock! And I was so proud to write all the wonderful things they mean to me. We go twice a year. Yeah, let that sink in. Five appointments…which at one time meant five kids under the age of 10. But my dentist made it feel like spa treatments. We never wait, they always stagger us, and I literally hop from one chair to the next, hearing the condition of each of my children’s teeth. It couldn’t be more painless if I, myself, had to sit in the chair  and endure the drill. No one has ever cried, bit, or left unhappy. That’s quite a feat, and exactly why I was so compelled to leave a five star review.

Now to the ugly one star I had to leave recently. A book I ordered, for a gift, which was incredibly priced over half off, arrived completely junked. I’m not so sure it wasn’t junked when it took off from the warehouse. I mean how can you pay so little for an item that originally is pricey? Yeah, well I get it now. The cover plastic was separated from each other, bowing up as if it’d sat in water the whole trip to my home, and every page was bent. It didn’t help that they shipped it in plastic equivalent to a grocery store nuisance bag. So when I reviewed it one star for condition, I promptly received an email from them, stating I was receiving a refund. They claimed they had new people working the day my book shipped out. Hmmm… Beyond the uncanny of time thing, though, how amazing is that? But I wanted the book…it was a gift. Keep the money, just send a new book. Well, I suppose it was the last damaged book they owned, so the money I got. I’m going to give the book…it’s an awesome reference material. I’ll just explain some horrific story behind the damages. Maybe the delivery guy was attacked by a pack of wolves and as he was hanging on a precipice, the book endured water damage from the nearby stream trickling past his mangled hand. Sounds better than it was the last book they could find shoved underneath a warehouse shelf, huh?

Anyway, I hope this encourages me and anyone else to leave more reviews. Not bad ones, indeed! Good ones. Ones that deserve the five stars, but it seems we’re too busy to press the button. You never know how it can boost someone’s business. I know when I shop on Amazon, it’s all about the rating. I need to give back a little more. 🙂

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My daughter and My books

cartoon girl reading a bookMy daughter has become quite an avid reader. And, in the span of a few months, her tastes have gone from middle grade to young adult. More specifically, romance young adult. So, when I showed her my picture listed as one of the writers for my publisher’s website, I got the dreaded question again, “When can I read your book?”

I don’t know, but haven’t you noticed that what used to be rated R is now the new PG-13? Kids are so exposed to the world at such an early age, I don’t think they have a shockability threshold anymore. It’s nothing to turn on the television and even during primetime, find programming better fit for late night viewing…on  a paid per view channel. It’s insane how unsettling it’s become to just watch t.v. with your children. And, don’t let the cartoon characters fool you. Those are some of the best disguised, need-be parental controlled venues of entertainment out there.

So comes the question of my 12 year old daughter asking to read my contemporary romance books. No, I don’t have explicit scenes, but there are some tense moments with a bit of detail I’d rather her not imagine I write about, let alone  ever imagine, myself. I knew the moment would come that someone who knew me would read something I wrote and think, “hmmm, interesting she’d write that.” I even thought of a pen name to write under for that very reason. In the end I decided to go forth with my name. I knew I’d write nothing that off-the-wall that I’d be embarrassed about, but still, my daughter? Maybe when she’s a few years older I’ll allow her to read one. I think between the both of us, there’s enough modesty to keep the tricky parts as something we’ll not discuss at length at the dinner table:)