Monday, July 26, 2010

How important are reviews?

I recently got a 5-heart review over at The Romance Studios for Nothing but Sex, plus a whole passel of great reviews from other sites, as well. I also got a 5-heart review on Jillian's Job at TRS. Oh, yeah...and a 5-heart review there on Her Own Set of Rules.

Some authors state that anything lower than a 4 or better rating is not worth showing or paying attention to. But doesn't anyone pay attention to the explanations of each rating on the review site? A good solid 3 or better means your book is GOOD. That it was worth reading, and the reviewer liked it. A 4 or better means your book is VERY GOOD. That the reviewer loves it. Would read it again for certain. Had trouble putting it down.

A 5 means you just walked on water, as far as the reviewer is concerned. Your book is a "must buy". Could not put it down even to go potty. Would fight a friend rather than lend it out.

But here is the catch...and pay big attention two reviewers will feel the same about your book. For instance, my debut book, Out of Her Dreams, was reviewed by one of Joyfully Reviewed's review staff. The reviewer liked it very much, but had a couple of "buts" to toss in, meaning that it had a minor flaw or two as far as the reviewer was concerned. But all in all, the reviewer loved the book.

Joyfully Reviewed does not "rate" a book. You can only tell by the last line or two of the review whether you just walked on water, or sank in the creek. So I figured maybe a 4.5 at any other review site would have matched that one. A few months later, a second reviewer from Joyfully Reviewed did another review on OOHD. And the sweet lady raved about the book. Adored it. Said such complimentary things, I actually blushed. Now that one was a solid 5.

Now, I do believe that getting a great review is fabulous, but if you don't happen to get one, that does not mean your book sucks and should be instantly burned. I have read books that the reviewers hated, and absolutely loved them. I try not to pay much attention to reviews before I read a book, because I want to go in with an open mind. So when I got some not so dazzling reviews on a couple of my short novels after that, I tried very hard not to feel bad. None of the reviews was under a 3.5, so I felt like I had written a good, solid book. However, when I got 4's on those same books, I felt vindicated. Not every one likes every book you write.

It seems funny in retrospect, because the one book that I got a 3.5 first review on was my best seller ever. The book sold over 800 copies the day it was released. Not one of my 5 rated books ever did so well on the first day. So if you place a great deal of stock in reviews, and feel bad about a review, my advice to you is "don't burn the book". Just get out there and promote it, regardless. There are folks out there who will love it!

Fran Lee

Monday, July 19, 2010

Celebration Time!

This month I have two wonderful reasons to celebrate! First, Kerrie's Quest for Passion--a medieval fantasy--is available in print. And Courting Kel--a futuristic fantasy releases July 28, 2010 in e-book. Both are available from Ellora's Cave.

Blurb: Kerrie's Quest for Passion

In Marchon’s stables the grooms claim Kerrie rode all her lovers to their early deaths. In the guardroom the knights avow she required her lovers to spear her so often their seed spilled like blood. And in the kitchens the cooks gossip Kerrie kept her lovers on the boil so long they expired from the heat.

You may have met her daughters in Passion’s Four Towers. Now meet the notorious queen herself in Kerrie’s Quest for Passion.

Blurb: Courting Kel

Abducted from her home world, Amazonian warrior Kel finds herself imprisoned on Ondrican, a sexual slave to its heir, Prince Aren. Being older than most Amazonians are when they take their first lovers, Kel is more than willing to discover pleasure in Aren’s embrace. But when he announces his taking her virginity has made them husband and wife, Kel vows to escape him and return home.

Aren has known for years that he must marry and produce a legitimate heir. He finds Kel’s untutored lovemaking a sensual delight, but her refusal to acknowledge their marriage stuns him and hurts his pride. Determined to win her warrior heart, he takes his reluctant bride to the country and weaves a spell of sensual pleasure around them both.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New covers, New Regency romanticas

Celebrating and doing the Snoopy Dance over these covers to launch my quintet of Regencies over at Resplendence Publishing!
Yes, FIVE of them!
THE STANHOPE CHALLENGE stars a family of siblings who understand the family curse will attack each of them.
The Curse?
Since Charles II took a Stanhope wife from her beloved husband and made her his mistress, no Stanhope has ever had a happy marriage.
Pity the three Stanhope brothers, their half sister...and to their shock, their bastard half-brother! Each of them can love, but none, they fear, can have a happy marriage!
You do want to come and see if they can change all that bad luck.
June 29, Lord Stanhope's Improper Proposal debuted.
Stay tuned for the date of the FREE READ about their sister, Lady Ramsey's Ribald Choices.
August 11, Lady Featherstone's Fervent Affair comes out.
November 17 sees the debut of Miss Darling's Indecent Offer and in February, The Bastard's Precious Prize.
Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Coming Soon - Submit With Me

I have a quickie coming on July 21st - Submit With Me
Here's a little taste. :0)
Rena is on a quest to get laid and she’s willing to go to any length to fulfill her need.

Marc has a thirst for a submissive. He longs to find someone he can bring to the edge of ecstasy and rein back in before an orgasm. He wants to tie, tease and torture his submissive, pushing the limits of sexual awareness.

When he offers Rena five hundred dollars to be his sub for the night, he gets more than he bargained for. This spitfire is about to show him a thing or two about submitting.
By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
An Excerpt From: SUBMIT WITH ME
Copyright © AMBER SKYZE, 2010
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Chapter One

Rena had one goal in mind—to get laid. Taking a long drag off the straw nestled in her fruity drink, she scanned the smoke-filled bar for a potential mark. Tonight she didn’t care about getting to know someone. No, tonight she only cared about filling the void in her aching pussy.
“Damn,” she cursed under her breath. Tables were full with happy couples, either enjoying drinks or dinner. Soft jazz played in the background. Normally, Rena enjoyed the lazy tempo, but not tonight. She was too busy looking for someone to fill her need. Her desire. Rena’s pussy ached to be fucked. Glancing around the haze she shook her head. Not one guy in the place looked eligible. She considered going to another bar, but decided against it. Not many bars offered rooms above them for the clients to rent by the hour. No, this was the place where she intended to find the man to make her pussy sing. Besides, the patrons were upper class and the bar had a reputation for only allowing in respectable people. Safe. That was the reason she was here and wouldn’t go any place else.
Staring into the mirror behind the bar she gave the room another scan. Still nothing. She couldn’t believe there wasn’t one man desirable enough to give her the relief she craved.
She emptied the contents of her drink. Maybe it was best if she called it a night. Obviously she wasn’t getting laid tonight.
As she stepped off the barstool Rena’s face came into contact with one broad chest. She glanced up to stare into the most exquisite blue eyes she’d ever seen.
“Leaving so soon?” his husky voice asked.
“Just going to powder my nose,” she lied.
“I didn’t think women did that any longer.”
“I’m not just any woman.” Rena winked. “I’m every man’s wish come true.” Leaving him standing there, mouth agape, she headed towards the bathroom.
He ordered her a new drink when she shimmied onto the stool.
“Thanks for the drink.” She didn’t bother to look at him, but she caught him watching her in the mirror.
“My pleasure.”
Rena couldn’t help herself, she smiled.
He was gorgeous, dressed in tight fitting denims and a painted-on black tee , muscles bulging from under the short sleeves.
“Come here often?” Lame. She hated pick-up lines, so why was she using one on him?
He laughed a hearty laugh.
“Actually the first time.”
Hmm. A first timer.
“So what brings you here tonight?”
“I’m looking for a little action.”
“What kind of action?” Maybe the same kind she was looking for? A “wham bam thank you ma’am” kinda night?
“Nothing you’d be interested in, I’m sure.”
“And what makes you so sure I’m not interested in your kind of action?” Insult dripped from her voice.
“Just a gut feeling.”
“Are you saying I’m too prim and proper for you?”
He shrugged indifferently.
“Try me, I’ll bet I surprise you.”
He shook his head no.
Are you fucking serious? He was turning her down? No fucking way. This was not the way she had planned this night. She was determined to get laid and Mister Muscles fit the bill.
“Let me guess, you’re looking to get laid—no strings attached?”
He didn’t flinch when she blurted out the statement.
Instead he stood, reached deep into his pocket and pulled out a wad of cash.
“You think you can handle my action?”
He slapped a hundred dollar bill on the bar.
“I’m offering you one hundred dollars to be my slut for the night.”
She almost choked on her drink.
“See I knew you wouldn’t be able to handle it.” He sat back down.
She laughed.
“What’s so funny?”
“That you think one hundred dollars is enough. Make it five and I’ll be Mary Fucking Poppins if you want.”