Sunday, August 31, 2008

Reviews and Unreasonable Fear

He who fears something gives it power over him. ~Moorish Proverb

Yay me! Another great review for "Kitchen Matches" -- this one is a five angel one from Fallen Angels Reviews, which says in part:

From the first few paragraphs I knew I would love this story from Marianne Arkins. She weaves humor and sexual tension with ease and had Cori and Micah heating up even after the (real) flames were doused.

And this reviewer isn't the first person to say this:

I’m hoping Ms. Arkins has plans for some of Cori’s brothers; I’d really love to visit this great family again.

So... hmmm.... better put on my thinking cap. But, it's a quandary. Do I write the sequel to "One Love For Liv" (Geoff's story), or a sequel to "Kitchen Matches" (probably Zach's story... he's just begging to be brought to his knees)?

And... let the nice words being said about this story be a lesson. "Kitchen Matches" was rejected more than once before I finally sold it. Persevere!

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I think there are few things as sad as kids who are terrified of dogs. Cautious is okay... that's not a bad thing, because not all dogs are sweet (like my loopy but harmless one). But terror? We have a neighbor whose daughter is absolutely so fearful she can't function. Worse, her fear isn't just dogs... it's pretty much anything that moves. And it was passed on by her mother (also afraid of dogs) who got it from her mother (incapacitated with fear of dogs).

It's not justified... none of them were ever attacked or bitten. It just is. And it affects their ability to live. My neighbor would like to walk on a daily basis, but we (unfortunately) have some folks who are irresponsible dog owners and let their dogs roam around footloose and fancy free. These dogs aren't going to bite you, however. Annoying, yes. Vicious? Not in the least. But, unless I can walk with her, or her husband can, she stays locked in the house. As do her children.

I've seen this more than once when taking my dog to the park. I took Dakota once when was still a little fluffy puppy and there were a couple of kids who all but climbed their mothers when they saw her -- and it wasn't as though she was close.

Sad. Sad. Sad.

You don't have to love dogs, but that kind of fear is just sad. Although, fear of anything that is that incapacitating is probably not particularly healthy.

But that's a post for another day.

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I rec'd a thank you note from an author for one of my reviewers the other day. And, perhaps I'm naive but I was surprised when her compliment included words to the effect of: it's clear that your reviewer actually read the entire book, and not just the first and last chapters like so many other reviewers do.

Really? Wow. After all, the reason we can't release as many reviews as I'd like is just the sheer amount of reading time involved. All of my reviewers read the stories from cover to virtual cover.

I'm still just ... shocked (?), flabbergasted (?), surprised (?) to even think that any other reviewers would do something like that. Do they? Really? I hope not.

On a side note, I've seen on more than one author loop that authors don't know if it's appropriate to send a thank you for a review. IMHO, it's absolutely appropriate -- with one little mention of a no-no: DON'T defend your story or attempt to explain something that the reviewer didn't like.

We don't mind when you tell us we've misspelled your heroine's name or your name... but if the reviewer didn't like something, she didn't like it. Remember, reviews are just one person's opinion.

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You Are Pasta Puttanesca



Compared to most people, you have a sexy and wild personality.

So it fits that you're like a pasta popularized by street walkers!

You like food with interesting, contrasting, and spicy flavors.

You live an exciting life - and you wouldn't ever go for anything bland.



Did they just say I'm a hooker?? LOL....

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11 comments:

Alice Teh said...

Hi Marianne, I miss those reviewing days with LASR. I can't believe it too that there are reviewers who only read a few chapters and then come up with a review. That's inthinkable.

BTW, I did the pasta quiz and found that I'm a Spaghetti Bolognese:

Compared to most people, you are well grounded and down to earth.

You have old fashioned values. Your taste tends to favor what's tried and true.

You love comfort food. Familiar situations put you at ease.

You think that the best cooking comes from your family's kitchen!

JennyKat said...

"wild and sexy personality".... oh, yeah... that's you. Definitely wild. ;-)

Dru said...

I was attacked by dogs when I was younger and it took me awhile to get near dogs. I would never let my fear of dogs keep me inside though. Now I think I can judge if a dog is friendly.

Becuase of her antics, I would love to meet Dakota. We'd probably get along.

You Are Fettuccine Alfredo

Compared to most people, you have rich and decadent tastes.

If you can afford something, you'll go ahead and indulge yourself.

You are a true foodie. No food is off the table for you.

You're the type most likely to appreciate every aspect of a five star meal.


I love going to new restaurants and trying their dishes.

How's your writing going this weekend?

I like the idea of Cori's brothers having a story.

MaryF said...

What a great review! Congratulations!

MomJane said...

A great review, and you deserve it.
Love doing these things. Here is what I am:

You Are Spaghetti with Pesto

Compared to most people, you have complex tastes. You're a bit of a walking contradiction. You like a little bit of everything, even if the things you like don't go together. You aren't picky at all. You can find something to like about almost anything.
You don't judge on appearances alone. You like to experience something before you judge it.

Michele said...

**VGB**
OOoh, love your post. :-)

Yep, shock of shocks, I'm commenting.

Of course you are going to get good reviews. I've yet to read one of your stories I didn't like.

And my youngest was fanged in the face by a dog. He won't go near German Shepards anymore but will other dogs. So, his caution is a bit more balanced, with good reason.
He would love yours. LOL

And, I'm full of bologne too!
You Are Spaghetti Bolognese

Compared to most people, you are well grounded and down to earth.
You have old fashioned values. Your taste tends to favor what's tried and true.
You love comfort food. Familiar situations put you at ease.
You think that the best cooking comes from your family's kitchen!

Tee HEee

and I LOOK like I like comfort food too!
Darn.

Tori Lennox said...

Having a fear of dogs for no good reason is very sad. :( I love dogs so much!

You Are Lasagna

Compared to most people, you are open hearted and genuinely friendly.
You go out of your way to make sure everyone is comfortable and happy.
It's likely that you're a good cook, and you have a few signature crowd pleaser meals.
You enjoy entertaining and welcoming guests into your home.


Boy, did they ever drop the ball on that last sentence! LOL!

Allie Boniface said...

Congrats on that great review!!!

Brandy said...

That a fabulous review! Congratulations. There are people out there who review a book based on the first and last chapters? Ugh.

I am Spaghetti with Meatballs. *G*
"Compared to most people, you are very family focused.
You are social, but you tend to mostly socialize with those you are already close to.
You love to bond with your friends. Sharing time together is very important to you.
You are trustworthy and responsible. You like your friends knowing that they can count on you.".

Have a peaceful evening!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

A lot of food for thought today, Marianne. I can't believe I haven't gotten to Kitchen Matches yet. I'm still slogging through my course reading. It stinks.

Congrats on the great review. I agree that I can't believe reviewers would just read the first and last chapters. UGH.

groovyoldlady said...

You wild and sexy gal, you!


My girls were absolutely terrified of dogs for a while. When they were wee ones a large, exuberant collie threww his head onto my older daughter's lap for some lovies. Scared her to death. It took us 3 years to help her overcome her anxiety. But now they LOVE dogs...even big ones.

You Are Lasagna

Compared to most people, you are open hearted and genuinely friendly.
You go out of your way to make sure everyone is comfortable and happy.
It's likely that you're a good cook, and you have a few signature crowd pleaser meals.
You enjoy entertaining and welcoming guests into your home.

Yep, that's me!