Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Reviews-the good, the bad, the ugly

Some days we get really good reviews and some days we don't. Sometimes we get reviews that make us wonder if the reviewer actually even read the story. And usually an author won't talk about bad reviews. We don't want to upset a reviewer. You know what, if someone doesn't like a book, that's okay. We can't all like everything. But sometimes I see things and want to respond to them. I got two reviews like that today. Reviews I want to respond to.

I want to say that I did email and thank these reviewers. They spent time reading my books and writing reviews. And since they didn't enjoy my stories it must not have been much fun. I do appreciate all feedback, even if it hurts or I don't agree with it. Below are the reviews. My comments are in italics.

I had a review from Jerr for Witchy Woes: Tamara -
Rating: 3 Stars
Heat level: S
While I learned more about the Wiccan religion in Witchy Woes: Tamara, I didn’t really like the way the story was written. I did catch a glimpse of the plot but it didn’t meet the needs of Dante and Tamara. There was little insight to the main characters’ past but I found it wasn’t necessary. (Fair enough. Since this was a novella it is shorter than a full length story, and some people like more backstory.) It comes across that Tamara knows she is dying of cancer and after watching her father grieve for her deceased mother, would never willingly put a love one in that situation. I began to wonder what kind of firefighter Dante was since he didn’t have the normal two on/three off shift as most firefighters. (I was not aware that all firefighters had to have the same schedule. My brother being an exfirefighter, and my father being ex-firepolice turned EMT, I never thought that I'd be told I didn't know what shift my hero should work. In my town firefighters are actually volunteer and only go to work when there is a call. What about the 'panama schedule'? 2 days on and then 3 off followed by 3 on and 2 off so you have every other weekend off. I also know some firefighters who work 4 days on and 4 days off and others who work 2 on and 2 off. I don't think less of the volunteers than of those who work 4 days on and 4 off. Or 2 on and 3 off. It's different depending on where you are in the world.) I didn’t notice much sexual chemistry- it was more of you were meant to be mine. The sex was not hot or spicy, but sensual. I was glad that it didn’t come across as forced given the little time Dante and Tamara have known each other. The secondary characters were described in details with the understanding their story will be told later…maybe. (No maybe. The entire series was on the coming soon schedule at WCPT as early as 2007.) While Witchy Woes: Tamara wasn’t my caramel latte, those who enjoy reading stories involving the Wiccan religion will certainly enjoy this story. (I did have a few good reviews from some people, but am well aware that not everyone is going to like my story. And that is okay. Really. I am just a little puzzled that my firefighter not meeting a specific work scheduled rated a mention in my review.)

Review for Agency: Serpent's Kiss from JERR -
Rating: 3 Stars
Heat level: H
I will say Serpent’s Kiss is very well written, so much so that it seemed too real for my tastes. (I will say thank you for that. I knew that the hero could be disturbing to some.) However, I didn’t like the characters very much. Kim seemed more a mystery until the major revelation about her comes about. John seemed to enjoy watching the snake execute his enemies just a little too much for comfort. I know that he was pretending to be a drug lieutenant working his way to the top and had to rule by fear, but he always made bets on how many minutes they’d live after the snake crawled up their legs and that just freaked me out. John also enjoyed describing exactly what was happening to the victims’ bodies as the snake killed them. This graphic carnage could be upsetting to some.  The plot is very good with many twists, turns and surprises. (Thank you :) ) A few of the sex scenes are unusual, including a sex scene in shifted form that may upset sensitive readers. (I do not recall writing any scene where they have sex where Kim is in snake form. She shifts into human form while in bed with John and they make love. She immediately reverts back to snake as he's waking and slithers off. She needs to maintain her cover. Trust me, she'd rather have stayed in bed. I hate beastality and I would not include that in my story.) Sometimes the language is a little coarse, especially when John has a disturbing a wet dream about Kim. If you enjoy realistic action and adventure, you’d probably enjoy this. (Thank you :) )

So - if any of you wanna read a story with a firefighter on an odd schedule and a snake shifter with a bad guy hero I modeled after The Master from Doctor Who, give my stories a try :)



Selena Illyria said...

Big Hugs, babes. I wanna read your stories. *Big Grin*

Michelle Hasker said...

Thanks, Se.

I personally wince when authors complain about reviewers so I hoped this didn't come across as a complaint. It was more of a rebuttal. Firefighters have different schedules in different places, and I did not write a human/snake love scene.

I did, however, write a rude hero :)

Tambra said...

I've been a fan of yours for years and eagerly pick up anything you write.
I believe someone should have looked those reviews over.


Michelle Hasker said...

Thanks, Tambra. If they hated my books, that is okay. I'm just confused why my firefighter's work schedule upset a reviewer as much as much as it did considering different places have different shifts. I know. And I'm sorry. I don't read books with sex where one partner is shifted and the other is in human form. I didn't write shifted sex in Serpent's Kiss.