The importance of Reviews

http://lorilrobinett.comBefore I started writing, I never left reviews on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Goodreads. But after I started writing, I began to pay attention to how I used reviews. Not only did I want them as a writer (and, oh, how I looooooove reviews!), but I want them as a reader.

When I finish reading one book, I’m immediately ready for another. Because I have LOTS of books on my to be read list (I mark mine on Goodreads – feel free to connect with me if you want to share lists/books!), and it’s really hard to decide what to pick up next. Admittedly, part of my decision is made on the cover of the book. But the main thing I do is read reviews. I look on Amazon and Goodreads, look at the average star rating, then read a handful of reviews – from those who liked the book and those who didn’t.

Once I realized how much I used reviews, I decided to start writing them. Some reviews are really long and in-depth – a work of art in and of themselves. Some reviews are short and to the point – “I liked it.” Some are serious, some are hilarious (one of my favorites is the banana slicer – pop over & take a read). My reviews are somewhere in the middle.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Did you like the book?
  • Was the plot engaging? Did it keep your interest?
  • Did you like the characters? Are they people you’d want to have lunch with, travel with, meet at a pub . . . or would you cross the street to avoid meeting them?
  • Was the setting something you could relate to? Someplace you’re familiar with, or did it transport you to an exotic location?

If you haven’t written a review yet, go try it on one of my books. You’ll get some experience and you’ll make my day!

Denim & Diamonds

Fatal Impulse

#Relationships

http://lorilrobinett.comBooks are about relationships, right? And those relationships aren’t perfect. In my first book, Denim & Diamonds, Beth has been estranged from her father for years. Her parents divorced when she was young and she didn’t see her dad much when she was growing up. As an adult, she didn’t have to see him, so she didn’t. But after he died, she mourned the loss of that relationship. She wanted to get that feeling of home back . . . and that’s what she spent the book doing. Searching for “home.”

  • Forgive. This is easier to do when the other person leaves you a lot of $$.
  • Realize there’s more to the story. Beth finds out that both her parents had secrets.
  • Breathe. Sometimes that’s all you can do. Breathe in, breathe out.  Fresh country air is the best medicine.
  • Communicate. Be open to words from beyond the grave. Old letters can say an awful lot.
  • Give it time. Go on about your business, do your thing, live your life.
  • Move on. Literally. Beth moves to a ranch. So, it’s her daddy’s ranch . . . but the change of scenery is just what she needs.

If you want to read a light story about a woman searching for home, pick up a copy of Denim & Diamonds.

Happy Release Day! The Widows’ Gallery by Marilyn Baron

http://lorilrobinett.comToday is release day for Marilyn Baron’s new Lobster Cove Series Novel, The Widows’ Gallery. I’m happy to share the information with you today.

Curious as to what it’s about? Read on:

Childless heiress Abigail Adams Longley and three other widows bond over a Renaissance masterpiece in Florence, Italy, and find love, friendship and joy in their joint venture to open an art gallery at the Longley mansion in Lobster Cove, Maine.

Since the death of her husband, Abigail has been lonely and drifting in a house that’s too big and a town that’s too small. When she literally runs into sexy widower and whale-watching excursion captain Tack Garrity on the dock, she’s entranced by his adorable five-year-old daughter.

But will Tack, who has harbored a secret crush on Abigail for almost two decades, be able to capture her heart? A secret pact her husband made with Tack could either tear them apart or bring them closer together and change their lives forever.

And I’m delighted to share an excerpt to give you a taste of The Widows’ Gallery:

Abigail Adams Longley looked around at the three women flanking her in Hall 10/14 of the Uffizi Gallery. They were all staring at The Birth of Venus like wide-eyed art students. Admittedly, the painting was as compelling as when the Medici family originally commissioned the tempera on canvas in the fifteenth century. But for Abigail, seeing the painting again wasn’t cathartic. It was beautiful, but that wasn’t the feeling she was going for. Peace. Why couldn’t she get some goddamned peace in this life?

Abigail glanced at the square-cut, four-carat diamond on her finger, gazed at the sparkle of the ring she hadn’t removed since the day Louis had proposed. And now, a whole year after his death, she still hadn’t taken it off. Conventional wisdom dictated that you weren’t supposed to make any major life decisions until a year after a spouse’s death. Well, it had been a year already, and she hadn’t wanted to make even one decision—major or minor—about where to live, where to go, or what to do. Whoever said money can’t buy happiness had devised another dead-on axiom. She had all the money in the world—in fact Louis had left her a big chunk of the globe. He’d left her set for life, monetarily. But she would have traded every cent for the chance to be with him again. Louis was gone, and the sooner she faced the fact that she was alone on this planet, the better off she’d be.

Now . . . go get your own copy!

Amazon ebook

Amazon (Paperback)

The Wild Rose Press

AllRomanceeBooks

Barnes and Noble and other outlets: Available after Feb. 11, 2015

IMG_1172 (2)

Marilyn Baron

And now a little about the author:
Marilyn Baron is a corporate public relations consultant in Atlanta. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), recipient of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award and winner or finalist in writing awards in single title, suspense romance, novel with strong romantic elements and paranormal romance.
Marilyn writes in a variety of genres, including: Humorous women’s fiction (The Widows’ Gallery, Stones, and Significant Others; a psychic suspense series (Sixth Sense, Homecoming Homicides and the soon to be released Killer Cruise); and historical (Under the Moon Gate and the prequel, Destiny: A Bermuda Love Story) for The Wild Rose Press; and humorous paranormal short stories for TWB Press (A Choir of Angels, Follow an Angel, The Stand-In Bridegroom, Dead Mix and The Files Death Forgot).
Marilyn is a member of the Roswell Reads Steering Committee and belongs to two book clubs. A native of Miami, Florida, Marilyn now lives in Roswell, Georgia, with her husband and they have two daughters. She graduated from The University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism [Public Relations sequence] and a minor in Creative Writing.
When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, going to movies, eating Italian food and traveling. She often sets her stories in places she’s visited, including Bermuda, Australia and Italy, where she spent six months studying in Florence during her senior year in college.
Connect With The Author:
Facebook
Blog Marilyn blogs with Savvy Authors on the 22nd of every month
Twitter
Goodreads
Website

Focus on #womensfiction: Asked For by Colleen L. Donnelly

http://lorilrobinett.com

Asked For

I’m happy to have Colleen Donnelly joining me today. Colleen and I met while both writing madly to win National Novel Writing Month several years ago. She’s now one of my critique partners. Her second book was recently released by The Wild Rose Press, so I asked her to share some info with my readers. Please join me in welcoming Colleen!

Colleen, could you tell us what Asked For is about?

Cletus asked for Lana when she was barely more than a child. He told her grandmother he wanted a wife, not a bride, someone to keep his house the way he wanted it and to give him sons. He got more daughters than sons, and he also got James: “That boy,” the one Cletus claimed wasn’t his. Jim Dillon wanted Lana — he always had. He just hadn’t expected her to be taken away and married to someone else so soon. Glen Morgan recognized the beauty underlying Lana’s worn features, and he stepped in where Cletus hadn’t, offering help to her and her children. Lana grew up under Cletus’ demands, fulfilling what was expected of her — until his accusations that she’d done the unexpected and been unfaithful. Lana no longer looked at what might have been or what could be. She discovered what was most important, and she found it inside of herself.

http://lorilrobinett.com

Colleen J. Donnelly

And what about you? Who is Colleen?

Born and raised in the Midwest, Colleen is at home in that rural atmosphere but enjoys experiencing other cultures also. She works as a laboratory technician by day, but devotes her nights and weekends to literature, both reading and writing. Other hobbies include outdoor activities, treasure hunting in antique malls and flea markets, yard work, and theater.
Would you share an excerpt from Asked For?
She wore her auburn hair longer now because Cletus liked it that way, but it was pulled back out of Magdalena’s and Betsy’s reaches. And no makeup. She’d come plain, the way she always was, plain and tired.
“I probably am a sight.” Lana felt her face flush, but tried to ignore it. She wasn’t here to be told how good she looked. She was here to see Grandma, see herself and her new life against her old one and the person who’d told her how this new one was supposed to be lived.
“You look just fine, actually.” A tall shadow filled the shed’s doorway behind Grandma. “If anything, you’re a sight for sore eyes.”
“Jim…”
Jim Dillon stepped from the shed’s dark interior. He’d changed. She was shocked at what he’d become. He’d grown in three years, muscles where scrawny arms used to be, tanned skin and chiseled features where softness used to be. There was still the boy in his eyes, though, the boy who’d helped her with chores before she left to get married. The boy Grandma had said really wasn’t there to help Lana but was there because he needed the pay. A bucket half full of milk dangled from one of Jim’s hands. Grandma was right again. He was here not because Lana was but because he needed the pay.
Jim didn’t stare at her daughters, or the bulge of her stomach, or the worn dress that covered it. He just looked at her face, his eyes scanning every feature as if relearning, even admiring, who she’d become.
Where can we find Asked For?
The Wild Rose Press e-book (various formats available)
For the Kindle
Also by Colleen L. Donnelly and available from The Wild Rose Press, Inc., and RomCon Readers Crown finalist – “Mine to Tell
Thanks for stopping by, Colleen!

Virtual #BookTour: Sunshine Book Promotions

Do you like to win? Do you like free stuff? Pop on over to Sunshine Book Promotions today, read an excerpt of Denim & Diamonds and sign up for a free Amazon gift certificate! Have you gotten your free ebook? If not, go get it!!

Bonus: Throwback Thursday picture from vacation 2010 at my favorite family vacation spot.

http://lorilrobinett.com

Katelyn & me at Silver Beach

Going on Tour: Countdown to Launch #giveaway #romance

As you likely know, my book, Denim & Diamonds, recently was released. I’m going on a blog tour this next week, and one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card. Please mark your calendars, visit these sites and help me spread the word!

www.lorilrobinett.com

Book Tour August 2014

August 3rdI Heart Reading

August 3rd: Underneath The Covers

August 4th: 100 Pages A Day

August 5thI Heart Reading

August 7th: Sunshine Book Promotions

August 9th: Books and Tales

Personal Appearance at Village Books in Columbia, Missouri

August 10th: Cajun Book Lover

Living with Lupus: Laying by the Pool

http://carypress.com/denim-diamonds-by-lori-robinett/

Butterfly (symbol of lupus)

I’ve been living with lupus for many years now. That’s the reason my kiddo was born at 28 weeks. Lupus was lurking, but didn’t rear its head until I was preggers. I can’t complain (well, I can, but it doesn’t do any good . . . ) – I live a normal life and do pretty much what I want. But I’m able to do that because I take care of myself, and take the disease seriously. Part of that is keeping regular appointments with my docs. Last week was my annual exam with my regular doc, which involves doing my impression of a human pin cushion, and this week was my semi-annual exam with my rheumy.

It was good news/bad news. My vitamin D levels were low, and my white blood count was low. Not dangerously low, just enough to notice. I joked today that the prescription should be laying by the pool and napping. That should totally be a real prescription, right?!

Whether it was prescribed or not, I’m going to make time for that in the next few days. 🙂

How ’bout you? What do you do to take care of yourself?

Miniature Diamond J

When I was growing up, I always said I was going to live on a farm surrounded by animals. I wanted dogs, cats, horses, goats, cows . . . I wanted it all! I spent my summers armed with a recycled jar with nail holes in the lid, determined to catch lightning bugs, frogs, crickets and praying mantises (OK – that word has shown up twice today . . . I really need to look up the plural for that. Manti?). And I awoke each morning horrified to find the tiny dessicated carcasses of whatever creature I had caught the day before.

But I digress. Animals, whether large or small, were destined to be part of my life. When I met my husband, I was delighted to learn that he wanted to move to the country. And we did. Several years ago, we bought the 10 acres that we live on, then we bought a modular home, built a shop and built a barn. We’ve had cattle (and, oh, boy, are there some stories there. When you read Denim & Diamonds – which you will, right? – the scene where Andi helps deliver the calf is the story of our first calf), horses (tip: If someone offers to sell you a horse named “Satan’s Lady” – run.), dogs, cats, turtles, fish.

Cali, Cinnamon & Jasper

Cali, Cinnamon & Jasper

My favorite farm animals by far are our miniature horses. We bought Jasper when our kiddos were little, and gradually added to our little herd over the years. We’ve had babies and we’ve lost horses. Right now I’m sitting on the back deck watching Jasper, Cali and Cinnamon graze in the small pasture behind the barn lot. There is something so calming about the snuffling of horses, the small of fresh hay, and their soft nickers when you talk to them. Though I dreamed of having a horse ranch like the Diamond J, I’m quite happy with our little mini farm here in rural Missouri.

When you were a kid, what was your dream home?