At Least We Weren't on National Television

Once your work is published, brace your feet. You will be reviewed and sometimes by people whose agenda is to shock rather than inform, who want to build a following by being outrageously rude and who may or may not have even read the book. (One of my worst reviews as Emily Bryan sited a non-event that was on the back cover blurb that NEVER happened within the pages of my story. Note to reviewers: Authors often do not write the blurb and have little to say about its content! It’s all marketing.)

The finalists in Writing with the Stars get to be reviewed before they’re published. In each round a guest reviewer will weigh in on the merits of the entry. It’s actually pretty good training for what to expect once your books hit the shelves. My guest today, Mari Manning, has the right attitude about reviews and she shares them with us here.

From Mari Manning:

It must be tough to critique first paragraphs and last lines of books when there are 80,000+ unread words sandwiched between them. Based on what she had to work with, Sarah Wendell wrote entertainingly about the Writing with the Stars entries.

It reminded me of those Tuesday nights when I turned on American Idol to watch a group of young hopefuls sing their hearts out for America (as well as the four judges). With the departure of Paula, the nicest judge was Ellen. Simon, of course, was the meanest.

Which judge’s comments were the most entertaining? Simon.

Which brings me back to Writing with the Stars and Sarah Wendell. If Sarah’s comments were not always complimentary, they were entertaining, which is the point of the contest for everyone other than the contestants. And if more people read and enjoyed the October entries because of her writing, then that is a win-win for everyone. I hope they all return in November for the next round.

Rather than post an excerpt, I will offer readers a choice of three excerpts from “Daddy’s Girl.” Would you like to read “First Kiss,” “Picnic on the Beach,” or “Honeymoon”? Email me at with your choice and I will email it to you.

From Mia

 Thanks for sharing with us today, Mari. Good luck in the contest!

Mari Manning’s Brava mentor is paranormal suspense author Joan Swan. She’s a triple Golden Heart Winner whose debut Brava title FEVER will be an April 2012 release. Check out for more!

Reviewing is a delicate art and there are some terrific reviewers out there who give thoughtful, incisive recommendations or warnings about what they read. It’s a tough job, one most reviewers take very seriously. And sometimes, the tough love they give authors is a wake-up call to deal with a serious flaw in their work. For that reason alone, reviewers are important players in publishing. They encourage the best and denigrate the worst.

Who’s your go-to reviewer when you’re looking for a new author? Please share the review sites and reviewers whose taste you trust to guide your book buys. If you leave a website address, I’ll build a working link to that site.

5 thoughts on “At Least We Weren’t on National Television

  1. Margaret Tanner says:

    Hi br /I think most reviewers are genuine people with a love of reading. They do a great job in helping us authors to get to the notice of readers. Unfortunately, as in anything,there are always a few who don#39;t give praise, cosntructive criticism or anything else, they just write completely uncalled for mean and nasty comments, just because they /br /Regardsbr /br /Margaret

  2. MiaMarlowe says:

    Here#39;s Sandy#39;s link:br /a href=”” rel=”nofollow”BK Book Reviews/a

  3. Sandy says:

    I like BK Book Reviews. br /br / /br /Although, I really don#39;t make the decision to read a book from a book review.

  4. MiaMarlowe says:

    Here are Theresa#39;s links:br /a href=”” rel=”nofollow”Smart Bitches, Trashy Books/abr /a href=”” rel=”nofollow”DearAuthor/abr /a href=”” rel=”nofollow”AllAboutRomance/abr /a href=”” rel=”nofollow”RTBOOKReveiws/a br /br /At the end of the day, I#39;ll add my favs, if someone else doesn#39;t beat me to them!

  5. Theresa Romain says:

    Ha, you#39;re right about the American Idol parallel. Way to look on the bright side, Mari — more attention for the contest will, I hope, be a win all around. Best of luck!br /br /I like to read Sarah#39;s site, Smart Bitches.Trashy Books (, which has at least as much industry news as it does reviews. I also follow Dear Author ( and All About Romance ( RT Book Reviews is great for catching lots of new reviews, too ( /br /Besides these, I am a big-time lurker at other review blogs. I find most new authors through friends#39; recommendations. But when I love a book, I like to go review-hunting to see what others thought of it too.

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