Friday, September 2, 2022

To Review or Not To Review -- That Is The Question

This Week's Newsletter
YA Romance Whodunit
Ashleigh's YA Reads           Ashleigh's Romance Reads          Ashleigh's Whodunits

This week's newsletter contains the following features:
(Feel free to skip ahead to what you want to read)

What's new with Ashleigh?

To review or not to review -- that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler for the author to suffer
Not sharing her thoughts on a book,
Or to share her opinion with the world
And risk burning bridges.

And thus ends my attempt at parody. However, the question is real.

Last weekend, I was part of a social media discussion about authors leaving book reviews. There were actually two parts to this discussion.

It began with a discussion about whether authors should leave book reviews under their pen name or a different name. The argument was if Ashleigh leaves a bad review for John Doe's book, readers (as well as John Doe) may get the impression Ashleigh is leaving a bad review to make John Doe look bad and thus boost Ashleigh's books. While I personally would never do this, I could understand how people might get that impression, especially since I have a tendency to be very critical when I give reviews. (A side effect of being an editor and former teacher.)

My argument, of course, is that if the bad review is justified with a detailed explanation about why the reviewer feels the book was not four or five stars, then it shouldn't be seen as slander. I would hope the constructive criticism gives the author an opportunity to grow. However, others in the discussion felt it best to not review books at all, or at the very least, to do it under a different name.

The discussion then drifted to whether authors should reply to comments left on their pages. A long time ago, I participated in a Goodreads marketing seminar where, among other things, the author leading the seminar suggested that every day an author should "like" several four-star reviews and comment on several five-star reviews (on their own book). The theory was that it brought attention to the author's books in their feed and their followers would then add that book to their TBR.

I will be honest. I'm not sure how well this strategy is working for me personally, but it was something I mentioned in the discussion. Others argured that they would rather think the author doesn't read their comments and pretend the author is dead. That comments aren't for the author but other readers.

So, that brings me to this week's question. There are, of course, two parts.

If you are an author, what are your views about other authors reviewing your books? What are your thoughts about responding to reviews on your own books?

If you are a reader, what are your views about authors commenting on your reviews of their books? If comments make you uncomfortable, what about likes? Are those okay?

Feel free to email me your answers to this question, or leave a comment on this conversation on my blog.

Hartfield Chronicles

Hartford Chronicles
Season 4 of Hartfield Chronicles has arrived!

When Melinda is invited to join a new dance class, she sees this as her big break, a chance to advance her skills. Before she can accept, however, another kind of break stops her in her tracks.

Pat wants to be the supportive boyfriend, but his efforts seem to be making Melinda uncomfortable. He can’t go to his own friends for advice, because they can’t understand.

After Melinda calls for another type of break, she and Pat must examine their relationship to determine whether they are meant for each other.

Hartfield Chronicles follows the lives of Melinda, Pat, and their friends as they navigate their way through boarding school life. Each episode features two stories, one from Melinda's point of view and one from Pat's, along with an excerpt from Melinda's writing journal. New episodes are published every Friday.

Here's what you missed:

  • Episode 93: Melinda spends the day in New York City with Walter
  • Episode 94: Melinda and Walter babysit while Pat has his big interview

Want to receive email updates
when the next episode is released?

Sign up for email updates and, as a thank you, you will receive access to bonus chapters from the Hartfield Chronicles.

Want early access?

Members of the Hammerhead club receive episodes one month early.
Check out the website for more information.

Free Books

This Past Spring

This Past Spring
A sweet YA Romance

Sometimes life needs a little spring.

It’s spring break and I’m stuck cleaning up after animals at my mom’s vet clinic. Until one tiny terrier decides to make a break for it.

I’m chasing the speedy dog as she hauls it out the clinic door when I nearly run down the hottest guy I’ve ever seen. Lucky for me, he reacts quickly to my urgent situation. Now we’re both chasing the dog.

After my mystery guy catches the runaway terrier, I definitely owe him big-time. He has an idea how I can help him in exchange for keeping mum about almost losing a client’s dog: pretend to be his girlfriend at his grandparents’ upcoming fiftieth wedding anniversary party.

Fake date this hot guy? How could I say no? He needs me to be the capital-N nice girl to show off to his family. No problem there. I can be the nicest nice girl who has ever niced.

Too bad he’s actually into wild and interesting girls—things I’d never describe about myself. Too bad because I’m falling for him. Fast.

An Old Promise

An Old Promise
A clean, second chance romance short read set in an alluring Greek island

Joanna is determined to find her old love and prove she never forgot that old promise...

Joanna boards a flight to visit the Greek island of Sifnos again after twenty years.

All this time, despite the distance and her life's circumstances, she's been holding on to precious memories from an old summer love.

Now, she's determined to meet again the man she once left behind, hoping for a chance to prove she never forgot their old promise...

Roasts & RUmors

Roasts & Rumors
Red Line Coffee Mystery Prequel

Homeless man takes Jumpers Hole by storm!
Coffee meets Chaos - Firefighters find Friendships

Leathers isn't your typical vagrant. But the three firefighters who own and run the Red Line Coffee Shop aren't typical either.

Flipper loves scuba diving.

Smokey loves to race cars.

Grizz, well, she loves most anything that keeps her adrenaline pumping.

Meet them all in this prequel to the Red Line Coffee Mystery Series where chaos and confusion mix with the coffee. Follow along as their friends are attacked, blackmailed, and even murdered. They'll go over and above to find the real killers, and save their friends.

Would you like some free books in exchange for an honest review?

Tales to Review Promotion YA Reviewers Summer Gala
Clean Romance Review Romance and all its parts

Want more free books? Check out these giveaways!

Contemporary Giveaway Free Reads of all Genres for Early Fall
Sweet Romance Sweet September
September to Remember Free Thrilling Reads for Fall
Mystery & Thriller Giveaway September Romance Giveaway

Do you have Kindle Unlimited? These books are free for you!

Clean Reads You'll Love Unmissable Reads for Unlimited REaders

Other Books on Sale

Glimpses of Wilderness

Glimpses of Wilderness
Book 1 in the Glimpses Series

No nightmares about my dad’s car crashing or my sister’s tiny face vanishing in a window of red. No, not anymore. Now when I sleep I fall into an expanse of frozen wilderness, the other life I’ve lived…

The one I’ve lived with him.

Anna experiences vivid dreams from a past-life she lived in the 1800s with her husband Robert and their children in the wilderness of the Michigan Territory. Much like her own mother grieving the man and child she lost, Anna can’t simply let go of the memories that haunt her.

But when she runs into Robert in this lifetime, a whirlwind of their past lives—and deaths—rocks her modern world to the core. What will she be willing to risk to spend every lifetime with Robert?

In the twists and turns of “repeating” their lives over and over through time, Anna must sacrifice everything for a glimpse of immortal love.

Reckless Temptation

Reckless Temptation
Almost Paradise Book 2

Spring Break is the time of your life. Why not make the most of it?


Long Beach, California, was the last place I wanted to be on spring break. However, the majority rules, and now I can only hope to have a good time. At first, I'm doubtful, knowing that I'll probably end up babysitting my drunk friends while they all get laid...
Then I meet Nick. Nick is charming, handsome, and he makes me laugh.
What's the best part? He's into me.
Nevertheless ... this vacation is almost over, and this is just a fling ...


It wasn't my idea to come, but I agreed to be there for my best friend. It can't be that bad to spend a week in Long Beach, can it?
While everyone around me is hooking up, I've decided to just sit back and enjoy the show.
That is, until I see her.
Anna is the first girl I've encountered who intrigues me at every turn.
Initially, this was just supposed to be a one-night stand, but is there room for more?

**Author's note: Reckless Temptation is a BBW short story for a quick, steamy read at the beach!**


Book 1 in the Detective Ava Locke Series

After a run-in with a crazed killer in her last case, Ava wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory of how and why she got there. She is surrounded by unfamiliar faces that at one time she would have been relieved to see. With her memory gone, Ava only grows more afraid.

Her former partner had decided it was time to retire only to be replaced by a recruit, Oscar. He is given the case Ava was working on before her amnesia. Five people die, seemingly at the same time. They have no connection, other than the fact they have all seen each other at least once. Is it merely a coincidence, or is there a darker reason?

As she recovers, Ava starts to receive messages from an unknown number, bringing back memories she had hoped to forget. As she struggles to recover, Oscar is left to handle the case by himself.

Now, it is only a matter of time before another victim surfaces. It’s up to Oscar and Ava to figure out who is the mastermind behind these killings, and figure out how to deal with their own challenges.

You may also be interested in these books

Young Adult Book Sale All Genre Book Sale
Clean & Light Page Turners Discover something New
Women Authors Celebration Sale Fall in Love with a New Book
Romance a New Read Second Chance Romance
Strong Female Leads The Path Less Travelled
Why Choose Mystery & Thriller Sale
September Thrills

Join My Newsletters

Check out my books

Adjusting to a New Life A New Home Innocent Bystander Camp Piquaqua Elephant on My Chest
Mooncrossed Kayaks, Kisses & Monsters One Night in Sedona

Or visit my bookstore to purchase a signed paperback.


No comments:

Post a Comment