Saturday, June 29, 2013

Book Blitz : Shine Not Burn by Elle Casey

Today's Book Blitz on The Phantom Paragrapher is Elle Casey's new novel "Shine Not Burn".

Synopsis; Shine Not Burn - Elle Casey - July 2013

**Pre-order available on Amazon** Special 99¢ pricing for a limited time!! http://amzn.to/193ptME

IT HAPPENED IN VEGAS. I can't be held responsible. Things that happen there are supposed to stay there, right? Right? Yeeeah. Not so much. ... Andie's just days away from tying the knot, but there's just ooooone little glitch. Apparently, she's already married. Or someone with her name is married to a guy out in Oregon of all places, and the courthouse won't issue her a marriage license until it's all cleared up. Tripping her way through cow pies and country songs to meet up with a man who gets around places on horseback is her very last idea of how to have a good time, but if she's going to get married, make partner at the firm, and have two point five kids before she's thirty-five, she needs to get to the bottom of this snafu and fix it quick ... before her fiance finds out and everything she's been working toward goes up in flames.

Goodreads Link :  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17973653-shine-not-burn

-Meet the Characters
The two main characters are Andie Marks and Gavin "Mack" MacKenzie.  When the story begins Andie's in her first job after law school, living in West Palm Beach, Florida.  She's a very goal-oriented person, following a Lifeplan that she wrote when she was a lost and confused teenager detailing how she was going to live her life.  She's got everything all figured out, her entire life scripted so she can get everything she wants out of her career and future husband.  The problem is, life isn't that predictable or controllable.  Everything kind of falls apart when she goes to Las Vegas with her two best friends and she meets Mack.

Mack is a cowboy living on a ranch in Baker City, Oregon.  He's the cool, quiet type, with the typical cowboy look: jeans, belt buckle, boots, cowboy hat … plus all the best parts: broad shoulders, lots of muscle, and eyes as blue as the sky.  He's lived and worked on his family's ranch his whole life, as comfortable on a horse as he is on his own two feet.  He goes to Las Vegas for his brother's bachelor party and his conservative, quiet lifestyle kind of falls apart when he and meets Andie at a blackjack table.

-Handling negative reviews

Negative reviews come with the territory of being an author.  In my experience, there are few kinds of negative reviews.  The best kinds are the ones written by someone who actually read the book and just didn't like it.  They give reasons why and specific details.  I really appreciate these, because they help me improve my work.  My skills improve with every book, and part of that is due to negative feedback I've received.  I've learned a lot from my readers, the ones who have good things to say and those who weren't happy with my work.  Everyone has an opinion and they're entitled to not only have it, but to have it be different than mine and anyone else's.  I never have a problem with someone saying my book sucked for them.  There's not a single book out there that everyone has loved, except maybe Goodnight Moon.  :)

There's another kind of negative review, though, that I don't think anyone finds helpful, and those are the ones that are written by angry people as a type of personal attack.  Sometimes these things are motivated by the book's content, but many times it's something else that has set the reader off - either something they saw about the author elsewhere, an assumption they've made about an author's motivations, or a misunderstanding about the book.  My opinion is that reviews should be about the book's content.  It's okay to dislike a book and talk about that.  It's not okay to insult the author personally or attack anyone, and I think most readers would agree with that.  I understand that emotions run high, and readers get attached to characters and have very definite ideas about how they should be written … but ultimately, it's the author's choice and readers should at least respect that; the vast majority of readers do and are able to separate the work from the creator as a person.

When readers make assumptions about my work or motivations that are not correct, I comment on their review to clarify the truth.  I'm a big proponent of the whole reader experience, and commenting on my product pages on Amazon is part of that.  Most of my readers appreciate the fact that I read every single review on Amazon, good or bad, and comment on every single one.  I don't do that on Goodreads, because in my mind, Goodreads is for readers.  My book pages on Amazon are my product pages, and I am the vendor.  My buyers' experience there is something I take very seriously, and I want it to be the best it can be.  It used to be that authors lived in these ivory towers, refusing to interact with readers.  It was harder before the internet, but now there's no reason why an author shouldn't connect closely with readers who are interested in that.  I love reader interaction, so I have a big presence on Amazon, Facebook, and my website.

The last type of negative review that is really the saddest one for me to see is one written by someone who hasn't read the book.  They're sock puppet reviews, but not the kind that praise a book.  Unfortunately there are people out there who actually take valuable time out of their day to try and hurt others just because they're miserable people and don't like to see others succeeding.  I have only a couple of those on my books, luckily.  It comes with the territory, and I know the more success an author experiences, the more of those there will be.  I try to remind myself that all the greatest authors who have blockbuster, runaway best sellers have them, so I'm in good company.  This kind of thing used to bother me more than it does now.  I guess after a while you develop a thick hide or something.  That hide is not impervious, but it's better than it was for as a brand-new author.

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