First, the good news! Nessa, from NJ, won the muse from my random drawing over here. I have your snail mail addy, and she'll be on her way to you tomorrow. :)
Next, a little rant - regular readers of my blog will realize I don't do this often. ;) In fact, I can't remember any post yet, in years of blogging, where I've been even slightly negative.
As a "follower" Friday on Riding With The Top Down, I DID have a good time with the responses, some were pretty funny. But I'm disappointed too. Despite links to here, on the bottom of my post there, not ONE of the ten authors came over here to post. I don't mind if they didn't want a muse, pipe cleaner dolls aren't for everyone. But if I were an author and saw a post showcasing my most recent book released, I'd comment - even if only "Hi, glad to see you bought my book!" or... "Glad you bought my friend's book, hope you enjoy it!" Then I read This Post on authors relating to readers over on Editorialass.blogspot.com and it really made me think. So I'm gonna share.
You guys have seen the little Shelfari on the left sidebar there, filled with books *points to sidebar* and you know I sometimes review books here - being a librarian, I can't help it. With these three books I bought, I had been planning on doing what Mom taught, growing up ... If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. So I wasn't going to review any of the three books that are in the pictures below. But then I realized, they won't come over here to see it anyway, so why not be honest? I'm NOT giving them a mediocre review because they didn't come visit, either. I'm just going to tell about what made ME stop reading each book.
Granted, I don't read as much straight romance as I do other genres. I read more romantic suspense, mystery, etc. The two on the left WERE probably the first Harlequin/Silhouette paperbacks that I'd bought new, not at used book sales. Ever. I thought I'd give the Suspense and Nocturne lines a try. I read all genres, and mostly, I get my books from the library, on my card. And I have a time-tested way of sorting thru the multitude of books that I see.
Every day, at morning break, I'll pick from the carts of books-waiting-to-be-shelved. The book I pick gets a ten to fifteen minute read as I drink my diet soda. I read fast, usually thru the first chapter, sometimes more. At least 20 to 30 pages. If, at the end of break, the author has caught me up in the characters and story, to where I want to keep reading and find out what happens, then I'll stick in a bookmark, and leave it on the break room table to read with lunch. If I'm not interested, it goes right back on the cart with the other returns and new, but not bestselling books. After my 30 minute lunch read, the book goes through another quality check ... do I put it on the cart, or leave it on the table for further reading on my afternoon break, or put it on my library card?
This gives me three categories:
Uggh. Fifteen minutes of this was enough. Not my style, and I won't recommend it either. Probably only about 10% of the books I pick up. We have good book selectors in purchasing, and it shows.
Hmmm. This is only okay. After 45 minutes of reading, I might recommend this to readers who like this genre. I may or may not finish it, on my breaks. Probably about 60% of the books I pick up and audition.
Good! The books that I didn't want to put down. Characters I care about, enough conflict to keep me interested, so I'll check it out and take it home. I read a LOT, so 30% of the books I pick up, I probably take home.
Now back to the three in the pictures below - I'm still not finished reading any of them. For books I have at home, that's very unusual. The library didn't own them, but if I HAD picked them off the cart to look at, they wouldn't have come home with me. All three are that Hmmm category. Books that are okay for others, just not for me.
Kylie Brant, Terms of Attraction: For a tough, smart, sharpshooting sniper of a female character, Ava made too many dumb decisions. I stopped reading the first time after page 63, when Ava locks her door, goes to bed, then slowwwwly, groggily wakes up to find the main male character holding her down. She gets one good slug at him till he pins her. It's her BOSS. He climbed across, from his balcony to her balcony, to get in her room.
Sorry, but - no. I put the book down. You wake me from a sound sleep by breaking into my room and climbing on top of me in my bed, then think I'd still be working for you the next day? Even if you're the sexiest thing on the planet, that kind of behavior would be a deal breaker for me. I picked it back up later. I'd bought it, I should finish the book, right? I got to page 93 when this time, she wakes from a sound sleep, but is immediately fully alert, puts on her bulletproof vest,and is running down the hall with her gun in less than ten seconds. Barefoot. In a sexy camisole.
Bah. She should be smart enough to sleep in a bit more than that, after what happened the night before, especially! And plz, girl, take half a sec. to slide your feet into some shoes as you're putting on the vest. I put the book down again, and have yet to pick it back up. Now I know that the first book in the series has just won some awards, so I might have to finish it. Maybe the ending is better?
Michele Hauf, The Highwayman: I thought I was going to like this one, a main character who shapeshifts into a cat. You ALL know I am a cat person. But the character has only shifted a few times so far. First time is when she sees this guy who's been following her ... she becomes the cat, leaves her place by way of the cat door, walks across the street to his car, then, at his invitation, joins him inside his car and shifts back. But her clothes don't shift with her, so she's sitting there in only his coat. Why didn't she stay human, and dressed? I couldn't find any motivation for her shifting in the first place. She does do some nicely catlike behaviors, rubbing on things, curling up to sleep, hating to swim, the kitty characterization is good - but in general, the book is entirely too easy to put down, and even after two weeks, I still haven't cared to finish it. Maybe someday I will.
Lois Greiman, Unscrewed: Not sure what it is about this one I don't like either. A couple of my degrees are in counseling/psychology, so again, I thought I'd get into this, with the main character as a psychologist. But so far, she doesn't seem to really care much about the clients, she's too stupidly obsessing about this sexy cop/detective she's met in the previous book. She somehow strikes me as too old to be that dithery about her date with him, she's not in high school, after all. He knocks on the door to pick her up, instead of letting him in, saying... "Hey, c'mon in, I'm almost ready, have a seat." like a normal person, she goes all hyper. If she's a counselor/therapist, she should be a bit more together than that. So I quit reading this one too, and haven't picked it back up, instead, moving on to other books.