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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Festivus for the Rest of Us?

Back in my college days when I used to wait tables to pay for school, and if I'm being completely honest, beer, I used to daydream about having one day a year I could tell my customers exactly what I thought.

When they told me the food wasn't hot enough (with steam pouring off of it), or that they found a hair in their meal after it was nearly all gone (one that looked suspiciously like their's) , that one glorious day a year, I could say, "You can totally tell that's a toupe you're wearing."

Or when they order one thing, then swear they ordered another in an obnoxiously loud, condescending tone, I could cut their tie in half with a steak knife drop it in their plate and smile. When they ask me why I did that, I could say, I thought that's what you asked me to do, oh did I get your order wrong again? 

As a nurse, this would also be a lovely holiday. Patients who rate their pain a twenty-five on a scale of one to ten, while rolling their eyes at me and laughing into their cell phones between bites of McDonald's could be shown what a twenty-five in fact would actually feel like and then be asked to please re-rate accordingly.

Why not such a day in the book world?

Most reviews I read are thoughtful, kind or at least balanced. Some, however, are downright mean. It's one thing to not like someone's book. You don't have to. I don't like all the books I read. Who does? It's entirely another to rip someone to shreds as if there were absolutely no merit to their work.

Recently, I was reading a particulary idiotic criticism of a friend's very fine book, and was tempted to review the reviewer. He had typos all over the stupid thing, used a word completely out of context and had the nerve to say something about my friend's poor word choices. Boring language, he said. You know what was boring? His review. I would have liked to have said so.

So, who's with me on starting a new national holiday of critiquing the critics? We could even petition Amazon, B&N, CBD and other online bookstores to have a five-star system to rate the review.

Obviously, I'm kidding. Unless you don't think I'm a passive-aggressive lunatic with too much time on my hands, in which case, January 14th is the day.  ;-)

Nothing deepens a stream like a good rain . . . or makes it harder to cross.

Jenny Lucas swore she’d never go home again. But life has a way of upending even the best-laid plans. Now, years after she left, she and her five-year-old daughter must return to her sleepy North Carolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. They welcome her in the form of her oxygen tank-toting grandmother, her stoic and distant father, and David, Isabella’s dad . . . who doesn’t yet know he has a daughter.

As Jenny navigates the rough and unknown waters of her new reality, the unforgettable story that unfolds is a testament to the power of love to change everything—to heal old hurts, to bring new beginnings . . . even to overcome the impossible.


  1. Oh, have I been there! And I've read some of those reviews I'd love to critique. LOL Jan 14th it is, Gina.

  2. Agree about people who write hateful reviews. I've not had any (that I know of) but I'm sad when I read them about other books that I loved.

    And as novelists, we can turn our characters loose and lets the barbs fly out of their mouths. That gives me some consolation :-)

  3. I discovered a discussion of my book online and some of the criticisms of the writing style really stung. I think it never occurred to them that I would see it, or that it was easy to think of me as not a real person because I'm an "author." I was still delighted to see people talking about it, though!

  4. Carla, get them to do a kindle free ebook promotion. Ha. Guaranteed book bashing. Of course, it's good to have people talking like Aamba said.

  5. The 14th, huh? I'm there girl! And did you like Crossing Oceans? I downloaded it and haven't read it yet. I'd love to know!

  6. Um... I'm not sure it counts Anne if I say I loved it. And it might tick off the publisher if I say I didn't :)Thanks for picking it up.

  7. I'll tell T. Anne - Crossing Oceans is awesome! You're going to LOVE it.

  8. Review the reviewer? Heck, why not? But with love and respect, right?

    "Listen, Jane, you insolent ... witch. Thanks for your review of my book, insert title here. Although I must admit to being surprised that you have the time, or frankly the ability, to read given that you are clearly either a 2-year-old or an amoeba, but I do want to point out a few inaccuracies in your otherwise fine review.

    The title of my book is not insret title hear. Nor should you describe it as "puffery of the wurst sort" (which would be a badly stuff sausage).

    While I appreciate that you're busy, would it be askng 2 much 4 u 2 rite ur "thoughts" n reg wrds? Or r u 2 dum?

    Finally, as to your concern that my book is overly Christian and "preachy" (my, I AM impressed with your original word choices): Please remember that you got insert title here free as a Kindle download. You could have, at any time, stopped reading. Last I knew they repealed the "must finish reading a free book from Amazon" law and people are no longer being executed for failing to finish.


  9. I'm with you Gina. And just posted a review of Crossing Oceans that I'm sure you won't have to frown at. :) Blessings, Marcia

  10. Ooops forgot to leave the link -



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