Romance · Strange Brew · The Crucible · Writing

Strange Brew Video Review by Fangirl Musings





Now, if you’ll pardon me a moment …

Okay! Let me start off by giving a massive thanks to Fangirl Musings (you can subscribe to her youtube channel here) for her many kind words and making my head explode! I certainly wasn’t expecting this when she said she’d purchased Strange Brew a few months ago, but I’m definitely glad she enjoyed it enough to feel it warranted one of her spiffy, awesomesauce video reviews! (No, really, you guys have no idea how hard my mind was blown by this!).

I also wanted to take the time to comment on something she suggests because it almost feels as if she was reading my friggin’ mind! Glowing praise aside, she mentions in her critique that the romance between Troy and Aislinn didn’t actually seem entirely well developed and suggests it may be due to the 5 day time jump after their first meet up. I found this extremely intriguing because! During the process of writing Strange Brew, I’d contemplated that time jump more than once. I recall thinking specifically, “Okay, you’re kind of glossing over the period in which this couple sings, “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me!”

I’d agonized over this and tried to think of any way I might be able to add some story there that would flesh things out a little more thoroughly without bogging the rest of the book down. That time period is described as Troy and Aislinn bickering a lot because, well, he won’t leave her alone! Werewolf wants his woman and doesn’t understand what she’s going through at that point! In any case, the word count for all of my books is 100k words (typically industry standard) and as I proceeded to write the rest of the book, I reached this word limit, and also couldn’t think of much to add that wouldn’t bog the story flow down anyway. (Whenever writer’s say the story has a life of its own and takes them wherever it goes, they’re not just whistling dixie!).

So ultimately, it stayed the way it is now (though I did find amusement in the fact that Troy decided it would take two-three days tops to convince Aislinn, and then it’s like a week later). Anyway, I wanted to mention this because it’s just really weird that I had that insight and then she mentioned it in this video! GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE! <3

In any case, I'm so, so glad the book was enjoyable overall! If for no other reason, you guys should watch this because it's LOLtastic! But if you're into romance, I'd suggest subscribing to her channel because she reviews a LOT of romances that you might wanna read!

And, if this video interests you in Strange Brew, click here for more information!

Cheers! :D

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Fated Fortunes · Romance · The Crucible · Writing

Fated Fortunes – 5 Star Review

I loved everything about this book. I started reading it last night and didn’t want to put it down to sleep. Then when I started to near the last pages, I found myself trying to prolong it because I didn’t want the story to end. While I love my Isaac and he’s still my most beloved character of this series, I think the storyline in this book might be my favorite.
Dawn, Up’Til Dawn Book Blog ★★★★★ 5/5

Thank you so much for this review, Dawn! (The full review can be read on her blog!) I’m so glad to hear Fated Fortunes has turned out to be enjoyable! Somehow, this got me thinking about a particular file was going to try including in the final ebook, but didn’t get a chance to due to technical jargon I’m sure you’re all better off not hearing. But I decided to share the file here, which is a map of the areas in Ithelyon this book visits. I hope you guys enjoy! :D

Have a great holiday weekend, guys, and happy reading! :D

hm_po
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Hunter's Moon · Romance · The Crucible · Writing

Spam Ratings are “Just a Thing”

Hi guys! So, this week I was preparing for the release of my newest book, Hunter’s Moon (which got a fabulous 4 Star rating from Kelly’s Book Blog, thanks so very much Kelly! I’m so glad you liked the story! :) ) when I was hit with something rather unexpected. It wasn’t very pleasant, and some people might call me an inexperienced newb because of my reaction to it, but I wasn’t precisely thrilled.

Before I get started on what it was, however, I’d like to mention one of the universal truths of writing, which is a pretty simple truth; not everyone is going to like your book(s). You can do all of the legwork from creating a perfect cover to editing until your fingers bleed, then hiring professional editors to go through what you’ve already hacked away at until their own fingers fall off. You can give it the most intriguing title in the world, and have a plot that literally shits gold.

But not everyone is going to like it. Period.

So authors have to be prepared to receive negative feedback, and not only learn how to get the most information out of that criticism to improve their work going forward, but also to spot the difference between constructive criticism that’s helpful, and an opinion that’s not going to benefit your work (i.e., flaming and spam). This is a very important factor to keep in mind if you’re planning to publish your work considering one bad review doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, but several people tuck tail and run if they get even a hint that someone doesn’t like what they’ve written.

This is just the way things are, no one can do anything about it, and you have to learn to take the bad with the good!

I’ve always known this, and believe you me, I’ve received criticism on many occasions. A large amount of that was, in fact, flaming (it’s easy to spot a troll after you’ve dealt with them just once) and I’ve done my best to take the actual criticism to heart and implement the advice into my writing style.

So negative criticism? I think I’m equipped well enough to handle it. No one likes to hear that they didn’t succeed in their endeavors, that a story they’ve spent a large amount of time polishing until they felt it would provide the most enjoyable experience possible actually wasn’t enjoyable at all. But this doesn’t mean you’ve failed. The only way you fail is if you give up and don’t try to learn from the experience.

So, with that said, let me get back on topic of what happened. At this point, you’re probably thinking one of my books got blasted with a horrible review, right? Well, actually, that didn’t happen at all. I didn’t receive any negative commentary, nor did I hear from someone who’d recently read one of my books and wanted to tell me how horrible it was and how I should just quit. So why did I mention how author’s need a thick skin if I didn’t?

To explain that, allow me to tell you a story, and trust me, it’s a good one. Telling stories is just what I do. :P

Yesterday, December 1st, 2016, I was surfing the web and checking my messages. I hopped onto goodreads for a moment to check a friend request and in the process, I noticed that Hunter’s Moon had a single star rating. I stared at the page for a moment, confused. Hunter’s Moon wasn’t set to publish until the next day (December 2nd), so how could it have a rating? I’d sent an ARC of the book to three reviewers, people who have read and reviewed all of my older books, and for a moment, I thought that perhaps they’d already rated the book and I’d disappointed them with my sixth story.

Not so. I checked the page, and didn’t see either of those reviewers names listed, at least, not beyond a notification that they were reading the book. So where had this 1 star rating come from? I was extremely confused, and thought that maybe goodreads had glitched, and perhaps they were updating their website and what I was seeing was just inaccurate.

As it turns out, that wasn’t the case, either. Just an hour or so later, the information popped up. My unpublished book had a 1 star rating from someone I’d never heard of before. I checked their page because I was curious–how could someone read and review my book if it wasn’t published? Well, the answer was pretty obvious; they hadn’t read my book, but decided to give it a one star rating anyway.

But that’s not the only thing; they’d given all of my books a 1 star rating, and had done the same to several other stories. In fact, there were over 13 pages of books they’d bestowed with 1 star. That’s when I realized this was a spam rater who, if my unpublished book was any indication, hadn’t read the stories they were rating, they’d just given them a rating and moved on.

I was extremely unhappy about this for obvious reasons. Why would you rate a story you hadn’t read? Not only is that going to make the overall rating of the book inaccurate, but it’s just unfair. So I sent an email to goodreads regarding the matter, and had a few conversations with people about it, and in the process, I realized something very important.

I’d emailed goodreads for no reason. Spam ratings are apparently “Just a Thing” that happens, and we shouldn’t complain about it.

Or at least, that’s what many people say. Some raters on goodreads just rate books willy nilly, perhaps to get at that top rater’s spot, or even just to show how interested they might be in reading a book from the start. Then again, maybe they’re rating the cover of a book and not the contents. But whatever the reason, this is just something that happens, and like receiving negative criticism, it can’t be helped. Your best bet is to simply let it bounce off that thick skin, and move on. Eventually, other reviews will bury their rating at the back of the pages where no one will see it, and it’s likely that readers won’t pay much attention to it, anyway.

Still, I’m not satisfied. Perhaps I’m just howling at the moon, but I do find this problematic, particularly for authors who aren’t widely known and don’t actually get many ratings from the start. Unless the rules changed when I wasn’t looking, ratings are meant to say, “I’ve read this story and this is how I felt about it,” not “I just saw this story and it looks like something I would like/dislike.” After all, I wouldn’t think it would be difficult to implement a system where a reader can mark a book as “Interested” or “Not Interested” instead of just rating it based on their probability of reading it to begin with.

The biggest reason why this doesn’t settle well with me is that today’s publishing industry demands that, if authors are to be successful, in many cases their strongest tool is to have a reader rate and review their work. Amazon doesn’t promote any story unless its received 50 reviews (yep, 50), but only 10% of readers (if I’m recalling my facts correctly) actually take the time out to leave a comment on a story saying whether or not they liked it. Ratings and reviews are an essential part in helping someone decide if they’d like to read your story, or just ignore it altogether.

So no, I’m not satisfied with saying, “They were just rating it to indicate whether or not they’d be interested in reading it from the start.” But this happens frequently on goodreads, specifically with bestselling authors who have a large audience. When those authors announce a new title, fans will go and spam their new book’s page with ratings indicative of their interest in reading it, and may go back to edit that rating once the story has been released.

Again, it’s “Just a Thing.” Put on your adult pants and move on.

It seems where Amazon is potentially too strict with their review policies (i.e., removing reviews for “knowing the author which makes it biased”), goodreads is much too lenient, meaning neither site is going to give you an accurate idea of a book’s reception in all cases, nor are they going to do anything about their policies. I do believe some policies need to be in place, particularly regarding whether or not you’ve actually read the book you’re rating, but I really can’t see why some things would be left as is when there are some very obvious ways to fix it. Then again, I guess those solutions would cost money they don’t want to spend.

Please feel free to leave a comment! Do you think these review policies are too lenient? Too strict?

Cheers! :D

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Hunter's Moon · Light of Dawn · The Crucible · Writing

New Review: Light of Dawn@The Romance Reviews (5 Stars!)

I really don’t even know what to say about this.

I highly recommend The Crucible series to those who love their paranormal romances with a good balance of action and adventure too. […] The author has truly built a great series that offers a fun adventure for those who love the paranormal.
LiaL, The Romance Reviews ★★★★★ 5/5


The Romance Review


Do you ever get to a point where it just doesn’t seem like saying “Thank you” is enough? I should raise my hand because I’m there now.

As a quick side note, I’ll be making more posts about some pending reviews in the future, but anyone who’s looking forward to Hunter’s Moon, and/or news in other areas, keep your eyes peeled, because I’m going to be making a few announcements on that in the coming days as well :D

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Blue Moon · Romance · The Crucible · Writing

New Review: Blue Moon@The Romance Reviews (4 Stars!)

I was surprised with a new review last night from Dawn @ The Romance Reviews!

This book was a fun ride […] The romance was believable and the love scenes sizzled. […] I will, no doubt, continue reading this series to see what else Angela Colsin has to offer! Four stars!
Dawn, The Romance Reviews & Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog ★★★★☆ 4/5

Read the full review on Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog!

It’s kind of crazy how something like this can totally make your day! Thanks so much Dawn, and whenever you get around to reading the other stories, I hope you find them just as entertaining! :D

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Blue Moon · Romance · The Crucible · Writing

New Review: Blue Moon @ The Romance Reviews

Blue Moon just got a new review with four stars! :D

From the review: “The author makes it so easy to connect to the characters and really makes me want to spend more time with them. I am definitely interested in reading more books by Angela Colsin.” –LiaL, The Romance Reviews

Thanks so much LiaL! I’m super glad you enjoyed it!

Learn More About The Crucible Paranormal Romance Series
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Blog Updates · Fallen Hearts · Romance · The Crucible

Reviews and Fallen Hearts Authorgraph

So, I have a new page here listing the reviews my books have gotten from bloggers, including links to their overall blogs. Definitely check them out if you have the time because you may just find your next epic read! :D

I was also amazed when I listed the stars given with the reviews. Mostly 4 & 5. Wow =| You guys have been too good to me! <3 <3 <3

Lastly, I’ve gotten another Authorgraph request, and fulfilled it with more of my sage words of wisdom. Seriously, it’s good advice!

authorgraph2

Pretty soon, I’m gonna turn into this guy:

I love A League of Their Own lmao!

Cheers! :D

Check Me Out!
The Final Calling is Available for Preorder! (Releasing June 3rd)
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Light of Dawn · Romance · The Crucible · Uncategorized

Light of Dawn- Angela Colsin

Oh wow, whatabookwants has been kind enough to give Light of Dawn a review! I’m seriously floored! Thanks so much for this and I’m really glad you enjoyed the story! The good news is it won’t be long now before more about The Final Calling is revealed LoL :D

Blue Moon · Romance · The Crucible

Blue Moon- Angela Colsin

Blue Moon just got a great review from whatabookwants.com! Thanks sooooooooo much! And yes, just to let the cat, er, wolf out of the bag, I do intend to revisit Cade’s family in the future! :)

Uncategorized

Getting Amazon Reviews: A Success Story

I’ve written earlier about my struggles to get reviewed on Amazon. I definitely wasn’t going to pay for good reviews (Unethical!) and I decided to avoid asking friends and family to rev…

Source: Getting Amazon Reviews: A Success Story