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Why Book Reviews Are Important To Authors by Lori Lapekes (romance author)

agtSinger’s have “The Voice.” Dancers have “So You Think You Can Dance.” Magicians, acrobats, and even people who think they are the best cuddlers in the world, have “America’s Got Talent.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 11.18.56 AMWriters have . . .

(Insert sound of crickets chirping.)

Writers, after all, are entertainers too. But we don’t have as much outlet for feedback. Certainly no instant gratification, whether clapping or perhaps even booing, to guide us in how well we are performing.

All we really have—is the reader’s review.

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 11.05.03 AMI have three books now stuck at 17 reviews, and have been stale-mated there for quite a while even after spot promotions that have sold quite a few e-books. Yet rarely does anyone write a review of any of them, good or bad, and it makes me wonder . . . why not? If I look at the big time authors on Amazon, I notice they have hundreds and thousands of reviews. Thousands! Do the authors read them all? Perhaps not, the reviews are mostly for people considering buying the book after all. Yet maybe the authors forgot the thrill of seeing each new review posted, a review possibly clutched at, read and re-read, and the overjoyed shout in the writer’s mind that cried, “My book really does exist!”

cover_martianReviews, whether good, bad, or ugly, really are a writer’s only feedback most the time. So at one point I wondered, how many reviews do I actually write myself? I read a lot. Am I part of the problem? So now I do write reviews more often, especially for smaller, lesser knows titles. I realize the author is probably going to read it as well as other potential buyers, and that gives me a feeling of kindred-spiritness. I rarely post a negative review, most of the books I don’t like I find are just not to my taste, not that they are some horrid convoluted mess. For instance, I just read Andy Weir’s “The Martian.” A blockbuster first novel now slated to be a movie.

And . . . it wasn’t for me.

I was hoping for an emotional novel of despair and the galactic loneliness one must feel being stranded alone on Mars, and how the character dealt with that. But what I found was a step by step manual of how to overcome technical problems with a lot of math, tests, and figures. That may interest, or even thrill a lot of people, and apparently this kind of MacGyver on Mars does, but me—not so much.

So I decided to look up that novel’s reviews on Amazon.

Hmm. A measly 11,808 reviews at this point. Vastly favorable.

Gulp. Beats my reviews by, oh, 11,791. (If I did the math correctly.)

word of mouthMaybe my books were bought and buried behind dozens or hundreds of other e-books stacked up on e-readers and never gotten to. Maybe the readers were just too busy, or felt too nervous to do a review. Or perhaps they found the books are just not their style. Yet I bet few realized just how powerful their review can be to the poor slob indie author trying so hard to break into an overwhelmingly crowded field to get noticed. Yet when someone does post a great review, most my author friends and I do a happy dance; it can make our day. A lousy review can ruin a day for some of us too, but any review gives us that ridiculously anticipated feedback we crave.

FOR A SHORT TIME COVERAnd we love and need feedback, just as the singers, dancers, jugglers—and even that peculiar girl on America’s Got Talent who was a super “cuddler ” do.

So when you cuddle up with a good book (instead of a smart phone,) and feel inspired, please, please consider writing that glorious, wonderful, review.

Lori Lapekes is the author of the new adult contemporary romance For A Short Time at Lachesis Publishing FOR ONLY .89 CENTS (THIS WEEK ONLY!) or on amazon, barnes and noble, and kobo.

Connect with Lori Lapekes on her web site and on facebook.

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blog post, Lachesis authors, Lachesis Blog, Lachesis Publishing Inc., NA, new adult, New Adult Romance, Sneak Peek Monday

Sneak Peek Monday: For a Short Time by Lori Lapekes (new adult contemporary romance)

FOR A SHORT TIME COVERToday’s Sneak Peek is from the contemporary romance (new adult romance) For a Short Time by Lachesis Publishing author Lori Lapekes. For a Short Time is about a young woman who goes through many changes in her life, including realizing whom she truly loves.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Keri has no idea who she really is anymore.

Raised in the Midwest, where catching frogs and shoveling manure is common practice, then spending several adult years traveling the country and hob-nobbing with celebrities and the elite, Keri returns to her roots. She now lives in her sister`s basement, wondering just who she really is anymore.

After a peculiar meeting with the Quinn cousins, Keith and Jeremy, Keri is determined to capture Keith`s attention. An actor, a tall, compelling man, elusive, even abrasive at times, Keith is particularly intriguing to a woman like Keri who is accustomed to capturing the heart of any man she`s ever wanted. Yet it was Jeremy, the humble cabinet-maker and owner of a misshapen dog named Scalawag, who leaped into a bon-fire to rescue a scrap of an old coat that had sentimental value for her.

Following two episodes with the facial disorder, Bell`s Palsy, and after Jeremy has moved out of state, possibly to run from his heartbreak over her, Keri finally realizes not only who she really is─but who she needs to become.

But is it too late . . .

EXCERPT:

“It can’t be over between us, all the signs were there for you to finally be the right one for me,” Keri insisted.

“What signs?” Keith asked.

Keri stared into his shadowy face. Clinging tatters of mist drifted across it, obliterating his eyes for one moment, his mouth the next moment. The fog was cool and clammy to the skin in the dismal mist.

“The signs,” said Keri. “You know, the signs.” But, suddenly, she couldn‘t think of a one.

He turned his back on her, and began to fade away into the mist.

“Keith, come back!” Keri said. “I‘ll remember them, I know I will. It‘ll make a difference!”

But Keith continued to shrink into the fog. Soon he was only a dark patch in the distance, then that was swept away by the wisps of lonely swirling mist.

Keri was left in silence. A silent world of emptiness and chill.

“Keith . . .” she whimpered, “come back, I need you . . .” Only silence.

Keri heard her heart beating against her chest.

“Keith.” she whispered, tears trailing down her cheeks. Her knees went weak, and she sunk into the ground. “Don‘t leave me, I need you, don‘t leave me.”

“Straighten up, Keri,” came a voice behind her.

“What—who?” Keri asked, and slowly turned around. It was clearer where he stood, almost as though the sun was ready to break through the mist that was strangely falling away from him.

Jeremy.

“Please, stand up,” Jeremy said again. Something about the tone of his voice, oddly authoritative yet gentle at the same time, made Keri gather her strength and stand.

“Come here,” Jeremy said, and held out his hand. “

Keith left me,” Keri sobbed, but found herself drawing nearer to Jeremy. He seemed spectral as she stared at his hand, his comforting hand, and it drew her closer. When she reached him, she took his hand, and he pulled her close.

A jolt of something indescribable, joy mixed with peace and an incredible calmness pulsed through her at Jeremy‘s touch. He held her hand tighter, pulled her closer, and Keri began to quiver as she found herself face to face with Jeremy, gazing into wonderful eyes radiating a calm assurance and wisdom she had never before encountered. Heat raced through her and her legs became weak.

Jeremy‘s eyes glimmered. It paralyzed her to stare into them. Those eyes seemed to search into hers, gently probing, as though trying to connect with her soul. Keri became lightheaded, intoxicated, the poison of Keith‘s rejection now drained away.

“You‘re going to be all right now,” Jeremy said, and his voice seemed to roll like thunder and yet felt like a breathy whisper at the same time. It echoed as he continued, and suddenly the fog parted and a warming blaze of sun fell across them.

“I‘ll stay with you,” said Jeremy. “You don‘t have to be afraid anymore. You can finally be yourself.”

Those words flowed through Keri in cascades of relief. Finally, finally she felt it. She couldn‘t quite grasp what it all meant, but a weight had lifted.

“Thank you, thank you, Jeremy,” Keri said, gulping in great breaths of air. “What would I do without you? You‘re the one I need, you‘re the one I was meant for all along”

At those words, Jeremy smiled. Keri‘s eyes strayed toward his lips, and lingered there. His mouth smiled, his eyes smiled, and Keri was sure his heart smiled, too.

And so did she. Keri let go of his hand, and slowly wrapped her arms around his neck. He put his arms around her shoulders and drew her tighter to him. When they fully connected, the warmth of their touch was explosive, and Keri could scarcely control herself. She closed her eyes and suddenly, tantalizingly, his lips were pressed against hers. She gasped inwardly as the warmth and movement of his kiss sent shivers down her spine and into her toes. At first Jeremy‘s kiss was sweet and gentle, but as it became more urgent, its passion leached all of the strength from Keri‘s limbs until she was practically hanging limp in his embrace.

All she could think was—how did he learn to kiss like this? Was it the way it was supposed to be when two people were genuinely . . . in love?

No—it couldn‘t be! Jeremy was just her dear friend, like a brother, really.

Yet . . .

“Aunt Keri, get up!” said a wee voice far, far away. “You promised to play opera lady with me this morning.”

“What?” Keri moaned.

There was a soft shaking on her shoulders. “Aunt Keri, Keri, get up, sleepyhead! Take the pillow off your face.”

Reality crawled back to Keri in a lazy wave. Jeremy‘s embrace vanished, and the scene dissipated into fragments as Keri awoke, reluctantly pulling herself from the dream. Only a dream.

“Jutht a minute, Kate,” Keri mumbled. “Have thum patienth.”

“What?” Katie asked. “You sound weird.”

“It‘th the pirrow on ma face,” Keri said, rising slowly as she removed the pillow. “I like ta thleep like dat.”

Keri noticed the oddity just as Katie‘s eyes bulged at her.

“What‘s wrong with your face?” Katie cried.

Keri‘s hand flew to the right side of her face, which felt heavy and numb. It seemed dragged down, contorted. She could barely see out of her right eye.

“There‘s drool coming out of your mouth, just like Rover‘s,” said Katie. “I think your pillow got too heavy! It melted your face!”

Keri tried to gasp, but her mouth would not work correctly. It seemed weights were pulling her lip down on the right side, making it lopsided.

Dear Lord . . . had she had a stroke?

She flung off her blankets, twisted to the side of her bed, and sat up. It seemed her right arm worked fine, as well as her leg. And she could think clearly. But the horrified look on her niece‘s face confirmed the frightening fact that something was drastically wrong.

If you want to read more you can purchase For A Short Time at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon, barnes and noble, and kobo.

Connect with Lori Lapekes on her web site and on facebook.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow us on twitter.

blog post, Lachesis authors, Lachesis Blog, Lachesis Publishing Inc., new adult, New Adult Romance, Q and A Tuesday

Q and A with Lori Lapekes: Round Two (New Adult contemporary romance)

FOR A SHORT TIME COVERToday we reveal more about contemporary romance (new adult) author Lori Lapekes.

Lori is the author of a new adult contemporary romance called For A Short Time.

What was your favourite book as a child and why?

Oddly, Bambi! It was an intense YA for its time, nothing like the movie cartoon. It was one of the most emotional, touching and poignant novels I’ve ever read. There is even a brilliant 3 page chapter about two frightened leaves talking about what happens when they fall, as they are the last left one the tree, and no other leaf ever comes back to tell.

Who was your favourite teacher growing up and why?

Miss Johnson, in high school. She believed in my writing and let me use a whole semester to finish a novel for my senior grade in creative writing.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Why?

Since I was about 9 or 10 years old and wrote and illustrated handmade books and plays for my sisters and neighbors.

Who in the writing/publishing world do you admire and why?

You small publishers!! You give so many authors like me a chance to “get out there,” when the “biggies” only look for biggies.

Tell us about your daily writing routine – what do you typically do every day?

It varies tremendously. I work a very intense deadline-oriented day job that often leaves me beat…(I’m writing this on my break now) and leaves little time for creativity. I have to really focus after hours to create new works from m scratch. Lately I find myself updating and polishing earlier works that have a lot of potential, or writing short stories.

What is your favourite snack or guilty pleasure food that you (may or many not 😉 indulge in when writing?

Hmmm, chocolate, always…especially silky European milk chocolate. I’m one of the few in the world, it seems, that is not a fan of dark chocolate! Gasp!

What does “writing voice” mean to you? Describe your own writing voice.

I have a constant conversation going in my mind with myself, like now, telling me what to say. The voice is pushier than my own personality, so I have to filter it! But it is me…just a little more intense.

What do you want to accomplish in the next five years in your writing career?

Freedom from a demanding day job would be awesome, or being able to enjoy working part time to supplement my writing would be a dream.

Tis the season to be jolly. What is your favourite thing to do over the holidays?

Lately, I’m getting more introspective and can get melancholy too much holiday madness. My favorite thing to do is to absorb the closeness and connection of spending time with friends and family, as life is fleeting. One of my favorite song lyrics is from Rush: Summer’s going fast, nights growing colder; children growing up, old friends growing older. Time Stand Still.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 11.03.25 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 11.03.16 AMShortbread cookies or gingerbread cookies?

Ha! Neither! If it doesn’t have a chocolate chip in it, it’s off my radar….!

Connect with Lori Lapekes on her web site and on facebook.

You can purchase Lori’s book For A Short Time at Lachesis Publishing, or amazon or at barnes and noble, and kobo.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

 

blog post, Lachesis authors, Lachesis Blog, NA, new adult, New Adult Romance, Sneak Peek Monday

Sneak Peek Monday: Her Kind of Man by Elaine Cantrell (new adult contemporary romance)

her-kind-of-man-500x724Today’s Sneak Peek is the new adult contemporary romance Her Kind of Man by Elaine Cantrell.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Is it possible she’s finally found her kind of man? Ross Williams has been in love with Kara Cochrane since they were kids, so when Kara’s fiancé Brandon Miles cheats on her with Kara’s own sister, and calls off their wedding—Ross steps in to rescue the damsel in distress. A heartbroken Kara just wants to get on with her life and hunky Ross provides her with a definite distraction—that is until she starts falling for him. Big time. But a devastating family secret threatens to destroy everything that Kara holds dear—including her relationship with Ross.

EXCERPT:

He took Kara’s hand and pulled her into his arms. “I could use a goodbye kiss.” Kara didn’t know if she wanted to kiss him or not. She liked kissing Ross, but they had only gone out a couple of times. The sound of Kelly’s voice at the top of the stairs decided the issue. Kara closed her eyes and tilted her head as his lips met hers. She forgot Kelly, the wedding dress, and her mother. In fact, she almost forgot her own name. Something about Ross made her want to hold him and never let him go. She couldn’t think straight when he held her this way.

Head spinning, Kara gasped and pulled away from him. She pushed her tousled hair back from her face and whispered, “Stop, Ross. Mama may come in.”

Ross laughed softly. “Why do you care if she sees you kiss me?”

Kara’s eyes widened as she took a step backward. “I don’t make a habit of kissing my dates in front of my mother, Ross.” To her surprise Ross smiled. “What’s so funny?”

“You are. You like kissing me, but you’re embarrassed because you like it.”

Kara knew he was right. Oh, why did everything have to be so confusing? When she and Brandon were engaged, nothing embarrassing or stressful ever happened to her! “I … it’s time for you to go home, Ross. I’m … very tired.”

Ross didn’t ask for a kiss this time; he took it. He had her back in his arms before she knew it. She couldn’t have spoken even if she hadn’t been kissing him. Ross didn’t feel like Brandon. He didn’t kiss like Brandon. The warm fuzzies she experienced with Brandon felt nothing like this. This kiss was thrilling, scary, heart pounding, and sizzling hot. Yes, Ross made her hot for him. His kisses and touch drove all but one thought from her mind, and she didn’t have to say what that was.

The kitchen door slammed in the background and broke the spell. She jumped and twisted in Ross’s arms. “Steady,” he muttered. “It’s only the door.”

That was so not fair! Ross should be the one losing his senses, not her. She pulled away from him again, this time making sure she succeeded in putting some distance between them.

“Thank you for dinner. I enjoyed it very much.” Drat! Why did her voice sound so prim and proper? Ross gave her a wicked little grin that told her he knew exactly how he’d made her feel.

Like what you’ve read? You can get Her Kind of Man right here at Lachesis Publishing.

You can also get it at amazon kindle for only 88 cents! Connect with Elaine Cantrell on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

Lachesis authors, Lachesis Blog, Lachesis Publishing Inc., new adult, New Adult Romance, Q and A Tuesday

Q and A Tuesday: Elaine Cantrell (contemporary new adult romance)

her-kind-of-manToday’s Q and A is with Lachesis Publishing author Elaine Cantrell. Elaine has written a new adult contemporary romance called Her Kind of Man.

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer and why?

Oh, I was only five years old when the writing bug bit me. My father had read a Little Golden Book to me, and I loved it so much I decided to write my own book using the same characters. My dad wrote it in pencil on notebook paper. It was a great story. It must have been because he laughed the entire time he read it. He kept it always, and after he died my stepmother gave it to me. It’s now one of my greatest treasures.

Describe your favourite place to write?

Until I get my study renovated, my favorite place to write is my recliner. My husband bought me a tiny desk whose top swings over my legs, so I sit in my recliner and write in comfort. We’re tackling the study renovation this summer, and how I do dread it!

What would I find on your desk at this very moment?

A printer and computer, two stuffed frogs holding a balloon my husband gave me for Valentine’s Day, a blue, crystal rabbit we bought at an antique store when we were in Charleston, SC, and a graduation program from my granddaughter’s college graduation.

What is your beverage of choice when you’re writing?

Water. Very cold water.

What do you love to read? 

LOL. Almost anything, but I’m not especially fond of erotica, biographies, or books where children get hurt or kidnapped.

What is some good advice you can give to an emerging writer?

Just don’t quit. Take workshops to learn what you can do to improve, and keep submitting.

What do you do after you finish a book? Do you celebrate or take a nap?

I feel sad so the nap would be the better choice. I’ve lived with my characters for months and months. I’ve gotten into their minds and endured lots of trouble with them, and now they’re gone. No, I don’t celebrate losing them, not even if I have something else ready to start.

You have written a contemporary romance for Lachesis Publishing, tell us about it? 

The book is called Her Kind of Man, and the cover is very . . . impressive. Here’s the blurb about the book, and may I say that the secret referred to in the blurb is something Kara never saw coming, something devastating.  Here’s a link to a link to a You Tube video I made for the book.

Blurb:
Is it possible she’s finally found her kind of man?

Ross Williams has been in love with Kara Cochrane since they were kids, so when Kara’s fiancé Brandon Miles cheats on her and calls off their wedding—Ross steps in to rescue the damsel in distress.

A heartbroken Kara just wants to get on with her life and hunky Ross provides her with a definite distraction—that is until she starts falling for him. Big time.

But a devastating family secret threatens to destroy everything that Kara holds dear—including her relationship with Ross.

What do you enjoy about writing romance novels?

I think that first of all, they give people hope.  Most folks are fighting some kind of battle in their lives.  Maybe they’re in a relationship that went bad, and they’ve lost the one they love.  Whether it was by divorce, death, or just walking away, it tears a huge hole in someone’s heart.  Maybe the problem is health-related.  Someone has to accept that there are now limitations placed on them.  Have you ever dealt with unemployment?  How do you feed your children with no paycheck?  My romances always have a happy ending which gives us hope that tomorrow things will be better.  We can believe that ‘this too shall pass.’

Remember what happened at the end of Gone With the Wind?  Scarlett lost Rhett and collapsed in tears, but then she decided to go home to Tara where she can think of a way to get Rhett back. Human beings are designed to hope.

I also think that romances possibly satisfy our craving for justice.  In the real world, things don’t always end happily. Children are abused, the missing teen is never found, or our possessions are stolen. In the vast majority of romances you know the bad guys are going to get what’s coming to them. My heroes and heroines sometimes face determined villains, but you can rest easy in the knowledge that the bad guys will never win.

Last, I write romance because I’m a romantic at heart.  I just adore a good love story.

You didn’t know I was going to write a book on this question, did you? LOL. I cut and pasted from an old blog post I wrote.

What are you working on next?

Right now I’m working on an unnamed women’s fiction novel and editing something else. If I get tired of editing, I write for a while, and if I get tired of writing, I edit. Works for me. If you’re curious about the novel, I’ve been sharing snippets from it every Sunday for the past few weeks, and people seem to like the book, although they’re pretty ticked off at my hero. Go to http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com and use the list of posts in the right hand column to hunt for recent Snippet Sunday and Weekend Writing Warriors posts. I’d read them in order if I were you because that way you’ll know what’s going on.
Connect with Elaine Cantrell on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow us on twitter.

Lachesis authors, Lachesis Blog, Lachesis Publishing Inc., NA, New Adult Romance, Sneak Peek Monday

Sneak Peek Monday: Her Kind of Man by Elaine Cantrell (contemporary romance – new adult)

her-kind-of-man-500x724Today’s Sneak Peek is the new adult contemporary romance Her Kind of Man by Elaine Cantrell.

What it’s about:

Is it possible she’s finally found her kind of man?

Ross Williams has been in love with Kara Cochrane since they were kids, so when Kara’s fiancé Brandon Miles cheats on her with Kara’s own sister, and calls off their wedding—Ross steps in to rescue the damsel in distress.

A heartbroken Kara just wants to get on with her life and hunky Ross provides her with a definite distraction—that is until she starts falling for him. Big time.

But a devastating family secret threatens to destroy everything that Kara holds dear—including her relationship with Ross.

EXCERPT:

Katie grabbed her arm. “Come on. We’re getting to the bottom of this.”

Kara dragged her feet as Katie towed her across the parking lot. “Katie, maybe . . .”

“What’s wrong with you?” Katie glared over her shoulder. “Hurry up!”

Kelly and Brandon were still wrapped around each other when Katie and Kara reached them.

“Kelly! ” Katie exclaimed. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Kelly jerked away from Brandon so fast she stumbled and had to grab his arm to keep her balance. Even in the parking lot’s dim light, Kara saw her sister’s face had gone scarlet as had Brandon’s.

Kara didn’t say anything. She couldn’t.

Kelly flinched as Brandon took her hand and squeezed it. “I’m sorry, Kara. We never meant for you to find out this way.”

“What were you going to do?” Katie demanded with a wave of her hand. “Leave her at the altar?”

“No,” Kelly replied. Her eyes glittered like two burning blue coals. “We planned to tell her tomorrow night. That way she’d have the weekend off to … to … to get used to things.”

Brandon looked Kara directly in the face for the first time. “I’m sorry, Kara. You have to know I never meant to hurt you, but I can’t marry you if I’m in love with your sister.”

Kara didn’t bother to answer. She didn’t know what to say anyway. How do you act, what do you do, when you catch the man you love kissing your sister? Her sister! Oh, how could she? This betrayal by one of her nearest and dearest cut to the bone.

She gritted her teeth to hold back her tears and hurled Brandon’s beautiful ring toward him and Kelly. He tried to catch it, but he missed, and the ring landed at his feet.

“Let’s go, Katie,” she said. She spun on her heel and stomped away with her head held high.

Like what you’ve read? You can get Her Kind of Man right here.

Connect with Elaine Cantrell on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow us on twitter.