Ten Small Nuggets to Make an Author’s Day Special

When you finish reading a good book, the curtain comes down but there’s no applause for the entertainer. The author doesn’t see your smile or hear your sigh. He or she will never know you appreciate the time, effort, and imagination that created the hours of reading pleasure… Unless you say so. The best way, to express your appreciation and encourage the author, is to leave a review or reader comment at an online book stores.

It looks a little scary when you glance at the other reviewer comments and see three paragraph book reports. Lengthy reports are appreciated and treasured by the author and readers (unless they give away too much of the plot). But, two sentence comments that tell other readers what you liked about the book are like gold nuggets. A few words of encouragement make any author’s day special.

Don’t save your review comments for the best book you ever read, that’s a once in a life-time experience. Comment on the ones you enjoy. Kindle Fire makes it easy to post your review comment when you finish the book, but you still have to think of the words to write. It’s not that hard, once you get started.  Here are ten phrases you might mix and match to make your own review comment about a book you’ve read and liked:

1.  Kept me up past my bedtime

2. Romance (mystery or suspense) with twists and turns

3. Very well written

4. Loved the characters

5. Hated the villain

6. Kept my interest from start to finish

7. The characters seemed so real I thought of them as friends

8. I just couldn’t quit reading until I found out what happened next

9. My kind of book; had it all —  romance, mystery, and suspense.

10. I highly recommend this book

Let these phrases start you thinking. Write a few kind words from your reader heart, we don’t expect perfection. 🙂



Support Your Starving Authors

Encouraging words bloom like a rose and last much longer.

The time to pull a book off the shelf or download an eBook can be measured in seconds. But the thinking, plotting, researching, writing, deleting, and revising probably involved years. After investing all this time, making a bestseller list is only a dream for most authors, yet their work may bring joy to many readers. When you’re a satisfied reader, please reward the author.

A few kind words warm the author’s heart, boost her spirit, and inspire. More than that, reviews and comments draw attention to the book and sales help feed the starving author. 

I know reviews are hard to write and bring back memories of those high school book reports days. The good news is, you can leave the full-blown reviews to those who love to write them. Your reader comments are extremely valuable. So, I’m offering a quick how-to for any of you who would like to encourage, inspire, and help feed the authors you like.

Think of a one sentence answer to the questions below. Combine a few of those answers to create comments and post them on the book page of online bookstores, your Facebook page, Goodreads, or Twitter.

  •  Did you love, like, or enjoy the book?
  •  When did you get into the story? (Hooked on the first page.  Or, Ease in, getting to know the characters and becoming comfortable in the setting.)
  • Was there a character you’d like to know in person?
  • Did a character remind you of someone you know?
  • Did one character seem like you?
  • Was there a villain you wanted to strangle?
  • Did the romantic line make you feel loved?
  • Did the hero remind you of the man of your dreams?
  • Were you sorry when the story ended?
  • Do you want to read another book by this author?
  • If this book is not your kind of book, do you know someone else who would love it?

Now, take a few of your answers for inspiration and write three or four lines to show your appreciation to the author and help promote the book. Always mention the author’s name and book title.

A helpful comment might be something like this: Deanne Durrett’s [amazon_link id=”B008VTNT2S” target=”_blank” ]The Rogue Trust (Ordinary Days in Myrtle Hill)[/amazon_link] kept me reading past my bedtime. I shared Becca’s fears and suspicions and couldn’t wait to see how she worked things out. If you ever imagined becoming suddenly wealthy, this book will shed new light on your daydreams.

Your words might inspire the author and her next book might be one of the  best you’ll ever read.





Interview with Anita Higman


Anita Higman

I enjoyed  Anita Higman’s [amazon_link id=”1609366883″ target=”_blank” ]A Merry Little Christmas[/amazon_link] and I always like to know about the authors I read. Consequently, I’m a blog surfer and enjoy following some of my favorites on Facebook. I was thrilled at opportunity to interview Anita after reviewing her book. Of course, my first question is:

Q. Anita, what inspired you to write this book?

I grew up on a farm in Western Oklahoma, and I knew someday I would write about my life. This novel seemed like the right vehicle to use to share a few of those personal experiences. So, that’s how A Merry Little Christmas was born, wanting to share some of my early life with readers. Even though A Merry Little Christmas is really a love story, I felt it needed some additional conflict, and some of the racial struggles of the 60s seemed to be the right choice for this particular plot. I grew up in the 60s, and I was always interested in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. In some ways I feel I’ve waited my whole life to write this book. It came easily to me in that it’s been percolating in my imagination for a long time, but it was also hard to write because I had to consider more deeply the injustices of that era. Even though it sounds like a cliché, A Merry Little Christmas truly was the book of my heart.

 [amazon_image id=”1609366883″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]A Merry Little Christmas[/amazon_image]

 Q. The farm scenes seem pretty realistic. Did you grow up in the country?

I did. While the small towns in the book are totally fictitious I did grow up on a wheat, cattle, pig, and chicken farm in Western Oklahoma, and it was pretty much identical to the one in the novel. If the farm scenes seem realistic it’s because I got to know farm life quite well before I moved off to college at eighteen.

Q. Franny and Charlie come from very different backgrounds, but are both looking for something very different from the way they’ve grown up. Do you think as humans, we all just have a “grass is always greener on the other side” mentality?

Yes, that is a human frailty that is easy to succumb to, and I’ve been guilty of it as well. But God is good about reminding me that he’s placed me on my own unique life-road, and it may have little to do with anyone else’s journey. Besides, in many cases when we get a closer look at someone else’s “lush green grass” it usually turns out to be turf.

Q. Do you think that sometimes we don’t pray for what we want because we are afraid of getting what we pray for?

Perhaps that’s true, which would explain why Franny is equally nervous and excited about the sudden answer to her prayers.

Q. Seems like this story could be enjoyed any time of year. Was there a reason you added the themes of Christmas and music to the story?

My editor asked me to add those elements, and it was a blessing, since Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I love music. Also, female readers in general love novels that are set during the holidays, and I’m hoping the music adds a cozy feel to the overall Christmas theme.

 Q. What is your favorite Christmas song?

“The Holly and the Ivy.” The song has a melancholy feel to it, but it’s also beautifully sweet. I love the “Currier and Ives” style pictures my imagination conjures up when I’m listening to it.

Q. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

I love to have my gal friends over for brunch around Christmastime. I have been collecting tea dishes for many years, and so when I do a brunch, I go all out. Women are usually in a service mode most of their lives so when they come to my house I want them to feel wonderfully pampered. And by the time they leave, I hope their hearts are a little merrier and they feel we’ve celebrated Christmas well!

Q. Is Franny’s character based on any “real life” person?

Franny is like me in some ways, but she has a lot more courage than I have and more laughter in her heart. So, really, I want to be Franny when I grow up.

Q. Does the song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” have a special significance to you?

The song makes me swoon it’s so romantic and lovely. It makes me think of being snowed-in with the man I love. Of course, that scene also needs a mountain cabin with a crackling fire and two mugs of wassail.

Q. You have written everything from romance to suspense/thrillers to nonfiction. What is your favorite genre to write?

I love inspirational romance. There’s just nothing else like it for writing and reading. It naturally makes you want to curl up on an overstuffed couch and read the day away.

Thank you, Anita. I enjoyed our cyber chat.

A Fun Christmas Romance (Review)

I finished this book a couple of days ago and enjoyed the story from beginning to end. It reminds me of the classic City Mouse and Country Mouse story my mom told me when I was a child.

Fanny Martin wants to leave the farm she inherited and try city life. Charlie Landau wants to leave the city, and his domineering wealthy father, to try his hand at farming.

He buys her farm.

When she agrees to stay on as his employee and teach him to farm, the stage is set.

Romantic banter swirls through the pages as a love story unfolds. Anita Higman weaves romance, humor, a shared love of music, and a bushel of trouble into a fascinating tale. The Christmas backdrop makes it right for the season, but this story could be enjoyed any time of year. I highly recommend [amazon_link id=”1609366883″ target=”_blank” ]A Merry Little Christmas[/amazon_link]. It’s a good read.

(Interview with the author to follow.)


Amanda Cabot’s CHRISTMAS ROSES (a Review)

It’s a little early for me to think about Christmas but I just read a novel that has me thinking about the season and gifts and… ah… pound cake and Christmas roses and romance.

 [amazon_image id=”0800720040″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Christmas Roses[/amazon_image]

As an Amanda Cabot fan, I’ve enjoyed her last three releases. However, I’m a reader who bases expectation on past reads but judges the current book on its own merit.

CHRISTMAS ROSES is a historical romance without Cabot’s usual element of suspense. Still, this one grabbed my heart and held tight, page after page. I worried about six-month-old Emma’s cough and shared Celia’s relief when a stranger arrived who knew how to treat the croup. I felt her loneliness and longing for romance.

As her year of mourning neared its end, two men in the mining town vied for her hand in marriage. Either would offer financial security and a father for Emma. But, Celia wanted something more. Her marriage to Josef had been arranged without love or courtship. Now, she longed for romance and the kind of love she’d read about in books; but as the parson’s wife kept insisting, Emma needed a father. Still, as impossible as it seemed that winter in Montana Territory, Celia’s heart longed for a man who would give her roses for Christmas. Should she give in to the longings of her heart when she need security and her daughter needed a father?

When I read the last page and closed the book, I leaned back with a satisfied sigh. It was that good! What more can I say? Except, Amanda Cabot brought the characters in this book to life. I feel I know them, and I’ll remember them from time to time.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher with no obligation. I’m reviewing it because I enjoyed the book and want to recommend it. I think you’ll like it. A click on the cover will take you to Amazon.com.