Friday, September 28, 2012

Reviews— Malicious Envy or Friendly Constructive Criticism?

Last February, I got hit by an organized group of trolls. They attacked my book, Daughter of Deceit. I'm not going to go into the details because legally I can't. Not yet. You may think that the publishing houses take a long time. Just have to handle something in a legal manner and you learn that time is relative. 

In the mean time I have to endure. I have been told to place blinders on when it comes to reviews, but in honesty it has taken a part of writing away from me. The not so great reviews could be used as constructive criticism...they could be, but now I looked at them and wonder if it came from a troll. But really what can you take away from a one-star review? A one-star review says that there is nothing redeemable about the book.

Let me explain. Readers have the right to express their opinion about any book they read. When an author's work is published its fair game. Fair...remember the word. The other word to remember is malicious. When a review is done with malicious intent, it is a whole different ballgame

A while back the New York Times ran an article about writers paying for reviews. Getting good reviews is essential to sell your books especially on Amazon. My experience was just the opposite of what the New York Times was debating. I am dealing with what happens when you get an avalanche of bad reviews. This is where it gets dicey about what I can say. But I think its safe to ask—are they true, honest reviews or they done with malicious intent? Just to let everyone know what a one-star review does- it harms your potential to get Amazon to promote your work. They won't promote books lower than a 4.0 rating. 

This is where I can't get into too much detail, but what I would like for everyone to do is read my book. Today Ruse of Love is free on Amazon. It has gotten some wonderful reviews, but I just received another one star review. I don't want to be paranoid, but it seems to me the bad reviews directly correspond to how well my book is doing. Take Seductive Secrets when it wasn't free...when it was Daughter of got 25 bad reviews. 25! This is the book that received two top choice awards and yet these 25 reviewers said that you couldn't get through the book because of all the editing and spelling mistakes. 

But again, what I say is take a moment and read the book or just the beginning of it. I say this because Seductive Secrets/Daughter of Deceit is free now. I didn't have a choice in letting it go free. 


I take pride in my writing. I want to give the reader my best. An author I'm certain is not suppose to get emotional but I just can't help it. I have never...ever...done anything to anyone with malicious intent. I have tried to be the best person I can be. I know I live in a bubble world, but I like my bubble world. 

All my life, I have tried to help people. I try to be a good person so it's hard for me to deal with this vindictiveness. And I don't understand what I have done to deserve it.  

Am I so stubborn that I can't see beyond my own writing? Is my writing so bad I should stop? But then I get reviews like these

Patriot Secrets

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Patriot Secrets! I am a huge 'Gone with the Wind' fan and this story takes place during the Revolutionary War with the same social structure as the characters in 'Gone with the Wind'. Hannah Corbett is strong willed and determined to do what she can to support the cause and find out who betrayed her family. Loved how each character is brought out throughout the entire book and the historical references from the war. The end does leave room for future books and the second installment in the Winds of Betrayal series 'Ruse of Love' is almost as good as the first (telling the story of Hannah's brother, Doctor Johnathan Corbett). I eagerly look foward to future books and to read more about each character.

I thoroughly enjoyed "Patriot Secrets" by Author Jerri Hines. It is not only an intriguing and suspenseful novel, it is a history lesson as well. The main character, Hannah Corbett demonstrates the true essence of courage and determination as she goes to great lengths for the cause she so desperately believes in. She is driven by her desire for revenge and justice over the deaths of her father and brother.

There is much sadness, brutality, and death in this novel as the reader is taken on a journey through the conflict and war between the British and the Americans during the period of colonization around the time of the Declaration of Independence. The Patriots, which included Hannah Corbett and her family, suffered more than their fair share in this heroic battle. Betrayal, lost love, rape, and murder are part of their devastating experiences.

Author Jerri Hines has done her fair share of research in the writing of this novel. She has my respect and admiration in doing so. There appears to be a cliff-hanger at the end which could easily lead to a series of books which may very well be this author's intention. I have only one constructive comment to say about "Patriot Secrets" which is slightly affecting my rating. There are numerous typographical errors that do take from the pleasure of the content of this historical novel. I think it could benefit from another good proofreading or two to make this the great novel that I think it to be!


A beautifully written story about a young girl's first love, the wages of war that tear her from her safe life and compel her to be strong and to find herself. The prose is wonderfully accurate to the Revolutionary War, the descriptions of the clothing, homes, and scenery are lovely. I felt I was there! A perfect book for history buffs as well as romance lovers. Great writing, Ms. Hines!

I'll admit it, I like history so I have a tendency to read Regency romance. But, I was so intrigued with a romance set during the American Revolution that I couldn't wait to try it. After reading Ruse of Love, I can't wait to go back and read Patriot Secrets.
I loved the backdrop of the Revolution and how the author took us from the battlefields to the high society of the South. The story and mystery kept me guessing the whole time. Who was good? Who was bad? The characters were well developed and I felt for them during this chaotic time in history. The story wrapped up nicely and, since I don't want to spoil it, let's just say it was great!
If you like Kathleen Woodiwiss or are interested in the Revolution period, you will love this book!

Maybe I'm just oversensitive due to my past experience. But I do wonder about these one-star reviews and their intent. I wonder if the New York Times reporter has looked into the effect of receiving malicious reviews. 

I really hope another author doesn't have to go through what I am going through. Truly, I do. I don't wish ill on anyone. Truly, I don't. It's just I don't understand the whole situation or maybe I do understand it...and it just breaks my heart.


  1. I enjoyed daughter of deceit. Hope the ugly trolls go away. No one deserves that!!

  2. Carrie,
    Thank you for your kind words. It helps to know readers enjoy my books. The whole situation is frustrating. Thank you again.

  3. I recently read the first two books, as they're bundled on Amazon, and found I was hooked. I enjoy a good deal of steam in my historical romances and was unsure if your books would keep me engaged but was happily surprised indeed. You pour real history into your work in a way that captures the reader, even a hesitant smut seeker as myself, and holds us until the end. I went to amazon the moment I finished book 2 and browsed the review for books three only to be horrified by them. I am shamelessly rooting for Marcus and Hannah to rekindle as I love a dark and broody man. The reviews gave me pause and that is when I began googling reviews online and found this page.

    I am sure, by now, you have sought out whoever was attempting to ruin your ratings and come to a conclusion legally. I couldn't leave this page without telling you that yes, those ratings probably did hurt your chances of return readers. I know this because it most definitely gave me pause and ruffled my feathers. Secondly, you are an amazing writer and the odd 1 star ratings are out of place and outnumbered for good reason.

    The good people in this world have to hold onto their kindness because it can easily be snuffed out. We have to believe there is a higher justice and Karma.

    Now that I am in a frenzy, I must ask, is there hope for Marcus and Hannah? I have my heart set on them.
    A fan,