Sunday, March 18, 2012

Reading the Reviews

What persuades you to read a book, especially a book by an author you've never read before? If the book is on a bookstore shelf (not likely for most of today’s fabulous indie books) you might have been drawn in by the cover design or the intriguing title. You pick up the book and browse through it, maybe you read the inside front jacket or the back cover for a synopsis.

With the many great books that are not on your local bookshelves but are available through online retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords, authors have a harder time catching your eye. We use blog posts, tagging, video book trailers, and online apps such as fReado; fReado allows you to “browse” through the first chapters of a book before you buy so that you can decide for yourself if it interests you.

Authors like to build the “Buzz” about our books to get our readers to notice us. Part of that “Buzz” is the almost always dreaded review. Authors pour our heart and soul into our books and we hope that our finished products will be met with loads of approval – unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Authors AND readers have to learn how to read the reviews.

First of all not everyone likes the same kind (genre) of book – do YOU have a favorite type of book to read and perhaps a type you just won’t touch willingly? That might affect a reviewer’s reaction although many professionals base their reviews on different aspects of a book (believable characters, flow, clear storyline, etc.) and not just the genre.

Sometimes even a poor review might indicate a book worthy of a read. One of my books once received only a 3 (out of 5) and the reason given was the genre and style – the reviewer was honest and said she was not attracted to romantic suspense and then compared my style to Danielle Steele! I was quite pleased and gladly accepted the 3. As an author, I appreciate reviewers’ honesty and really like it when they tell you the whys of their reaction to the book and go a step further and suggest how things might be better.

Many readers get the opportunity to post their opinions on books on sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and GoodReads. Authors and readers should read them all, the good and the bad – but both readers and authors need to keep an open mind. Many of these reviews come from serious readers and are worth considering, but be careful how much stock you put into their responses. Read the full review to judge its quality and worth, learn which ones might not be meaningful. Personally I toss out the reviews from “anonymous” sources (using cutesy “codenames”) AND are snarky without valuable CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Unfortunately many new writers are often discouraged by these reviews that seem to be plain ol’ mean.

If you are unsure how much you should rely on a particular reviewer’s word, see if they’ve written other reviews (this is usually a clickable find on the individual sites) and see what their normal style is. By all means research the book, use, see if the book has won any awards or honors, and often you can even communicate with the author (look at their website for contact info). You never know, sometimes that book that some stranger couldn’t stand might just turn out to be one of your faves.

My novel, Bartlett’s Rule, received five 5-star reviews on Amazon and was named one of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Top Ten Reads for 2009 on

Please read the reviews for Bartlett's Rule
by clicking HERE

Buy Links

Amazon (print)

Amazon (Kindle)

BarnesandNoble (print)

BarnesandNoble (NOOK)

multiple ebook formats (Smashwords)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Your next book club discussion: Bartlett's Rule

• How does Bartlett’s Rule explore the two distinct personalities of the main
• Discuss how the different personalities emerge in the beginning of the
novel. Do these personalities stay constant?
• How much do you think society’s expectations influenced Lon towards
building his reputation as a player?
• What pressures does society place on men in relationships? How different
are those pressures now in 2008 as opposed to, let’s say, the 1950’s?
• Lon admits he has to rethink his view of rape when he learns that Paige was
raped by an ex-lover and not a stranger with a weapon. Discuss different
concepts of what is rape, what is sexual abuse?
• Have a discussion about Paige’s emotional scars and the trust she felt was
betrayed. Should Paige “just get over it”? How realistic are some of her
reactions? Was Paige allowing herself to move ahead? Discuss Lon’s support of
• Hal attempts to blame people like Lon for the way he treated Paige. How
does TV/music/movies/novels affect actions and at what point is the individual
responsible for his/her own actions? For example, courtroom dramas like to
blame the influence of TV, etc. for today’s violence.
• Some TV/radio/print personalities enjoy an almost cult following and are
considered “experts” in their various fields. Discuss some of these selfproclaimed “experts”: Dr. Ruth, Oprah, Dr. Phil, Geraldo, etc. Do these ‘stars’
sensationalize rape? How so?
• How do you think you would feel if your private life, particularly romance,
was scrutinized by the paparazzi? How much does a public figure owe to the
public and fans in terms of privacy? How much does the media have the right to

buy links: Bartlett's Rule by Chelle Cordero


Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's Read an E-book Week!

It's Read an E-book Week
March 4 through March 10

From Plato, the ancient Classical Greek Philosopher through the German Gutenberg printing press and now the E-book. Fans of words have seen many changes and not all were received without some qualms... In the 1930's paperback books shook up literary fans, was it even a REAL book? In the 1970s computers were quickly proving their worth by way of storage capability. The Declaration of Independence became the world's first e-book under Project Gutenberg. Today there are more than 120-thousand free books from Project Gutenberg and their partners.
There are several available e-book formats and folks are able to enjoy many favorite genres and publications on their computers or convenient e-book readers. All of my novels are available in various (money saving) formats including Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's NOOK, as well as ALL my books in text, .pdf, Mobi (Kindle), ePub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo), Palm Doc and HTML through Smashwords.

So why don't you read one of my e-books
& let me know what you think?

Living, Breathing, Writing: A Lesson A Day
byChelle Cordero
Price: $5.99 USD. 22710 words. Published by Vanilla Heart Publishing on October 28, 2010. Nonfiction.

A complete month of lessons about the craft of writing and being a writer, from time management to social networking, organizing queries to publication, and more. In the Bonus Section of this book you’ll find more than 50 brain-starting exercises to help you get those words on paper.
Hyphema by Chelle Cordero
Price: $4.99 USD. 56270 words. Published by Vanilla Heart Publishing on April 18, 2011. Fiction.

Hyphema: Bleeding in the eye caused by trauma… Matt Garratti, a paramedic from New York, moves his wife and son to North Carolina to work at his dream job as a flight medic. Pakistani born Sudah, his wife, receives frosty stares and insensitive comments from their new neighbors... Matt wonders if he is pursuing his dream or bringing his family into a nightmare from which they may never wake.

Living, Breathing, Writing: A Lesson A Day, Volume 2
by Chelle Cordero
Price: $5.99 USD. 21520 words. Published by Vanilla Heart Publishing on August 5, 2011. Nonfiction.

In celebration of Volume 1 going to print edition due to demand, Chelle Cordero and Vanilla Heart Publishing have put together another complete month of lessons about the craft of writing and being a writer, from time management to social networking, organizing queries to publication, and more. Includes more than 50 brain-starting exercises and prompts to help you get those words on paper.
Bartlett's Rule by Chelle Cordero
Price: $4.99 USD. 55810 words. Published by Vanilla Heart Publishing on April 12, 2009. Fiction.

Bartlett's Rule shares the story of Lon and Paige's love affair; a romance filled with hardship, emotion, danger and triumph. Falling in love was never the challenge; being there for each other, knowing just what to say and making it work is the real test. Paige and Lon are real; they are human, they cry and they laugh. Paige has to learn to trust. Lon has to learn to be patient.
Within the Law by Chelle Cordero
Price: $4.99 USD. 73480 words. Published by Vanilla Heart Publishing on April 12, 2009. Fiction.

Tom gave up on ever falling in love again the day that he buried his high school sweetheart and fiancé. He started a career in law enforcement just so that he could find her murderer and rapist. Just when he is about to see justice done, he meets Alli Davis-the defense attorney for the murdering rapist who took his love from him.
Courage of the Heart by Chelle Cordero
Price: $4.99 USD. 79380 words. Published by Vanilla Heart Publishing on April 12, 2009. Fiction.

COURAGE OF THE HEART shows us that sometimes love is the only cure for the very deepest of emotional wounds. The story of the two lovers takes a series of unexpected and fast paced turns where lives, sanity and love are put in jeopardy. Their commitment to one another results in a spirit that binds them together and helps them to overcome physical and emotional dangers.
Final Sin by Chelle Cordero
Price: $4.99 USD. 84500 words. Published by Vanilla Heart Publishing on June 13, 2009. Fiction.

Deputy Sherriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full... investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a vindictive ex-wife. He meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie Jennings. When Julie becomes the subject of an obsession, it puts both of them in danger...
Hostage Heart by Chelle Cordero
Price: $4.99 USD. 72450 words. Published by Vanilla Heart Publishing on July 20, 2009. Fiction.

Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents' home and livelihood... An errand for her boss - a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers - a kind man who tried to help her ... a man who isn't all he, he is so much more
A Chaunce of Riches by Chelle Cordero
Price: $4.99 USD. 59430 words. Published by Vanilla Heart Publishing on October 31, 2009. Fiction.

Ben Johnson was hired as a bodyguard for a rich widow and her kid, but he never expected to be working for the woman who had abandoned him just when he had needed her the most. Damn it all, he still wanted her. Samantha Chaunce never thought she would have to explain why she married the rich man instead of Ben. Or that her husband had been murdered...and Ben was the prime suspect.
Common Bond, Tangled Hearts by Chelle Cordero
Price: $4.99 USD. 71170 words. Published by Vanilla Heart Publishing on December 16, 2009. Fiction.

Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son. When Layne’s abusive “ex-husband” shows up, they are torn apart by danger, kidnapping and lies.
His Lucky Charm by Chelle Cordero
Price: $4.99 USD. 74520 words. Published by Vanilla Heart Publishing on March 20, 2010. Fiction.

What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas... this time it follows Brandon and Caitlyn across the country and into a world of espionage and danger. The one thing that Brandon knows for sure is that he can't afford to lose his lucky charm, Caitlyn.