Summer is Just Around the Corner

What a view

The May long weekend has come and gone with it’s regular lake time antics. Anyone fancy a motorized barge complete with barbecue and dog. Looks like fun.

Motorized dock

Motorized dock 2

Alas, the weather was somewhat less lovely near the end of the weekend.

We spent the time gardening and enjoying our first real days of warmth. Me consulting the gardening maps and Bruce digging. Sounds like a nice division of labour, doesn’t it?

Garden Maps 2017 - Guenette photo

Digging man - Guenette photo

As we near the beginning of summer, I am so pleased to announce that the official work on the 4th book in the Crater Lake Series is done. The ebook for No Compass to Right is on pre-order through Amazon for release on June1st. A few days ago, I ordered the proof copy of the softcover. It is due to arrive in the first week of June. Fingers crossed, it will look as it should and I will be able to place a bulk order and start shuffling off copies of this new book to my list of waiting readers.

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It feels strange to wake up and not have a long list of tasks related to No Compass to Right running through my mind. This book and I have been close buddies for four long months – creating, rewriting, editing, formatting and proof reading. It’s been quite a journey.

I plan now to take some time off. I’ll travel to visit kids and grandkids; I’ll putter in our garden; I’ll read novels written by other writers; I’ll enjoy posting on this blog and reading other blogs; and I’ll think about things unrelated to Crater Lake. In short, I’ll live my life and gather up new impressions and ideas for when the whole writing business starts up again.

Chard and Rhubarb

Here’s hoping your May long weekend was as relaxing as mine.

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Picture me sitting, sipping a coffee and reading a good book while the hummingbirds zip through the breezeway and the gentle breeze makes the chimes sway and sing.

Bad Reviews – How do you handle them?

Misty morning spiderweb - Guenette photo

Okay – let’s be honest, folks …if you’ve ever written anything that you let loose in the public realm, you’ve found out first hand that not everyone loves what you have struggled to produce. It proves that old maxim – you can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you sure can’t please all the people, all the time.

Check out any of your favourite authors on Amazon – I mean the big-name favourites. They will have more than a few stinker reviews. Bad reviews are like taxes and death – inevitable.

So, how do you handle the one and two star reviews that really sting? I know of what I speak. Consider these recent reader opinions of Disappearing in Plain Sight:

Quit reading. Drag-you-drama, vile adults, helpless and hopeless teenagers. Too depressing. No desire to finish this story or follow the series.

Or what about this:

This reads like a first draft by a complete amateur … I tried. I couldn’t … if you told me this book was a high school student’s creative writing homework, I’d believe it.

Ouch! I thought of titling this post – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – after that one!

I read all my reviews … of course, I do. I share the one and two star ones with close friends and family who almost always give me a pep talk that ends with – ignore that review, the person is obviously a troll. I know that assessment is not true but a bruised ego will take comfort where it is to be found.

What I never do is interact with the reader who has given a less than salutary review. A good maxim here is: never explain, never apologize. I proceed from the belief that every review is some reader’s legitimate opinion and thus deserves to be respected. There’s a lot of books available through Amazon and a reader chose mine. This someone read, reacted and recorded his or her thoughts. That’s what the review system is for.

Listen up, now, because this part is important – not all bad reviews are written by people with axes to grind. Don’t take it personally. The best thing to do is accept legitimate criticism seriously and leave the rest.

I do my job when I create a story, do the work of rewriting, editing and formatting to the best of my ability so I can offer my novel to the public. Readers do their job by reading and sometimes sharing their opinions. The system works best when writers and readers stick to their jobs.

Let me know what you think.

Misty morning flowers - Guenette photo

Free Book and a Morning Visitor

Bear 2017 - A

This guy or gal stopped by this morning to say hello Smile 

 

Bear 2017 B

I was having a coffee and thinking about how to promote the last free day for Disappearing in Plain Sight – 1st book in the Crater Lake Series.

Amazon.com          Amazon.co.uk           Amazon.ca

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Bear watching and book promoting – great morning activities. Oh, did I say the 4th book – No Compass to Right –  in the series is available for pre-order with a release date of June 1st?

Amazon.com          Amazon.co.uk         Amazon.ca

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But let’s focus on what really matters and get back to that bear Smile And coffee Smile

Bear 2017 C

Free Book Offer Continues

May 8th - 1st day - 5th capture

Disappearing in Plain Sight hit number 1 in the Amazon Free Store in the category of Literary Sagas today Smile 

Free book offers continues until midnight Wednesday, May 10th. Don’t miss out on a chance to read the first book in the Crater Lake Series for free.

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All my chimes were ringing in celebration today.

Pick up your free copy of Disappearing in Plain Sight on Amazon.com or Amazon.ca or Amazon.co.uk. Or search for it on the Amazon site of your choice. It is free everywhere Amazon operates.

And while you’re out and about book buying, please check out the pre-release page for the 4th book in the Crater Lake Series – No Compass to Right. Available June 1st.

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Free Book Offer: May 8-10, 2017

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Here’s your chance to grab the first book in the Crater Lake Series free of charge.

A Novel to Deepen One’s Humanity – Amazon reviewer

I rarely read contemporary novels (Marge Piercy and Barbara Kingsolver being notable exceptions), but once I read the first chapter of this one “just to check it out,” I was hooked. The psychologically-true and compassionate descriptions of each unique, complex character, blended with the real-life-like plot twists, kept me eagerly reading on. I resonated with the wisdom of the life lessons and insights each character developed, and their processes of growth and discovery catalyzed new insights in me. I appreciated the multisensory richness of the scenery, creating a vivid setting in which these extraordinary “ordinary” people move, stumble and grow in deeply realistic and moving ways. The plotting is intricate and well-woven, easy to follow if one pays attention — which is easy because the characters are so engaging and interesting. I grew to care about them, so I’m glad there’s a sequel. Best of all, I was reminded that everyone has a story, and if one knows these stories, one can never judge another human being, even while deploring some of the things they do. Reading this book, taking in the courage, vulnerability, and honest communication amongst the characters as the story progressed, I felt my own humanity was deepened.

Amazon.com         Amazon.co.uk          Amazon.ca

Fourth book – No Compass to Right – is available now as a pre-order for release on June 1, 2017.

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No Compass to Right–Cover Reveal

NO COMPASS TO RIGHT- 6x9 corrected version - front cover

Drum roll, please. I am thrilled to officially reveal the cover for the latest offering in the Crater Lake Series – Book four: No Compass to Right. Tentative release date: June 1, 2017!

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Photographs and design by Bruce Witzel.

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I can’t wait to hold this one in my hands Smile