Review Joy

DPS - BoxCover & E-Book - Francis Guenette

Amazon book reviews are vitally important for self-published authors. This cannot be stressed enough. A review of one’s work means, first and foremost, that someone has read it. Yippee. Without a large promotion budget or the ability to get featured in print or televised media, Amazon reviews become the gold standard of how one’s work is being received. A large number of reviews gets noticed and opens the door to high level promotion opportunities.

Disappearing in Plain Sight has received approximately thirty-five reviews across all Amazon sites. I have heard that fifty is some kind of magical number.

Today, I received a review that lifted my spirits and made me feel that all the time and effort expended to bring the Crater Lake Series to the reading world had been worthwhile.

5 out of 5 stars A beautifully written, evocative novel.

January 17, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

A few pages into Disappearing in Plain Sight, I knew I was in the hands of a masterful story teller. This book is extremely well written; the pacing, semantics, setting, dialogue, and characterization are all spot on, and the effect is quite powerful. I consider this novel a strong example of literary fiction. It’s definitely head and shoulders above typical genre fiction.
I was drawn into emotional depth of the characters, as their personal dramas played out during their interactions with each other. The setting is a perfect backdrop, and in fact seems like a character itself. This book is sad, funny, deep, and meaningful. Overall, an excellent study of human nature. It resonates with joy and torment. For readers who like their fiction deep and meaningful, I highly recommend Disappearing in Plain Sight.

I would love to promote my work as literary fiction. The truth is, I often hold back. I’ve been told by people in the know that even mentioning such words in a world dominated by the love of genre fiction can be a sales killer. More than that, I feel like I’d be blasting my own horn a bit too much. Which is crazy – I don’t believe literary fiction occupies a higher plane than genre fiction. Heck, I read as much genre stuff as the next person. The reviewer has captured well what the differences are – emotional depth of characterization and drama that reaches beneath the surface to explore situations that don’t lend themselves to easy answers. Life is complex. This is exactly what I hope my books will convey.

Those who follow my blog know the emphasis I put on location. When someone reviews a novel of mine and says the setting was like a character itself – wow. Pure joy.

Many thanks for this latest review of Disappearing in Plain Sight.

Location, Location, Location


Have you ever read a novel where the setting was so breathtakingly described that you almost felt as though you had seen the movie version?

Lately, I have had the pleasure to read several self-published books that left me with just that feeling – novels in which the setting became a character in and of itself. I started to get curious about the relationship between a writer and a setting that was so vividly described. I speculated that to write in this way, an author probably has a unique relationship with a particular location. I decided to explore this idea by inviting these authors over to my blog to do a guest post on this topic.

The first of these authors has already appeared – Linda Gillard was here to tell us about her inspiration for her latest novel, Cauldstane. Her post was resplendent with Scottish castles and Highland scenes. This Saturday, March 15th, I will be featuring Ron Geigle, author of The Woods – a stunning novel set in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. The following Saturday, March 22nd, Gillian Hamer will be here to share how her relationship with Northern Wales became integral to three of her novels.

After organizing these guest posts, I realize I’m setting a pattern. I’m indebted to Deb Young from Off the Shelf for giving me an idea. She wrote a post announcing a new guest feature on her blog entitled: Selling My Books – Top Tips from Self-Published Authors. Guess who is going to be her first guest, next Wednesday, March 19th? Yes, yes – it will be me – the next stop on my book tour. I hope you’ll pop over on the 19th and get in on another chance to win a book prize.

Anyway, as I read Deb’s post, I realized that I might do something similar.

So – here goes – I am announcing a new feature on my blog – Location, Location, Location. If you have self-published a novel that is set in an area you are intimately acquainted with and if you would like to write a guest post on the ways your knowledge of this setting has influenced your writing, please let me know. You can email me at

I’m going to try and schedule these posts for the 1st Saturday of every month. I’ll want to read and review your novel before featuring your guest post, so give me some lead in time. I’ll also ask that you supply a few photos of the location you are writing about.

I’ll leave you today with a photo of the location that figures so dominantly in my books – the inspiration for Crater Lake.