Suggested Etiquette for Fair Reviews

Picture1Since anyone can call themselves a reviewer these days and an authority on authored works, I thought as an author I could offer some advice for well-written, fair reviews. Here are my top ten suggestions on how to be a good and fair reviewer:

  1. Do not review a book in a genre you don’t normally read or like.
  2. Do not read a book for review on a subject matter you find offensive. Stating that you find the subject matter offensive and rating it poorly does not tell the reader about the book but about your personal preferences.
  3. Just because an Advance Review Copy or a giveaway is free, doesn’t mean you should read it and review it. Be selective.
  4. If you read a book by an author and don’t like their style, DO NOT read and review another book by the same author. This seems like common sense to me, but I see it done all the time.
  5. Do not be mean in your reviews or attack the writer. You have every right not to like a story and communicate why that is, just don’t make it personal. You do not know the writer, or what motivates him or her.
  6. Spell check, spell check, and spell check your Enough said on that one.
  7. This is the most important one so please read it a couple of times. DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS. Again, as a reviewer, your job is to help other readers make good choices in finding books. If you give the WHOLE story away, there is no reason for someone to read the book themselves. AND it is frustrating to the author, whether you loved the story or not. If you have to put in spoilers then at least tag it as such. Make it very clear so people will know upfront what they are about to read. On Goodreads, you can tag your reviews with a spoiler alert.
  8. Do not give a bad rating without explanation. “No,” is not a review and offers nothing to the potential reader.
  9. Consider your own state of mind when writing a review. I have to assume, if you are a reviewer, you have a great love for books. You are an avid reader and hope to find the best books to read and share with others. Objective reviews are a benefit to everyone.
  10. Be professional. You are holding yourself up as an authority.

Warm hugs,


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Blakely’s Friday Interview with Luke Christodoulou

Please give a warm welcome to Luke Christodoulou, author of The Olympus Killer.

Looking for murder sites for THE OLYMPUS KILLERTell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on or promoting.
I am an English teacher, an author, a husband, a father and a coffee-book-movie lover. I am currently working on Book 2 from my Greek Island Mysteries series of standalone thrillers while promoting The Olympus Killer (Book1). Continue reading

Is the Vaginal Orgasm a Myth?


Let’s discuss the latest study on the female orgasm entitled Anatomy of sex: Revision of the new anatomical terms used for the clitoris and the female orgasm by sexologists by Vincenzo Puppo and Giulia Puppo.

I love science and understand that the “current” belief systems change with new evidence, but this scientific study seems flawed to me. They used MRIs of the vagina to conclude that there is only one type of orgasm, clitoral and that the G-spot doesn’t exist. Continue reading

Blakely’s Friday Interview with Joan Barbara Simon

Please give a warm welcome to Joan Barbara Simon, author of Long Time Walk on Water, Mut@tus, and more!

JBS for smashwordsTell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on or promoting.
I’ve been an author all my life I’d say, but a serious writer for about a decade. I’ve published three works of fiction, two academic books on children’s early literacy development and I’ve edited three anthologies of creative writing. At the moment, I’m working on a novel, Verses Nature, which will be submitted as part of my second doctoral thesis. The plot is still being worked out, but essentially it’s about family secrets. As I’m no fan of the traditional begining-middle-end style of writing, Verses Nature is written as slices of story you can juggle. I also tell more than one story at the same time; characters keep butting in, disrupting, each other’s performances. In so doing, I’m making statements about reality, about time. I’m making concessions to the many voices in my head that don’t always like to wait patiently in line. Whether we are multilingual or not, reality, in my opinion, is many-voiced. Origins, obscure. Plurality, obscurity, secrets, sex. That’s a good summary of key themes in Verses Nature. Continue reading

Blakely’s Friday Interview with Ronald Paxton

Please give a warm welcome to Ronald Paxton, author of Winter Songs, Deep Water, and Haven.

photo[1]Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on or promoting.
I’m married and Live in Newport News, Virginia. I’ve been writing seriously for about ten years and have published over forty short stories. I have also written five novels, three of which are currently available on Amazon. I’m in the process of developing ideas for my next book.

“Soul Man,” is scheduled for release by Moonshine Cove Publishing in April 2015. “Broken” is scheduled for a January 2016 release by Deer Hawk Publications. “Haven” was released on 7/1/14 by World Castle Publishing and is available on Amazon. I am currently working on “Silent Waltz,” the fourth novel in the Salem Matthews series. Continue reading

My Daughter is a Senior

get-attachmentThis past Monday was my daughter’s first day of her senior year in high school. Through the Running Start program she is taking all college classes this year, which apply toward her high school diploma and achieving her AA in college. I wish they had something like that when I was in high school.

Where I couldn’t get older fast enough, she is not too thrilled that this is her senior year and that in a few months from now she will be turning eighteen. Truthfully, I was more oblivious to the world around me and the current state of politics where she is not. She is very concerned over what might be around the corner for our country and for the planet. Continue reading

Blakely’s Friday Interview with Matthew Peters

Please give a warm welcome to Matthew Peters, author of The Brothers’ Keepers and Conversations Among Ruins.

Matthew PetersTell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on or promoting.
I’m a recovering academic who now writes fiction. I’m promoting a religious mystery/thriller called The Brothers’ Keepers and a literary novel called Conversations Among Ruins.

Who or what inspires you?
Music inspires me, especially classical music, Leonard Cohen, and my favorite country singer Jeanne Jolly.

Do you have an agent and/or publisher or are you self-published? If self-published, do you use a professional editor? If traditionally published, who is your publisher?
Both my books have been picked up by small presses. All Things That Matter Press is publishing Conversations Among Ruins and MuseItUp is publishing The Brothers’ Keepers. Continue reading

Blakely’s Friday Interview with Clara Grace Walker

Please give a warm welcome to Clara Grace Walker, author of Gratification, Gossip, and Redemption.

AuthorPhotoOption2Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on or promoting.
At 9 years old I realized I loved books so much I wanted to write them. While I have worked “day jobs” at times, nothing has ever felt like my true calling, save being an author. I’m a creative soul, and I like to express that in a number of different ways, including photography, scrapbooking and various crafting projects.

Currently, I’m promoting the three books that make up my Desire Never Dies trilogy: Gratification, Gossip, and Redemption, while working on my fourth novel. Exploits will be the first of a 4-book series titled Sex and Secrets. This writing gig keeps me pretty busy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. :)  Continue reading

Why Women Love Their Alpha Book Boyfriends…

by Frank Carroll

by Frank Carroll

If you’re a fan of romance or erotica, you might think women love their “alpha males” because they are perfect. However, I’m here to tell you, that isn’t so. I personally love my strong book-boyfriends flawed with room to grow. I like when there is personal conflict that needs to be resolved.

My favorite romance author, Lisa Kleypas, especially in the Hathaway Series, knows how to craft complex characters with yummy flaws to reconcile.

Some say that romance stories create an unreasonable standard for men to meet. I strongly disagree. I have found my alpha male (19+ years together) who is my utter complement. Continue reading

Blakely’s Friday Interview with Jim Melvin

Please give a warm welcome to Jim Melvin, author of The Death Wizard Chronicles, a six-book epic fantasy.

jimnoglasses (1)Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on or promoting.
First, thanks so much for providing this service to writers. I know it’s a lot of work, but it means so much to anyone not named J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. :)

I am a long-time journalist who has worked in a variety of capacities at several large newspapers, including the St. Petersburg Times (now called the Tampa Bay Times), the Greenville News and the Charlotte Observer. But though I have supported myself and my family as a journalist, I consider myself to be a novelist trapped in a journalist’s body.

I am currently working on finishing the editing and production aspects of my six-book epic fantasy titled The Death Wizard Chronicles — via my publisher, Bell Bridge Books. Five books have been released, with Book 1 (Forged in Death) having become an Amazon No. 1 best-seller free on Kindle. Continue reading