OFFICIAL Online Book Club Review

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of “These Foolish Things” by Susan Thatcher.]

Despite Tyler Hadley giving Liz Gardner a shiner their first meeting, the sparks are definitely flying off. Liz has been burned one too many times before and Ty does not look like the type to look for a serious relationship. It seems like their road to a happily ever after is paved in hesitancy and difficulties but with the help of one loony judge and an escape artist cat, will these two make their relationship work?

These Foolish Things by Susan Thatcher is a contemporary romance set in the mid to late 1990s in Boston. Although it was set when I was still in elementary school and I don’t live in the Boston area, the author was able to describe the time and place well that I pictured the setting easily. 

I liked the characters better in this book because they weren’t young and perfect. Ty especially wasn’t perfect, there were many times that he was a jerk but he redeemed himself every time. Liz was okay; she had some issues growing up and had hang ups causing her to almost give up on relationships. The supporting characters were also interesting especially Judge McCafferty and Beanie the cat. Liz’s gang also made the book more colorful.

What I liked best about this book is the way the hero and the heroine met. They collided while playing softball which resulted in Liz getting a black eye. Although they started a little violently, there were no domestic violence and abuse between the main characters; at least I don’t think so. I also liked the circumstances in which they started dating, it certainly was unusual. I don’t know how, but the love and romance between them was apparent and didn’t feel forced which is another thing that I liked.

What I did not like about the book was that there were too many conflicts that arose during the course of the whole story. Because of this, the climax for this book wasn’t too powerful. Nonetheless, I am still giving this book a 3 out of 4 star rating because I like it enough to recommend that other people read it.

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Buy “These Foolish Things” on Amazon

What They Don’t Tell You About Being an Author

“Wow, you wrote a book? Cool! I could never do that!”

You get the rock star moments of people asking for your autograph and posing for pictures with you. And getting a glowing review online is an ego boost. (You want to frame them) the pans are not as much fun, but you hope there’s a nugget of wisdom i there to help you become a better write rather than just, “This book sucked balls” or “Why is a fat woman writing about skinny people? She should stick to what she knows.”  (So help me God, this is a paraphrase of an actual review that another author got. Kind of makes me want to slap the reviewer into a PET scan machine and see what’s in her brain pan, if anything)

You get to do things like this:

 

Or you get a moment like this:

(I don’t know if Mrs. Obama read them, but I sent copies to the White House)

Cool, right?

Listen, I wrote my book(s. I took one and divided it) back in 2001. Zuckerberg hadn’t dropped out of Harvard. Or even been accepted. Twitter hadn’t hatched. E books were not a thing. At that point, you got an agent and/or a publisher. Self publishing was through companies like Xlibris and pretty expensive. Books coming through vanity presses like Xlibris got no respect. Reviews were only available through newspapers and magazines by established critics.

The world has changed. One can self-publish for free through Createspace (Amazon. Jeff Bezos doesn’t miss a trick). Self-published authors are making New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon best seller lists. Readers, rather than a small group of critics, post reviews through Amazon, Goodreads, the online sites for Barnes & Noble and other booksellers.

Sounds like one just pushes a button and sits back, sort of like the Jetsons, right?

WRONG!

The ease of publication has made it possible for anyone to publish. And they do. Millions of titles, including dinosaur bestiality porn (I kid you not).

Getting your works noticed is like. Horton Hears a Who.”

You’ve got to make yourself heard.

So far, I’ve done signing events, a blog tour (you pay someone to line up book review blogs to feature you and your babies for a day), sales, learning how to make teasers to post on Twitter, like this:

 

Yeah,  I’ve got a sale going on. Go buy e books. And leave a review.

I’ve even learned how to make shortened links on bit.ly so they’ll fit on Twitter.

There is Authorgraph?, where you can get a personalized message from me on your Kindle! (Or Nook! Kobo! You get the idea) (go make a request)

I have learned terms like “ARC (Advanced Reading Copy)”, “street team,” “beta reader,” and “fucking pirate sites.” (Now we have algorithms pulling titles and books from Amazon to offer for free or just as a tease to download malware onto greedy and unsuspecting computers). I’ve also heard of software like Scrivenr (it’s writing software. If you let it, it posts your word count on Facebook) and promotional items are called swag.

I don’t have any of those things (except the swag. I have some swag). I have a beta reader in my editor, who’s a friend from college. I am my street team. As for ARCs, given the Facebook posts about getting watermarks and trying to secure the copies to prevent them being up,order to pirate sites (or getting the watermark so one can identify the fucker who uploads it), ain’t nobody getting advanced copies except the editor. It’s her job.

The fact that writing the book isn’t the end of the process has been a huge wake up call. Is writing novels (and other material for publication) how I want to support myself? Absolutely.

It’s still a learning process.

And just a reminder: WE ARE HERE! An author’s an author, no matter how small (the sales).

Serenity Now! 

So…

In case you’re new here, life has been pretty high stress lately (Who am I kidding? Lately? I should have had Rosie O’Donnell’s heart attack years ago. Ladies, watch her “Heartfelt Standup” special if you can find it. We don’t have heart attacks like men, so it’s time to learn the symptoms)

I am an adherent of the Law of Attraction and I have manifested things, situations, TIMELY pieces of good fortune when I need them. Amd I acknowledge that a contributing factor to my current set of circumstances has been some poor choices on my part. Not the entire reason, but as I’ve said before, I’m no angel.

I have watched “The Secret” many times and before you snort, it is very comforting when I need it. Like now. (It’s actually a more slickly packaged version of Esther and Jerry Hicks and Abraham). One of the things it teaches is that emotions are important and to attract better situations in the future, one should have

(I loved Stiller & Meara, although all I remember of their routines is Anne Meara saying “Happy Chanookah.”)

 

I think it’s related to Festivus.

Calm. Serenity. Attitude of Gratitude.

I will need a home a week from Thursday and it’s stressful (my current hosts have done as much as they can for me and I am extremely grateful for their help. However, people can only do so much and they need their homes back). My bank account is overdrawn and that’s stressful. My phone is off due to non-payment and that’s stressful. My iPad’s charger has decided to go on strike and that’s stressful (because that’s my computer since my laptop bit the dust). I’ve applied for a truckload of jobs for which I’m highly qualified and not gotten an interview and that’s stressful. I’m in danger of losing my worldly goods because they’re in storage and I’m behind on the rent (and since I don’t have my own family, this is precious to me. My life)

However,

I don’t need the home this very minute. I am sheltered, fed, clothed, clean and warm (thanks to my trust yak hair blanket. That’s right, I said “yak.” Lightweight and WARM. Get one. Or mortgage your house, get a bunch of yarn for one your knitting friends and get a sweater). The bank account will get resolved. The charger can be replaced and the phone back on. Just takes money. And that can come at any time from anywhere.

So in this moment, I choose to be calm, to be grateful for what I have and to trust the Universe (I know there is something bigger than us out there. Whether it is the God I was raised with or the Force or someibg else, there is something there) to help me. It hasn’t let me down yet.