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Category: Goodreads

Racking up the 5-Star reviews

It’s been a little over 2 months since The Redheaded Stepchild hit the shelves, and it’s been steadily building some great 5-star reviews. Have a look for yerself!

A glimpse into a vivid world

I tend to read genre fiction, so when my friend recommended this, I put it off for awhile. When I finally did start it, though, I could barely put it down. Every chapter flowed into the next one, and I was excited to see which chapter of Cady’s life would open to us next. Reaching the end was the only disappointment of the book; I wanted more!

I guess that’s about the most you can say for a book, right? Once I started reading it, I wanted to keep reading it, and it left me wanting more.

Hitchcock’s real strength lies in her descriptions, vivid imagery evoking the sights, colors, lighting, mood, smells and sounds of her locations: a seedy country bar in the middle of nowhere, a trailer park, a parent’s bedroom.

Relationships also form a core component of this book, and it’s delightful to watch them grow or shrink as we move forward and backward in time, discovering first an effect, then a cause, then another effect.

It’s a quick, delightful, sharp and observant read, and I’d recommend it to anyone.

Bittersweet coming-of age relationship tale

Catherine O’Donnell wants what we all want…to be loved. This tale made me want to wrap young Catherine in a hug and tell her it’s going to be OK. Her stepmother is a character you’ll love to hate as you experience those awkward teen years through the lens of a girl who just needs a mother’s unconditional acceptance.

This book is for you if you loathe toddlers & tiaras. This book is for you if you know what it’s like to grow up poor. This book is for you if you, like Catherine, value your siblings and their futures more than you value your own well-being!

This was a quick and comfortable read. I’m looking forward to more from this promising new author!

A great reading treat!

For those of you who have never read a Kelly Hitchcock story you are going to be in for a treat. For those of you who have read one of her stories you will find this one a great read that you won’t be able to put down until you finish it (and I had to read it again to make sure that I didn’t miss anything).
I love Kelly’s stories for the way she paints vivid pictures with her words. It’s almost as though you are there, walking alongside her main character Cady as she heads back to her rural hometown. Her descriptions of the places and people compel you to know them and see them for who they are and the symbolism they hold in Cady’s life.
Even though I grew up in rural Missouri the memories it brought back of my own childhood were like an old comfortable blanket that settled comfortably around me. I can identify with Cady her feelings and her journey. The Redheaded Stepchild is just the first of many stories I look forward to reading from this wonderful author.

From Goodreads

An excellent book from Kelly Hitchcock! I felt like I was journeying through life with Cady, feeling every emotion with her. I couldn’t help but feel hopeful, yet jaded with Cady as she meets her new stepmom, and I understood the love hate relationship Cad had for her stepmom as Cady grew up. Kelly paints vivid imagery of the house Cady lived in, the town, her friends, her relationship with her Mother, and most importantly her relationship with her Father to make the story so realistic. I can’t wait to read Kelly’s next book!
Thanks to all my reviewers!
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The Art of Reviewing as Learned from Charles Dickens

This past week, I received my first reviews for The Redheaded Stepchild since I finished publishing it. (You can read the reviews here.) As part of my advertising strategy to be as non-invasive and un-icky as possible, I am using reviews heavily. What does that mean? Everything I read, I review. On Goodreads, or on the site of purchase (Amazon or Goodreads for me, usually). I try to keep my reviews as positive as possible, and when giving criticism, being as matter-of-fact as possible, offering something that could actually be helpful to the author.

I also make it a point to go through the other reviews posted and Like, Mark Helpful, or whatever the site has available. I find it gratifying for two reasons:

  1. Some of these reviews are just plain hilarious. I just finished Oliver Twist and one of the Goodreads reviews was “Please, sir, may I have less?” Yeah, it’s pretty gorram wordy book. Thank you, pay-by-the word olde English publishers.
  2. It makes me feel like I am in good company. If the great Charles Dickens, a household name known by everyone who’s ever read a book, ever, can get a bjillion negative reviews, I can get my first bad one and not feel like a total failure.

Luckily, my reviews thus far have been very positive, but they were both from friends, so they kinda have to be nice to me. When strangers who aren’t so keen on my writing style start buying it by the bushel (positive thinking, people… positive thinking), I’m sure I’ll get a scathing review or two. And that’s okay. I don’t expect everyone on the planet to dig my writing style, just as there are plenty of people out there who didn’t, and still don’t, like Charles Dickens’ writing style, the wordy bastard. Not to compare myself to Charles Dickens, but hey…

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The best laid plans…

My original intention was to spend the month of October polishing my novel so that I could have it ready to publish on Amazon and Goodreads by November 1 (just in time for #NaNoWriMo), but unfortunately life had other plans. I finished 2 rounds of editing, and was getting ready to start a final read-through just before the last week in October before this perfect storm happened:

  • I was assigned a new client’s dating profile to write every. single. night. Not to mention, I usually had to squeeze in editing based on feedback for the one I had done the night before, so my evenings were destroyed.
  • We had friends come into town for the weekend of Halloween, and they had a very erratic schedule, so the time I planned on working on formatting my manuscripts for e-reader was completely booked.

Not to mention, I have a pesky full-time day job and all that noise. So, the book’s not going to come out when I hoped, but I’d rather have it done right than done on time.

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Huh. Thanks, Goodreads!

I signed up with Goodreads forever ago, which in the social media/tech world means about a year ago. As part of my recent blitz to get my work out into the world, even if I had to do it myself, I looked into what Goodreads provides for authors. Sure enough, you can post anything you want, as long as it’s not violating any copyrights or anything.

And of course, you have to promise to be an adult and not cyberstalk people who read your stuff, or slam people who slam your work. I’m a writer. I know how it goes – even a bad review will get more people to read your stuff, and I’ve been rejected so many times in passive form letters, which is a far worse form of rejection than actual criticism.

So, I decided to give it a whirl. I started by posting The Other Dentenia Zickafoose, just to see where the experiment would lead. I did that tonight, at about 10:00. It’s now 11:30, and I already had someone read my story and leave a review. And it’s a positive one at that! (Thanks Shymoon; I promise I won’t shower you with affection for being my first public positive reviewer.)I posted more stuff on Goodreads, and will do more tomorrow. For now, I am going to curl up with the book on my currently-reading shelf on Goodreads. Follow me there, too, if you dare.