Readers React to Last Chance Llama Ranch

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Know what I love the best? The unsolicited reviews from readers I’ve never met and, sadly, probably never will meet. It’s awesome to visit my Facebook page and find a message saying I’ve won over another fan, or check out my Goodreads listings and see I’ve earned another five-star rating. Here are some of the most gratifying snippets from readers’ online reviews:

“I’m only coming up on the halfway point of the LCLR book and SO loving it! The downside is, I keep getting lost in the book and my crocheting slows down until I get a few pages and realize my hands stopped moving. I can’t NOT read!”

“Really enjoyed this book! I actually work at a book store and discovered this while straightening our shelves. I definitely wasn’t expecting to look up and see a llama staring back at me. However, I just couldn’t resist that face and purchased it on a whim. Was not disappointed, very cute book.”

“It is easy to care for the colorfully written characters of Aguas Milagros. Merry definitely has cringe-worthy moments, but Fields doesn’t take the easy way and plant a twenty something girl drinking in bars to find funny scenes. Instead she puts Merry on a unique adventure that leads to personal growth and just happens to include a pretty studly guy.”

Thanks, readers. You’re the reason I keep at this job!

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How’m I Doing? No Effing Idea!

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One of the things non-writers often don’t get about being a writer is that, for most of us, there’s no big book tour. Publisher’s Clearinghouse doesn’t show up on your porch with balloons and a brass band on pub day. Unless you throw one yourself, there’s probably not going to be a launch party, if you’re a little, starting-out author like me. Friends ask, “OMG, how was the big day?!” and I want so badly to meet their expectations and tell them there was hullabaloo, the angels sang, and Stephen King blurbed my book.

Instead, I went to my local Barnes and Noble and hunted around until I found my novel in the stacks, beamed and did a modest little dance, signed all five copies and waved farewell to the indulgent counter clerk who probably sees writers like me several times a week.

I went home and refreshed my Amazon sales rank eleventy trillion times. It didn’t tell me much. I tweeted (which I suck at). I beat my Facebook friends and page subscribers over the head ad nauseum with the news that, hey, LAST CHANCE LLAMA RANCH is available! I beamed in delight when friends who’d ordered copies in advance posted pics of themselves with the book. (See below!)  And I had a very pleasant dinner with a friend at the South Street Seaport before heading to bed.

So, how is LCLR selling? I won’t hear any news for probably a week or two. All I can do is hope it’s charming the heck out of folks who come across it in stores, and that I’ll be lucky enough to garner some positive reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and beyond. Any way you slice it, I’m lucky to do what I do. But there are times I think I’d rather be an actor, so at the end of a “performance” I’d be able to look out over my audience and see how they enjoyed my efforts.

Applause? Crickets chirping? In any case, it’s on to the next project for me as I hope this one lands gently in your hearts. Thanks for your support, friends!

Leanna with LCLR

Eyeing it with dubious delight

Quinn with LCLR

Now that’s how you show it off!

G with LCLR

The littlest of fans

A very serious reader in Santa Fe

A very serious reader in Santa Fe

Starred Kirkus Review for LAST CHANCE LLAMA RANCH!

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I’m so delighted to announce, LAST CHANCE LLAMA RANCH has been given a much-coveted starred review from Kirkus.  They call LCLR “Charming” and “An engrossing story with a unique cast of characters—both human and animal—written in a unique and confident voice.”  I like to think that’s true.

Here’s a link to the full review.  Yay!

You Like Me… You Really Like Me! (At Least 4 of You)

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So, I’m driving a shopping cart full of cat litter and trash bags around Target this afternoon (oh, the joy!) and I stop to check my phone.  (Hey, shopping is boring, what can I say.  At least I didn’t block anyone’s path to the yogurt.)  I see an email from my delightful, I’m-eternally-grateful-to-them publisher with some feedback from readers who participated in last month’s Goodreads first-read giveaway.  (Check it out here to read reviews.)  Not to toot my own horn (okay, totally to toot my own horn), but WOW!  The ones who took the time to write reviews really seemed to enjoy BLISS the way I’d hoped.  One woman said, “This was, for me, a one-sitting, pages flying read.”

Sniffle.

Those of you who are writers know just how important it is that somebody see the same thing in your work that you see in your mind, and that you spend all those hours trying to shovel in there.  It’s why I spend weeks dithering over exactly the right word; why I corner friends and fellow writing workshoppers and demand, “Is this funny?!  Does that make sense?”  But in the end the novel is just out there, alone, without you to explain or excuse or butter up your reader.  If you’re lucky enough to find readers, that is.

BLISS isn’t officially out until November 19th, but already, people outside of my immediate circle have gotten their hands on it.  Woman’s Day online said they loved it.  Library Journal gave it the thumbs’ up.  And now, real readers!  People who read the kind of books I read are finally being introduced to my work – and so far I haven’t been beaned in the head with a rotten tomato.  I know the responses can’t all be good, but for now, I’m just swimming in delight and so very grateful.

Oh, and one-sitting lady? Slow down. It took me a long time to write that book!