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Tuesday 30 August 2016

Historical Fiction – what do readers want?

My guest this week: M.K. Tod

I spent 2015 looking under the covers of historical fiction to illuminate those attributes that make it different from contemporary fiction. To do so, I explored seven elements of writing a novel: setting, characters, dialogue, world building, conflict, plot and theme.

A critical question is: “What do readers want?”

When asked what kind of stories they prefer, almost three quarters of those who participated in a 2015 survey chose ‘fictional characters within a backdrop of great historical events; close to half chose ‘the life of a significant historical figure’.

When asked what ingredients create a favourite novel, 86% said ‘feeling immersed in time and place’, but readers also want ‘authentic and educational’ stories, a ‘dramatic arc of historical events’ and ‘characters both heroic and human’. When asked why they read historical fiction, 76% said ‘to bring the past to life’.

Readers love historical fiction, but become annoyed when authors play around with historical events. When asked ‘what detracts from your enjoyment of historical fiction’, a large portion of readers cited historical inaccuracies while others mentioned too much historical detail, cumbersome dialogue, and characters with modern sensibilities.

Well now, that should be an easy recipe for writers to follow, shouldn’t it? Let’s look at those seven elements.

Setting: discover enough about your setting(s) to immerse readers in that time and place. Add details to inform and educate. Help readers understand what living was like for all manner of people.

Characters: if you choose a famous figure, ensure the details you include are accurate and find ways to bring out both heroic and human dimensions. When facts are absent, search for the plausible. Understand the restrictions and obligations faced by men and women of different classes. Avoid anachronistic behaviour.

Dialogue: use accessible language sprinkled lightly with references to era-specific language and terms. Readers are impatient; they don’t want to wade through ancient language that obscures the story. Avoid words, phrases and idioms not yet invented. Be careful with words whose meaning has changed over time.

World building: search for details that illuminate the period. Make sure you understand the political, social, religious, legal, military, bureaucratic and family context. Country borders are also a factor. Consider etiquette, fashion, food, drink and social customs. Avoid anachronisms. Find the big events your characters would know about – a plague, a riot, severe food shortages, wars, an eclipse, a monarch’s death, a pope’s edict.

Conflict: understand the conflicts inherent to your time period. These may or may not be the dominant conflicts of your story, however, they will provide context for them and could affect major or minor characters.

Plot: historical fact is critical when it comes to plot, especially when writing about major characters. You can’t have Eleanor of Aquitaine in England if the known facts are that she was in a particular part of what we now know as France at that particular time. Significant historical events cannot be ignored but use them to add tension or plot twists.

Theme: themes are generally universal. Myfanwy Cook offers a list in her book Historical Fiction Writing: “ambition, madness, loyalty, deception, revenge, all is not what it appears to be, love, temptation, guilt, power, fate/destiny, heroism, hope, coming of age, death, loss, friendship, patriotism …” Interpret them against the era of your writing.

Guide readers into and through your world. Educate but don’t overwhelm with details. Respect the facts.

I’d love to hear from others. If you’re a reader, what would you emphasize or add to this list? If you’re an author, how have you dealt with these aspects in your writing?

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union on August 16, 2016. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website

Time and Regret by M.K. Tod ~~ A cryptic letter. A family secret. A search for answers.

When Grace Hansen finds a box belonging to her beloved grandfather, she has no idea it holds the key to his past—and to long buried secrets. In the box are his World War I diaries and a cryptic note addressed to her. Determine to solve her grandfather’s puzzle, Grace follows his diary entries across towns and battle sites in northern France, where she becomes increasingly drawn to a charming French man—and suddenly aware that someone is following her.

Time and Regret is available from:

Are Reviews Important?
YES! Read why here!
My Books

Saturday 27 August 2016

COVER REVEAL: The Wendy House by Pauline Barclay

When Nicola changes overnight from a bright, happy young child into a sullen, rebellious girl, ceasing to show interest in anything or anyone around her, her parents struggle to understand why. As she develops into a difficult, troubled, hostile teenager they put it down to hormones, believing it will pass. Yet Nicola goes from bad to worse and no matter how much her mother tries to reach out to her, it seems she is hell bent on self-destruction. When she leaves home at seventeen, rushing into the arms of a man ten years her senior and quickly becoming pregnant, her despairing mother almost gives up on her. 

A decade later, the events that stole Nicola’s childhood and changed the course of her life threaten finally to destroy her. She knows if she is to cling on to her sanity she must tell her mother the dreadful secret she has carried all these years, but her fear that she will be met with disbelief, hostility and branded an evil liar drives her to the edge.

A heart-rending story of betrayal, secrets and gripping fear.

Publication Date: Saturday 3rd September
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Family-Noir

The Wendy House is available in Kindle for pre-order on all Amazon sites including

A little about Pauline
I am from Yorkshire, but have lived in several different locations including, Suffolk, Surrey and Holland.  Today, I live on one of the beautiful volcanic islands of the Canary Isles with my husband and our two gorgeous rescue doggies.

Years ago I gained a BA (Hons) degree from the Open University, today I spend my time writing fiction. I have five books published, plus a 20 minute short festive story. 

My passion is to write about events that happen in life and change everything for those involved as well as those caught up in the maelstrom. I want my characters to sit at your side, steal your attention and sweep you up in their story. Stories that will bring tears to your eyes, have you laughing out loud and sometimes, what they share with you, will stay  in your hearts for a very long time.

Twitter: @paulinembarclay
Instagram: @paulinebarclay

cover design by

PREVIOUS POST : Quotes - quoth I

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Quotes, quoth I...

Being stuck for something to write about... 

Has anyone noticed that I start my monthly journal, posted on my website, with a quote? (No I didn't think anyone had noticed...heavy sigh...) It also gets put on my homepage which includes a unique graphic designed by the talented Cathy Helms  (go on, take a look, you know you want to! Click Here.)

August home page graphic
I like to choose a quote appropriate to fit in with what I'm rambling on about in my journal, and to a point I guess it doesn't really matter if no one cares to read any of it because one day, when I'm rich and famous, I'll have all these months and years of 'diary entries' to use as my best selling memoirs.
Ok to be practical, they make a nice way for me to recall nice events.

Anyway, I thought I'd share some of the quotes that I jot down. And yes I know, I should have the name of the person quoted, but I haven't, so too bad.

That’s what I do: I drink and I know things.”

Dragons do not do well in captivity

“Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once!” -Stephen King

“A Room without books is like a body without a soul.” -Cicero

“Writing is a time honored moment. When the writer breathes life into the characters and gives them a place in the reader’s heart. Characters capture us in their embrace and we take refuge in their lives in a world of uncertainties.” ~Stephanie M. Hopkins

Time makes us forget some people but there are some people who makes us forget the time.

"Whatever you're most passionate about when you're five is what you should do for the rest of your life,"

50% of marketing works but nobody knows which 50%.

“What? You mean you’ve got a man from Devon in your kitchen!”

“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

The Universe is either infinite or it isn’t – either way, we’re none the wiser!

Its all very well to be able to write books, but can you waggle your ears?
(J M Barrie to H G Wells)

 Reading brings us unknown friends – Honore de Balzac

never let your fears decide your fate

You never hear about heroes after they marry the princess...

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."  Albert Einstein.

When the unexpected bumps you off track – maybe it was the only way of getting you off the wrong track on to the right track?

Handle every Stressful situation like a dog.
If you can't eat it or play with it, Pee on it and walk away....!!!!

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read

A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.
~ Carl Sagan

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

Statistically, six out of seven dwarves are not Happy.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.

Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book.

Save the Earth – it’s the only planet with chocolate

"Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents and everyone is writing a book" Cicero, 43 BC

eyebrows don't take long to grow back  Pepys

it's usually a dirt road that leads to a diamond mine.

What we do in life echoes through eternity

I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.

There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good.

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat
you with experience.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

Light travels faster than sound.  This is why some people appear bright
until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you, we would both be wrong.

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

Everything you can imagine is real.

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others

Politics is not a bad profession. If you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.

A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory

I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

You're never too old to learn something stupid

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be

we are halfway out of the dark

Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.

The older I grow, the less important the comma becomes. Let the reader catch his own breath.

The most dangerous strategy is to jump a chasm in two leaps.
  - Benjamin Disraeli

Tyrants win battles. Rebels win hearts.
All become history in time. Not all become legends.

Being published doesn't make me an expert, except possibly in how not to do it.

She had an unequalled gift... of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities.

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.
  - Iris Murdoch

It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.

The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn

I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.

"When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."

*Life is short   Drink the good wine first

I've learned so much from my mistakes; I'm thinking of making a few more

It is so annoying how real life keeps messing up my other life

Here's a tip to avoid death by celebrity: First off, get a life. They can't touch you if you're out doing something interesting.

First you're an unknown, you write one book and then move up to instant obscurity.

We are here on Earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don't know.

Starting something is the best way to get it finished.

Why do writers write? Because it isn't there.

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be

THE SENILITY PRAYER :Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, The good fortune to run into the ones I do, and The eyesight to tell the difference.

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.

What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.

My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves complete.

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

Don't take life too seriously; no one gets out alive.

I'm not a complete idiot -- Some parts are missing.

I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

The cure for writer's cramp is writer's block.
  - Inigo DeLeon

You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.
  - Henry Ford

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made.

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate," Nikka - age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."

The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet.
  - William Gibson

The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up there's no law against whacking them around a little.
  - Joe Martin

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."· "That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."·

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill·

I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." Clarence Darrow·

 "Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas·

 "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain·

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.." -Oscar Wilde·

 "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill· "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second ... if there is one." - Winston Churchill, in response.·

 "I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." - Stephen Bishop·

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." - Mae West·

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde·

 "He has Van Gogh's ear for music." - Billy Wilder

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." -Groucho Marx

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Tuesday Talk : My West Country Guest...

from here in Devon: Pam Vass - a talented writer with a welcoming smile ...

Writing Fiction from Fact
The West Country holds a wealth of stories waiting for an author to bring them to life. So how do we go about finding them? For me, there are three irresistible starting points.

Nine year old Paul wakes to find his mother
standing at his bedroom door.

 'I'll just be a minute,' she says.
 And disappears.
The intriguing rumour. 
Some years back I was working in Lynmouth, a small village on the Exmoor coast, when I became aware of a rumour that government experimentation with the weather might have contributed to floods that devastated the village in August 1952. Where did such an off-beat rumour come from? Is it possible to affect the weather? Why would the Government do that? Were they doing it within reach of Lynmouth? I began to delve.

The National Archive at Kew is a treasure-trove for any writer looking to uncover a fact-based story. Under the Thirty Year Rule, government records are made available at The National Archives, unless their release is likely to cause ‘damage to the country's image, national security or foreign relations’. Under the more recent Freedom of Information Act 2000, it’s not even necessary to wait for thirty years. Specific requests can be made for information about much more recent events.

Of course, it’s one thing knowing that documents are available; it’s quite another finding them. My first instinct was to search the Ministry of Agriculture for research on rainfall experiments - something I later discovered was called cloud seeding. After many long, tedious hours I had uncovered precisely … nothing. This is when it’s important to persevere, searching for clues that will lead you deeper into the real story. Eventually, one comment I might easily have missed led me to the real department behind experiments with the weather - the War Office. This was when I knew I had a mystery thriller in my sights, the story that became my first novel, Seeds of Doubt.

Amazon Kindle UK
Newspaper snippets that raise more questions than they answer.
I was a volunteer at the museum in Great Torrington, a small market town in Devon, when a local historian gave me a cutting headed ‘Wooden Computer invented in North Devon’. It was about a self-taught mathematician called Thomas Fowler. I was intrigued. Charles Babbage is known as the ‘father of computing' so who was Thomas Fowler?

Time to play detective again and follow the clues, although initially they were few and far between. Fowler died in 1843 so my only option was to scour original archives looking for documents that hadn’t seen the light of day for almost two centuries. On one occasion I arrived in Cambridge to search an archive that wasn’t indexed. My heart sank as five enormous boxes were wheeled to my desk. I only had three days, but there was no way round it, I had to search every box, document by document.

Persistence is everything in unearthing original stories. Late afternoon on day three I finally arrived at the penultimate piece of paper in the last box and recognised Thomas Fowler’s handwriting. It was pure gold. From this, and other documents, I was able to piece together the heart-breaking story of this self-taught genius for my latest book The Power of Three.

Amazon Paperback UK
Curiosity over how national events play out locally.
The film Suffragette raised the profile of the women who fought, and sometimes died, for something we now take for granted, the vote. It demonstrated the power of storytelling to bring bare facts to life. It was a fact that no woman had a right to her child once they reached seven. The film went beyond the facts, bringing us the absolute agony of a mother unable to prevent her child being given up for adoption.

Most of us are aware that Suffragettes were imprisoned and force-fed in Holloway for demonstrating outside Parliament or that Emily Wilding Davison died after stepping in front of the King’s horse at the Epsom races. But how many know the story in North Devon? Sometimes all it takes is a nagging curiosity and some dogged determination to uncover the story that is already there, waiting to be told.

This time most of my research was done closer to home, searching local papers for clues. The process is a little like Time Team; following hunches about what the story might be and where it is to be found. Some of those hunches prove pure fiction but with perseverance, voices begin to emerge, voices like those of Marie Newby and Nurse Anne Ball from Ilfracombe who had the courage not only to speak out, but to act on their beliefs. A picture emerged of Ilfracombe as a militant hot-spot, with protests spreading down the coast to Lynton where they grabbed the headlines with their biggest outrage. Why there? Who was responsible? The moment I discovered the answers to these questions was when I began to write Fire in the Belly, the Suffragette Story in North Devon, due out next year, a century after Parliament finally granted a limited franchise to women.

What better inspiration for an author, revealing stories everyone has either forgotten or even better, never knew. And there are always more snippets that add twists and turns to the story - a body on the beach; someone living under an alias - that prompt so many possible storylines. All provide suspense, mystery, character development, heightened emotions, jeopardy - the best building blocks for an author, but with writing fiction from fact, based on real lives, real events, real jeopardy.

Amazon UK link
Links to Pamela Vass
Twitter: @pamelavass

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PREVIOUS POST click here : Primogeniture by Regina Jeffers

Are Reviews Important?

Tuesday 9 August 2016

My guest today:Regina Jeffers


Most of us who have studied British history know something of Primogeniture, which is the right of succession belonging to the firstborn child, especially the feudal rule by which the whole real estate of an intestate passed to the eldest son. I cannot write a Regency romance without knowledge of this process. As it was for centuries, a mans status in 19th Century British Society rested in the land he held. Land was a symbol of wealth and social rank. Therefore, the need to pass ones wealth to future generations increased with the amount of land he owned. Land was influence, as well as affluence. To ensure ones descendants received what had been incurred, a system known as primogeniture was put in place. Primogeniture meant that all the land in each generations possession was left to the eldest son in the family rather than being divided equally among off the offspring. Secondly, an entail assured that said eldest son could not mortgage or divide or sell said inheritance. It was to be held for his eldest son, etc., etc., etc.

Primogeniture developed during Norman times. By leaving the land to the eldest son, the estate would remain intact for future generations. It would also be economically capable of supporting a military force, which could assist the king. By the 19th Century, the King/Queen had other means to field a military presence, and social status became the basis of the practice. Customarily, primogeniture was part of a gentlemans will or deeds of settlement. This practice remained intact until 1925, when it was changed by law.

The entail prevented a wastrel from selling off the family estate to pay his debts. An entail was defined by a deed of settlement (or) a strict settlement. The heir customarily received the land for his use ONLY in his lifetime. His rights ceased to exist upon his death.

Originally, many attempted to entail their properties until the end of the world, so to speak. However, the law would not permit infinity to stand. In practice, an entailed property only remained so until the grandson of the land owner making the settlement became of age at 21 years. Then, the heir could sell or give away the property. So, theoretically, the entail only held the land through the first and second generation of land owners. However, a little coercion often secured the land for future generations.

Most land owners (and their sons) held no other financial employment. If the property owners son wished to keep his allowance, he agreed to sign a new deed of settlement, which would assure the property remained in the family for the next two generations, etc., etc.

So what does this legal mumbo jumbo have to do with my latest romantic suspense release? More than you may suspect. In Angel Comes to the Devils Keep, the Duke of Devilfoard worries for the future of the dukedom when his eldest son, the Marquess of Malvern, suffers an accident which robs him of parts of his memory. In addition, there is the issue of Viscount Moses assuming an earldom when no direct heir is available. The problem is once Moses is named the Earl of Sandahl he goes missing upon his honeymoon. Has he produced an heir to the earldom and the viscounty? If not, which of his two brothers will inherit the titles? Reason says the elder of the two, but if you know anything of my writing, reason often becomes quite twisted.

Angel Comes to the Devils Keep

Huntington McLaughlin, the Marquess of Malvern, wakes in a farmhouse, after a head injury, being tended by an ethereal "angel," who claims to be his wife. However, reality is often deceptive, and Angelica Lovelace is far from innocent in Hunt's difficulties. Yet, there is something about the woman that calls to him as no other ever has. When she attends his mother's annual summer house party, their lives are intertwined in a series of mistaken identities, assaults, kidnappings, overlapping relations, and murders, which will either bring them together forever or tear them irretrievably apart. As Hunt attempts to right his world from problems caused by the head injury that has robbed him of parts of his memory, his best friend, the Earl of Remmington, makes it clear that he intends to claim Angelica as his wife. Hunt must decide whether to permit her to align herself with the earldom or claim the only woman who stirs his heart--and if he does the latter, can he still serve the dukedom with a hoydenish American heiress at his side?

Early Reviews: Angel Comes to Devil's Keep is a well-written tale of courage and sacrifice and what women went through in order to marry well in Regency England. The author did her homework and it shows in an authenticity that we don't often see in Regency romances.

Purchase Links:

Black Opal Books (both eBook and Print copies available ~ print copies contain a signed bookplate)




Also available on
Amazon Kindle US
Amazon Paperback UK

Previous Article: Are Reviews Important?

Tuesday 2 August 2016

Are Reviews Important? Yes!

You bet they are! Well the good ones that is, although on occasion a 1 star review that is snide, rude and downright nasty can do the author a lot of good because fans of that author rally round and hit back. Though I am NOT suggesting that you all now go out and post nasty snide reviews!

Did you know that August 2016 is Write An Amazon Review Month? No I didn't either until a couple of days ago. Must admit this has come at a very timely time as I have two new books out at the moment, On The Account (the fifth Sea Witch Voyage) and 1066 Turned Upside Down (a collection of 'What If' short stories written by myself and eight other fabulous authors. More reviews would be very much appreciated for both these books - although I'd love some more positive reviews for all my books.

This reposted article* sums everything up very nicely: 
(I've highlighted in bold the bits I particularly agree with) 

On Monday 25th July, book blogger Rosie Amber wrote this post encouraging readers and writers alike to post a short review on Amazon for any book they've read and enjoyed ~ following this up, Terry Tyler is starting this initiative along with other writer-bloggers (me included)

The idea is that, from August 1st, everyone who reads this uses their Amazon account to post just one review on one book that they've read (but feel free to carry on if you get in the swing!).  You don't even have to have read it recently, it can be any book you've read, any time.  The book does not have to have been purchased from Amazon, though if it is you get the 'Verified Purchase' tag on it; however, if you download all your books via Kindle Unlimited, as many do these days, they don't show the VP tag, anyway.

Remember, this isn't the Times Literary Supplement, it's Amazon, where ordinary people go to choose their next £1.99 Kindle book.  No one expects you to write a thousand word, in-depth critique; I don't know about you, but I'm more likely to read one short paragraph or a couple of lines saying what an average reader thought of a book, than a long-winded essay about the pros and cons of the various literary techniques used.  Yes, those are welcome too (!), but no more so than a few words saying "I loved this book, I was up reading it until 3am", or "I loved Jesamiah (*I added that bit HH) and the dialogue was so realistic", or whatever!

Why should you write a review?
They help book buyers make decisions.  Don't you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before deciding on a hotel, or any site from which you might buy an item for practical use?  Book reviews are no different.
If the book is by a self-published author, or published by an independent press, the writers have to do all their promotion and marketing themselves ~ reviews from the reading public is their one free helping hand. (*sometimes our only helping hand HH)
The amount of reviews on Amazon helps a book's visibility (allegedly).  If you love a writer's work and want others to do so, too, this is the best possible way of making this happen.
It's your good deed for the day, and will only take five minutes!

Off we go, then!  A few more pointers:
A review can be as short as one word.
You don't have to put your name to the review, as your Amazon 'handle' can be anything you like.
No writer expects all their reviews to be 5* and say the book is the best thing ever written; there is a star rating guide below.
Would you like to tell the Twittersphere about your review?  If so, tweet the link to it with the hashtag #AugustReviews

Goodreads Star Ratings


Amazon star ratings


Four Quick Ways to Write a Review

  1. Go to Goodreads or your Amazon account. Start with a one liner. Can you include the genre? The lead characters? The setting? Say “I really enjoyed this book” or “The book didn’t work for me”.
  2. As above, this time write 4 sentences. Keep them honest and make them about your own thoughts from the book.
  3. If you wrote your review for Goodreads, copy and paste it to your Amazon account. Or vice-versa.
  4. Really, really stuck for something to say? Read some of the other reviews for the book, they might jog your memory about a point, but still make your own review honest and genuine.

what about reviews for friends?

There's no reason why you shouldn't post a review for a friend for a book you genuinely enjoyed (assuming Amazon doesn't block it.) But are you finding yourself in a loop of reviewing friend’s books, just so they review yours? Review swaps are never a good idea, they become shallow and very obvious to other readers and you will only end up feeling guilty if you can’t be honest.

Draw a line, perhaps explain that you don’t wish to review books for friends and you won’t ask them to review yours in turn unless either party truly wishes to read the book. But that no one should feel obliged to review as a swap. You can still support them by buying a copy of their work, (even just on Kindle).

There is NO SELL BY Date on writing a review – read a book a while a go that you ALWAYS MEANT TO WRITE A REVIEW FOR? Feeling guilty that you didn’t write a review at the time? No Problemo!
Write this in the opening line “I read this book a while ago.” An author will be SO pleased to get an honest review that they won’t mind if there was a time delay on your side.

Finally: on behalf of myself and all my characters...

If you have a blog and would like to spread the word about #AugustReviews, please feel free to copy and paste this blog post, provide the link to it, re-blog it, or whatever
 ~ many thanks, and I hope you will join in to make this idea a success 

review it now
review it now
blog reposted from original by Rosie Amber and  @TerryTyler4 #AugustReviews  & others