“A writer hopes never to offend, but if he must, pray let him offend the gods before the reviewers.”
~~ Chila Woychik
A writer needs good reviews, especially in this day when there are thousand upon thousands upon thousands of choices out there for readers, even in a genre and specialized as Male/Male Romance.
Also at a time in my life where I want to be able to quit my job and write full time, good reviews are wonderful.
And in just the last week I’ve gotten two wonderful reviews on my brand new Christmas novella, The Beary Best Holiday Party Ever. The first is at Love Bytes (love this site!).
There Dan says that….
When it came time to pick our story to review for the Dreamspinner Advent Calendar, I stopped at almost the top of the list. I didn’t need to look any further. Who could pass up a story titled The Beary Best Holiday Party Ever! I help run our local Gulfshore Bears group in Southwest Florida. I “got” Ron before I even started to read this story.
Speaking of the story, I absolutely loved it….
For any of you who aren’t familiar with the Bear Community, and just see a bunch of big fat guys that eat too much, you might not get this story. But I totally got Ron’s character. I’ve never felt as comfortable in my life as I do in a room full of Bears with the easy going acceptance that almost every Bear I’ve ever met has for his fellow men. It was easy for me to empathize with Ron and know exactly where he was coming from, and understand why he fell right into The Bear Clan like it was home. Paddy was a little harder to read. I was questioning his motives almost until the end of the story when all the puzzle pieces came together. I thought I knew where it was going and was super happy that I guessed correctly!
And of course, it wouldn’t be a holiday story if it didn’t have a happy ending that left me smiling! Great job Mr. Thomas!
Not only was I happy that Dan loved my story so much, but because a leader of a bear club, he says I get it “right.” I am a bear myself, but we’re all different even in our similarities and what I might think being a bear is about can be very different than what other bears think.
Then, today in The Blogger Girls, I find out that Morgan likes my story as well. A lot.
This is a super sweet holiday treat! There is a “Big Misunderstanding” that keeps Paddy and Ron from being a couple – which usually annoys the crap out of me, but in this case is handled very well and realistically. Ron just tugs at your heartstrings and Paddy is a great guy, too.
What I most liked, however, was how the bear club served as such an important place in Ron’s life. It gave him (and others like him) a place to be himself and feel pride at what others scorn.
It’s a very touching and sweet story and the romance is great, too!
Overall Impression: I loved it.
That’s two “I loved it”s!
But even better is customer reviews at Amazon.com—readers who have gone out of their way to review me when they didn’t have to. In just the week the story has been out, I’ve gotten four reader reviews, three of them five star reviews and the fourth was a four star.
What they might not know is that good reviews push me up on the Amazon suggests lists, which can mean more sales, which can mean getting me closer to quitting my Evil Day Job! Every time someone gives me a good reviews, they help me all the more. None of them owe me anything. They paid to read my story and that puts us more than even. But by going out of their way to review me, I am in their debt!
Just look at some of the nice things they said:
Cathy: I really liked this story a lot. I loved that the characters are not perfect model type men. I also like how the sound and act like real men. I could see this group of huge men all together growling, drinking, laughing, and the painting was cute too… …I could really relate to Ron. I too have weight issues that go to my childhood. I also love big Beary men. There were so many fun characters here as well like Billy. Who couldn’t like a big bear cross-dresser… …If you like bears, sweet romance, a charming story with a lot of humor and a fabulous holiday story this is a must read.
Noah: The story is short and sweet and, like all of B.G. Thomas’s works, features realistic and relatable main characters. I connected with Ron immediately because I had struggled with weight problems myself and also had to learn to accept my body as it is. Ron goes through the struggle of trying to conform to society’s definition of “beauty”, but learns there is a whole community who love and accept him just as he is… …The story is fast-paced, fun and has a lot of humor, romance and tender moments. I especially appreciate the messages about self-acceptance and not focusing on what other people or society says what beauty should be. I highly recommend this feel-good holiday story!
Lee: Anyone who has read my reviews in the past knows that I love every book that B.G. Thomas has written… …as always, I love the fact that Mr Thomas’ characters are never uber-perfect looking men. They aren’t models from the pages of a men’s fitness magazine or an issue of GQ. Instead, Thomas’ characters are much more realistic. They have flaws and imperfections just like all of us. And that makes these characters so much easier to love and care about. And who doesn’t love a cuddly bear?! Or, even better? A sweet little otter! …Should you buy this book? YES! Oh, and a note to BG Thomas- Keep writing! You make the genre of gay romance SO MUCH FUN!
So today, after a long tough day at work, it all ends well when I find such wonderful reviews. Hopefully they’ll keep coming!
In the meantime I’m grateful for such wonderful reviews!