New Books and Reviews

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

In about a month I’ll be celebrating a new book out for readers. Small Town Girl is scheduled for release on July 1, but usually I get to enjoy that new book smell when I open up a box the UPS man brings to my door a few days before July. It’s always exciting to actually hold that new book in my hands. That’s the reward for about a year’s worth of work on this particular story and a lifetime of work trying to write well enough to be published and find readers.

One of the exciting things about having a new book come out are the reviews. These days you can find reviews all over the internet. Everybody has an opinion and in the book business, a lot of them post those opinions out there somewhere for the world to read.

I just read my first review of Small Town GirlMy publisher sent me a review from Publishers’ Weekly. I held my breath while I read it, hoping for good. It wasn’t bad. No wow, that’s the greatest story ever remarks, but all in all a favorable review. See what you think.

Gabhart continues the story of the Merritt family, first introduced in Angel Sister.
Kate’s the middle sister—the sensible one, the fixer of other people’s
problems. She encounters her own problems when older sister Evie marries
their pastor, and his childhood friend, Jay Tanner, comes to Kentucky
to stand as best man . On the surface, Jay and Kate have nothing in
common. She’s a third generation Rosey Corner resident; he’s a drifter.
Kate stands strong in tense situations; Jay is prone to pack up and
leave when things get tough. She’s a woman of faith; he’s not sure what
he believes. Still, the attraction is immediate. While the ending is
predictable, Gabhart plants enough roadblocks to make the story
interesting. In dealing with Jay’s spirituality, she raises legitimate
issues of faith and shows understanding of those who do not easily
accept a Christian religious message. And while Kate is the undisputed
protagonist, young Lorena Birdsong, an abandoned child unofficially
adopted by the Merritts, certainly has her share of scene-stealing
moments. Agent: Wendy Lawton, Books and Such Literary Agency. (July)

any line in that review encourage or discourage you from reading the
book? What blurb would you pull out to convince someone that they should give this story a try?

Back in 2005, when Scent of Lilacs first came out and was my first book in the internet age, I hunted down reviews for it and read them all. There weren’t that many. I floated up in the air when reading the good reviews and then got knocked back to the ground when a reviewer had a complaint about the story. Thankfully there weren’t many unfavorable reviews for that book early on. Too many bad reviews might have been too discouraging for me while I was trying to get started in this Christian fiction genre. 

By the way Scent of Lilacs has since been reissued and gotten lots of reviews. It’s also been nominated for fiction book of the month on The Book Club Network. If you take part in the book fun on that site, I hope you’ll consider voting for my book. Lots of great books were nominated this month, so I won’t be discouraged if I don’t win. I’ve learned not to let bad reviews discourage me. I might stew about them a little, but then I move on to the next story. Or I remember some of the kind comments you have made here. You’re the readers I’m trying to keep happy.

Thanks for reading. I do so appreciate each and every one of you who follow my on-line journal. I’m planning a visit from Sue Harrison next week. You won’t want to miss that!