Saturday, January 31, 2009

Reviews and Promotions and Quotations, Oh My!

I can't believe it but today is the LAST day of January. Where did the month go?

January 7th was the best of times and the worst of times (to quote Dickens). My book was released and someone dropped by my buy page the same day to say something negative. Talk about getting your bubble burst in a major way. But you know, when I posted here readers took up my challenge to decide for themselves whether they like my book. And you know what?

You like me, you really like me!
(to quote Sally Field)

I've received some wonderful feedback and comments from my web site and I want to thank all of you for taking the time from your lives to share with me that you enjoyed my book. It means SO much. I thank those readers who went to my buy page over at EC and left positive comments too. You folks are the total best. I'll try my hardest to keep you in reading material in the future!

I want to thank the groups who've invited me to blog with them. On January 20th, I was the featured author at The Raven Happy Hour Web site and blog. I had a great time over at the Star-Crossed Romance blog. Be sure to check out my post there from Monday, January 26. I'll keep you posted as my future guest spots and features happen!

I've also been buying in to advertising. One of the first places I bought an ad was an EC shared ad for Realms of Fantasy Magazine. This week, ROF announced that the April/May issue (in which we bought an ad) will be the last issue of the magazine. The Locus Magazine Web site and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. confirmed the news. I'm so incredibly sad. I've read the magazine off and on for years and it's a great vehicle for fantasy authors to get their work published. If you have a Facebook account - there is a "Save Realms of Fantasy Magazine" group there. Please join and offer your support. There is also a group over at LiveJournal as well.

I've bought advertising in Romantic Times too - both the May and July issues of the magazine will feature my cover (along with eleven others) in a full color ad. So keep an eye out for my book. Also, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my book will be reviewed in the May issue. If it is, I'll let you know. Then I'll either be floating in happiness or down in the doldrums. The good news is that regardless of the rating, a whole LOT of people will see the book.

Speaking of reviews... I have two very good ones which I'd like to share with everyone. These two have made me really happy! Yup - they are GOOD reviews. LOL

Tina at TwoLips Reviews gave me Five Kisses. Count 'em...FIVE!

In part Tina says, "Francesca Hawley has a brilliantly crafted novel in Protect and Defend. I loved the blend of the cops and robbers mystery and the hot spicy romance. I truly could not put Protect and Defend down."

Wow. Happy dance.

The Romance Readers Connection also reviewed Protect and Defend. Gloria Gehres rated my book a 4. I looked around the site and I'm REALLY thrilled. There are not a lot of 4 1/2 and 5 ratings, so a 4 is excellent. Yaaaay. More happy dancing. I'm kinda getting tired and my face hurts from the smiling, but I'll survive.

Gloria says, "PROTECT AND DEFEND is a wickedly erotic shape shifter novel. Francesca Hawley gives us strong, lovable characters, and a story line that leaves you believing, that when you least expect it, fate will steps in and give you a helping hand." She says some other very nice stuff too. More wow.

Yeah, I know. Authors aren't supposed to care about reviews, but I guess because this is my first novel length baby, I kinda do care. A lot. I'll get more blase with future ones, I'm sure. Just like second, third and fourth kids have fewer and fewer pictures taken of all their milestones, I'm sure I'll calm down. This is my time to document each little hiccup and grin. To run across the room with the diaper and shout, "Look, baby poohed!" You know...stuff like that.

My baby (book) is taking its first steps and I'm a seriously proud mama. I know it isn't the same as a CHILD, but this is my version. For now. Or as Diarmid would say, "Indulge me."


  1. Congrats on your recent release. Francesca - it's hard when someone doesn't like your baby. Take heart in the good reviews, read the others and if there's something the reviewer has said that strikes a cord, keep it in mind for the next book. Otherwise, just mutter a bit and have some chocolate. I find that works wonders. :)

  2. Shelley,
    Thanks so much for the sage advice. I'm trying to stay philosophical and I'm really happy with the reception the book has received so far. I'll just continue to keep my fingers crossed and document all of my new "baby's" cuteness.