Reviews

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A few words can make a huge difference. It seems reviews are everywhere these days. Who makes an online purchase, booking for a holiday, hotel or meal out without reading the reviews first? It is the same with books.

A review can be a way of feeling the fabric, tasting the wine, or testing the experience, when buying or ordering something from cyberspace. Other people take the time to let us know what they think of the product and we read a few assessments from strangers to discover whether this product, hotel, holiday, restaurant, or book will be right for us.

However, for the retailer, reviews are a two edged sword. They cut both ways. Whatever type of business the review is written about; there is a person who reads that review and takes it personally. It might be the owner, the agent, the chef, the designer, or the person that sweeps the floor. Even chambermaids like to read that the hotel room was spotlessly clean but will feel upset if her work is disparaged.

It is no different for me as an author. My online ‘business’ depends a great deal on reviews, but sadly, less than 5% of my readers leave one. It saddens me that many readers aren’t aware of how much difference a few sentences can make to the writer of that book they just read.

Most people that leave a review are polarised. They either love the book or hate it. Fortunately, most of the reviews on my books are good. I have some low scores, from readers who didn’t like my work, but I try to be philosophical. You can’t please all the people all the time.

I start each day by checking the status of my published works. This helps me target my marketing. When I see a new review, my heart lifts.

If it is a bad review, I am disappointed, especially if there is no explanation of why the reader thought to give only one star. I feel down and find it difficult to write another word.

However, if the review is constructive, and points out why they disliked the book, I take it on the chin and move on.

A good review will brighten my day and a great one will lift and carry me through the week on a high, encouraging me to write more.

If you are a reader, please consider leaving a review for the author. It means a lot and good or bad, we authors love to get feedback. It’s a lonely life and a little interaction with our readers goes a long way!

Happy reading

Pearl

When your mojo takes a holiday

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I had a big, milestone birthday a couple of weeks ago and although I was not in the least depressed by my advancing years, I have to admit that my mojo seemed to have taken a holiday. My other half decided he would also take a holiday from work so we could spend some quality time together to try to find my mojo and to celebrate my birthday in style.

We took weeks deciding where we would like to go and what we would like to do during this break. Our ‘bucket list’ is not as long these days, as we have been most places we want to see and done almost everything we hoped to by now. So it came down to a choice of flying somewhere exotic for sightseeing and swimming in warm oceans or staying closer to home to appreciate fine dining and the English countryside. The trouble was, because my mojo was absent, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do, and I didn’t really care either way.

We surfed the net for weeks but the perfect solution refused to jump out at us. Then, almost as we had decided to just stay at home, we found a great deal at a lovely hotel in the Lake District. We’ve always loved this part of the world, and although we’ve been many, many times over the years, the Cumbrian fells and waters never lose their appeal. We booked it, packed in haste and travelled the next day.

What bliss! The hotel was a gem. The food was out of this world. The scenery was stupendous. The weather was kind too. We’d packed for rainy walks on the fells, but had sunshine all the way. Our rain hats became sunshades and we walked through stunning hills, dales, forest and meadow, by tinkling streams and roaring waterfalls.

We walked all morning then talked over cool glasses of local beer in cosy pubs at lunchtime. We drove for miles, stopping frequently to admire the views and walk some more. The peace of the fells touched our hearts and we felt the wonder of nature all around us. At the end of each day we laughed while relaxing in the evening sunshine, with a bottle of wine on the hotel terrace. Almost without me realising, my mojo had slipped back into place and everything became right in my world.

Good reads at bargain basement prices.

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As a reward to all my loyal fans and followers, I’ve reduced all my books to 99p UK or 99c US until further notice. This price change should show in your Amazon store within the next few hours.

Why not take advantage of the lower prices to try a different genre. If you love my historical romances, I’m sure you’ll like my romantic comedy. Why not try my science fiction alien abduction series or the epic, Ella’s Destiny. If you haven’t read my true account of dealing with a head injury, you can get this tear jerker now, at this bargain basement price.

If you can’t find my work, search Pearl A Gardner in your local Amazon Store.
Happy reading!

Please don’t forget to leave a review or drop me a line. I love to hear feedback from my readers.

Age is only a number

Having recently celebrated a significant birthday, (I won’t admit which one,) it got me thinking. When we are children, every birthday is distinctive as we climb the ladder of age. Our loved ones make us feel as if we are the most important people in the world and we look forward to getting another year older. We don’t have a care in the world.

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Then we reach the first milestone. At ten years old we enter double figures and are made to feel grown up and important. Then, only three years later we arrive at thirteen when we become teenagers. That elusive, in-between time that separates adults from children. During these years we wish our time away and long to be grown up and independent.
Another three years and we are sixteen, the magical age of consent, but can’t wait for the next two years to pass when we reach eighteen and embark on the official beginnings of adulthood. Twenty-one is still a cause for major celebration but after that birthday our view of things changes. Imperceptibly at first.

As we sail into the wilderness of no more special birthdays for nine whole years, the excitement of getting older has worn off. We start to understand that time passes relentlessly and there is nothing we can do to stop it. The decades pass and responsibilities crowd us. We have to earn a living, care for children and/or elderly parents. We have to juggle all those things to try to create some form of harmony and life is difficult.

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We barely have time to catch our breath as the decades speed by. At thirty we mourn the loss of our twenties. At forty we begin to see our parents looking back at us when we dare to gaze in the mirror. Fifty is scarier. Sixty and that blasted mirror shows us a resemblance to our own grandparents, but we fool ourselves into thinking we are still middle aged.

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Seventy arrives and there can be no denying we are officially old. Bones creak and muscles ache. Hair is grey or gone. Teeth are fewer and laughter-lines deeper. Depressing isn’t it?

Then eighty comes along and, surprisingly, things improve. We don’t have responsibilities. What’s another year? Who cares if we wear clothes made for a teenager? We don’t! Who minds that we take longer to board a bus, load the conveyer in the supermarket, or hold up the line at the post office? We don’t! At eighty, ninety and if we’re really lucky to live beyond that great age, we have reached the ultimate in human evolution. We don’t give a damn how old we are. We’re still here. We’re still breathing and whenever or wherever we’re going next, we’re going out in style!

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