A new-to-me-review from Literary Nymphs (and a confession)

While I was looking to see what searching for “Connor Wright” turns up these days, I decided I’d see what the image-search results were. On the second page in the second row was a picture of the cover for Tobias’s Own Adventure. I ran my cursor over it to see where it was being pulled from, and to my surprise, the URL was for Literary Nymphs’s reviews-only blog. I followed the link to see if it was one of the two reviews I knew existed for Tobias’s Own, and to my delight I discovered that it was a completely new review.

Rogue Satyr gave Tobias’s Own Adventure a 5-Nymph rating, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Rogue does mention something that no one else did, which is the whole ‘pirate’ thing is basically glossed over…

And yeah, it is. If you start thinking about the logistics of it, you start to realize that a one-man priate crew is the least-likely-to-be-successful crew ever, so. It’s hand-waving and dangling-shinier-things all over the place, I know. It could be worse, though! Despite the fact that most of Caled’s infamy is born of Informed Ability (<-- WARNING: TV Tropes!), the story does start off with him actually doing Pirate-y things.

A review!

M/M Good Book Reviews’s Pixie gave Tobias’s Own three and a half hearts.

Like the other review of Tobias’s Own, the main complaint that was raised is that it’s too bad that Caled was still single at the end of the story.

I am working on a sequel to Tobias’s Own, which is currently untitled and has no finish date. I think I’ll poke at it some more, though, now that I’ve had what amounts to another request for it.

I love it. You’d think it would be easy.

This applies to two different things that I’m trying to write. The first is the Hot July Days story; the second is a review of The Slipstream Con.

Seriously, I love TSC to pieces and I can’t articulate WHY? At least not in the context of an Amazon review, apparently. Tal and Vanya’s honor! Kellen’s funny (and a jerk, but mostly wonderful)! The whole plot-that-goes-places thing! Heston! The painting and other art! The ending! The ship’s name! (The fact that it could be the ‘ship’s name!)

Part of my problem is that elaborating on why I love those things generally means I’ll be spoiling the book for everyone, and I reeeeeally don’t want that. The other part of it is that I’m really inclined to just post “Seriously, I want MORE AWESOME STORY. Buy this and you can help make that happen. Plus you get MAS, too, so really it’s a win/win all the way around.” Needless to say, that’s not going to get rated “helpful” by anyone outside of the authors. *Grin*

I have also learned two things, in the course of trying to write this review and one for The Balance of Silence:

1) I do not understand why people recap the plot that’s in the blurb. I don’t know about anyone else, but I read the blurb to find out what’s going on (if at all possible; some blurbs aren’t helpful in that regard) and if I want to read the story. Recapping what I’ve already read annoys me — I want NEW information, not something I can scroll up and re-read on my own.

2) I don’t really get/like the whole alpha/beta/omega/waffle/protozoan thing. Those are great designations for cultures/groups of creatures with a rigid social hierarchy, but on an individual level, humanity tends to be more fluid. I don’t care if Tal’s an “alpha male”–in fact, I’d argue that the term has been so corrupted by romance writers and readers using it as shorthand for “asshole” that it doesn’t apply at all. There’s no way Vanya is anyone’s beta ANYthing. Well, okay, maybe to the Empire/Empress. When it comes to working with–and being married to–Tal, she’s every bit his equal.

Ugh. It doesn’t help that I didn’t sleep well, either.

Reviews and reactions

This is all inspired by the rather spectacular self-immolation of one Jacqueline Howett, who objected to a two-star review of The Greek Seaman. It’s too bad, too, since the premise sounds interesting.

I don’t have too many reviews of my work floating around. There are basically two for Aduniad, written under the pen-name of Celyn Lleuad*, and one for Totally Choice. All of the reviews for Aduniad can be found at Amazon; Goodreads has the review of Totally Choice.

I have to admit that I was kind of disappointed by the reviews of Aduniad. On the other hand, I can see exactly what the reviewers mean, when they say that it’s too talky, confusing, unarousing, and focuses too much on the buildup rather than the sex. That’s all my fault, though — Max and Trev’s first foray into domination is full of dailogue, and the actual penetrative sex is limited to about two and a half paragraphs. Do I blame the people who read it for not “getting” the genius that is Max and Trev? No.

I don’t blame them because I took a chance when I submitted Aduniad. D/s isn’t everyone’s cuppa. Neither is spanking, the word ‘slut’, or the three of them in conjunction. I know that, and if a reviewer doesn’t like it because they’re not into kink (or whatever), then it doesn’t bother me. I also know that not everyone is going to automatically adore Max and Trev, or even see them/their relationship in the same way I do.

I took away a couple of important points from those reviews, though. One of them is that Aduniad isn’t a good introduction to Max and Trev’s relationship. There’s too much talk, too, and not enough action; there’s a difference between ‘buildup’ and ‘foreplay’ for some people. These are all good things to know (and I’m not being sarcastic, just so we’re clear on that point).

I’m sure that there will be people who will be annoyed and disappointed by Tobias’ Own, too, and will tell the world about it. When that happens, I hope I’ll be able to learn something from what they have to say and take it with me to the next story I write.

* It’s Welsh. No, I don’t know what I was thinking, either.

So it finally occurred to me that I’m on Goodreads.

Skater Boys has been out for a while, after all. So I looked it up, and I discovered my first-ever review that’s more than constructive criticism — I’m still feeling kind of giddy. (I haven’t taken any more cold medication, yet, so it has to be the review. Heh.)

Now all I have to do is find someone who’s willing to fix my name so I can join their Author’s Program…