Friday, January 23, 2009

Writerly Stuff: Basking in the Glow of a Good Review

With my debut novel in the hands of a variety of review sources at the moment, it's a cause for insomnia. In this tough economy, my publisher has warned its authors that many booksellers have been driven to stock only proven authors on their shelves. Advance orders of debut novels written by new writers have consequently experienced a drop, and I can't help but believe that reviews will matter more than ever.

This means that if a reader is interested in my debut novel, it is likely they will have to go to greater effort to acquire it than simply walking into their local Barnes and Noble or Waldenbooks and heading for the Romance section. Fortunately, the internet provides many sources for placing orders, and has received an early shipment of "Fire at Midnight" and currently has it IN STOCK!!!

Book reviews and the all important word-of-mouth will play a critical role in the success or failure of my book. When it came to my attention earlier this week that revered reviewer Harriet Klausner had given "Fire at Midnight" a favorable review, I was thrilled, grateful, humbled, relieved.

While I understand that reviews are always subjective and I can expect a mix of favorable and not so favorable reviews, the endorsement by a reviewer universally respected by the publishing industry was beyond my wildest dreams, and I would like to share it with you.

Here follows the entire, glorious, wonderful review:

Fire at Midnight

Lisa Marie Wilkinson

Medallion, Mar 2009, $7.95

ISBN: 9781933836546

In 1703, her odious Uncle Victor Brightmore with the help of Dr. Elliot Macgulay places his eighteen year old niece Rachael Penrose in Bedlam Insane Asylum to keep her out of the way of his stealing her younger brother’s inheritance.

To insure his plan goes without a hitch Victor has abducted his nephew James and has spread rumors that Rachel told the authorities about smugglers like Frenchman Sebastien Falconer. Victor leads a more vicious smuggling crew than that of Sebastian.

Whereas Sebastien searches for Rachel, John Wyatt, a pal of her friend Tarry Morgan, breaks her out of asylum. However nine days and drugs have taken their toll so when he realizes they are followed, he places her in another carriage so that he can divert Victor’s thugs from her.

Sebastien takes the woman to his isolated home only to learn his ailing guest is Rachel. She escapes to London where Tarry sent James after rescuing him. There she meets Sebastien’s English customs officer estranged twin Jacques while Victor has John killed and the house belonging to Tarry’s father burned to the ground. Soon all will converge in danger and love.

FIRE AT MIDNIGHT is an exciting Georgian romantic suspense starring a strong lead couple and a solid support cast. Though he has no redeeming quality in some ways the ultra villain Victor steals the show as his plots and actions are diabolical and deadly even when he is off the page. The rest of the secondary characters are also developed enough to either enhance the story line or the understanding of the two stars; especially Tarry who wants to be a hero to his beloved friend and to his larger than life father, but though he tries he lacks the skills. Fans will enjoy this fine early eighteenth century historical thanks to deep characterizations that hopefully include sequels.

--Harriet Klausner

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