Monday, June 12, 2017

Why Should Readers Post Reviews of Books? By award-winning author Dana Wayne

The answer to that question is as varied as the people asking it. The bottom line is, a review is not only gold to an author, it is a valuable nugget for the reader as well. They provide the author with validation that someone besides friends and family appreciate their efforts. Even if the review is less than three stars, it is still beneficial, because, one, not everyone is going to like a specific book, and, two, maybe there is an area to improve upon.

There are literally thousands of new books released each month. When a reader wants something new, they typically start with authors they know, then move to someone they haven’t read before, relying on recommendations from friends, social media or suggestions from online retailers like Amazon to tempt readers with new selections.

Fine, but how do they know what selections to tempt them with? Simple: Algorithms. A fancy word for numbers. Numbers that are derived from multiple places, one is which is reviews. And it’s numbers only; not what you said or how many stars you rated it; just the fact that a review was posted. The more reviews a book receives, the higher up the food chain it goes and Amazon will then boost it with promotion.

While Amazon is not the only spot to place a review, it is the largest. Others like Barnes & Noble, Books a Million and Goodreads are also great places to post a review. Reviews don’t have to be a dissertation; they can be as simple or as in depth as you want them to be. Below are some tips to help you the next time you go to write a review:

1.      It is not necessary to purchase a book from Amazon (or any other retailer) to leave a book review.
2.      Reviews can be posted at any point, months or even years after you read it. There is no deadline to post.
3.      Reviews can be long or short; doesn’t matter. You can say something like “I loved the book and can’t wait for the next one” or go into detail about what you loved.
4.      By the same token, if you really didn’t like the book, take a moment to let the author know. Contact info is pretty much standard today and an email to say what you didn’t care for could help the author going forward.
5.      When leaving less than 3 stars, Please. Be kind, not hurtful. “I couldn’t get into the story” or maybe “didn’t care for this or that character” versus something like “this is crap.”

Writing is hard work. Rarely does it flow like a mountain stream. It takes months or even years to get a quality, finished product to market. And once it’s there, it takes more time and effort to promote. Most readers, myself included, rely on reviews to help us select our next favorite book. Are they the final determining factor? No, but they are extremely important.
So, the next time you reach ‘the end’ and sigh a contented breath because of the joy you found within those pages, take two minutes to post a review. Who knows? That may be the reason the next person picks up that book.
On behalf of writers everywhere, “thank you for your reviews.”

Awarding winning author Dana Wayne is a sixth generation Texan and resides in the Piney Woods with her husband of 39 years (and counting), a Calico cat named Katie, three children and four grandchildren. She routinely speaks at book clubs, writers groups and other organizations, and is a frequent guest on numerous writing blogs.

Her debut novel, Secrets of The Heart, was awarded Best in Texas, Contemporary Romance, 2017 by Texas Association of Authors, was a finalist for the 2017 Scéal Award for Contemporary Romance, a Reviewers Top Pick and on the Top 10 Books to Read This Winter from Books & Benches online magazine. Her second novel, Mail Order Groom was released in April, 2017, received 5-Star Reviews from Readers Favorite and Books & Benches online magazine.

Affiliations include Romance Writers of America, Texas Association of Authors, Writers League of Texas, East Texas Writers Guild, Northeast Texas Writers Organization, and East Texas Writers Association.

She can be reached through her website or via email at

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Let me say at the outset that my one and only marriage did not survive infidelity. But my divorce occurred many years ago, and I was a different person then. Given similar circumstances, would I pursue the same course of action now?

                To set the stage for this treatise, I grew up internalizing the American sitcom “Father Knows Best,” in which the wife and mother Margaret Anderson (glamorous actress Jane Wyatt) vacuumed the floors, if she ever did vacuum the floors, while her elegant neck was perpetually encircled by a string of perfect pearls and her slender movie-star silhouette was adorned in haute couture dresses. Her greatest tragedy was likely to be a bad perm day at the beauty parlor, and her adoring and loyal husband Jim’s (actor Robert Young) last nerve was apt to be jangled by a cloudburst on his golf day. “Adultery” was a word absent from their lexicon, and even its causes didn’t exist. Of course, my own parents resembled Margaret and Jim Anderson not even a smidgen, and neither did their “hum-drum” marriage. But I, we of my generation, wanted to believe the TV version to be the “real” thing, and all of us were convinced it was our true and only destiny.

                If you are familiar with the TV series “Mad Men,” you’ll get the picture of the vast differences in male and female relationships that beset my generation by the time we approached marriageable age. Drugs, sex, and rock n roll were cultural tsunamis that rearranged our world, and with the changes came rampant bed hopping, even by married individuals. In my experience, married men more than married women indulged in the sport then, and I was one among the majority who abstained. As with my girlfriends and female members of my family, in my heart of hearts, I remained a version of Margaret Anderson and my husband of Jim Anderson. Boy, was I wrong about him! And boy, was I wrong about me! I just bet, though, that if Margaret and Jim Anderson had been swamped by the swirling, dirty, drowning cultural waters of the 1960s and 1970s, they very well might have been swept into the divorce court, too.  

                It took me several years after my divorce to realize, or actually, to admit, that the infidelity was a symptom rather than its cause. And of course, the fact that it was the “accepted” rationale for breaking up our family blinded me to the truth, as well. I had all the evidence against the continuation of my marriage I needed, so why bother to dig any deeper than the specter of the “other women?” Among the “real” culprits were our unrealistic Margaret and Jim Anderson expectations of married life, as were secrets we hid from each other. Everyday proximity was another. “Familiarity breeds contempt” really is true. Is there anyone whom you hate more than your spouse at times, or maybe all the time to a degree—disdain, dislike, disrespect, disapproval, scorn—all the possible synonyms for hatred of him or her stuffed away somewhere in the sub-basement of your consciousness?  

                Nowadays, we have many more opportunities to be better informed about what it takes to forge and maintain a complimentary marriage, to learn new adaptations, and to stop and contemplate Hemingway’s avowal: “The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, many are strong at the broken places.” But I think he should have enlarged his statement with the actuality that many are left cripplingly or fatally weakened at the broken places. What are your thoughts on this subject? And more to the point, would your marriage survive infidelity?             

Linda Lee Greene’s latest novel “Cradle of the Serpent” explores the causes and consequences of infidelity in the long-term marriage of archaeologists Lily and Jacob Light. Hover your mouse here  to find it on Amazon. Look for her on Facebook and on Twitter @LLGreeneAuthor.   

Friday, June 2, 2017

Best-selling author Linda Lee Greene's latest novel

Best-selling author Linda Lee Greene’s latest novel CRADLE OF THE SERPENT ( is a story whose protagonist is a contemporary North American archaeologist named Lily Light. Her work centers on the “Great Serpent Mound” in Adams County, Ohio, USA. The book is written in the voices of Lily Light and her psychotherapist Michael Neeson. Lily’s therapy is based on her estrangement from her husband Jacob, also an archaeologist at work on a project in Arizona. Early in Lily’s therapy, Jacob is injured in a violent shooting at the edge of the Navajo Reservation there, and is left permanently paralyzed from his shoulders down. Lily also learns that a woman murdered at the scene of the crime was Jacob’s mistress.

During several of Lily’s therapy sessions, she experiences dream-states or time-travels in which she takes on the bearing of a young Indian female, a member of the indigenous clan of the mound’s original architects. Through her remarkable journey through time, Lily finds her way to the other side of her shattered life wrought by Jacob’s infidelity and its numerous catastrophic consequences.