Yesterday I found another review, one of the best I’ve gotten yet. No, not best as in totally good, but best in the sense that the reviewer was so clear about what she did and didn’t like, I really felt like I could see how at least some readers might read my book. What I discovered kind of surprised me.
Nobody likes Penny.
Penny is the good friend of Alicia, the heroine of the book. She was a good friend of Alicia’s deceased husband Ty, and over the years she’s maintained a close relationship with Ty’s parents, Alicia’s in-laws. Unfortunately, Penny has a secret, and her secret affects Alicia. To keep her secret, she really doesn’t want Liam, Ty’s best friend from high school and the only other person who knows Penny’s secret, getting involved with Alicia. She knows he’ll want to be totally honest with her if he does, and Penny’s secret would come out.
So in a way, Penny is a bit of a villain.
However, she’s also loyal and very good to Alicia when she arrives in her new home. She’s a loving mother, a good wife, and scared of losing it all.
At least two reviewers have failed to see her that way, though, so I’m starting to think I failed in her respect.
At any rate, I was very impressed by my 3.5 star review from Ravishing Romances, and I’d like to thank Musing Sallie for the thoughtful read. She did like Alicia, Liam, Lulu and the in-laws, so I didn’t fail utterly. She even liked Sandra, a very minor character who starts out as a bit of a villain and ends up with more to her than you expect. I very much encourage you to check out Sallie’s other reviews, if you have any interest in romance. Here’s a bit of the positive stuff from her review of WHERE THE HEART LIES:
Where the Heart Lies by Michelle Garren Flye has the workings for an epic novel. The premise is heart stopping. —Ravishing Romances
Sounds good, right? I wish it hadn’t gone downhill from there, but at least I know why. And I can take notes and do better next time! Thanks, Sallie.
Congrats on all the notice you’re getting…seems about every other day you’re getting a new review, and many of them strong ones at that!
As for Penny — hey, we all have some sort of skeleton in our closet. Perhaps it’s just perception, because some folks see a bad person in her response to what’s happened, while others see a person who is doing the best she can.
That’s not just Penny, that could be the case for most anyone in life. Maybe you DID do a good job with her, in that people can pick up on certain parts of her character, what she’s doing, and not like that one thing so much it overrides the rest — that’s often human nature. If you’re getting such reactions, then you’ve pulled people in, even if in ways you didn’t want.
Hey JP2! Thanks for stopping by. I’m really looking forward to your new novel. I like the way you look at Penny and you’ve given me a new way to look at the reviews. Thank you for that!