You Can Write a Book Review: 5 Tips To Show You How

Good day, friends…I hope you are all having a wonderful day.  Since I’m recuperating from a cold, I decided to share something old, but still pertinent. For those of you who love to read, but are shy about writing a review, this may be helpful. I wrote the following article for LinkedIn last January and thought to post it here on the blog.  I hope you enjoy it.

open book with script

 

You Can Write a Book Review: 5 Tips to Show You How

You just finished reading a book – now what? Book reviews are an essential form of word-of-mouth advertising for the author, especially if the review is a good one. They also help other readers to decide whether or not a book is worth the investment of their time and money. But the majority of readers will end up never leaving a review. Though the reasons may vary, I have discovered two major ones: the reader doesn’t know how to express his/her thoughts in writing and they’re afraid to try, or they don’t want to spend the time.

Writing a book review doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming, and doesn’t have to sound like it was written by the editor of Swank ‘n Stuff Publishers. It just has to be honest and brief. Here are 5 tips on how to write a book review, which will benefit both the author and readers.

1. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

It’s important to be honest when writing a review. Gushing over a book that you really didn’t care for isn’t helpful to the author or other readers. The whole purpose of a review is to express your true opinions about what you read. Whether you loved the book or not, state your opinion honesty and kindly, and give a reason or two to back up your viewpoint. For example: “I didn’t enjoy this book because there were too many misspelled words, which distracted me from the story. I hope the author will remedy this.”

2. BE BRIEF

Many readers won’t leave a review because they don’t consider themselves writers in the traditional sense, and they feel intimidated by publicly expressing their opinions. Or, and this is the worst reason, they don’t want to spend the time. Your review doesn’t have to be a dissertation. Keeping it brief and to the point, alleviates the anxiety associated with novice review writing, and it doesn’t take more than a minute or two of your time. It’s sufficient to simply state that you liked the book and give a few reasons why. For example: “I enjoyed reading this book because the humor with which it was written kept me wanting more,” or “I found this book to be funny and engaging. I especially related to the author’s frustration with a houseful of cats. I will definitely recommend this book to my pet-loving family and friends.” – Simple, honest, and brief.

3. SPOILER ALERT

When writing a review, it’s important not to give away too much of the story.
Keeping your review general, gives the next reader a chance to use their imagination. Using an excerpt or two from the book is fine in getting your point across, for example: “ ‘Josephine held her daughter in her arms. She pulled Mary as close to her as she could, as if she were holding her for the first time, but she knew in her heart it would be the last. She had to let her go.’ I loved the way the characters allowed me to feel their emotions.” The person reading a review wants to be intrigued by the information you give, but doesn’t want to hear too many details. Why would they want to read the story if they already know what happens? Don’t milk the cow dry – leave something for the next reader.

4. BE CONSTRUCTIVE – NOT DESTRUCTIVE

If for any reason you didn’t like the book you read, it’s imperative to be constructive and kind in your review. Raking the author over the coals is not only cruel, but doesn’t give the author a chance to improve. Be honest with the reasons you didn’t like the book, but also give ways in which you think the author could improve this particular book and his/her future ones. And if there is a saving grace about the book – something that you did like about it – don’t forget to mention it in your review.

5. IT’S NOW OR NEVER

As I said in the beginning, word-of-mouth is an essential form of advertising for an author. So the best time to write a review is immediately after finishing the book, when the characters and your emotive response are fresh on your mind and ready to be shared. The longer you postpone writing a review, there’s a greater chance you will never write it. While you’re still in the mood of what you’ve read, give it a go and let everyone know.

Don’t be shy. Writing a review is not as difficult as you might think, and you’ll feel good about being part of the wonderful literary experience. And who knows…one day you might even be inspired to write a book of your own.

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

Note: This article originally appeared on LinkedIn, January 16, 2016

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Happy New Year – 2018!

Don’t get all unraveled – it’s just a new year…Welcome to Leisure Lane, everyone.  I just popped by to wish you all a very happy, healthy, prosperous 2018! May your dreams come true, may friends, family, and love gather around your table and fill the corners of your life with laughter, not just this year, but all the years to come.  May you increase in goodness of soul, with the same surrounding you.  May happy, pretty things be part of your every day, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne ♥

Note: The above image is from The Knittington Fairy series by Marianne Coyne.  All rights reserved.

Merry Christmas To All!

Our frazzled little Knittington fairy is working her best to send you Merry Christmas greetings.  I hope you’re not as frazzled this holiday season.  Wishing you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Thank you for stopping by Leisure Lane, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne ♥

Note:  The above image is from The Knittington Fairy series by Marianne Coyne.  All rights reserved.

Elsie’s Rose Water Scones

“Elsie, what a nice surprise!” exclaimed Catherine.  “Please, come in.  I was just about to have some tea, and I’d love for you to join me.”  She hugged Elsie, who gingerly held a platter with some scones she had baked.

“Here you go, my dear,” Elsie said, handing her the platter.  “I thought you might like some of these, and they’d go perfectly with our tea.”  Her silvery voice and Mancunian accent seemed to sing the words.

“Oh my, thank you!”  She took the scones and led Elsie into the kitchen.  “Have a seat, Elsie.” A rose scent wafted up to Catherine, as she removed the plastic wrapping from the scones.  “Elsie, they smell heavenly!”

“Rose water scones,” Elsie acknowledged.  “I made them this morning and thought you and Alan might like to try them.”   Excerpt from Chapter three, River Runs Deep

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Good day, friends!  Welcome to Leisure Lane.  I hope you enjoyed a lovely weekend and are ready for a lovely recipe.  In all the business of the holidays, I forgot to post it for you.  It’s one of two recipes that can be found at the end of my kindle romance ebook, River Runs Deep.  These scones are pretty and delicious, and they’re perfect for tea with friends or anytime.  If you try them, let me know.  Have a wonderful week, and until next time, may happy days abound!

Elsie’s Rose Water Scones

Makes 8

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
½ Tblsp baking powder
¼ cup granulated sugar
4 Tblsp cold butter, cut in chunks
1/3 cup milk
1 ½ – 2 tsp. of rose water
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F

*In a medium size bowl add flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar and mix well.
*Add butter and blend with a pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly.
*Add rose water and extract to milk and pour liquid into dry mixture. Stir gently with a spoon until blended and dough forms. The fewer strokes the better.
*Knead gently 2 or 3 times to form a solid ball.  Use a little flour if dough seems sticky.
*Place dough on greased cookie sheet and use fingers to pat into a circular shape 1- inch thick.  Cut circle into 8 wedges and slightly separate leaving some space between the wedges.
*Bake for 12-15 minutes until they begin to lightly brown.
*Ice or drizzle with rose water glaze.

Recipe may be doubled, if desired.

Rose Water Glaze

Ingredients:

1/8 cup of confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. rose water (food grade)
¼ tsp. vanilla extract

Less than a drop of red dye for pink glaze – if desired.

Directions:

Place sugar into a small bowl.  Add rose water, extract and red dye.  Stir until glaze is a loose consistency.  You may add more rose water to get the proper consistency.  May be drizzled onto scones or spread on top of scones to thinly cover tops.

Enjoy with hot tea or coffee and a friend!

 

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

I’ve been singing that song for two weeks – believing when I sing!

Good day everyone!  In southeast Texas, it’s an amazing, wonderful, and I’d say, miraculous thing to see snow.  But, here it is – all 2-3 inches of it.

Though, to my sadness, it was melting faster than I could take these pictures.  But it came! And that’s really all that matters.  Glorious, beautiful snow.  I know my friends in northern areas may be rolling their eyes…I grew up with snow, so I understand the beauty and the hazards, as well.  But, when you haven’t seen it for years on end, it really is a treat.

Well, I just wanted to share. Thank you for strolling by Leisure Lane.  I hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend, full of promise and beautiful things.  If it can snow in Texas, ANYTHING is possible!

Until next times, may happy days abound!

Marianne ♥

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy day, everyone…I hope you are all well and enjoying your day.  I just wanted to let you know that I will be taking a break from blogging for most of the holiday season.  The job will be taking a lot out of me for another year, so I thought I’d give myself one less thing to do on my list.  But I truly wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving, as you find new and wonderful things to be grateful for, and even the old, but fond memories of joyous occasions and loving people who have graced your life.  I know for certain you have graced mine.

Be blessed, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

River Runs Deep – One Week Kindle Countdown Deal

Good day everyone.  I hope you are all well.  I promised to give a reminder about Amazon Kindle’s River Runs Deep Countdown Deal, so here are the details:

Amazon  – U.S. starts November 14, 2017 8:00 a.m. PST….Ends November 21, 2017 12:00 a.m. PST

Amazon – U.K. starts November 15, 2017 8:00 a.m. MT…Ends November 22,2017 12:00 a.m. GMT

Thank you for strolling by Leisure Lane today.  May your day be filled with love, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne♥

 

 

River Runs Deep – Romantic Comedy Book Promotion

Hello everyone. I hope you’re enjoying the day. Dreary and very cool here today, which I know doesn’t sound so great, but it’s actually beautiful…cozy and a perfect day to be home visiting with you. I hope your week is progressing nicely and lots of good surprises come your way.

Just a note to let you know that beginning November 14, 2017, Amazon is running a Kindle Countdown Deal promotion on River Runs Deep. I will send out another reminder just before it begins. This is for all of my U.S. friends.  For my U.K. friends, the countdown will begin on November 15, 2017.  Again, I will send out reminders.  The book has been doing very well and I’m very grateful.

Thank you for stopping by Leisure Lane, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne ♥

Mary Jane’s Tearoom: Where Dreams and Designs are Born

Good day, friends…thank you for strolling by Leisure Lane.  This day is about to get fun, because we’re going to visit a very talented woman, share some tea with her and take a peek at her lovely creations.

Welcome to Mary Jane’s Tearoom, where Susan, an independent designer from the UK, has been blogging, sharing, and selling her delightfully knitted bears and dolls since 2009.  Susan is a master craftswoman with an impeccable eye for detail, color, and techniques that will make your heart swoon ♥♥♥

Her sweet bears are looking quite fashionable as they while away the hours looking at cloud shapes – at least to me that’s what they look like they’re doing – OH, there goes a dragon!  If I had one of her bears, I couldn’t just put it on the bed or shelf, I think I’d have to play with it!  Yes, even at my age – which is kept secret in a bear cave somewhere in the Himalayan mountains.

 And who wouldn’t mind a closet full of these adorable cardigans!

Susan also designs dolls with the prettiest outfits and hair styles!  A snugly girlfriend who never gets tired of hearing you talk – a besty, indeed.

Isn’t Crystal a DOLL?! Look at her adorable hat!!

Susan’s charming patterns can be found in her Tearoom Shop, so don’t forget to stop by there and take a look around.  She and her cozy companions can also be found on Instagram, and Pinterest…AND check out her EBOOK Shop, where she offers group patterns.  I’ve provided links to everything I’ve mentioned here.

 

There really isn’t enough time to show or tell you everything Susan offers at Mary Jane’s Tearoom – you really have to see it for yourself, and I promise you will be enthralled with her and her creations.  She is friendly, open and quite accessible for lending a helping “hand” with any questions you may have about her work or knitting.  Mary Jane’s Tearoom is an inspirational, cheerful place to visit, so bring a friend and have some fun.  I am constantly inspired, and a smile is easily attained when I visit her site.

Thank you again, for coming by.  May your day be filled with snugly thoughts, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

Note:  Above images courtesy of Mary Jane’s Tearoom.  All rights reserved.

Handmade Jack O’Lantern

Good day, friends…

Welcome to Leisure Lane…Thank you for strolling by today and visiting.

Halloween is just around the corner, and I made myself a note to enjoy a few decorations for the occasion.  I like to take out my homemade Jack O’ Lantern, who always greets me with his funny smile leading up to the big day.  He was so easy to make – scrap cottons, black felt, buttons, a twig, polyester stuffing, and a bit of green floral wiring to top it off.  Do you have a special or favorite handmade Halloween item you like to put out every year?  I’d love to hear about it.

May you have a fun and blessed weekend, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

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