Sunday, July 06, 2008

Reviews: The Good, the Bad, or Should I Say Ugly?

It's been an interesting week. Reviews are starting to come in and for the most part, I'm pretty happy. I sent a book off to a reviewer whose website I liked and who seemed open to reviewing my type of mystery. A while later, I discovered her 4-star review on Yeah!

And then I got an e-mail from someone I didn't send the book to and who wouldn't sign their name. This person said she won my book in a draw at a mystery store (my book isn't carried at mystery stores, though I did give a complimentary copy to most of them), thought it was intriguing, but that she couldn't get past the first hundred pages because the dialogue was too "cartoonish". (Actually, I've been told by others that my dialogue's great.) The person then went on to say I shouldn't use friends to blurb my book because they're not helping me. I'm here to tell you that Cheryl Kaye Tardif wouldn't compromise her integrity by blurbing a book she thought undeserving. But I didn't tell that person this because she wouldn't have believed me.

It's all part of the writing life, and what makes it so interesting. Anyway, here's the good review:

"Debra Purdy Kong reprises her lead character, Alex Bellamy, in her book Fatal Encryption. This book begins with a murder and Alex in a frog costume. Alex takes a job at McKinleys' Department Store as a systems analyst. Someone is threatening to encrypt their system permanently. Alex delights in a challenge, but is he up to this one? Debra Purdy Kong writes with a flair for technology. Fatal Encryption has a timely plot. The thought of Alex in a frog costume brings humor and depth to his character. This is an entertaining read. Mystery readers will love it." -- Debra Gaynor for

For book excerpts visit,


Cheryl Kaye Tardif... said...

Hey, thanks, Debra. And you're so right. I look at reviewing books for other authors as a serious thing. I won't put my reputation on the line for anyone. If I say I really like something, I do.

I don't just 'give away' 4 and 5 stars, no matter how good a friend an author is. And Debra and I know each other in the writing community and here on The Write Type, but we've never met, never even spoken on the phone.

My motto is this: If I can't give an honest review, then I don't write it. In other words, unless I have something postive to say, I won't bother posting a review at all. I'll only post 3-5 star reviews if I feel I enjoyed the book. Believe me, I've read many books I didn't like and won't review.

Those who know me, know that I'm a tough reviewer. I'm picky, a stickler for editing, and I love a good story and hate ones that are slaughtered.

Debra's novel Fatal Encryption is well worth reading and very entertaining. You can read my review on Amazon.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Debra Purdy Kong said...

Thanks, Cheryl. Much appreciated.