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Every day is a new opportunity to reach for one, two, sometimes three new novels that Penguin, Kensington, or  an author sent me. I put aside my lifestyles writer POV and adjust my reviewer’s reader’s glasses. Have plenty of pairs of those.

One of my favorite authors, Hank Phillippi Ryan, who created the Jane Ryland mysteries, asked me to write some thoughts on a reviewer’s perspective for a blog she and her peers contribute to. (I love Hank’s mysteries and she’s wonderful to listen to. If she comes to your town for her latest book’s promotion, RSVP and take notes). Well, I haven’t had time until now, to think about it.

My thoughts….

I see it this way…reading a book is like an adventure. As a reviewer, the author is my tour guide, leading me to places unknown. The journey begins with the book cover. Holding your book in my hand, I know right away if that’s the book I’m going to reach for before the others on my TBR book shelf. The cover has to draw me in and then the very first line and paragraph have to grasp my attention. I want real life to drift away so I can follow your characters through their experiences.

As I read, I note the following in a journal so I know I’ve covered everything I wanted to about the storyline:

  • What’s happening from chapter to chapter?
  • Can I relate to the characters?
  • Is it written on a level that the average reader can understand?
  • Does it make me look up the meaning of words here and there or every page?
  • Does the font hurt my eyes?
  • Does the storyline progress at a slow pace or full-speed ahead?
  • Is there any meaning or a message here?
  • Is it edited well? Have good transitions or feel as if pieces are missing?
  • Are the characters achieving anything? Learning something?
  • Are the characters interacting and assisting the protagonist?
  • Does the story keep my attention? Do I look forward to reading it?
  • Do I like the writer’s style?
  • Did I like the ending?
  • Am I interested in reading the next book in the series?

After adding the book cover jpg. , title information, mini-summary, I give my opinion as an average reader. It’s honest and a fast read. Hopefully, it will be read by other readers. If not, I know that I gave an author the time and respect he or she deserved. That book isn’t just sitting on a shelf.

About the blogger:

Denise Fleischer resides in Illinois, but prefers to believe she can go anywhere in the universe. The majority of the time she can be found at home writing her next book or at the Journal & Topics Newspapers processing copy and writing articles. She is the author of “The Guardian,” “Altar of Freedom” and “Deadly Reservations,”  a paranormal thriller. Her work in progress is “The Sharp Edge of Truth,” a sequel to “Deadly,” with a time travel format. Denise’s interest in time travel and the paranormal began with “The Time Tunnel” and Dark Shadows television shows. When Denise isn’t writing the next Zoe Montgomery adventure, she’s reading women’s fiction and mysteries for review, watching TLC and HGTV, working on gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com, Breakers and Snug Harbor SL sim blogs and chilling in Second Life.

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