C is for…

Critics.
When I set out to write books, my motivation was to try to inspire at least one person to see the world in a positive way. I hoped that single positive change would have a ripple effect and impact many others. Soon after releasing my first book, I received a private message from a reader telling me she was so moved by my story. I felt I had truly succeeded at using my words to make the world a better place. It encouraged me to pick up my laptop and work on my next book.
But like Statler and Waldorf, the infamous hecklers on the Muppet Show, there are people that boldly vocalize their dislike for something. But is that such a bad thing?
WALDORF: They aren’t half bad. 
STATLER: Nope, they’re ALL bad!

I’m not gonna’ lie, when my book received a 1 star rating, I was crushed. I could not help but read the review to find out why the reader felt it deserved such a poor rating. One of her reasons included, “I found Brogen to be selfish and incredibly rude.” The defensiveness came out and I found myself saying, “aren’t most 17 year olds selfish?” A five star review for the SAME book said this, “Rarity touched me way more than I ever thought it would when I read the summary.” Polar opposites on the review spectrum. And for some reason, Rarity has that effect on readers. It seems you will either fall head over heels for the story or hate it – there’s no in between.


So here’s what I learned about reviews:

Bad reviews will exist, if you worry they may shake your confidence…don’t read them. Stick to the 4 & 5 star reviews to drive you through your next writing project.


-Bad reviews that offer constructive criticism can be a learning opportunity. I learned that readers of Rarity wished it was longer. They also wished it showed a bit more of the male MC’s point of view. These were two important criticisms that I was careful to be mindful of when writing my next book.

-Using a chocolate chip cookie analogy…You can make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world, even win awards for the recipe – but there will still be people that hate chocolate chip cookies.


What to do if you get a bad review… put the pencil to the paper and keep writing. EVERY book I have written has been better than the one before it. Don’t give up. Push forward and get working!

-Shouldn’t I comment and correct the reviewer? In my opinion, no. If the reviewer has a history of bad-mouthing and trashing people in reviews, report them. But arguing with someone’s review will more than likely not get them to change their review and it’s tacky.


When I see a book that has (25) 5 star ratings and (2) 1 star ratings, I go and read those 1 star ratings. And usually, I find I disagree or could careless about the points they mentioned in their negative review. Besides, if all you had were 5 star reviews, people would suspect you had your entire family and friends read and review it!



Between the Bleeding Willows (Book 1 of the Demon Hunter series)

Title: Between The Bleeding Willows

Series: The Demon Hunter Series Book 1
Author: D.A. Roach
Genre: YA Paranormal
Published: March 8, 2016

At eighteen years old, Cassidy has suffered more loss than most… 
At the end of her senior year, her boyfriend, Jace Peters, was killed in a car accident, and her grandmother died only weeks later of a heart attack. Emotionally lost, Cassidy desperately searches for an heirloom her boyfriend was wearing in the crash—her mother’s gold ring. But during her search, Cassidy discovers more than her ring. 
She finds a gate to the Demon Realm….
A battle is brewing, and Killian—head of the Demon hunters—preps his Clan for the approaching conflict. They’ve been working to secure the gate between his realm and the mortal world. But it’s been nearly impossible since Rya—a voracious demon on a quest to expand her power—devoured the soul of his Clan’s necromancer. Now Rya is possessed with the necromancer’s powers and she may break through the gate at any moment with her demon army.
Apparently Rya isn’t the only one Killian has to worry about…
When Cassidy accidentally crosses into the Demon Realm, Killian can’t understand how a human girl survived the transition. Now he has to find a way to return her to her own world, or risk her being caught in the crossfire, which is a complication he definitely doesn’t need.
Once back in the Human Realm, Cassidy readies herself for battle. She signs up for Krav Maga classes, where she meets Tyler Romaitis—a handsome, tenacious, humble guy. He seems almost perfect, but nothing is ever that easy.
And as the balance between good and evil shifts, Cassidy finds herself—and her ring—at the heart of the conflict for the survival of mankind.

“… I seriously loved ever minute and I am so looking forward to reading the next book in this series.” ~Hashtag Minxes Love Books

“The plot is fast-paced and packed with tons of action and emotion.  I would recommend it for anyone who reads paranormal/action novels, or anyone who simply loves to read books from a very talented author.”  ~Brooke’s Review

“Omgosh this book was so great!  I couldn’t put it down.  It has such a great story line that just grips you from the beginning.”  ~Liz’s Review

D.A. Roach has been telling stories since she was a young girl in the suburbs of Chicago. In college she met the man of her dreams, her happily ever after, and married him 2 weeks after graduating. They have 3 kids together and a pet cockatiel named Gimli. D.A. did not find a love for books until after college. Her parents were immigrants from Lithuania and found tv and radio easier ways to hear stories so they did not do much reading or encourage it. But once she finished college and D.A. had free time, she discovered how amazing it was to get lost in a story. D.A. is a full time mom and wife. When she is not doing domestic things (laundry, bills, etc) she is writing, reading, creating mixed media art, and helping beautify her kids’ school landscape. Oh, and she is ALWAYS listening to music. Her favorite authors include Rebecca Donovan, Richelle Mead, Larissa Ione, Stephanie Meyer, E.L. James, and Sylvia Day. Reading great works from authors like these has motivated D.A. to write her own stories. She hopes to make positive changes in the world with her art and writing.

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