Reviews, accolades and brickbats

I have tried to steer clear of the  controversy over reviews on Amazon.

Reviews, good and bad, are a fact of life for a writer and it is inevitable that a book that resonates and draws praise from one reader will draw criticism and contempt from another.

And this has proved to  be the case with my latest book, One Hour To Midnight. It was a challenging book to write and obviously a challenging book to read….

The reviews range from :

It’s not worth reading, I couldn’t finish it and deleted it from my kindle.

To: Romance & Drama, a great read.  Raw and believable emotion.

A wonderful story with romance, family drama and the joy of life. Some of the character’s I really disliked until the story unfolded more and I learned the real truth. I couldn’t put the book down. 

One other reviewer couldn’t understand the language or the strange animals….. this one had me scratching my head as the only animal in the story is Veronica’s cat and the kangaroos that bounded away from the waterhole.

I must confess I thought cats as pets universal and didn’t need explanation. And who in the world doesn’t know what a kangaroo is?

The language comment made me raise my eyebrows and give a choke of laughter….

How often I’ve read books set in the US and scratched my head over some of their expressions…. like who eats biscuits for dinner? Or would eat a po-boy? What on earth is a po-boy?  I have to confess to feeling a tad let down when I discovered a po-boy was a sub sandwich. LOL.

Nor would a NZ author, God forbid, use the word “fanny” in a romance…. The NZ definition of that word is really offensive.  And yet do “down-under” readers write reviews trashing American language usage? No it just makes us appreciate the cultural differences.

But like all writers, I realise that reviews are subjective so I’ll leave the last comment to one grateful reader ….

I am glad to thank you for sharing your stories with the world.  I just finished
One Hour to Midnight, and I loved it.  It was a heart warming story that gives
hope to those of us who need it.  I love reading various stories and gathering
glimpses of cultures that I have never had the chance to see in person.  You
have a wonderful talent, and I thank you for being willing to share it.  Thank
you for allowing me to find some momentary happiness through you….

And I thank you too, Amy, from the bottom of my heart…. you made my day and make me feel really humble.  


Published on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013, under Latest News

2 Responses to “Reviews, accolades and brickbats”

  1. Great blog post, Shirley. And I love your readers comment “…a heart warming story that gives hope to those of us who need it.” Clearly you’ve done that for her. For a writer, it doesn’t get much better than that.

  2. shirley says:


    The honour is mine…to have a writer such as yourself comment on my blog has made my day… Thank you so much.

    And thanks for your appreciation of my website. I am one of those strange Kiwis (the people, not the bird or the fruit) who love New Zealand and never take its beauty for granted, but enjoy it every day.

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