Way back when I first started this blog (twenty days ago) I reviewed a short story I found on Amazon and gave it two stars. I thought the writer and her story had a lot of potential, and I said so. Who knew anybody actually ever listened to me?
A few weeks ago the writer contacted me and told me she'd updated the story and would I consider taking another look at it.
Writers, that's the way to do it. (if you are actually gonna look at readers reviews and do something about them. Which I don't recommend, but if you have to, do it this way) No inflammatory remarks, no twitter smear campaigns, no blanket emails to try and get a group of friends to make my reviews look bad. Simply a polite convo letting me know she'd been working to improve her craft and would I mind reading her new and improved story.
Editors - you should sign this author up. She'll be easy to work with, wants to be the best writer she can, and knows how to handle negative feedback in a positive, career boosting way. (I'm looking at you Harlequin editors)
Title: Text Order Bride
Author: Kirsten Osbourne
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: a new an improved 15,000 words (about 44 pages)
Six foot two, Texas Home-Ec teacher Amanda feels like love has passed her by, until she's set up on a text date with Jason, a dairy farmer in Wisconsin.
I'm pretty sure the author has captured the feeling of gajillions of unattached women in America. No, not everyone is looking to get married and have kids, but those that are, and haven't found the loves of their life will like both the hero and heroine of this story. We get a whole lot of the long distance courtship, way more of the characters motivations, and a teensy bit more tension. (I still want some more conflict.)
I like the improvements made in this updated version so much that I'm hoping the author works on it some more and turns it into a full length novel. I'm thinking Harlequin's American Romance line here.
I would like to see a bit more on why Amanda feels like she and Jason would have a loveless marriage. And I want Amanda to be a little bit stronger female character. I still don't like the part where she asks him if she can use the loo before their wedding night begins. Tell him sister, then go have a little nervous breakdown behind close doors.
I also think that by expanding the story into a novella or full length book it would help to eliminate the jumps in POV. There was quite a bit of head hopping, which is a no-no unless your Nora Roberts. But if it's longer we can spend whole chapters in Jason's head, not just a few blurbs.
Oh, and I still think this is one of the better self pub book covers I've seen.
If you like sweet romance and are looking for a quick read definitely one-click this. If you already have it on Amazon (they won't let you 'buy' it again) you can also get it at AllRomance.com in their free section. (which is where I got it.
I give the new version of this story, not two, not three, but four stars. You go girl.