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Archive for June 25th, 2023

Gabbi Grey: When you miss that one little thing… (Contest)
Sunday, June 25th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Debra Guyette!

Of great debate in my author circles is whether or not to read reviews, how much stock to put in them, and whether they should have any impact on your writing.

I’ll admit, I didn’t understand the importance of reviews when I first started publishing.  As time went on, and as I immersed myself in all things publishing, I learned just how critical they can be.

Case in point (from a guru I respect) — all things being equal, if a book has one 1* review, it will sell better than the equivalent book with no reviews.  At first, that feels counterintuitive.  Someone hated the book, why would others want to read it?  But that review is social proof — someone bought and read the book.  Okay, they didn’t like it. The book wasn’t for them.  Doesn’t mean the next person won’t love it (some book lovers choose books with bad reviews for the fun of it).  But the book with no reviews?  Well, no one bought it or if they did (and if they read it), it didn’t inspire enough emotion in them to leave any kind of feedback.  The book lacks social proof.

Now, look up any great work of literature and there are plenty of horrible reviews.  Not everyone loved Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre. I can’t fathom that, but I look at some other books I didn’t enjoy, read the glowing reviews, and realize there’s someone out there who will love every book.

I admit to sending out review copies with my books, even knowing the reviewers have the option to decline to review, review even though they didn’t enjoy, or enthusiastically tell everyone what a great book I’ve written.  Obviously, I prefer the latter, but even the middle doesn’t bother me.  If someone didn’t enjoy my book, that means they weren’t my target audience.  The key, with the hundreds and hundreds of romance books being released every week, is to find the reader who wants your book.  Who needs your book?  Who will see the genius in your book?

Which brings me back to reviews.  Advanced reader copies (ARCs) for my book releasing this week, Love Without Reservations, went out last week.  Normally I try to give a longer lead time, but things kind of got away from me with this book.  Therefore, I wasn’t expecting reviews for a bit.  Some readers, though, grabbed it and dug right in.  Soon after, I began to receive notifications that reviews were being posted.

To read or not to read: that is the question.

In the end, I took a peek.  Who wouldn’t?  Well, at least one of my mentors doesn’t…and good for her for having the strength to resist.

Alas, I’m a weak woman.

The reviews are generally positive.  Readers enjoyed the book.  Understood what I was trying to convey.  Didn’t regret having picked it up.

But one reviewer…  Man, this gutted me.  She pointed out I’d missed an opportunity with one of my characters.

I literally gasped in…anger?  Frustration?  Annoyance?  Not at the reviewer, of course, but at myself.  They’d found a plot point I’d forgotten about.  A thread I’d meant to tie up.

One line.  I just needed one line.  And I’d forgotten it.

Now, after writing 38k, a writer can be forgiven for missing one sentence.  Only it was a really important one.  So here it is:

Aaron managed to secure a job overseeing the renovations of the Grand Hotel.

Now, that doesn’t mean anything to anyone who hasn’t read the book.  But for those who have, it solidifies the happily ever after.  It ties off that loose thread.

Alas, I didn’t format the book myself and making the change would be monumental.  So, dear reader, you are the only ones who know about it.  I fully intend to weave that fact into a future book (I write in series and my characters ALWAYS come back…)

Thank you, Delilah, for hosting me.  I enjoyed sharing my little angsty story.  To a lucky randomly selected commenter, I would love to give a $5 Amazon GC.  To win, please consider answering the following question: what would make you leave a review?  Or, let me know a book you read that left a loose thread that drove you nuts.  Thanks!

Love Without Reservations


I’ve tracked down my wayward sister to Cataluma, California, and my goal is to drag her back to Canada before she gets in trouble with the American authorities. The problem? She’s gone and fallen in love with some dude and refuses to come home. I need to stick around to talk some sense into her, but there’s only one damned inn in this podunk town and they insist they’re full. I can’t get the handsome innkeeper to make an exception, not even for the few days I’ll need to get Kendra safely headed back across the border.


I love my job as the owner of the quaint Cataluma Inn. I also pride myself in being a peacemaker. When I find squawking siblings arguing about a good friend of mine at our traditional barbecue, I have to step in. Next thing I know, I’m offering to share my one-bedroom apartment with a very attractive Canadian. Oh, and he’s gay too…

Love Without Reservations is s story in the Shopping for Love in Cataluma series. The book is a 38k word small-town gay interracial romance novella with a grumpy Canadian entrepreneur, a sunshine American motorcycle rider, and the love they never saw coming.

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About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Gabbi Grey lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black and Gabbi Powell.

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