Friday, December 28, 2007

Tough Critics, Soft Landings

There’s a new review of Amorous Woman up on, a popular chicklit review blog based in the UK. It’s a good review, although I could tell from the beginning, the critic (editor Keris Stainton) wasn’t exactly on my side from the start. And I can’t blame her. She rightly points out that the cover of Amorous Woman, both back and front, does not allow reading on the daily commute. It screams “dirty book”! Which it is—but I hope it’s so much more.

Yes, there’s no doubt Amorous Woman is a strange beast, neither fish nor fowl, nor even a side of beef or a vegetarian seitan kabob. But Ms. Stainton seemed to like it in the end anyway. After pointing out that Lydia’s story would take more than a few hours to tell in real life (okay, maybe, depending on how fast she talked), the review continues:

“…the book is compelling and beautifully written. Despite the fact that Lydia behaves fairly appallingly throughout, she is so open and honest about her wants, needs and weaknesses that I couldn't help but like her.”

And then there’s this:

“Since it's an erotic novel, you probably want to know whether it is indeed "erotic" (that word's never been the same to me since Waynetta Slob). It is. (Ha! Coy enough for you?)”

From a mainstream perspective, that’s as good as it gets.

It all reminds me of my challenge in promoting the novel. Amorous Woman does have a lot of sex scenes since I was writing on commission for an erotica line and there were certain expectations. Many “mainstream” novels have lots of sex scenes, too, but not as dependably or as required perhaps. Then again, Field Marshall McBirdie at LoveHoney was surprised when I didn’t make an encounter with a guy into a full-fledged sex scene, so it is hard to please everyone.

So I guess I’ll just have to settle for “compelling” and “beautifully written.”

More soon!

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