"Reading on my commute, I nearly missed my stop. ...Marvelous fantasy adventure, outside the usual boxes."
"The story kept pulling me back to pick it [up] and read more, even when I had other things to do."
"Firedancer almost caused me a sleepless night. I just had to go on reading about what happens to Jetta and the friends she finds..."
The reviews of Firedancer are starting to come in, and thus far I am blushing. I try to reserve 5 stars for really exceptional books, and I hope these readers do too, because easy praise is worth so much less than that well earned. Thus far all the reviews have been 4 or 5 stars, and I am personally thrilled that people find it such a page-turner.
The most gratifying thing for any author is to know that others like your work. It is difficult to throw a book out to the wide world, after all the effort, joy, sweat and time that went into its creation. It is a part of you, an expression of talent and passion and creativity unique to your experiences and worldview and vision. That passion and vision will not always resonate with people; if you are lucky, it will please more than it will offend.
Reviews are a necessary part of book promotion. You send the book to reviewers and hope they will a) find time to actually read it and b) like it enough to give it a good review. The beauty (and drawback) of Amazon and other places like Goodreads and Library Thing is that the reviews come from readers. They are unfiltered expressions of reader likes and dislikes, hopefully tendered without bias or agenda.
That last is not always the case; every author has horror stories of trolls who take violent exception to something about their work and persist in rating it as low as they can, as often as they can, and dragging the book and the author through the mud. This is a sad type of personality and one can only hope the rest of the audience recognizes them for what they are. Then there are the "paid" reviewers who receive all manner of cool stuff from publishers and authors, including free books, in hopes that they will turn in a positive review. This corrupts the system, because most people are basically honest and feel obligated for the gifts. Ergo, the plethora of highly-ranked books that maybe weren't so good.
It is hard to know whether a book is really as good or bad as touted until you read it for yourself, but it is good to know that Firedancer has not yet caused anyone to sit down and write a flaming review trashing it. My heartfelt thanks to those readers who have liked it enough to take time out of their day and share their reaction for others.
I hope you will check out Firedancer at Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Smashwords, and let me know what you think. And thank you!