When Marlie agrees to attend a cadaver ball at Vanderbilt Medical School, she did not expect to actually see any cadavers. Or, that a strange apparition would issue her a chilling message.
Despite the cadaver's warning, Marlie is married a year later to Tennessee State Senator, Daniel Cannon, and living in a plantation-style mansion with two step sons. Add to the mix her growing suspicion that something is amiss with the death of Daniel’s first wife, Gentry; and newlywed Marlie is definitely in over her pretty Yankee head.
What begins as an innocent inquiry into her new husband’s clouded past, ends with Marlie in the midst of a dangerous conspiracy.
A modern twist on the classic Gothic romance novels of Rebecca and Jane Eyre, Replacing Gentry follows Marlie’s precarious journey as she learns the truth about the man she married.
How I Handle the Bad Reviews
by Julie N. Ford
Back when I was still querying and being rejected by publishers and agents in the privacy of my own home, where said communications could be deleted and/or ripped to shreds, I thought things were pretty tough.
As every author knows, rejection can be crushing to the ego, devastating to the spirit and numbing to creativity.
Once my first manuscript was accepted, I thought those rollercoaster days of excited anticipation, followed by an agonizing wait that ended with a screeching halt at “This manuscript is good, but it just isn’t for us/me” were over.
But beyond every obstacle is another hurtle.
What I didn’t know was that getting published, in no way, meant the end of rejection. Except that now, said rejection is not only doled out by editors and publishing interns, but also by readers and reviewers as well. And sure, said readers and reviewers are free to say wonderfully glorious things about my novels, but on the other hand, are equally unrestrained—much to my chagrin—from being downright nasty. And to make matters worse, their opinions are published on the Internet where there is no delete button, and no shredder, for me to use at my discretion.
Just out there, uncensored and raw, for all interested parties to peruse and mock—mercilessly.
Now I’m a firm believer that everyone is entitled to his/her opinion (even the ones that show a blatant disregard for someone else’s—my—feelings), but giving a novel only one star? And sure, on occasion, I have bestowed the dreaded 1-star rating myself but that was before, long before, I knew what it left like to see that one, single, devastatingly red star next to one of my own books. Basically, a single star is the same as saying, “your book isn’t worth the paper it was printed on.” And I don’t know about y’all, but I think sayin’ as much is just plain mean.
So taking my inspiration from Taylor Swift, I “wrote” this song for all the authors out there who have been brave enough to bare their heart and soul with readers through their writing. And am dedicating it to all the 1-star bestowers.
You, with your words like knives
And swords and weapons that you use against me
You knocked my rating back again
Got me feeling blocked
You, with your opinion like nails on a chalkboard
Dragging me down when I had four stars
You picking on an author cause you can
Well you can take down my rating with just one single blow
But you don’t know, what you don’t know…
Someday, I’ll write more books than Jackie Collins
And all your ever going to be is mean
Someday, I’ll be a best-selling author
And all your ever going to be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?
All you are is mean
And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean . . .
And so that’s how I handle bad reviews. With snarky, terribly written song lyrics. And chocolate. And popcorn.
But in all honesty, I’ve grown to tolerate bad reviews rather well. Especially once I realized that a bad review could inspire readers to purchase said book almost as readily as a glowing review. Chin-up. No guts, no glory.
Author Julie N. Ford
Julie N. Ford graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science and a minor in English Literature. In addition, she has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a Marriage & Family Counselor. She is the author of two women’s fiction novels, The Woman He Married and No Holly for Christmas, published in 2011. In addition, she wrote a romance/chick-lit novel, Count Down to Love, also published in 2011. Count Down to Love was a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. Her next novel, Replacing Gentry, is due for release April 9th, 2013.
Currently, she lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, two daughters and one hedgehog.
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