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In-house Guest Chef: Carol Burnside

You can ask any indie published author, getting reviews these days isn’t easy. The market is glutted with books competing for  reviewer attentions, so unless you’ve already got a big following, the reviews will trickle in. We authors give books away as prizes and gently suggest the reader could leave a review on various sites if they enjoy the read, but few do. We submit to numerous places both before and after the book releases, with low percentages of return.

CarolBurnside_ASuitableWife200So it was with some surprise that I opened my e-mail around the latter part of June and noticed a subject line about a review. Which book? A Suitable Wife, released in January.  I clicked on the link, took a bracing breath and peered at the screen. Look what I saw:

ssly-recommended-read1Yay! I was at a conference, so once it was over and I was home, the shock wore off and if occurred to me to start posting the good news here and there when I had a spare moment. Duh.

A few days later I opened my Facebook account and saw I had a message. A SUITABLE WIFE was in the running for June book of the month. I got the word out to my readers via social media and the votes ramped up. I went in with low expectations and was over the moon when my book won! Plus I get nifty banners from them. Wow. Just…wow.


Then yesterday, I open my e-mail and yet again have a message regarding a posted review. This time from The Romance Reviews (TRR) site. I click. I smile.

Here’s a snippet from that brand new 4-star review for A SUITABLE WIFE by Angie Just Read… (reviewer) at TRR:

With a down-home flair for creating a sense of community populated with interesting secondary characters and relatable drama, Carol Burnside introduces a couple bound by the memories of friendship and torn by the choices each made during the intervening years of adulthood. Ms. Burnside builds the substance of her plot early, but cunningly drops an unforeseen bombshell or two amidst the showdown the reader knows has been building from the opening chapter.

Between the two of these reviews and the June Book of the Month award, I’m floating on Cloud 9 and am so grateful that these ladies took the time to read and review my book.

I think it’s time to pay it forward, so I’m giving away a few books over the next few weeks. Here is where you can enter and possibly win even bigger prizes too.

CarolBurnside_HerUnexpectedFamily_500pxVisit my personal blog tomorrow and enter the Summer Reads Blog Hop that runs through the 23rd with fun prizes and a larger Grand Prizes. I’ll be giving away an ecopy of HER UNEXPECTED FAMILY (Book 2 in my Sweetwater Springs series). Two lucky Grand Prize winners will win either a $100 Amazon gift card or a $30 Amazon gift card!!!

This Thursday, another fun hop on my blog. It’s the Melissa Schroeder 10th Anniversary Blog Hop celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Mel’s Harmless series. More prizes! That one runs July 18th through the 27th. Check it out to see what I’m giving away. I’ll decide that tomorrow.

Cover art for Phantoms & Fantasies by Annie RayburnThen on the 23rd, PHANTOMS & FANTASIES will be the Book a Day giveaway on The Romance Studio.

And if that’s not enough, I’m also running a giveaway on Goodreads through July 31st. Reviews are requested of the winners, who receive print copies of HER UNEXPECTED FAMILY. 5 copies available.

Winners will be drawn randomly.

So thanks to all who read my books and thanks to those who review. Now bookmark this post and go enter to win.:-)Good luck!

Marilyn Baron - July 16, 2014 - 8:25 am


I’m so glad to hear all the good news about your books. And it’s not just difficult to get reviews for indie books. It’s just as difficult to get them for traditionally published books. About a year ago someone at a book festival told me they really loved one of my books and it kept them up all night reading. I just contacted that person (after a year) and asked if they wouldn’t mind posting a review about the book and they did it immediately and gave me a 5-star review. Sometimes I think we have to ask for reviews because people may enjoy the book but don’t think to post a review. I’m just as guilty. I read books constantly and don’t necessarily post reviews. But I was thrilled to get this and each one is exciting.

Pam Asberry - July 16, 2014 - 9:19 am

Congrats on all the good press, Carol! It is richly deserved. I loved both novels in your series; I reviewed the first one and voted several times for the second. Keep ‘em coming!

Maxine Davis - July 16, 2014 - 9:30 am

Carol, Congratulations!! I know you must be thrilled. I hope you keep turning out these winners.

Carol Burnside - July 16, 2014 - 12:06 pm

Oh, Marilyn, isn’t it wonderful when readers say that your book kept them up reading? I love it when I’m the reader, too.

Debbie Kaufman - July 16, 2014 - 12:13 pm

Wow, girl! I haven’t read A Suitable Wife yet, but really loved Her Unexpected Family. So happy for you :)

Carol Burnside - July 16, 2014 - 12:29 pm

Pam, I’m sitting here smiling because you wrote, “I loved both novels in your series” and I just wanted to soak that in for a few seconds. I’m such a goof! Thank you for saying that. Remarks like that get me through writing the next when I worry it won’t be as good.

Carol Burnside - July 16, 2014 - 12:30 pm

Yes, I am thrilled, Maxine. As for the other…I’m trying. :-)

Carol Burnside - July 16, 2014 - 12:31 pm

Thank you, Debbie!

Piper - July 16, 2014 - 12:40 pm

So glad to help support you in the contest Carol! It was fun watching your climb (and you were very deserving). I love the sounds of these books! Awesome! Big congrats to you on your output!

Sandy Elzie - July 16, 2014 - 8:39 pm

congrats Carol!! I know all about hard-to-get reviews and I don’t participate in Street Teams and such, so………… But that is absolutely fabulous about being recognized for your work. Can’t wait to read your book, it sounds right down my alley.

Connie Gillam - July 16, 2014 - 10:17 pm

I agree with you, Carol, about reviews. It’s like pulling teeth. I also gave away free books on Goodreads and hope I receive some reviews from the freebies.

Congratulations on the Book of the Month award!

Walt Mussell - July 16, 2014 - 10:50 pm


Congratulations on your success.

I have to admit that I’m guilty of getting books for free and not doing a review. I do reviews when I can. Sometimes they are quick. I rarely do long ones.

Carol Burnside - July 17, 2014 - 1:27 am

Piper, it was fun to watch for me too. Thanks for your help!

Carol Burnside - July 17, 2014 - 1:31 am

Sandy, I don’t think any of us have time to participate in Street Teams. Heck, I don’t even have time to coordinate one right now. LOL!

Carol Burnside - July 17, 2014 - 1:34 am

Connie, let’s compare notes in a few weeks and see what results we’ve gotten off the giveaways, okay? One thing I do know is that the Goodreads campaign gave my book a lot more exposure sitewide and that’s worth the price of mailing out books, though I might not include Canada again next time unless I can mail direct through Amazon. $$$!

Carol Burnside - July 17, 2014 - 1:35 am

Oh, Walt, we all are. I have dozens I haven’t even read yet, though I can’t resist new ones as they come available. So many books, so little time.

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