Review of my novel Making Wishes

5.0 out of 5 stars , July 13, 2014
By John Phiser – See all my reviews
Verified Purchase
This novel touches on a very relevant and modern-day dilemma, and does so in a very touching way.
All too often, women will give up all or some of their career when they are ready to start a family. It is still generally expected for women to take on the lion’s share of the rearing of the children and housework. There are many exceptions, of course, but overall it is still seen as the woman’s role to rear children and take care of the home.


Elloree’s decision changes her world forever. Click the image for more.

However, many women now also have admirable careers, which they have worked very hard for, and do not feel comfortable totally giving it up, even when they get a second chance later on when the children grow older. Is it really necessary to choose between career and family or can you have it both?

Elloree Prince is clever and talented young woman who must make that difficult chose between her family or her career. As with good stories of fiction, there is lots of drama thrown into the story, helping the reader to engage with the story.

What makes this novel a notch above the rest is how the main character is developed. You care for her, and the difficult choices she has to make.

Review of Making Wishes

Title: Making Wishes, Genre: women’s fiction.
5.0 out of 5 stars
`The past is always with us, wherever we go. Whoever we are, it molds our future’ May 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fellow Occidental College Alumnus Marilyn Holdsworth comes to her writing matrix with a fine background of experience for this particular novel, MAKING WISHES. In addition to her employment as a staff writer for a travel magazine which entailed travel experiences for fodder for her articles as well as fascinating life experiences for her novels, she created, owned and operated a greeting card company (those core experiences are directly reflected in this story). But not stopping there she is a horse lover as an owner/trainer/and rescue/preservation activist – background for her novel PEGASUS – and maintains a fascination with her ancestry that lead to her other novel THE BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN. Marilyn Holdsworth comes prepared, and that nidus of preparation mixed with her studies in literature and history in college is well served in this very fine novel MAKING WISHES.

The manner in which Holdsworth handles dialogue is natural, peppered with enough off color descriptive phrases to keep the story centered in the now, but with such a fine degree of understanding of the dialogue of businessmen and artists that it rings true. Elloree Prince is an artist whose career has taken a back seat to her at-home mom and her marriage to a wealthy businessman, living is just the correct neighborhood for her station in life. She has two boys whom she loves (Paul the elder and Timmy) and life seems stable until she receives a call from enthusiastic Mark Williams, a man for whom she has worked in the past, offering her a job as an artist in his burgeoning greeting card business Wishes. Elated but challenged by an offer to return to the work force instead of remaining house bound as a lady of her stature dictates, Elloree struggles her personal desires, her husband’s inordinate jealousy, family dynamics, and the `rules of the game’ of wealthy wives of wealthy husbands. How she comes to resolve her conflict holds many lessons about love, family, self-respect, and self-confidence that takes this book out of the ‘chick lit’ slot and places it in a sociology study of contemporary life and mores. Very well written and very worth reading. More, please… Grady Harp, May 14

How to get Amazon reviews if no one will write them

  • Child Typing“Take a letter please Miss Skelton…”

Did you know that in Victorian times, and right through to the 1970s, the very first thing a business manager would always do was hire a dictation typist?


The number #1 reason is that typing a letter was the most tiresome chore a manager could imagine.  It was also an inefficient use of their time. So they were more than happy to pay someone to do it for them – a person who’d note down their ideas, and tidy them up into a letter.

Unfortunately, a similar dislike of such work applies to fiction readers today.

Reading your book can be a delightful experience and an enjoyable escape, but writing an Amazon review is a mentally taxing task most readers simply don’t want to do, and will almost invariably avoid.

Even readers who’ve promised to review your book will usually fail to do so.


So, How To Get Amazon Reviews If No-one Will Write Them?

logo with books2

Well, let me outline a way for you to get more reviews.  (Even though this is very obvious, it seems to escape most writers.)

The secret is to remove the roadblock.  Think about it:  Over 90% of your readers will be perfectly happy to talk about your book.  So let them do exactly that; let them talk about it while you record or take notes, and then transcribe it for them – as a review.

typingBe their ‘dictation typist’ to save them the task: Interview them, record what they say, and type it out.  Of course you must accurately reflect their views so it’s authentic.

Once typed, send it back to them with an exact link to your book’s Amazon review page so they can upload it.  Remind them to check the review to be sure it genuinely portrays their opinion, and edit it for ‘personality’ if they’d like to.

With this one action, you’ve removed the roadblock that’s preventing them from reviewing your book on Amazon.

The sad truth is that Amazon’s review system has been significantly damaged by fake reviews, but in this case, these are genuine reviews from your readers – precisely the type Amazon wants.

It all comes down to how strongly you want more reviews, and whether you’re willing to make it easy for your readers to write them.

Crucial point: The Review Must Maintain A Reader’s Unique Objectivity

This method not only avoids interfering with the normal objective reviews posted by readers, but also gathers the honest opinions of readers who would never write a review at all otherwise.  

 Crucially, interviewed readers must be encouraged to view the text you send as merely a draft, and edit it to make it entirely their own – with their unique objectivity.  This method is essentially to get them moving, rather than make up their ideas for them.

What To Ask A Reader?

author reader chatHave a set of these types of review questions ready:

1. What did you think of the story?
2. Was it exciting?
3. Extremely romantic?
4. Did it hold your attention?
5. Did it provoke emotions?
6. Did you care about the main character?
7. Did you like the writing style?
8. Would you recommend it to a friend?

Note:  There’s no point in just sending these question to a reader so they can write a review. That means they’re still having to do 90% of the work.  Instead, you must do all the work byinterviewingrecording and transcribing to get them going.  You are the catalyst.

Do this every couple of weeks, and over time it will build up a sizable number of genuine reader reviews.

How To Find And Contact Readers To Interview?

On Amazon you cannot directly promote your book for free in exchange for a review. It would be VERY easy to misinterpret this article as being about swapping free books for reviews.  Absolutely not.  You need to contact your readers and form a connection first.

For example, search for readers who talk about your book on Twitter and Facebook, or by offering an unrelated book for free as a PDF in exchange for an email address – not the book you want reviewed.  Remember – this is not to be directly in exchange for a review.

typewriter reviewOnce you have developed a relationship, and are in touch by email, phone, Skype ,Viber or Whatsapp etc, ask them for honest opinion of your book for a reader review, and point out that that you’ll do the tedious typing part.  They can then check and edit the review to be sure it accurately portrays their opinion.

Most readers will feel privileged to be contacted by an author, and pleased to be involved in your writing career.

The Bottom Line: Are These ‘Real’ Reviews?

Truth is, this is not anywhere near a perfect solution, because it’s difficult to genuinely mirror a reader’s thoughts and unique, objective views.  But one thing of which I am absolutely certain is that this approach is far more likely to produce a review that’s close to the genuine views of a reader than the gazillions of fake reviews that litter and corrupt Amazon.

Jonathan Gunson

Article written by Jonathan Gunson

Author / Book Marketing Coach