Tooting My Own Horn

Do you all mind if I toot my own horn? I really really really want to share this with our Risky friends.

One of the things (many? most? all?) authors do when their books are released is to wait for the reviews. With The Vanishing Viscountess, I’m no exception, especially because the early review from Romantic Times BOOKreviews was only lukewarm:

In this spin-off of Innocence and Impropriety, Gaston pens a
nicelywritten, albeit standard, hero-rescues-heroine scenario. With its
sensualityand some nice touches of emotional intensity, this is a pleasant
andentertaining story.–Joan Hammond,


Not a bad review, but I had been hoping for better. Needless to say, I worried about what the other reviews would be. (Picture me biting my nails…)

Next came Cataromance:

Looking for a book with passion, love, action, danger and surprises? Look no further; The Vanishing Viscountess is perfect for you. Diane Gaston will grab your emotion with this one.–Debby G for Cataromance

Yes! But that was only the start.

Romance Reviews Today:

Diane Gaston’s THE VANISHING VISCOUNTESS is a suspense-adventure story wrapped around many of the Regency Romance elements so many of us love. The love that arises between Tanner and Marlena seems both pointless and hopeless when Marlena faces hanging if she is ever captured. Both characters will attract you with their past luggage, current resourcefulness, and their loving care of each other during their trip. There are two sub-plots interwoven with the main characters’ travails that add depth and understanding to the situation. These story threads all come together in a perilously climactic ending.–Robin Lee, Romance Reviews Today

Soon to be on Historical Romance Writers, now on Amazon:

In THE MYSTERIOUS MISS M, Diane Gaston showed great poignancy. In THE IMPROPER WIFE, written under the pseudonym Diane Perkins, the author displayed humor and sensitivity. In her latest release, Ms. Gaston decides to try her hand at a road romance and success is THE VANISHING VISCOUNTESS!

This reader has long enjoyed road romance, simply because the hero and heroine spend a significant amount of time together. En route from one locale to another, the couple is forced to work on a relationship through danger and isolation. If done properly, the hero and heroine appear to be the only ones on the page. In THE VANISHING VISCOUNTESS, Diane Gaston sticks to this formula, yet quietly attaches sub-plots and the entire package ties together beautifully.

From any author, my single request may seem selfish, but I want entertainment! In THE VANISHING VISCOUNTESS, Diane Gaston entertained me! — MaryGrace Meloche on Amazon

(MaryGrace’s opinion particularly relieved me, because she thought the story succeeded where the RT reviewer had been unimpressed)

And finally Rakehell:

Diane Gaston a
marvelous author spinning a tale of drama, intrigue, secrecy and
love in The Vanishing Vicountess. The first chapter of most books sets
scene, introduces you to various characters, surroundings and etc. This book
hits you like a pugilist and knocks your directly into round four with a
shipwreck, a heavy conscience, loneliness, lies, mystery, and regret. Let us
forget the fateful coup de foudre – love at first sight; and all
by page
18. The Vanishing Vicountess far surpassed my expectations
and surprised
me by touching me when I least expected it – right from the

This is a beautiful story. It has all of the elements you hope for in a romance. From the first page to the last the story wraps itself around you like a warm blanket encouraging you to trust it just enough to warm you even when you have that brief cold moment of doubt. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good historical regency novel or to anyone who loves a bit of a lusty drama and the triumph of the underdog. I know I do! This is the first Diane Gaston novel I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be my last.– Christine Shoup, Rakehell

Whoo hoo!

Maybe even more gratifying were the reader reviews from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

To Romance Lover “RL” and Judy T on Amazon, and MK, JT, and MP/A Reader, Diane Gaston Fan, on Barnes & Noble, my heartfelt thanks for taking the time to write about The Vanishing Viscountess.

These are the sorts of things a writer hopes to hear about her work.

My great thanks to all the reviewers for getting the word out to readers about all our books. It is so very gratifying to receive great reviews, but I must say I appreciate all reviewers and readers who put their opinions “out there” for all to see.

Now the big question. Do you listen to reviews? Do they influence you?

(and I can’t wait until tomorrow, when Cara discusses the PBS/BBC Persuasion!)


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14 years ago

Wow, congrats on the great reviews!!
You realy deserve them!

Cara King
14 years ago

Ooh, yes, lovely reviews!

I do read reviews, though I’m not sure I pay attention to them.

Unless, you know, they’re wrong or something. Then I grouse for, like, years. πŸ™‚


14 years ago

Nice reviews. I do read reviews, but only from sources who seem to have similar feelings to mine.

14 years ago

Congrats on the great reviews all of which I agree wholeheartedly.

I don’t really look to reviews to help me decide about a book. I read them only if I happen upon them. Otherwise I trust my instincts with new authors and my tried and true authors’ track records. Hasn’t failed me yet!

Maggie Robinson
14 years ago

I read a few online sites, where I frequently scratch my head, wondering if we’ve read the same book. One of the bulletin boards I visit has a readers’ thread. At this point I know who shares my taste. If they recommend something, I’m apt to look for it. Congratulations on the good reviews for a good book!

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Funny, as much as I don’t want them to, I am affected by reviews. I know better, but I am, especially if I’ve never read some author’s work before.

I suppose that is why I worry about my own reviews.

Thanks for the support, ladies!!

14 years ago

Congrats on the great reviews, Diane! They’re all well-deserved.

I usually only read reviews of books I’ve read – I like to form my own opinions first, but I love it when a well-done review helps me see something new in a book.

Diane, other than shout-outs on your blog, do you respond to thank reviewers? I had a discussion with someone this weekend over the pros & cons of this.

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Usually the reviewer emails me to tell me the review is up. I always email a thank-you, even for a review that isn’t so positive. Of course, my thank-yous are a bit more exhuberant for the great reviews.
If I come across a positive comment on a blog or message board, I try to say thank you there as well.
People are under no obligation to review my work and readers do not have to take the time and trouble to compose their comments. When they do, I like to thank them.

Georgie Lee
14 years ago

Congratulations on the great reviews!

14 years ago

Great reviews and richly deserved, O Divine One! I especially agree with the part about VV grabbing you from the first page and taking you and a helluva wild ride – emotionally and physically. A review may get me to try a new author, but for those on my HTB list (have to buy)I tend to read the reviews AFTER I have read the book to see if the reviewer’s take was the same as mine. I had to dubious honor of getting so so to bad reviews for my singing in the States and rave reviews for my singing in Europe. Go figure.

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

O Doggy One, I think our reaction to any kind of creative expression is so subjective. But darn those Americans for not appreciating your voice!!

14 years ago

Congratulations on the excellent reviews, Diane!

Not being one of you authorly people, I can’t say how I’d be affected by a book review. But I do know what it’s like to get a theater review. The first one that ever mentioned me by name called me “adequate.” Faint praise indeed! But I’ve had worse: my worst review ever called me “inept.” πŸ™

On the other hand, I’ve had a goodly share of positive reviews, too, so I guess I shouldn’t complain. I mean, I do complain, but I shouldn’t. πŸ™‚

Congratulations again!


Janet Mullany
14 years ago

Congrats on the great reviews, Diane.

I’m very alarmed at how badly most reviews are written, but apart from that I like reviews that “get” the book, whether they end up positive or negative. I was thrilled by the review Forbidden Shores got at Allaboutromance.com, even though it got a C grade; less thrilled by the DIK status of The Rules of Gentility where the reviewer somehow assumed it was entirely straight-faced. And Rakehell gave me a fabulous one-liner in an almost totally negative review for Forbidden Shores–compelling and down and dirty.

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Janet, I cannot believe that Rules of Gentility could possibly get even a mediocre review. It was way too good. I can’t imagine any halfway well-read person not “getting” it! As to Forbidden Shores, had it been properly placed as an erotic romance, the reviews would have been way different!

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

todd, being called “inept” must have hurt indeed! I imagine that feels even more personal than a book review!
Must have been a misguided reviewer, not smart like the ones who praised you!

14 years ago

Diane wrote:

todd, being called “inept” must have hurt indeed! I imagine that feels even more personal than a book review! Must have been a misguided reviewer, not smart like the ones who praised you!

May I lie down under your feet and let you walk on me, please? πŸ™‚

Actually, if the truth be known, that was not the best performance of my career. But then, the whole production had serious problems. I’ve definitely done better. πŸ™‚

Congrats again on your own, far superior, reviews!


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