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  • Writer's pictureRosie J.

#IWSG December 2023: Book Reviews

The Insecure Writer's Support Group in alternating white and orange words

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The awesome co-hosts for the December 6 posting of the IWSG are C. Lee McKenzie, JQ Rose, Jennifer Lane, and Jacqui Murray!

The following link will allow you to peruse everyone in the Blog Hop.


December 6 question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?


Hello, friends!

I usually post this a bit earlier, but the fact that it was Wednesday completely slipped my mind and I usually write it beforehand but the fact that it's DECEMBER also kinda slipped my mind honestly. How is it the end of 2023 already?!

How did November treat y'all? It was a rough month for me honestly. I won't go into much detail, but if you are a NaNoWriMo-er, then you might imagine that running a region was very difficult last month. On top of that, I had some unnecessary family drama that completely derailed my life for about a week.

So yeah... rough month.

But somehow, I remained productive!

I managed to write 42k on a new novel A Bid on Love. It's turned into more of a slow burn than I intended, but I like where it's going. I had hopes to self-publish it in January, but we'll see how that goes. After getting derailed and not finishing it during November, I've been thrown off my timeline for sure.

A Bid on Love follows art therapist Brianna and NFL pro-quarterback Kent on a journey to set aside their differences and find love. Brianna is anti-sports and quite bitter about the fact that "sportsballers" get all the money from the public schools to the pros. Kent secretly crushed on Brianna in high school but never acted on it due to her standoffish nature towards jocks and peer pressure to stay in his clique. After a bad break-up with her fiance, a charity auction and Brianna's well-meaning great-grandmother, brings the two together.

Even after Brianna sets aside her bitterness towards athletes, the couple face a long road ahead, with long-distance, meddling exes, and the paparazzi threatening their fledgling relationship.

So that's what I've been working on this month!

The IWSG Monthly Question

December 6 question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

I've been doing a lot more book reviews lately. Mostly because I've picked up a few ARCs, but I've also written a couple book review blogs. I'm hoping to make the book review a monthly staple on the blog.

ARCs are a little different, because sometimes, the author asks for feedback on things. Like to catch any inconsistencies or especially typos that might've been missed. Because we all know that no matter how many reviews a book goes through, something is going to slip through the cracks.

In general, though, I try to review books from the readers standpoint. Did I enjoy the book? Did it make me want to keep reading? Did it make me feel something? Do the characters stick with me? That sort of thing.

But I think it's hard to completely disconnect some of the things I look for as a reader from the author. If the character's fall flat, that is a critique of the author. If the pacing doesn't keep me reading, that is a critique of the author.

I'm more willing to overlook grammar and typos and some plot issues if the characters are great and the plot keeps me turning the pages.

I would never intentionally be mean in a review or completely tear a book apart. I just want to leave real feedback about why or why not I'd recommend the book. And sometimes, those things are the fault of the author and leaving that critique as a reader is a critique of the author as well. But I always phrase it about what I didn't like about that book specifically. Maybe another book by the author doesn't have the same issues. Could just be that book.

Does that makes sense? I hope it does. I feel like any author that read a book review I did would be able to pick out from it things that worked well from a reader standpoint and things that didn't, if any.

And honestly, I like to read reviews to see what readers liked and what they didn't. It helps me -- in some cases -- to revise my current writing and gives me things to look out for. I feel like all authors should want to see reviews about what the readers liked about the experience and the characters and the plot and use that as constructive criticism.

Unless it's just mean. Mean reviews are just icky.

Recent reviews from my blog


A few weeks ago I got invited to be on the #GoIndieNow "This Week In Indies" live show on YouTube. It was such a fun experience! You can check out the replay of the episode I was on or just the GoIndieNow Network in general at the link below.

A couple of my friends (the absolulely lovely Elle and Chele) have started a podcast called "The Love Club" as well to talk about romance and writing romance and book recs and trends. I'll be on that soon, too! Because we all loooove LOVE.

Twitch Writing Sprints Reminder!

Come hang out with me on Twitch to work on your novels or whatever else you need to work on.

I'm still having a blast doing Writing & Productivity/Coworking sprints

on Twitch every week!

Wednesdays at 8 pm EST and

Fridays at 1 pm EST

on Twitch!

Having an accountability group is so wonderful!

Thanks for stopping by and let me know in the comments about how your writing year is wrapping up!

Looking forward to traversing the blog hop this month.

Be sure to see my links down below for other places to keep up with me online and other related blog posts!

For now,

Rosie J.

an outline of a rose in bloom

Link | The Rose Garden on Discord

Link | IWSG August - Conflicted

Link | IWSG July - Where do the ideas come from?

Link | IWSG June - Replace writing? No way!

Link | IWSG May - Inspiration

Link | IWSG April - Spring has Sprung!

Link | IWSG March - Author Envy

Link | IWSG February - Writing Update and Cover Art

Link | IWSG January - Theme Word for the Year

Link | Linktree

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