Author: Marianne Curley

Best selling Australian writer of YA Fiction including The Guardians of Time Series - The Named, The Dark, The Key, The Shadow, with two more to finish this series. Marianne's other books include The Avena Series - Hidden, Broken and Fearless. She is currently working on her new YA paranormal fantasy, a YA contemporary and Books 5 and 6 of The Guardians of Time Series.

REVIEWS – Do They Help, or Hinder?

Do reviews help or hinder a book’s chances of success?

The answer is not so simple as a yes or no. If I had to be succinct I would say reviews can both help and hinder. As a writer you hope that you have more positive reviews than negative. Much more. A negative review seems to sit a lot longer in a reader’s mind (and an author’s) than a positive one. The negative review has the capacity to sting.  It can dig deep into the soul if you let it, and, let’s face it, it’s hard to keep it out. The positive reviews lift you as if you’re a in an air balloon flying over a landscape of mountains and rivers and stunning green valleys. It makes you sing at the top of your voice. The kids look at each other asking what’s wrong with Mummy, she’s never this happy. But what we do know is that reviews are important, we really do need them. They are someone’s honest opinion of whether he or she liked the book, and most importantly, why.

Remember, our world thrives on free choice and free speech, so it is wise to keep an open mind.

Here is my 5-point list on: Why reviews are important not just to the writer but also to readers.

The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of reviews. The first is what is known as the “third party” review. This is the review of a stranger, a professional editor or reviewer from a printed or online periodical, blogger, or dedicated book review site. The second is the “first party” review. These are written by the readers. People you might or might not know, but people who love to read, who know what they want in a book, the people who freely give their opinion for no reward. Both types are important.

  1. A review is a recommendation. It’s as if a friend is letting you know whether this is a book they will enjoy and tells us a little more than the blurb on the back. It alerts the community of like-minded readers, spreading the word that there’s a book out that they’re likely going to enjoy. Or enjoy in part or not at all, whatever the case may be.
  2. A review is exposure. Readers can buy with confidence, especially if you, the reviewer is known in the community as giving a good and fair assessment.  You don’t have to be Einstein to write a good review. It’s your opinion, and the way you write a review showcases your own writing skills.
  3. A review is a critique. It’s information a writer can take home and improve upon, because that’s what writers want, to constantly improve their craft and a well-written review can do that. It can give a writer advice on how to improve their books.
  4. A review is an unwritten contract based on respect, understanding and admiration between the reader and the writer. A good reviewer will silently or verbally acknowledge the work, the time, and the blood, sweat and tears that the author put into creating the novel. In some cases that can be years. If there’s no understanding of this, the reviewer will have no respect and the review will lack real substance except perhaps to illicit sarcasm or humour. But when the reviewer acknowledges or honours the silent contract, the review will have merit beyond the critique, whether negative or positive.
  5. A review makes a book known, not just to another reader, but on a broader scale – to booksellers, librarians, and especially the pre-publication professional reviews that give booksellers the information they need to make decisions on how much stock to carry, and where in the store to display it, and believe it or not, even its position on the shelf.

Below are some examples of reviews I’ve received for my latest book, The Shadow, both third party and first. They cover the range of five star reviews down to one star.

The Shadow (Guardians of Time #4)

Oda Renate’s review – Five Stars – It was amazing – April 06, 2018

This book was perfection. Which is obvious because I read this LITERALLY all night (started it just before midnight, ended it around 5.30 in the morning). It was impossible to put down and sleep was not prioritized.

It was partly because I loved being back in this would, partly because it was THAT great.

I liked how this book (The Shadow) mentioned the setting – Australia – more and geographical places in Australia, yet it’s interesting how it’s not made a huge deal of. Probably because the author is Australian so why would she.

Also, I love how the cover FITS with the storyline. The plot-twist I did NOT see coming just as in the first three books. There weren’t many new characters but I did like the ones that were introduced. I loved the setting of the time they time travelled to 😀 😀 The conclusion was interesting how it was concluded yet at the same time left open to a 5th or even 6th book.

I really enjoyed that there were no explicit scenes. There was some subtle, I want to have sex cause I’m so happy, scenes, which I thought were fun. And it is a YA book so it was fun that that element was in there, it shows that the author respects YA readers.

The Shadow (Guardians of Time #4)

Rochelle’s review from Inside My Worlds Blog – Four Stars – I really liked it – May 03, 2018

“There is so much I want to say about this book, but I can’t because of spoilers! What I can say is that this is my favourite Guardians of Time book and I am so glad Marianne decided to self-publish it.

In The Shadow we pick up a week after the events that ended book 3 so this isn’t a book you can read without reading the others. We are introduced to the new leader of The Order – Jesilla – who is intent on seeking revenge for her mother and carrying on her legacy. Jesilla wasn’t just bad for the sake of being bad, but had a lot of depth and I actually really liked her.

I found Dillon much more lovable in this book as we got to see more of him and his true personality. He kind of just came across as a meat head before. It was heart breaking watching Ethan mourn. He has to go through a lot in this book!

All the characters we love – Arkarian, Matt, Isabel and the rest – are back, travelling through time and trying to save the world. There were lots of twists and turns and exciting surprises. I found this book to be the most romantic, and it had a very satisfying ending.

Fans of this series will definitely want to get their hands on a copy. You will not be disappointed. The Shadow was the much-needed ending to this series – although Marianne did leave room for more books if she wanted, and I wouldn’t mind! It was a highly enjoyable read. If you haven’t read this series and you like time travel, romance, good vs evil, and people with powers, you should start this series ASAP.”

The Shadow (Guardians of Time #4)

Allison Blanchard’s review – Five Stars – it was amazing – Apr 14, 2018

“Marianne Curley takes the reader on a beautiful journey back through the characters she created many years ago. We see all of our favorites: Ethan, Isabel, Arkarian (we know most people read just to see what our favorite blue-haired ageless mentor is doing), Matt, Dillon, Neriah, and many others. Marianne also brilliantly weaves in new characters that seem they have been there the whole time. While most continuation to series can leave the reader empty or wanting more, Marianne Curley successfully and seamlessly brings this world back to life and transports readers to another world where The Named and immortals are real and protect our world from the powers of chaos.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if The Shadow would live up to the last three novels in this series, The Named, The Dark, and The Key, but it surpasses all of my highest expectations. This novel is true to the characters and to the story of The Named. Marianne Curley’s prose takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotion – from sorrow to hope to suspense to laughing out loud (Legit, I love that Ethan and the others refer to using their wings as “wing out.”) to absolute happiness. Readers new and old will not be disappointed by this novel. It is one of my absolute favorites and one I will read and read again.”

The Shadow (Guardians of Time #4)

Haylie’s review – Five Stars – it was amazing – Apr 23, 2018

“I loved this book. Loved getting to see the lives of the characters I came to love when reading the earlier books. I loved meeting new characters. I really liked Jesilla and I had hopes for her. I have a lot of clear memories of reading this series especially The Key. I have a habit of sometimes reading the last line of a story before I finish it and this never backfired on me like it did with The Key. I had to tell myself not to do that with this. I loved how we got to go the future this time that was an interesting twist. A character was still heartbroken at the end but a couple of characters were a lot happier then we last saw them by the end. I hope we get to see more of this universe.”

The Shadow (Guardians of Time #4)

Zuzana’s review – One Star – I did not like it – Apr 25, 2018

“It’s been more than a month since I finished this book and until today I abstained from rating it or writing a review because … honestly … I was not sure what to make of it. When Marianne asked me how I liked the book, I told her it was great fun, which it was – I never laughed out loud while reading a book and I say that as a big Discworld fan. The problem is I laughed when I should not have. And to be frank, this feels less like a sequel and more like a fanfiction, and not a very good one. Most of the characters are actually very out of their characters, and those who had little to no character at all (like Neriah) are just left that way while more attention is paid to the new characters.
I have a lot more problems with this book, but the characterization is certainly the biggest one and I do not want to look too harsh, especially when Marianne herself is such a wonderful, kind person. Let’s just hope her next book is better.”

The Shadow (Guardians of Time #4)

Bronzehunny – Five Stars – Worth the wait! – March 22, 2018

“I’ve been waiting for this Book for 12 years. It was worth the wait! I read the Guardians of time in High School and reread the series last year. I am so thankful that Marianne Curley persevered through her illness to bring this to the fans!!!! She’s an excellent descriptive story teller. She creates worlds writing worlds spanning different spaces in time and it’s utterly believable. The book was dramatic and gave good closure to the previous story lines. Her portrayal of the character Jesilla had me low- key rooting for the Order of Chaos ! The romance is a little flowery sweet at times but c’mon they’re soul – mates :).”

 

Maltese abroad: the best-selling author with roots in Gozo

Source: Maltese abroad: the best-selling author with roots in Gozo

The Guardians of Time New Covers and News

The new editions of The Guardians of Time Series, Books I, II, III and IV, with their exciting new Young Adult Fantasy covers are all now available from online bookstores.

The new covers for the Guardians of Time Series.

The Named, The Dark, The Key and The Shadow are available in Paperback or E-book from Amazon.com or in English wherever Amazon has a store, which include the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, Japan, and many other countries. More bookstore are selling the titles as distribution expands.

If you know of any other stores currently selling the new edition, please write to me and let me know so we can let others know, or leave a website link in the comments below. Thank you. I am no longer selling the first “Shadow” cover to avoid confusion and allow the new cover to start appearing on the online bookstore sites. It all takes time.

News:
For Turkey readers, I am now with an agency in Turkey who are acting on my behalf to find a publisher willing to take on the translation and publication not only of The Shadow, the new fourth book of the series, but to reprint the entire series with all new matching covers. Fingers crossed she is able to find us a Turkish publisher soon.

I hope to find other international agencies in other countries willing to do the same. If you have links to any, for example, in Spain or Germany or Poland, please drop me a line, leave a comment or email me at: marianne.curley7@gmail.com.

The Named, The Dark, The Key and The Shadow, the four books of the Guardians of Time Series in their new matching covers.

What’s Next?

And finally, for those of you asking what I’m doing next: I’m in the editing phase of my new book, a YA Paranormal Fiction. There is lots to know about this new book, but that’s all I can tell you for now except that I’m loving writing it, that it’s a stand alone, and I can’t wait to shop it around for a publisher. Stay tuned because more information is coming soon.

Thanks for reading. Take care everyone.

The Named is out, The Dark is Coming Soon

The Named is now released
The Guardians of Time Series
The Named in paperback and e-book are both now available from Amazon, with other stores to come on board in the days ahead. The next new edition from The Guardians of Time Series to be released will be The Dark. Watch for my notifications, because it will not be long. 
So far the covers have received a lot of love. Thank you to everyone who let me know what they think of them. I appreciate your efforts. Thank you also to those sharing the Facebook and Instagram posts around. Very kind of you all. Please keep doing so while the covers continue to be released.  
I can’t wait to have all four new editions on my bookshelf alongside the older editions. These covers are quite different to what has come before. They are focused more on the paranormal fantasy and time travel aspect. A different take that appealed to me. Thank you to the designer, Aliessa at AC Graphics.

DON’T MISS OUT! TEN DAYS TO GO TO WIN A SIGNED, FIRST EDITION, HARDBACK COPY OF OLD MAGIC!

I am giving away ONE Signed, Hardback, First Edition copy of OLD MAGIC. This book is one of only 500 printed in hardback and sold in the United Kingdom and Australia in the year 2000. Old Magic had many different covers, sold in many different languages, but it is now out of print. No more English-speaking copies will be produced, which makes this giveaway that much more special.

 Josie reading Old Magic 1aWith only ten days to go before this giveaway ends, do you have your entry in yet? This competition is open to anyone, anywhere in the world. It will run for three weeks from June 22, 2018, finishing at midnight on July 13, 2018.

To enter is simple. This is all you have to do:

  • Share this page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Google, or any other social media site you like
  • Tag two people
  • Then send me an email at: marianne.curley7@gmail.com with the subject heading: Old Magic Competition, letting me know your name and that you have completed the task.

Your name will go into a barrel, and on the 13th of July, someone I trust will randomly select the winning entry. The winner will be notified by email and announced online. 

Good luck . . . Marianne

Old Magic Covers Four

Four Covers of Old Magic

WIN! WIN! WIN! A Signed, First Edition, Hardback Copy of Old Magic!!!

Hi everyone

I am giving away ONE Signed, Hardback, First Edition copy of OLD MAGIC. This book is one of only 500 printed in hardback and sold in the United Kingdom and Australia in the year 2000, and it is in pristine, new condition.

Old Magic was first published in October, 2000, and since then has had 49 editions and more than 34 different covers.  In the eighteen years since Old Magic was first released, this book has been translated into 14 languages. Today, it is no longer in print, though you can purchase it in e-book form. Any Old Magic books on sale through Amazon or other outlets are Used and Second Hand copies. The latest paperback edition was released in 2010.

Josie reading Old Magic 1a

Young reader Josie immersed in Old Magic.

This competition is open to anyone, anywhere in the world. It will run for three weeks from today’s date, June 22, 2018, finishing at midnight on July 13, 2018.

How do you win this Signed, First Edition, Hardback copy of Old Magic? It’s simple, and this is all you have to do:

Share this page on your favourite Social Media site – FB, Instagram, Twitter, or any other, tag two people, then send me an email at: marianne.curley7@gmail.com with the subject heading: Old Magic Competition, letting me know your name and that you have completed the task. 

Your name will go into a barrel, and on the 21st day from today someone I trust will randomly select the winning entry. The winning entrant will be notified by email.

Best of luck . . .    Marianne

Old Mag.jpg

When You Get A Review Like This…

Review of The Shadow

By Daphne, as found on Goodreads on 9th April, 2018

How poetic is it that a series about time travel made me travel back to my childhood.
I was 8 when The Key was published in 2005, but I only discovered the trilogy when I was 10. I remember I found the first two books at my local bookstore, translated copies of my mother tongue language. I bought the first one, thinking it seemed interesting. I started reading it at night when I was in my bed, and soon after my mom started coming to my room every five minutes telling me to turn off the lights, it’s past my bedtime. When she seemed too mad to argue with anymore, I turned off the light, waited for her footsteps to die down, then went under covers with a flashlight, the way every child should. The next day I demanded my mom to go to the bookstore and get me the second one.

Group shot 1AA

When I was done with the first two, I made my mom take me to every bookstore in our area, searching for the third. When we couldn’t find the translated version, we ordered it off amazon, in English. It was the first English book I read. I remember having a dictionary open next to me, but as it turned out I didn’t need it much. I read it secretly under my desk at school the next day, and I finished it by that night. And in the following eleven years, I’ve read it countless many times, so much so that the covers of the books are torn apart, there are years old chocolate stains on the pages, and ripped corners from where I doggy eared my page. Every time my dad saw the books on my nightstand, he would chuckle and say, “these, again?”.

I ordered The Shadow off amazon on Thursday, and received it six hours ago. I’m 21 now, alone in a college dorm with no mother near me telling me I should be studying instead, but as soon as I laid my hands on it, I ran into bed, went under covers, and started reading. From the very first sentence, I was back in my childhood room, with my stuffed dolphin under my arm, diving into this world in childlike wonder.

When I read the part in the first chapter where Ethan says “it’s been one week since the final battle” I actually teared up. It hasn’t been a week, it’s been 13 years. 13 years since the final book was published, and 11 years since I became a part of the Named. But then, it feels as though it really was only a week ago. I remember so vividly finding the first book in the bookstore; I remember exactly which corner of the store it was in, on which shelf. I even remember what the cashier looked like. I remember it so well, it could not have been more than a week ago. There’s nothing more effective than reading the books you grew up with to be transported to the time when you first found them.

What I’m trying to say is, thank you for the trilogy, and thank you for this additional book, which let me be the one doing the time traveling, and not just the one reading about it. It’s been a pleasure growing up with your books.

My Reply

Dear Daphne

What can I say to your heartfelt and eloquent review, except that you brought me to tears, and made every moment of the two years I spent writing The Shadow, worth it.

Thank you.

Marianne Curley