#weweremorethanslavesandentertainers: My View on Black History Month

20190211_000508_0001It’s February. Time for Black History Month. And I am reminded of how when I was growing up, I had had people ask, “Why do African Americans need a month to celebrate their history? Why isn’t there a White History Month?”

I’m the annoying type that likes to answer a question with another question. So, I ask back, “When you were coming up in school, what Black people did you learn about in your history class, apart from Dr. King, Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks?”

Their answer to this is usually a long pause followed by a change in subject.

Don’t get me wrong. MLK, Malcolm and Ms. Parks were exceptional people who had a huge importance in my cultural history. But a large amount of Americans are not being educated about other contributions African-Americans have given to this country as well as what they had done inspite of the doors that had been closed off to us.

Most U.S. citizens only know we had sung, danced and had been dehumanized as we picked cotton. Oh, and some people had said it was wrong for the laws and white citizens to treat Black folks badly and unjustly so a few people had spoken out about it.

No, that’s not it! There is so much more.

So, why do we need a month for Black history!?! Because too many people don’t acknowledge our equal importance in this country. We should have the whole year mixed with other cultures who are a part of this nation’s true, multicultural experience.

Basically, people’s questions shouldn’t be: “Why do African Americans need a month to celebrate their history?” People should be asking: “Why aren’t we learning more about the varies cultural involvements that are in U.S. History?”

Therefore, I’m posting every day in February a small pic and description of an unsung hero in Black history. I may even make it an occassional blog throughout the year that includes other cultures.

We’ll see. However, for now, soak up some knowledge with my one of my first posts:

Mary-Eliza-Mahoney

#Blackhistorymonth

#weweremorethanslavesandentertainers

 

I’m Still Here: Songs that Empower Women

This holiday season I have been M.I.A. for many reasons. In the past three months, activities such as, Christmas shopping, school projects and recovering from pneumonia has just been a few stressful parts of my life.  But with every storm cloud comes a rainbow. And I’m getting pumped up for my next novel.

The story is about a badass female running things on the high seas. Yes, this time I’m trying to write in the historical romance genre (and of course, it will be with a twist😉!). Also, I’m excited about my African American leading lady. She is fiercer than a Foxy Brown movie.

feminism-3215990_1920

[*Side note: I will admit that this may have turned into a procrastination project but it’s justified since it motivates me to write more. At least that’s what I told myself an hour and a half into making this list.]

Anyway, to get me in the mind state of writing about a no-nonsense pillar of strength, I created a playlist filled with woman empowerment beats. Check out “STRONG WOMEN ANTHEMS” ON YouTube.com along with my other fun soundtracks to my previous novels.

 

 

Playlist:

Demi Lovato – Confident

Rachel Platten – Fight Song

Beyoncé – Run the World (Girls)

Beyoncé – Listen

Jill Scott – Try

Hailee Steinfeld – Love Myself

Beyoncé – Grown Woman

P!nk – Perfect

P!nk – So What

Meredith Brooks – Bitch

Katy Perry – Roar

Christina Aguilera – Beautiful

Christina Aguilera – Fighter

Christina Aguilera – Can’t Hold Us Down

Alicia Keys – Superwoman

Mary J Blige – Good Woman Down

Mary J Blige – Not Gon Cry

Mary J Blige – Just Fine

Destiny’s Child – Independent Women, Pt. 1

Destiny’s Child – Survivor

Kelly Clarkson – Miss Independent

Kelly Clarkson – Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)

No Doubt – Just a Girl

Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl

Eve – Let Me Blow Ya Mind ft. Gwen Stefani

Eve – Who’s That Girl?

Whitney Houston – I’m Evey Woman

Aretha Franklin – Respect

Aretha Franklin – Think

Tina Turner – What’s Love Got to Do With It

Pat Benater – Invincible

Estelle – Conqueror

India. Arie – Video

Angie Stone ft. Calvin Richardson – More Than Woman

Beyoncé- ***Flawless ft. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Foxy Brown – Big Bad Mama ft. Dru Hill

Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out

En Vogue – Free your Mind

Solange – Don’t Touch My Hair ft. Sampha

Salt ‘n Pepa – None of Your Business

Queen Latifah –  U.N.I.T.Y.

TLC – Hat 2 Da Back

TLC – Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg

Lil’ Kim ft. Lil Cease – Crush On You

MC Lyte – Ruffneck

Spice Girls – Wannabe

Erykah Badu – Apple Tree

Jill Scott – Hate On Me

 

Are there any songs that scream badass women? Let me know if I missed any in the comments below. Also add your thoughts on the songs selected. I hope they give you inspiration they gave me.

Subscribers to my newsletter get special offers and exclusive extras. Click to subscribe.

Also, keep an eye out for Jasmine Lace’s new novel dropping Spring 2019.  Experience Dominique DuBois fight her way through her past and present to find her love in the future.

Why I Use Music in My Writing

blog 18aI listen to my music as I clean the house. Soulful R &B blasts while I’m doing my hair. I perform dance sequences and sing along to my favourite Hip Hop joints in the shower. Alternative rock music wails as I’m driving. Motown hits swirl through my mind with the story ideas I’m typing on to my laptop. Pop songs bop my head while my students complete a writing exercise. It can be said that music is in my daily life. 

Many people have similar experiences with music. Maybe they listen to different genres either way the fact that music is a part of the majority of people’s lives is evident in the Top 40 list, Billboard Music Charts, and the long successful run of music magazines, such as, The Rolling Stone. Music touches everyone. 

Therefore, why wouldn’t my characters have music in their stories? My characters are created from traits I have and from personalities that have entered my life. Basically, they resemble people. And in such, not only do my characters feel love, pain and intimacy (like everyone else), they listen to music. 

Music in a novel can set the mood similar to the scores played in a film. It gives the audience an extra stimulant to what feelings the character is going through in a particular scene. It can also help the reader internalize that emotion since music is relatively popular by its beat and common message.  

There are songs about heartbreak, redemption, having fun, feeling lonely, regrets, and etc. All emotions humans have felt sometime in their lives. Making it relatable which also adds a way for your readers to feel connected to your characters. They can empathize what the character is going through because they themselves have felt similar in those recognizable moments. 

So, add some music to your stories. Give you reader a background sound that strengthens the awareness of the conflict and/or tension in the story. Think of it as a hint to what is about to happen like the ominous music before the killer jumps out in a film or the slow jam that plays at the moment the hero and heroine unite in a Romcom movie.  

Or try creating a soundtrack. Or have a character make a mixtape that follows what they would most likely listen to. 

Adding a musical element to your writing will make an impactful difference in how people read your story. 

 

For ideas check out my YouTube channel at  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm30hEYSEt8Ji27AOT5ICVw     

Subscribers to my newsletter get special offers and exclusive extras. Click to subscribe.  

Also, don’t forget to leave a comment about how you use music in your life and/or in your writing.

I Feel You Through My Naps: Film Review of Netflix’s “Nappily Ever After”

Nappily ever afterAs I was swiping through a selection of Netflix’s new releases, my finger stopped when I saw a shadowed figure of  big hair with natural curls sticking out. My excitement intensified when I read the title: “Nappily Ever After”.

The novel with the same name was written by Trisha Thomas. It is the first book in this series that has been adapted into inspiring film.

In this story, Violet Jones (played by Sanaa Lathan) has spent her life a slave to her hair.  Everything she does has to be in favor of protecting her hairstyle. Fear of rainy weather, waking up at the creak of dawn and hesitation to swim has all been a product of her stress in upkeeping her hair care.

The incident of the story starts when her man refuses to ask for her hand in marriage because she is too perfect. Violet breaks down. After some dramatic changes to her hair, she makes a bold move by freeing herself and shaving all it off!

From there, Violet takes us on a journey through hair and soul where the audience sees that hair doesn’t define you. You make it work to enhance the beauty you are working with.

Being a Black woman who has had years of hair trauma before throwing out my hair press, I definitely could relate to this. This is not a film that is saying weaves or relaxed hair is evil and oppressive. It’s one woman’s battle with black hair which happens to be similar to a lot of other Black women. Violet’s decision to put her confidence behind the unpopular traditional form of beauty is brave. And girl worked it! Sanaa Lathan looked good!

There isn’t anything bad I can say about this film.  Sanaa does a pivotal performance in her frustration and heartbreak towards the reactions to people and her hair. She plays a great nonsense character that schools the people in her life as well as the audience on loving your life and the people in it.

Whether, you have natural hair, braids, weaves, or just are curious about Black hair, I strongly recommend you watch this feel-good movie, “NAPPILY EVER AFTER” on Netflix.

How did you feel about the video? Leave comments below.

And don’t forget to subscript to my newsletter for more informations on my novels and other interesting titbits.

Self-Publishers’ Guide to Editing: A new way to edit your novel

editing

Congrats you’ve put your ideas to paper and have created a story. You have done what many have always thought about, but never tried to do. Be proud.

Now, as a self-publisher, it’s time for the hard part: EDITING. This can be frustrating and painful. What to cut? What to do to improve my writing?

Or, maybe, you don’t feel like anything needs to change. Keep in mind first drafts are called the first for a reason. Everything can be improved on the second or five hundred try.

Being a self-published author doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. The internet is ripe with advice and services to help. Like this one.

Here is a method I use to help get through the process of editing:

  1. First, take a break for your novel. It’s easier to be objective if you walk away from your project for some time. It gives you a chance to look at it with fresh eyes.

Ideally, I like to let it be for a month. But, sometimes, I have time constraints that make that impossible. (Meaning, I didn’t make my personal deadline and now I’m scrambling to get the book ready to publish.) If waiting a month isn’t going to work for you, take two weeks.

Also, during this time, don’t think about your book. Spend two or four weeks (or more) with a clear mind. Occupy yourself with other things like a new novel or family life or blogging. Whatever it takes to distract you from obsessing over your story.

The clearer your mind is about your novel, the more distant you can be when you do sit down to edit it. This way you can experience reading how someone else might read it. I’ve returned to a novel and been amazed by what was written, good and bad. At times, I’ve been surprise that I was the one that had written parts of a chapter. That is how you want to be when approaching your unedited work. You want to fool yourself into thinking someone else wrote it, so you can edit the crap out of it without ego and/or shame.

Think about it. Not being that close to the story allows you to pick your words apart better when you think it was written by another person.

 

2. Next, listen to the complete book. And do it without editing anything!

 Audio can be a great and quick way to get through your novel without editing it. On my phone, I use a great free app called @Voice Aloud Reader. It’s a TTS reader that will read any book, pdf, doc, txt, or html that you upload on to your phone. It’s perfect when I’m on the go.

When I’m at my laptop I use another free app called ReadAloud. You can cut and paste things to be read or get it from files on your computer.

It’s been my lifesaver. Hearing your words from another source helps give that illusion that someone else wrote it. Again, you have an ally in helping you look at your novel objectively. Plus, it slows down your reading process so you don’t miss anything.

Yet, the important thing here is to ignore proofreading. You are looking for things, like: Is the story line solid? Does it make sense? Are you telling more than showing? Do events transition well?  Do your character’s words and actions follow the type of person they are? Is anything you’ve written possible? And if not, have you set up scenes that make the reader believe it could be possible? Do you like what was written or is there something missing? What is that something missing? How and where can you add that missing piece?

Take notes on each chapter as you listen. Note what information needs to be added or is possibly unnecessary.

 

3. Then, go back and fix. Take your notes from the listening and rewrite parts that you found could need some work.

Again, don’t worry about proofreading. That is not important right now. You could have the best grammar and punctuation in the world, but it means nothing if your story sucks. Work the story. Polish it until you are happy.

4. Then, take another break. This time a week or more. Remember, you want to look at it with a pair of fresh eyes. Give yourself some time to approach your novel as a new reader would.

 frustrded with writing

5. Next, listen again. Make sure it’s how you want it. Does the story work? Does it flow? Or do you feel it’s choppy? Does the basic plot formula ring through? (Check out my older blog, Turning Your Story Ideas Into a Novel, to see how a plot formula comes together.)

If needed, do more rewriting and listening in altered sections until you have a product to your satisfaction.

Some use this time to get beta readers to get feedback before they publish. If you do get a group of beta readers or family and friends to look over your work, give them copy that you have proofread thoroughly. Here are a few places to help you get a beta reader to read your book:

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/50920-beta-reader-group

https://publishdrive.com/what-is-a-beta-reader/

https://www.janefriedman.com/find-beta-readers/

 

6. Now, you‘re ready to proofread. Personally, I like to proofread a couple or more days after the last rewrite. But that’s my style. If I had given myself more time, I would rather have waited another two or three weeks before proofreading. (But that’s something I have to work on.)  I like to let things marinate because usually when I come back to it, I get better ideas and I see possible holes in the story as well as rookie typos.

 

Finally, you are done editing. Send it to get published either through self-publishing platforms like Smashwords, Draft2Digital or Amazon. Or all of them.

If you prefer going the route of a publishing house, then research your places. Make sure they sell what you have written and work on selling your novel to them. All roads are possible with a completed and edited book that you have written on your own.

Remember, no matter how little or how much profit you receive from your story, be excited that you finished it and polished it to your proudest point. You’re a writer now. Praise the craft. Respect the art.

What are some editing tips you have used in the past? Try my method and tell me how it went. Tell your trials or victories with editing and/or writing in the comment section below.

And sign up to my newsletter for more updates on my books and free goodies.

Chris Foley’s Love Mixtape

mix tapes

I’ve been thinking about music and how it makes a great soundtrack for life. Listening to the right song can take you into the mood of any story. It can express the thoughts and feelings you have better than you could formulate the words.

So, I got to thinking, what if Chris Foley from the Hollywood Demands series made a mixtape for his love interest,Mya Bassett? What songs would be on it?

Knowing his rock background and playful, flirty personality, I think the smart ass within him would have an interesting romance soundtrack. Check itout below.

Click to hear the music on youtube.com

The list:

Fuck you gently—Tenacious D 

Close the Door – Teddy Pendergrass 

Brown Eyed Girl-Van Morrison 

Ride -The Vines 

Winning Days- The Vines 

Turn off the Lights- Teddy Pendergrass 

To Be with You-Mr. Big 

Joker-Stevie Miller Band 

Don’t Stop Me Now–Queen

Crazy –Areosmith 

Nothing Can Change This Love-Sam Cooke 

Baby Got Back–Sir Mix-a-lot 

You Are The Best Thing- Ray La Montagne 

Jesus, Etc. – Wilco 

The Blower’s Dautgher- Damien Rice 

Nothing Compares to You—Chris Cornell 

Read more about Chris and Mya at amazon.com/author/jasminelace in the Hollywood Demands series.

Which songs did you enjoy having in the series? What songs do you think should be a included in it? Write your answers in the comment section below.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter for updates, free writings and other goodies.

The Sexiest Songs Compilation to Use When Getting It On Vol. 1 

Summer is over and fall has arrived. I hope you had a great summer. I did. My three months were filled with sun, beach, shopping, travelling, writing and my kids getting on my last nerve. Three months is too long for little ones who don’t have a backyard to go crazy in.

But that is another story. Fall is here and with it comes the start of colder weather, which is a perfect time to get cuddly and close with the one that you love. And good music can set that mood.

I love music. I listen to it while I clean, cook, and sometimes when I’m working. It takes you to a different level. Calls on your pain, your beliefs and your pleasure. Music sets the mood while keeping the moment going in as it heightens your love level while your other sensations are being tantalized in an intimate moment.

blog 11 pic

Here are the songs that any sex groove mix should have: (Put them an any particular order you desire. For me, a sexy groove mix should start with a good warmer; continue with beats to get you to continue to pump it out; and end on a sweet cool down. However, you can play an any order to get to add to your hot spot workout. 😉-)

SEXY GROOVES Vol. 1

(Click on titles to purchase songs.)

Tonight—John Legend featuring Ludacris 

Sumthin’ Sumthin’–Maxwell 

T-shirt & Panties—Adina Howard featuring Jamie Foxx 

Til the Cop Come Knockin’–Maxwell

Let’s Get It On—Marvin Gaye                   Click here to play all

Touch My Body—Mariah Carey 

Untitled—D’Angelo 

In Love with You—Erykah Badu featuring Stephen Marley 

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long—Otis Redding 

Keep checking back for future volumes. Have I missed any? If you’re favorite didn’t make this list, tell me what I should add to the next volume of ‘Get It On’ songs.

What songs get you in the mood? Write it in the Leave a Reply section below.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter for updates, free writings and other goodies.

How to Survive a Family Trip: An Introduction to Avoiding Family Vacation Misery

adult-book-business-297755

When people think vacation, relaxation and fun always springs to mind. Going away with the family brings in the reality of stress while trying to juggle different personalities and interest. How does one get to relax and enjoy a place when some many people in a group want to do a hundred things in such a short period of time?

Before I can answer that we need to understand the kinds of people who travel to these tourist destinations.

There are 6 types of tourists in the world:

#1 The extreme adventure tourist, enjoys climbing the alphas without oxygen or base jumping off some ancient bridge.

Thank god I don’t know anyone like this. We would never be compatible but there is a way we both could enjoy our trip. I’ll explain how in a minute.

action-activity-adults-172484  #2 The active nature traveler loves hiking around exploring the natural landscape. They will walk everywhere instead of opting for a car, taxi or bus.

My husband is one of these. It can be annoying sometimes because he thinks everyone in the group has the same stamina and physique as him. No matter how much you tell him he is convinced a 3 year old can walk 5 miles without a carry.

#3 There is the educational tourist who makes sightseeing more than looking around at old buildings and statue. They research before going and actually listen to retain the facts of the audio guide.

My father-in-law is a prime example of this type of tourist. He will rattle off facts to us on the transport to the site as well as give us more information as we walk around the building. He also likes to drink like the fourth type of tourist.

#4 The third type of tourist. The bachelor/bachelorette tourists. (Or more accurately called the drinking travelers). There doesn’t have to be a bachelor party. These people are on vacation to bar and/or club crawl for the whole of the vacation.

My husband is one of them he would be happy to sit in the bar from afternoon to night. With two small ones, ages 3 and 6, this isn’t the ideal place for children to spend a lot of time in. Luckily, my husband is also capable of being on the spectrum of the next category of tourists.

#5 The backpacker. These travelers pack light, go for bargain travelling, try to visit things off the beaten path, and travel to explore cultures and meet new people. They turn disasters into lessons while being flexible to change their travel plans to suit the conditions they’re in. For example, if the city they are visiting seems dull or just not their style, they will hop on a bus/train/hitchhike to another place. Or simply, find some activity in the place that closer suits their personality. The activity may not be ideal but the backpacker will find a way to make the most out of it.

I’m more of the backpacker tourist. That’s how I started travelling alone after college. And I prefer it that way which is made difficult by the final group of travelers.

#6 The leisure tourist. These people only leave their hotel to go to the beach. They leave towels on sunbeds marking their permanent laying spot for the next 12 hours, before running off to breakfast. Leisure tourist know nothing about their travel destination except sun, beach, hotel facilities and the airport. They pretend to like sightseeing but in fact hate waiting, crowds, standing in line and have no real interest in the culture or history of their temporary surroundings.

My mother, mother-in-law, and two young children are the leisure tourists.

 

 

action-adorable-beach-240515

So we have a drinking-active-backpacker, a backpacker, an educational-drinking tourist and four leisure tourists who are sharing a family holiday together. Two cannot walk 5 minutes without having to get a taxi. Three hate crowds, amusement parks and lines. Two want to stay held up in a bar. Another two only want to buy toys and watch cartoons. One has an attitude about everything because he is constantly too hot and is dead sober most of the time. No one likes to make a decision on where to go or what to do. And the heat of the August humidity in Barcelona during high tourist season causes more tension and frustrations in the group.

Barcelona is a huge cosmopolitan city with almost as many tourist as inhabitants. Public transport is easily accessible. You will have to walk for at least 15 to 20 minutes
to really get around the city and get a feel for it.

This description already had family members voicing doubts about visiting Barcelona. Big city and tourists meant crowds. Crowds meant lines. Public transport equaled to waiting. Walking for more than 5 minutes!?! In the heat!?!

I had lost half of the group’s excitement to go during planning for the trip. Yet we tried it anyway. Barcelona was the city to visit in Spain. We had to check it out.

And that’s what led me to my list of family vacation survival guidelines:

1. Flexibility is key!
Not every one can do everything they want throughout the vacation. Keep activities short with a break or two of rest time. Rest back at the hotel or at a restaurant for a long lunch or sit somewhere on a park bench while the kids play. You will find that these rest times will help rejuvenate the inactive part of your group.

Plus, have activities throughout the day that will make each (or most) of the different kinds of travelers satisfied that the have done something to enjoy their vacation.

2. Plan it but don’t freak out in changes to the plan.
Loosely plan your trip. Find certain popular activities and book them. This will avoid some lines. Then have a list of activities for the group to discuss doing over lunch or dinner or while enjoying the resting period. The things that are booked will make sure you did something during your trip other than pondering what to do. Also, giving family members options in the vacation will make them feel they have a say in the group’s plans. It relieves feelings of resentment towards being herded around.

3. “I don’t mind. I’ll do what the group wants to do” Trap.
Don’t fall for that crap! It is a way to get out of making any decisions and allows others to easily complain during, and well after, the undesirable event that someone else planned.

Forget that! Get everyone to verbally commit to an agreement and place a no complaining cause on that shit! No one wants to hear your Debbie Downer mouth! It just adds to the frustrations of the day.

4. Stolen moments can keep the romance going.
A sneaky ass pat here. A quick hug there. Hell, grab your partner into a small corner for s speedy tongue wrestling move. Hold hands. Tickle each other in passing. These little shows of affection can remind each other that through this hell the love is still there, which will keep you both in good spirits.

adorable-affection-child-11283175.Suck it up.
You may have to do something that you don’t want to do. Take one for the team. There will be an activity for you to do later in the day. This short time slot is to make a loved one, a relative, happy. Don’t be selfish by pouting and scoffing out your boredom or uncomfortableness. That will only make people feel bad for making you do the activity which makes them unable to enjoy it. It’s a family vacation remember. Family spending happy moments together. So don’t ruin it and make with the happy!

6. Can’t fake it, take a time out.
You don’t have to spend the whole vacation with each other. Maybe it could help if you split the day. Half of it can be whole family bonding time while the other half is grab a partner (or two) and do what you want. Set a time to meet up later. This way more people can be happy apart as well as together.

7. Have a drink and chill the F out.
If these tips prove hard to accomplish or you can’t get your family to comply, drinking will help you not care what happens and it may get you to enjoy the events that you did not want to do. Therefore, have a cocktail and a smile so you can enjoy your vacation.

8. Put the phone away!
Unless you are using it for taking photos and selfies, there is no need to be checking your phone every few minutes. Facebook and other social medias can wait until rest time or right before bed. You can not spend time with others if you are playing on your phone the whole time. Be there physically and mentally. Can’t do that, then leave the phone in the hotel room.

adult-affection-beach-936018Also, remember this is your family members vacation, too. They deserve to enjoy it as well. The point is for family time away from home. Keep that in mind before the snapping and bickering begins.

What are some ways you survive family vacations? What has been your worst or best family get together trip? Share in the comments below.

Twisted American Folklore

raven

I am a big fan of Shakespeare, folklore and mythology. So, when I come across film, tv series or novels that dabble in these topics, I’m immediately down to experience the writer’s craft of reinvention. I have to respect the art and boldness to take loved stories and make them the writer’s  own. 

This is the main reason why I read Stacey Rourke´s Raven (The Legends Saga Book 2). The novel is about Ireland Crane’s search to find out more about her tattoo and her ability to turn into the bringer of death, the Headless Horseman. As she is accompanied by her boyfriend, Noah Van Tassel, and her friend, Rip Van Wrinkle, Ireland comes across a handsome stranger who is also cursed. They are strongly drawn together in their quest to hunt down the demonic form of Edgar Allen Poe´s Lenore. 

I loved Poe’s narratives. The readers see the problematic, cursed young life of Poe and the demons he is dealing with as well as find out the story behind him and his beloved Lenore. The story hits on the reasons for Poe´s peculiarity while giving the audience snips of incidents that were influenced in his later writings. As an English teacher and a student of Literature, I was excited and enthralled by that part of the book. 

The problem I had with it was sometimes I found myself zoning out while I read and would have to read again so not to be confused by the next plot point. Plus, Ireland’s story was heavy with pursuit and conflict of her demon coming out and killing everyone. It got stale sometimes. It may be better as a TV series than novel. 

Rourke has won many awards for Young Adult Fantasy. Plus, her proses are lyrically horrifying in their description of gore and terror. And she adds good one-liners in her comic relief.  Therefore, we know she is a fantastic writer. 

Maybe it’s more about me and the genre. I prefer to read dramas, romances and thrillers. I rarely read fantasy. I rather watch it. With that in mind, at the end of the novel, I felt the story was okay. It could have been told in 100 pages rather than over 300 pages, though. 

Click On Image to Buy Book.

How to Write a Review in 5 Minutes

adult-books-business-374016Reviews are important. Most people read reviews to help influence their decision. Should I buy this type of iPad or stay in this hotel? How have others felt about this movie or restaurant? Is this product of entertainment worth spending my hard earn money on? Seeing others’ viewpoints towards the desired item can weigh in on a purchasing decision.  

Think about how many times you have asked a friend or family member, if you looked good in a particular outfit you were trying on before buying it. Or when you look at printer features from 10 different printers, how do you decide which is best for you? From other people’s opinions, right?  In fact, that’s what a review is: someone’s opinion.  

Yet, how do we write a review? For some, it comes easy. I liked it or I didn’t like it and here are the reasons why. Simple, isn’t it? Some people still don’t feel confident in doing this. To help, below I have created a guide to make writing a review even simpler: 

Firstly, the essential parts of a good review are that it should: 

-have a short title; 

-a introduction telling the readers what you are reviewing; 

-a relaxed, friendly style; 

-a new paragraph for each point you make; 

-both positive and negative opinions; 

-reasons or examples to help explain these opinions; 

-and a recommendation in your conclusion. 

 

Well, how do I express these points? Here are some sentence starters to help get you to start writing that review: (Use them or tweak them to suit your style of writing.) 

1st Paragraph -INTRODUCTION: 

I had been waiting ages to (see/read/visit…pick your verb) (Name of what you are reviewing) and when I got the opportunity it gave me a lot to consider for this review, both good and bad! 

2nd Paragraph- SUMMARY  

(What is it about? Who is in it? Or what does it do? Or what did you see there?) 

The story was based on…. 

The film relates the story of… 

The book is about… 

The main theme…. 

There are many memorable characters including…. 

The place has… 

The restaurant serves..   

3rd Paragraph- YOUR OPINION 

(WHAT I LIKED) 

The thing I really enjoyed/preferred most was… 

I was pleasantly surprised by… 

What pleased me above all….. 

 

(WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE) 

What I disliked most was…. 

I was really disappointed by/with…. 

What I found hard to believe…. 

 

4th Paragraph- RECOMMENDATIONS  

I would/would not recommend this…..to everyone/anyone, even… 

Although I  am not a fan of……, I suggest that you (pick a verb) it. 

If I had to (pick a verb) this…(Name of thing you are reviewing)..again, I  definitely say that it would be a waste of time/worth it.  

 

And you’re done! You can use these sentence starters to help you get into the flow of writing a few reviews. The format will come like second nature. Soon you will be using your own words to type out your opinions of products and/or entertainment. 

Don’t take your opinions for granted. People care about your perspective and if you style it right, they will listen to it. 

For examples of reviews I have written, go check out my blogs: Black Love Review and Why Supporting Other Writers’ Novels Can Be Extremely Useful. 

You can also look to any webpage that sells products. Get familiar with other people’s reviews, then write your own. 

Happy writing. 

 

Do you read other reviews how do they help you make a decision? Have you written reviews before? What do you like to review? Leave your answers in the comment section below.