Monday, August 12, 2013

A 5-Star Review for "For Elise ~ A Romance About the Deepest and Truest Love"

Please click on image to read the review

Click to get your copy!
First off, thank you for the 5-star review, Karen. I really didn't expect it, but I want you to know how psyched I am to have received the honor of a 5-star rating for my romance novel. Although you say that you are not the greatest at writing reviews, yours should be used as an example of how one should be written and judged by readers for readers. I really believe that.

My Personal Opinion 
Re: Book Ratings & Reviews
and the difference between judging
a book for its entertainment
value vs educational value

Book ratings on fiction should be assessed on the quality of the story the book is telling, not on whether it's grammatically flawless. I have bought professionally edited and copy-edited books from commercial publishers before where whole chapters were missing and where I've found some grammatical errors as well. It never bothered me if the story touched me in some way.

That's why I read fiction: for the story, not for the editing. I present to you the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales as a prime example. Horrible grammar but excellent tales, yes? Can you imagine if the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales were judged on their grammar rather than the fairy tales themselves?

IMO, too many people seem to believe that reviews on works of fiction and rating these books needs to be written from a copy-editor's or proofreader's perspective. This shouldn't be the case because, usually, their reviews lose complete sight of the reason why the book was written to begin with: entertainment. And that's a shame. Some readers will reject a book that has a low rating. If the story is good, they'll be deprived of a wonderful story that they could have added to their collection. I wonder if people who write reviews on books understand that this is a possibility?

I've written for free online sites for over four years, and although my writing was horrible back then and it has greatly improved since, I rarely got a complaint about the editing.

When I then chose to enlist the help of an editor who actually taught creative writing for college students and who possessed a strong command of the English language, I still received those few complaints about "grammar issues" although those were rarely pointed out to me. However, the overwhelming majority of my readers wrote me feedback because they were enthusiastic about the story.

I have always believed that fictional stories that touch you, make you laugh and/or cry, and have the strength to be able to transport you to another world for those few hours in your day, shouldn't be judged by the mechanics but rather by the merits of the tale that's been weaved. Of course, it's different when you write text books. Those, I believe, must be written flawlessly because of the reason for having been written: education.

I recall in the early days of Stephen King (during my favorite decade, the 80's), when critics were coming out of the woodwork, proclaiming how poorly King's work was written and that he'll never last. I never understood that criticism. I felt it was unjustified and unfair to this incredibly talented man who had studied English at the University of Maine, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Now that he's a huge success despite the deluge of criticism early on in his career, I don't hear them today.

This brings me full circle with the reason for my post today. The 5-star rating and book review by Karen at her Karen's Different Corners blog is based on the story I am telling, not on how flawless it is, and I couldn't be happier.  She "got it". She gets it. She understands the difference between reading a book for entertainment purposes and reading a book for educational purposes, and she wrote her review from that perspective.

Thank you once again, Karen. You made my day! <3 <3 <3

You can read the review she wrote for "For Elise ~ A Romance About the Deepest and Truest Love" here . When there, why not go all out and join her site and sign up to follow her blog via e-mail? You'll be happy you did. ;-) 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Congratulations to the Winners of this Blog's Giveaway

Catharina Shields © 2013
All Rights Reserved
Click to Enlarge Image
Thank you for entering the
Catharina Shields' Romantica Blog Giveaway.
The winners have been chosen and your prize has been mailed out. You should be receiving your signed print copy + matching bookmark of my latest romantic novel, "For Elise ~  A Romance About the Deepest and Truest Love" shortly. So please watch your mailboxes! Also, don't forget, written reviews are tips for authors, and this author would appreciate those tips. :-)

If you haven't won this blog's giveaway, you've got a second chance to win a signed print copy + matching bookmark. There is another giveaway being held, this time at Goodreads. You can click on the banner above that will automatically take you to the Goodreads page where you can enter, but you must hurry since this giveaway is almost over and at the time of this writing, you've only got EIGHT days left to participate!

I wish you all good luck!

Monday, June 24, 2013

For Elise Paperbacks for the Giveaway just arrived!

Catharina Shields © 2013
All Rights Reserved
Click to Enlarge Image

I thought you might like it if I post a picture of the paperback copies of

For Elise
A Romance About the Deepest and Truest Love

with their matching bookmarks, not only so that you'll know it's legit, but that you'll also be able to get an idea what you might win.

But you can't win if you don't enter!

So if you haven't already there's still time. The Giveaway ends June 30, 2013 at midnight. Please click on the banner above and it'll take you to the page where you can enter this For Elise Giveaway and have your chance to win a print copy for your bookshelves. It's a thick book so you'll have plenty of hours of reading entertainment.

Don't delay! Enter the For Elise Giveaway Today!
{Open to International Participants}

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Farewell old friend.

Today, after two years of thinking about it {procrastinating}, and after having put a request in five days ago {with great reluctance}, a place where I, as an aspiring author, called home for six years {my account} has disappeared into the ether. It was the first free online site I was a member of {and the first of three}, and now it's over.

I have to say, I'm a little sad. I've had that account since August 2007, and I've posted most of the stories you see here, there, where readers and well-meaning critics helped hone my skills. A few even helped me polish up my stories where it was seriously needed. They've been invaluable to me and I'll never forget them.

Alas, in the past two years, those sites have become less and less attractive to me as an author. Many fellow authors and friends I've made over the years had seen the light long before me, and they have all left years ago.

I was much slower. I wanted to stay on. I wanted to keep trying. But alas, I came to the same conclusion as they; it was time to fold, it was time to move on. That fact that I discovered that my stories were being hijacked by another free online site in another country and published without my permission was kind of the last push I needed to call it quits on free online sites. I wasn't even given credit for them. I'll need to check if they've taken them down per my request.


It has been a wonderful trip, but I'm moving on. I hope those who have been with me all this time, will move on with me on this blog, my author web site, twitter, facebook, and on my YouTube channel, or at least understand why I made this decision. Thank you for making these past years so incredibly fun and enlightening..

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Meet "The Bride Thief" author Eric Guindon!

Click to go to his page and read his wonderful short story!

Meet my blog guest:

Author Eric Guindon, a.k.a. "The Bride Thief"

Click on the banner above and it will take you to the dedicated page that I've had the honor to create for this wonderful author and my guest, Eric Guindon, a.k.a. The Bride Thief. You have got to read his short story. It's a wonderful tale that will give you a taste of his incredible writing!
Trust me, you will definitely NOT regret it {I read it three times, so yeah, it's that good}.
And as always, no purchase necessary!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

*** Update! *** "For Elise" Release AND a Blog Blitz to celebrate it!

Catharina Shields © 2013
All Rights Reserved

You've undoubtedly noticed that new banner at the top of my blog, so it's no surprise to you that I will be participating in an All Author's Blog Blitz.
But what may surprise you is, it's just in time for the release of my latest romance, For Elise, with a release date of
June 11 12, 2013.

It's now available at Smashwords 
Amazon, and
Barnes & Noble

I'm also holding a giveaway where you can win one of two print copies of For Elise.
Navigate to the top where you'll find the tab
or click here for more information and to enter.

I've also made a book trailer for this book (already). You can find it on my YouTube Channel or you can just access it below. It's also on this book's dedicated page, considering how pages tend to disappear after a while.

Please let your friends know about it!

Monday, March 25, 2013

UPDATE - The winners of the March Giveaway Madness Have Been Chosen. Congrats!

Click to Enlarge this Image
(and it's large!)
On March 24th, the two winners have been picked by Mysti at Mysti Parker's UNWRITTEN blog for my latest fairytale romantica novella, "Bewitching Hour".

The winners will receive one of two (2) copies of the print version for my novella plus "Bewitching Hour" bookmarks to match. These will be mailed out this week (March 26-29). I will be notifying the winners when their prizes have been shipped.

Thanks to Mysti for holding this giveaway, and thank you to all participants who have entered and left wonderful comments.
This giveaway is now closed.

Here is an image of the paperback cover:


Click to Enlarge this Image
(and it's VERY large - for better view)

You can still read the book for FREE at Smashwords (many different e-reader formats to choose from) and Barnes&Noble (NOOK), and now KOBO as well. The paperback ~ which is available here for $5.99 ~ is, of course, much nicer since the formatting is much nicer due to the fact that for print, I can be as creative as I like, unlike what is capable in e-book formatting.

Finally, to give you a feel of the book, here is the YouTube book trailer that I made for "Bewitching Hour":

Monday, February 25, 2013

Finally a book trailer for Bewitching Hour

Click to Enlarge this Image
(and it's large!)

First, how do you like the image I made of the main characters in "Bewitching Hour"? This is exactly how I see them in my mind's eye when I wrote the story. The room is exactly how I see it and so is the bed. I hope I don't ruin the image of the characters for you. If I did, I apologize.

Although my novella has been out since, um, November last year, I hadn't been able to find the time to make a book trailer for it OR format it for print publishing. Thanksgiving, Saint Nicolas, Christmas, New Year's Eve, income taxes, and Valentine's Day have all taken up a lot of my time up and I haven't been able to do much, although I have been writing some on "For Elise" and another story.

Anyway, I decided to use the music that I had purchased some time back for this particular book trailer and only got around doing something with it in the past two days. I've posted it on "Bewitching Hour's" dedicated page and you can see it here.

Last Thursday I discovered our fridge was acting up. Since I bought an extended service plan, I called in for a service appointment and was dismayed to find out that they couldn't send anyone out until Monday. I mean, I call Thursday and I don't get any service until Monday!

The problem was, every time I opened the fridge it was a dark cave inside and the digital lights at the top were off. I had to push the button before I closed it just to keep the darn thing cooling. The thing is, if the light switch is broken, the fridge won't cool. Our fridge is packed with lots of fruits, veggies, and lactose-free dairy products, and that stuff isn't cheap, so I was worried everything would spoil. Well, in the end, some fruits did spoil, but the yogurt and milk were a-okay!.

It's a good thing, though, that I had bought that extended warranty. I looked online for a new switch and they cost $39.95! And that's supposed to be cheap. Anyhoo . . . the fridge is back to working perfectly again. Whew! The sad thing is, I had to wait five whole days for service and the guy was done in less than ten minutes. How anti-climatic is that?  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Finally seeing the light!

I know it's been over two months since my last blog, but with busy holidays and family, it's been pretty hectic and I haven't been able to do much of anything. Good news is, those busy weeks are behind me so now I'm focused on finishing my writing - at least until late August, that is. I'll be having friends and family over during August and September and, unfortunately, this will hamper my inspiration and writing in every which way.

Catharina Shields © 2012
All Rights Reserved

As you can see on the new and revised book cover here:
I've decided to change the title to my story for e-book publishing.
The story I'm referring to is "Only You".
I've decided to return its original title which was "For Elise". When I originally wrote the story, I was really into the classic piece by Ludwig van Beethoven, "Fur Elise", and wrote the story while listening to it. I had only changed the title in order to make it alphabetically advantageous for the online sites.
Now I find myself having to change the title back if I plan to keep posting chapters without having the wrath of Amazon come down on me for posting parts of the (planned) e-book and print copy. I don't want to have to take down stories every time I decide to publish so I guess I'll have to change the titles of those I want to keep up when I decide to publish them, and thus, "Only You" will be published as "For Elise".
I also plan to create a book trailer for it before it's published, of course. I plan to make trailers for all my released books because it's just fun to do! It's a lot of work, but it really is a lot of fun and I find myself getting better at creating more professional looking trailers although I'll be the first to tell you I'm far from perfect!  
I'm currently proofing and editing (online) chapters 6 and 7. Chapter 5 is pretty much done although I feel I need to tweak a scene or two. Anyway, when it's ready for the sites I'll be sure to make mention of it here. I hope you're enjoying the story so far! Please stay tuned.