The Value of Reviews

five star reviews

 

I cannot tell you how important reviews of your book, especially your first one, are. They are an author’s lifeline, and the review builds the author’s reputation and the value of her work.

Two ARC readers have shared their reviews so far, and I am going to share them here with you:

A cancer patient, a stolen icon, a Greek Islands vacation and an unexpected romance all come together in Dorothy Robey’s debut novel.

With her nephew lying in a hospital bed, Marina’s mother sends her on a mission of mercy to retrieve the family icon, famous for its healing properties. But when she arrives in Greece, Marina finds the icon is missing. Unsure of who to trust, Marina races against the clock to find the lost heirloom before it’s too late.

In Passage of Promise, the author’s writing pulled me into her world and kept me reading. I loved the familial thread in the story. The health problem was heart wrenching and realistic and helped me to engage with the characters. The mystery kept me turning pages until the end.

(full review available on Goodreads)

 

AND:

 
Can a single woman alone in Greece find her great-grandmother’s miraculous, healing icon that her family desperately needs, before it’s too late? Moreover, can this same woman find the something inside herself that she’s been missing, before she loses herself?

And what about the American English teacher she meets on her journey? Is he the man she has been looking for, or will he just cause her more pain?

Marina Sutton’s adult life had not been easy—a horrible track record with men, an overbearing mother constantly reminding her of her faults, a sister she is no longer close to, and a nephew with a life-threatening illness. The only light in her life seems to be Yiayia – her devout, Greek Orthodox grandmother.

This book is full of excitement, love and hope. The twists and turns of the story only reflect what is happening inside Marina. While she is searching for the icon her family needs, she is also searching within herself to find the faith she lost long ago.

Travel with Marina to Greece – see the sights, feel the salty breeze, taste the local cuisine, and experience the beauty of the Orthodox Church.

What a fun journey. I highly recommend this book, and I cannot wait to read Dorothy Robey’s future works.

 

As that old saying goes, my cup runneth over. I’m so grateful to these dear people for their thoughtful, insightful, and beautiful reviews, the last of which had me in tears. God gave me such a gift, and He’s guided me through my writing and all the processes involved in the craft. Thank you, Lord.

Fellow writers out there who haven’t published your work yet. Keep at it. Endure until the end. 🙂 Acquire ARC readers, followed by many other readers for your great work and feel the many blessings.

 

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It’s Easter for Some and Palm Sunday for Others

daffodils 3

This Great Lent has been the most difficult one since I became a practicing Orthodox Christian in 1996. The routine of fasting, almsgiving, attending church services, and prayer were and have been incredibly disrupted for my family and me.

I don’t think any of us was prepared for this pandemic and what strict steps would be taken to keep us all as healthy and safe as we could be.

As each week passed by, with more and more distancing from my church and problems with keeping the fast, it has caused my faith and practices to be shaken, and feelings of sadness and anger visited me too often.

Fellow Christians understand the need to gather together to worship God, but I believe, as one of the priests in my church said in one of his homilies, the liturgy is to be lived, and we are to participate in the service and unite with Christ, who gives us life, forgives or sins, and grants us strength through His Holy Body and Blood. But these encounters were not and cannot be accomplished this Paschal year.

And well… without having this Life-Giving Mystery for so many weeks, I’ve struggled with keeping focused during Lent, even with reading spiritual books, watching my church’s livestream services, and keeping up with nightly prayers and prayers before meals.

My spiritual father always told me throughout the years that during Lent, just add one small discipline to my daily Orthodox Christian practice. So, I did continue to do this for this year’s Great Lent. I made sure to do my morning prayers and tried to remember to have a sip of holy water afterwards. I’ve managed to do pretty well with this so far.

Therefore, I suppose I’ve made some effort. Although I feel crushed and beaten by the enemy this lenten season, I know God only asks for us to make an effort. He’s so merciful.

Today is Palm Sunday for us Orthodox Christians, while it is Easter for my fellow Christians.

I wish my friends a Happy Easter. While we’re all confined to our homes at the most holy time of the year, I pray your day is full of joy and God’s blessings.

To my Orthodox Christian brethren, I wish you a blessed Holy Week, where we can somehow join Christ’s grueling journey to Golgotha and witness His Crucifixion and Resurrection with palpable sorrow and joy.  God be with you all.

 

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Little Things That Bring Joy

dove sparkles and colors

Today, I had a break from working on the publishing process/steps. My family watched Ben Hur together. My sons had never seen it before. What a wonderful movie to see during Lent and just about two weeks before Orthodox Christian Pascha (Easter). 🙂

The past three weeks, I’d been sick with a stomach upset/virus (two of the three weeks), feeling run down, and then the allergies/sinus issues started up. After all, it’s spring now.

So, today was special.

Not only because my family sat down to watch a classic movie together, but also because I finally got out on a short walk, enjoyed the fifty-something-degree sunny weather. In the midst of my walk, I came upon (and worked my way  around) several inspirational chalk messages by kids on the sidewalk in my neighborhood.

Thankfully, I had my cell phone with me, and I felt compelled to take pictures.

I hope your day is full of beauty, love, joy, peace, and big smiles.

 

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