Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Greek Seaman / Jacqueline Howett

Genre: Suspense/Literary Fiction

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Availability Kindle: YES    Nook: YES    DTB: NO


Born and educated in London, England, author Jacqueline Howett now lives in the US. She is also a painter (some of her work can be viewed on her blog) and previously published a short story, The Secret Passion of Twins, and a book of poetry, Amorphous Angelic, both are available for your Kindle.  For more information visit her blog.


An eighteen year-old newlywed finds herself on a romantic adventure when she goes to sea with her sailor husband on a large cargo ship. However, the ship owner and captain have plans that could disrupt her wedded bliss.

Only Tues., Weds., Thurs., Site-Wide Red Alert Sale from Midnight to 3AM!


If you read The Greek Seaman from the start until you click next page for the last time I think you’ll find the story compelling and interesting. The culture shock felt by the newlywed bride, Katy, who finds herself far from her native England, living on a cargo ship with her seaman husband Don is a good story in itself. Katy adapting to this all male environment with a crew of mixed nationality, most non-English speaking, is compelling. Whether Katy and Don will survive the criminal conspiracies the ship owner and captain have planned is yet another conflict that should keep a reader in suspense to the end.

However, odds of making that final click are slim. One reason is the spelling and grammar errors, which come so quickly that, especially in the first several chapters, it’s difficult to get into the book without being jarred back to reality as you attempt unraveling what the author meant. At times, you’ll be engrossed in the story when you’ll run across a flowery description of the emotions Katy is feeling about her situation or her husband. These are numerous and sometimes very good. Chances are one of these sections originally pulled you so deeply into Katy’s world. Then you’ll run into one that doesn’t work and get derailed again. Reading shouldn’t be that hard.

Wolfgang's Vault - Deal of the Week

Format/Typo Issues:

Numerous proofing, typo, and grammar issues.

Rating: ** Two stars

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Jacqueline Howett said...

You obviously didn't read the second clean copy I requested you download that was also reformatted, so this is a very unfair review. My Amazon readers/reviewers give it 5 stars and 4 stars and they say they really enjoyed The Greek Seaman and thought it was well written. Maybe its just my style and being English is what you don't get. Sorry it wasn't your cup of tea, but I think I will stick to my five star and four star reviews thanks.

Jacqueline Howett said...

5 stars from amazon UK.
I really enjoyed this read. It is light and easy to read but not lacking in entertainment and interest. I paricularly enjoyed being made a part of the story (or the feeling that I was) and also how discriptively it is written so that you can see the places and feel like you have visited them, which I find very important in a book. A good all round read! Very well written.

Jacqueline Howett said...

4 star review from Amazon USA.
I enjoyed reading the book, The Greek Seaman. The story is about a seaman with his younger wife that use to be a ballet dancer. The seaman takes on a job on an old ship and brings his young wife along, and the adventure on the high seas begin. The story is told very well and has vivid descriptions within every page.

Jacqueline Howett said...

5 stars
Another review just came in from Amazon- USA for The Greek Seaman novel.

Very much enjoyed reading the book. The experiences that the author encountered while on the ship with her husband were very well written. You couldn't help find yourself in her place as you were reading. Whether it be when she was steering the ship, seeing dolphins for the first time or experiencing a hurricane at sea, just to name a few. The descriptions of each new daily adventure she encountered seemed to effortlessly find themselves on each page for the reader to enjoy.

Anonymous said... blame the reviewer for not going and getting a different copy, dismiss his review, then post three more reviews from various places? Uh, can we say petty? The professionalism here is just astounding.

Anonymous said...

The author's response is a real turn-off. I'll pass, thanks.

BooksAndPals said...

In response to the many comments from Ms Howett:

I received the email on 2/7 asking that I download the a new copy of the book, which I did. I verified in my library software (Calibre) that this was the version I had and read. However her note above as well as the email mentioned formatting. At least when I talk about formatting I'm referring to issues of conversion from the source (a Word .doc file or whatever) into an eBook so the text flows correctly on the Kindle and so on. I say no issues I would attribute to formatting.

I have doubts that Ms. Howett being English is the reason for my reaction to her writing although I can't discount it entirely. I can say that in the last year I've read and in many cases reviewed on this blog books by natives of England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and multiple European countries where English is not the primary language. Some have been full of country specific slang. In none of these cases has this been an issue for me. I do mention these things in the FYI section of my reviews because it is an issue for some people.

I'll also point out that in the first two chapters alone I found in excess of twenty errors that ideally would have been caught in editing and proofing. Some were minor, but all have the potential of disrupting an enjoyable reading experience, depending on the specific reader and their sensitivity to such things.

Here are a couple sample sentences from the first two chapters that gave me pause and are representative of what I found difficult while reading.

"She carried her stocky build carefully back down the stairs."

"Don and Katy watched hypnotically Gino place more coffees out at another table with supreme balance."

I understand what both are probably saying. I do question the sentence construction.

However, I should point out that the review does say the story, which is the most important part of a book, is good. The effort of extracting the story through the errors and, at least to me, sometimes convoluted sounding language, made doing so much too difficult, IMO.

I would encourage anyone who thinks the story sounds interesting to sample the book. Read the first few chapters and decide for yourself.

Jacqueline Howett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Authors do NOT dictate to reviewers which copy to review. You send in one copy and stand by it. And then when it is all said and done, you do NOT attack the reviewer. It reeks of a lack of professionalism. You thank the reviewer for their time, which is unpaid, I might add. Then pitch a fit with your friends, not in a public forum such as this. Wasting time on this issue is pointless. The book is out there. Spend your time working on the next book.

Jacqueline Howett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red Adept said...

Stick to your guns, Al!

You gave an honest review and presented your opinions in a professional manner.

Hopefully, reviewers like us can continue to weed out books like this to help readers make better informed choices.

Red Adept said...

Ms. Howett,

With your unprofessional behavior, you are not only damaging your own reputation, but also those of the thousands of Indie authors who are striving to have the stigma removed from Indie publishing.

For my site, I only review the copy of a book submitted to me. It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that a book that is put up for sale or submitted to a reviewer is the final and correct version.

Furthermore, a review is one person's OPINION and should be taken as such. If you cannot handle people giving their opinions of your work, then you should not have it published.

BooksAndPals said...

@Jacqueline - If you're saying the anonymous comments are mine, then you're incorrect. I'm not saying I disagree with them - I don't - but I didn't leave the comments. However, I did do a post on the subject of negative reviews partially inspired by you.

That is the last I'll have to say to you on the subject. I stand by the review.

@Red Adept: Thanks. I agree and appreciate your support.

Red Adept said...

You're very welcome, Al. I have been so happy to see you and others, like "Syria Says," join the ranks of Indie Book Reviewers. I know that readers appreciate our reviews.

I have a post on the topic, also:

Anonymous said...

Please don't remove your review, BooksAndPals. Don't be intimidated. You posted an honest opinion, and were unfairly attacked. This "author" is very unprofessional.

BooksAndPals said...

Thanks for the link, Red Adept. It was well said.

Anonymous said...

Jacqueline, did you think your 'book is great' when you first sent it to Al for review? But you had to upload another version to make it better. Are you sure there is 'no way' that Al could still have found something wrong with it? Instead of making all these accusations - when you calm down and go back to your posts, even you should see your comments were said in anger - maybe you should open your mind to the possibility that your book still has room for improvement.

BTW, some readers stay away from books that only have good reviews. They find it suspicious. There are even some who buy a book because of the bad review, just to see for themselves if it's really that bad or because what someone didn't like another might.

Al is just one reader/reviewer. You shall still get more reviews and you can't stop them from coming, good or bad. You have to deal with it. Are you going to treat all your negative reviews the way you did Al's?

I can't tell you what to do (the same way you can't tell Al what to do), but I hope you get past this one bad experience from one small blog, and be all the better for it.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather get an honest two star review from a review blog than five star review from a friend or relative.

New Girl said...

WOW, all I can say is WOW! This author clearly does not understand tact, professionalism or class. Every book has errors, even books published by the best publishing houses. For her to come on here and rant and rave that her book is great and that it has no errors is crazy. I think that your review is very fair and it was actually in many ways a good review. If she had not made such a horses a** of herself I may have even considered reading it because Al indicates that the story itself is very compelling and I am one who can overlook a lot when it comes to grammar and sentance structure. I also love reading books from UK authors. She has done herself a very big disservice here. Sad!

Anonymous said...

Jacqueline, here is the sentence Al posted:

"Don and Katy watched hypnotically Gino place more coffees out at another table with supreme balance."

Here is your response to that:

"... what I read above has no flaws. My writing is fine."

Really? Look at your sentence again. The problem may very well be that you DON'T see any problem with it, not that the reviewer does. I tip my hat to him for knowing what you meant when you wrote that, because I'm afraid I do not.

Jacqueline Howett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wow...there really isn't anything else to say. Wow.

Anonymous said...

He has stated repeatedly that he did not review the wrong file. The errors he is referring to are not formatting issues but rather grammar and typos, and that he did in fact review the correct file, not that he was obligated to have done so.

Review etiquette -- not to mention sales etiquette -- states that you put for sale the best possible version. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and when you send out unedited work, you are only reinforcing the stereotype that indie authors are unprofessional and not serious about their craft.

Then you come on here and repeatedly attack the reviewer? You can disagree all you want with a reviewer about the review, but you do not ask them to remove the review, either privately or publicly. You simply say "thanks." And move on.

Jacqueline Howett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R. Doug Wicker said...

Incredible. Absolutely, positively, inanely and asininely incredible. Utterly and inexplicably self-destructive, as well. That's one author I know I'll never waste time reading.

Thanks for the heads-up, Big Al. You've done an incalculable service to readers everywhere.

Stacy said...

I think the very problem is that you don't see anything wrong with that sentence, despite it beind riddled with grammatical errors. And no, this is not Al writing this, although I agree with him.

Please do yourself a favor and stop commenting right now. You're just making yourself look stupid, petty, insane, and destructive. You do realize this blog has now gone viral and all over the writing community, people are looking at this thread as an example of "what not to do", don't you?

Anonymous said...

"that don't make sense"

If that is any sample of your writing then you should really reconsider your "no flaws" attitude. And I agree, the sentence about Gino and supreme balance is, well . . . it's not very clear now is it?

Anonymous said...


Your behaviour is atrocious. You act like a child when told your macaroni painting isn't worthy to sit in the Louvre.

Hire a copy editor next time, do your homework, and stop bashing a reviewer who took his own time to read your novel. Be gracious anyone bought your novel, even more so that they took the time to post a review.

I will, for the record, be advising anyone I can speak to NOT to buy this novel.

Publishing is a business. Treat it with the professionalism it deserves.

Jacqueline Howett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The best part is that even your comments, Jacqueline, are full of misspellings, awkward phrasing, grammatical errors, and typos. So I'm certain those creep into your writing. And if you didn't have a good editor (or even an editor at all), then it's not hard to believe what the reviewer is saying.

It's almost like you're proving Al's point for him just by your own writing in the comments.

Jacqueline Howett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
New Girl said...

Ms Howett:

You said:
"Also in the new copy you did not have to click at all to get to the next page on Kindle, so thats how I now he never downloaded the clean copy."
What are you talking about. You are unhinged. You need to take a step back and get a grip on reality. You keep talking about some formatting issues in the first copy although the reviewer doesn't mention that at all. You firmly stand by the sentences posted as examples as being correct grammar. So my question is, if I buy your book today will I find those sentences in the book? That is the real issue you refuse to acknowledge.

Anonymous said...

You really didn't get what he was trying to say with the next page thing. He meant (at least this is how I took it) that the story itself is compelling all the way through to the end (the last time you hit next page) but the odds for some people wading all the way to the end through the grammar errors, spelling errors, and awkward syntax is slim.

"Also in the new copy you did not have to click at all to get to the next page on Kindle, so thats how I now he never downloaded the clean copy."

And you're first sentence makes no sense. You do realize you have to hit next page in every kindle book, right? The pages don't just magically turn for you . . . You do know that, don't you? said...

Oh Ms. Howett, you are the classiest. Thank you for the giggle. I needed that.

Cathy Yardley said...

Al, I think I'll be stopping by more regularly. Keep up the good work. :D

Amanda Brice said...

Al, thank you for giving honest reviews and sticking to your guns.

And to the author, you haven't taken Professionaliam 101, have you?

Red Adept said...

No, I won't "get out of this" because you obviously still have not learned your lesson.

When you put things out for public consumption, you have to expect and accept comments.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the viral nature of the internet.

Jacqueline, you've just become a star.

Remember, as I'm sure you know: once it's on the web, it's there forever. No matter how you may wish to take it back, the internet doesn't forget.

Congratulations for publicly destroying your reptuation, and tarnishing it for the rest of your life. At least your meltdown was humorous for the rest of us. I'm sure you won't find it that way when every agent, publisher and distributor (except maybe PublishAmerica) turns tail and runs at your query.

Well, at least you'll be a good case study on how to demolish a writing career before it even starts.

JaylieG said...

Just wow.. This author is childish.
You should go back and read your own posts about being polite and then maybe learn what that word means.

Thanks Al for the review.

Anonymous said...

This is the very type of behavior that will continue to tar self-published authors as hobbyists.

What I take away from this entire discussion is a picture of a self-centered pre-teen throwing a tantrum because someone criticised her.

My advice? Take a series of courses for writers where your work is critiqued by the professor and group of other aspiring writers. When you can come away without crying or stamping your feet, as well as having LEARNED something, you will be ready for prime-time. Right now you aren't.

This shocking behavior will now probably go viral. Was it worth it?

MichelleReviews said...

Jacqueline --
Ask someone who hasn't read your book and who doesn't know you wrote the line to critique the "hypnotically" sentence. It's undeniable wrong and confusing.

Critical reviews hurt, but the expression of this needs to be in private, with the most trusted of friends, your public face should be professional writer.

Currently, it's like you went down the checklist of what not to do. You cannot insult or argue your way out of this, you can only move on so that people hopefully forget about this.

As to other writers coming her and "slipping in that," I just looked at the first page here and there were 2 four star reviews and 2 five star reviews. I'm guessing that not too many writers would have an issue slippin' and slidin' all through that.

Deirdre Puff said...

I feel bad for the author thats for sure, not fo rhte review but for her handling of it. Ah. Class. I like to think that being an author is a career - I wouldn't go telling anyone who comes into our office to "Fuck Off"...

So I won't be reading the author, but I am definately going to be checking out this blog more often!

-ps: so it turns out that being an author isn't like being in hollywood. Being a giant bitch and causing a shit storm may get you more attention, but really - this attention you won't profit from (unlike the starlets)

Anonymous said...

The best thing about self-publishing is that anyone can do it.

The worst thing about self-publishing is that anyone can do it.

Alice said...


From a public relations standpoint, Jacqueline Howett, I advise you to STOP the negative comments. Apologize for the rude behavior online. Whether or not you agree with Al is not the issue. The fact that your behavior is turning off POTENTIAL readers is.

From an author's standpoint, your behavior is unprofessional. EVERY AUTHOR HAS TO LEARN TO DEAL WITH BAD REVIEWS. It's impossible to believe that everyone who reads your work is going to love it. If you don't agree with the bad review, take it in stride and MOVE ON.

From a reader's point of view, I do not want to read your work. Ever. The problem was NOT the formatting. The problem was grammar. From reading your responses on this post, I can see why Al mentioned grammar. It's not a big deal, but you seem to be making it that way. Al said the story was GOOD. Reading it was just difficult due to GRAMMAR (not formatting) -- just have an extra set of eyes look over your work.

Jacqueline Howett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BookaholicCat said...

Mrs. Howett.
Not all reviews will be good. And you need to learn to take criticism. If you can't, you are in the wrong business.
I think you shouldn't comment anymore, you already damaged your image, A LOT!

Al, kudos to you for being an honest reviewer.

Anonymous said...

I have no horse in this race due largely to the fact that you, Jacqueline Howett, and others like you, have long since turned me off to indies forever.

I do have a question though. What exactly is an "emergency" copy? You can't be serious. There can't really be such a thing as an emergency copy.

Oh, and a word of caution; it would probably be in your own best interest to stay away from your peers after spewing this vitriol. Some readers may forget your behaviour here. Don't ever, in your wildest dreams, expect that other indies will forget what you've said and done here to drag them through the mud with you.

Anonymous said...

Miss Howett. Stop. You're only hurting yourself with this behavior. Silence is your only ally, at the moment.

Anonymous said...


Probably not the best response to continue to tell us all to "fuck off."

There's already an Amazon discussion blowing up about your behaviour.

Have fun with that.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Howett, if an editor at a major publishing house showed an interest in one of your books, would you tell them to 'fuck off?' If not, then you should be aware, there are a few of them lurking on this thread. And they take notes.

Anonymous said...

Elivio Publishing? Nice way to self-publish and make it sound like you actually got this drivel signed by a reputable publisher.

Kind of sucks though. I guess you'll never get the incredible feeling of being dropped from a press for this atrocious behaviour.

Anonymous said...

An emergency copy may be like the emergency roll of TP I hide behind the towels so the kids can't waste it. You know. For emergencies.

Kate said...

Oh good lord...

Ms. Howett: Until I saw your responses I was still tempted to read this. In future take a deep breath. Don't make an ass of yourself over a review by posting in a public forum. You're never going to get 100% good reviews. I know they hurt but you aren't a child, you need to handle it like an adult.

Pam Pho said...

And this is why I don't accept self publish for review.

Anonymous said...

Chortle chortle. I am sitting in a cold London house with a screaming six year old child in the other room and finally, and against all the odds, have a big smile on my face. Thanks Al & Jax. But I will also henceforth handle my most critical reviews as if they are china. IT-illiterate, Bill Lumley, The Reluctant Traveller.

Anonymous said...

"She carried her stocky build carefully back down the stairs."

I'd have edited to: "She carefully made her way back down the stairs."

The second example is kind of clunky. Perhaps: "Don and Katy watched Gino effortlessly serve coffees at another table."

Everyone's going to form their own opinion about what they read. Attacking someone for having an opinion is rather silly.

Especially if one can provide proof of why they formed their opinion, and chooses to do so.

By the way, I'm an indie author too...and your behavior is embarrassing, Ms. Howett.

R.S. Hunter said...

The way the author presented herself in the comments was far more damning than the 2 star review.

Telling somebody to "fuck off" in a public forum in response to a less than stellar It kind of looks a little bit like career suicide.

But in all honesty, thank you, Jacqueline. Your conduct in this thread has been extremely entertaining. However, I will not be purchasing a copy of your book.

Anonymous said...

Not only are there some editors from major NY publishing houses lurking on this thread, at least one of them is someone who told to "fuck off."

Wow. When you woke up this morning, did you specifically set out to destroy your career, or was that just a nice side bonus?

Anonymous said...

Wow, you have to love the internet. I was sent here via facebook, This is now being passed around for a laugh. If you can't take criticism, even if you believe it is unfair, then don't publish. You're just making yourself look all kinds of terrible here. Thanks for a good laugh though!

Anonymous said...

When will people learn that negative, flaming comments won't prove your point? Ms. Howett, you're digging yourself a hole. Anyone who sees this exchange, especially after you just told Alice to "Fuck off" isn't going to want to read your book or have anything to do with you. Take a step away from the computer - and go do something else.

R. Doug Wicker said...

Well, on the upside, we now know Jacqueline can string together a grammatically correct two-word sentence . . . as long as the sentence starts with an expletive.

I guess that's some sort of improvement.

Unknown said...

Jacqueline--I've seen you around various boards and Facebook for several months. You seemed like a reasonable person. However, you've let this one review throw you off so badly that it will be very hard to recover from it as far as your book goes.

We all get reviews that we don't agree with. It's the nature of the business. If you would have just made a classy comment along the lines of, "Thank you for the review. I'm always striving to improve.", probably only a handful of people would have read it. (Sorry, Al, not sure how many hits you get here, but as a fairly new reviewer, it was probably not a whole lot, right?).

Now this blog is getting tons of hits, I'm sure! (Btw, readers, Al has reviewed one of my books, March Into Hell. You can all find the review right over there -->
Hey, I'm not stupid! I'm not going to pass up a golden opportunity. ;-))

Anonymous said...

If it's at all comparable to the emergency roll of TP, that sort of begs the question; does the emergency copy warrant an emergency copy? Too late now anyway -- way beyond too late.

Anonymous said...

I want to stress that most indie authors would NEVER act this way. Please, readers, do not judge indie fiction based on this one person. This is atypical behavior and is NOT how most indies behave or write.

Unknown said...

In the Feb. folder. lol.

TC said...

Wow, and I thought authors were meant to be masters of language, F off is very erudite! I am inclined to believe Al's review without question because the author's comments contain a bunch of spelling errors (and because of the example sentences) I had seen this book and had it marked for further downloading but I won't bother now. Miss Howett, you are not painting yourself in a good light.

Anonymous said...

At least Al just became a star.

Who says trolls are good for nothing?!

Anonymous said...

Dear would-be writer.
You are NOT a writer. Your reaction also shows us that you are, however typical of the would-be writer. Please join a writer's group and learn how to write, before inflicting any further tantrums or text on the internet. In the meantime, stay on those 'self publisher' forums and pretend you're an undiscovered 'indie' genius.

Shellina said...

Wow. Bravo; great show. Not only will I not be reading this book, but I'll be making sure to tell all my friends about the reputable reviews of Al. Cheers to justice.

Anonymous said...

Al, is this the most traffic you've ever gotten? All over the writing world, people who had never even heard of your blog are now adding it to their regular reads. Bravo!

Say What? said...

Congratulations Miss Howett, you have indeed gone viral. I have found links to this review and your replies on several message boards I frequent.

I dont think I'm alone in saying, I wouldn't read your book now if it came with a free puppy.

Nucking Futz much?

MB said...

This is just sad.

Jacqueline, the very best thing you can do is shut up and walk away. Nobody is going to take your side. When you publish a book and submit to reviewers, it's your responsibility to make sure you're giving them a well-edited, clean copy the first time around. It's clear that the problems with your book go well beyond issues of "formatting". Your grammar is atrocious, both in the example sentences posted by Al, and in your own comments.

The sad thing is that grammar/editing is actually the easy part about being a writer--if you're not good at it, find someone to help you. The hard part is creating a compelling story, and it sounds like you actually managed to do that. If only you'd behaved like a grown-up, taken Al's criticism seriously, and hired an editor, maybe your writing career could have gotten somewhere.

As it is, now you're an Internet joke. Worse, you're a cautionary tale for other writers, and for reviewers who accept self-published books. Really, was it worth it? I've seen a lot of unprofessional authors, but you take the cake. Seriously.


Stormy said...

After reading this review I had every intention to read this book and even put it on my wish list but after reading the author's comments and seeing her be unprofessional and throwing a tantrum so big it would put my 2-year old to shame I will defiantly not be buying this books.

Eden Bradley-Eve Berlin said...

This is definitely a master class on how to burn bridges in the publishing industry.
For any newer authors who may not be aware of this, many editors and agents will Google your name before they contract you to see what sort of person you are. My agent often asks me about new authors who submit to her before taking them on. She won't work with a 'difficult' author, nor will many of her fellow agents. They have an email loop, and they tell each other everything. One of my editors admitted that a number of them do the same. I know of several reviewers who eventually became editors, so the person you slam today could be the editor who holds your future in their hands tomorrow. This sort of behavior really can be career suicide.
We all get bad reviews. Grow a thick skin or get out of this business. And no matter what happens, always be calm and polite. Always.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Ms Howett, for providing your meltdown and social ineptitude for my amusement this Monday morning.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear god. Ms Howitt you need to stop. Don't you see what you have done? You have in one stupid move offended numerous buyers, reviewers, and literary agents. The very people you WANT to read your books.You cannot win this battle because there is no battle. You received a not so great review. It happens. Be the adult that you are and move on. Sitting in here and throwing a temper tantrum is NOT helping you.

Anonymous said...

I'm writing as Anon, because I don't want this nutjob to follow me home.

Some of the Rules for Writers that apply here:

Rule One: Take pains with your work.
Rule Eight: Get over yourself.
Rule Seventeen: Proofread.
Rule Twenty three: Never respond to reviews.
Rule Twenty four: Never, never, never respond to reviews.

B.Tackitt said...

I downloaded the Kindle sample of "The Greek Seaman" just to see if she had indeed fixed editing issues...
um.. No. She did not. I can see why BigAl wrote what he did. There's a whole mess in locations 108-112. Sentences that belong together as one idea and paragraph about a group of men are separated weirdly by a paragraph that dealt with their waiter. Adverbs where better verbs should have been used... all sorts of stuff.
The book as it stands FOR SALE right now at Amazon is in sore need of a good reliable editor.

Carla Anderson said...

Ms Howett,

As another author (as yet unpublished but looking into self-publication) I implore you to stop what you're doing and apologise to Al and the others. You're giving us all a black eye, as evidenced by Pam's comment.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Howett,

It is clear that you lack the professionalism that is required to be an author. Echoing what has been said by the many posters before; you are going to get reviews, and not all of them are going to be in favor of your work.

I will you credit, however; you've managed to teach all would-be authors how NOT to handle a bad review. So, kudos for that.

P.S- I apologize for my grammar. It's not exactly up to par.

Anonymous said...

I was actually interesting in this story just reading the review. I find some great authors through negative reviews. However, after reading the comments...wouldn't touch this if you paid me. I was amused but by the end not so much.

Anonymous said...

Ms Howett's reaction and continuous responses on this review are so unreal and completely ridiculous that I want to believe they're fake. Only, they're not. Yikes!!
Thanks for the entertainment tho! I love a good train wreck.
Ms Howett, I REALLY hope you have at least ONE friend who is emailing you and telling you "STOP!!!!". :/

Minx Malone said...

I'm being punk'd right? This has to be an early April Fool's joke.

To everyone reading, please don't think this is how all indie authors behave.


Anonymous said...

Miss Howlett:

*We* don't even want your book.



Anonymous said...

Please please please carry on. This is the funniest thread I've read in a long time. I've had a *really* crappy day but you've just made me genuinely laugh out loud.

Ashamed that the "fuck off" made me laugh the loudest - does that make me a bad person?

(Jacqueline, if you want some professional advice - and yes I do work in the trade - get an agent, who can help you with these processes - and no I'm not an agent)

Anonymous said...

Wow. This was so embarrassing to read. But funny.

Emma Petersen said...


I appreciate and understand the passion you have for your writing. I also understand how hard it is to sometimes get a review you don't agree with but like many things in life, reviews are subjective. This is ONE person's opinion and he has the right to express it just the same as you and I do. *hugs* Leave well enough alone and walk away please.

Random Michelle K said...


Thank you for providing the valuable service of outing rude authors so I never give them a dime of my money.

And for dealing with the abuse so professionally, you've gained yourself a reader--unlike the author.

Have a fabulous day and enjoy the attention!

Christine Norris said...

Well, this has gone viral, all over Twitter today. I will be certain to avoid this author and all her books from this moment forward.

Author self-destruction in 3...2...1...

Mike Brendan said...

I think Ms. Howett needs to read this and get over herself:

Anonymous said...

This blog post is making the rounds on Twitter. Proof that an author should NEVER EVER COMMENT on a bad review.

Now this author will lose sales and major readership.

Daniela said...

Hypnotized. They watched hypnotized as he set the coffee. Or he set the coffee hypnotically and they couldn't stop watching. Unless you are hypnotizing someone by watching them, then you do not watch hypnotically, you watch hypnotized.
Or maybe you could use a word you actually know how to use.
Plus your comments are full of mistakes:
"This is not only discusting" actually, the word you are looking for is disgusting.
"Your the target not me!" Actually, YOU'RE the target, thanks to YOUR awful spelling and grammar. Or does your spell check not work?
And that's only the first comment, I won't even go into the whole "that DON'T make sense" aberration.

Alison said...

I got here from several posts on twitter. These posts were from agents and other book review blogs. This author has dug herself a hole big time. Instead of taking the criticism to heart and making revisions and re posting it, she chose a self destructive stance and defended her lack of skill as a writer. She also let the entire publishing world know what kind of person she is to work with. Now she will be forever blacklisted because of her outbursts. Even if she does write another book, it won't be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

This is from the author's own website. I have not altered this *at all*, it's a straight copy and paste. So when she says her writing is fine, I'd take that with a pinch of salt:



What is an eighteen year old doing traveling on a massive merchant ship anyways, hadn't she gone to Greece on tour in a ballet as a dancer? These are questions Katy asks herself while traveling the high seas with Don, her chief officer who she marries. However, little do they know, a smuggling ring is also on board for this ride, on a blue diamond exchange, and when explosions and threats to sink the ship also happen, they must try to save themselves. True story.



Anonymous said...

Rejection Queen Ver. 2.0.

It's sad because your reviews on Amazon were excellent, even though small in number. I give it to the end of the day before your starred review average takes a nose dive.

You've let one bad review turn your profile into a flame magnet - which is what always happens when something like this goes viral.

Those terrific reviews are going to get buried beneath a pile of 1-star reviews by people who've never, and will never, read your book, but will make posts about your behavior here.

Do yourself a favor, author, and don't give into the temptation to answer back over there; it will only back fire.

Levi Montgomery said...

First: Al, new subscriber here. So at least there's that.

Anonymous (the one who left the "long since turned me off to indies forever" comment of March 28, 2011 12:24 PM): Please allow me to try to amend that for you. Email me, and I'll send you an example of independent writing from the other end of the spectrum.


Jaidis said...

Thank you all for providing me with laughter :) Too bad I wasn't able to review Jacqueline's work so I could generate this kind of traffic to my blog...hehe. Good job Al!

On a side note, I review mostly Indie authors on my blog and they have always been nothing but polite and professional. Please do not let one bad nut in the self publishing world tarnish the good reputation that Indie authors are working so hard to build.

Misa Buckley said...

Just so you know, this is all over Twitter (which is how I got here) and Ms Howett is a laughing stock.

Unbelievable. How old is this 'author'?

B.Tackitt said...

One of those "wonderful" reviews she had posted was from someone obviously related to her, same surname. So yeah.. Throw something up as a story and then have friends and relatives give it 5 Star reviews.

ParaJunkee said...

This is just sad. I have to say this is the link that is floating around twitter like crazy. By this thread I think a few readers might rethink any purchase of this book. I might just have my next BB101 article inspired from this. "How to handle an irate author". But, who knows...crazy is working wonders for Charlie Sheen...maybe a few "off balanced artists" are taking note. I expect we might see a few YouTube Videos of Ms. Jacqueline Howett, with a cigarette screaming "F Off" and her sales will go through the roof. Crazy sells.

Good job with sticking to your guns Al. I had a similar thing happen with a (2) self-pub authors when I first started reviewing. Since then I have sworn of accepting self-pub novels. It saddens me, because there are great novelists out there that have gone the self-pub route and I'm totally discriminating. But burned twice and I had enough.

ValdaDeDieu said...

Okay, as a writer I find it hard to believe that these remarks purportedly made by Howett, are indeed, written by her!

Even the very best writers make mistakes. That is why, it is in the tradition of the huge publishing houses to hire editors. When you self-publish, it can be difficult to critically edit your prose, particularly when your time is also spent creating a platform for marketing, and maintaining sites where you promote.

Ms. Howett's remarks seem juvenile and/or symptomatic of a mental imbalance. As a writer brought up in the British Commonwealth, (Eastern) Caribbean, I am aware of British/American spelling differences, eg: harbour/harbor, grey/gray, maintainance/maintenance; but even Howett's sentence structure appears flawed. In her responses, she confuses "their" with "they're".

The review was very well-balanced, and not in the least mean-spirited. I invite "BigAl" the reviewer to review my books anytime. He can reach me at, or check out my bibliography on's author profile: Smashwords has all my books with an up to 55% "free reading" allowance, although for that reason, my Amazon copies are cheaper.

I'd suggest you begin with BLOODPACT, the story of a mother who tracks down and executes a child predator, but has an unbreakable alibi because of a deep secret in her past. Being the last book I wrote, it is my current favorite--and, I think, the best.


Valda DeDieu

Lynne Kelly said...

Look up reviews for some of your favorite books. You'll find less-than-flattering reviews for all of them. Now check how those authors responded to the negative reviews. You probably won't find anything at all.

Why are people tweeting this, you wonder? To show writers what not to do.

Sarah-Jane Lehoux said...

At first I thought this was funny, but the more I read, the more it became evident that Ms Howett has some pretty serious issues.

I commend BigAl for his professional review and responses to Ms Howett. But maybe the rest of us should just back off.

Ms Howett obviously is not listening (or is incapable of listening) to any advice that is given to her, and who knows what could happen the more she is antagonized.

Anonymous said...

I don't really care if she tells the Queen to fuck off.

What I do care about is that she stands by a sentence like "Don and Katy watched hypnotically Gino place more coffees out at another table with supreme balance." and DARES to call herself a writer.

A 10 year-old would be embarrassed to have written that sentence.

Anonymous said...

Wow. The blogger posted his or her own opinion on HIS OR HER OWN BLOG. She is entitled and has the right to state her opinion, and she did so very respectfully.

Do you know what repetitive attacking, even online, is called? It's called bullying.

I highly encourage Jacqueline to apologize to those she has bullied.

Anonymous said...

@ Rejection Queen Ver. 2.0.

When a book gets a few '5-star' and '4-star' reviews, look at the 'see my other reviews' section for the poster. Often you will find the poster has reviewed ONLY that book, or that book and one other thing.

These are 'shill reviews', posted by the author's friends and family.

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks to all of you readers for your frank reviews! You have spared a LOT of us on the Amazon boards from EVER having to read a book by this seriously disturbed author.

My goodness, if her childish tantrum isn't enough to turn you off, just look at all the misspelled words and grammar errors in her responses to reviewers above! No way do I want to soil my Kindle with something by this potty-mouth.

Anonymous said...


A little advice?

Don't tell people to "Fuck off"


Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, I was writing earlier today about my experiences with a whole forum full of these very touchy, self-proclaimed 'indie' writers. Yes I'm a writer. But, no I'm not one of THOSE.

R. Doug Wicker said...

Big Al, I hope you don't mind, but I'll be posting a special entry on this train wreck, along with a link to it, on my blog either later today or early tomorrow. This has been an A-1 example of precisely what not to do when receiving an unfavorable review.

Anonymous said...

As an author who intends to self-publish I can only sit in impotent fury as yet another self-published author drags us all down to her own level with her childish inability to accept criticism. If you don't want your book reviewed honestly, give it to a family member and keep it private. Don't mess the system up for the rest of us.

Seriously, words do not cover the frustration I feel. By the time I am ready to publish I may not be able to find any reviewers for my book on principle because it's self-published. I do not take kindly to having my prospective career (best case scenario - of course I hope to be successful :) ) put in jeopardy by a complete stranger. The behaviour of one person reflects on us all - it shouldn't but it does. A reality, like the occasional bad review, that has to be lived with, as frustrating as that may be.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Author career #fail.

Baglady said...

Fantastic. Hilarious way to go about making yourself seem like a complete twit Miss Howett. Thanks for the entertainment (and thanks to Twitter for sending me to read this. Genius).

J.R. Tate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Just what I needed on a Monday, how not to react 101.

I now will be checking out your blog.

Anonymous said...

Levi, I apologize if I sounded as though I were trying to turn others off as well. That's just my personal perspective and I didn't intend to inflict that on others.

You obviously have class the likes of which Jacqueline Howett can now never hope to even fake and I thank you for that. Thanks, also, for the offer but I will pass.

Anonymous said...

Well, “fuck off” might have been the best of her poorly written rant. No misunderstanding that. I was thinking that she should look into this really awesome auction going on at ebay right now, and bid on an editor listing there.

debsnm said...

Wow! Most fun I've had all day! Love watching a train wreck.

Emma Petersen said...

Mr. Al,

Can we close this thread now? Please. Honestly, does anything else need to be said? Even if the author learns nothing from this there's no reason to continue to beat her about the head and shoulders until there's nothing but a pile of goo left. We've all made mistakes. I know I've made some huge ones. Like the time I cc'd the entire company an email that was only supposed to go to my dude. I could have totally died. Especially when my boss later on confided that he "liked the rough stuff too."

J.R. Tate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carramel said...

Thanks for your review, I will not be buying this book. The authors comments were rude and full of errors. Before you(J.Howett) tell me to fuck off like the other posters that didn't like your behaviour . It is only my opinion, I am allowed to have one just as you can have yours.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who has seen Life of Brian will know exactly how that 'Fuck off' was delivered. Hilarious!

Chantele Sedgwick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Jessica Tate:

Thanks for being equally unclassy for using this as an opporuntity to sell books. You've really helped the situation.

The fact you even want your novels in any way tied to this loonybin marks you up on the DNR (DO NOT READ) list.

Be a professional. You're no better than Amazon drive-by thread spammers.

God, this is giving me a headache.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jessica.

Unclassy. Unclassy to the max.

Selling books on a flame thread? Don't walk, run.

M. R. Sellars said...

As a general rule, we as authors are told by our publicists that, "controversy creates buzz, and buzz generates sales."

Upon reading this thread I was pretty sure this wasn't the kind of "controversy" intended by the PR Pros, so I called my publicist and asked her if I'd misunderstood. Turns out I hadn't. I was correct in my assessment.

In fact, she threatened to kill me if I ever did such a thing.

Glad I checked though. I was just about to add telling everyone to "f**k off" to my promotional repertoire. Whew! Dodged that bullet...


Baglady said...

I thouht Jessica was being tongue in cheek. No?

Anonymous said...

LMMFAO!!! Does poor Jackie need a tissue?! Tito!! We need tissues!!!

Anonymous said...

I've never read her prose, but today I learned that Jacqueline Howett's writing in the medium of blog comments is rather spectacular and thoroughly entertaining.

Chrystal Rose said...

As an aspiring author and blogger who's beginning to attract some haters; I have to say I'm embarrassed for this woman.

I'd be proud to receive this review. While only two stars, he was kind enough not only to give positives on the book itself but he also even gave it a positive AFTER she began her rant.

Be grateful people are actually reading your book and willing to review it for FREE. Geeeezzz.

PS. The road to hell is paved in adverbs ~Stephen King

Anonymous said...


If Jessica's being tongue in cheek, Jackie's tongue has worn a hole through hers.

J.R. Tate said...

That is my automatic signature.... it wasn't intended to sell my books... believe what you want. I'll even go up and delete it if need be. From what I'm seeing, there are others who mentioned there's as well.

Anonymous said...

Haven't readed the book. But here's the Amazon UK description, presumably wroted by JH hersself, which hints at Big Al's

Description to The Greek Seaman novel.

What is an eighteen year old newly wed doing traveling on a massive merchant ship anyways? Hadn’t she gone to Greece on tour in a ballet as a dancer? These are questions, Katy asks herself while traveling the high seas with Don her chief officer. However, little do they know a smuggling ring is also on board for this ride, on a blue diamond exchange and when explosions and threats to sink the ship also happen, they must try to save themselves.

Getting to know the smugglers, the Arabic and Pakistani deck hands and Don, the Greek Seaman is an exciting sea adventure with enough suspense and romance that will make you laugh and cry. It will take you on a voyage to experience the magnificent soothing wonders and beautiful scenery at sea, dolpins, flying fishes and takes you through storms and hurricanes where Katy finds herself navigating through it with a seasick crew. From Piraeus, Greece, your visit the ports of Lebanon and Libya and enjoy the exotic magic of the bazaar. The love between Don and Katy, in their ordeal at sea makes this a memorable story.

J.R. Tate said...

Just to appease those who thought I was trying to promote my books, I deleted my comment so people won't assume. If they want to call me unprofessional for it, I guess the same goes for those who respond anonymously.

As for the author that this is referred to, It's all been summed up. Not much else can be said about it all.

Romi said...

This was both hilarious and disturbing.

Thanks Al, and YES, that sentence structure was awkward at best, which would make any read less enjoyable--that's simply the heart of the matter!

Good day,


Anonymous said...


If you're an indie author commenting on this thread, maybe you should check your spelling, lol, because you are so not helping your own case right about now.

Anonymous said...

I had to go to her website. I know. I shouldn't have. But I did. The author specifically says, "if you enjoyed the book please feel free to leave a review."

Umm...that's not how it works, babe. When you put your work out there, it's there for everyone to review. Good or bad. You don't get to pick and choose. So if you want to be a real writer, I suggest you grow some thick skin and prepare yourself for the reality of being an author.

I laughed at your childish reaction to this review. The reviewer actually said it was a good story. I'd hate to see what would happen if you'd received a horrible review, one that says the story was pure crap and a waste of time. Do you think you're too good for reviews like that?

Word to the wise, bestselling authors get those. So welcome to your reality check.

Chrystal Rose said...


You lost me at "little do they know" I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate cliches like that.

Anonymous said...

Epic.Fail.Com & "101 How to NOT react to reviews you dont like"!

It's one thing to defend your work, its quite another to do this. Unfortunately they have killed their chances of ever being taken on by a publisher by their behavior.

Anonymous said...

This is singularly the most entertaining self destruction I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

A very dear friend of mine is an indie writer, and never in a million years would she even dream of responding to a review in such a fashion. You can bet that Wacky Jackie will never be on my "to be read" list. Although it's really probably a good thing she's done this - maybe now she can find a career she's good at, because writing so obviously isn't her forte. And to Al - you rock on, my friend. I'll definitely be a regular reader of your blog.

Chrystal Rose said...

Lol-- CSS

Charlie Sheen Syndrome


Anonymous said...

"Oh the humanity!" :)

Silly puppy.

GraceKrispy said...

Nice review, Al. I'm glad to see there are others out there who review indies and will point out the positives as well as the negatives.

I also wanted to chime in and say there are some *fantastic* indie authors out there, and this book and its author are not necessarily representative of the talent out there in the self-publishing world.

GraceKrispy@MotherLode blog

Nay said...

The The Greek Seaman's meme-ship has well and truly sailed.

Portia Watson said...

Well done, Jacqueline Howett, I (and my friends who have been having a good laugh over your actions) will be avoiding your book like the plague. Enjoy!

Alanna Coca said...

Yes, it's sad to see any author behave badly. I've seen it in published authors with reputable houses as well though, so I don't think it's fair to lump Ms. Howett in with the likes of J.A. Konrath or Amanda Hawking. Please let's not turn her horrid behavior into an all-indie boycott.

Anonymous said...

Even her Blogger profile is riddled with grammatical errors. Nice. Stay classy, lady.

Monica-Marie Vincent said... first I HAD to stop reading. Then it kept being posted on Twitter with things I hadn't seen so I had to come back. Needless to say I missed the BEST part. The "f-bomb" rearing its ugly head.

The only thing that "I" can truly suggest to you is to take as many writing courses as you can possible get your mitts on, and then choose some pen name that is no way associated with this name and try again. Perhaps with a bit of an attitude adjustment, some writing skill, and a new outlook on life you could actually salvage your career and chalk this up as a very painful learning experience.

Good luck with the rest of your life!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to this "authors" reaction to the review I will never pick up this book or any other that she publishes. Not because there is not a good story behind them, but because of this little fit she has thrown all over a PUBLIC forum.

I am a book reviewer, and a writer myself and the writer side of me is embarrassed that you would react in such a way. The reviewer side of me is congratulating Al for this review and for not taking it down, because they shouldn't have to. Reviewers give their time to read the books they review Mrs Howett you should be grateful and not so hateful and childish and unprofessional.

But I say thanks for the perfect what NOT to do when responding to a review.

Side note: If you don't want to read negative reviews just don't read reviews PERIOD. Not everyone is going to think your work is absolutely amazing even though you might think it is.

Take a breath, go take a cold shower or something and calm yourself down. This sort of behavior in an author is absolutely unacceptable in a public forum. Scream, cry, pull your hair out, smash your computer, do whatever you want as long as it is in private with close friends and family or alone.

KicknKnit said...

Well, one good thing came out of this train wreck. I now know about Smashwords.

Anonymous said...

Oh for the love of ...

Stop calling it INDIE publishing! Do you have any idea where that came from? Because it's not what you think.

That tag didn't come from authors wanting to scrub off the stigma of "self-publishing" like with indie music, it came from a friggin' scam VANITY press using it to RIP-OFF their marks.

They coined "traditional" publishing and "indie" publishing to reinforce their propaganda that "traditional" publishing would squash the creativity of the "indie" writer's soul.

Considering that the number of self-published books per year is something like 80% of all books published, and with "that press" and their quickly rising total of 25.. no 30... no 40,000 HAPPY AUTHORS (dammit!) the tags caught on quickly and spread.)

When you use those tags, you reinforce the scam. You give the labels credibility and make it that much easier for them to rip off the next starry eyed, and unedited, writer who doesn't know any better.

I've seen the aftermath of a writer who thought they'd hooked a golden ring only to watch their dreams wither one "buy your own book" offer at a time.

Stop helping the scammers.

There's self-publishing and commercial publishing, all the rest is smoke and mirrors.


Anonymous said...

Someone will be in sore need of a pseudonym...

Rex Jameson said...

@Pam's "And this is why I don't accept self publish for review."

You're likely to miss some good books, but I completely understand. How very unfortunate that a few bad eggs would spoil your entire perspective!


Breathe. Understand that bad reviews happen to all writers, even the greats. Read the following:

You may be best served by working under a pseudonym for a while. Unfortunately, this event is likely to follow you around.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Anonymous about the 'indie' comment, there aint no such animal. There's formal commercial publishing - and self publishing.

Levi Montgomery said...

I swear I'm going to stop reading this thread. I swear I will. As soon as I get to the bottom and F5 doesn't bring up any new comments.

*hits F5...*

Anonymous said...

I will not be reading this book. EVER!

Mike Dennis said...

Not that I claim to have anything more to add to this, but here goes anyway.

Jacqueline, in ONE of your childish responses to Al, just ONE, I counted six spelling errors and two punctuation errors. Now, we all know you have a thin skin and a hot temper, but if you think you're a writer, you're sadly mistaken. Writers do not put anything out into the world with that many errors.

And don't say you were flustered when you wrote it. You can be flustered and upset and still send out something that is error-free.

Anonymous said...

For the love of peaches, please do not lump all self published authors in the same incredibly sinking boat as Ms. Howett's. It's totally and completely dismissive to write off an entire group of people based on one person's actions. Please and thank you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's entertaining self-destruction, but aren't y'all maybe revelling in it a bit too much? The woman crashed and burned. She's probably sitting in a dark closet with a bottle of gin right now. Maybe it's time to let all the screaming die down.

Anonymous said...

OMG! That's just hilarious. What an immature author. I wouldn't have believed it.. if i hadn't seen in w/ my own eyes. Who is she anyway? Painter turned author. Muahhahah. :)

Unknown said...

Note to self: Avoid Jacqueline Howett like the plague.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how coming onto a blog to gloat or laugh about someone having a public emotional meltdown is better behaviour than having an over-emotional meltdown.

Humans suck.

MichelleReviews said...

I read this, posted my pretty polite comment, chuckled with a few people who'd brought it to my attention, and chose to leave it there. I figured the author was doing herself enough damage.

Then, she posted "Fuck off," and so I tweeted it.

S. A. Joo said...

Al, I'm your follower now.

Anonymous said...

wow the author's just tainted the name of tons of decent indie authors trying to make it out there by acting like a bloody spoiled brat, pathetic...
Never read a more unprofessional whingeing response and you call yourself a writer? Not in my book dear.

To the book reviewer...stick to your guns mate, you're in the right!

Julie said...

Wow! Ms. Howett needs to either grow a thicker skin or get out of publishing. Not everyone is going to like your book. I think Booksandpals gave your book a nice honest review. Wouldn't you rather have honesty? As a writer, I would.

I love reading Indie books. However, I have made it a criteria in my reviews that I will call out grammar and style issues if it is really noticeable, as well as plot, characterization and world-building. There are even traditional books that have problems. For instance, you don't write: Me and Jane went to the movies. But how many times I have I read this kind of sentence -- and in a bestseller!

I wonder if Ms. Howett has sent her books to a traditional publisher. Would she tell an editor to f**k off if they asked her to correct something?

But I don't think as commenters we should say things like "Who is she anyway? Painter turned author." That's just sinking to her level.

I'm thinking of going the Indie route with my book. Why? Because I'd like to get my name and work out there first. I want to see what readers really think before I sent it off to a big time publisher or agent. Before I ever publish anything for millions of eyes to read, I will definitely hire a top-notch editor and proofreader. Ms. Howett, you should do the same. Get over it! You didn't do anyone justice today with your awful comments. SHAME ON YOU!

Anonymous said...

This must be the longest thread I've read in a while. Funny. So funny.

"Fuck off!" was funny the first time, but the second time... I hypnotically rolled on the floor laughing my ass off with supreme balance.

B.C. Young said...

Bravo! Bravo! This was the most entertaining thing I've seen today.
Have some dignity! Not everyone can like what you write.
I'm a writer myself, and if I didn't get criticized at all, I would never know how to improve my writing. A bad review is great to receive because you can learn from it and make your next book better.
I'd just like to say to those people who avoid self-published authors to not let this deter you. There is some good stuff out there!

Anonymous said...

With so many grammatical and spelling errors in the author's increasingly over-the-top responses to the reviewer, I have no interest in reading the book. At the very least, a book should have an editor and proofreader before it is published. Obviously that wasn't the case with this book (and judging by the author's emails, it should have been first priority)!

Sarijane said...

As a reader, I am disgusted at the author's behavior over this review. I will not buy or read any of her work after seeing her posts here. She has just become the third author I absolutely will not ever buy, or read, and the difference between her and the others is that I've never read anything by her. Unbelievable!!! It's like watching a toddler have a tantrum.

Steph said...

Whoa. Nothing else to add but that.

And I found nothing offensive or off putting about Jessica's signature... lighten up.

Anonymous said...




As an above poster said, don't give crediblity to self-pub by calling it indie. They are two radically different concepts, and cannot be lumped together.

This, is self-published.

It was NOT good enough for traditional publishing.

Case and point.

Laurie Gator said...

Big Al,

Thank you for this review and for all of your reviews.

I love Indie authors. I have been reading nothing but Indie books for the past couple of months and it has been great to get to know some new styles and new faces. A couple of those have been "meh" but most are pretty darn good!

I won't let this one Indie ruin what I have found with other Indies. There are some brilliant folks out there who just need to have their luck change a bit to get the big break.

I am an engineer by trade. English is not my first language - math is my first language. My husband proofread all of my papers for my liberal arts classes because my grammar is really bad. Even with my bad grammar, I could see the problems with the sentence construction. There are reasons that I am not nor will I ever be a writer...

Patricia JL said...

Holy crap, I have to say something.

I solemnly vow that when my books are published (which will probably be indie, I like the idea and am willing to do the work) and someone gives me a bad review to not freak out and act like a nut job. I will also promise to use the review to improve future works and earn my stars.

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious. You Jacqueline, are a joke. Grow up, grow a thick skin. You have ruined your career before it has even begun. No publisher or agent is going to want to go near you after this little tirade. Everyone should Tweet and FB this just to show everyone how not to act when given a less than positive review.

Aimee said...

I think the review was great. I'm sad that the author is taking it so bad as this will definitely hurt her sales. I couldn't imagine an author doing this to me at my blog. I'm glad you are sticking with your guns Al! Good for you!

As a reader, a poorly written book ruins the fun of reading and I think that people should hear it even if the author can't handle the criticism.

Ragzzz said...

So a number of crimes have been committed here in the name of Writing.

Firstly, we have the murder of the English Language by an author who is insistent that it is because she is English that she is misunderstood.

Secondly, said same author then proceeds to act as though "under the influence" and use foul and abusive language in a public place...thus disturbing the peace of said place.

Thirdly, said same author, by committing the above acts, also commits professional suicide.

All in all you would have to say that was quite a crime spree. But the worst crime...she's now an internet star, as such, and will sell more books than ever, because the old adage still holds true...there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Anonymous said...

Having read the author's reassuring post that her writing is just fine, I decided to read a little bit of this book.

It's some of the worst prose I've ever seen. It's loaded with semantically and grammatically awkward sentences, spelling errors and incorrect punctuation.

The boring, vapid dialogues that seem to make up the bulk of the book are unnatural, constructed in a childishly condescending manner, and full of pointless lines and repetitions.

There is not even an attempt at profundity. The quotidian descriptions are concerned mostly with superficial matters and act as filler in an otherwise boring plot.

In sum, if Jacqueline were a fifth grader, she could probably win a prose competition in school. But since she's an adult (hard to believe, considering how she acts), this amateur author gets to take a little money from some poor suckers and feel great about herself for becoming one of thousands of talentless self-publishing hacks. When you buy indie, you usually get what you pay for, namely very little.

Anonymous said...

Just got wind of this via Twitter!
The lady is clearly in need of medication.Lol:)

Anonymous said...

Whew - stunned at all these 'authors' who don't know the difference between there/their/they're etc. Jacqueline's responses are so littered with grammatical and spelling errors that they would have put me off reading her book even without the hilarious examples pulled out by Al. And totally agree - five star reviews from friends and family count for nothing - it's what the public thinks that matters. Hence the very purpose of this blog? Nice work Al

Unknown said...

@Jessica Tate--Yes, at least one other author did so, and much more blatantly. The way yours was, made me wonder if it was an automatic signature and once alerted, you turned it off for the following post.

You didn't do anything wrong. Not in my opinion.

@ Jacqueline Howett--Way to make some MAJOR mistakes. I do reviews of both traditional and indie publishers. I won't touch one single book of yours. I have given 3* reviews, and explained why. The author very graciously said thank you for the review and the suggestions. That's it. If you felt you HAD to respond to "Big Al", you should only have said. "Thank you for the Review. I'll double check my copies and make appropriate changes if they are warranted." That's only if you felt you had to leave more than a "Thank You."

@ other indie authors who have posted.
Most of us who do reviews and are readers, know that not all authors are like this. Published traditionally or independently. Continue to conduct yourselves in a professional manner and I don't think you'll have a problem getting reviews or readers.

Scott Gordon said...

Darling Jacqueline, your passion for your work is astounding! I have to admit I'm truly aroused by your prophetic use of words. You remind me of a snobby twit that I am writing about called The Crusty Englishman. So grab a glass of wine, a couple chickens, and let Dr. Terrance give you some much need therapy:

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Howett,

If you can't tolerate being reviewed, why are you entering the publishing game? It was not the above review that made me disinterested in reading your novel, but your defensive, self-aggrandising and humorless attitude.

Anonymous said...

Almost as bad as her other 'book,' 'The Secret Passion of Twins.'


J.R. Tate said...

@angel Graham,

Thanks. I went ahead and deleted the initial post where the signature was so other people wouldn't think the same thing. It's not a big deal. My first post basically had what was already being said to begin with. I did turn my signature off. I didn't realize to some, it would come off as "controversial."

It's good to know that not everyone in here is going to think that all indie authors are like the author of interest in this blog. We are all trying so hard to get away from the stigma of being indie authors and she is leaving a bad taste in readers mouths. It's good to hear that you aren't grouping us all together.

Amy said...

The unprofessional tone from Jacqueline throughout this thread is simply terrible, and she reached an all time low when she pulled out the profanity.

Why? Why must you attack this reviewer so maliciously? Al does not require "an army" to defend this review and its opinions. As a community of book bloggers, we tend to be offended when *one* of us is attacked for our OPINION. It makes us feel (well for me anyway) that we are all under attack for having our own thoughts. I always believed that we lived in a free world, where society appreciates creative, new and different ways of thinking.

Sarah said...

Wow, yet another book I'll never read because of the author's completely insane behavior...

Angelia Sparrow said...

Good review. Speaking as an author, my reaction would be "I'm glad he liked the story, but Yeouch! Let me go over that. Did they edit errors in or what?"

Again as an author, my reaction to an author showing up and saying ANYTHING other than "Thanks for taking the time to review this," tends to the negative. Defending yourself, explaining yourself, it all loses you readers.

Anonymous said...

Did she review her own book? "The Secret Passion of Twins."

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Ms. Howett.

You've proved the point of many above who have the opinion that self-publishing authors suck.

Those of us who strive not to suck really appreciate your efforts.

Anonymous said...

Jessica Tate,

You are NOT Indie, you are SELF PUBLISHED.

There is a huge, enormous, gargantuan difference between the two. Wacky Jacky is likewise self-pubbed.

Unknown said...

PIMF...My above comment it should have said.
"I do reviews of both traditional and indie published authors." My bad. I really do know how to type and think at the same time. I just got ahead of myself.

Anonymous said...

Never ever respond to a bad review. Everyone's going to get them from time to time, but ignore them.
Next, as a reviewer who reviewed approximately 300 books last year, I never count off for typos and grammar. My job is to read and review the book, the story; not to be an English teacher.

Anonymous said...

Please, everyone, be careful. Much as the author did everything wrong and spectacularly shot herself in the foot splashing her blood all over the internet, this thread is quickly turning into a witch hunt and it's ugly.

Do as you would be done by.

Selene Coulter said...

"Anonymous said:

I don't see how coming onto a blog to gloat or laugh about someone having a public emotional meltdown is better behaviour than having an over-emotional meltdown.

Humans suck."

It isn't better. Arguably, it's worse. It's why people are posting as anonymous. Because then they don't need to show humility or a modicum of compassion.

For everyone revelling in this -- a quick story. I had something similar happen with a colleague who ranted and swore at me. Face to face. When I took him aside in private he broke down and admitted his father had just died the night before. Me pointing an error out to him had been the final straw.

Please don't forget that behind an easy laugh is a real person. And you've no idea who she is or what might have prompted her behaviour.

It doesn't excuse her. But it doesn't excuse you either.

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

This could quite possibly be the funniest thing I've read all day. I never read this blog before, but now I'm going to subscribe to the RSS Feed. Stick to your guns, Al. If the book wasn't so great, you tell us! Don't let the author intimidate you with her numerous comments.

As for the author herself, I will NEVER review one of her books because the grammatical errors would drive me up the wall AND she's apparently quite unprofessional.

Amazingly, I read books from English authors and completely understood the "foreign language." Sigh. Just accept that the reviewer doesn't like your work and move on.

Bia said...

Holly crap! I'm from Brazil and English is not my first language, however even I saw the errors from the samples posted. I also have a blog and write reviews. This is truly one great international laughing matter. The review is great, Al was even kind to the author because I know I could not look past the errors to get to the end of the book.

Tip to the author: if you google the misspelled word you get the correct result. You might want to try that...

Amanda Cobb said...

The sad thing is, Ms. Howett's bio on her website says she was born in 1954, so her abysmal grammar isn't the result of being a teenager, as her volatile comments led me to believe. You'd think in 50+ years, she'd have learned how to be professional, as well as how to spell.

B.Tackitt said...

I just went to her blog site as linked by BigAl in the review. This woman looks to be at least 50 and she is acting like this?

Yes, at Amazon she has written some of her own reviews. *shudder

The Amazon UK review that she quoted in response to BigAl up above? Written by Margaret Howlett, an obvious relative.

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