Lila Leigh Hunter

It’s Done!

2017 #ROW80 Round 1: Check-In #22

The first round of #Row80 for 2017 is done. Now it’s time to see how productive I was. For starters, I’m writing this post at ten pm. Technically, I’m early because the round doesn’t end until tomorrow, but I want to keep my post on its regular Wednesday schedule. As I mentioned in my last update, the next round would be hosted at Hunter Hues. So if you don’t want to miss it, you can sign up for the email updates here.

Today, I finished the edits for Binding Jax’s Heart, drafted the synopsis, and wrote the query letter. To learn more about that, you need to sign up for my updates under Leigh Hunter. I’m hoping to submit everything by the end of the month.

My initial goals for Round #1 were:


  • 10-12 blog posts [recurrent goal]
  • 15+ book reviews [recurrent goal]
  • 12 to read [recurrent goal]
  • Newsletter [recurrent goal]
  • Plan & start Cupcakes & Brews, #1 – Currently working on this
  • Edit Graphic Exposure & plan additions – Hopefully over the summer


  • 10-12 blog posts [recurrent goal]
  • 10+ book reviews [recurrent goal]
  • 12 to read [recurrent goal]
  • Newsletter [recurrent goal]
  • Finish Cupcakes & Brews, #1 – nope
  • Finish Graphic Exposure – nope
  • Promo new release


  • 10-12 blog posts [recurrent goal]
  • 10+ book reviews [recurrent goal]
  • 12 to read [recurrent goal]
  • Newsletter [recurrent goal]
  • Plan & start Royal Ranger, #1 – did the blurb and send proposal; got a request for a synopsis
  • Edit Prescribed Discipline & plan additions – nope


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Review Loving

2016 #ROW80 Round 4: Check-In #15

Morning, sunshines! It’s been a while since I write a post early in the morning. Everyone in the house still asleep, and I’m having my coffee to start the day. One of the first things I do every day is to see if I got any new reviews.

I’m not talking about the ones I have to write, which are two for today, but the ones my books received. Some authors don’t like to read reviews for many reasons, but I love to see what my readers thought about my stories–good or bad.

In  real life, I’m a very drama free person. Everyone has issues, bad days, and the right to their opinions. So reading a positive or negative review doesn’t affect me personally. Perhaps because I don’t get attach to my books, or if you ask my kids because I’m an evil witch with no feelings. But that’s beyond the point.

Reviews are the reason our books get exposure and how they say, let them talk. I have fellows writers who have a love/hate relationship with Goodreads. In my case, I started in GR, so I’m pretty fond of it. I spend a lot of time there, as a writer, reader, and a reviewer. I love to write books, but I love to talk books too.

One thing I learned from the very beginning was not to engage the reviewers. No matter if the review was great or not. Everyone’s reading experience is different and we can go around policing their words. The best we can do is read them and use the information accordingly. I do “like” the reviews for my stories just as an acknowledgment that I have read them. If they took the time to write a review, the least I can do is read it.

As a writer, I look forward to reviews. It’s no secret that my first story, A Chance to Fight, has a very low rating, and I understand why. When I wrote it, two years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. Yes, I had written other stories before, but never an MM book. It has everything, from one-star reviews to five. And no, I don’t pay them for those five stars.

I have two favorite reviews and both are one star. Why? Because they said the same thing but just from different perspectives. Looking back, I can see all the things that need fixing, and the reviewers did a great job pointing at them. The difference is that one took the time to see the story from a partial perspective when the other one zeroed only on their own experience.

To this day, I still use these two reviews when approaching a story. I learned to balance the overall story arc with the little details that will make my readers smile. Someday, I’ll re-write this story because I love their journey and they deserve a second chance. And I’ll use all the reviews as beta critiques.

As a reviewer, I don’t rate a story less than three stars. I know the weight a negative review has in the rating system and use it as an opportunity to let readers make their own minds about a book. I’ll normally note a lower rating within the review, and take the time to explain why. I don’t paraphrase the stories, that’s what blurbs are for. I talk about the impression the story left on me. What I liked, what worked, pacing, writing style, etc. Everything I want to know about my own stories. And there’s always going to be someone with a different approach. I review a book to let others know about the author’s work, not to tell them what to read, or what to stay away from.

As a reader, I read others reviews only to see if it’s something I’ll be interested in. I avoid reviews with spoilers and always read lower rating reviews. Sometimes, I read a book just because reviewers gave it a low score. Every book has at least one redeemable quality, even if it’s just an outlet for the author to vent. I like to know what others like, and I love to talk about books; to see if we find the same things interesting. And yes, you will find me talking about books in Goodreads and in Someone Else’s Stories.

In the end, if you take your time to review one of my books, I’ll take the time to read it. If I review one of your stories, I’ll take the time to tell you what worked or not for me. And as a reader, I’ll plug your book to others because I love to read.

And if you made it all the way to the end of this post, you deserve a medal. I hope that next time you get a negative review, you see the potential behind it. There’s always an opportunity to write your best story yet.


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A Round of Words in 80 days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life.

[Release Day] Tow Trucks & New Year’s Kisses


Don’t miss the chance to learn more about Tow Trucks & New Year’s Kisses available today! Visit the release blitz organized by IndiGo and enter the giveaway.

Buy Links

NineStar Press | Amazon | Allromance eBooks/OmnitLit | Barnes & NobleKobo | iTunes | Smashwords


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Divine Magazine
Gay Media Reviews



Separation Anxiety? Nah.

2016 #ROW80 Round 4: Check-In #14 | 10 Minute Novelist: Update #39

As I mentioned many times during the last weeks, tomorrow is the release day for my new short story, Tow Trucks & New Year’s Kisses. I’m not too concern about it because I believe in the story, but most importantly because I already moved forward.

Yes, I still need to work on the marketing and getting others to believe in my story too, but it’s almost like having an ex you’re friends with. It’s great to tell your friends how good everything is and how good he/she/they is doing after the separation, but the best part, you only remember the best moments. Not the times I wanted to put the story aside and work on something else, or the times the characters didn’t want to cooperate. Right now, I only see how much I enjoyed getting to know my characters and the little dialogue bits I want others to read.

And I think that’s what fuel us writers to keep going and not worry about our past stories. There’s always another one waiting for us around the corner. The last one was our best, but the next one can be even better. I’ll enjoy this week doing all the promo, thinking about the good times, and hopefully, talking to others about all the good things I left behind for them to enjoy.


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