Category Archives: The Last Hunt

My Take On . . . Reader Reviews (with some feistiness)

Modern Art

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m going to make this short and to the point. Reader reviews are what they are. Writing is art and reading is subjective. That whole beauty in the eye of the beholder thing. That’s what is wonderful about it. There’s something for everyone.

Yes, there are certain rules writers should follow that make for “good” writing but even those rules can be broken and broken with success.

But as for the reviews themselves, I put reviews into four categories: Positive about the story; Positive about the craft; Negative about the craft; Negative about nonsense.

I’m not going to dwell on the positive reviews because everyone enjoys positive reviews. For some readers the story captures their imagination or heart and they just love it. For others, the skill of the author impresses them. Positive reviews are awesome. Simple.

Negative reviews are another kind of bird. There are the negative reviews that actually mean something. They touch on the craft of storytelling or the skill of  word weaving. Pacing, character development, plotting, etc. This is called constructive criticism. I take these reviews to heart and seek to learn something from them.

Then there are the moronic reviews. Like this one for my family drama, A Thousand Sleepless Nights (written under a pen name, Michael King): The reviewer gave it 2 stars because “I ordered this book because my brother was recently diagnosed with Colon Cancer, I thought this would be a resource book.” Really? It clearly says “A Novel” right on the cover. My heart goes out to the brother and . . . he could still use it as a resource book.

And then there are comments like this attached to 1-star reviews: “Gives you the impression it’s going to be a horror novel, and ends up pounding religion into the reader.” And this: “This book is all about finding God, how your problems will all be solved and all will be right with the world. What a crock. If I want to find religion, I can do it without being tricked into reading a religious book. Shame.” Uh, did they read the book? Yes, it’s about finding God but all is definitely not right with the world. And these are the folks who accuse Christians of being closed-minded. Shame.

These moronic reviews really don’t bother me. They’re part of being a writer and you take ’em as part of the journey.

But sometimes negative reviews hurt. This one for Frantic still puts an ache in my heart. It’s honest and respectful and I appreciate that. I wrote a post on it before that discusses why it hurt so badly.

Other times I’m just baffled by positive vs. negative reviews. The two following reviews exemplify perfectly how subjective reading is. Both are for my short story The Last Hunt.

The positive one: From the first line of the story, Dellosso’s craftsmanship shows through. The story begins with boyhood memories of hunting trips with his dad, his uncle, and his grandfather. The tale includes anecdotes of how the narrator grew up on these hunting trips and approached manhood. Then the story delves into the fateful night and the hunting trip that was the final one. The story is narrated at just the right pace. It is a masterpiece.

And the negative one: I really enjoy Mr. Dellosso’s books, so I thought I would try this short story. It was very disappointing and definitely not worth the dollar I spent on it. The story was rushed and the conclusion just left me confused. Questions were not answered and storylines weren’t finished. I think this would make a good full-length book so that more things could be fleshed out. As a short story, however, it fell way short of the mark.

Did they read the same story? Obviously they did. But you see how the same story can affect people in two totally different ways. For a writer, this is frustrating.

Now, the negative one here would fall into the “Negative about the craft” category and is worth learning from. Except one thing that, I’m sorry, just irks me: “definitely not worth the dollar I spent on it.” I wish this reviewer would have used his real name because I’d gladly track him down and refund his dollar. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Okay, that was a little more than short and sweet. Sorry.

FearlessCoverHey, if you haven’t read my newest thriller, Fearless, yet I’d suggest getting a copy and leaving a review when you’re done. And I’ll thank you ahead of time for any positive or thoughtful negative reviews. But please, if your review is going to be moronic, save your time and skip it. Or don’t use your real name.

Final WINNERS of FEARLESS Giveaways!

Wow, I can’t believe the week is over already! What a whirlwind. I truly had a blast reading all the comments. Here’s a quick rundown on how things played out for the week.

Calculator

(Photo credit: yum9me)

Visitors: 1185
Comments: 192
Books given away: 29

Pretty awesome! THANK YOU!!

Okay, here are the winners of yesterday’s giveaway . . .

MIRROR IMAGE: Dennis Morris
THE LAST HUNT: Kevin Hill
REARVIEW: jendjacobs
THE HUNTED: Shana Montgomery
FEARLESS: donnajsanchez
FEARLESS: Troy Tennard

Congrats to all the winners!

And again, a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated this week. Keep spreading the word about FEARLESS!

And HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

LAST DAY to Win a Copy of FEARLESS (and Other Books)!!

David Prowse as Darth Vader in The Empire Stri...

(1980) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow, I can’t believe this week has already come to an end. THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the giveaways, especially yesterday’s. It was so interesting to see who those favorite villains were. I think Darth Vader and Marsuvees Black were the most popular. Lots of Star Wars and Ted Dekker fans out there, huh?

Okay, here are the winners from yesterday’s giveaways:

MIRROR IMAGE: Judy More
THE LAST HUNT: Sarah Hallam
REARVIEW: JoAnn Armstrong
FRANTIC: Jenn
FEARLESS: Vicki H.
FEARLESS: Mizael

Congratulations to all the winners!

And now for today’s giveaway . . . Simply leave a comment to this post. That’s it, nice and simple. Anything you want to say. Books on the table are MIRROR IMAGE, THE LAST HUNT, REARVIEW, THE HUNTED, and 2 copies of  FEARLESS.

And if you’re a mother may I just say HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Thank you for all you do!

Two More Days of Giveaways! Be FEARLESS and Enter.

FearlessCoverOnly two more days of giveaways! Thank you to all who have participated and congratulations to all who have won books.

I’m often asked about the villains I write. When writing villains I try to keep in mind that they are real people too. There is a reason they turned to evil; at some moment in their life there was a decision made, a turning point happened. That’s what I try to explore. I want to dive deeper into the psyche of the villain, show the reader that under the exterior there is a hurting person there. And if the reader feels some sympathy for the villain, then I’ve done my job.

In FEARLESS, Mitch Albright is one such villain. Wounded, he has chosen the path of destruction and is desperate to get what he craves the most.

Enough of that, now on to the winners from yesterday’s drawing:

MIRROR IMAGE: Jason Sessions
THE LAST HUNT: Nancy (@ciclodiva)
DARKNESS FOLLOWS: Annie VZ
FEARLESS: esdluquillo (Betsy)
FEARLESS: Brian Stansell
FEARLESS: Cathy Groover

Robert DeNiro as Max Cady in the 1991 remake.

Robert DeNiro as Max Cady in the 1991 remake. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, for today’s giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment stating your favorite villain of all time. I don’t care who it is or where he’s from. Favorite villain of all time. Let’s have it. Mine? Max Cady, Robert De Niro’s character in Cape Fear. That guy seriously creeped me out.

Books up for grabs are MIRROR IMAGE, THE LAST HUNT, REARVIEW, FRANTIC, and 2 copies of FEARLESS.

Celebrating the Release of FEARLESS with More Giveaways!

FearlessCoverFirst, I want to thank everyone who has taken part in this giveaway week by entering the contests and helping to promote them. You make this possible. Really.

One of the characters in FEARLESS, Louisa, is a child with a very special gift. If you’ve been reading my books you may have noticed I’m on a kick with including children in my stories. This is for a couple reasons. One, I enjoy writing children. They provide a unique canvas for creating very colorful, interesting characters. And two, the innocence of a child offers the perfect contrast for evil. Louisa’s character is rich with both of these aspects.

Now, down to business. The winners of yesterday’s giveaway are . . .

MIRROR IMAGE: Ann Carawan
THE LAST HUNT: Whitney Woodmansee
REARVIEW: Gary Hough
A THOUSAND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS: Reggie Greanleaf
FEARLESS: Tom Farr
FEARLESS: Anna Urquhart
FEARLESS: Patrick Cox

Whew! Congratulations to all the winners.

Okay, more giveaways on the way. Today, I’d like you to go to my Facebook fan page and Darkness Follows“LIKE” it. Then leave a comment below this post stating you did so. If you’ve already liked it, that counts. Just leave a comment saying you’ve liked it already. That simple.

You may win a copy of FEARLESS (I’m giving away 2 copies), MIRROR IMAGE, THE LAST HUNT, or DARKNESS FOLLOWS.

Please share this giveaway with your friends and followers via all your favorite social media sites. If we get to 1,000 likes on the Facebook page I’ll throw in another copy of FEARLESS and increase your chances to win!

FEARLESS: The Release is Here (With Lots of Giveaways)!

FearlessCoverToday is the official release day for FEARLESS and we have  a lot to cover so let’s get started . . .

Yesterday’s winners. Below are the winners from yesterday’s giveaways. Congrats to all!

THE LAST HUNT: Greg Sutis
MIRROR IMAGE: Pal Davenport
FRANTIC: Lois Hudson
FEARLESS: Cindy Snider

Want to help promote FEARLESS? Wow, thank you! Below are some links you may find interesting. Just copy and past them in your Facebook status or Twitter feed.

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Fearless-A-novel-Mike-Dellosso/dp/1621362418/
Fan video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha04CiaDJxA
Fan Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/jojosutis/fearless-by-mike-dellosso/

Rearview coverATSNcoverOkay, here’s how to win more books! See the “Share this:” section directly below this post? Just share this post on one of those sites and then leave a comment saying you did so and you’ll be entered to win one of 3 copies of FEARLESS, a copy of MIRROR IMAGE, THE LAST HUNT, REARVIEW, or A THOUSAND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS.

You have until midnight. Winners will be announced tomorrow.

Please share this!

FEARLESS Release: I’m Givin’ Books Away!

FearlessCoverFEARLESS, my newest thriller officially releases tomorrow and in my book (pun inteneded) that calls for a celebration. And to celebrate I want to give away some books.

thelasthuntSo here goes . . .

Today, leave a comment to this blog post and get in on the drawing to win a copy of THE LAST HUNT (an e-short story), catsMIRROR IMAGE (an e-short story), or FRANTIC (my 5th thriller). Contest ends at midnight.

Okay, so you know what to do . . . and please celebrate with me by spreading the word by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter, and any other Frantic coversocial media site you frequent. Thanks!

Come back tomorrow. I’ll be giving away copies of the short stories and FEARLESS as well as another book!

THANK YOU! Can’t Say it Enough . . .

catsI want to thank everyone who helped promote Mirror Image and The Last Hunt. I want to thank those who downloaded them, who read them, who reviewed them, who talked about them. I hope you enjoyed both stories. They’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback and have really seemed to strike a good note with readers.

If you missed the giveaways, not to worry, both stories are available for only $0.99.

thelasthuntAnd believe me, there are more coming. I’ve really been enjoying writing these short stories and making them available.

WritingTimeI recently wrote a short non-fiction book (just 35 pages) about making time to write and finishing what you start. It, too, will be offered for free in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Fearless releases on May 7, a week from Tuesday. You can preorder it just about anywhere. So far, it’s getting very good reviews, some saying it’s my best book yet. I find this interesting because after all is said and done with the writing and editing of all my books I always think, This is the book that’s going to flop, that’s going to expose me as a fraud. But from what I hear from my author friends that’s a perfect normal feeling and shared by most.

FearlessCoverFearless is a wonderful story and while writing it I quickly fell in love with the characters. It has lots of suspense, mystery, intrigue, and of course a slight twist of the supernatural. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Another Giveaway: The Last Hunt FREE

thelasthuntI’m in the giving away mood!

The Last Hunt was a short story I wrote a few years ago. I recently revised it and it is now available for Kindle and for FREE for a limited time.

This story will make you think twice about ever going into the woods again.

Today through Thursday you can download THE LAST HUNT for FREE! (After that it’ll be only $0.99.)

Download it now and please help spread the word about this special offer. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other social media venues you frequent. Thank you!

FREE Short Story . . . Tomorrow!

thelasthuntStay tuned for another short story I’m giving away.

Tomorrow, Tuesday 4/23, through Thursday 4/25 I’ll be giving away THE LAST HUNT.

This story will have you thinking twice about ever going into the woods again.

You won’t want to miss this one!

 

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