The Woodcarver’s Model Sees Stars

In The Woodcarver’s Model the central character Rob Hanson finds unexpected moments of wonder in the world around him as seen in the quote below.

From encounters with a beautiful young photographer, to a sun-dappled country lane and now this meal, the day had been perfect. He took his wine out onto the porch. It was nearing sunset and a shooting star arced across the eastern sky.”

This week, as an author, I experienced some moments of wonder connected to a different kind of stars.

In a previous post, I talked about Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) which are sent out to readers, bloggers and publications so that they have time to review the book prior to its release on April 19th.

With just two weeks to go, the first starred reviews came out on the Goodreads site, and I am pleased to say that they were very positive.

Now there are those that feel that a review on a reader-based site doesn’t have as much clout as say…a review in The New York Times.

Well, first of all, The New York Times doesn’t generally review small publisher gay romance novels. And regardless of if a review is written by a professional critic, or a reader in a small town in the Midwest, both have one thing in common…they are one person’s subjective response to the material.

The opinion of a reviewer from a big newspaper (who is paid to do their work) may hold more marketing power; but the opinion of a reader (who simply reads for pleasure and takes the time to post a review) actually means more to me.

Writing this book started as a project simply to see if I could do it. Could I put together a story that stayed interesting through over 200 pages, and could I make it something that would be read by more than my friends? And now the answer to that is a resounding yes. How do I know? Because this week I started to see stars.

Thanks to Jerri for writing this five star review on Goodreads.

Just lovely. We have a story of a man finding a home, even when he didn’t know he needed one. Another is almost treading water while he wrestles with his past. Rob and Mitch are so good together. Then lies were told to purposely split them up. Other manipulations are going on to threaten everything. The island is full of quirky characters that have each other’s back, no matter what. The bad guys are bad, and then there’s everyone else. There’s a great view and a really great dog! The slightly witchy vibe just adds to the story. It’s well written, with just enough conflict. One of the best books I’ve read lately!

And thanks to Jacquie Stewart who wrote this four and half star review. (For those who aren’t sure, pov means ‘points of view’).

I stayed up to finish this because it was quite addictive reading with a fast moving and often dramatic plot. While there are a few niggles, such as Mitch’s past being revealed and then glossed over, overall it was a great read. Told in multiple povs, there is a little bit of on page steam and also an encounter with someone else outside the main pairing. Those things didn’t bother me, this was more about the various plots and Rob and Mitch finding love.

And this review by a friend I do know who wanted to read and review, but only on the condition that the review would be HONEST. Thanks John. This made me smile.

A delightful main course of gay romance with small sides of sex and violence. Dessert was sublime. You’ll recognise many of the characters amongst your own friends or family which brings an immediate intimacy to the book, reminds you of, or just like so-and-so. It has a comfortable and familiar feel right from the start. Too short—I wanted to spend more time with these characters.

I know that the novel will be read by some with joy, and for others it may not be to their taste, so I’m not expecting all glowing reviews. But for just this moment I want to enjoy the wonder of early reviews and say thanks to every person who takes the time to read, and to comment, and to share their thoughts on sites like Goodreads. Your opinions matter to me and also to other readers trying to find books that match their tastes.

For me it just goes to show that if you shoot for the stars, you just might find them in places you never expected.

If you want to follow all of the reviews for the novel, or leave a review after you have read the book, you can find my Goodreads page by clicking here.

To celebrate the upcoming release of the book, Goodreads is offering a chance to enter to win one of three autographed copies of The Woodcarver’s Model? To enter click here.

The Woodcarver’s Model will be released by Pride Publishing on April 19th

Published by peterefenton

Peter Fenton is a playwright and author living in Toronto, Canada.

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