Back in the not-so-distant past when I was still querying and being rejected by publishers and agents
in the privacy of my own home, where said communications could be deleted and/or ripped to shreds,
I thought things were pretty rough.

Rejection, as every author knows, can be crushing to the ego, devastating to the spirit and numbing to creativity.

Once my first manuscript was accepted, I thought those rollercoaster days of excited anticipation followed by an agonizing wait that ended with a screeching halt at a patronizing, “This manuscript is good but it just isn’t for us/me,” were over.

Beyond every obstacle is another hurtle.

What I didn’t know was that getting published, in no way, meant the end of rejection. Not only are readers and reviewers free to say wonderfully glorious things about my book, but they are equally unrestrained, much to my chagrin, from being down right nasty. And to make matters worse, their opinions are published on the Internet where there is no delete button and, obviously, no shredder for me to use at my discretion. Just out there, uncensored and raw, for all interested parties to peruse.

So, I thought I would share a little of my joy, along with a pinch of my pain, with y’all by publishing some of my reviews.

The Good:

Project Author  “. . . overall I enjoyed this book. It was a light, fun romance novel. A good beach read, I would say. Even if the main character and I didn’t see eye-to-eye all of the time, I still enjoyed the concept and story.”

Kaylee  “I started reading it the day I downloaded it, and finished it in one evening. So much fun. I really enjoyed this book . . . I highly recommend to those who are looking for a fun, romantic comedy with a little more depth than usual or those who love The Bachelor. I will be reading this one again.”

Two Kids and Tired “There were laugh out loud funny parts and tender, poignant parts as well.  While I realize the focus of the story is on Kelly and her self discovery, I wish there had been more development of Dillon and his past/family history.  I think a sequel is definitely in order here!

This was, quite simply, a delightfully fun novel.  It’s a clean, funny Christian romance and a story that I can wholeheartedly recommend!”

The Bad:

“I had a few problems with this story. First, it was hard to follow the timeline of the story. There were a few places where I couldn’t tell if we had moved forward a day, a week, or a month. Also, contestants seemed to be removed from the show out of nowhere . . . The other major problem I had with the story was that it seemed that the climax was in the middle of the novel, rather than at the end . . .Though there were some problems, I admit that I liked the story. I would recommend “Count Down to Love” if you are looking to read a clean, almost family-friendly love story. But if you are looking for a truly engaging read, look elsewhere.”

The Ugly:

1-star rating from GoodReads “For fans of the tv show the Bachelor this is a good read. For those of you who follow the Bachelor religiously and know the workings of it this book can be seen as a stretch . . . Overall is was a cute, easy read but not the best. The story was very predictable and the villain made the story occasionally unlikeable. I would read other novels by this author but this book did not make it to my favorites list.”

Now, I’m a firm believer that everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, even the ones that show a blatant disregard for someone else’s feelings, but one star? No matter how you sugarcoat it, a single star is the same as saying, “your book sucked,” and I don’t know about y’all, but I think that’s just plain mean.

So with the help of Taylor Swift, I “wrote” this song and am dedicating it to all the 1-star bestowers out there.

You, with your words like knives
And swords and weapons that you use against me
You knocked my rating back again
Got me feeling blocked
You, with your opinion like nails on a chalkboard
Dragging me down when I had four stars
You picking on an author cause you can
Well you can take down my rating with just one single blow
But you don’t know, what you don’t know…
Someday, I’ll write more books than Jackie Collins
And all your ever going to be is mean
Someday, I’ll be a best-selling author
And all your ever going to be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?
La, la, la, la, la (skipping to the bridge)
All you are is mean
And not a writer, and not even an editor, and never will be
And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean
(My apologies for that brief perfunctory jaunt into my dark side, I can’t guarantee it won’t happen again.)

And now for the Glorious:

My Devotional Thoughts “Why did I give it a 5-star rating? This is the first book in years that I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish.  And this author knew just how to keep me guessing about what would happen next–even to the end of the novel.  My only complaint is that it didn’t really end.  I so hope that she will be writing a sequel some time soon.  I can assure you I would read it in a heartbeat. So don’t walk to the nearest bookstore–run!  Or better still, download it to your e-reader. If you like romances even just a little bit, you will love this story!”

To which this reviewer added:

“In the days following my completion of this read, I could not stop thinking about this book.  I would be driving down the road, and I found myself casting country stars to play the characters in this book.  I found myself reliving many of the romantic scenes between Kelly and Dillon–I honestly don’t usually do that, but the romantic scenes were so sweet and sometimes funny.  All I can say is:  Please, Julie Ford, don’t make us wait too long for another installment!”

One last thought from the blogger at

Healing Heart “I loved experiencing Kelly’s life with her and was sorry to see it end. What a great book! Now I want to read the next two books the author has coming out in the future. Loved this one! It’s making my favorites list for 2011 because I kept wanting to read it and do nothing else until I finished. Seriously, my butt fell asleep in the easy chair, but I kept on reading… Highly recommended!”

Sorry about your backside.

All in all, it’s been an interesting blog tour so far with more surprises to come, I’m sure, and I want to thank all those who have taken the time to read Count Down to Love.

As with every other worthwhile endeavor in this life, I suppose I’ll have to take the good along with the bad, and yes, occasionally, the ugly.

No guts, no glory.