Time to address a few things. Or rather, clear up a few misconceptions.
Please forgive me in advance for the use of ALL CAPS in sections of this entry. I AM NOT YELLING. ;-)
As my most avid fans know, I am a big appreciator of HONEST reviews. Even if the opinion of the reader isn't glowing--make that outright SCARY (and I have certainly had my share)--I still enjoy reading it on some level because it gives me food for thought. Not to say that I don't take pride in my work, or that I don't write stories that are to my own personal taste. Any author who says otherwise is a fucking liar. But the not-so-glowing reviews can help make us better authors, artists, and general PR people, so I am grateful for what I can glean from them.
HOWEVER, I have noticed that bad reviews are frequently given to stories (not only mine, but to that of other authors as well) based on the reviewer's personal tastes and not on the quality of the work itself... and half the time, the reader seems to not have bothered to read the blurb that describes what the story is about before they purchased it. As much as I hate to gripe, this tends to bother me quite a bit.
So...drumroll please...for those who have not yet picked up one of my books but is considering it, let me state a few things upfront that you may want to know about me--and therefore about my work--before you go a-reading. It may help you avoid purchasing a book that you'll hate...or help you snatch up something you'll count among your lifelong faves. ;-) Consider this you guide to "All Things Dani".
1.) I do *technically* write something akin to "paranormal" romance, for the most part. However, do NOT expect your typical "PNR" plot lines and characters. Expect something that colors outside the lines, oftentimes with a very raw edge. Expect not just explicit sex, but a ton of gore, violence, and very foul language. Expect blood, grit, and a rollicking fast ride. I like action and horror elements in my work, so expect both. My fantasy life involves a '68 Chevy Camaro SS, a Harley-Davidson Nightster, full tattoo sleeves up both arms, and a Camel cigarette crammed in my pie hole...so that should tell you a LOT.
2.) I am a tomboy, and I have a very masculine sense of humor. Therefore, don't expect any books from a fluffy, sappy, Lifetime Channel perspective. If you want that, steer clear of my work...I guarantee you won't like what you read. There is a lot of tenderness, emotion, and great character interaction, but I also pack my stories with fast motorcycles and muscle cars, tattoos, spiky hair, and dirty boy humor. One friend of mine described one of my tales as "Duke Nuke'm with fucking", and I guess that hits the nail on the head.
*proceeds to laugh her ass off*
3.) My heroes do not have names like "Deveraux". Just thought I'd mention that. And if I ever create a character with that name--or any name that's in that vein--please promptly put a silver bullet in my brain and toss me in the dumpster behind KFC because THAT'S NOT ME.
4.) I do not--REPEAT: DO NOT--write YA!!! If the sex, violence, gore, and high-octane fun have to be toned down, I ain't interested in writing it or reading it!!! So, for the love of all that's holy, don't shelve Black Dog and Rebel Rose under YA on your TBR list and then buy it for your 12 year old...I don't want to be held responsible for your kid asking you what a "mastodonic cock" looks like. Buy them a copy of The Hunger Games and call it a day.
5.) My books are for those who want something different in their paranormal reading arsenal. I do not feature vampires that sparkle, or that re-create your favorite Buffy The Vampire Slayer Spike fantasy. If you want either of those, grab yourself a copy of Twilight or something from the Night Huntress series. You'll like those better. My vampires are ugly, evil, and are frequently bullet fodder, like they were back in the old days.
6.) Please, PLEASE read the blurbs of my books before you buy! For example, if the blurb includes a Publisher's Warning that reads something like this: "This delightfully sordid tale contains graphic BDSM sex, including forceful oral and anal sex, bondage, blindfolding, slapping/spanking, nipple clamps, toe-curling dirty talk, hot wax, and crazy hardcore sex in a church..." and you don't like how that sounds, PLEASE don't buy it!!! Blurbs are there to help you decide if a story is suitable for your personal tastes...use them to your advantage. There is nothing worse than seeing a scathing review being given by someone complaining about what the book is about when the blurb states quite clearly what they can expect before they turn the first page.
7.) I write Angel and Demon-themed paranormal fantasy almost exclusively. You will find angels, demons, Nephilim, Halflings, and other supernatural creatures screwing, cussing, etc.This does not mean that I am anti-religious, or that my books are meant to take a cheap shot at Christianity or any other faith. I am not religious, but I do have enormous respect for good honest people who embrace their faith and find peace therein, and my stories are not meant to be a weapon or cheap-shot protest against said beliefs. Please do not take them as such.
8.) If you are teh type who buys a book based on whether or not there is a stock photo of a faceless half-naked guy representing the "hero" on the cover...move on, folks. Why am I mentioning this? Because reviewers have complained from time to time. I am an artist as well as an author, and I do my own covers with the blessing of my publishers. As usual, expect something different from the flock...perhaps even a little comic book-y. :-)
Hopefully, I have not come off as bristly or bitter here...not the case at all. I just feel that honesty is the best policy, and I think my fans would agree with the old saying "To Thyself Be True" makes for the best writing...and the best reading!
I want to throw up a big THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to review my work--good or bad, reviews are what drive sales and awaken new understanding for the author.
Peace to all!