Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

What Would the Founding Fathers Think: A Young American's guide to understanding the mess our country is in and how we get out
Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel
Captive Heart
Cobble Cavern
Caller ID
Summer of Secrets
On Little Wings
We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Christ's gifts to women
A Woman's power: threads that bind us to god
Scary School
Hope's journey
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head

Sheila's favorite books »

2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 6 books toward her goal of 90 books.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Guest Post: Author Julie Ford and GIveaway for "Count Down To Love"

Count Down to Love: The Good, the Bad, 
the Ugly and the Glorious.
Count Down to LoveKelly Grace Pickens is an excited brideuntil she's abandoned at the altar. Desperate, she accepts an offer to appear on a reality TV show, Count Down to Love. Her country ways are a stark contrast to the mysterious bachelor from New York. Wading through hurt and betrayal both on and off screen, Kelly discovers that being true to yourself is essential to finding happiness and love.

Back 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 tough.
As every author knows, rejection can be crushing to the ego, devastating to the spirit and numbing to the 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 “This manuscript is good, but it just isn’t for us/me” were over.
Author Julie N. Ford

But beyond every obstacle is another hurtle.

What I didn’t know was that getting published, in no way, meant the end of rejection. Except that now, said rejection is not only doled out by editors and publishing interns, but also readers and reviewers as well. And sure, said readers and reviewers are free to say wonderfully glorious things about my novels, but are equally unrestrained—much to my chagrin—from being downright nasty. And to make matters worse, their opinions are published on the Internet where there is no delete button, and no shredder, for me to use at my discretion.
Just out there, uncensored and raw, for all interested parties to peruse.

So today, I thought I would share a little of my joy, along with a pinch of my pain, with all y’all by highlighting some of Count Down to Love’s reviews.

The Good:

“. . . 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.”
“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.”
“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: “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 (my) feelings), but one star? And sure, on occasion, I have bestowed a novel the dreaded 1-star rating but that was before, long before, I knew what it left like to see that one, single, red star. Basically, a single star is the same as saying, “your book isn’t worth the paper it was printed on.” And I don’t know about y’all, but I think that’s just plain mean.

So taking my inspiration from Taylor Swift, I “wrote” this song for all the authors out there who have been brave enough to share their heart and soul, not to mention having spent countless hours of editing and rewrites, with readers through their writing and am dedicating it to all the 1-star bestowers.

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?
All you are is mean
And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean . . .

And now for the Glorious:

“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 review just to make us (me) feel better:
“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 ‘bout your backside darlin’.
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. But then . . . No guts, no glory.
A special thanks to Sheila here at Why Not? Because I Said So! for allowing me to guest post and for hosting a giveaway on Count Down to Love’s Encore Blog Tour.


Grand Prize Giveaway:
As part of the tour, Julie is generously offering a grand prize giveaway of a hard copy of Count Down to Love, a CD of the band Due West, and a copy of the single, “Who I Am”, which Julie and Due West wrote and recorded specifically for the book. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post or any of the other stops on the tour. (Visit the tour page for the full tour schedule.) The more stops you comment on, the more entries you have into the contest!

Blog Tour Schedule

August 17: Geo Librarian - Guest Post, Review, and Giveaway
August 17: LDS and Lovin' It - Guest Post, Review, and Giveaway
August 21: Bookworm Lisa - Guest Post and Giveaway
August 22: Jinky Is Reading - Review
August 23: Creating Comfort - Review
August 24: Getting Your Read On - Guest Post and Giveaway
August 25: Bonnie Gets A Say - Guest Post
August 27: Fire and Ice - Review and Giveaway
August 29: A Book A Day - Review
August 30: I Am A Reader, Not A Writer - Interview and Giveaway
August 30: Bonnie Gets A Say - Review and Interview
August 30: Literary Time Out - Author Interview and Giveaway
September 3: Clean Adult Fiction - Review
September 4: The Book Bug - Review
September 4: Why Not? Because I Said So! - Book Spotlight, Guest Post, and Giveaway
September 5: Debbie's Inkspecations - Review
September 6: Rachelle's Writing Spot - Author Interview and Giveaway
September 7: The Sweet Bookshelf - Review and Giveaway

Author Bio:
Julie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in English Literature from San Diego State University. In addition, she earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama. She has worked in teaching, childbirth education and family therapy. Besides writing, she spends many hours working along side her husband at their UPS Store franchise, but hopes to re-enter the Social Work field someday.
She is the author of three women’s fiction novels, The Woman He Married (March 2011) and No Holly for Christmas (November 2011), published by Whiskey Creek Press. The third, Count Down to Love (July 2011), published by Bonneville Books.
Currently, she lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, two daughters and one very feisty fish.
Social Networking:
Purchase Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks so much for being part of the tour Sheila!
    And Julie, love your post! I have only given 2 books a 1 star. I feel that for the most part, all books have something positive about them and I try to focus on that in my reviews.

  2. Lexie, I truly agree with you about rating books. I also focus on the positive aspects of the book that I enjoyed. Thanks for letting me be part of the tour!

  3. Sheila,
    Yay! I think your blog is going to allow me to leave a comment today. Thanks for posting my crazy guest post. I really am trying to get over allowing 1-star reviews bother me. I'm close but not quite there yet ;)
    Julie N Ford