Reader reviews or high profile reviews from ‘professional critics,’ which do you prefer?

How do you feel about ‘Sock Puppet Reviews?’
article by Deidre Havrelock

Of course, I’ve dreamed about getting those coveted high profile reviews like the ones found in The New York Times. What writer doesn’t dream about a glowing report filled with fancy adjectives, telling us our book was “nothing short of spectacular,” “a monument to literary genius,” “spellbinding and flawless,” “compulsively readable,”  “jaw-droppingly brazen.” A great review from a professional critic is marketing gold and an ego booster. But a bad review…eeek! (Let’s not go there.)

But really, when it comes to reviews what matters most to me are the ordinary readers—readers who know and like my particular genre. And I think most authors would agree. After all, if a romance reader doesn’t get my sci-fi dystopian adventure, then really who cares? I can’t go around worrying that I’ve missed a potential market. Make sci-fi readers happy and they’ll tell more sci-fi readers about the great book. (Throw a little romance in, though, and you might make everyone happy.) Ultimately, I think most readers know what they like and they know when a book works. So even if I receive a review (of my creepy spiritual journeySaving Mary) that goes, “Gr8t to red…liked it lots!” I go to bed with a smile on my face because what I really hear is, “Mesmerizing journey …unequivocally fabulous.”

As far as ‘sock puppets’ go, I first had to take a few moments to figure out what the heck the term meant. I mean, apparently a sock puppet is no longer a quirky character made from your brother’s white sport sock. It’s an insidious little thing, a mask of mis-representation that authors place on Amazon in order to stimulate sales. It’s a desperate act of a starving author (or a quirky one, I’m not sure).

When I was first invited to write this post regarding reviews and sock puppets (after I figured out what a sock puppet was) I thought I was being asked to write my own sock-puppet review for Amazon. 

My initial response was, “I can’t do that!” (It’s soooo wrong!) But as I poured through the bloggers and writers discussing the term and its definition, I realized that some people considered even a review by your mother as hideously unscrupulous—“Well, of course your mother is going to praise your book…sock puppet!!” 

Personally, I don’t care if your mother writes a review for your book on Amazon—she has a right to. And I certainly don’t care if your best friend since grade two writes you a glowing review, praising your literary genius. I also couldn’t care less if the guy you gave a kidney to last summer decides to post a spectacular assessment of your work on Amazon. They all have the right to do that…and, eventually, as authors gain more readers (and reviewers) everything will work out (and readers will see that Mom really was right).

However, I have to vehemently oppose the devious act of authors giving their own reviews. Authors CANNOT give their own reviews…reviews MUST come from other people who aren’t socks! Such as mine … A SOCK PUPPET REVIEW

Deidre D Havrelock grew up in Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada where she eventually met her husband to be, DJ. It was DJ who
initially noticed Deidre’s dark state and worked to seek out someone willing to
perform her exorcism. Eventually, the newlyweds found their way to the southern
hot spot of Brooks, AB where Deidre began writing. From there the family
trekked across eastern Canada to Moncton, NB where they learned to love French
fries with cheese curds and gravy. Currently nestled in the hills of Kennewick,
Washington, Deidre has two horses, one dog, three cats and too many rabbits…and
let’s not forget her wonderful husband and three energetic daughters. Her
memoir, Saving Mary: The Possession chronicles her dark childhood and
the path that led to her demonic possession. She is currently working to finish
book two of her spiritual memoir, Saving
Mary: The Deliverance
. You can find her at

Excerpt from chapter four – Curses
Me and Kelly, we
make plans for sleepovers all the time. We don’t ever sleep at my house. We
sleep at her house. I sleep over at Kelly’s a lot ‘cause I know there’s no
little eyes or ghosts creepin’ around at her house.
At Kelly’s house we play in her playhouse. We sit on neatly stacked
bricks, pretending they’re chairs. She’s writing the rules for our new club.
I’m colorin’ the membership cards, tellin’ her about the little eyes in my
house. She calls me a freak. I then decide to tell her about a dream I had. The
one she was in.
“It’s dark outside. And quiet. The leaves in the trees aren’t
moving, that ugly ol’ Fort Road is empty and the street lights—they’re dim.
Only the moon gives light. It all looks like one of those old pictures, you
know, shadowy and still. The only sound comes from Angie’s shiny black tap
shoes as she moves down the sidewalk. They’re all, clippity-clop, clippity-clop, CLIPpITY-CLOP, clippity-clop ’cause of the echo. Angie isn’t dancing
though. She’s just walking, wishin’ her shoes would shut up. We’re all wishin’
her stupid shoes would shut up. You turn to Angie with your eyebrows pointing
to your nose. The way you do when you’re mad … ”
I tell Kelly about the church and about the robbers and about how
she hid and how I didn’t hide very good. She says, “That figures.” And we
laugh. Then I say how I was pulled to the altar, how I was made to get married and
how I was kicking and screamin’. 

Coming Soon – Book Two – Saving Mary: The Deliverance

If you’re a fan of supernatural fiction then you will be captivated
by the continuing true story about a demonically possessed girl and the path
that led to her
deliverance. Part two
of a two-part series,
Saving Mary: The
is the story of a modern-day Mary Magdalene—the woman from whom
Jesus cast out seven demons.

At seventeen, Deidre Daily finds herself oddly altered. Recently kicked out of
her New Age channeling group for having bad karma, she slowly draws within
herself, spiraling deeper into the darkness that has taken up residence inside
her body. Now bulimic, depressed and harassed by spirits nightly, Deidre waits
for the God who once spoke to her as a child.  

Deidre’s fascinating spiritual memoir relays her story from adolescence to
marriage. It is a candid account of possession and exorcism from a first-person

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