Posts Tagged ‘reader reviews’

Fricking Awesome

I’ll admit I’m not usually given to such eloquent words of praise. In this case though I think it’s very applicable. That’s how I feel about what a reader just said in a review on Amazon about my Lost Girls series, in particular the final book, Black Widow. Don’t believe me? Here’s the 5 star review in full:

Fricking Awesome October 2, 2012
I bought the whole series and if the author sees this, let me just say thank you and please write more. Usually I’d be more descriptive but I’m feeling a little sleepy. I definitely recommend reading this book. You will be entertained. I honestly think all of the books would be perfect as a movie if given to the right individual. 🙂 Love the characters and storylines especially in this particular one.
How could I feel anything but a giant warm fuzzy feeling after reading that? Truth be told, it kind of echoes what I thought of the book as I wrote it, but to be fair the characters in that book touched me in ways different and perhaps deeper than any other characters I’ve ever written about. There was a lot of pain in those characters, some of it I induced, but also a lot of joy. Okay, I suppose I created all of the pain, not just some of it, but with a good character I don’t feel like I created them. It’s more like they just showed up one day and offered to let me write about them. That’s how it was with Katalina Wimple.
Sadly, I don’t have any more planned for Katy. Not only am I afraid of what she might do to me if I tried to run her through a meat grinder again, but her friends and family have become very formidable as well. I don’t want to be the first writer tortured and killed by his own fictional characters!
On the matter of movies – I’d love to have my books turned into movies. I write them with the thought in my head of seeing them on a big (or at least medium) screen. So far nobody has stumbled across them and offered to take me up on the offer, but I remain hopeful!
So instead I write about other people. Take Carl Waters, one of my first characters in the book, Wanted. He and Jessie are back and more fun (and irascible) than ever in Bounty, the third and final book in their trilogy that I’m working on now.  So far I’ve worked in another measly 800 words today on the story. My plan calls for a couple thousand more (at least). It’s a great book so far and I can’t wait to share it with the world. Wanted has a bunch of great reviews too, by the way (and it’s free on Amazon).
Now I’d better get back to writing! There are a lot of people who are anxious for this book to come out. I hope, if you’re reading this, you’re one of them!
To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at

The Value of Mistakes

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

In my last blog post I mentioned that I made a potential mistake – I read a recent review on one of my books. It turned out to be extremely encouraging and left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling that lasted for quite a while. The only problem was that experience could hardly be classified as a mistake, thus I had little to learn from it. Quite the opposite, rather than learning I believe it conditioned me much like ringing a bell would make Pavlov’s dogs start to drool.

Yes, I went back and found another new review to read. This time it was for New Beginnings, the first book in my futuristic science fiction series titled Vitalis. Imagine my dismay when I read this review:

Jason Halstead wowed me again. I took a chance on him and read Wanted and still remember the vivid characterization even a couple months later, despite reading many books in between.

New Beginnings drew me in immediately. I turned the pages quickly, anxious to see what happened but didn’t expect the outcome at all. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in this series, as I believe the conclusion of this initial book sets the stage for things to come. Keep writing, Jason; you’re even managing to hook readers like me who would never have considered myself remotely close to being part of your target audience.

Woe is me! How am I ever supposed to learn my lesson when my dopamine receptors keep buzzing with good vibes from these kinds of reviews? I looked a little deeper into the New Beginnings reviews and found four reviews in total, rated 5 stars, 4 stars, 5 stars, and 5 stars in order of review date. All in all, I’d say that’s enough of a buzz to get me through the coming week!

Sadly, there’s no lesson to be learned about focusing on the writing rather than the review reading. In response to past reviews I did make a move to break my Dark Earth series up. Originally I’d called The Lost Girls, Traitor, and the immediately pending Wolfgirl part of my Dark Earth series. Well that is no longer the case! A few people were disgruntled at the span of time, distance, and lack of relation between Dark Earth and The Lost Girls so I’ve now reserved my Dark Earth series for Dark Earth and the sequel, Devil’s Icebox (which is due out in the second quarter of 2012). The beginnings of a ideas for a third Dark Earth book is forming in the back of my head as well.

As for The Lost Girls, Traitor, Wolfgirl, and Black Widow (due later this year) – they now comprise The Lost Girls series, which takes place in the Dark Earth setting. Hopefully that will clear up any future confusion and not mislead anyone.

But for now, if you haven’t checked out New Beginnings here’s your chance! As Norma Budden and a couple of other people have told me – it’s a story that pull you in even if you’re not a sci-fi aficionado.

Vitalis Book 1 - New Beginnings by Jason Halstead
Vitalis – New Beginnings, on Amazon

 Vitalis – New Beginnings, on Amazon

Vitalis – New Beginnings, on Amazon UK

(for now that’s it – my Vitalis books are exclusive to Amazon so as to be part of the Kindle Owners Lending Library)

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at

Against my Better Judgement…

February 25, 2012 Leave a comment

…I checked my books to see if there were any new reviews on them. I found a couple early on for my free high fantasy book, Voidhawk. The first one (also the most recent) left me with a grin stretching from ear to ear. I know, I shouldn’t let it affect me so much, but it’s hard not to. The reader / reviewer not only got the book exactly as I’d hoped, but she felt similarly to me in regards to some of the other reviews. Without me wasting any more time, let me paste her review here and encourage anyone who might be interested in some pure high fantasy fun to check it out.

“Okay wasn’t sure I’d do a review on this one since several others have already said what I would say that this book lived up to the hype from all the other reviewers. My first thought when reading the first few chapters was “Joss Wedon has a pen name?” It really does read like a lost season of the amazing Sci-Fi series, Firefly. You can almost hear the actors and actresses mouthing the lines from the characters in the book. I did enjoy the way the author introduces characters that don’t feel like part of the Firefly crew and even makes it seem like some of the characters you think of in relation to said crew seem different. It was fun trying to figure out which characters in the book went with which characters from the series since some were obvious and some were not.

Another reviewer has already mentioned Spelljammer which was an AD&D supplement back before they began having versions 2, 2.5, 3 etc and the rules of engagement, the description of Void Space and the physics remind me of that system. To the reviewer that snorted over wooden space ships and ballistas in space, let me say, “Yes that’s how it worked. It is magic, get over it.” The descriptions and functions of the various ships was excellently done and I loved the detailed descriptions of Void Space and the various worlds and ports they visit.

I very rarely give books or movies 4 stars. Heck most days I don’t even rate my own works 4 stars, but Voidhawk deserves this rating. I have already purchased the next two in the series and am especially looking forward to book 3 which centers around Rosh who was one of my favorite characters from the first book. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves Firefly, AD&D or just a rollicking good fantasy novel. “

I have to admit, as the writer, that I can’t wait for this person to read the second book in the series. I think she’s going to have her socks knocked off – or at least I hope she does! Not to mention book 4 in the series, The White Lady, which should be out soon. As for everyone else, of course I’m going to suggest trying it out. Voidhawk’s free on Amazon, the only thing you’ll be out is a little bit of time.

Voidhawk, on Amazon

Voidhawk, on Amazon

Voidhawk, on Amazon UK

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at