The first, Surfacing, had such promise. It was a 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel semi-finalist, and had some excellent reviews, like this one:
“I found myself drawn to her characters and their world almost immediately, and within a few pages I became completely lost in the story. Surfacing is a delightful, entertaining, and touching read that will have readers rooting for the young hero and hoping that somehow fairytales can come true. This is more than a romance: it is a coming-of-age story that will linger in my memory. I truly enjoyed every page.”.
But despite a catchy cover, readers passed it over. Maybe because it's more a love story than a romance? I've never received any complaints, so I have no idea. And at about 65k, it's too long for my current publisher.
Ground Rules is another story I'm uncertain about. Again, reviewers had wonderful things to say about it, like: "Ms. Masters took a simple love story and made it magical, drawing the reader into the world where angels can make your dreams come true. And the fact that Luke could make a mean margarita certainly didn't hurt, either. I'm a sucker for a Christmas story - throw in a hot angel on a Harley and we've got a party!” and “This fun fantasy tale will keep you reading and waiting to see just what happens next. I didn’t see this ending coming, and I consider that an accomplishment for the author.”
But the story never really took off. The cover didn't quite convey the story line, and I've toyed with new covers and really like one of them, so this is one short story I'm considering self-pubbing.
“A steamy cast of characters pulls the reader right into Romancing the Hero, and doesn’t let go until the final page. Cate Masters’ romantic novella, an homage to the classic romance movie Romancing the Stone, will make you believe that your fantasies can come true.
The well-written characters--feisty Jody Feather, best-selling romance writer who’s dissatisfied with her love life and perfect hero Jake Emerson--are captivating from their initial meeting."
"The novella leads you excellently right down the garden path--is Jake really an actor, or is he stud-come-to-life Jake? I really liked how Ms. Masters’ tight plotting keeps you guessing, up to the very end. Ms. Masters is a very good author and Romancing the Hero is a fun, well-written story.”
With every story, I have to block out my inner critic, and not think about what any reader might say. I have to let the characters dictate the direction of the story, and I follow - mostly.
Published stories are a slightly different animal. They've been out in the world for awhile. When the rights come back to me, I have an opportunity to improve them. So if anyone has read these stories and been confused by anything, please let me know. I am all about making the story the best it can be, and appreciate all feedback.