The first response: Four 5-star reviews for Mira’s Miracle!

Sometimes, when you put your heart and soul into a book, you receive a response that makes you scratch your head. “I thought it was clear,” you think. Or, “But I did this for this reason, only the reader didn’t understand that.” Even worse, “I understand someone didn’t like my book, but why did she (or he) have to slam my characters or me as an author or a person?”

Receiving a bad review is difficult, and much has been written on how to handle a bad review. The general advice seems to be:

Don’t engage. It will get worse.

Period. I’ve seen some exceptions, such as Jade Cary’s response to a negative review last year. I’ve engaged a reviewer in discussion before, respectfully of course, to ask for clarification about the criticism. Other times, when the review is disrespectful, mean-spirited, or completely off-base, I may not respond at all.

On Tuesday, we’re going to have a discussion about reading and reviewing books. If you have never reviewed a book before but want to support your favorite author, I’ll give you some tips on how to write your first book review. If you are an author and wonder how to respond to reviews, there will be advice not just from me but from quite a few reviewers. I’ll explain about different types of reviews and when it’s appropriate to give or respond to certain kinds of criticism.

If you are a reviewer and curious how other reviewers handle things, or if you have had difficult situations from authors, you can get advice from other reviewers who have had problems.

Today, however, I’d like to thank four readers who have already put their feedback on Blushing’s site for Mira’s Miracle.

Emily Tilton says:

Mira’s Miracle is something very special: it takes the fascinating frame of Maren Smith’s Castle series and uses it to tell a moving–even at times a harrowing–tale of Mira learning to be at peace with her need for kink and for the wonderful Hana. Ms. Vitsky writes as always with an extraordinary lyricism of Mira’s fraught emotional relationship to her sexuality and to past trauma, and by the time we get to the wonderful resolution (with the cinnamon oil) we feel Mira and Hana have earned not just a happy ending, but happiness with one another.

Pao says:

I love it when fictional universes collide. Continuing from Mira’s discovery from the first book, Mira is whisked away to Master Marshall’s Castle (from Maren Smith’s “Castle” universe/ series) by her lover where she is made to face her deepest desires and fears. Mira’s Miracle is a sensual, sensitive, tender and revealing story of a young adult struggling to embrace her desires – which I think is something some, if not all of us can relate to. I felt that the story captured the emotions and actions very well – fear, rebellion, letting one’s defences down, acceptance, sharing a dark secret and healing. The ageplay parts were tender and it will leave you wishing you got those cuddles and chocolate cookies. In addition to the tenderness of the story, I quite enjoyed the banter and relationship between Hana and Mira. Their antics and Mira’s inner thoughts were really entertaining and funny. The detail in description made everything so easy to visualise and I loved the use of the honorific titles within the story. I was curious about Hana at the end of the first book and I found her quite charming. This was a very engaging and entertaining read that I did not put down until I was done.

Sassy T says:

Mira’s Miracle is a must read. The buildup of the story is amazing… keeps you squirming in your seat as you read from start to finish. Like little nibbles on the ear and that lead to more you can’t stop reading once you start. I want to read more the characters come to life and jump of the page. I can perfectly picture Mira & her outbursts. The story drew me in had me giggling & crying. It was both sensitive and seductive…..a beautiful story that touches our most vulnerable needs- the need to feel loved. I loved Ms. Vitsky writing it captured me from the fluffy fur ball to nanny’s pocket paddle; I was transported to the castle watching eagerly wishing I could be there. The story left me smiling while still wanting more. My favorite line is “Good discipline is the greatest gift anyone can give” and I almost believe that after reading this story of longing and acceptance.

SH says:

A wonderful addition to the Castle Series! What a beautifully written romance and love story, I absolutely adored it! I started reading and did not put it down until I was finished, I just had to find out what was going to happen next. This is a different type of AP, much more tender, than the usual harshness AP tends to have. At times I was literally laughing out loud and at times I was crying. Mira works very hard to embrace her feelings/kink and confront the trauma from her past and you can feel the love of all of those around her during this process. Ms. Vitsky has written a heartfelt story that speaks to anyone who has looked for love and acceptance on any level. Very well done and one I will definitely read again.

It was such a surprise and a pleasure to wake up to these reviews after Mira’s first day of publication! Thank you, more than I can say. I am thrilled to make people laugh and cry, and I am glad to have given you pleasure. Your thoughts are always welcome and appreciated.

Mira’s Miracle is not yet out on Amazon, but please let me know if you see it. There may be a nice reward for the person who finds it first. πŸ™‚

A big thank you to Maren Smith for making Mira’s Miracle possible, and thank you also to Blushing Books for supporting my dream for F/F spanking fiction. Later this week, I’ll give you some exciting news from the world of F/F fiction. πŸ™‚

Don’t forget you can enter the contest to win a vial of cinnamon oil, and that Maren Smith will host the second part of the contest on her blog tomorrow.


15 thoughts on “The first response: Four 5-star reviews for Mira’s Miracle!

  1. terpsichore says:

    congratulations on all the wonderful reviews! πŸ™‚ I can imagine as an author, how exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time reading a review might be. Having written for fun, I know how much heart and soul I put into the characters – they are a part of me – like part of my family and know it would be difficult to read a critical review of them. I look forward to reading your post about writing and receiving a book review. Hugs


  2. Roz says:

    Congratulations Ana on the wonderful reviews! I’m thrilled for you.

    Very much looking forward to your tips on book reviews as not being an author I am certainly a novice in this area. Speaking of .. check your blog roll dear πŸ™‚



  3. robskatie says:

    Hi Ana, πŸ™‚ I’m really excited about your book!! I’ve been checking Amazon since you mentioned the release and can’t wait to find it there! I’m just sort of catching up around here, and had a question- please excuse me if it’s been asked already. Does it make sense to read from Maren’s Castle series in some way first, or can one dig right in to this one?

    Many congrats on the great reviews!! I’m sure that it will be a super read. I’m looking forward to it! I think Mira is neat!! Many hugs,

    ❀ Katie


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Hi Katie, I’m so glad you’re excited about the book. πŸ™‚ I know you have read Kaylee’s Keeper already, and I think you may have read Desire in Any Language. In that case, go ahead and read this book. For people who are new both to the Castle and to Mira, there’s a wonderful boxed set here:

      It contains Mira’s Miracle, Desire in Any Language, Kaylee’s Keeper, and Holding Hannah. It is sold at a significant discount–all four books for a really low price.

      For those who have read the Castle books but not Mira, I recommend “Mira’s Desire”–Desire in Any Language plus Mira’s Miracle.

      I hope you enjoy the book!


      • Katie says:

        Thank you Ana!! πŸ™‚ I have read Desire In Any Language and LOVED it!! I do have Kaylee’s Keeper and Holding Hannah, but haven’t actually read those yet! So I best get cracking! My TBR list is growing SO long!!! YAY for reading!! Still nothing on Amazon yet. I’ve been looking!!! I know that I will enjoy your book!!! Can’t wait! πŸ™‚


        • Anastasia Vitsky says:

          Hey Katie, you know that if you buy from Blushing you can still get it sent to your Kindle, right? They even have a built-in “send to Kindle address” option. Or you can download the mobi file (from Blushing) and use the “send to Kindle app” on your computer to send the file wirelessly. That’s what I do for all of my Kindle books. πŸ™‚

          Thank you so much for reading. πŸ™‚


          • Katie says:

            Thanks! I will check it out. You know how much I love your books!! πŸ™‚ I think it is the one click shopping thing that makes me think Amazon- Is that laziness?? LOL! πŸ™‚ Am just finishing up Sunny’s great read, and today am excited to read PK’s. By then I am thinking it will be there and voila!!! I AM excited to see what happens with Mira in that castle!! So much great reading ahead! I wonder what would happen if I did nothing but read for the next week? πŸ˜€


  4. Irishey says:

    (Nodding my head, as I feel I was quite prophetic about this book receiving positive reviews…) πŸ˜‰

    Congratulations, Ana! I know the primary focus of your writing is not for popular appeal and good book reviews, but they sure are nice to see. I’m so glad initial responses were very positive. I can see you smiling – that is a very good thing. Yea! And hugs!


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Aw, you are so sweet. πŸ™‚ We’ll have to hand out toothpaste pretty soon, with all this sweetness.

      Good reviews and popular appeal are amazing if and when they happen…I sure don’t write mass-marketable books, so each positive response becomes all the more precious.

      Grinning from ear to ear here!


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