New Review: The Recluse Storyteller

LitWorldInterviews posted a wonderful review of “The Recluse Storyteller” by their reviewer Colleen Chesebro.

It’s a wonderfully written and thorough review. Here’s the overall marks:

Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5

I’m honored that she read and enjoyed it. Please head over and read the entire review. Well worth it. HERE IT IS!

A Detailed and Beautiful Review of my Novel by Maniparna

This is one of the most detailed reviews of my new novel, The Reach of the Banyan Tree, written by blogger Maniparna. This will give you an excellent idea of what the novel is about, and a thorough look at my writing style. I’ve included the first couple paragraphs below, but please head over to her website and read the rest.

The Vietnam war still works as an inspiration for novelists . On my first glance to Mark W. Sasse’s historical fiction/contemporary romance novel The Reach of the Banyan Tree , I took it as another war story. But with the turning of every page my heart leaped up with new wonders , it’s not only a book about war , it’s a narration of life , of love , of friendship and destiny.

I reviewed Sasse’s previous publication The Recluse Storyteller and was bowled over by his unique narrative style which reminded me of the ‘stream of consciousness’ style. This time he clearly avoided that and rather has followed the classical method of story-telling .

The story covers a span of almost seventy years , starting from the World War II and ending in 2014 , not at a stretch though. Charles Regal Carson  III , the son of American billionaire Charles Regal Carson II , owner of  Carson Oil , arrives in Vietnam as he wants to live his own life , away from the grandiose of his father. He meets Thuy, a Vietnamese girl and both of them are head over heels for each other. While visiting a historical site , Phuong Hoang Cave in North Vietnam , Chip suddenly discovers his grandfather’s name ,Charles Regal Carson , etched on the stone wall connected by a heart sign with another name , Mai. The mention of the” The Flying Dutchman” phrase after the name makes him sure of his ancestral connection. A plethora of thoughts ransack his minds as he tries to connect the loose end that is related with the name Mai , of whom he knows nothing.

Read the rest here!

A review of “The Reach of the Banyan Tree”

I’m humbled by the latest pre-release review of my third novel. The reviewer calls it an “epic historical fiction love story” which sounds pretty cool to me. She says:

“The Reach of the Banyan Tree is one of those rare romances that reminds you that sometimes love comes at a cost.”

Please check out the full review either on Amazon, Goodreads, or Pinterest:

Goodreads Review

Amazon Review

The book officially releases July 1st!


Storybook Reviews: Spotlight & Guest Post from Yours Truly

I do hope you head on over to Storybook Reviews at the link below and check out my ever so short guest post about why new readers should give me a try. Or at least I hope they will. Storybook Reviews will also be reviewing The Recluse Storyteller in the coming months. Thanks for your support.

Read the post on Storybook Reviews HERE!

The Exhaustion of Self-Promotion

Boy, do I need a publicist! An independently wealthy publicist who can spend hours on end promoting my writing just because they have nothing else to do and they are head-over-heels in love with my prose.

So if you know anyone …

As an indie author who has a job and who coaches softball and who teaches and produces drama, I find that I have no time for self-promotion of my works. And so a couple weeks will go by and I realize that I haven’t proactively done anything to get my name out there. It can, at times, be frustrating.

Of course, my very best publicists are my readers. I am eternally grateful for them, especially the ones who enjoyed my novel and passed on the word to someone else. Nothing beats that.

But there is much work to be done.

I’m still advertising on Goodreads with so-so results. But I keep telling myself, results are important at this point. I have to continually get my novel and my name out in front of people. I have to build a big of a base as possible before the release of novel #2. (Which is now about 4 months away!)

But more needs to be done. Today, I finally had some time to contact some more bloggers and review websites. I also need to get some more interviews and do more guest posts. On top of this, I need to look into some additional advertising options now that I have a large amount of reviews on Amazon.  So much to do!

Oh, and besides all of this. I need to write. That is the primary responsibility of a writer, isn’t it?

OK, I’m just ranting today about the lack of time. (and the lack of that uber-rich publicist)

But I keep telling myself – this isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. I’m in it for the long haul.

I’ve heard it said the the only promotion campaign that doesn’t work is the one that stops. It can never stop. I must keep it moving forward because I believe in my novel and the future works of mine coming down the pike.

So, here I go, pushing forward once again.

It can be exhausting. But it can also be exhilarating. The latter is the one I choose to focus on.


My Reviews are Not Fake – I pledge!

I took the pledge –

Truth be told, I took the pledge in order to request a review of my novel “Beauty Rising” from a site who won’t review authors unless they take the pledge.

But, I support what TrueReviewPledge is trying to accomplish.

We’ve probably all heard the stories. Authors padding their Amazon reviews with fake reviews from fake people or from from voracious readers who read 20,000 books in the last month. Yeah, right.

Reviews help drive sales, and some authors see no problem with padding their review resume in order to increase sales. Sure, it might be tempting, but I could never do that.

Call me old fashioned if you like, but I want my writing to stand on its own two feet.  I don’t know anyone who likes poor reviews, but I will tell you this, I would rather have a poor review than a fake review any day of the week.

Perhaps it’s a matter of pride. I couldn’t live with myself if I was just faking reviews to build up a readership. The only way I want to build a readership is by writing a quality book and having people enjoy it and want to share it with others.

That is why the reviews that I have had mean so much to me. Sure, I personally know some of the people that reviewed “Beauty Rising” – but I told them, point blank, to please be honest. I believe they have.

Now, I have many reviews from people I don’t know, most of them have been very positive – but not all. This is what really means a lot to me – to have someone write a review – good or bad – because the book affected them in one way or another.

I’m not writing for money – certainly not fame – I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. (Luckily, I don’t think I have enemies.) I’m writing because I love to write. What kind of person would I be if I loved my writing so much that I’d be willing to lie about it just to get ahead?

No thanks. I pledge that all the reviews of “Beauty Rising” that you can read on Amazon are real. Now it’s possible that someone faked a review, but I can’t imagine what the motive of that would be.

So I took the pledge. I want real reviews. I’ll be honest in my own reviews.  Hopefully, the book world will be better for it.