Handling Reviews: How does one deal?

Reviews, this is something not entirely new to me, however, it is something I’m trying to get accustomed to. In saying that, it is not the easiest thing to do by any means. Its one of those things that come with writing anything and publishing it to the public forum I guess, whether I write here on my blog, or self-publish a work, I’m opening up to scrutiny.

I self-published my first novel back in 2013 on Kindle, and I don’t know what it was that I set out to achieve. The obvious comes to mind, obviously, that as any writer will tell you, amateur and professional alike, feedback, comments, constructive criticism, or any kind words to keep you writing go a long way into how we motivate ourselves (and truth be told, at times, severely doubt our merits). Yes, that’s it, I set out with the dream, that impossible dream that perhaps I publish my work, someone reads it, then another, then another, till it’s reached an audience bigger than I would have thought it was capable of reaching. That, the pipe dream of becoming a writer in someone’s eyes, having them enjoy the world you’ve weaved is a sense of achievement that can only be described as satisfying, and at times terrifying. What if they don’t like it? What if the story is full of holes? What if there are mistakes you missed, and the editors missed, and you’ve combed and combed, but those fatal mines are left behind just waiting to tear your efforts apart. BOOM. One mistake, and you lose the audience the story worked so hard to capture.

Forget about those hours you spend thinking and planning, forget about those hours you sit there writing, forget about those tiresome hours, weeks, months, and even years of editing, and scouring over the story obsessively. It all means nothing if that one stray mine will implode the whole thing.

How do you deal with that kind of criticism? Afterall, the egos of artists, any artist is fragile. Guess what? DEAL WITH IT! That’s right, deal with it. It’s live, learn and move on as one of my best friends said to me today. Live and learn.

What’s brought this on? I sometimes Google my books, not to see how they are ranking or whatever. I’m a small fish in a giant ocean. In fact most times I’m not expecting much. Nevertheless, I go on these scavenger hunts to see if I can find any reviews lurking about on that big web. It’s amazing that Amazon has all these sites, dedicated to different countries, but none of these reviews are collated in its main page. Which is a shame really, not so much for me, but for Amazon itself, because between it’s multiple sites, reviews don’t transfer, so potential readers have no idea that they can read available reviews on another of Amazon’s sites. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about those reviews, and how I am learning from them. Yes, learning.

Today, I stumbled upon one I was not aware I had for Charming Mr. Stewart. A review that has forced me to think of battle plans going forward with my next novel (in progress), and battle plans for how I can improve on the books I’ve already made available to the public. Afterall, as humans, we are always on the lookout to improve ourselves, and the things we do. To become masters of things we love.

I don’t pretend to be good at what I do, which is write from my heart. I don’t even pretend that I’m any good at it. I’m riddled with doubts every single day, with every single book, or post, or stories, or even poetry. Are they any good? Am I any good? Should I even be doing this?

You might not believe this but I’ve come a long way from the days as an anxiety-ridden teen who used to write these stories, sometimes on paper, but mostly in my head and only had an audience of 1-2 that I shared them with. In fact, the reason I dared not write them down on paper was the fact that yes, I enjoyed weaving stories, but I knew nothing of how they were written, the process, the knowledge, the expertise they require. I was not confident in my writing, mainly because, English is not a natural language for me. I have much to learn. Yes, my stories have mines, mines I’m not equipped to detect. Mines I wish I could deactivate.

So why did I ever decide to start a blog, or publish my books? Why do I continue to write more? It’s my way of building courage, building enough confidence to know that I can improve only if people can read and are able to comment. I am nothing in my own bubble. I did it because I needed to come out of my shell. I did it because there was no moving forward alone. I don’t handle reviews well. I fret over them and obsess because I know and I wait for those to detect those mines that I have missed. I wait, anxiously still to learn from them pointing out holes. I’m trying to learn from them. To know that its there to help me if I can be helped. To get over that fear of being criticised.

Charming Mr. Stewart’s received a few reviews thus far. Most have been 4-5 stars. Some a 3 star. The one which got me thinking about how to deal with reviews was a 3. What did this review say that’s got me thinking about how we handle reviews?

“Eva’s style is easy to read, so I could have really enjoyed this book as a quick and enjoyable distraction. Unfortunately it needs editing. It is riddled with grammar, spelling etc mistakes. More importantly, celebrating a child’s 4th birthday then later referring to her as 3 is a turn off. Eva could be a better writer than this book shows.”

But that last line of the review has stuck with me: “Eva could be a better writer than this book shows.” I take that dear Kazln, reviewer, as an encouragement to keep going, keep trying, keep improving, so in a way, I thank you, for giving me the courage to share it with my corner of the world, so that the next time I release a book, I learn from this experience and give it my all.



9 hours left. Download a free copy of Charming Mr Stewart now.

Will probably be the last time I update on the ticking clock for the free book promotion of Charming Mr Stewart.

Thank you to all who have taken this opportunity to find a new read for yourself. I look forward to your comments and reviews. In case you’ve been umming and ahhing about it, and haven’t gotten around to reading the reviews or the synopsis, thought I’d share that with you one last time before signing off tonight. By the time you hear from me next, the promo will have ended.

Happy reading everyone, and enjoy the few weeks left of 2017!



Reviews for charming mr stewart


You’re all aware mostly that I’m running a book promotion at the moment for my second novel, Charming Mr Stewart. Its free for anyone to download and start reading right away! What better way to take the plunge and discover a new book, or a new writer. Of course I’ll be saying that, right?

Kindle eBook Giveaway: Charming Mr Stewart 

Promotion ends: 3rd December (midnight, US time)

Why don’t you give the story a go? Here’s a little excerpt to get you started, help you in making that decision.


Chapter ONE: Too Many Boxes

The medieval-looking wine goblet, with its talons holding the glass vessel, gleamed as Elle slid it into a far corner of the cupboard with a shiver. “Trust Uncle Steve to give such a gift,” she mumbled. She wanted to throw them out, or give them away, but she knew her uncle. It was just a matter of time before he’d ask for wine in those very things. She unwrapped the last of them and slides it next to the other three. They would sit in that dark corner till Elle deleted them from memory.

Hopping off the step ladder, she eyed the disaster zone. Piles of cardboard boxes and countless crinkled newspaper littered the kitchen floor like an aftermath of a badly orchestrated explosion. There were still two more boxes labelled ‘Kitchenware’ to unpack.

It could take her days at the rate she was going. The house was teeming with boxes of various shapes and sizes, itching to be unpacked. For the first time since the move, she wished she’d taken up her mother’s offer to come and help for a few days.  It was almost eleven at night and she’d been working in the kitchen for four hours straight. By God, she was kaput.

“Should you or shouldn’t you, Elle?” She eyed the two untouched boxes and sighed, pulling one to her. “Only two to go.”

An hour later, she didn’t give a hoot about the misaligned glasses unlike most days. She stepped off the ladder, crunched her way through the piles of newspaper, and headed down the corridor to her bedroom, buggered as hell.

Elle relished the silence as she stood before the closed door for a moment. Neighbour’s dogs were having a barking fest, nor were there highway traffic whizzing past. No blaring of sirens, keeping her awake most nights thinking if Blake was in amongst them. Nor would there be any more phones ringing in the middle of the night making her minds rush to all sorts of mishaps.  Not anymore.

The shrill ring of her cell phone startled her then and sent her scrambling into the room, stumbling over a suitcase in the dark.  She dove next to the bed and found her handbag, fishing out her phone with annoyance. “What is wrong with you?” she eyed the figure on the bed that slept undisturbed.

“I was worried. You hadn’t called yet.” Trish asked.

“It’s almost midnight Mother…”

“So you see why I was beginning to panic?!” her mother interrupted. “I wanted to see if you both have settled in okay?”

Elle tiptoed out of the room, pulling the door close behind. “I was a busy unpacking, Mum.”

“Of course, you wouldn’t have all that unpacking to do if you were still here!” Trish fired sarcastically. “Is Maya in bed yet?”

“Sleeping already, Mum, or I hope she still is.”

“Why didn’t you say so in the first place? It’s getting late. I would have called tomorrow.”

Elle leaned against the wall.  “That would be better, Mum.”

“Well, get some sleep then. You’re probably tired. You know, your dad and I still think you shouldn’t have moved away….”

Elle slid all the way to the floor and massaged her temples.  She’d heard this before. Many times in fact.  “Mum, we’ve been over this.”

“Moving her across the world from her family and all…” her mother continued.

“An hour away is not across the world, Mum!” Elle clenched her jaws, holding back her anger.  “Now, will you hang up, or do I have to sit here in my dusty clothes listening to you rant for another hour about the same things? I’m tired.”

“Fine, you always do whatever you want anyway. Goodnight.”

The dial tone beeped in Elle’s ear. She knew her mother; this argument was far from over. She wanted to hurl the phone across the hallway and watch it shatter.  No phone, no one to bug you with constant calls of paranoia and concern. Right? She pushed off the dusty floor.

“I’m only a widow, for God’s sake, not dying of an incurable disease and leaving my child to fend for herself.” She walked back into the bedroom, relieved to hear the soft rumble of Maya’s breathing. She peeled off her dusty, sweaty clothes, grabbed a towel and an oversized shirt from her overnight bag and walked to the bathroom.

She stood for ages in front of the mirror. Her hair dripping, her eyes sunk, her lips a pale pink. The only thing she liked was the shirt. The shirt that was several sized too big for her. She wrapped her arms around herself, wishing it were a pair of strong arms wrapped around her instead, smelling of pine and musk. She’d always liked how Blake had smelt. She sniffed the sleeve, breathing in the scent of him. I miss you.


“Yeah hunny?” She called from the bathroom, flicking off the bathroom light and plunging the room into darkness She felt her way to the bed and slithered in.

“Mummy” Maya stirred under the cover.

“I’m here, honey. I’m here.”

“I miss Daddy.”

Elle blinked back the sudden tears that flooded her eyes and kissed Maya’s soft curls. “I miss him too, baby,” she whispered. “Now, get some sleep, baby. It’s late.”

Charming Mr Stewart: Download for free

For limited time, you are able to grab a complimentary copy of the novel, the whole thing and enjoy the read. 


When Elle packed her bags and left home with her child in tow, she was determined to live life with memories of her late husband, alone. As the once prominent wedding photographer re-kindles her business, it’s partially to keep herself far too busy for stupid little thing like love. By chance, when she meets a potentially special client it’s with sweaty palms and skipping beat that may have nothing to with a broken AC and above 30°C heat.
Taking on Mr Stewart as a client may not be strictly business, but will Elle battle all odds, a snobbish matriarch, and a woman hell bent on letting her know that Dean is off-limits unscathed? After all, falling in love with a client is not an option despite Dean’s attempt at every turn to steal what’s left of her healing heart.

Promotion ends 3rd December

On Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Charming-Mr-Stewart-Eva-Acharya-ebook/dp/B06VV2HGDW


Grab you copy. GO!

Charming Mr Stewart, an easy romantic read about a young widow who has a two year old in tow, and is fighting an urge to decline a great opportunity for her career, in a crazy effort to avoid the extremely charming Mr Stewart. Who just so happens to be someone who won’t take no for an answer.


It’s available on Kindle, and as of today, till it 8pm Sunday afternoon, 3rd Dec (Aussie time), the book is absolutely FREE. Grab a copy for your self, tell your friends and family who’d love a read to grab a complimentary copy while they can.

Have a best friend who is a hopeless romantic? Know someone who loved Pretty Woman, or Bridget Jones, or couldn’t help feel charmed by Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You? Pass on the word.

I can’t wait to hear how you found it. And that link again for you: https://www.amazon.com/Charming-Mr-Stewart-Eva-Acharya-ebook/dp/B06VV2HGDW

Share the joy. As they say, happiness grows when its shared.





Don’t forget to mark your calendar: Free book giveaway

On 1-3rd December I’m freely giving away my book on kindle, Charming Mr Stewart, to all you good, gorgeous, and stunning folks out there who love a bit of a read. Perhaps a refreshing romance sitting on your favorite chair in that corner where the light is just right. Or sitting in your favorite chair with your best cup of tea, diving into the alluring world of a single mother trying to find her mojo back. Or silently read in your seat on a crowded train or a bus and drown out the day? 

Sound like you? Well, here it is, not that far away now. Free to download across the world. Know someone in England, Russia, New Guinea, Malta who would love to discover a new romance? Or where ever they maybe in the world? Why not let them know as well. 

In the spirit of the holidays, spread the word, download away and let me wonder in my own corner of the world how you are finding it. 
1-3 December (US time). Charming Mr Stewart on kindle free to anyone! 
Want to read an excerpt? Click here.

Hear ye, hear ye: mark 1-3 December on your calendar!

Free book galore! Well, at least my latest novel, Charming Mr Stewart, out on Kindle. 

On the days mentioned, the book is entirely free for your enjoyment. Pop the date in your calendar and download it at your convenience. Simple. 

You haven’t had a chance to read sample chapters yet? What? Let me sort you out here

Freebies!!! 1-3rd December! Why not grab yourself a pre-Christmas gift?

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