Forgive & Forget...or Just Forget?

Thursday, August 4

It's a sad day for this Booklover because I have decided to "forget" an author that used to be a favorite.  I'm talking about Lora Leigh.  And I hate that it has come to this, but I've been "forgiving" for the last couple of books, and I just don't think I can support an author/publisher who values me so little as a reader and the money I spend on books.  So my only recourse as a reader is to stop buying and reading the books in question.  I'm so saddened by that, that I waiver from time to time by giving her "one more chance" when a new book comes out...then after reading it I remember why I vowed to spend my time on more worthy reads.  But it's the memory of what I first loved about her stories that lures me to give her chance after chance to redeem my reading relationship with this author.

I've been reading Lora Leigh for years, back when she was only with Ellora's Cave.  Some may say that her inconsistencies, errors in plot, editing problems... are nothing new, that in fact these problems are the most consistent thing about her writing.  And while this may be true to some extent, I've noticed it more the last two or three years, most especially with the last Breeds novel, Navarro's Promise.  Navarro's Promise had egregious editing errors, confusing plot points, and a major love scene that was missing.  It some how got "forgotten" in the final stages.  How can this happen?

I know no one is perfect.  People do make mistakes, but they are supposed to be professionals.  I am paying a premium for books like this to ensure that it is of a higher quality than if the author published it on his/her own.  But when it takes days for the author to post the missing scene on her website after being notified of it, leads me to believe that the scene was never included to begin with...that in actuality she forgot to write it.  Otherwise why wouldn't she be able to post the missing scene within hours, or at maximum a day?  Maybe there was some lag time involving the publisher....but days?  Inexcusable.  To me that says, " long as I give a half as@ed effort my fans will buy the book and I'll still make the NYT list and laugh all the way to the bank."  Of course the author didn't actually say that, but feel like I'm being taken advantage of.  And I HATE that!  And while I'm at it why is the print version of Navarro's Promise only available second hand, but the publisher is still selling the book in digital format?  Shouldn't both the print and the digital versions be pulled?

Saying your sorry is a good place to start, but after a while repeated apologies is just like crying wolf too many times.  I no longer give it any credit.  And the editor....should be fired in my opinion.  If an author is known for submitting manuscripts that need LOTS of work and fine tuning, then you should have your best people on the job to make sure the book is ready to be published.  Lora Leigh has to be a big money maker for them, and with the future of publishing in question you would think that they would be doing all that they could to prove that there is a need for traditional publishing. The author failed.  The publisher failed.  And I failed by buying a book by an author that I was already on the fence about.  Since I am the only part of this equation that I can control, I am removing myself from the equation altogether.

I once was given an ARC of one of her Elite Ops books for review (I think it was Heat Seeker) and there were so many errors in the review copy, that I had a hard time making sense of scenes.  Frankly I was appalled at all of the errors, both in grammar, as well as details, like characters names, or time line that I couldn't even finish reading it.  It was bad. Bad, bad, bad. I decided to wait until the finished book released to read the book, and the final version was better, but still not up to standard.  That was the beginning of the end for me.  It's like Heat Seeker was my eye opener, and ever since this reality it has been reinforced time and time again much to my disappointment.

I don't know Lora Leigh personally.  I've never met her, but I've always wanted to.  Maybe she is just over committed.  After all she has release EVERY month in 2011.  I was shocked when I checked out her News page and saw this.  Granted, some of them are re-releases but I'm sure she has some involvement for even those.  Does any other author have this many releases in one year?  Or maybe this is just how she's always written and she just has new editors that aren't worth a dime.  Maybe she no longer cares, as long as she gets paid.   I don't know what the reason(s) are, all I know is that she is losing fans, many of which have supported her from the beginning, like myself.

I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but I was actually considering giving her newest Romantic Suspense, Midnight Sins a try.  But then I read the Amazon reviews, and found readers complaining about inconsistencies, plot problems....pretty much same ol', same ol'.  My heart sank because I knew that this was it.  I didn't need to read another disappointing book to know it was over.  It's over.

Will I change my mind at some point?  Yes, I think I could because with romances I let my heart lead my head.  I have such an emotional love for Lora Leigh's older books like Wild Card, Loving Lies, Sarah's Seduction and The Man Within to name just a few, that there is always the possibility of me changing my mind.   But, that will only come about if a reading friend that I trust says to me  "it's different this time, you need to read it, or you will have missed out on a great romance".  Then, and only then will I allow myself to give in to temptation.  Because I am weak.  Weak, weak, weak.  I still consider myself a fan, just not a blindly devoted fan.  

What about you?  I know that a lot of Musings followers are also Lora Leigh fans.  What are your thoughts about Navarro's Promise and Midnight Sins, or any of her other recent releases?  Do you still read them/buy them?  Why or why not?  And are there other authors that you've read that you've "forgotten", but then "forgiven"?  Commiserate with me, let me know your thoughts even if you don't agree with me!

And Lora, if you happen to read this...I'm practically begging you to give me a reason to give your books another chance.

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Sheree August 4, 2011 at 12:21 AM  

I have a few of her books in my TBR pile but I haven't gotten to them yet. I have heard of all her issues though, especially with "Navarro's Promise", so I'll consider myself forewarned.

Elaine August 4, 2011 at 4:39 AM  

I am reading Midnight Sins now and I don't think the plot is ever really going to get anywhere.

Like you, I have been reading LL since her EC days. As a matter of fact, I think her breed books were the first ebooks I ever purchased.

I love the Breeds, but again, her early books are by far the best.

I doubt I will buy anymore of her books after this one, except for the Breeds. I just can't give them up!

KB/KT Grant August 4, 2011 at 10:37 AM  

It can't be good for an author to have too many releases in one year. Readers are very selective with their book purchases. Also, as you have proven, the quality of the work has done down. And these books aren't short stories but full length ones.

Lately I think quality no longer matters, which has become a sad state of affairs.

Anonymous,  August 4, 2011 at 2:35 PM  

I read one of her Breed stories in an anthology and really enjoyed it. That series is currently on my wish list. How sad that you have become dissatisfied with her work. I have noticed similar problems with a few other authors and it is disappointing. Hope she gets in touch with you and you can discuss your concerns.

Kathleen O August 4, 2011 at 9:27 PM  

I do not believe I have ever read one of her books. But Iknow what it like when an author you have loved reading for so long disappoints with a book... I hope she hears your pleese and excites you again to read her books..

Artemis August 4, 2011 at 9:33 PM  

I picked up one of LL's Breed's books and decided right off it wasn't for me. I have a few of her WICKED books on the TBR that I'll get to sooner or later.

Now as for her romantic suspense line from DANGEROUS GAMES to LIVE WIRE: Loved them. But yes, I did notice errors and inconsistencies as the series wore on. I overlooked them because I knew the series was coming to an end and I had enjoyed it so very much.

Unfortunately, I will not be going forward either with any more of her work. I too have a limited budget to spend. It makes me wonder just what an editor does.

Autumn @ From the TBR Pile August 5, 2011 at 10:44 AM  

I don't read this writer, but I've noticed this problem getting progressively worse over time. I don't know if it's laziness on the part of the editors. Maybe the writers have always been really bad, but we just never knew because the editors were taking care of it. I think they're relying on computer spell checkers too much now. I see errors like rode instead of road and most recently I saw "could of" instead of "could have" in a book. I'm sitting there looking at the book like seriously?? I "could have" done a better job editing this book!

lovesbooks2 August 5, 2011 at 11:47 AM  

Thank you for this blog entry. You eloquently expressed what I've been feeling. I was able to overlook minor issues until Live Wire. I was very disappointed and saddened at the same time. I almost succumbed to buying her newest until reading reviews on Amazon. I would rather re-read an author that takes pride in their work.

Steve DeWinter August 10, 2011 at 9:33 PM  

"Shouldn't both the print and the digital versions be pulled?"

Pulling books from publication was a logistics issue of limited shelf space, storage, low sales, new books, etc. This system, generated from a physical limitation, should not be artificially imposed on e-books.

I would have loved the opportunity to read some of an author's earlier work despite two decades of seperation between their first publication (sometimes even before I was born) and my discovery of the author.

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