Had to click the link, did you? Now that you’re here, read on.
As an aid to marketing, I compiled a page of reader comments for my publisher. Authors do care about what readers say. On those dark days of writerly despair, enthusiasm from an “everyman reader” — someone who enjoyed my work and took the time to say so — gives me heart to press on.
Mercy’s Embrace was first posted on a fiction forum.
As you will see from the comments, I became quite good at crafting cliffhangers.
“Do you know how you can laugh until you are hardly making any noise and you almost feel like you’re choking? That’s what I’m doing right now.” (SW)
“Whee! You surely do know how to rack up the tension, Laura! I am so enjoying this, I cannot tell you.” (WB)
“This just keeps getting more intense. I LOVE this story. Can’t wait for more, there are so many good story lines going.” (DM)
“Laura, it seems every chapter leaves one wanting even more than the last!” (S)
“I would *never* pressure an author, but … write faster! Write faster! (Just kidding.) I want you to know I’m still hanging on your every word.” (KT)
“If this story is finished in June I can at last die happy. I was mortally afraid I would be killed in a car accident or come down with lethal pneumonia before this story was finished. I feel like I have been following it for years…Come to think of it, I have! But it has been my favorite story for all that time too. It is a superior offering on this forum. I have eagerly anticipated each new installment.” (P)
“Oh, what a cruel place to leave it! So close…. What a fabulous story.” (DM)
“WOW. What a great chapter! I read it with my heart in my mouth, wondering if they would escape. And I couldn’t take a breath afterwards when Elizabeth talked with Mr. Gill. What a wonderful story you’ve created! You’ve taken all our old friends and given them a beautifully plausible and well told ‘ever after.’” (R)
“Yes! Woohoo!!!! Patrick! Go get your woman!!!! I love this! I love thisIlovethisIlovethis!!!!!” (B)
“This is the sort of thing you read without breathing.” (L)
“I keep trying to guess what’s coming next, and I keep getting it wrong, LOL! You could certainly write murder mysteries, Laura!” (KA)
“Talk about your cliffhangers – this has to be the grand-daddy of them all. I’m not even going to ask you to hurry and post more soon. I still need time to recover.” (TF)
“Such flutterings and tremblings and palpitations! And by that description I mean myself when I went flying over the edge of your cliffhanger, not Elizabeth’s reaction to meeting the Admiral!” (LM)
“YOW-ZUH!! That chapter’s one for the books. They will be screaming from the first sentence to the last. I laughed, I cried, and I know they will be wondering what in heaven’s name you’ll do next.” (SK)
“Is there a Regency expression for ‘hitting the fan’? Oh my. All over ‘oh my.’ ” (A)
“Laura, if I say anything more, it will come out all ridiculous and squeeful, but oh, the YAY.” (T)
“Delightfully original! Since I have been waiting for this scene for eons (okay, years!), I feel compelled to say that you did it with your own style and sense of fun. I’m with Patrick, Elizabeth Elliot is completely adorable. He hasn’t avoided the full dressing down, but her dithering and convoluted thought process was priceless.” (JG)
“I can hardly breathe for laughing …” (AC)
“Terrific—again and again. This story is so wonderful, so truly full of surprises that somehow all ring perfectly true .… I first discovered your story while feeling quite overwhelmed with grief here in NY after September of 2001. The joy your story brings does a lot of good—don’t doubt its ability to help.” (D)
“I want to thank you … for the extraordinary quality of your work.” (M)
“To my joy I found DWG and found Mercy’s in the [Archives] and was elated till I realized it still was not finished, but you have me now so Post when you can, I will follow. I have enjoyed your expansion of the other JA characters which were so one-dimensional in the book.” (Y)
“You write with so much heart and joy, one thing that is so lacking in today’s Oprah’s Book Club culture (which has fortunately come to an end—there was just one too many dysfunctional women for my taste). (TF)
“As well, you have added to the richness of the story by making me like Elizabeth! In Persuasion, she is an arrogant, condescending woman who was more interested in rank than in caring about her family beyond connections and wealth, and you have made me like her against my will.” (AW)
“Elizabeth is great in this story—she was always one of JA’s characters I loved to hate, and here she’s pretty annoying too at times—but also very human. I never would have thought I’d read a story and hope things work out for her. But I am.” (AM)
“My fingernails always suffer when I’m reading this story… but I wouldn’t have it any other way!” (WB)
“Oh my Gosh !!!! After so long a wait…and I have waiting checking frequently for any signs of hope that there was another chapter…To have it end off so brutally at such a place!!!!! It is too cruel!! Oh please tell me you have a little more up your sleeve that you will be posting soon enough. It is too much to be left here. I CANT WAIT, IT IS TOO GOOD!! Please consent and relieve my suffering. By the way, great story!” (DM)