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Book Review: A Highland Ghost For Christmas (Part One)

Updated: Jan 30, 2020

Hi everyone! This review is going to be a bit different from our normal reviews… this is going to be ranty. It’s going to be rave-y.

That’s because I got pissed off at this book early on, so being the kind, caring person that I am, I decided to share my pain with you. This is going to be image-heavy. That’s because I am going to be sharing snippets of the novella with you.

That’s right… this short book managed to piss me off so much that I needed to rant about it for a long time.

Let’s begin, shall we?

I want to state that I did not go looking for something awful to read. As a point of fact, I desperately want to read good indie-pubbed stories from authors I’m not familiar with. I get annoyed when bloggers/reviewers only rec the same three or four authors/stories and most of them are trad-pubbed. It’s disheartening as an indie, so I tend to give indie authors a lot more slack than I do trad-pubbed ones.

This book has a lot of things that I like…

Ghost romance? Check.

Highlanders? Check.

Cute dog? Check!

Mysterious matchmaker? Check!

It’s like this book is tailor-made to fit my tastes. But it failed in so many ways that I wanted to scream.

Let’s start with the easy… the technical.

This is the title of the very first chapter. The very first thing that people see when they start reading. And it’s misspelled!

At first I thought they meant Santa Clause like the Tim Allen movie. But no… no clauses. No loopholes. Nothing like that. Just a good old fashioned misspelling that any proofreader worth their salt would catch.

And it happened again.

Then I started noticing other errors. Homophones. Random commas. Missing commas and the like.  Here’s an example from page 1…. trust me when I say there’s more in this 59 page book.

My general rule is that I allow for 1 error every 10 pages. People are human. Editors are human. People make mistakes. People miss things.

She used up 4 errors on page one alone.

And it only got worse. So based on pure punctuation alone, this book was down a star.

And she had an editor…

An editor who missed the spelling of acknowledgments!


As I read, I started noticing other novice storytelling errors. Things like harping on something but then never revealing what that something was.

In this case, it was an agreement with her friend Ellie. We never find out what she agreed to. What the quid pro quo was. That’s not good. Worse… Ellie only really exists for this ONE scene and then never shows back up. One scene wonders are fine, but it speaks to the heroine that her supposed best friend is not part of her life other than to be the catalyst for the two romantic leads to meet… or supposed romantic leads… I’ll get to that later.

Even the main character’s dog was barely a footnote. I, a dog lover, forgot that she even had a dog multiple times during this story. A good rule of thumb for writing is to keep the number of characters small and consistent.

And to save your screens, I’ll stop here for now. Tune in next time where I start ranting about all the problematic tropes and poor characterization.

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