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The Afficionado's BookShelf of Keepers

May 2000

Elaine Hopper's comments on a review of her novel IF ONLY.

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Hi Jacqueline,

Thank you for your in-depth review. I really appreciate all your hard work.

You're right -- this went through several rewrites and it's not been
professionally edited yet. I'm wondering now if I accidentally didn't send my
final version as I have several in my file folder.

This book started as a straight contemporary romance where the heroine was
merely scarred. Then my editor thought it had a lot of inspirational elements
AND she wanted another book for her Ennoble line (one of the main characters
has a disability) and this book was close so we put the heroine in a wheel
chair, so that was another major revision.

I thought I had made all the changes to tie up the loose ends for the changes.

<<<Force Captain who has been in an internet-romance with the female lead
character. She has sent him a photo of her sister because she's ashamed of
being scarred and in a wheelchair. He arrives at her house without notice,
she panics, and has her sister impersonate her so she's not caught in the lie.

The Captain twigs to this switch almost immediately -- within hours. During
the sections from his point of view we learn that he's figured it out, that
he's really put off by the deceptivity, and that he's still deeply in love
with this woman and doesn't care she's in a wheelchair. She's beautiful to

At the end of the book where the deception comes out, he blows his stack as
if he's just discovered the deception, and flies off down the road, steaming
-- saying he's gone from here! There's no foundation or preparation for this
reaction -- nor for his attitude when he calms down afteward.>>>

As far as the logic flaw you perceived, I saw this that Zack suspected the
sisters are changing places but he's not sure -- and he doesn't like it
throughout, but the anger about the deception is building in him - fueled by
jealousy as he thinks the heroine's sister's boyfriend is really the
heroine's boyfriend. Thus, I didn't read this the way you did.

<<A stalker in commando garb lurks around her house, then later attacks her.
No explanation. Later, real Air Force MP's arrive to arrest the male lead not
for being the stalker, but for a breach of National Security (their
procedures are not correct; their evidence is not correct-- this is
worldbuilding that needs work) -- and the MP's give up and go away when they
are laughed off but given no evidence. We never find out if one of them was
the commando-lurker, but somehow I don't think so because the MP's would not
have physically attacked anyone and the lurker did. Also there's a stray line
of dialog that doesn't make sense if the lurker was an MP.>>

It was one of the MP's spying on them and when startled by Zack, they did get
into a tussle. I was Air Force and I was alos an Air Force dependent for
several years and lived on base thus I was around MPs for several years. The
dialogue seemed appropriate to me for an MP. However, I am open to
suggestions on better dialogue if you're willing to share.

I love the title WYSIWIG! I really wish we'd thought of it! But we didn't I
don't know if it's too late to change this or not. I'd have to find out with
my publishers at Awe-Struck and with the cover artist. However, if they all
agree, would you mind me using this title? Would it be a copyright violation
for us to use this title with Lotus or whoever coined it?

I appreciate your comments and your helpful suggestions very much. I'm not
familiar with the term "worldbuilding" although I will study that and I
suspect what you mean by it. I would like to check out your classes as you've
mentioned things no one else has even touched on. This novel's received 4.5
out of 5 star reviews in other places - which I'm not complaining about at
all. I just mean that I'm in awe over your obvious expertise and talent.

My goal is to perfect my craft and learn as much as I can and make writing my
full time career. I'm deeply grateful for such guidance and wisdom.

Elaine Hopper

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Until I get the direct links installed here, you can find these titles by using copy/paste (in MSIE use right mouse button to get the copy/paste menue to work inside text boxes) to insert them in the search slot below -- then click Book Search and you will find the page where you can discover more about that book, or even order it if you want to.   To find books by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, such as the new Biblical Tarot series, search "Jacqueline Lichtenberg" below. 

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Reviewed by Jacqueline Lichtenberg


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