Welcome to The Romance Reviews Year End Splash Party Players!

TRR 2013 year end splash party

Hello to all the readers playing today’s questions at the Romance Reviews Year End Splash Party!

Yes, you are in the right place to answer this burning question:


In Ringer, what is the name of the racehorse Holly is leading out of the barn?

a. Mark Missile

b. Fan Tan Alley

c. Meadow Prancer

d. Et Vous Pret


I will tell you the answer right here in this post you’re reading. Yay! You’ve landed in the right place! But first I thought you’d enjoy reading my little rant. If you don’t want to keep reading, the excerpt to Ringer holding the answer can be found at this link.

Have you been playing along for a few years with The Romance Reviews parties? I have and I want to rant about what sometimes happens to me when I click on the “hint” link where the author claims the answer can be found. There will probably be at least 2 or 3 questions and some days there’ll be more bogus questions. I’m sure many of you will sympathize.

Don’t you just hate it when you click on that link for the hint and you go to a dead URL?

How about when you click on that link and there is nothing on the page that answers the question? It might be a landing page or it might be something else, maybe even an excerpt to the book, but the answer is nowhere to be found. Why did the author give us the wrong link?

How about when you click on that link and there are three chapters to read? Come on people. An excerpt to your novel shouldn’t be more than 500 words.

What about when you land at a page and the answer is nowhere to be found but you don’t give up easy and start clicking all the links on the author’s webpage only to come up empty? What a waste of time.

What about the author that poses a question like who is Heather’s ex-boyfriend. You go to the link to read the hint and it turns out Heather dated the entire football team and every one of them is mentioned in the excerpt, plus these names all show up in the multiple choice.

How about when the author says which of these authors did not collaborate on the novel? Then each possible answer has 5 or 6 author names, switched around slightly on each possible answer.

What about when the question says “Which activities did Luke play when he was younger?” a. Soccer  b. Football  c. Tennis  d. all of the above. In the excerpt we read that Luke played football and tennis but there’s no mention of soccer so we can’t choose “all of the above”. That leaves 2 possible correct answers and whichever one the player chooses is probably going to be wrong because ultimately its going to end up being “all of the above”.

Who just gets ticked off when they can’t find the answer on the page where the hint should be and chooses “c” for their answer? The most common choice is “c” on multiple choice questions. We all learned that in school.

And this is one of my personal favorites so I took a screen shot of it:

Romance Reviews wrong answer

Does everyone see what is going on with the above? Name Janet’s ex-boyfriend and the author very kindly gives a hint that his name starts with “A”. Thanks. Don’t even have to click a link and read anything, just scroll through the 4 names to see who starts with A. That would be Alex. So I choose d – Alex. Wrong? What! How can that be? The Romance Reviews informs me the correct answer is a: James. Really? That name starts with a J. I read the hint again. “His name starts with an A!” How could I possibly get that answer wrong. The other 3 names start with the letters J, M, and P.

The instructions the author receives from The Romance Reviews is to provide a link where the answer can be found. The author is also instructed that the choices should have one correct answer and the other 3 should be very obviously wrong. To me that means don’t confuse the player by throwing in a bunch of names that are in the excerpt as part of the answers.

Who’s had it with trick questions? What’s going on here? Does the author get brownie points when they fool a reader into choosing the incorrect answer? A special prize from The Romance Reviews for tricking Splash Party players?

No. I can tell you that The Romance Reviews does not supply authors with a list of how many players answered the question correctly or the breakdown of how many players chose a,b,c, or d. Nor any way-to-go prize for tricking players into choosing the wrong answer.

The Splash Party is supposed to be fun. Make it easy on the players. What happens when the author tricks a player or makes them jump through hoops or make an incorrect guess. Does the author think that’s going to make the reader love them? Win over a new fan? Nope. When the author tricks the player or provides a bogus link so the player makes an incorrect guess and doesn’t earn any game points, that only alienates potential readers and the author loses a sale. I know who I’m not going to buy a book from. Why go out of your way to piss off a potential reader and buyer of your books?

If you liked reading this and have been tricked by those bogus links, how about taking a few minutes to check out my author page on Amazon. I have three romance novels and two novels in a cozy mystery series that have some romance. You can read the first chapters of all my books on Amazon’s preview. I hope you’ll like one of them enough to give it a try!

I’ll give a quick plug to my latest novel, The Movie Star’s Son, available on Kindle for .99¢. It’s a sweet romance, 55,000 words, about a runaway girlfriend.

Back to the Year End Splash Party. In my novel Ringer the horse that Holly is leading out of the barn is named Meadow Prancer.

The 3 other horses taking part in the multiple choice question are real life Standardbred racehorses I’ve owned over the years.

Thanks for playing The Romance Reviews Year End Splash Party and good luck!



15 thoughts on “Welcome to The Romance Reviews Year End Splash Party Players!

  1. A little long winded, Cheryl, but I enjoyed reading your the entire post 🙂 You have convinced me that I would equally enjoy your stories. This was a blast.

    • Thank you Susan. I tried not to make it too long! I know readers just want to get in and out and find the answer to the question. I wanted to let readers know the instructions the authors receive – basically don’t make it tough on the readers to find the correct answer. There is no benefit to the author for tricking the reader.

  2. Got to say, Cheryl, you are spot on with your complaints. I have been frustrated to no end by some of the questions (and authors) for the TRR parties. I can understand wanting someone to read a bit about your book and not making it completely easy. I’m totally fine with that because I want to support the authors who are doing this, and I like to find out about new books. HOWEVER, when I’m spending all kinds of time hunting and reading everything on their site trying to find an answer, it’s ridiculous. I’ve learned now that sometimes you have to click over to Amazon to read the first chapter(s). Well, then just link to Amazon or have a landing page on your website for the TRR party that says, “Visit Amazon and click on the cover to read.” I’ve had several this time where I just guessed because I’d hunted EVERYWHERE and still didn’t find an answer. Thank you for giving some insight into the process, and now it makes me even more upset that authors haven’t been very nice about their questions. Oh well, nothing to do about it but appreciate authors like you who make it interesting and fun. Yes, ranting can be fun once in a great while, even while I like to stay positive. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the links to your amazon page. I look forward to checking out your stories, and I hope more people find out about your books!

    • Hello Carolyn. Sorry to hear you’ve had the same frustrations but I’m glad I came up with this post. The TRR parties are a wonderful way to discover new authors. I’ve read excerpts and have gone on to read the sample chapters in Amazon. Aren’t those sample chapters wonderful? I always tell everyone not to buy one of my books unless they read the sample chapters, that way they have a better idea whether or not the book would be something they’d enjoy. I’ve read sample chapters and I’m dying to know what happens next and buy the book. Sometimes I read the sample and even though the book is well written I can tell it just wouldn’t be my thing. On one of these TRR parties I discovered a new author, subscribe to her blog, and even downloaded a couple of her books which I’m sad to say I haven’t got around to reading yet. I have so many on my to be read list!

  3. YES! It isn’t just me. I love the splash parties because I get to find so many “new to me” authors but I am just competitive enough to get pissed about the screwed up questions.

    • No, Donna, it’s not just you! Yes, I also enjoy the TRR parties for the same reason, discovering authors new to me who I might not have ever known about. Those are not the authors who are playing little games with us and trying to trip us up!

  4. Thank you! It’s not just me who’s noticed that some of the answers are screwy.

  5. You nailed my number one frustration with TRR splash party events. I love finding new authors, but can’t believe how many of the links don’t work or don’t give you the answer. I’m a searcher, so if I look totally through an authors site, read their first chapter on Amazon & still can’t find the answer, you can bet I won’t be adding any of their books to my wishlist.

    • We all feel the pain! To be fair Carole, who organizes the TRR events, doesn’t have the time to go through 400+ websites submitted by authors to make sure each page actually does contain the answer to the question. She does tell the authors to make sure that page has the answer and not to upload new material if it will remove the section needed for players to answer the question. You do a detailed search, Kathryn. I would have given up long before and taken a guess. Choose C!

  6. Great post! I agree with you 100%.

  7. You just made a fan! I felt like an idiot at times reading and rereading, then going to Goodreads and Amazon looking for answers that are NOWHERE to be found. Thank you for giving me my IQ points back.

  8. I totally agree with you. I hate when authors make things so difficult, and then I still end up getting it wrong.

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