Affaire de Coeur Magazine Reviewer Guidelines

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Welcome to the Affaire de Coeur Reviewer Guideline page.

After reading and reviewing the Reviewer Guidelines, if you are interested in becoming a reviewer please email Louise Snead at with Interested in Being a Reviewer in the subject line. Thank you

Reviewer Guidelines
I.  Dates
You'll be receiving your ARCs (advanced reader copies) directly from Louise Snead. Idealistically, you'll receive the ARC at least three months in advance. If for some reason, you aren't receiving the ARCs like you're supposed to, please contact Louise.

Do not contact the publisher.  If you have an author request that you review a book, please have them contact Louise so arrangements can be made.

We do our best to assign your preferred genre. However, sometimes, we're in a position where we don't have an available reviewer. If you don’t like the genre i.e. maybe it's erotica and don't believe you can be fair—let Louise know, immediately. Time is of the essence when releasing book reviews. If you let her know within a reasonable amount of time, it can be sent to another reviewer.

You may turn a review in as early as you like, (The earlier the better) but it must be turned in at least 2 months before the print publication date. For example, if you receive an ARC that has a May 1st publication date, the review is due no later than March 1st. 
There are exceptions, of course.  Sometimes we receive books at the last minute for a variety of reasons. Therefore, you may get an ARC that doesn't have a lot of time or is last minute.
II. AdC’s Commitment
Affaire de Coeur reviews all books, formats, and genres. Please do not post Affaire de Coeur reviews on any other review sites unless you get permission from Louise, it's after the print magazine is published, and you specify that it's a review from Affaire de Coeur magazine. 
III.  Philosophy
The purpose of the AdC review is to present an accurate, honest description and evaluation of a book. The reviews are for the reader. Our commitment is to the reader who depends upon us for an accurate and honest critique. We have a very strict policy not to slam, attack, or insult an author or publisher.  Comments must be directed toward the book/story itself.  Cutting, sarcastic or unkind remarks will be edited out.

If you want to use a pen name, we need to know the name you want to review under.

IV.  Format
There is a specific format that must be used.  A copy of a review in that format is below.  Be certain that all the information is given.  The maximum number of words for a review is 250.  A general rule of thumb is that if your review is longer than one page, it's too long.
1.  Stars
The Affaire de Coeur rating system is a five star award system.  Once in a while, an exceptional book comes out that will be given 6 stars.  This has to be rare.
               a.  5 stars--excellent
               b.  4 stars--good
               c.  3 stars--fair
               d.  2 stars--mediocre
               e.  1 star--poor
It's possible that a book may fall between these stars, thus 1/2 star.  If a book is really good, but for some reason not excellent, it'd get 4 1/2 stars.
What we look at when assigning stars are: 
               1.  Characterization
               2.  Plot, which includes originality
               3.  Writing style and presentation
               4.  Credibility--which includes research
               5.  Pacing
               6.  Other qualities
If, for example, an author rewrites the Cinderella story, and everything is perfect, it shouldn't get a five star rating because it is not original.  If characters are confusing, if a plot device is used that doesn't work, if there are loose ends at the end of the book, it doesn't deserve a five star rating.
Caution:  Do not overrate the books.  This is a common problem with romance reviewers. The ultimate result when this happens is that no one believes your reviews.  You lose credibility. It doesn't take long.  If a reader buys a couple of book based on what you've said, and you've overrated them, they're not going to believe you again, and your reviews become useless.

The body of the review must correspond with the number of stars given.  Don't say the book was a great read and give it 3 stars.  Don't say the plot was overused and give it 4 1/2 stars.  Be consistent.  Somewhere within the body of the review there should be a reason why the book was given the number of stars it got.
     2.  Body
          Usually the body contains the following:
          a.  The name of the characters
          b.  The setting--time and place--doesn't have to be identified as a specific year or city. It could be, for example, a castle in medieval England.
          c.  The conflict between the characters
          d.  The specifics about the book itself--whether it's written well, research was good, characterization poor, etc.
    Nothing beyond the first half of the book should go into the body. Spoilers are not allowed.
Do not give away the ending. Do not use the first or second person within the body of the review.  "I believe",  "I feel", etc. are redundant.  The entire review reflects what you feel and believe.  The number of stars you've awarded the author tells the audience how well you like it.
Reviews can be e-mailed to Affaire de Coeur or sent in snail mail.  Please identify the month they're for in the subject of an email and the book title i.e. Subject: November, Time Will Tell
Below is a copy of a review.  This is the format we prefer.  If you are giving ½ star, please denote it as a +.
Lucy Monroe
Trade Paperback


     Rachel Gannon knew she could only hold out for so long before the excruciating pain would break her. But being a highly trained operative for TGP, The Goddard Project, a top secret agency that did the things the United States government couldn’t afford to let people know they were doing, Rachel knew the Moroccans torturing her with the car battery did not have the means to make her talk. Still, it hurt like hell, and she was holding onto the hope that TGP never left an agent behind and someone was coming for her soon. The Moroccans had nothing to break her with because she had nothing and no one back home that she cared about or who cared about her. Her parents were dead from a car accident; her grandmother was in a home with Alzheimer’s and no longer knew who she was; her baby sister had committed suicide, and the only person she had ever loved, Kadin Marks, had walked away from their love to join the Marine Corps. So Rachel became a DEA agent and ended up working for TGP. That was her life.
     When Kadin heard that Rachel had been captured and needed extraction, he informed his commander that no one was going to do it but him and his team. He couldn’t believe his Rachel, his sweet, innocent Rachel whom he left behind because he didn’t want to taint her with the things he had done, was an undercover agent for TGP. The reason he had left her was to protect her from just this sort of sordid reality and the fact that the man she loved had lots of blood on his hands. After all, he had been a Marine Corps Special Operations assassin and had earned the nickname "Trigger" because of his unerring accuracy. But now that she was screaming his name in her pain, that accuracy was going to be put to good use because absolutely nothing and no one was going to stop Kadin from getting her out of there.
     Lucy Monroe’s latest installment of "The Goddard Project" series is a topflight spy novel set in modern times in the Middle East. Her accuracy in portraying the rescue teams and undercover operations while dealing with the unrequited love/hate relationship of the protagonists is brilliant. Some characters from her previous TGP novels are brought in, but they only enhance the story. Heatseeker will keep you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last.
Lani Roberts
We have a staff board whereby we discuss issues relevant to the magazine.  Send me your e-mail address, and we’ll send you an invitation to join so you can be in on the discussions.
We are going to make corrections/adjustments to the body of your review. That is our editors’ job. Don’t take it personally. 
If you have any questions, please email or call Louise. 
Common Formatting Errors
1.  Don't double space in the heading of your review. 
2.  Small paperbacks are Mass Market.  (Both Mass and Market are capitalized.)
3.  Big paperbacks are Trade Paperback (again, both Trade and Paperback are capitalized)
4.  The order is:  Title, author, publisher, format, ISBN, and awarded stars.
5.  Use the 13 digits ISBN when you have them.
6.  The titles of books within the body of the review need to be in italics.  Don't put them in all caps.
7.  Story line is two words.
8.  Don't double space between paragraphs.
9.  Don't forget to put your name on the bottom of the review.
10. Don't forget to put the month of the review in the subject line.
  Thank you.


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