Feedback is your friend

In a recent Q&A I was asked if I had any advice for first time writers. One of the things I suggested was to solicit feedback whenever you can.

Feedback can come from a number of sources. Family and friends is a good place to start, but what if they don’t read much? Or are too nice? Or (God forbid) too nasty?

I was interested in what people with an obvious love of books would think of my work and so decided to approach Emma at and asked her to help organise a book blog tour.

So, during 12 days in December, 12 bloggers took part in the tour and featured Feather and Claw on their book blogs. With nervous trepidation I waited for the reviews to roll in and when they did, what a rollercoaster ride of emotions I went through.

I was overwhelmed by the fantastic feedback:

“The plot was well written and kept my interest with several twists and red herrings that kept me on my toes and guessing” — Avonna Loves Genres

“Feather and Claw is a brilliantly written crime novel full of twists and turns, some of which you can predict while others hit you full in the face and you have to question how you didn’t see them coming. Susan Handley has created a narrative you simply cannot put down. I thought I could predict what was going to be uncovered as I rushed through the pages only to be completely disappointed in my own armchair sleuthing.” — Travelling Book Junkie

Feather and Claw is never what you expect and Handley is always incorporating different subplots to keep the reader entertained and engrossed to the end. I’m already looking forward to the next Cat McKenzie adventure” — Caramerrol Loves Books

“A perfect book for anyone who likes to curl up with their mystery crime novel, with a beautiful setting, I have to admit wishing I was in Cyprus lying by a pool reading this book. I highly recommend. I will certainly be reading other books by this author” — Jackie’s Reading Corner

“I was extremely reluctant to put this book to one side for any great length of time… The pages turned at a furious rate as my desperation to find out how the story concluded steadily grew and grew… This was one of those books that I wanted to finish so I knew who did what and why but I didn’t want to finish because I was enjoying the book and the investigation so much that I just didn’t want the story to end” — Ginger Book Geek

But taking part in a tour like this isn’t just about stroking your ego. Just as much can be learned from comments about areas that didn’t work so well for a reviewer. In this case, a couple commented on the length of time before the action kicks in. I think this was in part due to expectations: one blogger said they had expected it to be more of a thriller than a murder mystery where the characters come first, the action later.

Taking part in this tour has been really rewarding and I have been able to take something from each and every review. I am immensely grateful to the bloggers who took the time to read Feather and Claw and include it on their blog (and yes, they all do it for free!!!) A huge thank you to them all.

Emma at deserves a special thank you. Her fabulous organisational skills created a book blog tour that has showcased Feather and Claw as well as helping raise awareness of it on social media.

All of the bloggers and their reviews for Feather and Claw can be found in the following links:

  1. Shalini’s Books & Reviews (
  2. Avonna Loves Genres (
  3. CrimeBook Junkie (
  4. Travelling Book Junkie (
  5. Caramerrol Loves Books (
  6. Jackie’s Reading Corner (
  7. Fireflies and Free Kicks Fiction (
  8. Rachael’s Thoughts (
  9. Ginger Book Geek (
  10. Forever the Wanderer (
  11. Librorum in sempiternum (
  12. Jessica Belmont (

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