I wouldn't publish a book unless I felt good about it, confident in it, LOVED it!
However, I knew going in that Joshua's Folly was not like my other books--and this made me nervous. I love this book, but I kept asking myself, will I disappoint my readers?
(Read the Joshua's Folly Debate here.)
A few of the reviews have confirmed my worst fears:
~This was a quick read and easy read which I liked but the story was just to fluffy for me,and not really my style not one of Taylor's best books but I'm still a fan and eager to read more books by her
~it was ok not her usual style, i like taylor dean books for being different and this wasn't.
I guess I kinda expected that reaction from some readers. It was risky to publish Joshua's Folly. But, then other reviews helped me realize it was the right thing to do. It does appeal to some audiences:
~This is my 3rd book by Taylor Dean and I have loved them all. She’s an amazing writer. I inhaled this book like it was chocolate once it came out. Dean once again created characters you can’t help but love and cheer for; Joshua and Marisa work their way into your heart and become dear friends you don’t want to ever part from. This romance is so touching, fun, poignant, and heart wrenching at times. The emotional connection between Joshua and Marisa is wonderful to read about; their love story is one in a million and will make you laugh, cry, and sigh endlessly. I loved them together, didn’t want them ever apart, and was sad to let go of this when I was done. I will definitely reread it someday. You won’t regret reading this contemporary romance set on a dusty Texas cattle ranch, and might want to wake up for 2 am hot chocolate after you read it.
I actually liked the way the below reviewer explained the situation! She really hit the nail on the head.
~Taylor Dean is a wonderful writer who is known by her fans for the suspense in her books. Joshua's Folly was different than her normal books, so even though this is by NO means a bad book, I would not suggest this as your first Taylor Dean book. I would recommend reading I Have People, Sierra, Lancaster House, or For Nick (which releases next month I believe) first and then come back to this one. That way you get a true sense of her writing style signature, which is incredible. Still, Joshua's Folly was a sweet romance.
Marisa is a woman who has been through a lot in life, and as a 10 year old girl fell in love with a picture of strong, handsome and sturdy-looking (if that's a word? it seemed to fit here) Joshua when she needed someone like that in her life more than ever. Joshua hasn't had the easiest road either, and now he is raising his [daughter] as a single father on a cattle ranch in Texas. The book begins with Marisa arriving in Texas to help out the boy from the picture she fell for all those years ago for the summer, and her feelings only get stronger after meeting him in person.
I enjoyed the laid back setting of the Texas ranch and the "folly" area. I could picture clearly in my mind the characters and setting in this book, thanks to Taylor's descriptive writing. She manages to show instead of tell, which is a big problem for me in some books.
One thing you should know about Taylor Dean is that she has very strong morals which is apparent when reading her books, and I applaud her for that, for not selling out and writing something she doesn't believe in just to sell books. Her characters never have pre-marital sex, they don't swear, and they treat people as they wish to be treated. I actually think Joshua's Folly might appeal to fans of religious romance fiction books, and not because religion is mentioned at all, because to my recollection it isn't, but because of the strong morals of the characters.
Overall, if you are looking for a sweet clean romance book, this is a great book to pick up so long as you don't go in expecting Dean's signature suspense! And don't forget to check out For Nick, coming July 2013, where she is back to the suspense! And it's a great read!
Lesson learned: Each book I release had better be even more amazing than the last! I plan on living up to the challenge. The comments my beta readers have given me on my next book, For Nick, have been extremely favorable, with many saying it's their favorite of all of my novels. I wasn't expecting that, but I'm thrilled. I never know which book people will love the most, because I LOVE all of them!
Even Joshua's Folly!