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A Farewell From Sarah F

I started writing for Dear Author because I wanted to share my absolute fangirl love for Anah Crow’s brilliant SM romance, Uneven. Jane kindly published a Guest Review and then generously invited me to join the DA reviewers. I’ve been reviewing for DA ever since (3 years and 8 months).

Reading for and writing the reviews have kept me sane and made me utterly crazy. They’ve helped my academic work and kept me from it by keeping me up all night reading. I’ve discovered authors whose work I adore (K.A. Mitchell, Heidi Cullinan, A.M. Riley) and books that made me want to scream in anger and frustration — thankfully more of the former than the latter.

As much as I adore reviewing for DA, though, things have shifted in my life. For various convoluted reasons, I’ve started a business, Alphabet Editing, doing freelance fiction editing and BDSM consultation for authors. I’ll be working with self-publishing authors on their upcoming novels, and in the last two days, I’ve contracted with Riptide Publishing to work as an editor for them. As such, Jane and I came to a completely mutual decision that this presents too much of a conflict of interest for me to continue as a DA reviewer.

This step in my life would not be possible without my time at DA. Reviewing for DA helped me recognize wooden dialogue and dubious motivation at thirty paces. But I’m now transferred my reviewing skills to editing, hoping to catch those problems before the books are published, rather than after.

I will not be leaving the DA community — spending time with you guys is too much a part of my regular daytime procrastination — but I’ll be participating in it as a reader, just like the rest of you. And I might still be sharing with you some brilliant books (NOT ones I’ve worked on!) through some more Guest Reviews, bringing my time here full circle.

I want to thank Jane and the rest of the DA crew. I want to thank all you authors out there for sharing your characters and their journeys with us. But most of all I want to thank the DA readership. You guys are the best. I’ll still be sharing books with you, I promise. Just in slightly different ways.

-Sarah
Twitter: @sarahfrantz
Email: alphabetediting at gmail dot com

Sarah F. is a literary critic, a college professor, and an avid reader of romance -- and is thrilled that these are no longer mutually exclusive. Her academic specialization is Romantic-era British women novelists, especially Jane Austen, but she is contributing to the exciting re-visioning of academic criticism of popular romance fiction. Sarah is a contributor to the academic blog about romance, Teach Me Tonight, the winner of the 2008-2009 RWA Academic Research Grant, and the founder and President of the International Association of the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR). Sarah mainly reviews BDSM romance and gay male romance and hopes to be able to beat her TBR pile into submission when she has time to think. Sarah teaches at Fayetteville State University, NC.

71 Comments

  1. Meoskop
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:04:59

    This should be soundtracked by Cyndi Lauper’s “Money Changes Everything”

    Hope you are crazy successful!

  2. Shannon Stacey
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:06:29

    I’m a little bummed you won’t be reviewing for DA anymore. Though our taste in books is radically different and I’m not sure I’ve actually read any of the books you’ve reviewed, I read all the reviews anyway because I enjoyed your analyses. But I hope your new endeavors go wicked good for you!

  3. e_bookpushers
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:10:14

    Best of luck to you Sarah! Like the others I will miss seeing your reviews but look forward to seeing what you share with us as “reader” *grin*.

  4. DS
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:12:36

    Fantastic to know you are making this change due to being able to do something you like. Success to you.

  5. dani alexander
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:15:10

    Your reviews will be missed <3 I always loved seeing them in my feed and rushing over to read. My bank account might be just a little relieved, though.
    best wishes and congratz!

  6. Shiloh Walker
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:15:18

    Good luck, Sarah!

  7. Joanne
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:18:47

    The best testament to how great your reviews have been is that I have enjoyed them so much even though they are seldom about books that I seek out. You always offer intelligent, heart-felt opinions and your reviews have been a joy to read.

    Much good luck!

  8. Brie
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:19:01

    This is a bittersweet goodbye. I’ll miss the reviews and great book recs but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the awesome book you will help publish. Congrats and best wishes to you ;-)

  9. Meri
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:20:12

    I’ll miss your reviews, Sarah – although our reading tastes are quite different, I’ve learned a lot from reading them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, knowledge and perspective with us.

    And good luck with your new projects! It sounds like you have some great opportunities lined up.

  10. Jenny Lyn
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:26:59

    Well, hiring you is a very smart move by RP, as it will be for any authors out there who are privileged to work with you! I’ve only been a reader of DA for about a year but I always looked forward to your reviews. Good luck with your new endeavor and please do guest post here when you can.

  11. Robin L Rotham
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:31:59

    Okay, I’m pouting because I rely on your recommendations, Sarah, but it’s nice to know you’ll be out there fighting the good fight and righting wrongs BEFORE they’re published. I have a feeling you’ll be in great demand. :) Please continue to tweet about books you adore, even if you edited them!

  12. Violetta Vane
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:48:44

    Wow, I feel honored that our strange little story was your last regular review here. And I look forward to just maybe having you as an editor! Thanks for all the awesome work at DA.

  13. Heather Massey
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:51:27

    Best of luck in your new ventures!

  14. Kati
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:52:02

    I’ve bought many a book because of your stellar recommendations, Sarah. Your smart and incisive reviews will be missed by all. Thank you for sharing your smarts and great taste with us. Best of luck in your new business!

    Hope to see lots of you around the interwebz!

  15. Carin
    May 15, 2012 @ 08:55:27

    Sarah, thank you so much for reviewing here! I started reading m/m and f/f because of you. Your reviews were always so well written and compelling that I finally made the leap and am enjoying a broader spectrum of stories now. Thank you!

    I’m glad you’ll still be around as a reader!

  16. Maili
    May 15, 2012 @ 09:18:25

    Oh, wow. I thought you were a DA reviewer much longer than three and half years. I suppose because I can’t imagine DA without you. Our tastes in m/m are often poles apart, but so great when it isn’t so. Here’s my bestest of luck to your standing on the newest branch of your career. No doubt you’ll make a success of it. Meanwhile, many thanks for those reviews and posts you did in the past three years.

  17. jayhjay
    May 15, 2012 @ 09:30:50

    Oh Sarah, we will miss you here! Your DA reviews are what first introduced me to the world of m/m romance and now I love it so much I have my own review blog.

    I wish you the best of luck in all your new projects. Good luck with your new business and work at Riptide. I hope it is all very rewarding!

  18. Mandi
    May 15, 2012 @ 09:32:38

    You have been a HUGE influence on my reading choices in the m/m genre. Thank you so much for your insightful reviews. Good luck with your new ventures!

  19. Karenmc
    May 15, 2012 @ 09:36:15

    Congratulations on the new work! I’ve always found your reviews thoughtful and eye-opening. Glad we’ll still see you in the comments.

  20. Stefanie
    May 15, 2012 @ 09:46:40

    Congratulations and best wishes Sarah! I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed your reviews over the years. Thanks to your recommendations, I discovered a whole sub-genre and two new auto-buy authors (Mitchell and Cullinan). Even though you won’t be reviewing, please keep those book recommendations coming!

  21. Danielle D
    May 15, 2012 @ 09:58:26

    Best of luck to you Sarah. I wish you all the best in the world.

  22. Melissa Blue
    May 15, 2012 @ 09:58:55

    Here’s to much success on your new path! Sad to see ya go though.

  23. Katherine
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:09:44

    Congratulations on the new job(s)! I can see how reviewing at DA helped you grow and evolve. I’m sad to see you go as a reviewer – you always review books that I wouldn’t have discovered on my own, thus you helped my reading tastes grow and evolve.

    Thank you, Sarah.

  24. Sarah Frantz
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:12:49

    I’d like to thank you all individually, but that would just look silly in the comment stream. Thank you ALL SO MUCH. It’s beyond amazing to know that I was able to do my own small part at helping readers find great books and wonderful authors. I’m so glad I was able to challenge some of you and I’m thrilled that you all took that challenge and ran with it.

    Thank you all again. You’re making me weepy.

  25. Avery Flynn
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:24:10

    Well that’s a total bummer in a really awesome way. I’ll miss your reviews a ton. Good luck with all the new adventures.

  26. Julie James
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:25:05

    Congrats on the new business venture, Sarah! Best of luck!

  27. Cynthia D'Alba
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:30:09

    It was through Dear Author that I met you so for that I’ll always be thankful. While I might not have always agreed with your reviews, I appreciated the discussions and your insights. I was so glad to finally meet you face-to-face in Orlando at the RWA National Conference.

    I wish you much luck in your new business adventures! I am sure you will be as successful there as you’ve been with everything you’d tried.

    And I’m so glad you’ll still be here!

  28. Sayuri_x
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:39:24

    I’m seriously kinda gutted about this. Who am I going to trust to give me the honest reviews of my m/m fix? *pout* Who’s going to indulge my K.A. Mitchell fangirly-ness.

    But even though I am bummed about your leaving I am thrillled for your success! YAY! And I agree, you need to keep tweeting about books you loved!

  29. LeeF
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:43:39

    I have so enjoyed your reviews- they have epitomized “fair and balanced reporting”. Good Luck with your new endeavors.

  30. Sarah Frantz
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:44:55

    @LeeF: Uh, in the good way, right? Not the FauxNews way? ;-) Thank you!

  31. Sirius
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:51:04

    Oh wow, good luck in your future endeavors. As much as our tastes differ, I really enjoyed reading your reviews and did find few books that I enjoyed.

  32. SandyH
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:53:06

    Congratulations and best wishes on your new ventures.

  33. Annette
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:55:19

    What an exciting adventure you have ahead of you! I have always found your reviews and analysis to be very insightful and have enjoyed your contributions here, even though we mostly read different sorts of romance. I’m so glad you are able to move forward in your career path, yet stick around here and continue to share with DA. No one loses!

  34. Lou
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:56:53

    Aww, I’m a little sad to see you go. It was your reviews that got me hooked on m/m titles, and I’ve found some great reads because of you.

    Congratulations and all the best in your new career, Sarah.

  35. Jane Davitt
    May 15, 2012 @ 11:01:51

    I’ve found so many wonderful books through your reviews and been chuffed to bits by your thoughtful, insightful reviews of my books, so this is sad news on one level.

    Having said that, it sounds as if you’re entering into an exciting phase of your life, which is great, and I wish you the very best in your endeavors.

  36. cleo
    May 15, 2012 @ 11:06:25

    Damn – I feel like I’m just getting to know you as a reviewer, and now you’re leaving :) I’ve been reading DA for about a year now and I’ve discovered many good books and authors through your reviews and comments. One of your reviews inspired me to read my first m/m romance (Between Sinners and Saints, which I really, really love) so thank you for that.

    Congrats and good luck with your new venture!

  37. Estara
    May 15, 2012 @ 11:30:23

    Thank you for all the fascinating m/m romances you introduced me to and for a view of BDSM which made me feel more comfortable with the concept and hopefully helped me to understand it better. I certainly don’t mind it in my erotic romance reading any longer, as long as the guidelines you explained are followed.

  38. Lada
    May 15, 2012 @ 12:06:25

    Thank for for all that you’ve shared, Sarah F. And best of luck in all that you will do.

  39. Mary G
    May 15, 2012 @ 12:19:02

    Of course I’m excited for you & I’m glad it’s not a total good-bye because you remain one of my fave reviewers out there. Best wishes.

  40. Robin/Janet
    May 15, 2012 @ 12:30:27

    Sarah, you will definitely be missed at Dear Author, but I’m sure Riptide is as excited to have you as you are to have the opportunities you are pursuing there and elsewhere.

    Cheers to your success in whatever you choose to do!

  41. Kate Pearce
    May 15, 2012 @ 12:34:49

    Always enjoy your reviews and our discussions, Sarah, and thanks for introducing me to Heidi C’s books. :) Good luck with everything!

  42. Aleksandr Voinov
    May 15, 2012 @ 12:47:13

    Happy and amazed to have you on board, Sarah. And very much looking forward to your guest reviews – I’ve bought a fair amount of books because of your reviews (and Sunita’s).

  43. Elyssa
    May 15, 2012 @ 12:55:25

    Congrats, Sarah, on your new job! Best of luck!

  44. Sunita
    May 15, 2012 @ 13:10:17

    I’m going to miss our joint and dueling reviews. Your reviews were a big reason I started reading m/m in the first place, and it’s been a blast being the junior partner of the m/m tag team at DA. I wish you the best of luck and many wonderful novels that become even better because of your editing.

  45. Lori
    May 15, 2012 @ 13:19:56

    What a marvelous opportunity. And by that I mean for the authors lucky enough to work with you in the future.

    Best of luck.

  46. Christine M.
    May 15, 2012 @ 13:32:36

    Thanks for all the fantastic reads and all the Mitchell love you spread!

  47. rebyj
    May 15, 2012 @ 14:44:58

    I too will miss your reviews but YAY that you’ll still be around!
    Thanks for your book recs in the past and I look forward to your continued presence here and twitter.

  48. Miss_Thing
    May 15, 2012 @ 15:04:55

    Congratulations on your new role! I’ll miss your reviews – you’ve turned me on to several excellent authors (much to the sorrow of my bank account), but I’m glad to know you’ll still be visiting. And as a previous commenter mentioned, it’s good to know that you’ll be out there righting wrongs before they’re published! Hmmm…that makes you sound like a superhero. Sarah F. IS… EDITRIX, fighting egregious writing crimes in her trusty leather cape and mask :-).

  49. Susan
    May 15, 2012 @ 17:07:45

    I’m a bit too timid for some (many?) of the books you’ve reviewed, but you’ve opened doors and provided a different–and welcome–perspective for me. You’ll be missed, but the Riptide venture sounds like an incredible opportunity. Congratulations.

  50. The Romantic Scientist
    May 15, 2012 @ 17:46:42

    Congratulations on your successes, Sarah! Wishing you all the best in your new ventures!

  51. Natalie
    May 15, 2012 @ 18:13:32

    Best of luck, Sarah! Over the past couple of years, I’ve read DA almost exclusively for your reviews. (And I will be forever grateful to you for introducing me to Uneven, which is one of my favorite books.)

  52. Laura
    May 15, 2012 @ 19:22:12

    I’m happy for you, but dang! I’m gonna miss your reviews. You are one of the few reviewers I’ve found who “gets” BDSM.

  53. Edward
    May 15, 2012 @ 19:26:47

    Best of luck with your business. We’ll miss you and your reviews. I hope DA gets another LGBT romance reviewer soon.

  54. MarieC
    May 15, 2012 @ 19:31:07

    Congrats and best wishes on your new venture!

  55. Darlynne
    May 15, 2012 @ 19:53:29

    I’ve always enjoyed your voice and point of view, Sarah, whether as a reviewer or a commenter, and am glad we’ll still get to hear you around DA. Thank you and best wishes.

  56. CourtneyLee
    May 15, 2012 @ 19:55:20

    I’m jumping on the “sad for myself but excited for you” bandwagon. You’re my favorite reviewer here and I’ve read many wonderful books on your recommendation. I guess I’ll just have to become a cyber-stalker and hunt down the books you edit. ;)

  57. cs
    May 15, 2012 @ 19:56:16

    Good luck on your new chosen path. I hope you enjoy it, and thank you for your reviews.

  58. Kelly
    May 15, 2012 @ 21:30:17

    I blame my expensive obsession with m/m romance on you and Heidi Cullinan.

    Looking forward to reading those Riptide releases!

  59. Julia
    May 15, 2012 @ 23:24:08

    Not gonna lie, my reaction to seeing this post was NOOOOOOOOOO! Sarah, I have loved your reviews. I’ve enjoyed literally everything I’ve read based on one of your reviews and I’ve found so many new authors and sub-genres based on your recommendations. I’m going to miss your reviews so much, thank goodness I have quite a bit of older posts to read my way through. Best of luck with your new endeavors, I will be keeping my eyes out for those guest reviews!!!

  60. Kaetrin
    May 15, 2012 @ 23:49:38

    What will I do without your recs Sarah? On the one hand, I will save money, but on the other I will miss out on some great books unless you start tweeting them or something… *hint hint*

    As I said on Twitter, sorry to hear you’re “leaving” DA but congratulations on the new gig.

  61. Sarah Frantz
    May 16, 2012 @ 10:24:33

    Thank you all again so very very much. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to hear about how Dear Author and I have helped GLBT romances find an audience. I know Sunita and the other DA reviewers will continue reviewing m/m.

    Thank you all for your kind words. I was sniffly all day yesterday. I WILL be on Twitter recommending great books. First one: Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow’s incredible ROCK AND A HARD PLACE. SO good.

  62. Christine Rimmer
    May 16, 2012 @ 11:43:57

    Sounds like a great step for you, Sarah. Here’s to yet more success. Will miss your reviews, which have enlightened me and helped me understand the powerful appeal of the m/m romance.

  63. Jennifer Leeland
    May 16, 2012 @ 12:12:40

    Wow! I will miss your reviews BUT freelance editor? BDSM author consultant? I am excited to see the direction you’re going!!!
    I want to thank you for doing the reviews you’ve done.

  64. Jez Morrow
    May 16, 2012 @ 16:09:57

    Sarah!
    Wow. I’ll miss you. I wish you happiness and wild success.
    Walk in Beauty.
    Jez

  65. Emily E
    May 16, 2012 @ 19:08:57

    I just had to pop in and say how much I’ve enjoyed your reviews. Please do come back now and then to lead us to more tasty books.

  66. emmytie
    May 17, 2012 @ 07:24:53

    Congratulations and good luck Sarah! I’m really happy to see that you are going to become and editor and consultant. I think it will really benefit some books out there.

    That said, I’m going to miss your reviews. I found so many fantastic books and authors by seeing that you were reading them. I appreciated all of your reviews, even the ones where you didn’t like the book.

  67. Jane Davitt
    May 17, 2012 @ 17:39:33

    @Sarah Frantz:

    That’s so kind; thank you! I know you’re not supposed to say thank you for a review/rec but I’m feeling rebellious :-)

  68. Sarah Frantz
    May 17, 2012 @ 20:00:20

    @Jane Davitt: Oh, Jane, thank you for such a wonderful book. :) I *loved* it.

  69. lijakaca
    May 18, 2012 @ 16:33:08

    It’s too bad we’re losing you as a DA reviewer, but the new business sounds really exciting! I’m sure you’ll help a lot of authors polish their novels right up. Best of luck!

  70. orannia
    May 20, 2012 @ 20:06:42

    Sarah – all the best with the new avenues you’re taking. I’m sure you’ll be very successful! Thank you for all your wonderful reviews. Without them I would never have discovered so many amazing authors (e.g. Heidi Cullinan – your review of Special Delivery and replies to my questions inspired me to try it and I’m so very glad!) and books that have…tipped me every which way, but left me feeling like I know a little more about me :) I’m not on Twitter, but I will be adding your URL to my ‘links to check’ as I don’t want to miss your recommendations. (I have Rosk & a Hard Place on a post-it note to investigate tonight.)

  71. Bookmarked - June 18, 2012
    Jun 17, 2012 @ 20:24:23

    [...] speaking of bloggers, in case you didn’t see it, Sarah Frantz announced last month that she’s leaving Dear Author’s team of reviewers to pursue freelance editing and BDSM consultation. She’s been a fantastic asset to Dear [...]

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