What makes a Five-Star Book?

I remember the days when I was sick as a child, and had to stay home from school. To pass the time, I would read. Reading took me away from home on adventure after adventure, and the hours flew by. I think there may have been times that I probably wasn’t sick enough to warrant staying home, but the books called to me, and I managed to convince my mother that I was “very” sick.

One of my favorite series of books to read was “The Chronicles of Narnia.” I could polish off one of those books easily in a day’s time. And then, as I got older, I read “The Hobbit” followed by “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Other favorites included “Watership Down” and “Christy.” As an adult, I continued reading fantasy and went on the adventures in “Dune” and the “Thomas Covenant” books. And I can’t leave out the books about Merlin and Arthurian Legend by Mary Stewart; “The Crystal Cave,” “The Hollow Hills,” and “The Last Enchantment.”

All of those books have stayed with me through the years, and I enjoy reading them over and over again. When I began reading romance, I was drawn to “The Thorn Birds” which is not your typical romance. Maybe that’s what has made my writing far from “typical.”

I know there are many more books that I’ve not mentioned, but what I want to say is that to me, all of the books I mentioned rated five stars. They took me away to other places, captured my heart, and made me feel like I was a part of them. Any author who can achieve that in their writing is gifted. I hope that I will achieve that goal with my stories, and if at first I don’t succeed, I will keep at it until I do. I pray that I’ve been blessed with that gift.

My goal is to touch the heart of my readers, and maybe even give them something to think about. Perhaps even take them to places that they’ll want to journey to time and time again.  I want my characters to feel like brand new friends, whose lives are being shared.

So what are some of your “Five-Star” books, and what makes them rate so high for you? And…if you don’t mind sharing…what is the first thing that turns you off from a book and makes you put it away without ever finishing it?




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