When Jennifer Garcia’s “My Mr. Manny” released back on August 27th, she had no idea that within one month her debut novel would win a first place writing award from popular review site, Mrs. Condit and Friends Reads Books.
But that’s just what happened. Garcia, whose only other published work is “In My Mother’s Footsteps,” a novella which released in July under a pseudonym, won the blog’s General Romance Author of the Month award.
“It was unexpected and very surprising,” Garcia said in an email. “I found out that I was even in the running for it at the end of the day and voting was almost over.” She rallied support from friends, family and loyal readers and in the end, emerged the victor.
“My Mr. Manny is one of those books you can’t put down once you’ve started it,” said Becky Condit, of Mrs. Condit & Friends Reads Books, the site awarding the prize. “It is a carefully written book with well developed characters and a smoothly flowing plot. It is obvious that Jennifer has many devoted fans and they were kind enough to turn out to vote.”
Condit explained how the prize was awarded. “Our motto is, ‘We review the books, you select the winner,'” Condit said. All books that receive five sweet peas (the blog’s version of stars) each month are contenders for the prize, she explained. The site is comprised of 11 reviewers, including Condit herself. Typically the blog favors romance novels, but Condit said she and her friends will read and review almost anything – including a vegan cookbook up for review this fall.
Books earning their five sweet peas are nominated for the blog’s monthly award. Condit explained that the site hosts the poll the first week of the month that immediately follows the reviews – so books reviewed now in October will be up for the award in November. Blog visitors, readers, friends, family and fans can vote for their favorite reads during that first week.
Condit said she and her reviewers read over 1,000 books a year. She started Mrs. Condit & Friends Reads Books just two years ago, “when I noticed that many reviews on the Internet tended to be unkind in tone, what some would call ‘snarky,'” Condit said.
“All reviews are honest, but never cruel or disparaging,” Condit said, adding that her site has grown steadily in support – both in reviewers and readers.
“If we feel a book has flaws we’ll point them out and rate the book accordingly but in a polite way with as positive a tone as possible to benefit those who may be considering the purchase of a book,” Condit said.
But Condit didn’t have any issue with “My Mr. Manny,” Garcia’s winning title. She wrote in her review:
“What a delightful story! My Mr. Manny is full of people to love and identify with from beginning to end. When insta-love occurs I was actually happy for the couple rather than objecting to an often over-used trope. Jennifer Garcia knows just how to give it that little kick to update it and make me want it for myself.”
Garcia said she was grateful for the award. “I’m just grateful and appreciative to all who voted for me,” she said.
For the rest of Mrs. Condit’s review of Jennifer Garcia’s “My Mr. Manny,” please visit her review.
One Story Slinger loves to get to know the authors behind the words, the faces behind the stories. Here are some fave facts about Jennifer Garcia, author of “My Mr. Manny.”
Fun & Fast Faves
Fave Food: Pasta
Fave Color: Red
Fave Movie: The Notebook
Fave Book (not written by you): The Shoemaker’s Wife
Fave Quote: Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”
If you could live as a character for a week, who would you pick? Elizabeth Bennett-Darcy, after she was married of course.
For more information about Jennifer Garcia and her book, please visit her website: http://jenniferfgarcia.com/the-books/my-mr-manny/