FAQ :: Is Brooke Burke from TO HAVE AND TO HOLD related to Jackson Burke from I WISH YOU WERE MINE?

Hey guys,

Those of you who subscribe to The Weekly (the BEST place for all LL news) know that I answer a reader question in every issue, but every now and then there is a reader question that comes up often enough that I opt to put it on the website.

This is one of them: 

Frequently Asked Reader Question:

I saw in the description for To Have and to Hold that the heroine's name is Brooke Burke.

Any connection to Jackson Burke from I Wish You Were Mine?

LL Answer:

*THIS again?! I thought I fixed this!!!*

So, no. There No relation between the characters or between the series.

And more importantly, Brooke's name isn't Brooke Burke anymore, it's Brooke Baldwin.

Here's what happened.

I wrote the proposal for To Have and to Hold (and The Wedding Belles series in general) a long time ago. Well before I announced the book or started writing it. When I come up with a proposal, I'm mostly focused on trying to convey to my publisher what the story will be about. I'm less concerned with details like ... names. I figure I'll nail those down later after I get to know the character a bit better. Character names at that stage are mostly place holders.

It should also be mentioned that I came up with the name Brooke Burke before I started writing I Wish You Were Mine, so the name Burke wasn't fresh in my mind, and I didn't realize I'd used the same name twice.

Fast forward a few months. I hadn't started to To Have and to Hold yet, but it had since been acquired by Pocket books. We were more or less happy with the book description I'd come up with in my proposal all those months ago, so up it went on Amazon and the other retailers ... with the name Brooke Burke.

By this time, I Wish You Were Mine had been written and was on the radar of readers. Cue the questions from astute readers, who read the description for both and wanted to know there was a connection.

Me: Whoops, no. Hey Publisher, I need to update the description to change her name to Brooke Baldwin to avoid confusion. Can do?

Publisher: Absolutely, no problem! Done! 

All good, right? 

LL's Thoughts on GoodReads.

LL's Thoughts on GoodReads.

Nope. As I've discussed before, when a new book first goes into the feed for Amazon and the other retailers, that description automatically populates to GoodReads. Great.

But when there's a later update to that description on Amazon/iBooks, etc, GoodReads doesn't get the memo, leaving an old-description up. Not great. 

Why does GoodReads accept initial descriptions, but not changes to descriptions? I have no idea. Honestly it's annoying as hell. Because while plenty of readers use GoodReads quite frequently, I never use it. 

To me, GoodReads is best served as a reader forum. It's great for that. As an author, I find it uncomfortable. I'm uncomfortable reading reviews of my own books, and strangely enough, once I became an author, I became uncomfortable reading reviews of other authors' books too. I'm basically uncomfortable with the practice of reviews of books in general, but that's a whole other issue.

Moral of the story: GoodReads is not a good place to get the most updated information on LL books, and yet it must be a primary source of info for many readers, because I continue to get questions about book descriptions that are only up on GoodReads.

I'm a little stumped on what to do about this. 

Could I go audit my book descriptions on GR from time to time to make sure they're accurate? Sure. But I'm not going to do that.

For starters, book descriptions get tweaked more often than you think. Changed in little, tiny ways by publishers to fix something that's not clear and that's misleading to readers, or to add USA Today Bestseller, or to update the intro to compare to one of the author's newer bestsellers, etc. They're changed to tweak character names, they're changed to update the title if the original title is too close to another book in the same genre.

I have nearly two dozen books up on GoodReads, not counting the random duplicate entries that sometimes get added in there. I don't have the time or the interest in keeping a platform that I don't ever use up to date. I'm sure some people are reading this thinking, *cough, diva, cough* and I'm pretty okay with that. If being a diva means devoting myself to the things that matter most to me (writing the best book I can) then bring on the tiara.

And I do try my best to communicate this, I really do. It's written very clearly in my GoodReads bio that I'm not active on GoodReads and that the descriptions may or may not be accurate. I'll also cop to the fact that I don't always have the updated description on my website. Almost always, but if I'm in the writing cave, descriptions are "when I get to it." However, what I can guarantee that is that if there's an discrepancy between GoodReads and Amazon, or GoodReads and this website, GoodReads is the one that's wrong.

But man, you guys love your GoodReads. I get it. I do. But, since I myself am not on GoodReads, I need your help! 

Absolutely feel free to let me know if there's an inconsistency with the GoodReads descriptions of my books!!!

Chances are, I'm not going to know unless one of you lovely readers reaches out with questions/comments (and I don't mind when you do!) I'm not going to say that I'll dash over to GR to fix every little thing, but I'll log on occasionally to fix the most glaring of inaccuracies! 

GoodReads employees, if you're reading this, for the love of God, update your data feed to get fresh information from Amazon. They own you, right?! This process should really be better.

Readers ... don't believe everything you read on GoodReads, at least for Lauren Layne books.

The end.


Lauren Layne

New York, NY, USA

USA Today Bestselling Author & Lifestyle Blogger.