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The Reasons Why

Sometimes, no matter how inconvenient, a character appears and refuses to leave.  That was the case with Britney Brown and Michael Stevens.  They showed up and insisted on sharing their story.  I tried to give them the brush them off – but it did no good. They became a distraction I could no longer ignore.  I was hesitant when I realized their story wasn’t going to be popular with some people.  But that’s life – it’s not simple.  In fact, it can be confusing and painful.   The Reasons Why is their story.

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Choosing the cover:

I visited several sites but when I found Linda Kage, I looked no further. There was something about this picture that tugged at my heart.  It seemed to capture Britney and Michael’s relationship.

E-Book Formatting:

I tried to format the e-book myself.  It might have been easier if I would have used something other than Word.   After several attempts – and not being satisfied with the preview, I choose to pay someone to format it for me.  If you haven’t checked out Fiverr, give them a look.  I found an ebook formatter that had a 5 star rating.   Not only was the process easy, it was inexpensive.

The Reasons Why is a New Adult Contemporary Romance.  At approximately 25,500 words, it’s perfect for a poolside read and is available for Kindle Download.

Description:

When Claudia Brown and Marcus Stevens married, they never imagined their love would turn their children’s lives upside down but that is exactly what happened. For Britney and Michael, navigating the terrain of their new family is like walking through a mine field of emotions as they try to ignore their growing attraction. One false move and everything could blow up.

 

Bad Review or Bad Reviewer?

What has happened to civility?  It seems to be running in short supply.  Politicians have become experts at delivering stinging comments to their colleagues all in view of the ever present cameras. Bullying is commonplace – and its not limited to children and teens. It seems as though, in a day of media excess, offensive behavior has become acceptable.

This behavior is carrying over to book reviews.

 

thumbs downI am on a mailing list for e-BookSoda and BookBub.  I receive emails promoting books everyday. Before purchasing/downloading a book, I typically read the reviews. I’m always struck by the range of opinions. I guess there is truth in the saying – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

 

Recently, I read a one star review – I understood that the reviewer didn’t care for the story.  I was floored however, when she ended her assessment with the comment that the book might be an excellent read for someone who liked this particular genre.  Really?  So why only one star?

Another reviewer (different book) was nothing short of catty.  Curiosity got the best of me – so I looked up her other reviews – she must have had the absolute worst luck when choosing reading material.  I mean, honestly, what’s the chance of finding 19 books out of 30 that are so horrible they only deserve one star?

I’m not saying that reviewers should lie.  Obviously, not everyone will connect with a story. I’m suggesting that as readers, we should consider how much weight we want to give any particular review.

 

Mean Girls in Young Adult Fiction

There are people who would prefer that the stereotypical mean girl, who so often appears in young adult fiction, would go the way of the dodo bird.  But why?  Literature is sprinkled with femme fatale characters who use their beauty and charm to manipulate.  They lie and deceive.  They bring a certain magic to the story.  Like the femme fatale, the mean girl serves much the same purpose.

The teenage years are a time of growing and maturing.  It’s also the time when many teens are at their most vulnerable.  Having a mean girl allowed me to use her as a tool – one that could expose my main character’s insecurities.  Jenna is a typical teen.  She’s the new girl in school.  She’s dealing with all the baggage that comes with a move – finding her place in a new social environment while mourning the loss of the security of her former life and friends.  Mean Girl Melissa helped to propel Jenna’s story.  She made sure Jenna felt out of place.  She possessed a confidence that Jenna lacked.   Because of her, Jenna had to grow.  She had to become a young woman who knew her own self-worth. 

But what of the mean girl?  Why do we typically choose to describe her as popular and beautiful?   After all, we all know girls that are not only popular/beautiful but sweet and kind.  So why the stereotype?  There are a variety of reasons but one reason sticks out for me.  In our society, looks are valued; females tend to compare themselves to their peers.  Most people can relate to the girl who is all too aware of the pimple that blemishes her face or the hair that refuses to cooperate.  We know what it’s like to feel as though we don’t measure up.  The mean girl is beautiful because she has to be.  She’s the picture of perfection, a contrast to the main character’s self-perceived shortcomings.

 

Interview with D.S. McKnight, Author of Of Dreams and Shadow

The Children's and Teens' Book Connection

D.S. McKnightD.S. McKnight has enjoyed a varied career—from working as a radio DJ on a small AM station to serving as president and co-owner of a marina, until Hurricane Ophelia took aim at the Carolina coast.  Currently, she works at an insurance agency as well as hosting her blog – Novel Notions.  

It is her love of the North Carolina coast that fueled her desire to write.  Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not (book 1) is her first novel.  

You can visit the author’s website at: http://www.dsmcknight.com

When did you begin writing?

I have been writing since I was a teenager – poems, lyrics to songs, and short stories –  words that were only seen by me.  When I reached my forties, I realized I had neglected myself.  My days were spent working, getting my children to and from practices and games, helping with homework, etc. …

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Book Tour!

Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not (Book 1) is going on tour with 

Pump Up Your Book Tours.  

I’ll be visiting some really awesome blogs so stop by!

PUYB Tour Schedule A


Divider 9Monday, May 5

Guest Blogging at Bibliotica

Tuesday, May 6

Book Featured at Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews

Wednesday, May 7

Book Review at World of My Imagination

Thursday, May 8

Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Friday, May 9

Book Review at Pink Fluffy Hearts: Diary of a Coffee Addict

Monday, May 12

Book Review at Book Club Sisters

Tuesday, May 13

Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea

Wednesday, May 14

Interview at The Children’s and Teens Book Connection

Book Featured at I Heart Reading

Monday, May 19

Book Review at Crazy Four Books

Thursday, May 22

Guest Blogging at CBY Book Club

Monday, May 26

Book Review at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark

Tuesday, May 27

Book Featured at Mom With a Kindle

Wednesday, May 28

Book Review at Queen of All She Reads

Friday, May 30

Book Review at Ashley’s Bookshelf

Book Review at Bound 4 Escape