ARC

365 Challenge: Day 332 – Rumours

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Rumours: title of a book written by a good friend currently in need of a few beta readers

Get in on the ground with a fantastic writer.jpg

As an author, I totally know how important it is to find a solid group of beta readers who can provide feedback on your work. I’ve been lucky enough to connect with a few in the last year, and one of them is Claire, blogger extraordinaire… but Claire is also a writer and published author. She completed a novel last year that I beta read a few times (she packs a lot of emotion, lust and power into her work), and it’s now with an editor and being shopped through various literary agencies and publishers. She’s completed a draft of a second novel that is a sorta spin-off of the first in the use of a few common characters. I haven’t read it yet because I’ve been focused on my own work, but I plan to read it sometime in the next 2 to 5 weeks. Claire mentioned that she was looking to add a few more folks to the early-read team. I thought it might be fun to beta read it at the same time as someone else I chat with on the blog… so that’s the point of today’s post. Rumour has it she’s got another winner… and I like spelling this the British way! I feel like sharing (with her permission of course) this next beta read… who’s interested?  Details below… feel free to private message me if you wanna know more about how this process works. Or you can message Claire directly through the site link below. We can line up our schedules and partner on providing feedback and input. Who’s with us?

*** Message from Claire @ BrizzleLass Books, Author ***

I have finished draft one and am just tidying a few bits and pieces up so that the book is ready to be read. It will be sent out by Friday 16 February at the latest and I would like responses by 30 March giving 6 weeks to complete the readthrough and feedback.

As this is the first draft I’m not looking for detailed analysis of grammatical issues. This is about the story and characters. I need to know:

  • Does the story flow?
  • Are there areas where it feels clunky? That something is missing? That something within the story doesn’t make sense? Etc
  • Are the characters believable?
  • What emotions do the characters pull from you? You don’t have to like them but they should affect you
  • Does the dialogue work? Is there too much, not enough, is it in the right places? And does it work with the narrative?

Hopefully this gives you an idea what I am looking for. So a bit about Rumours.

It is an Adult Contemporary Romance…there are some hot steamy sex scenes, so please don’t take this gig if this is something that may offend you!

This Bio is a rough draft and hasn’t been finalised in any way but I wanted to give you a taste of what the book is about…

Mark is a professional cellist, he’s also a semi-professional player. He has never settled with any girl for any length of time, but since his best friend found the love of his life, he’s realised there is something missing in his life. Wedding Photographer, Blair had her heart ripped from her chest just weeks before her wedding when she found out her fiancé hadn’t just cheated on her but had a family with the other woman. She has avoided relationships for the years since, terrified of losing her heart and feeling that betrayal again. When the two are introduced by a mutual friend sparks fly, but can two people with such broken pasts build any kind of future together?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: The Idea of You

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The Idea of You
The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 stars to Amanda Prowse‘s book The Idea of You, a fictional story about a women craving motherhood but facing many barriers to success. I was offered this book through NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for a fair an honest review. I am glad I read it and had a positive reaction. On to the review…


Story

Lucy has wanted to be a mother for a very long time, but she’s about to turn 40 and was recently dumped by her boyfriend who went on to marry Lucy’s own cousin. At a christening, she meets Jonah and he proposes within a few months. He has a 16-year-old daughter, Camille, who lives with her mother and stepfather, but plans to come visit for a summer before her final year at boarding school. Lucy and Jonah have several miscarriages before Camille arrives, and it’s starting to put a small strain on their marriage. Lucy struggles at work and with her family, unwilling to tell anyone about the pain she’s going through, secretly hoping the next time she gets pregnant, she won’t miscarry. Along her journey, she writes notes to each of her lost children, pining away for a little girl of her own. She and Camille do not get along well for the most part, but do find a few things that help bond them little by little. When the past comes back to haunt everyone, and new obstacles are thrown in front of the whole family, Lucy is forced to decide between what is best for everyone and what is best for her. And as the story comes to end, Lucy finds a way to make peace with her decision, understanding the impact it has on everyone involved.


Strengths

Lucy’s story, an all-too-common one, is a strong and beautiful journey not only for the woman who has miscarried several babies, but for the family around them who don’t always know what’s truly happening. The pressure from friends and siblings to get pregnant before it’s too late… the comments from people at work about having difficulty dividing time between family and your career…. the doctors who try to comfort you but really can only do and know so much. Lucy’s a very likable character. She has flaws and makes mistakes. She’s a bit immature in such situations but she’s handling all the emotions with great strength and fervor. I felt a strong urge to want to hug her.

There aren’t always fairy-tale endings in life, and I really enjoy when books face those consequences. I’m not giving away any spoilers as to whether she eventually has a baby or not, but regardless, her situation is not one anyone would envy. I felt privileged to watch the struggle, especially being so far removed from it, by being neither a mother nor a father. The author, who has mentioned her own struggles at conceiving and keeping pregnancies, puts a lot of emotional connection into the words and the scenes.

While it’s a sad story, there was a fine balance in pushing readers to tears. Perhaps because I’ve never been in any type of a similar situation, I held back some of my emotion; however, there were just enough points where you felt the pain and felt the emotions come full force. But not so much that you had to put the book down and take a break. Good balance.


Suggestions

While I understood it was important to get to the point where she has a husband and and her time is running out to have her own baby, starting the book when she’s 39 and then rushing thru the first year may have caused a few moments of less than helpful separation. I care about her as the story unfolds, but when you know little about her first 39 years, other than she wants to be a mother, you have a few questions that linger. Most are answered eventually, and possibly this is a “point in time / life” story, but… it could have used a little tidying up in this respect.

I wanted to see more about Lucy’s life with her sister and mother. I understand with some of the reveals that come later in the story why it wouldn’t exactly be easy, but it would have helped give her more depth.


Final Thoughts

I’ve read a few stories with this theme, and this is definitely one of the stronger ones. I like the author’s style and would want to read some of her other books. It’s not a major stand-out where I feel compelled to buy her next one immediately, but it’s got all the qualities of a good book you will enjoy. I pushed it to a 4 because it’s much higher than an average / OK book with a few good parts at a 3.

If you like strong female characters, this one’s for you. Lucy’s remarkable in her strength and only had 2 or 3 moments where I thought she was being a little too immature. Enjoy.

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