Thursday, August 9, 2012

Guest Post/ Book Review: Take This Regret by A.L. Jackson

Hello Readers,

Today I'm pleased to be part of the blog tour for Take this Regret by A.L. Jackson. In this post, I'll be  sharing my review of the novel, sharing a guest post by the author, and giving you readers a chance to win a copy of this book. 
A contest I recommend you answer, because as you'll see I really enjoyed this book. I'll also be hosting a guest post by the author in this post. 

But first, here's some information about the author:

A.L. Jackson first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student.  She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three beautiful children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves. 


  
Links to Buy


And now for my review!

Take This Regret
by A.L. Jackson
Received for Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.11
Pages: 242
Release Date: July 28,2011

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis available on Goodreads:

There are some mistakes we make that we will regret for the rest of our lives.  For Christian, it was the day he betrayed Elizabeth.



Christian Davison has a plan for his life.  He is determined to become an attorney and to one day take his place as partner in his father’s law firm.  Nothing will stand in his way, not even Elizabeth Ayers and their unborn child.

After Christian cuts her from his life, Elizabeth spends the next five years struggling to provide for her daughter and willing to sacrifice anything to give her child a safe, comfortable life. 

For five years, Christian has regretted the day he walked away from his family and will do anything to win them back just as Elizabeth will do anything to protect her daughter from the certain heartache she believes Christian will bring upon them.

When Christian wrestles his way into their lives, Elizabeth is faced with asking herself if it is possible to forgive someone when they’ve committed the unforgivable and if it is possible to find a love after it has been buried in years of hate.  Or are there some wounds that go so deep they can never heal?

They say everyone deserves a second chance.


My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received an electronic copy of this book for review as part of the Reading Addiction Blog Tour in exchange for my honest opinion. I did not receive any compensation for my review nor was I obligated to write a good review. The tour host did receive compensation for setting up the tour, but I did not.   

My overall Thoughts/Impressions: I went into this book not entirely sure what to expect. I thought the synopsis looked good and was excited to read it, I didn't expect it to be as good as it was.

Some books you read and they effect you after you finish reading them. After I turned the last page, I couldn't stop thinking about the book I just read. We all make mistakes and it was interesting trying to watch Christian deal with his mistakes.

Walking out a girl you have impregnated and not seeing your child for five years is unpardonable....or at least you would think that. Watching his determination to fix his wrongs and his love for his daughter was so touching.

Then watching as Elizabeth dealt with her lingering resentment and the wounds that still plague her was equally touching.

A novel that definitely played on my emotions. This book was well-written and focused on brilliant characters. But more importantly, the overall message was very touching. Definitely an engaging story. 

In Summary: A.L. Jackson's story drew me in from the first page and after having read her novel I am still thinking about this beautiful book. A beautiful read with a great message. 

Warnings/Side-notes: This book did contain some instances of strong language and some sexual scenes. However, they were very vague. They weren't graphic.

The Wrap-up: I adored this novel. It's one that will definitely stick with me. It's touching, beautiful, and everything a novel should be. 

And now for the guest post:

Hey all! I’m A. L. Jackson, author of Pulled and Take This Regret.  I want to thank Taking it One Page at a Time for asking me to share with you today on my 10 Tips On Becoming a Better Writer.

I spent some time contemplating whether I wanted to focus on the overall picture and lifestyle of being a writer, or if I wanted to focus on craft. In the end I thought I’d give you a little of both.

So here it goes ~ A. L. Jackson’s 10 Tips to Becoming a Better Writer

1.   Never give up. Yes, this is a general philosophy that can be applied to almost any passion, but one that is essential to being a writer. If you’ve chosen writing or becoming an author as your passion and aspiration, then expect that there will be a lot of discouragement that will come with it. There will be times when it feels as if it is just not worth it. But there will also be times, like when you hold your published book in your hands, when it feels like the most amazing thing in the world.

2. Outline. If you’re writing your first book, I strongly recommend that you begin with an outline. It’s essential to know where you’re beginning, the direction you’re  heading, and your ultimate destination. Be sure that the plot makes sense and you can clearly see how you can take your reader on this journey. You’ll have plenty of space to allow your characters and plot to grow and develop as you write, but an outline will help you to stay on the right track.  After that first book, you should be able to tell if you’re a stronger writer with or without an outline.

3.   Continue to read.  Read the classics, read the bestsellers, and read in your genre. Allow yourself to be inspired!

4. Find a critique partner you trust. I can’t emphasize this enough.  A critique partner can help you see the holes in your plot and characterization issues that we, as writers, can’t see.  Often these things are clear in our heads, but it may not come across that way to the reader.  Plus it’s so encouraging to have another writer friend who we can toss ideas around with and support each other in our writing.  On a side note: Be sure this critique partner’s interest is in helping you become a better writer and not in tearing you down. 
   
5.  Look for common themes, words, and phrases in your manuscript.  Most authors have favorite words and phrases.  Identify them and be sure you don’t overuse them.

6. Get rid of those adverbs! I recommend doing a search through all the adverbs in your manuscript. If you can replace an adverb with strong verbs and descriptions instead (which you almost always can), do it.

7.   Show, don’t tell.  Bet you haven’t heard that before J  Don’t tell us your character feels sad, but describe the scene unfolding that made brought on the sadness, the actions of the character in response to it, and give clear descriptions of what the character is experiencing and feeling.

8. Approach editing with an open mind.  Our first instinct as writers can be to be defensive of our work, but open your mind to suggestions given to you by your editor and/or critique partner.  Editors are there to help make our books better, not tear them apart. If you disagree with a suggestion, take the time to discuss it with your editor and see if the two of you can work together to create a good solution.

9. Don’t let formatting or punctuation marks tell your story for you.  Don’t overuse italics for emphasis or exclamation marks to show excitement.  Let your story speak for itself.

10. Continue to write.  The more you write, the better writer you’ll become.  Plus, you love it, right? So sit back and enjoy what you do. 

Thank you again to Taking it One Page at a Time. Wishing you all much luck in your writing endeavors! 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts A.L. Jackson. I know I appreciate it. 

And now here's your chance to win an opportunity to read her novel. Best of luck!

Love,

Danica Page
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