5-Star Review: “Raw, Stark Truth”

Just saw that To Dwell in Dreams had gotten a 5-star review from author Megan Whitson Lee! So exciting! Here’s what Megan had to say:

The wonderful thing about this novel is its reality. Not all women relish the idea of being mothers, and the raw, stark truth of this battle between guilt and acceptance infuses this story with something special.

Told in a sort of reverse chronology, To Dwell in Dreams explores the struggle between the right and the wrong way to handle the unexpected, true love, and painful truths.

Elizabeth Rose is a promising and talented young writer who brings a dreamlike quality to her prose. Her writing shows a depth of understanding that could be compared with Hemingway, and human empathy that could be compared with Virginia Woolf. Beautiful

To have my empathy compared to the incomprable Woolf is probably the single best thing that has ever happened to me. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Megan! I hope the next book holds up just as well 😀

Haven’t read To Dwell in Dreams yet? Head on over to my website  to pick it up, along with the first and third books in the Once Upon a Reality series.

 

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New Review: ‘What it Means to Be Human’

Got a new five star review on my second novel, To Dwell in Dreams, from Raelee May Carpenter, author of Kings and Shepherds, The Lincoln High Project, and Liberation Song. 

 

I struggled with this book at first, because I kind of hated the main character (just being honest). But when I got past that, I realized how absolutely perfect it was. Rose has an incredibly understanding of what it means to be human and weaves this story, with its cheeky prose and surreal vibe, through so much grace. It’s positively stunning.

 

Thank you, Raelee! And it’s alright to be honest about hating Lyn- she was written as an unlikeable character for a reason. Believe me, I had a couple of coming-to-Jesus’ with her in my head, and she does become better in later installments, when the grace she received in To Dwell in Dreams finally has a chance to really sink in. I enjoyed having the chance to really showcase the kinds of life moments that go into making someone as hardened and bitter as Lyn, and illustrating through her story how even someone like her is still worth giving a second chance to.

 

If you’ve read To Dwell in Dreams, don’t forget to leave an honest review for me on Goodreads and Amazon. I love seeing how words I wrote are received by others- in both the good and the bad ways. And if you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for? Go get yourself a copy today!

Ending the Year Right!

To Dwell in Dreams, the second novel of the ‘Once Upon a Reality’ series, made the ‘Favorite Books of 2014’ list of fellow eLectio author, Amanda Romine Lynch! I feel so honored- and motivated to keep chugging along with the third book, The Thing About Apples, which is currently in progress.

(And don’t forget, if you haven’t read To Dwell in Dreams yet that you can still start from the beginning of the series with Til the Last Petal Falls! Great way to start your year of reading in 2015!)

Review: Room for Improvement

I know I say this a lot but reviews of my work, especially as a beginning author, are extremely important to me. Not only does it let other people know that my book exists, and what recommends it with positive reviews- negative reviews give me a chance to honestly and brutally reflect on how much more I have to work on to become the author that I want to be.

So though I received a two-star review from Goodreads rater Margaret Shock – I want to publicly thank her for it. I’m not being sarcastic- I am honestly grateful that she took the time to try out a small-press book from a new author, and then took even more time out to write a well-written, concisely worded review. It means a lot to me that she felt strongly enough about the story to challenge the parts of it that could have been much better- the parts of my style that can get better, thanks to feedback from reviewers like her (and also my beta readers of an equally honest bent). I think personally that becoming the author that I want to be involves making mistakes- but that means absolutely jack diddly if I am not willing and open to learn from those mistakes. So whether you’re inclined to rate ‘Till the Last Petal Falls with five stars or one, remember that every review is important to me, and I appreciate every one, and I respect the reading experience that fuels each one.

So to put on my ‘to-do’ list of improvement: writing more subtlety, culling details and perhaps rearranging them in a more manageable, natural way, and becoming more creative with my stories. Though the review did state that the reviewer is “one of the most anal readers out there, so the things that bothered [her] might not do so for others”, I think that paying attention to these specific, personal weaknesses will be important with proceeding with the third installment of the series, and in editing my current fantasy project.

To end this post on a positive note: I am very appreciative that this reviewer did very eloquently point out the purpose of the novel, letting me know that the message did get through.

 I found the underlying theme of abusive relationships to be fairly well-executed – it was realistic, added depth and meaning to the story, and not to mention, the author is brave for having tackled such a sensitive and controversial subject. It is certainly something that needs to be talked about, and the story does this in a way where it drags you in a direction that feels wrong until you realize what’s going on, and it hits you hard. It not only trumps the “love heals all wounds” trope that is so dangerously plugged into YA lit these days, it shows the dangers of having this mindset.

 

Thank you so much, Margaret, for your time and your honesty as well as for giving me encouragement through challenging me to become the writer I want to be. I promise I won’t waste the opportunity!

 

Have you read ‘Till the Last Petal Falls, reader? If you have, why not pop a review of your own up on Goodreads, Amazon or Barnes & Noble? Better yet- take a picture of yourself reading the novel and e-mail it as an attachment to author.elizabethrose@gmail.com . I’d love to see where my writing has ended up.

A Gripping Tale of Ancient Disease in Modern Africa

The first review of my first published short story, Wanakufa, is a five star! Here is what Frank Kryza, author of The Race for Timbuktu: In Search of Africa’s City of Gold, has to say about it:

 

Elizabeth Rose has written a riveting, if stomach tightening, account of a young American missionary’s encounter with third-world health problems in Kakamega, Kenya. Mirrored (I’m guessing) on Elizabeth Rose’s personal experiences in East Africa, the fictional heroine, Julia, is an outgoing, pretty, talented, and very giving high school senior who has journeyed to Kenya to improve the lives of her fellow Roman Catholics living there in near-squalor.

Though she expected (and finds!) all manner of inconvenience and hardship, she did not expect to encounter typhoid, an ancient killer so foreign to the developed world that few, if any, cases are reported in North America today. Whether Elizabeth Rose has taken a ride on this scary roller coaster herself, or whether she has merely done very excellent research, is immaterial. Her narrative grabs you in the first few paragraphs and won’t let you down until the very end.

Having spent five years in Kenya myself, I can attest to the authenticity of Elizabeth Rose’s evocation of that country. Her vision of East Africa, told in clear, tight sentences, rang true to me.
This is fabulous early work by a gifted and promising young writer. Highly recommended. Let’s hope we soon see more from her.

 

Thank you so much, Mr. Kryza! I can answer that the story does in fact mirror my own experiences in the summer of 2010. It means a lot to have the story read and enjoyed by someone else who has witnessed firsthand the beauty of Kenya for themselves.

Progress Report: Feedbacking and Reviews!

Cool news, friends- the first beta-reader has now completely gotten through the entire first draft of To Dwell in Dreams! I definitely have some work to do here and there, and I knew that, but having that feedback is going to make it that much easier for me to pinpoint where the biggest issues with this manuscript is, and where I can improve this new book so that I can eventually present to the public the best version of it possible! Also getting some great advice from my older sister about how to write the chapters that take place in the UK- since she lived there and was stationed there for awhile, she’s been catching all the small problems that I’ve had in describing those parts of Lyn’s life! Oh, I just keep getting so excited to edit this so that I can send it out for publication consideration… good thing my beta readers are keeping me from rushing the whole process!

On another note, another blogger review of Till the Last Petal Falls will be coming out sometime this week from J.M. Brink, which I’ve been anxiously awaiting! Cross your fingers, let’s hope this one is a good review as well!

Speaking of reviewing, if you or someone you know has already read ‘Till the Last Petal Falls, would you mind leaving your own review, either on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads? New authors like me rely on reader reviews in order to help spread the word about this book and to convince other readers to pick up the title (and bookstores!). Reviews also let me know what I did good, and what I could improve on, so that I can progress as an author and keep writing better novels than the last. Simply leave a comment on the book’s page stating one or two specific things that you enjoyed about the book (while avoiding spoilers, if possible!), and then one or two specific things that could have been improved on (style-wise, description-wise, story-wise, or even the level of violence or cursing). I would really, truly appreciate it!

I’ve been thinking of some kind of reward to give to my fans for when a certain number of reviews has been posted, but I can’t think of anything off of the top of my head- what would you all prefer? If I hit ten reviews (can be negative or positive, but to ‘count’, they must be comprehensive as to why the reviewer liked/ didn’t like the novel) on any of the three sites mentioned above, I will either:

– Draw a character from ‘Till the Last Petal Falls as I imagined him or her (with a caveat: I’m not great at drawing, but I really will try)

-Release my planning notes for any character (I’ll hold a poll for when that time comes)

-Post a first draft chapter from my next manuscript (with the understanding that the sample posted is a rough, unedited first draft and can/will undergo many changes before publication)

-Post a drawing of the main character from my next planned novel

-Another option that I haven’t thought about that you will post down below in the comments!

Let me know what you think of this option!