Saturday, November 10, 2012

Blog Tour and Review: When We Collide by A.L. Jackson

Hi gorgeous people!  Welcome to today's stop for the blog tour for When We Collide by author A.L. Jackson. Enjoy!

***********Adult Book***********

Title: When We Collide by A.L. Jackson
Published: November 2nd, 2012 by Sapphire Star Publishing
Source: Provided by author for review
Format: eBook
Grade rate: B+

William has spent six years running from his past and the last eight months trying to rid his mind of the dreams that increasingly haunt his nights. Trapped in a world of false ambitions and feigned affections, William knows he’s reached a breaking point and something’s going to give. Maggie had lived her entire life without hope until one man showed her what it meant to be loved. He’d been her light in a lifetime of darkness. Six years ago, that darkness stole him away. Without him, she’s surrendered herself to an existence she doesn’t know how to escape. When the family William left behind is struck by tragedy, he is called back to the one place he’s sworn to never return to again.
 In a moment that will change his life forever, William comes face to face with the girl who, with one look, captured his heart. He is unable to ignore the buried desires and the hope for the future they’d once believed they’d have.
 Now William is ready to fight to take back what had been stolen from him six years before.But he never imagined what that fight might cost him.

My Review

I previously participated in the Blog Tour for Take This Regret (you can see my review here) and I really enjoyed it, thus I  was very happy to be invited to the tour for When We Collide

The story is told in alternating POVs (thank you for pointing out who was talking and past vs. present!), which I always enjoy since I feel it gives the reader a better insight about the characters.   However, I felt a stronger connection with William.  He is the main narrator and I can identify with his point of view and his feelings better than Maggie’s. 

William and Maggie are better when they are together.  Is the type of bond that is so strong that makes the whole better than the individual parts.  They both made mistakes and they both regret them.  In William’s case (this is not a spoiler as it’s part of the synopsis), he didn’t fight for what he wanted and ended up becoming as stranger to himself and to his family.  In Maggie’s case, it was perpetuating her abusive upbringing.  

Troy is plain crazy, he also came from an abusive home and it seems like the only thing he knows is to scare and control people.  Other characters are well crafted.  I really liked Blake, William’s brother and how supportive he was of his brother.  His relationship with his wife Grace was the complete opposite of Maggie’s.  Jonathan was such a sweet boy and since he is so young he is sure to recuperate from his first years of life.

I just don’t understand abusive relationships.  Maybe it is because I have never lived one, but it is incomprehensible to me to be with someone that hurts me. More incomprehensible to me would be to put my own child in danger.   I know that these types of relationships are very complicated and I probably should stop talking about it before I say something I shouldn’t.   There are some statistics included at the end of the book that are quite staggering:

As many as one in three girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused at some point in their childhood.

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime

An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical abuse by an intimate partner each year.

The plot is not complicated, and to me the story becomes part romance, part thriller.  I mean, it’s easy to guess that Troy will try to do something to stop Maggie from escaping his evil clutches (I know, I know, couldn’t help myself :)  What I like most is the writing.  Ms. Jackson is an amazing storyteller.  She can convey feelings so easily and with a few words.  A beautiful and poignant story.

Here are some quotes from the book:

"I’d never understand how I’d gotten from my father’s house to Troy’s, when I’d promised myself so many times as a girl that I’d never end up like my mother.  Like second-nature, I’d made an almost seamless transition from one vicious hand to another without even realizing it."  – Maggie

"I stared up at her, pleading without words, hating the monster inside her that caused her to believe she was worth anything less than what she was, wishing she would see what I say." – William

"I feel to my knees on the hardwood floor. The walls closed in, suffocating… and I felt it, felt them.  I cried out, begged her name.  I lay my cheek on the cool floor, nails scraping the slick wood, grasping at something, grasping at nothing." – William

"We collided, body and soul, mouths and hands and whispered pleas." – William

About the cover:  It’s beautiful, isn't it?  I love the cover and the sense of release, even when the world is a storm.

 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.

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 :) 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!    

 *Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

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