Book Review: Chastity- An Eternal Beloved Novel By R. Rodriguez

Chastity Ann Chadwick is a self proclaimed teenage femme fatale who lives in the small sailing town of Seaport Harbor. She’s a boy eater who uses pleasure to numb the pain of her unfortunate circumstances. Little does she know, she’s on a certain path to self destruction when one of her romantic escapades gets out of hand. Life as she knows it will never be the same. Her only solace comes from an unanticipated liaison with the new mysterious guy in school. Her hopes are shattered when she realizes her newfound life is not what it seems. She will only find redemption by searching for her own truth.

I enjoyed this 20 chapter book. It was told through Chastity’s first person point-of-view account, so readers get to be surprised, confused, delighted, etc. when the character does. Even though she’s the main character, I felt that I got to know everyone in the story–let me tell ya, there were a lot of villains (mainly her family). But that’s what made the story interesting, finding out the bad people’s motives.

I felt sorry for Chastity. Her mom and grandma made her feel worthless. Her own biological father wouldn’t claim her because he was in politics and her biological sister made it her mission to try to upstage her in school everyday and throw the abandonment in her face.  No wonder Chastity had low self-esteem.

Jared was my favorite character. I loved that he treated her with respect and tried to help her find her self-worth. High school can be difficult (some of the scenes made me flashback to my horrible moments in the hallways). I loved the angle that her boyfriend and his best friend were fighting over her affections, then she was like forget both of you, I’m moving on to the new boy in school.

My favorite moments were: at night, her stalker (boyfriend’s best friend) got too rough with Chastity in the car, Chastity meeting Jared at his auto shop, the ending.

R. Rodriguez has a talent with plot structure. There were no boring moments in the novel. In fact, towards the end, it really started to pick up. There’s a huge plot twist that I never saw coming! It startled me (in a good way). Wish I could give it away, but I can’t spoil the novel hee hee.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

An Interview with R. Rodriguez, Author of Chastity: An Eternal Beloved Novel

An Interview with R. Rodriguez, author of Chastity: An Eternal Beloved Novel

http://smashwords.com/books/view/205410

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MJT2IC

Join me on my second interview with author of the Eternal Beloved Novel Series, R. Rodriguez! In this interview, she presents her new novel in the series, Chastity.

 

1.  How long does it take you to write a book?

It takes me from a year and half to two years to write a book because of my busy schedule.

2.  Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

I tried to get my first book published the traditional way and it was a challenging process. First I sent out queries to about fifty agents. Each agent has very specific requirements. Then I had to deal with rejection, which I knew would happen. I finally found an agent. After having representation, I had to make the pertinent changes to my book. Writing the book proposal for the publishing houses, which was exhausting in itself, was next. I got positive responses to my book, but the powers that be didn’t think it was the right time. This whole process took over a year and frankly, I got tired of all the waiting. There’s a lot of waiting involved. I just wanted to get my message out there, so I researched independent publishing and did it all myself. Self publishing is grueling, but worth it. I have my books out there and I get to interact directly with my readers on a daily basis.

3.  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I like to read of course! I also enjoy traveling, going out with friends and family, and sightseeing. I live in a tropical island so there are lots of places to visit throughout the year.

4.  What does your family think of your writing?

My family is very supportive of my writing. They have always supported me and given me encouragement. My mom thinks my books will be best sellers someday. Of course, she’s my mom. My kids think it’s cool.

5.  How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best in your genre?

I market my books personally in local universities and schools through the use of flyers or postcards. I post articles about the releases in local newspapers as well. Social media is an important part of marketing. I have good communication with book bloggers who are nice enough to review, feature and host giveaways or interviews in their blogs. I also have an author facebook page that gives me insights on the amount of exposure I’m getting on a daily basis. I always include links to where my books can be purchased.  I also have a YouTube channel where I post trailers or other videos related to my books. I’m in the process of building a website for my books, as well, where people can find more information about me and my books. Print copies are usually supplied by me to people who request them or local stores who have agreed to sell them. People don’t seem to want to go through the trouble of ordering the print copy from lulu.com. For my eBooks it works best to interact with readers through social media where we can post trivia challenges that spark interest in the book and the like. For the print format, it works best to provide the books myself.

6.  What do you think makes a good story?

I think a good story is one that appeals to the audience you’re trying to target. I think this is subjective since what appeals to someone may not appeal to someone else. Overall, a good story should have strong characters, a strong plot with no loose ends. It should also flow easily. Finally, it should be memorable, making the reader think about it after they’re done reading it.

7.  Can you tell us about this book?

Chastity is the second book in the Eternal Beloved Novel Series. This series is not a trilogy or saga. Each book has a young female protagonist that tackles important life dilemmas. In this installment, the themes of promiscuity and neglect are explored. Chastity Ann Chadwick is a self proclaimed teenage femme fatale who lives in the small sailing town of Seaport Harbor. She’s a boy eater who uses pleasure to numb the pain of her unfortunate circumstances.  Little does she know, she’s on a certain path to self destruction when one of her romantic escapades gets out of hand. Life as she knows it will never be the same. Her only solace comes from an unanticipated liaison with the new mysterious guy in school. Her hopes are shattered when she realizes her newfound life is not what it seems. She will only find redemption by searching for her own truth.

8.  What’s your next project?

My next project is Destiny, the Third book in the Eternal Beloved Series. I’m in the brainstorming stage right now so I don’t know yet what the main topics are going to be in this one. I’m also going to finish an adventure book geared towards the middle age group of 9 to 12 years olds, that I meant to publish by August but wasn’t able to. I’ve decided I’m going to try to publish this one the traditional way as I would love some help with all the process that surrounds publishing a book.

9.  Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

I’d like to thank my readers for their support and their affection. It means a lot to me that I’m able to get my writing out there. I have an amazing group of readers in England that are especially supportive and I thank them all! I hope to come up with more stories you enjoy in the coming years.

10.  Social media you’d like to share:

You can find out more about me at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rrodriguezeternalbeloved

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RRodz1

Email: roserodriguez826@gmail.com

You can find other books by me at:

http://smashwords.com/books/view/94810

http://amzn.to/xCyPLM

Thanks Yawatta!

Book Review: Grace-An Eternal Beloved Novel By R. Rodriguez

Grace Elizabeth Coventry has wanted to die since puberty. Since then, she carries out elaborate plans to end her life. She almost succeeds on her eighteenth birthday, but when an outside force emerges to carry out the deed, an inexplicable survival instinct awakens in her. It’s too late, though. Death has already noticed her. As she hangs on for dear life from the ledge of the Skyway Bridge in Chicago, about to give up to her fate, an unexpected stranger appears to save her, only to be challenged by the ultimate threat. In the end, only she has the power to save herself.

I loved this 20 chapter book. The beginning grabbed my attention and never let go. Lucian Lake (cute name) oversees construction of the Skyway bridge while Grace attempts to jump off it. An image startles her, causing her to fall and dangle on the edge. It was an intense moment because I was very worried about her safety.

Poor Grace. She was forced into therapy multiple times by her mother because she didn’t approve of her daughter. Instead of accepting Grace for who she was, her mom wanted to control her life. Grace hates her birthday–Halloween, and she has wanted to die since 15 years old.

  • Even though this was a drama, I laughed at some parts. Not laughing at the author or her writing style. No. I laughed because some parts were funny. Like, Grace was a struggling model trying to make it in Chicago. Her manager had told her to consider stripping because she was too voluptuous to model. I don’t know why that tickled my fancy, but it did. Probably since I’ve never missed a season of America’s Next Top Model.

It was the sweetest gesture when Lucian buys Grace a black, leather journal (I was jealous–I’m a notebook snob LOL) to use as a diary. My favorite quote was “Maybe you’ve been talking to the wrong people,” Lucian said. “It’s more productive to talk to yourself. After all, you are who you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life.” I like that a character got me thinking emotionally like that. I appreciated the advice.

  • And the beginning of Chapter 5 reminded me of the “Reason, Season, Lifetime” poem, which is one of my favorites. I enjoyed that the story brought out emotions in me and also had me become philosophical.

My favorite scenes were 1) the sexual tension between Grace and Lucian at his party 2) Grace’s therapy session (the ending is when the questions start arising to get readers prepared for the twists). And let me tell you, the twists were great. Throughout the novel, I kept trying to figure out the mystery of who Lucian was–does he truly love Grace? Is he obsessive? A pushover? A ghost? I was very satisfied with the reveals and questions answered.

The story was written in 1st person point-of-view through Grace’s perspective, so I enjoyed constantly seeing the things she saw, feeling the emotions she felt. R. Rodriguez was brilliant with characterization and being descriptive enough to get readers lost in the story. I absolutely hated the way Grace’s family (mother and sister) treated her so coldly when she came back home to visit from college. It was insane. And don’t even get me started on how awful Dario (her boyfriend) treated Grace. The author did a wonderful job in bringing out everyone’s personalities through dialogue and their actions. It takes talent to have your readers care about your characters–whether to want them to succeed or love to hate them. Anything is better than not caring. I also loved that all the characters were three-dimensional. They had strengths and weaknesses.

I honestly started thinking there could be more to Lucian than meets the eye once Grace has that vivid dream about him while she stays in her parent’s house. You’ll have to read the book for yourself to see what’s his deal. I would love to tell but can’t ruin the story LOL. Let’s just say, Grace is the underdog, and I was proud that eventually she becomes strong to face her situation head-on.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book, please visit:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

An Interview with R. Rodriguez, author of Grace: An Eternal Beloved Novel

Join me for an interview with R. Rodriguez, author of Grace: An Eternal Beloved Novel, on her first exclusive interview …

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1. Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?

This is a tough business. While breaking into traditional publishing is brutal, being a self published author is even harder. The best advice I can give an aspiring author is to be persistent. Giving up is not an option in this business. Fortunately, with the appearance of eReaders we have more options to become published.

2. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope to touch as many lives with my writing as I can. My target audience with my first series is young women. I hope to build a network of young women in search of empowerment.

3. What genre do you write for? Your favorite aspect of it? Least favorite aspect of it?

For the moment, I tackle issues that affect young women today in a paranormal romance setting. I love this genre because I get to explore other dimensions of the universe that may or may not exist and get to tell a good love story as well. A setback to writing paranormal romances is that some people don’t take this genre seriously. I do plan to write in other genres in the future.

 4. While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of your characters?

I believe every writer brings something of their life experience into their books and characters. I didn’t feel like I was one of the characters, though. I did feel an affinity with certain characters’ feelings through their relative situations. A writer spends so much time with their characters that it could feel as if they’re real at some point. 

5. How did you come up with the title?

I came up with the concept for the series first. Every book in this series has a female protagonist that tackles a central theme. I wanted to name the books after the protagonist. Then I thought of the central theme of the book and the name had to fit that.

6. What inspired you to write your latest book? What is it about?

After high school and during the college years, women are faced with different dilemmas that can affect the rest of their lives for better or for worse. My concern for this audience sparked my ideas. I didn’t want the books to be so serious, so I combined my message with my love of paranormal romances, to create a book with a message in a paranormal romance setting. Grace is about a young woman who has always wanted to commit suicide. She almost achieves it, but is saved unexpectedly. Death has already noticed her, though and doesn’t let go. The book details her efforts at self development, her setbacks because of bad decisions, and the power, only she has, to change her destiny. The main themes are suicide and abuse. This series is not a saga or a trilogy.

 7. Do you prefer to work alone or work with critique partners/beta-readers?

I’ve been working alone because it is not common to write fiction in English where I live. Although I do share my work with my sister, I haven’t explored working with critique partners/beta- readers. I employed a professional editor to edit my manuscript after its completion. Sharing my work with others is something that I would explore in the future.

8. How do you find time to write?

It is a challenge to find time to write because I have a full time job, a husband, kids, a house, and dog. Writing is what makes me most happy, so I schedule time to write every day.

9. Did you always want to become an author?

Yes! I’ve always wanted to be an author. I’ve had a love affair with books since the age of nine. Shortly after that, I began to write stories. During my teenage years, I wrote in notebooks. I haven’t stopped writing since. After having a freelance writing business for two years, I decided to pursue creative writing, which is my true passion.

 10. What are your thoughts on the fact that both traditional and self-published authors have to promote their own work?

This is probably the hardest aspect of publishing a book. I think it’s necessary, though. If you don’t put your book out there, it won’t reach as many readers as you’d like. Perhaps it is easier when an author is published by a traditional publishing house because they set up the appearances and take care of everything that goes on behind the scenes. They also provide the funds behind marketing efforts. The author basically has to show up and do their part. A self published author has to do everything on their own from writing the book, to formatting, to editing, to distributing it, and marketing. The amount of efforts you employ in this regard is influenced by your goals. Do you want to make money, or do you want to put your word out there and make the world a better place?

11. Is there any writing ritual you perform before creating your manuscripts/drafts?

I don’t have a ritual. I do have some preferences, though. I like writing by hand first, on a legal pad and then onto my laptop. I also listen to my iPod during the whole creative process. I can write various chapters by listening to just one song over and over again. There are certain songs that inspire me during the creation of a certain part of the story.

12. Do you tend to write in sequence or out of order (with whatever interests you the most at the moment)?

I write out of order. I have a brainstorming session first. That’s when I think of the concept, the title, and the message I’m trying to send. I decide how many words I’m going to have in my novel, how many chapters, and how many words for each chapter. Then, I brainstorm the setting and the characters. I develop the character traits and their names. Some names just come to me. I employ the use of a Baby Names book for others. The next thing I do is write an outline of each chapter. I start writing the chapters for which the ideas are flowing more, then I tackle the rest. For this book, I wrote the last chapter first.

13. Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Everything I write comes from within me, so I don’t hate it. I have found stories I’ve written superior to others, in terms of the words I use and the whole make up of the story. Also, the reader is the ultimate judge and even that is subjective. There is always space to improve and to be innovative.

14. Which is easiest for you to write–novel, novella, or short story? Why?

A short story is the easiest to write, followed by a novella, and then a novel. The amount of words and tabs you have to keep on the plot is more extensive for a longer piece.

15. What are your current/next projects?

I am currently working on finishing the next book in the Eternal Beloved Series. Chastity should be published by May. The themes of promiscuity and neglect are explored in this next installment. I am also working on a middle age adventure story called Renaissance Quest. That should be out by August.

16. Any blogs, websites, social media you’d like to share?

You can follow me on:

http://rrodriguezeternalbeloved.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/rrodriguezternalbeloved

twitter.com/RRodz1 

 ***My eBooks are sold at smashwords.com, B&N, Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, Sony, Diesel. Print copies can be purchased at lulu.com.

 

Attention! Giveaway!!!

R. Rodriguez, author of Grace: An Eternal Beloved Novel is giving away an eBook copy of her first novel to five lucky winners. For a chance to win, like her page at http://www.facebook.com/rrodriguezeternalbeloved and state why you love reading, preferred eBook format, and the email where you wish to receive your copy if you’re a winner. The winners will be chosen at random on March 30, 2012.

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