Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Soldier's Reunion Giveaway

One more giveaway for this month, and it's for Cheryl Wyatt's most recent military romance A Soldier's Reunion.

As soon as I began reading this story, I was struck by the plot and its similarities to my manuscript The Bridegroom's Revenge. The main characters were childhood friends, high school sweethearts (like mine). Our heroines deal with abandonment issues. There's interfering parents and of course, both stories are reunion romances.

So I studied this one closely because I figured I could learn some stuff. And I did. Wyatt did an awesome job of SHOWING how the characters had never forgotten each other. The hero (AKA Mr. Buff Pararescue Jumper) remembers how the heroine takes her coffee. Isn't that romantic? And the heroine hasn't removed the necklace Mr. Buff PJ gave her in high school.

Despite the strong conflicts, it's more than believable that these two characters belong together. Not only did Wyatt filter in backstory and show the characters' connection, but there's no sagging middle in her story. I got there and my jaw dropped. I wasn't sure how the story would move forward with the decisions these two characters had made, but I still had half the book to go, so I knew something good had to happen.

That's called a hook. :-)

A Soldier's Reunion came out in June so you might still be able to catch it in Wal-Mart before the July batch of books hit. Otherwise, you can buy this book on Amazon, christianbook.com or eharlequin.com. Or, you can leave a comment and be entered into the drawing to win it.

If you want to learn some more great writing tips, you can catch Wyatt all over the internet. She posts on the Seekers, talks about books at Squirrel's Treehouse and can be friended on MySpace and Facebook.

Have you ever found a book similar to yours in plot? (I know you have, MeganR) Did you study the strengths and weakness of the story?

24 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

It's great when we can study another book and see the things that the author is doing right! I'm often reading and critical of what they're doing wrong!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Yes, there are several really good books with multiple characters like Yaya Sisterhood, The Friday Night Knitters Club, The Wednesday Sisters, etc. that I enjoy as well as study.

Happy Sunday.

sherrinda said...

How cool to have found a book that you can study instead of pick apart! I'm like Jody and find that I get critical (since I have started writing!) :)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I've read several books in the genre I write, but find I'm drawn to read other genres more. I especially read to study the characters and how they are developed and how real they are.

Will check out the book you recommended.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Jessica,

Thanks for reviewing my book. Love your blog.

I'm sure there's plenty to pick apart in my writing, but I'm glad you found it beneficial to yours. LOL!

I once wrote a single title length book that won first place in the Mystery, Suspense, Thriller category of ACFW's Genesis contest. So the month I was going to pitch it, a movie came out with almost the same title and that contained similar plot elements. I was like, "Grrr!" LOL!

Ya know, it's been several years since the movie released so maybe I can pitch the book now. LOLOL!

Cheryl

MeganRebekah said...

Haha! Great post (and it made me want to go buy this book!). I had planned on waiting until I finished Anomaly to read the clone book, but gave in. I realized that while we might have a similar basic concept, nothing else was the same. I paid attention to how she brought everyone together and how she led them to an ending. It was worth the read, both to ease my mind and learn more about the craft.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Since mine is about friends and family and place and belonging and Appalachia and coming of age and etc etc - there are lots of books with similar themes :) What separates our work is the use of language and voice and style :)

Jessica said...

Hi Jody,
LOL I have my criticisms with almost every book I read too. I just don't post them. :-)
Sometimes it's better to try to focus on what the author did right, esp. if that particular thing is missing in your own work. LIke the backstory filtering. I noticed hers because I'm afraid mine might lack that.

Jessica said...

Hey Angie,
Happy Sunday to you too! :-) It's so bad, but I've never read those. I don't even think I could write multiple characters, so I would def. study those for help.
Thanks for naming some good (that I've heard) books.

Jessica said...

LOL Sherrinda
You guys are sweet to think I'm not critical. I very much am. It's something I try to control though. Besides, every book has something worth studying, I think.
Hope you're having a great day!

Jessica said...

Donna,
That's so smart of you. I need to study characterization more. Reading in other genres is a good idea. I mean, we should definitely know the parameters of the genre we're writing in, but I think reading diversely is good for our language usage and just adds a freshness to how we see things.

Jessica said...

Thanks for stopping by Cheryl! :-) I had no clue you wrote a single title. You're right, it may be time to dust that thing off and get it out there! :-)
I understand the grrrr... though. Yours isn't the only book that has been similar to my manuscript. And then another manuscript has some other books that are similar too. LOL

Jessica said...

Megan,
I'm glad it eased your mind and that you were able to find what that author did successfully. You have a great attitude about it!

Jessica said...

Kathryn,
That's such a good comment, and a relief too! When plots are similar to mine, I feel a little sad but you're so, so, so right! Style and voice really do make the book, and set it apart.
I haven't read yours but it is on my To Buy list. :-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

Thanks for another excellent review. I read someplace there are a set number of plotlines. Our individual personalities, details on setting and character all work toward a unique story.

I've heard a lot of buzz about this book. Please enter me in the drawing.

susanjreinhardt (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks,
Susan :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Great post about this book--so ok--you made me want to read it from a writer's perspective--does that mean I win?lol think of the postage you'll save.;

Jennifer Fowler said...

Cool...sounds like a good book.....I hope I win : )

Danyelle said...

I write fairy tales, so I see similar plots all the time. But it's all in the execution. :o)

Sounds like an interesting book. :)

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I have, and yes I've studied them. I always learn something new.

I read this one, too. The interfering parent at first seemed too cliche for me, but Wyatt sure knows how to spin things to make them fresh, doesn't she? I think she did a great job.

MeganRebekah said...

I gave you an award over at my blog!

Genny said...

Jessica,

Sounds like a great book.

Sometimes, I get so caught up in studying the strengths and weaknesses of books that I forget to enjoy the story! LOL.

Have a great day!

T. Anne said...

LOL I just finished a book with a plot similar to one of mine (the infamous one on my blog with the ambiguous ending although mine does have a HEA) It felt strange but at least I know someone would like my book or at at least the elements.

Jessica said...

T. Anne,
That's a really good way to look at it.

Thanks everyone for your comments! You're all entered. :-) I'm behind on blog post reading so I'm just leaving this little comment. Hope you all don't mind.

Lady Glamis said...

It's so exciting when you find work you can study and apply to your own writing. I've had this happen a few times, but mostly I have a hard time finding things that fit into my category. Probably because I don't read very much, haha.

Your book sounds fun! I'd love to get more into romance. It's something I've neglected. Like sci-fi and fantasy. I know I'm missing out!