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Archive for November, 2021

BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 16 November 2021 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – SPEAK NOW by CHAUTONA HAVIG

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TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – SPEAK NOW by CHAUTONA HAVIG

Speak-Now-

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Speak-Now-REVISED-COVER-sm

Book: Speak Now

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Fiction / Christian / Romance

Release date: May 30, 2013

THE BLURB

Some say you only love once. They’re wrong.

Ask Jonathan Lyman. Still grieving for his wife, he walks into that wedding with no idea his entire life is about to change. It was just supposed to be a simple—oh, who am I kidding? It was supposed to be a typical, lavish, family wedding.

But there’s nothing typical about falling in love with a woman walking down the aisle. So to speak.

Cara Laas is falling hard and fast for a man whose heart doesn’t want to let go of the past and is rushing to meet her in the present. At the same time. That she’s half in love with his children doesn’t help, either.

Their attraction may be their undoing, but is either ready for “till death do us part?”

She’s a master at making others comfortable. He’s never comfortable talking, but if he wants her heart, he’s going to have to speak—now sooner than later, if you don’t mind.

Click here to get your copy!

THE AUTHOR

media-headshot-sm-240x300-240x300Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

MORE FROM CHAUTONA

All New Cover, All New Edits, Same Great Story?

The article condemned the overuse of dialogue. I did a bit of research, and my heart sank. It seemed dialogue was out. Lyrical prose was in. Great. Just what I needed.

I write a decidedly dialogue-driven story. Always have.

Every time I tried to shift character discussions into narrative, my prose took a nose-dive into a tank of boring info-dumping. Blech. Those characters wanted to talk. They didn’t want me to tell readers what they wanted to say. They wanted me to let them tell their story as they lived it.

Characters can be pretty demanding.

Then Jonathan stepped up. He didn’t talk—didn’t want to talk. In fact, he didn’t like it. Refused to do it. And yet… how could he hope to get to know a woman who fascinated him if he didn’t at least ask questions to get her to carry most of the conversation.

Research says that if you gaze into someone’s eyes for four minutes, you’ll develop a strong bond with that person. I suspect that’s what “love at first sight” is. Two people who foolishly keep gazing into a stranger’s eyes long enough to form that bond. Or something.

I also suspect that’s what happened to Jonathan that night.

So here I had a character who did not like to talk. And aside from self-absorbed people, most of us don’t like to carry an entire conversation alone, so the woman he met that night, Cara, wouldn’t enjoy chatting all by herself all night.

Look, I tried to make it less dialogue-driven and not all info-dumpy. I tried to keep it an engaging read without so much discussion. But the dialogue refused to go away. It wanted its place. It needed to be there.

So I caved, certain I was going to be a mediocre writer for the rest of my life.

I hated that book for so long. In fact, I never intended to publish it. Why would I put something out there so very bad? The articles, books, videos—all the things I’d read said I was doing something wrong.

Except one friend. Michele loved the story—begged for new installments. Pleaded with me to finish it. So, I did. For her. I published it, even. Only for her. And you know what? I still hated it.

Despite that book having the best scene I’ve ever written in it.

No joke. There’s a scene in there that I’m always amazed to realize that I wrote. It’s powerful and raw and oh, so poignant. And yes, there are words in it—spoken words by my characters.

A few years passed. I still didn’t like the book. In my mind, it was a failure.

Then someone said something to me one day. “You are so good at dialogue.”

Later, someone else said it again. And later, I heard it again. Here I’d spent all this time and frustration fighting against one of my biggest writing strengths. Because some article made me question the best way to write. When I did searches on writing good dialogue, guess what? I found rebuttal arguments that included references to books I loved. Oops.

To say my eyes opened, and I saw something new in that story might be overkill. If anything, I assumed that meant it was as bad as I thought.

I felt certain that was why I didn’t like that book. It didn’t have “my” dialogue. So I reread it, determined to figure out if I should rewrite the whole thing with more.

Know what I discovered? I like the book.

Okay, Speak Now may never make my top-ten favorites of the books I’ve written. In fact, I guarantee it won’t.

But it won’t make the bottom ten anymore, either. In fact, it’s closer to top than bottom these days. And now it has a new cover, which I’m sure my daughter is pleased about. As the photographer for my original cover, she hated how I blew out the highlights on it. I loved the effect for that book, but with new editing, a few dialogue changes, and of course, that scene I love so much (and one tiny subplot that I never explored well changed for something else), it needed a new cover. And so I have it now. Introducing Speak Now 2.0. I’m so excited to share this book with the world.

MY REVIEW

Sometimes you just know. Sometimes the connection is inexplicable, soul deep; deep calls unto deep.

Ms. Havig boldly took on a topic not often ventured, especially in Christian fiction—the struggle to maintain abstinence before marriage. She allows her characters the natural passion and, yes, burning desire. She also gives them strength to resist and the wisdom to know their limits. I applaud her for her courage and honesty. For giving her reader characters who are true and authentic, and very real.

This reader loves good dialogue in a story; it can be a make it or break it factor. And Ms. Havig writes crisp, sparkling dialogue. Great banter. Intense conversations. Except—Jonathan doesn’t talk. Not much anyway. So… dialogue is doubly interesting in this story.

And Cara. “A master at making others comfortable.” Herself, not so much. Can I ever relate to that! And rooted for her on all the more.

Even with their connection, both Jonathan and Cara resist the obvious attraction. Both deny themselves the possibility of love. This reader grew frustrated with them, while cheering them on. “Kiss the girl,” I sang. “Kiss the girl.” And yet applauding their dedication to their convictions.

Beautiful love story, wonderful characters, delightful telling.

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

Slide4FOUR FEATHERS

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

TOUR GIVEAWAY

Speak Now Promo

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Speak Now!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/12f85/speak-now-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG STOPS

Inklings and notions, November 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6

Simple Harvest Reads, November 6 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

deb’s Book Review, November 7

Elly Gilbert, November 7

Texas Book-aholic, November 8

Cultivating Us, November 8

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 9

Lots of Helpers, November 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 12

Blogging With Carol, November 12

She Lives To Read, November 13

Kayem Reads, November 14

For Him and My Family, November 14

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 16

Spoken from the Heart, November 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 18

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Speak Now, Chautona Havig, Celebrate Lit Publicity, #GIVEAWAY

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