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Hateful Main Characters

published on December 10th, 2013

Hateful Main Characters- a great review!

 I just read a review of Veiled Mist, my YA novel, written by Sharon on Goodreads, which I loved. So before I say why I loved it here is the review:

Sharon‘s review

Dec 09, 13

 5 of 5 stars

Read from November 26 to December 09, 2013

 I rate this 4.5 stars.

I will admit that the beginning didn’t really catch my interest. It was just not great…I put the book down many times without bothering to pick it up again for a while. Plus, Hanna’s character is just horrible & I hated her at first. She was terrible.

But after the first quarter of the book, the plot caught my attention. The character’s started growing to me, and I couldn’t seem to put the book down.

And I am not ashamed to admit that at the ending, I was so full of emotions, I cried such a good book has come to an end:((

I LOVED IT<3

1 like · unlikeflag

 

A few readers have had difficulty in getting hooked to the novel because it opens with a mean, annoying, selfish and unlikeable character: Hanna.  I guess I did a really good job if people have such strong feelings toward her! It is uncommon to have an odious main character in the opening act, but I wanted to start the story mirroring a real life situation, because my inspiration is a close family member, and even myself at that age.

I believed readers would soon realize Hanna couldn’t be the main character to a book full of magic and not go through change. As the writer, I hope the readers will give her a chance, bet that life will wear her down, that good overcomes evil. That a person like Hanna will, at some point, have to look herself in the mirror, face what stares back at and hopefully be ashamed enough to change.

I also wanted to show how people like Hanna do change, or/and can be forced to change by the people who surround her. I balanced her nasty characters with good, strong characters, and funny even, aside from a few loving and fragile ones.

So if you can’t root for Hanna as the story opens, you can root for Ornella to achieve her goal, or enjoy the Count’s hilarious comments and attitudes. The secondary characters represent the people in our lives who force us to look in the mirror. Who show us what we can lose if we don’t better ourselves.

There were scenes in which I couldn’t use my muse as I didn’t know her well enough because she fights to keep herself on the surface, as superficial as possible and sometimes as false as possible. And because she will not look into herself she is stuck for now. Of course she still has time to change as age is on her side, just like Hanna.

So in order to write about what goes on with a character that refuses to look in the mirror I had to go somewhere else for the inspiration, and the only person I could truly dig into was myself. Wow, what a trip. I have had many hard times in my life and, because of all that, I had to make changes in myself. Years went by and I forgot about the beginning.

While writing the scenes that I used myself for research I struggled with the shame I felt for who I was as a teen. Not my entire character shamed me but certain attitudes. The memories flooded back and I was pleased in a way because I got to know myself a little better. I realized that I had to tone down my tendency to judge others harshly. I had to look a little deeper before forming an opinion. I had to look under the surface!

And I ask myself- does Hanna’s personality annoy readers because she’s such a mean person or because she reminds them of someone? Maybe sometimes of themselves at some point in their lives, or of others who hurt them. Some readers may react by not wanting to read on because those memories, or realities, are unpleasant. To those I say, keep reading because Hanna comes through in such a beautiful way she is an inspiration to us all.

To Sharon who wrote the review- thank you for not giving up on Hanna!!! And thank you for your great review.

 


Veiled Mist – perfect Hollowed reading.

published on October 29th, 2013

Veiled Mist is on sale until 10/31! Perfect Halloween reading. Check it out for only $0.99.


10 things I didn’t know, that I don’t know, which I still don’t know.

published on June 15th, 2013

The other day I posted a possible theme for a post – it was more of a sarcastic gesture.

10 things I didn’t know, that I don’t know, which I still don’t know.

 

Then I thought that the theme might be a fun one as there are many things I don’t know that I didn’t know. Truth is, it’s been a while since I felt like posting. Maybe it’s the moment I’m going through, but I don’t feel like posting just to fill a page. I want to write from the heart. I hope that in doing so I won’t offend anyone. This won’t be an all-in-one post. I will write as the inspiration comes. Feel free to comment, as I don’t know everything.

 

Number One

 

No matter how hard you try, your kids will never think you were a good parent.

I remember when I was twenty-two, just married and dreaming of a perfect future with the perfect family. My husband and I would spend hours talking about how we would bring up our kids – totally different from our parents – both being from unconventional families. Wow, how many hours I spent planning and wow what a waste of precious time. The marriage didn’t last and the oath never to tear our kids apart was only kept after a few years of hard battles and a lot of pride swallowing.

So my kids grew up and I think -I got through those tough and painful years. I kept things reasonably balanced, and gave my kids a better example than what I had growing up. I didn’t repeat my parents’ performance. My experience and belief reflected in my writing. The main characters, a mother and teen son, in my first YA novel, Souls of Darkness, were close. They supported each other and enjoyed being together. They dialogued to a point. When the novel first came out, many criticized that their relationship was not normal. I thought it was because I thought that’s what I had – a great relationship with my kids.

Oh, boy, how wrong I was.

And this is what follows – when they grow up:

One day, the now adults get mad at you because you’re not perfect, a claim you never made nor portrayed, and they proceed to throw years of their lives, practically all of them, in your face. A very long list actually. You sucked as a parent and never knew it. Gosh, and you made such an effort! Shock and awe. Your beautiful memories are no longer colored pictures, instead they are faded Polaroids, to painful to look at.

When I mention this to friends I hear the same answer – that’s how it is, we will always be blamed for everything that goes wrong in our children’s lives.

I didn’t know there was no way around that. Honestly, I thought I could be different. That I could change that stereotype of parenthood. I would not be my parents. How disappointing. The best years of my life, those I could have spent having SO MUCH fun, have now turned into a list of failures.

The worst is, I still don’t know how to be a good parent to my adult children. Hence this being at the top of my  – Top ten things I didn’t know that I still don’t know – post.

My TOP Five suggestions to new parents:

1 – Don’t plan for the perfect life.

2 – Live the moments and really cherish and enjoy your kids while they are too young to judge you.

3 – Continue to love them when they do start to judge you, even if it’s from a distance.

4 – Grow a thick skin.

5 – Accept that you will never be good enough for your children, even if you spend a fortune on years of therapy to try and fix whatever it is that you are doing, or did do wrong!!!!

 

My father was a very wise man and whenever he heard the infamous – I hate you, he would answer that parenting was not a popularity contest. Bless you Dad, you got that one right!

 

 


Veiled Mist reviewed by Riëtte Cawthorn

published on April 24th, 2013

Veiled Mist by Eleanor T. Beaty

Posted by Riëtte Cawthorn on Monday, March 18, 2013 Under: “Discovery Your Destiny” Book Tour
I’ve never understood how the people that get to decide which age group a book falls into actually does it, because I’m sure I haven’t been a teenager or young adult for quite some time, yet those are the books I enjoy the most.Vampires and werewolves, witches, wizards, fallen angels, gypsies and aliens and who knows what I’m going to find next…I’m quite sure that the experts would say Veiled Mist falls in the teen or young adult section because I absolutely loved it.

First thing I loved; how the author made it really really hard for the reader to like the main character.  I mean, I really tried, I wanted to understand, but oh my word, did I want to shake her and tell her to grow up and smell the roses.  Obviously, as the book continued and the character grew you started liking her and then rooting for her to succeed and by the end of the book I really just wanted her story to continue, to see what happens to her next.

I was constantly surprised.  I love to try and figure out what’s going to happen next in a book, but the twists and turns the author threw in threw me off and it kept it exciting, I never wanted to skip a sentence because I thought I knew what it was going to say, I had to read every single word to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

The attention to detail, everything was so well-described, not only the scenery and surroundings, but also the characters. Their looks, personalities, how they change through out the books to become the characters that they’re ultimately supposed to be.  I loved getting to know all of them and really want to know what happens next.

The adventure!  Yes, I loved the way it was exciting, nerve wrecking and humorous all at the same time.  How Hanna had these dolls to deliver and got stuck in really dangerous situations, but the way she reacted to some of the situations actually had me giggling.  I love it when a book can get the reader to have a whole bunch of emotions in a matter of a few paragraphs, this book did that over and over.

I can probably carry on and on about all the things I loved about the book, but maybe I should just say this, read it.  Why not?  If you like a story that’s a little different then do yourself a favor and read it.

I’ll probably read it again soon – that’s one of the things I love about books, movies and music – reading, watching and listening to it over and over again, enjoying it time and time again, because we can and we should.

Till next time xx

 


A Character that must go.

published on April 19th, 2013

I’m working on a chapter book – working title Naawe – I have a wonderful person editing the book with me and today I received the suggestion to cut out a character as the opening is a bit crowded. She is very right to suggest it as his existence is just for color but he is funny, so in his honor as he will no longer be a part of the book I will paste his scene here. To Inteh, forever in my heart, as you represent the wisdom of age.

(Naawe is a 14 yr old Indian boy from the Amazon, the son of the chief, who doesn’t want to grow up. The only thing that matters to him is Odu, his armadillo)

 

Old Inteh sat on the rock-carved bench beneath the large tree, staring at the sky. Behind him, in one of the communal huts, five women beat strips of sodden inner bark into cloth. The Manis used the bark to make their loincloths as well as spiritual masks. Two others separated Toucan feathers by size to be worn in their earlobes. None of the women gave Naawe as much as a glance. He guessed his not going hunting had something to do with their attitude.

A sparsely toothed smile spread across the old Indian’s wrinkled face as Naawe reached him. If it wasn’t for those two teeth, one wouldn’t know he was smiling. Naawe wondered if he could find out old Inteh’s age by counting the wrinkles, just like the lines inside a tree trunk represented a growing season. So far, he had never gotten past twenty before Inteh sent him away, annoyed by his stare.

Naawe straightened the lopsided Toucan feathers that hung from Inteh’s droopy earlobes. “You should add a few more.”

Inteh didn’t blink.

“I need your advice. Someone took Odu, when I searched the soil for the trail I found several going off in opposite directions.”

“Why? His meat is too old.” Inteh nodded. “Might still serve for cake.”

Naawe didn’t want to hear that. “Please, Inteh, I need your help.”

Inteh sighed. “What did the trails look like?”

Naawe shrugged. “Imprints of feet.”

“Be specific.”

“Uh…” Naawe lowered his eyes with shame. What Indian didn’t pick up on those details? “They were big.”

“Well, I’ll go see.” Inteh said. He reached for his walking stick and began to ease himself. Halfway up he had to stop and take two deep breaths. As Naawe watched Inteh take the first unstable step and pause to rest, he realized he was in trouble.

“Inteh, I don’t mean be to be rude, but by the time you get to the forest, it will be dark…”

Inteh sighed. “Well, since all the able men have gone hunting, and the women can’t help you, that leaves Bado.”

“Oh.” Naawe drew in a breath. “I hadn’t thought about him.” A half lie since he had just used Bado to threaten the herons. He swallowed and turned his eyes to Bado’s lair, a forty meter-high tree behind the village. “Can you…”

“No,” Inteh interrupted, “I can’t. I don’t understand his screeches. Never have. You better hurry before Odu becomes cake.”


Five Stars by The Reading Cat

published on April 19th, 2013

Fallen Ruler by Eleanor T. Beaty

http://thereadingcat.blogspot.com.br/2013/04/fallen-ruler-by-eleanor-t-beaty.html
Fallen RulerFallen Ruler by Eleanor T. Beaty
My rating: 5 of 5 starsDid the book description relate to the story? Not quite. Readers are treated to a whole new world and the creatures from it but very little to none is mentioned in the description.

How did you feel about the opening / ending sequences of the book? Several of my book club members are voting for the ending sequence but I am going to go for the beginning sequence. I enjoyed discovering the characters and getting to know them.

Who was your favourite character and why? I’m a little torn between Andrea and Lya. Both have a sense of passion and both seem to be in need of someone to lean on, although they both try to hide this fact about them.

What were the main relationships explored in this book? Definitely, trust. Yes, you have your alien elements and the sci-fi bits that make for a good story but at the end of the day, the story was about who to trust and when. This made it the gripping read it was.

Was this book worth reading? Yes, and I would definitely recommend this book to others.


Words and Comfort

published on March 27th, 2013

 

There are times in our lives when we can’t seem to move forward, sideways or anywhere for that matter. We‘re stuck. Frozen in time, feet in cement and hearts beating just enough to say we’re alive. We have a future ahead to look forward to but if we can’t let go of the past, that future becomes pointless. How many people have felt this way?

I have, quite a few times in my life. And getting out from under those moments and periods is tough. Writing has been my lifeline. Even if I have to push myself to sit and write, it has never failed to get me past my dark moments. However the past still lurks. So I found a way to deal with it, weave it into a story, get it out without exposing myself and without becoming a whiner. I have my character do it all for me.

I’ve said a few times that I started writing as a form of therapy. Poems full of pain and loss. I remember showing a few to my mother when a teen and hearing

“Can’t you write about anything other than yourself?” Mom so sweetly asked.

No, I couldn’t because that was the point of writing during those years as an anguished teen. Not many, especially the adults in my life were interested in hearing me talk about what I was going through. Boring teenage blah blah. But I felt hurt with her reaction and never showed her anything again. Not even when I got published. I couldn’t risk any criticism coming from her. I was too attached to my writing. It took me many years to detach and enjoy all the possibilities writing opened up. Like talking about her without anyone knowing. Turning her into a character. She’s in one of my books, but I won’t say which.

I think writing a novel is very similar to therapy. We can work out our issues and even pause to analyze how we reacted to certain situations, and we can even give the past some closure. Problem is when the past is still present, and keeps reoccurring. I’m in that sort of moment now. My desire to move forward is stronger than the pain, so what I do in these occasions is to keep writing about it, in every novel there will be a moment that allows me to expose the persistent past/present troubling me, until it melts away and is swallowed by a beautiful sunset.

Words on paper, or computer screen, bring soothing comfort for the soul… always.

 


An amazing review by Riëtte Cawthorn.

published on March 18th, 2013

Veiled Mist by Eleanor T. Beaty

March 18, 2013

I’ve never understood how the people that get to decide which age group a book falls into actually does it, because I’m sure I haven’t been a teenager or young adult for quite some time, yet those are the books I enjoy the most.

Vampires and werewolves, witches, wizards, fallen angels, gypsies and aliens and who knows what I’m going to find next…

I’m quite sure that the experts would say Veiled Mist falls in the teen or young adult section because I absolutely loved it.

First thing I loved; how the author made it really really hard for the reader to like the main character.  I mean, I really tried, I wanted to understand, but oh my word, did I want to shake her and tell her to grow up and smell the roses.  Obviously, as the book continued and the character grew you started liking her and then rooting for her to succeed and by the end of the book I really just wanted her story to continue, to see what happens to her next.

I was constantly surprised.  I love to try and figure out what’s going to happen next in a book, but the twists and turns the author threw in threw me off and it kept it exciting, I never wanted to skip a sentence because I thought I knew what it was going to say, I had to read every single word to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

The attention to detail, everything was so well-described, not only the scenery and surroundings, but also the characters. Their looks, personalities, how they change through out the books to become the characters that they’re ultimately supposed to be.  I loved getting to know all of them and really want to know what happens next.

The adventure!  Yes, I loved the way it was exciting, nerve wrecking and humorous all at the same time.  How Hanna had these dolls to deliver and got stuck in really dangerous situations, but the way she reacted to some of the situations actually had me giggling.  I love it when a book can get the reader to have a whole bunch of emotions in a matter of a few paragraphs, this book did that over and over.

I can probably carry on and on about all the things I loved about the book, but maybe I should just say this, read it.  Why not?  If you like a story that’s a little different then do yourself a favor and read it.

I’ll probably read it again soon – that’s one of the things I love about books, movies and music – reading, watching and listening to it over and over again, enjoying it time and time again, because we can and we should.

Till next time xx

Posted by Riëtte Cawthorn. Posted In : “Discovery Your Destiny” Book Tour

http://www.perkydlights.com/my-blog.php


Seeing Spirits – a Gift?

published on March 11th, 2013

Thoughts on the Paranormal.

There will always be the question or doubt whether being able to see, communicate and interact with spirits is a gift. When I began to study spiritualism (and I am still a beginner no matter how much I study) I came across the explanation that we choose to have or not have this gift before we are born and we choose how much it will impact our lives and destiny. For some reason you asked for it, and I’m not meaning this in a bad way, because God is not so unkind to throw such a burden on someone without previous preparation or permission. That is what I learned. I’m sure there will be people who don’t agree and they have a right to their opinion.

Truth is we all have the ability to be mediums if we want to develop it through practice and study, but it won’t be as strong as those who come with the gift from birth.

So back to the – you were given a choice- POV. Why would one choose such a gift? One of the reasons would be to help both the living and the dead. For those that don’t believe in past lives this might not make sense, but accepting such a burden is a way of repaying a past debt. There are many different reasons why, but the most common is that, at another time, you may have hurt people through your actions. So think of this not as a burden but as an opportunity to give back and grow, move forward and settle past debts. It is not an easy gift to deal with, as not all spirits that cross your path are easy on the eyes, or good, but there are plenty of tools at hand to teach you how to handle this gift and dominate it so that it doesn’t dominate your life.

I know plenty of people that think that if they ignore it, it will go away. Denial doesn’t work. I have someone close to me who will turn on all the light in the house when alone and sleep with the TV on loud, just so he can’t hear those invisible friends. One day he’ll give in and probably find an amazing fulfillment with helping people, from both sides.

I don’t have that type of gift. I don’t see, nor do I hear. I always wished I’d had it, but I guess that wasn’t part of my life-plan. However, I have always been around people who have, so I’ve seen close up what it’s like to live with such a gift and use it to help others. The person I learned the most from was an assistant I had a long time ago. Her gift began in her early childhood, and as expected, the first time she told her mother, right after her grandfather died, that he had come to say goodbye, she was dragged off to the psychiatrist. A few years later her mother came to understand and accept her gift and gave her full support.

My assistant was what is called an unconscious medium, meaning when she’s incorporated by a spirit she will have no recollection, nor control. During her first years, her gift took over her life and it was hell. She received visitors at all times. She would wake up in the strangest places. Through studies she managed to stop that; she learned to sense their approach and block the spirits from taking over. She came to dominate her gift. Sometimes, while we were in a meeting, she would start looking behind me and I would know there was someone there. It could get weird. She did pay a price for such a gift in her personal life, as in she didn’t have much of one, but she helped so many people her sacrifice was rewarded. She never used it to make money, but what if one does? Is it allowed?

In my opinion, the true spiritualist will never charge because they are only the transmitter and those who are actually doing the work, the spirits, are doing it out of kindness and they don’t get paid. However, there are exceptions, and making a humble living when sacrificing your life to help others is allowed. But if you try to use it to exploit people in their hour of need, or to glorify yourself, there will be a price to pay. I saw an amazing tarot reader go from getting everything right to everything wrong when she began to think she could charge a fortune for a service provided by others. She made the mistake of thinking she was the one who could see the future all on her own. Besides losing her high paying clients, she went through a tough time in her personal life.

Seeing and communicating with spirits is a gift and an opportunity to grow. This gift comes accompanied by friends to guide us, our mentors. Our character and our intentions will determine what kind of friends and mentors will surround us. And just like the gift is given, it can be taken away if misused, or it can even hurt us the same way we used it to hurt others.


Another special review for Souls!

published on March 1st, 2013

Tracy is great. Here’s the review posted on her site: http://tracyriva.com/souls-of-darkness-by-eleanor-t-beaty/

 

Souls of Darkness was a very different read for me. While it is YA and paranormal, both of which I’m familiar with, it featured a male protagonist, which is a first for me – at least in my memory. I have to say it was a pleasant experience and it brought to my attention how few books in the genre are written with strong, yet vulnerable male leads.

Alex’s dad has passed away and an old pamphlet shows up from a location that isn’t marked on his dad’s map of travels. His mother’s brilliant idea – visit the island themselves. Alex doesn’t want to go, so he strikes a deal with her; He’ll go if he gets to pick the location they go to next year. He plans on picking some lush tropical resort where Alex, who will be almost eighteen by that time plans to enjoy some hedonistic pleasures. Mom takes the deal and the two are off to island of Mahini in Polynesia.

Alex gets more than he bargained for however, because upon nearing the island he has a disturbing dream and once he arrives he begins seeing the spirits of the departed. Some are harmless, but others are murderous spirits stealing people’s souls so the people on Mahini are afraid to be out after dusk. But now, some of the spirits are getting braver, coming out before dark and one spirit in particular has devilish plans for Alex and his mother. He’ll use them to get something he has wanted for centuries. Will his plan work?

Alex’s character is really neat. He hates the island, which seems to be stuck somewhere in the past, and at first he doesn’t believe in what he feels are their superstitions until finally too many weird things start happening to him and he has to face the fact that maybe there is something behind all their beliefs.

Helping Alex along the way is the girl he has fallen for hard, Taiya. She is the one who explains some of the islander’s beliefs, particularly the one about being out after nightfall. As Alex begins to believe, and to need answers, she leads him to the local healer/shaman who tells Alex he has a role to play in freeing the island from its reign of terror. Alex’s decision isn’t as yes/no as you would like to think it would be upon receiving this news and it leads to some interesting plot twists that Beaty artfully foreshadows.

The characters and setting are done well, but these areas are always real strengths for Beaty. She makes characters you like and you become absorbed in their story. It makes you wonder if maybe people really do have a destiny; Have you found yours yet?


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