Luminescence came out several months ago and I've received some nice reviews and responses. Most people who read it seem to have enjoyed it. However, I'd really love to have some more reviews online--by review, I mean a few lines. So, I'm having a giveaway to see if we can nudge things a bit.
The prize is a $25 iTunes gift card. In order to enter, all you have to do is leave a review--again, just a few lines--on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, your blog, Facebook, etc. You get one entry per location, so you can write one review and cut and paste. Easy.
If you already did a review, that counts too. This is my way of saying, "Thank you." Just link to the review. Note: If you have a blog with enough followers, and want to read the book, I might be able to get you a free copy of the book. Email me for details: braden at bradenbell dot com.
There is no requirement to actually like the book. You can be honest (although, being civil and phrasing your objections politely would be nice if you disliked it). Nor does it have to be long. A few sentences would be fine.
However, in order to be considered, the review needs to include some minimal detail ("I really liked xzy..." or, "I didn't care for abc...")
Note: I reserve the right to disqualify entries from people who obviously have not read the book and are just making stuff up.
I watched a child's heart be broken recently, and it's given me a lot to think about. Let me begin by saying that I'm not writing this in a spirit of either judgment or self-righteousness. In fact, as I write this, I've remembered a number of times when I did the same thing I'm about to describe. I'll also acknowledge that there may a variety of other factors I can't see. Let me also note that this story is not about anyone who is likely to read this blog post.
I ran a bunch of theatre camps this past summer. Most weeks, I did at least one, sometimes two, camps a day. Many of these camps would culminate with a small, very informal showcase where the kids performed for their parents.
One of the weeks, I had a student that was clearly very excited to be there. She worked hard, and eagerly took on as many extra solos or little speaking parts as I could give her. A lot of the kids were happy to be there, but she seemed absolutely giddy. She appeared to love just about every minute of camp, and when we rehearsed over and over, she was the one who didn't get bored. Because of this, I assigned as many parts to her as I could--and consequently, she ended up with a fairly large part in our little show. Keep in mind, however that this "show" was all of about ten or fifteen minutes long--not a big deal at all.
The showcase happened, and it was sweet. But at the end, this girl was in tears. I asked her what was wrong and she looked at me and sobbed, "They didn't come." Her parents, that is. I'm around kids a lot and I recognize their emotions. This was not the emotional equivalent of a skinned knee. This was a deeply upset, very hurt cry.
Honestly, I can relate to her parents. They are both working and are probably very busy. They most likely felt that this was not really a big deal, and perhaps I didn't give them enough notice--on and on.
Still, in spite of all those reasons this little girl was in tears and she was hurt. She had done something that was important to her and she wanted her parents there to see her. I'm sure in the long run, she'll be fine. I would imagine that the sting had begun to fade very soon after. Kids are resilient, thank goodness.
But I also realize that her parents missed an opportunity to bind her more fully to them. The fact that their absence meant so much suggests to me that their presence would have brought an equal amount of joy.
No parent is perfect. None of us can possibly do everything and I do not criticize these parents. I've been in their situation before--and surely will again. I simply can't attend every ball game or event. My wife and I try to make sure one of us is at every thing the kids do, but the realities of earning a living and taking care of other children and responsibilities mean it's not always possible for both of us to be there. I often have to teach voice lessons during baseball games, or have book deadlines that keep me working on Saturdays. I have a lot of church responsibilities, and so does my wife...
...and yet, that girl's trembling lips and the sobs in her voice stick in my mind. I guess that the thing I take away from this is that I won't be able to be at everything--but I need to do the best I can. I need to remember that these small things may seem very large to the child. And I need to make sure that my presence in my children's lives is regular and constant enough that those gaps and absences I can't control will not be the determining factor in our relationship.
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Thoughts about raising and teaching adolescents. You can read the complete series here. (What in the world are Middle School Mondays?) Click here.
Genre: YA Paranormal
Genre: YA Speculative
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