Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Book Tour: White Swans (A Regency Era)

Toady I am excited to be a host on Annamaria Bazzi's book tour for her new short story White Swans: A Regency Era

"Left an orphan, Kendíka cries herself to sleep and startles awake in a Regency castle. Terror consumes her and she attempts to escape only to discover the new world is her prison. Having no choice she attends a ball given by her guardian, Lord Deverow, to introduce her into society. He admonishes her to follow the rules and promises to protect her from the wrath of the strange hazy set of eyes spying on everything. But when she ignores his warning, Kendíka learns firsthand what it means to be disobedient." 

Review discussion with DelSheree.

The Review given by DelSheree
The full review can be found at
For the purpose of this discussion, only the last part of the review will be used.
The overall story was quite interesting. Bazzi did a good job of dropping readers into a situation and then slowly giving bits and pieces to the readers as Kendika learned more about what was going on. I was engaged in the story early on, and when I reached the end I was interested in reading more. I liked the rather abrupt starting, and I thought the pacing throughout was very even. Bazzi provided enough startling events to keep reader interested, but also allowed time for readers to become more familiar with Kendika's thoughts and personality. The villain was creepy and disturbing without being too over the top, particularly for younger readers. I also enjoyed the secondary characters, and I am interesting to see how Lord Deverow's character develops throughout this series.
I think my only complaint is that there were a few areas where the story seemed to jump ahead rather spend a little more time fleshing out the surroundings and side characters. I would have liked to have seen smoother transitions in a few places and I would have preferred to get a little more background on the abigail and other servants. Other than a few nicknames Kendika came up with, they were not as full as they could have been.
I'll be excited to read the second installment of this short story series. This will be a great story for teens, especially reluctant readers, who are interested in fantasy and urban fantasy situations.
1. The story seemed to jump. 
The reader should never feel the story is jumping. In my mind, it is a disruptive thing to happen in the flow of the story. Some of these things can be hard for me to catch once I’ve written the book because I know the events so well.
I never knew I jumped. Because of this comments, I’ll be combing through the manuscript of the second book with this specific problem in mind to make sure I don’t repeat the problem. Book three will be written with this problem in mind…
What this review has given me is the power to understand one of my writing faults so I can fix it and improve my story telling.
2. Secondary characters like Cordova, the abigail, and Wordsworth, the footman, needed to be a little more developed.
As secondary characters who will never really affect the story, and who are primarily in book one to serve their masters, I didn’t think I needed to give more. Readers have a different point of view. Through DelSheree’s review, I understand that even secondary characters are far more important to readers than they are to me. I need to pay more attention to them to give readers a more enjoyable read.

You have a strong knack for description developing a scene that just needs to be applied a little more to the characters. Taking the same amount of time to explain your characters as you do the gardens will bring them alive even more.

3. Although I have critiquers, even they didn’t catch the problem. The story then goes to my editor. While in the hands of the editor, we work on character emotions, are they real and are they timely. The editor combs through the story for plot holes and character inconsistencies, which are difficult for me to catch because the story is so close to me. Once done I give the book to beta readers.
Describing the characters thoughts and feelings is very important, and I guess one of my downfalls. I will definitely be looking out for this fault and pay greater attention to the character.

I must admit that a good review is very helpful to me as a writer to pinpoint my strengths and weakness. Now that I’ve identified weaknesses, with your help, DelSheree, I can work on eliminating them for future books. 
Thank you for the wonderful review you gave of White Swans: A Regency Era, and hope you’ll continue to review this series because your constructive criticism is helping to find my weaknesses, and becoming an overall strong writer is my goal. I would also like to thank you for hosting this tour stop. It’s been a pleasure working with you.

More about Annamaria
Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country.
Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent.
She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.
Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.

White Swans is available now from Amazon

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