View Full Version : Marooned on Planet EARTH - Book One - Devynn's Dilemma - Beta Readers Request

Anita M Shaw
June 6th, 2018, 09:01 PM
TITLE: Marooned on Planet EARTH – Book One – Devynn’s Dilemma

GENRE: Young Adult Contemporary


BLURB: The world of 14-year-old Devynn X’Laena Irvette Scoville has fallen apart. Her dad has left the family after a heated argument with her mother. And he’s taken his favorite son with him—7-year-old Brady. Surprisingly, Mom is allowing it. No big stink about it.

Making Devynn and the rest of her brothers wonder—would she have let them go without a fight?

Had they wanted to, that is.

Devynn blames her mom for this tragedy occurring in her lifetime. For Mom’s ability to generally find humor in a bad situation didn’t surface during this last quarrel as it had in past ones. If only she had laughed, the Scovilles would still be one big happy family!
Still, she has Rodney. The senior who’s the classically tall, dark, and handsome, athletic type . . . with sleepy brown eyes and a smile calculated to seduce the unwary, the unwise . . . and the unwilling.

More vulnerable to his charm than before, believing he’s the one stable thing in her life, Devynn risks all to see him—even though her mom stands implacably by her strict rules concerning dating—especially someone like Rodney Jacques.

What can her mother possibly know about being a teenager in love? Anyway, she made her own choices in life, and Devynn feels she ought to have the right to make her own choices now. After all, it’s her life, right? People should just butt out of it!

However, the discovery of her mother’s diary changes everything. In fact, Mom might actually have good reason to object to her relationship with Rodney.

The secrets in her mother’s diary are destined to change more than her outlook on her present situation . . . and in ways she never imagined possible!

AUDIENCE DESCRIPTION: Aimed at girls, aged 13 and up, who enjoy reading about teens in present day situations.

EXPECTATIONS: Feedback is appreciated on pretty much all aspects of the story and the cover, including title. I'm still up in the air about title. I like it, but does it fit? Please, though, read the entire story before commenting on theme, characters' motivations, and such.

TIME FRAME: No special turnaround time. However, I do want to launch it by July if possible, August for sure . . . September if I must. :smile:

AVAILABLE FORMATS: PDF, Mobi, and Epub from a link on a private page of my website or I will email it if preferred. Panda scanned before emailing.

OTHER INFORMATION: Language is pretty clean; an occasional Hell and the like. Nothing horribly vulgar. Devynn does have a couple of bad times with Rodney and his buddies, but I don’t describe that in any graphic way. Just not my thing. All legal and military facts have been checked on reputable sites or with people who have the knowledge/experience and verified. This isn’t the usual adults are somewhere in the background tale. They are important people to the story with strengths and weaknesses as we all have.

Also, there are small children in this story and they don’t talk like little adults. I spell their “dialect” as I heard it spoken by my sons, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends kids, and kids I've listened to in malls, parking lots and wherever else I encountered them.

Darren White
June 21st, 2018, 05:49 PM
Anita, I have a question for you

EXPECTATIONS: Responses to questions posted on a private page, or a form . . . if I can figure out how to do one .
Do you have certain questions you want your beta readers to pay attention to?
What sort of questions are in your questionnaire?

Anita M Shaw
June 22nd, 2018, 06:45 PM
Hi Darren! I haven't posted any questions yet. Really, I'm open to whatever a reader wants to tell me about it. I've revised my Expectations section above to reflect that. I just require that you read it to its end before giving feedback. Right at the moment, my biggest question is, does the title fit?

I've gotten a bit of feedback, but not on the story as a whole, which is why I'm asking people to please read the whole story first before posing questions or comments on theme, characters' motivations, feelings, and such. I hope I've done justice to all that by its end, but if not, you'll be better able to let me know it if you've read it all.

Hmmm . . . maybe readers could keep a notebook handy and write down questions or thoughts on things, and see if subsequent chapters answer those. Or maybe a little more is needed to clarify some point. I'm not looking for anyone to ask about Zech and ZJ's bad experiences in the military. They simply don't want to talk much about it. Which I felt was natural. My dad never talked about his time in Japan during/right after the war. And he didn't experience anything like these guys did - MIA, POW, torture . . . The only time he mentioned something was when my boys were small and we were at the local fair checking out a military display which included some of the weapons of WWI and II. The boys exclaimed over the bazooka, and Dad commented on having used one back then. That's it . . . Somewhere, there's a photo of him out in a field sitting beside one.

I'm pretty much leaving it up to each reader to give me their own take on things if that's okay to do. You can either PM with your thoughts here or send an email to me.

And if anyone has trouble with some of the names, PM me and I'll help you with those. I'm thinking of setting up a Meet the Characters page for this with all the relevant info.

Hope that helped a little bit!

Darren White
June 24th, 2018, 07:29 PM
Yes, Anita, thank you!
That makes it very clear. I now know what you expect of your readers :)

September 2nd, 2018, 07:35 PM
Hola Anita, I am willing to beta read a chapter of your work. I found your description of your work very interesting and very thorough. Also, it is useful for marketing.

September 2nd, 2018, 07:54 PM
This is a test. I had replied before but do not see my reply.

Anita M Shaw
September 3rd, 2018, 06:10 PM
I'm sorry Galen, I haven't visited this thread in a while. PM me and I'll give you the link for the book or email it to you. It isn't a WIP, just so you know, but is finished.

Thanks for your interest!

Darren White
September 4th, 2018, 02:21 PM
Anita, have you found other beta readers? Can you update it here please? That is handy for other writers and readers to know.

Anita M Shaw
September 5th, 2018, 05:32 PM
I may have one. Haven't heard from her since I sent out the book, though. I hate to bug anyone about it, especially when they've agreed to read the whole story. I mean, Life happens to us all and we have other stuff to do.

So, I guess that's why no one wants to read more than a chapter - which is fine if the book isn't finished. I suppose I could post the first chapter in a thread somewhere . . .

I get that reading is time consuming. Thing is, the idea of beta reading is to give feedback on the entire story. Hard to know what, if anything, needs to be fixed otherwise.

I also get that I write in genres that aren't as popular as fantasy, sci fi, mystery/thrillers, erotica, and horror. And not many, if any, are going to want to spend time out of their preferred world. Totally understand that as I feel the same way! So we'll see what happens. I still have some cover issues to resolve, but once they are, I have decided to launch the end of the month/October latest whether or not the book has been read. I suck at this sort of thing as much as promo for really, this is sort of the start of that. Got a lot to learn!!

Darren White
September 6th, 2018, 06:26 AM
I have been deliberating with myself whether I would read your book or not.

The point is, and that is explained clearly in the read me for beta readers, that I have to have the time to read it all, and that the genre also should be something that suits me.

And I am afraid it's not the sort of book I like. I am a difficult reader I think... I am not so fond of fantasy, or shapeshifters, or even certain forms of sci fi...

That's purely me, but it gives you an indication of why I didn't sign up for your book. Also and that is even worse, I admit, I am not fond of overly fantastic names for protagonists. I know, I know, please don't kick me :)

The point of the beta readers forum, and you have understood that well, is to present complete works in draft form, or a finished form you wish to have feedback on.
That makes the group of readers of course a lot smaller than in the workshop, where you can workshop chapters, smaller parts of a book in progress. You are right in that.

I hope we can build up a larger group of beta readers, but for now I think it will need some time to.

Anita M Shaw
September 7th, 2018, 01:35 AM
I must first apologize to my reader who did indeed respond by email a while back. My bad. I was thinking I'd be getting a PM, and hadn't popped into that particular address in a while. I've replied back with more apologies, so I hope all will be well there.

I have things to fix in the story and so I will be doing another edit before sending it off into the world to seek its fortune.

Darren, I can't be upset with anyone who doesn't wish to read my stuff. No one should feel obligated ever. After all, there is a ton of stuff here I don't wish to read. I'm not into vampires, werewolves or other horror type stuff; not into erotica, and I don't often read thrillers/mysteries, fantasy or even sci fi although I like to watch sci fi shows and movies. All my stories are set in modern day - no magic or shape shifting. I don't have the patience to map out new worlds, tech, language and all that. Although, I did help a young fantasy writer with her elven world - but it was her world, so I didn't have to invent it. Just help her tweak it.

I'll admit, I named Devynn's mom and aunt with unusual names, but the spelling of Devynn, I felt, was a more feminine verson of Devon or Devin. I had originally started out with the o variation and didn't like it for her. I am guilty of loving the unusual and of dressing up names. But I get it's not for everyone. I had to show up to school a couple of times with my boys' birth certificates, back in the day, to prove to their teachers that they weren't spelling their names "wrong" and that my youngest had certainly been blessed with two middle names. Which he's pretty proud of and liked to write it all out on his papers. He still does, and he's 30 now. I did, however, save the more unusual ones for my stories . . . Thought I'd spare 'em a little bit . . . :)

In any event, no one needs to apologize to me for not wanting to read this or any other story. If you wish to check out a chapter first, yay! If not, hey, let's go have a cup of coffee and a donut and talk about your stuff!