Brenda Youngerman writes about stories that matter. A southern California native coming from a very large family where she never felt like she fit in. “I was the youngest member of a huge family and I never really felt like I belonged there.”
Her first novel, Private Scars, was an expose of what happens to a victim of domestic abuse when they have never been exposed to it. From the moment the first review came out Youngerman realized her calling… that of the voice of the victims.. those who don’t have the strength to speak for themselves. Since Private Scars (2006), Youngerman has published a novel a year, each one exposing another social issue that those in power choose not to discuss. “If one person is helped by one of my novels, that is a good day.”
Brenda is currently at work at her eighth and ninth novel (simultaneously).
Why Book Covers are so Important
The old adage of “don’t judge a book by its cover” is simply false advertising for any author. The simple truth is, that just like the way a person appears to other people which would entice one to go up and speak with them a cover entices people to pick a book up off a shelf and give it a try. But the cover itself is really not as simple as a pretty picture and the title. I have discovered that colors and fonts attract people differently.
Books that get picked up off of shelf more often tend to lean towards the redder shades and away from blacks and greys. A brown cover is certain to sink you! And then of course there is the inverted lettering – white on dark – that will turn most people away.
If someone cannot pick up a book and read the jacket to get persuaded to open the first few pages there is no point in having a cover at all. In fact, most used books, from the old fashioned used books stores, were sold without covers which meant that a person was drawn to an author and a back cover copy.
The other part about book covers is that they should be interpretive of the story within. Take for example The Hunger Games which has the pin as the focal point on the cover. One doesn’t know what that is until you read the book, yet it is a perfect interpretation of everything within the pages.
Coming up with a great cover is one of my favorite, and most challenging, parts about writing. In the case of Hidden Truthsand Restored HopeI knew exactly what I wanted on the cover and I was lucky enough to find an artist to bring them to life. In hind sight I’m not sure that Sorrowed Soulsis a great cover for the story within. Although I love the cover to Public Lies,it is a difficult set of colors.
The truth of the matter is that the a book cover is just like any other type of advertising for a product… it must reach out and touch someone from the shelf!
Strategic Book Publishing
Brittany Montrose was the star of the family and when her sister Diane was born she was not about to give up that spotlight. From the time Diane was a toddler Brittany told her she was no better than garbage, that they weren’t really sisters, that her real parents dumped her the doorstep and her parents only agreed to take care of her as long as she behaved and never made any trouble. She told Diane that if wasn’t careful they would throw her out with the trash. She even called Diane “Garbage Girl”. Diane lived in constant fear of losing her family and her home.
Finally as Diane was graduating from high school as valedictorian the truth finally comes out. Her parents denied Brittany claims but really did nothing different. Her dad tried but her mother still sided with Brittany at every turn.
Diane tries to move on with her life but that is easier said than done. Her life becomes one filled with mystery, lies, and murder.
This tale takes dysfunctional family to a whole new level. Brittany is pure evil and her parents didn’t have a clue and couldn’t seem to cut the ties that bound them to their awful child.
I can tell you I felt a gambit of emotions while reading this story but the mother in me was furious. How can two parents be so out of touch with one of their children?
I love stories that evokes such emotions like this one does. It is a powerful read with surprising twists that I was unable to put down. This is the first book I have read by Brenda but it will not be my last. Her website says she writes
‘Fiction with a Purpose’ – stories about real people and real issues. Each novel tackles a different issue and with them she opens up conversations about subjects many would like to sweep under the rug.
That is the truth. Such hatred Brittany had for her sister. Jealous beyond belief. A mother so blinded by love for one child, almost so that her other children or husband barely exist in her life.
This is one of those stories that stick with you and you will be talking to your friends about it. Sad to think there are families like this in the world. My children are all adults but when I completed this book I felt the need to reach out to each them to tell them how much I loved them. “Fiction with a Purpose” = excellent read!
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Next Blog Stop May 24 at A Case of Reading Insomnia
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Comments on “Skewered Halo by Brenda Youngerman Virtual Book Tour (Guest Post & Giveaway!)”
Thank you so much for such a rave review. I am glad that you enjoyed the book. I had a great time writing it. I think you hit the nail on the head…. the mother in me is the one who normally writes the horrors that I have witnessed against children. HOW could a set of parents be so oblivious and how could a mother be so biased? yet it happens everyday around us!
Hopefully this one will resonate with at least one mother to shake herself into reality!
Wow, what a great review!
What a great review!! Brenda has really got a great gift for writing about topics that can touch your heart and this is not exception!!! Great to “meet” you!
What a great review of a great book! Brenda has such a talent for writing about topics that pull you in and educate you while entertaining you. This one is no exception as you know!! So glad to “meet” you through Brenda!!! 🙂
This is the first time that I have not seen your form before comments. I did not see any form.
Looks like a good book. What happened to form?
Stopped over from Brenda’s blog; I do so enjoy her writing; I’ve only read Disrupted Lives but hoping to read more in the days ahead. Skewed Halo does sound interesting and you did a great review about it!!
enjoy the day!
Thanks Betty for stopping by!!
Rachelle, It is a Rafflecopter form instead of the long form I usually use.Sent you an email.
Well, there has always been sibling rivalry between my brother and I. My grandmother used to try to get my parents to see how differently they treated me versus my brother to no avail. Although we are both grown now, my mother still makes me feel as though she has only one child (my brother). This sounds like an interesting book and I am looking forward to reading it myself!
I was the elder of two children with my brother 12 years younger. I was charged with taking care of him while my parents worked and drank…because both were alcoholics. To enhance the sibling rivalry, my mother always took his side of everything. Sadly my mother passed when my daughter was 1…just as we were finally starting to have a relationship. Emotional abuse comes in all forms and degrees.
Thanks Carole and Beth Ann and Betty… thanks for coming over here!!!
Amanda — that is horrid and I hope you enjoy the book —
Linda, there is a bit of that side of the story coming up in the sequel to Skewered Halo…. but you are so right about emotional abuse and hopefully those who have never experienced it will get a glimpse through my writings…
Thank you all for the great comments!
I do not have biological sisters or brothers. I do have good friends who are like siblings to me. My husband has one sister and she had children when we started dating. I do know about emotional abuse more than physical abuse. My best friend had parents who drank but did not drive as the bar was right around the corner from them. She often had to help them get into bed and make sure they ate. It was hard to watch her have to help them.
You should read Hidden Truths if you want to see a ‘fictional’ tale of parents who should not be parents.
Emotional abuse leaves scars that do not heal….and it is so senseless….. I am mystified as to what and how someone can be so cruel….
I can’t get the form to work, but I would love to read this!
The rafflecopter isnt working but I would love to enter this contest.
I’m not having any luck with the rafflecopter form loading either. I’d really love to win a copy of this book.
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