Friday, March 8, 2013

Misjudged with Astraea Press Author Kelly Martin

Welcome Author Kelly Martin 
today at the Book Boost!

**All month long at the Book Boost we're featuring my fellow Astraea Press authors. Come back each day for more and be entered to win a Digital Reader Prize Pack (see below for details)!**

Outside the Box

As readers, we tend to get stuck on one type of story. We don’t like this… we like that… and if a book isn’t exactly in our ‘genre’ we won’t even get it a try.

I know I get in ruts like that, too.

Recently, I found a book that didn’t meet my expectations. It was called Nightmare by Robin Parrish. The strange thing about this book was it was about ghost hunting… and I bought it at a Christian book story (not two things you normally see together).

It was on sale so bought it… and I LOVED it! It was a very Christian book, without being "overly" so. It had a great message, a great storyline, and yeah, some parts of it made me jump out of my skin (BONUS!).

It made me realize that there are awesome books out there—but I may judge them too soon.

Thanks to my Nook (yay!), I’ve started reading books I never thought I’d read before. If it sounds interesting, I buy it. Sometimes I’m happily surprised. Sometimes… well, sometimes I can’t finish it. Thankfully, e-books are so inexpensive you can afford to get a book you aren’t sure about and hopefully be glad you did. I’ve found a lot of new favorite authors that way.

In my own experience as an author, it’s interesting when someone reads one of my books and leaves a comment like it was “unexpected” and that they were “pleasantly surprised.” I’m never really sure how to take it.  I write mostly Christian fiction for young adults. If you’ve ever read Christian fiction, some of it can get into the "preachy" category (not all, but some). That’s why even some Christians are hesitant to buy a Christian book because they want to be entertained without being preached at. One of the best reviews I ever got for Crossing the Deep was from a girl who wasn’t a Christian, but enjoyed the book very much because it wasn’t “preachy” which was exactly what I was going for. Made me very happy!

Christian or religious books get kind of a “bad” rap for being over the top, fire and brimstone, or boring. And I’m not going to lie, there are some like that (I’m not judging, just being truthful. There are markets for those types of books, too.) When I first started writing, I knew I wanted to write YA/Christian books which, if you have noticed, isn’t a very big market. Thankfully, I found an e-publisher, Astraea Press, who believed in my books and has published them. (Both have been on the Amazon Best Seller list for Teen/Religion). One of the rules I gave myself for writing them was that I didn’t want them to be "preachy" (I wish I could think of a better word since I keep repeating it). I wanted them to appeal to readers, get the Christian message across, and to be entertaining at the same time. I had the same goals for Saint Sloan and Big is Beautiful (coming September 3rd, 2013). From the reviews so far, I got those rules right. If you read them, I hope you feel the same way (be sure to let me know).

Don’t ignore a book simply because it isn’t in the genre you are used to or because it’s a Christian, clean, or sweet fiction (or because it’s not if you lean toward books like that). You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find out there when you try new things.

Are you the type to try new books?

A Note from the Book Boost:  As someone who writes almost every genre, I can totally relate to this post.  I'm always surprising readers when I switch from one to the other so I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not.  But it sure is fun.  As a reader, I love reading everything and it is all about the writing and the plot.  Nice post.  Please tell us more about your latest.


When Sloan Bridges is seventeen years and three hundred, sixty-four days old, her dream of having a perfect birthday is shattered. Home alone after spending the afternoon working on a sci-ence project at the new boy’s house, Sloan is brutally attacked in her kitchen by a man she can’t recognize. The only clue she has to go on is what he whispers in her ear, “You deserve this.”

The police have one suspect—Aaron Hunter, older brother of ‘the new boy’, who picked Sloan up a few nights before as she ran from a party. Adamant that he didn’t do it, Aaron begs Sloan to believe him. For her part, Sloan doesn’t know who to trust. She never saw her attacker’s face, and when she does picture it, it’s Aaron’s face she sees standing over her.

Trying to move on is impossible with a former best friend who taunts her and gives her the moniker, “Saint Sloan”, an ex-boyfriend who doesn’t understand why she changed a few months before her attack, and Aaron’s brother, Ray, who makes Sloan smile but has a side she doesn’t understand.

With her attacker ready to strike again, Sloan has to figure out who would hurt her and stop him before he finishes what he started.

Happy birthday to her…


"Then why did you tell me to stay away from him?”

“That’s a good question.” Aaron’s voice boomed from the kitchen entryway. Sloan jumped when she heard it. Ray said he slept until ten and it was barely eight. Friday night she had been so appreciative of him. Now, thanks to the testimonies of others, she was nervous to see him.

He looked tired with messy hair, wrinkled navy blue work pants, and a day old beard. Despite herself, she couldn’t take her eyes off of him, specifically his lack of a shirt. Aaron had his arms crossed over his well-built chest and leaned on the door facing. “Why did you tell Miss Sloan to stay away from me, brother?”

Sloan tore her eyes away from Aaron’s biceps in time to see Ray lean back in his chair and cross his arms as well, almost as if accepting a challenge. “Because, brother, for all of your good qualities, you can still be a jerk sometimes.”

"Runs in the family.” Aaron smirked as he walked into the room and grabbed a paper plate. He piled the last remaining pieces of pizza on it and got a coke from the fridge. He turned a seat around and sat at the head of the table next to Sloan, putting her smack dab in the middle of them. “What ya working on?”

Sloan forced her eyes to stay on his and not venture down his very long, very muscular, very nibble-able…“Biology," she said quickly. “We’re studying Biology.” Don’t look at his neck… don’t look at his neck.     

Want More Kelly?

Visit her on the web here:
Pick up a copy of her book today!  Click here.


Contest Time:

Everyone who leaves a question or comment for any of our authors this month will be entered to win a Digital Reader Prize pack from the Book Boost!  Pack includes:
  • Falsify by Kerri Nelson
  • Your choice of books from author Liz Botts 
  • Saint Sloan by Kelly Martin
  • PLUS much more! 
One entry for every comment.  Visit often.


jeff7salter said...

When I was waiting for an appointment one day, I paused in the dollar store and picked up a book -- yep, a dollar -- which I'd never heard of. It was about E.A. Poe and the mysterious death of a "beautiful cigar girl". I was thinking ho-hum. But I started reading it and was hooked. Fascinating, well-researched, and seemed as relevent today as it was 170 yrs ago. Plus, I learned more about Poe than I was ever taught in school.

SherryGLoag said...

I so agree with you, sometimes the book least likely to... is the one that grabs your interest. Congratulations on both your books hitting Amazon's top 100.