Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Take This Regret by A.L. Jackson (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Reading Addiction Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes A.L. Jackson, author of Take This Regret!

Author Guest Post

Why Covers Are So Important

Hey All! I'm A.L. Jackson, author of Pulled and Take This Regret. I just wanted to thank Jersey Girl Book Reviews for allowing me to share with all of you today, and on such a cool topic, Why Book Covers Are So Important.

So let's be honest ... how many of you have purchased a book based on the cover alone? I have! Most of us are very visual creatures, our attention caught by the beautiful, the unique, and at times, the incredibly strange. We're drawn to color and style, sharp lines, and bold words. 

But what does that mean for covers? They say you only have a few seconds to capture someone's attention on the internet, and when 80% of books today are sold on Amazon and with the massive number of titles that are listed there, it's now more important than ever for covers to catch a potential reader's eye.

There are a few key elements every book cover should have. The first and foremost is it should be pleasing to the eye - something that makes someone browsing titles stop and think, Wow, that's an amazing cover. This is the point where your cover has done its job in making someone take a closer look at the book itself. The cover should also tell the potential reader something about the story inside, the design consistent with the genre of the book, although it should be unique enough that it stands out from the crowd. It should also give the reader a hint at the amazing story they will find inside. 

Covers are so important because it's the first thing someone sees - the main thing that will tell a potential reader to move or to take a closer look. 

So what is it about a cover that draws your attention?

About The Author:

A.L. Jackson first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she'd been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three beautiful children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

Book Review

Take This Regret by A.L. Jackson
Published By: Sapphire Star Publishing
Release Date: April 1, 2012
Format: Paperback - 296 pages / Kindle - 434 KB / Nook -  202 KB
ISBN: 1938404017
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Chick Lit / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Take This Regret

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Reading Addiction Blog Tours.

Book Description: 

There are some mistakes we make that we will regret for the rest of our lives. For Christian, it was the day he betrayed Elizabeth.

Christian Davison has a plan for his life. He is determined to become an attorney and to one day take his place as partner in his father's law firm. Nothing will stand in his way, not even Elizabeth Ayers and their unborn child.

After Christian cuts her from his life, Elizabeth spends the next five years struggling to provide for her daughter and willing to sacrifice anything to give her child a safe, comfortable life. 

For five years, Christian has regretted the day he walked away from his family and will do anything to win them back just as Elizabeth will do anything to protect her daughter from the certain heartache she believes Christian will bring upon them.

When Christian wrestles his way into to their lives, Elizabeth is faced with asking herself if it is possible to forgive someone when they've committed the unforgivable and if it is possible to find a love after it has been buried in years of hate. Or are there some wounds that go so deep they can never heal?

They say everyone deserves a second chance.

Book Excerpt:

Two hours later, Christian sat at his desk studying for his politics midterm, all the while listening intently for the sound of footsteps outside his door he felt certain he would hear. He trained his attention on the heavy textbook in front of him, trying to ignore the growing anxiety he felt each time he picked up his cell phone to check if he'd missed any messages.

None came.

It was well after midnight when he crawled into bed, convinced she just needed some time to realize he was right. He had to be right. He wouldn't allow himself to think otherwise, so every time that wave of guilt came, he pushed it aside.

He envisioned hew awake, just as he was, tossing uncomfortably in her small bed that rested in the far corner of her studio apartment and slowly coming to terms with what she needed to do.

But when he dragged his unrested body from his bed the next morning, his phone was still devoid of messages.

He had been cruel - he knew it. He could only hope he hadn't pushed her too far, but that she would somehow understand he was just trying to protect their future.

Christian ate a bowl of cold cereal and then forced himself into the steam of his shower, desperate to find anything to chase away his fatigue. He found his head in a cloud, both from lack of sleep and from the scenarios running through his mind, ones including a life without Elizabeth.

What if she never came back?

Could he really give her up?

As he rubbed the soapy washcloth over his body, he tried to picture an existence without her. A life void of the perfect pitch of her voice, the way it rang out when she laughed. A life in which he didn't touch the softness of her skin or have the right to pull her body against his. A life without a child crying out from the next room as he tried unsuccessfully to study for the bar.

Groaning, he shook his head and forced it all away, telling himself it would not come to that.

He was certain when he saw her in class today, she would take her normal seat beside him in the lecture hall, lean in, and whisper in his ear that he was right.

But when her seat remained vacant, his unease grew, gnawing at his stomach. The moment the professor dismissed class, Christian raced from the room and to the cafe where Elizabeth and he studied every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. He frantically scanned the room, finding several mildly familiar faces but not the one he wanted to see.

By the time he reached her apartment complex, he was panting, both from exertion from the mile he had run and the constriction fear had placed on his heart. He pounded on the door, giving her not time answer before he yelled, "Elizabeth!" There was no sound from the other side, no rustling of curtains or faint shuffling of feet. Even then, he wasn't satisfied. Fumbling with his keys, he found his spare and pushed it into the lock.

The door opened to the quietness, the small studio comfortably cluttered as always. The only thing that seemed amiss was the blankets from her normally neat bed were strewn on the floor. Christian crossed the space to the only separate room. The door to the bathroom rested ajar, that room as empty as the first.

Christian pressed his back against the wall and took a deep breath. He wasn't prepared for this. He'd never thought it would go this far.

Reluctantly, he forced himself out of the apartment, shutting and locking the door behind him before he left, hating the voice inside his head that kept telling him this was for the best.

My Book Review:

College sweethearts ... a shared dream and goal to become attorneys ... an unplanned pregnancy ... a regrettable choice made ... can a regrettable decision made years ago turn into a second chance?

Elizabeth Ayers and Christian Davison met four years ago as freshman at Columbia University. Paired together in a study group, their relationship grew from a friendship to a couple who were inseparable. In the fall of their senior year at Columbia, they had a shared dream and plan to attend law school and become attorneys. Their world would be turned upside down when Elizabeth tells Christian that she is pregnant. Harsh words, anger, an ultimatum and a betrayal tears their love apart and they go their separate ways.

Christian thinks that having a baby at this point in their life will ruin everything that they have worked and planned for. Elizabeth believes that they can work it out, she loves the life that is growing inside her, and her choice is unwavering, she will not get an abortion. Christian harshly voices an ultimatum: him or the baby, not both. Heartbroken and feeling betrayed, Elizabeth accepts his ultimatum and leaves college to have her baby.

Christian has been haunted by the choices he made five years ago, and is plagued with regret. After spending the last two years as an attorney in the Public Defenders office in NYC, he has accepted the position to head up his father's law firm's new branch office in San Diego, California. Over the years he has wondered about Elizabeth and his child that he never got to know.

Elizabeth moved back home to San Diego to be closer to her family when her daughter Lizzie was five months old. Now settled and happy with the life she shares with her beloved little girl, it took her two years of night school to finish her last year of college, and she has given up her dream of being an attorney for a job as a bank teller. She still thinks about Christian, but the hurt and bitterness has made it impossible for her to move on and learn to love again.

A chance meeting in a store ... a father and daughter ... Christian knows this little girl is his daughter and he desperately wants to fill the position of father that he so selfishly and callously threw away five years ago.

A father's regret and determination to make amends ... a mother's bitterness for an unforgivable betrayal ... a little girl that they both want to love ... can the shared love for their little girl provide a second chance at love and happiness?

Take This Regret is a poignantly beautiful story of choices, regrets and second chances that will pull at your heartstrings. The author weaves a powerful story full of so many emotions, it immediately draws the reader in and engages them to follow Elizabeth and Christian's journey. The story begins in the third person narration of Elizabeth and Christian's relationship in college. Once their relationship is established, the author masterfully weaves the rest of the story in the first person narrative alternating between Christian and Elizabeth's perspectives. Christian and Elizabeth's journey toward rediscovering each other and seeking redemption and a second chance is filled with so much angst and heart wrenching emotions, your heart will palpitate and feel compassion for the position that they find themselves in.

The author creates a cast of characters that are simply amazing! They are realistic, complex, down-to-earth people with flaws that are easy to relate to. Their interactions, dialogue and emotions are dramatic, the individual perspectives are told in a clever and realistic way that the reader can relate to both Elizabeth and Christian. My emotions ran the gamut as my opinion towards both Elizabeth and Christian swayed back and forth. I could easily see myself in both of their positions, the author's descriptions of their emotions and perspectives is simply phenomenal. The supporting cast of characters are wonderful, they lend their love and support for Christian and Elizabeth in a way that only family and friends can provide. I absolutely loved the support that Matthew and Natalie provide to Elizabeth, while Christian's mother Claire provided the ultimate in motherly advice and support for her son. I would be remiss if I didn't mention my favorite character, little Lizzie. This little girl simply won my heart over with her preciousness.

Take This Regret is an amazingly powerful and emotionally intense story that will simply move you. Once again author A.L. Jackson has pulled out all the stops and has weaved an unforgettable story that will resonate with the reader long after the last word has been read.


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