INDIEpendence Day Blog Fest: Once Again by Amy Durham

I am thrilled to be part of  the INDIEpendence Day Blog Fest! This is where we are paying-it-forward by recognizing an independent (meaning self- or small-press published) author we love.

I have introduced you to Amy Durham before. She was the first author I ever interviewed for Readers Write to Know Wednesdays. I really enjoyed interviewing her. Since this is a celebration of independently published writers, I am highlighting part of the interview where Amy talks about choosing to self publish:

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher?

I tried for some time to find a literary agent and go the traditional publishing route. More than the potential financial advance or the mass market of my book, what I was really seeking was the approval… the affirmation that my writing was good. What I got instead was a lot of “positive rejections”, if there is such a thing. I got comments like “I love your writing, but we don’t have room in our line up right now” and “This premise is so fresh. You are SO close.” And what I wound up feeling was that I was stuck. I found it difficult to keep writing when I was seeing no movement on the book that was already done! I was inspired by several Indie authors that I know personally, and once I began considering Indie publishing, the more I realized that I didn’t need an agent or a publisher to affirm my work. I needed to believe in myself, and the affirmation would come from readers. Once the decision to “go Indie” was made, it was as if a weight was lifted from me, and I felt more free and more creative than I had in over a year. I KNEW it was the right decision, because I was no longer stuck in that vacuum of non-momentum. I was moving FORWARD!

Once Again is the story of sixteen year-old Layla Bradford. Layla and her family are new residents in Sky Cove, Maine, a small-town she thought was ordinary, but turns out to be an episode of “Cold Case” on steroids. Layla doesn’t want to fit in; she wants to blend in and stay out of the spotlight. But the spotlight is where she winds up when she catches the eye of school cross-country star and all-around-nice-guy Lucas Ellis. She quickly learns there’s more at stake than high school reputations when she and Lucas discover they are the reincarnations of a young married couple from the mid-1800s who suffered a horrible tragedy at the hands of a madman who was never brought to justice. After a series of frightening visions show Layla and Lucas glimpses of their past-lives, they realize that the villain of their previous existence has also been reincarnated, in the form of a fellow high school student who targets them with teenage pranks that soon turn dangerous. As they grow closer, will Layla and Lucas be able to uncover the truth in time to stop the same tragedy from unfolding once again?

I really loved these characters.

Layla is not your typical angst-driven teen. She has a logical mind and a level head. She respects her parents and rather than being upset at being moved from Nashville, Tennessee, all the way to Maine, she is excited that her father is fulfilling his dream and starting a new business. She handles herself well in a new high school in a small town, and quickly makes some quality friends.

Lucas Ellis is every mother’s dream high school boyfriend for her daughter. He is polite. He loves his mother and shows her courtesy and respect. He carries Layla’s book bag for her, opens car doors for her, and treats her like a treasure. He is an honor student and a star athlete who brushes aside personal accolades to give credit to his team. He is a gem of a man.

The story moves quickly. It is an easy read with a fun plot, and at the end, I desperately wanted a 5-year-ahead glimpse to see what their future looks like. The characters were so appealing that I want to know that they end up together in a happy ever after.

I also love the fact that this is a book I can comfortably hand to my 15-year-old and know that it’s a safe book for her to read, and know that she will also love the plot.

I know Amy is writing the sequel to this book, and I am really looking forward to getting to know some secondary characters a lot better.

You can find Amy online here:
http://amy-durham.blogspot.com/

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4 Responses to INDIEpendence Day Blog Fest: Once Again by Amy Durham

  1. Amy Durham says:

    Thanks so much for the review, and the opportunity to promote my book again with your readers! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the book and felt comfortable recommending it to your daughter!
    Amy Durham

  2. RaShelle says:

    Sounds like a fantastic book. =D

  3. Nicole says:

    Thanks for introducing us to Amy!

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