Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 40709
date submitted 19.09.2011
date updated 22.02.2014
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Romance,...
classification: moderate
complete

Nothing But The Blood

Dianna Lanser

Miah Betten, beautiful, talented, forgiven... and chosen by God to suffer the unspeakable, hand-picked to do the unimaginable.

 

Anger burrows beneath Miah's skin like an evil tick, and she can't seem to overcome it. At least not until the day her dad shares a secret that requires Miah to make a choice -- a costly choice that defines her future and takes Miah and her family from their home in the Australian outback to the other side of the world.

Although Miah's mum is convinced America is the septic tank of humanity and strange phone calls begin to prove her right, that doesn’t stop Miah from embracing the American way of life and pursuing her musical and philanthropic dreams. They're hopeful dreams that are supported by a few close friends and a newcomer to her life, a bold, good-looking Native American man.

Just when life can't get any better, destiny stalks Miah with a tragic plan of its own, and why should she expect anything different? Since the day Miah chose to follow Jesus, she knew there would be a cost. She just didn't think it would be so high...

Nothing But the Blood is a love story like none you’ve ever read: chilling, poignant, and portraying the meaning, the joy, and the high cost of following Christ.

 
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tags

abduction, aboriginal, australia, christian, forgiveness, god's love, injustice, native american, our sin, redemption, september 11, suspense, united ...

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513 comments

 

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TDonna wrote 810 days ago

Dianna, your story had me pinned to my chair the entire day! I couldn't walk away, not to eat, not for anything in the world. The story is so well-written, that I was immersed in a different world, alongside Miah, my anger colliding with her words of faith. I felt enraged at the perpetrator and battling all sorts of human emotions. I read through tears and in the end, I smiled through tears. I don't know what else to say except that I lived every moment of the book. Thank you for writing it. I wish to own my copy someday.

I don't want to be a spoiler for those who will read it after me, but let me just write, still through tears, that I am walking "forward in faith and know that He is in the business of making miracles happen."
Donna
No Kiss Good-bye

Kaychristina wrote 920 days ago

Dianna, as you know, I've read a great deal of your fascinating story. I also know you're editing the opening chapters, and I look forward to seeing what you do! Your characterization of Miah is so heart-felt, and in those early chapters you also capture life on an Australian cattle station, Amaroo Station, so vividly a reader can breathe the air of it.

Miah's faith is so strong, so admirable it makes me weep for lack of her strength, would I have to endure such wrongs. In those later chapters, in America as well as back home I think you capture her thoughts so poignantly and perfectly on what has happened, that perhaps God knew - well, of course He did! - she would have *compromised her purity with Brandt, and had taken drastic measures to save them both from the struggles that come to couples who go against His will*. And that now, she'd been spoiled anyway, and *she still had to suffer the same consequences as someone who had lived a life of promiscuity.* Oh, that poor, sweet girl, to think like this after the terror and injuries inflicted upon her. What torment to live on in her mind, in her nightmares.

I do like how you've got her reading her journal as she waits for Brandt, how she does some thinking. AND we learn from this about Duane's sentencing - effectively a dead man.

Brandt is the embodiment of the man every young girl should really hope to meet and hold on to for dear life. When we know what he has done, his haircut and what it means, I know readers will fear for them. His plan, for the Army, for both their college educations, and that ranch in the Big Horn Mountains, make so much sense it hurts. As does his reasoning that he wants justice for HIS America after 9/11, and to make those people pay for it, and for the monster who hurt his Miah. That he, a Sioux, is to become a Cavalry Scout is wonderful, and of course, against a common foe, not his own kind as many Indians did out of necessity in days gone by. When he gives her a bag, asking her to be the keeper of his soul, is BEAUTIFUL. I love *His nod was apologetic to the faith they both held in their hearts.*

Only when she has gone back to Amaroo for a kind of convalescence, and he to Fort Hood to train, do we learn of her ultimate sacrifice.

I love Brandt's letter to her - One nit... it's said the letter's been typed! So perhaps a font that's easier on the eyes! (But I HAD to read all of it.)

The whole homecoming to Amaroo, how she tells friend Kylie of that promise she felt she had to give in the name of God's will, is very well done.

Back in America, we learn what has happened to such a sacrifice, and hurt for Miah. And then the biggest sacrifice of all, her *Standing Rock*. Oh, dear God, why? So many ask this question, and Miah's faith has to be at breaking point, beyond breaking point. But as the keeper of his soul, she knows her duty, and ultimately finds what God has in mind for her, what she has always wanted and perhaps denied herself.

The music theme throughout is Miah's mainstay, her constant. Much as many people write stories in their darkest hours, perhaps to keep them sane, Miah is somewhat lost when she cannot write the songs that give her a reason to live. Perhaps the gift is meant to be - to be her gift to mankind. Music, after all, is a gift from God. And so it shall be, through Miah.

I just know that years of work and your heart and very soul have gone into this book, Dianna. Your courage in writing it shines, and I salute you.

All I can give are Stars - wishfully thinking that perhaps they're from the Milky Way for you as a gift from Brandt and his people, and a place on my shelf as soon as possible.

From Kay with love
(*Annacara*)

Tom Bye wrote 905 days ago

Hello Dianna--

Book-Nothing but the Blood-

What a beautiful laid back cover, as the morning sunrise comes alive, to the sound of music in the air.

extremely well written pitch, with a definitive spiritual message just under the surface-
Will Miah keep the faith- well, as i am a Christian, this is a must read.

After reading the first six chapters and scan reading quite a few more to get a glimpse of some more.
have to say; that whatever faith i may have lost after the recent events here and how priests abused their power,
it is now regained in my mind.

this book of yours that one has to sit back to digest and relish without any distractions; word by word and line by line, this has to be one of the best literary reads on site , if not the best.
How i loved that plea to God, as she scans the brilliant , blue light in the heavens for a sign , that god existed, with a cry ' please God, let me see your face. A cry from a torn heart indeed, as we all have doubts from time to time.
loved reading about the wide open plains that is life in the outer back Queensland, a tonic indeed.
on reading the tags of the events and places further down in this mammoth book. i look forward to dipping into it from time to time to enjoy, Powerful writing, so gritty and believable.

I have no hesitation in recommending this book to other readers, as i said, in it's genre, it's one of the best, and should in all fairness reach the editors desk for review and hopefully to be published.

needless to say, i give this book my six stars with great pleasure and more if i could.

good luck and God bless.

tom bye Dublin Ireland.
Slan leat agus go N-heri and botair leat--

book - from hugs to kisses'

book- from hugs to kisses'

Dakota Velasquez wrote 904 days ago

Dianna,

I have had the pleasure of reading the first seven chapters of "Nothing but the Blood" and I have to say that this is breathe taking. If beauty was to be in the from of writing I really believe that yours would be it. To me this is elegance, it flows so well and it draws me in. The way you have made the family is just so perfect, and by that I mean they have flaws. Your characters are real to me, I swear that I could walk down the street and find a family like this. You have brought such a magnificent work to us here at authonomy. It is breath taking how beautiful you write. This is definitely a book I shall recommend proudly to others and it is so going to be one that I will read the rest of.

To all those who are reading this comment I want you all to know that I am not the type of person that would normally spring to read one of these books. To be honest I probably avoid them as if they were the plague. But Dianna has made something that is so much different than all other books in her genre. From the first paragraph I feel as if you are going to get pulled into the story. I instantly fell in love with the main character Miah and she is one of those characters that I will always remember, I believe the rest of you will too. Give this book a chance and I hope that you come to love it as much as I have. This is truly a magnificent work.


Dianna, I really believe this will be one of the next best selling books that Oprah and every other famous celebrity that reads will pick up and never put down. This is why I love this place we discover amazing talent just like yours. Can't wait to see you on the top of the best sellers list.

Now if you all will excuse me, I need to read more this.
Dakota

CMTStibbe wrote 899 days ago

Review for Christian Critique Group:

Nothing but the Blood (great title and book cover) is a beautifully written book about a girl called Miah, struggling with her inner voice, and a past that haunts her. This is a must read for Christians and those searching for a place to call home. Clinging to her faith, we see a strong, complex character not about to be pounded like a bowling pin. Already she holds the attention and compassion of your target audience with a prelude laced with passion and doubts many people experience. Since it is a familiar stronghold, your readers will identify with the battle and settle in nicely to the pace. I like the time sequence—from present to past where chapter 1 takes us to Queensland in 1996 and where we meet an authentic and likeable family. I enjoyed Miah’s reference to her mother’s graciousness and her resignation over the household chores. There are so many encouraging messages in these opening chapters alone, I can definitely see this being a very popular YA novel.

Haven’t we all bowed to an imaginary audience, desperate to live our dreams? This visual had me laughing, bringing out the child in me and recalling the precious times I had with my fantasy guitar. And the imagery of cherry lollies or blocks of chocolate bursting from the skies was delicious. I am licking my lips in anticipation since the desert of New Mexico is as dry as a bone. Manning up to her responsibilities, Miah cannot find her journal, a sacred and precious book revealing her soul. It is a dangerous thing to lose and her brothers appear to have no idea where it is. This particular section in the chapter was well crafted with dialogue that suited the occasion. The vehemence in her voice is easily heard and reveals the relationship with her brothers.

I don’t go through books with editorial nits especially if I see a comment below that has already addressed this and I didn’t see any on my journey either. I was too carried away by the poetic prose and detail to thoughts—things I value in a book. It may be that there are those who would prefer it simply written and straight to the point, delving into the heart of the book first before any back-story. But I believe the back-story in your case, IS the heart and essential to the plot. However, if I am in the minority then the book may need to be worked on to throw your audience straight into the plot with occasions of brief dialogue and exposition later on.

This is not a book a reader ploughs through on a wet Sunday afternoon. It is thought-provoking and gets the heart pumping. It is sensual and brings joy. All in all, it’s like a jazzercise class—you feel much better once you’ve read it. I enjoy a challenge and yearn for more books of this style. There are just not enough of them out there. Great stars for a great read. Claire ~ Chasing Pharaohs.

karelkoninkrijk wrote 313 days ago

I've read till chapter 7 and sorry, it just gives me the creeps. Fortunately God is in control of everything...

karelkoninkrijk wrote 314 days ago

I'm curious but will not comment before I've read right through to the end.

Margaret0307 wrote 342 days ago

CLF2 Just a few more detailed comments on your book Dianna which I hope might help. Kieran asked me to be more detailed but I said this was difficult when your writing is so good! All I can offer is some very minor observations on some excellent writing - and these are purely my personal view.

I actually liked the full description in your previous version about the altercation between Miah and the boys re the journal so missed it in this one! In chapter 1 I would say 'hugged her reclaimed journal tightly' - rather than 'tight' but not sure if that is my preference or a rule in grammar! Perhaps Audrey knows!

Then in chapter 5 there is a word missing in the sentence with Miah and the phone call - 'I have five brothers, and when I find out who this IS (missing), they'll tear you etc......

I love the very early reference to being washed clean by the blood - but in all your writing I love the way you interweave in the Scriptures and Miah's faith. I also love the way you bring in such important messages in the context of the story e.g. a few chapters in where Miah is relating the lesson she has learned re circumstances. Sometimes we don't have a choice about what happens but we do have a choice about how we respond. Amen to that!

Hope these comments might be of use Dianna but I am not sure you can improve much further - at least, in my view!

God bless you and your writing

Margaret
How do I know God answers prayer?



Oceana wrote 343 days ago

CFL 2 + CCRG
A solid, interesting look into a young girl’s life. I really liked your description of how a child experiences fear in the nighttime—very relatable. I read 5 chapters, and switching POV from mother to daughter was an interesting choice. I’m not familiar with most Australian terminology, so some of it was confusing, but I liked the authenticity it leant. I knew you’ve already made it to the ED so I guessed you weren’t looking for detailed comments. What are your plans now? I hope you’ll be pursuing other publishing opportunities.
Oceana

Lisa Abraham wrote 344 days ago

CLF review:-
Hi - this is my first CLF review and so wonderful to read something strong in faith.
This is a very well-written story, with an easy flow and fantastic use of vocabulary. Your phrasing at times is melodic.
I find myself instantly warming to Miah, as a character. And I thought chapter 1 a very strong opening.
On occasions I was baffled a little by the 'Australian speak/ vocab' but though I wasn't always altogether clear of the meaning of some of the words, they definitely add to the authenticity of the piece.
So far I have to read to the end of chapter 4.
Just as couple of things I wondered about in chapter 4:-
- At the start of chapter 4 I was a little confused - thinking 'she' was Miah, who was, heretofore, the principal character and voice. Perhaps 'she' could be replaced with 'Claire' to remove any possible confusion?
- The sentence ending "... frantic to shake some sense into him." - could this sentence possibly end with "into him ..." to indicate that a change of circumstances was about to take place - to distinguish the dream from reality? Just a thought, which you may disagree with. Maybe it was just the way I read it.
A strong start and on my watch list.
blessings,
Lisa Abraham
Great Big Safari Park Stories

timschmal wrote 345 days ago

CLF2 Review
Dianna,
I wanted to write something after having read the first 4 chapters. I'm not a professional book editor, but I have made a career out of editing, re-writing, etc. I plan on reading the rest of the book; these are my first impressions.
Positive: I do so like your two early main characters, Miah and Claire. The world is a wonder to Miah. I look forward to her future discoveries in life. Claire carries the burdens of her station with love enough for everyone. She's stalwart and steady. She's strong, but vulnerable. Good development. I love the pictures you paint of the Australian bush. I would love more.
Negative: Some things come out of nowhere, appear, then flit off. You throw a lot of words around, assuming the reader will understand what they are, without any expansion of description. The same goes for some of the named people. Again, this is a first impression after just 4 chapters. You may very well have it all fixed by the end, but when I read a book, I find it difficult to stay focused when there are so many loose pieces to juggle. My recommendation would be to introduce fewer people/things and provide a bit more elaboration on their purpose. Otherwise, I find myself flipping pages trying to remind myself, "Who was that?" As I mentioned above, your description is fine, but sometimes a bit sparing. You provide a sketch when I'm looking for a painting.

All in all, it is so far a very good read. It is a story with an open future I'm looking forward to reading more of.

Labradors and cappuccino wrote 348 days ago

CLF2 review
Dianna
I've read 5 chapters and I find your book very well written and edited to a professional standard. I was truyl gripped for the first three chapters and couldn't wait to see what happened next but I must be honest -I became confused when I got to chapter 4. I didn't think it flowed well from chapter 3 but maybe that's just me. It doesn't change the fact that it's a great story and I will definitely be back to read more as I want to find out what happened to the characters. the characters are believable and the dialogue is great.God has given you a great writing talent and I wish you all the best with it. I am backing you and giving you top stars.

Labradors and cappuccino wrote 348 days ago

CLF2 review
Dianna
I've read 5 chapters and I find your book very well written and edited to a professional standard. I was truyl gripped for the first three chapters and couldn't wait to see what happened next but I must be honest -I became confused when I got to chapter 4. I didn't think it flowed well from chapter 3 but maybe that's just me. It doesn't change the fact that it's a great story and I will definitely be back to read more as I want to find out what happened to the characters. the characters are believable and the dialogue is great.God has given you a great writing talent and I wish you all the best with it. I am backing you and giving you top stars.

Margaret0307 wrote 348 days ago

CLF2 review - Dianna your work just gets better and better. I like the changes I have seen in your book although I can't remember everything I read before as it was a while ago! I do find that I like Miah better this time around though but can't understand why! It must be something to do with how you have made changes. I still love your book and look forward to hearing when you publish.

God bless you
Margaret
How do I know God answers prayer?

Teb Danner wrote 349 days ago

Dianna-

I like the way you develop characters through the initial sibling conflict. That, I feel, added to the anxiety, and perpetuated the action of the pending surprise in the third chapter. The introduction to the story gave light to the decicisivness and sense of justice the Mum possesses and also the compassion and insight to her family.

You have quick bursting metaphores the pleasantly stops me and lets pause in my imagination of what that would not only look like, but feel like.

The narration style sterling and compliments the mother well. Not being a first person narration, it carries more weight as far as reliability and truth are concerned. This style is forsaken easier by the reader if it becomes bossy or preachy. I think you handle this well. You dont hide the christain moxy.

You have a fiesty brood of charcters and for three chapters I felt a certin amount of anxiety that was not relieved upon realizing the friend...it is a risidual affect, that lingers. I dont know if it was intentional for Miahs developing plot or not, but it is something other than plot that presses the reader forward.

Well written.

Teb

Bart Jahn wrote 350 days ago

Hi Dianna...this is my CLF 2 review.

I read all 12 chapters of this new revision. The first time I read the book, I got as far as the action around chapter 11, then it went to the ED and in my ignorance of how Authonomy worked at the time, I thought the book would disappear off the site when it went to a Harper Collins review. So I go caught up with other books, and unfortunately did not return to see how the rest of the story unfolds.

In the earlier version, I thought the opening crisis with the brothers taking Miah's journal, the dad's discussion with Miah, and Miah's change of heart and realization of her need for Christ in her life, was inspired and strongly anointed by the Holy Spirit. Also the character of the mother was excellent in these opening chapters. I came away from those early chapters thinking...if this is somewhat autobiographical with Dianna's own family, then she is extremely fortunate with these two parents. You painted a great picture of strong and godly parents. So I was somewhat sad to see this part edited and downsized in the book.

But this new version of opening chapters is actually a much better story and better written, with a pace, storyline, and balanced economy of characterization that expertly pulls the reader in. I think this new version is very polished and professional...so the jolt of the HC review that motivated some thoughtful rewrites has benefitted the book. The Christian message is still clear, powerful, and insightful...it is just economized and spread proportionately throughout the story rather than presented so powerfully (and brilliantly) in the first few chapters. So some of the early characterization has been sacrificed to improve the pace of the storyline.

One of the things I so like about great books, whether from Tolstoy, Dickens, or Grisham, is that they take me into new worlds and introduce me to new people I could not access otherwise. You accomplish this very well in the book, taking me into the mind and heart of a young, beautiful, and talented Christian girl as she matures into her middle teens, with all of the issues and challenges of boys, the first kiss, the big emotions of beginning romance, wise parental boundary setting, and trying to figure out who she is. I found all of this fascinating and I wanted to read on beyond chapter 12.

The next challenge is finding a publisher or an agent who loves your story as much as we do. I am confident it will be in print soon. God bless you, Bart.

Keiran Proffer wrote 351 days ago

CLF Review

Dianna, I've read 4 chapters of your boo. Here are my overall comments:

1. Remarkably well-written, no typos and virtually no grammatical errors.
2. I think it takes too long to get into the story. My own belief is that the reader will be patient for about 10 pages or to the end of the first chapter, whichever is shorter. You have 3 chapters which are mainly talk, and the non-event of something moving in the darkness which turns out to be an old friend. Then we finally get into the story of the move to America in chapter 4: this is too late. Can you shorten the first 3 chapters?

Chap 1:
General comments:
1. Why are Miah and Claire so frightened? Miah seems to expect Satan to come and get her after her outburst. She must have had outbursts before. Claire is worried by her husband being away. This must have happened before. Have I missed something?
2. Why is Miah the only one to sense something outside? Is it just her imagination? If there is something then the others should have sensed it as well. Being stockmen they should have noticed the horses were uneasy.

Detailed comments:
1. "she'd lost it" and "She'd had it with the kid's" sounds more American than Australian, but I am not an expert.
2. "couple weeks Brad.." -> "past couple of weeks, Brad.."
3. Miah is 11? Too old to ask to sleep with her Mum or brothers.

Chap 2:
General comments:
1. I'm sorry to say I don't believe the conversation between Miah and Claire. It is the middle of the night. Claire has just been woken up, and Miah has been awake and frightened, but now that her mother is with her she would relax and become sleepy. Both are a little too articulate for the middle of the night. Could they start the conversation and then continue it the following day?

Detailed comments:
1. How can Claire see so far at night? Is there a full moon? Ok yes, I see from 2 lines on there is. It might be better to move it up to the first para.
2. "plastic happy mask" didn't ring true. I think because the mask had already been shattered by Trace's asking for Miah's hand in marriage. Miah eloping would only have set the seal on it.

Chap 3:
General comments:
1. In chap 1 Claire had been frightened. Now she is walking out into the darkness after a strange figure! She has teen-aged sons in the house: she should have called them. And the dogs!
2. Again I find it hard to believe that late at night they would have a load of small-talk with Mr Barcelow. By now they would definitely want to go to bed, as one outcome of relief after a fright is to make you feel tired.

Detailed comments:
1. "unmistakable growl of a bunyip"?!! By "unmistakable" I would assume they had heard it often before. How many times had they seen or heard a bunyip? (What does it look like?)
2. What is a "ute"? So far I have been ok with the Aussie terms like "boomer" and "bunyip". In the final book will you have a glossary?
3. I'm not an expert on mobile phones, but to work them don't you have to have phone masts nearby? That is they work in cities where there are masts all around, but would they work out in the bush?

Chap 4.
General comments:
1. The last line in chap 3 caught my attention. I was thinking: something has happened to Trace and this is where the story starts. Then chap 4 does not follow it up. Reading a bit on: maybe it did, but I think we should have been told that Trace was missing. Then a bit further on he is back. What is going on? Ok now I've got it: Claire was dreaming. Maybe you should re-write this: I thought the "she" in the first para was Miah.
2. Again Trace giving important information in middle of night after a hard day: he would have wanted to sleep. Also he would have had enough sense not to mention it until the next morning. Are all these people nocturnal?

Detailed comments:
1. "she's slapped" -> "she would have slapped" or "she would slap".
2. Can anyone say when somebody else's relationship with God has changed?
3. How did Trace know Miah had written a song? I am still confused about what has happened.
4. "couple whispered" -> "couple of whispered".
5. "their shows" etc. Somehow I get the impression an American wrote this book! If Claire really thought that of America, she would have made it clear to Trace from the start, and never agreed to them going. Can you tone it down a little?

Keiran

KMac23 wrote 353 days ago

Dianna,

I was interested to see what you would change, as I worried the story might be very different from what I read and I liked it the first time, yet, found the revisions did actually enhance your work, seeming more focused.

I’m seeing more vulnerability in Miah. I could sympathize with her more in this version, and although she still had some anger, it was a bit more controlled. Her big dreams to help others less fortunate and her efforts to try and grow in her Christian walk, and struggling to do this made her feel sweeter, despite her still feisty personality.

Trace is also much kinder and gentler, too. I like his strong sweetness and care for his family and how he didn’t whip Miah this time and wasn't so hardened. That he’s such a loving dad will make the pain of losing Miah even more difficult for him.

The romance with Ducharme and Miah feels so natural when they are in the barn teasing each other. I'm glad you didn't change this much. Later, when Ducharme comes on too strong for Miah, I could really feel the uncomfortable awkwardness in the situation, which is so often the case with teen romance.

There was only one thing I missed in this version, more of Miah’s music. In your last version she was frequently singing some songs and humming, etc. I felt it made her unique and as if the music was in her soul all the time.

I still love your story and was glad I was able to read through all of it last time. I would like to see the changes you make to Mia's abduction and experience. I believe this book will be published as you are a very accomplished writer, Dianna. Your work is very believable and enjoyable to read. Great changes! Kara


AudreyB wrote 355 days ago

I'm not sure I want to tell you what I think of this new first chapter. Because I'll reveal that I didn't much like chapter 1 before. It was confusing. I couldn't keep the people straight. But now, from the persepective of Miah's frightened thoughts, this is a dynamite opener. There's the hint of danger that we need in our minds as we work toward the terrifying ending. There's the warm embrace of her family. There's her temper and her tendency to over-dramatize things. I'm eager to turn to chapter 2.

I'm half-way through chapter 3 now and am just reading for pleasure. This revision is so polished it sparkles. You have inserted signs of life in the outback so naturally that I feel as if I've always known what all these exotic things are. A good lesson for me (=: And what a cliffhanger at the end of this chapter.

Chapter 4 begins with a dream that isn't quite as smooth as the preceding chapters. Also, Claire's thoughts about Trace seem a bit too intrusive here; she tells us too much. Show us the gestures. We'll fill in the rest.

I wish I had more time, but duties call. Definitely a worthy re-write. I'm inspired (=:

~AudreyB

Bart Jahn wrote 358 days ago

Hi Dianna...I thought the previous draft was good, but this new version is better. I read 3 chapters and would start the 4th to see what happens next, but my eyelids are getting heavy and I am off for bed. Both the story and your writing have improved, and I thought they were excellent before...so your hard work is paying off. Bart

Seringapatam wrote 470 days ago

Dianna, I have to agree with the comments below. This is a brilliant book that is going to do you proud. It flows so well with a captivation that is simply amasing. You need to push this all the way to the top now and good luck with it. I will be scoring this very high.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider adding me to your wish list or returning a read. Many thanks.

Sean

Torkuda wrote 473 days ago

It's probably been a while since I was supposed to do my trade with you. Work and school came up, sorry. I was actually supposed to look at God Pleasers, but it looks like you took that down.


Anyway, here's my thoughts on this story instead. This story was decent from the first four chapters that I read (I only do full reads for those who do full reads of my story). The writing itself doesn't have any major flaws, however it does feel a little melodramatic. The reason it feels this way to me is while a lot happens "on screen" a lot is also told to us. I felt like I really wanted the narrator to back off and let me judge the personalities of the characters myself. That being said, this is a christian book, which is an audience that likes characters with well defined roles and as a result, is accepting of a little extra telling. The story isn't bad at all, and I think it should ring true with the target audience, however I personally feel that I should be allowed to figure out for myself who's got too much energy, who's an angelic child and who needs redemption.

flnaturelover wrote 526 days ago

Dianna, imagine my surprise when I got back to this site and saw you ranked!....NOT! You deserve to be ranked and I hope published too. Wonderful story, impeccable writing! Dianna, you left a lengthy and helpful critique of The Gingrich Curse. I took every point to heart and made many changes. If you have a chance, which I understand you may be too busy to do, please see if you like the improvements. Congratulations on an exceptional story. C.S.Poulsen

made wrote 528 days ago

This is fantastic

findingbooks wrote 539 days ago

Hi,

I am the Executive Editor of ROMAN Books www.roman-books.co.uk . We are interested to consider your novel for publication. If you are interested, please contact us by e-mail at response@roman-books.co.uk.

Thanks!

Kindest regards,
SUMAN CHAKRABORTY.

Final Girl wrote 553 days ago

I read the first chapter which showed that you are a strong writer. It is the kind of book I would pick up at an airport if I knew I'd have a period of uninterrupted time to read it.

Gordon James Ritchie wrote 553 days ago

Hi Dianna, [YARG REVIEW]

You have a comfortable niche in writing romance and appealing to modern audiences! Fantastic technique and refined wording, which I admire most of your work... I am not certain how close you are to publishing this novel, but I suggest submitting a proposal of it to The Blair Partnership (www.theblairpartnership.com) - they're an intimate and small, but very well-known and respected, literary agency who backed JK Rowling's latest work.
I enjoyed your light character development until the great twist that plunges Miah into very deep self-discovery and faith reliance. Your style leaves me urged to read more, and I am certain it is because you are sensitive and honest in your story - as well as steering clear from the modern idea that verbosity is quality.
Again, I urge you to seek representation! You certainly have what it takes (and I have, a while back, worked in the publishing business; so I hope I should be able to rightly identify this).

Best regards,

elsanovel wrote 570 days ago

I have read the first 10 chapters and will be reading the rest later. Everything from the cover design to the setting of the story is unbelievable. You have what it takes to be a best seller.
Hope you get this published soon
Well done

tarasimone wrote 575 days ago

I read the whole book last night, (stayed up far too late) and really enjoyed the story line.

Raymond Nickford wrote 582 days ago

Hi Dianna,

Miah's driving force, her need to distinguish herself until recognised - in her case as a rock star - is a universal need and I have to say that I felt you honed your art with a truly individual skill to really evoke the frustration and pathos which divided Miah from her initial humdrum domestic lifestyle and her dream.

Raymond Nickford

KMac23 wrote 601 days ago

CCRG

Dianna, I started reading your book early today and found myself unable to put it down until I finished. The words 'deeply moved' cannot even express how I felt as I read your chapters. This was such a dramatic tale with so much realistic dialogue and action, and I am not surprised that you made it to the editor's desk. Miah was born for a purpose with her feisty, strong, fighter-like ways and her walk with God. I've heard the saying that God won't give us more than we can bear, and yet Paul said, 'We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure..." in 2 Cor. 1:8. I think, like in your story whatever we go through, God goes through it with us and though we may not accept it or feel it, he is always there. I love how you didn't rush anything in the story, but allowed it develop slowly. I grew to love Miah before tragedy struck her and felt like I was a family member experiencing it with the rest of them. Despite the difficulties, there was such inspiration and faith in God apparent throughout, and I felt his presence in the songs and the verses. I believe God has given you a real gift in writing and feel blessed to have read this.

Kara
A Gate Called Beautiful

ESanchez wrote 605 days ago

I'm commenting on this chapter-by-chapter...
Chapter 1 held my interest at once because of the author's voice. It's easy to read, flows well and sounds polished. If I didn't know better I'd think you were a professional published author!...The only critiques I have are the overuse of exclamation marks by the narrator and a bit too much description in the beginning. Perhaps some of the explanation of her relationships with her brothers can come out later when she directly interacts with them, instead of the narrator telling us so much before we even meet one brother...Hope this helps!
Eileen Sanchez
"Craving the World"

Inkysparrow wrote 625 days ago

Yarg 2 review

First of all, congratulations on being an editor pick. I loved your first chapter. Miah is a feisty MC with strong dreams. I really like stories about girls with those qualities. With such a likeable first chapter, I'm feeling the worry about her later ordeals already. Your first chapter is a wonderful introduction to the family, to Miah, and a great first step into her journey of fame and peril. I wish you all the best, and hope you're published soon.

flnaturelover wrote 634 days ago

I do need to get on site more often. I've placed you on my watch list and here you are already ranking on the desk; how exciting. I need to catch up and look forward to the read tonight and tomorrow. Good Luck! C.S.Poulsen

pjwinslow-barnes wrote 642 days ago

dianna, i was curious about the book, looked it up, after first paragraph i wanted to read more, I'm going to try, but I'm not a fan of reading on computer. I like the paper versions, but for you i will try. love you girl, an old friend. Pam

E.R. Yatscoff wrote 653 days ago

Sorry, can't get into this genre, (I like action and suspense) however, you are clearly not a lazy writer and have done your diligence as an editor. Thumbs up! Very good. Few take the time to do it properly and post crappy 1st drafts. Your writing is also quite good. Good luck.

Sara Stinson wrote 656 days ago

So proud to hear the news, Dianna Lanser. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

Bingocliff wrote 672 days ago

Congrats on your book Dianna Nothing but the Blood...

Naught but the blood can wash from sin,
And make my soul whole once again.

Cara Gold wrote 684 days ago

{Nothing But The Blood} – Dianna Lanser
Chapter 10:
Tonight I returned to read another chapter, because I am a fan:)

I love the dynamics in this family, and your portrayal of all the characters is so vivid, realistic and life-like! We can understand each of their perspectives, and feel their emotions… For instance I understand how Miah is frustrated she isn’t allowed to date yet, but at the same time her dad’s protectiveness is lovely and we see how he cares for Miah.

I also like the way you develop Miah’s emotions, and you convey the chemistry between her and Brandt terrifically.

Have a lovely day and I’ll see you back here in a week! I’m going to miss reading your book!
Cara

Scott Toney wrote 685 days ago

Congrats!!! I'm looking forward to reading your review! You have a wonderful book here!

Andrew Hughes wrote 686 days ago

Hi Dianna,
Just to say congrats on finishing No.1! It’s a bit late in the day for comments but I read through your first four sections and I was really impressed with the quality of the writing. The variation in tone and voice to suit each scene, or particular character, was very deftly handled. Your descriptions are so vivid. I particularly enjoyed the family rushing out into the deluge, that was beautiful. The subtle changes when the narrative switches between Trace and Miah are very effective. And Miah, from what I’ve seen early on, is such a strong character – imaginative, stubborn and impulsive.
It’s great to finally reach the desk! Best of luck with your review and beyond,
Andrew :)

faith rose wrote 686 days ago

Congrats friend!! Number 1 looks good on you!! :)

Kamal Baluja wrote 686 days ago

I have just shortwhile ago completed reading your book - entire 38 chapters - and I have one word for it and my experience of it - FANTASTIC. a beautifuly written story which only a seasoned writer can come up with and since this is your first book it makes it incredible. Hats off Diana!

A really engaging book is one which transports you into the story so that you are witnessing the unfolding events not as someone sitting on the outside but from within. this book does that and one very quick slides into the world of Miah, Brandt, Tracey, JD and others. the characterisation is well done and the description and dialogue balance is just about right. some 'difficult' scenes have received dignified handling.

what I found the most appealing in this book - and what I took away the most - is though this was not a book strictly in the Christian genre, but in a mainstream plot you have woven a story of faith and have used Scripture verses so beautifully in expressing that faith - whether of Miah or of Tracey and others. and in this your book speaks more powerfully than what a dozen sermons would. it also reveals your maturity as a Christian.

I maybe wrong (and forgive me please for this presumptuosness) but I detect some 'autobiographical strains' in the life you have depicted of the Australian Bush and the Americas.

Finally I believe there can be a part two of the story - where perhaps Miah meets her cowboy of Wyoming and her daughter Marah. Another novel please.

God Bless,
Kamal

Bruki's Keeper wrote 687 days ago

"If wishes were horses..." I really like that line!
The fantastic visuals and emotions in this book are amazing! I love the descriptions and expressions throughout the story. It is like a work art; each brush stroke creating a beautiful picture for the eyes to feast on!
I enjoyed reading this immensely. Good character development, strong plot, and descriptions that make this a book worth reading more than once.
Well done!

R.J. Stanley wrote 687 days ago

Whoo Hooo!!! Congrats on your rank!!! :-)

A.D. Stratu wrote 687 days ago

Dianna,

I've been reading Chapter 3 in between writing job adverts and work correspondence today :) Maybe what we have now heading for ED is yet another great Australia book in addition to "Thorn Birds" and "Two in the Bush". Your style in terms of nature description certainly doesn't need a "personal trainer" - it's very sleek.

Something I recommend, though:
"You're all a bunch of lousy, lying, dirty freckles..."

Psychologically, we are mostly unable to list long epitets when we are angry. "Lousy, lying, dirty" don't just come out in a list - we tend to be brief, whippy and uninventive with our language when irate. If she just says "lousy freckles" or "dirty freckles", the emotional impact will be the same without the extra "verbal weight".

Yours, A.D.

lisa85 wrote 687 days ago

Dianna,

I'd honestly say right out front that this isn't the book I would normally read. I'm not a believer at all, so it's not easy for me to read about one. This said, your prelude was so vivid and passionate that it almost made me regret I don't have the kind of Maih's faith. She found a meaning for herself in life, and I suspect that she's going to have to fight hard to keep believing. While questions of faith are always hard to debate upon, you picture a likeable heroine that would provoke sympathy in everyone, regardless their personal beliefs.

I found your prose enjoyable and bright. Here's one example of what I liked "his signature stink of evil". I think that it's both very creative and telling. However, I was a little unsure about the heroine feeling pain in her right lung. I'd rather say in her chest, but it's not really that important, I suppose.

I'll try to read on soon and god luck with getting published.

Cara Gold wrote 688 days ago

{Nothing But The Blood} – Dianna Lanser
Chapter 7:
I love the opening of this chapter! It reminded me of myself some times… when I have such a flood of ideas, but I’m too late to get them down on paper!

As always I particularly like being in Miah’s mind. She is such a beautifully constructed character, and I feel I can really connect. You do an excellent job of portraying all sides to the human character. Great to see her mum’s perspective and thoughts too, and getting to know her.

Your descriptions are beautiful :) In this chapter I loved ‘sleepy head nodding up and down like a bobber on a fishing line.’ .. ‘eyes brimming with liquid fear’
Have a fabulous day, you’re almost there! :)
Cara
p.s. I emailed you too!!

Myrmedons wrote 688 days ago

Hi, Dianna.
I've finally had time to read some chapters of your book, and I have to say that I was very impressed by your work. You paragraphs are well laid out, the sentences flow naturally and do leave an after taste of what Miah is dealing with. The story is gripping and full of suspense and your descriptions are vivid and clear. I found myself wanting to stop reading for fear of what I'd learn would happen to Miah but at the same time, your style drew me in in spite of my wishes.
It's not the kind of books I go for when I go to Borders but this story has gotten me curious.
It simply is great! It's on my Backing List and so I'll continue reading it as time allows.
Thanks for your great work!

Kerrie Price wrote 688 days ago

CLF Review - Nothing but the Blood is an amazing book. It begins as a compelling novel, written with insight displayed by deep and beautiful phraseology. The story flows on descriptively portraying the interests and challenges of young adulthood, building to a gripping crescendo of fearful apprehension as the plot unfolds. The Christian faith is proclaimed throughout the book as the support and mainstay surrounding and undergirding the lives of the main characters. The latter half of the book leads us headlong into a confrontation with evil and a challenge to our own emotional and faith responses, causing us to face our personal convictions on a number of socially relevant issues, such as rape, capital punishment, trauma recovery, hope for the future and most of all our level of trust in a faithful God. This is a truly remarkable book.

Lenny Banks wrote 690 days ago

Hiya Dianna,
I read a chapter of your book, it has really strong believable characters, its hard to write about either politics, emotions and religion but it has an excellent balance, and I felt I was in the room with the characters watching what was happening.
Good work, I hope you can take your readers on the good journey you are crafting.

Kindests Regards and Best Wishes

Lenny Banks

KitKat7 wrote 690 days ago

Diana:

This is incredible. It's like watching a movie - not just reading a book. Your use of language pulls a person from the opening sentence, Each scene is clear, ripe, profound. You can feel the relationships between the brothers and the sister, Miah; the love of the parents. Their teasing, there comraderie, even their jealousy - good natured though it is, is so real. When Trace sees how his little girl is growing, resembling her mother more with the days, and the realization hits him: he's losing his little girl - that scene is palpable. It grabs yoru heart. I've only made it to chapter 5, but I intend to finish this; to savor each word. Even after Nothing But The Bood is published, I will purchase a copy and read it again. This is one I will pass on to my sons, my granddaughters, others. Oh, yeah! This is good; so good.

Ashara (Like Corns on My Toes)

Cara Gold wrote 693 days ago

{Nothing But The Blood} – Dianna Lanser
Dianna,
I love your book so much, that I could read it in any mood. Including this current mood, where the heat is frying my brains, and I am on the brink of being totally over reading, after far too many return-reads in one day! It is a credit to your amazing storytelling skills that you have captivated me even now :)

Chapter 6 was a great chapter from Trace’s perspective, and I especially love the last paragraph, when he speaks of the ‘new light… shining in their daughter’s eyes.’ Beautiful!! :)

Here are also my more detailed notes:
1) comma in second sentence; ‘kill one another, and now bore …’ → slight shift in focus so separate the two actions
2) perhaps ‘disbelief’ instead of ‘unbelief’ – not sure might just be my taste :)
3) comma after ‘bed, and walked around’ → again, splitting action slightly
4) I’d just have ‘Plunking back down’ → not sure if ‘then’ works for some reason… maybe it would work with a comma after then; Then, plunking back down… not sure
5) simply ‘Trace sat up, forgetting all his efforts to relax.’ → more active, eliminating passive ‘were’
6) I’d say ‘savoring their touch’ → ‘feel of her’ feels a little clumsy to me, just a thought
7) perhaps ‘she looked beautiful’ instead of ‘she was’ → because it is from his perspective, so using ‘looked’ makes it more intimate/personal
8) comma; ‘through her smile, then lightly bit his lower lip’ – oh yeah also with my comma suggestions, this is really just stylistic stuff, so of course do what you think is best!!!
Have a fabulous day! Not long to go now :)
Cara

JAMIE TUBBS wrote 693 days ago

Dianna,
This story has the premise of being a really interesting read.
You juggle the vast number of characters with simple ease, and have managed to describe them so well.
The various struggles in their own lives, and within the family, provide a perfect scope for the storyline, while not being too over-indulgent.
I will be coming back to continue from where I left off, as I know this is setting up to be an ideal enjoyable novel.
Jamie Tubbs.