I had the pleasure of reading from one of my good friends and fellow authors, E Marie Sanders. She has recently published her second novel, “Blind Sided” Today I am releasing my official review of the book in hopes that this will help someone else determine id Blind Sided is a right fit for their read.
Below, view the interview with E Marie and then see how I rated the book.
Dominique Watson (DW): Thank you for allowing me to read your book.
Blindsided is your second published book. How did this book come about?
E Marie Sanders (EMS): With Blindsided, I just took the typical situation of teen relationships and added a few elements to it to make the story interesting. I reflected on my relationship with my first boyfriend and imagined how things would have happened if things took a turn for the worse, like in Blindsided with Marlena’s first boyfriend, Jason. I also considered the youth I work with at Faith Tabernacle Christian Center in St. Pauls, NC, and the warnings I tend to give them. From all these elements, Blindsided came to be.
DW: How long did it take you to finish it?
EMS: It took me over ten years to finish Blindsided! Actually, it was the first book I attempted to write. I reached a certain point where I got stuck, where I didn’t know how it would end. Blindsided sat for years and years. Once I finished my first published book, To K(no)w Avail, I revisited and reread Blindsided. Within days, I knew how it should end. I don’t mind that it took this long because I feel like it’s important not to force a work. It came when it was time.
DW: To K(no)w Avail has a sequel. Why did you decide to publish Blindsided and not To K(no)w Avail part two?
EMS: I felt like I had to finish Blindsided before bringing out Consequences and Repercussions (the second book in The K(no)w Series) because it was just floating in the middle of the air, incomplete, with an audience who needed the message behind it. It will be at least another six months before Consequences and Repercussions will be finished, but I wanted my readers to have another story to see themselves or someone they know in.
DW: After reading your last two books, the audience of your books seems to go in the direction of teenagers and young adults. Why do you write in this direction? Why don’t you write books for those that are older?
EMS: I think my audience seems to be teens and young adults because of my heart towards the things they encounter and all the time I spend around them, but defining my audience has been interesting because both genders and all ages have managed to enjoy both books! Parents are reading them with their children; teachers are telling their students about them; librarians and media specialists are adding them to their circulation. In fact, in one school, someone stole the copies that were in circulation! I’m thankful that the book has managed to bless so many people beyond any age brackets.
There are some ideas I’m working out for novels specifically for an adult audience, but like my other two books, I imagine that anyone who enjoys reading will enjoy my future books.
DW: I like how Mar has a conversation with God towards the middle and end of the book. When and why did you decide to have this in the book? Does it play a major factor in the book?
EMS: At that particular turn in the story, Marlena needed a way out. The family crisis she faces, her illness, and the decisions she’ll have to make required that she has an outlet that was always present in her life and that she had help with what she should do. Her relationship with God became critical then because she needed Him. He was the only one who could help her during that period in her life. It’s only a major factor in the book in the hopes of showing readers that in the times of calm and crisis God is there, constantly speaking, but we may not always be aware of His presence. That’s why He doesn’t show up until the middle of the book!
DW: What was your goal with this book? What message are you trying to send?
EMS: My goal for the book, honestly, was to impact the lives of my readers with another good story to which they could relate. As for a message within the story, I just want to share with them that God is real, in good times and bad, he’s always there with us, and that prayer should go beyond what we hear on Sunday mornings in church! Prayer is constant contact, a continual “chit chat” with God! Within that chit chat, if we’re listening, we receive instruction. If we follow instructions, God will bless our efforts!
DW: What’s next for you as an author?
EMS: Of course, I’m working on the sequel for To K(no)w Avail, Consequences and Repercussions, in the hopes to have it out before the end of the year. I also have plans for writing two adult novels, one dealing with infidelity within a Christian marriage and another with how a Christian combats corruption in the workplace. My first nonfiction book will be out within the next three years, a joint effort between my brothers and me addressing our journey to connecting with our brother who was the result of our father’s extra-marital affair. Lastly, sometime within the next two years, I’d like to design and host a weekend long writing workshop for aspiring writers.
DW: For all of those that have read this book, what do you want to say to your readers?
EMS: Thank you for your continuing support! I hope you enjoy the book and pass on the lessons within it to others who you know need it! Also, if you would like a free gift that accompanies the book, please email email@example.com and request it. My manager will email it to you within the week!
Stay tuned for all things E. Marie on www.emariesanders.com
“Blind Sided” Review:
Blind Sided is about a young girl named Marlena who finds herself in a relationship with a young boy named Jason. She is forbidden by her parents to have a boyfriend. Things begin to turn upside in her family as well as within herself. She’s outside of her comfort zone. Bringing her back to the basics is her relationship with God. In the end, Marlena is finds her way right back to where she belongs on the path God has intended for her from the start.
I rate Blind Sided 4 stars simply because of the message. I personally do not like teen or young adult books. Simply because I am an adult and I no longer care or have the need to go back to my younger years. But this book, coming from a mother and not just a reader is very heartfelt. As we get older, we forget what it was like to be a teenager. We look at today’s youth and shake our heads forgetting this once was us. In Blind Sided. E Marie shows a care for our youth. A care that says, listen to this story, it’s for you.
The book, first and foremost is well written, well edited. The flow of the story starts out slow but quickly leads to a-what’s-going-to-happen-next page turner. The message in the book is very strong which initially made this a four star book. Any book that has a strong message that any person any age can relate to is bound to be excellent.
In Blind Sided, E Marie represents a well told story that young adults can relate to and adults can appreciate.
I recommend this book to anyone who has a love for books with a great message. I look forward to reading more from E Marie in the future.
-Author, Literary Mentor, Blogger, Dominique L. Watson
About the Author: Having been born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, E. Marie Sanders claims to be a mixture of southern hospitality with northern know-how. She taught in the public school system for 12 years and has served as a youth pastor for the past 13 years, observing the habits of the age group she hoped to write for one day. The stories she told in classroom grabbed her reluctant readers’ attention and guided her toward putting the stories on paper. Her story lines and ideas develop by combining a dash of urban real life with great storytelling fiction and imagination. E. Marie seeks to grab the reader, youth and adults alike, in the very beginning and continues to build momentum throughout the story in order to make the reading experience a joy for those who frown upon the pastime. Her first book, To K(no)w Avail, won the 2011 Favorite Book of the Year honors with From a Writer’s POV Magazine. E. Marie is a National Board Certified Teacher and a member of the National Education Association and Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. She and her husband Eric reside in Lumberton, North Carolina.
Book Synopsis: For the high school student, summertime holds expectations of freedom, relaxation, and experiences unlike anything that happens during the school year. Marlena Jenkins, a rising sophomore, spends her time in a summer program at the University of Pittsburgh, practicing for a summer production, and wondering if she’ll attract the attention of any young men. She piques the interest of Jason Dobbs, a very mature rising freshman who has an underlying secret. His attention has the potential to rock her world with no sudden warning, including the possibility of ending a firm friendship.
Marlena’s family support should be enough to stabilize her, but when unexpected drama catches her off guard, the combination of a dormant illness, guidance from a trusted confidant, and the audible voice of God bring her back to her solid foundation of obedience and openness. Though her initial thoughts push her to rebel, Marlena learns who she can depend on, whom she needs to let go, and to whom she should listen.