Monday, May 22, 2017

Set You Free by Elmer Seward @JGBookSolutions @elmerseward2

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Eight Songs that Inspired the Novel Set You Free

I think each author has a unique set of writing practices that work for her or him.  For me, drafting is a two-part process. My writing time consists of early morning walks where I create plot, characters, and dialogue.  Once I have a chapter written in my mind, I sit down in the quiet hours of the night to type it out.  What does music have to do with this?  During both parts of the process, I listen to music that inspires me for that particular novel.  I create a playlist that varies a bit over the months of writing, but for each novel there are ‘anchor’ songs that remain throughout.  The lyrics of the songs don’t match perfectly with my novels, but they serve as inspiration.  Here are eight important songs from my playlist for Set You Free.

Shattered by OAR - I had already written the first two chapters of Set You Free when I discovered Shattered by OAR.  The lyrics caught the tone and spirit of the first two chapters and the character Blake.  Shattered, driving in the pouring rain, not knowing where he’s headed, but he turns the car around.  Shattered became an anchor song in my playlist for Set You Free.

Set Me Free by Casting Crowns - I didn’t discover this song until the first draft of the novel was complete.  I was sorry that I found it so late because it was perfect. A soul in chains remembering brighter days, crying in the night to be set free.  This describes the emotional turmoil of the main characters in Set You Free.

Brother by NEEDTOBREATHE - Set You Free is about individuals sheltering each other even though they stand in their own storms.  The song Brother reminded me of that. 

Tonight Looks Good on You by Jason Aldean – OK, this one is really hard to explain (and probably a bit strange).  I’ll just say that it reminded me of the chapter “The Date” in Set You Free.  You’ll just have to read the book and then you can say, “What was Elmer thinking?”

You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like That by Toby Keith – This song reminded me of the chapter “The Dance” in Set You Free.  The song deals with a moment when a simple dance becomes so much more.  This really captured the essence of the chapter “The Dance.”

Peace by OAR – The lyrics of this song deal with something that the two main characters need so badly and what they are trying to find, peace. 

Come Over by Sam Hunt – Although this is a song about love, the piece that drew me to it for this novel was the description of boredom.  It reminded me of sleepless Deena, sitting in the night, the boredom driving her to begin reading the journal which is central to Set You Free.

First Time Again by Jason Aldean and Kelsea Ballerini – This was a late addition to my playlist but I loved the imagery of the guy standing in the rain watching his girl drive away.  It reminded me of Blake standing in the pouring rain at the end of the chapter “A Little Clean Up” in Set You Free.  It’s that point where a fragile relationship teeters on the edge of a steep cliff.


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Title:  Set You Free
Author:   Elmer Seward
Published:  May 20, 2017
Publisher:   Bay Rivers Publishing
Genre:  Suspense
Content Warning:  Some mild profanity and references to torture and murder (however there is no graphic violence).

Synopsis:  Deena is running from a dangerous past. When she finds herself in a small fishing village tucked away on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, she thinks she is finally safe. While there, she discovers a journal that weaves a story of secrets, passion, and unrequited love. In its pages, she discovers the answers to her struggle with the shadows of her own past. In the end, those shadows close in on her and threaten all that she holds dear.

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Excerpt from Set You Free by Elmer Seward:

I am one of the walking dead. Not as lucky as those flesh-eating monsters that roam the earth eternally. No, my flesh-eating monster lives within. It roams at will, minute by minute. Consuming me from the inside. Stealing what little life is left. My monster? The Big C. Advanced stages. No treatment. What do you do when you’re a nobody from a little nowhere town who’s accomplished nothing and has no family? What do you do when you’re told to “put your affairs in order” and you have no affairs? What do you do when the sum and total of your legacy is secrets and lies?


4.5  STARS

This suspenseful and well-written book caught my attention with the first sentence and kept me guessing and engaged all the way to the last word.  Featuring two intertwining stories dealing with physical abuse and the toll taken on victims as well as those close to them, the main protagonists are well-developed in both timelines.
At times I disliked Deena’s prickly and abrasive demeanor but, honestly, her reasons for her sometimes rude reticence became more and more apparent as the book progressed.  I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed, but I was delighted with the just rewards dealt out to the nasty, evil pursuers by some unlikely heroes.  I finished the book feeling uplifted and hopeful. 

Reviewed by Laurie-J

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About the Author:
Elmer Seward was born and raised along the Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginia. Growing up, the cemetery behind his house was his playground. The metaphorical theme of death and rebirth that figures prominently in his novels is probably influenced in some way by the time that his mother heard, through the screened window, a small voice crying for help. Rushing from the house and through the yard, she discovered her all-too-curious six-year-old son at the bottom of a freshly dug grave. In that moment, he discovered that trouble is much easier to get into than it is to get out of. Sometimes we need help getting out of the hole that we jump into willingly.

He is blessed to have a large blended family. He is also the reluctant servant of three crazy dogs, a Maltese, a Japanese Chin, and a BruMaltChiYorkie. All of these strongly influence the characters and events in his novels; however, his beautiful wife, Mitzi, is the true inspiration for the tender hearted but determined women in his stories.

He is the author of two previous novels, Hearts in the Storm and Dreams of the Sleepless.

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