A Giveaway, Beta Readers, and a Survey

There isn’t anything special about today or this week or even this month, but I wanted to celebrate my writing, this blog, and most importantly all of you who have supported me in my writing!

I have been blogging for about a year and a half now, and this blog has had over 100,000 views during that time! You guys have posted about 1,500 comments while I posted 125 times (as for my posting, I am not sure if that is a lot or not very much.)

And I would have stopped long ago with out you guys. Every person who has read a post, comment, submitted an Open Pen critique, or encouraged me to keep blogging in others ways have been a huge blessing to me. Blogging is difficult and not as fun as creative writing, but you guys made it worth it for me.

So I wanted to thank all the people who support this blog– especially those wonderful people who comment on almost every post and those who comment on multiple Open Pen Critiques (which is huge since it often takes me a couple weeks to post my critique.) I want to give a special “thank you” to Proverbs31Teen, Sami P., Readloveexpress22, Writefury, Aberdeentps, Olorin, and Raychel Rose who have helped me in various ways, whether helping me start blogging, commenting consistently, encouraging me, or pointing out all the flaws in my posts. I hate typing out that list of people because I know that I have forgotten many of you, so please forgive me– I will add on to that list.


So, for all my wonderful readers and followers, I wanted to do my first giveaway. I tried to set up a fancy giveaway form– I really did try– but I failed. So we are going to have to do this another way. Just comment on this post, and I will enter you in a random drawing for a free book!

The prize is your choice of book from the list below (I made a list of some of favorite books that are both enjoyable and inspire good writing):



The giveaway will end July 31st, and I will post the winner on this page and contact them on August 1st. Please be aware that if you win, I will ask for your address, when I contact you about winning, so I can send your prize. I know this is risky on the internet, but I don’t know of any other way to send you a book. If you are not comfortable with this, then please do not enter.

Giveaway Winner (August 14): ToniLS (Go Teen Writers)

Beta Readers

OutoftheCurseCoverThis July, I am doing another round of edits on my first novel, Out of the Curse, with Camp NaNoWriMo. I think this is my 10th edit on this novel, but my novel sure needs it. As a teenager, my writing improves exponentially and my drafts from even a year ago can be really poor. Anyways, by the end of this month, I will have my novel as polished as possible for me in this moment, and I will need a couple of Beta Readers at the beginning of August.

I am looking for other writers and readers who are willing to do any critiques: from plot and character critiques to line and copy editing.

Here is some information about my novel, and you can decide if it sounds like something you would be interested in reading.

Title: Child of the Curse

Genre: Christian High Fantasy

Target Audience: Upper Young Adult

Logline and Pitch: A teenage soldier just wants to become an elite assassin—only her commander wants her dead. Mutated dragon soldiers are not supposed to feel sympathy.

Back Cover Summary: Mar Zaehav fights to become an elite assassin—only she is a teen soldier fighting on the wrong side. As a Livyahak, an elf mutated with dragon wings, Mar was born to fight for Nakavar who seeks to take the throne from the elven King of Evcadeh. Nakavar cursed the Livyahaks, preventing them from feeling sympathy or seeing color. But Mar escaped Nakavar’s curse, and for this, she must die. Escape and freedom are her only hope, or is her life worth something more?

Mature Content: My novel has quite a bit of violence in it– including a couple torture scenes and a occasionally graphic descriptions of wounds. However, there is no sexual content or swearing in it.

Sample First Chapter: A Cursed Race

Please e-mail me or comment below if you would be interested in beta reading my novel in August. I would really appreciate the help!


Finally, I thought I would put out a survey for this blog. I would love to hear your feedback about my blog and how I can improve it.

If you have the time, I would be immensely grateful if you took this quick 12 question survey.

So, to everyone reading this post, thank you. I hope you have a wonderful week!

God bless,



56 thoughts on “A Giveaway, Beta Readers, and a Survey”

  1. Congrats on your book! As for the giveaway… ho boy, I’d love to enter, because of that GTW book… *eyes it* But unfortunately I can’t give out my address. I just wanted to comment anyway to say congrats! 😀


    1. I just bought a copy of GTW a couple weeks ago– it really is so useful and interesting. I’d highly recommend it, but I understand. I doubt I would give out my own address for a giveaway either– that was why I mentioned it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Gabrielle. Out of the Curse looks very interesting. Assassins and dragon-related stories are always good. 🙂

    I filled out your survey. Hope it helps!

    Also, awesome selection of books. You listed a few that I really like (Till We Have Faces, Frankenstein).


    1. Thanks!
      I really appreciated your feedback in the survey; it was great! Thank you. I have some more ideas for twisting cliches, so I am glad you like those. I think I am going to post about mentor characters in the next couple weeks. Unique mentors always interest me.
      Great! TWHF is my favorite novel, but I love the themes, characters, and stunning writing of Frankenstein.


  3. Ooh, what a lovely giveaway! *eyes GTW like C.B.* XD I filled your survey out! 🙂 Surveys are so much fun. ^_^ *gawks at Out of the Curse because its cover is cool and it sounds awesome* Um… *twitches because I kinda want to read it but don’t know if I’ll have time to volunteer* How long is it, ish? (I know that can change with edits, but just a general idea. XD) Best of luck with Camp! I hope that goes well for ya! 🙂


    1. I’ve been eyeing that book for years, too, and I finally bought it two weeks ago. It was definitely worth it 🙂
      Thanks for filling that out! I really appreciated the feedback.
      Out of the Curse is just over 80,000 words which is a good sized YA novel and 290 Word pages (double spaced). Thanks. The cover is just something I created when I didn’t have the time to spare:P


  4. Oooh, I think I’d have time to beta-read in August. Will you give your beta-readers some questions (i.e. Is this character too bland? Is the length of so and so part too long, is this chapter too short, etc) to kind of give direction?
    Also giveaway! *eyes books hungrily*


    1. Yay! Thank you. I was wondering if anyone would even be interested since August is back to school month.
      I have some guide questions, and if anyone has time (it is completely fine if you don’t), I would love a little feedback about each chapter– just like a paragraph or two with your thoughts on the scenes and your thoughts as readers. What do you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perfect! I think I could work with that. In that case, I’d love to be a beta-reader. =)


      2. Thanks! I really appreciate it. Could you please e-mail me (writefortheking@gmail.com), so I have your e-mail address for when I send out my manuscript and guide questions in August? Thanks again!


  5. Hey Gabrielle! Congratulations on how well your blog is doing (even if it wasn’t a particularly special day) and i hope that i can be around to witness as it draws in even more writers and readers. Though i can’t participate in the giveaway (even if my love of classics has me crying over the Mary Shelley Frankenstein) i would love to be a betareader for your novel. I have always been interested in your characters, especially Mar Zaehav (loved the interviews and reads *cough cough* stalks *cough cough* your pinterest boards about them) so i jumped at the idea of being a betareader. It is a big commitment,and i certainly didn’t want to waste your time with lackluster, half-hearted comments (especially since i am a freak for details) so i went back and re-read your excerpt from the novel to see whether i was ready to commit. After doing so, i am now sure that i want to become a betareader (if you will take me): it re-ignited my passion and interest in this novel’s development and re-invested me in it’s characters and plot (two things i think is essential for a good beta-reader). August will be a bit of a busy month for me (i will be getting ready to go to university in another country) but things only start to get really busy in late August/early September so if i get the draft as soon as August begins (or just in early August) then i should be able to give you very detailed comments on it.
    Have a blessed week!


    1. Thanks! I absolutely love Frankenstein, too. The stunning writing shocks me– if I could write half as well as Mary Shelley, I would be so pleased. And the themes and characters are so interesting.
      Wow. That means a lot to me; it makes me so happy to know that someone else love my characters! I am so glad that you love Mar– she is the main character of this novel after all, but she also one of my newest characters and makes me nervous. Thank you for offering to give detailed comments; that will be very helpful and is more than I had expected!
      I completely understand about being busy in August (I will be going out of state to college for the first time, myself), so I have a suggestion. As I get through chapters this month, what if I send them to you one at a time? If that sounds good, then would you please e-mail me? You can find my e-mail on the Contact Me page. Thanks!


      1. That sounds perfect! Since we are still in the depths of summer vacation, i will have more than enough time to give a thorough critique to your work. I will however refrain from beginning my critique until i’ve read the whole thing (since i don’t want to ‘correct’ things that will be rectified later on in the novel, and just so that i can experience the novel as a reader first, and then inspect is as a reader and writer on my second read through). I forgot to mention in my first comment that this would be my first time being a betareader: i hope you don’t mind my inexperience (though i have tried to fill in my gaps of knowledge about the job by doing research). i actually found some amazing links advicing betareaders on how to do their job in the most helpful and proffesional way for a writer (even if they can’t do a super detailed job) so i wanted to ask, would you mind if i posted them here in the form of a comment for other beginner beta-readers who are curious about how to go about the process? I wasn’t sure whether i posting links is allowed here and i didn’t want to do so without your permission first (no body likes spam comments). I’ll definitely email you right away.
        Have a blessed day!


      2. I replied to this primarily in my e-mail, but I wanted to mention the links. It is so awesome and kind of you to go researching how to be a good beta reader for me. That means a lot to me. Please go ahead and post any links that you want. I love when people post relevant links. WordPress will probably mark your comment as spam, but I will be ready to approve it anyways 🙂 I check my spam pretty frequently.


  6. That sounds like a really cool giveaway! I would do it, but I’m not allowed to give out my email address.

    Your novel sounds awesome! Though I have never beta read for someone before, I volunteer my services to do so for you. 🙂


    1. I understand; unfortunately, I couldn’t think of another way to give out the prize.
      Thanks! Again though, I don’t know of any other way to send you my novel other than over e-mail. Sorry! But I really appreciate the offer!


      1. I can give you my email address to beta read your novel. I just can’t give out my home address for a prize, though all those books you’re giving away look really cool. *wistfully eyes Go Teen Writers and Dragons in our Midst*

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Gabrielle, I have been watching your blog for a while, pretty much since it was new, but made my own yesterday and followed you on it because of you! I want to say thank you and congratulations! I would love to enter the drawing and be a beta reader for you! If you have anything else you need help with I would love to help, just let me know! Once again you are such an inspiration, thank you!


    1. Wow. Thank you! Hopefully, you missed my first awkward posts 🙂
      That is very exciting that you are starting your own blog. Blogging is hard, and at first, it is so discouraging. But if you keep going– trust me– the community is wonderful!
      Thanks! I really appreciate the offer! Would you please e-mail me (you can find my e-mail on the contact me page), so I can send you the novel when I finish editing?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Gabrielle,
    I took your survey. It was really nicely done and looks extremely professional. I had a thought…
    I think creating your links so they open a new window/tab would really improve the general flow of your posts. Usually when I click on a link I am hoping to put it to the side and read/check it out later, but you can’t really do that if the link opens over the post you’re reading. (I hope you don’t mind me putting this thought here but the survey didn’t really have a spot for it.) 🙂
    Anyway, I have always thought your blog was really cool and has a great design.
    I haven’t read all of your excerpt yet, but I did read the synopsis and the first few pages. I already love the idea, and I would love the chance to be a beta-reader and share my thoughts with you. Just as a warning, I have only ever critiqued short stories before so this will be new territory for me. I am usually pretty straightforward with my critiques. What is the deadline we’d be under as the beta-readers? Would you want our notes/thoughts by a certain time of the year? Would we be getting a physical copy of the novel or a digital one through e-mail?
    God Bless,
    P.S. Thanks again for guest posting on my blog. If you’d ever like me to return the favor, just let me know. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great thought. When I click on links in posts, I want them to open in new tags, too. Right now, I have no idea how to change that, but I am going to dig around in the settings and figure out if I can change that. Thanks for that; I didn’t even think about that.
      Okay, I would love to have you as a beta reader. I have some questions I can provide (with directions about when to answer them– so that should help you since you’ve only done short critiques), and if you have time, I would it if you wrote a paragraph or two after each chapters discussing the scenes and any other thoughts you had. But that is totally optional, and I completely understand if you don’t have the time. As an INTJ, I love and want straight forward– the blunter the better 😉
      As for a deadline, I would ideally like the feedback returned by September, but the beginning of October would be fine, too. I am pretty flexible, so long as I actually get your feedback 🙂 I would be e-mailing you a Word document, but you can print it out if you want (I would only ask that you shred/burn the copy when you are done.) How does that sound to you?
      You’re welcome! I’d love for you to do a guest post for me. Let’s e-mail about that, and we can continue the beta reader conversation over there, too.
      God bless,


  9. So does NaNoWriMo mean I need to finish the edits up before you get to them? Hopefully this will help me stop procrastinating and actually do it 🙂

    I’ve never heard of Raising Dragons or GTW. I guess I wouldn’t quite be the intended audience for the latter, though.


    1. Ah, yes. That would be what that means. But according to your blog, you are already finished…. Did someone get ahead of themself? 😉
      No, you wouldn’t be the intended audience for the later. You might enjoy the first series of Dragons in Our Midst. The first book is very good, and I enjoy the author’s style. But his later books and following series to that one become very strange and mess too much with Biblical reality for me.


  10. I would love to be placed in the book giveaway :)! Also, I wouldn’t mind beta reading your book in August. I’m pretty sure I’ll have the time. I am a novice with it, but I’m kind and attentive; I will be completely honest without harsh words or mockery or… anything negative, really. I’ll essentially have a fresh perspective on your work, as I am new to your blog :)!

    I am so happy to have come across your blog. It inspires me; YOU inspire me. I’ve completed your survey, too.

    I hope you have a marvelous day!


    1. Hey, Toni! I will enter you in the giveaway.
      Thanks for volunteering to be a beta reading. I actually don’t mind negative comments at all (so long as they are construction). Could you please e-mail me (writefortheking@gmail.com) so I have your e-mail address stored away? That way I can send my novel and some guide questions in August.
      I am so glad you are enjoying my blog, and that is very kind of you to say! Thanks for doing the survey, too!
      God bless,


      1. Hello! I can’t believe I won this. I honestly didn’t expect to at all. I just entered it thinking, “It’d be nice to throw my name in with everyone else; the book titles are interesting and it’d be cool if I won, but it won’t happen.”

        But then, it did.

        I’ll admit something: I’m really struggling in life right now. My family–parents and myself–just lost out home and we’re temporarily staying in a friend’s house that’s too-full, what with three adults (excluding ourselves), five dogs, one cat and one bird. I’m really turned around and I don’t know what to do. It’s been really dark for a while, and in between trying to figure out what I can or could do to help my family, where to live, food and being unable to attend college this year… I take breaks online. I immerse myself in writing or reading, though it’s hard to do that with this much stress.

        And then, out of the blue, I check my email and I read that I won this contest.

        It might seem small to you. A simple contest of winning a free book and getting it shipped to you.

        But it means the world to me. It was a light in my life I sorely needed.

        So thank you for giving this opportunity and for renewing my hope that everything will be all right and not all is bad :).

        The book I would like is: Go Teen Writers by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson.

        Here is the link to it on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Go-Teen-Writers-First-Published-ebook/dp/B00BMCNBLK#nav-subnav

        Thank you again!! I hope you have a wonderful day!

        ~ T. S. Leigh


      2. O.O. … *face plants* I am soooo embarrassed. I was wondering if your name here was a pseudonym to another and didn’t piece together the name was the same on the cover.
        Yup. Really embarrassed.

        Let’t pretend I didn’t say that… and let me fade into the background, as though I’d never said anything but ‘thank you’ in the first place. XD


  11. I thought I commented before but nothing showed up. I would love to beta read your book if it’s open to anyone.? I’ve wanted to read it since I read the sample. 😜 I’m not a writer but I read a lot.


  12. Wow, what a great giveaway! That GTW book looks AWESOME!! I’m not sure how much commitment it would take to be a beta reader, but I would certainly be interested in helping you out with that. Your novel sounds fascinating!


  13. Hi! I’d love to beta-read for you- Before too long, I’ll be asking for some myself. O_O GTW looks really helpful, but when it comes to books I’ll read anything! 😉 Isn’t it so weird to look back on past writing? My first drafts of the current book are the monsters under my bed. I mean, character development, plot in general, writing style… terrifying. Thanks for posting about this!


  14. Hi! I just found your blog a couple weeks ago and want to tell you that it is awesome! It’s encouraging for me to find other Christian teen authors like myself😊
    You’re doing a great job and I can hardly wait to read your book once it’s published!


  15. Hello! I have seen some of your posts in the past, but I am now getting out into the writer community! Your books sound so awesome! And it’s great to find a fellow teen writer who writes for the King. 🙂 If I am not too late, I would love to be a beta reader for your story! If I am, then that’s okay too! This is a rather late comment. XD Anyway, thanks and good day! God bless!
    ~C.K. Heartwing


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