[Author’s Note: This blog was originally part of the Q and A with Ava Bell. After her first free book, C/curious, promotion was over, I felt that I needed to break the two apart. As my followers know, when reviewing books I discuss what I have learned from that particular author. I left that out of the original to keep it short, as the focus was on the interview. But thinking about it, I had cut the author and my readers short by leaving this section out and not revealing what I picked up from her style of writing. With that said, enjoy this full-length version of the blog and the reviews of the books written by Ava Bell: author.]
Hello again, everyone, welcome to book reviews from an author’s perspective. Last week I interviewed indie erotic writer Ava Bell (link to interview below), so now I’m back with my reviews of her books. She has written four books to date, three of them are in the Tabu series. This will be the first time I have read and reviewed four books at one time, but I had some time on my hands, so I headed over to Amazon and purchased Ava’s books; all four were under $14.00.
Books by Ava Bell
Miles from Home
Joe’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Miles from Home is a tale of two young people, Maggie and Sam, escaping their pasts in pursuit of a brighter future. They meet by accident on a stretch of lonely highway and the story escalates from there. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, something else happens to one or the other. The dreams of one come true but at a cost, while the other has to give theirs up. This story will pull at your heartstrings to the point of making you tear up. The sexual content is added at the right times and is appropriate and steamy. Don’t let the book being categorized as erotic fiction turn you away from reading a great book, written with feeling that will touch your soul.
The Tabu Series
Joe’s Average Rating for Tabu Series: 5 out of 5 stars
The Tabu series consists of three books: 1) C/curious, 5 out of 5 stars, 2) A/awakening, 5 out of 5 stars, and 3) S/submit, 5 out of 5 stars.
Emma is a dedicated mother to a couple of teenagers, Maddie and Luke, along with being a wife to Daniel, who is any woman’s dream husband. However, Emma is lost; she no longer knows who she is or her purpose in life. After noticing one of her friends reading mommy porn, she decides she too can write books of that nature. With Daniel’s approval and encouragement she starts on the path to becoming an author. Emma wants her book to be realistic about the alternate lifestyle of the BDSM community. Once she starts her research her world begins to change and she finds out she may not be who she thought she was. Will Markus, a man she met on a BDSM social site, be her mentor and give her the answers she needs to write a story that is both fictional and true to the lifestyle?
The characters in this series are strong with distinct personalities, and they guide each other through the twists and turns of heartache, passion and forbidden pleasures. I love the way book three, S/submit, ends with the phone buzzing. I found the conclusion to be appropriate and surprising.
This series is excellent as it gives the reader a glimpse into an alternate lifestyle that few can understand and fewer dare to talk about. Ava pretty much nails it. This set of books reminds me a lot of the series by Penelope Syn, one of my favorite authors, Reform School Sex: The Collection – not the stories, as the plots between the two are totally different, but in the regard that in each series you can pick up any one of the books and it stands alone. There is no need to read the others as each has a beginning and a definite end. However, with Ava’s books, trust me, you will want to read all three to get the big picture of this type of lifestyle.
What Did I Learn from the Author?
As you know I write these reviews from a writer’s perspective so, as a writer, what did I learn from this author? First off, Miles from Home, her first book, is as close to flawless as one could hope for. Ava did not make any of the new independent author mistakes that so many do. She followed the correct path from the start by using professionals to edit, create cover art and format the book. Miles from Home has spectacular color inside and out and is readable on whatever device you are using. You have read from me over and over that, if you are an independent author, please don’t think you can do it all – you will just wind up releasing shabby work that hurts us all, and it will take you several books that are well done to recoup any readers you have left. Nothing can be perfect, but you can get it as close as possible, as Ava did, by hiring the right people. (Up at the top of this page is a tab, Joe’s Book Team – if you are in need of an editor, illustrator or cover art designer, the team I use and their contact info is located there.)
Next, although Ava is considered a writer of erotic fiction, I was shocked when I read her stories and they were not what I expected. I have read other books of an erotic nature and it’s one sex act after another, with a plot so thin you can see through it. First off, Ava’s stories have strong plots and excellent characters that carry the plot through the story at a good pace, with lots of twists and turns. Ava is writing about the troubles, curiosities and desires of everyday people and how they cope with those feelings. If we stop and think about it, sex happens – not as much as some of us would like, of course, but just the same it’s a fact of life. Ava builds the sexual tensions and adds the sex at the appropriate times, using terms that are not vulgar, but you still get the point. She paints the scenes with such skill that it allows the reader to feel the desire and passion the characters are struggling with and/or acting on. Not everyone can do this; here is an example.
My first novel I wrote back in 2014. That book is still buried deep in my computer and was rejected for its sexual content, the use of sexual slang, along with a list as long as my arm of other things that needed to be corrected. The editor basically stated that, if I wanted the book in a store that was not in the back room of a truck stop or porn shop, I had best clean it up. My first published book, Demons of the Jungle had some sexual overtones, but nothing you could call erotic. My second book, A Witch’s Dilemma, which is at the editing stage with a new editor, is another example. The main character has a breaking point – that breaking point is when her and three of her friends are almost raped. The editor was fine with it during the manuscript review, but I made the revisions and made the scene a little rougher, since it is an intricate part of the story, and I sent it back for the first round of edits. When she got to the new chapter she withdrew from the project due to its violent sexual nature. That put me behind, but I understood; not everyone can handle sexual or violent content, and I don’t want anyone doing anything they makes them feel uneasy.
I believe that, after reading Ava’s books, which I suggest everyone who reads this does, when needed I can write a tasteful sex scene and that the editor won’t shout about the slang,. I hope I can transfer the passion of the characters to the readers. I’m positive they will not be as good as the ones in the books above, but we all have to get our feet wet sooner or later by taking baby steps.
Ready for a couple of treats, Ava agreed to answer twenty questions in a Q and A format. One of the last questions dealt with advice for others, and part of her answer was write what you know. To me that was profound. Think about it, write what you know. Don’t write to try and please the fans of the latest trend, simply write what you know. I’m just speculating here, and I know in my case this is true, but if you write what you know, you most likely have a lot passion for that subject, and that passion will transfer to the pages of your book, allowing the reader to feel what you feel.
To read the interview with Ava click here, Q and A with Ava Bell – Author
The next treat is a free giveaway, that’s right free. The second book in the Tabu Series, A/Awakening. Click on the picture of the book and boo-yah your there to claim your free copy. This is a limited time offer, running from March 20 through March 25, 2016.
All of Ava’s books can be found on Amazon.
You can connect with Ava on the following social media sites:
Joe is also an independent author and you connect with him on the following sites:
Official Website of Joseph Clay – Author (The only place to buy autographed copies of Joseph’s books.)
Official Blog of Joseph Clay – Author (You are here now.)
Blog edited by Clare Diston at Human Voices.