a bit of grace

The random musings of Kate Grace

Beta Readers Chime In: Brenna Lehman

Over last weekend we had a bit of a contest that started with a half-sarcastic post I put on my personal wall on Facebook, which snowballed to an impromptu contest giving away two copies of the Burden of the Soul manuscript to fans of the A Bit of Grace LLC Facebook page (seriously… go over and Like it right now because there will be more contests and the only way to know about them is to get that feed).

On Monday the manuscript was going back (yet again) to the editor and our wonderful proofreaders for final reviews before we head into interior production and layout of the book. So what the hell! Why not pick two fans to get a super sneak peek of what’s coming. So we asked fans to state their case and tell us why they should be chosen. Two were selected and Brenna was one of them… specifically for cracking us up! Part of her entry:

If I’m not chosen as one of the final two Beta Readers, I may well explode. Yes, I’ll explode, and bits o’ Brenna will fly across my neighborhood, and disturb the sanity and serenity of its denizens.

How can you say no to that?! So we said yes, and on Monday afternoon the Burden of the Soul manuscript was emailed to Brenna (and our other winner… but more on that later). Imagine our surprise when, on Tuesday morning, word got back to us that Brenna had already finished reading it. Let me point out that Burden of the Soul is not a novella or in any way small. It’s a beast.

After getting some much-deserved sleep, Brenna was nice enough to share with us what she thought.


Well, where to start? Here’s what I love best about it: There are no easy answers, there are no black-and-white solutions, and nothing is tied up neatly in the end. It’s wonderfully frustrating, because it left me wanting more; more revelation about the characters, more revelations about the plotline…just MORE. These are characters you want to know better. You want them around, you can’t wait for them to speak, to reveal more about themselves.  I especially liked the characters Brik, Rose, Demetrius, Liv, and Oliver.  Brik stands out most of all. I’m dying for more info. Please write again. Pretty please, with a cherry on top?

The concept of “Twin Flame” vs. “soul mate” is completely novel, and really got me thinking. The human heart and soul has such a gigantic capacity for love; love of friends, love of family, romantic love, love of self…it’s endless, really. All of these (and more) are touched on in “Burden of the Soul.” Clara has room in her heart for both Dave and Devin. Maybe she’ll have to make a choice eventually, but for now, there is room for both, for all.

Clara’s great. I love her humor and her normalcy. I thought I was the only teenager to amuse herself with peeling her split ends. That grabbed my attention from the get-go, the attention to teenage detail.  I, too, was dying to melt into the background.

I loved the humor of the whole thing; especially, though, Clara’s hilariously blasé reaction to her soul being split upon re-entry: “That sucks.”


Thanks, Brenna! We’re humbled and thrilled you enjoyed it so much! Brenna’s been bit by the bug and has already entered in our Cover Photo Contest giveaway, so seriously… get over to Facebook and become a fan of A Bit of Grace LLC’s page so you can hear about the scheduled (and sure-to-come impromptu) contests through July!


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This entry was posted on June 29, 2011 by in Uncategorized.
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