$2; Live Justified Books 19 pages ( estimated )
From the first sentence of this premiere "bookisode" ( "Bullets and blood are the norm here" ), the new author Rebelle has our attention. Writing in an easy-flowing style, Rebelle begins us on a journey that neither she nor we know the end of just yet.
At two bucks, we get the initial installment ( what she calls a "bookisode" ) in an evolving series. The author encourages reader feedback and promises to use some of their insights to develop the succeeding installments.
Thus, there is little I can tell you about the arc of the storythe first 19 pages is all one gets for the first investmentso there is a bit of a risk here. How long will the book be, ultimately? The author envisions no more than 200 pages in all.
How much will the reader need to shell out to get the complete story? Rebelle intends to release around 10 bookisodes for Back to You and states the maximum cost to the reader will not exceed $20. She also states the reader will soon be able to purchase bookisodes directly from her website ( www.livejustifiedbooks.com ) for $1, reducing the overall cost to $10.
I can tell you the premise of the book looks smart, the characters are likeable and, if one cares for this sort of thing, the observations on war and the attempts to avoid it are thoughtful. Given the author's background ( she studied peace and post-conflict reconciliation in Uganda and Rwanda, as well as community development and social entrepreneurship in Cape Town, South Africa ), she knows a thing or two about conflict between warring factions.
Back to You begins in the midst of a tense peacekeeping situation. Two female soldiers are on the outlook for sniper bullets. It is unclear where they are. We immediately pick up on the narrator's observations on the futility of war and peace negotiations in a conflict between government forces and rebel factions. "Simply stated, a treaty only works when all actors agree ( to some degree ) to stop fighting. Unfortunately each time the negotiating table is set, new patrons are presented who demand to be fed their share of social, economic and political freedom."
The tension escalates and Penny, one of the two soldiers and the narrator, is shot. She ends up in the hospital, where she is joined in a cozy reunion with her lover Sophie, also a soldier. Penny and Sophie have served together two years as peacekeepers and are looking forward to just a few more weeks before they can go home and start a new life together.
The bookisode leaves the reader hanging with Penny learning she is being shipped home immediately because of her wound. The author, in proper serial fashion, poses the question: "Can their relationship really endure the escalating conflict?" You have to purchase succeeding bookisodes to find out.
The author offers exclusives and discounts on the next purchase. Check out her website for details.
Rebelle is a devout lover of women. After being closeted much of her life, she recently decided that it was officially time to begin "living in the light." As a result, she founded Live Justified Books in the summer of 2013. She will begin grad school in Washington, D.C., next fall, where she intends to earn an MA in Sustainable Development & International Policy.