Hi, everyone!

I have beta read for many fellow AWers over the years (a bunch of whom are now published! Yay! ), and have had several wonderful beta's for my stories as well. I'm currently seeking beta readers for my realistic fiction YA novel, Big Mouth Blues. I think I'm THIS CLOSE to this story being ready for the presses, but I've added, cut, and revised so much in the past few months that I need to know if these improvements I've made "work" or not.

Big Mouth Blues is approx 67K words and 29 chapters.
The writing is VERY polished, and it's a fast paced read and a page turner. It's contemporary YA, but this story has something for everyone and can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of your age and/or genre preferences.

Here is my one-sentence tagline,
to give you an idea of what the story is about:

Fourteen-year-old Kacey Dalton struggles to keep from revealing her father's violent temper, but her bruises from his escalating abuse threaten to unravel the secrets that hold her life together.

And here is my summary/synopsis:

Kacey Dalton is a blabber mouth who no one suspects is keeping a colossal secret.

Determined to protect her mother and little sisters, fourteen-year-old Kacey takes the brunt of her father's alcoholism and violent mood swings. He swears if she tells anyone he'll shut her big mouth forever. Her mom turns a blind eye and does nothing; she's got her own secrets to keep. Kacey's quirky sense of humor helps her deal, and she hopes someday she'll be free of his tirades.

Struggling to hold her dysfunctional family together, Kacey escapes into her best friend Maxine's happy family. She finds sanctuary in Maxine's perfect life: fancy house, loving parents, and handsome older brother Wade. Kacey's been crushing on Wade for years, and he may or may not like her back.

As her dad's explosive rages escalate, Kacey's bruises get harder to hide--especially from Wade. He wants answers. If Kacey tells him the truth, she risks losing him and her second family forever. She ends up trapped between the wall of lies she's built and the father who's intent on taking every-crappy-thing-that's-wrong-with-his-life out on her. Kacey seeks escape again, this time in the sanctuary of whiskey. The more she says she will not be like her father, the more she is like him, which has devastating effects on her sisters. Exactly what she's tried so hard to prevent.

Kacey must find courage to stop the abuse. But saving herself means destroying the lives of everyone she loves. And standing up to her dad might just get her killed.

Heart-wrenching, humorous, and hopeful, Big Mouth Blues weaves a story of true friendship with a resilient young girl's journey of triumph.


It sounds heavy, but I balance out the serious subject matter with a good dose of humor throughout, and all of my beta's thus far have told me that the correlation of the two works very well.

It's a pretty fast read, and I'm completely open to ANY feedback anyone is willing to give me -- good bad or indifferent -- from your thoughts as you're reading,
to a crit of each chapter and your overall impression of the story as a whole. You can feel free to have at it. I'm very easy going, and I'll be very grateful for your help and input.

Please PM me if you're interested in beta reading "Big Mouth Blues".

Thank you!

~ Danalynn Donovan