GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ YA Fantasy Author Kale Lawrence: Top 10 Elements that Make an Irresistible Book + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Sunday, January 30, 2022

YA Fantasy Author Kale Lawrence: Top 10 Elements that Make an Irresistible Book + giveaway

Top 10 Elements that Make an Irresistible Book

What makes an irresistible book? While every reader has their preferences (as wildly different as their coffee orders), here are the top ten things I look for when choosing a new read.

10. Unique idea
I gravitate toward ideas that haven’t necessarily been done before. Or, perhaps they have but it’s a new twist (like retellings or gender-swapped versions). The more unique the idea, the more likely I am to snatch up that sucker and buy it.

9. Hard-hitting first chapter
Stories should grab you in the first few pages. This is their chance to show you why you should care about the narrative and set you up for what’s in store. There’s a reason why agents ask for the first chapters when querying; they want to see if you have what it takes to enchant readers from the get-go.

8. Vivid writing
This doesn’t necessarily mean describing furniture for pages on end. What I look for is concise writing that paints a picture in my mind, using action-oriented sentences and descriptors.

7. Chapters that end with “cliffhangers”
In my opinion, chapters should never just “end.” Instead, they should set you up for the next chapter by drawing your eyes straight to the next heading. I want to lose myself in the story and forget I’m reading. Chapter cliffhangers are a great way to keep the pace flowing.

6. True-to-the-story blurb
After the cover, my eyes go straight to the blurb to see if this is a story worth my while. If it’s intriguing, I’m sold! But nothing is more frustrating than reading a blurb and finding out once you start reading that you’re in for a much different ride.

5. Clever cover design
That old adage reminding us to not judge books by their covers meant well, it’s just not necessarily how our brains work. Decisions are made in split seconds in a retail setting (whether brick and mortar or online stores) so a gorgeous design needs to catch a potential reader’s eye to start the conversion process. It’s all in the psychology of it, and the industry knows the cover is the front door to a sale.

4. It makes me feel something
A story isn’t worth it to me unless it pulls at my heartstrings. Whether it’s sad, happy, frightening, or beautiful - I want to feel something while reading, not just sit around in Stagnant Emotion Land. I want to feel a character’s pain, dive into the depths of their world, and emerge a changed person.

3. Realistic dialogue
I’ve definitely read my fair share of not-so-realistic dialogue, but this is one of the key items for me to enjoy a book. If the characters sound robotic and forced, it’s probably not going to be a fun ride for me.

2. Intriguing characters
You can’t have a story without characters, but what really makes or breaks a book are the characters. If you can’t identify with any of the characters or empathize with their struggles, what makes you think you’ll want to invest in their fictional lives? What’s the point?

1. A plot with a payoff
The plot is the main element that makes a book irresistible to me. If it’s strong, that’s a win! If it’s twisty, even better. The plot is everything; it’s how the entire story is strung together. A weak plot makes for a forgettable read. A meaningful plot carves deep.

What makes an enticing read for you? Leave them in the comments! And while you’re at it, connect with me on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

The Magi Menagerie 
(The Magi Menagerie, #1)
by Kale Lawrence
September 7th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, New Adult, Young Adult
Some stars aren’t meant to be followed.

For seventeen years, Ezra Newport and his parents were habitual immigrants, traveling from their Ottoman Empire home across 20th century Europe. As the Newports migrate to Belfast, Ireland, Ezra wants nothing more to settle into a consistent life and lay the foundation of his architectural dreams. But after a strange, mechanical bounty hunter murders his mother and prompts the disappearance of his father, Ezra discovers that his parents had actually been on the run. Now, their enemies are targeting him, and they won’t stop until he is dead.

In a moment of desperation, Ezra’s fate collides with the Third Order of the Magi, a secret society dedicated to using their supernatural powers to protect their communities. With increasing violence around the world, the Magi are fairly certain they know who’s behind the attacks on Ezra and his family since the same group could also be threatening their own existence.

Both Ezra and the Magi’s survival hinges on knowledge only Ezra’s father has and the key to saving them could be buried within history itself. In a race across continents and time, both Ezra and the Magi must secure an ancient Babylonian artifact before hell is unleashed on the world. And, against all odds, Ezra must decide where his allegiances truly lie, despite what is written in the stars.

About the Author:
Since the early age of 6, Kale Lawrence knew she either wanted to be an astronaut or an author. Obviously, the astronaut gig didn’t work out, so instead, Kale turned to fantastic fictional worlds. When Kale is not writing creatively, she works as a Marketing Manager at a pet product company, and pretends she’s an Olympic swimmer at the gym. She has also served as a board member for the South Dakota Writes organization.

In addition to books, Kale has lent her writing prowess to television, and her writing has been featured on nationwide PBS television programming, NBC newscasts, ABC newscasts, and the Travel Channel.

Kale currently lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with her feisty tortoiseshell calico cat, Emma Bug and sassy Siamese, Seattle Bean.

Tour-wide giveaway (US only)


  1. Congratulations on your recent release of The Magi Menagerie, Kale, your book sounds like an excellent book for me and I love the cover! Good luck with your book and the blitz! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a spectacular week!

  2. Thanks for hosting today, Sharon!