Beta Reader Praise for Into the Fire

“Its imaginative and seamless plot, coupled with its rich character development and compelling storytelling, ensures a captivating and unforgettable reading journey. The author’s mastery of intricate plots, authentic dialogue, and adept character growth establishes its exceptional quality.”

“I loved almost everything about this book and I was thinking about it constantly when I wasn’t reading. I found myself engrossed in whether they would die or be together consistently.”

“I think you do a great job of grabbing the reader’s attention and bringing them into the story. I was hooked at the beginning and wanted to just keep reading.”

“I really liked this story Stefanie. I like your style of writing and it grabbed me from the very beginning and just kept pulling me along. I wanted to find out what Mel was looking for and understand how she learned to cope with the loss of her parents. I wanted to see Tommy forgive himself and deal with his survivor’s guilt. I was able to get into the rhythm of the dual first person point of view and liked the story they told.”

“Your writing is easy to read and moves very well. I am a fast reader and I really liked the pacing.”

“Wow, this was so good. I bow down before you in your amazing ability to up the stakes and suspense, layer upon layer.”

“Fun fact: I learned a lot about living in a cave in this book, you left no stone unturned (pun intended).”

“Into the Fire was so good right from the start. I was rooting for Mel and Tommy from the very first chapter. Everything about them working together made sense, from the immediate chemistry to the common bond over the loss of their parents. The layering of plot and increase in suspense grew with each page turn. A lot of the side characters were unlikeable but as the trust grew, that gradually faded for most of them. I was particularly attached to Sam. He was the warm hug in the cold cave that I needed that as a reader.”

“I had to put it down sometimes because it was so intense, I needed some time and space to process what had just occurred – I like when a book does this, it’s a good thing. I always wanted to go back and pick it up after a short break. The pacing was great. Everything built, layer upon layer, and at each turn, the stakes grew bigger. Well done!”

“Tommy I liked right from the moment he helped her out of the woods. I loved that he thought he had all of the answers she was looking for but in the end, they answered them together and in doing so, he got answers to his own questions.”

“The romance between Mel and Tommy was so well plotted from meet cute to the sizzle in the first touch to the happy for after. I hesitate to call it a happily ever after since yikes- they have another dangerous mission! Tommy’s hesitation in pursuing the romance made sense. But I could still feel how much they wanted one another. There was love and lust and oh, these two were really pining for one another for a while. The sex scene was steamy and well written, and I could follow the body movements easily.”

“The book is fast-paced and jam-packed with plot. It’s an easy read, and at no point have I felt like I was slogging through, or reading the same page over and over.”

“I like the fact that Mel, as a character, is not only aware of the tensions between herself and Cait (and other Resistance members) but alsodemonstrates for herself that she’s willing to do what she must to prove she’s committed and trustworthy, rather than simply allowing herself to be pushed along by one of the male characters. It makes her a more powerful protagonist.”

“During the raid for the BioAgent papers, I felt very close to the action. The threat felt real, and I didn’t have trouble keeping track of the scene, even in the action-packed moments. I also like the idea of Cait being a threat to Mel’s safety. That provides an opportunity for interesting tension.”

“The pace of the plot moves so briskly, which is good because I’m not sure I could maintain this level of anticipation if it
moved any more slowly. It’s impossible to walk away because I need to know how it’s going to end!”

“I love Mel’s relationship with Sam, especially how honest they are with one another and how clearly they see one another. They obviously want what’s best for each other. It’s just really beautiful to see a platonic relationship play out with such a purity of heart against such an anxiety-producing setting.”

“The last leg of the book was super action-packed and made for a really quick read! I felt like the ending satisfied me, even though it is clear that the author has set the book up to be part of a series.”

“I loved the whole final showdown between Tommy and Mel and the Organization. The exchange was tense, and I flew through the whole
thing, wondering how they’d possibly get out of that mess.”

“The pace was so brisk but without being rushed, and the author was able to pull together a lot of minutiae in order to develop a rich plot. The author managed to hold onto every single one of those competing threads in order to see them through without giving the impression that they were throwing everything into the narrative. This was a balancing act which was pulled off with aplomb.”

“My favorite aspect was that, while it was a plot that’s been done before, it was well done and I didn’t feel like I was reading a book I’d already read 15 times. I also enjoyed the main characters loving to run; that’s a unique trait I liked to see represented.”

“The author has a great use of bread-crumbing little plot details in a way which allows the reader to develop their own theories about what might be coming without derailing the revelations contained in the ending.”

“I wanted to be part of the resistance as I read about their battle, and I could put myself in the characters’ shoes when they discussed their passionate fights.”

“The author has a clean, simple, easy-to-understand way of writing. On the sentence level, I never found myself confused or tripping over sentences. This makes for a smooth, easy-to-enjoy kind of read. And I think it’s especially important in the YA genre, so kudos!”

“Mel and Tommy had very distinct voices and perspectives, and I really liked the fact that the two characters were able to give a half of the narrative each, from different sides, which added up to more than the whole.”

“This was actually really scary and thrilling! Everything became consistently clearer throughout, and the more details were revealed the more chilling the Organization became.”

“I loved Sam and Mel, especially, because a great platonic friendship is something I always love in my fiction. They were quite a duo, because their bond was so pure and so strong.”

“The underground caves felt hushed and stealthy, and each time any character ventured into Levett, I was so anxious on their behalf.”

“The author’s masterful use of language was noteworthy right from the opening scene.”

“This was a well thought out plot, and the scariest thing about it was the fact that the author left me with no doubts that such a thing could happen right under our noses.”

“This book is believable in its discussion of the corruption of the US. I like how it’s not a ‘real’ example but one that could easily be so.”

“”Ultimately, I think it’s a story about self-sacrifice and community-mindedness, and while there’s plenty of action along the way, that’s by far the most important story to tell.”

“I think there are some good, strong themes at the heart of this book around grief, survivors guilt, and what bravery is / looks like.”

“It’s high quality, suspenseful, great characters, lots of terrific conflict, and the reader is definitely kept guessing. It deserves to find an audience.”