Monday, April 07, 2014

Review--The Rebel Pirate

The Rebel Pirate (Renegades of the Revolution)The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Donna Thorland's second "Renegades of the Revolution" novel is another winner in dealing with a period of American history not appreciated nearly enough by folks on both sides of the pond.

I liked how this second novel of the American War of Independence dealt with small ships. Think of the 13 Colonies as a long island, because almost all commerce and travel moved on the water. Shipping was vital to the war effort and to daily life, and Thorland's focus on the pirates, privateers and merchantmen of New England is an important story. All American schoolchildren learn about Gen. George Washington and the land battles at Lexington & Concord, Paul Revere's ride, the winter at Valley Forge, the final battle at Yorktown, but not enough teaching material focuses on the need for sea power to win independence.

I also liked how Thorland's research library overlapped so neatly with my own.[g]

If I could, I would give this novel 4.5 stars. There was a plot twist near the end involving a character moving to the Rebel side just a little too smoothly for my taste. However, it's close to five stars because overall the story is so good.

If you enjoyed The Turncoat, I think you'll enjoy the second novel in the "Renegades of the Revolution" trilogy. I'm anxious to read the third novel in the series.

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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Review--The Wedding Ring Quest

The Wedding Ring QuestThe Wedding Ring Quest by Carla Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This won't go down as my favorite Carla Kelly, but I enjoyed it. It's a romance about comfort food...and comfort. Capt. Ross Rennie and his young son are traveling to Scotland when they meet Mary Rennie at a coaching inn. Mary is a distant....waaaaaaay distant cousin on a quest: to find a fruitcake with a missing wedding ring baked inside it. No kidding.

Ross and Nathan are getting to know one another again after Ross' years at sea battling Napoleon, but when Ross meets Mary there's an instant connection, and it's not cousinly.

As this unlikely trio travels around Northern England and Scotland, the reader is drawn into their lonely lives--the naval captain who can't leave war behind, the spinster who longs for a bit of adventure, the boy who wants to know his absent father and have a real family.

Like most Kelly novels it's a gentle weepfest about good people, and her fans are sure to enjoy it. I don't know that it'll be one of her frequently recommended novels, like Reforming Lord Ragsdale, but it's still a delightful (if unseasonal) treat.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

New features from Amber Quill Press, including PayPal!

My publisher, Amber Quill Press, overhauled their website and added some great new features to make shopping easier and more enjoyable. From the website::

Changes and additions include...
•  Wireless eBook delivery to your Kindle or Kindle App!
•  Wish List feature
•  We are now accepting PayPal along with all major credit cards
•  Our new Log-In Feature will retain basic "check-out" information so you'll no longer have to enter your name, address, credit card info, etc. every time you make a purchase.
•  Now you can explore our Genre Pages using new filters: Book LengthPaperback Availability, andSeries Books. Additionally, you can select how many products will display on each genre page, as well as the order in which books will appear: whether alphabetically by title or by name of author, from the newest to oldest titles, or in order of price.
•  We are now offering a new Amber Rewards Program. For every $10 you spend, you earn Amber Reward points worth $1 toward a future purchase.

I encourage all my fans to see what's new at Amber Quill Press. My books are discounted, and shopping is easier than ever. If you've been wanting to check out my back list or get The Pirate's Secret Baby, now is the time!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review--City of Jasmine

City of JasmineCity of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's hard to describe what makes City of Jssmine so entertaining without giving too much away, but I loved this book. If you like larger-than-life adventure with spys, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" style relics, handsome desert sheikhs, nefarious villains, Brits with upper lips so stiff they could be used for 2x4s, Restoration England poetry, parrots, imperialist politics, eccentric aunties, and last, but not least, a couple absolutely made for each other, then this is the book for you.

There was even a wink and a nod to characters from Ms. Raybourn's previous novels.

I found it City of Jasmine vastly entertaining and enjoyed every minute of reading it. A good, old fashioned rousing tale of adventure, romance and derring-do.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review--The Rosie Project

The Rosie ProjectThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Many of my friends had recommended this novel, and I'm glad they did. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Narrated by Don, a hero who's firmly on the Asperger's scale, knows it, and utilizes that knowledge to make his life work for him, has a project: he's going to get married, and to make it as scientific as possible (he's a highly regarded geneticist), he's going to survey potential mates about very specific likes, dislikes and habits.

It's science, so what could go wrong?

Enter Rosie.

Now, anyone who's seen Bringing Up Baby, or Ball of Fire or other classic screwball comedies knows exactly where this is going, and you're correct, and it's still a heck of a ride.

Sweet, thought provoking, very funny with some genuine LOL moments. I understand it's also been written as a screenplay, and I'd love to see this gem from Australia made into a movie.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The new WIP

People always want to know what an author is working on now. Sure, I had a new book come out this month, and the reviews of The Pirate's Secret Baby have been gratifying, but I can't rest on my success. I still have fake people talking in my head.

The newest people conversing while I'm cooking, or walking, or sitting staring at my screen are Mathilde St. Armand, aka "Marauding Mattie" and Anthony Woodruff. Mathilde's figuring out her place in the world. It's not easy being the illegitimate daughter of a pirate and a prostitute in the best of times, but in Victorian England, it's a whole different level of difficult.

Anthony's just trying to keep Marauding Mattie from using him for shark chum.

More on this as it develops. And it is developing. I'm doing #1K1Hr sprints via Twitter to get the story rolling, and its beginning to come together. In the meantime, if you haven't yet read The Pirate's Secret Baby, rush out and get a copy. Discover how Mathilde Lestange became "Marauding Mattie" St. Armand. You don't have to take my word for it that it's entertaining--trust the reviews at Amazon, Goodreads and other sites.

In the meantime, I'll keep writing.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Review--Sweet Disorder

Sweet Disorder (Lively St. Lemeston, #1)Sweet Disorder by Rose Lerner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this novel, the third I've read by Ms. Lerner. Part of what I enjoyed was its portrayal of ordinary people, struggling to make ends meet, and I liked the theme of politics as a plot device. Anyone who's worked on a political campaign (I have, often), or had a family member run for political office (ditto) can appreciate the effort, sweat, money and tears that go into a race.

The emotion in the novel felt very real. The heroine had flaws--a nasty temper, a controlling personality; the hero had his own problems related to his difficulties in dealing with his family and his less than perfect recovery from war wounds.

The secondary characters were also well drawn. The "villain" was more of a schmuck than a Dr. Evil, the politically intense mother was not a one-note personality, the "oily" politician was surprising, and so on. I eagerly await the next "Lively St. Lemeston" novel and look forward to many more books from Rose Lerner.

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