Friday, September 04, 2015

Review--Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained

Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained: Expanded EditionDangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained: Expanded Edition by Maya Rodale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a must-read for all budding romance authors, and it's a valuable addition to the shelves of established authors too. Rodale joins the small, but growing, list of researchers examining the attraction of romance novels, and I'm now recommending her book along with Beyond Heaving Bosoms, Dangerous Men, Adventurous Women and other recent publications about the romance genre and the romance publishing industry.

If nothing else, it's nice at the end of the day to read a serious, but entertaining, volume that looks at romance without sneering at it.

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Another holiday weekend=More reading time!

"...for best results, read it on the beach!" Smart B*tches, Trashy Books on The Pirate's Secret Baby.

Got books? It's the end of summer, and for some, a last chance to lounge in a hammock with a good beach read. Make sure your ereader is fully stocked, or your paperbacks light enough to lift while sipping a refreshing drink, and enjoy Labor Day Weekend. You've earned your rest and relaxation!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Some giggles from The Toast, and a snippet from the WIP

Oliver returned to the endless piles of vegetables, turnips today. They were thicker skinned than the potatoes, and after a few swipes at the uncooperative produce, Holt sighed and took the knife from him.
“Watch, Beaumains, while I show you how it’s done so you don’t waste half of it!”
Oliver raised his eyebrows.
“Shall I serve you then as Gareth served Sir Kay the Seneschal?”
Holt’s hand pause from where it was neatly skinning the vegetable, and his dark face broke into a grin so wide it threatened to displace his ears.
“You’ve read Le Morte d’Arthur? Welcome aboard, friend, welcome aboard!”
For the next two hours the cook stumped around the galley, discussing his favorite points of Mallory’s classic while Oliver plied his knife. When the cook announced work was done for the morning, Oliver stood, flexing his hand, then sucked on a nick on his thumb where the knife slipped when he wasn’t prepared for the ship to roll through a trough.
--[working title] WHAT THE PARROT SAW

It's no secret that one of my favorite novels of all time is THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING by T.H. White. I know the story of Arthur's fallen out of favor with many modern readers, but I still love it, so today I had many giggles over this wonderful piece from The Toast: "How to Tell if You're in a Chivalric Romance." Enjoy!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Review--Brown-Eyed Girl (Travis Family #4)

Brown-Eyed Girl (Travis Family, #4)Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quite enjoyable, moved along at a good pace, had a great heroine, hero and secondary characters (not to mention Coco). I was worried about the resolution of the heroine's career vs. love dilemma, but found the ending quite satisfactory. In addition, there's a set up for another Travis Family related story.

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Review--Siren's Call (Rainshadow, #4; Harmony, #12)

Siren's Call (Rainshadow, #4; Harmony, #12)Siren's Call by Jayne Castle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the perfect airplane book. I could read & enjoy it on a long flight without feeling like I had to work my brain too hard (I'm convinced they decrease the oxygen on the flights). It had a satisfactory mystery, trademark Jayne Castle H&H, and best of all, it had a great Dust Bunny, Lorelei. I recommend it to fans of the series.

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Review--The Privateersman

The PrivateersmanThe Privateersman by Frederick Marryat
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now this was a ripping good yarn! Swashbuckling! Pirates! Privateers! Romance! Really, what more do you want from your reading?

Capt. Marryat was one of the premier authors of naval fiction in the 19th c., and his stories still hold up over 100 years later. In this tale we have the story of a young man's journey from callow sea rover to an adulthood filled with drama and command, turmoil and travail, but at the end of the story is the love of a good woman and a just reward.

I recommend the Privateersman to armchair sailors who enjoy Forrester and O'Brien. You can't go wrong with the author other authors (Melville, for example) credit with inspiring them to write their own tales of life at sea.

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

An Interview with Kelly Faircloth from Jezebel - Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

The Pirate's Secret Baby is one of the books mentioned in this week's podcast. Lots of great authors and books are discussed, along with conversation about romance tropes and how the romance publishing industry is viewed. As always, the @SmartBitches podcasts are entertaining and well worth a listen.

154. An Interview with Kelly Faircloth from Jezebel - Smart Bitches, Trashy Books


Thursday, August 13, 2015

THE PIRATE'S SECRET BABY wins Award of Excellence

I'm very pleased to announce The Pirate's Secret Baby won the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence for Historical Romance. It's thrilling to see my love story of pirates, puppies, poppets and a befuddled governess receive recognition from other writers.

This is the second national award for The Pirate's Secret Baby. Earlier this year it received the New England Chapter RWA Readers' Choice Award for best historical.

As always, I'm grateful to my publisher, Amber Quill Press, to my editor, Catherine Snodgrass, and most of all, to my many readers and fans.

Thank you all for making my books winners. I couldn't do it without you.

Review--The Prince (The Original Sinners #3)

The Prince (The Original Sinners, #3)The Prince by Tiffany Reisz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm enjoying this series tremendously, and readers should know this one ends in a cliff-hanger. There are multiple storylines: Kingsley & Soren, past & present, and Nora and Wes reconnecting on his home ground.

Readers should again be cautioned that there are severe depictions of S/M behavior and this series is clearly not for every reader. However, for those who've been fascinated since The Siren, it's bound to be a winner.

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Happy Left Handers Day!

Turns out August 13 is a salute to those people who smear the ink when they're using fountain pens. Who knew they had their own special day? I've got a couple of southpaws in my family, so I'm glad they're getting recognition, especially since they were always made to sit at the end of the table so their elbows wouldn't jab the normal people in the side during supper.

I have such fondness for those odd types that I wrote an entire book about a character whose name is a clue. No, I'm not going to tell you what book it is, you'll have to figure it out for yourself.  All I'll say is, there are some advantages to being of the widdershins persuasion.


Sunday, August 09, 2015

Review--Maud's Line

Maud's LineMaud's Line by Margaret Verble
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm conflicted about this novel. I wanted to like it. A lot. The writing is lovely and lyrical, the sense of place is reminiscent of novels like The Yearling, Their Eyes Were Watching God, even A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Stories of community and struggle and family.

Verble's debut novel brings to life the hardscrabble Cherokee and Seminole communities of Oklahoma in the 1920s. Maud Nail is part of that community, living on the government allotment given to her family by the US government, a valuable commodity for people who've had everything taken away from them.

When a handsome peddler with a wagon full of goods comes down Maud's section line she's immediately attracted to him. Booker represents all she desires--learning, city life, an existence with indoor plumbing and modern temptations like bobbed hair and short dresses. Most importantly, he has books, and it's her love of reading that brings the spark between them to life.

As I said, I wanted to love it more than I did. Maud's love of books and desire to better herself resonated with me. The descriptions of life in her community were spot-on. But at the end of the novel I was dissatisfied with Maud's inability to seize control of her own destiny. The action at the end seemed rushed and even somewhat incoherent. She gave up something that could have made her future secure for a future that seems tenuous at best. I simply could not be satisfied with what came across as a weak action from a character who up until that point had been strong and durable.

However, I enjoyed Ms. Verble's writing immensely, and I look forward to seeing more from her in the future. Maud's Line is a promising debut novel.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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