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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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review--British Antislavery, 1833-1870

British Antislavery, 1833 1870British Antislavery, 1833 1870 by Howard Temperley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent, if dry, analysis of the British antislavery movement post-abolition. I found it very useful for researching my next novel, and recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about Great Britain's attitudes, how it affected the antebellum United States, and what happened with G. Britain freed all its slaves in the West Indies.


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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Pirate's Secret Baby--News!

The paperback edition of The Pirate's Secret Baby is here! You can get it at Amber Quill Press or Amazon, and it's also available in Kindle and other ebook formats from those vendors and All Romance eBooks.

Reviews are coming in each day, and you can read them at Goodreads and Amazon.

On Friday, March 21, I'll be live on Conner Calling, a phone-in/email-in talk show on WUFT/WJUF FM. I hope you'll tune in, and as always, support public radio in your community! We'll be talking about books, romance writing, research, and I suspect that Hank will ask me who I'd cast in the film version of The Pirate's Secret Baby. I know who I'd pick, but this is your chance to phone in with your $.02. The show streams live, so you can hear it anywhere you have a good wifi connection.

Whew! In addition to all of that, I'm beginning work on book #8. More on this as it develops.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"In What Order Should I Read Your Books?"

Today is release day for The Pirate's Secret Baby, and that usually prompts the question, "In what order should I read your books?"

I'm going to have this cheat sheet as a FAQ when I update my website (in the works, even as we speak). While my books have crossover characters, they're all written to be read as stand-alone novels. However, if you want to know who shows up where, this is how you read them:

Castaway Dreams, then The Pirate's Secret Baby. The villain of Aspen Gold winner Castaway Dreams is the notorious pirate Robert St. Armand. He gets his own story in today's release, The Pirate's Secret Baby. Here's a blurb: "Governess wanted: must exhibit patience and fortitude with precocious little girls, puppies, and most importantly, rakishly handsome pirates. Apply Capt. Robert St. Armand, Prodigal Son."

Sea Change, then Castaway Dreams. One of the secondary characters in Sea Change is Royal Navy surgeon Alexander Murray, who's the hero of Castaway Dreams

The Bride and the Buccaneer, then Captain Sinister's Lady. The marriage minded Captain Sinister (Morgan Roberts) and his crew are introduced in The Bride and the Buccaneer.

Pirate's Price, then Smuggler's BridePirate's Price is set a generation before Smuggler's Bride and the heroine of Smuggler's Bride  (Julia) is the daughter of the hero and heroine of Pirate's Price.

All the books are available in paper and ebook editions at Amber Quill Press (http://www.amberquill.com/bio_Marshall.html) and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Castaway-Dreams-ebook/dp/B0080VAL82/), and the ebook editions are available at Kobo, AllRomance Ebooks and NOOK.

As always, I am very, very grateful to all of you who take time to rate and review my novels at Goodreads, BookLikes, Amazon, NOOK, LibraryThing and Shelfari. 

If any reader has questions or comments please contact me! I love to hear from readers: darlenemarshall [at] darlenemarshall [dot] com.