Top Posts for 2014

I was pretty curious to see what the best posts were for my blog. I wondered if there was a theme or a common thread through them. Turns out, what the reader wants is not always predictable.

10. Coming in first is this post on the Active voice for authors. It has a series of links that I think readers appreciated.

9. This one was for bloggers and cautions about staring at those mesmerizing blog stats. I fell into that trap early on and it was a hard habit to break. As well, there are a group of links from other sites on the same subject.

8. This one is for authors again. Its on plotting with tips and links from other sites.

7. This one was a total surprise hit. A must read list if you’re getting a puppy. It was an instant hit with readers.

6. More tips for authors, this time on editing. I had very little idea on how to do this right, so I researched those authors who do know and added their links to the post. Readers loved the links.

5. Of Mushy Peas and Olives was an instant hit that kept getting attention. It’s a funny anecdote of my Mother-in-Law who, to this day, doesn’t find the story that funny at all.

4. My two dogs are the subject of quite a few posts. The Amazing Abilities of Akitas made me laugh when I wrote it and was a big hit with readers.

3. I do not like change. When I rambled on about it on the blog, then added some animal pictures, people loved it.

2. If you need a review, Reading Page by Paige is still reviewing books online. My post about her blog became a great hit with readers.

1. The number one read post on my blog was The importance of Tags: For Bloggers and once again, I relied on the great wisdom of someone else for this concept, Sourcerer, an amazing blog I highly recommend. Here’s his original post.

That’s it, the top ten posts of the year. A huge thanks to everyone for reading and to the bloggers and indie authors who have made having this blog such a positive experience.

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Review: Daring to dream

Nora Roberts is a pro. When I picked up this book, I knew it’d be good but I also knew I was in the hands of one of the best writers of romance. Ever. So I paid attention.

Nora Robert’s good. For a lot of reasons.

One, her heroine Margo is outspoken, opinionated and makes a terrible mess of her life. Where I would probably create a woman that no one would like, Nora Roberts makes Margo appealing. She cares about her family, sacrifices herself for them and keeps her dignity by not throwing herself at the hero’s feet.

Josh is the hero and he too, could be disliked in someone else’s hands. He’s born in luxury, is gorgeous, flawless and a lawyer to boot. Again, Nora Roberts waves her magic with Josh and I loved him. He was quietly in love with Margo for years, never once letting her know or sharing his feelings out of respect for where she was at. And he helps her, when she’s stuck, without letting her know he did it. He’s charming, witty and still very much an alpha man.

Nora Roberts has a knack with families and relationships and this book was no exception. Margo has a chance to reconcile with her mother and make amends with her life. Things work out but there are mistakes along the way and realistic challenges that make this story not only realistic but a wonderful tale of fiction.

I particularly loved that the main plot in the story was the love relationship between Margo and Josh. The Templetons were easy to like and so realistic I could hear them talking.

If you’re a fan of contemporary romance, I’d highly recommend this one. Personally, I can’t wait to get to the rest of this series.

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Note: click on cover to go to site.

Weekend Edition – At the Intersection of Words and Life plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

A fantastic blog, Live to Write – Write to Live has great weekly posts and the Saturday version includes some awesome links!

Live to Write - Write to Live

At the Intersection of Words and Life

A winter landscape that provided the perfect backdrop for my writerly reflection. A winter landscape that provided the perfect backdrop for my writerly reflection.

I’ve noticed a theme emerging in my last few weekend edition posts. For whatever reason – where I am in my own writing journey, the usual end-of-year reflections, the muted desperation that seems to pervade the news these days – I find myself wanting to better understand how this writing thing fits into my life. I want to explore the “why” as much as the “how” and the “what.”

I am not questioning whether or not I should write. No matter what happens, I will always write. It is too much a part of who I am and too deeply embedded in how I experience the world. I may as well lose my sense of sight or hearing as lose my ability to write. Putting words down is how I give…

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Top 5 series I keep rereading obsessively

I reread some books over and over. I reread some series over and over. These are the series I keep rereading like an obsessed addict.

5. The Mackenzie Mountain series from Linda Howard. Just yum!

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4. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Of course!

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3. J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Sigh…so good!

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2. Lisa KleyPas’s contemporary series starting with Sugar Daddy.

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1. Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. I just can’t get enough of her writing.

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How about you? Do you reread some series over and over?

 

(Note: click on covers to go to sites.)

If We Were Having Coffee – 11-22-2014

A great new feature at Trent’s World!

Trent's World (the Blog)

Morning Coffee

Hello and welcome.  Grab yourself a cup of strong French Roast.  I have tea if the coffee is a little much for you.  From the picture you should be able to guess that I’m at home in new Hampshire.

Thinking of that picture, do you see that stack of electronics behind the coffee cup?  This week I’ve been spend huge amounts of time playing that collection of Old School Analog Circuitry known as a minimoog Voyager.  For some reason the need to create music is returning with a vengeance and this time the outlet is mostly old fashioned (read 1960s/1970s style) analog synthesis.  I’ve also been practicing my piano.  Wow, do I need the practice!  I’ve gotten very rusty.

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Review: Ain’t she sweet?

I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She has some of the best character dialogue I’ve read. It can be funny, poignant and deep without going over the top and sounding stuffy or pretentious. I have no idea how she does it, but she does and does so consistently.

So, when I picked up this book, I knew I was in for a good dialogue. It’s also got a premise that I love. Sugar Beth has returned to the town she took advantage of. She’s both broke and desperate but, worse, she has to face a man whose reputation she destroyed with a lie all those years ago. Colin Byrne.

Colin shows Sugar Beth no mercy and neither do her former friends but Sugar Beth won’t give up. Courageous and without any self-pity, she fights to win the money she needs for someone she’s trying to help. The arguments between her and Colin makes me want to pick up the book again and again.

Ain’t She Sweet? has that amazing dialogue I mentioned. It also has great characters and a fantastic plot. It’s not only a keeper, it’s one I reread anytime I need a pick me up. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary romance.

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Note: click on cover to go to site.

Review: Match me if you can

I love a feisty heroine who fights for a dream and this story was exactly that. Annabelle is determined and a fighter. She’s desperate to keep her matchmaking business going and to try to stay ahead of the bills. In order to do that, she wants to get the city’s most eligible bachelor, Heath Champion, as her client.

Heath and Annabelle set off sparks from the very start. He’s determined to have things go his way and, at the beginning, she’s got the losing hand. But here is where her intelligence and quick wit come in and soon she’s turning the tables on the tough Heath.

One of my favourite parts of any book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is the dialogue. It’s fast, light, and really funny. This book didn’t let me down. I laughed out loud at Annabelle’s attempts to keep the elderly clients in her business happy, as well as the jokes the other football players played on her house.

Though its a book in a series, there’s no need to have read the previous books. This one is certainly one to savour and enjoy. I’ll keep it among my favourites and re-read it slowly. If you’re a fan of contemporary romance with a little bit of humour, don’t miss out on this one. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of the best of the genre for good reason.

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Top 10 posts for October

Here are the top 10 posts for October according to you!

10. Five books I re-read over and over was a hit with readers. They shared what they re-read and it was a great way to get ideas for books!

9. Two books got released on the same week and are absolutely awesome. Check them out here.

8. 5 Reasons I want to come back as my dogs was a hit with everyone.

7. I asked for input on a very difficult subject here.

6. This one was my return-home post and everyone loved it!

5. I was in awe at the colours in this one.

4. Ah…the cute factor made everyone love this post. I can completely understand why. Puppies and kittens…soooo adorable.

3. Everyone loved the teeny, tiny announcement that I was leaving…maybe that’s a hint? Hee hee.

2. You thought Pay-It-Forward Fridays was a great idea and told me so with likes and comments.

1. The very top of the pile belongs to Posts I loved this week. This one in particular was a huge hit.

That’s the top 10 according to you! Thank you so much for reading and for those wonderful comments!

And, as a big thanks for reading, here are some cuties! 6-corgi-puppies-sleep-their-way-into-your-heart-1-18001-1345930337-12_bigsleeping_6_days_old_kitten_by_elvira1990-d68py53tumblr_komwlvcDJ41qzwtoyo1_400

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Thank you so much for reading!

Review: Dark Angel / Lord Carew’s Bride

I love Mary Balogh. I joked with a friend that I would happily read her address book as long as she wrote it. It’s a bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea. Anything that’s got her name on it is an automatic-buy for me. She’s really that good.

This book is no exception. Best of all, there are two stories in it so you get double your pleasure for the price of one. In the first one, we meet Jennifer Winwood who gets caught in the middle of a long standing feud between two men. I agonized for her because, back in those days, there was nothing worse a woman could lose than her reputation. Still, there’s a happy ending for her and it’s as beautiful as only Mary Balogh can write.

Then we meet Samantha Newman and hers is a story of the beauty and the beast–one of my favourites. I won’t reveal too much except to say that though these stories are short, they are anything but rushed and the quality that brings me back to Mary Balogh is there in spades.

Ah…historical romance. It’s love with history and it all happens in England. What could be better?

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Note: click on cover to go to site.

The romance fairy tale

Call it Cinderella complex or not, but I’m a huge fan of the ordinary-girl-meets-dashing-prince love story. If you’re like me and love to dream through a book, check out these sites full of just those books.

Amy Alesso has this list of romances whose heroes are all princes.

http://romanceuniversity.org/2014/09/20/someday-my-prince-will-come-reader-roundup-by-amy-alessio/

All About Romance has this list of romances whose characters are royalty. Even better, they’re classified into time periods from ancient history to contemporary to alternate reality.

http://likesbooks.com/royalty.html

Go on, find a lovely romance and curl up with a book. And, if you find a great one, tell me about it so I can read it too! 🙂

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