Review: The Accidental Duchess

The Accidental Duchess starts off with a bang. Lydia is blackmailed and she has to figure a way to keep the contents of a manuscript she wrote from leaking out. Desperate, she agrees with to an old bet with the Duke of Penthurst. She’s willing to wage her innocence over cards. If he loses he has to give her the sum the blackmailer wants, ten thousand pounds–a vast amount back then.

Of course, trying to solve her problems, Lydia seems to get even more tangled into a mess. During this process, she raises the curiosity of the Duke, who then becomes an ally.

I loved the dialogue of the book. I could not only believe it was British but that it was historical. There were no slips, no modern words and yet nothing sounded stilted or awkward. It wasn’t just the dialogue that’s worthy of praise, Madeline has a great way of sliding delicious, little hints along with her descriptions adding hugely to the plot. They’re like little succulent crumbs and I ate them up wondering where they were leading. Nothing was stated over and over until it became nauseating. On the contrary, if anything we were left wanting more which made me turn those pages faster and faster.

A powerful, strong alpha hero and an intelligent heroine that has come upon tough times always draws my interest and this one was no exception. This is a great book for those who like historical romance and anyone looking for a great summer read.

Another five star review for Olivia’s Choice!

I’m over the moon! The Romance Reviews just gave Olivia’s Choice a five star review! They even made the book their ‘Top Pick’!

Wanna read it? It’s right here.

I’ll be honest, I’m so happy I’m shaking. I had no idea how my book would do. None. The Romance Reviews is a very professional, respectable site and they review some heavy weights. I was pretty sure my book might not do so well.

Five stars. Oh my goodness. I’m shaking.

I have to add a huge thank you to Christine Blackthorn from The Romance Reviews for the amazing review and for choosing my book!

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Reviewing fears

I’m not a reviewer. I like to give my two cents about books I read but those are books from stablished authors who probably couldn’t care one iota what I think to begin with and who certainly don’t need my review. I hesitate about giving a friend a public review–I would definitely do it privately.

Why? Well, I’m terrified of messing it up. I’m not a professional reviewer. It takes talent and good writing to write a good review. You can’t just say: good book. Worse, I could misinterpret something or disclose something and wreck the book for someone. Worse still, I could offend the writer and, if they are a friend, that’s just not worth it.

I’m not alone. The Inky Tavern posted this on reviewing for friends. Michelle D. Argyle posted her thoughts here. One more by Damyanti.

I know, I know. I just did a review for Infinitefreetime. The fear of messing that up is still with me.

What do you think? Should reviewing come hand in hand with writing? Is it a conflict of interest?

Review: The Benevolence Archives Vol.1

I chose to read something out of my genre with this book. I had no idea what to expect for The Benevolence Archives. I was fairly certain it wasn’t going to be romance and I knew it was in English. Everything else was a surprise. And it was a very pleasant surprise.

I loved the intro for this book. I loved it because it was written with humour and in such a kind way–almost humble–that I felt as though the author was a friend, talking to me directly. It also helped me because it set up the setting for the book. Suddenly, I knew where I was and what was going to happen. That introduction eliminated the effort it takes to get into some science-fiction books. I was most definitely in.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the humour. From subtle to quirky, it’s everywhere and I loved it. Everyone has personality and I liked them all. From Nameless, the ship who talks back with some cheek to its owners, to the droids who edge away from those they think are dangerous, the smaller characters kept me smiling or right out laughing.

I can’t talk about characters without talking about Brazel and Grond. Hilarious, outspoken, cheeky and right out delightful, they tease each other, laugh at danger but still pull at your heart strings. I loved them. I particularly loved their dialogue and how they almost carelessly went ahead with crazy plans thought up in the spur of the moment.

The book is fast paced without leaving the reader in the dark. Things happen quickly and I had to keep turning the pages to see how on earth they were going to get out of this or that fix. It takes place in space but it wasn’t a weird, strange alien world where the oddities made me want to get back to earth, this space was familiar and fun. It had your slimy and scary characters but it also had touching moments and homey feelings.

Because the stories are short, the book is an easy, quick read that is simply fun, light and enjoyable. Reading it felt like a movie. I could see the ships, the planets and the characters in my mind. Best of all, I can go back and see them all over again.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great read.

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Buy link: Amazon. Site link.

News and upcoming

Just finished reading Julie James’ It happened One Wedding. Check out my review on my Goodreads sidebar!

I’ve also updated the links for editing on the editing page. The link is on the side under ‘resources for writers’.

I’ve also just finished reading ‘The Benevolence Archives‘ by Luther M. Siler and ‘The Pact‘ by Jodi Picoult. I’ll post my humble thoughts on those books tonight and tomorrow. I chose these books because they’re outside my usual genre (romance!) so I thought I’d stretch my tastebuds. Let me know what you think about the reviews or the books!

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Looking for reviews?

I’m always looking for reviews. A reviewer is not easy to find. An available one is even harder.

I have good news. I found an available reviewer. http://readwithdiane.blogspot.ca. She’s looking for books to review and is also incredibly kind. I say that because she’ll only post your review in Amazon if it gets 4 or 5 stars.

In her own words:

” I will write a review and publish it, promote it, etc. if it is 4 or 5 star.  If it is not, then I will still write the review but only submit it to you via email.  I will never negatively speak about an author’s work on my website.   Author bashing is not my style and never will be.”

As always, I’ll add this to the Resouces page. Hope this helps! 🙂

Five star review for Olivia’s Choice

Olivia’s Choice just got a wonderful, five star review on Amazon! I’m awed and humbled that someone would like my book so much they would give it a five star review. And they asked if I was writing any sequels! I’m just over the moon. (By the way, I am writing the sequel…Amy’s Courage. It’s almost done–except for editing).

Check it out here:  http://www.amazon.com/Olivias-Choice-Forest-Races-ebook/dp/B00DUHI8OU/

The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I went to the used book store yesterday and found a couple of books…One of them was The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I thought I’d just start it, just read a bit this morning…fast forward a few hours and my husband asked me if I was leaving the house today. The answer, of course, was not yet. A few hours later, I finished the book.

The Great Escape is another of those great books I’ll reread. I loved it from the start. I loved the premise and I loved Lucy. She was a kid who had been trying to help everyone her entire life and finally, on the eve of her wedding, has a bit of a breakdown and runs off. I love stories about new starts. What would she do? How was she going to figure out her life? I was hoping that Ms. Phillips wouldn’t make the mistake of trivializing Lucy’s challenges by dealing with them overnight. I wasn’t disappointed.

Lucy figures things out the way we all do, making mistakes, taking one step forward and two back, slowly and over time. I loved being along for the ride. She also runs off with a very shady character who has a few surprises for her (I won’t ruin the book by giving anything away). Lucy and Panda have rich, dark pasts and issues to work out. I love stories that deal with problems that feel real and don’t just fix major traumatic events with a few lines.

The awesome thing about Ms. Phillips is her secondary characters are almost as good as her first and, this book didn’t disappoint. I laughed and cried with them and, though I wanted to only hear about Lucy, I fell in love with them anyway. They were really likeable.

Another keeper for me. I know I’ll join them again and reread the book with delight because I know just how good it is.

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

Great review!

Just got my first review! I was terrified that they wouldn’t like my book but they liked it. In fact, they gave it four stars out of five! Yeey!

If you want to read it, here’s a link: http://www.thebooklanders.com/2013/11/book-review-olivias-choice.html

I gotta say…I feel like I’m floating a little bit. I’m so grateful…Just so grateful.

For writers

I thought I’d mention a great program for writers: Scrivener.

Nope. They haven’t paid me to do this post. I just use it and it’s really something. I’ll never write with anything else again.

Scrivener is super easy to use. It has a side bar where all your chapters and scenes are located and you can easily move them around. That alone sold me because, the way I write, I need to move scenes back and forth and cutting, pasting, then scrolling is a nightmare. As well, Scrivener makes editing easy because you can mark each scene or chapter with a coloured mark to show where they are in the editing process. You can also go to any of them instantly. No scrolling down.

It has a ton of other features, like word count, character sheets, the cork board, etc. But I didn’t want to make it sound complicated because it’s very user friendly.

But there’s more! Scrivener can compile the finished document into epub, mobi (for amazon) or for print. I can add a table of contents (a real nightmare if you want to format the document by yourself) in one or two clicks. That alone is worth a fortune.

When I first got my edited manuscript, I paid someone to format it for me. They did a terrible job and wouldn’t help me fix their mistakes. With Scrivener, I can do it myself. For free.

Here’s a link to the site: https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

And here’s a very thorough review by Molly Greene: http://www.molly-greene.com/authors-tool-scrivener/?utm_source=rss. She also includes pictures of what it looks like.

In my humble opinion. It’s so worthwhile.

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