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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Review: EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton

This book has been on my TBR list forever! And when the new baby came along and I stumbled into LOTS of reading time, I just broke down and bought it for my Kindle (it's easier to hold and turn pages with one hand ...)

From Brodi Ashton's Blog: Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why I Stopped Reading #5

Genre: YA Fantasy
Audience: YA
Length: 592

Where I stopped: pg 60

Why I stopped: It's always interesting to me when a best seller that a lot of people like by a good author just doesn't click with me. So many people I know liked this book, but I for me ... meh. Mostly I just wasn't connecting with the main character at all. And even though I loved the setting of the book, the subject matter didn't seem like my thing either. I'll also have to admit that a nearly 600 page book is hard to hold with one hand, so perhaps that led to me putting it down too ... ;)

What we learned: This has come up before so the same advice applies. Just because one person doesn't like the book doesn't meant there's not someone out there who will champion it. Keep writing. Keep querying. Keep it up. Stuff will work out.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Over Thanksgiving I was lamenting to my mom about how unlucky I've been with the free ebooks I've found on Kindle lately. (Okay, so I'm not really surprised. They are free, after all.) It seemed like all the historical romance novels (yes, I've been reading far too many lately. I know, I know. I should branch out, but, you know, new baby ... haven't gotten to the library ...) anyway, it seemed like they were either bad or naughty. Yep, there's a difference. She said she'd come across this cute novella called GENTLEMAN OF HER DREAMS that she thought was good and had the added bonus of being an inspirational romance without being preachy. And, well, it was free!

From Amazon.comWhen Miss Charlotte Wilson asks God for a husband, she decides He must want her to pursue Mr. Hamilton Beckett, the catch of the season. The only problem? She's never actually met Hamilton. Fortunately, one of her oldest and dearest friends, Mr. Henry St. James--who has returned to New York after a two-year absence--does know Hamilton. Much to Henry's chagrin, Charlotte immediately ropes him into helping her meet Hamilton. However, none of her plans to catch Hamilton's eye go as she expected, and she is even more confused when her old feelings for Henry begin to resurrect themselves. In the midst of the mayhem Charlotte always seems to cause, she wonders if the gentleman of her dreams might be an entirely different man than she thought.This novella is a companion to A Change of Fortune, Jen Turano's full-length debut novel, available fall 2012!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why I Stopped Reading #4

Genre: Regency
Audience: Adult
Length: 399

Where I stopped: pg. 83 (23%)

Why I stopped: Biggest reason -- The story felt too much like Pride & Prejudice. The author, who honestly states up front that they are writing as Jane Austen -- basically trying to mirror her style, which I have nothing against, if the story were original. Second reason -- it's just plain confusing. Now, granted, it took me a few chapters to really get into the language of Austen my first time through P&P, but like I've mentioned before: if I'm this confused now, will I still be confused half-way through the book? When I finish?

What did we learn: It's crazy, because it boils down to some advice I literally just read on twitter from an agent doing #tenqueries. "...if you do an homage it needs to be better than the original." Which, you know, Austen -- so that's really hard. Realistically, in my opinion it needs to be pretty darn good and, well, a bit more original.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Review: THE MEASURE OF A LADY by Deeanne Gist

I read MAID TO MATCH by Ms. Gist quite a while ago and really enjoyed her writing. When I saw two of her other books at a thrift store in my area (and they had beautiful covers!) I snapped them up. 

From DeeaneeGist.comRachel Van Buren arrives in Gold Rush San Francisco with two wishes: to protect her younger siblings and to return east as soon as possible. Both goals prove more difficult than she could imagine as her brother and sister are lured by the city's dangerous freedom and a missionary-turned-gambler stakes a claim on her heart. Rachel won't give up without a fight though, and soon all will learn an eloquent but humorous lesson about what truly makes a lady.
Speak Politely. Even when you're the only respectable woman around, protesting the decadence of a city lost to gold fever.
Dress Modestly. Wear your sunbonnet at all times. Ensure nobody sees your work boots muddied by the San Francisco streets.
Remain Devoted to Family. Protect your siblings from the lures of the city, even against their wishes.
Stand Above Reproach. Most difficult when a wonderful man turns out to be a saloon owner.
Rise Above Temptation. No, not even just a little kiss ...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sometimes I Bake: Super Easy Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I originally pinned this recipe from Homemade by Holman because I love Lofthouse cookies. But I am also cheap. And usually I can't bring myself to spend $4.99 on a box of cookies. But I love Lofthouse cookies and this recipe looked pretty easy. Then today I wanted to make some cookies and the pumpkin snickerdoodles that I pinned a while back looked good, but certainly not as easy. I thought to myself, If they can use a cake mix to make a sugar cookie, I could use it to make a pumpkin cookie. So easy. And it was.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Words to Write By: Writing Through Anything

Another gem from Writer's Digest that I think is absolutely indispensable, especially when I hear too many writers bemoaning that they can't write unless they have a quiet place. Moms who have to use night time and nap time because writing while their kids are up is too distracting. Perhaps because I've always been one of those writers who could sit down for five minutes at a time while the kids are being good and pound out a few words or a paragraph or even just a great sentence, I really clicked with this advice. I believe in it strongly. I think that as a writer, you should think long and hard about working on this if you're not able to do it now.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Review: BEFORE THE SEASON ENDS by Linore Rose Burkard

From LinoreBurkard.com: Linore Rose Burkard's debut novel whisks readers into a world of English manners, romance and adventure.
Regency Romance meets Christian Inspiration in this satisfying historical romp into 1813 London, where the principled, sweet heroine, Miss Ariana Forsythe meets her match in Mr. Phillip Mornay.
Trouble at home sends Ariana to her aunt's townhouse in the fashionable Mayfair district of London. There, she soon finds herself neck-deep in high society and at odds with Mr. Phillip Mornay, London's current darling rogue. Then, a scandal changes Ariana forever. Her heart, her faith, and her future are all at stake in an unexpected adventure that gains even the Prince Regent's attention.
Will Ariana's faith survive this test? What about her heart? For it's Ariana's heart that most threatens to betray the truths she has always believed in. When she finds herself backed against a wall, betrothed to the wrong man, how can it ever turn out right?

Audience: Adult
Genre: Regency Romance, Inspirational Romance
Length: 349 pages

Rating: ** (It was okay.)

The Pros: How can you go wrong with a hero named Phillip? In my experience, I've loved heroes with this moniker. This one didn't disappoint. He was my favorite part of the book by far. He was reserved, but still goodhearted deep down. The plot was original and I enjoyed it.

The Cons: I've never come across an inspirational Regency romance before. As inspirational romances go, this one is very preachy, especially the latter half. I never skip pages in a book, but I skipped several in the final chapters of this one, just to get to the end and see what happened. Ariana's insistence that Phillip "come to Christ" made her seem self-righteous and I found myself identifying more with Phillip and Ariana's "heathen" aunt than with Ariana.

Disclaimer: Nothing

You can buy BEFORE THE SEASONS ENDS and it's two companion novels at www.linoreburkard.com.

If you're interested in Regency romance, check out my novella A CONTEMPTIBLE AFFECTION, available on Amazon and Smashwords.

About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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