This is in the box set ‘Gods and Mortals’ but I prefer to review each story separately. *** Girl with meaningful dreams, lives in the pacific northwest,This is in the box set ‘Gods and Mortals’ but I prefer to review each story separately. *** Girl with meaningful dreams, lives in the pacific northwest, small town, disliked by popular kids, reads classic novels, falls over all the time, meets a guy who looks like a statue, he is utterly gorgeous, he glares at her constantly until he does an abrupt 180 and asks her out … this sounds familiar. Omg the author used the word ‘glower’… Stephenie Meyer overused that word in Twilight. Why is a guy doing business studies sitting in on a mythology lecture? Come to think of it how is this impoverished girl going to uni in Cardiff? Why is she in Cardiff, anyway? That whole section was just missing. Not even a paragraph to explain. She ‘never signs up for Monday classes’ - what? She doesn’t do anything on weekends, she doesn’t drink so, why would she care? And you do your classes when they’re on. The only thing they study in Mythology is Nordic. She’s in a pub and drinking tea. Blinks. Again, she doesn’t drink and everyone who does is ugly with it. This is … bland. Over descriptive. Don’t tell me how to get in and out of a car, or that the seatbelt clicks. He constantly says her name. It’s writing clutter. Wait… she just killed a giant dream snake with a stick and then she uses it to kill a wolf. A stick. And I’m picking up this odd anti-sex vibe. She doesn’t have sex with guys ‘coz her grandma taught her better than that… the cow/milk metaphor was used. Ugh.
Oh, thank God there was a guest room. I shouldn’t have been surprised that Ull was the consummate gentleman, but it was still a relief to have my own room. I was already out of my element, no need to make life even scarier than it already was.(Kindle Locations 1468-1470).
See what I mean? And they are in a tiny cottage and it has a number of giant rooms. She and Ull go on some dates, he disappears for a week and then when he tries to explain she won’t listen to him. He can’t just send her an email? Her visions make no sense. She doesn’t use them, or change her decisions after one. I don’t get it. Her grandmother has taught her Norwegian so words in that language shouldn’t be ‘crazy’ sounding. Don’t be rude about Norwegian when your hero is a Norse god. I’m at chapter 9 and I … I can’t keep reading. Did not finish at chapter 9 of 19 - I guess that’s about 45%. With the boxed set, it’s hard to calculate....more
I read a lot of books on writing. And I have wrestled with spreadsheets and daily quotas and all the rest. I am rewriting and editing at the moment, aI read a lot of books on writing. And I have wrestled with spreadsheets and daily quotas and all the rest. I am rewriting and editing at the moment, and it is not easy. My word-count, that I have been told over and again is my measure as a writer, goes backwards as I clean up that crappy first draft. Without understanding why I was losing hope. It became harder to sit down and watch that count go up and then slide back as I moved a whole scene to another book, or to the bin to probably be thrown out later.
My brain kicks my butt more times than I care to admit. I'm super sensitive to bullies, haters, and anyone who tears other people down for any reason. The real critic, though— the harshest of them all— is the one that lives inside of my head, and that's the one I deal with every single day. (Kindle Locations 55-57).
I hear you, Bryan. A podcast person would say they wrote 7-8k words a day, or another guy writes 5k an hour, or Laurie Starkey wrote 46k words (her whole YA book) in one day just to see if she could. When I’m stuck I write by hand; pen and paper. It’s not huge on the word-count, you know? But I kept comparing myself to these people and deciding I must be a failure. I’m not; I’m just different. And that’s what Bryan is too. Different. http://positivewriter.com/ He has ADD and he’s honest about how it challenges him. He says to be a little easier on yourself. He does believe in a muse, but he says you have to be listening for one. I’ve been busy counting words, and I’ve forgotten what made me write in the first place. Joy. It’s the words that matter not the number of them. 4 stars...more
Ooooh Gothic romance. I am a sucker for these… Your sister dies giving birth to a child who should inherit a fortune. What do you do? Well, if you’re EOoooh Gothic romance. I am a sucker for these… Your sister dies giving birth to a child who should inherit a fortune. What do you do? Well, if you’re Elizabeth, you pick up the baby, take the wet nurse, hire a carriage and travel to the dead husband’s family plantation and you pretend to be your sister Ellen-Marie; the baby’s future depends on it. Lucky Ellen Marie was a recent widow and his family has never met her. Her first night at Oak Shade plantation someone puts a jar of spiders in her bed. It is only the first of several attempts on her life. It has the correct Gothic recipe: a lone girl, an isolated plantation, two options for hero, a mystery (the death of Gaspard), and many odd goings on. A large family: Grand’mere, Gaspard her dead son (maybe pushed off his ladder), his sons Felix (dead - married to Ellen-Marie) and Bernard; Gaspard’s second wife Alma Delacroix, her children from her first marriage (Darcourt and Theresa who is perhaps insane); Celestine, Felix’s fourth cousin and betrothed before he left for war (now keen on both Bernard and Darcourt); and Denise the old woman’s French maid. There is also an overseer who is besotted with Alma, but sacked by Bernard for fraud. Bernard looks like this:
There was a chiseled appearance to the planes of his face, in the high cheek bones, firm chin, and the contours of his mouth. Thick black brows divided by two parallel grooves, as of constant anger or irritation, gave him a forbidding look. There had been a faint French accent in his speech that might have been attractive if his voice had not been so cold. The only thing about him that she could approve was that he was clean shaven, though this was a mark of a strong, near arrogant, self-confidence in a hirsute decade. (Kindle Locations 130-134).
And Darcourt like this:
His hair gleamed in golden waves under the candlelight and his laughing eyes appeared blue, though it was hard to be certain at such a distance. As she watched he lounged back in his chair, said something to Celestine, and touched a fingertip to his neat mustache, which was a shade darker in color than his hair. (Kindle Locations 202-204).
Contrast. No? Evidently, Felix wrote a will and posted it back with some letters about his lovely frail wife. Elizabeth isn’t frail. But what she is, is stuck. She has no money, Bernard is appointed as baby Joseph’s guardian (in the will she hasn’t seen), her maid Calliope is a runaway slave and technically belongs to the mortgagee who took over their plantation OR to Bernard as part of his brother’s estate (property of his wife and all that). She has no money, and no family of her own. There is twenty thousand in a bank account for the widow but it’s also controlled by Bernard and he wants to use it to invest in the plantation. And she can’t even entice a man with her fortune, as the money will revert to Joseph’s estate on her re-marriage… or death. But she can’t prove Felix married Ellen as the marriage certificate, baptism certificate and the family bible disappeared out of her luggage when someone knocked Callie out and left the baby at the top of the stairs. (view spoiler)[Theresa made an odd statement about babies dying… but Elizabeth feels for her and takes Joseph to her room when she is locked up. When Theresa tells her she is seventeen Elizabeth argues to Bernard that the girl should be treated as an adult and not dressed like a child. But Alma overhears the maid Callie call her Miss Elizabeth. Both Darcourt and Bernard show an interest in Elizabeth but if she marries either, it will be immediately obvious that she’s never had sex let alone given birth to a child. (hide spoiler)]
To the left rose a wide staircase with a mahogany stair rail ending at the foot of the stairs in a serpentine coil that served as a newel post. In the center of the coil was fixed a smooth ivory button, a symbol that the house was paid for, that it carried no mortgage. (Kindle Locations 100-101).
I looked that up and it seems it is a myth. The button was supposed to be a cover over the stored mortgage papers. Myth because no papers have ever been found inside, and mortgages like that didn’t exist in that time either. Intriguing. How do these things even start? *** This is another of Blake’s 1974 romances re-released on Kindle and other than a few obvious bad scanning errors, it was highly entertaining. 4 stars ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Oooh a 1970’s gothic romance… bring it. Huh, amusing, the book is full of endless rain, flooded rivers, and lost bridges, and so is my day… seems apropOooh a 1970’s gothic romance… bring it. Huh, amusing, the book is full of endless rain, flooded rivers, and lost bridges, and so is my day… seems apropos. On her way to help out her feminist aunt who runs a girls’ school, our heroine Lillian has to put up at a an old plantation house, turned inn, for as long as the river remains un-traversable. She is trapped with a party of others: the host Mrs Jenkins, her three children William, Emmeline, and Martin; a married couple with a toddler, Mr & Mrs Wake and Julie; a widow Mrs Bonnet; an actress Myra Martineau and her driver Sam; Jean Marsh the dark and brooding mysterious man; and George Bolt the preacher Lillian was travelling with who dumped her at the inn after she refused his proposal of marriage. There is a lot of idle gossip that Laws Kimbrell, a local rebel leader and murderer has escaped the execution of his whole group and is travelling incognito. Because of the crowded cast, Lillian has to share a room with Myra. After she attracts more than a few glances from the men at dinner Lillian returns to their shared room to find all of their dresses torn to shreds and doused in perfume and the contents of their chamber pot. (Eww… but I have to say that sounds like a woman’s doing.) That night Lillian hears someone in the hall and wakes to find a person (in boots) wearing a KKK sheet and dragging a doll dressed in one of Myra’s gowns with its ‘throat’ cut and covered in tomato sauce. The morning finds the house cat in a similar state, but sadly dead. There is a lot of confusion; is Kimbrell doing this? And if so, why? The real issue is, no one is sure what he looks like. Mrs Bonnet keeps remembering tantalising clues about the Kimbrall family… Sam remembers the name from a Civil War event where a man sold their ammunition before the battle… and Jean takes an intriguing interest in the toddler and her clothes. The next night, it’s blood on the bedroom doors and upstairs hallway from Mrs Jenkins’ best hen. Lillian kicks over paint in the barn… (the criminals murdered people on the trail to the west, then repainted and sold their wagons and belongings)… gasp. So many clues.
“That’s what happened finally, of course. But altogether the gang, the Clan, or whatever you want to call it, lasted nearly twenty years, part of it before Laws’ time, working on that premise. It had more than one hundred fifty members and covered three states, an operation so vast and slick that a man could ride into the gang territory at dawn and by nightfall his body would be lying in the bottom of a Louisiana well, his horse would be munching hay in a Texas barn, and his saddle might be hanging in a dry goods store in Arkansas.” (Kindle Locations 5164-5168).
Is the house a base for the gang? Gasp… more clues. George really dislikes being forced to share a house with an actress.
George began with great dignity, “I understand what your feelings must be, and after serious thought I have decided that I owe you an apology for the injury to your sensibilities. But I must still follow my calling, therefore I cannot condone either your way of living or your language.” “This may come as a distinct shock then, preacher,” Myra answered, “but I believe I will be able to live without your approval.” (Kindle Locations 4752-4755).
Bwahaha, well said, Myra… When the flood drops, the clues converge and the final murderous rogue is found… Lillian adds a second and then a third proposal to her list. I’m betting it’s the third time lucky. 3 stars ...more
All firefighters in Darling Bay have to be paramedic trained. A few of them choose to stay in the ambulance and Bonnie Maddern is one of them. She susAll firefighters in Darling Bay have to be paramedic trained. A few of them choose to stay in the ambulance and Bonnie Maddern is one of them. She suspects her new partner is just temping it until he, too, can move over to the engines. He’s quiet, rarely speaks and she finds herself just chattering on all day to fill the silence. Caswell Lloyd keeps his cards close to his chest. He’s moved in to care for his dying father. Alzheimer’s. A good wage means he can pay a nurse to stay at home with him, but he’s not coping with the slow decline. And Bonnie gets under his skin. ***
Her mother nodded. “About the life in front of them, and then to lose that.” “I just can’t imagine.” “That’s the problem with your job. You don’t have to imagine it. The rest of us have to watch fake stuff on TV and cry about it. You actually have to see it, day in, day out.” (Kindle Locations 6666-6669).
Yeah… that’s gotta get hard. The duckling story feels like truth. I’d be upset, too. *hugs Bonnie* Bonnie struggles with emotion. She’s from a long line of … not so much liars as exaggerators… no. Her mother lies to tell a cute story and sell an item in her shop. Bonnie lies to the injured and the dying, when the ambulance is attending. She justifies it. But Caz hates lies. *** I didn’t feel for these two as much as the others in the series. I get the lying, and the dealing with Alzheimer's but (view spoiler)[ the truth or dare performance felt pushed. I’m not sure either would agree to do that. (hide spoiler)] 3 stars ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Harry Gordon leaves England at twelve with his seditious parents; his father the disowned aristocrat and his well educated mother who is the daughterHarry Gordon leaves England at twelve with his seditious parents; his father the disowned aristocrat and his well educated mother who is the daughter of weavers and the author of tomes on women’s rights. After they die of cholera in Paris, he returns to London to be taken in by their old friend, and printer, Silas. But one day, men show up to talk to Harry. Very well-dressed men. Lord Richard Vane is Harry’s cousin once removed (ie. Harry’s father was Richard’s first cousin). His grandfather Gideon lost his other son and grandson in a fire. All he has left is Harry, and a granddaughter Verona. He’d like them to marry each other and carry on the family name, but before then, Harry needs to be presented to the ton as a gentleman. That will take some training. *** Vanessa North @VanessaNWrites was tweeting about bi MC’s and mentioned this book: “KJ Charles's A Fashionable Indulgence--Bi male MC, M/M pairing. Supercilious dandy teaches young radical how to fit in in Regency society.” Oooh, I thought… and then it was 99c. Shiiit. Reader, I bought it.
Richard has set up a small club for himself and his closest friends - Quexs’. Dominic Frey, Richard’s boyhood companion works in the Home Office, and is rather busy with all the pamphleteers and riots. Lord Gabriel Ashleigh, the duke of Warminster’s youngest son commonly called Ash. And Francis Webster, a son of industry, his family fortune made in Lancashire cotton mills. They need privacy because they all prefer male lovers. To be caught is to hang but the silence of staff can be bought. Richard asks his friend Julius Norreys to coach Harry. When Harry meets Julius, this is his first impression:
Mr. Norreys was of medium height, perhaps an inch shorter than Harry and of slimmer build, and he was made of moonlight. His fair hair shone; his skin had a clear, refined pallor; even his eyes were pale, the light, clear blue of a winter sky, in a fine-boned, well-bred face. His startlingly tight pantaloons were neither fawn nor biscuit but rather a very light gray, his nip-waisted coat of the palest watery blue, and his waistcoat a gleaming silver satin embroidered with delicate butterflies of white thread. The tassels on his ivory-headed cane were white and silver too, an exact match. Silas would have despised him. Harry had never seen anyone so perfect in his life. (Kindle Locations 369-374)
Julius’ wit is equally precise. But Julius is careful. He doesn’t kiss anyone, nobody sleeps in his bed, and he definitely doesn’t fall in love. Harry is not an innocent and he knows exactly what he wants to do Julius, but it takes him some time to understand his advances won’t be rejected. I had to look this phrase up. To make a ‘Cheltenham tragedy’ out of something is to make a big deal out of nothing, or blow a situation out of proportion. This may be a reference to the melodramas that were performed at Cheltenham spa. Set in 1819, Beau Brummell has just avoided debtor’s prison and run off to France but it is still the era of the dandy. The language of sex is Regency Era, too. I found that better than some books where modern language grates. I really enjoyed it and found it a refreshing change. I’m marking it up for diversity. 5 stars
Samantha is Grace’s sister from book 1. She’s had a rough life, made some poor choices and ended up in some dark places. Now, she’s trying to get backSamantha is Grace’s sister from book 1. She’s had a rough life, made some poor choices and ended up in some dark places. Now, she’s trying to get back on track. She joined AA and she’s setting down some roots in Darling Bay. They’re shallow and in danger of being ripped out with a minute’s notice, but they’re roots; she’s closer to Grace than she has been in years, and she started a business teaching women self defence. She even has a little apartment above the bagel shop. In book 1 she nearly drove off the pier and was rescued by the firefighters. Hank Coffee and she dated way back in college, but she dumped him and broke his heart. It’s a long time later (he’s 33 now) and when he saw her, he understood that his whole life he’s been trying to date women who were basically Sam. What if he just dated her? *** The womens’ reasons for doing self defense classes hurt my heart. After being called out to help her usual crash test dummy, after they put him in hospital, Hank offers to wear the suit instead. The station know Hank as Mr Rule abider, but Sam makes him want to throw away the rulebook. And just maybe she needs someone who’ll catch her when she falls. (view spoiler)[I laughed at the captain saying he couldn’t fire him because he rescued a cat. I’ve seen the tumblr post of firemen rescuing cats… lol. (hide spoiler)] I love the small town vibe. Ten minutes for the whole town to know she snogged Hank in his car. Bwahaha. It’s cute and adorable. 4 stars["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Alternate title 'Burn' by Rachael Herron. Lexie is one of the dispatch operators at Darling Bay Fire station. She’s done it for years and she’s a pro.Alternate title 'Burn' by Rachael Herron. Lexie is one of the dispatch operators at Darling Bay Fire station. She’s done it for years and she’s a pro. She thinks of Coin Keefe as her best friend and she loves his little daughter, but when the two challenge each other to go on-line dating and then hold a truly disastrous double date, things go into territory Lexie isn’t ready for. After her father, the fire chief, died on duty, she swore she wouldn’t ever date a firefighter. Her heart couldn’t handle it if they died, too, but what if her heart wants Coin? *** I didn’t meant to inhale this story… I really didn’t. I had things to do today. But I loved Lexie and Coin. Her mother - oh dear god, I know a mother like that. The snide little remarks; the way everyone tiptoes around her until the day it all blurts out. I totally cried… sniffs. Tox - the MC from book 1 is on Coin’s truck so we hear that he and Grace are still together. 4 stars ...more
Grace follows Tony on twitter but doesn’t recognise him immediately. The language of the supposedly French people irked me. I don’t think a professionGrace follows Tony on twitter but doesn’t recognise him immediately. The language of the supposedly French people irked me. I don’t think a professional assistant for a billionaire says ‘no worries’ for instance. But then I hit this line.
“Brilliant!” he said. He turned back to the man with the tray. “Filets for two, wine, and smashed potatoes, with whatever vegetables you have on the side. Oh… and we’ll need to see a dessert menu later,” he finished. He then nodded and handed the server a folded bill. (Kindle Locations 322-325).
Besides the fact that he’s ordering from room service so the menu is in the room. My kids called them ‘smashed’ potatoes when they were three. He’s in Paris and he’d speak French. And he’s already ordered a bottle of 2K euro wine. Later he says ‘oh goody’ and he calls a waiter ‘man’. Blinks. Grace is supposed to be a retired supermodel who lisps when she’s turned on. George Petrides says to call him Tony… frowns. Now her boss, Billy shows up and behaves like a petulant child when she’s supposed to be a world class arbitration lawyer. Who, by the way, don’t say ‘lotsa room for negotiation’ or ‘oh shit’ as a response to a threat. Grace’s ‘hero’ has got her sacked, put her up in a hotel room and now shown up with an agenda. It’s not romantic, it’s creepy as fuck. He orders for her as well in the restaurant. RUN, Grace. Run now. He’s not understated and unassuming, he throws money around, makes rash promises and is wearing $2k jeans (according to the supermodel). Billy is in the bar and really drunk in the time it takes them to walk downstairs. Oh, god. I can’t read anymore. I can’t even slog through this to get to the sex. Did not finish at 21%...more
Safe at home, Princess Adele learns that she is even more trapped than she was before. Perhaps it was the small taste of true freedom that makes it woSafe at home, Princess Adele learns that she is even more trapped than she was before. Perhaps it was the small taste of true freedom that makes it worse? Her marriage to the odious Senator Clark cannot be put off any longer, she is kept busy at pointless social events, excluded from meetings of policy (even thought they expect HER to be the next leader, not Clark), the city is rife with talk of the Greyfriar - plays and novels - and the ‘romance’ between the hero and the princess. It’s killing her. And when she learns that the big war plan is just to starve the vampires out by killing all of the humans who exist to feed them, she’s furious, but ultimately powerless to save them. She worries that the people of Edinburgh who looked after her and whom she knows are not just cattle, will be wiped out. But the door is closed on her and her father will not see her. When Clarke pushes past her into the meeting room she nearly loses it. Colonel Anhalt convinces her to step back; fight another day. No one has been inside vampire territory like she has, but they won’t listen to her… she’s a flighty emotional girl. *** Omg someone just smashed through the window in the middle of her wedding. Gasps. It’s greyfriar… squeals. So many twists and betrayals - I saw one coming, but not the second. (view spoiler)[Some very heavy losses for our heroine. Wow… Adele searching through the bodies for Gareth nearly brought me undone. (hide spoiler)] Mamarou and the geomancers have found the special weapon they have hoped for in Adele but she is being wielded without understanding what she’s capable of. In the mountains of Africa she let’s loose and scares the bejeesus out of herself. And Gareth, of course. He’s known for a while what she is and a few others have seen hints. (view spoiler)[Through the special goggles, Adele is white when humans are blue and vampires red. (I think I’ve got that in the right order.) She’s not entirely human, but what she IS we don’t know. (hide spoiler)] I adored Colonel Anhalt. His belief in Adele is incredible. I fear Clark will be a thorn in their side. He wants to be emperor and he’ll do anything to get it. He’s a lot like Kelvin in that way. He’ll reign over a burnt-out world and be pleased with himself. (view spoiler)[Glad to see Flay back - she’s awesome. I wonder what Selkirk was told by the vampires to make him act the way he did. There’s more to that, I’m sure. Take on Lady Hallow, Flay - you’d win. Mamarou is very dangerous to Gareth. Gareth is totally and completely all in with Adele. But I am very concerned about how there can possibly be a happy ending for them. Sniffs. Makes me want to write all the fanfiction for them… (hide spoiler)] King Misiri was just adorable. If I was Adele, I’d be talking to his mother, too. There was a bit of fill-in in this book, but it’s a second book and it sets up so many things for the final part. Things that needed to be firmly grounded first. James Marsters narration is perfect. I ran off immediately to download the next one. Now, I’m off for a walk… with James of course. [I had a weird moment of deja vu in this book. When Gareth talked to Hallow, I knew exactly what they were going to say. I’d heard it before… and I have not heard this book before. Creepy.] 5 stars ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Cecily attends a house party at her friend Denny’s Swinford estate, along with the recently widowed Portia, Mr Brooke and Luke Trenton the Viscount MeCecily attends a house party at her friend Denny’s Swinford estate, along with the recently widowed Portia, Mr Brooke and Luke Trenton the Viscount Merritt. Luke and Cecily shared a kiss years ago and she’s been waiting for him. But he returned from the war in Europe a scarred and darker person. He drinks, he’s rude to her and he brags that she will always be his even though he doesn’t want her. Ugh. He’s a total ass. Cecily has her own ideas and when she and her friends head off into the woods to find the werestag, she might get the chance to find something else as well - the past. *** Regency period but a little more sexually explicit. Portia is trying to write a Gothic romance. Denny is presumed to marry Cecily as they are cousins. Mr Brooke is busy flirting with Portia even as she tries to write a list of possible lovers she can take on. Luke’s behaviour is subterfuge. He still loves Cecily *sighs* but thinks he’s too damaged for her now. Her very first published work, renamed and re-branded. The title seems better than The Legend of the Werestag. Werestag? Really? Snorts. No wonder people were confused it might be paranormal. [Paranormal regency? No, brain.] It’s short, witty and rather cute. 4 stars...more