Books and Reading Wednesday- Mid-September Book Review!

The Scandal of the Season

Very pretty cover!

Very pretty cover!

Goodreads blurb:

London, 1711. As the rich, young offspring of the city’s most fashionable families ll their days with masquerade balls and clandestine court-ships, Arabella Fermor and Robert, Lord Petre, lead the pursuit of pleasure. Beautiful and vain, Arabella is a clever coquette with a large circle of beaus. Lord Petre, seventh Baron of Ingatestone, is a man-about-town with his choice of mistresses. Drawn together by an overpowering attraction, the two begin an illicit affair.Alexander Pope, sickly and nearly penniless, is peripheral by birth, yet his uncommon wit and ambition gain him unlikely entrance into high society. Once there, privy to every nuance and drama, he is a ruthless observer. He longs for the success that will cement his place in society; all he needs is one poem grand enough to make his reputation.

As the forbidden passion between Arabella and Lord Petre deepens, an intrigue of a darker nature threatens to overtake them. Fortunes change and reputations — even lives — are imperiled. In the aftermath, Pope discovers the idea for a daring poem that will catapult him to fame and fortune

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This book is a fictionalised version of an actual historical event. A soon-to-be baron, Lord Robert Petre, seduces London’s beauty, Arabella Fermor, whilst he is also involved in a Jacobite plot to assassinate the Queen and put the exiled prince on the throne.

Sounds exciting, right?

It was supposed to be a sexy, thrilling story of a scandalous affair whilst being dangerous with all the Jacobite intrigue.

But when I got to the end I was just kind of like, ‘What actually happened in this book?’.

Don’t get me wrong, it was alright. It was a book I was happy to read, it’s just not much actually happened. It wasn’t all that exciting, the characters weren’t overly compelling, and the main romance wasn’t the romance I was interested in. I didn’t really care if Arabella and Lord Petre got together, I was much more interested in the blossoming relationship between Alexander and Martha, which was sweet and lovely and didn’t get as much attention as it deserved.

There were an abundance of characters and viewpoints throughout and sometimes, especially at the beginning, I struggled to keep up with the amount of characters being thrown at me. But I got there in the end and started recognising who was who.

The writing suited the time period the story was set for, and I did enjoy the fact that it was about real historical events. But again, not the most exciting event to write a book about, in my opinion.

I dunno, it was just not a book that I could get excited over or really involved in. The ending left me disappointed, as it just kind of ended without really wrapping things up.

What I did like most about the book was the Afterword, where the author detailed what happened to the people in real life after the events in the book, that was really interesting.

Overall, it was an OK read, I don’t regret reading it, but it certainly didn’t get me excited to find out what came next or really care about what happened to the characters throughout.

I would recommend it to those interested in this particular event and time in history, as you’d already have an interest in the subject.

Romance Weekly #lovewritechat

It’s Romance Weekly Blog Hop time! :D

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If you’ve come from Fiona Riplee’s blog, then welcome! If not, why not check out her post?

This week we’ve been challenged with writing another flash fiction based on this GIF: http://weheartit.com/entry/101884590

So here’s my attempt! (I combined this with another writing exercise, where it was a challenge not to use any names. Hope you enjoy it. It came out at 364, instead of 300. I really need to practice hitting word counts on flash fiction :D ).

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Sunlight, which once offered a warm embrace, beat down upon them like the fires of a volcano as they stood in the graveled courtyard together. There was a heavy silence, filled with unspoken words that battered against them as hot as the heat of the sun.

“My car will be here soon.” She kept her gaze cast on the ground.

He said nothing in reply, but a small furrow appeared between his thick brows, strands of black hair falling into his eyes.

She shouldn’t have been surprised by the lack of response, but deep down it hurt her to receive nothing.

The gravel crunched beneath the tyres of the gleaming Mercedes, the engine purring as it drew to a stop.

She glanced up at him, his gaze averted from hers. “Goodbye.”

She moved to take a step away, but he gripped her arm. Still he said nothing.

When his thumb raised to her lips, her breath stuttered. A simple, gentle touch that was more intimate than anything she’d experienced before and sent a shiver coursing through her.

His face was only inches from hers, his breath whispering over her skin. For a long moment his lips danced on the edge of touching hers, his thumb still pressed against her bottom lip, parting her mouth slightly.

Her heart beat so fast she thought it would rip from her chest, but she stood unmoving, waiting.

His lips were like wings against her own as they teased at the edges of a kiss she was desperate to receive.

The car beeped its horn, startling him out of the moment which had caught them. His eyes widened, realising his actions and he took a wide step back.

It was as though he took the air from her lungs, her throat tight at his dismissive action.

She bit her lip, half to stop from crying and half to capture the teasing feel of his lips upon hers.

She turned away.

“I would have given you everything.” He talked so rarely, she almost didn’t recognise his voice.

She glanced over her shoulder, a sad smile dulling her eyes. “I didn’t want everything,” she whispered. “I only wanted you.”

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Another fun challenge! Think I’m definitely going to have to attempt more flash fiction in the future :D

Now why not check out the very talented S.C.Mitchell, author of Son of Thunder, and see what he’s written for this challenge!

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Progress Report:

Status of fifth manuscript: Editing. (Nearly there!)

Books read: 2/4

Mid September book review: Written and ready.

Good to be back :)

So, I am back from my vacation :D Which was an amazingly good time and I loved it!

Some pics:

Me reading in my amazing colourful pyjamas!

Me reading in my amazing colourful pyjamas!

Books we took to read.

Books we took to read.

Harli enjoying the beach.

Harli enjoying the beach.

A pic of the amazing sunset by my very talented mum- Twisted Pixel on Flickr- Click on pic to go to photostream

A pic of the amazing sunset by my very talented mum- Twisted Pixel on Flickr- Click on pic to go to photostream

I had planned to do some writing and reading whilst I was there, but ended up staring into space for the entire week. I think my brain really needed to do nothing for a whole 7 days.

Whilst on vacation I realised just how stressed out I had gotten. I was so busy and overwhelmed that I was not in a good place! Although I have tried my best to be organised and keep to a schedule, I think I was trying to pour too much into a working day and it was getting too much to handle.

Then I saw this post this morning- http://nhwn.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/remember-to-make-time-for-yourself-not-only-work-and-family/, and it inspired me to make a change that was most definitely needed.

Most of my day is taken up by social media (blogging, facebook, twitter, etc), which I know is very important in building an author platform, but surely, it can’t be more important than doing the actual writing when taking on a writing career, right?

So, my plan from now is to only do 2 hours of social media a day. A big cut from the 5+ hours I was spending on it before! But I really think it needs to be done. It means I won’t be able to comment as much on blogs or re-tweet so much, but I will hopefully learn to utilise those two hours more effectively, rather than letting the social media side of my career drag on and on throughout the day and into the night!

And that was pretty much all that came out of my vacation: a much needed revise of my schedule! I did manage to read one book, but that was about it, I really did just sit, stare, and walk on the beach.

It was the perfect vacation :D

How long do you spend on social media? Do you ever need to revise your schedule? Are you good at sticking to a schedule? If you have any tips, then please let me know! :)

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Progress Report:

Status of fifth manuscript: Editing. (Finally has a title though! :D Will do reveal soon).

Books read: 2/4

Mid-September Book Review: Written and ready.

The Queen’s Jester- A passion fuelled, fantasy romance.

Queen'sJesterCoverThe Queen’s Jester
Fantasy romance.

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes and Noble

Blurb:
An exquisite wedding gift. A husband whom she loves. A Jester who she craves. A Kingdom in peril.

After receiving a beautiful emerald amulet at the celebrations of her wedding, new Queen Marie finds solace in the stunning, yet strange amulet. A warm comfort that fills the hole that her husband has left with his distance at her every affectionate touch.

That is until the new Jester arrives, his presence fuelling in Marie an instant burning need.

The more she finds herself drawn to the enigmatic man, the quicker she realises he is anything but the fool.

Marie must make a choice, one that could not only affect her marriage and her life…

But her entire Kingdom.

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Heart of the Arena- A fast paced, historical romance.

HeartofArenaCoverHeart of the Arena
Historical Romance

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes and Noble

Blurb:
Ancient Rome is a dangerous place, in more ways than one.

Captured by slavers, distraught but determined Sabina is thrust into the world of gladiators. Disguised as a man, she struggles to remain undetected whilst navigating through her new life.

But love forces its way into her focus again and when a haunting figure from her past re-emerges, the couple’s fate is to be decided in the Heart of the Arena.

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Promote Yourself!

Seeing as I’m away this week and having my own marketing posts scheduled, I thought why not let others promote their work as well?

It’s always nice to find some great new books to read or blogs to follow!

So go ahead and post your links to blogs or books in the comments, maybe add a bit of detail about what the book is about or what your blog deals with :)

I will be certain to check them out when I get back!

Have a great week everyone and I will be back on Monday 15th to reply to comments and emails then!

Stolen Bloodline- A Paranormal romance.

StolenCover Stolen Bloodline
Paranormal Romance

To Buy:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes and Noble

Blurb:
Stolen away from her humdrum life, Imogen is thrown into a dark world where the creatures from tales are not only real, but rule the realm.

Vampires.

In this world of dark, moonlight is Imogen’s only source of safety, but the moon’s glow reveals a lot more than she ever realised. She soon learns her heritage and bloodline are what put her in danger, and the reason these vampires are keeping her hostage. But with a father who doesn’t even care enough to call, how was she supposed to know?

Held captive by the vampire leader, Bane, and his brother, Caden, Imogen must find a way to keep herself alive. Yet, the longer she remains, the more she wonders whether those she feared are the ones she should trust, as new truths continue to shine through.

When Bane shows Imogen that life in a world of dark can be more enlightening than her own sunlit realm, it seems that, though he may have stolen her from home, she risks him stealing her heart as well.

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