Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

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If you’ve joined me from the lovely Kim Handysides, then welcome!

So this week Sarah Hegger asked us to tell her our three favourite book boyfriends from any books we’ve read and why.

At first I thought, ‘pfft! Easy peasy!’, and then when I thought about it I found it quite difficult to choose just 3! 😀

Anyway, here are the ones that stood out the most to me:

1. Diesel from Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich

Ah, Diesel… What’s not to love about him? 😀

The man makes me swoon every time I read this book and although he doesn’t get together with Stephanie Plum, there is enough tension there to make the pages burn!

He is brash but kind, charming but understanding; definitely the type of guy I want in my life. Add to that the air of mystery about him and I’m sold!

2. Jonathan Harker from Bram Stoker’s, Dracula.

Ok, I watched the famous movie with Gary Oldman before I ever read this book and just assumed (bad, I know!) that the movie was a faithful retelling of the book. How wrong I was!

In the movie Jonathan Harker is a bit of a nothing, he doesn’t really do anything and certainly doesn’t inspire much romantic feeling.

Yet, in the book, he’s a COMPLETELY different character. Definitely one to swoon over. His dedication to Mina and his willingness to do whatever it takes to protect her makes my heart flutter, whilst at the same time he is a gentleman of his time with all the manners!

3. Otto from my book, Prophecy of Stones.

This is cheating a bit, seeing as it’s my own book 😀 But still, Otto is definitely a character that stands out to me as a man I would be happy to have around.

He’s calm, understanding, but strong; a man capable of leading his own life without relying on others. Although a secondary character, he stands out in his own right, and the intensity and depth that he shares with his bond mate is exactly what I’d want in my life.

And there we have it 😀 Those are the guys I’d pick straight away, if you know, they were real…

Anyways! Go find out who Veronica Forand has chosen for her three.

The Romance Weekly’s November Contest is up and ready if you want to enter! Some great prizes this month 🙂

Who would you choose as your book boyfriend/girlfriend?

Books and Reading Wednesday: End of October Indie Review

Hands of Evil by Melissa Barker-Simpson

Goodreads synopsis:
Jonathan Jukes is accustomed to working alongside the police within his role as close protection officer at Morgan and Fairchild. But when Detective Sergeant Charles Macavoy requests the team’s help, JJ finds it’s his toughest case yet.

A serial killer, whose calling card is to remove the hands of his victims, is targeting interpreters. When lines begin to blur and JJ’s past comes back to haunt him, he soon discovers the biggest threat comes from a woman who stands at the centre of it all

Review:

This is the second book I’ve read by Melissa Barker-Simpson and it most certainly will not be the last!

The author’s ability to draw the reader into the story and characters is incredible. Each time I sat down to read I planned on only doing it for an hour, but every time it ended up much longer. I would glance up at the clock and not even realise two hours had flown by.

The characters throughout were brilliantly written, and I loved how Melissa wrote the character of Grace. The interactions between the characters flowed really well and the dialogue was engaging and realistic.

Throughout the book the romance and action is balanced perfectly. The plot is well paced and I never once found myself skipping through sections, in fact, it was almost the opposite as there were some scenes I read over twice because they were so good!

I highly recommend this book. Melissa Barker-Simpson creates a engaging story filled with great moments, along with high quality writing and enjoyable characters.

Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

Goodreads

Romance Writers Weekly #lovechatwrite

It’s Romance Weekly time! Hello to all joining from Jo Richardson’s blog.

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Something a little different this week.

We are to write a love letter, less than 400 words, including the words- sweet (cheated a bit and used, bittersweet), brush, and pumpkin!

I actually wrote this on my lunch break today, so it’s not brilliant, but it was great fun to try out something new! 😀 I think the love letter should definitely come back into fashion!

To my dearest,

I can no longer brush these feelings aside. It has been too long to ignore what we once had, what we could have again.

How can you not see what I offer? Why will you not accept what I give?

You tell me it would be too much to bear, but I will bear it for the both of us. Bittersweet it may be, short it may be, but forgettable it would not.

The pumpkins are glowing orange outside of my window as I write this, like beacons of memories of what we once shared in those fields.

Take what you will from me, I would sacrifice it all to have you once more.

Just once.

Forever yours…

Not brilliant, and a bit old-fashioned, but great fun to write 😀

Now, go check out what Elizabeth Janette has written for this challenge!

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 5519 (Total word count: 33,887).

Books read: 2/4.

End of October Indie Review: Reading.

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly!

Thank you to everyone who commented on my posts over the weekend 🙂

I am trying to add a change to my routine which started today, and has left me completely out of whack! So, I haven’t had time to write a blog post and I haven’t been able to manage commenting on many blogs yet!

So instead, enjoy this awesome vlog review of Prophecy of Stones by Sierra of Permashift!

I always love her vlogs, she’s hilarious and always makes me smile 🙂

The Queen’s Jester also got an awesome review from Teri Lloyd! 🙂

Sorry for the all about my stuff post! Will hopefully get a hang of this new routine soon.

Tomorrow won’t be a Romance Weekly post as (again) still shuffling my work around. I will have a normal post instead tomorrow though! 😀

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 2830 (Total word count: 20,710).

Books read: 2/4.

Mid-October Book Review: Yeah, not going so well!

Something Different

These are some photosets I made for my books to go on Tumblr, but I’d thought I’d post them here too!

MSAll

“Stay,” she whispered.

Mal’s lips curled into a smile that made her request even more urgent and she gripped his shirt to yank him forwards. But he steadied his hands on the bed to remain unmoving. Alex frowned.

“I wish I could,” he replied, moving one hand to her face, his thumb running over her bottom lip. “Honestly, you have no idea how much I wish I could.”

The Magic Spark

What do a successful London businesswoman and a Scottish castle owner have in common?

A rom-com obsessed fairy godmother who won’t stop meddling in their love life!

The Magic Spark is a light, enjoyable read, full of romance, fun, and a dash of magic.

Buy Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

PAll

“I would not let you lose yourself, Milana,” Riff said, grabbing her arms so as she was forced to face him, yet still she kept her gaze averted. “You see the bond, our love, as a weakness. Why can you not see that it is power? It is what gives me strength. My love for you is what gives me the strength to keep going!” His emotion-filled words echoed around them, heavy enough that they seemed to land on her skin and make her shiver.

Prophecy of Stones

The bond of love can conquer all, but only if it is accepted.

Prophecy states that three champions imbued with the best virtues of the mortal race: heart, strength and soul, will be the ones to save them all from an enemy which threatens to steal the life from their world and those who live upon it.

Buy Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

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It’s that time again, Romance Weekly Blog Hop time!

If you’ve joined me from the lovely Josie Malone’s blog, author of The Hero Spell, then welcome!

Now onto the questions!

Which type of character do you prefer writing about: Sexy, romantic, sweet, quirky, mean, old, young, smart, silly or other?

I’d like to say sexy, but in all honesty it’s probably the snarky characters! 😀 Those ones that always have a comeback for everything and their sarcasm offers no useful input, but it’s fun anyway.

Have you ever killed off (or gotten back at) an ex in your writing? On paper, of course.

No, I haven’t. I do try to stay away from basing my characters off of real people, as I always worry someone will guess!

What hobbies do you have that you incorporate in your writing?

Gardening is probably the biggest one. I do tend to find when characters are in a garden, I have to hold off from going into explicit detail of how the flower would look and how best it should be cared for in the coming season 😀

Some interesting questions answered this week 😀 So head on over to J.J.Devine, author of Into the Darkness, and see what she has to say in response to them!

Also, why not check out the new Romance Writers Weekly Blog?

Or sign up for the newsletter?

There is a monthly giveaway and this month my newest release, The Magic Spark, is one of the prizes! 🙂

So, what about you guys- Have you ever got back at someone through your writing?

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 5283 (Total word count: 12,148).

Books read: 1/4

Mid-October Book Review: Writing review.

The Magic Spark Release Day!

I’m so excited! 😀 The Magic Spark is out now!

MagicSparkCS

Blurb:
Successful businesswoman Alex is content with her life in London, and any ideas of romance have been left on the back burner. But when her fairy godmother, FG, waltzes into her office one morning announcing she has come to help Alex rekindle a passion for life and love, she is about to check herself into therapy!

The fairy godmother’s incessant wand-flicking soon lands them in the isolation of the Scottish highlands, where Alex’s next client, Mal Ross, not only stirs her professional interest but her romantic ones too.

Tasked with the enormous challenge of turning a historic castle into a flourishing hotel, the pair must work closely together whilst attempting to avoid the awkward situations the rom-com obsessed fairy godmother keeps forcing them into.

But the path of love is never smooth, no matter how much magic you throw at it.

The Magic Spark is a light, enjoyable read, full of fun and romance.

Favourite Quotes:

“What happened?” FG asked, scooting forward, her eyes wide with curiosity.

Owen seemed more than willing to participate in gossip. “Nobody really knows, not even me and I’ve worked for that family all my life. Me and my hen live not far from here, and there was a big commotion about it all in the village, though it was all very hush-hush. Didn’t please the locals not to know what was happening, that’s for sure.” He bellowed with a laugh so loud it filled the entire car with its jolly sound.

FG furrowed her brow. “Why does he live with a chicken?” she whispered.

“I think he means his wife,” Alex replied in just as much a hushed tone, whilst trying to stifle a chuckle.

They stood for a moment in silence before Paul’s blue-eyed gaze shifted to FG and his brows rose. “Oh, I’m sorry.” Alex jerked into action, giving introductions. “This is FG, she’s my-” She choked on her words. What was she meant to say? ‘Oh, this is just my fairy godmother who’s trying to set me up with your gardener?’ She bet that would go down real well.

“You’ll get cold, come on.” He stepped forwards and, before Alex had time to protest, he scooped her into his arms and cradled her to his chest.

“Because this isn’t at all embarrassing,” she said, flushing red and hoping he would think it was from the alcohol and not the fact she enjoyed being pressed up against him like some damsel from a fairy tale.

FG would have a field day if she found out about this.

For a full excerpt, click here to see the cover reveal post!

Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Createspace (Paperback)

Smashwords

Goodreads

I really enjoyed writing The Magic Spark, it was a great book that I got to have some fun with, especially FG. That fairy godmother certainly made me chuckle!

Sometimes you just got to get it out!

When I started this blog, I said I wouldn’t have any ranting posts. I wouldn’t do it because everyone has their own opinion and that is exactly how it should be. Also, ranting posts tend to get everyone rather passionate and I didn’t want anyone to get bad ideas about me 😀

But something over the weekend riled me to the point I just have to get it out before I burst!

So, I was doing a little bit of pinning on Pinterest on the weekend, and I see a picture pop up.

It was a picture of Stephen King with a quote from him:

‘Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing
what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it
is to have a boyfriend.’

I’ve seen lots of people slamming Twilight and other such books and I’m pretty tired of it. Like I said, I try not to get riled up by things like this, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

But it is beginning to feel like it’s everyone’s opinion just because it’s the popular one.

And it’s driving me up the wall! 😀

Twilight is about Bella and Edward’s love for each other, and how it’s consuming and that is the most important thing to them.

So what?

I don’t really understand what people were expecting from a teenage romance book? I mean, really?

Comparing Twilight to Harry Potter is like comparing pop music to heavy metal, it doesn’t work. They are separate.

There was a campaign not long ago about not being ashamed about what you read, and I am a HUGE advocate of that.

So when you see people saying not to be ashamed, to read what you want, and then they turn around and say you shouldn’t be reading something because it’s shallow or because the character is one-dimensional? Bit hypocritical.

It almost feels like there is shame in reading a book for fun, just for pure enjoyment. There always has to be some moral or lesson to a book in order for it to be ‘worthy’ to read.

True, books can teach us a lot, and they can help us grow and learn. But what is so wrong with reading a book because enjoyment is the main focus of the story, rather than an underlying lesson?

Twilight is mostly slammed because they think Bella is all about getting a boyfriend. Yeah, so what? If that’s what people want to read, then let them!

I doubt the majority would read that book and look at her as a role model, but what’s wrong with reading about her story and enjoying it?

Bella is a character and her whole focus is Edward. If you don’t think that’s a good character, don’t read the book! It’s a pretty simple solution.

Now, this isn’t all about Twilight 😀 It’s just the one that gets brought up A LOT and I am using it as an example for all those books that seem to only get judged on popular opinion.

I read Twilight when I was younger, and granted, it got a little weird at the end, but in all I enjoyed it.

When I talked to a friend and said this, she went off on a long rant about how bad it was and how awful it was to enjoy such a simple book, with dull, weak female characters.

Turns out she never even read the books.

I’ve also read a lot of other books where love is the main focus of a character, where they are lost without the other. And, low and behold, I haven’t grown into a simpering damsel-in-distress, anyone who knows me knows that is far from who I am!

You know what, you enjoy Twilight? Then good on you!

You want to read a book where romance is the main focus? Good on you!

You want to read a book where murder is the main focus? Good on you!

You want to read a book where erotica is the main focus? Good on you!

You want to read a book about wizards? Good on you!

You want to read a book that isn’t popular, but you can still admit you enjoyed it? Then you are the kind of person that other people should be looking to for opinions, not those that judge a book on what others think.

Books should be about enjoyment, escapism. Not everything in this world has to be about something more. That may sound shallow, but in today’s world where it can get a bit overwhelming and every time you turn on the news something awful has happened, sometimes I just want a story to get lost in and not think about the deeper meaning.

Just because someone else enjoyed a book, does it affect anyone else in any way? No, it doesn’t. What someone else enjoys and reads has absolutely no bearing on what another person enjoys, so why should it be allowed to judge someone so harshly on it?

I am a strong enough person to read what I want and have no shame in it. If someone mocks me for my choice of book, then I just ignore them. Their opinion doesn’t matter and it certainly won’t change what I like just because they think it’s wrong.

But what about those people who are influenced? Should they be stopped from reading what they want because others say so? Should they be dictated to about what they should be enjoying?

No.

Everyone should have the freedom to read exactly what they want without suffering under the mockery or judgement of others, no matter if that book is about a girl who only wants a boyfriend or is about a boy who is trying to get through wizarding school.

It’s 2014, we should have grown to the point that this isn’t even an issue.

Fact: Everyone likes different things. It’s what makes us individual and makes this world interesting.

Annnnnndddd…. Rant ended!

On a lighter note! My new book, The Magic Spark, is released tomorrow! 😀 Very excited for that!

Progress Report:

Status of The Magic Spark: Working on paperback cover. Everything else is done!

Books read: 3/4

The Magic Spark Cover Reveal!

Here it is! The title and cover reveal of my next book, The Magic Spark! 😀

TheMagicSparkCover

Blurb:

Successful businesswoman Alex is content with her life in London, and any ideas of romance have been left on the back burner. But when her fairy godmother, FG, waltzes into her office one morning announcing she has come to help Alex rekindle a passion for life and love, she is about to check herself into therapy!

The fairy godmother’s incessant wand-flicking soon lands them in the isolation of the Scottish highlands, where Alex’s next client, Mal Ross, not only stirs her professional interest but her romantic ones too.

Tasked with the enormous challenge of turning a historic castle into a flourishing hotel, the pair must work closely together whilst attempting to avoid the awkward situations the rom-com obsessed fairy godmother keeps forcing them into.

But the path of love is never smooth, no matter how much magic you throw at it.

The Magic Spark is a light, enjoyable read, full of fun and romance.

Excerpt:

Forking over a flowerbed by the castle walls was Alex’s supposed perfect match, his plain grey t-shirt stained with mud and his ripped jeans just as dirty. His face was hidden behind a thick curtain of dark brown hair, layered and falling to the base of his neck.

“That’s him?” Her voice choked.

FG beamed a grin. “Look at him!” She spread her hands out in emphasis, apparently proud of the man she’d found for Alex. He stood up, running his muddied hands through his hair, excitement bubbling within Alex as the hint of a chiseled jaw line shadowed with heavy stubble became visible.

Alex rolled her eyes and folded her arms at FG’s enthusiasm. “He’s lovely, but that’s not the point-”

“Lovely? That’s all you’re going with?” FG cocked an eyebrow and they both turned back to the man who dug his hands into a pile of compost, the muscles of his arms flexing as he did so. When he leant his head back, his face became visible.

Alex wished he hadn’t been so damn handsome, it only made attempting a blasé attitude that much harder.

“He’s very nice.” Alex tightened her lips, but FG kept her brow raised, the expression battering against Alex. “Fine! He’s gorgeous.” It wasn’t a hard admittance to make.

“You got that right.” They both looked at him again, the man thankfully too far away from them to hear the conversation. Her only consolation was that he was the gardener and not the owner, at least he could be avoided.

Alex ripped her focus from the man back towards FG as she pulled her wand out of thin air. The woman flicked the star end towards the gardener and a sudden ray of sunshine burst through the heavy cloud cover and lit the man in a spotlight.

Again FG flicked her wand, but this time directly at the man. A stream of gold glitter smashed against him, but he didn’t seem to notice it. Instead, he blew out a heavy breath as though growing hot under the beam of sun that shone only on him.

He gripped the edge of his shirt and yanked it up to wipe the sweat forming on his brow, revealing a lithe, well-toned body beneath that Alex couldn’t seem to rip her gaze away from.

It took quite a bit of mental strength to finally tear her attention away and avert it to the grass beneath her boots. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” she groaned. “Stop it!” She slapped FG’s hand, the wand now directed at the ground.

The sun disappeared and the man went back to working, instead of posing like a model in a Diet Coke ad.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy it,” FG said with a sly smile and a wiggle of her brows.

Alex gritted her teeth. “Let’s just find the owner and get this business over with.” She turned away, ignoring FG who was staring at the gardener once again with a dreamy gaze. “Shall we find our rooms?”

“Only if I can take him to mine,” FG replied and Alex rolled her eyes, nudging the woman back to the front of the castle.

I was pretty pleased with how the cover turned out, which once again I did myself, including drawing out the silhouettes!

The Magic Spark is out on Tuesday 30th September!

Hope you enjoyed the preview!

Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

End of Month Indie Review: Destiny of Kings by Fiona Tarr

Destiny of Kings by Fiona Tarr

*I was given this book in exchange for an honest review*

dok

Blurb: The King is going slowly mad, bewitched by the dark magic and seductive powers of the Egyptian Princess Jezebel. Martinez, the King’s general must choose between the life of a young shepherd boy who is like the son he never had or the man who is his King and lifelong friend. The One True God has shared a prophecy with the old seer Samuel, while the little Holy man Narayana claims the Universe has called him out of meditation to restore balance. Francesca the Priestess carries the burden of responsibility, until her faith is rocked, her heart opened and her resolve challenged. In a world where control is only an illusion, evil is subjective and the most righteous are challenged, an unlikely group will be drawn together to restore balance once more.

Destiny of Kings is a retelling of the story of David and Goliath, but involving much more than that. There are witches and priestesses, kings and monks, and a whole plethora of exciting events that bring them all together in a destined path.

Destiny of Kings involves a lot of different points of views from a range of characters. Though the points of view could jump around quite a bit, I didn’t find it difficult to keep up with and enjoyed being able to view different points of the stories through such varying characters.

The story pretty much follows the tale of David as he is destined to become King of Israel and what he must do to accomplish that. The character of David was written really well and, in fact, all of the characters were brilliantly written and unique in their viewpoints. Francesca was probably one of my favourites, and Martinez, the two of them were strong characters that I would have been happy to read a lot more about.

This is a well-paced book that didn’t feel like it lacked at any points, though I did skip over some hunting scenes. Everything flowed nicely and at some points when I thought it was going one way, it would quickly turn in another direction and surprised me, which was nice as it kept me excited to turn the page and find out what came next to these characters I really came to care for.

The way the book was written made it feel like an old book, like a telling of a tale passed down through the years, which I absolutely loved! It gave the whole story a kind of other-world feel whilst I was reading and took me to another world and time.

Now I have to admit, I am not a religious person, so I think a lot of the biblical references were lost on me! But I also have to say not to be put off this book if you’re not a fan of bible tales or religion, it’s a good story in itself, and the religious side of things wasn’t that heavy, it was just like magic or faith in any fantasy-type book.

The only reason I didn’t give this book full 5 stars is due to the amount of errors throughout, including spelling and grammar. It really just needs someone with fresh eyes to go over it and pull them out. Still, I kept reading even through the errors as I was enjoying the story so much.

Overall I have to say I loved this book, the story pulled me in without realising and I found myself eager to read it everyday to find out what happened next. It’s a great read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a sweeping tale filled with great characters and exciting adventure.

Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

Goodreads