Revisiting a World

a flawed jewelGuest blog by Dawn Brower, author of A Flawed Jewel

Writing books is something that is new to me and I am excited for the release of my first novella. A Flawed Jewel is out in the wild and became available on April 4 for everyone to enjoy. It’s celebration time.  How better to commemorate this happy occasion than to tell everyone what I am working on now?

When I wrote A Flawed Jewel I never intended to visit that world again. Writing is hard and this book drained me. It could have been because I wrote it so fast, but I think it had more to do with all the little details I had to make sure were correct. It’s a historical novella and the information is not something that always comes naturally me. Second guessing myself became a habit and I’d stop writing to go make sure what I had written had been accurate.

So imagine my surprise when I woke up with this wild idea to write more novellas in this world. I have two books in the works to round this off to a trilogy. Hopefully my editor agrees with my ideas once I get around to sending her the first manuscript. So what are these novellas about? A Flawed Jewel should have been a stand alone. How could I continue writing in that world? Crazy right? Well it’s not exactly the same time frame. The second set of novellas take place almost twenty years later and involve the hero and heroine’s children.

The working title of this book is titled A Treasured Lily. Lilliana Marsden is the daughter of Pia and Thor from A Flawed Jewel. Randall Collins lives in South Carolina and owns his own shipping company.  I have a pretty good rough draft available to pick through. So how about a tiny excerpt from my work in progress?

Here is an exclusive sneak peek into A Treasured Lily:

He wondered how far he could push her. The decision to give into her and take her on his ship had already been made. Lilliana just didn’t know he had decided to let her come back to America with him, but only because it worked in his own plans.

“What do I get for my trouble?” he asked, “Seems like I’m risking a lot to help you out here.”

“What do you want? Money? I certainly can afford to pay my passage.”

His lips rose into a cocky smile. Rand desired a lot from her, but at this point only one thing would do as payment. Would the lovely lady be willing to give it to him? He had nothing to lose and only one way to find out.

“How about a kiss?”

Lilliana had a stunned look on her face and she stopped dancing in the middle of the dance floor. It took her several seconds to get her bearings before she realized they were supposed to be moving. Her face flushed a pretty shade of pink as she began to move to the music again with him in the lead.

“How forward of you.” she said, “I’m not sure I like your idea of compensation.”

“It’s a small thing, one little kiss. To be given to me at a time of my choosing.” he leaned forward and whispered in her ear, “Are you afraid?”

Her breath sucked deep into her chest and he felt her slowly exhale it in little pants. Her pulse raced on her wrist beneath the palm of his hand. Her face remained flush and her lips parted in anticipation. Yes, she had an interest in kissing him. Now he just needed her to accept the proposal and he’d have her sailing with him in a few days.

“Okay you have a deal.” she said.

 

I hope you enjoyed the sneak peak at what I am working on right now. What do you think about Lilliana and Rand?

Book Blurb:

Pieretta boards a ship, unaware that Thor is waiting to kidnap her for revenge against her grandfather. Will love intervene, altering both their courses?

Pieretta Carlyle experienced the loss of her father, leaving her alone in the world except for her grandpere, Comte Renard Dubois. The comte insists that she travel to France to live with him. Pieretta doesn’t want to leave Charleston and the only home she has ever known. Her grandpere is her guardian, and she must do what he says.

Thor has a score to settle, and Pieretta is the key to his revenge. He became a pirate unwillingly after his business partner tried to murder him. He must acquire Pieretta by any means necessary, and he doesn’t mind plundering a ship to obtain her.

When Pieretta and Thor meet, they are instantly attracted to each other against their better judgments. Pieretta is disgusted by the pirate’s actions. Thor knows what Pieretta believes, but proceeds with his plans anyway. She is only a tool to achieve vengeance. What happens will depend on Thor’s need for revenge and Pieretta’s ability to forgive him for his dastardly deeds.

Buy: A Flawed Jewel

Bio: 

Dawn Brower holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a Master of Arts in Education, and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts with concentrations in Literature, History, and Sociology. She works as a substitute teacher and enjoys the flexibility it gives her to concentrate on her other endeavors.

Growing up, she was the only girl out of six children. She is a single mother of two teenage boys; there is never a dull moment in her life. Reading books is her favorite hobby. There is nothing like a nice glass of wine and a good book to relax with at the end of the day.

There are always stories inside her head; she just never thought she could make them come to life. That creativity has finally found an outlet. If you want to contact Dawn you can visit her webpage at www.authordawnbrower.com, her facebook page at www.facebook.com/DawnMarieBrower, on her blog http://dawnbrower.wordpress.com or her twitter page at www.twitter.com/dawnab33.

Buy: A Flawed Jewel

Review: Haven 6 (New Dawn, Book 3) by Aubrie Dionne

haven6Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Eridani is the only woman on board The Heritage ship who hasn’t found herself a man, but she more than makes up for this lack of male interest when she is sent on a mission to perform covert operations on an alien planet, Haven 6 where she can find more info on how best to destroy them.

Review: When Eri goes on a mission to Haven 6, she never thinks she will meet anyone on the same level, let alone a man, but when she meets Striver, she falls for him. After a while he has her questioning her loyalty to those on The Heritage as she can understand his point of view on his people. He acts as leader of his people, and does a good job of keeping them from the cruelty of the outsiders who live over the wall.

Good Points:

  • The cover art captures the two characters very well as you can identify with them now that there are faces you can put to them.
  • Striver understands Eri’s plight at being ridiculed over her parents, while he doesn’t judge her on being different from her peers on The Heritage.
  • The story is told in flashbacks, but if flashbacks aren’t your thing, this might not be for you.

Bad Points:

  • It is a complicated plot that can sometimes be overcomplicated.
  • There is very little sex in this novel as it is meant for those of 16+ who are Young Adult readers.

Overview: If you liked book 3, then why not have a look at the previous two in the series. I’m sure they won’t disappoint.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Haven 6 (New Dawn)

Review: Revenge of the Barbary Ghost by Donna Lea Simpson

lady anne revenge of the barbary ghost
This story continues immediately after the events of Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark.

Lady Anne Addison: Our plucky heroine isn’t sure she wants to wed and escapes to the coast to avoid answering the Marquess of Darkefell’s proposal. She can’t stop thinking about the man but she is determined to be distracted. The local mystery of the Barbary Ghost in Cornwall is just the ticket. She can’t imagine it’s a real ghost, but seeing it in person makes her think twice, still she’s certain she can figure out how the ghost stunt is achieved.

Marquess of Darkefell: Our strikingly handsome hero won’t take a non-answer from Anne about his proposal so he chases her to Cornwall after obtaining her whereabouts from her family. To press his suit, Darkefell joins her in sleuthing, which also helps an old employee worried about his son being involved in the smuggling. The biggest mystery at Cliff House for him though is not the Barbary Ghost and the smugglers; the biggest mystery to solve is how to win Lady Anne’s hand in marriage.

Review: You should definitely read Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark before reading this one, as it helps illuminate their relationship. The romance between Anne and Tony is one that will play out serially like the Francesca Cahill Deadly Mysteries. Each novel gives you more forward movement, but also leaves you begging for more! Anne is certain if she were to marry the only man she’d want is Tony, but is undecided about the institution of marriage fearing if she does marry Tony, the power it will give him over her life. She is not yet willing to give up what control she has (which is more than most young ladies as she has her inheritance). The style of writing is sweet, clever, full of twists and turns, and passionate! I love both Anne and Tony and can’t wait to see them get their happy ever after as a crime solving duo!

Recommended If You Like: Francesca Cahill Deadly Mysteries, Lady Julie Grey Mysteries, Jaine Austen Mysteries, Mrs. Murphy Mysteries, and mysteries that are light, clever, have a dash of romance and are full of fun!

This series continues with Curse of the Gypsy, which makes it sound like Tony has a twin brother to stir up trouble! Oh la la!

Buy: Revenge of the Barbary Ghost: A Lady Anne Mystery

Review: Encompassed (Immortal Series, Book 4) by Em Petrova

Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

It is interesting the amount of cross genre fiction there is out for readers to have a look at. Encompassed, book 4 is Em Petrova’s chance to show how she can weave a ship’s captain and a Mayan Princess into a loving relationship.

There is a reason Dante and Maria are together and it is to do with the Calling, a way of them bonding with full knowledge of whether they are good for each other. They love each other very much, and their immortal companions notice that too. After a while though, that feeling of love and affection starts to leave them and while others like them are only just getting that feeling, they long to get it back and have the fulfilling relationship they once had.

It isn’t long before a love triangle develops with Dante being distracted by Gracie, another immortal who is influenced by the Calling too. Before this can happen and Dante is torn away from her, Maria has to go back to the place where their feelings were first felt.

I liked how Em Petrova had the original concept for Gracie, the heroine in this new novel. Originally she was under another name and in a contemporary spanking story. She gives her heroines a comical aspect and isn’t afraid to create unusual stories in order to somehow make them seem real to others. She has a great descriptive mind and can make the reader truly believe they are there in her chosen world.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Encompassed

Review: Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, Book 3) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Heroine: Widow Silence Hollingbrook is in a dire situation. To reclaim what she loves she must face the man who callously and cruelly used her to make a point that ruined her marriage. Only of course he doesn’t make things simple. Apparently there’s danger (evil Charlie Grady, the Vicar of Whitechapel) and wouldn’t you know, he’s the father of the baby girl she thought was an orphan.

Hero: River pirate “Charming” Mickey O’Connor is fiercely handsome but woefully unfeeling (or so he thinks, he takes quite good care of those he considers his). He climbed his way to the top of London’s dark and dangerous criminal underworld and has no intentions of falling back down. But when a danger from his past threatens to tear it all down, Mickey acts and once again his actions will prove to be Silence’s undoing.

Review: Scandalous Desires is not to be missed – pirate hero? Hello! It’s a beautifully written story with all the elements that I like including a seemingly heartless hero (he’s dragged into love, but once there he’s going to go all out). I love how Mickey is the engineer of his own romantic downfall – he wants Silence and to get to her he uses Mary Darling, a bastard daughter a whore claimed was his but he knows is not. He’ll keep Mary around because it means Silence will stay because she loves the girl. Of course he falls for both, poor man, haha. Silence and Mikey are enemies, but they aren’t, because Mikey doesn’t really want Silence as an enemy, but plays the part because of his plan to keep her by his side. The only thing left to say is that this is definitely one of the best books of the year!

Rating: 4.5 Stars

(Would have been 5 Stars, but Mary Darling gets sick and drags focus)

Buy: Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane)

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Regency Romance versus Historical Romance

genre

What is regency romance and how does it differ from historical romance?

You may well recognize Jane Austen as a regency romance writer. She is best known for works such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

So what makes an authentic regency romance?

Well if you look at Pride and Prejudice you can see quite clearly the basic setup of a regency romance. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet stir the hearts of readers as they bicker and dance around each other, but a key element to the novel is that their romance is not the only one. Miss Jane Bennet and Mr. Charles Bingley also fall in love in this classic tale, though perhaps with fewer hindrances on the characters’ part.

To break it down:

Regency romance is based in the early 19th century and will normally revolve around a comedy of manners. The romances are very chaste and do not include conversations about sex between the main characters. In several cases, there will be a side romance to the main one. This of course applies only to Regency romance and romance written around the actual time period. Modern Regency romances include sex and overt (sexualized) flirting.

The monarchs you will find in regency romances are George IV and William IV. Some novels may be included in this genre, even if George III is ruling, though technically speaking he is not part of this era. George III is before the regency era. The period starts when he was declared insane by the Parliament Regency Act and his son was placed on the throne as acting king. The regency (and post-regency) period ends prior to Queen Victoria’s reign.

Time Frame: 1810-1820, generally speaking.

Historical Romance on the other hand is considered to be everything prior to WWI in history. Contemporary attitudes usually color the writing enabling the female lead to be more educated, witty, or relatable. There are many sub genres to this type of romance including but not limited to Viking, pirate, colonial United States, and Western.

In conclusion, regency romance is included in theme of historical romance as a separate and more distinct subgenre.

Review: Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood

bookreview

Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood is the second book in the set of three novels, Guardian Angel follows on the heels of The Lion’s Lady. I didn’t know this when I started and was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed the book. Usually I dislike sets of romances because one couple or half of a couple ends up irking me due to their actions in a previous book. However, Lyon and Christina are already wedded by this point and I loved them in their story. I did wonder as to their purpose in this novel, but Lyon is clearly Caine’s friend and trustworthy ally which Caine will need before the novel is up. Speaking on ends, I thought the ending to Guardian Angel was lacking in some fashion. I can’t put my finger on it but the ending left me feeling vaguely like how the ending of The Wedding made me feel… unresolved I guess.

The Marquess of Cainewood is on a mission. Revenge coldly calculated, this ruthless man has set out to avenge his brother’s death at the hands of the notorious pirate known only as Pagan. The pirate would meet his maker, and then perhaps Caine’s father would get some peace. Sitting in the back of a pub that had become his haunting place since his brother’s death, Caine’s evening is interrupted by the unexpected appearance of an angel with fiery red hair. She’s scared, trembling, but determined.

Her first question is about his identity… is he Pagan?

His charade as the pirate was working, but instead of drawing out the real Pagan, he got a maiden in distress. She asks him to kill her before the men after her catch up and do the job themselves. She wants to die quick and painlessly and hoped the honorable Pagan would help her. Honorable indeed! Caine refuses and shoulders the burdens of the young woman.

Jade he will find leads him on a merry goose chase after criminals who do and don’t exist. And all the while she is flitting about trying to keep Caine occupied, a real mystery is brewing… but also passion. Can Jade keep her heart safe or has a man finally pierced her shields to the vulnerable girl inside?

Rating: ★★★★☆

Edit: The sex in this novel doesn’t follow the usual path in romance novels. When Jade loses her virginity it’s not a quick flash of pain and then over with. I enjoyed how Garwood handled everything when it became an issue between Jade and Caine. Jade was also very tender for her second time. It was different than what I am used to in a romance novel and I found that I enjoyed it because of that.

Buy: Guardian Angel

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Review: Too Sinful to Deny by Erica Ridley

by Susan S., guest reviewer

There are three things guaranteed to bring me pleasure: vanilla-flavored coffees, Godiva, and a great read. This was a great read!

Background: Miss Susan Stanton made her debut as a secondary character in Too Wicked To Kiss; where she befriends Evangeline, the heroine from book one. The sequel stands alone, but reading the earlier installment will explain more about Susan’s downfall from Polite Society, and her failed attempts at marrying a wealthy gentleman.

What to Expect:

You can expect Ridley’s signature humor, a great murder mystery, and a Regency set historical romance with a paranormal twist. There’s also scandalous unladylike behavior from the heroine and temptation-laced kisses from a sexy rakehell.

What Not to Expect:

If you’re looking for a replica of book one, you’ll be doused in ice water; a real shock-to-the-system. Too Sinful To Deny is to Too Wicked To Kiss, as a red fan is to a red apple. It’s not the first time I see a sequel completely dissimilar from the first book, but it’s the first time I felt it’s happened to a successful end.

Recommendations: Recommended for romance readers everywhere.

Summary: Miss Susan Stanton, heroine, drowned in the frigid waters of London’s Thames River; only to regain consciousness with a newfound gift. She sees…and hears…dead people. A most inconvenient gift! Since, most discarnates pop up at the most inopportune moments. Always expecting her to do some task or another.

Her penchant for gossiping forces her parents to send her to the desolate town of Bournemouth. It’s in Bournemouth where she meets a discarnate named Timothy; it’s Timothy who’ll set certain events into motion. One involving a dark and dangerous smuggler named Evan Bothwick, hero.

With missing corpses, disappearing pirate ships, talking ghosts, and jealous rivals, is there any time for romance? Of course! Evan kisses Susan the first time, and she punches him in the ribs. Then, he kisses her a second time, and the blackguard disappears out a window. Will the third kiss be the charm? I know! But, I’m not telling. There’s a discarnate over Miss Stanton’s left shoulder pressing a finger to his very blue, very dead lips. I take that to mean he’s signaling me to remain silent on the matter. And since he’s a pirate, albeit a dead one…I’m going to do what he asks.

Review: Two things I loved about this novel: character development and the opposites attracting aspect of the love story. Just imagine the sole heiress of a wealthy baron associating with a rakehell who happens to be a smuggler. Susan shouldn’t be associating with Evan. As for Bothwick, he should be tumbling around with a wench. Oh, but isn’t something more tempting, if it’s…forbidden?

Regarding the character development, we have an innocent, impulsive young-lady of three and twenty who grows up emotionally. Although change of habit doesn’t alter her nature entirely, she does learn how it feels to be on the receiving end of gossip. An unpleasant experience to be sure! Evan does some growing up of his own, and learns to think of someone besides himself.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Too Sinful To Deny

ARC, Historical Romance, Kensington Publishing Corp., April 2011, Print Pages 344. ISBN-13# 978-1-4201-0994-8.

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