Friday, January 20, 2017

Super Secret Project is No Longer a Secret

For the past couple of months I've been working on a Super Secret Project. Well, today, the announcement is out, and I can finally talk about...


I'm super excited to get to be part of this incredible anthology. I mean, check out those authors!

If you want to read an interview about the project, check out Just Jane 1813 to see what our editor, Christina Boyd, has to say about it.

And look for THE DARCY MONOLOGUES coming May 22nd!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Jane in January: Michael Buble vs. Jane Austen

If you've read my Persuasion retelling, SWAY, you'll know that Michael Buble and his music was a huge influence on me. When I decided my Eric (AKA Captain Wentworth) would be a musician, it seemed natural to me that he'd be a Michael Buble-esque crooner. I listened to his music on repeat while writing, and mentioned a few of his songs in the novel (CRY ME A RIVER and AT THIS MOMENT were two big ones). I even read a biography of Michael Buble so I could get a better idea what kind of struggles an artist like Eric would go through in rising to the top. 
So for Jane in January today, I made you guys a quiz. I've given you a quote, and you just have to answer who said it: Michael Buble or Jane Austen. *I tried to go with random quotes instead of known ones, but I still think it's probably pretty easy.*

So take the quiz, then let me know what you scored in the comments. Everyone who tells me their score in the comments will be entered to win a paperback of SWAY and a copy of Michael Buble's newest CD "Nobody But Me." Open internationally! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday Reads

Blogging... what on earth is blogging?

At least, that's how I've felt lately. As in, the last year or so. And especially over the Christmas break. We all need social media breaks now and again though. And I'm back today (late today) to talk about what I've read since... whenever I blogged last.

I really should've blogged earlier because I've got FIVE books to talk about.

CLOSE TO YOU by Kara Isaac. Dang. It's been so long since I read this (okay, only like two and a half weeks) and I don't remember what I loved and didn't about it. The premise and all the Tolkien-related nerdery: totally cool. The romance was fun. I gave it four stars so obviously something held me back from all the love, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was.

RED RISING by Pierce Brown. This was an interesting read for me. Started slow, but I kept reading because of all the hype. Then got super good. Then got a little boring. Then got really good. Then got okay. Then ended fantastically. So yeah, a roller coaster of a book. I didn't LURVE it but I'll definitely pick up book two.

SOLVING FOR EX by LeighAnn Kopans. This book has been on my radar for forever because I'd been in contests with the author, plus it's Jane Austen's MANSFIELD PARK retold YA-style. There were things I loved about this book- it was a fast read, good writing, and fun characters. I didn't mind the pining and angst most of the time, although there were times when the MC would go back and forth between I'm blah and no one likes me to I'm hot look at me! or he'll never like me and he's always liked me! It was a little wrenching at times. The whole mathlete thing got a little lost too and didn't get resolved at the end, which was a bummer. Otherwise, a fun read.

BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST by Nancy Campbell Allen. I picked this book up at a bookstore because I liked the sound of the premise: a steampunk Beauty and the Beast meets Jane Eyre story. When I started reading, I worried there was too much going on. Not only was it a steampunk retelling, but there was magic, ghosts, werewolves, and vampires mixed in. It ended up working seamlessly and I loved the story! The mystery was solid, though I had the antagonist narrowed down to two since almost the beginning and it annoyed me a bit that the MC never considered these two, even though evidence pointed that way early on. Otherwise, the MC was awesome, and it had a swoon-worthy love story. I will definitely pick up another book by this author.

P.S. I LIKE YOU by Kasie West. LURVE LURVE LURVE so much. I'd never read a Kasie West before but I will read ALL the Kasie West books now. This felt like a YA YOU'VE GOT MAIL and I loved the quirky MC and the cocky love interest. Best of all the book was funny, with fast and witty dialogue- my favorite. Sooo good.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Faves

Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I love the spirit of the season, the kindness, the smiles. I love celebrating the birth of Christ, and I love giving and receiving presents. I love the decorations, the food, the family, the music, the movies. Basically I'm one of those people who are like, "I love everyone" except it's "I love everything Christmas!"

Here are some of my faves:

I could listen to Christmas music on repeat, though there are some songs that are kinda annoying (Twelve Days of Christmas, anyone?). My faves are the classics: Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Perry Como, etc. But I especially- and this will come as no surprise- love Michael Buble's Christmas albums. He's the perfect mix of modern and classic, and I love his voice.

I can't pick just one favorite Christmas movie, there are too many. But one I love which is probably a bit underappreciated is CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT. The movie is funny and cute and silly and I love the love story. Check it out if you've never seen it.

A new thing for me this year is Hallmark Christmas movies. I know a lot of people have been on this bandwagon forever, but I haven't jumped on until this year and it all started because I heard that one of my fave swoon-worthy actors was in a 2015 Hallmark movie called CROWN FOR CHRISTMAS. After watching that (and rolling my eyes yet crying at the same time), I decided to give some others a try. I only got to watch a few, but I'll definitely be giving Hallmark movies a go every year from now on.

I don't read a lot of Christmas books either, although I did give a couple a try. But I have to go with my all-time fave, THE GRINCH, of course. And I have a special place in my heart for THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL, and SMALL ONE.

What are some of your Christmas favorites?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday Read: The Chemist and The Forbidden Orchid

You'd think around the holidays that I would have more time to read. 


Christmas is in less than a week and I don't feel prepared at all. Actually, I'm almost there, it's just- it's been so busy that I haven't had the chance to just laze around and enjoy the season. Hopefully I'll be there by this weekend. Or, as lazy as an adult with four children who's also having company over for Christmas can be.

Anyway, so I only read two books these past couple of weeks. THE CHEMIST by Stephenie Meyer and THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID by Sharon Biggs Waller.

So, THE CHEMIST. Honestly, it took me about a hundred pages to get into this book. If it weren't for the fact that it's Stephenie Meyer and her books have yet to disappoint me, AND the fact that someone had recommended this to me and said they couldn't put it down, I probably would have quit in the first couple of chapters. I mean, it took twenty pages until there was even dialogue! 

Some people might not mind this, but I love dialogue and I really felt the lack. Besides, isn't it a rule that you shouldn't have more than what, three pages without dialogue, or something like that? She's Stephenie Meyer and she can obviously break the rules, but still. For me, there was WAY TOO MUCH detail, especially at the beginning, and not enough action. Once I did get into the book, though, I really enjoyed it. The MC was an interesting mix of clinical and cold yet still human- her character arc was excellent. And I felt the love story only added to the book- in fact it was my favorite part- rather than taking away from the plot. I especially loved the banter between the three of them. (See what I mean about dialogue?) Anyway, definitely a book to check out if you're a Meyer fan, just be prepared for the slow start.

Probably one of my fave books of 2015 was Sharon Biggs Waller's A MAD, WICKED FOLLY. So I eagerly picked up THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID. I rated it 5 stars on Goodreads, but it's really more of a four and a half. (I rate up, because I'm nice like that.) I loved the book and only had two tiny complaints. One, the blurb of the book tells us that the MC is going to travel to China with her father. So I waited and waited for this to happen but it didn't happen until about 180 pages in. I really wanted this to happen sooner, with a little less lead-up. And two, the love story was SO AWESOME in parts, but then it got forgotten at times. There were times when she could've played it up but she didn't. 

Otherwise, it was a solid book that I loved and I still count Sharon Biggs Waller as one of my fave historical YA authors. 

What about you? Do you like dialogue? Does it take away from the book when there isn't much?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday Reads

I rounded out the end of November with the last of a trilogy and two romances.

Myra McEntire's INFINITYGLASS is the third of the trilogy and I really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure I'd like the brand new POV's (each book has two different POVs) but I ended up really liking Dune and Hallie. I also thought she ended the trilogy really well. The ending seemed to happen quickly, but I think that's what happens when you've been into multiple books with the same story and suddenly it's over and you're all...

Anyway, it's a great trilogy and very voicey.

Then I read SOMETHING IN THE HEIR by Jenny Gardiner. I had really high hopes for this one because the premise is super cute. Unfortunately, I was less than impressed with the writing and some of the scenarios were so ridiculous it was hard for me to believe them. Plus the MC had a serious case of modesty to the point where the LI is constantly telling her how great she is. *eye roll* I finished to the end though and there were some cute and swoony moments.

Last, I read A Yorkshire Christmas by Kate Hewitt. I didn't realize this was only novella length when I bought it for my Kobo, but the story was really cute. Kinda reminded me of The Holiday (that Christmas movie with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz) at first but it takes it's own turn. It was a fun Christmas read, and I promptly watched The Holiday as soon as I was done!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday Sale!!!

It's Black Friday so that means... SALES!!!

I'm part of the lovely group over at Austen Variations and we're having a huge sale of many of our Jane Austen related books. A lot of PRIDE & PREJUDICE variations, and my very own SWAY (a contemporary PERSUASION retelling in case you didn't know) is on sale for $0.99, which is a screamin' deal if you ask me. Check it out at the link above, or you can just go straight to Amazon if you want to pick up SWAY. It's also on sale at Amazon Canada, and other ebook retailers like B&N, and I'm trying to get the price reduced on Amazon UK for all you Brits out there, so stay tuned.

Hope you're having a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend if you're American, or just a great weekend if you hail from elsewhere in the world! Much love!