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Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekend Reading Plans

Weekend Reading Plans:

Finish up reading Mr. Darcy's Bite and review it.  I have less than 100 pages left and it's good so far.

Read Forever (3rd in series).  I'm now 12% into it on my Kindle.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Between Shades of Gray (YA)

Between Shades of Gray

This book was a powerful piece of YA historical fiction.  Lina, her mother and her younger brother Jonas are packed up, put on a train and sent to Russian prison camps during World War II.  This book describes the horrors they faced, the losses they endured and the struggles that they had to keep their faith and their humanity.  This book was so powerful, yet so difficult to read.  I think this book could be used in classrooms and I would strongly recommend it for school library purchase.  The writing is captivating, the characters are so fleshed out that readers will immediately care for them, and the storyline is fast-paced to keep even reluctant readers engaged.  This was the best historical fiction that I have read in some time. 

Library Kindle books

Very excited that my library system has started having Kindle library books.  Very easy to download.  Borrowed my first one Friday night--Between Shades of Gray--I'm about 70% into it and it is so good--YA historical fiction.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

JR Ward books

Not sure why I cannot comment on my own blog but to Carol--yes, I would definitely recommend reading the JR Ward BDB books!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dark Lover


Dark Lover
This is the first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  Wrath is the vampire king and he meets and falls in love with Beth.  She meets his tough guy vampire brothers.  There are bad guys trying to wipe out the vampire population and the brotherhood is fighting back.  Good action, good vampire smut romance, and great characters made this an enjoyable read.  All of the brothers are interesting and I will definitely continue reading this series to find out more about them.  I really enjoyed this book.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wicked Appetite


Wicked Appetite

This book focuses on Diesel, a character from the "in-between" Stephanie Plum series.  Diesel has some magical powers and needs help from a baker, who does not really know that she has magical powers too.  The two try to find magical charms leading to a magical stone before Wulf, Diesel's evil cousin, finds them.  Carl the Monkey, also from the Stephanie Plum books, is in this book; he is joined by ninja cat, Cat 7143.  This book was a fun read--great humor, some romance, decent action.  I love Evanovich's writing.  She is one of my favorite authors.  I read this book on my Kindle.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Never Been Bit


Never Been Bit

This is the third book in a series and I have enjoyed all three.  This series had vampires, lycans and witches mixed up with storylines that have action, mystery and romance.  In this book, Sorcha and Alec's storyline takes center stage.  Sorcha is a witch and Alec is a vampire.  They are drawn to each other, even though Sorcha really believes that she is destined to end up with a Lycan.  These books are fun to read.  The characters are interesting and complex.  I enjoy the way the author weaves in the central group of characters in every book, while focusing on one couple as the main part in a book. It is done in a well-balanced way. 

I was sent this book to review by Sourcebooks.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bookmarks

I have bookmarks (physical or virtual) in the following books:

Never Been Bit (review book)
Maine (review book)
The Provence Cure for the Broken Hearted (Kindle)

Wicked Appetite (Kindle)
Beauty Queens (YA)
Dark Lover
Death on a Silver Tray

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Congrats!

Congratulations to Carol Evans--she won a copy of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star!  Enjoy!

Thank you Heather!

Thank you Heather for stopping by my blog!

Remember, comment here or on my review on Facebook to be entered in the drawing for a copy of this fun read!

Guest Blog by Heather Lynn Rigaud, author of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

*What is Heather's writing process?
 

Before I ever start, I spend a lot of time thinking about my characters and my plot. I like to have a really strong sense of my characters motivations and personalities. I want to know what they're thinking, what their quirks are, and what they're longing for.


I'm a serious plotter. I like plan where my story's going to go and the major plot points as well as the tiny details that will be important 200 pages later. However, I'm often surprised when I actually start writing because my characters sometimes will produce something I wasn't expecting, but I do try to keep some control.
 

I will usually write a chapter a week. I'll then send that out for feedback from my beta-readers and do some edits. When the whole work is done, I'll then do several rounds of edits and re-writes as needed. (And then some more, and then more after that)
 

*Was it hard to stay true to Jane Austen while making Austen's characters her own?
 

Yes, and no. I can divide the characters into 3 categories. First, there were character that I tried to stay really true too, specifically Darcy and Elizabeth. It's their story and I find these characters so vibrant that I think their original selves shine through. Darcy is still proud and aloof, Elizabeth is still sparkling while still resenting Darcy. I have to also include the villains in this category: Wickham, Collins, and Lady Catherine. Austen knew her badies and they don't need any work, other than updating.
 

Second, there are characters that I tried to imagine what they would be like if they just had more 'screen time'. This would include Charles Bingley, Jane Bennet, and Anne DeBourgh, who I let express the anger I have to believe she's repressing. Jane and Charles are allowed to explore their motivations- What's going on in Charles's head when he separates from Jane, how he views his friendship with Darcy, etc.


Finally, there's the characters I take and change significantly. This would include Caroline Bingley and Richard Fitzwilliam. I don't feel bad about Richard because he's hardly in P&P (he doesn't even have a first name), so he was useful to develop for my own purposes and Caroline was an experiment: Caroline in the original is easy for Darcy to reject because he can see she's a hollow suck-up. But what if she wasn't a horrid, selfish sycophant? What if she was a nice person? She'd be a much bigger rival to Elizabeth for Darcy's attention. And wouldn't it say more about Darcy's love for Elizabeth if he had a real alternative?

Charlotte Lucas is her own special case, because I start with the very pragmatic, plain character from Pride & Prejudice, and I take it to a different conclusion. She's still Charlotte, but she goes to a really new place.



*Why does she think that these modernized classics or take offs seem to be a hot genre right now?


Because the classic stories have great bones. Under the period fluff, the characters and plots combine to make strong, exciting stories. Readers love and enjoy these characters so much they're excited to get to spend more time with them. And by updating the language, and some of the situations that don't make sense for modern times, we're opening up these classics to be enjoyed by more people.



I'm a good example: my first exposure to Jane Austen was the movie Bridget Jones's Diary, which is a fearless adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I loved it, so I read the book. The book talked about the Pride and Prejudice BBC series, so I got that and watched it. From there, it was a short hop to Jane Austen's book and then to all of Austen's novels.
 

The other point I'd like to make is these novels are not that out of date. Take Mansfield Park. It's about a seriously dysfunctional family: the mother is chronically ill and is non-functional most of the time. The oldest son is an alcoholic with gambling issues. The oldest daughter is a party girl who has an affair, and leaves her rich, dull husband. The mother's nurse falls in love with the second son, who's pining for the glamorous girl next door. Sounds pretty modern doesn't it? And that's what Austen wrote.



In Northanger Abbey the heroine, who's away from home for the first time, is obsessed with romantic horror novels. She draws the attention of two men: one's charming but has an emotionally abusive father, the other is a loud-mouthed braggart who's always swearing and talking about his car(riage). 
 

My point is Austen's basic plots are already pretty modern. It's not that far a stretch to take down the Regency wallpaper and put up some modern paint.
 

Melissa, thank you for the opportunity to visit your blog and get to know some of your readers. I hope to hear about what they think in the comments.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

This is a unique take on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  Darcy, Charles and Richard are huge rock stars in their band Slurry.  Lizzy, Jane and Charlotte are up an coming rock stars Long Bourne Suffering.  The two bands begin to tour together.  Charles and Jane become a couple, Richard and Charlotte hook up in a true rock and roll style romance and Darcy and Elizabeth are drawn to each other but have some obstacles to work through--sounds like Pride and Prejudice, right?

Add in the MTV Video awards, some hot romance, and modern times, and you have a fun read.  I enjoyed it and you know I love my Jane Austen.

I was sent a copy of this book to review by Sourcebooks.

----On September 7th, Heather Lynn Rigaud will be guest blogging here.  A copy of this book will be up for grabs.  Comment here if you want to be entered into the book drawing!