Monday, March 28, 2016

Lesson from Downton Abbey

I will confess, I don't watch Downton Abbey. It isn't that I don't like that sort of thing, because I suspect I would really love it. After all, my friends watch it and love it. I'm just too scattered to keep track of when it's on and the one TV we have is usually taken over by someone else--and I don't care enough to take charge of it. That said, I came across a quote from Downton Abbey's Violet Crawley that I think we can all take a lesson from.

"Vulgarity is no substitute for wit."

I'm going to take it one step further. "Profanity is no substitute for good writing."

I recently read five romantic suspense novels, sadly, none of which I would recommend based solely on the amount of profanity. Every single one contained the F word--and one novel several times per chapter. It was appalling, and completely unnecessary.

My teen years saw all the Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and romantic suspense novels I could find at the library. Sometimes I would raid my grandmother's Reader's Digest Condensed novels hunting for similar authors. They were brilliant. They had intrigue, murder, twists and turns, that spark between hero and heroine.

What didn't they have? Sexually explicit content. Profanity. Did that take away from the story? Not one bit. Does it add to the story? Rarely, and even then, it is no justification for randomly throwing it in there.

As a reader, I want writing to take me away, uplift me, even inspire me. I want to be able to find some 'keepers', books I can recommend to my friends and the world at large.

So, my writer friends, I challenge you: up your game. I will say it again, "Profanity is no substitute for good writing."

Write well my friends, write well.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

SOLSTICE by Jane Redd

There are four ways to get Banished from the last surviving city on earth: 1. Cut out your emotion tracker, 2. Join a religious cult, 3. Create a rebellion against the Legislature, 4. Fall in love.
Jezebel James does all four.
Jez is on the fast-track to becoming a brilliant scientist, with one goal—save her city from total extinction. But the more Jez learns about the price of a fresh beginning, the more she realizes that carrying out the plan will lead to few survivors, and among the dead will be those she cares about the most.

Seriously, doesn't that sound so intriguing? I loved this story. I had a difficult time putting it down and even then, was thinking about it. It has some twists and I won't give anything away but I liked that some of the challenges were unexpected. Jez is always worried about making a wrong move, which doesn't always work in her favor. I liked her character and her toughness when she needed it. Can't wait for the next book. Nicely done, Jane Redd. 

Check out SOLSTICE on Amazon.

*I voted for this book on Kindle Scout and received a free copy. The review contained herein is solely my own.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Thank You Cheerleaders!

If you've followed my blog at all, you know I signed up to participate in the BMO Harris Phoenix Half-Marathon. My sisters, brothers-in-law, and a nephew participated too. My one sister and her husband are multi-Ironman finishers (Ah-Ma-Zing!) and my other sister and her husband and son have done this before as well (again, amazing). My other sister and husband couldn't make it this
Go Charlie Brown!
Look at all that trash the
volunteers had to clean up.
Thanks team!
year, but we're hoping for next year! And maybe my hubs can join then too.

I told them originally that I would participate with the caveat that I was not running. I just don't enjoy that (and neither, really, does my body). Some people's bodies are meant for that. Not mine. And I'm so OK with that. I started walking almost daily in preparation, including some running during each mile. I was pretty confident that I would be able to walk/jog the course in less than four hours. My sister and I finished in 3:06:28! I was super excited about that.

Enough on that. I want to thank everyone who came out and cheered us on. People I knew, people I didn't, older people, kids in strollers, kids holding signs. It was incredible. I mean that. It made me cry more than once that they would be so generous with their time to come cheer people on during the race. It really made a difference. Walk/jogging a half-marathon is an accomplishment I'm excited about. It took preparation and determination. But the joy came from the people. The people we raced with, the people who volunteered at the water/gatorade stations, and the wonderful people who cheered us on as we ran past. THANK YOU!

And a huge thank you to my sister that walked with me who was my biggest cheerleader and encouraged me the whole way.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Mail Order Bride Collection

**Amazon #1 Bestselling series in Clean Romance**

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Mail Order Bride Collection. Six historical romance novellas set in the Old West. 

WRITTEN IN HER HEART, a charming novella by Stacy Henrie, Georgeanna is getting desperate. She can’t fund her favorite orphanage unless she marries and secures the rest of her inheritance left by her father. But her father’s financial planner, Clay, can't understand why she's not content with her current situation. Georgie determines to send out a notice as a mail order bride to attract suitors who won’t know her financial situation. Little does she know, Clay takes up the pen and sends her letters of his own under an assumed name. After years of working for Georgie’s father, Clay realizes he isn’t ready to watch her marry another, not when his heart is already claimed by her.

In Kristin Holt’s delightful novella WANTED: MIDWIFE BRIDE Dr. Naomi Thornton thinks she has it all: a beautiful house, a loving husband, and a fulfilling career. But when everything she holds dear is ripped away, Naomi has no choice but to start over. What will she find in the wild and untamed Wyoming Territory? Dr. Joe Chandler has waited years for a wife with the knowledge, skills, and tender heart he yearns for in a medical colleague and lifetime companion. When a midwife arrives with more expertise and secrets than he counted on, Joe quickly discovers there’s more to love and marriage than a simple mail order contract. 

In THE SOUND OF HOME, a captivating novella by Annette Lyon, Marilyn is given the choice of either marrying the despicable Victor or being charged with a murder she didn’t commit. Refusing to believe that either is her fate, she finds a third option: she answers a mail order bride advertisement and boards a train to Wyoming to wed a man named Harry. Moments after her arrival, she learns that Harry isn’t who he seemed to be, and the advertisement turns out to be a giant mistake. Harry’s brother Thomas agrees to let her stay until she can figure out what to do next—after all, she simply cannot return to New York—but Marilyn quickly finds herself developing feelings for Thomas.

In Sarah M. Eden’s endearing novella FOR BETTER OR WORSE Gerald Smith, on the advice of his well-meaning neighbors, has decided it’s time to change his lonely existence. Mary Hill, on the advice of her empty pocketbook and non-existent roof over her head, has decided it’s time to secure herself a future. A mail-order marriage, they both realize, is no guarantee of happiness, but it is a risk they are willing to take. However, coming face to face on the train platform, the hapless couple discovers an unexpected truth: marriage to a perfect stranger is sometimes far preferable to the prospect of a lifetime with someone you used to know.

Heather B. Moore’s sweet novella THE INCONVENIENT BRIDE sees Carmela traveling from Boston to Colorado, eager to meet the man she’s been corresponding with and will soon marry. Her brother’s new marriage leaves little room for Carmela in her old life. Upon arrival in Leadville, she faces a rude awakening, and the only one who can understand her predicament is her fiance’s brother, Samuel. But Samuel can’t possibly help her out of an awkward situation, can he? It would be better for all if she returns immediately to Boston and pretends she never traveled to Colorado in the first place.

THE PRICE OF SILVER, an engaging novella by Si├ón Ann Bessey, Katie leaves New York for Idaho to marry Jake, a man she’s written to a couple of times. But when she steps off the train, his brother Caleb is there to greet her. Jake has gone to take a mining job he couldn’t pass up. Caleb takes Katie back to the family ranch to wait for Jake’s return. The more Caleb gets to know Katie, the more he envies his brother, but he can’t let his heart overrule his head unless Jake changes his mind about his intended bride.

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Check out the other blogs participating in this tour:

March 1: Brooklyn Berry Designs (and me!)