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All posts for the month March, 2014

Review – Even Villains Go to the Movies by Liana Brooks

Published March 25, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

I’m running a wee bit behind this week – so sorry for the delay in the weekly review post! Worth the wait though, this week I’ve had the chance to indulgence my slight geek obsession with a superhero themed romance, ‘Even Villains Go to the Movies’ from Liana Brooks.

evenvillainsgotothemovies_600x900

Blurb:

Choosing between good and evil has never been this much fun.

When your mother is America’s Superhero Sweetheart and your daddy’s the Number One Super Villain, you grow up feeling a little conflicted.

Review

I’m a complete super-hero geek so was very excited to get my paws on a super-hero themed romance. There was a lot I really loved about this novella – the main character, Angela, was very relatable to. She was smart, sassy, cynical at times but still trying to do the right thing – you can’t help liking someone who can alternate effortlessly between sweet and kickass! 🙂 I also loved the interplay between her and the rest of her family, the letters ‘home’ at the start of each chapter had a great style to them – the way they put across the relationship between them was done very well. I’m also a sucker for the minions, and would have liked to see more of them. She can also hold her own with anyone, and I loved some of her exchanges with Arktos and Tyler – funny and smart as well as hot.

There were a lot of characters introduced in quite a short novella. In some ways this did work well, as it added a lot of intrigue and mystery and I was still guessing on the identity of certain people right to the end. I did find it made things a little confusing at times though, I struggled sometimes to try and keep everyone straight in my head – especially with the added elements of secret superhero identities, stunt doubles, disguises etc.

It’s a little hard for me to talk about the main hero, as I don’t want to give too much away about who she actually ends up with. I did like the ending, I thought for the most part things were tied up well and it seemed believable. The only slight criticism I had was that because the story was quite involved, and there were a lot of characters, it took a bit for the actual main relationship to start building up properly. Once it did though I really enjoyed it and the ending gave me just the warm and fuzzy feeling I look for. I also liked the glimpses of Angela’s parents and will definitely end up going back and reading their story as well.

Overall, very enjoyable short read, loved the superhero world-building and combined a complex story with a sweet romance very well.

If you want to read for yourself,  you can get hold of Even Villains Go to the Movies at Breathless Press here.

Hope you enjoy! x

 

Weekend Writing Warriors – 23/03/2014

Published March 23, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Happy Sunday – have been deep in the editing cave all week, but nice to see a wee bit of sunshine this weekend. It does happen in Scotland occasionally!

I’m still on with Scarlett Legacy – my Little Red Riding Hood inspired book. While I’m a bit of a sucker for fairy tales as it is, especially re-imagined versions, this one has always drawn me more than most – probably due to the wolf element. I find wolves fascinating, not only are they just gorgeous but they’re such an intriguing mixture. Of course, they can be scary and vicious hunters, but they are also very group orientated – generally staying in family groups and with pairs mating for life. They are good parents, highly intelligent, affectionate in their groups, not to mention the rich folklore and mythology surrounding them. To me, they always seemed rather victimised and misunderstood – so perhaps it’s not too strange that in my version the ‘Big Bad Wolf’ is a little different.

In this excerpt though Natalia is getting her first experience of a world she hadn’t imagined, so perhaps understandably isn’t reacting very well 🙂

Wolves_wolf_great_wallpapers_for_your_deskop

Natalia could feel her jaw on the floor, she was unable to move, unable to speak, her eyes simply gazing in shocked horror and complete disbelief. This really could not be happening, any minute now she was going to wake up in her bed after drinking way too much wine at the party and this was all going to be a messed up dream. The huge wolf stepped towards her, his lip drawing back over rows of jagged white teeth and she gave a squeak of fear.

Run. The command ran through her mind, overtaking everything else, and she mindlessly obeyed it. Picking up her skirts, she whirled on her heel and fled, racing through the trees, heedless of the branches that tugged at her cloak and the roots that made her stumble. The only conscious thought left in her mind to get as far away as possible. When she finally stopped her legs ached and her chest burned as she tried to catch her breath, sinking to the ground as sobs ran through her.

Really hope you enjoy! And don’t forget to check out the other great excerpts here

Guest Post – The Shrew That Tames by Michele Stegman

Published March 17, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

It’s Monday again – they do seem to come round quick! – but I have a cure for the Monday blues 🙂 The fab Michele Stegman is visiting to talk about her new release, The Shrew That Tames, as you may have guessed from the title, it’s a re-imagining of the Shakespeare play. I’m intrigued already, so will pass over to Michele to tell us more!

Yes, I love history. Even as a child I loved old things. I would ask my grandmother how old her things were and always hoped they would be older than me, older than she was, from another century. My mother and mother-in-law both bought antiques, some of which have now been passed on to me.

Old things seem to have character, a presence that I don’t find in new furniture or pictures or jewelry. My husband and I went on sabbatical once for a year. We lived in a rented apartment with borrowed furniture. After a while I began to miss having antiques around me. I packed up the kids, took them to an antique store and spent an hour just touching the old furniture and relics from the past. I went home feeling soothed.

So when I write historical fiction, I feel very comfortable “in the past.” It’s also why I prefer reading and writing historical fiction. Somehow, the characters and the settings seem so much richer to me than a contemporary story.

If I hadn’t felt this way all my life, I’d say I must be getting old! But there is still that love of modern technology I have. I’ve been a “Trekkie” since the first episode of Star Trek, and came out of the theater ready to conquer new worlds when I first saw Star Wars. I’ve read science fiction since my discovery of Andre Norton and The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet in grade school.

In The Shrew That Tames, I “modernized” Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew but still kept it in the past, setting it in the Regency period. And I twisted that old tale into a pretzel. I always thought Shakespeare’s poor Kate was misunderstood and abused. I certainly didn’t let that happen to my Katherine! I guess my love of the past doesn’t include a disregard of women’s hard earned rights!

Which do you prefer reading, historical romance, science fiction, or contemporary? Was there a book in your childhood that inspired your current reading preferences?

TheShrewThatTames267x400Blurb:

What’s an impoverished aristocrat to do when a beautiful heiress asks him to marry her?

Katherine is an heiress who uses her shrewish tongue to keep fortune hunters away. But what is it about Lord Ashfair that leaves her speechless?

Although in need of money, Peter Monroe, Marquis of Ashfair, has resolved to restore his ravaged estates on his own. How can he convince Katherine that he wants her, not her money?

Thanks for sharing Michele! I will read most types of romance, but I must admit I tend to go through stages – seem to be in a historical, and in particular regency, phase at the moment so this may be good timing! Will have to check it out 🙂

If you’d like also like to get your grubby mitts on The Shrew That Tames you can buy at the following places:

Breathless Press

Amazon

Amazon UK

All Romance Ebooks

Weekend Writing Warriors – 16/03/2014

Published March 16, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

It’s Sunday again, and am joining in the Weekend Writing Warriors hop. I’ve been on the editing wagon this week. I must admit it’s never my favourite part of the process – I’m always slightly in awe of those writers who tell me how much they love going back and editing and rewriting their work afterwards. I much prefer the creative, let everything flow out, stage to the tweaking, tidying and endlessly reworking stage – I suppose it’s something about the way my mind works.

Still, it needs to be done – and thought I would share my excerpt from the book I’ve been editing this week. It’s provisionally titled Scarlett Legacy and is loosely inspired by the Little Red Riding Hood story. Hope you enjoy 🙂

red and wolf

Damian’s jaw clenched as he watched her ambling through the woods, seemingly lost in her own world and paying no attention to any possible dangers. He lifted his head, breathing in deeply to take in her scent on the drifting breeze. While he’d been expecting a reaction it still hit him like a sucker punch in his gut, his stomach clenched and his body hardened.

While his inner beast might be raging at him, he forced himself to stay hidden for now, easily keeping pace with her. She was exactly as he’d always imagined, tall and willowy, dark curls flowed down her back and framed delicate features, high cheekbones, lush red lips and huge dark eyes with thick lashes. Everything about her drew him in, but he’d waited too long to rush things now.

He watched as she paused, looking around her with confusion on her face. She turned in a slow circle, her brow furrowed. She was lost, he realised. Well, that was actually just perfect. His teeth bared in a wicked smile, he could go and ‘rescue’ her. She would think it was prince charming when actually it was the big bad wolf.

And don’t forget to check out the other great excerpts here

Happy Sunday x

Breathless Press Lucky in Love Blog Hop

Published March 15, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

6987_604331202976903_691987897_nWell, it may be a wee bit early for St Paddy’s Day, but let’s face it the ‘true’ Irish will be making a full weekend of it 🙂 I’m happy to be joining in the Breathless Press Lucky in Love Blog Hop, where the theme is St Patrick, Irish and luck. It was a toughie to know what to talk about within that, but I thought I would go along with the general Irish view. I’ve never been to Irish, perhaps that’s inexcusable with it being so close and it’s definitely somewhere I would love to take a trip to. Even since I was a child I was fascinated with Irish and Celtic myths and legends, and since I have been recently researching Scottish myths (many of which are very similar) for a book I’m writing then it’s only increased my interest.

Ireland has always seemed to be a land of myth and magic. You think of Ireland and you think of lepruchans, fairies, standing stones and druid ceremonies. You think of selkies and mermaids in the seas, and brownies on the hearths. Great heroes of the Fianna and the Ulaid (again with Scottish connections!) and the Seeelie and Unseelie courts of the fae. Or is that just me? 🙂 Either way, those myths and legends are a huge source of inspiration to me as a writer,  and with in mind I thought would share a few paragraphs from one of my WIP’s with a definite mythological influence! Hope you enjoy.

A tiny creature was perched on the kitchen worktop washing dishes. They made a clattering noise as he stacked them on the draining board. The last one finished he drained the water and started putting them away, darting round opening cupboards with astonishing speed. Aislynn shrank back in case she was spotted but presently it all went quiet. She peeped round again to see that he was perched on the kitchen table, delicately drinking from a saucer of milk.

Now he was still she could get a better look at him and she almost had to pinch herself – she’d never seen a stranger creature. He was tiny, maybe only a foot tall, and a deep bark-coloured brown all over. His arms and legs were spindly and gnarled and the only clothing he wore was a dirty looking loincloth. His face was narrow and pointed, but his eyes were huge. She was reminded of pictures she’d seen in National Geographic of jungle creatures. She wasn’t sure how long she stayed huddled behind the door watching the tiny thing, while the cold crept into her bones, but suddenly a sharp cramp shot up her leg making her flinch. Immediately the creature froze, staring straight at her with its enormous eyes. If possible they seemed to widen even more, almost as if in recognition, and he squeaked in a high pitched voice.

“Mistress!”

Aislynn gaped at him. “What?”

He flinched and turned away as if to leave.

“Wait, please, who are you? What are you?”

He glanced back at her, puzzlement across his face, and then just like that he disappeared.

Hope you have a fab weekend and a great St Paddy’s Day – and don’t forget to check out the other stops on the BP hop – Click here , there’s some fab authors involved and I can’t wait to see what their thoughts are.

Review – Tempting Clover by Decadent Kane

Published March 10, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Apologies for the lack of posts lately, has not been the best week. But am back with the weekly review – and this time am talking about ‘Tempting Clover’ – Book 2 in the Trouble with Elves series by the rather fabulous Decadent Kane. I do love a good elf story (who doesn’t?) so read on to see what I thought on this one. And how pretty is the cover?

TemptingCloven600x900

Blurb:

Breaking a goblin’s curse is more difficult than Clover thought. Especially when love and nightshade are crucial ingredients.

Review: 5 Stars

Clover is an elf with a problem; she has been cursed by a very nasty goblin and for the last two years she’s been denied any kind of orgasm as whenever she gets *ahem* hot and bothered, the goblin zaps her back to him to use her arousal for his magic potions. When she meets Reed the sparks fly between them, but can he help her to break the curse?

I really enjoy the storyline on this, it was a very original idea – I’ve certainly never heard of a curse like this before! The magic elements were well planned and the world building was solid and realistic. I especially loved some of the descriptions of the elven world, like Clover’s glen – beautiful and poetic.

Character-wise, you can’t help feeling for Clover. She’s smart, determined, strong-willed and doesn’t take any crap. 🙂 The interactions between her and Reed are fantastic, and the chemistry between them is sizzling. I would have perhaps liked a little more relationship development between them, but for a short novel it was well done. Reed was a great hero, strong and sweet, and the secondary characters were quite developed. In particular Malik was a truly nasty ‘bad guy’ that you really wanted to get his comeuppance, while Idis was interesting and quirky and left you wanting to know more about her.

Overall, extremely enjoyable read, couldn’t put it down! 🙂 Decadent Kane’s elves are currently on my ‘must buy’ list and this book doesn’t disappoint. Shall be eagerly awaiting the next installment.

If you want to read ‘Tempting Clover’ for yourself, you can buy at the following places:

Breathless Press

Amazon

Amazon UK

Hope you enjoy, have a good week x

Review – A Taste For Killing by H.K.Sterling

Published March 3, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Hope you had a good weekend. It’s sadly Monday again (they do come around quick!) but I’m sharing my review of new release ‘A Taste for Killing’ from talented fellow Breathless Press author H.K.Sterling. This is a great mix of mystery and romance, and just what you need to beat the Monday blues! ATasteForKilling_200x300

Blurb:

Mystery and Romance blend together when competing detectives Carolyn Woods and Jack Heart find they are surrounded by murder on every side.

Review: 4 Stars

Carolyn and Jack are fellow private investigators who seem to have an interesting and complicated relationship; sometimes allies, sometimes competitors, sometimes lovers. When they are both hired by different parties to investigate the same murder they find themselves in competition.

I found the dynamics and interchange between them interesting and compelling. Initially you feel for Carolyn as she seems to be the more emotionally invested, and in danger of getting her heart broken, but as the story goes on things shift back and forth and I found Jack becoming a more interesting and in-depth character. He had a great feel of the ‘anti-hero’ style hard-boiled detective from classic film noir, and it’s perhaps personal preference but I do love the more complex kind of hero 🙂

Then, of course there’s Evan. Although he’s a suspect on the murder case, Carolyn can’t help herself being drawn to him. He seems perfect in pretty much every way, but is he too good to be true? Out of the characters he did seem the least well-developed for me. He did seem a little ‘too’ perfect, though I’m willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt on this one as that very fact did have me questioning all the way through whether this was all an act and he was hiding something. (I won’t give away whether I was right or not!)

This story was very well written; the style in particular had echoes of the hardboiled/noir style crime stories which I really enjoyed and fit the storyline well. I’m also not normally a great fan of first person narrative but it did work for this. The romance and crime elements were well-balanced. I find sometimes in romantic suspense that the crime/suspense storyline can be a little weak and just fade away or not make sense in the end, but this was well-planned and drew to a good conclusion.

I also really liked the love triangle element, I found myself switching between which of the two I was rooting for and it kept me guessing right up to the end. This is the first book I have read by this author, but it won’t be the last and I will be definitely looking out for book 2 in this series. Overall would highly recommend for a well-written and compelling short read.

If you’d like to see for yourself, you can buy ‘A Taste for Killing’ at the following places:

Breathless Press

Amazon

Amazon UK

Or you can catch up with H.K.Sterling (and keep an eye out for book 2!) at:

Twitter: @HKSterling

Facebook

or via her ‘Undercover Blog

Hope you enjoy! x

Weekend Writing Warriors – 02/03/2014

Published March 2, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

It’s Sunday again – where does the week go? – and I’m once again joining in the Weekend Writing Warriors hop. This week, since I’m working up to going back to rewrites on Psychic Shadows, I thought I would ‘go back to start’ and share an excerpt from one of the early chapters. This shows Shannon and David reaching their first uneasy truce – how long do you think it’ll stay ‘strictly business’? 🙂

Her gaze held his for a long moment; he found himself shifting uncomfortably but he didn’t seem capable of looking away from those hazel eyes. They had tiny gold flecks in the centre and he had the oddest feeling that they were looking inside him. Right down into his soul, and he really wasn’t sure that was such a pretty place anymore. Then she nodded sharply once.

“Fine, but we’re equal partners in this investigation, you share all credit with me and I want complete honesty to any questions I ask. That is my only and final offer, and if you go back on it then I don’t care how high up your friends are, I will make your life a living hell.”

He nodded, but she barely acknowledged it before she was turning away. Her voice was back to brisk and professional as she stalked towards a nearby desk, issuing a stream of instructions as she went. David stared after her. He’d got what he wanted so why did he rather feel like he’d been pole-axed – like she’d seen inside him and taken his measure.

Really hope you enjoyed 🙂 I’ll leave you with some writing motivation for the week ahead (or a rather worrying glimpse into how things are going for me so far!).

1002350_1455980984616562_989235194_nAnd don’t forget to check out the other great excerpts here

Happy Sunday x