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review 2017-08-02 08:02
The Upstairs Room - Kate Murray-Browne,Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Eleanor and Richard can't believe how lucky they were to find a Victorian home in London. They move in with their two daughters plus a little later on, Zoe, the lodger, to help pay the mortgage. So far so good, but then things change and not for the better. It's a pity that this wasn't more creepy and sinister, that there was a lot less vomiting and headaches. Nothing wrong with the style of writing except there was just too much of it for this type of book - far too long for what actually happened in it. Didn't like Richard and Zoe at all and Eleanor was too wimpish to have any sympathy for. I loved the description of this book and the cover, but sadly that was all.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-23 02:03
In Bonds of the Earth
In Bonds of the Earth (Book of the Watchers) - Janine Ashbless

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

I have no idea where to start, seriously! The Book of the Watchers series by Janine Ashbless is SO complex and absolutely amazing that I’m just....... speechless really. This series is rich in story telling with a great research and a marvelous writing style where the author blends many dimensions, of facts and fictions, together in such a way that the only thing I can say for this series is WOW! I had to read In Bonds of the Earth at a snail’s pace just to savor each chapter.

I’ve never read anything by the author prior to this series. I picked up book 1 of the Watchers series, Cover Him With Darkness, because 1. I was in search of a good angel-demon type book and 2. I loved the title. And boy it sucked me right in from the start; from the moment when little Milja met Azazel the Fallen, bound in a dank, dark cave, for eternity... awaiting another eternity. Azazel is called a demon, a fallen angel, Prince of Darkness or Satan as I found in some sources. I’ll personally stick to the story itself because many of these notions discussed in the book connected to the Book of Enoch is rather vague to me. But that didn’t hinder my enjoyment at all. The whole story behind Azazel and his many brothers’ fight with the good angels and how they were then entombed in various places in the world is told in book 1. It was such a fascinating story, with excellent visuals, such as Azazel’s fight with St. Michael and the destruction of his human family.

Milja, a girl born in a small mountain-bound village of Montenegro, has known The Prisoner since her childhood. The Prisoner was there always. Many had been in charge of him over the uncountable years, her father the priest, being the latest. Milja’s mother was already dead, so her father has been the center of her world... until the day she started having dreams of The Prisoner, whom she’d only met a few times; always with her father by her side. Her father has forbidden her to ever communicate with the prisoner, let alone release him, no matter how much he begs. Yet, the sad, heart-wrenching dreams of him in pain, absolutely misery of many, many years tore at Milja. Then one day, when she was around 20, she does the unthinkable. She goes to the cave alone to meet him for the first time in years since she went to school. The Prisoner was always in her thought, in her dreams, so much so that she only had one boyfriend but couldn’t even maintain that relationship. She knew by then who she belonged to, and she decides instantly that she’s going to release him.

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text 2017-07-20 07:56
East Van Saturday Night - submissions, round two

 

East Van Saturday - four short stories and a novella, has just been sent out to three more Canadian publishers.

 

The process began in November of last year when I decided that self-publishing another work (currently I've self-published eight novels and two plays) wasn't going to achieve what I wanted.

 

What do I want?

Critical, serious consideration for my writing and you're not likely going to receive that as an self-published author.

 

Why? Because it's now dead easy to self-publish and guess what, everybody's doing it. In 2015 alone, 625,327 ISBN numbers were issued for individual indie books.

 

In the past six months I've submitted to five publishers. If you think sending out submissions is easy, well, I guess it depends on what you're comparing it to.

 

Consider:

- publishers are obsessively specific about how your manuscript should be presented: what font style, what type size, margin widths, headers, etc.

- part of the submission package is to explain why you think your work is a good fit for them,

- you must provide details on how you're prepared to market your book,

- in most cases they will not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions,

- they won't let you know they received your submission,

- you are under no circumstances allowed to contact them in any way,

- they won't let you know if they reject your work, they'll just shred it, using "a secure process".

 

Okay, so it's not that difficult, it's just extremely annoying to have to deal with their arrogance - and that's without ever having the opportunity to speak with any of them.

 

To make it even more galling, in 2014-15 these guys (and gals) received $30 million dollars in Canadian government subsidies - that's my tax money.

 

And what exactly do they do for this money now that all the services: editing, cover design, production, marketing and distribution can be done by the author or purchased from experts relatively inexpensively?

 

One thing.

 

They're the gatekeepers to literary acceptance. If you're an indie author you're a joke, if your traditionally published you're accepted by the literati.

 

Not that I'll make any more money. Emerging authors are lucky to receive a fifteen percent royalty on traditionally published books.

So here we go again.

 

East Van Saturday Night - four short stories and a novella, are to some degree autobiographical and impart to the reader why you can take the boy out of East Van, but you'll never take East Van out of the boy.


Though the stories are all set in East Vancouver (with the exception of Hitchhike, which is a cross Canada misadventure during the "summer of love"), the themes have universal appeal and the music, the fashions and the culture are distinctly familiar to "boomers".

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

Amazon Author Page   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-29 00:06
A Suitable Affair
A Suitable Affair (The Macalisters) - Erica Cameron-Taylor

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

A Suitable Affair is Erica Taylor’s debut historical romance and book 1 of The Macalisters series. I do love well-written family sagas. When I went into this book, I didn’t know what to expect but glad to report that I emerged quite happy because the story and writing-wise, A Suitable Affair was wonderful.

In the beginning of the story, our H Ian and h Susanna met with quite a, uh, bang. Well, kind of a bang. She was strolling Hide Park with her soon-to-be fiancé Lord Riverton, while Ian was on the way to attend a meeting. And his horse almost collided with her, which could’ve been seriously bad but thankfully, it wasn’t. But it did introduce our H and h unofficially. Even from then I could tell these two are going to be a handful, their banters were already fun to read. True to that, I enjoyed most of Ian and Susanna’s banters to the fullest. After a while, you simply know these have to be together cause they’re going to have a lot of fun! :D

Susanna is one of the daughters of the Macalister family/Bradstone Dukedom, which somewhat reminded me of Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons. They have 10 siblings, now minus their eldest brother Sam, the heir to the Duke of Bradstone, who died in a carriage accident alongside their father. After Sam’s passing, the responsibilities of the Dukedom fell onto the next bother, Andrew, who wasn’t quite ready to shoulder it. This sudden and tragic transformation in their family took a toll on everyone, least of all Andrew, who had become distant and cold in the intervening years until he met Clara and fell in love. He’s now happily married to her. Susanna’s older sister, Sarah, was also married but now widowed. She’s got more brothers that I couldn’t keep a count on, 2 of them being overseas. Younger sister Norah has already had her come-out while the youngest, Mara is waiting. If all of them are getting a book each, we can safely say we’re in for quite a journey here!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-10 00:22
The Ice Duchess
The Ice Duchess: Scandalous Regency Widows, Book 2 - Amy Rose Bennett

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

This is what I thought in a nutshell. Looking at the reviews, I seem to be the minority here but it’s what it is. The Ice Duchess by Amy Rose Bennett wasn’t what I had anticipated it would be. I have been waiting for this one since I read book 1 of Scandalous Regency Widows, Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal. While I absolutely adored book 1, this did not hold my attentions for long.

Our h, Georgiana had a sad past, which made her so wary of men that she’d not fall in love or marry. Since she also didn’t want to spend her life as a spinster, Georgiana or Georgie as her family calls her, ended up marrying a good friend Teddy, who was also a Duke. But there was a secret to their marriage not everyone knew, and the few who did, never talked about it. Georgiana’s brother, Jonathan, is gay. And Teddy was his lover. With the taboo surrounding the whole thing, they had to find a way to continue on. Georgiana was eager to help too.

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