Sunday, 28 August 2011

Mr Darcy And Me

I feel like I need to update my Heroes list. I should include Mr Darcy, but at the time of creating the post I hadn't read Pride And Prejudice.

I know! The disgrace!

Anyway, as you now know I have read Pride And Prejudice, and I am now watching the BBC adaptation of it. (I sneakily got the DVDs when The Mail was giving them away ages ago. There has to be some perks to my job. Anyway, I saved them. So glad I did).

My first introduction to Colin Firth was in Bridget Jones' Diary as Mark Darcy. (And loved him then, too). I own the DVD and enjoyed the interview with Helen Fielding saying that Mr Darcy was her inspiration for Mark Darcy, and she was thrilled that Colin Firth would be playing him too.

Well, now I know why he was so inspirational. I am loving Mr Darcy.

I've just watched episode four where Elizabeth Bennet is visiting Pemberley and has 'bumped' into Mr Darcy, and he's trying to redeem himself.

Love it. Love it. Love it! 

At first, when I started watching this series, I wasn't sure if the actress, Jennifer Ehle, was pretty enough. I had always picture Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, because that's who is is famous for playing. But she's really grown on me.

I love how this series has stuck so close to the book.

So, two more episodes to go... then I'll have to tuck them away, and watch them all over again some other time.  ::sigh::

Who'd have thought I'd be a period drama fan? Now want to find all the others... Though maybe I'll enjoy them more if I read the books first. I don't like having spoilers for books.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Book Review: Sex, Gossip and Rock & Roll by Nicola Marsh

Sex, Gossip and Rock & Roll (Mills & Boon RIVA)Sex, Gossip and Rock & Roll by Nicola Marsh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a very sexy, flirty book. The two characters are instantly getting under each other's skin upon first meeting, so I enjoyed it very much. They had great chemistry together and that was felt on the page.

The reason I couldn't quite give it four stars is because I felt like I was being bashed over the head about the conflict, how both were emotionally flawed, so how both couldn't commit. It felt repetitive rather than revealing more to their past as the story developed.

Putting that aside, it's still a indulging read with some sexy scenes.

I do love the new Riva books, the covers are gorgeous.

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28 out of 40 books now read! Whooo hoo!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Book Review: Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austin

Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book took me a tiny bit longer to get into than Jane Eyre, but once I was into it, I didn't want to put it down - hence it has four stars rather than five. (It's four and a half really). 

The language at times is a little confusing too, sometimes I wasn't sure who they were speaking of, or who was speaking, whereas I understood Jane Eyre easier. It was a case of getting used to the language.

Where Charlotte Brontë would go on further with her descriptions, Jane Austin was lighter on that note with her language. It truly was wonderful to read. I couldn't wait for Mr Darcy to be on the page with Elizabeth.

However I did feel slightly cheated at the end. Elizabeth and Mr Darcy are clearing the 'air' and then next chapter Jane is talking about them being engaged. We never really see the proposal. I would have liked to have seen it. The Die-Hard Romancer I am! 

This book was published in 1811 - 200 years ago. The book, although fiction, provides historical facts because of being written in the era it's set. I find it fascinating and is probably why I've enjoyed this book and Jane Eyre so much. 

But at last! I can now watch the DVDs I've got, to enjoy this book all over again in a television adaptation of it. I must say, I've been picturing Colin Firth as Mr Darcy while reading this book.

I picked up Sense And Sensibility today and I'm eager to read, but might go for a modern novel and read later. I'm supposed to be researching the market.  

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Saturday, 20 August 2011

Let's Not Forget Our Heroines

Right, well, I did a blog post about the heroes, (it's here if you missed the eye candy) and it did inspire me to want to do a blog about my favourite heroines.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Book Review: The Hating Game by Talli Roland

The Hating GameThe Hating Game by Talli Roland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a totally refreshing read! A different approach to romance, with the back drop of a reality TV show as the plot.

I really enjoyed this book. It had great pacing, sharp, witty writing and by the end I didn't want to put it down. The author has a great way with words. This story had me giggling, and cringing at the poor things Mattie had to endure.

Mattie is one tough cookie with a chip on her shoulder (if you ask me) but I still found myself empathising with her, realising her mum's brainwashing is the reason Mattie is the way she is.

My only tiny niggle would be I didn't get enough of Kyle. I would have liked more of him 'on stage' rather than Mattie reminiscing. But that could be because when he was on stage, I loved reading him. 

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Had to wait to post this review, as I didn't want it becoming my 100th blog post. It's 101 instead.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

My 100th Blog Post Heroes Special

This is my 100th blog post this year!

Inspired by Sally Quilford's 48 favourite fictional heroes, she gave me the perfect idea for this special post. Here are some of my favourite fictional heroes, most of them are films and television, though I have thrown in a few from books, too (but they're not so much fun without the visuals).

Not in any particular order ...  i.e. I wouldn't kick any of them out of bed ...

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Happy Birthday, Quillers

It's Sally Quilford's (aka Quillers) birthday today - for the whole day. And she's challenged us to write something related with 48 (I'm guessing that's her age).

Well, I've come up with something a bit silly, probably filled with clichés, but I hope she enjoys reading it. It's not even 300 words, and I keep changing the title. Oh and I have a question at the end for you all - I need inspiration! - so please scroll to the bottom.

I made friends with Sally through the Mills and Boon New Voice competition back in September 2010 and have found her advice and blogs inspiring. Happy birthday, Sally!

Surprise Wishes

“I can hear someone coming.”
Sally rolled her eyes. Couldn’t her friends even arrange a surprise party properly?
She rattled her keys loudly, opening her front door and switched on the lights.
Sally jumped and made a shocked impression.
“You guys,” she said, hand clutching her chest. Maybe she should ditch writing and become an actress?
“Happy birthday to you,” chorused all her friends and family gathered in her living room.
As they sang, Sally watched as Teresa walked towards her carrying a huge cake, ablaze with candles. Had they really managed to put all forty-eight candles on there?
“It’s only my forty-eighth birthday,” Sally said modestly, once the singing had stopped, then frowned, seeing someone swipe off two of the candles. Typical.
“Well, blow them out,” Teresa said eagerly, holding out the inferno of a cake. “Then you can have your present.”
Sally filled her lungs.
“And don’t forget to make a wish,” someone at the back shouted.
Sally blew, and blew, until all the candles were out, and smoke swirled from their wick. Sally closed her eyes, thought her wish – while she got her breath back – and repeated it in her head over and over, knowing it was ridiculous – but a girl could dream, right?
She opened her eyes and her mouth fell open.
“Hello, Sally,” Hugh Jackman said, standing there, shirtless, like he’d just walked off the film set of X-Men. “Happy birthday.”
Sally wobbled and Hugh grabbed her arm, steadying her before her legs gave way.
He leaned in, his warm breath against her neck not helping the knee wobbles. The last thing Sally heard before she fainted was ...
“Your wish is my command.”

~ END ~


Gosh, there were so many delicious photos of Hugh, I had to post a few...   (and this is where I find out, Sally doesn't really like Hugh Jackman... but I'm sure she does... And if she doesn't, well, I do now!)


Right, well, this is my 99th post this year... so you guys better get your thinking caps on. What should I post about on my 100th post!?

Friday, 5 August 2011

Book Review: The Love Of Her Life by Harriet Evans

The Love of Her LifeThe Love of Her Life by Harriet Evans

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really have mixed feelings about this book. And I'm going to find it very hard to tell you about them without "spoiling", as this does have a good twist in it.

The twist deserves four stars really. Because I didn't see it coming. Well, I did see it coming, then the author nicely made me think I was wrong, then I was shocked. It's the reason why Kate moved to New York, and I suppose the frustrating part is it doesn't get revealed until virtually two thirds through.

This book didn't lack emotion, having me welling up in places. But 'the love of her life' (and you're trying to work out who that is too, initially) i.e. THE HERO only features in about a third of this book - if that!

I couldn't work out if this was really romance, or 'chick lit'. For romance, I actually didn't find it very satisfying - we didn't see much of the hero for a start! I felt cheated by the ending, too. It could have ended a lot sooner - if felt dragged out. I think I would have preferred 'seeing' the two protagonists get together, not the final chapter being '5 months later'.

As well, I did wonder if this book could have been shorter. It did seem to go on a bit at times, and I found myself thinking, 'hurry up, get to the good bits'. Some things were either over described or just not necessary - and that's saying something coming from me, who is good at over describing and explaining!

Yes, so sadly, I can only give this 3 stars - and I think I'm rating it that high because of the twist. It's a good read, if you don't mind not seeing the hero much, but you might find parts of it frustrating.

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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Reading Is Research

Have you ever read a book and think, boy, I'm crap? Give up the story telling now!

I am trying to read as much as I can, generally in the romance/chick lit genre for research purposes. One thing I learnt at the RNA Conferece is to study the market, study who you think your book will sit beside on a shelf in the likes of Waterstones (but not in the context of surnames! lol!... Crikey, I'll be quite close to Sue Moorcroft).

Currently, I am reading Harriet Evans 'The Love of Her Life' (which I hope to finish today) and last night, the big twist was revealed. (I will leave a review for this book, I have mixed feelings about it).

Admittedly, The Wedding Favour is a uncomplicated romance story, in that, there are no major twists really, (not like the one I've just read in The Love Of Her Life anyway) just conflict thrown at, well, the hero mainly. And it's a case of them realising they are perfect for one another. My story is told in the hero's and the heroine's POV (point of view).

Anyway, I'm reading this book (The Love of Her Life), thinking is this really the genre I'll be submitting to? I can't quite work out if it's chick lit or romance (for me the genre gets hazy). Is this relative?

I know every book read is not a book wasted. If you want to write, you need to read - it just doesn't always give me confidence. But when I've got such a limit on time, how long will it take to find where my book 'sits' in the market? Because at the moment I'm having trouble spotting it.

I can't decide which book I should read next. Which book will help with my research?  I would like to start submitting The Wedding Favour... but haven't the foggiest where.

Now we are in August, over half the year has gone (how depressing), I've decided that I am going to read different authors under different publishers... which means, the likes of Love And Freedom by Sue Moorcroft sitting on my shelf will have to wait (sorry Sue). I've read 3 of Sue's books now - this year! - so I consider her well studied. I do need to find another Katie Fforde, though, as I enjoyed her book, and liked her style - I want to see it in another story. It's very hard for me to say my style is similar, without thinking I look arrogant. Katie Fforde is an established, best selling author ...

Someone, who's read The Wedding Favour, said my style was similar to Jill Mansell. Hmmm... I've read one of her books, and I'm not so sure. She's very good too.

So are there any tips to researching the market and publishers more quickly? Or do I just keep on reading and hope for the best. And do I just submit and keep everything crossed?