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It’s cold ‘up north’….

Once Upon a Duke Book Cover Once Upon a Duke
The 12 Dukes of Christmas #1
Erica Ridley
historical romance, Regency, humour
WebMotion
(9 Oct. 2018)
Kindle

Beware romantic spirits from Christmas past...

Due to the terms of an estranged relative's will, the Duke of Silkridge must revisit the cold, unforgiving mountains where he lost everything he once loved. As soon as he restores his family legacy, he'll return to London where he belongs. He definitely won't rekindle the forbidden spark crackling between him and the irresistible spitfire he'd left behind...

Noelle Pratchett is immune to charming scoundrels like the arrogant duke. He stole her heart, stole a kiss, and then stole away one night never to return. Now he's back—and they both know he won't stay. But how can she maintain her icy shields when every heated glance melts her to her core?

The Twelve Dukes of Christmas is a laugh-out-loud historical romance series of heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village. After all, nothing heats up a winter night quite like finding oneself in the arms of a duke!

Another really nice historical romance by Erica Ridley.
Here we have a Duke – who has emotional issue due his childhood and is forced into going to a place he doesn’t like, and is also forced out of his normal life patterns by events.
Erica always writes in a way that we can see her heroes and heroines from a modern contemporary viewpoint and thus feel empathy for them. Her heroines are also not demure ‘never say boo to a goose’ females. Rater they are full of vim and vigur and have minds and accomplishments that are not necessarily expected in this genre. Which is why I like to read them…

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Angel and Vampires mixing?

Angeles Vampire Book Cover Angeles Vampire
(Angeles Vampire #1)
by Michael Pierce
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: September 14th 2018

Description:

A daughter’s desperate search. A hidden world of immortals. A seductive stranger will either lead her to answers or an early grave…

Fiona Winter refuses to give up the search for her estranged father. But after spending years chasing down dead ends, those she loves most refuse to support her quest any longer. Just when all hope seems lost, a dark, mysterious stranger promises answers… for a price…

Fiona reluctantly agrees to Matthew Mercer’s intriguing proposal, and she’s tossed headfirst into an underground world of monsters that shouldn’t exist. To find her father, she’ll need to venture into the dark with a guide who might be just as dangerous as the creatures she’ll face. Can she trust the captivating Matthew or is he leading her to a fate worse than death?

 

Angeles Vampire is the first book in an addictive new paranormal series that’s perfect for fans of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and A Shade of Vampire. If you like unearthly plot twists, heart-stopping chemistry, and characters with dark secrets, then you’ll love this new take on the lore you crave.

So says the publicists.

Except I didn’t.

I found that I wasn’t invested in the characters or the story, which seemed rather to rely on others’ stories than being original. I know we have read a lot of these books about these species and it is getting more difficult to be original, but if you can’t be than don’t write. My opinion only. Sorry if you find me harsh. I just couldn’t be bothered to finish it.

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Who is the craziest here?

Crazy Ella Book Cover Crazy Ella
Crazy Ella in Love
Eve Langlais
ghosts, witches, vampires, paranormal
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition
(8 Oct. 2013)

Ella’s always heard voices and because of them, she ends up institutionalized at a young age. Everyone calls her crazy and she believes she is too until the night she meets a vampire and for the first time in her life, the voices shut up. Zane just wants to enjoy his usual blood buffet, instead he runs into a wisp of a woman who makes him feel emotions he thought long dead. Rescuing her from the insane asylum, he brings her home, determined to seduce and feed from her, a plan that is foiled by ghostly voices determined to keep Ella untouched. But not even poltergeists can stand in the way of a vampire in love.

This is a fun read in the best style of Eve Langlais, where she takes a story trope – the falsely imprisoned female – and gives it a twist. The females are usually full of vim and vigour and Ella is not different. Despite her long time in the Asylum, she has learnt ways to circumvent the worst aspects.

She is fun, although I am not sure about  the explanations about her voices. This is – so far anyway – a short series of just 2 books and this is book 1. No doubt I will read book 2 in due course, but I was not immediately inspired to do so.

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Enter the harem of 5

Consort of Secrets Book Cover Consort of Secrets
#1-5
Eva Chase
New Adult, Urban Fantasy, witches and wizards, demons, romance
Ink Spark Press
February 23, 2018
296

Every witch knows the rules: Stick to your own kind. Never reveal your powers to outsiders. Take a consort from the witching families or kiss your magic good-bye forever. For years I've been quiet, obedient Rose Hallowell. I accepted the man my stepmother chose for me. But I never stopped missing my long-ago friends. Now we're back on my childhood estate to arrange my marriage. The boys I grew up with? They're still in town-and they haven't forgotten me either. And damn if they haven't grown up well. They've got no magic, no place in my life. But they're charming and sweet and infuriatingly hot, and I can't seem to stay away. The more I try to resist, the more secrets I uncover about my family, my betrothal, and everything I thought was true about the witching world. I've been lied to. I've been betrayed. So to claim my magic and my happiness, I'll break every rule there is-and then some. Don't mess with this witch. Every rose has thorns.

I actually did a book series set read here as I rather liked book 1.

However, as the series progressed my desire to read the next in the series diminished as the story was rather slow and overall the whole 5 books covered around 3 months max in the life of Rose. Which could have been OK if enough had happened. Except that each book got a bit shorter, more repetitive in ideas with no new twists.

This was a shame as the series started well and could have been a really good read but it needed to cover a longer length of time.

Also, by the end of the books I had given Rose a nickname in my head – ‘Swampy knickers’. Guess why.

So book 1  was 4.5 stars, but book 5 was 2 stars. I’m averaging this to 3.

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Lucky Xmas through the author’s words

A Very Lucky Xmas Book Cover A Very Lucky Xmas
Lilac Mills
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Canelo
Release Date: 20th August 2018

Things can't get worse for Daisy Jones... can they?

Christmas is meant to be the happiest time of year so why is absolutely everything going wrong for Daisy? Reeling from a bad breakup, moving back in with her parents and hounded by trouble at work she really shouldn’t be surprised when things go from bad to worse..and she ends up in A&E!

Her great-grandmother persuaded her to plant a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud for luck but choking on the coin isn’t the ‘change’ she’d wished for. Yet when dashing Dr Noah Hartley saves the day things finally start to look up. With Christmas Day just around the corner Daisy’s determined to make her own luck...and hopefully bag herself a dishy doc in the process!

A heart-warming christmas romance perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Debbie Johnson and Daisy James

Lilac Mills tells us about Xmas

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

Oh, I can mull something over for years before I bite the bullet. I’m currently just finishing up some edits for Canelo (the book is due to be published in the spring) on a story I first began about 13 years ago. I wrote about thirty-thousand words, then life got in the way and I did other stuff instead, but I always intended to come back to it, and when my lovely editor asked me if I had any ideas in the pipeline, it seemed an ideal time to develop and complete this poor little book-baby. The story has changed considerably from the very first half-draft, but then novels often tend to, but the concept is the same.

I also have an ideas folder, which I’m continually adding to, but what usually happens is that something will come to me which takes precedence over all of them, and I simply have to write it until the story is out of my system.

  1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

It depends on the book, but so far not too long, because I’m writing about what I know or have experienced myself. A Very Lucky Christmas came about from my grandmother’s tradition of making her own Christmas pudding and putting a sixpence in it for luck. Unlike Daisy, no one in my family actually swallowed the darned thing, but there were a couple of near misses and one cracked tooth.

  1. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

I was accepted by a publisher on the first submission, but that wasn’t just luck. I had invested a great deal of time in researching publishers, and I knew what Canelo was looking for, so my pitch to them was right, and I sent them the sort of novel I knew would fit in with other novels in their chick lit stable. Of course, there was always the possibility that they did not want to take on another author in my genre at the time I submitted to them and I was fully prepared for that, or that my writing wasn’t as good as I hoped it was!

 4. Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?

Not necessarily, and many authors don’t. I just happened to think going down the self-publishing route was viable for me at the time. I’m quite impatient, and want my stories to be published as soon as they are ready, and not to have to wait to fit in with a publisher’s time-frame. Self-publishing has been a worthwhile experience though, as I have gained insights into marketing and advertising that I otherwise might not have done.

  1. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

My publisher liked the fact that I had an online presence and also liked that I had already published three books which were fairly well received by my target audience. It could very well have gone some way towards influencing Canelo to make me an offer. Self-publishing can be a risky business though and may backfire if you don’t do it right. Editing and proofreading is a must, as is a professional cover. The right marketing helps too, because no matter how slick and polished your novel might be, if readers aren’t aware of it, it’s not going to sell.

  1. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

It hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve only been writing chick lit for eighteen months, with four novels published so far. Unless I write something which catches the imagination of the public in a huge way, I think it will be a while yet before my income from writing matches my income from my day job. And even then, I’m not sure I’m prepared to give up my job. It’s steady income, I know what is going into my bank account at the end of every month. I can’t say that about my income from book sales.

  1. What do you read when you are ill in bed?

Nothing. I’m rarely ill, but when I am it tends to be the flu, and all I want to do is to curl up in a ball and feel sorry for myself.

 8. What is your favourite genre?

It has to be chick lit, although I do like the occasional psychological thriller. Besides writing in the chick lit genre, it does help to read it too, to keep abreast of trends and to see what other authors are writing about.

  1. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

I’ve just read a book by Stephanie Dagg called Fa-La-Llama-La: Christmas at the Little French Llama Farm. It was hilarious. Her second in this series is due out soon, and I can’t wait to read it. There’s something about her dry humour that strikes a chord in me.

 10. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I didn’t write in school, apart from those things pupils were forced to write. I didn’t do any creative writing under my own steam. I don’t think I thought it was possible. To me, authors were magical beings, creating stories out of thin air. I didn’t ever believe I could join their ranks. I didn’t actually start writing until I was in my early forties, but I didn’t start with a short story, or a novella, or even a 100,000-word novel. Nope, I went for it big time, and produced a massive 320,000-word effort. Looking back, some bits of it weren’t too bad, a few bits were actually quite good, most of it was meh, and there were some parts which were pretty dire. It will never see the light of day, but I cut my authory teeth on it, so to speak. It’s hidden safely away in the depths of my laptop and there it will stay.

Authors’ bio

Previous Books: Summer on the Turquoise Coast, Sunshine at Cherry Tree Farm and Love in the City by the Sea

Lilac Mills writes feel-good romantic women’s fiction, and is the author of Love in the City by the Sea, A Very Lucky Christmas, Summer on the Turquoise Coast, and Sunshine at Cherry Tree Farm. Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework! Home for Lilac is Worcester, England.

Twitter: @LilacMills

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