Is Gambling a Vice?

Lord of Vice: Regency Romance Novel Book Cover Lord of Vice: Regency Romance Novel
Rogues to Riches Book 6
Erica Ridley
history, literary fiction, romance, Regency
31 Aug 2018
Kindle

Appearances can be deceiving…

Vice merchant Maxwell Gideon is wickedly handsome, sinfully arrogant, and devilishly ruthless. Rumor has it, his gaming hell has the power to steal souls and grant miracles. Truth is, Max only owns half of The Cloven Hoof. He’d buy out his silent partner if he knew the man’s identity. But it’s hard to focus on business matters when a fallen angel tumbles right into one’s lap…

Miss Bryony Grenville has a well-earned reputation as an unrepentant hoyden. But even the gossipiest of the pinch-faced matrons ruling High Society could never imagine the daughter of a baron secretly financing the ton’s most infamous gambling parlor. Its maddening, sexy proprietor doesn’t suspect a thing… and two can play at temptation!

In the Rogues to Riches historical romance series by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erica Ridley, Cinderella stories aren’t just for princesses… Sigh-worthy Regency rogues sweep strong-willed young ladies into whirlwind romance with rollicking adventure.

Well of course Gambling is a Vice and people have been known to lose a fortune and their whole estates at the turn of a card. Hence the proprietor of a Gambling Den in the Regency period might be know as the Lord  of Vice.

But perhaps that isn’t all he is. Perhaps he is egalitarian as to who he admits – to lose money – everyone welcome as long as you can pay.

Erica has chosen a topic here for this latest in her ‘naughty’ Lords series which doesn’t sit well with me. And her heroine helps her ‘Lord’ with her mathematical skills – for which we have to laud her – to work out how to make the most profit from the games of chance. Or that is, how to get people to lose the most cash…

But we do like Max – we have met him before in other books in this series, as he does have another side, which is softer and does help those who have fallen on hard times – and not by gambling!

So Bryony, the final sibling meets her match and also the tenant of her property which gives her a goodly amount of profit – which goes back into her sister’s school. Bad turned into good?

What I like most about Erica Ridley’s books is that she is true to the times. She writes with the ‘correct’ Regency novel phrasing – as invented by Georgette Heyer and attempts to echo the correct speech mannerisms using some phrases and words which were in common use then, but no longer. She accurately reflects some of societal issues and events – as far as is possible whilst writing a modern novel.

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Teaching down south-west?

Cornish Village School: Second Chances Book Cover Cornish Village School: Second Chances
Cornish Village School series Book 2
Kitty Wilson
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Canelo Escape
4 Oct. 2018

Ex-ballerina and single mum Sylvie is in trouble. Juggling her ballet classes in the next village, preparing shy Sam for his first day at Penmenna Village school and trying to finally move out from the farm she shares with her cantankerous Uncle Tom means life is anything but easy.

Television Journalist Alex is facing challenges of his own. Seeking a calmer environment for his newly adopted daughter, Ellie, he’s swapped reporting in war zones for the school PTA in quiet Penmenna, where his best friend Chase has persuaded him to start laying some roots.

Fireworks ignite when Sylvie and Alex meet but as Ellie and Sam become instant best friends, will they be able to keep things strictly platonic for the sake of the children?

 

The Author tells all:

Kitty Wilson tells us some secrets.

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

I knew I wanted to write romantic comedy, it’s what I love to escape into and is what I found myself writing whenever I put pen to paper. No matter how seriously I would begin, a little bit of romance and my sense of humour would sneak in. So, with genre decided, I then had to choose the subject matter.

There is an old adage ‘write what you know’ and as a new writer I thought it was worth following. Up until very recently I was lucky enough to have lived in Cornwall for twenty-five years (the first and much of the second book in the series were written whilst I was still there) and when living there became a parent and a primary school teacher, teaching infants in a reception class. So, when it came to story ideas I had to think what do I know? And the answer was Cornwall, schools and small children.

Luckily these are three things that I don’t just know but am passionate about. All three things make my soul sing loud. I’m hoping that is what makes my books slightly different, especially with so much women’s fiction set in Cornwall, the fact that I really know the county and love it, inside out.

The setting allowed me to create a fictional village where I could write about a strong sense of community, something that is very true of the Cornish. They look after each other. Community is important to me and although my books are light-hearted feelgood fiction, having a strong community around my characters allows me to explore the fact that all humans, no matter how lovely their life appears, have difficult things to deal with. And it is frequently the support of others that help us navigate the trickier times.

Having been both sides of the school door, as parent and teacher gives me insight, I hope, into how school communities work. As supportive as communities are I used to be amazed at how the playground can often be fiercely competitive, with parental games of one-upmanship and I wanted to write about this, but in a gently comedic way. I remember one mother used to quiz all the parent volunteers on their qualifications because she wanted to make sure they were people she deemed suitable for sitting and reading with her child!

I hope that my passion for the setting, the subject matter and the themes of each book come through to provide happy, escapist and reassuring reads.

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

I have lost count of how many rejections I had before I got the first book in this series published. I had written a romcom before The Cornish Village School which I loved, it was based around an old stately home, a reality show and a new age guru and I naively assumed it would get published as soon as it was finished. I sent it everywhere and had rejection after rejection after rejection. This served the very useful purpose of forcing me to develop a thick skin and accept that getting published was a process and that each rejection was a step along the way. It also taught me the importance of editing my work. Whilst I may have thought a polished first draft was the finished article, all my rejections taught me that there was usually a lot more work to do and that work is best done with a fresh eye. The well-known suggestion to put your work away and then look at it again with an editing hat on is very sage advice, if time constraints allow.

I think tenacity is a vital quality for any wannabe author to have, most of us are going to be rejected time and time again before we get accepted and the one thing that is sure is that if you give up you’re never going to see that book in print.

3. What is your favourite genre?

I write romcom and I love to read it. I love being able to curl up with a book and lose myself in the romance of the will they, won’t they (when we know they will) of the genre. If it makes me giggle as well as sigh with the romanticism of it all, then I am very happy indeed. However, I like to mix up my reading so don’t just stick to one genre. I’m an avid devourer of historical fiction as well, and love a saga. I occasionally like to read literary fiction, have read a huge range of classics albeit in my teens and twenties and have recently dipped a toe into the murky world of crime (reading it, not doing it!). As long as it’s well written and pacy then I’m going to be a fan!

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

When I was eight years old I snuck one of my mother’s Jilly Cooper books out of the bookshelf and smuggled it upstairs. I read five chapters before I reluctantly accepted I didn’t understand a word and popped it back again. However, as a worldly-wise adolescent I gobbled them up. I had always been an avid reader but Jilly Cooper introduced me to romance as opposed to the derring-do of adventure. I was hooked. Not only did she write romance, she wrote it with humour. So, by introducing me to the genre, she had a huge influence. 

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

I am a shocking squirrel, I struggle to throw anything out. Much to the children’s disgust I still have all their teeth and I have even kept the bunk-bed screws from when my mother finally dismantled it (I loved that bed). This means that I have everything I have ever written. More or less.

I moved house earlier in the year and going through the attic I realised I had kept everything, all my exercise books from primary and secondary school, even my rough notes for essays. I’ve also kept every single silly scribbled note that you pass between your friends when you supposed to be doing geography. So, all the writing I did in school can be guaranteed to be in the attic, in fact I read a fair amount of it as I was having my clear out. Will any of it be re-jigged to try and get it to publishable standard? I think not. But if nothing else the poems of my tortured teens gave me a jolly good laugh all these years on.

 

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Author Bio: Kitty Wilson lived in Cornwall for twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. She is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom – and that her own children aren’t as hideous. Recently she has moved to Bristol, but only for love and on the understanding that she and her partner will be returning to Cornwall to live very soon. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard, dreaming of the beach or bombing back down the motorway for a quick visit! She has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.

Twitter: @KittyWilson23

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And the Truth is?

Where the Truth Lies Book Cover Where the Truth Lies
DI Ridpath #1
M J Lee
crime fiction
Canelo
22nd October 2018

A killer in total control. A detective on the edge. A mystery that HAS to be solved.

DI Thomas Ridpath was on the up in the Manchester CID: a promising young detective whose first case involved capturing a notorious serial killer. But ten years later he’s recovering from a serious illness and on the brink of being forced out of the police. Then people start dying: tortured, murdered, in an uncanny echo of Ridpath’s first case.

As the investigation intensifies, old bodies go missing, records can’t be found and the murder count grows. Caught in a turf war between the police and the coroner’s office, digging up skeletons some would rather forget, Ridpath is caught in a race against time: a race to save his career, his marriage… And lives.

When a detective goes missing everything is on the line. Can Ridpath close the case and save his colleague?

WHERE THE TRUTH LIES is a nail-biting crime thriller, full of breathtaking twists and turns in this fast-paced and extraordinarily original novel. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Peter James and Faith Martin

 

‘We seek evidence, it’s all that counts. The truth always lies. Only evidence is clear. Pure, unadulterated evidence.’

This is the quote that is at the heart of this book. It is used to explain the difference between the police and how they find a criminal and bring him/her to court, and the Coroner’s office and their investigations. In the Coroner’s office, they look for the truth. The truth of how a person died. How they died and where. And sometimes, they also look for who might have committed a crime – if what they find out indicates it.

So sometimes, the police use evidence to put someone in prison for a crime they did not commit but the evidence is there for the court- or sometimes it is put there.

In this story, the evidence is manipulated it appears as one body is lost and others are found.

I really liked this story and the way it was told. I felt I could understand the motives of the Coroner and Tom and his wife. This is crime writing at its best.

About the Author

M J Lee has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a university researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, TV commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.

He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the north of England, in London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning advertising awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and the United Nations.

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And her name was?

Her Name was Rose Book Cover Her Name was Rose
Claire Allan
psychological, suspense, contemporary, police procedurals, romance
Avon Books
June 28, 2018
352

'AMAZING. I read it in one go. I was totally hooked.' MARIAN KEYES 'Utterly addictive. Compulsive, twisty, tense.' CLAIRE DOUGLAS, author of Local Girl Missing Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy. When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother - killing her instantly - she finds herself unable to move on. And then she makes a decision she can never take back. Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose's husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn't Emily fill that space? But as Emily is about to discover, no one's life is perfect ... and not everything is as it seems.

I thought this was a great read. At first yu think, OK, I know this story, then you find that you really don’t.

The twist at the end I never saw coming – which is what makes a good suspense novel – otherwise no suspense – right?

But, I did find the Epilogue content expected but forgivable under the circumstances of this being billed as a Romance imprint.

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A blitz of a book!

If She Were Blind
The After Twelve, #1
Laney Wylde
Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Thriller
Crimson Tree Publishing
October 22nd 2018

Not everyone can get justice the traditional way—that’s where Estlyn Collins comes in. A young lawyer in Santa Monica, her “legal” service, After Twelve, works outside the courtroom to tip the scales when the justice system has failed.

For a price.

Thanks to her powerful underground network, Estlyn’s success rate is stellar, and her inbox stays filled with inquires from the desperate and vengeful. But when one of those names is a ghost from her past seeking vengeance against her, she’s shaken to her core. Off balance and scared to be alone, she makes an impulsive move for a guy. He’s a complication she doesn’t have time for, but it turns out he may also be an unlikely—if unwitting—asset.

Treading the rapidly thinning line between personal and professional, Estlyn pursues her target while outrunning the one on her own back—only to find she may be running into a lot more than she bargained for

IF SHE WERE BLIND is the first book in the engaging New Adult series AFTER TWELVE by author Laney Wylde. Perfect for fans of the television shows REVENGE, SCANDAL, and VERONICA MARS, the AFTER TWELVE Series is a gritty social-issue drama that delivers steamy romance, intrigue, and the most bittersweet revenge plots. Estlyn’s determination to right every wrong is sure to quench your thirst for justice, yet leave you wanting more.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40866623-if-she-were-blind

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-she-were-blind-laney-wylde/1129186876?ean=9781634223386

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/if-she-were-blind/id1418955414?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/if-she-were-blind

https://www.xpressobooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2018/10/2-book-banner-After-12.jpg

“The Privilege to Write About Race”

I was eighteen the first time someone made me feel shitty about the color of my skin.

It was my sophomore year at Biola University, a Christian college in Los Angeles County committed to racial reconciliation. That fall, at our annual Torrey Bible Conference, to which attendance was required, a black speaker addressed the topic of racial injustice. At least, that’s what I think he talked about. I stopped listening after he told the gym full of mostly pale students that white people were racists.

I couldn’t believe it. He listed half a dozen races, victimizing each one for the challenges they faced. I waited for him to say something about whites. We were the last he mentioned, saying we simply didn’t understand what black people endured.

How dare he, I thought. How dare he assume that because my ancestors were from Europe that I held a hatred toward people who look like him. How dare he presume to know anything about me. Because he didn’t. He didn’t know that some of the most influential women of my adolescent years were black, that one of my exboyfriends was Mexican, that I had friends of all colors and shapes and sizes.

It’s funny now to reflect on that rage I felt. I made it to eighteen before someone stigmatized my race. I doubt the speaker had made it that long.

Fast forward six years. My husband and I were watching a documentary on Netflix called 13th about mass incarceration in the United States. Several men and women, white and black, were interviewed. Whenever a white person spoke about institutionalized racism black people still face in the United States, I listened. When a black person did, I did my best not to roll my eyes.

That’s white privilege.

Privilege is an insidious force. It was invisible to me, because, like many others, I just didn’t know any different. I was raised to be colorblind, and consequently never attributed injustice to race. In fact, calling out the police or politicians or the church or any individual on anything less than involvement in the KKK was unfair.

Because if a cop shot a black man, it was because he wasn’t compliant, because he was running, because he deserved it. If he was in prison for life, it was because he broke a law that warranted that kind of sentence. If he was poor, it was because he didn’t work hard enough.

Black people told me otherwise. They protested through tears. They shared stories of the sons they lost to police brutality. They voiced the pain of being stereotyped as criminals. But I didn’t listen.

Until a white person said something.

I’m not proud of this. But I think it’s important to admit, to say out loud that I had and still have blindspots because of my privileged skin. Because maybe other people with skin light as mine will feel free to say the same, and start asking questions they once thought they had the answers to.

So many of us are afraid to say that we’re ignorant, that we just don’t know. But, guess what: when I approached my black friends with questions about what it’s like to be them, they answered. Happily. They assured me that there’s nothing wrong with not knowing. There’s only something wrong with refusing to learn.

When I started writing If She Were Blind, the first installment of the After Twelve series, I wanted to explore racial issues by writing from the perspective of characters of color. I wrote these characters in first person so I could feel the fear, the indigence, the often futile fight against a false inferiority placed on them.

It was the first time I wept for the people whose stories I had once refused to hear.

So, I wrote If She Were Blind not only to revolutionize my own perspective, but for everyone else like me––those who need someone who looks like them to validate the stories of those who don’t.

Because privilege is only insidious if you never use it to speak for those who don’t have it.

Author Bio

Laney Wylde is enamored with all things southern California–the traffic, smog, surprise earthquakes, and nonindigenous palm trees. Consequently, it’s the landscape her strong and sometimes lovable female leads paint their stories on. Her New Adult novels Never Touched and the After Twelve series are bright with provocative themes, steamy romance, and inappropriately timed humor.

When Laney isn’t writing, she’s singing Taylor Swift with her little boy or asking her husband not to tell her about his work as a surgical resident while she’s eating. She daydreams about using her math degree to get into law school, then realizes that would be too much work and that she should just play pretend court on paper instead. While she loves a good book, nothing beats 30 Rock with a bag of popcorn and M&Ms.

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