June and my local library still wasn’t open, so I was still reading from my TBR pile and the books I had on my Kindle. Luckily, there was still plenty to choose from. However, the month was mainly devoted to reading about the craft of writing. I also read books for research, which were Viking romances. This was because I was submitting part of a Viking romance for consideration. I also read one book from my To Be Read pile.
Take Off Your Pants ! by Libbie Hawker.
When it comes to writing books, are you a “plotter” or a “pantser?” Is one method really better than the other?
In this instructional ebook, author Libbie Hawker explains the benefits and technique of planning a story before you begin to write.
I have been hearing about this book for it seems like forever. As a confirmed ‘pantser’ I have always resisted the idea of outlining. However, I had a project that required me to submit a synopsis-awkward! So, I worked my way through this book, I found it helped and I made crucial scene cards. However, I used it in conjunction with The Virgin’s Promise as mine was a female orientated journey. This focusses heavily on The Hero’s Journey. Combing the two perspectives helped and gave me the tools to work out a solid synopsis.
Gotta Read it by Libbie Hawker.
Blurbs, product descriptions, query letters… no matter what you call them, they’re a chore to write. And yet the success of any novel can depend on its pitch. What’s an author to do?
|Gotta Read It! The book is helpful and gives useful guidelines, as to how you can write compelling synopsis for your book. A job that most writers detest. I’m certain I will keep referring to it|
Successful Self- Publishing by Joanna Penn.
Do you want to successfully self-publish?
There are thousands of new books being published every day, but many self-published books quickly sink to the bottom of the pile.
Many authors are frustrated because there are so many options for self-publishing, and they don’t know which one to choose or what will be best for their book.
An easy to understand and comprehensive review of the steps it takes to self- publish. Joanna Penn ( was there ever a more perfect name for an author?)has walked the walk and is now a successful author and speaker. She didn’t start that way, and she lets us know the mistakes and slip-ups that dogged her early attempts to publish. Encouraging and helpful.
|Vikings by Ashe Barker prequel to Viking Surrender Series.
A horde of battle-hardened, ferocious Nordic warriors.
A Pictish village at the mercy of its enemies.
An interesting prequel to the series. At twelve thousand words, it’s not a long read. One that encouraged me to try a couple more of the books.
Brandr by Ashe Barker part of the Viking Surrender Series
Forced to wed the fierce Viking warlord in order to save her people, Eithne has no choice but to surrender to her powerful and terrifying husband. She submits to his stern discipline, but his tenderness takes her breath away. A man of his word, Brandr means to keep his side of their bargain and will see her village safe and protected from their enemies. But what of Eithne
The prologue hadn’t given me the idea that these stories might be confronting. I refer in particular to the so-called ‘discipline’ handed out by Brandr to Eithne. Now I know modern sensibilities are involved and life was harsher then, but these stories are categorised as romances. Eithne was strong, brave, adaptable and resourceful I would have thought an ideal wife. Brandr comes across as a bit of a brute. If you are into spanking and discipline this will appeal. Adult content
Garth by Assa Daniels – Viking Surrender Series.
A proud warrior, he hides a debilitating weakness. The village outcast, she’s plagued by terrifying visions. Their marriage seems cursed from the start. But, as they come to terms with their union, will they find the love they both need?
More of the same, a reluctant bride and reluctant groom with the question can this marriage work? Garth has a weakness he doesn’t want to talk about- he suffers headaches that leave him unable to function. Ytha was so much the better character, intelligent, trying to understand and please her new husband. I enjoyed some of the characterisations but once again spanking seems to be to the fore. If that’s your turn on, then it will appeal. Adult content.
Falling for her Viking Captive by Harper St George.
The Viking warrior
In her cellar…
Lady Annis must stop Viking Rurik Sigurdsson from discovering the truth about his family’s death. Her only solution is to imprison him. But as the ruggedly handsome Viking starts to charm his way out of his cell and into her heart, can she be sure he’s not still intent on vengeance—or perhaps an unexpected alliance is the solution?
Well written and entertaining. Nicely balanced characters who are a foil for each other. A well-rounded plot that delivered a few surprises. I enjoyed this and the repartee between this evenly-matched pair.
Beloved Viking by Ree Thornton
The shield-maiden must marry…
Heir to her father’s Jarldom, Rúna Isaksson will soon ascend to replace him as a leader, but first, she must marry a warrior from another clan to form a powerful alliance. When her father creates a contest to determine the strongest suitor, Rúna demands to compete as well—if she wins, she can choose her own husband.
A new take on the familiar subject matter and an entertaining read. These two characters are destined for each other but how they get there is the crux of the story. He hurt her once, now she wants to hurt him, but events are not all that they seem. Zips along at a good pace and holds the readers’ interest. Well written and engaging.
|Netherwood by Jane Sanderson.
Eve Williams is about to discover just how the other half really live, in this epic and absorbing “big house” drama perfect for Downton Abbey fans
I bought this book a while ago and hadn’t got round to reading it. My initial impression was that it was like a Catherine Cookson novel all grit and gumption as I read of the realities of life in a Yorkshire mining village. The pit was the centre of life and the miners and their families were living with the dust and dirt. Netherwood, the ‘big house’ was situated so that the Earl and Countess saw none of poverty or squalor. Their home was amid greenery and expansive parkland. Eve is an admirable heroine, dealing with loss, but she wouldn’t have got so far without the prodding of Anna, the Russian emigre. The contrast between the grinding poverty of the village of Gradley and the thoughtless lavishness of the aristocracy is well shown. When Eve’s baking talent is discovered the book the reminded me of The Duchess of Duke Street. Even to the point where she cooks for King Edward VII. Netherwood is a good reminder of the progress we have made toward giving people some measure of security and hope.