Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Winners of "Troubled Hearts"

Hello, loyal readers! I am sorry for the slight delay in announcing the winners of Donna Hatch's Regency novella, Trouble Hearts. I am preparing for NaNoWriMo and procrastination has always been my biggest fault. :o)

That said, here are the two fortunate ladies who won this drawing:


Now, I don't have last names. Christy left comment #4 and Brooke left comment #8. Ladies, you are in for a treat!

You have 7 days from this post to contact me, jaimeygrant(at)yahoo(dot)com, with your email. I will forward the information on to Donna. Please allow Donna some time to email the file. She is a busy lady, which is good since we all look forward to her future releases. :o)

In closing, thank you, Donna, for answering my questions and providing such a great prize for my readers. Thank you, readers, for participating. I hope you enjoyed the interview and will check out Donna's work. You won't be sorry.

The Stranger She Married can be purchased in paperback from Amazon and The Wild Rose Press, as well as directly from the author on her blog or website. E-books are available for the Kindle in Amazon's Kindle Store and in PDF, MS Reader, and HTML formats from The Wild Rose Press. Troubled Hearts can be purchased from The Wild Rose Press in PDF, MS Reader and HTML formats.

*Winner was selected using Random.org.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Book Giveaway and Interview with Romance Writer Donna Hatch

Hello, my lovely readers! I have a special treat for you today. Donna Hatch, the talented author of The Stranger She Married, has kindly agreed to answer a few questions. (To see my 5-pearl review of Donna's fabulous book, click here.)

Me: The first question is one I always ask, even if it's been answered before. Did you always want to be a writer?

Donna: Yes. And an actress. And a ballerina. I tried to do it all; I took ballet and I was in theater in school, not to mention I'm a drama queen in real life, but desire doesn't always equal talent. I've been writing stories since I was about 8.

Me: You certainly have tried to do it all! I know you have a large family. How do you find the time to research, write, and network without neglecting them?

Donna: What? You mean six children is considered a large family? ;-) At first I wrote either during nap time or late at night after everyone was in bed. Or when suffering from insomnia. Then I got really crazed about writing and started doing it instead of housework, or scrapbooking, or ... well, pretty much everything else. It did get easier when my youngest started school. Now I have a few hours in the morning that I can write before I have to leave for work.

Me: I only have two children and find it a bit overwhelming at times. I congratulate you on developing a schedule that works. You are a bit of an expert in regard to Regency England. What started you off on this obsession?

Donna: I don't consider myself an expert by any stretch, but I have extensively researched it. I had stories in my head demanding to be told, but I didn't know precisely which period to set them in. I vacillated between Regency and Victorian. It wasn't until I really started delving into the differences between them that I fell in love with this unique and short time period. I ruled out the Victorian Era because the strictures became more rigid and the clothing more extreme. However, I mostly love Regency because there's something fleeting and magical that captures my interest. By then, people began bathing on a regular basis - the rich even had indoor plumbing, men were dressing more manly and less foppish than earlier eras, they had gotten rid of those ridiculous wigs, and it was a time of revolution; education, science, the beginning of the industrial age. Also, it was right after the war, which creates the perfect situation for returning war heroes with wounds both seen and unseen. I love nothing more than a wounded hero who needs a woman to heal and save him.

Me: Who doesn't love a battle-scarred hero? What are the best reference materials that you have come across?

Donna: Anything by Jane Austen or the Bronte Sisters are great for getting the facts and the feel of the era. As far as research books here are some of the best:
Our Tempestuous Day by Carolly Erickson
The Half Mad Lord by Thomas Pitt
Georgette Heyer’s Regency World
Regency Etiquette: The Mirror of Graces, 1811, by a Lady of Distinction
The Regency Companion, Sharon Laudermilk and Teresa L Hamlin

Also, Georgette Heyer is considered the Queen of Regencies, although some of hers are Georgian. Frederica and The Grand Sophy are excellent for Regency feel. But beware; she deliberately threw in some things that we now call "Heyerisms" because she was trying to expose other authors who were using her as a source rather than doing their own research.

My favorite source is my Regency writer's group. I can go online and ask for help on anything Regency and either get a quick answer from an expert or a recommendation for a good source.

Me: Well, since I have only read a couple of Ms Heyer's works at this point, I guess I don't have to worry about falling into the trap. One last question, and this is the most important. How soon can we expect the next book in your "Rogue Hearts" series? LOL

Donna: The second in the series, The Guise of a Gentleman, which is about piratical Jared, will be out in April 2010.

Me: Excellent! I can hardly wait for its release. Thank you so much for joining us today, Donna!

Now for the giveaway!

Donna has graciously agreed to award two copies of her short story e-book, Troubled Hearts, to a couple of very fortunate readers.

How can you enter to win?
  1. For 1 entry, comment on this post. Tell us what you love about the Regency period. If you are unfamiliar with the period, tell us that.
  2. For 1 entry, follow Donna's blog, http://donnahatch.blogspot.com.
  3. For 1 entry, follow Donna's group blog, Historical Hussies.
Multiple entries are allowed, so do all three if you want. Deadline for entering this contest is October 25, Midnight Eastern Time. The winner will ONLY be announced here so check back on October 26 to see if you've won. (I suggest subscribing or becoming a follower of this blog to avoid missing the announcement.) If you're the winner, contact me at jaimeygrant(at)yahoo(dot)com with your email.

Monday, October 12, 2009

~Book Review~ "The Mercenary's Marriage" by Rachel Rossano

Title: The Mercenary's Marriage
Author: Rachel Rossano
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Fantasy
Publisher: Lulu
ISBN (paperback): 1411618440
Format: e-book, 113 pages
List Price (paperback): $10.95US
Reviewed: October 8, 2009
Rating: 4.8 pearls (Wow.)
Warnings: None

Synopsis: A slave girl finds safety and freedom with an unlikely savior, a hardened mercenary.

My two cents: Although fantasy, there are no common fantasy elements present in this story. It has the feel of a medieval romance. This was a definite plus in my opinion. I love the fantasy genre but don't really care for the magic that is so often a part of it.

This is a story that starts out strong, in the aftermath of a battle, and continues in a fast-paced manner until the satisfying conclusion. I started it and was finished within a few hours. It was a short, but exciting, read. Every time I walked away, I was thinking about the main characters and wondering what would happen next.

The love scenes are few and very vague but Ms Rossano managed to infuse a remarkable amount of feeling into the brief scenes. It was very well done.

This review is based on the e-book provided by the author. Paperbacks can be purchased from Amazon and Lulu.com.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Winner of By Love or By Sea

Rachel has announced the winner of the autographed copy of
By Love or By Sea.

Congratulations to

Wendy Richards

and thank you to all who entered to win! Have a lovely day!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blog Tour for Rachel Rager's By Love or By Sea

Hello, all!

This is just a friendly reminder that Rachel's blog tour will be ending soon. If you haven't entered to win an autographed copy of this sweet romance, time is running out. For multiple entries, leave a comment on each of the reviews of By Love or By Sea on each of the participating blogs. You can also follow Rachel's blog for an additional entry.

Here are the links to all the reviews posted so far (Make sure to leave your comment on the review. Otherwise, it doesn't count.):

September 28 - Jaimey Grant
September 29 - Kaylee Baldwin
September 30 - Cindy Beck
October 1 - Kim Thompson
October 2 - Alison Palmer
October 3 - JoAnn Arnolds
October 5 - Rebecca Talley
October 6 - Anna Arnett
October 7 - Heather Justensen

And don't forget to check back here in a day or two for my interview with Donna Hatch!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

~Book Review~ "Under a Lakota Moon" by Deborah L Weikel

Title: Under a Lakota Moon
Author: Deborah L Weikel
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Historical/Inspirational
Publisher: Walnut Springs Press
ISBN: 978-1-93521-718-3
Format: Trade Paperback, 289 pages
List Price: $15.95US
Reviewed: October 3, 2009
Rated: 3.2 pearls (Good. Probably could have been better, but worth the read.)
Warnings: None other than a strong religious theme (it is an inspirational romance, after all)

Synopsis: In 1870, divorced mother of two Rosalynn, moves to Minnesota to help her sister with her children. She arrives to find her sister gone, the children with the minister, and an angry half-Lakota brave named Lone Wolf who insists that the house and land are his along with the children.

My two cents: I had trouble putting this book down. Any book that keeps me coming back to it over and over definitely deserves at least 3 pearls. It was easy to visualize everything as it happened. The romance was incredibly sweet and any love scenes were completely vague. I was intrigued with the inner struggle of Rosalynn. The storyline was predictable, but the real focus was the heroine's determination to retain a firm hold on her sanity through her faith in God.

What made me deduct almost two pearls? Everything was too perfect for believability. I had some trouble accepting that these characters, with all of their very real insecurities, would have acted the way they did. They had these insecurities but no flaws. It was very hard for me to relate to characters who were so perfect. On the other hand, the villain(s) had nothing but flaws. I had trouble connecting with characters that were all so black and white.

Overall, I thought it was good but probably could have been better.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Book Review: The Stranger She Married by Donna Hatch

Title: The Stranger She Married
Author: Donna Hatch
Series: Rogue Hearts, #1
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Historical/Regency
ISBN (paperback): 1601543344
Format: e-book, 352 pages
List Price: $6.00US (e-book)
Reviewed: September 28, 2009
Rating: 5 pearls (4.9)
Warnings: None

Synopsis: Alicia Palmer must save her family from ruin by marrying and marrying well. Her choices, however, leave much to be desired. Enter Cole, Viscount Amesbury, a man with a deadly secret, a secret that could destroy the fragile trust growing between them. Meanwhile, someone is trying to kill off every member of her family.

My two cents: Oh my. I have a new favorite Regency author. I am blown away. Enough of that. Now for the reasons why...

Ms Hatch has a steady grasp of the period and a definite knack for characters, settings, and drama. There were so many times I didn't want to stop reading. Drat the responsibilities of adulthood! I was enchanted with the hero from the very first. All the characters were well-developed and likable--or unlikable, in the case of some. The plot was a rather common Regency theme (the young woman needing to marry to save her family from penury), yet done in such a way as to be entirely fresh and new.

And the twists. Wow. Just when I thought I knew who the killer was, I was proven wrong.

I loved how Ms Hatch refrained from including detailed love scenes and still managed to convey the emotions that ruled these characters. It was a thrilling, lovely, romantic adventure. I eagerly anticipate the next book in the series.

*This review is based on the PDF e-book.

The Stranger She Married can be purchased in paperback from Amazon and The Wild Rose Press, as well as directly from the author on her blog or website. E-books are available for the Kindle in Amazon's Kindle Store and in PDF, MS Reader, and HTML formats from The Wild Rose Press.

Coming soon: An interview and giveaway with Donna Hatch!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin