Friday, February 6, 2015

ARC Review: Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen Just Want to Have Fun
by Shana Galen
Series: Covent Garden Cubs (#1)
Published by: Casablanca
February 3rd 2015
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)

Rating: 4 Stars

   If you know me you know that my favorite genre is Historical Romance, but you also know that I am very picky as to the authors I read in this genre as not everyone knows how to write it. Well it is with absolute certainty that I tell you that I am glad I decided to try Ms Shana Galen. This book had me glued to it from the first page.

     It was a bit confusing with the words that Marlowe spoke (flash ken, swell, bubble, etc.) at first but then I got the gits of it and was easier to understand her. But I'm sad to say that's way this book it's not a five stars for me. I just couldn't enjoy it every time she made a reference with those kinds of words.

     As for the rest I loved the story. It was funny and full of action and adventure. I liked the part where Lord Dane "shooed" away the three boys and made Beezele? (I don't remember his name at the moment). It showed to Marlowe that he really cared what happened to her. And that was really something that she needed to know.

     Last thing I have to say is that again if you know me you know that I love a good book that makes my cry. Well this book did that. In fact I bawled my eyes out with that ending! I knew how they where going to figure it out but the events before just about ripped my heart. I can NOT wait for the next book which I hope is Brook's or Gideon's.

Interview with Shana Galen


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     His heart may be the last thing she ever steals...

     Marlowe is a pickpocket, a housebreaker-and a better actress than any professional on the stage. She runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums of London's Seven Dials. It's a fierce life, and Marlowe has a hard outer shell. But when she's alone, she allows herself to think of a time before-a dimly remembered life when she was called Elizabeth.

     Maxwell, Lord Dane, is intrigued when his brother, a hired investigator, ropes him into his investigation of the fiercely beautiful hellion. He teaches her to navigate the social morass of the ton, but Marlowe will not escape so easily. Instead, Dane is drawn into her dangerous world, where the student becomes the teacher and love is the greatest risk of all.

     Hello Shana and welcome to my blog. I have to say that Earls Just Want to Have Fun was an interesting read as you'll by able to read in my review. But I have to ask how does a story come to you? (A dream, la la land, etc.)

     I don’t know. That’s one of those things I don’t think about too much because I don’t want to jinx it. I will say that I’m heavily influenced by popular culture. My books have been inspired by movies like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the James Bond series, and Disney’s Tangled. Sometimes a song will inspire me or a trope, like “second chance at love.” Mostly, it happens randomly when I ask myself, what if… What if a thief and an earl were thrown together? What would happen? That’s the basic setup for Earls Just Want to Have Fun, but the overarching series idea came from Oliver Twist. I just never know where I’ll get an idea!

     Those are interesting ways to get inspired to write a book. I mean, who doesn't like Tangled? This book is definitively going along those lines. Now talking about inspirations, hat do you do/where do you look for inspiration when you have writers block?

     What a great question. It’s interesting because I don’t get “writer’s block.” I always have something to write when I sit down and get to work. I think for me, writer’s block comes in the form of not feeling like sitting down to do the work, just like anyone else who’s ever had a day they don’t feel like doing their job. I set page goals for each day, so I know where I need to be at the end of the day. That helps keep me on track even when I don’t feel like writing.
     Once in a while, I find that I’m not sure of what a character should say in answer to another character or how I should begin a new scene. Usually, if I get up and walk around for a few minutes either to get a drink or put laundry away, I figure it out. There’s something about moving and doing something that takes my mind off the problem that allows my unconscious to work it out for me.

     I hope you never get it. I hear it's not fun. But you mention sometimes you don't know what your characters should say to one another so can you tell me what is the most frustrating thing when dealing with your characters?

     The most frustrating thing for me is that I have one vision of my characters at the start of a book and about halfway through I realize that I didn't really know them at all in the beginning. I always have to go back and revise the first few chapters because as I write I get to know my characters better, and they become more real to me and less like the cardboard inventions in the first few chapters.

     It's good to hear that they become real to you and not just a chore to be done as they definitively become real to us readers and we sometimes identify with them or their situations move us to try and be better. Like Lord Dane was moved by Marlowe's situation.

     Thanks for coming and I hope to read more of your books soon.

Shana GalenShana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers' Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Kirkus says of her books, "The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun," and RT Bookreviews calls her books " lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching." She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city. Now she writes full time. She's happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers, so send her an email or see what she's up to daily on Facebook ( and Twitter ( Visit her website at

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Review: Harvest Heat by Carol Lynne

Harvest HeatHarvest Heat
by Carol Lynne
Published by: Ellora's Cave
January 9th 2009
Genre: GLBT, Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook

Rating: 3 Stars

     It's been ages since last I read one of Carol's books. She was my first GLBT author and I still can't get enough of her stories. Her characters always fall in love almost instantly but it is the challenges they go though to keep that love above all else what really catches the heart and gives the characters substance and a way for us to identify with them.

     In this book we have Jamie, an American tourist trying to resign himself to the fact that he will be stuck with a job he doesn't want when he goes back to Kansas. But what he really wants is to follow on his granddad's footsteps and work the land. There is also Lachlan, an Australian farmer trying to work his ranch on his own and make it through the harvest before the birds eat all his seeds.

     Like most of Carol's books they fall in love quickly in the book (although a couple weeks has already pass in the story) but it is the challenges they go through to prove their love is stronger than anything that might happen that put the tears in your eyes.

     That is what I like most of Carol Lynne's books. They reach your heart and worm their way in until you have no choice but to feel deep what the characters are going through and fight your need to shed a few tears. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles (#1)
Published by: Square Fish
January 3rd 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: eBook

Rating: 5 Stars

     I don't usually read Sci-Fi or fantasy books as they have words invented by the author that I have no idea how to even pronounce or what the author want them to mean. But I've been wanting to read this book for a while (I'm a visual person so most my books I get because of the cover). Well I'm glad I finally got around to reading this book.

     It is an interesting and new re-telling of Cinderella. I just loved it. I would never have in a million years thought of the twists this author has put in the story. Ms Marissa Meyer just shed some hope for this genre in my future.

     There are some mysteries still to be uncovered and I'm looking forward as to how this story is going to end as it was left in the open what will happen to Cinder and what is Emperor Kai going to do. It also has different characters with each book so I'm eager to see how is all going to be played and how all this will fit together in the end.

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