Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Work In Progress!

VF01Today I wanted to share with you the wonderful brotherly love and banter that
continues between Edward and Richard Emberton in book 2.
The editing and re-writes have begun and the countdown to book 2’s release has begun! YES!😀

Edward turned around and embraced his brother Richard. “Thank you. Sincerely, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I knew I could count on your support and I am so deeply glad to have it.”
“You shall always have it.” Richard grinned at him and lowered his voice, “now, there are a couple of other matters you need to attend to, you realise, Edward.” Gently he led Edward through the crowd to the side of the room where they could speak freely.
“What you mean?” Edward asked.
“You need to take a house for yourself. You cannot live here at home with Mummy if you going to be a Member of Parliament in Westminster.” Richard grinned cheekily.
Edward laughed, “yes, that’s true. That would most certainly invite ridicule.”
“Indeed, it would. I would recommend taking a house somewhere equally positioned between here and London. Therefore, you can be here or in London at a moment’s notice.”
“Good idea. I will begin looking first thing tomorrow morning.” Edward nodded seriously.
“And then, comes the unenviable task of finding yourself a wife.” Richard stared at him with amusement in his eyes.
“A suitable wife.”
“Yes, a suitable wife.”
“One that will help elevate me in political circles.” Edward’s blue eyes shone as he turned back and faced the throng as though amongst them he would see this suitable wife he looked for.
“Whoever you choose, she will indeed have to be suitable. A poor choice now could spell disaster for you in the future.” Richard clapped him on the shoulder again. “Enjoy your evening, brother,” he chuckled and disappeared back into the crowd.
(c) 2016 Karen Aminadra, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Review: The Uncovering by Jes Young

I read this book under its old title of Tab Bennett and the Inbetween. It now has a new
cover and a brand-new title - The Uncovering.
From the blurb - At the start of this fantastical romance, Tabitha Bennett is a young woman who has her life all figured out; she’s got a steady job at the local bank, a darkly handsome fiancé she’s known since childhood, and her own cottage on the edge of the family estate. Then she starts to have chillingly graphic visions of her sisters’ deaths. 

Someone is picking off members of the Bennett household one by one, and Tab is next. In order to survive, she must come to terms with her true heritage. Tab is actually an Elvish princess, heir to the throne of the Inbetween, the realm of the Light Elves, and the product of the Dark King’s rape of the Queen of the Light. These sordid origins do nothing to convince the Elven Court that she’s the woman for the job, and they have everything to do with the plot to kill her. 

Her fiancé Robbin is soon usurped by a gorgeous stranger named Alexander, to whom
 she’s been betrothed since her birth. The magic that binds them is strong and sensual. He guides her in her journey of self-discovery, helping to awaken the Elven gifts that ultimately keep her alive in the final battle with the agents of the Dark. She is betrayed by both her close childhood friend and by the Elven warrior who captains the Light army, but she survives by virtue of her fiery tenacity. 

The Uncovering, first in a trilogy, is a fast-paced adventure, TheUncoveringfull of sensuality, suspense and surprise.

The book starts off with Tab seeing someone dying in her dream. In fact, it was her sister or the woman she thought was her sister.
Needless to say, things go to pieces for poor Tab. What she discovers is that nothing she ever believed is true. The story is really engaging but the thing that tripped me over was all of a sudden, Tab, upon meeting a perfect stranger, flings herself at him and just about does the horizontal shuffle in front of a room filled with people! That to me was odd. I actually loved the story and I really look forward to reading the rest of the series, too. It's just Tab and Alex were ... woah!
Tab's life turns out to be an entire lie. Despite the fact that she knew nothing and never suspected anything, this really is a good story because Jes Young takes you on Tab's journey with her. You discover why all the lies and subterfuge, who everyone really is around her, and, ultimately, who Tab really is.
All-in-all a very entertaining and gripping read; I wanted to read it and didn't want to put it down!
I also believe this would be great in the YA category too!
Happy reading! 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Wednesday Work In Progress!

The snippet I would like to share with you today is from Book 2 of The Emberton Brothers Series.

This is, of course, an unedited snippet from the 1st draft of the book and, therefore, it may contain a few errors.

Unfortunately, news of the engagement got out before Edward had a chance to tell his family!! 

With all the travelling back and forth into London, dealing with constituency business, reporting back to Lord Davenport and spending time visiting with Frances, Edward had little opportunity to be with his family.
It was precisely a fortnight after he and Frances were betrothed that he was at liberty to visit Emberton Hall. However, when he arrived he seemed the family would be taking tea in the Orangery, but he was wrong. He looked about in the gardens to see them in such a sweltering day, but they were not there either.
A delicate cough from behind him making spin round in surprise. “Begging your pardon, sir, the family await you in the drawing room.”
Edward looked at Henry, the Emberton’s Butler, in bafflement. “What on earth are they doing indoors on such a glorious day as this?”
“I cannot say Sir, but if you would like to follow me…” Henry turned fluidly and marched back towards the house.
Edward had no recourse but to follow him. He wondered why they were all inside. It made no sense to him. He grew concerned and increased his pace; he sped past the Butler and into the house, breaking into a run. When he reached the drawing-room, he burst in on the whole family sitting peacefully and calmly as though awaiting his arrival.
“Is everything well? Is everyone well?” Edward asked breathlessly fearing that one of his family was sick. He looked around the room and saw the window sashes were thrown wide open and beautiful breeze flowed through the open door behind him.
“Sit down Edward,” Richard commanded.
He did his he was told sitting in his usual chair to the left of the fireplace which now stood cold in the heat of summer. “What is it?” Edward observed that his mother twisted her handkerchief tightly in her hands, and action she only performed when she was anxious.
Richard looking at his brother with evident anger in his eyes tossed the newspaper onto the coffee table between them all.
Edward was at a loss to explain what was happening. He reached out and picked up the newspaper. “Has someone of our acquaintance died?” He asked as he scanned the page before him for the obituaries.
No one said a word; they merely waited for Edward to continue casting an eye over the page before him. He was horrified to see his name printed there, announcing his engagement to Frances.
“Oh,” with one syllable Edward announced to the room at large that he realised what was happening.
“Oh?” Richard folded his arms across his chest, “is that all you have to say?”
“I did not expect…” He looked up into the face of his brother and seeing no kindness there, he turned to his mother, his hands splayed and waving the paper in his right. “Mama, I…”
With that one single word from his mother Edward felt as though she had struck him. “I know, I…” He had no words. He had no explanation.
She rounded on him. “You promised Edward. You promised me that should you take a liking to a young lady, that you would come to me to enquire about her reputation in society before, Edward, if all you petitioned for her hand in marriage.” She was so angry with him, she waved her fists as she spoke.
“Yes, I did promise,” he whispered. He was so ashamed of himself. He was so caught up in his infatuation for Frances Davenport that he had not spared one single thought for his mother all the promise he made her. He would not blame her at all if she berated him; he had broken a promise; he was in the wrong.

© 2016 Karen Aminadra

Monday, 16 May 2016

St. Ninian's Chapel, Isle of Whithorn, Scotland

As you may or may not know, Hubby and I have just returned from a fabulous holiday in south-west Scotland.

Today I want to share with you about a lovely place we visited - St. Ninian's Chapel on the seaward side of the Isle of Whithorn.

It is claimed that the chapel was built around 1300 AD and that it actually replaced an earlier building on the same site. This one is larger apparently; the former one they say was narrower and dates to around 1100 AD.

It has a lovely little perimeter wall, only part of which is still standing.  There most likely was a house for the priest as well as a burial ground too!
The chapel was for the community at the Port of Whithorn, and  the first port of call for pilgrims who travelled there from the neighbouring bay and from further afield who then went on to the Shrine of
St. Ninian.
The pilgrims landed in the safe harbour below and likely walked the three and a half miles into Whithorn after giving thanks for their safe arrival and sea crossing.

The views from the chapel window are stunning and it is easy to imagine what a haven the early Christian Pilgrims would have thought the place when they finally arrived there!

The wind whips around that little bay and yet, when you stand in the middle of the chapel, you can feel such serenity that you could even imagine a connection with those Christian brothers and sisters from so long ago.

It is not only breathtakingly beautiful but very touching too.

You approach the chapel from the carpark at the far end of the harbour and continue on foot.
Before you reach the chapel, you pass the remains of the old lifeboat house.
Within its walls is what is known as 'witness cairn', which since the 11th May 1997 has commemorated the arrival of St. Ninian in Scotland.
Visitors are encouraged to place a stone on top of the cairn. Many people have painted their names on them. It's quite a sight to see!

Just outside the stone wall surrounding the cairn and chapel is a granite stone seat. This seat was placed there in memory of the local men who died in the sinking of the fishing vessel Solway Harvester just off the south-east coast of the Isle-o-man on 11th January 2000.

It really is a lovely place and well worth visiting!

Just next to the car park but well before you reach the cairn or chapel, is a children's park. I've never seen such a happily situated park in my whole life!  Of course, I could not resist playing on the swings! ;-)

Just look at that view!  Yes, those are my feet as I was swinging when hubby took the photos!
If I lived in a place that had a park that was so stunning, I'd be there come rain or shine, every day, playing on the swings to my heart's content! :-D

I hope you enjoyed reading about one of the places I visited on my fabulous holiday in Scotland! I have a few more places I'd like to share with you all over the coming weeks.
But until then... Happy Reading!  xxx

Monday, 9 May 2016

What Am I Reading?

What am I reading?

I just got back from the bestest most relaxingest holiday EVER in Scotland!

While I was there I read three books.... oh, yes! The best holidays are when you get to read *sigh*

What did I read?

Reaper's Deliverance by Miranda Stork

When Ryder dies in a horrific motorbike accident, he’s left facing a choice. Go onto his next life, more terrible than his last, or become…a Reaper.

Ryder’s life has little meaning to him. A violent hedonist who left his broken childhood behind, he would rather spend his time chasing women and smashing up bars than consider his future. But when it all comes to an abrupt end, he’s forced to make a decision that changes everything.

Elizabeth is a single mother, and the light of her life, her son Thomas, is terminally ill. With no time for a job, a normal social life, and definitely not a relationship, her world is turned upside-down when Ryder strides in with his biker boots. She’s always known there was something more to the universe than what she can see. But when she learns the real reason for him being in their lives, she has to do something she hasn’t done for a long time. Trust someone.

When little Thomas is threatened by an evil that would misuse his special gift, they must work together, along with a troubled but caring group of reapers. Time is running out to get him back, and Helheim beckons with its black jaws. All of them must fight, and be prepared for the centuries-waiting battle they will kick off.

And will Ryder finally gain his redemption?

*This is a paranormal book - If you don't like that sort of thing, please don't pick it up! 
** This book also contains universalism and paganism - if you don't like that either, please don't pick it up!

Did I like it?  YES! 
It's edgy and fast-paced and full of danger.  It has a love story which makes you ask, all the way through, is that even possible? can they make it?

There is a lot to pick up from this book. The main thing, which I think is HUGE, is the underlying theme that you can always turn your life around! 
Ryder, the main character, is a loser - let's be honest. He gets himself killed and is then given a choice... I won't spoil it by telling you what his choices were, but he chooses the better one... which leads him to a whole new 'after life' ;-)  A quest, a rescue, a lot of beating things up and shooting at nasties too! Who couldn't like that? ;-) And.... good versus evil, a happy ending with a hook, and a promise for more!

I thoroughly enjoyed this and would certainly read the next in the series. Didn't I mention it was a series? 
Oh, yes, it is! Hurrah!!  Gotta love a series, right?

The best bit about this book for you, is that you can read it for FREE! Yes, zero pounds or dollars! :-)

Monday, 2 May 2016

Expanding Jane Austen's World - better late than never! ;-)

Look what I found!
I just found this on my computer!
I completely forgot that I wrote this for another blog and I meant to post it on here too.  I sincerely apologise that it skipped my mind.

Better late than never, eh? 

So here it is... 

Expanding Jane Austen’s world.

Jane Austen has given us 200 years of wonderful bliss from within the pages of her novels.  However, it seems that all those years have done nothing to dampen our desire for her work – in fact; I would say our love of her world has increased.
There are so many continuations, variations, ‘what if’ novels, and re-imaginings of the world she so carefully penned, that it would take an entire lifetime to read them all, I am certain.  Some of them have a modern twist, where carefully woven ‘modern sensibilities’ are intermingled with the social norms of Jane’s day, some time-travel between our world and Jane’s, and some even take on a supernatural twist.  No matter what your preference is, there is a novel out there for you which continues Jane’s world.
Expanding Jane Austen’s world is not an easy task.  None of us truly know what life was like in Regency England.  However, we can draw upon her wonderful books and the history of the time for inspiration.  One thing is certain, all Janeites love to immerse themselves in the world of our beloved Miss Austen, regardless of the twist the modern author has placed upon the tale.
We novelists also love to hear what our readers want us to write about.  There is nothing better than receiving an email saying how much the reader enjoyed the book and asking what will happen to xxx?  Or please write xxx's story!  I know I am not alone in appreciating that.
With my own Pride & Prejudice Continues series, I decided to expand Jane’s most famous novel by wondering what happened next to her characters.  However, my own curiosity lies with what happened to the secondary characters.  My thoughts always did turn to Charlotte Lucas.  She claimed she was not romantic and chose to marry Mr Collins for security, so that she would no longer be a spinster and, therefore, a burden to her family.  But, I always wondered what married life really was like with Mr Collins.  So many readers dislike him intensely.  I cannot blame them – he is a bit of a buffoon.  However, what was his story?  Why was he like that?  And, perhaps most important of all, how did Charlotte cope with such a married life? 
My second novel in the series takes us to Rosings and Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her daughter Anne.  Within those pages I allowed my imagination to stretch to another interest of mine – the Regency period itself – the Napoleonic wars, The Prince Regent, great poverty among the majority of the nation while the Darcy’s lived it up together with a mere 1% of the country who were also rich.  There were other topics which we tend to think of as modern, men gaining access to women’s rooms, homosexuality – which was punishable by death, but within the upper-classes, it was mostly ignored, especially as many past-kings were thought to have been homosexual.  Jane touched on fornication and illegitimacy in her work, but also, adultery and mistreatment of other human beings were rife in the period.  I like the idea of weaving these elements into my novels.  Lady Catherine is a powerful woman who really has her world shaken in book two and I am told it made her more ‘human’.  Anne, as we can imagine, has lived for so long under her mother’s shadow that we wonder if she has a will of her own at all!
So, now I am writing book number 3 in the series, and I take so much delight in writing about the time of the Napoleonic wars.  In Pride & Prejudice itself, Jane mentioned the militia, soldiers and she even had colonels in her works, however, she did not tell us much about what they did.  Book 3 will centre around Lydia and George Wickham.  They’re such fun characters to write about.  Lydia is selfish and rather childish, and Wickham, well, he’s one of Jane’s most loveable and infamous bad-guys!  It would be impossible for a soldier or an officer such as Wickham to avoid conflict and going to war – so off to the continent he will go in my Pride & Prejudice Continues book 3.
The novel is progressing well and I hope to have it winging its way onto your shelf or Kindle very soon!

I am certain there will be books based on Jane Austen’s for decades, if not centuries to come.  In our fast-paced, high-tech world, there is nothing so wonderful than for a book to whisk us away from it all.  There is nothing better than switching off all our gadgets and being transported, via the pages of a good book, to Merryton and to our beloved Bennet family, is there?  Why do I and other writers today continue the wonderful works of Jane Austen?  It is simply because, we, like you, can’t get enough of her world either.