Monday, March 31, 2008

Edge of Regret Reviews

Three good reviews have come in for Edge of Regret. I'm showing just a portion of them, but two of them can be read at length online, so I've put their links in. As follows . . .

4 stars. Set in Victorian Edinburgh, Edge of Regret, is a spellbinding historical saga packed with emotion, tragedy and romance that further establishes Janet Woods as one of the genre’s strongest voices! – Julie Bonello – Cata Romance
Woods fashions an involving, time-honored story featuring noble heroes and naughty villains. Sure to please her fans – Booklist.

Top Pick! This story keeps in perfect line with the other Janet Woods books that I have read, not in that they are intertwined, but in that they all have the same feel—bittersweet, lovely, nostalgic and beautiful. I look forward to every single book that she puts out because I know that the hits keep coming!
Kristal Gorman –

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Review of Substitute Bride - Laurel Lamperd

Regency Romance – Publisher: Wings Press
ISBN (10) 1-59705-733-9 ISBN (13) 9781597057332

Substitute Bride is the Laurel Lamperd’s first novel. The plot revolves about the need for the rakish Nick, Marquess of Desborough to wed – so to take possession of his inheritance from his tight-fisted cousin. His intention is to marry beneath him, then have the marriage annulled.

Just as Nick gets word that his bride is no longer available, along comes the hapless Emma Napier and her friend Abby, two country girls of good birth who are fleeing to London so Abby can escape a loveless marriage to a stranger. Abby’s convenient migraine puts Emma within the Marquess’ grasp at the time she needs money and he needs a substitute bride. Emma allows him to bully her into marriage. Nick then goes off to claim his inheritance.

Emma never expects to see Nick again and keeps the marriage a secret, as agreed. Emma’s Aunt Matilda takes the two girls under her wing so they can enjoy a season. A London success, Emma has suitors queuing up at the door. Inevitably, the recently wed husband and wife meet. The Marquess is reluctant to set the annulment in motion, and the protagonists are pitted against each other. Thrown into the mix is the fun and frivolity of a London season, an exquisitely beautiful but hard-hearted mistress plotting Emma’s downfall, a cast of interesting and lively secondary characters with their own sub-plots and everybody minding everyone else’s business.

On the down side, the sentence structure of the second paragraph is clumsy and confusing. Appearing as it must on the first page, it immediately catches the eye and doesn’t create the best of impressions. The production standard is fairly sloppy too. Although the novel looks good with a nicely designed jacket, and is easy on the eye with a clear, good sized font, there are several misplaced full stops throughout, and many of the dialogue marks are reversed, some all on one page. There are enough of these mistakes to irritate, they give the impression that the book wasn’t proof read properly – if at all.

There is very little to criticise in the writing itself. The novel is well constructed and is a smooth read all the way through. SUBSTITUTE BRIDE engages the emotions right from the start. There is enough description to serve time and place. The Marquess is traditionally alpha male, but not alpha enough to be a pain in the proverbial. Emma is a spirited heroine who brings her man to heel over the course of the novel. It’s good fun and the ending satisfies with all threads tied up.

Excellent characterisation, natural dialogue and tension that rises naturally from the plot are all present in this subtly ironic novel that is a pleasure to read. I’ll look forward to reading Laurel Lamperd’s second book.

Reviewed by Janet Woods – author

Monday, March 10, 2008

Flying Sparks

Sparks have been flying in our house! No, I haven’t been fighting with my husband. Two weeks ago the electricity went off, came back with a power surge and knocked out my telephones.

Because I’d transferred my telephone account to my server, I emailed them immediately to let them know what had happened. I received no answer. The next day I emailed them again, and the next day after that. No answer! No answer!

We have no mobile phone. My husband drove to the local shopping centre and went into a phone box (the temperature that day, that week actually, was hovering around 39 degrees!). He was told that there was half an hour to wait before we could get a technician on the line to answer our query. Rather than become the first man to be baked alive in a public telephone box, my husband came home again.

Five days later my daughter sorted it out via her telephone. By that time the wait was down to twenty minutes and the telephone company had sent its technicians out. However, because my server hadn’t sent a request to the telephone company, who own the cables, (despite my three emails!) our service could not be restored, though the service to my immediate neighbours was. Two days later they got around to us.

Later, we found out that the power cut and surge was contained to the small area of about sixty houses that forms our village. Someone came to test the appliances. I was lucky. Only my fax/phone was damaged beyoned repair in the surge. Though coincidentally, my electric kettle gave up the ghost yesterday. Other people lost computers, radios and televisions as well as telephones.

However, my main grouse is not with the power company since electricity outages are part of life. It lies with my server, who, although perfectly competant in all other areas, totally ignored my emails – though the voice at the end of the phone did manage to find one of them when my daughter got to talk to a living person. And before that conversation was over came the irony of a form I received, which solicited my opinion on the service I was receiving. In fact, I got two of those forms during the debacle.

This is a communications company. They sell and service internet facilities. I’ve been with them a long, long time. They take money from my bank account for this purpose every month. So why can’t they bloody well communicate when you need them!