Sunday, April 17, 2016

Learning from Jane Austin and Charles Dickens

My senior year of high school, I was introduced to two books that are still on my top ten all time list: Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. Now that I'm writing romance novels myself, I think about these two old favorites. Pride and Prejudice is a prototype of how opposites attract. And though both Elizabeth and Darcy form almost immediate dislike of one another, there is still an undertow of attraction as each undertakes a journey discovering how wrong their initial impressions of one another are over time. How wonderful that a man would actually fall head over heels from a woman who points out all his own foibles, especially a man so aloof with pride. Then there is poor Sydney Carton who cannot even tell the married woman with whom he is in love how much he adores her. Cynic though he is, he sacrifices his own life to free her husband saying, "Tis a far, far better thing I do today than any I have ever done before." If that plot is not a candidate for what in London is known as "The weekly weepy" what is? I vividly remember the tears streaming down my 17 year old cheeks.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Quirky and Fun - Book Review

Small Blessings is a comedic gem with two characters battling alcoholism (in a funny way), a crusty, cantankerous mother-in-law, and a swooning English professor who has just taken on an adopted son who can't possibly be his. The book is set in a small college town where there is little privacy and a new book store employee Rose Caldwell who has captured the attention of more than one faculty member. With humor and wit, the books does indeed encourage readers to count the small blessings in their own lives.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Writing Contests

1. 2016 Pitch Contest

2. 33rd Annual Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers

3. Book Buyers Best 2016 Contest - for books published in 2015

4. Passionate Ink Contest

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Popularity of Jane Austen

Remember the movie The Jane Austen Book Club? Soon all the members were asking: "What would Jane do?" as they tried to untangle their own love lives.  Austen'a book fans really got into the characters in novels like Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility. Why are readers still attracted to Austen's books more than 150 years after their creation?I think it is because Jane's characters are cerebral as well as emotional. While the heroines sometimes fall for rogues, they soon learn that men of character who are capable of true commitment and self-sacrifice are more trustworthy and in the end, much more romantic. With depth of feeling below calm surfaces they are much stronger heroines than the charming, flirtatious handsome men who are mostly in love with themselves. What a lesson we would all love for our daughter, granddaughters, young nieces and friends to learn in this age where "love affairs" are fleeting and many times devoid of any lasting attachment.