Author Insight Premier Episode – Go Indie Now

Author Marnie Cate has created a new series for Go Indie Now! Check out the premier episode of Author Insight, where a small group of authors – J.M. Northup, Mari Collins, me, and your fabulous host Marnie – talk in-depth about some topics like strangest thing to research and character names that we didn’t like or didn’t really want. Hope you enjoy it!

 

 

Six Great 19th Century Novel Bakes

I just LOVE references to food, traditions, design, and other things from a particular time period. Here are six mentions of cakes from the 19th century. One is magical. 🙂

The Sea of Books

image-from-page-107-of-cassells-dictionary-of-cookery-containing-about-nine-thousand-recipes-1892 Image – page 107 of Cassell’s dictionary of cookery: containing about nine thousand receipes (1892)

There are 62 references to cake so far in our 19th- century corpus, ranging from Jane Eyre’s slightly depressing “oaten-cakes” (also found in Shelley’s Frankenstein) to the more lavish offerings of plum-cake, plum-pudding, tea-cake, sponge-cake, and cheese-cake that appear in works by Dickens, Le Fanu and others.

Here are a few of the most famous – although Mary Berry and co might not officially recognise them as cakes!  We’ve also included a few recipes, for those of our readers who enjoy adventuous baking…

6.  Jane Eyre’s thin Oaten Cakes – Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (1847)

On arrival at the forbidding Lowood institution, Jane Eyre discovers that the school’s catering is nothing to write home about.

“The tall girls went out and returned presently, each bearing a tray, with portions of something, I knew not what, arranged thereon, and…

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LOCKE AND KEYE Cover Reveal!

It’s here, the time is finally here! At last I can show you the cover I’ve been holding on to for months!

Locke and Keye (Dark Victoriana Collection Book 2)

Coming September 7, 2017

“Brothers in the art of keeping secrets.” This is the mantra Mr. Locke’s carefully chosen five employees must repeat together every day before starting work.

If you won’t tell them your name for Locke and Keye’s ledger, they’ll find out. They have their ways—and many of them. Yes, these talented locksmiths can make a new lock and key set for you. They can even make a special padlock for a diary you never want to share with anyone. But just remember: when they make the lock, they keep a key—and it’s only a matter of time until they use it.

Day by day, each of these young, single, alone-in-the-world workers is being molded into the family they crave. A family in which each member has his use toward an end he doesn’t even know exists.

How do the brotherhood and the town’s secrets interlock? Only Mr. Locke holds the key.

Unlock the second book in the Dark Victoriana Collection with Locke and Keye.

As a standalone novel, Locke and Keye’s distinct characters and tense atmosphere create a dark Victorian experience that will stay with you after you turn the final page. As the book immediately following Anatomy of a Darkened Heart, Locke and Keye leads the Dark Victoriana Collection in a whole new psychological direction while expanding familiar characters and scenes to continue the Whitestone legacy.

Pre-order today, read it September 7, 2017.

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Some behind the scenes info about cover iterations and general exciting news accompanied by epic music:

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Locke and Keye excerpt:

Matthew looked down at his interwoven fingers. “I wonder what Jude knows that we don’t,” he said.

John put the journal down and looked at Matthew. “I don’t want to know,” he said. “Being asked to follow someone? It seems a little…” John shook his head once and looked down at the journal again.

“Well it must be for a reason,” Matthew said. “Mr. Locke wouldn’t be part of anything underhanded, I’m sure.”

The corners of John’s mouth tightened. “I’m sure.”

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Locke and Keye Amazon link:

Amazon: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B073YPBHST

Sign up for my brand new newsletter here! You’ll only get emails when I have a new release coming up, a sale, or a giveaway.

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Check out my friends’ blogs, too, for Locke and Keye‘s cover release and to see what they’re writing! These links will be updated as blogs and videos are posted, so check back!

Amie Irene Winters: http://bit.ly/2ukrgjn
Jay Norry: http://wp.me/p5XaFK-ss
JB Taylor: http://bit.ly/2vwadsS
JD Estrada: http://bit.ly/2gSlVLq
Joshua Robertson: http://bit.ly/2uLvm4n
Kristina Renzi: http://kristinarienzi.com/stratus-locke-keye-release/
Marnie Cate: http://www.marniecate.com/unlock-the-magic
Sunshine Somerville: http://bit.ly/2uKakDF

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Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About KevinWe Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book blew me away for several reasons.
1. The writing style. When I first started reading, I found it pretentious and overdone, but actually it was deep within the character’s voice. The whole book is narrated in letter format by Eva, the MC, and this is her voice. Find it aloof? That’s because it is intentionally that way. Even her own husband, Franklin, asks her to restate something in plainer terms, which proves the point that the narration is the character’s true voice. I got used to the language quickly and felt engrossed in the character herself. The style of writing deepens the reader’s connection with Eva, even if you don’t find her sympathetic or likable.

2. Taboo issues. Several times the author hits on issues in relationships and especially in motherhood that people just don’t talk about. Feeling limited by pregnancy, feeling jealous of the attention the baby gets from the husband, feeling neutral or negative about the child overall. These are all things we don’t talk about, that don’t seem…acceptable. In an interview at the end of the audiobook version, Lionel Shriver speaks specifically about this. I highly recommend the audiobook version if for no other reason than to hear the fascinating interview. (The audiobook is fantastic anyway.)

3. Feeling Eva’s feelings. The way the book is written really gets the reader involved in Eva’s life, her innermost thoughts and feelings, and that serves to help us genuinely feel what she’s feeling. I felt so frustrated with Franklin sometimes that it felt like I was frustrated with someone real. I found myself fighting with Franklin on Eva’s behalf. I kept listing reasons why he should pay attention to what she was saying. But the brilliant part is, if you look at it from Franklin’s perspective, you get it (to a degree) as well. The problems in the relationship and the character flaws allow us to feel the layers within their interactions and just how complicated they are.

4. Suspense. Shriver has a way of building suspense that I haven’t experienced often. It’s a little unconventional, to the point that even when I knew what was coming, I felt nervous during the buildup. This is one of those rare books where it’s helpful to know some of what’s coming so you can appreciate all the little hints while you read – and there are a lot of them. There is much to be appreciated in this book, and the seemingly small details are really not so small at all. In fact, most things have major significance, even when it seems like Eva is getting off track, so pay close attention.

5. The ending. I’m not going to spoil anything, but let’s just say it really affected me. It took me off guard, shocked me, and I had to actually get over it. Normally I go back and read the beginning of a book after I finish it, just so I can try to pick up on little things that might have been blindly significant until you reread. I couldn’t start from the beginning again right away. I needed time to recover.

There is so much more to say about this book, I can’t fit it all into a review. It’s 100% worth the time and then some. I highly recommend it to readers and also to writers as a good writing lesson. I learned a lot from it and have ordered the paperback version so I can study it more closely.

View all my reviews

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Books and Jewelry Giveaway

To celebrate reaching 300 subscribers on YouTube, I’m giving away jewelry and books! To enter the giveaway, comment directly on my video with (1) what video(s) you’d like to see in the future and (2) what prize you’d like to win! Watch the video to see the prizes in store for you. Giveaway ends Wednesday, June 7 at midnight Eastern Time.

 

 

My Review of – Anatomy of a Darkened Heart (Dark Victoriana Collection Book 1)

This wonderful review started my weekend off wonderfully. Take a moment to read the latest kind words about my book!

An Authors Blog

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Synopsis

Abigail Delilah is the firstborn of three Whitestone children – and she is the most regretted.

But is it really her fault?

She can’t help that the revelation of Father’s wretched secret coincides with her birth. She can’t help the fear she feels during Mother’s psychological – and physical – assaults. As the shadows grow stronger over her soul and the noose of pain tightens around her neck, Abigail will find out which is stronger: her family’s wicked assumptions about her or her true self.

My Review.

Firstly, the cover. I think it has to be the prettiest, creepiest most perfect cover for a book I’ve seen in some while.

The story isn’t super long, which for me is a plus because I’m slower than molasses on a cold day when it comes to reading. I started this book when I was 31, and now I’m eight hundred…

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