The Amethyst Bride

Kelsey’s historical romance books, The Scottish Stone Series, has a new installment. After the drama, thrills, and steamy love that came to Charlotte and Conner in Queen of Emeralds (which you can get HERE) it’s time for Penelope step into the light.

British heiress Penelope Elmsly always thought she’d marry young and settle down to a life of domestic bliss. But her perfect plan may come unraveled, along with her corset strings, when two men vie for her hand.

One is a wealthy businessman who offers her the financial stability and social standing she always held dear. The other is a rugged Scottish highlander who gives her passion she never knew she desired.

With two amethyst rings upon her finger, Penelope has a choice to make, and she can’t afford to choose wrong, especially when more than just her livelihood is at stake.

Will she walk down the aisle into a life of luxury, leaving her heart in Scotland? Or will she choose to save her fortune, and her reputation?

It’s available for pre-order now with the paperbacks coming on June 20th! Order yours HERE!

You can see the rest of Kelsey’s works at her author page HERE.

Fear Inc 2

One of the first books we reviewed for the blog was called Best Man for the Job and it was by Melinda Valentine. After waiting what felt like an eternity for me, book 2 has come out. But that’s not the only change. She also redid the covers and renamed the series. It is even more exciting. So, here is the new cover for Fear Inc Volume 1 and the cover for Fear Inc Volume 2.

Gerne: Contemporary Romance

Heat: ♥♥♥

Overall Rating: 5 Glass Slippers

Book 1 is addicting and I think it’s because of how easy it is to relate to the characters. Sloane is in a relationship with a man named Brody. He says she doesn’t satisfy him and that she spends to much time at her personal assistant job. So he cheats on her with…wait for it…a bikini clad waitress at a strip club. Convinced that he is only cheating because she can’t meet his needs, Sloane tries to turn a blind eye to it and cries to her cousin Bella hoping that one day it will stop.
Max Fear is a former cop, current private investigator, who is best friends with Bella’s fiance. He meets Sloane one night at dinner and is instantly taken by her. There is just one small problem; he doesn’t do relationships. Max likes it quick and easy with no questions or cuddling afterwards. At least he did until he kisses Sloane on a drunken night and realizes that no one has ever made him feel the way she did with the slightest touch.
Then there world is turned upside down when she witnesses the murder of her boss by the Russian Mafia. Her life is at risk as she is a material witness in the crime and Max doesn’t trust anyone else to protect her.
He moves her into his home and the two try to ignore the heat that radiates from them whenever they are near.
I won’t give too much away because that would be unfair to you. But I will say that there is a wedding, three separate gun fights, and enough desire to burn down the quaint farm house that Max calls home.

There is only one big sex scene as the rest are alluded to. However, there are plenty of spicy scenes leading up to that momentous occasion. In fact, there may even be a little side action with a cowboy…

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Obviously, this book grabbed my attention and kept it with the exception of one part. Someone is seriously injured and they recover awful fast. As someone who has experienced serious injuries, I was a little annoyed. However, I quickly got over it as the story was just too good for me to stay mad.

The Men of Fear Incorporated will be continuing to fill our dreams with more sexy bodyguards.

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So, now you know about the idea of Fear Inc and it is time for a whole new series. Tank spends his time doing something that absolutely crushes any kind of romantic notion. He tracks down cheating spouses. Unfortunately, this does not do him any favors. It’s not like he can meet the new love of his life in this way like Max. Really though, he isn’t even sure if he is looking for that. Frankly, I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t want to spend y days realizing those sacred vows don’t mean must when it comes to the bedroom.

Then Cori, love her name, moves in next door and begins to question everything he thought he knew. But, as with all romances, there is a hitch. Cori’s baggage is actually a giant man with stalking tendencies. It sounds like a paint by numbers romance but it isn’t. Valentine throws twists and turns that not only keep you guessing but keep you turning page after page. I look forward to the next book in this series. Valentine set it up perfectly but it didn’t take away from Cori and Tank’s love story.

Like with Volume 1, Valentine’s skill is with her character development. You understand where they are coming from, what they’re thinking, their heartache, their fear. Everything is there and out in the open. It’s a fun story and a great series to check out while you’re sitting on the beach working on your tan (or hiding under a beach umbrella to prevent sunburn).

Volume 1- Amazon Link

Volume 2- Amazon Link

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To learn more about me and the books I’ve written, check out the About Sarah Page

Survivor: Outlander Edition

We all want to go back to find a Jamie Fraser of our own, but who would actually survive back in time? Take our little quiz to see if you have what it takes to live it up in the 1700s. Keep track of your answers!

BTW this is a spoiler-free post, so enjoy!

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1. You know you’re going back in time and can take one bag with you. What’s inside?

  1. Water filtration tablets, a GPS, a change of underwear, the Outlander series, old coins, and a book of medicinal herbs
  2. A small notebook containing history facts, a spare petticoat, penicillin and syringes, photos from home, tampons, and deodorant.
  3. Hand sanitizer, maps from that era, a taser, a travel dictionary with phrases in other languages, a list of people you suspect to be time travelers, and your favorite candy.

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2. You meet a dashing Scot on horseback as soon as you go through the stones. He reaches out to you and says he will take you to safety. What do you do?

  1. Hop aboard! A gal’s gotta have friends when she travels and he’s got a great set of legs!
  2. Interrogate him and demand he tell you where he’s taking you.
  3. Run away! He could be a murderer!

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3. When you find a village to stay for a while, the local healer takes you under her wing. You hear whispers in the village that she’s a witch. What do you do?

  1. Ignore them. You’re learning a lot about how to survive and help people from your new friend!
  2. Cut off contact with her and stop by the local church, just so people see you praising the Lord.
  3. Warn her about the rumors then slowly distance yourself.

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4. You meet a stranger who referenced the California Gold Rush and washes their hands before every meal. You think they might be a time traveler like you. What do you do?

  1. Immediately corner them and begin asking asking where they’re from, what time they left, and if they had to murder anyone to make time travel work.
  2. Make subtle references to gauge their reaction and go from there. Don’t want to rush into things.
  3. Say nothing. If they want to talk about time travel, they’ll come to you.

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5. You get invited to the French court and meet the mistress of a powerful man who asks you to come to tea the next day. What do you do?

  1. Not go. She’s bad news and you can’t go mixing with her. It’s better to keep a low profile.
  2. Accept her invitation, but be polite and cautious. Just because she’s attached to a top dog doesn’t make her a safe friend.
  3. Go and bring gifts! She’s a popular lady and there’s no reason why you can’t hang out.

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6. Something goes wrong in France and you need to get back to Scotland ASAP. There are three people who offer to escort you there. Who do you choose?

  1. The mistress! She’d have you traveling in style the whole way.
  2. The dashing man you met on your first day in the past. He’s not a murderer after all!
  3. Your healer friend. She’s on the run too and she knows how to hide.

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7. When you get back in the country, old contacts give you a plot of land and a little cabin by the woods. But it needs a lot of work. Are you up for the task of farming and building?

  1. You’ll just hire some random man from the village to do all the work with some of the money you hid while returning to Scotland.
  2. Luckily, you know how to do all that stuff. Raising chickens and chopping wood is basically second nature.
  3. You don’t know how to rough it, so you try to make some friends in the village. Maybe some of them will teach you how to garden and make candles.

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8. Trouble keeps finding you, as do British soldiers! Word gets out that you bathe regularly, heal the sick, used to hang out with a witch, and seemed to show up out of nowhere. The only way out of this mess is to play housewife for a bit by marrying. Who’s the lucky groom?

  1. A handsome hooded stranger who caught your eye in the local tavern.
  2. A local blacksmith who has a nice house and some respect around town since he regularly volunteers at the church.
  3. The laird of the land. If he can’t keep you safe, who can?

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9. The daughter of your neighbor is ill. You recognize this as a common illness and know exactly how to fix it. But you also know that if you’re seen mixing a potion, you’ll be burned at the stake, since people are already suspicious of you. What do you do?

  1. Take a chance any brew it up. You’ll sacrifice yourself for the child.
  2. Mention what you think might cure her to your neighbor’s family. It’s up to them, now.
  3. Nothing. Child mortality rates were high back then anyway!

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10. War is coming and your husband is off to fight with little chance to survive. What are you going to do?

  1. Pick up arms and fight by his side! Sure, you’ve never held a broadsword, but how hard can it be?
  2. Go back to the future. You dying won’t help anything.
  3. Hang out in the village near some stones and wait for news before making a decision.

All done! Let’s see how you did…

Mostly 1s

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Nope, you’re not gonna make it! It may be dysentery, you might get burned for witchcraft, or you might end up being killed in a battle you accidentally stumbled upon. No matter what, you’d be a goner.

Mostly 2s

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You will survive! You were made to live in the past, since you have book smarts, street smarts, and the good sense to be fully vaccinated before you hop through the stones.

Mostly 3s

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There’s a chance for your survival! It’ll be tough, you’ll have some lean times, and a hot Scottish man might not come to your rescue, but you’ve still got a shot at life…once you get over the starvation, disease, and poverty. But don’t worry, you can always go back to the future!

♥♥♥

Were you a fan of this quiz? Check out the rest of out Outlander Articles, quizzes, and fun HERE! And do you want free contemporary and historical romance novels? Maybe our book review team is right for you. Click HERE to find out how you can join the KisS review team!

BTW, I don’t just write Outlander articles, I also write books! Queen of Emeralds is a thrilling historical Scottish romance that takes you on a journey through London, deep into the Highlands, and into the arms of a laird. You can order it HERE! The Non-Disclosure Agreement shows what happens when a small town girl and a hot shot billionaire mix business and pleasure. This book is available HERE!

 

Join Our Review Team!

Hello, lovely readers! Do you like historical romance? Contemporary thrillers? College tales containing sex and danger? Stories about kilted men? Do you like our writing? Well, how would you like to get copies of our books for free, weeks before they hit the shelves?

Well, you’re in luck! We have a super exclusive review team called KisS Romance ARCS who get advanced reader copies of all our books and you’re invited to join! Just click HERE and fill out the form!

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Unexpected Treasure

My girl Grace Risata is back with a new steamy, hilarious, novel titled Unexpected Treasure, The Treasure Hunters Series Book 1. But wait, there’s more! Her friend Aidan Willows has joined the party and added her own special talented twist that is anything but boring. This duo has written a book that is a fabulous first in this series.

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Heat Level: ♥♥♥♥

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Genre: Romantic Adventure

When we meet mega hottie/Viking twin Lars, he’s been stumbling around lost for hours in the woods.  After he breaks into a cabin he find, he accidentally interrupts Helena, a beautiful woman who has also found sanctuary in the. Although it’s usually finders keepers, it looks like the pair has to share, since there’s a raging storm outside. They begin to get to know each other…until they’re interrupted and need to go on the run. Did I mention there’s a Viking hoard up for grabs and plenty of Norse jokes as well!

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Turns out Lars is a treasure hunter and Helena is fleeing a forced marriage. They band together, both bringing special skills to the mix, along with plenty of hot hot heat. The farther they get into their journey, the closer they become, and the more other people try to tear them apart. There’s danger, betrayal, sex, and sarcasm on this adventure that’s filled with twists and turns.

This book was steamy, funny, well-written, and an awesome start to the series. I know that good work takes time, but I’m really hoping that Willows and Risata will hurry up and release book two so I can spend another evening laughing out loud! All in all, Unexpected Treasure was one hell of a good ride.

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The History Behind ‘Voyager’ pt2

You guys really liked my first History Behind Voyager post (that you can read HERE) so I thought I’d keep the Voyager party going with a new little installment. Now, if you’re strictly a show watcher, or haven’t read Voyager yet, then this post will contain some spoilers!

You have been warned. This is the spoiler zone. Happy reading!

Chinese Immigrants in Scotland

Yi Tien Cho, or Mr. Willoughby as we know him, has been quite the controversial figure recently, with some saying that he was akin to a racial caricature. But as with many characters in Diana Gabaldon’s books, there’s still a bit of history tucked away in Mr. Willoughby, regardless of his fondness for feet and training birds.

The British began their regular trading with China in the 1600s. While the increase of tea and silk imports helped the Chinese economy, it also kept the ships sailing in regular intervals. But, not every Chinese sailor went home. They settled around the docks, often sending for their wives and families once they raised enough money for their expensive passage. But the population didn’t explode overnight, it was more of a slow trickle with only a few dozen Chinese immigrants officially living in Great Britain in the early 1800s. That explains why old Mr. Willoughby was all by his lonesome in his new country…well that and he had been on the run!

Turtle Soup

Once on their transatlantic voyage, Claire gets her first taste of turtle soup, complete with a generous amount of sherry. While the dish was popular in Singapore and in the US due to a large snapping turtle population, the savory stew holds a special place in England’s history. It was considered the meal of England’s nobility, but it didn’t stop the common man from buying the meat at the local butcher shop or trying to catch their own in the local waters.

Historically, sailors would catch green sea turtles in the West Indies and keep them aboard ship for a constant supply of food. But by the 1750s, the mass hunting left the population a little skimpy, making it an even more sought after dish. Luckily, there was still a nice little population around Bermuda, giving sailors like Jamie and Claire the ability to catch some for the famous turtle soup. If you’re interested in getting a bowl, it’s not like it was in the olden days when it was readily available for a pretty penny in all the finest tea shops. But if you can find some turtle meat of your own, HERE is a recipe!

The Voyage

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Claire and Jamie spent some time in ships cabins during their trip, but what were luxury accommodations on regular passenger ships really like? Well, if there were 8 foot ceilings and walls, as well as a straw stuffed mattress, it was considered basically 1st class. I mean, even the captains on most passenger ships only had a small room with the basics to call their own. Having a small writing desk was also something that only passengers with private quarters and some sway would obtain. But no matter the class you were in, you can bet your petticoats it was going to stink. With fresh water being carefully rationed for the journey, cleanliness took a backseat. The scent of unwashed bodies, vomit and other bodily fluids, and possibly living livestock would be pretty overwhelming.

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BTW this is a replica crew cabin of a ship (1768-1771ish), but it’s close to the passenger quarters the common man would be in.

Meals were usually served in the common areas of each class, the food being directly brought up from the galley…unless you had to bring your own food for the journey as many boats stipulated. But for meals provided by the ship, there would be ale, salted meats, tack cakes, and fresh meats and vegetables in the beginning. And of course there would be turtle soup, if they could catch it.

Ship’s Doctor

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No matter where Claire is, she’ll end up nursing a doctoring men and women from all walks of life. So it wasn’t a surprise when Claire had to crack open her medicine box aboard the ship. Historically, she would actually be much more qualified to be a ship doctor than most men, and it wasn’t just because she was a literal doctor from the future.

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Unless they were working for the Royal Navy, the ship’s doctors rarely had any formal medical training at all. They usually learned their trade on the job from the older “surgeons” and learned how to generally keep the sailors and passengers alive. The most common things they would have to deal with was venereal disease, minor lacerations, and rope burn. There was also usually a dedicated sickbay on board that was well ventilated for the doctor’s use. The floor of this room would also be sprinkled with sand to keep people from slipping on the blood that would accumulate. Safety first!

British Fashion in Jam

Jamaica became a British colony in 1655 and the white population was bolstered by the English sending Irish and Scottish indentured servants or prisoners to the island. By the 1700s, the sugar plantations were in full swing and the money was flowing…to the British plantation owners at least.

Anyways, the climate in Jamaica was obviously vastly different than that in England. But the heat didn’t stop modesty or the use of fine imported fabrics. Silk and satin were still the fabrics of choice for well-bred ladies and gentlemen in the evening hours when dressing for dinner or attending a grand event, as well as a powdered wig. Usually, a touch of powder on the face and a beauty mark would complete the look. During the day, ladies would wear dresses of thin muslin in pale colors and carry umbrellas to ward off the sun.

In season 3, I expect to see very few kilts, plenty of old-school breeches, powdered wigs, men in heels, and the fabulous silk violet gown that Claire famously wears as Mrs. Malcolm! But overall, much of what we’ll see will be like a toned down version of the costumes from France, just a little less plaid.

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The Maroons

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The Maroons have a long history that goes back to the first slaves in the Americas. Basically, the Maroons are escaped slaves that built independent communities away from their past captors. The would try to form safe towns where they would maintain their heritage, plant crops, and try to stay alive. But it wasn’t easy, as they were constantly at risk of being forced off their lands, captured, or even killed,

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In Jamaica, the Maroons were constantly at odds with the colonists that took over more and more land to plant crops, pushing the Maroons out of each small town they created. But the Maroons began to fight back and demanded lands for their own colonization. After the First Maroon Wars that ended around 1738, the British government granted them land and safety. So, surely that was the end of their oppression? Wrong.

The Maroons in Jamaica had to fight the British government several more times until finally gaining peace in the 1800s. Today, there are still 11 Maroon settlements that maintain their own cultures and identities that they managed to maintain since the 1730s. Their rich heritage was formed from combining all the different backgrounds of the escaped slaves. They formed their own religion, spirituality, and way of life. It’ll be interesting to see how the show brings their history to life!

Mayer Rothschild

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We recognize this historical figure as Mayer Red-Shield, the coin peddler who connects the Duke of Sandringham with some Jacobite gold. The real Mayer is just as interesting, as his legacy created the famous Rothschild banking dynasty.

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Born into a large, poor, Jewish family in Frankfurt, Mayer really had to work his way to the top of the banking world. He started as an apprentice and after a time, became a dealer of rare coins. He amassed such a collection, he gained the patronage of princes all over Europe. By the time his sons were of age, he had expanded his banking business into London and France where he invested in such things as textile production. The gangly boy with the bag of coins we meet in Voyager would grow up to build one of the most powerful financial dynasties in history.

That’s it for my mini history chat! For more Outlander fun, check out our Outlander page HERE! And if you like my articles, you’ll probably love my books!

Queen of Emeralds is a thrilling historical Scottish romance that takes you on a journey through London, deep into the Highlands, and into the arms of a laird. You can order it HERE! The Non-Disclosure Agreement shows what happens when a small town girl and a hot shot billionaire mix business and pleasure. This book is available HERE!

What Made Dirty Dancing’s Remake Awful

I am a big fan of movies and I’ve been saying that for years. However, I have a special place in my heart for musicals and dancing movies. Therefore, the Dirty Dancing remake should have been right up my alley. I’ve even seen the stage version and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Obviously, as most of you know, the remake was terrible. But today, I want to talk about why. Why was this version so much worse than the original? It’s more than just because they tried to redo a perfect movie. Also, watch out for SPOILERS! Lots of them.

First, while I love Abigail Breslin, she was not the right choice for Baby. Why do I think that? In the original, Jennifer was not able to dance. Her hips moved in a square with no rhythm. However, after a few lessons with Johnny, and several trips up and down the stairs to his cabin, she learned. She became loose but firm, and it was pleasant to watch her dance. However, Abigail never got so lucky. I spent way too much time wondering when she was going to find her stride. The mambo at the Shelldrake was week 1 of Dancing with the Stars. I definitely wouldn’t have clapped loud enough for her to take three very vain bows.

Next, Johnny was sleeping with Vivienne! Let me repeat that for those of you that missed it. Johnny was sleeping with Vivienne while becoming emotional involved with Baby.  I get it. They were trying to set up the watch thing. However, I did not like it. It sat with me wrong. Why? It’s certainly not because I’m a prude. It’s actually because when Penny tells him to call it off, he tells Vivienne he’ll be back in her bed later that night. Come on, bro! You’re supposed to be falling in love with Baby but you’re planning to fall into another woman’s bed. Your first night after breaking it off from the woman you claim to be in love with, should not be with another woman. This bothers me about Johnny’s character. He’s supposed to be the bad boy with the heart of gold but this ruins that. Okay, this may be a preference thing. I also missed the black pants. I kept waiting for them and the jeans with the cool white wash stains…they were not time period appropriate and were not black.

Okay, more on Johnny. I loved that he sang the songs. It was exciting for the musical lover in me. But the problem is that the songs got weirddddd. They were very far from the originals and sounded like a middle schooler got a soundboard. I also felt like the choreography was watered down so they could sing (which was odd because they weren’t singing live). A good example of this was the carried a watermelon scene (which by the way, they misquoted and I thought I was going to scream). He’s singing to her and is barely moving. It turns into walking around instead of the dirty grinding I wanted. In the original, they were really getting into it.

Speaking of singing…why did Vivienne sing Fever. I agreed with Dr. Houseman that it was time to leave. She, like Baby, couldn’t dance and just kind of walked around and over Johnny. I didn’t understand the point of this scene as it certainly didn’t advance the plot and if anything, it outed their relationship. We already knew she was a cougar. It was awkward, forced, and completely unnecessary. I felt like this scene was meant for Katey Sagal to have a bigger part. If that was the plan, just get a different actress. That being said, I did like the Debra Messing singing scene. I thought that was great and built the relationship between the Housemans. It also advanced Baby’s plot because afterwards, she runs to Johnny and has the one scene that she did well. But, back to Messing, I also think her singing scene would have been appropriate and perfect even if Sagal didn’t perform her awkward interpretation of a burlesque number.

My final thought was on the ending. I love that Baby became a writer because she made her own choice instead of the forced doctor one. We don’t know that she didn’t do both but that’s okay. If she did, then at least she let out some of her creativity. I love that Johnny was choreographing on broadway. However, why do you have them meet up again and not bring them together? She could have been divorced, she could have been a widow, she could have been single. Why make her married so she can flaunt her new husband in front of Johnny’s face? And if you do that, where is Johnny’s hot dancer wife? All this ending did was prove that Baby got this perfect life and moved on while Johnny stares at her as if she is the last piece of cake. Yes, it is cute that he says “keep dancing” but I don’t want her to keep dancing. I want her to run into his arms and give us the happily ever after for Baby and Johnny that we all assumed (or hoped) they got at the end of the original. Everything, to include the cheesy sing-a-long at the beginning, was like a lifetime movie. Why didn’t we get a lifetime movie ending? At least they should have started to dance in the theater.

They’ve tried to remake Grease (don’t get me started on that disaster) and failed, the same with Hairspray, and Sound of Music (Sorry Carrie). I think what we’ve learned from all of this is that casting directors need to stop looking at Hollywood for their stars and look for people with talent instead of a name. They need to be able to act, sing, and dance…but most importantly, they need to be able to do all three at the same time. If that means you pick someone who has never been in a movie, then so be it. People will watch no matter what but they won’t keep coming back if this continues.

There were some good things about this remake. I don’t want it to seem like it was completely awful. Nicole was an amazing Penny. I liked her attitude, her dancing, her singing, and (for the most part) her acting. I liked that the Housemans got a little bit of a plot in here. It was nice to see grown adults having grown problems that don’t involve cheating. I liked the Sarah Hyland character development. She became more than just the vapid girl and her son at the end was beautiful as opposed to the part I skip in the original. Her role was pretty cheesy but I can handle a little cheesy.

About the Author

Sarah Fischer is a background investigator and a romance novelist. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two cats. You can usually find her at the movies or road tripping to New York for a new play. Her books, First Semester and Craving Bad: A Bad Boys and Wicked Girls Anthology

Both Books Can Be Seen HERE

 

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Trigger- a Motorcycle Club Story

Trigger

International Best Selling Author, J.L. Drake is back with a new kind of motorcycle romance. It isn’t a Son’s of Anarchy copy and it isn’t a fluff romance. This book has grit, sex, and a plot twist that will leave you on the floor begging for more.

Blurb

I was raised by the Devil himself.

Formed into a man who was unreachable.

I went from the boy with bruises to the man with a trigger.

Killing is the only thing that calms the itch.

The demons inside were a constant battle…

…until she changed everything.

Problem is when you spend most of your time in the dark, is it smart to step into the light?

How to tell if Trigger is right for you?

Drake made a playlist to help get you in the mood for what you’re about to read.

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Warning: This book may be too much for you to handle. It should only be read by those ready for the world Drake created…

We’ve read Drake before and she is one hell of a writer. We got our copy so get yours now

US: http://amzn.to/2pQFSlC
CAN: http://amzn.to/2rmqONT
UK:http://amzn.to/2rm0lPP

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Craving Bad? We Are…

Most people think Kelsey and I (Sarah) are one person. We are, in fact, two different authors. However, we decided it was time we do something together. We are apart of an anthology, Craving Bad: An Anthology of Bad Boys and Wicked Girls.

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It is 11 stories by 11 fabulous authors about the good girls who need the bad boys and the naughty girls affected by the sweet guys.

Kelsey’s story is called Ironside Sinners. It is a motorcycle club romance. Her old man, as in her father, is big into the MC scene. She was always fascinated by the world and the culture of the relationships. Then she watched Sons of Anarchy and realized just how sexy they could be. As a result, she wrote this story. Here is the trailer for it…

My story, (Sarah), is about what happens when the bad boy you want is your twin brother’s best friend. Twins always share a special bond. I know because I have a twin brother. Now, I’ve never dated one of his best friends (that I’ll admit to) but I won’t say the temptation wasn’t there. I added that idea with one of my true loves, heist movies. Here is the trailer…

 

The book is available for pre-order and will be live on May 23rd. Kelsey and I will be doing a live video that day. Stay tuned for details about that. The anthology can be seen

HERE

In the meantime, my college romantic suspense, First Semester, is available now. Fans of Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl will get lost in this book. It can be seen

HERE

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Kelsey’s historical romance, Queen of Emeralds, is on sale for 99 cents. Outlander fans will love it! But don’t worry, it is definitely not a copy cat! It can be seen

HERE 

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Her contemporary romance, The Non-Disclosure Agreement, is live now! Fans of the tv show The Arrangement will worship it. It can be seen

HERE

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Thank you for all the support you have given us so far. We have enjoyed reading, reviewing, and chatting with all of you. Enjoy the books and let us know what you think!

The History Behind The White Princess

You guys were so into my last post about The White Queen (which you can read HERE) that I thought it was time to do The White Princess! If you haven’t read the books, or know a lot about the history, this might “spoil” the show. Enjoy!

Margaret Beaufort

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Margaret was the only child of the Duke of Somerset and upon his death, she inherited his fortune. But King Henry VI gave some of her lands to the Duke of Suffolk, whose son later married Margaret and became husband #1. But since she was still a toddler at this time and the pair were too closely related, the marriage wasn’t recognized. Still a wealthy lady, Henry VI called dibs on her and gave her to his half brother Edmund Tudor.

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Their marriage was a short one and Edmund died of the plague after being taken captives by the York forces, leaving her a widowed and pregnant 13-year-old. Taking shelter with her brother-in-law Jasper Tudor, she gave birth to Henry VII, the only child she would ever have. But the pair didn’t have much time together, as he was sent to live in exile for his safety and they could only communicate through letters.

Husband #3 came along, Henry Stafford, and the got along well enough and had a happy marriage. Until he also died when she was 28. Not a good track record for Margaret, who married Thomas Stanly as husband #4 after that. They married strictly to benefit both, as Thomas had political power and Margaret had wealth. They largely lived apart and she even took a vow of chastity, but the arrangement worked well for them. Together, they helped to put Henry VII on the throne.

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She was completely devoted to her son and was basically the royal version of a monster-in-law. She would wear dresses that basically matched Elizabeth’s and tried taking over all the usual tasks that would be given to the queen, like the naming of children and other duties. She was like Regina George’s mom in Mean Girls, only super pious and sour.

Henry Tudor

Henry was the last English monarch that won his throne through battle, taking the crown when his forces defeated Richard III. By marrying Elizabeth of York, he was able to solidify his right to the throne, as he assumed was his all along due to his mother’s constant pushing. In fact, his ties to the crown were distant, being related to King Edward III through the child of a mistress. Still, it was enough to get him an army.

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Once he married Elizabeth, he began a peaceful reign with any real threat to his crown. Together, they had eight children, with two daughters and two sons surviving childhood. From him came King Henry VIII and his infamous wives. But Henry VIII didn’t learn much from his father, who was notably faithful to Elizabeth throughout their marriage. When she died in childbirth, he was so saddened, he never brought himself to remarry, although he only had three living children left at that point and was still young enough to beget more heirs.

Elizabeth of York

This blonde beauty was the daughter, sister, niece, mother, and grandmother of kings. But it was a rocky road. After her father’s death and her brother’s confinement to the Tower of London, she was welcomed out of sanctuary and back to the court of the new King Richard III, her uncle. While this is under historical debate, it is possible that she and her uncle were having an affair while his sickly wife Anne Neville lay upon her death bed. It was true that the pair were often seen together, but there is no definite proof they were in a relationship, or that they planned to wed when Anne died. But it’s not like the pair would carry on their romance in public if it were true.

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By the time Henry Tudor defeated Richard to take the crown, it was accepted that he would marry Elizabeth. As the eldest York daughter, and the woman who could have been queen in her own right had she been born in a different time, their union would solidify his claim to the throne. So he had her parent’s marriage legitimized again and went to join the Yorks and the Tudors. But Henry wasn’t one to share power, so he had himself crowned king before he even married Elizabeth and didn’t have her crowned queen until after she had birthed a son.

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But the marriage may not have been completely loveless as many have thought. Henry was notoriously faithful to his wife, not even remarrying after her death at the age of 37 when he could have easily snatched up a fertile princess. He was even said to mourn her terribly. Far cry from the marriage seen so far in The White Princess, but it’s not like Elizabeth could have divorced him or flat out refused to marry him, so we’ll never know for sure went on behind closed doors.

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The Curse

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In The White Queen we saw Elizabeth Woodville and her daughter Elizabeth of York summoning the power of Melusina to curse the killer of lil’Edward and lil’ Richard. They said that whoever killed the boys would lose their own son young and their grandson as well and have their line end. As fun as that is, it’s a story created by Philipa Gregory to further history, as it’s a fun twist in her series that Henry VII lost both his first son (Arthur) and his first grandson (Edward).

It’s accepted that Richard III didn’t actually kill his nephews lil’Edward and lil’Richard in the tower, as by the time they disappeared, he was already on the throne. Besides, his own sickly son had died and having his nephews as heirs would have benefited him. So Richard get’s a historical pass in my book!

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You know who would have benefited from lil’Edward and lil’Richard’s deaths? Henry VII. Those boys had the greatest claim to the throne over him and if they had been alive and accessible, the Yorks may have rose again. It’s also true that he would have never legitimized Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV’s marriage if there was the slightest chance that the boys were alive and could come to claim what was rightfully theirs.

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There’s no saying how much/if we’ll see anything about Henry and Elizabeth’s kids, but let’s chat about them anyway…

King Henry VIII

This English monarch was the only surviving son of Henry VII and Elizabeth. Mostly known for his many marriages, he always craved sons. This may be partly due to his mother and grandmother being so fertile and maternal and the fact that the only sure way to hold the throne was to have a male heir. But, he was never lucky in love and fathered numerous children with wives and mistresses, only getting one legitimate son before dying gross and fat.

Katherine of Aragon

The young Spanish princess first came to England to be the bride of Henry’s older brother Arthur. But Arthur was weak and sickly and died soon after they wed. Since England still needed an alliance with Spain, the declared that Katherine and Arthur never did the dirty so she was allowed to marry Henry. At first, it seemed super awesome, but as Katherine continuously miscarried, with only one daughter surviving, Henry got antsy for a boy child. So, he did what any sane monarch would do…dump his wife of 20 years into a nunnery for his latest and most cunning mistress…

Anne Boleyn

Anne promised Henry the son he always wanted and he was all about that business. So the moment he had his new religion created, his marriage decreed invalid, and there was an opening in his busy schedule, he wifed her up. But, again, there were miscarriages and only one living daughter. Now, Henry felt pretty dumb. He ousted a beloved queen, married a mistress whose family was slowly taking over court, and still didn’t have a son. Apparently the only way to fix that was to accuse Anne of witchcraft and incest before chopping off her head.

Jane Seymour

Jane was Henry’s favorite wife. She was meek, obedient, turned the other cheek when Henry got a new mistress and finally gave him a son. But, she soon died of complications after childbirth and Henry was seriously torn up. She was the perfect wife and he honored her the only ways he knew how. He gave her a queen’s funeral, had family portraits painted throughout his life with her tucked in, and was later buried beside her, still his favorite long into his old age.

Anne of Cleves

This royal from modern-day Germany was the luckiest of the bunch, and you’ll see why. So, Henry needed a wife and Anne was rustled up from the list to be wife #4. Well, the moment Henry saw her, he declared her super ugly and swiftly had their marriage annulled, citing that she was so disgusting, the marriage couldn’t be consummated. But Henry then gave her an allowance, called her his sister, and the two generally enjoyed each other’s company in a platonic way for the rest of his life. Anne was even the last living wife, outliving everyone else.

Catherine Howard

This teenage bride lasted for 3 whole months. She first caught Henry’s eye as a lady in waiting to Anne of Cleves and the pair were almost immediately married once Anne was out of the picture. Catherine was young, impulsive, and really not a match for the sickly, portly, old king. Might be why she is said to have begun an affair with someone her old age…and why she was beheaded.

Catherine Parr

The final wife was probably a more appropriate choice for Henry. She was older, had already been married twice, and was no longer going to have children. She fit the kind, caring queen well and made for a nice enough helpmate to Henry in his final years. She even helped him reconcile with his daughters. And when he died, she went on to marry again, lucky to have dodged the bullet that took so many of Henry’s other queens.

That’s it for today, but if you’d like some more history fun, check out our Outlander page HERE!

And if you like my writing, I have two books out now. The first is a steamy contemporary romance titled The Non-Disclosure Agreement, which you can get HERE. But if historical romance is more your thing, my Scottish romance, Queen of Emeralds, is on sale HERE for 99cents this weekend!