5 Interesting Links for 06-15-2018

Note: Videos may auto start with sound so be prepared.

Inspiration (Writing)

Four areas with scientific breakthroughs that might offer fodder for future-based stories. There are better examples of super suits without the military angle so open more possibilities, but still, the round up is good.

Price (Marketing)

A comparison of the results on BookBub by price point as well as what marketing goals might align with which prices for eBooks.

Impact (Culture)

Recognizing the prevalence of Disney princesses, one artist worked to give them logical career paths and encourage their fans to do more than find a husband.

Walking (Exercise)

Tips for maximizing the value of your walking…including adding other exercises into the process.

Reusable (Environment)

A list of products that replace plastic convenience items to be more environmentally friendly.

Gifts, The Steamship Chronicles, Book Three- Twitter

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Didn’t You Promise by Amber Bardan

Didn't You Promise by Amber BardanFirst, a disclaimer: I just realized this is a part 2, which explains the “jump in already running” feel and why the relationship was hot and heavy from the start. I’m still posting my review, though, because even without the first book to set things up, I found Didn’t You Promise compelling.

The blurb and cover make it look dark. There’s no question Angelina and Haithem are on the run and in constant danger. Some horrible things happen to them. Still, I’d say that’s the smallest part of the book. Often, we find ourselves pausing within their love nest to treasure the moment.

The book is an answer to every thriller romance or epic love story. This is what happens next, after the fireworks of their first meeting, when they start to work on true commitment.

Despite all the pieces in play that others might consider worthy of the main focus, saving the world with enemies in tight pursuit is little more than a complication and barrier to achieving the love they were born for. This is a co-dependent, obsessive love story. Haithem and Angelina are self-aware and embarrassed about the fact, though, which smooths out the twinges of stalker, and leaves only true love and harsh sacrifices in the name of that love.

Don’t get me wrong…there is action, tragedy, betrayal, forgiveness, and rebirth along with tangible character growth and pain. This is no sappy love that makes everyone else fade away. In many ways, it’s about collateral damage. About the people on the periphery whose lives are changed forever by events they didn’t know were going on.

I made a comment that I wish I could have seen the five scenes before this book begins. I said that because the lust and sex came before I knew the characters enough to feel the depth of their love. The way it starts makes sense now, knowing it’s a second novel, but the wish was more curiosity than dissatisfaction. I didn’t need to see how things began to come to know them.

I quite enjoyed this odd story running beneath an explicit beginning. The book is compelling and encourages the exploration of deep concepts. It teased me with hints of the bigger picture that were so intriguing I kept going in the hopes of understanding the whole. Obviously, had I started with part 1, I might have known more of the set-up, but if so, you’re still left with a tense conflict between the needs of the many and the desires of the few, namely Haithem and Angelina. They don’t make all the right choices, but you’re right there with them when they stumble as well as when they fight to make up for their errors.

It may be odd, but the book grew on me and turned into something quite powerful.

P.S. I received this novel from the publisher in return for an honest review.

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Things That Make Me Smile No.143: Steampunk Music

Mr. Many Men is a fun music video that reminds me of The Yellow Submarine in some ways and not in others. It definitely stands out in both style and music, but if you listen to the lyrics, there’s more to it than a quick listen. Enjoy.

I was introduced to this video on Steampunk Journal, which keeps me in the know on many things steampunk.

I’d also recommend you click the “Watch on YouTube” link at the bottom of the video. The comments from Captain Of The Lost Waves are compelling and invoke a series of children’s books I grew up on as well, the Mr. Men books by Roger Hargreaves. If you enjoyed this song, it is available on the album Hidden Gems, Chapter 1 at various stores.

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5 Interesting Links for 06-08-2018

Note: Videos may auto start with sound so be prepared.

Finance (Animals)

A dog has figured out currency transactions…sort of.

Universal Income (Economics)

The meaning of and research behind universal basic income in these uncertain times.

Science (Photography)

A photographer explores the microscopic structure used to produce iridescence in peacock feathers.

Marketing (Publishing)

A discussion of different marketing areas that are often used incorrectly or ignored. It’s a good list to review to make sure you’re on target for your marketing efforts.

Philosophy (Steampunk)

Conventions come into existence for many reasons. I found the philosophy behind this one admirable.

How Beer Saved the World 2 edited by Phyllis Irene Radford

Posted in Conventions, Culture, Interesting Links, Marketing, Philosophy, Research, Science | 2 Comments

The Earl’s Unsuitable Bride by Lauren Royal and Devon Royal

The Earl's Unsuitable Bride by Lauren Royal and Devon RoyalI was in the mood for a historical romance, and this one sparked my curiosity because it’s a sweet version of a sensual romance transformed by a mother-daughter team. I read romance at all levels, but especially with historicals, the sweet novels often have more space for the feel of the place. Now I want to read the sensual version to see what changed, but I never felt like there were things missing from the story.

The emotional tension between the Amethyst and Colin could have been stronger. I could feel the tension in other, non-romantic, circumstances, so it wasn’t a question of writing ability, but that’s a mild issue in a book I enjoyed very much.

The blend of historical elements with the Great London Fire and the odd circumstances of King Charles’ return to England strengthened the story. What happened during and after the fire showed the type of people Amy had around her and the character of her newfound family. The same was true with the king, revealed in glimpses of court and during processions. History also affected the social conventions as Colin had the king’s ear for all he chose not to use it to his benefit until forced.

Colin was definitely an unusual sort of an earl, so it makes sense he fell for an unusual jeweler. He’d earned his title by being a friend to King Charles during the years in exile when he had none as a second son. Even better, those differences came to play a part in the story because standing didn’t equate to wealth or calling.

Their marriage came a bit earlier than I expected, but in the focus on them, I’d forgotten another part of their story that needed resolution. There’s an element of not talking to each other involved, and they required outside intervention to start seeing the truth, but the reasons were clear, and I enjoyed how things worked out. Amy and Colin married before they truly understood each other beyond instinctive attraction, something that later events made possible. Contradicting my earlier concern, when they came together in spirit as well as desire, I felt the emotion on the page.

I’m trying to keep away from the crucial details so you can experience the story unfold, but I will say it had more levels than originally apparent. The novel gave a good sense of the times and the cost of breaking the rules as well.

The characters, whether historical figure cameos or members of the Chase family, felt rich with specifics and opinions. The friendship that grows between Kendra (Colin’s little sister) and Amy is wonderful, with both emotional and humorous moments. Then there’s Colin’s love of history and how he makes the damaged castles come to life as another example where many more remain.

If you enjoy fiction that gives you a glimpse into the past with characters you want to spend time with, I think The Earl’s Unsuitable Bride will serve nicely.

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