Friday, November 4, 2011

7 Keys to Memorable Characters- August Fahren

Here's the ultimate post for all writers who always dreamt of creating the perfect characters but never could and all those bloggers and readers who secretly wish to write bestsellers. Creating memorable characters is the key to a successful book. Bizzaro author August Fahren shares some of his secrets to creating memorable characters. He has written the bizzaro fairytale Thursday Thistle which was released on September 1st, 2011 and topped out at an Amazon bestseller ranking of 1,851 in the Kindle store making it the number one bestseller in the fairy tales category, eighth in the dark fantasy category, and eighteenth in the mythology category. Thus surpassing both Stephen King’s The Dark Tower V (Wolves of the Calla) and Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) for a short time. Here are the keys:

Characters. Memorable characters. People always want to know how did you ever come up with such an imaginative character?

There is a lot of advice out there, mostly bad, and I floundered for years with an obsession of cataloging every little detail of a character’s life. All the books said this was how it was done and all I ended up with were pages and pages of unimportant information. Honestly, did I need to know who a character’s grandfather was or what they were likely to eat for breakfast? No. Real life isn’t that way, nor should it be. You see the problem I ended up having was after I knew absolutely everything about my character they ceased to be interesting (which will come out in your writing and bore your readers) and it made me feel like I was locked into this sort of justification for every little move my character wanted to make.

So, how do we set about creating memorable characters?

We create memorable characters by identifying and filling out seven key areas to create a character, which is both interesting and relatable.

7 Keys to Memorable Characters:

1. Mystery & Essence

2. Motivation – Important shaping events

3. Deepest Secret(s) – Vulnerabilities

4. Expression

5. Appearance

6. Labels & Naming

7. History Lessons

Mystery & Essence:

The first step to creating a character is to cultivate mystery. Mystery is the cornerstone of any great character. It’s what we don’t know about our characters and our ability to leave our characters slightly undefined only to find they later surprise us with what’s possible. It’s that indefinable something that is hinted at, yet never fully revealed. It’s the broad strokes that create the essence of our characters.

Take a moment and think about your friends, or even your best friend, and tell me what their grandparent’s first jobs were or their mother’s middle name. If you’re like me you’re probably scratching your head right now. Does this make you any less of a friend? Does it impact your “knowing” them or lessen your ability to describe them to another person? Not really. See, unimportant details. Now, think about your friend again and pick out those three or four things that set them apart from everyone out there, their quintessential core, their essence. Maybe when eating at a restaurant they turn their French fries into little people only to relish in biting their tiny heads off. Maybe they have a certain way of pronouncing words, catch phrases, or speaking in general that sets them apart. Whatever it is those are the important details to convey to your reader.


Now, you have the beginnings of an interesting character readers will want to know more about, but the essence of a character means little if you’re unable to fit that character within the framework of your story. So, you move on to their motivations. How they approach the world based on one or two events throughout their life, which shaped who they are today. Essentially, what we’re talking about here is decision making. Why your character will choose one thing, person, or action over another. Creating a plausible explanation for your character’s behavior makes them more believable.

After you’ve given your character a guiding principle to the way they approach life, mystery, and have captured their essence you will have a solid character. However, you will have a character that may or may not resonate with your reader. If you fail to create a character people can relate to, or at least understand, you can have the most interesting character in the world, but readers will not be moved. What’s worse is they will be quick to dismiss your whole story.

Have you ever read fiction for younger readers and noticed most of the time the main character is an orphan with evil caretakers? Or the main character is awkward, unattractive, and secretly destined for great things? The reason these themes crop up time and again is because they are part of the universal condition. Kids are still growing and developing. They grapple with appearance, identity, and fitting in. They don’t get along with their parents from time to time and sometimes even secretly wish these people weren’t their real family. So, when you create a character your readers can relate to in some small way and you’ve taken a big step towards creating a memorable and likeable character.

Deepest Secret(s):

Speaking of secrets this is a way to sidestep all the problems of creating another cliché character background. Look deeply into your character and pull out those secrets they would only confide to their closest friend, family, or not even to themselves. This is the good stuff. Everyone has shortcomings, failures, fantasies and dark desires. When you create vulnerabilities in your characters it makes them more human. More real. Not to mention it can create situations where your character has to overcome obstacles within your story to grow or learn something new about who they really are.

Since I specialize in weird fiction my character’s secrets tend to revolve around obscure philias, which serve to both inform and goes to the root of humanity, sexual desire. In Thursday Thistle, Thursday enjoys formicophilia (being crawled on by insects, specifically crickets). Which you might be surprised to learn isn’t anything new. In modern times a Buddhist monk made headlines for enjoying the sensation of ants crawling on and biting/stinging him. Cleopatra is credited with inventing the vibrator when she took a gourd and filled it with buzzing bees.

When you say to yourself, “I didn’t know about THAT,” and see that even though this character has something incredibly weird about their personality you can still relate to them you know it’s okay to be weird. I’m weird, you’re weird—We are all weird in our own way. That’s interesting.


Another way characters can be memorable is by the method they use to express themselves. In my forthcoming book Vegan Zombie & The Storks one of my main characters goes by the nickname Blue, on account of her hair (and sometimes her mood). She’s a kick ass roller derby dame and exotic dancer whose mode of expression is to flashing her chest in greeting. Why? Who knows, only Blue knows, but what I do know is you’re speculating about the reason and thus it has become interesting.


Playing with your character’s appearance can be a very simple, yet effective tool for revealing more about their personality. Is your character a reserved person who always buttons their shirts to the collar and is never seen wearing the slightest wrinkly garment? Does your character have a Mohawk and two lip rings? These things say volumes and can be toyed with throughout the story to show how your character has grown or changed simply by shifting the way they present themselves to the world.

Labels & Naming:

Creating labels for your characters or giving added meaning to your character by the name you give to your character can add depth. It serves as a sort of mental shorthand to get your readers to envision your characters more easily. If I say to you, “Cowboy” or “Goth” an image immediately pops into your head. An image you can then refine with your own specifics to take it away from the stereotype and into the realm of the unique.

Giving your character a meaningful name is a subtle way of reinforcing your character. For example Sophia means wisdom. In my book Thursday Thistle is half Indian and half Jewish, but her name isn’t particularly suited to either race. So, why did I give her that name? Well, Thursday is the fourth day of the week signifying her importance at the bottom of her family (after her father and two step sisters). It is also the fifth day of the week in the Judeo-Christian calendar and hints at another based on the princesses in the story named after the days of the week. Thursday comes from Thunor’s day so named for Thor the god of Thunder, which reinforces Thursday’s proclivity to sudden outbursts. Her surname Thistle speaks even more to her personality of beauty combined with a prickly nature (based on her past experiences). Symbolically the thistle also serves as a symbol of nobility of both character and birth and is relevant to the plot of the story.

History Lessons:

All of this brings me to the seventh and final key to creating memorable characters, which can be summed up as history lessons. Read a lot of both fiction and non-fiction. You will read fiction to learn what works, what doesn’t, and the subtly of the inner monolog of your characters. While reading non-fiction will give you the tool to hit upon interesting topics that bring a certain extra something to your stories like my study of philias and language origins.

Watch a lot of movies, not only from Hollywood, but also independent films from all genres and countries. A romantic comedy in Hollywood is vastly different than a romantic comedy from Korea. Both have merits. Twilight, 30 Days of Night, Interview with a Vampire, Thirst, and Let the Right One In all feature vampires, but they are all vastly different takes on the same creature.

Most writers think ill of movies over the written word, but what they fail to grasp is that by studying movies it shows you how to make your characters work in a visual sense when you strip away most of their inner monolog. Which is important of course because if your reader can’t see your characters in their mind’s eye then they are less likely to be able to relate to them in general.

Lastly, travel a lot and meet people from all walks of life. This is sort of like your Ace in the hole. I fancy myself as a personality collector for a few reasons, but one of them is so I don’t have to work as hard when I create characters. When you’ve met someone like Blue in Western Pennsylvania (Yes, she’s based on an amalgamation of people I’ve known), or a gathering of people trapped in the 80’s, mullets and all, from the Midwest, or even a pimp from the South transported to the Pacific Northwest struggling with is stable of back talking little people then your job is much, much easier. Listening to vernacular and having conversations with people from a number of backgrounds will sharpen your dialog skills and breath life into your characters, which after all is what we’re all after anyway—life.

To purchase author August V Fahren's latest novel, visit:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Giveaway- Stealing Kevin's Heart

I am so excited to be announcing the first book giveaway on Review Carnival. One lucky winner stands a chance of winning win a copy of YA novel 'Stealing Kevin's Heart' by author M. Scott Carter. To know more about the novel and the author, visit the previous post which was an author interview of M. Scott Carter.


The giveaway ends on 31th November, 2011.
Only one entry per contestant.
Open to residents of USA only.


To be entered in the giveaway, you just have to be a follower of Review Carnival.

Write your name and e mail below this post to be entered in the giveaway.

All the best!!

Author Interview- M. Scott Carter

It has been a long time since I posted something on review carnival. Today, I bring you a very special interview with debut author Kevin Richards. Hope you enjoy!
Trivia questions:

Favourite colour: Dark Green and Cobalt Blue
Favourite book: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer / A Confederacy of Dunces / The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Favourite song: Have far too many favorites to list one, but there is a song that always reminded me of the girl who got away: “Don't You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds
Zodiac sign: Taurus
 Place of your dreams: A large cabin in Vermont or Maine.
 Favourite author: Mark Twain, John Kennedy Toole, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—the guys who wrote my favorite books.
Your motto: Never, never give up.

Now the serious questions:

How does it feel to finally publish your debut YA novel?
I am elated. This is something I’ve worked my whole life for and seeing it become a reality is very moving. It’s actually hard to put into words.

Tell us a little bit about your story?
In Stealing Kevin’s Heart, Alex’s best friend Kevin is killed during a motorcycle race. Alex is blamed for Kevin’s death and falls into a year-long depression. On the verge of suicide, Alex’s parents send him away to a camp for troubled youths in the wilds of southeastern Oklahoma, where he meets Rachel, a beautiful Texan, who has survived a heart transplant. The two of them become best friends, and when Rachel is almost raped, Alex saves her. They end up falling in love, and the story ends with a nice plot twist that I'm not going to tell you, but would rather you discover for yourself.

What inspired you to write this book?
I’m not sure. I woke from a very deep sleep one night, and the story was in my head.

Was it hard to complete the book and find a publisher?
Yes. My collection of rejection letters is big.

Any roadblocks you want to share to inspire our readers?
Don’t accept “no.” Keep trying. Publishing is about persistence. If you want it bad enough and you don't give up, it will happen.

 Any message you want to give fans and readers?
I’m very grateful for those people who read and buy my books. I consider it a honor that people would invest their money and their time in a story by me.

Here are a few places (links) where you can but author M Scott Carter's debut novel:

Stealing Kevin's Heart - Amazon

                                                          Stealing Kevin's Heart -

Stay tuned for a free giveaway of this fabulous new release.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mind over Mind by Karina Fabian book tour

It's the first time I'm hosting a book tour on Review Carnival. This is to promote Karina Fabian's hot new release- Mind Over Mind. Here's some important info for those of you who are intrigued by this new release. Title: Mind Over Mind Author: Karina Fabian ISBN: 978-1897942369 Amazon Link: Kindle Link: Back Cover Blurb/summary: Deryl Stephen’s uncontrollable telepathic abilities have landed him in a mental health institution, where no one believes in his powers. But when Joshua Lawson, a student of neuro linguistic programming, takes part in a summer internship, he takes the unique step of accepting Deryl’s reality and teaches him to work with it. As Deryl learns control, he finds his next challenge is to face the aliens who have been contacting him psychically for years—aliens who would use him to further their cause in an interplanetary war. Karina has been very kind to do a post on What characters can't do. This is a great post for those looking to be authors or wanting to write something themselves. Here are tips from a master!
What Can't Your Character Do? By Karina Fabian The comment sighed at me from the sidebar: Is there anything this guy can't do? This guy is too perfect; give him some flaws. All Joshua was doing was making eggs. Really nice, fluffy scrambled eggs, sure, but that's actually the one meal he can do well. But, on top of the good looks, the talent, the intelligence, and the chivalrous attitude, fluffy eggs pushed my editor over the edge--and rightly so. We were a third of the way through Mind Over Mind, and Joshua hadn't done anything badly yet. Where were the flaws? It's easy to fall in love with our character and to want to show him in the best light--or even to set him up as Mr. Fabulous before showing the chinks in the armor. Sometimes, the other characters need to see him that way--but not the readers. Readers don't sympathize with a Mary Sue--they just get annoyed by him, as my editor was during what should have been a romantic breakfast. In order to prevent that, we need to make sure we know what they can't do--and introduce the flaws early on that the character is approachable as well as wonderful. It doesn't have to be drastic, either. In Joshua's case, I brought in some of his arrogance and immaturity. I also got rid of the expansive description of the eggs. (If he'd cooked something else badly elsewhere in the book, I could have kept that, but it never came up again, so better to leave it more "normal.") The next time you read about your character and think about how wonderful he is, stop yourself and ask--is there anything your character can't do? Be sure he's got his tarnish as well as his polish. It makes him all the more loveable.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ouran High school host club anime review

Ouran High school host club is a 26 episode series about a host club in Ouran High, a school for the ultra-rich and elite. The members of the club are Tamaki Suou (the prince type), Honey senpai (the cute type), Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin (the naughty type twins), Kyouya Ootori (the cool type) Takashi Morinozuka (the strong, silent type).

The host club members are all very popular in the school. Haruhi Fujioka is a relatively poor and tomboyish student with excellent grades who joins Ouran in her first year of high school. There she mistakenly stumbles across the host club room and breaks an expensive vase. She is given a choice either to repay the money or work as a host. Since she doesn't have money, she agrees to be a host. The problem? She's a girl. The solution? They disguise her as a boy. This plot sounds like a cross-breed of Hana Yori Dango and Hana Kimi, and drew me to watch the anime instantly.

Hence the series starts. The first two three episodes are extremely good. There is plenty of hilarity. The following episodes start to become monotonous and cliched, with the characters being very stereotypical and having a cardboard-cutout personality.

Haruhi's character is the best because she is so realistic and three-dimensional. Honey was cute, too. The series should probably be awarded the anime with the best eye candy in history. Everything, from the guys to the roses (loved how there was a different color for each one), to the school and costumes was done with excellent aesthetics. It's a treat for the eyes.

Around the sixteenth episode is when things start to pick up and you start realizing that something good is going to be coming your way. Each character gets an episode which makes their personlaity more three-dimensional. The characters also start to bond really well during this time, especially with Haruhi. These episodes were great and finally broke the characters away from their stereotypes.

The last few episodes build the mystery by revealing Tamaki's secret past, difficult roadblocks and a mountain of problems for the host club. The last episode was tear-jerking but the series has a happy ending. I felt totally great watching this series.

Although there are quite a lot of filler episodes in the beginning, I kinda expected it because the manga is still running and the anime makers didn't have a whole lot of material to put into the series.

When I started watching Ouran, I expected a silly, shallow, rather underwhelming series, the way the episodes were moving. But this is surely a series worth watching, even though it is a bit of a late starter.



Pros- Extremely beautiful visuals
The characters actually develop
The last few episodes are very suspenseful and addictive
Great ending

Cons- Too many filler episodes in the beginning

I realize that the manga is still going. The anime has inspired me to read the manga so that I can know how the story develops further.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Midnight Secretary manga review

Midnight Secretary is a supernatural romance manga series by Ohmi Tomu that was serialized in the manga magazine Petit Comic since 2006, with the 34th and final chapter published in the May 2009 issue.[1] The serial chapters were collected in seven shinshobon volumes by Shogakukan.

Midnight Secretary follows the relationship between Kaya Satozuka, a private secretary, and her boss, Director Kyouhei Touma of the Touma Company, who is a vampire.

Considered to be the "perfect secretary" yet constantly criticized for her ultra-conservative dress style by her boss, Director Kyouhei Touma of the Touma Company, Kaya lives a normal life until she finds out that her employer is actually a vampire. Despite uncovering his identity, she dedicates herself to serving the Director to the best of her abilities. The early part of the story focuses on the trials and tribulations of Kaya's increasingly hectic workload, then shifts to the developing personal relationship between her and the Director. (from

Midnight Secretary really draws you in with the first few chapters. The secretary-boss romance is a much used romantic plot and adding supernatural only spices it up. There is an atmosphere of mystery and suspense. The romantic tension is built up nvery early in the book.

The director is much like the male lead from other josei manga (like Hapi Mari)- good-looking, rich, CEO of a huge company, with family wealth and a past which troubles him (when will mangakas stop using this plot device?)

The heroine is sincere, hardworking, efficient and loyal. Her personality was very boring. She seemed to be too perfect to be real and very submissive. There was no struggle for her in falling in love. She lacked the 'spirit' of many of the more interesting and energetic protagonists.

This manga is strictly for those above 18 and they will enjoy the passion and intensity contained within the columes of this manga.

Towards the ending, it becomes boring, predictable and too 'normal'. But for a quick read, Midnight Secretary is a great series.



Excellent illustrations
Unique mixing of genres (supernatural-office romance)

Characters were not very remarkable/memorable
Virtually no development of Kaya's character

It's your Biz book review by Susan Solovic

It's Your Biz is a book by Susan Solovic aimed at guiding start-up small business owners through the process of creating and managing a business. Now it is one of the numerous books available for startups. So why should you buy it?

For starters, I didn't like the chapter on qualities an entrepreneur. there is no such thing as entrepreneurial personality. Everyone can fit into some kind of business and all business don't involve equal amounts of risk-taking, aggression or persuasiveness/public speaking.

The author does a very good job of thoroughly explaining the legal aspects of starting a business which should be a valuable thing for those starting a new business. Contracts are also touched upon.

The section on partners had a partner qualities matching table where you can decide on which qualities for a business you have and then look for a partner with complementary strengths. I wanted to post a picture of that table but I have not received permission as yet from AMACOM press.

On the whole the book was much easier to read that many other startup business books. It wasn't filled with cliched motivational fluff that leaves you wondering what you should actually do but rather had concrete technical knowledge presented in a systematic way.

It is best for small businesses but big businesses can also benefit from it as all big businesses were once small.

Ratings (out of 5)


Focuses on problems faced by small businesses
Contains accurate and relevant technical data and practical steps to take

A lot of sections seemed like introductions/incomplete. I couldn't gather what I was supposed to do about that particular area after reading it.
Pages in the beginning wasted on qualities of an entrepreneur
Not too many examples

NOTE- I received a review copy from the publisher

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Best j-pop song lyrics

It's been a long time since there has been any j-pop related article on Review Carnival. I have been listening to quite a few songs these days. I have compiled a list of j-pop songs based on deep, meaningful and heart-warming lyrics. These are only my personal preferences. Here's the list (in no particular order)-

1. Tokyo by YUI- Tokyo is a mellow and contemplative song with some very philosophical lyrics. The melody is haunting and nostalgic. I fell in love with it in the first listen.

FAVORITE LINES (with english translation)-
Kotae wo sagasu no wa mou yameta
Machigai darake de ii
I have stopped looking for answers
It's okay to keep making mistakes

Tadashi koto bakari erabenai
Sore kurai wakateru
I can't always choose the right things
That much I know

2. Sen no Kaze ni Natte (I am the thousand winds that blow) - This beautiful operatic ballad has already been reviewed on Review Carnival. Just to remind you of the beautiful lyrics

FAVORITE LINES- I like all the lines, but here are some of teh more beautiful ones.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there I did not sleep

I am in the thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight that ripens grain
I am the gentle autmn rain

.....Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die

3. Brave Heart by Miyazaki Ayumi- This was used in Digimon. The lyrics are all about never giving up. The song is very energetic, too. Hard-core digimon fams might recognize it as the first season evolution/battle song.

FAVORITE LINES (Translation by

Not every day is sunny, so sometimes
Even though a cold rain is falling, just open your umbrella

4. I Wish by Ai Maeda- Another digimon song, this time the ending of the first season. I am sure a lot of people remember this song. It is a slow pop ballad.

FAVORITE LINES (trabslation from Anime lyrics)-

When I wish on a star, with my pride on the wind
I'll surely be able to see a tomorrow that can't be erased by today...

I'm shivering with the cold, so I cover my arms with a jacket
Before I know it, it becomes transparent
And turns into hope

5. Konayuki (Powder snow) by Remioromen- This is a wonderful rock ballad. The lead singer's voice conveys the raw emotion flawlessly, even though it is a bit flat at times.


If we can't be honest with each other
Both happiness and sadness are empty

6. Decision by Ayumi Hamasaki- I could personally relate to the lyrics which are about independence and accepting oneself. The song is also a very aggressive, rock-opera track.

FAVORITE LINES (translation by Kiwi Musume)-

Yes, I'm going
Not turning back, not running away
I'll walk with my head up
I wonder if one day
You'll realize
That I have no choice
But to keep being myself

7. Sakura no Ki no Narou (I want to become a Charry tree) by AKB48- It's probably the most heartfelt song AKB48 has prodced till date. It's about friendship. The song is a slow piano/strings ballad. The chorus feel provided by the multiple voices is unique.

FAVORITE LINES (translation by kiwi-musume)-

Come back alone sometimes
To the empty schoolyard
You’ll be able to meet
The shining person you were
The day you graduated

If your heart ever loses its way,
I'll be standing here, showing you where love is

Even when all my flowers have fallen
My branches will be outstretched, waiting for you

8. Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana (The only flower of it's kind in the world) by SMAP- THis is a classic optimistic Johnny song by legendary group SMAP.

FAVORITE LINES (translation from kiwi-musume)-

You don’t need to be number one
You’re special, the only one of you, to begin with

There are people whose smiles are strained
Because they’re completely lost
But it doesn’t matter
Because every flower that’s worked so hard to grow is beautiful

9. Eternal Snow by Changin my Life- Myself is a sad-sounding acoustic/strings/piano ballad used in Full Moon wo Sagashite. It has a unique wintry feel to it.


The feeling of falling in love with someone- I never wanted to know that feeling

Like the slowly falling snow, my feelings are piling up
Higher and Higher

10. To Mother by YUI- This is YUI's first song in which she plays the piano. It was release don Mother's Day.


Sadness, somehow becomes warmer
When we cuddle up together

Hapiness, it's probably
Because I had you

Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Review- Notorious by Nicola Cornick

Notorious is a regency novel by British author Nicola Cornick.

The story follows the romance between a hired matchbreaker, Susanna Burney and fortune hunting rake James Devlin. Susanna is hired by influential people who want to break matches. James Devlin is a fortune hunter after his defence career is over. He is not from a very influential family therefore, settles in an engagement with an heiress. Susanna and Devlin share a bond- they used to be married until she left abruptly and never came back for nine years. The fire is rekindled when they meet again in the beginning of the story.

The pairing was okay. Susanna has a strong character but Devlin is much like all romance heros. Susanna's occupation seemed interesting in the beginning. Delvin falls short of the perfect hero in terms of financial status but this might have been purposely chosen for uniqueness. It is hard to believe that such hard circumstances bred an arrogant person like him. The characters are comparatively realistic.

The writer's style is fluid and to the point. The dialogues are crisp. However, the story feels like a modern story that has been adapted to regency era.

The story starts well. Susanna's secrets come out steadily, keeping in pace with the story. The chemistry was good but the attraction was more physical than emotional- not enough to convince that it could last for a lifetime.
Emma's sidestory was interesting especially the first time she meets Tom Bradshaw. He seemed like a perfect hero until the end when this facade fell apart. The book cover was rich and regency looking with a nice texture. The synopsis is addictive.

Overall, I would say the book reads much like any other Harlequin or Mills and Boon in the market (probably keeping with the demands of the publishing industry), although it is a HQN single title book. The book could've been longer and the romance could have been more emotional. An average read- a good way to pass time.


Story (plot)
Side story/ side characters


Too 'modern' to be a historical novel

Note- Review copy was provided by the author.

Book review- Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase

NOTE- I received a review copy of this book from the author's publicist. Despite this, I will strive to give an unbiased review.

Brilliant and ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirot is London's rising star. And who better to benefit from her talent than the worst-dressed lady in London; the Duke of Clevedon's intended bride? Winning the future duchess's patronage means prestige and fortune for Marcelline and her family. To get to the lady, though, Marcelline must win over Clevedon, whose standards are as high as his morals are...not.

The prize seems well worth the risk. This time, though, Marcelline's met her match. Clevedon can design a seduction as irresistible as her dresses; and what begins as a flicker of desire between two of the most passionately stubborn charmers in London soon ignites into a delicious inferno . . .and a blazing scandal.

And now both their futures hang by a thread of silk…

Silk is for seduction is the first book in Loretta Chase's Dressmaker series. It features a protagonist with alebit odd occupation- dressmaker. Marcelline's character is strong, shrewd and much more ambitious than most romance novel heroines. She even uses the hero for her own benefit initially (before she falls in love with him), but this part of her personality is not offensive. It is rather interesting because it is so refreshing to see such a bold and aggressive woman in the historical period in which the novel is set. She also has a young daughter and is not inexperienced.

The hero is pretty much like all the other dukes out there in every other romance novel.

The romance develops slowly but surely. The kisses and love scenes were convincing enough, but everything else was not. There is no connection at the mental level between the characters, so their romance apppears very 'one-dimensional'. While they are a passionate couple, it doesn't seem as if their romance will last long just based on good looks and chemistry.

Overall, a good book if you are a seasoned historical romance fan or are looking for something with a slight twist.

Strong female lead
Unique profession
Gives a glimpse into the world of dressmakers
Descriptions of a lot of beautiful dresses are good

A bit too long
Generic male lead

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Subscribe to Newsletter

Dear readers,

We decided to start a monthly Review Carnival Newsletter to make sure all of you stay updated. To subscribe to this newsletter, click the following link:

Review Carnival Newsletter is a great way to know about upcoming projects, our views on current reviews, giveaways etc. We are experimenting with this currently. The first newsletter will arrive in August. We will make a post about that.
Also, we will be finding ways to put a permanent subscription link on the blog somehow. Till then, please be patient and bear with us.

You comments and suggestions are welcome.

Please subscribe :)

Thanking you,

Book review- Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

Art of the Start is a book by venture capitalist and Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki of Garage Technology Ventures.

The book aims to educate start-up entrepreneurs on how to raise capital, recruit people, bootstrap, partnering, writing a business plan and other facets of business.

Guy's writing style is very humorous and makes the book a fun read instead of a technical one. Too many technical terms are avoided. While the book tries to cover everything about a startup, it is heavily focused on raising Venture and Angel capital. At least one topic relating to venture capital finds a way into every chapter.

This is also probably the strongest part of the book because being a venture capitalist himself, Guy can easily point out the mistakes that most start-ups make from the point of view of a venture capitalist. He also lists many things to avoid while giving a pitch about a possible business venture.

This book is not as 'well-rounded' as I would have liked it to be. Venture capital and pitching-related topics are explained in greater detail and cover more pages than other chapters. The chapter on bootstrapping was really funny and the first few chapters were good. Rainmaking, marketing and branding were not very thoroughly explained.

One of the best things about this book was that it does not say that you need ....(fill with words like ambition, great vision, determination etc.) qualities to succeed as a businessperson. All people are different and go into business for different reasons, so they will obviously have very different qualities and these will reflect in their businesses (Ex. Apple and Wal-Mart/ Steve Jobs and Sam Wlaton were very different people)

Of course, one needs determination and effort to succeed in a business, but doesn't one need that to succeed in anything? I feel making an elaborate list of such qualities is not very useful, but many books still do this.

Overall, the book was an informative read. It is probably most useful for high-tech startups or entrepreneurs starting businesses that need a lot of venture capital. It is not aimed at small businesses or micro-enterprises.

If you're looking for ways to raise finance, this is the book to read.




Gives an 'insider persepective' on raising capital and business.
Well written and organised.


Not enough focus on marketing and the legal issues that plague a start-up.
Not very useful for small-business owners.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Author interview- Nicola Cornick

Hi, everyone. I am interviewing USA bestselling Historical romance writer Nicola Cornick today.

Originally from the North of England, Nicola now lives in the Oxfordshire countryside with her husband and a menagerie of cats and dogs. Genealogy is one of her passions and she has traced her family tree back to the sixteenth century by way of various poets, pirates and a link to the Earldom of Halifax.

Since the pub

lication of her first Regency romance by Harlequin Mills & Boon in 1998, Nicola has become a USA Today, Borders and UK Bookscan bestselling author as well as being shortlisted twice for both the US Romance Writers of America RITA award and the UK Romantic Novelists' Association Romance Prize. Nicola now writes for Harlequin HQN Books in the US and MIRA in the UK. (from her website)


Favorite color- Blue
Zodiac sign- Leo
Favorite author- Mary Stewart
Favorite book/books- Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier and This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
Place of your dreams- Wester Ross, Scotland
Your motto- To thine own self be true
Describe yourself in one word- Loyal.

The real questions:

RC- Why did you decide to start writing romance?

Ans- I started to write historical romance in my late teens because I enjoyed reading it very much. When I ran out of romance books to borrow from the library I thought I would try to write one myself. Historical romance particularly appealed to me because I love history so much and romance was a natural genre for me because I love happy endings!

RC- Describe 3 qualities you would want your dream character (romance novel hero and heroine) to have.

Ans- My dream characters need to have integrity, courage and a good sense of humour plus quite a few other qualities besides!

RC- Tell us something about your books.

Ans- I write historical romance set in the Regency period and I love setting my books against unusual historical backgrounds. My heroines are strong women doing things that challenge the conventions of the era and my heroes are resourceful men of honour.

RC- What is the most difficult/easiest part of writing historical romance?

Ans- Interesting question! I find some books are easier to write than others. Some flow, others are more of a struggle. It’s not always easy to apply myself when the going gets tough. That’s something I find difficult about writing. What’s easy about writing historical romance – not much, though I do find it easy to get lost in my research and to fall in love with my characters!

RC- What is the daily life/schedule of a writer like?

Ans. I think different writers have different schedules depending on what suits them best. I start work early because I’m a morning person and spend the first half of the day writing. In the afternoon I will deal with emails, write blogs and do any other non-writing work. If I need a break I will go out for a walk in the countryside. I find it very refreshing to be out in the open air and often I have my best story ideas when I am out walking.

RC- What message would you like to give your fans?

Ans. I’d like to thank them very much! Writing can be a very solitary job and it is wonderfully encouraging to hear from readers and to know that they enjoy my books. I appreciate it so much!

To find out more about Nicola and her books, visit-

Her latest novel Notorious will hit bookstores in August.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Author Interview- Alretha Thomas

I have a new interview for all of you today. I am interviewing women's fiction author Alretha Thomas.


Favorite color- Pink
Favorite author-Terry McMillan
Favorite book/books- "Waiting to Exhale" by Terry McMillan, "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker, "What You Owe Me" by the late Bebe Moore Campbell, "She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb, and "Angela's Ashes" by Frank McCourt, to name a few.
Zodiac sign-Libra
Place of your dreams-In my car on my two-hour commute home every day.
Your motto- Do what you love and the money will eventually follow!

The serious questions

1. Is the life of a writer as you imagined it to be?

Ans. I never imagined what a writer's life would be like. I've always envisioned what I wanted my life to be like as a writer. My dream is to be well off, free from the 9-5 grind, writing books, plays, having my books optioned for movies, and being apart of those movies as a producer. I saw myself being apart of every aspect of the movie making process, from casting to the red carpet premiere. I also saw myself being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, Entertainment tonight, and all the other entertainment shows. Am I there yet? No. But I'm having a ball getting there.

2. What genre do you write and why?

Ans. I write fiction geared toward women. This genre allows me the freedom to use my imagination and to tap into incidents in my life that have impacted me most and that most women can relate to. For instance, my current novel "Dancing Her Dreams Away" involves the protaganist Shelia getting a job in dance hall at night so she can audition during the day. I did the same twenty-five years ago.

3. What inspires you the most?

Ans. My inner life. I have so many stories buried within that I have to give birth to. So far I've had two children. My debut novel "Daughter Denied" and my current novel "Dancing Her Dreams Away."

4. What kind of characters/setttings do you like?

Ans. I like characters who are flawed but that a reader can relate to and feel empathy for. I like modern day settings. Mainly Los Angeles and San Francisco. I grew up in those cities.

5. As a reader, would you prefer to read comedy, romance or sci-fi/fantasy?

Ans. (The one which is the closest to your interests) I prefer romance.

6. Have you ever suffered the dreaded writer's block?

Ans. How do you deal with it? I have never suffered from writer's block. Stories just pour out of me. However, I have a very strenuous editing process.

7. What message would you like to give your fans?

Ans. Thank you so much for your ongoing support. I would be nothing without you!

Here are some sites where you can find out more about her-


Shelia King needs to keep her days open for auditions. With eviction looming, she scrambles to find a night job and convinces the owner of a hostess club to hire her. When her agent pitches a topless role, Shelia, fearing her grandmother's disapproval, declines. But after considerable thought, she agrees to meet the producer. Gregory is rich, suave, and ridiculously fine. Shelia shapes plans to win the role and his heart. She gets both, works hard to give an Oscar worthy performance, but when the movie wraps, nothing can prepare her for the revelations about Greg’s past and the aftermath of a dream gone awry.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Book review- Mistress of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle

Mistress of Pleasure is a historical romance debut novel by Delilah Marvelle. It tells the story of Maybelle- the granddaughter of a French courtesan whose grandmother runs the famous 'School of Gallantry' where men are schooled in the art of pleasure.

Granddaughter of a renowned courtesan, Maybelle de Maitenon has no interest in her grandmother's school in London where gentlemen receive instruction - in the art of seduction. Her only desire in life is to remain independent, free from men and that shackles of marriage. But when Maybelle lays eyes on Edmund Worthington, the Duke of Rutherford, at a soiree, and hears of his scandalous reputation, she decides he's the perfect person for her to have a tryst with no strings attached...

Unbridled passion has again muddied Edmund Worthington's family name. After his very public dalliance with the strikingly beautiful and sensual Maybelle, his mother insists he marry her. But much to the Duke's surprise, Maybelle scoffs at his proposal. Never has he encountered such a brazen - and maddeningly irresistible - woman. But when Maybelle's grandmother falls ill, forcing Maybelle to take over the operation of her school, Edmund devises a plan to make her his. He enrols in the school, where no lone other than Maybelle must give him expert lessons in carnal pleasure. (from

The best thing about this book was that the female lead was not a lady of good breeding but a rather unusual character. She likes to read Volatire. Maybelle is also not like the usual timid/meek female protagonists in many other historical romances. Her character was one of the strongest in the book.

It is quite obvious right from the start that she and the Duke are made for each other. Both of them are very passionate and will give everything for love, but like all other romance protagonists, deny it to their last breath.

Unlike Maybelle, though the Duke's character is very stereotypical. The scandalous past of his father seems like a half-hearted attempt to make him stand out among the tons of other troubled, good-looking and haunted dukes who populate so many historical romances. Even then, there is nothing wrong with him, only that he is too predictable at times. But sometimes, he might surprise you.

The real good thing about this book was the extra characters- especially Maybelle's grandmother, the Duke's mother and most definitely all the gentlemen in the School of Gallantry. I would have liked to read a story featuring each of them. They were in fact, more interesting that the protagonists!

Overall, a good book if you love the Historical romance genre or are looking for a read that will put you in the mood for love.


Book cover-4.6

Pros- Nice cover
Interesting characters
Strong female lead
It's a quick read

Cons- Hero is a little predictable
Could have been longer

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book review- Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas

I read this book a long time ago but didn't have time to review it.

This book is a part of Lisa Keypas' Hathaway series which centres around five Hathaway siblings who come into limelight after Leo, the eldest sibling inherits the title of a Viscount. It follows the love life of each of the siblings. Leo's book is the fourth one although he is the eldest.
Lisa Kleypas' books have some of the nicest trailers. You should go and watch them on youtube if you have the time.

Married by Morning centres around Leo, the eldest Hathaway sibling with the title of a Viscount who has just recovered from the death of his love after indulging in self destruction for a long time. Catharine Marks is a governess who tutors his sisters Poppy and Beatrix. She is unusually sharp tongued for one- she is always cutting Leo's statements, arguing and critisizing him. She is sick of Leo's rakish ways and hates him. However, this unlikely couple begins to fall in love.

Out of all the books in the series, this is clearly my favourite. Every romance writer has an obligatory governess novel in his/her list of novels. This one was quite interesting. Catharine Marks is a strong heroine who is determined not to fall for Leo. Leo is persistent and has a good sense of humour.

The heroine's character shows inconsistency after she falls on love but Leo's character is consistent. He is a classic alpha male however, Catharine Marks' strong character balances his. The plotting is good although it could've been cut short by avoiding some scenes. Catharine has some secrets which slowly reveal themselves through the course of the story. There is a lot of humour and wit in their arguments.

Overall, an entertaining romance novel. The pacing is good, characters are interesting and the plot is strong.



Book Review- Arabella by Georgette Heyer

I went on a romance novel rampage and ended up reading more than twenty five romance novels in a month. Now, I am trying to remember all of them and review them. I'll start with the latest.

Arabella is a historical romance novel by Georgette Heyer, a popular romance novelist noted for her precise historical details and clean romances. I tried reading April Lady by her long time ago and fell asleep before I could get to the second chapter. After someone recommended her to me, I decided to try another book of hers. Arabella had glowing reviews on so I decided to read this one.

Arabella is the daughter of a clerk who gets the chance of a lifetime to go to London for her debut. Her godmother sends a letter to her saying she is willing to house her and help her make her debut. On the way to London, her carriage meets with an accident and she lands in Mr. Beaumaris' house who thinks she is a fortune hunter staging an accident to get him to marry her. Arabella lies that she is a very wealthy heiress who is sick of being courted for fortune and therefore, has come to London where people do not know her. In time, Mr. Beaumaris falls for her unique charm and compassionate nature.

Her style is pretty much like authors of that time eg: Barbara Cartland but contains more detail. I am used to reading old novels like these with more description than dialogue so, I found it good. One of the good things that should be noted is her historical detail. Most writers these days just write contemporary romances in historical settings but in her novel you can truly see how English society was at that time. Her dialogues when compared to dialogues of recent historical romances are much more genuine. At that time, people spend more time in formalities than actual talk.

The characters are quite typical of the victorian era but contain some uniqueness. The hero is an alpha hero but more realistic. The supporting characters are not very interesting (except the dog). The hero shows some sense of humour in the form of monologues with the dog. The name of the novel and the protagonist is exotic. The ending appeared a bit rushed though (especially the last two pages).

Overall, a good read. The story is more or less consistent with genuine victorian feel. The initial part can however, be boring or too long but if you endure it, the rest of the story is good.

Plot- 3.5/5
Development- 4.3/5
Dialogue- 4.2/5
Style- 4/5

Genuine historical feel
Romantic development
Well researched

Too much description
Slow in the beginning

Book Review- Perfect Scandal by Delilah Marvelle

I interviewed Delilah Marvelle a few days ago (or weeks). Today, I am reviewing a book by her. It is a part of her Scandal series and is called 'The perfect scandal'.

It is the story of the fourth Marquis of Moreland and author of 'How to avoid a scandal', a prim and proper gentleman who finds himself falling for his mysterious neighbour Countess Zosia who daringly proposes marriage when she finds him staring at her window one night. He later discovers that Zosia has a secret past which could change their lives.

The book can easily be categorised as historical romance. Delilah has a unique style of writing. All of her chapters begin with an amusing extract from 'How to avoid a scandal' a book written by the hero of the story. I have seen this pattern being followed in her debut novel 'Mistress of Scandal' too. This gives her writing style a unique twist. The plot was okay for a romance novel.

The characters seem to depart from the traditional style. The hero and heroine both have their weaknesses. He is a masochist while she is crippled. However, her handicap doesn't seem to be very important during the story. She wants to dedicate her life to feeing Poland from Russia, a dream her mother had too. Character development is evident in the story which is one of the good things about the story. However, the heroine is a little overbearing- she has a better title and is stronger (emotionally) than the hero. The supporting characters are strong and sometimes one seems to like the more than the protagonists.

Overall, a nice book. If you're looking for a historical romance with a unique twist or different characters (not the alpha hero and weak or seemingly strong heroine) this book is a very good read. I also loved the texture, colour and design of the cover. It is very well designed considering its target audience.

Writing Style
Cover and packaging

A little slow in the beginning

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Manga review- Kaichou wa Maid-sama

Kaichou wa maid-sama is probably the first unfinished manga that I am reviewing on Review Carnival. Since a lot of mangas are just not ending, I have decided to review them in parts. This review is for all chapters upto Chapter 70.

Kaichou wa maid-sama (The President is a Maid!) is a shojo manga series by Fujiwara Hiro which tells the story of Ayuzawa Misaki- a hyper charged, 'perfect' girl and Usui Takumi- a mysterious and quiet guy who discovers Ayuzawa's biggest secret- that she is a maid in a maid cafe. He however, agrees to tell it to no one, without asking for anything in return. Even at this point, Maid-sama distinguishes itself from other mangas where mostly the discovery of such a secret leads to instant romance or a master-slave relationship which eventually develops into romance.

(Summary from Once an all boys school, Seika High, a renowned school full of reckless and filthy students, has recently become a co-ed school. However, with the female population still remaining a minority even after the change over the recent years, Ayuzawa Misaki takes it into her own hands to reform the school and allow a chance for the girls to feel safer in the rough environment.

Training, studying and even becoming the first female student council president of the school, Misaki has gained a reputation, among the male students body as an uptight boy-hating demon dictator and as a shining hope for the teachers and fellow female students. However, despite her tough-as-nails appearance, she secretly works part-time at a maid cafe in order to support her family. Unfortunately, her secret is soon revealed when the somewhat impassive Usui Takumi, a popular boy at school, nonchalantly discovers her in a maid uniform after school.

One of the best things about this manga was that it is the heroine who is 'perfect', not the hero. Ayuzawa is not your typical soft-spoken, eternally klutzy and awkward progtagonist. She is strong, always comes first in the school exams, knows martial arts, studies hard and also works part-time because her family is poor! The romance develops very, very slowly. Even when they kiss, they go back to being 'just classmates' in teh chapters after that, which was a bit disappointing.

But this slow development makes the romance more believable. Usui is a very quiet, mysterious, good-looking (a shojo manga wouldn't be complete without this!) guy, who always comes second to Ayuzawa in school. He id not competitive at all, though. He just observes things and doesn't talk much. His character is actually very interesting, changing multiple times througout the story. He goes from reserved, to bold, to knight-in-shining-armour to lover to rich boy from old family and much more throughout the course of the manga. He actually starts liking Ayuzawa much before she starts liking him.

Ayuzawa, on the other hand, doesn't really change significantly. The manga is very interesting and well-written, with wondeful visuals. Later in the series, Usui's mysterious past provides a much needed change of mood from school-life.

This manga is a must-read for those looking for something different in the shojo world. A word of caution- this starts out as a very stereotypical shojo manga but gradually you will find that it is a masterpiece in itself.

Fujiawara-san has been liberal in throwing in eye candy scenes and plot twists with equal ease. I am really looking foward to reading the rest of this manga!



Pros- Strong female lead.
Good art
Interesting twists and sub-plots
Likeable characters
Good pacing

Cons- The male lead started out unusal but became 'perfect prince' by half of the series.
Boring initially/ too stereotypical initially

Book Review- Aron White- Shrouded Path

It has been a long time since I reviewed a book. I have a young adult wuxia novel today. It is called Shrouded Path by Aron White. It is the first of the 'The Doorway Cycle' series.

I have never heard of western writers experimenting with chinese wuxia novels earlier. I guess that gives the book unique twist.

The book follows the adventures of Jun who is seperated from his father in the beginning of the novel. The novel follows his life as he searches for his father. He gets together with his friend and seeks jutice from the corrupt governer of Kunming who is connected to his father's disappearance.

The novel is rather short and reads more like a slice-of-life story than an action novel. The novel goes all the way from Jun's father's disappearance to his kung fu training and return to Kunming.
There are essential 'chinese' elements like village, dragon, kung fu and rice. However, this makes the novel rather stereotypical. There is more conversation than action and the novel doesn't 'take off' until the end by when it is too late. The action is more realistic than what we see in Hollywood films but not as exciting. One more thing that made the novel a little boring was the lack of 'high' stakes.

The climax (if there was one) didn't have the desired effect because the story didn't build up step by step. I am used to watching Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee kung fu action movies with high entertainment value and unrealistic stunts so I probably didn't like the realistic action without any 'wow' factor. Someone else could have a different opinion on this but since the novel is aimed at young adults who like quick and entertaining books, it could've used faster pacing. Also, action looks better on screen.

The book started well (initial chapter) and ended well (final chapter) but the rest of it was not so 'well'. The novel ends with a cliffhanger leaving the reader wanting more in the next book.

Overall, good for someone willing to try something new. However, be warned that the story progresses slowly.

Unique genre
Writing style

Unconvincing action
Does not live upto expectations of non-native Chinese for whom Wuxia means Jackie Chan movies with unrealistic stunts

Note: Review copy was provided by the author.

You can purchase the book at or Barnes&Noble bookstore.
Here's a link to the author's site:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Author Interview with Historical Romance writer Delilah Marvelle

It's been a long time since I interviewed someone on Review Carnival. To make up for the lost time, I have a really interesting guest this time- historical romance author Delilah Marvelle. Her Scandal series is fabulous and she's working on a new series. Be sure to check out her books on

Here's the interview-
RC- Why did you decide to write Historical romance?

DM- I've been writing for a VERY VERY long time. Since I was about 8 years old. I was always that kid that wanted to rewrite every story that didn't end the way I wanted it to. I always wanted a happily ever after, which lent to the whole idea of fairy tales and romance. I totally rewrote stories like Peter Pan. In my version, he went home with Wendy and they grew up and had kids together, lol.

When I read Jane Eyre in high school, I fell in love with historicals and knew that was what I wanted to write. When I read Judith McNaught based off of a recommendation by some random woman in the library, that's when I devoured more and fell madly and lustfully in love with the sweeping romance and everything in between. That's what I've been writing ever since. For me, digging into the facets of history and creating a relationship between a man and a woman during a time when women had very few rights and men held all the power lent to stories and conflict galore. I adore the challenge of writing about a relationship set in history and doubt if I'll ever write anything else.

RC- What traits do you think make a good/strong romance novel hero/heroine?

DM- What I think makes for a good/strong hero and heroine would have to be honesty, passion, and the willingness for the characters to go against the world around them in the name of everything they believe in. Because the world isn't always right and the heart is what ends up beating for those who are true to it.

RC- Historical romance must be a tough genre to write due to the amount of research involved. How do you research on the speech patterns (like the kind of words used, level of formality), clothes they wore, social views on things at that time?

DM- I more or less stick to one era and one era only when I write, because there is just SO much to learn about one given era, I couldn't even begin to veer off the path by learning anything beyond 1828-1831. It would be like wanting to learn six more languages. It's overwhelming. But it's a passion that arose from reading books of that era, collecting out of print books and constantly researching the era and finding anything and everything interesting. From the clothes to the furniture to the food they were eating, everything comes together to create a world that feels real to me. The more I research, the more I find that the people back then weren't any different from the people of today. Their environment is what made them different from us. Because people back then still ate, slept, drank, had sex, had fun, joked, worked, and did everything we did. They just carried it out in different manners and a mindset that was created by the mores of their time.

RC-Is the life of a writer what you imagined it to be like?

DM- Ha. No and no. It's a lot harder than I imagined it would ever be. And I'm not talking about the writing aspect of it. The writing comes easily and naturally enough to me. It's the time and all that is expected of me. From both my agent/editor/publisher and then my readers/fans and then from reviewers and bloggers and then keeping up with hundreds of emails that I get every day and then trying to blog, twitter and facebook on top of it, all while traveling and signing books and ensuring I don't let my family feel neglected. I really never expected it to involve this much time. I always thought, I write a book, I edit it the way my publisher wants and I'm done. Not so. The internet has definitely changed the interfacing between readers and authors in a BIG way. I think Hemingway would have shot himself much earlier in his career if he were writing today, lol.

RC- (Okay this one is out of sheer curiosity) Are the people on your book covers real people or painted?

DM- The people are in fact real. Either taken from stock photos or done with a photo shoot that is coordinated by the Cover Art Department of my publisher. I think it's AWESOME. Because I could actually go and technically meet my own characters!

RC-What are your hobbies other than writing?

DM- I love to run, hike, do Tae Kwon Do, read and above all...I love to cook. I'm actually a chef by trade and so it's my second love I dive into when I have extra time.

RC- Tell us something about your books.

DM- My books are what you call historical romance on crack. For many years readers have gotten used to reading a sterilized version of romance, due to what publishers would or would not allow due to taboo. Because of that, I think a lot of readers have gotten used to drinking the kool-aid they were being offered and when something other than kool-aid is being offered, they have a tendency to immediately dislike it. That's where I come in, lol. I like the idea of reintroducing a sliver of reality into not only romance but the historical aspect of romance that people think doesn't exist due to the books they have read or the movies they've watched. I love writing about characters that are not only set within a time that would never accept them for who and what they are, but that they are flawed and have to redeem themselves not only in eyes of the person they love but within their own eyes. It makes that redemption so much sweeter and so much lovelier and real. I'm not all doom and gloom, though, I'm all about twisted humor and twisted versions of fairy tales.

RC-What message would you like to give your fans?

DM- I would like to tell my fans THANK YOU. I wouldn't be where I'm at without them and I'm pouring my heart into the pages of every book I write just for them. They mean so much to me.

Thank you so much for the interview, Delilah. You can buy her books on Please leave your comments for her.