30/06/2013

Book Review: How I Exiled My Inner Bitch


Was there ever an inner bitch?


Blurb: Dionne is 36, and still hooked on the imaginary twin she invented to get her through her desolate childhood. With such an odd companion, long-term relationships are impossible and she is doomed to live her life as a serial monogamist, until the Go Along Guy shows up. Greg has denial on intravenous, so Dionne’s quirks simply pass him by and, pretty soon, shallow love blossoms. Unfortunately, however, what are also blossoming are Greg’s teenage daughters. They don’t like Dionne and their hormones are raging










 

For starters, I love the main message of this work. We love Chick-lit that touches issues we can relate to. We’ve all had imaginary friends/girlfriends/boyfriends/a fuck buddy with a French name (that was me), if they don’t exist now (as happens with Dionne’s Lionne) they constituted most of our childhood/pre-teen years. We walked home from school with them, played with them, talked to them about issues we will never bring up with our parents… but let them dictate the way we live even to our mid-thirties? Surely, Dionne has issues.


Dionne was brought up in a home that could be described as broken with her dad running off and her mum displaying lack of attention to her than she does her three siblings who happen to be triplets (with annoying rhyming names). She’s bullied at school, smashed her nose from door slams by her sisters at home and—as though that isn’t enough torture—she has ‘bad black teeth’. It’s no surprise Rionne, her first (imaginary) friend pops up, serving as a solid rock and a great companion when she’s been maltreated.

The question that puzzled me most reading about Dionne’s childhood is, if Rionne was a great friend, why then did Lionne pop up?


LIonne is the girl you’d love to hate. She’s just in it for the thrills of being plain trouble. She hates being pushed around and wouldn’t hesitate to take you down if you get on her bad side (most at times, you don’t have to even get on her bad side). Lionne kills Rionne noting she’s a ‘bad’ influence to Dionne. At this point, we make the interpretation that Dionne is so tired of being the good girl. It’s her chance of screaming to the world she’s a  “Good Girl Gone Bad”. This new phase eventually leads to a series of standing up for herself, a character you might just end up liking until things get too serious and she’s kicked out of home.


Dionne is now in her mid-thirties. And so is Lionne.

The most intriguing effect is how real Lionne is portrayed.  She's fighting fiercely with Dionne and in a flash she vanishes when someone walks in on them. All this switching between imaginary and realistic worlds creates a fascinating imagery where Dionne is all of a sudden so sane, then in a second not so sane as you thought.


Lionne has taken on almost every aspect of Dionne’s social life, including her job (manipulating her boss and her colleagues) and her first-dates (which don’t even make it to a second, but end up in dilemma with Lionne picking on the bad attributes of every guy she plans to date). Soon enough her dating life is in shambles.


Now her sisters have grown up to be mothers who could do with Super-Nanny’s help. And are not together like they used to be, realizing they were only similar in reference to their features but nil points are scored with similarity in relation to their personality and interests.


Greg, a forty-year old divorcé, comes into the picture (with his hormonal-raging teenage daughters). This guy is what you ladies would call adorable. He gives Dionne a key in the early stages of their relationship. He doesn’t employ the Call A Week Strategy After First Meeting and Pretend You’ve Always Got Plans (like most of us guys like doing). And he takes her shopping(?!) The two are very into each other (so into each other it gives you the impression they’ve been together for over a decade and have already begun plucking out each other’s grey hair). Below is evidence:

They cook together, eat together, and Greg is totally impressed when he discovers Dionne has their next two weeks dinner menus and corresponding recipes in an Excel file on her laptop.



The children are Alanah-the American Cheerleader kind(-only wiser) and there’s Georgia-the Goth who is quite the artist.


So Greg is suffering from CP (Commitment Phobia). Georgia has developed love for ciggies. Alanah isn’t being nice to Dionne except if Greg’s around. And Mike, Dionne’s boss, is worrying about ageing. Dionne can’t help wanting to fix things. And most importantly, we see Dionne’s role is changing from cozy girlfriend to Super-Nanny, handling all the issues with the kids (because their mum is busily screwing other losers and doesn’t even have the time to tend to her underarms), and hence dwindling the chemistry between Greg and herself.


The problems keep coming. Dionne can’t not want to fix them. The more she tasks herself with solving problems which are very similar to the ones she had to endure as a child, the less Lionne is seen.

Perhaps the only solution to killing your inner bitch is to deal with the traumas of your childhood (that brought her up in the first place)


In this fast-paced title, the most thrilling feature is the unifying end-how the resolutions came about and how Miv perfectly explains the reasons behind every character’s motive which in the start would get you cocking eyebrows thinking if this person was insane. After all, it’s just a psychological comedy (as Miv puts it), and good sense is made out of it.


In this book, there’s so much humour, so much mental problems and cute-adorable love.

If I have to do it all over again-reading it to what a fulfilling end it brought-I wouldn’t hesitate.

I highly recommend this wonderful chick-lit for anyone, who’s been through rough childhood or not, having kids who pee in their shampoo or not, having psychological problems or not, feeling too romantic or not, wanting to have a good laugh or not.


My rating is a whooping: 4/5 stars.


This is definitely going on my list as books that made my summer this year.

And in case you feel like some skimpy skirts and stilettos. I attached the link so you could get to them. Maybe Miv should do free giveaways, don't you think? It's only fair. She awoke the urge!

Work here not done. Off to place my review at  Goodreads .

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29/06/2013

DO YOU HAVE AN UPCOMING CHICK-LIT/ ROMANCE NOVEL?: Contest

THEN WE WANT YOU!!
Chick-lit Pad is holding a competition for the best upcoming release, in the "Chick-Lit/Women's Fiction" genre.

Genre's that qualify are:
* General Chick-Lit
* Contemporary Romance
* Comedic Romance

The best of the lot will be listed
permanently on our site, with reviews.

However the winner, will win the
Spotlight and be featured as the Best Upcoming Fiction.

Deadline: 31st August 2013
Announcing winners on 30th September 2013.

For more enquiries, contact us by email

Many shall enter, the best will win.

23/06/2013

Book Review: That Scoundrel Émile Dubois by Lucinda Elliot

Blurb: When young Sophie de Courcy, bored but patient companion to the Countess of Ruthin, agrees to marry her long-time hero, dashing French rogue Émile Dubois, she is catapulted into a dangerous world of Man Vampires and Time Warps. With the help of Agnes, her no nonsense, tarot-reading Welsh maid, she must come to terms with his scandalous past, help him defeat the evil Vampire neighbours and help Émile escape from the machinations of time which threaten to destroy their new found love. All this in just one book!

'Scoundrel' is an entertaining, over-the-top Gothic adventure, alive with colourful character comedy as it flits between Revolutionary France and misty Wales.






 ....and I thought no one nails Vampire fiction than Maggie Shayne. (Hello, Lucinda Elliot.)

An undead hero so full of himself (yet so hot) he fits the Vampire with Shiny Fangs category. A heroine so self-conscious but drop-dead gorgeous (though she doesn't see it). With Chemistry so raw, Sophie and Émile Dubois make the best pair.

This book is written beautifully with characters interchanging between French and English. Only Lucinda can drop in Francophone phrases and translate them without making it pass on as unnecessary repetition but essential for mood emphasis.
The language is rocked with inversions yet so simple to understand. Archaic style of writing at its finest.

Set prior to the French Revolution era when having tarot-reading as well as funny servants was an aristocrat's only dream. Think  Lords, Carriages and Queen Anne-style architecture. The visual imagery is evident in making this a fun read. With precise description of Vintage gowns, you'd think Lucinda took a course in haute couture.

The book starts off with a prologue that sprouts up questions in the readers' minds as soon as they begin chapter one. The prologue stands as a fast-forward into the future compelling the reader to read on in order to investigate how the two wounded up in such situation. Effective creative writing technique employed by Elliot.

Counts. Vampires. Necklaces. No Holy water (thank God!). And definitely no garlic (ugh!). Sophie is jobless (but that isn't saying much since all the women in historical romance are). She's left her brother's home due to the ill treatment of his wife (because she isn't 'making herself useful') and she's with Lord Ynyr, Count of Ruthin who is in search for his countess. 

He's mysterious, good-looking, dresses well and has great skin. Still, Sophie can't make out that men so hot with penetrating green eyes are vampires (duh!). He's got no blemish (except for his bad temper). Which (self-respecting) lady wouldn't lift up her skirt to that? Two Words. Sophie de Courcy!
  
It's amusing when she's taking her chances with the Count of Ruthin, Emile is seething as to why she refuses his proposal at first. "Perhaps, she likes you better as Gilles Long Legs." George, his man servant suggests referring to Emile's alter-ego, Gilles Long Legs, who is just so 'Raaaar'(sexy) than the real Emile.

To be honest, the opening chapters were a bit boring. But the subtle humor of the main characters themselves along with their servants, George and Agnes (tarot-reading Welsh maid) propelled me on.  Another character you would adore is Miss Mowerna with her flirtatious advances towards both (!) men (Lord Ynyr and Emile). Sophie appears to be jealous of her (but she won't admit it).

The antagonist, Kenrick should be the most thrilling antagonist I've read about all time. Another (eee-vil) vampire causing the transition of many characters in this book from human to Immortal (if you know what I mean). His wickedness would be such a turn-on to anyone who adores masochism (like I do).

You'd love this book for the numerous funny scenes, its adorable hero, the self-conscious heroine and the fierce combat between Emile and Kenrick and the rising suspense as it nears the end. The only reason you might hate this book is if you wish to be in Sophie's place (Not me. Pink gowns with deep cleavage are not my thing).

I did love this book when I committed to it (I was a bit reluctant because I don't do Vampires). The blurb reeled me in.

Writing a review for this book was difficult. It's hard not to reveal all the shocking moments the blurb doesn't add (no one likes spoilers)...

My rating: 3/5

Work here not done. Off to place my review at  Goodreads . You can find this book at Amazon,

If you like what you are seeing, why not go to our Facebook Open group and drop a comment. We'd be pleased to hear from you.
 


10/06/2013

Book Review: MarcoAntonio&Amaryllis by Y. Correa



Blurb: The year 1585. The Anglo-Spanish War. England invaded Spain for crops, land and supplies. A war had started. Land against land. People against people. Hatred, despise and intolerance were a way of life. Why were they so apposed to one and other? No one knows for sure. MarcoAntonio, was a Spanish gentleman and knight. Amaryllis, an English lady. Prohibited from being together. Taboo romance. Intermingling of bloodlines was sinful and forbidden. Interracial love affair in the Middle Ages...? Yes! That was exactly it! Though, their love was not allowed, they loved each other regardless. What would it bring? What would the outcome be? How would they overcome? Passion. Adventure. Paranormal. Interracial. The combination for a great and powerful love story! “MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis”... LOVE is the result of ALL things conquered!





Review by Permanent Reviewer:



 Name: Kobby Tetteh Gyampoh
 Age: 18
 Occupation: Author
Fav. Genre: Chciklit





 Forbidden love. Dark Magic. A dashing hero. A not-herself-most-of-the-novel heiress. A beautifully plotted novel set in the 14th century.  Shakespeare can toss and turn in his grave (with envy) for all Y.Correa cares!


“Ma' lady already is aware that I am a man of few words. So, I shall not waste any more time with needless words and I will ask you again, ma' lady... once more... Just one kiss...?”



The very mention of the above words plunges the reader into a Romeo and Juliet setting. Truly it becomes a Romeo and Juliet setting with the hero, MarcoAntonio being below her window and Amaryllis looking down at him.


MarcoAntonio is a Spanish knight who certainly fits the Knight In Shining Armor category with his dashing looks and amazing body he carries around naked in two occasions in the novel. Sweet. He’s smitten by the charms of Amaryllis, an English woman who fits the English Rose bill with her fine hair and captivating smile. The two fight to overcome their love (though MarcoAntonio does most of the fighting and Amaryllis most of the crying.)


Amaryllis is sent to a cult-like group called The Sisterhood after being caught in bed with the dashing hero where she’s possessed by Mother Haydie, the goddess of The Sisterhood. MarcoAntonio not knowing the whereabouts of his lady after being imprisoned in a dungeon by Amaryllis’ father, seeks to find her at all costs with Rye, a gypsy woman disguised in the clothes of a man after an incident that changes her life brutally and his brother Damian, a guy whose charms surpasses that of the main hero (I must say).

With Rye’s sense of humor that gives the novel more appeal besides the numerous moments of passion between evil and good, Damian’s ineluctable charms, MarcoAntonio’s strength and swiftness in slicing his sword through his foes and Amaryllis’ split personality (being possessed by Mother Haydie and her mind which isn’t a formidable opponent to the goddess’ powers) this books proves to be a very delightful read and leaves a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction on the reader’s mind when the epic battle is fought and all problems settled.


In the end, there’s the lesson that love conquers all and not even the most sinister villain that would make all other villains cry (with admiration) could stop it. I couldn’t drop this book once I started (or rather, close Adobe Reader). You don’t have to be a fan of historical romance, archaic language and very well-coordinated love-making to adore this piece.


Writing about dark magic entangled with equally dark passion and tongue-in-cheek humor, Y. Correa is definitely an author to look forward to. You don’t want to miss this title. Again, it’s free till next month at Smashwords.

Look no further for a summer read.

My rating:  1 star1 star1 star1 star 4/5


Work here not done. Off to place my review at AmazonGoodreads , Smashwords.

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09/06/2013

Premiere Book for review

Anticipating the blog's premiere post next month on the first of July. Currently, we are about reviewing a work from Y. Correa. Her book, MarcoAntonio&Amaryllis has caught our attention. We need more permanent reviewers to begin our premiere post featuring this author's work. All who are interested in being permanent reviewers should refer to the Contact Us (Now) page.


 Check out the book's description below:


The year 1585. The Anglo-Spanish War. England invaded Spain for crops, land and supplies. A war had started. Land against land. People against people. Hatred, despise and intolerance were a way of life. Why were they so apposed to one and other? No one knows for sure. MarcoAntonio, was a Spanish gentleman and knight. Amaryllis, an English lady. Prohibited from being together. Taboo romance. Intermingling of bloodlines was sinful and forbidden. Interracial love affair in the Middle Ages...? Yes! That was exactly it! Though, their love was not allowed, they loved each other regardless. What would it bring? What would the outcome be? How would they overcome? Passion. Adventure. Paranormal. Interracial. The combination for a great and powerful love story! “MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis”... LOVE is the result of ALL things conquered!




Officially, since its going to be on the blog, this book is free to all followers on condition of writing reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. But currently, it's going for free till next month at: Smashwords.  Help us throw light on this well-written romantic novel.  

That's all.