This was the “final” copy of Wildflower Crown. The one that was completely corrected and without errors. Yeah. That’s like 150 markers. To be fair (to me), there were only two or three actual mistakes/typos. The rest were “Hmmm, I could totally word that better,” or “DIALOGUE TAG WHAT ARE YOU DOING GTFO.”
So yeah, this is a little reminder not to freak out over shitty first drafts. This is the 6th draft now. However, all I have to do is make sure that fixing all those little tab things didn’t mess up any spacing and then format it for Kindle and it’ll be ready for publishing. Depending on how much time it takes to go live, Wildflower Crown will be out sometime this weekend or early next week. (I don’t know about you guys, but I’m excited. My second book! Woo!)
Seriously got down to one of these things. Didn’t even notice until I’d already shut the book. Good thing I didn’t find two more things to be super picky over :p
“Lovely Nyssa Wyndham, as fair and proud as her mother Blaze, is lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII’s fourth wife.
Scandalizing all of England, Henry has his marriage annulled, for the queen cannot meet the bawdy desires of the insatiable king. Henry seeks a spirited, lusty new wife—and eyes the beautiful Nyssa. But in a land rife with conspiracy and rebellion, there are those in secret power determined to thwart Henry’s intentions. A drugged Nyssa awakens in the arms of the notorious rake Varian de Winter. With her virtue destroyed, the outraged king orders them to wed.
Handsome—and soon smitten—Varian de Winter dares to conquer his spitfire bride. But the intrigues and dark side of the court intrude upon their brief happiness as Nyssa is trapped in a devious plot and witness to the deadly wrath of Henry Tudor. Suddenly, jealousy and revenge grow bloodthirsty, and all that Nyssa holds dear is in dire jeopardy.”
Alright, so the summary is a bit misleading. It says “Varian dares to conquer his spitfire bride” but he does absolutely no conquering. He wins her over with little things and any good husband would do to make his wife happy, so the plot isn’t really how I’d imagined it.
It focused way more on the nonsense of the court than the actual romance between Nyssa and Varian. It sort of glosses over that. One second she hates him, the next she is giggling and blushing at him, and then you skip a few months and they’re remodeling their old house and getting along quite well, then skip ahead a few more months and “oh, I guess I love him.”
You know how in some romance books when the main characters get together you can’t help but smile and cheer them on? Nothing in this book evoked my emotions like that.
At times, the descriptions were a bit much, but I think the genre is known for that. No, I didn’t need to read two pages of “we went to Hamfordshire, then Lampshadeshire, then Hobbitland, and then onwards to York!” but I got through it alright.
It was very well written.
If you like historical romances, this is probably the book for you. Very historical. Lots of names, lots of guessing who the hell they were actually talking about.
It was interesting, if not in the way I suspected. It was a little more scheming Game of Thrones-esq plotting (with less murder) and a little less flat-out romance.
Varian is clever but I honestly couldn’t tell you if I actually liked him or if I just really liked his name.
Would I recommend it?:
Yes, but only if you are fully aware that this isn’t just a romance. Had I wanted something to read on the beach that would make me smile and daydream about handsome knights, this would not be the book to read. However, it was still enjoyable, and despite feeling misled I’ll be checking out more of Small’s books (mostly because I already bought them for $0.01 off of Amazon).
Additional note of less importance:
So I bought some of Small’s books because she died, actually. A blogger I follow recommended her books when posting about her death, so I thought I’d check them out. The blogger mentioned that Small wrote risqué sex scenes years ago of the same caliber of 50 Shades of Grey (that is now being applauded for being the first mainstream BDSM book when it clearly wasn’t). I do admit to buying the books and being interested in whatever historical fiction kink Small would come up with, but this book was very vanilla. They call a penis “manroot” and spanking is mentioned only once but only as a joke. So we’ll see if her next book lives up to this reputation.
I heard it a hundred times with Hunger Games: “Boys, even though this is about a girl, you’ll like it!” Even though. I never heard a single time, “Girls, even though Harry Potter is about a boy, you’ll like it!”
This has never actually occurred to me. I’m a girl, and no one has ever said “Oh, you’ll like this even though it’s about a boy.” I’ve never considered not reading something because the book was in a boy’s POV (though I have passed up reading books that I know are by male authors, I am guilty of that). I have thought about how men will not enjoy my books as they are mostly about romance, and that they wouldn’t like my YA stuff because it would all be in a girl’s POV.
I guess it never occurred to me to question it, to say, “Excuse me, I’m a girl and I can read in a guy’s POV, why the fuck can’t boys do the same?”
I urge you to read the original post, especially if, like me, you’ve never thought as deeply on the topic. It just never came to mind.
Your characters should be holding a grudge, possibly several of them. Not against you, of course, unless you’re George R. R. Martin, but against other characters. People that they could reasonably hold a grudge against.
I was thinking about how I owe some guy at my school named Nate a big FUCK YOU for something he did earlier last semester (deets here towards the top) and I realized that I am definitely the kind of person who holds grudges. However, my characters aren’t. They don’t remember that one time that girl got them detention in 4th grade for something they didn’t do or the time their “best friend” decided to ignore them for two year to join the popular kids. Now, just like not all people hold grudges, not all characters do. Some forgive and forget.
However, I think it’s much more fun not to have a character forgive and forget. It can give them motivation to do anything, really. Need your character to get to the next city over for the plot to progress? She has a grudge on an old bully and wants to go make him wash her car. Need your character to be caught by the hunky police officer she’s going to sleep with? Have her being caught egging the house of her ex. You know the one, the guy who stole her cat and cheated on her, not the nice one who wore sweaters. Sweater dude made nice pizza.
Grudges are a great way to add some depth to your character. Is Judy more relaxed but Sally is confrontational? Show that through a conversation about how Sally hasn’t forgiven her first grade teacher for playing favorites and Judy trying to talk her into forgetting about it. It can also add humor to a scene when Sally recounts how incredibly unfair it was that Timmy was given FOUR gummy bears but she was only give ONE. (And yes, these can be adults. Adults can be petty, and all characters need flaws.)
So, Nate, in honor of upcoming Valentine’s Day, here is my gift for you:
So now I don’t have to worry about flipping you off it I finally see you around campus, because all of my followers now know that I’m crazy.
What’s something one of your characters has held a grudge for?
I took these up at Lake Erie the other day. I read so much sometimes that I come to appreciate the beautiful things that good authors have written down more than the actual beauties around me. I’ll read about the beautiful rainbow or the motley colors of court and forget that I’m really only looking at a black and white page, and then when I go outside and see how beautiful nature really is it’s like I’m seeing the colors for the first time.
In other news, I really love my camera. If only I happened to have a castle on hand, I could take pictures of the perfect cover art for my novel! I might still do that, just find whatever I decide to represent my novel on the cover and just take a million pictures of it until I’m satisfied. If it was a modern novel or some young adult romance I would have six amazing options to chose from already, but that’s not the case.