1

A Brooding Hero

Am I the only one who has become obsessed with the BBC series Poldark?! I do love a good costume drama and let’s face it, a large part of the appeal is the brooding hero at the heart of most of them!

So here are my favourite brooding heroes from costume dramas.

You’re welcome.

Ross Poldark:

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Fitzwilliam Darcy:

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Heathcliff:

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John Thornton: 

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Edward Rochester:

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George Knightley:

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The mark of a true brooding hero is The Smoldering Look, which I think we can agree these have cracked.

Have I missed anyone?

Victoria

xoxo

1

An Austen Day Out

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What I love about living in Surrey is there are so many lovely places to visit. On the Easter weekend I went to Painshill Park with my mum. Despite it being close by, I’d never been there before. It’s an 18th century garden that made me feel as if I was a character in an Austen novel.

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Unfortunately Mr Darcy did not emerge from this lake to complete the experience!

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As well as lovely greenery and a lake, there were buildings to explore and a man-made crystal grotto too:

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It was a lovely afternoon out and I would definitely recommend the park to anyone who can make it there!

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Victoria

xoxo

2

Books read in March 2015

This is what I read in March:

The Ruby Circle – Richelle Mead (Bloodlines series)

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After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world . . .

The Animals – Emma Jane Unsworth

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Laura and Tyler are best friends who live together, angrily philosophising and leading each other astray in the pubs and flats of Manchester. But things are set to change. Laura is engaged to teetotal Jim, the wedding is just months away, and Tyler becomes hell-bent on sabotaging her friend’s plans for a different life

I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson

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From the author of The Sky Is Every­where, a radiant novel that will leave you laughing and crying – all at once. For fans of John Green, Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver. Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close – until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don’t realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world.

Paper Towns – John Green

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Quentin Jacobsen has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman, for Margo (and her adventures) are the stuff of legend at their high school. So when she one day climbs through his window and summons him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow.

But the next day Margo doesn’t come to school and a week later she is still missing. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance . . . and they are for him. But as he gets deeper into the mystery – culminating in another awesome road trip across America – he becomes less sure of who and what he is looking for.

And then I read two books that I’ve been meaning to read for years!

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Book of the month:

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This was a really difficult decision this month as I read some great books! The Ruby Circle was a great finish to the Bloodlines series, a spin-off from Vampire Academy and I really recommend these series! I’ll Give you The Sun is a quickly, emotional YA read, and I loved Paper Towns – my second John Green book and one I couldn’t put down until the end. I’m also pleased I finally read To Kill A Mockingbird.

So it was hard to pick just one book of the month but I’ve gone with The Bell Jar. I found it a really compelling read, I loved the main character’s voice and raced through the book. It’s definitely disturbing in places as it charts her descent into depression and as it’s told from a first person point of view, you feel as if you’re right there with her through it all. I think it’s one of those books that will not only feel different to each reader but if you read it at different stages of your life, it will also affected you differently. So it’s one that I’m sure I’ll re-read in the future and for that reason, it’s my pick this month.

Has anyone else read these books? What did you think of them?

Victoria

xoxo 

8

Building Castles

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I really like this quote from Shannon Hale. I used to feel differently about first drafts. I loved the process of writing a story for the first time freely and used to wish that I could make a first draft perfect so that I wouldn’t have to do any editing.

I have just finished the latest edit on my novel, the first working with my editor at my publishers and I realised as I finished reading the novel through, and tearing up a little at the final paragraph, that I’ve really enjoyed the process. The story is essentially the same as it was in the first draft but it has developed into something much more. Into what it was meant to be. An editor is there to help you turn your novel into the best novel it can be. To help you to turn your sand into a castle. I can already see a vast improvement in the story from this first edit. Although there will be many more steps to work through before this story will be a printed book on the shelves, I’m really excited about what it is developing into.

It feels like the biggest journey I’ve gone on as a writer so far is to go from hating to edit to enjoying the process. Because I now know how important it is and what a difference it make to your novel.

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I spotted this quote about the process too and it really rings true for me. Writing a first draft is a solitary process, your telling yourself the story, and then you open the door to feedback so you develop the story for others to read. I think perhaps some of my dislike of editing came from fear. I hated putting my work out there for someone to judge. But an editor isn’t there to judge. Hopefully they love your story as much as you do but because they are not as close to it as you are, they are able to advise you on areas to develop so the reader has a better experience.

It will always be your story but hopefully a better one.

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So for now, I am sat in front of my novel having worked through my editor’s notes feeling hopeful that I’ve laid the foundations of something that may one day become a castle.

How do you feel about the editing process?

Victoria

xoxo

2

One week of Dancing in the Fire

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Dancing in the Fire is a week old! I have been so excited to see people discussing the story and so grateful for the lovely messages and reviews it’s had. Thank you to everyone who has read it and said such lovely things about it.

Here are my favourite quotes from the reviews:

“Equal parts funny, cute, mushy and sexy!”

“Looking forward to more from this author”

“A really enjoyable read”

“Romantic and sweet”

“Can’t wait to read more from this author!”

The short story was ranked 7,000th on Amazon UK on release day. For a debut short story, I’m really pleased with that and to see it sell in other countries too was really exciting.

Dancing in the Fire is the first step on my publishing journey so will always have a special place in my heart so I’m wishing it a very happy one week birthday!

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Victoria

xoxo