Review: Words Once Spoken by Carly Drake

 

Title: Words Once Spoken

Author:  Carly Drake

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

YA meets high fantasy in this lush series debut about a girl who never quite fit in — and the reason why…

Evelyn might not love the confines of her village life, but she takes her small freedoms where she can get them. But everything changes when her parents decide it’s time for her to wed. Suddenly she loses her tunic and breeches, her bow, her horse, and gains rigid gowns, restrictive manners, and carriage rides.

The best way to escape is through her dreams, but as they become more and more real, Evelyn begins to worry that she is losing her grasp on reality. It is only when she makes two new friends that the truth is revealed: she is destined for far, far more than even she could imagine.


Review:

I have one major gripe about Words Once Spoken.  The story doesn’t really end, it just kind of runs out of pages.  This is the first in a planned series, and after some kickass action and an engaging journey, everything just trailed off into nothing.  I thought the ending was weak, and it didn’t fit with the rest of the story.  I am hopeful that the next book will make up for my disappointment with yet another non-ending.  There is a reason that I have been waiting to start series until they are all done, and this is an example of why. 

Evelyn has never fit in with her mother’s expectations.  Instead of desiring the life of a pampered noble, she much prefers the outdoors to being shut up inside stuffy buildings.  She is skilled with a bow and arrow, and rides like she was born on horseback.  She suffers severe stomach upsets when she eats meat and so eats only plant-life.   Just before is eighteenth birthday, her mom insists that she accompany her parents to meet the king and queen.  Her mother would like nothing better than for Evelyn to be appointed one of the princess’s handmaidens, though it would be a nightmare come true for Evelyn.  Once at the castle, she meets the handsome Lord Devon, as well as the charming young prince, and she quickly learns that nothing is what it seems, including herself and everything she thought she knew about herself.

Overall, this is a spirited adventure. Evelyn  discovers why she has never fit in, and why she has never earned her mother’s love, and puts herself in grave danger at the same time.  She sets off on her own to get answers to the many questions plaguing her, only to be joined by Liam and Padraic, her would be suitors.  Love triangles usually annoy me, but it worked here.  Maybe because Evelyn is just so much more capable of dealing with the danger that they have all been forced to confront than the guys are.  Evelyn is a strong, stubborn girl.  She’s impulsive, but she has the confidence, skill,  and courage to deal with the fallout from her rash decisions.  At first she was a little irritating, but her self-assurance quickly grew on me, especially after she packed up her things and left the castle.  This girl doesn’t need anyone to fight her battles, though she’s more than grateful to have a little bit of help when things get really crazy. 

A couple of things bugged me.  The first being that women aren’t allowed to read, yet Evelyn and Liam meet in the library several times, and Liam leaves scrolls for her to read.  It didn’t make sense that it’s illegal for women to read, yet Evelyn and the prince read often and discuss what they’ve read.  That whole thing just confused me.  The other thing I didn’t like – Padraic acts so out of character at the end of the book that I was having a hard time comprehending that it was him behaving this way.  It really knocked me out of the story, and combined with the disappointing ending, left me wondering what happened to the fun book I had been reading.

Though there are a few jarring inconsistencies with Words Once Spoken, I did enjoy my time with Evelyn, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Grade:  B-

Review copy provided by publisher

Interview with Jennifer Kloester, Author of The Cinderella Moment

Please give a warm welcome to Jennifer Kloester! She’s here to talk about her new release The Cinderella Moment.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Jennifer Kloester] I’m an adventure-loving book addict with a passion for writing. I love karate, Paris and my garden. I believe in kindness and integrity.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Cinderella Moment?

[Jennifer Kloester] It’s a contemporary novel set in New York and Paris with a 16 year-old heroine who dreams of being a fashion designer. She’s entering a fashion design competition called the Teen Couture but when things go wrong she has to go to Paris and masquerade as her best friend. It’s all fashion, glitz and high society, and of course nothing turns out as she expected – especially after she meets a gorgeous guy who thinks she’s someone else!  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Jennifer Kloester] I was living in the Middle East and read a story in a magazine about these girls who were in Paris  for a grand ball and my heroine Angel and her dream of winning the Teen Couture just fell into my head fully formed. I knew she wanted more than anything to be a fashion designer and that her mom was a housekeeper and her best friend the daughter of the mega-rich family her mom worked for and the story just grew from there. Funnily enough, I didn’t realise just how many links to the original Cinderella story there were in my book until I’d finished it!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Angel?

[Jennifer Kloester] passionate, determined,romantic

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Angel had a theme song, what would it be?

[Jennifer Kloester] Adele’s version of "Promise This"

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Angel is never without.

[Jennifer Kloester] A sketchbook.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Angel’s purse?

[Jennifer Kloester] A car key cause she hasn’t got her license yet and who drives in New York anyway?

A credit card – maybe one day when she can afford it.

Pepper spray – Angel’s not afraid of boys, she just hasn’t met one she really likes – yet!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Jennifer Kloester] Other books, other writers – as Stephen Kings says – ‘if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.’ All kinds of music and the things people say – I love listening to people’s words and conversations – you never know where the next big idea will come from.  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Jennifer Kloester] Time, a pen or laptop, discipline (is that four things?)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on The Cinderella Moment?

[Jennifer Kloester] My family (immediate and extended) and household chores that suddenly became much more appealing than usual!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Jennifer Kloester] "The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" I loved it because it was clever, had memorable characters, and it made me laugh.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Jennifer Kloester] When I was six I read "The Good Master’ by Kate Seredy. I still remember it vividly.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Jennifer Kloester] I love karate and got my black belt last year. Training in the martial arts is the perfect contrast sitting at my computer all day. I also love gardening and the beach. I’d say travel but I usually write when I’m travelling – so much great material.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Jennifer Kloester] I’m on Twitter (I love Twitter) @jenkloester, via email jenkloester@gmail.com and on my Facebook author page JenniferKloesterAuthor – I’ve also had letters from readers via my publishers (Penguin Aus, Sourcebooks & Swoon Romance) which is awesome fun. I love hearing from readers and will always reply.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase link

 

About the book:

Let the masquerade begin!
Angel Moncoeur has always wanted to be a fashion designer, but without money or connections, it’s going to be a challenge. When an opportunity to leave her home in New York and head to Paris appears, Angel grabs it – even if it means masquerading as her best friend Lily. That can’t be too hard, can it? But when she falls in love with her very own Prince Charming who thinks she’s someone else, Angel embarks on a plan to secure her happily ever after.
THE CINDERELLA MOMENT is a fabulously fun story about high society, mistaken identity, love, betrayal, friendship – and great clothes

About the author:

Jennifer Kloester is passionate about books and writing. She is the author of two books on the bestselling historical novelist Georgette Heyer: Georgette Heyer’s Regency World and Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller. The Cinderella Moment is her first novel. She is currently writing the sequel The Rapunzel Dilemma. In her spare time Jennifer loves to travel and train in karate.

Meet Fulke FitzWarin from Elizabeth Chadwick’s The Outlaw Knight and Giveaway!

Please welcome Fulke FitzWarin, hero of Elizabeth Chadwick’s The Outlaw Knight  to the virtual offices this morning. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Fulke FitzWarin] Honourable, strong, loyal, virile, chivalric

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Fulke FitzWarin?

[Fulke FitzWarin] It would be different things at different points of my life. But let’s take it as an outlaw on the run:

1.Get up in morning and hope it hasn’t rained in the night and made everything damp.

2. See to the horses, eat whatever food might be to hand, provided either from handouts, from foraging, or from a spot of judicious thievery.

3. Discuss the day’s plans with the men. One of King John’s treasure carts is supposed to be coming through the area.

4. Cover up signs of the camp and head off to ambush the treasure cart.

5. Apprehend the treasure cart after a bit of fighting. Take the treasure and remove it to a safe hiding place.

6.When it starts to rain heavily go to the manor house of a sympathizer and take shelter there, paying for the meal and board with part of King John’s treasure.

7. Spend the night there by the fire telling tales and sharpening weapons. Write a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury who is sympathetic to my cause even while he serves King John.

8. Next morning leave and move on before word gets out and the heavy mob arrives.

9. Select next target.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you describe your relationship with King John?

[Fulke FitzWarin] He hates me and he’s jealous of me. He bears a grudge against me because I once got the better of him at chess when we were youths. It came to blows and I knocked him down. I have no love for him and rebelled against him when he took away my land and gave it to someone else just to spite me. He covets and harasses my lovely wife too. He is my king, yet how can I bend the knee to such a tyrant?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What irks you most about him?

[Fulke FitzWarin] The fact that he took away my land when I was grieving over the death of my father, and gave it to another man without justification. I will never forgive him for that.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Fulke FitzWarin] I would not let feuding over land become the be-all and end-all of my life.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Fulke FitzWarin] A good thick cloak.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t antagonizing a king?

[Fulke FitzWarin] To sit around the fire with my brothers swapping tales. To lie abed with my wife and just admire her beauty. To go riding with her and know we are not threatened. To teach my sons the paths they must follow to manhood.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.

[Fulke FitzWarin] Grandchildren, stability, peace, decent king!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

[Fulke FitzWarin] Thank you, you are welcome!

Giveaway!

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Purchase link

About the book:

A Deadly Rival.
An Ancient Family Dispute.
An Impossible Love.

He should have known better than to fight with the future King John. Ruthless and feared, John is not one to forget or forgive. But Fulke FitzWarin couldn’t help himself, and now the vindictive John has insured that Fulke will never become lord of the castle he loves.

Instead of accepting his fate, Fulke rebels. He begins an affair with Maude Walter, the wealthy widow desired by John himself. Negotiating a maze of deceit, treachery, and shifting alliances, Fulke’s route to success is blocked at every turn. And when the turmoil of the Magna Carta rebellion combines with a shocking tragedy, everything Fulke has fought for is thrown into the path of destruction.

"A star back in Britain, Elizabeth Chadwick is finally getting the attention she deserves here."—USA Today

"The best writer of medieval fiction currently around."—Richard Lee, founder and publisher, Historical Novel Society