Romance Written Right

It’s been a season of transitioning at the Proctor house. We’ve transitioned into our new life in Charleston, SC, thanks to a work promotion for my husband (Hooray for the beach!) and me? I’ve transitioned into . . . SOLITUDE. For the first time in sixteen years all of my children are in school. I admit, it was a day I thought I would celebrate, but in truth, I spent several weeks feeling weepy, not knowing exactly what to do with myself. It wasn’t so much that I missed my kids. The youngest was ready for Kindergarten. He’s thriving. I know he’s where he needs to be. I just didn’t know how to be alone. How to make choices when the only person I had to consider was ME. How to spend my time effectively.  So I didn’t. I watched hours of Netflix. And took really long naps. And of course, I read stacks and stacks of books.

And so, in an effort to dust off this, an infrequently used writing space, I’m here to recommend a few of those reads to you. We’re focusing on Romance for today–romance that in my estimation is written just as it should be.

The Fall of Lord Drayson (Tanglewood, #1)The Fall of Lord Drayson, by Rachael Anderson

When Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, informs Lucy Beresford that she and her mother need to vacate the house they’ve called home for the past two years, Lucy is fit to be tied. They have no money, no relations they can turn to for help, and nowhere to go. How dare the earl break the promise his father had made to the Beresfords without so much as a twinge of conscience?

Fate plays her hand when Lucy discovers the earl unconscious and injured in the middle of the road. When he awakens with no recollection of who he is, Lucy seizes the opportunity to teach the earl a much-needed lesson in humility and tells him that he is nothing more than a mere servant. Her servant, in fact. 

And thus begins the charming tale of a pompous lord and an impetuous young woman, caught together in a web so tangled that it begs the question: Will they ever get out?

Guys, I loved this book so much. I often complain that Regency novels all feel the same. You can only tell a Regency Romance so many ways when limited by the social constraints and customs of the time. But this novel felt fresh and entertaining and funny, which is something you don’t always see in this genre. I can’t wait to read more of Anderson’s work. FIVE out of FIVE STARS.

Buy The Fall of Lord Drayson on Amazon

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The Start of Me and You, by Emery Lord

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live? 

This one is an adorable Young Adult Contemporary romance that was nerdy and sweet and pretty much perfect in every way. The chemistry was so good, the characters felt authentic and oh, so real, and the writing was effortless. I wouldn’t call this one fluffy–it has some depth because of the personal struggles the main character faces, but it’s not heavy either. It’ll make you swoon in all the right places and leave you smiling and happy. A sweet feel good love story perfect for fans of contemp YA. FIVE out of FIVE STARS.

Buy The Start of Me and You on Amazon

What My Kids are Reading – 2016 Edition

stack-of-booksI have a lot of readers at my house. I have teenage readers and middle grade readers and elementary school readers. We go through books quicker than we go through a package of Oreos. And with just as much voracity. It makes me happy, because I absolutely believe reading makes kids smarter, but also because I love to talk to my kids about the words they read. What they mean. How they make them feel. Which ones have become their very most treasured favorites. And so I’m here to share those favorites with you!

If you missed my list of Summer reading recommendations a few years ago, you can see it by clicking on the following link. We discovered many favorites that Summer, so you’ll see a few repeated here.

Summer Reading Recommendations

And now, our favorites:

Picture Books

The Book with No Pictures, by BJ Novak – The best read out loud book I’ve ever read. If you only have room for ONE new book on your shelf, pick this one. My three and five year olds laugh themselves silly and beg to hear it again the minute it’s over.

Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers

The Incredible Book Eating Boy, by Oliver Jeffers – Jeffers is a new favorite of mine. His stories are touching in simple ways and his artwork is fantastic. You can’t go wrong with any of his books but these two have risen to the top for my kids.

Mix it Up, by Herve Tullet

Press Here, by Herve Tullet – Interactive in the best kind of way, these two Tullet books are so much fun.

A Wish for Wings That Worked, by Berkeley Breathed – Recommended by my sister, Emily (as are several others on this list), I can’t read this book without crying. It’s a great Christmas story or anytime story, really.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce – Beautifully illustrated, there isn’t much not to love about a book . . . about books.

Middle Grade

(*If you see this little asterisk next to a book? It means I know the person that wrote it and they deserve bonus points for being fantastic humans in addition to excellent authors. So. Support my author friends, yeah?)

*Almost Super, by Marion Jenson – Funny, funny book, great for reading out loud. Even Ivy stayed engaged with this one and begged for another chapter every night before bed.

The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate – Another great one for reading out loud. Very touching story.

Wonder, by RJ Palacio – Should be required reading for every middle grade kid, everywhere.

*A Night Divided, by Jennifer Nielsen – Lucy loved this one. About a family separated on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall.

*Mark of the Thief (Book 1) and Rise of the Wolf (Book 2), by Jennifer Nielsen – These are Henry’s new favorites. We love Jennifer Nielsen’s books at our house!

*Fires of Invention, Mysteries of Cove (Book 1), by J. Scott Savage – Sam started this the same night we brought a signed copy home from the bookstore. And then finished it. IN ONE NIGHT.

Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan – Lucy read this first, then brought it to me and wouldn’t give up until I’d read it as well. Great message, great story.

Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper – Another highly ranked favorite from Lucy and Sam alike. Which is saying something since Sam generally requires dragons or magic or huge explosions for a book to be a hit.

*Airships of Camelot: The Rise of Arthur, by Robison Wells – A kindle edition only, this book is every cool thing imaginable crammed into one story.

*The Farworld Series: Water Keep, Land Keep, Air Keep, and Fire Keep, by J. Scott Savage – One of Sam’s favorite series.

Revolution, by Deborah Wiles

The Thing About Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin

Older (ish) Teen Readers

I can’t exactly call this category YA, because in the strictest sense of the genre, the books listed here aren’t YA. But they are books that my teenage son has enjoyed.

*Brandon Sanderson. The end.

Okay. I’m sort of kidding. (Not really.) But if you look at Jordan’s shelf right now, he’s definitely a Sanderson fan. (Once I pulled some strings and earned huge mamma bonus points when I had Sanderson call Jordan and talk to him about his books. During their conversation, Brandon said this to my kid: “Jordan, I started reading fantasy when I was your age and it changed my life.” Yeah, that was an awesome moment.) If Jordan had to list his books in order of favorites, it would probably look something like this:

 

The Stormlight Archives Series (The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance) – I’ve read these too and they are POWERFUL books.

The Reckoners Series (Steelheart, Firefight, and Calamity)

The Mistborn Series

And finally a few others that have been enjoyed by one or multiple kids in the house that I forgot to add in the above itemized list:

The Michael Vey Series, by Richard Paul Evans

The Rangers Apprentice Series by John Flanagan

The Harry Potter Series, by JK Rowling (Still going strong. Four of six have finished the series. Two more to go!)

Septimus Heap Series, by Angie Sage

Eragon, and the entire Inheritance Cycle, by Christopher Paolini

All things written by *Brandon Mull

I wish I could say this was an all encompassing list, but I’m sure I’ve forgotten some. I may amend and add more when the kids are home from school and can fact check my list. In the meantime, Happy Reading!

News and Updates: Mountains Between Us

Mountains Between Us_COVER1 (1)It’s been a busy summer, guys. We moved our family to a new city, settled into a new home, started the kids in new schools. It’s been a little crazy, a lot overwhelming, even more scary. But it’s also been great. We feel like we are right where we are meant to be and are determined to make the most of all that our new location has to offer.

Also, my next book is due out in just a couple of days. Want a surefire way to forget about all the anxious nerves that accompany a book release? Um, move the month before. I’ve been so busy, I’ve hardly given it a thought! But now? It’s happening. And I’m so excited! Want to know why?

I really love this book. I love this book ten times more than I loved the first book, which I wasn’t sure was possible, but, really truly, I love this story. I can’t wait for others to read it and get to know Henry and Eliza the way that I know them. I hope you’re looking forward to reading it too.

A few things you might care about?

I’m giving away two signed copies of the book over on Facebook. All you have to do is like my author page, or, if you ALREADY like my author page (thank you so very much for your support) you can like one of the two most recent posts on my Facebook page. They both mention the giveaway, so like either one and you’re good to go.

Here’s the link: www.facebook.com/authorjennyproctor

There is also a giveaway on Goodreads. (So many free books!) You can enter that one by clicking here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Mountains Between Us by Jenny Proctor

Mountains Between Us

by Jenny Proctor

Giveaway ends September 15, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

If you’d like to purchase a copy (please do, and thank you ever so much for your support) Mountains Between Us is available for pre-order on Amazon, Deseret Book, and Barnes and Noble.

I’d also love it if you’d offer your support to Nephi’s Books, an LDS Bookstore in Columbia, SC that has a great website where you can order my book, and lots of other great books too! They ship all over the country and, as soon as I can get down there and sign them all, will have signed copies of Mountains Between Us available for sale. It’s not listed just yet, but as soon as the book is in stock, it will be so save the link!

Are you interested in an e-book for your Kindle? It’s not listed just yet, but I promise it will be. Keep an eye on Amazon. It should show up for Kindle any day.

And finally (and most importantly) thank you, thank you for your continued support and kindness. Thank you for your many emails, your questions, your thoughts. Writing is often a solitary business. It means so much when readers reach out, when I get to share this journey with so many of you.

And of course, above all else, thank you for reading.