New Year News, Belatedly

I have been late in posting my plans for the new year – a month late , in fact. My main, overriding goal for 2023 is to get a book contract. In my quest to achieve that, I decided to take a class on Submission that Writer’s Digest University was offering.

I thought the class could help me develop my book proposal, so it is more appealing.  One of the class exercises has been to find books that I could use as “comps”, comparable titles, to convince an agent or publisher that my book has marketability.

The teacher set criteria for our choices which were books published two years ago or earlier and having at least 5,000 ratings on Amazon. That ratings number seems astronomical to me since I have seven ratings for Brewing Battles. Don’t judge.

I did find three books that fit the teachers’ rules and when I revise my book proposal I plan to use them.  One is Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez. I am interested in this book because the misogyny that underpins scientific research is the same  misogyny the women I write about faced.

Aside from trying to get Dames, Dishes, and Degrees published, I plan to continue with my other activities – skating, swimming, recorder, and my  Jane Austen book club. I am also trying as hard as possible to stay away from Facebook and Twitter.

If it is not too late to offer, I wish everyone a happy, healthy, New Year!

 

 

Book Review: Act Your Age, Eve Brown

I read Act Your Age, Eve Brown, by Talia Hibbert because Amazon gave me a Kindle credit. The book is the third in a series about three sisters. At first I thought I would read all three books. I was thinking of using at least one for my Jane Austen Book Club. A new season will be starting in February; I plan to have the club read Sense and Sensibility and then have the rest of the readings be about sisters.

Once I finished Act Your Age, I was not that interested in reading the other two. I do not plan on using the book for the club. It was interesting, however to read it and think about it in the context of what Austen wrote.

Many modern Romance novels uses the basic plot from Pride and Prejudice where two people meet, dislike each other but then realize that they have a lot in common and fall in love.  A variation that Hibbert employed is that the two people, after the initial dislike,  have fallen in love but there is a misunderstanding that pulls them apart until the final resolution where they are reunited. To some extent this plot twist is derived from Persuasion, my favorite Jane Austen book, where Anne Eliot and Captain Wentworth  face many misunderstandings over a ten year period before they finally declare their love for each other and presumably live happily ever after.

Act Your Age uses these plot structures but with less writing skill and much more sex than either Jane Austen novel. Eve Brown is a twenty something young woman who has not yet figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. She falls into a position cooking at a bed and breakfast where the owner becomes her love interest. The formulaic nature of the book is reduced somewhat by Eve being a person of color while the owner is not. Locating the book in Britain also adds some interest. The book was an easy read and enjoyable but not particularly noteworthy.