Monday, September 30, 2013

It's Not Just About The Book

I've been an active member of many reader message boards and social communities for years.

Never will you find a more passionate group of people.

We love to talk about books. We also talk about authors, what's available on Kindle, book prices, bookstores, our favorite places to read, Hollywood adaptations, if vampires are real, and when our grandchildren are born.

Reader social sites are NOT JUST ABOUT THE BOOK.

Telling folks at a reader social community that they can ONLY TALK ABOUT THE BOOKS is like telling a food critic he can only discuss the food on the plate in front of him. He's not allowed to discuss the ambiance at the restaurant, the chef's culinary background, and whether or not the dish uses farm-raised or wild fish. There are many different aspects to a dining experience, not just the food.

And there are many other aspects to a reading experience, not just THE BOOK.

And folks at a reader's social site will want to discuss these different aspects, possibly in reviews, on shelves, on message boards, etc.

That's sort of the whole point.

Here are my tips for the day:

1. If you're a writer, and you can't tolerate folks saying anything mean about your book, you need to find a new job. It's not bullying, it's called literary criticism, and it goes with the territory.

2. If you have a reader social site, and you can't tolerate folks discussing ALL aspects of their reading experience--positive and negative--which may include author behavior, publishers gouging us with price manipulation, the digital movement, and various other topics, then you might want to consider trying something different. Because it's NOT JUST ABOUT THE BOOKS. And if you haven't figured that out yet, it's a little bit embarrassing.

Please follow me at BookLikes!

Have a nice day,

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Are Lederhosen Hot? And Other Updates

1. My daughter has been pouring over the Halloween costume catalogues. (At the moment, she is partial to Little Red Riding Hood.)

While looking at these fun costume selections, I ran across this one...

...and all I could think was--My husband would rather have scalding oil poured over his head than wear this get-up. Also, who exactly would wear this get-up? And finally, does anyone really look hot in lederhosen?

(See above photo...that's as good as it's gonna get).

Additional emasculating costumes include a caveman tunic...

...and a giant sock monkey.

Here's the link to Wishcraft for your enjoyment!


This is the most hilarious review of LUMBERJACK IN LOVE ever! Here's a quote...

"Ami is used to soft city men but seeing a hairy man's man awakens something primal inside of her (I assume, I might be editorializing)."

Heeeeeeeeee! You must read it. It's fabulous.

3. Here are some linkies:

Katiebabs has a great interview with Marie Force discussing her inspirational path to success in the publishing world. Check it out!

We have added a special session on Friday night (Nov 1) for the INDEPENDENT AUTHOR's called "Branding for Authors" and it will define this concept, and discuss how creating a strong author brand can contribute to your success as a self-published writer. Register now! 

If you are a local New Englander and would like to meet me in person, I'll be participating in the Local Independent Author Evening at Wellesley Books on Thursday Oct 3, 6-8 pm. Please stop by!

The giveaway for Ellis Drake's short story THE SEA QUEEN'S DAUGHTER, as well as a gorgeous set of Venetian glass earrings, is still going on until Oct. 1. Enter to win!

4. Finally...this.

Doggie Doo.

Big thanks to Scarlett Parrish for letting me know about this most excellent game (according to the Amazon link, the most popular game in Germany). This weenie dog poops, and evidently you win by scooping the most poops.

And if you don't believe me, watch this...

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

THE SEA QUEEN'S DAUGHTER by Ellis Drake: Review and Give-Away

I discovered the delightful writing voice of Ellis Drake when she sent me a beta read for The Lonely Hipster (which is not yet published, but hopefully soon). It was a quirky, funny, unexpected mystery.

As soon as I finished it, I purchased The Fornarina Affair, a mystery set in Rome that combined a bunch of my favorite topics...Italy, art history, and romance. I am a sucker for books that create a lush, inviting setting and make it part of the fabric of the story itself. Drake clearly has a love of all things Italian, and that came shining through in this novella.

Her latest work, The Sea Queen's Daughter, is another charming novella. This time she has taken "The Little Mermaid" and given it a fascinating twist. This version of the well-known tale is set in Venice, and is a colorful romantic fantasy. The opening chapter is magical, a scene from a masked Carnevale party set on a boat in Venice.

"The woman looked over her shoulder and turned to him, almost as if he willed it. Her mask was unlike anything he'd ever seen, sparkling blue in the candlelight, with an archaic smile and dark blue eyes. Her alabaster neck and shoulders were exposed, baring a necklace that looked like it had been taken from the sea: bits of rounded glass, shell, coral, and tiny fins attached to a slim, barnacle-covered rope."

This first chapter sets the mood for the rest of the piece. There are humorous secondary characters with witty dialogue, there is a beautiful and mysterious woman wearing a glass mask, there is a charming hero instantly smitten, and there are lush, fantastical details of life in Venice and of the sea. This is a very quick, fast-paced story, but it still manages to include some wonderful world-building details. I love how Serena can transform into different types of sea creatures, including a shark, an octopus, and a heroic dolphin. The violent Sea Queen, the horrifying ritual that ties poor Serena to an underwater prison, and the threat of Venice sinking forever into the ocean, create a nice suspenseful storyline.

Drake somehow manages to mix a contemporary feel for dialogue and humor with an apprecation for antiquities, tradition, and history. It's a cool combination, and I am really digging her voice.

To celebrate the release of this story, I am giving away a gorgeous set of Venetian glass earrings (from Etsy of course!) to one lucky commenter, as well as a copy of The Sea Queen's Daughter.

Authentic Venetian glass beads, handmade of Moretti glass, with 24K gold foil, silver foil, and aventurina (copper particles). From VickieJoesJewels, Etsy.

Please leave a comment and you'll be entered to win. I would love to hear about your favorite spots in Italy, or your favorite Italian food, or if you ever took a gondola ride in Venice, or if you ever pretended to be Ariel in The Little Mermaid when you swam in the neighborhood pool.

I'm swimming! I'm swimming!

Comment for a chance to win!



Monday, September 23, 2013

Review of My Sunshine by Catherine Anderson

A couple of days ago I was in the basement, doing the laundry, and I saw a bright yellow paperback novel on one of the shelves. It was dirty, dusty, and covered with dead spiders: My Sunshine by Catherine Anderson. I have no idea if I bought this, someone gave it to me, or it was left over from previous house-owners. But it didn't look familiar, and I thought...Hey, let's give it a try!

The book started out harmless enough. Brain-damaged virginal heroine working in a dog kennel, bachelor veterinarian hero, some sweet moments. It was all fairly generic but sort of appealing.

(There may have been a scene with an old woman, a dead cat, and a new kitten that may have caused Penelope to get teary-eyed, but since there is no photographic evidence to prove that, it's all conjecture).

Anyway, the very first time the heroine meets the hero she gets totally over-whelmed and nervous, and she forgets her own name. She explains to the hero that following her brain injury, she tends to forget things during moments of high stress.

Got it.

The story continues on, all pretty normal. He is lonely and needs a good little "wifey" and she is drop-dead gorgeous, an incredible home-decorator (and his walls are bare), an amazing cook (and he forgets to eat meals), and has a Dog-Whisperer-like relationship with kittens and puppies (dogs bite other employees, but curl up in her arms and gaze at her adoringly). Basically, she is perfection incarnate, with a brain injury.

Fast-forward to the end. Hero wants to get married, she is accused of stealing drugs (but it's a set-up of course), she moves out. And then...and then...

A deranged lunatic vet tech exposes her boobies to the hero, professes her highly unstable and undying love for him, accuses him of rape, gets slugged by his secretary, turns out to have a long history of sexual harassment, and then shows up at the heroine's house with a big-ass knife and tries to kill her.

Now, at this point in the story I'm thinking...

1. When did this normal story jump the freakin' shark? And...

2. Uh oh. The heroine has memory problems during moments of high stress. And I can't think of a more high-stress situation than a deranged lunatic trying to kill her!

So, what happens? The heroine uses tai chi moves she learned years ago during therapy to thwart the would-be-killer. She clearly recalls all of the movements and perfectly executes them.

Which brings up two troubling items...


2. A plot hole so big you could drive a Winnebago through it.

At this point, my face sort of looked like this...

Finally, in two short pages the hero and heroine make up and everybody's happy.

The end.

To be honest, I don't mind old-fashioned romances with near-perfect characters, but I do expect some consistency. You can't use the memory-loss thing for the meet-cute, and then forget about it during the black moment. Oy.

In conclusion, if you like sugar cookies with frosting, cute puppy dogs, sappy romance, and are willing to overlook jump-the-shark moments and gigantic inconsistencies in the storyline, then you might enjoy this book.

Otherwise, you can sneak it back into the basement, and hide it with the rejected Christmas gifts from 2007.

All my best,

Friday, September 20, 2013

Beard of the Day: Loving Liev

Liev with scarf.

Liev with gorgeous wife. And looking fab in a suit!

Liev with very big teeth. The better to EAT YOU WITH! Ack!

Liev looking quite serious.

Liev looking super cute in a cap.

Liev half-naked in a wet suit. Schwing!

And finally...

Liev and Hugh with big beardage! Woo hoo!

And a couple little extra bits for Friday....

Just wanted to give a shout-out to this excellent review by Ridley--examining Phantom Waltz by Catherine Anderson on the new blog Love in the Margins. For any author thinking about writing a disabled character, this post is a must-read. I highly recommend it. 

Also, I will be reviewing this charming twist on The Little Mermaid next Tuesday, Sept 24--The Sea Queen's Daughter by Ellis Drake. It's set in Venice, and so I am giving away a gorgeous set of Venetian glass earrings, too....(See photo below--they are from ETSY of course!)

Don't forget to stop by for the give-away!

Happy Weekend To All,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Yo, Publishers! I Gots An Idea! Yo!


Dear Mr. Big-Wig Publisher,

I know you're stressing out. The whole publishing industry is crumbling around your shoulders. Indie authors are taking over the world and causing volcanic tremors and tsunamis and stuff. Digital books are destroying the age-old, fine tradition of killing trees to make reading material. Agents can't afford their Mercedes payments. And books with fake BDSM themes have surpassed the bible as "BEST BOOK OF ALL-TIME."

Yes, it does sort of seem like the publishing apocalypse is upon us. Thank God we still have big, national-chain bookstores doing well. Haaaaa! Just kidding about that. Yo!

Anyway, I have an idea. Maybe you could take a little tip from some of the indie authors who are pricing their books cheap. Like, $3 and under. I know. I know. You gotta make a living, and so does your art department, and publicity department, and you have your country club dues. I get it. But seriously, give this a try. In particular, it would REALLY HELP OUT YOUR DEBUT AUTHORS WHO ARE TOTALLY GETTING SHAFTED.

So maybe this isn't working so great...

1. You have a debut author with her new release.

2. No one has ever heard of her or read her stuff.

3. You price the book at $8-$10.

4. Folks are all...."YO! I ain't spending 10 bucks on some new unknown author I never read before when I can go get a whole boat-load of books for $1. YO!"

5. New author gets more or less no publicity, has mediocre sales, and no one wins. Not the author, not the reader, not the publisher.

Here's another idea....

1. You have a debut author with her new release.

2. No one has ever heard of her or read her stuff.

3. As a cool, totally hip, happening promo idea, you price the newbie book at $1.99 for a SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL OFFER! To introduce this new writer.

4. Your publishing company looks totally cool because it's offering readers a fabulous deal. Your author is super pumped because you are actually doing something to promote her, even though her name is not EL James. The readers are super psyched because they are sick and tired of getting gouged by the big publishers.

5. Readers buy the book, talk about the book, recommend the book to friends.

6. The high sales offset the low book cost and you make a bundle!

7. The author is happy! The publisher is happy! The readers are happy!

8. Next time the author has a book out, you can increase the price. Now she has a fan base and a following.


Think about it.

Penelope Yo

p.s. It also really pisses us off when you price the Kindle ebook HIGHER THAN THE MOFO PRINT BOOK, YO!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Thoughtful Reviews R Us!

Here is my history:

1. Started reading romance novels obsessively about fifteen years ago, participated on numerous reader boards.

2. Started a blog and reviewed romance novels for public consumption about five years ago.

3. Became a published author shortly thereafter...about four years ago.

4. Continued to read, review, blog, write, and publish.

So I started as a reader, I became a blogger/reviewer, and then I became an author. It never occurred to me to stop voicing my honest opinion about books just because I now write them. In fact, I think the reviewing community needs MORE authors to voice their opinions. Have I ever had back-lash? Yes, but minimal. Most authors are professionals.

Observations about bloggers/reviewers....

1. Some are reader-consumers who like to talk about books. They buy their own books, they have no ads, no sponsor spots, do not accept free ARCs, do not have any sort of relationship with publishers, authors, or publicists. There are very few of these left in romance. I call these "OLD SKOOL BLOGGERS"...their issues and concerns represent Joe Schmo Reader. Is the book too expensive? Is it available everywhere you want to buy it? Was it released on the promised date? Consumer issues.

2. Some blogs are a business. They have ads, paid sponsor spots, accept free ARCs, promote authors, participate in blog tours, do interviews and other promotional items. Since they get free books--months in advance--they have a different set of issues/concerns than consumer reviewers. They don't care about price, availability, or release date delays. They have business concerns: traffic to their site, getting promised ARCs on time, authors following through on blog tour details, etc. I call these "BUSINESS BLOGS."

3. And then you have everything and anything between these two ends of the spectrum.

Additional observations:

Some reviewer/bloggers have no idea how to write a review. They write something like "SQUEE! THIS IS THE GREATEST BOOK EVER!" It's a nice thing to say. It's an opinion about something. But it is certainly not a well-thought-out, well-written, critical review about anything. Nevertheless, they, just as any old consumer who leaves a review at Amazon, are entitled to their opinion, and can express it in any way they see fit.

Some reviewer/bloggers are well-educated, thoughtful, and present a critical, well-supported book review. They use examples from the text, they use terms like "character arcs" and "external conflict" and actually know what those mean. Not only are they familiar with this genre, but they are well-read enough in other fields to get the big picture.

And you get pretty much everything in between these two extremes.

Now, for the kicker.

Should authors review? Well, let's think about it for a minute.

Who would be the best possible person to understand craft issues, trends in romance, how to structure a novel, specific literary devices, etc? Maybe someone with a degree in writing? How about someone who is immersed in the industry? How about someone who writes books?


Hey! That just might work!

She would be on top of trends, understand the big picture, have a clue about pacing, conflict, character arcs, story arcs, and literary references. Since she's a WRITER, she might be able to WRITE a good review.


I am NOT saying that authors are the only ones who should be writing reviews. I've seen thoughtful, excellent reviews written by kids, teens, business bloggers, consumer bloggers, and even by someone's grandmother.

And I have also seen authors write excellent reviews. Not blowing-sunshine-up-someone's-ass-reviews, but critical, well-reasoned, supported analyses of books.

I have a huge amount of respect for authors who are not afraid to voice their honest opinions. I don't look at authors leaving honest (sometimes harsh) reviews as "spreading negativity." I look at it as someone who is an expert in the field of fiction giving a respectful opinion on a book. Period. That's what reviews are supposed to be.

I can't imagine someone more qualified to be a romance reviewer than a romance author.

Do chefs review restaurants? Yes.

Do artists review art shows? Yes.

Do writers review books in well-respected journals and newspapers? Yes. No one is questioning their motives or agenda. They are often the best person for the job, for obvious reasons.

Not every author is good at reviewing, or interested in reviewing. And that's fine. But for the writers who are passionate readers, who have an opinion and want to express it, I sure hope there is room for them in this big bunch of voices.

God knows I'm not going anywhere.

Loud and proud,

Housekeeper, Housekeeper, Keep Me A House

For some inexplicable reason, I became obsessed with housekeeper romance novels.

(Actually, it's because I read this thread on the Amazon romance message boards).

I read about housekeepers all over the world. I read historicals, westerns, contemporaries, and erotica.

General observations about housekeepers in romance: Sometimes they are mousy and submissive, sometimes they are plain before having a transformation and turning into a sex goddess, sometimes they are efficient and well-organized, but they're all good at polishing the furniture and cooking a hearty home-cooked meal. (Also, virgins or not, they all manage to have earth-shattering sex with their domineering bosses).

These were not great...

The Italian Millionaire's Virgin Wife (Harlequin Presents)...ugh!

The Australian's Housekeeper Bride (Harlequin Presents)...meh.

This one was short but sexy...The Sheriff and the Innocent Housekeeper I liked it!

I also enjoyed Barbara Wallace's The Courage To Say Yes. It was a touching, tender story with a sexy photographer hero and an abused woman struggling to survive. 

And finally...The Tenderfoot Bride (Harlequin Historical). This is an oldie (2007) by Cheryl St. John, and I loved it soooooooo much that I actually bought a print copy after reading the ebook. And I NEVER do that. 

This has a gruff hero with a heart of gold (which he tries to deny), a battered, determined woman who is desperate to make a new life for herself, a traditional western setting, and a slow, simmering, satisfying romance with a divine HEA. I loved the determination and strength of the heroine, I loved the cranky, conflicted nature of the rancher-hero, and the ending was so romantic and wonderful, I swooned. It even included the quintessential "running into each other's arms" scene, and instead of snickering, I cried. I cried! *sniff, sniff*

This book will definitely be on my BEST OF 2013 list. I highly recommend this one if you are looking for a good old-fashioned traditional western romance.

And now I am off to clean my house, having been duly inspired by these housekeepers.

Scrubbing and sweeping,

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Updates from the Pen-Meister

From the Pen-a-mator, from the Pen-ster, from the Pen-a-rama, from the...

I'll stop now.


1. First update: I am in the midst of getting my rights back for SWEET MAGIK, the second book of the Klaus Brothers Series. I will eventually be editing and self-publishing this novel, but it won't happen until Christmas 2014. It will take up to four months for all of the digital and print books to be removed from other bookstores.

So, NO NEW KLAUS BROTHERS this Christmas!

(Penny ducks rotten tomatoes).

I have already started SWEET ADVENTURE (#3 of the Klaus Brothers Series), but I won't publish until the whole series has reverted back to me. It's looking good for 2014!

HOWEVER, I am working on another project which I'm hoping will be published either late fall or early winter. It's called APPLES SHOULD BE RED, aka my "geriatric love story." So far, my critique partners are digging it, so I hope all of my readers will enjoy this one, too. It is definitely outside of the box of the regular romance novel, but it is still a love story, and has a happy ending.

Please don't throw rotten tomatoes at me! Or gingerbread snaps!

2. I am super excited to be part of the first Local Independent Author Evening at Wellesley Books, in Wellesley, MA. It's taking place on Thursday Oct 3, from 6-8 PM. I'll be there with copies of LUCY THE WONDER WEENIE, SWEET INSPIRATION, and of course LUMBERJACK IN LOVE. Stop by for some refreshments, chat with some local authors, and support the indie movement!

Come on over. You know you want to!

3. Registration is still open for the INDIE AUTHOR SYMPOSIUM, hosted by yours truly and Marie Force. Limited hotel rooms available, so hurry up and book now!

Yes, I want to hear Marie Force and Penny Watson teach me the meaning of life, I mean self-publishing tips!

4. This is possibly the funniest cover I have ever seen in my life, compliments of Nathan Shumate at LOUSY BOOK COVERS.


5. Check out this great post by Tasha about prologues--at Book Riot. THE PROBLEM WITH PROLOGUES

6. I am jonesing for this yummy-looking pumpkin recipe, compliments of Kenda at FULL FORKS AHEAD...get your pumpkin frozen yogurt

That's it for today! Hope everyone is having a nice week.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Pumpkin Mania!

I might have a wee little problem with a pumpkin obsession!

And this is the perfect season to enjoy it. :^)

1. First, I found an ADORABLE shop at Etsy that has the most ADORABLE plush pumpkins, made by Kenda Montgomery (FULL FORK AHEAD), and sold at her sister's shop, WHOSITS AND WHATNOTS. They are super affordable and the perfect fall decoration. I want to collect a whole bunch of these!

2. While at Etsy, I made a new Treasury List called Pumpkin Season! Check it out.

3. I discovered the Spiced Pumpkin Seed Brittle from Williams and Sonoma over the weekend. OMG! This stuff is delicious, and as Natty says "It tastes like fall." Yes it does!

4. Favorite pumpkin-y book...PUMPKIN MOONSHINE by Tasha Tudor.

5. Don't forget about the 2013 GREAT GLASS PUMPKIN PATCH at MIT. It's Sept 27-28!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Eric Bana would like to wish you a very merry HAPPY WORLD BEARD DAY!

...and so would Michael Fassbender...

...and of course so would Hugh Jackman, in lumberjack apparel.


All my best,

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Force Of Nature: Marie Force and Penny Watson present the INDIE AUTHOR SYMPOSIUM

Once upon a time, there was a publishing totem pole.

With publishers, editors, agents, publicists, bookstores, and reviewers.

At the very bottom, nestled in a big old mud puddle, were the authors.

When I started writing, I was confused by this. Why were the folks who had the talent to create the stories at the bottom of the totem pole? We had no control over what we wrote, who bought it, how much money we made, who read it, what they said about it, what our covers looked like, the date of publication, and whether or not we were promoted.

And then...something happened.

Something really cool and really extraordinary happened.

The authors made up their own totem pole.

And we're at the top.

We're also in the middle and the bottom.

We're the whole damned totem pole.

We decide what we write about, where to sell it, how much money we'll make per book sale, how to promote it and reach our target readers, what our covers will look like, when to release our books, and who will edit/format our books.

I gotta say, I'm totally digging this totem pole.

And now for the announcement...Marie Force (as another author recently pointed out, she is a force of nature and an incredible success story in the world of self-publishing and publishing in general) and Penny Watson (that's me, I don't like it when folks tell me I can't do something) are hosting the INDEPENDENT AUTHOR SYMPOSIUM.

What is it?

A 2-day self-publishing symposium open to writers of all topics and genres.

Where is it?

Warwick, Rhode Island at the Crowne Plaza.

When is it?

Nov 1-2, 2013

Who is hosting it?

Marie Force: New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling hybrid author, who has found enormous success as both a self-publishing romance author and with her traditional releases through Berkley and Harlequin.

Penny Watson: Reviewer/Blogger at Penelope's Romance Reviews, author of contemporary and fantasy romance as Penny Watson and children's fiction as Nina Clark, and promo consultant/speaker who specializes in social media etiquette.

Tell me more!

On Friday evening, from 6-8 pm, there will be a networking reception (with cocktails, of course). And on Saturday there will be eight educational sessions, covering such topics as formatting, cover design, distribution, promotion, pricing, and more. The conference will wrap up with a question and answer session.

For detailed information about workshops, registration links, etc. please check out our website here.


I asked this question of self-published authors recently: WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING THING ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING?

Here are some of their answers...

"...make decisions on my own without anyone else telling me how it should be input on what my cover should look like" -- KT Grant

"Options!...NY isn't deciding what readers should read. Readers are." -- Tiffinie Helmer

"Having control...I do both traditional and self [pubbing] and love it" -- TD Jones

"Total control!" -- Liberty Blake

"...ability to know what you are doing has an effect on your readers in a direct way...the ability to change things, if you choose to, is a very powerful thing...unmarketable books that will find readers because they aren't relegated to the slush pile" -- Jenn LeBlanc

"...discovering the amazing community of Indie authors and bloggers" -- Daisy Prescott

"Indie-published ebooks never go out of print" -- Judith Arnold

"Having someone actually read my book" -- Lex Callahan

"Someone will read it, someone will love it, someone will be happy that you put your whole soul out there" -- Christine Major DePetrillo

And finally, I asked Marie Force the same question. Here is what she said...

"I love having full control over every aspect of publication--from writing to editing to publication schedules and everything in between. I love the freedom to decide where I want to go with a series or characters and not have anyone tell me that's a bad idea or it won't work. It's fun to take some risks and not have to worry about the opinions of anyone but my readers." -- Marie Force


Are you ready to join the revolution? Try your hand at self-publishing, take control of your career, have creative freedom? I hope to see many of you at our conference. 

For more information about the Independent Author Symposium, hosted by Marie Force and Penny Watson, please check out our website.

Carpe Diem!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013




Have a nice day,

Monday, September 2, 2013



Yesterday, as I was reading, I laughed so hard, and for so long, and snorted like a pig (don't tell anyone), that my dog Lucy was concerned enough to stare at me as though I were having some sort of debilitating fit.

I laughed so hard I got tears in my eyes.

I laughed so hard I started mumbling to myself ("Oh dear Lord, this is funny!") under my breath.

I laughed so hard I stopped reading to post about it on Goodreads.

In a sea of boring-ass, cookie-cutter, no imagination-whatsoever romance novels, SEEKING PHILBERT WOODBEAD is a huge, honkin' breath of fresh air.

Does it have handcuffs?


Does it have a billionaire?


Does it have teenage angst, a motorcycle gang, kinky sex, or vampires?

No, thank the good God, it does not.

What is has is irony, farce, charm, and so much humor you might start wheezing and need an inhaler. (I have one for emergency purposes).

Anya Wylde may write books, but in her heart, she is a comedian. She has perfect, spot-on timing with her comedy. One sentence, perfectly placed, and you burst out laughing uncontrollably.

This is a gift. And it's brilliant, sweet, adorable and super super fun.

In fact, as summer comes to a very sad close, I would go out on a limb and say this is the PERFECT way to wrap it up. Get that final pink cocktail with the little umbrella and read this story until you snort like a pig.

Then, take the kids back-to-school shopping and cry a little bit.

If you are looking for a hilarious, ridiculous, sweet (no sex), ironic, farcical, well-written wallpaper historical romantic comedy, then SEEKING PHILBERT WOODBEAD is just what Miss Penelope recommends.

Grade: A-

P.S. The scene that made me laugh the hardest involves a senile uncle, his beard, and a candle.

Happy Reading!