For Only 99p
The 1st of May isn't far away now, just under a month away, and I'm so ridiculously excited about the release of Forging History. To celebrate, I'm throwing a launch party on April 30th and I'd really love you to be there. It's going to be amazing with some really amazing authors joining us. I'm going to be giving away a ton of books and stuff so if you haven't read one of my books, it's the perfect time to get it for free. Make sure you RSVP so you don't miss out on a second of all the fun.
Don't Forget to Pre-Order Forging History
For Only 99p
The price of Forging History will be going up to £1.99 on the 1st of May so make sure you pre-order your copy.
I would never describe myself as a feminist. It's not that I don't agree with the basic principles. I do. I believe in equality. I think I deserve to be treated the same as anyone else regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion or race. Nothing should excuse people behaving badly. But recently I was watching a TV debate show that I watch religiously. It's called The Pledge.
Michelle Dewbs said something that really resonates with me, "For me, I regard myself as absolutely equal. All around this table, beyond this table, in the work place, in the social... I regard myself as an equal person. I don't think you're better than me. I don't think you're better than me. I just think we're all the same. I want to see woman do well. I think it's awesome when girls do brilliant things but I also think it's awesome when guys do awesome things."
So, I'm not exactly a feminist. I just want to make sure you get that before I continue with the rest of this post because I don't want anyone to think I'm just on a feminism rant... eek. Throughout the history of the world the written language has been a huge part of our identity both as individuals or as a society. The writing on the walls of caves and pyramids taught us almost everything we know about certain historic societies because it told us something important about their social identity. Then there's the 50's adverts that completely degraded women.
Don't you just love how she lacks any thoughts at all. She just smiles like an ignorant idiot. Jane Austen made a huge statement when she penned in persuasion;
"I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman's inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman's fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men."
"Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything."
And back then, that was completely true. Women who wrote used male pen names because it wasn't a suitable thing for a woman to do. Jane Austen and other authoresses like her, changed everything for us that would come later and they did it so well. Their female protagonists were mostly formidable creatures. Even Emma, the brat, had a strength about her that was easy to admire. She had for years fulfilled the role of her dead mother without complaint. Sense and Sensibility's Elinor was strong in a way that women of her time weren't. She worked hard. She did her family's accounts - she did the man of house jobs. Elizabeth, from P and P, was her father's favourite because of her intelligence and wit. Things that weren't considered attractive by society's standard of that day.
I wonder what future generations will think about the women of today based on the books we write? I'm not saying it's all bad. It's not. To use an easy example, Fifty Shades of Grey? What does that tell us about women today?
It tells us that we care about money. That the average man is beneath us.
How many books are there out there that are about Billionaires? Don't worry, I'm not judging, I love them too. I'm just asking a question. Is that really the lesson we want to teach future generations? That men can do whatever they want, if they are powerful and rich enough? I don't think that's any of our intentions but it does paint an interesting picture.
It tells us that we like to be degraded
I love books that involve a bit of kink. I don't have a problem with bondage or a little bit of pain. If that's what gets your character off, then it's part of who they are. BDSM is a lifestyle and that's okay too. But write it right. BDSM isn't about degradation. It's about trust and respect. It might not be for you and I could never fully submit so I get how you feel if it's not your thing, but you still have to write it right. In my first series, the Rules Series, I looked at the idea of control because it's a real thing. It's not just guys who want to be in control. On some level most people want to be in control, at least of themselves. In the end, the two character Aurora and Landon came to the conclusion that they could share control. That it was safe to lose control with the other. That they could give the other their control. It was an equal exchange between them. Now not every relationship is like that but we need to be fair to everyone, not everyone is as submissive as Anna or as weak. Because lets be real, real submission, involves trust to a level that is beyond what Anna was giving, real submission is a sign of strength - a strength I don't have might I add. I'm a control freak.
It tells us that we are usually unable to look after ourselves
Seriously, the days of hero legends like Hercules are way over and yet we seem to have fallen into the trap of letting our female protagonists act like damsels in distress. They can't pay their bills so a billionaire has to rescue them, seriously could you be more disrespectful to women kind? Sorry. That was a bit ranty but still true. They need him to give her a job, get her a better car, get her a nicer apartment... wtf??? We're better than this. Women are better than this. Yes, sometimes we need picking up but not as often as contemporary romance is suggesting.
It tells us the easiest way to shut us up is sex
How many times do we have to end an argument with a sex scene? Sometimes it makes sense and it really adds something to the story but other times it just looks like the only way he's going to win is to fuck her. It's crude and shows a lack of intimacy and if that's your point then I totally support you, but if that isn't the message you're trying to give, then stop and think. Ask yourself what you are trying to say. Change it up. Have her cry. Have him kiss her tears away. Have her walk away or slap him if he's being a bastard but don't let her give up on the fight because her vagina is weak!
It tells us that women are still expected to be inexperienced
VIRGINS! It's more common than almost any other plotline and I'm guilty of it too. I wrote Aurora as a virgin because it fitted with her character. But as a general rule, why do we keep re-writing this? The truth is that innocence isn't something that our society expects in every day like, if anything it's embarrassing for most young people. I wish it wasn't true. I wish they were more empowered not to feel virgin shamed but unfortunately it happens. So why do the books we read make it sound like it happens every day? It's like the 1900s again when women were expected to be completely pure whilst men were allowed to be as naughty and roguish as they liked. It sets a double standard and that's not cool. Although I did read a book about a male billionaire virgin - that one really did something to stamp out the stereotypes.
I'm not saying the books we read and write are bad. They're not. I love them. There's no world in which I will stop reading romance books but I just wish we (me included) would sometimes think about what message we're delivering. The pen is a powerful tool. Back in the day, not many people's pens were heard or read but today we have an open platform and our words can inspire or destroy - it's completely up to us authors. With great power comes great responsibility. Jane Austen and the like, taught us what a woman should look like, lets not let our predecessors down. Rant over.
Make sure to pre-order your copy of Forging History the final book in the History series before it's release on the first of May.
Emotions are running high as they attend their friends' Aurora and Landon's wedding. Nothing seems to go to plan and Clara and Andrew are on a mission to make sure everything works out. They seem to have finally overcome their past. They've finally accepted their history can't be erased. It can't just be deleted. It's what makes them them. Without all the history between them they wouldn't really know each other and they definitely wouldn't love each other the way they do now. It all started with tears but will it end the way it started or will it end with a happy ever after?
Get a free copy of Enforced Rules when you agree to give the book an honest review.
to his parents' house for dinner and he accidentally allows her to see more than he would like. He doesn't do vulnerable and that's exactly what she makes him; weak and completely at her mercy.
With control out of his reach though he might just push to enforce the rules between himself and Aurora in a desperate attempt to reclaim the control he craves. After all, he told Aurora he would help her break her rules but he hadn't planned on it being at the expense of his own. But will his need for control prove too much for Aurora.
Enforced Rules, the second book in the Rules Series is currently available on a countdown deal on Amazon. That mean's the ridiculously low price of 99p really won't last for more than a few days so you should totally get it whilst you still can.
How many reasons do you need? 5? 10? 20? There are millions of reasons why my life would be better if I was a character in a romance novel.
1. The Attractive Alpha Male Lead Is Actually A Decent Guy
So in real life, these guys are usually arseholes. You know the type. They are incredibly attractive and they know it. Not only do they know it but they want you to know it too. Arrogance and cockiness is attractive, blatant egotistical bastards not so much.
2 I'm Way Less Whiny Than Most Female Protagonists
I will not get into the feminism arguments against female characters in contemporary romance, or at least not today but seriously I have got to say at least this much, they really need to be stronger people. I'm being unfair to some authors, who do write beautiful characters, but a lot of female protagonists in today's literature remind me more of the damsel in distress of ancient greek mythology than the Elizabeth Bennets of 19th Century Lit. Seriously are we going backwards??? I would not be a whiny mess who can barely formulate a sentence... and I sure as heck wouldn't let Christian Grey get away with half of the shit he pulled in the fifty shades series.
3. Happily Ever Afters
To risk sounding like a little kid with a fairy tale book, I'm a big fan of a HEA. Unfortunately, I'm also a little bit cynical and don't really believe in them in real life. Awks.
4. The Fact That Every One Is Rich
What is with that? Seriously, I don't want to be a kept woman but if we're talking fiction, by god yes buy me a big house and a yacht.
5. (and perhaps the most important) THE SEX
Seriously, with all the multiple orgasms and oral experts in contemporary romance now a days, there probably isn't a man on earth who can match up... well almost... Ryan Reynolds could problem hit the spot.
So I've come to the conclusion, that the books we read should be real and then my life would be far more entertaining. I mean even down to how the characters meet in books - how often does that ever happen?
To celebrate the fact, that it is almost exactly two years ago that I started writing Broken Rules, I have decided to give it away completely free. You don't have to sign up, you don't have to agree to do anything for me, I just want to give you a gift.
Now of course, if you love the book, I'd love you to share it with your friends and perhaps share a review on Goodreads or Amazon. This month is my birthday month, and so I will take every review as a personal birthday present! It would literally make my birthday. As well as that, throughout the month, starting on the 11th March the other books in the series are all on Amazon Countdown deals so once you've read the first one you get to read the rest slightly cheaper, as a little birthday present from me to you.
Happy reading everyone!
At long last, the final instalment of the History Series is available for pre-order. I'm ridiculously excited to announce this one! Whoop Whoop! It's going to be brilliant to see Clara and Andrew's story come to an end... but the big question is whether everything will work out as expected.
Aurora and Landon's wedding. Nothing seems to go to plan and Clara and Andrew are on a mission to make sure everything works out. They seem to have finally overcome their past. They've finally accepted their history can't be erased. It can't just be deleted. It's what makes them them. Without all the history between them they wouldn't really know each other and they definitely wouldn't love each other the way they do now. It all started with tears but will it end the way it started or will it end with a happy ever after? They don't want to repeat the mistakes of their past, a past they can't delete but perhaps together they can make history instead.
If you haven't already read the rest of the History series why not start now with Repeating History.
Synopsis: Ryder Pryce-Reed. Billionaire. Hollywood superstar. The man every man wants to be. The man every woman wants to have. I am about to become his bride...but only so he can claim his grandfather's legacy. The world is furious that he will belong to a working girl as ordinary as me. Our deal was supposed to be simple. I marry him for a year; he ensures that my unborn child and I are taken care of. But now everything's complicated. We can't keep our hands off each other. Enemies, both past and present, want to tear us apart. And...I'm in love with Ryder. How do you keep a man everyone says isn't yours to keep?
Another great book from an author who is quickly becoming one of my favourites. Having greatly enjoyed reading the prequel to this book, I bought this book immediately upon finishing A Hollywood Deal. I barely stopped to breathe until it was finished. This story took the issues it raised in the last book and brought them to a whole new challenging level. The way Paige was treated was beyond appalling. This book brought into play the issues of cyber bullying and the misuse of social media. These books have given me tremendous respect for their author. Even if you only read it to because of the questions it inspires and the issues it raises then you're time won't be wasted.
The love story itself was beautiful. Watching Ryder realise his feeling for Paige and witnessing Paige's constant refusal to accept her own feelings was amazing. Really looking forward to the next book in this series. Like the other series by this author this one surrounds a family that might well all have stories to share, especially given their father's demand. I'm looking forward to Elliot's story as he seems to be the most rebellious of the Reeds and so I just know he's going to make it very interesting.
Again it was clear that Ryder and Paige had some serious communication issues. If only they would talk their lives would be so much easier. I didn't like the lack of a response to the weight issue. I wanted Ryder to make a statement or something demanding his fans stay away from her. I felt that it needed to be resolved. I wanted to know how they were going to handle it going forward. The ending felt a little rushed and not quite as succinct as the rest of the story. However, I loved reading this book and I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Synopsis: Paige Johnson is used to cleaning up after her boss, Hollywood superstar bad boy Ryder Pryce-Reed. Nothing can shock her--not the countless "humped and dumped" women or the wreckage in the wake of his wild ways--until he asks her to marry him for a year.
Billionaire actor Ryder needs to marry for a year to claim his beloved grandfather's painting. Who better to help out than his big and beautiful assistant Paige? The rules are simple: give everyone a good show while keeping it strictly professional. But what happens when he can't keep his hands off his sassy, luscious "wife"?
Having read quite a few romance novels not many books take me by surprise. This one did and it didn't. It had the same awesome feel to the rest of Lee's romances. It was as interconnected as the rest, the leading man being related to the Pryce family. A lot of other familiar characters are mentioned too. I read this book quicker than even I thought possible and downloaded the sequel immediately. I've got bags under my eyes because I sat up reading several nights in a row. Not that I'm complaining - it was 100% worth it!
Ryder and Paige were pretty awesome characters. I enjoyed reading about them quite a lot. Ryder was obviously very attractive but he had some very frustrating flaws. His inability to trust for one and both his and Paige's inability to communicate was so completely realistic that I loved it! It was exactly like life. It was fantastic to see such great characterisation. Ryder although pretty humble at heart was incredibly egotistical at times and often underestimated Paige.
I think I'd be remiss if I didn't address on of the biggest issues in this two part story. This book did a fantastic job of dealing with the issue of a woman's physical appearance within society. Although the romance genre has often been portrayed as the trashy sister of real literature, it's fantastic to see an author prove that so completely wrong. Literature has always been about sharing a message, be it a concept or idea, a dream or wish. Some of the best poems in history have been about war or politics, whilst some of the best fictional stories have spoken of women's rights and equality. A good story hooks it's reader in, but the best of stories after hooking you in, pushes you to think about something new. Perhaps society's expections as to our appearance is not a new realisation for most women but it's certainly worth the thought.
I found this book particularly challenging. I don't want anyone to take offence and so I'm choosing my words incredibly carefully. From the very beginning it was clear that Paige was not "model beautiful". She was not skinny. She had boobs and a bum; she had curves. That I could cope with. But I struggled to understand her size. In England where I live most people where double figured dress sizes so that didn't answer my question. I'm a size 10 in the U.K. which is quite an average size but I would say that although I'm not overweight I could be a healthier weight. So I couldn't determine if she was simply curvy or genuinely overweight. More importantly I struggled in my own mind to put Paige (if she was overweight) with Ryder (sexy superstar) and there was my first challenge because I devalued her in my own mind because of her weight. I was shocked with myself and quite disappointed. Then to see the way she was treated by other people who devalued her was truly humbling. Of course I'd never treat her that way but even I judged her and harshly for her weight. This book wasn't just a book about love and happily ever afters. It wasn't just a book about finding love but a book about what society demands of us and how damaging that expectation can be. Hats off to Lee because it's not often that a romance novel challenges me in this way.
There are so many reasons why I think you should read this book. The characters, the plot, the questions it inspires.
An eclectic collection of Hanleigh's thoughts and ideas about near enough anything and everything. After all isn't that what blogging is all about? Having all your thoughts, dreams and ideas in one place?
Hanleigh: an avid reader but a beginner when it comes to writing.