THE SIREN OF SUSSEX by Mimi Matthews

One of the most anticipated romances of the year released today! Mimi Matthews wrote a highly praised historical romance called The Siren of Sussex. It is named an Editor’s Pick on Amazon. The book is based in Victorian London, need we say more?! Well, I am not going to tell you…. just read the book for yourself:

The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London Book 1)

“A tender and swoonworthy interracial, cross-class romance in Victorian London…Readers will delight in this paean to women’s fashion and horseback riding.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Matthews brings the Victorian era to vivid life with meticulously researched details and an impossible romance made believable and memorable.”—Booklist, starred review

“Romance aficionados who love fashion and animals will delight in this tender romance and will be excited to see Evelyn’s friends in future installments.”—Library Journal, starred review

The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London Book 1) by [Mimi Matthews]
The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London Book 1)

Are you reading on your IPHONE?

Two posts in a row about Apple… I know, but I really wanted to post about a recent article I saw about reading on your Iphone. I read just about everything on my Iphone and these two tips I received from the Cnet article are great! Since this blog is dedicated to writing and reading, and we all carry our phones around with us all day, might as well embrace it and give some tips on how to read better on the pesky little devide.

1) Turn on reader mode in Safari, you should be able to do this just by long pressing the AA which is just to the left of the search bar (if you cannot find it, google it!)

2) Automatically set reader mode for certain websites (like You can do that by tapping the AA move over to user reader automatically and you will be all set.

3) Adjust your brightness settings. You need to play the brightness settings on a regular basis. Apple attempts to do auto brightness for you, but often it is lagging in what you actually need.

Once you have your settings right, go ahead and put down the phone and read a book!

More Subscriptions . . . Apple and Audiobooks?!

I love the ‘News’ app on Apple, I subscribe to it and use it as my main news source (the reason why I love it is because of all the magazine options). Naturally, they have a healthy dose of news sources dedicated to Apple. MacRumors reported on January 4, 2022 that Apple might be entering into the Audiobook space! What does that mean? Well, likely that you will just get all your media sources from Apple. What does that mean for Authors? I am not sure yet, but it is another example of a ‘giant’ trying to acquire as much content as possible. I would venture that in order to attract content and talent away from Amazon/ACX/Audible, Apple might offer better terms for authors. Amazon notoriously creates a very competitive landscape for authors and when working with Amazon’s subscription services, authors are often disappointed with the compensation. I am super excited that another big player is entering the space but I am interested to see what the terms look like for the authors. I wonder when and what Apple’s digital book subscription service will look like, will it be anything like Amazon’s? Check out Amazon’s below:

Kindle Unlimited Reading Subscription Discounted 6M, 12M, 24M pre-paid plans – earn bounty

Writing to write…

I came across an article in the Guardian that reminded me of two things:

1. Write to write.

2. Not everything written is meant to be published, or needs to be published.

The article by Cathy Rentzenbrink does a great job summing these points up.

You do not need to be a “writer” to write. You don’t need to have some profound experience oe a certain educational or professional background to you. You don’t have to have what you might feel is writing talent- just write. Write as much as possible and you will surprise yourself with just how talented you actually are.

Just because you do write something does not mean it needs to be published by a publishing company or even through self publication, the act of writing is often an exercise and nothing more. This reminder as helped me a set new goal for myself this year- I am going to try to write more- here on this blog and just for myself too. Here is to you writing more and more as well!

Work out

One of the best ways to clear your head when you are trying to write is to work out! This is the time of the year everyone is thinking about working out, but you should do it for more then your body, do it for your mind as well. The endorphins generated from working out lead to a clearer mind and sharper recall, which ultimately can help you write better. If your stuck or not, all the data shows that working out, getting endorphins pumping can help! For more on this check out:

Let me give you some tips on what I like:

I like body weight exercises because they do not require equipment and you can do them right at your desk or where ever you work, I like push ups, squats and planks, I try to do as much as I can through out the day. Sometimes I add resistance with bands, here is a link to some easy bands which help me do more then just body weight.

NETKENS Resistance Band Set 11-Piece Home Workouts Durable P

Let’s Write Chapter One

As we approach the new year, it’s like we are coming to a new chapter and some may even look at it as chapter one. I know it sounds cheesy but the new year gives people inspiration to start their lives in a new light. So in that honor we will be discussing how you can write your chapter.

Your first chapter needs to be the ultimate hook! Something that will captivate publishers, agents, and readers (no pressure). But don’t worry, that’s why you’re here…read on to discover the writers chapter one checklist.  

Disclaimer: Everyone’s books are different so every first chapter will be. There is no perfect formula to a first chapter but there are key elements. 

  1. Introduce the protagonist. 

First things first, we need to know the main character. We don’t need to know descriptive details just yet but enough to know a little bit about them. And don’t forget…for every great protagonist comes a great antagonist.

  1. Establish a point of view. 

What is your story’s point of view? Will you be writing in third person limited, third person omniscient, first person or another POV? Pick one and stick to it!

  1. Set the genre. 

From the first chapter the reader should truly understand what genre they are reading. Is it a romance, science fiction, thriller and so forth? 

  1. Introduce the conflict. 

What is going to keep the reader engaged? Why are they reading this story? Introducing the conflict in the first chapter gives the reader something to look forward to and makes them continue to chapter two. 

  1. Don’t overwhelm the reader.

Try not to throw in too much information in the first chapter. They still have a whole book to read after all! So limit the characters and places you mention in the first chapter. 

And as always..have fun! This is your novel and there’s no right way to write a first chapter, just helpful tips! One other tip is to keep track of what your doing, sometimes an easy organizer of your thoughts works like this one:

Happy Writing! And Happy almost New Year!

Get Out of Your Reading Rut!

It happens to the best of us…we say we are going to read, read, read and then once life catches up to us or we aren’t feeling inspired the reading stops. And it may take a while to get back into the swing of things. 

But don’t worry! Follow some of these tips to put you back in the reading mood!

  1. Listen to recommendations.

Sometimes things truly go in one ear and out the other, but try and listen to what your fellow readers have to say! Give one of their recommendations a shot, you might be pleasantly surprised. 

  1. Pick up an old favorite. 

Go back to a book you know you love to put you back into the mood. After you finish it you may be more eager to try something new.

  1. Celebrity reading lists. 

If you have a favorite celebrity like Reese Witherspoon or Oprah take a look at their reading list. It could spark some inspiration!

  1. Judge a book by its cover. 

I know. I know. But sometimes it’s necessary! Take a good stroll through the bookstore or browse a website and just see what catches your eye. You want to look for something that you know you will open!

  1. Try a new method.

If you have only picked up a paperback book, switch it up! Listen to an audiobook or try an ebook out and see if you like it better. 

I get in my own rut from time to time, but I like to use these tips for myself to put me back in my reading game! Try them out and see if they work for you!

Happy Reading!

Spark Your Holiday Novel With Imagery!

Weather (pun intended) we like it or not the holiday season is right around the corner! It’s practically here (in Grinch voice)!

And for some of us that means snow! Now, if you are trying to spark some creativity for your holiday novel one great way to do that is through imagery. Looking at photos can make us believe we are there and feeling the surroundings. So if you live in someplace that may not get snow, spark that feeling with some of these images!

There are so many tools to use to spark your imagination! Just by going online and typing themes of your book into the search bar and looking at the images can open a whole new door to your novel!

And I am not just here to show you pictures of snow because there can be so much more in a holiday novel. Maybe you live in a place that has too much snow and your characters take a tropical vacation for the holidays?

The possibilities are endless! Maybe you use your own photos to spark something! Just remember that you can spark your creativity through almost anything! 

Happy Writing!

Add A Monster To Your Next Novel: The Erymanthian Boar

Come with us on another monster adventure! Last post we focused on the Mesopitamian creature the Aqrabuamelu (Scorpion Man). Today we jump to Greek mythology with the Erymanthian Boar!

It is always fun to learn and test out new creatures in your novels, so while we are focusing on the Erymanthian Boar today, we encourage you to do some research of your own and see what monsters you may find, and we would love to hear about them!

But let’s get started…

If you are familiar with the story of Hercules, then you may have seen this particular creature. Hercules was tasked with bringing Eurystheus an Erymanthian Boar alive for one of his twelve heroic labors, which is no small task. 

In Greek mythology, the boar was a giant creature who lived on Mount Erymanthus and would lay waste to anything that came in its path with it’s strong and large canine teeth. 

How to use this creature in your next novel:

  • Your take on the legend of Hercules
  • A modern day example of the Erymanthian Boar
  • Your character travels to Mount Erymanthus

We hope you enjoyed our little journey through Greek mythology, and hope it inspired you to do some research of your own! And maybe even a new novel idea!

Happy Monster Hunting!


Add A Monster To Your Next Novel: Aqrabuamelu (Scorpion Men)

There’s a whole world of monsters that you can utilize in your next novel, and what better time to focus on them while during the spooky season! People tend to focus on popular monsters while writing but today we will focus on a lesser known monster…Aqrabuamelu (Scorpion Men).

Now yes, I already know what you’re thinking of you’ve seen The Scorpion King with Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson you are probably familiar with this monster, however we will now be doing a deeper dive so get ready!

This particular creature comes from Mesopitamian mythology and features the torso of a man with the lower body of a scorpion. Just like a real scorpion it is said that their tales were filled with venom, however unlike our typical scorpions these creatures were also said to have god-like powers and were excellent archers. 

According to Mesopitamian legend, they were created by Tiamat (goddess of the sea) and they guarded the gates of heaven, as they stood so tall their heads touched the clouds. 


So, you have all of this potential new information about a new creature…how do you use it in your next novel?

  • Share your twist on the legend
  • Go back in time and have your character encounter an Aqrabuamelu
  • POV of an Aqrabuamelu

Let your ideas run wild! ANd remember there is always more research to be done. 

Happy Monster Hunting!