Tag Archive: Pride and Prejudice


An Old Fashioned Review

Editor’s Note: One of my authors, Lori Janeski, had a lot to say about the film Old Fashioned, which premiered last week alongside 50 Shades of Grey. I invited her to turn our conversation into a guest review here on Novel Ninja, giving her analysis of why Old Fashioned failed not only as a romantic alternative to 50 Shades, but also why it just plain failed as a means of promoting “old fashioned romance.”

~ Matthew Bowman, Supreme Editor Monkey at Novel Ninja.

I’m not into rom-coms, I’ll admit that at the outset. If you were to ask me to choose between, say, It Happened One Night (Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert) and Twelve O’clock High (Gregory Peck and Hugh Marlowe), I’d pick the war movie, any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

So the fact that I voluntarily went to see Old Fashioned on Valentine’s Day by myself should tell you something. In fact, the main reason I bothered was to try to make sure that Fifty Shades of Smut didn’t make as much money at the box office on their opening weekend.

Knowing that, any review of mine must be taken with a significant grain of salt, because I am not a big fan of the genre in general (with a few exceptions, like Pride and Prejudice). With that in mind, this is what I thought. Continue reading

As I said in my review of Shanna Swendson’s Enchanted series, I wound up with a lot more to say that was really appropriate for a review. Like many of my posts, it’s a long one, clocking in at over three thousand words, but it’s aimed more at writers than all readers. And, I promise: spoiler free! (Well, except for the romance angle.)

So, without further ado, here’s my analysis of this new favorite series.  Continue reading

A pretty good description of me trying to read a random selection from the Paranormal Romance shelf.

A pretty good description of me trying to read a random selection from the Paranormal Romance shelf.

Most of the time, when someone refers to “romantic urban fantasy,” my brain starts turning off.

Now, I’m not opposed to chick lit; in fact, I’ve been so far to the other side that when I was a favorite target of schoolyard teasing, the one thing they never managed to get under my skin was that I avidly read Nancy Drew as far back as the fourth grade. I didn’t get why it was weird. I’d already read every Hardy Boys I could get my hands on, after all! But chick lit fantasy seems to mainly be a genre where you have mere variations on a woman swooning over a vampire, werewolf, or . . . well, no, just vampires and werewolves. Yeah. It’s gotten a bit stale out there.

Well, it turns out there’s a seven-book series that, while not exactly new (the first book came out nearly ten years ago), still brings new life to this particular sub-genre. Enchanted, Inc., by Shanna Swendson, kicks off a lighthearted romantic fantasy series staring one Katie Chandler, small-town Texan girl, who discovers that New York is weirder than most New Yorkers ever dream of. It’s smart, funny, enjoyable, and just a little addictive without ever coming close to “guilty pleasure” territory.

In fact, I suspect that many of my own readers would be interested in a romantic fantasy series that is 1) very fun to read, 2) cleverly described, 3) has no sex scenes, and 4) does not feature a vampiric or wolfish love interest. I welcome you all to prove me right.

contentI spent an enjoyable week and a half reading through the entire series, occasionally discussing it with my friend Lori, and generally just enjoying the change of pace from my usual fare. I wound up being a rather enthusiastic fan of the series by the end, and decided it was something to recommend far and wide. If, like me, you normally get your hackles up at the phrase “paranormal romance,” you owe it to yourself to check out this series.

I’ve got more stuff to say about it — this is a writing blog, after all, and there are some things to look at if you’re a writer yourself — but I’ll be splitting it off into a separate post because it ran long. For now, I’m concerned only with the review portion. Continue reading

Kitchen Chemistry

I’m not usually one for rom-coms. Of course, I have nothing against them per se — and I’m a complete romantic sap in real life. But your average romantic comedy usually doesn’t appeal to me because they’re generally quite predictable and need to be based around some central element that makes them stand apart.  Continue reading

Elevator Pitching

You’re at a convention, doing what everyone at such an event does sooner or later: waiting on the elevator. While engaging in small talk with the lady next to you, you find out she’s a senior editor at your favorite publishing house. You decide to pitch your book to her. Problem is, you’ve only got a few moments while you both step into the elevator — and she’s probably heard pitches about books just like yours. Can you describe your novel in thirty seconds and still make it interesting? Continue reading

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