Friday, 28 December 2012

Pride and Prejudice - The Game Review

My husband is a dedicated gamer.  He loves games of all kinds - as long as there is strategy involved.  I prefer games that make you laugh and don't require a lot of brain power.  Would we find happiness in my latest Jane Austen acquisition, given to me for Christmas by my very thoughtful mother?

One begins the game by choosing two Pride and Prejudice characters.  This, in itself, is delightful.  There are eight characters to choose from including Darcy and Elizabeth, Charlotte and Mr. Collins, Jane and Bingley, and Lydia and Wickham.  The object of the game is to be the first to get your character couples to the wedding chapel first.  One achieves this by throwing dice, moving about the board game, collecting tokens, spending shillings and answering trivia questions from the novel.

I am very pleased to report that my husband was very engaged in this game and that my brother-in-law was a good enough to introduce his character with an English accent!  Although we had varying knowledge of the Pride and Prejudice, this did not seem to be a major stumbling block.  I found the Regency Cards most entertaining.  These might be considered "Chance" cards, where they can offer good or bad news for any of the players in the game.  They also include interesting information about Regency times.

Overall, I have to give this game 5 out of 5 stars for accuracy, enjoyability and attractiveness.  I can't wait to play again!  Find the game here: boardgamegeek

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Mozart's Ghost

I chose this book for many reasons: It’s set in New York, a place I’d love to visit.  Emma, the main character is a teacher, like me.  Her love interest, Edward, is a pianist who plays Mozart and, as a little twist, Mozart’s ghost haunts their apartment building.  It looked and sounded like a cozy winter read.  Unfortunately, I found myself angry with Emma a lot of the time.

I was alarmed at first to learn that Emma is a Medium who communes with the dead as a side job.  I usually stay away from anything dark and sinister, but Cameron explained and showed the ghosts in such a way as to make them seem like the living.  It’s just that most people can’t see them, a bit like Sixth Sense, but not nearly as riveting. 

The main conflict in the book involves Emma’s relationship with her apartment neighbour, Edward.  Edward has moved to New York for a year to study classical music and prepare for a piano competition.  Emma finds herself speaking to him in ways that suprise her.  Long before Emma realizes it, the reader knows she is in love with him.  Many supposed problems complicate what seems like an easy romance – he likes her, she likes him.  The most believable problem is that she doesn’t want to disclose that she speaks to ghosts, as this has turned away all of her boyfriends in the past.  Unfortunately, this reticence drags on for so long that I said at one point “I can’t wait until this book is over!”

Emma and Edward are both endearing and well-drawn characters.  However, I found that their romance as the main interest in the book was lacking.  It might work better as a ninety-minute romantic comedy.  Descriptions of New York in the fall were nice, but nothing new.  Emma’s dedication to vintage clothing and anti-technology lacked freshness.  Maybe she’s just a bit too much like me.  I think a main character needs a bit more spunk and a little less self-pity.  Mozart's Ghost on Amazon 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

New Review of Suspiciously Reserved

I'll be the first to admit I'm a bit obsessed with checking for new reviews of my books.  I decided to google the title of my latest publication, Suspiciously Reserved, and was delighted to find a new review on  Within the last year, Kindle has made my book available to readers in the UK, which had me very excited as two of my books are interpretations of Jane Austen's Emma and Pride and Prejudice.  Here is some of what Sarah Powell had to say:

"I liked Adkins' take on Jane, who comes across as likeable and long-suffering rather than too good to be true, while also remaining faithful to Austen's template. Frank and Jane's secret relationship is also touching, until the author falls prey to the familiar trap of apologising for Frank's behaviour after the reunion (in the original novel, he has no purer motive than simply wanting to have his cake and eat it!) Frank tells Jane, "It's far too soon to ask you to marry me. I sometimes wished we lived two hundred years ago, when this sort of thing wasn't so strange", which I thought was cute."

Powell had great recommendations for improvements to my novel as well as some heartwarming love for the book as well. I was especially pleased with this comment "I loved the scene where Emma and Knightley have their fight over Frank while playing a strenuous game of ice hockey on the Wii, with Jane listening distractedly in the background - very appropriate!" That is my favourite scene in the book as well.

Thank you so much to all of my readers who have posted reviews. It is truly a pleasure to hear what you think:)

Sarah Powell's review of Suspiciously Reserved