The 'frieze' above is a Photoshop montage/colour-change of one of the artwork images for my March book for the Artful Reading Club. For some obscure reason I had downloaded to my Kindle "The Secret History of the Pink Carnation" by Lauren Willig.
WHAT ON EARTH HAPPENED TO ME! Was I so entranced by the title and price of 99p that I didn't read the reviews and 'look inside the book' facility on the Kindle Daily Deal? I think so, fool that I am. It's exactly the sort of book I take care to steer well clear of.
To help you (and me) through this review I'll scatter the sketches I painted for the artwork - and they are relevant ... (ish) ....
So the choice of book was all my own fault. I respect the fact that many people enjoy this type of book, but it's just not for me.
But as a true blue member of the ARC I gritted my teeth and read every page when I would otherwise have ditched it on page 10.
It's a historical romance, linked with a modern-day equivalent romance, and with the emphasis on ROMANCE.
I'm a very fast reader and, to face the challenge of getting through it, I put my skates on. Because of the 'quality' of the writing I was able to whizz through the pages so quickly the page-turn button got hot.
In fact I was able to start my April book halfway through February, so that must be a good point.
Another good point - you DON'T have to add this to your own ever-growing list of books to read.
Researching and writing a book is not easy, and I don't like to be too dismissive of what is clearly a very popular book. It's simply that I was the wrong audience.
The author had done her research, but it was the way she used it that grated on me - the flippant tone and constant anachronisms, silly unreal situations, and her writing style.
When I was a very young teenager I read everything I could find of Georgette Heyer and loved it, but that was a long, long time ago.
This was Georgette Heyer meets Barbara Cartland (not read any of hers) on a really, REALLY bad day.
I really haven't the patience to describe the horribility of my experience with this book. Suffice it to say the real finishers for me were the ridiculous passionate sex scenes (what my Eng Lit teacher used to call 'purple painted patches').
The link of my artwork to the story is that Napoleon's collection of Egyptian Antiquities is constantly referred to.
I'm bonkers about ancient Egyptian history and artwork, and Napoleon's collection gave me an excuse to refer to my ancient Egypt books and do a bit of Egyptian doodling as well.
So, here's the actual artwork - just a page of sketches in a large sketchbook, but I enjoyed myself greatly with these. Hope you like them.