Have you purchased Demons & Pearls by our very own PS Bartlett yet? No? If you have let me know and I’ll put your review here on the site with credit to you and a link to your blog. Well, hopefully it’s a good review.
Why am I pumped about this book, other than it being PS Bartlett’s?
You get to meet someone that I write about in an upcoming book in the Razor’s World. As Bartlett likes to say she is the backwards author, she writes one book, The Blue Diamond-The Razor’s Edge, then goes back in time to write the prequels to it. Well, I did the same. This book will show you where the book I’ve written with Bartlett ends up eventually down the line. What character do I write about the history of? Read Demons & Pearls and find out.
By purchasing the book you make my published author debut a reality. Help make my dream come true.
Check out Lit World Interviews very on 5 Star Historical Romance Read of the Year Author PS Bartlett as she narrates her journey to her voyage to her most recent novel The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge available at Amazon.
One thing to tell you about me and the rest of us here at LitWorldInterviews (LWI) is we are going to be honest, even about our own family and by family that includes the LWI Team members. Why, because if we’re not then we might as well not even be doing this at all.
I will say here and now that a Historical Adventure Romance was not exactly on my radar, even though I have actually written Romance in the past year and am working on revisions and all of that as I get feedback. But still, I’m a guy, right? Romance? And then the cover? I loved the cover but it just looked so . . . so . . . ROMANCE!
Yeah, my bad.
I’m an idiot. I admit it. Think about it. I have written Adventure novels. I have written Romance novels. I have written novels with Historical elements in them, I am a certified History teacher after all. So you would have thought this would have been something I would have read with no problem. Two Pirate Captains meet and the adventure begins and thoughts and worlds begin to be questioned.
I mean you have Pirates, Adventure and a lot more, why would I not want to read it?
Yeah, my stereotype manly man side peeked out and tried to show itself.
I started reading it and right from the start it wasn’t what I had expected. The more I read the more I liked it. Being a former History teacher I definitely enjoyed the history aspects, which were not in your face. They were there for no other reason than a backdrop to enhance the story. That is one thing I appreciated about the novel. Some people make some historical thing THE reason for the book. Not in this one. I’m not saying a historical thing cannot be the point of a book, but it can be over done.
I also appreciated that Bartlett handled the romance scenes with what I think was an eye to all readers. In my own novels, yes novels, the Romance I am doing is a Trilogy, I am concerned about what I call the ‘scenes’, if you know what I mean. Bartlett handled these with taste and oddly, as I think about it, she lets your imagination do a lot of the work.
Was the book perfect?
There were some passages between face to face scenes that I could have seen just a little shorter as I got farther into the book. As I said in my Amazon Review, I think this might be partly because toward the end of the book I was ready for more of the action and seeing what was going to happen next.
I at first wondered about the character displayed by Ivory Shepard and her cousins. Ivory “Razor” Shepard is the pirate captain of a ship that is attacked and sunk. The aftermath is where we enter the story. Her cousins are also women pirates. But the truth is they could very well be based on actual women pirates that operated in the Caribbean, one of which particularly comes to mind.
Even if there was no historical basis for a female pirate, Bartlett does handle how Ivory becomes captain well. I do wonder about the final action that makes her captaincy possible, but it is a believable and not fantastical idea. It is just something I might have wanted to see handled in a slightly different way, yet I do understand why it happened the way it did.
What did I really like?
I enjoyed the character of Maddox “Blacksnake” Carbonale a lot. He is a slightly typical Romantic Hero lead type, but with a few extra layers of development added. I’m not one for the typical. Bartlett made Carbonale believable in many ways and as the story progresses you understand more and more.
The supporting cast, which in reality is more than that, was developed well and was given enough attention for you to care about them. There were no unnecessary characters thrown in. There are a few surprises along the way that I enjoyed, and one that I caught onto just in time before a reveal. Bartlett definitely can tell a story and give you just enough to tell you all you need to know if you pay attention.
So what’s the score?
I gave The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge 5 out of 5 stars at Amazon. I give it the same here. Why? I didn’t find the scenes overdone or unnecessary. The plot was excellent. The story was great. And it kept me wanting to read. I also liked the balance of the three genre elements. Historical enough to be scenery, Adventure enough to keep me wanting more, and Romance enough to make it believable and real. And one other big reason for a 5-I want to read the next book in the series. And isn’t that a sign of a successful piece of writing?
Since this is a ‘family’ member I reviewed and somewhat said there were some improvement areas, I do hope to see you again at LWI. If not, Bartlett knows where she buried the body.
Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers’ Favorite “It’s not often I read stories about female pirates and I am impressed with The Blue Diamond (The Razor’s Edge Book One). P.S. Bartlett writes an entertaining novel that offers great action, adventure and witty dialogue. The personalities of Ivory and her cousins are complex, but I easily connected with them. These are independent, free spirited women with lusty appetites, especially Miranda. Their sense of humour shines through any situation they are placed in. I liked this romantic story which includes some historical data to make it appropriate for that era.”
*This Book Was Given To Me By The Author In Exchange For An Honest Review* Amanda Masters of Nerd Girl Reviews 5 out of 5 Stars “Great Story! full of adventure and pirates! P.S. Bartlett is a wonderful storyteller and her characters are full of life and woe and they go from ship to ship plundering and pillaging. I found myself caught up more and more by their story as I got to know more about them and I can’t wait to read more! These are some of the mose interesting pirates I have come across in a long time!”
Kindle Ninja 5 out of 5 Stars
“There’s a feisty pirate at sea and she’s not to be messed with. Swashbuckling Ivory “Razor” Shepard, with three of her equally fearless female cousins, set sail to escape the manhunt, err femalehunt. Forget damsels in distress, you won’t find them in here. Instead, you’re treated to a rampaging story dressed up in the trappings of pirate lore.”
TheBlueDiamond: THE RAZOR’S EDGE
History, adventure and a touch of romance. Is there any wonder why I wanted to interview my guest today? Veteran of several novels and a great conversationalist, I might add, P.S. Bartlett was a must as soon as I met her. So now without any more words, meet . . .
RW: Where does a Pirate Adventure Romance author live?
P.S.: I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. I grew up in a corner row home in South Baltimore. Now they call it Federal Hill but when I was growing up there, Federal Hill was just a big hill overlooking the inner harbor where we rode our bikes and went sledding because the hills were awesome. It is also a national monument.
RW: Why do you write about Pirates?
P.S.: I love history. I love doing research and learning something with each book I write.
RW: Where did the title The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge come from?
P.S.: The reason for choosing that name is simple; the book is about a big blue diamond. The Razor is the main character and the Razor’s Edge means…well, you’ll have to read it to figure that part out for yourself. 😉
RW: I did read it but I won’t give the reason away. Tell those that haven’t read the book what The Blue Diamond is about.
P.S.: The best way I’ve found to describe it in a simple way is: Charlie’s Angels meet the Pirates of the Caribbean. However, here is the blurb: Ivory Shepard didn’t want to be a pirate when she grew up but she didn’t plan on being orphaned and alone at thirteen with her three cousins either.
RW: Ivory and her cousins were basically orphaned after a Spanish raid, that’s not giving away anything of the story, what happens next that ends up leading them to lives as pirates?
P.S.: Ivory held her cousins together, trained them to fight for their lives and led them to a life of quiet refuge on the banks of the Ashley River. Out of reach of the hands of unscrupulous men, they found life on the farm a tolerable substitute for the traditional alternatives life would force onto them—until the night the pirates showed up.
Setting foot on that first pirate ship was nothing compared to the life of freedom and adventure awaiting them, once Ivory and the girls were through playing nice. Only one man believes he can stop her and he won’t need a ship full of guns to do it.
If it were only that easy…
RW: Is it ever that easy when romance is involved? Tell us what inspired the book?
P.S.: Who knows where my crazy ideas come from, right? I love pirates, adventure and stories about powerful women. I mushed them all together and this is what came out my head.
RW: Ivory and the man Maddox Carbonale are the main, I guess I will say love interests, protagonists in the book. In my review I referred to their relationship as similar to Rhett and Scarlett from Gone with the Wind. Two leaders, strong willed and strong minded who meet and fireworks begin, tell us about them and who else we’ll find in The Blue Diamond-The Razor’s Edge.
P.S.: Ivory is strong, proud and capable but she is also wounded deep inside. She’ll kill or die to protect her family—and has. Fortunately, she and her cousins are survivors. All four women are completely different but I believe they represent women of every century.
Cassandra: The voice of reason and logical thinking.
Miranda: Passionate, willful and loving—and perhaps a bit promiscuous.
Keara: Stern and matter of fact. She’s small but she’s a spitfire and true leader.
The male protagonist is Maddox Carbonale. He is a rival captain and an interesting man. He enjoys the finer things in life, even if he does steal them. He reads Shakespeare and isn’t the sort to engage in down and dirty deeds.
Alphonse Green is Maddox’s Quartermaster and best friend. He’s a native Jamaican and is both Maddox’s right hand and his conscience.
RW: Describe your book in one word.
RW: The Blue Diamond-The Razor’s Edge is your first trip into Adventure, but you’ve written two other books, one that has actually won a few awards. Tell us about them.
P.S.: My first two novels: Fireflies and Hope From the Ocean are the first two books in a series about the Whelan family. They are an Irish immigrant family. Both stories take place in the 19th Century and have paranormal elements and tell quite a bit of the family saga.
RW: You failed to mention the Reader’s Favorite Awards for Fireflies. But I just did so we’ll let it go for now. So being a pirate lady, is your favorite beverage rum with gunpowder in it like Blackbeard?
P.S.: Coffee—the darker roast the better. No sugar but I love sugar free flavored creamers of pretty much any kind.
RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?
P.S.: Besides the fact that I can write an awful lot, I suppose that I really am living out some great fantasies through my writing.
RW: What are you working on right now?
P.S.: I am currently writing book three in the Fireflies series and preparing to launch The Blue Diamond.
RW: Tell us about your publishing as it stands right now.
P.S.: I am currently with Ravenswood Publishing but down the road, I would hope an agent could be a possibility. Obviously I want to be a bestseller some day and I know someone is going to have to sell my books up the chain. Right now, I’m very happy with Ravenswood and the owner, Kitty Honeycutt. She’s been a fabulous advocate for my books.
RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?
P.S.: Write the BEST possible book you can. Learn as much as you can about the publishing industry so you can make the right choices for yourself.
RW: Sometimes our stories or our characters just don’t cooperate with us and we want to tear our hair out. What do you do to let that go?
P.S.: Playing with my three granddaughters or just hanging out chatting and having fun with my girlfriends watching a football game.
RW: What book are you reading at this time?
P.S.: I’m finishing up the first book in the Outlander series. I’m hoping to read book two by Christmas. When you work a full time job, write, have a family, grandchildren and husband, finding precious time to read is a blessing.
RW: Who are your favorite authors?
P.S.: If I’m going way, way back, I’d have to start with the master himself, Stephen king. I loved horror and after I read Carrie in middle school, I was hooked. I also love Anne Rice, Jane Austen and in high school, I was obsessed with William Shakespeare.
RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?
P.S.: Gone with Wind. I don’t know why. I suppose because it is a masterpiece of historical fiction.