The Dark Days (The Dark Days Saga Book 1)

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The two women choose and trust in each other, over all other things, and that is pretty awesome. The romantic angle is similarly well developed if slightly more predictable—Helen of course forms an attachment to the mysterious and very good looking and dangerous Lord Carlston, who of course is off-limits and a ton bad boy. Similarly, another man in the form of Duke Selburn forms an attachment to Helen of course , and similarly has a grudge to bear against Lord Carlston of course. All of this is, obviously, formulaic… but it works in the context of this novel.

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And… I liked it all. A lot. YMMV, of course. On the negative side, the book is slightly slow to start and I wish was more well-rounded in its conclusion. In other words: The Dark Days Club is a tantalizing, fully awesome read.

The novel ends on a tantalizing note, and I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the series. Wholeheartedly recommended for readers of all ages and persuasions—especially those looking to revive some spark in the regency or paranormal fantasy realm. And, of course, face set into a serene Court smile.

Helen glanced sideways at her reflection in the glass-fronted bookcase that lined the wall: the best place in the townhouse to view the whole of her tall self. The curtsey was good—it should be, after so many weeks of practice—but she sounded far too surly.

She tried again. No, too jaunty. She rose from the curtsey and dropped the folds of her gown, opening her fingers into long spreads of frustration. Her aunt had told her to find a tone that acknowledged her connection to Lady Catherine, but also maintained a dignified distance from it. A great deal of meaning to place upon a few words.

ASYLUM - Dark Days Fall 2013

She backed a few steps away from the blue silk bulk of the substitute queen. Helen eyed the makeshift Royals, already sensing disaster. Tomorrow she would be curtseying to the real Royal ladies, and there could be no room for awkwardness or mistake.

DARK DAYS: THE FORGE #1 (MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD)

She had to have an answer ready about her mother, just in case Queen Charlotte mentioned the infamous Countess of Hayden. I think of a novel as a constant shift and balance between character and plot as I move through the manuscript. In other words, if my character would never make the choice that the plot requires then I must either change the plot or the character and that is a decision made upon many factors.

A lot of this is done at the planning stage, but as every author knows, a novel can throw up some curly problems at you, which is half the fun! Some of the scenes in this novel are pretty confronting, and as I mentioned in the intro, I was surprised to see it marketed as YA in Australia.

I always meant it to be a crossover novel and HarperCollins have published it under their Angus and Robertson imprint rather than a YA or genre specific imprint to take that into account. It does have some quite strong moments—particularly set around the demons. For me they are symbolic of the suppressed desires and yearnings buried beneath the restraint and politeness of Regency society.


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I would say that the book is definitely aimed more at mature YA readers and adult readers who enjoy a gradual, suspenseful reveal of a hidden world, and who want to immerse themselves in the Regency era. Planner or pantser, or somewhere between? Many drafts or one continuously edited draft? How long does it take you to complete a novel from first idea to polished manuscript? How much of your research gets into the final novel?

I write one continuously edited draft and I write in chronological order—I never skip ahead—which can be a bit hairy when I get stuck on a scene, but I like to build suspense and tension out of what has gone before. In terms of how much research makes it into the novel—that is really hard to quantify. I researched full time for about 8 months before I even started to write in order to get a solid foundation of the facts and sensibilities of the period in my head and heart.

The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen Trilogy, book 1) by Alison Goodman

Probably every word I wrote was informed by that foundation. Does historical accuracy sometimes get in the way of storytelling and if so how do you fix it? A number of the secondary characters in Lady Helen are real historical figures. My rule of thumb is to get across the meaning of the dialogue in the most economical way possible, while still retaining some flavour of the way that I imagine conversations progressed in the Regency.

It is a fine balance that is often tweaked during the editing process.

Historical accuracy can sometimes get in the way of storytelling. For instance, the Vauxhall Gardens season did not open until June in due to renovations, but I opened them in May because I wanted to set a pivotal scene in The Dark Walk! Accuracy popped up more as an issue in Book 2.

2018 In Review:

The climax is built around a real historical incident and some of the real events were causing me enormous action sequence headaches. To quote Professor River Song: spoilers, sweetie! How far advanced are you with the others in the series? What are you currently working on? Book 2, which is set in Brighton during the summer social season, is already with the publisher and will be coming back to me soon for editing. Your publishers have done you proud with the covers of the various editions.

Do you have a favourite among these? I am one lucky author — three gorgeous covers! He did, however, issue one comment through his small, flaky dry lips when no one else was near. She contemplated the day beyond the open shutters. Gray and gloomy but dry; the ball and night fair would not be ruined by rain. A grand celebration for the marriage of a Duke to his new Duchess. Perhaps she was nervous too.

Helen stretched her hearing further, but a house preparing for a royal visit and a ball was not a silent place. With all the kitchen noise and the workmen and the cleaning, it was hard to discern anything particular beyond the passageway. The door opened, and Darby peered in cautiously. Seeing that Helen was sitting up, she widened the crack of the door with a deft bump of her hip and entered. She bustled across the room to set the pitcher upon the washstand.

Darby drew the letter from her bodice. Helen unfolded the paper; thick and rough, the kind supplied at inns. Here I write as promised, with little to tell. No one can venture into the Channel without escort. As close as we can get to Calais. We will sail on the night tide. Tell her ladyship he is healing well.

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Helen released her breath, only now realizing that she had been holding it. They were still in England, and he was healing well. Thank God. She hunched her shoulders, resisting the impulse to focus upon the Reclaimer beat. She had made her promises—to retire from the Dark Days Club, and to stop seeking that solace—and she must abide by them if her marriage was to work. Helen thrust her arms into the sleeves and wrapped the robe around her body.

God knew, she wished the same. A dreadful, selfish wish that she could not admit even to Darby. Two hours later, Helen studied her image in the full-length mirror. For the marriage service, the celestial-blue velvet robe-pelisse trimmed in ermine that she was wearing now atop a fine white cambric gown.