DR. MEL'S MESSAGE - From my novels to my other projects, no telling what you will read. This is the only place you will get to read about how I developed a screenplay into a novel and what is the driving force. I will talk about many things from films to books to acting to producing. It really will depend on where my mind takes me. I hope you will join me on this journey.
Against the turbulent backdrop of the English Civil War, where political treachery and religious persecution are commonplace, an unlikely romance springs up between Catherine Trefelner, a strikingly beautiful village girl, and Robert Bradshaw, co-heir to one of Cornwall's richest estates. Staunch Royalists, Robert and his twin brother Julian are loyal to the clever, but misguided King Charles, while Catherine's father is a fanatical Puritan, living for the day the Parliamentarian Army unseats the King, and makes Royalist families conform or seek refuge in France.After eloping, the couple return to Briarwood, where Catherine is suddenly transformed from the overworked daughter of a blacksmith to Lady of the Manor. Family members react differently to what is considered an unsuitable match, but Robert, deeply in love with his new wife, knows Catherine will only work a credit to their household. For reasons known only to them, intense animosity exists between Julian and Catherine, yet her remarkable personality and unusual mind work in her favor as she settles into the household. She bonds with the twin's father in a unique and unexpected way, has an amicable relationship with her sister-in-law, and even attempts to charm away the resentment of another family member whom she desperately wants to understand. Ever cynical, Julian continues to question Catherine's motives, but the only true shadow over her happiness is a fear of her father, who has indeed threatened vengeance over her marriage to a Royalist. On the verge of making peace with Julian, Catherine could never envision the tragedy about to strike and Julian’s heinous accusations in its wake. Grief-stricken, she flees England to the family's consternation, only to discover it was a dreadful mistake. In an abrupt and stunning twist of fate, Catherine has no choice but to return to Briarwood and throw herself on Julian's mercy, knowing that he is as unpredictable as she is constant. But is she running back to safety or into even greater danger? Culminating with a shocking answer to what all believed was an unsolvable murder and Catherine's close call as the second victim, Hot Winter Sun is ultimately a tale of love, hate, revenge, envy, mercy and redemption during one of the most chaotic and unstable times in England's history.
Hot Winter Sun by Jessica Russell is not a story I will forget soon. I’ve been devouring Romance books in the past year, but I am at a point where nothing seems original. Yes, the words are different, but the context of the stories mainly rely on storylines already in circulation. With the relevance of its summary, I knew this was a must-read, so I was ready to set my other books aside and dive in. After reading the first section, “Adventure," I felt so absorbed into the book and wanted to keep reading more and more, I couldn't put it down! I loved it. Books like this are definitely my cup of tea from now on.
The author has developed an exciting story that is a spectacular romantic story. The story gave me a page-turning experience, as it is filled with twists and turns, revolving around the story of two lovers, Catherine and Robert. The two take us through a beautiful journey into another world of love and romance. Character development was adorable; in particular, Catherine has been wonderfully nuanced; her life seems like a real-life scenario. Readers are profoundly engaged with realistic conversations and an exceedingly impressive flow of the story, not forgetting the impeccable and easy to understand grammar.
I found the book as pretty thrilling, romantic, emotional, suspenseful, and inspirational part of what I mostly look for in a book. Other than the uniqueness of the story, the author has shown masterly writing skills by having complete control of her story and style. With twists and turns, a reader cannot ignore the imagination of the impressive scenes and much more than the story offers. I highly recommend it to all readers as this is a must-read. I can't wait to get my hands on her next release!
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2020
I enjoyed reading "Hot Winter Sun." This is not your typical romance story. The author has clearly taken time to research the period, setting, and historical events. I greatly enjoyed learning more about the political intrigue and social climate during the years of the English Civil War (mid-1600s.) It is evident that the author is passionate about her subject and she does an excellent job of painting a picture of the conflicts between the Parliamentarians, also called roundheads, and the Royalists. The writing style reminded me of Kathleen Woodiwiss, who pioneered the historical romance genre.
"Hot Winter Sun" is filled with delightful well-developed likable characters—some that you love and some that you love to hate. The majority of the action takes place in Cornwall, and the love story centers around Catherine, a commoner from a local village, and the twins Robert and Julian, who are manner born and bred. Complications arise when Robert, who marries Catherine, dies unexpectedly, forcing Catherine to flee. The mystery of her husband's death culminates when Catherine returns. As she seeks answers to questions that plague her, she realizes she, too, may be in danger. It is a tale of love and revenge, a perfect mix to keep you turning pages.
A great book, a story about love, hate, envy and revenge. About families, and how complicated they are when you bring in both whole and personal issues. It is based in England so if you’re into old romance books, Hot Winter Sun is surely for you. Also, it is set in a time of uncertainty, which adds a lot to the overall plot and story going.
You’ll get circumstances based on history, in a way that’s both refreshing and captivating. This is what you want, in essence, from a book that’s in the historical romance genre. The characters are masterfully crafted and well developed. Catherine and Robert are the main couple of the book, who’ve got different backgrounds but many things in common. Twists and turns follow.
After reading a ton of self-development books from gurus of the genre who are not really aware that they’re talking gibberish for the most of it, this completely fictional but based on real facts book was like a breath of fresh air. It’s like a break you’re giving your mind and body after a hard week at work. Get it!
Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2020
A young woman finds herself stuck in a rather unpleasant situation where she has to deal with a man that she doesn't really like in order to deal with some personal issues. That's the best description I can give for this one. A simpler description would be Romeo and Juliet meets Wuthering Heights. This is a bit of a deal-breaker for me because although I found Romeo and Juliet bearable; I HATED Wuthering Heights. That said, the book is well-written and nicely paced with characters you can actually like (which is more than Wuthering Heights had). Not my style at all but if you're into this sort of thing or you just want to check it out, go for it.
Jessica Russell is the pen name of Jesse Broadt, a professional web content writer who specializes in travel. Passionate about history, the author is an avid reader of both historical fiction and non-fiction history books. Throughout her life, she was inspired by authors such as Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney and Belva Plain, and strives to create multi-dimensional, entertaining characters that readers can relate to, understand and ultimately enjoy. Broadt created her first novel-length work of fiction with Hot Winter Sun, and laughingly calls it the kind of book you think no one writes anymore . A professional singer at one time, the author often refers to words as music of another kind and hopes they are felt that way by her readers. She loves music, reading, traveling and simply enjoying the sights and sounds of nature, and also has a blog for travel enthusiasts, called Your Endless Holiday
She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100052719201057 and https://www.facebook.com/HotWinterSun