What I’m Watching: The Last Empress

the last empressI’ve made a decision. No, it’s not anything drastic! In fact I think fans of romantic dramas will be quite pleased. This year, I plan to reserve this column just specifically for K-dramas that I’m currently watching it.

Now, you’re probably wondering how did I even get into K-Dramas. It all happened by mistake. When my best-friend urged me to watch my first drama Boys Over Flower, I bet she didn’t know that she was leading me into a rabbit hole she was leading or how deep I’d walk in on my own. I don’t think a day ever goes by without me watching an episode of something K-Drama-like.

I’m in deep, people. Real deep! Like a junkie with his coke! And I’d like to drag you in with me – cause I’m generous like that (kekekeke).

All right – now onto the drama of the month – The Last Empress! This is one of those dramas that Koreans call makjang. What is makjang? If translated literally it means a drama that is extremely sensational and that has an outrageous premise, exaggerated characters and exciting (and often ridiculous) events to heighten viewer emotions beyond their normal bounds.

Where a regular drama may focus on revenge, or rape, or birth secrets, or adultery, a makjangdrama will throw all these plot twists and more into the same story. Every episode is a train-wreck but you can’t stop watching it because it is so overwhelmingly exciting.

That’s exactly what The Last Empress is! A melodrama on crack!

 

*SPOILERS AHEAD

The drama is set in present day South Korea, but under the premise that the country is governed by a constitutional monarch, Emperor Lee Hyuk. I haven’t quite met an antagonist like Lee Hyuk. The man is trash! He has no problems murdering or torturing people if they don’t do what he wants (even the people he claims to love). After a hit and run accident where he kills an old woman, he is more pissed off about the fact that his gold car is dented rather than because of the body he’s hidden in his trunk. When he kills his grandma (who was the only one who truly supported him), he quickly lays the blame on his mother. On the first day of his marriage, he sleeps with his mistress in the same room where his new wife is getting a massage. Like I said – trash!

Interestingly enough, it’s easy to kind of like him because the writers have shown every life event that led him to being the monster that he is, and it’s quite obvious that he was a created monster not one by choice. Worse, they keep playing our emotions by showing us the other sides of Lee Hyuk. His playful side, his funny side, his childish side… Ugh! Most of the time you don’t know whether to hate Hyuk, pity him or ship him with his wife (who he’s already tried to kill too – Of course!).

Now onto the wife, Sunny. When she first married Lee Hyuk, Sunny was genuinely in love with him, not knowing that he’d married her for his own nefarious purposes. Then he tried to kill her! That’s when everything went sideways for Lee Hyuk. For one, Sunny believes in an eye for an eye and refuses to take his shenanigans lying down.

Plus, she refuses to die no matter how many times he and his mother try to take her out. Worse, the more Lee Hyuk gets to know her, the more he’s attracted to her pluckiness. Unfortunately, Sunny thinks of him as a serial killer (which he is).

I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen from here onwards. Does she fall for him too? Is she already half in love with Lee Hyuk’s bodyguard who was always sneakily protecting her from Lee Hyuk when he wasn’t in love with her? Will Lee Hyuk change? Can he change? And do we care?

The makjang goes on!

 

FIND IT HERE: https://www.viki.com/tv/36241c-the-last-empress?locale=en

 THE VERDICT: 8/10 for a despicable antagonist who makes me question my morals, a hero who’s dreamy, and a heroine who is as bad ass as they come. Bring on the Makjang!

 

Tell me what you think about it after you’re done. And if you’ve got a good K-Drama, C-drama or J-Drama that you think I should check out; let me know below.

Have You Read Daddy’s Home?

DH Website CoversSometimes, I just love to go back in time. Daddy’s Home wasn’t the first book I wrote, but it was my first dip into the publishing sea. May 2014… Ah! Good times.

It was one of those spur of the moment books. I was just thinking about second chance romance and whether I would really forgive a man who cheated on me if he was genuinely sorry. And thus was born Daddy’s Home.

Zain is an ex-doctor while Lucky is a football player who plays for the New York Firebacks. Lucky gets up to some dirty shenanigans while the team is out of town and ends up impregnating a stripper. Yeah, I know… *wince!

Now Zain has to deal with this lady (which is a very nice term for what she really is). Even worse, she also has to deal with Lucky’s mother who doesn’t like her and makes no bones about it.

One word…. DRAMA!!!!

 

Have you read Daddy’s Home? Learn More About it

 

 

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Do You Know EVERYTHING About How To Catch A Crook? Really?

HTCAC Website CoverI don’t think you do 😀

As you already know, Sin, was the only real crook still left.

The other two, Kelly and A.J, ditched their gray pasts for the straight and narrow, leaving our dear Tamsin as the only knight holding down their crooked fort. Well, it’s her turn to go down now, and I’ve found the perfect man for her. Meet Wentworth Ransom III

I had lots of giggles writing this one. First of all, their names. Wentworth Ransom Iii is such a stuffy name. It seems like something a white collar criminal with zero remorse would call himself. Basically, it’s one of those names that just makes you cut your eyes… and I love it lol. The man himself lives up to his name…. he starts out an asshole but soon you realize that he’s not that much of a dick. Just a little.

As for Sin, I liked the temptation in her name. Her name evokes thoughts of a seductress. Someone who can make you do what you don’t want to do.  She, of course, lives up to her name but more interestingly, she ends up getting seduced. Turning the tables on her was almost as much fun as ruining, Worth’s neat little world by throwing him a crook.

So what exactly happened behind the scenes? What changed while I was writing? What didn’t you know? Hmmm…. A lot.

PS: Spoilers ahead so you might not want to read this until you’ve actually read the book. Find the details HERE.

Okay, onwards soldiers…..

1: WORTH WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE DARK

WorthWhen I planned the book, Worth was going to be completely in the dark about Sin’s nefarious plans. Right now, what you know is that Sin ditched her plan to marry and steal from him after discovering Claire’s dirty ways. But in the original manuscript, despite knowing Claire’s motives, she would’ve been unable to cut herself off from the woman.

Miss Tamsin was supposed to go the whole way i.e. seduce him completely until he was in love with her and then ditch him on their wedding day and disappear after leaving him the file to indict Claire. Imagine how heartbreaking that would’ve been for Worth. After thinking about it, I realized that that would mean writing two books, but I’ve realized y’all don’t like stories that don’t end in one book. Am I wrong?

2: SIN’S FATHER WAS GOING TO PLAY A BIGGER PART IN THE STORY

If you read the book then you know, Norman, Sin’s father was dead by the beginning of the book. However, the truth of the matter is that he played the biggest role in making Sin the crook we know her to be. Imagine how interesting it would’ve been to find out what kind of man he really was and if he was even remorseful about what he did to Sin’s mom. Maybe he could’ve even been the catalyst to Sin’s healing. Unfortunately, time run out, but I can’t help but wonder about him. Who was Norman McCarver really?

3: SIN WAS GOING TO BE WORSE. MUCH, MUCH WORSE

SinOkay, the lady is already bad but at one point I considered making her worse. You know, zero remorse, just stealing from people because she can. The idea to make her a kind of Robin Hood came from a friend who always gives me advice after seeing my plans. Her thought was that she didn’t want to read a story about a woman without any sort of moral compass. Plus, as douche-y as Worth can be, he had moral fiber right from the start. It wouldn’t have been fair to him to give him someone truly bad. I agreed. Do you?

 

4: THE HAPPY ENDING SHOULD’VE COME SOONER

Remember, that scene where Sin went to say goodbye, the plan was to end the book there. Unfortunately, Worth went rogue and just decided to be a bastard instead of wooing his lady like a planned. End result; the book could not end. Then I decided to make him go to New York and apologize. I thought, finally, it’s over. I mean I had already crossed the eighty thousand words mark by then, unfortunately Sin wasn’t ready to play nice either. It took me close to five chapters to get those two kids on the same page again. *sigh. Next time I’ll make sure I create characters who are more obedient.

5: JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE’S ‘MIRROR’ WROTE THIS BOOK

This song, man. This song! Just listen to the lyrics:

‘Cause I don’t wanna lose you now
I’m looking right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I’ll tell you, baby, it was easy
Coming back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along
It’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn’t get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me
And now it’s clear as this promise
That we’re making two reflections into one
‘Cause it’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me

The poetry, the way those words just touch you. I just can’t! It fit Worth and Sin so perfectly. Though it took them a moment to realize that they are meant to be, from day one they just felt right. Don’t you agree?

Have you read How To Catch A Crook? Learn more about it

If you read it, have you reviewed it? Review it HERE

Is there something you really want to know about How To Catch A Crook? Ask away. Drop a comment below this point and I’ll answer it ASAP.

New Release: How To Catch A Crook

Rule Number 1 for Cons: Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

That’s where Tamsin ‘Sin’ Jacob went wrong. If she’d only met Worth before she chose him as her mark, she would’ve realized that he’s not the type to be anyone’s victim, let alone hers. But now that she’s come this far there’s no backing down.

How To Catch A Crook is now available for your reading pleasure.

HTCAC Website Cover

Wentworth Ransom III, heir apparent to the Ransom Empire, is filthy rich and used to getting everything he wants. And now he wants his sexy new assistant. Sin is her name, and all she makes him think of is new ways to sin. Her full lips and curvy body make him want to play naughty, seeing her makes his desires boil to the surface, and he wants her in a way he’s never wanted anyone. But there’s a catch…

She’s a con-artist.

Only she doesn’t know that he knows. And she thinks she’s conning him. He can’t wait to show her what a big mistake it was to target him. This is going to be fun.

To get your copy today, just click on the link to your favorite store/site

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F76GXDS/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07F76GXDS/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07F76GXDS/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40702889-how-to-catch-a-crook

PS: How To Catch A Crook is also available for borrowing through Kindle Unlimited.

Enjoy and let me know what you think by leaving a review after you’re done.

How To Love A Crook: 5 Things You Didn’t Know

HTLAC Website CoverSo, our second crook, A.J, finally got her own hero. Okay, that might be an exaggeration. If you’ve read How To Love A Crook, then you know that A.J or Amara Justice Nixon as she’s known by the correctional system doesn’t need any heroes. Lee is a breath of fresh air to her life but she’d be good even without him. Basically, she’s good all by herself.

Writing A.J was fun, real fun. I think she’s one my favorite heroines, right up there with Tasha from Not Broken and Mel from Don’t Say No. I’m not saying that I don’t love my other ladies. I love spitfires like London from Wicked Surrender, Zain from Daddy’s Home etc but women who are stealthily strong have a special place in my heart. And A.J is one of these women. She’s one of those women who doesn’t need to announce to the whole world that she’s a strong, black woman. She’s just strong.

So, were there any special things that I didn’t include in the book? Hmm, let me think.

1. A.J COULD’VE BEEN AN ASSASSIN

A.J.Yeah, I know what you just thought: “You’re kidding, right? She’s bad enough as a thief and now you want to make her an assassin too?”

No, I’m not kidding. When I originally envisioned her, I thought of her as this assassin who was really good at her job and had very little remorse. I was going to make her a psychopath of sorts. Think Mazikeen from Lucifer. However, try as I might I couldn’t find a way to justify her being a killer and yet still managing to get out of jail. Also, I didn’t want to have her tormented for life by the lives she’d taken. So I made her a thief.

2. LEE COULD’VE BEEN MORE BROKEN

LeeYou only saw the nightmares he was having. However, in my original script, he had schizophrenia. The man was broken, really broken. I could’ve gone with all that, but I decided not to. Why? It was too much for one person. He’s already been through hell during his childhood, I didn’t feel like making his adulthood troubled too. Can you imagine how A.J would’ve felt had she found out that she ignored him all these years while he was having all that trouble? It would’ve been a nightmare.

3. CASPER WAS ORIGINALLY BEHIND THE FIRE THAT RAZED A.J’S STORE

Yup! In my first manuscript, he’s the one who sent someone to burn up A.J’s store. Why did I change it? Frankly, I was so tired of that douche. I didn’t want to have to deal with him for another two chapters so I just killed his role in the story. Can you imagine having a father like him? I mean I know some fathers out there aren’t the greatest thing but Casper was just…. Wow!

4. SIN MIGHT STILL BE A CROOKSin

Are you as intrigued by this woman as I am? I’m about to start writing Sexy Miss Tamsin’s book and I haven’t decided if she’s still a con woman or not. All evidence points to her still clinging to her crooked ways but sometimes a glimmer of morals show and you’re like…. she might not be as bad as we think. Anyway, I’ll decide soon. Don’t forget to sign up for my Book Club so you know when her book comes out.

5. TAYLOR SWIFT’S ‘LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO WAS ON REPLAY’

Did you just make a face? Shoot! I don’t care. Yes, I listen to Taylor Swift. I’m not a Swiftie (yet) but you gotta admit that despite her ways, the lady has some good music. Why did I play ‘Look What You Made Me Do’? Hmm, I’m not really sure but I think it’s because the lyrics are very IDGAF. Like, I’ll do whatever makes me happy and the rest of you can just keep on running your mouths. That’s what A.J is about. She’s not a limelight kind of girl but she just tends to follow her own road.

Have you read How To Love A Crook? Learn more about it

If you read it, have you reviewed it? Review it HERE

Is there something you really want to know about How To Love A Crook? Ask away. Drop a comment below this point and I’ll answer it ASAP.

Cheers,

Linda

How To Love A Crook is Out!!!

Meet A.J; crook, thief, amateur fighter and all-round badass. And to top it all off she’s got a past that will make you raise your eyebrows.

Then there’s Lee, who looks like you’re average good guy who’s got this awesome family backing him up. What he doesn’t know is that it might all be just an illusion.

Are you ready for their story?

How To Love A Crook has just been released on Amazon.

HTLAC Website Cover

When Lee bumps into A.J as she’s running from a group of gangsters, he’s instantly smitten. But that’s because he doesn’t know a few things about her:

One – she just got out of jail

Two – they’ve met before

Three – she knows things about him. Things he probably doesn’t want to remember.

Though A.J insists that she’s not interested in Lee, she can’t ignore the desire that he stirs with his hungry gaze. Her brain tells her that a relationship between them would only lead to disaster, but her heart is speaking an entirely different language. It wants Lee. Badly.

 

But can she handle the consequences of having him? Will her past and his secrets be their undoing?

To get your copy today, just click on the link to your favorite store/site

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0782T12VN/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0782T12VN/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0782T12VN/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37278621-how-to-love-a-crook

PS: All 2 Books in the Crooked In Love series are currently discounted. How To Tempt A Crook is $0.99 and How To Love A Crook is $2.99. Prices will rise to $3.99 on Saturday the 16th so grab your copy before then.

P.S.S: How To Love A Crook is also available for borrowing through Kindle Unlimited.

Enjoy and let me know what you think by leaving a review after you’re done.

Are You Ready for A.J?

Cause she’s coming! And she’s coming hard….

HTLAC Website Cover

If you’re following my Crooked In Love Series then you’ve probably read Kelly’s story. A.J is the friend who was still in prison when Her book, How To Love A Crook, will be coming this December 12th and I  can’t wait for  you to read it.

This one might be a little different mostly because A.J isn’t your usual kind of woman. She’s a real crook. Like really! So don’t be too surprised if you get more thrill than you’re used to. Of course the steamy romance will be there too though 😁😁

You can read a few excerpts on my Wattpad profile.


https://embed.wattpad.com/story/130537868