Author's Bookshelf: Vivienne Vincent

We're bringing something a bit different to Writing in the Modern Age today. Awhile back, I had an idea for a new feature so I reached out to some author colleagues to see if they'd like to participate. I thought it might be nice to show readers a few books that have inspired authors. You might find it enlightening, and at least be able to answer the age old question, "What the heck do authors read?"



Writers are readers too! Most authors love to collect books for their vast personal libraries. The written word is fascinating to us, and many newer authors as well as those in the past have helped to shape who we are today. 



Without further ado, our guest today is Vivienne Vincent, a romance author. Won't it be interesting to hear about a few books that have inspired Vivienne on her writing and publishing journey? 

Sounds pretty awesome to me. So, take it away, Vivienne!



Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I had no idea it would be so difficult to narrow down the list to five books. But here it is.




1. Bond of Hatred by Lynne Graham



Tug of Love…

Alex Terzakis took Sarah's breath away. Marrying him was the last thing she was thinking of! When she impulsively flung that proposal at him, she had two things on her mind: revenge for her young sister's death, and the chance to raise Nikos, her sister's baby son. True, family was all to Alex, and he would fight to keep Nikos, who was his nephew. But, in her anger and her grief, Sarah had believed that her demand would send him packing—she had never expected that he would accept!


Vivienne's Thoughts:


Bond of Hatred is the first one on the list because I absolutely adore Lynne Graham’s work and this was the first book by her that I read. In fact, this was the first Harlequin book I ever read. There isn’t a single Lynne Graham book that I did not enjoy reading but Bond of Hatred remains my darling. It is very well written and has a solid storyline. The misunderstandings between the characters are genuine. I rarely like female protagonists but I loved Sarah. Also, the narrative is kind of witty. If a book makes me laugh or smile, I fall in love with it. There isn’t a single moment in the book that’s boring or where it starts to feel like I need to take a break.


2. Impulse by Nora Roberts




From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a classic story about following your heart…and falling in love.

For once in her life, Rebecca Malone has decided to follow her impulses. After quitting her job and selling all of her belongings, she heads to Greece in search of adventure. So when a sexy local restaurant owner pursues her, she can't resist playing the role of sophisticated, well-traveled woman. But falling in love with Stephen Nickodemus was not part of the plan! Now she'll have to find a way to break the news of her true identity…without also breaking his heart.

Vivienne's Thoughts:


I read Impulse quite recently and it might sound strange but this is the only book by Nora Roberts that I have read. Impulse was very short and I no longer have the stamina to sit through a five-hundred page romance so it was perfect for me. I have come across some bad reviews and while we can keep arguing over technicalities, at the end of the day, reading is a form of entertainment and I enjoyed reading it. Someone said that the story was too cliché. But I think that all stories have been told. What matters is how they are told. When I was reading Impulse, I was constantly amazed by Nora Roberts’ style of writing. There was nothing pretentious. There was no flowery language. It just felt like this lady was born to do what she has been doing. No wonder she is a prolific writer.


3. Shame by Salman Rushdie




The novel that set the stage for his modern classic, The Satanic Verses, Shame is Salman Rushdie’s phantasmagoric epic of an unnamed country that is “not quite Pakistan.” In this dazzling tale of an ongoing duel between the families of two men–one a celebrated wager of war, the other a debauched lover of pleasure–Rushdie brilliantly portrays a world caught between honor and humiliation–“shamelessness, shame: the roots of violence.” Shame is an astonishing story that grows more timely by the day.


Vivienne's Thoughts:

This book mocks one of the darkest eras in recent history and does a brilliant job of doing so. It’s very funny and deeply rooted in a particular culture and history. So unless you have some knowledge of the background, it might not be your cup of tea. But I have a feeling for postcolonial literature and I loved the book.

4. The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell



“Should be read by every parent, teacher, minister, and Congressman in the land.”—The Atlantic

In The Conquest of Happiness, first published by Liveright in 1930, iconoclastic philosopher Bertrand Russell attempted to diagnose the myriad causes of unhappiness in modern life and chart a path out of the seemingly inescapable malaise so prevalent even in safe and prosperous Western societies. More than eighty years later, Russell’s wisdom remains as true as it was on its initial release. Eschewing guilt-based morality, Russell lays out a rationalist prescription for living a happy life, including the importance of cultivating interests outside oneself and the dangers of passive pleasure. In this new edition, best-selling philosopher Daniel C. Dennett reintroduces Russell to a new generation, stating that Conquest is both “a fascinating time capsule” and “a prototype of the flood of self-help books that have more recently been published, few of them as well worth reading today as Russell’s little book.”


Vivienne's Thoughts:


I read this book for the first time when I was in the fifth grade. I try to read it every now and then. If you are feeling down, this book will surely lift you up. It reminds you of the simple joys that we tend to overlook. We are always talking about our differences but when you really get down to it, those differences are too insignificant compared to everything that we have in common. The bottom line is that all of us want to be happy and all our endeavors are in that pursuit. It’s just that simple.


5. Masters of the Planet by Ian Tattersall



50,000 years ago – merely a blip in evolutionary time – our Homo sapiens ancestors were competing for existence with several other human species, just as their own precursors had been doing for millions of years. Yet something about our species separated it from the pack, and led to its survival while the rest became extinct. So just what was it that allowed Homo sapiens to become Masters of the Planet? Curator Emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History, Ian Tattersall takes us deep into the fossil record to uncover what made humans so special. Surveying a vast field from initial bipedality to language and intelligence, Tattersall argues that Homo sapiens acquired a winning combination of traits that was not the result of long term evolutionary refinement. Instead it emerged quickly, shocking their world and changing it forever.

Vivienne's Thoughts:

I wasn’t taught anything about evolution when I was growing up. So later I tried reading Darwin and Dawkins in an effort to educate myself. But I felt very confused. In my opinion, anyone interested in learning about evolution should read Masters of the Planet. It’s the perfect place to begin the journey. Also, it has a somewhat poetic and philosophical quality to it so it never feels dull and dreary.


Thank you, Vivienne! And I especially agree with your assessment of Nora Roberts. I love her unapologetic approach to storylines and characters.


Readers, here is a little about Vivienne's book, Dandelions!


Book Blurb:


“There are no Rhett Butlers and Darcys in real life. Only Heathcliffs.”

An avant-garde romance that goes beyond sexual chemistry and digs deep into human nature and relationships.
Elizabeth Goodenough met Saber Fergus for the first time when she was eight and he was twelve. He broke her heart when she was eighteen. Ten years later, an unwitting mistake on Izzy’s part once again brings her face to face with the same one-night stand that once brutally crushed her.
But something seems different this time. Has her dark knight really transformed into a knight in shining armor, or is he playing her all over again?

Here is an excerpt.

At this point, Saber cracked a crooked grin and asked, “What’s his name?”
His flat voice became ebullient. His mischievous smile created subtle wrinkles around his deep-set, ebony eyes. They were shining far more brightly than the stars I spent hours staring at trying to figure out which ones were my parents.
“I haven’t named him yet. I got him only about a week ago. I am still thinking of a name.”
“Got him or stole him? Just like you were trying to steal our flowers.”
He was teasing me and it was working.
“You cannot steal flowers. Flowers belong to Mother Earth and Mother Earth belongs to all of us.”
“This part of Mother Earth belongs to me, so I own everything in here including wicked little girls with their hideous looking sons of bitches.”
The way that stiff-necked boy retaliated right away, it became clear that he was not someone easy to take down.
He continued. “So since both of you belong to me, why don’t I name him for you? Dandelion. How is it?”
“Dandelion?” The name made me smile. “I like it. I will call him Dandelion. Now he has an actual name. Grandma says once you have a name, you become a real person. Dandelion too is a real person now.”
“No, he is still an ugly son of a bitch. Do you like the dandelion collection over there?”
“It’s beautiful. I wish I had some in my house, but our house is too small and we don’t have a garden.”
“You can take one from here. Come with me.”
Saber moved toward the garden and I followed him. He plucked a dandelion and handed it to me. It was my first time holding one. I was staring at the delicate dandelion when Saber came close and blew right into it making it vanish into thin air. I was still trying to figure out what had happened when I heard a giggle.
“You are a meanie,” I told him.
“Am I?”
His eyes shone like a polished apple. He snatched the stem out of my hand and flicked it. It fell on the ground.
“Dandelions are far too delicate. They are just an illusion. They look real but they never last. Here.” He plucked a red rose and gave it to me. “Take this instead. Red roses are far more resilient.”

Genre:  Steamy Romance

Purchase Links:


This looks like a sexy romance! Definitely an interesting story here! And thank you for stopping by to give us a glimpse of your bookshelf, Vivienne!  :)


Readers, don't forget to pick up your copy of Dandelions!



About the Author:


Vivienne Vincent grew up in a fairly conservative environment which ironically sparked her interest in unconventional subjects and romance novels. As a young girl she became interested in novels from the Victorian era as well as modern day romance. She is pretty much obsessed with British and American sitcoms and crime series. Look her up on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with her. She loves to hear from readers.


Author Links:



Amazon Author Page:




Vivienne's Book:



Once again, let's thank Vivienne Vincent for allowing us to see her cool author's bookshelf! :)



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