In December we opened up three Special Title Lists for new submissions: the American Indian list, Amazing Animals, and Time Travel. We’ll have to be honest, we didn’t really expect a lot of submissions during the busy holiday season. We should have known better as AAR’s readers came through with a lot of new additions for the three lists.
American Indian List: When we asked you for nominations for the American Indian list, we were wondering how many new titles would be suggested – after all, the last time this particular list was opened, the number of nominations was nil. But you came through – there are 12 new titles on the list now, spread over all the subcategories. Looking at the most recent publications, we were struck by the fact that two new authors seem to specialise in American Indian protagonists – Ellen O’Connell and Rebecca Zanetti –, but that neither of these authors writes for one of the big publishing houses. Instead, Ellen O’Connell self-publishes, and Rebecca Zanetti writes for ebook publishes Entangled. It appears that the subgenre has become a niche product, with the more established houses wary of it. It also shows that even if a subgenre is out of fashion, there are avenues of publication a determined author can use. Which is actually a good development for romance readers!
Amazing Animals List: While some readers don’t want anything to distract from the hero and heroine in a romance, it’s clear that many of you love a good animal (or animals) to be added into the romance. Thanks to your submissions, we have added 55 additional titles to the Amazing Animals list. The new additions span the gamut of genres, with European Historical romances making up the bulk of the new titles. And animals of all types are included, from dust bunnies to a wide variety of dogs to cats to horses to Fams. It’s clear that some authors create animals that strike the right balance between being interesting and integral to the story without being annoying. We’ve added six new titles by Nora Roberts (mostly featuring dogs with a horse thrown in the mix), five new titles by Jayne Castle (all featuring dust bunnies), and four by Lisa Kleypas (featuring ferrets, hedgehogs, and dogs). We hope amongst all these animals you’re able to find one new romance that pleases your inner animal lover.
Time Travel List: We are pleased to add 19 new titles to the Time Travel list which means the genre is still well and alive. Nine of the new titles have been published since 2009 while 6 were published before the year 2000. Lynn Kurland had 2 more books added to her roster giving her eleven books on the list, published between 1996 and 2013. Ms. Kurland, having the most recommendations on this list, is obviously a great place to start if a reader is looking to try their first time travel romance. Meanwhile, Karen Marie Moning, an author whose time travel romances have not faired well here at AAR had two titles make the list due to her popularity with those readers who love her work. Four books that received multiple recommendations from readers were Merline Lovelace’s Somewhere in Time (1994), The Wizard of Seattle (2005) by Kay Hooper, Killing Time (2005) by Linda Howard and Overseas (2012) by Beatriz Williams.
One list we have been asked by many of you to open for revision is the Young Adult list – and we are pleased to announce it’s undergoing revision right now and will be opened for your nominations in the near future – check back next week!
– Rike Horstmann, LinnieGayl Kimmel and Cindy Smith