Chatting with Virginia Kantra about her Dare Island series

CBCarolina Blues, the fourth book in Virginia Kantra’s appealing Dare Island series comes out next month. Today, Virginia talks with AAR about heroes, sex scenes, and happy endings. Virginia is offering the Dare Island novel of his or her choice to three lucky AAR readers. To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment.
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By | September 12th, 2014|Categories: Authors, Dabney AAR, Interviews, Uncategorized|Tags: , |27 Comments

When Strong is a Stereotype

THE OUTLAW  Poster for 1943 film with Jane Russell directed by Howard HughesI recently came across this wonderful piece by Sophia McDougall called “I hate Strong Female Characters.” McDougall is not referring to female characters with physical and emotional strength (for instance, she likes Buffy and Jane Eyre). Rather, she means the archetypal Strong Female Character, who establishes her “tough” cred through arbitrary rudeness, punching, slapping, kung fu, gunshots, etc. (McDougall calls it “behaviour that, in a male character, would rightly be seen as abusive (or outright murderous)”). Men are more powerful in Hollywood, on which McDougall focuses, but the female-centric world of romance has its share of SFCs, most famously in Lord of Scoundrels but also in some of my recent review books, such as Jo Beverley’s Seduction in Silk and Lilith Saintcrow’s The Red Plague Affair. But what about our heroes? Do we do the same token oversimplification of the other gender that male writers do? Are they strong, or are they Strong? […]

By | March 10th, 2014|Categories: Caroline AAR, Characters, Heroes, Heroines, Uncategorized|38 Comments

Roses are red, violets are blue. Like love poems? Here a few.

love lineBefore romance novels there were love poems. Sometimes sweet, sometimes tender, sometimes raunchy but always intimate and direct. Most love poems are from the author to a specific lover, a genuine communication that wasn’t necessarily intended for commercial  consumption.  That authentic, sincere emotional communication can often capture the essence of love in far fewer lines than a romance novel. And it does so in such a way that it lingers on the mind and tongue in a way that a book often doesn’t. […]

"Will They Or Won't They" – Done Right

S&A1With this week’s episode, The Locomotive Manipulation, The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler officially became one of my favorite couples ever.

I’ve been a fan of The Big Bang Theory from episode one, appreciating the quirky characters and silly humor supplied by producer Chuck Lorre, the amazing writing staff, and the hugely talented cast of actors. But it was the introduction of Mayim Bialik’s Amy Farrah Fowler as a romantic foil for the seemingly asexual Sheldon Cooper (played by the exquisite Jim Parsons) that really kicked the show up a notch, if you ask my opinion. The evolving relationship between these two characters has proven an absolute delight, and I would say it is one of the best examples ever of the will-they-or-won’t-they tease ever depicted on a TV program. […]

By | February 9th, 2014|Categories: AAR afterhours blog, Television, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

Tessa Dare releases her latest and Harper Collins offers a give-a-way

91clwiwPslL._SL1500_Tessa Dare, a perennial favorite here at AAR, releases her latest novel, Romancing the Duke, today. […]

By | January 28th, 2014|Categories: Books, Books with Buzz, Dabney AAR, Uncategorized|42 Comments

Chick Lit/Women's Fiction Recommendations for Best of 2013?

loveliestchocolate LinnieGayl: One of my favorite categories in AAR’s Annual Poll is Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction. In most years I’ve read several books in the category and have a hard time deciding which book to vote for. This year is different. With just one month before polling begins on January 13, I realize that I haven’t read a single chick lit or women’s fiction book that I would consider voting for in the 2013 Annual Poll.

So I decided to take the advice we give readers: Do a power search at AAR. For Chick Lit titles published in 2013 that didn’t produce very helpful results; only Katie Fforde’s A Perfect Proposal, which received a B- from Maggie, has been reviewed this year at AAR.

A power search for best Women’s Fiction yields more titles published in 2013, including the following that interest me: […]

A New Year is Coming! Eagerly Awaited Titles for January

It’s hard to believe that we’ve almost made it to 2014. One look at our list of Eagerly Awaited titles for January 2014 shows that we’ve definitely been looking for Jill Sorenson’s latest release. And if you’re looking for a historical read set outside the seemingly ubiquitous Regency and Victorian England, guess what? […]

By | December 11th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|7 Comments

Easy, Ugly Cube Steak Casserole

I chose another dish when I submitted my “Winter Warmer”, cold weather, stick-to-your-ribs recipe – but this one ran a close second. Its delicious, easy and filling, but man, is it ever ugly. I’ll provide the ingredients and directions, and you can decide the quantities. […]

Do you know this product?

I hope someone here can help me locate another pair of the most remarkable pants. They’re workout gear, men’s, and they have the label “level 8” stamped on them. I own one pair, want 20 more and can’t find them anywhere. The original pair was purchased on clearance at Ross for my son, who refused […]

By | November 16th, 2013|Categories: AAR afterhours blog, Uncategorized|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Winter Warmers – Chicken Roast

This delicious, easy chicken dish is made on the stovetop, similar to the traditional pot roast. You have control over quantity, so you can feed two or a holiday crowd.

Boneless Chicken Breasts (3-6 or even more. I use tenders)
Minced Garlic
Chicken Broth (bouillon OK)
Potatoes (chopped into pieces)
Onions (minced or fresh, chopped)
Carrots (peeled and cut. I use […]