How Do We Define Romance?

stormwalker How do we define romance? On a romance blog, one might as well ask what is life. It’s one of those broad, overarching topics susceptible to endless debate. We see authors offering endless variations from the most conventional to the most edgy and subversive. And yet, at the end of the day, we expect our lead couple to end up happily ever after – or at least happy for now. Though I still get irked with market restrictions from time to time, I have appreciated in recent years that we’ve been seeing a market full of change, choices, and great authors. And then I went to RWA 2012 in Anaheim.

The Elimination of Novels with Strong Romantic Elements as a RITA category

At the general meeting in Anaheim, Romance Writers of America(RWA) announced that it had decided upon a plan to reconfigure the RITA awards. […]

Whoever Thought of That?


By | August 30th, 2012|Categories: AAR afterhours blog, Cooking, Leigh AAR|Tags: |7 Comments

Romance Heroines and Exercise

ICPI’ll admit it’s not easy staying in shape, and at times I seem to be fighting a losing battle. In the middle of the winter, curling up with a good book is much more appealing than going out for a long walk on a sub-zero day. But on most days I do try. In nice weather I go for a lot of walks; in colder or rainy weather I’ll return to the treadmills in the fitness center where I live. I attend yoga classes off-and-on, or do some yoga at home, to work on my balance and flexibility.  And I even have a few free weights to do some strength training. Perhaps it’s my own efforts in this regard, but lately I’ve been longing to read about contemporary romance heroines who squeeze in a bit of exercise into their lives.

I’m specifically interested in contemporary romance heroines, because, let’s face, it, reading that a Regency era heroine has a fitness room or that she regularly hikes up her skirts and jogs just wouldn’t be appropriate. And most paranormal or urban fantasy heroines either seem to regularly stay in shape to survive, or have very specific natural abilities and powers that endow them with extra strength and speed. But what about your average contemporary romance heroine? And by average, I mean a non-athlete heroine who manages to fit in a bit of exercising into her regular routine.


By | August 27th, 2012|Categories: Books, Characters, Heroines, LinnieGayl AAR, Romance|Tags: , , |35 Comments

Man, I cried, and died, laughing.

I know I’m one year late, but I just discovered this video this summer.  Yes, I know it’s highly probable the original eHarmony video is a hoax, but it’s frickin’ hilarious anyway.  After watching this several times (my colleagues this summer were really into it), some things came to mind:

  1. The actual cat footage is super adorable, and genius.
  2. I don’t think I’ll listen to another radio hit without wondering if it has been Songified.  That app is scary good.
  3. Someone has too much time on their hands.  And for that, thanks for some laughs.

– Jean AAR

By | August 27th, 2012|Categories: AAR afterhours blog, Jean AAR, Music, Pop Culture|Tags: , |3 Comments

Talking about YA and Women's Fiction

impossible Sometimes behind the scenes some of us at AAR like to compare notes on books we’ve read or urge our friends to read some of the books we’ve enjoyed the most. Leigh and Maggie started chatting about their shared love of YA and of women’s fiction recently and this is what they had to say about it:

Leigh:The series of blogs on diversity lately had me wondering about why I am drawn to a certain type of book. While I enjoy contemporary romances, I am also drawn to Chick Lit and Women’s Fiction. […]

By | August 27th, 2012|Categories: Leigh AAR, Maggie AAR, Reading|Tags: , , |22 Comments

Summer Time is Pool Time


We swim almost all year long at the indoor pool here in town. Summer adds a whole new dimension to our swimming though. That is when beaches, waterparks and outdoor pools also become viable options for when we want to take a dip.


By | August 25th, 2012|Categories: AAR afterhours blog, Maggie AAR, Real Life|Tags: , |6 Comments

Copyediting Boobos

pencilThey can be of the hysterically funny variety or they can drive you nuts.  Yep, I’m talking about copyediting errors.

Poor Susan Andersen.  Earlier this year in the pages of her reprinted book Baby, I’m Yours, there was this doozy:

“He stiffened for a moment but then she felt his muscles loosen as he shitted on the ground.”

Ummm, that’s supposed to be shifted.

The author handled it very well, posting on Facebook and everywhere she could to reach out to readers and let them know about this unintentional error.  But, honestly, I had a good laugh – and, hopefully, the author did too.  Eventually.

More common are the sloppy errors that let you know that a book wasn’t copyedited at all or, on the other hand, was copyedited by an idiot.  Either way, it’s irritating as hell.


By | August 24th, 2012|Categories: Authors, Books, Books with Buzz, Characters, Reading|Tags: |51 Comments

Honest Trailer

Came across Honest Trailers yesterday on YouTube.  While I haven’t seen the movie, I did think it was funny.  What do you think? Is this an honest trailer?

– Leigh AAR

By | August 23rd, 2012|Categories: AAR afterhours blog, Leigh AAR, Movies|2 Comments

Romance Author Booksignings: August and Beyond

This month while looking for author booksignings I noticed that a number of authors are going to appear at book festivals around the country over the next few months. I became intrigued and starting searching for book festivals, as well as single-author signings, over the next few months. While many of the book festivals I checked out seem to mainly feature literary authors (not that there’s anything wrong with that), a few also have one or more romance authors, as well as many popular mystery authors.  A quick search revealed the following festivals over the next few months:


By | August 22nd, 2012|Categories: Authors, Book Signing News, LinnieGayl AAR|Tags: |5 Comments

Looking for New Music

I have gotten out of the habit of listening to music. About the only time I do so is when I am exercising.  It is difficult for me to find artists that I like. I am not into country or rap and it seems that the music I like is from the 1990’s or early 2000’s – artist like Lisa Stansfield, Natalie Merchant, Tracy Chapman, Oleta Adams, Leona Lewis. So tonight I went searching for some music. And I did find some possibilities.

Marry A Stranger by Smile Smile


By | August 20th, 2012|Categories: AAR afterhours blog, Leigh AAR, Music|4 Comments