Roan Parrish guest post and a #giveaway

Romance Off the Mat: Lessons About Yoga & Love

Only ten percent of yoga happens on the mat. The other ninety percent happens out in the world, and what we do on the mat helps prepares us. That’s how my favorite yoga instructor explained it to me, anyway, and it’s how the yoga instructor explains it in Where We Left Off.

The idea is that if I learn how to sit with discomfort in a pose that challenges my body, then I’m also learning how to sit with, say, conversational discomfort. If I practice identifying when I should push my body and when I should ease off in a pose, then I’m training myself to tell the difference between when I should push through something and when I should retreat from it in the rest of my life as well.

When Leo Ware is dragged to a yoga class by one of his friends at the beginning of Where We Left Off, his expectations are … low. But as he continues to go, he comes to love it. And not only for what he learns on the mat (though […]

By | September 27th, 2016|Categories: Authors, giveaways, Guest Posts|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Eagerly Awaited books for October 2016

We’ve got a nicely varied lot of tastes here at AAR, as is reflected in our choices of the books we’re most looking forward to reading each month; but sometimes there’s one book that tops the list as being the one most staffers are looking forward to, and in October, that book is undoubtedly by A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas, which kicks off her new series of historical mysteries starting Charlotte Holmes.   And as things gear up for the holiday season, you’ll see a couple of seasonal titles on the list, as well as a variety of contemporaries, historicals and mysteries.  It’s a great selection, so hold onto your wallets!

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas.

A new book from Sherry Thomas is ALWAYS cause for celebration, and this kicks off her new historical mystery series featuring Charlotte Holmes. Oh, yes – the game is afoot! – Caz

Whatever she writes turns to DIK. I trust her with my time and my money. – Caroline

Just. Can’t. […]

By | September 26th, 2016|Categories: Eagerly Awaiting|5 Comments

Possessed by Books by Shannon McKenna

Hello to all, and my thanks for having me at All About Romance!

Have you ever had a dream real enough to fight for space in your mind with actual, waking reality? Or had a fictional reality jostle and elbow for space in your head to the point that you got disoriented?  Or is it just me?

Come to think of it, don’t answer. I’m not sure I want to know. But that’s exactly I’m going through right now.

I’m still riding the high of launching my first indie book, Right Through Me, Obsidian Files #1. It’s the first book of my brand new series, which is a slightly paranormal, super steamy romantic suspense. I say ‘slightly’ because one doesn’t have to suspend disbelief all that much in my new fictional world; nowhere near as much as one does with werewolves, demons, vampires, shape-shifting dragons and the like.  The protagonists in my Obsidian Files stories have been profoundly altered in top-secret experiments, but their alterations are based on articles that I’ve found in my Yahoo news feed headlines about genetic manipulation, cerebral implants, nanotechnology, cognitive enhancement, etc. Real stuff that’s actually happening right now, and this is the watered-down version that’s […]

By | September 23rd, 2016|Categories: Authors, giveaways, Guest Posts|Tags: , |14 Comments

TBR Challenge – Wild Card!

tuliptreeThis month’s TBR Challenge is a wild card.  When told to go whereever my mood takes me, I find myself overwhelmed with choice since I have quite a sizable TBR pile these days. For this month’s read, I decided to dive into a box of old Coventry romances from the 1970s that I picked up at a library book sale. These books are trads, mostly of the Regency variety, but the line did publish a few from other time periods as well.  My pick, a 1979 release called The Tulip Tree by Mary Ann Gibbs, was one of these and is a Victorian romance set during the 1840s.

As with many of the older romances I’ve read, the heroine in this one is rather young. Allegra Lakesby is 18, and upon her father’s death, she learns that not only do she and her mother need to vacate Lakesby in order to allow her cousin to claim it as his inheritance, but her father did not run his estate well and  failed to provide much by way of resources for her and mother to live on.  The two women, along with Allegra’s Aunt Bell must simplify […]

By | September 21st, 2016|Categories: Caz AAR, Lynn AAR, TBR Challenge|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Lisa Marie Perry on small town romance (plus a giveaway)

What would you call a novel featuring a broken recovering addict hero and a scarred heart transplant recipient heroine living with PTSD? Add the fact that the heroine and her friends run a sex shop she’s inherited. Now mix in the detail that all of this takes place on Cape Cod in a town that might be run by a notorious biker gang of men who appear to lead respectable top-tier lives.

I’m not sure what you’d call it, but I call it a small town contemporary romance. Meet the Guilty Pleasures series, which follows a group of friends who run sex-oriented businesses (a sex shop, an erotic bakery, a boudoir photography studio) by day and an underground nightclub by night. The series opener, Meant to Be Mine, introduces you to Eaves, Massachusetts, a town that does have its charms and quirks. But each book is so heavily character driven that the focus is drawn away from the exterior elements of the town.

And this is what makes this type of small town romance so appealing to me. When I first set out to create the skeleton of this […]

By | September 19th, 2016|Categories: Authors, giveaways, Guest Posts|3 Comments

An Interview and Giveaway with Cat Sebastian

The Soldier’s Scoundrel, Cat Sebastian’s début novel for Avon Impulse, is a male/male historical romance set in early nineteenth century England.  It is also, I believe, the first such book released under the Avon imprint.  I was able to get hold of an advance copy to review (look for that next week) and was immediately impressed with the quality of the writing and storytelling.  I asked Ms. Sebastian if she’d care to share a little of the background to the novel with us.

Caz: Is historical romance a genre you’ve always wanted to write?

CS: A few years ago, when my kids were all pretty much babies, I started reading historical romance as an escape. I don’t think I’ve gone more than a day or two since then without reading romance. So when I started writing, I felt at home in the universe of fictional 19th century Britain. I think I might feel more comfortable and knowledgeable writing about Almack’s than about Tinder!

Caz: What was the impetus behind this book?

CS: I really wanted to write the story of a Regency-era fixer. It was […]

By | September 17th, 2016|Categories: Authors, Caz AAR, giveaways, Historicals, Interviews, Romance|12 Comments

Jenny Holiday Gives the Answers to her 80s Quiz

Jenny Holiday provides answers to yesterday’s 1980s quiz in honor of The Fixer, book one in her New Wave Newsroom series. One commenter on yesterday’s or today’s post will win a copy of The Fixer and copies of subsequent books in the series as they release.

“Dickweed” refers to:

  1. An unfortunately named weed that has nothing to do with the 1980s.
  2. 1980s slang for genital warts
  3. A distasteful person.

The answer is A, my friends, and I think we should all agree to start deploying this word again. Might I suggest a certain US presidential candidate as its first target? (I can say that because I live in Canada.)

Which 1980s heartthrob went on to become a Trump surrogate?

  1. Scot Baio aka Charles in Charge
  2. Kirk Camerson aka Mike Seaver
  3. Ricky Schroder aka Richard Stratton

Speaking of a certain presidential candidate, the answer is A. Charles, we hardly knew ye.

Who was not a fictional girlfriend of John Cusack?

  1. Diane Court
  2. Monique Junot
  3. Andie Walsh

Andie Walsh, C, was not a fictional girlfriend of John Cusack. She was, in Pretty in Pink, a fictional girlfriend of Blane McDonough, played by Andrew McCarthy, though […]

By | September 16th, 2016|Categories: Authors|6 Comments

An 80s Pop Quiz by Jenny Holiday

This week, Jenny Holiday launches The Fixer, book one in her 1980s-set New Wave Newsroom universe. Set against the machinations of a college newspaper, the series is quick-releasing this fall and will take you back to a totally tubular time of big hair and big romance. To kick off the series, she wrote a gnarly 1980s quiz. Check back tomorrow for answers with commentary. One commenter on today’s or tomorrow’s post will win a copy of The Fixer and copies of subsequent books in the series as they release. And, hey, we’d be amped if you’d share your schweet quiz answers too!

“Dickweed” refers to:

  1. An unfortunately named weed that has nothing to do with the 1980s.
  2. 1980s slang for genital warts
  3. A distasteful person.

Which 1980s heartthrob went on to become a Trump surrogate?

  1. Scott Baio aka Charles in Charge
  2. Kirk Cameron aka Mike Seaver
  3. Ricky Schroder aka Richard Stratton

Who was not a fictional girlfriend of John Cusack?

  1. Diane Court
  2. Monique Junot
  3. Andie Walsh

What was Matthew Broderick trying to prevent in War Games?

  1. Russian missile attack
  2. The US from boycotting the 1980 Olympics
  3. Global thermonuclear war


By | September 15th, 2016|Categories: Authors, giveaways|Tags: , |8 Comments

Midweek minis

Here is another round of our occasional series of mini reviews.  This time Emily, Kristen, Maria Rose and Rike share their thoughts on some recent reads.

Emily’s Reads:

The Fixer by Jenny Holiday
Jenny Fields is on a crusade – she’s trying to save an historic art building on her college campus, convinced saving it will get her into Columbia for graduate school. At a staff meeting one of her colleagues on the college newspaper suggests they try to get a famous artist alumni on-board to promote the cause. The gossip columnist suggests Emmanuel Curry, who recently had a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  To date, he’s been unwilling to be interviewed for the Examiner, but Jenny has an idea on a different way to approach him.

Matthew Townsend is a senior art prodigy, with a moody and solitary reputation.  More importantly to Jenny, he’s required to have a mentor advise him on his senior portfolio – and Matthew’s mentor is Emmanuel Curry.  Jenny needs Matthew to get to Curry and save the art building.

Unfortunately for Jenny, Matthew has no interest in saving the building or helping […]

By | September 14th, 2016|Categories: Dabney AAR, Kristen D, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, Rike AAR|19 Comments

Anthologies, Anyone?

Sometimes you just don’t have the time to read a full-length book, yet you can’t face the prospect of not reading SOMETHING!  An anthology of short stories or novellas can be just the thing to fill that gap; you can dip in and out whenever you feel like it and they can also be a useful way of introducing you to new authors.  We asked AAR staffers to recommend some of their favourites.

Caz:  I’m not the greatest fan of anthologies as in my experience, there tends to be a huge difference in quality and you end up buying a book of three or four stories for just one good one.  Thankfully, with the advent of digital publishing, lots of authors who contribute to anthologies are later able to release their contributions singly, so it’s possible to just snap up the ones you wanted in the first place!

At the Duke’s Wedding by Maya Rodale, Miranda Neville, Caroline Linden and Katharine Ashe is worth buying for the […]

By | September 11th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|3 Comments