imageWe’re happy to announce that this morning we’re opening four Special Title Lists for new submissions. That’s right, your Special Title Lists’ team hasn’t abandoned you. The lists that will be open for the next two weeks are: (1) Beta Heroes; (2) Marms, Teachers, and Governesses; (3) Favorite Funnies; and (4) Villains.

Beta Heroes: When we began updating the Special Title Lists in late 2012, we asked AAR readers to pick their favorite lists; Beta Heroes was near the top. The romances in this list feature kinder, gentler heroes, the kind of men who will change your flat tire, open doors for you, help your kid with his homework, and bring you soup when you are sick. They are the antithesis of the testosterone-filled chest beaters found in many earlier romances.

Marms, Teachers, and Governesses: Last updated in March of 2010, the romances in this list feature heroines who are either teachers, nannies, or governesses. While the title of the list may evoke notions of historical romances, many of the romances currently on the list feature contemporary school teachers, such as Grace Emerson in Kristin Higgins’ Too Good to be True and Fiona MacPherson in Janice Kay Johnson’s Snowbound.

Favorite Funnies: This was another of AAR readers’ most requested lists when we began updating the Special Title Lists in late 2012. Last updated in September of 2012, it’s time to revisit those romances that make you laugh.

Villains: Last updated in January of 2010, this list features romances with dastardly and evil villains and villainesses you’ll remember forever. While many romances feature a villain of some kind, in this list we’re interested in those special, memorable villains. A number of the villains on the list — featured in a series of romances – have ultimately been turned into heroes in their own stories.

We look forward to seeing your submissions for these lists starting today Monday May 18 and going for the next two weeks ending Sunday May 31 at midnight. As a reminder, any additions to the list have to be: (1) the best of the best, (2) stand the test of time, and (3) actually fit the list for which they were submitted. To read the selection criteria and vote, go here.

Now how about the submissions, you may ask, that you entered back in March for the For the Love of God and the Scots & Irish Romances lists? Well, we had a severe case of Real Life Intervening (nothing serious, but very time-consuming) and have not managed yet to revise both lists. The newly revised version of For the Love of God is being published today, but for the Scots & Irish Romances we have to ask for your patience for a bit longer. We apologize for the delay, but as we are all volunteers here, when our day-job intervenes, there is only so much we can do.

But we are pleased to announce that 27 new titles have been added to the For the Love of God list – although “new” is to be understood loosely here, as some of them, like Carla Kelly’s Miss Whittier Makes a List and Carola Dunn’s Miss Jacobson’s Journey are beloved classics. On the other hand, some recent books like Hadrian by Grace Burrowes, A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long and Forbidden by Charlotte Stein, all of which received very favorable grades at AAR, were submitted as well. So while the mainstream romance which deals with religion remains a niche product, there are strong new titles in this category.

We hope you enjoy the new entries and find interesting titles to read, and we are looking forward to your new submissions.

– LinnieGayl Kimmel, Rike Horstmann and Cindy Smith