Jennifer Wilck on why she writes diverse characters

When it comes to reading romance, most of us are looking for escape from our everyday lives. We don’t want to deal with our work stress, politics, crazy families or our to-do lists. Personally, while I always find a way, ultimately, to laugh at the crazy antics of my two teenaged girls, sometimes, I want a break from the eye rolls, attitude and emotional angst. When we do read books with those things, we like to see characters who solve their problems by the end of the story—simply, gracefully, with their own happily ever after. We might not be able to achieve that in our own lives, but we want to experience those solutions in our characters’ lives.

So too, do we want to see characters who look like us, talk like us, act like us and even worship like us. Readers are diverse, and characters should be too. I absolutely love to […]

Avon Gale and Roan Parrish on Heart of the Steal (and a giveaway!)

The authors are giving away a copy of this ebook to two lucky AAR readers. Make a comment below to be entered in our drawing!

Step 1. Brainstorming

Roan: Heart of the Steal was born in a moving truck, on a hot as hell August day in the South. Well, that’s not entirely true—it had existed before, IN AVON’S TWISTED BRAIN.

Avon: Yes! And it was very convoluted and involved a side plot with a serial killer. Which is just what you want in your opposites-attract romance novel, right? I was having a lot of problems with the story and wanted to talk it out with Roan, and what I was really in love with about the story was the characters far more than my plot. When I was talking it out with her, she immediately started giving me such great ideas, especially for Vaughn, and I just knew that she had to write […]

A guest post by Aussie Author Louise Cusack

Hello, everyone! I’m thrilled to have the chance to guest blog for AAR and to share my Husband Series with you.

This four-book series of sexy romance novels is about four girlfriends who are indispensable in each others’ lives (the same way my own girlfriends are vital to my happiness). My characters: Jill, Angela, Louella and Fritha drive each other crazy, but they’re there for each other, no matter what, delivering hugs or tough-love as the situation requires! The series is set in Australia, where I live, so I’ve showcased our great landscape, from the glitzy glamor of Sydney and Surfers Paradise to the dry, dusty outback and the lush beauty of Byron Bay and Belandera. Then there are the men who fall in love with my girls… Anyone who’s ever drooled over a Hemsworth will understand what there is to like about Aussie men, and I’ve thrown in a Brit bad […]

By | 2017-07-10T07:43:04+00:00 July 10th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|4 Comments

Mourning dress in Jane Austen’s time: A guest post by Candice Hern

This month marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. With that in mind, I thought I’d tell you a bit about mourning customs of that time, specifically in terms of fashion. The prints shown are from my own collection.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, when a family member died, it was important to honor that person with a public display of mourning. Black clothing was a public show of respect. We do that today by wearing black or dark clothing to funerals, though even that is no longer considered important. But the Georgians, and especially the Victorians, wore mourning clothes for much longer than one day. Sometimes, for widows in particular, mourning clothes may have been worn for a year or more. Queen Victoria wore black mourning dresses for 40 years after the death of her husband, Prince Albert.

Figure 1: Ackermann’s Repository of […]

By | 2017-07-06T10:47:53+00:00 July 6th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Fashion, Guest Posts|Tags: , |10 Comments

Avon Gale on queer representation in sports romance.

Hi! I’m Avon Gale, and I’m here today to talk a little about queer representation in sports romance. As a queer person, and a writer of sports romance, this is obviously a subject near and dear to my heart. My series, Scoring Chances, is set amidst the lives of queer minor league hockey players and coaches in the southern United States. While the ECHL is a professional hockey league, it’s a completely different world from the majors and it brings its own set of challenges for my characters – everything from a hectic schedule, sub-par facilities and (because it’s the south) low-attendance that constantly threatens the security of a team.

Of course I want my characters to have their HEA with their love interest (even if I have to put them through the wringer to get there!) But I need to make sure my characters – who are playing in the lowest […]

By | 2017-06-28T11:07:38+00:00 June 29th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts, Queer romance|Tags: , , |11 Comments

Layla Rayne shares three fictional partnerships she loves

Thanks so much AAR for having me as a guest blogger today. I’m delighted to be here to chat about my male-male romantic suspense series, Agents Irish and Whiskey. For those who haven’t checked it out yet, AIW follows FBI agents Aidan “Irish” Talley and Jameson “Whiskey” Walker as they investigate cybercrimes and the murder of Aidan’s late husband. Aidan, whose family fled Ireland during the Troubles, is the top field agent in the FBI’s San Francisco field office, and Jamie, twelve years his junior, is a former basketball star turned Cyber agent.

Irish and Whiskey’s partnership—professional and personal—is at the heart of the AIW series. It’s also one of the reasons I love writing romantic suspense. Sure, the intricate plots, high stakes and car chases are a draw too, but having been raised on a steady diet of cop shows, this genre is a natural fit and first love. When asked […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:29:58+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|Tags: |2 Comments

The Best of All Worlds: A Guest Post by Sherry Thomas

Judith of Binge on Books and Open Ink Press emailed me February of last year and told me about an unusual project she was planning. The aim of the Sight Unseen anthology is to have known authors write stories of a kind that they aren’t known for, in time periods, sub genres, and subject matters that they would like to but haven’t had the opportunity to explore.

Even better, the authors’ names would be on the cover, but their stories would be presented anonymously. And then readers can make a game of guessing who wrote what.

I didn’t need to think long or hard before I said yes. I didn’t have anything I’d been “afraid to write up until this point”, per Judith’s original wording—I’ve always written what I wanted to write. But by joining the anthology, I would gain a deadline.

In a professional writer’s life, projects that come with a hard […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:29:59+00:00 June 6th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Books with Buzz, Guest Posts|8 Comments

All About the Money: A Guest Post by Santino Hassell

I have a complicated relationship with wealth. Instead of being intrigued by characters who are cool or sexy or likeable because of their money, power, and social status, I love characters who are awesome in spite of it.

For books with wealthy characters or celebrities, my catnip is when they are utterly flawed. Give me a billionaire with a tragic past who has some hang-ups but isn’t a total coldhearted jerk, and you have me. I don’t want to read about what money can do for people. I want to read about what it’s done to people.

That’s the route I tried to go when writing about Ashton Townsend in Concourse, the next standalone novel in the Five Boroughs series. Ashton is the queer son of the wealthy family who runs Townsend Telecom—the AT&T of the Five Boroughs Universe. His stunning androgyny put him on the runway for as long as he […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:00+00:00 May 2nd, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|Tags: , , |4 Comments