When we collect nominations for the Special Titles Listings, usually we greet the individual submissions with an affectionate moan: We love the new titles, but we grumble a bit at the work of looking up the books online, preparing the new entries, possibly even browsing through them to make sure they fit the category.
This time around, there was a change: Because we opened the lists just before Christmas (we might have known …), there were very few submissions at first. We panicked a bit, and went off to nominate some books ourselves.
In my (Rike’s) case, this meant literally walking up and down my bookshelves, browsing through the titles and desperately trying to remember where there was a full-figured heroine, or a guardian who fell for this ward.
After I’d stopped panicking it was actually a rewarding exercise. I opened some books I hadn’t had a closer look at in years, and rediscovered some oldies. In addition, I impulsively bought some Harlequins at their Christmas sale just because it looked like they fit one of the categories, and read them over the New Year. And won’t you believe it, with Cat Schield and Sarah Mallory (whose latest books, incidentally, fit our categories just perfectly!) I discovered two new-to-me authors whose backlists I am definitely going to pick up. In case you want to know the details: Cat Schield’s Because of the Baby is a lovely romance between two in-laws, taking care of a baby niece while their siblings, the baby’s parents are absent or incapacitated. And Sarah Mallory’s Never Trust a Rebel is a charming Georgian historical set in the aftermath of the 1745 rebellion and featuring a guardian and his ward. I recommend both!
Then there was the irony of working on the Plus-Sized Heroine list during one of the most indulgent, delectable, edible times of the year. Which is then quickly followed by resolutions of strict diets and maniacal exercise regimes. As much as the idea of loving our curves has been making it’s way into the odd ad campaign we have to admit it would be nice to see it expand in all media, including romance books. Thankfully there are authors out there writing stories about women who struggle with their physical bodies and those women who love themselves as they are and although the additions to the list are few, we hope they will satisfy.
And then the holidays were over, and you, our readers, came through. The Guardian/Ward nominations remain few as well, but you pointed out a great number of books to us that fit the All in the Family and the Twins categories, and sometimes both. Thanks for the wonderful sumissions!
We hope you will enjoy the newly revised lists, and pick up some fabulous new titles for your reading. And watch this space on Friday for some new lists to be opened!
– Rike Horstmann, LinnieGayl Kimmel and Cindy Smith