I read Surrender of a Lady recently, and as I read it, the heroine’s past really stuck with me. For those not familiar with Tiffany Clare’s debut, it centers on a heroine sold into slavery in a Turkish harem. Her owner runs a pleasure garden, and the girls are expected to entertain the men who bid on their favors. This heroine is no faux courtesan; she really does have multiple partners including her owner and various men who have bid on her favors over the years.
I recently took a trip to Italy with close friends, and as I strolled the streets of Rome or admired the views in small Tuscan villages, I couldn’t help wondering why I don’t find more romances set here. Alpha male Italians feature in the Harlequin Presents line, but it’s otherwise fairly difficult to find a good Italian-set romance. The history of the place would lend itself to all manner of lush and romantic tales, and having seen cities such as Venice, I can easily envision a swoonworthy courtship happening along the canals, or in the Boboli gardens or amidst the bustle and grand historic buildings of Rome.
In January I did a post on my efforts to look for book signings by romance authors. After my original post, several readers and authors commented that they would like to see this as a regular feature at AAR. Time, and personal obligations prevented it from happening sooner, but we’d like to give a serious try to having this as a monthly feature at AAR. But I’m going to need your help! There are only so many signings that I can locate on the Web. But I know that with the diverse geographical representation of AAR readers, we can locate a lot more book signings.
So, to get things going, I’ve set up a special email address (aarbooksign AT gmail.com) for this feature. I hope that readers, authors, publishers, and booksellers will send information to me there about upcoming romance author book signings. If you learn of […]
Not too long ago, Sandy Coleman blogged about romance cliches she would love to see die. That got me to thinking about the plotlines and features I just love in a romance. I’m sick of small-town sheriffs and I never really went for the obligatory baby-studded epilogues, but there are some recurring plot features(and at least 1 not recurring enough) that make me such a happy camper, and they are:
For my generation, there is a very public way to declare a serious relationship. It’s not a class ring or letter jacket. The question “Have you been pinned?” died long ago.
Today, the question is, “Is it Facebook-official?”
Facebook offers several relationship options: Single, It’s Complicated, In an Open Relationship, and In a Relationship. When you’re “In a relationship” with someone, it’s for real. You’re committed.
Upon release of Lisa Kleypas’ Blue-Eyed Devil in 2007, I ran to the bookstore, eagerly purchased a copy, and then headed home to dive into this greatly anticipated sequel to Sugar Daddy. Later, when I reviewed it for AAR, I granted it a grade of B+ and was a little amazed it had missed that DIK mark. I had been snapping at the bit to read more about Hardy Cates and although I was thoroughly satisfied on that point, it was Haven’s characterization that failed to meet my expectations in some manner. Despite my great sympathy for her sufferings, Haven carried an aura of entitlement that kept me from totally engaging in the romance.
Slight spoiler follows…
New Zealand is a land of many attributes, but Romance Central it is not. The tendency is to tuck away romance novels at the end of shelves like tails between legs. So imagine my surprise when I came across Chapter, an Auckland bookstore devoted entirely to romance novels, and I was glad to get the opportunity to interview Frances Loo, owner and founder of Chapter.
Like many of us, Frances was weaned on Georgette Heyer and Mary Stewart, and branched off into Mills & Boons and Barbara Cartland before becoming a full-blown romance lover. During a sojourn in America she gloried in the large selection of single title romances, having been limited predominantly to series romances in New Zealand. So when Frances returned to New Zealand, she opened Chapter, a book café dedicated to single-title romances.
I missed it. About a month ago, I receive a Facebook notice that one of my favorite authors was doing a book signing about an hour away from my home. Problem was, she was doing it at that very moment, a moment when I was getting ready to walk into a meeting at work. There was no way I could skip out on that meeting, drive an hour, find a parking space, and get into the bookstore before the signing ending…although I did briefly consider doing just that. If only I had known several days in advance, I could have arranged to attend.
Ever since then, I’ve been trying to find the best ways to know – in advance – about book signings in my area. One of my friends suggested that I just check out my local newspaper. Well, the problem with that is that even though there are […]
Which is a total no-brainer, right? After all, it’s scary out there.
But here’s what’s got me curious. What are you reading these days? And, just as interesting to me, have your reading tastes changed since the recession began?
For me, the answer to the second question is a definite yes. I’ve always loved historical romance and have since I first began reading the genre when I was about 13. It’s my first love and, as romance readers know, first love is a powerful thing.
I also love contemporaries, romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and – yep – great paranormals, too. Lately, though, I’ve found myself much more set to lose myself in a great historical romance.
But enough about me. We want to know what you’re reading to escape from a reality that’s gotten a bit too real. And, for a special bonus question, please tell us if your reading habits have changed since the recession began.
The mainsteam media came a-callin’ again and this time it came without any attitude. Woohoo!
I was interviewed last week about the popularity of vampire romances by Lisa Respers France, a reporter who told me she is a voracious reader. And, apparently, she is a reader with a wide open mind because there is not a whiff of ‘tude in the piece. How refreshing is that?
Ms. France also talked to J.R. Ward, Laurell K. Hamilton, Heather Graham, and Judy Scott of RWA about the appeal of the vampire and romance as one of the few bright spots in today’s economy. But I’m in there, too, talking about how smart women read romance. And how great writers write romance. And about how many intelligent women who read romance are now out of the closet. It’s good to be out of the closet, isn’t it?
My thanks to Ms. France for the fun time I had talking to her about one […]