What I’m Reading This Week

For some bizarre yet wonderful reason, I’ve actually been able to carve out some reading time the last few weeks.  Historical romance has really been on my radar and I’ve been reading some darn good ones.

The first is Meredith Duran’s latest release, At Your Pleasure.  One word – phenomenal.  Duran’s books are always beautifully crafted, with gorgeous prose, fascinating characters, and cool settings.  And her men are to die for.  The hero of At Your Pleasure, Lord Rivenham, is dark, dangerous, and sexy.  Smart, too – way smart.  It’s a killer combination.  And two thumbs up for the setting, which is the early Georgian period.  It was a dramatic, intriguing, and dangerous time, and I wish we’d see more historical romances set in this era.

Shifting now to the American West and the books of Jo Goodman.  I used to read cowboy romances quite a bit when I was younger, but I’d drifted away from them to the Regency period.  Well, Goodman could pull anyone back to cowboy country in no time flat.  The Last Renegade is a character driven romance with a particularly engaging hero and heroine. Goodman has a way of taking old tropes and making them fresh, and writing strong, fairly silent heroes who are very masculine but always smart and thoughtful (again with the smart heroes!).

The beauty of Goodman’s writing is often best realized in the quiet moments between the hero and heroine, and The Last Renegade dishes up plenty of those moments.  A very romantic, lovely book with great dialogue and even a bit of a mystery plot.

My third pick this week is The Dragon and the Pearl, by Jeannie Lin.  Set during the Tang Dynasty in China, this book sucked me in from page one.  I was riveted by the setting and the history, and how Lin made it such an integral part of the story. The Dragon and the Pearl was the opposite of a wallpaper historical and, as a writer, I was blown away by Lin’s skill and level of craft.  The Dragon and the Pearl is a beautifully written story with deep, heart-wrenching emotion and a spectacular hero and heroine.  One of the best books I’ve read in 2012.

Obviously the last few weeks have provided me with some great reading, but how about you?  I’d like to continue my streak – any books that you’d particularly recommend?  And if you’d like more of my book recommendations, please join me on goodreads!

 


Where I’ve Been

I’ve been a bit quiet here on the blog, for a very good reason.  Hubby and I were away at a writer’s conference and visiting friends in New York.  In fact, we had planned to spend yesterday in Manhattan.  Yeah, those plans changed pretty darn quickly and we high-tailed it out of there first thing Sunday morning, well in advance of Hurricane Sandy.  My thoughts and best wishes are with everyone affected by Sandy–hopefully that demon storm will blow itself out soon!

I do have lots of good things planned for the blog over the next few months.  In addition to my regular guests, I’ll be doing a weekly highlight of the fabulous authors of Rock*It ReadsRock*It Reads is the author collective I’m part of–we’re a group of traditionally published authors also branching out into indie publishing.  We’re committed to producing quality, exciting books and our authors include Pamela Clare, Bonnie Vanak, Monica Burns, and Mia Marlowe.  Stay turned to learn more about this talented group of women.

I’m also still celebrating the recent release of my holiday-themed historical romance, His Mistletoe Bride.  To carry on with that celebration well into the holiday season, I’ve banded together with three other historical romance authors.  Along with the fabulous Victoria Alexander, Theresa Romain, and Grace Burrowes, I’ll be hosting an all-day festive gala, Romancing the Holidays, on the romance blog The Romance Dish. We’ll be giving away prizes every hour, from 9 am to 9 pm ET. All four of us will be blogging throughout the day, talking about our books, the holiday season, and chatting with our readers. We’ll also be giving away some spectacular prizes throughout the day, including a grand prize basket featuring an ereader. Zounds! You do not want to miss that.  Dash on over to the Romancing the Holidays website for all the details and to sign up.

Sounds like crazy fun, doesn’t it?  But what’s even cooler is that we’ve included a fundraising component to the event.  We’ll be giving away baskets of books to a women’s shelter and a library, and we’re also encouraging our readers to make donations too.  Be sure to check out the Romancing the Holidays website for details and to sign up to participate.

See you back here on the blog!

 

 


Love Between the Covers

Most romance readers are at least vaguely aware of how big the romance publishing industry is, and that romance writers produce an incredibly diverse range of books across the genre. But did you know that romance fiction comprised the largest share of the U.S. consumer market in 2010?  And that revenues from romance fiction far surpass other genres, like classic literary fiction and mysteries?

Despite that, it’s pretty much true that romance novels and their readers don’t get a whole lot of respect.  Laurie Kahn, a respected documentary filmmaker, wants to help change that.  She’s part of the Popular Romance Project, an exciting initiative set up to explore the origins and influence of popular romance.  The Project has a number of cool things on the go, but the one I want to tell you about today is a documentary that Laurie is filming.

The documentary is called Love Between the Covers, and it will be a feature-length film intended for  international television broadcast, focusing on the global community of romance readers, writers, and publishers.  Love Between the Covers will also be used at a symposium at the Library of Congress, in nationwide library programs about popular romance run by the American Library Association, and at a website dedicated to studying popular romance across time and cultures–the prototype of that website is currently at the existing Popular Romance Project website.

I’m thrilled to be part of this project in a small way as a participant in Laurie’s interviews with authors and readers of romance, which include New York Times bestselling writers like Eloisa James, Brenda Jackson and Jayne Ann Krentz.  I know that Laurie is looking at our community in a completely respectful and non-condescending way, and I’m happy to support the project.  I’m hoping you can support it too.

Laurie and her team have done an excellent job thus far of raising funds to film Love Between the Covers.  But she now needs our help to finish making this film. She recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to do just that.  If you go to her Kickstarter page (lovebetweenthecovers.com) you can see a fun and really enlightening video preview of Love Between the Covers.

And if you look real hard, you can see an interview clip with me near the beginning of the film!

Folks, I hope you can take a few minutes to check out the video preview of  Love Between the Covers.  As Laurie herself says in the trailer, it’s time to take a good look at the women who read and write these books, and who fuel this powerhouse of culture and commerce.  Laurie is doing just that in a respectful and supportive way, and that’s something I think we all can support.


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