Hi friends! Today’s post is on a whim. Yes, the topic is right and true. You can ask me anything. It’s inspired by a conversation I had at RWA. Jamie Beck told me I did something nice – and to be honest I’m still not entirely convinced she meant me – and that she isn’t confusing me with someone else … but it was really nice to hear, so <3.
ANYWAY ideally, this is a time for you to ask anything book related. Blogging, guest posting, reviews, so on. I promise to answer any question you might have about it. “The industry.” Of course, we all understand the answers are all just from my experience/my opinion. I also invite anyone else to chime in with their own answers too! 🙂
You can feel free to ask me a question about anything else as well … but I reserve the right to not answer that.
Yes, I’m turning the tables on you! Generally bloggers give suggestions and their “best of” and “what to look for” … and I’ll do a bit of that here, but I want to know what you think I should read!
I’m all tapped out and all I want to do is curl up and sleep, eat, and read. Alas, I can’t do that, but a girl can dream, right?
So I want to know – A) what’s the best romance you’ve read lately? B) What about EVER? C) What’s one romance you think EV-ER-Y-ONE should read?
I’ll give you some suggestions … Mine by HelenKay Dimon is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year … but it’s not out until October. It’s okay though – this gives you time to read the three previous stories. 😀 (Mercy, Only, and Taken – until Mine, Taken had been my favorite!)
Meanwhile, I’m in the middle of reading a historical romance anthology, and soaking up cooking shows on PBS Create while I try to feel good about being able to sit up and finish another day and that being enough of a goal.
Reading wise … I’ve read some ok books, nothing great … and do >.> maybe? hope to actually update Goodreads although I’d have to go back to January and remember things so that seems unlikely… :X
I did get a paperwhite about a month or so ago – it was on sale (first time ever?!) and because of Swagbucks I got it for free 😀 … but I read a kindle book and noticed some parts had “X# highlighted” and I just thought that was creepy as hell. Is there anyone who likes that? O_o
Someone is now blasting White Flag by Dido and it’s floating around and it’s just a very strange weekend.
How about all of you? Any new recs for me? Tax advice? 😛
[Oh and yes – this is me, being behind as usual. I mean for everything, but especially ALBTALBS :X]
Not that I’m procrastinating or anything, or wishing one of you would come and stab me in the head … Of course not. >.>
I am curious though. What’ve you been reading? Anything good?
I finished Unwound by Lorelie James, and Sinners at the Altar by Olivia Cunning. I liked the first more than the second… but I won’t talk about the book because *fingers crossed* I’ll be doing a review for it for the TBR challenge. 😛
Any recommendations for me? >.> Any books I should avoid? I’ve had pretty good reading luck lately, but some DNF disappointments – and nothing that I just loved – although I definitely recommend Hard Time by Cara McKenna. You wanna get your little paws on this book. (Heh – maybe I should do a review on this book.)
I (desperately) need to write reviews. Recently I’ve read two L.B. Gregg books for the TBR challenge (which I also dropped the ball on) – and you know, fuck you, 2013. I thought 2012 was bad and I mean it was, with the family and hospital and my stuff… but then people dropped like flies in 2013, and I get that getting older means that, but it for damn sure shouldn’t mean funeral after funeral and so much that you can’t even keep them all straight.
Also the holidays make me put my ranty pants on, because all this family and while others might have awesome ones, mine are more like the “oh that’s just unrealistic” ones in books. >.>
I read Simple Gifts and How I Met Your Father. I don’t read much m/m – not as a thing but I just haven’t, and there’s so much I’m behind on already. But I like L.B. and I read the premise to Simple Gifts and I was sold. I definitely recommend both, and wish more romances were like these two. M/M, M/F, F/F, whatever. M/F/M is good too. 😉 And now I feel like I should talk about more of the books I’ve read, so another new one was Ripped by Sarah Morgan. Lovedit!!! More of this please!
Today I read Whispers by Carolyn Jewel. I liked it, but not as much as I was hoping to, because I thought they were romances – or romance novellas, and I might disagree with using “romantic” to describe them. I’d be interested in hearing what any of you think if you were to read it. The short stories are all very well written, and I like Carolyn Jewel’s voice, but they are dark dark dark. And maybe it’s just that I see a lot of dark so my mind immediately goes to … possibly a place worse than others might, but, yeah. I think if you start with the knowledge (or expectation) that this is erotica, you’ll be blown away.
Five graphic, erotic, romantic, short stories from Carolyn Jewel.
Don’t read these if you’re disturbed or offended by strong, possibly offensive, sexual content. Really. Don’t.
INIGO THE MAGICIAN: A demon delivers on an ice-cold revenge after a magician uses him and a human woman to satisfy his sexual perversions. Six months later, she’s not even close to recoveredhe’s free and their first meeting is a volatile combination of minds, bodies, and the consequences of a promise made.
DEMON LOVER: New Orleans, 1859. At nearly twenty-eight, Zoe remains at home to support her widowed father. She longs for something more in her life. David Nataniel is a dangerous man for a woman to know. He’s a client of her father’s and is often at the house, but Zoe believes she’s safe from his wickedness. She’s not.
MY GOBLIN BOYFRIEND: ‘My Goblin Boyfriend’ should say it all, but in case it doesn’t, Violet finds out first-hand why goblins have a rep for mastery in the bedroom after she finds an injured goblin passed out on her porch. She does the right thing for everyone involved and nurses him back to health. He’s big, strong, definitely not-human, and not shy at all. Features goblin sex. Doh.
CONSTANCE: In Edwardian-era America, Nathan reluctantly agrees to seduce and impregnate his good friend’s cousin. As he comes to know and like the woman, her tragic past changes him forever.
THE WILD: An unrepentant werewolf finds the woman of his dreams. She needs the kind of pain only he can deliver— As long as she’s willing to get Wild with him. Not for the faint of heart. Includes werewolf sex.
So anyway, immediately afterwards I read Making Over Maris. That was a cute story with a definite romance, and I’ll be reading more books by both authors.
What about you though? I’m still on the hunt for erotic romances with a definite happy ending and closure. I’d prefer not dark dark dark but most important to me, is that it’s well written. So, let’s dish about books!
I can’t believe it’s been four months. And yet is has been. Aish. You guys, welcome Julia Broadbooks! 😀
I’ve always thought I wasn’t much of an erotic romance reader. I mean, I downloaded the sample of The Book That Shall Not Be Named, and didn’t even make it to the end. I wasn’t offended; I was bored. Which is how many of my erotic purchases end up: unfinished because I never really connected with the characters. But in the last couple of months I’ve been trying to push myself out of my comfort zone, reading-wise and otherwise. I guess I’m a victim of all the hype too since in the past few months I’ve tried a few much talked about erotic romance/erotica books. Boy, am I glad that I did!
After reading so many glowing comments (in particular from Jane at Dear Author) about Liberating Lacey by Ann Calhoun , I bought it, kind of thinking I wouldn’t finish it. I could not have been more wrong. I loved this book. I finished it a couple of days, and immediately started reading it again. The sex in Calhoun’s book is singe your fingertips hot and plentiful, but she never skimps on the emotion. To me, this read like a category novel – the conflict was all internal as the hero and heroine face their flaws and their fears and fight through them for their HEA. Watching two characters who I love figure out how much they love each other makes for a really satisfying read.
In a totally different vein, I downloaded a free ebook by Cara McKenna (the alter ego of Blaze author Meg Maguire) who I follow on twitter. She’s so fun to chat with that I wanted to give her books a try. Backwoods is a short, erotic, m/m book. It’s also a crazy dirty book. These characters have the high octane angst going on. These aren’t things I gravitate toward in my reading, but this title really worked for me. I was so invested in these characters that I couldn’t put the book down. I was in awe that McKenna could draw me in and make me care so damn much about Shane and Gabriel. I’m not sure this type of book is going to become a huge part of my reading diet, but I’m really glad I read this one and I have another short (Curio) by McKenna waiting for me.
The other books I been reading are mostly series romance. I’ve been pretty fascinated watching Entangled Publishing develop their different lines. I’ve read a couple of handfuls already and I’m curious to see how each line is going to develop its own style. I’d considered them similar enough to Harlequin’s lines, but while reading Wife for Hire by Christine Bell, it occurred to me that the differences between the two publishing houses go deeper than just the covers. Bell’s novel hits all the series requirements: fake marriage, shorter length leading to a more concentrated story, a strong internal conflict the hero and heroine have to work past to have their happy ending. But there were enough differences that it really stood out to me. There’s a bit of a light suspense subplot which was a fun change, but the big thing was the tone and the author’s voice. All through the book, even to resolution at the end, there is a certain playfulness to the book, that was really different and worked well for me here. Perhaps, stuck in my rut, I’m not reading enough new authors at Harlequin?
In my quest to broaden my horizons, I picked up new author Kathy Altman’s July SuperRomance title The Other Soldier. I don’t usually read military themed books, but I’d read a very early first chapter of her book and wanted to see where she was going to go with her story. On leave for a month Reid finds struggling Parker, whom he widowed. How do you work through that? Altman never cuts Reid any slack. Parker isn’t feeling forgiving. In fact she is everything but. She is angry and bitter but desperate to stand on her own. Ever so slowly over the course of the month, the pair has to work through their anger and guilt in order to find happiness together. I especially appreciated the portrayal of Parker’s daughter who feels so real, right down to her inability to catch a ball. There is even a sweet secondary romance that runs parallel. In the coming months SuperRomance will be adding to the word count of the line. With a nearly novel length and such complex story lines, these books really blur the boundary between single title and series.
The other upcoming book I am super excited about is Megan Mulry’s November 1st release A Royal Pain. Because I’m absurdly fortunate, I got my hands on an ARC and I can tell you it is one of my favorite books of the year. Witty and smart with a hero to die for and a heroine I want as a best friend. It will be well worth the wait.
Hello Friends! Today we have Julia visiting with us! For those of you who have been around for a while – Julia used to comment with some frequency, if I recall correctly. Anyway, we also “chat” on twitter – and as you know I’ve been trying to find reviewers. I wanted to trick recruit Julia – but she refused. She did, however, agree to do quarterly (?) – it’s 4:01 AM so I’m a bit slap happy and non-high-brain-function-y and too lazy to search the calendar – posts about the books she’s reading! So here she is! The very first one!
What I’ve Been Reading
The first books I can remember being swept away in were fairy tales. I had a hardcover edition of the collected Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I read them all repeatedly, as though through repetition I could pull myself a bit further into their world. From there I found other folk stories and the ancient myths – the Greek and Roman, Norse and Egyptian, Bulfinch’s and Hamilton’s.
And then I found romance. The spun sugar sweetness of Barbara Cartland, Harlequins that I scoffed like M&Ms and the dense, velvety stories of Judith Krantz (And we had to discuss her because they are making a pilot of Scruples. Squeeeeee!)
From there I was dragged by school and my bibliophile father into the Great Books. Contrary as I was, I surprised myself and fell in love with so many of them. But not Ethan Frome: still hate that.
But eventually I found myself coming back to romance. One of the things I love about romance is the great variety of stories in the genre. Despite that, I read in great chunks. Bundles of vampire books and then an armload of historicals followed by a stack of hot and steamy.
The last few months it has been mostly contemporary romances – and mostly series romance at that.
There was the justly praised All They Need by Sarah Mayberry. This book is an example of what Harlequin series do well. The book opens with both the hero and heroine involved with someone else. When they meet sometime later, the heroine Mel has been beaten down by the unending censure of her bastard of an ex-husband. The hero is weighed down by worries of his parent’s illness. They both have been pretty bruised by life, as people are by the time they are well into adulthood. What I loved about this book is the way Mayberry’s characters cautiously step closer to each other while wrestling with their past. None of the pain and sadness is glossed over here, and yet, there was such a thread of optimism winding through their story that I never once doubted that a HEA awaited them. This is why she’s an autobuy author for me.
Barbara Wallace’s The Cinderella Bride has an irresistible cover, but what really sold me on this is the first scene in the book of the heroine doggedly waiting in the cold and rain, determined not to be defeated, or at the very least, not to give up. From that first scene I adored Emma for her gentleness coupled with her steely resolve. Sometimes romances with a boss/secretary theme have a relationship that is so unbalanced that it’s uncomfortable. Despite the difference in their positions, Emma is clearly a match for Gideon and I appreciate the fact that they didn’t ignore their business relationship as the romance blossomed. I loved the blend of fairy tale Harlequin Romance magic and the realistic feel of the story.
I’ve glommed onto Liz Talley’s backlist and just read her first novel for SuperRomance, Vegas Two-Step. This really is a romance in two steps. The first half shows good girl Nellie letting her hair down in Vegas. She and Jack meet and quickly fall for each other in Vegas. Then Nellie goes back home to her small town. In the second half Jack follows her there determined to win her over. This is the part that really won me over. I adore the stories where the hero and heroine fall hard and fast, but sometimes it’s hard to buy into their happy future together if they’ve only known each other a week. Here I got the best of both worlds – the rush of true love overtaking Jack and Nellie and then the surety of watching their relationship move solidly into a real world happily ever after.
The Getaway Car is a short nonfiction work by Ann Patchett about writing. At least it’s ostensibly about writing. It isn’t anything so unwieldy as craft lessons. Instead it’s a series of lessons on how to carve out a writing life, or really, any authentic and meaningful life. Ms. Patchett tells stories of facing down doubts and wrong turns and if you’re very lucky, finding one or two souls to guide your way. All of this in her wonderful prose that reminded me of the romance and the terror of staring down a blank page.
Okay – so let’s start from the beginning. Winners, you have until February 14 – yes, Valentine’s Day! – to contact me at [email protected] to claim your prize(s). Unless otherwise specified.
So here we go again – time to see if your prayers and offerings to the randomizer.org gods have worked! (If not, perhaps you should stop that and start trying to bribe me. Let’s see if I can be bought. Could be fun!)
I was just… well, me. (I was going to say crazy, or stupid, foolish, or sleep deprived… but you know, all/none of the above?) And messed up a winner (Mary actually said she doesn’t read ebooks…)- so re-drawing one… Jen B. you get a prize from Michelle Beattie.
Hunh – it seems lately that she who comments first… wins. O_o it’s 4:10 AM, okay? So I can’t handle being clever. The whole early bird takes the worm is a) gross, I hate worms, and I’d say 4 AM is g-d early but I’m not getting any of the good metaphorical worms so WTF, sayings people?!
On that belligerent note, let’s have a flash giveaway! (Also I’m vaguely ashamed of myself. I knew “belligerent” is a derivative of the Latin word for war, but “bellum” slipped my mind until I looked it up. Because it was bothering me. Because I’m not getting enough sleep, okay?!)
Erm – so the flash giveaway. This ends in 24 hours. (Roughly. Maybe something like 20, so we’ll all just have to deal.) IDEALLY someone will win a signed copy of one of Michelle Willingham’s back list books.
How do you enter? Tell me something awesome in the comments. Something funny. Something of note. Something to amuse me. Just make it awesome. I’ll post a winner in the comments in somewhere between 20 and 24 hours… or like midnight Friday. Whatever. (We covered the me not thinking, yes?) And said person will have one day to get back to me. Or forever hold his/her peace!
Let me know if there are questions. I kinda expect there will be some. I perhaps even hope so, because I’m going to be worried for all of us if this made sense. :X