Tag Archives: Debut Author

Guest Selena Laurence: What’s In It For Me?

Hello my friends! ALBTALBS world is all off kilter. Let’s ignore that, shall we? As you see, Selena Laurence is visiting, and I’d love to hear what you have to say in response. Get a discussion going! And guess what? Her debut romance came out on April 22! Isn’t that fantastic? So let’s give this debut author a warm welcome!

What’s In It For Me?

I read a book recently (you’re shocked, I know) and in it the hero is a professional chef whose family doesn’t approve of his career. At one point, his father who is a lawyer, and his brother who is a doctor, ask him something to the effect of, “Who do you help by being a chef? What do you contribute?”

I thought to myself that the same question could be asked of writers. When you write Romance novels, what do you contribute? Who do you help? Why do I write these often denigrated books about people falling in love and doing other assorted ridiculous things?

The answers weren’t hard to come up with. All I needed to do was think about why I read Romance novels. And ultimately, the tagline on my website says it all: Escape the Everyday.

For me, Romance novels are the ultimate therapy. If I’m lonely I can read about people who I’d love to know, and I can feel like I’m part of their lives for a brief period of time. If I’m stressed after a day of wrangling kids and pets and editors, I can get involved in someone else’s problems and have mine seem minor in comparison.

As a Romance writer, my goal is really to give my readers the same things I get from reading Romance novels. If I can make someone laugh, help them feel that blush of first love again, give them a distraction from their own stresses and problems, make them feel a little less alone in the world, then I’ve done my job. It’s simple in concept, harder in practice, and maybe most people don’t consider it important, but to me it’s a highly worthwhile endeavor.

Human beings have always needed entertainers, therapists, mentors, lovers, and friends. A great Romance novel can fulfill all of these functions for a short period of time, and if I can write something that does even one of those things for someone, I consider it a job well done.

Bio: Selena Laurence loves to write romantic stuff that helps you get away. Life can be a grind, and things like jobs and kids and dirty dishes make Jill a dull girl – and Selena too. So, she writes about hot guys and smart girls and exotic locales to give us all an Escape from the Everyday.

Seems like the question is up to me. 😀 You know I love asking stuff. 😉 So – what do romance novels “mean” to you? How do you view, or treat them? Inquiring minds want to know.

Debut Author Amara Royce: Former Guest Blogging Virgin!

Hey you guys! Please welcome debut author Amara Royce to the blog! As you can see, this is her very first guest blog post ever! Isn’t that fun and exciting? And adorable? I’m really pleased and honored she chose us. 🙂 Her book will be available on May 2, so not long now! I hope you all give her a very warm welcome! >.> And ignore the fact that I stole some of her opening thunder, mkay? :X

First, I’d like to thank Limecello for giving me this opportunity!   ALBTALBS is a great site, and I’m thrilled to be a tiny part of it.  *whispers* This is also my very first guest spot…ever.  So, as a debut author, this is quite a heady moment for me!  My debut historical romance, Never Too Late, will be released by Kensington Publishing’s digital-first imprint, eKensington, on May 2, 2013.

After much consideration about my first guest spot ever, I decided it would make sense to focus on the First Kiss.

Both in romances and in real life, that first kiss is so frequently the stuff of fairy tales and legends.

In narratives, that single kiss is the key to life, the key to unlocking a whole new future. The spellbound princess has fallen into a deep sleep and can only be awakened by True Love’s Kiss. And since it’s a fairy tale, the princess has never been kissed before.  The movie 50 First Dates features Drew Barrymore, whose character has lost her short-term memory due to a car accident and therefore wakes up every morning thinking it’s the same day, and Adam Sandler as a marine zoologist who has fallen for her and finds himself wooing her every day.  Their first kiss becomes a running joke in the movie because, to her, it’s a magical first kiss every single day, but, to him, the dreamy blush of the first kiss fades fast.

And, ‘fess up, who didn’t at least consider practicing for their first kiss in the mirror or with a pillow when they were growing up?

On the other hand, there’s also the saying that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. In our modern world, maybe it’s a little too much to expect that your first kiss ever will be earth-shattering, toe-tingling perfection or that the first person you kiss will be your everlasting true love.  Even the fairy-tale based movie Enchanted gives a nod to the difference between the first kiss and True Love’s Kiss.

So a first kiss can be monumental…but maybe not.

When I wrote Never Too Late, a historical romance set in Victorian London, I pondered that first kiss long and hard. In some historical romances, the heroine’s first kiss ever occurs “on stage” with the hero, and in those cases, it’s almost always breath-taking and impossible to forget. That first kiss gets deeply imprinted in the minds and hearts of both main characters.

Given the histories of Never Too Late’s heroine and hero, it was unlikely that they’ve never kissed anyone before.  She’s a bit older than the average historical romance heroine, and he’s, well, him.  So it seemed important to acknowledge their less-than-wonderful  experiences before meeting each other, especially since it makes their First Kiss that much more potent.

Here’s a glimpse:

It was swift, a mere brush of their lips, but the electric tingle from that light touch ran through him. How he’d gone from a simple printing demonstration to this far-from-simple complication, he couldn’t puzzle out. Her eyes widened too, as if she felt a similar shock.  He stood there for a moment, looking at her intently.

In that moment, she had enough time to recall the first time she’d kissed a man. Mr. Ranseed was the butcher’s son, an excellent match, both sets of parents agreed.  The third time he’d come to visit her at home, somehow they’d been left unchaperoned.  They were taking a walk in the countryside, talking about some innocuous topic or other, like the weather or, no, they’d been talking about feed, about what grasses are most conducive to good beef, and suddenly he’d butted her up against a tree and begun kissing her. That was all, just his mouth against hers, but it was clammy and horribly intrusive. Startled, she just stood there, letting him probe with his tongue and wondering what all the fuss was about.  He seemed agitated and eager, but whatever he was doing with his mouth felt awkward and unnatural.  She decided three things immediately: 1. I do not enjoy kissing Mr. Ranseed. 2. I am not inclined to allow him such familiarity again. 3. I will not marry him after all.

You can find me on Facebook and Twitter, and I’ll be posting more snippets from Never Too Late every Saturday until its May 2 release date at my web site.

In anticipation of Never Too Late’s release on May 2, I’m giving away a $10 Amazon e-gift card. Just answer the following question in the comments for a chance to win (and include the e-mail address you would want used to deliver the e-gift card):

What’s your favorite “first kiss” scene in a book or movie?

Guest: Joanna Chambers!

Hi Everyone! Me again! Aren’t you glad you’ve been safe from me all week?! 😉 You should – it’s been a sulky one. Enough of that though, because we’ve got the wonderful Joanna Chambers visiting with us again, and this time with her author hat on! Yes! Her debut book will be out with Carina Press soon! All of you who love historicals, you’ll like this. And those of who don’t treat it as your go-to genre? Learning is fun! Cuz knowledge is power! 😛

Let’s hear it for Regency Romance!

Thanks for having me over again, Lime!  Today I want to talk about my unashamed love of that sometimes-maligned animal: the Regency romance.

My debut novel The Lady’s Secret is released by Carina Press on 7th November (buy it here!) and yes, it’s a Regency romance! I know some readers get fed up with the dominance of this period in the historical romance genre but I’m out and proud as a lover of the Regency.

So what was it all about?  Well, in 1811 Prince George, took over the reign of his father King George III.  His father was still alive but incapacitated by ‘madness’ (which it was later suggested, but never proven, may have been porphyria.  Accordingly, Prince George did not rule as his father’s heir and king during this period, but as his proxy.  As regent.  Hence ‘Regency’.

This situation continued until George III’s death in 1820 when Prince George became George IV.  Technically therefore, the actual Regency lasted only 9 years.  However the term ‘Regency’ is used with reference to anywhere from the late 18th century until 1837 when Victoria became Queen and the Victorian period began.  My own (very personal) take is that the ‘Regency period proper’ begins with the commencement of the Napoleonic Wars in 1803 until George IV’s death in 1830.

The Regency is a hugely fascinating time in British history, book-ended by two very different worlds.  Prior to the Regency, we have the world of the late 18th century.  A time of immense aristocratic privilege, with the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle classes beginning to happen.  After the Regency, we have the Victorian period.  The age of steam and invention.  When the dominance of the aristocracy began to wane and the power of the industrialist middle class rose. And wedged in the middle of these two very different worlds, was the Regency, a time when all the tensions of money and class and industrialisation were brewing, against a backdrop of war and political unrest.

So no.  It wasn’t all just about going to Almacks to dance and Gunther’s for ices!  And that’s not the Regency you’ll see in The Lady’s Secret.  In fact, my hero and heroine come from quite different sides of the tracks.  Nathan is an earl and Georgy is a failed-actress-turned-stagehand who masquerades as a man to gain a position as his valet.  So while you get to see the world of the aristocrats (so familiar to romance readers!) you also get to see other worlds: the world of servant class, and the world of the theatre.

What about you?  Do you love the Regency period?  Hate it?  And what’s your favourite Regency romance?

Joanna Chambers has been blogging about romance as Tumperkin since 2007 at http://tumperkin.blogspot.com.  Her first novel, The Lady’s Secret, is released by Carina Press on 7th November. You can find an excerpt here.


Isn’t that interesting? I didn’t know. (I should though, shouldn’t I.) Ms. Chambers has also very kindly offered up a copy of her debut novel to one lucky commenter. So go on and answer her questions!