Folks, we’re halfway through February and if you’re like me, the shiny and bright promise of a new year is already a little bit tarnished and we’re dug in, doing what we do, moving forward into 2013. Working. Playing. Taking care of the kids, family… taking care of ourselves.
For me this new year was all about my writing and making time for things that I enjoy, like reading. And what have I been reading lately? A whole lot of a newish romance sub-genre, something labeled ‘new adult’. Which, to me, are stories revolving around the grey area—you know, the one between teenagers and adults. That block of time meant for experimenting, finding yourself, making life-long connections. A time where responsibilities are slowly beginning to pile up, but not so much that you can’t have fun.
I love this genre and today I’m going to share a few books I’ve read over that last month or so that, for various reasons, I enjoyed a lot.Read more...
True story: I was assigned to sit next to my future husband in 10th grade Biology. He was tall, gangly, and acnified. He was a new kid that year, and I had been a new kid so many times growing up that I recognized the brand of misery immediately. Age fifteen was the year I’d decided to be cool, in spite of my industrial braces, complete with rubber bands. A back brace would soon follow. On that fateful first day of school, I sat down beside him and asked, “Can I see your schedge?” Short for schedule. Because I was cool. We just celebrated our eighteenth anniversary, and we still joke about “schedge”.
In spite of all the emotional and physical excruciations of being fifteen, an undeniable spark flared between us, and it has held true through the many years we’ve been together.
Today I’m celebrating sparks, and I’ve got two book recommendations that readers should check out immediately. Both are mash-ups of a sort, and both spark all over the place.Read more...
Have you made New Year’s Resolutions? I always make the same ones each year: lose 15 pounds, get more exercise, and wake up at 5:00 a.m. to write before everyone else is up. My resolutions aren’t always successful, but I still make them. And I still love the idea of transforming my life.
A great romance always involves characters who change. As readers, we want to see characters who grow, learn, and then find happiness. Just as I make resolutions to change, I love to experience it through fiction. Romance helps give me the upbeat feeling and confidence to know I can embrace change.
The holiday season is winding down! For the last month, you've been focused solely on what to get for everyone on your holiday shopping list, finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones, cooking the holiday meals, wrapping the presents, and making sure everything on the todo list gets done. Exhausting, isn't it? Well, I have news for you. It's nearly over, and that means you can take a breath and take a little time for yourself. And I have some great book selections to help you do just that!Read more...
I buy a lot of indie books. I mean, a lot. If you were to examine my reader, you’d probably find a 75/25 mix of indie-to-trad books. Part of that ratio is my desire to support fellow indie authors. Part of it is the very attractive indie pricing. And of course, part of it is the thrill of finding new and compelling voices. While it’s true that I don’t finish every indie book I start due to quality issues, I do so love the quest!
For my first Love Rocks column, I’m going to profile a pair of authors whose work I know well. They are hybrid authors, having a foot in both traditional and indie publishing worlds, but their indie work truly deserves more attention.
Bonbons. They’re considered the candy of choice for romance readers by folks who don’t share our passion for the genre. But as readers, we know the truth. We’d rather spend our money on a good book than candy. Okay, so we save a dollar for that Milky Way bar we’ve been craving. But when all is said and done, our favorite kind of chocolate is a good romance book.
So just in time for the biggest candy holiday of the year, I've found a delicious bonbon of a self-published romance. Chocolate doesn’t get any better than Love Letters by Lori Brighton.Read more...
There's no shortage of villains in the world, but what if the villains were members of your own family? What if your father, brother, or even your husband was the bad guy, someone who didn't think twice about committing murder?
Welcome to life in the Mafia.
Most romantic suspense novels these days seem to be either police procedurals or serial killer stories, but I recently came across two entertaining thrillers set in the world of organized crime.Read more...
If you know what all these words have in common, you get a gold star! One of them I had to look up. (Yeah, yeah, I know this is my column but I’m a romance author. Pocket Rockets takes on a whole new meaning when you write romance.) For those of you who are scratching your heads, I’ll fill you in on the secret: the common theme here is poker. Anyone who’s been to Vegas and hung out at the tables has likely heard these words. But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t “get” the hype of poker, doesn’t think it’s interesting or even particularly sexy, then I have a book for you. After reading Text Appeal by Lexi Ryan, you’ll quickly change your mind.Read more...
The transition from summer to fall is one I cherish. Gone are the heat, the constant grind of air conditioning, and the mosquitoes. We can look forward to cooler days, crisp evenings, and leaves that begin to change—the perfect weather for curling up with my Nook.
As a reader, I love stumbling upon a new author whose books I enjoy. I especially love it whenthat author comes with not just one or two titles, but a big, affordable backlist that can keep me immersed for weeks.
Opulent. Sumptuous. Savory. Luxuriant. Sounds like a rainforest.
It sounds like historical romance.
Like most readers, I read for different reasons. Sometimes unrelenting tension and high adventure, sometimes adventures of the home and heart. Fast-paced, edge-of-my-seat read, or a more leisurely story, where the significance of a single look is drawn out, building the tension: “Will he do it, now, here?”
But no matter how fast the pace or high the adventure, no matter how hot the passion or laugh-out-loud funny the humor, one of the great joys of fiction is being transported.. It’s not just description or scene setting or staging that transport us to a lush story-world. Nope. It’s being flown over its map by the author, then kicked out of the plane and dropped down into it.Read more...
Summer brings those precious moments you can lie on a beach towel or sit in a lawn chair and read (while the kids are playing in the sand and no one is asking for a snack). For summer reading, I look for a book that makes me laugh or one that keeps me glued to the pages, gripped by the suspense.
Now that I’m a mom with kids, I don’t want my suspense to give me nightmares about what could happen to my children. I want the page-turning experience, the rush of excitement, the thrill of following twists and turns…but I want to know there’s a happy ending.
That’s the beauty of romance and romantic suspense where I know I can count on an emotional thrill-ride, but one that leaves me feeling warm and glowing at the end, not devastated.Read more...
Romantic suspense lovers tell me over and over that what draws them to the genre is its constant tension. Conflict comes from two different sources, either in the story's suspense element or its romance element. While this is a key attraction in romantic suspense, I also love the way those two elements twine so closely that a synergistic effect arises -- the suspense intensifying the romance; the romance amplifying the suspense. The result: a novel with constant action, conflict, tension, and emotion. This type of carefully woven tapestry is a true art, one that takes practice, skill, and talent, typically cultivated over time.
The two books I'm highlighting today come from authors with many, many years of experience and numerous awards in their wake. I'm excited that authors of this caliber are stepping into the self-publishing arena to share previously unpublished works with readers; works that would have otherwise stayed under the bed or hidden in the closet, seen by traditional publishers as non-viable for one reason or another.
This is, in essence, Rock*It Reads’ mission -- to bring quality self-published books to readers from authors with years of professional experience behind them.Read more...
You can’t turn the television on these days without seeing a report regaling the English royal family’s latest antics. Whether it’s Kate sporting her most recent outfit at a charity function or William flying a helicopter or Harry dancing in the streets in purple suede shoes, the whole world is infatuated with lives most of us can only imagine.
Is it the money, the power, the sex appeal, the fame?Read more...
Vikings. Sheikhs. Spies for the Union army. French Revolutionaries. Russian archdukes. There was a time during the heyday of historical romance when authors wrote settings that spanned the globe—North America, Europe, India, Africa. Rosemary Rogers’ iconic series that starts with Sweet Savage Love took our protagonists, Steve and Ginny, from France to Mexico to Tsarist Russia and a few places in between.
Nowadays, historical romance seems to have settled down and made itself a home in Regency and Victorian England, with occasional side-trips to Scotland. What happened to the rest of the world and the rest of human history?Read more...
I’m thrilled to be inaugurating Love Rocks with a column about two wonderful new works of self-published romance. As Mia Marlowe writes, the authors of Rock*It Reads know how important quality is to readers because we’re readers too. We also know that self-publishing opens up doors for authors and readers. Once seen as the red-haired step-child of traditional publishing , self-publishing in the digital era is fast becoming part of the literary mainstream.Read more...
- Love Rocks: Our Favorite Indie Reads of the Year
- Love Rocks: Delightful Historicals
- Love Rocks: Exploring "New Adult"
- Love Rocks: The Elusive Spark
- What Do You Want to Change?
- Bad Ass Brides and Texas-Sized Romance
- The hustle and bustle of Christmas…
- Panning For Indie Gold
- Not Your Ordinary Chocolate
- Married To The Mob
This newly reissued Cold War classic profiles an Israeli spy obsessed with an English girl half his age, and his attempts to win her love without ever revealing his true identity.
Three Chicago journalism students attend an “innocence” seminar that will teach them how to release the wrongfully accused from prison. But as innocents are jailed, a killer roams free, and the students are next on the hit list.
Walter Mosley's suave detective Easy Rawlins is back among the living after a literal cliffhanger of a car crash, in pursuit of a LSD-addled boxer roaming Los Angeles, 1967.