Love Rocks: Off The Beaten Path

New romances with plots that head in surprising directions.

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Love Rocks: Royal Realism

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?

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Love Rocks: Around the World

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?

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Love Rocks: Unearthing Gems

 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.

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Welcome to Love Rocks!

Once upon a time ‘self-published’ was synonymous with ‘self-indulgent.’  Novice writers were duped into spending small fortunes in order to have their novel published in book form. More often than not, once the writer’s cousins and great-aunts had been manipulated into buying a copy, the hundreds (or thousands!) left over simply moldered in the author’s garage.

 

Enter the Brave New World of digital publication. 

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April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.