Laurie's News & Views

March 1, 1996 - Issue #1

Welcome to the premiere edition of Laurie's News and Views. I am looking forward to bringing you all sorts of useful and fun information. In this edition, I'll update you on Survey Question #1, ask Survey Question #2, start a new forum on how a romance is like an artichoke, and spotlight for you an author you may never have heard about.

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SURVEY QUESTION #1 - ARE YOU A CHEATER?
For those of you who have responded to our initial survey question, thank you. For those of you lurking - no fair! Come out into the light and fess up. This goes for my fellow contributors to this site.

I have been surprised at the answers received so far - the 70+ responses I received on Prodigy indicated overwhelmingly that romance readers cheat. Apparently not all romance readers are as child-like as myself and my Prodigy friends -- we can't handle delayed gratification. We need to know how it all ends up even though we know there will be a happy ending. The tally so far on The Romance Reader is more varied and is as follows:

Do you sneak a peek at the end of a book?
Yes -- 3 No -- 3

Do you read more than one book at a time?
Yes -- 2 No -- 0

These survey questions will be open-ended so that any new readers joining us can feel free to answer at any time. Here is our new survey question:

SURVEY QUESTION #2 - DOES A ROMANCE HAVE TO END HAPPILY EVER AFTER (HEA)?
I've been watching with keen interest a thread on the RRA-L newsgroup discussing this very question. Within several days' time, nearly 20 participants have weighed in with their opinions. Of the readers and writers who responded so far, "yes" votes outweigh "No" votes by more than two to one. As you might not expect, even writers disagree about what I believed was not a gray issue. We here at The Romance Reader would like to know what you think.

HOW IS A ROMANCE LIKE AN ARTICHOKE?
I hope I got your attention with this heading. I'd like to turn this section into a forum that peels off the layers of romantic fiction. How do those layers contribute to a luscious, heart (how fitting for a romance)?

The layer I'd like to expose in this edition is humor. We love books that make us cry and make us tingle, but we also love a book that makes us laugh. Many authors attempt this, but not all do so successfully. Part of the enchantment we have with the regency historical is the wittiness of dialogue. We enjoy the topsy-turvy stories of love between humans and fairies/witches because we laugh at the ridiculous situations they find themselves in. We love reading about serious heroes whose lives are turned upside down by free-spirited heroines because their metamorphoses are just plain funny.

I'd like to compile a listing of FAVORITE FUNNIES. To start this list, here is my contribution:

  • Bewitching by Jill Barnett
  • Basket of Wishes by Rebecca Paisley
  • The Vicar's Daughter by Deborah Simmons
  • Splendid by Julia Quinn

There are authors who use humor in all of their books, but I'd like this list to be limited to those specific books that make us laugh out loud. If you have such a book on your keeper shelf, please share it with us -- everyone can use a good laugh. Why, it's even good for your health!

SPOTLIGHT ON KATHRYN LYNN DAVIS:
Kathryn Lynn Davis is the author of several books on my keeper shelf. Her Too Deep for Tears, often found in the general fiction section of bookstores, ties with Julie Garwood's Castles as my favorite book. I don't know that I would categorize Kathryn's work as romantic fiction, but I do know that everyone I have recommended her to has thanked me. Too Deep for Tears was followed in 1995 with All We Hold Dear, which has been nominated for a Romantic Times award. Kathryn may follow that up with a third book.

If any of you are looking for an amazing story not in the general romance mold, I suggest you read Too Deep for Tears and All We Hold Dear. These books explore the wonders of the Scottish Highlands, are mystical and intensely poignant, and are deeply romantic (but not sexual). This talented author tells stories you will keep in your heart for a long time to come.

PS - Keep that mail coming. I have no way of knowing what you like and don't like, what you want to read about or are tired of unless I receive feedback.

TTFN, as Tigger said to Winnie the Pooh,
Laurie Likes Books

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