Archive for November, 2012

Post Traumatic Romance Reader Syndrome

Friday, November 30th, 2012

While I was reading a book last week – a good one, one that I was really enjoying – I found myself reacting in an unexpected way. The book was swimming merrily along, with a hero and heroine I liked and a plot I enjoyed. Then they are caught in a somewhat compromising position, and the hero proposes. The heroine doesn’t say yes immediately, and that’s where I lost it. While I hesitate to compare myself to someone who spent a year in combat and then hits the ground when there’s a loud noise…well, that’s almost where I was, metaphorically.

All I could think immediately was: “What? Is she really going to say no to him, even though she’s attracted to him and down to her last guinea? You’ve got to be kidding me! I can’t handle this anymore!” If I’d waited two seconds, I’d have found out that she soon says yes. She reasons out her response, thinks it out, weighs her options – and says yes. (more…)

Are you Ready for Vietnam-era Romance?

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Nearly three years ago Lynn asked, “Is the 20th Century “Historical” Enough Yet?” I’ve written here about my love of Post-World War I and World War II era mysteries and have indicated I would like to read more romances set in those eras. But until recently I would have said I’m not ready for a romance set in the late 1960s or early 1970s. In fact, just last month in a post I wrote here about whether contemporaries could become historicals, I commented, “I’m not sure if I’m ready for a romance — written today — set much before 1990. I know too much about the time period and the limitations many women faced. On the other hand, I won’t reject it outright.” (more…)

Are Books the Perfect Gift?

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

While I can’t say that I would pick a book over diamonds, on Christmas day after a day spent eating turkey and dressing, homemade rolls, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli salad, and too many other things to mention for the mid-day meal, I am ready to curl up with a good book. I can’t really remember when my mother’s tradition of giving me a book or books as a stocking stuffers started, but I do have memories of my dad and brothers watching the Bowl games on television while I found a quiet corner to read. My mother was multi-talented in that she would stay in the same room as the game, but still read the book that I had put in her stocking. Our stocking tradition continued way into adulthood but after I moved away she and I would browse the book selection together, giving big hints on our choices or even sometimes just picking the books out.

As readers most of us love opening a present containing a book by our favorite author. And because of this we often look to books as the perfect gift, too. But my experience over the last few years has shown me that buying a book for someone is similar to buying them perfume. You just have to know their taste because books can be a very personal gift. (more…)

And it’s Cyber Monday!

Monday, November 26th, 2012

And, it’s Cyber Monday! I tend to do my holiday shopping all throughout the year, so I’ve never been a Black Friday shopper, but sometimes Cyber Monday sucks me in. I do spend a lot of time on the computer after all….

I like my Kindle and I’m not looking to replace it. However, I know my brother wants one, and the Paperwhite is already backordered to December 21, so it looks like I’m not the only one on the hunt. And if you’ve been looking for a Kindle Fire, they’re just a little bit cheaper today.
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Special Holiday Stories?

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Many of you got up at some unearthly time this morning to start your Christmas shopping. And for the next month or so, it is going to be go –go –go with more shopping, cooking, parties, children’s Christmas programs, and visiting relatives, leaving you with very little time to sit down and read. Of course you can buy the books you want to read, and after the holidays have a lie in and pamper yourself- there is definitely nothing wrong with that. But I like reading around the holidays. Many of the stories seem kinder, gentler, and filled with family.

What I do like is that holiday stories tend to have a lot of my favorite plot devices- like friends to lovers, pets, babies, and extended family. I am not saying that I want the stories to be sugarplum sweet, which I think is a big failing of some authors. (more…)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

For all of our readers in the United States, today is Thanksgiving. Whether you’re feeling thankful for friends, family, good books, good online community or anything else, we hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving! And for all of our readers outside the USA, hope you have a wonderful day!

TBR Challenge: Inescapable Chatter

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

I have to admit it. This month’s TBR Challenge theme was a tough one. I looked at my TBR and realized that I didn’t have any truly buzzed-over books sitting there. Of all the possibilities that I could think of and that actually interested me, they’d either been reviewed or I had simply read from curiosity some time ago already.

I was getting ready to simply read a book I’d seen recommended by bloggers whose tastes are similar to mine, when a copy of Gone Girl dropped into my lap. This 2012 book by Gillian Flynn is pretty much the epitome of a much buzzed-about read. I’d have to live under a rock not to know about it. It’s been mentioned all over romance sites, mystery sites, and all kinds of mainstream literary sites. Usually the literary fiction “Best Books of the Year” lists don’t hold a lot of allure for me, but this book is definitely different from just about anything out there. If I read it for review, (more…)

What Makes a Special Setting Special?

Monday, November 19th, 2012

My favorite of all the Special Title Lists is the Special Settings List. I can’t begin to say how many times I’ve scoured through that list looking for books to read in different exotic locales, paying particular attention to the Europe and the Middle East and Africa sections of the list.

I’ve written here before about my fondness for romances set in Greece. But in reality, I’m a sucker for romances set in any exotic or unusual location. Sure, like many of you, I love romances set in the U.K. But as a travel lover — both armchair and in real life — I long for variety in settings. (more…)

Developing Paranormal Classifications

Friday, November 16th, 2012

With all the fabulous work going on with AAR’s Special Titles Listings, it has brought up some interesting questions about genre classifications. When the Special Titles Listings were first created over 10 years ago, Alternate Reality was a catchall for any book that didn’t fit into Historical or Contemporary settings. Since then, however, the world of Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, etc. has grown significantly and we thought that some of the questions that came up were a call for some definitive classifications of these areas both for our readers and our reviewers.

If we were to take anything that wasn’t Historical or Contemporary Romance, there are a bunch of terms out there that tend to be used interchangeably and not necessarily consistently. Readers and reviewers all around the web have classified everything from witches and vamps to psi and Time Travel series as Paranormal. And I am not saying that any of them are wrong. In a sense, they are all correct. But that classification is becoming too general for everything that is out there and we are hoping that by making more distinct classifications – with examples – we can make it more “user friendly” going forward. With the examples after each, I have included the series that fits this classification since an author may have multiple series/books with each fitting into different genres After all, most good authors do not write the same thing all the time! (more…)

Freading? The Continuing Saga of EBooks and Library Lending

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

I have to admit that my passion, ire and wrath about publishers and eBook pricing has been more about how it affects me as a consumer. But now that things seem to be turning around I have lost some of my tunnel vision and realize that our libraries have been through the wringer as much as we have(if not more, quite frankly), and they still don’t have a viable resolution yet.

Oh, I have talked about it before in this blog but it is not something that I followed religiously. One reason is that as a Kindle owner, library lending wasn’t an available feature for a long while since Amazon didn’t have any type of agreement with libraries. And finally when they did add this feature, I found a very limited collection of books available. Almost all major publishers such as Macmillan Publishing, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group, Brilliance Audio, and Hachette Book Group blocked libraries’ access to eBooks. HarperCollins limited the access to 26 times before the book expired. Random House reaffirmed its commitment to the library eBook market but tripled their prices. (more…)