TBR Challenge – Category Romance

doubledeception There’s always a TBR pile or several to be had at my house, so I decided to sign on for the 2012 TBR Challenge. This month’s theme is category romance, which made things easy for me. I’m a bit of a category romance hoarder, so I have a box of them in my guest room. To choose this month’s book, I just reached into the box and randomly picked – Double Deception (Harlequin Romantic Suspense, #1667) by Merline Lovelace. It’s an August 2011 title, so it hasn’t been aging in the TBR box as long as some.

When I started the book, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I’ve read a number of Lovelace’s books and my experiences have been all over the map. She’s written some wonderful historicals set in unusual times and places as well as romantic suspense set all over the globe. However, she’s also had a few books that didn’t really work for me. In the end, Double Deception was probably one that I’d grade at C+. It’s a bit better than the average, but still rather uneven.
Continue reading

Before They Were Authors

career The recent Labor Day weekend had friends and I discussing the changing job market. Many of us had launched into second (and even third) career paths, something that certainly wasn’t expected when we initially graduated from college. This got me to thinking of others who have a secondary career path (or sometimes even just a second job!); the writers who keep me supplied in romances.

Contrary to what many in the media may think, an author does not, as Eileen Dreyer so succinctly put it, choose this path because she is “a sexually frustrated loser dressed in a robe and bunny slippers who lives in a dreary apartment with my cat and lives vicariously through my devastatingly beautiful heroines.” Most seem to choose it because it is a girlhood dream. And many, many, many of them come to writing only after having pursued another career first. I am fascinated by the diversity of what those careers are and thought others might be to. So here it is, a cataloging of what several of the greats did before they were romance writers.

Linda Howard worked at a trucking company, which explains to me at least why she can create such realistic men. I would imagine working in a male dominated field like that would show one a great deal about how the opposite sex thinks. Susanna Kearsley was a museum curator, and I think that is reflected in the wonderful historical settings of some of her novels. Justine Davis was in law enforcement before being a writer. She writes authentic romantic suspense with an authentic flavor now.  And Inez Kelly was a 911 dispatcher and Linnea Sinclair worked as a private detective and also a news reporter before taking on romantic science fiction. Sandra Brown also worked as a reporter, and Pamela Clare “went to work for a newspaper and held almost every position in the newsroom before becoming the paper’s first woman editor.” Karina Bliss, who has received a DIK here at AAR for Here Comes the Groom, worked as a travel journalist. And Carla Kelly? Well, among her many and varied careers, she has worked as a park ranger and was a Valley City Time Record feature writer.

Continue reading