In the past, I’ve talked about the plethora of series books out there and how I sometimes wish for standalones, and Leigh blogged about her own series ambivalence. However, instead of answering questions or completely relieving a pet peeve, thinking about interrelated series books begs one big question. What is the magic number for a series? How many books does one need in order to fully develop a series, get closure on the various plotlines and yet not start annoying readers?
Obviously, if it’s not a good, well-written series, one book is probably one too many. Even the good series can go on too long, though. Continue reading →
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.
On Tuesday Royal Weddings, a new Avon Impulse digital anthology featuring Loretta Chase, Gaelen Foley, and Stephanie Laurens is released. The authors pull out their charm, wit, and passion to tell three stories set amidst grand historical royal weddings, including those of Princess Charlotte and Queen Victoria.
Of course, the timing of this digital anthology is perfect since anticipation is building for the royal wedding between William and Kate on the horizon. Avon wants to make the wait until April 29th a bit easier with a fun giveaway.
Grand Prize Valued at $225:
One electronic copy of Royal Weddings
One set of William and Catherine Wedding China: On the day of the wedding you can feel like you are right there withWilliam and Kate as they eat their first meal as a married couple. Partake of a light repast from replicas of the official set of wedding china William and Kate will use. Sip champagne from a William and Catherine tankard, nibble on cucumber sandwiches from a William and Catherine plate, and daintily dry your fingers with a beautifully embroidered William and Catherine tea towel. The set also includes a William and Catherine pill box and wedding decoration.
Lately (as in during portions of the past few years when I haven’t been too dazed from work to notice), I’ve been seeing fewer and fewer actual romantic suspense books out there. I see urban fantasy and paranormal romance with suspense plots worked in, and historicals with their suspensey and/or spy-related subplots, but not a lot of actual romantic suspense that takes place among humans. I read across a variety of genres, so I almost didn’t notice it at first. However, as I scanned my bookshelves recently, I noticed that I’d been reading plenty of straight mysteries and thrillers, including some with romantic subplots, but I wasn’t seeing a lot of romantic suspense.
Though we draw readers from around the world, this site is based in the United States and today is Election Day here in a number of states. So – we have a special little giveaway for you with not one, but two, prizes on the ballot.
First up, we have a copy of Keri Arthur’s latest release, Bound to Shadows, to give away. This is the eighth novel in the Riley Jenson series, which several of our reviewers have enjoyed in the past. If you haven’t read this series, you’re missing some good books!
And your other choice? We have 2 copies of The Untamed Bride by Stephanie Laurens for giveaway. Laurens has created her own world for her characters through the Cynster novels and the somewhat related Bastion Club. Now, with The Untamed Bride, she begins a new series called The Black Cobra Quartet. Though set in the same world as her previous books, these books can be read independently.
To enter, simply comment below and let us know which book you’re entering to win – or whether you’re entering for both. The Untamed Bride can be shipped to US, Canada and UK addresses only. However, Bound to Shadows can be shipped worldwide. This giveaway is open from now until 7:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 5, 2009, at which time I’ll turn things over to random.org to get our winners. Many thanks to Keri Arthur and Stephanie Laurens for donating these prizes!