Between end of the year work and getting ready for the holidays, I’ve been a little short on reading time lately. Life is fun, just really hectic. When I got an email from Avon announcing that they had created a new game based on Stephanie Laurens’ Black Cobra Quartet, I thought it might be fun for a quick break. I was right about it being a diversion – but I got sucked in for entirely too long.
Archive for the ‘Life’ Category
This summer I had quite the shock when I discovered that my son’s peers could actually influence his reading choices at the tender age of eight. Clothes were already an issue, but poor, naïve me didn’t realize book characters also radiate a sense of coolness or lameness among the younger set. My world tipped when my darling son made the statement, “Harry Potter’s lame. Insert name of cool neighbor kid here said so.”
Upon hearing this, I began to sputter, ask questions rapidly, and get really, really defensive. Things like, “How do you know? Have you read Harry Potter? What makes cool neighbor kid an expert on Harry Potter? Harry Potter is soooo not lame,” all began to fly at my poor, defenseless son who really had no logical reply. I don’t count, “Because he’s 12!” as a logical reply, at least not yet anyway.
Believe it or not, the holidays really are right around the corner. And to help with your gift giving (or maybe you’re giving a little gift to yourself), we’ve got a terrific giveaway to kick off your week.
Just comment to this post by 11:59 pm on Thursday, October 28th to enter for your chance to win one of five $50 gift cards for RedEnvelope, a site for unique and personalized gifts.
RedEnvelope is all about indulging yourself or someone you love in a little bit of luxury and they offer everything from spa packages to silk pajamas to help you do just that. And, since presentation is part of the experience when you’re giving a gift (or an indulgence for yourself), everything comes packaged in the signature red gift box with ivory ribbon pictured on the left. As someone who received a gift from RedEnvelope, I can personally report that it’s lovely.
To make the giveaway even more fun, we’d love it if you’d tell us who is the toughest person on your gift list. No need to name names, of course, but who leaves you scratching your head until the very last minute each and every year? If you’d just prefer to comment, that’s okay, too.
Remember, this contest closes on 11:59 pm on Thursday, October 28th. And a further note: Each gift card is good for $50 at the RedEnvelope site and expires on 12/31/2010. The cards were given to AAR for reader giveaways by RedEnvelope.
So, fess up: Who stumps you every year?
- Sandy AAR
Next week is the national conference for Romance Writers of America (RWA). Blythe Barnhill, Sandy Coleman and I will all be attending, and hopefully learning a lot. Last year was my first time at RWA, and while the conference is almost overwhelmingly huge, I had a blast getting to meet some wonderful authors (both published and aspiring), reviewers, and other book industry types. I’m also looking forward to seeing what the publishers have in store for us going forward.
We’ll be there with our laptops, and will be blogging from the conference. In addition, if you want to follow what’s going on throughout the day, I’d suggest keeping an eye on Twitter. We’ll be doing most of our tweeting from the @allaboutromance account. In addition, you can find us all individually at: @blytheaar, @LynnAAR,and @SandyAAR.
I’m getting into Orlando late Tuesday afternoon, and Blythe and Sandy will both be arriving Wednesday.
Now here’s the important part for you: Is there something from an author or publisher(or about Romanceworld in general) that you would like to know? If so, put it in the comments below, and we’ll try our best to help you out and get you the news you want to be reading.
Hope everyone is having a lovely summer!
– Lynn Spencer
The other day, I was sitting in the car and I realized just how little clothing I had on. My outfit wasn’t strange or extraordinarily scandalous. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
But at the time, I was reading an historical romance novel. Those of us who enjoy Regency or Victorian era settings have read many times that even the sight of an ankle (the horror!) could be titillating or scandalous, and a man and a woman touching bare hands outside of marriage was just not done in polite society. And here I was, sitting cross-legged, my legs totally bare. I could practically hear all of my favorite dowagers and Society matriarchs calling for salts and fanning themselves.
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I’ve been thinking about Voltaire lately. Specifically, one of his most famous quotations: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
Last Monday, my campus newspaper printed a column by a male writer. In this piece, he called feminists and gay activists “a sniveling bunch of emotional cripples,” declared that date rape is an “incoherent concept,” and essentially that drunken flirtation is consent.
As a result, the internet exploded. Angry Facebook statuses and comments on the article grew. Some people said they were ashamed to go to a school where such views would be espoused, and that it was a sad day for the campus. Apparently threats were made against the writer, and the story grew until it got picked up on some major feminist websites and the local news, including the Washington Post. A quick google of my school’s name comes up with headlines along the lines of “’Rape Apology’ Angers Students.”
For my generation, there is a very public way to declare a serious relationship. It’s not a class ring or letter jacket. The question “Have you been pinned?” died long ago.
Today, the question is, “Is it Facebook-official?”
Facebook offers several relationship options: Single, It’s Complicated, In an Open Relationship, and In a Relationship. When you’re “In a relationship” with someone, it’s for real. You’re committed.
I’ll admit it, I never liked Sex and the City. Its premise to me always seemed amazingly depressing, and the idea that women can take on men’s vices and then get old-fashioned fairy tale endings seemed counter-intuitive, if not outright delusional. The Mr. Bigs of the world don’t date older average-looking, high-maintenance career women and marry them. They may have sex with them, but no rings are exchanged. Men who are Masters of the Universe marry supermodels whose skin is still dewy, whose boobs are still perky, and whose fertility is still in full bloom. That may not be fair, it may not be romantic, but that’s the way it is. Anyone female who survived high school and was honest with herself can give you a pretty accurate estimate of what her social value was and tell you which guys were “out of her reach” (as well as those she considered “below her touch”). It’s the same after high school, with a fair number of other complicating factors thrown in the mix.
I’m in the outer reaches of the DC area, so I’ve spent the better part of the month snowed in. One would think that this would give me ample time to think of some deeply profound solution to some dilemma menacing online romancelandia. However, I haven’t been feeling terribly menaced lately. My reading life is happy. Once we got power back and removed the ginormous tree from the roof of the house, non-reading life starting being none too shabby either. My only major dilemma lately has been trying to convince my cat that the several feet of snow covering HER deck and preventing her from taking her morning walk was not put there by me as part of an evil plot. If looks could kill, a tiny 6 pound calico would have done me in weeks ago.
This past week, I read The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston. About halfway through the book I realised the heroine’s best friend was black and though she had previously struck me as slightly annoying, I finished the book eagerly anticipating a sequel with a romance story for her.
Why was I all of a sudden so interested in this character? The long and short answer: it’s because she was black. A slightly annoying white best friend would have garnered no more than cursory interest for me, but once I learned that Blayne – in the most superficial of ways – “resembled” me, I was invested in her story.
I have existed for most of my literate life on a steady diet of romance novels and ninety-nine percent of the characters in these novels are Caucasian – and American. I expect that for the rest of my literate life, my diet will remain pretty much unchanged. African-American romance novels are hard to come by in my neck of the woods and because I don’t read with race in the forefront of my mind, it is very easy to accept the status quo. That said, my reaction to Blayne (with whom I had absolutely nothing else in common apart from skin colour) highlighted for me a subtle but present undercurrent of need for recognition in my romance.