Tag Archives: romance authors

WEDDING OF THE CENTURY: A moving and passionate romance that will captivate fans of Bella Andre, Roxanne St. Clair and Jill Shalvis #amreading #romance


Today’s REVOLVING BOOK: WEDDING OF THE CENTURY by Patricia McLinn. Welcome to Tobias, Wisconsin. Come sit on the Lake Tobias dock and read the stories of the Marry Me series — starting now with the recently released first two books, Wedding of the Century and The Unexpected Wedding Guest.

Wedding of the Century, Book 1 of USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn’s Marry Me series, is a moving, passionate contemporary romance that will captivate fans of Bella Andre, Roxanne St. Clair, and Jill Shalvis.

A Scandalous Wedding, a Second Chance

Annette Trevetti, poor and unpolished, was a modern-day Cinderella about to marry her Prince Charming. Until a very pregnant woman strutted into the church — staking a claim to Annette’s fiancé.

The wedding was off and Annette was gone, the awful consequences of a family secret Steve Corbett had hoped would never rear its head. But now a single father, he can’t wish it never happened, because it brought him the daughter he adores.

When a family incident finally draws Annette back to small-town Tobias, Wisconsin, after seven years, she and Steve must face each other, their mistakes, their yearning for a long ago love, and the reality that they can never go back to the innocent days before a wedding that went so wrong.

Drawn together by shared concern for a beloved elderly friend, they must step out of the past’s shadow to save her and her home. But that shadow could blight their love a second time.


Amazon: http://hyperurl.co/WOTCam

B&N: http://hyperurl.co/WOTCbn

Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/WOTCko

Google Play: http://hyperurl.co/WOTCgo

iBooks: http://hyperurl.co/WOTCit


USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn’s novels — cited by reviewers for warmth, wit and vivid characterization – have won numerous regional and national awards and been on national bestseller lists.

In addition to her romance and women’s fiction books, Patricia is the author of the Caught Dead in Wyoming mystery series, which adds a touch of humor and romance to figuring out whodunit.
Patricia received BA and MSJ degrees from Northwestern University. She was a sports writer (Rockford, Ill.), assistant sports editor (Charlotte, N.C.) and — for 20-plus years — an editor at The Washington Post. She has spoken about writing from Melbourne, Australia to Washington, D.C., including being a guest-speaker at the Smithsonian Institution.

She is now living in Northern Kentucky, and writing full-time. Patricia loves to hear from readers through her website, Facebook and Twitter.

 Twitter: @PatriciaMcLinn

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Filed under american romance, Book Promotion, CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE, Family Saga, LOVE STORY, Patricia McLinn, ROMANCE AUTHOR, romance authors, romance books, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVEL, ROMANCE NOVELS, ROMANTIC FICTION

Why Romance Novels Are The Most Popular Books in the World #documentary #indie #LaurieKahn

Laurie Kahn (left) looking at pictures with production assistant Riley Davis (center) and production coordinator Julia Hines. Photo: Sean Proctor/Boston Globe

Laurie Kahn (left) with production assistant Riley Davis (centre) and production coordinator Julia Hines.
Photo: Sean Proctor/Boston Globe

Laurie Kahn is a documentary filmmaker whose latest film explores the world of romance fiction and romance writers. It’s called LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS and it was just released last month. Laurie Kahn is also the Project Director of THE POPULAR ROMANCE PROJECT, which includes the doc film LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS, about the global community of women who write and read romance novels as well as a large interactive website exploring popular romance across time Love-Between-the-Coversand across cultures, a nationwide library program with the American Library Association, and a symposium on the deep roots of romance fiction and its future in the digital age at the Library of Congress.Kahn is known for making documentary films that explore fascinating aspects of popular culture and women’s issues. Kahn’s film A MIDWIFE’S TALE was part of PBS’s The American Experience series and won numerous awards including a national Emmy for Outstanding Non-fiction. Her more recent film, TUPPERWARE! won the George Foster Peabody Award and was nominated for a national Best Nonfiction Director Emmy. Both films are used in courses on women’s history, medical history, early American history, obstetrics, midwifery, 20th century history, marketing and gender studies. Kahn also conceived of and produced an award winning website, DoHistory.org, that immerses its users in the hands-on process of piecing together the life of an extraordinary person in the past. Kahn’s film company, Blueberry Hill Productions, was founded in 1992. During the 1980s and early 1990s, she worked on many award-winning documentary series, including The American Experience, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965, and Frontline Special Report: Crisis in Central America. For the past four years Kahn has directed the Creativity Foundation. She has also been a consultant for the American Film Institute, The Smithsonian Institution, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Before working in film, she worked in radio for NPR’s evening news program All Things Considered.

LP: What inspired you to make the documentary LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS?

Laurie Kahn's film A MIDWIFE'S TALE was broadcast on PBS

Laurie Kahn’s film A MIDWIFE’S TALE was broadcast on PBS

LK: As a documentary filmmaker, I want to bring the lives and work of strong, interesting women to the screen, because women’s stories aren’t being told nearly often enough!  I am also very aware that any industry dominated by women is typically dismissed as trivial and “merely domestic.”  My previous films — A Midwife’s Tale and Tupperware! – are very different from one another, but they were both shaped by my desire to look honestly at communities of women who haven’t been taken seriously (but should be), who deserve to be heard without being mocked.

When I learned that the romance fiction community is global, successful, and almost entirely female, my ears perked up. I began doing research, and I discovered a group of women who’ve built a remarkable community — and also a multi-billion dollar business.

Panel discussion after a screening of LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS

Panel discussion after a screening of LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS

LP: How has the romance community responded to your film?

LK: There have been almost 100 very successful screenings of Love Between the Covers — in libraries, community centers, and movie theaters in cities across the US, and around the world.  The big romance publications — Romantic Times, USA Today’s HEA, the American Library Association and many romance blogs — have raved about the film.  I get email and social media messages from readers and authors who I don’t know, all the time.  And since the film’s wide release on various platforms on July 12, I hope to hear from many more!

LP: Who are the authors that you follow in LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS? And what was it like meeting them and talking to them?

LK: I wanted to find a broad range of characters, to challenge the two-dimensional stereotypes of romance authors and readers.  I was looking for authors with diverse backgrounds and diverse day-jobs.  After shooting dozens of interviews, I had to narrow down my list of potential main characters. And that was incredibly difficult, since so many of the women I’d been interviewing were funny, smart, and interesting.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30:  Laurie Kahn (L) and Eloisa James attend the AOL Build Speaker Series to discuss the documentary "Love Between the Covers" at AOL Studios In New York on June 30, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic) (Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 30: Laurie Kahn (L) and Eloisa James attend the AOL Build Speaker Series to discuss the documentary “Love Between the Covers” at AOL Studios In New York on June 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic) (Getty Images)

The main characters we finally chose to follow in Love Between the Covers are:

  • Mary Bly– Tenured Shakespeare professor by day, bestselling romance author Eloisa James by night.
  • Len Barot– Surgeon, farmer, publisher, and well-known author of lesbian romance fiction, writing under the pen names Radclyffe and L.L. Raand.
  • Beverly Jenkins– Pioneer of African American romance, author of historical, suspense and inspirational romances.
  • Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley – Best friends, divorcees, single mothers, and New York Times bestselling writing partners.
  • Joanne Lockyer– A young Australian environmental consultant and aspiring romance author trying to publish her first novel.

* Nora Roberts– Often called the Queen of Romance. One can’t make a film about the romance community without Nora!

But lots of other writers play important roles in the film.  We got terrific interviews with Jayne Ann Krentz, Jennifer Crusie, Robyn Carr, Brenda Jackson, Suzanne Brockmann, Bella Andre, Sherry Thomas, Kristan

Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Jodi Thomas, and many more.  For a list of all of the authors we interviewed, you can check out lovebetweenthecovers.com/main-characters.

Nora Roberts interview clip from LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS

Nora Roberts interview clip from LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS

I had a blast meeting and getting to know all of them!

LP: Tell us about the production itself – how was it funded and is this doc part of a bigger series or a special academic project you are working on?

LK: Back in 2010, I dreamt up the Popular Romance Project which includes 1. the website PopularRomanceProject.org, 2. the Library of Congress conference What is Love? Romance Fiction in the Digital Age (you can see the conference program and watch all four amazing panel discussions at http://www.lovebetweenthecovers.com/loc-con), 3. the film Love Between the Covers, and 4. a nationwide program of screenings of the film at public libraries, universities, and community centers.

Check out the trailer for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS

Check out the trailer for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS

The project was funded by hundreds of generous Kickstarter supporters, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mass Humanities, the Nora Roberts Foundation, an RWA scholar grant, the Freed Foundation, Amazon’s foundation, Harlequin (they supported the conference), and dozens of other foundations.

The sneak preview of Love Between the Covers took place in the historic Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress in February of 2015. I’m proud of organizing the first-ever conference on romance fiction hosted by the Library of Congress!  And I’m grateful to all of my partners on this project: the Library of Congress, the Center for History and New Media, and the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance.

LP: How do you define a romance novel?

LK: The Romance Writers of America define a romance novel as a novel with a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. So that’s the definition I worked with!

Jane Austen

Jane Austen was a “contemporary romance author”  in her time and the “originator” of the now hugely popular Regency Romance

LP: When did you start reading romance and why do you love it?

LK: I was a big reader of Victoria Holt, Elizabeth Goudge, and Jane Austen when I was in junior high school.  I was intrigued by the Brontes, and immersed myself in the imaginary world the Bronte sisters created when they were young.  When I got to high school I became an avid reader of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Thomas Mann, James Baldwin, Herman Melville, and many others — mostly men, since very few women were deemed worthy of “the canon” back then.  In college, my reading shifted to non-fiction (I was a philosophy major and I wanted to be a journalist.)  For years I read non-fiction and short stories. Plunging into the romance world has allowed me to plunge back into long-form fiction!

LP: Why is romance fiction important for women? In your opinion is it empowering? Is it feminist?

LK: I think romance fiction is empowering.  This is one of the few places where women are always center stage, where they get what they want, justice prevails, and the broad spectrum of desires of women from all backgrounds are not feared, but explored unapologetically.

Film screening and panel of Love Between The Covers

Film screening and panel of Love Between The Covers

LP: When and where can we expect to see LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS? Any upcoming screenings?

LK: Love Between the Covers was officially released on July 12!  It’s all been very exciting!  The film is now available for purchase at Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, X-box, VUDU, DirecTV, FandangoNOW, Kaleidescape, AT&T U-verse, cable on demand, satellite TV and many other platforms!  Here are the links for Amazon and iTunes:


and http://radi.al/LBTCiTunes).

You can find info about upcoming public screenings at: lovebetweenthecovers.com/screenings.

LP: Tell us about some memorable moments that happened during filming of LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS?

Nora Roberts and R. C. Ryan / Ruth Ryan Langan on rooming together at the very first Romance Writers of America conference and becoming life-long friends.

Nora Roberts and R. C. Ryan / Ruth Ryan Langan on rooming together at the very first Romance Writers of America conference and becoming life-long friends.

LK: It took us a few years to get our interview with Nora Roberts, but when we did, she was open and funny and willing to talk about subjects she’s never been asked about.  A woman was sitting outside the hotel room where I was doing the interview.  I asked who she was, and Nora told me it was Ruth Langan, a romance writer she met 30 years earlier at the very first conference of the Romance Writers of America.  They roomed together then, and have been sharing a room at the national conference ever since! Clearly Nora, a multi-millionaire, does not have to share a room with anyone!  But I thought their friendship said a lot about the loyalty and camaraderie of the romance community. I invited Ruth into the room and then interviewed the two of them together. Our interview with Nora is unlike any other interview with her that I’ve seen.  She openly discussed her childhood, shared hilarious stories about her early days as a writer, explained how the romance industry has changed, and discussed her writing process.

Laurie Kahn's next project is a feature-length documentary film following Y2Y (Young Adults Uniting to End Homelessness).

Laurie Kahn’s next project is a feature-length documentary film following Y2Y (Young Adults Uniting to End Homelessness).

LP: What’s coming up for you – tell us what you’re working on next?

LK: My next film project is about a homeless shelter called Y2Y (Youth-to-Youth) — created for young adults and staffed by volunteer university students the same ages as their homeless guests. I will document Y2Y’s obstacles, hard choices, and triumphs over the next three years as homeless young adults and idealistic university students work together to create a safe environment for an extremely vulnerable population. It’s a wildly ambitious attempt to come up with a better model for dealing with homeless youth, and the students running the operation hope to inspire other students to replicate what they are doing at universities around the country.  It’s an important subject.  And the students and homeless guests are inspiring. For more info: blueberryhillproductions.com/y2y.

A romance novel cover photo shoot featured in LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS

A romance novel cover photo shoot featured in LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS

LP: Bonus: Who do you fangirl over? 

LK: Sorry to be geeky but I fangirl over beautifully made, interesting, entertaining documentary films.  When I see one, I’m jazzed for days.

LP: Where do you enjoy tucking into a good romance novel?

LK: On a hammock between two big trees in my yard.  In the winter, you can’t beat a comfy chair in front of a fireplace!”

An excerpt from our interview with romance author Beverly Jenkins, who gave us some insight into where her characters come from.

An excerpt from our interview with romance author Beverly Jenkins, who gave us some insight into where her characters come from.

Connect with filmmaker Laurie Kahn on her website for Blueberry Hill Productions, on facebook and twitter, and through

The buy link for Love Between the Covers is http://radi.al/LBTC

You can check out the film trailer for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS AT: –https://vimeo.com/167886547 

You can see ALL the different places where the film is now available for purchase or viewing at:lovebetweenthecovers.com/filmrelease as well as watch excerpts from the film AND fabulous bonus videos with footage that did not make it into the film!

Authors: Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley in an excerpt from LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS

Authors: Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley in an excerpt from LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS

If you watch the film LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS take the time to rate and review it at Amazon, iTunes and GooglePlay!  It will make a big difference for this wonderful indie documentary film!!!

To connect with Laurie Kahn online check out the website for Blueberry Hill Productions or the facebook page for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS.

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Filed under documentary film, romance authors, romance books, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVEL, ROMANCE NOVELS, ROMANTIC FICTION

They had Love and Hope to carry them through. #anthology #cancer #preorder #amreading

Love and Hope CoverLachesis Publishing is pleased to announce the anthology LOVE & HOPE is now available for pre-order. Featuring USA Today bestselling authors Kayla Perrin and C. J. Carmichael and author Brenda Gayle, LOVE & HOPE contains three beautiful and poignant stories about hope, healing, and the power of love. 

*** Proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to Ovarian Cancer Canada.


AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2abCTzq

KOBO: https://goo.gl/4p9YUY




Twice and Forever by Brenda Gayle

Jill Bennett had her life planned out, and then everything changed. Soon after her husband’s sudden death from a heart attack two years ago, Jill’s daughter Rachel was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the very young age of 21. Widowed and scared, Jill threw herself into caring for her daughter 24/7. Now that Rachel is in remission, Jill is finding it hard to let go and give her some breathing room at home and at her new job working for a local vet named Grant Palmer. Grant has a knack for getting under Jill’s skin, especially where Rachel’s future is concerned. The last thing Jill has in mind is getting on with her own life. So why can’t she stop thinking about the handsome Dr. Palmer?

Devoted to Her Cowboy by C. J. Carmichael

When rodeo champion Blake Timber returns home as the star attraction of the Sheep River Rodeo Days he doesn’t expect to find his nerdy high school friend Shelby Turner looking so beautiful and so not nerdy. He also doesn’t expect to find his grandmother, frail and wearing a headscarf. When Grams reveals she has ovarian cancer, Blake is shocked. He’s thankful that Shelby, who works in his grandmother’s flower shop, has been there for her. But he wants to take over the reins and get his beloved Grams the best care money can buy. In spite of his best efforts, his well-intentioned plans are met with stubborn resistance from both women. Adding to his frustrations is his ex-girlfriend Kelli-Jo Calhoun, who is the Sheep River Days organizer. Unhappily married and with a son, she seems hell bent on roping him into something that could put everything he cares about at risk—especially his growing feelings for Shelby.

Her Angel by Kayla Perrin

Tasia Montgomery never thought she’d get “that” phone call from her mom. Stage four ovarian cancer. Tasia puts her job as a chef in a busy restaurant in Atlanta on hold, to go home to Miami to be there for her mother. When her mom passes away, Tasia is left with a huge burden of guilt, sadness, and loss. Now, she is tasked with the duty of packing everything up and selling the family home. She knows her mom didn’t want her to sell but what choice does she have? Her brother Andrew, who is living in Seattle with his wife and their baby, is as distant as can be. Just like their father, who up and left them when they were kids. But when Tasia meets Malcolm Robertson, the contractor her mom hired to renovate the house before she died, Tasia is drawn to him. Her mom treated him like a son and shared things with him that she never revealed to Tasia. Malcolm becomes a good friend to Tasia, but does she want something more with the handsome contractor? As Tasia, sorts through her mother’s belongings she makes a discovery about her mom that shocks her to her core, but will it make her see the truth of her own life or make her head back to Atlanta for good?

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Filed under amreading, ANTHOLOGY, Bestselling Authors, CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE, Contemporary Western Romance, COWBOY ROMANCE, FAMILY, INSPIRATIONAL ROMANCE, Lachesis Publishing, LOVE STORY, REVOLVING BOOK, romance anthology, ROMANCE AUTHOR, romance authors, romance books, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVEL, ROMANCE NOVELS, ROMANTIC FICTION, USA Today Bestselling Authors, WESTER ROMANCE

Two Sisters Find Love and Courage Amidst the Civil War #amreading #historical #romance

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00061]Tonight’s Revolving book is HAZARDOUS UNIONS by authors ALISON BRUCE and Kat Flannery. An historical western romance set during the American Civil War.


Bestselling western romance authors, Kat Flannery and Alison Bruce take you on an exciting journey…

Twin sisters separated by war, bound by love…

After the death of their father, twin sisters Maggie and Matty Becker are forced to take positions with officers’ families at a nearby fort. When the southern states secede, the twins are separated, and they find themselves on opposite sides of America’s bloodiest war.

In the south, Maggie travels with the Hamiltons to Bellevue, a plantation in west Tennessee. When Major Hamilton is captured, it is up to Maggie to hold things together and deal with the Union cavalry troop that winters at Bellevue. Racism, politics and a matchmaking stepmother test Maggie’s resourcefulness as she fights for Bellevue, a wounded Confederate officer and the affections of the Union commander.

In the north, Matty discovers an incriminating letter in General Worthington’s office, and soon she is on the run. With no one to turn to for help, she drugs the wealthy Colonel Cole Black and marries him, in hopes of getting the letter to his father, the governor of Michigan. But Cole is not happy about being married, and Matty’s life becomes all about survival.


“Maggie and Matty Becker will enchant you as they struggle for respect, survival, and love in the Civil War’s troubled time. You’ll sigh with pleasure as you finish each story.”
—Caroline Clemmons, author of Bluebonnet Bride

“Two very talented authors . . .The characters and the times are well depicted in this short novel. I highly recommend this novel to Civil War enthusiasts and readers who enjoy a well-written historical romance. If you like intrigue, mystery and romance, this book is for you. It will hold your attention and is a quick read that you won’t be able to put down.” —Katherine Boyer, Tear a Page Blog

“Double your reading pleasure with twin passions—two novellas featuring twins Maggie and Matty, and heroes who’ll steal your heart. Alison Bruce and Kat Flannery penned stories that play on your senses like a sonata. A must read!” —Jacquie Rogers, award-winning author of Much Ado About Madams

Alison Bruce has an honors degree in history and philosophy, which has nothing to do with any regular job she’s held since. A liberal arts education did prepare her to be a writer, however. She penned her first novel during lectures while pretending to take notes.

Alison writes mysteries, romance, westerns and fantasy. Her protagonists are marked by their strength of character, the ability to adapt (sooner or later) to new situations and to learn from adversity.


Kat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing or in school, she enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book.

Kat has had her writing published in numerous periodicals. She is now hard at work on the next novel. When not focusing on her creative passions, she is busy with her three boys and doting husband.

WEB SITE: http://www.alisonbruce.ca/
BLOG: http://alisonebruce.blogspot.ca/

Website: http://www.katflannery-author.com/
Blog: http://www.kat-scratch.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katflannery1
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kat-Flannery/105465069558958

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Writing an Anthology with Friends by Christine Mazurk (romance author)

A good meal can always lead to good conversation and creativity. http://echoesoflaughter.ca/2013/05/40-amazing-family-renunion-ideas.html

A good meal can always lead to good conversation and creativity. http://echoesoflaughter.ca/2013/05/40-amazing-family-renunion-ideas.html

We were sitting around after a nice dinner at one of our writers’ retreats when the idea blossomed to write an anthology together. Not just any anthology either, not four stories with a similar theme, but four stories connected by the characters as well as the theme.

We’re sisters, not of blood, but of spirit, connected by the Universe, so the title came easily. Sisters Of Spirit. One of our favorite activities while we’re together is to beachcomb, so naturally our characters would too. Instead of finding stones and colored glass like we do, our characters would each find an artifact that changes her destiny.

We briefly discussed the scenes where our characters could come together in each story, but how would we pull it off if we were writing without being together? The reality of writing our stories in our own homes made it daunting, but we soon realized, our bond is so strong, we finish each other’s sentences, know when one is in need of a hug, and are mentally on the same page.

Once we sold the idea of the story, the writing began. We shot copies of what we’d written back and forth a few times, but it became clear that we were connected in more ways than we’d ever realized. It was as if four unique styles of writing blended into one. We overlapped seamlessly. Our characters showed up at the appropriate times to strengthen each other’s stories, and the last story morphed into a fifth “happily ever after” ending. The readers were in for a treat, not just the four outstanding stories, but a fifth overall arc that would pull everything together.

Were there any moments of stress? Ugly times? Not really, but we all had moments of doubt or second guessing our strengths and weaknesses. Thank goodness we never fell into that trap at the same time. There were always three of us handy to talk the other one off the ledge. In the end, I think the experience strengthened our bond.

SISTERS-OF-SPIRIT-COVERWould we do it again? Absolutely!! But right now, we’re all so busy working on our individual projects, the plot idea for book two sits on the back burner, simmering for attention at a later date.

Thank you, Lynn Jenssen, Jeanine Duval Spikes, and (New York Times Bestselling author) Annette Blair for the priceless opportunity to share this experience.

I’m Blessed to have found these very talented ladies, to call them my friends, to share a passion for telling stories from the heart.

Christine Mazurk is the author of the novella  Identity in the poignant romance anthology the Sisters of Spirit  published by (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four stories about four very special friends. The anthology also features novellas by authors Christine Mazurk, Jeanine Duval Spikes and Annette Blair

You can purchase the Sisters of Spirit Anthology at Lachesis Publishing and on Amazon.com, on Kobo, on Barnes and Noble and on itunes (iBooks).

Connect with Christine Mazurk on her web site and on facebook.

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Filed under ANTHOLOGY, Best-selling authors, Bestselling Authors, books and reading, CHRISTINE MAZURK, CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE, Lachesis Publishing, LOVE, LOVE STORY, ROMANCE AUTHOR, romance authors, ROMANCE NOVELS, SENSUALITY, SEXUAL CONTENT, WOMEN'S FICTION

Top 3 Reasons Why I Read Romance Novels by Elaine Cantrell (contemporary romance author)

her-kind-of-man-500x724Reading is so much fun. If I’m in the mood for a good book, chances are I’ll pick a romance novel. So what’s the appeal of a good romance? Why do some many people read them?

1. I think that first of all, most folks are fighting some kind of battle in their lives. Maybe, like my heroine Kara in Her Kind of Man, they’re in a relationship that went bad, and they’ve lost the one they love. Whether it was by divorce, death, or just walking away, it tears a huge hole in someone’s heart. Maybe the problem is health-related. Someone has to accept that there are now limitations placed on them. Have you ever dealt with unemployment? How do you feed your children with no11168092_det paycheck? True romances always have a happy ending which gives us hope that tomorrow things will be better. We can believe that ‘this too shall pass.’  Remember what happened at the end of Gone With the Wind?  Scarlett lost Rhett and collapsed in tears, but then she decided to go home to Tara where she can think of a way to get Rhett back. Human beings are designed to hope.

2. I also think that romances possibly satisfy our craving for justice. In the real world, things don’t always end happily. Children are abused, the missing teen is never found, or our possessions are stolen. In the vast majority of romances you know the bad guys are going to get what’s coming to them. Heroes and heroines sometimes face determined villains, but you can rest easy in the TheFlameAndTheFlowerknowledge that the bad guys will never win.

3. Last, I read romance because I’m a romantic at heart. I just adore a good love story. The first romance I can remember reading was The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Anybody ever read it?

Readers, what about you? Why do you read romance? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Connect with Elaine Cantrell on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

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Five Things Every Good Romance Novel Should Have

I’ve been reading romance novels since I was a teenager and now I get to edit them (along with other yummy genres). There are many qualities that make a romance good but here are a five that I think every good romance novel should have.

Image courtesy telegraph.co.uk

Image courtesy BBC

1. A hero we can fall in love with: I don’t mean in real life, but in “book” life. If the hero doesn’t have the goods then the romance won’t be a keeper. So what makes a hero great? We have to get into his head. When authors don’t give us enough time in the hero’s head to poke around and hang out, then that makes for a less satisfying read. As readers we want to know what he thinks about the heroine. What he thinks about her quirks or the shenanigans she gets herself mixed up in. We want to know how he feels when she’s standing close to him and he can smell the sweet fragrance of her hair or notice the flecks of gold in her eyes. We want to know what he thinks when he’s kissing her and holding her in his arms. We want to know how he feels when he finally realizes that he’s in love with her. All that good stuff. But we also want to know about him. What happened on that fateful day twenty years ago when his parents died? How did he feel when his father ran off with the French opera singer? What was his first experience with a woman like? Anything and everything that pertains to the story and to his burgeoning relationship with the heroine – we want to do know about it!

Image: Miramax/Universal

Image: Miramax/Universal

2. A heroine we can adore and root for: I’ve read many romance novels where the hero is awesome and the heroine is either a bee-otch or a complete dish-rag. C’mon! The heroine has to have spirit and guts but she also has to be loving. We don’t want her acting completely out of character. Or react like a she-devil when the hero does something she doesn’t like. Unless there is a good reason. There has to be a damn good reason. Otherwise we’re not going to buy it. The heroine is our stand-in so she better be worthy of that fella. We want to see her grow throughout the book. We want to see her learn and figure things out. We want her to realize she was wrong and make it right. In other words, we want her to be active. Not passive. Things shouldn’t just happen to her. She has to make things happen too. If she starts out as a shy wallflower, we want to know why she’s that way and then by the end of the book we have to know that despite being that shy girl, she has guts and would make a great partner for the hero. If she’s a flighty young miss then we want to see her grow in depth and maturity throughout the book. If she loses a child or goes through a divorce before falling in love again, we want to experience her pain and then her healing with her. In short, we want to know she’s a human being, with richness and potential for growth. We want to embrace her as a dear friend or sister.

Image: Warner Home Video

Image: Warner Home Video

3. Dialogue so good that we love to quote it or go back and read those delicious bits just for the sheer pleasure of it: I’ve read some great books over the years and the books I keep coming back to have wonderfully rich dialogue. Especially between the hero and heroine. Remember those classic Hollywood romantic comedies with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy? or Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant? Or Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart? (Okay, okay, anything with Katherine Hepburn). If your heroine and hero can relate to each other with that much chemistry then we are going to love your book. We like it when they both have a sense of humour. We like it when they both express emotion. We like it when they say complicated things to each other. We like it when they act silly or say outrageous things. We like it when they communicate. Why? Because communication between the hero and the heroine is at the core of a good romance novel. What they say to each other is important. Their dialogue is what breathes fresh air into the story and what brings the story to life. It’s how you, as the author, can really show your own voice. Describing them or giving them thoughts is important, but you have to give the hero and heroine something to say as well.

4. A sturdy plot: Yeah, yeah, we know that romance novels can get away with a “soft plot”. Since the biggest part of a romance novel is the romance itself, that is the main crux of the story. But stuff needs to happen as well. So pay attention to plot and continuity. If the plot is simply that the hero must find a wife or lose his inheritance then make certain that a series of mishaps and misunderstandings get in the way before he and the heroine can be together. If the plot is about the heroine escaping a ex-boyfriend/stalker, then that boyfriend has to show up in the book and threaten her relationship with the hero – not to mention their lives. The plot is the “bones” of the story so make those bones strong and fortified with calcium. 🙂

Image: Warner Bros.

Image: Warner Bros.

5. A Happy Ending: You’re damn straight we want a happy ending! That’s the point of a romance novel after all. You better make it good. We want declarations of love. We want the hero and heroine to finally admit things they were holding back. We don’t necessarily need a proposal (although it would be nice). But we want to know that these two people, whom we have grown to love, are going to be together. No, they can’t break up. No, he or she cannot die. Yes, they absolutely have to express their love for each other. A romance has to give us a satisfying ending. Otherwise it is not a romance. Period.

Well, I could go on forever here – but those are five essential things that I look for in every good romance novel. What do you look for?

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100_4277Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing Inc. She loves Cinnamon Dolce Lattes, a good romance and a happy ending.

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