Another Book Community Gone?

Romance University

Today Romance University goes on hiatus. The site is a trove of information about the genre, and – until now – had regular posts from authors and others in the industry, about the romance genre, and also about publishing in general.

In this case “hiatus” seems to mean they’re leaving the site forever. They are keeping the old posts up for a while, but the community itself will be no more.

I do understand that the people running RU put in a huge amount of time and effort, and I can understand stepping away, but it’s yet another book community gone.

The more the internet takes over everything, the deader online book groups seem to become. Goodreads groups are practically a wasteland now, and most popular book forums and blogs have been shut down (e.g. Harlequin’s decision to move all their discussion over to awful Facebook, where nobody gets any anonymity).

Twitter? Useless. All the authors and bloggers moved over there, but all anybody discusses on Twitter now is Donald Trump. There’s very little in the way of meaningful discussion about books to be found.

I’ll be sorry to see Romance University go.

Advertisements

Armageddon Seventy Years On

Cover of Amazing Stories, November 1941 Ed Earl Repp

This edition of Amazing Stories, a compilation of science fiction writing published monthly, was released in November, 1941. It featured the story Armageddon 1948 by American author Ed Earl Repp.

At the time of its release much of the world was at war, and Repp predicted a dire future for America seven years from then. The following month Japan finally succeeded in drawing the United States into the conflict.

A Jane Austen Christmas

Is anyone thinking about Christmas yet? I am – in fact I’ve already got most of my presents sorted!

May I draw your attention to these (real) gold and silver foil Christmas cards for sale, available to be shipped worldwide, featuring a Christmas quote from the final pages of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:

Gold and White

Mr Darcy Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Foil Christmas Card Sonya Heaney In the Past Zazzle Shop Gold Version 1

Silver with Brown Paper

Mr Darcy Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Foil Christmas Card Sonya Heaney In the Past Zazzle Shop Silver Version 2

Gold with Grey Paper

Mr Darcy Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Foil Christmas Card Sonya Heaney In the Past Zazzle Shop Gold Version 2

Silver and White

Mr Darcy Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Foil Christmas Card Sonya Heaney In the Past Zazzle Shop Silver Version 1

And, if you’re not sure how shiny they’ll actually be in real life, here are some other Christmas cards from the same supplier I have bought in the past. (English Christmas cards and Ukrainian Christmas cards.)

English Christmas Cards Silver Sonya Heaney Zazzle Products

English and Ukrainian Christmas Cards Silver Sonya Heaney Zazzle Products

A Holiday by Gaslight: A Victorian Christmas Novella by Mimi Matthews

A Holiday by Gaslight A Victorian Christmas Novella by Mimi Matthews

A Courtship of Convenience

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion—or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.

A Holiday by Gaslight: A Victorian Christmas Novella by Mimi Matthews

Mimi Matthews is a fairly recent discovery, but a favourite historical romance author of mine. She writes historically accurate Victorian novels and novellas that are on the sweet side as far as steaminess goes, but usually also emotional stories with great characters.

I liked all of the mixed messages and class confusion in this one. The hero is completely out of his depth trying to navigate the society of the landed gentry (as is his friend), and this results in him nearly losing his chance with the heroine before the courtship even begins.

As you can probably tell by the title, Matthews has struggled to find a home in mainstream publishing because of the style of her books, but they are worth your time.

Much of A Holiday by Gaslight takes place in rural Derbyshire at Christmastime, and I actually read it while *I* was in rural Derbyshire, and so it felt that little bit extra special to read.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

Claw the System: Poems from the Cat Uprising by Francesco Marciuliano

Claw the System Poems from the Cat Uprising by Francesco Marciuliano

Cats are done with humans’ crap. For too long they have put up with baby talk, the humiliation of holiday costumes, and the social injustice of being told, “No.” They will not sleep through this anymore. We humans have woken the beast, and in this book they have gathered together to reclaim their voice, loudly and repeatedly until we pay attention. Watch the uprising unfold, through anthems such as “Redefine Terms,” “Accepted,” “Decide,” “A New Dawn,” and “Just What Do You Think You’re Doing?” Show support for your feline friends and try to understand why they’re so spitting mad.

Claw the System: Poems from the Cat Uprising by Francesco Marciuliano

I’m not a poetry person. I had to spend a whole semester at university studying it, and I hated every moment of it!

However, this isn’t your usual poetry book! Grumpy cats are always hilarious (to me, at least!), and you don’t need to be a fan of poetry to enjoy reading Claw the System. I knew I would like it as soon as I saw the cover.

This is the kind of book any cat owner would appreciate.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

 

Cover Love

It’s as Victorian as it comes, and it’s beautiful. Christian fiction publishers really know how to produce amazing book covers.

Lady of a Thousand Treasures (The Victorian Ladies #1) by Sandra Byrd

Lady of a Thousand Treasures (The Victorian Ladies #1) by Sandra Byrd

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.