No, it’s not Christmastime yet!

So. Last week I got my first email advertising a Christmas book, and I’d just like to say something to authors:

Please don’t do that! Not in February!

I get it: you’re excited about your upcoming releases. I also get it: books are in the works a long, long time before they’re published.

However, the levels of panic that email caused! It’s FAR TOO EARLY to be talking about Christmas yet. It’s bad enough when the Christmas review books start turning up in June. And, because I also celebrate the old calendar Christmas season through January, we have literally only just taken down the decorations!

Please give us a few weeks to get into the new year before we start talking about the end of it!

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Hands Off My HEA: Talia Hibbert

There’s a great article over at frolic that I read a little while ago. This is hardly a new topic for the romance genre, but Talia Hibbert takes on the book snobs in a refreshing way.

Hands Off My HEA: Talia Hibbert

When someone says “Romance doesn’t require a HEA!” I don’t hear: “Help me, I’m confused”. I hear: “I enjoy romance, but I don’t want to face the misogyny that romance-lovers face,” or: “I enjoy romance, but I struggle with internalised misogyny that says I shouldn’t.” To me, these people are trying to twist the meaning of ‘romance’ so our genre can fit alongside more respected forms of writing.

I don’t want the respect of anyone who can’t respect romance. Because they’re often misogynistic, usually ignorant, and frequently snobs. Their respect means nothing. Romance is above their respect. It’s about love, connection, caring, and hope. It’s about strength and power, about difference and kindness, and most of all, about everyone’s right to live happily ever after. It’s a trailblazing genre that constantly shakes the table. Anyone who tries to undermine that in a desperate grab for societal standing can go and debate their mother, because they certainly ain’t debating me.

Click on the link to continue reading…

TIME Magazine: The Famous Women Writers Whose Friendships We’ve Forgotten

Pride and Prejudice 1980 Chalrotte Elizabeth Episode Three

Interesting article over at TIME Magazine:

The Famous Women Writers Whose Friendships We’ve Forgotten

“…After all, writers have always turned to each other for creative and moral support. The alliance between Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth is enshrined in literary lore. A mention of Lord Byron immediately brings to mind Percy Bysshe Shelley. And biographies of F. Scott Fitzgerald are incomplete without reference to Ernest Hemingway.

But where are the women in this roster of legendary friendships? Jane Austen is mythologised as a shy and sheltered spinster; the Brontё sisters, lonely wanderers of windswept moors; George Eliot, an aloof intellectual; and Virginia Woolf, a melancholic genius.

Skeptical of such images of isolation, we set out to investigate. We soon discovered that behind each of these celebrated authors was a close alliance with another female writer. But, to this day, these literary bonds have been systematically forgotten, distorted or downright suppressed…”

Coming Soon: Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas

Devil's Daughter (2019) (The fifth book in the Ravenels series) A novel by Lisa Kleypas UK Cover

Devil’s Daughter, the fifth book in Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenels series is out later this month. Here is the UK/Australian cover. I’d just like to point out that this book is set in the 1870s, and – lovely as they are – the clothes the woman is wearing are sixty years out-of-date!

However, I still prefer it to the US cover, which is some sort of bizarre prom queen extravaganza!:

Devil's Daughter (Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas

In Defence of the Unlikeable Heroine

I Kissed a Rogue  (Covent Garden Cubs #3) by Shana Galen

No commentary; just an article from a few weeks ago that I thought I’d share. I chose the cover above because Galen’s book features a heroine who fits this theme perfectly.

In Defence of the Unlikeable Heroine

If you meander through the reviews of most romance novels, you’ll find certain terms showing up again and again in relation to the heroine. Unsympathetic. Bitchy. Slutty. Not good enough for the hero. Unlikeable.

The very traits that we so love in heroes—bold, uncompromising, dominant, sexually experienced—are the exact same ones that we pick apart in the heroines we read. We will forgive the hero many sins, but the heroine must stay inside of very specific parameters in order to gain our love. Or at least our tolerance.

(Read on at the link above.)