Friday, September 30, 2011
On Saturday and Sunday, October 1st and 2nd, we will be having fun at Moonlight & Magnolias and sharing the goings-on with all of you.
We are happy to welcome Theresa Romain on Thursday, October 6th. She will be chatting with us about her debut Regency historical, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION. You know how we love debut authors!
Be sure to stop by with pen and paper on Friday, October 7th for Andrea's New Releases blog. She's sure to have plenty of new and wonderful books to add to our must-have lists.
Trish Milburn/Trisha Mills is back on Monday, October 10th with her Teen Menu blog, sharing what's new in the YA market.
It's time to Make Your Reservations for November's books on Thursday, October 13th. Come see what books we're looking forward to.
On Saturday, October 15th it's time to turn up the heat when Buffie brings us her latest Hot Dish!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jodi Thomas will be our guest on Thursday, October 20th. THE COMFORTS OF HOME, book 3 in Jodi's Harmony Series will be released on November 1st.
On Saturday, October 22nd we will bring you our short reviews of some books we really enjoyed in Stock Up Saturday.
It's time for Anna Campbell's Second Helping on Monday, October 24th. Anna is sure to review another book that we must add to our TBR list.
Historical romance author Cara Elliott will be blogging with us on Tuesday, October 25th. TOO WICKED TO WED, book 1 in The Lord of Midnight series will be released that very day.
We are so happy to have New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin as our guest author on Wednesday, October 26th. The fourth book in her Against series, AGAINST THE STORM will be released on the day she is here.
We will wrap up the month with the beginning of our week long 2nd Anniversary celebration on Monday, October 31st. There will be plenty of treats on this Halloween!
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I am thrilled to welcome USA Today Bestselling historical author Julianne MacLean back to the Romance Dish! Julianne is the author of the hot, sexy, Highlander series from St. Martin's Press -- Captured by the Highlander(March 2011), Claimed by the Highlander (April 2011), and the upcoming Seduced by the Highlander (out next Tuesday, October 4th). But, Julianne is more than just a terrific writer--did you know that she once went sailing with Prince Edward? She certainly did! You can learn more fun facts about Julianne by visiting her website, but before you do, welcome her here and see why she says....
That Highlander is Out of Control
Thanks for having me here ladies! I’m excited about my latest historical release, SEDUCED BY THE HIGHLANDER, which hits bookstores on October 4. It’s the third and final book in my Highlander trilogy, and I dare say, it is the steamiest - which is kind of strange, since the hero (a hot-blooded seducer of women, reputed to be the most passionate lover in the Highlands) is forced to be celibate.
When the story opens, Lachlan MacDonald has been living for quite some time without sex, and let’s face it--he’s a raging pressure cooker inside. All he wants to do is break free of the curse and release his pent up desires, so when he finally hunts down the witch who cursed him, he’ll do anything to bend her to his will.
But as they say, the course of true lust never does run smooth, and the witch can’t remember a thing about her life, much less how to break the curse. It’s been three years since their tempestuous encounter, and in the meantime, she has been identified as the beautiful, long lost heiress of Drumloch Manor.
Lachlan has no choice but to drag her back to Kinloch Castle to prove that she is no well-bred heiress, but a spiteful, vengeful witch in disguise.
But how long can he keep his desires under control? And why is she so tempting to him in every way, when she is his sworn enemy?
What I loved about writing this book was the element of the forbidden. No matter how badly Lachlan wants to bed this woman, he must resist, and even when things get hot and heavy between them, he must remember the curse and withdraw from any lovemaking before it goes too far.
That, to me, is heroic behavior, because at heart, he is doing what is necessary to protect her from his curse, even though he blames her for it, and his raging body wants something else entirely. Every time he touches her, a fire ignites in his blood, and he is torn between what his body wants and what honor dictates. (That is what we romance writers lovingly call internal conflict.)
So tell me readers - what do you think of a romance hero who is willing to wait for the ultimate intimacy with a woman, even when he wants it more than anything? When you are reading a romance, do you enjoy the element of the forbidden, or the “pleasure delay?” Can you recommend any great romance novels that embrace this theme?
Leave a comment about any of the above, or just pop in and say hi, and you’ll be entered to win one of FIVE copies of CLAIMED BY THE HIGHLANDER, which is the second book in the trilogy where Lachlan and the witch are first introduced.
And please visit my website for an explosive excerpt from SEDUCED BY THE HIGHLANDER, and for more information about my books and more contest info.
Good luck in the giveaway!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
By Sarah MacLean
It was the late 80s. I was young. Ten, maybe eleven—old enough to know there was something decadent and scandalous about that book, but not old enough to entirely understand why. There had been books before that—skinny, pastel-colored Loveswepts starring cowboys and ladies in blouses and pantsuits with big hair—but after The Black Lyon, there was no going back. I was hooked. Forever.
I can still see that book, a gorgeous, red-haired Lyonene in her pink negligee, and her dark Ranulf de Warbrooke, the eponymous Black Lyon, eyes closed, massive arms clasped around her . . . worshiping her. The book was touted as “the magnificent love story of a fearless lord and the woman who tamed him,” and magnificent it was. Ranulf is dark and tortured, an unparalleled warrior feared by all—all except our intrepid heroine, seventeen and scrappy . . . and stunning.
The two fall in love. They fall hard. They fall fast. And by the end of the first quarter of the book, we’re utterly convinced that they’re perfect together. Who cares about the age difference? Or about his hardness? Or her fiery temper? They’re obviously in love . . . and love conquers all.
Except it doesn’t. And that’s where Deveraux makes magic.
Love turns dark in the hands of a wounded, jealous hero burned by a previous marriage and a young, impetuous heroine. There are misunderstandings compounded by distance, mistrust that blossoms without forthright communication, and—ultimately—fear of loss that is almost insurmountable.
Set against the backdrop of Medieval England, with Ranulf at war and Lyonene unable to ignore the vicious whispers of those conspiring against her even as she fights desperately to win back her hero’s love, this book is every inch an epic love story. It’s big and bold and classic—Deveraux’s second romance, written in 1980, when it was ok for heroes to be unrepentant, locked-down Alphas and for heroines to do whatever it took to win those utterly masculine men, and for stories to have the perfect touch of the outrageous.
But here’s the thing. For ten-year-old, fifteen-year-old, thirty-two-year-old me, The Black Lyon wasn’t just a page turning book. It wasn’t just scandalous and dangerous and something I’d definitely get in trouble for reading. It also taught me that great romance is about perseverance. And compromise. And trust. It’s about two people working through enough baggage to fill JFK Airport for a day or two, to reach the common, deceptively simple goal of love.
And it’s about the unwavering understanding that love takes work, but it’s absolutely worth it.
I think about the day I discovered The Black Lyon, and I wonder if it was the moment . . . some cosmic thing . . . I wonder if I’d been in my brother’s room instead, discovering The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, would I have been a sci-fi reader instead? Or if I’d thumbed my way through one of my father’s ubiquitous Ludlum’s, would I have become mystery obsessed—dreaming of ways to catch the killer?
Maybe. But I like to think that I would have come to romance anyway. That I would have found a Johanna Lindsey, or a Julie Garwood or a Judith McNaught and one of them would have wooed me into this fabulous genre. I like to think I would have found my way to The Black Lyon anyway.
That old, dog-eared copy has long since fallen apart, after too many readings and too many shovings into the hands of friends and insistings that “You must read this. Now!” Sometime during college I bought the newer version . . . the beautiful brown cover with the lion belt that plays such a gorgeous role in the plot of the book, and I am no longer embarrassed to admit that I have stroked that textured cover and sighed more times than I can count after rereading this book . . . the one that started me down my path of romance obsession.
A confession: When the team at Avon Books asked me to give them a quote for this new edition of The Black Lyon, I lost my words. Seriously. What do you say? What do you say about a book that has been with you for so long? About the book you’ve read dozens of times? The book that has been your go-to book when you were sad, or lonely, or heartbroken . . . the one that has lifted your spirits and made you sigh and laugh . . .
What do you say about the woman who made you want to write?
You tell the truth.
Jude is the master.
Sarah is giving away a copy of THE BLACK LYON to two randomly chosen people leaving comments on today's blog. (U.S. addresses only) Thank you, Sarah!
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Christie Family--Book 1
By Carrie Lofty
Release Date: September 27, 2011
When Viv arrives in Cape Town a few months later, she is shocked to see her husband waiting for her...except Miles doesn’t appear to be the same man. Gone is the drunken behavior and pale skin. Now, he looks healthy and fit. And extremely virile. Miles informs Viv that he’s been there for two months to get a head start on assessing their situation. He’ll help her with what she needs to do in exchange for a portion of the bonus. Though, he doesn’t tell her his entire plan: Earn the money. Bed his wife. And this time, be the first to leave. Viv’s leaving bruised Miles’s pride and he believes that leaving first this time will help him get a little of that pride back. Plus, the money will help with his family’s debt. Naturally, Vivienne is uncertain whether to place her trust in Miles again after what happened last time.
She could trust him again. Make that choice. A leap of faith to honor the man he seemed intent on becoming.
But dear God, such a risk.
Miles begins to feel good about himself and liking the man he is becoming—a man of principles and value. A man worthy of his wife’s love. But Viv is afraid her past could jeopardize any possibility they have at a second chance at love.
I’ll admit I was just a bit hesitant about reading this one. Not because Carrie Lofty is the author—I really enjoyed the one book of hers that I’ve read, Scoundrel’s Kiss—but because it had an unusual setting. My previous experience with that has led to a couple books I simply could not finish because they were inundated with history, facts, and the like, to the point where I felt like it was a history lesson and not a romance. Thankfully, that was NOT the case with Flawless. Ms. Lofty does a wonderful job of balancing the history and romance. Her prose is exquisite, her characters are extremely likable and genuine, and the setting was one that I would actually like to read more about. And since I’m a fan of the reunited lovers theme, this was a win-win for me. If Flawless is any indication to how the rest of the series will be, count me in! I can’t wait to see how the rest of Viv’s siblings fare with their own adventures!
Barnes & Noble
Saturday, September 24, 2011
There are many things for which I'm thankful (including the fact that I was lucky enough to link up with the lovely gals who run the Romance Dish).
One is friends who drag me kicking and screaming to read books that just don't sound like my cup of tea (cups of tea feature strongly in the story I'm reviewing today!).
Bek, one of my chums from the Australian Romance Reading Association (why not join? Great group!), recently lent me a stack of her favorite reads, including SOULLESS by Gail Carriger.
Wow, I can see why this book got so much buzz when it came out. It's wonderful!
Firstly, and most importantly, this book is great FUN!
I can't remember the last time I got such sheer enjoyment from a romance. It's clever, it's witty, it's sharp, it's perceptive, it's quirky - and it's actually pretty sexy as well. The dialogue is prickly and sparky and zings with sexual tension. The heroine is gutsy and smart. The hero is hirsute, handsome and heroic. The tone is really individual - humorous high Victorian style if that makes sense. Wins all round.
As you can probably gather, I'm a convert!
The story is set in a Steampunk Victorian England with Almack's, corsets, dirigibles (which play a similar part to balloons in Regency romances) and steam technology powering all sorts of useful devices. Vampires and werewolves have come out of the closet (some literally) to play their role in society although elements of the human world still look askance at the Supernaturals. This world is so completely imagined and so beautifully portrayed, you just go with the flow. This book is a mind-boggling feat of the imagination.
Our heroine Alexia Tarrabotti is a confirmed spinster at 26. She's laboring under several disadvantages - a very silly family; a deceased Italian father who has passed on his Roman nose and his swarthy complexion; a stubborn, combative nature; and intelligence unacceptable in a marriageable female of this era. She is also that rarest of creatures, a Preternatural who can neutralize a Supernatural's powers. Vampires and werewolves become merely human while she touches them. The title 'soulless' refers to this gift of Alexia's.
In spite of all these strikes against her, our hero, the Alpha werewolf of the Woolsey Castle Pack, can't get her out of his mind. By the way, you see why I referred to the hero as 'hirsute'! Lord Maccon is one of the real treasures of this story. A gruff, cranky, shaggy Scottish earl who breaks into brogue when he's on an emotional edge - which is where Alexia tends to put him. Sigh.
When crisis hits this society, Maccon and Alexia are thrown together to solve the mystery. Vampires who should be there are disappearing and new vampires unexpectedly turn up. Only Alexia's mysterious powers can rescue the fragile peace established between humans and Supernaturals.
The story reminds me in some ways (if you discount the paranormal elements) of the wonderful romance between determined, strong-minded spinster Amelia Peabody and shaggy, awkward, but intriguing archaeologist Emerson in CROCODILE ON THE SANDBANK by Elizabeth Peters. There's that same meeting of minds, that same reluctance to admit love's hit both of them like a brick, that same reluctant sexual awareness in people who have never previously considered themselves sexual beings. It's a dynamic I love.
I could go on and on about the glories of this book. It's peopled with intriguing secondary characters. There's the Oscar Wilde-ish Vampire Lord Akeldama who gets some of the best lines. His picturesque sidekick Biffy (Biffy the Vampire Player?). There's Maccon's unfailingly capable beta werewolf Professor Lyall. And I seriously want to hire Alexia's butler Floote. Gail Carriger has created such a rich world in the Parasol Protectorate. I can't wait to explore further!
So have you read SOULLESS? Are you a Steampunk devotee? When was the last time you strayed outside the tried and true in your reading and had your socks knocked off?
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
By Lavinia Kent
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Isabella Smith is tired, tired of walking a restless infant, tired of fear, and tired of running. Mark Smythe makes her feel safe. She senses that he is more than the simple man he seems, but as they meet at every opportunity and conversation turns to kisses, she begins to dream of a future with him far away from the danger that pursues her.
The duke is as attracted to Isabella as she is to him, but he knows marriage between a nursery maid and a duke is impossible. He sees her not as a wife but as a mistress. A scandal erupts when the two are found together, leading to Isabella’s discovery that Mr. Smythe is Strattington. Isabella is dismissed without a reference, and those who are hunting her are still in pursuit. Desperation and desire combine to lead her in making a choice with which she cannot be happy.
A chance meeting with an old friend offers a means of escape, only to bring her face-to-face with those she most wants to avoid. But Isabella chooses to surrender her secrets, to stop running, and to reclaim the name and identity she left behind three years earlier. Mark, too, makes choices. He chooses to accept his identity as Strattington and to exercise his power as a duke to make his dreams and Isabella’s come true.
What a Duke Wants is a thematically rich novel with interesting characters and sustained suspense. Watching Isabella and Mark discover significant things about one another even as they protected their secrets was a joy. I found Isabella a particularly sympathetic character. Her reasons for running away are credible, and surviving on her own given her youth and inexperience is a testament to her strength. I did have some problems with Mark. His unease with his title and his feeling that who he is as an individual has been overwhelmed by the power and responsibilities of the dukedom ring true, but I couldn’t believe that he tolerated the behavior of his valet, and I would have liked more insight into his shift about Isabella’s role in his life. I also found some scene changes abrupt and confusing.
My greatest disappointment was that Isabella’s reunion with her family was given short shrift. Her reunion with her friend gets more attention. Readers new to Kent’s books may not be bothered by this minimalist approach, but those who have read the stories of the other Masters siblings, Violet (A Talent for Sin) and Jon (Bound by Temptation) may share my disappointment. Nevertheless, those in the latter category should not miss this book. It resolves the mystery of Isabella Masters’s disappearance, and it includes some secondary characters that I hope to see again in their own stories.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
We are so happy to welcome back historical author Ashley March! Her latest novel, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, was released earlier this month on September 6. If you missed Buffie's glowing review, you can check it out here. When Ashley is not chasing around her two daughters, she is crafting her next delicious masterpiece. Give a warm welcome to Ashley March as she talks to us about ....
The Rise of the Prequel
Thanks so much to the ladies at The Romance Dish for having me today! I’m thrilled to be visiting with everyone again, this time to celebrate the release of my newest Victorian historical, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS!
However, my blog today isn’t going to focus on ROMANCING THE COUNTESS; instead, I’m going to focus on the prequel to ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, which is called ROMANCING LADY CECILY.
As we all know, the publishing industry is changing at such a rapid pace it’s difficult to keep up these days. I personally love my e-books. It’s hard sometimes for me to find time to read as a stay-at-home mom and writer who works throughout the evening and into the early morning hours, but I’ve (happily!) found that I’m going through books faster than I ever have because I can now read them on my smart phone. (This means I can take it with my anywhere and don’t have to worry about the baby eating the pages if I put it down.)
Along with the ease of book portability, I’ve noticed something else that’s happened within the past year: the rise of the prequel.
Whereas in the past publishers haven’t really published short stories or novellas unless they were part of a larger anthology, now we’re seeing a trend of short stories and novellas being released digitally as a means of 1) hooking a reader on a new author for a lower price and/or 2) whetting the reader’s appetite for the related full-length novel.
ROMANCING LADY CECILY is an example of such a piece, something which my publisher approached me about writing after I’d already turned in the related novel, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS. At 15,000 words, it is more of a short story than a novella, but as my first shorter work I was thrilled to discover how much fun it was to write. (It’s also a bit spicier than my usual work.)
As a writer, I have to admit that I like this new trend we’re seeing because I always have ideas for characters and stories in my head that are dying to get out. As a reader, I love these shorter pieces because they allow me to read more of my favorite authors in between the publication of their full-length novels. While I know some readers don’t enjoy short stories or novellas because of their length, if I have a favorite author I will greedily get my hands on anything they write.
One of the more interesting things I’ve seen is not only the rise of the prequel, but also the rise of a series of prequels. By series, I specifically mean a group of novellas that are linked together which all act to increase the reader’s anticipation for a longer novel to be released at a later date.
I know there’s a lot of uncertainty out there about what’s going to happen in the future of publishing, but I have to tell you this—as both a reader and writer, the more stories that are written by authors I love, the happier I am.
But I’d most love to hear what you think about the rise of short stories and novellas. Do you stay away from them because of the shorter length or because they’re predominantly digitally published? Or do you gobble them up, excited to find something new from an author you love? Would you try a new-to-you author by buying a short story or novella at a lower price? One random commenter will be chosen to win a copy of my newest book, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS (open internationally)!
Also, find out how to win the ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour Grand Prize of 50+ romance novels by visiting Ashley's website.
ROMANCING LADY CECILY (15,000-word short story)
Follow acclaimed author Ashley March, praised by Booklist for her “elegant writing [and] sizzling sexual chemistry,” into the world of Victorian romance, where Lady Cecily Bishop—promised by her parents to a stranger—must fend off the seductive games and heady caresses of Baron Sedgwick….a task that becomes more difficult with each soul-searing kiss…
ROMANCING THE COUNTESS (full-length novel)
Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, thought he'd married the perfect woman-until a fatal accident revealed her betrayal with his best friend. After their deaths, Sebastian is determined to avoid a scandal for the sake of his son. But his best friend's widow is just as determined to cast her mourning veil aside by hosting a party that will surely destroy both their reputations and expose all of his carefully kept secrets...
Leah George has carried the painful knowledge of her husband's affair for almost a year. All she wants now is to enjoy her independence and make a new life for herself-even if that means being ostracized by the Society whose rules she was raised to obey. Now that the rumors are flying, there's only one thing left for Sebastian to do: silence the scandal by enticing the improper widow into becoming a proper wife. But when it comes to matters of the heart, neither Sebastian nor Leah is prepared for the passion they discover in each other's arms...
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Speaking of friends, today we have another group of fun people, who also happen to be fantastic writers, joining us and we have one very special guest of honor. So, without further ado, let's rev up the margarita machine, get those delicious goodies plated, cut the cake, meet our special guests and PARTY ON because today, finally, is my 60th birthday!
Throw open those doors! Our guests are ready to make their appearance! Please welcome the fun and fabulous Sarah MacLean, Tessa Dare, Manda Collins, Anne Gracie, Christina Dodd, Eloisa James and...drumroll, please...our very special Guest of Honor and fellow September 20th birthday girl: Julie Anne Long! Welcome! Welcome! I'm thrilled to have you all join us today and, Julie Anne, I'm especially excited to share my birthday party with you on our special day! :)
PJ: Grab a drink and let's chat a bit. I've enjoyed hearing about everyone's birthday traditions this week. Do y'all have any special traditions you look forward to on your birthdays?
Julie Anne: First—the happiest of birthdays to you, PJ, my birthday twin!! So delighted to be here today. As for birthday traditions? Mine is to milk it for all it’s worth for as long as I can. Hee! I love birthdays—they’re an excuse to have dinners and lunches with all my favorite people. Presents are lovely, but time spent with people you adore is the best gift of all. It’s often difficult to gather everyone at once when you’re an adult (which I have been for a long, long time now) because everyone is so busy and far-flung. But on the plus side, you can make birthdays last for a month or more if you play your cards right by spreading out all those lunches and dinners. And of course, the day itself is always special. Usually I go out to dinner, and there will be cake!!
PJ: Julie, I love your style! I'm having such fun extending my birthday celebration this year and, especially, being able to share it with you!
Manda: We don't really have any traditions. Usually the extended family will get together at my grandmother's house and we'll do the usual cake and ice cream routine. My mom was the oldest of six kids so it can be chaotic with the cousins and aunts and uncles all piling in. But it's fun. And chaotic. Did I say chaotic.
PJ: Growing up, my birthdays were a lot like what you've described, Manda. Nowadays, we're all spread out over several states so they're a bit quieter.
Sarah: Our family has this crazy tradition where we race to be the first to wish each other a happy birthday. When we finally get through, we sing Happy Birthday, and the birthday person says "You're first!" or (horrors) "You know you're last." It's a bit frustrating for spouses (Eric's always groaning at 6 in the morning on my birthday), but it's what we do!
PJ: Oh, please don't let my brothers find out about this tradition! I have visions of 3am Happy Birthday phone calls! ;-)
Tessa: Special traditions... hmm. Ever since our kids were born, we've been all about the Chuck E. Cheese, bowling, and bounce-house birthdays. So when it's my birthday, I want nothing more than a quiet dinner out with Mr. Dare! I also sometimes play the 'birthday card' to coax the family into an artsy excursion. The Huntington Library is one of my favorite places to visit on special days -- fine art, rare books, and beautiful gardens.
PJ: Tessa, the Huntington Library sounds like a wonderful place to spend your special day.
PJ: If you stopped by the blog yesterday you saw a photo of the birthday cake my jokester brothers bought me. It's chocolate with fluffy white frosting. What's your favorite kind of birthday cake? Are you a purist or do you enjoy it with a side of ice cream?
Anne: For me, a birthday cake has to be chocolate. I do enjoy other kinds of cakes, but chocolate is my all time fave. Served with whipped cream.
Julie Anne: Chocolate!! Deep dark layered chocolate with a sinfully rich ganache. Or chocolate with raspberry filling. I won’t turn up my nose at German chocolate. And ice cream—vanilla bean!—is always welcome.
Tessa: My favorite is German Chocolate, too! What are the chances? As for the ice cream... I won't turn it down, but I've got to admit--for me, the cake is always the main attraction.
Sarah: Red Velvet for me…cupcakes if you have them! And yes. I'm a purist. Who needs ice cream when there's all that cake to eat?
Manda: I like a lot of variety. One year I'll want a traditional yellow cake with chocolate icing, and the next year I'll want Italian cream cake. Just depends on my mood and how adventurous I'm feeling. I am a cake purist. I like to eat cake, or ice cream, but I don't really care for them at the same time. Unless it's an ice-cream dependent dessert like a blondie or an ice cream sandwich.
PJ: So we've determined this week that I'm feeling pretty good about being here to celebrate my milestone birthday. How do y'all feel about milestone birthdays? Do you dread them, tolerate them with stoic acceptance or approach them with enthusiasm for the adventures that await you?
Manda: You know, I'm not too freaked out by them. At least, I wasn't about 30. I've got the big 4-0 coming up in the next several years and I'm not super psyched about it. But I'm not down in the dumps about it either. I prefer to think of birthdays as a good thing--proof that I've made it through another year. And I wouldn't want to trade in any of my years. Otherwise I might not be where I am today.
Julie Anne: I kind of like to think of every birthday as a milestone—it means I’ve made it through another year! I’ve never really set goals for myself based on my age, and though I suppose I’m conscious of getting older, I don’t necessarily want to be younger again. I love knowing what I know now.. The birthdays ending in “0” provide an *excellent* excuse for a big party, however, and for that reason they are ALWAYS welcome.
Sarah: While I've only celebrated 30 (which I leaned into with gusto, sure my 30s would be better than my 20s), I can say that I don't enjoy a) not being carded for alcohol, b) being called ma'am, and c) realizing I am definitely too old for that shade of eyeshadow. So, I'm guessing I won't enjoy the milestones, but I shall pretend to accept them.
Anne: I remember being very edgy and in-denial about my thirtieth birthday. I had a big party/barbecue at my place (my birthday is in summer) but I didn't tell people it was my birthday, and told everyone it was an "end of summer holidays" party. I swore my friends to secrecy, but one friend brought a birthday cake with candles and all. I blew out the candles in the bedroom, then took them off and brought the cake out. LOL For my fortieth, though, it didn't bother me at all. Weird.
Tessa: My most recent milestone birthday was the big 3-0, and turning 30 was the best thing that ever happened to me. I'd always enjoyed writing as a hobby, but the year I turned 30 was the year it just all clicked for me. My romance career was born that year. (So was my son!)
PJ: As I mentioned earlier, I share my birthday with the fabulous Julie Anne Long. Do you share your birthday with any famous people or notable events?
Tessa: The Berlin Wall came down on my birthday. I'll always remember watching the jubilation on TV. And I have two good friends (both writers) who share my birthday!
Sarah: The Wright Brothers flew their first flight at Kitty Hawk on my birthday. That's kind of neat. It would be neater, I imagine, if I weren't deathly afraid of flying…but I'll take it.
Manda: Well, Alexander Hamilton, whom I've often considered our nation's sexiest founding father--come on, tell me he's not totally smokin'--shares my birthday, so that's pretty cool. I also share my birthday with Diana Gabaldon. So an eighteenth century hottie, and the creator of Jamie Fraser. Not too shabby.
Anne: Fay Dunaway, Albert Schweitzer and Benedict Arnold -- take your pick.
Julie Anne: I have the extraordinary good fortune to share my birthday with a certain PJ Ausdenmore. ;) What more evidence do we need that September 20th rocks? So me, Sophia Loren, PJ, Upton Sinclair…anybody else? Stephen King’s birthday is tomorrow. ;)
PJ: What's going on in your lives these days? Any news you'd like to share with our readers?
PJ: I'm counting down the days too! :)
Manda: Well, as you've probably heard, my first book How to Dance with a Duke will be released on January 31, 2012 by St. Martin's Press. It's the first in a trilogy about three wallflower cousins who have been dubbed Ugly Ducklings by the toast of the London Season. In Book 1, Cecily Hurston and Lucas Dalton, the Duke of Winterson, must join forces to infiltrate the mysterious Egyptian Explorer's Club which was founded by Cecily's father. Lucas wants to know what happened to his brother, who disappeared on expedition with Lord Hurston. Cecily wants to prove that her father had nothing to do with it. Of course there will be danger, adventure and romance. And kissing. And sexytimes.
PJ: Manda, I'm so excited about your upcoming debut. Can't wait to read it!
Anne: I have a new book coming out in January, Bride by Mistake, the last of the DevilRiders series, Marcus's story. Then a new series, which I think is going to be lots of fun.
PJ: I have so enjoyed this series. Looking forward to January and Bride by Mistake!
Sarah: I'm deep in the second book of my Rules of Scoundrels series, which launches February 27, 2012 with A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME. This series is connected by its heroes, and boy do I love these men…they're so dark and wicked…they're teaching me a few things!
PJ: Another reason to be excited about February! Can't wait for your new series, Sarah!
Tessa: Well, I've been celebrating the release of A NIGHT TO SURRENDER this month. And of course, I'm so proud that the book is part of Avon's KISS and Teal campaign to spread awareness of ovarian cancer signs and symptoms. More information can be found at www.KISSandTeal.com and http://www.ovariancancer.org/
PJ: A Night to Surrender is such a wonderful story! I loved it!
PJ: Work schedules, writing deadlines and the dreaded jury duty kept Christina and Eloisa from having the time to answer my birthday questions but both sent along a note and great giveaways for our readers. Thanks, Christina and Eloisa!
Christina: Happy birthday! It's 30, right? (PJ says, "I like the way this woman thinks!")
Revenge at Bella Terra, the second book in Christina's new romantic suspense series was released September 6th.
Eloisa: Dear Birthday Girl (and friends), I have some exciting news! When I was at the beach this summer, I started dreaming up a story about a wallflower, stuck on the side of the ballroom because she was just too tall and no one wanted to dance with her. Then she suddenly inherits a fortune... It's really fun! It will probably come out as an e-novella only in December--my holiday gift!--and then be published in paper thereafter. I'm trying to save up enough novellas so that we can actually make a book of them. This one will join Storming the Castle. Happy Birthday, Patty! hugs, Eloisa
PJ: Thank you for the lovely birthday wishes, Eloisa and for the news about your December novella. What a terrific Christmas gift!
Thanks everybody, for celebrating my birthday with me this week. I've had a wonderful time partying with all of you and am tickled pink to have shared the celebration with all my special guests and especially with today's Guest of Honor, my birthday buddy, Julie Anne Long. Happy Birthday, Julie!
Tell me readers, if you could choose anyone, dead or alive, who would be on the guest list for your birthday party? We have some great presents to give away today so let's get those comments posted!
A signed copy of A Kiss at Midnight and When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
Signed copy of Storm of Shadows, Dangerous Ladies and Some Enchanted Evening by Christina Dodd
A signed copy of A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
A signed copy of Heartbreak Creek by Kaki Warner
A signed copy of Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
A package of signed books and other goodies from PJ's RWA Conference stash
from my fellow September 20th birthday buddy, Julie Anne Long:
A complete signed set of her entire Pennyroyal Green series!
Monday, September 19, 2011
I can still remember the excitement I felt as I approached my tenth birthday. I was finally going to be double digits and I was embracing that zero for all it was worth! The excitement continued with the celebration of my twentieth as I said farewell to my teens and welcomed all the new adventures that I felt sure being an "adult" would bring. Thirty was a breeze. Honestly, I didn't dread it at all. I was enjoying a happy marriage, a promising career and not at all worried about growing older.
Forty was a little harder. My mom had died unexpectedly while I was in my thirties which made me more conscious of the passing of time but it was my fiftieth that brought it home. I spent my fiftieth birthday sitting by my late husband's hospital bed knowing his days were numbered. He was unconscious and unaware of the occasion. Obviously, there was no celebration. He died a week later and as I worked through my grief I began to remember how much he had embraced life. Even while struggling through five years of one medical crisis after another, he greeted every day with joy and anticipation, glad to be alive for one more "bonus day" as he called them. I decided it was time to follow his example, determined that my fifties would be my decade of re-discovery and it was. I recaptured my love of travel and explored new places. I waded into the waters of internet message boards and blogs, making new friends and adding many talented authors to my quickly expanding reading list. I went back to work and remembered how much I had always enjoyed working with the public. I followed his example and welcomed each day for the bonus that it is and last, but certainly not least, I began writing again. I thank Marisa O'Neill and Maria Lokken for nudging me back into that writing pool, author friends who have encouraged me along the way and Buffie, Andrea and Gannon for joining me in this exciting blogging adventure of ours here at The Romance Dish. I'm having a blast!
So, as this is the last day of my fifties, how am I feeling about the prospect of another zero? I feel fabulous! Tomorrow I will turn sixty and I'm going to embrace it with as much enthusiasm, joy, and anticipation as I did that long-ago first zero the year I turned ten. My life adventure continues and I cannot wait to see what awaits around the next turn but, for today, we have drinks, food, more surprise guests, sexy waiters ready to meet your every need and lots of presents to give away so LET'S PARTY!
So, yesterday we were chatting about special birthday traditions in our families. Do any of you have special traditions you follow?
PJ: I've been to Chuck-E-Cheese once, Jeanne. It was one of those "one time is more than enough for one lifetime" events! LOL!
PJ: Oh, Emily, I love this tradition!
PJ: I'll bet that made you feel very special, didn't it, Anna? What a lovely tradition.
Emily: I want my mom's white cake with chocolate icing. It's heavy as a brick, but to me it means home. No ice cream for me. Just give me a second piece of cake.
PJ: We'll be visiting the local apple orchards this week so I foresee apple pies in my future! :)
PJ: So tell me, how do you really feel about milestone birthdays? Do you dread them, tolerate them with stoic acceptance or approach them with enthusiasm for the adventures that await you?
Anna: I’m currently working on a Beauty and the Beast story that should be out next year. Having a wonderful time with my ‘beastly’ hero (who of course isn’t really THAT beastly).
Sabrina: I've got two books coming out practically back to back: To Wed a Wild Lord comes out Nov. 22nd and A Lady Never Surrenders comes out Jan. 24th. I'm very excited about them, since they're the final two books of the Hellions series.
Christina: I'm madly excited about my January 3 release, MAD ABOUT THE EARL. It was such a fun book to write--a twist on Beauty and the Beast. I'm also hoping to move into a newly renovated house early next year. Fingers crossed!
PJ: Do you share your birthday with any notable events or people? I share mine with actress Sophia Loren. I wouldn't mind sharing her wonderful Italian genes along with the date!