Monday, November 30, 2009

The Reading Slump

I've often gotten in cleaning slumps, but reading slumps are rare. I am however, currently deep in the grips of one. I have on my bedside table The Assassin by Rachel Butler (two chapters in, like it well enough, am not compelled to keep turning pages), Winter's Desire, an historical anthology, and Wrapped in Seduction, a contemporary anthology (skimmed both, started two stories in each, cannot commit), and Sliding Home by Kate Angell, the latest in the Richmond Rogues series (remains entirely unmolested, even though I'd been looking forward to it. Perhaps I should wait until spring training starts?)I don't know what the problem is. Well, I have my suspicions. One word -- sudoku. Yes, I have fallen prey to puzzle mania. As soon as I can break free I will review some or all of the above titles. Until then -- I am off to sharpen pencils....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Things you learn while reading romance novels

Topping the list -- how to write a decent sex scene. According to the following list from ShelfAwareness - daily enlightenment for the book trade, the authors shortlisted for their Bad Sex in Fiction Award are -- NOT romance authors. And apparently not romance readers either, or they would have figured out how to create a little heat. Which is not to say that all romance writers can put together a decent sex scene. Let's face it -- in some novels, purple prose abounds. But judging by this list, literary fiction is not something to get, shall we say, hot and bothered about...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On the Book Cart

It’s a light book cart this week, but there’s a little bit of everything. Wouldn’t it be nice to skip that trip to the supermarket and curl up with a book instead?

Lorraine Heath Midnight Pleasures with a Scoundrel
Elizabeth Hoyt To Desire a Devil
Joy Nash Silver Silence

Deb Stover The Gift
Gail Carriger Soulless

Tess Gerritsen Never Say Die & Whistleblower

The Night Before Christmas (contemporary, holiday)
Winter’s Desire (historical, erotica)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just in time for holiday shopping -- Vintage Harlequin!

I've always loved vintage pulp fiction cover art, specifically hardboiled crime and romance. I've been able to get my fix of the former in the past few years with paperback releases from Hard Case Crime; now I can find the latter in the new Harlequin Notables line. Produced by Flowerpot Press, the line of stationary includes address books, matchbook notepads, spiral journals, notebooks, and vintage postcards. With fabulous reproductions of the daring and sensational cover art that Harlequin has produced in the last 60 years, this is a must have for fans of romance or pulp fiction in general.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On the Book Cart

With last week being nearly all romantic suspense, this week we have a slew of historicals, with a few other things thrown in for variety. Add in two anthologies -- one hot, one sweet -- and there's quite a bit to choose from. The new arrivals, in no particular order, are:

Cindy Woodsmall The Sound of Sleigh Bells

Gemma Halliday Scandal Sheet
Lisa Dale It Happened One Night
Susan Mallery Hot On Her Heels

Barbara Metzger The Bargain Bride
Anna Campbell Captive of Sin
Cathy Maxwell In the Highlander’s Bed
Shannon Drake The Queen’s Lady
Julia London A Courtesan’s Scandal
Stephanie Laurens The Untamed Bride
Joy Nash Deep Magic & The Grail King
Jillian Hunter The Wicked Duke Takes a Wife
Edith Layton To Love a Wicked Lord
Georgette Heyer Charity Girl

Romantic Suspense
Kylie Brant Waking the Dead

Almost Home with stories by Debbie Macomber, Cathy Lamb, Judy Duarte and Mary Carter
Wrapped in Seduction with stories by Lisa Renee Jones, Cathryn Fox and Jodi Lynn Copeland

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Regency Romance at Any Age

Given that the average age of young ladies on the marriage mart in Regency England was 16-18, I’ve always been surprised that I haven’t found more Young Adult romances set in that time period. The teen years are fraught with angst and drama, much of which revolves around love, fashion, love, gossip, love, social events, love, cruel parents who Simply Don’t Understand, love, the need for funds so that one can stay au courant, and -- of course – love. The list is like a recipe for a Regency plot! I know any book with a romance sticker goes out of the library frequently – as much in the YA section as the adult collection, so I was happy to find the blog NineteenTeen. Penned by authors Marissa Doyle and Regina Scott, it’s full of interesting info about the life of Regency era teens, including color plates of fashions of the time. It also includes a look back at news, recipes, and customs, and offers reviews of books both old and new. The blog contains links to the authors’ websites, so you can check out the fiction they are publishing. If you are a fan of all things Regency, this is a nice blog to check in on.

Friday, November 6, 2009

On the Book Cart

It's all romantic suspense, all the time on this week's cart, thanks to some great donations! We have several titles from Carla Neggers backlist, a couple of trilogies from authors new to the collection, and an anthology of novellas from Sherrilyn Kenyon featuring operatives from her Bureau of American Defense. I will be abandoning the Regency for the weekend in order to walk on the wild side with The Assassin by Rachel Butler, and will report in on the experience next week. Meanwhile, stop by and pick up one or more of the following:

Fiona Brand
Blind Instinct
Double Vision
Killer Focus

Jasmine Creswell

Rachel Butler
The Assassin
Deep Cover

Allison Brennan
Fatal Secrets

Meryl Sawyer
Kiss of Death

Sherrilyn Kenyon
Born to Be BAD –Three Novellas

Karin Slaughter

Carla Neggers
The Widow
On Fire
Cold Pursuit
The Rapids

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Season's Readings -- Buy a gift and support the Library

It's that time again -- time to figure out what in the world you're going to buy for assorted family and friends for the upcoming holidays. If you have book and movie lovers on your list, start your shopping at the Library. Our Sixth Annual Season's Readings display is set up and the gift guide is available for your reading -- and shopping -- enjoyment. The Voorheesville Librarians spend the year reading, watching and evaluating books and movies, and we have shared our best bets for great gifts. Not finding exactly what you want and planning to shop online anyway? Start by clicking through to Amazon from our website; the Friends of the Library will receive a percentage of your purchase. The Friends do a lot to support Library programs and materials purchases, so please help support the Friends!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Five Reasons I Liked What Happens in London

What Happens in London
By Julia Quinn

Reason One: The Heroine
Lady Olivia Bevelstoke, who was introduced to us in another book by Miss Miranda Cheever (of Secret Diaries fame). We can forgive Lady Olivia for being exceptionally lovely because she is fiercely loyal to her friends, possessed of a lively intelligence and occasionally lurid imagination, and most important, she does not take herself terribly seriously. In fact, she often displays a large degree of pragmatism regarding her looks, her station and her prospects for her future. She reads the newspaper (“Every word. Every day.”) rather than devoting herself to popular, sensational novels such as Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron. And she makes very entertaining lists.

Reason Two: Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron
A book within a book. Too funny. How can you not love a story in which someone is tragically pecked to death by pigeons? Visions of Tippi Hedren in Regency garb went dancing through my head…

Reason Three: The Hero
Sir Harry Valentine manages to get through childhood with an alcoholic father and an emotionally unavailable mother and still turn out just fine. He may have joined the Army for the wrong reasons, inadvertently abandoning his young brother, but he makes a success of it and turns to doing important, if not exactly glamorous, work for the war office once he resigns his commission. He is an honorable man with a mischievous sense of humor. And he’s hot. Even though no one really seems sure what color his eyes are.

Reason Four: The Secondary Characters
Two irresponsible younger brothers. One lethally charming and highly dramatic cousin. Parents both good and bad. The Russian Prince. The Russian Prince’s bodyguard. Assorted servants. Nearly all of the above interacting over tea in the drawing room. With Miss Butterworth.

Reason Five: The humor.
See all of the above. Julia Quinn’s books never lack for humor or great characterization. This one has both, with a fair amount of drama at the end. Very entertaining, and highly recommended.