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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Romance Series - Can you dive right in?

Frostfire: A Novel of the Kyndred (KYNDRED NOVEL)There was some discussion today on our facebook page about romance book series. I had mentioned I had started a book that was well into the order of books by an author I had read before. This book was FROSTFIRE by Lynn Viehl. I had read If Angels Burn and several others in the Darkyn series and had enjoyed them. FROSTFIRE is part of her Kyndred series that is tied into the Darkyn series. Though I hadn't read others in that series I wanted to give this book a try.

As usual Lynn Viehl is a talented author in terms of story structure and writing style. No complaints there. My complaint was with the idea this book could be read as a stand alone book and be successful. While I enjoyed the idea of the story, I couldn't find that special spark I needed to have between the hero and the heroine. I just didn't understand what they were going through and even why they liked each other. I didn't finish the book. I didn't care enough.

Now, is this a failure by the author or the failure by me, the reader, in attempting to read the book out of order.

What are your thoughts?

Virginia Lewis, Guest Blogger for Eye On Romance

Friday, October 1, 2010

Search by Series!

Our web community is going through some changes. You may or may not notice that is now directing to our main website, Eye On Romance. We plan to move all the content and bonus materials to Eye On Romance so everything is centralized.

You will notice you can now "Search By Series" on Eye On Romance, through our entire catalog of books and series we have in our database. Have fun with this great tool.

We'll be adding back in the Search By Hero and Search By Heroine tools, once I rewrite the code to make it even more useful than ever! Watch for Search by Publishdate and Search by Locale coming soon too.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

From Our Mailbag - Regency Romances

I receive so many emails each day asking all sorts of questions. I've decided to start sharing some, so you, the romance reader expert, can help out other readers!

From Suzanne:

I'm drawn to historical romances of the Regency period and have been on a reading jag of everything written by Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn. I read a review of Ruthless by Anne Stuart and plan to read that as well.

Can you recommend other historical regencies for Suzanne? Post your suggestions to our blog!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Our blog

We have moved our blog back to and off The Romance Book Club.
We are always seeking guest bloggers, so please contact me if you are interested (authors OR readers!)

Hope you all had a great weekend! Post here and let me know what you did, what you are reading this week, and just give a shout out!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Guest blog from Amanda McIntrye (and contest at the end!!)

Meet Helen~

You’ve now had a glimpse of Thomas, now I’d like you to meet one of the women Thomas called his “muse.” Likely the most stereotypical in nature to the women of her time, Helen is an innocent, the eldest daughter of hard-working farmers. She has all but resigned that she may never marry, as no man seems to give her a second glance. She is not coy or adventuresome, she is not looking for love, but rather it is enough just to survive, making certain that she does not end up in a passionless marriage like her parents.
Perhaps working in the small hat shop spawns her period moments of romance, But not until she meets William Rodin, brother of the reckless young Pre-Raphaelite artist is Helen dragged into a world of more passion, sex, and rebellious frivolity than she has ever seen—nor has she ever been more alive.
Flattery seduces Helen and she agrees to model, thinking it will get her closer to William, who has shown glimpses of his feelings. So infatuated is she with her new interest that she is willing to lie, keeping her side job from her family. But juggling two lives is not something Helen has mastered and soon fate plays her card, forcing Helen to make some difficult choices and causing her to see the world is not going to be rose-colored, simply because you wish it. Love is messy, it hurts, you have to sacrifice and through all of these experiences Helen matures into a woman who knows what she wants and what she doesn’t want—something which she would never have been able to realize had she not met the roguish Thomas Rodin and the PRB (Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.)
It is said, “Nothing is ever wasted if you learn from it,” and that is true of the delicate woman from rural England, who one day said yes to opportunity. People often ask me, “Do these stories have a ‘happy ending?’ and I smile, because I believe that they do, perhaps not as clearly defined using the formula of a one man/one woman scenario—but a happy ending nonetheless. After all, love is messy…

The Master & the Muses-Excerpt: Helen meets Thomas for the first time.

“This is the woman I spoke to you about. Helen Bridgeton, I would like you to meet my brother, the extraordinary and gifted artist, Thomas Rodin.”

I was perhaps mesmerized by how accurate was William’s assessment of his brother. It was, I determined, the reason why I could not find my tongue. He was not particularly tall, but his manner and his odd clothing made him seem larger than life. The air fairly crackled in his presence. I found myself curtsying as if about to dance.
His eyes came alive and as though I was the only one in the room, he walked toward me, silently assessing me from head to toe. He wore the trousers of a proper gentleman, and so, too, the shoes. That, however, is where all semblance of the current era stopped. His coat, dark blue velvet and showing wear on the shoulder, was festooned with ornate blue seed pearls and stiff piping, reminding me of the clothes of the aristocratic wealthy clothes I’d seen in the paintings at the gallery. He wore a shirt, too, adorned with lace cuffs and on his fingers beautiful rings of gold, one bearing a black stone the size of a small bird's egg. The eclectic array of clothing and color enhanced his exotic olive skin, making him look like a painting come to life. Were it not for the shadow of his beard, the swagger of his walk, and the obvious gleam of sensuality in his eye, I would have taken him for a dandy. Instead, I found myself curiously drawn to him.
Yes, I had gravely underestimated the impact of his brother’s effect on me. I felt like a ripe apple being eyed for its tart sweetness.

“Turn,” he stated bluntly.
I blinked, pressing my lips together in uncertainty that I would pass muster. My eyes met William’s unreadable gaze. He nodded and I turned slowly, my fingers locked together, holding onto my braid.
Thomas reached for my hands and I relinquished my grasp and inspected them roughly, turning them back and forth. I grew uncomfortable at how long he studied them, praying he would not take note of how unkempt my nails were, how dry my skin was. I checked to be sure that William had not left me alone with his brother.
At last, Thomas drew my hands to his lips and kissed them with lingering reverence. His lip curled provocatively, highlighting slight cleft in his chin, giving character to his handsome face. His hair, a dark, unruly mop, produced a shock of curls that dipped low, covering one brow. The other brow, I noticed, bore a thin white scar slicing across its outer edge.

“My brother is to blame for that,” he spoke, cocking his brow as though reading my mind. His eyes narrowed joining his easy, predatory grin.

“Her hair is glorious. That deep russet-those mahogany undertones are positively scandalous! Dante's delight, you are a lovely gift to be certain. By all that is decadent, woman, your eyes alone have utterly captured me.” He strode over to William, grabbing him in a fierce embrace. “Well done, William, you have found us a ‘stunner’.”
“Now we must celebrate. Our cups—as our dear mother would say most devotedly—do runneth over, and so shall ours, down at McGivney’s.”

In two steps, he had returned, grabbing me around the waist, holding me close as he spun me around. The delight on his face reminded me of a child on Christmas morning. I clung to his broad shoulders, looking down at a face so closely resembling William’s, but with eyes that sparked mischievously. I caught Williams guarded expression as Thomas placed my feet to the floor.

“Now what shall I call you…my muse?” He narrowed his eyes studying me. I admit I was so smitten immediately by his zest for life that I quite forgot the obstacles facing me with taking on this position.

“My apologies, Mr. Rodin, but I have not yet accepted this position.”

He drew back in surprise, but he laughed aloud. “I like her, Will. She has a feisty spirit. Perhaps, we should consider paying her more?”
“What I would prefer is that you stop talking about me like I cannot hear.” I said with a boldness that surprised me.
Thomas took my chin between his fingers and his grin positively wicked. “Yes, you and I will get on quite well. I like a woman who knows her mind, who knows what she wants, and has no fear in obtaining it.”

Giveaway Question: Do you prefer the traditional happy ending or are you okay with a “satisfying ending?”

May the wind be at your back~

Amanda McIntyre

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

MUST I LOVE (HECK, EVEN LIKE) MY HERO FROM PAGE ONE? by Amanda McIntrye (See question at the END to enter to win a special prize!!)

I was asked to write an article geared toward aspiring writers regarding characters-how do I find them, create them, make them three-dimensional? Good questions. I like to start out creating a profile of my characters-physical appearance, background, social status, baggage, family, goals, flaws…the idea being that as you write that you’ve created such an intimate connection between you and that character that you feel you can know what he /she might say or do in any given situation. But that is the beauty of creativity—it’s unpredictable, it can surprise you and on occasion entirely stump you.

In truth, I’ve discovered despite my careful creation process, that once you begin to write, those characters take on a life of their own. Suddenly, it’s as though you’re seeing someone different than the person you envisioned, which led me to a startling conclusion…writing a fictional hero is a lot like falling in love.
Thomas Rodin, my main character in The Master and the Muses, was never actively searching for love. He was searching for a muse that would spark his quirky, creative genius with the ultimate goal of bringing him the acceptance and fame he so desperately desired. If a relationship occurred during the process, then so be it. Thomas was all about what worked for Thomas. There is no mistake; he is not the type of guy one should set her eyes on in terms of commitment. In truth, as I was writing about Thomas, though I found him intriguing as an eccentric artist, a man determined to stand out among the rest, I wasn’t always happy with his behavior. I didn’t always love Thomas from page one, in fact there were times when I wanted one of my heroines to kick him in the arse for his behavior.
But, just as the journey of romance takes us over some rough terrain and hopefully teaches us something about ourselves in the process, Thomas’s journey to his self-awareness, learning his faults and strengths and loving himself despite all of them, came through his experiences with a source he’d never expected—that of his muses, his models.
Thomas is a creative rogue. A man used to running the show, a leader among his peers, revered by men, desired by women. He’s never had to work at relationships. Enter then, three women over a period of a few short years, each one alluring, offering him what he needs to achieve his goals.
Thomas, young, passionate and Casanova-like with women, cannot ignore the chaos, complications and challenge these women bring to his life. Each one, a different person with different needs, desires, and demands, challenges Thomas to take a look at various aspects of himself that up to now, he’s been able to ignore. He doesn’t mean to get involved in their real lives, but it happens. And with each experience, a little more of the veneer he’s created around himself is chipped away. Love has a way of doing that, laying your heart on the line, baring your insecurities, your faults and true, your strengths to another soul. No different than anyone else, Thomas loved, or thought he did, and lost at love, more than once on this journey.
But for a brief time, he saw himself through another person’s eyes, not his own and so too, did I as the author. At first, I wondered how was I going to redeem this fellow? Although he was undeniably adorable (what creative-type isn’t?) he was not from the beginning, the kind of man I would dub as a hero-material. But as I continued to write the stories of the three women who would meet and become his models, each establishing a different relationship with Thomas, I began to see Thomas through the eyes of my heroines. Their view was far different and coincidentally, because of their desires and goals in life, I realized that each of these women was going to have their own distinct impact on Thomas—in a sense, they would be the ones to create a true hero out of Thomas. I didn’t have to.
The format of what RT BOOKreviews calls, “irresistible, a unique story” is set up in first person POV of each woman’s story of her life before, during and after her modeling time with artist, Thomas Rodin. It is not only the story of their journey to happiness, but in a sense collectively, it is the story too of Thomas’s journey to ultimate redemption-his becoming a man that you fall in love with.

Heroes, in my humble opinion, are created, not ready-made. It is the man you would least consider hero material that I love to write about, because invariably, he is the one who will surprise and delight, often becoming even more of a hero than you could ever imagine.

I am intrigued by the wide variety of perceptions describing “the perfect hero.” Some see only the physical appearance, where others describe only the emotional makeup, minimizing physical appearance.

What is your definition of the perfect hero /heroine?

Today, I’m giving away a MASTERS AND THE MUSE coffee mug to one lucky person commenting on this question.
Until next time,

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

KNIGHT OF PASSION by Margaret Mallory

KNIGHT OF PASSION by Margaret Mallory

How Can This Passionate Knight…
Renowned beauty Lady Linnet is torn between two desires: revenge on those who destroyed her family or marriage to her childhood sweetheart Sir James Rayburn. One fateful night, she makes a misguided choice: she sacrifices Jamie’s love for a chance at vengeance.
Trust A Beauty with a Past?
Jamie Rayburn returns to England in search of a virtuous wife—only to find the lovely Linnet as bewitching as ever. Their reckless affair ignites anew, even hotter than before, although Jamie vows to never again trust her with his heart. Just as Linnet begins to make amends, she’s tempted by one last opportunity to settle old scores. But a final retribution could cost her Jamie’s love – this time forever.
★ ★ ★ ★½ TOP PICK! "Mallory raises the genre to new levels."
~RT Book Reviews

“KNIGHT OF PASSION is an amazing story...filled with sexual tension and hot romance, as well as adventure with a fascinating historical background....[A]dd KNIGHT OF PASSION to your summer reading list.”

~Romance Reviews Today
“Top Pick! Ending the series off on a strong note, Margaret Mallory’s tale of second chances and everlasting love makes this medieval a rare and not-to-be-missed treat.” ~The Seasons Blog 
All The King's Men Trilogy
Accolades for Margaret Mallory’s All the King’s Men trilogy…  
Knight of Pleasure 

2010 RITA® Finalist!

     “[A]n absolute delight for fans of historical romance." ~ Fresh Fiction 
Knight of Desire 
    2010 Readers' Crown™ & 2010 Golden Quill Finalist for Best 1st Book “Margaret Mallory is a star in the making.” ~ Mary Balogh, NYTimes bestselling author 
    “A wonderful new voice in the tradition of Gellis and Woodiwiss.”  ~ Bertrice Small, NYTimes bestselling author 
“Few writers share Margaret Mallory’s talent for bringing history to vivid, pulsing life.”

~ Virginia Henley, NYTimes bestselling author