Please, somebody tell me they are noticing all of the birds on the covers on recent and upcoming releases. Young Adult and Urban Fantasy covers seem to be the biggest contributors but really, winged creatures are turning up all over the place. I'm seriously having Hitchcock-inspired nightmares!
No, the Internet isn’t broken and your connection is fine, but it is true that a number of popular websites are not working today. And yes, this is deliberate. As of this morning, several sites, including Wikipedia, Wordpress, reddit, and TwitPic, are taking part in a strike to mark their opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA). The strike will last until tonight.
SOPA is a bill that is currently moving through Congress. It’s an anti-piracy measure that will extend the U.S. Government’s law into cyberspace, allowing the government to block certain sites that they believe violate or infringe upon intellectual property rights. SOPA and its corresponding bill in the Senate, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), are intended to help preserve the copyright of intellectual property.
SOPA has both its supporters and its naysayers. It’s a difficult subject because this legislation will have to walk the line between protecting people — such as writers, musicians and actors whose works are being pirated — and respecting Freedom of Speech which is protected by the First Amendment.
The Issue: Protecting Intellectual Property Online
It’s no secret that despite the large span of time and places that the term “historical” covers, historical romance novels are typically set in a few locations. The most popular tales generally take place in Europe during the Medieval, Victorian and Regency eras, and America, either on the Wild West frontier or in the Southern ballrooms of the Civil War era. However, we’ve recently been spotting books with more exotic locales, from the deserts of the Middle East to the wilds of Africa.
Here’s a list of recent releases that really got our attention, some from popular authors that have long been on our historical romance radar and others from new talents that are just making their mark.
Twilight: the Musical? That’s right, that most angsty of paranormal love stories, featuring Bella, Edward and Jacob has hit the stage — complete with songs like “Supernatural Love Triangle,” “Die Bella Die” and “I Imprinted on an Infant.”
The resulting stage read, performed last night at New World Stages in Manhattan, delighted Twilight fans and detractors alike. Indeed the tagline for the production, directed by Gabriel Barre, promises “If you love Twilight, you’ll love this musical. If you hate Twilight, you’ll love this musical” — and judging from the cheers and laughs from the audience, it delivered. Though the actors rehearsed together for only 24 hours, the cast members — who donated their time to the show, which benefited the charity Blessings in a Backpack — gamely sang and danced their undead hearts out. Colin Hanlon (literally) sparkled as Edward, Jared Zirilli flexed his pecs as an earnest Jacob and Meghann Fahy’s Bella made you understand just why all those guys were gaga for Miss Swan in the first place.
This month paranormal author Linda Wisdom treats readers to another tale of sexy demons in A Demon Does it Better. Heroine Lili, a powerful witch and healer, takes a job at Crying Souls Hospital to hunt for a patient that went missing, never guessing that it will catapult her into an adventure filled with danger, intrigue and one very hunky demon named Jared. Today the author takes us through the front doors of Crying Souls Hospital for a look at what a magical place this really is.
Thank you Morgan at RT Book Reviews for having me here! When Morgan asked me to give a guided tour of Crying Souls I thought "how cool!" Turns out it’s not as easy as it sounds.
I see the hospital inside my head as a 3-D building. Too bad I can’t just download it to my computer. :) So I’ll do the best I can to show you what the hospital is like.
“You’re all going to die!” The un-named vulture that perched over the hospital entrance flapped his wings and craned his head, snapping his beak at all who approached the gothic-style building.
Hm, hospital designed to keep you alive and a vulture designed to want you dead and rotting.
Looking to add a few books to your TBR pile? In our column "If You Like ... You'll Love" RT staffers and reviewers will pick one new read and then suggest three other books that hold the same appeal. Today we look at this month’s RT Seal of Excellence winner, Karen Robards’ Sleepwalker.
Author Karen Robards has a long history of excellence. She penned her first book in 1981, a historical romance titled Island Flame. Since that time she has written over thirty novels set in both the past and present. Since 1995, she has published 22 stories and all of them have received RT ratings of 4 stars or above — 17 of those were 4 1/2 stars or above. The author's 2002 historical romance Irresistible took home that year’s RT Reviewers' Choice award for Historical Romance of the Year and she was nominated for four additional Reviewers' Choice Awards. Robards has also won two coveted RT Career Achievement Awards, for contemporary romance in 1995 and the Romantic Suspense award in 2006. Although she has written across the romance genres, Robards' undeniable focus has been in romantic suspense. She writes gripping tales of ordinary women who land in extraordinary circumstances, and must fight to survive the ordeal.
In her latest novel, Sleepwalker, Robards introduces heroine Micayla "Mick" Lange a cop with a tragic past. Mick's life has never been easy and she is about to learn one more hard lesson — betrayal can come from even those closest to you. On the run for her life, Mick has no one to trust except a notorious thief. Jason may be a scoundrel, but he is still honorable, in his own way. Unable to leave Mick in danger, Jason helps her avoid capture and they are soon both running for their lives. Trust between the criminal and the cop is slow to build. But loyalty is earned and, unexpectedly, passion between the two explodes. The couple first brought together by necessity finds that they can't say goodbye.
RT Senior Reviewer Jill M. Smith says about Sleepwalker, “It’s nonstop action from the first to last page as Robards takes readers on a whirlwind caper that finds a cop and a thief running for their lives. In a story that’s reminiscent of her early romantic adventures, Robards doesn’t allow either her characters or her readers the chance to take a deep breath as events proceed at a breakneck pace. This is romantic suspense at its finest: fast, furious, funny and passionate!”
With our column, Forewords, we let readers know the latest book news about some of the web team's most-anticipated upcoming releases across the genres — just as the projects are announced!
Contemporary Romance - Brenda Jackson is the creator of several beloved series, including her Steele family books. So when this New York Times bestselling scribe announced she will soon be adding three more full-length modern day love stories to her already impressive body of work, we had to wonder if we'd be seeing any Steele friends or relatives. Unfortunately, we have a long wait ahead of us; the first of the three novels won't be in stores until 2013.
Mystery - Sara Paretsky will write two more books to her V.I. Warshawski series. This private eye heroine may have been introduced to readers in the early 80s (her series is older than two of the RT web team members), but her adventures stay relevant and gripping. We are eagerly anticipating these additions, which will be on shelves in 2013 and 2015.
NEW SERIES ALERT
I love falling headfirst into a good contemporary romance, getting swept up by daydreams of a sexy hero, a relatable heroine and a seemingly insurmountable modern day problem. But I can't help but notice that, all too often, the stories I enjoy don’t hold up through the years. Despite how much I may have liked them when they came out, the novels simply don’t stand up to a re-reading.
Unlike historicals, fantasy novels or to a large extent, paranormal reads, contemporary-set stories are the only ones that really suffer from outdated references. For the most part the other genres age gracefully, historical phrases remain the same no matter if the book was written in 1992 or 2012. The same goes for a futuristic tale, it doesn’t matter so much when the story was created, in these books contemporary slang will look out of place no matter what unless it is justified within the world of the story. In comparison, older contemporary books don’t just show their age, they look like a middle aged mom trying to wear her teenager’s clothes.
The March issue of RT BOOK REVIEWS will be in stores soon and here are some of the stories you can look forward to this issue ...
Kristina McMorris' WWII-set tale is sweeping us back in time! We round up the e-reader devices for an in-depth compare and contrast. Robyn Carr stops by to talk about the latest in her long-running series. Trend watch: historical fiction stories featuring Eleanor of Aquitaine are making their mark on the genre. Also, get your St. Paddy's Day reading list ready, learn more about author branding and find out why Stan Lee is taking on Shakespeare!
There's all this and more between the pages of the March 2012 issue of RT BOOK REVIEWS. You can also SUBSCRIBE NOW and get access to RT's Bonus Content coming next week. Until then, here's a sneak peak at the March issue's Table of Contents!
Did you spend your whole week hiding from a Stalker in the Shadows?
Here's what you missed on the RT Website.
It's the start of a new year, so we featured five new series for inspirational readers ...