For my weekly column Scooped!, I scour the Internet, contact authors and pick my fellow RT editor's brains to make sure no reader question goes unanswered. This week, I share inside info on Suzanne Brockmann's next Troubleshooter novel, investigate the usability of the iPad overseas, discuss my new favorite genre and more! Still have questions? Send them to me here and you may be featured in an upcoming post.
Question: I am totally addicted to Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series. What can you tell me about the next book in the series? - Nan
Morgan: Oh, I definitely have the inside scoop on this one! Even though it will release at the end of March, I have already had a chance to read Ms. Brockmann's Breaking the Rules, book 16 in the Troubleshooters series. Here's what I can tell you - since you are a fan, you will absolutely love this story. (I'm sorry to say that newcomers to the series may want to start with the beginning story since there is so much going on, it can be hard to keep up without the proper background.)
Breaking the Rules stars Izzy Zanella and his estranged wife Eden Gillman (and boy that is estranged with a capital E). They reunite in order to help Eden's younger brother, but the path of the reconciliation is a rough one and includes lots and lots of action - there is a rescue scene that takes up a large portion of the end of the story. But never fear, because there is still lots of romance in the story (my favorite line is when Eden tells Izzy that he "makes the sky more blue".)
Question: What is it with authors writing under more than one name? It makes it ridiculously hard to find all of their books! Why would they do this? - O.L.
Morgan: As a reader, I totally get the frustration with trying to find all of the books an author writes, however, in authors' defense, most of the time they do this when they are switching between genres. By using a pseudonym it can lead to less confusion for readers. Take Nora Roberts - under this name she writes romance, but then switches to J.D. Robb when writing her Eve Dallas futuristic/suspense/urban fantasy stories. Similarly paranormal romance author Sherrilyn Kenyon also writes historicals under the name Kinley MacGregor. But other authors keep their name even when making large genre jumps as is the case with Megan Hart, an erotic author who recently branched out with a mainstream fiction novel.
The good news is that with the Internet, it has become increasingly easy to track down the different names that each author uses. On the RT site, we do our best to make sure that all author names are shown on each author's profile page.
Question: I just got a promotion at my job which means traveling throughout Europe several times a year (yay!) However, traveling for me is so much easier with my iPad (I am totally obsessed) but I'm not sure how usable the iPad is in foreign countries. Can I download books - I like to use a Kindle app for this? Does Internet access work abroad? - N.C.
Morgan: The only experience I have using my iPad in a foreign country is on my recent trip to India. But all I did was read previously uploaded books, I didn't try to buy them while abroad. So in order to answer your question, I turn to our e-book expert Jane from Dear Author. Here's what she has to say:
You can download books using the Kindle App so long as you are still using your US credit card and US address on your account. However, if you have a 3G, please be aware your wireless rates could be very expensive internationally. You may want to turn off the 3G and turn on the wifi and look for hotspots at internet cafes or hotels.
Question: From my many (many, many) years of reading romance, I know that there is usually a cyclical nature for the types of books that are out there. One year Regency romances will be 'hot' and the next not so much. What do you think are some of the best books being published right now? - Barb
Morgan: Ah yes, the never-ending question of what's in and what's out in publishing. First, let me point out that I know lots and lots of romance fans and none of them change genres because something is hot or not. Now that's not to say that if a particular type of book becomes more prevalent, that my friends won't try a new genre, but as far as the whole Save the Contemporary campaign or the theories that Westerns will never sell again is concerned, I think that indeed everything has its heyday, but fans tend to be pretty loyal.
That being said, the biggest genres that I am seeing right now are paranormal and young adult. It seems like publishers (and readers) can't get enough of either. However, for me personally, I think that there are some really great romantic suspense books on the market right now. The last few books that I really enjoyed were all in this category. For example, Maya Banks' No Place To Run, Christine Feehan's Ruthless Game, Allison Brennan's Love Me To Death and Jayne Ann Krentz's In Too Deep.
(For another opinion about the state of the romantic suspense market, you can read RT Executive Editor Faygie Levy's article "Romantic Suspense's Dark Days: Once thriving, the genre's looking for a breakout niche" which was originally published in the August issue of RT BOOK REVIEWS magazine.)
That's all for this week. Remember, if you have a question about anything that's going on with your favorite authors and books, send me an email at MorgansScoop@gmail.com and I promise to give you the inside scoop on the publishing world!