Many beloved authors get their start writing the shorter format series romances. Nora Roberts, Janet Evanovich and Jennifer Crusie are just a few of the writers that first left their mark on readers’ hearts in bite-sized stories. But for some of these storytellers, even after they’ve found success writing longer, stand-alone books (which are also sometimes known as single title works) they keep coming back to their series romance roots. And who can blame them? These novels are quick, fun romps at affordable prices. Today we’re taking a look at a few of the authors who are writing in both format and often going above and beyond to create stories of both lengths that deserve to be on your keeper shelf!
Who knew that in Scotland, at one point, it was perfectly legal for a couple to declare themselves married, and then — bam! — actually be married just like that? Certainly not the heroine of Jackie Ivie’s A Perfect Knight for Love. After fleeing England and an unwanted marriage, Lady Amalie finds herself in Scotland … in an unwanted marriage. Although, to be fair, the man who claimed her as his wife did it for the lass’ own protection. Thayne MacGowan saw no other way to protect Lady Amalie other than to claim her as his — and by not refuting his claim, she lent it credence.
And it really was as simple as that, which you can’t say about most weddings these days. Even if one has never been to or planned a ceremony, WE tv, TLC and Lifetime all offer scary glimpses into the wedding-industrial complex with shows like Bridezillas, Say Yes to the Dress and My Fair Wedding. With all those in mind, I’ve always been the one to try to talk sense into my “tying the knot” friends.
As a fan of the much-missed Gilmore Girls, I must have been among the target audience for ABC Family’s Bunheads. Stars Hollow reconfigured as the West Coast town of Paradise? A chance to hear some witty dialogue and see familiar faces, including the matriarch of GG, Kelly Bishop, playing the matriarch of Bunheads? It was like coming home.
Except for one thing. One major, jarring omission. One that had me scanning all ten episodes hopefully, like a sailor looking for sight of land after many weeks at sea. As much as it pains me to say it, there was no “Luke” in this so-called Paradise.
Sutton Foster, the actress who now plays the role-once-known-as Lorelai (minus the Rory), is Luke-less. And where’s the fun in that? I tuned in year after year, not only to take in the fabulous mother-and-daughter duo of Gilmore Girls, but to finally see the guy get the girl. It’s what I do. In fandom, I’m what they call a ‘shipper.’
If anyone deserves to find their own happily-ever-afters, it is the heroes who brave fires and put their lives on the line for others. We don’t even have to come up with reasons why firefighters are awesome. They just are. And every year around this time in September we take a moment to remember all the sacrifices they’ve made, and will make, to be our heroes.
And since we love to see heroes succeed at life and especially at love, we’ve rounded up some tales that show these amazing firefighters getting all that they deserve. Want to read some? Look no further than these great stories:
ONE ALARM FIRE: A TOUCH OF FLAME
I am an absolute fiend for Sarah MacLean’s historical romances — and by that I mean, this she can not write quickly enough to satisfy me. MacLean has been crafting winning stories since her 2010 debut, complete with witty heroines, sizzling heroes and brilliant repartee. So getting the first look at MacLean’s next novel, Winter 2012’s Rules of Scoundrels book two, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover, has me over the moon.
For those who haven’t tried a MacLean yet (I say, because if you read romance, you will try them) it should come as no surprise that these novels are “Gateway Romances,” in the words of RT’s Elissa. Also, “Hi, my name is Whitney and I am a pusher.” I have been known to say oh-so-innocently to absolute strangers, “Have you ever tried a Sarah MacLean?” As though I don’t know that they will be compelled by the gods of romance to read not one but all of this new author’s works. (If Sarah MacLean’s books were junk food, they’d be Pringles, “once you pop, you just can’t stop.”)
Say good-bye to summer and hello to cooler weather with Elisabeth Barrett's newly released contemporary romance Blaze of Winter. Featuring a sexy former bad-boy and the big-hearted redhead who immediately gets his attention, RT reviewer Dawn calls this story "absolutely adorable." Today Dawn asks the author about her latest book and what else readers can expect from the Grayson brothers.
Theo Grayson, the hero in Blaze of Winter, is an author. But at the story's beginning he is struggling with his next book. As a writer yourself, do you ever have this same problem?
Great question! As a writer, I have not yet had a bout of “writer’s block.” I’m going to chalk this up to my former life as a patent attorney, where strict deadlines were the norm. You had a brief to write, and you simply wrote it, end of story. I try to bring that same approach to my fiction writing.
Sparks fly in Janet Chapman’s latest Spellbound Falls novel, Courting Carolina, when a time traveling princess meets a modern Scottish warrior. On the run from her dictatorial father, Carolina Oceanus becomes “Jane Smith” and convinces Alec MacKeage to let her hide in his mountain camp. But when Carolina’s father, Titus, aka the King of Atlantis, realizes that his daughter is in danger from his enemies, he swoops in to get her married off as soon as possible. What Titus is not counting on is that Carolina has already found her perfect match … with Alec. Today RT’s Morgan and Dawn discuss just how one goes about wooing a princess.
Morgan: Who’s ready for some magic?
Dawn: I am! I am! Especially when that magic is wrapped around a hunky mountain man in Janet Chapman’s Courting Carolina.
Morgan: The opening scene of the book is pretty great when Alec charges in to save an unknown woman who is being kidnapped.
Dawn: What a hero!
Morgan: After making quick work of the attackers, Alec takes the woman, who is at this point passed out, back to his place …
Dynamic author Carrie Lofty has written in almost every romance subgenre taking on everything from historicals to paranormal and even erotica. However, it is the author's historical Christies series that has readers talking. Series second, Starlight, is a Top Pick! rated story that was also nominated for RT's Seal of Excellence Award. While at the RWA National Conference, RT's Morgan sat down with Carrie so they could discuss the author's amazing success and also what it is about Starlight's characters that have readers entranced. Watch the video below for some interesting tidbits about Starlight and the Scottish setting as well as a look at the next Christie novel, Diva.
Early American popular fiction was dominated by inexpensive "dime novels" which were characterized by larger-than-life characters, fast paced action and plenty of romance. These Western-set stories were some of the best entertainment around, not unlike romance novels of today. Author Jo Goodman used these books as inspiration for her newest story The Last Renegade and shares what her hero Kellen Coltrane — and readers — can learn from each of the dime novel titles in the Nat Church series mentioned in Goodman's latest release.
Dime novels enjoyed many years of popularity with readers of all ages — and not just because of the price. Those serials with a Western theme were particularly successful in the late 1800s as the railroad opened up mountains, prairies, and plains. The larger than life heroes portrayed between lurid covers put readers in the midst of amazing (and improbable) adventures. Nat Church, the hero of more than twenty-two novels by Max McCartney, was widely believed to live outside the fictional confines of the books in which he was featured. It’s little wonder that Kellen Coltrane — The Last Renegade — learned a thing or two (or ten) from those dime novels.
We all want a man with slow hands, but what about one whose hands are handy? Romance novels are flooded with tales of the rich and powerful, but this Labor Day we’re honoring the working class heroes who set our hearts aflutter. They work for a living, value an honest day's labor and don’t mind getting down and dirty. Now this is the kind of man we’d be proud to bring home to mom!
In Janet Chapman’s Courting Carolina, we meet a man of many talents: Alec MacKeage. While working to build a wilderness trail for a local resort, he comes across a damsel in distress. Used to taming the wild, Alec feels his own untamed nature rising to the fore as he rescues an unconscious “Jane Smith” from her would-be kidnappers. But Jane is actually Carolina Oceanus, daughter to a magically power father. And that father is busy lining up suitors - and competitors - for his daughter’s fair hand. If Alec has any hopes of winning her (and there’s something about his Jane that he can’t resist), then he’ll have to toss his hat in the ring and work it. But we doubt that will be a problem for this trailblazer.