So many self-published titles are released each and every day, it’s hard to know which ones are worth your time — and your cash. As always, your RT Web Team is here for you, to help make sense of it all. We've scoured the bestseller lists, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords to put together our picks of the bestselling self-published romances of the month. Get your TBR list ready!
Wedding season is well underway! We’ve stopped watching Say Yes to the Dress just long enough to get Victoria Alexander to tell us about her favorite cinematic weddings. Victoria knows of what she speaks, her latest historical, RT Top Pick! The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride features some sexy, wedding hijinx of the highest order. Tell us everything, Victoria!
Sometimes being part of RT’s web team is just too easy. You see that the hilarious and sassy Dakota Cassidy is releasing a romance about phone sex called, gloriously, Talk Dirty to Me (an RT Top Pick!). You email Dakota (she calls you doll) and ask her to send along her top 10 phone sex tips. Boom. Everybody wins. And you’re never going to look at your fly swatter the same way again. School us, Dakota!
I’m not ashamed to say, I called up a phone sex operator in order to research my new series, because, well, how can you write about phone sex if you don’t at least talk to Mistress Lana and ask the poor woman every question known to man about the business of phone sex? She was lovely, by the way, and very informative about all the ins and outs of the phone sex operating business. I think she even friended me on Facebook.
Anyway, here’s what I learned (huge thanks to my Facebook pals for some amazing insight, too!):
If you’re a client:
Romance authors know a thing or two about love, so it makes sense that they’d be great at putting together sexy playlists, right? Today for your listening pleasure we’ve got two historical authors with romances out this week, Gayle Callen — Redemption of the Duke — and Caroline Linden — It Takes a Scandal — sharing their playlists for their latest books! So cue up your Spotify, click here and get grooving. We’re happy to send your boss an email to explain the chair dancing.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the cover shoot of Kristen Callihan’s sixth Darkest London novel, Soulbound, releasing next year from Forever. Walking into my first cover shoot, I had a lot of questions. Would the hero and heroine be photographed together, as we’ve seen on her more recent book covers? Would it just be the heroine solo, like on the covers of Firelight and Moonglow? Or perhaps we’d see the first solo hero cover in the series? And if there was a hero, would he be without a shirt? Who mists these shirtless heroes? Or are they oiled? All very important questions, of course.
The shoot took place in a very nondescript building that Chris Rock and his bodyguards were casually standing in front of (I didn’t see him, but Kristen’s editor Alex Logan had a slightly awkward encounter. Apparently he was also having photos taken.). Because of course he was, this is New York.
Kristen knew just as much about the cover shoot as I did (this was her first, too!), and told me authors typically have little to no involvement in their cover designs, and she’s lucky to even be consulted before the covers are finalized. She told me that a general rule of thumb for authors is “If you want to complain about your cover, you have to approach it from a marketing standpoint,” and to always remember that a cover design is somebody’s work, and they spent hours creating it. For this Soulbound cover, she jokingly requested David Gandy, whom she envisioned at the book’s hero. Although they couldn’t get Gandy, the model they did hire definitely shared his dark features.
Each month the RT editors select one book that is not only compelling, but pushes the boundaries of genre fiction. This book stands out from all the others reviewed that month, in the magazine issue and on the website. April 2014's RT Seal of Excellence — the editors' pick for best book of the month — is awarded to Eloisa James' latest historical romance Three Weeks with Lady X.
What we consume in popular culture can affect how we see the world and each other. Even our beloved romance novels can change how we look at other people, and ourselves. Today Laila Blake is with us to talk about how fiction writers can avoid sexually objectifying women in their stories.
Growing up in Germany, there was one magazine every teenager read, whether they admitted to it or not.
On the surface, it was pretty much what you'd expect: news about celebrities, new CD releases or movies, a centerfold of the latest boy band. But there was one column that gave the whole magazine an air of exciting taboo. Every week, it would show a teenage boy and a teenage girl, each on one page by themselves, naked except for the little remote in their hand, posed in front of a neutral background.
One week, they would be tall and skinny, the next there would be someone chubby, or someone with freckles all over their chest, someone with small breasts and someone with larger ones. They varied in race, stature and personal style.
Ready for a cover reveal? Today on the blog we’ve got Robin Perini’s Game of Fear, the third in her Montgomery Justice series. Before we get to the goods, let’s check out the blurb for this romantic suspense, which releases August 26.
Brilliant kids from all over the country are disappearing … but no one knows why. Until now.
In the cockpit, Search and Rescue pilot Deborah Lansing is in control: her flight, her rules. But after the suspicious disappearance of her supersmart younger sister, she knows this is one rescue mission she can’t fly solo. She needs help. She needs Gabe Montgomery.
An earth-shattering betrayal led former SWAT officer Gabe Montgomery to his current deep cover assignment. But he trusted Deb Lansing with his life once before and she’d pulled him through. Now it’s his turn to repay the feisty redhead … even if it threatens to blow his covert op.
As Deb and Gabe get closer to the answers—and closer to each other—their investigation reveals a startling pattern: gifted kids from all over the country are going missing after mastering the popular video game Point of Entry. And when bodies turn up, the new lovers will face a ruthless fiend known only as the Warden. Will they be able to find Deb’s sister, or will she vanish like so many others?
Sounds exciting! Here’s the cover:
When I read the blurb for Hard Time by Cara McKenna I thought to myself: this book will either be completely amazing or an absolute train wreck. Luckily for me, it was the former. Told in first person, the story follows young public librarian Annie Goodhouse, who recently graduated with her MLS and has taken a position as an outreach librarian for a medium-security correctional facility, where she finds herself attracted to inmate Eric Collier. With such sensitive subject matter, which could have been handled carelessly, you can see why I thought this book might be a disaster. But McKenna does not sensationalize prison or the relationships male inmates can have with women on the outside. What impressed me most about this novel is how the author approached the subject matter so skillfully.
Today we're excited to reveal the sexy new cover of Lauren Dane's upcoming contemporary romance series starter, The Best Kind of Trouble. The book kicks off her Hurley Boys series — about a trio of rock star brothers who readers might remember from Dane's novel Lush — and releases August 26. Book one is Paddy Hurley's story.
But before we get to the cover, the book's back cover blurb:
She has complete control and he's determined to take it away.
A librarian in the small town of Hood River, Natalie Clayton's world is very nearly perfect. After a turbulent childhood and her once-wild ways, life is now under control. But trouble has a way of turning up unexpectedly—especially in the tall, charismatically sexy form of Paddy Hurley .
And Paddy is the kind of trouble that Natalie has a taste for.
Even after years of the rock and roll lifestyle, Paddy never forgot the two wickedly hot weeks he once shared with Natalie. Now he wants more even if it means tempting Natalie and her iron-grip control. But there's a fine line between well-behaved and misbehaved—and the only compromise is between the sheets!
Ready for the cover? It's a hot one...