As the editors at RT, we spend most of our time at our desks, typing away and answering phones. So when a conference asks us to come hang out — we're there. We love getting out, seeing readers and authors and getting the scoop so that we can report back to you! And that's why we were more than delighted to head to the Authors After Dark conference, hosted by Jacquelyn Frank, and held in Secaucus, New Jersey last week.
Savvy readers, who knew the answers to Jacquelyn Frank's tough trivia questions, won books.
There were lots of giveaways!
Historical romance author Caroline Linden's latest heroine, Angelique Martand, was born a French heiress so how did she become an English spy? Now, in her own words, Angelique shares her story. And after this special message, don't miss the excerpt from Linden's You Only Love Once.
I never meant to be a spy.
It is, after all, a brutal and disreputable profession for a woman, and it would horrify my parents to know what I have become. They did everything in their power to have me smuggled out of France as an infant, just days before they lost their heads to the guillotine in the dark days of the Terror. I do not remember either of them, but I have never forgotten that they were killed for no reason other than the demands of an angry mob. If they would not be proud of me, I hope nonetheless that they would understand why I chose this path.
Mary Robinette Kowal’s Shades of Milk and Honey, was awarded RT’s fifth Seal of Excellence. From Kowal’s realistic Regency England -- with the subtle addition of magic -- to her pitch-perfect Jane Austen-esq voice, the author’s dedication to world building shines through the story. Now Kowal shares her favorite scene from the novel.
To set up this scene a bit, Mr. Vincent, a professional glamourist, and Jane have met on three other occasions prior to this scene and have not gotten along. In the preceding chapter, they have been pressed to create a tableaux vivant as a way of entertaining the various guests at a strawberry picking party.
In the Regency there were various parlour games to provide amusement to a fairly board aristocracy. One of them involved dressing up in costume and standing in a tableaux which the other guests could admire as a sort of living painting. One did not act or speak, just posed. I took that idea and adapted it for glamour.
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 did something a bit different. One reader's question really stood out, so I am using the entire column today to answer K. from Kentucky. Still have questions? Send them to me here and you may be featured in an upcoming post.
Question: My favorite book genres are paranormal, mystery and historical romances. What themes are you seeing in these types of books? - K
Yesterday, when RT editors Stephanie and Elissa took a trip to CVS during lunch, they were assaulted (well, visually assaulted, anyway) by Halloween decorations, candy and costumes. It was, in a word, awesome. Because these ladies love Halloween. They also love unicorns and zombies, respectively, and our readers, who were so gracious as to play along in our Zombies vs. Unicorns haiku contest, which ran in the September issue of RT.
To get into the holiday spirit yourself, why not check out Zombies vs. Unicorns, the anthology edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier, out this week from Simon Pulse? Our winners will be getting their own copies in the mail soon!
Read on for the winning haikus (you guys are hilarious), and thanks to everyone who entered!
Shiny and white coat;
Beautiful and dangerous;
Why only virgins?
— Sheree Tieh
Check Back Tomorrow For The *Web Exclusive Review* of Only The Good Spy Young!
YA author Cate Tiernan has just kicked off her new series with Immortal Beloved. Now the author stops by to answer our first-ever "Quick Takes" quiz. And don't miss the author message and excerpt at the bottom of this post!
1) What was your favorite book when you were growing up?
I don't know if I had an all-time favorite, but I read voraciously. My mother worked in a bookshop for a while and I think I read their entire juvenile stock. The one that comes to mind most often is The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was long and not dumbed-down and very satisfying.
2) What is your favorite book now?
Author Robyn Grady's latest series romance is Fired Waitress, Hired Mistress. Learn about the author's inspiration for her heroine's unfulfilling job as a waitress. And find out which eclectic jobs four other Harlequin Presents authors held before becoming writers!
I’ve been lucky on the vocation front. For sixteen years I was employed behind the scenes in television - great fun! Then, four years ago, I landed my absolute dream job…writing fulltime for Mills & Boon and Silhouette, creating new ways for two strong-minded deserving people - who can’t possibly make it together – reach their happily-ever-afters. Some days I could pull out my hair wondering where the story should go next. Many more nights, however, I keep my laptop company into the early hours because the characters have taken over the plot. Needless to say, every minute I write romance, I’m living in my own private heaven.
YA author Melissa de la Cruz delivers a report from the Pasadena, CA stop on the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour. Get all the details about the night's activities, check out photos and find out where you can find these authors next!
The Smart Chicks caravan – a rollicking Sea World-like carnival of girl-powered, writer-powered, shoe-powered fun landed in Pasadena last night to a roaring crowd of 300 people at Vroman's bookstore. I knew the tour was going to be amazing from the first email inviting me to be part of it from insanely fabulous, YA lit advocates and enthusiasts/organizers Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong, but I had no idea how much giddy fun it would be. Stick nine paranormal YA authors in front of a crowd and you get—mayhem! Lightning Round! Marry, Shag, Cliff! Prizes! Trivia! It's a true author-as-rockstar experience that puts all other tours to shame. (No more lonely room service dinners alone, that's for sure!)
Here are the chicks. Don't we look smart?