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!
Authors surely wish for a career with as much longevity as Jane Austen’s — a master who still captures our attention today! But what was it like for Jane back in the day? Jayne Fresina is here today to tell us. Jayne’s Regency romance Once Upon a Kiss, stars a heroine after our own hearts, she’s a member of the Book Club Belles, who are reading Austen in real time! We had to know more. Take it away, Jayne!
During the Regency period in England, several authors were making names for themselves with popular novels. Among them, of course, was Jane Austen — although she did not put her name on her work and was known simply as "A Lady.” When her first books were published, rumors abounded as to the actual identity of the author. One reader (a man, obviously) even refused to believe Pride and Prejudice was written by a woman as it was "much too clever"!
What a surprise it would be to Miss Austen if she knew her books were still enjoyed today, and were constantly re-imagined in various film and TV versions.
What do you do when the growing number of new reads causes your wallet to shrink uncomfortably? Shop the e-book deals, of course! In this column we highlight some of our favorite book buys that will cost you less than a medium-sized coffee. All prices listed are accurate at the time of this blog's posting.
Come the Night by Christina Skye
If there was one single panel I wasn't sure about attending, it was the Sex and God: Not-So-Strange Bedfellows panel that took place at RT Booklovers' Con on Thursday afternoon.
Those who follow my Twitter may be aware that I have a long and involved history with religion, including 16 years of Catholic school (yes, even college). But as I've reached adulthood and tried to come to grips with the issues plaguing the Catholic Church, I've drifted farther and farther from any sort of spirituality. The idea of listening to four authors talking about why God should be present in romance novels worried me a bit.
Wow, was I wrong.
It was actually Tiffany Reisz's involvement that led me to the panel; I've often had very frank conversations with her (most on Twitter) about religion, especially as it's applied to her books. But it was the moderation and input of authors Amber Belldene and Alice Gaines and editor Christa Soule that got me hooked.
Every month my To-Be-Read pile grows to frightening new heights thanks to the host of shiny new books that release each week. And as we head into the summery month of June, we’re all surely in need of new reading material for afternoons in the park and days spent on the beach. So to help you find your next read, I’ve curated a collection of June YA releases you and I absolutely need to read. Take a look:
First up, we have Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern, which releases June 3. In this John Green meets Rainbow Rowell YA contemporary, Amy, who has cerebral palsy, and Will, who has OCD, find their lives unexpectedly entwined as they navigate life, school and first love. I’m so excited to see how Cammie portrays these two characters, especially Amy because one of my best friends has cerebral palsy.
Next up is Kat Rosenfield’s Inland, which I recently read and loved! It’s a chilling and beautifully written story about family secrets, self-awareness and mental illness, complete with a dash of fantasy to steer readers in a hundred different directions. Luckily, you don’t have to wait too long since the book releases on June 12!
Ah, classic literary fiction. It can be so wonderful, but at times dense, leaving us wishing for a guide to lead us through the venerable prose. Enter: Italian artist and writer Francesco D'Isa, who reviews the classics in a candid, tongue-in-cheek (and very short) way. We're happy to bring his column, "Very Short Reviews of Difficult Books," to English language readers! Check back here every Wednesday for three new reviews from Francesco.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
"And this also has been one of the dark places of the earth" says Marlowe looking at London. Civilization is savage — which is, of course, the horror.
Plot: The horror!
Rating: 97 out of 100
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Some drugs offer speldor to the mind; Burroughs takes some of them, but his visions are often too out of his hands to be communicative and can be boring. Sometimes you need control, at least so you don't shoot your wife for fun.
Plot: A guy takes drugs and sees things.
Rating: 70 out of 100
There's always room in your brain for more knowledge, especially when attending an event like the RT Booklovers Convention where authors and other publishing professionals engage attendees in smart conversations about the world of books. Author Christi Barth learned a thing or two while in NOLA for this year's RT Con, and today she's sharing the top five things she learned. Take a look:
My friends mock me, because I never sleep in at a conference or take time to sightsee. I go to every hour of panels possible, and proudly sport the dark undereye circles to prove it.
Jon Fine, Amazon’s Director of Author & Publishing Relations, said that “the most sophisticated, nurturing and intelligent writers in the country are romance writers.” Sure, I like starting this article on a high note, but I also agree. RT is a place where you get to rub elbows and talk shop with so many different people. Authors and agents and publishers who are scarily smart and sharp and witty and warm and welcoming and lovely. Here's what I learned this year:
Christi Barth (right) "toasting (alligator) balls" with authors Lea Nolan and Eliza Knight
It’s really no secret that the big screen adaptation of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars is easily the most anticipated movie of the summer for booklovers everywhere, who are probably in the midst of re-reading the book for the umpteenth time and stockpiling Kleenex in preparation. Don’t worry, we’re pretty stoked, too, and are almost prepared for all the feels.
But before the film hits theatres and makes us all sob as if we’re listening to an Adele song, we have an exciting giveaway for all you eager fans! Thanks to 20th Century Fox, one lucky winner will win a $25 Visa gift card to see the movie in theatres, one copy of the movie-tie-in edition of the book and an exclusive tote bag! This contest is open to US residents only and will conclude this Friday. To enter, simply fill out the widget below — good luck!
“I’m an inner 13-year-old at an ‘N Sync concert!” confessed Smart Bitches, Trashy Books’ Sarah Wendell as she settled in for a 10AM chat with beloved historical and contemporary romance author Lisa Kleypas at the RT Convention in NOLA. And she wasn’t the only one squeeing over Kleypas: Those attending on that bright and busy Thursday morning were just as excited to hear from their favorite scribe!
Lisa Kleypas chatting with a fan
A reader brought two vintage Kleypas books to be signed!
Photo credit: The above images are courtesy of Sarah Wendell
Lisa told us that the first romance she read was The Flame and the Flower, and the thrill of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ dark hero Brandon was not so much his meanness but how he grew to love his heroine, Heather. “Here’s this mean guy doing nice things for her — that’s hot!” she said. Unsurprisingly, the first novel she wrote, at the age of 21, was “very imitative of Kathleen Woodiwiss.”
Kim Harrison, Larissa Ione, Kresley Cole and P.C. Cast
Three out of four authors at the 2014 RT Convention paranormal romance and urban fantasy author chat are wrapping up a beloved series this year, but fans in attendance didn’t let it dampen the festive atmosphere—especially since the authors provided exciting hints about their upcoming projects. Kim Harrison, P.C. Cast, Larissa Ione and Kresley Cole — four of the biggest names in the paranormal and romance and urban fantasy arenas—regaled the crowd with tales about their favorite characters and scenes, with plenty of jokes about cannibals, zombies and mutilation. In other words, it was just another day at the 2014 RT Booklovers Convention.