RT Daily Blog

Sarah Jio On Beauty Where You Least Expect It

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 25, 2011 | PERMALINK

Author Sarah Jio talks about making revisions to her mainstream manuscript and the unexpected impact of tiny details — both in life and fiction.

Shortly after I sold my novel to Penguin, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work on the pre-publication editing process. My editor, the lovely and always insightful Denise Roy at Penguin, suggested that we add few new threads to the book. So, I spent several months working on these revisions, often thinking about creative ideas and solving plot problems on my daily 3-mile jogs around my neighborhood in Seattle. One day, while huffing and puffing through my usual route, I glanced down by the roadside and noticed a brilliant carpet of purple flowers growing at the edge of someone’s garden. I didn’t think much of them until the following day when I was out in my backyard, and a gardener I hired to do some weeding (I have three young boys and zero time for weeding!) pointed out a peculiar plant sprouting up out of the ground.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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Weekly Web Wrap Up 4/22/2011

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 22, 2011 | PERMALINK

This week we remember Beverly Barton who passed away unexpectedly. The author was beloved for her romantic suspense stories and her series romances. She published her first book in July of 1990 and has since written over seventy five published stories. We will feature a tribute to Ms. Barton in the July issues of RT BOOK REVIEWS.

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HISTORICAL ROMANCE: Head around the world with five new Harlequin books. Take A Trip >>

MYSTERY: Jonanthan Hayes opens up about his thriller hero. Meet Jenner >>

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: Meg Benjamin on her latest Konigsburg book. Learn More >>

URBAN FANTASY: This author’s new heroine restores graves. Who Is It? >>

FANTASY: Catherynne M. Valente re-tells a Russian fairy tale. Learn How >>


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Tags: RT Daily Blog
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Which New Paranormal Historical Romance Should You Be Reading?

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 22, 2011 | PERMALINK

This month we noticed a spike in paranormal activity in our historical section. With so many fabulous new tales coming out, we’ve created a quiz to help you find the historical story that will satisfying your particular paranormal craving. Should you be picking up the latest from Amanda Quick or are you in the mood to get bitten by Colleen Gleason’s newest novel? We can help you figure it out with our handy quiz!

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Which setting do you prefer to read about?
A) Victorian England
B) Medieval England
C) Regency England
D) Sixteenth Century Scotland

Choose your favorite ‘feature creature’.
A) Psychic
B) Shapeshifter
C) Vampire
D) Fairy

What’s your heroic ‘type’?
A) Paranormal Hunter
B) Cursed Warrior
C) Guardian Vampire
D) Highland Laird

Which heroine do you relate to the most?
A) An independent woman who fights her own battles
B) An innocent lady engaged to another
C) A brave sister protecting her family
D) A magical fairy princess

Which movie do you like the best?
A) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
B) Ladyhawke (1985)
C) Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
D) Willow (1986)

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If you choose mostly A’s:


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Romance
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Win The Latest Inspirational Novels From Denise Hunter And Colleen Coble

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 22, 2011 | PERMALINK

Today we chat with two inspirational authors about their newest releases and then giveaway copies of each book at the end of the post. First up we ask Denise Hunter questions about her new contemporary romance, A Cowboy’s Touch. Then we discuss The Lightkeeper’s Ball, a historical fiction set in the early 1900s, with author Colleen Coble. And don’t forget to enter below to win your own copies of these two great novels!

Denise, what inspired you to write a book about the life of a cowboy in your recent book A Cowboy's Touch?

There’s something very earthy and organic about a cowboy’s life. I was drawn by the idea of living off the land. I think it takes us to a simpler time and place—even though the life of a cowboy is not necessarily simple! And Montana is such a beautiful state. I thought my readers might like to journey there with me through story.

Can you tell us a little about what you have learned about the cowboy lifestyle while doing research for this book?

I learned a lot of fascinating details about the workings of a ranch: branding, breeding, cattle disease, etc. But what I came away with is a great respect for cowboys and their families. Those who choose this way of life do it because they love it. It’s not easy, and it’s not for the faint of heart. 

Abigail’s title at her job is “the Truthseeker.” What is the significance of this title, and what do you think a real truthseeker does?

I thought it would be interesting to write about a protagonist whose job was to seek the truth and have her find out that she was missing the real Truth the whole time. Since Jesus is the Truth, a real truthseeker follows Him.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Inspirational
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Authors Pip Ballantine And Tee Morris On Phoenix Rising's Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 22, 2011 | PERMALINK

This month co-authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris begin their Steampunk series with Phoenix Rising. The story surrounds the events at the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. With a name like that, we knew we had to ask the authors what this department is all about.

peculiar
adjective
strange or odd; unusual : his accent was a peculiar mixture of Cockney and Irish.
• [ predic. ] informal slightly and indefinably unwell; faint or dizzy : I felt a little peculiar for a while, but I'm absolutely fine now.

occurrence
noun
an incident or event : vandalism used to be a rare occurrence.
• the fact or frequency of something happening : the occurrence of cancer increases with age.
• the fact of something existing or being found in a place or under a particular set of conditions : the occurrence of natural gas fields.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Science Fiction
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Morgan & Whitney Dish: The Peach Keeper By Sarah Addison Allen

BY MORGAN, APRIL 21, 2011 | PERMALINK

This week we read The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen at Whitney’s request. A big fan of the author’s previous works, Whitney loves these Southern family-style dramas with more than a hint of magic. 

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Whitney: Welcome to the wonderful world of Sarah Addison Allen novels! I’ve been hooked ever since I read Garden Spells, which I consider mandatory reading for anyone with adult sisters. 

Morgan: This is my first Allen, but not my last. Question: Are all of her books so well constructed? It can’t be easy writing a story with an unlikely friendship, two romances, a long forgotten mystery and magic.

Whitney: They each have their own distinct plotline and quirky characters, but they are all strong stories. My favorite part of SAA’s writing is the way that magic flows through her stories without them ever becoming fantasy tales. She has such a light touch with these elements.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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Video Interview With Author Kelley Armstrong

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 21, 2011 | PERMALINK

Author Kelley Armstrong has just released her latest paranormal YA tale, this month's The Gathering. Today the author chats with RT's Senior Editor Elissa Petruzzi about her new series which is set in the same world as her previous YA trilogy but introducing all new characters. (Armstrong revealed to us that she was "terrified" while writing this, because she knew that her fans had high expectations for the finished novel.) Armstrong also discusses the way that her novels appeal to teens who consider themselves "outsiders" but how in reality everyone has things that set them apart from the crowd and these differences should be embraced. And after the video, don't miss your chance to check out an excerpt of The Gathering.

Kelley Armstrong on The Gathering >>

More From The RT BOOK REVIEWS Video Channel >>

Read the excerpt of The Gathering >>


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Young Adult
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Cozy Corner: Author Interview With Virginia Lowell On Her Sweet New Series

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 20, 2011 | PERMALINK

Today we get a chance to chat with mystery author Virginia Lowell about her new series that kicks off with this month's Cookie Dough or Die. We knew we needed to get a special look at how Lowell cooked up this small town romp that will satisfy any mystery-lover with a sweet tooth!

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What were the easiest things about writing Cookie Dough or Die and what were the most challenging aspects of the story?
The easiest part was, of course, the cookies and cookie cutters. I loved writing scenes where I could sink into my senses and enjoy the tastes, the smells, the visual beauty of decorated cookies. It was great fun to research cookie cutters and imagine ways to use them in the mystery. The most challenging aspects…? I’d have to say, the suspect list— weaving together the characters and lives of potential murderers so that each might seem to have a convincing motive for killing an otherwise admirable victim.

Cookie Dough or Die has Olivia racing to uncover a killer and clear her good name after she is accused of murdering her mentor, Clarisse. Can you share the most valuable piece of advice Clarisse ever gave Olivia?
When Olivia was thinking about starting a business and wondering what she should sell, Clarisse told her, “Follow your loves. If you love cookie cutters, don’t sell lawn mowers.” So Olivia opened The Gingerbread House and found that her passion for cookie cutters gave her the energy and drive to keep going. It also helped her solve Clarisse’s murder.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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Sneak Peek: Samantha James' The Sins of Viscount Sutherland

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 20, 2011 | PERMALINK

RT brings readers an exclusive first look at Samantha James' upcoming Regency romance. Get a special look at this new novel that puts a twist on the classic revenge tale as we go beyond the back cover blurb with the book's author!

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The Sins of Viscount Sutherland is the first in my brand new series, the Lords of Sheffield Square. I, like so many readers, love those dark and sexy heroes. This book features such a man, Viscount Grayson Sutherland, who is (obviously!) a sinner, a rogue, a rake . . . on it goes. Yes, he’s a bad boy. Yes, there’s vengeance. Murder. Revenge. I think there’s a classic appeal to this romantic theme, just as there is with the marriage-of-convenience, the kind of story that has an everlasting appeal. Because each story -- each hero and heroine- - is unique. They have a story of their own to tell.

When Gray came alive in my mind, I knew he’d be one of the darkest heroes I’d ever created. Gray is reckless and dangerous. His life had once been so perfect. But all that changed in the space of an instant. Fate had left him battered and embittered and forever lost. He has hardened his himself against everything and everyone.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Romance
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On The Bookshelves Tuesday 4/19/2010

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 19, 2011 | PERMALINK

Here's a look at the titles we love that hit shelves this week.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog
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