Here's a look at the titles we love that hit shelves this week.
Brenda Novak's new trilogy starter, White Heat, releases today. The novel follows two special operatives working to infiltrate a religious cult deep in the Arizona dessert. It's "page-turning suspense" says RT Reviewer Joyce Morgan, as White Heat demonstrates "how a handful of 'leaders' can manipulate other people to achieve their own ends through a self-made religion." Things are not what they seem in the cult or out. As the story unfolds, readers learn that the two operatives, Rachel and Nate, are partners with a turbulent past.
In a special Author's Message, Novak shares how growing up in Arizona - and the state's "dog days of summer" - inspired her new series. And this excerpt gives fans a feel for that famous burn of White Heat.
And the writing isn't the only thing that's hot about this new series. Tech-savvy Brenda Novak is hosting a party for the series on Twitter on August 4th from 8-10 p.m. (Eastern time). Use the hashtag #bnparty to be part of the conversation!
Yesterday iPad had four erotica novellas listed in its top ten selling books including the number one spot Blonde and Wet, the Complete Story by Carl East. Today the iPad list is curiously free of any erotica literature. Coincidence? Probably not.
If Apple purposefully removed these works from its list, it would not be the first time that the company has attempted to ‘clean up’ its content. Back in February, Steve Jobs made the decision to rid the iPhone App Store of all “overtly sexual content.”
While some may argue that it is up to Apple to decide what types of work they promote, many are crying censorship.
While I normally align myself strongly with the "How dare they?!?" side of these types of debate, I must admit I am torn. Business-wise this move makes good sense to Apple. It is a mainstream company that could have its reputation hurt if it becomes known as a popular purveyor of porn (or what some people consider porn). Also from a financial standpoint, it is in Apple’s best interest to take novellas off their top ten list no matter what the genre considering that many of these titles will sell for under a dollar. Hiding the likes of Big Sis, Six Sexy Stories and other short works makes way for more expensive e-books to be sold.
Mainstream author Shobhan Bantwal chats about her new release, The Unexpected Son , and her reputation for creating "Bollywood in a book." And don't miss the EXCERPT of The Unexpected Son at the end of this post!
When I decided to take up fiction writing at the age of 50, a result of what I call a "menopausal epiphany," I naturally turned to my own Indian-Hindu culture for story ideas, which offers a delicious and intriguing array of topics.
While conflict is part and parcel of every society, it is even more abundant in conservative cultures like India, where love and romance are rarely given credence. The rigid caste system and arranged marriage still exist in contemporary India, dowry abuse is rampant, women are still considered burdens, and dominant males are fierce guardians of their heritage. I grew up in the midst of it all, in a strict Brahmin family. I also had an arranged marriage.
Author Joan Johnston is returning to the west with her new series, Unexpected Brides. So we caught up with the author to get all the details about her new book deal and find out what readers can expect from the series.
RT: Who are these "Unexpected Brides"?
Joan Johnston: My "brides" are all sisters orphaned by the great Chicago fire of 1871. The eldest is being forced out of the orphanage where they've been living the past four years because she's eighteen. She answers a newspaper advertisement for a mail-order bride — from Jesse Creed, a forebear of the Creeds in my New York Times bestselling Bitter Creek series — and brings along her two little brothers! As you might suspect, the western men who end up with these brides discover a woman who's nothing like the bride they expected to marry.
RT: Where in the west are the stories set?
JJ: I think the titles give it away! [They are Texas Bride, Blackthorne’s Bride, Wyoming Bride and Montana Bride.] The first and fourth books are set in Texas. Book two is set in Wyoming and book three is set in Montana.
Two historical romance fans go head-to-head on the importance of historical accuracy in historical romances. When they debate about Renee Bernard's new release, Seduction Wears Sapphires, the author also weighs in on how historical facts influenced her writing.
Lizzie Poteet, one of RT's summer interns, is a stickler for historical accuracy. She says, "I understand that in fiction there is a level of, well, fiction and fantasy. But, I hate it when historicals are blatantly inaccurate that I notice things like medieval garb on a Regency duke or inappropriate speech patterns. My books don’t have to be 100% historically accurate. They just have to make sense."
Taking the opposite stance, RT's Assistant Web Editor Whitney Sullivan doesn't care so much about the facts. "I'd rather the story be fun than completely accurate. I mean, the number of dukes and earls and lords running around all getting married during the same time period ... well there are more Regency novels published than there were titled men looking for (or accidentally finding) women to marry!"
Historical matchmaker Lady Sophia Dalby is the renowned courtesan-turned-lady of Claudia Dain's historical series, The Courtesan Chronicles. Lady Dalby has just had her hands in the midst of the unexpected match between American miss Jane Elliot and the English Duke of Edenham in this month's Daring A Duke. Now, Lady Dalby stops by to answer RT's questions about flirting, men and the true value of scandal. And don't miss the GIVEAWAY at the end of the interview!