I think you nailed it for me! Me, personally, I like when the sexual tension is drawn out and there is a lot of feeling behind it.
Also, My MIL just read Tongue in Chic and she absolutely loved it. She went out and bought as many of your book as she could find. lol…
I think you did a pretty darn good job interpreting Christina. Let me just say that I do love the cover art for your new book, Touch of Darkness, and am excited to read it when it comes out.
I think one thing that was clear in the poll results is the varying taste that everyone has. It looks pretty even to me and you can never please everyone, so some readers will like it and some won’t.
This is my very first comment, so hopefully you will bear with me.
First off, I’ve really enjoyed most of your books, Christina, as I’ve not had a chance to read them all, but in them I find you leave just enough sexual tension to make me want more.
Over the years, I’ve built up quite a library of books that I tend to reread over because of the quality, but I have to say I have been a little reluctant in purchasing newer releases mainly because of the really rushed and unsatisfying endings. I feel as if i’m reading the same books over and over again.
As a voracious reader, I have a few suggestions.
The hero doesn’t always have to be the one that is sexually knowledgeable. Case in point. The Naked Duke by Sally Mackenzie was a really refreshing change from the norm. The hero had saved himself. Imagine that!
Also, there isn’t enough sexual tension. I like to read scenes with clever dialogue full of innuendo. That’s when I know the making love scene will be great.
And I want the main characters to really fall in love, not lust. Simple as that.
Whew! Got that off my chest.
I love your books, and I can’t wait to read Touch of Darkness.
I would agree with you Christina. My Big Complaint is that there is little romance becuase something else overpowers to romance story. I love it when the books are about the relationship and that’s it. I keep thinking of SEP becuase her books are so wonderful and gut wrenching and really all she does is focus on the relationship and the character development in such a way that you too fall in love with the hero and heroine.
BTW, I’m glad you showed editors and publishors this. it might help them get a better feel of the genre’s audience.
I agree with a lot of what Lilyfleur said. I think the relationship is overpowered in a lot of books by external elements, and therefore I don’t feel like there is a really strong connection between the characters because there is always another distraction that has either one or both focused elsewhere.
Not to say that it can’t be done. JR Ward does a fabulous job, imo, of making me believe the h/h belong together in each of her stories. Brockmann’s another one.
I also like authors to shake things up, and not fall back on the same things: the female virgin or the woman who never enjoyed sex before the hero, or the cop/lawyer/corporate raider. I want rock stars! Sports figures, actors. Settings in Canada or the Bahamas or Amsterdam. Variety is the spice of life.
OMG!!! Look @ that cover!!!!!!!!
ok, now I have to go back and read and comment on the post .
Wow… those results are very interesting! I think your analysis is spot on. And I’ve read a few books like Rene has mentioned… sometimes the back cover doesn’t do it justice, or sometimes it reads as if it’s for a different book.
You sure hit most of my flash points, Christina.
Cover art - When people are on the cover I get an immediate (and firm) image of how they look. When the hero on the cover is slim and blonde that’s how I envision him. When I read in the story about the muscled hero with hair black as night it throws me completely out of the story and drives me nuts.
Editing is another big one for me. Hate, hate, hate misspelled words and improper use of language, especially when the mistakes are made over and over in the same book. I actually read a book the other day where ‘lose’ (as in I don’t want to lose you) was spelled ‘loose’. Arrrrrgh!
First of all, tbermea, welcome—and thanks for making your first comment!
And from an author’s point of view… can I just say (without whining too much) how hard writing is? There’s so many things out of an author’s control - like cover art, for example. And yet weirdly enough, the things that ARE in your control (like sexual tension) sometimes feel as if they aren’t either.
I love books in which the heroine and hero take off and write themselves. It happens, believe me! I know it sounds woo-woo, but it’s a fact.
Still, I worry about those books, especially if there’s a strong subplot that might steal some of the limelight. Or when the hero and heroine just want to fall in love in chapter one, and that’s what they insist on doing!
Basically, writers worry--but there’s nothing better than revisiting what readers are looking for. So thank you to everyone who took the time to comment and fill out the poll!
Oh, I forgot about the back cover blurb! How annoying is that? I agree, when it is incorrect, or *gasp* missing, I really get annoyed!
Yes, yes on the cover art. There are so many good ways to depict the story, theme etc.. it’s a bugaboo constantly to me.
I also have to agree with PJ and others about the copy editing.. all the mistakes, sometimes!
Lilyfleur, your avatar is beautiful! Makes me want to go to an art museum!
LOVE the cover on TOUCH OF DARKNESS!
I read two books this week that kept me in the story from page one to the final word, had tears streaming down my face and left me satisfied but still wanting more. They were CAPTIVES OF THE NIGHT by Loretta Chase and MC KETTRICK’S HEART by Linda Lael Miller.
Both could stand alone but were much more meaningful for me because they were each part of a series and I had gotten to know (or thought I had) main characters before reading “their story”.
Well, I just want to say--what a gorgeous cover, Xtina! That blue is sumptuous!
Interesting results and great analysis Christina! Also, that really is a beautiful cover. Lucky you!
A few comments:
Virgin/Too Experienced issue--it bothers me when the heroine is either if it’s contrary to the story. A very experienced Regency miss-WRONG! A cluelessly virginal 32 y.o. contemporary woman-WRONG! It needs to fit the time and the character. I’m not saying there can’t be contemporary virgins or knowledgeable misses, but explain to me why she is this way! Actually, I think all the Squawkers do this very well.
Editing: I agree. Lots more mistakes these days and it’s very upsetting. We know it’s not necessarily the author’s fault though.
Too much too say it seems. I have to break this up....
Covers: Art not matching is very distracting. Back blurb not matching=false advertising IMO and is very annoying. Almost as annoying is when the back blurb gives away MAJOR “surprise” plot twists. Cause, yanno, I read the back cover and so I know I’m not surprised. Bummer.
As for the romance, I agree that it’s a balancing act. I really enjoy an action-packed suspense or mystery, but often finish the book thinking that the couple will never make it now that the crisis is over. Which is sad, because I WANT to believe in HEA, but tend to be a realist. I’m not sure there’s a solution for this. As others have said, you can’t please all the people all of the time, and what works for me won’t necessarily work for someone else.
BTW, the Squawkers really work for me.
Whew! I’ll be quiet now!
I too was fascinated by the poll and Kudos Christina for even thinking of it!
Yes I like sexual tension and romance, etc...but I don’t like waitinng until the last 1/3 of the book for a great love scene either.
Romance Magazine (?) rates new release romance according to how steamy they are. I would love for this to make it’s way to the bookcovers. Sometimes you might see a blurb that says “Smith writes highly sensual..” or “becoming know for her erotic tales” . But I’d like more specific.
I might add that up until a few years ago, most romance seemed deeper, more intense in emotion. I as a reader, have felt like it has turned into “how fast can publisher get a popular author’s next book to print”. This has been admitted by several best-selling authors. And it shows.
Thank you thank you for listening and showing that you care!
Oh, can’t wait for the new series Christina. And SUGAR DADDY should be at my doorstep today!
I kneel humbly before you, o wise Squawk Radio readers! Imagine! A romantic love story at the center of a romance! Heroes and heroines who act and react across a spectrum of emotions, but within the mores of their day! Sensual scenes that are about emotion, not mechanics! Books that are produced and published in a manner worthy of the content provided by the authors.
I believe you represent the majority of romance readers—even those who don’t hang on the Inet. And I hope your voices continue to be heard loudly and clearly.
Thanks for offering up the survey, Christina and Squawk Chicks. What a great idea.
Sometimes I think it’s sad that really lush, vivid descriptions in the beginning of a book are automatically thought of as a “no-no” (according to the mountains of writing advice out there). I enjoy lure of a slow story reveal. I don’t need a “wham!” hook at the beginning of every story. I’m willing to give you a chapter or two to paint the scene.
“You had me at the register...”
Nothing that the Sqawkers need to worry about, of course. You all do both the description and the hook beautifully! (nice save, hmmmm?)
And Christina? I read ‘One Kiss From You’ again yesterday in the middle of our never-ending midwest storms. In a word? Yummy! And the pink shiny cover looks pretty on my table, too
I’ll go with the seemingly loss of emotion comment from tami. I can remember crying at almost every great romance I read whether they were tears of heartbreak or tears of joy. I haven’t cried while reading a book for a while. Other than PFP and Guhrke’s ATHKH, I can’t think of any that have made me cry lately.
The cover art really is a problem but it could be solved by just not putting people on the cover. Plenty of books have flowers or sunsets or lockets or whatever from the story. That seems like a really simple solution.
It’s great to know you ladies are so willing to listen to our input. I don’t think you need it since you seem to have this writing thing down (*g*) but it’s still nice that you ask.
Xtina, I loved the poll, found it fascinating reading everyone’s comments, and I agree that your analysis is bang on.
It’s funny that you posted that poll and immediately I read three bad romances in a row - and knew exactly why I didn’t like them. All three (a) put the romance secondary to either lust or suspense (b) made the heroine’s biggest conflict against the romance an inconsequential decision she would have made on day one if she had a spine and (c) made her completely subservient to the will of the hero. And one seemingly had no idea how many hours there are in a day. Argh.
Gillian - I agree completely! I love reading the original Tarzan books in large part because the descriptions are so lush and vivid and multidimensional. I also love how Burroughs manages to explain away a long passage of time in a few brief sentences in a way that has you picturing in your mind exactly what happened. It doesn’t feel like a “And three weeks later, let’s carry on with the story” jump. Instead, the story actually spans time rather than jumping over the inconvenient bits as so many modern books do. It adds so much richness to the book.
Tami - I agree that many books feel rushed. Have you ever thought publishers should publish more new authors rather than rushing their existing authors? I do. (Mind you, I’m also an aspiring author, so I’m biased LOL.)
My view on romances today versus 10 or 20 years ago is that I’m different now so I’m reading differently. When I was 12 and reading a romance book under the covers in my room, I was completely swept away. It was easy to leave my cares of an Algebra test and be lost. Then, 10 years later, when I read the book at college, nostalgia took me back to where I was when I first read the book. The book wasn’t worse than the other books, I just remember it being so.
I’ve also always thought romance publishing is still a business. It’s going to publish what sells which is why there are less Westerns/Americana books, I believe, and why so many books take places in the same old locations. However, do we read those familiar books because that’s what’s being offered in the bookstore or because that’s what we prefer as a public? Sometimes, I think I embrace a new book just because it’s different. That said, when I was younger, I loved the exotic locations and sweeping epics. Now, I read differently so I always say that, yes, the industry and the books are different, but I’m different, too.
Great job, Christina! Also great cover, love the colors.
My two are definitely: Not enough romance, with the couple, like the old fashion wooing. That’s why, sometimes, I like a book that the hero knows the heroine is the one for him, right from the first glance/first chapter and then tries to woo her. Also the point: Not enough time spent getting to know the hero and heroine as a person. Sometimes you know a little more about those characters in an authors next book. I’d also like to add that I’d like a Historical that makes me laugh out loud. I would like to read a Historical/Regency Romp sort of a la Georgette Heyer. I’ve come to realize that most Historicals have their moments that make you smile but not laugh out loud and look forward to the next fiasco that the hero/heroine get into.
Thank you guys for all the input! I’m glad you agree with my analysis, and man, I wish I’d remembered those extra points on the poll. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many people voted for editing? Or rushed endings?
I was enthusiastically working over the stats last night and finally realized I had a dissertation and not a blog, so I hit the delete button a couple of times. There is so much info here and a lot of ways to think about it. The top vote-getter (altho still only with 12%) was “Heroine who does dumb things to advance the plot.” I wanted to say I agree, but that’s one that always seems as if it’s a judgment call.
I once read a book where the heroine did the same dumb thing THREE times and couldn’t figure out why it was a problem. So I quit reading. But this is one of the most popular books by one of the most popular writers today, so apparently no one but me cared.
On PRINCE KIDNAPS A BRIDE, I thought I wrote a charmingly innocent woman, and got an email blasting me for writing a woman who was so stupid she let the prince manipulate her. (Her last sentence was, “I’m going to stick with inteliigent romance like Eloisa James,” so of course I told Eloisa to stop writing me. ) But the woman was really upset, it was an honest reaction, and I was sorry it hit her that way.
April Adams said..."My MIL just read Tongue in Chic and she absolutely loved it. She went out and bought as many of your book as she could find.”
April, I love your MIL!
pj, thank you for the book recommends. I mean, not that I need more books on my tbr pile, but what with the new bookshelves, at least I have room.
Gillian said..."I think it’s sad that really lush, vivid descriptions in the beginning of a book are automatically thought of as a “no-no” I don’t need a “wham!” hook at the beginning of every story.”
Now, that I think is a function of modern life. No one has time to read a leisurely story, they want to (in the immortal words of Danny Kaye) get in, get on with it, and get out.
And thank you for letting me know you re-read ‘One Kiss From You.’ Now that is one of my few books where I not only know the first line (because I like it so much) but that first meet between the hero and heroine where he “helps” her off the stool is burned into my mind. That’s one I think I did right.
I agree with most things said above but I do have a few other points to discuss with you.
I often find myself banging my head on the wall from all the silly and nerve racking situations the heroes and heroines find themselves into. A few misunderstanding every now and then are the best way to forward the plot, of course but why do most authors think that continuous misunderstanding until the last two pages of the book are interesting?
And then my other point: Resolution comes in the end. In the very very very end. Sometimes that leaves me, the reader completely satisfied because the author has done a very good job at resolving the story slowly before the last five pages. But sometimes I find myself reaching the back cover and gaping at how unresolved the story seemed.
I think I’m not the only on with that “turn-off”. A good ending doesn’t mean kiss and make up in the last two pages. The resolution of problems is very important for the readers to get the idea about a couple in love getting their HEA. I always loved epilogues giving glimpses into the married life of a couple.
Insight from the insane...LOL
Michelle Buonfiglio is here! And she’s being sarcastic! LOL, Michelle, are you saying this stuff should be obvious? Well, sometimes, we forget ...
april said..."My view on romances today versus 10 or 20 years ago is that I’m different now so I’m reading differently.”
VERY good point. There’s a chance that us Old Duffers loved the early romances because they were fresh and new, we’d hadn’t already read every scenario, and we still could be surprised. (I’m feeling Old Duffer glares.)
Thank you, everyone, for your praise about the cover for TOUCH OF DARKNESS. I can assure you, the guy does look right—I had to add a tattoo to make sure of it. But isn’t it beautiful?
terrio said..."The cover art really is a problem but it could be solved by just not putting people on the cover. Plenty of books have flowers or sunsets or lockets or whatever from the story. That seems like a really simple solution.”
Yes, you’re right, Terrio, but people like to see the couple on the covers. And I always remember the immortal words of the late, great Arnette Lamb, when she looked at a flowery cover and called it a “Kotex Box cover.”
Try and get that image out of your mind now.
I have to commend all of you for taking the time to read all our comments and the fact that you forwarded them to your editors is simply marvelous. I know they are intelligent people who will take it all under advisement and act on them in their next projects.
The poll was spot on and reflected discussions and blogs that I have been involved in. I, too, miss sexual tension that simmers off the page. It still happens but not with the frequency I enjoy. Ditto for the hero and heroine jumping right into bed too early in the book.
I can’t remember if we touched on this topic but infidelity in a marriage just tears it for me. It’s usually the hero who continues to have a mistress or goes after his lost love. In my eyes that’s no hero, that’s a ‘too many curse words strung together to type here’.
And LaDodd, LOVE the cover!! Very subtle and sexy...delish! Can I ask if this family is one you refer to in TIC? That wine making Russian family in WA? Just curious....
I don’t have much to add that someone else hasn’t already said. I just wanted to add my voice and put in my two cents worth. My one biggest complaint is editing. I agree with whoever (sorry I can’t remember who) that when reading you get drawn into the story and then hit something like that it just jerks you out! Annoying!!
Psst, Christina, there’s a typo at the end of your blog! Sorry, my mother was a stickler for grammar.
"That’s a function of modern life. Get in, Get on with it, Get out”
Shoot. That’s NOT why I read, specifically because that is my life. The kids, the work, the darling husband who’s waving as he runs out the door (again).
I’ll make/take time for a leisurely read. It’s sad to think we’re “cramming” them in. You all are just too pleasurable to rush through. I like my romances with a glass of wine, chocolate, and a locked door--even though it’s usually in the SUV, with a Coke, waiting for the kids to get out of whatever.
Crud. Stop being right, Christina.
Xtina wrote: Michelle Buonfiglio is here! And she’s being sarcastic! LOL, Michelle, are you saying this stuff should be obvious? Well, sometimes, we forget ...
No, no, no! Not at all… What I meant was, there’s this vocal minority that kvetches about how heroines in historicals are too weak and virginal, that the guys are too alpha. And others keep calling thrillers or mysteries with a love scene or two “romances.”
I’ve kept saying, “Ask the readers! They’ll tell you what romance is. They’ll tell you what they really want.”
And that’s exactly what the Squawk viewers have done. I can’t tell you how much more sane it made me feel. Before, I just kept thinking, “maybe I don’t know anything about romance...”
Santa said..."I can’t remember if we touched on this topic but infidelity in a marriage just tears it for me.”
Me, too, Santa. Good call.
And Santa said, “Can I ask if this family is one you refer to in TIC? That wine making Russian family in WA?”
Wow. Another good call. You read hard, don’t you???
AnneriAilin said..."Psst, Christina, there’s a typo at the end of your blog!”
Now, see, Ann, this is why authors need copyeditors. I can’t see it. Where?
Michelle, I was just pulling your lariette. (which is spelled wrong, sorry, Ann!) I totally agree with you about asking the readers, but still, the thing I think really came out of the poll is that there are so many different opinions and not one predominates. That’s got to be why romance is so successful. There are so many different kinds of romance and so many different romance readers and it’s a huge, burgeoning, magnificent publishing phenom!!!
Um, do you think I’m getting a little obsessive?
I’m listening to anything you say, so speak now because I’ve writing a new romantic suspense and I need all the input I can get!
Sorry, Christina, I’m not usually such a pain. I usually just overlook things like this. But since we were talking about editing, I thought it fit. And it just goes to show how easily things can get overlooked.
“...the thing I think really came out of the poll is that there are so many different opinions and not one predominates.”
Doesn’t make the job any easier, does it?
I think the great cover art debate, whenever it surfaces, shows just how diverse romance readers are in their views.
Personally, I can’t stand the clinch covers with the hero’s shirt unbuttoned to the waist and the back of the heroine’s dress unzipped/unbuttoned. And the air blowing their hear back oh-so-artfully of course.
When I came back to romance, covers were in the discreet floral stage. Now we’re back to shameless foreplay. I know that’s supposed to be what the readers like. Not this reader.
(Yeah, I understand that the harried mother rushing past the book section at WalMart will know without a doubt that THIS BOOK is a romance).
I’m also about ready to boycott any title that includes the words: naked, seducing, bedding, etc. Try and explain to one’s husband, one’s teenage daughters, and the world in general that romance novels are about much more then sex when what they see on the cover and in the title is sex, sex, sex.
Oops...that was supposed to be
“...the air blowing their HAIR back...”
You won’t hear anything about lack of proofreading from me!
I am sick to death of books in which the hero and/or heroine fall in instant lust and then internally monologue about it for the next five hundred year… err, pages.
And I hate historicals that are modern stories in fancy dress. I recently read what was basically one of the “Shopoholic” boosk set in the regency. When I wanna read Sophie Kinsella, I’ll read Sophie Kinsella!
To me, what it comes down to are a few suggestions for both writers & editors. For writers (those of the non-squawker variety):
1. Have a heroine that’s believable. Not wimpy, not stupid. If she makes mistakes, make sure we know what’s going thru her head and that the situation she’s in is not devised to help a weak plot along.
2. Make the hero believable & interesting. He doesn’t have to be Tall, Dark & Handsome to be an alpha male - Just look at the popularity of Suzanne Brockman’s Wild Card Karmody or Mary Balogh’s flawed characters.
3. We love sexual tension & witty dialogue. If they jump into bed right away, there needs to be a reason. One long sex-a-thon just doesn’t do it for most of us.
4. Take the time to wrap up the story and give us that satisfied ahhhhhh!
5. For older readers, the story doesn’t necessarily have to have a particluar dark moment… the H&H can be working on their particular problem’s throughout the book. It’s how they interact that captures us.
1. Get the author’s input regarding book covers. Some of the stuff the art department picks has absolutely no bearing on the story between the pages. And that turns us off. Personally, I like the covers that show just the bods of the couple because you don’t get a disconnect with the description in the story.
2. Just because a sub-genre becomes popular - e.g. neck-biters, erotica - doesn’t mean that you should encourage only those submissions. Romance readers like diversity and will continue to read a variety of genres as long as the quality is good - and some of us will always love a good historical.
3. Encourage new authors, sponsor more contests - keep that variety out there!
4. Put out more anthologies that couple new writers with established writers so we get to know them.
5. Don’t repackage an old work by a popular author (even if previously unpub’d by that author) and try to pass it off as new writing. We can tell.
6. Don’t rush your authors - give them the time to write the story the way it needs to be written. Yes, we know it’s a business, but we’re also paying for a good book.
Christina said: “Do you think I interpreted the poll correctly?’
Hell yes. Good God, I don’t know how creative and numbers oriented/analytical reside together within your brain, Xtina. Thank God you interpreted it for me. But now that I look at the results, it’s very telling, isn’t it?
Kind of gives me, as a burgeoning writer, hope.
I’m cutting and pasting this one.
And I’m waiting for your bookshelves.
I’ve stopped reading romance. I’ve picked up several books lately, read the first 8 pages or so and thought ‘ah. well now I know she’s a. and b. and he’ll be c. and the tension will be something stupid like d. and the resolution will bore me.’ And when I flip through the book, I’m right. NO surprises. I can’t stand it. I’ve got about a dozen books on my bookshelf that I just can’t bear to read. I know there are only so many ways two ppl can come together but does it have to be completely predictable??
The big problem with romance novels lately? A good writer is an ARTIST. Would you censor a painter or a sculptor? I think the public would have a problem with that. Let the author write what he/she wants. I can’t imagine someone told Hemingway not to write about Pamplona ‘cause no one’s heard of it. The buying public is a bit smarter than we’re given credit for by ‘marketing execs’.
Romance readers are a sure thing, market wise. We’ll buy whatever’s out there because that’s what’s available. If it was only Westerns, pretty sure we’d all buy them. Are Regencies the most popular or is it just that there’s no other option now?
This is why Douglas Adams put marketing execs on the B Ark. Incidentally, I’m surprised he got published ‘cause who would want to read a sci-fi comedy type book with strong political/social observations?
I think that if we get an original story, written as a BOOK and not as a GENRE it will be hugely successful. Art and entertainment do not work as formulas. Harry Potter is NOT written as a children’s book. It’s written like a proper novel with mysteries and deaths and celebrations and everything you need to inhabit this universe. That is why it works. If she had written it as a children’s book it would have been just another forgotten fantasy novel written for children.
Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books are mysteries but they still manage to be very romantic. Same with Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books. They don’t follow the genre rules and they are standouts because of it.
Oh and my big turn off after poor editing, bad cover art, and unrealistic characters..stupid stupid STUPID misunderstandings that become the ENTIRE conflict. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read where I just wanted to SCREAM at the heroine. JUST ASK HIM!!!!! Definitely takes me right out of the book. How many times have their stupid assumptions been right? None. I’d like just once, for the heroine to see the hero with some woman and for him to really be doing what she thinks he is. Now THAT is conflict. That requires resolution. Actually, didn’t Eloisa do this in one of her books?
Don’t end your book on a Ta-Dah!!. it’s not believable and it’s not satisfying. just stop it.
‘kay..I’m very cranky today I haven’t read a new book in weeks.
"A kotex box cover!” That’s too much . . . thanks Christina - now I’ll never forget that image too. Loved the poll and big thank you for taking the time to hear out our opinions. I think Eloisa said it best ---- writers worry. I can’t imagine how tough it is to create something you feel is authentic and so personal in many ways - to then have an audience shred it apart. I gather that’s part of the whole writing experience. For what its worth --- we’re self-professed squawk radio fans, so you have to be doing something right, eh?
Ann, I’m serious. I cannot see a typo at the end of my blog. I’m not as bad as some writers around here who can’t even use spellcheck, but I truly do read over most missed words, extra words, misspelled words. I totally depend on a copy editor.
LizJ said, “I’m also about ready to boycott any title that includes the words: naked, seducing, bedding, etc. Try and explain to one’s husband, one’s teenage daughters, and the world in general that romance novels are about much more then sex when what they see on the cover and in the title is sex, sex, sex.”
LOL! Oh, just tell them the books are all about sex. Maybe they’ll read one!
J, the bookshelves are up. Cool, huh?!?
Stacey, bummer about not reading. Maybe try a different genre? Mystery? S-F? Watch a lot of TV until you run screaming back to your bookshelves?
midwestgal, you’re welcome. Now that I’ve put the “Kotex box cover” label in your mind, my works is done.
(abashed) Oh. Finally saw the typo. Had to keep going back and reading it out loud. Thank you, Ann.
Love the TOUCH OF DARKNESS cover. I am really looking forward to reading it.
I’ve been in a mood lately and feel myself switching gears again. I want to read something different.
I have been reading several of Linda Lael-Miller’s cowboy romances. Came across her paranormal, FOREVER AND THE NIGHT. I want more of that.
Keep up the terrific work!
Lately I seem to be drawn to books where the hero has a lot to overcome before he can love someone again. I too like books that have more sexual tension, rather than just jumping into bed. I want the writer to draw me in from the first page, and make me care about these people.
Point in fact, I just stayed up until after 1 am to finish Samatha James “The Passions of Simon Blackwell.” I could not put it down. Several pages I read twice just because they touched me so much. You know it is a good book when you wish you had not read it so fast.
Christina, I really like the cover of your new book, and am looking forward to reading it.
You know, the way I look at it, Xtina, is that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. So, why not just do what I like and forget about everyone else. That way you can be sure that you’ve made at least one person happy!
Seriously, I think you did a great job interpreting the poll. And I also think it was just plain nice of you to do it. You guys are obviously doing something right because you keep winding up on the NYT bestsellers list, but you’re not resting on your laurels (?). You are trying to give your fans what they really want and that’s commendable. Thank You.
Geez, I’m really late to the party. I like a romance that makes sense, no matter what time period it’s set in. Witty banter, a sense of humor and a deep connection between the H/H. I also enjoy series and when there are diverse family members in the mix.
What really gets me is when the hero is so alpha. Super handsome, rich, powerful. Super knowledgeable. People catering to every whim. And then what does he fall for? Some little slip of a girl who is also super-everything, knows how to conduct herself in all situations, is wise, witty, beautiful and accomplished, and she’s in the 19-23 age group. Really, how much can you know when you’ve only been on the planet for such a short time? Yet these girls run circles around those alpha males and anyone else in their sphere.
Typos are like a hiccup, as is really light type in the middle of the book.
On a totally unrelated note - today is my third wedding anniversary! Three years of marriage and seven years to that day that I met my hubby (who I met online) in England. Sigh......
And Christina, I have bookshelf envy!
Prudence, I’m going the other way, toward the familiar. The PBS version of Jane Eyre has me Netflixing all the versions and watching them, and re-reading the book. BTW, the Franco Zefferelli version is good, but Wm Hurt did not do a good Rochester. Bummer.
IrishEyes, yes, we do try and give readers what they want (and you especially ), but we’re also writing from our gut, telling the stories that work for us, and that’s why we can’t please all the people all the time. Nobody’s guts are the same.
Ana Maria, Congrats on your wedding anniversary! Romance really does work out sometimes. Thank heavens!