Posts tagged with: Julie Garwood

Fast Five Favorite Heroes

We love our heroes here in the Lair, don’t we? 🙂 So I’m going to share with you some of my favorites.

download (1)1. Gabriel  MacBain. Okay, if you know me then you know SAVING GRACE by Julie Garwood is my all time favorite Romance Novel. There is so much to love about this book, but one of the best parts is the hero, Gabriel. The heroine is a widow. Her former husband beat her, often on the advice of his Bishop. She doesn’t want to marry again, but for her safety sake, she must. Her step brother, an Englishman brings her to Scotland to the fiercest, most honorable man he knows. Johanna is still fearful, especially after she meets the large brawny Scot. Then she hears his name. Gabriel, the same name as the patron saint for protection of women and children. And it simply gets better from there!

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2. Hawkeye. I have to tell you this is one of those instances when I loved the movie more than the book. LAST OF THE MOHICANS by James Fenimore Cooper is a classic novel of the American Frontier during the French and Indian Wars. The language is old and the telling very old. But when you see Daniel Day Lewis play Hawkeye. Oh My! And when he takes Clara’s face in his hands and tells her “Stay alive. I will find you!” Oh. Yeah!!

97803129924223. Vane Kattalakis. The very first wolf shape-shifter hero I ever fell head over heels for. Why? Because he loves Bridie McTierney, a plus-size woman with a heart of gold. 🙂 He loves her, he woos her. She’s his mate for life. Vane is the leader of his clan and he protects what’s his, especially Bridie! Yummo! Trust me when I tell you Sherrilyn Kenyon’s NIGHT PLAY is one of my favorite books and Vane is one of my favorite heroes! I’ve loved the were-hunter books because of him. 

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4. Mr. Darcy, of Jane Austin’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Of course. Is there a romance reader who hasn’t fallen for him? I loved him in the book. I loved him in the movie. I loved him in a car. I loved him in a bar…okay, so I’m channeling a little Dr. Seuss here, but let’s face it. I love Mr. Darcy ANYWHERE! My favorite video incarnation is Colin Firth, but I’d take Matthew MacFadyn’s version, too! 

428995. Wrath. The Blind Vampire King from JR Ward’s DARK LOVER and THE KING. Yes, a hero worthy of not just one book, but two! While all the heroes of the Black Dagger Brotherhood are pretty drool worthy, Wrath has held my attention throughout the series. Because of his heroine Beth, he does the one thing he never thought he would, ascends to the throne that is his birthright. Because of her, he fights to keep it. Even when his eyesight leaves him completely, because of her faith in him. Sigh.

 Okay, so these are my five favorite literary heroes. Who are yours? Do you lean more contemporary or historical? Got any vamps or shape-shifters on your list? A movie you watch anytime it’s on, just because HE is the hero?

A Site for Sore Eyes

by Christine Wells

A friend of mine is in the process of revamping her website. I might well do the same very soon, so I’ve been contemplating my options.

For me, it’s no easy thing to decide on a design for my home on the web. I’m much the same with designing the interior of my bricks and mortar home–I couldn’t tell you specifically what I want but I have strong opinions on what I like (and don’t like) when I see it.

Funnily enough, in the past this has frustrated my web designers. Ah, well, I’m a Libran, what can I say?

So the thing to do when you don’t know what you want is to look at other sites to see what they do well, right? Here are some of the things I think about when I’m looking at an author webpage:

*Is the design pleasing to the eye?

*Does the design suit the tone of the writer’s work? Flowers and hearts are not usually appropriate for an author who writes dark paranormals.

*Is there a well laid out home page with just enough information on it, but not too much?

When I go to an author home page I want to know what kind of book they write and the latest book they have released, maybe also the book that’s ‘coming soon’ if the latest has been out a while. If the home page is cluttered with a thousand different messages and widgets and covers, my eyes simply glaze over and I don’t read any of it.

Actually, I don’t doubt some readers love that busy kind of page, especially if they’re devoted fans who visit often, but my aim with a home page is to give the casual browser quick access to the information they’re most likely to want. If they like bells and whistles, my guess is they’ll click on a button called ‘extras’ or ‘fun stuff’ to find them.

*Like any reader, I love extra content — this might be in the form of articles, news, a blog, facebook page, second epilogues, dossiers on characters and so forth. Blogs and social media feeds give the feeling of currency and the extra content means you’re getting something special from the website that you can’t get from reading the author’s books. Those extras give readers a sense of the author’s personality and a feeling of connection to the author.

*Book trailers — If they’re done well, they can enhance a website for me, as long as they don’t take forever to load.

Here are some sites I like (not counting fabulous Bandita sites, of course!):

We all know Jenny Crusie loves collaging and the header of this site has that eclectic feel to it, along with Jenny’s signature cherry. I loved her previous site, too. This has a darker, more magical tone that suits the direction Crusie seems to be taking with her fiction these days.

Susan Holloway Scott. This is simply one of the most gorgeous sites on the web, in my opinion. Everything about it shouts historical opulence and Susan Holloway Scott writes about the mistresses of kings so the tone is just right for her books. I particularly love the botanical drawings on the borders. They’re different on each page and add richness and colour as well as a sense of period to the site.

Julie Garwood Usually I wouldn’t recommend a home page that takes a while to load, but this one is worth it for sheer novelty value.

Loretta Chase uses an old-fashioned letter with a seal as a background for her website. I like that she gives just enough information to help me decide whether to read further, but not an overwhelming amount. See the great tagline she has next to her latest release?

Kieran Kramer is a debut author who writes fresh, witty historicals and doesn’t her website reflect that? I love that she has a nice welcome and salient points about her books with links to other fun stuff, too.

So here are my questions for you, dear readers!

What is your favourite romance author website?

What do you like best about this website?

What do you dislike seeing on an author site?

I’m looking forward to hearing your answers! Thank you in advance for letting me do some important market research:)

Book Pimping

by Suzanne

Okay, a little known secret…well maybe a widely known fact among the Bandits and my friends…I AM A BOOK PIMP. Yep. Can’t seem to help it. If I read a great book, I want EVERYONE  I’ve ever seen holding a book, picking up my new “find” and reading it.  Here’s sort of how the conversation goes:

Me, “I just read the most incredible book.”
My mark, “Really? What?”
Me, leaning closer with just a hint of a smile, “Money, Honey by Susan Sey. OMG, couldn’t put it down!”
Interested victim, “Really? I’d love one of those kind of books. What’s it about?”

AHA! Got another one!

Here’s another one:

Me, standing in the romance aisle at the local bookstore, reshelving books. Yep, I do this. Bandit’s new releases at eye level or on the highly coveted “new release shelf”. This particular time I’m muttering loud enough for the three ladies down the aisle to hear me, “I can’t believe they have Jo Davis’ firefighters on the bottom shelf. For crying out loud she’s a local author!” Now, I do this while holding the highly sexy cover of Line Of Fire out for the ladies to get a good look at.

#1 lady moves closer. “That’s a book about firefighters?”
Me, “Oh my goodness, yes. The sexiest team of hunky firefighters you’ll ever read about.”
#2 moves up and takes a book to read the back blurb. “I think firemen are so sexy.”
#3, taking her copy. “And so brave.”
#1, “Heroic.”
Me, “Sexy.”
All three nod, putting the books in their growing armfuls. Ah, my job here is finished, oh wait…I point out Lorraine Heath, Jane Graves, Tracy Garrett, Sandy Blair and Addison Fox’s books, making sure they all know they’re local authors, too!

See? I can’t help it!

My coworkers aren’t immnue. Last weekend, knowing how many of my coworkers read the YA series Twilight, I took Inara Scott’s Delcroix Academy series: The Candidates bookmarks to work and handed them out.I explained it was a brand new paranormal series that was releasing Tuesday. I told them, “It’s going to be the next big hit for teens and twenty year olds. I think you would like reading it too!” I’m betting when I return to work the next week I’ll see one or two people holding that book. And since many of them have teenagers, I’m thinking they’ll be reading her book, soon. I think these girls will be, too!

Another fun thing happened when I read Kate Carlisle’s first Bibliophile Murder mystery book, Homicide In Hardcover at work. My friend Karen bought a copy because I was chuckling all the way through it. When the second book came out, If Books Could Kill, Karen and I were reading the book at the same time, almost simultaneously laughing at the same spots! (I laughed first coz I read faster than Karen.) Several coworkers said, “Are you two reading the same book?” We said, “yes” and Karen proceeded to tell them what we loved about Kate’s books. At least three wrote Kate’s name and the book titles down to read. YES!

Oh and if someone asks me for a good  historical author to read, my first recommendation? Julie Garwood. “What?” I say, slightly shocked voice, “You haven’t read any of Ms. Garwood’s works? Let me bring you my copy of Saving Grace.” Why this book? It’s a well worn hardback copy, (the copy I loan out, my other copy is pristine and on my keeper shelf) and I know if they love this book, they’ll be buying the back list, ASAP!

So, how about you? Are you ever a book pimp? How do you go about hooking your book addicts? Any tricks I can borrow? Oh and if you were trying to pimp a book or author to me, which one would you recommend?

The End

by Suzanne
Here in the Lair, we often talk about the beginning of books and movies. How they grab us and suck us in, keep us turning pages or on the edges of our seats, wanting to know what’s going to happen next.

The Bourne Identity was one of these books for me. I couldn’t read it fast enough. It also sucked me into Robert Ludlum’s world of espionage and suspense. After reading the Bourne Identity, I raided my local bookstore and read his whole back list and following books, each one more page-turning than the last. (I also discovered for my own sanity, it was best to not read more than two of his books in a weekend or I’d think my phone was tapped and people were chasing me!) While the movie was barely recognizable as the original book, Matt Damon’s portrayal of Jason Bourne fit my mental image of how the character would look and act.

Another book where the beginning drew me in from page one was Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Night Pleasures. It might surprise y’all, but I’m not really into vampire love stories. What grabbed me was the heroine in peril waking up to find herself chained to this big imposing man, who acts like a vampire, you know all I’ll-die-if-I’m-out-in-the-sun, has fangs and appears to be imortal, but he wasn’t a vampire. Instead he was a hunter, a Dark Hunter, one she’ll need to keep her safe. Add to that Kenyon’s unique premise that vampires were actually cursed children of the Greek god, Apollo and I was hooked! Involving the Greek mythology and really BIG men, yep, couldn’t turn the pages fast enough!

For movies, Speed, was the same for me. Suck me in, make want to know what’s happening to these courageous bomb experts. Who wants to blow them up, etc. Add a ticking clock er bus and Sandra Bullock? Yep, I’m staying through to the end. Another movie for me was Pirates of the Carribean. How could you not love a movie with that kind of fantasy beginning of pirates and Black Jack Sparrow? It made you root for the characters from the start all the way to the end. (ah, but we’re not at the end yet!)

Sometimes, in the Lair, we talk about the characters, themselves. Those we loved from the moment they stepped onto the pages or onto the big screen. Those that make us wish we were the heroine or hero, falling in love, kicking butt, or solving the mystery. Okay, in the lair we mostly talk about the sexy heroes, but let me give you some of my favorites of both sexes.

Kate and Luc from French Kiss are two of my favorite movie characters. At the beginning of the movie there’s the neurotic romantic who despite her fear of flying bravely climbs aboard a plane bound across the Atlantic to get her true love. Except, we find out her true love is nothing but a soundrel, while the scoundrel, Luc–good hearted jewel thief who wants to buy a vinyeard near his home, seated next to her, irritating the snot out of her all the way to France, well, I’d hate to give away the ending, so let’s just say he’s hero worthy.

Rhett and Scarlet. From her first utterance of fiddle-dee-dee, she didn‘t come across as a kind, loving heroine. No, she wasn’t loveable, but she was strong. Her world and family was changing, and only the strong were going to survive. THAT is what he loved about her. And him? Was he a Southern gentleman? Uh, no. A Privateer. A man who would make a profit from the war, eventually takes a side and joins the war, but his love of her made him loveable. (We’ll talk about their ending later.)

Gabriel and Johanna from Julie Garwood’s Saving Grace (yeah, like y’all didn’t see this one coming). If you haven’t taken the time in the past 3 years to read this book, as much as I’ve raved about it, I’m about to spoil the beginning for you. The heroine is informed her husband has been killed and she rushes to the chapel.

Not to pray for his soul, but to thank God. Now, don’t you want to know more?

The hero is a bastard, literally. His father and his clan disowned him, until the time came for someone to lead the father’s clan after his death. In the meantime, the hero has formed his own clan with ragtag outcasts from other clans. So what’s he supposed to do? He tried to lead both clans side by side, because that’s what an honorable man does. Then an Englishman brings his half sister for the hero to marry, to keep her out of the reach of the king of England. He marries her without question. She agrees to the marriage only after she hears his name, Gabriel, the patron saint and protector of women and children.

Sigh…You really have to read this book!

So, what haven’t we talked about when it comes to books?

Yep, the beginning may hook you or your reader or your editor, but it’s the ending that sells the next book. At least that’s a saying heard often repeated from one RWA member to another.

We all know the ending of Gone With The Wind. Rhett storms out, swearing, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Scarlett watches him disappear into the mist and says, “Tara! Home. I’ll go home. And I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all… tomorrow is another day.” It may not be the HEA we all wanted, but the prospect of a future is there in her determination and I’d like to think she finally learned what love truly is about and will win back her man.

In French Kiss, Kate has saved Luc’s bacon and is once again aboard a plane to fly home. Luc has learned how she tricked him, but knows she did it out of love. He slips into the seat next to her and says, “I want you…” She says, “You want me?” and he says, with love and unshed tears in his eyes, “I want you, that is all.” Sigh. That is a HEA I could go for every time.

In the end of the first Pirates movie, Elizabeth and Will are in love and they take the chance to rescue their friend, Black Jack Sparrow. He’s a loveable scoundrel and we really don’t want to see him die. We also want to see more of his antics on the high seas!

At the end of the Bourne Identity, (the book version), Jason learns the truth about who he is and how he came to be a trained assassin. He cleans out Treadstone’s bad members and gets the girl. And it made every page turning scene worthwhile.

I want endings that make me sigh. Make me know my journey with the characters has been worth my effort. I want the mystery solved, the bad guys dead or in prison, the HEA for my heros and heroines, or at least the promise of a HEA.

So, endings are important. They are so important to me, I even write THE END when I finish a book. Another writer acquaintance asked me why? I said, why not? It’s an accomplishment. The story has been told, it may need tweaking or editing, but the ending has been written.

And a few weeks ago I posted the last chapter of REFUGE on my online blogsite, http://www.blogger.com/www.rockymountainromance.blogspot.com. Everytime I’ve read it, I get tears in my eyes and that sense of Ahhhhhhhhh. I hope my readers did, too. If you haven’t read it, take a chance, but go to the sidebar and start at the beginning. I’d love to hear if the HEA worked for you!

So, tell me, what books or movies gave you that Ahhhhhhhh moment? Which ones made you cry or laugh? Which ones did you hate?

MAKE ME LAUGH

by suzanne

No, I’m not asking for your best Internet forward joke…although I have a great one best told in a bar with an Irish accent. What I want, what I’m craving is a funny book to read. A light-hearted fare or one where there are brilliant moments of comic relief.


The first Susan Elizabeth Phillips (SEP) book I ever read was NOBODY‘S BABY, BUT MINE. Now, this wasn’t a slap-stick funny book. But when she removes all the marshmallows from the cereal box to make it more healthy for him and he says, “I’ve married a cereal killer!”, I cracked up! When she insists on driving up the North Carolina mountain in a storm to have her baby, yep, got me laughing out loud! And it also had me back at the bookstore the next day buying everyone of SEP’s back list.


My friend, Jo Davis,(author of TRIAL BY FIRE, UNDER FIRE and HIDDEN FIRE), who reads mostly suspense, claims AIN’T SHE SWEET was the funniest book she can remember reading. One of her favorite parts? When the dog in the front seat beside the heroine farts at her. The heroine thinks, “yep, even the dog hates me.

Another author who mixes great characters, good story telling, some suspense and comic relief is Julie Garwood. In SAVING GRACE , two clans are trying to live on the same land under the same laird, only they refuse to merge into one clan. Many funny episodes occur as the heroine uses quiet defiance and even tosses shattered crockery to get her point across. I chuckle my way through that book every time I read it. (28 at a last reading.)


Another dear friend, Sandy Blair, (author of A MAN IN A KILT, A ROUGE IN A KILT, A THIEF IN A KILT and A HIGHLANDER FOR CHRISTMAS) says the funniest book she can remember was Garwood’s THE GIFT. What makes it so funny? Sandy says it’s knowing what’s coming next from the heroine’s POV and the hero’s exasperated reaction to what he perceives as illogical. Garwood sprinkles these gems throughout all her books. One of the reasons she’s one of our favorite feel-good authors.


Addison Fox, (author of WARRIOR ASCENDED: The Sons of the Zodiac, coming in March 2010), couldn’t pinpoint a specific book by Nora Roberts, but says one of her favorite reasons to read Nora’s books is her ability to have witty dialogue that relieves some of the suspense and have her readers chuckling in different places throughout her books.

One of the funniest books I’ve ever read was Linda Howard’s TO DIE FOR. This book works in so many ways. First it is in first person, (not my usual cup of tea), and because we’re mostly in the heroine’s head we understand why she does the things she does, even if she admits they’re stupid. We also get to see the hero’s frustrations at her actions, he’s banging his head on his desk. This is also a different kind of suspense for Ms. Howard, totally at odds with her usual dark fare. When I was reading it, Rocky-the-wonder-dog was parked on the bed beside me. I laughed so hard the bed shook and he gave me that irritated male dog look (very reminiscent of irritated male human look). I had to stop reading long enough to stop laughing in order to read some more!



Jane Graves, a romantic comedy author, (HOT WHEELS AND HIGH HEELS, TALL TALES AND WEDDING VEILS), points to any book by Jennifer Crusie. Jane says, “I always feel a special sense of delight at her word choice, her sentence structure, and especially her dialogue. Her books are just flat-out fun to read, sentence after sentence, page after page. They’re not funny in a laugh-out-loud way, at least not to me. They’re just…fun. She’s one of the few authors out there who can entertain me with almost every sentence she writes.” My daughter, Alison, agrees whole heartily.

In fact, the idea for this blog originally titled, “where have all the funny books gone?”, came from my daughter. She was going through a pregnancy, was home on maternity leave a few weeks early and was looking for books to read. She asked me, “Mom, I’m tired of reading serious, dark books. I want to laugh. I need a funny book, do you know of any?”

So, I need some help.

Who would you like to read? What writer makes you laugh? Who do you read when you want a good chuckle or to relieve some of the stress in your own life?

The Trouble With Books…

by Suzanne

This Romance Bandit gig is a very cool thing. One of the benefits, at least for me, is that when I do an interview with a guest, I get to read a new release about a month ahead of anyone else. (And being the restrained person that I am, I NEVER rub it in to friends that I got to read a favorite author before them…Yeah, RIGHT!) This is very necessary for me in order to pull out interesting questions, so you, our readers get to learn about the books, without giving away any twists.

So, in preparation for Lorraine Heath’s return to the blog in June, I asked her to send me an ARC or a synopsis of the newest release, SURRENDER TO THE DEVIL, so she and I could get her blog post done ahead of time. Since I have a new grandson due around June 1st, I didn’t want to get behind on things. (It’s a grandma thing.)


Lorraine happily complied with my needs and sent me the book. Now here’s where I made my mistake. I opened it. Sigh. Lorraine is what I call a beginning to end author for me. What you say is a beginning to end author? Well, here’s my way of categorizing authors or books:


1. TRY AND SEE: Usually a debut author or someone who has been recommended to me by a friend as someone whose books I should try. I usually start these early in the afternoon or evening, or even during a slow period at work. If life or work interrupts, well that’s okay, I don’t mind. If it’s pretty good I’ll come back to the book. If it’s not one that holds my interest, then I figure I haven’t wasted too much time on it.

2. READ IN SPURTS: Anthologies and fairly good books that don’t grab me and hold me deep in the story. Anthologies are good for this, because I can usually read one of the stories in about an hour. And in an anthology, usually two stories are good. (By the way have you ever noticed that in a 3-story anthology, usually one story is really good, one is pretty good and well, the other is meh?) So I can invest time in short bursts, still have time to get the ironing or cooking done and not feel guilty about mid-afternoon reading.

3. CRITIQUES: These are those lovely stories my critique partners, (Sandy Blair and Jo Davis), send me–usually in big chunks and across the computer. I try to read them as quickly as possible so I can get any changes or ideas back to them ASAP. Also, luckily for me I love their writing and characters, so this is not a hardship for me!

4. BEGINNING TO ENDERS: These are the auto buys. The favorites. Those authors who I know will deliver a story that takes me away to a world beyond my four walls, to lives and loves I know I’ll be bereft over when they’re finished. (Julie Garwood, JAK, SEP, Suzanne Brockmann, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward, and of course, Lorraine Heath.) These are the books I plan on spending the day or evening/night reading. They are my dirty little passions…and I do not want to be interrupted reading them.

So, the moment I opened Lorraine’s newest book, I knew I was in trouble. I had to be up early for a chapter board meeting. I needed to sleep. Did I go to bed? Did I act responsibly? Nope, I indulged. AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!! (I’d tell you more about SURRENDER TO THE DEVIL…but that’s for June’s blog…hehehe)

So, how do you categorize your books? Do you have BEGINNING TO ENDERS? Do you set aside a whole day or evening/night to read?

My New Love

by Suzanne Welsh
I have fallen in love, again.

This is really not a novel thing for me, as I tend to fall in love quite frequently.

When I was 12 I saw Romeo & Juliet for the first time. You know, the one that actually showed Leonard Whiting’s naked butt? Seems my English teacher was unaware of that feature in the movie. Oh, I was in complete, adolescent , heart throbbing love.

My Senior year I discovered The Flame & The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Brandon….be-still-my-heart…Birmingham. And I adored this book and character so much that I went through 3 copies that year. I was in love.

During nursing school a new sci-fi movie came out about an orphan, a princess, a rogue space pirate and an evil empire called Star Wars. Oh and that rogue space pirate….yeah, Harrison Ford….I was soooooooo in love!

Not long after, I met my dear husband, and I was in love in real life. Still am. Then quickly three little bright-eyed happy cherubs filled my heart with their pug irish noses, laughter, and their lives. Still love them, too.

But then I discovered another author, Julie Garwood and her books. My all time favorite is Saving Grace. Gabriel McBain was the hero of my heart. A Scot, loyal to those without a clan, loyal to a clan who didn’t want him until they had no leader. He hates the English, but marries an Englishwoman to protect her from the English King. Oh yeah, and he has a son who may or may not be his………………..I was SOO in LURVE! (And while I’m on the subject, don’t you think Gerard Butler…another love of mine….could play Gabriel?)

The next time I fell in love it was with Nathan Cantrell. Who you ask is Nathan Cantrell? Well, he’s the hero in my first novel REFUGE. Here’s his description through the heroine, Laura Melborne’s eyes:

Laura stared into the shadows. At first all she could see was the red glow from a cigar. As he took shape stepping into the light reflected off the snow, her heart picked up its pace. Something in the depth of his deep blue eyes, the steeliness of his jaw and the stern set to his lips beneath his dark moustache held her mesmerized. Black hair curled just beneath his hat. His sheepskin coat, turned up at the collar, stretched across his broad shoulders. His long legs were covered in the blue dungarees she’d seen so many men in Denver wearing. He wore heavy boots and in his left hand he held the glowing cigar.

In her need to escape Nigel and the whirlwind of activity in Maryland, she hadn’t given much thought to what her husband might look like. But after meeting his brother, she’d imagined him to be a younger version of the polite, kind-hearted lawyer and family man. Nothing had prepared her for this very handsome, very large man whose entire being hummed with intensity and anger.

Dear Lord, what had she gotten herself into?

Sigh…maybe someday REFUGE will get published. That’s Tom Berringer in the movie “Last of the Dog Men” (another great movie!) and he’s my image of Nathan. Mmmm yummo! Nathan and Laura started my love affair with writing my own stories. With each new book I fall in love with the hero and want to be the heroine. It’s an on going affair.

So, who is my new love? That’s him over there——————–>

Peter Rabbit.

Actually, Beatrix Potter, her life, her art and her stories. I loved The Tale Of Peter Rabbit as a child, but I never knew anything about the author until I was an adult. When my kids were small I loved to read them Beatrix Potter’s stories, but still knew little of her life.

Now here’s a little known fact about me…I have a fascination with biographies. So when the movie “Miss Potter” appeared on my TV, I of course had to watch it. Turns out, Beatrix had a love interest. The movie fascinated me so much I had to google her and find out more.

[That’s Renee Zellweger portraying Beatrix in the movie]

Before Beatrix became a published children’s author she had a fascinating life as one of the foremost mycologist and illustrator of fungi in England. She also wrote papers presented by her uncle to the Linnean Society and the Royal Society (Big scientific group of men back in her day.) THEN she became a published author, after 6 publishers rejected her children’s books about a naughty rabbit.
Yep, you guessed it, all those years ago Peter Rabbit was my first “bad boy”!

So, do you have any secret loves you want to share? Do you fall in love with characters, authors, actors as often as me? If so, who is your latest love?

Don’t forget to check out four more Banditas invading Romance Novel TV today. It’s been one zany day after another so far! www.romancenovel.tv

THE NUMBERS GAME

by Suzanne Welsh

Have you ever read a book and just loved it so much you gave your copy to every person you knew so they could read it too? Well, I used to do that. In fact, I did it so much, I was my own lending library! But then I started writing, hanging out with other writers and learning about the business of publishing from my published author friends.

Guess what I learned? While passing around a book might flatter the author and give our friends a good read, it does little to help the author’s sales numbers. Why should we as readers care about the author’s sales? Because, unless they’re a household name with a regular spot on the NYT bestseller list, each author’s next contract depends on the percentage of sale-through their last book had. In other words, if they had a print-run of 30,000 books, they needed to sell a large percentage of those books to get offered another contract. Each time we give that brand new book we just read to someone else whom we know would just love it, we’ve taken a sale away from that author.

So what do we do? We want to get that author’s book to as many people who read as we can. We want to make sure that author has lots of sales so she/he can give us more great stories to read. The answer is simple. Word of mouth.

I no longer hand out my copies of books to people. I show them the cover, give them my glowing verbal review, tell them where they can buy the book. Sometimes I buy them a copy and mail them off. Whenever my critique partner, Sandy Blair, has a new book out, I buy five copies. One for me to read, one for my mom, one for each of my girls and one for my two aunts, (they live in the same house so they share). Recently, Sandy’s newest book, A Highlander For Christmas, came out and I was actually a character in the book! Needless to say, I not only bought my five copies, but challenged everyone I work with to buy the book and try to find me. It’s been great fun having them not only tell me how much they loved her book, but that “Yep, I found you!”

Last year at National, Anna Campbell’s Claiming The Courtesan had just come out a few months before. I’d read it before going to the conference, so when she was in the Avon signing, I took the time to stand a few feet off and recommend to everyone who came in that they needed to get a copy from her. These books didn’t give Anna sales, but they did give her lots of new fans, whom are happily reading Untouched and salivating for her next regency noir!

I got Julie Garwood’s newest book, Shadow Music, for Christmas. I read it over four days, (stretching it out because I knew it would be a while before I got another new book by her). I loved the story. Have recommended it to everyone on my e-mail list who reads. And today I went to Amazon.com and ordered another copy to send to my mom. She’ll love it and it repays her for that copy of Julie’s book,The Gift, that I “borrowed” years ago and never returned. It also helps my favorite author’s sales numbers! Because I want to read more of her books for years to come.

So here’s my list of books I’d like you to buy:
Untouched by Anna Campell
Shadow Music by Julie Garwood
Warrior by Kinley MacGregor
Hot Wheels And High Heels by Jane Graves
The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritson
Does She Dare by Tawny Weber
Just Wicked Enough by Lorraine Heath **the perfect romance novel**
Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
A Highlander For Christmas by Sandy Blair **let me know if you find me!**
The Education of Mrs. Brimley by Donna MacMeans
Scandal’s Daughter by Christine Wells
Texas Princess by Jodi Thomas
Touch Of Texas by Tracy Garrett
Every Night I’m Yours by Christie Kelley

If you could give me a book to read to hook me on an author, new or established, what one would it be? Who would you buy books for to hook them on reading romances?
One lucky commenter will receive a signed copy of A Highlander For Christmas!