Toronto, ON – April 19, 2016 – Rakuten Kobo, in search for the best new books written by debut Canadian authors, today announced the shortlist for its second annual Emerging Writer Prize. The award…
Ever wonder where authors’ inspiration comes from? Here’s the YouTube playlist I listened to while writing Dark Fury!
David Bowie – Space Oddity
No Doubt – Just A Girl
Fall Out Boy – American Beauty/American Psycho
P!nk – Don’t Let Me Get Me
The All-American Rejects – Gives You Hell
Echosmith – Cool Kids
Miranda Lambert – Mama’s Broken Heart
Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know
Matchbox Twenty – 3AM
Puddle Of Mudd – She Hates Me
The Runaways- I love Rock and Roll
Marcy Playground – Sex And Candy
Bif Naked – I love myself today
Peaches & Iggy Pop – Kick It
The Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil
Lenny Kravitz – American Woman
The Distillers – City of Angels
The Donnas – Get Rid Of That Girl
Johnny Cash – Hurt
Johnny Cash – God’s Gonna Cut You Down
Tina Turner – What’s Love Got To Do With It
Bon Jovi – It’s My Life
Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss – Whiskey Lullaby
To all my newsletter subscribers – keep your eyes peeled for a couple of free short stories coming your way very soon. Venus Rising tells the tale of what happened to our favourite goddess after book two ended, and in Something Blue, you’ll get to join the Furies at Tara’s wedding.
If you’re a romance fan, you’ve likely found yourself browsing the reviews and articles over at HeroesandHeartbreakers.com a time or two. I’ve always enjoyed their romance-centric focus on pop culture, as well as their interviews and willingness to explore new frontiers in romance that haven’t hit the mainstream yet (see: breeder romance), so I’m thrilled to join the H&H blogging team!
Retro Reads is a series of posts highlighting the best, most interesting, and most hilarious trends of the fiction of yesteryear.
A trope is a common theme or plot device used in creative works like novels and movies – and boy howdy, do we like them in romance. Tvtropes.com lists “virtually all tropes concerning romantic love” and even has a separate page with examples of romance novel tropes. Romance readers and bloggers have gone so far as to develop our own shorthand lingo for discussing tropes. For example, if you especially enjoy a particular plot, it is your “catnip”.
Some examples of common romance tropes include:
- Amnesia (hero or heroine)
- Secret Baby
- Friends to Lovers (similar to Boy/girl Next Door)
- Insta-love/lust (this pops up in paranormal romances often)
- Marriage of Convenience (very common in historicals)
- Billionaire hero
- Motorcycle Club hero (this one is newly popular in the past few years)
As you might expect, the titles and covers that these tropes produce are, by turns, hilarious, inspired, and confusing. Many romance novels combine tropes, like the well-known-in-the-romance-community classic, Pregnesia by Carly Cassidy. (Read a review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books here).
I haven’t read Pregnesia, but the description isn’t nearly as wild as the title, which makes me wonder if the title was chosen in seriousness or if it was intended to be tongue-in-cheek.
Former navy SEAL Lucas Washington was an expert at tackling impossible missions. But when a striking–and very pregnant–woman turned up in a car he was repossessing, suddenly he was in over his head. Shaken and bruised, she couldn’t remember what had happened to her or why she was terrified of going to the police. Lucas made it clear he could be trusted, and vowed to protect her until she was safe. Hours turned to days as they searched for clues to her hidden past. Then a family came to claim her, and a happy ending seemed imminent. But had he just delivered his Jane Doe to safety…or into the hands of a killer?
Many of these tropes have serious issues for some modern romance readers, especially tropes that were prevalent in the early days of romance. “Reluctant Virgin Heroine”, which was once de rigour, almost required, can now read like rape given our current acknowledgment that clear consent is necessary for consensual sexual intimacy. That being said, there is an argument to be made that “reluctant consent” was a necessary plot device at a certain time in order for women to be shown enjoying sex. Indeed, if romance heroines of the 70s hadn’t overwhelmingly been reluctant virgins, the books that came before the modern crop of romance fiction might never have been published.
There is also something to be said for the fact that romance novels are fiction, and authors and readers often use books to explore themes and relationships that ARE problematic in real life, but still merit discussion. Motorcycle club romances are a great example of this for me, some of which have a focus on rigid social hierarchy in which a biker’s “old lady” must do what she is told and violence is often the answer to conflict. To me, reading one of these books can be an almost anthropological experience.
One thing that bothers many readers when they start an MC romance are the terms used for women. In a club, women who are married or permanently attached to men are called “old ladies” or “property.” Some of them even wear vests that clearly say, “Property of (man’s name).” That’s appalling to the average modern woman, and I was horrified by it myself.
But the women I’ve talked to in clubs feel differently. What isn’t immediately clear to outsiders (“citizens”) is that when a woman puts on a property patch, her man is taking one hundred percent responsibility for her actions. That requires complete trust—and it isn’t given lightly.
All Grayson Reid ever wanted was to make Sarah happy, but a misunderstanding has his beautiful wife convinced he’s cheating on her. Now she’s talking divorce and Gray has never been so scared in his life. Sarah has given him one last chance to prove he loves her – but will one week be enough time?
Get It Now!
Hey everyone! I just finished making these teasers for a blogger who requested them and thought I’d share with you. They’re a sneak peek into Alex’s world.