Friday, October 16, 2009

The Winsor List: My 16 Favorite Romances

Jessica @Racy Romance Reviews is running The Winsor List meme on her blog today. Posting our favorite 16 romances on October 16 is an eminently suitable activity, given that it's the birthdate of romance great Kathleen Winsor (1919–2003). Her first book Forever Amber was published in 1944; the reissue from 2000 is still in print.

Here's my list of sixteen of my top romances in no particular order...

1. Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
2. Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter
3. Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas
4. For My Lady's Heart by Laura Kinsale
5. Untouched by Anna Campbell
6. Simply Magic by Mary Balogh
7. Never Love a Lawman by Jo Goodman
8. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
9. A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James
10. Tall Dark and Texan by Jodi Thomas
11. The Passionate One by Connie Brockway
12. Devilish by Jo Beverley
13. Ransom by Julie Garwood
14. Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James
15. Where Serpents Sleep by C.S. Harris
16. Just Breathe by Susan Wiggs

What does your list of Fave 16 contain?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tuckered Out

After a week-long "improving course" and attending the regional Emerald City Writers' Conference, I'm pooped. The blog will be on a bit of a hiatus while I recover my writing chops.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Picture Day Friday

Picture Day Friday today is all about what Julia Quinn calls "spooting," spotting books on shelves.

It also celebrates debut releases by two fantastic authors who I'm also privileged to know as friends. Tessa Dare's trilogy from Ballantine, includes Goddess of the Hunt (7/28/09), Surrender of a Siren (8/25/09), and A Lady of Persuasion (9/29/09). Courtney Milan's books from HQN, include an anthology with Mary Balogh and Nicola Cornick is The Heart of Christmas (10/1/09), which will be followed by Proof by Seduction (1/10).

Surrender of a Siren spotted at Seattle airport in late August.

Surrender of a Siren spotted at Philadelphia airport in late August.

A Lady of Persuasion spotted at local Target on release day.

The Heart of Christmas spotted at local Target on release day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Calls for Academic Papers

Romance area of the Popular Culture Association conference in St. Louis, MO, March 31-April 3, 2010

PCA is a fabulous conference to test out new ideas and start to be a part of the new and exciting field of Popular Romance Studies. We’re a lot of fun, very open and inviting and inclusive, and we’re specifically expanding this year beyond Popular Romance Fiction to Popular Romance Studies writ large. From the Call For Papers:

We are interested in any and all topics about or related to popular romance: all genres, all media, all countries, all kinds, and all eras. All representations of romance in popular culture (fiction, stage, screen—large or small, commercial, advertising, music, song, dance, online, real life, etc.), from anywhere and anywhen, are welcome topics of discussion.

Contact Sarah Frantz with questions or proposals.
Deadline: November 30, 2009

* *

International Association for the Study of Popular Romance conference in Belgium, August 5-7, 2010

This is the second annual conference for IASPR. Our first annual conference in Brisbane, Australia, was a great success, and Belgium looks to be even better. Our keynote speakers are Pamela Regis, Lynne Pearce, and Celestina Deleyto, a critic of romantic comedy films.

This conference has three main goals:

  • To bring to bear contemporary critical theory on the texts and contexts of popular romance, in all forms and media, from all national and cultural traditions

  • To foster comparative and intercultural analyses of popular romance, by documenting and/or theorizing what happens to tropes and texts as they move across national, linguistic, and cultural boundaries

  • To explore the relationships between popular romance tropes and texts as they circulate between elite and popular culture, between different media (e.g., from novel to film, or from song to music video), between cultural representations and the lived experience of readers, viewers, listeners, and lovers

  • Contact conference organizers with questions or proposals.
    Deadline: January 1, 2010

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    Bid for Raffle Basket at ECWC

    The International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR) and I are sponsoring a basket for raffle at the Emerald City Writers Conference (ECWC), entitled Romancing the Intellect: In Your Bodice, Analyzin Ur Literachur.

    IASPR is dedicated to fostering and promoting the scholarly exploration of all popular representations of romantic love. It is committed to building a strong community of scholars of popular romance through open, digital access to all scholarly work published by the Association, by organizing or sponsoring an annual international conference on popular romance studies, and by encouraging the teaching of popular romance at all levels of higher education.

    The ECWC is being held at the Hilton Bellevue Hotel (300 112th Avenue SE Bellevue WA 98004) from Friday, October 9, 2009 to Sunday, October 11, 2009. It is organized by the Greater Seattle RWA chapter (GSRWA). Registration opens at 3pm on Friday with the last event closing at 3:30pm on Sunday. The conference schedule is available here. All the proceeds from the raffle will be donated to a charity of choice by the GSRWA.

    Basket goodies include: IASPR tote, pen, bookmarks, cards, badge ribbon; a hardcover Joyce Maynard; a trade paperback Mary Balogh; two mass-market romances; Hannah Howell tote, pens; excerpts, bookmarks, other author goodies; lavendar lotion and body oil; Sephora lip-gloss; Lancome makeup brush set; a special flower-blooming tea and a tin of lime-n-chilli snacking almonds to enjoy with your books; and of course, yummilicious chocolate. high, bid often...and WIN!!

    Monday, October 5, 2009

    D'Éon: French Spy

    Copyright WikipediaThis morning, I finished reading Jo Beverley's Winter Fire with a satisfied sigh. That feeling of having been in presence of a good story in the hands of a talented writer never fails to surface when I read JoBev's work. Winter Fire is a Christmas story about the Marquess of Ashart set at the Malloren stronghold Rothgar Abbey. And wherever the Marquess of Rothgar is, the tales of French spy Charles d'Éon de Beaumont are never far behind, given the tangled history between the two men.

    Imagine my surprise then, when I turned to my daily calendar of Forgotten English by Jeffrey Kacirk, to find that today is d'Éon's birthday. He was a French diplomat, spy, and soldier of the Georgian era (1728–1810). His full name also included the names Geneviève, Louis, Auguste, André, and Thimothée. As d'Éon claimed throughout his life, he began life as a baby girl. However, his parents stood to inherit a fortune only if they had a male offspring, so d'Éon "became male."

    Copyright WikipediaIn 1756, as Le Chevalier d'Éon, he enlisted in Louis XV's spy network Le Secret du Roi. He was posted to the Russian court of Empress Elizabeth, where he donned the guise of a maid of honor to the empress in order to pass secrets between the two courts.

    In 1761, he chose to return as a man to France, and two years later, he moved to London as part of the diplomatic corps as a man. A betting pool was started on the London Stock Exchange to prove his sex. He was invited to participate, but he declined.

    In 1774, d'Éon negotiated his successful return to the French court of Louis XVI, but there he was compelled to dress as a woman, because he insisted in wanting to be recognized as one. Thereafter, d'Éon stayed as woman, even when he returned to England in 1785.

    Unfortunately for him, he died in London, where English physicians conducted a postmortem analysis and gleefully proclaimed that d'Éon was anatomically male. They then proceeded to coin a term Eonism to denote cross-dressing behavior (obviously prefering to forget about Shakespeare and all other English fans of cross-dressing.)

    Another coincidence to a book I recently finished, Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, d'Éon was a Freemason.

    Friday, October 2, 2009

    Picture Day Friday

    A view of the Prince Regent by George Cruikshank.

    Thursday, October 1, 2009


    The following is a telephone exchange between a hotel guest and room-service, at a hotel in Asia, which was recorded and published in the Far East Economic Review about 15 years ago. It made the rounds of the intranet at my company then, but fell out of favor. Then today, I ran across it in my archives and had to post it...

    Room Service: "Morny. Ruin sorbees."

    Guest : "Sorry, I thought I dialled room-service."

    RS: "Rye. Ruin sorbees. morny! Djewish to odor sunteen??"

    G : "Uh. I'd like some bacon and eggs."

    RS: "Ow July den?"

    G : "What??"

    RS: "Ow July den? pry,boy, pooch?"

    G : "Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry, scrambled please."

    RS: "Ow July dee bayhcem crease?"

    G : "Crisp will be fine."

    RS: "Hokay. An San tos?"

    G : "What?"

    RS: "San tos. July San tos?"

    G : "I don't think so."

    RS: "No? Judo one toes??"

    G : "I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo one toes' means."

    RS: "Toes! toes! Qhy djew Don Juan toes? Ow bow singlish mopping we bother?"

    G: "English muffin!! I've got it! You were saying 'Toast.' Fine. Yes, an English muffin will be fine.

    RS: "We bother?"

    G : "No, just put the bother on the side."

    RS: "Wad?"

    G : "I mean butter. Just put it on the side."

    RS: "Copy?"

    G : "Sorry?"

    RS: "Copy, tea, mill?"

    G : "Yes, Coffee please, and that's all."

    RS: "One Minnie. Ass ruin torino fee, strangle ache, crease baychem,tossy,singlish mopping we bother honey sigh, and copy, rye??"

    G : "Whatever you say."

    RS: "Tendjewberrymud!"

    G : "You're welcome."