Tag Archives: romance novels

Novelist Fail

This is an interesting piece about someone who tried really hard to market a romance novel and totally failed. We hear so much about the successes (such as the one mentioned in the article), which I am not always sure are 100% true. Like did someone really make a fortune writing about dino sex? Super hard to believe. Regardless, the pieces on supposedly astronomical sales of some crazy thing are published regularly because people like to read them. Some of us get inspired by them.

But it’s also true that misery loves company, so when I read Jowita’s account of how she had a completed RN, maybe not perfectly following the formula but close enough, designed a cover, promoted herself on Twitter, etc., and sold only $8 worth of books… I felt better. After all, I don’t nearly promote my writing as much as Jowita did and I’ve made a lot more than that.

Still, $30/month is hardly worth spending a gazillion more hours writing my RN’s in progress. I kinda like the idea that I could just stop now and do something else. OTOH, I may finish anything I’ve started because OCD.

In the eternal battle between the impetus to inertia and the compulsion to line up All The Things, the smart money is on… ?

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Say Yes to the Marquess

This romance novel’s title is likely a play on the TV show “Say Yes to the Dress,” and it makes sense because Tessa Dare’s book is all about convincing the reluctant Clio she should still wed whazzface even though he ran off to do mysterious work for the Crown and she’s been all abandoned and gossiped about for 8 years. Rafe, whazzface’s hunky prizefighter brother, is trying to do the convincing. I don’t think I need to say any more about that, do I?

I really enjoyed this book, except for when Rafe breaks character to give Clio a totally ridic flowery speech about her looks. Otherwise, the writing is top-notch. The characters are super-interesting and complex ~ not just the protags, but also her sisters, his trainer, etc. The twists and turns kept me guessing exactly how the story would get to the HEA, and I totes appreciate that. The one thing about the resolution I didn’t like so much was a “telling not showing” of Clio’s discussion with whazzface, said convo important to her character development.

There is cake in this book. A LOT OF CAKE. Wedding cake after wedding cake. There is a completely awesome cake scene that you need to read if you love cake and sex (who doesn’t love cake?). The leitmotif (!!!) continues throughout the story. I am particularly drawn to the cake in Say Yes because I never had a proper wedding cake, the lack of which I am convinced doomed my marriages.

Cake: it’s what’s for breakfast.

PWC

Chasing Amish

In my continuing mission to read a variety of romance subgenres (cowboys and dragons done and dusted), I have now turned to the Amish. Apparently this is quite a big fu… fudgy deal. Justine McDaniel gives a nice overview of the bonnet ripper phenom, which is what inspired me to check it out myself.

The other day, I downloaded four Amish romances for my Kindle (free in Kindle Unlimited, natch ~ you didn’t think I would actually pay for these, right?) and got started.

First book: Fruitful Love by Michelle Eastwood. This is possibly the worst thing I’ve ever read. There was absolutely no plot, no conflict, nothing interesting in any way, shape, or form happening in this story. The characters were boring and had zero personality, no quirks, no flaws, no shiny spots, nothing. Girl meets boy, girl gets boy, the end. WTF? Saving grace: it was super-short.

Second book: An Amish Choice by Diana Morgan. OK, here we have a real story. I liked many things about this book. The protags were surprisingly real and flawed. They were extremely relatable and could have been any religion. The hero is a good man, but speaks impulsively and hurts people’s feelings. This is a problem for him throughout. The heroine is also a good person, but sometimes bitchy and irrational. Both of them are confused and have a hard time figuring out what they really want. Just like it is, you know?

Problems with AAC include POV shifting, typos, and annoying rando paragraph indents. Writers! Use block formatting for Kindle! Indenting looks like crap, and sometimes the uploading process double indents, or otherwise screws things up. Yucky. (I may not have fixed all mine yet, so shhhh.) But these could be (and are) issues with any books and have nothing do do with Amishness.

So, I had one good experience and one bad… and I bailed on the last two. I kinda get the idea now: a lot of baking, a lot of buggying, and a smattering of German.

Danke.

Sexy Amish

Rachel’s Review

Hey everyone! Anna Fondant has Rachel’s Review on free promo today. Get your book now and please write a review on Amazon.

Rachel cover

Thanks! 🙂

Sugar Kisses

Sweet Addiction by J. Daniels

OK, I admit it: I bought this book for its title and cover (pic of sugared lips).

Also, it had a lot of baking/bakery/cake/frosting stuff going on.

So, I began reading and was immediately disappointed because the narrative was first person, which I hate for a romance, unless it’s going to be a dark, crazy, deep romance, which this was not. It was typical fluff. Hot fluff, but fluff nonetheless.

How can I explain? If a story is meaningless fluff, then I want more than one POV. I want to know what the idiot hero is thinking along with the vapid heroine. I want to jump into the mind of the evil villain/ness who schemes to destroy the relationship. That’s the best I can do here.

And not only was it first person, but it was unbelievably stupid. I mean, stupider than the typical chick lit whining about moms and cramps stupid. How can that be? Well, it was. Trust me.

First, not only were the two protags the most absolutely physically stunning people you could possibly imagine, but all their friends were, too! What a coinkydink, and in Chicago of all places (meow). We had the heroine, a 26 year old bakery owner (no mention of where she got the capital), with a fabulous body even though she sampled bakery stuffs all day. This is because she went on a run every morning, and as any ful kno, that half hour of exercise will burn up thousands of pastry calories. And we had the hero, a 32 year old CPA, with the body of Adonis. In fact, the whole CPA firm was stuffed with Greek gods like a freaking studded gyro. [See wut I did there?]

Second, there was the gay best friend. My god, that’s soooo original. Who would think of putting a gay best friend in a romance novel?! He was unbearably handsome, natch, and happily hooking up with every other hot gay guy in the city, as you do, until he falls in lurve. Because like the gun on the table, once you introduce a horribly tired cliché, you must use it to its foregone conclusion.

Third, Daniels had the “plot” turn on a misconstrued half-overheard comment, which we haven’t seen since the last 87 thousand romance novels.

Why did I read it to the very end, you ask? Good question!

It was for the sex. The sex scenes were so incredibly hot, I skimmed through for the next one… and the next one… etc.

Yes, I’m ashamed of myself. I will have to atone somehow. I know! I’ll read another romance novel.

*FREE BOOK*

Rachel’s Review is free today, woo hoo!

Grab your copy of Anna Fondant’s short story and please write a review after you’ve finished it.
 
Thanks and happy Friday! 🙂

Ketchup

Hai hai howarya? It’s been a while. Hope all is well with my favorite blogpeeps. 

I know Anna Fondant has been busy… check out her latest poast.

I just finished It Ain’t Me, Babe, a super hot, super thrilling story of romance and bikers and cults and gore galore. Sort of like Sons of Anarchy on amphetamines. I told Anna about it and she was all like, DUDE, that inspires me to write a biker-dragon story. Oh yeah, Anna’s been writing dragon romance (what a nut). 

Me, I’m just trudging along writing that book that never ends, it goes on and on my friends… started in nineteen-eighty-nine, to finish would be so fine… but it’s the book that never ends, it goes on and on my friends…

I’ve also been writing dark poetry like a 14 year old, so that’s um er… interesting.

Sadly, I have not tried any new cupcakes, but I did notice something you can put on your list for my birthday next year ~ oooOOOOooo!

No cat pics today. Come back tomorrow. *mwah*

Little Favor

My peeps! It appears that book reviews really help a writer get more attention in the megamammoth Kindle store.

So, if you have read Burnt Offerings or any of Anna Fondant’s books, it would be super wonderfully great if you could take a couple minutes and write a review.

Thanks and have a fabulous Friday! 🙂

Fiona’s Fling

Continuing my theme of relentless self-promo, here’s an excerpt from Fiona’s Fling on the Lit Central O.C. website:

Cathy nodded as she took another piece of sushi. “Have more of this. Don’t make me look like a pig. So you figured to practice your mad lurve-making skills on this dude and get back up to speed . . . what’s his name anyway?”

“Mike.” Fiona swished a piece of sushi in the spicy sauce.

“Mike what?”

Laughing, Fiona said, “Well, I don’t know. He made this big joke of it, like he was a mobster. He did look Italian and could put on a great Tony Soprano type of voice.”

“But you don’t really think . . .” Cathy whispered and leaned across the table. “He is?” — read more here

I know some of you have already bought (and hopefully read) Fiona’s Fling cuz you are awesome, but there is still a chance for everyone to be awesome and buy Fiona’s Fling right now ~ and it’s on sale, yahoo!

I’m Famous!

Check out my interview on LitCentral O.C.

I was thrilled to be asked to participate in the Author Spotlight of this fine publication. Tomorrow there will be an excerpt from Fiona’s Fling to tempt new readers into making a purchase. But you can do it now, if you haven’t already! Plus there’s super-hot promo happening as we speak ~ FF is on special for 99 cents. Soon that deal will go poof, so hurry. 🙂

Also, if you’re in the mood for a quickie, I’ve made Gracie’s Gamble FREE for a few days. This is also a limited time special offer.

I will be poasting in excruciating detail how these promos translate into actual sales (or um not). Right now there have been 63 downloads of the free GG, but no one has bought anything since June.

Yes, I’m still generally keeping the two ‘nyms separate, but I don’t have to here, on my blahg. Or in interviews. It’s just a Good Thing to stick to one name/one genre for branding (gak) purposes. Anna writes romance/erotica, while Paula writes serious fiction and poetry, but those lines are pretty blurry. Not really. I have it all on a list. LISTS FTW!

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