Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Books I’ve Read’ Category

This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Alexandra B, chosen by Random.org to win my favorite romance ebooks of 2014! Thank you to everyone who entered. I’ll have more things to give away soon :)


Well, back in January I had thoughts of doing a post on my favorite romance reads of the year. But, as you may have noticed, I’m kind of a lousy blogger and I’m particularly daunted by posts that include graphics (e.g., book covers), because I have to re-learn every time how to get the stupid automatic borders off and how to get the images the right size and properly placed so the text flows around them and all of that.

In addition, I was daunted by having to come up with something persuasive and special to say about each book, distilling for you the essence of why it appealed to me and why it ought to appeal to you. Long story short, the January post didn’t happen.

But today I ran across this giveaway post by author Laura K. Curtis (more…)

Read Full Post »

If I get around to writing a “Best Reads of 2014” post, one of the books I’ll wax most rhapsodic about is Summer Chaparral, a historical romance with an unusual late-19th-century Southern California setting, featuring some marvelously assured prose and characterization from debut author Genevieve Turner.

The follow-up novella to that book, The Cowboy’s Christmas Seduction, is free on Amazon this weekend. I haven’t read it yet, but because I loved Summer Chaparral so much, I wanted to alert you all to the free promotion (running 12/27 and 12/28).

Caveat: I asked around on Twitter, and people who’ve read both books recommend reading Summer Chaparral first rather than approaching The Cowboy’s Christmas Seduction as a stand-alone. But I figure as long as the novella is free, you might as well download it and save it until you’ve gotten around to reading Summer Chaparral. Which I do hope you’ll do, because like I said, it’s one of the best romances I read this year :)

Read Full Post »

Not one, not two, but three of my favorite historical-romance authors have books out this month! In case they’re not already on your radar, allow me to put them there.

The Jade Temptress book coverThe Jade Temptress by Jeannie Lin, released March 1.

Dramatic backstory: In December, Lin blogged candidly about some disappointing news: sales for The Lotus Palace, first book in her new series, had been so poor that Harlequin canceled the print release of the series follow-up, The Jade Temptress, opting to publish it in e-book form only.

This was a demoralizing development for those of us who love Lin’s writing, those who appreciate her candor and wish her well, and those who’d like to see more diversity in the settings and stories of historical romance. Pretty much everyone I know who’s tried one of Lin’s books has become a fan; it was frustrating that more people weren’t trying her.

Then, a plot twist: Harlequin put The Lotus Palace on sale for 99 cents – and it sold. It sold enough copies to land on the USA Today bestseller list. Lin blogs about that slightly surreal experience here.

So now The Jade Temptress is out, and not only am I looking forward to reading it, but I’m hoping hard that a good number of the e-book readers who snapped up The Lotus Palace will move on to the sequel.

And here comes my quick sales pitch: if you like historical romance, but worry that Tang Dynasty China is too far removed in time and courtship conventions to give you all the familiar pleasures you look for in romance, well, first of all I hear you because those are the same reasons I don’t read Medieval.

And second of all, I think you need to read Jeannie Lin. If you like formidable women and and upstanding men who have a weakness for formidable women; if you like pulse-pounding action scenes; if you like vivid world-building and plots that turn on questions of honor, then I think her books are for you.

(If you want to start by dipping your toes in, I recommend her novella Capturing the Silken Thief, which sets up the world of The Lotus Palace and The Jade Temptress.)


Sweet Disorder book coverSweet Disorder by Rose Lerner, out March 18

Dramatic backstory: Lerner debuted in 2010 with the utterly charming marriage-of-convenience Regency In for a Penny. It got superlative reviews and she was voted Best Debut Author in the year-end poll at All About Romance. Her career was off to an auspicious start.

Then her publisher, Dorchester, already in financial trouble, started crumbling in earnest. They pushed back publication of her follow-up book, and pushed it back again, and finally released it in trade paperback instead of romance-friendly mass-market, shortly before they went under completely. Lerner talks about the Dorchester experience, with its feelings of helplessness and irrational shame, toward the end of this interview.

So we’ve had a long wait for another Rose Lerner book, but it’s finally here, and I’m lucky enough to have read it already and I can tell you it’s a delight.

And now my sales pitch for Rose Lerner: her books are full of historical detail that gives them a sort of sensuous texture (does that make sense? I’m not sure how else to put it); and more than this, her writing is vibrant with authorial affection and enthusiasm, both for the little research oddities she’s managed to weave into her story (Sweet Disorder‘s plot turns on a bit of small-town electoral trivia: a widow’s prospective husband will get to vote in the upcoming election, so both Whigs and Tories are scrambling to matchmake her to a man of their choosing), and for the characters with whom she peoples that story, right down to the two Mr. Wrongs who inevitably have to get beaten out by our hero. (I really want that confectioner to meet a nice girl with a fearsome sweet tooth.)


Fool me Twice book coverFool me Twice by Meredith Duran, out March 25

Slightly-less-dramatic backstory: I’ve said before that if for some reason I had to give up reading every romance writer but one, Duran would be my keeper. It’s probably still true.

But I have to admit I’ve fallen two and a half books behind on her oeuvre. I think where I stumbled was when she released At Your Pleasure, which, departing from her usual Victorian setting, took place in early Georgian times. I don’t know a lot about early Georgian times, so, like someone who hesitates to pick up a book set in the Tang Dynasty, I kept finding something else to read.

(Also I didn’t like the cover – not only did the woman not look Georgian, but she looked rather vapid, and not like someone I wanted to read about. You’d think I’d know better than to judge a romance book by its cover, but I do think it may have been a factor.)

It’s not that I ever decided not to read the book; other things just kept leapfrogging it on the TBR pile. And before I knew it her next book was out – That Scandalous Summer, another Victorian – and I thought, “No, I still have to read At Your Pleasure before I read this one,” and again, I kept finding other things to read.

But Fool me Twice, sequel to That Scandalous Summer, is out this month and I’m hearing a lot of good buzz. And it was on sale for $1.99, and so was TSS, so I gave up (for now) on AYP and bought and started TSS.

And now I’m mystified as to why this book didn’t get the buzz that Fool me Twice is getting, because it has everything I love about Meredith Duran’s writing: thoughtful, intelligent characters I care immediately about; imaginative turns of phrase; substantial questions about how to live a meaningful life. Also great chemistry between a couple of incorrigible flirts :)

As of this writing both That Scandalous Summer and Fool me Twice are still $1.99 in ebook. If you haven’t read Duran, this is a great opportunity to see why she’s such a favorite of mine.


What books are coming out this spring that you’re excited about? And if you had to give up every romance author but one, who do you think would be your keeper?

Read Full Post »

This drawing is now closed. Random.org has picked commenter beckymmoe as the winner of Susanna’s book. Congratulations to beckymmoe – I’ve sent your email address to Susanna; you should be getting a message from her soon!


It’s always a pleasure to welcome my favorite romance-writing military-history geek to the blog. Susanna Fraser stops by today to talk about her just-released novella, A Dream Defiant, and to give a copy away! Read on:


Cover for A Dream Defiant

Spain, 1813

Elijah Cameron, the son of runaway slaves, has spent his whole life in the British army proving that a black man can be as good a soldier as a white man. After a victory over the French, Elijah promises one of his dying men that he will deliver a scavenged ruby necklace to his wife, Rose, a woman Elijah has admired for years.

Elijah feels bound to protect her and knows a widow with a fortune in jewels will be a target. Rose dreams of using the necklace to return to England, but after a violent attack, she realizes she needs Elijah’s help to make the journey safely.

Her appreciation for Elijah’s strength and integrity soon turns into love, but he doubts she could want a life with him, knowing the challenges they’d face. As their relationship grows, she must convince Elijah that she wants him as more than a bodyguard. And she must prove that their love can overcome all obstacles, no matter the color of their skin.


Q: You’re an author who takes research very seriously. Did you find yourself setting an even-higher-than-usual standard of accuracy when it came to writing a protagonist of a different race from your own? And were there moments when you doubted your ability, or authority, to tell Elijah’s story in an authentic way?Susanna Fraser

A: I definitely wanted to be as accurate as possible, because I was writing about a culture and ethnicity that isn’t my own and one that, to be frank, has been systematically harmed by my native culture. That said, I was limited by the relative paucity of source material. (Although, as always, I’m sure there’s more out there I simply didn’t find–at some point you just have to take off your researcher hat and put the writer one on.) For example, I found scattered references to black soldiers, but I never found a detailed history of a man in Elijah’s position, so I was left to extrapolate what his experiences might have been like.

And I definitely had many moments of self-doubt about whether I should or could tell this story. Ultimately what helped was realizing that I didn’t have to tell the entire story of the black experience in 19th century Britain–that such a thing was FAR beyond the scope of one novella-length historical romance, to put it mildly. All I needed to do was tell a slice of ONE character’s life story. That much I could do.

Q: Like your debut, The Sergeant’s Lady, A Dream Defiant features a heroine widowed while following her husband at war. What is it about the plight of the “following the drum” widow that compels you as a writer?

A: I find myself drawn to widowed heroines in general for a very simple reason–it allows me to write older, sexually experienced heroines who aren’t necessarily “bad girls” or otherwise possessed of a complex or unusual backstory. They’ve been married, happily or otherwise, and now they’re widowed, which in a world with no antibiotics and only rudimentary trauma medicine is ridiculously easy for a writer to make believable.

As for widows following the drum, Rose’s circumstances in A Dream Defiant are quite different from Anna’s in The Sergeant’s Lady. As an officer’s widow and a daughter of the aristocracy, Anna had the resources to return home, and the social expectation that she would observe a normal period of mourning for her husband. Of course that’s not (quite) what happened, given that her husband’s death freed her from a miserable, abusive situation and she quickly met and had adventures with the RIGHT man.

Enlisted soldiers’ widows like Rose, however, were expected to remarry quickly. Each company was allowed a small number of wives officially “on the strength” (generally six), and once a woman was widowed, she lost the right to draw rations for herself and her children. Few women could afford to go home or had a way to support themselves and any children if they did, so most of them remarried almost immediately. I’d read about such women in my initial research for The Sergeant’s Lady, and I was drawn to the poignancy of having to choose a second husband so soon after burying a first one, especially for a woman who loved, or at least was fond of, her first. In fact, that was my initial inspiration for A Dream Defiant.

Q: Rose and Elijah marry for a fascinating mix of reasons, some pragmatic – she needs the protection of marriage; he likes her cooking – and some less so. Was it tricky to establish their mutual attraction in a way that wouldn’t detract from Rose’s sincere mourning, for, and Elijah’s friendship with, her first husband?

A: It was definitely a balancing act. I didn’t want Rose’s first marriage to have been wholly unhappy. I’ve written unhappy first marriages before and will probably do so again. Still, I do feel like it’s the easy way out with a widowed heroine, so I don’t want to go to that well too often. But I also wanted her to find something more with Elijah (this being a romance, after all). So I tried to show without being too heavy-handed that Elijah shared brains, drive, and frustrated ambition with Rose that would enable them to be more together than either were apart, while her first husband had been more of a dead weight. An affectionate, kind, well-meaning dead weight, but one who’d been holding her back all the same.

Q: The couple encounters a spectrum of responses to their marriage, among their regiment and later back in England. Were certain places or populations more welcoming than others to an interracial couple at the time?

A: Interracial marriages were far more accepted in England than in America during this period–really at any point during the 19th century. The fact that England itself wasn’t a slave society (though it still had slavery in some of its colonies) seemed to make its people more willing to accept blacks as equal to whites of similar financial and/or occupational status. Class mattered more than race in a lot of ways. By that measure Rose and Elijah are essentially equals. If anything, Elijah, who is relatively well-educated and has a colonel for his family’s (occasionally patronizing) patron, ranks a little higher.

That said, there was of course plenty of racial prejudice. For one thing, the stereotype about black men’s penis size and sexual prowess already existed, so we see a bit of that from some of the more prejudiced soldiers speculating on why beautiful Rose, who could have her pick of men in the regiment, chose Elijah. In general, I got the impression from my research that the degree of prejudice varied a lot from person to person, just as it does now, so I wrote my characters’ experiences accordingly.

Q: Rose has a passion and a gift for cooking. I know from your blog that you’re an avid hobby cook yourself. What was it like to write a character who shared one of your own avocations?

A: Because of my interest in cooking, I’d been wanting to write a cook or chef character for quite awhile. It’s easier to connect to a character when you share a common interest, and while Rose was my first culinary protagonist I doubt she’ll be my last. There’s that badass garlic-wielding vampire-slaying French chef in one of my unfinished manuscripts, for example…

Q: Is this the last we’ll hear from this set of characters? Late in the book there’s an intriguing mention of Elijah’s officer friend, Lieutenant Farlow. Might there be more to his story?

A: I’m working on a proposal for Henry Farlow’s story now! It will be a full-length novel.

Q: What are you working on right now, and what do you plan to be working on after that?

A: I’ve got several balls in the air. My next scheduled release isn’t until late 2014–a holiday novella from Carina. But I’m hoping to have at least one and hopefully two releases before then. In addition to Henry Farlow’s story, I’ve got a short Christmas time travel novella in the works, and I’m planning a series based around children and grandchildren of “Wild Geese”–Scottish and Irish Jacobites who took refuge in Spain and France after the failed Jacobite uprisings of the 18th century.

Thanks, Susanna, for stopping by! My ears pricked up at “Christmas time-travel novella” (?!), so you can be sure I’ll be watching for that :)


Susanna will be giving away an electronic copy (PDF, epub, or kindle) of A Dream Defiant to one randomly chosen commenter on this post. Tell us your favorite romance – from book, film, or TV – with a military/wartime setting. Star Wars counts! (But if you say “Anakin Skywalker and Queen Amidala in the prequels,” you will be immediately disqualified from the drawing.) (Not really.)*

Leave a comment by 11:59:59 PM Pacific time on Friday, August 2nd for a chance to win!

*Any comment at all will be entered in the drawing. “I want to win,” “I’ve never liked any military romance,” and “Rick and Ilsa in Casablanca, obviously” are all valid entries.   


Read Full Post »

First things first: behold the beautiful cover for the German edition of A Lady Awakened!

German cover for A Lady Awakened

Lady and Gentleman have both sold to a few other countries, but so far those publishers have basically used the US cover, maybe cropped a little with the title in a different style. The German cover is the first one that’s wholly new. I think it’s gorgeous. I don’t expect ever again to be so lucky with book covers as I’ve been with my first book.

Also this week, most of the 2013 DABWAHA field was announced, and Lady and Gentleman both made it in!

Author-GameOn-Nominee2013 Author-GameOn-Nominee2013

You all know what DABWAHA is, right? No? It’s a March Madness-style bracket game, only ten times as awesome as other March Madness bracket games because it’s about ROMANCE NOVELS. The letters stand for Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors, and it’s put on jointly by Hellagood Blogs Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Dear Author. You can fill out a bracket and win wonderful prizes – learn all about it here.

Also, even before bracket-filling-out, you can get your favorite overlooked book into the field! There are eight slots in each of eight categories (Historical, Contemporary, Young Adult/New Adult, etc.), but only seven in each category have so far been filled. (Yes, I am hogging up 25% of the available Historical slots. I’m sorry. Also thrilled.) On this form you can nominate the eighth book for each category.

That’s my news, mostly, for now. The most recent book I loved was Crazy Thing Called Love, by Molly O’Keefe, and right before that, My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin. Has anyone read anything outstanding lately?

Read Full Post »

Congratulations to Growlycub, winner of Susanna’s An Infamous Marriage giveaway! Susanna will be emailing you shortly to find out which e-book format you prefer.


I’m so happy to welcome author Susanna Fraser to the blog today.Susanna Fraser

Susanna writes romances set in the early decades of the 19th century, with a military milieu – she read Bernard Cornwell and Patrick O’Brian as well as Jane Austen in her formative years, and it shows in her stories. I always feel like I’m just sinking into a sort of hammock of immaculately woven, inconspicuously integrated research when I’m reading one of her books.

I was fortunate enough to have an early look at Susanna’s latest release, An Infamous Marriage, and she kindly agreed to answer some of my questions about writing the book.


Cover of An Infamous MarriageNorthumberland, 1815

At long last, Britain is at peace, and General Jack Armstrong is coming home to the wife he barely knows. Wed for mutual convenience, their union unconsummated, the couple has exchanged only cold, dutiful letters. With no more wars to fight, Jack is ready to attempt a peace treaty of his own.

Elizabeth Armstrong is on the warpath. She never expected fidelity from the husband she knew for only a week, but his scandalous exploits have made her the object of pity for years. Now that he’s back, she has no intention of sharing her bed with him—or providing him with an heir—unless he can earn her forgiveness. No matter what feelings he ignites within her…

Jack is not expecting a spirited, confident woman in place of the meek girl he left behind. As his desire intensifies, he wants much more than a marriage in name only. But winning his wife’s love may be the greatest battle he’s faced yet.


Q:  I love romances that take risks, and An Infamous Marriage takes a big one:  hero Jack, a career soldier, has been unfaithful to his wife during the years he was away at war. How did you decide to write a story that featured the hero’s infidelity as an obstacle? Was it a historical-accuracy thing? A “let’s see if I can pull this off” thing? And did you worry it would make your hero too unsympathetic?

A:  Jack is the first hero I’ve written who’s in any sense a rake, and having set myself the challenge of writing such a hero, I didn’t want him to be a fake rake. I also wanted to give him and the heroine something real and difficult to work through. I don’t know if I always succeed, but I do my best to avoid plots driven by a Big Misunderstanding. (Big Secrets and Big Miscommunications are another story, however.)

Historical accuracy was a factor, too, in that Jack is a man of his time. The infidelity takes place during a five-year separation. His marriage is one of convenience, he hardly knows his wife, and he certainly isn’t in love with her yet. He’d say he hasn’t acted any differently than other men in the same circumstances—and he wouldn’t be wrong. But because he’s a hero, he learns that “everyone else does it” isn’t a valid excuse.

I did worry that the infidelity might make Jack unsympathetic. On the other hand, it was the story I wanted to tell. I try to stretch myself at least a little bit out of my comfort zone with every book I write, just to keep from getting stale.

Q: Was your publisher on board with the infidelity plotline right away, or did you have to do some convincing?

A: They never brought it up when they accepted the proposal or at any point during the editing process. As I was working on this interview I checked in with my editor, and she told me it wasn’t an issue, given the circumstances of the infidelity.

Q: Jack and Elizabeth meet and marry under some of the most unromantic circumstances I’ve ever read in a romance, and neither one expects to fall in love with the other. At what point would you say her feelings start to change, and at what point do his?

A: She’s aware of him as an attractive man on some level from the very beginning, but she’s too lost in grief for her first husband to feel much of anything for anyone at first. So she begins to fall in love with him a few months after they marry for the sake of the letters he sends her from Canada, where he’s serving with his regiment. This makes her feel all the more betrayed when she hears transatlantic gossip about his affairs.

As for Jack, his feelings only start to change when he comes home from the wars and Elizabeth confronts him over his infidelity—but once he falls, he falls fast and hard and doesn’t look back.

Q: Jack’s serving in the war with America is unusual for a Regency romance. Did you know a lot about that conflict already, or did you need to research? And was there any tidbit of military research that you regret not being able to work into the book?

A: I knew almost nothing about it, and what I knew was the kind of factoids I must’ve used as fill-in-the-blank answers on American History tests back in 11th grade. Francis Scott Key, the Star-Spangled Banner, Andrew Jackson, the Battle of New Orleans. (I sort of backed into my interest in Napoleonic Era military history—it started with a fictional crush on Richard Sharpe that turned into a historical crush on the Duke of Wellington, neither of which draws one to study the War of 1812.)

I’d certainly learned nothing in school about the conflict along the Canadian border, which is the part of the war Jack serves in. But once I discovered it, I knew I’d found Jack’s place in the war. I’m an American myself, after all, as are the majority of my readers, and I figured they’d have an easier time sympathizing with a hero defending Canada than one who took part in the burning of the White House!

As for research I couldn’t include in the book, I read a couple biographies of the Shawnee leader Tecumseh, who died in battle in 1813 leading a coalition of Indian warriors who fought alongside the British. He was a fascinating man, a real tragic hero, and Jack certainly would’ve known him well, but I ended up with no story-related reason to do more than mention his name a time or two.

Q: Some historical figures of the period, most notably the Duke of Wellington, appear as characters in An Infamous Marriage. What are the challenges of writing a real-life person into your story? Is there someone you’d particularly like to write into a book someday?

A: I’d say the biggest challenge in using a real-life figure is making him or her come across as a real person rather than a cardboard cutout, all while keeping within the limits of his or her actions as recorded by history.

I don’t see myself ever writing biographical fiction—I’m not even that fond of it as a reader. When I’m fascinated by a historical figure, I go straight to biography. In fiction, I don’t want to know exactly how it ends before I even start the book.

That said, my “book under the bed” is an alternative history involving, among other people, Wellington and Napoleon. One of these days I want to either polish that manuscript into publishable form or write a fantasy series with similar themes and character types.

Q: You have a novella coming up that I’m really excited about. Can you tell us a little bit about that, and about what you might be working on afterward?

A: It will be out on 7/29/2013, with a title yet to be determined. It’s an interracial romance set in the aftermath of the Battle of Vittoria in the Peninsular War in 1813. The hero is a black British soldier, born to parents who escaped slavery in Virginia by running away to the British army. Over the past few years I’ve been lurking on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog, where he’s often written about the black Union soldiers of the Civil War. Bringing black men into the army was such a huge, hotly-debated step in America, yet I knew for a fact 50 years earlier there had been at least a few black soldiers in both the British and French armies.  So I decided I wanted to try to write one of their stories.

After that, I’m working on a proposal for a full-length novel featuring a secondary character from the novella, and I’m trying my hand at a Christmas novella.


I’ll be giving one copy of An Infamous Marriage to a commenter on this post in your choice of e-book format, and at the end of the tour I’ll be giving away a grand prize of a $50 gift certificate to their choice of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Powell’s Books to one commenter on the tour as a whole. You get one entry per blog tour stop you comment upon, so check out my blog for the whole schedule! If you wish to be entered in the drawing, include your email address formatted as yourname AT yourhost DOT com.

Leave a comment by 5 pm Pacific time, Wednesday, November 21 to be entered in the e-book giveaway.


Read Full Post »

Winner Winner!

annananner, random.org picked you as the winner of my autographed copy of The Siren! Send me a mailing address (cecilia@ceciliagrant.com) and I’ll get the book right out to you.


I have another book to give away, and, like last week’s, it has a little story attached.

Pictured below is an artifact from my trip to the Romance Writers of America national conference in 2010.

Notebook in which I've written "Sleeping Beauty Chronicles"

Yes, my handwriting is atrocious. In case you can’t read it, it says “Sleeping Beauty Chronicles.” The correct title is “Sleeping Beauty Trilogy,” but I think my brain was already checking out, saying, “Yeah, I’m never gonna read this.”

Periodically at the conference I’d strike up conversations with people who wrote in genres I didn’t read, and, in order to have something to say, I’d ask what books they’d recommend to a first-time reader in their genre. So my notebook has pages of paranormal recommendations, romantic-suspense suggestions, and, on that page, the souvenir of the day I sat down in the hotel lobby and wound up chatting with not-yet-published erotica writer Tiffany Reisz.

Book cover for The Siren by Tiffany ReiszI haven’t ever read those Sleeping Beauty books.  I doubt I ever will.  But when I started hearing buzz about The Siren (and if you’re anywhere in Romanceland, you can’t fail to have heard buzz about The Siren), I thought, “Hey, that’s that same author I met in the lobby at RWA 2010!  Wow, these are some eye-popping reviews.  Maybe I’d better check it out.”  And so, poetically enough, Tiffany Reisz herself became the first erotica author I ever read.

To cut to the chase, I think The Siren is pretty brilliant.  It’s not at all what I expected erotica to be:  I never felt like the author’s goal was to titillate, gratify, or shock me.  It’s just a story in which sex happens to be a major component, and it explores some of the psycho-dynamics (is that a word?) of sexuality, with a particular emphasis on power.  (Which in my opinion is what makes sex most interesting and dynamic, in a narrative role.)

Here’s the back-cover copy:

Notorious Nora Sutherlin is famous for her delicious works of erotica, each one more popular with readers than the last. But her latest manuscript is different—more serious, more personal—and she’s sure it’ll be her breakout book…if it ever sees the light of day.

Zachary Easton holds Nora’s fate in his well-manicured hands. The demanding British editor agrees to handle the book on one condition: he wants complete control. Nora must rewrite the entire novel to his exacting standards—in six weeks—or it’s no deal.

Nora’s grueling writing sessions with Zach are draining…and shockingly arousing. And a dangerous former lover has her wondering which is more torturous—staying away from him…or returning to his bed?

Nora thought she knew everything about being pushed to your limits. But in a world where passion is pain, nothing is ever that simple.

You might want to read a few reviews on Amazon or Goodreads to decide whether this book is right for you – there are several plot points that I know were troubling to some readers.  (There are definitely choices made that I don’t endorse in real life, but nothing ever happened that broke my connection to the characters. Your mileage may vary.)  On the flip side, the book is touching, thematically dense & ambitious, and consistently witty.  One of the best books I read in 2012.

So when I was at the RWA conference this past summer, I got a signed copy, and now I’d like to give it away.  She has a follow-up, The Angel, already out, and a third, The Prince, coming out on the 20th of this month, so if you wind up liking The Siren you don’t even have to wait to read more of that world.

As with all my holiday-season giveaways, I’ll ship anywhere.  If The Siren isn’t available in your corner of the planet, now’s your chance.  Just leave a comment below telling me what’s one of the best books you read in 2012.  I’ll pick a winner Tuesday, November 20 (which is also the day I’ll be interviewing Susanna Fraser and giving away a copy of her book An Infamous Marriage!  Giveaways galore!)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »