Links! It’s like we’re online and stuff

CS Central Science has a feature about Heather Snow's first novel – a historical romance with a chemist heroine.

The CENtral Science blog is connected to the chemistry journal, “Chemistry & Engineering News.”

Thanks to Karen for the link – she wrote, “I was surprised to see a romance novel mentioned in a chemistry blog, but I was pleased that the story didn't have anything negative to say about romance novels!  It was so refreshing to see an article about romance that was positive, especially in such an unusual place.”

I love this kind of support so much. Yay chemist heroines!

 

Big hoorays to the Popular Romance Project's website launch. You can skip the pictures of me without my glasses trying not to cross my eyes and failing on that one – yay strabismus! – and go straight to these three clips of Beverly Jenkins, who is a very thoughtful interview subject.


And finally, in other awesomeness, GenreReviews took a look at some romance covers of the present, attempted to recreate the poses, found them difficult anatomically, then switched the male and female positions – which was amazing and eye-opening and also hilarious.

I left a really long comment (so long it had to be broken into two pieces) because clearly LiveJournal brevity is a talent I lack.

What I found so fascinating is that seeing the clinch covers with the genders reversed helped me identify so many things that I don't like about them. I've never been drawn to clinch covers as much as other readers enjoy them – and seeing them with a red-haired female in the dominant position formerly occupied by the male was a definitely help in achieving clarity!

That said, I love that I see more covers with couples where the female is depicted as an active participant in the action – like this one, which I think is amazing:

Book Cover

What covers have you noticed that you liked? 

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  1. 1
    Shell C says:

    There is a lesson in the difference in how the model on the cover above holds her shoulders and how the models on the covers over at Genre Reviews hold theirs.
    A lesson in posture …
    … and cleavage. 

    (Thanks to the cover of Michaels’ ‘A Midsummer Night’s Sin’ I’m now going to bed with ‘Brimful Of Asha’ stuck in my head. [The lyrics @ 1:39min in, for those who don’t know the song])

  2. 2
    Laura says:

    Those pictures were great!  I completely agree that too many covers look rapey.  I’m also not a fan of the Headless Man Titty covers.  Objectification is distasteful, even when it’s female on male.  If that poor fellow had a head, he’d be saying, “Hey lady, my eyes are up here!”

  3. 3

    Ooh, I think I may need to check out that Heather Snow novel. Scientist heroine FTW! /

    Also, yeah, wow, that cover’s pretty awesome.

  4. 4
    Elise Logan says:

    Oh, that photo shoot was fantastic. And it really does help to point out the power dynamic of the covers. I’m looking at my covers differently now – I think I may have to rethink some of them :)

  5. 5
    Mirandaflynn says:

    It’s not an action cover, but I’ve always thought the cover to Dangerous In Diamonds was really pretty.

    Miranda

  6. 6
    Elizabeth Murchison says:

    I like MM romances, and I’ve just spent a few minutes really looking at the covers. The absence of clinches is notable. Sometimes, we get a sweet kiss. More often, when there’s more than one guy on the cover, the men aren’t even looking at each other. When they are, there’s a noticeable distance between them. If they’re near each other, they’re usually staring at the reader (unless their heads have been chopped off). I’m not sure if this is just residual prudery or if they assume the audience just really wants to look at male bods.

    At at least I don’t see many huge dominance issues on the covers. One of the big draws of MM romance for me is that male/female dominance issues aren’t a factor in the relationship. An MM romance that tries to mimic that dynamic turns me off. And in M/F romances, I like futuristic stories set in societies where it doesn’t seem to be an issue.

    Typical covers:

    http://www.amazon.com/Catch-Me…

    http://www.amazon.com/Between-

    http://www.amazon.com/All-She-

    I like the last one best. In spite of, or maybe because of, the missing heads, you get the impression that these guys actually like each other.

    The covers where one guy is preening while the other sorta-kinda looks at him, sometimes in a creepy way, are particularly annoying:

    http://www.amazon.com/Not-Know…

    Here’s a cover where they are actually touching. There’s nudity, but they STILL aren’t looking at each other:

    http://www.amazon.com/Custom-R…

    Of course, my favorite MM romance cover of the last year is this one, so I’m not sure what that says about me:

    http://www.amazon.com/Courtshi…

    Apologies for the crappy links.

  7. 7
    Grace says:

    Sarah, I loved your comments about the clinch covers. Also, I’m glad you’re not the only one who prefers the UK M&B covers to the US Harlequin covers. What is up with the US covers being so…imbalanced? Is it because the US marketed is perceived to be more conservative than the UK market? I’ve actually purchased several M&B Rivas instead of their US equivalents because I liked the UK covers so much.

  8. 8
    Susan/DC says:

    The Cara Elliot cover is good, as is the one for Julie Ann Long’s “I Kissed an Earl”, where the heroine is also the active agent in the picture. 

    If you like scientist heroines in historicals, try Zoe Archer’s “Love in a Bottle”.  A sweet, romantic book, and her interest is believable for the time period.

  9. 9
    Beggar1015 says:

    I had a good laugh at the pictures, and the blogger did make me stop and think: many of these couples on the book covers don’t look like they’re having any fun.

  10. 10
    henofthewoods says:

    A lot of my favorite covers for romances tend to not have people at all. I was so happy when they started to look like fancy wallpaper samples. In the 90’s, I read much more Jayne Ann Krentz and Jane Feather because I didn’t mind buying their books.
    http://img1.fantasticfiction.c…
    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/i…
    http://img1.fantasticfiction.c…

    My favorite covers in general have really good dresses with rich looking cloth. The Luxe YA books for example. I still haven’t read them, but they are gorgeous.
    http://images2.fanpop.com/imag…
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi…

    And my all time favorite go-ahead-and-judge-a-book-by-its-cover:

    http://www.melanierawn.com/boo…

    There was a time when I read every book with a Michael Whelan cover painting. It worked pretty well for me.

  11. 11
    Alina says:

    I’ve been jonesing for a new book all week and ended up buying Heather Snow’s Sweet Enemy when it showed up in my Goodreads newsletter today. The first thing I did is come here to search for Heather Snow’s name to see if there’s a review.

    I’m still at the beginning and it’s a bit of a mixed bag so far, but mostly positive. It has some very nice points to the writing and characterization, but it already feels a bit heavy on genre clichés, such as the heroine’s violet eyes (what other colour could a romance heroine’s eyes possibly be?!), and overwrought eye-colour descriptions in general. Also, the hero “stiffened” when he laid eyes on her and the twelve-year-old in me burst out laughing.

    Even this early on, the heroine’s scientific skills are very much a presence in the novel, so that’s nice. The hero hasn’t had a chance yet to demonstrate all that much of his personality, so far the most prominent feature is his active role in politics (how many romance-novel dukes bother to draft laws that create jobs for the poor?).

  12. 12
    SB Sarah says:

    Heather sent me this image:

    <img alt=“Book Cover” src=“http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0061885665.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg”&gt;

    She wrote, “If men don’t fantasize about a woman taking charge of her desires (and him, too), there’s something seriously wrong. This cover? A MILLION times hotter
    than the active male/passive female clenches we’re all so used to seeing.”

    True that double true.

  13. 13
    Laura says:

    Dammit, now I have that stupid “I kissed a girl” song playing in my head, only it’s “I kissed an EARL.”

    Well, I probably WOULD like it :-)

  14. 14
    Alina says:

    I kissed an earl and I liked it, taste of his cheroot stogie. I kissed an earl just to try it, hope my chaperone don’t mind it. It felt so gauche, it felt so right, meeting at Almack’s tonight. I kissed an earl and I liked it… I liked it.

  15. 15
    Laura says:

    That’s great!  I’m not into girls, so this version works better for me.  Quick, somebody make a music video.  I’m thinking something with a Jane Austen Fight Club feel to it (http://janeaustenfightclub.com&#8230;.

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