First, thank you to the many, many people who have shared the reaction video from Ron Charles of The Washington Post regarding EL James being named “Publishing Person of the Year” by PW.
Never have clingwrap and leggings looked so good. Well played, Mr. Charles, well played.
I'm over at Kirkus this week talking about Food in Romance and how characters feeding one another can have wonderful significance. (I was noshing on Thanksgiving leftovers, totally).
Food carries some powerful memories. There's a scene in Marie Sexton's Strawberries for Dessert wherein one of the heroes, Cole, uses his boyfriend Jon's family cookbook to make dinner for Jon and Jon's father, who is a widower. Jon is not at all sure how his father will react to Cole as Jon's new boyfriend, and is afraid that his dad's hesitation or Cole's sometimes outlandish behavior will cause a scene.
But Cole, who is a fantastic chef, uses the recipes from Jon's late mother to recreate some of the meals she used to serve her family. Jon's father takes a bite and remembers his wife, their marriage, and how much she loved her family. The scene is so touching, I teared up. It was a powerful example of how love can be communicated through food – and how love can't be defined or limited, no matter how one feels.
What are some of your favorite romances that featuring excellent food?
Amazon announced a new feature of their already-in-the-works please-soon-I've-been-waiting FreeTime parental controls. FreeTime Unlimited offers subscribers unlimited ebooks, apps and games for kids. Laura Hazard Owen writes at PaidContent:
For a set monthly price, families get unlimited access to ebooks, movies, TV shows, educational apps and games aimed at 3-to-8-year-olds. Kindle FreeTime Unlimited works only on the newest Kindle Fires as an extension to Kindle FreeTime, the parental controls feature that lets parents set time limits on kids’ various uses of the tablet.
Households that subscribe to Amazon Prime will pay $2.99 per child or $6.99 per family (up to six kids) per month; non-Prime members will pay $4.99 per child or $9.99 per family per month. Content is “pre-screened for age-appropriateness.”
I've been waiting for the FreeTime upgrade to the Kindle, especially if it limits what my kids have access to on my KindleFire. There is a FreeTime Unlimited content collection at Amazon already. I am very eager to see what this looks like – and how it works.
From Elizabeth S. comes a wonderful morning treat for each day of advent: The Hubble Space Telescope Advent calendar. One new image of deep space each day. It's a lot to take in while drinking coffee, but somehow just looking at the images of nebulae and galaxies light years away makes my brain feel very accomplished.
And finally, via Tessa Dare on Twitter, her Spindle Cove trilogy is on sale digitally!
Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there.
Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn't belong here. So far as he can tell, there's nothing in this place but spinsters . . .and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders togather a militia. It's a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch–a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram's makeshift army.
Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle; but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?
A Week to be Wicked is $3.99 digitally.
When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin . . . time is not on their side. Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove's confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.
Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be . . . anywhere but Spindle Cove.
These unlikely partners have one week:
- to fake an elopement
- to convince family and friends they're “in love”
- to outrun armed robbers
- to survive their worst nightmares
- to travel four hundred miles without killing each other
All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.
What they don't have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.
Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble. And maybe . . . just maybe . . . everlasting love.
A Lady by Midnight is $2.99. I really enjoyed this book and gave it an A-. At $3, it's a good bargain, if you like “I don't want to like you, I don't want to like you, I can't stop thinking about your hair DAMMIT” romances like I do.
A temporary engagement, a lifetime in the making . . .
After years of fending for herself, Kate Taylor found friendship and acceptance in Spindle Cove—but she never stopped yearning for love. The very last place she'd look for it is in the arms of Corporal Thorne. The militia commander is as stone cold as he is brutally handsome. But when mysterious strangers come searching for Kate, Thorne steps forward as her fiancÉ. He claims to have only Kate's safety in mind. So why is there smoldering passion in his kiss?
Long ago, Samuel Thorne devoted his life to guarding Kate's happiness. He wants what's best for her, and he knows it's not marriage to a man like him. To outlast their temporary engagement, he must keep his hands off her tempting body and lock her warm smiles out of his withered heart. It's the toughest battle of this hardened warrior's life . . . and the first he seems destined to lose.