Heads up! The 50% eBook Buck rebate on this month's Sizzing Book Club Pick, The Chocolate Kiss, ends tomorrow, so grab your copy while you can. The after-rebate price is $6, which is Not Bad At All!
Also, mark your calendars, as the Book Club Chat will be Thursday, March 28 at 9:00 pm EDT. Laura Florand will join us at 10pm for a Q&A, and I may throw chocolates into the mix as well.
Need a Google calendar button? Here you go:
I hope you enjoy the book and can come talk about it with us!
Reader nominations for the DABWAHA tournament of romance novels close at midnight EDT, Friday 15 March! Head on over to the nomination form and tell us which book you think ought to be in the tournament.
Selection Sunday will be 17 March, and you'll be able to pick your brackets and get ready for the tournament then – let the trash talking and competitive awesomeness begin!
I'm over at Kirkus today, continuing my series about romance tropes and how to identify your favorites. This week, I'm talking about hero types – specifically beta heroes, which I love. A lot:
A beta hero isn't a weak hero—not at all. Unfortunately, it's sometimes easier to define what a beta hero is by what he isn't. He isn't the alpha, he isn't automatically dominant (hence the term “beta”) and he isn't a badass (though he can be). A beta hero might be quieter, thoughtful, sometimes nerdy, and very often hiding a depth of character that could match the Grand Canyon.
Do you like beta heroes, especially the super-smart ones? I love those. LOVE.
I HAVE LINKS. You like links, yes? Links are happy making things!
First, from Carrie S: Literary cakes!
I think the Little Women cake, #7, is my favorite. Which is yours?
Thank you to the many, many people who sent this fascinating article from the Kenyon Review. One of the two ghostwriters for the Sweet Valley High series has written an absorbing account of the books she wrote, how she found balance in her life as a SVH ghostwriter and as a graduate student, and what the series meant to her:
What did I get in return? Why did I go from writing one book to two and then five and then fifty? Was it the money? At first, to some extent, yes. After “Rags to Riches” and “Crash Landing,” I quit my job at the publishing house and took the summer “off” to write two more books. I’d already decided to go back to graduate school in the fall, but instead of making the reasonable decision to write one or two or even three books every summer, when I wasn’t in class full-time or teaching, I started graduate school, bringing Sweet Valley with me, and plowed ahead full steam.
For the next five years, Sweet Valley became my other, hidden life—at night, on weekends. Over vacations. The whole time I was getting my PhD, I wrote more or less every other book in the series, alternating with another “principle” writer whom I never met. It was like I’d somehow become twins during that five year stretch. In one version of myself, I was a twenty-something, Jewish, academic version of Elizabeth Wakefield. In that life—the earnest, responsible one—I was a resident tutor, writing fellowship letters for cream-of-the-crop seniors in exchange for room and board; a graduate student in seventeenth-century British literature, taking comps and Orals and picking a dissertation topic.
I have to admit, I had no idea “Kate William” wasn't a real person and was in fact two people.
You've seen the Turkish oil wrestling pictures, yes?
Thank you to the many, many, many people who sent that link. No, really. Thank you.
From Janice comes this link to photos from Numero Homme magazine with fashion styled by Karl Lagerfeld.
All I can think is, those men must be VERY thin or sucking it in like whoadamn.
This is a really inspiring video sent to me by Bryn about why it's important that kids learn how to code. I agree without question – learning simple HTML coding changed my life.
And finally, academic romance readers, take note! Via Sam: The University of Reading is advertising a PhD studentship based on the Mills & Boon archive, which is held in the University’s Archives & Special Collections. The studentship would suit any student seeking to undertake doctoral study with a background in literature, the history of books and publishing, and gender and cultural studies.
Further information can be found here(PDF). The studentship forms one pilot project for a new PhD Programme in Collections-Based Research. Details about the Programme can be found here. For further information, please contact Dr Andrew Nash.
Almost forgot! Monday, Publishers Lunch announced that EL James, author of 50 Shades of Grey, will be publishing an “Inner Goddess” journal, which will include writing tips. This tickled me in so many ways, I immediately started guessing on Twitter what her writing tips might be like. The resulting #50tips hashtag became collaborative hilariousness. You can enjoy the collection at Storify if you'd like. Thank you to Andrew Schaeffer for collecting his favorites, and thereby reminding me that I'd forgotten to Storify the conversation! And heaven knows, Twitter conversations don't last long if you want to gather them. Hope you enjoy!