I was contacted awhile back by Elyse, who was looking for recommendations for historical romance, but when we got to chatting via email, I learned that Elyse is a former bookseller who reads just about everything, and she's a marvelous reviewer. So she'll be appearing (poof! LIKE MAGIC) hereabouts with reviews of romances and romance-like publications (which are often really romances). Here's a little more about Elyse:
I've always loved to read. I was the kid who sat outside at recess reading the Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley High rather than play kickball with the other kids. When I was in high school I started writing for the student newspaper because writing as almost as fun as reading. As you can imagine I was very cool and popular.
I found my first romance novel, A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss, in a box of books in our basement. I haven't looked back since. I still have a special place in my heart for Woodiwiss despite all the BS in her books. I also started reading Harlequin Presents in high school, hiding them inside other books so I could read them secretly. I still love all the secret baby/ revenge marriage/ amnesiac-secretary-mistress nonsense they have to offer.
I got a degree in English with the intention that I'd teach. While I was in college I worked at an awesome mom and pop bookstore which is where I met my husband. I worked for that independent bookseller for about 5 years before they went out of business. Somehow instead of going on for my PHD I would up working in the transportation industry, which is where I am today. I work out of the virtual office as a strategic account manager for a speciality intermodal equipment company (we make stuff so stuff can come off of boats/trains and then go to Wal Mart or Target or wherever). I've had reviews printed in Booksense 76 (Independent Bookseller monthly recommendations/buying guide).
I travel a lot, and split my time between home, the corporate headquarters of various customers, and rail yards and ports (which are always in super sketchy neighborhoods–ever been to South Kearny, NJ? It smells like cancer).
My hubby and I both love to read, to travel, and he likes to cook which is good because otherwise I'd live on diet Coke and Pop Tarts.
My favorite authors are:
I read a lot of mysteries and non-fiction too. Basically I should just sign over one paycheck to Barnes and Noble each month.
First of all, South Kearny does indeed smell funky, but I've always likened it to either burnt Pampers or burnt pb & j.