The Incredible Shrinking Romance Section

After reading a vintage book from a contemporary romance author who had written a massive backlist, I felt like reading some more of her work. I had read all of the titles available at the library and I was waiting for her new release. (You know how it is.) I decided to pop in to a local used bookshop that had recently relocated to see what they had to offer.

The romance section, which once had been a large room filled with thousands of romance novels (I’m not exaggerating) was now an alcove with less than a dozen bookshelves. After I got over my surprise, I decided they must have downsized the selection when they had relocated. I couldn’t understand the business decision since romance fiction was their specialty, but these things happen.  Continue reading “The Incredible Shrinking Romance Section”

5 Romance Books You Need on Your Keeper Shelf

You’re having a great day and you want to celebrate. You’re having a bad day and need to curl up on the couch and shut out the world. You’re bored and looking for some fun. Would you pick the same book for these moods? Probably not. In that case, have a few standbys on your shelf for each mood.  Continue reading “5 Romance Books You Need on Your Keeper Shelf”

The Sexual Double Standard for Romance Heroines

Readers occasionally contact me and ask, “Why can’t you write a virginal heroine?”

I’ve written a few, but a virgin doesn’t really work with the stories I tell. I have no problems reading romance stories that have a virgin as a female protagonist. One of my auto-buy authors writes virginal heroines almost exclusively and it works with her themes and core story.

Would it be difficult to change the way I tell a story so my heroine is a virgin? Yes. I guess I could take a shortcut and briefly mention her lack of sexual experience. But if it has no bearing to the story, the relationship or even the moment, why bother?

Maybe the question shouldn’t be about why I don’t write a virginal heroine. I think the real question is: why should I?  Continue reading “The Sexual Double Standard for Romance Heroines”

Embrace Your Clinch Covers

Years ago I was buying a stack of romance novels at my local bookstore. I set the books down on the counter and the male sales associate decided to mimic the poses on the covers. He really got into it.

I blushed hard. I also hoped he didn’t try to re-enact a dead body when he saw a gruesome scene on a crime novel. He definitely would injure himself.  Continue reading “Embrace Your Clinch Covers”