Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Guest Author: Anne Gracie

Winner: Thank you all for your comments! The random winner of the book given away by Anne is LaniM. Congratulations! Lani, please e-mail my assistant with your mailing details, so we can pass them onto Anne. (nalini DOT assistant AT gmail DOT com).

You've all heard me raving about Anne Gracie's books. I think her historicals are witty and romantic and just wonderful! So I'm very excited to have Anne on the blog today. Please welcome Anne to the blog everyone! (And don't forget to enter her contest)


Hi, I'm Anne Gracie, and I'm delighted to be here — thanks for inviting me, Nalini. Now, before I start, I must make a terrible confession — for years I wouldn't even pick up a paranormal romance. (Hush those boos and hisses! Would I be here if I still hadn't touched them? And yes, I know I write historicals so if you really must boo and hiss, go ahead. (waits for booing and hissing to die down, then proceeds.)

A dozen or so years ago, in my first ever critique group, I met my first ever paranormal writer and the conversation went like this:
Keri (unpublished writer) "What sort of books do you write?"
Anne: (unpublished writer) "Regency historicals."
Keri (pulling a face): "Historicals? How boring."
Anne (narrowing eyes): "Why what do you write?"
Keri: "Vampire romances."
Anne: "Vampires? How creepy."

That was Keri Arthur, and even though we each had no interest in what the other wrote, she and I became friends. We both got published. I bought her books and they sat unread on the shelf. They were paranormals so I knew I wouldn't like them.

Then a few years ago, a friend lent me the first of JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and insisted I read it. It sat on my shelf untouched for an embarrassingly long time, because I didn't like paranormals, did I? In fact the only reason I ended up opening it was so I could honestly say to my friend "I read the first 50 pages, but it's not my thing." Only it was my thing. By the end of the weekend I'd bought and read the whole
series.

So I read my Keri Arthur books and then I read Nalini's Psy Changeling series and of course I'm now a huge paranormal reader, because what's not to love about gorgeous heroes, strong heroines and exciting stories?

It was my own preconceived notions of what they were that kept me from paranormals for a long time. Prejudice. I was so sure I wouldn't like them. But the thing is, a good story is a good story, and unforgettable characters leap off a page whether the book is a paranormal or a historical or a contemporary.

People often think the same thing about historicals. "Historicals? Why would I want to read them? Everyone in them is dead," another writer friend of mine once told me. Of course, being a friend, she forced herself to read one of mine and she shocked herself silly when she actually enjoyed it.

She was sure she wouldn't like historicals because she hated history at school. As if somehow a historical romance was a dusty old tome filled with boring facts.

But history is just a setting, atmosphere, a world to escape into in the same way you can enter into the world of a paranormal. History provides the background, the texture, some of the detail. But if a historical romance is doing its job, you shouldn't even notice the history - you'll be reading for the story, for the characters, the thrills and spills. Just like any other book.

I love writing historicals. They're not all ballroom stories. I can do what I want; I can pair an elegant lady with a bad-boy rake (Perfect Rake), I can send a cool, controlled Regency dude after a girl/boy living on the streets of Cairo (To Catch a Bride), I can send my heroine on a journey across France with a stranger she met by chance on a beach (Perfect Stranger), I can write love at first sight (His Captive Lady) or I can make a soldier make a marriage-in-name to a young Spanish girl and then eight years later find out the annulment he planned on was not possible (Bride By Mistake coming in January 2012.)

And I love getting emails from readers that say things like: "Yours was the first historical I ever read, and now I can't get enough of them."

A couple of years ago Keri Arthur started reading regency historicals. She read my books, Eloisa James's, Julia Quinn's... "Why didn't anyone tell me historicals were so much fun?" she complained. And we had a laugh about our attitude change.

So what about you? Have you been blind like I was? Are there any subgenres you haven't given a fair go to? Haven't really tried out? Given up after one bad experience? And what about a recommendation for someone that's new to your favorite subgenre?

I'll give one of my books to someone who leaves a comment.* The winner can choose any book of mine (except the old Harlequins, which are out of print): http://www.annegracie.com/books/books.htm

*Rules: Contest closes Friday 5th August 2011, 9am New Zealand time. Open internationally. One entry per household. No purchase necessary to enter. Winner will be chosen randomly using random.org and his or her name(s) posted on this blog on Saturday 6th August 2011. Void where prohibited.

95 comments :

Cath said...

I just gotta say I love paranormals AND I love historicals :)
A friend of mine who loves erotica told me I should read some M/M stuff and I was really NOT interested at all to give them a go, however after lots of prodding and cajoling i gave in and read a couple....and you know what?!?! They were actually really, really good and not at all what I was expecting. In fact I'm not afraid to say I'll actually look up and even purchase a few every now and then:)
cbcowley@gmail.com

Danielle said...

I think that reading Historical books allows the readers a view into what the past was really like. I love it. At one time I didn't not like supernatural books. Vampires? Ghosts? It didn't make sense to me to read them...but I guess later I just changed my mind about it. So I started to read books that have romance in them, happy ending neh? Lol :) I think we all have tastes in books and mostly I have to admit that when I was in High School I never understood why my friend read so many romance historical books. But now I do. Depending on the book it allows you to escape reality and in a sense, within your own mind and heart, find some kind of imaginary happily ever after. :)

Hachigatsu@live.com

Anne said...

Cath, that's so interesting. I normally don't read erotica either, but a friend of mine got published in Blaze and when I read them, boy! was I blown away. The thing is good writing is good writing and a good story will suck me in any time.

Katie S. said...

I love romance novels of any kind! But, after reading one extremely big named YA romance, I gave up that sub-genre all together and never went back. Horrible, huh?

And I'm okay with it. There's already too much to read!

So, really, unfairly judging an entire genre off one of bad experience has helped to cut down on the number of books I read and simply my life. That's horrible, isn't it?!

Though, I am willing to pick up another YA book if someone says "hey, you GOTTA read this. Like REALLY," then I may think about it... =)

katie AT bookingit.net

nat2am said...

I am so addicted to the supernatural books now, I don't know why I waited so long to start reading them. I used to only read Stephen King and now I can't remember when I read a book by him.. I just love your Guild Hunter series and can't wait to start on your Psy/Changeling books =). I just love to get into a book and let the stress of my everyday life just fall away. Keep them coming!

nat2am@msn.com

Anne said...

Danielle, I think that the only reason I know as much history as I do is not because of school, but because, like your friend, I read so many historicals. I could pretend I was a brilliant history student but really, I picked it up like black pants pick up white dog hairs. LOL

Of course not all historicals are true to history, but as a kid I used to read Georgette Heyer and Rosemary Sutcliffe and people who cared about history and made it come alive for me. And I try to do the same.

Anne said...

Nat2am, you'll LOVE Nalini's Psy/Changeling books. When we were in New York last month, Nalini and I were in a big Berkley signing, and before they opened the doors to the public, Nalini was mobbed by other authors lining up for the newest of the series, Kiss of Snow (in hardback.) I have mine by my bedside.

Jennifer M said...

I love and read almost every sub-genre of romance. The only one I'm not really interested in is YA. I don't know something about reading about younger people just doesn't draw me.

Chris L said...

I used to never read contemporary romances - compared to historical and paranormal romances, they just seemed so...ordinary. I still don't read a whole lot of them, but Jennifer Crusie has definitely helped me turn the bend and enter the land of the contemporary (would recommend Bet Me to any looking to try out the genre!)
-Chris (mango.chris at gmailDOTcom)

Anonymous said...

I used to only read historicals and paranormal, I HATED normal contemporaries. I wouldnt have picked one up if paid. I could read vampires and shifters set in modern times but plain old everyday hum drum contemporaries? I thought really how can someone use a book for escape purposes if it is set in everyday life. Boy was I wrong! I discovered like many have already stated it just comes down to plain old writing. If the author has written an engaging memorable story then the genre won't even be thought of!

PATRICIA said...

Love my paranormal books !

PATRICIA said...

And I have to say I've never touch a historical book , sorry ;)

Anne said...

Katie, I read a couple of fab YA books in the RITA competitions. There are some brilliant ones around, but like any genre, you have to find the authors who knock your socks off. I must say I don't much like YAs that are a downer -- kids have enough to make them miserable and depressed.

Anne said...

Whoops, sorry, that was meant to be to Jennifer. Sorry about that Jennifer. Don't ask me where the Katie came from -- I don't think any Katie has even left a comment. Need another coffee I think. ;)

Anne said...

Chris L , BET ME is such a fabulous book, isn't it? I do love a book that can make me laugh out loud, and Jenny Crusie can sure do that. I also love her Miras -- the reprints of her old Harlequins. Strange Bedpersons has the funniest dinner party scene ever, and I also love Anyone But You.

RebeLovesBooks said...

This post totally cracked me up because I never used to read paranormal romance, either. I was always strictly into historical romance. I love Georgette Heyer but thanks to Patricia Briggs I now love pnr and uf as well.

Anne said...

Anonymous (hey, you get around ;)

I think this is so true:
"If the author has written an engaging memorable story then the genre won't even be thought of!"

It might be an everyday world in some ways, but a good author can show you a world you haven't imagined, even if it's your own world.

hellokitty said...

I used to love historicals...but then I became a history major and thanks to some extensive military schools that made me read even more history books for 2 master's programs, I felt compelled to move to more fantasy/urban/paranormal. Curious how you go about choosing the period, locale, etc. and how much research do you put into your books. I for one love the Jacobite period (yep, huge Gabaldon fan back in the day) and I adore Sharon Kay Penman's books on the Welsh during the 12th and 13th centuries.

Anne said...

Patricia, no problem -- nobody says you have to read historicals.
But think about what I would have missed out if my friend (another historical writer) hadn't sent me JR Ward and embarrassed me into reading a bit of the first book.
And now I'm hooked on paranormals, too.

Anne said...

Hey, RebeLovesBooks, it's interesting how many people love paranormals AND historicals. Gives weight to by theory that world-building is a big part of the appeal of both genres.
The thing I love best about Heyer is her books are often so funny and clever -- and the characters just spring off the page.

I haven't read Patricia Briggs. Maybe I should. Thanks for the recommendation.

Barbarita V said...

Anne
I also have to confess that it took me a long time to read pranomal too. I started with Nalini and then I got hookup into J R Ward vampires I stil do not read a paranormals only a few authors do it for me.

I never had the pleasure to read any of your books. A few days ago Amazon suggested " The Perfect Rake" I have it on my wish list so hopefully I get to read it very soon. I love historical they transport me to a different era and they usually are very Hot.

Anne said...

Hi HelloKitty, I love doing the research for my books, and I use everything -- books, the web and libraries. I also buy a lot of old out-of print books, and from the web I can get access to things like collections of letters, or diaries and journals from people living in the period of my story, and they often give me some really cool details.

But really for me, the characters and the story come first. When I have those, then I know what things I need to research. Research is like an iceberg -- you might do heaps, but only a tiny proportion hits the pages of the book, and half the time I delete Really Good Stuff because it doesn't further the story.
IMO everything must serve the story.

Anne said...

Barbarita, you've taken much the same route as I did into paranormals. I don't read everyone either, but the authors I love I read everything I can of.

I hope you enjoy Perfect Rake. It's a lot of people's favorite, even though it's not as hot as most of my other books.

Tiffaney said...

Steampunk is a genre that I've tried and I just don't like. It's just icky. I don't know why I love vampire, werewolves, and all other paranormal creatures, but I think steampunk is just gross. Maybe it's because of all the zombies? I don't know.

myrandaroyann said...

I'm pretty openminded when it comes to romance genres. I love paranormals, UF, historical, etc... History was always my favorite subject in school! ;) The genre I read the least would probably be contemporaries but I read a lot of those too (Nora Roberts, etc...) I bought your book, The Perfect Rake, after Nalini recommended it and I love it! I'd love to read another of your books!

Anna Campbell said...

Waving madly at Nalini and Anne!

Anne, that friend who recommended you read the J.R. Wards was obviously a VERY perceptive, intelligent, charming, witty, gorgeous, articulate, kind, graceful...

Oh, all right, I'll come clean! It was MOI!!!!! I still remember snickering my head off when you told me how desperate you were to get book two after having devoured book one. I'm with you - if it's a great story and the characters grab me, I don't care what genre it is.

Anne said...

Tiffaney, I read MelJean Brooks's first steampunk book and I loved it. No zombies at all.
And I'd be with you on finding zombies gross, except that I read the Terry Pratchett books, Going Postal and others, and they give a really funny view of Zombies, so I don't mind them so much now.

Anne said...

Hey, myrandaroyann, thanks. I'm so pleased you loved Perfect Rake. Gideon was my bad boy rake, and he's pretty funny when he falls for Prudence and has no idea his goose is cooked. You're in the draw for the other books.

Anne said...

Waving madly back at Anna Campbell, who indeed was the historical author who tempted me over to The Dark Side by lending me her copy of the first JR Ward. And yes, I read the first two books in a matter of hours, and then phoned up the only bookshop in Melbourne likely to have the others and drove into the city on Saturday morning to buy the rest.

Amy said...

Hi, Anne! Thanks for your post! I actually love all kinds of stories with romance, especially paranormal and historical romances. I started out reading paranormal/urban fantasy and then branched out into historical and romantic suspense. For historicals, I like reading about rakish heroes who eventually reform (mostly). Would love to read one of your books!

Anne said...

Thanks for dropping by, Amy. You're definitely in the draw.

Jo said...

Hey Anne! I started out reading spy novels would you believe then moved to UF and PNR but over the last few years have branched out into historical and contemporary romances which I am loving. One genre I haven't read much of is mystery. My Bff reads them, mostly with serial killers the grisly the better, she is always slinging books my way but they sit unread! Which is weird because lets face it UF books can get pretty gruesome and there usually is a whodunnit aspect to them maybe I just need that otherwordly part of the story!
Thanks! Have a great day.

jo-w1(at)hotmail(dot)com

Anne said...

Jo, I used to read a lot of spy stuff, too. I prefer crime to spy, though, but not the grisly ones. I'm a shocking wimp when it comes to grisly stuff and OTT violence and really creepy 'in-the-head-of-a psycho" books. Gives me nightmares.
But I love crime novels by Dick Francis, PD James, Ruth Rendell, etc. And there's a fantastic regency-era crime series with a great ongoing romance by C.S. Harris. Quite action filled and gripping, with great atmosphere and the characters really come to life.

orannia said...

I must confess to being a bit eclectic when it comes to genres - I read...lots of things. It wasn't always that way. Apart from Barbara Cartland and Patricia Veryan, I hadn't read a romance novel until 5 years ago. A friend lent me Devil's Bride (Stephanie Laurens) and I was away. I started reading m/m romance about 18 months ago - and I now adore the genre!

Anne - I just want to say, The Perfect Rake was the first book of yours I read, and it is hands down my favourite! I recommend it left, right and centre because I love how Gideon sees Prudence. I love that Prudence isn't a diamond of the first water, that's she's...average (I for one am so sick of beautiful heroines), but to Gideon she's gorgeous, whether alone or next to her sisters. I *heart* Gideon!

CYP said...

Hi Nalini and Anne! I am a great fan of both of you! Normally i would just read YA action novels, but the romances that both of you write are, wow, unbeatable. Seriously, they're so sweet and...yeah you get it.:)

-Yet Peng(cypsays_hi@hotmail.com)

Mikaela said...

I love paranormal romance but there is one subgenre I am staying away from : Zombie Romance. The books might be well written, but my skin crawls at the thought of zombies and sex.

Nalini Singh said...

Mikaela - I'm with you!

bouby55 said...

I have to admit that I don't even want to try science fiction books. To me it just seems too unreal. I might try one, one of these days, for now, historical and paranormal are my favorite genre of books. Just love them. The possibilities are endless, amazing how our imagination can help us view what the authors describe. I just love historical books, the regency era of gentlemanly behavior is so romantic to me.

Jen said...

I've always liked historical romances but I do enjoy other genres too. It tends to get very boring when you keep reading the same genre over and over again. Nowadays, I mostly read whatever sounds interesting, whether it is paranormal, contemporary or historical. However, I do tend to avoid romantic suspense. I just don't like them.

Cristina said...

I started out with historicals but was introduced to pnr in when Christine Feehan came on the scene. I fell in love with them but they weren't easy to find back then. I still love historicals but have to admit I have a prejudice about mystery/crime/spy books. One of my favorite historical authors was Julie Garwood but when she flipped subgenres to the mystery/crime romance I stopped reading her books without even giving her new ones a chance. Thanks for this post, you make very good points that good writing is good writing and I think I'll go back and give her new genre a chance.

@RebeLovesBooks, I used to be a strictly romance fan also and like you, Patricia Briggs was my intro into UF. It was her crossover 'Alpha & Omega' story that got me hooked. I was looking in Romance for the continuation story 'Cry Wolf' when someone directed me to the Sci/Fi section and I discovered a whole new world :)

Anna said...

Good questions! I started off loving historical romances then followed an author to her paranromal romances and got hooked. Later, I pooh-poohed HRs exclaiming they are so 80s but learned there are REALLY good stories out there. It's a writer's ability to storytell and the compelling characters she creates that make a good book. So, I've learned - Don't blame the genre for a lame experience!

Oh! After dragging my feet, kicking and screaming "It's for KIDS!" I finally tried Young Adult urban fantasy. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins blew me away! Now, I'm open to trying others. *whispers "but I still won't try the really popular one with shiny vampires - shhhh!"*

Anne said...

Orianna, Devil's Bride is one of my all time faves of Stephanie Laurens. And thank you for hearting my Gideon -- so many people have said that about him, that they love that he thinks Prue is so beautiful. I was a bit over beautiful heroines, too -- and then my editor wanted me to write books for her beautiful younger sisters! LOL Serve me right. I hadn't planned that to be a series -- my previous editor only wanted one-off books.
Thanks too for recommending the book, it's *very* sweet of you.

Anne said...

Hi Cyp, thanks so much from dropping by and spreading the compliments. It's lovely of you to say so. Any recommendations in the YA field? I used to read heaps of YA when I was teaching high school, and loved it, but since I've become a full time writer, I'm a bit out of touch.

Anne said...

Oh Mikaela -- zombies and sex? Shudder. Too creepy for words, I agree.

Terry Pratchett's zombies are funny, not sexy.

Anne said...

Bouby55, I have to admit I used to read a lot of fantasy (Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, anyone? Merceded Lackey? Fabulous.) And I was hooked on sci fi young when we read Day of the Triffids in junior high school. I read all of John Wyndahm and most of Asimov (has anyone read all of Asimov -- the guy was so prolific) but the sci fi and fantasy I really enjoy is always about characters, not worlds and strange creatures and machines -- for me characters drive a novel, and IMO some of the sci fi writers get too carried away with creating intricate and elaborate settings and then hand us cardboard characters.

Anne said...

Jen, when I was a kid my sister introduced me to Mary Stewart books, and they were fabulous rom suspense, but I have to confess, i don't read it much either. I suspect I just need a good recommendation.

Anne said...

Cristina, I suspect a whole lot of Julie Garwood's romance readers didn't follow her into her crime books. They were so very different, weren't they? I Only started the first one and was surprised by how hard-edged and gritty her crime was, when her historicals were so warm and funny and cute with not a mean bone in them.

And thanks for those recommendations. I'll check them out.

Christina said...

I love paranormal and historical equally :) Historicals (Julie Garwood's The Secret, to be specific) was my first ever romance book and had me sold to the genre. Other paranomral I would recommend would be KResley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. My newest favorite is steampunk (Meljean's books are awesome!) so any recommendations for this would be great :)

I think the only genre I haven't read a lot of are contemporary romances. (And Anne, good for you not reading the one with shiny vamps :) I wish I hadn't)

Anne said...

Anna, sometimes it's the author you follow regardless of genre, sometimes though, you want to stay in the world s/he creates. Thanks for sharing your journey in reading with us.

Anne said...

Anna, thanks for the recommendation of Kresly Cole -- I haven't read her yet, but I've heard good things, and I picked up one of her books in New York, but it's sitting in a box in Iowa and I'm on the other side of the world. :(
I agree with you about MelJean Brooks -- love her, but she's the only steampunk I've read so far.

@CaribbeanAccent said...

I love your honesty Anne :D
I read all kinds of books but I admit i thought JR Ward was a guy (before they started putting her picture on the back) and I didn't know if I would like the Black Dagger series. Now, I love it!
I haven't read your books before but am looking forward to doing so and will push my book club/rental people to start carrying your books.
I wish you could get your HArlequin books reprinted because I love reading the early or not-so-dark work of my fav authors. :-)

Lauren said...

I have to say that I'm open to any romance book as long as the story line and characters are well written. I do admit that I tent to stay away from crime/suspense unless its written by an author I've already read and liked.

I've read so many books that I've lost count and crave finding new authors to read as I go through books like water.

Sycorax said...

'A Perfect Rake' was one of my first romances too. As an adult, anyway - I devoured (and adored) all Georgette Heyer's Regencies at age 13, and then didn't pick up another romance novel until I was 26. I don't quote understand why myself, but involved a certain amount of snobbery. I have definitely seen the error of my ways, though.

As for YA, Melina Marchetta, Jaclyn Moriarty, Margo Lanagan, Kristin Cashore, Scott Westerfield, Suzanne Clark, Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan are all excellent. I have never stopped reading YA. :)

Aurian said...

Hi Anne, thanks for the post. I have your "perfect" series on my shelves, and liked them. As a young girl I read many historical romances, starting with Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer. Paranormals didn't really excist then, certainly not in my own langueage. When I started reading English books, a whole new world opened for me. Now I read paranormals, historicals, a few contemporaries mixed up with romantic suspense, cozy mysteries, and some adventure.

auriansbooks at gmail dot com

Eva said...

When I was a younger I found (Or to be more accurate I loved to forage...) the first novel Chatérine by Juliette Benzoni in our junk room. Since then I love to read historicals. Not as often as at that time, but at times. Actual I have a weakness for Jennifer Ashleys Mackenzie brothers.
Apart from that I love to read paranormal romance and I wouldn`t deny a good thriller; when I´m in the right mood.

Erika said...

I love paranormals, but i also enjoy other types of romances. What i don't enjoy, usually, are romances where the heroine/ hero sleeps with/marries other characters. I'm all for having obstacles, but there is only so far an author can go before I stop reading.

Saiqa said...

I will try and read most genre's, but the book has to contain some romance in it. And if I like an anuthor I will follow them into other genres. However I agree with people who feel that Julie Garwoods new books arent as good as her old ones. Her style is so different, its like another author is writing it.I also went off Jayne Ann Krentzs books when she started writing about the amber/jones/dustbunnies etc. Its just not as interesting to me as her older work and I find it all a bit repetitive.I like authors whose books always seem fresh, like Nalini. And I will be getting the perfect rake. I am intrigued by an average looking heroine!

Anonymous said...

am a fan of historicals and paranormal, just can get into contemporaries, i need more of an escape!

melissa

Anne said...

@CarribbeanAccent - Hey I love your cyber name , and probably your accent, too When I was a kid we spent long hours driving in the car from one side of the country to another, with my dad listening to the cricket on the radio. We kids weren't allowed to make a sound. the only time I wasn't horribly bored was when there was a commentator from the west indies... sigh... gorrgeous accent.

I suspect JR Ward used initials to give that impression -- I think some men don't like to read books by women. But she turned me onto Paranormal, too.
As for my old Harlequin books, who knows when they'll get reprinted -- I think they'll become available in e-books, because harlequin seem to be doing that with all their backlist. But authors have no control or even knowledge of that process.
Thanks for recommending me to your book club.

Anne said...

Lauren, I've been looking for new authors to glom, too -- hence my cunning plan behind this discussion
I absolutely love it when I find a new author I like and they have a huge backlist.
But when I'm in a reading drought I go bak to old favorites and reread them. I've read a few old Jayne Ann Krentz books lately, and so have been having a fine time.

Anne said...

Sycorax, thank you so much for that list of YA authors -- have cut and pasted them onto my list to check out.
I too read Georgette Heyer from about 11 onward, and yes, I never read a romance for years. I'm admitting to the literary snobbery, too — I'd dismissed a whole genre, not even a subgenre. But I've well and truly eaten my assumptions and have totally changed my mind and am now an advocate for the genre.

Hey, speaking of Georgette Heyer, there's a fabulous new and official biography of her coming out in October. It's by Jennifer Kloester and it's got all kinds of info/details never before come to light. I can't wait to read it. Heyer was such an interesting woman. Jen Kloester is a friend of mine and I've seen her pics of Heyer when she was living in Africa. Who knew?

Anne said...

Aurian, hats off to you reading books in a language not your own! I have a friend from Malaysia whose English was polished by her Mills and Boon reading habit -- they were the only romances available when she was growing up, and her English is so good and natural, she ended up working as a journalist and is now an editor in Australia.
And they tell girls they'll never get anywhere reading romance! LOL
Thanks for dropping by.

Anne said...

Eva, I remember those Benzoni novels -- they were the Angelique novels, weren't they? But I don't remember if i ever read them -- they had quite distinctively romantic covers and I was probably in my literary snob phase then. Must hunt them down.

And I LOVE Jennifer Ashley's MacKenzie brothers - the first one especially blew me away. Must be something about the name MacKenzie, because I also adore Linda Howard's MacKenzies. MacKenzie's Mountain is an all time fave of mine.

Anne said...

Erika -- I agree. I think with a romance you want the hero/heroine to be faithful -- otherwise, they might have a happily-ever-after ending .... but if they've been unfaithful once, you have to ask yourself if they'll do it again. I really want to believe in my happy endings.

Anne said...

Saiqua, yes, I think you often fall in love with the world an author creates and when they change it... it's like a restaurant you used to frequent who's changed the menu entirely. You went there for your favorite dishes and now they don't serve them any more. :(
Hope you like my Perfect Rake.

Anne said...

Anonymous, some contemporary authors can create world to escape into. I think you just need to find the right authors. I love Kelly Hunter's asian contemporaries, for instance (Harlequin) But while there's a world out there of fabulous paranormals and historicals, I guess you're not inclined to go looking. And no reason you should.

marie3of3 said...

Hi Anne, I have to say I love your stories! I still have a tattered copy of 'Tally's Knight'.

Two genres I cannot seem to enjoy are Westerns and Chicklit. I've read some really great stories in each, but have been bored more often then not with the majority.

Aside from loving paranormals, contemporaries and Regency historicals, I've been loving Steampunk and YA. It seems that many of my favorite authors are expanding into those fields, which is fantastic!

Anne said...

marie3of3, thank you so much. Tallie's Knight was issued in the US in an experimental line and not a lot of people have it. If it hadn't been for AAR, I don't think anyone would even have found it. LOL

I'm not a big chick lit reader, though I did love Bridget Jones's Diary. I have a few westerns I love, though -- some of Elizabeth Lowell's old ones are keepers for me, and some of Patricia Potter's too. And I recently read a reissue of Maggie Osbourne's THE PROMISE OF JENNY JONES for the first time and it blew me away! Fabulous book. I've ordered more of her now, so I'm probably going to be on a western glom for a while.
Did you ever watch Firefly? Intergalactical western with a young Nathan Fillion.

LaniM said...

Hi Anne, I have to say I fell in love with historical romance after reading Barbara Cartland's A Hazard of Hearts, when I was really young! Now, some 20 years on, I still read the occasional historical, but I mainly read paranormal romance. Like you, it was JR Ward's BDB that got me hooked on PR, and it has been no looking back since then.

I hadn't delved into erotica or MM romance until recently after some encouragement from a couple friends and now I love the genre, devouring anything by Lorelei James (Rough Riders series in particular), JL Langley and Cherise Sinclair. I just wish I picked them up sooner!

Anne said...

LaniM, I used to read Barbara Cartland in serialized form in magazines when I was a kid, but I liked Georgette Heyer much better. I haven't really glommed onto erotica or MM romance, but thanks for the recommendations.

mbot565 said...

I'm pretty much open to read any subgenres - paranormal, historical, suspense, erotica, contemporary, etc - tried them all. If the story grabs me by the time I get to Chapter 3 then I'm in and will try the author's other books. I'm more of a journey kind of reader, I like emersing myself into the world of a book, into the journey where the author would like to take me. Reading Nalini's book is very different from reading J.R Ward's. Nalini's very smooth where J.R Ward is what I consider choppy. It took me some times to get used to J.R Ward's style, felt like I got a whooplash after finishing the 1st book, but I love them both. I love both series equally and that's good for me beause of variety. Can't imagine limiting myself to only 1 or 2 subgenres, I'll be bored out of my mind.

Eva said...

Hi Anne,
the Angelique novels are written by Anne Golon.
Juliette Benzoni is also a French author, but not as well known (in the meantime) as Anne Golon. Her Chatérine series enfolded six books. I like this series far more then the Angelique novels.
http://bibliojuliettebenzoni.unblog.fr/

I thought of Linda Howard's MacKenzies but wasn`t sure so far. Now I´ll try them.

maered said...

I'm pretty much open to anythiing in the romance genre. I simply adore fantasy like Elizabeth Vaughans books. They are highly recommended.

Lora said...

Count me in with the ones that like both paranormal and historical romances. I used to read mostly historicals, then read more "modern" romances, then went to paranormals...it seems odd, but I cycle around. I read a ton of historicals and nothing else...then I switch to paranormals and read only those...then switch to modern romances...then change again. I can't seem to read one of one type then read one of another type. Luckily, I cycle around quite often, LOL!

Jasmine Reilly said...

I was wary of historicals for ages as I speacialise in teaching it so I was worried it would mix up facts for me but I read Mercy by Caroline B. Cooney and became as hooked as I am to paranormal romance ( Mercy is now my comfort read) I enjoy them allot and wish id read them earlier :D x

Tinuke said...

My comment just got consigned to cyber bin space I think so redoing this will be relatively short and sweet. Love most genre of books, am complete bookworm, love reading. Fave authors in no particular order are Judith McNaught(historicals/Contemporary)Christine Feehan(PNR)she was the author that got me into reading vampire stories via her Ghostwalker series(PNR) which I LOVE!!! JAK plus her writing as Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle, Georgette Heyer, Nora Roberts, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Nalini of course, both series, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, Marjorie M Liu. Linnea Sinclair, Anne McCaffrey, Julie Czerneda, Rosemary Sutcliff(Been reading her since I was 10)Linda Howard of whom Loving Evangeline is one of my keeper re-reads. What is m/m? haven't heard of that. A friend recommended Gail Carringer's Parasol Protectorate series which is steampunk I think, so I might give it a go. I read a lot and very fast so great to see some recommendations of authors I haven't heard of. I don't read horror or watch it, just too vivid an imagination and I would never sleep LOL Will look out for your books and cross my fingers for the draw.

marie3of3 said...

Hi Anne. OMG! I loved Firefly and Serenity! So sad the series was cancelled. Yup, love me some Capt. Reynolds! Cowboys in Space? A Western I could totally follow!

Anne said...

mbot565, I agree, it would be so dull to stick to only one genre. I love to swap around. And an author's voice is very important. As for your chapter 3 reference, it's much like my 50 page rule -- if I don't like a book or care about the characters by page 50, I ditch the book.
That's how I got hooked on JR Ward-- I wanted to be able to tell my friend I'd tried, but couldn't get into it. But I did-- bigtime. LOL

Anne said...

Eva, thanks for the correction about author of the Angelique books. I have seen the Benzoni books around, I'm sure, but I haven't read either those of the Golon ones. I'm not sure why I have them mixed up in my mind. And thanks for the link to the Benzoni books -- I'll follow them up.
I just did a video for my French publisher in not-very-good schoolgirl French and realized my French had become a bit rusty, so I'm plunging back into some French culture, because one day I want to live in France for a year or so and write there. I rewatched Les Comperes the other day -- an oldie but a goodie, and Gerard Depardieu was so young and slim and gorgeous!

Anne said...

Maered, thanks for that recommendation. I loved Elizabeth Vaughn's "war' trilogy. I must admit though, with the red gloves book, the reason she wore the gloves was a bit of an anticlimax for me, but other than that the book was good, and I'll read anything she writes.

Anne said...

Lora, I'm the same -- I read in gloms, and switch from genre to genre, so I don't think it's odd at all. ;) And each time, I remember why I love that genre. For me, starting a bit late with paranormals means I have so many exciting new authors to read, which is such fun.

Anne said...

Jasmine, a lot of historicals aren't so much about facts as about characters, but you can pretty much divide authors into those whose history is pretty accurate and those whose history is more of an atmosphere thing.
The best thing about reading those historicals that are a good reflection of history is that it gives a reader a strong feel for history. As a child historical novels gave me a love of history and learning about past times that no amount of school lessons could. If I were teaching the French Revolution, for instance, I'd get the students to read Joanna Bourne's books, because they're exciting, historically spot on -- she's a maniac for accuracy -- and plunge you into the mindset of those times. Reading a good historical novel makes history come alive, and what's not to like about that?

Anne said...

Tinuke, don't you hate it when your post gets eaten and you have to start again? So annoying!
Thanks so much for that list -- you've listed a lot of my faves, too. You know, this post reminded me that a friend of mine, Barbara, a NZ bookseller, gave me a Christine Feehan book years ago, and told me it was fabulous and I should read it and... blush... I didn't read it because I 'knew I wouldn't like vampires.' LOL I still have it, so I might go and dig it out.
And yay on another fellow childhood reader of Rosemary Sutcliff.

Anne said...

Marie3o3, I don't love Firefly and Serenity -- I ADORE it! LOL. And though my heart belongs to the gorgeous Captain, every character was so fascinating.
It was so shortsighted to cancel the show,wasn't it? But still, I have the DVDs and come to think of it, it's a long time since I watched it, so it might be time to watch it again.

LaVerne Clark said...

Excellent post Anne and oh, so true : )

I think a lot of us have felt the same at one time or another. I'm a fan of suspense, and I used to think if it wasn't a suspense, it wouldn't be any good. Then I got a little bored and branched out to historical, then paranormal and just kept going. I shudder to think of the many fantastic books I could have missed out on if I didn't TRY something different.

I'm now a voluntary first reader for my publisher, and love all the fantastic ideas and worlds I'm thrust into by the myriad of stories out there. I'm in my element! : )

Anne said...

LaVerne, what a fabulous job you have. When I was a kid I used to wonder if there was a job where all you had to do was read books. Not that that's all you do, I know. There will be reports to write -- there is paperwork to ruin every good job, alas.

And yes, the wonderful books I might have missed had I not branched into a different genre -- unthinkable.

Wamakai said...

I love your books! *squeal* I found them online and decided to try 'The Perfect Rake' and I LOVED IT!
Found the rest now I'm hunting for the latest Devil Riders series and the tudors. I absolutely love Regency historicals and paranormals too. I had a few bad comments about contemporary romances, but I guess they're not so bad...
So, just wanted you to know, I'm a big fan and look forward to having all your books on my shelf. (I even nudged a couple of my friends into reading them and I think I can safely say you have a few more fans here:])
Kudos and keep up the great work! Lotsa love and best wishes! ;)

Anne said...

Hi Wamakai -- thank you so much! Lovely of you to say so. (Grinning here)
The Tudors isn't really one of my stories -- I was asked to "novelize" it, which meant I followed the script of the TV show pretty closely. Had to prune out a few scenes because they wanted a length of no more than 90,000 words.
Hugs to you!

Eva said...

You´ve a good movie taste Anne*g*. I like the Pierre Richard and Gerard Depardieu movies, too. - No murder or bood, just a lot to laugh.

Eve Heaton said...

I loved historical romance novels starting in my teens. I didn't start reading paranormal novels until a few years ago. I go between the two now. I would love a chance at a free novel...so glad I checked the blog (normally I miss all the contest dates!) The contest timing is perfect. My husband just got on my case for buying too many ebooks this past month (Yikes! I'm a teacher so with my summer break comes lots of reading). Looking forward to trying your novels even if I don't win.

Tinuke said...

Hi Anne, absolutely agree, it took me 3 months and some significant badgering before I read the Feehan and it was really only because I liked her other book series. I am glad I did because it was great and the thing is once you have branched out from your comfort Zone you immediately start thinking well you know at least have a look because you never know what fantastic book or books you might be missing out on. In fact it was Christine Feehan's recommendation that got me started on Nalini's Psy/Changeling series which is my all time fave PNR series. From there I tried Kresley Cole and then Gena Showalter and have just inhaled my way through the Lara Adrian series. But I do like to return to my old tried and true favourites and those have to always include Sutcliff and Anya Seton, and the annual read of Lord of the Rings. I credit my mother's collection of Georgette Heyer as to why I am addicted to Regency romances and started reading them around 11 and I loved the humour and language of them. Basically I love to ring the changes. I like to have a number of books on the go so have really been taking note of all these author names. I have a question have you ever thought of branching out into different genres in your own writing? Oh yes I have another author to add which is Alyssa Day Warriors of Poseidon series. I love all the ancient myths and anything to do with Atlantis and love this series. I love series so will be looking out for yours as they are my preferred type of reading. By the way great taste on Firefly and Serenity just love them both and Nathan Fillion adore.

me said...

what a lively post. I love stopping by to see what Nalini has to say or who's hosting a guest blog. loved your post Ann

Brixton Vegetable said...

yeah, I didn't like Romance, Then I didn't like Historical romance, then I'd never read paranormal romance... ;) I have become zen in my old age and will now read anything!

Nalini Singh said...

Winner: Thank you all for your comments! The random winner of the book given away by Anne is LaniM. Congratulations! Lani, please e-mail my assistant with your mailing details, so we can pass them onto Anne. (nalini DOT assistant AT gmail DOT com).

Anne said...

Tinuke, the comp is over, but I want to answer your question about would I ever write any other kind of book. The answer is yes. I've written one contemporary romantic comedy (for Harlequin) and would have written more only that line was closing. I have several half-started fantasy/sci fi books from years ago, and would love to write paranormal, too, since falling in love with the genre. But I've had a few family issues that slowed me down in the last few years and my aim is to increase my writing output back to what it was, so for the moment, I'm sticking to historicals.

Thanks everyone for all the comments.
And thanks, Nalini, for inviting me to blog here. It's been a blast.