Saturday, December 09, 2006

Why Did The Chick Cross The Road?

To get to

Week + a Day, Dec. 11 - 15 + 18

The Princesses of Romance, drag you kicking and screaming into the holiday season with 6 days of restrained and sophisticated discourse:

Mon, 12.11 - LISA KLEYPAS says, "So Much to Eat, So Little Time."
Tues, 12.12 - ELOISA JAMES on "Keeping the Holidays Romantic."

Wed, 12.13 - ELIZABETH BEVARLY'S "Holiday Family Survival Guide."
Thrs, 12.14 - CHRISTINA DODD says "Duck!"
Fri, 12.15 - TERESA MEDEIROS shares her "Favorite Holiday Movies."
Mon, 12.18 - CONNIE BROCKWAY teaches you "The Gentle Art of Receiving an Obvious Regift."

Each day the Squawkers will give one lucky commenting Bella a gorgeous Italian glass picture frame! Stop by daily as a holiday gift to your harried, romance-loving self!



Courtesy of Lisa Kleypas, the first-published anywhere excerpt from "Sugar Daddy," my feature review, and her special AuthorView!

And the Hot Topic Week winners are...
Brava six-pack: cryna
Virgin selections: elizabethscott
Ian Kerner's "He Comes Next...": robinl.rotham
Emma Holly: jenninwa, packbacker, nikkimagennis
RBtheBookClub: Lisa Hicks/Dark Side of the Moon; Lacy Hairgrove/Plsr 4 Plsr
Congratulazione, Bellas! Send your snail mail address to me @
Grazie, grazie mille to Kate Duffy, Adam Nevill, Robin Schone, Jaid Black, Ian Kerner, Ph.D., and Emma Holly for your insightful and erudite GuestBlogs. You entertained, you educated, and also gave us a gift: you challenged us to learn more and articulate more precisely what we like and how we like it.
And thank you Bellas and new friends for making the week even more successful than I'd imagined. We may not have gotten it all figured out, but we sure had fun trying.


Julie in Ohio said...

Congrats to all who won. Those are some wonderful prizes. Talk about early xmas presents. :o)

Michelle, I read the except and your review. And let me start by saying YES you are very mean to bring up the ARC waiting on your reading pile that has a hero named Butch. That was just cold... :P
Secondly, fantastic review. I am so eagerly waiting SUGAR DADDY and your review only whetted my appetite more. ahhhhh
Thirdly, that excerpt was amazing. It has left so many questions. Why does it come out in March? Who does one have to know/bribe to get an ARC? hmmmm...

kim h said...

wtg winners so jealous happy reading

Kati said...

Jules - You took the words right outta my mouth! I zipped over here after reading all of the goodies (and they are wonderful, Michelle) on RBTB, and then came back to begin the grovelling. OK, Michelle, spill it, have you read Butch? I know you won't give deets, but I can't possibly understand how you could even work, eat or care for children with it sitting on your desk.

Come ooooon, you know you wanna gloat, at least a little.

Can't wait for Squawk week! Lisa's book looks fantastic. I'm sad it's in hard cover though. I just hate this trend of authors going hard cover. Means you have to limit what you buy. There are so few authors right now that I'll pay hardcover for. Do you supposed Lisa will be willing to talk about it when she's here Monday?

Rach said...

Squawk week and I have to work????!!!!???? How fair is *that*?!?!?

Oh, and Michelle, so not nice to tempt and tease like that!

MK, I'm SO with you on the hardcover thing. I find I am tempted to purchase the hardcover, but really, can't afford it most of the time. My book habit is expensive enough as it is!

Julie in Ohio said...

You and me both, MK. Michelle must have a very high amount of will power in order to resist letting even a key word?...phrase?...scene or two? loose. :P

I love each and every one of the Squawkers. They are a classy bunch of hens. I can't wait for next week.

Julie in Ohio said...

IT'S RACH!!!!!! How the H-E-double hockey sticks are ya?

Oh, I forgot to address the hardcover issue. I find, like the rest of you, that the cost of them is pretty outrageous. However, I also find that my hardcovers tend to live long and prosper better than the paperbacks. But it takes a special book (Sugar Daddy) for me to pay hardcover price.

Rach said...

Hey Bellas!

Jules, good to go and busy as all hockey sticks with school and kids! ;o)

Kati said...

Rach! I miss you! Will you visit during Christmas break? Or will you be traveling or have company?

Rach said...

MK, I SO miss ya'll too! I'm going to do my very best to play during the break. But, it's cut short this year and my family is coming to visit, so I'll probably be in and out.

Did I tell ya'll the school system has now completely blocked Blogger, not just the comments section anymore? So now I have no time to even see what's happening here. It completely, utterly and totally sucks!

Rach said...

Okay, where has my avatar gone??!!?? I switched to Beta Blogger and it's disappeared. It was a cute pic of the girlies decked out in Christmas pj's. So cute and missing...

Kati said...

EEEEvil school district!!! I guess that means they want you to work. B*stards! :BIGGRIN:

Rach said...

Who do they think they are, I ask you?? Work?? Why do I need to work?? Can't the kids just teach themselves? :oP

Julie in Ohio said...

Some bosses just don't understand what is *truely* important...

So, I'm reading one of the books that I inheritted from dh grandmother. It was written in 1983 and it is interesting to say the least. I suppose you would call it a contemp for its time. I'm really wanting to smack the heroine for putting up with him and the hero for being such a huge jerk. I have 30 pages left and I know there is a HEA (because I had to read the last page) but I have no idea how it is going to happen, unless they knock off his fiancee, which I am all for. It is so demeaning how hero (if we can call him that) treats heroine (TSTL).
I was only seven years old in 1983 but if this book is anything close to how it was prior to feminists taking over, boy am I glad that they did.

*climbing down from the podium*

Vivi Anna said...

No thank you Michelle, for continually bringing us awesome guests to get to know.


Rach said...

I hear ya on the 1983 romance, Jules. I'm continually grateful I'm a woman alive today and *not* anytime pre-1990. Okay, I was *alive* pre-1990, but not an adult, which makes a big difference.

Robin L. Rotham said...

Ditto on the 80s books -- well, I was a woman then, but not so's you'd notice...;)

Woo-hoo -- Ian's book! Thank you, thank you, Michelle. I'm beside myself with glee. And thanks to Kate Pearce for directing me your way. What a great blog you've got!

Nikki Magennis said...

Woweeeee! I won a book!!! And it's an Emma Holly, I'm soooo chuffed. Thanks Michelle and Emma both for cheering up my wintry weekend immensely.

And also - I'm delighted to have found this blog. Will be sure to hang around often in future. Nice to meet you all! It's lovely to read such fun, vital and welcoming discussions.

Nikki x

Nikki Magennis said...

...I meant to say too, the 'old-style' romances - you mean the ones with the dastardly hero and the poor fainting heroine? I read a bagful given to me by a friend once and had to keep throwing the books across the room, shouting things like 'Slap him, you stupid woman!' and 'Backbone, for god's sake'.

But then, I do get carried away with my reading habits... : )

Julie in Ohio said...

"GET A BACKBONE, LADY" That is exactly what I kept yelling at this book. I'm not known for my bravery but if some guy was flaunting his fiancee in my face, I don't care if he is my boss, there are other jobs and men out there. bye, bye.
For those of you interested or just stuck reading my comment (*g*), the book ended just as interestingly as it began. Said fiancee decided she loved hero's brother and wanted to marry him instead. Hero TOLD heroine that she was going to marry him and she was all aflutter.
So obviously this is a match made in heaven.

"Sugar Daddy" comes out in March.
Butch's story comes out in March.

Is there anything coming out sooner that you all know about that will hold me over until March?
I really need something good to read...

Michele said...

Congrats to all the lucky winners!
Talk about a wonderful early Christmas present.

Julie in Ohio - You just cracked me up with your comment about Hard long and prosper?? LOL -How Trek!! **giggle**

Rachd - you just provided another reason why I'm dragging my feet about switching to Beta. Unnerving.

As far as women and back bones: I'm not one to bash a book, so I won't ID it. But recently I was sent a book to read and I hated it!
The woman didn't stand a chance. She was manipulted first by her husband, then by the guy he set her up with, unknowing to her, who turned around and killed the husband but then framed the woman and she was left taking the rap for everything. The end was her contemplating her seducing the head of the jail so she wouldn't hang. You are left not knowing what happened. No HEA. NO backbone. No feel good feeling at all.
If you were me, would you have punted the story across the room too??

I guess 1983 for some, isn't that far away. Give me a paranormal. She would have smelled the lies, kicked their butts, and taken a pint or two to insure mystical bondage. Would have served them right. **hurumph**

Julie in Ohio said...

Um... So, Michele, I guess that means you are looking for a good read, too? *g*

LOL. It would've been a better book had it been a paranormal. :P

ev said...

Michele- I wouldn't have punted it across the room, but right into a garbage can!! ick

Congratulations to all the winners. Sorry I missed the chats, but there is just sooooo much to be done and not only not enough time, but the elves around here seem to be on an early vacation and are totally useless. I am thinking of taking all their presents back and giving them coal- but these days that is just too expensive.

I am looking forward to the upcoming chats and WILL BE MAKING TIME for them. I might even be able to make time to do some reading. haha.

I love the holidays. I hate the lack of help getting to them. I am heading into Scrooge mode.

robynl said...

congrats to the winners.
Oh I will sure try to be here for the chats next week and the lovely prizes.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hiya, Bellas! I was OOC yesterday with kids and trying to catch up on some rest. Um, have you heard of it? It's this really cool thing where you don't think about job or GuestBloggers or whether one is ever going to mail out all those book prizes one should have gotten to sooner, had her children not decided to suck every last nerve from her existence.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Yes, MK, do ask LK about the hardcover issue. She's very forthcoming and prob will be happy to explain publisher's choice, cause it's not generally the author's asking for the hc.

But I must say, here's the thing that doesn't ring true about your post: MK writes I just hate this trend of authors going hard cover. Means you have to limit what you buy.

Yeah, like we believe you'd ever limit the amount of romances you buy in a month, MK! :)

RACH! I'm yelling cause I'm so excited to see you! Sorry to hear about the meanie school district. Don't they know the Inet is a vast frontier of learning? I mean, who knew there were so many hot guys willing to be photographed dripping wet? My brain's gotten bigger just thinking about it.

So glad you're here; any time you can drop in is a treat. I guess I'll have to write some good blogs in bet Chrst and NY...

Oh. So I piqued your curiosity over the Butch book, did I, Jules? My bad. But, SQUEEEEE, I got the "Lover Revealed" ARC last week and couldn't start reading it because I was so behind and crazy busy, sick kids, etc.

But I've started it and cannot wait for you to read it! There's this funky dynamic being set up about V, which I'm not sure will play out in Lover Revealed, or his book. And John's still training, and I'm dying for his book already, though I hope JR Ward isn't planning on writing in real time. Like, will we have to wait a couple more years til he goes thru his transition? Couldn't he mature a little early or something.

Although, it was pretty cool learning about Zs transition.

I am a bit shocked and disappointed that you and the others would ask for hints. SO unlike you.

Ev! I wondered where you were. yeah, those family elves can disappear faster than Santa's. Glad you'll be back.

hey, michele! "Was that a women's fiction work?" Kick butt first and bond mystically later. Good mantra!

OK, Jules, here're a couple things coming out before March that I liked:

Dec Jacob -- Jacquelyn Frank
Jan Scandalous Lovers -- Robin Schone
Dec Ride a Painted Pony -- Kath. Eagle
Jan And Then He Kissed Her-- LL Guhrke

Has anyone read KM MOning's DARKFEVER?

Thoughts? Not hearing a ton of buzz, but I don't have my ear to the ground lately either. Spent too much time talking about sex last week.

Stacy~ said...

Congrats winners! Man I missed out on some great stuff that last several days - dang those holiday parties! I love to get tipsy and kiss under the mistletoe like any other self-respecting female, but hey, when there's talk about sex (which really doesn't happen so much at a work function, at least not the ones I've been to) then they are just inconvenient events!

Rach, I love it when you make one of your rare appearances. Working sux, doesn't it?

And yeah, tease away Michelle! I want to know what's going on with the Brothers. Spill the goods. Pul-eeze! We're dying here!

Hardcover. Man, why oh why??? I adore Lisa's books - in case I haven't already mentioned it 7000 times, her & McNaught rule my historical world, yet I'd follow her to the land of contemporaries in a heartbeat...if it wasn't in hc. I already caved for JM and for Brockmann. I can't afford to get them all in hc. I get that it broadens their audience, which is what we all want, but I feel unloved as a reader...

Julie in Ohio said...

Thank you, Michelle, for the recs. I had forgotten about KMM DARK FEVER. I love her work.

Would you like to dive a little deeper in description with that funky dynamic with V you were referring to? :P
I am going crazy with want for these books. Can't Ms. Ward write any faster? :P

Actually that goes for all authors. Get on your butt and write faster. I need new reads. :P

Kati said...

I'll bite on the LL Guhrke. I think she's brilliant. I wish she wrote faster, but hey, I don't think there's an author out there that I love that I don't wish wrote faster!

What did everyone read this weekend? I finished Eloisa's PFP, which I really enjoyed very much (totally satisfactory HEA for Mayne) and also Balogh's The Gilded Web, which I really enjoyed as well. It read very much like a longer traditional regency, but was, of course, beautifully written.

I am definitely interested in KMM's Darkfever, but I won't pay hardcover for it, so I'll have to wait. Really Michelle, I currently buy three (well, four if you count JD Robb) authors in hardcover, Roberts, Howard and Brockmann. That's it. Occassionally I'll buy an SEP, but really it's because I know for a fact that I'll want their books as keepers, and I'd begenuinely pissed to spend HC price on a book and end up sticking it in the bag to go to Goodwill. Make sense? Plus, I just think HC prices are outrageous! I believe I will ask Lisa about it. I'm sure she has strong feelings about it.

Julie in Ohio said...

MK, I've gotten a couple of KMM hardcopy because I have a patience problem. I haven't been disappointed yet.
I believe LK is worth hardcopy. She has yet to write a book that I would classify lower than excellent.

Not that I want this HC stuff to become a trend. It would send me to the poor house and then I would be crying on Michelle's shoulder begging her to give more explicit descriptions of her latest read. :o)

Michele said...

**grin** you bet, Julie in Ohio. I AM in the market for a good read.

I was on a Harlequin Presents kick - you know all those Italians and Greeks? Yum. Anyway, I went through about 10 of those last weekend and now I'm ready for more indepth reads.

Oh Ev, thank you. I felt guilty trashing it as it was given to me. But you made me feel better about punting it. *gg*

I didn't know KMM had a new one out! Now I'm going to have to scope it out.

Oh, and Michelle, Yes, that was a woman's fiction work. Maybe that's why it affected me so badly. I expected better. The premise initially had potential, but when the heroine(?) started being victimized and she was helpless to help herself, well, that just put my back up. How can a woman write it and call it a romance ? J

That's a good it still considered "romance" if there is a romance in it, but no HEA? In fact , the ending is AEA? Angst Ever After? And should it be marketed as such?

Just wondering if I'm the only one wondering about that... or have you already touched on this and I missed it??

Julie in Ohio said...

Stephen King puts romantic situations in his books but they are definitely not romances.

IMO, HEA is what makes a romance a romance.
I used to consider Danielle Steel romance until I read some that didn't end with a HEA. There were no loose ends. They ended happily but not happily ever after together in love. I guess that is what would be called chick-lit.

ev said...

Michele- glad I made you feel better :grin:

I have a few, and I mean few, select authors that I buy in HC. And those were ones I have been doing for years. Part of it is, they start a series in pb, it gets popular and then they continue it in HC. Nothing ticks me off more. So, I put my name on the waiting list for the library, and read it when it is my turn. Then I buy the pb. Besides, I so seldom re-read a book, that it just isn't cost effective for me.

And I haven't read anything in days besides instructions and sales flyers.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...


Repeat after me, per favore: If it ain't gots no HEA, it ain't a romance.

I'm not sure exactly what you meant, but that's the big prob w/blog communication, no? Did you expect better because it was a work of "women's fiction," or because it was written by a woman? Sometimes WF -- which we're supposed to buy as the epitome of literary work "for women" -- is a big drag w/ no comfortable, let alone, HEA in sight. One comic described WF as "maudlin, yet hopeful."

Book w/ a little romance isn't a romance, like SKing, as you said. And, just like our week of discussion about "labelling" erom/erotica, we've got to clarify romance, etc., for readers so we can buy exactly what we're looking for.

In the same way it drives me crazy to see erotic romance promoted as erotica, I hate romance dressed up like Chick-lit, women's fiction masquerading as romance, etc. I think it's unfair to the readers who are shelling out the bucks.

I'm kinda with you on the HCs. HC is a big commitment: big bucks for taking a chance on a novel. I'm glad I'm not hearing outright rage against authors who are in HC, cause it's not like they're out to take advantage of their readership. They're just like all of us: we want to get paid as much as we can for what we do well.

Just finished Loretta Chase's "Lord of Scoundrels!" Oh, I love big ol Dain, all 15 stone of him and his big, beautiful hands. And he's half Italian! LoS will be next week's Old Flame. Thank you, you Bellas who reminded me it was an LC I'd never read. :)

"Angst Ever After!" I love it, Michele. AEA. Can we add it to the Lexicon!? You get full credit of course.

Ev, you need a romance interlude. Just put down those flyers and read 15 minutes of a "good part" of your fave keeper. :) Oooo, I smell blog...

Rach said...

Michelle, Stacy, I'm here for tonight, but gone again tomorrow. I'm OVER the work thing!!

All romances MUST have an HEA to be a romance. That's the whole point. The h/h most likely have angst and agony, but the HEA makes it all worthwhile. AEA would totally suck!

Kati said...

Ah Michelle - LoS is one of my favorites! The scene in the cafe when Jessie shoots Dain is an absolute classic. She's no shrinking violet. I love her as a heroine and Dain is a perfect match.

I believe that it isn't the author's decision at all whether they go hardcover, it's the publisher. I know Suz Brockmann was so worried about it, she forced her publisher to offer a rebate for HC's. Her first was GONE TOO FAR, which of course, every single Sam/Alyssa fan was more than willing to pay for. I couldn't begin to imagine waiting a year to see them get their HEA. I know that JD Robb insists that her HCs get issued in PB within 6 months of release. I'm not sure every author has a say-so like those authors do, but it certainly is an issue for readers -- one that I know aggravates many. For me, if nothing else, every other Kleypas book I have is in PB, and being a total anal retentive, it makes me nuts to have my books not all on the same shelf because HCs won't fit with my PBs. I have a whole book case that is Nora-centric, and one of Linda Howard, I don't have any more room for more HCs.

That being said, I love to see one of my favorite authors get such a monster vote of confidence from her publishers, and Lisa is to be commended. Obviously, the publisher thinks she's got enough of a following to warrant the HC price. And that's a tribute to her increidble talent.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Just got this from the Squawk Chicks, and thought I'd pass it along...

In the spirit of the Holiday Season, we Squawkers want to share the wealth
of books and ARCs that we've received from our kind friends and publishers.
So, every day we'll be giving away one ARC from among the four to six we'll
have up for grabs to someone who subscribed to Squawk Radio's membership
list on or after DECEMBER 10th, 2006 . Think of it as a "newcomer's

All the remaining ARCs and books will be given away to loyal Squawk readers
(like you.)

We know you'd like to give your pals a chance to win an ARC from Stephanie
Laurens or Amanda Quick, Stella Cameron, Lori Foster, Christie Ridgeway, or
J.R. Ward to name a few. Or a freshly published book, maybe one that's been
autographed by the author. So, here's your chance to spread the love.

Just forward this invitation to your friends and family members and ask them
if they might like to subscribe to Squawk Radio for the opportunity to win
a great gift and enjoy a community of wonderful people, as well the wit and
wisdom (but mostly the nattering) of six New York Times Best-Selling Authors
and best friends.

Just head them over to

Tell them we'll be expecting them!

Let the Joy Commence

The Squawkers

P.S. For any clever minxes out there. We have software that can tell us if
multiple addresses are assocciated with a single ISP address and we're not
afraid to use it!

Michele said...

Just to finih up - the book I was referring to WAS touted as a romance. THAT is why it bugged me ... it was "romantic" until the last chapter and a half when he shafted her, framed her and had the balls to tell her (IN JAIL)he "still loved" her but since it came down to her or him, he chose himself to live. Soyanara, toots.

As far as hard covers, I do exactly like Ev does: Library. It's a wonderul alternative. If I read it and I feel it's a keeper, one I actually would read again, then I'll shell out the dollars. HC or not.

The Squawk Chix event sounds like a major event. Thanks for the heads up!!

Rach said...

Oh, Michele, you were sold a pig in a poke for sure! How awful to get all the way to the end and have the story change like that. How is *that* a romance?? Nothing at all romantic about *that*!!

Rach said...

Oh, Michele, you were sold a pig in a poke for sure! How awful to get all the way to the end and have the story change like that. How is *that* a romance?? Nothing at all romantic about *that*!!

Rach said...

And, my computer is fritzing out so I've now posted twice with no hope of deleting the comment. Great...

Ya'll have fun with the Squawkers this week. I hope I have a chance to peek in and see what's happening. This time of year is always SO crazy though.

Michele said...

Thanks, Rachd!!!! I hope your computer behaves. ;-)

"pig in a poke", I like it!

Rach said...

I've figured out the problem. I've switched to Blogger Beta and Michelle is still using Blogger. While the two are somewhat compatible, my avatar won't show up on Blogger and it won't give me that little trash can to delete any comments I post. Otherwise, it's just the same, only a little persnikity.

Michele said...

Aha!!! Another reason not to switch! I did a whole post and took an unofficial poll about Beta blogger. For every Good thing someone can say about it, I came up with 10 bad. I belong to the Help site at Yahoo for Blogger problems Everday there are at least 90 comments and a majority deal with Beta blogger. I'll be a stick in the mud for awhile yet.

BTW, I just had the most interesting thing happen to me.
I was IM'ing with a MySpace contact and we're were talking about Romance books. The chatter was reading Nora Roberts. I was open about what I liked. Never new that the chatter was a GUY!!

Oh my. Gosh! I was talking Sexy Alphas, Sexy Vampires, Sexy Navy SEALS... to a guy!!!!!

**blushing to roots of hair**

I at least hope this means he's going to make a fine and attentive husband someday.....

I keep telling myself that until the blush goes away.....

Stacy~ said...

I need to find Lord of Scoundrels. I keep hearing about it. Isn't it one of those hard-to-find books too?

Well said MK. I know it's not the authors either, it just stings....

Part 2 with Queen Bella Michelle is up and running. Hope you guys like it: