Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Oh, BTW...

Cathy Maxwell GuestBlogs Tomorrow, Wed., March 21 to celebrate the release of her terrific new novel, "Bedding the Heiress!"
JR Ward visits Monday, March 26!
I asked her whether she might dish a little about the whole Butch/Vishous thing -- and to lead a little BlabFest -- so it'll be cool to see what she comes up with!
My girlfriend and assistant, Michelle, loves Old School romance, and every so often tosses one my way with a command to, "Read. Discuss." Which leads to hours of giddy confabs of bastard heroes (figuratively, perhaps literally), dreamy forced seductions, and lively, exciting, and morally ambiguous character actions.

The other day Michelle says, "you haven't read Linda Howard?" Then Bella Janice Maynard says, "you haven't read Linda Howard?" Then, like, two more people say the same thing, and, well -- you know the saying about the second time someone calls you an ass you should saddle up? -- I figured it was time.

Enter my friend Michelle's Linda Howard selection, "The Touch of Fire." It's not exactly OS, but it does have the hardened, mesmerizing crystalline-eyed former Confed soldier outlaw hero, Rafe, kidnapping the lady doc at gunpoint and forcing her into the mountains to care for his life-threatening wound. On the lam with the guy who frightens, yet intrigues and awakens the feminine passions she thought she'd never feel (look, I'm tryin to write purple here), she, like, takes this guy on as a big ol healing project. But don't mistake me, she's a damn strong heroine. And I like her despite that fact.

So, I'm loving this book: the story's exciting, the sex is emotional, and therefore hawt, and I can't wait to read more Linda Howard.

So, which Linda Howard should I read next, and why?
Encore! Grazie Bella Vivi Anna for showing us such a good time yesterday! We're so glad you're writing in many styles, and wish you great success with "Blood Secrets." Hope you'll visit along with Lyra, too...
Encore due! Vivi Anna and "Blood Secrets" are featured tomorrow at Romance: B(u)y the Book!
Encore due! Congratulazione winners from Vivi's GuestBlog: carolanne/Blood Secrets; nikki philton/anthology; ann christopher/Romance 6-pack! Please send me your snail mail at mbuonfiglio@RBtheBook.com !


Anonymous said...

Buonguorno, Bella Michelle!

So you are just now discovering Linda Howard? Man, are you in for a juicy backlist!

Oh wow, which one next?

Mr Perfect
Oh no, no... Dream Man...
No, After the Night
Perhaps Shades of Twilight...

Oh shoot, waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy too many favorites here.

Kidding aside: I would read Mr Perfect next.

The one I wouldn't read unless I'm in a very good emotional/head space is "Cry No More"--that book is an emotional rollercoaster comparable to Kinsale's "Flowers from the Storm"

Anonymous said...

Shoot, didn't finish before posting!


Why Mr Perfect? The heroine is a riot, with a mouth like a sailor. The hero? Well, the title says it all. The premise is original enough to catch anyone's eye, and the writing tight, skillful, with amazing dialog.

This is one of the books I've used to 'convert' people to romance *wicked grin* including a couple of men...

Enjoy, Bella!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Sold! Truly, if I didn't read romance, I'd read it after your posts, azteclady! :)

I miss the good old days when historicals could be more fantastic in the harshness of the heroes and the scenarios. It made the strength of the heroine -- or her realizing her value and strengths -- even more appealng.

Phoebe Belsley said...

Yeah, Mr. Perfect is the one to read next. You want hot? I mean, HOT? Mr. Perfect is the one.

When you get to the part where the heroine calls the hero on the phone to tell him to put up some curtains....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Why can't my neighbors be like that?

Playground Monitor said...

Mr. Perfect for sure! And for all the reasons listed above. Oh yeah... the curtain scene. *giggle*

Of course once you get a taste of Linda Howard you'll want more. So I suggest Dying to Please, Son of the Morning, Kiss Me While I Sleep, Sarah's Child, Loving Evangeline and Dream Man. Azteclady is right about Cry No More It's pretty intense emotionally, but I loved it.

And then there's To Die For and Drop Dead Gorgeous (and not just cause I'm listed on the acknowledgements page of DDG (y'all can stop fawning over me now *g*). They are so completely different from Linda's norm and such a fun ride. I hope Blair starts talking to her again cause I'd love to see another book in that series.


Playground Monitor said...

Of course Open Season is pretty good too -- especially the party pack. *snicker*


Anonymous said...

Open Season and the party pack: oh me! *fanning self while laughing hysterically*

Mr Perfect and the curtain/phone call scene *fanning self some more*

Agreeing wholeheartedly with both Caroline and playground monitor, and adding: Midnight Rainbow, Diamond Bay, White Lies, and Heartbreaker to the list. Oh me, oh my! *fanning self some more*

I repeat, you are facing a delicious backlist here, Michelle! Enjoy!

Kati said...

Holy mother of the Lord! You haven't read Linda Howard??? How did that happen? Clearly I've fallen down on my pimping job.

Well, I know alot of people love Mr. Perfect, and it is a terrific story. But I would strongly, strongly make the arguement that Dream Man is her best novel. Here's why. Two words: Dane. Hollister. Oh my heavens, he's my all time favorite hero. He perfectly typefies a Howard hero, he's big, he's burly, he's obstinate and an inveterate pain in the tush, and unbelievably dreamy. Quite simply, Michelle, he's exactly the kind of hero you love. On top of that, when he screws up, he screws up royally, and grovels. Hard. Heh. Yeah, I love him.

I'd also agree with Marilyn that Dying to Please is terrific. Also, for some Old School Linda Howard, you can't go wrong with Shades of Twilight. That's a lovely story, because the heroine is so damaged.

OK, I'm supposed to be working right now, so I'm gonna shut it.

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL!! I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you all like Linda Howard... :p
I am one who hasn't read her yet. I think I'll start with The Touch of Fire. That sounds right up my alley.
The Bellas are sure are good at drawing in sales. ;o)

Anonymous said...

Waaah! I missed chatting with Vivi yesterday. Sigh. These deadlines are killer.

Can't wait to read Vivi's BLOOD SECRETS.

Okay...Linda Howard...I loved CRY NO MORE...but it was intensely emotional. And I really liked KISS ME WHILE I SLEEP...and, yeah, I'll go along with the rest of playground monitor's recs.

kerri1973 said...

I vote for Lady of the West. If you haven't read it then get ye goin to the bookstore post haste. It is one of those historical old west books where the heroine is forced into a marriage of convenience and this book will surprise you again and again. You gotta read it and let me know your thoughts. Hi everyone! Buh bye.

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

You're in for a treat. Hope you don't have any plans for the next few weeks. You can't put her books down and go on with your life until they're finished.

I loved To Die For and Drop Dead Gorgeous! They're told in a quirky first person, but I just love the characters. And yes, the latter is dedicated to me too, but that didn't sway my judgement. :) Cry No More was wonderful, but emotionally exhausting. Mr. Perfect...great. Everyone that's read Son of the Morning raves. I need to get my hands on it.

She's got a new book in a trilogy coming out soon - the Raintree with Beverly Barton and Linda Winstead Jones. I anticipate those to be AWESOME. LWJ is on our blog today if anyone wants to pop over and say 'hi.'

Angel said...

Linda Howard is one of those authors I'll actually buy a hardcover from!!!

Mr. Perfect is funny and sexy, but my faves are Shades of Twilight and After the Night (hot, hot, hot!!! with a hero who won't cut his hair!)

Dream Man was really good too!

flip said...

Dream Man is my personal favorite. The hero and heroine remind me of an old Tracy/Hepburn movie. They instantly dislike/lust each other. The sex is hot, hot, hot. The hero is super macho. It has a great plot, which I personally don't consider a Howard strength. After the Night is my second favorite Howard. It has the hottest sex scenes.

Personally, I think Shades of Twilight is flawed with all of the skanky sex scenes between the bad guys.

Of her recent books, I could only recommend To Die For and Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Julie in Ohio said...

Here's an important question:

I need to read books in sequence. Are there any companion books that I need to be aware of? If so, what's the order?

Problem Child said...

SON OF THE MORNING--must read by LH.

Woman in danger--check
Time travel--check
Man in a kilt--check
Mystery to solve--check
Knights Templar--check

What's not to love?

Anonymous said...

Julie, there are only a few that are better read in sequence. The four I listed above should be read in that sequence.

Lady of the West is loosely followed by Angel Creek

Kill and Tell is loosely followed by All the Queen's Men

Duncan's Bride is followed by Loving Evangeline

The Mackenzie's are: Mackenzie's Mountain, Mackenzie's Mission, Mackenzie's Pleasure, short story Mackenzie's Magic, and ends (so far) with Game of Chance.

Sarah's Child is loosely followed by Almost Forever, and then by Bluebird Winter.

To Die For followeb by Drop Dead Gorgeous [nota bene: I struggled with these two due to the first person narrative]

I know someone else will correct me if need be, but I think all the rest are stand alones.

There are only two Linda Howard books I personally can't stand: An Independent Wife and All that Glitters. In fact, I tend to pretend she never wrote them.

Julie in Ohio said...

Thanks, Azteclady! I appreciate the lists. :o)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Well, this is what I get for living under a rock and admitting it! WAhoooo! I love a nice, long backlist. :)

Ahh, Problem Child, I see: something for everyone. DId you say Knights Templar? I'm so all over them, uh, I mean the book. Can;t wait to head over to the WRiting Playground today!

flip, you're killin me: hot sex, often week plots, skanky sex betweent the bad guys. What's not to love? Oh, you didn't mean those all as strong points. Um. I see. My bad. :)

So Linda Howard is an instant hardcover buy, Angel. That is strong praise, indeed, and I think lots of folks -- me included -- struggle with that decision: whether to buy hardcover or wait for mass market. This chicks hot, huh?!

Hey, Miss Smarty Pants, ain't it the truth. Don't you get that way when you realize there's an author you haven't read? Can't seem to read anything else?

Hey, kerri! Luvs me some marriage of conveniences, and Old West romances aren't so easy to find.

Looks like you and I are in the same boat, Jules. More books to read.

Faith n begorah, little Miss Mary Kate! Shame, taking the sweet Vigin's name in vain. No. I didn't mean Vivi Anna! All we hear for months is, "Windflower, Windflower, Windflower." But do you say a peep about LInda Howard? Does anybody say peep about Linda Howard? NOt hardly. So, go back to work and hang your head. Your penance, Miss Mary Kate, is to come up with 2 tasty Linda Howard/JR Ward hero combo sammiches. Go and pimp some more.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Caroline! You're making me wonder whether I shouldn't start taking interest in interior decorating and window treatments. What gives? No! Don't tell me, all youz who are teasing and taunting with this scene. I'll buy the damn book, already!

And, Play, you are shameless, shameless I tell you in the promotion of your favorite authors! So cut line: is LH a member of youz guyz's RWA local, or what?

Phoebe Belsley said...

Hee hee.

You'll know what I mean when you read the book. The curtain scene, and the car wash scene, and the scene where the heroine is on the phone with her sister (which, on some level, should be just mortifying and yet is so unbelievably hot it's unbelievable).

I seem to remember some suspense in the book, too, but really it's all about Sam. I gotta read this book again...@$&#%! deadlines...

Julie in Ohio said...

*SQUEEEEEE* (deep breath)

OMG! Ms. Ward will be here next week!!!!

{{{Happy Dance}}}

Playground Monitor said...

And, Play, you are shameless, shameless I tell you in the promotion of your favorite authors! So cut line: is LH a member of youz guyz's RWA local, or what?

My compatriots do not call me the "Promo Ho" for naught. *g* Yes'm, she's a much loved, very valued and highly respected member of our local chapter. She just gives and gives and gives. Makes me proud to be a romance writer.

Unknown said...

Read the Mackenzies! All fab, especially Zane and Chance is a real alpha bastard old school hero.
Actually I love all her books!

Vivi Anna said...

I can't wait to see what she does for the Nocturne line. INFERNO comes out in May for the line. It will be interesting to say the least.

chilliemama said...

Well, Michelle, as your intrepid assistant and girlfriend you know that I like to monitor the blog on the DL, but even I can't resist replying to this one. Thanks for the shout out on Linda Howard!

Luckily, with me as your friend, you don't have to BUY any LH books as I maintain a complete library hidden under my bed:-)

I suggest moving on to the MacKenzie books. Has anyone read A Game of Chance? It's one of my all time favorites...

amy kennedy said...

Whoa--so many things to say...Michelle, lots of the titles are contemporary titles--LOVE THEM. But I think our Queen is lookin for some historical action, which LH does as well.

But wait--problem child--Son of the Morning? How the heck did I miss that one? It sounds great.

And I was wondering when Marilyn would pipe in--plus now I'll have to go back and look for your name.

MK, clearly, you have dropped the PRB--pimpin' romance ball--and all I've ever read of hers are the contemps.


Eve--sorry you missed out on yesterday.

Wait a minute we've got a romance pimp AND a promo ho? You gotta love this place.

Yo, chilliemama, you know Michelle's gonna want 'em for her own. hahahahahahahaha.

Vivi--are you saying Nocturne is going to re-issue Inferno under that line?

Anonymous said...

Michelle - you haven't read Linda Howard? I absolutely adore the Mackenzie books. I have read Game of Chance chilliemama but I think my favourite was Wolf and Mary's story. Mary just seemed real to me.

Weirdly, I've just finished reading a couple of Linda Howard Novels - Open Season, which was good and right up my alley (I am so like Daisy [as she was at the beginning] it isn't funny.) I'm tempted to buy the book just to remind myself to get my A into G! I've also just finished reading Cry No More (and I recommended it to one of my local librarians :) It's sad but very, very good!

I did read Mr Perfect, but I just couldn't get into it...I may have to try it again. Sarah's Child was so lovely - I didn't realise there were loose sequels. I'll have to hunt them down - thank you!


PS I am so excited about the WARDen stopping in I'm bouncing on my chair :)

Vivi Anna said...

No, sorry Amy I meant Linda's Nocturne book is called Inferno. Book one of the Raintree Trilogy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Vivi Anna and Michelle! I can't wait to read Blood Secets!!!

There are so many great Linda Howard books, just for the heroes alone! I would read All the Queen's Men and Kill and Tell.

Vivi Anna said...

Yeah congrats Carolanne!! Also congrats to Nikki P and Ann for the other winnings!!!

Michelle always gives good contest...

Anonymous said...

Ohhh, Vivi - your book Hell Kat is waiting for me at the library! I'm so looking forward to reading it!

Linda Howard has written a 'Nocturne' book? What genre is 'Nocturne' please?

Many thanks,


Vivi Anna said...

yeah Orannia, that's fantastic!

Nocturne is paranormal romance from Silhouette

My Blood Secrets is out this month from Nocturne.

amy kennedy said...

Oh, Vivi, that's right. I saw the ad for that at the end of your book. It's the Raintree trilogy.

Oh and by the way, Michelle, guess which book I have in my hand right this very second...Son of the Morning--the opening is France, 1307. Oh yeah baby.

Anonymous said...

My two favorites are Open Season and Dying to Please...but those are contemps. I am not too into the Historical scene. :)

Kelly F.

Problem Child said...

amy*skf--hope you don't have anywhere to be any time soon.

I couldn't put it down.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

A medieval in France, Ames, huh? Em, how do you say eet, "je HATE you, you little stinky braggart!"

Oops. There goes the (tone of the) blog neighborhood.

Kate, alpha bastard hero. I'll be all over the Mackenzies. I should have known you'd know the hot guys.

Hey, O! (rianna) Cheers for your library! You're gonna love "Hell Kat." Just, well, brace yourself.

Carolanne, if you say read an author just for the heroes alone, you're speakin my language. Frankly, I wasn't aware there was another reason to read romance...

Hey, Kelly, see how magnanimous I am, encouraging you to visit even though you don't dig historicals? Although, now I'm thinking I gots me a little converting to do. Maybe there's a LH historical you might like?

Ah, chilliemamma aka Michelle, yes, I'll never forget the first time I met you, and the wicked gleam in your eye when you said you had a special stash of romances you "kept under the bed."

It's so funny how I met my best friends here in Minnie after we moved here 3 years ago from Boston area. First, I made friends with Ames who's a librarian at the library where I went to write a couple times a week. I sheepishly said I liked to read romance and that they seemed to have a great selection. I think she and her partner in crime actually squeeeeed on the spot -- like they, too, had found a kindred spirit.

Then, I met Michelle and our good friend in AK, LizeeS when we took a romance novel course at a very cool literary center. Michelle introduced me to Ellora's Cave, and seemed to like reading sex, bastard heroes, and twindgy heartache every bit as much as I.

LizeeS? She's on the cusp of getting published with a hero I have an enormous crush on. Lizee also wants to publish an Inspy that actually allows the Fbomb in context. Well, God is great, Liz, but perhaps not quite that merciful.

Then, as if they weren't enough, I got lucky, got a cool job, then got to hang here with you Bellas. It wasn't just a dream come true for me, it was one for my husband from way back when he suggested I should write a column about romance fiction so he wouldn't have to listen to me talk about it anymore.

Gosh, now I got youz to talk to about it with, learn from, be inspired by, laugh along with, especially at the silliness we see in some of the stuff we love about the genre.

I think that's what makes this so much fun for me -- we love romance, talk about it like it matters (it does), yet we see the parts of it that can be discussed with tongue planted firmly in cheek, and get a kick out to the whole enchilada.

I haven't done it in a while, so thanks for indulging me as I wax wistful about how much I love it here with youz. You godda problem with that? I didn't think so.

Kristi Cook said...

I think I've been living under a rock, because I've *never* read Linda Howard. But after reading this thread....I'm going over to Amazon right now!!

Laurie said...

My favorite Linda Howard books are White Lies and Dream Man. White Lies is told in an unique, diary sequence...with the eyes telling the story, lots of action, chase scenes with the good against the bad guys. I wasn't thrilled with Mr Perfect but I did like Drop Dead Gorgeous with Blair and Wyatt.

Anonymous said...

Michelle, grazie mille for providing such a great venue for discussing romance!

Anonymous said...

Hey Michelle,
Well I am not totally against historicals. I guess I just tend to prefer the contemps. LOL! But by all means if there is a historical out there that you think I just "have" to read let me know. I have a friend in Puerto Rico that thought the same way you do. She kept telling me "You HAVE to read A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux" Well I kept telling her "Yeah...Yeah, I will someday." And I will admit when I finally did read it I loved it!! And I have read a ton of them from Julie Garwood. I guess I am extremely picky about the historicals that's why I don't read them much. :-) And by the way thanks for encouraging me to hang out here. It is a cool place to be. I didn't realize you used to live in the Boston area. That is where I live. Well, a bit North of Boston.

Kelly F.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I totally know what you mean, Kelly. LOL. I had a similar experience with vampire novels -- didn't get the whole premise, until I read Emma Holly's "Courting Midnight." Elongating fangs, sensual thrall, the "ultimate zipperless f-ornication," as some call it.

I'm like, oh, yeah, I get it now.

I meant to comment about where you live cause I know it well. My husband's from Revere! Seveyah Reveyah, as they say. We lived in the MetroWest for about 10 years, and I really missed it tons til I made some friends here. But I still miss it wicked and look forward to visits. Love the Cape and that nice, bleak NE coastline.

See, Kristina? That's exactly how I was, too. :)

Thanks for all the great LH recs today, Bellas.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Prego, azteclady, prego!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I used to go out with someone from East Boston and we some how always managed to end up at Kelly's Roast Beef on the beach. What a small world. I actually live on the coast about 35-40 minutes North of Boston. Right on Cape Ann, you know Rockport, Manchester, Gloucester area?

Kelly F.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hey, K: I've been to the Gloucester 3rd of July parade many times. :) My husband took me to Kelly's on Revere Beach the first time he took me home to meet his family. We fed the seagulls fried shrimp. Now, I go to the Route 1 drive through at least once each visit.

Cape Ann's beautiful. My sistah-in-lawr takes my nephews there. I think there's a public beach?

amy kennedy said...

I just gotta say--problem child is right--I don't want to put down this book--it's contemp and historical and suspenseful and I have so much cleaning to do...another day.

And, yeah, squeee I did. The rest is history.

Anonymous said...

Now I am really amazed, have you ever been to the St. Peter's Fiesta? They have that here every June. It is a really big festival for the Italian fisherman. The greasy pole and seine boat races are intense.

The Horribles Parade is every July 3rd here. God, forget the parade we people watch during that.

And yes, there are many beaches here. Good Harbor, Niles, Half Moon Beach and Wingaersheek beach.

They actually put another Kelly's up in Danvers now too. But truth be told the Nixck's Roast Beef in Beverly are too die for! If you haven't had one from there you should make a stop your next visit. ;)

Kelly F.

Eva Gale said...

Son of the Morning. Just Do It. Phenom.