Wednesday, November 04, 2009

SCOOP! Melanie Murray Joins RBTB Team!

Over the coming weeks, you'll be seeing some bright, cheery new faces 'round these parts as you meet more of RBTB's new team. I've carefully chosen these folks not just cause they're talented, but also because you can count on them to keep up the tone you've set at RBTB while they work both online and offline throughout the romance community. Once again, I've poached from the creative team at to bring you a new friend who'll be reporting about the latest reads in historical romance -- yeah, she had to wrest the sug-genre from me kicking/screaming -- and, hopefully, who'll be keeping us abreast of the latest trends in lusty carriage scenes. Please, Bellas, offer a warm buongiorno to...

Melanie Murray, RBTB Correspondent, Historicals

Melanie Murray has never worn a corset, flounces, or white hair powder; been whisked away by a handsome rake and held “prisoner” in a velvet-swathed barouche; or forced into a marriage to rescue her titled-yet-poor family from social doom. But she does dream that all these things happen to her on a regular basis. And she reads a lot of historical romance to keep her dreams alive.

A published author of two chick-lit novels ("Good Times, Bad Boys"/"Miss Bubbles Steals the Show") and one young adult title, Melanie spent five years as a romance editor at Grand Central Publishing, where she happily worked on romances, along with other wonderful fiction and nonfiction titles. Melanie now moderates the Romantic Reads forum at and spends a large chunk of the day ordering and re-ordering her towering historical romance collection according to author, title, to-be-read, and to-be-reread.

Melanie’s thrilled to be able to share her love of historical romantic fiction with anyone who’ll listen, especially the RBTB Bellas. You can hear more about her favorite books on Twitter, where she’s tweeting as Melanie_Murray.

Check out Melanie's debut Feature Review tomorrow, as she gives you the d.l. on FOB Anna Campbell's "Captive of Sin!" Who knows, maybe our pal Anner'll stop in for a visit... :)

Which historical romances and authors of 'em should Melanie keep on the lookout for? What are some of your faves? And, how do you order your towering romance collection?


Myrin said...

Hi Melanie, how cool to have you here! You also do the "Romantic Reads this week"-section over at H2H, don't you? (oh please, let it be you, otherwise it would be terribly embarrassing!)

I only lately found out that I'm obviously a little strange here. Because although I do own a lot of historicals I'm absolutely not a historical girl. I enjoy reading them all, but mostly I'm so. Very. Annoyed. with all the propriety-stuff going on. It's just getting on my nerves and to think that there was a time when all that was real (like, say, women can't go anywhere alone, aren't allowed to do anything, and so on) - no, thankyouverymuch. There are historicals I absolutely adore, but, also I thing I found out only now, that are those where the heroines are not typical for that time, heroines that don't accept how women are treated. Am I making sense?

Oh, Captive Of Sin is right here in front of me on my desk and I actually wanted to read it next, but then I took a peek into another paranormal and found that I had to finish it first (damn those people who write really captivating books!).

I'd love to read about Lisa Kleypas's books. She's so very talented and has a unique ability to create wonderful characters. Tracy Anne Warren, who's fastly become a favourite of mine although I've only read two books by her.
Lorraine Heath. I have to know if her Scoundrels of St.James-series ended with book 4 (that would be so not cool!).
And Jacquie D'Alessandro. Loved her Mayhem in Mayfair-books. She's great.

pjpuppymom said...

Hi Melanie! I'm on the run this morning but wanted to pop in and welcome you to RBTB! I'll be back later when I have more time and I'm a little more awake. ;-)

Btw, I don't have a towering romance collection. I have a stuffed romance *room*! Yes, I really do have that many books. lol


Vanessa Kelly said...

Hi Melanie! Glad to see you in Michelle's house!

Historicals are my first and forever love, and I do have a towering - and I mean towering - historical pile. Captive Of Sin is waiting for me right now, and I've also got Meredith Duran and Julie Anne Long in the line-up. I think Anna, Meredith and Julie Anne are all massively talented.

I love just about anything written by Lisa Kleypas, Loretta Chase, and Eloisa James. And I'm very fond of Teresa Medeiros and also Christina Dodd's old historicals. Sigh. I wish she would write more of them.

Monica Burns said...

Hi Melanie, Welcome to the ball. Queen Bella rawks the house.

I'm a huge lover of historicals. Started out with Barbara Cartland and Victoria Holt, then kept moving along the food chain.

PJ - Two words for you. Loretta Chase. I can't say that woman's name often enough. Lord of Scoundrels and Your Scandalous Ways are two of the most outstanding books I've ever read. Then there's Knight in Shining Armor (McNaught)that one is on my keeper shelf and has been since the original printing. *grin*

Looking forward to your reviews Melanies and ANNNNAAAA!!! Come out and play doll.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Welcome to the team, Melanie! I'm so glad I had the ridiculously good sense to poach yet another bit of talent from BN! I mean, I humbly admit that I'm pleased you're with us. ahem.

It's great to have a fresh voice to talk historicals with, and, yes, it does matter to me that you love carriage scenes every bit as much as I do. When I first heard you say that, I knew that

Melanie Murray said...

I'm so glad to be here with you all, and of course I'm glad that there are so many historical fans out there!

LisaK: I am the one behind the Romantic Reads This Week posts, so no cause for embarrassment. And it is now my personal mission to convert you to a Kleypas fan - I could (and regularly do) go on and on about her. And on and on...(I have to say, too, that I love all the societal restrictions that come to play in historicals. It's built-in conflict!)

Hi PJ! Good to see you!

Melanie Murray said...

Hi Vanessa! Your list of faves could very well be my list of faves. It's good to see that Meredith Duran is getting some notice - she's quite the new voice, no?

Thanks for the welcome, Monica.

Michelle, you do have ridiculously good sense. I'm lucky to benefit from it by joining RBTB. :-) What is it about those carriage scenes that is But I do, I really do love them.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Vanessa, now that would be the question to ask: Who used to write historicals that you wish would do so again?

Hi, LisaK! Good question about Heath. You know, I was wondering that same thing. we need to find her and ask her, no? And, yeah, Melanie's a huge fan of the other Lisa K, like you are. :) It's very interesting, because some folks like the strict rules of the historical, to see how the heroines can find ways around all the strictures to get their ways or exhibit strengths. But I don't think I knew you weren't a fan of historicals, because I knew you read some. So maybe you 'protesteth too much?' Maybe deep down you're a true historical girl and don't want to admit you really want to be trussed up in a corset and crinolines and politely drink tea and be dominated by a big alpha duke?' Oh, wait; that's my fantasy. Sorry.

Playground Monitor said...

I've been away for a while but hope I can get here more frequently now. Great to "meet" you, Melanie. Maybe you'll be in Nashville next summer at RWA and we can meet for real.


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

omg, peej, a room? maybe it's the pain meds i'm on, but that sounds wild.

mon, I dont knwo that mcnaught! What's wrong with me? And I always like to add a nice "r" to the end of anna's name. Makes me feel all Aussie.

Nessa, that's a great line-up. Chase. What more to say? And what about the carriage talk over at TwoNerdyHistoryGirls? Melanie, you of all people have got to check it out. I swear, we have got to have a Bella get-together at Col. Wmsbrg, and hire that guy in the blue velvet jacket. sigh.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hey, Play! So nice to see you, darlin' Bella!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Melanie, really, I didn't notice your going on about Kleypas. I try never to repeat myself. But have I mentioned this author I love, Marsha Canham?

Melanie Murray said...

Michelle, who's this Marsha Canham? I haven't heard you mention her.

As for not noticing my little obsession, wasn't it you I told that I wanted to break in to Lisa Kleypas's computer to find out what happens with Leo and Cat?

On the Lorraine Heath question: she does tend to group her series in groups of three and four, so I wonder if she'll do the same with the St. James books.

Off to read about carriage scenes at TwoNerdyHistoryGirls...

Monica Burns said...

mon, I dont knwo that mcnaught!

Merda, I hate when I get things wrong. Jude Deveraux wrote Knight in Shining Armor

Judith McNaught wrote Kingdom of Dreams. Another great romance. I was thinking of that book's cover when I was typing.

Mea Culpa

The Reading Frenzy said...

Melanie, this is old home week. Welcome how great is this yet another place to keep track of you.
I can't wait to read your article as I know your love of historical romance is huge.
Welcome again

Melanie Murray said...

Hello Debbie! I'm not surprised to see you here. You're everywhere!

amy kennedy said...

Melanie, So great to see you here. You've already made me laugh...yes, Michelle, could you tell us about this Canham person?

A verra long time ago, I can remember thinking, if a person was going to write a romance, why would they write anything but a(n) historical. My first love in romance.

Now, of course, I love my paranormal -- will we have to fight over historical paranormals?

Play! Good to see (read) you.
Lisa K, I guess I didn't know about the denial of loving historicals either...*g*

Vanessa Kelly said...

Michelle, don't you love TNHG? The carriage posts have been awesome. As a writer whose current WIP involves the heroine throwing open the door and jumping out of the carriage, I really need to rethink that!

I was actually thinking this morning how great it would be if the Bellas and TNHG could join forces for a Williamsburg expedition. It's just the most fab place. And, la! What larks we could get up to!

amy kennedy said...

Vanessa, I love Julie Ann Long, but I've never read Meredith Duran.

Michelle, what are you talking about? You have a romance book room just like PJ -- probably not just like her, but still.

Mon, I cut my teeth on Victoria Holt too.

amy kennedy said...

Vanessa, I love Julie Ann Long, but I've never read Meredith Duran.

Michelle, what are you talking about? You have a romance book room just like PJ -- probably not just like her, but still.

Mon, I cut my teeth on Victoria Holt too.

amy kennedy said...

Carriage scenes! Carriage scenes! Ooooh, how I love carriage scenes.

Monica Burns said...

Ness, just have her fall flat on her face. ROFL Remember, you can do what you want, youse just gotz to make it believeable. *grin*

Monica Burns said...

Ames - Devil on Horseback - Holt Need I say more.

Tiona said...

Welcome, Melanie! It's great to see you here. How exciting.
Oh, I just love historicals. I agree, though they had all those rules...rules are made to be broken, right? hehe. Especially when some hot rake is involved!
Oh, many of my fave historical authors have already been mentioned in Judith McNaught, Jacquie D'Allessandro, Loretta Chase, but I would like to add Elizabeth Boyle, Paula Quinn, Margaret Moore, and Teresa Medieros! Gotta love them.
And, yes, after this our TBR pile will be threatening to take down the bookshelf from the weight, hehe.
Oh, can't wait for Amazon to deliver Nalini Singh's latest. Sorry, not a historical,hehe
Oh, those carriage scenes. I think it's the danger of being so easily found out, hehe. I mean, any minute they could stop and the door could be flung opened, hehe

Jill Kemerer said...

Hi Melanie! I love historical romances. My fave authors are Stephanie Laurens, Jodi Thomas, Joanna Bourne, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn... Okay, I could keep going! Looking forward to reading your posts!

Melanie Murray said...

Hi Amy! I will wrestle you for Shana Abe, okay?

Never been to Williamsburg, but you're making it sound mighty fun, folks.

I'm happy to be here, Princess Bumblebee, and happy to have more opportunity to chat with you! You said it about rules - breaking them can be so delicious.

Thanks for the welcome, Jill! Love all the authors on your list.

And the other thing about the carriages: they're in motion. And often lined in soft materials like velvet.

Becke Davis said...

Melanie! Sorry I'm late, I was over at B&N, checking out H2H and Romantic Reads!

It's great to have you join us -- I'm beginning to think romance lovers are taking over the world!

Becke Davis said...

I want to warn any of you who aren't that into historicals: you will be.

I blame Melanie and Anna Campbell for the towering state of my TBR pile(s) right now. It was perfectly manageable until I got hooked on the historical romance genre. MM and AC are the two people I hold to blame for my conversion!

Becke Davis said...

The first hot moving carriage scene I read was in a hot Diana Summers (?) book set in the French Revolution. I read that one YEARS ago and don't recall the title, but I do see your point about moving carriages.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Amy, Meredith Duran's writing is out of this world. Lyrical, and very emotional.

Good idea, Mon! The heroine is a little uppity - maybe I should take her down a peg.

Becke Davis said...

I don't think I can suggest anything to Melanie she hasn't already read. Most of the ones I've been reading I learned about from Melanie, Anna or Michelle, or at the Romantic Reads board.

Becke Davis said...

Okay, I'm hogging the comments, but I just had a thought. I've read both of Melanie's books, and I know she also writes YA. So, Melanie, since historicals are your passion, why aren't you writing them?

Myrin said...

Oh, oh, oh, Melanie, I think that came out wrong (finally something to be embarrassed about...).

I'm a huge, huge, huhuuuge fan of the other Lisa K! Ack. Why can't I express myself? *grumble*

In fact, my all-time-favourite romance is one of hers - Lady Sophia's Lover, and her Bow Street Runners series is one of the best EVAH. And I thought about those when I said I like historicals that are different.

Like, heroines that are different.

I mean, Sophia Sydney is different, isn't she?

Looking at my bookshelf, I definitely own more historicals than any other subgenres. Oh my. I'm not making sense, do I?

Maybe it's like Michelle says, since, despite my dislike of the society rules, I find myself reading historicals again and again. Michelle, you sure you're not some kind of psychologist at heart?

And how come you know about my corset fantasies? *blush* ;)

Janga said...

Hi, Melanie!

Most of my favorite historical romance writers have already been mentioned. To the existing stellar list, I would add Mary Balogh, Jo Beverley, Connie Brockway, Joanna Bourne, Mary Jo Putney, and Sherry Thomas and some terrific recent and about-to debut authors such as Tiffany Clare, Tessa Dare, Jennifer Haymore, Vanessa Kelly, Kris Kennedy, Sara Lindsey, Courtney Milan, and Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe.

And Vanessa, La Dodd actually has a new historical due to be released in March, In Bed with the Duke, a new Governess Bride book.

amy kennedy said...

Lisa K you back-peddle marvelously. Did someone mention Elizabeth Hoyt? I'm sure they did.

Lois Greiman has a carriage scen that is sooooo ridiculously sensual in her para/historical Under Your Spell. It's one of my fave scenes ever. I would add Eve Silver to the list, her historicals are very dark and sexy.

That's what I'm talkin' about Mon.

Janga, I have Kris Kennedy in my TBR pile...I have lots in my TBR pile. Shoot.

And now I'll add Meredith Duran.

Jill -- I love Joanna Bourne.

Becke, I long to see your TBR pile(s)

Monica Burns said...

Good idea, Mon! The heroine is a little uppity - maybe I should take her down a peg.

Actually, it will make her endearing to most readers. We can always identify with characters who get mud on their face and are embarrassed.

Becke Davis said...

Amy - I posted a few pictures of PART of my TBR pile on my Facebook photo page.

Melanie Murray said...

Becke, I'm proud of my role in your conversion. And you know, I've never really thought seriously about writing historicals, because I love them so much I'd hate to make them work for me.

Lisa: Glad we're on the same Kleypas page. And you're a bigger historical fan than you realized!

Janga, thanks for the welcome. Sherry Thomas is one of my new favorites - so glad to see her mentioned.

Becke Davis said...

I like all Sherry's books, but I LOVE her new one.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Oh. My. God. Christina Dodd has a new historical coming out in the Governess Bride series!! Hooray!! That is excellent news, Janga.

And thanks for the placement in such a fab group of debut authors!