bookstack.jpg The PBR reviewer family is growing and we couldn’t be happier about it. L.J. Schmidt not only reads romance—since the long ago days when she swiped them from her parents’ bedroom—she also spends her days in a bookstore giving thirty second reviews of romances to fans of the genre. We are tickled that L.J. has agreed to share her incisive critical analysis here at PBR. Welcome L.J.!

New Contest

bookstack.jpg**No, this isn’t really a new contest. We’re extending the contest from last week until Saturday. On your mark…get set…hunt!**
We had so much fun with the scavenger hunts in May, that we’ve planned hunts for all of July too. As with the previous hunts, all answers can be found on the internet.

thegrinchmakesgood.jpg1. Alison Kent’s 1997 Harlequin Temptation release, The Grinch Makes Good, featured a cover model who appeared on some other 250 covers (hint: usually as a brunette). What’s his name?

heartsaflame.jpg2. The One Named Wonder of romance covers first hit shelves in June of 1987 on Joanna Lindsey’s Hearts Aflame. In how many movies has he made a cameo as himself?

OnceInABlueMoon.jpg3. Who is the Topaz Man who appeared on the step-back cover of Penelope Williamson’s Once in a Blue Moon?

As usual, DO NOT POST ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS, send them to us here. One winner will be randomly selected from all correct entries and announced next Saturday. Happy hunting.

How to Be The Perfect Girlfriend – Heather MacAllister

How To Be The Perfect GirlfriendSometimes fate plays a hand in the review process, sometimes it’s just a really fat feline. A few weeks ago, my cat decided to clean my bookshelves, thinking if she could knock enough stuff to the floor, she’d be able to squeeze into a space the size of a kitten. Needless to say, she grew bored with her project around the time that she’d cleared a good chunk of one shelf, and I was left to pick up her mess (yeah, guess who’s in charge at my house). As with all my house-cleaning attempts, one moment I was gung-ho, the next I was glancing at Heather MacAllister’s Temptation How To Be The Perfect Girlfriend.

I’m a lot like my cat, but not in a good way.

Continue reading

And Then There Were Four

bookstack.jpgLorna Freeman, national bestselling author of Covenants and The King’s Own, has agreed to join the festivities here at PBR. Lorna is a long time romance reader who shares many of our thoughts and hopes for the genre. We are humbled by her presence here and delighted with her thought-provoking insight into fiction. Welcome Lorna! And, thank you for saying yes.

Scavenger Hunt – Kassia Style

bookstack.jpg The clever readers of PBR tracked down the answers to last week’s contest with little trouble and a bit of help from google (that second part is a guess but an informed one since that’s how we’d do it). You even managed not to get confused by the first question. Yeah, Cait London is actually a pseudonym. We know. We know. Next time we’ll be more clear.
Anyway, here are last week’s answers:
1. What is the pseudonym for bestselling romance author Cait London? Cait London’s real name is Lois Kleinsasser. She writes contemporaries as Cait London and historicals as Cait Logan. We gave credit for both Cait Logan and Lois Kleinsasser.
2. What was the original title of Jennifer Crusie’s What The Lady Wants? Whatever Maebelle Wants.
3. Name the title and author of the launch book for Harlequin Blaze. Vicky Lewis Thompson’s Notorious was the official Blaze launch book and Blaze #1.
And the winner is – Samantha Wesley. Way to go, Samantha! Write us with your address and we’ll send off a copy of The Comeback Kiss to you.
Now for this week… You have one last chance to win a copy of The Comeback Kiss. Lani Diane Rich donated an autographed copy of this great book as the prize. To get your hands on it this time around, you have to figure out Kassia’s scavenger hunt questions. She can be tricky. You’ve been warned.
Here’s Kassia:
I’m feeling a bit thematic with my scavenger hunt today…
1. This husband-and-wife writing team won both the Golden Medallion (the precursor to the RITA) in 1987.
2. Sticking with our dynamic duo, this title, written under their pseudonym, featured an Amish woman and a former child actor.
3. Last but not least, this same couple was included in this magical anthology also featuring award-winning author Jo Beverley.
The rules are the same for this final week: hunt down the answers and email them to us at PBR. DO NOT POST ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS.
Send in those answers!

Home Sweet Home

Welcome one and all. This is it, our new home. Our permanent home–we know changing links is a chore and we promise not to ask you all to do it again. We’re still unpacking and trying to decide what should go where, but fear not, we will announce the February contest winners–of all them–later today.

And Then There Were Three

We are thrilled that Kassia Krozser has chosen to join us here at Paperback Reader.  As the voice of Booksquare, her look at the publishing industry is always insightful, witty, and spot on.  We know she will bring that same thoughtful scrutiny to her book reviews.  In Kassia we have found a kindred spirit, who shares, not only our love of romance, but our belief that critical analysis is vital to the genre.

Welcome to the shark pool, Kassia.

A New Venture

We decided to try something new.  Not new, really.  We’ve been avid readers for as long as we can remember.  As we work on our respective writing projects, we continue to read both inside the genre and outside.  One thing has remained constant – our collective frustration about the seeming unwillingness of some reviewers to write and post honest reviews of romance books.  Now, we’re not talking about the Smart Bitches or Rosario or even Mrs. Giggles.  These ladies say what they think and while we don’t always agree with them, we do admire them.  There are others, too, but there just aren’t enough voices. 

We complained for awhile on our individual blogs about how even slight criticism of a romance novel touched off rants from everyone in the community because you just don’t speak ill of romance novels and ruin the united front.  We should all agree that’s ridiculous.  Reading romance doesn’t mean you leave common sense and good taste aside.  Then, we had an idea (Wendy had the idea, actually) – why not give it a try.  Show that we can write reviews about romance books that are aimed at informing readers as well as giving constructive feedback to authors.  Are we always right?  Well, no.  These things are subjective.  These are our opinions and, frankly, there will be times when we don’t agree with each other. 

If there are books you want us to review, let us know.  If you disagree or agree with what we say, or just want to chat about a book, leave a comment.  We don’t shy away from controversy or a good conversation.  Some people might get mad.  Some folks might be hurt.  But, remember, we’re reviewing books, not people.  We vow not to get personal and to always approach the reviews from the angle that we love the genre and want to do what we can to make it better.  And, to prove no one is immune, HelenKay is ready to have her 2006 releases reviewed, with the help of a guest reviewer, of course.

So, starting tomorrow we’re up and running.  We hope you’ll stop by and join in the discussion.

Wendy & HelenKay