Video of the Day 10/27–In Honor of Gilmore Girls on Netflix

I have to admit that I am a HUGE Gilmore Girls fan and I shipped Luke and Lorelai like crazy back in the day.  I remember writing on my old Myspace blog about how I wanted a guy just like Luke (I still do, but he can have a little Richard Castle thrown in).  For today’s video, I wanted to post this scene in which Luke describes the very first time the two of them met.  So romantic.

All the Paranormals…

It seems that October is paranormals month.  Maybe it has to do with Halloween being this month, but all I seem to want to read are paranormals.  I started out with older Kay Hoopers (Out of the ShadowsWhisper of Evil) and then moved onto her newer books.  To be honest, I had all but given up on this series back in 2009-ish because it just wasn’t doing it for me.  The writing had definitely changed and not in a good way.  I couldn’t even put my finger on what it was that wasn’t working for me; I just know that something was missing.  Now, I know what it was: the romance.  Many of the newer books are romance-lite.  For instance, Hostage, which was the first book in her most recent trilogy, didn’t feature any romantic interactions between the hero and heroine, and that is just not okay.  If you’re going to brand your books as romance, there need to be romance in there.  The only reason I kept reading after that book was because I was interested in Hollis’s storyline.  (Hollis first appeared in one of the earlier books, Touch of Evil, which is actually one of my least favorite books in the series, and she’s been popping up more and more as the series continues.)  It is actually ironic, because I wasn’t really keen on the fact that it appeared Hollis was taking over the series back when I stopped reading the books and now she’s the only reason I wanted to keep reading it.

Once I finished the last Hooper novel, I started in on the three most recent Krewe of Hunters trilogy by Heather Graham, who is one of my guilty pleasure authors.  I’m currently on the most recent of those books, The Betrayed, which takes place in Sleepy Hollow, New York and involves the legend of Sleepy Hollow.  I’m really enjoying the book, but there’s just something about it that’s putting me off.  I’m not quite sure what it is.  Maybe when I finish it, I’ll figure it out.

When I finish this, I’m not sure what I’m going to read next.  I’m suddenly feeling the need to re-read the Harry Potter series, even though I just finished the last book back in May.  (I didn’t read the entire series at the time, but now I feel like starting with number 1 and making my way all the way through the series, something I have never been able to do.)  I’m also thinking about re-reading the Ivy League series again.  I also want to read some historicals, since I haven’t read any of those since I finished the most recent Pink Carnation novel back in August.

Rebranding and Catching Up

To All of My Wonderful Readers,

Thank you so very much for staying with me over the last months–I know it has been a very long time since my last post back in February and I’m not quite sure why I’ve stayed away for so long.  Back in February, in the midst of that frigid Polar Vortex, I just couldn’t be bothered to do anything, except possibly shoveling, although with the new administration’s policy of not cow-towing to the ultra rich residents of the UES (Upper East Side for the non-New Yorkers), I didn’t have to worry as much about not being able to make it off the sidewalk as I had in the previous 12 years when the not-so-honorable Michael Bloomberg was mayor.  Yes, I am still bitter.  After that, I just got out of the habit of writing–not just here, but anywhere.  For that, I apologize.

In the last several months, a lot has changed for me.  First, I made the move from New York to sunny California, where I shouldn’t have to worry about blizzards or hurricanes.  Just earthquakes, but apparently, they’re not as common as non-Californians are made to believe.  Since I have been out here, I have felt one–the Napa quake from a few months back, and even that was barely a blip on my radar.

Second, I landed an actual, full-time job.  Since May, I have been hung up on by car dealers across the US and up in Canada.  Once, I was even cursed at by a car dealer in Florida, who called me back after hanging up on me just to harangue me for having the nerve to call him.  If he had bothered to listen, he would have gained a lot.  Oh, well.  Too bad for him.

Last, and most recent, I have purchased a domain name, which is why this blog is no longer called The Romance Reader.  As part of my job, I am constantly telling car dealers of the importance of having a website, about how it gets their brand exposure, and all the while, here I was sitting around with this great blog and a ton of awesome readers, not following my own advice.  How careless of me.  If my manager hadn’t pointed out to me how affordable domains are (even though I already knew this, I just hadn’t connected it to my own situation) I probably wouldn’t be writing this right now, so if you are happy to be reading this, you have him to thank (and somewhere he is now feeling really happy with himself and has no idea just why that is).  That said, most domains are affordable, usually around $12-$20 per year; theromancereader.com, however, was not.  You see, it is considered a “Premium Domain,” being sold for nearly $7k.  Yeah, I don’t have that kind of money, so it was back to the drawing board.  After trying out several different names in my head, I came up with The Fiction Vixen.  Catchy, right?

If you already have me bookmarked as The Romance Reader, have no fear!  That domain still works and it will redirect you to The Fiction Vixen.  You will always have a way to find me.  (Plus, the facebook page is still listed as The Romance Reader because it is ridiculously hard to change a Facebook name.  Who knew?)

Thank you again, Dear Readers.

The Fiction Vixen (formerly The Romance Reader)

P.S. I promise not to stay away as long next time!

February Books

Doesn’t it always seem as if new books come out in February?  I wonder if the publishing industry has a “sweeps” period like television and they choose to release more books during this time than in others because it makes their statistics look better.  Anyway, I’ve already posted about the new Karen Rose novel, which came out on the 4th, but there are several other books coming out this month.  (All publication dates are subject to change, so don’t blame me if you can’t get your book on the date I’ve listed.)

1. Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb.  (Available 2/18)  This is the latest in the In Death series, featuring Lt. Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke, a billionaire with a shady past.  I’ve posted about this series a lot and it is one of the only series that I’ve stuck with through all of its ups and downs.

2. Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis. (Available 2/18)  As my long-time readers know, I’ve recently gotten into this series and I absolutely love it.  I pre-ordered this book back in December.

3. The Trouble with Honor by Julia London (Available 2/25)

4. Evening Stars by Susan Mallory (Available 2/25)

5. Tell Me by Lisa Jackson (Available 2/25)

6. All a Heart Needs by Barbara Freethy (Available 2/27) 5th book in the Callaway Series

7. City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn (Available 2/25)

8. Lost in Love by Kate Perry (Available 2/12)

9. Let the Dead Sleep by Heather Graham (Available 2/25)

10. Books 1-3 in the Fatal Series by Marie Force (Available 2/11)  (I reviewed the first book in the series Fatal Affair last year and didn’t like it very much–I DNF’ed it.)

11. All I Ever Wanted by Kristen Higgins (Available 2/25)

12. Mesmerized by Candace Camp (Re-issue, Available 2/25)–my first historical romance, which I read my senior year of high school.

13. The Rustler by Linda Lael Miller (Available 2/25)

14. Captive Embraces by Fern Michaels (Re-issue, Available 2/20)

15. When the Duke was Wicked by Lorraine Heath (Available 2/25)

16. The Bride Says Maybe by Cathy Maxwell (Available 2/25)

17. Borrowed Dreams by Debbie Macomber (Available 2/25–might be a re-issue as it is subtitled “Debbie Macomber Classic)

18. Vampire Most Wanted by Lynsay Sands (Available 2/18)

19. Sex for Beginners Box Set by Stephanie Bond (Available 2/15)

20. The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg (Available 2/25)

If you know of any other books that are coming out this month, please let me know.  You can send me a message on the facebook page.

New Karen Rose Novel On Sale Today!

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Today’s the day–the newest Karen Rose novel, Watch Your Back, hit American shelves (it has been out in the UK since November).  This book features Stevie and Clay, and I have been looking forward to this book since they first appeared together is You Belong to Me.  Here’s the synopsis from Ms. Rose’s website:

A cold case reopened. A murderer re-emerging more deadly than ever before…

Baltimore Homicide Detective Stevie Mazzetti has suffered losses no woman should have to endure. And, despite it all, she’s still a fighter. When she learns that her ex-partner might have miscarried justice, she’s determined to put the past to rights, even when she becomes a target.

It’s former Marine Clay Maynard’s job to see the risk in every situation, but he doesn’t have to look hard to find the danger surrounding Stevie. Since the minute he first saw her, Clay has wanted to protect the wounded officer, and he started loving her not long after that. So when Stevie attracts the attention of a vicious psychopath, Clay will do whatever it takes to keep her alive. That is, if he can stay ahead of a killer with everything to lose—and something terrifying to hide…

Sounds interesting.  I can’t wait to read it–I got my copy off of Amazon for $5.99 this morning.  What are you waiting for?

The Romance Reader Vlog #4

I know I’ve been a bit derelict in updating the blog/vlog over the last few weeks, but I have a good excuse–which you’ll learn by watching the vlog. :)  (You didn’t think I’d make it easy for you, did you?)

Guilty Pleasure Books

I was watching the newest episode of The Goldbergs earlier today and it featured the song The Safety Dance, which as far as I know has never been a cool song.  It is one of those songs that everybody knows, but no one ever admits to liking.  It was the Mmbop of the day (I will admit to having owned Middle of Nowhere, the CD that had Mmbop on it and it is even on my Ipod).

The_Safety_Dance_single

Mmbop was one of my favorite songs when I was in 6th grade and I even had a t-shirt with their picture on it.  I know most people joked about these guys looking like a bunch of ugly girls–one of my classmate’s dads was horrified to learn that they were boys–but I loved them.  Unfortunately, I was one of the only ones and they never really took off.

Hanson

This all got me thinking about guilty pleasure books and what exactly makes them guilty pleasures.  Did they start out that way or did they becomes them as we got older?  I know that’s how I feel when Mmbop or Barbie Girl comes on the radio.  I cherished those songs as a kid, but now I take them for what they are: cheese.  Highly enjoyable cheese.  There aren’t all that many books that I consider guilty pleasure–I think the total might be 4 books.  The first three are a series by Candace Camp.

The Lost Heirs

I love this series, but it is so crazy that it can only be called cheese.  If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it follows siblings Alexandra, Marie Anne (a.k.a. Marianne), and John (a.k.a. Jack/Gil), who were presumed dead when their parents’ home was lit on fire during the beginning of The French Revolution.  The first book, A Stolen Heart, is Alexandra’s book, in which we learn that all three kids escaped the fire and were returned to London only to be taken away again before their grandmother could find out.  This book involves highway men, a runaway hot air balloon, and a bordello run by a woman who liked to dress in the pre-Revolutionary style (white face powder and all).

The second book in the series, Promise Me Tomorrow, is Marie Anne’s book, which isn’t quite as crazy as either the first or the third books in the series.  This one only has the highway man and a collapsed coal mine–and sex in said coal mine.

Last is, Promise Me Tomorrow, John’s book–although he doesn’t know he’s John and goes by Jack.  This guy is thought dead not once, but twice–how very soap opera-y of him.  First, his family thought he died in France and then his girlfriend thought he died when he was thrown off the side of a cliff into the rapids below.

Despite all of this, I love this series.  It is like crack to me.  I can’t not read it.  Even writing about it now has me wanting to delve into them again.  I can’t help it.

if looks could kill

The last book that I consider a guilty pleasure it Heather Graham’s If Looks Could Kill.  This book was about a young woman, who as a girl psychically connected with her famous mother at the moment of her death and who ever since has been able to see through the eyes of killers.  This is actually a really cool sounding plot, but there are things that just put it in the guilty pleasure category.  There is the fact that the hero is the heroine’s step brother and that they grew up together.  Plus, he thinks she’s a witch because she just so happened to see his dead wife’s death (he knows this because the dead wife saw her there and told him before she died).

The first time I read any of these books, I must have disregarded all of this because it was only in later readings that I even noticed them.  Maybe that’s how it starts.  What do you think?  Do you have any guilty pleasure books?