National Book Lovers Day, August 9th


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Readers of all genres unite! If you didn’t celebrate World Book Day this year, you don’t have to wait until April 23, 2020 to show your love of reading. Friday, August 9th was National Book Lovers Day, and many more dates celebrate books, reading, and literacy itself. Did you grab a book yesterday, an audiobook? How about gift books, attend a book club, write an author, or gather with other book lovers?

Just for fun check out this site for holidays and link to Flavorwire calendar of book and author dates:

Although before designing an event, ensure the date matches up. Some dates can vary by year, country, or author who developed the article for website. It will at least give you ideas on what to base celebrations. Chase’s Calendar of Events is a good source. Check your local library for a copy of this reference.

Example: March honors Dr. Seuss on March 2nd not 1st for Read Across America Day. Generations of parents have introduced their children to this cherished author to further their children’s skills in and love of reading. The NEA celebrates reading on this, and every day throughout the year with the Read Across America program. Volunteer to read to children or teens.

Other websites to check out. Take a look at all sites because there are brand new listings interspersed with any duplicates found: ml

and many more…

Who Floats Your Boat?


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Alpha? Tall, dark, and dangerous? or maybe sensitive, comforting, and reassuring? Either way, the male hero of the romances we prefer to read are usually portrayed the same, having identical or similar characteristics, paralleling each other.

Even though the type preferred is basically indistinguishable and interchangeable from book to book, we continue to devour these novels. It isn’t so surprising because romances are formula-driven. We know this, want and expect certain conventions to be upheld. The plot is like a recipe, with expectations for the beginning, middle, and end of the story. So, if the books don’t deviate from this, then why would the blueprint for each type of hero? Why would we not want him to fit the same mold?

So, whoever floats your boat, this Tuesday, August 6th, National Root Beer Float Day, take time to enjoy a free root beer float. One such place you can indulge is your local A&W restaurant.


Remember When


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Back in 2015, when I was just starting this blog, the entry on Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy reported on my favorite read at that time. In fact, it still is one of my favorite reads. So, because of this I waited for months after I found another of her books on hold. This one, Time’s Convert, focuses on two of the secondary characters, not really continuing the plot so much as the subplot introduced in the series. The pacing is similar, with characterization and its development as important as the plots.

The subplot, intertwined with the other story, become the main plot here, with the protagonists in the earlier works becoming the secondary characters and its subplot. So the storyline differs in that sense, but still has as its subject the world of witches, vampires and daemons all linked by a common geneological tree as in Discovery of Witches, with most of the characters reappearing. It’s almost as if this story took up from where the other left off.

So, if you liked this magical fantasy universe and its characters, you should read Time’s Convert. Just don’t expect the surprise, development, and intensity of the series. Remember, among other things, it is one book not three. Of the two romances you’ll have to tell me which you prefer.

Danger Ahead! Sinfully Delicious


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RWA members who hit the New York Times or Publishers Weekly best-seller lists include Christine Feehan and her newest novel, Shadow Warrior.

Shadow Warrior is the latest in the Queen of Paranormal Romances’ Shadow Riders series. If you like reading about the Stephano crime family who have undergone “horrible training” in order to seek justice for those that the law can’t protect, grab her Leopard series.

Just as these male shadow riders need women whose shadow connects to theirs, with personalities and passions to complement them to give them love, life, and family, leopard shifters are similarly challenged. The best example of this are the Amur leopard shifters in the latter part of the Leopard series. Each male protagonist has only one mate to complete him, to silence the vicious killer leopard inside, giving him a chance at a life, love, and children he never thought would be possible.

The Leopard series depicts another family of males trained from children. This family of Russian Amur leopards is just as dangerous as the Ferraro family, having been trained in fear and violence. The Amur leopard shifters also became criminals who defeat those the law would never be able to; eliminate them from within.

If you like Shadow Warrior, Christine Feehan’s Leopard series is the perfect next read.

Log on! New Webinar.


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Join Mark Lefebvre (Kobo), Mark Coker (Smashword), Joel Friedlander, (Book Designer, Author, and Blogger), and the Moderator, Adam Boretz (Publishers Weekly and BookLife) for an afternoon’s free webinar on April 27th, 2016 @ 1PM, Self-Publishing E-Books and Print Editions. I thought that if you were interested in my prior post, Online Conferences for Indie Authors or Those Who Want to Self-Publish, you might want to see this.

In summary, the webinar discusses

best practices, tactics, and tips about self-publishing e-books and print editions…self-publishing experts will discuss everything from e-book platforms and print-on-demand to e-book conversion and distribution.

Click the link if you want to register for the webinar or contact Publishers Weekly with questions. If interested in self-publishing, you should take a look at the publication’s site, BookLife, dedicated to Indie Authors; readers might be interested as well.

Until tomorrow!

Publishers weekly. Booklife. Booklife webinar. Self-Publishing E-Books and Print Editions. Retrieved April 13, 2016, from:

Friday Reads: Green’s Commencement Address


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It’s that time of year again. Graduation season, and hope for the future is in the air. John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, delivered the commencement address at Butler University in 2013; one year after the book was published and before the movie was released in 2014.

I mention this particular speech because, with humor and counsel, it advises graduates on life after college. I found it interesting that Green didn’t shy away from tackling what he believes is the reality of what they will face; that graduates’ security in their knowledge and world will be replaced by the uncertainty of life after college. You might consider that his novel’s characters, Hazel and Gus, as their health fails, also journey from a degree of strength to weakness. Before the book began the teens experienced the strength of youth and health, and throughout the book their heath fades. So the uncertainty of when life will end develops, leading eventually to death; Gus’ portrayed in the novel, and Hazel’s to occur after the conclusion.

Also, it is fitting for today because Green’s Romance is a Young Adult book, continuing the YA theme. Most Romances tend to be written by women, so I chose this speech because it was delivered by a male author. A couple of other male authors dealing with romance include Michael Ondaatje of The English Patient, and Nicholas Sparks of The Notebook whom I blogged about. Play the above YouTube video to listen to John Green’s commencement address.

I watched and enjoyed the movie, The Fault in Our Stars. EmotionaI and heartbreaking. Sometimes raw or with humor. I recommend it for both Adults and Young Adults, who I am aware both read or watch it.

Have a good weekend!

#FridayReads post. Event hosted @:

John Green’s commencement speech, 2013. Butler university. Published May 16, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2016, from:

What Shall I Read Next? Young Adults’ Flight to Faerie


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Before advancing to the next subgenre, let’s address the Young Adult (YA) market. As teens have changed, so have the stories told. Plots, characters, etc. seem more “adult”; YA authors deliver further involved stories appealing not only to teens of today, but in some cases, adults as well. Take the Harry Potter series for example.

Public libraries offer YA collections in combined Adult and YA departments; separate YA areas/departments; and buildings constructed specifically for, and solely devoted to, young adults.  So many YA books! Much to talk about. Where do we start? Well, how about rounding out the paranormal romance subgenre somewhat with YA titles; with the number of books available, Adult and YA, you’ll never really be finished with it.

Those who’ve read The Iron Fey series, enthralled by its world of Faerie, and the opposing Summer, Winter, and Iron Courts, will enjoy Julie Kagawa’s next series. I loved Meghan’s (half-human/half-Summer fey) and  Ash’s (Winter Prince) love story, but I wondered what ever happened to her beloved brother, back in the human world. The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten series answers that question. Ethan Chase journeys to Faerie, his Fey sister and nephew, and involves himself with its issues.



Like Crossovers? You Might Enjoy…


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Are you a romance author whose novels fit into more than one genre? Maybe you are a reader who enjoys these types of books. If so you might enjoy attending, for example, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America conference, and its programming, workshops, Nebula Awards banquet, autographing, special events, and tours.

While you are in Chicago stop into Book Expo America. BEA is May 11-13,  whereas the 2016 SFWA Nebula Conference is May 13-15 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. Don’t miss the awards ceremony on May 14th. Click on the highlighted links for further conference details.

Artists, in this case authors, achieving a crossover from Romance into other genres broaden their appeal among readers. Breaking into another genre increases their potential audience. So, the author’s books, as in the case of the paranormal romances discussed, also might be catagorized as Fantasy or Science-Fiction.

Many paranormal romances I recommended about psychic investigation included mystery, and were considered romantic-suspense as well. What subgenre do you think we’ll encounter next?

See you tomorrow.

Friday Reads: 2016 Librarian of the Year!


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It’s a new year for RWA’s Cathy Linz Librarian of the Year Award! The recipient, Robin Bradford, is the Collection Development Librarian at Timberland Regional Library in Olympia, Washington. The majority of her advocacy for the romance genre, its authors, and readers is done through social media, pretty much mainstream now. Remember, only those librarians who are outstanding in their support of the romance genre, including their writers, are selected.

Is the trend toward selecting younger librarians? See my entry on Cathy Linz, who embodies or personifies the award, renamed in her honor posthumously.  Aside from social media, Ms. Bradford seems to use collection development to promote romance to patrons and the profession as a whole. I believe that Robin also views, as I do in my post, Reading for Pleasure. Fiction Anyone?, that romance is judged both harshly and treated differently than other books.

In the library field for over 20 years, her focus on acquisition, in bringing books to the attention of readers and other librarians, is supplemented by engaging with readers; such as the interview series at Booklist’s Corner Shelf.  Ms. Bradford series highlights self-published/indie authors, as do I in my entry, Online Conferences for Indie Authors or Those Who Want to Self-Publish.

Desirous of showing the variety of the romance genre, as I am in exploring its subgenres in my blog, Robin also wants what I do:

readers discovering new romance books, authors and sub-genres; reading these books that they love; without prejudice or judgment towards the genre.

I am happy to blog Robin Bradford’s appointment as the 2016 RWA Cathy Linz Librarian of the Year; an individual who supports readers in their quest to read as many of the best romance novels available. As I do when recommending read-alikes and other romances in the various subgenres; a major focus of my blog, The Romantic Pen.

Read on!

* #FridayReads post. Event hosted @:

Romance writers of america. 2016 Rwa cathie linz librarian of the year award. Retrieved April 1, 2016, from:

What Shall I Read Next? Psychic Investigation


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The past, present, and future converge, psychic investigators and agencies flourishing throughout the years, in Jayne Anne Krentz, a.k.a. Amanda Quick, a.k.a. Jayne Castle’s series’. I love her Arcane Society novels, traversing the centuries, and find this an example of her books appearing in more than one series. As one instance, Midnight Crystal is both in the Arcane Society series, as well as the Dreamlight Trilogy.

Paranormal romantic-suspense is also seen in her Looking Glass Trilogy, part of the Arcane Society novels. Psychic talents are treated here, as well as with the featured security experts of the Ghost Hunters novels. The author also considers them as the futuristic Curtain novels. If you like romantic mysteries about psychic detectives/investigators you can also check out the Whispering Springs and Lavinia Lake and Tobias March novels.

No matter which age preferred, I recommend reading any and all of these books. I consider them read-alikes because, although the time periods vary, the novels are all romances dealing with psychic investigation/security. They follow similar threads, such as male-female partners in solving a mystery, or other situation involving psychic talents and/or environment.

Visit Jayne Ann Krentz’s series’ webpage for information on these titles. See you next time!