Congrats to Anne for her award at the August 2008 Romance Author's Conference in Australia.
The tall, slim blonde seems the perfect diversion for ruggedly handsome hotel magnate Ben Jamieson. He'll bed Carissa Grace on a strictly no-strings basis.
Carissa and Ben soon embark on an all-consuming affair. But for Ben, that's all this can ever be—passionate, but temporary. However, when Carissa finds she's pregnant, Ben demands that she marry him! Even if it is just for their baby's sake….
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
CONSUMING PASSION 100 Years of Mills and Boon
UK / BBC Four / 1x90 minute episode / 2008 Writer: Emma Frost / Producers: Ben Evans, Abi Bach / Executive Producer: John Yorke / Director: Dan Zeff Coming soon is this drama Consuming Passion which is actually a trilogy of stories about three very different women involved with Romance
Publishers du jour Mills and Boon down the ages. In 1908 Charles Boon and his business partner Gerald Mills start up their publishing company and decide to take a chance on what is considered a very low brow area of the readership world, the romance novel. Meanwhile Charles' wife Mary is determined to stake a place for herself as a modern woman. Fast forward to the 1970's when Janet Bottomley, who spends most of her time caring for her elderly mother, falls for the handsome doctor who is going to operate on her mother. Finally the story is brought up to date with university lecturer Kirstie who, whilst busy teaching her students about M&B's place in the literary canon ends up in an explosive affair with a handsome stranger. Currently filming in and around London. castJODIE WHITTAKER as Mary BoonDANIEL MAYS as Charles BoonPATRICK KENNEDY as Gerald MillsOLIVIA COLEMAN as Janet BottomleyPATRICK BALADIOT FAGBENIE
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Please feel free to stop by and post your latest release, contest, news, awards, book trailer. Cafe mom is a place for busy moms who I'm sure would enjoy hearing about your latest release, contest or what you're reading.
Jane Porter also has a group on Cafe Mom which I've enjoyed sharing with others what I'm currently reading.
While attending the Romance Writers of America conference recently in San Francisco, Jane Porter was on a location tv station.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
There are no happy endings
By Fay Weldon
Once, love leading to marriage was the answer to a poor girl's dream. No longer. Mills & Boon, we hear, proposes to branch out into crime novels.
Passion takes a back seat: romance titles account for just eight per cent of the adult fiction market in the United Kingdom, while the crime/thriller market is three and a half times that size.
Interest shifts from who loves whom to who kills whom. The pages still turn feverishly, but to a different end and satisfaction.
advertisementHappiness is no longer to be found in the lover's arms, but in justice done, evil punished and the cosmic balance righted.
The crime novel rests on a kind of morality, though often only by way of the forensic lab, and the gruesomeness of a dead female body. The disfigured corpse of the pretty girl starts many a crime novel today.
Once it was the body of the high-status man who tended to be found dead in his luxury apartment, while the pretty girl is found dismembered and tumbled in to a ditch.
Body-wise, of course, plain girls don't get a look in, any more than they did in the romance novel. As it is not in real life, so must it be in escapist fiction. That's the point of it.
But can it mean that instead of identifying with the pretty young heroines, readers now simply want their rivals dead?
The creative writing students whom I teach these days find it hard to write happy romantic endings.
But surely, surely, it could end with a kiss, I ask? No, it must go on from Saturday night's embrace to Sunday morning, when he stumbles from the bed and leaves without a backward glance, or a "Sorry, must get back to the wife".
And she suffers dreadfully, or preferably is feisty enough to leap lightly from the bed, saying: "There are more fish in the sea than ever came out of it." (Which, taken literally is not, one fears, true any more.) The iron has entered the young female soul.
Girls still want boys, quite desperately. Current research shows us that being sexually desirable to men, or at least to prove to other girls that they are, motivates them at the cost of all feminist ambition.
Perhaps this competition between women is hard-wired? A remnant of the old days when survival itself meant pleasing a man, when a girl was dependent on a man - father, husband, brother? Before men became optional extras? When she couldn't earn enough to support herself, let alone her children too, and the race was to get the highest-status man?
Jane Austen, who never married, and her mother too, widowed, ended their lives dependent on Jane's wealthy brother. No wonder Mr Darcy, the wealthy high-status man, archetype for the Mills & Boon romance novel, was such a prize.
Today's girl is not after the pleasure of sex, it seems - that is a means to an end. She is not after romance - she is too realistic for that - but after the status of the partnered girl.
She needs to be seen to be wanted; she craves the envy of others. "Look at me, I'm thinner than you, you can see every rib I have. What's more I have the most expensive handbag in the world. Look at me, look at the man on my arm, the would-be lovers grovelling at my feet."
It is not the man she wants, or needs, to impress; it is other women. I know a girl who tried to sell a kidney in order to buy a designer jacket.
Today's girl, I fear, impervious to romance, too often sees the man as another consumer desirable. The worry is more about what he looks like on her arm, than the other way round.
For his part, he knows he is nowhere without a car, a flat and trendy clothes. But somewhere in her nature lurks the old idea that a girl marries a man a little older than herself, a little better educated, and of a higher social class. As Mr Darcy was to Elizabeth.
But where is he to be found? She begins to go off romance novels.
Feminism has worked, though she will deny it: she can think of nothing more pathetic than waiting for a Mr Darcy, that proud, prejudiced person, to turn up. She would rather read a mystery novel in which his sister, Miss Bingley, gets the fate she deserves, that is to say, death.
From Stella Magazine - The Telegraph.co.uk.com
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 17/08/2008
As Mills & Boon celebrates its 100th birthday, a new collection of cover illustrations reveals how all those blushing virgins and square-jawed heroes have evolved over the decades. Louisa McKay is gripped
Mills & Boon, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, is the biggest publisher of romance novels in the world. Derided, ridiculed, the easiest form of fiction to knock, they're still obstinately popular. One is sold every three seconds in Britain, 200 million a year worldwide. Up to 70 new titles are released each month. For all the brutal criticism the books receive, Mills & Boon has tapped into a perfect formula of easy-read, no-nasty-bits romance, which is loved by millions of women.
The publishing house was founded in 1908 by Gerald Mills and Charles Boon (whose son later confided that his father had 'no intellectual interest in books, which was perhaps an asset - he stuck to entertainment'). Mills & Boon originally published well-known authors such as PG Wodehouse and Jack London, but in the 1920s began to corner the market in light fiction, aimed at a growing number of female readers hungry for escapism.
The formula that made early books such as The Virgin's Treasure: a Romance of the Tropics ('This was not England but the tropics, where blood runs hotter, and where incredible things happen with amazing swiftness') so popular is still going strong today: woman and man meet and love, there's conflict, conflict ends (so does book). But while the stories inside have stayed the same, the covers have not. Now a new book, The Art of Romance, brings together some of the best (and worst) Mills & Boon cover illustrations, from the buttoned-up modesty and square jaws of the pre-First World War years, to the tender new men who feature on the covers of the 1990s. The images are often a brilliant representation of popular fashions, such as the demure duchess on the front of The Duchess in Pursuit (1917), or the poor woman having her ear eaten by a man in a Fred Perry shirt on the cover of A Reason for Being (1989). The fabulously coiffed, beautifully tweezed and perfectly lipsticked lady on Westward to My Love (1944) is straight out of a wartime classic film like Casablanca.
Social trends are there, too. During the Second World War the cover heroes were often dashing RAF pilots and the heroines courageous young Wrens. Mystery at Butlin's, from 1960, was published during the boom in holiday parks after the war and the end of rationing. Theatre Sister, from the same year, was one of many books featuring romances between nurses and doctors, when soap-opera hunks like Dr Kildare were popular: 'Even with her blonde hair tucked well out of sight under her theatre cap she was still beautiful.' Its author, Hilda Pressley, was in fact a former nurse who had become a full-time writer. Later that decade many of the men began to resemble Sean Connery's Bond. By the 1970s, with everyone holidaying abroad, pilots and air hostesses became the hot-blooded protagonists.
Come 1998, around the same time Katie Price was forging a career as Jordan, the heroine of Mission to Seduce is lusty, oiled and rather orange. Her partner bears a striking resemblance to Tim Henman, who that year reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time, though one can't explain why he's wearing those particular pyjamas (or any, frankly, considering what's almost certainly about to happen).
But for all the slushy sentiment and predictable plots, Mills & Boon has carved out its place in history. By 1981 it was the world's largest publisher of romance with 80 per cent of the world market, translations in 18 languages and sales of over 100 million in 98 countries. When the Berlin Wall came down, staff from the company's West German office handed out 750,000 free copies to women from East Germany.
With its continual search for new talent, Mills & Boon has also provided the chance for many women to become successful novelists. One of the company's early bestselling authors, Irene Swatridge, also ran a sheep farm in Devon. Ida Cook, a civil-service typist, joined Mills & Boon in 1936 and used her publisher's pay cheque to fund an adventurous double life. She travelled to prewar Germany with her sister under the pretence of attending the opera, while helping Jews escape to England.
Today, Mills & Boon has lots of genres to choose from. They include: modern romance (virgins, Greek millionaires, yachts, sheikhs, royalty); historical (kissing in costume); medical (A&E kissing); intrigue (spooks kissing); special edition (Jodi Picoult with kissing); 'blaze' (kissing and then some); 'desire two-in-one' (two stories for the price of one). Nocturne - kissing and ghosts - is new for 2008. Each genre is colour-coded, so you pick your happy ending by style not substance. Readers are encouraged to buy an entire month's offerings from each genre in one click on the company's website. As long as it's the right colour for your style of romance, who cares what the clinch on the cover looks like?
Actually, I did. When I read a couple of recent offerings by way of research I felt compelled to fashion my own dust jacket for The Sheikh's Virgin Bride so people on the Tube wouldn't judge me. If the covers really do reflect their times, what on earth are we in for next?
Friday, August 08, 2008
READ AN ACCOUNT OF THE TOUR:
Friday, September 19, 2008 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
9 locations throughout Michigan, MI
The ultimate book lovers experience! The Meijer READ THIS! Author Tour brings authors face-to-face with readers. Visit the following Meijer stores between September 18 & 21 to experience the READ THIS! ride:
Friday, September 19
10:30am Kalamazoo/5800 Gull Rd.
3:00pm Grand Rapids/Cascade
5:00pm Grand Rapids/Knapp's Corner
Saturday, September 20
10:30am Lansing/2055 W. Grand River Rd.
3:00pm Ann Arbor/5645 Jackson Rd.
5:00pm Canton/45001 Ford Rd.
Sunday, September 21
10:30am Rochester Hills/3175 Rochester Rd.
12:00pm Royal Oak/5150 Coolidge Hwy
4:00pm Monroe/1700 Telegraph Rd.
Check out these exciting authors who will be on the Meijer Read This Author Tour!
CT Adams & Cathy Clamp
Chip St. Clair
Roxanne St. Clair
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Feel the Heat Writing Competition Official Rules
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER
1. To enter, submit by e-mail a Microsoft Word file of a typed, double spaced, first chapter (no greater than 5,000 words) of a story you have written which is suitable for the Modern Heat series, and a synopsis (no greater than two pages in length) of the complete novel, along with your name, address, e-mail address and phone number to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. All submissions must be in English and be received no later than September 15th, 2008. Story concept must be original and must not have won a previous prize/award nor have been previously submitted, reproduced or published.
3. Entries will be judged by a panel of members of the Harlequin Mills & Boon editorial staff, based on the following criteria:
• Writing Skills
in equal measure.
In the event of a tie, duplicate prizes will be awarded. Decisions of the judges are final.
4. Submissions will not be returned and may be used for promotional purposes only. All rights of the submitted work will remain with the author. Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, at its discretion, may request to see one or more full manuscripts from contest entrants after the close of the competition. No responsibility is assumed for lost, late, illegible, incomplete, non-compliant, non-delivered or misdirected submissions.
5. This contest is open to entrants who are 18 years of age or older and is void wherever prohibited by law; all applicable laws and regulations apply. Employees and immediate family members of Harlequin Enterprises Ltd and Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, including contracted authors, their parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and all other agencies, entities and persons connected with the use, marketing or conduct of this Contest are not eligible to enter. By acceptance of a prize, the winner consents to use of his/her name, photograph or other likeness for purposes of advertising, trade and promotion on behalf of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and Harlequin Mills & Boon, without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.
6. Winners will be determined no later than September 30th, 2008, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will be required to sign and return a Publicity Release and Affidavit of Eligibility certifying his/her eligibility and that the submitted chapter and story outline are his/her own original work, and it has not won a previous prize/award nor has it previously been submitted/reproduced/published, within 10 days of notification. Non-compliance within that time period may result in disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected. Harlequin Enterprises Ltd and Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, their parents, affiliates and subsidiaries are not responsible for errors in the electronic or printed presentation of this Contest. Winners agree that Harlequin Enterprises Limited and Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of their prize.
1st – winner will be awarded the services of a Harlequin Mills & Boon editor for one year [1st October 2008 – 30th September 2009], who will offer advice and guidance on contest entry, plus subsequent, previously mutually agreed submissions of partial or full manuscripts aimed at the Modern Heat series.
2nd - consultations for two runners-up on their first chapter and synopsis aimed at the Modern Heat series (50000 words) with a Harlequin Mills & Boon editor.
Only one prize per person. No cash alternatives.
8. For a list of winners (available after 1st October 2008), send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited
18-24 Paradise Road
Surrey TW9 1SR