Jay Crownover's Marked Men Series Jay Crownover <i>The Shattered Court</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Shattered Court: Exclusive Excerpt M.J. Scott "She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth..." <i>Broken Juliet</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Broken Juliet: Exclusive Excerpt Leisa Rayven "He touches my hand, then traces down my wrist and over my forearm." <i>Court of Thorns and Roses</i>: Excerpt Court of Thorns and Roses: Excerpt Sarah J. Maas "He said my name like a caress, and his hot breath tickled my ear."
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Aug 29 2014 11:15am

Everyone’s Got One: One True Pairing

A Little Something Different by Sandy HallToday we're pleased to be joined by author Sandy Hall, whose A Little Something Different tells the story of an unfolding romance through fourteen different viewpoints (including a squirrel and a park bench). Everyone in the book, it seems, has an opinion about the couple in question, and of course that leads right into what Sandy is talking about today: OTPs, or One True Pairings. Thanks, Sandy!

The Good News about OTPs!

Hello my name is Sandy and I am a fangirl. (Hi, Sandy.)

My novel, A Little Something Different, is told from fourteen different points of view. These POV characters are all different—different ages, different races, and different species. But they all have one thing in common: They all want to see the two main characters, Gabe and Lea, get together.

Gabe and Lea are their OTP, or in laymen’s terms, One True Pairing.

I think almost everyone has an OTP, even if they don’t think about it in those terms. The couple that you root for in whatever fandom you’re a part of, the one couple that you want to see come together and succeed. They are your endgame dream and you don’t want to miss a minute of it.

[Don't blink!...]

Aug 21 2014 3:00pm

You’ve Got Text: Love in the Digital Age

Today we're pleased to have author Shelley K. Wall join us to talk about the next iteration of romance communication, this time in the digital age! Shelley's latest release, Text Me, has a hero who's having a bad time—he got fired, he got dumped, and bout the only thing that's going right are the texts he's exchanging with someone he thinks he knows—but doesn't! Text Me is a modern screwball comedy, integrating today's social media with some delightful miscommunication. Shelley is here to talk about love in the digital age. Thanks, Shelley!

Pop quiz time! How many Facebook posts did you make today? How about Twitter? Did you Facetime? What about plain ol’ texting a friend?

Now for the bonus question: How many times did you speak out loud to an actual human?

Let’s face it: this is an age of instant interaction. For most of us, the majority of conversations we have on a daily basis are now done through some sort of technical gadget. We text, tweet, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. and expect immediate communication.

[For love of technology...]

Jul 12 2014 1:00pm

What the Heart Wants: Summer 2014’s Can’t-Miss Romance Books, Movies, and Shows

Team H&H eats, breathes, and sleeps romance, but even we have trouble keeping track of all the amazing content released throughout the year. To make life a little easier for all of us, we’ve compiled a must list of some of our most anticipated books, movies, and television shows for July and August. Let us know what you think, whether it’s showering us with praise or educating us about what we’ve missed (or both)!

Ray Donovan (television)
While it looks like the Terry/Frances relationship that H&H’s Wendy the Super Librarian was rooting for is over (poor Frances!), Liev Schreiber alone is enough to tune in to the Season 2 premiere of Ray Donovan. (Premieres at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime)
  Masters of Sex (television)
Thanks to history and human sexuality classes, we always knew where William Masters and Virginia Johnson’s relationship was going. And sure enough, in Masters of Sex Season 2, their research isn’t all that’s going to new heights. (Premieres at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime)

[Check out the complete list!...]

Jul 8 2014 11:19am

Catch Up with Harry/Ginny and Hermione/Ron in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Update!

Ron, Hermione, Harry,Ginny, and their children in the final scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsIt comes as no surprise that the youngest Seeker that Hogwarts has seen in a century made an appearance at the 2014 Quidditch World Cup with his family and friends. Harry Potter, now 34, attended the Cup with his two sons, along with other members of Dumbledore's Army. This is the first sighting of Harry since the publication of the last book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in 2007, and the release of the final movie in 2011.

J.K. Rowling on her site, Pottermore, released an update for fans via the notorious Rita Skeeter, who is gossiping about “covering” the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. Thanks to the much-debated epilogue at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we know that Harry, Ron, and Hermione all went to work for the Ministry of Magic—Harry and Ron as Aurors, and Hermione in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. However, the article reveals that Ron, after only two years as an Auror, left to co-manage Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes.

[How are our favorites faring these days?...]

Apr 3 2014 9:30am

Man Meddle Not with Me: Onscreen Cheating

Michael Fassbender in Jane Eyre

Cheating—is it ever excusable?

Many romance readers have reading dealbreakers, and one of the most mentioned dealbreaker is cheating in romance novels.

But (and you knew there was a “but”!), sometimes cheating is accepted by the reader because of its context. We had a post on adultery in romance, specifically historical romance, and we've also covered cheating heroes in contemporary romance.

Many of those close-to-acceptable situations have extenuating circumstances (in the historicals, the heroines are trying to have children, for example), but what if there is nothing close to a noble circumstance? Is it still possible to root for the cheaters?

[Maybe? Or not?...]

Jan 24 2014 3:30pm

As You Like It: Shakespeare’s Still the King of Pop Culture

Anyone But You by Kim Askew and Amy HelmesToday we're joined by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes, authors of the Twisted Lit series of Shakespeare-inspired YA novels. Their latest release, Anyone But You, is a modern twist on Romeo and Juliet. They're here to demonstrate why Shakespeare remains oh so relevant today. Thanks, Kim and Amy!

As authors of the Twisted Lit series of Shakespeare-inspired YA novels, it’s easy for us to find Shakespeare in unexpected places. Pay attention, and you’ll start to see that his timeless works are front-and-center in some of today's most popular books, films, and TV series, including a few of our favorites, below.

Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park

“Parting is such sweet sorrow…”

Read Rainbow Rowell’s YA bestseller and you’ll get a dose of Romeo and Juliet. Not only do the title characters read the play in class—(Eleanor had some cynical remarks about the star-crossed lovers)—but their own bittersweet (and in many ways, forbidden) romance has strong parallels to Shakespeare’s teen tragedy.

[Shakespeare really is all around...]

Aug 15 2013 5:10pm

Welcome to Shipper Nation: Why Romance Fans Read Fan Fiction

Josh and Donna in The West WingI read romance novels for a lot of different reasons. Escapism. A chance to live vicariously in dream-like situations. Just plain fun. They introduce me to new characters, new people to invest in and see the whole arc of their love story. But sometimes, instead of picking up a romance novel, I’ll go online and find a favorite fan fiction (fic). Not because I don’t love romances—I most certainly do—but because I want something different.

For those of you less obsessive about your TV, movies, or books, fan fiction is exactly what it sounds like—fiction written by fans about characters or settings already established in another media. It’s usually romance (because isn’t that what we’d prefer to read about our favorite characters?) and often very erotic; on ArchiveOfOurOwn, one of the biggest fan fiction sites, the tag “Porn with Plot” gives 16,094 hits, and “Porn without Plot” only gets 2,000 less. Some of it is as well written as published novels. Most of it, like many things on the Internet, isn’t.

[Come on in, the water's fine!...]

Jul 18 2013 8:08am

Pop Culture Geeks Unite!: San Diego Comic-Con 2013 Is Here

San Diego Comic Con 2013Brace yourselves—San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) 2013 is now under way, and the entertainment news will be coming fast and furious, with panels and signings and events announced for popular H&H topics like Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Orphan Black, Neil Gaiman, Divergent, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and Captain America: Winter Solider, Bones, Veronica Mars, How I Met Your MotherTrue Blood, Lost Girl, and lots (seriously: LOTS) more.

The Hollywood Reporter has an incredibly helpful and comprehensive guide to all the TV panels (including pilot episode screenings) as well as the complete film lineup, not to mention a list of the parties. And don't forget, NerdHQ will be going on in San Diego as well, with panels (the proceeds from which go to charity) planned for Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Zachary Levi, and more.

Whether you'll be attending in person or trying to catch as many live-streaming panels as possible, this year's SDCC is sure to be a blast. Team H&H is at RWA in Atlanta, but we'll also be covering as much of the news out of San Diego as possible via the site or Twitter/Facebook—so let us know if there's anything you want to be sure we keep an eye on. And sound off if you'll be there so that we can live vicariously through you!

Jul 1 2013 4:30pm

Romance 101: What New Adult “Girls” Don’t Know About Love

The cast of Girls~In the new novel Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess, twenty-two year old Pia Keller says, “I hate romance. And love doesn’t last!”

In the HBO show Girls, Hannah Horvath finally gets the guy, then decides she doesn’t want the guy. Guy responds: “Is this the game? You chase me like I'm in the f**king Beatles for six months, and then when I finally get comfortable with things you wanna shrug?”

Welcome to the world of New Adulthood.

There’s been some debate about what distinguishes a novel “new adult” versus simply romance or commercial fiction featuring a heroine in her early twenties.

[Let's discuss...]

Jun 7 2013 9:30am

Have Tech, Will Travel: Big List of Tech-Based Time Travel Romances

Love Story 2050 film posterThere are two general modes of travel in time travel romances: magic/paranormal (e.g., magic amulet; portal) and scientific devices (e.g., time machine). As a fan of science fiction romance, I gravitate toward the latter. The ability to manipulate the sands of time using mechanical devices is a fun concept. And placing that kind of technology in the context of a romance doubles the entertainment. Tech-based time traveling devices can provide a romance with all kinds of interesting challenges.

I'm always on the lookout for new (or new-to-me) titles in this category. While perusing the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror links at SF Signal recently, one post about Time Travel Romances by author C.E. Murphy caught my eye. I became excited and hoped I'd learn about some new titles.

Here are the titles she mentions:

  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Doctor Who (the show)
  • The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
  • The Walker Papers series by C.E. Murphy (begins with 2005's Urban Shaman)

Umm…wahh! I'd expected quite a few more books. Perhaps C.E. Murphy and I have different definitions of a post involving “time travel romances.”

[What would you choose?...]

May 18 2013 10:00am

Art is Love: On Books and Music

Woman with headphones image by Daniele Zedda via FlickrEntertainment—whether it's books, music, TV, movies, or art—is a way for people to connect to those around them, escape from those around them, find an emotional touchstone, or simply entertain themselves. And since it's all entertainment, it's natural that the subgenres would blend into each other (it's not an accident that we cover TV and movies at Heroes and Heartbreakers as well as books—romantic fiction is spread across genres!).

It makes sense, then, that authors would get inspired by music, and vice versa. Many authors create playlists for the books they're writing, using the songs as a sort of Pavlov's dog to get them into the creative process. For example, in a post she wrote about the tracklist she did for Chaos Burning, Lauren Dane (whose twitter feed is filled with what she's listening to at the time) said,

Music is one of the things I use to keep my head in the story despite constant interruptions from kids, other books to deal with (copy edits, final pass pages, promotion, all that jazz).

[We got the beat...]

May 7 2013 9:30am

Wolf Out!: What to Do While Waiting for Lost Girl’s Dyson to Return

Dyson in Lost GirlLost Girl’s Dyson has had his fair share of ups and downs over the duration of the last three seasons. Now, with his love for Bo returned and Lauren seemingly out of the way, it looks like our favorite wolf is headed for an upswing. Sadly, we all know that things are never that simple, leaving Dyson’s future as anything but certain, especially when it comes to Bo.

Though hints have been made about Dyson’s age and events he’s lived through, we still don’t know much about his particular brand of Fae. Does he have a pack? It hasn’t really looked that way, but viewers definitely need more information before drawing this conclusion. What we do know is that he can growl with the best of them and posture in an alpha way about his relationships and their potential longevity.

It is also with some confidence that I can say there are as many fans of the Bo/Dyson combination as there are of the Doccubus union (especially around these parts). So, if you’re firmly planted on Team Wolf Man, rather than spending your time whittling wooden poppets to ensure the emancipation of Bo’s heart from Lauren’s medically certified grasp, here are some suggestions to help pass the time.

What to Read

Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series. Mercy herself can transform into a coyote, but it is the wolves around her, particularly Adam, that demand the attention here. It seems that Mercy can find her way into all sorts of trouble, but with a werewolf and its pack being so close at hand, help is never far behind.

[Moar werewolves, if you please...]

May 2 2013 4:30pm

Fantastic Voyage: Discovering New Authors

Book image by merra muchut via Flickr Creative CommonsNo matter how many books you own or the size of your to be read pile, most of you continue to look for new books to read. Before online publishing and retail, chances are you browsed bookstore shelves at least once a month, if not more, to find your next great read. If you found an author you liked, maybe you did research on the author’s backlist or read excerpts in the back of books in order to supplement your to be bought list. Next, maybe you went to the author’s website to find out even more and to learn of future books.

But the book discovery process has been complicated by the changing landscape of the book market. The reduction of brick and mortar stores, shrinking inventories, advent of digital-first publishers, explosion in the sales of ebooks, dominance by online etailers, and the rise of self-publishing have all radically impacted the way that we discover new titles.

[How do you find new books?...]