<i>A Lady's Guide to Ruin</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Lady's Guide to Ruin: Exclusive Excerpt Kathleen Kimmel "We should not be here, alone in the dark." <i>Target Engaged</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Target Engaged: Exclusive Excerpt M.L. Buchman "She shouldn’t be attached, but she was…" <i>For Love or Magic</i>: Exclusive Excerpt For Love or Magic: Exclusive Excerpt Lucy March "Has her heart fallen under some sort of spell?" <i>Forever His Texas Bride</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Forever His Texas Bride: Exclusive Excerpt Linda Broday "With a low moan, she slid her hand around his neck, drawing him closer."
From The Blog
November 30, 2015
Best Reads of November 2015
Team H & H
November 21, 2015
Gothic Romance Movie Night: 3 Classics
Lauren Smith
November 20, 2015
Love for Bibliophiles in Whispers in the Reading Room
Maggie Boyd
November 19, 2015
A Ranking of the Lunar Chronicles Series Couples
November 18, 2015
Victoria Dahl Plays Your Heartstrings Harlot
Rebekah Weatherspoon
Showing posts by: Anna Bowling click to see Anna Bowling's profile
Nov 20 2015 1:00pm

The Big Bang Theory 9x09 Shamy Heart-to-Heart: Just Friends-giving

TV Recap: The Big Bang Theory 9x09 ShamyTV Recap: Captain's Log The Big Bang Theory 9x09 Shamy

Show/Episode: The Big Bang Theory Season 9, Episode 9, “The Platonic Permuation”
Ship(s): Sheldon/Amy (Shamy), Leonard/Penny

Thanksgiving time has come around again, but this year, the gang isn’t assembling en masse. Leonard and Penny will cook their first holiday meal as a married couple, while Bernadette, Howard, Raj and Emily plan to volunteer at a soup kitchen. Normally, Sheldon would do the traditional thing (well, for Sheldon) and hit the Thanksgiving buffet at the aquarium cafeteria, but that’s hard to do when his tickets are for two, and he’s only one. He offers the tickets to Amy, via video chat, so she can take whoever she wants.

Amy’s choice of date? Sheldon, but as a friend. Though Sheldon has concerns this might be awkward, due to their breakup, Amy allays his fears. It’s a Thanksgiving buffet at an aquarium cafeteria. Awkward is pretty much a given. They, however, will be fine.

[We haven't given up, we're rooting for you Shamy ...]

Nov 13 2015 11:00am

Sleepy Hollow 3x07 Ichabbie Heart-to-Heart: Go Berserk

TV Recap: Sleepy Hollow 3x07 The Art of War

Show/Episode: Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 7, “The Art of War”
Ship(s): Ichabod/Abbie (Ichabbie), Joe/Jenny (Joney)

TV Recap: Sleepy Hollow 3x07 Ichabbie and Joney Shipping

Monsters of the week come and go, but the Ichabbie bond remains the heart of Sleepy Hollow. We open with Crane thisclose to winning his chess match with Abbie, all intense and eloquent, while Abbie feels her way to a checkmate. Abbie knows Crane isn't only preoccupied with the game. Immigration, archives, Pandora, so of course, perfect time for Daniel to Crane-block. Crane excuses himself to make tea, but he's not missing a thing about Daniel’s conversation. Not the look of a platonic friend there, our Crane, not one bit. Daniel still doesn’t get Crane, but he does know how to entice Abbie - he’s putting her in charge while he checks in with his superiors in DC. Crane, meanwhile, is definitely watching Daniel.

Nevins summons ancient Norse berserkers, while Joe and Jenny go a few rounds in the boxing ring, providing eye candy for all. Hello, unexpected sexually charged embrace, but this is Sleepy Hollow, so Jenny’s glowing veins shift the attention to the supernatural portion of our plot, which shows us what a tight foursome our heroes make. The Mills sisters and their misters figure out that Jenny has absorbed the shard of Anubis, flooding her with supernatural energy that’s going to kill her if they don’t find a cure. But hey, no pressure.

[Now we have Joney to ship too ...]

Nov 6 2015 10:45am

Sleepy Hollow 3x06 Ichabbie Heart-to-Heart: Date Night

TV Recap: Sleepy Hollow 3x06 Ichabbie

Show/Episode: Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 6, “This Red Lady From Caribee
Ship(s): Ichabod/Abbie (Ichabbie)

TV Recap: Sleepy Hollow 3x06 Captain's Log Ichabbie

What else could start with flashing blades, flickering flames, and an umbrella drink? Crane’s first date with Zoe, that’s what. While many Ichabbie shippers haven’t been the keenest on these peripheral love interests, this episode suggests that they may, actually, be a good thing. Crane has been out of the dating pool much longer than most, and watching his failed attempt at a first date builds in some comic relief and vulnerability. Zoe assures him, after they find they’re both working from the same Internet cheat sheet for first date small talk, that it’s okay; they’re both nervous. Crane is put more at ease, that he’s not alone in his unease, and on with the show.

Contrast Daniel and Abbie. It’s at work, after hours. He wants a quick word. She compliments his tie. He has a thing, but it’s a work night. He wants to discuss how much Abbie’s told Jenny about the Nebbins investigation, because work and family can be a tricky combination. Abbie will talk to Jenny and Joe, nothing to worry about. Bit of veiled flirting, he postures, she checks out the rear view, nothing big here, just a bit of...something.

[Who is this Zoe moving in on Crane? ...]

Oct 16 2015 10:10am

Sleepy Hollow 3x03 Ichabbie Heart-to-Heart: Together Again

TV Recap: Sleepy Hollow 3x03 Crane and Abbie Exchange Information

Show/Episode: Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 3, “Blood and Fear” Ship(s): Crane/Abbie (Ichabbie)

TV Recap: Captain's Log Sleepy Hollow 3x03 Abbie and Crane

Pandora withdraws a wicked dagger from her box while we get flashes of a very young and terrified Crane. 

Adult Crane rails with characteristic indignance over the denial of his motion to preserve the archives. Only an American citizen can sign for this, and Crane isn't one. He bumps into Abbie, who drops her phone, an image of her dad on the screen. She still hasn't told Jenny. Maybe too much time has passed and she should move on. Crane gets her mind on other matters—he's going to pursue citizenship and consummate his allegiance to this nation. 

A young office worker, Nelson, gets shot down by his crush, Emily, but admires her from afar, later, at a club, under Pandora's watchful eye. Pandora entices him onto the dance floor, to show Emily what she's missing. Next thing Nelson knows, he's waking up next to Pandora's knife, and next thing after that, he’s giving Emily’s date the evil eye. This cannot end well.

[More Ichabbie crushing ...]

Oct 2 2015 10:00am

Sleepy Hollow 3x01 Ichabbie Heart-to-Heart: Moving on Up

TV Recap: Sleepy Hollow 3x01 Ichabbie

Show/Episode: Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 1, “I, Witness”
Ship(s): Ichabod/Abbie (Ichabbie)

Sleepyheads, this has been one long, hot summer, with all the Ichabbie tension crackling in the air since the second season finale. With Katrina dead, this should be a clear shot for Ichabbie to finally act on all that unspoken romantic tension, but this is Sleepy Hollow, and it’s not that easy.

Katrina might be off in the great beyond, but Abraham, Crane’s former best bro and Katrina’s ex, is now tucked neatly in Pandora’s box, and boy is she a creepy one. Seems just Abraham’s type, but this episode is all about the Ichabbie, who have not seen each other for nine whole months since Katrina’s death.

[How we have missed Ichabbie ...]

Sep 22 2015 12:00pm

Big Bang Theory 9x01 Heart-to-Heart: Building Momentum

Episode: Big Bang Theory Season 9, Episode 1, “The Matrimonial Momentum”
Ship(s): Leonard/Penny, Sheldon/Amy (Shamy)

Season 9 of The Big Bang Theory kicks off with a wedding and a breakup...or maybe two? On a show that thrives on the unexpected, things look off to a promising start. Leonard and Penny don’t have one foot down the aisle of their Vegas wedding chapel when Sheldon phones Leonard to complain about his breakup with Amy. Penny gets Amy on the phone right away, but that  backfires when Amy is upset she wasn’t invited to the wedding. Penny’s insistence that Amy isn’t missing anything special irritates Leonard, but the wonders of the internet mean all their friends can watch the wedding online.

All except Sheldon, who wasn’t invited to the viewing, because having him and Amy at the same time would be awkward. As Sheldon reminds Amy when he ambushes her outside of her apartment, “We make everyone feel awkward. That's our thing.” Though Sheldon’s befuddlement is sweet, the real standout here is Amy, standing up for herself and telling Sheldon what she wants and needs. I love that Amy has standards and isn’t willing to settle for less. She is firm with Sheldon that they are not back together. She said she needs time to think and she’s going to need more than eleven hours. Once at Howard and Bernadette’s, Amy vents  to her friends. Bernadette is supportive, Howard snarks and Stuart sets his sights on the newly single Amy, while Sheldon lurks outside the window. He didn’t want to make everyone uncomfortable. Way too late for that one, Shelly, but we have a wedding to witness.

[Here comes the bride and the woes ...]

Aug 5 2015 1:00pm

No Love Like First Love: The Best Young Adult Book Boyfriends from Rowell, Forman, Green, and More!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

There’s no love like first love, and romantic YA has that covered like nobody’s business. Maybe YA heroes start out as just-a-friend and inch up to boyfriend status by inches, maybe the attraction hits our heroine like a load of bricks in one perfect moment, or maybe things start somewhere in between. No matter how a YA love affair begins, and no matter where it leads, there is no doubt our young heroines (or heroes, for that matter) will carry these young gents in a special part of their hearts for always.

Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Augustus  may seem like an obvious choice, but who else would use his one wish from a charity for terminally ill children to take his beloved Hazel Grace all the way to Amsterdam to meet their favorite author and quiz him in person about the ending of the book they both love? Then, when the answers are unacceptable, make new answers himself? Strong-arm said author into making amends, or at least listening to an angered fan? Augustus is the man. Unfailingly optimistic in the light of not only his own illness, but Hazel’s and their friend, Isaac’s, Augustus is all heart, kind, considerate, poetic and passionate. His time with Hazel is short, but his impact on her life, and on readers, is in this for the long haul.

[Love at first sight, touch, and kiss...]

Jul 23 2015 3:30pm

Love in Sherwood Forest: Romancing Robin Hood

Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn in the movie Robin and Marian

When talk turns to iconic lovers, whose romance has been keeping readers and viewers enthralled for literally centuries, the discussion wouldn’t be complete without giving some serious time to Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Bards of old knew the appeal of an exiled noble turned outlaw with a heart of gold, who robbed from the rich to give to the poor, turned his back on privilege to find something better, and found, in the doing, that the real treasure was the love of a highborn lady who would choose to follow her heart rather than the plans set forth for her by others. No wonder this love story has continued to endure and thrive, reimagined, reinterpreted and given new life with each new telling.

Moviemakers knew this, too. From Errol Flynn’s landmark swashbuckler (Bugs Bunny optional) to Disney’s animalistic take on the legend, Mel Brooks’ humorous take, Keira Knightley’s action-adventure take on Marian, not to mention the BBC series that graced us with Gerard Butler’s presence, up through the heart-rending Robin and Marian, where Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn bring all the feels with the middle aged lovers making one last grab for happily ever after, the story of Robin and Marian is a natural for the romance genre, so no wonder romance writers have found more than one way to make the legend their own.

[A legendary heroic outlaw...]

Jul 20 2015 8:30am

First Look: Meredith Duran’s Lady Be Good (July 28, 2015)

Lady Be Good by Meredith Duran

Meredith Duran
Lady Be Good (Rules for the Reckless #3)
Pocket Books / July 28, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

The third searing novel in the Rules for the Reckless series by Meredith Duran, the USA TODAYbestselling author of sexy and evocative Regency romances in the tradition of Sarah MacLean.

Born to a family of infamous criminals, Lilah Marshall has left behind her past and made herself into the perfect lady. Working as a hostess at Everleigh's, London’s premier auction house, she leads a life full of art, culture, and virtue. All her dreams are within reach—until a gorgeous and enigmatic viscount catches her in the act of one last, very reluctant theft.

Christian “Kit” Stratton, Viscount Palmer, is society's most dashing war hero. But Kit’s easy smiles hide a dark secret: he is haunted by a madman’s vow to destroy anyone he loves. When his hunt for the enemy leads to Everleigh’s Auction Rooms, he compels Lilah to help him. But one tempting touch may be their undoing—for what Kit needs threatens all Lilah holds dear, and losing her may destroy Kit.

In Meredith Duran's Lady Be Good when we first meet Lily Monroe, she isn’t yet Lilah Marshall, glamorous hostess at the prestigious Everleigh Auction Rooms. She is, however, the aristocracy of London’s underworld, niece of the fearfully respected Nicholas O’Shea, and an accomplished thief in her own right. She’s done with that, though, or she will be, once she carries out this last theft and secures a respectable future for herself and her beloved sister. Noble goals, Lily, but things are never that easy in Chapter 1. Though Lily swears this is her last job, it’s not, and, four years later, she’s preparing for an even bigger job. Her last one, of course, she swears.

[Lily's sticky fingers leads her to her HEA...]

Jun 11 2015 8:30am

First Look: Sandra Lake’s The Iron Princess (June 16, 2015)

The Iron Princess by Sandra Lake

Sandra Lake
The Iron Princess (Sons of the North #2)
Intermix / June 16, 2015 / $2.99 digital

A Sons of the North Romance novel from Sandra Lake, author of The Warlord’s Wife, who takes readers to 12th-century Scandinavia where two hearts clash in furious passion…

The daughter of a Northern warlord, Katia is known as the Iron Princess for her mettle in battle. Headstrong and defiant, she instigates sword duels on a whim with little regard for her own safety. Katia would rather die on her feet as a warrior than live as a token wife and child bearer for a husband who keeps her castled as if she were a prisoner.

Lothair is the illegitimate son of the Duke of Saxony, who was granted the title of baron, a castle and lands. Raised in an atmosphere of mistrust and deceit, he rejects the concept of husbandry and wants a life of purpose and sacrifice in the pursuit of security for the Baltic Sea.

And when fate brings the Iron Princess and reluctant baron together, Katia and Lothair discover they are kindred spirits with fiery temperaments—and insatiable desires—to match…   

Viking fans, it’s time to start a bonfire, put out a feast and celebrate, because Sandra Lake’s second Sons of the North romance, The Iron Princess is here. Those who loved Katia as a child in The Warlord’s Wife are going to find out she is every inch her parents’ daughter as she embarks on her own adventure. Newcomers, no worries, you’ll be fine, and eager to see how Katia’s parents got to be the memorable characters they are. Lida and Magnus, and their subsequent children (whom this reader hopes to see all grown up in their own adventures in the future) add exactly the right note of continuity from the first book; still in love, still themselves, and embarking on this new phase of life together. Which is a good thing, because Katia is going to need a strong support system.

[A support system stronger than iron...]

May 18 2015 10:00am

Outlander 1x15 Heart-to-Heart: Dark Times

Outlander 1x15 Claire

Show/Episode: Outlander 1x15: Wentworth Prison
Ships: Jamie/Claire

Outlander 1x15 Jamie and Claire Captain's Log

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including the most recent Season 1, Episode 15, “Wentworth Prison.” Enjoy!

Jamie has never been nearer to death. Though Tarran MacQuarrie attempts to distract Jamie from the matter at hand with literal gallows humor, it doesn’t work. Jamie isn’t afraid of the rope, but what Claire will think of him for getting himself hanged. Got his priorities straight, our Jamie. There’s no chatter, no background noise at all to leaven the grimness of this scene, and even MacQuarrie’s patriotic speech is cut short as his neck breaks…mostly. No sooner is the rope around Jamie’s neck than Black Jack Randall rides in and orders Jamie’s execution stopped. Jamie’s expression says it all – there has got to be something sinister behind this reprieve, and, as we find out, there certainly is. Book fans, you know what’s coming.

Claire, however, does not. She has one thing in mind and one thing only; to get Jamie out of there by any means necessary. If that means posing as a distant relative and convincing the pious warden, Sir Fletcher, that she’s concerned Jamie can’t write his mother final farewell, then that’s what she’ll do. Not as easy as she thought, as Sir Fraser thinks meeting a dangerous criminal is too dangerous for a fine lady, but he will entrust Jamie’s effects to her. Can she get them to his next of kin? Claire keeps a stiff upper lip long enough to accept the box, but staggers outside and collapses, with sobs and vomit, her agony palpable.

Also palpable is the disgust she and Murtaugh feel over Angus and Willie’s losing all their money at a game of dice…until they learn the money was lost to prison guards, who gave up some priceless information. Sir Fletcher always takes time to dine and read his Bible in private, which will give Claire a shot at finding the keys.

[But she must not waste anytime.]

May 8 2015 12:00pm

Big Bang Theory 8x24 Heart-to-Heart: Commitment Phobic

Penny and Leonard in Big Bang Theory Season 8 FinaleShow/Episode:  The Big Bang Theory Season 8, Episode 24: “The Commitment Determination”
Ships: Sheldon/Amy, Leonard/Penny

Big Bang Theory Season 8 Finale Captain's LogThis post contains spoilers on all-aired episodes of The Big Bang Theory, including last night's season 8 finale, “The Commitment Determination.”

It's been five years since Sheldon and Amy's first date, and, despite the Shamy necking, the biggest question on Sheldon's mind is whether or not he should watch The Flash on TV. Amy points out the irony of Sheldon's obsession with a man with super speed, when all she can get out of him is a distracted makeout session on a couch. Sheldon admits irony is not his strong suit. Amy is not amused.

Sheldon turns to engaged couple Leonard and Penny for some clarification on his relationship issues. Leonard sees Sheldon's dilemma about the Flash, but Penny provides a feminine perspective; this wasn't just a date, but an anniversary, and that means something. It's been five years and Sheldon and Amy haven't even slept together.

[That's quite a dry spell...]

May 6 2015 10:05am

New Girl 4x22 Heart-to-Heart: New Chapter

The Gang in New Girl 4x22Show/Episode: New Girl Season 4, Episode 22, “Clean Break”
Ships: Nick/Jess, Schmidt/Cece

New Girl 4x22 Nick and Jess Captains LogNote: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of New Girl, including last night's Season 4, Episode 22, “Clean Break.”

With Coach set to follow his heart to New York,  Jess has a Broadway-style send-off in mind, but only Winston is on board. Nick and Schmidt insist this isn't how guys say goodbye, and Coach agrees. With all the times he's moved in the past, he prefers to make a clean break with each move. Get rid of all the physical and emotional junk and move on, that's the ticket.

Schmidt seizes upon the idea; he's single, so it's time to embrace his new life for a fresh start. Nick insists he wants to get rid of his junk, but all of his stuff is really good, so he can't. Coach contends that Nick is basically a hoarder, and challenges Nick to fill one box with junk to throw away. Challenge accepted.

Schmidt has a box as well, but his is full of everything Cece. There's a crude drawing Schmidt made of himself, Cece, and their potential child, a sport bra she left in his car once, and a five dollar bill. Though Nick wants to snag the cash, Schmidt contends that the bill belongs in the box, as it symbolizes something stupid he said to Cece the first time they were alone together. Even when pressed, he won't fess up as to the actual words. The bill, and the other stuff, must go. Time to move on.

[Or not...]

Apr 22 2015 1:45pm

First Look: Anna Campbell’s A Scoundrel by Moonlight (April 28, 2015)

A Scoundrel by Moonlight by Anna Campbell

Anna Campbell
A Scoundrel by Moonlight (Sons of Sins #4)
Grand Central Publishing / April 28, 2015 / $8.00 print, $7.99 digital

Anything can happen in the moonlight . . .

Justice. That's all Nell Trim wants-for her sister and for the countless other young women the Marquess of Leath has ruined with his wildly seductive ways. Now she has a bold plan to take him down . . . as long as she can resist the scoundrel's temptations herself.

From the moment Nell meets James Fairbrother, the air positively sizzles. Yet for all his size and power, there's something amazingly tender in his touch. Could he really be such a depraved rogue? The only way to find out is to beat the devil at his own game . . . one tempting kiss at a time.

Deception is a theme in many romances, and for a reason. If a relationship starts in dishonesty, how can the two lovers get to the place of vulnerability required to form a life-long bond? An important question to be sure, and Anna Campbell plays with multiple levels of this in A Scoundrel by Moonlight, the fourth entry in her Sons of Sin series.

Eleanor Trim, commonly known as Nell (and pay attention to names here, as Campbell plays them like a maestro) makes a promise to her dying half-sister, Dorothy; Nell will find the heartless rake who seduced and ruined Dorothy and make him pay. Not only for his crimes against Dorothy. Oh no, nothing as straightforward as that. The Marquess of Leath, as Dorthy names him, has an entire diary, detailing the multiple girls he’s ruined, and of his pride in doing so. Dorothy wants Nell to find this book and make it public, thus bringing about Leath’s ruin for revenge. She’s a brave one, our Nell, so Dorothy can rest easy. Nell’s in.

[So, let the plotting begin.]

Mar 25 2015 2:00pm

The Mindy Project 3x21 Dandy Heart-to-Heart: The Gesture

The group is back together in The Mindy Project 3x21

Show/Episode: The Mindy Project Season 3, Episode 21, “Best Man” (Spoilers, naturally)
Ships: Mindy/Danny (Dandy)

The Mindy Project 3x21 Captain's Log

Peter crashes a staff meeting his wedding, and is met with nothing but love...until Danny assumes the wedding is off. It's not, so Morgan's first concern is bachelor party, until he learns Peter is in the market for a new best man. Can Morgan fill the bill? Nope, that honor goes to Mindy.

Mindy invites Danny to her parents' going away party before they move to India. Danny might want to bring gifts, but not talk baseball. She's digging Danny's new scruff, but her parents will hate it, so it's got to go before the party.

Jeremy tries to beg off Peter's wedding, despite Peter's pleas. Sure, Jeremy, it's all dedication to work, not that you still have a thing for the bride.

In Boston, Mindy, looking gorgeous in in a stunning sari, gets a phone call from a scruffy, scrubs-clad Danny, fresh from the operating room, who regrets there's no way he can make it to dinner in time. Mindy says she understands, but we're suspecting otherwise.

[Okay, but not okay...]

Mar 17 2015 8:30am

First Look: Sandra Lake’s The Warlord’s Wife (March 17, 2015)

The Warlord's Wife by Sandra LakeSandra Lake
The Warlord’s Wife (Sons of the North #1)
Intermix / March 17, 2015 / $4.99 digital

A stunning historical romance from debut author Sandra Lake transports readers to 12th century Sweden, where a powerful Viking lord will discover a fierce heart cannot be taken by mere force.

Lida was married to the love of her life for just two months when she became a widow. Pregnant and disowned by her late husband’s family for suspected infidelity, she was forced to return to her family in shame. Eight years later, uninterested in the prospect of finding another husband, she finds herself the unwilling object of a marriage contract with a powerful warlord. In a day, she is wed, bed, and put on a ship headed for Tronscar; an unknown icy stone and steel fortress.

Jarl Magnus is pleased to have taken a strong wife who, however stubborn she may be, will surely produce sons. However, he is less pleased with his wife’s additional baggage—a young daughter. But despite himself, Magnus falls for the daughter just as hard as the mother, and Lida’s heart is warmed to see the cold, serious Jarl move surprisingly fast into the role of stepfather.
When enemies attack Tronscar, Jarl Magnus’s nerves of steel waver, as the warrior fears his love for Lida will weaken him. But when his family is threatened, he’ll go to war to protect them, discovering along the way that they have the strength to protect themselves.

Viking tales have long been a natural backdrop for timeless tales of romance, from the maidensongs told around hearth fires to TV shows like Vikings. Sandra Lake's The Warlord’s Wife is a worthy addition to that tradition, rich in historical detail and filled with compelling characters that will keep readers turning pages late into the night.

[Page turner alert...]

Mar 6 2015 2:30pm

Ode to Bertrice Small

Skye O'Malley by Bertrice SmallThe relationship between a reader and a favorite writer cannot be terminated even by death, but the loss of Bertrice Small, one of the founding mothers of the historical romance genre as we know it, still hurts. Between the publication of her first historical romance novel, The Kadin, and her passing on February twenty-fourth of this year, Lady Small, as her devoted fans called her, gifted readers with a total of sixty-one titles. Not bad for a writer who was once told by a potential publisher that she should give up writing and concentrate on being a good mommy to her newborn. Her famous answer to that bit of advice is worthy of any romance heroine. Not only would she succeed as a writer, but she would be in the business long after that short-sighted gentleman was gone. She was.

One of the original Avon Ladies, back when Avon was not yet the romance publishing powerhouse we know now, Small made historical romance history, in more ways than one. How so? Glad you asked. This may take a while, so get comfy.

Small often described herself as a historian first and novelist second, which shows in the richly textured historicals with which she first made her mark. Some of those early historicals, such as The Kadin, Adora, and Beloved, not to mention the legendary Skye O’Malley, were based on actual historical figures. That would be Cyra Hafise, Theodora Cantecuzene and Zenobia of Palmyra, respectively. The legendary pirate queen, Grace O’Malley found herself re-imagined as Small’s iconic heroine, Skye, who snagged herself not only one happily-ever-after, but two, and spawned two successful series about generations of her descendants. Readers who have a yen for smart, powerful women who can rule their worlds and get the guy could count on finding exactly that in each new Small release, no matter the genre.

[If you haven't read her books yet, what are you waiting for?...]

Feb 24 2015 10:59am

Sleepy Hollow 2x18 Ichabbie Heart-to-Heart: A Whole New World

Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie as Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills in Sleepy Hollow Season 2 finaleShow/Episode: Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episode 18, “Tempus Fugit”
Ship(s): Ichabod Crane/Abbie Mills (Ichabbie)

**Reader Beware: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Sleepy Hollow, including last night's season finale, 2x18, “Tempus Fugit.”

The whole world's turned upside-down at the start of the Season 2 finale. Abbie's behind bars in the 18th century, and Crane the man in charge. She knows him, but he doesn’t know her, and that sets everything off balance.

Abbie knows all about the Hessian horseman, even knows the wording on the disptach that summons Crane back to the battlefield, and what's this about the horseman having a female accomplice? Crane is intrigued.

Speaking of that accomplice, Katrina rushes about the field hospital in search of her wounded hubby so she can make sure he dies this time, only he's not there. Crane was called from the field of battle, never met the Horseman, and was not cut down. Well, this complicates things. Who called him away? Mysterious slave woman named Abigail Mills? Got it in one, Katrina.

[Ichabbie shippers, hold on to your hats...]

Feb 11 2015 10:45am

The Mindy Project 3x15 Dandy Heart-to-Heart: Guess Who ELSE is Coming to Dinner?

Mindy and Danny in The Mindy Project 3x15 Show/Episode: The Mindy Project Season 3, Episode 15, “Dinner at the Castellanos”
Ships: Mindy/Danny (Dandy)

Mindy and Danny in The Mindy Project 3x15**Reader Beware: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of The Mindy Project, including (especially) last night's Season 3, Episode 15, “Dinner at the Castellano.”**

After thirty positive pregnancy tests, and one negative (but then again, that was a popsicle stick and Mindy herself drew the negative reading on it,) Mindy still isn’t sure she’s ready to tell Danny about the baby, but she’s going to do the right thing. Too bad there’s no such thing as a good time to tell him over the phone. A crying baby makes it hard for Danny to hear her first attempt, and he asks Mindy to remind him not to have kids until he’s old and deaf.

Her second attempt catches him in church, immediately before the priest plans to talk about shame. Is there anything Mindy wants him to confess for her? Nope, not a thing. Have fun in church. This phone thing is not going to work. She’ll come visit him in New York, plan a romantic getaway and break the news in person.

[That's a good plan...let's see how it goes wrong!]

Feb 10 2015 10:30am

Sleepy Hollow Ichabbie 2x16 Heart-to-Heart: Going Underground

Show/Episode: Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episode 16, “What Lies Beneath”
Ships: Crane/Abbie (Ichabbie)

**Reader Beware: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Sleepy Hollow, including last night's 2x16, “What Lies Beneath.”**

Touring a historic battleship with Abbie, Crane wonders if he has become completely acclimated to his new time, completely at ease in his new surroundings. There's some of that friendly banter these two do so well, before we get to the underlying issue. Fighting the good fight was a lot easier when they knew who the enemy was. Crane urges Abbie to have faith, in time for a text to arrive from Reyes. They're being called in on the case of the missing surveyors.

Abbie tries to bounce a journalist who's stepped over the line, literally, only to find that Calvin, the man in question, is a Sleepy Hollow native who knows all too well that some funky stuff goes on in this burg. He's not so sure this is all in the natural realm. Oh, and his brother is one of the missing. Personal stake there, hm?

In the tunnel, Crane notes that there is no sign of a struggle, until he and Abbie happen upon that hatch, adorned with witchy symbols and claw marks. Crane spots this immediately as the work of Thomas Jefferson.