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Showing posts by: Gwenda Bond click to see Gwenda Bond's profile
Tue
May 17 2011 6:00pm

Readerly Kinks: A Closer Look at Characters, Well, Reading

Love of Reading by Lel4nd via FlickrWe all have those certain things—readerly kinks, if you will—that have the power* to instantly make us happy when we encounter them in books. The list of mine is long: con artists, magicians, girls disguised as boys (or the reverse, when it rarely happens), gods, circuses, old movie lore, ruins, etcetera, etcetera. But today I’m not talking about those. No, today I’m zeroing in on one of my very favorite things to encounter in romances: reading scenes.

Reading scenes, you say? Not...other types of scenes?

Now, before you decide I’ve eaten from the cake of crazy, let me explain. The reading scenes I mean can perform a number of functions, but they almost always flow from the characters’ intellect. Not in a boring way, either. No, that’s right—one of my readerly kinks, especially in romance, is characters finding a meeting of the minds, and what better way to represent that than through the way they experience the written word?

[Keep reading...]

Wed
Apr 13 2011 2:00pm

The Future’s Not Bright...

Uglies, The Hunger Games, and How I Live Now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…or if it is, it’s also dark and troubling. Much like the present, really, only different. Only worse.

Such is the primary lesson of today’s exploding subgenre of dystopian young adult fiction. I hesitate to make too many assertions about which books started this undeniable trend, or which books are included, because there’s a certain squishiness to how the term itself is used these days. It’s sometimes used to describe books I’d class as post-apocalyptic (Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now, Janni Simner’s Bones of Faerie and—just out—Faerie Winter). Others have observed that it’s become more or less the YA field’s code word for “science fiction,” not so different from how “paranormal” is regularly used to mean any contemporary fantasy with a romance. This is a valid point; YA does seem to avoid the term science fiction. (Though I wonder how that will morph as YA SF books with less of a focus on dystopian elements become more common. And I believe they will. Beth RevisAcross the Universe being a prime example; for all that there are hallmarks of dystopia there—the controlled society, the loss of individualism—it is primarily a generation ship story.) At any rate, argument over the term’s use or not, there are a steadily growing number of YA books that are indisputably dystopian in nature, with the wild success of The Hunger Games having kicked the trend into high gear.

[This makes perfect sense...]

Tue
Mar 15 2011 10:00am

Hunger Games Casting Buzz: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsIs there anything* that sets the heart racing—whether in hope, terror, or outrage—faster than the news that a movie version of a favorite book is in the works? Magnify this in intensity if: (a) a series is involved and the question’s still open whether multiple books will get smushed into one movie; (b) the movie(s) are likely to be unfaithful (oh, why even bother, Dark Is Rising and Blood and Chocolate adaptations?); and/or (c) it seems likely the movie might actually, y’know, get made, and actors’ names start floating around.

Take the casting speculation for the upcoming movie version of The Hunger Games, which seems to have become a full-contact sport lately.

[Outta my way! . . .]

Wed
Feb 23 2011 10:00am

YA at Heart: More Picks for Adult Readers

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsAny reader interested in YA has probably already made his or her way through at least one of the holy triumvirate of adult crossover series by now, and maybe all of them: Harry Potter (where it began, and skewing younger at the beginning), Twilight (bring on the razzle-dazzle vampires), and The Hunger Games (survival skills fit to best both wizards and vampires). But deciding what to tackle besides or after these can be tough for adult readers with so many titles now packing the YA shelves. With that in mind, here’s a couple of my recent picks in a smattering of genres:

[And already massive to-be-read piles everywhere groan in fear . . .]