<i>A Royal Mistake</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Royal Mistake: Exclusive Excerpt Elizabeth Davis "She’s wild and exciting and thrives on the unexpected." <i>The Summer That Made Us</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Summer That Made Us: Exclusive Excerpt Robyn Carr "One woman is determined to draw her family together again..." <i>Disciplined by the Duke</i>: Excerpt Disciplined by the Duke: Excerpt Alyson Chase " Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness of his kisses..." <i>Ten Days with the Highlander</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Ten Days with the Highlander: Exclusive Excerpt Hayson Manning "He only has ten days to convince her to slow down and see the magic..."
From The Blog
August 14, 2017
34 Romance Authors Nominate the Best Reads of 2017... So Far
Team H & H
August 13, 2017
Why Romance Readers Might Be Interested in Zoe
Heather Massey
August 12, 2017
ICYMI: Tessa Dare Excerpt, Kerrelyn Sparks Review, Reader Seeks, and more!
Team H & H
August 11, 2017
Until the Sun Sets' Friends-to-Fake-Lovers Makes for the Perfect Summer Read
Janet Webb
August 11, 2017
6 Steps to Rock a Book Sale!
Aug 11 2017 12:01pm

Emma Chase Excerpt: Royally Endowed

Emma Chase

Royally Endowed by Emma Chase

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.

Get a sneak peek at Emma Chase's Royally Endowed (available August 18, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

When Olivia steps through the doorway of the flat, with her eyes as big as quarters, it’s clear that Ellie isn’t the only one surprised.

A booming sound comes from outside, a few blocks away.

[Read the full Royally Endowed excerpt...]

Aug 11 2017 9:30am

6 Steps to Rock a Book Sale!

Source: Shutterstock

I don’t need to tell you that books are the best, especially those with kissing. But sometimes? Sometimes my budget tells me that I need to slow my book-buying roll. For those of us who like to read in paper rather than (or in addition to) digital, we have a few options: used bookstores, libraries, and… library book sales! A library book sale is like the best of both worlds: you get cheap books and support a library at the same time. I’m such a fierce supporter of these that I spent an entire weekend helping to run my own library’s most recent sale. As a former yard sale rummager turned book sale connoisseur, I have a few tips to help you make the most of your experience.

1. Schedule Your Sale(s)

Ask your librarian if they have a book sale. Some libraries have an “ongoing sale,” which means they have a few shelves or boxes always available for perusal. These tend to change inventory regularly, and it’s really hit or miss as far as what you’ll find within. If you live close enough to other libraries, give them a call or check their websites for the same. I’m lucky enough to live in a place with lots of libraries, which means that sometimes there are sales going on the same weekend, or three weekends in a row. Because we have winter, the sales tend to all be crammed into the short summer weeks, which makes scheduling in advance a necessity.

[Read more...]

Aug 11 2017 8:08am

Has a Book Ever Hit Too Close to Home?

Trade Me by Courtney Milan

Many of us read for escapism. When a romance hits too close to home, though, it can mess with our heads—but make us love a book even more! 

Have you read a book and it felt like it hit a little too close to home? Did it make you love the book more, or have to return to it later when things felt a little more distant? 

Tell us about it in the comments!

Aug 10 2017 4:30pm

Read With Caution: Romance News & Deals J.R. Ward, Julie James, and More

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up to have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Envy by J.R. Ward

Deal Alert: J.R. Ward's paranormal romance Envy is $1.99 at Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Fall for a fallen angel in the third novel of Ward's spin-off BDB series. “The third book of the series, Envy, is the story of a character introduced in Lover Unleashed: Thomas “Veck” DelVecchio. The angels' side wins, but not without some serious costs.”

Deal Alert: Julie James' contemporary romance Just the Sexiest Man Alive is $1.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* Tough-as-nails attorney Taylor Donovan never lets a man rattle her, and she's not about to start when she's assigned to coach People's “Sexiest Man Alive,” Jason Andrews, for his next big legal drama. But Jason is determined to get under Taylor's skin when he realizes that she may be his perfect match. Objection overruled, counselor. 

Deal Alert: Susan Mann's romantic suspense novel The Librarian and the Spy is $.99 at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | etc.* Librarian Quinn Ellington likes to solve mundane mysteries for library patrons and get lost in spy novels. However, when her latest research project entangles her in the middle of an international arms deal and she meets handsome “insurance” agent James Lockwood, anything is possible. Read dangerously. 

Deal Alert: Synithia Williams' contemporary romance Making It Real is $.99 at iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Redemption and a fake relationship take center stage in this romance between Kareem and Neecie. After 5 years in prison, Kareem is set on achieving his goal but lacks the necessary connections. Luckily for him, Neecie has just what he's looking for, while he can provide her with a much-needed buffer between her and her family. Fake it 'til you make it! 

[+Save A Horse, Read a Cowboy...]

Aug 10 2017 1:00pm

A Victorian Romance Starter Kit: 5 Victorian Era-Set Romances You Must Read

The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne

The Victorian era has a special place in history. Spanning an impressive sixty-three years, it closes out the 19th century and gives us a world still far enough back in history to have that historical feel that transports readers to an earlier time, while also bringing in aspects of the modern world we take for granted. Poised between the grand sweep of history and the dawn of a new century, the Victorian era provides a canvas for a wide variety of stories. While some might associate this setting with modesty and propriety, it was also an age of exploration, invention, a time when arts, technology, commerce, and society as a whole would never be the same, all perfect backdrops for unforgettable historical romance. Where, one might ask, should an interested reader begin their own exploration of this setting? Consider the following.

The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne: (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) Nobody does raw Victorian passion like Kerrigan Byrne. These aren’t nice or easy reads. They rip the lace curtain off the past and face the hardships head-on, pairing imperfect people who are perfect for each other. In this, her fourth entry into her fabulous Victorian Rebels series, Imogen, a nurse and serving maid,  has no choice but to spend one passionate night with Cole, the Duke of the title. The two make a real connection before Cole disappears. Imogen’s entire life becomes collateral damage, but Byrne heroines are resourceful women, so, when Cole returns, he finds her an entirely different woman from the one he remembers.  This is one hard-earned happily ever after, proving that love does conquer all.

[Read more...]

Aug 10 2017 12:00pm

Kate Meader Excerpt: Irresistible You

Kate Meader

Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed...

Get a sneak peek at Kate Meader's Irresistible You (available August 14, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“You’ve got three minutes, Harper.”

“Do you remember what I told you in Boston, DuPre?”

[Read the full Irresistible You excerpt...]

Aug 10 2017 9:30am

First Look: Sandra Brown’s Seeing Red (August 15, 2017)

Seeing Red by Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown 
Seeing Red  
Grand Central Publishing / August 15, 2017 / $27.00 print, $13.99 digital

It takes real skill to create a story that delivers romance while at the same time keeping the nail biting, hard hitting frantic pace of a good thriller going and if there is one thing you can count on it’s that Sandra Brown has that skill. Her latest mystery/romantic suspense, Seeing Red, combines an old act of terrorism with a present-day crime, reminding us that the past is never really behind us.

Kerra Bailey is a good TV journalist on the brink of greatness. Twenty-five years ago the Phoenix hotel was bombed, killing 197 people and creating a hero of Major Franklin Trapper, the man who led a handful of desperate survivors out of the rubble to safety while carrying a young girl in his arms. Affectionally called The Major, Franklin Trapper’s moment of valor had been immortalized by a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph which launched a celebrity career of fêtes, interviews, public speaking engagements and White House dinners.  And then The Major had gone silent, retiring to a small town in the country. Kerra knows she has just the right bait to get him to agree to go back in the limelight, appearing one more time on camera with her. The only problem? She can’t get him to give her the opportunity to offer that bait.

Deciding to use his estranged son as her entrée’, Kierra seeks out disgraced former ATF agent John Trapper. Their first meeting is explosive:

[Read more...]

Aug 10 2017 8:00am

When Was the Last Time You Went to a Library?


Libraries are a wonderful thing and something we really should take more advantage of—even when we make daily visits. So, whether you're one of the daily visitors or it's been years since you set foot on the hallowed halls of your local library, 'fess up down in the comments! 

How long has it been since your last library visit? What do you love about the library? What makes you stay away, if you're not a frequent visitor?

Aug 9 2017 4:30pm

Tame the Beast: Romance News & Deals from Heather McCollum, Emily March, and More

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up to have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

The Beast of Aros Castle by Heather McCollum

Deal Alert: Heather McCollum's historical romance The Beast of Aros Castle is $.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* Ava Sutton is on the run from a dangerous man and makes her way to Scotland where she pretends to be a titled English lady. She must convince Tor Maclean, chief of Aros Castle, to marry her before she's tracked down in order to remain safely in the highlands. Tor's sworn off marriage, but is drawn to Ava's passion and beauty...but can he forgive her lies when they come to light? Hold on to your kilts! 

Deal Alert: Ella Grace's romantic suspense novel Midnight Lies is $1.99 at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | etc.* After the man she loves is accused of murder, Samantha returns home to Midnight, Alabama. Once he's exonerated, Quinn follows her to Midnight, despite his pain at her betrayal. But another shocking murder terrifies the town and puts Quinn under suspicion once again. This time, however, Samantha's not about to turn her back on Quinn—even if it means walking into the killer's trap. Want more action? Try out some more heart-pounding suspense. 

Deal Alert: Emily March's women's fiction novel Hummingbird Lake is $1.99 at iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Return to the small town of Eternity Springs along with Sage Anderson, a pediatric surgeon who gives up her practice after witnessing a terrible tragedy. Eternity Springs is also a refuge for Colt, who goes there for a little R&R, but ends up fascinated by Sage and the secrets she's keeping. 

[+Covers and TV news!]

Aug 9 2017 3:00pm

4 Beloved On-Screen Romantic Suspense Couples

Barrel Proof by Layla Reyne

Today we're thrilled to welcome Layla Reyne (Barrel Proof) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. We all had relationships (of the fictional variety) that influenced the couples we love to read and watch now. For Layla, many of those defining relationships have a suspenseful element. She's here to talk about four of those influential ships. Thanks, Layla!

As the Agents Irish and Whiskey series draws to a close with Barrel Proof, I’ve been reflecting on inspirations—the real life experiences and favorite books, TV shows and movies that inspired me to write romantic suspense and Aidan and Jamie’s story. At the heart of my motivation is a two-headed monster: adrenaline-junkie and romance ’shipper. Let’s talk about the latter today. As a die-hard ’shipper—a fan who cheers on a romantic pairing between favorite fictional characters, on page or on screen—these are the romantic relationships (aka “Ships”) that influenced me most:

Mulder and Scully from The X-Files

Source: patlaurie.tumblr.com

The X-Files was my first foray into fandom, and the first episode I watched was “Home,” one of The X-Files’s most gruesome episodes but also one with classic shipper moments. I was sold on Mulder and Scully’s simmering chemistry from first watch and I immediately marathon-watched the backlist… and started writing fanfiction. I was too impatient for the kissing! Little did I realize then that I was writing romance, and that it would lead, fifteen years later, to writing romantic crime-solvers. Also, I still hate bees!

[Read more...]

Aug 9 2017 1:30pm

In Scarlett Cole’s Under Fire “Flaws Make Life Interesting”

Under Fire by Scarlett Cole

Flaws are a funny thing. There are situational flaws, like if your preacher swore in church. What if she was in the middle of reading scripture and the good book slipped off the podium and fell on the floor, closing and losing her place? A swift shit! would change the intended message (but it would sure as hell be funny). Diamond flaws are common and referred to as inclusions or imperfections. On the one hand, flaws interfere with the path of light, making the diamond less brilliant; on the other, that divergence alters the flow of light reflection and changes the way you look at it. Likewise, with character flaws. Superman is perfect and strong … and boring socially. I mean, how awesome would it be if Lois finally broke through to him and he grabbed her and pressed her against the wall and… well, you get my point. Flaws make life interesting.

Scarlett Cole gets it. She understands the importance of flaws and creates wonderful tension between characters as a result. In Under Fire, the first book in her new Love Over Duty series, Cole introduces us to Sixton Rapp and Dr. Louisa North. Six recently retired from his duty as a Navy SEAL and is excited to begin the newest chapter in his life as a part owner of Eagle Securities he’s starting with his two life-long friends, Mac and Cabe, who also happen to be retired SEALS. Lou is working on a cure for Huntington’s disease and meets Six at a fundraiser where she’s giving the keynote and he’s guarding the proceedings. She’s working to stave off a panic attack because she suffers from chronic anthropophobia (or extreme shyness). It’s so bad she keeps her bangs long enough to cover her eyes so she doesn’t have to look other people in the eye.

[Read more...]

Aug 9 2017 12:10pm

Kerrelyn Sparks Excerpt: So I Married a Sorcerer

Kerrelyn Sparks

So I Married a Sorcerer by Kerrelyn Sparks

Growing up on the Isle of Moon, Brigitta knew that she was born with the magical powers of the Embraced—even if she did not know how to wield them. But she has finally learned the truth: Brigitta is the lost princess of the kingdom of Tourin. She was sent into hiding as an infant to escape the wrath of her half-brother, the king. And now he knows just where to find her. . .

Rupert is a notorious pirate and sorcerer. He’s spent most of his life plotting revenge on the evil king—and Rupert believes that Brigitta could be the key to finally destroying his enemy. But what begins as a kidnapping of the innocent beauty escalates into something deeper, and more passionate, than either captor or captive could have imagined. Rupert soon vows to protect Brigitta against the king—but will they survive long enough to find their happily-ever-after. . .or does fate have something else in store?

Get a sneak peek at Kerrelyn Sparks's So I Married a Sorcerer (available August 29, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

His eyes narrowed. Whoever was rowing, his handling of the oars was awkward. He’d passed the bow of the ship and seemed headed for the shore instead of the pier. Was that a long blond braid down his back?

“Holy crap!” Rupert dropped his package on the pier and leaped into the nearest dinghy. “It’s Brigitta!” What the hell did she think she was doing?

Stefan tossed him the tether line. “Hurry.”

[Read the full So I Married a Sorcerer excerpt...]

Aug 9 2017 9:30am

First Look: Tessa Dare’s The Duchess Deal (August 22, 2017)

Tessa Dare
The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1)
Avon / August 22, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

Tessa Dare is kicking off a new series with more of what we have come to expect from her: humor, banter, and feminism. The premise of the first book, The Duchess Deal, is vaguely Beauty and the Beast-ish. She gives us a classic wounded/scarred war veteran who doesn’t believe he’ll ever find real love, then has him propose a very businesslike marriage of convenience to a seamstress who shows up on his door asking to be paid for the wedding dress his ex-fiance had commissioned. This is all well and good, and Tessa fills the book with puns and sass and mischievous servants and animals. I would argue, however, that this book is about the power of female friendship.

Let me back up for a moment. Ash is fine. He’s handsome, if mangled, and intelligent and kind and all the things we’d need him to be. This book is also probably the most sex-filled of any Tessa Dare novel I’ve read. Some of the sex is hilariously awkward, especially as both of them try to pretend they’re not enjoying it. The relationship between Ash and Emma progresses nicely, even if the big emotional to-do happens too close to the end for my taste. (Seriously, I was worried for a minute!) For the most part, this is a happy, funny story that will hit all of your pleasure-reading buttons.

[Read more...]

Aug 9 2017 8:01am

Reader Seeks Ex-Ballerina and Her Biker Beau

Biker dude

A reader is in need of your help. Can you assist her? She cannot remember a book she read and is desperately looking for the title. Here's what she recalls: the book featured a heroine—who was perhaps an ex-ballerina—and walked with a cane. The book's hero was a member of a motorcycle club. 

Does this sound familiar to anyone? If so, chime in down in the comments with your suggestions and see if you can find a match for our reader!

If you want us to help you find a book from your past, shoot us an email at info@heroesandheartbreakers.com; if you're looking to find books for your reading future though, ask our resident “book psychic” to give you a recommendation! 


Aug 8 2017 4:34pm

Raw Power: Romance Deals & News from Cherrie Lynn and G.A. Aiken!

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up to have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Raw Deal by Cherrie LynnDeal Alert: Cherrie Lynn's first Larson Brothers contemporary, Raw Deal, is $1.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* MMA fighter Mike “Red Reaper” is guilt-ridden after a brutal punch in a cage match leaves his opponent dead, and he's desperate for the forgiveness of the man's family, including his beautiful sister, Savannah. Neither expects the pain between them to turn to pleasure... Read Chapter 1 now.

Deal Alert: G.A. Aiken's paranormal romance Dragon Actually, first in the Dragon Kin series, is $.99 in e-book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or $1.99 at Kobo and iBooks.* Annwyl the Bloody spends her days training with a sexy knight and her nights confiding in the fiersome dragon Fearghus the Destroyer, and finds herself yearning for both. Could they be one and the same? Shapeshifters will keep you on your toes!

Deal Alert: CF Rose's contemporary The Whole Man is $.99 in e-book at Amazon.* Evan never knew why a steamy weekend with baseball star Jesse ended so abruptly back in college, but when they meet again a decade later, she finds she's as drawn to him as ever. Sports romances are a home run for us.

[+“Stop dissing romance novels already”...]

Aug 8 2017 3:00pm

8 Lighthearted Science-Fiction Romances to Help You Relax Under Any Circumstance!

Collision Course by Zoe Archer

Science-fiction romance generally explores intense topics, including alien invasions/attacks, war, political strife, human trafficking, and all kinds of catastrophes. That's not even counting the pain and trauma endured by its heroes and heroines. Many sci-fi romance protagonists have been tortured, victims of crimes, experienced tragic separation from loved ones, or underwent extreme transformations through genetic engineering or alien mutation. Sci-fi romance is not unlike other romance genres in this regard, although some elements, like genetic engineering and weapons of mass destruction, do raise stakes to a whole other level.

The combination of intense topics, social commentary, and romance is one of the genre's best features. That said, it's also nice to unwind with sci-fi romances that entertain without delving into heavy issues. Or that are easy on the brain, but not brainless in execution. Sometimes a sci-fi romance might even involve something like an alien “first contact” situation and put a comedic spin on it so the tone is more Earth Girls Are Easy than, well, Contact.

Maybe you're a sci-fi romance reader who's extra busy, stressed out, or wants an escape from real world events even as you prefer stories set in futuristic worlds. Toward that end, here are some sci-fi romances that might fit the relaxation bill for you. These stories are lighthearted, hopeful, over-the-top, or downright gentle in nature.

[Read more...]

Aug 8 2017 1:30pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Donna Alward, Violetta Rand, Rose Lerner, Tara Leigh, Jessica Linden, and Elizabeth Hayley

Team H&H has 6 covers from upcoming romances. You'll be finding your future favorites among these books like Donna Alward's Christmas novella Deck the Halls, Violetta Rand's knight on shining motorcycle One Chance with Starlet, Rose Lerner's historical “office” romance A Taste of Honey, Tara Leigh's modern marriage of convenience Deal Breaker, Jessica Linden's enemies-to-lovers Trust in Me, and Elizabeth Hayley's fake relationship The Proposition. Take a look!

Deck the Halls by Donna Alward

With shades of It’s a Wonderful Life, one man must face his past to find his future this Christmas.

In the last year, George's life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he's still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother's death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Deck the Halls by Donna Alward, available October 3, 2017:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes

Buy at Kobo



[+5 more covers ahead]

Aug 8 2017 12:03pm

Kristen Ashley Excerpt: The Time in Between

Kristen Ashley

The Time in Between by Kristen Ashley

After a painful loss, Cady Moreland is coming to Magdalene to start the next chapter of her life. A chapter that began eighteen years ago but had a heartbreaking ending. The time in between was full of family and friendship, but Cady could never get the man she fell in love with all those years ago out of her heart.

Coert Yeager has learned to live without the girl who entered his life right when she shouldn’t and exited delivering a crippling blow he never would have suspected. The time in between was full of failing to find what he was missing…and life-altering betrayal.

But when that girl shows up in Magdalene and buys the town’s beloved lighthouse, even if Coert wants to avoid her, he can’t. A fire in town sparks a different kind of flame that won’t be ignored.

As Cady and Coert question the actions of the two young adults they once were thrown into earth-shattering circumstances, can they learn from what came in between and find each other again?

Get a sneak peek at Kristen Ashley's The Time in Between (available August 29, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapter 2.

Start reading Chapter 1 at Kristen's site to get the full story!

Chapter Two


Eighteen years earlier…

I saw him the minute he walked into the backyard.

He caught my eye because he was seriously good-looking.

But I kept watching, not only because of that, but because I liked the way he walked and I couldn’t say why.

[Read the full The Time in Between excerpt...]

Aug 8 2017 9:30am

Why the Fish-Out-of-Water Story Will Always Be a Favorite

What is it about the fish-out-water trope that readers love so much?

Today we're thrilled to have Shelly Stratton (Between Lost and Found) on Heroes and Heartbreakers. One time or another we've all felt like a fish out of water in a give situation, so it's a trope many of us find relatable in fiction too. Shelly is here today to talk a little bit about why we love it so much. Thanks, Shelly!

Perhaps, on some level, it appeals to the schadenfreude in all of us. I bet, like me, many of you enjoy watching the city-slicker bumble around the small town, lamenting about the lack of quality espresso and cell phone reception, drawing eye rolls from the townsfolk. Or maybe you have a good laugh at the silly American tourist in the Italian village who doesn’t speak the language, can’t figure out the road signs, and is all thumbs when it comes to cultural nuance.

Or maybe your reasons for liking this trope is less cynical than that. You love seeing someone struggle in the unknown, but cheer for them when they triumph in the end: the astronaut stranded on the alien planet who figures out how to survive before she is rescued, or the immigrant who travels to America with nothing but the money in his pocket and the clothes on his back and finds a new community, new friends, and a new sense of belonging. These are stories that reinforce the message that fish may not survive out of water, but humans are much more adaptable on new terrain—if they’re willing to give it a chance.

[Read more...]

Aug 8 2017 8:01am

What Are Your Least Favorite Ways to See a Heroine Described?

Sassy woman in the pool

We've talked about our nope tropes and our squick words. We've talked about the types of heroines we love... but what about when a heroine we'd otherwise love is described in a way that we hate. For example, a reader once said she hated when a heroine was described as “sassy.”

What word do you not love to see used for a heroine? Why do you not like it?

Tell us about it in the comments!