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Showing posts by: Carrie Netzer Wajda click to see Carrie Netzer Wajda's profile
Aug 9 2011 10:30am

Deliciously Charming: The Allure of Sabrina Jeffries

The Dangerous Lord by Sabrina JeffriesI first discovered Sabrina Jeffries in the checkout line at a Meijer store in Michigan over a decade ago. Seduced by the purple cover of a book that promised mystery, adventure and a happy ending, and grateful that the clinch cover art had been relegated to the back, The Dangerous Lord made it into my grocery cart. At home I let the groceries spoil on the counter while I devoured the book instead of foodstuffs.

I’d gotten hooked on romances during a six-month stay in France, where the only free things to read in English were some abandoned romance novels and a couple of Stephen King books that had been torn in half. Instead of learning French, I spent my time discovering that Jayne Ann Krentz and Betina Krahn were crack for English majors: fast and fun, leaving you wanting more as soon as the high wore off. It was only a matter of time before I started spending my textbook money on romances.

[It’s a slippery slope we all know well...]

Aug 4 2011 10:30am

Breaking the Rules With Class and Grace: Eloisa James

This Duchess of Mine by Eloisa JamesEloisa James’s meteoric rise to romance writing fame over the past decade started with a simple goal: to help pay off her student loans so that she and her husband could afford to have a second child.

Her ability to start with a character or a plotline and turn it on its head has defined much of her very successful writing career. For example, it is a bona-fide Rule of Romance that heroines do not, ever, under any circumstances, commit adultery. That behavior is for villains and the occasional supporting character only. If it’s a female character who’s doing the deed with someone other than her husband, she generally winds up dead.

Eloisa is one of the very few writers who successfully writes about the romantic forbidden. To wit: adultery, marital separation, and even a child’s death.
In This Duchess of Mine, Jemma spent years living in Paris sans husband, during which she has two brief, unsatisfying, but widely discussed extramarital affairs. What sent her fleeing from her marriage? Her husband’s own extramarital affair, which tanks the relationship before it even has a chance to get started.

[Dare to forge ahead...]

Apr 29 2011 5:00pm

Beyond Gretna Green: Scottish Wedding Traditions in the Highlands

Had enough of the Royal Wedding? Check out the history of an alternative plan—elopement to the famous Gretna Green.

Everyone has heard of Gretna Green, Scotland’s most famous contribution to wedding history. After the passage of The Marriage Act of 1753 (commonly known as Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act), enacted to curtail the growing problem of clandestine marriages, eloping couples came here to marry without the restrictions of English law.

In myriad examples, historical romances have glommed onto this marital loophole, having some actual couples take off for Gretna, while sometimes the villain attempts to lure the heroine there (requiring a heroic rescue), or they just threaten to go there if their parents don’t agree. For example, the would-be runaways, Stacy Calverly and Fanny, discuss running away to Gretna Green in Georgette Heyer's Black Sheep. More recently, Eloisa James's impetuous heroine Imogen elopes to Gretna Green after faking an injury to ensnare the object of her affections in Much Ado About You.

[Scotland's Vegas?...]

Apr 28 2011 10:00pm

Clothes Make the Bride: Royal Wedding Fashions

It’s wedding season at Buckingham Palace, an event that should set every devoted romance reader’s heart aflutter with anticipation.

Infrequent as they are, royal weddings have had an outsized effect on the way women marry for the better part of two centuries.

Here’s a shocking little secret: until that doyenne of 19th century England Victoria married her Prince Albert, white was hardly the preferred wedding dress fashion. Prior to Victoria’s ascension to the throne, in fact, British and American wedding dresses could be any color. If you could swing having a dress specially made for the occasion, you most likely chose blue, which symbolized fidelity and purity (think of the phrase “true blue”).

[Blue? Who knew?...]

Feb 8 2011 8:00pm

That Delicious Sigh Of Satisfaction: Kleypas, James, Ivory and Rodale

What makes some romance writers so . . . delicious? One of the big reasons we keep picking up romances—and nearly 75 million readers do, according to industry research from Romance Writers of America—is their ability to deliver those wonderfully satisfying “ahhh” moments.

[All together . . . ahhh!]