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Tag Archives: Gallant Officer Forbidden Lady

Tomorrow is the official release date for Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady, even though it seems to be in bookstores already and is available at online bookstores. The ebook version will be released tomorrow (Kindle owners take note!)

It is impossible to know for certain if your book “works” until comments appear, so I’ve been biting my nails a bit in anticipation of the feedback that comes with reader comments and reviews.

I’ve been so lucky that both Judy and Keira gave me mini-reviews in their comments to my blog last Monday. I almost breathed a sigh of relief reading what they had to say. And Judy wrote a lovely review on Amazon, which was very nice of her to do.

Early on I received a 4 star review from RT Book Reviews; that’s always a pleasure.

And yesterday a new review appeared on CataRomance. Debby Guyette calls it “one captivating book.” Yay!!!

But not all is rosy. Two reader reviewers on Amazon gave the book 3 stars, which is disappointing, because one hopes everyone loves the book, even if that is impossible. At least these readers explained their reasoning and listed both positives and negatives, which I appreciate.

Many of my author friends say not to read reviews, not to pay any attention to them. And it is true that I can quote the less enthusiastic lines from my very first and only Publishers Weekly review of The Improper Wife, but I also remember the PW reviewer thought I wrote “sizzling love scenes.” The way I figure it, if I didn’t look for reviews, I wouldn’t see the positive ones, and I wouldn’t know if my book “worked” for anyone.

There is also debate among my friends as to how much people pay attention to reviews. I personally think that they do influence whether or not a person buys a book. I have to admit that I read Amazon reviews before buying a book, unless I know the author or have read something else by that author. I try to assess whether the reviewer has an agenda behind a low review, though. You can mostly tell. And I’m not usually purchasing Romance books when I look at Amazon reviews. I also read RT reviews but typically to see how they’ve assessed friends’ books, not to develop a reading list.

Of course, I no longer feel I’m a typical reader, so it is hard to say how much reviews would affect my book buying habits if I were. Before I was writing in earnest there weren’t as many reviews online and I mostly went on reading “kicks.” Reading all the Dick Francis books at one point; all the Victoria Holt, Bernard Cornwell, Georgette Heyer, Lois McMaster Bujold, any traditional Regency I could find. A book from the Washington Post Book World might have captured my attention, but mostly my choices seemed pretty random or began with a friend’s recommendation.

How do you select a book?

How do reviews influence you? (I’m assuming they do)

Dec 2 I’m blogging with Romance Bandits and giving away a copy of Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady

Dec 6 I’ll be here at Risky Regencies, also giving away a copy.

Check my website for the complete schedule.

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Our Risky Regencies blog is not really the place to discuss Harlequin’s recent announcement that they were adding a vanity press component targetted specifically to writers who aspire to write for Harlequin. If any of you are not aware of the issue, Keira amassed a great list of sites discussing it on her blog Cognitations and Meditation.

I’ve been consumed by this issue since its announcement, so there’s no way I could blog today without mentioning it. As a Harlequin Historical author, I was particularly upset about this venture’s name (Harlequin Horizons–now withdrawn by Harlequin) and its double H logo, because it was distressingly similar to Harlequin Historicals logo. This article was posted by the New Yorker, using a Harlequin Historical cover to illustrate, rather proving the point. If you follow the comments, mine is the one asking the writer to remove the cover. She did and she apologized.

I’m in total support of Romance Writers of America’s immediate and tough stance, even though the consequences of the position will affect Harlequin authors like me.

So…. Since we’re talking about elephants, let me mention that you might be able to find my December Harlequin book, Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady, in bookstores this week. If you can’t find it, ask for it, especially in a Barnes & Noble, where it may be shelved after the Zs in the single title romances. Check out my website and its new content, including Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady’s Behind the Book which should be posted today.

How do elephants relate to my December book and the Risky Regencies blog?

Well, the hero and heroine of Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady visit The Egyptian Hall, Bullock’s Museum in Piccadilly. Opened in 1812, it contained William Bullock’s collection of artifacts, including display after display of “stuffed” animals. You can see in this engraving that there is a “stuffed” elephant on display. Napoleon’s carriage, captured at Waterloo, was also exhibited and was very much a success.

Georgette Heyer’s Cotillion and Arabella include visits to the Egyptian Hall. Do you remember this scene from Cotillion?

Enlightenment dawned on Miss Charing. She gave an irrepressible gurgle of mirth. “Oh, Freddy, is that what brings you here?”

“Yes, it is, and it ain’t anything to laugh at!” said Freddy. “Good God, you don’t suppose I’d come to a place like this for no reason, do you? I’d as lief visit Westminster Abbey again!” He levelled his glass, and swept a condemnatory glance round the room. “In fact, liefer!” he added. “I don’t say those effigies weren’t pretty devilish, but they weren’t as devilish as this freak you was staring at when I came in. You know what? – you’ll start having nightmares if you don’t take care! Lord, if it ain’t just like Dolph to choose a place like this for his dashed flirtations! Shows you he’s queer in his attic.”

“He did not bring me here to flirt with me!”

“Now, don’t you tell me he wanted to look at curiosities from the South Seas!” said Freddy warningly. “I ain’t a big enough bleater to swallow that one! Just a trifle too loud, Kit!”

“No, of course he did not. Oh, dear, how awkward this is! I wonder what I should do?”

“Well, I can tell you that!” said Freddy. “You can stop making a cake of me. What’s more, if you let Dolph go on hanging round you for ever I’ll tell everyone that our betrothal is a hum!”

Ah, there’s nothing like Georgette Heyer’s voice!

What’s your favorite Heyer? You know, the one you reread when you need a soothing escape?

(I think I’ll go reread Venetia)

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