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Karen Ostertag's blog

New Romance Fiction for July 2015

In paperback:

Summer on Lover's Island by Donna Alward (3, Jewel Cove) C
Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout (2, Frigid) C, NA (series begun as J. Lynn)
Only a Promise by Mary Balogh (5, Survivor's Club) H
Safe at Last by Maya Banks (3, Slow Burn) C, M, S, E
Lady Sarah's Sinful Desires by Sophie Barnes (1, Secrets of Thorncliff Manor) H
The Last True Vampire by Kate Baxter (1, Last True Vampire) C, S
A Good Rogue Is Hard to Find by Kelly Bowen (2, Lords of Worth) H
A Scoundrel by Moonlight by Anna Campbell (4, Sons of Sin) H, M
Ever After at Sweetheart Ranch by Emma Cane (6, Valentine Valley) C, W
All Played Out by Cora Carmack (3, Rusk University) C, NA

New Speculative Fiction for July 2015

New to our shelves:

Mother of Eden by Chris Beckett (2, Dark Eden) SF
Disciple of the Wind by Steve Bein (3, Fated Blades) F, M
The Darkling Child by Terry Brooks (2, Defenders of Shannara) F, M
Leviathan by Jack Campbell (5, The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier) SF
Pure Blooded by Amanda Carlson (5, Jessica McClain) F, H
The Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato (2, Clockwork Dagger duology) F, SF, M, R
Nemesis Games by James S. A. Corey (5, Expanse) SF, M
The Acolyte by Nick Cutter A, SF, M
Knight's Shadow by Sebastien De Castell (2, The Greatcoats) F, M
Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum H, F, M, R

A Bath Getaway

Are you fatigued by the summer heat and noxious air of the City?  Has the Season's endless social whirl sapped your strength?  Perhaps you have an aged relative who would benefit from a spa's healthful waters?  My dear, you simply MUST visit Bath this summer!  What was that, madam?  No, no, not TAKE a bath (tsk, how vulgar these Americans are, referring to one's personal hygiene in mixed company!).  I refer, of course, to the venerable City of Bath, in Somerset, England.

New Romance Fiction for June 2015

In paperback:

Cherry Lane by Rochelle Alers (6, Cavanaugh Island) C, O
Wed to the Montana Cowboy by Carol Arens (Harlequin Historicals) H, W
Make You Mine by Jackie Ashenden (2, Nine Circles) C, E, M
All of Me by Jennifer Bernard (1, Love between the Bases) C
The Unlikely Lady by Valerie Bowman (3, Playful Brides) H
Way of the Warrior by Suzanne Brockmann, Julie Ann Walker, Catharine Mann, et al. C
      (Pbk-Romance Way)
Pleasured by Candace Camp (2, Secrets of the Loch) H
Back to You by Lauren Dane (3, Hurley Boys) C
Falling Hard by HelenKay Dimon (2, Bad Boys Undercover) C, M

New Speculative Fiction for June 2015

New to our shelves:

Straits of Hell by Taylor Anderson (10, Destroyermen) A (SF Anderson)
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi A, SF, M (SF Bacigalupi)
The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker (3, Book of the Art) H
Long Black Curl by Alex Bledsoe (3, Tufa) F, H, R
Elysium: or, the World After by Jennifer Marie Brissett SF, A, R
The Vorrh by B. Catling (1, The Vorrh) F, M, A
A Dance of Chaos by David Dalglish (6, Shadowdance) F, M
One Rainy Day in May by Mark Z. Danielewski (1, The Familiar) H, F
Day Shift by Charlaine Harris (2, Midnight, Texas) H, M
Eighth Grave after Dark by Darynda Jones (8, Charley Davidson) F, H, M, R

Here Be Dragons

For creatures of myth, dragons certainly get around.

As long as we've been writing the history of ourselves, we've been writing about dragons.  They're sculpted on Babylon's Ishtar Gate and described on Agamemnon's armor in the Iliad.  They adorn a temple in Teotihuacan and are depicted in seashells beside a Chinese grave over six thousand years old.  There are dragon legends from every continent except Antarctica (unless you count Dragon Glacier).  You've probably heard some of their names before: Lotan. Tiamat. Fei Lian. Ladon. Yamata-no-Orochi. Quetzalcoatl. Y Ddraig Goch. Fafnir. 

New Romance Fiction for May 2015

In paperback:

Blush by Cherry Adair C, M, E
The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress by Victoria Alexander (5, Millworth Manor) H
Bite at First Sight by Brooklyn Ann (3, Scandals with Bite) H, S
Fall with Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout (J. Lynn) (4, Wait for You) C, NA (Pbk-Romance Armentrout)
I Loved a Rogue by Katharine Ashenden (3, Prince Catchers) H, M, O
Married To a Perfect Stranger by Jane Ashford H
Force of Attraction by D. D. Ayres (2, K-9 Rescue) C, M
Too Dangerous for a Lady by Jo Beverley (16, Company of Rogues) H, M
His To Take by Shayla Black (9, Wicked Lovers) C, E, M
A Sinful Deception by Isabella Bradford (2, Breconridge Brothers) H, M

New Speculative Fiction for May 2015

New to our shelves:

Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn H, M
Undercity by Catherine Asaro (1, Skolian Empire: Major Bhaajan) SF, M
Once Walked with Gods by James Barclay (1, Elves) F, M
Doctor Who: Time Trips by  BBC (Doctor Who) SF, A (SF Doctor)
Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop (3, Others) F, A, R
The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston (4, Witch) F, H, A, M, R
Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan (3, Memoirs of Lady Trent) F, M, R
The Skull Throne by Peter V. Brett (4, Demon Cycle) F
Darkside War by Zachary Brown (1, Icarus Corps) SF
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (1, Graceling/Seven Kingdoms trilogy) F, M, R

The Age of Love

Have you ever wondered how old the heroine is in that romance you're reading? 

In a historical romance, that's an easy question to answer: unless she's a widow or a spinster, she's probably under 25.  Historically, women were married off at a much younger age than they are today.  A Regency lady was considered "on the shelf" (no longer marriageable) by 25.  Medieval and Renaissance heroines are 18-plus only as a concession to modern sensibilities; the average medieval woman was already a mother by the age of 17.

But what about contemporaries?  I'm going to continue to use the age of marriage as a benchmark-- a contemporary romance doesn't have to end in a proposal, but it's still a pretty standard HEA ("Happily Ever After").  If New Adult romance heroines (18-24) are "younger than average," that would suggest that "average" is going to be 25 or older.  But how much older?  Do they track with the age of their readership? Older? Younger?

New Romance Fiction for April 2015

In paperback:

In His Keeping by Maya Banks (2, Slow Burn) C, M, S, E
One Kiss More by Mandy Baxter (2, U.S. Marshals) C, M
The First Kiss by Grace Burrowes (2, Sweetest Kisses) C
Quarterback Draw by Jaci Burton (9, Play by Play) C, E
The Amish Clockmaker by Mindy Starns Clark & Susan Meissner (3, Men of Lancaster County) C, I
Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton (1, Four of Hearts Ranch) C, W, I
Before We Fall by Courtney Cole (3, Beautifully Broken) C, E, NA
Better When He's Bad by Jay Crownover (1, Welcome to the Point) C, NA
Flirting with Disaster by Victoria Dahl (2, Jackson: Girls' Night Out) C

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