Archive for 'Delilah Marvelle'

Dark nights, dark chocolate, dark heroes
by Jessa Slade on January 10th, 2011

Currently working on: Sticking with even ONE of my New Years Resolutions
Mood: Fail!

The nights are finally getting shorter but we’re still facing many, long, dark, cold, wet hours here in the Pacific Northwest. What to do with all that time? There can be only one answer:


Yup. Snuggle up. Monster Girl absconded with the purple pillow pet unicorn I won at the Christmas white elephant party, but they make such a cute couple I haven’t interfered with their intra-species love parade. This time of year, everybody deserves extra cuddle power.

For me, that means fuzzy socks and a fuzzy blanket, a cup of hot cocoa, and a stack of books.

Here’s my one cup of cocoa:

2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cocoa plus a little bit extra
1-1/2 teaspoons non-dairy creamer
Tiny pinch of salt

Whipped cream and mini choco chips on top are optional but highly recommended :) I’m still working on tweaking out the recipe. Is powdered sugar better than granulated? Half and half maybe? Which brand of cocoa makes the best beverage? Surprisingly, the top of the line stuff doesn’t always make the best drinking, although of course the darker varietals taste richer. I feel very noble sacrificing myself on this endeavor.

Last Friday, I burned through the last of my Powells Books gift card to get:


This is a fun triple header because now I have Delilah Marvelle’s PRELUDE TO A SCANDAL which is historical, our own Annette McCleave’s SURRENDER TO DARKNESS, a contemporary paranormal, and Marcella Burnard’s ENEMY WITHIN, a futuristic romance. So I have all time periods and a nice cross section of subgenres covered.

I’m looking forward to a few good dark nights. Oh, I should’ve gotten a medieval romance so I could say knights. Guess I’m making another run to the bookstore. Poor me ;)

It seems to me most romance readers read across many subgenres, but do you have a favorite you default to in time of needful snuggling? I guess it’s no surprise that I always go back to paranormals. Something about the extra darkness of most paranormals — like extra dark chocolate — seems perfect for winter nights. What makes your winter nights perfect?

My first romance… Novel, that is :)
by Jessa Slade on February 22nd, 2010

Currently working on: Just finished page proofs on FORGED OF SHADOWS, the last step before June 2010 publication
Mood: Good luck, little book!  Now get out

rose-in-winterDoesn’t everyone remember the first romance novel they discovered?  Back in the day, I stumbled upon my mother’s copy of A ROSE IN WINTER by Kathleen Woodiwiss.  A charming rouge, a burned-out manor house, an auction-block marriage, a winter ball, and a Beauty and the Beast twist.  Oh my!  After reading that, I was ruined forever.  Kinda like your typical swooning historical ingenue.

I think the right first romance novel is very much like the right first kiss.  You want it to be special, deep and meaningful, a memory to cherish.  So, like a fairy godmother picking out a prince, I take a book recommendations very seriously, especially when I am recommending a first romance novel.

Romance novels already suffer from red-headed stepchild syndrome with some (silly!) people, but I love when I can win over a new reader.  I’m always discovering new great books that I just KNOW will turn on the most hard-hearted cynic, and I also have a few gold standards that I can fall back on.

Romantic comedy
I always like to start off easy on a new romance reader.  I find a contemporary romantic comedy can be a good beginner romance because:

  • The contemporary settings are readily absorbed.  There are no Austenian social mannerisms to maneuver around, no “och, wee lass, do ye ken mah claymore yearns fer ye?” historical diction to decipher.
  • Rom-com movies often pave the way in reluctant psyches.agnes
  • The fun covers sometimes don’t even give away that it IS a romance.

Anything by Jennifer Crusie is a great “starter” because her dazzlingly delightful dialogue will win over non-believers.  And it’s so convenient that she’s writing with Bob Mayer now, because you can even spring these books on unsuspecting male-type readers because — hey! — there’s a guy’s name on the cover!

Historical romance
For the slightly uptight, a good, corseted historical can help loosen them up.  The trick with “reading” a reader who might like a historical is figuring out whether they’ll sway toward a more correct historical interpretation or if a rollicking adventure would more tickle their fancy.

But as far as tickling goes, a spicy, saucy story like Delilah Marvelle’s are sure to please.  And by pleasure, I think we all understand what I mean ;)

Of course, there are also category romances, romantic suspense, inspirationals, straight contemporary, women’s fiction (with a strong romance)…  And, of course, paranormal romance :)  But as you know, paranormal romance isn’t for the faint of heart.

Finding a first romance novel for the people around me isn’t just a job.  It’s a passion!

And how lucky I am to be able to indulge my love as a tax write-off ;)

What’s the first romance novel you recommend to newbies?  Have you ever made a romance reader for life (or — in the case of paranormal romance – afterlife)?