I know stealing is wrong.  But I couldn’t possibly improve on Rose Lerner‘s post about Eloisa James including IN FOR A PENNY in her montly column for bn.com.  From her blog:

Eloisa James has read my book!!!

Okay I know I am supposed to be a professional and not act like a fan and blah blah blah but ELOISA JAMES HAS READ MY BOOK. AND SHE LIKED IT. And she posted about it here for her Barnes & Noble blog/column! I read it this morning at 4:30AM before going to work and of course when I got there I immediately told my coworker all about it:

ME: It’s like every month she does a theme and she talks about books that fit the theme, and–
COWORKER: What was this month’s theme?
ME: …Um. Protagonists who aren’t very bright.
COWORKER: [after laughing quite a lot] Is one of your protagonists not very bright?
ME: Well, I never thought of him that way before. He likes classical music and studied Latin at Cambridge and stuff. But I definitely see what she means because he is pretty hapless and not good at math, and in the genre there are lots of uber-competent brain surgeons running around and–
COWORKER: Doesn’t your book take place in the early nineteenth century?
ME: Yes.
COWORKER: So maybe a brain surgeon wouldn’t be the best choice for a hero for you?
ME: You have a point.
COWORKER: The reader would think, “Ooh, a brain surgeon,” and then he’d walk on with, like, a hammer and bone saw. “I’ve discovered that this part of the lobe controls deviant behavior! Stand aside while I cut a hole in this convict’s skull!”

For some reason I am picturing this hero as Hugh Laurie’s Wooster in my head. Okay, and what’s sad is that I have such a thing for mad scientists (I’m not kidding, I think they’re dreamy!) that I would probably read that romance. Even though I have a lot of strong and negative feelings about historical psychiatry, ESPECIALLY when it involved surgery (often it was non-consensual surgery!).

Anyway, you should read James’s piece, and then check out the B&N Romance board for conversations about the piece and about my book and all kinds of stuff!

Which is a good time to mention–I will be one of the B&N feature threads for May!!!!!! I am so honored and excited you guys. My thread is here and I will be hanging around the boards and the thread all month, but especially I will be there  starting Monday the 10th, to chat and answer questions and talk about books and also probably Star Trek because this is me. I can’t wait!

Back to me now.  Rose also lists her top 10 Regency Romances at DearAuthor and has an interview at The Romance Reader in which she reveals who was beheaded on her birthday and how majors in Math and Russian led to a career writing Regencies.

Unlike many on the East Coast pummeled by the latest nor’easter, New York City didn’t have it too bad–about 8 inches.  Just enough to give the city that beautiful pristine coating…for a few hours.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t use “Bizzard 2010″ as a great excuse to hole up and read a lot this weekend.  If you’re looking for some recommendations for fresh voices, check out the current poll for best historical debut at The Season. Both Caroline Fyffe and Leanna Renee Hieber made the list!

   

Speaking of great debuts, Rose Lerner is giving away a copies of the absoultely amazing historical IN FOR A PENNY.  Get the scoop on where to enter at her blog.  If you’re a fan of Sherry Thomas, Lisa Kleypas, Georgette Heyer and any of the Regency greats, you will not want to miss this book.

 

Rose Lerner, author of the forthcoming IN FOR A PENNY, turned me on to comic artist Kate Beaton when she sent this Jane Austen cartoon with her contracts.

So when I saw Kate was going to be at the Museum of Comics and Comic Art festival this weekend, I was really looking forward to having a chance to meet her.  As you can see from her site, she has a great way of mixing humor and history.  When I told her how much I loved the Austen cartoon, she drew a sketch for me on the spot:

Beaton cartoon

Unfortunately (for fans but good for Kate), her book, NEVER LEARN ANYTHING FROM HISTORY, sold out of its first printing, but you can find some other interesting goodies here.

And congratulations to Char, the lucky winner from the Future of Futuristics post.

The flowers are starting to pop up, and so are a load of new deals.  The latest:

Rose Lerner’s historical debut, IN FOR A PENNY, in which a dashing and feckless lord enters a marriage of convenience with the lovely and practical daughter of a wealthy merchant in an effort to salvage the family fortune, and they find themselves unprepared for the challenges they face: scandal, revolting tenants, a menacing neighbor and in the end a love more heartfelt than either expected.

 

I give agent Kevan Lyon loads of credit for that blurb, because I never would have been able to sum up the book so well.  What made me love IN FOR A PENNY is the humor and the rather unconventional element of two young people thrust into the position of learning to make solvent his family’s lands so the tenants can prosper. Reading that back, it doesn’t sound very intriguing, but you have to trust me.  ;-)  

 

Before I made the offer for this book, I was looking to buy a historical for our schedule.  And I was starting to despair that maybe I was being too harsh; nothing was resonating with me.  This book made me remember how the good ones really stand out from the pack.  After five pages, I knew Yes!  This is the one.  Certain aspects reminded me a bit of Elizabeth Hoyt’s RAVEN PRINCE. 

 

IN FOR A PENNY is scheduled for March 2010.

 

Emily Bryan’s STROKE OF GENIUS, which she describes:

Grace Makepeace, an American heiress, is determined to marry a titled English gent, but her Bostonian bluntness is severely impeding her chances. When she takes flirting advice from the acknowledged artistic genius who’s engaged to sculpt a marble model of her hands, she garners the attentions of a duke.
 
A cynical, but brilliant artist, Crispin Hawke is a keen observer of the ton and enjoys the challenge of helping Grace beat them at their own game. But he begins to wish he was the object of her passion.     

 

Emily called it a Pygmalion meets Cyrano de Bergerac story with a happy ending (of course!) for all.

 

STROKE OF GENIUS is scheduled for Summer 2010

 

 

Lisa Cooke – A MIDWIFE CRISIS, summarized by Lisa:

Katie Napier is happy with her life as a midwife and healer in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. She has spent most of her thirty years caring for those in need, and though it hasn’t been a glamorous life, it’s suited her fine. So why has Katie’s family all of a sudden decided she needs a husband?  Not that she’s averse to it, mind you, it’s just by her experience men are more of a hindrance than a help, and her new dilemma only supports her belief.  Three of her well meaning though zany family members have managed to find her a fiancé.  Unfortunately, they each found her a different one, and now she has to sort through the well-intended suitors to decide which one’s worth keeping.

Dr. John Keffer has returned to his roots in Wayne, West Virginia after he is unable to save his wife’s life due to a carriage accident.  He knows nothing of the life in the hills, but when he inherits his grandparent’s home, he decides to leave New York and the painful memories of his personal failure as a doctor.  But the locals are reluctant to trust the outsider and keep returning to their healer, a woman who surprises the doctor from the first minute he meets her.  Uneducated and poor, she’s the type of woman he would’ve hired in New York to work in his kitchens.  A woman whom he never would’ve bothered to even learn her name.  But now he’s forced to work with Katie in order to earn the trust of the locals.  What he’s not expecting, however, is her request that he help her decide which fiancé she’s going to keep.  A task complicated when he finally realizes he wants to keep her for himself.

This isn’t at all related to Lisa’s debut, TEXAS HOLD HIM, but I love that both books take a chance with something you don’t see it too many Americana romances (I can’t even call them Westerns): 1. no cowboys (gasp!) and 2. a great sense of humor.  I can’t think of anyone else doing much like that, though if there’s something I’ve missed, please let me know in the Comments.

A MIDWIFE CRISIS is scheduled for February 2010.

 

 

Speaking of Westerns, in my not-so-secret life as a Western editor, I also have some exciting news to share.

THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES by Forrest Carter will launch the next set of books in our Classic Film Collection in March 2010.  This novel served as the basis for the movie starring and directed by Clint Eastwood.

We will also be doing its sequel, THE VENGEANCE TRAIL OF JOSEY WALES. 

Luke Short, a giant of the Western genre, joins the Leisure list in April 2010 with the re-release of his classic BLOOD ON THE MOON, which was made into the famed noir Western film starring Robert Michum and directed by Robert Wise. BLOOD ON THE MOON will also be part of the Classic Film Collection.

Also coming from Luke Short will be AMBUSH and VENGEANCE VALLEY.

We will have Johnny D. Boggs’ Spur Award-nominated novel KILLSTRAIGHT coming in mass-market paperback in January 2010.  Bestelling author Tony Hillerman has said, “Johnny Boggs has produced another instant page-turner, but this one, KILLSTRAIGHT, grabbed me in a particular way. It took me right back to my childhood in Indian Country… don’t put down the book until you finish it.”