New Release – Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid

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Dr. Strange Beard, an all-new standalone in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers Series by Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Penny Reid, is LIVE!

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Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak

Ten years after Simone Payton broke his heart, all Roscoe Winston wants is a doughnut. He’d also like to forget her entirely, but that’s never going to happen. Roscoe Winston remembers everything—every look, every word, every single unrequited second—and the last thing he needs is another memory of Simone.

Unfortunately, after one chance encounter, Simone keeps popping up everywhere he happens to be . . .

Ten years after Roscoe Winston dropped out of her life, all Simone Payton wants is to exploit him. She’d also like some answers from her former best friend about why he ghosted her, but if she never gets those answers, that’s a-okay. Simone let go of the past a long time ago. Seriously, she has. She totally, totally has. She is definitely not still thinking about Roscoe. Nope. She’s more than happy to forget he exists.

But first, she needs just one teeny-tiny favor . . .

Dr. Strange Beard is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a stand-alone, and is the fifth book in the USA TODAY bestselling Winston Brothers series.

 

BFF K’s Review Coming Soon!

 

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About the Author

Penny Reid is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Mailing List: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

Passionflix News – Sneak Peek!

TODAY is the day, Passionflix launches LIVE! This is so exciting for romance lovers! Check out this new sneak peek at Afterburn Aftershock by Sylvia Day. I can’t wait to see this story brought to life!

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Afterburn Aftershock Movie Sneak Peek!

From New York Times bestselling author Sylvia Day…Businesswoman Gia Rossi is determined to be successful in her new job, but when her ex lover Jax Rutledge waltzes back into her life, their passionate connection ignites not only in the boardroom, but the bedroom.

Streaming this November on Passionflix.com

You know you wanna watch…

Subscribe here: http://www.passionflix.com/signup

 

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Review – Next to You by Daisy Prescott

 

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“If you want to date me, all you need to do is say the word. I’d never let you go.”

I added Sage to my rugby club’s annual list of women who are off limits thinking I could protect her from the gorillas I play with. Aspen’s a small town in the off season when the dating pool shrinks to the size of a melted snowflake. Never did I think I’d be the one to break the code and date her.

Even if it’s all for show. A wager between friends. An excuse to hang out with her more.

Nothing more than that.
Right?

***

Who agrees to date their best friend over a green smoothie? Apparently this girl right here.

Now the man-bun-sporting South African rugby god next door is my fake boyfriend. I need to rebuild my confidence after some poor dating decisions. Who could be better to fluff my ego than Aspen’s hottest bachelor?

This situation is a win-win.
Right?

 

Next to You is a standalone Romantic Comedy/New Adult Romance about a rugby player and an heiress in Aspen. Stan and his man bun first appeared in the Modern Love Story Short, Take for Granted. This is a full-length novel told in dual POVs.

NEXT TO YOU by Daisy Prescott
Part of the multi-author Friends with Benefits series

A sports romance best seller!

PURCHASE IT NOW FOR .99¢!

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BFF K’s Review of Next to You

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Next to You is Daisy Prescott perfection! I’m talking Geoducks are for Lovers and Confessions of a Reformed Tom Cat (my 2 most favorite Daisy Prescott books) level of perfection! Daisy writes the most wonderful, well-developed characters with clever dialogue and engaging stories. They’re sprinkled with pop-culture references and plenty of LOL moments! Stan is a shining example of some of her very best work!

Stan the Man Bun was first introduced in a tiny supporting role in Take For Granted, a short story in the Modern Love Stories series. (This is my favorite of all Daisy’s short stories! I love Ben and Jo and this story made me LOL. I’ve re-read it a number of times.) Well, bless Daisy for feeding and nurturing this little plot bunny and not thinking readers were crazy when we begged for more Stan!

I would like to formally ask Daisy to please gather up Ryan Easley, and the other members of the Pitkin Rugby Club and shoo them into the plot bunny cage for proper care and feeding. This is another series in the making!

Stan is so much more than meets the eye. At first glance, you think Stan is a superficial playboy spending his time in Aspen playing rugby, tending bar and sleeping with women. But, you soon discover there is so much more. He is more of a gentle giant, with an open mind, a big heart and a hot-as-hell beard/man bun combo. He’s sweet and kind and madly in love with his next-door neighbor/BFF.

Sage is trying to find the balance between satisfying her family’s expectations for her life and her own desire to live a life of contentment and happiness. She loves Aspen. The mountains and the people bring her joy. Sage volunteers at a local animal shelter, works 2 jobs and secretly crushes on her hot-as-hell next-door neighbor/BFF.

When Stan is laid up for weeks healing from a broken ankle, Sage polishes up her nursing/babysitting/chauffeur skills and comes to the rescue. Between all the extra time together and a little smothie-based-wager, neither can deny their attraction. What follows is a sweet and sunny romance that warms the heart and gives flight to a swarm of butterflies in your tummy.

This book is a shining example of why rom-com is my most favorite genre! Next To You is perfect. It’s heartfelt, sweet and laugh-out-loud funny! This is Daisy Prescott at her very best….and that’s really really good! If you like romantic comedies, you need this book now. Seriously. Right NOW!

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An advance copy was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Don’t miss the other Friends with Benefits standalone romances wherever ebooks are sold:

The Billionaire’s Ballet by Deanna Roy
The Billionaire Escape Plan by Ember Casey
Yours and Mine by Lacey Silks
Always You by Rachel Schurig
The Rock Star’s Secret Baby by Blair Babylon
Going for Broke by Gretchen Galway

PURCHASE NEXT TO YOU!

Amazon | iBooks | B&N

Excerpt from Anything But Love

Daisy has another new release coming out in just a few days. How lucky are we?

Check out the first chapter of Erik Kelso’s book, Anything But Love!

CHAPTER ONE
Cabo

You know what’s awesome? Sunshine, the beach and a cold beer. The only thing that improves on that trifecta is being naked.
* * *
Sitting around the resort’s pool, Carter and I start a drinking game. Every time we see a dude in a man bun, we drink.
Bad decision.
Really stupid game.
We’re seriously buzzed in an hour.
Too many hipsters and wannabes from LA around this overpriced hotel.
This place is crawling with them like a hoard of fedora wearing zombies.
An all-inclusive resort isn’t typically our speed. As two regular guys from Whidbey we kind of stick out, but passing on the deal we got would have been stupider than most of the outfits on the hipsters. Our beards help us blend in a little bit. Not sure that’s a good thing or not.
Getting off the island for a long weekend of beers, sun and boobs is exactly what I need. Since I quit Useless Bay Coffee to start my own roasting business, I’ve been working hundred-plus-hour weeks.
When our mom found the deal for cheap through her travel agency, Carter and I jumped at it. Actually, he jumped and booked it then told me he’d drag my sorry, pale ass onto the plane to Cabo if he had to.
I should be nicer about the hipsters. My business partner, Jonah, looks kind of like these guys with his tatts, stretched earlobe, and mohawk. Somehow on Jonah, the look is authentic. Like he could kick ass at a punk show, but also has mastered the art of creating perfectly foamed milk.
I suggest another drinking game: real or fake. With all the minuscule bikinis, it’s not hard to tell who is au natural and who could be on a reality show about plastic surgery.
Not that I’m complaining.
Boobs are boobs.
Buzzed and a little bored, I suggest we go paddle-boarding or some other water sport.
Carter lowers his sunglasses and thumbs to the other side of the pool where two women in thong bikinis lie on their stomachs. “Nah, I’m happy with the view here. Catch you later.”
“Suit yourself.”
I tromp over the hot sand down to the water, cursing that my shoes are sitting next to my abandoned lounge chair. Nodding at Pedro in the equipment rental kiosk, I grab a board and paddle.
I’m not saying I’m into water sports, not the kind that immediately comes to mind if you’ve ever watched porn, but there’s something about being out on the water that speaks to me. Could be growing up on an island.
Maybe it was all the time we spent as kids on our dad’s boats.
When we were young Dad bought a twenty-nine foot wooden sailboat from the seventies that he restored with Gramps. As his construction business took off, the boats got newer, bigger and nicer. Until his business partner turned out to be an asshole and embezzled all but a thousand dollars out of the business accounts, then disappeared. Ten years later, we’re still picking up pieces after everything crumbled.
Dad still has the wooden sailboat. Other than Carter or I taking it around the island or up to the San Juans it sits on a trailer surrounded by weeds behind my parents’ house.
I balance up on the board, bending my knees as I ride over the small waves crashing toward the beach. Past the shore, the swells gently roll, leaving smooth water in between sets. Nothing but clear skies and blue water through the lens of my Ray Bans.
To the right a tall cliff, more an outcropping of rocks, juts into the water, isolating our hotel from the Pacific Ocean. My curiosity piqued, I head in that direction. I’ve heard there’s a place called Lover’s beach near here. Sounds like it’s a nude beach, or at least topless.
Sadly, the only breasts I spy are on a bunch of pelicans perched on the rocky cliffs. More sun-bleached cliffs extend further west heading toward the famous natural arch. I paddle by the arch and pivot to return to the resort when a splash off one of the rock islands catches my attention.
A whoop follows another splash.
What look like seal heads bob in the water.
As I approach, I see a body fall from the cliff.
No, not fall, dive.
People are diving from a giant rock in the water. By choice.
I drift on the water, not getting too close to where the divers are hitting the surface. A small group of boats and kayakers crowd the surrounding cover. People on the beach stand and watch as well.
The guys in the water confidently swim near the sharp rocks, their strokes guiding them away from the undertow that would crash them into the jagged edges. Timing their exit, they wait until the water is high enough to allow a handhold on the rock wall. With ease, they pull themselves up the face. At the top, hollers and back slaps greet them.
Someone from above yells down to me to try it out. I smile and wave them off. Not right now. All this sun and the gentle rocking of the water against my board have amplified the beer from earlier, clouding my judgment.
Maybe on our last day tomorrow.
* * *
After dinner we decide to leave the resort and explore town. “Explore” is code for going on the prowl. The resort is great, but in terms of hooking up, it’s been a lot of nothing. Sadly, all-inclusive doesn’t include hook-ups. Too many couples and too many hipsters.
Loud music pulses from the bars lining the main street off the beach. Almost all the places have open windows that take up most of the exterior walls. People in various states of inebriation loiter around and line the sidewalks. I brush past two girls leaning over the window-counter of a club blasting Katy Perry. They’re grabbing anyone who walks by to kiss their friend wearing a white veil.
As we pass, I feel a thwack to my head and turn.
One of the women is holding a long, pink, inflated penis, and telling by her sloppy grin, she’s the one who hit me in the head with an inflatable dick.
Carter is laughing too hard to speak, but slurs out, “You’re a legitimate dickhead now, Bro.”
A thump to his head with another inflatable super-dick stops his laughter. “That hurt!”
“Sorry. I’ll buy you a shot to make up for it.” A sunburned blond rests her boobs on the window sill. “Or I can rub it and make it all better.”
Carter stops short and leans towards the cleavage as if pulled by a magnet. “Can I choose what you rub it with?”
The girl’s mouth opens, but it’s her friend who comes back with a reply. “You touched my dick, I’ll return the favor and touch yours.”
I about choke and shove him into the bar ahead of me. “If he doesn’t take you up on that offer, I will.”
We shoulder our way through the crowd to their spot at the window.
“Ooh, are you two identical twins? Like those guys who redo houses on tv? I’ve always liked blond guys.” A redhead with a gleam in her eyes begins petting my shoulder. She reminds me of Ashley back home. “That’s hot.”
Carter’s eyes are focused on the purple lace peeking out from her shirt.
“It’s hot that an egg splits in two at conception?” How is that more appealing?
Her mouth hangs open a little as her eyes try to focus on my face. “What?”
“Nothing.” Carter shoves my shoulder. “My brother is trying to be funny. It’s his attempt to make up for being the ugly twin.”
“We’re not even twins.” I elbow him.
Ginger girl’s face falls. “Oh, that’s too bad. I’ve always wanted to be with twins.”
Carter and I stare at her, then both shudder. No way. No. We step away from each other at the same time.
I scratch above my ear. “I’m too sober. I need a drink.”
“Let’s do shots!” the veiled woman shouts.
“Tequila!” They all scream and clap their hands.
I volunteer to go to the bar for shots and beers.
Two of the penis-wielding girls squeal about their favorite song playing, and drag me by my hands to the dance floor. They sandwich me between them as they screech out their love for the pop singer, the guy in the lyrics, and each other.
I spin the one in front of me, trying to reclaim a little bit of personal space. She follows my lead, allowing me to step out of the girl-sandwich before she slams back into her friend. Both go off balance and tilt into me, causing me to grab the hips of a woman in a backless green dress to steady myself.
Rather than shoving me away, she keeps dancing. My hands rest on her swaying hips.
Okay. This works. I move closer, not like a typical club asshole or a dude in a body spray commercial, but close enough I can feel her body heat.
The purple tips of her long hair brush against my arms as she moves in front of me, her body inches from touching mine. The floral scent of her shampoo mixes with something beachy and tropical on her skin. She smells like vacation sex. Blood begins to rush toward my cock and I still haven’t seen her face.
Two pairs of arms wrap around my middle from both sides. Now I’m the meat in a triple-decker sandwich.
“We thought we lost you!” One of the blondes screeches.
“We’re thirsty.” The other one pouts. Somehow her thirst requires her to shove her breasts at me.
Distracted, it takes me a moment to realize purple-tip girl has disappeared into the crowd.
“I’ll get us some shots.” I wiggle myself out of their grip.
At the end of the bar, I find a spot to stand.
Next to me a guy shouts at the person on the other side of him. His tall, but shorter than I am by a couple inches, and I can see where his hair is thinning on top. Given he’s not that broad in the shoulders, the recipient of his anger must be petite because I can only see her bare arm behind him. By the tone in his voice, she must be a wife or a girlfriend. No guy trying to pick up a woman would ever use that tone. Unless he is a complete asshole and being an asshole is what gets him laid.
Her voice carries over the music. “Stop being a jealous prick. I wasn’t dancing with that guy.”
“He was behind you, with his hands all over you ass. Trust me, you made it perfectly clear you were interested.” He steps closer to her and mutters something about never forgetting who’s paying for this trip.
She moves out of his shadow and I catch a glimpse of dark hair with purple tips. “Damien, stop being an asshole. Maybe if you ever decide to dance with me, I won’t have to dance by myself.”
The bartender stops in front of me, and I order tequila shots for the army of bridesmaids currently being entertained by my brother.
“You want to flirt with every guy in here all night, fine. I’m not going to stand around and watch. If I want to waste money on trashy women, I’ll go to one of the strip clubs down the road.”
“Did you just compare me to a stripper?” Her voice rises, nearing an octave only dolphins can appreciate.
“If you dance like one, you might as well be one.”
I let my gaze travel down her body. She’s not even showing any cleavage in her green dress. Hell, most of her thigh is covered too.
“I hate it when you drink too much and get like this.” When she turns, I let my focus rest on the small dimples at the very bottom of her back, right above the curve of her ass. She’s not skinny and I’m not sure if there’s a right angle on her body. Her waist narrows about the roundness of her bottom. How had I missed the perfection of it on the dance floor?
A sharp jolt to my shoulder brings my focus back up. “Quit checking out my fiancée, asshole.”
Whoa.
“I’m not your fiancée! Do you see a ring on this finger?” She shoves her left hand in his face before tucking all but her middle finger down. “Or this one?”
Two beers and tray of tequila shots appear before me on the bar. I motion for two more tequilas and hand the bartender a bunch of pesos.
He pours the additional shots. I take one, down it and flip the glass on the bar. No lime or salt needed. The burn hits the back of my mouth as I shake my head. I lift the other shot and meet the green eyes of the woman staring at me.
“Here.” I hand her the glass. “Sounds like you need this.”
“What does that mean?” The jerk asks, puffing out his chest as he attempts to appear bigger.
She takes the shot and tipping her head back, swallows it. Her face contorts for a second before she licks her lips and gives me a grin. “Thank you.”
“Now you’re letting strange men buy you shots? I can’t even believe this. Who are you?” He slaps his hand down on the bar.
“I doubt he had time to roofie me, given that we’ve been standing here next to him the whole time. In case you were worried about my safety.” Her tone is dry and the smile is gone.
I lift another shot and nod. She takes it and downs it like the other one, fast and smooth. Like a champ.
“You get drunk and puke, I’m not holding your hair.” Now he’s full out scowling. His hands grip his biceps as he puffs out his chest like a rooster in some sort of exaggerated macho posturing.
I’ve had enough. The last thing this night needs is for me to be in the middle of some lame-ass lovers’ quarrel. But I can’t stop myself from one, final parting shot.
I lean into her space. Even though the entire bar smells like the bottom of a tequila bottle, her scent of sun and coconut surrounds me. I don’t whisper. Nah, I want him to hear me. “His penis better be enormous.”
Keeping my focus on her, I slowly lean away and reach for the tray of shots.
A fist makes contact with my jaw. Shock more than pain sends me reeling back a step.

 

AND for just a limited time, enjoy the original bearded hero, John Day in Ready to Fall!

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Get READY TO FALL (Wingmen #1) for FREE!

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About the Author

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USA Today Bestselling Author Daisy Prescott writes romantic comedies with heart.

Her Modern Love Stories feature characters in their thirties and forties finding and rediscovering love in unexpected and humorous ways. Her Wingmen books star regular guys who often have beards, drive trucks, and love deeply once they fall.

Born and raised in San Diego, Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband and an imaginary house goat. When not writing about herself in the third person, Daisy can be found traveling, gardening, baking, or lost in a good book.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:
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Review – Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid

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Grin and Beard It

by Penny Reid
Winston Brothers #2
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romantic Comedy

Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heartthrobs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

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Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords

BFF K’s Review of Grin and Beard It

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Penny Reid has done it again. Her newest novel, Grin and Beard It is just a really wonderful story! It is a much anticipated trip back to the Smokey Mountains to spend some delightful days with the Winston Brothers. In this installment, the oldest of the Winstons, reformed bad boy, Jethro is front and center. He finds himself head-over-heels for America’s sweetheart. Actress Sienna Diaz is filming her latest movie in the National Park and her terrible sense of direction leads her right to Jethro.

Jethro is a complicated man. He has spent the last 5+ years turning his life around. He has worked tirelessly to prove himself a worthy and trustworthy brother and friend. Jethro has to decide if he is ready to add ‘boyfriend’ to that list. Sienna is delighted that Jethro seems to have NO idea who she is, but he likes her for her. She is tired of the Hollywood game and once she begins to understand the kind of man Jethro is, she can’t help but think about what kind of partner he would be for a short-time or maybe a lifetime. The book is a slow-build to solidify their relationship, but it pays off in a satisfying HEA!

I can always count on Penny Reid to deliver strong stories, complex characters, engaging storylines, witty banter and smart romance. Penny Reid is one of my most recommended authors for good reasons. She consistently delivers wonderful books that I want everyone to read!

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An advance copy was received in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Author

Penny Reid is the USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

 

 

 

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

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Cover Reveal – The Summer Games – Out of Bounds by R.S. Grey

 

Title: THE SUMMER GAMES: Out of Bounds
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Aug 1, 2016
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The Summer Games: Out of Bounds

I despise Erik Winter.
He’s arrogant and cruel—a man I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy—and by some twisted turn of fate, he’s my new Olympic gymnastics coach.
I’ve had to contend with gruff coaches in the past, but Erik is far worse. His stern demeanor complements a body built for intimidation, and his reprimands come from a mouth so cunning, I know it could strip me of my defenses—if I let it.
Though each of us would love to be rid of the other forever, we are bound to each other by need and necessity. I’m his rising star, his best shot at proving himself to his critics. And without a coach, I have zero chance of winning gold in Rio.
The easiest way forward would be to wave a white flag and make peace with the man I’ll be sharing close quarters with for the foreseeable future, but he is intent on war.
Fine. By. Me.
If he pushes me, I’ll push back harder. If he wants to test me, to play with my head, I’ll show him just how many boundaries I’m willing to cross. Because I know it’s not a choice between winning or warring—not if you can have them both. At the end of it all, I plan on leaving Rio with gold around my neck and his icy heart in the palm of my hand.
 

About the Author

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things… everyday.
I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I’m a comedy geek and love all things “funny”. Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

 

 

10 Surprising Facts about Romance

 

 

Love Between the Covers
A Documentary Film
Written, Produced & Directed by: Laurie Kahn
Releasing July 12th, 2016
Distributed by: The Orchard

Love stories are universal. Love stories are powerful. And so are the women who write them.

Love Between the Covers is the fascinating story of the vast, funny, and savvy female community that has built a powerhouse industry sharing love stories. Romance fiction is sold in 34 languages on six continents, and the genre grosses more than a billion dollars a year — outselling mystery, sci-fi, and fantasy combined. Yet the millions of voracious women (and sometimes men) who read, write, and love romance novels have remained oddly invisible. Until now.

 

For three years, we follow the lives of five very diverse published romance authors and one unpublished newbie as they build their businesses, find and lose loved ones, cope with a tsunami of change in publishing, and earn a living doing what they love—while empowering others to do the same. Romance authors have built a fandom unlike all others, a global sisterhood where authors know their readers personally and help them become writers themselves. During the three years we’ve been shooting Love Between the Covers, we have witnessed the biggest power shift that has taken place in the publishing industry over the last 200 years. And it’s the romance authors who are on the front lines, pioneering new ways to survive and build communities in this rapidly changing environment.
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10 Surprising Facts about Romance Novels by Laurie Kahn

Four years ago, when I began making my documentary film Love Between the Covers, I stepped into a community I knew nothing about: the global network of women who write, read, and love romance novels. What I found surprised me. Here are ten things I learned:

 

  1. Romance fiction is a billion-dollar industry

Romance novel sales total more than a billion dollars a year. They sell as much as sci-fi, mystery, and fantasy combined.

 

  1. The romance readership is HUGE and global

More than 70 million people in the USA alone read at least one romance novel per year, and most of them read many more. The work of popular American romance writer Nora Roberts is translated into 33 languages and distributed on 6 continents.

 

  1. There is a surprisingly wide range of romance novels 

Like romance blogger Sarah Wendell says, “Whatever your cup of tea is, someone’s pouring it.”

Romance novels are often equated with “bodice-rippers,” but the steamy historicals with Fabio on the cover were published back in the 1970s and 1980s. Since that time, the spectrum of romance novels has exploded. On one end of that spectrum, there are chaste evangelical romances. On the other end, there are BDSM romances (yes, likethat one).

 

In between, you’ll find paranormal romance with vampires and shapeshifters, time-travel romance, historical romance, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. There are growing romance subgenres for LGBT love stories, a large community of writers who specialize in African-American romance, and there’s even a popular Amish romance subgenre.

  1. Everybody’swriting romance

Women of every description (and a small number of men) are the engine of this industry.

Contrary to expectations, romance authors come from every economic class, every racial group, every sexual preference, and every level of education.

When I asked the pioneering African-American romance author Beverly Jenkinsabout her peers, she told me, “Women from all walks of life do this. We’re not sitting in the proverbial trailer park in ratty nightgowns, eating jelly beans and watching soap operas. There are some pretty powerful women doing this! Geneticists, astrophysicists, lawyers, doctors…” The list goes on.

Len Barot (pen name Radclyffe), one of the main characters in Love Between the Covers, began writing lesbian romances during her surgical residency. Mary Bly (pen name Eloisa James), another main character in the film, is a Shakespeare scholar by day and an author of historical romances by night.

 

I interviewed PhDs, lawyers, and insurance executives. I also interviewed romance authors who worked in factories. There’s an open door for anyone who wants to give it a try. Nora Roberts, the rock star of the romance industry, never went to college.

 

  1. Women in the romance community are more likely than the general population to be currently married or living with a partner.

We’ve all seen depictions of the lonely, lovesick romance writer, who pens titillating novels while eating bonbons and sobbing over her keyboard.

 

Don’t believe the stereotype. While romance does offer women a place to escape daily life and live out their fantasies, this community of readers and writers are statistically more likely than most to be in happy relationships.

  1. Romance authors become personal friends with their readers, and readers find one another.

In the romance community friendships that begin online – based on a shared love of books– often become real and enduring friendships.

 

Beverly Jenkins and her readers are in constant contact at Beverly’s Facebook page, talking about books, football, music, and the ups and downs of their everyday lives. Every other year, Beverly takes a trip with her readers to places where her novels are set.

Radclyffe invites beginning authors to her farm in upstate New York, where she leads workshops on romance writing, and several of Eloisa James’s loyal readers told us they found their closest friends, with whom they communicate every day, through Eloisa’s blog.

  1. Romance writers get tremendous support from one another

    Why are these women so happy to pull a less experienced writer up the ranks? I asked many authors this question, and almost all of them told me stories of their early romance mentors–and their desire to pay it forward.

 

At a Romance Writers of America (RWA) national conference, unpublished writers are always welcome (something that does not happen at other writer conferences), and there are dozens of workshops taught by established writers about everything from plot structure and writing knife-fights, to social networking and negotiating contracts. You will see bestselling novelists sitting down for coffee with unpublished newbies, critiquing their work and giving them business advice.

 

  1. Romance authors are on the cutting edge, pioneering new technologies

    Romance writers and readers were the first to enthusiastically adopt e-books, a service which works well for anyone who buys hundreds of books, and romance writers have always been mavericks of social media, using it effectively to build fan communities.

 

Romance has been at the forefront of the biggest change to take place in publishing in the last 200 years: self publishing. Together, romance authors have figured out how to succeed in self-publishing. Instead of being secretive, these one-person indie publishing houses share their knowhow and numbers (not a common practice in publishing).

  1. You can take courses about romance fiction at Princeton, Harvard, DePaul and dozens of other universities

    Literature scholars, cultural historians, and popular culture studies professors founded the International Association for the Study of Popular Romancefive years ago. They hold annual conferences, and they’ve also started the peer-reviewed onlineJournal for Popular Culture Studies. It’s a growing interdisciplinary field.

 

  1. Romance writing isn’t an easy gig

    You might think writing romance novels is more of a breezy pastime than a professional venture, but the deadlines that romance novelists face are incredibly rigorous. Susan Donovandescribed the feeling of being on-deadline saying, “There’s always a flame behind your ass.” Some women publish three or four books a year. On top of this, most novelists handle their own promotion, and self-published authors also handle their novels’ distribution. When you’re a romance novelist, you are a one-woman business.

 

I had a blast exploring the romance community over the last four years. In creatingLove Between the Covers, I discovered one of the few places where women are always center stage, where female characters always win, where justice prevails in every book, and where the broad spectrum of desires of women from all backgrounds are not feared, but explored unapologetically.

 

*Originally featured in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/laurie-kahn/romance-novels_b_7109458.html

 

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Smart Girls Read Romance

BFF K has combined forces with Tina Lynne from Typical Distractions Blog to create Smart Girls Read Romance. This is a Facebook Group for all of those who LOVE the Romance genre. We have come together to promote and share and support romance authors and readers. Join the Revolution!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SmartGirlsReadRomance/

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Film Review – Love Between the Covers

 

Love Between the Covers
A Documentary Film
Written, Produced & Directed by: Laurie Kahn
Releasing July 12th, 2016
Distributed by: The Orchard
 

 

Love stories are universal. Love stories are powerful.  And so are the women who write them.

Love Between the Covers is the fascinating story of the vast, funny, and savvy female community that has built a powerhouse industry sharing love stories.  Romance fiction is sold in 34 languages on six continents, and the genre grosses more than a billion dollars a year — outselling mystery, sci-fi, and fantasy combined.  Yet the millions of voracious women (and sometimes men) who read, write, and love romance novels have remained oddly invisible. Until now.

 

For three years, we follow the lives of five very diverse published romance authors and one unpublished newbie as they build their businesses, find and lose loved ones, cope with a tsunami of change in publishing, and earn a living doing what they love—while empowering others to do the same. Romance authors have built a fandom unlike all others, a global sisterhood where authors know their readers personally and help them become writers themselves. During the three years we’ve been shooting Love Between the Covers, we have witnessed the biggest power shift that has taken place in the publishing industry over the last 200 years. And it’s the romance authors who are on the front lines, pioneering new ways to survive and build communities in this rapidly changing environment.

 

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BFF K’s Review of Love Between the Covers

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This review is a little different for BFF Book Blog! Today I’m bringing you a review not for a book, but for a MOVIE about books! I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review Love Between the Covers, a documentary film by Laurie Kahn. This film delves into the world of Romance writers and readers. It is every life affirming message about the genre that I love!

I’ve never paused a movie so many times to listen and even write down quotes! Love Between the Covers discusses why the Romance Genre is so popular among fiction readers. The movie is insightful and engaging for anyone who loves to read romance. It also talks about literary fiction in general and the important role that it plays in teaching readers about life and society.

I believe that Romance gets a bad rap. It’s often dismissed and looked down upon for a variety of reasons. As a Romance reader, I’ve felt the need to downplay my love of the genre or been embarrassed by my choice in literature. I’m starting to sing a different tune. I am making a conscience effort to be more supportive of the industry, to own my love (pun intended) of the genre and my role as both a reader and blogger.

Love Between the Covers highlights the things that make Romance and Romance readers unique. These are more than just books. There is escape, hope, inspiration and love written on these pages. Readers devour the words and bond not only with the characters, but with the authors and with one another.

I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed this film. I will be watching it many more times. I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever had to defend Romance as your books of choice. The film is entertaining, educational and most of all empowering!

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An advance screening of this film was provided by the Director and PR Company in exchange for an honest review.

Smart Girls Read Romance

BFF K has combined forces with Tina Lynne from Typical Distractions Blog to create Smart Girls Read Romance. This is a Facebook Group for all of those who LOVE the Romance genre. We have come together to promote and share and support romance authors and readers. Join the Revolution!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SmartGirlsReadRomance/

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About the Filmmaker

Director/Producer LAURIE KAHN’s films have won major awards, been shown on PBS primetime, broadcast around the world, and used widely in university classrooms and community groups. Her first film, A Midwife’s Tale, was based on the 18th century diary of midwife Martha Ballard and Laurel Ulrich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Midwife’s Tale. It won film festival awards and a national Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction. Her film TUPPERWARE! was broadcast in more than 20 countries, won the George Foster Peabody Award and was nominated for a national Best Nonfiction Director Emmy. Kahn previously worked on Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, The American Experience, FRONTLINE’S Crisis in Central America, All Things Considered, and Time Out. She’s a resident scholar at Brandeis’s Women’s Studies Research Center.
 
For more information on the film, http://www.lovebetweenthecovers.com/