Sunday, April 20, 2008

What have you been missing?

I just finished an ARC of my friend Karin Tabke's upcoming Medieval Historical--MASTER OF SURRENDER. (How about that cover!) I absolutely devoured it. Karin has always done a fabulous Alpha Hero (her "Hot Cops" books are full of them), but they really shine against a medieval background. I love these guys and I'm already lobbying for an ARC of the next book. Hey, being a friend has it's advantages!

MOS is the first book in Karin's BLOOD SWORD LEGACY series. Here's how Karin describes the series:

Bound by a brotherhood forged in the hell of a Saracen prison, eight Blood Swords—mercenary knights for William the Conqueror—set out to claim their legacies the only way they can: by right of arms, by right of victory, by right of conquest.

Sound fabulous, don't they? I think these books are really going to hit a note--ever since Madeline Hunter stopped writing medievals I know that I've been dying for a gritty medieval historical. (I'm especially a sucker for a good Norman v. Saxon story. ) It seems like certain time periods/books come in waves and after years of Regency domination it's great that other settings are coming back.

Although there does seem to be more variety out there lately, certain settings/sub-genres are still hard to find. Personally, I'd love to see more of the sweeping style of romances of the past. I also have a weakness for Viking romances--Josie Litton had some great ones a few years back, but I'd love to see more of those.

What about you...what sub-genre/type of romance have you been missing?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Historical Fiction v. Historical Romance
I had an interesting phone conversation with a friend this morning who doesn't typically read romance, but has really been enjoying my books. She is, however, a historical fiction reader. We got into a discussion about the differences between the two--which at time, admittedly, can be difficult to qualify (Outlander comes to mind, as do Katherine, or The Other Boleyn Girl). In general, I think romances focus on the relationship whereas in historical fiction, the romance is just one of the plot threads. I read both, and I guess I've always assumed that readers of historical romance probably also read historical fiction (although not necessarily the other way around) but maybe I'm wrong. Not surprisingly though, my favorite historical fiction books have a strong romance plot.

Since you are reading this blog, I figure it's a good bet that you read historical romance...but do you also read historical fiction? (Phillipa Gregory, Sharon Kay Penman, Dorothy Dunnett, Anya Seton, Elizabeth Chadwick, etc). What about Gabaldon . . . do you consider her books romances or historical fiction?