Hi, this is Jo. I've been goofing off down in the West Country — Cornwall, Devon, and Dorset — and so I'm scrabbling together this blog at the last moment. My organizational skills aren't helped by doing a number of other blogs just now.
Romantic Times Blog. Romantic Times has a new web site and they're celebrating with a number ofg author blogs. They wanted one from me on my favourite heroes from my books. Click here to visit that one. There's supposed to be a poll attached so people can vote for their own favourites, but I can't see it yet.
RomCon Blog. I've also just written one for a blog on the RomCon site, which will appear on the 29th. I wrote about the magical appeal of romance novels. RomCon is the big romance reader conference to be held in Denver in July. There's more about that here.
Adventures in travel. As a sidetrack distraction, I've just booked the main leg of my trip over there. Even without volcanic dust shutting everything down, it's not easy getting anywhere from Whitby, but there is a small airport not that far away, Durham-Tees. It doesn't have many flights, but it does have a connector to KLM in Amsterdam, so that'll be a whole new flying adventure for me. I hear great things about the Amsterdam airport.
I'll actually be flying into Memphis because later in the month I'll be in Nashville for the Romance Writers of America annual conference and Memphis is the closest direct flight with KLM. You can find out about the RWA conference here, and if you live around there, note the Literacy signing on Wednesday. A great event for a great cause.
The New York Times Bestseller List. And in addition to all that, I'm celebrating two weeks on the NYT list for The Secret Duke, and hoping for another. You can see last Sunday's list here.
That explains the photo op above, taken in Westward Ho! (which yes, is actually a place.) From the linked article above, I quote, "The village name comes from the title of Charles Kingsley's novel Westward Ho! (1855). The exclamation mark is therefore an intentional part of the village's name. It is the only such place name in the British Isles, although Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, Quebec, shares the distinction of having an exclamation mark in its name." I've passed signs to Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!. You can go to the article above and follow a link to an explanation for that name. It seems to link to ha-ha as a French term for a barrier, which is why a ha-ha is a concealed trough in landscaped garden to keep deer and such out of the ornamentals. There's one at Rothgar Abbey.
Being on the NYT top 20 wasn't really a miracle as the other two Secrets books were, too, but it was too good an opportunity to miss. Excuse the windblown look — Westward Ho! is that sort of place. That's Billy, all cosy in his winter jacket still, but with his whirlygig, which certainly got a work out that day. We were joking that the world could be saved by Cabbage Patch power!
The Eden Project. That's actually an ad for the Eden Project, which is wonderful. We visited there the next day and I snapped this pic of Ken, Charlie, and the domes.
So I'll spread the questions here as well. What do you think is the core magic of a romance novel? What makes them one of your favourite forms of fiction? And what 3 qualities make the best heroes for a romance novel?
Or you can comment on some other aspect of this hurried blog.
A copy of The Secret Wedding (the previous book) to a randomly picked commenter.