Springing Into A New Genre

AP-avatar Cara/Andrea here,

The first day of spring is almost upon us, marking the start of a season that celebrates the world around us blossoming to life. Both the old and the burst forth with new buds as the sun stimulates growth. So it’s fitting that March has been month of new blooms for the Wenches. At the beginning of the month, Mary Jo announced her exciting entry in the Young Adult genre with Dark Mirror, a magical historical paranormal that sweeps readers from the Regency to World War II.

SweetRevengeCover-cropped And today I’m delighted to announce my debut into the world of historical mystery with Sweet Revenge, which takes place in London during the spring of 1813. The book hits the shelves on April 5, and along with a new genre, I have a new name—Andrea Penrose (Oh, don’t ask! Publishing is very complicated these days, and I apologize if it’s confusing. But be assured that I will continue to write romance as Cara Elliott—I’m simply putting another hat on my head . . . and hoping my brain can carry the load!)

Here’s a small taste of the story (chocolate plays a big role in the story, but more on that next month!):

Lady Arianna Hadley’s desire to discover her disgraced father’s murderer has brought her back to London from exile in the Caribbean. Masquerading as a male chef, she is working in one of London’s aristocratic households in order to get close to her main suspect. But when the Prince Regent is taken ill after consuming Arianna’s special chocolate dessert, she unexpectedly finds herself at the center of a dangerous scandal.

Chocolate-engraving-1 Because of his expertise in chocolate, the eccentric Earl of Saybrook, a former military intelligence officer, is asked by the top brass at Horse Guards to investigate the suspected poisoning. But during his first interrogation of Arianna, someone tries to assassinate both of them, and it quickly becomes clear that something very sinister is afoot within the highest circles of government. They each have very different reasons for wanting to uncover the truth, yet to have any chance of doing so they must become allies.

HG2 Trust. Treachery. Arianna must assume yet another identity as their search takes them from the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair to the slums of St. Giles. And their reluctant alliance is tested in more ways that one as it becomes clear that someone is looking to plunge England into chaos . . .

Like Mary Jo, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about moving into a new genre. One of the first things my friends asked was what’s the difference between writing a mystery and writing a romance. It’s something that I thought about a lot as I started on the project. Pamela Regis, author of the A Natural History of the Romance Novel, describes a romance as a story of courtship ending in betrothal. So, by its nature, the primary focus is the relationship between two people—traditionally the hero and the heroine—and the story revolves around how, and why, they come to fall in love. Their characters are developed and defined mainly by their interaction with each other. And these days, that interaction often includes explicit sexual scenes. (Please remember my earlier comment about publishing being complicated . . .)

Pistols A mystery, as the name implies, revolves more around the actual plot. A conundrum is presented to the reader, and the story is all about solving it. While romance tropes call for a HEA (Happily Ever After) mystery tropes revolve around the notion of justice—that in the end, the villain gets his just desserts. Put more simplistically, it’s about good stopping evil from running amuck—though sometimes the ending can be more ambiguous than it is in romance.

Lawrenceportrait So I explained to my friends that in a mystery, characters tend to grow and change through their interaction with the problem they are trying to solve, rather than solely through their dealings with each other. Tension and conflict often come from the moral choices that confront them. That said, there are often intense relationships between characters in a mystery, and they definitely help shape one another. It’s more a question of nuance and degree. Yes, things get very personal, but the problem—ie, the mystery—is always that third presence, however shadowy, in the scene. The characters cannot react to each other’s actions and thoughts without seeing them through the prism of the problem. As for sex, unless it is an integral part of the plot, the bedroom door tends to stay shut.

Lady's-face When I sat down to start work on < em>Sweet Revenge, I thought a lot about how I wanted to develop my hero and heroine within these new parameters. For me, the chance to explore the nuances of character and motivation is one of the core reasons why I write. I find it infinitely challenging to try to create textured, layered people who have the same conflicts and contradictions as real life individuals do, and then put them in situation where they have to conquer her own weaknesses and doubts to triumph.

Horse-Guard-B&R As a romance writer, I love drawing two disparate people together. But I’ve also tended to have mystery/adventure elements in my plots because I’ve always loved the the layers of tension and twists in a well-crafted plot. So I wondered if somehow I could strike a happy balance between the two. We'll see what the critics think! It’s always a little frightening—and at the same time exhilarating—to try sometime new. But as spring unfurls in all its glorious colors, the season reminds us that it’s good to spread new roots and lift fresh branches toward the sun. Growth keeps us vital!

What about you—do you enjoy reading across genres? Have you a favorite one? Have you tried any new categories lately? I make my first foray into steampunk recently and really enjoyed it. And while we’re on the subject of styles, what do you think about explicit sex in books? 

I'll be giving away a copy of Sweet Revenge to one reader who leaves a comment here between now and Sunday, so be sure to chime in!

220 thoughts on “Springing Into A New Genre”

  1. You asked about explicit sex scenes in novels. I am assuming you mean the throb by throb sort of thing we see so much of now. I am beginning to find them rather tiresome. They rarely tell me anything about those characters that I couldn’t learn any other way, and it’s been a long time since I learned anything about sex from a book.
    I have often stayed up late reading to find out what happened to the characters. I have never stayed up late to read some more sex scenes. More and more (since the sex has long since lost its novelty), if there’s no story and no characters of interest, it’s a waste of my time, and I’m outta there.

    Reply
  2. You asked about explicit sex scenes in novels. I am assuming you mean the throb by throb sort of thing we see so much of now. I am beginning to find them rather tiresome. They rarely tell me anything about those characters that I couldn’t learn any other way, and it’s been a long time since I learned anything about sex from a book.
    I have often stayed up late reading to find out what happened to the characters. I have never stayed up late to read some more sex scenes. More and more (since the sex has long since lost its novelty), if there’s no story and no characters of interest, it’s a waste of my time, and I’m outta there.

    Reply
  3. You asked about explicit sex scenes in novels. I am assuming you mean the throb by throb sort of thing we see so much of now. I am beginning to find them rather tiresome. They rarely tell me anything about those characters that I couldn’t learn any other way, and it’s been a long time since I learned anything about sex from a book.
    I have often stayed up late reading to find out what happened to the characters. I have never stayed up late to read some more sex scenes. More and more (since the sex has long since lost its novelty), if there’s no story and no characters of interest, it’s a waste of my time, and I’m outta there.

    Reply
  4. You asked about explicit sex scenes in novels. I am assuming you mean the throb by throb sort of thing we see so much of now. I am beginning to find them rather tiresome. They rarely tell me anything about those characters that I couldn’t learn any other way, and it’s been a long time since I learned anything about sex from a book.
    I have often stayed up late reading to find out what happened to the characters. I have never stayed up late to read some more sex scenes. More and more (since the sex has long since lost its novelty), if there’s no story and no characters of interest, it’s a waste of my time, and I’m outta there.

    Reply
  5. You asked about explicit sex scenes in novels. I am assuming you mean the throb by throb sort of thing we see so much of now. I am beginning to find them rather tiresome. They rarely tell me anything about those characters that I couldn’t learn any other way, and it’s been a long time since I learned anything about sex from a book.
    I have often stayed up late reading to find out what happened to the characters. I have never stayed up late to read some more sex scenes. More and more (since the sex has long since lost its novelty), if there’s no story and no characters of interest, it’s a waste of my time, and I’m outta there.

    Reply
  6. Cara, just dropping in to say Sweet Revenge sounds like a fantastic story. Love the idea of Regency-set mystery! And one involving chocolate and desserts…my idea of Heaven! So looking forward to this book!
    Actually, I must say that I do enjoy explicit sex scenes in romance novels when they’re well written and they are integral to the plot. If the bedroom door remained closed in a romance, I would feel like I’m missing something integral–like those couple of Heyer novels where they are already married (much as I love Heyer) You can’t help but wonder how they intereact in the bedroom if they’re so far apart as a couple in the daytime. Surely that enforced intimacy must change the relationship? In a mystery, I think probably a sex scene rarely advances the plot–unless they find a clue under the bedsheets or something! LOL It really depends on the circumstances.
    Sorry for the tome! And the best of luck with your new venture, Cara.

    Reply
  7. Cara, just dropping in to say Sweet Revenge sounds like a fantastic story. Love the idea of Regency-set mystery! And one involving chocolate and desserts…my idea of Heaven! So looking forward to this book!
    Actually, I must say that I do enjoy explicit sex scenes in romance novels when they’re well written and they are integral to the plot. If the bedroom door remained closed in a romance, I would feel like I’m missing something integral–like those couple of Heyer novels where they are already married (much as I love Heyer) You can’t help but wonder how they intereact in the bedroom if they’re so far apart as a couple in the daytime. Surely that enforced intimacy must change the relationship? In a mystery, I think probably a sex scene rarely advances the plot–unless they find a clue under the bedsheets or something! LOL It really depends on the circumstances.
    Sorry for the tome! And the best of luck with your new venture, Cara.

    Reply
  8. Cara, just dropping in to say Sweet Revenge sounds like a fantastic story. Love the idea of Regency-set mystery! And one involving chocolate and desserts…my idea of Heaven! So looking forward to this book!
    Actually, I must say that I do enjoy explicit sex scenes in romance novels when they’re well written and they are integral to the plot. If the bedroom door remained closed in a romance, I would feel like I’m missing something integral–like those couple of Heyer novels where they are already married (much as I love Heyer) You can’t help but wonder how they intereact in the bedroom if they’re so far apart as a couple in the daytime. Surely that enforced intimacy must change the relationship? In a mystery, I think probably a sex scene rarely advances the plot–unless they find a clue under the bedsheets or something! LOL It really depends on the circumstances.
    Sorry for the tome! And the best of luck with your new venture, Cara.

    Reply
  9. Cara, just dropping in to say Sweet Revenge sounds like a fantastic story. Love the idea of Regency-set mystery! And one involving chocolate and desserts…my idea of Heaven! So looking forward to this book!
    Actually, I must say that I do enjoy explicit sex scenes in romance novels when they’re well written and they are integral to the plot. If the bedroom door remained closed in a romance, I would feel like I’m missing something integral–like those couple of Heyer novels where they are already married (much as I love Heyer) You can’t help but wonder how they intereact in the bedroom if they’re so far apart as a couple in the daytime. Surely that enforced intimacy must change the relationship? In a mystery, I think probably a sex scene rarely advances the plot–unless they find a clue under the bedsheets or something! LOL It really depends on the circumstances.
    Sorry for the tome! And the best of luck with your new venture, Cara.

    Reply
  10. Cara, just dropping in to say Sweet Revenge sounds like a fantastic story. Love the idea of Regency-set mystery! And one involving chocolate and desserts…my idea of Heaven! So looking forward to this book!
    Actually, I must say that I do enjoy explicit sex scenes in romance novels when they’re well written and they are integral to the plot. If the bedroom door remained closed in a romance, I would feel like I’m missing something integral–like those couple of Heyer novels where they are already married (much as I love Heyer) You can’t help but wonder how they intereact in the bedroom if they’re so far apart as a couple in the daytime. Surely that enforced intimacy must change the relationship? In a mystery, I think probably a sex scene rarely advances the plot–unless they find a clue under the bedsheets or something! LOL It really depends on the circumstances.
    Sorry for the tome! And the best of luck with your new venture, Cara.

    Reply
  11. Thanks, Christuna! The chocolate research was quite a hardship but someone had to do it!
    You make an very good observation about how sex in a romance does show us a facet of character. The Heyer comment really made me stop and think that yes, it would have been very revealing to see some of her characters (Worth and Judith Tavener!)interact intimately.
    It’s really a question of balance, isn’t it? As in all aspects of writing, it’s hard to made “standard” rules. The individual voice of a writer matters too. Some people write it with great emotional force, and some simply describe mechanics.

    Reply
  12. Thanks, Christuna! The chocolate research was quite a hardship but someone had to do it!
    You make an very good observation about how sex in a romance does show us a facet of character. The Heyer comment really made me stop and think that yes, it would have been very revealing to see some of her characters (Worth and Judith Tavener!)interact intimately.
    It’s really a question of balance, isn’t it? As in all aspects of writing, it’s hard to made “standard” rules. The individual voice of a writer matters too. Some people write it with great emotional force, and some simply describe mechanics.

    Reply
  13. Thanks, Christuna! The chocolate research was quite a hardship but someone had to do it!
    You make an very good observation about how sex in a romance does show us a facet of character. The Heyer comment really made me stop and think that yes, it would have been very revealing to see some of her characters (Worth and Judith Tavener!)interact intimately.
    It’s really a question of balance, isn’t it? As in all aspects of writing, it’s hard to made “standard” rules. The individual voice of a writer matters too. Some people write it with great emotional force, and some simply describe mechanics.

    Reply
  14. Thanks, Christuna! The chocolate research was quite a hardship but someone had to do it!
    You make an very good observation about how sex in a romance does show us a facet of character. The Heyer comment really made me stop and think that yes, it would have been very revealing to see some of her characters (Worth and Judith Tavener!)interact intimately.
    It’s really a question of balance, isn’t it? As in all aspects of writing, it’s hard to made “standard” rules. The individual voice of a writer matters too. Some people write it with great emotional force, and some simply describe mechanics.

    Reply
  15. Thanks, Christuna! The chocolate research was quite a hardship but someone had to do it!
    You make an very good observation about how sex in a romance does show us a facet of character. The Heyer comment really made me stop and think that yes, it would have been very revealing to see some of her characters (Worth and Judith Tavener!)interact intimately.
    It’s really a question of balance, isn’t it? As in all aspects of writing, it’s hard to made “standard” rules. The individual voice of a writer matters too. Some people write it with great emotional force, and some simply describe mechanics.

    Reply
  16. This sounds very interesting! I’ll be watching for it.
    I imagine that as odd as it is to change genres, it also is a satisfying challenge to a writer.
    And, the sex issue… sometimes, a well written sex scene is a perfect embellishment to the story. But, agreeing with another poster, I think that it can be overdone and overused. I read romances for the characters and the relationships. My personal opinion is that sexual tension is a key element to any good relationship. A skilled writer who can create sympathetic characters and make it clear why they are drawn to each other, generally does not need explicit sex scenes despite what publishers think (though they may be a natural and beautiful progression of the relationship in an excellent story). In certain historical time periods when the inaccuracy of personal sexual freedom without consequences is jarring, I find it pushes me right out of the story.
    When the sex scenes are filler material, it really does become tedious. Or when the “relationship” is really an excuse for the bedroom scenes, then it should be regarded as erotica and not packaged as romance (not intended as a criticism against erotica since there are equally excellent and mediocre writers in that genre, too). People simply choose different reasons to read each category. Rarely, there is an author that combines the two well.

    Reply
  17. This sounds very interesting! I’ll be watching for it.
    I imagine that as odd as it is to change genres, it also is a satisfying challenge to a writer.
    And, the sex issue… sometimes, a well written sex scene is a perfect embellishment to the story. But, agreeing with another poster, I think that it can be overdone and overused. I read romances for the characters and the relationships. My personal opinion is that sexual tension is a key element to any good relationship. A skilled writer who can create sympathetic characters and make it clear why they are drawn to each other, generally does not need explicit sex scenes despite what publishers think (though they may be a natural and beautiful progression of the relationship in an excellent story). In certain historical time periods when the inaccuracy of personal sexual freedom without consequences is jarring, I find it pushes me right out of the story.
    When the sex scenes are filler material, it really does become tedious. Or when the “relationship” is really an excuse for the bedroom scenes, then it should be regarded as erotica and not packaged as romance (not intended as a criticism against erotica since there are equally excellent and mediocre writers in that genre, too). People simply choose different reasons to read each category. Rarely, there is an author that combines the two well.

    Reply
  18. This sounds very interesting! I’ll be watching for it.
    I imagine that as odd as it is to change genres, it also is a satisfying challenge to a writer.
    And, the sex issue… sometimes, a well written sex scene is a perfect embellishment to the story. But, agreeing with another poster, I think that it can be overdone and overused. I read romances for the characters and the relationships. My personal opinion is that sexual tension is a key element to any good relationship. A skilled writer who can create sympathetic characters and make it clear why they are drawn to each other, generally does not need explicit sex scenes despite what publishers think (though they may be a natural and beautiful progression of the relationship in an excellent story). In certain historical time periods when the inaccuracy of personal sexual freedom without consequences is jarring, I find it pushes me right out of the story.
    When the sex scenes are filler material, it really does become tedious. Or when the “relationship” is really an excuse for the bedroom scenes, then it should be regarded as erotica and not packaged as romance (not intended as a criticism against erotica since there are equally excellent and mediocre writers in that genre, too). People simply choose different reasons to read each category. Rarely, there is an author that combines the two well.

    Reply
  19. This sounds very interesting! I’ll be watching for it.
    I imagine that as odd as it is to change genres, it also is a satisfying challenge to a writer.
    And, the sex issue… sometimes, a well written sex scene is a perfect embellishment to the story. But, agreeing with another poster, I think that it can be overdone and overused. I read romances for the characters and the relationships. My personal opinion is that sexual tension is a key element to any good relationship. A skilled writer who can create sympathetic characters and make it clear why they are drawn to each other, generally does not need explicit sex scenes despite what publishers think (though they may be a natural and beautiful progression of the relationship in an excellent story). In certain historical time periods when the inaccuracy of personal sexual freedom without consequences is jarring, I find it pushes me right out of the story.
    When the sex scenes are filler material, it really does become tedious. Or when the “relationship” is really an excuse for the bedroom scenes, then it should be regarded as erotica and not packaged as romance (not intended as a criticism against erotica since there are equally excellent and mediocre writers in that genre, too). People simply choose different reasons to read each category. Rarely, there is an author that combines the two well.

    Reply
  20. This sounds very interesting! I’ll be watching for it.
    I imagine that as odd as it is to change genres, it also is a satisfying challenge to a writer.
    And, the sex issue… sometimes, a well written sex scene is a perfect embellishment to the story. But, agreeing with another poster, I think that it can be overdone and overused. I read romances for the characters and the relationships. My personal opinion is that sexual tension is a key element to any good relationship. A skilled writer who can create sympathetic characters and make it clear why they are drawn to each other, generally does not need explicit sex scenes despite what publishers think (though they may be a natural and beautiful progression of the relationship in an excellent story). In certain historical time periods when the inaccuracy of personal sexual freedom without consequences is jarring, I find it pushes me right out of the story.
    When the sex scenes are filler material, it really does become tedious. Or when the “relationship” is really an excuse for the bedroom scenes, then it should be regarded as erotica and not packaged as romance (not intended as a criticism against erotica since there are equally excellent and mediocre writers in that genre, too). People simply choose different reasons to read each category. Rarely, there is an author that combines the two well.

    Reply
  21. Thank you, Dee! Another really thoughtful expression on the subject of sex. I totally agree with you that sexual tension is incredibly important in a story—it’s what helps give the characters added dimension. (um, no pun intended.) But how that is achieved is different for every author. For me as a reader, some of the sexiest books leave a great deal to the imagination.
    This is such a fascinating discussion. Please keep the comments coming!

    Reply
  22. Thank you, Dee! Another really thoughtful expression on the subject of sex. I totally agree with you that sexual tension is incredibly important in a story—it’s what helps give the characters added dimension. (um, no pun intended.) But how that is achieved is different for every author. For me as a reader, some of the sexiest books leave a great deal to the imagination.
    This is such a fascinating discussion. Please keep the comments coming!

    Reply
  23. Thank you, Dee! Another really thoughtful expression on the subject of sex. I totally agree with you that sexual tension is incredibly important in a story—it’s what helps give the characters added dimension. (um, no pun intended.) But how that is achieved is different for every author. For me as a reader, some of the sexiest books leave a great deal to the imagination.
    This is such a fascinating discussion. Please keep the comments coming!

    Reply
  24. Thank you, Dee! Another really thoughtful expression on the subject of sex. I totally agree with you that sexual tension is incredibly important in a story—it’s what helps give the characters added dimension. (um, no pun intended.) But how that is achieved is different for every author. For me as a reader, some of the sexiest books leave a great deal to the imagination.
    This is such a fascinating discussion. Please keep the comments coming!

    Reply
  25. Thank you, Dee! Another really thoughtful expression on the subject of sex. I totally agree with you that sexual tension is incredibly important in a story—it’s what helps give the characters added dimension. (um, no pun intended.) But how that is achieved is different for every author. For me as a reader, some of the sexiest books leave a great deal to the imagination.
    This is such a fascinating discussion. Please keep the comments coming!

    Reply
  26. Most of my reading tends to be historical romance but every so often a change is nice whether it’s to a different romance genre or something completely different (I enjoy a good mystery). I usually return to the historicals as they are my first love.
    In regards to sex, I tend to expect it more in the romance books but how much is good depends in part how well it’s written & how it moves or is part of the story (throwing sex scenes in just to have more of them, as with poorly written scenes, tends to spoil the book some as it pulls one out of the story). I will admit, mood can also influence what I’ll enjoy reading vs skipping over. Sometimes less is more, sometimes more is pretty good 😉

    Reply
  27. Most of my reading tends to be historical romance but every so often a change is nice whether it’s to a different romance genre or something completely different (I enjoy a good mystery). I usually return to the historicals as they are my first love.
    In regards to sex, I tend to expect it more in the romance books but how much is good depends in part how well it’s written & how it moves or is part of the story (throwing sex scenes in just to have more of them, as with poorly written scenes, tends to spoil the book some as it pulls one out of the story). I will admit, mood can also influence what I’ll enjoy reading vs skipping over. Sometimes less is more, sometimes more is pretty good 😉

    Reply
  28. Most of my reading tends to be historical romance but every so often a change is nice whether it’s to a different romance genre or something completely different (I enjoy a good mystery). I usually return to the historicals as they are my first love.
    In regards to sex, I tend to expect it more in the romance books but how much is good depends in part how well it’s written & how it moves or is part of the story (throwing sex scenes in just to have more of them, as with poorly written scenes, tends to spoil the book some as it pulls one out of the story). I will admit, mood can also influence what I’ll enjoy reading vs skipping over. Sometimes less is more, sometimes more is pretty good 😉

    Reply
  29. Most of my reading tends to be historical romance but every so often a change is nice whether it’s to a different romance genre or something completely different (I enjoy a good mystery). I usually return to the historicals as they are my first love.
    In regards to sex, I tend to expect it more in the romance books but how much is good depends in part how well it’s written & how it moves or is part of the story (throwing sex scenes in just to have more of them, as with poorly written scenes, tends to spoil the book some as it pulls one out of the story). I will admit, mood can also influence what I’ll enjoy reading vs skipping over. Sometimes less is more, sometimes more is pretty good 😉

    Reply
  30. Most of my reading tends to be historical romance but every so often a change is nice whether it’s to a different romance genre or something completely different (I enjoy a good mystery). I usually return to the historicals as they are my first love.
    In regards to sex, I tend to expect it more in the romance books but how much is good depends in part how well it’s written & how it moves or is part of the story (throwing sex scenes in just to have more of them, as with poorly written scenes, tends to spoil the book some as it pulls one out of the story). I will admit, mood can also influence what I’ll enjoy reading vs skipping over. Sometimes less is more, sometimes more is pretty good 😉

    Reply
  31. Thanks for adding to the conversation, Donna Ann! We all seem agreed that, as in any element of a story, sex can be a compelling and interesting part of the mix if the author integrates it into the emotional development of the characters.
    An an author, I’m taking notes of all of this!

    Reply
  32. Thanks for adding to the conversation, Donna Ann! We all seem agreed that, as in any element of a story, sex can be a compelling and interesting part of the mix if the author integrates it into the emotional development of the characters.
    An an author, I’m taking notes of all of this!

    Reply
  33. Thanks for adding to the conversation, Donna Ann! We all seem agreed that, as in any element of a story, sex can be a compelling and interesting part of the mix if the author integrates it into the emotional development of the characters.
    An an author, I’m taking notes of all of this!

    Reply
  34. Thanks for adding to the conversation, Donna Ann! We all seem agreed that, as in any element of a story, sex can be a compelling and interesting part of the mix if the author integrates it into the emotional development of the characters.
    An an author, I’m taking notes of all of this!

    Reply
  35. Thanks for adding to the conversation, Donna Ann! We all seem agreed that, as in any element of a story, sex can be a compelling and interesting part of the mix if the author integrates it into the emotional development of the characters.
    An an author, I’m taking notes of all of this!

    Reply
  36. I’m a big fan of Daisy, Maisie, and St. Cyr, Cara. I look forward to adding your historical mysteries to my TBR shelves.
    As for sex in romance novels, I am weary of books that substitute sex scenes for character development (too many), but my list of autobuy authors includes everything from sweet to sizzling. If Carla Kelly writes only “handshake-and-kiss books,” I’ll still love her novels, and Julie Anne Long’s What I Did for a Duke heads my best-of-2011 list. All depends upon the author’s skill.

    Reply
  37. I’m a big fan of Daisy, Maisie, and St. Cyr, Cara. I look forward to adding your historical mysteries to my TBR shelves.
    As for sex in romance novels, I am weary of books that substitute sex scenes for character development (too many), but my list of autobuy authors includes everything from sweet to sizzling. If Carla Kelly writes only “handshake-and-kiss books,” I’ll still love her novels, and Julie Anne Long’s What I Did for a Duke heads my best-of-2011 list. All depends upon the author’s skill.

    Reply
  38. I’m a big fan of Daisy, Maisie, and St. Cyr, Cara. I look forward to adding your historical mysteries to my TBR shelves.
    As for sex in romance novels, I am weary of books that substitute sex scenes for character development (too many), but my list of autobuy authors includes everything from sweet to sizzling. If Carla Kelly writes only “handshake-and-kiss books,” I’ll still love her novels, and Julie Anne Long’s What I Did for a Duke heads my best-of-2011 list. All depends upon the author’s skill.

    Reply
  39. I’m a big fan of Daisy, Maisie, and St. Cyr, Cara. I look forward to adding your historical mysteries to my TBR shelves.
    As for sex in romance novels, I am weary of books that substitute sex scenes for character development (too many), but my list of autobuy authors includes everything from sweet to sizzling. If Carla Kelly writes only “handshake-and-kiss books,” I’ll still love her novels, and Julie Anne Long’s What I Did for a Duke heads my best-of-2011 list. All depends upon the author’s skill.

    Reply
  40. I’m a big fan of Daisy, Maisie, and St. Cyr, Cara. I look forward to adding your historical mysteries to my TBR shelves.
    As for sex in romance novels, I am weary of books that substitute sex scenes for character development (too many), but my list of autobuy authors includes everything from sweet to sizzling. If Carla Kelly writes only “handshake-and-kiss books,” I’ll still love her novels, and Julie Anne Long’s What I Did for a Duke heads my best-of-2011 list. All depends upon the author’s skill.

    Reply
  41. I love historical mysteries (no more Brother Cadfael, sniff), and if I can get a mystery set in the Regency, so much the better. I liked Stephanie Barrons’s Jane Austen mysteries very much.
    What I really like in a book is story, lots of story. I like romances with some sex, but like others here, I’m sick to death of all the explicit sex.
    I think mainstream romance is turning into erotica, and I don’t like it. If readers want all that sex, let them go to erotica. I also think this eroticization of mainstream has fueled the growth of YA and inspirationals. While I want less sex, I don’t care to have teenagers and religion in my romances. I want adult romances, and sex is part of romance, but not the only part.
    I’ve stopped reading authors I’ve adored for years because their books now contain too much explicit sex. I’ve heard people say women buy the books because of the sex. Not necessarily. Yes, sex sells, but a book is a package deal. Not everyone is like me–others will continue to buy their favorite authors’ books and skip the sex scenes. And we have a circle–people will continue to believe women buy the books only for the sex and the readers who don’t like the sex skip it and nothing changes. Which leaves readers like me out in the cold.

    Reply
  42. I love historical mysteries (no more Brother Cadfael, sniff), and if I can get a mystery set in the Regency, so much the better. I liked Stephanie Barrons’s Jane Austen mysteries very much.
    What I really like in a book is story, lots of story. I like romances with some sex, but like others here, I’m sick to death of all the explicit sex.
    I think mainstream romance is turning into erotica, and I don’t like it. If readers want all that sex, let them go to erotica. I also think this eroticization of mainstream has fueled the growth of YA and inspirationals. While I want less sex, I don’t care to have teenagers and religion in my romances. I want adult romances, and sex is part of romance, but not the only part.
    I’ve stopped reading authors I’ve adored for years because their books now contain too much explicit sex. I’ve heard people say women buy the books because of the sex. Not necessarily. Yes, sex sells, but a book is a package deal. Not everyone is like me–others will continue to buy their favorite authors’ books and skip the sex scenes. And we have a circle–people will continue to believe women buy the books only for the sex and the readers who don’t like the sex skip it and nothing changes. Which leaves readers like me out in the cold.

    Reply
  43. I love historical mysteries (no more Brother Cadfael, sniff), and if I can get a mystery set in the Regency, so much the better. I liked Stephanie Barrons’s Jane Austen mysteries very much.
    What I really like in a book is story, lots of story. I like romances with some sex, but like others here, I’m sick to death of all the explicit sex.
    I think mainstream romance is turning into erotica, and I don’t like it. If readers want all that sex, let them go to erotica. I also think this eroticization of mainstream has fueled the growth of YA and inspirationals. While I want less sex, I don’t care to have teenagers and religion in my romances. I want adult romances, and sex is part of romance, but not the only part.
    I’ve stopped reading authors I’ve adored for years because their books now contain too much explicit sex. I’ve heard people say women buy the books because of the sex. Not necessarily. Yes, sex sells, but a book is a package deal. Not everyone is like me–others will continue to buy their favorite authors’ books and skip the sex scenes. And we have a circle–people will continue to believe women buy the books only for the sex and the readers who don’t like the sex skip it and nothing changes. Which leaves readers like me out in the cold.

    Reply
  44. I love historical mysteries (no more Brother Cadfael, sniff), and if I can get a mystery set in the Regency, so much the better. I liked Stephanie Barrons’s Jane Austen mysteries very much.
    What I really like in a book is story, lots of story. I like romances with some sex, but like others here, I’m sick to death of all the explicit sex.
    I think mainstream romance is turning into erotica, and I don’t like it. If readers want all that sex, let them go to erotica. I also think this eroticization of mainstream has fueled the growth of YA and inspirationals. While I want less sex, I don’t care to have teenagers and religion in my romances. I want adult romances, and sex is part of romance, but not the only part.
    I’ve stopped reading authors I’ve adored for years because their books now contain too much explicit sex. I’ve heard people say women buy the books because of the sex. Not necessarily. Yes, sex sells, but a book is a package deal. Not everyone is like me–others will continue to buy their favorite authors’ books and skip the sex scenes. And we have a circle–people will continue to believe women buy the books only for the sex and the readers who don’t like the sex skip it and nothing changes. Which leaves readers like me out in the cold.

    Reply
  45. I love historical mysteries (no more Brother Cadfael, sniff), and if I can get a mystery set in the Regency, so much the better. I liked Stephanie Barrons’s Jane Austen mysteries very much.
    What I really like in a book is story, lots of story. I like romances with some sex, but like others here, I’m sick to death of all the explicit sex.
    I think mainstream romance is turning into erotica, and I don’t like it. If readers want all that sex, let them go to erotica. I also think this eroticization of mainstream has fueled the growth of YA and inspirationals. While I want less sex, I don’t care to have teenagers and religion in my romances. I want adult romances, and sex is part of romance, but not the only part.
    I’ve stopped reading authors I’ve adored for years because their books now contain too much explicit sex. I’ve heard people say women buy the books because of the sex. Not necessarily. Yes, sex sells, but a book is a package deal. Not everyone is like me–others will continue to buy their favorite authors’ books and skip the sex scenes. And we have a circle–people will continue to believe women buy the books only for the sex and the readers who don’t like the sex skip it and nothing changes. Which leaves readers like me out in the cold.

    Reply
  46. Linda, I understand your frustration. It does feel like readers have less variety to choose from. Part of the reason is that publishers are following trends—think of the huge explosion of paranormals. The rise of e-book offerings may help provide a wider range of stories.
    I love the Stephanie Barron series too. I’m also a big fan of Lauren Willthe ig’s Pink Carnation books, Moving into Victorian era, I also love Tasha Alexander and Deanna Raybourn. IMO, all three have a wonderful balance of mystery and romance.

    Reply
  47. Linda, I understand your frustration. It does feel like readers have less variety to choose from. Part of the reason is that publishers are following trends—think of the huge explosion of paranormals. The rise of e-book offerings may help provide a wider range of stories.
    I love the Stephanie Barron series too. I’m also a big fan of Lauren Willthe ig’s Pink Carnation books, Moving into Victorian era, I also love Tasha Alexander and Deanna Raybourn. IMO, all three have a wonderful balance of mystery and romance.

    Reply
  48. Linda, I understand your frustration. It does feel like readers have less variety to choose from. Part of the reason is that publishers are following trends—think of the huge explosion of paranormals. The rise of e-book offerings may help provide a wider range of stories.
    I love the Stephanie Barron series too. I’m also a big fan of Lauren Willthe ig’s Pink Carnation books, Moving into Victorian era, I also love Tasha Alexander and Deanna Raybourn. IMO, all three have a wonderful balance of mystery and romance.

    Reply
  49. Linda, I understand your frustration. It does feel like readers have less variety to choose from. Part of the reason is that publishers are following trends—think of the huge explosion of paranormals. The rise of e-book offerings may help provide a wider range of stories.
    I love the Stephanie Barron series too. I’m also a big fan of Lauren Willthe ig’s Pink Carnation books, Moving into Victorian era, I also love Tasha Alexander and Deanna Raybourn. IMO, all three have a wonderful balance of mystery and romance.

    Reply
  50. Linda, I understand your frustration. It does feel like readers have less variety to choose from. Part of the reason is that publishers are following trends—think of the huge explosion of paranormals. The rise of e-book offerings may help provide a wider range of stories.
    I love the Stephanie Barron series too. I’m also a big fan of Lauren Willthe ig’s Pink Carnation books, Moving into Victorian era, I also love Tasha Alexander and Deanna Raybourn. IMO, all three have a wonderful balance of mystery and romance.

    Reply
  51. I was a mystery reader long before I was a romance reader, and so I’m always happy to hear of a new entrant to the genre. and will look for Cara/Andrea’s new book. Unfortunately, I have to disagree slightly with Cara’s (or should I say Andrea Penrose’s) statement that “mystery tropes revolve around the notion of justice — that in the end, the villain gets his just desserts.” There are any number of gritty modern mysteries where the villain gets away with it. What we are guaranteed, however, is that we know who did it and why, that is, the mystery itself is solved even if justice is not served.
    As for sex scenes, I have the always unhelpful answer of “it depends”. Does the scene tell us something about the characters as individuals and about how they relate to each other? Does it tell us what we need to know and then stop, or does it go on and on (and on) with more variations on Tab A into Slot B than I care to know? Agree with Janga about Maisie and St Cyr. It is telling that Winspear has no sex scenes (at least so far in the series as I’ve read), but Harris does. One reason I like each of these series is that the level of tension, sexual or otherwise, is just right for those books.
    And last (sigh of relief here), Linda has a good point about the circularity, not just for sex scenes but for our other favorite topic, covers. I may dislike Regency clinch covers where the clothing is falling off and the men’s hair is down past their shoulders (not to mention blowing in the wind). But if I like that particular author and want that particular book, I grin and buy it. The message the publisher takes away is that clinch covers sell. The message I’m sending is that I buy it despite the cover, not because of it. Definitely a disconnect there.

    Reply
  52. I was a mystery reader long before I was a romance reader, and so I’m always happy to hear of a new entrant to the genre. and will look for Cara/Andrea’s new book. Unfortunately, I have to disagree slightly with Cara’s (or should I say Andrea Penrose’s) statement that “mystery tropes revolve around the notion of justice — that in the end, the villain gets his just desserts.” There are any number of gritty modern mysteries where the villain gets away with it. What we are guaranteed, however, is that we know who did it and why, that is, the mystery itself is solved even if justice is not served.
    As for sex scenes, I have the always unhelpful answer of “it depends”. Does the scene tell us something about the characters as individuals and about how they relate to each other? Does it tell us what we need to know and then stop, or does it go on and on (and on) with more variations on Tab A into Slot B than I care to know? Agree with Janga about Maisie and St Cyr. It is telling that Winspear has no sex scenes (at least so far in the series as I’ve read), but Harris does. One reason I like each of these series is that the level of tension, sexual or otherwise, is just right for those books.
    And last (sigh of relief here), Linda has a good point about the circularity, not just for sex scenes but for our other favorite topic, covers. I may dislike Regency clinch covers where the clothing is falling off and the men’s hair is down past their shoulders (not to mention blowing in the wind). But if I like that particular author and want that particular book, I grin and buy it. The message the publisher takes away is that clinch covers sell. The message I’m sending is that I buy it despite the cover, not because of it. Definitely a disconnect there.

    Reply
  53. I was a mystery reader long before I was a romance reader, and so I’m always happy to hear of a new entrant to the genre. and will look for Cara/Andrea’s new book. Unfortunately, I have to disagree slightly with Cara’s (or should I say Andrea Penrose’s) statement that “mystery tropes revolve around the notion of justice — that in the end, the villain gets his just desserts.” There are any number of gritty modern mysteries where the villain gets away with it. What we are guaranteed, however, is that we know who did it and why, that is, the mystery itself is solved even if justice is not served.
    As for sex scenes, I have the always unhelpful answer of “it depends”. Does the scene tell us something about the characters as individuals and about how they relate to each other? Does it tell us what we need to know and then stop, or does it go on and on (and on) with more variations on Tab A into Slot B than I care to know? Agree with Janga about Maisie and St Cyr. It is telling that Winspear has no sex scenes (at least so far in the series as I’ve read), but Harris does. One reason I like each of these series is that the level of tension, sexual or otherwise, is just right for those books.
    And last (sigh of relief here), Linda has a good point about the circularity, not just for sex scenes but for our other favorite topic, covers. I may dislike Regency clinch covers where the clothing is falling off and the men’s hair is down past their shoulders (not to mention blowing in the wind). But if I like that particular author and want that particular book, I grin and buy it. The message the publisher takes away is that clinch covers sell. The message I’m sending is that I buy it despite the cover, not because of it. Definitely a disconnect there.

    Reply
  54. I was a mystery reader long before I was a romance reader, and so I’m always happy to hear of a new entrant to the genre. and will look for Cara/Andrea’s new book. Unfortunately, I have to disagree slightly with Cara’s (or should I say Andrea Penrose’s) statement that “mystery tropes revolve around the notion of justice — that in the end, the villain gets his just desserts.” There are any number of gritty modern mysteries where the villain gets away with it. What we are guaranteed, however, is that we know who did it and why, that is, the mystery itself is solved even if justice is not served.
    As for sex scenes, I have the always unhelpful answer of “it depends”. Does the scene tell us something about the characters as individuals and about how they relate to each other? Does it tell us what we need to know and then stop, or does it go on and on (and on) with more variations on Tab A into Slot B than I care to know? Agree with Janga about Maisie and St Cyr. It is telling that Winspear has no sex scenes (at least so far in the series as I’ve read), but Harris does. One reason I like each of these series is that the level of tension, sexual or otherwise, is just right for those books.
    And last (sigh of relief here), Linda has a good point about the circularity, not just for sex scenes but for our other favorite topic, covers. I may dislike Regency clinch covers where the clothing is falling off and the men’s hair is down past their shoulders (not to mention blowing in the wind). But if I like that particular author and want that particular book, I grin and buy it. The message the publisher takes away is that clinch covers sell. The message I’m sending is that I buy it despite the cover, not because of it. Definitely a disconnect there.

    Reply
  55. I was a mystery reader long before I was a romance reader, and so I’m always happy to hear of a new entrant to the genre. and will look for Cara/Andrea’s new book. Unfortunately, I have to disagree slightly with Cara’s (or should I say Andrea Penrose’s) statement that “mystery tropes revolve around the notion of justice — that in the end, the villain gets his just desserts.” There are any number of gritty modern mysteries where the villain gets away with it. What we are guaranteed, however, is that we know who did it and why, that is, the mystery itself is solved even if justice is not served.
    As for sex scenes, I have the always unhelpful answer of “it depends”. Does the scene tell us something about the characters as individuals and about how they relate to each other? Does it tell us what we need to know and then stop, or does it go on and on (and on) with more variations on Tab A into Slot B than I care to know? Agree with Janga about Maisie and St Cyr. It is telling that Winspear has no sex scenes (at least so far in the series as I’ve read), but Harris does. One reason I like each of these series is that the level of tension, sexual or otherwise, is just right for those books.
    And last (sigh of relief here), Linda has a good point about the circularity, not just for sex scenes but for our other favorite topic, covers. I may dislike Regency clinch covers where the clothing is falling off and the men’s hair is down past their shoulders (not to mention blowing in the wind). But if I like that particular author and want that particular book, I grin and buy it. The message the publisher takes away is that clinch covers sell. The message I’m sending is that I buy it despite the cover, not because of it. Definitely a disconnect there.

    Reply
  56. All very, very good points, Susan DC.
    In answer to your statement about “justice,”I think we are both right—many modern stories are what I referred to as ambiguous, and what I meant was, the ending is not the equivalent of the HEA we see in romance. However, I do hold that the reason we invest ourselves in a mystery is because at heart we do care about justice being done.It’s realistic that it doesn’t always work out that way, but IMO, unless one cares about the outcome, it’s hard to imagine the book having any resonance. I want a mystery author to make me root for the protagonist.
    Your comparison of Maisie and St. Cyr is a very good one—both really do feel right for the stories being told.
    And lastly, as for covers and trends, yes, it’s definitely a disconnect. Maybe social media like Facebook, etc. could develop some way for readers to really voice their opinions to publishers. Not sure how much effect it would have, but at least it would spark an interesting exchange of ideas in a public forum.

    Reply
  57. All very, very good points, Susan DC.
    In answer to your statement about “justice,”I think we are both right—many modern stories are what I referred to as ambiguous, and what I meant was, the ending is not the equivalent of the HEA we see in romance. However, I do hold that the reason we invest ourselves in a mystery is because at heart we do care about justice being done.It’s realistic that it doesn’t always work out that way, but IMO, unless one cares about the outcome, it’s hard to imagine the book having any resonance. I want a mystery author to make me root for the protagonist.
    Your comparison of Maisie and St. Cyr is a very good one—both really do feel right for the stories being told.
    And lastly, as for covers and trends, yes, it’s definitely a disconnect. Maybe social media like Facebook, etc. could develop some way for readers to really voice their opinions to publishers. Not sure how much effect it would have, but at least it would spark an interesting exchange of ideas in a public forum.

    Reply
  58. All very, very good points, Susan DC.
    In answer to your statement about “justice,”I think we are both right—many modern stories are what I referred to as ambiguous, and what I meant was, the ending is not the equivalent of the HEA we see in romance. However, I do hold that the reason we invest ourselves in a mystery is because at heart we do care about justice being done.It’s realistic that it doesn’t always work out that way, but IMO, unless one cares about the outcome, it’s hard to imagine the book having any resonance. I want a mystery author to make me root for the protagonist.
    Your comparison of Maisie and St. Cyr is a very good one—both really do feel right for the stories being told.
    And lastly, as for covers and trends, yes, it’s definitely a disconnect. Maybe social media like Facebook, etc. could develop some way for readers to really voice their opinions to publishers. Not sure how much effect it would have, but at least it would spark an interesting exchange of ideas in a public forum.

    Reply
  59. All very, very good points, Susan DC.
    In answer to your statement about “justice,”I think we are both right—many modern stories are what I referred to as ambiguous, and what I meant was, the ending is not the equivalent of the HEA we see in romance. However, I do hold that the reason we invest ourselves in a mystery is because at heart we do care about justice being done.It’s realistic that it doesn’t always work out that way, but IMO, unless one cares about the outcome, it’s hard to imagine the book having any resonance. I want a mystery author to make me root for the protagonist.
    Your comparison of Maisie and St. Cyr is a very good one—both really do feel right for the stories being told.
    And lastly, as for covers and trends, yes, it’s definitely a disconnect. Maybe social media like Facebook, etc. could develop some way for readers to really voice their opinions to publishers. Not sure how much effect it would have, but at least it would spark an interesting exchange of ideas in a public forum.

    Reply
  60. All very, very good points, Susan DC.
    In answer to your statement about “justice,”I think we are both right—many modern stories are what I referred to as ambiguous, and what I meant was, the ending is not the equivalent of the HEA we see in romance. However, I do hold that the reason we invest ourselves in a mystery is because at heart we do care about justice being done.It’s realistic that it doesn’t always work out that way, but IMO, unless one cares about the outcome, it’s hard to imagine the book having any resonance. I want a mystery author to make me root for the protagonist.
    Your comparison of Maisie and St. Cyr is a very good one—both really do feel right for the stories being told.
    And lastly, as for covers and trends, yes, it’s definitely a disconnect. Maybe social media like Facebook, etc. could develop some way for readers to really voice their opinions to publishers. Not sure how much effect it would have, but at least it would spark an interesting exchange of ideas in a public forum.

    Reply
  61. I have been a romance reader but have just recently started reading the historical mysteries and the older regencies. Deanna Raybourn started me off with the mysteries and now I can’t resist, especially with the combo of history, mystery, and romance. I look forward to “Andrea’s” book.
    I am with the consensus…as long as the story and the characters are there, whatever moves them along whether it is behind closed doors or more explicitly described is fine with me.

    Reply
  62. I have been a romance reader but have just recently started reading the historical mysteries and the older regencies. Deanna Raybourn started me off with the mysteries and now I can’t resist, especially with the combo of history, mystery, and romance. I look forward to “Andrea’s” book.
    I am with the consensus…as long as the story and the characters are there, whatever moves them along whether it is behind closed doors or more explicitly described is fine with me.

    Reply
  63. I have been a romance reader but have just recently started reading the historical mysteries and the older regencies. Deanna Raybourn started me off with the mysteries and now I can’t resist, especially with the combo of history, mystery, and romance. I look forward to “Andrea’s” book.
    I am with the consensus…as long as the story and the characters are there, whatever moves them along whether it is behind closed doors or more explicitly described is fine with me.

    Reply
  64. I have been a romance reader but have just recently started reading the historical mysteries and the older regencies. Deanna Raybourn started me off with the mysteries and now I can’t resist, especially with the combo of history, mystery, and romance. I look forward to “Andrea’s” book.
    I am with the consensus…as long as the story and the characters are there, whatever moves them along whether it is behind closed doors or more explicitly described is fine with me.

    Reply
  65. I have been a romance reader but have just recently started reading the historical mysteries and the older regencies. Deanna Raybourn started me off with the mysteries and now I can’t resist, especially with the combo of history, mystery, and romance. I look forward to “Andrea’s” book.
    I am with the consensus…as long as the story and the characters are there, whatever moves them along whether it is behind closed doors or more explicitly described is fine with me.

    Reply
  66. Yay, Cara! I am very excited about your Regency set mysteries! Actually I read historical mysteries when I am deep into writing my own books as it gives me a different perspective and I’m not concentrating on the romance part of the read as much. Don’t get me wrong, I love a little romance in a mystery, but as the romance usually builds over several novels it is a different sort of read.
    I am a big fan of the St. Cyr series, Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander and Lauren Willig’s books as well.
    And two of my favorite guilty pleasures are medieval mysteries – one by Mel Starr, a fourteenth century mystery series in which the local surgeon and bailiff to the local baron goes about solving mysteries and looking for a wife on the side. Absolutely wonderful series!
    The other is a 14th century series about a down on his luck knight turned detective in medieval London. Serpent in the Thorns is the first book and it is by Jeri Westerson. Sort of like a medieval Sam Spade, well written and great fun!
    Sex scenes, as with all things, when they are well-written, integrated smoothly into the plot and show something about the characters and the relationship I am all for them – explicit or not.

    Reply
  67. Yay, Cara! I am very excited about your Regency set mysteries! Actually I read historical mysteries when I am deep into writing my own books as it gives me a different perspective and I’m not concentrating on the romance part of the read as much. Don’t get me wrong, I love a little romance in a mystery, but as the romance usually builds over several novels it is a different sort of read.
    I am a big fan of the St. Cyr series, Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander and Lauren Willig’s books as well.
    And two of my favorite guilty pleasures are medieval mysteries – one by Mel Starr, a fourteenth century mystery series in which the local surgeon and bailiff to the local baron goes about solving mysteries and looking for a wife on the side. Absolutely wonderful series!
    The other is a 14th century series about a down on his luck knight turned detective in medieval London. Serpent in the Thorns is the first book and it is by Jeri Westerson. Sort of like a medieval Sam Spade, well written and great fun!
    Sex scenes, as with all things, when they are well-written, integrated smoothly into the plot and show something about the characters and the relationship I am all for them – explicit or not.

    Reply
  68. Yay, Cara! I am very excited about your Regency set mysteries! Actually I read historical mysteries when I am deep into writing my own books as it gives me a different perspective and I’m not concentrating on the romance part of the read as much. Don’t get me wrong, I love a little romance in a mystery, but as the romance usually builds over several novels it is a different sort of read.
    I am a big fan of the St. Cyr series, Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander and Lauren Willig’s books as well.
    And two of my favorite guilty pleasures are medieval mysteries – one by Mel Starr, a fourteenth century mystery series in which the local surgeon and bailiff to the local baron goes about solving mysteries and looking for a wife on the side. Absolutely wonderful series!
    The other is a 14th century series about a down on his luck knight turned detective in medieval London. Serpent in the Thorns is the first book and it is by Jeri Westerson. Sort of like a medieval Sam Spade, well written and great fun!
    Sex scenes, as with all things, when they are well-written, integrated smoothly into the plot and show something about the characters and the relationship I am all for them – explicit or not.

    Reply
  69. Yay, Cara! I am very excited about your Regency set mysteries! Actually I read historical mysteries when I am deep into writing my own books as it gives me a different perspective and I’m not concentrating on the romance part of the read as much. Don’t get me wrong, I love a little romance in a mystery, but as the romance usually builds over several novels it is a different sort of read.
    I am a big fan of the St. Cyr series, Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander and Lauren Willig’s books as well.
    And two of my favorite guilty pleasures are medieval mysteries – one by Mel Starr, a fourteenth century mystery series in which the local surgeon and bailiff to the local baron goes about solving mysteries and looking for a wife on the side. Absolutely wonderful series!
    The other is a 14th century series about a down on his luck knight turned detective in medieval London. Serpent in the Thorns is the first book and it is by Jeri Westerson. Sort of like a medieval Sam Spade, well written and great fun!
    Sex scenes, as with all things, when they are well-written, integrated smoothly into the plot and show something about the characters and the relationship I am all for them – explicit or not.

    Reply
  70. Yay, Cara! I am very excited about your Regency set mysteries! Actually I read historical mysteries when I am deep into writing my own books as it gives me a different perspective and I’m not concentrating on the romance part of the read as much. Don’t get me wrong, I love a little romance in a mystery, but as the romance usually builds over several novels it is a different sort of read.
    I am a big fan of the St. Cyr series, Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander and Lauren Willig’s books as well.
    And two of my favorite guilty pleasures are medieval mysteries – one by Mel Starr, a fourteenth century mystery series in which the local surgeon and bailiff to the local baron goes about solving mysteries and looking for a wife on the side. Absolutely wonderful series!
    The other is a 14th century series about a down on his luck knight turned detective in medieval London. Serpent in the Thorns is the first book and it is by Jeri Westerson. Sort of like a medieval Sam Spade, well written and great fun!
    Sex scenes, as with all things, when they are well-written, integrated smoothly into the plot and show something about the characters and the relationship I am all for them – explicit or not.

    Reply
  71. I’m also a fan of Daisy, Maisie, and also Midnight Louie.
    I also enjoy Historicals and romantic suspense.
    Sex… I tend to skip past most of them. I’d rather read the leading up to and then leave the rest to imagination, which can be much greater than the written word.
    I think the most delightful wedding consumation I’ve read is by Amanda Quick in “Desire”

    Reply
  72. I’m also a fan of Daisy, Maisie, and also Midnight Louie.
    I also enjoy Historicals and romantic suspense.
    Sex… I tend to skip past most of them. I’d rather read the leading up to and then leave the rest to imagination, which can be much greater than the written word.
    I think the most delightful wedding consumation I’ve read is by Amanda Quick in “Desire”

    Reply
  73. I’m also a fan of Daisy, Maisie, and also Midnight Louie.
    I also enjoy Historicals and romantic suspense.
    Sex… I tend to skip past most of them. I’d rather read the leading up to and then leave the rest to imagination, which can be much greater than the written word.
    I think the most delightful wedding consumation I’ve read is by Amanda Quick in “Desire”

    Reply
  74. I’m also a fan of Daisy, Maisie, and also Midnight Louie.
    I also enjoy Historicals and romantic suspense.
    Sex… I tend to skip past most of them. I’d rather read the leading up to and then leave the rest to imagination, which can be much greater than the written word.
    I think the most delightful wedding consumation I’ve read is by Amanda Quick in “Desire”

    Reply
  75. I’m also a fan of Daisy, Maisie, and also Midnight Louie.
    I also enjoy Historicals and romantic suspense.
    Sex… I tend to skip past most of them. I’d rather read the leading up to and then leave the rest to imagination, which can be much greater than the written word.
    I think the most delightful wedding consumation I’ve read is by Amanda Quick in “Desire”

    Reply
  76. Thanks so much for the medieval recommendations, Louisa. I’m a huge fan of historical mystery (like you, I tend to read it when I’m deep into a romance WIP, as it helps clear my brain . . .but now I need to read other genres when I’m doing mysteries, LOL) So I’m always looking for a new series to try. These sound wonderful.

    Reply
  77. Thanks so much for the medieval recommendations, Louisa. I’m a huge fan of historical mystery (like you, I tend to read it when I’m deep into a romance WIP, as it helps clear my brain . . .but now I need to read other genres when I’m doing mysteries, LOL) So I’m always looking for a new series to try. These sound wonderful.

    Reply
  78. Thanks so much for the medieval recommendations, Louisa. I’m a huge fan of historical mystery (like you, I tend to read it when I’m deep into a romance WIP, as it helps clear my brain . . .but now I need to read other genres when I’m doing mysteries, LOL) So I’m always looking for a new series to try. These sound wonderful.

    Reply
  79. Thanks so much for the medieval recommendations, Louisa. I’m a huge fan of historical mystery (like you, I tend to read it when I’m deep into a romance WIP, as it helps clear my brain . . .but now I need to read other genres when I’m doing mysteries, LOL) So I’m always looking for a new series to try. These sound wonderful.

    Reply
  80. Thanks so much for the medieval recommendations, Louisa. I’m a huge fan of historical mystery (like you, I tend to read it when I’m deep into a romance WIP, as it helps clear my brain . . .but now I need to read other genres when I’m doing mysteries, LOL) So I’m always looking for a new series to try. These sound wonderful.

    Reply
  81. Trying a new genre is always fun and interesting. Although historical fiction-romance or mystery-are my prefered genres, I also enjoy fantasy and sci-fi. For a nice mix of historical with fantasy Guy Gavriel Kay cannot be touched. His book Tigana is a wonderful mix of the two.
    As to the sex in books, I also would have to say it depends on if it moves the story along or not. Just as in life, sex alone is not enough, without meaning it is empty.

    Reply
  82. Trying a new genre is always fun and interesting. Although historical fiction-romance or mystery-are my prefered genres, I also enjoy fantasy and sci-fi. For a nice mix of historical with fantasy Guy Gavriel Kay cannot be touched. His book Tigana is a wonderful mix of the two.
    As to the sex in books, I also would have to say it depends on if it moves the story along or not. Just as in life, sex alone is not enough, without meaning it is empty.

    Reply
  83. Trying a new genre is always fun and interesting. Although historical fiction-romance or mystery-are my prefered genres, I also enjoy fantasy and sci-fi. For a nice mix of historical with fantasy Guy Gavriel Kay cannot be touched. His book Tigana is a wonderful mix of the two.
    As to the sex in books, I also would have to say it depends on if it moves the story along or not. Just as in life, sex alone is not enough, without meaning it is empty.

    Reply
  84. Trying a new genre is always fun and interesting. Although historical fiction-romance or mystery-are my prefered genres, I also enjoy fantasy and sci-fi. For a nice mix of historical with fantasy Guy Gavriel Kay cannot be touched. His book Tigana is a wonderful mix of the two.
    As to the sex in books, I also would have to say it depends on if it moves the story along or not. Just as in life, sex alone is not enough, without meaning it is empty.

    Reply
  85. Trying a new genre is always fun and interesting. Although historical fiction-romance or mystery-are my prefered genres, I also enjoy fantasy and sci-fi. For a nice mix of historical with fantasy Guy Gavriel Kay cannot be touched. His book Tigana is a wonderful mix of the two.
    As to the sex in books, I also would have to say it depends on if it moves the story along or not. Just as in life, sex alone is not enough, without meaning it is empty.

    Reply
  86. Cara, congratulations with writing in a new genre! I thought the excerpt was wonderful and look forward to reading Sweet Revenge!
    I do not, never have, liked explicit sex in the books I read. I don’t mind hero/heroine showing their physical attraction and chemistry, but I really don’t want to read THAT much about it.

    Reply
  87. Cara, congratulations with writing in a new genre! I thought the excerpt was wonderful and look forward to reading Sweet Revenge!
    I do not, never have, liked explicit sex in the books I read. I don’t mind hero/heroine showing their physical attraction and chemistry, but I really don’t want to read THAT much about it.

    Reply
  88. Cara, congratulations with writing in a new genre! I thought the excerpt was wonderful and look forward to reading Sweet Revenge!
    I do not, never have, liked explicit sex in the books I read. I don’t mind hero/heroine showing their physical attraction and chemistry, but I really don’t want to read THAT much about it.

    Reply
  89. Cara, congratulations with writing in a new genre! I thought the excerpt was wonderful and look forward to reading Sweet Revenge!
    I do not, never have, liked explicit sex in the books I read. I don’t mind hero/heroine showing their physical attraction and chemistry, but I really don’t want to read THAT much about it.

    Reply
  90. Cara, congratulations with writing in a new genre! I thought the excerpt was wonderful and look forward to reading Sweet Revenge!
    I do not, never have, liked explicit sex in the books I read. I don’t mind hero/heroine showing their physical attraction and chemistry, but I really don’t want to read THAT much about it.

    Reply
  91. Does anybody else ever get grossed out by some sex scenes in some novels — particular acts, or particular circumstances, or particular partners? Sometimes it seems to me that some scenes are so cold, so clinically described that all the human warmth is leached out of them; the romance is certainly gone.
    I am thinking of a book I started not long ago in which the hero is in a curtained alcove at a fancy ton ball being given a blow job by his mistress, when he spies heroine for the first time across the crowded ballroom.
    On page one, yet.
    Not a very romantic beginning, I think, if the writer wants me to like the hero. I’ve read several regencies which open with the hero in a conversation with his mistress, usually after sex, and I’m used to that. But a BJ in a ballroom? It strains my credulity to think that might go on without being noticed — let alone that this pig might ever form a true and lasting love for the heroine, or anybody else; clearly he’s much too selfish and selfcentered for that.
    But that’s what Suzanne Enoch in Sin & Sensibility obviously intended me to believe. That annoyed me so much that I never finished the book, nor the three sequels; they all went to someone on Ebay. Perhaps the buyer will have a high nonsense and nausea tolerance than I do.

    Reply
  92. Does anybody else ever get grossed out by some sex scenes in some novels — particular acts, or particular circumstances, or particular partners? Sometimes it seems to me that some scenes are so cold, so clinically described that all the human warmth is leached out of them; the romance is certainly gone.
    I am thinking of a book I started not long ago in which the hero is in a curtained alcove at a fancy ton ball being given a blow job by his mistress, when he spies heroine for the first time across the crowded ballroom.
    On page one, yet.
    Not a very romantic beginning, I think, if the writer wants me to like the hero. I’ve read several regencies which open with the hero in a conversation with his mistress, usually after sex, and I’m used to that. But a BJ in a ballroom? It strains my credulity to think that might go on without being noticed — let alone that this pig might ever form a true and lasting love for the heroine, or anybody else; clearly he’s much too selfish and selfcentered for that.
    But that’s what Suzanne Enoch in Sin & Sensibility obviously intended me to believe. That annoyed me so much that I never finished the book, nor the three sequels; they all went to someone on Ebay. Perhaps the buyer will have a high nonsense and nausea tolerance than I do.

    Reply
  93. Does anybody else ever get grossed out by some sex scenes in some novels — particular acts, or particular circumstances, or particular partners? Sometimes it seems to me that some scenes are so cold, so clinically described that all the human warmth is leached out of them; the romance is certainly gone.
    I am thinking of a book I started not long ago in which the hero is in a curtained alcove at a fancy ton ball being given a blow job by his mistress, when he spies heroine for the first time across the crowded ballroom.
    On page one, yet.
    Not a very romantic beginning, I think, if the writer wants me to like the hero. I’ve read several regencies which open with the hero in a conversation with his mistress, usually after sex, and I’m used to that. But a BJ in a ballroom? It strains my credulity to think that might go on without being noticed — let alone that this pig might ever form a true and lasting love for the heroine, or anybody else; clearly he’s much too selfish and selfcentered for that.
    But that’s what Suzanne Enoch in Sin & Sensibility obviously intended me to believe. That annoyed me so much that I never finished the book, nor the three sequels; they all went to someone on Ebay. Perhaps the buyer will have a high nonsense and nausea tolerance than I do.

    Reply
  94. Does anybody else ever get grossed out by some sex scenes in some novels — particular acts, or particular circumstances, or particular partners? Sometimes it seems to me that some scenes are so cold, so clinically described that all the human warmth is leached out of them; the romance is certainly gone.
    I am thinking of a book I started not long ago in which the hero is in a curtained alcove at a fancy ton ball being given a blow job by his mistress, when he spies heroine for the first time across the crowded ballroom.
    On page one, yet.
    Not a very romantic beginning, I think, if the writer wants me to like the hero. I’ve read several regencies which open with the hero in a conversation with his mistress, usually after sex, and I’m used to that. But a BJ in a ballroom? It strains my credulity to think that might go on without being noticed — let alone that this pig might ever form a true and lasting love for the heroine, or anybody else; clearly he’s much too selfish and selfcentered for that.
    But that’s what Suzanne Enoch in Sin & Sensibility obviously intended me to believe. That annoyed me so much that I never finished the book, nor the three sequels; they all went to someone on Ebay. Perhaps the buyer will have a high nonsense and nausea tolerance than I do.

    Reply
  95. Does anybody else ever get grossed out by some sex scenes in some novels — particular acts, or particular circumstances, or particular partners? Sometimes it seems to me that some scenes are so cold, so clinically described that all the human warmth is leached out of them; the romance is certainly gone.
    I am thinking of a book I started not long ago in which the hero is in a curtained alcove at a fancy ton ball being given a blow job by his mistress, when he spies heroine for the first time across the crowded ballroom.
    On page one, yet.
    Not a very romantic beginning, I think, if the writer wants me to like the hero. I’ve read several regencies which open with the hero in a conversation with his mistress, usually after sex, and I’m used to that. But a BJ in a ballroom? It strains my credulity to think that might go on without being noticed — let alone that this pig might ever form a true and lasting love for the heroine, or anybody else; clearly he’s much too selfish and selfcentered for that.
    But that’s what Suzanne Enoch in Sin & Sensibility obviously intended me to believe. That annoyed me so much that I never finished the book, nor the three sequels; they all went to someone on Ebay. Perhaps the buyer will have a high nonsense and nausea tolerance than I do.

    Reply
  96. Janice, I certainly understand how the book didn’t work for you. Sometimes authors set a “shocking” scene early in order to really redeem the hero as the book goes on. But as we all know, not every concept works for every reader.

    Reply
  97. Janice, I certainly understand how the book didn’t work for you. Sometimes authors set a “shocking” scene early in order to really redeem the hero as the book goes on. But as we all know, not every concept works for every reader.

    Reply
  98. Janice, I certainly understand how the book didn’t work for you. Sometimes authors set a “shocking” scene early in order to really redeem the hero as the book goes on. But as we all know, not every concept works for every reader.

    Reply
  99. Janice, I certainly understand how the book didn’t work for you. Sometimes authors set a “shocking” scene early in order to really redeem the hero as the book goes on. But as we all know, not every concept works for every reader.

    Reply
  100. Janice, I certainly understand how the book didn’t work for you. Sometimes authors set a “shocking” scene early in order to really redeem the hero as the book goes on. But as we all know, not every concept works for every reader.

    Reply
  101. Congratulations Andrea/Cara! I cannot wait to read this book. I adore historical mysteries, some of my favorites include Rhys Bowen’s Royal series, Anne Perry, Carol K. Carr and Carole Nelson Douglas’ Irene Adler series. You had me at chocolate as well.
    As for sex scenes, it has to have some meaning, the heroine’s first time, the couple making up after a fight, the moment the two of them first say “I love you.” Explicit isn’t always better either. I once read a historical romance where one of the sex scenes went on for 20 pages. I was as tired at the end of it as the couple.

    Reply
  102. Congratulations Andrea/Cara! I cannot wait to read this book. I adore historical mysteries, some of my favorites include Rhys Bowen’s Royal series, Anne Perry, Carol K. Carr and Carole Nelson Douglas’ Irene Adler series. You had me at chocolate as well.
    As for sex scenes, it has to have some meaning, the heroine’s first time, the couple making up after a fight, the moment the two of them first say “I love you.” Explicit isn’t always better either. I once read a historical romance where one of the sex scenes went on for 20 pages. I was as tired at the end of it as the couple.

    Reply
  103. Congratulations Andrea/Cara! I cannot wait to read this book. I adore historical mysteries, some of my favorites include Rhys Bowen’s Royal series, Anne Perry, Carol K. Carr and Carole Nelson Douglas’ Irene Adler series. You had me at chocolate as well.
    As for sex scenes, it has to have some meaning, the heroine’s first time, the couple making up after a fight, the moment the two of them first say “I love you.” Explicit isn’t always better either. I once read a historical romance where one of the sex scenes went on for 20 pages. I was as tired at the end of it as the couple.

    Reply
  104. Congratulations Andrea/Cara! I cannot wait to read this book. I adore historical mysteries, some of my favorites include Rhys Bowen’s Royal series, Anne Perry, Carol K. Carr and Carole Nelson Douglas’ Irene Adler series. You had me at chocolate as well.
    As for sex scenes, it has to have some meaning, the heroine’s first time, the couple making up after a fight, the moment the two of them first say “I love you.” Explicit isn’t always better either. I once read a historical romance where one of the sex scenes went on for 20 pages. I was as tired at the end of it as the couple.

    Reply
  105. Congratulations Andrea/Cara! I cannot wait to read this book. I adore historical mysteries, some of my favorites include Rhys Bowen’s Royal series, Anne Perry, Carol K. Carr and Carole Nelson Douglas’ Irene Adler series. You had me at chocolate as well.
    As for sex scenes, it has to have some meaning, the heroine’s first time, the couple making up after a fight, the moment the two of them first say “I love you.” Explicit isn’t always better either. I once read a historical romance where one of the sex scenes went on for 20 pages. I was as tired at the end of it as the couple.

    Reply
  106. I have loved historical mysteries for ages. Some of my old favorites are Patricia Wentworth and Georgette Heyer. Now, I’m finding some new authors: Anna Dean, Madeleine Robins, Deborah Crombie, Charles Finch, Raybourne, and C.S. Harris. All of them have romance, not sex, but romance, which I find very appealing. I am sick of reading books, which are really pornographic, in their description of the act.
    On another front, since I am looking forward to reading your book but haven’t done so yet, I wonder about the use of chocolate. In her book, Libby’s London Merchant, Carla Kelly has a forward in which she says, “…I–who pride myself on historical accuracy–had not a clue that chocolate candy, as we know and love it, was not developed until 1879.” How do you use chocolate in the new book?
    Looking forward to reading it.

    Reply
  107. I have loved historical mysteries for ages. Some of my old favorites are Patricia Wentworth and Georgette Heyer. Now, I’m finding some new authors: Anna Dean, Madeleine Robins, Deborah Crombie, Charles Finch, Raybourne, and C.S. Harris. All of them have romance, not sex, but romance, which I find very appealing. I am sick of reading books, which are really pornographic, in their description of the act.
    On another front, since I am looking forward to reading your book but haven’t done so yet, I wonder about the use of chocolate. In her book, Libby’s London Merchant, Carla Kelly has a forward in which she says, “…I–who pride myself on historical accuracy–had not a clue that chocolate candy, as we know and love it, was not developed until 1879.” How do you use chocolate in the new book?
    Looking forward to reading it.

    Reply
  108. I have loved historical mysteries for ages. Some of my old favorites are Patricia Wentworth and Georgette Heyer. Now, I’m finding some new authors: Anna Dean, Madeleine Robins, Deborah Crombie, Charles Finch, Raybourne, and C.S. Harris. All of them have romance, not sex, but romance, which I find very appealing. I am sick of reading books, which are really pornographic, in their description of the act.
    On another front, since I am looking forward to reading your book but haven’t done so yet, I wonder about the use of chocolate. In her book, Libby’s London Merchant, Carla Kelly has a forward in which she says, “…I–who pride myself on historical accuracy–had not a clue that chocolate candy, as we know and love it, was not developed until 1879.” How do you use chocolate in the new book?
    Looking forward to reading it.

    Reply
  109. I have loved historical mysteries for ages. Some of my old favorites are Patricia Wentworth and Georgette Heyer. Now, I’m finding some new authors: Anna Dean, Madeleine Robins, Deborah Crombie, Charles Finch, Raybourne, and C.S. Harris. All of them have romance, not sex, but romance, which I find very appealing. I am sick of reading books, which are really pornographic, in their description of the act.
    On another front, since I am looking forward to reading your book but haven’t done so yet, I wonder about the use of chocolate. In her book, Libby’s London Merchant, Carla Kelly has a forward in which she says, “…I–who pride myself on historical accuracy–had not a clue that chocolate candy, as we know and love it, was not developed until 1879.” How do you use chocolate in the new book?
    Looking forward to reading it.

    Reply
  110. I have loved historical mysteries for ages. Some of my old favorites are Patricia Wentworth and Georgette Heyer. Now, I’m finding some new authors: Anna Dean, Madeleine Robins, Deborah Crombie, Charles Finch, Raybourne, and C.S. Harris. All of them have romance, not sex, but romance, which I find very appealing. I am sick of reading books, which are really pornographic, in their description of the act.
    On another front, since I am looking forward to reading your book but haven’t done so yet, I wonder about the use of chocolate. In her book, Libby’s London Merchant, Carla Kelly has a forward in which she says, “…I–who pride myself on historical accuracy–had not a clue that chocolate candy, as we know and love it, was not developed until 1879.” How do you use chocolate in the new book?
    Looking forward to reading it.

    Reply
  111. Diane,my research has shown that chocolate was indeed served in an edible form long before 1879. In fact, a man named Sulpice Debauve opened the first chocolate shop on the left bank in Paris in 1800. By 1804 there were 60 shops throughout France, (BTW, the company still exists today as Debauve & Gallet. Their chocolate is over $100 lb!)
    I’m also a big fan of Heyer’s mysteries and Charles Finch

    Reply
  112. Diane,my research has shown that chocolate was indeed served in an edible form long before 1879. In fact, a man named Sulpice Debauve opened the first chocolate shop on the left bank in Paris in 1800. By 1804 there were 60 shops throughout France, (BTW, the company still exists today as Debauve & Gallet. Their chocolate is over $100 lb!)
    I’m also a big fan of Heyer’s mysteries and Charles Finch

    Reply
  113. Diane,my research has shown that chocolate was indeed served in an edible form long before 1879. In fact, a man named Sulpice Debauve opened the first chocolate shop on the left bank in Paris in 1800. By 1804 there were 60 shops throughout France, (BTW, the company still exists today as Debauve & Gallet. Their chocolate is over $100 lb!)
    I’m also a big fan of Heyer’s mysteries and Charles Finch

    Reply
  114. Diane,my research has shown that chocolate was indeed served in an edible form long before 1879. In fact, a man named Sulpice Debauve opened the first chocolate shop on the left bank in Paris in 1800. By 1804 there were 60 shops throughout France, (BTW, the company still exists today as Debauve & Gallet. Their chocolate is over $100 lb!)
    I’m also a big fan of Heyer’s mysteries and Charles Finch

    Reply
  115. Diane,my research has shown that chocolate was indeed served in an edible form long before 1879. In fact, a man named Sulpice Debauve opened the first chocolate shop on the left bank in Paris in 1800. By 1804 there were 60 shops throughout France, (BTW, the company still exists today as Debauve & Gallet. Their chocolate is over $100 lb!)
    I’m also a big fan of Heyer’s mysteries and Charles Finch

    Reply
  116. Andrea, I think this is so exciting — I can’t wait to read this new version of you!
    As for sex in books, it depends. I confess that mostly I just flip pages until the story resumes, unless, as others have said, it reveals something about the characters, and then I think it’s great. I do think there are more and more stories out there that are all about the sex, and that’s not my cup of tea. I confess, I like a story.
    With Heyer, there are only a couple of couple I wonder about in the bedroom– mainly the convenient marriage stories — Horry and Rule in particular, but also Sherry and Hero.
    My most recent crossover reads have been Susanna Kearsley (who I discovered through wench Nicola) and also I’ve been enjoying Trisha Ashley – not paranormal or anything — just pleasant modern day romance with a few good laughs along the way. Lovely stuff.

    Reply
  117. Andrea, I think this is so exciting — I can’t wait to read this new version of you!
    As for sex in books, it depends. I confess that mostly I just flip pages until the story resumes, unless, as others have said, it reveals something about the characters, and then I think it’s great. I do think there are more and more stories out there that are all about the sex, and that’s not my cup of tea. I confess, I like a story.
    With Heyer, there are only a couple of couple I wonder about in the bedroom– mainly the convenient marriage stories — Horry and Rule in particular, but also Sherry and Hero.
    My most recent crossover reads have been Susanna Kearsley (who I discovered through wench Nicola) and also I’ve been enjoying Trisha Ashley – not paranormal or anything — just pleasant modern day romance with a few good laughs along the way. Lovely stuff.

    Reply
  118. Andrea, I think this is so exciting — I can’t wait to read this new version of you!
    As for sex in books, it depends. I confess that mostly I just flip pages until the story resumes, unless, as others have said, it reveals something about the characters, and then I think it’s great. I do think there are more and more stories out there that are all about the sex, and that’s not my cup of tea. I confess, I like a story.
    With Heyer, there are only a couple of couple I wonder about in the bedroom– mainly the convenient marriage stories — Horry and Rule in particular, but also Sherry and Hero.
    My most recent crossover reads have been Susanna Kearsley (who I discovered through wench Nicola) and also I’ve been enjoying Trisha Ashley – not paranormal or anything — just pleasant modern day romance with a few good laughs along the way. Lovely stuff.

    Reply
  119. Andrea, I think this is so exciting — I can’t wait to read this new version of you!
    As for sex in books, it depends. I confess that mostly I just flip pages until the story resumes, unless, as others have said, it reveals something about the characters, and then I think it’s great. I do think there are more and more stories out there that are all about the sex, and that’s not my cup of tea. I confess, I like a story.
    With Heyer, there are only a couple of couple I wonder about in the bedroom– mainly the convenient marriage stories — Horry and Rule in particular, but also Sherry and Hero.
    My most recent crossover reads have been Susanna Kearsley (who I discovered through wench Nicola) and also I’ve been enjoying Trisha Ashley – not paranormal or anything — just pleasant modern day romance with a few good laughs along the way. Lovely stuff.

    Reply
  120. Andrea, I think this is so exciting — I can’t wait to read this new version of you!
    As for sex in books, it depends. I confess that mostly I just flip pages until the story resumes, unless, as others have said, it reveals something about the characters, and then I think it’s great. I do think there are more and more stories out there that are all about the sex, and that’s not my cup of tea. I confess, I like a story.
    With Heyer, there are only a couple of couple I wonder about in the bedroom– mainly the convenient marriage stories — Horry and Rule in particular, but also Sherry and Hero.
    My most recent crossover reads have been Susanna Kearsley (who I discovered through wench Nicola) and also I’ve been enjoying Trisha Ashley – not paranormal or anything — just pleasant modern day romance with a few good laughs along the way. Lovely stuff.

    Reply
  121. Thanks, Anne!
    Yes, I think there are a number of books out there where sex is the raison d’etre rather than the story—which certainly won’t keep me reading.
    I have Kearsley’s “Winter Sea” on the top of my far-too-tall TBR pile and am really anxious to get to it because I’ve heard such great things.

    Reply
  122. Thanks, Anne!
    Yes, I think there are a number of books out there where sex is the raison d’etre rather than the story—which certainly won’t keep me reading.
    I have Kearsley’s “Winter Sea” on the top of my far-too-tall TBR pile and am really anxious to get to it because I’ve heard such great things.

    Reply
  123. Thanks, Anne!
    Yes, I think there are a number of books out there where sex is the raison d’etre rather than the story—which certainly won’t keep me reading.
    I have Kearsley’s “Winter Sea” on the top of my far-too-tall TBR pile and am really anxious to get to it because I’ve heard such great things.

    Reply
  124. Thanks, Anne!
    Yes, I think there are a number of books out there where sex is the raison d’etre rather than the story—which certainly won’t keep me reading.
    I have Kearsley’s “Winter Sea” on the top of my far-too-tall TBR pile and am really anxious to get to it because I’ve heard such great things.

    Reply
  125. Thanks, Anne!
    Yes, I think there are a number of books out there where sex is the raison d’etre rather than the story—which certainly won’t keep me reading.
    I have Kearsley’s “Winter Sea” on the top of my far-too-tall TBR pile and am really anxious to get to it because I’ve heard such great things.

    Reply
  126. If I recall correctly, it wasn’t that they didn’t have chocolate candy before 1879. Chocolate candies were made and sold in confectionary shops for a long time before that. What they didn’t have was a means of stabilizing the melty chocolate so that it would ‘keep’. They couldn’t ship chocolate coated candy because the coating would melt; therefore Kelly’s itinerate chocolate salesman couldn’t have carried a sample box of chocolates with him. (Doesn’t affect her story, which was brilliant, a true classic of our fave genre) Even now, See’s Candies (which uses less wax and perservative than most) won’t mail certain chocolates to certain climates in summer because they’d melt in transit.
    The recipes I’ve seen for chocolate coated candy before then were for things rolled in powdered cocoa or things with chocolate as a flavoring ingredient. Chocolate dipped stuff was made and sold in the shop, not shipped in from a central — as were most confections.

    Reply
  127. If I recall correctly, it wasn’t that they didn’t have chocolate candy before 1879. Chocolate candies were made and sold in confectionary shops for a long time before that. What they didn’t have was a means of stabilizing the melty chocolate so that it would ‘keep’. They couldn’t ship chocolate coated candy because the coating would melt; therefore Kelly’s itinerate chocolate salesman couldn’t have carried a sample box of chocolates with him. (Doesn’t affect her story, which was brilliant, a true classic of our fave genre) Even now, See’s Candies (which uses less wax and perservative than most) won’t mail certain chocolates to certain climates in summer because they’d melt in transit.
    The recipes I’ve seen for chocolate coated candy before then were for things rolled in powdered cocoa or things with chocolate as a flavoring ingredient. Chocolate dipped stuff was made and sold in the shop, not shipped in from a central — as were most confections.

    Reply
  128. If I recall correctly, it wasn’t that they didn’t have chocolate candy before 1879. Chocolate candies were made and sold in confectionary shops for a long time before that. What they didn’t have was a means of stabilizing the melty chocolate so that it would ‘keep’. They couldn’t ship chocolate coated candy because the coating would melt; therefore Kelly’s itinerate chocolate salesman couldn’t have carried a sample box of chocolates with him. (Doesn’t affect her story, which was brilliant, a true classic of our fave genre) Even now, See’s Candies (which uses less wax and perservative than most) won’t mail certain chocolates to certain climates in summer because they’d melt in transit.
    The recipes I’ve seen for chocolate coated candy before then were for things rolled in powdered cocoa or things with chocolate as a flavoring ingredient. Chocolate dipped stuff was made and sold in the shop, not shipped in from a central — as were most confections.

    Reply
  129. If I recall correctly, it wasn’t that they didn’t have chocolate candy before 1879. Chocolate candies were made and sold in confectionary shops for a long time before that. What they didn’t have was a means of stabilizing the melty chocolate so that it would ‘keep’. They couldn’t ship chocolate coated candy because the coating would melt; therefore Kelly’s itinerate chocolate salesman couldn’t have carried a sample box of chocolates with him. (Doesn’t affect her story, which was brilliant, a true classic of our fave genre) Even now, See’s Candies (which uses less wax and perservative than most) won’t mail certain chocolates to certain climates in summer because they’d melt in transit.
    The recipes I’ve seen for chocolate coated candy before then were for things rolled in powdered cocoa or things with chocolate as a flavoring ingredient. Chocolate dipped stuff was made and sold in the shop, not shipped in from a central — as were most confections.

    Reply
  130. If I recall correctly, it wasn’t that they didn’t have chocolate candy before 1879. Chocolate candies were made and sold in confectionary shops for a long time before that. What they didn’t have was a means of stabilizing the melty chocolate so that it would ‘keep’. They couldn’t ship chocolate coated candy because the coating would melt; therefore Kelly’s itinerate chocolate salesman couldn’t have carried a sample box of chocolates with him. (Doesn’t affect her story, which was brilliant, a true classic of our fave genre) Even now, See’s Candies (which uses less wax and perservative than most) won’t mail certain chocolates to certain climates in summer because they’d melt in transit.
    The recipes I’ve seen for chocolate coated candy before then were for things rolled in powdered cocoa or things with chocolate as a flavoring ingredient. Chocolate dipped stuff was made and sold in the shop, not shipped in from a central — as were most confections.

    Reply
  131. I adore historical mysteries and it seems that, ever since I began writing historical romance, I like to read them even more. As someone else commented, it’s a nice break from what I’m writing, but not too big of a break. My favorites are Perry, Raybourn, and Ross. I will definitely look for your book, Cara, because who can resist history, mystery and chocolate?
    As for sex scenes, I can usually get a sense right away if the scene is going to add to the story or is just filler. If it’s filler, I skip it. Unfortunatley, it does seem as if I’m skipping more and more huge chunks of romance novels today:(

    Reply
  132. I adore historical mysteries and it seems that, ever since I began writing historical romance, I like to read them even more. As someone else commented, it’s a nice break from what I’m writing, but not too big of a break. My favorites are Perry, Raybourn, and Ross. I will definitely look for your book, Cara, because who can resist history, mystery and chocolate?
    As for sex scenes, I can usually get a sense right away if the scene is going to add to the story or is just filler. If it’s filler, I skip it. Unfortunatley, it does seem as if I’m skipping more and more huge chunks of romance novels today:(

    Reply
  133. I adore historical mysteries and it seems that, ever since I began writing historical romance, I like to read them even more. As someone else commented, it’s a nice break from what I’m writing, but not too big of a break. My favorites are Perry, Raybourn, and Ross. I will definitely look for your book, Cara, because who can resist history, mystery and chocolate?
    As for sex scenes, I can usually get a sense right away if the scene is going to add to the story or is just filler. If it’s filler, I skip it. Unfortunatley, it does seem as if I’m skipping more and more huge chunks of romance novels today:(

    Reply
  134. I adore historical mysteries and it seems that, ever since I began writing historical romance, I like to read them even more. As someone else commented, it’s a nice break from what I’m writing, but not too big of a break. My favorites are Perry, Raybourn, and Ross. I will definitely look for your book, Cara, because who can resist history, mystery and chocolate?
    As for sex scenes, I can usually get a sense right away if the scene is going to add to the story or is just filler. If it’s filler, I skip it. Unfortunatley, it does seem as if I’m skipping more and more huge chunks of romance novels today:(

    Reply
  135. I adore historical mysteries and it seems that, ever since I began writing historical romance, I like to read them even more. As someone else commented, it’s a nice break from what I’m writing, but not too big of a break. My favorites are Perry, Raybourn, and Ross. I will definitely look for your book, Cara, because who can resist history, mystery and chocolate?
    As for sex scenes, I can usually get a sense right away if the scene is going to add to the story or is just filler. If it’s filler, I skip it. Unfortunatley, it does seem as if I’m skipping more and more huge chunks of romance novels today:(

    Reply
  136. Janice, thanks for the interesting information on chocolate coating—I hadn’t researched that aspect of chocolate as it’s not something that comes into play in my story. Chocolate wafers (unsweetened) were used by the ancient Aztec warriors as the first “energy bars” during long marches (smart fellows, those Aztecs) so the idea of edible chocolate has been around for a long time.
    Even the mass-produced Mallomar cookies (chocolate-covered marshmallow) go off the shelves in summer around me because of shipping concerns . . .and I can imagine how many chemical stabilizers they have so yes, heat is to this day a problem for traveling bonbons!

    Reply
  137. Janice, thanks for the interesting information on chocolate coating—I hadn’t researched that aspect of chocolate as it’s not something that comes into play in my story. Chocolate wafers (unsweetened) were used by the ancient Aztec warriors as the first “energy bars” during long marches (smart fellows, those Aztecs) so the idea of edible chocolate has been around for a long time.
    Even the mass-produced Mallomar cookies (chocolate-covered marshmallow) go off the shelves in summer around me because of shipping concerns . . .and I can imagine how many chemical stabilizers they have so yes, heat is to this day a problem for traveling bonbons!

    Reply
  138. Janice, thanks for the interesting information on chocolate coating—I hadn’t researched that aspect of chocolate as it’s not something that comes into play in my story. Chocolate wafers (unsweetened) were used by the ancient Aztec warriors as the first “energy bars” during long marches (smart fellows, those Aztecs) so the idea of edible chocolate has been around for a long time.
    Even the mass-produced Mallomar cookies (chocolate-covered marshmallow) go off the shelves in summer around me because of shipping concerns . . .and I can imagine how many chemical stabilizers they have so yes, heat is to this day a problem for traveling bonbons!

    Reply
  139. Janice, thanks for the interesting information on chocolate coating—I hadn’t researched that aspect of chocolate as it’s not something that comes into play in my story. Chocolate wafers (unsweetened) were used by the ancient Aztec warriors as the first “energy bars” during long marches (smart fellows, those Aztecs) so the idea of edible chocolate has been around for a long time.
    Even the mass-produced Mallomar cookies (chocolate-covered marshmallow) go off the shelves in summer around me because of shipping concerns . . .and I can imagine how many chemical stabilizers they have so yes, heat is to this day a problem for traveling bonbons!

    Reply
  140. Janice, thanks for the interesting information on chocolate coating—I hadn’t researched that aspect of chocolate as it’s not something that comes into play in my story. Chocolate wafers (unsweetened) were used by the ancient Aztec warriors as the first “energy bars” during long marches (smart fellows, those Aztecs) so the idea of edible chocolate has been around for a long time.
    Even the mass-produced Mallomar cookies (chocolate-covered marshmallow) go off the shelves in summer around me because of shipping concerns . . .and I can imagine how many chemical stabilizers they have so yes, heat is to this day a problem for traveling bonbons!

    Reply
  141. Hello Cara/Andrea,
    I’m looking forward to your book “Sweet Revenge” and your venture into Historical Mystery/Romance. This genre is my favorite! Regarding your question about sex scenes, I think the obligatory sex scenes are a real distraction to the story and you can nearly take the script from one book and interchage it with another. It is becomming soft porn and I find it offensive. It is hard to read a really good story interupted by a mandatory sex scene. It is impossible to share a really good story with a friend for fear of offending them. Do the publishers require this? Do your readers demand it? Doesn’t anyone have any imagination? Recently I have read Lauren Willig’s work that has compelling characters, plots and romantic tension without explicit sex. It can be done! It is said that the most important sex organ is the brain! Surely the attraction, distraction, tension, need for trust and communication between two people provides fertile ground for mystery and romance. Good luck with your new pen name and genre!

    Reply
  142. Hello Cara/Andrea,
    I’m looking forward to your book “Sweet Revenge” and your venture into Historical Mystery/Romance. This genre is my favorite! Regarding your question about sex scenes, I think the obligatory sex scenes are a real distraction to the story and you can nearly take the script from one book and interchage it with another. It is becomming soft porn and I find it offensive. It is hard to read a really good story interupted by a mandatory sex scene. It is impossible to share a really good story with a friend for fear of offending them. Do the publishers require this? Do your readers demand it? Doesn’t anyone have any imagination? Recently I have read Lauren Willig’s work that has compelling characters, plots and romantic tension without explicit sex. It can be done! It is said that the most important sex organ is the brain! Surely the attraction, distraction, tension, need for trust and communication between two people provides fertile ground for mystery and romance. Good luck with your new pen name and genre!

    Reply
  143. Hello Cara/Andrea,
    I’m looking forward to your book “Sweet Revenge” and your venture into Historical Mystery/Romance. This genre is my favorite! Regarding your question about sex scenes, I think the obligatory sex scenes are a real distraction to the story and you can nearly take the script from one book and interchage it with another. It is becomming soft porn and I find it offensive. It is hard to read a really good story interupted by a mandatory sex scene. It is impossible to share a really good story with a friend for fear of offending them. Do the publishers require this? Do your readers demand it? Doesn’t anyone have any imagination? Recently I have read Lauren Willig’s work that has compelling characters, plots and romantic tension without explicit sex. It can be done! It is said that the most important sex organ is the brain! Surely the attraction, distraction, tension, need for trust and communication between two people provides fertile ground for mystery and romance. Good luck with your new pen name and genre!

    Reply
  144. Hello Cara/Andrea,
    I’m looking forward to your book “Sweet Revenge” and your venture into Historical Mystery/Romance. This genre is my favorite! Regarding your question about sex scenes, I think the obligatory sex scenes are a real distraction to the story and you can nearly take the script from one book and interchage it with another. It is becomming soft porn and I find it offensive. It is hard to read a really good story interupted by a mandatory sex scene. It is impossible to share a really good story with a friend for fear of offending them. Do the publishers require this? Do your readers demand it? Doesn’t anyone have any imagination? Recently I have read Lauren Willig’s work that has compelling characters, plots and romantic tension without explicit sex. It can be done! It is said that the most important sex organ is the brain! Surely the attraction, distraction, tension, need for trust and communication between two people provides fertile ground for mystery and romance. Good luck with your new pen name and genre!

    Reply
  145. Hello Cara/Andrea,
    I’m looking forward to your book “Sweet Revenge” and your venture into Historical Mystery/Romance. This genre is my favorite! Regarding your question about sex scenes, I think the obligatory sex scenes are a real distraction to the story and you can nearly take the script from one book and interchage it with another. It is becomming soft porn and I find it offensive. It is hard to read a really good story interupted by a mandatory sex scene. It is impossible to share a really good story with a friend for fear of offending them. Do the publishers require this? Do your readers demand it? Doesn’t anyone have any imagination? Recently I have read Lauren Willig’s work that has compelling characters, plots and romantic tension without explicit sex. It can be done! It is said that the most important sex organ is the brain! Surely the attraction, distraction, tension, need for trust and communication between two people provides fertile ground for mystery and romance. Good luck with your new pen name and genre!

    Reply
  146. I most love anything to do with history. That can be a mystery, a romance, family fiction or a factual history book like Four Queens by Nancy Goldstone. Currently I’m reading a YA historical book called Mist Over Athelney by Geoffrey Trease about Alfred the Great’s campaign against the Danes in 878. I remember reading his Cue for Treason in school and have read numerous others since then. Rosemary Sutcliff is another such author.
    Years ago I read another book about Alfred. The people at that time were starving and had a hard time with their “maize and potato” crop. The author shall remain nameless; it was the only book I’ve ever read by him. Are you wondering why?

    Reply
  147. I most love anything to do with history. That can be a mystery, a romance, family fiction or a factual history book like Four Queens by Nancy Goldstone. Currently I’m reading a YA historical book called Mist Over Athelney by Geoffrey Trease about Alfred the Great’s campaign against the Danes in 878. I remember reading his Cue for Treason in school and have read numerous others since then. Rosemary Sutcliff is another such author.
    Years ago I read another book about Alfred. The people at that time were starving and had a hard time with their “maize and potato” crop. The author shall remain nameless; it was the only book I’ve ever read by him. Are you wondering why?

    Reply
  148. I most love anything to do with history. That can be a mystery, a romance, family fiction or a factual history book like Four Queens by Nancy Goldstone. Currently I’m reading a YA historical book called Mist Over Athelney by Geoffrey Trease about Alfred the Great’s campaign against the Danes in 878. I remember reading his Cue for Treason in school and have read numerous others since then. Rosemary Sutcliff is another such author.
    Years ago I read another book about Alfred. The people at that time were starving and had a hard time with their “maize and potato” crop. The author shall remain nameless; it was the only book I’ve ever read by him. Are you wondering why?

    Reply
  149. I most love anything to do with history. That can be a mystery, a romance, family fiction or a factual history book like Four Queens by Nancy Goldstone. Currently I’m reading a YA historical book called Mist Over Athelney by Geoffrey Trease about Alfred the Great’s campaign against the Danes in 878. I remember reading his Cue for Treason in school and have read numerous others since then. Rosemary Sutcliff is another such author.
    Years ago I read another book about Alfred. The people at that time were starving and had a hard time with their “maize and potato” crop. The author shall remain nameless; it was the only book I’ve ever read by him. Are you wondering why?

    Reply
  150. I most love anything to do with history. That can be a mystery, a romance, family fiction or a factual history book like Four Queens by Nancy Goldstone. Currently I’m reading a YA historical book called Mist Over Athelney by Geoffrey Trease about Alfred the Great’s campaign against the Danes in 878. I remember reading his Cue for Treason in school and have read numerous others since then. Rosemary Sutcliff is another such author.
    Years ago I read another book about Alfred. The people at that time were starving and had a hard time with their “maize and potato” crop. The author shall remain nameless; it was the only book I’ve ever read by him. Are you wondering why?

    Reply
  151. As for many sex scenes: I also find a lot of them just included for the sex. For me, they have to be part of something deeper and more loving. At first they were sort of piquant but I’m long over that. I read almost any type of book except chick lit and paranormals as in vampires, demons, witches, etc. The only ones I can stand to any degree are shape shifters, and then only if they don’t become too violent. The same goes for murder mysteries: no gore, please. Maybe that’s because I’ve been prone to bouts of nausea even without such scenes for a lot of my life. (sickly grin)

    Reply
  152. As for many sex scenes: I also find a lot of them just included for the sex. For me, they have to be part of something deeper and more loving. At first they were sort of piquant but I’m long over that. I read almost any type of book except chick lit and paranormals as in vampires, demons, witches, etc. The only ones I can stand to any degree are shape shifters, and then only if they don’t become too violent. The same goes for murder mysteries: no gore, please. Maybe that’s because I’ve been prone to bouts of nausea even without such scenes for a lot of my life. (sickly grin)

    Reply
  153. As for many sex scenes: I also find a lot of them just included for the sex. For me, they have to be part of something deeper and more loving. At first they were sort of piquant but I’m long over that. I read almost any type of book except chick lit and paranormals as in vampires, demons, witches, etc. The only ones I can stand to any degree are shape shifters, and then only if they don’t become too violent. The same goes for murder mysteries: no gore, please. Maybe that’s because I’ve been prone to bouts of nausea even without such scenes for a lot of my life. (sickly grin)

    Reply
  154. As for many sex scenes: I also find a lot of them just included for the sex. For me, they have to be part of something deeper and more loving. At first they were sort of piquant but I’m long over that. I read almost any type of book except chick lit and paranormals as in vampires, demons, witches, etc. The only ones I can stand to any degree are shape shifters, and then only if they don’t become too violent. The same goes for murder mysteries: no gore, please. Maybe that’s because I’ve been prone to bouts of nausea even without such scenes for a lot of my life. (sickly grin)

    Reply
  155. As for many sex scenes: I also find a lot of them just included for the sex. For me, they have to be part of something deeper and more loving. At first they were sort of piquant but I’m long over that. I read almost any type of book except chick lit and paranormals as in vampires, demons, witches, etc. The only ones I can stand to any degree are shape shifters, and then only if they don’t become too violent. The same goes for murder mysteries: no gore, please. Maybe that’s because I’ve been prone to bouts of nausea even without such scenes for a lot of my life. (sickly grin)

    Reply
  156. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ranurgis, I think that like you, many readers want to escape into a story. And while that story doesn’t have to be all sweetness and light, it also can’t be too unrelentingly grim, or have a message of hopelessness. There is enough of that in real life.

    Reply
  157. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ranurgis, I think that like you, many readers want to escape into a story. And while that story doesn’t have to be all sweetness and light, it also can’t be too unrelentingly grim, or have a message of hopelessness. There is enough of that in real life.

    Reply
  158. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ranurgis, I think that like you, many readers want to escape into a story. And while that story doesn’t have to be all sweetness and light, it also can’t be too unrelentingly grim, or have a message of hopelessness. There is enough of that in real life.

    Reply
  159. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ranurgis, I think that like you, many readers want to escape into a story. And while that story doesn’t have to be all sweetness and light, it also can’t be too unrelentingly grim, or have a message of hopelessness. There is enough of that in real life.

    Reply
  160. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ranurgis, I think that like you, many readers want to escape into a story. And while that story doesn’t have to be all sweetness and light, it also can’t be too unrelentingly grim, or have a message of hopelessness. There is enough of that in real life.

    Reply

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