CHRIS’S CORNER Welcomes Guest Blogger Tamie Burdick of Bookish Temptations: Genre Trends

This week’s guest blogger holds a special distinction and place in my heart, and is not actually aware of this herself. Tamie Burdick at Bookish Temptations is the first book blogger I began following after I discovered the contemporary romance genre, and in particular, the incredible writings of one Mr. Sylvain Reynard, quite possibly…no, definitely…my favorite writer in the genre. It was her book blog that helped me get swept up in sharing the excitement with other fans of his work as well as the similarly awesome writing of such masterful authors as Colleen Hoover, Tammara Webber and others.

Tamie started the site in October 2011 after working with another book blog, and soon realized she could add greater reach and value for readers by building her own team committed to passionate book discussion. Now this trusty posse of very diligent and busy cohorts invites readers on a daily basis to engage in a dialogue about their favorite books and authors, with each other, with the bloggers and often with the authors themselves.

I’ve since begun following a number of other excellent book bloggers, as well, who go out of their way to keep readers updated on the latest author news and offer access to cool contests and exclusive book information. If you’re a reader, you know the service that book bloggers provide, and if you’re an author, you recognize the influence and weight their opinion can potentially carry. With Bookish Temptations garnering nearly 10,000 blog followers, I thought Tamie was the perfect person to share a little insight on what she’s seeing as trends in the genre she (and I) and so many readers have fallen madly in love with…contemporary romance. Swoon. So take it away, Tamie…

And you can follow Tamie and Bookish Temptations on Twitter here.

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When Chris asked me to share my thoughts on trends in the contemporary romance genre, and the direction it may be headed in, I was honored. It’s the genre I read and review/spotlight the most on Bookish Temptations. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart.

As far as trends go here’s some of what I’m seeing…

The line between romance and erotica is getting blurrier by the day. They really were very distinct genres not that long ago. I’m a fan of the incorporation for the most part. I enjoy both genres as long as they’re well written.

That’s the tricky part tho. I’m afraid many authors feel the need to write more graphically than they are comfortable with. What can start as a great story becomes awkward and uncomfortable to me as a reader when this happens.

Throwing in sex for the sake of sex, or using sexual words does not a good story make. It takes a certain skill to balance the romance of a story and to include really great erotica.

My advice to authors is simple. If you aren’t comfortable writing it…then don’t. You can make and develop an extremely satisfying sensual scene without the explicitness. I have many favorite authors that do just that. As a reader and reviewer, I’m far happier with that than feeling like I want to flounce on a book because the author is chasing a certain audience.

Two trends that may or may not be related? The prevalence of series and the shortening of books. Series books aren’t new of course, but it sure seems like there are less and less stand alone novels and more stories that are being made into sequels, trilogies, and beyond. At the same time novels seem to be getting shorter, and I have wondered if authors are being encouraged to write with that in mind.

It’s no secret that I love lengthy stories and series as well, so I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. I’m all for authors telling the most complete story they can, and it’s hard for me to leave some characters behind. I’ve read some novels that actually needed a 3rd book, but I’ve also read some recently that could’ve been told in 2 longer books.

Epilogues…no, they aren’t a new invention, but I see them more and more and more and…I FLOVE this trend. I’m actually starting to get disappointed when I don’t see one at the conclusion of a stand alone or at the end of a series. It’s the perfect way to end with a peek into what happened to our favorite and beloved characters in the future.

Finally, let me cheat just a little…this really can’t be considered a trend, but I have to give a standing ovation to all the fabulous books being written in the New Adult genre. Some of the very best books I’ve read so far this year have come out of this newer classification and I’m thrilled about it. I think this is going to be a huge market for publishers and self- published alike.

Thanks for inviting me to write this guest post , Chris!

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News from Some Trusty Bookworms (01.03.13)

Each week, I plan to share  updates not only on the latest development news with my own first book in progress and that wonderfully frightening but exciting process, but also any author or book release news that I’ve stumbled upon in my travels for some of my favorites. And if you’ve recently begun following me because either you do share similar reading tastes or you are interested in the contemporary romance genre that I am working toward joining myself, then you will likely find some of the news below of interest.

So, this week, in case you missed it, some trusty bookworms passed along to me…

  • A group of fans of Sylvain Reynard and his books recently revamped their own blog celebrating his characters and works by launching The Argyle Empire at the first of the year. If you have read Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture and were swept away as much as me and the growing Professor Emerson fan club population, then you are going to want to check out this great fansite.

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  • M. Leighton followers and contemporary romance fans, in general: if you contemplated reading Ms. Leighton’s Down to You, consider picking up the e-book this week. Down to You is only $0.99 on Amazon.com Kindle between now and January 6, when her follow-up to the novel, Up to Me becomes available for purchase and download.
    • Bookish Temptations will be launching its next Book Club on Saturday, Jan. 5 about S.C. Stephens’ Thoughtless. It’s a terrific book if you haven’t explored Stephens’ work already. I highly recommend. Best of all, Stephens’ follow-up Effortless is available for download so you won’t have to wait long to find out what happens next..because you know that’s how we crazy readers are! And thankfully, Stephens’ panting fans do not have too long to wait for the third installment Reckless scheduled for release March 5, 2013! Facebook fans of the writer have been in a frenzy these past few weeks spreading the word about the author’s Facebook page as the author has promised a preview of Reckless (the first two chapters!) once the page reaches 20,000 likes and a special POV scene not found elsewhere when the page achieves 25,000 likes. (As of this writing, the page is only shy by 600 or so for its first milestone…good luck, fellow followers! ) Update — 1/4/13 — The author reached 20,000 likes and released chapter 1 of Reckless (click here for the link!) There are plenty of extras after the first chapter but chapter 2 will now be released after 25,000 likes are achieved. Enjoy!
  • If you are a fan of the Breathing series, you may want to check out this link. Author Rebecca Donovan (Reason to Breathe and Barely Breathing) did an interview with Alexis Avila of Prepped and Polished and talked about her success so far, the reaction to the characters and her own processes as a writer. Her third installment Out of Breath is scheduled for a June 2013 release. Here is the link to that 20-minute audio interview…enjoy!
  • Donovan has also teamed up with Tammara Webber (Easy) in December 2012 and throughout January 2013 on a UK blog tour called “Love Hurts,” as the two respond to Q&As, offer giveaways and share novel excerpts. You can follow along at the various blogs they are visiting. I absolutely love this idea of a blog tour and cannot wait to learn more about how it works for my own future book promotion. Here is a link to Webber’s recent blog on the subject for more details.
  • Finally, kudos to Colleen Hoover and a lovely way to wrap up a stellar year. Her readers (this one included) snatched up her latest release Hopeless on e-book as soon as they could get their grubby little hands on it and clearly told their friends, because the book took off like a rocket and stayed within the top of the e-book charts on Amazon throughout the end of the year. To thank her fans and those who inspired her, Hoover blogged in her post “Paying it Forward…” that she would donate the proceeds from all sales of Hopeless during the final 30 hours of the year to a trio of organizations near and dear to her. The result? A total of $30,000 is being donated across the three groups, and all because of one talented writer, thousands of loyal fans and the beauty of social media. Gotta love it. See what we can do, folks, when we set our minds to it…

I’ll be sharing some info about my own writing journey in a future blog, so look for that soon. In the meantime, don’t forget you can receive email updates from this blog as new posts become available, so just enter your email address under the little red “Subscribe” heading top right of the page.

Until next time, happy reading!

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