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Karen Ostertag's blog

New Romance Fiction for June 2015

In paperback:

Cherry Lane by Rochelle Alers (6, Cavanaugh Island) C, O
Wed to the Montana Cowboy by Carol Arens (Harlequin Historicals) H, W
Make You Mine by Jackie Ashenden (2, Nine Circles) C, E, M
All of Me by Jennifer Bernard (1, Love between the Bases) C
The Unlikely Lady by Valerie Bowman (3, Playful Brides) H
Way of the Warrior by Suzanne Brockmann, Julie Ann Walker, Catharine Mann, et al. C
      (Pbk-Romance Way)
Pleasured by Candace Camp (2, Secrets of the Loch) H
Back to You by Lauren Dane (3, Hurley Boys) C
Falling Hard by HelenKay Dimon (2, Bad Boys Undercover) C, M

New Speculative Fiction for June 2015

New to our shelves:

Straits of Hell by Taylor Anderson (10, Destroyermen) A (SF Anderson)
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi A, SF, M (SF Bacigalupi)
The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker (3, Book of the Art) H
Long Black Curl by Alex Bledsoe (3, Tufa) F, H, R
Elysium: or, the World After by Jennifer Marie Brissett SF, A, R
The Vorrh by B. Catling (1, The Vorrh) F, M, A
A Dance of Chaos by David Dalglish (6, Shadowdance) F, M
One Rainy Day in May by Mark Z. Danielewski (1, The Familiar) H, F
Day Shift by Charlaine Harris (2, Midnight, Texas) H, M
Eighth Grave after Dark by Darynda Jones (8, Charley Davidson) F, H, M, R

Here Be Dragons

For creatures of myth, dragons certainly get around.

As long as we've been writing the history of ourselves, we've been writing about dragons.  They're sculpted on Babylon's Ishtar Gate and described on Agamemnon's armor in the Iliad.  They adorn a temple in Teotihuacan and are depicted in seashells beside a Chinese grave over six thousand years old.  There are dragon legends from every continent except Antarctica (unless you count Dragon Glacier).  You've probably heard some of their names before: Lotan. Tiamat. Fei Lian. Ladon. Yamata-no-Orochi. Quetzalcoatl. Y Ddraig Goch. Fafnir. 

New Romance Fiction for May 2015

In paperback:

Blush by Cherry Adair C, M, E
The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress by Victoria Alexander (5, Millworth Manor) H
Bite at First Sight by Brooklyn Ann (3, Scandals with Bite) H, S
Fall with Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout (J. Lynn) (4, Wait for You) C, NA (Pbk-Romance Armentrout)
I Loved a Rogue by Katharine Ashenden (3, Prince Catchers) H, M, O
Married To a Perfect Stranger by Jane Ashford H
Force of Attraction by D. D. Ayres (2, K-9 Rescue) C, M
Too Dangerous for a Lady by Jo Beverley (16, Company of Rogues) H, M
His To Take by Shayla Black (9, Wicked Lovers) C, E, M
A Sinful Deception by Isabella Bradford (2, Breconridge Brothers) H, M

New Speculative Fiction for May 2015

New to our shelves:

Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn H, M
Undercity by Catherine Asaro (1, Skolian Empire: Major Bhaajan) SF, M
Once Walked with Gods by James Barclay (1, Elves) F, M
Doctor Who: Time Trips by  BBC (Doctor Who) SF, A (SF Doctor)
Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop (3, Others) F, A, R
The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston (4, Witch) F, H, A, M, R
Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan (3, Memoirs of Lady Trent) F, M, R
The Skull Throne by Peter V. Brett (4, Demon Cycle) F
Darkside War by Zachary Brown (1, Icarus Corps) SF
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (1, Graceling/Seven Kingdoms trilogy) F, M, R

The Age of Love

Have you ever wondered how old the heroine is in that romance you're reading? 

In a historical romance, that's an easy question to answer: unless she's a widow or a spinster, she's probably under 25.  Historically, women were married off at a much younger age than they are today.  A Regency lady was considered "on the shelf" (no longer marriageable) by 25.  Medieval and Renaissance heroines are 18-plus only as a concession to modern sensibilities; the average medieval woman was already a mother by the age of 17.

But what about contemporaries?  I'm going to continue to use the age of marriage as a benchmark-- a contemporary romance doesn't have to end in a proposal, but it's still a pretty standard HEA ("Happily Ever After").  If New Adult romance heroines (18-24) are "younger than average," that would suggest that "average" is going to be 25 or older.  But how much older?  Do they track with the age of their readership? Older? Younger?

New Romance Fiction for April 2015

In paperback:

In His Keeping by Maya Banks (2, Slow Burn) C, M, S, E
One Kiss More by Mandy Baxter (2, U.S. Marshals) C, M
The First Kiss by Grace Burrowes (2, Sweetest Kisses) C
Quarterback Draw by Jaci Burton (9, Play by Play) C, E
The Amish Clockmaker by Mindy Starns Clark & Susan Meissner (3, Men of Lancaster County) C, I
Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton (1, Four of Hearts Ranch) C, W, I
Before We Fall by Courtney Cole (3, Beautifully Broken) C, E, NA
Better When He's Bad by Jay Crownover (1, Welcome to the Point) C, NA
Flirting with Disaster by Victoria Dahl (2, Jackson: Girls' Night Out) C

New Speculative Fiction for April 2015

New to our shelves:

The Silence of Ghosts by Jonathan Aycliffe H, M
Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear SF, A, M, R
Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs (4, Alpha and Omega) F, H, R
The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr (1, Electric Empire) F, A, SF, M, R
Castaway Planet by Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor (4, Boundary) SF (SF Flint)
Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater H, F
The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber F, A, SF, M
The Lady by K. V. Johansen (2, Marakand) F
The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women by Alex Dally MacFarlane SF (SF Mammoth)
Fortune's Blight by Evie Manieri (2, Shattered Kingdoms) F, M, R

Living On in L-Space

Novelist Sir Terry Pratchett, NY ComicCon 2012I was working on an entirely different speculative fiction blog entry when I got the news that Sir Terry Pratchett, creator of the Discworld universe, had died at the age of 66.  If you would rather have read about imaginary books today, my apologies.  (Don't worry, I'm sure you'll see that blog entry eventually.)  Instead, I'm going to talk about an author who's been on my personal "top five" list since high school, whose books I first discovered on the shelves of this very library.

New Romance Fiction for March 2015

In paperback:

It Must Be Your Love by Bella Andre (11:2, The Sullivans: Seattle Sullivans) C, E
Kaleidoscope by Kristen Ashley (6, Colorado Mountain) C
Love Me If You Dare by Toni Blake (2, Coral Cove) C
The Trouble with Texas Cowboys by Carolyn Brown (2, Burnt Boot, TX) C, W
Ahead in the Heat by Lorelie Brown (2, Pacific Blue) C
Tangled by Emma Chase (1, Tangled) C, E, NA
Last Call by Alice Clayton (5, Cocktail) C, E
If You Leave by Courtney Cole (2, Beautifully Broken) C, E, NA
Never Surrender to a Scoundrel by Lily Dalton (3, One Scandalous Season) H, M
Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost (3, Night Prince) C, S, M

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