Monday, October 30, 2006

HAPPY HALLOWEEN ... and a Book Giveaway!


The staff of Romance Reviews Today and RRT Erotic wishes everyone a safe and happy Halloween.
How do you plan on spending Halloween? Trick or Treating? Parties? Or curled up with a good book?

Here is a little history on the tradition in America:

As European immigrants came to America, they brought with them their varied Halloween customs with them. Because of their religious beliefs, Halloween in colonial times was extremely limited.

It was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians, meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included "play parties," public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other's fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland's potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition. Young women believed that, on Halloween, they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings, or mirrors.

In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft.

At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything "frightening" or "grotesque" out of Halloween celebrations. Because of their efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.

By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6.9 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Looking for some spooky Halloween reading? Look no farther than Romance Reviews Today to help you choose. Terrie has been busy stirring up some fantastic reviews for readers to check out. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Just Added to RRT Erotic - 10/30/06 - Halloween Treats.

THIRTEEN SINFULLY SEXY TREATS FROM CHANGELING PRESS
CAT OUT OF HELL - Isabelle Jordan
DARK DESIRE - Lacey Savage
GOOD WEDS EVIL - Kate Hill
HAUNTED BY YOU - Michele Bardsley - La Petite Mort
KING JACK'S BALL - Alecia Monaco
LADY IN WHITE - Elizabeth Jewell
RAVEN - Willa Okati
THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN - Marteeka Karland
VOODOO QUEEN - Lia Connor
WARLOCK'S EVE - Michelle Hoppe
WENDIGO - Ann Vremenot
WITCH HUNTING - Sierra Dafoe
WITCH OF ALLOWAY - Marie Treanor

Finally: A special giveaway from Romance Reviews Today. Post your family’s Halloween traditions and be entered to win a book! One winner will be chosen and gets to pick the book of their choice.

Here is the list of books you get to choose from:
THE BAREFOOT PRINCESS by Christina Dodd
THE MARRIAGE TRAP by Elizabeth Thornton
NOTHING TO FEAR by Karen Rose
THE KEPT WOMAN by Susan Donovan
FIRST LOVE by Julie Kenner
BAD BOYS IN BLACK TIE by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy and Morgan Leigh
SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT by Meg Cabot
SECRETS VOL 15 by various authors
SOFIE METROPOLIS by Tori Carrington

The winner will be picked Wednesday morning!

We want to hear from you at Romance Reviews Today!
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Sunday, October 29, 2006

ASK FIVE with...Kathleen Dante!

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Kathleen Dante is a new author on the publishing scene with two books out in September. She writes hot romance for both Kensington Aphrodisia and Berkley Heat. You’ll be hearing more from Kathleen in the future with her books, so sit back and get to know her.

1. Tell us about yourself.

I’m a former trade magazine editor and gave up that job to pursue
romance writing. Although I’m not an avid hiker, I enjoy nature and
travel, which has taken me to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and other
national parks both in the United States and Canada. I hope to visit
the Great Barrier Reef in Australia someday.

2. What is the title of your latest release and what’s it about?

My latest releases are ENTANGLED, which is actually my first novel, and
a novella in WILD NIGHTS; both of which came out last September.
ENTANGLED is an erotic romance set in an alternate Earth where magic
exists. The heroine, Kiera, is the president of a toy company faced
with industrial espionage and she turns to Lantis, an adept
specializing in security magics. Since she doesn’t know whom she can
trust in her company, he goes undercover as her lover and things
escalate from there. “Night Pleasures,” my novella in WILD NIGHTS, is
about a florist on the run from a former lover who turned out to be a
necromancer. She ends up getting help from an unexpected quarter.

3. How do you come up with ideas for your stories?

From everywhere and everything. I think there’s something weird in my
brain that makes the strangest connections between what I see, hear,
read or do. ENTANGLED, for example, has its roots in a fantasy by Wen
Spencer, a news article I’d read online on some quantum physics
research, and various anime I watched when I was younger.

For “Night Pleasures,” when I was invited to take part in an Aphrodisia
anthology for Halloween, my brain went something like Aphrodisia . . .
Halloween . . . therefore Samhain and the freedom from social
restrictions during the year-end. And it took off from there.

4. What is the hardest part of writing?

Getting the words down on paper. Even when I can see the scene in my
head, choosing the right words to communicate the nuances I want can be
frustrating. I mean, the dialogue and choreography may be the same, but
your word choices vary depending on whether the characters are feeling
romantic, worried, angry or lighthearted. Doing justice to that can be
difficult. Sometimes I get stuck because the right words refuse to come
forward. When that happens, it’s like pounding your head on a wall and
it’s so easy to procrastinate and do something else.

5. What’s coming up in the near future for you?

I have my second book, ENTICED, which is a sequel to ENTANGLED. That
will be released in March 2007. I also have a novella in the SEXY BEAST
II anthology that’s unrelated to anything else I’ve written, which
should be out the month after.

Learn more about Kathleen by visiting her at her website and read the reviews for ENTANGLED and WILD NIGHTS posted at Romance Reviews Today.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Get ready for Halloween at RRT


I know Terrie has something in store for Romance Reviews Today, so here's to getting you in the mood.

I once went on a ghostwalk. To be honest, I didn't believe in ghosts and other creatures that went bump in the night, but after the ghostwalk tour...I had to reconsider my beliefs. Just think, those creaks and squeaks in your house could be a ghost.

shiver

Do you have any ghost stories you want to share?

Meanwhile, stay tuned to see what RRT & RRT Erotic has cooked up for Halloween.


La Grande Mort--BLUE VELVET

BLUE VELVET recently received one of RRT Erotic's highest award, La Grande Mort.
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BLUE VELVET - Christy Poff
La Grande Mort
Whiskey Creek Press Torrid - www.whiskeycreekpresstorrid.com
ISBN-10: 1-59374-702-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-59374-702-2
September 2006
Erotic Romantic Suspense
Rating: Erotic

California and Wyoming - Present Day

Two years ago, Ethan Kingsley's wife, Afton, killed herself because she couldn't deal with her condition. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Afton seemed to have taken it in stride and continued her musical career. Her death was a big blow to Ethan and ever since then he's been in a sort of stupor, surfing alot and letting his staff run Kingsley Designs. However, today that's about to change. First, because someone is trying to buy out his company and second, because he will meet a woman that he can't live without. When Ethan meets Veroniq "Roni" Carlin, it's all he can do not to take her right there in the restaurant. She brings him back to life and he's not about to let her get away. Inviting her to his Wyoming ranch for the weekend so they can ride horses seems like the perfect solution. Of course, he can't wait to make love to her so the two join the mile-high club on his private jet. Fireworks explode, feelings deeper than he ever had with Afton surface, and Ethan knows Roni is his.

Veroniq Carlin, owner of a successful shop named Roni's has a secret side. One that if her clients ever found out about, they'd never set foot in her shop again. Roni is into BDSM. Once long ago she was a submissive and loved every minute of it, but then her Master died and Roni became the dominant one. Known to the BDSM world as Blue Velvet, Roni enjoys her pleasures. When she meets with Ethan Kingsley, Roni nearly loses her composure. From the moment he walks into the restaurant, Roni has the strong desire to fall to the ground in the submissive stance and call him Master. What is it about this man that brings these emotions out in Roni? She doesn't know but she wants to see where this will lead. And where it leads is straight to Ethan's bed for the best sexual experience she's had in a while. From that moment on the two of them are together and planning a wedding. Think that's quick? Hmm...

But that’s not all. Remember someone is trying to buy out Ethan's company? Well, it doesn't stop there. This man wants to take everything away from Ethan...including his life. Kirk Lambert fancied himself in love with Ethan's wife, Afton. Since her death, Kirk has been plotting and planning to destroy Ethan. Will he succeed? Will Roni be caught in the middle?

Wow! BLUE VELVET is indescribable. From the minute I opened the book, I was hooked. Turning page after page I quickly became embroiled in Ethan's sorrow, his joy at finding Roni, and then the danger that stalked them. Ethan is a loving man who just about changed his whole life for Afton. All because he adored her. When Roni comes into his life, Ethan doesn't have to change a thing. Roni takes him for what he is...her Master. Roni is successful, sexual, and searching for the unknown. Ethan is epitome of what she wants and Roni grabs on with both hands. In doesn't matter that the two of them haven't known each other all that long, when it's right...it's right. The sex scenes are graphically but beautifully written. You can sense the love both of them have for each other and feel every emotion that they feel.

The only other character that plays an important role in Roni and Ethan's life is Ethan's friend, Kent Martin. Kent is the one who uncovers the threat and, in the end, the one who helps neutralize it. And of course, we can't forget our villain, Kirk Lambert. Now that man is delusional and should be hospitalized. He lives in his own world and, unfortunately, it's not the real one.

Christy Poff writes an emotional, passionate and dangerous erotic romance with her latest release, BLUE VELVET. It's got everything a reader could want; a sexy hero, an even sexier heroine, a fast-paced plot, steamy sex, and a whole lot more. Because of this I have awarded BLUE VELVET RRT Erotic’s highest award, La Grande Mort.

Sinclair Reid

Want to see more reviews like this? Visit Romance Reviews Today and RRT Erotic today!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

RRT Erotic Ratings

Romance Reviews Today has a spin off called RRT Erotic. It opened in early October and the reviewers have been keeping busy getting some nice reviews for Terrie to put up. (In case you didn't know this little tidbit, Terrie is RRT's sole webmistress and is responsible for the nice set up)

RRT Erotic has the following rating system:

Sleeper - I should have washed my hair!

Foreplay - Interesting but not enough

Missionary - Gets the job done

Multiple O's - Oh baby I'd go back for more

La Petite Mort - Can I have three please? (this would be the equivalent of La Grande Mort for the nibbles)

La Grande Mort - Truly to Die For - For Single Title and Short Stories (the equivalent of Romance Reviews Today's Perfect 10)


Everytime I use one of the ratings, I crack up. I think the choice of these erotic ratings are fun and original.

Go take a peek at RRT Erotic.

What do you think about them? And I know Terrie would love to hear what you think of both Romance Reviews Today and RRT Erotic.

Posted by Patti 10/26/06

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

ASK FIVE....with LESLIE KELLY

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Since she exploded on the romance publishing scene in 1999, Leslie Kelly has garnered many awards, including two RITA nominations, the highest award from the Romance Writers of America. She is a continual fan favorite among readers and Romance Reviews Today is thrilled she agreed to be our debut author for “Ask Five.”

1. Tell us about yourself.

I'm a stay-at-home mom, with 3 daughters, currently living in Maryland...though my house and most of my belongings are in Florida. Long story short--the housing market there has just crumbled, and we moved up here for my hubby's job. Here's hoping things turn around soon!

My first book was released in 1999, NIGHT WHISPERS, a Harlequin Temptation. (Actually, that book is being reprinted in February 2007...my first reprint! Yay!) I wrote a total of ten Temptations, including the last one ever published, then switched my focus to Blazes and single title contemporary romances for HQN.


2. What is the title of your latest release and what’s it about?

ASKING FOR TROUBLE is a Harlequin Blaze, and is part of the "Dark And Sexy Night" trilogy. It's a gothic, but with a definitely modern, Blaze flare. The heroine of the story is a research assistant trying to dig up dirt on a notorious serial killer who once resided at Seaton House, a spooky old hotel above the town of Trouble, PA. Once she arrives and meets the current owner, mysterious author Simon LeBeaux, she finds herself in the middle of a real-life murder mystery.


3. What is the hardest part of writing?

Staying disciplined. When I am "into" the story, I can whip off page after page and feel joyful doing it. But if I haven't hit my stride on one, it is pure agony to try to force out the words. And the harder it is to force them out, the less I want to sit at my computer and try. If it weren't for deadlines, I'd have a really hard time staying motivated!


4. What do you do for fun in your spare time?


I love to read and love to spend time with my hubby and my girls. We all really like to travel and enjoy long weekend getaways to New York to catch a few Broadway shows, or to Savannah for some ghost tours. Last year we spent two weeks in Ireland and it was one of the greatest times I've ever had.


5. What’s the most interesting thing about you that very few people know?


Oy, that's a tough one, I'm an open book! lol! Hmm...I guess it's that despite what I do for a living, I am not a terribly romantic person. I'm very pragmatic, not prone to emotion, and am a bit stubborn. Good thing I have my hubby to balance me out--he is a lot more nurturing and romantic than I am!


Thank you, Leslie for chatting with us.
Check out Romance Reviews Today's review of ASKING FOR TROUBLE!

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Perfect 10 -- THE STOLEN BRIDE

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THE STOLEN BRIDE – Brenda Joyce
De Warenne Dynasty, Book 6
A Perfect 10
HQN
ISBN: 0-373-77184-3
October 2006
Historical Romance

Adare, Ireland – 1818

Eleanor “Elle” de Warenne has been in love with Sean O’Neill for as long as she can remember. But her heart broke four years ago on the day he left to broaden his horizons and to find out just what he was missing in life, or so he said. Since then she has had no word of where he went, where he is, or how he is faring. Sean O’Neill, for all intents and purposes, is missing, and Elle has finally moved on with her life. As she prepares to marry a man she thinks she may be able to love, Elle cannot help but think of Sean and the agony he caused when he promised he’d return, a pledge he reneged on.

Sean O’Neill is not the man he used to be after spending the past two years in hell in solitary confinement in prison. Now he has escaped and is determined never to be locked up in closed spaces ever again. But he cannot help but wish for another look at Eleanor de Warenne one last time before he flees to America. And so he is back in Adare, wishing for what could have been and cursing his luck that he dared leave the one woman who has always accepted him without fail. His dismay at the fact that she is about to marry is only counterbalanced by his belief that she’ll be better off with Peter Sinclair, the son of an earl, and surely a man of greater honor than Sean. Elle could not do any worse and deserves the best that life can give her.

Eleanor is shocked and relieved when Sean turns up before her marriage to Peter. He’s come back for her! But things are not as they appear to be, and Sean is very different. His tortured expression hides what he has experienced in these past years, but she’s positive that she can fix him. When Sean breaks her heart one more time and tells her he’s only in Adare briefly, Elle is sure she cannot handle this pain again. Despite the fact that Sean could very well put her in danger by being associated with an escaped convict, he cannot stop wanting to be with her. Before he has a chance to think of what he’s about to do, Elle becomes THE STOLEN BRIDE, and now they’re both being chased by men who are bent on caging Sean one more time…

Brenda Joyce’s fans of her De Warrene Dynasty series will at once recognize Sean and Eleanor, who were first introduced in THE PRIZE. Growing up together after Sean’s mother married Eleanor’s father, it was always understood that wherever Sean went, Elle was not far behind. No one knew how much Elle’s infatuation would grow to become an all-consuming love for the man he would become, despite the fact that he’s her stepbrother. Now a grown woman, even after being separated for four years, two of which Sean spent in prison, Elle still finds that she cannot ignore her feelings for him. Sean has always been her better half, and now when he needs her help and love the most, Sean is determined keep Elle safe, even if he must cut off all ties from her and their family.

An emotionally sweeping tale of heartache, redemption, and rebirth, THE STOLEN BRIDE lives up to this reader’s high expectations for a Perfect 10 read. Intermingled within the novel are glimpses of some of Sean and Elle’s past history, giving more texture to just what these two have gone through together and singularly to get where they are today. Bittersweet and heartrendingly romantic, Sean and Elle’s love story is a tale for the ages. Fans will enjoy reuniting with others in the de Warrene clan, and it’s a very satisfying read to see just how the family comes together when one of their own is in trouble.

Settle in and enjoy, for you won’t want to put down THE STOLEN BRIDE until you’ve reached its conclusion. A LADY AT LAST hits the stores in December, yet another de Warrene book to look forward to!

Amy Cunningham

For more insightful reviews, be sure to visit Romance Reviews Today and RRT Erotic

Friday, October 06, 2006

Check out RRT Erotic

Today is the grand opening of RRT Erotic, the sister site for RRT. RRT Erotic is devoted to erotic reviews and interviews and is intended for mature audiences only.

http://www.rrterotic.com/

Come pay us a visit!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Welcome!




Welcome to the blog of Romance Reviews Today.