Linda Stevens's blog

Romance at the Beach

beachcomberIt's time for the wonderfully long holiday weekend, and another dose of bibliotherapy, romance style.  If your plans don't call for venturing any farther than the back patio, you can still take a trip to the beach.  The titles below feature many different styles, but they all include a sunny setting.  So, check one out, stick a little paper umbrella in your orange juice, and relax!

Summer Reunion by Kasey Michaels       Hurricane Bay by Heather Graham  

By Any Other Name

crystal gardensI've documented here before my fangirl adoration of Jayne Ann Krentz.  The one time I managed to meet her in person I gibbered with all of the sophistication of Porky Pig.  What's unusual for me about this author is that I enjoy all of her different romance genre explorations equally, whether it's the science fiction Jayne Castle books, the historical Amanda Quick books, or the contemporary Jayne Ann Krentz titles.  I would imagine that authors use different pen names to manage reader expectations with different types of books, so I wonder what usually ends up being stronger -- the appeal of the author's style or the appeal of the type of plot or setting?

New Romance for April & May

perfect storm If you're like me, you sometimes feel like you're held at the starting gate of a race to get new library titles and when the signal goes off and the books are in the catalog, you're number 325 in line.  Well, that still could happen, but here are a few popular new romance titles that are just in or have been ordered for a May release -- hopefully you'll get a head start to be one of the first to place your hold!

Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr         Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston

Stop Right There

When recommending books to people, I've found that what a person does not like is almost as important as what they do like.  I read a tremendous number of books, usually 3 or 4 a week, from various genres.  I read even more book reviews and descriptions of books and blog posts about books and book catalogs.  Still, there are certain title words or plot points that will make me stop immediately, knowing that this is not a book for me -- particularly in the romance genre.  This is not to say that there is anything wrong with the book, it is just not one that matches my tastes.  In fact, isn't it better that the title or the blurb on the back of the book gives you a clear signal of appeal?

HCPL Friends: Birdies for Charity

As budgets get smaller, the financial support of the Harris County Friends of the Library becomes more important then ever to our libraries.  The Friends help pay for the summer reading programs, staff scholarships, program refreshments and ebooks for the collection.  Over the last five years, they have donated over $15,000 to help fund services at county libraries.  

The primary fundraiser of the Harris County Friends of the Library has been a wonderful program run by the Houston Golf Association called Birdies for Charity.  It is centered on the Shell Houston Open but you don't have to golf at all for a chance to win a car, just be willing to donate to your favorite cause, Harris County Friends of the Library.  One hundred percent of your pledge goes to help libraries.  The HGA takes care of collecting and then distributing the money without taking out a penny.

Romance on the Road

it happened one nightI don't think I'm the only one whose thoughts have turned to spring breaks and vacations.  Since I won't be taking one next month, I thought I'd escape on a fictional vacation and celebrate the road trip romance.  Remember the movies It Happened One Night or Romancing the Stone?  Think of those in book form:  a (usually harrowing) physical journey is accompanied by an emotional journey, played for either laughs or adventure.  I particularly enjoy the historical versions, because you're travelling though another time, as well as another place.

Series Titles Worth the Wait

clocksWhen you are a dedicated series reader, over time you notice that certain recurring characters seem to take on extra life.  They pop up more frequently and always get the best lines.  They are endearing and engaging.  They find a special place in your reading heart.

That's why one of my pet peeves as a romance series reader is to finally get to one of these stories and it doesn't seem worthy of the character who inspired it.

Not to despair!  I read two series titles last week that avoided this problem entirely -- they were worth the wait.

Pick Up HCPL Items at the Texas Medical Center Library

It’s not always easy navigating the area around the Texas Medical Center, so HCPL and the TMC Library hope to reduce daily stress for those who work or seek treatment in the Medical Center with the availability of public library items for pick-up in the TMC Library.

Harris County Public Library materials will be available for convenient pickup at the TMC Library location (1133 John Freeman Boulevard).  Simply select the materials you want in the library’s catalog at, place a request using your library card, select TMC as the pickup location, and the items will be delivered to the TMC Library.  Once your items arrive, you will receive a notification by e-mail or phone and have one week to pick them up. 

  • Please note: 
  • This is not an HCPL branch location. It is a pickup site only. 
  • HCPL items are available for pickup Monday through Friday only.
  • Parking is not free at this location.  
  • More information is available through the TMC website.

Romance Roundup 2011

scandalous desiresIt's the time of year when everyone is making their "best of" lists for any given topic.  Why should I be any different?  The books listed below are the romance books I liked the most that were published in 2011.  It looks like it was a good year for historical romances for me, with a smattering of paranormal and suspense.  What about you?  Any favorite romances from this year that you'd like to share?

Scene Stealing Pets in Romance

animal attractionI'll readily admit that I'm the sort of person who carries on conversations with the dogs and finds herself unable to look away from those incredibly sad SPCA commercials, even while sobbing.  So, obviously I am predisposed to like books with animals in them.  While I was reading the latest Jill Shalvis book, Animal Attraction, set in a busy veterinary clinic, I realized just how much the charm of the different animals enhanced my enjoyment of the book.  I loved the kitten who responded to all remarks with "mew" and the parrot who seemed to repeat the most embarrassing part of any conversation he overheard.    As I started thinking about it, there were many other books that joined the list in my head that featured scene stealing pets.

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