#tbt Reviews – Top 100 Romance Novels

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Sometimes I feel like I came to romance novels late. I didn’t have an older sister who would sneak me her battered dog eared books when our mom wasn’t looking. My friends were more likely to read Tolkien. I went straight from reading Nancy Drew and the Babysitters Club to epic fantasy and then I lived there for a long time.

I didn’t actually pick up my first romance novel until I was probably 27 or 28. I didn’t even know it was a romance novel. It promised me vampires and I was still riding the Twilight wave (I know, I know. We’ll talk about that some other day. Along with the time I had to buy the complete series of 50 Shades of Grey, even though I’ve never read it to this day). I bought what I thought was a vampire novel, and by page 50 there were blow jobs, and by page 178 I was hooked.

All this to say that Goodreads published their list of Top 100 Romance Novels and I have read exactly 24. Not a stellar record, but not bad given my late start. If you’re looking for well vetted titles, I have a few recommendations.

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2017 – More of the Good Stuff

I mostly suck at New Year’s resolutions. There was the year I resolved to read more books. That went pretty well. But most years, good intentions, hell, you know how it goes.

As you can tell by the progress on my 100 day workout challenge, big goals that are out of my norm often get left by the wayside. So instead of setting new resolutions, I went back through 2016 and picked the things I enjoyed the most that I want to keep doing.

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A Tale of Three Queer Romances

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I had Christmas lunch today with co-workers, including a new team member. After a glass (or two) of pinot gris, my straight middle aged boss says “Tell the new guy what you do in your free time!” I look at the new guy, he looks at me. I know he’s trying to guess what I’m going to say, but there’s no way he can. He’s thinking I foster cats or arrange flowers. Maybe paint abstract watercolours. The words are still tricky to get off my tongue, but I say “I wrote a gay romance novel.” I can see the new guy was not expecting that. The people around me laugh hysterically. I assume they’re laughing at his expression and not my literary aspirations. New guy looks baffled.

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An Interview and Giveaway with Shaunta Grimes

22710113Today, I’m super excited to participate in the Ninja Writer’s SF/F Giveaway Blog Hop. The giveaway includes over 40 novels and novellas. I’m hosting Shaunta Grimes and her novella, Broken Nation. When you’ve read this post and claimed your free novella, be sure to click bag to the blog hop master post to claim more books and meet more amazing authors!

Shaunta Grimes is the ultimate Ninja Writer. She’s also the best thing to happen to my writing this year. This time last year, I was slogging away through the second half of my Pick Up draft. I knew I was going to finish it, but I also knew there had to be a way to write a first draft in less than two years.

Enter Shaunta. I didn’t know her. I’m not even sure now how I found her, but like magic, I saw a tweet that offered something call The Plotting Workshop. In eight weeks, she said, you could plot a novel from beginning to end. It was, as I’ve already said, the beginning of the best thing to happen to my writing in 2016, and it’s been a pretty exciting year for my writing!

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