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Elizabeth Harmon's Ramblings of a Writer-girl

Elizabeth Harmon's Ramblings of a Writer-girl

 I write and love to read romance novels with a dash of different!

Learn more about me and my books at www.romancewriter-girl.com

Wrapping Up A Week In The Spotlight...Saturday's Q&A with Brenda's Book Beat

BBB: Can you tell us what you are working on now? When do you plan to publish it?

EH: Getting It Back, the third book in my Red Hot Russians series, comes out in April. This book returns to the world of elite Russian figure skating, as the hero Mikhail Zaikov, a one-time champion figure skater risks catastrophic injury to make a comeback, with the help of former love Amy Shepherd, an American athletic trainer determined not to risk her heart.

I’m busy gearing up for the book release, but just a few days ago, I began work on a novella. I’ve never written one, so it’s a bit of learning experience, but its set in a place which has always fascinated me. That’s all I want to say about it right now, but I hope to have it finished in the next month or so.

A Week In The Spotlight... Q&A With Brenda's Book Beat

Thursday's and Friday's Questions with Brenda's Book Beat

 

BBB: Do you write about your hometown? people you know? Places you have been? which and why?

EH: For the most part, no. Instead of writing what I know, I find it much more interesting to write about what I’d like to know. That’s enabled me to learn about the lives of elite figure skaters, the contestants and producers of a reality TV show, and most recently, life in a far away and unusual place.

 

BBB: Do you think you write better at a certain time of day?

EH: Ideally, mornings are best, but life doesn’t always cooperate, so I’m learning to write when I have the opportunity.

BBB: Do you keep "office hours' or do you work all day?

EH: Since I balance fiction writing with freelance journalism, I do keep office hours. Mine are roughly 8 am to 4 pm. Sometimes, evenings are necessary if I can’t get everything done.

A Week In The Spotlight Brenda's Book Beat Q&A...Wednesday's Question

As my bio says, I love to talk writing with anyone and everyone! This week, it's Brenda's Book Beat on Facebook

 

BBB: Do you find them (your characters) helpful or distracting?

EH: Mostly I find them helpful, but more than once I’ve had to do a lot of rewriting because what I’d written just didn’t ring true for the characters once I got to know them. Just once, I’d like to start a book knowing the people I’m writing about inside out, but it never seems to happen that way.

 

 

A Week In The Spotlight, Q&A at Brenda's Book Beat...Tuesday's Question

BBB: How active are your characters while you are writing?

 

EH: They become more active the deeper I get into a project. I tend to be something of a pantser, and will often begin a story not knowing much about them. But toward the end of draft one, I usually have the story worked out and that’s when the characters begin to come alive for me.

A Week In The Spotlight...Brenda's Book Beat Q&A...Monday's question

 

BBB: What do the voices in your head say?

 

 

EH: Often the voices in my head sing! I always seem to have some song ...stuck in my mind.

(lately, its been by Adele!)

 

Sometimes that’s a good thing, especially when the song connects to my work in progress. Other times, it’s not—though I won’t name names, as I don’t want to insult someone’s all-time favorite song.

 

 

A Week In The Spotlight

 I'm so excited to be the featured author for the week of January 11-15 on Brenda's Book Beat Blog Facebook page. Starting Sunday night, I'll be sharing excerpts from all my books, including my upcoming Red Hot Russians release, Getting It Back, coming out April 4. Get ready to meet my newest sexy Russian figure skater Misha, and get reacquainted with Anton and Vladimir.

See you there. :)

2016 New Years Resolution: Read More Books!

For writers, reading is akin to exercise for athletes. It's hard to keep in top shape if you don't do it. But for me in 2015, reading-- at least for pleasure-- fell way to the bottom of my to-do list. With two books to promote and two to write, reading for fun got squeezed out of my day.

 

It's not something I'm proud of, and I won't say that I didn't read anything for fun, but it definitely was far less than I used to.  So this year, I'm doing something about it.

 

#1- I volunteered as a Romance Writers of America RITA judge. Though it was a requirement to enter Pairing Off in the competition, I look forward to that box o' books arriving sometime in early January.

 

#2 I signed up for the TBR Challenge at Wendy the Super Librarian's website. Last year, to support my many new author friends, I bought a lot of books that I've not yet read. There have also been a few books/authors on my to-be-read list for a long time. I hope that 2016 is the year I get to read at least a few of them.

 

I'll be blogging about my #2016TBRChallenge on Booklikes, Goodreads, my webpage and across my social media. (Now that they're all linked...yippee!) Give me a follow and chime in with your 2016 reading challenges and recommendations.

 

By the way, if anyone out there has a challenge item to read a #SportsRomance or a romance set in Russia....I'm happy to make recommendations. ;)

 

 

Romance Novels and Feminism: Adversaries, or Allies?

The topic of my RWA chapter's upcoming newsletter is already sparking plenty of conversation among our members: Romance and Feminism.

 

It's a topic we never get tired of discussing, and whether you believe that the genre and feminism are compatible or not, there's plenty of evidence, pro or con, to support your point of view. 

 

Evidence that romance and feminism are compatible-- according to Romance Writers of America, it's a $1.3 billion industry, that comprises 13% of the adult fiction market. It's produced largely by women for the enjoyment of a female audience and presents a female-centric viewpoint. Some of the most successful and prolific female authors writing today are writing romance.

 

On the other hand, those who believe romance novels are inherently anti-feminist can support their argument by citing the storylines of Sweet, Savage Love, 50 Shades of Gray, or covers depicting a scantily clad woman clinging to Fabio's leg.

 

One of the latest volleys in the ongoing debate was posted by our chapter president on Facebook this morning: She Swoons To Conquor: Romance Reades Enjoy Tales of Alpha Males and Forced Seduction

 

My reaction is that the essayist presents a narrow, though not completely inaccurate view of our genre. Dark, domineering Alpha heroes, and  boss/secretary tropes are eternally popular. Woman who enjoy those tropes shouldn't have to apologize or feel guilty about their choices. Nor are they inherently anti-feminist. Frequently, the heroines in these seemingly imbalanced relationships are the ones who hold the true power. And if feminism gives us the freedom to be true to ourselves and our desires, then we should accept that these preferences are valid, rather than judge women for having them. 

 

But where I think where the essay fails is that the author ignores the numerous romances that depict a more balanced, equal relationship between the hero and heroine. Superstar authors like Nora Roberts and Kristin Higgins, as well as numerous others, show heroines who are already successful and powerful in their own right. They don't need to swoon to conquer, and wrench power from an alpha male because they already have it.  Since they begin on equal footing with the hero, love becomes a means to fill an emotional void, or heal from a past trauma, rather than solve an external problem such as lack of status or economic security. 

 

The story of two people helping each other become the best they can be and moving forward into a happy future together are the stories I find most satisfying.  As a romance reader, writer and feminist, I'm happy to say, they're a vital and thriving part of our genre. 

 

Your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

Review
4.5 Stars
In Search of Scandal by Susanne Lord

 In Search of Scandal by Susanne Lord offers a spirited heroine, an honorable but tormented hero and a unique premise that sets it apart. In Victorian London, explorer Will Repton copes with fame and survivor's guilt, as the only member of his Tibetan expedition to survive a massacre. Charlotte Baker is a beautiful, popular socialite who is deeper than she seems, and is captivated by Will. Can Charlotte's determination to win Will's heart overcome his determination to return to Tibet?

Well-written and engaging, Susanne Lord's debut novel will keep you turning pages!