Speaking the Love

From left to right, Sarah MacLean, Sarah Wendell, Hope Tarr, Tessa Woodward, Lauren Willig & Stephanie Klose. Photo courtesy of Lauren Willig.
From left to right, Sarah MacLean, Sarah Wendell, Hope Tarr, Tessa Woodward, Lauren Willig & Stephanie Klose. Photo courtesy of Lauren Willig.

Last night I had the privilege of being a panelist at WORD in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “WORDs of Love: A Night of Romance,” celebrated the bookstore’s recently opened romance fiction section (yippee!) and brought together author, Lauren Willig (Betrayal of the Blood Lily); romance book blogger, Sarah Wendell (Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels); Avon Books Associate Editor, Tessa Woodward; RT BOOK Reviews Magazine Senior Editor/Reviews Coordinator, Stephanie Klose; and Yours Truly.

Hosted by store manager, Stephanie Anderson and moderated by the brilliant Sarah MacLean (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake), the program covered, or rather uncovered, as many aspects of the genre as we could reasonably address in 90 minutes. For example, what is the role of cliché in romance? Or do these tropes form the foundation of the genre’s structure not unlike the conventions inherent to other genres such as mystery and science fiction?

TIME_OUT_NY_WORD_7_22_10My personal evening’s highlight came from one lady in the audience who counseled us not to defend, explain, or apologize for the romance novels we love to read and write.  “When someone questions me about why I read romance novels, I look them in the eye and say, ‘Because I love them, and I’m probably going to buy $100 more next month.’” Huzzah!

Running a close second was the attendee who told us afterward that she’d found out about the event from its listing in The New York Times. The event also made the front page of this week’s Time Out New York. I’m just sayin’…

Couldn’t make it? Don’t despair. The uber wonderful, Sarah MacLean recorded the event for your listening pleasure.

Have a lovely weekend,


Got…ENSLAVED? Countdown to contest closing.

Hi Folks,

We’re counting down to the finish on my end-of-summer Got…Enslaved contest. Just six more days before the contest closes on 9/1, so if you’ve seen Enslaved out and about, or elsewhere online, please email in.

“Alert readers” continue to email me their Enslaved sightings, including readers from other countries. Recently added to the list of early release sightings are Chapters book store in downtown Montreal and online at The Book Depository (www.bookdepository.co.uk).

🙂 Hope

Happy Fourth!

Happy Independence Day,

Hot dogs slightly charred and hot off the grill, ice cream that melts before you take that first anticipated swipe from the cone, watermelon that for whatever reason tastes more succulent than it does on any other day of the year–Fourth of July conjures a bevy of visceral as well as cognitive memories for most of us. And of course, no Independence Day celebration would be quite complete without fireworks (the safe public displays, if you please, at least for Yours Truly).

Enslaved, too, is taking off with a bang. This seems a good time to thank all of you who have taken the time to email me with your preview copy “sightings.” So far we have Joseph-Beth Booksellers (josephbeth.com), overstock.com, Borders stores (by order and in some cases already shelved), a Barnes & Noble (somewhere?), and a Books-a-Million in Mobile, Alabama (Pinebrook Shopping Center on Airport Drive). And of course, if anticipation is your thing (think the old Heinz ketchup jingle about “making me wait…”) you can always preorder a copy at amazon.com.

To thank readers, and to celebrate the summer sizzle, I am running a special blog contest from now through September. Please check back at www.hopetarr.com after the holiday for details on how to chime in and win.

In the interim, eat a hot dog slightly blackened around the edges and sloppy with relish and mustard and chopped onions. Go for not just an ice cream cone but a double dip. Seize the chance to lay back on a blanket, let the evening coolness wash over your sunburnt face, and savor the bliss of a perfect fireworks constellation while snuggling someone you love.

Have a great Independence Day…