It's not your Grandma's Harlequin!

60th60th

Harlequin, one of the most recognized publishers is celebrating 60 years of bringing romance to the American reader. As part of the celebration, it is offering 16 free downloads of full-length titles from its various imprints.

Whether your interest is in :

African-American, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Inspiration, Mystery, Paranormal, or Suspense & Adventure, they have something that would appeal to your notion of the romantic. There is even an imprint for romance in Spanish.

Tell Harlequin is a special website where readers are encouraged to voice their opinion (and get free stuff!).

Sean Connery + Nonstop Shenanigans

Darby and King BrianDarby and King Brian

What better way to celebrate the banishing of snakes from Ireland than to watch a young Sean Connery sing Pretty Irish Girl? In Darby O'Gill and the Little People, Disney created some pre-CGI special effects that, amazingly, still hold up. Just try to guess how the scenes involving Darby (Albert Sharpe) and King Brian of the Leprechauns (Jimmy O'Dea) were created. You'll be amazed to find out that both actors were nearly the same height and that there was no chroma key involved!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #145

Fans of NPR-Books shouldn't miss first-novelist Jamie Ford's interview and discussion of his Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Set in Seattle 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor, amidst mounting racial tension and the frenzy of Japanese Americans' relocation, is the heartwarming story of Henry Lee, his first love Keiko Okabe and their shared passion for jazz.

For a closer look at this chapter in our shared history, see the Manzanar Series - images captured by Ansel Adams. Readers might also try Sandra Dallas' Tallgrass, a vivid portrayal of life in the internment camps and how they, forever altered our cultural landscape.

Also recommended is Disappearing Moon Cafe by Sky Lee, "...a feisty, complex, and award-winning first novel" - an intimate look at the many facets of Chinatown USA.

Read more about Jamie Ford from his website and the Panama Hotel on which the title is based. For book groups, a discussion guide is available.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #138

Noted historians and university professors of American History Jane Kamensky (Brandeis) and Jill Lepore (Harvard) met as graduate students at Yale and have been friends for 20 years. Blindspot: by a Gentleman in Exile and a Lady in Disguise is their first novel.

Set in 1760s Boston, originally conceived by the two authors as "a playful spoof of two genres: the picaresque, with its rogue hero exposing the hypocrisy around him, and the sentimental epistolary narrative—in this instance, a series of letters from a young 'fallen' woman to a friend," it was meant as a gift to their mentor at Yale, John Demos.

The result (accomplished mostly through email) - is an astonishingly, wildly entertaining, clever, surprising, funny, sexy, historical romance with a strong sense of time and place.

* = Starred Reviews

Twilight: Audiobook

You may have noticed the buzz when Stephenie Meyer's fourth book in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, just came out this August or when the Twilight film grabbed Harry Potter's original release date of November 21st (it's not Twilight's fault, don't get mad at them). All this publicity also means that the original Twilight novel is still in hot demand here at the library. But if you're like me and you enjoy audiobooks, then there's a significantly shorter holds list on the Twilight audiobook.

As for the story and audio themselves, for any who've managed to avoid the media, Twilight is a vampire teen romance novel. For personal reasons Bella Swan (the name kinda makes me think of a certain Pirates of the Caribbean character) arrives in the small town of Forks to live with her father. Used to the warmth and sun of Arizona, Bella languishes in the dreary gloom of Washington state until she meets a strange boy at school...

Fabulous Fiction Firsts # 96 (Books to Fall In Love With)

The countdown to Valentine's Day is on! (Already?) The wonderful folks at Bookrerporter.com have some sweet and heart-themed treats for you. From January 25th through February 6th, readers will have the chance to win one of five Bookreporter.com Valentine's Day baskets. They are filled with one copy of each of the featured books - from heartwarming novels, philosophical commentary, musical analogies, to some titles that are just plain fun.

I am especially excited with Beginner's Greek by first time novelist (former editor at the Times) James Collins.

Peter Russell is a deeply romantic guy who believes the woman of his dreams is destined to sit next to him on an airplane. And there is Holly, a pretty, strawberry blonde woman who reads Thomas Mann for pleasure. A thousand complications ensue in this delicious novel of missed opportunities, second chances, and lost love. I won't spoil it for you. Enjoy the ride.

Silver Bells: a Holiday Tale by Luanne Rice

Need to generate some real Christmas spirit?

Full of incident, local New York City color, and excitement (both romantic and suspenseful) Silver Bells is a lovely, quick Christmas read.

Christopher Byrne, widowed Nova Scotian Christmas tree farmer, brings his trees to Manhattan each December, bringing his son and daughter. Last year his teen-age son ran away while in New York.

Catherine Tierney, widowed New York librarian, lives in a row house in Chelsea near Christy Byrne's treelot.

Might they meet, might the son reappear?

Hurry, there are eight copies on the shelf right now.

Fabulous Fiction First #92

I have been saving this for a leisurely read and I was not disappointed.

Princeton professor Sophie Gee's lively, highly literate debut Scandal of the Season* provides the backstory to Alexander Pope’s famous poem "The Rape of the Lock".

1711, London. The anti-Catholic sentiments and secretive Jacobite plots to overthrow the Protestant queen makes for an uneasy social season. Pope’s growing literary reputation allows him entry into high society where he watches with interest the courtship and secret affair between beautiful Arabella Fermor and Robert, Lord Petre.

When Robert is forced to offer marriage to a wealthier heiress, Arabella’s disappointment and humiliation brings on the scandalous event that inspires the famous poem and launches Pope's career.

“Delightfully gossipy, psychologically insightful and historically fascinating”, this novel is "sprinkled with literary cameos, ...crackling verbal one-upmanship and crude double entendres...". For readers of Mary Balogh and regency romance.

* = Starred Review

“Oh, Listen, Sweetie. They’re Playing Our Song.”

In a committed relationship, a couple inevitably chooses a slow-dancy, romantic tune as “their song.” Choosing the number is tricky. Sometimes it chooses you; at a relationship milestone (first kiss, dance, visit to Red Lobster) you hear faintly a beautiful ballad and boom! Song chosen. Of course, if you and your sweetheart meet at, say, a Beastie Boys concert, and “Sabotage” doesn’t send your hearts aflutter, you might have to choose a song. You could go with the easies, “Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel, Elton John’sYour Song,” etc., great songs you’re guaranteed to hear a lot, prompting an alarming rate of swooning. Of course, thousands of other couples will be swooning around you. Now, if as a loving couple, a popular love song is your song, that's great, so don’t go changing. But for you still looking for a song to be your song and don’t want to write one—and, come on, why would you?—then I have a list of rarer love songs. And don’t be afraid to pick one you like thinking lots of people will snatch them up, because no one reads my blogs.

Wicked Lovely...

Lovers of fairies, and romance - mixed with some wickedness and ancient magical battles will eat up the new book, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. Seventeen year old Aislinn, who has the rare ability to see faeries, is drawn against her will into a centuries-old battle between the Summer King and Winter Queen, and the survival of her life, her love, and summer all hang in the balance. Check out all of the other great books on Fairies that AADL owns.

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