Romance Report 1

Featuring Jane Porter

Last night I was on a flight from San Jose to Seattle, and the man next to me was one of the founding fathers of Microsoft.  I didn’t know what he did when we started talking, so we talked books.  He loves to read, and when I mentioned that I was an author and that I wrote commercial fiction for women he asked, “Like Danielle Steele?”  I said no, that mine was different, more contemporary with themes relevant to today’s woman.  “Like Anita Shreve, then?” he tried. 

This man was really easy to talk to because we’re two peas in a pod.  He’s a software nerd.  And I’m a book nerd.  And we’re both passionate about books.   

As the plane descended he made some recommendations of books I should read and I madly scribbled down the titles and author.  I love hearing what people love to read.  I don’t want to read “just okay” books.  I want to read books that thrill and delight, books that transport, books that comfort, books that warm, encourage, surprise, and possibly heal.  We all read for different purposes and I’m delighted to be joining Author with a column devoted to the genres I love to read and write:  romance and women’s fiction. 

Readers and writers alike are excited about Borders launching their new website, and how it’s not affiliated with Amazon.   

Some of the authors generating a buzz on the internet right now include Gena Showalter, Lisa Unger, and Tess Gerritsen (people are still talking about Vanish).  Unger is being spoken of in the same breath as Anne Stuart and Gerritsen is apparently the next best writer after Alexander Dumas. 

When I was in Northern California the biggest buzz was over Stephanie Meyer’s newest novel, The Host, a book that is not for the YA market but is packaged so similar to her Twilight Series that folks think it is a sequel instead of a brand new adult novel. 

There’s also a lot of excited over JR Ward’s brand new release, Lover Enshrined.  I’m probably one of JR Ward’s biggest fans—love, love her books—and haven’t bought it yet only because my local store won’t sell it until its official release date.

Because I also write chick lit/women’s fiction I’m interested in what’s coming out next, and we’ve got lots of new hardcover releases from the chick lit stars:  Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner, Love The One You’re With by Emily Giffin, and Remember Me? By Sophie Kinsella.   

Weiner and Giffin are auto-buys for me and there are two more coming up that I have to have, too:  Beach House by Jane Green and Marian Keyes’ This Charming Man (both titles to be released mid-June). 

But my biggest craving right now would have to be Lisa Kleypas’ Sugar Daddy and Blue-Eyed Devil.  The books have wowed many of my friends and I confess these two are at the top of my TBR pile.  Sugar Daddy is up for a 2007 Rita award and the follow up, Blue-Eyed Daddy is hot on the lists. 

If you have a book you love, or an author that’s the next big thing, do let me know.  I’m a reader first and last, and nothing’s better than a great book and a long weekend.   

Well, nothing’s better than meeting my deadline and then spending a long weekend doing nothing but reading.

Jane Porter’s July 2006 release, Flirting With Forty (5 Spot), was picked by Redbook Magazine as its Red Hot Summer Read before being optioned as a Lifetime Christmas 2008 TV movie. Jane's newest novel, Mrs. Perfect, (May 2008, 5 Spot) has also received tremendous acclaim from her readers.

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