Heat Indexes in Historical Romance

The other day I picked up an older historical romance book by a well-known traditionally published author and started reading it. The book was published in 2015. When I got to page forty, the hero of the book unbuttoned his breeches and exposed himself to the heroine as a shock tactic. Frankly, she was a lot calmer than I was reading the passage, because I was horrified. I don’t consider myself a prude by any means, and have written my own fair share of steamy scenes when it comes to romance. Nevertheless, the act turned me cold as stone, and obviously, I didn’t finish the book. It’s something that I personally do not think belongs in a historical romance book. However, other readers were not as offended, by evidence of the five-star reviews.

I suppose readers of historical romance have all sorts of tolerance levels when it comes to sex scenes in a novel. You will notice that we try to indicate in our author promotions, how warm and cozy or steaming hot these scenes are by rating them as follows:

  • One – Kisses and hugs
  • Two – Passionate kissing
  • Three – Sex behind closed doors
  • Four – Steamy sex with a few descriptive words
  • Five – Sex with graphic description short of erotica

Level five, of course, is the over-the-top sex with graphic descriptions that are blazing hot, making the reader go wide-eyed, blush, and grab a fan. Some like it hot – others do not. It’s a matter of preference.

Posting these heat indexes hopefully help readers make decisions when purchasing a book. Unfortunately, we don’t get those insights on Amazon or other retailers what level of sexual activity is in the story we are about to read. Once in a while, you may see an author put a warning at the end of the synopsis if it’s close to erotica. You can usually tell, too, by comments in reviews if a reader thinks there is too much sex and not enough story.

Things have come a long way since the bodice-ripping days. The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss has its fair share of shock in the beginning of the book with rape of a virgin and subsequent captivity. Twenty years ago when The Duke and I was written by Julia Quinn, I don’t think much was said about Daphne’s ploy of having sex with drunk Simon without his consent, which would be definitely coined as rape in the eyes of many today. You can see that complaint being raised in more recent reviews.

Many of us love Jane Austen, who wrote the beautiful love stories we admire. Naturally, she’s a great example of historical romance in the kisses and hugs rating. They are proof that wonderful romances can be written without graphic sex. They are more character driven stories than sexually driven.

In historical romance, intercourse can occur out of wedlock or after the wedding vows. Morals are not a central theme in most books unless it’s a religious-based historical romance. I’ve written books with no sex and plenty of sex — it just depends on the story, characters, and theme.

There is no right or wrong answer on how cozy or steamy historical romance books need to be, but there are definitely preferences among readers. Frankly, I don’t like books with rape scenes, aggressive men who take liberties without asking first, or shocking vulgarity like the first example I gave. However, for other readers, it may not be a problem. After all, in the early bodice-ripping days, historical romance had its share of rogues who seduced women. The proliferation of such tropes gave the genre its reputation. With the increasing awareness in the twenty-first century about the importance of consent, these scenes of forced seduction may not be acceptable to some readers. But let’s be honest here. To some women, it’s a turn-on. Each to their own.

Authors, however, are listening to the masses, or at least should be, on how to write a hot steamy sex scene that doesn’t cross boundaries. There is a great article on a website named Jezebel entitled, “The Romance Novelist’s Guide to Hot Consent.” It’s worth the read, especially for authors, and delves into how some of the bestselling authors approach this delicate subject when writing sex scenes. A few authors interviewed in the article are of the historical romance genre.

So, let’s be honest.

  • Some prefer cozy sweet hugs and kisses.
  • Some prefer hot and steamy love scenes with no questions asked.
  • Others require slow paced scenes that include vocal consent to remove bras and panties.

My parting thoughts are that I only wish that authors would be more proactive and add the heat level at the end of their synopsis of the book itself. It would help readers immensely in choosing the level of sexual content in a book they purchase. If it’s not listed in the “Sweet Romance Category,” it’s pretty hard to determine how hot it gets between the pages. You can sometimes make a determination based on the heat level of the cover, but that still doesn’t tell you how far the lovers will take it with or without consent between the sheets.

Do you have a preference? Feel free to chime in on the subject. You are always welcome to express opinions.

The Historical Romance Genre

A genre is a category of artistic composition such as writing. Historical romance is a popular genre that has been the mainstream of romance novels for many years. It’s a broad category of fiction set in various centuries, which was first popularized as early as the nineteenth century by Walter Scott who wrote such books as Ivanhoe.

The genre’s popularity started with a flame, which over the years flickered into near obscurity. Articles were being published asking if the genre was dying a slow death, when it once dominated the market. Recently, interest in the genre has been refueled because of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton Series on Netfix. I’m happy to report its given the genre a resurgence of popularity, although not as many bodices are being ripped as in the past.

In today’s modern era of writing, historical romance can be categorized from the ancient world up to 1950 (per Romance Writers of America). A few of the favorite time periods on bookshelves are:

  • Medieval Period
  • Viking Age
  • 17th Century, including:
    • Scottish Highlands
    • England
    • Europe
  • American Eras, including:
    • Colonial America
    • Civil War
    • Westerns
  • Georgian Era
  • Regency Era
  • Victorian England
  • Early 20th Century up to WW2, including:
    • Edwardian Era
    • Roaring Twenties
    • 1930s and 1940s forties.

During the 1970s, the genre took off and was affectionately known as the “bodice ripper” years, which led to mass-market paperbacks.

Kathleen Woodwiss’s historical romance, The Flame and the Flower, published in 1972, literally set the genre on fire, followed by steamy romance covers of domineering men and women melting at their touch. Today The Flame and the Flower might raise eyebrows with readers because there are scenes of non-consensual sex and captivity. It was the time of book covers displaying scantly dressed Fabio, along with women in dresses that fell off their shoulders. The covers were an art form from mainstream publishers. Today those covers would throw you into what’s called the “erotica dungeon” on Amazon and make advertising on Facebook impossible because of guideline violations.

Since that time, the genre has remained relatively the same until recently. The onset of the me-too movement has begun to change some weak-willed, easily seduced female characters into spunky and spirited ladies. In addition, the publishing world has called for more diversity in authors and stories, which is long overdue. Readers do not seem to mind these changes even though there may be a deviation from the norm of the time period.

There are many well-known traditionally published authors in the twenty-first-century, such as Mary Jo Putney, Lisa Kleypas, Eloisa James, Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries, Tessa Dare, and Julia Quinn, just to name a handful. In addition, there are quite a few independently published authors in the genre who are making a name for themselves on the Amazon best-selling charts.

Historical romance immerses readers into different centuries. They are a great way to learn and enjoy history, especially if it was not your favorite subject in school. I like to think it is a welcome change from contemporary romance and problems that we deal with day-to-day. It gives us an opportunity to live vicariously in other time periods, with different values, ways of courtship, and lifestyle.

Yes, authors do romanticize centuries that were fraught with their own challenges. Nevertheless, a knight in shining armor, a Scottish highlander, or a duke to sweep us off our feet and make ravishing love to us might be just what you need to get your mind off twenty-first-century challenges and recent woes.

Enjoy your next historical romance novel! Take your choice of a brawny Viking, kilted Highlander, English aristocrat, a handsome military man, or a cowboy on the wild west plains of America. It’s a world of romance, waiting just for you.

Review of Best Seller List

Julia Quinn continues to rule the Amazon best seller list for historical romance with eighteen — count them — eighteen of her books listed among the top one hundred. Right behind her are other popular traditionally published authors with a flurry of best sellers including Lisa Kleypas with six, Scarlett Scott with six, and Tessa Dare with four. Other authors grabbing multiple spots are Grace Burrowes and Christi Caldwell. This is the list as of January 25, 2021 at 4:13 p.m. PST. The list is updated hourly.

Once you hit the top one-hundred list of any genre, your book feeds off the sales for days on end. Competition for sales is fierce thanks to Bridgerton, which we can only hope will lead to more visibility of the genre. Heaven knows there are enough traditionally published, independently published, and hybrid authors spinning out books to keep readers busy for 2021.

Check back here for great new reads in the days ahead.

On A Personal Note . . .

As an author myself, there are times in my own career I become consumed with my work.  Currently,  I’m at the end of my first draft for The Price of Love, which is third in a series that I have written (The Legacy Series).

If you are an author, you know how very time consuming this process can be for a writer.  I’ll be revising and editing in the months ahead, which will need my full attention.  Due to that heavy schedule, I may not be promoting very much in August or September on Long Ago Love until after my own book is released and I can relax.
In the future, I am dedicated to supporting the works of others. However, I need to prioritize my own work in the process.

Nevertheless, you will still see occasional posts and reviews in the months ahead, but the blog will not be as active.

Thank you for your understanding!
Sincerely,
Vicki
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” ― George Orwell

Historical Tidbit: "The Victorian Wedding" by Vicki Hopkins

While writing my award-winning novel, Dark Persuasion, I spent a fair amount of time researching Victorian courting, wedding preparations, weddings, and honeymoons.  The entire process felt so romantic to me that I focused quite a bit about the wedding between my heroine and hero.

Below are a few excerpts from previous blogs that I’ve written regarding that research.  I hope you enjoy!

The Wedding Trousseau

In Dark Persuasion, because my heroine is blind, her sister is actively involved in preparations for the wedding. One task is helping prepare Charlotte’s wedding trousseau.

The French word trousseau refers, of course, to a bride’s bundle of personal possessions amassed prior to the wedding that include undergarments and clothing. Late in the 19th and early 20th century a collection of household wares (tablecloths, towels, linens, etc.) were also included.

My story is set roughly around the 1885-1890, so Charlotte’s collection of personal items deal mainly with fine undergarments and clothing. Below is an excerpt from Vintage Connection describing a typical trousseau around 1884. It would include the following:

“… a dozen chemises trimmed with embroidery or insertions, a dozen nightdresses, six well-trimmed combinations, a dozen drawers, nine trimmed petticoats, one French petticoat, nine camisoles, six vests, five flannel petticoats, two dressing gowns, three bed jackets, a dozen pairs of fine-quality Lisle stockings, three pairs of silk stockings, two dozen handkerchiefs, a pair of French corsets, a bustle, a satin nightdress and a lace-trimmed sachet.”

The Wedding

Everything in the Victorian era seemed to be dictated by proper etiquette. Weddings were no different. There were rules about fashion, the time to wed, and the reception. It was quite an interesting read doing research about the subject. I tried to incorporate as much as I could within my text in hopes of ducking any criticism about getting it all wrong.  Here are a few short, but interesting facts.

If the bride married in a church, a gown with a long train and a veil of the same length was the style of the era. The veil remained over the bride’s face until after the wedding ceremony. I’ve read conflicting statements regarding kissing at the altar, but I allowed a smooch anyway for my characters.

Pure white had not yet become the standard of choice in wedding dresses. Colors varied. The dress pictured in this post is from roughly 1890. I like to visualize it as Charlotte’s dress, my blind heroine, in the story. I love the detailed bodice, the fabric, and the long train (not shown here). Bridesmaids often wore the same color of dress as the bride.

Superstitions abounded. There were rhymes about what day of the week was best to wed, the color of a bride’s dress, and, of course, the famous saying: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a lucky sixpence in your shoe.”  Each item had a meaning and purpose like the sixpence, which was meant to bless the wedding with wealth and prosperity.  No one married on Sunday, but the other days all had meaning:
Marry on Monday for health
 Tuesday for wealth
 Wednesday the best day of all
 Thursday for crosses
 Friday for losses
Saturday for no luck at all.

(Obtained from The Victorian Wedding)

After the service, the tossing of rice, grain, or birdseed was used for good luck when it came to fertility. If it were a wealthy couple, a carriage drawn by four white horses waited for the bride and groom after the service to take them to the reception. The reception was usually held at the bride’s home. Weddings took place in the morning around 11 o’clock, and the reception consisted of a wedding breakfast.

An area for a receiving line would have been set up for the bride and groom at the reception. Brides were addressed first, unless the guest only knew the groom. In that instance, the groom would introduce the bride. I must laugh when I discovered that the bride was never congratulated, as the honor of marriage was conferred upon her already for agreeing to marry the groom. (Lucky spinster finally finds a husband, I guess.)

Guests enjoyed their breakfast, but there was no entertainment at the reception. Evening receptions, with dancing, only occurred at lavish wedding affairs.

After the reception, the bride changed into another dress for her honeymoon journey. Only the groom and the best man knew the location, which by tradition was a well-kept secret.

There are many websites regarding Victorian-era weddings. The link in this post has quite a bit of detail. However, the Victorian era spanned many years, as you know, so traditions changed somewhat as the years progressed.

Such is the romance of the Victorian ages.

Vicki

Historical Tidbit: “The Victorian Wedding” by Vicki Hopkins

While writing my award-winning novel, Dark Persuasion, I spent a fair amount of time researching Victorian courting, wedding preparations, weddings, and honeymoons.  The entire process felt so romantic to me that I focused quite a bit about the wedding between my heroine and hero.

Below are a few excerpts from previous blogs that I’ve written regarding that research.  I hope you enjoy!

The Wedding Trousseau

In Dark Persuasion, because my heroine is blind, her sister is actively involved in preparations for the wedding. One task is helping prepare Charlotte’s wedding trousseau.

The French word trousseau refers, of course, to a bride’s bundle of personal possessions amassed prior to the wedding that include undergarments and clothing. Late in the 19th and early 20th century a collection of household wares (tablecloths, towels, linens, etc.) were also included.

My story is set roughly around the 1885-1890, so Charlotte’s collection of personal items deal mainly with fine undergarments and clothing. Below is an excerpt from Vintage Connection describing a typical trousseau around 1884. It would include the following:

“… a dozen chemises trimmed with embroidery or insertions, a dozen nightdresses, six well-trimmed combinations, a dozen drawers, nine trimmed petticoats, one French petticoat, nine camisoles, six vests, five flannel petticoats, two dressing gowns, three bed jackets, a dozen pairs of fine-quality Lisle stockings, three pairs of silk stockings, two dozen handkerchiefs, a pair of French corsets, a bustle, a satin nightdress and a lace-trimmed sachet.”

The Wedding

Everything in the Victorian era seemed to be dictated by proper etiquette. Weddings were no different. There were rules about fashion, the time to wed, and the reception. It was quite an interesting read doing research about the subject. I tried to incorporate as much as I could within my text in hopes of ducking any criticism about getting it all wrong.  Here are a few short, but interesting facts.

If the bride married in a church, a gown with a long train and a veil of the same length was the style of the era. The veil remained over the bride’s face until after the wedding ceremony. I’ve read conflicting statements regarding kissing at the altar, but I allowed a smooch anyway for my characters.

Pure white had not yet become the standard of choice in wedding dresses. Colors varied. The dress pictured in this post is from roughly 1890. I like to visualize it as Charlotte’s dress, my blind heroine, in the story. I love the detailed bodice, the fabric, and the long train (not shown here). Bridesmaids often wore the same color of dress as the bride.

Superstitions abounded. There were rhymes about what day of the week was best to wed, the color of a bride’s dress, and, of course, the famous saying: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a lucky sixpence in your shoe.”  Each item had a meaning and purpose like the sixpence, which was meant to bless the wedding with wealth and prosperity.  No one married on Sunday, but the other days all had meaning:
Marry on Monday for health
 Tuesday for wealth
 Wednesday the best day of all
 Thursday for crosses
 Friday for losses
Saturday for no luck at all.

(Obtained from The Victorian Wedding)

After the service, the tossing of rice, grain, or birdseed was used for good luck when it came to fertility. If it were a wealthy couple, a carriage drawn by four white horses waited for the bride and groom after the service to take them to the reception. The reception was usually held at the bride’s home. Weddings took place in the morning around 11 o’clock, and the reception consisted of a wedding breakfast.

An area for a receiving line would have been set up for the bride and groom at the reception. Brides were addressed first, unless the guest only knew the groom. In that instance, the groom would introduce the bride. I must laugh when I discovered that the bride was never congratulated, as the honor of marriage was conferred upon her already for agreeing to marry the groom. (Lucky spinster finally finds a husband, I guess.)

Guests enjoyed their breakfast, but there was no entertainment at the reception. Evening receptions, with dancing, only occurred at lavish wedding affairs.

After the reception, the bride changed into another dress for her honeymoon journey. Only the groom and the best man knew the location, which by tradition was a well-kept secret.

There are many websites regarding Victorian-era weddings. The link in this post has quite a bit of detail. However, the Victorian era spanned many years, as you know, so traditions changed somewhat as the years progressed.

Such is the romance of the Victorian ages.

Vicki

Review: "The Rogue’s Prize" by Katherine Bone

Crimson Romance
Traditional Publisher
Synopsis:

Captain Henry Guffald is no ordinary captain. A member of Nelson’s Tea, he’s learned the hard way what treachery will achieve. As a result, he’s sworn an oath never to give in to his ambition. Daring, proud, Henry sets out to rescue a comrade captured in Spain. But when his ship is attacked by a female pirate roving the Cornish coast, waylaying his plans, Henry is forced to make her his prize if he’s going to save a good man’s life.

Lady Adele Seaton has been raised in a family profited by a lucrative smuggling business. Though her parents wish otherwise, she would no sooner give up the call to rove than marry. But obtaining independence is a challenge when her brother faces a hangman’s noose. Planning to save him, she captures an English ship. But things go awry and she is dragged home in disgrace, forced to ally herself with the one man with the power to anchor more than her ship – her heart.

 Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter

Review:

Second book in the historical romance trilogy “Nelson’s Tea,” The Rogue’s Prize is a thrilling amorous adventure that captivates its readers from the very beginning. I’ve read only this novel by Ms. Katherine Bone, I’ll make sure to look into her other books soon.

Regardless whether you read the first book in the series or not (I haven’t), this one is a pretty standalone adventure with an array of interesting characters; from men in uniforms, double agents and a damsel in distress.
I won’t go into the details of the story (as I’ll post the summary at the end), but I was entranced by Captain Guffald and his entourage immediately. If you have a soft-spot for pirates and life at sea, this is a book I recommend.
The story has nice twists to it, good dialogue and clear descriptions. The author balances out the importance she gives to the romancing as much as she gives to the action scenes. Some hot, sensual loving wasn’t missing which, speaking frankly, we always anticipate in these novels. Lady Adele and Captain Guffald are two strong characters with as much different temperaments and characters as they are each others’ equals and even though us ladies tend to spiral in favour of the Captain (aye, aye!); you will be pleased not to be reading about a whiny lady concerned with her hair and her dress.
Whilst loving the story, it doesn’t mean I would change anything either. For starters, I would have loved to see more twists. The verbal skirmishes between the hero and heroine were interesting, and I would have liked to see them clash more rather than read their repetitive musings.
Captain Guffald whilst being a handsome navy captain, he is also a recurring character from the previous novel. Ms.Bone gives us ample information; through his thoughts to learn about his past adventures that took place in the other book, however sometimes it feels like his musings are too cumbersome for this book and for the man himself. For readers of the first book this aspect might be a bit boring and repetitive. For new ones like me; it actually helped me to get inside the man’s head but after half the book was over I felt that maybe I didn’t really need to read the first novel at all as he provided major spoilers. Nonetheless, Ms.Bone’s tactic is similar to the human mind and how some traumatic experiences are relived on a daily basis which shows also the depth of the character.
Finally my verdict would be a 4 Crowns – Princess of a Charming Story. The plot was good, the characters interesting and so is the dialogue. It is wonderfully written and for a pirate-lover like me; this novel was ideal to start my Summer reading spree with.

(Review by Countess Samantha)

http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?t=justocom-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B00D5X05F4&ref=tf_til&fc1=F0F1EB&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=D7B838&bc1=000000&bg1=000000&f=ifr

Accepting Books for Review

We are now accepting books for review.  You are welcome to submit your title, but I cannot guarantee we’ll be able to accommodate every request.  
However, if you have a book you’d like reviewed, please submit through the link below, and I’ll offer to our reviewers for consideration.  Traditional and independent authors are welcome. 

Our rating guidelines are below:

5 Crowns – Sovereign Queen of Historical Love

4 Crowns – Princess of a Charming Story

3 Crowns – Duchess of a Good Read

2 Crowns – Baroness of a Feudal Romance

1 Crown – A Lady in Waiting

Our staff is looking forward to reviewing your stories!  Also, if you’d like to be a reviewer, let me know and we can discuss.

You can read biographical information on our current review team HERE.

Request a review HERE.

Happy Writing and Reading!

Vicki

Short Story Promo – "Treasuring Theresa" by Susana Ellis

Regency Short Story
Ellora’s Cave
Synopsis
At the betrothal ball of the man she had expected to marry herself, Lady Theresa latches on to Damian Ashby, hoping to divert attention from her own humiliating situation. Of course, she’s not seriously interested because he’s a useless London fribble, in her opinion. He is not favorably impressed with her either.
Still, she’s the daughter of an earl, and he’s the heir to her father’s title and estate, so they are destined to spend more time in each other’s company . . . sooner rather than later. And who knew that the two of them would develop an unlikely attraction to one another?
But can a London swell and a country lady ever make their diverse lives and interests work together?
Author Bio
 
A former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.

In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around England and visit many of the places she’s read about for years, and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.

 

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Those Abs! That Bodice! That Pose! The Joys of Romance Covers

They say men are stimulated visually.  It’s not what they hear whispered in their ears – it’s what they see with their eyes that moves them toward sex and romance.  For the most part, I do think that men are wired that way.  However, when it comes to reading steamy historical romance novels, women are not only moved by the story, but by the covers that give us a glimpse of the hero and heroine.

The historical romance genre bombards readers with bare-chested, muscular males, who have shirts falling off their backs, toned physiques, and six-pack abs. The heroines are women with unbuttoned or unlaced dresses in the back, overflowing breasts from low necklines, and passionate scenes of kissing in provocative poses.  They set the stage for the forthcoming sexual tension between the characters and build the reader’s anticipation of what is to come between the sheets . . . I mean pages.
The old adage you can’t judge a book by its cover is really only a half truth, because I dare say most books are sold in the romance genre by what is on the cover.  The cover sets the scene, tempts us with what’s inside, and reveals the type of book we’re about to read, or at least it should. 
As an author myself, I always try and pick my covers to relate to one of the scenes in my book.  The cover picture above was designed by my graphic artist, Robin Ludwig for my awarding-winning romance Dark Persuasion.  I purchased the stock photograph of Jimmy Thomas, a well-known and popular model who is now on over 4,000 covers.  The cover above is actually two photographs. The picture I chose of Jimmy and the female model tells a story.  Darkness behind the man who can see; light behind the woman who is blind. When I saw the pose, I envisioned a scene in my book.  Jimmy loved the final cover and was kind enough to showcase it on his website for a while.

Of course, there are many talented cover designers and graphic artists that produce fantastic work in the industry.  Large publishing houses can afford the best artists and highly paid models to grace their covers.  One artist in particular is Jon Paul Studios.  I love the fact that when you hit his website you hear the beautiful song, “Somewhere in Time.”  Check out his gallery and get lost in his works of art that are breathtaking beautiful. He also has a Facebook page where he posts his most recent creations. The cover art to the right is a Jon Paul creation.

Many indie authors and traditional publishers are also turning toward stock photography on sites such as Dreamstime, iStockPhoto, Getty Images, Shutterstock, Fotolio, and many more.  The prices are reasonable and licensing terms are fairly straightforward.  Frankly, I’ve thought for many years that photographers have a goldmine of opportunity if they would focus more on historical era shots with men and women in the fashions of the time.  I’m happy to see an increase of such photographs on the market.
Jimmy Thomas is a model who understands the industry and what authors are looking for in cover choices. He regularly does photo shoots in all eras from Renaissance, Regency, Highlander, Roaring 20’s, and others. However, just purchasing a photograph isn’t the end of the design process.  The real artistry, of course, comes when a picture is chosen and then it’s turned into a cover story that is unique. Authors, however, are wise to learn the rules about license usage rights, model releases, and copyright law when dealing with photography. Better to be safe than sued for damages in a court of law for infringement.

Since Fabio’s earlier days of book cover shots, with his long hair, chiseled face and body, it seems the standard for romance covers hasn’t changed very much.  We now have new models and artists on the scene and the advent of advanced design techniques to tickle our fantasies with background scenes. I have noticed, though, a distinct difference between historical romance and historical fiction covers.  Historical fiction uses less exposed flesh it appears than the historical romance genre, as you can see by the slideshow below.

In any event, a well designed cover does the trick.  It will either entice us to purchase or not. Frankly, I remember the days when I loved to buy novels with beautiful covers and keep them on my bookshelves like works of art.  Now, we enjoy them our our high definition digital readers.  Wherever they meet our eyes, on print or screen, the effect remains the same — you wish you were the heroine in the arms of the hero about to enjoy the fleshly pleasures that await.
Sigh…
Vicki

Building a Blog Platform for Historical Romance

Building a blog is time consuming work!  We’ve opened a Twitter account @LongAgoLove and Facebook page for Historical Romance Books. and are slowly attracting interested authors and readers.  Like any other new blog, we need to attract enough visitors to participate in blog tours.
Feel free to share our site badge off to the left-hand side by posting it on your blogs or websites.  Any help you can give us sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Google, Goodreads, or other accounts would be sincerely appreciated.  That reminds me that I need to open another Goodreads account for Historical Romance Books Blog!  
In any event, we have started to slowly add new content.  Check out our Historical Tidbits page for some eye-opening articles on the reality of historical romance.  Yes, we fantasize about all the fashions, riches, handsome men, manors, and manners of days gone by.  However, along with it, there are realities of what life was truly like that could shock you. 
If you are an author who has done considerable research in any time period and would like to contribute to our Historical Tidbits page, please drop me an email or send a comment to contribute.
Thank you for helping us bring authors and readers together in the historical romance genre.
Fondly,
Vicki @ Historical Romance Books

Welcome

As a writer of historical fiction and romance, I’ve noticed since my last blog tour that many book promo sites do not focus on historical romance alone.  I’ve been picked up on fantasy, paranormal, erotica, and other contemporary romance sites, which frankly hasn’t generated a lot of interest. I’m not surprised when 19th century Victorian lovers are advertised on 21st century fantasy book blogs.

I sincerely appreciate the blogs that agreed to showcase my books, but I’m just disappointed over the results of no sales and no comments.  My common sense tells me that many readers in the romance community are niche readers, so if I write historical romance, I need to search out those readers.  Historical romance websites that want my firstborn in payment to advertise is frankly discouraging too.

Like everything else in my life, if I can’t find what I want, I might as well do it myself and offer a platform for others authors while I’m at it.
This blog, of course, is in the birthing stage. I’ll need to find readers, before I start pumping out opportunities to use it as a book tour blogging platform.  I may eventually ask for reviewers to be part of the promotional opportunities.  At this time, with my life schedule and writing schedule, I cannot take time out to review books.
Nevertheless, if you are a reader and would like to sign up, please feel free to do so in anticipation of what is to come.  If you are an author, you may contact me to post information about your historical romance.  It’s my preference to showcase both traditional and independent works of full-length novels (70,000 words or more).
Thank you for joining me on this new journey of promotion for a vast array of books. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.  Feel free to right click on my logo above and link back to the site.  Thank you!

Regards,
Vicki @ Historical Romance Books

P.S.  The wonderful template and pictures for this blog are from Vintage Made for You.