ROYALTY, ROMANCE NOVELS, AND A LITTLE RUCKUS
The lovely Avoriana and I are doing a joint review of Judith McNaught’s Almost Heaven for the USAToday Happily Ever After website. Our aim is to have it wrapped up by Friday. Even on the surface there are such differences between today’s historicals — a print pixel size of 8 it seems, a book that’s 517 pages long, and, of course more importantly, a very different way of looking at a heroine. Elizabeth, the Countess (in her own right) of Havenhurst, is a mixture of naive and intelligent that you rarely see in today’s books. As for the sparks between the hero, Ian Thornton, and Elizabeth, lighting a sexual bonfire in the first chapter, hah, that’s not going to happen. For one thing, much of the first 100 pages are retrospective, woven in with what’s happening to Elizabeth today. Setting, England, time, not sure yet. Things go wrong for the couple because of mean girls — and that is less common in today’s historicals.
Once I had a picture-perfect memory, especially for anything to do with the Royals. Unfortunately, now, not so much. I KNOW that the Queen has worn Rayne shoes forever but it seems as if the firm is now longer in existence. What happened to her queenly molds? To be continued! I’m obsessing about Rayne court shoes because the Duchess of Catherine is getting a lot of flack for wearing the same nude L K Bennett shoes over and over again. It’s a royal tradition to “stick with what works” and being an ambassador of British fashion doesn’t mean being a slave to trends.
Here’s something I ponder: does my satisfaction as a customer of a publishing company equal the success that a publishing company has? A friend said (all mistakes mine) that in a year, Entangled Publishing was on par with Ellora’s Cave. Since the news has been full of Jennifer Probst’s success, I wanted to read her own story, in her own words. What do I personally know about Entangled? That their books are cheaper than Harlequin (in the case of a book by Nina Croft, which was Harlequinesque in title and content) … plus I was lent the book. Price and lendability, that works for me. It seems from the stories about Probst that Entangled is a very good place to be if you’re an author and want to make some money. Again, to be continued but it seems they must have a model worth examining.
Pish tosh and thumbs down on the dreadful job ABC did on bringing the Queen’s Concert to a US audience. How about a drinking game for the endless mistakes made by host Katie Couric. Here’s an example: she said no musician had ever played before on the top of Buckingham Palace. Brian May anyone, ten years earlier? Can I blame her? Probably not, but next time you go to England Katie, how about more accuracy, better researchers and less coy puns? I watched the entire concert live on a grainy YouTube feed and ABC in its infinite non-wisdom left great performances out.
Today there are five items and this is the serendipity segment (copied from today’s SFChronicle website). Why is it important? Because, and I quote, “This year, Higgins and Daunell [the two artisans who own the Castro store] Higgins and Daunell were commissioned by the last muralist Diego Rivera’s daughter in Mexico to repair a pair of Frida Kahlo’s earrings, the ones shaped liked hands given to her by Pablo Picasso.” Do you believe it my solitary reader?
Meredith May, San Francisco Chronicle, 06/10/12
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