Headless Heroines

Elizabeth Camden Ramblings about Romance, The Book World 3 Comments

Have you noticed the trend in headless heroines on the covers of your favorite romance novels? If not, here is a sampling of some very popular covers from the past couple of years:

I have to admit, I am a fan of this trend. I’ve always found it a little disconcerting when a character is looking directly out of the cover at you. I love being able to see a portion of the heroine….her clothing is an immediate clue about the tone and era of the book. By only showing a hint of the face, the reader can create her own mental image of what the heroine should look like.

This has been a hugely popular trend in recent years on everything from Young Adult covers through fantasy and mainstream literary. I’ll be sorry to see it end, but I fear it is already starting to become a little passé.

A Prequel for Downton Abbey? Yes, Please!

Elizabeth Camden Musings on Life 1 Comment

I hear rumor that a prequel is in the works for Downton Abbey! It will feature the courtship of Cora and Martin, and is being written by the original screenwriter for the series, the masterful Julian Fellows.

I’m not normally a fan of prequels, as the viewer already knows where the story is headed, but I CAN’T WAIT for this one! We already know from the mini-series that Martin married Cora for her fortune, but that she was desperately in love when she married him. This has all the makings for a terrific story. I am especially excited about the costuming. I write most of my novels set in the 1880’s and 90’s for the shallow reason that this was the best era for fashion!

A pair of younger actors will be cast in the leading role, but the filming will once again take place at the magnificent house (Highclere Abbey in real life). The series will not air until the current Downton Abbey runs its course. Let the countdown begin!

Why Read Romance?

Elizabeth Camden Ramblings about Romance 1 Comment

It is a sad fact that the romance genre tends to generate snickers and raised eyebrows. Some women who adore reading romance novels use fabric book covers while on the subway. Authors of the genre are asked when they will write a “real novel.” The knee-jerk assumption by critics of the romance genre relate to unrealistic storylines and overly idealized relationships. Yes, romance novels offer a huge dose of larger-than-life escapism, but so do westerns, sci-fi and mysteries, and yet those genres are not subjected to the skepticism and scorn of the romance novel.

Critics of romance novels often assume the women who devour those novels are seeking the fantasy of a dashing man or a fulfilling career. Guess what? I already have those things! And so do most of the women who chose to read romance novels.

The genre is also slammed for its predictability. It is true that almost all romance novels have a happily-ever-after ending, but this does not detract from its appeal for its fans. A mystery novel would be ruined if the reader can spot the ending resolution, but this isn’t the case in romance. In a genre romance novel, the appeal is based on becoming emotionally engaged with the characters. The plot is not nearly as important as the growth of the characters and their response to challenges. Most romances feature a good deal of storm and stress (Jane Eyre, anyone?) and a romance novel allows a reader to explore that journey from a safe environment.

According to statistics gathered by the Romance Writers of America, 29% of adult women read a romance novel last year. I hope they all found wonderful, life-affirming and inspiring stories!

Against the Tide is Here!

Elizabeth Camden Against the Tide 4 Comments

It has finally arrived! Against the Tide is now available online and in your favorite bookstores.

I am very proud of this book. I think it is the most romantic book I’ve written, and I had an absolute ball crafting two such dynamic, intelligent leading characters who are so perfect for each other, but with one huge, looming problem that appears to be an insurmountable obstacle in their path.

Here is a blurb:

Boston of 1891 is a city of hope and ambition, where mariners, merchants, and dreamers thrive in the cobblestone streets of America’s most historic city. Within the harbor of Boston’s naval shipyard, Lydia Pallas has become a trusted assistant to an Admiral in the U.S. Navy. Fluent in seven languages, she spends her days translating documents from all over the world.

Lydia’s remarkable language skills bring her to the attention of Alexander Banebridge, a mysterious man on a quest to rid the world of the scourge of opium. Only Lydia has the rare combination of language skills and courage he needs to advance his cause. A man as coolly analytical as he is relentless, Bane never bargained on falling in love with Lydia. As he battles the bittersweet love that grows between them, Bane’s mission will take Lydia away from everything—and everyone—she ever held dear.