Jilly: A Hint From the Universe – Christmas Stories

Christmas in OctoberDo you enjoy Christmas romances? Do you buy them? And if so, do you plan ahead and buy them now, or do you wait until you’re feeling festive?

It probably helps if you’re a Christmas lover. I’m a complete Grinch, so last Friday, when I noticed my Twitter feed was swamped with tweets about newly-released Christmas books, I had a Bah! Humbug moment and tweeted ‘Who buys Christmas books in Oct? Obvs people do, but why? I’m trying to hang on to last vestiges of summer. Last thing I want is mistletoe.’

A moment or two later, Jennifer O’Brien replied: ‘The best holiday stories are sold out of hard copies by Dec. Xmas lover + long range planner = Christmas books in Oct. I have 4.’

Oh. Okay. That figures. Thanks, Jennifer 🙂

In last week’s post The Bad News About Good Reviews I said, “Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to discover new reads so I’m not giving up on it … I think I’m going to start a monthly post here, where I know there’s no funny business, asking for suggestions and offering my own.” I wasn’t intending to start those monthly posts today, but it struck me that my exchange with Jennifer might be one of those Disturbing Hints from the Universe that Kat described yesterday in her post Amping Up Creativity.

So, hint taken.

In the interests Continue reading

Jilly: The Slipper And The Horseshoe

The Slipper and the HorseshoeCalling all historical romance readers: can you recommend any good books similar to The Slipper And The Horseshoe, the novel described with great enthusiasm by Judi Dench, playing Philomena Lee in the Oscar-nominated movie based on Philomena’s true-life search for the son she gave up for adoption as an unmarried teenage mother in rural Ireland?

I wrote a post on 19 January in which I said I think that The Slipper And The Horseshoe must be a creation of Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, the writers of Philomena. I suspect their intention was to send up genre romance, but the premise they came up with has the potential for an excellent story. It seems I wasn’t the only person to think so. ‘I Didn’t See That Coming’ has become 8LW’s most frequently viewed post of all time, because every week without fail readers are discovering it whilst searching the internet for variants of ‘the slipper and the horseshoe.’

Several times over the last three months I’ve thought that if I wrote historicals, I’d be typing furiously. Sadly, I wouldn’t know where to start, but as 113 people so far this week have read a 3 month-old post looking for information about a non-existent book, I decided to see if I could find some good alternative recommendations Continue reading