Jilly: Love Is Not Enough. Or Is It?

Love Is Not EnoughDo you read contemporary romance? I’m playing catch-up here and I’d appreciate some help. Is the frothy, fluffy, funny love-story-only romantic comedy a popular Thing, and if so, do you enjoy it?

This month I’ve been on a contemporary romance reading mini-binge. Normally if I have time to read a new book I turn to recommendations from this blog, my bookworm friends, and other sources like the NPR Top 100 Romances list, pick the title that fits my mood, download (thanks, Amazon!), pour wine, make tea or run bath as appropriate, and dive in 🙂 .

The snag with that approach is that I’m usually looking for a change from the sub-genre I’m writing, so the title that fits my mood is rarely contemporary romance. I decided I was missing a trick, so I went on a buying spree (thanks, Amazon!), engaged kettle/corkscrew and dove in. I tried a couple of books by a successful but new-to-me author, and I’m not going to name names here because Continue reading

Jilly: The Best of Both Worlds

Eskdale How was your week? We spent most of ours in the beautiful Lake District with my husband’s family. My mother-in-law has been a regular summer visitor to Eskdale for many years, so it was the perfect place for her to celebrate a landmark birthday. I didn’t write a single word all week (didn’t expect to!) but I absorbed a lot of useful impressions. It was a long, slow drive back to London on Friday, and I spent most of it thinking about what I’d learned.

My Gilded Lily series is set in Scotland, a couple of hundred miles further north, but the Lake District environment is very similar – wild, rugged scenery of moorland, lake and mountain, mile upon mile of hillside dotted with hardy sheep tended by even hardier farmers. Everyone has at least one dog. Everyone knows everyone else, often going back many generations.

My books star twenty-first century characters who have been brought up in this type of rural community and who combine the best of the traditional and the contemporary. Their roots are deep, and their values are those of their parents and grandparents, but they aren’t isolated from current lifestyles; they’re smart, worldly, entrepreneurial characters who adapt and innovate for the benefit of their home and community.

That’s exactly the kind of feeling Continue reading