Author Archive: John Charles

The Romance Writers of America 2002 Librarian of the Year, Charles has been reviewing romances for Booklist since 1999 and is the author of Romance Today: An A to Z Guide to Contemporary American Romance. After working for the Scottsdale Public Library System for 30 years, Charles retired and went to work for Scottsdale's independent bookstore the Poisoned Pen, where he still gets to push books but has to deal with far fewer computer questions.

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10 Questions for Abby Jimenez

10 Questions for Abby Jimenez

Fueled by an abundance of coffee, Minnesota resident Abby Jimenez founded her award-winning company, Nadia Cakes, in her own kitchen in 2007 after discovering she had a rare flair for handling buttercream and pastry bags. After taking home the gold in Food Network’s Cupcake Wars developing a cult following among sweet-toothed fans around the globe, […]

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There’s Something about Amelia

There’s Something about Amelia

When Elizabeth Peters’s first Amelia Peabody mystery, The Crocodile on the Sandbank, appeared in print in 1975, Peters had no way of knowing Amelia would become a role model for a host of intrepid female protagonists. In fact, Peters (a pseudonym for American writer Barbara Mertz), who held a PhD in Egyptology from the University […]

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Move Over, Miss Marple

Move Over, Miss Marple

Ever since Edgar Allan Poe introduced readers to Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin in 1841, the amateur detective has played an important role in the world of mysteries. However, perhaps because of the influence of Agatha Christie’s redoubtable Miss Marple, who spent more than 40 years weeding out murderers in St. Mary Mead, or the […]

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Kiss Me or Kill Me: The 20 Best Romantic Suspense Novels

Kiss Me or Kill Me: The 20 Best Romantic Suspense Novels

Picture a genre fiction Venn diagram. One circle represents suspense, the other romance, and the overlap contains the intriguing world of romantic suspense, in which two seemingly disparate elements, danger and desire, are successfully merged into one irresistible story. The ratio between the amount of suspense and romance as well as the manner in which […]

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Hope and Heart: 18 Titles for Readers Who Love the Hallmark Channel

Hope and Heart: 18 Titles for Readers Who Love the Hallmark Channel

Sometimes the world can be a dark and scary place (especially, it seems, during the last two years), so is it really any wonder that ratings have been booming for the Hallmark Channel? The seemingly endless supply of made-for-television movies and shows offer a warm and comfortable place to escape from all the sturm and […]

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10 Questions for Maya Rodale
By November 28, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

10 Questions for Maya Rodale

Best-selling and award-winning writer Maya Rodale discovered just how great a romance novel can be while in college when her mother insisted that she read one. Now the author of more than a dozen romances, a selection of novellas, and the nonfiction work Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained, Maya […]

10 Questions for Megan Frampton
By September 27, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

10 Questions for Megan Frampton

With The Lady is Daring, the latest sparkling installment in Megan Frampton’s Duke’s Daughters series—out earlier this week—the always- reliable historical romance writer delivers another happy literary marriage of red-hot sensuality and deliciously dry wit. We spoke to Frampton about writing witty characters, Latin phrases, and Clark Gable.   JOHN CHARLES: Who is Megan Frampton? […]

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Hungry for Love: 16 Tales of Food-Based Romance
By September 19, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

Hungry for Love: 16 Tales of Food-Based Romance

Food has the ability to engage at least four of our basic senses, five if you count the sound of popcorn popping or the sizzle of a hot steak. Is it really surprising that food is often an important ingredient in romance fiction? Couple that sensory appeal with just how steamy things can get in […]

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10 Questions with Mary Jo Putney
By September 14, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

10 Questions with Mary Jo Putney

Early in her writing career, which began with the publication of The Diabolical Baron in 1987, Mary Jo Putney began testing the traditional boundaries of historical romance. She tackled topics like alcoholism and domestic abuse, set her stories in a wide range of locales from China to Indonesia, and even added a dollop of magic […]

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Toujours L’Amour: The 10 Best Love Stories Set in Paris
By September 5, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

Toujours L’Amour: The 10 Best Love Stories Set in Paris

What is it about Paris that makes it so darn romantic? Is it the thought of stealing a kiss under the Eiffel Tower at night? Enjoying a picnic in the springtime beauty of the Luxembourg Gardens? Sharing a delicieux éclair with your petit chou at some charming little patisserie? Holding hands while enjoying a sunset cruise […]

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