Monday, June 29, 2009

Hurray! It's finally here!

Betina here, celebrating the arrival of my latest book! It's a Harlequin BLAZE. . . historical and sexy and full of fun. Today is the official release date, although I've already had e-mails from readers saying they'd found it in stores earlier and have already read it! I am soooo excited. . . partly because this is my first book out in a while and partly because. . . I just LOVE this book.

It combines my favorite elements in a romance: humor, women's power, a battle of wits, and a playful sensuality. Heroine Mariah Eller is not a woman to trifle with. She is bright and determined and knows the ways of the world. So imagine her dismay when she finds her newly remodeled inn invaded by drunken noblemen out for a raunchy bit of fun. While keeping them from destroying her property, she catches the eye of the group's leader. . . none other than the Prince of Wales himself.

The prince decides to take the feisty and fetching widow for a mistress and dispatches his trusted friend and hunting companion, Jack St.Lawrence, to marry her off so he can bed her. [Bertie-- for his own twisty reasons-- dallied only with married women. ] Jack St. Lawrence, would rather have teeth pulled than be stuck marrying off the bold, opinionated, and far-too-delectable widow. But he's nothing, if not loyal.

This is NOT Tristan and Isolde. Trust me.

Mariah makes life as difficult as possible for "Iron Jack." His efforts to marry her off perversely bring them closer together. For true love to prevail, Jack will have to betray his friend and benefactor and Mariah will have to defy the will of one of the richest and most powerful men in the world. Pretty formidable odds.

And yet. . . there is hope. Want to see how this one turns out?

One aspect of this book is a glimpse of the attitudes toward women that made it possible for men of means to take advantage of them. Society did not not allow women self-determination, and refused to credit them with ambition or purpose. But there were many women in the late Victorian era who chafed at the double standard and stood up for themselves, their families, and daughters. The drawing rooms of Victorian England are where the whole women's rights movement began.

I loved writing this book and working with Brenda Chin at Harlequin. If you know anything about my work, you'll know that I've specialized in big, thick historicals for most of my career. I confess that I worried at first that I'd find myself having to cut things I'd usually include. I was delighted to find that in writing a shorter book, I was freed to concentrate solely on the main romance. No complicating secondary plots or pesky secondary characters threatening to take over the book. From the Prince to the aged butler to the plain-spoken lady's maid, everybody served the romance.

And I discovered a more disciplined approach to word use in the book. I reined in my tendency to "double" everything and made myself be more focused and succinct. Yeah, it surprised me, too.

So, have I titillated your tastebuds? Whetted your appetite for some historical hijinx?

I hope you have a chance to read Make Me Yours and that you'll stop by my web site (BetinaKrahn.com) and let me know how you liked it. (Okay, if you must, you can tell me here.) (cough)

Oh, and I'm giving away three copies of Make Me Yours to commenters today. So let's hear from you. Questions? Comments? I'll give you a few topics. . . talk amongst yerselves. . .

*Short historicals. . . boon or boondoggle?
*Is $4.99 too much to pay for a book you won't read more than six or eight times?
*How many sex scenes are too many in a 200 page book?
*The Kama Sutra is greatly overrated.
*Historical covers are more "romantic" than contemporary covers.
*Historical covers are cheesier than contemporary covers.
*Betina's new icon picture. . . rocks or sucks?

WOO HOO! My book's out! Champagne all around!

40 comments:

Betina Krahn said...

Sheesh. Forgot that you can't see the icon photo unless I post a comment!

Lou said...

I've never read Historicals, so I can't answer the first one.

Yes, 5.29 (after taxes for me) is too much to pay; but I also hold onto the books and reread them for inspiration, like to see the authors first line and why it hooked.

None are too many. There aren't enough sex scenes! (and im saying that while blushing)

I wouldn't know about the Kama Sutra (blushing again).

I'll go with the second one and the first one at the same time. How's that!? :P

It looks smashing baby!

Emmanuelle said...

Congratulations on your new release !!
Short romances are generally not my favorite but it's true that sometimes I feel like a quick read so why not !! I've never read any short historical but honnestly this one is very tempting...
About the sex scenes... it depends (I know stupid answer). Sometimes they're called for sometimes not. I can enjoy a book even if it contains only one scene so...

Playground Monitor said...

Your new icon photo rocks!

I buy my category books at Walmart and they're much less than $4.99.

I think the short historical has its place. As you said, you don't have the secondary plots and characters and are focused just on the relationship between your hero and heroine. I love category for that reason -- a quick read with lots of love and a happy ending.

Brenda's quite a gal, isn't she? She did a program for our RWA chapter last summer and I really enjoyed meeting her and hearing her take on writing romance (Hint: good characterization).

Congrats on the release!

Marilyn

Kylie said...

Betina, congrats on your book! And I know how pumped Harlequin is to have you writing for them because you had the gorgeous cover *months* before they usually release them, which tells me that a great deal of thought went into them in the marketing department!

CrystalGB said...

Hi Betina. Congratulations on your new release. Sounds wonderful. Love the cover.

Helen Brenna said...

Betina, congrats on the new release! Love the story idea and can't wait to read it. And your picture is gorgeous.

It's a good Monday all around!

D Twomey said...

Congratulations on your book! I'm not usually a historical romance reader, but must admit that yours sounds really good... so I'll be looking for it on the shelves!!!

MJFredrick said...

Oh, cool! I like short. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment when I finish reading it ;)

Michele Hauf said...

I can't wait to read this one! It's been too long without a Betina book! Congrats!

kimmyl said...

Hi Betina. Congratulations on your new release. Can't wait to read it. Loved the cover and your icon looks great too.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Betina
Congrats on the new release!!!!!!!!! And do you all know that this is a groundbreaking book?? It's the first time EVER that Harlequin has included an historical as a BLAZE. We are so proud of you Betina!! And I love the new photo.
Hugs
Cindy

tetewa said...

I don't care how many sex scenes are wriiten in a book as long as they are done tastefully!

Loralee said...

Hi Betina,
Loved it, loved it! It's just as delicious as your longer historicals - a typical Krahn feast of words for the senses. Hooray for HQ bringing you to Blaze! The characters come to life and capture the reader from the very first sentence.
So great to add another of your books to my collection.
Hugs and champagne toasts from Michigan.

Genella deGrey said...

Hi Betina!
Big congrats to you!
You book sounds wonderful - historical, sexy, humorous - right up my alley.
:)
G.

Anonymous said...

congats on the book and great reviews from rt
nice cover

i guess it depends on the book lol
kh

Betina Krahn said...

Hey everybody! I'm thrilled to see you all here! And despite the rain, Helen, it is indeed turning out to be a five-star day!

Shucks, Lou, you've got me blushing. You know, I thought the Kama Sutra was revolutionary when I read it in college. I checked it out again for this book and it seemed. . . "quaint." What does that say about me?

Emanuelle, I echo that sentiment. There are times you just want a shorter read. And there are stories that just somehow fit in a shorter format.

Marilyn-- WallieMart! We do get great prices on books there-- I don't have one too nearby, though. sigh. And as I said it was refreshing to be able to just concentrateon the main romance for a change.

Kylie, I was surprised to learn that my cover was early; I thought it was normal. I can say for a fact that they've been swell to me and I'm loving doing books for them.

CrystalGB, thanks-- I love the cover, too. Soooo romantic.

D Twomey, I don't think you'll be disappointed with this one. The pace is brisk and there's lots of dialogue. Some aspects have a more contemporary feel-- at least to me. Let me know what you think.

M.J., that makes two of us! Writing shorter and finishing on time makes me really feel like I accomplished something, too!

Michele, you're such a sweetie. So you won't mind if I steal that cover art from YOUR upcoming book for my next historical? lol.

Kimmyl, thanks for chiming in and for liking my new pic!

Cindy, I'm actually not the 1st historical Blaze has done. Hope Tarr did the first one last summer, but they certainly are emphasizing this one. And I hope it pays off for them and me and the other historical authors they've signed.

Tetewa, I counted them up. . . five! Shocked myself. And my last book was considered "mild" for sensuality. I'm tellin' you-- I've turned up the heat!

Loralee! You've already read it? Wow! And thanks for the testimonial. You always worry, when trying something new, that you won't meet readers' expectations. Bless you for relieving my mind!

Genella deGrey, I hope you love it. And I hope it's the start of a whole stream of books going right up your alley! :)

Kathleen Eagle said...

The signal I've been waiting for!

I bopped on over to Target and purchased my copy of MAKE ME YOUR for $3.74 +tax. Such a deal! (Did you guys read in yesterday's paper that Target is going national with the advertised price match policy? They're taking Wal-Mart on head to head.)

Whether you're a contemporary or historical reader, I'm here to tell you, Betina Krahn does not disappoint. She does her research. She tells fresh, fascinating, original stories, and she WRITES BEAUTIFULLY. (Can you tell that last part is especially important to me?)

Watch your pulse rate, folks. But be prepared to let go of the heartstrings.

Loralee said...

Yes, Betina, I found it on the shelves of Meijer, our local chain supermarket last week and read it immediately. I'd already ordered a copy from eHarlequin, so now I have two prized copies.

I Heart Book Gossip said...

I enjoy short historicals for the fact that I can keep up with the scenes. Sometimes historicals tend to drag and I lose interest.

$4.99 plus tax is a little too much if I won't read it more than 6 times. I'd rather read it online and by a book that I can reread over and over again.

For a 200 page book there has to be more than 3 scenes. I'm a demanding reader and the time spent reading the book is valuable.

I think I'll freak out if these Harlequins cost more than 5 dollars.

Betina, do you get to decide on the covers once its done from the publishers?

Please count me in for the contest.
cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Debra Dixon said...

YAY!!

Betina-- This is so great. I'm thrilled to see the book available because I've always loved your books. :)

And I don't have a problem with a short historical. I loved short Regencies but they weren't sexy enough. So, I'm delighted to see a shorter format.

As for sex scenes...I like a sensual sexy book but I will confess that I'd rather read erotica if there are so many sex scenes that the book's no longer a true romance. I read romance for the emotional-physical plus the courtship. If the book is so sexy that the courtship suffers, I'm not as happy.

flchen1 said...

Wooooo! Betina, what a goooorgeous cover! And your new icon photo rocks! Short historicals? Mostly a boon, I think--I like reading different length stories in different genres. Shorter historicals can be a real treat. As for price, if it's a keeper, it's worth every penny. If it's lame, well, yes, it's too much ;) I'm not sure you can create a standard appropriate number-of-sex-scenes-per-number-of-pages ratio--it really depends on the couple and their relationship! Besides, isn't there a chance that you might just be writing one or two extremely loooong scenes in those couple hundred pages? Haven't really read the Kama Sutra so I can't comment... should I be embarrassed? And not sure if historical covers are necessarily more romantic or cheesier--I do think that it's easier to go in that direction with historicals because of the expectations previously set with clinch covers and all that...

Congrats on release day! Did you zip out to the bookstore to see it on the shelves? :D

ChristyJan said...

My tastebuds are titillated and my appetite is whetted . . . congrats on the release of MAKE ME YOURS ~ I can't wait to read it! And, I love the cover.

Asking how many sex scenes in a 200 page book is like asking how much chocolate is too much in a 1 lb. box.

robynl said...

that's a great new photo but I don't know of any I've seen to compare.

$4.99 is not too much money because I don't know of a place where it is any less except to get it from a friend or library.

congrats on the book/release day!!!!

Keri Ford said...

YEAH BETINA! Congrats. Love the cover and I think it's fantasic how they're blending the genres in category length.

If I say $4.99 is too much does that mean I better my odds at winning???? *vbg*

lunaticcafe said...

I haven't read historicals in quite some time but your description really hooked me! My usuals are paranormal and suspense but I find myself needing a switch. The shorter format doesn't bother me because I enjoy the romance and I like to get involved with the characters.

Congrats on Make Me Yours- I'm adding it to my grocery list. Do you think hubby will notice? Apples, Make Me Yours, bread. He might take it as a suggestion and that's okay too:)

Betina Krahn said...

Kathy Eagle, you're a boon to my writer's soul! A compliment like that coming from you is worth its weight in gold! And you bought it to boot! I owe you, girl!

Loralee, you're a gem. But you didn't really have to buy TWO copies! I'd love you anyway!

Cindyc725, it's good to hear you like those love scenes. One recent reviewer said the book sizzled and I was blown away. Me? Sizzle? Alright!! And just to let you know, we're often asked by the publisher's art departments for input and suggestions. . . which they then totally ignore. I said specificially that my heroine had auburn, red-kissed hair on the Art Fact Sheets. I got a blond. So I had to go back and change my heroine's hair color!!!! How's that for clout?

Deb, I'm with you on the sex scenes. They gotta doe something more than just titillate me. I need them to change the characters and reveal them to each other. I sometimes hwar people say they skim the sex scenes in books these days. My goal is to write love scenes you HAVE TO READ in order to know what's happening between hero and heroine. Okay, okay-- it's a GOAL.

Flchen1, I'm so glad to hear more people are open to the idea of short historicals. And I've read books that have one love scene. . . but it lasts forty pages!!! Thanks for sharing the fun, today!

ChristyJan, personally I'd like at least a pound and a half of chocolate in that one-pound box. But then, I'm the optimist! And I do love good, sexy love scenes!

Robynl, apparently-- like Kathy said-- you can get it at WalMart for 3.71!!! Now that's a deal! And thanks for the comment on the photo. it was about time I got something new.

Keri! I'm excited by the blending trend, myself. It's so cool to be able to try different kinds of stories and stretch your wings as a writer.

LunaticCafe,I'm sure your hubby will enjoy the "fruits" of your shopping trip. lol!

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your new book! It looks great and I've never read a Blaze historical but it looks like a fun combination.

Jane said...

Happy Release Day, Betina. I usually prefer longer books, but I also enjoy shorter novels, too. I don't think there can be too many sex scenes in a 200 page book. $4.99 is not too much to pay for a book that I know I'll be reading more than once.

Betina Krahn said...

Maureen, Blaze is stretching and trying all kinds of new things. I'm excited to see what they'll come up with next!

Jane, thanks for helping make my release day so much fun! And it's good to hear the pricepoint isn't too scarey. From what I'm hearing, a lot of books will be sold well below that cover price. . . so shop of a bargain!

Betina Krahn said...

Yikes. That was supposed to be "shop FOR a bargain."

Virginia said...

Hi Betina, congrats on your new release!!!!

I love to read the shorter books in the summer because I have less time to read. Love historicals.
I think 4.99 is a great price for a book
I am not sure about too many sex scenes.
I do think Historical covers are more romantic.
I don't think they are cheesie
Your icon rocks.

cas2ajs said...

Congratulations on the release! I haven't read a lot of historicals, mainly because I've struggled through the unfamiliar terminology and got frustrated by the amount of time it took me to read one. This books sounds like it might be just the thing for me to give historicals another try. The premise sounds delightful.

Cheryl S.

Estella said...

$4.99 is a small price to pay for several hours entertainment. I never reread a book intentionally.
Your historical sounds like a good read.

Caffey said...

Hi Betina! I'm so glad to get to read more from you!! I think I have all of yours except for a few of your earlier ones. Do you know if some will be re-released?

I'm so glad Blaze is doing some historicals. I love reading them and to even find a sizzling one is a huge treat!! Congrats too! Do you have more planned with Blaze as well as your single titles?

RachieG said...

Betina! :) HUGE HUGE HUGE congratulations on your new book. Can't wait to get my little paws on it!

Gotta say, $4.99 for a great book isn't too much to pay. It's an escape and I can read it as many times as I want! Plus I kind like 'em if their a little naughty!

Sooo glad to see you have a new one! Congratulations!

rachie2004 AT yahoo DOT com

Lyoness2009 said...

Lovely lovely photo Betina!

Congratulations on the new release! I'm sure it's going to be AWESOME. You are always an auto buy for me when I see your books. I've dived over a table once for one of your older ones!

Much love to you! Congratulations and looking forward to the Blaze!

lyoness2009 @ hot mail (dot) com

ForestJane said...

WTG on your release. ;)

And I do like your new little icon picture, looks good.

I don't usually notice how often the steamy scenes happen in a book, unless there are so many it seems contrived - I remember one where the clothes were falling off every 50 pages. Like clockwork. It intruded on the story, so I noticed.

Same thing with cover art - unless there's something obviously wrong like his hair blowing south, and her skirt being blown north, I just don't pay too much attention to them once I've bought the book.

Betina Krahn said...

Hey, Virginia! Great to see you here! Another vote for shorter historicals-- with a summertime qualification. Gotcha.

Cheryl S. I do think historical writers make an effort these days to be more accessible. I remember in ::ahem:: older days reading books that were so faithful to antiquated speech and dialects that they were a pain. I don't think that happens too much anymore. But I bet Harlequin's shorter historicals (especially BLAZE's new additions) might be right up your alley.

Estella, I'm with you. I pay 7.00 plus popcorn for movie tickets for roughly two hours. The bill for one comes to 15 bucks. Makes a $4.99 book (ant that's full price) sound downright economical.

Caffey, two of my older books have been re-released by Bantam and several of my old Zebras have been re-released by Kensington. If you check out my web site, you can see the different covers. And I DO have more planned with BLAZE. A novella in the Valentine Anthology called "Manhunting" and another historical next summer! So stay tuned.

I ccan't wait for you to get your litttle paws on it, either, RachieG. ::grin::

Lyoness2009,a little naughty. . . that might describe Make Me Yours. I kind of love that word "naughty." Probably from being told so many times as a little girl "don't be naughty."

And ForestJane, I love the image of his hair blowing one way and her skirt blowing the other. lol. I've seen covers with that kind of "eye-logic" mistakes. It takes a minute to figure out what's wrong and then you chuckle.

Thanks everybody for making this day such a great experience! STay tuned for today's book winners!

flip said...

Whooohooooo, I love all of your books. $4.99 is a deal. I am going to order it now.