some good news

There had been some theorizing in various webby corners that the new Judith Ivory might be a reprint of one of her early novels. But no. No, I say. It’s a new novel, and I am thrilled.

How sad. It is a reprint (but a revised reprint) of her first novel, Starlit Surrender. Robin was the first to dash my hopes, so credit goes to her.

However, she also informs us that Ivory is working on a new novel, and there’s soon to be an interview with her on the AAR website. So Robin dashed my hopes only to raise them up again.

First, a suggestion: If you ever run across either Bliss or Dance (written under Judy Cuevas) for less than twenty dollars each, I suggest you grab them as they are out of print. Set in France in the late 1800s and early 1900s, these novels demonstrate what historical romance can be. I like Dance a little better than Bliss, and in fact while Dance is a sequel, it does stand on its own.

I intend to give away both Bliss and Dance in a drawing sometime in the next couple months. Both novels, along with the new one. Watch this space.

The information on the new book (now up at Amazon) has this little blurb:

Beautiful, level-headed Christina Bower has every reason to avoid Adrien Hunt. He is an earl while she is of common birth-he will never offer marriage. He is a man of intrigue, perhaps playing both sides in a most perilous game. Worst of all, the arrogant, lethally charming rogue revels in his reputation as libertine, unrepentant of the many bedchambers through which he’s romped and the many hearts he’s broken.

If only the blurb writers were as talented as Judith Ivory. This sounds like run of the mill historical romance, but I have no doubt she will work her usual magic. The thing about Judith Ivory is this: no fluff. Humor, yes. She does humor well. But mostly she does interesting characters. Complex, intriguing, beautifully written characters. So I’m looking forward to this newest novel of hers (out one month from today), which I am sure will be worth the wait.

Note: I had a brief look on the web for reviews of Dance, and here’s what I came up with:

Three years ago Marie DuGard fled Paris on the eve of her wedding to Sebastien de Saint Vallier’s brother. Now she has returned, slimmer, prettier, bolder and even more of a challenge to Sebastien who has never forgotten their one illicit liaison. Marie has spent the intervening years in America where she has perfected her film-making skills and received some acclaim, yet she longs for her father’s acceptance and is secretly pleased that he has sent Sebastien to meet her at the station. […]Dazzling in its subtlety, brilliant in its ability to capture the aura of the changing times and sensually alluring, “Dance” is a novel to be savored by those who enjoy a sophisticated, thought-provoking read that stretches at the boundaries of the genre. Well done, Ms. Cuevas! Muze, Inc.

the other list

Thinking about my list of seven male characters has actually helped me quite a lot in solidifying some things about John Grant, who is the male protagonist in Tied to the Tracks. In the hope that lightning will strike twice, here’s a preliminary list of female characters who work especially well for me. Again, this is in no particular order, and I’ve put my own main character at the bottom for the purposes of comparison.

Three more things I’ll be thinking about as I try to deconstruct what makes a female protagonist work for me: (1) unlike my list of male characters, most of these women come out of traditional romance; (2) Each of these women has a male counterpart who I like a great deal, but who didn’t make it onto the other list. (3) I can think of another five female characters who probably deserve to be on this list.

CharacterNovelAuthor
Elizabeth BennettPride and PrejudiceJane Austen
Marie Du GardDanceJudy Cuevas (Judith Ivory)
Maddy TimmsFlowers from the StormLaura Kinsale
MelantheFor My Lady’s HeartLaura Kinsale
Aeryn SunFarscapeof course, of course
Hannah TrevorHearts and BonesMargaret Lawrence
Elizabeth MiddletonInto the WildernessS.D.