Gateway Romance: Ainslie Paton

The Escapades

The romance in my reading life is of the twisted type. There was no HEA in my house. There was a good deal of misappropriation.

There was no certainly Mills & Boon. I went from Black Beauty to what I could sneak off my mum’s shelf, all age inappropriate sexy stories: Jackie Collins, Taylor Caldwell, Harold Robbins, Sidney Sheldon, Judith Krantz, Susan Howatch and Colleen McCullough.

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They were read under cover by torch and snuck back into place. She’d have been horrified. Shhh, because she could still hurt me over that.

People did dreadful things to other people in those novels. They cheated, slept around, stole things, plotted and connived, wrecked their families and died, sometimes in vaguely historically accurate ways. They didn’t fall in love and stay that way.

I gobbled them up.

Later, Mum got into crime and murder mysteries and I got a library card and spent…

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An Interview with Lee Christine

The Escapades

1440Lee Christine was one of Escape’s launch authors with her debut novel, In Safe Hands

We are delighted that her fifth novel, A Dangerous Arrangementhas been nominated for a 2016 Romantic Book of the Year!

So we asked Lee a few questions about it.

What is the title of your book?

A Dangerous Arrangement

What did you do when you found out you were nominated?

I received a phone call from an RWA member after dinner. I was sitting down, thank goodness. My initial thought was that something must have gone wrong with my conference registration. I was totally shocked when she told me ‘A Dangerous Arrangement’ was in the final of the R*by in the romantic elements category. I remember saying something like ‘thank you so much for calling, that’s so cool. I can’t believe it’. I remember her laughing at my surprise and…

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The story of my book: Evan and Darcy

The Escapades

by Melanie Coles

‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that every story has its beginnings in another story…’

It’s not exactly Jane Austen’s infamous first line from Pride and Prejudice, but quite often stories come about because of a premise, an idea or a thought an author has while reading another story.

It happened for me during one of my many re-reads of Austen’s best-loved work. As I lost myself in the romance of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, I found myself asking how the story would have played out if their genders were reversed. Would Darcy still hold the same appeal as a woman? What would a male version of Elizabeth be like? And could the story still work?

The questions wouldn’t go away, so I set about trying to answer them the only way I knew how. The result is my first novel, Evan and Darcy.

Adapting an…

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The Endorphin Rush

The Escapades

by JC Harroway (originally published here)

Why do I read romance?

According to Thomas Stewart’s article for TheRichest, I am not alone in my love for this genre. The romance/erotica fiction business is a $1.44-billion-dollar industry and is top of the list, beating crime, horror and fantasy.

So what is it that draws the predominantly (but not exclusively) female readership to romance novels?

It’s too simplistic to dismiss the whole genre as ‘mummy porn’. Romance novels range from incredibly sweet to explicit and includes the popular new adult and young adult subgenres.

And if women simply wanted porn, wouldn’t they just read or watch porn?

My own theory, not an original one by the way, is that many women, myself included, are drawn by the endorphin rush that comes when they get lost in a love story with a happy ever after (or an emotionally satisfying ending).

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The Story of My Book: Copping It Sweet

The Escapades

by Anna Clifton

In Oscar Wilde’s play, The Importance of Being Earnest, Gwendolen quips, ‘I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.’

I love this line. It reminds me that real life can be an extraordinary experience. And I often need this reminder when I’m hyperventilating over whether the contemporary romance story I’m writing might be getting a little bit too ‘extraordinary’ for belief.

Writers within the contemporary romance genre know they have a narrower licence for diving into extraordinary possibilities than those in the paranormal, historical and suspense genres. But the really tricky part for contemporary authors can be knowing exactly when a plot or a character’s situation is falling beyond the parameters of possibility and toppling into awkward implausibility. One solution for keeping stories out of the realm of implausibility reflects the title of this blog series,

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