The Importance of the Book Cover…
Published on May 14, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 935

We’ve all heard that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and yet initially, we all do.  The book cover, if done well, attracts our attention in a bookstore.  Even if you only sell e-books, the book cover is your marketing tool.  Your cover makes your sale pages, as well as your product, look professional.

Of course, the quality of a novel is found within the pages, but the cover can tell much about the inside of a book.  Your cover should be a reflection of your story and represent the books placement in the market.  The book cover becomes less important to people who learn about books through on-line forums.  I have my book covers professionally designed, but there are many do-it-yourself programs on-line to get you started.

What do my book covers say?

This is my Time Travel.  We can see the clock mechanism in the artwork.  My heroine feels alone and vulnerable, and yet she gazes at the sunlight with a knowing purpose.  She must break free from the grief that binds her.


This is my Historical Regency.  Here we have a young lady with an uncertain future.  Intimidation and fear will not stand in the heroine’s way.  The raven represents the power of thought and the active pursuit for information, representing her steadfast pursuit for answers.



Sex and the Romance Novel
Published on April 28, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 1061

We’ve all seen the scantily dressed figures on the cover of many romance novels, but how much sex is really going on between the pages? 

Well, that all depends.  Inside the romance novel, readers will find two extremes when it comes to sex, chaste to erotic.  I’ve had many conversations through blogs on this topic, and I must say, the opinions vary and emotions become heated when sex is being discussed.  (Reminded me of my F-bomb question some months back.  Hee-hee). 

I guess heat should have been expected since we were talking about sex, but I was surprised I had to simmer the conversation back down. 

Some authors choose the shut the door policy: chaste kisses and hinted at sexual tumbles, while others choose to write erotica, where sex scenes are described in titillating detail.  In romance, erotica has taken on the name of romantica, which is a blend of romance and erotica.  The majority of romance novels fall between these two extremes with description developed and scenes described, but not with enough information to make the reader say ew!  Of course, as the old adage claims, sex sells, which is true.  The most important thing is to write what you love and your passion for words will come across to your readers.  It’s not the sex that makes the scene sizzle, but the sexual tension that makes the story hot.

Romance Novels
Published on April 21, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 912

There are three types of Romantic Fiction:

The Novella: these books are short stories and are about 25,000 words. 

Category:  these books are also considered short stories and fit into a publisher's clearly delineated grouping and are usually about 55,000 words. 

Single-Title: these books are longer and cover a large range of subject matter.  A single-title romance has more of everything — more plot, more characters, and more romance.  They are usually around 100,000 words.

Sub genres

Historical (genres in this category: Highlander, Regency, Victorian, Western, etc.)
Time Travel

As you can see, there are many sub genres in romance and many romance novelists combine genres to widen the salability of their books in the marketplace.  Crossing genres adds extra elements to make the novel more interesting to the reader.

I just finished reading a Contemporary, Time Travel, Paranormal.  My book Desirea’s Escape is a Regency, Time Travel, Historical Romance, with paranormal elements.  The key to marketing is to make sure your novel is tagged correctly so that readers will know what they are buying.

Historical Romance Versus Historical Fiction
Published on April 16, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 1150

Historical Romance  (To be considered a historical, the novel must take place before WWII.)   

Romance novels are about a romantic relationship, the historical setting is nothing more than a prop.  Meaning the book should be able to stand alone if you remove the historical content or set the characters in another setting.  Of course, there can be many subplots in a historical romance novel that don’t have anything to do with the romantic relationship that’s developing.  Nevertheless, the conflict and climax in a romance focuses on the core theme, which is the romantic relationship.  Romance novels also tend to reward characters for good behavior and punish those who are wicked.  History can be woven into the story, to give the novel a sense of realism.  Historical romance novels have a happy ending and are to be emotionally satisfying to the reader.

Historical Fiction

Historical fiction tells a story that is set in the past.  That setting is usually real and drawn from history.  Historical fiction is all about research.  Unlike historical romance, historical fiction does not need to have a happy ending.  Often times real-life personages are the center of the story, and the historical fiction writer modifies the events and motives for the characters actions.  The emphasis is on the history, not the romance, although there can be a romantic involvement in the story; the characters are often apart for many chapters.                              

The most successful historicals focus on fictionalizing the lives of actual historic personages.  Think of how popular the fictional stories of Anne Boleyn or Helen of Troy are in the marketplace.

A few famous historical fiction works are:

Leo Tolstoy’s, War and Peace

Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth

Mark Twain, American South

History of the Romance Novel
Published on April 4, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 0

The romance novel is defined as a work of fiction that focuses on the romantic relationship between two people, where its conclusion has a happy ending that is emotionally satisfying.

The romance novel was developed in Western culture, the majority in English speaking countries.  One of the earliest romance writers was English novelist, Samuel Richardson.  He published his novel Pamela in 1740 and it became one of the first best-sellers.  His novel had a happy ending, which was a rarity for novels in the 18th century.  Pamela was the first of many novels to come that focused on courtship.

The pioneer of the romance genre came a century later, when Jane Austin released her first novel Sense and Sensibility in 1811 to be followed by Pride and Prejudice in 1813, Mansfield Park in 1814, and Emma in 1816.  Jane Austin’s works inspired others like Georgette Heyer, who introduced historical romance in 1921.  (Jane’s works are not considered historical, due to the fact that she was writing about the era in which she lived.)

It is said the modern romance genre was established in 1972 with Avon’s publication of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s, The Flame and the Flower.  This was the first single-title romance novel to be published in paperback in the US.

The romance genre boomed in the 1980’s, when popular authors began to push the boundaries of the genre and plots.

By the 2000’s, romance had become the most popular genre in modern literature.

Breakdown statistics from Simba Information estimates for 2009

Romance 1.36 billion

Religious/Inspiration  770 million

Mystery  674 million

Sci-fi/Fantasy  554 million

Classic Literary Fiction  462 million

My First Review on A Necessary Heir
Published on March 13, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 0
I promise I won't blog all my reviews, but since this is my first, and it was great, I feel I must. LOL.  Thank you to Katie for making my day. 

Katie's review
Mar 10, 11  

 5 of 5 stars
status: Read from March 09 to 10, 2011

Recently, I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I was very excited and rightly so. This was an amazing book! I found myself constantly wanting to read it because there was always something interesting going on. I also loved how even though some of the characters wallowed in self pity for a while, they were able to overcome it and allowed themselves to be happy. This was an awesome book and I highly recommend it!

Goodreads Contest Has Ended
Published on March 7, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 0
Thank you so much to the 1296 people who entered to win A Necessary Heir in the Goodread Giveaway Contest.

Congratulations to the winners.

Read an E-Book Week
Published on March 3, 2011 by Smashwords | Views: 0

Celebrating 40 years of E-Books.  A Necessary Heir now discounted 25% through Smashwords.

Read an E-Book Week
MARCH 6 -12, 2011

Understanding Voice
Published on February 26, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 663


Published on February 9, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 0

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Necessary Heir (Paperback) by L.A. Hilden

A Necessary Heir

by L.A. Hilden

Giveaway ends March 05, 2011.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win