Could You Fall In Brit Love?

Hot, contemporary romances with a distinctly British flavour. Gorgeous heroes, beautiful heroines and iconic locations.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Breaking down romance....

..and I don't mean home-wrecking.   Today I'm looking at the kinds of romance available to download onto your Kindle and the number of different sub-genres available (or not).

I'm currently working on a romance set in the thirteenth century.   Bayard, a damaged knight of the crusades, has lately returned to England to find himself landless and destitute following the death of his father and the seizure of his estates.  In order to reclaim his birthright, he must accompany the Lady Adela north where she's soon to be married.  

But they're crossing dangerous territory - in every sense of the phrase.   Adela's bound in marriage to a man she's never met and desperate to escape her life of confinement.   Bayard's fighting his own demons and wonders if he'll have the strength to continue to battle against both Adela's desire to escape and his growing attraction for her.   It leaves him having to choose between regaining his family honour and protecting the most beautiful woman he's ever seen.......Watch this space!

I thought it might be worth doing some market research, to find how other authors have tackled this historical era and went onto Amazon's Kindle store.   Selecting "historical romance" gives a breakdown of the most popular romance genres and the number available.   They look like this, and obviously they'll be some crossovers:-

  • Total historical romances - 23,038
  • Regency - 4583
  • Scottish - 697
  • Victorian - 1114
  • Highlanders - 1435
  • Pirates - 361
  • Royalty and aristocrats - 705
  • Vikings - 1103
Interestingly, there's no sub-genre for knights, crusades, medieval ...or anything similar.  Is this simply because Amazon's forgotten to make this category?   Or because no one's writing them?   Or because no one's reading them?  

Searching the word "knight" brings up over 1400 books but the word could appear as the author's name or in titles that have nothing to do with medieval romance.

So what's your view on medieval romance?  Are you a devoted reader, or a dedicated author, or just someone who loves that period of history?  Or if you don't like these kinds of stories, which other genre do you prefer and why?

Leave me a comment or catch me over on Twitter - [at] avisexley.

Happy reading [and writing].  Avis xx


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Hair Raising

An occasional lesson in American / British English


Brits and Americans may share a great many things but occasionally we're divided by a common language.   In order to help my US author friends who write books set in England, I occasionally highlight cases where words don't translate exactly.

Very often, particularly in historical novels, the heroine will have "braided hair", and I'm assuming the authors mean the style in the photo on the left.  In England, braid is a decorative cord or ribbon used to trim, for example, uniforms or furniture.  To us it's a "plait" and hair is plaited, never braided.

Alternatively, whilst uniforms might also have fringes on them, we in England have them on our heads.   What Americans call "bangs" we call "a fringe" and it's always used in the singular.

American ladies might keep their braids in place with a "barrette" (a term I've personally never come across) but plaits are only ever tamed by a "hair slide".   Smaller curls are kept tidy with "hair grips" not "bobby pins".

Everything might then be finished of with "hair spray", "lacquer" as a word is rather dated and rarely used.   And when it comes to colour (note the extra "u"), if anyone were described as having "red" hair, we'd expect to see something crimson or cherry.   Your "red" is our "ginger".

And where might one go to get their hair done?   To the "hairdressers", not the "hair salon" or "beauty parlor".

Hope this made sense.  And if you think of any more, please forward them to @avisexley on Twitter and why not give me a follow at the same time?

Have fun!   Avis xx