My husband and I had a delightful time in Sin City. The temps were in the 90s, and I sat slathered in sun block and read Marrying the Captain by Carla Kelly, Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham, Why Mermaids Sing by C.S. Harris, The Secret Wedding by Jo Beverley and Beyond Heaving Bosoms by those smartypants bitches Candy Tan and Sarah Wendell. The latter, a gift from Ely, is a hoot. Since I’ve been giving major thought to what makes the ‘essential’ romance, I’m paying careful attention to their theories and themes.

My books fall pretty solidly into what I call the Redemption Range. Everything I’ve written in the past couple of years features characters who have made mistakes, usually when they were much younger, but have not let the mistakes make them. Oh, there’s plenty of guilt and regret to go around, but I’m reminded of the layers necessary to form a pearl. Without the irritant, that mollusk would not secrete the calcium carbonate and conchiolin to create one of nature’s beauties. Everything in our past determines who we are today.

I’m looking forward to transforming Paradise’s Hart and Eden into lustrous, smooth, layered characters. It’s been a while since I reflected on them. Eden’s mistakes are rather more spectacular than the usual Regency heroine’s, and I’m sure I made a few of my own as I worked on the manuscript. I’ll keep you posted.
Read any good books lately? What’s your theme?