Ask just about any romance author which author had the greatest impact on them and their writing and they will almost always say Georgette Heyer. Credited with creating the Regency Period genre, Heyer was an amazingly prolific writer who published her first novel, The Black Moth, at the age of 17 and it has never been out of print since (info from Georgette Heyer Fan site found here). There have been numerous essays, articles, fan gushings, and books written about Heyer, including this latest biography that I am itching to read (Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester). It is not just that Heyer creating fun characters with dashing adventures, it is truly her attention to detail that has helped her capture the hearts and minds of readers for decades.
My mother first introduced me to the wonderful writings of Heyer when I was a teenager. Not only are Heyer’s novels filled with adventure, spunk, sass, and love, they are also clean so no graphic sex scenes. But Heyer’s writing is so great the sex scenes aren’t needed. Years later (I’m not going to share how many years since I read my first copy but know that it is more than a few) my print copies are literally worn out, bindings broken, pages falling out, all because I (and my sisters) have reread them so many times. While I do have almost her entire collection in ebook format now, I find that I just can’t give away my well-loved print copies.
Now I can’t say I love all of her historical novels (not a huge fan of The Convenient Wife) but I do love a number of them. It has been years since I have read some of them so I thought, what better way to kick off a new year on Novel Reaction than by reading a Georgette Heyer novel each month?! For those of you old fans, it is a good excuse to dust off your copy and enjoy a reread. For those of you new to Georgette Heyer, you are in for a treat! The first couple of novels I have chosen but as the year progresses I will post some polls and see what everyone is interested in reading. For this month (and I realize I am late getting this posting up and the month is already more than half over) I thought we would start of reading Heyer’s “series” beginning with These Old Shades.
Set in the Georgian period, about 20 years before the Regency, These Old Shades is considered to be the book that launched Heyer’s career. It features two of Heyer’s most memorable characters: Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignomy and comes to love and marry.
The Duke is known for his coldness of manner, his remarkable omniscience, and his debauched lifestyle. Late one evening, he is accosted by a young person dressed in ragged boy’s clothing running away from a brutal rustic guardian. The Duke buys “Leon” and makes the child his page. “Leon” is in fact Leonie, and she serves the Duke with deep devotion. When he uncovers the true story of her birth, he wreaks an unforgettable revenge on her sinister father in a chilling scene of public humiliation.
I love the New Year! Not so much for parties or food (although I do love food) but for the feeling of change that comes over me. Its as if all the bad habits of last year no longer exist and I have the opportunity to start fresh. As soon as Christmas is over (and sometimes even before) I start thinking on what I want to change/do different in the New Year. I only allow myself five resolutions for the New Year so that I realistically achieve my goals. This year I am resolved to bring back Novel Reaction. While I have been still reading books (never gonna stop that one) I haven’t been as invested in my reading because I haven’t been posting reviews for some time. So welcome 2015, a year of good things to come, good habits to achieve, and good books to devour!
Do you have any New Years’ Resolutions you are hoping to start? I have decided to do a Georgette Heyer reading challenge this year so be prepared for more information to come on that one.
The last few months on Novel Reaction have felt rather like this empty book, the potential is there but not much writing has shown up. I know the last two months the postings on Novel Reaction haven’t been as regular as they usually are, this is because I have been studying to take the Arizona Bar (this is the big test that is only offered twice a year that determines whether I can practice as an attorney or not). But I will taking the test this Tuesday and Wednesday (prayers and good thoughts are appreciated). This means that starting on Thursday (okay, really on Friday because Thursday I will probably be sleeping to recover from the two day test) Novel Reaction will be back! I have started to schedule author visits, have book reviews lined up, will be doing some book giveaways, blog tours and will be taking up the Books-to-Movie challenges again.
If there is anything you as readers would like to see more of (or if you have a new idea you would like to see on Novel Reaction) let me know and I am happy to try new things. I can be reached at jessica (at) novelreaction (dot)com. I have had one reader reach out and suggest that we provide a profanity rating system in addition to the sex content rating and I am looking further into this. So thank you for staying with Novel Reaction during this irregular posting time and I look forward to connecting with all of you again in the near future. 🙂
Novel Reaction is excited to be once again doing the Books-to-Movie Challenge. This month we are going to be reading and watching John Carter by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Originally published as a serial novel in 1912, A Princess of Mars is the first book in the Barsoom series. There are eleven books in the series with the last one being published in 1943. The books are all public domain, meaning there are no rights retained by the author’s estate, so you can get the first book free here.
In the spring of 1866, John Carter, a former Confederate captain prospecting for gold in the Arizona hills, slips into a cave and is overcome by mysterious vapors. He awakes to find himself naked, alone, and forty-eight million miles from Earth—a castaway on the dying planet Mars. Taken prisoner by the Tharks, a fierce nomadic tribe of sixlimbed, olive-green giants, he wins respect as a cunning and able warrior, who by grace of Mars’s weak gravity possesses the agility of a superman. He also wins the heart of fellow-prisoner Dejah Thoris, the alluring, red-skinned Princess of Helium, whose people he swears to defend against their grasping and ancient enemy, the city-state of Zodanga.John Carter first appeared in 1912 in the pages of The All-Story magazine and immediately entered the dream-life of American readers young and old. He was Edgar Rice Burroughs’s favorite among his many creations and remains a favorite of lovers of science fiction and fantasy everywhere. On the occasion of John Carter’s centenary, The Library of America invites readers to rediscover A Princess of Mars, the adventure-pulp classic that gave the world its first great interplanetary romance.
We are watching the 2012 version of the film starring Taylor Kitsch as John Carter, Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris and William Defoe as Tars Tarkas. The film also stars Mark Strong as Matai Shang, I have to admit that Mark Strong is one of my favorite villain actor, he was fabulous in Sherlock Holmes (2009) and The Green Latern (2011).
So pull up a book, a bucket of popcorn and let the fun begin!