Thursday, May 07, 2009
Families by Virginia Kantra!
Reading is essentially a solitary activity. Maybe that's why book clubs and on-line romance communities are so important.
We want to share our enthusiasm, to recommend books and authors. We read reviews, hoping to find the next book that will take us away from the laundry and the pressure of work or school, the next series that will distract or thrill or comfort us through a child's problems or a parent's illness. We even cruise the bad reviews with the sort of anxious or titillated attention that we'd give a car wreck on the highway.
We are women, after all. We have an essentially female desire for connection. That's why romance communities seldom remain devoted solely to books. On every list, loop, and message board, you can find personal pleas for advice and sympathy, offers of prayers and support. We form friendships. Sometimes we even rally around causes.
(While we're on the subject of causes, I'd like to put in a plug for my friend Brenda Novak's auction to benefit diabetes research. You can see her fabulous list of items at
and enter a bid for autographed copies of SEA WITCH and SEA FEVER as well as a replica of the warden's medallion at
Okay, back to the women-and-community thing...Maybe we're primed for attachment because while men were running around hunting wooly mammoth, women were back in the caves raising kids and crops--both of which are easier to do when you've got help around. Whatever the cause, women more than men seem to bear the responsibility for family care and maintaining family ties.
So it's not big surprise that romance novels, written by, for, and about women, often focus on community. On family, both the families we are born into and the families we create: Julia Quinn's Bridgertons or Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Chicago Stars, Nora Roberts' MacKade brothers or Suzanne Brockmann's Navy SEALs.
Our families shape us. That's why when I was creating the Children of the Sea series, I wanted to include that important element of family. For centuries, the immortal children of the sea have co-existed in uneasy peace with their fellow elementals, the children of fire. Now that balance of power is tested as three siblings born of a human father and a selkie mother become embroiled in an ancient rivalry.
In SEA WITCH, human Caleb, the soldier, returned from the Iraq desert to fall in love with a woman from the sea. In SEA FEVER, his selkie brother Dylan was forced to choose between the freedom of his mother’s kind and the bonds of mortal love.
Now in SEA LORD, Caleb and Dylan’s sister, unassuming schoolteacher Lucy Hunter, finds her heart and fate tangled with the sea king’s son. Selkie prince Conn ap Llyr has always held himself aloof from humankind and human emotions. But all that is about to change...
I love series connected by families. Right now, for example, I'm following Mary Balogh's Huxtables, who are all related by blood. I'm also looking forward to Nora Roberts new wedding series, where the "family" is made up of four friends in the wedding business.
So, tell me, what are some of your favorite family series? Is that family connected by blood or created by choice? Do you have a preference?
Make sure and leave a question or comment for Virginia along with your email addy for a chance to win a copy of "Sea Lord". Virginia has graciously agreed to give one lucky person an autographed copy. Winner will be announced by the end of the week.