Guest blogger: Donna Maree Hanson
Romance, romance, romance
Big changes in my life this year. I’ve retired from my day job to research (broadly) feminism in popular romance fiction. I’m a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra. I’m having so much fun!
I get to read about romance, read romances and talk romance and just discover stuff. It’s so exciting.
The best part is reading retro romances from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. So much has changed since those days and I’m really enjoying studying them.
With some books I want to gouge my eyes out, slap the heroine and punch out the hero … but not all the time. (There was this one particular book that inspired this reaction.) Most of the time, I just love that journey to the past and how full of women’s and feminist issues those books were and also admire some of the excellent writers and discover the greats.
The first book I picked up was Man-hater by Penny Jordan. Right on topic for me! I’ve since discovered the library has a collection of her works in audio books. That’s a bonus. I can do other things like make hats or weave or just veg while listening (and working!)
I’ve read some Emma Darcy and Valerie Parv recently as well as the great Charlotte Lamb. At the ARRA lunches in Canberra I’ve had some fabulous conversations with other romance readers and also got some great tips. Doreen Watt has been an absolute treasure. (You probably know she has a huge romance archive). In fact everyone has been supporting and helpful and wonderful.
Now that I’ve left my day job and I can also say I write paranormal romance as Dani Kristoff. To the people who know me this isn’t a surprise, but I can swing a placard around now and say this is me too. I had been working in government and that was a bit tricky. Now I’m not, so I can say that both Dani and I are studying romance. I also wanted to thank those readers who nominated Spiritbound in the paranormal romance category of the ARRAs. That was such a delight to see my name there among the finalists. I love Spiritbound (and Bespelled). It was lovely to see that other people like it too.
I’m also writing romances under both names. I have been drafting an SF romance and also a Regency romance, because Regency is my drug of choice and I wanted to see if I could write one. It’s harder than it looks. Scottish historicals are also a favourite of mine and I do have ideas but not the time at present.
My next book will be Argenterra, an epic fantasy with strong romance elements, suitable for young adult as well as adult audiences. Argenterra is out in print June (indie published) and out in ebook before then. It’s available for pre-order.
Every one hundred years a woman comes to Argenterra through the Crystal Tree Woods. This time two women came…
While on a ghost tour in Castle Crioch, Sophy and her best friend and foster sister, Aria, are sucked into the world of Argenterra, where they encounter a strange Crystal Tree. Two leaves fall from it, one of which Aria catches and the other mysteriously delves into Sophy’s chest.
Met by Dellbright, the prince of Valley Keep, and Oakheart, the high king’s ambassador, the girls learn they are expected. Aria has beauty and talent with the given, the land’s native magic. She finds a home and a husband in Prince Dellbright and is revered as the legendary Gift of Crystal Tree Woods.
Sophy is out of place as anything made with the given makes her ill.
Sophy accompanies Oakheart to the capital to find out why the crystal leaf is in her chest. A sinister force is tracking her—trying to snatch her away or kill her. Only Oakheart suspects her importance: she is the talisman that can cause great harm to the world of Argenterra if she falls into the wrong hands.
You can pre-order Argenterra here.