More than 70 new romances drop today, Tuesday, October 27, just in time for your non-holiday shopping.  Which is to say, even though you'd think such a flurry of releases must mean publishers are hoping to capture the pre-holiday consumer, the fact of the matter is a large, end-of-month roll-out of titles - while thrilling for fans clamoring for the latest from faves -- isn't unusual.

"Most of the big publishers are on a monthly release schedule with about 90% of their books shipping in one big lay down," says Tommy Dreiling, Barnes & Noble Romance Buyer.  "They pick out major bestsellers to scatter through the month, but most of the books come out together [in a monthly mass release]."

And while we might assume the season for holiday book sales is in full swing --especially with hot holiday reads like the "Highlander Christmas" and "Deep Kiss of Winter" flying off shelves -- in bookselling today, post-holiday sales are extremely important.  

"In the past, people would pick out a book to give as a gift and, even if it was exchanged, the actual sale was made before Christmas," explains Dreiling. "Most people give gift cards, which don't count as a sale until they're redeemed. People flock to the stores in the weeks after Christmas to spend their gift cards, so that's shifted a lot of the sales to after the holidays."


But that doesn't mean folks aren't buying books right now, as romance sales remain strong in an economy that makes many of us hyper-conscious of how we spend our hard-earned entertainment dollars. And of this day's crop of even more great releases than usual to plunk down good money for, one in particular stands out, not only because of its lovely storytelling, engaging characters, and charming, sometimes naughty dialogue, but also because it's the last novel written by a woman as talented as she was intelligent, witty and refined: the late Edith Layton.

In "To Love a Wicked Lord," Layton introduces Phillipa Carstairs, a beautiful, exceptionally bright young woman jilted by a man who seems to have duped "Pippa" and the doting, elderly grandparents who raised her.  Pippa's grandfather - a world-famous, well-connected scholar -- arranges to have a colleague, the highly competent, if conspicuously foppish, Maxwell, Lord Montrose search for the scoundrel.

Montrose doesn't count on Pippa's and her eccentric grandmother's insisting to tag along on his search, or Pippa's innocently tempting him to behave rather ungentlemanly when alone with her.  Yet even more confounding, as their journey takes them to places filled with danger during England's tenuous peace with France, Montrose realizes that Pippa's growing awareness of her value as a woman may force him to adjust his thinking - before it's too late! -- about the reality of happily ever afters.

Dropping today alongside this grand finale of Layton's are many great novels clamoring for your attention and reading pleasure, some from legends, others from soon-to-bees.  And a day like today also can shake

things up, with top books being elbowed aside.  Says Dreiling, "There will be a complete shake up in the best seller list. "Covet," by JR Ward has been number one for three weeks but will probably not be able to maintain the number one spot against a big batch of new releases."

It'll be cool to see whether that holds true. But more interesting, perhaps, is whether Dreiling feels there might be a sleeper or two among today's crop of drops. "Sleeper of the Month?  Well, I'd have to say "One Lucky Cowboy  ," by Carolyn Brown. I've been into Westerns lately."

What titles are you looking forward to?  Would you rather score/buy a gift card or a book for a holiday gift? What are your fave Layton reads/memories.

Forget vampires. Could the next new romance craze be Call Girls in Love? Check out "For Love or Money: Hookers in Romance" at Heart to Heart!

0 Kudos
by PrincessBumblebee on ‎10-27-2009 03:50 PM

Oh, the one title I am awaiting with batted breath is "Blaze of Memory" by Nalini Singh, Michelle! Simply can't wait for more of the Psy/Changeling world the incomparable Miss Singh has created! And this time it's a Psy/Psy couple on the wrong side of the tracks, as it were, hehe. Yay! Can't wait!

Oh, I would simply LOVE to get a gift card, but, despite everyone knowing my love of books, I never seem to get one. Oh, well, I'll indulge myself, hehe!

by Author MonicaBurns on ‎10-27-2009 04:03 PM

Gift Card hands down, then I'd go and browse the shelves and pull out a couple of favs and a couple of new authors. And I'm THRILLED to hear that gift cards increase sales AFTER the holidays. Makes me less squeamish about January sales. *grin* I do want to get Cole's and Showalters Deep Kiss though. Gotta read that love scene I've heard about!! *grin*

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎10-27-2009 04:05 PM

Hi Michelle, there are always quite a few on the Tuesday release list that are on my list, this week I'm impatiently waiting for the new CL Wilson read, always have room for a Highlander or two & the Nora Roberts.


Princess isn't it funny well not funny ha ha,but strange that I too who am a known book addict never seems to get them or gift cards for the purchase of them for gifts. What is wrong with my friends and family.


by 1lovealways on ‎10-28-2009 01:59 AM

Hi All!


Don't feel rained on ladies.  I never get books or gift cards either! My family also knows my love of books.  Last year one of my cousin's bought me a book for my birthday, but it was a mystery and I'm just not into those.  I couldn't even tell you the title.  I loved the thought behind the gift, but I thought it would have been more fitting if she had asked me what kinds of books I liked to read or given me a gift card.  I love gift cards, because then I can buy what I want and everyone's happy.  No one I know likes to read except my little teenage cousin. I swear I don't get it? Their all into movies, which I'm not.  Oh, well, I guess I'm just a relic!  But, I truly don't mind!  I'm a book lover for life!!!  :smileyhappy:

by pjpuppymom on ‎10-28-2009 07:10 AM

You can't go wrong with gift cards!  My wonderful, and very generous, family of the heart gave me a B&N gift card for my birthday last month.  I had great fun spending it on November releases that are on the way to my happy hands as I type! :smileyhappy:

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎10-29-2009 03:40 PM

Maybe the problem with our not getting gift cards is folks think it would be impersonal?  We've got to work to let them know how rock star it'd be of them if they did it. 


I have to say, I really savored this final Layton, and if a fan of hers were hoping for a final "gift" from her in terms of parting, this novel is a lovely one.  There's a secondary character in it who's appealing, and I found myself thinking, 'oh, I'll look forward to his story, perhaps," then remembered it's just not a possibility. Bittersweet.  But Layton's left a body of work that's a joy to read, and I especially recommend her gorgeous Restoration-set "Fireflower."  She absolutely was a delight, a very classy woman, full of life and generous of spirit.

by Blogger Albert_Rolls on ‎10-29-2009 04:57 PM

Wow. 70 titles!!! How do you keep up with the releases? I don't envy your position this week.

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