Romantic Times Rewind: June 2014 Ads and Features!

Smart Podcast Trashy Books Romantic Times RewindIn this week’s podcast episode, we’re looking at the advertisements and features inside the June 2014 issue of Romantic Times, aka RT Book Reviews.

We’ve got So Many Small Presses that no longer exist, plus some really, really weird feet.

Yup, feet!

You can also find all the RTRW content at our category page for Romantic Times Rewind. 

And, most importantly, if you want to listen and follow along with this entry, we have more detail in the audio, but you can click play and listen and read and absorb all the visual goodness:

Let’s start with the cover:

RT Book Reviews June 2014 cover features some cover art for a Susan Mallery book with the headline Susan Mallery Strikes Gold Once Again with a back to back trilogy. The image is a White man holding a woman up. She has her legs around his waist and literally nothing about the image makes sense bc its like she was sitting on something and whatever it was has been erased. The other names are Laurell K Hamilton, the RT Aard Winners, an author we refuse to talk about, and a headline SEEKING BILLIONAIRE SUBMISSIVES

Amanda and I had some questions about the physics? of this part of the image:

He's got his hands laced under her bum like she weighs less than a bag of marshmallows, and her legs are casually looped around his hips and her forearms are resting on his shoulders like again she is made of marshmallow or possibly meringue and this image is really silly. Also they're standing IN A CREEK?

There had to have been something she was sitting on. Otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

And we won’t get started on the guy’s feet.

A close up of his foot in the 'water' and his feet look like they are extremely long. Like hobbit feet.

Or foot. I know it’s probably the distortion of the Photoshop and also the “water” but…ok, those are some long, long feet.

Is it the strength of his FEET that is holding him in this position? Like an L-bracket holding an Ikea bookshelf to the wall?

So many questions.

There was a full page of Top Picks in this issue, which I liked a lot:

All of the June TOP PICKS with book covers around the outside including Sweet Filthy Boy and Maya Blake's What the Greek Cant' Resist. The top picks are ALL I WANT IS YOU Toni Blake arar FACEOFF Ed. David Baldacci SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT Dakota Cassidy BRED IN THE BONE Christopher Brookmyre THE TROUBLEMAKER NEXT DOOR Marie Harte THE BOOK STOPS HERE Kate Carlisle UNTIL I SAW YOUR SMILE I.I. Murray TAKE MY BREATH AWAY Christie Ridgway THREAD END Amanda Lee AIR BOUND Christine Feehan THE MARK OF THE TALA Jeffe Kennedy ALLEGIANCE Susannah Sandlin SHIELD OF WINTER Nalini Singh KEEP ME CLOSER Rhyannon Byrd BERKLEY MISTRESS OF NIGHT AND DAWN Vina Jackson OPEN ROAD SWEET FILTHY BOY Christina Lauren DEVIL'S GAME Joanna Wylde PRINCE OF FOOLS Mark Lawrence WICKED TEMPTATION Zoë Archer HOW TO SCHOOL YOUR SCOUNDREL Juliana Gray BERKLEY SENSATION WHAT THE GREEK CAN'T RESIST Maya Blake THE SCOUNDREL'S SEDUCTION Jennifer Haymore LEGAL SEDUCTION Sharon C. Cooper THE VIRGIN OF CLAN SINCLAIR Karen Ranney THE DEFENDER Adrienne Giordano A DREAM OF DESIRE Nina Rowan THE SINGLE DAD'S SECOND CHANCE Brenda Harlen BANISHING THE DARK Jenn Bennett SKIN GAME Jim Butcher TURNING TIDES Mia Marshall HUCKLEBERRY SUMMER Jennifer Beckstrand A MOTHER'S SECRET Amy Clipston OATH OF THE BROTHERHOOD C.E. Laureano THE ADVOCATE Randy Singer HERE AND AGAIN Nicole R. Dickson THE GLASS KITCHEN Linda Francis Lee A LONG TIME GONE Karen White RUIN AND RISING Leigh Bardugo PUSH Eve Silver =

The Editor’s Letter is once again a truly glorious treat:

The last two paragraphs of the editor's letter which read Plans are astir for next year’s convention — Dallas and Fort Worth, here we come! If you have any ideas for parties, workshops or costumed affairs, please let us know. We love to hear from you. The cowboys are already lining up to appear on book cov- ers and line dance to boot-scooting country music. Two interesting nutrition and longevity conferences are coming up: David Wolfe’s “Women’s Wellness” in Los Angeles, Sep. 19-20, and “The Weston A. Price Founda- tion for Wise Traditions” in Indianapolis, Nov. 7-10. I will be attending both and guarantee you can learn to live to 120 with a sound mind and a strong body. Latest tip: Substitute soda with sparkling water, lemon or orange juice and a touch of Celtic salt. And real butter is back! If you have your health, you have everything — and more time to read!

I can’t fault the logic: if you live to 120 you will indeed have more time to read. No lies detected there.

That said, real butter has always been back. It never left. It’s like sexy. It neither left, nor came back. Butter and sexy are ever-present.

The ads for the RT Dallas 2015 Conference were very fun – this was Amanda’s first RT and it was an experience.

Saddle Up for the Next Fun-Filled RT Convention! We Are Now Accepting Workshop Proposals For RT 2015! The categories we are looking for include: Marketing, Social Networking, Self-Publishing, Craft, Specialty, Business and Reader. Reader workshops must be fun and interactive. Giveaways are always a plus! Authors can submit a maximum of TWO workshop proposals per person and can partici- pate in a maximum of three workshops — not including the reader workshops. Please keep this in mind when you are invited to speak on additional panels. You need to fill out a separate form for each proposal. Please DO NOT submit the same workshop you presented in New Orleans. It MUST be a different one. The workshop proposal form is available on (right sidebar). And there's a picture of brown cowboy boots and a cowboy hat

You MUST fill out a separate form for each proposal and do NOT submit the same workshop.

We chatted a lot about swag that we’d received at RT, and I mention this specifically:

A close up of a measuring spoon with a teaspoon of oregano in it and the handle says A Farrah Rochon Romance - Nothing Else Measures Up

Easily the greatest piece of author swag I have ever received. Farrah Rochon is a genius. I use it constantly.

I have a great deal of envy for this person’s smokey-eye.

The cover of OBSESSED by Jo Gibson which features a woman with a very smoky eye shadow above and below her eye like I'd look absurd and she looks terrific

I’d look absurd, and this person looks fabulous!

We also loved this letter from Snowhugs about the accessibility of the digital version of RT!

A letter to the magazine that reads DIGITALLY DELIGHTED I am elated with the digital version of RT. I was ready to forgo my magazine, only because my sight is so horrid. Now, I can sign on and read RT cover to cover! It may seem like a small thing to some, but to me it’s a huge advantage ... I am a hopeless bibliophile. I especially love the western historicals, contemporary, some paranor- mal and mainstream. The format is amaz- ing. It’s set up so nicely. Thank you, RT. Snowhugs via email

And the TWEET BEAT. Just reprinting tweets. We love it.

Tweets printed in the magazine include TWEET BEAT jayewells @jayewells @chloeneill Thank goodness @RTConvention is smart and recognizes female driven UF. It’s really the only award we’re nom’d for. Jaci Burton @jaciburton I've got some promo to hand out at the @RT_Convention this year. Can’t wait! Sasha H @CaribbeanAccent Squee!! #RT14 Saturday, May 17 agenda includes A chat with @NaliniSingh Sasha @sashaalsberg OH MY GOSH RT stands for Romantic Times, I never knew that!! I finally know what it means. SUCCESS!! @RT_Magazine

We found this full page ad delightful and also baffling.

ONE SUMEMR FIVE BOOKS ENDLES POSSIBILITIES with a picture of a couple at the water's edge on the beach. the books all have weird white squares around them like there's a formatting or adboe error? The five books are EARTHBOUND by Aprilynne Pike, The Lonesome Young by Lucy Connors, Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, and What I Thought was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What’s with the little white lines around each element? Weird, right?

But we both remembered Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins! 

In late breaking news for the RT in New Orleans which was happening in May, the following authors had been added:

A quad of pictures of Debbie Macomber, Tamora Pierce, EL James and Mary Robinette Kowal. WHAT a blunt rotation that would be

We talked a lot about the RT Book Reviews winners, and there are so many awards. SO MANY.

And the ads reminded Amanda of year book parent ads:

The Avon Romance Congrats page celebrating career achievement for Eloisa James, Rachel Gibson and Kim Harrison, and then pictures of the wining books: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean, Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare, The Wicked Wallflower by Maya Rodale, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb, Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost, Wait for You by Jennifer L Armentrout, The Lass Wore Black by Karen Ranney, and Destiny's Embrace by Beverly Jenkins

Wanda Brunstetter received a career achievement award, and in her full page ad, it says:

The text of the Wanda Brunstetter ad which reads New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter is an award-winning romance novelist who has led millions of readers to lose their heart in the Amish life. She is the author of over 60 books with more than 7 million copies sold. She and her husband live in Washington State but take every opportunity to visit friends in Amish settlements throughout the States.

A tip of the hat to the copywriter because I’m still thinking about that first sentence.

We spent some time talking about Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series, which does indeed have its own town website. If I’m remembering correctly, it was one of the first of its kind.

The one-page feature on Deeanne Gist’s Fair Play has an OUTSTANDING opening paragraph:

The first paragraph reads By Tricia Carr Deeanne Gist Gave her readers what they asked for in her May release, Fair Play (Howard): She used actor Ryan Gosling as her muse for hero Hunter Scott. But even someone inspired by the hand- some, personable, kind — we could go on forever! — actor needed a flaw. So Gist made him constipated. (Yes, you read that correctly.) We’ll explain.

A massive round of applause to writer Tricia Carr for this profile. Well done!

I read Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire after the last round of RT Rewind, and I think this month’s selection should be Fair Play. 

Amanda had a LOT to say about this cover placement for Huckleberry Summer and Simply Sinful:

Two covers in the Kensington Romance ad: on the left is Hucklberry Summer by Jennifer Beckstrand, featuring an Amish woman in a deep blue dress and black apron with a white cap, seated on a front step with a golden-doodle looking dog. And right next to it is Simply sinful by Kate Pearce which features a very well lit close up of a pair of boobies in a white satin demi bra

And this model has the old Justin Bieber haircut!

The cover for Souls of the Damned by ES Moore features a woman standing in front of a red motorcycle facing away from the reader wearing tight black leather pants a leather jacket (sounds noisy) and holding a big knife pointed at her bum. Her hair is blown clear around her head nearly sideways.

Solved HaBO!!

A purple text box that reads Solved ... An unprecedented number of RT readers wrote in to help end Kim Hey’s search for a Silhouette title about a rancher and a heroine studying the local plant life (April #362). Our sharp subscribers say it’s Fever by Elizabeth Lowell (Silhouette Desire #415), which has been reissued several times since its 1988 release. Thanks to reader Letitia Hensley, who was the first to give us a shout!

A Silhouette from 1988 – and while I didn’t catch the title while we were recording, I have read this book and IT IS WORTH FINDING oh my goodness. Fever by Elizabeth Lowell is terrific. The new cover is very silly, however.

2014 marked the founding of 1001 Dark Nights, which is still going strong and one of our dedicated advertisers:

A screen shot of the feature article 1001 Nights and Counting Liz Berry and MJ Rose envelop 11 authors in darkness

We also noticed this book on a full-page AllRomance eBooks ad:

A book cover for SHINY! by Amy Lane which features a white dude in bright blue briefs looking shocked with his mouth open while a white man in a tie and white shirt looks on from behind him


If either of us had this cover quote, we would be putting that quote EV.ER.Y.WHERE.

The cover quote from Down by the River by Lin Stepp is from DOLLY PARTON I KID YOU NOT Love Family Faith Intrigue mystery loyalty romance and a great love for our beloved Smoky Mountains

Amanda calls the pose on the cover of A Promise of More an extra-large ‘Leave room for Jesus.’

Bronwen Evans has a quarter ad that reads Read Feel Fall in Love, and the cover for A Promise of More has a couple embracing but the hero who is shirtless is a full foot and a half to two feet away from the heroine who is in a purple gown bent back over his arm but there is SO MUCH SPACE in between their bodies

We also discuss an ad for a digital press, now defunct, called Turquoise Morning that was (a) hosted on Blogger according to Absolute Write, and (b) Loooooooooooved some Scriptina.

the cover for Lovei n SIght by Holly Gillett I think I can't TELL because the FONT for the NAME is LOOPY and it makes the name unreadable with all the double letters! plus the cover image is a woman in a hank top with her hands resting on a dude's chest who is wearing a white jacket, and there's a white cane used by visually impaired people leaning against the railing behind him. and it's called LOVE IN SIGHT.

So much Scriptina. So many questionable photo choices given the title. So much, so many. Such a time 2014 was.

The use of black and white ads was increased in this issue, which is kind of interesting, because the covers sort of blend:

A close up of two covers from the Beachwalk Press aada that is all black and white, but Grading on a Curve features an elementary printing font, set up against a fully naked lady behind it - and the font size is what makes the cover stand out. Then there's an ad with a guy ripping his shirt open and the title is Reality Hero. No idea what that means.

I mean, look. Some of the covers are barely readable?

the full page black and white ad for BeachwlkPress that reads Discover some great New Romance Books but every cover is a thumbnail, the fonts are very distraacting and everything blends into a mess except for Grading on Curves because the font is san serif and clear I guess? It's a mess

I thought we’d gotten away with Zero Scriptina, but nope, there are two Scriptina covers – No, three.

I mean, is it really a romance if you don’t use Scriptina?

Amanda is baffled by this one:

What does the wolf eyed viking want? No idea what that means but you can discover NORSE JEWEL by Gina COnkle, book 1in the Norse series

What does that MEAN?

Then there’s this truly incredible bit of text:

Darcy's Tale by Stanley Michael Hurd has a full quarter ad of white text on purple, that reads with TERRIBLE Kerning Pride and Prejudice through Darcy’s eyes. Stanley Michael Hurd’s truly male point of view has readers and reviewers enthralled! Followed by reviews that read written by a man, so we get a genuine male perspective

Come for the kerning errors, stay for the gender essentialism!

We talked a lot about Full Steam Ahead n the last episode, and we have a lot to say about the ad featuring the cover, too.

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer features a white woman with wide eyes and a shocked expression in a green period dress with white ruffles and trim. Behind her is a guy smirking while he handles a train boiler

She does look a little like Frances McDormand, right? (I can’t embed a picture because most celeb photos are copyright to the photographer and it’s hard to tell which are usable in this context.)

Look at the smirk on that guy’s face. Obsessed with boilers indeed.

And yes, I would indeed wear every part of this outfit:

Truth be Told by Carol Cox features a woman with curly brown hair in a deep purple velvet jacket and skirt with a gorgeous grey pleated blouse with a high neck and an attached scarf pinned with a gold and purple brooch.

You would indeed spot me in the Aldi’s check out in that suit. Also, extremely high grade side eye happening there, too.

This one is questionable:

Mary Conneally's book Stuck Together which has a giant picture of a guy in a pilgrim hat against the sky and below him a tiny woman looking up wearing what looks like a coral prom dress

Sky Pilgrim!

I think this cover quote is going to battle the Dolly Parton cover quote for supreme cover quote because they’re both terrific.

The ad for Fair Play by Deeanne Gist features a woman in a 1890s gown on a swing in front of a ferris wheel in the distance, and the quote is from Deanna Raybourn, and reads, [I] laughed so hard at their first full scene together I cried my mascara off.

And then, it’s time to discuss this airplane.

Kat Martin's Against the Wild features a man with a solemn face wearing a canadian tuxedo with a plane behind him with the nose angled so it's right in line with his crotch

That plane is positioned in such a way that might possibly be suggestive, or perhaps outright phallic.

It’s coming out of his crotch pretty much. A tip of the hat to the designer. The plane has liftoff.

This cover from an ad from Marie Harte and Sourcebooks features a cover image that is really, really weird in the paperback format:

how to handle a heartbreaker by marie Harte has a woman in a grey tank top embracing a guy with his shirt open of course but the angle of her arm, which is cropped before the shoulder on the paperback cover, looks like it's coming out of her neck. It's very disorienting.

But the full image, which is visible on the audiobook cover, is not at all distracting:

The full image which shows both of their shoulders makes it clear her arm is attached at the shoulder and not growing out of her neck. Which is good. That seems uncomfortable.

Cropping, much like kerning, matters!

Neither of us were impressed with these covers:

The Montlake ad has six covers and they're all very poorly designed. Undressed by the Earl has an image of a woman in a red ballgown from behind in a candlelit ballroom, but the title is in a scripty pointy font and about nine miles of outer glow.

but this author photo gave us SO MUCH JOY.

Laurell K Hamilton sitting sideways in a directors chair kicking her legs up and her legs are encased in above-the-knee leather boots. DID YOU SEE HER BOOTS?

This ad from LooseId was more confusing than last time:

A two-part ad from Loose Id, with some books at the top separated by a big red curl, and below is Oestre's basket again, with the text when you order a gift basket from the goddess of new beginnings, you might not get what you're expecting but you'll get exactly what you need. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN

…as was this cover, from the top section!

Two muscly white men are in a field? One is on some hay and is wearing briefs but the other is very naked and showing some flank, but his chest is so shadowed it looks like he has a thorax like a bug.

Hay seems itchy, but the naked dude has given us some queries to ask.

And then…a full page EC ad.

So many covers for Ellora's cave, and so many of the covers feature the same model, sometimes in similar poses. at the top is a cover with a woman who looks like she's running away from a boat

That ship is AFTER YOU! RUN!

A Kiss of Promise features a woman in a hat with a GIANT PINK BOW running away from a ship. Really that's the only way to describe it

That hat is something, though.

Sage Publishing has an almost nipple cover, top left:

A collection of 12 red sage books, many of which feature similar cover models, incluidng one guy cupping a breast in the top left and the nipple has been edited out no question

And then, there’s the Armageddon Mates:

a close up of a series of black and white cover images that are so sexual they look like thumbnails from a porno. One in the middle has a woman in a bra and thong in high heels in bed and all of them look like they have a back injury and they can't get comfortable

Those look like images of someone trying to sleep with a back injury.

Amanda caught this ad  – I missed this entirely!

Farrah Abraham - Celebrity Sex Tape in the making, an erotic novel in partnership with Ellora's Cave - and she's the cover model

The classifieds were Expensive! And you could get books on CD!

The classfied ads CLASSIFIEDS Bookstores/Book Accessories OhlmBooks Publications j Romance j Science Fiction Romance j Futuristic/Metaphysical Romance Available in: email, CD or hard copy. Magazines For Sale Looking to sell all issues of “Romantic Times” from issue #1 to current. Best offer. Email: Query Submissions Chances Press Now accepting queries from romance & erotica writers for e-book/print publication. Classified Advertising Rates $75 for 1 – 10 lines $95 for 11 – 20 lines Ads will appear both online and in the magazine. Contact:

I haven’t heard back from the person selling all issues from 10 years ago. Oh, well.

And I misread this back cover ad:

Meant to Be - The Lives and Loves of a Jersey Girl by Lauren Pizza, with the tag line above the authors name that reads A Memoir More Exciting than Fiction but I read it as more exciting than pizza

I read the tagline as “A memoir more exciting than pizza.” Is there a memoir or any book more exciting than pizza? Probably not.


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