Avon has been hard at work over the past few months working on a brand new destination site for our fans! And it's arrived! Head over to www.AvonRomance.com and check it out. Remember to leave a few comments with your thoughts.

And don't forget to update your RSS feed ...
THE SEASON BLOG is running a contest HERE for their readers’ Top Historical Romance pick of 2009.

Voting ends Sunday, January 31st. Please cast your ballot (or, rather, click your button) to make sure your favorite Avon title wins!
New York Times bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby is back with the latest installment in her extremely popular Reverend Curtis Black series, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR.

The last time we saw the Reverend’s daughter Alicia Black, she had learned some very valuable lessons about herself and marriage...or had she?

Alicia’s now married to Pastor JT Valentine, a handsome man of the cloth who resembles her charismatic but morally flawed father in more ways than one. In fact, Curtis himself sees the similarities and tries to warn Alicia, but she’s too much in love with her new husband--and his status and wealth--to listen.

Will Alicia come to her senses, before it’s too late?

Kim Roby is a master at depicting the juicy scandals that can go on behind the scenes in a church community, and this book is no exception. If you missed her previous novel about Alicia, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, it’s now out in paperback.
Merry Stewart, the “bride” in Lynsay Sands latest Scottish historical TAMING THE HIGHLAND BRIDE(on sale January 26th), has a tough time of it. She’s been waiting for her betrothed for quite some time, and, when he finally makes an appearance, she mistakenly believes he’s a drunk. Then, when she takes the reins on his clan, she’s labeled a shrew!

Poor Merry can’t catch a break. So, we decided to ask Lynsay for some advice: what should a modern woman do (or not do), if she should suddenly find herself in Medieval Scotland...

1) You should not train the men in battle techniques while wearing a dress.

2) You should not attempt to pry a maid from a drunk and randy Scot without a weapon (i.e., shield, pot, broom handle) in hand. And, you should use this weapon liberally, until such time as the drunkard has either passed out or left the maid and your person be and gone back into his cups.

3) You should probably keep any sarcastic comments to yourself, unless you know how to use a sword REALLY well.

4) Hope you are transported to someplace close to a lake (or loch, since it's Scotland.) It may be your only hope to bathe more than once every several months.

5) You should try to avoid going to the washroom as long as possible. Back then there was no such thing as toilet paper.

6) Make sure you’re on the Pill (LOL). I don’t think I have to go into detail about this. Hopefully, you will be so stressed out by your unexpected journey back in time that your time of the month will just disappear. We can always dream...

7) You should avoid walking close to buildings as people tended to discard the contents of their chamber pots on the streets without discretion.

8) Hopefully you don’t have an aversion to smells, as not only will you have to sleep beside a man that likely hasn’t bathed in a few months but your servants may never have bathed before in their entire lives... (shudder)

9) If you find you have a husband, there are certain rules when it comes to bedding. You cannot have sex during daylight hours, if you’re pregnant, if you’re nursing, during Lent, Advent, Whitsun week or Easter week, on Sundays, on Wednesdays, on Fridays, on Saturdays. Also, when having sex you’re not allowed to: be naked, fondle, kiss lewdly, try strange positions, enjoy it, and do it more than once. Oh...and you can’t have sex in church. (So essentially you can have sex on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday as long as you are fully clothed, don’t enjoy it, and are trying to get pregnant.)

10.) Don't drink the water!

(by Lynsay Sands)
Four stories, four authors, one theme: that was the idea behind the bestselling anthology IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT. Now, Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh, Jacquie D’Alessandro, and Candice Hern return to write four stories ultimately chosen by you, the readers, in IT HAPPENED ONE SEASON.

Visit www.ItHappenedOneSeason.com to suggest your story. It must take place during the Regency social season. You must include three specific plot points (such as these used for the anthology IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT: (1) a couple meets at an inn 2) they had met before but not within the past ten years 3) the whole story takes place within a 24 hour period.)

Submit three specific plot elements and your ideas could create the theme of the four tales in the new anthology collection, IT HAPPENED ONE SEASON.

The authors choose the four finalists.

The readers vote on the ultimate favorite and one lucky winner will see their dream come true.

The grand prize winner will be acknowledged on the dedication page of IT HAPPENED ONE SEASON and receive a $1,000 American Express gift card and a copy signed by all 4 authors. Semi-finalists will receive $100 American Express gift cards and a set of personalized autographed books.

Deadline for ideas: February 14, 2010
Round two/general voting begins: February 25, 2010
Winner announced: March 14, 2010

Note: Contest is open to US residents only, age 18 or older.

Visit www.ItHappenedOneSeason.com for more details.
THE SEASON BLOG is running a contest HERE for their readers’ Top Historical Romance pick of 2009.

Please cast your ballot (or, rather, click your button) before January 31st, 2010, to make sure your favorite Avon title wins!

Here is something I had to re-learn when editing Susan McBride's THE COUGAR CLUB: Cougars don't have spots. Leopards have spots; Cougars are solid and yellowish. Clearly, I need to turn off PROJECT RUNWAY and start watching more Animal Planet.

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure I like the implication of the word "cougar." Not that I'm against the older woman/younger man thing. I think it's about time all women--and not just Cher--get to do what men have been doing for ages.

I think that somewhere along the line it all got turned around and not in a good way. And, yes, I can't resist: I blame the media.

Instead of the image of women embracing what they want (in this case, a man who isn't as old as she is), suddenly it's all about overly-tanned, overly aggressive women wearing lots and lots of bad jewelry. Unless, of course, you look like Courtney Cox. It's as if women can't win no matter what they do!

Something fun but still empowering has once again been turned into something vaguely demeaning. (Don't even get me going about "Chick Lit", a phrase I loathed. Once the term "Chick Lit" came into vogue, a wonderful, exciting trend--books by young, new voices--became a joke.)

HOWEVER, and here's a big however, while this is fiction (we don't all get to meet cute hockey players--and that really isn't much of a spoiler here), the characters here have the hopes, dreams, and fears that we all do. Yes, it's a lot of fun, but it also deals with some of the issues many women have to deal with today. THE COUGAR CLUB has got it all--romance, female friendship, and even a bit of fashion...And no fake tans.