Feed Your Reader! December 8 Releases

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The Scottish Highlands meet The Bachelorette in this new historical romance from Allison Butler…


For a man called Chris Kringle, Christmas is the most magical time of the year.  But this year, there’s something about a certain elf that’s grabbed his attention in the best of ways. 


She would trust him with her life. But can either of them trust their hearts?


Bremy St James is back in a brand new adventure, mixing chaos, humour, sex, and superheroes in this fresh, funny, flirty series. It’s the superhero romance you didn’t know you needed…


He knew everything he wanted…until she showed him everything he never knew he needed


A story about starting fresh, letting go, and risking it all for love…

Happy Canada Day!

canadadayHappy Canada day wishes to all our Canadian readers, and a special shout-out to our Canadian Escape Artists:

21184Auralee Wallace!

19723Darlene Fredette!

20835Daniel De Lorne! (who’s actually an Aussie, but currently living in Canada, so gets the love too!)

Maple syrup and pancakes for everyone!

Cinderella, Lucy, and a little 50 Shades: Exploring Different Pathways of Strength, Resiliency, and Power

From Auralee Wallace

When my first daughter was born, I was firmly resolved to keep the princess industry out of my house and out of her head. After all, I was an educated woman, who had taken her fair share of Women’s Studies courses, and I didn’t want my daughter to grow up believing a man would solve all of her problems. Then it happened. We were on a family vacation, in a rented cottage, in the middle of nowhere, and it was raining. The cottage didn’t have cable, but it did have a TV/VCR and a worn copy of Cinderella. I caved pretty quickly – one can only sing The Wheels on the Bus so many times before one goes nuts. A horrifying thing happened next.

My daughter fell in love.

Up until this point, my girl only knew of Dora (a show which I deemed appropriate viewing despite its messaging that it’s acceptable for young children to explore the jungles of Mexico with nothing more than a map, a backpack, and a monkey companion), so never before had she seen skirts skimmer so radiantly, young girls sing so sweetly, or slippers sparkle so brightly. In the moment where Cinderella is transformed by magic into a ball-ready princess, I watched my entranced daughter lean towards the screen while gripping her own skirt with her still chubby hands, and I knew she was a goner.

Well, what was a socially responsible, feminist mom to do? Did I lunge for the remote to turn off the offensive messaging? Did I pounce on my daughter to shield her eyes? Did I sigh heavily to let her and the universe know how disappointed I was that Disney had claimed yet another little girl’s soul? I did not…but part of me was tempted until I realized that shaming a four year old probably wasn’t appropriate under any circumstances. What I did instead was allow myself to smile at the sparkle in my daughter’s eyes. I may have even sung a little Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo.

Since that time I have had to question a lot of my own beliefs about what is and isn’t feminist-friendly. For example, let’s take a deeper look at Cinderella. Yes, there is a questionable message about marriage being the Happily Ever After we all seek, but let’s look deeper still. Perrault wrote Cinderella in 1697 (although I am told there are versions of Cinderella-type tales over 5000 years old). Given the time period and its gender expectations and realities, one could easily propose that the main message of the tale is simply one of hope. Cinderella is able to escape a miserable life using the power structures available to her, and she is able to do it without sacrificing her integrity – overnight, no less. Can you spot the appeal? I sure can.

Now, I am not saying that every little girl should be encouraged to aspire to be a pampered princess, but I am saying let’s look deeper at what it is women love about Romance and why. Take 50 Shades of Grey, for example. I didn’t finish it. Granted I was breastfeeding my third child at the time, and the idea of one more person touching me wasn’t exactly alluring.

I was fascinated, however, by all of the feminist discourse surrounding it, ranging from the supportive to the critical to downright shaming/shameful. I won’t delve too deeply into this topic, but I will say that there was one particular moment, before I did quit, when Mr. Grey was ordering Anastasia lunch (fish and white wine, I think) when I found I suddenly had a mini fantasy playing out in my mind. It went a little like this:

Wow, wouldn’t it be nice if Mr. Grey would plan my seven year old’s birthday party? I’ve been up all night with the baby. There’s laundry to be done. I’ve not finished my manuscript. My husband’s at work. And I think the cat might be sick. Please Mr. Grey come make all the decisions. Every last one of them. Heck, execute them too. And, while you’re at it, order me to eat something. I like it when you do that…sometimes. At that moment, I’m not going to lie, I kind of got what all the fuss was about.

I would also like to point out that I don’t believe men undergo the same level of scrutiny when it comes to liking what they like. My husband, for example, practices Jujitsu at the local rec centre. For an hour a week, I think he enjoys feeling like a warrior (an arguably ultra-masculine role). I can guarantee you, no one has ever shamed him by saying, “You can’t handle this particular warrior fantasy, boy. It might turn you into a psychopath. Think of your son.” People assume he is a THINKING man, who can enjoy the practice of the fantasy while still very much living in the real world. (My husband did counter that men are often shamed for their enjoyment of looking at naked women, but I will have to save that topic for another time.)

My debut novel, SIDEKICK, (a novel that should have never seen the light of day as I was told Chick Lit is dead and female superheroes don’t sell) is a Cinderella story. My main character just so happens to want to be a superhero instead of a princess – a quest that she tackles in a very Lucille Ball type of way. (I feel compelled to mention here that Lucille Ball has been called a poor excuse for a feminist because of the way she deferred to her husband on the show. Forget that she was the first woman to create a show that focused on women, women who wanted more than society deemed appropriate, and dared to depict a real live pregnant woman on the little screen (something many felt would be the downfall of civilization) without sacrificing her domination of the ratings. She was also the first woman to run a major television studio…but I digress.)

I wrote this story because while on the surface it is a silly, fluffy comedy, at a deeper level it depicts themes of hope, strength, resiliency, and, yes, dare I say it, even a little love.

I guess what I am, and many others are, calling for is deeper analysis of the romance genre (mainly written for women, by women). It is so easy, for men and women to brush off these stories as silly at best and dangerous at worst, but that is lazy thinking if you ask me. Lucille Ball once said, “I’m not funny. What I am is brave.” I think a similar thing can be said of romance writers. It takes a great deal of bravery to write about what you love and share it with the world. It is certainly a damned shame when people dismiss it out of hand because it’s about “girl stuff.”21184

Auralee Wallace has played many roles in her life, including college professor, balloon seller, and collections agent. She is now living her dream of writing humorous women’s fiction. When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children (and psychiatric nurse to two rescue cats) isn’t writing or playing soccer, she can be found watching soap operas with lurid fascination and warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard. Her debut novel, Sidekick, is out now.

Newly sprung in June…

We have packed June full of amazing titles this year. Glory in the bounty!

21183For fans of Bronwyn Parry – whoever said small towns have no secrets didn’t know about this one…

A breakthrough rural romantic suspense novel from Sarah Barrie, about a country girl doing it tough, an undercover cop on the case of his career, and the sad fact that no good deed goes unpunished.

21184Heroes meets Bridget Jones in this brilliant, hilarious, debut novel about a girl who just wants to save the world…

We are thrilled to welcome Auralee Wallace to the Escape Artists with this fantastic mash-up of New Adult romance and comic books, about a girl trying to find her way in the world, a journalist looking for a break, and the mysterious superhero who just wants to be left alone.

21185In the world of Regency England, only one thing matters — the begetting of an heir…

The third in this exciting, sensual, surprising, unique series of historical romance novellas, about what goes on behind closed regency doors.

21186His search for her has been timeless, eternal, and ultimately thwarted. Until now…

A new paranormal romance from Jennifer Brassel mixes action, adventure, eternal curses, soul mates, and art. How can she walk away from the man whose face has haunted her canvasses and her dreams?

21187Job satisfaction has never been this good…

Alexis Fleming proves that workplace romances can be just the thing for a little stress relief, and a lot of fun, when a historical restorations expert meets an uptight banker. Nude paintings, blackmail, and mind-numbing sexual frustration…will either of them survive this project?

21188A small-town romance about secrets, community, and the family we make for ourselves.

This is our second novel from Louise Forster, and she takes a decidedly rural turn in this sweet contemporary romance about a big city girl who goes home to mourn her uncle and get questions answered, only to find that the answers (and the local tradies!) are nothing like she expected.

21189She can buy anything she wants, except the courage to stand up to her family. That’s where he comes in. 

A beautiful coastal romance set in the same world as It’s Love, Dude, about a billionaire Cinderella with a singular need: an ’emotional’ bodyguard to help her manage her family. How can a hero resist?