Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Middle of a Book

All right, beautiful ladies, it’s time to grab your beach towels and bikinis. All you handsome gents out there head out to the garage to find your beach ball and then put on your Speedo. We are going to have an end of summer beach party right here on the white sandy shores of Panama City Beach. There’s a gentle breeze blowing, and I have plenty of sunscreen for the fair-faced like me. The beer and wine are on ice right beside the Apalachicola oysters that are being served on the half shell. My ever-ready-to-help husband is searing bay scallops on the grill. Come on over and party!

Oh, yes, never fear, I have burgers and dogs for those of you who can’t eat seafood and sweet iced tea for those of you who must have a sip or two when you are way down South.

All right, I’ll confess, it’s not really an end of summer party—it’s a launch party for A Marquis To Marry, which is the second book in The Rogues’ Dynasty Series! I am so excited about this book and I’d like to tell you why.

The main reason is because it’s the middle book of the trilogy, and I, being a middle child of seven kids, have a fondness for the “middle”. Let me explain.

I love the gooey sweet middle of a piece of milk chocolate and the delicious, chewy center of a brownie. I love the soft, warm middle of a piece of bread when it’s hot from the oven and the hard crust is taken off. I have to be in the middle of a ship on a cruise because there is less rocking and motion at the center, which means less chance for that dreaded seasickness. If I ride in the back seat of a car with two other people, I want to be in the middle and not by the door. This must come from being that middle child of seven. And, I will happily mention that I love being in the middle of an argument or at the center of anyone’s attention.

And though some might think it odd, I love the middle of a book because by the time I get there the plot has been set in motion and the pacing has evened out. All the characters have been developed, and we know what is at stake for the hero and heroine, and we know what has to be done before the end of the book can occur.

Too many times I’ve heard about that difficult “sagging middle” from authors and it makes me always want to say, “Hey, the middle is one of my favorite parts of a book.” I certainly didn’t want that saggy thing to happen in A Marquis To Marry, so I did the best thing you can do in a romance. I put the hero and heroine in the middle of the bed, in the middle of the book, and it worked like a charm. They were so happy!

But I felt there was still more I needed to do to strengthen that sagging “m” word, after all, when it’s the middle book of a series, readers expect to be wowed even more than they were with the first story. So I took my time and thought it over and did what any good romance author would do in this situation. As soon as the last kiss was over, and the final whispery sigh of blissful contentment was uttered, I yanked the hero and heroine out of the middle of the bed and put them in the middle of a heated argument. And, since I was on a roll, I kept going and let the quarrel lead them right smack dab into the middle of the intrigue; a stolen collar of priceless pearls. For good measure I threw in a sweet-talking buccaneer, a popinjay who worked for the Crown, and a seedy-looking one-armed antiquities dealer and cast suspicion on them all. Mission accomplished for the middle of A Marquis To Marry.

So now that I’ve told you why I think the middle part of a book is the best part, why don’t you tell me about your favorite part of a book?

Also ladies and gents, after you brush the sand from between your toes and hang up your beach towel, if you are available, please join me at any of the following links as I blog for the next two weeks.

October 2 Romance Reader at Heart’s Novel Thoughts Blog
October 5 Love Romance Passion Guest Blog
October 6 Yankee Romance Reviewers Guest Blog
October 7 Cheeky Reads Interview
October 7 Long and Short of It Guest Blog
October 8 The Good, the Bad, the Unread
October 9 Books Like Breathing Interview
October 9 Romance Junkies Guest Blog
October 12 Anna’s Book Blog Interview
October 12 Medieval Bookworm
October 13 Sia McKye’s Thoughts Over Coffee Guest Blog
October 14 Fresh Fiction Guest Blog
October 15 A Book Blogger’s Diary
October 16 Fallen Angel Reviews Guest Blog


  1. Ah, must I really brush the sand from between my toes. I was keeping an eye on the waves, just to see if I could find a merman...

    Happy middle of the middle book! Although, I predict no middle of the road for you! :)


  2. I love all parts of the book! I love to learn about the characters in the beginning, how they meet, what their goals are. In the middle, I want to be so caught up in their story, I can't put the book down. And at the end, I love the end and hate it. Because I'm so in love with the characters, and so glad they're HEA, and that the world is right with them, I hate to have to give them up. :)...So I really, truly love all parts! :)

    As to the beach scene? Will be there this weekend...white sand beaches...swimming, walking the beach..yep...hope to write lots of wolfy stuff while sitting on the veranda enjoying the sea breeze. :)

  3. Happy launch day, Amelia! Look forward to reading your series as I've been GORGING on historicals lately! (It's all Michele Young's fault!)

    I too love the middle of the book when all the set up is done and you can have lots of fun with your characters while they're having lots of fun with each other!

  4. Happy Launch Day, Amelia!
    As a fellow middle child, I have to agree; I like those gooey middle things, too! Plus, since I snagged an ARC from you in DC, I HAVE READ THIS BOOK AND IT'S A WINNER! Have fun with the launch!

  5. Good morning EVERYONE!
    I thought I would be the first one to post this morning, but I see Judi, Terry, Marie and Cheryl couldn't wait for the beach party--ah--I mean launch party!

    Thanks ladies for chiming in and, Terry, I think you are right. ALL parts of a book are are good! And, Cheryl thank you for saying A Marquis To Marry is a winner. So far all the reviews have been excellent!


  6. Perfect beach day.

    And champagne for you Amelia!


  7. Let me tell you, going to the beach is a welcome distraction today--its couldy and threatening to rain here in Chicagoland!

    Congrats on another lovely book Amelia!

  8. Congratulations Amelia!!

    Beginning, middle, and end - even an epilogue - I love all of it IF the book is well done. And I have no doubt yours are well done, although I confess I still haven't read them. *bad Sharon* And I have an ARC too!! What is wrong with me?

    Can I join the party anyway? I'll bring iced espresso drinks made fresh by my hubby and his famous 7 Layer Bean dip (is it obvious he is better in the kitchen than me?). I could use a beach holiday right about now and spending it with my CasaSisters in launch celebration sounds fine. :)

    Have a blast, Amelia!

  9. Good afternoon, Linda, Danielle and Sharon. Thanks for joining the beach/launch party!

    Thanks for the champagne, Linda. A quick sip told me its ice cold.

    Danielle, I'd never get the first blog written without your faithful help. Thank you!

    Sharon, thanks for joining the fun. I'm sending warm hugs your way.


  10. I like middles too. No more playing catchup with the setup. No mad rush to wonder how it will all turn out. And the promise that since I'm certain to have to keep putting the book down to do "stuff" everything will still be there in place and waiting till I pick it up again.

    Happy Launch Day!

  11. Hi ladies,
    Thanks for joining me today. I had a blast! I have no idea why I was called Gloria last time I made a comment. But I am using Amelia now! I hope!