Friday, August 5, 2011

Where's the Heat?

by Amanda Forester

While the rest of the country has been sweltering, here in the Pacific Northwest it has been downright cold and rainy - even more than usual. Winter was cold, Spring was cold and wet, and Summer has been, well I'm still waiting for Summer. Last week the Seattle Times published an article called the "78 minutes of Summer". Apparently, there have been only 78 minutes so far this summer when the temperature was over 80 degrees. My poor kids want to know when summer is going to start. I'd like to know too! Of course, if you have been suffering through the record temperatures, I can't expect sympathy... still, I'd like to find a little warmth.

In desperation to find Summer, I took the family on a vacation to California. Despite only going so far as the bay area, the heat did not disappoint I am happy to say. The first day I began the thaw. The next few days I soaked up the vitamin D. And now as I write this my naturally pasty white skin looks more like cooked lobster. It's so sneaky when the wind keeps you cool, but the sun is just baking you away!

Back in our hotel room, my husband and I have had some rather "heated" discussions on what temperature the air conditioner should be set. After so much cold and wet, I'm happy to be a bit warm. My husband has a different internal setting for comfortable - he'd like to live in an igloo. We've been having air conditioning wars; I turn it down, he turns it up.

This has got me thinking about the heat levels in books. Everyone has their own preferences about what is just right. Some like the pages to singe their fingers as they turn the pages. Others prefer a little warmth. It all depends on each person's individual preference. Fortunately in romance, there are so many great books (insert shameless plug for fellow Casablanca writers here) you can often find the kind of book you like with the heat level that makes you comfortable. When it comes to books, everyone can be "right". Unfortunately, this is not true about the temperature of a room. Must dash and change the temperature gauge before my fingers freeze into icicles!

What heat level do you find most comfortable? Feel free to comment on whatever kind of heat you want!


  1. I think you're a lucky duck. It's been non-stop hotter than hades since April in GA. I would totally trade you.

    My perfect temperature is about 73-75 degrees or colder. I love snow and woul dbe contest in a winter wonderland all year:)

    Good reading ~ Escape by Fiction :)

  2. Yeah, it's 110 here every day in Texas, and we desperately need rain. I need come and visit you, Amanda, and write another wolfie the cool!

  3. Amanda, I wish I could send you some of Virginia's heat. It's been downright miserable. We've had a few days over 100. I think it broke records here. Fortunately, the past couple of days were cooler. I know I've said it before, but I loved your first book and I can't wait to read the next one!

  4. Enjoy your vacation, Amanda. There's so much to be said for Vitamin D!

    I'm surprised by the vast differences of opinion over heat ratings of MY books. RT called my latest one mild and another reviewer said she was shocked by the explicitness.

    I guess there's no way to please everyone. I'll just continue to hope the right people will find and enjoy my books. I keep the heat pretty even.

  5. I am a Florida girl, Amanda so I can take the heat. After having lived in Connecticut and New Hampshire a few years ago, I can honestly say I'd rather be hot than cold! Bring on the heat!

  6. I have a prety narrow band of 'physically comfortable' - maybe 75-80 degrees. As you might imagine, living in MN where it's much colder than that in the winter and much warmer in the summer, I don't spend a lot of time outside. ;-)

  7. Amanda, darlin', if I could I'd box up some of this Oklahoma heat and mail it to you. We are up near 50 days now of 100 or more. It was 117 a couple of days ago in the shade in my burned up back yard. I'm amazed, too, at the difference in readers' heat opinions. One called Red's Hot Cowboy mild and another called it scorching.

  8. Escape - that is about the perfect temperature for me too. I hope you get a break from the heat soon!

    Terry - you are welcome to visit any time! We do have some wonderful wilderness in the NW. Wolves too!

    Anita- thanks so much! It's a shame I can't share a little cool rain with you, trust me, I would if I could!

  9. Ashlyn - I have had that reaction with my book too. From people who were disappointed it wasn't more heat to other reviewers who thought it was a little edgy. 'Tis all in the eye of the beholder!

    Amelia - if you love the heat, you found the right state to live in. Last year at RWA in Florida I thought I would melt! Florida natives take the heat with a grace I could never hope to attain!

    Tamara - you certainly get some changes in temperature. You also get some nice change in seasons which is really cool. When I loved on CA I missed having those seasons!

    Carolyn - I had to grab a glass of ice water just reading your comment! I hope it cools down soon!! I'd trade some rain for some heat if I could!

  10. I'm burning up with the rest of the states here in the Midwest. I guess Mother Nature is trying to dry up all that rain she poured on us at the beginning of summer.

    I love heat levels of all kinds in the books I read. For me, it's the anticipation of the first love scene that keeps me reading. HOWEVER, I do like at least one hot love scene in the book. That's best case scenario for me, but like I said, I love it all.

  11. It seems husbands always want it colder. I like about 76 during the day and 74 at night. It was 104 in Houston today. Too hot!

    I guess it's hard to say what level of heat I prefer in books. On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the hottest, I'm probably comfortable with a 3.5 or maybe a 4.

  12. Tracey - I'm with you I read all sorts. I like books with a great plot and a romance that captures my imagination. Whatever heat level that goes along with is ok by me.

    Shana - what's with those chilly willy husbands??

    Here's waving to you all from 6 flags CA where the heat level is just fine by me!

  13. It's been constantly over 100 degrees here in Arizona, Amanda. I'm envious of your weather. :}