Oct 5, 2011

Watching: Dolphins in our bay

Listening to: The splashes the dolphins make as they cruise around

Reading: Here Comes the Groom by Karina Bliss

Do you read Mills & Boon books? "No, but my mother does." Heard that one?

How about - "I used to when I was a teenager."

We've all heard the comments, right? With some people there's always been a stigma attached to admitting to reading these stories and yet they sell so well. I've heard tales of people finding boxes or cupboards full of HM&B books when they've gone to clear out a beloved mother or grandmother's home. Until then they hadn't known their relative read "those" books.

But how did these ladies buy our books without being seen? I have a friend who genuinely never reads them but went to buy my first book from a local store. She was quite open about it until, while standing in the checkout queue, someone she knew came up to her and said "I didn't know you read Mills and Boon". So my friend slid the book under whatever else she was holding and said in a throwaway tone, "Oh, I'm only buying this because I know the author."
At least she was buying it.
Of course, nowadays it is so much easier to be secretive about what you're reading, just download the book.

Is it this stigma that makes some authors write under another name? With that in mind, maybe they pick the name of someone they don't like. I'm kidding. I don't think that's the case at all, although in my pre-published days people did ask me if I would write under my name or use a pseudonym. When asked why I wouldn't want to use my own name they seemed surprised I'd admit to writing "those" books.

I love these stories, and I'm so proud to have sold to M&B that I'll shout it from the rooftop and anywhere else for that matter. I'd take out a full page ad in the local paper if I could afford it and thought it would send people to the shops to buy my books.

So, are you all open about the books you buy? Do you tell your friends you read HM&B stories?
I'd love to read your thoughts on this.

And: We have some winners here:
Eleni and Sonali, you have both won copies of "Cause Love".
Nas and Marybelle, you have won copies of the superromance 2:1.

Congratulations. Please can you provide addresses so we know where to send them.


  1. Hello Sue!

    I won?! Yay! So excited!

    I've always read M&B, ever since I can remember!

  2. So many of us have, Nas. They are such good reads.

  3. Hi Sue,

    I have been reading M&Bs since i was 14. My mum thought i was to young to read M&Bs at that age so i hid it from her but as soon as i hit 15 it became very clear to everyone that i love reading harlequin and i have never hidden that passion since. I really don't understand the stigma associated with reading M&Bs. Its just a genre like every other reading genres out there. Some people prefer reading mystery's or thrillers and some prefer reading romances. Its just the way it is.

    Thanks for selecting me as the winner of "Cause Love". Woohooo!! - i'm just wondering to whom shall i e-mail my mailing address to.

  4. Sonali - Romances are always great sellers andyet continue to be put down by many.

    I'm finding out the e-mail address for you.

  5. I've loved reading romances from as far back as I can remember. I used to dig around for my auntie's Donna Parker hardbacks. Times change, the industry evolves, but love stories are timeless!

  6. I have been reading Harlequin/M&B since I was 11 years old and buying them since I was around 16. I'm 63 now. My mother was the only other member of my family who read them that I know of. I plan on dying with a huge to be read pile of books. I know whoever has to clear out my basement will be amazed as I have boxes of my mom's books as well as boxes of my own books. As far as I'm concerned reading romance has kept me sane.

  7. Kaelee, romances give us that feel good factor, don't they?

    Robbie, I guess we wouldn't be wrtiers of teh genres if we didn't love romance and that hope of happy ever after.


  8. I have been M&B forever. Ever since I found my older sisters book.

    I should also say THANK YOU!! A total surprise.

    I need an email address too thanks.

  9. Hi Sue
    I remember reading Lucy Walker M&Bs at a girl friend's place many years ago now. Wonderful books and I used to dream of being a nanny on an Outback station.

    I've certainly come across the disdainful "those"-books thing but it's often from people who've never read one. If they can form an opinion that way then that's their loss, not mine - I love a happy ending!


  10. Hey there, I'm a relative newcomer to the romance genre, I only started reading them five years ago. Can't stop now though!! I love the stories, the feel good factor and the happy ever after. I am still surprised at other people's reactions. My mother-in-law scoffed and mocked when I said I was writing one (she won't be getting a signed copy!) and so did a close friend (neither will she!). I was at my book club last week and someone suggested we had a Mills and Boon night to celebrate my first sale - and one of my friends looked right at me and sneered 'life's too short to read Mills and Boon'. Turns out she's never even read one! Plenty of people love them, and we write our books for them.

  11. Sue

    I will tell anyone that I read M&B and often start chatting to other Ladies while choosing them in the shop LOl and I also have been buying a lot of them as ebooks lately as well.
    Love the stories and am proud to tell people I read them although yep I do get the really look on their faces when i tell them.

    Have Fun
    I do hope I can post this blogger has not been nice to me lately fingers crossed

  12. Dolphins swimming in your bay -- how lovely!!

    We used to pass shopping bags full of M&Bs round our class at intermediate. In fact, I might never have read them if not for that (coming from a literary family)!

  13. Sorry to be so late getting back to you all but still having probs with the computer.
    Anyway: Marybelle, you were lucky to have a sister to lend you them. My mum didn't disapprove, just never considered reading them. Had to find out about M&B from my girlfriend's mum.

    Sharon, I think these stories do fuel our dreams, especiallywhen we're young. I was always dreamingof being a nurse, not just any nurse but the absolute best that the hero doctor fell in love with. Reality ain't the same.

    Louise, I hope your group goes ahead with a M&B night, and you might teach that woman a thing or two about what she's missing out on.

    Helen, glad that you're so supportive and don't let those funny looks bother you.

    Em, yes, dolphins but the season is about to finish. I love watching them frolic around the bay. They are so beautiful.


  14. Oh, Sue- sorry I missed your 'blog day'.
    My sister and I read bags full of M&B whenever we had a weekend at the beach (Whangamata). We'd wave the boys off to go fishing, then we'd escape with our M&B's!! Brings back lots of lovely memories.