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Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Giggles

Ahh, summer. Vacations. Time off. A chance to escape work-a-day worries and lose yourself in a good book. Given that our blog is “Romancing the Genres,” it’s not surprising that several of my fellow genre-istas have named spicy romances as favorite summer reads. And I wholeheartedly agree that a hot novel is très apropos for lounging on a sunny beach. Yet what’s summer without laughter? That’s why humor is a must for my top-of-the-list escapist reads.   

Even better, I can have my cake and eat it, too, since romance and humor co-exist quite nicel. My favorite escapist reads add supense/thrills to the humor, romance combo. Janet Evanovich has the formula down pat with her Stephanie Plum series. How can you not laugh at the image of Stephanie’s sidekick Lulu on the Atkins diet, her pockets stuffed with pork chops (I think I remember that correctly) being chased down the street by dogs? Along with the giggles Evanovich delivers not one but two hunks—the mysterious Ranger and the sexy Joe Morelli—and ample suspense.

Other romance authors with comedic gifts include Cindy Sample, Ann Charles and Jennifer Cruisie. Sample’s Dying for a Date features a single soccer mom with a knack for going on blind dates with men who soon become stiffs (not in a good way). Charles' debut Nearly Dead in Deadwood is a hoot, again with a single mom trying to make a living and manage romance despite dead bodies and ghosts. Sample and Charles both have continued the hijinks with fun follow-up titles. Cruisie’s Faking It is another of my favorites. It features a hero and heroine who meet in a closet while breaking into a house to steal (for noble reasons, of course). I also need to put in a plug for Blue Ridge Fear by Robin Weaver, scheduled for release later this year. I had an opportunity to read an advance copy and loved Weaver’s ability to blend her main character’s witty observations with real suspense.

I need to tip my hat to some male authors as well. Carl Hiaasen, Donald Westlake, and Dave Barry know how to make me chuckle every time.

So what books do you pick up when you want a summer pick-me-up that includes laughs? I want to keep as many of those authors around as possible.

12 comments:

Sarah Raplee said...

Hi Linda,

I love those Romantic Comedies with suspense plots, too! Besides, Janet E., I love Jennifer Cruisie and a new favorite is Nancy Brophy. In fact, I'm going to review her touching, hilarious story, CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE, for my post this month!Can't wait to read the rest of her books!

Sarah

Linda Lovely said...

I'll definitely add Nancy to my To-Be-Read list. Thanks for the heads up. Not enough laughter these days!

dkchristi said...

Morgan St. James has written several novels that include humor. dkchristi.com author of Ghost Orchid.

Linda Lovely said...

Yes, I've read her books and enjoyed them. A good addition.

Judith Ashley said...

I've Charles' "Dance of the Winnebago's" and Evanovich's "Explosive Eighteen" in my TBR pile. One of my all time favorite Evanovich scenes is Stephanie and Lulu trying to bring in the naked man covered in oil (or it could be fat). Slippery, slippery, slippery!

I also love Jennifer Cruise's earlier "Welcome to Temptation", "Bet Me", and "Fast Women".

Another author I enjoy is Toni McGee Causey who's heroine is an expert at getting into humorous situations.

And if anyone is every having their first colonoscopy, read Dave Barry's article. It got me through my first one with a smile.

Ashantay Peters said...

Vickie Lewis Thompson is high on my list, along with yes, Jennie Crusie. If you like Carl Hiassen, give Randy Wayne White (try saying that name fast) a look. Sandra Hill's Cajun Cowby series is filled with quirk. For paranormal high jinks, Katie McAllister's dragon series is a hoot! Regency authors include Laurie Brown (What Would Jane Austin Do), Kathryn Caskie and Kieran Kramer (When Harry Met Molly).

Thanks for the post, Linda!

Linda Lovely said...

Thanks Ashantay and Judith, you've added to my TBR pile. I sent that Dave Barry colonoscopy piece to a friend the day before his colonoscopy. Somehow he didn't see the humor as he ran for the bathroom. Timing is everything. I agree it was hysterical.

Ann Charles said...

Linda

Hi! Thank you for the call out. It's so kind of you to include my Deadwood series. I'm with you on Robin Weaver's upcoming release. I was lucky to get to read an ARC and it was great!!

Take care,
Ann

Robin Weaver said...

Hi Linda,

Great blog. Not only could I not survive summer without humor, II couldn't survive life without humor. I'm a huge Crusie fan, but like Ashantay,also big on Katie MacAlister.

Even more I love Ann Charles's books and so glad I met her at the Death by Chocolate event.

And of course, as your critique partner and biggest fan, am a big fan of Marley Clark and Nexi Ketts--a.k.a. Linda Lovely characters!

Linda Lovely said...

Nice to know we all share the same fondness for humor. I'm not sure I could write a book without it slipping in.

Cindy Sample said...

Linda, I am honored to be included with MY favorite comedic authors: Jennifer Crusie, Janet Evanovich, Ann Charles and yourself. I do love Marley's wry sense of humor.

As far as Mr. Barry goes, I haven't read his colonoscopy column but as an unfortunate expert in that area, the wisest advice I can share is to never have your last meal before purging include a mountain of refried beans!

It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Pauline B Jones said...

Not sure why, but I also prefer lighter fare in the heat. Fun blog post! (the blog needs to put some kind of archives/past posts thingy up! I had to scroll way down to find this!)