Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jeannie Lin, Guest Blogger

It’s my pleasure to welcome award-winning author Jeannie Lin back to Thoughts in Progress as the special guest speaker today as she makes a stop on her virtual blog tour with her latest release, BUTTERFLY SWORDS.

Jeannie stop by today to talk about “Guy Friendly Romance.”

When one of my guy friends learned that I had a romance novel coming out, he was very supportive.

“I’ll pick it as my choice for our book club,” he said proudly.

First I was ecstatic, but then the reservations kicked in. “Maybe you want to wait to make sure there’s no naked man chest on the cover.”

“Are you kidding? That would be even better!”

I know this friend was well-meaning, and I really do think he’d enjoy BUTTERFLY SWORDS, romance and all. I mean there are plenty of sword fights and escapes intertwined with the smooching. Other than the under-aged, I’d never dissuade or dismiss anyone who wanted to read my book.

There have been a handful of male readers that have expressed interest in reading the book and several of them came back with
a sigh of relief after the cover was unveiled. I think they were committed to reading the book no matter the cover, but were happy to have something they could carry around that didn’t have heaving bosoms and bare-chested men. Some, on the other hand, were disappointed like my friend Mike. They wanted to go all-in and reveled in the fact that they were going to read a Harlequin.

So here’s some “reviews” from the male population so far:

My personal trainer was one of the first to purchase and has read the first five pages. “It’s the most I’ve ever read of any romance novel,” he boasts. Ringing endorsement?

An editor at a Vietnamese newspaper read through the book and reported that the writing was excellent and that he enjoyed the swordfights, especially the big showdown at the end. “But I didn’t quite expect for there to be so many love scenes!” Just for the record: Fight scenes – 7, Love scenes – 2.5. (I’ll leave you to wonder what the .5 is for…)  

I do hope to hear more from male readers in the future. I’ve read plenty of traditional fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, and suspense thrillers that contained very strong romantic elements. I wonder if the credo that guys don’t like romance isn’t a bit of an outdated stereotype itself.

I’d like to end with a final thought about “Guys and Romance.” In the initial romance writing class, there was one male participant. He was creating an online role-playing video game and told us that the successful storylines usually contained a hint of romance.

He was a more quite participant, his writing was very solid, his romantic elements not as overstated as ours, but definitely present. At the end, when we were discussing men and their reluctance to discuss emotions, he spoke up to challenge our thoughts.

“Men don’t have a problem with emotions,” he said. “Somewhere along the line, we’ve had our heart broken too and learned that it wasn’t acceptable to show it.”

Heck, it sounds pretty much the same for women. I hope BUTTERFLY SWORDS is a guy and girl friendly book, fight scenes and love scenes in all.    

Jeannie, thanks for stopping by again and guest blogging. It is funny that girls can read about fight scenes and wars and it’s normal, but let a guy read a romance story and that seems strange. Go figure.

For a bit of background on Jeannie. She writes historical romantic adventures set in Tang Dynasty China. Her short story, THE TAMING OF MEI LIN from Harlequin Historical Undone was released September 1. Her Golden Heart award-winning novel, BUTTERFLY SWORDS, was released October 1 from Harlequin Historical and received 4-stars from Romantic Times Reviews—“The action never stops, the love story is strong and the historical backdrop is fascinating.”

To learn more and to join her book launch celebration visit http://www.butterfly-swords.com for giveaways and special features. Visit Jeannie online at: http://www.jeannielin.com


  1. That sounds like an awesome book. Wish I could get my boys to read it- they need to know that girls can fight too if they want to- mostly they choose not to.

  2. Thanks for having me once again as a guest here!

    @Rayna - I think boys secretly like warrior women!

    @Mason - I'm all for lifting that double standard for men. :)

  3. Hi Mason and Jeannie .. I love these sort of novels .. learning something about China too .. & I love reading about warrior women .. - the boys probably do too ..

    It's interesting .. I think men are starting to show their emotions more .. and are learning to open up.

    Thanks - 'Butterfly Swords' - what a title .. says so much .. just two words - great review .. and lovely reading Jeannie's thoughts - Hilary

  4. Great interview. I'll look for the book - I like romance coupled with history and sword fights.

    Book Bird Dog

  5. Mason - Thanks for hosting Jeannie.

    Jeannie - It is so interesting that there are stereotypes associated with novels. Women aren't "supposed to be" interested in action novels, and men aren't "supposed to be" interested in romance novels. But a well-written novel can have elements that appeal to both genders. I wish you much success with Butteryfly Swords.

  6. @Hilary - I am quite happy that the publisher kept the original title. Thanks for the comment.

    @Book Bird Dog - Hope you get a chance to read it!

    @Margot - That's a good point about stereotypes with novels. And it's more often that "masculine" novels are expected to be universally read whereas "feminine" novels are expected to exclusively appeal to women. Thanks for the well wishes!

  7. ah, she's a very pretty lady :) and the book sounds interesting, I love me some historical adventure!

  8. Jeannie, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us today. I have a feeling guys read more romance books than they are willing to admit.

    Hi all, thanks for dropping by today.

    Dez, thanks for giving us a guy's view point too.

  9. It's interesting how book covers can really be so influential in a reader deciding to read a book. They really are like the story's first hook. Thanks Mason and Jeannie for the post.

  10. It's got everything: swords and sex. I do love the cover.

  11. What a good post, I think it's great about the guy view of romance!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.