Today I have Julia London, author of the novella ONE MAD NIGHT, hanging around and guest posting about novellas. Do you know what a novella is? You will by the end of this post. And if you’ve never read a novella- I suggest you start. Quick, delicious bites of a story- a nice easy read- and super-enjoyable! Oh, and there is a little, teensy GIVEAWAY! (You know how I feel about giveaways!) Enough babble from me- Julia London, take us away!
Novella: The New Go-to in Romance Reads
Novellas used to appear only around the holidays and only in printed anthologies featuring three or four authors. For authors, unless you were the top billed writer, you may or may not have been read—some readers would check out of the anthology before they’d read all of the stories. They were hard sells, too, as readers weren’t in the mood for them unless they were holiday themed. But with the rise in digital reading and the faster pace of life, novellas have become the new go-to for romance readers. For women on the go, they are very quick reads. The reader knows exactly what she’s going to get in a novella—it’s too short for a complex plot, and character development is fairly straight-forward for the same reason. The hero and heroine are front and center for most of the book. The stories are driven by the tried and true romance tropes that we never get tired of (e.g, enemies-to-lovers). It’s a romance reader’s go to when she doesn’t have time to delve into something deeper.
Novellas have become important in the book club I belong to, as well. We all lead such busy lives between our children and our jobs and vacations and holidays. It seems like every July my club wants to read something but no one has time to read a lot. What to do? Novella! And the holidays? Forget the big thick tomes—ain’t no one got time for that. My bookclub’s criteria is that whatever we read must be short. And cheap! Please, make it cheap! Because we all need a break around the end of the year when money seems to flow our of our bank accounts like water through a broken dam. Again, a good , inexpensive novella to get us in the spirit and give us something to talk about is the perfect solution.
In today’s romance reader’s world, the great thing about novellas is that they are published year round, in a variety of sub-genres, and on a variety of platforms. For example, The Bridesmaid, the novella I wrote last year was printed and made available as a download. One Mad Night is also available as a download, and it is also being distributed in a printed anthology where I get both headlining and caboose duties: it is published together with The Bridesmaid.
I hope you enjoy One Mad Night. The story is quick and fun: Two people going head to head for the same job that will make or break their career get stuck in an office overnight as a blizzard rages outside. Who will emerge the victor? You’ll have to read One Mad Night to find out. Enjoy!
So did that tease your reading taste buds? Are you now chomping at the bit to get your hands on ONE MAD NIGHT? No? Oh, you need more teasing. I’ve got you covered:
Excerpt from One Mad Night by Julia London
It took a moment for Chelsea to notice him, which gave Ian a moment to admire her. He was going to crush her tomorrow, but that didn’t stop him from appreciating a figure that guys like him dreamed about. Chelsea was wearing a skirt today. It hit about mid-thigh and was tight enough to show off all her curves. She looked a bit taller today too. He glanced at her feet and noticed the shoes. Chelsea was walking on stilts, and her legs, good God, her legs. She was smoking hot in that dress and those shoes.
“Hey!” she said sharply, her voice full of accusation.
Ian’s head snapped up. “Hey,” he said con-genially. “Practicing your pitch?” He settled one hip onto the conference table.
“Do you mind?” She gestured to the door in a be-off-with-you way.
“If you want, I could listen and give you some feedback.”
Chelsea’s mouth dropped open. And then her green eyes narrowed into little slits. “You have got to be the most arrogant man I’ve ever met.”
Ian smiled and shrugged.
“You can go, Ian,” she said, marching around the conference table to usher him out. “I think I’ve got it.”
“So hostile,” he said with a wink as he stood up. “I’m just trying to help. It never hurts for someone to hear the pitch, right? You’ve had someone listen to you go through it, right?”
“Yes, I’ve had—Hey, hey,” she said, poking him in the chest. “Are you trying to play me?” she demanded. “Because it won’t work. I’m not some junior account person, you know. You can’t intimidate me.”
“Well, obviously,” Ian said and poked her back. “You wouldn’t be pitching at all if you were a junior account person. I know I can’t intimidate you. It wasn’t a declaration of war, you know; it was an offer to help.”
“It wasn’t a let-me-help, best-friends-forever offer, either. I’m not playing games with you. This account means a lot to me—”
“Oh yeah?” she said, shifting closer. “Well, don’t get too attached to the idea. I’ve got seniority, you know.”
“So why are you so afraid to show me what you’ve got?”
“Because it’s none of your business.”
“On the eve of the championship, it’s okay to go out and shoot some hoops with your competitor. It’s not going to affect tomorrow’s big game. It’s not like I can go out and change weeks of work overnight if I see you’ve got something better.”
She laughed. “Good try, Rafferty, but I think maybe the reason you want to see my pitch is because you’re worried about the strength of your pitch. Is it a little rough? Maybe I should listen to you.” She winked, and her green eyes shone with pleasure at her comeback.
“I’m definitely not worried about my pitch.”
“No? Seems to me if you’re presenting three,” she said, holding up three fingers and wiggling them at him, “then you must be uncertain which one is the winner.” Her smile broadened into sheer triumph, as if she thought she’d really zinged him.
She hadn’t zinged him, but Ian did wonder how she knew what he had…Zach. Of course. That rat bastard. “Have you been talking to Zimmerman?” he asked accusingly.
She shrugged and studied her manicure. “Maybe. Does it matter? I thought we were doing the let’s-help-each-other thing. But if we’re not, would you mind toddling off? I have a lot of work I need to do before tomorrow. I plan to hit the ground running with this account on Monday.”
She was amazingly and annoyingly confident. Ian was generally a confident guy, but she was making him a teensy bit nervous. “You really think you’re going to get this, don’t you?”
“I don’t think, I know,” she said, looking up.
He tilted his head to one side to study her. “Isn’t it obvious to you why they brought me in?”
“I don’t know—I haven’t given it the slightest bit of thought.” She lifted her chin, and Ian realized she lied about as well as she engaged in verbal volleyball. “I’ve been promised that this account is as good as mine. Didn’t they tell you that when they brought you in?”
A bit more of Ian’s confidence leaked out of him. He’d been in New York advertising long enough to know that the industry was full of snakes. He wouldn’t put it past anyone to feed him a bunch of half-baked promises to get him to commit. “Who told you?”
She grinned. “None of your beeswax.”
“Come on, tell me—” His phone rang, distracting him momentarily. He fished it out of his pocket and noticed the number was the Grabber-Paulson main number. That was weird. “Listen, I’ll just say this,” he said, clicking off the phone. “Don’t be so sure of things. People say things they don’t mean, especially in this industry.” He started for the door.
“Uh-huh, I know. And I would offer you the same advice, Mr. Rafferty,” she said in a singsong voice, and she flashed a dazzling smile, full of straight white teeth.
“Cocky too. I like that about you,” he said. “I’ll keep it in mind when I make partner.” He winked at her, smiled as if he was completely unbothered, and went out of the conference room.
Now that got you running to go find this, right?
Buy ONE MAD NIGHT:
Find Julia London:
Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the Homecoming Ranch contemporary series, the Secrets of Hadley Green historical romance series, and numerous other works. She is a four-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction, and RT Bookclub award recipient for Best Historical Romance. She lives in Austin, Texas.
Check out the giveaway! Ends 1/23/15 (US only!) 3 copies of ONE MAD NIGHT! 🙂
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T