Cosmo Red Hot Reads, Helen Gurley Brown, and Me

I purchased my first issue of Cosmopolitan magazine at age eleven. For at least a year prior, I longingly looked at the Cosmo covers debating whether or not to sneak a copy into my mom’s grocery shopping cart. The article titles fascinated me, and I was obsessed with the cover models. Women I admired graced the cover each month. Most notably, Madonna. Madonna was the embodiment of what I wanted to be like as an adult, and she posed for Cosmo!

The women on the cover of Cosmopolitan looked the way I wanted to look someday: fun, fearless, sexy, and powerful. I wanted to know what was behind the cover of this possibly naughty magazine, and one summer day I slipped a copy into the cart along with my copy of Seventeen. My mom noticed and it didn’t phase her. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t familiar with Cosmo, because this is the same woman who confiscated a Jackie Collins book from me in seventh grade. After that, I picked up a copy at the grocery store every month. I enjoyed the celebrity profiles and novel excerpts, but most of all, the sex articles scandalized me. Half the time I had no idea what I read about meant, but I was hooked.

One of the outcomes of my reading Cosmo at such a young age was that the ideals of Helen Gurley Brown (Cosmopolitan editor, 1965 – 1997) would become an inspiration to me. I never felt the  same sort of pressure to constantly have a steady boyfriend in high school that my friends seemed to have. I dressed the way I wanted to dress, and I stood up for myself if I needed to. I can safely say that Cosmo and Brown’s vision helped make me into the type of woman I would later become, and I will be forever indebted to Helen Gurley Brown for showing me being sexy and independent was not something to feel shame about.

When I heard that Harlequin and Cosmo were joining together for a new digital publishing imprint called Cosmo Red Hot Reads I was so excited. Harlequin publishes many of my favorite romance titles under various imprints, and a new imprint partnered with Cosmo was a huge cherry on the top of a fabulous romance cupcake.

The PR packet I received stated that 1.8 million Cosmo readers purchased romance novels in the past twelve months. With statistics such as this it seems like the Harlequin and Cosmo coupling is a match made in publishing heaven. The Cosmo Red Hot Reads imprint features heroines who are fun, fearless females that would make Helen Gurley Brown proud. Fiercely independent women, the heroines of the novellas published by the imprint are smart women ready to match wits with the men they choose to invite into their beds. The novellas (Afterburn by Sylvia Day and Cake by Lauren Dane) priced at $3.99 that I’ve had the pleasure of reading so far are filled with irresistible plot lines, hot sex scenes, and wonderfully developed characters.

The Cosmo Red Hot Reads imprint is launching with the novella Afterburn by Sylvia Day. Sylvia is the best selling author of the Crossfire series. She recently shocked and delighted most of her fans by turning the Crossfire trilogy into a five book series. The last two books in the series sold for a staggering eight figures to Penguin USA and for an additional seven figures to Penguin UK. To turn a trilogy into a five book series and selling the rights to the last two books in such a unique fashion is a pretty fearless, independent move. I think that book deal, in addition to her being a huge talent and a prolific author, makes her the perfect author to launch a series that embodies the fun, fearless, female. She and so many of the characters she’s written about previously certainly possess all of those qualities.

Click below to watch the super fun, hot, and flirty trailer for Cosmo Red Hot Reads:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI5bE9emVs0&w=560&h=315]

I’m  thrilled that I was able  to help announce the launch of Cosmo Red Hot Reads on The Well-Read Wife. I like to think my eleven-year-old self would give her seal of approval. You can read more about the Cosmo Red Hot Reads imprint by clicking here, and you can read an excerpt of Afterburn by clicking here.

Tomorrow, I’ll be interviewing Sylvia Day about Afterburn and the Cosmo Red Hot Reads imprint. Are there any questions you’d like for me to ask Sylvia? Feel free to leave interview question suggestions in the comments.

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A Note To My Readers and Some Bookish Links

I normally only post once or twice a week. I’ve never been one to post a review every day. However, even when I’m not putting up posts, I’m still working on the site behind the scenes. I’ve spent the past several months working on projects related to The Well-Read Wife. I’m still in the midst of working on these projects and at least one or two will be unveiled in the next month or so. I’m very excited to finally share what I’m working on with all of you slowly over the next six months.

I want to let everyone know why I haven’t had many posts or reviews on the blog for the past week and a half, because not posting at least once a week is abnormal for me. On July 22 I had breast reduction surgery. Last week was a haze. I spent most of the week in bed on pain medication. This week I thought I would be more productive. On Monday, I overdid it a bit. I thought I was okay to take care of the kids in the morning while Nathan was at work. I tried not taking pain medication, because I. Am. Superhuman. Not so much.  As a result of the all the bending over and picking up my youngest, I am back in more pain. Luckily I have help at home now. I get my stitches out next week and should be feeling much better by then. Hopefully I will have a post or two on the blog by the end of the week.

I read several books the week before my surgery, and I’m slowly writing about those when I feel up to it. I read We Are Water by Wally Lamb for RT Book Reviews and my review should appear in the October issue. I’ve been trying not to read too many books since the surgery, because I still need to write about the books I read before surgery. Of course I couldn’t stop myself from reading a book or two, and I’m currently reading Rush by Maya Banks.

I hope to have a post up by Friday. In the meantime, here are some interesting bookish articles from around the web.

Odd Fox News Interview Lifts Reza Aslan’s Biography on Jesus.

The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Matthew Specktor (I really want to read American Dream Machine when I get the time.)

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – Digested  Read

Book Notes – Royal Young “Fame Shark”

And lastly, readers are being carded to buy Tiffany Reisz’s latest novel in The Original Sinners series The Mistress. I don’t remember ever being carded to buy a book during my teenage years!

 

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The Great Gatsby: How Do The Stars Measure Up To Their Fictional Counterparts?

I ignore most of the promotional emails I receive. However, as I’m obsessed with the Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, I couldn’t resist sharing this infographic sent to me by Keith Harrison. Keith is a designer who recently finished up this project with Electric.com. The infographic below shows some interesting similarities between a few of the actors (Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire) and the characters ,created by The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald, they portray in the film.
Living in Gatsby's World

Have you watched the latest adaptation of The Great Gatsby? Did it live up to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel? Leave a comment, and let me know what you think.

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If You Like Mad Men: You’ll Love This Photo

This week I’m switching up If You Like Mad Men a bit. Last weekend, Nate and I went out with some of our friends who happen to be friends with Jay R. Ferguson AKA Stan Rizzo on Mad Men. He was in town and met us out.  I was determined not to bring up Mad Men, because I didn’t want to be obnoxious. We were all having a nice, low key night, and I didn’t want to derail it into me asking Jay questions the entire time. Anyway, unbeknownst to me, one of my friends told him I’m a Mad Men super fan. He was so sweet and answered my dorky questions. (I only asked a few questions and managed to act fairly normal.) I cannot stress enough how nice Jay was to us. Nate even liked him, and he never likes anybody.  (He said their beards touched when they hugged goodbye and that Jay has a good handshake grip which I thought was hilarious.) Jay took a picture with me. Here it is:

Thanks for being awesome Jay!

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Book Bounty: Upcoming Fiction Titles I Can’t Wait To Read

The following are fiction books I can’t wait to read in the coming months:

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman (Beth is amazing and I can’t wait to curl up with her latest in my reading nook with a cozy blanket.)

Nowhere but Home by Liza Palmer (The cover for this book is beautiful. Yes, I know we shouldn’t judge books by them, but this one is so pretty!)

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (Seeing Jennifer from Literate Housewife’s Tweets about this title got me pumped to read N0S4A2!)

Tampa by Alissa Nutting (From the description, TAMPA sounds like it’s going to be very controversial.)

And Then I Found You by Patti Callahan Henry (The protagonist in And Then I Found You has a secret from her past she must confront. I love a character with secrets or a past to hide!)

Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess (I’ve actually read this one already. Check out the July issue of RT Book Reviews to find out what I thought!)

FYI: If you’re going to RT Booklovers Convention let me know. I can’t wait to meet other voracious readers and see my favorite authors! I’ll be speaking at the conference on Wednesday, May 1. Click here for details.

FTC Disclosure: I received free copies of the books included in this list from the publishers, and I make a small commission off of any purchases made by clicking through the Amazon links on this site.

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Make sure you don’t miss a thing! If you’re new to The Well-Read Wife, click here to subscribe. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and “like” me on Facebook. You can follow The Well-Read Wife on Bloglovin’ by clicking here. My personal site is located at Mandibles.net.