Boston Book Festival 2021 Boston Book Festival 2021

Contemporary Romance Roundtable

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Alyssa Cole
How to Find a Princess, Wednesday, October 20 | virtual

Alyssa Cole is an award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical, contemporary, and sci-fi romance. Her contemporary rom-com, A Princess in Theory was one of the New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2018, and her books have received critical acclaim from Library Journal, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, Booklist, Jezebel, Vulture, Book Riot, Entertainment Weekly, and various other outlets. When she's not working, she can usually be found watching anime with her husband or wrangling her many pets. How to Find a Princess, the second book in her Runaway Royals series, is her latest release.

Lana Harper
Payback's a Witch, Wednesday, October 20 | virtual

Lana Harper is the author of four YA novels about modern-day witches and historical murderesses. Born in Serbia, she grew up in Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria before moving to the United States, where she studied psychology and literature at Yale University, law at Boston University, and publishing at Emerson College. She recently moved to Chicago with her family. Payback's a Witch is her adult debut, a "gorgeous" (BookPage, starred) and "magical" (Publishers Weekly, starred) queer rom-com.

K.M. Jackson
How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days, Wednesday, October 20 | virtual

A native New Yorker, K.M. Jackson, who also writes as Kwana Jackson, spent her formative years on the ‘A’ train where she had two dreams: 1) to be a fashion designer and 2) to be a writer. After spending over ten years designing women’s sportswear for various fashion houses, this self-proclaimed former fashionista took the leap of faith and decided to pursue her other dream of being a writer. A longtime advocate for diversity and equality, she is a mother of now young adult twins. Kwana currently lives in a suburb of New York with her husband. How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days, her upcoming rom-com adventure, releases on November 2, 2021.

Farrah Rochon
The Dating Playbook, Wednesday, October 20 | virtual

USA Today bestselling author Farrah Rochon hails from a small town just west of New Orleans. When she is not writing in her favorite coffee shop, Rochon spends most of her time reading, cooking, traveling the world, visiting Walt Disney World, and catching her favorite Broadway shows. Her recent book, The Dating Playbook, received praise from NPR and Entertainment Weekly, and is one of Vulture's Best Romances of 2021.

Andrea Martucci is the host of Shelf Love, a podcast and community that critically examines the meaning and structure of romantic love stories in pop culture. Her conversations with academics and genre lovers share pop culture criticism that is joyful and accessible. Shelf Love has released nearly 100 episodes since its launch in 2019. In 2021, Martucci presented a paper at the Popular Culture Association on her quantitative research exploring how Bridgerton on Netflix impacted popular perceptions of romance novel readers. She is a two-time alum of Emerson College in Boston who has worked in publishing and marketing for over a decade.

The romance genre is staggeringly diverse; in this session we’ll take a deep dive into the variety just within the “contemporary romance” subcategory, with four stunningly talented masters of the genre. K. M. Jackson’s How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days effectively leavens heavy topics with a light rom-com feel, as a grieving Keanu super-fan sets off on a road trip accompanied by her long-time best friend in this friends-to-lovers heartwarmer. In The Dating Playbook, Farrah Rochon’s follow-up to The Boyfriend Project, a personal trainer has to weigh her professional ambitions against her growing attraction to her NFL-player client. Alyssa Cole’s latest installment in her Runaway Royals series recasts the story of Anastasia Romanov in the fictional African monarchy of Ibarania in “an effervescent queer romance,” according to Kirkus. Lana Harper adds a witchy twist to her queer rom-com, Payback’s a Witch, which blends mysticism, revenge, and attraction into what Publishers Weekly calls a “magical joyride” in a starred review. You’ll have plenty to add to your TBR list after this session, hosted by Andrea Martucci of the Shelf Love podcast. Sponsored by Emerson College Graduate Admission.