Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance? Giveaway

I've been thinking about Paranormal Romance (PNR) vis-a-vis Urban Fantasy (UF) lately. I like both subgenres though I lean a bit toward Urban Fantasy. Maybe this is because I cut my teeth on H.P. Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, William Tenn, Thomas Burnett Swann, tales of King Arthur, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. I did not read much romance at all. So I came to PNR via the PN part. Please note that the simple distinctions that I draw are mine. Others have and will continue to define PNR and UF differently than I do.

For the most part I read Paranormal Romance because of the paranormal elements not because of the Happily Ever After (HEA). The endings are not really meant to surprise. I know that there is going to be an HEA. It's how the main characters get there that can make PNR interesting and enjoyable. It's the romance that's important in PNR. The trials and tribulations of the couple-to-be is what drives the story.

In Urban Fantasy events and the world in which the characters exist, rather than romance, drive the story. There can be romance and relationships, but the building to an HEA is not the point of the story. In general UFs tend to be more gritty than PNRs. If you want to strictly define "Urban" Fantasy it should be set in an urban landscape, of course.

This is not to say that there has not been a lot of blurring of the imaginary lines between PNR and UF. Some paranormal romances are very close to urban fantasies and vice versa.

What: Either The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 or Mean Streets. Winner's choice.

This exciting follow-up to the successful Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance contains more than twenty stories to take you to another time and place. Including the best names in the field, this collection is filled with mythical beasts, magical creatures of all shapes and sizes, handsome ghosts, angels, and mortals with extra-sensory perception that play out their extraordinary desires.

Please note that this book will be published on Oct. 12, 2010.

An anthology of "solid and suspenseful" novellas from

#1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher

New York Times bestselling author Simon R. Green

National bestselling authors Kat Richardson Thomas E. Sniegoski

Here are four novellas featuring Harry Dresden, John Taylor, Harper Blaine, and Remy Chandler...paranormal private investigators who walk the streets no one else can walk and take the jobs no one else will take...

Of course, if a case involves werewolves, zombies, demons, or other "unusual" circumstances, it may cost a bit extra.

How: Leave a comment telling The Qwillery if you prefer PNR or UF? Have you read any books that you would classify as both? How do your definitions differ than mine? Can someone tell my why so many UF heroines appear on their book covers bare-midriffed and tattooed?

You can receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

When: The giveaway is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, October 6, 2010 so have your comment in by then.


  1. I personally prefer PNR because I was first introduced to that genre and I still love it very much. I just recently got into some UF books. I totally agree with your definitions and have discovered that the worlds in UF novels really do draw my attention and help keep the story going. I think Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series can be in a way PNR and UF. I have no idea why the heroines for UF covers are like that except they have tattoos in the book and they just want to draw the reader's attention?

    GFC follower


  2. You sound exactly like me- more UF and when you read PNR it's for the PN and not the R. I don't mind romantic elements at all, but I think the amount of pages devoted to sex scenes can get a little out of control, especially if I'm expecting more emphasis on the plot. I think that the Anita Blake series is a mix because it's kind of shifted from more of a UF to a definite PNR.
    I'm a gfc follower

  3. I like both in a book, but if you twist my arm, I'd have to say, UF.

    Blogged in links section:
    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  4. I prefer PNR over UF, but I think the better books have a balance between emotional connections and romance vs action. I've read some UF that just moves from one action scene to another, which is just as dull to me as pages on end of sex scenes.

    I'm bored of seeing the same cover rehashed repeatedly; tight pants, tight top, lots of tattoos and guns aplenty. It's at the point now where I'd rather not look at them, just because of the cover image - However, I'd much rather be seen carrying an UF book, with an interesting looking woman on the front, than an embarrasingly half naked hugely muscled man that dominates the PNR genre. The Paranormal Romance 2 cover is a great example of this - only with the added bonus of the guy having a crazy 'I might just stalk you... what you do mean I look like I've just bitten my tongue and swallowed a lemon?' sort of face.

  5. I think I'd go with UF, since it'd be less romantic and more character driven? :D Great giveaway anyhow (: Following on GFC~


  6. I like both. I read urban fantasy first and then paranormal romance.

    GFC follower


  7. I don't much like genre or sub-genre groupings. I have always loved reading science fiction and fantasy since first I read Isaac Asimov and J. R. Tolkien.

    I find that I tend to enjoy good writing that captures my attention and allows me to escape the mundane world no matter what type of novel it is.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com.

    I am a Follower via GFC.

  8. I read both. Though most times I prefer UF because there's more grittiness and action. I like some PNR, it really depends and some times I'm not sure when a book is classified as PNR. I know the differences yet sometimes when I hear "Title" is PNR, I'm like really?

    It's funny you mention that UF heroines are bare mid-riffed and have tattoos. I never really notice it before. Not all the ones I see have tattoos, but they are usually showing off their stomachs. I guess it's supposed to make them look dangerous and sexy.

    Between the two books, I'm most looking forward to reading the MMBof Paranormal Romance 2. I love those anthologies that Tricia edits. I read this and the Vampire ones!

    I'm a follower on the blog.


  9. i prefer pnr slightly because at least i know that there will be a hea ending. don't get me wrong, i love my gritty uf a lot, but i've been reading pnr for a long time, so i know what to expect a bit more, which can be a good thing (depending on my mood). the lines have been getting blurred, though...

    there was actually an article on the site where an author was decoding the uf cover...apparently certain features, such as the tattoos and leather, are featured on the cover so we don't confuse it with pnr...but i've seen uf books breaking those rules lately as well....

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

    gfc follower

  10. I'm with you that I like paranormal romance because of the paranormal aspect. I hate when it turns into porn! I haven't read very many UF books though I should give them a try.

    I'm a GFC follower. Please enter me in the contest. Either one would be fine with me.


  11. I prefer PNR. I like UF but love PNR. I think the UF heroines appear that way on the covers because the artist and publishers want them to seem tougher and give off that image, while a true UF heroine really doesnt need any of that.

    I am a follower.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  12. I agree with you a hundred percent. I prefer UF, because it is more what I am interested in. The romance is a very small part of what I like in the stories. I am getting really sick of the covers. I think if I was an author I would run from them. Pretty soon they are going to become a cliche.
    I am a gfc follower.

  13. I do like both genres although I think I'm leaning more towards urban fantasy. I like the fact that it focuses more on the story itself, the worlds and the characters instead of being rooted on the romance which can be tedious to read if overly done.

    Thanks for this giveaway! c:

    vesipisaroita [at] gmail [dot] com

  14. I love both Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy both most of the books I have read are UF.

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  15. I read both but prefer PNR. I agree with your definitions, and I think that Brook's Guardians series leans a little toward UF. I think the heroine covers are an attempt to appeal to a male audience.
    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower

  16. I prefer UF. I do like a bit of romance. But I find PNR is a little too much. More like a romance book in disguise as a fantasy read (but not really). I just read a discussion post about the lines between the two genres blurring, and UF is very rapidly being just as easily called PNR. Romance is becoming a bigger part of series that were once just considered UF with a tad of romantic tension in the background. I prefer tension over sexin in my books. I just wish there were more UF titles/series.

    GFC follower


    patronus89013 at yahoo dot com