Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of 2010 Giveaway

Just because I haven't given away enough copies and I like giving things away...

Another digital copy of 666 Angel Lane to someone.

Leave a comment saying what your favorite read of 2010 was. Winner will be chosen New Years Eve.

Must be over 18. Bribes accepted.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ah Love ...

I've fallen in love too, although not with an ereader. It's good to know this old fart still has a few hormones left percolating.

Who have I fallen in love with?

His name is Sebastian. He's a terrible rake, cold and heartless, why he even kidnapped an heiress. And he lives in the book The Devil in Winter, the third book of the Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas.

I love this book. I'm rereading it tonight, even though I finished it only last week. I'm gonna get me a part time job so I can buy all Ms Kleypas's backlist, because I love the Wallflowers and I love the Hathaways and I'm eyeing the Bow Street trilogy.

I love Sebastian's bafflement as he falls in love with Evie. I love the way Evie gains strength and character and I love the way Sebastian would do anything for her and protect her with his life. Of course, all Ms. Kleypas' heros are protective like that, but there's just something about Sebastian. I wouldn't want him anywhere near me in real life, but as a fantasy he's just so yummy. And sexy. A fallen angel, probably first cousin to Lucifer, lol.

Okay, back to my book. Just had to share. Don't have any pictures ... except ...

That might could be Sebastian ... or maybe this one:

I sort of like this one too ...

What's the saying - blondes are more fun? ;-)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

E-Reader Love Gone Too Far

Someone at one of the blogs I frequent posted her excitement over getting a Kindle for Christmas. Her words being, "I can't wait to have sex with it."

For Christmas I got a Kindle also. (I'm not allowed to mention that it came from Carolyn because she's afraid of looking as amazingly generous as she is and she wants people to think she's scary and mean instead of absolutely lovely...) I love my Kindle. LOVE IT!!!

I've been getting a bad time for it at work. There's the "I love to hold/smell/taste a real book" crowd that makes me a little gaggy. I always thought a book was in the story and writing, not in a strawberry scented cover (ALERT: Marketing Idea!! Grab it smart person!!)

(On a tangent: would romance novels then smell like Fabio's armpits?)

Moving on. I love love love my Kindle. I've read more book since I've owned it than I've read in the previous months of 2010. I named it. I coo at it. I'd rather take it to bed than Fabio.

(Not the fella above. He's gorgeous. Screw the Kindle if he shows up.)

What's the point of all this? None really. The woman that posted obviously should have edited herself and I like to post silly pictures for no reason.

The end.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas Y'all

As our gift to you, we offer a free Holiday story from our chequered past.

Angels and Divos was written several years ago. It is most definitely a fan fic, but we like to think it's perhaps a little bit more too. And we promise our writing has improved over the years. :-)

You'll find the link under the Angel Lane link above (yea Lori!!!). We hope you enjoy our little bit of Christmas fun. I tried to get Lori to post her 12 Days of Christmas, but she thought she might get sued.

Happy Holidays from your very own Two Old Farts.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Need A Rec

My dear friend Clark wants to send his mother a book. She has requested Victrian romance with little/limited sex.

Clark knows al about the fantasy genre but nothing of romance and I know nothing of Victorian romances that are free of B/d, menage or anal play with serving wenches.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why I Bother

There's no way to express this completely and anyone who loves the printed word, who has read a passage from a book or a poem and then had to read it to someone so they could hear it as you did ...

Last night I started reading Getting Rid of Bradley. It's an old Jennifer Cruisie that I read years ago and didn't connect with. Yesterday I connected. My nine year old daughter was the recipient of a lot of "Listen to this..." and "omg, she didn't..."

Jennifer Cruisie is the reason I write. Getting Rid of Bradley is the reason I write. That might be a little untrue since I started writing many years ago for different reasons (think teenage angst and you'd have it in one) but the reason I keep trying to get it right is because of Jennifer Cruisie and Sarah Addison Allen and Loretta Chase and all the women who understand humor and heat and pacing and fun.

Sometimes I love a good angst fest. But usually when I read I'm most satisfied by those moments that tickle my funny bone while delighting my love of words. I couldn't give a crap if the plot has holes large enough to drive a Hummer through as long as I laugh out loud.

I write because words delight me. And words put together that cause laughter force me to want to write better. So I keep working on it because one day I want to write just like Jennifer Cruisie. And if I keep working on it, maybe one day I will.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Cat's Away: A Book Give-Away!!

Sssh! Lori's internet connection is gone, gone, gone and for the first time in longer than I can remember (which isn't that long since my memory went shortly after my boobs hit my waistline)I get to start some trouble and she can't do anything about it.

So I'm giving away one of her digital copies of 666 Angel Lane. Hell, I might even give away two.

Just leave a comment with an email address to send your prize to (if you're our lucky winner). Contest closes Sunday night as long as we get entries. If no-one enters then I wipe out this post before Lori sees it and gets all depressed that nobody wants her book.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Release Day

Well we'd like to pretend that we invited you all here to share a joke, rhapsodize over chocolate and share a small sigh over the nekkid buttocks of hot men. And we did. Really we did.

We also want to cough discreetly into our fist and remind you that that one of our farts has a book released today called 666 Angel Lane and it can be bought at and at and all your favorite book retailers.

We'd love for you to check it out. It has imp tossing, a little sex, some heavenly beings and some heavenly bodies from Hell. It's about what you'd expect from an old fart. The younger one that is ;-)

We'll be giving away a copy probably tomorrow. Check this space.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

666 Angel Lane Excerpt

The radio was playing Christmas music during one of the worst heat waves in fifteen years. My pale legs were sticking to the vinyl couch I was squeezed onto next to my best friend Pam, her slimmer and darker body looking unaffected by the heat.

The Three Tenors were singing Ave Maria and Pam was snuffling. I thought about putting an arm around her, but that would mean moving my body, which was sure to be a mistake. I dreaded the moment I’d have to peel myself off.

“Has someone recently told you to Go to Hell?” the radio suddenly blared in advertisement. “Lucifer wants you to Just Say No. The Fiery Pit is no place for Humans. Do a good deed and go to Heaven. Paid for by The Lord of Lies and the Stay Out of Damnation Committee.”

I rolled my eyes. The devil had certainly been turning up the metaphysical heat recently. I glanced at Pam; usually we’d have a little Go to Hell laugh and play variations of Your Favorite Deadly Sin game. Pam was still moping and wasn’t in the mood to argue gluttony over lust.

The trailer that housed Miss CeeCee Divine, palm reader and clairvoyant, was starting to feel like an Easy Bake Oven. I was about to suggest we wait outside, just to get the agony of the vinyl death trap over, when Miss CeeCee herself finally appeared.

* * * *

“Contacting spirits is iffy,” Miss CeeCee explained. “Sometimes they’ve left the worldly domain behind and they refuse to answer. Sometimes they’re angry to be interrupted from their heavenly pursuits.”

“Nana will be glad to talk to me,” Pam said, but I heard the uncertainty in her voice.

“You have the picture?” Miss CeeCee asked. Pam nodded and pulled from her pocket a worn photograph that was taken back when Pam was the sweetest little specimen of gawky girl.

Of all the things I expected, Miss CeeCee closing her eyes and taking a nap was not on the list.

“She must be tired,” I whispered to Pam.

“Stop it.” Pam frowned at me but I was willing to bet she had the same thoughts. Miss CeeCee ignored us. I wished I could join her in the Land of Nod, the heat was edging along the senses and a small escape would be lovely.

“Josephine’s here.” Miss CeeCee’s voice rasped and her eyes were open and staring at us. Pam gasped, as did I. Her eyes were a bright, Hollywood blue, not the same color they had been. She blinked in confusion, looking at us. We blinked in confusion back at her.

“Che? Eccomi Signore. Perche?”

“Nana doesn’t speak foreign,” Pam said in a harsh whisper.

“I think that’s Italian,” I murmured. “Are you Josephine?”

“Josefina, si.” The blue eyes fixed on me. “Chi cosa vuoi parlar con?”

I shrugged. “I don’t speak Italian, ma’am. Do you speak English?”

“Ecco. Awicinarsi.” She leaned forward, her hand reaching out and I moved closer. I had no idea what she was saying but if body language had anything to do with it, apparently Miss CeeCee was about to whisper in my ear: “Gotcha!”

Her hand came to rest on my forearm. Our heads came near each other, and just as she opened her mouth to speak a sound like rushing wind came from her mouth. A lurch in the bottom of my stomach and someone was screaming as the sudden cyclone seemed to hit. Damn it, the someone was me and then I wasn’t there anymore.

Releases tomorrow.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Candlelight - The Maccabeats

We'z Writing Fools!

Oh we iz writing. We iz writing our little hearts out.

We've discovered that when we need to make the world a happier place for ourselves the best thing we can do is let go of all of our seriousness and mock ourselves. We did it in Bodice and we're doing it again.

It's hard to identify ourselves as serious writers and one of the things we have to accept is that we're not that serious. We need to play. We need to laugh. We need to have with it.

If you haven't experienced our crazier side, heck out The Bodice Rippers.
It's a free download and it's bound to make you laugh.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not Writing aka Real Life Causes the Blues

We aren't writing. We're blue. We have issues. We have tension.

We miss writing. We feel bad not to be producing pages of deathless prose. When people post on Facebook about their successes in word counts we commiserate with chocolate bars and dark muttering that quantity doesn't always equal quality.

Quality ain't shit when you aren't producing anything at all.

We had some momentum going. For awhile we were both writing, exchanging pages, having long breathless conversations about plot and character developement and our tensions over tenses.

That was ages ago.

We're limping in the marathon of writing life. We're pathetic.

Oh yeah. And by the way: my book comes out on Monday. 666 Angel Lane. Preorder on Amazon.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oh Joy!

I just discovered Jeanienne Frost. I know, I know, what took me so long, right?

What can I say - I'm old and slow. ;-)

Can we say backlist???

Friday, November 26, 2010


Penquin must think a hell of a lot of Lauren Willig - even her backlist is damn expensive for a romance ebook!

I wanted to try The Mischief of the Mistletoe, but she's a new to me author, so no, just no. Her backlist is even more expensive. Penquin adds tax too. Pfft!!

This is something I am not thankful for! (Please excuse the dangling participle.) It's a shame, because if I had liked her storytelling (and I'm not so difficult to please) I would have gotten her entire backlist.

Just for the record - Penquin really pisses me off!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

The internet is full of complaints that sometimes border on hate. For sure it's not a Norman Rockwell world out there anymore.

But even in the worst of times, we have things to be thankful for. Sometimes it's small things, things that seem insignificant to others. Or it might be the people in our lives, or our pets, or the guy on the bus that smiled and gave us his seat, or it might be a woman who doesn't mind being called an Old Fart and sets up a place where we can play.

The food on the table is a symbol for all that is good in our lives. Although money is going to be tight again (it's that time of year when hubby’s job slows to a screeching halt ), I am truly blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

***From the Other Old Fart

For me the joy of the season becomes the baking and cooking and trying to fatten up the world around me. And in that I find so much pleasure in the scents and tastes and sharing.

As we say thank you, I'll be thanking the Creator and Maintainer for the friendships that surround me and the love I'm blessed with daily. I'll also be saying a prayer for those in our lives who are facing losses.

This has been an interesting year. Next year will hopefully be one of accomplishment. We thank everyone who drops in on us for joining in the conversation and the giggles.

Hopefully the best is yet to be.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oh Geeze ....

Just finished doing a tour of People of Walmart. It makes one proud to be a member of the human race. Uh huh.

Now I know why I read Romance - the characters are usually handsome/beautiful and despite their many conflicts usually act and dress with intelligence.

Much prefer fiction to the real world. Good Lord!!

Sorry, still don't know how to make a live link. :-(

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Reading

Are you a reader who likes stories reflecting the seasons? Because I'm sitting here, a few days before Thanksgiving with a world of snow outside and I'm longing for a book with snow and Christmas trees and a hot cocoa and fire to read by.

Last year I gifted one of my coworkers with 3 Harlequin Christmas books as well as some chocolate to nibble as she reads. I bought myself a few too (both books and chocolate).

This year I'm going to write a Christmas story I think. I have a wickedly funny idea and this year I finally have a fireplace and cocoa in the pantry. I'm totally in the holiday zone.

How about you?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Annoying Friends, Neighbors and Absolute Strangers

I have a book coming out. In 2 weeks and three days my first novel/ebook will be released to an uncaring and unconcerned public. I'd like it to sell because I'd like people to read it and honestly, a few extra Benjamins are always appreciated in my household but I don't want to be one of those annoying Facebook/Twitter writers who acts as though the world should stop because I gots a book to sell.

So what does a writer do?

We can offer a release day give-away. We can... um, sacrifice a goat to the writing Gods for good fortune. And uh...

What have people done to get the word out but not annoy others? I want to have some fun with this truly and give away some copies as well as generate a little interest.

Ideas needed. The crazier the better.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Essence of Writing

You know the saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"? I'm living proof it's a lie, a dastardly lie. I'm an old dog and I'm learning all sorts of new tricks.

I love to write and I want to learn to write well. I have some differences with the modern style, which seems to be less is more, because I do love me some hyperbole every now and then and have been known to descend into purple prose. I'm taking the cure for that - it's called an editor. Heh.

Five years ago after a long dry spell that began when I graduated high school, I started writing fan fic. I don't know if I should be ashamed or not, but a fact is a fact. Still, I was completely ignorant that there was a whole world of fan fic out there. I worried about being sued and such, but hell, we were on the group's own official forum and no one, least of all them, seemed to care so it was full speed ahead.

I wrote some stuff that'll never see the light of day outside of the archive Lori and I set up. Sometimes I think it's a shame, because a strange thing happened.

We got better. Really - we did. We began to stretch our wings (or pens), usually with Lori in the lead dragging me kicking and screaming behind her. We graduated from fan fic and began to fight our way into mainstream and finally found success.

This is an example from a fic I was working on:

It is always dusk when she comes to me.

In this crude hut there is no light but the faint flicker of flame from the wick floating in the bowl of oil; or the blinding blaze of sunshine when Flower or her mother opens the door.

I live – I exist – in a twilight dream. I lie trapped and sweating, tied to a makeshift bed; held not by ropes but by the weakness of my broken body. Planks joined together by vines – in the beginning I could smell their nectar. Planks that make a solid surface for my broken bones, with a special cutout to clean my body of its wastes. To allow them to wipe my naked ass. Lying here, helpless, alone, there is plenty of time to regret the past and to hope the coca leaves will bring forgetfulness. She gives them to me to ease the pain and perhaps they do, to a degree. But not completely. It is not the agony it was, but I think I shall never again be free of the hurting.

I am losing my manhood. I have lost the use of my legs because one, the one belonging to the shattered hip, cannot be moved, and my right arm, my dominant arm, is in a splint and sticks out from my body as if it belongs to someone else. My left hand and arm are good for nothing. Nothing! I can finger the deep and swollen wound on my face, but even now I find it difficult to hold a cup or a bowl to my lips without making a mess like a small baby. Citlali put stitches there; what she used I cannot even guess, but some of them broke with the swelling and she did not see fit to replace them. I will have a pretty face, if I live through this.

She put a hot knife in my neck – I can remember this thing vividly – and pulled out a piece of metal. I suppose I should be thankful to be alive.

But I’m not.

It is dark when next Flower comes, bringing with her the fresh air of freedom and a bowl of food. There is no shaft of sunlight from the open door, only more darkness, but still I turn my head away. She has come to complete my humiliation.

But I have been alone too long. I turn back to watch her. I see her face reflected in the small light of the bowl as she sets the food on the rough table. It is a young face, with slanting eyes and high cheekbones and a mouth that is made for kissing. I feel myself get hard. At least there is one part of me that still works.

She wears her hair uncovered this night; the blackness of it blends with the dark room except where it covers the shoulders of her red blouse. My broken bones must be improving, because I want this woman. I suddenly want this woman with everything that is in me.

She bends over me, her hair tickling my bare chest. I close my eyes and concentrate on control.

“Qhipa,”** she says. This is what she calls me. I don’t know what it means and I don’t know why she uses it; she knows my name, I have said it enough. She talks to me in her birdsong language but every now and then there is a Spanish word and somehow we manage a communication. She is teaching me the words of her language when she has the time; there is much to do to stay alive and there is only Flower and her mother Citlali. These are strong women.

Her hand reaches down to uncover my loins. She has the stone pitcher ready. My good hand jerks out to grab the covering, but I am too slow, too late.

She stares at my erection and moves her gaze to my eyes. I look away, ashamed. I don’t know why I am hard, I feel so impotent. I squeeze my eyes shut to force back the tears.

“Qhipa …”

Her hand is small, the skin no rougher than my bearded cheek. She turns me back to face her and I venture to open my eyes. She is smiling. She nods and sets down the stone pitcher. I watch in amazement as she hikes up her skirt, catching it with her teeth, and straddles me and my bed.

She puts no weight on me; her bare feet are flat on the floor, her womanhood poised above my cock. Automatically I try to shift my position and she hisses ”Non!” Obediently I lie still. The stab of pain has convinced me to let her be in charge.

I watch, entranced, as she guides my cock to her entrance. She is tight, I can feel the resistance and I know she is virgin. But she doesn’t hesitate. Slowly my cock disappears into her warmth as she lowers herself until I am deep inside her. Her arms are outstretched to keep her balance; I see the muscles of her thighs flex and relax as she moves above me, never touching any part of me but my cock. She stares into the distance as if she’s in another world, and then she lowers her skirt and I close my eyes to concentrate on what is building inside me.

I go from heavy breathing to panting. It is so huge, it has been so long. Muscles tighten in anticipation, bringing more pain, but this pain I bear happily. My orgasm bursts out of me, along with a cry of anguish and repletion. And she stops moving as I empty myself into her.

It is the most unloving loving I have ever experienced, and yet I know she cares for me, as I am beginning to care for her.

She dismounts as if from a horse or motorcycle and cleans herself without embarrassment. “Qhipa,” she says tenderly and kisses my cheek before briskly cleaning me too. She holds up the stone pitcher again and raises an eyebrow in question. I nod.

This time I am not ashamed.

** Flower is speaking Quechua, the language of the Incas. “The adverb qhipa means both "behind" and "future". For the speakers of Quechua, we are moving backwards into the future (we cannot see it, ie. it is unknown), facing the past (we can see it, ie. we remember it).” From Wikipedia.

A dream/memory, part of a story that never was finished. A fan fic. It's not perfect, not even close, but if I can continue to write at this level, then I have hope that my stories will find a home.

God, I just love it when the words come together!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Magic Realism

I love Sunday. My daughter is laying on the couch playing a video game, her cat is lying across her back loving her closeness. I'm sitting on a comfy chair only a foot away with my laptop on my legs and I'm trying to describe natural magic as it can happen in American lives.

I love magic realism. The description of it is simply the placement of magic in everyday lives. Since I believe that our everyday lives are already chock-full of wonder, obviously I'm attracted to the elements of magic/wonder in fiction.

I like paranormal and even some urban fantasy. I just ordered the Iron Duke because I imagine that steampunk will ring my bell. But what I love most is the ordinary that is anything but.

One day I'll do a real review of Sarah Addison Allen's books but she embodies the American version of magic realism to me. Years ago I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez and other hispanic writers who are considered the creators of the genre. However, I love the americanization of the genre and the idea that it can and does exist in our lives too.

Sometimes I think that one of the reasons I love cooking and cooking based novels is that anything that involves ingredients that take a new form (cooking) that then alters a person's life, even momentarily (eating) has an intent of magic to it.

I'd love to read more modern authors that include these aspects to their writing. If you have any suggestions please let me know.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Turn Now

I'm never quite sure what to post on this blog. I ususally don't get the urge to post unless something rattles my chain. I'm a shy little thing but if I expressed all my opinions, no one would ever speak to me again.

But you can't have a blog without posts and poor Lori's been carrying the load. That's cause she's the Idea Lady. So, I'm doing what I'm good at - recycling. This is a post I wrote when we first opened up, but never got used. Why let it loll around doing nothing? Let it earn its keep!


A Not So Learnéd (Short) Essay

Which do you prefer? Nora Roberts or J. D. Robb? Is there a difference? I submit there is quite a difference. (Please - y'all just pretend this hasn't been gone over before, perhaps to ad nauseum.)

Nora can be rather formulistic. She loves trilogies or - what is the word - quatrolgies? Four books, anyway. And although there is a story arc that encompasses all the books, each book details the romance of one main couple. All the couples have to work together to defeat evil or win whatever game they're involved in.

Her stand alones usually involve suspense and/or mystery and one main couple only, although secondary characters may also have a romance.

The In Death series, on the other hand, now numbers 31 books. (I can't keep the titles straight to save my life, I sometimes wish they weren't so alike.) They detail the growth of the relationship between one couple. Secondary characters grow and change also and even find romance, but all the emphasis is on Eve and Roarke. It has been fascinating to watch Eve progress.

I didn't like Eve at first. I didn't like her a lot, and almost didn't continue on to the next book. I thought she was hard and stubborn and, in her own way, egotistical. But as the series progressed, I learned of her softer side, her fears and the struggle she has to overcome them. The nightmares sucker punched me and that's when I started buying into Eve.

Roarke and Eve could have been broken people, even after they succeeded in the lives they chose. Yes, even Roarke has his weaknesses. One of my favorite parts is when Roarke finds his family and Eve is there for him, just as he has always been there for her since the start of their relationship.

Both Eve and Roarke make each other stronger. They have reached the place where they know they can trust and depend on each other. They may be unhappy when they fight and disagree, but they alway come to a compromise and isn't that part of what a relationship is all about? You can't always have it your own way, and if you love someone, you want them to be happy.

So. One woman; two completely different authors. Two different ways of writing the stories.

I confess I prefer J. D. Robb. Oh - except for the Quinn brothers in Nora's Chesapeake Bay series. Um - and the MacKade brothers ... and can't forget the Irish trilogy ...

Okay, I'm conflicted. Again. *sigh*

Shall we just say she's a damn good writer no matter what name she uses, and leave it at that?

Thank you very much. :-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Desperately Seeking Sanity

Nano and I are not friends this year. The story I'm writing is enjoyable and I like spending time in this little town with these people. But where is the time to write when there's a full time job, an attention seeking child and so much HGTV to watch?

I know... women have been doing this for years. I haven't though. I used to have time. Lots of time. But now it seems that the one thing i never have enough of is time.

How do you do it?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Do You Nano?

If his father wasn't home then Carlos would sit in the kitchen and slowly savor the sensations. The ache of the ancho chili complimenting the sadness of the acoustic guitar and the soft wail of the singer remembering a past love. The sweet, colorful peppers redolent with the call of his mother's people. Her hair in it's long plait, her wide feet bare on the cold tile and he was home in the Mexican haven she created.

November is National Novel Writing Month and all over the internet and the world people are nano-ing. 1,667 words a day to end November with a 50,000 word novel.

Nano is an amazing process of learning to write with the internal editor turned off and the word count being the thing that moves you. I learned to count by the 100s when nano-ing.

This year I'm way behind. But I'm plugging away. If you're nano-ing, buddy me. I'm LoriGreen on the nano website.

Let's commiserate together.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Can I Brag a Little?

My first ever review. And it made me squeal. Honestly.

We also discovered

Can I mention one more thing?

Romantic Times December issue. That's an ad by Lyrical Press and that first book cover is mine.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Workplace Conversation

I'm going to preface this by saying that management and I are never friends. It might be my loud-mouthed nature, my take-no-prisoners sense of humor or just the fact that I curse like a sailor and am unapologetic about who I am but we clash. Often.

So in the last clash, I was sitting in an inquisition and my boss asked me, "Are you the author of an erotic novel?"

As a character in a book I'll never write would say: "Butter my buns and call me biscuit."

In other words: say what?

I have written a book. That book is coming out soon and I'm excited about it. I'm delighted and overjoyed and dancing on ceilings. I don't annoy everyone with conversation about it but I have done a little bragging and given a little whoop.

Apparently a nearby nurse voiced her disapproval because I have spoken of and shown the cover for a book that she disapproves of. Because she's decided it's erotica. (It's actually a humorous, paranormal romance with lots of imp tossing.)

My manager disapproves of my smut. (Yes, she actually said the word smut in describing my world.)

I'm in a tizzy trying to understand how my writing has any bearing on my job or even my discussing my writing with an interested co-worker can be grounds for a managerial scolding. At what point does my right to enjoy my life and my personal labors become inappropriate and open for discussion with management? When do they have a right to label my work with a title of "erotica" and therefore call it unacceptable?

Needless to say, I am not a happy camper.

Friday, October 29, 2010


If vampires, whether sparkly or not, are no longer human and don't make blood or other fluids necessary to survival...

how can they impregnate a human female?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Is A Heroine?

I had the most interesting conversation with a woman yesterday about her life. She's near to the same age as me and we were discussing racism (she's a Southern black woman who grew up in the 50s and 60s) and then raising children and doing it on your own.

This woman had 2 children by age 19. She moved to Washington state and knew nobody, had no family here. She got a job and supported her children, slowly making a life for them. She remarried and had another child. Divorced and had three kids to raise alone.

Someone dropped two children off on her doorstep one day because she was dating their daddy. She raised them. So now up to five kids. She got a college degree and graduated from waitress to office job. Then a second job.

She's in her mid-50s now and she's raising her 9 year old grandson. She was in an accident and uses a walker. She still works and works as Mom.

She'd make a terrible romance novel heroine and yet in my eyes she's Superwoman.

The real life heroine has to rescue herself constantly. She's the single Mom or the woman trying to make ends meet in a dwindling economy. She makes less money than men and gets a hell of a lot of less respect than a man does. If she's overweight or unattractive then she faces societal prejudices (as well as job prejudices) that she can't fight but decrease her wage while increasing her vulnerability in society.

My world is full of heroines. Solomon's Mom who has to get up at 3am to make it to her job because the business moved to Redmond and she has to take multiple busses. Erica's Mom who is reinventing herself after losing her job (and she's in her 50s!). All the ladies we've met and gotten to know Underground with ill parents and partners, with work stress and body stress.

These are my heroines. I salute them all.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why I Flunked the Romance Heroine Test

1. Morning Breath

I personally have never been horny enough to completely ignore early a.m. halitosis in my lover (not to mention my own suspect condition). I fear I'm not a morning gal and therefore fail the Romance heroine test big time.

2. The Peeless Wonder

Along the same lines, this same heroine, who evidently does not breathe, also never needs to pee. If someone bonked me almost before I got my eyes open, there would be consequences, and it wouldn't be an orgasm! He could damn well change the bed! I don't deny this might be part of the aging process, but still ... I think Romance heroines are fated to develop hypotonic bladder syndrome. That'll teach 'em to enjoy early morning sex!

3. Ready, Able and Willing

I've never heard of so many damp panties, not to mention absolute rivers of personal body fluids, since I took up with Romance. Every female is in perfect working order. I'm so glad for them. Me, I'm glad I worked where I could get free KY every now and then. Oh, and how about the heroines that have procreated with no sequellae?! What's with that, huh? No leaking, no loss of libido. Nice.

4. Marathon Sex

Hoo boy. Romance heroines take to sex like a duck to water. Virgin or not, mating bond or not, they can shag for hours and hours and still be ready for more. No cystitis, no pain, no 'for God's sake get away from me, I'm worn slap out!' Now that I think on it, very few say no at all, once the dirty deed starts. ;-) They are overwhelmed by their sexuality. I have to hunt mine down sometimes.

5. Set for Life

Many Romance heroines start out rich, become rich or marry rich. Damn, I'm 0 for 3.

6. Saving Money

Although a limited number of Romance heroines might seek psychiatric help, all mental hangups seem to be solved by the deep POV. I fear I'm shallow.

7. Saving Face

Romance heroines may be *slightly* overweight, or go on a binge where they gain a few pounds, but we never hear of cellulite or love handles or other such drawbacks. They all seem to handle weight gain well and still look sexy and desirable. Well, at least to one male. But still, don't women obsess over shit like this, if only to themselves?


Of course, it goes without saying that it would not be Romance if the heroines had the everyday problems of most RL females. One reason we read Romance is for the fantasy element, right? How we wish it could be?

But I've noticed a trend for 'realism' in Romance these days, especially on reader blogs.

All I have to say is, be careful what you wish for. ;-)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a little red-headed fart who lived deep in the forest with a bunch of dwarves with massive body hair. The little red headed fart liked massive body hair (go figure). She also liked her dwarves but sometimes she'd dream of a prince with a little less hair on his back and shoulders and a touch more height to reach the tall cabinets.

Being that the red headed fart didn't want her dwarves to know she had longings, she kept a private diary where she wrote her dreams and desires. Afraid that one of the small, hirstute gentlemen might find her private musings, she hid her real desires inside a fictional tale.

The story took a life of it's own and soon the Prince that the red headed fart longed for became a fully fleshed character living a life on paper. He didn't have the thick, coarse hair of the dwarves but rather curly black hair on his head and a fine sprinkling of black hair covering his well muscled chest.

This Prince had dragons to slay and a maiden to conquer and the red headed fart wrote it all down and lived each word with her Prince as his story unfolded. He became as real to her as the apples she ate every day and the little forest creatures she hunted down and cooked into stew.

Then one day the red headed fart realized that her Prince had slain his dragon, won his maiden and even cleaned the tall windows in the castle. His story was done. She was sad to say goodbye to him but at last she knew his story and it filled her heart with joy.

The red headed fart knew a female dwarf who had a thing for giants. She sent her secret story to her friend who enjoyed it greatly and then sent it on to a hobbit she knew who lived down under (under the alder tree with gap toothed tree elves).

The story passed among women who loved it. Then one day a woman who lived her life with dragons read it. "Aha!" she declared, "this is a story that will make all maidens know such princes exist." That maiden used her collection of old dragon scales and painstakingly copied the story on each scale and sent them out far and wide for all the maidens to read.

Okay, just having some fun. The fact is that Carolyn sold her sweet tale of redemption and hirstute manhood that will come out on the 4th of July and it's such a celebration. Although the dwarf thing is not made up. Just ask her.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sorry I Can't Speak While My Tongue Is In Your Ass

Sorry but it's going to be a hard sell to convince me to read a romance novel where the paramour states "we've moved past that since I had my tongue up your ass."

Why doesn't that sound romantic to me?

Has romance writing gotten so modern that the romance has left?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Official News! Celebration Time! CONTEST!

Our older fart (heehee) Carolyn has received good news indeed. Her second novel has been accepted for publication with Lyrical Press.

Usually I'd announce the title but since I think it sucks monkey balls with a case of motor oil on the side, I think we should take advantage of this great news with a little


Name Carolyn's new opus and become part of it. You might be a gossip in the salon, a deputy in the police department or a crazed mountain man with a toothless grin and a big wanger.

What you need to know about the story:

Southern town in the mountains.
Older woman/widow named Sunny.
Younger handyman named Cas.
He's running from an abusive/murderous father.
Crazy mountain men with big wangers.

Don't be shy. Give us your best. After all, how many times can you say you were a character in a published novel?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Books That Answer Us Emotionally

My life is a mess right now.

My daughter and I have just bought a new home and we moved in a few days ago. The house is also undergoing some renovations so not everything is up to snuff. Like... there's nowhere to bathe. And the toilets don't work.

We live among unpacked boxes and a slightly shoddy paint job (we did our best but those ceilings are damned high) and there's chaos everywhere. Just everywhere. And I'm reading All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgans and I think she's saving my life.

Kristan Higgins writes first person, present tense stories from her heroine's point of view. The books she writes are (unfortunately) (a little bit) interchangeable.

Plot: Spunky, self-deprecating heroine who is a doormat for most of the people in her life has been wildly in love with Mr. Wrong for awhile. Mr. Right shows up but there's misunderstandings and clashes.

Spunky, self deprecating heroine has a funny, disfuntional family dynamic.

There's also a dog.

Sounds a little ... rote? Unoriginal? Yes and no and yes and no again.

Upon returning home that night, I tripped over an appendage, an all too common experience for me. "Noah," I called out, "if you don't start picking up your legs, I'm going to bludgeon you with one of them."

She makes me laugh. Her heroines are imperfect and even though they tend to be a little bit too doormat-ish for me (seriously, they fall in love with such selfish bastards) they do grow up some. And the heroes usually grow up some too.

But what Kristan Higgins writes is the equivalent of hot chocolate on a cold morning or mac and cheese after a difficult day. It isn't gourmet, it's comforting and familiar and welcomes you in.

While my home is in process and my life is in boxes, I read a book that makes me stop fretting and start smiling. I can breathe easier and my little gloom starts to lighten up.

Ms. Higgans is a good writer. Not innovative. She isn't solving world problems or recreating the wheel. She writes reader friendly books that are whipped cream and chocolate. I want to wrap myself into the comfort of the little world she creates.

Kristan Higgins is keeping me sane as my world is insane. Thank goodness. It's all I ever wanted.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Big Sighs

I just want to say, I've finished The Iron Duke and it was everything I'd hoped it would be.

I was taken on a grand adventure, with a heroine I loved and a hero I loved even more. Good triumphed and I was left feeling happy and satisfied.

The imagination that went into building this world? Exceptional. The writing? Again exceptional. I was smoothly drawn into Ms Brooks' world and dangerous as it was, I didn't want to leave. I found myself almost skimming, I was reading so fast, and had to force myself to slow down so I wouldn't miss any detail.

Can't wait for the next book in this series. The Iron Duke and its 'prequel' Here There Be Monsters were different; absorbing and exciting, with hot sex that didn't overpower the storyline.

My only complaint is that I've gotten in at the beginning of this series and now have to wait for the next book.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Romance Tom Robbins Style

I was over at Smart Bitches (an awesome place to hang out, by the way) and there was some funny chat and someone said something that brought on the idea of Tom Robbins writing romance novels. I laughed my large posterior off and shared this with Carolyn who immediately said, "Who is Tom Robbins?"

Despite that, I still love her.

For those of you who have the great good sense to know Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker, Another Roadside Attraction, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues) then firstly, you'd know that Tom Robbins loves to have his heroines experience the butt secks.

Yes indeedy, the chocolate starfish is penetrated often (Kurt Vonnegut, you noobs!).
But even more than that: Tom Robbins writing romance. The thought boggles.

And for that reason alone... Lori's crazed vision of Tom Robbins romance writing:

Imagine the clit. The sweet little pomegranate seed that nestles in the forest of desire, looking like a delightful little fruit that you could buy at a roadside market from a toothless woman wearing crinoline. The clit. The clitoris. Not the Chloris Leachman.

How he regarded it. The nubby nubbin of nebulous need. The pulsing poppet of pleasure and perversion. The clit.

Almost regal in it's nest. The clit isn't a clippity cloppity kind of creature but rather the forest nymph of delight. It slithers and sings and sensuously stutters.
The clit is Betty Crocker making it with the Marlboro Man. She's an apron wearing dominatrix with a velvet whip.

Behold the clit. As he did. Then he rocked her in the ass.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oh Lord ...

A short time ago, I sorta mentioned my opinion of lustful thoughts. I've expanded my list; you can add introspection,trust issues,descriptions of the person including eyes, skin, lips, hair, shoulders, waist, arms, legs and any clothing they might be wearing. Now, they're thinking all this - I believe it's called deep POV. I've decided I'm an action girl.

I've had to take a break from a book I'd been dying to read. I waited not so patiently for its release and dove right in as soon as it arrived. What did I get? Pages and pages of ruminations, from both the hero and heroine's POV. Is he this? He did that. What does this mean? He did her wrong. How can he gain her trust? Oh, look at him (start at hair, work down to boots), he's so handsome BUT ... and off we go again.


Pages. And pages. My eyes glazed, I began to skim (because they began repeating themselves) and I just had to take a break.

I'm being pushed back to my SF&F beginnings just because in those books STUFF HAPPENED. And not just in the last third of the book but all the way through it. I'm gonna reread my Elizabeth Moon stuff. Yeah.

This is the second book in a row that's done me this way. It may just be me, probably is, but I don't need to know them that well. I don't know my husband that well and I've lived with him for forty years!

I've started The Iron Duke; so far, so good. :-) I think I may be going on an adventure, and the characters may think, but they'll by God be doing something while they do!

I hope, lol.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I was supposed to make a blog post, I know I was. I had a discussion with Lori (I think I did) and I do remember her saying it would make a great blog post.

But what was 'it'?

Damn ....

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Minor Adjustment

Our snarky Seattle fart, Lori, is moving this week and is in the midst of home renovations. So there might be a lack of posts coming from the Emerald City for awhile.

Our Southern Canadian will pick up the slack if we ever find her. Rumor has it she was last seen running about crazily while squealing something about new releases.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Tweet, Therefore I'm A Twit

Dear Twitter,

I'm afraid it might be over between us. Oh I know, when our relationship was new and I couldn't wait to access you, it was special. My fingers trembled on the keyboard, delight streaming in 140 characters or less.

There were others. Oh yes, I was a Twit-ho. I followed anyone who had been in print, who had a popular blog or who was followed by the followers of a following I followed. Yes, I was a *gulp* follower.

But Twitter, my obsession was not meant to be.

So many authors meant so many people who wanted my $$. They didn't find me funny or smart or even tweet worthy. No, they wanted to sell me books. To read their blogs. They wanted me for reasons.

There were rare occasions and even more, moments like romfail by Jane from Dear Author that made you still an indulgence. But Facebook was fun also and I found less on you, dear Twitter than I was finding on FB.

Still, we tried to keep our relationship flourishing. And the end didn't even come from you darling, but rather from a random blogger I saw as I was blog hopping. She posted about her love of Twitter and showed each time a writer responded to her. Said she: "It's not what you know, it's who you know. Everytime I tweet, I'm closer to getting published."

It wasn't your fault, dear Twitter. But reading that made me wonder if the idea of socially networked insanity is spreading a little too far. My guilt of not buying the new releases of authors I have friended is beginning to weigh on me. My lack of support to every hard working writer is giving me hives.

And so I must say adieu. Kind of. Or at least, TTFN. I'm sure we can still be in each others lives. Maybe a little tweeting with benefits.

Love ya... Lori

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I want ...

'Trial By Desire'. Just saying ...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bitching Time

I am sick to death of lust! Lust, lust, lust, lust, lust!!

Don't get me wrong, I like a nice round of sex as much as the next gal. It's very good exercise and a great picker upper. I much prefer sex with feelings attached, even if it means the dreaded fated mate bond, but I'm not talking about the actual act.

No, what I'm referring to is lustful thoughts. You know, where everytime the heroine looks at the hero her panties get wet and she goes over all his outstanding attributes (heh) yet again for the umpteenth time. This is how I learned anatomy (deltoid, bicep, pectoral); I have to admit it holds my attention better than a dry A&P text, but still... They can't talk without lusting and if they should happen to touch - even just a pinkie finger touch - they have to exert extremely over-the-top discipline to keep from jumping each other and doing the dirty deed.


How the hell does anything get done, what with all this lusting going on? It takes up so much of the characters' time and the reader gets that anatomy lesson over and over again.

I get it, I do get it. She likes him, he likes her. His hair is marvelous, his eyes even more so. His muscles, right down to his toenails are outstanding. Her hair is marvelous,her eyes even more so. She's toned with smooth skin, her boobs are just the right size, her ass is outstanding. She makes him hard where he's supposed to be hard; he makes her tight where she's supposed to be tight.

I don't need to be hit over the head with it. Go do something you're supposed to be doing, like saving the world or finding a killer, or even getting a life!

This message was brought to you by a sleep deprived Old Fart whose hormones were stolen sometime in 1999.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Start Your Engines

So there I was writing a gritty paranormal and my heroine was a mechanic and my hero was a God and then somewhere I read that most gritty heroines nowadays are mechanics.

I thought I was being original. I personally know nothing about cars so I thought that was crazy new.

Well, if it's commonplace to have mechanics and tattoo artists and firefighters and race car drivers what is it that women don't do in romance novels?

Really. Give me an idea. What is no longer women's work?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Carolyn's Writing Odyssey

The Seduction of Lady Bea is now a 'coming soon'.

'Coming soon' in publisher land is July 4, 2011. At least there'll be lots of fireworks. ☺. Sometimes I go over to Lyrical just to gaze at my empty, 'coming soon' bookcover. It's a promise of good things to come and proof that this Old Fart isn't quite over the hill yet.

And Lori's second book, Sugar B is 'coming soon' the month before, June 2011. Good lord, we're living in the future, how Science Fiction is that?


'Coming soon' means something entirely different at my time of life-like, let's try to make it within the week. Just in case, you know? I've left Bea to Lori in my will; I know she'll do right by her, lol.

I think it's beginning to sink in now. I've stumbled through the first edit and driven my editor (the very patient Antonia Tiranth) crazy with questions, well, those left over from my interrogation of Lori.

Being an Old Fart isn't easy, you know!

I'm finishing my second book, Mariposa, which was started in April of 2009. What can I say? I'm a slow writer. It's completely different from Bea, full of magic and dragons and talking cats, oh my! Much more me. I even thought of throwing in a dinosaur but not even I could manage to justify it.

I wish Blogger had emoticons. I'm a very emotional person and I need my emoticons. I'm lost without my emoticons, just like some folks wouldn't be able to talk if you tied their hands.

Lori set up this blog, so she's in charge of changes. As soon as she gets herself painted and moved and settled, I'm gonna nag her to update the writing page, with links and everything. :-) I thought I'd figured out links (you know, with that Link thingy up top of the Compose window) but alas, it was not to be. Turned out blank. Probably just as well, I'd be linking every damn thing. I can be a tad obsessive. Just a tad.

I'm off to see if there's been any changes to my non-cover. Hey - you just never know!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Writing a Guy

One of the things I'm trying to do currently is write from a man's point of view. Despite my unnatural hirstuteness, I don't have extra testosterone running through my system.

I don't know how men think.

I remember in childhood when I first realized that women of different colors, cultures and backgrounds were rarely that different from me. As I've aged I've become even more aware of the fact on a global basis. Women are worrying/working for and creating the world their children will live in. We worry about love. Those we love, those we wish to love.

Men like sports. And they like boobs. And um ... they think farts are funny.

Men aren't women.

So here I am wanting to write from a man's POV about love and family and those deep feelings that I believe they have but rarely have ever seen and I don't know what to do. I've already had one editor say that she felt a man I wrote sounded more feminine than masculine and except for the shaving, I really don't get men at all. (I swear, it's not extra testosterone.)

What do I do?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lori's Contest Entry

The Mills & Boon contest and Lori's entry. Not really very Harleqiny but might be fun to read nonetheless.

This, That and the Other

Just a few thoughts that passed briefly through my brain.

1. I mistook Julia James for Julie James and thought I'd discovered a whole backlog of Julie James' Harlequin writing. I don't even know if she wrote for Harlequin, but I never hesitated.


See, this Greek alpha asshole hated his ex-mistress because she married his brother for the money when the asshole refused to let her get pregnant. Or something. Of course, she ended up pregnant anyway. And when he turns up in her life again after 5 YEARS!!! she's a total wimp, falls right into bed with him and I'm going ARRGGHHH!!, Ms James - how could you DO this to me!

Oops. Wrong James. I apologize profusely to Ms Julie and to make it all better (for me) I'm reading Just the Sexiest Man Alive. Lord, I hate it when I do things like that. :-(

2. Why do they make things so complicated and difficult. All I want or need is a simple Word I can use for my stories. It used to come with the computer. Now, if you want the Office suite you have to put out a couple hundred extra dollars. I think not. This may be the shortest writing career in history.

Actually, I was trying to be funny. I'm going to download a free Word thingy and hope Windows 7 and/or my computer recognizes it. It/they don't recognize the Word 2003 Lori sent me. I've been informed it's because it's too old for Windows 7. Isn't that age discrimination? I'd almost learned to use that Word too!

3. Sarah at Monkeybear Reviews did a review of Courtney Milan's newest book and I want it! Her first book was meh for me but this one sounds more up my alley. Lot of books coming out for which I lust. Patricia Briggs, Kate Elliott, Deanna Raybourn, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh.

Oh lord, better finish my WIP; doesn't look like I'll be having any time to write, lol. (If you believe that, I have this bridge ...)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blog Wars

Carolyn asked me to write a post so it doesn't look like we don't care about the blog. We care very much about this blog but we don't know what to write sometimes.

We don't do book reviews because we read books, enjoy them and then we're so freaking old that 5 minutes later we forget what the characters names were. Makes for a strange looking review.

Book X by Unknown Author had an alpha shifter hero with an extra middle finger and a name that was something like Lheo or Mark and the heroine was Tracy or Tina or something with a T and she was generic except for her ability to have 3 hour orgasms...

We go to Dear Author for our book reviews and suggest you do also.

We can talk about editing but that's boring pretty much and we're not good enough writers to give too much advice and we're not clever enough for much of anything. So we should start a blog war.

There's never too much drama in anybody's life so maybe we can create some. We can find another blog that has the blah's and create some unnecessary controversy, post pithy pissy things on each and take the high road when we realize we're in the wrong "I'm tired of fighting so at this moment I shall officially say no more."

So who wants to battle?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

He Might Not Be An Alpha But I Don't Care

He's 46 and still looks like this. Proof that there's a higher power.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What Would Sarah Addison Allen Do?

Many years ago before the end of time when chocolate was considered part of the food pyramid, I took a creative writing class at the local community college where the teacher was a hottie and I was struggling my way through fiction writing during my young poetess stage.

One night before class I was at a small hole in the wall Asian restaurant having dinner and the hottie teacher came in. He asked if he could join me, I died inside and said yes and then we talked about writing.

At the time I wanted to write literary fiction but I remember our conversation circled to Harlequin romances. Hottie McHottie's advice to me at the time was to copy a Harlequin word for word to learn the structure of the writing. Then do it again but replace characters and plot elements. Then one last time and change it all to your own story.

The suggestion seemed strange and silly and the only reason I remembered it was because he had longish black hair (which I have a HUGE soft spot for) and dark eyes and visible chest hair. Oh yum.

But remember it, I did. And now I get it. Although the copying word for word part is a bit ridiculous, the copying part is not. Stealing is wrong. However we're not talking about stealing. We're talking about What Would Sarah Addison Allen Do?

After a difficult writing spell (I was working on a story that was easy to write but had plot holes and discrepancies so large the only thing to do was toss it) I'm finally writing again. The story I'm working on is a gentle, small town story of 2 women, 2 men, a slight hint of magic and redone kitchens and talking dogs.

Okay, no talking dogs.

The story is, in other words, very much my own version of Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. If you haven't read Garden Spells, I'm here to tell you that you should. It's a beautifully written book about two sisters, a small town, magic and love. Oh yeah, I know. I admit it too: I'm ripping off mightily but with my own story.

So in writing a derivative book, I ask myself "What would Sarah Addison Allen do?" It's a wonderful way to write. When I'm unsure I imagine I was reading a book by a favorite author and I think "This is where Sarah would..." and I know what to write.

I'm willing to bet that there's enough difference between the stories, the humor and the plots that nobody will read my story and say, "Aha, there is a derivative work of that wonderful novel Garden Spells written by Sarah Addison Allen who is not only one of the most talented authors alive but also damned attractive."

In middle earth, many hobbits find me attractive also.

Again, this is NOT in any way a post saying plagiarism is the way to go. This is understanding that in writing something similar or dirivative of someone else's work (or in the case of Harlequin, following their guidelines for one of their lines) then asking yourself, what would (fill in the blank) do?

One day someone might be asking that about your writing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Julia Grey Mysteries

I picked up a book bundle over on Amazon - 3 ebooks for the amazing price of $9.99. The author was unknown to me, but really - 3 books for $9.99? Well worth the gamble, I said. Loudly.

And it was.

The author is Deanna Raybourn, the books are Silent in the Grave, Silent in the Santuary and Silent on the Moor.

Y'all - I have a new author to follow! (And to celebrate I just bought her stand alone The Dead Travel Fast.) *grin*

Okay. Why did I like these books?

Reason the first - they're a trilogy! Yes indeed, everything wrapped up in three books. For real. The romance arc arced over all three books, character reveal lasted for all three books, character growth ran through all three books. And there was a humdinger of a HEA in the last book.

Reason the second - each book is a contained mystery, solved by the end of the book, even if the characters' relationship isn't. I love mysteries, even if I do suck at solving them. Solving them isn't why I read them. Like everything else I read, I read for good writing and great characters, with plot coming in a distant third.

Reason the third - they're historical, but NOT regency. *two thumbs up*. They take place around 1858. The description of clothing, buildings, people made everything seem more real.

Reason the fourth, but should probably be the first - Nicholas Brisbane, our egnimatic, brooding but ultimately tender hero. Oh le sigh!! I want me one of them for my very own. When I say he's half gypsy, does that tell you anything? Instead of our heroine having the sight, it's our hero. He doesn't want it and resists the visions to the point he gets debilitating migraines. I found this a refreshing change.

Even I could see the growth of the heroine through these three books, from a girl just existing in her well padded life, to a women who will fight for the man she loves, defying her family and the conventions of her time. As for the hero, the reason he resists his love for her is very plausible, given the mores of the era.

A very satisfactory, sigh-worthy read. I recommend these books highly and hope to see lots more from this author.

I'm so sorry, I don't know how to make live links. :-(

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Intellectualization of Romance

Now come on, you know what this is right? Right. It's a socio-political contemplation of the paradigm of sensuality versus autonomy as prevelant in modern culture versus feminist theory.

And you thought it was just a silly clinch cover, didn't you?

There seems to be a lot of brainy types discussing romance nowadays and elevating it to the levels of intelligensia masterbation as they've done to Hemingway, Faulkner and Flowers in the Attic.

Romance is:

Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back. Happy ending.

Viscount seduces maid. Maid loses head. Viscount marries Lady who has secret sensual side. Happy ending.

Girl meets vampire/shifter/immortal being. Girl and vampire/shifter/immortal being fight. Vampire/shifter/immortal being turns girl immortal. Happy ending.

Romance is simple. It has a happy ending. It has people falling in love. Sometimes someone saves someone else. Sometimes they're funny and sometimes they're both men. Sometimes there's a world built and sometimes they wear crinoline.

Carolyn expressed dismay to me the other day. "I didn't know you need a college degree to read romance," she cried. "I barely got through sixth grade."

Oh Carolyn, I know what you mean.

Currently I'm finishing Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase. (So I can read Last Night's Scandal by Loretta Chase.) It's sigh worthy wonderful. The characters are brilliantly drawn out, the story moves at an excellent pace, the writing is approachable and studded with humor. If you haven't read Loretta Chase, stop reading this blog post and go order her. NOW!!

However, I'd be really pretending to see any way one could take this novel and turn it into a socio-economic treatise of feminine mystique versus masculine meandering.

Can't we just read a book because it's a wonderful form of escapism written by some talented women who just get it?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Blog Blah's

Because we have nothing to blog about, we decided to blog about nothing.

We have never joined a writing organization nor have we gone to any conventions. We do not have famous friends. Nora Robert's has never shared her phone number or writing tips with either of us.

Our dream editor has nightmares about us. (Did you read Bodice? She did. 'Nuff said.)

Neither of us has an agent, has a book we can deem our baby or has enough sense to figure we can barely spell so why are we writers...

We do enjoy ourselves though. There's something fun about those early morning phone calls when we start saying "what if..." and the ideas flow and the plot holes that seemed big enough for a semi couldn't fit a Beetle.

We're nothing special. Our blog is nothing special. But we're happy with it just the way it is.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Blast From the Past

Die for Love by Elizabeth Peters

Lori's post about pen names brought this book to mind. It was first published in 1984, back when I was a wee young thing, but very precocious (I was reading before I could talk. Yup.)

Peters wrote several series, the most successful of which are the Amelia Peabody books. This series stars Jacqueline Kirby as our heroine, a single mother of adult children (she moved from NYC to Nebraska when she considered her children self sufficient and liable to present her with grandkids). She's a college librarian and she's become bored with flat fields and has a hankering to take a vacation back in her old stomping ground.

She wants it to be tax deductable (she once tried to claim a new TV set because she said she needed it to listen to writers being interviewed on the Today show) and so she chooses a writer's conference - The Historical Romance Writers of the World.

This is where the fun begins.

Peters uses every romance cliché from roses to pen names to book titles to purple prose. Interspersed between the fascinating committees and luncheons is a mystery involving the Queen of the agents, Hattie Foster, who seems to be the most hated woman in the industry.

An excerpt: Jacqueline has met a young author whose first book is about to be published. She titled her book This Blessed Plot but her editor changed it to Dark Night of Loving.

"I see."

Her noncommittal tone brought a blush to Sue's freckled cheeks. "It isn't that kind of book," she said defensively.

"How many rape scenes?"

"Two. But they aren't really -"

"Got any sodomy?" Jacqueline asked. "Incest? Sado-masochistic orgies, whips, chains, dismemberment?"

Sue's face was scarlet, matching the balloon that had dropped onto the table. Jacqueline took pity on her. "You must be very poor," she said in a kindly voice.

From the ridiculous pen names to the excerpts of the purple prose and the baniality of the conference, this satire kept me in whoops. Through it all, Jacqueline manages to maintain her aura of knowing all, even when she doesn't. There's also a nice little romance between Sue and Victor Van Damm *snort* (real name Joe).

In the end Jacqueline solves the mystery and decides to write a romance novel. You just know it'll be a runaway success. LOL

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Writing Round the Block

The worst thing about real life is how much it takes away from having fun. Or getting other things done.

I've been completely blocked with writing. Killer dead in the water. It was so bad that last night I had my 9 year old giving me story ideas. This morning I got 1st round edits in the mail for my second book. I'm so grateful I could cry.

Doubt you'll ever see a writer so happy to see edits again in your life.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Reintroducing Ourselves

We've been a little quiet lately. Even with each other. Which is highly unusual because Carolyn and I are usually living our lives with our phone stuck to our ears and echoes of "oh no she did not!" rending the air.

I'm buying a home and Carolyn bought a Kindle.

Hell, you may never see either of us again after this.

Talk about evil empires. Carolyn has sold her soul to Amazon now. She spends hours searching Amazon for more and more titles to add to her Kindle. "This one is 99 cnts!" she cries, ignoring that it's The Feeding of Dwarf Pygmie Albino Goats.

I understand she has over 4000 books currently in her library.

I'm either scanning the internet for decorating ideas (thinking of doing a homemade backsplash in the kitchen using old teabags and Preparation H) and of course, trying to find my first grade teacher's name to make the bank happy since they qualified me for a loan and now seem to be trying desparately to disqualify me.

We promise to write more. After Carolyn sends her paycheck direct to Amazon and I find the bank proof that I worked for McDonalds during my senior year of high school.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Embracing the Asexual

Over at Mrs. Giggle's blog she's pointed the way to the newest Romanceland kerfluffle which involves those women writing m/m fiction for other women while claiming to be tri-sexual. Or vi-sexual. Or any sexual that doesn't really embrace their middle-aged, overweight, caucasian, heterosexual lives.

Now I'm truly not judging them. I'm not. I just always remember Roseanne Barr's joke that God created gay men so fat women would have someone to dance with.

Anyway, apparently part of the kerfluffle is that these women are trying to claim other sexuality status while writing about the gay experience. It's fascinating reading. and I have no idea what they're claiming to be. It's no longer just gay/straight/bi. Now people are transgendered, queer without being gay, intergendered, extraterrestrialgendered...

I've decided to get right in the middle of all this kerfluffle by writing a novel where an asexual hero finds love with himself but society misunderstands and tears hm apart. Not literally. Or perhaps...

Seriously though, is it really that much of a matter in anyone's life that women are writing feminized gay romance books? They have their audience and if you just ignore them they'll probably wank themselves into oblivion.

My books title: Embraceable Me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pen Names

Angela James did a great blog post on the Carina blog about pen names.

I've chosen not to use a pen name because seriously, I like what I do and want people to know I did it. If, however, I were to use a pen name I think I would use something classy like Valencia Orangia. Or perhaps, Betty Cocker.

Maybe Creamy DeWhipp.

what would you use? Carolyn?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Personal History of Lust

It started when I was very young and Davy Jones was the first. He made my adolescent heart pound.

Davy was followed by Michael Cole (the Mod Squad) and David Soul (Starsky and Hutch) and David Cassidy (the Partridge Family). But really, Davy was my first. And even now I see him sometimes and get that feeling deep inside of wistfulness and desire.

You never outgrow the first one.

Keanu is a constant. No matter his age, he always looks like God took a little extra time in making him.

I mention Keanu in my writing. He's the constant that all my female characters share. Keanu covered in whipped cream.

I heart Keanu.

Then we move to a shared expression of love/lust that united these two Old Farts.

Meet Carlos Marin.

Carlos is the baritone in Il Divo. and before you judge us, yes, we know Il Divo is a cheese-fest but we love them anyway. And listen to Carlos sing and you'll understand that it's more than the Colgate smile and crinkly eyes (and let's not forget to mention the chest hair.) This man can sing.

He also can inspire two middle aged women to thinking about romance and then wading into the pool of romance writing.

Thank you Carlos.

My current lusty obsession is Mr. Anthony Stewart Head from Buffy. My daughter and I have been on a Buffy glom recently and I've been on a Head glom.

I'm enjoying the studious, starchy, British librarian that Giles was and it has me thinking of a plot for a story. Something with a brash American witch and a British Witch Consul coming to destroy her.

I love these fellas. Who are your histories with?

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Power of Words

I posted this over on my personal blog but wanted to post it here also.

So Dr. Laura thinks she can use the N-word a few times (like what? 11 times?) and then claim her First Amendment rights were denied her when there's a hue and cry. First Amendment rights mean she could say the word. Nobody denied her that. But those same rights allow me and anyone else to suggest that fetid piece of hag no longer have a national platform to speak her inanities and prejudices.

Why is it that the right wing asshats who don't believe that anyone who isn't straight, white and American born should be treated as equals to their gloriness complain the loudest when they stick their feet in it and get caught?

Those crazy anti-gay preachers and politicians who are caught with rent boys and prostitutes. Oh how they cry foul. The bitches who support the policies of war and hate run crying when their obvious hatred is finally shown to the world.

Jennifer Aniston got in trouble for using the word retard during an interview and I'll admit that my first reaction was a shrug of the shoulders. A so what? kind of thing. But then I was remembering that moment when I was talking to a neighbor near the garbage cans and he mentioned that Chink gardener and my life froze. "My daughter is Chinese" I said quietly and my world changed.

I was in fourth grade (the year my daughter is entering into) when an Arab schoolmate told me that being Jewish was bad. Last year my daughter was called a Chinese traitor by a Vietnamese classmate. She's still hurting over those words.

Jennifer Aniston fucked up out of ignorance and she needs to apologize big time. She has a national platform and she owes it to the world to recognize why words have power and she misused a word and caused pain.

Dr. Laura needs to shut her yap and remember that the God of our Fathers is a God who created the world and inhabitants in love. That God would never use the N-word and probably smite anyone who did.

It's harder and harder to walk that fine line of correct speech but there's a reason we should do it. We owe it to the world to watch the words we put out there. We owe it to the people around us to add to the universe power and love, not hatred and strife.

We're all in this together. Let's show the person next to us the same understanding we want to be shown. Don't brag about the fact that you don't even try to be politically correct. It's not about politics. It's about love.

Don't use your words to bring more hate into the world. Use your words to stop the hate from spreading. Dr. Laura needs to lose her platform. Anyone who uses a platform to spread hate needs to be silenced by our voices speaking out in love.

It's time we demand to be heard also.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Other

Jane, over at dear author, put up an amazing post about feeling like The Other (in your environment and in your mind).

It really resonated with me on a variety of levels. Her thoughts about reading books with Asian heroines and how much it means to her as an Asian woman in the midwest was fascinating. What I thought while reading was that we all consider ourselves other from the rest of the world. And I'm willing to bet that those who see books as more than just a throwaway pleasure feel it more than anyone else.

In reading we stop being ourselves and we become that bright and plucky heroine or the kick-ass Alpha that we're not in our own heads. In reading we stop being fat, old, ugly, awkward (pick your own negative thought and inset it here) and we become the woman who can charm the hero, catch the crook and make a perfect pie crust.

In books we find others who don't see themselves as worth much and we sigh and feel a kinship. We aren't other when we read because we belong to the story, to the fiction, to the imagination.

Personal story: yesterday I was with my daughter and her friend, Mr. Z (both 9 years old). Mr. Z came to me upset and said that he didn't like it when my daughter Mollie talks about what's happening in her life because she has so much fun and excitement and he has none. He feels so lacking, he complained.

Mollie wasn't telling Z about a trip to the Andes or turning into a vampire. She was saying we had concert tickets and a movie date with a friend and we're moving to a new house. But Z felt lacking in comparison.

I told Z that Mollie feels lacking to him. He has two parents and a sibling, a cat and a dog, a normal family unit. (As normal as the 1950s, that is.) Next to him, Mollie feels lacking and other.
One person's life is never as good as what we perceive someone else's is.

Anyway, wordiness aside...

Sometimes I see someone, usually a female someone, who is attractive and trim and looks happy and dresses well and envy sets in. She has more than I do, I think. She fits in the world better. She's not other. And when I'm astute I realize that she's like a novel: if she told her story I'd lose myself in her and neither of us would feel separate or other any longer.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Bodice Rippers: It's Available

We want to thank those of you who suggested Smashwords for our piece of crap.

And to celebrate the upcoming publications of Old Farts non-craptastic writing, click on the pic, download the story that made Angela James bleach her eyeballs and admire our willingness to really suck.

It's because we love you all.

It's Official!

I haven't wanted to say too much, because my life is lived by Murphy's Law.

However! I've printed out and am holding in my hot little hands the welcome package from Lyrical Press, complete with tax forms. Oh lord - unbelievable!

So this is the official announcement: The Seduction of Lady Bea, a contempory romance, is to be published by Lyrical Press, hopefully in the not too distant future. *big, BIG grin*

I love to write, I love to craft stories, but this would not have happened without Lori. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Lori.

My life will be changing - already I can tell, I've reactivated my FB account, lol - but for the better. As Lori says - we're gonna have fun.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Addendum to LISM

I finished Lady Isabella's Scandelous Marrige last night and I'm glad to report action was added other than bedroom action. Yay!

I enjoyed the last half of the book, but found myself skimming all the ruminations of the two main characters - they were starting to repeat themselves.

There was a short excerpt of the third book - The Many Sins of Lord Cameron. Coming soon, they said. Although it's hard to say because it was not a long segment, it seemed much more interesting.

So - I suppose I'll take a chance on the third book when it's released.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lady Isabella's Scandelous Marriage

It's a good thing I'm not a reviewer, because I haven't finished this book and we all know what happens when you bring up DNFs! That's not to say I won't finish it, I probably will. I just had to post and ask - WTF???

I'm in the third section of Chapter 8 and nothing has happened! Oh, there's been losts of lusting and Mac has found his Muse and painted three nekkid pictures of Isabella. From memory. We know the color of the hair on her head, and the color of the hair on her pubis, in all sorts of positions and in all sorts of lighting, while using all sorts of paints. That's about all we know.

Oh, okay, some backstory has been given. We know they love each other and always have. Isabella doesn't trust Mac - I get that. And he's trying to prove himself to her, therefore he forces himself not to bed her, although he could because she's in complete lust.

Eight chapters of this. I'm sure there's a plot in there somewhere (maybe the painting fraud will be enlarged upon?), but I'm getting a little tired of all this lusting and petting and mental anguish. Just fuck her already, will you Mac?

Ahem. Sorry about that. I'm past menopause so maybe I no longer have the appreciation that others seem to have for this book. Of course, it's early days yet (I hope). Ian and Beth have showed up, so I'm hopeful.

I'll continue reading, but after The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie, I was expecting so much more.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Genres I Hate

I'm sticking my neck out here and admitting that I read Hummingbird by LaVeryle Spencer (as should you) and loved it but I don't have the love for westerns. There's something intrisically tired with the cowboy and the school-marm.

Even Victoria Dahl couldn't do it with B/D.

Urban fantasy. Blech. When the heroine is a kick-ass, smart-ass ass I just don't give a rats ass.

Modern romances based on the novels of Jane Austen. Outlaw them already.

YA. What's the fucking point? I read adult novels as a teen. Why would I read teen novels as an adult?

What about you?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It Happened!

We are pleased, delighted and absolutely giddy to announce


Let the dancing commense.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What the Librarian Done Did and Didn't Done Do

What the Librarian Did by Karina Bliss
Harlequin SuperRomance

This book was reviewed by everybody and got such amazing, awesome reviews that I had to read it. Carolyn had to read it. The lady who was sitting at the bus-stop in a puddle of her own making (eewww!) was reading it.

We done did read it.

Quick synopsis: Rachel is a librarian who hides her emotions behind librarian clothes. Devin is a bad-boy rocker who has returned to school and sobriety. Mark is a kid looking for his birth mother who is ... well, not Devin. Doh!

It was a quick read and pleasurable. Karina Bliss understands humor and so one liners flew, zingers zinged and the scene where the garden club shows up... priceless!

Carolyn said that she would have been happy had this book left out the entire Mark story-line and just had the Devin/Rachel zinginess. I disagree moderately because Mark was, in many ways, the moral compass for the story.

I liked, no I loved, the hero with a hard drinking, drug using, groupie banging past. I could read a million more books with heroes just like him.

Rachel was a bit of a bore. She was smart and hurting and all but her mission in the book was to be reactive, for the most part. I missed the connection with her except when she put Devin in his place. And despite the enjoyment I had with the story, I never really saw why Rachel was the woman Devin would fall in love with.

I enjoyed how Harlequin has allowed it's brand to change and I really enjoyed reading a story with humor and hard rock. What I felt like was ... well, watching the Bachelorette. Where everyone is beautiful and slightly plastic and says lines that sound perfect and slightly plastic...

I'd read Karina Bliss again. I'd read rock star heroes happily. I just wish there was more heroine to love as well as the hero.

Monday, August 2, 2010


We're doing some happy dancing over here in our teeny tiny corner of blog-land. Carolyn is writing again!! (Carolyn has also gained an editor's attention and we're waiting to see if we're going to be making THE announcement soon.)

We've decided that before we throw our little piece of shit story out to the wolves of of self-pub, we're going to do a revise and resubmit to Loose-ID. So if you know any of the editors there, warn them to sheild their eyes. This ain't going to be pretty.

Lori finished edits on Book 1 (666 Angel Lane) and now starting pre-edits on Book 2 (Sugar B's Back in Town).

We've been falling a little behind in blogging because we feel like we're running into walls. So we were thinking of posting pictures of naked men to hide the fact that we're so slow at providing original content.

Did it work?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Big Block

Carolyn and I have both been struggling with the big B recently, you know ... the dreaded writer's block. And I saw on Facebook our friend Cheryl also has the big B.

I know that my blocks usually are life related. The more I might stress in real life, the less my juices for any creativity run. So as I plan on buying a home, adjust to a new boss at work ... I cook less, clean less and write less.

Carolyn is free to correct me but hers seem to run concurrent with her tiredness. she yawns, she doesn't write. She's perky and feeling good: big words come flowing.

I've read some people argue that writer's block isn't real. "Just write through it, you lazy so and so" they claim. I imagine that they don't understand the inability to write a word that pleases you or to create anything that works in any way.

Writing takes place on a lot of levels. The best writing is when the story uses you as nothing but a typing machine. When you don't have to play with the words or think about what comes next: you just type and it writes itself. It's not mystical, it isn't pulling the words out of the air; it's just that sometimes the story is already complete in your head (whether or not you realize it) and so it flows out easily.

Many times it isn't quite as easy and you fight for the proper words, struggle to get it right. That's much more common and is so rewarding. Knowing your story and working to make it right.

And then sometimes words refuse to come. Everything is wooden or leaden and has no flow. No interest. Then you fight the dreaded block or give into it hoping it'll pass and you can write again.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Travails of a New Computer Owner (a continuing story)

The battle - the epic battle - with the computer continues. I'm not quite sure what the score is ...

Finally managed to get the Resurrection file into the new computer, started working on the last unfinished chapter, saved it and ... it was gone! As in disappeared. Couldn't find it anywhere. And don't you know it was probably the best writing I'd ever done in my entire life! Heh.

Anyway, for those with Microsoft Word Starter 2010 - don't use the save button under file on the left side of the page. It may be saved, but you'll have a hell of a time finding it. As in nevah!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Favorite Crusie


I think - no, I know, that Agnes and the Hitman has to be my favorite.

I absolutely loved Agnes. I liked that the hero and all his macho shit was written by a man (but thank God it wasn't John Ringo!)

The plot got a little convoluted, but the vibes between Agnes and her hitman were right on. She captured him with food, lol. Loved it!

I could reread this book forever, because Agnes not only had a relatively unused name (which I don't care for and never did), but her peronality (ever so slightly paranoid) had me laughing out loud.

I might could be persuaded to another Crusie book as favorite (thinking Charlie at Night here), but it will be a hard sell. *grin*


I have reread Crazy For You a million times and I'll read it a million tmes more. I learn more about writing from that book as it moves the characters through growth arcs that hang together, make sense and just rock the house down.

However, I'm going to say Welcome to Temptation is my favorite because it was my first. In Welcome I discovered Crusie magic: how she weaves food and music, strong heroines, sex and humor into a wonderful stew of character foibles and ultimate growth.

Welcome to Temptation had one of the first literary charactors I wanted to boink (on the edge of a dock, on a pool table ... c'mon Phin, let's do it!) and a heroine who skated on the edge of bad. Sophie and her scamming, sex movie filming ways.

Oh goodness, if you haven't read it, do. It's just that damned good.

So what is your favorite Cruisie?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Here I Is

Man, this has been rejection month! Not only was our piece of crap rejected, but my damn computer got into the act too.

I was sooo miserable! I was lost, I was isolated, I was mute! No Word. No writing because I no longer do pen and paper, mainly because it's unreadable and who wants to be frustrated like that? I mean, you know you wrote the most wonderful,witty thing, you can't remember it, and you can't read it.

I decided to take a hiatus.

So then, the new computer comes. Yes, y'all, it's here. And it is most definitely IN CHARGE!

Perhaps one day, I'll be writing in Word again. Geez, it took me a whole evening getting the damn program open and that was only because I called the vendor! (I do apologize for all the exclamation points, but I mean, really - it's just one of those weeks). It's Word 2010, might as well be 2050.:p

Anyway, I kept thinking of Jane Austen. Not that I'm Jane Austen or even one of them there bodice ripper famous authors, but - what would Jane do? If she broke her quill or something. Perservere, that's what. And so I shall.

Now, after having broken God knows how many writing rules, I shall leave you with this question: when the hell did Word become a separate computer program costing $119.00????

I shall make do, because I'm trey cheap. But really!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Final Rejection

After 17 weeks and 4 days, Carina Press has rejected Bodice Rippers.

In summation: we received 2 revise and resubmits, one request to add more sex, one editor who said that marketing something as bizarre as our story would be a major challenge and a few straight out rejections.

We're disappointed because we want you to read our story. We really do. We don't want to charge you, we want to make you laugh.

We also don't want to post it here on this site because it's freaking impossible to edit other pages here. So we're wondering if any one of you knows how we can either make a file available to download or is there a place we can just throw our work out there for an audience.

Please let us know. We dream of universal domination via absurd, tongue in cheek romance writing.