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