Friday, August 31, 2012

My Favorite Heroines

I admit it, I read books for the heroines. Oh, give me a Lord of Scoundrels and I'll be in a tizzy for the hero, but truly, nothing loses me quicker than a heroine that I don't love.

Like Quinn in Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie. Quinn is every woman who happens to be the woman I'd like to be. She decides she wants a dog and in a short time, that one decision starts life changing events in the lives of everyone around her.

The hero Nick is cool. But Quinn is the coolest. I want her to be my best friend, my sister, my neighbor and the heroine of more books.

Another favorite heroine is Ella in Lisa Kleypas' Smooth Talking Stranger. Ella is a nice woman who tries not to make waves and smooth the waters around her. She's got a boyfriend she gets along well with, a family that is broken and when she's forced into caring for a child and trying to discover her sister's secrets, she still tries to do it as nicely as possible.

I love when she finally starts accepting her own wants. I love that she allows love into her life even though she knows it might destroy her.

Oh and Daphne from Loretta Chase's Mr. Impossible. Oh lord, this book is a delight. Daphne is a brilliant woman who has to pretend not to be brilliant and when her brother (aka, her beard) goes missing, she ends up with Rupert, a loveable dumb ox who isn't as dumb as he appears. Those two are hysterical.

I love when Loretta Chase writes dumb men and smart women. Nobody makes a dumb man look better and gives a witty heroine a better spotlight.

And last but never least, I have to mention Liz/Abby from Nora Robert's The Witness. She's one of the smartest, saddest heroines you'll ever meet. Carolyn kept saying that all she wanted to do was hug her and I completely agreed.

She's a woman who should have folded from the events of her life but instead she perservered and made a life one could admire. The hero Brookes was great but it was Liz/Abby who was the heart and soul of the story and oh my lord, she made the book one of the best I've read in years.

So those are my heroines.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Well hell ...

Since Lori chickened out of the hero challenge and informed me she is heroine-centric, I shall go ahead and list my other heroes.  Bah and humbug!!

Ok, the first was Curran of the Magic Series by Ilona Andrews. (Check out her blog link on the sidebar.) He's a wonder, but I admit I could never handle him. Still, a girl can dream ... ♥

My second choice was Roarke of the In Death series by J. D. Robb. Suave and sophisticated, rich as Croesus - or was that Midas? - but still hard as nails and willing to kill when he has to. He appeals to me because of the way he understands Eve and helps her to understand herself. He's a wonder of a man and I always think of him looking like a young Pierce Brosnan. ♥

Third choice was Christian, Duke of Jervaulx. His strength of character and the sheer stubbornness that enabled him to overcome his affliction are so admirable. He's a man who pursues what he wants and is willing to humble himself to obtain it. What he wants is Maddy and by God, he deserves to win his dream. ♥

Sebastian. Sebastian, Sebastian, Sebastian. The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. He ended one book a villain and we are privileged to watch him fall in love and change his priorities in this one. Poor Sebastian - such an alpha, thinking himself a rakehell and so dangerous. Brought to heel (in some areas ;-) ) by a woman. I lurve Sebastian. ♥

Last, but certainly not least, is Raphael, the Archangel of New York in the books by Nalini Singh. He's an immortal, has lived through terrible things, is remote and hard but there's something in him that allows him to love a mortal and because he does he changes; little changes but essential ones in a relationship. I don't know how much of Raphael we'll be seeing as we learn the stories of his Cadre of Seven, but I expect he'll change even more as the series progresses. He'll never become the emotionless, cruel, solitary being that his peers are. Love Raphael too! ♥

So.  All my choices seem to be alphas. How is it then that I tend to write betas? I don't have an answer, but I love that too, lol.

Lori - tsk, tsk, tsk.


It's quit here on ye olde blog, let's talk in whispers and not wake anyone up.

We're actually quite busy and that's caused so much blog silence. Both Carolyn and I have been writing and plotting and planning and lusting after Spaniards.... you know, the usual. But it does take up a lot of time.

I've rediscovered my home improvement gene which has been dormant for a long time. Thank Pinterest for that. So organization and projects are also taking a lot of time.

We're doing well though. Except for these damned allergies. And this damned election.

But these too shall pass.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I saw this on Facebook and was disgusted.

Not all authors feel this way. I don't.

I write because it's what I choose to do. Nobody has to read what I write and certainly nobody has to pay for it. I'm not a special person because I write and I don't deserve anything extra for it.

If you choose to read: awesome for you. If you read something I wrote, cool. But you owe me nothing beyond the price of the book and I expect nothing from you.

And give something back? When did writing a book become a charity? And the end where you're urged to leave high star ratngs. Even worse.

Please readers, don't ever think you owe an author anything. Ever. Our choice to write a book is not making you beholden to us for anything.

This disgusts me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Carolyn and I have discussed the hero posts but writing the darn things have kind of gotten left behind right now as we boh seem to have found our writing mojo and we're working our asses off.

I'm happy happy happy that we're both writing and enjoying it.

Sorry sorry sorry but blog gets ignored a little.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I Accept ...

Lori's challenge with the stipulation that we talk about one hero at a time.

I came up with five heroes but to list them from least favorite to top favorite is impossible. They all have different attributes and they all have some similarities.

So, today I'm going to talk about Ilona Andrew's Curran in the Magic series (also known as the Kate books. :-) ).

Curran is about as alpha as you can get. He has to be to keep his leadership of the packs of shapechangers. He has a sense of humor though,  and like all shifters is partial to practical jokes.

He's also slightly paranoid. Okay, a lot paranoid. Both he and Kate recognize this, but Curran won my heart with his heroic efforts to let Kate do her thing. He doesn't alway succeed, but he tries. He just can't let someone he considers his, let alone loves to distraction, fight alone. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't, but the love he has for his mate is never in doubt. I like that such a strong, disciplined character softens around Kate and he does, you'll never convince me otherwise.

Kate understands him and so do we, the readers. Lord, I'll never forget their first meeting. All Kate knew was that he changed to some sort of cat, so she calls 'Here, kitty, kitty.' Sometimes Kate lacks common sense, lol, but she sure caught Curran's attention.

So, that's my first pick, Ms Lori. Your turn now. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I Need a Hero....

Carolyn and I love to talk about heroes. Isn't that why we're writers? And romance readers? We love heroes. And some heroes are more than just characters you love, they become men you crave because in reality it seems, real men are just like us: faulty and imperfect.

The best heroes though.... I can't help thinking of almost any written by Loretta Chase. Sometimes they're dumb, sometimes they're playing dumb, sometimes they carry the nickname Beezlebub. And almost every single one of them has captured my heart.

Lisa Kleypas' new book, Dream Lake, has a hero who is approaching alcoholism and bitterness. He's all sharp edges and dysfunction and the only of her Friday Harbor heroes that mattered to me.

I'm not a great fan of the alpha-holes and I guarantee you a book with a Navy SEAL would have me running faster than a Weight Watchers meeting. Yet, I like a man who can take care of things. I just prefer a man who can allow the heroine to take care of herself.

I'm currently working on a story with an unemployed, unmotivated hero. It's my goal to end the book with him still unemployed but very motivated to making the heroine happy.

Anyway, this is a shallow post on a subject we can and should spend a lot more time on. So I think I'll challenge Carolyn to do a post on her five favorite romance heroes and I will also.

Chime in with your own.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Random Friday Thoughts This Thursday

I just saw a blog that a woman has subtitled Thoughts of a Soon to be Famous Author. I don't know if I admire her chutzpah or want to smack her on the side of the head.


Sales for Yesterday's Headline, in the matter of a week, surpassed royalties I received for the entire of last year with three books at two different publishers. I can't see ever choosing a traditional publishing route with that as a result.


Marinated Publishing is working on another anthology of short stories centering around DIY projects. We have four talented ladies working on it and I have to say that what I've seen that Carolyn has done makes me salivate. Very excited to see this project happen.


I got a 50 cent royalty check from Noble. Go team Noble. snorthahasnort


So I mentioned before my intense dislike of the Pinterest pinners who pin pics of celebrities suggesting that they're characters in the pinner's novels. But then I had an a-ha moment (not involving a catchy 80's tune and a cool video with pencil drawings) and it occured to me that those writers are in fact writing fan fic with real people.

Go pinners! Embrace the fic!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

As the withered withers widened...

the tan, slim strap of her espadrille slackened and slid, baring the curvaceous chunk of dusty, dry heel that had been a-wanderin', a-wanderin'.

She only wanted to stop and slate her thirst. That dank maw in her craw of unsatiated desire for the wet wonderland that was water.

A straw! A straw! Her kingdom for a straw.

She stumbled and only kept from falling because of the touch of a stranger.

"You'll want to be watchin' yer step, ma'am."

She chuckled sounndlessly, guffawed silently, chortled noiselessly. She knew where she'd be looking. She didn't need a stranger's warning.

She kept walking.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

BFFs via the Interwebs

So we got a nice little review for Letters From Greece which wasn't memorable but the reviewer seemed to love the idea of the friendship between the two women coming together from the internet. I imagine the reason it resonated so strongly was because the reviewer probably has a BFF she met via the internet.

Carolyn and I met on a fan forum. Lea and I met on a different forum of the same fandom. I believe the Smart Bitches met on a pet forum. I met Tom Clancy on a writer's forum (okay, I was bragging on that one a little.)

Of all my male friends, I don't recall a single one ever mentioning making a great friendship via an internet forum. Yet women do it easily.

I dont know why. I have theories.

Via the internet we don't judge on looks. So Carolyn and I are both young, slim and gorgeous. Of course we've seen pictures and we know the truth but when I think of the other fart, I see a young woman despite knowing what she really looks like. And in my mind that means I'm still young too.

We don't compete. Not sharing physical space lends itself to a greater generosity (I believe). I have never experienced the kind of generosity as I have from Carolyn and Lea from any other person on this planet. Including family, I'm sad to say.

Without the face to face we also miss the small things that we might hate about each other. I don't sleep with Carolyn's husband (because I'm a whore) and she doesn't hide her dust bunnies in my home (because she's allergic to cleaning). It works for us.

I like to think that in Letters From Greece, the two women there are the two of us in different circumstances. I believe that Carolyn and I would easily find our comfort together and let our bellies hang out and be free to point out those little chin hairs that need plucking.

I love that someone out there read the book and probably related to the friendship above all else. Because that's what it was all about.

And Carolyn? Stop UPSing those dust bunnies. Mollie's room can't take any more. And I think they're breeding.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bev Pettersen

I've discovered a new-to-me author, Bev Pettersen. I tried one of her books when it was free for Kindle. I started reading, and I swear to God, it read like the beginning of a Dick Francis book. Really, it did.

But Ms. Pettersen writes of romance in the Canadian racing world. It's not surprising she reminded me of Dick Francis because she too is a retired jockey and knows all the ins and outs of the racing world.

I don't think these books need to be read in any particular order. I recommend then for anyone who likes horses and racing, along with a large dollop of romance.

Fillies and Females: 

Becky Rivers yearns for a loving family and carves out a home as companion-nurse to an aging Texas matriarch with more opinions than horses. Bruised by years of neglectful foster care, she avoids the limelight but is forced to team up with charismatic horse trainer, Dino Anders, in order to salvage her employer's venerable race stable. Soon she is caught between a murderer and a ruthless saboteur...and her only ally is a man she isn't sure she can trust.

Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash:

Jenna Murphy, a dedicated horse masseuse, relies on her job and street smarts to support what's most important...her younger sister. But when the Thoroughbred Wellness Center experiences a hostile takeover headed by a charming but ruthless corporate shark, both her heart and career are in jeopardy.

Color My Horse:

Jessica barely knows one end of a horse from the other but shoveling manure is preferable to letting her conniving grandfather yank her chain. The only problem is that her new boss is a little too strict...and far too sexy.

She can handle sleeping in a rundown stall as well as the occasional encounter with a creepy trespasser, but a lovable old gelding and his uncompromising trainer threaten to break her heart.

Jockeys and Jewels:

Racehorse trainer, Kurt MacKinnon, resents being yanked into undercover police work. But when his ex-partner is murdered, Kurt is determined to find the killer and moves his third-string Thoroughbreds to the backwater track where his partner was last seen alive.

Julie West, a struggling and dedicated jockey, pins her dreams of an elusive win on the new trainer in town, never suspecting she's a person of interest--and not because of her riding skills.

Kurt didn't expect his contrary colt to flourish under Julie's feminine touch nor for his own rusty heart to soften. However, his deceit sucks them both into the cross hairs of a killer, and suddenly much more than their love is in danger.


I was going to try to put individual links and stuff, but the honest truth is, I'm doing good to get the pics up in some sort of order. However, I will try to link to the "Big Three" ho ho ho.




Saturday, August 4, 2012

Gunmetal Magic

I just finished Gunmetal Magic and loved it. I remarked to Lori that it seemed so short, I wasn't ready for it to end.

Over on her blog, Ilona Andrews says she's been getting email complaints that the book's too short. She says the book is 111,407 words in Word.

Good lord, I never realized. The book whipped by so fast, it seemed much shorter. Plus, I could never carve out a big enough chunk of time to just sit down and enjoy a long read.

I see what it is. When a writer and a book are good enough to pull you into their world and keep you there, time flies and you just don't want to let go. You don't realize how much is happening and that eventually it must end. This is what Gunmetal Magic did to me.

I'm going to make time and reread at my leisure instead of inhaling it in big gulps, taking time to savour the characters (especially Roman ♥), the plot and the writing.

I love those crazy boudas and I think Andrea will fit in just fine.  :-)

Saturday.... in the park

I just wanted to show Jake.

He's utterly devoted to my daughter and she's training him in ways I never would have believed. She has him sitting, speaking, laying down, crawling, going off leash and returning when called. I took him off leash and he ran away. Huh.

But he's a doll and I adore him so I took him on errands and to reward him to him to a small park in the neighborhood. He had a great time and so did I.

Being that today is Saturday, I should mention that Carolyn has been instructed to write 500 words on a new story by tomorrow evening or I shall humiliate her by posting nekkid pictures I have. Oh yes, blackmail, thy name is Lori.

Watch this space. Carolyn was warned.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Carolyn told me to go read the Ilona Andrews blog post today and I did and it meant a lot. I finally feel like I can say what I totally feel and that's that I'm tired. Bone-deep, pure exhausted.

This last year I've gone through a huge upset in jobs leaving me in a less stressful job but one with a lot less money and benefits. I've had three book releases (or has it been more?). My daughter is moving on to middle school, we got a dog, there's been enough anxiety to fuel a small nation and I'm just freaking tired.

I find that my interests right now are almost all about the home. I have projects I want to do and organization I want to try.

I feel like I want to be more present in my life and less focused on trying to write something that might sell.

I need to recharge.

Marinated Publishing is going to put out an anthology of stories that I'm excited about and I have my Hollywood Heroes stories that I haven't lost my enthusiasm for. But I think I'll let those develop as they may. Right now I want to hang a mirror in my hallway and make a seating area in a small space. My kitchen needs to be painted and it needs a new floor.

Writing is less fun as it becomes about sales. I need to find a way out of that rut.

So I'm going to paint. I'm going to learn to tile a floor. And I'm going to have a nap.

God, I'm so damned tired.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Good Lord!

There's a Loretta Chase book I haven't read!

How did that happen?

I fully intend to rectify that and read Your Scandalous Ways asap.

I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite Chase book and the more she writes, the harder it gets. Silk is for Seduction blew me away...

...and it's always been a tossup between Lord of Scoundrels

and Mr. Impossible.

Lord Perfect gets honorable mention just because of the cover, lol.

Each of these books might have problems, things wrong with them that I'd never notice, but by God they must be minute.

I feel better now. I've exposed my Chase-o-mania and practiced posting pictures - a twofer. *grin*

Loretta Chase is fast becoming synonymous with Georgette Heyer (only with sex) in my mind. So different, yet both wonderful writers with a great sense of humor (usually necessary in the books I read) and knowledge of the era in which their stories take place.

Standing ovation, laydeez.