Saturday, December 16, 2006

Diabolically Diabolic Debacle

Connie Brockway visits
Monday, Dec. 18th!
She's the coup de grace, the piece de resistance,
the -- well, she's the last chick to squawk during
Squawk Radio Week + a Day

***

Jacquelyn Frank's "Jacob" is this week's Feature Review at "Romance: B(u)y the Book!" I think you'll enjoy reading about it, and Jacki's AuthorView.


OK, so I'm like anybody else who writes, I try to get it right. And I try to make each column I write a special tribute to the author and her book. All of this, in language romance fiction readers recognize, one that speaks to them and -- maybe, if I get it just right -- makes em laugh.

But my editor, who's a nice guy, don't always get my jokes, or see immediately what we romance readers understand pretty much intrinsically.

So, in this week's Old Flame tribute to Loretta Chase's, "Lord of Scoundrels," I try to convey the theme running throughout the novel of the hero's being compared to Beelzebub in various incarnations, including the ways he courts the heroine. And I come up with a line that I thought was fairly clever, but in retrospect I could have lived w/out. Here's the line:

"Lord of Scoundrels" is nearly quintessential in its blend of unabashed sensuality, deft writing, witty dialogue, and diabolically romantic love story.

Admittedly, not as inspired as I thought when I jammed it out. Yet it's been edited to:

"Lord of Scoundrels" is nearly quintessential in its blend of unabashed sensuality, deft writing, witty dialogue and diabolical romance.

I was told the proofer felt the phrase diabolically romantic love story was redundant.

Well, yeah. Like, maybe if you've NEVER READ A ROMANCE?


Does a love story have to be hearts-and-flowers, moon and June, to be romantic? What are some decidedly not romantic romances you've read and enjoyed?

18 comments:

MaryKate said...

Hi Michelle! Hope all is well with you. I think that JACOB looks fantastic. I'll be shopping for it next time I'm at the book store. What an interesting premise, and your review sounded great!

Jeez, I'm not sure if I'm just not firing on all cylinders, but I can't think of unromantic romances. There are some books that are romantic in nature but not romances. Is that what you mean? SIGH. Obviously I need to get some sleep!

Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend and is enjoying the holiday season!

Vivi Anna said...

I don't think romance has anything to do with hearts and flowers but with sacrificing something of yourself for that other person. It's doing something completely and utterly self-less that deems romantic to me.

MaryKate said...

Ah Vivi, as usual, you've said it so much better than I could! I'm thinkin' that's why you're a writer and I'm a meeting planner! ;-P

Julie in Ohio said...

Hey, Bellas!! What a crazy final week before Xmas..ARGH! I don't think I'll ever be ready...

I have to ditto what Vivi said. She said exactly what I feel and said it a whole lot better than I could have. :o)

I just finished an unromantic romance. It was published in 1981 and was called ALL FOR LOVE by Patricia Gallagher. Between the forced seductions and adultry, it is not of the hearts and roses variety. But it was redeemed with a satisfying HEA.

orannia said...

Hey Bellas :)

Hmmm, I think I would have to put my vote in for 'The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch' by Marsha Moyer. I'm not saying there isn't romance, because there is, but for me the book wasn't just romance. It was more of a love story, a journey of self discovery. It also felt real, which I loved! I could believe it so it was escapism and it reaffirmed my faith in true love :)

Merry Christmas all!

orannia

Stacy~ said...

I just bought "Lord of Scoundrels" this week and can't wait to dive in. I've read a few mediocre Blazes, so I need something to sink my teeth into. Hopefully this book will do the trick.

As I've gotten older, I've noticed how the "hearts & flowers" approach just isn't as romantic as the definition Vivi gave. Flowers and candy are easy - it's the other stuff - making someone chicken soup when they are sick, or warming up their car on cold winter mornings, or going to the bookstore to buy your girlfriend/wife a book by her favorite romance author on release day - now that's romantic. Learning about the person you love and paying attention, yep, that's good stuff.

Vivi Anna said...

Stacy, you listed some of the things I think are so damn romantic. It's the little things that may seem so insignificant that are the most important. Especially to us ladies.

To me this is romantic, and a sign of true love...my friend, who is a writer, she had her significant other with her at the RWA conference. He's a great guy, but I didnt' realize how truly wonderful this man was until one early morning I saw him standing in line with hundreds of women, for one of the publisher book signings, looking bleary eyed and hung over, with two book bags over his shoulder. I asked him where my girlfriend was and he said oh she's back up in the room sleeping, she was really tired this morning so I told her to stay in bed and I would go and get her some books.

To me...that is romantic...

The other stuff is nice too especially when it is done unexpectedly. Like on a Monday in the middle of March, your man comes home with soem flowers and a tube of massage oil...knowing you really need a massage because you've been working so hard...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

You guys are making me tear up here. Cause I just had this kinda big to-do with my husband over all the books that pile up around my office/room. Now, I know, poor me - and believe me, if you lived near me you could come take all you wanted. Anyway, I was like, Look. I'm done joking about it, and how you're so sick of them and reading me the riot act and all. But I cannot just get rid of them and move on. Some I have to look at. Some I'll want to give away. Some I'll want to keep forever, I just can't fit all that organizing in on top of taking care of children, writing, trying to have acareer, etc.

I hate that I have to shake him by the shoulders like that sometimes, but the guy -- by his own admission-- is fairly brain dead much of the time.

So, I guess the idea of the Viv's friend grabbing the books. Wow. I think Dave'd do it for me, but I would never think of putting him through it. Is that the "I don't deserve it" gene?

But I think it's all about what Stacy wrote: Learning about the person you love and paying attention, yep, that's good stuff.

Hey, thanks MK! I thought it was a really cool book, a contemporary, but the hero has this kinda Regency feel to him. I like the way Frank plays on the May/Dec thing. The next one's written and RTG,too (Gideon).

Hey, orianna, you describe well what I wasn't so successful getting across. :)

JulieO, JulieO, Help Me! How shall we survive this week?

ev said...

For me, I know it's true love, without the hearts and flowers, when I can call hubby at work and ask him to stop at the store for the "feminine products" and all he asks is which ones. Or he cleans up after me when I have been violently ill (unless it is from drinking too much, then I am on my own!! LOL) Or leaving at 630 this morning to go to NYC just so I could hop out of the car, walk around to see the windows and Rockefeller Center while he sat in a no loading zone, patiently waiting for me. Then spend the afternoon at his son and dil's apt at a Hanakkah party.

Flowers and hearts are great in the beginning. It's what happens after that really matters.

rachd said...

It is absolutely the little things. I truly believe every woman secretly wants her significant other to know her *SO* well that he just knows what to get or do without being told.

Yes, I enjoy getting flowers just because my honey happened to see them and thought I might like them, but after being together for 14 years, it's more about how well he knows me and what he is willing to do for me, like having a 'rita ready for me when a day has been particularly heinous and knowing instinctively that ordering carryout would be MUCH better than me having to cook and clean up the kitchen. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

I agree whole heartedly that it's the little thoughtful things that matter. Cleaning the kitchen? Man, I could have an orgasm just watching him wipe the counters off... *dreamy sigh*

But the material girl in my loves flowers and candy and would be upset if he forgot them. Let's not forget jewelry... :P

MaryKate said...

Ah, so we're talking about Romance, not romance. I get it now.

So, I have one story to tell that makes me choke up every time. My parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this July. One night, when I was in high school, I'd been out on a date. My mom had pneumonia and was sleeping in the guest room so as not to disturb my dad with the coughing. I came home at my curfew this specific night to find my dad reading to my mom "Sonnets from the Portuguese" by candlelight. It was one of the most romantic things I'd ever witnessed.

And that's why they've been not just married, but ecstatically, happily married for 50 years.

It was an amzing way to grow up.

Julie in Ohio said...

Awwww, MK. That was just beautiful. Now, I'm all choked up...

rachd said...

Aw, man, MK, what a happy happy childhood you must have had with them for role models! =) How awesomely wonderful!

Stacy~ said...

Julie, I'm just as materialistic as the next girl, so yeah, I love the flowers and all that too. I didn't say we have to forego those things, no, not at all. We should get our cake and eat it too LOL.

MK, that is such a beautiful story about your parents, and that's exactly how it should be. Whether it's five years or fifty, I want a marriage like that.

Sue A. said...

MaryKate you have wonderful role models. I'm so envious of your parents, they've obviously found soul mates in each other. I wish we could all be so lucky.

ev said...

Mk-my parents had a marriage like that. It was cut short of 40 years with dad's death almost 2 years ago. However, they used to do silly things (dad was a severe dyslexic, so poetry was out of the question. The 3 Stooges on the other hand...) They used to tease each other all the time and sometimes it got out of hand- once, many years ago, he bet mom $5 that he could get into her girdle. He couldn't, but the sight of him waddling around with that thing on up to his knees still sets us off. He never did pay up, and at his funeral, we all laughed when told him he would do anything to get out of paying that debt. That is how we grew up- lots and lots of laughter and silly times (maturity was not mandatory) and it's how hubby and I are too, although his sense of humor isn't as sophmoric as dad's, just different.

but I still think any man who will go to the store for the "unmentionables" and not bat an eyelash, deserves a special place in heaven.

Santa said...

What beautiful love stories you guys are sharing here!

My favorite non-romanctic romance novels have to be Adriana Trigianni's Stone Gap Trilogy...actually it's been joined by a fourth book that I haven't gotten my hands on yet. I love these books because even as you are drawn into the books you are left wondering if anyone will be know true happiness. LOL, even the HEAs seem tenuous at best. This is hard to accept especially for ardent romance readers like myself.