Thursday, November 30, 2006

Heroes, Sex, And GuestBloggers Laureat

Now, you've probably heard me sing the praises of "She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman," by my hero, Ian Kerner, Ph.D. Oh! It's gift giving time, right? Think of it as one to your husband that would keep on giving...

Anyways, I don't know if you have a fantasy, buy one of mine -- besides that Regency-inspired one that takes place inside a well-sprung carriage -- would be to have Ian Kerner's job, and to do it as well as he does.

He probably wouldn't say so, but I'm thinkin not only is bestselling author, Phi Beta Kappa Brandeis grad (we likes em brainy, don't we), and licensed sex and relationships therapist Kerner an expert on pretty-much all things sexual, be he's also a man who knows how to talk about those things to everyday folks in a voice that's as empathetic and encouraging as it is hip and witty.
Ian "My Hero"Kerner, Ph.D., will be here
next Thursday, Dec. 7 during
RBtheBlog Hot Topic Week:
Eros (that's Ian's part), Erotica, and Erotic Romance

When I invited him to join us, I mentioned what we chat and laugh about all the time: how reading romance makes our husbands and lovers pretty darn happy, and how we defend a woman's right to claim her sexual fantasies, even as they relate to the romance she likes to read. You absolutely must take the incredible opportunity to drop in next Thursday to read the special GuestBlog he's prepared about women, orgasm, and sexual fantasy. And he'll drop in to talk about those things, to.

Remember, Bellas: No such thing as TMI here at RBtheBook, si?

Here's more on Ian: "The Sex-Doctor to Generations X & Y," Ian's journey to counseling professionally grew out of his own personal battle with sexual dysfunction and his desire to help others. With so many relationships often disintegrating within the first five years of marriage or cohabitation, Ian frequently works with young couples in their twenties and thirties to address issues that are common to the "American bedroom" but nonetheless lead to lives of quiet desperation.

Ian has appeared frequently on The Today Show as well as Good Morning America, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360,Good Day New York, Headline News and Paula Zahn Now, NBC Dateline, the CBS Early Show, FOX News, MSNBC, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch and Strictly Sex with Dr. Drew amongst others.

Ian is Cosmopolitan Magazine’s resident sex expert, contributing regularly “in-book”, as well as penning Cosmo’s online sex-advice column on iVillage and hosting a weekly call-in show on Cosmo Radio for the Sirius Network.
Encore! Vivi Anna GuestBlogs with us tomorrow, Fri, Dec. 1st! We love talkin sex w/ Vivs, too, but she's got a couple other tricks up her sleeve...
Encore due! Grazie mille, Eloisa James for sharing your day with us yesterday. We are so happy you've written Mayne and Josie's story in "Pleasure for Pleasure" and know it'll be a huge success. As alway, please come back soon. Maybe we should make Eloisa our GuestBlogger Laureat?
Encore tre! Molto grazie Sherrilyn Kenyon for GuestBlogging Monday just in time to get us all sappy about the holidays!
Encore cinque! Congratulazione to amyskf, winner of Pleasure for Pleasure, and marcantonia, beelybopper, and maureen, who each won a copy of "A Wild Pursuit." Email me at w/ your snail mail, Bellas.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Eloisa James GuestBlog: Most Delicious Moments

CONTEST TODAY!!! 3 lucky commenting Bellas will win copies of Eloisa's "A WILD PURSUIT," and 1 will win a copy of "PLEASURE FOR PLEASURE," out today from Avon!
We've been dying, dying I tell you, for Mayne's story, and it's finally here! Oh, but "Pleasure for Pleasure" is wonderful, well worth the excruciating wait, and so delightful I could barely stand to read it. You know what I mean.

Please welcome back with a warm buongiorno an RBtheBlog favorite, the lovely, talented, and always entertaining Eloisa James.

I think that having a new book published is about as close as I ever get to childhood birthdays: the anticipation! the party! The -- the -- feeling that you are important, if only for one day!

My daughter just turned eight, and for the last week or so, I've been singing Happy Birthday every night instead of our usual lullaby (this was her idea, in case you're wondering). I sang all the verses: Happy Birthday, then the "Born in a Zoo" verse, and finally "What age are you?"

Every night she would answer "Seven." Until finally, finally, finally, the night came when I sang "What age are you now?" And she shouted "EIGHT!" It had been a great day, full of children, presents and birthday cake. But what really made her eyes glow, I think, was the fact that she was now admitted to a magic circle of eight-year-olds. Older girls. Wiser girls. Girls with secrets. Girls who were (she told me this) almost teenagers.

It's hard to explain, but having a book out is like that. You've been dreaming over all the details for months, really years, if you put in the publisher's production time. Just as my daughter was dying to turn eight, I've been dying for this book to get out there on the shelves. It's like opening presents -- you never know what readers will like (or won't) like. I'm often surprised when readers tell me their favorite parts of a novel. It never seems to match up to my list of favorite moments.

I make a mental list of Most-Delicious-Scenes for every romance I read. For example, my favorite scenes from LORD OF SCOUNDRELS:

1) When Dain edits his mental dictionary after consummating his marriage (he's in the bath at the time)

2) When Jessica threatens to kiss Dain in front of everyone in a Parisian cafe
3) When Dain's arm suddenly isn't paralyzed any more as he bathes his son.

SO... without giving out any spoilers, here's my favorite list from PLEASURE FOR PLEASURE:

1) The wood, the fairy lights, the events that happen therein

2) When Josie climbs up the ladder quickly, with her new husband behind her. She's worried that her bottom is too curvacious and it will put him off; she quickly learns the opposite
3) What happens with a shovelful of manure

What's a mental list of favorite scenes you have for a well-known or well-beloved romance?

Give us a list! I bet some of us have similar favorite books -- and I'm sure those lists of Most Delicious Moments will differ!

Visit Eloisa at and!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sherrilyn Kenyon GuestBlog: Grow Your Gardens While Ye May

I once believed I was the one person in the universe whom Sherrilyn Kenyon didn't like. I mean, she's renoun for being, like, the nicest woman in romance by reader fans and collegues alike. Turns out our wires were crossed; she really wasn't avoiding me. Phew.

Sherri, as her millions of friends call her, has two novels out currently, the paperback issue of "Dark Side of the Moon," (St. Martin's) out today, and Kinley MacGregor's "Knight of Darkness," (Avon) which I'll feature next week on RBtheBook. Won 't you please join me in wishing Sherri a warm Bella buongiorno on this very special day...

Happy Holidays to everyone.

I’m not sure I’ve still recovered from Thanksgiving! Is it just me or are there entirely too many holidays this time of year? You barely recover from one that you’re gearing up for the next. Not to mention that for me this time of year is extremely bittersweet. It’s the time where I really have to stop and think about all the family I’ve lost. I can’t pretend that they’re busy and we’ll catch up later. The fact that I can’t talk to them anymore comes slamming home with an awful finality.

But with it comes an overwhelming gratitude for the people I still have in my life who mean so much to me. For that reason, I always make sure that I call those I care about this time of year. That I take an entire day and send out cards even though I have work to do. I don’t want to lose anyone else and I don’t want a year to go by without at least checking in with those I love. I know it’s hard. This is a hectic world we all live in, but at the same time, family– whether it’s the one we were born into or the one we’ve made out of our friends– is important.

I’m not trying to be preachy to anyone. That’s so not me. I firmly believe that we are all masters of our destiny and that your business is your business and no one else’s. Ever. I’ve been known to get caught up in the rush and lose entire weeks at a time. Michelle can tell you this firsthand ;) But at the same time, I always try to take a few minutes each day and sit down with my kids without something in the background distracting us. A few minutes each day to just talk to them about whatever they deem important.

And I try to remind myself that while I personally couldn’t care less about the differences between a common and rare Yu-Gi-Oh! Card, to my seven year-old, that is a matter of life and death. And I remember being a little girl and the fact that when my Growing Hair Crissy doll’s hair stopped at being a Page Boy it too was a matter of a national emergency. Life is all about perspective and balance.

My mother used to say that life was like a garden, you get out of it what you put in. If you neglect it, don’t be surprised to find weeds and snakes eating all your vegetables. It takes a lot of time to till the soil, plant the right seeds and make sure they have all they need to take root and grow. Even then the work isn’t done. You have to prune and water every day. Sometimes you have to recover from storms and the damage they cause, but those storms can sometimes make the garden even better by eliminating the weaknesses and highlighting the strengths. Sometimes the locusts swarm and you have to fight them off– might even have to use some napalm on them. But in the end, that garden will be there for you, if you take care of it. My mom was a wise woman and I miss her terribly.

It’s hard to look at my boys and not have her see their lives and watch them grow. But they are a very special part of my garden and in that garden lives many of the very things my mother planted there with me. My love of Halloween and playing dress up even though I’m grown. My bizarre need to have sliced onion on the table at Thanksgiving even though no one but my mother ever ate it. My need to start dragging out Christmas decorations the minute the Thanksgiving meal is over and start making the house smell like baking cookies. And the fact that no Christmas is complete until the poinsettias are liberally scattered through the house. My garden may no longer be filled with her laughter, but it does have her touch. A touch I hope to one day share with my grandkids in honor of her.

And while life is speeding by, I often brake and wonder what things I’m planting in my children’s gardens while I’m not paying attention. Will they be happy veggies or thorns that will snag them years later? I try for their sakes, to keep all the thorns to a minimum. But as my mom would say, it’s not always about being a perfect parent, it’s about being an attentive parent. Kids let you know what they need. I’ve learned this is true. My sprouts are very vocal whenever they have needs and wants. Likes and dislikes. They hold nothing back.

My Christmas tree isn’t decorated the way I’d like it. I stare at those glass ornaments in the stores and magazines with envy. How pretty they always look... how very breakable. Instead, my tree is plastered with Power Rangers and Star Wars. Handmade snowmen and reindeer. Little cardboard cutouts with my sons’ faces peeking through and their handwriting and drawings all over them. And you know, what, I wouldn’t trade those pipe cleaner candy canes and things I can’t even identify for every glass and porcelain ornament made. My tree may match nothing in the house, but it is a beautiful tree that stands proud in my garden.

So my question to all of you during this busy season is what have you planted in your garden for the future? What happy memories make you smile during this season?

And again I say Happy Holidays every one. I hope your garden feeds you and yours extremely well this coming year and just in case you need them, here are some pruning shears and a BIG box of fertilizer ;)




Encore! Romance: B(u)y the Book feature review of "Seize the Night," and Sherrilyn's AuthorView.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Marjorie M. Liu GuestBlog: Sweet Is The New Sexy

Marjorie M. Liu is a lovely woman and incredibly good person whom you'd consider yourself lucky to have spent time with if you, well, got to spend time with her. She's brilliant and funny, and writes a darn good novel.

She snagged me as a fan with "The Red Heart of Jade" from her "Dirk and Steele" series. Luckily, there are several other D & S novels available, including "Eye of Heaven," out tomorrow, Nov. 28th.

Bellas, a warm Buongiorno, and accompanying Ni Hao, to Marjorie...

So I'm in Shanghai at the moment, having fun, working on a book. Which means I'm thinking about love. All kinds of love, really. Just this morning I saw a Pomeranian racing merrily after its owner, who was riding a bike down a busy street -- and if that's not love, I don't know what is. Ditto with parents and kids, sisters and brothers, platonic love between friiends -- and love of a more romantic nature. You know...kissy face love. Be still my heart, love. You are my sunshine, love.

Thing is, in China the demonstration of love is a tricky thing. Not the emotion of it, but just the logistics. Privacy is premium -- most folks live in very small apartments with their parents -- and public displays of affection are discouraged. So love, and the expression of it, is usually quite understated indeed. Holding hands. Sitting together on a sidewalk bench. Taking long walks. Stealing moments. And it's nice, let me tell you. Sweet.

And I wonder, sometimes, if sweetness isn't something that hasn't been left by the wayside when it comes to romance. Not in books, mind you (not always, anyway), but in movies and television. There's nothing subtle or restrained anymore. You dig someone? Well, hey -- chicka-chicka-boom-boom.

Which, despite the fact that chicka-boom (and boom-boom-boom) is exactly what I write (and here II verge on the faintly hypocritical), it seems that what I see on the screen nowadays celebrates the physical over the emotional -- which isn't necessarily bad -- but it isn't quite as powerful. Not always, anyway.

Take the X-Files, for example. Mulder and Scully hardly touched on screen for nine seasons, but was there any doubt as to their love and devotion? And would their relationship have been as powerful had they constantly been all over each other?

My guess is no. But hey, maybe I’m being too tough. What do you guys think about this?

Any favorite classic movies or television that demonstrates romantic understatement? Any favorites that live in some nice middle ground?

Three of mine are A Patch of Blue (one of the first movies made about an interracial romance – in this case between a black journalist and a poor white blind girl); Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (a marine and nun are stranded together on a Pacific island during WWII); and Roman Holiday (runaway princess falls in love with reporter). Of course, none of these films end entirely happily, but the sentiment is there.


Visit Marjorie at her website at
, or if you're a fan of her Dirk & Steele series, check out her other newly designed site, narrated by Roland, the agency's foul mouthed boss. Beware spoilers, though, especially if you're ready to read EYE OF HEAVEN, which is set for release tomorrow, November 28th.

Encore! The Dirk and Steele site is wicked cool.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Give Thanks For Romance (For Nerds)

ThanksDay #4/5

I'm thankful for EMD heroes who are moral and just and fight against evil while looking great covered in sweat. And, I'm thankful for romance authors who know readers are the heart of the industry and dig hanging with us.

Who are your favorite English Major's Dream heroes?

What a cool GuestBlogs coming up this week:

Monday, Nov 27 Marjorie M. Liu

Tuesday, Nov. 28 Sherrilyn Kenyon w/ Ravyn

Wednesday, Nov. 29 Eloisa James

Friday, December 1 Vivi Anna (Yes, our very bella Bella!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Give Thanks For Romance Day #3

ThanksDay #3

I can't stand how cool it is to get to share really fun stuff with you, and I'm real thankful for it. Awesome news like this:

Sherrilyn Kenyon
Were-Hunter RAVYN
Tuesday NOV. 28th

to celebrate the paperback issue of "Dark Side of the Moon!"

Ravyn will stop in throughout the day to dig in with you Bellas, and just may bring along some Dark-Hunter buddies!

What do you like best about paranormal
"Band of Brothers" series?
Encore! Next week, look for my feature of Kinley MacGregor's "Knight of Darkness." I understand Kinley and Sherrilyn are pretty tight.
Encore due! If you're not hip to Dark-Hunters and Were-Hunters, check out and
Encore tre! Read my feature of Sherrilyn's "Seize the Night." Valerius Magnus is somethin else, and there's this wicked powerful scene -- well, you'll have to read the book. N.K. is on the cover.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Give Thanks For (Hot) Romance Day #2

ThanksDay #2

Grazie mille, God, for Bocelli and Cannavaro. And for making me Italian, just like You.

Ok, so to hear youz talk, this Roarke guy is hotter than Canna. So, like, what's so great about Roarke, Eve, and JD Robb?

Get your smarty(hot)pantses on, Bellas, cause the line-up is set for

Hot Topic Week:
Eros, Erotica, and Erotic Romance!
Dec. 4 -- 8
Love it or hate it, everybody who cares about romance fiction is -- or should be -- talking about erotic romance and erotica. Our experts help define the dialogue, and we're counting on you to join the discussion -- and the fun. Tell your friends and lovers.

Dec. 4 -- Kate Duffy, Sen. Editor Kensinton/Creator Brava Line
Dec. 5 -- Adam Nevill, Erotica Editor, Virgin Books
Dec. 6 -- Jaid Black, Author, Creator/CEO of Ellora's Cave
Dec. 7 -- Ian Kerner, PhD., Author/Sex + relationships expert
Dec. 8 -- Emma Holly, Author of erotic romance and erotica

Monday, November 20, 2006

Who You Callin' Turkey?

Well, it's that time of year again. So while we're all thinking about stuffing birds and dealing with nutcase relations, I thought we might take a week to think of all those special things we're thankful for.

Welcome to

Give Thanks for Romance Week -- or --
Michelle Didn't Schedule Any GuestBloggers
and Can't Remember Why Week.

ThanksDay #1

I'm thankful for historical romances, and bloggers who send me pictures of hot guys.

What do you love/hate about historical romances? What do you love/hate about hot guys?

Encore! Thanks Bella marykate, for this pic of George Clooney.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Come On Over To My Striet

OK. I'm not playin favorites or anything, but in a nod to Bella julieO, I'm givin props to the Ohio State Buckeyes and their 42-39 win over U of Michigan.

Do I really care? Only to the extent that I like julieO, and I listened to the damn drone of the crowd and my husband's exclamations for the duration of today's game.

But the thing I really like about the Buckeyes is that my favorite ESPN College Gameday sportscaster, Kirk Herbstriet, was a total strapping, all-American, dated-(and married)-the-best-looking-cheerleader football hero when he went to OSU.

He's still stuh-RAP-ping -- in a totally grown-up smart-guy jock way -- and the only thing that's gotten me to support my husband's fixation with ESPN College Gameday and college football in general.

So here's to to JulieO, the Buckeyes, and yet another reason why my marriage remains intact.

Thanks, Kirk!

This week, Pam Rosenthal's "The Slightest Provocation," and Pam's fascinating AuthorView interview, are featured on Romance: B(u)y the Book.
I love the novel, it's gorgeous, and with it, Pam's managed to write a married couple h/hn whose relationship is hotter ten years into the marriage than many romance relationships in first throes of passion.

Let's talk "married" romances, where our hero and heroine are either married from the first, or become married before they've reached the declarative stage of the relationship.

Do they work for you? What are some of your favorites?
Encore! Thank you, Bellas, for your well wishes that last couple days when I was sick. Feeling much better. Amazing what a couple days of reading old romances does for the body and soul.
Encore due! Hope the rest of you who were ailing are feeling better, too.
Encore tre! Mixed signals on Leanne Banks' GuestBlog. We're rescheduling another date when she can stop in and chat!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What A Web We Weave

Leanne Banks GuestBlogs Tomorrow
Friday, Nov 17!
Ack! Kids are home sick, and I've managed to get sick, too. Sounds like a flippin TB ward around here.

Anyway, I thought I'd do me a little recreational reading, you know, the kind that makes you feel all better?

So, this weekend past, I read Mary Balogh's "The Gilded Web," part of the Web series being reissued now, and in Sp/Su '07. It's in a style a bit different from her current stuff -- a little different voice, more traditional -- but is wonderful and romantic and kinda steamy, too. She's just a treasure, as has been said.

I couldn't wait for the other two novels to come out, cause TGW was so good, so I bought em used and plan on starting them today.

What are the reads you come back to that make you "feel all better"?
Encore! Grazie mille, Tamera Alexander for yesterday's GuestBlog! We loved remembering our favorite romantic lines, and hope you'll visit us when "Remembered" is released next year. In the mean time, at least we still can read "Revealed" and "Rekindled."
Encore due! You can read my feature of Balogh's current release, "Simply Love," and a special ExtraView with her at Romance: B(u)y the Book!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tamera Alexander GuestBlog: The Allure Of The Tongue

Tamera Alexander sent me "Rekindled," the first novel in her Fountain Creek Chronicles series, and I couldn't wait to tell everyone about it. It was wonderful, and inspirational, and, well, really quite sensual. But that's not really the right word to describe how Tamera tells the stories of people who fall in love, and work through emotions, including the ones that make the human body zing when "the right person comes along."

Her new novel is "Revealed," Book Two in the series. Tamera's an awful lot of fun to e-chat with, and she's got marvelous ideas about what today's Inspirational romance is all about. At least the kind she creates. So, Tamera, we Bellas say, "Buongiorno!"

Okay, so I’m a “Lovely Inspy Author” (as Michelle said yesterday, thereby establishing that I’m not a lusty wench, LOL!), which means I’m supposed to be sweet and kind and good and all that (insert choking sound here). But what Inspy Authors are probably most known for, in the romance genre anyway, is for keeping the love scenes chaste, right? Which makes me giggle because one of my first reader mails from a woman who read Rekindled (my first novel) said, “Your approach to love scenes is far, far more erotic than graphic details.....and very stirring...”

Which again proved to me that sex starts loooong before we enter a bedroom. It begins in the nuances of our conversations, in the ways a man and woman relate to each another and through what they say. Simply put—romance begins…with words.

Words have power. They have the awesome ability to build up, and they possess the formidable strength to tear down. All in one fell swoop. And it’s so easily done, really. We open our mouths and words just pour forth!

Spoken words are a powerful component to our relationships. They’re the crux upon which our relationships are founded. They’re how we communicate (obviously), and how we identify with and relate to each other. If you’re like me, you have certain conversations from your past that you treasure. You pull them out on occasion, dust them off, and “live” them again. Because words don’t die. They linger in who we are and in who we will become.

With words, we compliment. With words, we injure. We declare love, desire, affection. And then can express thoughts so hateful that after the words leave our tongues we wonder where on earth they came from, and why we ever gave them life. Words leave us breathless with laughter and give us a glimpse into how wonderful life can be.

Words whispered in the dark hush of night between two lovers are part of the thread with which their love is woven. And yet from these same two lovers can come words that wound to the heart of who they are. Sometimes we speak the words outright, but more often we wheedle sharp little slivers of truth into our conversations with such deftness and sincerity of tone that if someone didn’t know better, bless their hearts, they might think we were complimenting the other person—instead of plunging the dagger.

Some words, once penned, stand the test of time. We pour over the writer’s prose, appreciating the way they wrap themselves around our emotions. And we find comfort in how they express our deepest desires, our fears and longings—regardless of whether they were written hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Those words dried on paper have stood the test of time because they shed light—sometimes painfully, sometimes with a spark of lightness—on our common human plight. And many of these words penned, if you look closely, have to do with…love.

My newest release, Revealed, historical romance from Bethany House Publishers and Book Two in Fountain Creek Chronicles series, explores how spoken words can mend a broken life, or cripple it. And how words left unspoken can sometimes inflict a far deeper and more lasting wound than something said.

Words are powerful to change relationships. Words resonate within us. There are phrases I’ve read and heard that were instantly written inside me because they connected with my journey here.

Here are some of those phrases from books:

From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, on the subject of Love:

When love beckons to you, follow him. Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him. Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him. Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.

From The Singer by Calvin Miller:

To God obscenity is not uncovered flesh. It is exposed intention. Nakedness is just a state of heart. Was Adam any more unclothed when he discovered shame? Yes.

And here are some scenes/phrases from favorite movies:

From a scene in Casablanca:

Ilsa: With the whole world crumbling, we pick this time to fall in love.
Rick: Yeah, it's pretty bad timing. Where were you, say, ten years ago?

“Look, I guarantee there'll be tough times. I guarantee that at some time, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you're the only one for me.”Runaway Bride

"I will love you my whole life. You and no other."Braveheart

Also from Braveheart: “Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you'll live... at least for a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take...our freedom!”

And there’s the scene from the 2005 release of Pride & Prejudice (swooning alert):

Mr. Darcy (culminating scene at the end of the movie and, as he delivered the words, you don’t get much sexier than this, gals):

You must know... surely, you must know it was all for you. You are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my aunt last night, and it has taught me to hope as I'd scarcely allowed myself before. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.

So my blogging question today, you lovely wordsome Bellas, is:

What are your favorite “romantic phrases” from books or “romantic scenes” from movies that still resonate inside you? That curled your toes when you first read or saw them, and that still warm your heart now? Do share!

And as a side note, are there unspoken words you need to speak to someone in your life? If yes, say them today!


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Avast, Ye Lusty Wenches!

Tamera Alexander GuestBlogs
Tomorrow, Nov. 15!!!
(Not implying, of course, she's a lusty wench.
She is, in fact, a lovely Inspy author)
Blame it on Bella marykate. She went on and on about how Laura London's "The Windflower" is, like, the best romance known to womankind.

So, in a not unprecedented romance binge, I read it this weekend and was transported to Old School Nirvana.

Oh, but there are kindly pirate maties who'd teach a young virgin to curse as soon as protect her virtue. And a lusty aristocrat pirate who's dying to bed our fair heroine, but who struggles with what's left of his better nature.

And let's not forget the captain of the Black Joke, who's sexual preference is as much at question as is the reputation of his black heart.

There's political intrigue, creepy villains, high-seas danger, and a love story that's front and center. Oh, sorry. No forced seduction -- but it's a really good pirate/virgin romance nonetheless.

I jest, but, truly, this is what romance is all about for me. What the contemporary romance fiction novel grew out of, and what I think deserves our props and should be kept in mind when we define romance fiction.

So, two questions today:

What is it about Pirate Romances that's so awesome?
What do you love/hate about "The Windflower?"

Encore! Molto grazie, Kathryn Caskie for an awfully fun day yesterday. Kathryn's TIARA winners are mentioned w/in the comments from yesterday's GuestBlog.

Encore due! Grazie mille to our own TiVo DiVa for spending the weekend with us! She'll be back in December to kvetch and cheer about the season, and maybe talk about the state of holiday TV, too. Fra Hoo For Ay , Da Hoo Door Ay...
Encore tre! billie l, you've won the drawing from Saturday, Nov 4 post. Email me your snail mail, please. The prize is a six-pack of steamy romance. Please note, Bellas, w/in the text of the blog I was asking for help figuring out how to get the guys to talk, how to compile the info, but hadn't yet decided how to do so. The certificate mentioned was for when I had decided. I apologize for the confusion I caused, especially because you were nice enough to be so open with your comments.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Kathryn Caskie GuestBlog: All That And A Tiara

CONTEST TODAY!!! I met Kathryn Caskie at a very cool weekend spent with her local RWA chapter -- the very first chapter of RWA -- Washington Romance Writers. It was a fab time, and Kathryn and her best bud Sophia Nash got me to talk about some stuff in the "cocktail lounge" that I hope they'll never use against me in the future (or at least won't tell my mother about).

Kathryn's "Rules of Engagement" was one of the first romances I read. I found it entirely charming and instantly became a fan. Once again, the lovely Kathryn has found something to make us laugh about -- ourselves -- and I guess you know the drill by now: a warm Bella buongiorno...

I have often been accused of having a quirky sense of humor. Okay, I admit it, I do. And my books, especially my latest, How to Seduce a Duke (Avon, Oct. 2006), certainly reflect my slightly off-center view of the world.

But isn't life more fun when you can find humor in almost any situation? If you've seen Spamalot, or Life of Brian, you will remember the song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

If life seems jolly rotten,
There's something you've forgotten,
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.

(Or just look at Sawyer's picture. That'll put a smile on your face. Okay, a different sort of smile, but a smile nonetheless. Figured I should work the picture somehow.)

My belief is that something chuckle-worthy to downright pee-in-your-pants funny happens everyday if you're open to it. It's there. Every-single-day. I just happen to write these little gems down in the little pink Hello
Kitty pocket journal I snagged from one of my kids. Not just because I am forty hmm mmmm and will forget it I don't. But because, who knows, maybe I will use the giggle in one of my books someday.

Not everything fits mind you, at least not in the Regency period historical romances I write. Not without a lot of twisting the facts. For instance, here is one of the very first entries in my chuckle book:

When my daughter was almost three she saw the Easter Bunny at the mall and wanted to sit on his lap. When it was her turn, she ran right up and excitedly climbed up. Then I saw her look into the Easter Bunny's mouth. Even I could see the man inside the costume. She went white as a sheet and started screaming "The Easter Bunny's eatin' people! He's eatin' people!"

She was horrified and leapt from his lap and ran right past me heading for the food court. With my youngest on my hip I took off after her, right past the terrified crying group of kids in the Easter Bunny line. They all knew the truth now. They could see the man right there in the Easter Bunny's mouth.

The Easter Bunny WAS eating people.

So, here's my question for you. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you (or someone else)?

I will pick the five that crack me up--warning, I might write them in my little pink book--and those five people will win a tiara and signed copy of How to Seduce a Duke, the first in my Royle Sisters Trilogy for Avon Books.

So, come on Bellas, dish!

Encore! More contests and excerpts and fun stuff at!
Encore due! I have one of Kathryn's tiara's and, even though I actually own my own crown, I keep my HTSAD tiara on my desk. I sometimes remove my lucky BoSox "writing" hat and replace it with the duchess headgear just for fun.