Tag Archive | romance

Keep your mitts off my books!

There’s been a ration of poo slung around this spring/summer regarding women in fantasy fiction and, more recently even romance. I kind of have to shake my head at these posturing potential potenates…. who don’t realize that if the conversation were fictionalized and thrown into a fantasy setting… well. They would not be the hero. Oh, no. They would definitely be the evil wizard/king/crybaby trying to force everyone into their own way of thinking. You shall not pass.

I mean really. Are you truly trying to tell me that Robin Hobb, Lynn Flewelling, Carol Berg and Mercedes Lackey are… lacking? Shame on you! Don’t like the new crop of fiction coming out? Don’t read it. But don’t presume to know what’s good for me.

What really saddens me is that these kind of arguments have been going on for a very long time. Because something is popular with them, the masses, women it must be inherently bad. Suck it up, buttercup, cuz those readers are still going to read the books they want to. They will buy them in droves, propelling them UP the NYT Best Seller list while your own languishes in the stacks. 
 Oh, and by the way? Shakespeare? Wildly popular with the masses. All those bawdy jokes, don’t you know.
While I was at CSU, I often hid what I was reading due to jack asses. Fantasy was fine, but let someone catch me with a romance? I cringed at the thought. Until someone tried to book shame me, in my creative writing class, and the professor said something to the effect of… well… You can support yourself with that sort of writing. Live very well, if you have the talent.
This was the same instructor who told us on our first day not to even try genre fiction (especially horror or sci-fi / fantasy) in his class. I was terrified when I went up to speak with him. But I write fantasy, I said. “Prove it,” he told me.  Turns out he’s not against the genre, just the bad habits of new writers. I wrote my first novel under his guidance, a work of fantasy fiction.
A lot of what I read and write has to do with belonging. About taking what you’ve got and making it work. Finding a way through the darkness. There are books who have held me up (Anne Bishop) during the worst time of my life, and others that echo those days and reinforce that we are survivors (Cathy Lamb). There’s the joy of love (Eloisa James, Julia Quinn), and family and friends.
If you’re so afraid of women in fiction, then I kind of have to ask. What are you so afraid of?
No matter the answer, keep your mitts off my reading material. I don’t need that sort of help.
Ogres need not apply.
 
Advertisements

Eloisa James and Frozen

So last Monday was my birthday. The family got what I wanted, the movie Frozen. And I fell in love with it. There’s a scene, during the coronation ball, when I thought to myself “This is just like an Eloisa James novel.” I might have even said it out loud, but my son being only seven didn’t get the reference.

While Three Weeks with Lady X doesn’t have any magic in it, I defy you to tell me that it isn’t magical. Because that’s what falling in love *is*. Or at least I hope so… I haven’t given up on it yet.

While there is a certain lightness to her novels, and some froth and fun… There’s always the underlying emotion. Strong, identifiable emotion. With India (also known as Lady X), it is the feeling of never being good enough. Even though she is gorgeous, talented… everything we as women would want to be, she has that deep seated insecurity.

And Thorn, oh Thorn. He kind of has the same problem. The way he misreads what she’s saying, and vice a versa, makes for a lively ride.

Bonus: There’s a reference to literature! Almost always there’s a nod to it… can you find it on your own in this one?

I may work in mainly the fantasy genre, but I hope that I can attain this kind of heart felt plot that just explodes. Like a Disney song. All over the reader’s heart. I loved Frozen, and I loved the new book (it came out on Tuesday, I devoured it in one day… may have to re-read….hmmm).

Anyways, my dahlinks, next up is Lynn Flewlling’s latest. It’s already written, so I’ll get it up during the week. I’m reading a new series that is just making language explode, so I’ll try to get that up before the end of the week, too.

 

Ta for now!

Moth and Spark

Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard Published by Penguin Group

 Oh my lovelies, this one is a good one. It’s currently out in hard back, but if you have a Nook you can find it front and center on the channel for Epic Fantasy and for Here be Dragons. And it is worth it.

Epic fantasy with a good whallop of romance, this is the story I’ve been dying to read. Many throw a romance or relationship into their epic fantasy, or romance writers might write with fantasy elements… but normally it doesn’t come together quite this well.

A prince with a calling he is unaware of falls for a lowly doctor’s daughter with powers she doesn’t know about. This is not a fairy tale, and they know it. Although it’s hard, they accept the situation for what it is. Then things go horribly, horribly wrong. In all the best ways.

All of the plot lines are dealt with deftly, with no strings hanging. After reading the final words what I really wanted to know was…

When’s the next one?

Because really, when you find a writer this good, they can’t write fast enough.

 

Next up this week is the open letter to Smash Words authors and a question. I’ll actually put that in the system tonight so all I have to do is hit Publish. I have several other ones that I need to do as well, including several fantasy series.

Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken

Note: This title’s release date is November  5, 2013. Review is based on a review copy provided by the publisher.

 

Image

This isn’t my normal kind of book. Actually, it’s three inter-related stories. But it blends two of my favorites– high fantasy and romance in a bawdy, rockin’ good time. With a heroine in the lead story whose name is Annwyl the Bloody, you know this isn’t your momma’s romance.

Nor is it the normal for fantasy, either.

It’s a blend of the two, with a contemporary twist. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to write fantasy this way, but could never find an example of it. Now I have it in my possession and it is good. As a reader, it’s a welcome change. a breath of fresh air. A woman warrior and a dragon do not have a conventional courtship, and he practically splits himself in half to win her heart. 

As a writer, it begs the question: what if more of us wrote what we wanted, how we wanted? I once stopped writing a high fantasy story because the main character was talking… well, modern english. Someone made a comment to her, and her response was “That sounds dirty. Did you mean that to sound dirty?”

Hmmm… might go back to that story, now.

But for now, I can whole heartedly recommend Dragon Actually with 4/5 Dragon Roars with a caveat: if you don’t enjoy the sex scenes, you need to skip this one. While they are handled well , they are part of the story (and the romance genre in general). Other than that— make the purchase on November 5th!

 

 

 

The Night Before Christmas Eve

If you’re still searching for the perfect gift, I gotta tell you…. Well, truthfully that it kind of sucks to be you. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for you. I took my mother in law (ex mother in law? how do I address her now?) and two neices to the mall yesterday. Yes, the Saturday BEFORE CHRISTMAS. EEEWWWW….

So. Here’s a hint. If you have a woman who reads, I’ll give you 2 great books to buy and a great e-book (story) to load up on their Kindle/Nook that you’re going to be black mailed into buying them.

1) Mischief and Mistletoe, by Mary Jo Putney, et al.  (Kensington Books, ARC copy)

I love this collection of historical romance,especially the opener: She Stoops to Wenchdom. There were moments where I was really peeved that they were short stories— I wanted to stay with the characters, see what happened next. Lets face it— that isn’t a *bad* thing, either. It’s a pretty darn good thing, and I’ll be looking up a few of the authors and start buying their full legnth works.

2) A Winter Wonderland, Fern Michaels, et al. (Kensington Books, ARC Copy)

These are all contemperary, and there’s a wider variety of types of stories. They are also more of the novelette size, than the short sotries. My personal favorite was “The Christmas Collector,” but as I said, there’s a little something in here for everyone.

The great thing about both of the books above is that they leave you with warm fuzzies. You *know* you’ve been reading a Christmas Book, just like the Hallmark Channel movies leave you feeling all cozy with life. The stories are good, and the writing stands on it’s own… but at Christmas time, we want the warm fuzzies. Lets be adult enough to admit it 😀

Now, for the e-book (short story). You KNOW you want to get my story, Dragon’s Champion (by Wynelda Deaver), and load it on someone’s Christmas Present for them. Don’t cha???

Hehehehehehe

Next week we’re gonna talk about goals and blah blah blah. Normally I don’t do new years resolutions, but we may change that.

Celebrate the Good Times

So I woke up this morning, checked my Facebook on my anroid (my, i’m getting fancy in my old age), and saw a post from one of my very best friends about… Dragon’s Champion. She said she had bought it and read it (it is a short story after all) and loved it. She was proud of me.

It made my whole day, Trishka Rose. I saw that, and the smile never quite left my heart.

Of course when you are our age, and someone has known you since you both were five years old? They are kind of required to say nice things 🙂 But knowing that she cared enough, from half way around the world, to support me— well. That is something to celebrate.

There are other celebrations, too. People who have supported me on my quest. Friends who lifted me up and dragged me out of the bad place. Because they know, with out a shadow of a doubt, that the actual bad place? Easy to leave. Not so easy to leave behind the dark, bad place of your soul. But they dragged me, kicking and screaming, and tripping and falling, back into the land of the living and happiness.

Above all else, I need to remember that when I’m writing, I’m happy. Ray asked me, while I was writing the story, why I was so happy all the time.

Wow. Out of the mouth’s of babes.

But right now, I want to celebrate a few people: Trisha Williams, Regina Clements, Linda Deaver, Rie Sheridan Rose, Leyla Shelton, Judy Hunt. You all have believed in me and helped me through it. Thank you. This Sweet Tea Salute is for you!

 

Now, for another type of celebration. Yesterday, I talked a tiny bit about my in laws celebrating their 50th anniversary. I wanted to share with you what 50 years of marriage looks like. Take a good look, it’s a rare sight— and completely lovely.

What 50 Years of Marriage Looks Like

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s almost the happiest time of year!

I am a sucker for all things Christmas. I am the one who wants to put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving… and in my very first apartment I might not have taken down my tree until almost Valentines day… Hehehehe.

I watch Hallmark movies, and the Lifetime Christmas ones, too. (Only the Christmas ones, I don’t like all the dude killed/beat/whatever’d  his wife and she/her sister/ mother got revenge.) Satna Paws, Santa Clause, the movie, A Charlie Brown Christmas… you get the idea.

So it was with great pleasure that I started my holiday reading. Now, the disclaimer– I had ARC’s on What Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander and Babycakes by Donna Kauffman from Kensington books.

What Happens at Christmas was written so well, I went and bought His Mistress by Christmas for my nook as soon as I was done. I loved them both. I haven’t laughed like that… well, since last Christmas’ batch of books. Where she really excells, though, with both novels is when the farce that is going on in the characters’ lives brings in the family. It is so hilarious… Hire some orphans for a “real” Dickens christmas? Done! These novels both bring so much laughter, as well as the heartwarming bringing together of the family (whether bought and paid for or via blood), I did find it interesting that while both heroines were widows, they each had very different ideas on remarrying.

Babycakes is not a traditional holiday novel, but I think it does well. Kit has lost everything, her family, her family business, even the family house… And all because she trusted someone who *should* have had her back. Morgan has fled his high flautin family’s influence to try and raise his neice as normally as possible.

The Thanksgiving scene is one I haven’t ever seen before, but fits perfectly and illustrates perfectly that while the people in this little island might not have blood relations around… They definately have family. Because sometimes, just sometimes, the family you need isn’t the one you were born with. But you have them anyways.

Babycakes is one of those novels that sneaks up on you. You pick it up, thinking ok… I’ll give this a try…. and three hours later you’re saying “whaaaa?” I love it when that happens!

 

So yes, I got my geek on in all it’s holiday glory. You’ll be glad to know that I only have 1 holiday sweat shirt (poinsettas on a green sweatshirt with 80’s style preppy collar.. love it).

Next time will be on both editing and ending. For while these novels shine… some…. not so much. And I may break my rule about not saying the name of the novels, because I kind of want to see if it was a different expereince for others (or, to be honest, they left a chapter off the nook).

Ta for now, my loverlies!