Friday, August 31, 2012

It's Naughty New Year!


Yes, we know. To the rest of the world, the New Year is still a few months away, but let's be honest. Haven't most of us been imprinted since childhood with the idea of September being the start of a whole new year? In that spirit (and because some of us just wanted an excuse to use that very suggestive Champagne-popping gif up there) we bring you the Naughty New Year.

So sit back, pour some Champagne...or get someone to pour some for you. This guy, perhaps. And let's talk New Years...


Pop the cork on the champagne, it's a brand new year! Well a new school year anyway, but that's almost cause for a bigger celebration than January 1st. Back to school means back to routine, and while I will miss sleeping past seven and taking the kids to the park and the pool or just laying around watching a movie with them, I'm soooo ready for school days and having more time to write. There are new projects to dive into, new (and old) characters to put through the wringer, new parodies to brainstorm, new flavors of margarita to try. :)

But the best thing about a September New Year is no pressure to make resolutions we won't be able to keep more than a month, and that's being generous lol. 

I am definitely looking forward to the new year--and lots of naughty new releases. Last year was all about the writer's block (and a lot of other frustrating stuff) not this year! 








That's going to be my numero uno resolution for the new year:  The others include: Helping Kelly find a 12 step program for her shoe addiction (I figure she'll need a new pair for every step. That sounds reasonable, right?) and moving forward with the plans Erin and I have been discussing about starting our own coffee plantation in Hawaii. Mmm. Coffee. 


I love thinking of September as the new year. For me, with my kids at these ages still, it really is. And the weather is much nicer here in September than January! The new year/September also means a new FOOTBALL season and that in and of itself is worth celebrating!

In the fall I always get a new football game shirt, a new scent from Bath and Body works to use, new fall scented candles, new warmer jammies and start back on the warmer drinks-- hot coffees vs. iced, hot chocolates and all the fun things to put in them-- butterscotch schnapps, Bailey's, peppermint schnapps,etc. :)

I'm in for a party, I'm in for a 12-step shoe program for Kelly and I'm IN for a coffee plantation in Hawaii-- this would require in person visits at least every three months or so, yes? And be a write-off?

Oops I just Tweeted my newest shoe acquisition. Addiction? What?

I'm going back to school shopping even though I'm not in school and my kids are in university and don't need much in the way of school supplies. 











I love school/office supplies and at this time of year stores like Staples have all kinds of cool stuff. I need some fun new post it notes and one of those whiteout pens and a new black Sharpie marker (left the lid off mine and it dried up). And I will check out fun colored file folders and binders and maybe pick up cheap looseleaf paper that I use for making notes. And having some new file folders and binders will inspire me to tidy up and organize my office to start the "new year" off right!




It wouldn't be New Year's without a diet resolution, right? Have I got a weird one for you! When I was in San Diego I met with a Tibetan doctor who put me on a Wind Heat Disorder diet. In our medical lingo, that means I have inflammation and too much stress. So goodbye to sugar, wheat products, dairy, potatoes, alcohol, caffeine, and a few other random items like radishes and peanut butter. So far so good. But ask me if I intend to stick with it during the Naughty Nine retreat in New Orleans. HELL NO!! Then I plan to get naughty with beignets and gumbo. And wine. 



Okay, the grinch here. As a former teacher, I grew to dread September almost as much as my students did. After three months of reading and writing and basically enjoying life as an independent scholar, I had to go back to work. When I started teaching I felt excited but after twenty years, I mainly felt tired. Yeah, it got better after a week or so, but that first week was a killer (particularly before registration was totally automated and I had to sit at the table and give people stickers for freshman English--talk about nasty encounters!). Now that I'm writing full time I no longer think of beginnings and endings of years, just the beginnings and endings of projects. And believe me, I'm a lot happier that way!




So now it's your turn. We want to hear your Naughty New Year's resolutions. Post them in the comment section and you'll be entered to win a Party On! shower jelly from LUSH Cosmetics. 



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August Roundup

We have lots of news to report this month! New releases, new series, new contracts, new covers... I think it's safe to say the Naughty Nine are having a smoking hot month!

 Let's start with the New Releases:

Juniper Bell would like to announce the print release of Go Wild and Deep.

This collection includes two stories set in Wild, Alaska during the infamous winter festival known as "Wild Nights" the one time of the year when “anything goes, nothing counts” and is available now from Ellora's Cave.



 






Kelly Jamieson has two new releases this month. Starting with the print release of the award winning  One Wicked Night a steamy menage between good girl Kaelin and her two bad boys, Tyler and Nick. One Wicked Night  releases on September 4th from Samhain Publishing and can be pre-ordered now.

Kelly is also hosting a Goodreads Giveaway at:

She'll be giving away 4 print copies of One Wicked Night.




Two weeks later, on September 18th, Kelly's new book Hot Ride debuts. I think the warning on this one pretty much sums it up nicely: "Features a badass biker hero and kickass heroine who go at it undercover--and under the covers."


Hot Ride is currently available for pre-order at both Samhain and Amazon













Next up, Meg Benjamin has a lovely New Cover to brag about. This is for Fearless Love the 7th  book in her Konigsburg series, due out  October 9th. 


And in  New Contract news:

Last month we alluded to a secret project that Erin, Kelly, Meg and Syd have been working on for several months. Well, the contracts are all signed and we're ready to announce our four-book series, provisionally titled Promise Harbor Wedding (subject to change!) The four stories are set in fictional Promise Harbor, Massachusetts and center around the wedding of the year in Promise Harbor. Except...things don't go quite according to plan. 

The first book, written by Kelly, is called Jilted and is the groom's story. The second book, by Meg, is called Bolted and is the maid of honor's story. The third book, by Sydney, is called Busted and is the best man's story. And the last book, by Erin, is called Hitched and is the bride's story. Watch for more fun details about the series which will be out in the spring of 2013!

Kelly has also contracted a three book series with Samhain called San Amaro Singles - the stories are set in the fictional beach city of San Amaro, California, a pretty tourist town where the locals' leisure time involves surf, sand and sun. (And sex.) Stay tuned for release dates, but they should all be out in 2013.

And PG Forte is thrilled to have just signed a contract this month (with Loose-Id) for Finder's Keepers, a sexy m/m/f sci-fi menage due out this holiday season.  

Also, the Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Summer Giveaway is still underway! Check here for details:



And please keep the following dates in mind:

 6-Sep PG Forte
 7-Sep Meg Benjamin
12-Sep Erin Nicholas
13-Sep Juniper Bell
14-Sep Kelly Jamieson 


That's all for this month! 



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Guest Blogger Berengaria Brown - You Can’t Close the Aquatic Center. I’m Writing a Book!

As most readers will have worked out from my books, I love summer, the hot weather, the beach, and walking through national parks. For some years I’ve enjoyed swimming at a local large Aquatic Center. One day as I was swimming up and down in my lane (the slow lane, sadly, not the fast lane, or even the medium lane), I started thinking that an Aquatic Center would be a mighty fine place to meet Mr. Right. After all, there’s plenty of brawny, naked chests, quite a lot of young, good-looking, ultra-fit lifeguards, and lots of sweaty, delicious muscles in the gym. The only surprising part of my decision was that I hadn’t thought of doing it long ago.

So I started writing the “Wet and Willing” series right there and then (in my head) as I swam. I expected it to be a paranormal series, as I’ve been writing a lot of paranormal stories lately, but the characters stayed firmly fixed in the here and now, showing no unusual abilities, remaining stolidly contemporary. Hey, that’s okay. Half the time I just take dictation from demanding characters anyway.

But then the unthinkable happened. The management of the Aquatic Center announced it was closing so they could undertake a major upgrade, and all the members had to find somewhere else to exercise for the eighteen months construction would take.

Eighteen months! Didn’t they understand I was in the middle of writing a series of books? The readers would kill me if I took eighteen months off in the middle of it!

Fortunately for my peace of mind, we were given passes to another Aquatic Center, a little farther away, but just as big and exciting. So the series, “Wet and Willing” continues to be written. Thank god!

Berengaria Brown is a multi-published author of erotic romance: contemporary, paranormal (magic, ghosts, vampires, fairies, dragons, and werewolves), futuristic, medieval, and Regency-set historical. She loves to read all different kinds of romance so that is what she writes: one man/one woman; two women; two men; two men/one woman; three men, two women/one man, three men/one woman…. Whatever the characters need for their very hot happily-ever-after, Berengaria makes sure they get it.

Book 2 in the “Wet and Willing” series has just been released: Cold Woman, Hot Men

Melusine Carmichael mistakes the plunge pool at the Aquatic Center for a regular pool and almost drowns with the sudden shock of the icy-cold water. While underwater she hears a voice calling her "Melly," a name she never uses. Yehudi and Arlington are nearby in the sauna and rescue her, using their personal body heat and the sauna to warm her up. They keep in contact with her via Facebook, and finally convince her to let them teach her to swim.

But Mel hears the voice again and worries that they’re stalking her, so she cuts contact with them. Yehudi and Arlington try everything to see her and she prevents them, so they meet her parents after their swimming class. They learn about the voice saying "Melly" and that someone is stalking her.

But who is it? And how can they get Mel to spend time with them again so they can convince her of their innocence?

EXCERPT

Yehudi was leaning back against the wall of the sauna, his eyes half closed, his brain counting the minutes until he could get Arlington out of his teeny tiny swimwear and his own cock buried in Arlington’s tautly delicious ass. If he’d thought to bring lube in his gym bag, he may have been able to convince Arlington to fuck in the shower, right here in the change rooms at the Aquatic Center. But with kids around, it was likely just as well to wait until they were back home. But that meant adding another twenty minutes onto a wait that was already stretching out to be way too long for the ongoing happiness of his cock.

Arlington was looking though the glass panel in the door, snorting and shaking his head.

“What’s so amusing,” Yehudi asked.

“There’s a woman staring at the plunge pool, like she’s never seen one before. She’s taking her towel off, so maybe she’s going to come in here. Oooh, nice body. I like those long legs. Nice tits, too.”

“That’s it? You’re not going to tell me her hair color and eye color, and her height to the nearest inch?”

Arlington turned to grin at him. “Five six, blonde and blue.”

Yehudi heard a lot of splashing. “What on earth is she doing?” he asked.

“Drowning!” Arlington opened the door so roughly it crashed into the wall as he raced out. Yehudi jumped up and followed him out to the plunge pool.

The woman—well, he supposed it was the woman—was definitely underwater, and this was not the kind of place to practice underwater swimming. The whole point of the plunge pool was that users of the sauna jumped into the icy cold pool, and climbed straight out again to cool off after the heat of the sauna.

Arlington had jumped in and dived under the woman’s body, using his broad shoulders and strong back to push her up to the surface and nudge her to the side of the pool. Yehudi kneeled down and leaned over, grabbing hold of the woman’s arm, which was very cold indeed, and pulling her higher out of the water. Arlington pushed her some more, and Yehudi got a good grip on her waist and lifted her up onto the edge of the pool. He turned her onto her side and banged on her back. She coughed then dragged a rasping breath into her body.

Meanwhile Arlington had climbed out of the pool. “She’s breathing. Good.”

“Let’s get her—and you—back into the sauna to warm up.

“I like that plan.”

Yehudi picked her up and carried her the short distance into the sauna, laying her on his own towel, which was on the bench where he’d left it. Arlington followed him in the door then threw more water on the hot stones of the fire to make steam.

“Her skin is still icy,” said Yehudi. He was worried about her. Was this a suicide attempt? Why would she have deliberately jumped into the water if she couldn’t swim? “I’ll get her towel,” he said, wanting Arlington to stay in the sauna and warm himself up again after the cold water.

The woman was coughing again when he returned, and he gently wrapped her towel over her shoulders. “Thanks,” she said then coughed again.

After a few minutes she sat up, hugging the towel around her body.

“What happened?” Yehudi asked, at exactly the same time as Arlington said, “Why did you get in the pool if you can’t swim?”

Buy link: http://www.bookstrand.com/cold-woman-hot-men

Berengaria Brown

http://berengariasblog.blogspot.com/

http://berengariabrown.com/

Friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter.



Monday, August 27, 2012

Captive dreams?

Last night, I had the strangest dream--all night, it seemed. It was like viewing snippets of the same  movie, sometimes out of sequence, sometimes with a slightly different cast or plot twist. And I couldn't escape it. I'd sleep, wake, sleep again, and there it would be. It would make a great book, provided I can remember enough of it.
Stephanie Meyer's Twilight books famously came from a dream, and I've heard other authors echo this sentiment, but it's never worked that cleanly for me. I'll have some fantastic dream, then in my half-awake state decide that it's so amazing I'll definitely remember it in the morning, only to wake up hours later with nothing but fragments. 
This isn't to say that dreams haven't influenced my writing. Often times I'll figure out a plot twist or fill in details about a character or get snippets of a scene, but that's almost exclusively if I've been writing before bed and I fall asleep thinking about that world. World-building from the ground up has never made the transition from sleeping to waking for me... but this time it just might.
Do you remember vivid details from your dreams? Help me out--how do you record them? Have you trained yourself to be more aware during your dreams, so you can remember them?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Recipes: Chilitastic



Nine Naughty Novelists Juniper Bell


The hero of GO WILD, biathlon champion Lars Nordegren, is a true Alaskan. He lives on a homestead, he skis, hunts, and loves a good sauna. And whenever he goes to a potluck, he brings his famous Moose Chili. Now, I’m a vegetarian, so I’ve never tasted moose chili. I had to hunt down a recipe that I imagine would be close to what Lars makes. 


LARS' FAMOUS MOOSE CHILII



What you need:

2 T. olive oil
1 1b. ground moose meat 
1 onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
3 c. mushrooms, chopped
2 small carrots, scrubbed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 T. chili powder, divided
1 1/2 T. cumin
3/4 t. ground chipotle (more for spicier, less for mild)
salt, to taste
2-14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 c. vegetable juice or water
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
3 - 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1- 15 oz. can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 rounded teaspoon dried oregano
1 rounded teaspoon dried basil
1 c. stout (Alaskan if you can get it)
1 small can green chilies
1 T brown sugar 

What to do:

Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the ground moose meat, 1 tablespoon of chili powder and a good pinch of salt (about 1 teaspoon).  Brown the moose meat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the meat.

Add the vegetables and cook until they have softened, about 20-25 minutes, stirring often.  Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Turn down to medium low and simmer for an hour or so, or until it’s the thickness you prefer.  Top with chopped onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, or a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.

Enjoy with lots of aquavit and you may have a story to tell later, like the one Lars trots out to prove to Katia that he too has a wild past … 


Go Wild

Lars loves Katia. Katia loves Lars. Lars wants to marry Katia. Can he convince his free-spirited lover that marriage will be as fun as her sexually adventurous single days?

Never before has Katia been tempted to give up her carefree ways. She’s deeply in love with Lars, but she doesn’t know if he can handle her wild side—or needs.

But Lars is a hard man to resist. The former Olympic champion won’t give up—not when he knows just how to please her.

The people of Wild, Alaska know the best way to survive winter is to let off a little steam. When Lars’ buddies hit town for Wild Nights, a notorious winter festival with one rule—“anything goes, nothing counts”—he jumps at the chance to prove he’s the perfect man for Katia.

He vows to win her over, even if it takes four rugged Alaska men and one wildly erotic night in a sauna.

Note:  Features an extended ménage (M/F/M/M/M), anal play and references to bondage experimentation and sexual escapades of all types. 

Visit Juniper Online! 

Read more about Go Wild! 


Guest Author Tam Linsey


This recipe is great for last minute because it does not require any rise time and you don't even pre-heat the oven. You can also create some interesting flavors by adding six to eight whole garlic cloves, pitted black or kalamata olives, shredded Parmesan cheese, and / or Italian seasoning

FAST FRENCH BREAD (Gluten Free)

What you need:

2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1-1/4 cups warm water
--
Dry ingredients:
1-1/2 cup potato starch
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1 teaspoon guar gum
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
--
1 Tablespoon oil or softened butter
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
--
1 egg white, beaten with 1 teaspoon water (optional)

What to do:

In a large measuring cup, dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water (not above 110˚F) The mixture will froth, so make sure to use a large enough cup.
While the yeast begins bubbling, combine the rest of the dry ingredients in a bowl for a heavy duty stand mixer. Add the yeast mixture, oil, 3 egg whites, and vinegar. Beat on low speed with the regular beater until combined and then beat on high speed for one to two minutes. This will not be stiff like wheat based bread dough -- it is supposed to be soft and sticky, almost like a stiff batter rather than a dough.

Line 2 French bread pans with parchment paper (you can also use a cookie sheet lined with parchment, but the loaf will be flatter without side support.) Spoon dough into each pan and smooth into baguette shape. If a glossy crust is desired, brush the dough with the egg white beaten with water.
Place the pan on the center rack in a COLD oven and turn it on to 425˚F. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. If the crust browns too quickly, cover it with a sheet of foil part way through baking.
If you have already been baking and the oven is hot, simply allow the dough to rise in the baguette pans for half an hour, then bake in a pre-heated oven for 25 minutes.

Yield: 3 twelve inch loaves

Botanicaust

The only crop left … is human.

After genetically altered weeds devastate Earth’s croplands, much of humanity turns to cannibalism to survive. Dr. Tula Macoby believes photosynthetic skin can save the human race, and her people single-mindedly embark on a mission to convert the cannibals that roam what’s left of Earth. But when Levi, a peaceful stranger, refuses alteration, Tula doesn’t think the only options should be conversion or death.

Levi Kraybill, a devout member of the Old Order, left his Holdout farmland to seek a cure for his terminally ill son. Genetic manipulation is a sin, but Levi will do almost anything for the life of his child. When he’s captured, he’s sure he’s damned, and his only escape may be death.
Tula’s superiors schedule Levi’s euthanization, and she risks everything to set the innocent man free. Now she and Levi are outlaws with her people, and abomination with his. Can they find sanctuary in a cannibal wasteland?


When not writing, Tam Linsey enjoys the challenges of gardening, fishing, and hunting in Alaska, as well as cooking the harvest. Her recent novel, Botanicaust, is a romantic science fiction about a world where food has nearly disappeared, and how far mankind will go to survive. She also published a short cookbook, You Can Eat This! 22 Gluten Free Comfort Recipes.

Visit Tam's Website! 

Read more about Botanicaust!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday 13: These Boots Were Made for Walkin'....

Ok, they're not ALL boots, but here's thirteen pairs of shoes we love and covet! In the comments, tell us which pair you'd love to wear, and link us to some of your faves!

Kate: I spend the summer in shoes like these (France Flat Thong Sandals (Carlos by Carlos Santana)
But I wish I had shoes like these!


Juniper: This is my post-knee surgery inspiration shoe. When my knee's healed up, I
 want those shoes!! (Cynthia Rowley gilded buckled heel)


Kelly: Here's one, but check out my Pinterest board for more!

Of course, I also love these (Havaianas High Light)


And these Betsey Johnsons!




Meg: Jambus, of course! (Jambu Ocean)
These too! (Born Albright)

PG:








Skylar: These for the daytime (Zigi Soho Blake Bootie)




Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tale of a Curry Virgin


So Master Chef and I try to have a date night every couple weeks, and after back-to-school shopping with the hellspawns...er munchkins yesterday (at Walmart no less--yes, I am a little crazy)  I was in need of a serious night out. We went to our usual place on the boardwalk, ordered a couple drinks and before long I found the menu pushed in my direction..

Two things you should know:

1. I used to be a somewhat picky eater and usually stuck to safe, routine favorites when it came to eating out. Even now I struggle to venture outside my comfort zone when it comes to trying new things, though I've improved in recent months.

2. Unless I'm having a particular craving, I'm very content to let Master Chef order. He doesn't steer me in the wrong direction.

At least not until last night. 

Last night he decided I should order for us. Simple enough, right? Except there were stipulations. It had to be something new and it had to be a curry dish. Now Master Chef loves curry and due to Thing Number One, I've had very little curry. Mostly minuscule amounts.  Determined to brainwash me...I mean broaden my horizons, he insists that curry is the way to go.

I obviously know nothing about curry, so as I'm skimming all the Thai dishes on the menu, I'm wracking my brain trying to figure out what would be good. Master Chef is sitting there the whole time, innocently drinking his beer and fully enjoying that I'm squirming under the pressure.

I'm sure I could have sat there for an hour going back and forth with zip feedback from the Curry Master, but I needed to make an executive decision, and all the while I'm half hoping my choice will be horrible and won't that teach him? In the end I went with one of the specials with scallops and a mild-medium curry. As much as Master Chef assured me it wouldn't be that spicy, I was soon lapping up my berry martini like a camel mad from thirst stumbling across an oasis. Okay, maybe not that bad, but damn those martinis are good!

So the final verdict on the food was a clear win for me. As far as I'm concerned ordering something delicious gets me a pass from having to order anything outside my comfort zone for a while. As far as Master Chef is concerned, he's apparently discovered a new method of torturing me beyond making fun of my questionable shooting skills with video games.   

What about you guys? Try a new food lately? Find yourself in a situation outside your usual comfort zone? 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Guest Blogger Cari Quinn - Turning Up the Heat With Test Shot

Huge thanks to the NNN for having me here today! I’d love to share a little bit about the first book in my new Hot Shots series, TEST SHOT, releasing August 28th at Loose Id.

First, check out the cover! Mad love to the designer, Valerie Tibbs, who is an absolute genius and captured the book perfectly. The story is m/f/m and set in New York City, one of my absolute favorite places in the world.

Here’s the tentative blurb:

Layla Palmer is starting over in New York City with a new job at Hot Shots, an agency that specializes in hiring talent for jobs with an erotic bent. Happily engaged, she writes off the changes in her relationship with her fiancé, Aidan, as growing pains. But that all comes into question when her beloved fiancé comes up with a startling suggestion: he wants to watch her have sex with another man.

Aidan's a man on the edge, fighting demons he won't name in fear of losing the woman he loves forever. But the game he's playing can only continue for so long, especially when the man they decide to invite into their bed turns out to be Layla’s newest prospective model, Sawyer Blake.

Passion explodes between them, threatening to spill over and burn them all. Soon Aidan and Layla's already incendiary relationship hits the boiling point. Now she's fighting her own battles, including the conflicted feelings of lust and love she harbors for both men. But how can she figure out who to trust when everything she ever knew is changing, including herself?


This series has been a true labor of love for me. Last summer I came up with the idea for an erotic talent agency and pitched it to a publisher who gave me ideas on how to strengthen the concept. I decided to shelve it for a while, but the characters and the setup wouldn’t leave me alone. Back then, Drew and Kirby, the hero and heroine of book two, MONEY SHOT, were the characters in book one but I wasn’t ready to write about them yet. So I decided to make their story the second book, which left me needing new characters for book one.

Layla, Sawyer and Aidan’s story didn’t exactly evolve into the book I’d expected to write and I think I enjoyed the process even more because Sawyer, in particular, refused to do anything I’d had in mind for him. He’s one of my favorite characters I’ve ever written because he’s unflinching in his honesty—and his willingness to put himself on the line. All three characters risk a lot in this story and their world looks very different at the end of the book than it did in the beginning, that’s for sure!

In honor of my new series, I would like to give away an ebook from my backlist to a random commenter who answers this question: when reading a series, do you prefer all the couples’ pairings to be the same? (All m/f, all m/m, all m/m/f, etc.) Why or why not?

Add TEST SHOT to your Goodreads shelf here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15721128-test-shot

Visit Cari Quinn at www.cariquinn.com or http://blogspot.cariquinn.com

USA Today bestselling author Cari Quinn saves the world one Photoshop file at a time in her job as a graphic designer. At night, she writes sexy romance, drinks a lot of coffee, and plays her music way too loud. When she’s not scribbling furiously, she’s watching men’s college basketball, reading excellent books, and causing trouble. Sometimes simultaneously.





Monday, August 20, 2012

Happily Ever After?

I’m both a romance writer and a romance reader, which is by way of saying I believe in HEA. I want people to be happy, which is why I prefer books that end with the hero and heroine wandering off into the sunset and their undeniably blissful life together. With movies, though, I sometimes wonder just how long-term that bliss really will be.

These thoughts were brought on by a clip from the climax of An Officer and a Gentleman. You remember the scene I mean. Richard Gere walks through the factory with Debra Winger in his arms. She has one of those face-splitting grins and the soundtrack plays a typical eighties anthem to show you that Everything Is All Right. And I found myself thinking, “I give it a couple of years, tops.” While I guess two volatile people could possibly make it work, my guess is in this case they wouldn’t—particularly when you throw in the pressures of a military marriage.

For some reason, I’m much more skeptical about movie characters than about book characters, maybe because I can actually see the people in movies and judge the way they interact. Yes, I know those characters are really actors, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re embodied at the moment and you can assess their compatibility just as you can in Real Life.

I’m really doubtful about the characters in Say Anything too, although I dearly love that movie. I can’t see that couple lasting very long. They’re too different, and their goals just aren’t compatible. In Casablanca, I’m sure Ilsa and Victor will have a long, distinguished marriage (assuming he survives the war), but I’m equally sure Rick and Ilsa wouldn’t have made it. Rick’s simply not HEA material. He’s better off with Louis.

To me, Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment have maybe a fifty-fifty chance. They have a lot in common, but she’s emotionally fragile and I have my doubts. Margo and Bill in All About Eve are also on the cusp—they’re clearly compatible, but she’s clearly someone who could blow sky high and he’s clearly someone who won’t take any crap.

So who’s going to make it? Nora Ephron (bless her) wrote movies about couples who are tight for life. Harry and Sally are going to be together until death parts them (and yes, I love the Funny Or Die version of Harry’s future life without Sally). The couple in You’ve Got Mail are equally compatible. Steve Martin and his astronomer in Roxanne are going to HEA—they’re both smart and ironic, and she appears to have gotten over her obsession with cute guys. Chili and Karen are going to be blissful in Get Shorty and so are Danny and Tess in Ocean’s Eleven, although it took them a failed marriage to get there. All of these couples fit together perfectly.

Now I should point out that I love all of these movies, even if I’m not exactly convinced some of these couples are going to be together for life. I’m perfectly willing to accept that they’re together at least for the length of the film. It’s just that sometimes real life intervenes—I’m convinced some couples just wouldn’t make it. And Rhett and Scarlett? Given the way I feel about her, to me that ending is HEA. At least as far as Rhett is concerned.

So what about you? What couples do you feel will be together when they’re old and gray and who will be hitting the road within an hour after the movie is over?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

First Lines... and more!


Thanks to authors 
Cassandra Carr, Taryn Elliot and PG Forte 
for  loaning us their first lines yesterday!

Here’s more about these three awesome books!  Check them out!



Line #1:  Tessa Winter buried her head in her arms.

From Ashes and Wine by Taryn Elliot

Before Tessa met Royal Andreas, her bookstore was on the verge of sinking. And before Tessa met Royal Andreas, she didn’t mind being single. But Royal brings in business with monthly wine tastings featuring his family’s signature vintages–and brings Tessa’s heart to a standstill with intense gray eyes that look on her with nothing but cool indifference.

Yet one searing kiss between the stacks gives Tessa a glimpse of the passion smoldering beneath–and a secret pain further revealed when Royal fills in as the musician at a tasting event. Every note of Spanish guitar tells a story of family tragedy, loss, and ongoing suffering that’s made Royal afraid to lean on anyone…even if he needs Tessa’s sweet flavor more than the richest wine. Only her strength can save him when his world crumbles to ashes.  But has Royal learned trust too late to claim Tessa as his own?

Buy Ashes and Wine here!

Line #2:  A couple walked out of a park lean-to and Miranda hit the deck. 

From A Whole New World by Cassandra Carr
 
After witnessing some dirty deeds in the woods, Miranda finds she has some kinks she didn't know about and discovers her boyfriend, Ross, is more than happy to help her explore them.

Part of the anthology Public Displays of Eroticism-

The secret fantasy, sex in a public place. One couple's sexual antics at a local park inspires four other couples to bare it all in the open air. Featuring short stories by Cassandra Carr, Jami Davenport and Cristal Ryder.

Buy Public Displays of Eroticism here!


Line #3:  Bodies have memories and hers remembered every touch; even the ones her mind could not recall. 

from Sea Change by PG Forte
When the going gets tough, the tough...go cruising? Some relationships start out on the rocks; that was definitely the case for Cara and Liam. When love alone is not enough to help them overcome the trauma in Cara's past, it’s time for the pair to get creative. But will a romantic cruise along the coast of Mexico provide the sea change they’re both hoping for? Or is their star-crossed relationship doomed to end in disaster?

Buy Sea Change here!

Friday, August 17, 2012

First Line Friday!


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”  
 —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." – J.K. Rolwing, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997)


Welcome to
First Line Friday!


Here's how it works:
We'll post the first lines from three books, some written by us, some by author friends.

Then you will all be asked to vote for your favorite, without knowing who wrote it or what book it comes from-- until Saturday!

On Saturday, the lines along with their book cover, blurb and author will be listed so you can check them out! 

ALL voters, no matter who you choose or which line wins, will be entered into a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift certificate.

Easy and fun, for all of us!  We hope you'll play along!

And now, here's First Line Friday!


1.   Tessa Winter buried her head in her arms.


2.  A couple walked out of a park lean-to and Miranda hit the deck. 

3.  Bodies have memories and hers remembered every touch; even the ones her mind could not recall. 



Okay... make your choice!  List your favorite by number or by quoting the line in the comments!  All votes up until midnight CST will be counted.  And don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who wrote which line and how to check out the rest of the books!