Monday, January 30, 2012

Building the Perfect Hero!

Welcome to the laboratory!
Today I want to talk about building the perfect, hero. I saw the topic addressed on a friend's blog where she took votes, body part by body part! ;)
Seems we women have varied tastes when it comes to men.......a good thing or else you'd all be knocking on my door, chasing my hubby! LOL

Anyway, let start with something easy - something we can all agree on.
The Perfect Hero has to be Truthful, have Honor, be Loyal, a Hard Worker ( in whatever chosen profession), Kind, Sensitive to the Heroine's feelings, have Stamina in the bedroom......... What else???

Now comes the fun part!
Tall, Dark and Handsome?

Or Short, Blond and Handsome?
Long Hair, perfect for running your fingers through?

Or short hair, also perfect for running your fingers through ?
Facial Hair?
Or Clean Shaven?
Some Ink?
Or not?
Hairy Chest?
Or Smooth Abs?
And what about the Eyes?
 Or Green?

So let's hear it, ladies!!! Describe your Perfect Man! :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Clearing Away The Cobwebs

With the beginning of a new year, many people begin new resolutions or re-evaluate their life styles and habits.  When there is spring cleaning, many dust away the cobwebs, disinfect and kill all the nasty germs, and sweep away all the pesky dirt particles from those dark and out of reach areas.
As a writer, there are those times when you have to ‘spring clean’ or re-evaluate your WIP, writing career, writing habits, and writing skills and so on.  Recently, I have been going through one of those annoying but much needed cleaning stages with my own writing.   It may not be a glamorous and fun celebration for a writer but it definitely can be an eye-opening experience for one. 
As I go through an older manuscript which I laid aside for a while, I become painfully aware of my short comings and flaws as I read it.  The scenes which I originally thought were well crafted fall short of piquing my interests this time around.  Then there is the dialogue between the hero and heroine which makes my eyes roll with disgust and disappointment.  I think to myself, “What the hell?” 
Yet, as much as I may cringe at previous writing projects, there are those I absolutely love and wouldn’t change a bit.  It’s a reminder to me that there’s going to be ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ but regardless I take my weaknesses and improve upon them.  I learn from my successes as well. 
It’s imperative that writers continue to improve their writing skills and enhance their careers.  By reading and studying books on the craft, attending workshops and conferences, obtaining a critique partner(s), and observing and ‘bending the ears’ of their peers, both unpublished or published authors can benefit from all of these methods for re-evaluating their WIPs and such. 

Ernest Hemingway hard at work.

Yet, it’s equally important for a writer not to beat his/herself up when there is an area of improvement needed.  One must remember to surround his/herself with other like minded and positive people and continue to pick up the pieces of his/her not so ‘perfect’ writing path and press forward. 
Like I mentioned before, spring cleaning or re-evaluation may not be the most exciting part of a writing career but it’s definitely the most needed in order to gain more in the long run.
What cleaning methods have been most beneficial for you?

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Meet Cute

Lately, I have been watching a lot of How I Met Your Mother. It’s a popular show, but I was a little late to the party. I didn’t really start watching it until this summer. Now I am hooked on it and watch the reruns all the time, as well as the new episodes. I think I have seen most all of them now.

As a single girl, I think it is appealing because in some ways I feel a lot like Ted. I’ve been meeting new people and they all just seem to be curves in the road on this journey to meet “the one.” Plus, Ted and I have about the same luck when it comes to meeting “the one.” However, it is hard to meet new people and it is amazing how he and I both meet some of the people we have dated, however, briefly.

It got me thinking about when we write stories and the various ways our characters meet. In movies, they call it the meet cute. As writers, we constantly have to think up of cute, fun and/or interesting ways for our characters to meet. Is this the first time they have meet? Do they have a history? Do they love each other immediately or do they hate each other first? It’s fun to think up of new ways for characters to meet and exciting because it is the start of a new story.

As a reader and big movie fan, I enjoy seeing how other authors and writers come up with ways for their main characters to meet. One of my all time favorites is in Love Actually when Hugh Grant plays the Prime Minister and he meets Natalie for the first time. She is so nervous to meet the new Prime Minister that she swears in front of him, twice. I feel her embarrassment, but laugh too, because it is such a cute meeting.

Another great one is when Drew Barrymore’s character meets the prince for the first time in Ever After. She immediately begins throwing apples at him because she sees hm stealing the horse from the stables. I find that mistaken identity meetings are usually fun and some of my favorites.

What are some of your favorite meet cutes?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Noelle's Winner!

Hey guys! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my very first ACA post. So, the idea was to choose which of my three items was the lie, so here are the answers:

1. All my life, my parents were road trippers. They loved them. I slept or read through most of them. At age 8 or so, we went cross-country, from Florida to Wisconsin, through the Black Hills of the Dakotas, down to Vegas, to California, and then back to Florida, stopping at every major landmark in our path. A few road trips to New York covered the East Coast. *grin* When I was 14, my grandmother took me to Europe to see family in Hungary, and we flew through Germany, as well as stopping a couple of days in Austria. Then, for my honeymoon, my new husband and I went to Italy by way of France. I love to travel, as a result. (TRUE)
2. At one point, I spoke fluent Spanish and semi-fluent French. Thanks to my jaunt in Italy, I could also do a passable Italian. Sadly, that vocabulary left me years ago. I do, however, speak fluent Hungarian, and English, of course. The Russian was thrown in for shits and giggles. (FALSE)
3. Oh, baby. The six men who saw me in my birthday suit were all firemen, and I was in my house. Yup. It's the makings of a sitcom. Or bad porn. Except I wasn't interested in any type of sex at that moment, and I might have even considered a lifetime of celibacy. On that day, the likelihood of such a thought occurring to me was 1000:1 odds. Pregnancy--especially being IN labor--does that to you. You see, I lived an hour from the hospital, and my water broke, so I wasn't sure I was going to make it there on my own. It didn't help that my husband worked 45 minutes in the opposite direction. My neighbor called an ambulance, and apparently they thought it would be a good idea to bring the ENTIRE fire department with them. (I guess I was pretty hot, huh?). Once at the hospital, things moved so fast they stamped my chart with the wrong name, which was Katie Holmes. It wasn't the Mrs. Tom Cruise Katie Holmes, though. Of that I'm sure. The nurse was busy fixing my chart while I was doing the pushing thing. Five and a half hours after I went into labor, I was holding my baby girl (affectionately known as Thing 1) in my arms. I seriously can't make this kind of shit up. (TRUE)

Of the six of you who correctly guessed #2, the winner of a copy of Dancing in the Dark: An Anthology of Erotica is...

(drum roll)

Congratulations! I'll email you later today to find out what format you'd like. No one shared their outrageous stories (c'mon, I can't be the only one!), so there was no winner for A Kiss at Midnight.

Thanks, everyone, for being so awesome and welcoming. I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sympathy for the Devil

Wow! I'm so happy to be here!* We're only in the second week of January so far, and it's already shaping up to be a fantastic year. I had the privilege of meeting a few of the Angels at the Georgia Romance Writers' conference in 2011 and what a fabulous group of women. But then, you probably already know that. *grin* I'm honored to be counted among them.

To explain the post title - all I could think of when I tried to come up with one was the Rolling Stones song by that name. As it says, "Please allow me to introduce myself..." Bonus points if you got the reference before I said anything. :D

Right, so, y'all don't know me. Yet. I don't want to just do a litany of "About Me stuff", because, really, what fun is that? Instead, I thought I'd play a game. It's called Two Truths and a Lie. Two of the next three paragraphs will be true. See if you can figure out which one is not. As an added incentive, I'm going to be giving away two free books (one with a short story of mine in it, and one by Eloisa James!). 

  1. Traveling is a favorite pastime of mine, and I love visiting other places. I've seen many of the major attractions of the United States, and I've been to five European countries.

  1. All that traveling has allowed me to perfect my language skills. Including English, I speak six languages fluently: English, Hungarian, Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian.

  1. The day my daughter was born, six men (not doctors) saw me naked, the hospital staff mistook me for Katie Holmes, and I labored for less than six hours.

So which of these are true, and which is the lie? All correct guesses will be placed in a drawing for a free copy of Dancing in the Dark: An Erotica Anthology (available in either digital or print). Winner will be randomly selected by on Thursday, January 12, midnight EST.

What is your most outlandish (true) story? My favorite answer will win a print copy of Eloisa James' A Kiss at Midnight

Don’t forget to leave your email address in your comment so we can notify you if you won! Winners will also be announced on Friday, January 13.

*Fair warning: I really am excited enough to use exclamation points on a regular basis. I will not apologize for it. 

Find out more about me at:

And because I also love music, here's a video for the song in the post title.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Why is The Bachelor So Hot?

After sixteen seasons, The Bachelor is back and still going strong.  I was on Twitter for thirty minutes (okay, forty-five), and every other tweet was a succint squee about the show's return.  So why do fans return time after time?

I did a little research (i.e. I sent out a tweet asking for feedback) with The Bachelor audience, and I read a few online articles to try to get a sense of what brings bachelor fans together once a week, every week at 8:00 on ABC.  Though this isn't completely scientific, here are the reasons given for The Bachelor's appeal:

Everybody needs a guilty pleasure, and as guilty pleasures go, this one's pretty harmless.  One can tune-in week in and week out, get a taste of drama, suspense, a chance that two (or more in this case) people might fall head over heels in love and you have a front row seat without leaving your armchair.  Nice guilty pleasure for anyone.

Also, love stories are alluring.  I write romance, and I (and my hubby) get all the stereotypical jokes from those who know what I write.  Yet, these same women, and even some men, readily admit to waiting on the edge of their seats to see who's rose-worthy (and of course, who isn't).  Everybody--men and women--love a good romance story, and each show is a small romance leading up to the ultimate romantic ending where one man falls for one woman, and  they come together against impossible odds.

Furthermore, we all want to be a fly on the wall when crazy things go on.  The emotional roller coaster of the saga that builds, the personalities of the contestants (read: insanities, baggage, and general egomaniacal delusions), and the chance that something unexpected will happen at any moment all combine to make the show hard to turn away from.

In the end, it all comes down to one reason people can't get enough.  The Bachelor is a safe subject to be opinionated about, and believe me, folks are opinionated.  To see the chatter for yourself, just go to Twitter and search for either #thebachelor or #bachelor list.  You'll see a perfect example of uninhibited spouting of opinions on something that fortunately doesn't divide nations (yet).

Of course, a reason that came up again and again had nothing to do with the show's premise.  It had everything to do with the host--Chris Harrison.  So many women said over and over again, they tuned in to see Mr. Harrison.  Perhaps that's why he's around season after season as well.

Are you a fan of the show?  What do you like about it?  If you're not a fan, what turns you off about it?

Happy Writing,


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