- A Kitty in the Henhouse
- Chicken Scratches and Other Writing Tips
- Eye Candy
- Happenings at the Henhouse
- Music of the Coop
- Pop Culture
- Squawk Authors: Latest and Greatest Books
- Squawk Friends
- Squawk Interactive: Captions, polls, etc
- Squawk's Favorite Books
- Stranger Than Fiction (Real Life)
- Teresa Reveals the CONFESSIONS OF A TRUE ROMANTIC
- CHRISTINA DODD HAS A TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
- Christina Dodd Exposes the Glamour of Booktour
- Christina Dodd Treats You to an Extra Excerpt of IN BED WITH THE DUKE!
- GIRLFRIENDS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN Contest!
- Connie Brockway Posts Incriminating New Video
- SPOIL ME! BY CELEBRATING THE GOLDEN SEASON’S PUB DATE, TODAY!
- Teresa Says It Loud and Says It Proud: I WRITE ROMANCE NOVELS!!!
- CHRISTINA DODD SAYS “IT’S CHRISTMAS! DUCK!”
- Teresa Needs Your Help to Choose the SEXIEST MAN DEAD!
The wait is over! SOME LIKE IT WICKED is finally available at a store near you or at your favorite on-line bookseller! I hope you’ll discover that your patience wasn’t wasted and the wait was worth it .
I’ll be celebrating my Pub Day by heading for the Romance Writers of America conference in San Francisco, CA, then touring four cities with fellow Avon author Suzanne Enoch. (We plan to have some fascinating debates on STAR WARS vs. STAR TREK during our travels.)
PERSONAL APPEARANCES and BLOG APPEARANCES
I’m including a complete list of my PERSONAL APPEARANCES below. I’d love to meet you ALL but if I’m not coming to a bookstore near you, you can always find me on the internet. Below the Personal Appearances, you’ll find a complete list of my BLOG AND WEBSITE APPEARANCES for August.
NEW INTERVIEW ON PITTSBURGH LUX BLOG!
Bethany Hensel is doing a wonderful series on authors called SO THRILL ME! over at Pittsburgh Lux and I was fortunate enough to be interviewed
You can check out the interview here: http://luxmagz.com/lux_blog/
Since I’m not going to be here to choose a winner on July 31st, I’ve decided to extend my JULY CONTEST until August 15th. So if you haven’t entered yet, there’s still a chance for you to win an autographed set of all six of my related books!
I’ve been blessed and honored by many of the reviews that SOME LIKE IT WICKED has already received.
P.J. Ausdenmore at http://www.romancenoveltv.com calls WICKED a “wonderful story filled with sparkling dialogue, plenty of humor, unexpected surprises and a depth of emotion that had me laughing, crying, cheering and sighing” and says, “Teresa Medeiros has created a beautiful love story with characters that captured my heart and still haven’t let go. Make room on your keeper shelf for SOME LIKE IT WICKED!”
Dottie Jones at http://www.romancejunkies.com gives the book Five Blue Ribbons and calls it a “clever, love-and-laughter historical romance and a terrific read.”
Christie Ridgeway, reviewing for BookPage, says “Teresa Medeiros charms again in her latest historical, Some Like It Wicked!”
BLOG OF THE MONTH
To celebrate my first “classic” historical romance since 2004’s YOURS UNTIL DAWN, I’ll be sharing A ROMANCE HERO’S GUIDE TO RELATIONSHIPS. (And I’ll think you’ll enjoy the pic I chose to go with it )
Thank you again for all of your patience and your support! I hope to be seeing each one of you in the bookstores or on-line in the month to come!
TERESA’S PERSONAL APPEARANCES
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO Marriott,
Yerba Buena Ballroom
Romance Writers of America Conference
San Francisco, CA
(Multi-Author Signing to Benefit Literacy)
Sunday, August 3rd 2008
854 Jackman Steet
EL CAJON, CA 92020
Phone: (619) 588-5494
(Joint Signing with Suzanne Enoch)
Monday, August 4th 2008
CLARK COUNTY LIBRARY
1401 E. Flamingo Road
LAS VEGAS, NV 89119
(Joint Signing and Presentation with Suzanne Enoch)
Tuesday, August 5th 2008
2605 SW Cedar Hills Blvd
BEAVERTON, OR 97005
(Joint Signing with Suzanne Enoch)
Wednesday, August 6th, 2008
4931 Lincoln Ave
CYPRESS, CA 90630
Phone: 714 761 1552
(Joint Signing with Suzanne Enoch)
Saturday August 9th, 2008
Books on Main
911 S. Main St. (Inside of “Coffee, And...")
Phone (270) 707-0040
Saturday August 23, 2008
2 -3:30 PM
Barnes & Noble
624 South Green River Rd
EVANSVILLE, IN 47715
Saturday October 4, 2008
RWA Moonlight & Magnolias Conference
Hilton Atlanta Northeast
5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
(Teresa will be keynoting the conference plus multi-author signing open to the public)
Saturday November 15th, 2008
9 AM-4:30 PM
Kentucky Book Fair
Frankfort Convention Center
405 Mero St.
TERESA’S ON-LINE APPEARANCES FOR AUGUST
August 13th - Visiting Barnes and Nobles Romance Group Board
Aug 17-18th - Blogging at www.runningwithquills.com
Aug 18, 2008 - Blogging with Fog City Divas at http://www.fogcitydivas.typepad.com/dishing_with_the_divas/
Featured Author of the Month at http://www.theromancereadersconnection.com/
Featured Author of the Month at http://www.theromancebookclub.com
Order Your Copy of SOME LIKE IT WICKED from Amazon.com
Order Your Copy of SOME LIKE IT WICKED from Barnes and Noble.com
Order Your Copy of SOME LIKE IT WICKED from Books-A-Million.com
Order Your Copy of SOME LIKE IT WICKED from Borders.com
We romance authors love a good love scene. We know how important they are to a romance, whether they are tender, erotic, rawly physical, sublimely emotional, a fabulous yearning kiss or something far more graphic, we adore love scenes. And, yes, we get teased about our favorite books falling open to those pertinent pages and, of course, we hope that some of our books in your possession also fall open to those palpitation producing pages. If not...well, we’re here to help you. Because we care. And we share. That’s the way we roll.
So...all the squawkers have picked out their two favorite love scenes from books they’ve written and are here to tell you on what pages they start. Happy reading!
And remember, this is SQUAWK RADIO’S ANIVERSARY CELEBRATION WEEK TWO so for today’s contest we will once more be giving away six signed books to six different winners (and I’m guessing some of those books will be ones mentioned in this blog!)
My second offering is of a subtler sort, the seduction of words when a ne’er-do-well hero finally gives a voice to the passionate feelings he has never spoken of before. On page 115, Harry Braxton puts every flower toting hero to shame with his ardent words to Desdemona Carlisle AS YOU DESIRE and a short while later Dizzy returns the favor with an emphasis on the physical on page 157. Okay I cheated. Sue me.
TERESA says, “So much love, so little time!” Actually, I didn’t have to go very far in my time travel machine to find one of my very favorite love scenes. Writing the love scene on pp. 266-289 of THE VAMPIRE WHO LOVED ME was a revelation not just for the characters, but for me. In AFTER MIDNIGHT, Julian and Portia were locked in a crypt by the villain but they both refused to talk about what happened between them during those dark and dangerous hours. They even refused to talk to me about it until I started writing their love scene in VAMPIRE. (Picture me jumping up from the computer and shouting, ”Holy crap!” at the top of my lungs when I discovered the provocative secret they had been hiding.) This made for a beautifully layered love scene with a lot of delicious erotic tension because we’re living their current encounter with them plus we’re reliving the encounter that took place five years ago through their dialogue and memories. You get twice the bang for your buck. (Get your mind out of the gutter, Xtina. It’s just an expression!) To add to the physical and emotional resonance of the scene, Julian is also making every effort to atone for their earlier encounter by restraining his insatiable nature and being deliciously tender with Portia until she embraces his primal nature and basically tells him to, “Bring it on!”
TERESA’S HONORABLE MENTIONS
BREATH OF MAGIC p. 288-295 – Move over Mr. Bubbles! The scene with Arian and Tristan in the shower and hot tub proves that getting down and dirty has never been such good clean fun! And it’s even their wedding night so it’s all legal! (Well, in most states.)
NOBODY’S DARLING p. 280-282 – My own sweet cowboy Billy Darling, a moonlit night, a faded quilt, a rocking chair, sigh…
ELOISA thinks there’s nothing sexier than a man who finally—finally!—gets it right. In the pantheon of my clueless heros, Rees, the Earl Godwin, takes the cake. He’s the original five-minute-man who sees the whole act as made for his own pleasure (my observation: lotta men like him out there!). Anyway, he’s married, but he and his wife parted ways years ago. Until they find themselves back together and making love. Of course, it’s only for the purposes of procreation, but still, somewhere down in his primitive caveman brain, little synapses start firing. Because he’s really in love, though he doesn’t know it. So there they are in a forest glade (I do love a good outdoors sex scene), on a bed of flowers, yet, and… well… Start at 218!
When Connie came up with the idea for this blog, Christina was thrilled because I enjoy my love scenes and love to talk about them. Then I realized I had to limit the number to two. How, out of all the love scenes I’ve written, did I narrow my blog down to two? I finally zeroed in on the love scene that marked a change in my career, and another that worked for its brevity and intensity.
My first nine books I wrote for HarperCollins under the skilled direction of my first editor. She was very conservative about sexuality, so although I wrote hot love scenes, they were cut before publication. Then I changed publishers, and my new editor published my love scenes as they were written. The book was A WELL PLEASURED LADY, the famous, or infamous, scene was long — chapter 17 and part of chapter 18, pages 241-264. As soon as the book hit the shelves, a debate raged across the internet as to whether I’d written a forced seduction or rape. I still get sternly-worded emails about that scene, yet A WELL PLEASURED LADY remains one of my bestselling novels.
For the second scene, two words. The. Elevator.
TROUBLE IN HIGH HEELS, pages 286-287.
Lisa and her “Forbidden Fruit”
When I was writing Suddenly You, a younger man/older woman story, I thought it would be funny and sexy to start it off with a spinster who orders herself an unusual thirtieth birthday present. She hires a male prostitute to provide her with one night of passion. So naturally when a gorgeous young hunk shows up on her doorstep, she assumes he’s her present . . . only to discover later in the evening that he’s her new boss.
There’s a love scene in this book that is by far the most often mentioned one of my entire career . . . the infamous raspberry scene. (In which Jack, the hero, turns Amanda into dessert. )I had no idea it would provoke such a reaction in readers. Most seem to have fun with it, a few are taken aback, and a few are negative . . . but so far no one’s ever told me they skipped over it!
When I went on my Spanish book tour in ’05, the most delightful and generous group of Spanish readers gave me many beautiful and thoughtful presents, and they caused me to howl with laughter when someone brought me yet another gift after I’d made a speech. It was a box of raspberries.
Check out page 364 of Suddenly You . . . if you dare. Muhahahaha.
One of the trickiest love scenes I’ve ever written was the first one in Devil In Winter. St. Vincent, the hero, starts out as a selfish and manipulative guy who is a renowned lover of women. He elopes to Gretna Green at the invitation of a rich heiress, Evie Jenner. She needs his protection and his name, he needs her money. From the moment these two got together, I felt the electricity as I was writing.
However, the consummation of their marriage at Gretna Green presented a couple of problems. Since they were still essentially strangers, I was concerned that the sex might turn out to be impersonal and unromantic. And St. Vincent had been so evil in the previous wallflower novel, that the idea of putting such a villain in bed with poor innocent Evie was almost startling. But between the two of them, they work it all out, and it turned out to be one of my favorite love scenes.
Here’s why I think it works: St. Vincent, more than any of my other heroes, loves to kiss. As I mention at one point in the book, he loves kissing “even more than the act itself.” To me that seems like a clue that St. Vincent is searching for some flicker of emotional connection during sex, and he finally finds it with Evie. Check out p.60 for the fun!
LIZ Enjoys It Most when Things Pop Up Unexpectedly (Ahem)
A little sexual tension can go a long way as far as I’m concerned. And since love scenes take me longer to write than any other part of the book (because, like the First Time, I want everything to be PERFECT), it helps me if the characters have been strung along for a while, battling an obvious attraction for whatever reason, and then, suddenly, BOOM. They just can’t battle it anymore. Such is the case for Ruby and Keaton in TAKE ME, I’M YOURS. I think the characters in this book took longer to get around to making love than any other book I’ve written, so it’s no surprise that when they finally, ah, capitulate, they REALLY capitulate. In fact, when I got the line edits from my Avon editor for this book, at the conclusion of the love scene that begins on page 282, she penned the note, “Congratulations, Liz. I think you just broke the Stephanie Laurens record for longest love scene ever written for Avon Books.” The fact that they’re making love in a rainforest is just bonus.
Avery and Dixon may not have taken quite as long as Ruby and Keaton to get around to, ah, capitulating, but when they did, it was so sudden, and so unexpected, and so HOT, that the scene about melted my computer. What generated the action was Avery’s participation in a sexually explicit IM exchange with a man she’d thought was a man in love with her, but who turned out to be a criminal instead. As federal agent Dixon is literally looking over her shoulder while she tries to lure the bad guy out in a way that once would have turned her on, she instead imagines she’s making the exchange with Dixon. Ultimately, both of them become thoroughly aroused, to the point where he yanks the plug out of the computer so that the two of them can do what they both so desperately want to do. And where, as I said, my love scenes tend to take a long time to write, the one that begins on page 208 in YOU’VE GOT MALE flowed so quickly, thanks to the characters’ needs, that it was almost a breeze to write.
So what are some other favorite love scenes from favorite books? We at Squawk Radio do so love those trips down memory lane. And we love even more discovering books and characters and scenes we may have missed.
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“>Every writer faces a moment in her career when she realizes that a good part of success has nothing to do with skill or planning, and everything to do with pure, dumb luck. For me, that moment arrived at a party at the Romance Writers of America conference in St. Louis in 1993, when a colleague came to me and asked, “Did you know the heroine on the cover of your newest release has three arms?”
That’s not a question one hears everyday. It’s along the lines of, “Catch the piano!” — a remark so bizarre most normal people would never imagine speaking those words in a single sentence. Certainly I’d never thought to hear that my heroine possessed an extra limb. After all, I’d had a 12x18 of the cover on my desk for months, and I hadn’t noticed anything except that the art was beautiful and my name was spelled correctly. But my colleague seemed so sure and, worse, so amused, that I rushed to the conference bookstore and checked the cover.
Yes. It was true. CASTLES IN THE AIR featured a heroine with one too many appendages. The hero held one of her hands, she leaned on another hand, and the one tucked into her skirts seemed so unnecessary, so superfluous … so much like a great big bonus to my career I could scarcely believe I was that lucky.
It rapidly became clear that the news about my cover had flown through the conference. Everyone knew … and if they didn’t, I found myself telling them. “Hi,” I’d say, “I’m Christina Dodd. I write historicals, thus fulfilling a lifelong dream and making my mother proud.”
“My cover features a three-armed woman.”
“Oh, you’re the one!”
From that point forward, I became The Author of the Three-Armed Woman Book. Never mind that I’d had nothing to do with the art; I embraced that three-armed woman (ha!) as my own. At every opportunity, I pointed out that the first line of the story complimented the cover (“She had all her teeth,” the book began.) I gave speeches to business and leisure groups, and the high point was always The Showing of the Arms. My bookmarks and brochures for my future books contained a list of titles and ISBNs and the question, “Which of Christina Dodd’s book covers feature a heroine with three arms?” At any booksigning, I requested that the bookseller order CASTLES IN THE AIR and I used it to open conversations and sell books — to everyone. I sold that book to literary snobs, to men, to other authors. I listened to all the witticisms, and I laughed dutifully. “Does he have another woman hiding under there?” “I bet she’s great in bed!” And, of course, the big question, “How could this have happened?”
According to the statistics posted on the RWA website, 2,285 romance titles were released in 2004. What’s amazing is not that my three-armed woman made it to publication, but that more romances aren’t published with mistakes.
But all good things must come to an end, and one day a bookseller told me the fun cover of CASTLES IN THE AIR had been replaced by a new, fairly boring cover. I’d sold out the whole print run, one book at a time.
I still have people who walk up to me, grinning, to inform me they own a copy (I ended up with only four — where’s the justice in that?) I’ve seen the book packaged in shrink-wrap at a used book store and go for amazing prices on Ebay. When you visit my website, you’ll find a page dedicated to the infamous CASTLES IN THE AIR cover, while you’re here, run your mouse over the RULES OF … books in the Governess Brides series. The stepbacks (the inside covers) each features a headless woman.
Okay, I’ve teased you all enough. The winner of an autographed advanced reading copy of SCENT OF DARKNESS is … gannon! Congratulations, gannon! Just e-mail your name and snail mail addy to and I’ll mail it out to you.
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People keep asking me why everyone makes jokes about me and bananas. No, it’s not for any nefarious reason you can imagine. Here…
Notes from The Barefoot Booktour, a five city tour to promote THE BAREFOOT PRINCESS:
Thursday — hop three flights staring at 5:20am on the west coast and ending at 6 pm in Buffalo NY. I leave in the dark and land in the dark. Take a cab to the An Unnamed Really Expensive Hotel. They have ONE valet. The cab sits in line for ten minutes while said valet parked the three cars in front of us. The cab driver puts the suitcases, which weigh a ton because of promotional materials, on the sidewalk. There is no bellboy. There is no bell captain. I tug the huge suitcases toward the doors. One door is revolving—small, no way through. The other is a double regular door. A guy who’s standing there waiting for a car from the ONE valet opens it for me, then watching me struggle to shove one suitcase through and drag the other one, which takes me an embarrassingly long time. The second door is mine to handle. I get into the lobby. Placed looks great. But no bell captain or bell boy.
I go to the desk and check in. The people are friendly. They ask if I want reservations for the steakhouse which they say is one of the top ten in the country. I say no, I got up at 3 am and I want room service and bed. They say I can get a meal from the steak house through room service.
“>I say, “Can I get help with my bags?” Because they sure as hell aren’t offering. So they get a manager who looks at the bags, sends me to my rooms and gets a cart. He brings them right up. He doesn’t offer to fill the ice. He doesn’t turn on the heat (it’s BUFFALO in FEBRUARY) He doesn’t stick the bags on the rack. He leans them against the wall. I’m too busy staring at the large room with nothing in it—okay there’s a desk, but how about an easy chair? with table and lamp? to notice. Oh, and the bed which is hard.
I go to the phone, call room service, ask where the menu is for the steak house. They’ll send one up, then she adds, “But it’s 45 minutes to an hour to get anything out of the steakhouse because they’re busy.” I haven’t eaten since six this morning. So I order steak off their menu.
I order medium. I get well. I order a salad. The lettuce is wilted. I order the roasted potatoes. They are swimming in oil. They ask if I want rolls. I say no. They send them anyway, thank God. They are those soft yellow rolls (ick) and they’re smushed, but in desperation I eat one. I eat the steak (scarf it, actually), and as many of the wilted greens as I can stomach. And have a glass of wine. Then I go down to the bar and get a double cognac to kill the incipient food poisoning.
Friday — I order breakfast. Oatmeal, a bowl of fruit and OJ. It comes late, and the lady says, “Someone’s coming behind me with your fruit.” Figures. She puts the tray on the desk. I pull the top off. The oatmeal has scum on it, and I find out the hard way there are lumps. I spit one back into the bowl. There’s a knock at the door. It’s her again—and she hands me a BANANA. And she says, “Do you want this, too?” And pulls a second banana out of her ARMPIT where she was carrying it…
What about you? What horrific experiences have you had in hotels? While traveling? Come back to Facebook and tell all. I’m in the mood to be sympathetic.
Being an author is a funny business. I spend hours at a time, alone in my office, dressed in my brown sweat suit, talking to characters who don’t exist. Sadly, that’s my idea of a good time.
Then a book hits the shelves — in this case, TONGUE IN CHIC (did I mention it’s on the New York Times Bestseller List?)— and I suddenly am flung into the spotlight, blinking like an owl while searching my memory for information like, How do I wear these jeans? They have weird fasteners … I think they’re called a zipper and a button.
So when romancenovel.tv contacted me and asked if they could come to my house to film, I said that would be delightful. I had to. I’d been waiting ten months for cabinet maker to finish the bookshelves and storage for my office, and this was my chance to really put pressure on these guys and get the job done.
See? This is the kind of thinking that proves I have no business trying to function in the real world. Did I consider the fact I had a book due (TOUCH OF DARKNESS) and that I hadn’t moved out of a chair since Christmas? When people saw my formerly sleek curves, what was I going to say? That the camera adds ten pounds, and I had five cameras on me?
I got my first dose of reality when I received the list of questions from Maria Lokken, the interviewer and brains behind romancenovel.tv. They were intelligent, insightful questions, and I’d been writing so much for so long I couldn’t figure out how to formulate and express coherent thoughts. My brain cell was sadly overtaxed. I could manage the occasional sarcastic answer, though …
How do you find an agent?
Wet t-shirt contest
Being a woman – how to you find that male voice?
I dumb down my female voice
The big day arrived. Maria arrived. The cameraman and the sound man arrived. Most important, the make-up artist arrived. While the cameraman and the sound man set up in my living room, the make-up artist spent an hour on my face. An hour. Geeze, for the most important occasions involving a nice restaurant and champagne, I spend, um, ten, fifteen minutes. I don’t even know what to do to my face for an hour. But when she got done, I looked gorgeous. (Shaddup, Connie.)
Then we filmed. We filmed the whole interview sitting on the couch, then they moved stuff around, changed the camera angle, and we went through the same questions again. Have you ever tried to answer a question the same way twice? And I tell lies for a living! Then we broke down and went upstairs to my office (which the cabinet guys had finished the night before, and Scott and I had flung books and decorations into in a random attempt to make it look normal) and I sat at my desk and typed, then they said, “Answer the phone,” so I pretended to talk to Lisa and tell her I was busy and I’d call her back, then they told me to grab a research book, then I did that from a different angle, then I did it from ANOTHER angle, then I walked out on my deck and gazed soulfully at the mountains, then I gazed soulfully from a different angle, then they went downstairs and I gazed soulfully while they filmed me from below. Oh, and did I mention I had to drink tea at my kitchen table and look thoughtful?
For the highlight of the show — I already know it — they filmed me working on the window seat on in the library. I told them the dogs liked to sit up there with me, but Lizzie can’t sit still, so she hopped down, then Ritter, my big, sweet, “I was an assistance dog but I flunked out” golden retriever/yellow lab mix, went into his routine. He laid his head on my keyboard. I could almost hear the “awwwwww.” The cameraman took my computer away so there could be film of Ritter with his head on my leg looking soulful and sweet while I petted him. (There’s a shot of him up on the second interview on romancenovel.tv right now.)
Listen, to make people like Hitler, his PR people used to photograph him petting a dog, and my mustache looks a lot better than Hitler’s.
Then the film crew, Maria and I (and Scott and the dogs) went to Whatcom Falls Park, not far from my house, and we shot Maria and I walked over the picturesque stone bridge talking about Squawk Radio. She asked how it got started, I told her about how it was all my idea. We talked about scheduling and how entertaining the Squawkers were. Then we sat on the (expletive deleted) cold stone bridge and talked about the dogs. Then we went back and did it all again. How did Squawk get started oh Maria it was all my idea how does the scheduling work you guys are so entertaining sit on the (expletive deleted) cold stone bridge talk about the dogs. Then we went back and they filmed our feet as we walked. Then I took the dogs for a walk over the hill. then I walked them back. Then I walked them over the hill. Then I walked them back. Lizzie was SO CONFUSED. She couldn’t figure out why I suddenly didn’t know the proper way to take her for a walk.
And we were done. I was exhausted. My brain cell was depleted.
Then all I had to do was wait for Valentine’s Day when romancenovel.tv had their official launch — and when I saw the first two interviews, they were great! The first one focused on me and how I got my first book published. The second one focused on the current romantic suspense series, its rocky beginning and on how I got the ideas for TROUBLE IN HIGH HEELS and TONGUE IN CHIC. I sounded coherent! My house looked wonderful, the mountains were gleaming, the bookshelves were filled with Squawk books and my awards, and no one will ever be able to tell my rear was frozen to the bridge.
Go to romancenovel.tv and watch the interviews (there are other authors there — Nora Somebody, and that Elsie woman. No, wait. Is it Eloise? Eloisa? Something like that.) Come back and let us know what you like about the interviews and what (and who) you’d like to see in the future. Does watching an author be interviewed interest you in her books? Would you try an author because you’d seen her interviewed? And isn’t my dog cute?
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TONGUE IN CHIC is on the New York Times Bestseller List at #14, and on the USA Today Bestseller List at #17! Congratulations, Christina! Join in Christina’s Valentine’s Day celebration and win a collection of fabulous Squawker books! Just read the blog below for Instructions. The winner will be announced tomorrow night!
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When Bantam told me they were going to reprint THIEF OF HEARTS with a special price of $4.99, my first thought was “Oh goody!” To this day, THIEF remains one of my personal favorites out of all my books because I got to explore two of my favorite romance archetypes in one book--the pirate and the bodyguard. As far as I’m concerned, it’s double the pleasure, double the fun! The book begins when my heroine Lucinda Snow is abducted by the legendary pirate Captain Doom. After a brief but passionate encounter on his ship, her navy admiral father hires the mysterious Gerard Claremont to protect her. The book is sweepingly romantic and the image of Captain Doom melting out of the shadows can still make me swoon. (If you want to hear his “theme”, just listen to UNFORGIVEN by Metallica!)
In the same way that a cliche becomes a cliche because it contains a strong dose of universal truth, I believe our classic romance archetypes like “pirate” or “bodyguard” have been such enduring successes because they push a primal button in most women. No matter how liberated she is, what woman doesn’t yearn to “stand and deliver” when her carriage is being robbed by a dashing highwayman? And doesn’t it shiver your timbers when a pirate fires his warning shot across your bow? And who can resist a Regency rake who emerges from a pond looking like Colin Firth in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE?
Even the words--highwayman, Regency rake, Viking, spy, etc.--evoke an emotional response when we read them. I’m not suggesting that our heroes are cardboard cut-outs because the most enduring heroes are always three-dimensional and may contain elements of several archetypes. But the archetype itself gives us a starting place for our attraction. We often talk about the qualities we love most in our heroes--intelligence, a sense of humor, a glossy mane of hair, a well-defined set of abs. But the one quality that all of these archetypes share is power. And I know that for me, power is the strongest aphrodisiac of all.
I live in a world where I’m expected to be in control 24 hours a day. Yes, I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan and never let my husband forget that he’s a man (especially if I need the plumbing fixed). But in my darkest, most secret heart, I long to be mastered. I want to be swept away, both by my heroes and by my reading. The more reality I have to face, the more important and vital to my mental health my fantasies become. So send me a bodyguard to protect me, a rake to seduce me and a pirate to ravish my yearning heart!
So what are some of YOUR favorite romance hero archetypes? I’ve posted a little poll below. After you’ve voted, please pop into the Blog Comments and share exactly why you think you respond to your favorite type of hero. (And make sure and tell us if I’ve left off your favorite!)
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