Squawk Radio

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Christina expounds on Geralyn’s PINK MAGNOLIA CLUB

Four years ago, Geralyn called me all excited. I can always tell when Geralyn’s excited because her Texas accent gets moving so quickly I worry the Drawl Police are going to arrest her for speeding.

Geralyn had been working at the giant wedding dress sale for Making Memories, a traveling charity that takes donations of old wedding gowns, washes them and resells them to future brides. She told me how the future brides got fabulous deals on beautiful wedding gowns (only worn once!), the people who donated the gowns got a tax write-off and more room in their closets, and the proceeds fulfill the wishes of breast cancer patients. Then she told me stories …

The one that sticks in my mind is the story about the old man who brought in his only daughter’s wedding gown. She’d died of breast cancer at age thirty-six and he wanted to know another bride would have the chance to wear the beautiful gown his daughter had worn on the happiest day of her life and that money the dress brought in would help another breast cancer patient.

After Geralyn got done making me cry (the rat) she announced she was going to write a story featuring the Making Memories wedding gown sale. So she wrote this funny, touching story of friendship and hope, THE PINK MAGNOLIA CLUB.

It was sort of daunting to find out my BAD LUCK WEDDING DRESS friend who writes such light comedic romances could pull those kinds of grand emotions out of a story. How’d you do it, Geralyn?
Christina Dodd, 11:00 PM | link | 130 comments |

Eloisa on Dirty Words and Great Books

I have a page up on my website called "Pillow Talk," which is basically me talking about books. I did Connie's MY SURRENDER last month and those of you who haven't read my inside scoop probably don't know that she named all the secondary characters after her friends from college. The fact that she dedicated the book to the Buckhorn Beirgardeners should tell you just how seriously CB took her college studies! (Buckhorn is about the worst beer on the planet). Anyway, do check out my current Pillow Talk (http://www.eloisajames.com/pillow.html), because I did a terrific book called IT'S MY PLEASURE: A REVOLUTIONARY PLAN TO FREE YOURSELF FROM GUILT AND CREATE THE LIFE YOU WANT.

Honestly, I'm not the self-help type. If I ever get too desperate, I'm going to have to pay someone to create a new life for myself (probably from the confines of padded cell). But forget the self-help stuff: this is an incredibly funny book, full of cool lists and bios of important women like Lucille Ball. The moment I read this list I knew that I had to post it on the blog--this is a Made for Squawkers List.



Besides providing invaluable lists like this, a lot of the book is about how women should read romances proudly - surely a Squawker's Credo! Can anyone think of more words to add to the list?
Eloisa James, 9:21 PM | link | 18 comments |

hate me because this is the viewfrom my stateroom balcony

Connie Brockway here. reporting to you from the high seas. Here I am, sailing along in a sea of bliss just off the coastline off Croatia which has got ot be one of the loveliest in the world. Did someone ask what the weather was like? Why, it's 76 degrees, soft as a baby's sigh and no humidity.

More later... oh, yeah, squawkers, I miss you. (Right)

wet kisses and smoochies,
Consuelo, soon to be in Greece and therefore, Constanzia
Connie Brockway, 1:39 PM | link | 25 comments |

Geralyn Describes the Glamorous Life of a Romance Author

I spent my holiday weekend driving around Dallas/Fort Worth signing HER BODYGUARD stock, something I haven't done for awhile, but Christina told me to do it so I gassed up my car and headed out. Here's a short synopsis.

First stop, a Books-a-Million. Three whole copies, spine out on the shelf. Not a good start to my day.

Next, a Borders. Three copies listed in their computer, but nowhere to be found. Manager says they might have been in the box that went missing last week.

Just shoot me.

Waldenbooks. Hurrah! Sixteen copies nicely displayed with backlist available. I'm more encouraged. Stop in the shoe department at Dillards on my way out. It wasn't an impulse buy. I needed new black sandals!

Another Waldenbooks. Back to despair. Three copies spine out. Snooty mall, though, didn't have much of a romance section. Nordstroms was having a shoe sale, however.

Barnes & Noble. Five copies, one of the shelf, four in the front of store display. Manager told me his wife was waiting for my book. Signed one to her personally. He told me to be sure and hit the B&N in the mall to the north, that they had a great romance section. I had a little spring in my step as I left.

Barnes & Noble. This one is in a mall. It's a huge store, but the parking lot is FULL. It might as well be the Saturday before Christmas. I drive around twenty minutes looking for a parking spot. I'd leave but now it's a challenge. I finally get a spot, get halfway to the mall, and it starts raining. Pouring. Grrr... Six books, face out. I move three of them to the new release section.

Waldenbooks. An older mall, a little store. They have sixteen copies plus my backlist. I talk to a customer as I'm signing. She buys THE BAD LUCK WEDDING DRESS and HER BODYGUARD. I buy four novels she recommended. At least I skip the shoe department on my way back to the car.

Waldenbooks. Another older mall. A very small traditional romance section, a huge section of erotica. They have one copy of THE BAD LUCK WEDDING DRESS, not a HER BODYGUARD in sight.

I head home, open a nice bottle of wine, admire my new shoes, and read the new Nora Roberts.

New day. New adventure. My daughter came with me because she's already bored on her fourth day of summer break.

Waldenbooks. I can't remember how many this store had, to be honest, but it was a good showing, good display. I was happy. A clerk asked me about my geneaology. Her last name was Dawson, too. We discussed our Scots heritage for some time. My daughter politely interrupts to ask me to meet her in the shoe department at Foleys. We're alot alike.

Borders. I think this was the most discouraging for some reason. One copy spine out, two hidden behind the books in overstock.

B. Dalton. Store had closed.
Bookstop. Store closing in two days. Didn't bother to go inside.
Barnes & Noble. New store--but it doesn't open until Wednesday.

Waldenbooks. They have my back stock, but not the new book. A clerk approaches me and asks if she can help me. I say I'm looking for a new release, HER BODYGUARD, by Geralyn Dawson. Another customer snaps, "It's not here. I came in specifically looking for it and they don't have it." I fall at her feet in gratitude. The clerk finds sixteen copies in the back they had forgotten to put out. I try not to grind my teeth as I smile. I sign books for three women while I'm there, detour into a swim suit specialty shop, but can't face that trauma. My daughter and I stop in Neiman-Marcus on our way out and buy some scented soaps and lotions, then we ask them if we can have larger-sized bags.

After three more stops of varying success, we go home and parade the Neiman's bags past my husband just for the fun of scaring him.

I've been to ten malls in two days. Clocked over a hundred fifty miles on my car. This is exciting? Glamorous? Not hardly.

However, tomorrow in my Squawk Radio farewell blog, I'm going to tell you about a bit of mingling Christina and I did that truly was glamorous--at a little gathering we attended at Laura Bush's home.
Geralyn, 9:03 AM | link | 20 comments |

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Teresa's Very Scary Massage

I have a confession to make. I am a massage junkie. I am totally into paying a complete stranger to rub my body for money. I've had massages on cruise ships, in hotel rooms, at spas where writer's conferences were being held, and once there were even these lovely Balinese twins who massaged in perfect synch, every motion of one mirroring the other. (Hey, get your minds out of the gutter! This was in a legitimate world class spa on a cruise ship!) After a long day of sitting at the computer, my shoulders, neck and back are usually tied up in fist-like knots so I have no problem indulging myself in the luxury of a massage at least once a month.

For over a year, I had the best masseuse on the planet. Jenny had the tender, healing hands of an angel and best of all, only charged $45/hour. But alas--she was forced to give up the business after being sidelined by a nasty car wreck. I can assure you that her suffering has been NOTHING compared to my own. (Just kidding, Jenny!)

After three months of suffering in silence, I finally decided to pay her replacement a visit. She was a small woman with short arms, but the long blonde braids should have tipped me off to her torrid past as a Soviet gymnast. From this moment forward, we will simply call her...Helga. Before she began, I told her that I knew I was "knotty", but she didn't really have to apply pressure point therapy because I was more into relaxation than pain.

Apparently in her language, this translated into, "Hurt me, mama. I like it rough."

This was a not a massage. It was a mugging. She attacked each body part with equal ferocity and soon I found myself silently praying, "Please, Lord. Just don't let me be paralyzed from the neck down when I leave here!" I struggled to muffle my whimpers of pain and cries for mercy by biting the face rest. While she was pounding my glutes, she informed me that "she had a lot more male clients than females." I could only assume that this was because she had killed most of her female clients.

My dread grew when she wrapped a towel around each extremity in turn and began to tug with all of her strength, telling me that "one of my clients was 3/4 of an inch taller after I finished with her." I silently began to give thanks that at least she wasn't going to try to stretch my neck. That was right before she came around the table and said cheerfully, "Could you lift up your head?" and proceeded to wrap the towel around my throat.

After I had limped home, iced various body parts, and made sure I could still wiggle all of my fingers and toes, I related the full extent of my suffering to my husband. He simply blinked at me and said, "Why didn't you just get up and leave?"

"Leave?" I sputtered. "Are you out of your mind? I was just trying to survive!"

Later, it occurred to me that it was a valid question. Why didn't I leave? Was I afraid of being rude or embarrassed? Did I think Helga might chase me down and put me in a headlock? I finally decided that there's just something about lying on a massage table wearing nothing but a sheet and your underoos that makes you weirdly passive.

If you don't hear from me again, you'll know that "Helga" has internet access.
Teresa Medeiros, 1:06 PM | link | 36 comments |

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Eloisa on Why We Buy Books

There was a Publisher Authors round-table at the Harpers Ferry conference I went to last week, and one author brought up the fact that some publishers do almost nothing to promote the books they publish, not even taking out an ad in Romantic Times BOOKClub (which represents targeted promotion for romance authors).

So I started wondering why we buy books. I know mostly I buy books because one of my friends starts raving about a title. Then I try desperately to remember what it's called, and about the fourth time I actually remember (I'm looking for Something Borrowed now: it's been recommended by everyone I know!) At any rate, I found an interesting article in The Guardian that backs up my reading practices. Here's a bit of it:

"One in four readers said the last book they read was based on personal recommendation. Almost a third of under 35s cited recommendation as the most important factor in their latest choice of book. Only loyalty came close, with 26% choosing a book because they knew and liked its author.

Despite publishers and booksellers spending an estimated £70m to £100m a year on marketing and promoting books, advertising was only cited as the deciding factor by 6%, and the cover design by 7%, although 16% said the jacket description influenced them to read the book.

What do the rest of you think? 7% choosing by cover design is interesting--I would have put it much higher. There have been plenty of times when my eye was caught by a catchy cover, although I think it happens more (for me) with chick lit or women's fiction than with romance.

Do you choose books primarily by:

a) a friend banged you over the head with a text and you staggered into the bookstore to buy it
b) a gorgeous naked man beckoned to you from the cover and you couldn't resist
c) you saw an ad in RT (hey, has anyone bought a book from this?)
d) a Very Important Author said on the cover that the book was hilarious, perfect in every way and truly terrific
e) you read the back cover copy and thought it sounded titillating
f) you read the first page

Eloisa James, 2:56 PM | link | 45 comments |

Friday, May 27, 2005


Okay, since I shared my swimsuit purchase story, and I feel pressure to be a good Guest Blogger, I figure it's only right that I humiliate myself and share this with you.

So, we head to The Lake again this afternoon. For those of you who don't live in Texas, you might not know that even though we have a gazillion lakes, everyone goes to The Lake.

I'm at The Lake, which in our case is Possum Kingdom, and for those of you who read my contemporaries, yes, it really does exist. We bought a new boat this year, a sexy 23 foot ski boat with lots of power and pull, and we've got the stereo playing some Jimmy Buffett, there's a brew or two aboard, the ultimate sin junk food is stored in the hold--an extra-large package of Cheetos. I'm a happy girl.

I decided I needed to ski. I grabbed my ski, plopped off into the water, and hollered Hit It! The new boat pulled my delicate behind out of the water twice as fast as the old boat. I'm crusin'...skiing...pretending I'm still twenty.

I did a face plant in perfect view of a houseboat full of fraternity boys.

My ski went right, my body went left, and my swimsuit bottoms went...well...to the bottom.

I can't bear to say more. Or, should that be bare???? Anyway, I'm giving thanks tonight for the sunset.

And you know the worst part about it? This means I have to go shopping again!!
Geralyn, 10:28 PM | link | 20 comments |

Teresa howls, "Oh, the irony!!!"

A new study has just shown that a small segment of men who use Viagra and Cialas...go blind!!!
Teresa Medeiros, 12:16 PM | link | 39 comments |

Elizabeth Returns to Squawk Again

Hey, Geralyn Dawson is here! How cool is that? Welcome, Geralyn! !@#$% those bathing suits. You look great in a chicken suit! (Oh, and you were warned in advance about my propensity for profanity, right?)

Okay, first things first. Number one, I commented at length about my cover for THE RING ON HER FINGER below, if anyone's interested in that. And number two, I'll blog at length on Odyssey of the Mind in a coupla days, but I know you guys will be interested to hear about my son's team's placement. In spite of scenery that got broken during shipping, a team member who was sick the day of their long-term problem performance, and two--count 'em TWO--technical glitches with their main vehicle, our guys finished, among 51 teams in their division from all over the world {drum roll please} in NINTH PLACE! Yaaaaaaaay! We are SO !@#$%ing proud of them.

Like I said, more soon, but we have a guest blogger, and I am fascinated to hear of her experiences. Especially since we're both at HQN now. (It is obviously a publisher with excellent taste.)

Now then. I find Geralyn's (and I'VE always pronounced her name correctly, even though I'VE never even been formally introduced) comments about writing a series particularly interesting, since my most recent book, JUST LIKE A MAN, was the first of a series I never planned to write. And I, too, am moving from one publisher to another with the continuation of it. For me, though, the choice to continue the series (or rather, make one book into a series) came about because of secondary characters who kept stumbling into the action, people who were SUPPOSED to be there to simply further the story, but who instead demanded their own.

But now I'm worried about being able to do justice to them all, especially the woman who will be the heroine of the final book. So far, she's been kinda morally ambiguous, and the hero I have planned for her is a tad, um, evil. So my question for Geralyn (and the other Squawkers who have written connected series, for that matter) is: Have you ever worried about writing yourself into a corner on a series? Especially those that have spanned years? All four of my books will get wrapped up pretty quickly, but still. I've done connected series for Desire, but those books were pretty short, and the plots fairly straightforward. With this one, I'm concerned that I'm going to have too many loose ends to tie up in the last book, or, heaven forbid, I'll be completely without resolution. How did you guys handle it?

Help me, Obi-Squawk Kenobis! You're my only hope!
Elizabeth Bevarly, 11:58 AM | link | 15 comments |

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Teresa Is Obviously No Virgin

Geralyn's New Release HER BODYGUARD Posted by Hello

We aim to please our Guest Bloggers, Geralyn! Gorgeous cover by the way!
Teresa Medeiros, 7:45 PM | link | 19 comments |

Geralyn's Serious Series response

Well, sorta serious, anyway. I can't get too far out of character.

The reality is that I'm the poster child for how NOT to write a series.

When I wrote THE BAD LUCK WEDDING DRESS, I never guessed I'd be writing more Bad Luck books ten years later. It's all been market/reader driven.

I left my first publisher (where, on my very first editor-author dinner, I got to tag along with none other than Ms. Teresa Medeiros, btw) before THE BAD LUCK WEDDING DRESS was published. The book took off, kept going back to press, and readers kept asking for Tye McBride's story.

So, after doing two unrelated historicals, I wrote THE BAD LUCK WEDDING CAKE. Again, I thought I was done with the Bad Luck, and I wrote a couple more books about a different family, the Ross's--SIMMER ALL NIGHT and SIZZLE ALL DAY. (I won't even mention the novella that muddies the water even more.) With these books I was moving from Texas-set historicals to England & Scotland settings, and I hoped to bring my McBride readers along with me. So, I gave the McBrides and the Rosses a minor family connection.

My big mistake was giving a Ross story a Bad Luck title, THE BAD LUCK WEDDING NIGHT. I'm forever trying to explain how the stories are all interrelated.

Then, after ten books, I was burnt out on historicals, and I wanted to do something different. I wrote three contemporaries.

Can you see I have career planning issues?

A couple years ago I found myself in the mood to write a historical again, and I mentioned that to my agent. She mentioned it to an editor she had lunch with, and all of a sudden I get an offer for four new Bad Luck books. Obviously, the editor was a Bad Luck fan, too.

I owned the rights to the original Bad Luck book, and HQN wanted to reissue THE BAD LUCK WEDDING DRESS, then have me write love stories for the three young girls in that book-- the McBride Menaces.

I loved this idea. I'd loved those characters and so had my readers. I jumped into the project and had a blast writing them. In this respect, the break from writing historicals was good for me. I came back to it with my creativity recharged.

The stories are a trilogy called The Bad Luck Brides. The first book is HER BODYGUARD, which is a June release. I'd love to post the cover here because it's gorgeous, but as a virgin blogger, I don't know how. Look on my website, would you, please? It's Mari's story, a good, old-fashioned western. The second book comes out in December and it's Kat's tory, HER SCOUNDREL. Emma's story--tentatively titled HER TEXAN--isn't scheduled yet, but I expect you'll see it sometime in 2007. Tah-dah! A series that finally makes sense.

Except, I left a Bad Luck book hanging in an Epilogue. Poor Melanie Ross was abducted from Emma McBride's first wedding and she's been hanging in limbo ever since. THE BAD LUCK WEDDING GUEST has yet to be written.

Remember, I'm the How Not To Write a Series poster child.

The good news is, HQN wants me to write The Good Luck Grooms to follow The Bad Luck Brides. I'm hoping to use THE BAD LUCK WEDDING GUEST to introduce the grooms, but I haven't mentioned that to my editor yet, so don't tell, okay?

And somewhere in here, I'm doing a new, small-town-Texas set contemporary series about four brothers.

I'm a busy writer. I'd go swim off my stress if I could face putting on my new bathing suit.
Geralyn, 4:33 PM | link | 13 comments |

Teresa Begs Geralyn for Insight

Hey Geralyn,
I'm kinda curious about this whole series thing. I tend to write series purely by accident. I would have never written the sequel to BREATH OF MAGIC if I hadn't woken up one day hearing the words, "Tabitha Lennox hated being a witch. The only thing she hated more than being a witch was being a rich witch" and I only wrote ONE NIGHT OF SCANDAL because the little sister in A KISS TO REMEMBER kept bugging me and wouldn't leave me alone. I'm writing a sequel right now for a similar reason.

Now you wrote THE BAD LUCK WEDDING DRESS years ago, right? But now you're continuing that story with two more books. Was it because the idea was haunting you and it never let go after all of these years? Or did you just take a fresh look at that book and think, "I've got so much more I'd like to say!" Or did you look at the market and realize, "Hey! Series are really popular with readers right now!"

Please enlighten the series-impaired!!!

(Oh, and feel free to respond on the Main Blog for this one because I'm sure there are a lot of people interested.)

Teresa Medeiros, 2:54 PM | link | 11 comments |

Eloisa adds a Squawk Shopping trip to Geralyn's

A few days ago I got an invitation to a cocktail party in New York city, given by Jane Friedman. Now, for those of you who don't know, Ms. Friedman is the President and CEO of Harper Collins Worldwide. And the cocktail party is being held in a swanky 5th Avenue restaurant. YIKES!

"Honey," I call to my husband, "do you want to go to a cocktail party?"
"Do I have to?"
"Would you prefer to go to the square dance fund raiser at the kids' school?"

That settled that question.

I call the RSVP line. A kindly recording tells me that my invitation is untransferable, and I can't bring anyone with me. Oops. I guess my husband will be doing the dosey-do without me.

I call my editor but apparently editors aren't invited. James Rollins is, though. Anyone else read him? He's the only boy adventure fiction writer whose work I like--no, adore. In other words, top brass are coming.

Freak! I need something to wear! Something that will make me look like a powerful, successful writer who often goes to cocktail parties on 5th Avenue. I don't know about you guys, but the last cocktail party dress I bought was black and above the knee, and that was the 90's. I definitely don't want to show up at the party like the ghost of Barbara Cartland. I'll have to be the standard-bearer for all the squawkers. Plus, I'm going to have to enter that party alone. I find myself thinking seriously about Botox.

Instead of facial treatments, last night I headed out to New Jersey Gardens--home of the largest Neiman Marcus outlet store on the East Coast. My friend and I grabbed armloads of dresses. I struggled into one after another. Don't these people know that if you can afford a couture dress (albeit in an outlet), you're too old to want to wear spagetti straps and an a-symmetrical scarf hem? I tried on a black dress with pleating in the front that looked like nothing more than a vagina (I swear). I wiggled into a white square dress with weird cut-outs that displayed my armpits to the world. I tried on a green slinky 1940s number imprinted with Chinese hats.

Finally...finally (!) I found a beautiful brown dress--just below the knee, gorgeous little cutouts around a wide neck. And when I got up to the counter the woman said: "Oh, couture Carmen Marc Valvo (never heard of him)...30% off!" Came home in glory and read Artemis Fowl to child, imagining myself breezing into that restaurant in my couture Carmen dress.

Then I remembered that I have to walk into that party alone. And that I need shoes! More to come...
Eloisa James, 8:48 AM | link | 18 comments |

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Connie bids you all adieu, adieu, adieu

I'm heading out for a couple weeks. I have put into effect a contingency plan should the need arise. Hopefully Certain People will behave themselves. But if She doesn't, there will be consequences. My only regret is that I won't be here to poke at Geralyn. You all do it for me.

So, in the interest of getting one in before I go away, one quick Geralyn story.

For years and years Christina and I have pronounced Geralyn "Ger a lyn' " accent on the lyn. We had no idea we were mispronouncing it (and there is still some question as to whether or not we were) About two years ago, our little Aggie got all ripped up (aka blotto) and decided to put us straight. So when Christina and I wandered into a bar, spotted her and greeted her with the usual, "Hi, Geralyn" she EXPLODED. She wheeled around, leapt atop a chair ( thus stunning Christina and I into reverent silence-- we had no idea she had such mighty springs in them gams!) and shouted, "It's GER a lyn! GER a lyn ~ For gawd's sake, ya'll've known me TEN F&*^ING YEARS! GET IT RIGHT. It rhymes with MARILYN. GERALYN!"

Have fun while I'm gone, GeraLYN!
Connie Brockway, 10:05 PM | link | 26 comments |


Connie Brockway, 6:10 PM | link | 3 comments |

Geralyn's Virgin Blog

First, let me say thanks to my friends at Squawk Radio for inviting me to be their guest blogger. I'm honored, and to be honest, rather intimidated. I'm a virgin blogger. (There’s the straight line, ladies. You comedians can now go at it.) And thanks for the welcomes y'all posted to Terri's introduction yesterday. This seems like a friendly place and I'm excited to be here.

The distraction is more than welcome, too. Not only do I have a new book hitting the stands this week which makes me totally paranoid, I’m also trying to recover from a humiliating experience I endured yesterday.

I went shopping for a new swimsuit.

It was awful. I’d given up bikinis after baby diapers arrived, so I knew better than to think the experience would be fun. Still, I never expected to be so traumatized that I’d wish I were a vampire. (No reflection in the mirror.)

I walked into the store thinking I’d find something gravity defying. I wanted uplift and hold back and hide. I wanted a miracle of full-figure engineering.

What I found were scraps of stretch fabric designed for women who hadn't eaten since Halloween.

Still, I tried to be positive. I thought maybe those new tankinis would flatter my figure, so I expanded beyond one-piece black suites to the bright, eye-catching colors and clever prints that appealed to my inner teen. With my arms full, my heart hopeful, I entered the chamber of horrors that the skinny, pretty, young, terminally-friendly salesclerk called a fitting room.

I battled my way into the first suit, telling myself Lycra was my friend. I pulled and stretched and wiggled and jerked. When I finally got the shoulder straps into place, I felt like a package of marshmallows wrapped with a rubber band.

I looked...well...it wasn't pretty. My boobs had disappeared, pressed flat as speed bumps against my chest. Could Lycra somehow be adapted for use in mammography? I reached in and adjusted, but without built-in support, I ended up wearing one speed bump up and one speed bump down.

Trying to remain positive, I turned around for a rear view. Mistake. In that pretty, eye-catching Hawaiian print, my rear stretched from the Big Island all the way to Maui.

It went downhill from there. Rather than help me feel young again, the tankini brought to mind those three summers I bought my swimsuit in the maternity department. A one-piece had me looking for a second-piece to cover up all the extra skin that oozed from beneath the Lycra. I tried on a cute little pink skirt that made me look like Dumbo in dance class, a halter top with a built-in Wonder Bra that lifted my speed bumps up to my chin, and a sexy black corset-styled suit with legs cut so high I'd need an eyebrow wax to wear it.

I wanted to sit in the floor and cry, except I couldn't bend down without the speed suit I wore doing the thong thing, and I simply wasn't ready to deal with that.

Finally, I left the store with a new suit--a black and white version of Maui madness--and a despairing attitude. I exercise. I eat right. Why do I have speed bumps and flat tires? What happened to perky? When did my dimples change cheeks?

So, that’s my trauma for the week. What about the rest of you? Any swimsuit stories to share? We could publish them in an anthology. Bookstores could shelve it in...what? Horror?

Geralyn, 11:11 AM | link | 35 comments |

Terri's Crowe-Spam Engenders the Usual Response Amongst the Squawkers

except for Lisa

Connie Brockway, 9:49 AM | link | 13 comments |

Teresa Posts Russell Alert!!!

CINDERELLA MAN, premiering June 3rd Posted by Hello

My darling Russell will be on Jay Leno tonight to promote his upcoming release CINDERELLA MAN, which should start hitting theaters around June 3rd. His co-star Renee Zellweger was on last night but I missed her. Now I have to run before Connie catches me and chastises me for posting this!
Teresa Medeiros, 9:12 AM | link | 16 comments |

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Lisa on "Finding Nora"


Dear ones, I missed you all, but oh, what a fabulous retreat Eloisa and I went to at Harper's Ferry! Actually, I have two regional conferences to report on . . . the one I attended while sober, and the one at which I was an AUI . . . an Attendee Under the Influence. These both happened to be the same conference, by the way.

Drunk or sober, it was without a doubt an Excellent Adventure.

The booksigning at Nora and her husband Bruce's delightful "Turn The Page" bookstore was a mob scene of happy women. I sat next to Eloisa, owing to the fortunate proximity of J and K in the alphabet, and we signed books without pausing for approximately four hours. "So this is what a real booksigning is like," I mused to myself. That thought was immediately followed by . . . "No, this is what a Nora booksigning is like." Nora's dashing husband Bruce, displaying a sensitive understanding of a romance writer's needs, kept us well supplied with chocolate, caffeine and ballpoint pens.

I gave a speech on Friday night at which I let loose all my fervent passion and enthusiasm for the craft of writing romance novels, not to mention explanations of what stepping on a tar ball feels like, how destructive an armadillo can be to one's back yard, and how my husband once had to chase down a garbage truck to retrieve my accidentally discarded manuscript. The conference attendees were the kindest, loveliest women in the world--you had to be there to feel the spirit of joy and closeness we all shared. And that was before the bar opened.

I see from Eloisa's post that she has revealed my deep, dark secret. I, Lisa Kleypas, am a chatty drunk. Enough said.

In return, I would like to make a three-part announcement . . . first, Eloisa is not only stylish and talented, she is intelligent to a frightening degree. Second, she can find homoerotic undertones in anything including a game of tic-tac-toe. Third, she will spend the equivalent of a monthly car payment on a bra. Eloisa's speech on Saturday was dazzling and earned thunderous applause, especially at the end when she removed her jacket to reveal a hot pink low-cut top that represented her essential romance-writerliness.

Hmm . . . industry news . . . well, there was a lot of discussion about the future of historicals with no definitive conclusions. However, it was pointed out that historicals are still hitting the NYT list regularly, and it is still perceived as being easier to build an author to that level more quickly in historical than contemporary. Other news: Kate Duffy, an editor at Kensington, bonded with Eloisa over their shared love of MaryJanice Davidson's Dead and Unwed series . . . Mary Jo Putney is just about to come out with her first fantasy romance which should be spectacular . . . and everyone in the world is dying to buy Nora Roberts' "Black Rose". Shocker, huh?

Speaking of Nora . . . I was the lucky, lucky, lucky winner of a coveted raffle prize . . . a tarot card reading from Nora herself! Since I am not drunk at the moment, I have enough self-control to keep my reading private, except to say that Nora was completely on target with everything she said to me. She is great. And nice. I glowed in her presence, so much so that I had a hot flash afterward and had to cool down with a big old sea breeze.

I made some new Cool Friends at the retreat, including Jennifer Crusie who tolerated my enthusiastic fawning with great kindness, Kathy Seidel whose every utterance is either a pearl of wisdom or else just hysterically funny, Susan King who is lovely in every way . . . and like every other human being on the planet, I marveled at the gorgeous skin, classic beauty and all-around perfection of Pat Gaffney. Also met the adorable Sally Mackenzie, author of "The Naked Duke", copies of which were leaping off the shelves and into readers' arms at the booksigning. I know why. It's cute, happy, has a bright red cover, is priced at 3.99, and has the word "Naked" in the title. I wonder if my editor will let me change the title of my next book to "The Naked Wallflower" . . . ?

Off to ponder this.
Love to all!
Lisa Kleypas, 2:20 PM | link | 11 comments |

Teresa Announces Our Very First Guest Blogger-Geralyn Dawson!

A New Chick in the Henhouse Posted by Hello

Every henhouse needs a fresh chick to spice things up every now and then so tomorrow afternoon, May 25th, we'll be introducing our new Guest Blogger program with first guest Geralyn Dawson. Geralyn will post her first blog tomorrow so if any of you have any questions for her, be ready to interact. (We've promised not to be TOO mean to her.) Geralyn writes both historicals and contemporaries that are chock full of heart and humor. Her classic romance THE BAD LUCK WEDDING DRESS was reprinted just this February to kick off her "BAD LUCK BRIDES" series and the second book of the series, HER BODYGUARD is getting ready to hit the shelves as we speak while the third, HER SCOUNDREL has been scheduled for December 2005. The versatile Geralyn writes contemps with a hot and spicy Texas flavor and titles like MY LONG TALL TEXAS HEARTTHROB and MY BIG OLD TEXAS HEARTACHE. So pop by the coop tomorrow and help us give a big Squawking Welcome to USA TODAY bestseller and three-time RITA finalist Geralyn Dawson!

Teresa Medeiros, 10:25 AM | link | 19 comments |

Monday, May 23, 2005

Eloisa on SeaBreezes, and Hobnobbing with the Rich and Famous

I'm back from the Harpers Ferry Romance Conference...which was, hands down, one of the most fun conferences I've ever attended. Mind you, it was a lot of work. I gave the keynote on Saturday night. To give you the background, our own Lisa was the keynote for the Friday night meal and she got nervous and couldn't eat before. So she gave an absolutely brilliant talk and migrated to the bar with us...and then after a bit she glanced owlishly around the table, clutching her Seabreeze, and said "So...when you're making love with your husband, do you ever..." (I'm excising the rest of that question--you'll have to ask her in private!)

Keeping Lisa in mind, I made myself eat dinner before getting up for my talk. Nervous? Who me? OK, Lisa had given a heart-rending, inspirational speech that had people weeping in their soup. The room was full, and absolutely silent as she spoke. My speech compared me to Mata Hari and Superbaby and was supposed to be funny. ha ha. Jenny Crusie was going to be in the audience. Ditto Pat Gaffney and Nora Roberts. ha ha ha. I started hyperventilating shortly after waking up that morning.

Once the speech was over, I migrated to the taproom, but due to having eaten my dinner, I felt free to have three Seabreezes. I'm not sure entirely how to explain the evening, but here's a list of what I remember:

1) Nora Roberts reads people's palms and is terrifyingly good at it. After she said precisely how many important men had appeared in each person's life (and got it absolutely right for me), I kept my palms to myself.

2) Patricia Gaffney is incredibly beautiful. She claims writing is difficult. It's hard to believe anything she says, because I kept thinking that she looked like a Renaissance portrait of an angel.

3) Nora Roberts has a clothing exchange every year for WRW members in which she throws piles of Prada clothing on the floor and they throw themselves enthusiastically in the melee. Unfortunately, at close range not only is Nora nice, beautiful and a good palm-reader: she's about a size four. Not a reason to join the WRW, even though I love Prada.

5) Shirley Hailstock is one of the bravest, toughest women I know -- she's raising her beautiful three year old granddaughter without a single complaint. Hurrah for Shirley!

Lisa and I gathered some industry gossip and she'll blog on that tomorrow...
Eloisa James, 4:24 PM | link | 34 comments |

ON THE OTHER HAND ... Christina Dodd talks about her brush with infamy

Originally uploaded by Christina Dodd.

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 the Romance Writers of America conference in 1993 when a bookseller 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 noticed that my heroine was possessed of 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.

Buti t 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 she had one tucked into her skirts. 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 groups, and the high point was always The Showing of the 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, 2093 romances were published in 2003. What’s amazing is not that my three-armed woman made it to publication, but that more romances aren’t published with appalling mistakes.

But all good things must come to an end, and one day a bookseller told me CASTLES IN THE AIR was gone. I’d sold out the whole print run, one book at a time, and while I was doing that I sold quite a few other titles, too.

The infamous CASTLES IN THE AIR cover will live forever on my website. While you’re there, take a moment and look at the stepbacks for the RULES OF … series. Each one features a headless woman.


Christina Dodd, 1:40 AM | link | 23 comments |

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Teresa says "See what I mean???"


Addendum to Below Blog: This was a fabulous book. This was a gorgeous cover. But it didn't work because it didn't speak to Elizabeth's target audience. It was the most well-intentioned of miscalculations because the publisher designed this spectacular cover believing it would increase readers instead of alienating them. Unfortunately, an awful lot of publishing is still trial and error.
Teresa Medeiros, 3:35 PM | link | 27 comments |

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Connie Saves the Second Day-- and offers herself up as canon fodder

In order to suss out what is being offered to the world under the heading “Women’s Fiction”, I dropped beaucoup bucks at the bookstore a few months ago and came home with an armload of titles. Since then I’ve been reading them and I have discovered a few, hm, should we call them predilections? that I’d like to talk about. Today is Chick-Lit day...

I came to the sub-genre unjaded, having never read any before (I think that before this year, I was the only person in the world not to have read Bridget Jones’ Diary.) I stayed unjaded for about three books, during which I laughed and smiled through the escapades of a fresh- mouthed heroine who is unapologetically cruising for love and a nice lifestyle in all the wrong places. Then, around book four, the jade set in, solidified over the course of another five or six books and has now petrified into cynicism.

Here is what I think constitutes a Chick-Lit book.

A spunky if harassed urbanite (preferably a New York urbanite) of twenty five years or so who has just started her first “real career type job” juggles the demands of employer, dissolving family, and bad financial decisions while trying to find Mr. Right amongst a backwash of bars, corporate picnics, and the hallways leading to her apartment, an apparently universal situation since she ends up at some point in a high-end restaurant comparing cliff notes with her friends while naming martinis and discussing the best place to buy Dolce and Gabbana at discount. After several slapstick and/or embarrassing encounters with “Just a Guy” she meets through work, she finally agrees to a date and voila! thereafter eschews the egocentric and clueless hunk whom she has been lusting after. She then gets a new job or at least a new job title. The End.

Now, as templates go, this isn’t a bad one and, as a genre writer, I have no problem with templates. I embrace them. What I do have a problem with is the voice in these stories. The first person voice often used is unremittingly focused on acquisition: acquiring a boyfriend, a step up the corporate ladder, a new purse, a new experience, all of which are given about the same emotional weight. I *think* this rapaciousness is supposed to convince us of the heroine’s brutal self-honesty. It only convinces me that she is shallow, vacuous, and a little pathetic. And all those pithy, edged little throw away lines that are, I assume, supposed to illustrate her wit? They just illustrate an attention span deficit. The problem with relentless one-liners is that the good ones, and there are some real gems, are too often hidden in an avalanche of the character’s observations. In too many of these books the narrative has become carnival patter.

Okay, I’m donning my Kevlar. Have at it (or me)!
Connie Brockway, 10:55 AM | link | 58 comments |

Friday, May 20, 2005

Elizabeth Saves the Day

Well, not really. But we seem to be having a blogjam at Squawk Radio today, what with Lisa and Eloisa off conferencing and Terri having plumbing problems (yes, more of that glamour we see so frequently in our jobs) and Christina off picking out more tile or wallpaper or granite or appliances or sod or something. And who knows where Connie is? Probably picking up sailors again.

I myself am also preparing for a trip tomorrow, though nothing so glamorous as Eloisa and Lisa. No, I get to go to Boulder with my family and thousands of others from all over the world, because my son's Odyssey of the Mind team made the World Finals. For the second year in a row. Not that I'm bragging or anything.

I know we said we weren't going to talk about our kids on this blog, but... !@#$% that. This once. I'm a proud !@#$%ing parent, so I get a pass on this one.

When we went to Finals last year, it was quite the eye-opener. I tried to e-mail Christopher Guest, to tell him this is his next mockumentary in the making, but I can't seem to find an e-mail for him anywhere on the web. The highlight this year--for me, at least--will be the T-shirts the school had made up for the team and all us parents. Lime green. REALLY lime green. Like BLINDING lime green. And they expect us to wear them en masse. Already I'm having nightmare visions of those tour groups that wander around Disney World looking goofy. No, not looking FOR Goofy. That would be okay. We'll be looking GOOFY.

Ah, well. The things we do for our kids. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get a fanny pack and some power walker sneakers. And put some padding in my jeans to make my butt look really big. Hey, if I have to wear lime green, I'm gonna make it count.

Be good while I'm gone, Squawkers! (Guffaw.) And if anyone knows the proper accessories for lime green, I'd love to hear from you.
Elizabeth Bevarly, 2:58 PM | link | 15 comments |

Teresa Posts "Quote of the Day"

Where are Tommy Lee and Pamela when you need them??? Posted by Hello

According to Variety, Britney Spears and Kevin Federline's new reality show CHAOTIC makes "Nick and Jessica look like Mensa candidates."

Teresa Medeiros, 12:38 PM | link | 20 comments |

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I just got my cover!

my fair temptress 57
Originally uploaded by Christina Dodd.

This is my October 2005 historical, one of the Governess Brides series.

Christina Dodd, 6:08 PM | link | 23 comments |

Eloisa: off to sign books with Nora!

Goodbye, everyone!

I'm off to the Harpers Ferry conference (which, incidentally, includes a signing with Nora Roberts, Jennifer Crusie, Lisa Kleypas and loads of other terrific authors). I have packed my Armani jacket and my new makeup. I have my talk (Sex and the Art of the Double Life). I have lots of business cards, sign-up cards, Squawk Radio cards, postcards...you name it.

Plus I have my manuscript so that I can write a brilliant, incisive and heart-wrenching end in the train. I have someone else's manuscript to review for an academic press (I finished it, but this book is unpublishable--it's hard to write that kind of ms review). I have an article called "The Controversy Between the Puritans and the Stage" that I need to read for the academic book I'm working on. And I have the crossword puzzle that was just made for the Eloisa James site (covering the Duchess in Love books). I've been trying to solve it and I can't, so I finally had to ask for the solution (shame, shame).

See you soon, Lisa! And the rest of you Squawkers and Friends, drink some champagne for us, because we'll be toasting you!
Eloisa James, 8:59 AM | link | 13 comments |

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Lisa's Excellent Adventure

I have been swamped with end-of-school childrens' activities lately. It seems that graduating from third grade requires the same amount of expenses, meetings, parties and gifts as my own graduation from high school did. Between that and work, I've been busy. And I hate being busy.

But all my suffering will come to an end when I meet our own beloved Eloisa in Harper's Ferry for the Washington Romance Writers conference this weekend! I am living for the moment when my Friday night speech is concluded and I am free to drink until my eyeballs float. Eloisa and I will have many Excellent Adventures, I have no doubt . . . and of course we will report all the interesting details!

Of course you must be wondering, "Lisa, does it take a lot of work to prepare for a writer's conference? Writing your speech? Planning your daily wardrobe?"

Mais non. I have only one speech, with variations, so that is not hard. And choosing my wardrobe is easy when I only have three pairs of pants that fit this week. The main preparation that I made today was obviously a crucial one.

I got a spray tan.

I went to our local tanning parlor and paid ten dollars to stand in a big metal vault with a door that looks like a submarine hatch. Following the instructions that had been given to me, I stripped down, put "barrier cream" on hands and feet . . . isn't barrier cream something that should accompany a contraceptive device? . . . and stood in front of a row of alarming spray nozzles. They sprayed cold tanning mist from head to toe . . . over and over and over again. Word of advice--don't open your mouth during this process. Don't open your eyes. Keep every part of your body as tightly closed as possible.

During the spraying, I felt rather like Jaclyn Smith on that Very Special Episode of Charlie's Angels, titled "Angels In Chains". Those of you who have seen it will understand.

Now I look thinner without having exercised, and I have a gorgeous bronze I've-just-been-to-Acapulco glow.

Embrace your inner shallowness, I always say.
Lisa Kleypas, 8:15 PM | link | 17 comments |

Teresa Contemplates Taking the Plunge

Teresa Embraces the Spectacular Cliffs of Moher in Ireland Posted by Hello

Just got some more Ireland pics. Here I am posing before the dramatic 700-foot drop at the Cliffs of Moher. Mike kept going, "Back...back...just a little bit farther, honey, and the picture will be perfect!"
Teresa Medeiros, 6:23 PM | link | 9 comments |

Connie Respnds to Liz's over-weaning enthusiam

Dear Liz,

Who the $#&% cares?

Connie, bitter and still on sentence two.
Connie Brockway, 6:08 PM | link | 7 comments |

And Then, with a Shudder and Whimper of Completion, Elizabeth Says...

I AM FINISHED! My loose ends are tied. My heroine has climaxed. My hero has groveled. My work here is done.

I'm goin' to Disney World!

Oh, sorry. Still trapped in the land of fiction. Actually, I'm going to go get a haircut, because my bangs are down to the bridge of my nose. Then, I'm going to the grocery, because if I say the words "peanutbutter and jelly" or "mac and cheese" or "tuna salad" one more time this week, I'll be in deep doodoo. Then I'm going to the basement to haul out the summer clothes, because we're still wearing long sleeves even though it's been in the 80s some days. Then I'm going to try and remember the names of my loved ones.

Yes, I am finished. Finuto. Finamarino. Finamaramadingdong. At least until tomorrow morning, when I have to do the final read-through for consistency and pacing. By tomorrow afternoon, this sucker is gonna be OUT of my computer, and off to my editor. Who will read it, then call me and say, "You have to change this. And this. And this. And this."

Change schmange. Between now and then, I'll have emptied a bottle of Johnnie Black.

Life is good.
Elizabeth Bevarly, 1:59 PM | link | 19 comments |

Why Teresa Adores Her Husband

Because it's our 21st anniversary today (we got married when I was 8) and he not only bought me the soundtrack for the new PHANTOM OF THE OPERA movie AND a box of Godiva truffles, he also bought me the DVD's for the 1st Season of...LAND OF THE LOST!!!

I can't wait to travel back in time with Cha-Ka, Will, Holly and those nasty Sleestaks! I'm sensing a marathon coming on!
Teresa Medeiros, 1:15 PM | link | 31 comments |

Christina Dodd offers advice to Liz and Eloisa on finishing their books ...

Oh, gee, I can't think of any, because I ALREADY FINISHED MINE!!!

Christina Dodd, 12:29 PM | link | 16 comments |

Eloisa on sharing Liz's Deadline Madness

As it happens, I'm in the same horrible quagmire. My current book is overdue. But more to the point, whereas in the past I've written up to twenty pages a day -- and boasted about it -- with this book, I'm lucky to make seven. Or, some days, one page.

So -- who has solutions for writing a book that simply won't write itself? In which the character problems seem so fundamental that it's impossible to see the end? I keep telling myself that this sort of irreconcilable problem leads to an interesting book, but how long can one say that about a manuscript that feels like a complete mess?

My current strategy is to keep pounding out the horrible sentences Liz described (only mine are worse), and hope that revision will be miraculous. After all, supposedly Nora herself said that she can work with trash, but she can't work with a blank page.

Anyone have miraculous keep-writing-while-late-and-writing-crap solutions?
Eloisa James, 11:36 AM | link | 12 comments |

Elizabeth Descends into Deadline Madness

They tell me it's supposed to be called Deadline Dementia. But this is much, much uglier than dementia. At least, with dementia, you don't know who the hell you are or what the hell is going on around you. And with dementia, you get eggroll.

I have been writing a novella for over a month. In the past, I've written novellas in two weeks. Less, even. This one was supposed to be mailed on Monday. Yet there it sits, like a bloated, fetid shank of rhinoceros offal on my computer screen, while the rapacious hyena of the Serengeti (i.e. my !@#$%ing subconscious) laughs and laughs and laughs.

It is an Evil Thing, this novella. It mocks me. It taunts me. It makes me write things like "A wistful, poignant little stab of pain pierced her heart at the realization. Then she forced herself not to think about it." Perhaps she should go have a sandwich, maybe do a little shopping, have a pedicure, and think about it some more. Or perhaps, *I* should go have a sandwich, maybe do a little shopping, have a pedicure, and try not to think about it at all.

Or, wait. I know. Perhaps yon heroine should just hurl herself out yon window. Yes, yes! That works for me! And then the hero, roaring his love for her as her little feet disappear over the sill, rushes to the window, tripping over a stray electrical cord on the way, and falls to his death, as well. They will be united in death, immortalized forever as a greasy stain on the sidewalk. C'est magnifique.

It would end everyone's suffering. Theirs. Mine. Any poor sot who picks up this novella in published form. Should it get that far, I mean.

Alas. Woe is me.
Elizabeth Bevarly, 9:52 AM | link | 23 comments |

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Okay Squawkers,

I have a great question from Elsie. Elsie runs a book club, and she writes that during a normal meeting, they go around one by one and say the books they've read and give mini-excerpts, opinions etc..then they discuss the read of the month (Elsie usually goes to the author and asks for a list of questions).

But she adds: "It's sort of getting monotonous lately. What can a readers' group do to liven things up and make it more interesting for the group?"

Well, this goes to the heart of a problem I often hit as a Shakespeare professor: there is nothing more tragically bored than the face of an undergraduate who just read Romeo and Juliet for the third time. What I do is use the fact that we are all creative -- every one of us! And romance readers are not only creative, but they're often so well-read in the genre that they know better than the author what they'd like to see in a particular scene.

So why not ask everyone to pick one scene from the monthly book and write an extra sentence: the sentence the author missed? They could add it to a sex scene (which would be fun!), or to the hero's grovel scene, or to the declaration-of-love scene. Then you could go around and read them, and I bet you'll all end up screaming with laughter...and it will lead to an interesting discussion of why certain sentences were needed. You may not want to pass the sentences on to the author, but you'll have a great time writing them!
Eloisa James, 11:23 AM | link | 42 comments |

Teresa Hits the Casting Couch to Spice Up Book Clubs

All he needs is the love of a good woman--and some of Legolas's conditioner! Posted by Hello

(IMPORTANT NOTE: Read Eloisa's Blog on JAZZING UP YOUR BOOK CLUB first, which somehow ended up just ABOVE mine instead of BELOW IT due to a glitch in the time/space continuum.)

Fabulous question, Elsie! How about setting up a "casting call" for the book? Letting your Book Club discuss which actors and actresses they would cast in the roles of the book's major (and minor) characters. The internet would make this even easier because you could provide visual aids! Hmmmm...would I pick Russell or Hugh or Colin or Orlando...
Teresa Medeiros, 9:25 AM | link | 25 comments |

Monday, May 16, 2005

a little info, please

Connie Brockway, 9:27 PM | link | 14 comments |

Christina Dodd's recommendation for removing the taste of the second Star Wars movie from your mouth!

THUMB WARS! Yes, I'm actually putting this into a blog. THUMB WARS, if you don't know, is this silly silly half hour movie made with eyes and costumes stuck on someone's thumb and parodying STAR WARS (the good one.) It's now available at Amazon. Fav scene - Luke sitting at his uncle's table and saying, "Harvest, harvest, harvest. All I ever hear is harvest. I don't want to work the harvest." And after he flings himself away, his uncle says, "Man, that kid's a whiner." Fav line - they go to rescue Princess Leia (Princess Bunhead) and are shooting at stormtroopers when she comes running out and says, "I escaped somehow. Let's go." Do you know the number of times I've wanted to take that short cut in my plots?

Anyway, I give it TWO THUMBS UP!!!

Ahahahaha! (cough cough) Sorry.
Christina Dodd, 1:28 PM | link | 8 comments |

Hey, Connie! Why don't you put this head on Eloisa's chicken body??? Posted by Hello
Teresa Medeiros, 10:35 AM | link | 8 comments |

Teresa Will Take Han's Swagger Over Anakin's Pout Anyday

Swagger me, baby! Posted by Hello

Christina e-mailed me yesterday and was worried about introducing a controversial new subject on the Blog. That's right. She was afraid we'd bring down the wrath of the universe if we politely pointed out that the last STAR WARS movie, STAR WARS II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES...well, to put it politely...it reeked.

Of course, legend has it that George Lucas divorced his wife between the first trilogy and the second and that it was his wife who did most of the actual writing on those original scripts. One of my main problems with the last movie was that I LOATHED the Anakin character and don't see how I can possibly have any regrets when he goes "bad" because all he did was snarl and sulk like some horrible constipated teenager for three hours. (I can't help but ponder an alternate universe where Leo Dicaprio didn't turn down the role.) The romance dialogue between Anakin and Queen Whats-Her-Face made me want to crawl under the seat AND get Natalie Portman another agent. As the moments crawled by, I kept thinking the movie would NEVER end.

We were with our friends Brian and Vonda when we saw it and me and Vonda finally completely lost it during the Yoda fight when he started "yipping" and doing backflips like Miss Piggy channeling Xena while on amphetamines. We were laughing so hard we were crying and our husbands just kept glaring at us for ruining this pivotal moment of the movie.

I have to admit that I'll still grudgingly give Mr. Lucas my money to see the final installment. But the recent influx of commercials is a little jarring. How can I take Darth Vader seriously when he's strangling M & M's and his storm troopers are lighting the ovens at Burger King? Should I be impressed by Yoda's wisdom when he's hanging out at some diner with Chewbacca having a soda?

The main impression I've carried away from these new films is a keen appreciation for...the extraordinary charisma of HARRISON FORD!!! As inventive and wonderful as those first three films were, his wise-cracking swagger is what gave them their heart. (And stole mine.)

So you can have my money, Mr. Lucas, but my heart will always belong to Han.
Teresa Medeiros, 9:33 AM | link | 53 comments |

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Everyone knows that the beginning of a novel is the most wonderful, creative, juiced up time in a writer's life. So, since I am beginning a new phase in my writing career, I thought I'd shared those first few days of magic!

9:33 a.m.- I crack my knuckles and types the words, “The little kid hit the glass window of the refrigeration unit with an audible splat.”

Damn. That’s good. Visceral. Intriguing. I can work with this. I go and fix myself a mimosa to celebrate the dawn of a new writing day in my career.

10:17 a.m.-I’ve been on the phone listening to my great-uncle describe his impetigo, but now I’ve returned sans mimosa (I poured it out halfway through Phil’s description of erupting blisters.) I stare at my sentence and make a little change,

“The brat hit the refrigeration unit’s glass wall on a dead run.”

Hm. Better. This is a more concise image. You understand that this isn’t a “little” window, it is a “viewing...” Hey!

“The brat hit the viewing window on a dead run.”


“The brat approached the refrigeration unit on a dead run, hitting the viewing window with an audible splat.”

Shit. Shit, shit, shit. I look up. Look at that. Time for lunch.

11:11 a.m.- Yesterday was just a test run. TODAY is the day I am really starting that novel. I am in a celebratory mood. This may have something to do with the mimosa already in my hand, but I’m willing to go with the general festive and confident mood it has inspired.

Besides I already see the problem with that first sentence. I fix it.

“The brat darted from the crowd surrounding the National Butter Association’s revolving Butter Sculpting Studio on a dead run and hit the glass wall with an audible splat.”

That’s good. I’d been missing that splat. So good in fact, I call a friend to read this fabulous first line and bask in her approval. She responds, “Kids, even brats, don’t splat.”

Shit. She’s right. I look up. It’s past lunch.

3:40 p.m. -Okay, Okay. I’ve been busy. But is it any wonder I haven’t been able to really invest myself in this process when I’ve had things like dry- cleaning the winter coats and setting up this damn blog and drawing chicken bodies hanging over my head?! But now everything is under control. I can really concentrate on my writing.

“The kid darted from the crowd surrounding Butter Sculpture Studio and hit the window on a dead run, shaking the refrigerated unit from its two by four foundation.”


“The kid shot from—"

The email rings and a window pops up on my desktop. It’s a note from Eloisa demanding, yet again, a new head for her chicken. Drat Eloisa.

6:55 p.m. -Screw the kid and screw the refrigerator. I’m going to make a cheesecake.

10:48 p.m. -I finish the last of the cheesecake. Thus revitalized, I plop myself down in front of the monitor.

“ ‘And you were once a Butter Princess,’ the judge whispered in a theatrically lowered voice.”

or maybe,

“ ‘And to think,’ the judge shook her head, ‘you were once a Butter Princess.’ ”

Yes. Yes, yes. This is a much better place to open. I am pleased. But if I changed...

“ ‘And you call yourself a Butter Princess.’ The judge’s eyes narrowed— "

Hold the phone. This is not a romance novel. My characters eyes do not narrow anymore. Or do they...?!

The phone rings. It is Eloisa. She is most strident. She insists she neds a new chicken head. I am going to bed.

9:00 a.m.-I have worked on my new novel for ten days. I have written one sentence. Normally this would motivate me to write, but it is Sunday. I shouldn't really be working on Sunday. God wouldn't like it.

I turn off the computer, wondering if this rationale is going to come back and bite me in the ass. Right in front of the Pearly Gates.

Connie Brockway, 12:59 PM | link | 25 comments |

Elizabeth on the Bucolic Life

Originally uploaded by EliBev.
It's too quiet in here. Not to mention it goes without saying that I'm avoiding work again. And I've decided we need a real manly man for our blog. Hey, I love Colin, too, but he's still got that bunch of lace at his throat. Neck. Whatever the hell it was Alfred Noyes said in "The Highwayman." And Hugh is just a tad spooky, imo, and Adrian is too pretty. (Well, he IS. And he wears a skirt. Sheesh.) So here's my Sunday morning gift to everyone, especially myself. And I hope this works.
Elizabeth Bevarly, 10:18 AM | link | 25 comments |

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Connie's New Look

Hey, I just realized Connie's got a funny chicken mommy body now, too! But why does she rate a magic wand? Just because she's the artist? C'mon!
Elizabeth Bevarly, 11:41 AM | link | 8 comments |

Friday, May 13, 2005

From Christina Dodd - this is an awesome story in the Seattle Post

and it's a real link, I've check it myself.


The article is great and we downloaded the woman and her dog dancing together and it's just amazing! If you haven't seen it, it's well worth it.
Christina Dodd, 9:42 PM | link | 3 comments |

Just so you don't get bored while Teresa is gone ;)

Perhaps he's thinking of YOU! Posted by Hello
Teresa Medeiros, 3:49 PM | link | 15 comments |

Teresa says "Ta Ta" for now!

I'm going to be off the computer for a day or two while we work on some remodeling projects. Do try to squawk on without me!
Teresa Medeiros, 3:45 PM | link | 4 comments |

Teresa Ponders the Meaning of the Universe

As some of you may already know, my mom suffers from an Alzeheimer's-like dementia and is currently residing in a psych nursing home. When I went to visit her today, they had the new slogans to celebrate Nurse's Week posted on the door and they were--"We Are Totally Committed!" and "Committed to Excellence!"


Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go lay down for awhile.

Teresa Medeiros, 12:20 PM | link | 8 comments |

Lisa's adventures in makeup-land

Among my many non-productive talents, I've always been really good with makeup. I love to give people makeovers, and I've been on a lifelong search to find the perfect shade of pink lipstick. Since I make an effort to keep up with the trends, I tried the retro look this morning . . . you know, the old Hollywood glam style: red lips, powdered nose, false eyelashes.

It's been twenty years since I've worn false eyelashes. I used to be very skilled at applying them, and I figured it was like riding a bike . . . one of those things you never forget.

Armed with tweezers, lash glue, a toothpick and a pair of MAC false eyelashes, I went to work. Twenty minutes later, I had nearly poked an eye out, I had smeared glue everywhere including the mirror, and one set of lashes was stuck to the middle of my cheek. Disgusted, I left the whole mess in the bathroom and went to my computer to start work.

A few minutes ago, my husband Greg walks into my office with a little clump of fake lashes on his thumb. "Lisa . . . what the hell is this?" he asks.

"That's one of my false eyelashes. Why?"

"I just tried to kill it."

I think I'll just stick with the natural look.
Lisa Kleypas, 9:51 AM | link | 22 comments |


Okay, it’s really Christina on finishing a book, but sexual obsession is a waaayyyy better title and finishing a book does involve an obsession of sorts.

I just finished the third book in the Lost Princess series (working title Princess3 — catchy, huh?) Most books start with an exuberant burst of creativity. I always love my first three chapters because they’re so exciting. Hero and heroine meet and start their adventure. It’s wonderful! I’m amazed at my genius! Everyone’s going to want to read this book!

Then at fifty pages, I have an unfortunate realization. I need four hundred pages. My excellent math skills immediately inform me I have to write three hundred and fifty to go. I also realize there’s no way I can write so much. I’m a fraud, never mind the fact I’ve written twenty-eight books, I’ve never really done this before, and it’s impossible!

So I plod along alternating moments of brilliance with long passages of absolute drivel and before I know it, I’m at page three hundred. Okay, it’s not before I know it — it’s forever. But at around page three hundred, something happens. I get this rush. I can see the end and I work long hours. I wake up in the morning with passages of text in my head (they’re frequently out of order) and I write them before I get out of bed. I write all day and late at night. Eating becomes something that involves cereal, restaurants or take-out. My eyes look like two little computer screens, square and backlit. At the beginning of the book I aim for ten pages a day. At the end of the book I have been known to write as much as forty a day. It’s work. It’s madness. It’s obsession.

Of course while I write the end moves away from me.

This is a rule that always applies. The end is never at four hundred pages. I write on and on, waiting for the bad guys to bite the dust. For the family to reunite. And most important, for the glorious moment when the hero falls to his knees before the heroine and begs her pardon for being a jackass. Because my heroes are always jackasses and they always have to beg for the heroine’s love.

Ah, fiction.

Finally, finally, when my rear has conformed to the shape of my chair and my fingers are little nubs, I write it. THE END. Those are the most wonderful words in the English language and that includes “I love you” and “Here’s your royalty check.” I smile like I’ve got a hanger stuck in my mouth. I stumble to bed because I haven’t slept for so long — and stare at the ceiling because my brain won’t turn off. It is literally stuck in high gear for about forty-eight hours.

And then, of course, I take a week off.

Ahahahahaha! Sorry, for a moment I was delirious and thought I was living a writer’s fantasy life.

Actually, I’m so far behind on everything else — fan mail, real mail, sending out contest prizes, making decisions on the granite/door knobs/carpet for the house we’re building, petting the dogs, petting my husband, talking to my kids, cleaning the house — that I make a list, a horrible list of Things to Do, and start desperately trying to catch up. With Princess3 the aftermath includes having two books on the shelves — and I still have promo material to mail. CLOSE TO YOU has been out for six weeks, SOME ENCHANTED EVENING for two. It’s a little late to worry about reminding people to buy the books, but the envelopes are stamped so by God they’re going out!

So that’s it. The book is done. My life will slowly return to normal. I’ll start the synopsis for the next book Monday (although I guarantee my office still won’t be clean) and I’ll start the same cycle. And really, finishing a book is like experiencing the biggest orgasm ever and the pleasure lasts for days.

So you see, it is sexual obsession.

Please don’t tell my husband.
Christina Dodd, 1:56 AM | link | 35 comments |

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Teresa is back, baby!

My fright for the morning--I saw the rather oddly toned post in Liz's Comment section so out of curiosity I went to the poster's website, which claimed to be humor. Fine enough. There were cute little cartoons as promised. But when I clicked on the person's profile, my computer went "Kablooey!" I got a scary Blue Screen message, which I NEVER get with XP. Then it took me about an hour to get my computer back up and working right.

Scary! Connie and I agree that there's a special circle in hell for people who quote the Bible AND try to destroy your computer, right next to Geraldo and those really skinny supermodels.
Teresa Medeiros, 10:30 AM | link | 15 comments |

The Devil has shown up on Our Site and its using Bible references to lure people into damning their computers to PC HELL

As disappointing as this is to relate, I gotta warn all you lovely visitors who come to the SQUAWKERS' blog that there are dire deeds and dreadful demons at work in some of the comments. This morning Terri followed the link posted by some %^&#! (to borrow a phrase from Liz) under Liz's post and her computer is now completely clabooby (that's computerese for "messed up bad.") I have since deleted the post but wanted to warn you that IT may be back and to be careful of what links you click.

So please, please,please don't follow any links posted under comments unless YOU know the person who posted. Those links posted IN the blog I can pretty well assure you are safe--unless Terri has a personality melt-down.

Personally, I hate this. I loved looking at Hugh Laurie dressing to his feminine side.

Connie Brockway, 10:16 AM | link | 9 comments |

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Reality Intrudes into Elizabeth's Normally Rich (and Very Satisfying) Fantasy Life

Do you guys ever have those weeks where you're so busy lunching with friends, and playing tennis, and buying jewelry, and having drinks on the patio at the club, and juggling calls from Raoul and Sven and Reynaldo and Marco, that you completely forget you're supposed to be working as a glamorous bestselling novelist?

Yeah, me neither.

Those of you who have visited my web site know how I !@#$%ing LOATHE reality. And it wasn't even GOOD reality that intruded into my life this week. Nothing I could write about at some future date under the thinly veiled guise of--wink wink--FICTION writing (hey, it's my JOB) to make suffering it at least marginally worthwhile.

No friends in need of counsel about their illicit love affairs. (Though that reminds me I need to buy a bridal shower gift before Saturday.) No cataclysmic geological disturbances. (Though I think the sinkhole down by our mailbox might be getting bigger.) No devastating financial ruin for mine enemies. (Though I did have to suspend my son's allowance until he cleans his room.) No melodramatic medical trauma for a family member. (Though I do have a brother who's prone to hissy fits.)

No, just a lot of boring !@#$%ing reality from which I was jerked today, thank God, after my return from a trip to the dermatologist, whereupon I found frantic messages on the answering machine from two of my fellow squawkers wanting to know where I was, was I was out on that ledge again, and if I jumped this time, could they have my vast collection of 80s New Wave albums, some of which are Australian imports worth at least ten dollars, and also my future royalties, which, all modesty aside, could amount to fully twice that figure.

Okay, so maybe they weren't all that frantic.

Fact is, the reason I haven't been around is because, well, I've had a lot of boring !@#$%ing stuff to do, none of which pays the bills. It piles up sometimes ya know. Dermatologist. Laundry. Grocery. Driving halfway across town to change my mom's furnace filter. Parent Association meetings with that bake sale Nazi Carol. Hosing off the deck so I'll have someplace to escape to for a little !@#$%ing peace and quiet once in a while, for God's sake.

And now I come back to the blog to find that I have to worry about my FK score on Amazon (as if my FKing reviews aren't enough), Terri's got a new pinup guy who looks like Xander Harris (oh, there's a shocker), Connie's got a new pinup guy who looks like a serial killer (oh, there's a shocker), Mr. Darcy is drinking lattes, Lisa wants to make me even fatter, and Eloisa's been in yet another Potting Incident. What happened to Christina? (No, wait. Don't answer that. I don't want to know.)

Is it any !@#$%ing wonder I hear voices in my head? Oh, wait. That's part of the job. Isn't it?
Elizabeth Bevarly, 9:17 PM | link | 34 comments |


Soooooo, Liz, my horse-savvy friend, the woman who emailed her pals TWO WEEKS ago with her prediction that GIACOMO would win the Kentucky Derby, how much did you bet on your horse???
Connie Brockway, 8:15 PM | link | 9 comments |

Lisa, showing you the way to a guaranteed climax

Chocolate Climaxes

1 stick butter
5 squares unsweetened chocolate, broken
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 cup cold water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup self-rising flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup mayonnaise, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 325*F. Grease and line a 1 x 7 x 11 inch cake pan with baking parchment.
Place the butter, chocolate, white sugar and 1 cup cold water in a heavy saucepan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until the chocolate and butter have melted BUT DO NOT allow to boil. Take off heat and add vanilla.
Sift the flours into a bowl, make a well in the center and add the mayonnaise and about ½ of the mixture; beat with whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining chocolate.
Pour in to prepared pan and bake on the center shelf of oven for 50 minutes or until slightly risen and firm to the touch. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool. Remove from pan and peel off parchment. Cut into squares. Take a bite and hold on for the ride!
Lisa Kleypas, 5:08 PM | link | 16 comments |

Look, Eloisa! No kilt!  Posted by Hello
Teresa Medeiros, 12:40 PM | link | 19 comments |

Teresa shares a Mocha Frappucino with Mr. Darcy

Don't ya love the Starbuck's cup and the sunglasses on Mr. Darcy? Posted by Hello

I just had to share this cover for a book of essays called FLIRTING WITH PRIDE AND PREJUDICE that will be out on September 1st from Ben Bella Books. The collection is edited by Jennifer Crusie and my essay is called "MY DARLING MR. DARCY: WHY IS THE UNATTAINABLE SO IRRESISTIBLE?"

I think the cover is adorable!
Teresa Medeiros, 11:19 AM | link | 22 comments |

Connie's new Objet d' Lust

Feast your eyes, Terri, oh lover of lard!

Connie Brockway, 9:45 AM | link | 46 comments |

Monday, May 09, 2005


Our Eloisa is featured in More magazine's June issue on "Leading a Double Life" (the one with Maria Shriver on the cover.) Amazing as it may seem to us, the photographer actually captured this seminal moment in potting history, when, along with a lot of what looks to me like Engleman Ivy, Eloisa throws off her secret double life as a Shakespeare scholar cum romance writer.

Your squawker in the know, Connie

Connie Brockway, 9:42 PM | link | 28 comments |

Teresa Worries Even More About Her Bleeping Scores

Have just realized Flesch-Kincaid scores can be shorted to "F-K scores". Must take extreme care when typing.

The word counts definitely aren't accurate. They're coming up much shorter than the actual word counts.
Teresa Medeiros, 1:13 PM | link | 40 comments |

Teresa Explains Glamorous Life of Bestselling Romance Novelist

Just returned from taking older cat Queenie to vet for annual vaccinations. On the way there, she managed to pee not only in the carrier, but in my shoe. Assumed this was the worst indignity she could inflict on me--until the ride home...
Teresa Medeiros, 10:12 AM | link | 12 comments |

Teresa Takes on the Flesh Ratings

Oops, I mean the Flesch-Kincaid reading scale thingie. I think it's a fun thing to play with but not a particularly useful tool. Just because someone writes in short, declarative sentences, that doesn't naturally mean that their stories are any less complicated. (Hemingway, anyone?) Nor do I think that someone should change their natural voice in an attempt to reach a broader reading audience. That would be like Sarah Brightman or Barbra Streisand suddenly trying to sing like Eminem.

This all brings to mind a conversation Liz and I had several years ago when FRASIER first debuted. We were talking about how much we loved the fact that they never underestimated the intelligence of their audience. They didn't edit out obscure literary references just because they were afraid that someone might not "get it". Let's face it--if everybody dumbed down their prose in an attempt to reach a broader audience, a lot of us wouldn't have anything left to read.
Teresa Medeiros, 10:03 AM | link | 6 comments |

Eloisa plays with the Amazon's Flesch-Kincaid Ratings

Here's how to tell whether a book has a "text rating": if it has a little banner that says "Search Inside," it will have text stats. If it only says "look inside" or nothing, it won't have text stats. I think this has to do with whether publishers gave permission for the book to be scanned and searchable. The Harry Potter books are not searchable but fascinatingly, in ancient Greek The Philosopher's Stone is searchable and received...ta-da...a 6.2 (you'd think ancient Greek would count a bit higher on the difficulty scale). That 6.2 made me suspicious of these ratings. My speciality as a professor is Shakespeare and I was truly surprised to find that Romeo and Juliet is only 4.6. But I was even more surprised when I discovered that the Cliff Notes version of the play is a 11.1!

I thought I'd check and see how some of the other classics did. Oliver Twist seemed to live up to students' groans: 9.2 with 10% complex words. BUT that rating came from the Tor edition. The Signet Classic edition only ranked 8.3, though still with 10% complex words. The highest rating I could find came from a classic author about whom students rarely complain: Jane Austen was really daunting: 11.5 on the Flesch-Kincaid scale.

I checked one Nora Roberts book, as a contrast to the classics: the difference between Nora's 4.4 with 6% complex words, and Jane's 11.5 with 12% complex words suggests there is some factual basis to the ratings.
Eloisa James, 8:20 AM | link | 8 comments |

Lisa on "Another Stinkin' Number"

I don't know about you, but I've got a lot of numbers to worry about. I stepped on the scale this morning--wish that number was lower. And my total word count for the book I'm working on--wish that number was higher. Then there are numbers like our monthly budget, and the number of school days left before the kids get out (nooooooo!!!!) and recently my husband informed me that we're no longer counting carbs, we have to start counting grams of trans fat. I don't know what that is, but I'm sure it's delicious.

And now it appears there's a new number for writers to be aware of . . . our Amazon Flesh-Kincaid readability score.

If you click on a book that's been published pretty recently, and scroll down to the "In This Book" section, you can find a little link called "text stats". It gives you all kinds of info including word count, words used most often, and . . . a readability score. I tried this for my last book "Secrets Of A Summer Night" and it has a score of 8.2. Is this good? Is this bad? Would any reader check my Flesch-Kincaid score before buying my book? Why is this number there, and what am I supposed to do with it?

I think I'll go eat some trans-fat.
Lisa Kleypas, 5:39 AM | link | 18 comments |

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Eloisa Drags Teresa Out of the Back Yard

AFTER MIDNIGHT coming September 2005! Posted by Hello

I guess this doesn't count as shameless self-promotion since Eloisa dragged me away from an exciting afternoon splitting wood with my step-father and FORCED me to post the cover for my September release to enhance her own discussion about the current popularity of paranormals.

As many of you know, I've written two previous paranormals about time-traveling witches-- BREATH OF MAGIC and TOUCH OF ENCHANTMENT. AFTER MIDNIGHT, my September release, is a Regency historical that MIGHT just be a paranormal but I'm not allowed to tell (wink, wink). Let's just say that my heroine is going to be investigating Adrian Kane, a mysterious viscount everyone BELIEVES is a vampire.

I'm already penning a sequel, which should be out in the summer of 2006. My editor was afraid the sequel might be too dark for me just because the hero is a suicidal, alcoholic vampire but hey, I can see a lot of opportunities for comedy in that situation!
Teresa Medeiros, 3:25 PM | link | 21 comments |

Friday, May 06, 2005

ELOISA on wolfs, neck bites and other hairy beasts

So farther down the blog I promised to report on industry gossip at RT. As far as I could tell, the fact that sales of paranormal books went up 35% pretty much explained everything, including the gi-normous lines that snaked in front of Laurell K. Hamilton and Sherrilyn Hunter.

One of my favorite series writers, Kathleen O'Reilly, summed up the scene fairly scathingly as "tortured heros without a soul in other life before he found his true soul-mate" (this was on
Romancing the Blog). Sounded good to me. So I set out to read that exact book -- and found it! Karen Marie Moning's The Immortal Highlander. Guy has no soul, finds his true mate, oops she has a soul, but he gives up immortality to be with her. Now I know I sound a little jaundiced--but honestly, this is a great romance. The kind I used to love years ago, when heros had something to give up (in this case immortality, but I would settle for their freedom).

I think part of the success of paranormal has to do with a wild mix between truly creative world building (anyone else read Enchanted, Inc. about a woman who gets a job ferreting out wizards-gone-wrong in New York City?) and men who gain all the important things when they fall in love. Look at Christine Feehan: her Carpathians only see in color when they find their true mates. Well, my husband is away on business this weekend and his joyous voice on the phone a while ago indicated that he sees in color Just Fine while out of my sight.

So am I way off base? Anyone else read any paranormals that are hiding an old-fashioned women-come-first romance plot, rather than women-are-the-best plot, if that makes sense?

And just because I, for one, do not find plump Australians interesting:

Eloisa James, 10:02 PM | link | 43 comments |