Monday, December 29, 2008

The important stuff

So, I was aimlessly cruising the blogosphere when I happened on an addictive little app called Wordle. You enter a bunch of text, say, a journal entry, the back-cover copy of your latest book, your shopping list, or just a list of pressing things on your mind (I just looked over those pictures of Jared and Jensen below and that totally made a list of its own) ... where was I?

Oh yeah--the Wordle I created for my YA series. Is this fun or what? (Click on it to see the large version.)


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The "Straight" PETE video

So here's the "straight" video for FOR THE LOVE OF PETE. Note the lovely male model we found! I have no idea who he is, but I feel he does personify my hero who is known as "Lips of Sin" for about half the book:

So what do you think? Silly video starring my brother-in-law, Charles (who works for Borders gift cards! YAY, CHARLES!) or mysterious male model video? If I was as technically ept as Diana I'd post one of those nifty poll thingys. But since I'm not, we'll just have to settle for voting in the comments box.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Sometimes also known as
Julia Harper

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tu-re-lu-re-lu Pat-a-pat-a-pan

Do you hum along with the holiday music in the malls? I do. It's probably the only thing that saves my sanity as I'm shoved through throngs of shoppers on the edge of panic. The great thing about Christmas carols is you usually know the melody and most of the words, unlike Kanye West's latest offering.

I don't like ALL Christmas songs. "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" puts me to sleep. "O Little Town of Bethlehem"? Meh. The whip cracks in "Sleigh Ride" make me cringe, and "White Christmas" always sounds racist to me. "Feliz Navidad" is frustrating, because I can never seem to sing past the first line. And I can't hear "don we now our gay apparel" without envisioning assless chaps.

How about you? What's your favorite carol? Do you chime in at the top of your lungs, or are you tone-challenged?

This year, my musician husband has been off the road for the month of December, so our house has been filled with more music than usual. In fact, we've put together a holiday CD to send out as our Christmas card.

So here's a gift from my family to yours, "The Coventry Carol," orchestrated and played in a traditional medieval style by my husband, Richard, and sung by my daughter, Brynna, and myself:

Click here to hear or download Coventry_Carol.mp3

And okay, I'll play. Here's my donation to the beefcake gallery:

It's surprising how few images there are of our favorite hunks in Santa garb. I guess it's not easy to be sexy in a bulky red coat with fluffy white fur!

Sarah McKerrigan...
Stories to keep you up all night!
LADY DANGER - Riding to the rescue April 2006
CAPTIVE HEART - Coming for you October 2006
KNIGHT'S PRIZE - Stealing your heart April 2007
DANGER'S KISS - Flirting with trouble May 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

As Long As We're Voting. . .

Got no beef with all the beefcake posted here, but in an effort to continue this educational drift, (and to avoid doing what I should be doing, namely working on my next oeuvre) and to make sure my fave gets mentioned, here's a shout out to the underknown Ben Browder of sadly cancelled Farscape.

As you can see, he also looks good fully clothed.

Not to mention in full John Crichton regalia with Claudia Brown as his love and soul-mate Aeryn Sun.

Sigh. Nothing like leather...

I know most of you probably never heard of them, but these are two of the most romantic characters ever created. Every romance reader should check them out on DVD.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Supernaturally delicious

In hopes of continuing Diana's education on hot men who may have escaped her attention, today I would like to present the Winchester brothers from the CW's SUPERNATURAL. The show follows Dean (as played by Jensen Ackles*) and Sam (as played by Jared Padalecki**) as they travel across the United States fighting the things that go bump in the night.

Sam and Dean can be summed up in two words:


That's HOTNESS. If we want to put it together.

Plus, SUPERNATURAL gets bonus marks for actually being an AWESOME show now in its fourth, and so far, BEST season.

Bask in the pretty.............


and JARED....

Yes. They will do very nicely, thank you.

You're welcome, Diana! We're here to help!!


* Jensen is the mental image I used of Quinn, the hero of my book LADY & THE VAMP. Raowrrr!!
** Jared would be perfect as my frequently appearing werewolf, Barkley, in several of my vampire books. Grrrr-owwlll!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


No, really, it's different than the first one!

And Bonus Content for Diana's continuing education:

That's DANIEL CRAIG, Diana!

It's all about the scroll-down, baby.

Julia Harper

Monday, December 01, 2008


So, in the middle of the night a terrible thought occurred to me. Not only has Diana Holquist admitted publicly to not knowing who HUGH JACKMAN is (see post below), but in the process she's revealed that she's missed some of the great cinema of the last few years. How, for instance, could she've seen X-MEN 1, 2, or 3 without finding out who Hugh is? She couldn't've.

Oh, Diana!

Therefore, I've put together a little primer for Diana. Diana? Are you reading this? Pay close attention:

One of Hugh's early works was of course in the iconoclastic PAPERBACK HERO in which Hugh plays a truckdriver who writes romance novels. Really.

Hugh continued with his realist portrayal of Every Man with SWORDFISH in which he played a computer expert. In a towel.

What? Don't all the computer nerds you know look like Hugh?

Then Hugh made s stunning artistic choice by taking the role of Wolverine in X-MEN.

Note the subtle use of body oil to highlight Hugh's impressive biceps!

In between various X-MEN Hugh played the title role in VAN HELSING. While not a critical success, VAN HELSING did include Hugh's now signature scene in which all his clothes are torn off except for a wee bit fabric around his loins. Rhoar! Unfortunately I couldn't find a photo of his signature scene from VAN HELSING, so we'll just have to make do with a fully-clothed Hugh:

Currently, Hugh is starring in AUSTRALIA, which I haven't seen. But judging from this pic I found Hugh rides a horsey and has a really big whip!

Also, I believe Nicole Kidman stars in the movie. Whatever. What inquiring minds really want to know is this: will Hugh have his signature scene in AUSTRALIA?

Elizabeth Hoyt

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hugh who? The Sexiest Man Alive 2008. Really? by Diana Holquist

My friend Julie James and I happen to be a little obsessed by People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive. And why not? After all, we both wrote books about him.

But who exactly were we thinking of when we were writing? Hugh Jackman?

Disclosure: When People magazine picked Mr. Jackman as Sexiest Man Alive 2008, I didn't even know who he was. Do you know who he is? Do you think he's the one? Here's the poll we've been conducting of romance readers for the last few weeks. I ask again, Hugh who? The man barely registered. Is there something different about romance readers? Why Gerard Butler? And by such a huge margin? Vote in the poll and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

At Your Service

Once upon a time at a booksigning, a woman came up to me, star-struck and shaking, to ask if she could have a picture with me, a "famous author." To put her at ease, I made small talk and asked her what she did for a living. She said she was an emergency nurse. I felt about two inches tall.

As a writer, sometimes I feel like I don't have a "decent" job. I'm certainly not offering as vital a service to the world as, say, a policeman, or a farmer, or that emergency nurse. I'm not saving lives, feeding the homeless, or contributing to world peace. I don't fix cars, teach Kindergarten, or even clean your house.

What I do--play with make-believe characters in my head and write down their fictional adventures--sometimes seems completely self-indulgent and unimportant to me, fluffy and meaningless and irrelevant.

And yet...

Every now and then, I get a letter from a fan, telling me how one of my books kept her up all night or made her laugh out loud or touched her heart. It's then I realize I AM providing a valuable service.

Sometimes I'm the romantic escape for a lonely soul. Sometimes I'm the sliver of sunshine through prison bars. Sometimes I'm the relief from a day of suffering or distraction from a night of sleeplessness. Sometimes I'm simply the promise of a happy ending.

Perhaps the most touching story a reader ever told me was that when her mother lay dying in the hospital, the last book she chose to read was mine, because it transported her far away from her pain. Stories like that make me realize the true power and significance of what I do.

So while I can't do your taxes, I won't walk your dog, and I'm not going to invent a cure for cancer any time soon, if your heart needs healing, I'm here for you.

Sarah McKerrigan...
Stories to keep you up all night!
LADY DANGER - Riding to the rescue April 2006
CAPTIVE HEART - Coming for you October 2006
KNIGHT'S PRIZE - Stealing your heart April 2007
DANGER'S KISS - Flirting with trouble May 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

In which Carolyn Shows How to Solve Everything

Today (November 10) is my little brother's birthday. Happy Birthday, Geoff!

And here is my gift to you all in three parts. (Like Caesar and that thing with Gaul):

The funniest series of book reviews EVER (except for one grump):

Regarding this book, Energy Technologies. Please, after you pull yourself up off the floor when you see the price, do read the reviews. Then come back here and finish reading my blog post and tell me how much you laughed or something so I don't feel like a total loser.

Now seriously, is the price of a mass market paperback like any of those fine books along the sidebar there, including, I might add, My Wicked Enemy which yours truly wrote, really all that much? I think the answer is no, it's actually not all that much. Why, a mass market paperback is a deal and a half! Puts things in perspective, eh?

Are you not feeling renewed in your faith in humankind after reading those reviews (except for the Grumpy Student). Because this totally made my day.

Funniest Twilight Review

There was a second bit of humor I chanced across today. This: the best review of the Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series EVER. NOTE: if you don't like strong language, then you might want to skip this review, although for something on it's pretty mild.

Funniest Deal with the Devil

But wait! There's more! People, today was a trifecta of humor brought to you by the best web comic around (IMHO, okay?)

ohmygod. I am such a geek.

OK, so maybe I didn't solve everything. I can't afford Energy Technologies but maybe you, or someone you know, can. And then you'll solve a lot of stuff. Or maybe have a DIY nuclear rector in your backyard.

Right. You're free to go. If, when you do, you decide to pick up a book by one of the fine authors of Grand Central Publishing on the way, that would pretty darn cool of you. And really, who doesn't want to be cool? If you're cool, what else do you need?

See? I did solve everything.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Elizabeth gives away booklets & Julia debuts a video

So, my newest book, To Seduce a Sinner is out. It's a YELLOW book, which *ahem!* I notice our Blogonatrix has failed to post on the sidebar. This is what it looks like:

And the stepback is even more lovely, involving as it does Mr. Nathan Kamp in near-nude glory. Personally, I'd buy the book just for the stepback.

In celebration of the release of To Seduce a Sinner, I'm giving away a FREE booklet on my website. One side is the first chapter of my January 2009 Julia Harper book, For the Love of Pete and the other side is the first chapter of an all-new, never-before-seen Elizabeth Hoyt novella, The Ice Princess, which features reader favorite Coral Smythe (Aphrodite in The Raven Prince.) Each month in 2009 I intend to post a new, FREE chapter of The Ice Princess on my website. I hope you'll enjoy it!

Meanwhile, here's a video for For the Love of Pete. Remember: we're working with a limited budget.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Julia Harper

Saturday, November 01, 2008


The winner of Jeff Rivera's book is


Congrats! Please contact me with your mailing address at and I'll pass it along to Jeff!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Win a copy of FOREVER MY LADY

The Grand Central Café welcomes author Jeff Rivera today for a short Q&A about his new romantic release FOREVER MY LADY.

For the chance to WIN A COPY of this book, please leave a comment below and a winner will be randomly chosen on Friday, October 31st.

Welcome Jeff!

For those who have not read Forever My Lady, what's it about?

It's my first novel, and it was originally self-published when I was lucky enough to get Grand Central to publish it. It tells the story of a kid who's only dream in life is live the rest of his life with his childhood sweetheart. She sticks with him even when lands himself in prison boot camp and promises to stay with him no matter what. The only thing that gets him through the experience is the hope that he'll change his life around marry her when he gets out. Only he discovers from a friend that she's planning on marrying someone else.

One of your characters is a drill instructor, yet you were able to make it a little different than what we typically read about. Why did you do this?

Yes, Senior Jackson. I wanted with all my characters to have some depth. I didn't want a drill instructor who was just yelling and screaming all the time. I wanted someone who had heart but guided the boot camp trainees with a metal glove at the same time. I would say, the drill instructor is based on my friend Doug who was a boot camp drill instructor and my own father.

One of your antagonists is actually a racist but you came up with a twist on him too. What made you come up with it?

Again, I didn't want just these stereotypical characters. So I thought to myself what is the last thing you'd expect from a racist? Then it came as an ah-ha moment. I think people are shocked when they find out about his secret past.

Where can we pick up Forever My Lady?

You can get a copy at, your local bookstore (don't forget to support the indies) and of course, my website:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Raindrops on Roses

I just came from Anna Campbell's website, and she has a section on "favorite things." It inspired me to write about some of mine.

I realized a few weeks ago that when I go shopping and there's a row of, say, tank tops, in a thousand different colors, my hand always veers toward either the green or the pink ones. So...there they are, my favorite colors.

I'm in a restaurant looking over the menu. Lots of good crunchy salads and broiled chicken breasts. But my eyes keep straying to the mashed potatoes. The French fries. The homemade potatoe chips. What does that tell you?

I've got Pandora on. I can listen to any one of a hundred artists and/or music types. But I keep clicking on that Nightnoise station. And I'm not Irish. I swear....

So let's see. If all is right with the world, I should be eating a plate of crisp, salty fries, wearing a pink and green tank top, and listening to Nightnoise or some other celtic music.

Oh, and I should be doing all of this sitting on my beachfront veranda (which, of course, I don't own) watching the waves pound the shore.

Yeah, that's the ticket... My favorite things.

Now it's your turn. What are some of your faves?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Elizabeth's New Photos!

OMG! I had to wait an entire WEEK to see my new author photos! (I know: ten years ago that would've been fast...or am I dating myself here?) Anyway, here they are:

You're probably looking at them and wondering why I need two photos since there's only one of me. The short answer is that I had trouble making up my mind--and it wasn't like any of the people I asked for input helped. I'd narrowed down the hundred or so photos the photographer took to 24 and these are some of the comments I got from family and (supposed) friends:

You look tired

I hate the red outfit.

There's a flower growing out of your head.

I hate the blue outfit.

Wow! Your make-up looks great! (This was said in such tones of surprise that it immediately made me suspicious of what my make-up normally looks like.)

Wow! Your hair looks great! (Ditto. Have you any idea how time consuming straightening hair is? Huh? Do you? And it's not like I'm a teenager and care any more...)

That's the spaniel pose. (This from my agent about the last pose. In an act of defiant passive-aggressiveness I got the spaniel pose anyway.)

Phew! Thank goodness that's over for at least the next five years!

So, your thoughts? Hate the red outfit? Hate the blue outfit? And what about that spaniel pose?

Elizabeth Hoyt

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Woman to Woman

Just between us, you know you get a little smile on your face when you see a woman with a sword. It's a visible manifestation of what we all know to be true--women are strong. Okay, maybe we don't cross blades with the crooked mechanic who wants to replace our transmission. But we can stand up for ourselves. After all, we have the babies. We nurse the hurts. We hold the family together. We even live longer than men.

I love strong heroines. I write about damsels in shining armor, ladies who swing swords, maids who aren't afraid to confront danger, knock out the bad guys, and even give the hero a good thwack on the back of the head when he needs it.

So I must be one tough, in-your-face, take-no-prisoners chick, right? Hardly. Neither are most of my readers. In real life, I generally prefer flight to fight. My idea of personal strength is not bursting into tears over a bad review.

So what makes us so fond of wenches wielding weapons?

I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with feeling vicariously victorious as the fearless heroine takes on challenges and enemies that would have us mere mortals cowering in the corner. We fight alongside the kick-butt femme fatale--celebrating as she knees her sexist boss in the groin, crowing as she trips the nasty villainess, cheering as she drops the wife-beater with a mean right hook. She rushes in where the rest of us fear to tread.

Well, I'd like to believe I'm doing more for shrinking violets than just entertaining them. I hope my books inspire and energize readers to discover their own inner strength, to release that brave woman inside them, to find the courage to face at least one small fear in their own lives.

With that in mind, here's my challenge to all of you:


Yes, vote.

Some of our very brave sisters fought and suffered and died so that we'd have the right to an opinion and a voice. If your one act of courage is to arrive late for work so you can vote, do it. If it's driving in the rain-slick streets to get to the polls, do it. If it's defying your overbearing husband's ill-informed advice and canceling out his vote, do it. Show your strength. Honor the sacrifice of an army of real-life heroines and VOTE!

Sarah McKerrigan...
Stories to keep you up all night!
LADY DANGER - Riding to the rescue April 2006
CAPTIVE HEART - Coming for you October 2006
KNIGHT'S PRIZE - Stealing your heart April 2007
DANGER'S KISS - Flirting with trouble May 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh Woe is Me Plus Rant Alert!!

I live a bit out in the boonies where we can't see the road from the house. Not the way boonies, and every year the not-boonies creeps a little closer and our view is slightly more house filled. So far, there's still 30,000 acres of dairy behind us. Really, it's lovely. If I look out the window of my room, I see the Koi pond, walnut trees, oak trees and the sheep if they happen to be wandering by.

The downside to this is that there is no cable or DSL at our house. Some of our neighbors closer to the road have it, we don't. Comcast wants $22,000 to bring cable up our driveway. No, I did not make up that number. That's what they want. Gasp, choke wheeze We do not have cable and won't be getting broadband anytime soon, let me tell you.

I swear, I'm working up to my rant. Stay with me, I'm pretty much done setting the scene. (never do this is a novel, people stop reading.)

Anyhow, a while back, I signed us up for satellite which is kind of like dial up after a double espresso. It's not fast by any means, but it's better than dial up. Well last Wednesday, the satellite modem went on the fritz. We (I do mean we because we ended up tag teaming them. Two of us on two different phone lines...) spent a hellish 3 hours on the phone trying to get someone to not put us on hold, disconnect us, transfer us to the wrong person or -- Is any of this sounding familiar? Because I am willing to bet you have your own Customer Support Nightmare story. We finally were somehow mistakenly transferred to someone who could help. It was agreed the modem was not functioning. A service call was arranged for today (Friday, Oct 10) to replace the non-functioning modem.

I left work early so I could be home for the tech guy with the replacement modem. He was there right on time. Yay! A little later, I saw him sitting on the floor talking on the phone and doing whatever. He comes out and says to me,

"Your modem isn't working."

To which I say, "Well, yeah. It's not working. That's why you're here. With the new one."

"Nobody told me that. I don't have a modem with me, but I ordered one for you. It'll probably be here next week. Maybe Wednesday."

If you want to imagine me trying not to blow my top, go right ahead. I didn't lose it for the most part. I just noted that every nerve in my body was shouting at me He's lying! I just knew it. But I told the nice man in the nicest possible voice that my time and his had just been completely wasted. Off he went.

Since this is a Customer Support event, there was no way ever that this was going to actually involve customer support, I figured I'd make the calls now as opposed to later in the week when I was really upset that nobody had done anything. I called the tech service company who told me that no one told them they needed to replace a modem.

Carolyn's thoughts on this: They're a TECH SERVICE company. They only get called when all the stupid first level stuff like resets, unplugging and plugging back in fails to work. By then it's 80% sure to be hardware related. The other 20%, by, the way, is moron related. Like, Oh, I didn't know it had to be plugged in! Why yes, the lights do come on when it's plugged in. So, why the heck wouldn't they have some replacement modems along just in case?

Whatever. The tech company said they were ordering a modem for me and would come out when it arrived. No problem. They were happy to help me with my service issue and was there anything else they could do to help me?

Fact: When dealing with Customer Service, never trust the left hand when there's a right hand involved. Or vice versa.

I called the satellite company to relay to them that somebody somewhere was an idiot and it wasn't me. In the nicest possible way, seriously. That call included this gem of an exchange:

"Have you unplugged---"

To which I say, "We already did all that. You told us Wednesday that the modem doesn't work. That's why you sent the tech guy. He was just here, and he said the modem doesn't work. I'm confident the modem, in fact, does not work."

"Is there power to the modem?"

I am now thinking to myself I need to lie and say no. But I didn't'.

"Well, we can't send you a replacement modem if there's power to the modem."

"You're saying that even though the modem doesn't work, you can't send us one that does?"

"That's right."

Go ahead and imagine me blowing my top. It will be amusing for us all. Only I didn't. Props for Carolyn! I slowly worked around the absurdity of it all without actually destroying her carefully constructed bubble of a world in which all logic and rationality is sucked out a black hole, and she put me on hold (cold shivers down your back? Mine too.)

Aside: Think of the potential profits to be had under such a scheme. People pay $80 a month for equipment that does not work and cannot be replaced with something that does work. It's brilliant. If only more customers were actually idiots, they'd be sitting pretty darn pretty.

Sometime later, I had to race into the other room to pick up on another phone because the battery was running out on the cordless. A million years later, she came back and told me that the Tech company knew they didn't have any modems but came anyway. And as a special service for me, at no additional charge, when the modems arrive, they will replace ours. Sometime next week probably.

So, who's the liar here? (And let's all agree it's not me, okay?) The Tech Service company or the Satellite company? Right, it doesn't matter.

This post is coming to you at the speed of dial up. Let me just assure you that about 70% of the internet is inaccessible via dial up.

Also, to make this vaguely writing related, I was trying to write while I was on hold, so now my neck and shoulder hurt.

Please comment to make me feel better. Feel free to share your Service call nightmares.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Elizabeth's Great Photo Shoot

So apparently no one can recognize me from my author photo. Perhaps it's because I don't normally wear gobs of make-up or have a fixed smile on my face. Perhaps it's because my hair has mysteriously become more blond as I've aged (that's the story I told Mr. Hoyt anyway, and so far he believes it.)

In any case, not having a recognizable author photo has been kind of low on my list of priorities. After all, author photos tend to be expensive and--more importantly--require a whole day to get done. But my agent has reminded me on a regular basis (note that I don't use the word "nagged") that perhaps I really ought to get a new photo.

And then Diana Holquist went and got a gorgeous author photo in which she looks like a 1940s starlet lounging around her MGM set home, thus blowing my excuse that we busy authors just don't have the time for nice photos.

Thanks, Diana.

So today I'm wasting the entire day in getting my photo taken. Last night I painted my super short nails whilst watching RUN FATBOY RUN (a thoroughly enjoyable movie.) My choices were: black nail polish or clear final coat (my children are teenagers.) I went with the clear even though black nails might lend a certain air of mystery to a historical romance novelist. Today at 10:30 I'm off to get my hair "done" which I believe will envolve draconian straightening and lots of hairspray. At 1:45 it's make-up at the one Merle Norman shop in town (I'm the most nervous about that one) and then at 3:00 is the actual photo shoot.

So wish me luck. At the end of the day, hopefully I WON'T look like this:

Elizabeth Hoyt

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dancing at the finish line

I love writing. But more than that, I love having written.

Case in point: On Saturday I finished Tidings of Great Boys, book five in my six-book "All About Us" YA series. I typed THE END, had a little cry from sheer relief, and then leaped to my feet and did a Snoopy dance all around the living room. Because for writers, there's nothing quite like that feeling of accomplishment when you finish a book. That end-of-the-road, boy-I'm-glad-to-be-here feeling that makes you want to get up and shake it with more abandon than you ever would on a dance floor, LOL!

How do we celebrate the big accomplishments? Back in caveman days, they'd bag that mastodon and come back to camp and barbecue it, then have a celebration dance, right? A person gets married, they dance. A company has a good year, they throw a Christmas party and dance. Ya gotta love the human impulse to lift those knees and wave those arms in a way that says, "Woohoo! We did it!"

So I figure I'm not just being a loon and embarrassing the neighbors because I forgot to close the drapes. I'm carrying on a human impulse that has been part of our DNA for millennia.

That's my novel, and I'm sticking to it.

Shelley Adina

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hooked on Books

I did some major reading over the past few months, and thought I'd see how my reading list stacks up to yours!

From the library: I caught up on Tess Gerritsen. Haven't yet caught up on Amanda Quick and Lee Child but am working on it. I also discovered Anne Perry.

I've become a fan of: Joanna Bourne, Karin Tabke, Deanna Raybourn, and Ariana Franklin.

I found I still love: Lori Handeland, Isabel Sharpe, Karen Rose, Elizabeth Holt and Susan Crandall.

Currently on the iPod: World Without End by Ken Follett, and all three books of Nora Roberts' In The Garden trilogy. Does anyone else have an iPod that doesn't have music on it? Honest, all that's on mine are audio books.

Bought last night: The Edge of Desire by Stephanie Laurens, and Seduction of a Proper Gentleman by Victoria Alexander.

My to-be-read pile isn't any smaller than it was at the beginning of summer. Read a few books, add a few more!

So where does my list (this is partial, btw) coincide with yours? Or what book or authors have you read lately that you'd like to recommend?

Shari Anton

MAGIC IN HIS KISS, Available Now

Friday, September 12, 2008

Powers of Observation

Every time I hear the phrase--a writer's eye for details--I cringe. I'm the person who can drive past a weathered four-story building on my daily trip to the gym and say, how long has THAT been there? I'm always losing my car in parking lots. I can re-watch movies I saw years ago, because I don't remember how they ended. Last week, I spent hours perusing masterpieces in a museum I've been to before.

My husband, on the other hand, whose interest in writing tends toward writing code for computer programs, recollects in minute detail every stage on which he's performed in the last 10 years, knows where he left a specific cable in a garage full of wires, and can play "name that cityscape."

I'm not alone. My good friend and fellow author, Lauren Royal, suffers from the same affliction. When we attend conferences or writer's retreats together, it's like the blind leading the blind as we lose ourselves in the hotel hallways or on the cruise ship. Lauren can't remember what waitresses look like. I don't recall if I've heard the speaker before. Neither of us know which way's north.

So how do we detail-challenged authors manage to write?

I think romance writers may not necessarily have an eye for PHYSICAL details, but we have great powers of EMOTIONAL observation. I may not be able to picture the restaurant I went to for my 30th birthday, but I remember distinctly the warmth of being surrounded by friends and family. I don't know which football game it was, but I remember the way I choked up when my kids played "The Star-Spangled Banner." I can't recall my sixth-grade classmates, but I remember the horrible humiliation of being picked last for the softball team. I have trouble envisioning the face of my first high school crush, but I'll never forget the dizzying passion of falling in love. I don't remember the details of giving birth--what was in the room, the color of the curtains, what I talked about for 18 hours--but I clearly recall the utter joy of holding my new baby in my arms.

Emotion, after all, is what's most important in a romance. The details I can invent. (But believe me, I'd never invent a manor for the hero that had the convoluted blueprint of some of the hotels I've been in!)

So how are your powers of observation? Does anyone share my curse? Give me the...details.

Oh, one more thing...If you get a moment, please go here to vote for my Danger's Kiss book trailer (voting is the dark box in the upper left):

Sarah McKerrigan...
Stories to keep you up all night!
LADY DANGER - Riding to the rescue April 2006
CAPTIVE HEART - Coming for you October 2006
KNIGHT'S PRIZE - Stealing your heart April 2007
DANGER'S KISS - Flirting with trouble May 2008