Friday, February 25, 2011

How romantic comedies work

I love romantic comedies! They are by far my favorite genre of films. Books too, for that matter.

They are like the chocolate of the food pyramid. Sweet, indulgent and always satisfying.

There are so many great romcoms out there it would be hard to pinpoint a favorite. His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia Story, While You Were Sleeping, and Sleepless in Seattle are among my old time and new time faves, but one that has always stuck in my head since I saw it back in 2005 when it came out was Fever Pitch. Partly because it stars Drew Barrymore, whom I adore (she would be my choice to play Kitty if they ever made a movie version of Bunco Babes Tell All) and partly because there is a huge baseball theme (and I adore baseball) but mostly because it hits the ball out of the park in every way (pun intended).

Another thing I love about the film is that it stars Jimmy Fallon as the romantic male lead and I would have never guessed that he could have pulled it off so beautifully. But he does! And that's why I chose Fever Pitch to use as the film in my deconstruction workshop over at Savvy Authors. The workshop starts Monday, Feb 28 and lasts all week. Here's the link if you're interested. I promise it will be both fun and enlightening!

Fever Pitch Workshop, Savvy Authors
Feb 28-March 6
Fever Pitch, the 2005 romantic comedy about the game of love starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon. Hold on… Jimmy Fallon? Not exactly most women’s idea of a romantic leading man. Find out how funny can be sexy, and what makes this romantic comedy work on so many different levels. This workshop will focus on plot and characterization and how you can use the techniques from the film to make your own stories stronger and more appealing to the mass audience.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Today, I'm over at the Stiletto Gang blogging about the Oscars. Personal favorites and worst moments ever. Check it out right here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fear and writing

Today, I'm over at the Girlfriends Book Club talking about going for the fear. Check it out right here (hey, I rhymed!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

You pierce my soul

My pal, Susan McBride (author of the fabulous The Cougar Club) is over at the Stiletto Gang today talking about favorite romantic reads. She was seen on Great Day St. Louis on Valentine's Day and selected The Boyfriend of the Month Club as a favorite read this year. Yay! You can read the post and see the video right here.

Susan did a poll recently on Facebook and her readers selected 5 of their favorite romantic reads of all time.

I think mine is without a doubt, Persuasion, by Jane Austen. The love letter Captain Wentworth writes to Anne at the end of the story is a two hankie read!

"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago.

Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine.

I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men.

Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never."
Persuasion, Jane Austen

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll be in Pittsburgh. Pictures to come (if I don't freeze to death, that is!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Saving Bookstores and Stilettos

As long as there are men in the world, I don't think stilettos will need saving. Bookstores, on the other hand are a different matter.

Today, is my first official blog post as the newest member of the Stiletto Gang. I'm talking about the Borders bankruptcy and how we can help save bookstores. Or is too late?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Aloha means free books!

Today, I'm over at the SOS Aloha blog that's run by the very lovely and energetic Kim Adams.

I first "met" Kim shortly after my first book, Bunco Babes Tell All, came out. The Chicago Tribune had done a very nice review of the book and the review had been picked up by the Baltimore Sun. Kim, who is a military wife and huge supporter of all things Bunco, the Military, and romance, emailed me after her husband showed her the article. The next month I met her in person at the RWA Literacy signing in Washington DC where she presented me with this huge set of dice! You can see the dice in the picture above that was taken at a subsequent book signing. I wish I'd thought to get my picture taken with Kim, but I'm usually a google eyed dope at these signings and these things don't occur to me till later.

Please stop by the terrific SOS Aloha blog, which supports romance and celebrates the "silent" soldier--that's the spouse who supports the soldier who helps keep our country free. Leave a comment and one lucky person will win a copy of all three of my books! Comments will be open till Saturday (aloha time!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sex scenes

Happy Valentine's Day! It's rather apropo that last Saturday over at the Girlfriends Book Club, the topic was sex scenes and how to write them. I sure had fun reading all the advice. You might too!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Book Bloggers and Tribal Writer

I love people who love reading books and especially people who spread the word about the books they love. Book blogs are the modern day way to get your book "talked" about. And book bloggers are the connectors and mavens we all wish for.

Lori Gondelman, from Lori's Reading Corner is over at the Stiletto Gang today talking about how she got started.

Another great post to read is Tribal Writer's latest on why reading fiction is important. If you're a writer and you don't subscribe to her blog, then you're missing out on some great advice and inspiration. Reading is the Inhale, Writing is the Exhale. Now those are words to live by.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Writing with Authenticity

I've been thinking about this a lot lately and what it means. My new wip (The Ugly Girlfriend) has taken me places I've never been before and I don't just mean location. Up till now, I've shied away from writing characters that I don't have some kind of first hand knowledge of.

For instance, in Boyfriend of the Month, my protagonist, Grace, is half Cuban. Well, I'm all Cuban, so that was easy. I've read Cuban characters in novels before that didn't feel authentic to me. It's like they threw in a generic Hispanic character and called them Cuban when they felt more Puerto Rican (yes, there is a difference) or Mexican (and yes, there is a difference again).

So I'm entering new territory and it's exciting and scary at the same time.
I can only hope I do my characters justice.

Back to writing now!

Oh, and check out my guest post over at Sniffly Kitty's blog. It's about falling in love with your novel and it's part of the month long Loving the Reviews Challenge!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Handling Bad Reviews

Today's Saturday topic over at the Girlfriends Book Club is reviews, and how authors handle bad ones. I have to say bad reviews used to really get to me. But over the course of 3 books I've had to step back and see a review for what it is. One person's opinion.

I remember hearing Susan Elizabeth Phillips say at a workshop once that bad reviews can be liberating because the truth is you can't please everyone, so you shouldn't even try. I love that advice. And I love Susan!

The truth is all books get bad reviews. Even the big ones. Especially the big ones. The more people who read your book, the more likely you are to have someone (or lots of someones) not "get" the book.

In the summer of 1950, Alfred A. Knopf Inc. turned down the English-language rights to a Dutch manuscript after receiving a particularly harsh reader’s report. The work was “very dull,” the reader insisted, “a dreary record of typical family bickering, petty annoyances and adolescent emotions.” Sales would be small because the main characters were neither familiar to Americans nor especially appealing. “Even if the work had come to light five years ago, when the subject was timely,” the reader wrote, “I don’t see that there would have been a chance for it.”

That book of course, was The Diary of Anne Frank.

Enough said.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Free Book Friday

If you've never been to Free Book Friday before, why not? I don't know about you, but I love FREE books! This week's book is Friday Mornings at Nine, by my good bud, Marilyn Brant. I've read it. It's fabulous. You'll think it's fabulous too. So go over and enter!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Me Likes Kate Pearce

I don't know how she does it. Maybe it's the magic jellybeans she eats while writing, but Kate Peace is one awesome and highly prolific writer. She's got two new books out within just a week of each other and I can't wait to get my paws on these (Actually, they are both on my Kindle, waiting to be scrolled to). Kate is a fabulous writer and I'm in for a treat! If you haven't read her yet, you are truly missing out.

Here's the lowdown:

Simply Forbidden
Pearce’s House of Pleasure series continues with this intense, thought-provoking Regency-era novel that will cause you to ponder the events that shape people’s lives. The complex, troubled characters struggle with issues of abandonment, betrayal, trust and family relationships as they come to terms with their sexual proclivities. You get a great historical novel, a touching romance and blistering sex — with a little kink.
TOP PICK! 4 1/2 Stars, Joyce Morgan, RT BOOK Reviews

Lisette Delornay-Ross is used to belonging to two worlds—her father Philip’s aristocratic circles and her mother, Helene’s more risqué sexual empire. When she meets Major Lord Gabriel Swanfield, she is instantly attracted to him and more than willing to engage in her usual brand of flirtation. Scarred both physically and mentally by his sojourn in the Peninsular army, Gabriel lives a solitary existence on the fringes of London society.

Although he is willing to indulge Lisette in an erotic affair, Gabriel has surprisingly strong views about marriage. But despite herself, Lisette understands Gabriel’s conventional desires all too well. Should she give into his demands and become the perfect society wife he thinks he wants, or try and persuade him otherwise? As both of them try to provide the other with what they believe is the answer to their dilemma, they discover that love has a way of making the most unconventional of lifestyles work after all.

Blood of the Rose
The second installment in Pearce’s Tudor Vampire Chronicles contains more rich historical details than the first book, making it exceptional. There’s something fun about rewriting history and making memorable characters like Anne Boleyn into vampires. Pearce expertly weaves her historical background and knowledge into a truly captivating tale.
4 Stars! Annette Elton, RT BOOK Reviews

When Rosalind Llewellyn had to join forces with her enemy, Christopher Ellis to defeat a rogue Vampire threatening Henry VIII, their alliance led to a surprising passion. Reunited after a years separation, they face a new threat that could destroy their last chance at happiness.
Christopher is delighted by the spectacular rise at court of his friends George and Anne Boleyn. But Rosalind suspects Lady Anne is up to no good-she may even be a Vampire who’s bewitched the king. Now Rosalind must fight to keep Christopher from falling under the woman’s mysterious spell. It isn’t until Anne reveals a dark secret that Christopher awakens to where the true danger lies-and he begins to play a desperate game in order to save the woman he loves…

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Another nice review for Boyfriend

Okay, I admit it. Good reviews are better than chocolate :)

There’s nothing like a satisfying Chick Lit book on a blah winter’s day or on a sunny day at the beach. The machinations of friends and family in a cozy setting while the main character falls in love with the perfect guy becomes the chocolate bar for the soul. Maria Geraci’s The Boyfriend of the Month Club is such a nugget of pleasure.

Check out the rest over at All About Romance!

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