Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Heroines I'd like to be Friends With

Yes, I know, it’s another post about heroines! As of yesterday morning, I had a vague idea what I was going to be blogging about on my second day on the island. Then, when CJ mentioned Liberty from Sugar Daddy, I changed my mind. I LOVE DIK and all our heroes, and I’ll admit, when I read certain authors, I read their books almost solely for the dark, tortured heroes. That doesn’t mean heroines should be cast by the side. After all, without those lovely ladies, our heroes would be nothing. However, there's a big difference between heroines I admire and heroines I'd want to be stuck on an elevator with.

So I decided to mix it up. Today, I want to talk about heroines that I’d want to be (best) friends with:

1. Liberty from Lisa Kleypas’s Sugar Daddy, hands down, has to be on my list. She’s not ashamed of where she comes from, she took care of her sister when she could have been a selfish brat and stuck her in foster care, and she worked for everything she got in life. Loyalty is a big thing I want in a friend and Liberty has it all. (P.S. I was vera happy with her final choice!)

2. Avril Carson from Nancy Robards Thomson’s Beauty Shop Tales. This hairdresser-turned-actress-turned hairdresser again, is amazingly unselfish. She returns from California to her small hometown in Florida after her husband’s death. Upon arriving, she finds out that her dead husband fathered a child with her high school best friend (while she was married to him). Her (ex) friend is dying of cancer and wants Avril to take care of her son when she dies. So she does. There’s a lot more to the story than that, but that’s a seriously decent human being.

3. Jaine Bright from Linda Howard’s Mr. Perfect. She’s hilarious and she’s a smartass. Enough said.

4. Bette Robinson from Lauren Weisberger’s Everyone Worth Knowing. After five years at a shitty job, she walks out and ends up working in the crazy world of the rich and famous. She fucks up occasionally and almost loses her best friend, but in the end, she figures out what her priorities are in life and how to be true to herself. And she does it without a man. Love her! Okay, she’s not really a romance heroine but she was the catalyst for my decision to become a writer so she gets a slot.

5. Penelope Featherington from Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. She’s loyal, she’s a smart and talented writer (if you haven’t read the Bridgerton books, sorry for the pseudo spoiler), and she certainly knows how to keep a secret.

There are a lot of heroines out there but these are the first five that come to mind for me. What about everyone else? Can you stand another day of talking about heroines instead of heroes? ;) I even included cute pictures of animals. Which heroines would you want to be friends with?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Real Women

Yesterday morning I decided to break my rule and go jogging with my husband. A while ago I made a vow never to go running or jogging with him and I’ve been sooooo good about it. Well, yesterday I was feeling uber motivated and wanted to go farther than I normally do. I couldn’t take the dog (too much humidity in FL) so to alleviate total boredom, I asked the man to come along.

On the last stretch I looked over at him and realized (in disgust) that he hadn’t even broken a sweat. Then I remembered WHY I didn’t jog with him anymore. I’m next to him drenched in sweat and breathing so hard I sound like a polar bear with asthma. It’s embarrassing really. When we got home I looked in the mirror and was even more horrified. My face was lobster red, my already super curly hair is frizzing all over the place, and I have leftover mascara (that I didn’t wash off the night before – yes, I’m sexy) smeared under my eyes. Not to mention, the entire front of my gray Notre Dame shirt was completely drenched. I looked like an accident victim. The man? Not a hair out of place or drop of sweat to be seen. He kissed me and tried to get frisky….Seriously??? All I know is he must love me if he wants me in that condition. Don’t know if I should be happy or horrified.

This reminded me why I love reading about less-than-perfect romance heroines (real women) and the men who love them. Perfect women are annoying enough in real life, I certainly don’t want to read about them in my books. The book is a little older, but there’s a scene from Up Close and Dangerous (Linda Howard) where the hero, Cam Justice, is realizing just how sexy the heroine is and it has nothing to do w/ her looks. In his own words, she looks like a bag lady. However, she’s busting her ass trying to find them shelter for the night and to keep him from freezing to death (their plane crashed in the mountains) and he seriously wants to jump her. This is one of the times when a hero was truly turned on by a heroine’s actions and determination and I found it incredibly hot.

When I was choosing my two heroes for the DIK draft, I basically had the two men I wanted lined up. I can’t remember who, but someone threw all their men back into the pot, thus disrupting my original choices. So, I picked Acheron as my first hero (don’t think I need to explain why) because I knew he’d get scooped up by the time it got back to me for the second round. I was on pins and needles trying to narrow my second choice and hoping someone didn’t get him. In the end, I chose Jack Culver from Roxanne St. Claire’s Now You Die because of his love for Lucy and because his attraction had very little to do with her looks. He saw past all her issues and was able to get in her face and break down her barriers without being a jackass. Lucy might be a badass but the woman has serious problems with trust (rightly so) and she’s so flawed and real it’s hard not to love her. When a woman has been through a lot but isn't a whiner or a martyr, it's just plain sexy.

So, while I like my heroines to be tough and determined and so not perfect, I still like my heroes to be just a little bit stronger. What about everyone else? Who are your favorite heroines? And why?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Five things I like about men

Thank you all for your lovely entries to yesterday's (second) competition to create a British phrase about the weather in 7 words or less. Although Ana's entries were the most authentically British, I was looking for the most quintessentially British and so the winner is Amanda, for her entry: It's jolly smashing weather today, isn't it?

The prize is a suitably British romance novel. You can choose from three different genres - I've read and highly recommend all of them: Prudence by Jilly Cooper (contemp - relatively), The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer (historical) or Mad About the Boy by Mathilde Madden (erotic romance - ish). And I'll throw in a little extra.

Email me with your choice of book and address so I can send your prize on.

And now onto today's third and final post from me. Which is a love letter to the male gender.

I'm a little tired of all these pictures of buff sculpted men. I want to look at some of the other things I like about them.

1. They are hairy

I am not alone. I am not. I like hairy chests and stubble and - yes, I'm going to say it, I won't be silenced! - moustaches. Those of you who know me, know that this a subject close to my heart.

Hugh Jackman's hairy chest. Hmmmm, what a torso! What breadth of shoulders and chest. What lovely lovely butch brawn!

But I'm not all about the beef. I loooooove the droopy, melancholic moustache of Mr Brandon Flowers:

And I'm adoring the way Orlando Bloom is working this mediaeval knight look:

2. Their feats of derring do

I might roll my eyes, but I'm secretly impressed by all those stupidly dangerous things men do.

My older boy is 6 and he's getting well into tree-climbing and acrobatic stuff. We've been bonding over parkour recently. The lads in this video are the sort of lads I'd have been crushing on when I was 15.

Me and the boy watch this and 'ooooh' and 'aaaahhh' together. Then I say: You Must Never Never Do This!

3. On the whole, they are good at parking in small spaces, reading maps and finding their way around

Well, my husband is. But then I am usually too busy thinking about men with hairy chests in skin tight breeches and top-boots to be good at any of these things.

4. They are strong

They can carry heavy stuff. They can even push cars that break down and lift furniture. And open stubborn lids on jars of marmalade so that their wives can have toast and marmalade for breakfast.

5. James Purefoy is one

Which brings us back full circle. To hairy chests. I really can't decide whether I like that ridiculously equilateral triangle of Hugh Jackman's or this more natural lean one.

I'll have a good long look and think about it.


Oh dear oh dear oh dear

I'm afraid no-one got the answer to the puzzle right.

The last rule of Tumperkin's cabana is: Everyone Must Speak The Queen's English.

Every sentence contained a word which has alternative British/American spellings.

Ah well. The mystery prize remains unclaimed. So I'll make it easy. I'll award it to the person who can come up with the most quintessentially British phrase about the weather in 7 words or less.

And tomorrow - a proper post.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A puzzle and a chance to win!

Tumperkin here! And I'm kicking off with a puzzle. The first person to guess wins a mystery prize. Every sentence of the passage below contains a clue.

The question: What is the last rule of Tumperkin's cabana?


Is it to do the calibre of my favourite men? Perhaps it's their collective sense of honour. They would do anything in defence of me; they allow no-one to criticise me. They tell me I am the centre of their world. I don't need expensive jewellery to understand how they appreciate me.

Maybe it's just the colour of their eyes....

There is no quarrelling in my cabana. We all realise that it takes a lot of give and take for eight of us to share a house. Any new recruit has to get with the programme. And that means:

· keeping the dialogue polite and no spreading rumours!
· being skilful in domestic matters
· demonstrating good judgement
· showing respect for our neighbours

and, most importantly:

· no pyjamas

Recently Bowen MacRieve of Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole joined us and we all recognised the need to make allowances for this big change. Bowen is a guy who sometimes unwittingly gives offence. He has had to learn to adapt his behaviour. Similarly, Nardi from Judy Cuevas' Bliss - who has a slightly laissez-faire attitude to life, it must be said - has had to learn to be more organised.

Being invited to join Tumperkin's crew is not a merely a licence to lounge around the pool! It's not a military draught but the facilities are relatively basic and everyone has to pull their weight. That said, there are certain luxuries I must insist upon: a well-stocked cocktail bar being one; this is not mediaeval England!

So hopefully that's all clear and any future enrolment will be undertaken with a full understanding of the Rules of the House.

Otherwise, the message is: you're out on your arse, love.

Oh and one last rule: everyone must [.......................................].


This isn't a clue. Just a nice pic. Yum.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So I lied....

This is our last member LOL the menz decided they couldn't live without one more *wink*! Alright ladies let's give a warm shout out to KRIS! Our last member in the DIK new member application!!!!

1. What is the screen name that you want to go by?
Kris, Goddess Extraordinaire! (That's the name that Tracy said I should use.)

2. What is your date of birth? (day and month only!)
September 30

3. What are your 5 favorite books?
Only five!? Are you kidding me?? How about we compromise and I choose 5 of my fave series.

The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop

The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

The Draegan Lords by M L Rhodes

In Death series by J D Robb

Magnus Pack & Pride series by Shelly Laurenston (it only counts as one if it's set in the same world - that's a rule)

So, if I pass the selection test, I can bring all of these with me, right?

4. Which heroes would you bring to the island and why?
I'm not sure if these heroes have been chosen or not, but here goes...

Adrien English from Josh Lanyon's Adrien English Mysteries - Someone needs to save him from that *bleep* *bleep* Jake! Plus he owns a bookstore. How cool is that. :)

John Chen from Kylie Chan's Dark Heavens series - He's a rich, sexy, Chinese God... literally. Need I say more.

Dalziel, Royce Varisey, 10th Duke of Wolverstone from Stephanie Lauren's Bastion Club series - He is the Alpha of all Alphas and will keep the rest of 'em in line. *jumping up and down on seat* His book is out in July! *SQUEE* I CAN'T WAIT!!! *ahem*

Sebastian from Anne Bishop's Landscapes of Ephemera books - All he needed was the right woman. *sniffle* He is worthy of the island.

Baby Kirk from the Star Trek movie - Is an explanation really necessary??

5. What is your favorite movie that is based on a book?
NOT Twilight!!!! Probably my favourite is actually the series (I seem to have a bit of an obsession ;) starring David Suchet and based on Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. I think they're terrific.

6. Name one fun thing you would bring to the island?
My expert skills at procrastination.

7. Why are you interested in coming to the island?
Because I get to hang out in the sun with my pals Tracy and Jen as well as the rest of you girls, lay back with icy margaritas (just out of interest there are no hangovers on the island, are there?) and talk books whilst checking out the veritable plethora of eye candy all day. Good times.

If you would like to visit Kris you can check her out at: http://krisngoodbooks.blogspot.com/

ALRIGHT that's it ladies the applications are done! Congrats to all the new girls we will be having a party tonight so please be prepared to be VERY tired tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Our last new member!!!

Thank you everyone that applied but sadly enough the new membership draft (per say) must come to an end and we decided to go out with a bang!!! Help us welcome our last new member for the year Mandy!!!! She will be on da island with us living it up with her leprechaun suit!

1. What is the screen name that you want to go by? Amanda

2. What is your date of birth? 22nd of June (HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM ALL THE LADIES A FEW DAYS LATE!!!)

3. What are your 5 favorite books?
Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
Into the Widerness by Sara Donati
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Lover Eternal by J R Ward

4. Which heroes would you bring to the island and why?

Oh there are just too many to choose from!! I love the hero's of my books!
Ok first up I think I would have to bring Rhage, there is nothing I don't I love about this male! He is tortured, compassionate and has an inner beast! His story for me remains the most poignant of all the BDB. His story touches me so much, he sacrifices everything for the woman he loves despite what the costs are. Plus I have to say I am a sucker for guys that go for the heroines who may not always fall into the 'shes so gorgeous I want to scratch her eys out' category LOL.
Next it has to be Daegus MacKeltar....... for me he is the bad boy of all bad boys!! He battles with his inner enemies and fiercely protects those he loves. His story and Drustans are my two favourites from KMM in the highlander series. Favourite scene from his story is his towel drop at the top of the stairs...... a man like that deserves to be with me on the island!
I know probably everyone wants to bring Outlanders Jamie Fraser with them....... I'm another one! He was my first romance hero and I come running back to read more and more about him, he is the man of alot of women I know dreams!

5. What is your favorite movie that is based on book?
Oooo thats a toughie, think its going to be Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

6. Name one fun thing you would bring to the island?Think it would have to be my leprechaun suit!! (yes I have one!!) I'm allowed thoug I'm Irish 100% and could I bring my little shih tzu cassie too? She is so much fun!

7. Why are you interested in coming to the island?
I have recently gotten into the blogging world and here is one of my favourite places to stop by and read and sometimes post. I have learned alot here and gained alot of new to me authors that are threatening to take over my house I now have so many books!! Being part of such a fun cool place and getting to hang out with people I can only ever dream of would be amazing!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Whoot, whoot, whoot!!!

Alright guys and gals we have another wonderful addition to da island! Let's give a HUGE welcome to Ms. Moonlight!!!! You can visit her website at: http://moonlighttotwilightblog.blogspot.com/

1. What is the screen name that you want to go by?

2. What is your date of birth? (day and month only!)

3. What are your 5 favorite books?
Paranormal favorite: "Lover Eternal" by JR Ward
Historical Romance: "Prisoner of my Desire" by Johanna Lindsey
Mystery: "Dead to the World" by Charlaine Harris
M/M Romance: "The Assignment" by Evangeline Anderson
Young Adult: "Eclipse" by Stephenie Meyer

4. Which heroes would you bring to the island and why?
Only one hero from the above books would I bring and that would be 'Rhage' from JR Ward's "Lover Eternal". He's my favorite vampire because he's the wounded hero with issues who can be vulnerable and dominate at the same time.

The other heroes I'd take are from other books;
Navy SEAL Clint "Iceman" McIntyre ('Dangerous Games" by Lora Leigh) because he's got jewelry in places only a man can have and he knows how to use it! *grin* He's a bit intimidating, rough around the edges but charming in his own way, not to mention extremely fierce, protective and sexy (can't go wrong with that!).

James "Dawg" MacKay ("Nauti Nights" by Lora Leigh)...this guy is HOT. That's all I can say, everything he says and does makes you temperature rise. I'd never get tired of having him on the island with me.

Carkdacund "Cat" Tshevnoe ("Slave" by Cheryl Brooks) - the otherworldly hunk is patient, perceptive, sensual and has a really amazing umm...wonderwand. He'd be a hit ANYWHERE you took him!

Jack Prescott ("Dangerous Games" by Lisa Marie Rice) I love Jack. Jack was homeless and grew up on the streets and in shelters with a drunk father. He never had anything then someone inspired hope in him and hope changed his life. Jack is a hero in all rights and not only do I love this hero, I also admire and respect him. Gotta have Jack on the island.

Can I invite a heroine too? If so, it would be Sookie Stackhouse- character created by Charlaine Harris in the books that inspired HBO's "TrueBlood". I love Sookie, she's an engaging and delightful character that I find utterly charming. I'd love to have her on the island.

5. What is your favorite movie that is based on book?
The Kiera Knightley version of "Pride & Prejudice" or "Gone With the Wind"

6. Name one fun thing you would bring to the island?
Hmm...'fun thing'? Johnny Depp if he's available! I think I'd have lots of fun with him. :o)

7. Why are you interested in coming to the island?
I'm interested in coming to the island because I'm a divorced single parent who needs to retreat to an island with authors, bloggers and other book addicts like myself to escape from the reality of daily life that can feel like the weight of the world on your shoulders some days. Blogging is a wonderful escape from that, and an island blog escape would be that much better! Besides, I'm bringing Johnny Depp!! :o)

And remember you too can be a member but only up until tomorrow so if you are still interested head on over to here and follow the directions.

Yeah another one!!!

Alright ladies and vistors let's give another warm welcome to Lea our newest member!!! Her application is below for your viewing pleasure!

1. What is the screen name that you want to go by? Lea

2. What is your date of birth? April 29th

3. What are your 5 favorite books?

“Wicked Burn”, by Beth Kery
“Outlander”, by Diana Gabaldon
“Pleasure Unbound”, by Larissa Ione
“Riders”, by Jilly Cooper
“Shibumi”, by Trevanian

4. Which heroes would you bring to the island and why?

‘Eidolon’ from Larissa Ione’s “Pleasure Unbound”: Eidolon, for me epitomizes the “tortured hero”, he is a physician and therefore the creed he lives by is to heal and save others. However, the clock was ticking down to the S’Genesis, a change all “Seminus Demons”, go through at 100 years of age. If they are not mated so their inherent need for sex is satisfied then they go through a metamorphosis and not only change physically but rape without care or real understanding of what they are doing. Eidolon has no mate and knows his days are numbered, his career will be no more and he will be lost to “Underworld General Hospital”, where he is the lynchpin keeping his other half brothers together and the facility itself running. Then he saves Tayla Mancuso, a demon slayer and a woman who he should hate and destroy.

Eidolon is a beautiful, kind and sensitive character, despite the dark urges he fights as a demon, he is willing to give it all up for the one he loves. However, at the end of the day, Tayla and Eidolon save each other. I loved his character.

‘Vic’ from Beth Kery’s “Wicked Burn”: I love eccentric, volatile, strong heroes in a romance novel and for me “Vic”, exemplifies all of those things. While he made mistakes and communicated poorly at times during his early relationship with Niall, he had reason given his personal and relationship history. His sexual dominance of Niall was what she needed to basically revive her. I just loved his creative nature in and out of the bedroom, and his rugged handsomeness.

Nicholai Hel from “Shibumi”: Nicholai Hel was the first male hero I truly feel in love with (I read this book in the 70’s). Shibumi isn’t a romance per se; it is a “super spy thriller”. Hel was born in the ravages of WWI China and raised in the spiritual gardens of a Japanese Go master. He survived the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world’s most artful lover and accomplished, highly paid assassin. Hel’s character is written as a mystic, as well as a master of language and culture. He lives in an isolated mountain fortress with his magnificent Eurasian mistress, “Hanna”. What can I say? Despite Hel’s history and background, he absolutely adores Hanna and she him, who she calls “Nikko”. Even when Hanna loses her sight in a blast, he loves and cares for her.

Rupert Campbell Black from “Riders”: Rupert Campbell Black is written as an “upper class”, British rake that dabbles in horses, investments and women, in that order. The guy is, excuse the pun, but a “stallion”, pretty much has any woman he wants and makes sure they, along with himself are well serviced. Plus he is inordinately rich and brilliant, and lives very well. What I love about this character is his dry rapier wit he cracked me up, not to mention he is drop dead gorgeous. Rupert doesn’t actually fall in love until the second book in the series “Rivals”, but he is one of the main characters and up to no good in “Riders”. I love a rake, and it is equally satisfying when they fall for that special heroine.

Vane Kattalakis from Sherilyn Kenyon’s “Night Play”: This book is probably my favorite of the SLK novels because of Vane. He sees Bride for the beautiful woman that she is and, in fact, loves the fact she isn’t ‘model’ thin. Plus Vane is hot, as in handsome, seductive and devoted to his mate. You gotta love the devotion of those wolf shape changers. ;) Finally, I love motorcycles and he rides one.

5. What is your favorite movie that is based on book?

Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers.

6. Name one fun thing you would bring to the island?

My Blowfish Bikini Top – my Chinese Crested dog “Tori”….. She is high maintenance but fun… ;)

7. Why are you interested in coming to the island?

I think DIK is a fabulous unique blog and I always stop by and read your interesting and fun posts. I’ve been introduced to new to me authors that I have enjoyed through visits to DIK. The way you have set up the author posts is excellent and I think it allows them the flexibility to be creative. The contributions by those of you who are island members are equally fun and always interesting. Being a relatively new Blogger, I am learning every day and have come to admire the diversity at DIK, you seem to make room for everyone’s input and style. Plus there is obviously a deep-seated love of literature in all its forms among DIK members.

If accepted as a member I think I would bring a love of literature and blogging to the island. I would hope to make a meaningful contribution to the best of my ability. In addition, I love the beach and make a mean Shirley Temple… ;)

You can visit Lea at: http://lea-closetwriter.blogspot.com/

Again if you wish to join in the fun you can go here we are still taking apps. In the mean time all the ladies and menz will be on the beach partying it up with our latest member!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

And another one joins the fun!!

Another one joins the ranks as an official DIK lady!! Let's give warm shout out to Jenre!!! Our 2nd newest member! You can checkout her awesome blog http://jenre-wellread.blogspot.com/ for more information on this lovely young lady ;)

And here is the application she sent in!
1. What is the screen name that you want to go by?

2. What is your date of birth? (day and month only!)
30th October

3. What are your 5 favorite books?

To Sir Philip With Love - Julia Quinn
I Spy Something Bloody - Josh Lanyon
Collision Course - KA Mitchell
The Secret Pearl - Mary Balogh
The Psycop boks - Jordan Castillo Price

4. Which heroes would you bring to the island and why?
a) Victor Bayne from the Psycop books by JCP. He is a class 5 medium who can see ghosts and exorcise him. He would be a useful asset for helping us when we need to go to the old Indian burial ground.
b) Matthew Hawkwood from the Hawkwood books by James McGee. He's a bow street runner who knows exactly what to do in times of crisis, so would be handy to have around to break up fights between the men and sort out any disputes. He's crack shot with a rifle as well so would be good if the island ever comes under attack.
c) James Bond from the books by Ian Fleming. Had a big crush on him for years. He's cool, suave and knows how to gamble money from others. Will be handy when I get low on funds and I can send him out to win money off the the regency fops in the other cabanas.
d) Wulfric Bedwyn (I'm not sure whether he's been taken already or not). He has a stern, aloof exterior but underneath he's a big softy. Will be able to educate all the others in my cabana on the right way to behave in public and any other rules of etiquette - especially Vic, who's a bit of a slob.
e) Wild Bill from the Channeling Morpheus/Sweet Obsession books by JCP. He's a vampire who was turned in the 80's who has a strong sense of right and wrong even if his morals are a little ambivalent. He's also Bisexual so good for me AND Vic - I don't mind sharing.
5. What is your favourite movie that is based on book?
Don't have a favourite movie, but I love the BBC classic adaptations especially P & P with Colin Firth and Persuasion with Rupert Penry-Jones.

6. Name one fun thing you would bring to the island?

7. Why are you interested in coming to the island?
What, you mean other than sun, fun and surf? Great company, sexy men and all the cocktails I can manage brought to me by my own personal harem!

Again if you wish to join in the fun you can go here we are still taking apps. In the mean time all the ladies and menz will be on the beach partying it up with our latest member!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Welcome to our 1st new member!!!

Alright everyone the applications have started coming in and the menz have voted for our 1st new member. Let's give a HUGE shout out to Renee from http://reneesbookaddiction.wordpress.com

1. What is the screen name that you want to go by?

2. What is your date of birth? (day and month only!)

3. What are your 5 favorite books?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

4. Which heroes would you bring to the island and why?
Derek Craven (Dreaming of You)- I love how he’s a “take me or leave me” guy. He’s out there with his past and isn’t embarrassed by it. And, the intensity with which he loves Sara just makes me melt.
Sebastian St Vincent (The Devil in Winter)- The best reformed rake, ever! He comes to love shy Evie, and appreciate her quiet strength. He starts caring for her even before he realizes it. And when he does realize he wants her, whoa, baby!
Hawke (Psy-Changeling series)- Because he makes me laugh. He steals every scene he’s in, in the series. I love how he calls Sascha, “Sascha, darling” just to piss off Lucas. But, he’s also totally an alpha hero. Alpha heroes with a sense of humor are really rare.
Curran (Kate Daniels series)- How could I not want the King of the Beasts with me? He’s not just “sex on a stick” but he’s the best at witty, flirty dialogue.
Ranger (Stephanie Plum series)-All I have to hear is, “Oh, babe.” and I know it’s Ranger. He may be living in Jersey, but I know that he has all the survival skills that will keep me safe on the island.

5. What is your favorite movie that is based on book?
Any of the movie or mini-series productions of Pride and Prejudice.

6. Name one fun thing you would bring to the island?
My dog, Clifford. He’s a 100lb black lab, and I would love to see my heroes hanging out on the beach with him: playing frisbee, wrestling, frolicking in the waves . . .
Um, where was I? Oh yeah, the dog. Wouldn’t it be great to see Curran, King of the Beasts playing fetch with my dog? Or, Hawke running as a wolf with him?

7. Why are you interested in coming to the island?
Mostly, because it’s been such a fun place to visit over the last year! The inventiveness of the posts as well as the great authors who have visited make the island a place I want to be. I love the combination of information and fun. No one is taking themselves too seriously or setting the site up as THE VOICE of romance readers. It’s people coming together to celebrate their love of reading with other like minded people. And, have a great time while they’re at it. That being said, the level of information is really great, too. I’ve found a number of new blogs/authors/books to read because of the island.
Also, I feel like I can contribute to the island in a positive way. I had a blast doing my guest post a couple of months ago! I sort of get on my routine over at my own place, and the opportunity to do something else, given the different atmosphere at the island excites me.

Alright thank you Renee and WELCOME! If you would like to put your application in you still can. Head over here for the information and questions. In the mean time join us for a celebration

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hear ye, Hear ye!

Come one, come all to the official DIK ladies new members sign up time!!!!! Okay here's how it works. Those of you who would like to join the DIK team fill out the following application and email it to dikladies@yahoo.com or saraijohnson@hotmail.com the menz will take a look over the applications and we (the ladies) will announce new members off and on until June 24th! No new applications will be accepted after that day, well until next year or so.

Okay here's the application and any questions send to the emails above and someone will get back with you!

Please answer the following questions:
1. What is the screen name that you want to go by?
2. What is your date of birth? (day and month only!)
3. What are your 5 favorite books?
4. Which heroes would you bring to the island and why?
5. What is your favorite movie that is based on book?
6. Name one fun thing you would bring to the island?
7. Why are you interested in coming to the island?

If your name is announced we will send out your all about me questions, rules and give you some days to post! Good luck, have fun and thanks for participating!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ana's Wedding Part 3

This time Jake takes me flying – and I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful this island is from above. Or how good it feels to be in his strong, firm, awesome arms . Ahem.

I really need to concentrate on what I am going to do next.

We approach the beach and oh my freaking God, I can see that Sebastian is desperately trying to go after me and the other men are trying (really hard, if I may say so. My man may not be a “paranormal” hero but he sure knows how to fight. Go Sebastian.) to refrain him from doing so.

Jake puts me down and Sebastian runs to me and hugs me really tight:

“are you alright? What happened? where were you? Who is this man? “ he look murderous and I tell Jake to step back for a moment.

I am now alone with Sebastian , I take a deep breath and I say:

“ I don’t want to get married Sebastian”

He gasps

“I never did. I was doing it for you. Just like I sent my other heroes away. I do love you , you know. But NO MORE OF THIS SHIT. I can’t stand this “Mine” routine any longer. You are NOT a Christine Feehan hero. And as my good friends reminded me just now – I am allowed to have fun and I will do so, damn it! “

Sebastian stares at me dumbfounded and opens his mouth to , I am sure offer some kind of insight I have no want of hearing, so I just carry on.

“from now on, things are going to change. This island belongs to us girls. WE invited YOU here. If you want to stay with me, it has to be under our rules. In the next couple of weeks there will be another hero draft. I will pick my two. YOU DEAL “

He carries on just staring.

I come closer to him and I whisper in his ear: “now you go be a good boy. Run to our hut, undress and wait for me”

Something changes right there and then. He looks at me and there is something wicked, soooooo wicked in his eyes and he says:

“ok….” He says and his smile is as wicked as his stare. He murmurs: “but we get to play with the pink fluffy handcuffs”

I give him a wicked smile of my own and nod.

He takes off and now I approach Jake.

His Terminator t-shirt says “I will be back”

“Thanks, Jake. But I still don’t understand one thing. Why? Why did you help the girls? Why go through all this trouble to help ME?”

He leans over me and says in a warm, soothing voice:

“you just make sure to pick me for your hut and I will tell you all about it”

And then he is gone.

What a day. And this is how it has come to pass that I did not get married to Sebastian but I did learn my lesson well: this place is for fun, for reckless abandon in the arms of pretend heroes. To enjoy the company of good friends, drinking pina coladas and talking books. Because of all that, I have come to realise that the DIK is, quite possibly , the best Fantasy Island the world has even seen.

: D

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ana's Wedding Part 2

I feel really dizzy and I have to close my eyes. When the world stops moving, I open them again and I have my face buried in a chest wearing a Joker’s “Why so Serious “ tee. I look up and I am dismayed to see..............

“call me Jake, “ he says and smiles
“Did you….just teleport me? “
“I sure did” and he winks at me. What the hell is with everyone winking at me today???
“ because we asked him to.” I hear as Jake turns me around to face

Every single girl on this island. They are all here and they look…resolute.

“girls, what is going on?”

Thea steps forward and says “This is an intervention”

“Dude. Have you finally gone mental? Take me back NOW”

“dude. Shut up and listen. This can not go on. We are sick and tired of you playing the PollyAna”

“Thea, what are you on about? "

Thea bitch-slaps me. And Jake has to restrain me

She goes on: “listen dude. We all talked and we need to tell you something: this island? Is MADE-UP. You are not really here.”

“well, duh. Of course I know that”

Thea bitch slaps me again.

“what the frak was that for. Wait a minute, you are enjoying this , aren’t you biatch.?

She gives me her bossy-pants smile. “yeaaaah”

I see KB and CJ taking a step further –

“Thea , please contain yourself. No need for this, we can be reasonable here”

I look at CJ and say: “you do realise we left Little CJ alone with all the men?”

Before I can say anything else, CJ gets Tracy and Bridget Locke and they run, presumably to stop Little CJ before she kills, mains ( or worse) the heroes.

“ Can I please go back to my man now, I am getting married you know?”

“yeah we do , which is exactly the problem” Lisabea mutters “you are setting the wrong example for the rest of us and for our men.“

“no that’s not the point” Thea jumps in “the point is Ana was always against marriage, what the hell is she doing then? PLUS she needs to learn that because this is all made-up , she doesn’t need to follow any real life rules and be all faithful and stuff! “

“ I don’t”?

“you know, you can just have fun and do anything you want dude!”

“I can???”

“yes, you can” Jake murmurs in my ears and my toes curl

I suddenly feel something building inside of me , it is so overwhelming , I find myself screaming “freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedoooooooooooooooom” like Braveheart circa 13th century.

OMG, they are so right. What the hell am I doing? And I let all of my other heroes go too! Oh, silly me!

“ok, you are right, I get your point. Still, you should have done this before the wedding day, you know. This is really bad. I think you should let me have a night with each of your heroes ….”

“Ana, don’t push it”

“sorry, dude I had to try. “ we giggle together. I feel so light-headed right now.

I turn to Jake and I say, “I know what I need to do now, please take me back”

He does.

To be continued

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ana's Wedding

A few months ago before the second round of hero picks.

“Dear friends.

We are gathered here today to celebrate the union of our friends Ana and Sebastian St. Vincent….”

I look around me - Sebastian looks dashing as usual, Michael, the Doyen who agreed on conducting the ceremony looks his serious self. The moon shines above us, the waters are calm , I look to my left and I see the place where the wedding party will take place after the wedding. I am dressed in my special pink bikini with flowers in my head and a bone necklace specially made by Little CJ. She is right next to me, holding the wedding rings. She looks evil and I can’t help but to muse what was CJ thinking when she summoned this female Damien to my wedding and why did I say yes. But I digress.

Michael carries on. He seems to be enjoying himself. How many times has he done this?

“ Marriage. Marriage is this sacred union between two people that deeply, truly love each other and no other. EVER”

I look at Sebastian again and he looks at me with his beautiful , beautiful, loving eyes. (They look tired though and I know it is because of the bachelor party that the guys organised for him. I look behind his side of the beach and all of the men look rough – what in the world did they do last night I have no idea, since all the women were at the bachelorette party. We had fun. I remember how KB ended up under the table hugging the punch bowl whilst Tracy and Sarai tried to pry the thing from her greedy fingers. Good times.)

But I digress. Again. I realise my attention is not all in the ceremony. I look behind me, to my side of the beach. It is , eerily, sadly empty. Where are all the girls? This emptiness speaks louder than a thousand words and I go back for a while to the day I told them Sebastian asked me to marry him so that he knew for sure I belong to him and only him and they gave me angry looks. They ended up congratulating me but I still think they were holding themselves back on what they really wanted to say.

I look at Sebastian again, his blonde hair shines , his oh so very kissable mouth has this eternal smile ever since I said yes. He is still looking at me with admiration and passion. I guess the pink bikini is working for him. He mouths I love you and I wonder

WTF am I doing?

not paying much attention to the proceedings when it finally comes to that part where Michael says :

"If there is anyone here, who has any reason why these two shouldn't wed, speak now or forever hold your peace."

And I feel a sudden change in the air. In slow motion, I look at Little CJ and she has the creepiest smile ever. I look at Michael and he winks at me (the Doyen WINKS at me). Sebastian is holding his breath, all the men seem to wake up. I hear a strange whoosh sound. Arms grab and then suddenly, everybody is gone.

To be continued.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why A Book Works

When I was selecting my books for the DIK Library, I chose my favorites. Those books that I return to over and over to re-read. Kate blogged at her place yesterday about Comfort Reads. I have a ton of them. But it got me to thinking about why it is that book works for me.

1- The hero. I'm a hero girl. I'd say 95% of the books on my keeper shelves are there because I have a thing for the hero. Generally speaking, I like my heroes alpha. Strong, autocratic, determined, a leader of men. Could be because I come from a father who is most of those things. But I need a hero who is a strong guy, but who has that soft gooey inside that he shows to those he loves. My latest hero crush is Jack Travis from Lisa Kleypas's Smooth Talking Stranger (damn you, Tracy!). Everything about Jack screams "alpha male." And yet, he's a caregiver, he wants to take care of everything that goes wrong for the heroine. He's dominant, but also evolved. It's a heady combination, I'll tell you. Jack is easily my favorite hero of 2009 so far.

2- The heroine. I have to like the heroine. I have to understand her motivations. I don't necessarily need to become girlfriends with her, but I have to understand where she's coming from. If she behaves like a ditz or a ninny, I can't stand her. If she's a poseur hoyden, it turns me off. I like a heroine with backbone. My all time favorite heroine is Lady Jessica Trent from Loretta Chase's Lord of Scoundrels. Possessed of a serious backbone, a terrific sense of humor, and a fiery temper, I absolutely adore her!

3- The connection. I have to believe the connection between the h/h. I have to believe that they'd fall in love. There have been several books that I've read where at the end I've thought, "No way does she deserve him!" (Or vice versa). If one of them has wronged the other, I have to believe the apology that follows. I've read books where I've thought, "Oh, you're SO not sorry!" Anyway, the point is, I have to believe that these two people are meant to be together. There was a recent movie that came out starring Jennifer Garner called Catch and Release. I walked out of that movie pissed because she'd PICKED THE WRONG GUY! Not good, friends. If the readers don't believe the connection, you've failed as an author.

4- The writing. Boy, nothing will pull me out of a story more than an anachronistic phrase, bad grammar, or poorly written dialog. I'll forgive a full host of issues with a book if the writing is good. An example would be Anna Campbell's Claiming the Courtesan. I found this book very difficult to read on many, many levels. But the writings was so superb. Some of the best prose I've read in ages. I finished that book, where the story so disturbed me, when I would have tossed it into the give-away bog immediately, because the writing was just so good. Her followup to CTC was outstanding and one of my favorite books from a couple of years ago, Untouched.

There it is, I don't think that I'm particularly tough when it comes to reading. I fully understand that when you read as much as I do, very often books aren't going to "do it" for you. But I don't think that liking the characters, believing their connection, and using good grammar are too much to ask.

Or maybe it is.

What about you? Why do your favorite books work for you? What makes you connect to a book or character?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why I did what I did...

Okay now on to some fun stuff. The hero draft!!! This year had a little bit of a twist on the traditional hero draft. We had to get rid of one of our heroes (and let me tell you how horrible that was to explain the thought process behind it)

Anywho I gave up my Capt. Jack Sparrow who went to Nadia's lovely hut. ( I still see him as he walks along the beach looking up and down, scratching his head, turning around and starting over.) *sniff* Man I miss him sometimes but then I turn and look at my 2 new heroes and forget see why I made the choice I did.

Choice number 1 for me was *drum roll* Harry Dresdan (Ha I haz me a wizard who can do lots of stuff with his staff) Anyway the reason I picked Harry is simply due to reading more of the serious and really getting to understand how loyal, trust worthy, powerful, and yet loving he is.

My second choice was Clay Bennet who is part of the psi/changling series by Nalini Singh and I didn't even want him until I read his book and BOY did my eyes open. What a great story and a fantastic hero. YUM and guess what thanks to Christine he's all mine ladies all mine.

So those that participated who did you pick and why? Those that didn't who would you have picked and why?

Monday, June 8, 2009

So we just finished the hero draft...

And its my turn to take over the blog (YES!!!)

As some of you may or maynot know I have been on and off the internet now for awhile, mainly due to a move and mainly due to work policies. But since I have 3 lovely days to talk about nothing or something with you I thought I would start off today with a blog post on how the DIK blog got started. Thoughts for tomorrow might have to do with the Hero draft or not... really just depends on my random thought process.

As you may or may not know the original thought behind DIK was formed on one late rainy night (it might have been raining it might not have been. For the sake of arguement we will say it was raining b/c after all in was in June(ish)). A group of lovely young ladies gathered together around their individual computers and put a thought together. What 6 books would I take to a desert island if I had enough time to grab them. (and they survived the water, sun, and salt issues) Anywho the only condition was: NO REPEATS. And so the ladies went back and forth finally establishing a list of very intelligent, well thought out, sexy, and smokin' hawt books.

Then a couple of other lovely young ladies caught wind of what was happening and decided to steal borrow their thoughts and put what they would take, keeping with the only condition.
Everyone had a blast. Lots of laughter insued ect, ect, ect. Than a lovely young lady by the nickname of CJ AKA Carolyn Jean came up with a fantastic idea of the hero draft *gasp* Her thoughts of: "Oh my what if we could pick 7 heroes to have for our very own pleasure? Where would we put them and who would we choose?" sprung a very important debate which can be followed here (look at all the sites please!)

Needless to say the fights debates were barely kept in check when the menz were picked by the wrong people. After a month of this occurring I realized how much I missed those lovely young ladies. And even though we still visited each others blogs and still chated occassionally (when some of us had internet) I found I missed thier lively debates and discussions. After a brief thought and a quick consult with our very own lovely young Tracy we decided the best thing would be our very own blog. Where each lovely young lady could come and discuss whatever was on her mind. Weither it would be men, books, articles, thoughts or just simply to say hi!

Then we got to thinking how cool would it be for authors to come by and say hi as well. I mean after all if it wasn't for them we wouldn't have even thought of the DIK books or heroes right? So we asked all the lovely young ladies to see if any authors would come and play with us and we were blown away by the response. The sheer number of authors that wanted to visit was wonderful. So we made the schedule, posted the dates, asked the authors, asked our fellow bloggers to come play, and POOF DIK blog was formed.

*sigh* it all sounds so simple doesn't? So all you lovely young ladies out there are you happy with the way the DIK blog turned out? Those visiting us regularly how about you, are you happy with the way DIK turned out?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It's a Trade!

So we finished the Hero Draft and a good time was had by all - I think - I know I had fun. But after the dust settled one of our ladies found that there was another hero that she felt would suit the needs of her hut better. She said he was calling to her. You know we can't ignore the call of the wild, now can we? Nope.

So Kati has decided to dump Vic Savian (Beth Kery's Wicked Burn) from the first round draft and replace him with Alec Cain (from SJ Day's Marked series).

Kati - we wish you much happiness with Alec! (Here's the picture that Kati provided of Alec - he's scrumdilyicious!)

(Also - I've been having issues with my email this week and have sent out 2 emails about the DIK schedule. If for some reason you haven't received these please email me and let me know so I can get the problem taken care of. Thanks!)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

June Babies this is for you

The above are for all the June Babies!!

The above is for our Katiebabs

The above is for our Ana

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Katie Allen-Final Day


Day Three, and you're still with me? I am honored and grateful. For that, two hotties.

When I was once gainfully employed as an engineer, one of my male coworkers read my first book, Seeing Blind, and asked (with a smirk, of course. Guys can't read sex scenes, think of reading sex scenes or think about people writing sex scenes without smirking. It's like a biological reaction.) which of my real-life boyfriends inspired the character of Ty (hero and sheriff hottie). I blinked at him in confusion.

“None of them, of course,” I told him. “If he actually existed, I would've married him.”

Now it was his turn to be confused. If I didn't know Ty, how did I write him? I tried to explain that the characters are already in my head; I just have to get them down on paper. Something like that magazine article will trigger an idea, and then the character will pop out, pretty much fully formed. With Ty, his likes and dislikes, his good and bad traits, what made him laugh and what made him cry were already decided. What I had to figure out was how to bring him to life.
I think that, when I write a story, the hero is made up of thousands of snippets of other men--movie or book characters, acquaintances, friends and friends' boyfriends, and yes, even my former boyfriends. I take that man's temper and combine it with this man's sweetness, mix in a tiny bit of this other guy's sense of humor--all without realizing what I'm doing. Whatever the inspiration happens to be, it reaches into the dark, dusty corners of my brain and pulls out a character that I didn't even realize I was creating as I went about on the normal, boring, everyday business of life.

What this does is create a character that actually behaves like a human being. He reacts and talks and falls in love in a way that makes sense because he is made up in my brain from bits of real-life people. One of my favorite compliments to get from people is that my characters are true to life. I'm not trying to write deep, cerebral works of literature; I'm trying to write a good story with characters that resonate with readers. The way I do that is take everything--the parts and pieces of my characters, as well as the inspiration which pulls these imaginary people from my brain and plops them onto the computer screen--from the everyday and ordinary part of life. The down and dirty part. The real part. And that is what allows these characters to live.
Thanks for putting up with my babble (and I do like to babble)!

If you haven't had quite enough of me yet, you can check out my Website.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Katie Allen-Day Two

Here she is again! Still talking inspiration & cracking me up! :)

Welcome back! You actually came back! What a relief--sometimes, I'll be rambling about something when I realize that everyone has left the room. It's a little embarrassing, not to mention the damage it does to my self-esteem. Here's a pretty picture to thank you for returning:

Before I get started, here's a Website that made me laugh:

http://www.textsfromlastnight.com/. Thank you, Emma Petersen (writer extraordinaire), for sending me this link. Sure, it wasted a couple hours of my time when I could've been doing stuff like, oh, writing this blog, maybe, but I didn't plan to sleep tonight anyway.

Okay! Here we go. I was talking about how all my characters start off at a pretty boring place. Are they comfortable? Most of them, sure. Are they happy? Not really. Are they fulfilled? Nope. And that's where the story begins.

I tend to get inspiration from tiny things (I'd use a grain of sand in an oyster turning into a pearl metaphor here, but I thought it'd be a little self-aggrandizing to refer to my books as pearls). Inspiration for Breaking the Silence struck as I was reading a months-old, tattered magazine while sitting in a dentist's office waiting room that smelled like fluoride and ground teeth. I ran across an article analyzing the way that couples sleep. The article theorized that sleeping positions said a lot about two people's relationship. Spooning meant one thing, back-to-back meant another, head on the shoulder a third. Face-to-face, the article stated, meant that the couple was overly attached, in love to the point of unhealthiness.

This caught my eye, of course, since I am all about the obsessive attachments. (My editor asked if she should worry about me, since so many of my characters are slightly (ahem) dysfunctional. I told her not to worry; except for that inferior T.V., I had a pretty ideal childhood.) In that dentist's office, I started thinking about what would connect two people so strongly, and the seed of an idea for Breaking the Silence was planted.

As I said before, there was no grand inspiration, no swelling music as a brilliant disco-ball of a light bulb went off over my head while my muse danced around and wept with joy. Nope, just a pop-psychology article in a fluffy women's magazine, read while waiting to get plaque scraped off my teeth. Down and dirty. Don't say I didn't warn you.

This one's for the guys this time.

When I come back tomorrow, I'll chat about why down and dirty inspiration is a good thing.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Katie Allen-Day One

Hey all! Bridget here. I am so excited to have Katie Allen on our blog. She wrote one of my favorite books, Breaking The Silence, and has written some wonderful love stories. Without further ado, Katie Allen...

Inspiration. It sounds so lofty, as if choirs of muses descend upon the ethereal, high-brow writer to gift her with their…I don't know--muse-iness? For me, inspiration is pretty pedestrian. It could even be described as down and dirty. This is fitting, as I do write down and dirty books (emphasis on the dirty). If the muses were to descend upon me, they would find me cranky and mussed, sitting sideways on the couch with a snoring dog sprawled across my feet. In an attempt at full disclosure, I have to add that I would probably have a smear of chocolate across my cheek and the dog would be snoring and farting.

Do you now wish I'd never drawn this mental picture? Yeah, well, just stick with me for a moment before you run to scrub down your brain. I've painted a pretty unromantic portrait, right? Wrong. And don't give me that “the reader is always right” line, either--I've hijacked this blog and I'm running with it. So anyway (you will soon learn, dear readers, that I'm the Queen of Distraction, the Empress of Random Segues and the High Priestess of Rambling Sub-Plots (probably the reason I couldn't write a short to save my life)), I think that starting with the most ordinary characters, on the most ho-hum day, in the most average place, creates the backdrop for some of the most heart-wrenching, deeply felt romance stories.

Here's where I give your reading muscles a break and hand you some eye candy, in the form of one of my book covers. What? Shameless self-promotion, you say? Never. Oh, by the way, Seeing Blind is out in both e-book (http://www.ellorascave.com/) and print (EC or Amazon).

Okay--back with me? Good. We were talking about boringness. The thing is, when my characters start out with their pencil-pushing jobs and stagnant sex lives and their Friday nights alone with Ben and Jerry, what happens next--a mystery or a hunky sex god or (usually) both--is so much more life-changing and dramatic.

To use a metaphor (I looove metaphors), I grew up with a black and white television. A small black and white television. All my friends had the big color TV sets, and my many siblings and I had to fight over which of the five and a half channels we would watch on our tiny, antenna-topped, black and white dinosaur.

We whined about it, of course, but what watching Scooby Doo and Magnum, P.I. in shades of gray did (besides encouraging me to be a reader) was to make the occasional time we went to the movie theater an amazing, exhilarating experience. Everything on that movie screen was huge and vivid and breathtaking, and I don't know if I would have appreciated it quite so much if the TV at home hadn't been so small and grey.

What makes romance so very wonderful is that it takes the dull, everyday grind of life and lights it up. It colors it with excitement and passion and love, with the stomach-fizzing knowledge that there is someone who wants you as desperately as you want him (or her or them). These books make it seem possible that, in the middle of paying bills or vacuuming dirt from the plant the cat just knocked over or having a root canal, you really could be swept away, that the hottie of your dreams could drop in your lap at any moment and break the monotony of the boring, unavoidable life-stuff with spine-melting passion.

Break time! Since you sat through one of my metaphors, here are two pretty, pretty men for your reward.

Good? Okay. I'm back tomorrow to talk about what this long-ass post I wrote today really does have to do with inspiration.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Alpha Heroes Rule

Please welcome author Toni Blake to our Island! Toni became one of my favorite contemporary authors after reading Letters To A Secret Lover and then clinched it after I read with Tempt Me Tonight. Toni also write erotica under the name Lacey Alexander.

A little about Toni:
Toni Blake's love of writing began when she won an essay contest in the fifth grade. Soon after, she penned her first novel, nineteen notebook-pages long, and announced to her mother over breakfast one day that she was going to be a writer when she grew up. Since then, Toni has become the author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels. Her work has been excerpted in Cosmo, she's been a recipient of the Kentucky Women Writers Fellowship and a nominee for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, and she's also had more than forty short stories and articles published. Toni lives with her husband in the Midwest and enjoys traveling, genealogy, crafts, and snow skiing.

In recent years, I have become known for writing super sexy books about angst-ridden alpha males. Why do I do this? Well, there are a lot of reasons.

From a writerly viewpoint, it is, in my opinion, much easier to create a compelling story about an angry dude with problems than a calm dude without them. Because, of course, the reader instantly wants to know: A)Why is this dude so angry? and B) What are his problems? No one really wants to know why the calm dude is calm.But that's not the only reason. As a reader, I am also a huge fan of the alpha male and I cut my romance-reading teeth on them back in the mid-90s. I love the banter that seems to naturally grow from having a sensible woman try to converse with an angst-ridden male. I love the physical descriptions of them, particularly the idea that they are "big," and no, I don't just mean below the belt, ladies, but I don't mind getting or giving that impression, too. No matter how you slice it, the alpha male's body and how he uses it is definitely part of what we like about him.
In other ways, though, the gut-wrenching appeal of the alpha hero is almost indefinable – but it definitely springs from a primitive, animalistic place inside us. In real life, we may or may not want to be with that kind of guy (my own husband is a wonderful beta who makes me laugh every day and I wouldn't have it any other way) but in our books, we alpha-lovers have a primal, physiological yearning to be with a big, strong man who can build the hut and slay the mastodon. That said, I am also a believer that romance is feminist literature in its own subtle way, and we also want to be the woman powerful enough to tame the beast inside the alpha male.

Don't let the lovely, lakeside cover of my new book, ONE RECKLESS SUMMER, fool you – an alpha male definitely resides underneath it. In this first book of the Destiny series I pit the ultimate good girl, Jenny Tolliver, against the ultimate bad boy, Mick Brody. I am beyond excited to be writing a series for Avon set in the quaint small town of Destiny, Ohio, and my goal with the series is to show that the sexy alpha male can go hand-in-hand with the iconic Adirondack chair. ; ) Destiny is quaint, and aspects of the love stories are definitely sweet, but I promise you my bad boys are just as bad and the sex is just as sexy. The book just hit shelves this week, so I hope you'll check it out and fall in love with Destiny just as I have.

So, readers, why do you love alpha heroes? What makes them work for you? Is it possible for an alpha hero to go too far and stop appealing to you? And who are some of your fave alpha guys in the romance world?

P.S. All the featured guys are ones I'm semi-modeling future Destiny heroes after. (And yes, one of them is from Baywatch, but not anymore – now he's a Destiny fireman : ) )
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