Monday, November 30, 2009

Kati Talks Chemistry On The Page

Yesterday I talked about one of my favorite topics, on screen chemistry. But today I want to talk about the characters in books who make us yearn for their HEA.

The author who always comes to mind when I think of sexual tension (an essential ingredient to good H/h chemistry) is Linda Howard. I remember specifically reading Dream Man by her and there's this scene when the couple, who have actually already been intimate, go on a drive. They're in the south, and as he's driving, one of those sultry, southern rainstorms is rolling in. The air heavy with the impending rain, the heroine decides it must be time to tease the hero. She begins touching and gets him practically frothing at the mouth. He breaks land/speed records getting her home and into bed. I remember practically fanning myself as I read the book. What I like about Howard's style is that when she wants to, she can build that tension to a fever pitch, to where I'm screaming in my head, "JUST DO IT ALREADY!"

Another couple who I thought had terrific chemistry are Lillian Bowman and Marcus Westcliff from Lisa Kleypas' It Happened One Autumn. The reader knows almost from their first encounter that the two of them are destined for each other. Mostly because she's a hoyden and he's a man of stature and dignity. You just know that she's going to live to muss up his hair. My favorite scene between them is when he finally kisses her. They're in a spot where they could easily be caught. But they both are swept away by the moment, and sort of sink into the kiss. They pull apart completely rattled and wondering what the heck got into them. It's this marvelous scene and one that made me yearn for them to consummate the relationship.

Or how about Lucas and Sascha from Nalini Singh's Slave to Sensation? Remember when Sascha, a Psy who has had emotion programmed out of her, begins dreaming about Lucas? She doesn't realize that they are mentally connected and he is experiencing her extremely erotic dream right along with her. And she's trying to make everything go the exact way she wants it to, but he's pushing her boundaries, even then, in her dreams, making her go farther than she thought she could. It's heady stuff and definitely what made me fall for Lucas as a favorite hero.

So tell me, which characters do you think have the best chemistry? Who are some of the authors who write terrific sexual tension or chemistry? What are your favorite books with incendiary reactions between the Hero and Heroine?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kati Talks On Screen Chemistry

In high school, I passed chemistry literally by the skin of my teeth. I barely made it. I couldn't tell you a damn thing about it now.

But that's not the kind of chemistry I'm talking about . Rather, that intangible thing that happens either on screen or on the page that makes you yearn for a couple to be together. You know what I mean.

Do you remember the episode of Friends when Rachel and Ross finally kissed? I screeched when it happened. I couldn't have been happier for them than I would have been if it had happened to one of my friends. And why was that? It was because the writers had very cagily had them circle each other for the better part of a season, and as viewers, we got to see first Ross be frustrated by Rachel's love life, and then, just as Rachel finally realizes how he feels, he comes home with a girlfriend. Anyway, they built the tension between the two of them in a way that made you root for them to be together.

The movie Out of Sight is another excellent example of chemistry. In that case, it was George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. He plays a crook, she a federal marshal. She is inadvertently kidnapped by one of his henchman during a prison break, and the two of them spend an incredibly steamy 20 minutes in the trunk of the get away car. It's one of the least erotic settings that makes for an incredibly hot scene.

My favorite example of sexual tension on the screen though, is Buffy and Angel. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm generally a Spike girl, but Sarah Michelle Geller and David Boreanaz had the best chemistry I've ever seen on screen. Much of that had to do with SMG and David, but most of it, I think was due to the genius of Joss Whedon, who wrote the series. He just "got" it. The relationship between Angel and Buffy was insurmountable for many reasons, but mostly because he was a vampire, and she was, well...a vampire slayer. And when they finally did get it on, things just went from bad to horrible. The worst possible thing happened. It was genius, and tragic, and made up the best single season of television ever, IMHO.

So, what makes for good chemistry? Is it the actors? Is it the writing? Is it just an unidentifiable intrinsic thing? What do you think are some of the most successful chemistry experiments on TV or on the Big Screen? Who are your favorite couples?

YEAH Finally November Babies this is for you!

Happy Birthday to all the November Babies out there these are for you! I hope you had a fantastic day!

Okay ladies remember if you don't want to see any repeats (or anymore for that matter) please email me your new DIK menz for next year. Email me at

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What We Are Thankful For Day 3

I'm thankful for my family and that we are all healthy right now. I'm also thankful we have a roof over our heads and the kids are progressing well in
school. :)

And, I'm grateful for all my online friends and certainly my new
home away from home at DIK.


There are many things I’m thankful for this year:

I’m so thankful for my family – both immediate and extended. My parents...I don’t know what I would do without them – they are so wonderful. I’m thankful my husband still has a job (and me too!) and is happy. I’m thankful my kids are healthy and happy and that we all have a roof over our heads. I’m thankful I can buy and read any book that I want and then discuss it with my incredibly fun and amazing cyber friends – as well as “real” friends. I’m thankful to have a job that I love. Mostly I’m thankful that I have a lot to be thankful for.


Friday, November 27, 2009

What We Are Thankful For Day 2

Thank you to everyone who reads the DIK blog!

Did this guy go to your house yesterday and cook?

This thanksgiving I'm particularly thankful for the loving support of my 'G'...aka Mr.Darcy.


I'm thankful for my wonderful husband because I wonder how he manages to put up with me sometimes. I'm thankful for my crazy family, that my sister married the man she loves this year, and that in this economy, I still have a roof over my head. I'm also thankful for my love of reading. Books make the world a much better place :)

Katie Reus

Being in the UK we don't really celebrate Thanksgiving. But I am very thankful at the moment for my health and the health of my family.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

What We Are Thankful For

It's Thanksgiving Day here in the USA and we here at DIK wanted to just take the next few days and let you all know what we're thankful for.

Everyday and every year I am thankful for family, friends and my life. This year I have the added blessing of having joined the book blogging world (December 2008) and made so many new cyber friends who share my love of a good story. Those are just some of the things I am thankful for this year.


I'm thankful for my family, my friends, great books, creativity and the freedom to express it. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


I'm thankful that my boyfriend, family and friends have loved me enough to stick by me and support me through the difficult time i've been going through


Happy Thanksgiving from all of us on the Island. And if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving...Happy Thursday!

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some M/M Faves

So I thought I'd end up my three days with a few m/m books that I've really enjoyed.

First up is A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R.W.Day. Set in a post-apocalyptic future following an Ice Age it tells the story of David and Callan. In a world where homosexuality is against the law their relationship will not have an easy path to follow. I love this story because at it's heart the relationship between David and Callan is beautifully realized.

"Please. That’s the most erotic word in the English language, you know."
The love scenes aren't graphic so I'd recommend this one as a first m/m if you wanted to put your toe in the water so to speak. :) It also has a kind of pioneer/old west feel to it as much of technology and history has been lost due to the ice age.

Next is Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale. This is one of those books that I ordered not sure whether I'd like it or not. Almost ironically, it was more to do with the steampunk setting than the m/m content. It wasn't a genre I was familiar with. Wicked Gentlemen actually takes the form of two novellas. The first - Mr. Sykes and the Firefly - is told from the (first person) point of view of Belimai Sykes. Belimai is a Prodigal, a descendent of demons. A drug addict and investigator who is hired by Captain Harper (an Inquisitor) to help in the investigation of several murders.

The second novella - Captain Harper and the Sixty Second Circle - virtually carries on from where the first leaves off, but is told in third person point of view mainly from Captain Harper's perspective. What I love about Wicked Gentlemen is that you have two characters who by all rights (according to the world they inhabit) should never interact and yet they are attracted to each other despite this. I cannot think of any comparable story in a m/f romance. This is another good starting book for m/m.

Third - Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville. I only read this book a few months ago. But it is on my keeper shelf. When Jack Francisco returns to his safe house to find a hitman waiting for him, the last thing he expects is that the man won't go ahead with his assignment. But that's exactly what the man known as D proceeds to do. Instead the two of them end up on the run together, pursued by killers hired by the men who want Jack dead and other unknown enemies. I am a sucker for the strong, silent, sarcastic type.

...He sighed. "I'm starting to see words like 'accessory' and 'accomplice' floating around my head."
D barely reacted. "How about 'dead on arrival'? Ya like that better?"
This is a real opposites attract story and Jack and D are one of my favourite m/m couples. I hope there are more books to come featuring them.

Now, I could recommend m/m books all day but I'm kind of conscious we only have so much room on the blog. So my last recommendation will be Mindf*ck by Manna Francis. Now this is one I definitely don't recommend as your first foray into m/m. Book 1 in the Administration Series it details the beginning of the relationship between corporate executive Keir Warrick and para-investigator/torturer Val Toreth. To overly simplify - Warrick is a masochist and Toreth is a sociopathic sadist. Set in a future dystopian state, it's one of the most complex and fascinating stories I've read. Incredibly re-readable because you are constantly finding out new things about the characters (especially Toreth) which sheds light on their previous actions.

In Mindf*ck what you have is the beginnings of their relationship. It is well worth reading the following books in the series as you begin to see the psychology involved in their relationship.

So. Hope I've given you a couple of ideas if you hadn't read these books before. Or encouraged you to get Wicked Gentlemen off your TBR pile.

I'll just add here that I would also heartily recommend the Adrien English Series by Josh Lanyon as another good place to start in m/m. So many books and not enough space to write about them all. :)

And where does my m/m journey go from here? Well I'm currently learning about the joys of Yaoi. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

M/M Via UF

I'm not sure I can tie it down to one specific moment when I suddenly thought - "I must try m/m" - though I will give it a go. :)

One thing I appreciated whilst reading urban fantasy / dark fantasy / science fiction, was that whilst the main relationship might be explored and develop over several books often there were other relationships explored alongside.

And every so often these minor relationships were m/m. If I had to pick out one sentence that was the definitive 'hook' that got me into m/m it would be:-
"Everything I have done," I heard him whisper, "I have done for you, my lord. Will you not do this one thing for me?"*
The only problem was that these relationships were usually romantic in the traditional sense (rather than romance) and therefore doomed.

So you'd read this wonderful sensitive, erotic love story and it would end:-

  • with one of the protagonists dying

  • with both of the protagonists dying

  • with one protagonist in exile and the other dying

  • with one protagonist in exile and the other who was bisexual doing the right thing and marrying the woman he was promised to

  • with one protagonist in exile and the other remaining alone

  • with both protagonists ending up with women (You know who I'm talking about I'll mention them by name later)
Not surprisingly I didn't find any of these endings particularly satisfying. I guess there was a part of me that still missed stories which focused more on a love story between two characters. However, I was in no hurry to meet Cinderella again.

In the end it was a combination of Kushiel's Dart which hooked me on this m/m thing and what ended up being the non-relationship between Butch and Vishous that finally got me to take the plunge into the m/m world. (Yes...I used the B and the V word).

Where should I start though?

I wish I could remember how I first ended up at Waves blog, or at Rain on the Roof, or at Jen's blog (now on hiatus) or Jenre's blog - Well Read. A series of happy coincidences I think. I lurked and asked for recommendations and finally chose my first forays into the m/m world.
A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R.W.Day
Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale
(I think My Fair Captain was in there somewhere as well. :) Would these books disappoint and dissatisfy?



I think I possibly made the best first two choices ever. Unlike the m/f romances I'd had problems with, these stories focussed on relationships between individuals - none of whom were billionaires, or incredibly amazingly talented at their jobs, or who had an amazingly incredible talent that the world desperately needed. They were just people, flawed individuals finding a home in each other.

Hey, I'm not denying that if one guy is hot, then two guys are hotter. But if hot sexin' was all it was about I'm pretty sure I'd get bored of the m/m genre pretty darn quick. And that doesn't look like happening any time soon. :)

Tomorrow I'll recommend some of my faves.

* - quote is taken from Kushiel's Dart, Alcuin to Delauney.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Why I Stopped Reading M/F

There's been quite a bit of blogging around recently about why readers (more specifically female readers) have started reading m/m.

So over the next couple of days I thought I'd chart my own little journey.

I've been a pretty phased reader. I don't remember what I was reading before my teens possibly whatever was consider YA in the 70's early 80's. But my teens (14-18) was my horror phase - Stephen King, James Herbert, then a particularly nasty book which featured cannibalism put me off horror. Lol. And I ended up doing a literary 180 and started reading historical and contemporary romance.

I glommed. Most of my twenties was spent reading Johanna Lindsey, Jude Deveraux, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard (who remains a favourite), Judith McNaught, every Zebra Heartfire and Harlequin / Silhouette romance going.

At some point I think subconsciously, I began to be aware of a few things, mainly to do with a lot of the heroines of these stories.

I couldn't identify with them.

I was never going to:-

  1. Meet and marry a billionaire

  2. Become a world famous photojournalist/chef/actor

  3. Be President or First Lady of the USA

  4. Be a Supermodel/Pop Star/ Opera Singer

  5. Be a Doctor/Surgeon/Vet

  6. Run a Ranch/Farm/ or smallholding of any description

  7. Join the army/navy/airforce and be a crack sniper/helicopter pilot/jet pilot

  8. Run a cosy out of the way B&B that a passing billionaire/president would just pop into

  9. Discover a hitherto unknown talent for floristry/painting/sculpting/baking that would be nurtured by a billionaire sponsor

Or any of the other amazing talents that the women in these novels possessed. Don't get me wrong. I'm okay. I have skills. I'm happy. But as I got closer to my thirties I no longer wanted to read about these Cinderella's.

Is this where m/m comes in and saves the day?


I discovered firstly through Anita Blake (Hey! The early books were good) the joy of Urban Fantasy. A kick-ass heroine who was just doing her job, a female protagonist who made mistakes and paid for them, a woman who didn't wait for a knight in shining armour if she made a mess she'd do her damndest to clean it up herself. But she wasn't afraid to ask for help if she needed it - reluctant maybe, but not afraid.

It's UF that has earned my loyalty as a genre. And Elena Danvers, Mercedes Thompson, Kitty Norville, Joanne Baldwin, Jaz Parks, Kate Daniels, Nadia Stafford*, Alexandra Keller and Cherijo Torin* who are the heroines I admire.

M/M came a little later and I'll talk about that tomorrow. :)

* - I know Nadia Stafford and Cherijo are not UF, but they are both heroines I wouldn't have discovered if I hadn't read the UF books written by those authors first.

And The Winner Is....

The winners of Josh Lanyon and Lisabea/LB Gregg's Thanksgiving Q & A are as follows... (contestants were randomized via

The winner of the Josh Lanyon book:
There were 26 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

  1. Tracy
  2. Cosmosnaut
  3. whateverfor
  4. Kimnik
  5. Mei Leng
  6. Winterbird
  7. SiNn
  8. Liz
  9. Bev (QB)
  10. Renee
  11. Joder
  12. jukebox
  13. Siruislyserio
  14. Sula
  15. anonymous #1
  16. nichem
  17. Marcy
  18. Kati
  19. poximon
  20. s7anna
  21. Jenre
  22. Sarah
  23. Kris
  24. anonymous #2
  25. Tam
  26. Janice
The winner of the LB Gregg book:
There were 26 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. Kris
  2. Sarah
  3. jukebox
  4. Janice
  5. Marcy
  6. Jenre
  7. anonymous #2
  8. Tam
  9. Joder
  10. s7anna
  11. Cosmonaut
  12. Mei Leng
  13. SiNn
  14. Tracy
  15. poximon
  16. whateverfor
  17. anonymous #1
  18. Bev (QB)
  19. Winterbird
  20. Siruislyserio
  21. Kati
  22. Liz
  23. Renee
  24. Sula
  25. nichem
  26. kimnik

Congratulations to the winners! Please email Lisabea at to collect your winnings. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Hey I'm only a month behind on this one folks that's good for me LOL!!!! So here's to all those October babies out there! I hope it was a wonderful day!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Two Turkeys.

Happy Thanksgiving Q & A With
Josh and Lisabea

As usual, when I pop by the Island, I like to bring my pal Josh Lanyon for an alcoholic bev and some witty repartee. Today we're offering ten questions to each other and to readers, PLUS a prize or two.

So Josh asks five, and I, Lisabea/LBea/LB Gregg ask five, but we all have to answer ten. Here we go!

(I am in Blue; Josh Lanyon is in brown, because he's just STUNNING in brown).


Josh: Okay, here are my questions and answers:

1 - The last fluid to pass your lips.

Do we count the rinsing away of toothpaste? No! The SO just appeared with Irish Coffee. TGIF! Yum.

LBea: Coffee. It's always coffee! I need to add some new fluids to my life.

Josh: 2 - Who was the last person you had an argument with -- and why?

I'm in the middle of a huge argument with someone though I haven't told her yet. Believe it or not, I actually hate confrontation, so while I can fly off the handle when it's not that big a deal, when the hurt goes deep I've generally got nothing to say. It's lockdown time. She's dead to me.



LBea: I'm not speaking to you. I am your bf. You would never hold back.

::bites nails::
Josh's Daily Vitamin

Josh: 3 - Is Irish Coffee a vitamin? (LBea interrupts: YES) Seriously, I take a boring vitamin supplement because my diet is shit. Well, not literally. And I take vitamin B and Omega fish oil stuff.

LBea: I was taking vitamins, but I always forget. I'm more likely to take Motrin.

Josh: 4 - What holiday chore do you most dread?

I dread them ALL. Mostly because I haven't done any of them. I guess I dread starting the list of chores the most, because once I'm in that mode, it will be okay. It's like war. Thinking about battle is much worse than...hmmm. Maybe not such a good analogy. I do hope the turkey won't be shooting back this year.

LBea: My new holiday dread is wall papering the hallway ever again.

Josh: 5 - Name one book you read as a teenager that influenced you.

As a teenager...I read voraciously. And I tended to take everything very seriously. I think this is true of a of books we read when we're young. It seems like...this is gospel, this is how the world is, and these initial storytellers carry great weight. Which is why it really is a huge responsibility as to what we let children and teens read. I remember I read a great deal from the Scholastic bookclub. Anyone remember that? And one book was about this guy named David and his friend...and I can't remember the friend's name, but he's a conscientious objector and he dies in Viet Nam. There's something about David's father accusing the friend of being gay, but to be honest, a lot of that went right over my head at the time. I mean, I was still waiting for the Black Stallion to show up in my life.

LBea: Snort. I'll send you a My Little Pony.

I've said Dancer's of Arun before--but I'm going to go with Fern Michael's Captive Surrender (or was it Embrace?). I was in high school and it was my first lady pirate romance. I wrote an English paper about becoming a lady pirate and I received a glowing A from my teacher who thought I was 'so interesting'--but sekretly I was reading pron!


LBea: 6) What's your fav. real Christmas song and your favorite pretend Holiday song? I know this is precipitous. I don't care.

I'm such a WASP--Once in Royal David City is my fav real song. And I love Mariah singing O Holy Night in that video when she's in church with her bubbies hanging out and she's in a Jessica Rabbit Red Dress vamping it up for baby Jesus. Now that's what I call Christmas!

Josh - The Rebel Jesus. But here's where I confess that I love Christmas music. It is SO uncool. But I do. Pretend fave? Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. I love all those jazzy, vintage-y Chestnuts Saved From the Fire faves. Ideally sung by Ella or Frankie or Der Bingle or Satchmo.

LBea: 7) What's the last thing your love said to you this morning?

You're so hot I can't keep my hands off you. I want you all the time.

What? I am not making that up!

Josh: "How's your head?"

He was talking about my headache of the night before, I hasten to add. Serious here!

LBea: 8) Thanksgiving Question: Dressing in the bird, or on the side in some pansy little dish?

Stuff that mother! In the bird! Also stuffing should have lots of sausage. Mmmmm...sausage.

Josh - You don't know where that bird has been! Side dish. It's an ongoing bone of contention in this household, by the way. I am all about the side dishes.

LBea: 9) What movies can you watch again and again, you know the lines, can jump in at any time, and will stop everything to watch it on TV even though you have it on DVD (and VHS)?

Monty Python's Holy Grail--and School of Rock, Moonstruck, The Bird Cage, and (Colin Firth) Pride and Prejudice. I like to laugh and I love love.

Josh - And we love to laugh at you. WITH YOU. Seriously, though...Gunga Din, Young Frankenstein, The Big Sleep...any episode of The Professionals.

Adrien English

LBea: 10) What's your newest addition to your Desert Island Keeper list?

Mine is The Dark Tide. BOOYAH!!!!

Josh- What?! You can't pick a book that isn't published yet. Pick something else. (LBea: No. Make me.) Meanwhile...what am I supposed to pick when I haven't read anything in months??? Books I am taking with me to DIY island...Dash and Dingo by Sean Kennedy, Three Wrong Turns in the Desert by Neil Plakcy...okay, I will take recommends on this. OH, I know. Ginn Hale's sequel to Wicked Gentlemen. When's that coming out? ( I am NOT making fun of you, Sweetbea).

So. Answer the Ten Questions by Monday Morning 7 am (I can't do midnight Sunday, sorry. Am too tired) and you may be selected to win a copy of Dangerous Grounds II: Old Poison! And an LB Gregg your choice Smithfield novella.

The Questions Again:
1 - The last fluid to pass your lips.
2 - Who was the last person you had an argument with -- and why?
3 - Is Irish Coffee a vitamin?
4 - What holiday chore do you most dread?
5 - Name one book you read as a teenager that influenced you.
6) What's your fav. real Christmas song and your favorite pretend Holiday song?
7) What's the last thing your love said to you this morning?
8) Thanksgiving Question: Dressing in the bird, or on the side in some pansy little dish?
9) What movies can you watch again and again, you know the lines, can jump in at any time, and will stop everything to watch it on TV even though you have it on DVD (and VHS)?
10) What's your newest addition to your Desert Island Keeper list?


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Of All the Fool Things.

While the shit has hit the fan in the romance world with Harlequin's new vanity press label--and I try to visualize RWA without Harlequin--I've been prepping for a special guest arrival tomorrow.


Imagine my surprise that I had no idea this Harlequin/Vanity Press/RWA situation erupted! Actually--not hard to imagine because I've been out of it for a month.

I have nothing to report--but I do have a list of what you shouldn't do two days before your guest is scheduled to arrive for an extended stay.

-Damn it I don't have time for ten!!

hold your applause until the end, please.

Number Five

Don't go upstairs to clean the bathroom and wind up painting it instead.

No I don't have this soap dispenser!

Number Four

Don't look at twitter, google reader, FB or your email

or you'll get SUCKED into the void.

Number Three

Don't Check Your Books!

Best Sellers for Aspen Mountain Press
Based on data gathered within the last 20 days.
1. Cover Me [Men of Smithfield] by L.B. Gregg [Erotica/Mystery/Crime]
2. Happy Ending [Men of Smithfield] by L.B. Gregg [Erotica/Romance]
3. Gobsmacked [Men of Smithfield] by L.B. Gregg [Erotica/Romance]

I keep checking to see how my books are 'doing'.
This is an utter waste of time. Still. LOOK! At Fictionwise!!

Number Two

Don't Go To Target

Chris Pine has arrived.

Number One Thing
Not to Do Two Days
Before Your Guest Arrives.

Don't decide to Wallpaper the Front Hall with Holiday Wrapping Paper.

Oh, la! You think I'm joking! I'm halfway done. I'm out of sticky dots. Target is far away. And...I'm starting not to care anymore because--I have to clean the house. Of wrapping paper, paint, and sticky dots. Floors to mop. Towels to wash.


So. Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We all have our go-to authors, our comfort reads, and our favorite tropes.  You know, those people and things that make you snatch a book off the shelf and fork over your hard earned money.  Maybe you are a sucker for the "friends to lovers" plot line.  Perhaps you squeal in delight on Julia Quinn's release date.  These books give us the warm fuzzies.  They help us to forget a terrible day at work.  They make a good day even better.

But what about those others?  The doozies. After reading romances for years, you learn what makes you tick, and what makes you sick.  You are walking through the book store.  A cover jumps out at you from the shelf to your left.  Mantitty, low riding pants, some mysterious landscape in the distance.  It lures you over with visual promises of smexin goodness.  Picking up the novel, you turn it over to peruse the back blurb.  What you see there send chils down your spine.  With shaking hands you replace the book on the shelf and slowly back away. It was a close call.  You avoided disaster by a hair's breath.  You almost bought a book containing an element so horrifying it would throw you off your readin game for weeks.  Oh, I don't mean a TSTL heroine or some other element that you wouldn't know about before reading.  I mean the big canon ball that will sink you pleasure cruise of reading.  It's the opposite of auto-buy material.  It is the Dealbreaker.

For me it's cheating.  A book where the heroine is engaged and meets another man who makes the earth shift beneath her (and her naughty bits quake)... Oh. Hell. No.  I know for some people this isn't a problem.  For me it is a dealbreaker. Doesn't matter who wrote it, I just can't read the book.

So what kills it for you?  What element will make you back away and run in the opposite direction?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Those Days When You're Just Not Feelin' It

As some of you know, I have been suffering from The Great Reading Slump of '09. It was BAD. Nothing could tempt my reading palette. That was back in July, August, and even September. Like a nasty flu bug, I have still not fully recovered. The books I have read are few and far between. The good news is that I have fully enjoyed them. Perhaps in this case quality is far better than quantity.

Not everyone has suffered through a full-blown slump. Sometimes you pick up a book and your mind starts to wander. The hero isn't tempting you. The witty banter isn't captivating you. Bottom line: you're just not feelin' it. It's like we tell men, at some time it happens to everybody. So what do you do when the ennui hits? Do you power through and read or do you direct your focus elsewhere?

For me, it's crafty shtuff. I pick up a skein of yarn and a crochet hook and let my mind wander. Other times it is paint and a canvas. I get my hands moving and my mind begins to clear. Often that's all it takes to bring me right back to reading.

What clears your mind or distracts you from the ennui? What is your prescription for those times when you're just not feelin' it?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Enabling. How do YOU do it?

I have been reading Romances for half of my life. For years they were my guilty pleasure, my dirty little secret. While many of my friends were voracious readers, none of them read Romance. In fact, many of my "friends" scoffed at me, poked fun at me, and even ridiculed my literary choices. (Real great friends, huh?) As I've grown older new individuals have entered my life. You know what? They read romance! Yes, it's true. Now, I know all of you read them. That is what has brought us together, this shared love of novels filled with love, passion, drama, sly humor, sexy heroes, and strong heroines. But here are these people in my day-to-day life that read Romance. It is a lovely thing.

But get this: some of those friends who ridiculed me in the past? Some of them are starting to get interested. Oh yes! There are those who throw all reservations aside and dive in head first, asking to borrow books or what you recommendations might be. Then there are those others. The ones for whom it is a new guilty pleasure. You have been there. That was me at 16. And 21. And.... They are resistant yet intrigued.

So how do we hook these friends? What has your approach been? Is it with a particular author? Do you have a sneak Romance attack move you could share? Just what is it you do to enable those around you? How do you bring your friends over to the Romance Side?

(Best sneak attack ever!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Whoops September Babies My Bad

I TOTALLY BLEW IT AS BIRTHDAY LEADER OVER HERE and I'M SO FREAKIN' SORRY. When I switched positions I kind of let the blog slip MY FAULT Swear it won't happen again. So to make it up to you September Babies here are your gifts! Enjoy and I hope you had a fantastic Bday!!!!

Please, Please, Please send me any and all naked menz pics so I can a fresh selection to post for the Bday parties! Seriously I need some help I'm running out! You can send them to Thanks!
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