THE BEST DC MUSEUM YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT

This past Friday, to celebrate my wedding anniversary, as a sort of surprise to my hubby we went to DC (that wasn’t a surprise he was driving) but  before we went I bought tickets for us to go to the International Spy Museum so he could see the exhibition on 50 Years of Bond Villians.

Yeah, I know. Even I got a bit weak kneed at that idea. 50 years of Bond Villians. A complete look at every bad guy, all the really cheeky named villain chicks.

Let’s see, since I couldn’t take pictures inside (which made me really sad) here’s what we saw: Ian Fleming’s typewriter (PS I would totally write awesome thrillers if I had an estate on Jamaica, just saying); Goldfinger’s golf shoes; THE SELF DESTRUCT LEVER; sharks; Xenia Onatop’s uniform; and how is it that I forgot that Mads Mikkelsen was Le Chifre in Casino Royale. I totally forgot that until I walked up to his picture and went Holy Crap, Bond faced off with a cannibal! Which led to a very intense debate on who would win between Hannibal Lecter and James Bond in a bare knuckle fist fight.

Hubby says Bond because well Bond. I’m going with Hannibal—my guess is that he wouldn’t be above biting to win. And Daniel Craig does look kind of yummy.

You don't gnome me

You don’t gnome me

Happy 9th Anniversary to My Darling, Wonderful, Lovely Husband

Just a short blog post today to wish my darling husband of  nine years a

Happy Wedding Anniversary.

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Nine years ago Wednesday you stood up in front of way too many people

and

promised to do a lot of highly improbable things

and

not only have you managed every one of them you’ve done more.

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You’ve loved me through thick and thin, sickness and health, richer and for power

and

you’ve even endured the crazies that come with being married to an author.

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You’ve cooked dinners and watched children at night and rubbed my shoulders

and

built websites and designed book swag and read romance novels

and

listened to me moan and whinge about why plots aren’t working

and

let me bounce ideas off of you

and

you’ve had way too many dinners spoiled by conversations

about my art.

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And I never say that I love and appreciate you nearly enough.

So here it is:

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Thank you for being my soul mate

and

for making every single day one that I want to wake up to.

I love you. And here’s to 91 more years.

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Happy Cinco De Mayo

Hello everyone, I’m currently locked down in edits for my second YA/MG book Evanescent and if my editors find out I actually took the time to blog they’d probably have my head, but I couldn’t resist coming out to wish everyone a happy Cinco De Mayo.

Some of the people who read this blog might know that I spent four years during grad school in southern New Mexico and I basically miss it every day. Especially on days like Cinco de Mayo. Why you ask. Here’s my top five reasons to miss New Mexico
1.) Sunshine.
2.) Hatch Green Chilis
3.) Palm trees
4.) White Sands
5.) Sunshine. Lots and lots of pretty warm sunshine.

Oh well, back into the breach once more for me. Have a good week everyone!

The Hero Always Seems To Get Short Shifted

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So I’ve moved on to editing the series that I’ve been working so diligently on writing here recently—hopefully I’ll have good news on the publishing front with that sometime in the future—and I’ve started thinking about what I want to write next. I have one story that is already all plotted out that I’m working on but then the inevitable question comes of what’s next? So I’m churning ideas around in my head, listening to potential heroines bicker about why their storyline should come next, asking my friends on facebook to send me pictures of pretty men, and I realized my poor heroes. I really have turned them into over-sexualized plot devices that are tailor made to fit the needs of the heroine’s growth arc. I put their needs second to her’s because in my mind it’s always the heroine who speaks first and he comes along later to complement her. Sure, eventually they will have needs and inner wounds and emotional scars but in the beginning they really start out as a pretty face, fabulous abs, and a bum you sort of want to sink your teeth into. Then I layer in the emotions and all the angst to fit my fabulous heroine’s needs and try to short cut my way into getting my hero naked and on his back.

That’s when it hit me, I am the romance writer version of a frat boy. And I should be deeply ashamed of myself for it. But then again they are fictional so it’s not like I’ve repressed them or anything. And I am fully aware that real, living, breathing men are more than fabulous abs and pretty smiles that need to be stripped down and tied up so that women can have their wicked way with them. So I guess it all comes out okay. To misquote Jessica Rabbit—I’m not bad, I just write that way.

I’ve Agreed to What May Possibly Be the Biggest Mistake of My Life

Two weeks before the release of my first MG/YA book The Chronicles of Nerissette: Everlast I’ve agreed to take my kids to the World’s Most Horrible Place for Rational Adults—aka the Happiest Layer of Hell—Disney World. For a week. A week of lines, screaming children, and people in costumes who are way too pleasant before my sixth cup of morning coffee.

So, if you don’t hear from me after August everyone knows what happened. Mickey Mouse and his crew of miscreant small mammals have taken me prisoner and nailed my feet down in that damn It’s A Small World ride. Please come find me.

And while they’re doing that can someone else please resuscitate my bank account because I don’t know if you know this but apparently the Happiest Place on Earth is one of the most freaking expensive as well.

Dear Weather Gods: Can We Please Have Some Consistency…Please?

Not really an earth shattering blog or anything but I’ve seen a lot of other authors complaining about the same thing—we need some consistent weather please. Please. Please.
I don’t know about where anyone else is from but here in crazy PA the weather has been bouncing between utterly freezing, to soaking wet but not freezing but still cold, to downright nice. Usually hourly.
And being a cranky writer – more like a big baby according to my hubby—I just want nice pretty mid summer weather. Not too hot, not at all cold, and sunshine all day long. So if anyone’s got a dial on where I could get that could you send it along please?

What about ya’ll? Is the weather driving you mad where you’re at?

Sunshine Award

SUNSHINE-AWARD
The Sunshine Award is given to bloggers who “positively and creatively inspire others in the Blogosphere”. Isnt’ that so lovely. I’m not sure I actually do that but the lovely Jane Beckham (http://janebeckenham.com/blog/) gave it to me so I’m going to go for it. Besides, I don’t have anything else to write about today.

Here are the Sunshine Award rules:
1) Thank the person who presented you with the award and link them in your blog post.
2) Do the Q and A that comes with the award (see below).

So without further ado here’s the Q&A of more than you really probably want to know about me:

Q and A:

Favourite Colour: Purple although red is a close second.

Favourite Animal: elephants. I once got to play with a baby elephant and just sort of fell in love with them.

Favourite Number: 7

Favourite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Unsweetened Ice Tea but there are days that those go alcoholic too with the help of Sweet Caroline vodka

Facebook or Twitter: I have a facebook that updates to twitter because I’m lazy.

My Passion: History. I have such a weird fascination with it that I actually considered studying it for a while instead of math and economics– I probably should have followed that instinct actually

Getting or receiving presents: Giving defintely. I always feel weird receiving.

Favourite Day of the Week: Saturday– it’s the day I take off each week.

Favourite Flower: Stargazer Lilies

Self Aware Alpha Males

So right now I’m getting ready to go on blog tour with Candace Havens and Lily Lang to promote our new steampunk anthology from Entangled Publishing (A Riveting Affair) and while I was prepping for that I saw another post by Michelle McLean about Protective Heroes and how she loves fictional alpha males. And I got to thinking. And that led to a big realization on my part.

I don’t like the typical alpha males. I really, really don’t. In fact most of the romance novels I’ve thrown across a room in the past few years have involved alpha males. Case in point? I never made it any further in Twilight than the sneaking in the window bit and I wanted to put the book through a shredder.

I can’t stand big protective guys who sends bodyguards or stalks a heroine “for her own good” and doesn’t think “wow I need to go out and get a hobby, or possibly spend some time in therapy. A lot of time in therapy.”

I’m not saying I don’t like a man who can stand up for himself or for a woman for that matter. I do. I really do. Ask all the nice men who I ground into the dirt during what my girlfriends called my uniform phase. I like muscles and tattoos and a guy who knows his way around a tank. (I have friended Men in Uniform on Facebook where these yummy gentlemen came from and am not ashamed to admit it.) But being honest with myself—what all the guys in my uniform phase had in common besides bulging muscles, tattoos and uniforms was one thing—they all had brains. And they respected that I had them as well.

Or as the nice police officer I dated during that phase put it. “I gave you a can of mace, I taught you how to drop an attacker, you’re going five blocks in a safe neighborhood, why should I come pick you up from work when I could be here making you dinner instead?” Trust me, he was right—guy made a killer Chicken Piccata. I mean seriously it should have been illegal it was that good. And I always made it home perfectly safe while we together — without him once coming to escort me home.

So that’s what I want in a fictional alpha male. To be evolved enough to know that my ovaries don’t make me weak and in need of protection.

That’s the one place that we as romance writers can take a clue from reality. We can write guys who are tough and strong and sexy as hell but have evolved beyond caveman sensibilities when it comes to women. We can write the same types of men that we are raising our sons to be and our daughters to want. And we can give all men—fictional or otherwise—the respect that they deserve by not writing them as caricatures.

Not every romance novel of course—because not everyone will agree with me and they’ll like their cavemen but as far as I’m concerned the cavemen knights in shining armor trope can go the way of amnesia babies and raping her till she loves me tropes. Which is completely off my reading and writing list.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Wherever you are, whatever you celebrate—I hope you have a happy Sunday filled with warmth, sunshine, and enough chocolate to make your day wonderful.
Oh and check back soon for details on the Riveting Affairs Anthology press tour.