FanLit FOX deal winner Sara Dennis is guestblogging today on Romance By the Blog! Be sure to stop by!… Read More »

So, I’m having a little problem in Regency land. The problem being that it preceded the Industrial Revolution. There are a whole host of metaphors I routinely use in writing and speech that just don’t fly in 1815.

For example, a sentence like:
“Somewhere deep inside him, a switch flipped.”

Well, they didn’t really have switches, did they? Shoot.

And there are so many other “mechanical” turns of phrase that sneak into my writing. Buttons being pressed, levers being pulled, gears turning (although I kept that – I mean, they did have gears in clocks and such). Even the phrase “train of thought” – can you use that before they had trains?

So what’s another, non-mechanical way to refer to abrupt changes within someone’s psyche? If it ain’t a switch, button, or lever, what is it? Help!… Read More »

First off, thank you so much to everyone who stopped by Romance by the Blog yesterday! It was so great to “see” so many Fanlitters together in one place. Big thanks to Michelle and her bellas for hosting the reunion.

So this morning, I’m thinking about heroes. Craveable, lovable, to-die-for heroes. It occurs to me that, when I read, I have two levels of hero-worship.

1) Heroes I want for myself. I want to go through the book and cross out the heroine’s name and pencil in “Tessa” instead. I’m in love with him.
2) Heroes I wouldn’t steal for the world. I couldn’t bear to take the heroine’s place, because it just wouldn’t be right. I’m in love with them.

Personally, the books that really stick with me are the ones with heroes that fall into category 2. And – very predictably – a perfect example of this would be Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. He’s the man. He’s principled, honorable, handsome, wealthy, and appreciates an intelligent woman who challenges him. And he’s hot. But even if I could jump into the pages of the book in Jasper Fforde fashion — never, ever in a million years would I usurp the place of Elizabeth Bennet. Because I don’t just love him. I love him in love with her.

I prefer heroes in category 2. That’s the kind of hero I want to write.

Does that make sense? What do you think? Can you … Read More »

For FanLit folk and blog regulars:

I am guest-blogging today on Romance by the Blog! PUH-leeeeze come over and chat about FanLit. I’m giving away chocolate…!

There are several very cool people linked to the right. If you are a cool person I haven’t yet linked, sing out!

For Romance by the Blog bellas:

Ciao, Bellas! Thanks for dropping by!

These are my rambles about writing and romance and my novel-in-progress, Goddess of the Hunt. If you click here, you can see the mystical apparition of Eloisa James and Julia Quinn on my own humble blog. Much like the Virgin Mary appearing on a grilled-cheese sandwich.

For everyone:

Please come check out my brand new website at !
You can read an excerpt of my WIP, Goddess of the Hunt.… Read More »

If you haven’t already guessed it, Sir Toby the Clueless is not the hero of this book.

So Lucy learns that Toby is on the verge of proposing to Sophia Hathaway. Lucy is desperate. She can’t possibly compete with Sophia’s beauty, elegance, or dowry. She doesn’t have time for a subtle campaign — she needs to bag her quarry, and fast. Seduction is her weapon, and Toby is the target. There’s just one problem. Lucy’s aim is off. She kisses the wrong man. And that man – much as he did not want to be kissed in the first place – is suddenly strongly displeased with the idea of Lucy kissing anyone else.

Which man, you ask? Oh, I’m so glad you asked.

There are four men in this book. One is Henry, Lucy’s brother. Another is Sir Toby the Clueless. That leaves Henry’s two other friends – Felix and Jeremy.

Felix is short and portly, with red hair. He is modestly wealthy. He is not titled. He is slightly dim, but perpetually jolly. He loves a good laugh. Lucy has always been his partner-in-crime.

Jeremy is tall and well-built, with black hair. He is insanely wealthy. He is an earl. He is intelligent, but perpetually reserved. He rarely cracks a smile. Lucy has always been the bane of his existence.

Okay, guess away.

What? You can’t possibly tell? Okay, hints.
Hint #1 – The hero is always the most wealthy, highest ranking man in the room. (Or, in this … Read More »

So a couple of posts below, I introduced you to Lucy, the heroine of my WIP, Goddess of the Hunt, and gave you some reasons why you will love her. Time to introduce the man Lucy loves.

But first, let me tell you bit about how Lucy loves. Lucy has no talent for painting or music, and she has no talent for hoping. She doesn’t hope. She knows; she believes; she expects – and she wants. Here is Lucy on wanting:

Lucy raised the bow to her shoulder and drew back the string. “If you want to hit the target, it’s as simple as that – wanting it. Some people will go on and on about proper technique. They will analyze the line of your arm, the way you hold the bow, the length of time you take to release. Absolute rot, all of it. I simply look at the center of the target, and I want it. I focus and I wait and I want it. I wait until the rest of the world falls away, and all that’s left are my arrow and the target and the wanting.” Her gaze narrowed, and her speech slowed. “And when I want them to collide so desperately that I can feel the arrow want it, too … then, I release.” She let go the string and watched the arrow zing home.

What Lucy wants, Lucy gets. And she wants Sir Tobias Aldridge, her brother’s handsome and charming friend. … Read More »

Reason #2 you want to read my book: Lather, rinse, repeat.

So I was over at Maggie’s blog, and I realized those three words pretty neatly describe the first half of my book. Lucy and her guy get all hot and bothered. Repeatedly. And between steamy interludes, they get soaking wet.

Don’t worry. There’s a bit of plot in there, too.… Read More »

So how does this blog look to you? I tried changing the blogskin, and I’ve realized it looks different in different browsers. It looks perfect in Opera, OK in one version of Explorer, wonky in another version, and completely stupid in Firefox.

What are you seeing in the header? It should be a swooshy red thing.

Sigh. I should leave this stuff to the professionals.

EDIT: Red swooshy begone. Let’s try this for awhile. It’s romancey and goddessy – just what I need.… Read More »

Happy 2007, everyone!

So in my last post, I swore that this year I was going to give you all reasons to read my book. All right, here goes.

Reason #1 – You will love my heroine
I know, I know. Totally backwards. I’m supposed to make you fall in love with the hero. Well, I’m aiming to do that, too. But first you have to love the heroine and want to see her happy, right? And Lucy is a very loveable heroine, if I do say it myself. She’s an orphan, raised by her clueless older brother Henry, with little in the way of ladylike accomplishments and no dowry at all – but pity her at your own risk. She does not take pity kindly, and she does not take no for an answer.

Every autumn, Henry invites three friends — Felix, Toby, and Jeremy — to enjoy the fine fishing and hunting at his country estate, Waltham Manor. Each year, Lucy attaches herself to their group like a tick on a hound, learning to ride, shoot, and angle under their tutelage. She’s a highly accomplished young woman, but not in the usual way. Other young ladies embroider cushions; Lucy makes fishing lures. Other young ladies speak French or Italian fluently; Lucy is proficient in swearing. When they sit down to the piano, other young ladies play Mozart; Lucy knows only drinking songs.

Lucy has never aspired to be an elegant lady – until now. Because, as a girl, … Read More »

I hope you all had a pleasant holiday. My Christmas present to myself was pushing that little progress bar to your right over the 50,000-word mark. I’m more than halfway done! (um, with my first draft.)

Actually, I’m very excited, because I’m hitting a great section in my manuscript. For the past 45K words or so, I’ve been carefully setting up for a sequence of events. And now it’s finally time for the events! It’s a whole different game. Instead of maneuvering People into Places so that Things can happen, I can finally just … let things happen.

I have also made a New Year’s resolution, one week early. I need to start talking up this book.

I’ve kept up an excessively self-deprecating attitude about it, both on- and off-line. But I know that needs to change. I have to eventually (ulp) promote myself. And although I’m not at the point where I’ve got a decent hook or high concept or sacred question to share, I’m pretty sure that the first step goes something like this…

(Fair warning: Stuart Smalley moment ahead)
It shouldn’t be so hard to type this, but oddly enough it is:

I like my book.

Ack. There, I said it.

No, seriously, that was hard. Perhaps I need to say it again, for practice.

I like my book. And I think other people will like it. It’s true that it’s not a textbook-perfect romance novel — I’m learning a lot by making mistakes. But I … Read More »