Monday, February 26, 2007

Going, going...

It's time for my annual girl's week with mom and FabDame in Fabulous Seattle. We'll take a short break from the Top Ten and I'll see you when I get back!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ack! Ack! Ack!

Mrs. Giggles gives Out of This World the RAREST "Smashing Good" rating of 94!!!!

I'm getting sooo snookered tonight!

*Lame-O p.s.*

Mrs. Giggles said my humor was almost a homage to Blackadder. I'd never heard of it despite an enduring love affair with BritCom. Turns out it's been voted the SECOND BEST British Sitcom of all time. I will now retire to the restroom and humbly salaam before the porcelain god. In a good way.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Ann's Top Ten Romance Heroes of all Time--Number Seven

What could be worse than being beholden to your dead mother's wishes? Not much. Until bad goes to disastrous for Jack Singer (Nicholas Cage), in Honeymoon in Vegas.

This poor guy can't get a break. Sensitive to a fault, his heart is his downfall and his ultimate salvation.

He loves Betsy (Sarah Jessica Parker) but he can't commit. Why? On her deathbed his mother made him promise he wouldn't marry. If you were raised around Old World immigrants, as I was, you'll be totally sympathetic to this guilty dilemma *gg*.

Ostensibly, the couple's trip to Vegas will turn into a honeymoon, because Betsy read him the riot act. But things are never that simple and before long, Jack is involved with professional gambler, Tommy Korman (James Caan in a wonderfully comic/evil turn), and loses Betsy in a bet.

What follows is a testament to what a Man In Love will do for his woman. What I love about Jack is that once he realizes what's at stake--his future with an exceptional woman--he doesn't lollygag or let anything defeat him. Not effed up flight schedules with hours upon demoralizing hours in the air, broken cars, betrayal or fisticuffs. Not even the humiliation and comical terror of skydiving with Flying Elvises will keep him from getting Betsy back. That's the Darwinian craving in a woman--a man who will stop at nothing.

Jack Singer is a True Romance Hero. He overcomes his conflict and faces perilous odds to win Betsy back. That's why he's in my top ten romance heroes of all time.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ann's Top Ten Romance Heroes of all Time--Number Eight

King Arthur--Mythical Visionary and Good Man.

I'm the last person who can talk about Arthurian legend with any profundity. My exposure to it is limited to the movie Camelot and the book The Once and Future King. But that's not gonna stop me from opining. Why should it? I'm not afraid to make an idiot of myself and I certainly welcome any comments that would give me a better understanding. But for now, here's how I see his romantic heroicness.

An exceptionally perceptive man, Arthur senses the adulterous passion between his wife, Guinevere, and right hand knight, Lancelot, in the way they won't look at each other. He also knows they love him deeply, and he trusts that as people, they want to Do The Right Thing. With a remarkable insight into human nature, he understands that no one can control their feelings. Hence, he holds them blameless. Now, you tell me, how many people can do that?

In a time when women were chattel, Arthur embraces higher ideals. Guinevere is not a possession to him. She's a person. He hopes against hope that she'll rise above her human frailties, but, alas, she can't. What does Arthur do? He loves her in spite of them. And that makes King Arthur one of my top ten romance heroes of all time.

Next up, a romance that doesn't involve infidelity ;)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ann's Top Ten Romance Heroes of all Time--Number Nine

Fred Jesson in Brief Encounter, Noel Coward's achingly poetic chronicle of unexpected and unwanted desire, and my pick for best romantic film of all time.

*There be spoilers*

Played by Cyril Raymond in a supporting role, Fred is the pleasantly sardonic, pudgy husband of Laura Jesson, a middle-aged, frumpy British housewife who struggles with a mighty, unconsummated, attraction to Trevor Howard's Alec Harvey.

Alec: I love you. I love your wide eyes, the way you smile, your shyness, and the way you laugh at my jokes.

Laura: Please don't.

Alec: I love you. I love you. You love me too. It's no use pretending it hasn't happened cause it has.

Yes it has. I don't want to pretend anything either to you or to anyone else. But from now on, I shall have to. That's what's wrong. Don't you see? That's what spoils everything. That's why we must stop, here and now, talking like this. We're neither of us free to love each other. There's too much in the way. There's still time, if we control ourselves and behave like sensible human beings. There's still time.

And time, and some of the most beautiful talk you'll ever hear as we delve into Laura's heartbreaking angst, and her struggle to Do The Right Thing.

[thinking] Fred, dear Fred. There's so much that I want to say to you. You're the only one in the world with enough wisdom and gentleness to understand. If only it was somebody else's story and not mine. As it is, you're the only one in the world that I can never tell. Never never. Because even if I waited until we were old, old people and told you then, you'd be bound to look back over the years and be hurt. And my dear, I don't want you to be hurt. You see, we're a happily married couple and let's never forget that. This is my home. You're my husband. And my children are upstairs in bed. I'm a happily married woman - or I was, rather, until a few weeks ago. This is my whole world, and it's enough, or rather, it was until a few weeks ago. But, oh, Fred, I've been so foolish. I've fallen in love. I'm an ordinary woman. I didn't think such violent things could happen to ordinary people.

It's not until the last scene of the movie, when Laura has returned from her final encounter with Alec and is quietly coming apart, that we discover Fred knew what was up with her all along. Though no one would ever mistake Fred for a hottie, his reaction is what catapults him onto my top ten list.

Fred: You've been a long way away.

Laura (on a sob): Yes.

Fred: Thank you for coming back to me.

Beg, borrow or steal this movie if you haven't already, and see if Fred Jesson's heroic kindness towards his tortured wife makes your list of top ten romance heroes of all time.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ann's Top Ten Romance Heroes of all Time

Heather Rae's comment in my JDM post below gave me an idea. For the next couple of weeks I'm going to post my top ten romance heroes of all time--in no particular order. I'm not organized enough for that here in deadline hell.

Most of them will probably be from movies, cuz hey, girls are visual too. But, we'll see how it all washes out.

Without further ado:

Number Ten:

Zach Mayo, An Officer and A Gentleman.

I'm not gonna argue. The movie had flaws--it was a few chunks shy of full arc between the leads, melodramatic, and contained some really stilted dialogue. But oh, the passion. Here's an erotic romance before its time. Zach and Paula's relationship was purely, palpably carnal and it developed (somewhat) from there.

His character arc, on the other hand, was sparely and artfully rendered, profound and complete. A self-serving lost-boy finds his soul and Does The Right Thing--in what might be the most breathless ending in a romance movie EVAH.

I also loved how Lou Gossett Jr.'s drill sergeant Foley never broke character. Today we'd be treated to a tear or two and a moral lecture.

Mayo: I won't ever forget you, Sergeant.
Foley: I know.
Mayo: I wouldn't have made this if it weren't for you.
Foley: Get the hell out of here.


On the hottie scale, Richard Gere, imho, hasn't lost much edge. He's aged gracefully and doesn't try to look younger. The children also think he's hot--a failsafe test.

Fun footnote: not long ago one of my neighbors literally ran into him in NYC. She had her head down, pushing through the masses when BAM! Looking up, she froze and had a hummanahummana moment. Mr. Gere held up his hands, smiled in resignation and murmured, "I know. I know."

Does Zach Mayo make your top ten?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Make Way

Last night the children and I finally finished season two of Grey's Anatomy. Any show that can lure me away from my computer like that one did is a winner. But it wasn't just the show luring me. Slowly, over the season, my cold, black heart was won by one of the characters.

I generally don't develop crushes on celebrities. Not for lack of trying, God knows. But slick, pretty looks just don't do it for me. I guess there's something too vague about them, too iconic and too unattainable. At heart I'm a practical girl. If I like someone I want some hope of getting him--no matter how unrealistic it might be. So, I've always preferred real life men for my crushes.

That time has come to an end.

Yes. I've joined the legions of Jeffrey Dean Morgan fangirls. Told the children to stand back, hands off. They have our tortured little friend, Pete Wentz. This guy is mine. MINE! So, in celebration of this man's feat, I thought I'd take the opportunity to introduce ya'll to my next TEN heroes. If any face is worthy, it's this one.

I know there are more of you fangirls out there. Lurking. You can come in without worrying I'll scratch your eyes out. Is this guy romance hero material or what? If you could pick a celebrity to read or write your next ten books about, who would it be?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Say Hi To A Blogger Day--Delurk!

Okay, I'm really getting sick of talking to myelf in here. I know I get alot of visitors cuz I got a statcounter. So will ya'll please just leave me a how-do in comments?

Buehler? Buehler??

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Save Me From Rainbows and Lollipops

I despise V-Day with all its pink, hearts, flowers and moronic teddy bears. Like any mature woman wants a freakin' white blob of fluff holding a widdle satin heart *gag*. Give me a man who remembers to scrub his own poop stains off the potty over a bouquet of red roses anyday.

BUT since I write romance, I figured I'd better do my part to spread VD across the blogosphere.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Why The Pen is Mighty

This always happens. The minute I announce a break from blogging I think up a meaty topic. Why oh why?

Anyway, here's one for ya'll to chew on while I'm gone: Give us a quote from a book--yes, a book. Not from the Quotable Quotes section of Reader's Digest--that's had the longest or most profound affect on your life.

Here's mine from To Kill A Mockingbird: It's not time to worry. ~Atticus Finch

I read this for the first time at thirteen (Jem's age!) and throughout my life since then, that quote has given me peace, stability and direction. It's helped me judge not only when to worry, but what's worth worrying about as well. Many times it's saved me from becoming a neurotic fool and I use it on the children all the time.


Ann Wesley Hardin and The Three Bears

I've completed my plunge into review insanity. A few months ago I sent Out of This World to Dear Author for a review. Lately, I've contacted The Smart Bitches and Mrs. Giggles. All three of them are the Simon Cowells of the online review world. They're hard to please, but they give thorough, thoughtful, entertaining reviews you can count on. And like the three bears, one of them is going to be just right for me.

In other news, blogging will be spotty the next month or so. I'm under deadline. Watch for excerpts of A Lick and A Promise in the near future. Booya!

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

***Paradox of The Week***

Thanks for the laugh, Aifrica!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Save An Author!

In the recent blogapalooza about racism, one tiny post caught my eye on Monica Jackson's now extinct blog. Sharon Cullars, an Aphrodisia author, failed to earn out the advance on her first novel Again. She fears she won't get another contract.

Please do every author (by proxy) a favor and take a peek at Again. If you like the blurb and trust the reviews, why not support a struggling, talented author?

There. That's my good deed for the day.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Karen Scott's Poll on Racism in Publishing

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A New Paperback!

Buy it and get free shipping here!


Friday, February 02, 2007

Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

People often wonder how much of a book is real, and how much is imagined. Erotic romance authors, in particular, encounter this all the time.

"So, do you base those sex scenes on experience?"

"Is your husband your inspiration?"

I always say, "Mais oui! But of course." People know this is a bald lie but it gives them what they wanted. It makes them smile.

That being said, there is alot of truth and personal experience built into my books. For instance:

Layover--the cockpit case Kira and Jack are so attached to actually exists. It was my father's and I really do open it and sniff it from time to time. Bliss.

Miss Behavior--my brother owned a Mooney just like Gage's. I've flown in it and felt exactly like Lorna. The crash landing actually happened to a friend of my brother, only he brought it down on a lonely strip of desert highway.

Out of This World
--In a previous post I mentioned Ava's white hair and Arnie's mood eyes, but I also have a genius friend who was raised on a hog farm in Wisconsin.

A Lick and A Promise--the characters Penny and Poppy are real. Only they're not people. They're parakeets *gg*

Adding these little in-jokes is one of the joys of writing, the details that bring fiction to life because, well, they're true. As a reader, can you sense authenticity behind an author's words, or did you think my white hair and mood eyes were a crock of shit? As an author, do you regularly incorporate your life into your books, or is the truth just too darn weird to suspend disbelief? 'Fess up!