Monthly Archives: February 2010

Fantasy Man Friday

I can’t remember a week when I’ve looked forward to Friday as much as this week. Not that it was a terrible week or anything, but it’s the kick off to several weeks without a day off. Holiday season is great, but your mind gets used to those precious holidays from work and when none are forthcoming, it makes the weeks drag on.

For the most part, it was a great week. I got a lot of writing done on the new WIP. My hero is so obnoxious, I’d want to strangle him if I wasn’t half in love with him already. On the other hand, I’m exhausted. The Olympics keep me up later than I’m used to and my dog has taken to waking me up at 4 in the morning, so needless to say I’m not getting enough sleep. I look like the walking dead no matter how much concealer I use under my eyes. Meh.

So it’s Fantasy Man Friday. People, I have been spending hours and hours looking for the perfect men to bring you each week. It isn’t easy and I’ve seen more of some men that I’d ever care to, but it’s a small price to pay for the few men I do find to kick off your weekends.

In honor of my newest hero, Talon “Icarus” Katsaros, I’m going to show you how I see him. No, he doesn’t have wings, but the rest of him makes up for that, I think.

So Talon is a bit of a hedonist. He’s tormenting the hell out of my shy heroine and I’m loving every minute of it. I don’t think she’ll hold out much longer though, because LOOK at him! What am I saying? How can you not look at him? He’s gorgeous, oh my. I think a scene is necessary based on this picture.

Imagine this: she’s cooking for him (cause he hired her to), and he steps in to the kitchen looking like this. She’s been hurt badly in the past by men and doesn’t trust them, and she definitely doesn’t trust Talon. He loves to torment her. So what now? What does she do? What does he do?

I’d be interested to see what you all say and to make it fun, whoever comes up with the most outrageous scenario will win a book. Happy Friday everyone, and have a great weekend.

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Fangirldom

Yesterday I blogged about attending my first RWA Nationals conference. Today, I’m going to address a problem I seem to have about authors.

It should come as no surprise that I view my favorite authors as some people do Hollywood stars. Sure, they might not be as famous, or make as much money, be as glamorous, but for me, they are awesome. I suppose this comes from me being such an avid reader as opposed to a television junkie. Don’t get me wrong, I can dig some actors…Gerard Butler? Come to mama. Brad Pitt? I’ll have your baby.

Sorry, got sidetracked there. What I mean, is that my favorite authors have taken this place in my mind of actors and actresses. No, I don’t know where they live, or how many kids they have, or if they had their appendices removed. I just really love the way they write.

So my dilemma is, how do I keep from becoming a complete fangirl? I don’t want to be the Kresley Cole’s Annie Wilkes (Misery). I don’t want to end up stalking JR Ward through the hotel asking her what her favorite color is. Actually, I won’t do any of these things, this is supposed to be funny people.

In all probability, I’ll be so excited to see my favorite authors that I won’t be able to speak. Or I’ll squeal. No stalking, no kidnapping, no stealing mementos. I’ve probably frightened every single author I’ve ever mentioned away from the conference by now. Honestly, I’m not unhinged. I think I did fairly well with Angie Fox. She didn’t think I was crazy. I think.

So how do you feel when you meet your favorite author? Which authors have you met and which would you love to meet?

My list of authors I’d love to meet:

Kresley Cole (I heart Kresley Cole. She’s a fabulous writer!)
Gena Showatler (I heart Gena Showalter. She’s funny and a great writer.)
JR Ward (Love her books…I’d love to just pick her brain, not literally by the way.)
Teresa Medeiros (She’s a sweetheart on twitter and she’s one helluva great writer.)
Christina Dodd (Been reading her books for years. Christina Dodd = Awesomeness.)
Katie MacAlister (Cracks me up!)
Lori Foster (Writes gritty, sexy heroes who leave me daydreaming.)
Nalini Singh (Great storyteller and world builder. She makes me jealous, lol.)
Celeste Bradley (Great historical romance writer. Funny stories, great characters.)
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Love her books, glamor, action…great, great stuff.)
Larissa Ione (Love her Demonica series, sexy heroes, strong heroines, le sigh.)
Elizabeth Hoyt (Raw, edgy historical romances. Highly recommend this author.)

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RWA Nationals

Well, I finally did it. After nearly three years of being an RWA member, I’m finally registered for my first Nationals conference.

I admit to being a bit nervous. I’ve only been to one other conference which was on a much smaller scale. That conference I brought two others with me, but this conference I’ll be going it alone. Which is fine with me, really. It was hard for me to learn as much as I wanted to while having two non-writers with me. As much as I loved the company, I didn’t make all the workshops I wanted to.

So it’s off to Nashville come July. The last time I was in Nashville, it was to catch a Greyhound bus for home. I’d just graduated from college, was working on the riverboat cruise and quit after 2 weeks. The company I worked for had flown me to St. Paul to catch the paddle boat, but because I left before my hitch, I had to find my own way home. Nashville to my hometown was a 20 hour bus ride. It was miserable. I don’t even remember much about Nashville, or the trip. I suppose I blocked it out of my mind. Yeah, it was that traumatic.

Hopefully this time around, I’ll have a good experience in Nashville (on the way there and back as well). I’m really looking forward to soaking in as much information as I possibly can and meeting up with some of the fabulous people I’ve met online through my RWA chapters and the like.

How about everyone else? Who’s going? Is it your first, second, twentieth Nationals conference? What’s the best part about it? What advice would you give a newbie attending?

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Book Review: A Precious Jewel

Over the weekend, I had the chance to sit down to read Mary Balogh’s A Precious Jewel. I’ve only recently become a fan of Ms. Balogh. I’ve found her books to be touching and historically pleasing.

For the most part, her heroes and heroines aren’t stunningly wonderful people. They’re flawed. Some are physically flawed in big ways, while others are mentally or emotionally scarred. I find the switch from the perfect hero with a brooding personality, or the perfect heroine with a spunky attitude wonderful.

Here’s the blurb:

A Precious Jewel

Dell Historical, ISBN 044024463

Sir Gerald Stapleton takes Priscilla Wentworth out of a brothel to be his mistress when he discovers that she has been abused. He does not understand quite what she has come to mean to him, though, until she leaves him one day to marry someone else—and then simply disappears beyond trace.

I think the best thing about this book, was that the heroine was a prostitute for several months before she meets the hero. Yes, there are the usual reasons for her becoming a woman of the night, but what she does about it and how she feels about herself  make her unique in my mind.

Gerald, the hero, is also imperfect. He isn’t brilliant, he isn’t devastatingly handsome, and in the beginning, he isn’t even a good lover. He has very set views of how he wants his life to be, what place women have in his world, and doesn’t want to change any of it. But something about Priss (Priscilla) brings him out of his narrow-mindedness. Meanwhile, Priss has to come to grips with her place in Gerald’s life. She’s his mistress, not his love, not his wife.

This was definitely a character driven story. Gerald is so clueless, while Priss does everything she can to make his life pleasant. Sometimes I was irritated with her willingness to ignore her own needs in favor of his, but I understood her reasoning, so I couldn’t become too irate. The ending pleased me beyond measure.

If you’re looking for a thoughtful, heartwarming story with a hero who’s far from perfect, and a heroine who’s just trying to do the best she can with her life, then this book is for you. I’m giving Mary Balogh’s A Precious Jewel two thumbs up, and a scone for leaving me with a sense of peace and tranquility.

A Precious Jewel is the sequel to The Ideal Wife.

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Sometimes I Like to Cook

A couple of days ago, I dreamed about making one of my specialty dishes: stuffed meatloaf. Well, yesterday I put dream into action.

I don’t know how many people are aware of this dish. I learned it from a co-worker several years ago, and my family loves it. I don’t cook often. I freely admit, I’m not a domestic goddess by any stretch of the imagination. I can make a mean lasagna, a decent fettucine, a kick-ass cottage pie, and stuffed meatloaf. Oh sure, I can cook other things, but these are my dishes.

A stuffed meatloaf is a great way to clean your fridge of sandwich meat and cheese, or anything you could possibly imagine could go in a meatloaf. It sounds weird, I know, but it rocks. Really. I’ve even thought about making a pizza stuffed meatloaf, with pepperoni, lots of cheese, and tomato sauce. Haven’t tried it yet, so I can’t give you details about it.

Anyway, this is my recipe:

Ground beef (however much you would use for a regular meatloaf)
Sliced sandwich meat
Shredded cheese or cheese slices
Bacon

Season your ground meat as you normally would. Once seasoned, place on wax paper and flatten. Place sandwich meat and cheese over the surface of ground meat. Put as much, or as little, you want. Taking one end of the wax paper, flip one end of ground meat over the other (like a turnover). Press down ends making sure cheese won’t leak out.

Place in baking pan and “wrap” strips of bacon around the loaf. I normally make sure as much of the top of the loaf is covered. As the bacon cooks, it seeps into the meatloaf and adding flavor. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and a half.

It really is a great dish. Some day (if I can ever convince my picky family), I’ll try it with broccoli, cauliflower, and ham with lots and lots of cheese. If any of you try it, let me know how you like it.

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Fantasy Man Friday

Good morning and Happy Friday to you all!

Before I get into today’s yumminess, let me announce the winner of the free book. Drum roll please…*crickets* Right. I don’t have the budget for that yet. Okay, so the winner of the free book is….Angie, Sayde, and bunnyb. Since I only had three comments and it’s Friday, I’m giving you each a book! E-mail me at danica.avet@gmail.com so I can get your information and find out which book y’all would like.

Now Fantasy Man Friday…I wish you guys could see the hunks I have saved to my external hard drive. I’m afraid if it were ever stolen, I’d be considered a major perv. There are a lot of half-naked men on it. It gets more and more difficult to choose just the right man for Fantasy Man Friday. There are so many gorgeous men out there just waiting to be seen.

So today, I’m going with my favorite kind of man…a dirty man. Literally dirty.

You may ask why I’m digging a picture of a dirty man so much. Well, I suppose it’s because I know sooner or later, he’s gonna have to take a shower. And I would so love washing his um, back. Yeah, his back. Besides, is there anything more touching than a man who appears defeated or tired? Don’t you just want to make him feel better? I do!

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Seven Things You Didn’t Know About Me

My apologies to the wonderful Angela Addams who tagged me in her blog a few weeks ago. I’ll be paying this forward to Allison Pang and Tonya Kapps for them to list 7 things we didn’t know about them.

Now, for those of you who are holding your breath anxiously awaiting my list…There really shouldn’t be much left that you don’t know about me. I mean, I talk about myself and my life all the time. You guys could practically be family! Okay, you can breathe now. Here goes:

1. Not only do I pick up other people’s accents, but I also pick up their laughs. Yes, it’s weird. When I’m with my sister, she and I laugh alike. When I’m with my brother, he and I laugh alike. So what happens if I laugh alone? I do the Mumbly laugh. You know, the hissing laugh? Wait, don’t run!

2. Since graduating from college 10 years ago, I’ve held (wait, let me count) seven jobs, of which I can count Juvenile Clerk of Court, Baby Announcement Operator, Cocktail Waitress on a riverboat cruise, Receptionist, and Substitute Teacher. I’m not doing any of those things now, but all of my past jobs have made me a versatile employee (or at least that’s what I keep telling my bosses!)

3. I love hot food. The hotter the better. Jalapeno peppers, Tobasco sauce, you name it, it’s going on my food in some manner. I went through a stage a couple of summers ago when I put jalapeno peppers on everything from pizza, to hamburgers, to turkey sandwiches.

4. I have hair color ADHD. In the last 2 years, I’ve gone from my natural hair color, to red and blonde streaked hair, to red, black, and blonde streaked hair, to red and black hair. I’m still trying to think of what I’ll do next time I go to the stylist. I’m a woman with many faces!

5. I think Dave Matthews Band and Whitesnake have the sexiest songs ever. Dave Matthews has got the sexiest voice and their lyrics are simple, yet oh, so shiver worthy. Whitesnake on the other hand ooze raw sexuality. They have the kind of songs that make me almost wish I was an exotic dancer (how weird is that???).

6. When I was 10, my brother (who was 4 at the time) and I were playing cars. I used to have to keep him occupied. Anyway, he got up to do something and jumped over my body while I lay on the floor. He landed square on the tip of the middle finger of my left hand, breaking it. It was disgusting and I had to wear a splint six inches long, which hampered my band performance since I played flute at the time. I still remind him of my injured finger when I flip him the bird, bwahahaha.

7. I dislike Celine Dion. No, let me rephrase that. I loathe Celine Dion. I’m sorry for all of you Celine fans out there, but that’s just the way it goes. It could be because I don’t think she’s as great a singer as everyone else seems to believe, or it could be because I had to listen to a co-worker sing her praises for three years straight with no break. Either way, if I see that she’ll be performing on any program I plan to watch, I don’t watch it. If I hear her on the radio, the channel is changed immediately. So I stand here today to say…My name is Danica Avet and I’m a Celine hater.

Now, those are 7 things you didn’t know about me, and probably didn’t want to know about me.

As a reminder, I’ll be picking a winner from the people who comment on yesterday’s post about my next project. The winner will be announced tomorrow on Fantasy Man Friday.

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Book Giveaway

I’m nearing the end of rewrites on my second manuscript. Whenever I get close to finishing a project, I immediately begin thinking of what’s coming next.

As of right now, I have two book ideas circling my head like vultures. I’m hoping ya’ll can give me a little help in choosing which one to work on.

So, let’s get to the fun part!

Book idea 1:

This story will involve an incubus and a witch. I have a very basic plot in mind. It would be book 4 of my Veil series. I’m very tempted to start plotting this story out and get to writing, but hesitate because what happens if the series doesn’t take off? The incubus I have in mind is very sexy (of course), and has appeared as a secondary character in 2 of my other manuscripts. The heroine will be a witch about to come into her power. I know how I want to open the book (very hot love scene), but don’t want to get too involved in case the other idea is better.

Book idea 2:

This story would be a complete change of pace for me. I was inspired by a song and came up with the idea of a new series. I want to rewrite Greek mythology by taking heroes/heroines and bringing them into modern times. They’ve all died in Greek mythology, but were brought back by the gods to learn how to be better people. The idea is to match them each up with a modern hero/heroine who’ll teach them this lesson. My first hero would be a rather infamous character (holding back the details for now), and I’m still sketching out the heroine for him. I really like this idea and I can almost picture the whole book.

As you can see, I have two ideas that I think are great, but I just don’t know which one to start on. The old series, or the new series? The incubus, or the fallen Greek hero? I’m hoping you all can help me choose. And in thanks, I’ll be choosing one lucky person to receive one of a choice of books.

So tell me, what do you think sounds more interesting?

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Not Too Sexy for Spandex

Obviously the Olympics are taking place. Right now, the games are my non-NFL football therapy. I love watching the competitions and look forward to them every 4 years.

This might come as some surprise considering I enjoy my contact sports so much, but I love figure skating. I’ve never been ice skating (picture a Cajun on ice and yeah, that’s not pretty), but I love to watch their artistry and grace. There’s just something so soothing about the sound of the skates gliding over the ice and the complicated jumps that catches my imagination.

I’ll watch every aspect of the figure skating events. I love couples figure skating, and women’s figure skating. The men leave me slightly confused though. Let me explain. I can tell by watching them perform, that these men are in excellent physical condition. They’re strong, limber, and graceful. But what’s with the costumes? They’re very unsexy and, well…tacky.

Oh I understand they have to wear formfitting costumes for easier maneuvering, and I’m sure there’s some kind of costume guideline they have to follow, but really…overalls? I had to leave the room for that performance. Then there’s all the sequence and nude netting. Is there something wrong with a man showing the middle of his chest? Is that considered crude? What about the ruffles?

Now, I can approve of Evan Lysacek’s costume. It was understate and simple. I even liked Stephane Lambiel’s costume. While watching his performance, I couldn’t help but think how cool it would be for one of those guys to perform in full Regency costume. That, I could get. But all the spandex just bothers me. (Not that I’m against men wearing spandex…I do love to watch speed skating too…oh, and luge *cough*). I just couldn’t imagine any of these men as romance book heroes, and I think that’s what gets me the most. Other sports I can imagine them as a lead in a novel, but figure skating? Hm. And this is in spite of my love of The Cutting Edge.

How about you? Do you wish the male skaters would wear something else? What would you have your ideal skater wear for a performance? Can you see these skaters as leads in a romance novel?

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Mardi Gras

I love short work weeks. They cheer me up like nothing else can. Today is Mardi Gras which means I’m off! Yay! I don’t actually go to parades. Sorry peeps. After several years marching in 8 mile parades, they’ve kind of lost their charm.

Now, if I were going to the Gheens (pronouned “gains”) parade, that would be a different story. This tiny community has what’s known as a truck parade. People decorate trucks and ride in the beds. There’s only one way in or out of Gheens, and it’s lined with houses. The parade goes up and down the street while the Krewe of Gheens throws beads to the residents. 

The best part of this parade, though, is the end. On the last pass, the male krewe members (masked members of the community known as Mardi Gras) begin to point out people in the crowd. Usually it’s children, although if you’re a new face, you’ll be pointed out as well. What then happens can only be described as absolute chaos. Once the parade reaches its final destination, the Mardi Gras hop on four-wheelers armed with switches. They then ride back up the street, looking for children to ‘whip the demons’ out of.

The race is on. Kids scatter. Parents point them out. Visitors look on in horror as they’re swarmed by masked men with weapons. It’s all in good fun. When they “whip” you, you’re to drop on your knees and say “pardon” (with a short a & rolling r). Then they go away and you’ve been initiated into the community. I suppose the tradition began as a way for children to be “purged” of their evil ways before Ash Wednesday. I’ve been whipped (they don’t beat you, people), and it wasn’t bad or degrading. It’s fun!

The other great part about this parade, is that because it’s set in the middle of a very small community, people pretty much open their houses for everyone else. When I went, my host’s family had a boucherie and we had fresh cracklins, or grattons (grah-tawns). Food, food, food, oh and alcohol. There’s plenty of both and everyone is welcoming. You’ll taste some of the best food you’ve ever had in your life at these small community parades. Promise. Oh sure, New Orleans has the big party atmosphere, Houma and Thibodaux have the market on more family friendly parades, but Gheens, Mamou, and other small towns hold the prize for unique, and traditional fun.

Have you ever been to a Mardi Gras parade? Where, and how did you enjoy it?

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