Monthly Archives: April 2010

Fantasy Man Friday

Yet another week ended. We’re that much closer to Nationals and I’m so excited.

Tomorrow I’ll be having my hair done in the first round of May Madness (rush before my brother’s wedding and nephew’s graduation). There are still some items I need to buy for the wedding and even more to buy for Nationals. I wear ragged out clothes. I’m comfortable in them, so reading ‘casual dress’ in reference to Nationals makes me somewhat apprehensive. I’ll have to ask my sister for advice. Meh.

Anyway! Enough of that. It’s also Fantasy Man Friday and yesterday afternoon after I sent off my 2nd round of edits for my CP, I did a little surfing for today’s man. So many lovely, lovely men. *sigh* I could spend (and have spent) hours looking for these Fantasy Men.

Without further ado, today’s Fantasy Man!

Ooooh boy…There are so many naughty thoughts in my head I can’t concentrate on a single one! Where to start? I mean…I shouldn’t have to point out the obvious, but this man has booty. Juicy, bite worthy booty. TMI? Sorry all, I can’t help myself. I’d have loved this picture more if those jeans were history, but they can be removed. Very slowly and to some sexy Dave Matthews Band song. *fans herself*

So…is it hot in here, or is it just him?

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Book Review: Lover Mine

I didn’t want it to end. I’m actually…disappointed, not in the book, but that it had to come to an end. J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood has evolved since Dark Lover. I remember when I first read Dark Lover how amazed I was by the richness of Ward’s world and I’m still in awe eight books later.

Here’s the blurb:

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. Long divided as a terrifying battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

Right…let me just start off by saying I almost felt perverted for wanting to read John Matthew’s story. We met him in Lover Eternal when he was a pre-transitional male. I pictured him as a sensitive teenager and though he’s grown over time, I still saw him that way. I suppose I became emotionally attached to him in his pre-trans form and with his transition, I still saw him as that little male. Sooo not the case in Lover Mine.

John Matthew is…well, he’s been through hell. We know how much he’s been hurt. We’ve lived it. But to see him as a “male of worth”…I still see him in a brotherly light, but my how he’s grown! Xhex is bad ass. She is the ultimate kick ass heroine. She has issues just as painful as John Matthew and you can’t help but wonder how in the hell two such tormented people can get together. But Ward does what she always does: she makes it work and then blows your mind.

There was a lot going on in this book. There’s Darius’s diary entries to read, which at first I was like “What the hell do I want to read this for? Get to the story!”…but then it became so clear! Gah. Ward kills me, she really does. When you read this book, make sure you don’t skip those diary entries. They are important. Very important.

Also, we delve deeper into Blay and Qhuinn’s relationship, or the changing of it. My heart was breaking for both of them. I could seriously attempt to kick Qhuinn’s ass (but we all know how that would turn out), and Blay…Oh Blay. I’m not going to say anymore. Swear. There’s also a human love story playing out and you can’t help but wonder why it’s important to read about until the very end. Damn you, J.R. Ward! You kill me! Seriously, she leaves you hanging until the book is almost over before you find out the true importance of that human love story. Oh, and did I mention Payne gets a big spotlight as well? And Lash?

It was a wrecking ball of a book. There’s so much going on, so much information to follow that even now I’m wondering where all the subplots are going. I don’t mind. I enjoy thinking about “what ifs” and she manages to hand it to me. I wasn’t as emotionally tied to this book as I was with some of the others. It wasn’t a lack of emotional turmoil, or inability to connect with the characters, so much as you know no matter what happens Xhex is going to remain strong and John Matthew will always love her. You find faith in his love, in his knowing what exactly she needs and how to give it to her.

Phew. I feel all wrung out now. And I have to wait forever for the next book. I wish she’d write faster. I want that next book like I want my next breath. She also needs to keep this series going…forever if she can manage it. There seem to be endless possibilities with her world and I just want to sink into it.

I’m giving Lover Mine two switchblades and a fist bump. I loved it and after my brother is finished reading it, I’ll re-read the whole series. (Yes, you heard me. My brother reads the series as well. He likes these books even though he says the heroines are sometimes too indecisive.)

If you’re looking for a new series and haven’t read this one yet, don’t wait. It’s really a great series with some to-die-for men and read them in the following order:

Dark Lover – Wrath & Beth
Lover Eternal – Rhage & Mary
Lover Awakened – Zsadist & Bella (One of my absolute favorite brothers!)
Lover Revealed – Butch & Marissa
Lover Unbound – Vishous & Jane (I heart Vishous!!)
Lover Enshrined – Phury & Cormia (Oh Phury…)
Lover Avenged – Rehvenge & Elhena (Rehv is mad, bad, and gorgeous…mmm)
Lover Mine – John Matthew & Xhex

So now for today’s question, have any of you read Lover Mine yet? What’s your take on it? No spoilers though! Who’s your favorite brother?

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Filed under Book Reviews, JR Ward

Gotta Love the South

Monday afternoon I headed to my old neighborhood to pick up dinner. It’s been at least 12 years since I lived there and I still miss it. Mostly for the peace and quiet, but also because of the quirks my neighbors had.

It’s a little community called Chacahoula, which means “beloved home” in Choctaw. Located in the Atchafalaya Basin, it’s not much of a community. There’s no post office and only one convenience store. The fire department is shared with three other little communities in the area.

Growing up out there, it was nothing to see Copperheads, cottonmouths, water moccasins, deer, raccoons, and even a cougar. I didn’t actually see the cougar, my brother did, but I heard it one morning. Yup. I used to have to catch the bus before the break of dawn to get to school on time and let me tell you, it was dark out there. Sixteen years old, waiting for the bus, I heard what sounded like a woman scream along the deer trail that ran beside our house. It was only later that we found out about the cougar. My vivid imagination had a field day with that, I tell you.

It wasn’t just the wildlife and quiet I enjoyed. There’s something about little communities like this that bring out the strangeness in people. It was nothing to see someone driving their tractor or lawnmower down the road to the convenience store for a beer. Yes, apparently these are perfectly normal modes of transportation.

When I went to this same store (because they make wicked good po-boys) on Monday, I saw a man get on his lawnmower and head down the street. I sat for a minute thinking about how much I kind of miss seeing the regulars puttering up the street every day.

I’m sure it isn’t something reserved for Chacahoula. My friend lived in another community called Gheens and people rarely used their cars to visit each other. Instead, they relied on golf carts to go up and down the street. When I say “street” I mean a road. Both Chacahoula and Gheens are situated on roads several miles long.

I’ve been living in a subdivision so long, I forgot those little country quirks. I just hadn’t realized how much I would miss them.

Is there something in your neck of the woods that makes you chuckle? What weird quirks do you see people in your neighborhood/community do?

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Crazy or Evil?

One of my critique partners (who is the bomb by the way), has given me a lot of food for thought. She’s critiqued two of my full manuscripts (90k+ words each). I think she worries I’ll be offended by her critiques, but to be honest, they make me laugh. Not because I don’t appreciate her input, but in the way she puts it.

For example, she’s pointed out that my characters talk to themselves. A lot. I’m talking it’s so much that after a while she says “ARGH! Not again!” or “Not the voices!”, lol. How can I be offended by that? It’s hysterical! However, this leads me to think maybe my characters’ inner voices are a reflection of my own internal conversations. I’m not crazy. I think…but wouldn’t a mentally disturbed person say that anyway? *ponders*

Anyway! I talk to myself a lot. I’ve done it since I was a kid. This is why people usually give me strange looks. It isn’t always about writing either. I mutter to myself. I laugh at some of the things I think about. I call it keeping myself entertained, but I’m afraid a psychologist/psychiatrist might see it differently. Hm.

Now for the evil part of the post. Apparently my villains rock? She said she loved one of my villains and I can’t help but to wonder why my villains are so much more powerful than my heroines/heroes. If I delve into the murky depths of my brain, I think it’s because the villains only want one thing. They’re not torn between goals, unlike my heroes/heroines.

I worried that the reason my villains were better characters was because I connect more with them. I suspect there’s some truth in that. I don’t dither. When I have a goal, I just do it. I don’t wring my hands and fight the compulsion. Of course, I don’t want world domination, so that might be a reason why. If I knew you in college, everything I said when I was drunk does not count. Drunken plans to take over the world do not constitute real intent. I mean really, who can take over the world with beer anyway? *ponders* Not going to think about that any further.

Now I have to think about the possibility that not only am I crazy, but also evil. I don’t think I am. Maybe I should see a shrink, just for some positive reinforcement, you know?

So what’s the funniest thing your critique partners have told you? Have you ever ended up questioning your own thoughts after reading some of your critiques?

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At A Loss

I’m kind of sitting here staring into space. I can’t think of anything entertaining or interesting to say other than…I can’t believe it’s already the end of April. My time of rest is almost at an end *sigh*. May is going to be non-stop.

On top of all the family things I have coming up, I also have two contest results due in May. To be honest, I’m not terribly worried about them. I enter contests with the vague idea that someone might like what I wrote and give me good feedback, but if they don’t that’s okay too. The pessimist in me won’t let me become too hopeful, which is probably a good thing because I’m rarely deeply disappointed.

Oh sure, I set impossibly high goals for myself, but I do it to myself. It’s when other people set goals for me that I don’t get disappointed. Does that make sense? I expect a lot of myself. I expect to do well in my job, expect to take care of my mom, expect that I’ll get published eventually. But when other people say “Oh you’re going to do so well, blah blah blah” I’m kind of like…yeah okay. Because their dreams for me aren’t mine, I’m not invested in them.

I might be making a total mess of explaining, but the basic idea is I entered those contests wanting honest feedback. If someone hates what I’ve written, I want to know why. What was wrong with it? Did they hate the character, the concept, my writing style? That’s what contests are for me. A way to test my writing against professionals and other unpublished writers. So, I’ll be waiting, not with my breath held, but curiously for those results.

In other news…well, there isn’t other news, lol. It was a tame weekend and I’m very tired today. I need something to give me a boost. Maybe even a song…hm, how about this:

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Fantasy Man Friday

Woot-woot! It’s Friiiday! What a long and grueling week this has been! I haven’t written a single thing, but I did manage a fast and furious brainstorming session via e-mail with one of my critique partners. Lovely lady that she is, she’s opened my mind to new possibilities in my assassin book. I can’t wait until I have time to sit down and put thought into words.

It’s also been a downright strange week. Mostly because I’ve had a George Michael and Culture Club mood going on. Not just any song though. I want to listen to George Michael’s Freedom! and Culture Club’s Miss Me Blind over and over again. I’ve managed to avoid doing so, but just barely. Isn’t it weird how we get into moods and you can only wait for them to pass? Meh.

Also! Last night was the finale of Project Runway. I was on the edge of my seat. I’m an avid PR watcher, have been since the first season and for the first time since that stella season (Love Jay McCaroll!!), my pick won! Seth Aaron is the man! I loved his collection. I mean…wow. His black and yellow plaid jacket was stunning as were those plaid lined pants he made. *sigh* I was so happy. But what will I do on Thursday nights now? *pout*

I’m not a fashionista. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I hate shopping for myself, but I love “dressing” other people. I think I have a pretty good eye for seeing what looks good on someone else. So, to whip this post away from mindless rambling and into Fantasy Man Friday mode…I think I’ll choose a man I’d like to dress (or undress). Let me delve into the vault…

Hm…for me to really be able to see what would look good on him, he’d have to drop the towel. I can’t have anything interfere with my er creativity. Yeah. That’s really important. No towels, no undies. Just lots of naked skin. His naked skin. I’m thinking…hm, chocolate dabbled here and there (all the pertinent places, mind you) would be a wonderfully delicious look on  him. Yummy.

So, now that’s settled, does anyone have any other preferences? Honey? Maple syrup? Whipped cream? I’m open to all ideas…as long as it involves Mr. Gorgeous up there. Hoo-wee!

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When Good Imaginations Go Bad

Thanks to Tawna Fenske for making me think of today’s blog post. (If you haven’t read her post about writers not being allowed in public…well, you should.)

As writers, is it any wonder that sometimes our imaginations get away from us? I don’t know about y’all, but it’s been like that all my life. I’m not talking the usual play pretend kids do. Sure, I played cops and robbers, pedaling after my sister (I was the cop…on the boring tricycle while she was the bad guy on the big wheels *sniff*), or played teacher (even going so far as to bring my class to lunch where my grandfather would pretend to be a cafeteria worker).

I had a great childhood in terms of creativity. My family was always willing to play whatever pretend game I’d come up with. But what happens as that creative kid grows older? Well…the imagination doesn’t stop there.

I remember being about 12 years old. I’d just started reading romance (historical  young adult romance…a book called Danielle comes to mind). My brother was 7 at the time and I was the protective older sister. One night we heard something outside and we decided to investigate. We lived in the country and we had no knowledge of anything actually “bad” happening, so we headed outside in the pitch black.

I remember peering around corners, pushing my brother behind me (even though he was nearly as big as I was…he was a twelve pound baby folks, he was never small). I pushed him behind me and whispered, “You stay behind me. You’re the family jewels.” (Okay, so I didn’t know what the family jewels were at the time. I was young.) But in my mind, I was a heroine protecting my brother (and the heir) from possible harm. Yeah. Okay.

That was 12. So why is it that I’m now 33 years old and if I’m driving home on the interstate late at night and start thinking about possible escape routes if the cops come after me? I don’t do anything illegal, don’t plan on doing anything illegal, and like a respectable citizen, I would stop for the police, but my mind goes tripping off in different directions. Should I speed up? Slow down? Turn off the interstate, turn my headlights off, and park in someone’s driveway? What should I DO?

This is my mind. You’re sorry you intruded here, aren’t you? I really can’t help it. I try to think normal…(I’m not entirely sure what “normal” is anyway) thoughts, but this brain God gifted me with just won’t stop churning out scenario after scenario. Like the morning I was driving to work (just 2 years ago)…I thought “How would I react if I had a dead body in my trunk?” No, I’m not planning to kill anyone, but these are the thoughts that pop in my mind when I’m just chilling.

So…someone has to make me feel better about this. Speak up. Do you have really peculiar thoughts that if you shared them with a person in authority, they’d arrest you, or send you in for a psychiatric evaluation? Tell Tante Danica all about it.

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