Tuesday, July 31, 2012

82-year-old Model Proves It's Never Too Late

After reading Dating A Cougar, my story about Alexa Ranger, a 50-year-old retired model turned business woman, one of the first questions readers often ask me is what inspired me to write a romance featuring a much older character than is typically found in romances. My first reaction is usually to laugh because they're asking me, a confessed 54-year-old. Sure I could write about 20 and 30-year-olds, but why would I do that when I can write stories closer to my current experience? I've never been a person who looks to the past much anyway.

Coming Soon
Sometimes I joke in my answer. Sometimes I try to be serious. Occasionally, I can move from answering to showing readers something that might explain my motivations much better than I ever could with words. You see, every time I feel old, someone like Carmen Dell'Orefice shows me that I'm not.

She is an 82-year-old fashion model who looks incredible and still models. In this video she talks about something pivotal in her career that happened to her in 1957 which was a year before I was born. She talks about how models today are homogenized with Photoshop and she wonders what it means that physical individuality is no longer valued.

I find people like Carmen fascinating because they just continue doing what they want to do and to find ways to make it work. She is like some exotic creature from beyond me trying to impart some genuine wisdom which is struggling to penetrate my jaded, cynical brain. She still talks so pleasantly about life which is damned inspiring all by itself.

As I do final edits this week for Dating A Silver Fox, I have been thinking of Lydia McCarthy, my 67-year-old heroine and wondering how I'm going to answer questions about her. If readers thought Alexa was controversial as a romantic heroine at 50, what will they think of Lydia?

Then today I found Carmen who is Lydia's senior by a decade and a half. Now I'm not worried at all.

There was also a Huffpost 50 article about her if you want to read more and look at some of her work.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some Golden Advice About Meeting Men

Want to laugh and get some good advice at the same time? This is how. Love, love, love these women. Thanks to K. Lawson for introducing me to them. I know where to look for inspiration now.

Watch the video first and have a laugh with the 3 Golden Sisters as they answer a fan mail about dating. Then read the excerpt from DATING A SILVER FOX at the bottom of the post. This is the scene where Morrie asks Lydia out for the first time. I hope you enjoy both.

Excerpt from the first time Morrie asks Lydia out

Coming Soon!
Lydia cleared her throat as she stepped back out of Jane’s office doorway, trying to find a way to rescind her offer now that she knew Jane’s father was in charge. But before she could come up with a good reason, Morrison Fox had a hand under her elbow steering her outdoors and across the grounds.

“Let’s go check out the renovations, Lydia. The kitchen is being finished this week and is being set up for caters. That really just leaves the matter of the bathrooms and the sitting area to redesign. Want to have lunch so we can talk about it?” Morrie asked.

“No I do not want to have lunch. Besides, it’s four in the afternoon,” Lydia said, digging in her heels and wrenching her elbow from his grasp. “What is wrong with you?”

“Dinner then?” Morrie suggested, watching her face flood with irritated color.

“No—I have—plans. And I’ve just remembered some pressing business that will not leave me time to help after all. Good luck with the project, Mr. Fox,” Lydia said, spinning around to walk back to the Lodge.

“Now don’t use that formal tone. The name is Morrie and you know it,” he said, dashing ahead of her, stepping into her path to stop her from leaving. “Are you going back on your word about wanting to help? You don’t look like the kind of person who would do that. You practically pushed young Walter Graham out of the way to volunteer.”

“You have no idea what kind of person I am,” Lydia declared.

“No, but I’d like to find out. It’s just dinner, Lydia. A little pasta. Maybe a glass or two of wine,” Morrie said, shrugging and smiling.

“What is with all the shrugging nowadays? Everybody is shrugging. That body action is stupid and means nothing. It means the person can’t be bothered to articulate their thoughts, that’s what it means. Now get out of my way,” Lydia demanded, starting around him, only to find him blocking her again.

“Okay, if you don’t want to have dinner, let’s have a business meeting. You can pick the location, so long as it’s an Italian restaurant with pasta and wine. A business meeting is nothing personal—though someone who looks as good as you being afraid of going out for a simple dinner is a terrible shame—not mention a waste of fine womanhood,” Morrie said sincerely. “You look amazing, Lydia. A woman who looks like you needs to be taken out for a public showing now and again.”

Lydia rolled her eyes. “Who are you? I don’t know you. What I do know, I don’t like. Now move out of my way, Mr. Fox. I took self-defense lessons and I know how to take out your kneecap. My daughter has a black belt in—in—I don’t know, but something lethal. You should be afraid.”

Morrie lifted his hands and let her walk by. “I know you’re interested, Lydia McCarthy. I can see the truth in your eyes.”

“I am not interested,” Lydia declared, stopping her exit and turning back.

“Really? Then why are you chickening out of helping me. I know you’ve been asking to work on the decorating project all along,” Morrie declared, fighting not to show he’d seen the flash of defeat in her gaze. “Do I make you nervous? You can say yes.”

“No, I am not nervous and I am not afraid of working with you. I’m just—busier—yes, I’m busier than I thought I was. Memory and age, you know,” Lydia said stiffly, turning again.

She stopped once more at the sound of a chicken cackling behind her.

“Oh stop being a ridiculous old fool about this. Give me something productive to do and I’ll do it. But I am not going out with you socially, Morrison Fox. Do not ask me again,” Lydia said flatly, turning to walk away again.

“Where are you going right now? Don’t you want to see the kitchen renovations?” Morrie asked, fighting not to laugh about the fact he’d managed to dare her into helping.

“Not today,” Lydia declared, not looking back again at the man cackling like a chicken behind her.


Note: I'm still working on the book, but very close to finishing now. Thanks for being patient. I appreciate that so many have written to ask how it's going.

Monday, July 2, 2012

INDIEpendence Day: A favorite Indie romance

In response to the Indelibles blog INDIEpendence Day event running July 2-5, I am choosing to feature an Indie romance book on my blog today. It was really challenging to pick just one Indie book when I have found so many independent authors that are very entertaining, and more often than not, in genres I might not have read. However, in this case I picked one in my own personal writing genre.

Click this for more INDIEpendence Day recommendations!
I'm a heavy reader of contemporary romance, but the one I've chosen is a more erotic romance than my normal reading selection. I think to date I have read almost everything J.M. Madden has written and published. I know her personally, but the primary reason I know her personally is because I have become an admirer of all her work (a similar relationship to the one my readers have with me). I buy her books the moment they announce and "save" them for the moment I need something like this to read.


Set in the South, THE AWAKENING SOCIETY by J.M. Madden is the tale of an older, sexually experienced woman who provides a unique service to select young Savannah males by teaching them wise and wonderful ways to please the future women in their lives.

When the story opens, Tonya Hughes has been providing this service for twenty years and is ready to retire. She just has one more young, anxious male that she has promised to sexually awaken. There is poignancy from the beginning because she has chosen this young man to be her last one. But Harrison Walker proves to be an unusual case despite his relative innocence.

Amazon link
Now normally when I want to delve into a romance this steamy, I reach for a Paranormal or maybe a Fantasy. Hot alien humanoid or dragon-shifter sex for some reason doesn't seem to exceed my sensibilities quite as quickly as realistic people I might actually meet one day or already know. Yes, I know how this sounds given that I'm a writer, but hey. . .I'm writing this blog post as a READER.

The bottom line is that Madden changes that habit for me with her erotic contemporaries even though the raw sexuality still surprises me at times. I am willing to risk that for the glimpse she gives me of the raw emotion fueling the passion. She does not skimp on the emotional involvement of her characters nor spare me the language of erotic encounters.

I have to admit this is not the first contemporary book of Madden's I succumbed to in this manner. I first got hooked when I read WET DREAM, a wonderful story about an long, erotic weekend between two emotionally damaged and needy, but amazingly likable people. She made me care about them in first couple pages of the book. The first sexual encounter in WET DREAM was as emotional as the last one was poignant and wistful. The ones in between gave me reasons to take cold showers. She does that again in THE AWAKENING SOCIETY, even if in a different way. I'm coming to think of this emotional-but-erotic blend of sexuality as being one of my favorite traits of her writing.

So how "hot and steamy" is this particular book? Let me just say that if this book became a movie I was going to see, I would have to ask the concessionaire to put the popcorn in the soda cup and fill the popcorn bucket full of ice. And I would insist on having the right male company sitting beside me in the theater.

Madden tends to write shorter, but emotionally charged pieces. With this book though, she has committed to writing more about these characters which is why I chose THE AWAKENING SOCIETY for this feature. I even ended up participating in a poll for the follow-up book in which she gave readers options for the future direction of the relationship of these characters. Now I'm waiting to see which way she has chosen to go. So while THE AWAKENING SOCIETY was a book whose end was an HFN (happily for now) instead of an HEA (happily ever after), it was okay for me from the beginning because I knew I was going to get a Book 2.

What else was great about this book? You know how you always remember the first really great sex in your life? And how twenty years after it happens, the memory still plays in your mind, warming you when you think about it?

You do? Yeah. . .me too.

Well, that's what J.M. Madden has captured in this book.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Smashwords 2012 Summer/Winter Event

July is the 2012 Summer/Winter Event at Smashwords. Many authors will be offering discounted or free books. 

Smashwords link
This is a great opportunity to try new independent authors in your favorite genre or to look for something completely new. I tried Urban Fantasy using one of these  promotions and have been an HP Mallory fan ever since.

To support this great opportunity, I have enrolled CARVED IN STONE and THE DEMON OF SYNAR (both first books in their series) in the program.

For the month of July, both these books will be FREE for downloading at Smashwords. If you are inclined to recommend me and my books to a friend, July would be a great time to do so. With DATING A COUGAR still free, they can get a total of 3 free books.

Special thanks to Mark Coker and all the great crew at Smashwords for their continued support and hard work. 


Smashwords link
Even though his sons tease him about not dating, and his ex-wife thinks he is still hung up on her, 53 yr old retired principal and stone sculptor, William Everett Larson, is glad he waited to date until he found 47 yr old high school art teacher, Jessica Anderson. He admires Jessica for her courageous art and for how she has dealt with her life. As far as Will can tell, the only part of Jessica damaged by her past is her heart. Jessica assures Will she is incapable of lasting love, but Will refuses to believe it’s true. Yes, it is a problem that the baggage from Jessica’s past makes her see dating as merely recreational and men as interchangeable, but when she offers him temporary sexual fidelity, Will decides to take what he can get until he can find a way to convince Jessica she is still capable of love. 

Jessica Daniels is mostly happy with her life. Her daughter is graduating college. She is a few years away from retirement. Life is good even though lately she has stopped being interested in both her art and men. Since Jessica has never been the kind of woman looking for that one special man to settle down with, she normally dates and enjoys all the men she wants. What's the harm with doing so if it suits her? Will is certainly good-looking and charming, but she’s not sure he’s worth the trouble of an exclusive relationship. She likes riding his motorcycle, seriously admires his art, and thinks he’s mostly a great guy. But after thirty years of being single, Jessica knows that most relationships just don’t work out for a woman with a past like hers. When Will keeps insisting on sleeping with her, she finally gives in, but Jessica knows in her heart it will never last.


Smashwords link
Being captain of his own rescue ship is the kind of life Captain Liam Synar always dreamed of living. Being a master of his family’s hereditary demon was never in his plans because his brother had been trained for the purpose. Yet what choice did his father have when Conor's evil came to light? None. So reluctant or not, Liam is the only Synar left to rule Malachi. Now his exiled brother hunts him to capture the demon while Liam stays on the run and saves Peace Alliance ambassadors in his spare time--except for one. Ambassador Ania Looren unknowingly hosts his family’s demon inside her body. He sent Malachi into her to save her life after Conor’s men almost killed her. And though Liam hadn't wanted to, there had been no choice but to abandon her two years ago. His plan of keeping both her and the demon safe from Conor has mostly worked, but his ability to hide the truth has finally reached an end. His next rescue has to be his estranged mate before Conor finally figures it out.

After accepting only one mate in her extremely long life, Ambassador Ania Looren is now wishing the number had remained at zero forever. Mating Captain Liam Synar is turning out to be the worst mistake she has made in nine hundred years. Something happened after Liam abandoned her, something more than just the pain of losing her chosen male from her life. Something about his absence has stripped away the peaceful enlightenment she struggled years to achieve. Now Ania can’t meditate or pray, and her compassion for other creatures seems to be lessening. She is becoming again the kind of person she’s spent her most of her existence trying not to be. On top of that, she’s been accused of murdering three males who attacked her and her family. She doesn’t even remember what happened that day. Now Liam is back and demanding she go with him to his ship. What choice does she have? It's a better fate than being arrested and put through social reconditioning on her planet. The half life she’s been living for two years is no more worth keeping than her mating commitment to a male who obviously hadn’t wanted her after all.