Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Drive-by snark: Pirates- ARRRRRR!!

Robyn: That certainly is one wicked wind from the way their hair is blowing about. Ya evah notice how all the cascading locks never blow into their eyes? How these couples never have to stop a kiss to remove the shiny tresses from their mouths? Then again, that's one talented wind. It's blowing their hair in OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS.
I could, of course insert a joke here about wicked winds and chili recipes, but I'll refrain.

Missie: A touching story of two former Chernobyl workers, feared by all around them due to their glow-in-the-dark orange skin, bound together by passion and mega-hold hairspray.

Robyn:How did she dye her dress exactly the same shade as those flowers? She should be able to do a better job on her hair, then. Roots, honey, roots...
And Captain Blood there looks like Furio from The Sopranos, doesn't he?
So, our pirate is an Italian mobster. With a good bronzer.
Dressed like a Hollywood Indian. With what appear to be Nordish jingle bells on his arm.
And they say romances aren't realistic.

Missie: That's where my two pet stinging caterpillars went! On our hero's face! Also, doesn't Blondie's thumb look just as long as the rest of her fingers?

Robyn: "Avast me hearties! It be the ghost of Cap'n Chesty McMullet! He be feared by sailors everywhere. He can never rest, a-roamin' the Seven Seas on his spirit ship Ropeburn searching for the mutinous crew what stole his shirt."
A shirt that would probably be tucked into a painfully thick leather belt and blowing, in all its unbuttoned glory, in the wicked wind.

Missie: Captain Constipated manages to poke his own eye out with massive manly chest while bending over to tie his shoe.

Robyn: Don't worry about running and hiding, comely wenches. This is one buckler who swishes the other way, I guarantee it. Hide your brothers instead.
If you can see after being blinded by those ginormous headlights. Oh My Protuberances!

Missie: This cover gives murdering, pillaging, raping, theiving pirates a bad name. Is he surrounded by flames or is that supposed to be the sky? What's up with the plant? And why did he feel the need to borrow an earring from JLo?

Monday, August 29, 2005

Praying for you

Interrupting the snarkiness for a moment to let our friends on the Gulf Coast know that we are praying for you. You're in our thoughts.

And for the rest of us: call your local chapter of the Red Cross- they should be able to tell you where charitable donations can be sent. Let's take care of each other.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

“The answer lies beneath the…..DEEP BLUE!”


For my inaugural book review, I chose Kat Martin’s Deep Blue. It is the story of a spunky reporter, Hope Sinclair, who gets too close to a story in NYC so her boss reassigns her to cover the recovery of a sunken treasure off the coast of Jamaica to get her out of town. I soooo related to that, because every time one of my bosses didn’t want me to continue on a project, I always got reassigned to an exotic locale and met a hunky ex-Navy SEAL who wanted to have a hot fling with me, and….oh, wait. That has never actually happened to me. Sorry. I have a two-month old baby and don’t get enough sleep so sometimes fantasy and reality blur together and I can’t tell what’s what and then my husband starts looking like George Clooney and I think my life is really an exciting whirlwind revolving around the poshest cities in the world instead of mounds of poopy diapers…..but I digress. (You will find that a lot on this site…we be lovin’ to digress…) Back to the review.

Before I start commenting on this story, I have to say I really like Kat Martin. I have read a few of her other books and found them to be interesting stories with characters I could actually give a flying flip about. That is also true for Deep Blue. Her characters are well-rounded, and by that, I mean she stays true to the traits she set up for them in the beginning and fleshes them out very well. I don’t mean well-rounded in that the characters are perfectly normal people who may have had a hard past but are open to love. Because we ABSOLUTELY CANNOT have heroes and heroines who are looking for love. Nooooo, must fight love at all costs. Parts of this story are utterly guessable (another one of my terms, get over it) and the conclusion is a, well, foregone conclusion, but if you like your romance with a dose of treasure from a Spanish galleon, then you will like Deep Blue.

And now something that really has nothing to do with anything (I am also good at that, just ask Robyn):

I used to work in an office where one particular lady, I will call her Ruth, would use a certain unusual word several times a day. This word was cornucopia. Sometimes she would combine it with its trusty partner, veritable, and we would be forced to listen her expound on the veritable cornucopia of offerings for our potluck, or just the plain ole cornucopia of ways this project could be done. The Pilgrims didn’t use the word as much as she did. I took you on that walk down Memory Lane with me for a reason. Kat Martin has a love of a particular word, and it’s “sinews”. Now, we all find that word at one time or another in just about every romance novel out there, but it must hold a special place in Ms. Martin’s heart because I counted five uses of the word before page 97 in Deep Blue. FIVE! I don’t know that in the course of my thirty-cough, cough years I have even heard that word spoken five times. I quit counting at page 97 because it just depressed me too much. I got the point about the first 3 times she used it. The hero, Conner Reese, is buff. He’s handsome. He’s everything any red-blooded female would want. He’s a Greek god come to life. He’s SINEWY! Enough already with the sinews. That’s just my two cents. And since I am an unpublished wannabe author who hasn’t even finished a manuscript ever, I am sure Ms. Martin will read my recommendation and thank me for it.

Most Improbable Situation:

Conner and Hope are diving for the treasure and run across (or should I say swim across…get it, swim across? Because they’re diving and not running and…never mind. Refer to above paragraph about 2 month old baby and no sleep) some bad guy divers who want the treasure for themselves. Bad Guy #1 shoots Conn with a spear gun, and the spear goes through his body! I’m talking in one side, out the other. He’s bleeding like a stuck pig and Hope has to help him get to the surface, but oh no! there’s sharks circling because they smelled the blood, and ohmygoodness, will he make it??? Of course he does, but that’s not the improbable moment. No, no, this week’s improbable comes the day after he is discharged from the hospital. He only stays overnight, because after all, he’s an ex-SEAL and no little spear gun’s gonna keep him from his treasure. They’re back on the boat, and what does he wanna do? Have tea and crumpets. I kid you not. Spear makes a new highway through his innards, and the man wants some hanky-panky. Unbelievable. My husband is a guy’s guy, hunts, fishes, likes to get greasy and sweaty, etc. But no way on God’s green Earth would my husband be saying, “How you doin?” after he was kabobbed by a bad guy. But that’s just my man. Yours may differ.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

There's Always Room for Crumpets


What I’m reading now: Liz Carlyle’s historical No True Gentleman. Good so far. Spunky widow? Check. Dark broody hero? Double check. (I loves them lost souls.) Dangerous mystery to solve? Check.

I like the fact that our widow, Lady Catherine Wodeway, was actually happy with her first husband. He wasn’t an abusive jerk, nor was he a friend for whom she had no passion. He was a good guy that she loved. Our hero, Maximilian de Rohan, doesn’t pass social status muster with her family at first; a policeman who’s turned his back on his title, his blood is actually bluer than hers. As befits all good heroines, she doesn’t care. As the two get closer to both each other and the bad guy, two villain flunkies beat the living snot out of Max. Bruised, pummeled, with broken ribs, he nonetheless cannot control his need for Catherine. Which leads me to- *insert fanfare*

This week’s Most Improbable Situation:

~Incapacitated Tea and Crumpets~

There are sickbed scenes in many, many romances. Generally, I don’t mind them. After all, it is a good way for the reluctant partner to reorder his or her priorities, and finally figure out what we the readers have known all along: you’re in love, stupid!

But someone please tell me how the partner who has been shot/stabbed/beaten/trampled/thrown off a cliff/stricken with exotic disease can, upon seeing their true love, ignore the pain and suffering enough to indulge in Tea and Crumpets? Looooong drawn out sessions of Tea and Crumpets?

I have been married for 18 years. I adore my husband. But I must be a wienie. When I’m sick, the only thing I want from him is tea and silence. Leave the cup on my nightstand, dear, and GET OUT. And keep the kids and the dog from coming in here. And turn the T.V. down. And turn the phone off. And read my mind and come running when I need a refill.

Passion is the last thing on my mind, I assure you. But not this hero! Max, even after having been beaten to a pitiful pulp, says, “Honey, I’m not worried that you jumping on my broken ribs might puncture a lung. I needs me some Crumpets, now!” Catherine proceeds to give him the, uh, ride of his life, during which he sits up several times. Not an Abs of Steel crunch workout, precisely, but you get the idea. And he is unaware of the pain because he’s been anaesthetized by love!

Come on. He wouldn’t be howling in ecstasy, he’d be howling in agony. I know romance heroes are stoic and strong, but I also know that most sick or injured men are total babies. You can’t convince me he wouldn’t be emitting the death rattle of the wildebeest and demanding that Lady Catherine go fetch him tea and painkillers. And keep the servants and his grandmother out. And tell his employer he’s not coming in. And fluff his pillow just so. And rearrange his blanket. And wipe his brow. And…

Romance Language

A word on our romance euphemisms: to keep this site as friendly as possible, (meaning your six-year-old walks up while you’re here and announces she can read that word!) we try to keep the terms for intimacy rather tame. A few examples:

Tea and Crumpets- This actually comes from one of Robyn’s husband’s geeky role-playing games. They had to find a kind way to say what pirates had with the lovely ladies of the towns they pillaged.

One With the Cosmos- the heroine’s Clairol Totally Organic Experience.

Sword of Love- you know what we’re talking about.

Oh My Protuberances- from Catherine Anderson’s Cherish. The heroine’s exclamation upon discovering two small parts of her body that stand at attention when stimulated or cold.

There will probably be others later on. Just use your imagination!