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.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year's Advil

Got big plans for tonite? We always do a movie marathon, with a theme. All the Batmans, all comedy, etc. Last year, we did Lord of the Rings. Dark, but pretty fun.

This year?

Oh, yeah, baby. Star Wars. ALL SIX MOVIES. We have to start watching at 3:00pm. All those thwip-thwip-thwip laser gun battles.


I'm gonna have a laser hangover.

There's a monumental battle in our house concerning Star Wars. DH and I consider IV, V, and VI (the ones with Luke and Han Solo) as the only real Star Wars movies.

The kids, of course, think those are weird and old and only I, II, and III (with the comb-challenged Hayden Christianson) are the true Star Wars.

How could they possibly compare?

Real SW: Luke Skywalker. The kid from a nowhere podunk planet who dreams of greatness. Bit of a squick factor when you realise his sister kissed him, but he didn't try to kill his master.
Pale Imitation: Anakin Skywalker. Annoying little kid grows up to have tea and crumpets with his babysitter and kill a bunch of other annoying little kids. At least that how it looked to me. Grossed me plain out.

Real SW: Princess Leia. Kick-butt, take no prisoners. "Get this walking carpet out of my way."
Pale Imitation: Queen Amidala. Had potential, but lost it when she fell in luuuurve. "Ani, you're breaking my heart!" And then she dies of said broken heart, leaving her children to be raised by others? Leia would have totally kicked Ani's saber of love into his throat, and raised her kids by herself.

Real SW: Yoda. Yeah, I know he was in the other movies too, but he was cuter as a puppet.
Pale Imitation: Jar Jar Binks. Mesa wants to poke my eardrums out. George, you had to give him an unintelligible vocabulary AND the weird cartoonish voice? Get Frank Oz to do it next time.

Real SW: Han Solo and Lando Calrissan. Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams. 'Nuff said.
Pale imitation: Kwai-Gon and young Obi-Wan. Okay, it's Liam Neeson and Ewan MacGregor. You know I'm gonna love me some of that.

DH and I won't be awake for the real ones, probably, so we'll watch them tomorrow when those poor misguided kids of us take a nap. Have a good one, everybody, and stay safe!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Interview with a Sassy Sistah

It has been a pleasure to work with Marilynn Griffith, author of the new book, Made of Honor. She's a hoot, and her book is wonderful. Here's our interview with La Belle Mary.

(From Shades of Romance:)

SR: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Mary: Well, let's see... I'm mom to a tribe of kids, wife to a very handsome deacon and blessed to be friends with some wonderful writers, like you, LaShaunda. I love to read, write, speak and all things communication related. I'm the person at the family gatherings who is always either telling a story or listening to one! Before realizing I was a writer life was a bit confusing. I tried everything from secretary to math tutor (that actually worked out pretty well). These days it's family, friends and church activities when I'm not writing. I like blogging though. That's fun.

SR: Tell us about your current book?

Mary: Dana Rose pledges to say "I won't" the next time she's asked to be in a wedding. Her weak will has turned her closet into cemetery for satin gowns from periwinkle to Pepto pink. After ten stints as bridesmaid, Dana thinks she's seen it all. Then she's fired, forced to turn her hobby into a business and faced with her prodigal brother, back-stabbing sis and Mr. Practically Perfect, the ex who not only married someone else, but opened the business of her dreams—across the street. There's that Maid of Honor thing too… And this time she can't say no. Will wedding #11 show Dana what's she's really made of?

SR: What inspired this story?

Mary:I used to own a seasonal bath and body business. Steeple Hill rejected my first manuscript but they liked my voice. They asked my agent about me doing a chick lit. I didn't know what that was exactly, but the prospect of writing in first person sounded interesting, so I tried it and loved it. I also have had a lot of wonderful single friends over the years.

SR: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

Mary: I'd love for readers of MADE OF HONOR to come away from the book knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made and that God delights in them and loves them in an intimate way, despite whatever mess riddles their pasts. Christ stands waiting to embrace them as His bride.

SR: How can readers learn more about your books and get in contact with you?

Mary:I can be contacted at or through comments at my website

And from us...
SC: What's the most rewarding thing about writing faith-based fiction?

Mary: The great thing about writing faith fiction is blending my two loves--books and Jesus--together. Sometimes I'll read a book full of beautiful words that leaves me feeling empty and hopeless. More than anything, I seek to write a good story that shows both the depths of the human experience and the heights of love, hope and redemption.

SC: Chick lit has always seemed to have a "Sex in the City" vibe. Were there any challenges in doing a Christian chick lit?

Mary: I really didn't try to focus on any chick lit model. I know there are many stories with the single city girl in publishing, but that's not all there is. As in any genre, each writer brings a unique voice and way of seeing the world. For me, I fell in love with a character and her girlfriends and went along for the ride.

SC: I can write in first person on a blog, but cannot master that anywhere else. Was it difficult to find that voice, or did it come naturally to you?

Mary: What a great question! One of the reasons I attempted this story was the opportunity to stretch as a writer and try the first person point of view. I wasn't blogging then and had never tried it except in my personal journals, so I wasn't sure if I "had" it or not. Once I got going, the style seemed natural and comfortable, but it's still difficult. After two books in that point of view, it feels more natural and I do enjoy it.

Thanks, Mary!

And now, the winners of our contest, who will receive an autographed copy of Made of Honor. *insert fanfare here*

Every single entry made us laugh. You all did a fabulous job. There were a few who stood out, though, and here they are.

The Most Prolific Author Award goes to ozzatlarge. Terry came up with a whopping fifteen entries! And they were all funny. For example: The Clepto and the Dog Trainer... He stole her heart and she jerked his chain.

The Pushing the PG-13 Envelope Award goes to Sharon. The Eunuch and the Virgin. Impossible love, impossible odds. Will their love find a way in?

The Most Likely To Become An Actual Title goes to Anna. With titles like The Amnesiac SEAL and the secret Billionaire Princess, Hide and Sheikh, and Sheikh, Rattle and Roll (hmm, must be a baby book, with the "rattle" bit there) I have no doubt Anna will have a Harlequin Presents out soon.

Our honorable mentions will have a chance to be a guest snarker on our romance cover rips! Congratulations!

We loved Camy's Jump-Start My Heart... He was a doctor. She was dead. Their love was doomed.

And Jessica's The Arsenist and the Atheist... All he wanted was to see her burn.

But our two winners are Bernita with Horseman and the Hostess...He was "hot to trot" but she wanted a stable relationship.

And Jolene with The Wicked Witch & the Veterinarian...She wanted him, and his little dog too.

UPDATE!!! Because Bernita was kind enough to let someone else have her prize, the autographed book goes to...Jessica! Congrats, and bug Missie for your copy!

Way to go, everybody! Winners of guest-snark, please email me at and I'll schedule you in for more horrible covers.

And book winners, email me at the same addy with your snail mail addresses, and your books will be on their way. Great work!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas!

We may not be back until December 28, when we'll have our interview with Mary and announce the winner of our contest.

Just for fun (like I have any other motivation on this site?) I got these from but the comments are mine.

These are actual instruction labels on consumer goods.

On Sears hairdryer:Do not use while sleeping. Dang. Next you're going to tell me I can't use it in the tub.

On a bag of Fritos:You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside. It's not shoplifting, officer. The bag says no purchase necessary!

On a bar of Dial soap:Directions: Use like regular soap. Then why did I buy yours?

On some Swann frozen dinners:Serving suggestion: Defrost. But I like it crunchy!

On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert: (printed on bottom of the box)Do not turn upside down. Printed below that is HA! Suckers...

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding:Product will be hot after heating. Really?

On packaging for a Rowenta iron:Do not iron clothes on body. So that's what I've been doing wrong.

On Boot's Children's cough medicine:Do not drive car or operate machinery. And how am I supposed to make a profit without my child labor?

On Nytol sleep aid:Warning: may cause drowsiness. Before or after I utter the requisite DUH?

On a Korean kitchen knife:Warning: keep out of children. But she got chocolate on my white silk blouse!

On a string of Christmas lights:For indoor or outdoor use only. So would Mars count?

On a food processor:Not to be used for the other use. I'm not sure, but I think that may be illegal.

On an American Airlines packet of nuts:Instructions: open packet, eat nuts. Aww, I wanted to chuck the bag at the guy across the aisle who's snoring.

On a Swedish chainsaw:Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands. Why?

On a child's Superman costume:Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly. And there's no Santa, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy, either!

And though it's slightly naughty, I had to include this:

Now that's truth in advertising!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Houses Are There For A Reason, People

True Lurve On God's Green Earth- with special guest snarker Bernita!

Regular readers of this blog know Robyn's Favorite Rant, WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE OUTSIDE? This time, we're not just sayin'. We've got evidence. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we bring you-

Cameron's Landing

Yes, d-d-darling…I w-w-want you so m-m-much I'm shaking…of c-c-course it's not from the cold…could you wrap my shawl around me a little t-t-tighter, please? I could kiss you forever…because my lips are numb…

Um, Cam? You have a castle. Use. It.

Oh, the raging sea of desire! So get a proper grip, man, you're holding her finky fingered.It's not a freaking dance floor!

Honor's Splendour

Wet leather. Wet chain mail. Even a wet sword. Yeah, he'll be ready for Tea and Crumpets. In about an hour, IF he brought rust-o-leum.

Missie's New Favorite Rant--WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE IN WATER?

Honest now, he says, do you really like my lycra pants?

Lady of Fortune

You just never know when you're gonna get impaled on your crown. If they were inside, he could at least put it on the nightstand.

And with all that foliage? "The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah…"

I'd be tryin to get away too if a doped-up James Spader was gettin fresh. Eeewww.

Oh dear, ANOTHER one with bad breath...

Love, Come to Me

(read in an outrageous Continental accent) Yes, my love, come to me. Come to me in zee winter, in a skimpy taffeta dress, in zee middle of a frozen river. I will chill zee sham-pan-yay!

Ivan tried to console Svetlana after their crushing Olympic defeat by the American ice dancing duo of Sadie Lou and Billy Bob Stubbs.

Hypothermia heaven. Or: the next time you put a snowball down my shirt front, I'm dumping you in the creek!

Satin Ice

Is that more slippery, or just more expensive? Either way, I think somebody's gonna get a chest cold.

Poor Mr. Snuffaluffagus.

Nice material in your shirt there, Del...

Sweet Mountain Magic

The animal kingdom does NOT WANT US THERE. The deer is trying desperately to ignore them, but the owl is proactive. "Here's your freaking canoe. Get in it and leave!"

Pocahontas needs to lay off the purple eyeshadow and quit fantasizing about her first love. Her thought bubble almost poked Grizzly Adams in the head.

Disdainful expression says his fingernails are dirty. Love that alder root eye shadow though.

You've seen the evidence. You be the judge.

Next: What Is This Cover Model Thinking?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Annie's Song

Hey everyone.

I haven’t posted in a long while, but I did lurk. And I howled at all the great titles you came up with; it will be difficult to pick a winner.

Last Sunday morning, shortly after I posted that reminder about the challenge, my brother called me and told me that all the family needed to come to see my mother in Arkansas right away. As you might remember, she had lung cancer. She had finished her course of treatment, and the tumor was gone. It looked as though she was cancer-free. She looked great at Thanksgiving.

She had gone into the hospital a few days later with pneumonia, but all the doctors were sure it would just be a couple of days and then she’d be home. Apparently it was pneumonia, but a form of it they’d never seen before. It didn’t respond to any treatment they gave her. Because her lungs were weakened by something called “radiation luminitis (sp?)” the right side of her heart had to pump harder to try and get blood through her lungs. The oxygenated blood wasn’t getting to her other organs, particularly her kidneys. Even with all the fluids they were pumping into her, she had no output and went into renal failure.

The doctors hoped her family would be the spark she needed to fight. Unfortunately, every time she was excited (turned, had blood drawn, you name it) her blood pressure bottomed out. They couldn’t figure out why. Whenever we would talk to her or pet her, her blood pressure would bottom out, so even our presence couldn’t be much of a comfort.

Sunday night she was kind of ‘in-and-out’ conscious, as they had her sedated and on a ventilator. She knew I was there; she could shake her head and blink her eyes. By Monday morning she had gone downhill fast, and we decided as a family that night to pin the doctor down the next day. We knew what she wanted- she was very vocal about not being kept alive on a machine. The hospital called my dad to come back late Monday night, and she died about 3:30am Tuesday.

We all rushed down there, and now I wonder why. She was gone. And I don’t know that it really did that much good to see her in the bed without all the wires and tubes. All that meant was that she wasn’t fighting anymore. The thing that got me, that still gets me, is that the ICU is FREEZING. I mean snow bank cold. While she was alive, she was mostly uncovered, I guess for access to all the tubes. She had a garden hose down her throat, and I counted twelve IV bags hanging up. My brother-in-law, a nurse, said they weren’t all hooked up to her; some were waiting just in case of heart failure and what-not. That aside, she had little tubes coming out of her every which way.

I kept worrying that she was cold. I know I was. I kept wanting to pull the covers up; I was sure she must be freezing. But every time I touched her, she was warm. When we saw her in the bed after she passed, the nurses had put her glasses on. Nice touch, I guess, but it seemed weird. When I kissed her goodbye, I guess I still expected her to be warm, somehow. She wasn’t. She was cold. That shook me more than I ever would have thought. After worrying she was cold, now she really was. Confirmation that she truly was gone, and I hurried from the room before I came apart completely.

Where would women be in these situations if there weren’t coffee to make and food to prepare and houses to get ready for guests? Even my dad, especially my dad, went into a flurry of movement. His neighbors are amazing, though. They had more food delivered to us than a small village could eat in a year. And they are the type of people we could call and say, “We’re feeling like ice cream” and they’d go get us twelve different kinds. They were very supportive and the church was great. They handled all the small details but still let us plan the service. Mom wanted a wake, not a funeral. She wanted it said, “She was fun and will be missed. PERIOD.” It helped so much to go through the photo albums and put pictures together for the reception. The smiling, classy, beautiful woman, eyes bright and sometimes mouth wide open laughing- that was my mom.

Now that everyone’s back home, I thought about my mother’s role as the family matriarch, and what we would do now. My brothers and sister are all kind of far-flung, and it was Mom who made sure we knew what was going on in each others’ lives. I decided to start another blog, and send invitations to all the family members, so we could all post our family doin’s, pics of growing kids, etc. I’m going to call it Annie’s Song, in honor of my mom.

Thanks for the indulgence. This post is long and not funny and kind of personal, but I needed to get it out. And as Ann would have wanted it, the snarkage will continue tomorrow or the next day. I need the laugh and she is the first one who would have understood.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Don't Make Me Come Over There

It appears that y'all have forgotten that we have a contest date I have received ONE, count it, ONE entry. To review:

The prize is an autographed copy of Marilynn Griffith's book, Made of
Honor. I just finished reading it, and it's fabulous. I appreciate how Mary kept her characters real- they fall down. They sin. They pray, get up, and go on. No plaster saints here; and breaks in the relationships (family, friends, or lovers) are not easily solved with one heart-to-heart conversation. I'll admit I was screaming "Uncle!" towards the end for our heroine, Dana; how much does one woman have to go through? But there are some deliciously satisfying moments. In one, even though Dana and her sister are still estranged, they sing at church together. Dana doesn't want to do it and I don't blame her. But God meets them at the point of their need- and I'll tell you the truth- tears came pouring down my face. I had to put my hands in the air and worship with them. But here's the best part: everything isn't hunky-dory after that. It's a start, a great one, but Dana still has to walk it out. This has to be one of the most realistic portrayals of Christians I've ever read, and I loved it. Go to Mary's site to read more about it.

The contest is pure Snarkling Clean. You write an original romance novel title, with a one or two sentence blurb. For instance:

The Homey and the Hoochymama- He wanted easy money. She was just easy.

Room with a Viewmaster- How could she resist a man with slides of Disneyworld?

She gave up her heels for...The Love of Napoleon. Now that he was taller than she, they might have a chance...

Or something like that. You can either post your entry in the comments section of any blog entry until Dec. 15, or email me at We'll publish the winner, along with our interview with Mary, on December 28. Come on, don't let our lone entrant win by default. Make her work for it. Put your snark hats on and send us something!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Rounding Up (otherwise known as Really Stinkin Long Post from Missie)

So, yesterday I turned 35.

I was going to do a really cool math problem to make you work to figure out how old I was (like Michelle did on her blog on her bday), such as 70-50+20-5 and throw in some nth power and square roots, but I lost track of the problem half way through and thought, “I am too old for this crap.”

I am now in what is called the mid-thirties. And know what? Not quite so different from early thirties, except I am just that much closer to death than before. Yes, folks, havin a hard time with the whole 35 thing. Especially when I realized that now, when you round me to the nearest decade, you get 40. If that ain’t enough to make me wanna go play in traffic, I don’t know what is.

But my day turned out great. Largely thanks to the hubster and Crumbsnatcher #1, who made me a large poster that read:

“Happy birthday from your husband and the (box of Willy Wonka) Runtz. We know it’s been a Rocky Road trying to make $100 Grand. If what we do (gummy) Bugz you, remember we love you U-No (candy bar)! Love all your Sugar Babies (huge box that I ate all by myself). “

Crumbsnatcher #2 just smiled and drooled a lot. That was her contribution to my day.

Then later, I went to a salon, got a fab haircut and highlights, and gabbed with the stylist. FOUR hours without husband and kids, people. Count ‘em. Four. Woo-hoo! Thought I died and went to ThisIsWhatSinglePeopleGetToDo Heaven. All in all, it was a great day.

In a Totally Unrelated Vein:
I was over at the Writeminded blog the other day and found Larissa’s post about her adventures with the military doctor she saw for a recent cold. I almost needed medical attention myself because I laughed so hard, I was sure I strained something. It reminded me of a doctor visit I had when I was about 14-16, somewhere in there. I had been having some stomach cramping, unrelated to our legacy from Eve, and my parents finally decided to try this new doctor to see if he could figure out what was wrong. My dad brought me because my mom was working that day. So there we sat, being questioned by Dr. Doofus.

DrD: How long have you been having pains?
Me: A few weeks now.
DrD: After meals? Before? Any certain times?
Me: Mainly in the afternoons. Not around meal times.
DrD: Does it burn when you urinate?
Me: No, sir, it does not.
DrD: (Stops writing. Looks up at me with very serious face and says sloooowly) No, honey, what I am asking is does it hurt when you tee-tee?

My dad, who had been sitting in the corner of the room hoping that the Enterprise’s transporter would somehow lock on to his frequency and beam him the heck outta there, had to bow his head very quickly to keep from laughing in the doctor’s face. I, on the other hand, just wanted to knock the crap out of this guy. Instead I just simply smiled and said, “No, sir and it doesn’t burn when I urinate, either.”

I hate it when doctors treat those without initials behind their names like they are lower on the evolutionary scale. And I know of what I speak. I have worked in the medical field for over 17 years. First hospitals, then doctors’ offices, clinics, and insurance companies. I have had plenty of dealings with the healers of our time and while some have been the kindest, friendliest, most wonderful people I have ever met, most have been just a big fat pain in the butt. For which medical science has not yet developed a cure.

But the best of all time were my visits to my first ob-gyn. Warning to any guys reading our blog, you may not want to continue…

After the tee-tee doctor, my mom decided I should probably start seeing an actual ob-gyn. I looked in the phone book and found the only female one in our area. Keep in mind I was only about 15 or so, and had nooo desire for some man to be checking me out in my private area. At our initial appointment with Dr. Woman, my mom accompanied me into the exam room for the interview portion. It went something like this:

DrW: So, you are having some stomach cramping problems? Hmm. Are you sexually active?
Me: No, ma’am.
DrW: Are you sure?
Me: Yes, ma’am, I am sure.
DrW: (looks very puzzled) But you aren’t a virgin, are you?
Me: Yes, ma’am, I am a virgin.
DrW: (Loooong pause, checking my chart) How old are you again?
Me: 15.
DrW: And you say you’re a virgin?
Me: (Starting to get mad) Yes, ma’am.
She then shows my mom out of the room so she can examine me.
DrW: Is there anything you want to tell me without your mom in here?
Me: No, ma’am.
DrW: Are you a virgin?
Me: (had enough by this point): Yes, ma’am. I haven’t had sex in the two minutes it took me to change my gown, so yep, still a virgin.
She examines me, then calls my mom back in the room.
DrW: Well, Mrs. Mymommy, you will be happy to know you’re daughter wasn’t lying to you. She is a virgin.
My Mom: I knew that.
DrW: I just wanted you to know, because right before your daughter’s appointment, I delivered twins to a 15 year old girl, who had told her parents she was a virgin too.
My Mom: My daughter’s not like that. Please remember that in the future.

They then went on to discuss whatever it was my problem was, get the prescription and off we went.

Fast forward to about 6 years later. I am 21, engaged, and needing to get on birth control pills a few months before I get married so we don’t end up with a honeymoon baby. I go back to the same doctor because I do NOT want to have to find a new one and all I need are some bc pills, so how hard can this be?

DrW: (Reading my chart) So, I saw you a few years back, huh?
Me: Yes, Ma’am.
DrW: And your reason for being here today is contraception?
Me: Yes, Ma’am. I am getting married in about 3 months and would like to get on birth control.
DrW: (lowers chart, glares at me) What have you been using up to now?
Me: Nothing.
DrW: You are having unprotected sex?
Me: No, ma’am. I am a virgin. I have had no need for birth control up until now.
DrW: (Laughs out loud) You are a virgin? You are a virgin? How old are you?!
Me: 21.
DrW: And you are a virgin?
Me: Yes, ma’am. I was when I came in here, and unless talking to you is having sex, then I still am. Could I please get a prescription?
DrW: (Gives me a bland, condescending smile) How many children are there in your family?
Me: (puzzled) Three. I am the youngest.
DrW: You do know your parents had to have sex at least 3 times to have all of you, right?
Me: (supremely unbelievably pissed at this point) Ma’am, I imagine they’ve had it quite a bit more than that, although it’s none of my business. I am a virgin. Not an idiot. I have a pretty good idea of how everything works. Can I please have my prescription now?

The rest of the appointment passed in a blur of angry, seething rage and I could not get out of there fast enough. When I told my mild-mannered fiancé what had happened, he was so mad he wanted to go open up a can of whoop-hiney all over her for treating me that way.

So do any of you have interesting medical stories to share? We could always use a good laugh.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Happy Birthday, Missie!!

It's Missie's birthday! Give her a note and let her know we love her.

She loves the fact that I will always be older than her. My present to you, hon!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

O, Christmas Tree, O, Christmas Tree

For any who are unsure, this is a CHRISTMAS tree.

Not a holiday tree, not a winter celebration tree, but a CHRISTMAS tree.

It doesn't even have to be a spectacular one.

Yep. Still a CHRISTMAS tree.

Y'know, I think Jay Leno said it best on the tonight show last night. Concerning certain municipalities' decision to have a 'holiday' tree instead of a 'Christmas' tree:

"Halloween is still Halloween. So I guess Satan and witches are okay, but Santa and Jesus are out!"

I'm all for being inclusive, but have we lost our minds? Imagine my frustration when my kids were not allowed to have a Christmas party at school, just a winter party, where no Christian symbolism was permitted...and where they made little paper dreidels and colored kinaras.

Just once, I would like to walk through a taxpayer-funded public park this holiday season and see a creche, complete with shivering shepherds and some little girl's curly-haired baby doll in the manger. Next to that, I'd like to see a menorah, candles aglow. As I walked on, I'd see a Kwanzaa display, with the harvest symbols lying on the Mkeka mat. And for the people that do not belong to a particular religion, perhaps an encouragement to our humanity; reminders to give generously to our neighbors in need this winter.

And yes, I would surely see Santa Claus.

When did we all get so afraid of each other? And so easily offended? Why is the above scenario so impossible?

Well, I will simply say this:

To those of you who do not have a particular holiday celebration, stay warm and well fed; call us should you need anything.

For those celebrating Kwanzaa, may the flag of black, red, and green fly proud.

To my Jewish friends, Happy Chanukkah. May the Lord always provide.

For any other faiths who have celebrations this time of year that I don't know about, Happy Holidays, and feel free to educate me about them!

And for my fellow Christians, I'll quote from my favorite Christmas Tree story, which quotes from a beloved Book:

"Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

Have a most blessed, Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Well, I Like Them

Several discussions in the romance blogosphere lately have gotten me thinking about the traditional romance hero. And I must admit, even though I drool over the Adrian Pauls and the Liam Neesons and Mel Gibsons of the world, there are other things I find fascinating about a hero. And the ones I get stuck on, really really fall for, are not necessarily tall, dark, and handsome.

I think about Oliver from Jayne Ann Krentz's Wildest Hearts. In fact, a lot of her heroes are not all that, at least in looks. Sam Stark from Trust Me is another that comes to mind. A lot of her heroes could be played by this guy.

Vincent D'Onofrio is one of those actors who can look like a frumpy dock worker or a complete hottie and I don't know why. His portrayal of Det. Bobby Goren on Law and Order: Criminal Intent keeps me riveted. He's a walking encyclopedia with enough behavioral tics to drive a saint to drink, but he could frisk me anytime.

Most romance heroes also have a surfeit of charm. Boyish smiles and witty banter abound. But I can't ignore the appeal of the Beauty and the Beast tales, which appear regularly in romances. But why, I ask you, are we all mad for this guy?

Hugh Laurie has made House, M.D. into a hit. He's a brilliant comic actor, but always played kind of nerdy good natured characters. (His turn as Bertie Wooster in Jeeves and Wooster was nothing short of stellar.) But House? Rude, crusty, insensitive, and women all over America are falling for him in droves. Maybe it's the whole "but MY love can change him" thing.

Git 'er done. There's just something about competence, I guess. I can't tell you how many times I've read a book where the hero started to pale next to his aide, who could flat do the job, know what I mean? And while I fully appreciate the heroism of Jack and the bad boyishness of Sawyer and the hotness of Sayid and Jin, there's really only one person I tune in to LOST for: this guy.

Yes, he's older. Yes, he's bald. But he's also, in another character's words, "God's friggin' gift to humanity." Locke, the man of faith who found his purpose for living on the island, who has embraced his destiny, is endlessly fascinating to me. I personally think, traditional romance aesthetics aside, Terry O'Quinn would make a great hero. He makes things happen; he gets things done.

Words. Women have fallen prey to the fitly spoken word of a man from the beginning of time. The non-traditional master romancer was, of course, Cyrano de Bergerac. Not the most handsome man, but full of wit and intensity, with a voice that could make angels weep. His father played the definitive Cyrano, so it shouldn't be surprising that I love tuning in to Crossing Jordan to listen to this guy:

Small picture, but no small actor. Miguel Ferrer plays a coroner, fer pity's sake. You always see him fiddling with dead people. As long as he's speaking, I'm listening in rapture. Talk to me some more. Tell me about those hemotomas and epithelials, Dr. Macy. Balding, larger than average nose, but WHO CARES? With those intense eyes and that powerful, deep velvet voice, just say anything.

Do you like heroes outside the norm?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Swallow Before You Read This

Hey you.

Someone just emailed me this list and I've got to share it with you. I laughed so hard I think I hocked up a kidney. Oh, and a reminder- from now until Dec. 15th, give us your Romance Novel Title and one-to-two sentence blurb on the comments section of any post. If you'd rather, email me at with your entries. The winner gets an autographed copy of Mary Griffith's Made of Honor.

Relationship Advice From The Experts


( 1 ) You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. -- Alan, age 10
( 2 ) No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with. -- Kirsten, age 10


( 1 ) Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. -- Camille, age 10
( 2 ) No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married. -- Freddie, age 6 (very wise for his age)


( 1 ) You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. -- Derrick, age 8


( 1 ) Both don't want any more kids. -- Lori, age 8


( 1 ) Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. -- Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)
( 2 ) On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. -- Martin, age 10


( 1 ) I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns. -- Craig, age 9


( 1 ) When they're rich. -- Pam, age 7
( 2 ) The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that. -- Curt, age 7
( 3 ) The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do. -- Howard, age 8 (4) It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. -- Anita, age 9 (bless you child)


( 1 ) There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there? -- Kelvin,age 8

And the #1 Favorite is.....
( 1 ) Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck. -- Ricky, age 10

Ladies, I am filled with hope for the next generation!!