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.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Royal Rascals, Pt. Two

Johanna Lindsey, queen of the clinch cover, had too much material to cover in one snark. Of course, we couldn't leave anything out, so here is part two. What we do for you people! Get your eyewash.

Heart of Thunder

This just begs for another chapter of Robyn’s Rant. Ahem…


Things that Scare Me About this Cover:
1. The length of her right arm- It just keeps going and going and going...
2. Whatever is her left leg doing - is she pulling some Sidney Bristow and kicking an unseen assailant trying to sneak up behind her man or what?
3. The color of her hair-- Watermelon Cherry KoolAid is the new platinum blonde.
4. The Font- Not much of a difference between the r and the t in Heart makes it look like "Hearr of Thunder" at first glance. Which NO! No hearing of the thunder, please! Because after the hearing of the thunder always comes the smelling of the thunder. And no. Just no.
5. His overuse of sunless tanner or his under use of sunscreen-- Either which way, he reminds me of my grandma's old couch.
6. The Blurb-- She would love him or destroy him. Look, Couch Boy. Not such good choices ya got there. Try eHarmony. They can maybe find you a better match.

Silver Angel

I knew it. I just knew the day would come when one of Madonna’s dancers would snap and try to choke the life right out of her. “You think you’re the only one who would look good in those white hair extensions and high school prom makeup and bullet bra? I’ll crush your ribcage, you drag queen wannabe.”

After becoming the only Troll doll to successfully grant her own wish to become human, Flossie finds work in a B movie as a corpse who comes back to life after a kiss from a man who has a secret passion for bracelets, Toupees by Ted Koppel, and matching his makeup to his woman's.

When Love Awaits

I am consistently amazed by the talented wind in these covers. It ruffles her hair very gently away from her face, yet blows like mad in the other direction to make sure her scarf cleverly covers his, er, sword. Does she remind anyone else of Barbra Streisand? Check it out:

I am awaiting the yellow pods on the arm of her dress to burst open, freeing the same aliens who tried to eat Sigourney Weaver on many occasions, but who have now traveled back in time to wreak havoc, eat the naked moron on this cover, kidnap the Breck Girl, and live happily ever after sliming up the castle. Go Aliens. The End.

Up next: Titles that made us go “Whaaaa?”

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Just title the last two weeks What. Was. I. Smoking.

I quit one job, and worked out my notice while simultaneously starting my new job, while still doing all my mom stuff with the end of school parties and talent shows and award ceremonies and trying to run down my landlord for the key to the pool because MOM!! WE HAVE TO SWIM THE VERY DAY THE POOL OPENS OR THE WORLD WILL COME TO AN END!! And our friends have to spend the night that night, too, so pick up some pizza while you're out, will ya?

Don't all these people realize that I have way more important things to do, like searching the internet for bad romance covers and doing brilliantly snarky reviews of best selling novels and writing run-on sentences about protuberances? I ask you!

Anyway, I'm back. I'm terribly sorry I ignored you. I took you for granted, and...why am I talking to you like you're my neglected football season wife?

Because I miss you, that's why!! My experience with the internet has been a pretty fantastic one, I'll admit. It amazes me what a small community it actually is; even on the world wide web we tend to seek out our own. The most extreme case would be the relationship between my blog partner Missie and me.

We were both regular visitors to the eHarlequin website. I started writing some fiction on the Harlequin Love Inspired board, and Missie read my story and left some comments. We both added our comments in the general community boards there, and found that our senses of humor were similar. We started e-mailing each other, which led to phone calls, and eventually to this blog.

We joke that we share two halves of the same brain, and so do our husbands. We can literally finish each other's sentences, and Missie is one of the best friends I've ever had. She has been an enormous support to me, as well as a sounding board, critique partner, and a lot of fun. All this despite the fact that we've never actually met. She lives in Idaho, and I live in Oklahoma. We keep trying to meet; if anyone wants to contribute to the Best Friend Weekend Fund we will gladly accept your donations!

Ah, well. I truly did miss surfing all your blogs, and I'll be getting caught up this weekend. We'll continue cover snark next week! See ya.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I Think I'm A Coke Addict

Calm down. You know I'm talking about the soft drink. I didn't even realize I had a problem until I looked at my desk.

Okay, I thought. So maybe I have a slight problem. It's nothing I can't handle. It's just that Coke does so much for me! Sometimes, it helps me chill out and relax after a stressful day...

Other times, it helps me perk up and fly straight.

I mean, I've been working so much lately I feel like I don't even have to time to...well, you know.

Although, if I was honest, lately the Coke has made me feel like this-

...and sometimes like this.

Any other Coke addicts out there? Please tell me there's a twelve step program for people like us. Yet still, I will I have the energy to get through a twelve step program without a Coke?

Friday, May 12, 2006

To All The Mothers: A Gift

Hey everyone! In honor of Mother's Day, my little present to you: a 500 word flash fiction I entered once in a contest. My first, and last, attempt at mastering the Chick-lit voice. It didn't win. But it may give you a chuckle while you make your plans for your own mom, or prepare yourself for whatever adventure your kids have planned for you. Have a great weekend.

The Scariest Mother's Day Present Ever

Even before I had my little bundles of joy, I dreamed about Mother’s Day. Homemade cards with torn construction paper hearts, and burnt toast and weak coffee served to me in bed. That had happened, more than once. But this year, my teenagers got me the most unusual present I’d ever had.

A date.

My friend Karen applauded. “Mike’s been gone for two years, Angie. Men have been interested in you. Get out there and have a life.”

“I do have a life. I have the bills to prove it.”

Karen snorted as she helped herself to my coffee pot. “Bills from the grocery store don’t count. When was the last time you spent money on just you?”

“Two days ago. I spent two hundred dollars on myself in thirty minutes.”

“That was for your root canal.”

I glared at her. “You’re making me feel better about serving you decaf.”

“Come on, Angie. You were a tower of strength for the kids after Mike died, but you’ve done your job. It’s okay to think about yourself now.”

“You don’t understand. It’s one thing to date when you’re young. With Mike I was twenty and tight and my hormones were working for me. Now I’m fat, forty, and the only places I don’t have stretch marks are my nostrils and my earlobes.”

“For heaven’s sake, it’s Scott Adams, not George Clooney. You’ve known him since the second grade. In fact, you beat him up in second grade, didn’t you?”

“Weekly. He never knew it was because I liked him.”

Karen’s eyes became serious. “You still do, don’t you? I know the kids do. That’s why they picked him for you.”

Here was the question I’d run from ever since my little darlings informed me I was meeting Scott for dinner at seven. I’d looked into those eyes, waiting for me to gush over their surprise. And although they were sixteen, not six, I didn’t have the heart to refuse them.

And so, tonight I was going on a date, and I was scared out of my mind. It wasn’t dating I was afraid of. I wasn’t pining for Mike, though I’d loved him tremendously. No, it was something else.

I was a mature woman, and I'd made a good life for my family. But a nervous little voice inside me kept asking, “What if he doesn’t like me?”

Apparently, mentally I was still in the second grade.

I looked at my friend. “You understand, don’t you, Karen?”

She just smiled at me.

“Okay, you’re right. I can do this. It’s just dinner.” I grabbed my purse, ready to shop for a new dress. “With a guy I used to beat up every week.”

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Brush With Fame

If you needed further proof that I am a dork, read on...

I love talk radio. I mean, luh-huh-huhvah talk radio. (No, not Stern, whom I think is a boil on the butt of humanity.) Give me Rush, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Dr. Laura any day of the week. I love listening to their unique points of view and those of their callers. So the other day, I am hanging with Laura while the Babester naps and she gets the following phone call which I will paraphrase for you:

Stupid Caller: Um, Dr. Laura, I was wondering how I could get my son not to be mad at me.
Dr. L: Why would your son be mad at you?
SC: Because I turned in his friends.
DL: What did his friends do?
SC: Well, they broke into our house while we were on vacation, stole money, trashed it, and had a big party.

People...I kid you not. I am not talented enough to make this stuff up. She wanted to know how to get her son NOT TO BE MAD AT HER??? Seriously, folks. It was all I could do not to hurl my radio across the room. So I sent off an email to Dr. Laura with my humble opinion of that lady and her situation...and guess what? She posted it on her website. If you want to read it and I were smart, you would be able to click on a linky thing and go directly there. If you want to read it and realize I am so not cool because I have no idea how to do a linky thing, then go to, click on Dr. Laura on Radio, go to the Letters from Listeners section, and click on "The Day I Turn in My Mom Card and Go Join the Circus".

If any of you want an autographed picture of me to grace your refrigerator, they are available for a small fee...;)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

My Life in Pictures

This sums up my last two months...

Moments of great joy and discovery...

followed by moments of wondering why I thought procreation was such a hot idea...

Easter was grand and glorious...

and I've lost a little more weight, so that's good. No thanks to the Easter candy I pilfered from my children...

But mainly, I have been so busy that I have met myself coming and going. Work is work, and while I am thankful for it, I sometimes long for the days when I had nothing on the agenda but laundry and a good book. Ali is work, and while I am thankful for her, I sometimes long for the nights when I could sleep longer than four hours at a time and awaken to the sounds of the morning birds chirping outside my window instead of the midnight howls of a pre-toddler (or, as I like to call her, a "poddler").

I am also in the midst of prepping for my trip to Chicago in two weeks for a work-related conference. Pray for me, y'all. This will be my first trip away from Baby. In fact, I have never been away from her for more than six hours at a time in her whole 10-month life. And I will be gone from a Sunday morning to Wednesday afternoon. Pray for my mom, y'all. She's coming over to help my husband with the chirrens while I am away. Hopefully, my daughter will be so caught up basking in the glow of the GranGran's attention that she won't have too hard a time with me gone. And pray for my husband, y'all. He is a great man, wonderful husband, and terrific father...but he doesn't always pay attention to how or why things are done around here. It will be a learning experience for everyone. hee, hee, hee...

So, if any of you have been wondering where I am or why I appear to have fallen off the face of the Earth, just wanted to let you know I am still here...physically. Mentally? Will get back to you on that one...I will let Robyn continue to do the fine job she has been so far with her witty, pithy, insightful prose, because my thought process? Has of late consisted of derrr, huh, wha-, and NO, don't touch that! In fact, this post is so lame that I am embarrassed to be sending it out into the ether, but am hoping that I can distract you from my dorkness by more cute baby pictures. I promise to write something meaningful soon...maybe... if I can catch a break... when all the planets are in alignment... Okay, I will write something, just don't hold your breath waiting for it. In the mean time, talk amongst yourselves. Topic? My adorable children...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Random May Musings

I've just read three romances which all contained the same thing: Tea and Crumpets, first thing in the morning. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I've been known to enjoy a good crumpet in the morning myself. But the couples in these three stories had second and third helpings, if you catch my drift, and never once left the bed. I just have to ask one question: don't any of these people ever have to pee?

A question for you writers out there. What happened to the poor adverb? Why has he been so vilified and abused? So he chooses to do things briefly, gently, sweetly, deeply. He can also live life torturously, dangerously. Is that any reason for editors to call him nasty names? Tolerance, people, tolerance.

I'm a very happy girl. For Mother's Day I'm going to get a two-disc DVD collection of Andrew Lloyd Webber's anniversary celebration at Albert Hall, and Les Miserables in Concert. WOO-HOO!! And yes, you snobs out there, I'm going to enjoy it even though it's sappy melodramatic angst and they sing the same melody over and over and over and over and over. Also on Mother's Day: I'm posting a 500 word flash fiction I wrote a while back on The Best Mother's Day Ever.

It pushes the envelope of Snarkling Clean, and I hope Missie doesn't mind but I'm going to post it anyway because she hasn't posted anything herself in awhile and didn't even comment on my dragon history lesson, so there. This picture is entitled What Sicko Designed This Ride?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Here Be Dragons

Don't you just love it when you write out a post, finish tweaking it and are just about to hit the publish button, and the squall line of a thunderstorm comes through and knocks out the power and you lose the whole thing and you're so busy the next two days you can't get back to it? I know I do. ~sigh~ Here goes.

I saw a fascinating special on the History Channel (Yes! I'm a geek! Shut up!) about dragons. Specifically, about how they changed in literature and oral tradition from a simple monster to the embodiment of the devil himself. The earliest recorded dragons are from the Norse; Viking ships used them on the prow of their longboats, presumably to scare waiting soldiers on the shore so they'd have less opponents to fight. If you're familiar with Wagner's Ring operas, you know the story of Fafnir, the dragon whom Sigfried killed. Another Viking tale you were surely taught about in school as one of the most Important Pieces of Literature ever written: Beowulf.

(Interesting side note- we almost lost Beowulf in the 1800's. The only surviving copy, probably done by a monk many years after it was originally written, was nearly destroyed in a fire. Later, by the 1930's, scholars had begun to believe it wasn't worth serious scrutiny because it had monsters in it. A paper by a young Oxford man helped convince the Powers That Be that it was deserving of study even though dragons and Grendel ran amok through its pages. His name- J.R.R. Tolkien.)

I thought it was interesting how the dragon evolved from a simple, though terrifying, creature to evil incarnate. Yes, you guessed it, the church was involved. What better boogeyman than a giant, winged fire-breathing monster? Anyway, sociologists who have way more time than I do (knew I should have changed my major when my soc professor asked me to) discovered the ways dragons played on the fears and mindsets of medieval Europe.

1- Dragons destroyed crops and decimated villages. Agrarian societies lived with a very real fear that the crops would fail. And whether it was due to war or disease, death was a constant visitor to towns.
2- Dragons always kidnapped a young woman. Never a man, never an old woman, but a maid. This is where the damsel in distress comes in. The deep-thought thinkers on the special said these stories played into the consciousness of the people, because young women meant one thing: child bearing. The future of the next generation, indeed the whole species, rested with her. She was also usually a princess; a member of the ruling class and as such, represented the monarchy. There was a lot of throne-grabbing going on, and the wars brought on by the power shifts made for an unstable life, to say the least.
3- Dragons always guarded a horde of treasure. It seems money has been important from the dawn of time. Who knew? Sarcasm aside, medieval people had to work even harder many times to ransom back an errant king who should have been smart enough to stay home in the first place. Like the old saying goes, whether it be single peasant or entire government: I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better.

The point to this deep middle ages angst? Simple. A good, noble, brave, strong, Christian knight will always ride in to defeat the foul beast, saving the villages, rescuing the princess, marrying her and preserving the monarchy and the bloodline, and pouring the dragon's money into the country's coffers. No wonder St. George is the patron saint of England.

By defeating the dragon, people were able to vicariously defeat their own fears. That got me thinking. What dragons do we write about today? Serial killers and the like, I guess. Terrorists. Aliens. And there's still a yeti or a sasquatch or a chupucabra around to spice things up. I personally think dragons are the things we can't control. No matter how good our technology, how wide our knowledge, how sophisticated our weaponry, there are still things beyond our control. In the end only our resolve, a prayer, and some good luck brings us through.