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It’s Here!

I am so excited that my story “If This Be Not Love, It Is Madness” is appearing in Circlet’s new Wonderland-themed anthology “Like a Vorpal Blade.”

Read an excerpt of my story and buy your copy here: http://www.circlet.com/?p=2754 .

News and Stuff

My short story “”If This Be Not Love, It is Madness,” will be appearing in the Circlet Press’s “Like A Vorpal Blade,” a Wonderland-themed anthology. I am still shocked and honored, as I am a huge fan of Cecilia Tan (and of course J. Blackmore!).

In reading news, I just finished Robin Schone’s Gabriel’s Woman. Wow. I’ve always considered Madeline Hunter to be the “thinking-person’s” romance writer, and I definitely think that Schone is the “thinking-person’s” erotica writer! The book was short, and yet she created such complex characters! I was immediately drawn in and could barely put the book down.

I also read a new regency, which was a lot like eating Chips Ahoy: delicious, but leaving me quite unsatisfied. It was a standard “wallflower meets rake,” and while I enjoyed the rake being portrayed as an actual nice guy, I couldn’t understand why the protagonists fell in love. Perhaps I should stay away from this pairing, as nothing seems to live up to Kleypas’s Devil in Winter?

Speaking of Kleypas, I cannot wait to read Married By Morning, which comes out at the end of this month. Yay!

Terrible!

I just read this on the morning news:

“SAN FRANCISCO – Danielle Steel’s former assistant has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for embezzling almost $1 million from the romance novelist.

Kristy Watts worked for 15 years and earned an annual salary of $200,000 for part-time work that included handling Steel’s payroll and accounting.

The 48-year-old pleaded guilty last year to depositing numerous checks made out to “cash” in her own bank account, using the author’s credit card rewards points  and paying herself more than her salary.”

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/36676902/ns/today-today_books/

Oh my!

Ack!

I’ve been having issues with our internet for months now, and the shoddy service has been so annoying, I haven’t had the patience to blog when it takes an average of 20 minutes for Google to load.

Well, not much here–lots of reading, some traveling (holiday travel, so that hardly counts :)).

I finished up a series that I had been looking very forward to, but was disappointed.  I just felt that the main characters could have gotten together under much better circumstances, and instead the author did the whole “she’s under a magical spell and reveals her true feelings!” which I find sort of a pitfall.

Oh well! Looking forward to reading Lisa Kleypas’s Tempt Me At Twilight. I hope Amazon will be more reliable than my internet has been :).

Books are Great!

Magic StrikesJust finished Meredith Duran’s Bound By Your Touch and finally got around to Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews!  Both were wonderful. Next up: more Duran.

P.S. Still sick of vampires.

BERTINELLII’m watching Masterpiece Theater’s 1999 version of “Turn of the Screw” starring the lovely Jodhi May. While it’s not as spooky as the black and white classic “The Innocents,” it is still pretty good (and features a brief, flirty cameo by Colin Firth, heyyyyoo!).

However, all I can think of is another “Turn of the Screw” adaptation. “The Haunting of Helen Walker,” STARRING–Valerie Bertinelli…

…it sounds strange, but it is EXCELLENT. I promise you, Van Halen’s ex-wife’s movie is great. And I may or may not have just trolled the internet looking for a copy.

cartoon-bat-clipart

Recently a friend recommended I check out True Blood. It’s based off of The Southern Vampire Series, which is a group of very fun (and funny) books, but I did not enjoy the series based on it nearly as much. I’ve never been a fan of Alan Ball (Six Feet Under was, to me, just a group of jerks acting like jerks) and Bill the vampire (played by Stephen Moyer) always looks like a squinty homeless person. Anna Paquin, while great in The Piano and substantial in X-Men, has a horrible southern accent (really, why is it so hard for actors to do a convincing Southern accent? Or Irish accent? Or “Bostonian” accent? Richard Gere and Kevin Costner, I’m glaring at both of you) and for the most part, stares off into space like she’s on Quaaludes. So, I guess I’m not a fan?

But True Blood’s popularity got me to thinking. On the outside, True Blood is very different from Twilight, but both of them are similar in the way that the vampire is introduced as a dangerous, therefore ultimately attractive, persona. But this popular idea of the vampire must be presented in a certain way, or it fails completely. While many might think that vampires in general are popular, not all vampire shows/books/etc have the same intense success. What about Moonlight, Blood Ties, or (let’s go way back!) Kindred: The Embraced? These three shows had the same basic premise in the fact that they all had very sexy vampires sending smoldering glances to their female leads. But while some (Blood Ties) were better than others (Moonlight), none of these shows generated the same popularity as both Twilight and True Blood. Why?

My opinion is that shows such as Blood Ties and Moonlight suffered from Good Guy Syndrome and that simply Is Not In Style. In both TV series, the vampire-male protagonists live relatively “good” lives and commit relatively “good” deeds. These vampires live within the confines of human-designed morality. They have “human jobs,” abstain from hunting “innocents” and even help solve crimes when they have the time (Mick St. John ((Moonlight)) is a PI and Henry ((True Blood)) is an unofficial partner of PI Vicki Nelson). These vampires are looking for atonement (anyone remember Forever Knight?), and maybe audiences think that’s kind of boring.

So Twilight and True Blood really hark back to the “ancient days” of Gothic romance, where heroes were not conflicted good guys trying to make wrongs right, but of men who are overcome by a “mood” that is past human conception. This “mood” is a bestial component that makes them capable of going past the boundary of our moral structures. This plays into the new lore of the vampire. He is not ruled by society, but by his passion and his desires. And what’s sexier than that?

I’ll tell you: a convincing Southern accent. Paquin.

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