- A Kitty in the Henhouse
- Chicken Scratches and Other Writing Tips
- Eye Candy
- Happenings at the Henhouse
- Music of the Coop
- Pop Culture
- Squawk Authors: Latest and Greatest Books
- Squawk Friends
- Squawk Interactive: Captions, polls, etc
- Squawk's Favorite Books
- Stranger Than Fiction (Real Life)
- Teresa Reveals the CONFESSIONS OF A TRUE ROMANTIC
- CHRISTINA DODD HAS A TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
- Christina Dodd Exposes the Glamour of Booktour
- Christina Dodd Treats You to an Extra Excerpt of IN BED WITH THE DUKE!
- GIRLFRIENDS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN Contest!
- Connie Brockway Posts Incriminating New Video
- SPOIL ME! BY CELEBRATING THE GOLDEN SEASON’S PUB DATE, TODAY!
- Teresa Says It Loud and Says It Proud: I WRITE ROMANCE NOVELS!!!
- CHRISTINA DODD SAYS “IT’S CHRISTMAS! DUCK!”
- Teresa Needs Your Help to Choose the SEXIEST MAN DEAD!
I was destined to write romance. To prove it to you, I’d like to share a brief snippet of prose: “His kiss was tender, yet passionate. Passionate, yet tender. Neither dominant over the other.” No, that isn’t a passage from my October release THE VAMPIRE WHO LOVED ME. I wrote those words in my diary when I was 11 years old, and I’m embarrassed to admit that the object of my somewhat chaste passions was none other than...Donny Osmond.
I’ve been in love with being in love for as long as I can remember. When I was 5 years old, I would dress up in one of my mom’s discarded outfits, spread a blanket in the middle of the living room floor, and spend all night pretending I was at the movies with a date. It was the best sort of movie theater--the kind that showed endless runs of THAT GIRL, THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, I DREAM OF JEANIE and THE MONKEES. Whenever me and my neighborhood friends played “let’s pretend”, almost every one of our games had a secret romantic thread that unwove only in my mind. What fun is playing “cowboys” and “Indians” if your tough-talking, six-shooting cowgirl can’t win the heart of that savage Indian? And why play “school” if you can’t be Laura Ingalls waiting for Almanzo Wilder to brave the blizzard-swept plains and rescue you from a frozen schoolhouse? (That’s the real Almanzo in the pic to the left. Not bad, eh?) And you can ask J Perry Stone about my fantasy where I was kidnapped by the Monkees (that would be THE MONKEES, not the MONKEYS!) and all four of them fell in love with me. (Well, except for Peter...Peter was always more of a brother figure, don’t you think?)
I started writing my first historical romance when I was 12. It was called THE PIRATES OF ROCKLON HILL and featured an intrepid pirate captain named (of course!)...Sir Donald Osmond. In a scene eerily identical to the abduction scene in the first PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, he and his crew stormed my heroine’s mansion, her heart, and her unassailable virtue. (I wasn’t exactly sure what virtue was back then, but I knew it was supposed to be unassailable.)
Of course I had my own romantic role models. My parents were never shy with their hugs and kisses--either with me or with each other. They both loved music and you never knew when they might break into a slow dance in the middle of the living room floor to Leo Sayer’s WHEN I NEED YOU. My dad served in Vietnam for two years and he and my mother wrote letters to each other EVERY SINGLE DAY of his deployment. Those letters were so full of unrequited longing and scorching passion that I’m still not allowed to read them. They’re kept in a locked suitcase that’s to be opened only in the event of their deaths.
Despite my five-year Donny obsession, he wasn’t my first love. I remember quite distinctly falling in love for the first time when I was six years old. He had electric blue eyes, wavy brown hair and a pair of dimples that rivaled my own. The movie was THE COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES and the star was a Disney staple and teen actor named...Kurt Russell. I still get a little warm and fuzzy when I see Kurt. It probably doesn’t hurt that he turned out pretty good. The eyes are still electric blue, the hair is still thick and wavy and there’s no denying the charm of those dimples and that smile. And hey--he’s even a great family man and director! (TOMBSTONE anyone?)
So do you think people who read and write romance tend to be more romantic by nature? How old were YOU the first time you “fell in love”? And who was YOUR very first celebrity crush?
So on Sunday morning at 5:18 am I woke to hear my dog Ritter, a darling Golden Retriever/Yellow Lab, tossing his cookies on the carpet at the end of the bed. You pet owners know how recognizable that sound is and how quickly it brings you out of a dead sleep (and you non-pet owners are thinking, “Why do you own a dog?”) (Actually, I have two.) I flew out of bed, put Ritter outside in the vain and fruitless hope that he would finish in the woods, and trotted into the kitchen to get supplies. You know, paper towels, damp cloth, rug cleaner … Let me digress by saying I’d broken a glass in the pantry three days before. Swept multiple times. Swept a huge swathe of floor, because my mom taught me glass flies everywhere and I listen to my mom. I didn’t sweep the dining room, because it’s not only a good distance, but the pantry door swings that way and blocks the flow. So of course it would be impossible for glass to get all the way in there. Right?
Yeah, right. I found the really big, sharp, jagged shard of glass with my bare foot.
So. I have dog effluvia soaking into the carpet in the bedroom. I’m bleeding on the kitchen floor. And my other dog, Lizzie, sees some thing outside and starts barking wildly and, I’m sure, waking the neighbors.
At this point, it seems to me that if I have to be awake at 5:18 am on Sunday morning, it’s only fair they should be awake, too. But like a good neighbor, I staunch the bleeding, wipe the kitchen floor, head into the bedroom, clean the carpet, get the dogs inside, tell Lizzie to be quiet, explain that No, we are not going for our walk now, and go back to bed.
Only to get the 7:09 barf wake-up call.
Ann Smith from SCENT OF DARKNESS is having one of those days. She works up her nerve, drives all the way to her handsome, dynamic boss’s house on the wild Washington coast to tell Jasha Wilder that she loves him. He’s not home so she uses her key, goes in, and gets ready for a night of whoopee. When she hears a noise downstairs and investigates, she discovers a wolf in the living room. But not just any wolf. No, indeed. This wolf turns into her boss, her love … her nightmare. The wolf is Jasha. While lightning flashes overhead, she flees. He chases her into the woods and in a magnificent initiation, claims her as his own.
And that’s just the beginning of an adventure that includes a run-in with assassins, the realization that it’s her fate to help break an ancient pact with the devil, and that pesky habit of loving Jasha which she just can’t break. Luckily for Ann, Jasha makes sure she gets a lot of really good sex.
In case you haven’t met Jasha, Ann and the Darkness Chosen family, you can read excerpts and view the video here: http://christinadodd.com/home_paranormal_dc.html Get your copy here! http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Scent-of-Darkness/Christina-Dodd/e/9780451221735/?itm=1&USRI=SCENT+OF+DARKNESS
People keep asking me why everyone makes jokes about me and bananas. No, it’s not for any nefarious reason you can imagine. Here…
Notes from The Barefoot Booktour, a five city tour to promote THE BAREFOOT PRINCESS:
Thursday — hop three flights staring at 5:20am on the west coast and ending at 6 pm in Buffalo NY. I leave in the dark and land in the dark. Take a cab to the An Unnamed Really Expensive Hotel. They have ONE valet. The cab sits in line for ten minutes while said valet parked the three cars in front of us. The cab driver puts the suitcases, which weigh a ton because of promotional materials, on the sidewalk. There is no bellboy. There is no bell captain. I tug the huge suitcases toward the doors. One door is revolving—small, no way through. The other is a double regular door. A guy who’s standing there waiting for a car from the ONE valet opens it for me, then watching me struggle to shove one suitcase through and drag the other one, which takes me an embarrassingly long time. The second door is mine to handle. I get into the lobby. Placed looks great. But no bell captain or bell boy.
I go to the desk and check in. The people are friendly. They ask if I want reservations for the steakhouse which they say is one of the top ten in the country. I say no, I got up at 3 am and I want room service and bed. They say I can get a meal from the steak house through room service.
“>I say, “Can I get help with my bags?” Because they sure as hell aren’t offering. So they get a manager who looks at the bags, sends me to my rooms and gets a cart. He brings them right up. He doesn’t offer to fill the ice. He doesn’t turn on the heat (it’s BUFFALO in FEBRUARY) He doesn’t stick the bags on the rack. He leans them against the wall. I’m too busy staring at the large room with nothing in it—okay there’s a desk, but how about an easy chair? with table and lamp? to notice. Oh, and the bed which is hard.
I go to the phone, call room service, ask where the menu is for the steak house. They’ll send one up, then she adds, “But it’s 45 minutes to an hour to get anything out of the steakhouse because they’re busy.” I haven’t eaten since six this morning. So I order steak off their menu.
I order medium. I get well. I order a salad. The lettuce is wilted. I order the roasted potatoes. They are swimming in oil. They ask if I want rolls. I say no. They send them anyway, thank God. They are those soft yellow rolls (ick) and they’re smushed, but in desperation I eat one. I eat the steak (scarf it, actually), and as many of the wilted greens as I can stomach. And have a glass of wine. Then I go down to the bar and get a double cognac to kill the incipient food poisoning.
Friday — I order breakfast. Oatmeal, a bowl of fruit and OJ. It comes late, and the lady says, “Someone’s coming behind me with your fruit.” Figures. She puts the tray on the desk. I pull the top off. The oatmeal has scum on it, and I find out the hard way there are lumps. I spit one back into the bowl. There’s a knock at the door. It’s her again—and she hands me a BANANA. And she says, “Do you want this, too?” And pulls a second banana out of her ARMPIT where she was carrying it…
What about you? What horrific experiences have you had in hotels? While traveling? Come back to Facebook and tell all. I’m in the mood to be sympathetic.
IN BED WITH THE DUKE is on the shelves, and to tempt you one more time, here’s an extra excerpt, especially for you, with my compliments!
The Reaper stared hard at Emma, examining her as if he did not understand her at all, and behind his mask, and in his eyes, she saw desire.
Her pulse settled down to a steady, rapid beat … rapid because she was aware of herself in the flimsy nightgown, and of being alone in her bedroom with a man who was very much attracted to her. “You are leaving?”
Mute as always, he nodded. He began to turn the lock on the door.
And she knew, if she let him go like this, she would regret it forever. “Wait!” she called.
The Reaper turned to face her.
She stepped up to him. “You found me in the woods. You saved my life. And I want to thank you…” Gathering her nerve, she took his face between her hands, rose on her toes, and pressed her lips to his.
She had no experience, but she put all her appreciation in that one kiss. His lips were warm and surprised, and then warm and ardent. His breath touched her, quickening as she slanted her face to his, yet he held back, not touching her, waiting for her to make a move.
But she didn’t know what move to make.
So she listened to the instinct that crept up from the quiet place within her where it had been hiding, repressed and afraid. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she leaned against him. Not her whole body, not the lower part; she didn’t have the nerve for that. But her breasts and shoulders. That was … very nice.
He radiated heat and strength, smelled of hard riding and horse, and towered over her.
She took a breath, delighting in the differences between them, then kissed him harder, mashing her lips to his. The thought occurred to her, that kissing was not as exciting as she’d hoped, when everything changed. Something — her eagerness, perhaps? — drove him beyond control.
He swept her up, one arm around her waist, one arm cradling her spine and head. He tilted her backward. And he kissed her. This was no tentative, inexperienced press of lips to lips.
This was a swashbuckling kiss. This was a passionate kiss. This kiss was running through an exotic jungle, splashing into a warm, tempestuous sea, stepping into the storm outside and inviting the lightning to strike and set her ablaze.
Never read one of my historicals before? Give it a try! IN BED WITH THE DUKE is a Guaranteed Great Read with a hundred percent money-back guarantee. Check inside the book for details!
Order IN BED WITH THE DUKE from Barnes and Noble! http://search.barnesandnoble.com/In-Bed-with-the-Duke/Christina-Dodd/e/9780451229335/?itm=1&usri=IN+BED+WITH+THE+DUKE
Order IN BED WITH THE DUKE from Borders! http://www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?sku=0451229339
Order IN BED WITH THE DUKE from Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Bed-Duke-Christina-Dodd/dp/0451229339/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259437605&sr=1-1
For the wild at heart!
According to a new survey, women say they feel more comfortable undressing in front of men than they do undressing in front of other women. They say that women are too judgmental, where, of course, men are just grateful. — Jay Leno
Brought to you by CONNIE BROCKWAY, TERESA MEDEIROS, and ELOISA JAMES
We had so much fun celebrating our friendship by making our GIRLFRIENDS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAszx2Ge9co ) that we want to give you and your girlfriends a chance to celebrate too!
We’d love to see your video tributes (5 minutes or less, please) to the special female friendships in your own life, either long distance or local. We’ll be running the contest for the next 4 weeks. Each week we’ll post our favorite “Video of the Week” on our Facebook pages and the GRAND PRIZE winner for Best Video will receive 3 autographed books from each of us (9 books total) along with a beautiful Sony DPF-D72 7-Inch LCD WVGA 16:10 DIgital Photo Frame .
The video can be musical or spoken word or whatever you want to do. Let your imagination run wild as you come up with a way to honor the joy and laughter (and chocolate) these treasured friendship bring to our lives!
OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES
1) Create your video tribute (5 minutes or less), post it to YouTube and set it to “Public”
2) E-mail the link along with your name and address to between February 16, 2010 and midnight March 16th 2010
3) Weekly winners will have their videos featured on the Facebook page of one of the authors
4) A Grand Prize Winner will be selected on midnight March 16th, 2010
Good luck and don’t forget to join us on FACEBOOK for more updates!
Join TERESA: http://www.facebook.com/teresamedeirosfanpage
Join CONNIE: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Connie-Brockway-Fans/234921542191?ref=ts
Join ELOISA: http://www.facebook.com/EloisaJamesFans
Oh no! Somehow Connie Brockway found out about my earlier Hollywood aspirations and has gotten hold of incriminating video footage of me and Eloisa James and is threatening to send it to our editors to prove we’re spending too much time playing Solitaire on the computer and not enough time writing our books! When I filmed my segment, my cat Buffy the Mouse Slayer promised me it would remain private-our little secret. But apparently the greedy creature was won over by promises of kibble and catnip-laced mouse toys. I feel so used! Just like Pam Anderson!
You can check out Connie’s diabolical efforts at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAszx2Ge9co
(And watch for the part where Buffy tries to “direct” me!)
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go hide my tiara before my editor calls!
And for more Squawk Shenanigans, make sure and join our Facebook pages at:
I’ve written another historical romance, a regency romance that blends old school and new, and I’m pleased. Self-satisifed. And I’ve been spoiled with good reviews. Spoiled.
Now, I have been accused of spoiling my daughter, my dogs, my husband (I can hear him laughing hysterically from the next room) and myself. To which I say “pfffffbt.” Water...under...bridge. It’s too late for them (and me); they (and I) are done deals. Spoiled or not, we’re pretty well set in stone. Not so, the heroine of THE GOLDEN SEASON.
My heroine’s name is Lady Lydia Eastlake and she likes nice things.
She likes good wine, good music, good clothes and good company and, being incredibly rich, she has the means to avail herself of all of these and she does so all the freaking time. Added to which she is gorgeous.
Does this make her spoiled? I guess it depends on what you mean by spoiled. I’ve always defined spoiled as “an ongoing expectation of unearned benefits that, once in possession of, are treated indifferently.” And by my definition, the answer is a resounding no. Because Lydia never treats anything or anyone cavalierly.
It is her most attractive and laudable feature: she knows the value of a thing, an experience and a relationship. Sure, she leads a very privileged life. But, be honest, who wouldn’t want it? She’s a regency rock star, celebrated, copied, admired.
And if you’re living a life like that, I imagine you would hate the idea of giving it up, and fight to keep it, especially if you’d had never known anything else.
Which is exactly how Lydia reacts when she loses all her money. She fights to keep her place in society, her friends, her lifestyle, her ability to chose her own course.
I wrote Lydia Eastlake because I was tired, tired, tired, of worthy young heroines who only fight for truth, justice and the kind treatment of small animals. I wanted to write a character I understood. One who was honest and real. One who wasn’t too dense to realize she was gorgeous or the effect her looks had on people and who enjoyed that. One didn’t go apologizing for liking nice things. But one still with things to learn who would be forced to choose between what she knows and what she hopes to know.
I hope you get a chance to read THE GOLDEN SEASON and I hope you like Lydia as much as I do. If so, drop me a note and let me know. I love being spoiled....