Friday, June 28, 2013

What Makes a Sexy Hero?

In this age, men are being sexually objectified almost as often as women. A while back I wrote a two part post on the subject and have declared this to be mostly a good thing. (See Part One and Part Two)

Anyway a few things occurring in internet-land have disturbed me enough to make me return to the subject. First was the kickstarter debacle on a manual on how to "seduce (but really sexually assault)" women. Another are the frequent articles on the downsides to being a "nice guy" which constantly reek of entitlement and complete ignorance on what women really want.

Things like this make me do a facepalm. Dudes REALLY still haven't figured out what women find sexy?

Of course, seeing stuff like this may make them feel a little insecure.

He looks yummy, but I bet he spends more time at the gym than with his girlfriend.

Sure, physical attributes have their appeal, but if you crack open a romance novel, you may be surprised that more page time is spent on the man's hair, eyes, and smile than on his body. In fact, the first thing that drew me to this picture was the eyes... then the pout... then my gaze wandered down.

In real life, most women are actually turned off by too many muscles. Some like 'em tall and lean, like me. Others like a little cushion. Some like chest hair, others don't. Women's tastes in male appearances vary too much for a definition to be laid down as to what is "sexy." Pretty much, if a guy showers, shaves, and brushes his teeth, he's got a great shot at finding someone who wants to knock boots with him.

Because, aside from basic hygiene, looks are not the first priority of masculine appeal.

Here is a list of things that are.

The way they treat women.

Women are human beings just as much as men are. I have many male friends and despite looking nothing like romance novel cover models, several are totally on my "If I was single" list. Why? Because they treat me as a human being, not as a sex object or inferior creature.

In the best romance novels, and real life, the hero actually cares about what's going on between a woman's ears as much if not more than what's going on between her legs. He cares about her hopes and dreams, celebrates her triumphs and mourns her trials. He actually listens to her when she talks.

Seriously, a high five for good news and a sympathetic, "dude, that sucks" for bad news goes a long way.

I get fucking sick of guys bitching about being "friendzoned." It defies logic on so many levels. The best unilateral advice I've received from my old men friends is "You should marry your best friend." After all, sex only takes up so many minutes or, hopefully, hours of the day. If you're not friends with your partner, then those remaining hours suck... especially if he or she snores.

And if she just wants to stay friends, don't reject her and scorn the fact that she doesn't want you to stick your dick in her. I've lost some damn good drinking buddies and dart opponents because of that. Friends are valuable. Not only are they fun to spend time with, you may meet your special someone when hanging out with her.

Intelligence

Men with brains are sooooo sexy. Aside from providing intellectually stimulating conversation, an intelligent man has creativity, drive, talents and the ability to help solve problems.

And from what I've learned, contrary to popular belief, this goes both ways. Most guys do not want a bimbo. I was drinking with my friend I call "Cowboy Sheldon" and we were having the most delightful drunken conversation about the scientific possibilities of telepathy. One highlight of the chat was when he took my hand and said, "You know where the hippocampus is! That's so hot!"

Back to the sexy guys.

I know another guy who is an utter and complete genius. Dude can do just about anything with a computer, play almost any musical instrument, fix cars, and invent stuff. The things he knows and can do have me swooning like a heroine in a Gothic novel.

However, a guy doesn't have to be a genius. Just utilizing vocabulary that proves he is literate gets me all aflutter.

Dumbasses are NEVER popular romance heroes. I bet even the ones in sports romance can string sentences together.

Sense of humor

This sounds like a cliche because it's repeated in every "what women want" statement, but it's fucking TRUE!!! Of all my exes, I miss the one that made me laugh the most.

Seriously, have you ever laughed in someone's arms? It's one of the best feelings in the world. The only reason why I haven't had my characters do that in my books is because it's still so mind blowing that I don't yet have the words.

Gratitude

"Thank you" means a lot in fact as well as fiction.

Seduction and lovemaking

Now that the rapefests of the 70's and 80's bodice rippers are gone, romance novels today feature glorious, consensual sexytimes. A common thread you will find is that it's not all about the woman's tits and little bits. Instead the hero spends time lavishing affection on ALL of her. He kisses her hands, her legs, her belly. He runs his fingers through her hair.

And there is much FOREPLAY. Verbal and physical.

There is nothing sexier than the feeling that a man is making love to YOU and not just your orifices.


There are countless other things that make a man sexy and I know I didn't get them all, so I ask you readers:
What is something a man did that was sexy? You can either give a real life example or something in a book or a movie.

One commenter will win a BITE ME, YOUR GRACE bookmark!




    

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hardest. Draft. Ever.



As many of you have heard, I have recently completed the first draft of my third regency paranormal romance, which my publisher has named BITE AT FIRST SIGHT.

The post title is definitely true, though I could also call it, "Most interrupted draft ever."

I began writing the book a few weeks before I went back to college. Unfortunately, I was attempting to quit smoking at the time and that made writing extra hard. Still, I ended up finding my stride and pulled off an opening scene that felt spectacular.

Just when I was getting to know the characters, I was pulled away to do copy edits on BITE ME, YOUR GRACE. You know what, I think I like copy edits! It was a lot of fun. :)

Then school started. The first week I did pretty well, handwriting chapters between classes and typing em up after studying & homework. Then every class decided to bury me in an insane amount of work. Those higher level classes aren't as easy as I thought they'd be. If it weren't for my friend letting me use office space 2 nights a week, I wouldn't have gotten anything done.

Sometimes I said, "f*ck it," and skipped school to work on the book instead. But not as often as I wanted to.

Christmas break was mostly ruined by family time and you know, celebrating the holidays. Spring Break wasn't exactly ruined, in fact, it was spectacular because I celebrated the release of my debut novel, BITE ME, YOUR GRACE and had the most spectacular signing party ever!

Then I was crazy busy with my virtual tour and back to school. Just when I dove back into BITE AT FIRST SIGHT, it was time to do some revisions on Book 2, ONE BITE PER NIGHT. You can pre-order it here.

From all these interruptions, I constantly had to backtrack to remember where I was and what the characters were doing. On the plus side it kept my story arc more organized than any book I've ever done, on the downside, it cost time.

Right after I graduated college I ended up smacking down on the writing and finally finishing the draft. I loved the fun twists and turns and heart-rending surprises! I also managed to work my big brown puppy-dog eyes and nab some of the best critique partners ever.

Despite all the difficulty, this book was a joy to write. I know many of you readers are looking forward to reading Rafe's story and I gotta tell you, there were times that I don't think I would have pulled through without your enthusiasm and support.

THANK YOU!

  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Another #%%$^%^ Plagiarist!

Yet again, another hardworking author is being victimized by a soulless lying thief.

Alison Gilmore claims to be "just a girl who loves to write." She is posting serial chapters of a story called "A Bitch Called Fate."

Here's the beginning of 1st chapter copied & pasted from her website:


"Haley’s lucky cowgirl boots kicked up clouds of dust as she paced across the wooden plank floor.

A mouse skittered in front of her and she jumped like a scalded cat.

So much for maintaining nerves of steel.

Well, at least she hadn’t shrieked like a scream queen from some cheesy slasher flick.
In the last twenty-three minutes and forty-two seconds shed chewed her bottom lip to the point she tasted blood beneath the cherry-flavoured lip gloss. Not only that, her fingers hurt from continually cracking her knuckles. Frogs jumped in her stomach and were stuck in her throat. She’d clenched her jaw hard enough to make her earlobes sting. Given her erratic physical reactions, one would believe she was facing the hangman’s noose. An executioner’s blade. Or a blind date.

She was meeting a man. A man she didn’t know. A man she’d never spoken to. A man who held her entire future in his hands."



Now if you'll look at this Nook sample Chapter of "All Jacked Up" by Lorelei James, 
(Published by Samhain in 2009) you'll notice that aside from name changes, the chapter is identical. 
(Sorry, I wasn't able to screencap or copy and paste it because you know, it has a copywrite.)

Yet Alison Gilmore is claiming to be writing this book right now, posting one chapter at a time. She just posted the eleventh chapter yesterday despite receiving takedown requests by the real author and being threatened with legal action. Because, you know, she's "just a girl who loves to 'write.'"


Ms. Gilmore, WRITING is NOT copying others' work and claiming it is your own. Writing is putting down your OWN words and stories, not STEALING them from others.

Many have tried to inform her of this, alas, only "Approved" reviews can be posted on her site. However, you can follow her on twitter, (@AlisonGilmore)

And most importantly, you can contact her web host here. I'm sure they would like to know that they are being used for immoral purposes.

UPDATE: The page is down! Another plagiarist bites the dust! 

However, writer/ blogger RILZY has the magic of screenshots and did further research into the matter, so her post is way better. You can read it HERE.  

And now I will close with this question: Why do you think people do this? What satisfaction do they get from claiming someone else's work is their own? I am seriously baffled.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

FORSAKEN BY THE OTHERS BLOG TOUR Stop 6: Sex, Humor, and Rock’n… I Mean, Urban Fantasy: By Jess Haines






Hello there!  Jess Haines here.  I’m the author of the H&W Investigations series—urban fantasy novels about Shiarra Waynest, a human private investigator in an alternate, present-day New York. Somehow she keeps getting pulled into supernatural troubles way above her pay grade…

One of the things I love about urban fantasy is that you can be as serious or un-serious as you want—it all has its place.

My books swing back and forth on that spectrum. There are times when I’m shooting for laughs and times when I’m shooting for tears. With my latest, FORSAKEN BY THE OTHERS, I was aiming more for the absurd.

For example:

Thrane didn’t answer him. I squinted my eyes open as Leewan grumbled under his breath, taking the steps with a gait so jarring, my teeth were rattling. He glanced down at me as I groaned, giving me a fangy grin.
“Wake-y, wake-y!”
I gave him the most irritated glare I could muster under the circumstances. “Anyone ever tell you you’re an asshole?”
He shrugged and dropped me. I wasn’t expecting it and voiced a little shriek that cut off as soon as my butt hit the couch, some of the air knocked out of me as my spine connected with the arm. Owww.
“Every day, but for you, I’ve trotted out an extra side of—”
Leewan!
Leewan looked up, frowning, then abruptly skittered out of Thrane’s way with inhuman speed, giving the other vampire room to place Sara with a little more care on the cushions next to me. She was still out like a light. Thrane dusted his hands off and glanced at me.
“Normally I don’t care much for anyone who threatens me and mine, but seeing as you got attacked by zombies on my doorstep, I figured I’d offer you two a hand.”
“Yeah, right, Jimmy. You’re just hoping the blonde will give you her number.”
Thrane glared at Mac, but didn’t dispute it. He turned back to me. “The gang knows they’re not allowed to eat you. I’m going out. You can stay here until your partner wakes up. Bathroom’s over there if you want to clean up.” He hooked a thumb in the direction of a door with chipped, peeling paint and a black and yellow “Caution: Hazardous Area, Authorized Personnel Only” sign tacked on.
Some of the other vampires got off the couches and floor cushions to follow Thrane out of the basement and into the night. He started belting out Panic Switch by the Silversun Pickups once he reached the top of the stairs, spreading his arms wide and tilting his head back like he was howling the song to the heavens.
Half of the ones following him soon picked up the song, too, the pack of singing vampires disappearing into the night, the sound not quite fading entirely as the door slammed shut behind them.
I wondered if maybe I was dreaming. Really weird dreams as a result of the mage’s dark magic or something.

I love my vampires. Even when they’re incredibly weird.

Adding a touch of the ridiculous, a la HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, is only one of the aspects of writing urban fantasy that I adore. Of course, there’s also the gratuitous sexy vampires:

His gaze drew me in next. Clyde’s eyes were… well, clichĂ© as it sounds, a smoldering, dark blue. Come-hither eyes. Eyes deep enough to drown in. I remembered at the last second to look away, and, much like whenever David Bowie came on screen in Labyrinth, soon found myself staring at what was obviously framed by his too-tight pants and the tails of the shirt he hadn’t bothered to button.
                “Mr. Seabreeze,” Sara said, and with far more grace than I could possibly have mustered, “it’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”
“Oh, no, the pleasure is all mine.”
                The two of them were very cool and polite with each other considering he looked like he’d walked off the set of some romance novel photo shoot. I debated opening my mouth, but the words package and balls were dangerously close to the tip of my tongue. Instead, I mutely offered my hand when he approached to give us both a polite, welcoming handshake. I imagine my vow of silence was probably for the best—for all of us.

Point being, even when they’re dangerous, even when they’re sexy, you can still have fun with vamps. Hope the little snippets from my next book are impetus enough to interest you in checking it out!

For the next stop on the blog tour, be sure to visit the official FORSAKEN BY THE OTHERS blog tour calendar (link: http://jesshaines.com/blog/?p=2210)!

You can also visit me on the web:




Thanks again for having me, Brooklyn Ann!


_____



BLOG TOUR DETAILS:


International giveaway: 



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Forsaken by the Others Book Description:

The Others–vampires, werewolves, things that go chomp in the night–don’t just live in nightmares anymore. They’ve joined with the mortal world. And for private investigator Shiarra Waynest, that means mayhem…
Have a one night stand with a vampire, and you can end up paying for it for eternity. P.I. Shiarra Waynest, an expert on the Others, knows that better than most. Yet here she is, waking up beside charismatic vamp Alec Royce with an aching head…and neck. Luckily, Shia has the perfect excuse for getting out of town–namely, a couple of irate East Coast werewolf packs who’d like to turn her into a chew toy.
On Royce’s suggestion, Shia temporarily relocates to Los Angeles. But something is rotten–literally–in the state of California, where local vampires are being attacked by zombies. Who could be powerful enough to control them–and reckless enough to target the immortal? Following the trail will lead Shia to a terrifying truth, and to an ancient enemy with a personal grudge…

Buy Links:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Prepare For Ze Cheez!



Thanks so much to all you you who voted on the craptastic film that Jess Haines and I will be viewing and live tweeting about this Saturday. The resounding winner was Frannkenhooker!!!!

Again, here's the synopsis from Netflix:

"When his pretty fiancée is literally torn to pieces by a runaway lawnmower, Jeffrey Franken creates a scheme to bring her back to life: reassemble her from the body parts of New York City prostitutes. Has he created a monster?"

OMG, this sounds EPIC. I can't wait. And you are all invited. Stock up on popcorn and junk food and join Jess and I this Saturday at 5:30 Pacific / 8:30 Eastern on twitter and follow the hashtag #Frankenhooker!

It's going to be a Cheezilicious, Craptastic good time!