Our Natasha's here - lock away your credit card, right now!
I have mentioned I have an amazon.co.uk addiction, haven't I? My writerly tip this month will necessitate a little spending.
I'm assuming you've already bought my entire backlist, Kate Walker's '12-point Guide to Writing Romance', everything written by Francesco Da Mosto (research tool for Italian heroes) as instructed during my last Temptation Tuesday blog ...?
This, then, is your next purchase - Rodale's 'The Synonym Finder'. It's an absolute gem. There are other synonym finders out there, but I reckon this is the best there is.
I chose it on the basis of the word 'virile'.
Go into any bookshop, pick up a synonym finder and look up 'virile'. It's so often disappointing. But, look in Rodale's synonym finder and you find an impressive 61 alternatives.
manly, masculine, manful, manlike, he-man, macho, potent, hairy-chested, two-fisted, broad-shouldered, vigorous, lusty, strong, powerful, hardy, robust, mighty, hale, hearty, stout, rugged, red-blooded, burly, thickset, athletic, well-built, well-knit, muscular, brawny, strapping, husky, sturdy, sinewy, wiry, energetic, dynamic, forceful, forcible, spirited, tough, rough, plucky, spunky, doughty, nervy, daring, audacious, mettlesome, fearless, undaunted, dashing, bold, venturesome, valiant, courageous, intrepid, valorous, gallant, chivalrous, heroic, soldierly.
A further 62 if you want to replace 'virility'.
'Sexy' gives you:
suggestive, exciting, arousing, sensual, sensuous, sexual, erotic, risque, ribald, bawdy, bedroom, off-colour, indecent, lewd, shameless, immodest, indecorous, unseemly, improper, indelicate, rude, obscene, pornographic, vulgar, foul, filthy, dirty, smutty, raunchy, scatalogical, gross, crude, coarse, attractive, appealing, fascinating, captivating, enticing, alluring, inviting, tempting, seductive, foxy, beautiful, lovely, pretty, stunning, eye-filling, stricking, zingy, shapely, curvy, curvaceous, voluptuous, built, stacked, busty, beddable, good=looking, handsome, virile.
Whilst I admit it's unlikely you're ever going to want to describe your 'sexy' hero as 'obscene', you've got to admit that's a useful list for any romance writer.
And whilst you're in a spending mood just pop in a book of quotations. Less useful on a day-to-day basis but, for any lover of words, great fun.
'Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.'
Charles M. Schulz (1922 - 2000), Charlie Brown in "Peanuts"
'Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.'
H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)
'Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself.'
Jean Anouilh (1910 - 1987)
'But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way.'
Jane Austen (1775 - 1817), Northanger Abbey
'Love is the delightful interval between meeting a beautiful girl and discovering that she looks like a haddock.'
John Barrymore (1882 - 1942)
'To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. To just give. That takes courage, because we don't want to fall on our faces or leave ourselves open to hurt.'
Madonna (1958 - ), O Magazine, January 2004
'There's always one who loves and one who lets himself be loved.'
W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965), 'Of Human Bondage', 1915
'Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments: love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds.'
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), Sonnet cxvi
Had enough yet????
Of course, you can find some wonderful quotations on the web but it's so much more enjoyable to take a book into the bath.
Too hot water, rose scented bubblebath, nice chilled glass of chardonnay ....
'An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.'
Charles de Montesquieu (1689 - 1755)
'Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money'.
Jules Renard (1864 - 1910)
'Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.'
Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990)
'I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.'
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)
'Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.'
Robert Heinlein (1907 - 1988)
This July saw the start of a brand-new series in the Presents line - The Royal House of Niroli.
"The Mediterranean island of Niroli has prospered for centuries under the Fierezza men. But now, as the King’s health declines, and his 2 sons have been tragically killed, the crown is in jeopardy. Who will rule? "