Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wild Card Weekend: It all starts with the first kiss...

Now here's a great post for winding down on the weekend! BLAZE author Tawny Weber joins us to talk about first kisses - of all kinds!

I love first kisses. It could be the first kiss in a brand new relationship. Or the first kiss between two characters who don’t even want a relationship. Or for those of us who are in long-term relationships, even that first kiss of the day that reminds us why we fell in love.


Really, I’d have to say that kisses are one of the main reasons I read romances. I loooove those kisses. And in books, they often set the tone for the story. They sum up so much about the couple, their conflicts and style, and how their relationship is going to play out.

For fun, I did a little Google search for types of kisses. Check some of these out:

• Angel kiss

• Butterfly kiss

• Fishy kiss

• Icy kiss

• Sippy kiss

• Vacuum kiss

• Sealed with a kiss

Well... those are some interesting kissing styles, aren’t they? Some of them made me giggle. Which probably isn’t the goal of kissing, now that I think about it. At least, not the goal I have in mind when I write a kiss – especially a first kiss. Here’s one of my most recently written first kisses, from my current release, RIDING THE WAVES:

Alex stopped a few inches away. Close enough for Drucilla to smell the ocean overlaying his own rich, masculine scent. His hair hung in wet curls around his face, droplets of water trailing down his throat. Over his collar bone. Onto his chest. Her mouth watered. She wanted to trace that water with her tongue. Would it taste salty like the sea? Or would she taste him?


She had to find out.


Just as she took a step forward, Alex reached out and cupped his hands on either side of her head. Dru’s body melted at the powerful move, her nipples beading in supplication against the tight, wet fabric of her swimsuit. He tilted her head back. His body pressed against hers, his arousal hard and obvious behind the wet cotton of his trunks as it pushed against her bare belly.


Before she could do more than register a surprised ‘oh’ of pleasure at how hard and long he felt, his mouth took hers.


It was like surfing. Exhilarating, dangerous, addictive. His lips slid, soft and sweet, over hers. He molded her mouth gently before his tongue traced her bottom lip. She gave a sigh at how perfect it all felt


Then he shifted. She had no idea how, but the kiss went from mellow to incendiary with just the brush of his tongue. Everything changed. She felt her world tilt, a sideways slide into a dark intense well of pleasure. Her hands hung useless at her sides, her head dropping back in his hands, giving over total control. Helpless to do anything but enjoy, she let the passion engulf her.


Well... yeah. Hopefully that kiss didn’t incite giggles. And hopefully its one of those kisses that stays in a readers mind, which is always a writer’s goal.

For me, there are a few storybook kisses that definitely stick in my mind. Snow White’s first kiss, for sure. Nora Roberts, LURING A LADY, had an incredible kiss that I’ve always remembered –not the first, but the turning point kiss.

How about you? Is there a storybook kiss that you’ll never forget? One that epitomizes the best first kiss you’ve ever read?

Tawny's current release is RIDING THE WAVES. You can catch up with Tawny at her website - www.tawnyweber.com.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Must Watch Friday: The Mirror Has Two Faces

Please welcome Tara Taylor Quinn to the blog today as she chats about a very special actress and a very special movie....

I’m not big into movies or TV. I’m not big into celebrities and didn’t even know who Hugh Jackman was until I saw his bare backside on Broadway and everyone I was with made such a big deal about the experience. (I was with Romance Writers, of course!) But there are a few entertainers that stand out because of their unique talents. First and foremost, of any person I would ever want to meet in the entertainment world, is Barbra Streisand. I admire Ms. Streisand for so many reasons. I grew up listening to her voice. My folks were fans. One of the first movies I can remember seeing in the theater was “The Way We Were” with Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford. I was barely a teenager when that movie came out but I can remember my friend and I going to that movie multiple times. I remember the theater. The parking lot. I remember my father driving us there and us talking about how much we were going to cry, and him being baffled and wondering why on earth we wanted to go if we already knew it was going to make us cry. My father didn’t get teenaged girls. Clearly.


Back then I was still young enough to associate the character an actor played with the actor. Barbra Streisand played the part of a woman who had her own mind. Her own beliefs. Her own passions. And she risked everything, including being a good man’s woman, to be who she was. To live true to herself. That was who I wanted to be. I was different, and that movie told me that was okay. That I could step forward and live true to myself. Ms. Streisand solidified my admiration for her many years later. I was an adult when Yentl came out. The movie wasn’t a huge box office hit. But it was a huge hit with me. Ms. Streisand not only acted in that movie, she directed, produced and helped write the movie. She sang in the movie. And again, she played the part of a woman who didn’t conform to who society told her she had to be. Instead she dared to be true to herself. To follow her own convictions. Her own heart. By the time Yentl came out I was old enough to distinguish between an actress and her character, but in this case, the admiration was for both. Ms. Streisand dared to put herself on the line with that movie. She showed that she could do far more than act, or sing. She could write. She could direct. She could produce. She could sing. And act. And she could do it all at once. She was a woman that did not take no for an answer. A woman who followed the dictates of her heart to the farthest reaches. And the character she played did the same.

One other Barbra Streisand movie became far more than just a movie to me. “The Mirror Has Two Faces.” I watch this movie over and over. I can’t ever get enough of it. Because it is so true. In “The Mirror Has Two Faces” Ms. Streisand plays the part of a woman who is wholly confident in her professional life. She is a college professor and she has the courage to tackle the toughest of subjects with complete ease. She is admired and adored by her students. She is the pinnacle – the place every professor would want to be with a full lecture hall and students who are engrossed in the subjects she presents to them, students who participate wholly and completely. And at home, this same woman is what most of us would label a complete loser. She’s nearly middle aged and still lives with her mother and hides calorie laden processed cupcakes in her bedroom drawers.

To me, this is life. We all have different sides of our characters. We might excel in one area and in another, be completely vulnerable. As a writer, as Tara Taylor Quinn, I am more like Ms. Streisand’s professor. I am Tara Taylor Quinn. I’ve written fifty four books. My books continue to sell. And yet, ask me to attend a party and I’m likely to have a chapter due. Ask me to go next door to borrow sugar and I’m likely to figure out I can live the rest of my life without sugar. I am two people in one. My mirror has two faces.

People always ask me if I am in my books. They want to do know if I’ve done what my heroes and heroines have done. Mostly, I tell them, unequivocally, no. But it occurs to me as I write this that my heroine in The First Wife – Harlequin Superromance, September, 2010 – is a lot like Ms. Streisand’s character in “The Mirror Has Two Faces.” She’s a lot like me. The first wife, Jane Hamilton is completely confident in her professional life. She’s the managing editor of a successful women’s magazine. She has good rapport with her staff. And with her boss. But there are parts of Jane that are the complete opposite of confident and successful. Parts she’s kept hidden away, even from herself. There’s a place where Jane is so vulnerable she doesn’t even let herself see that the place exists. She’s pushed it so far inside herself she doesn’t know its there. The problem is, her inability to face those parts of herself are robbing her of any chance of living life outside of her career. The face she allows herself to see in her mirror is blind to her other face. The face in her mirror is locking her in a prison of career and success and robbing her of any chance at deep love and commitment. Robbing her of the chance to be a parent. To have close personal relationships.

A lot of Ms. Streisand’s movies ended on bittersweet notes. The endings were satisfying – but not particularly happy. Every single time I came out of “The Way We Were” I was sobbing. And they weren’t tears of joy. But “The Mirror Has Two Faces” is different. It has an ultimate last scene. One that made me cry – tears of joy. I hope readers have the same kind of reaction as they turn the last page in The First Wife.

This post is brought to you as part of The Chapman Files International Blog Tour. Over the next three months, as we celebrate The Chapman Files, expert witness psychologist, Kelly Chapman and I are going to be asking for help. If you can, join us in our fight against Domestic Abuse. Since February of this year, the United States’ first battered women’s shelter, Strengthen Our Sisters is down $400,000.00 in donations. Some of the staff members are working without pay as they struggle to pay mortgages on ten houses filled to capacity and keep their women and children housed and safe. If you’d like to help, click here to go directly to a secure paypal sight. www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=VR7WPWDHR6KFS.

There’s an item from our new book, The First Wife, hidden on the tour with us. Guess the item to enter the drawing to win it! Today’s clue: I could contribute to it. Send all guesses to staff@tarataylorquinn.com. To see previous clues visit blog sites listed at www.tarataylorquinn.com. We have correct guesses!!! Keep them coming!

Don’t miss The Chapman File tour party on December 4th at www.eharlequin.com! Tour prize winners will be announced!


E-books of all of The Chapman File Stories are available for pre-order at amzn.to/bmJzp4.


Next tour stop: Wednesday, September 29, 2010. Storybroads http://www.storybroads.com. We hope to see you there! The more blogs you visit with us, the more chances you have to win! Every time you comment your name is dropped in the bag for the prize drawings.


For weekly blog tour dates, visit www.tarataylorquinn.com. Or to have the weekly schedule sent directly to your email, send request to staff@tarataylorquinn.com.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday Talk-Time :: Anne McAllister Talks with Anne Gracie


Anne McAllister is celebrating her book, The Virgin’s Proposition, making the USA Today best seller list (barely, but hey . . .) and working feverishly on her new book, due far too soon. So she conned, er, asked Anne Gracie to talk about her upcoming book, THE ACCIDENTAL WEDDING, and all the other wonderful books she' has written.

One of the greatest joys of being a writer is the people you get to meet. I can’t begin to tell you how many absolutely terrific human beings I’ve met in the course of the past 25 years. But I can tell you who one of my very favorites is – Anne Gracie.

I first met Anne on the Mills & Boon authors’ loop back in the late 1990s. I liked her sense of humor, her way with words (and her tales of HunkThighs and ShoulderMan weren’t too hard to take either!). And then I read her books and fell in love with her heroes.

So when I finally got to meet her in person at the RWA conference in Washington, DC in 2000, I was sure I was going to be meeting a kindred spirit. I wasn’t wrong.

Over the past ten years I have enjoyed Anne’s company in person on a couple of continents and via email and on the phone in the middle of the night.

One of the particularly lovely perks of being Anne’s friend is that she’s awake in Australia when the people on my side of the world are sound asleep. So if I am pulling an all-nighter with a bloody-minded hero, Anne is always willing to talk.

She sometimes knows my people better than I do. And sometimes I tell her I know hers better than she does. I don’t know if it’s true, but it allows me the opportunity to read about them before they get bound between covers. And, believe me, it is always a joy to get to read a bit of Anne’s WIP.

I’m dying for Rafe’s book to come out in early October because I read him in bits and pieces and I never got the full experience. Soon, I will. And you will, too.

Because I am eagerly awaiting it (and hoping I’ll have the current annoying hero packed off to the publisher in time for Anne’s book, THE ACCIDENTAL WEDDING, when it comes out), I asked Anne if she would come to the Pink Heart today and tell you a bit about her books.

If you haven’t read them, you’re in for a treat. If you have, I’m sure you’re as eager to read Rafe’s story as I am.

So without further ado, here’s Anne:

Tell me the names of all the books in this current series of yours, please. Does it have ‘name’ of its own?

The series is loosely called The Devil Riders Series, and the previous books are; THE STOLEN PRINCESS, HIS CAPTIVE LADY and TO CATCH A BRIDE. The fourth book (out on Oct. 5) is called THE ACCIDENTAL WEDDING.

What inspired you to write them?
Like many of my story ideas, the characters came first: four men, three of them with little family support. Their friendships were initially formed at school, then they were toughened and bonded forever by the crucible of war -- years of war. Heroes and horse-mad daredevils, they're now "surplus to requirements" and finding it difficult to settle to peacetime life. Of course the key for each of them is finding the right woman.

Are there more coming along?

Yes indeed — at least one more, hopefully two. The original proposal concerned four men — Gabe, Harry, Rafe and Luke. I haven't finished Luke's story — I'm writing it now — but the idea for another brother just popped up and when I mentioned it to my editor, she liked it, and that became THE ACCIDENTAL WEDDING.

So I still have to finish Luke's story, and I'm planning to propose a story for Marcus, Gabe and Nash's brother and Harry's half brother. He was intended to be a bit of a villain, but over the course of a few books he's made it clear that he's really a hero-in-waiting.

Do you have all the stories in mind when you start or do you wait to get to know the characters in their friends' books before you start looking for the right mate and the right story?

A bit of both. I have a general idea for some characters, and some of them have sprung to life in their friends' books, but the details of their story and their own particular heroine usually emerge in the writing. I'm not a big pre-plotter — I like to be surprised along the way. It keeps my writing energy high.

Do you have a favorite setting?

No. I like to explore different settings. I do enjoy the usual Regency settings like London and Bath and various country houses but I've also set books partly in France and Italy (TALLIE'S KNIGHT on the Grand Tour) also France and Spain (THE PERFECT STRANGER) and TO CATCH A BRIDE was partly set in Egypt. A lot of 19th century people traveled and I have a collection of old books, diaries and letters from the period. I hope my readers enjoy a bit of virtual traveling as much as I do.

Do you have any particularly tough parts of the book to write? Are some parts always easy?

There is always at least one part of a book where I'm in total despair and am certain I just can't make this story work and that I'm writing the worst book in the world and readers will hate it and my career will be over. (Drama queen? not me. LOL) I get very little sympathy from my friends, who just say "Anne you always say that and the book is always fine." But my anguish is genuine. I seem to need to go through it to find the solution to make the book work.

Do you research on the spot? Use books? Any particular favorites that you go back to?

I research before, during and after the writing. A lot of it isn't purposeful research — I like reading old books for fun and often they give me great story ideas. I research on-line, too, while I'm writing, particularly with maps and images of my locations. And when I'm writing I might often write something like, "She entered the room dressed in xxxx regency clothes 1816." And I'll work out exactly what she's wearing later.

I know you use collages to get into the books. Tell me more about this.
Making collages really helps me form the world of the book in my mind and sometimes throw up scene possibilities. I collect images of people, places, objects, sometimes not really knowing why I've included some pics, but trusting my subconscious. Then I arrange them on a background paper (about 20x30 inches) and pin it to a cork board at eye height to my computer chair. It really helps plunge me into the world of the story.

Here's the collage I made for THE PERFECT KISS:



Do you use other ways to get in? Sound tracks? Other sources of inspiration?
Yes, I nearly always have a sound track. Sometimes a song will inspire a scene, other times it becomes the soundtrack for a whole book. Singer songwriter Katie Melua has been the source for a lot of my inspirational songs. In my new book her song "When you taught me how to dance" inspired a scene where Maddy, the heroine, is running late for a lesson in waltzing. She arrives to find the hero teaching her three little sisters, partnering her four year old half-sister...

The song is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aERfvEGC3ZI

And a little bit of the scene is here:

She watched Nash Renfrew now, tall and elegant and as handsome a man as she’d ever dreamed of. He bowed gracefully to his very diminutive partner.

Lucy made a deep, wobbly curtsy, then bounced up in triumph. She gripped his hands and carefully climbed onto his feet, standing with one small foot on each large boot. Maddy swallowed.

“Ready?” Nash asked the little girl.

Lucy nodded. Tibby played the opening bars and off they danced, tall man and tiny girl standing on his feet, her little hands clinging to his in an excited death grip.

They circled, first in a very slow clump-clump-clump, clump-clump-clump, then faster and faster as Lucy became used to the rhythm and the movement. Soon they were stepping to the music, then twirling around the room.

Maddy’s eyes misted up. Lucy was so proud, so thrilled. Once, Nash swept her up in an arc through the air and she squealed with delight, then he settled her deftly back on his boots and they continued as before.

Lucy caught sight of her and shrieked gleefully, “Maddy, Maddy, look at me, I’m dancing!”

Maddy laughed and clapped and nodded, halfway to tears.

You've written several series now - do the worlds you've created mesh into one big Anne Gracie regency world? Might we meet one of your earlier series characters in these more recent books?
Maybe. I don't have anything against the idea, just that it's quite tricky to work out where various characters from different series are at the time of an event in the current book. I did have Great Uncle Oswald (from the "perfect" series) appear briefly at a ball in THE STOLEN PRINCESS.

What's next on Anne Gracie's list of books to write?

I'm writing Luke's story at the moment, and then I'll need to talk to my editor and see if she'll let me write Marcus's story. Or if they want a new series from me.

Thanks, Anne, for interviewing me.

And thank you, Anne Gracie, for sharing a bit of your writing world – and the soon-to-be-released, THE ACCIDENTAL WEDDING, with us.

Anne McAllister’s most recent title, The Virgin’s Propostion, the story of Demetrios Savas and the unlikely woman who propositions him, was a September Harlequin Presents. Her next book , Hired By Her Husband, is an October Harlequin Mills & Boon Modern. It will be out in 2011 in the US. It’s the story she finally wrote about physicist George Savas who seemed an unlikely hero – until he proved just how sexy and tough a physicist can be!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Industry Insider: Bethan Hilliard Mills & Boon Marketing

Bethan Hilliard  who works for Mills & Boon Marketing takes time out of her incredibly busy schedule to visit with PHS and answer a few questions.

What does a marketing person do with respect to the books? And how much of your work is in conjunction with editorial? (ie authors often hear of Marketing referred in an almost Godlike tone so what is your responisiblity?)

Wow – where to start?! We work really closely with editorial and are in a constant dialogue with them, but in terms of responsibilities it goes something like this:
All editorial decisions such as which authors to buy, series scheduling, author development and so on are taken by the editorial team. So, in essence, editorial are in charge of the content of the book. Marketing is responsible for the rest of it – how the books look (so if you don’t like your cover, it’s our fault J ), how we communicate in the books, how we advertise and promote the books, authors and Mills & Boon in general.

How did you get into marketing books? Was that the traditional route?

No – I definitely didn’t have the traditional route! By training I am a lawyer and I worked for a big corporate finance firm before realizing that I’m not motivated by equity finance and quitting my job without a clue what to do! But as luck would have it, a good friend of mine who was an editor at Mills & Boon  suggested that I would love publishing. I originally started in editorial, making the move to marketing after a couple of years and I have to say that that time working with the books and the authors has been invaluable in my current role.

What is a typical day like?

One of the best things about this job is that there is no typical day! There’s a huge variety of work that we do, from formulating PR plans with the folks at Midas PR, to having ‘Vision Meetings’ with editorial so that they can brief us on book covers, to sorting out our latest Clubcard campaign with Tesco! The one thing I do every day though is log on to facebook and twitter as I’m the voice of Romance HQ J I really love getting the gossip!

What is your favourite part of the job?

Am I allowed two?! Firstly, Romance HQ is a lovely place to work and the people I work with are great. I hope it comes across what a brilliant atmosphere there is – incredibly supportive and collegiate. Plus, there is a lot of cake and chocolate in a workplace filled with women! And that’s the other thing I love; working for a company which publishes fiction written by women and for women. I think that’s wonderful and I’m a huge Mills & Boon fan. (Currently reading: ‘The Reluctant Surrender’ by Penny Jordan. Loving it! Next on the list is ‘Accidentally Pregnant’ by Rebecca Winters. I love her writing, so I can’t wait to get stuck in.)

How can marketing support authors who want to raise their profile? How do you find out about these authors (ie should authors tell their editors?)

Yes – first port of call is your editor! We have a list of authors who are happy to be contacted for PR etc, so if you’d like to be involved, just let them know and we’ll pop you on there! We try to go via editors where possible because they know what an author’s schedule is looking like, so if they’re up against deadline etc. We’re also happy to support any activity you are doing such as library talks etc with books and any goodies we have. Just ask your editor to contact us.

Social Media (ie blogs, Facebook, twitter and M&B Community) is now a big part of marketing books and it is something that authors can take part in. However authors also need to spend time writing their books. What three things should authors do to maximize their Social Media experience and not let it become a time suck?

I’m a big fan of social media and I think it’s an incredibly powerful marketing tool, but yes, it can definitely be a ‘time suck’ so you need to be careful. So, what I would recommend is:

1) Be disciplined! Check facebook / twitter only a certain time of the day. Unless something big (such as New Voices) is going on, I only look at our accounts first thing in the morning and mid-afternoon. It’s too tempting to just be on there all the time! If you’re worried about missing something on twitter for example, which is so fast-moving, set up a list of your ‘must-follows’ so you can keep abreast of what it going on.

2) You only get out what you put in. To be truly effective, social media should be regarded as a conversation – so you need to respond to people’s comments and thoughts. That doesn’t mean being a slave to it! But the ultimate aim of social media is to engage your audience so if someone asks a question, you need to answer it, otherwise it really is a waste of time. Actually, I think that this is something our authors really well!

3) Be careful and be clear. Because social media is so fast-paced and things ‘disappear’ from your feed really quickly it’s tempting to be off-hand and flippant in the way that you communicate. But remember, in reality tweets, posts and updates can last forever in the internet super-highway and therefore come back to bite you! There have been some spectacular examples of someone not thinking before they type with dire consequences! It’s also tempting to just chat away with no particular aim, but if you want to use social media as a marketing tool, I think it’s important to think about what you want to say to your audience and how you would like to be perceived. Treat it as carefully as you would a press or TV interview.

What other things besides the internet can authors do to help raise the profile of their books? In particular how can overseas authors help to raise the profile of their books or series in the UK?

I think that having a strong local profile and making friends with your local paper is a really good way to start. So, pop down to your library and let them know you’re a local author and happy to do events. Or accept that invitation to open the school’s fete – it really is a case of every little helps. Local press coverage can really help us to secure broader national coverage for authors, so it’s worth doing and most editors love the idea of a Mills & Boon author in their vicinity!

Outside of the internet,(which can help enormously) it’s pretty tricky for overseas authors but if you are over in the UK and want to see if there are PR opportunities while you are over here, it’s worth letting your editor know.

And Mills & Boon is currently running a really exciting contest called New Voices. Can you explain how people (the general public and authors) can become involved in that?

My life is New Voices at the moment! I’m heading up the team, so I’m just thrilled to see the response we’ve been having and the engagement that we’ve got. It’s brilliant because people have responded in exactly the way we hoped, although even we are surprised (and thrilled!) and the popularity of the competition.



The deadline for submissions (from non-published authors – see Ts & Cs for further details) is 11.59pm GMT on 22nd September, so I guess anyone wanting to enter better get their skates on! You just need to submit your first chapter, and that shouldn’t take too long – right?! But whether you enter or not, please do stop by to tell us what you think, to read the awesome hints and tips from our editors and to help us decide who should win! http://www.romanceisnotdead.com/

Thank you so much for stopping by, Bethan. It is really great to get a better insight into what Marketing does!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Temptation Tuesday with Kathleen Eagle

Please welcome a new Pink Heart member and fabulous author to this week's Temptation Tuesday - Kathleen Eagle!

Temptation Tuesday. Oh, girlfriends, I’m getting so weak in my old age that I wish I could herd all temptation into one day and wallow in them, face up to my indulgences on Woeful Wednesday, and mind my P’s and Q’s throughout the week. Seems to me I read about a diet that worked that way.


“All things in moderation” has long been my mantra. Ah, if only I could practice it faithfully. When I’m on deadline (as I am right now) I indulge myself shamelessly in sweets. My worst food habit is ice cream. I was getting so bad this summer that I had to go cold turkey. No ice cream at all in the refrigerator. I have frozen fruit bars, but they’re not nearly as tempting. I find that if I can resist a particular temptation for at least two weeks, the craving goes away. But during those two weeks the object of my desire is on my mind during a good part of the day. I’m big on chocolate, too. I used to joke about sugar being my only addiction. I don’t joke about it anymore. It’s true. The candy bar a day habit is almost as hard to break as the nightly bowl of ice cream. You know you’re in trouble when you start using the soup bowl.

I’ve never been a less-is-more kind of a person where the object of my desire is concerned. (Unless we’re talking exercise. I desire the benefits but not the time in the gym.) But when I take a shine to something, it’s so hard to resist the temptation to add just one more to the mix. Over the years I’ve collected vintage dolls—big Barbie collection—and other old toys, pottery, Christmas collections, tea pots, American Indian art and artifacts like baskets—oh, the list goes on. Fortunately, I do come to my senses after a while, but I always find something else. And books? Every room in the house has bookshelves.

But the greatest temptation for my husband and me is horses. From the first day I met my Indian cowboy, our common interest was horseback riding. Over the years we’ve owned some lovely horses. The best thing about cattle ranching years ago was having plenty of room for horses. When we saw one we liked, the temptation was almost irresistible. We live in the ‘burbs now, but we still have a few horses out west in Indian Country, where we have family and Clyde has land. And we’re still tempted to add just one more to the mix.

My latest Silhouette Special Edition (a USA Today Bestseller as of last week!) is the fourth in a series set in the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming about horse lovers. ONCE A FATHER features a woman home on leave from the Army and a man who comes from a world quite different from the one she grew up in only a few miles down the road. Their common interest is a training competition for wild horses, but that, of course, is only the beginning. There’s an excerpt on my website at www.kathleeneagle.com, along with bits of the earlier books in the series. I hope you’ll take a look. We’d love to have you visit us at www.ridingwiththetopdown.blogspot.com and chat with us about everything from books to movies to shoes to cabbages and kings.

So what’s your guilty pleasure? How do you avoid the temptation to go overboard? And once you give in, how do you get back to blessed moderation?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Male On Monday :: Hawaii Five-0

Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke has never seen a single episode of the original Hawaii Five-0, but it's a safe bet she won't miss any of the new version.

I love when new shows start airing on television. It's like Hanukah for grown-ups. Every night a new treat. I've been watching the previews for one particular show, and can't decide if I'm more interested in the scenery...or the men.

I predict that Hawaiian vacations will get even more popular once people are reminded of the beauty of the islands - palm trees, beaches at sunset, big waves, Diamond Head, surfers... I love Hawaii, so I'm looking forward to a weekly dose.


Since it is Monday, let's focus on the men, shall we? I've heard of the original Hawaii-Five-0, but it went off the air when I was still watching Sesame Street. The new version combines sexy men and Hawaii. Two of my favorite things!

Alex O'Loughlin stars as Steve McGarrett, a Navy SEAL who returns home to the islands to take over the elite Hawaii Five-0 task force from his father. Alex has been in a long list of shows CBS canceled - The Shield, Moonlight, Three Rivers - but I think this series has more staying power. He was also in The Backup Plan with Jennifer Lopez...which I haven't seen. But y'all know me and movies...



McGarrett is smart, capable, determined - everything you want in your law enforcement hero. And to be completely sexist, I hope they have him take his shirt off in every episode!

Dan “Danno” Williams is the foil to McGarrett's get-it-done attitude. The catch phrase "Book 'em Danno" shows his more by-the-book approach. Played by Scott Caan, best known for Oceans Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen, Dan Williams comes to the islands to be closer to his daughter. Single-father heroes are always a winner.


From what I can see, the show will be a police procedural in an awesome setting, but with a bromance twist. Just the comic relief I need when things start to get a bit heavy.




Chin Ho Kelly is played by Lost's Daniel Kim. Talk about a sweet deal - he got to live in Hawaii for 6 years with Lost and he'll be around even longer thanks to Hawaii Five-0!


Kelly is a former police detective who McGarrett snags for his task force. Kelly is a native Hawaiian, giving the task force more respectability with the locals. I love pidgen, the blend of English and Hawaiian peppered into conversations on the islands, so his character is my hope to learn some more.


Mahalo - thank you - to Hawaii Five-0 for the eye candy. (Be sure to watch tonight!)




Jenna Bayley-Burke is a best selling author recently featured on Good Morning America. Kinda. Compromising Positions is available free from Nook & Kindle for a few weeks, and made the best seller list for free titles and GMA did their daily top ten list of Kindle bestselling free ebooks and Compromising Positions made the list. But doesn't it sound better the first way? Keep up with Jenna's spin on things on her website & blog.