Navy SEALs: Favorite character 7/8/’16

I know, I know my post says character, but it’s actually about an author’s series. Suzanne Brockmann turned me onto Harlequin category series romance with her Tall, Dark and Dangerous SEAL team series. Until I discovered these I’d preferred meatier single title romances. Once I discovered the first TDD story I had to go back for more. I fell in love with ALL the heroes. These well written quickie (50K) romances are each just different enough that they all feel fresh while still connected as a whole, with totally delicious alpha male heroes and just the right amount of sex, suspense, action, and drama.

#1 Joe Cat from “Prince Joe” was my first SEAL romance ever. This SEAL was just arrogant, combat hardened and rough enough around the edges. Yum! Prince Joe is the 1st from Brockmann’s 11 book Tall, Dark, and Dangerous series. For Brockmann’s Troubleshooters fans, TDD are ‘lighter’ and except for a couple of issues it’s an equally fantastic series. Brockman sure can write a delicious hero. Seriously.

#2 “Forever Blue” is about a murder mystery and a couple with some history. I loved Carter “Blue” McCoy and Lucy, too.

#3 My vote for most tortured SEAL hero goes to Alan “Frisco” Francisco from “Frisco’s Kid.” Disabled SEAL hero, anyone? Frisco has a huge chip on his sculpted shoulders. I had never read a book where the hero’s identity and feelings of self-worth were so closely tied to his career.

#4 Sparks fly when hostage Melody Evans is rescued by a SEAL team member, Harlan “Cowboy” Jones in “Everyday Average Jones. “

#5 Any virgin heroine fans? “Harvard’s Education” I’ll admit, Harvard and P.J.’s story made the top of my “this is how to lose your virginity” list. Wonderful read. Oh, be aware of the themes of racism and sexism in this one.

#6 “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” (longest title) is about our brooding, stoic hero. Navy SEAL Billy “Crash” Hawken. Oh, this tale is structured quite differently from the others. And by-the-way, this story contains my favorite line from the whole series, “if you’d die for me, why won’t you live for me?”

#7 “The Admiral’s Bride” was a wonderful read. Although I am, I know not everyone’s a fan of the “May to December” romances. However, it was done in a way that made it an exceptionally enjoyable read for me.

#8 OH! Are you a sucker for an amnesia story? “Identity Unknown” is just the SEAL tale for you…

#9 Lieutenant Luke “Lucky” O’Donlon in “Get Lucky” is simply delicious! Lucky’s a gorgeous blond haired, blue eyed, walking-talking Ken doll, (Syd -our heroine- often refers to him as “Navy Ken”). Seriously! He’s a ladies’ man who’s never wanted to settle down before in his life. That is, until he meets Syd Jameson and his world turns-upside-down.

#10 When it comes to protecting the innocent, Navy SEAL Bobby Taylor is your man. And guess what?  In “Taylor’s Temptation” he gets his girl, only she happens to be the sister of his best friend and SEAL partner Wes.

#11 Night Watch is about Wes a real badass, badboy with some seriously bad habits. But you’ll love him as much as his team mates, if not more!

I just loved this fun, sexy and exciting series. It gives us larger than life Navy SEAL heroes, capable of anything. For full length SEALS check out Suzanne’s Troubleshooter series. It’s awesome, too.  12250139_10153111889276502_3028514639853359831_n (1)

 

Understanding Men

Males are both a fascination and an aggravation for writers as they try and capture them on the page.

Brace yourself, you’re about to get the basic lowdown on men. How they think and what makes them tick. The following is an attempt to help strengthen male characterization for those of us who need a refresher.

The most important factor in writing a male voice is to understand that they are completely different from women. The differences are much deeper than the clear physical ones.

Men are all about how, what, when, where, and why without all the feelings and details women like to add in their storytelling. A man, unless his profession demands it, will not give any more depth than is needed. Ever listen to men speaking in a group? Ever pay attention to the language they use one on one? Male language is an art form in itself. Unless a man is giving a speech or is a philosopher, he won’t speak using long passages. They use fewer words.

Some men use tag words such as dude, bro, etc. more so than women.

Write a sentence of dialogue that you as a woman might say, then cut the words down to the bare minimum. That’s how men speak.

I know some of you are thinking that’s not true. Men talk. Ah… true. But, for a man to open up, it needs to be with someone who he completely trusts. Someone he wants to open up to.

We, our societies over the centuries, have molded our men to be the reserved ones. Don’t cry. Grow up. Be a man. The Disney movie Mulan even has a song Be a man. These are all lessons men learn in childhood. So remember, while a man will shoot the breeze with a friend, share to a certain point with a brother, it takes that special someone for him to open up about his past and his feelings. Even then, a man will not talk openly about his insecurities the way a woman will.

While the heroine (or significant other) is working on earning that special trust, what is making the hero tick? Sex. Lots of sex.

From the time a male hits puberty until he reaches his middle forties or fifties, sex dominates a great deal of their thought process. Other things — work, their favorite sports, hobbies, gadgets, food, special interests, cars, etc. — momentarily grab their attention, but they are always wondering about the next sexual encounter.

Their sexual drive can’t be helped. The desire to procreate is inbred within their DNA makeup. Not quite true. And not just men. Almost everyone has an innate desire for sex. This is a kind of mental module that we all get as part of our genetic heritage. And with ready birth control, it’s clearly a drive for pleasure instead of reproduction.

Sex for a man, besides being pleasurable, is often used to replace words. He may not say those little words a woman wants to hear, but he is willing to show her with his body how much he cares. In many situations, for many men, it’s a simple case of showing, not telling.

I think it should be made clear that while a man thinks about and wants sex as much as possible, he can think of as many reasons to say no as a woman can. Most importantly, if a sexual encounter will jeopardize a budding relationship… he’ll say no.

Males are conditioned to work hard and play hard. They tend to be territorial, determined to take care of what has become part of their hearts. Characteristics such as protectiveness, arrogance, and aggressiveness are all associated with men.

A man doesn’t play the “girl games” typical to some females, such as attention seeking, drama, and preying on others’ sympathy. The keepers are straightforward men who leave the “playing” to secondary characters.

In conclusion, men keep their emotions bottled up and do it well. They won’t risk their hearts anymore than they’ll risk hurting someone that has caught their interest. Heroes are the protectors who enjoy their downtime as much as they desire food and sex.

Miles. Tuesday 14, ’16

I had a great time at Reader Author Get Together ‘16. This was my 10th, or maybe 11th time attending out of the 12 years Lori Foster has been hosting the event. I love Lori Foster. She’s super. Oh, I love and adore Sam Cheever & Mechele Armstrong too, but they’re my dear friends. My first time meeting the lovely Lora Leigh. IMG_4952

I’ve been back to getting fit for about 4 weeks now. I’ve gained 80 lbs since I had my left eye removed a few years ago. So far I’ve lost 7 lbs. Although, I may have gained them all back at RAGT. I didn’t count calories, or exercise. I’m taking this life change day-by-day.

I go to the corneal specialist Thursday. I’m really looking forward to getting the rest of my stitches out from the corneal transplant I had over a year ago. I don’t think it’s ever going to heal right. And the doctor keeps pushing stitch removal back and back. But maybe he’ll surprise me….

Who’s your favorite secondary character? 5/6/’16

It was in Beth Ciotta’s Friends and Lovers Collection where I discovered the true importance of secondary characters. A light bulb went off as I experienced just how memorable a secondary character’s struggles could be. Sometimes, a supporting character is just a supporting character, and I’m okay with that. But who -among my fellow readers- haven’t fallen in love with a secondary character? Some secondary characters are so strong that their stories beg to be told. I like to think I managed that with Miller Thorn. He appeared in both his brothers stories Boomerang Love & Riptide Love, before his own story played out in True Blue Love.

Often times while reading, I see a secondary character and I think “sequel bait”. Although, this doesn’t always make me excited for the character’s story. I need them to have their own purpose in the story I’m reading rather than walking advertisement for the follow-up story. You know what I mean?

Immediately, Sam and Alyssa from -a favorite author of mine- Suzanne Brockmann’s “Troubleshooters” series came to mind. They are introduced in the first in the series and experience a lot of delicious torture before getting their own book. I just loved them. Sam and Alyssa’s story was 2nd, even 3rd fiddle in several books until they finally came front and center for their own HEA.

But my very favorite secondary character of all time is…“The Simi” Xiamara (Simi) Parthenopaeus, the Barbecue Sauce wielding Charonte demon from the fantastic Dark Hunter Books and Manga series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Simi is dear-and-near to Acheron Parthenopaeus, (her “Akri”) who’s raised Simi as his daughter for over 11,000 years.

Simi always brightens a story. She always earns a smile. She’ll eat everything except for hooves. We know her favorite food (Barbecued anything,) And we know she loves the Macarena, and we know she shops “like a Demon” Seriously. What’s not to love?

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Daenerys: Favorite Character Friday 2/5/’16

I read to escape. I read for pleasure. It’s a known fact that I’m usually drawn to the men in the romance novels I read. I’m out to fall in love with the hero. But I think some heroines deserve favoritism as well. And Daenerys Targaryen from the “Game of Thrones” tops my list. Have you read George R,R. Martins “A Song of Ice and Fire” series? Or do you watch the HBO series? The show is fantastic, and the books are wonderfully divine. Seriously. I love-love them. And don’t get me wrong, I sigh dreamily over several of the men in the series Tyrion & Jaime Lannister, Jorah Mormont, The Hound, Jon Snow…okay, okay, I’ll stop. This is about Daenerys Stormborn. She’s experienced all sorts of abuse from her horrid brother, she’s known exile, and despite her arranged marriage to Drogo -a brutal warlord- of a nomad tribe adapts to emerge as a strong, confident and courageous woman. What an incredible character transformation! Daenerys is amazing! She’s gone from submissive sister, to a Khaleesi (the wife of the Khal,) to the mother of dragons. O-m-g…D R A G O N S. How totally-totally cool? And now our Dany is Queen! Oh, let’s not forget, with her own moral code she has no qualms about watching her enemies suffer. Tell me, I’m not alone, in wondering if Jon Snow is her happy-ever-after? 12250139_10153111889276502_3028514639853359831_n

Nicholas Stafford: Favorite Character Friday 1/29/’16

Have you ever wished for a knight in shining armor? Ever prayed to be given a man that would love you forever? As incredibly unbelievable as this may sound in A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux, Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck is just this kind of charming hero. He’s chivalrous and braver.*Wistful dreamy sigh* Talk about a keeper. This is one of the best fairytales ever written. Nicholas was truly delicious in this epic time travel romance. Whether in 1988 England, or rural sixteenth century England, he loved Dougless the way she deserved to be loved. And I loved how he adjusted to “modern” time. I discovered Nicholas back in the early 90s when he landed on my keeper shelf. Knight in Shining Armor is one of those stories that’ll stay with me forever. Now in case you’ve yet to read this page turning gem -please note- the ending of this story was far-far before its time. “My soul will find yours” still makes my knees weak.

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