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.
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….
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?
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?
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.
The uber talented Kate Hill has graciously interviewed me. Btw, in case I’ve not mentioned Kate Hill’s Demon Lover and the classic Dante’s Inferno inspired me to write my Netherworld series. Hop over to check it out.
Acheron. *wistful sigh* I can’t even explain how much I love the character Acheron. (I’ve loved him forever. Since Fantasy Lover and I discovered the old DH chatroom. Those were the days.) My fellow squires know how completely addicted I was to this series. I’ve loved our fearless, mysterious, and wonderful Ash—since first being introduced to him.
Ash is total sex-on-a-stick dressed as a badass Goth. Throughout 14 or more stories I was literally drawn to his character. I found myself craving every page that he was on and wanting to read more and more about him. Ash has this tough exterior, but is a caring, generous guy, and doesn’t expect anything from anyone.
You see, 11.000 years ago a god -this beloved character- was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime in shame while being terribly abused. However, his human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed Earth. Then -brought back-Ash became the sole defender of mankind. For centuries, he has fought for our survival and hidden a past he wants concealed.
Fictional boyfriend, anyone? For me, Christian the Duke of Jervaulx…or the “D of J”, as he’s referred to in the gossip columns, became the stuff of legend. He just never gives up. He is so willful and strong, and with the help of this lowly Quaker woman, he overcomes so much. All he needed was for one person to believe in him. Flowers From the Storm is one of my all time favorite historical romances. It’s one of the most unconventional of them all. Bravo to Laura Kinsale for tackling such a subject, (no spoiler) and what a remarkably insightful, tender way to do it.