Archive for August, 2011

Movies movies movies

Thanks to Michelle K Canada for posting my essay on my guilty pleasure — movies. Click here for the essay at AnotherLookBookReviews.

Excerpt:

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.”
“You played it for her, you can play it for me!”
Recognize those? Movie quotes, of course–and the last is the actual quote, not the misquote one hears all the time (although the misquote, “Play it again, Sam,” has its own charm).

I love movies. When I get time, or even when I don’t, I love to watch movies. Now, of course I love the classics: Casablanca, Sunset Boulevard, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and others. I love new movies, and older movies, and animated movies. I’m currently on a bit of a kick watching movies by the great Japanese director, Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away).

My first interview

Happy Weekend everybody!

Many thanks to Jocelyn Modo, for interviewing me on her blog. Click here for the interview.

Excerpt:

Alright grrrls, I have a treat for you today! Please welcome the super sexy Eve McFadden to Meta Modo for a fun and friendly interview!

Jocelyn: Hi Eve, I’m not big on formalities so let’s get the basics out of the way. What’s your sign?

Eve: Aquarius. Which probably explains the frequent bathroom breaks.

Jocelyn: Aquarius is a fabulous sign! I’m a leo (hence my obsession with cats). Even though I’m fire and you’re water, Leos and Aquarius can get along famously. Have any of your characters ever used cheesy pick-up lines like, ‘What’s your sign’?

Eve: You know, I don’t think they have. That may be in large part because no one ever used one on me, so I don’t think of it. In a story I’m working on, involving a hockey player and a musician, hockey player tries a few lines in a joking way, but none are quite that cheesy. Then again, few are.

New Novella Released

Light and the Darkness, a short-ish (30k) erotic story of mine, is available for purchase now, and Yellow Silk Dreams and Amazon.

Jacqueline George at Yellow Silk Dreams was kind enough to invite me to release with them. I hope you enjoy. Here’s the synopsis.

Erica Wellstone is a painter, and a witch. When her brother makes a bet with vampire Jordan Castle and then tries to skip out, Castle offers her a deal: she honors the bet, and her brother gets to live. The catch is that she must figure out the wager based on Castle’s hints. Furious but anxious to protect her brother, she agrees. Jordan Castle can’t figure out why he brought the witch to his home; she brings feelings he thought long dormant out into the light of day. When she’s taken from him, he knows he’ll stop at nothing to get her back, to bring the light back into his life, which has been dark for far too long.

Light and the Darkness Cover

Light and the Darkness Cover

Excerpt:

“I don’t know how you do this to me.” He ran his hands up her arms and pulled her to him. “You say you don’t have the power, but somehow you do it anyway.” He lowered his face to hers before she could react. Somehow, he held himself in check, merely rubbing his lips against hers.

“Do what?” She swallowed when he broke the kiss.

“You know what.” He kissed her once more, sliding his arms around her waist and pressing her to him.

Erica’s mind reeled as he broke the kiss and brushed his lips over her cheek, then her forehead. She felt like she was drifting and clung to his shoulders before she could float away.

“I want you.” He took her mouth again, swept his tongue between her lips and tasted the sunlight, the day, the fire that he’d been missing for three centuries. His hand twisted in her hair. “If you want me to stop, tell me now.”

“Don’t stop.” She pressed her lips to his neck.

With a rough growl, he kissed her once more and carried her out. He heard her gasp as he raced to his room faster than a human could dream of moving. For once, he was glad of his vampiric speed as he wanted to waste no more time that necessary before losing himself in the woman in his arms. He would give into his need as he never had before.

Enjoy!

Is it me, or are the characters stupid?

One problem I find exists in many books and movies, perhaps more in romance than in other genres, is that people do stupid things. And of course, people do indeed do stupid things. They say the wrong thing, or find reasons to avoid saying the right thing, they misinterpret deeds and words — face it: without miscommunication of some form, we’d all be at a loss.

Miscommunications can be serious, or they can be humorous, but what I’d really like is for them to be realistic, at least within the confines of the stories. Same with the actions of characters, and their thoughts and logic. While I’m all for allowing for foibles and eccentricities and outright  mistakes, I find I get really annoyed when the characters do something, well, stupid.

What’s brought this on? My good friend Tamara Clarke recently sent me a book, Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery. It’s a sweet enough romance novel about a woman who moves to a small town after a lifetime of being dragged from town to town by her (now deceased) mother. Charity Jones is now looking for a small town to settle down, where she can put down her own roots. Okay, cool. Naturally, Charity falls for the local celebrity, Josh Golden, a former pro cyclist. Okay, cool.

So now we bring them together — or not. Charity decides, on the basis of looks only, that Josh is someone to stay away from. Men like him — handsome and glamorous — were nothing but trouble for her mother, and obviously the same for her (pffft). Never mind that sparks immediately fly between them (a rant for another blog); Charity insists on on denying the attraction, even in the face of her own lack of proof of anything untoward about Josh. In fact, her whole objection seems to be based on the stereotypes we all have about celebrities, and frankly, if she can’t get past her own National Enquirer issues, then I don’t have the time for her. She projects things on to Josh that he has not said, nor given any indication he really wants, and while I’ll accept some arguments in her support, she seems self-centered. Naturally she comes to her senses at the end.

The book was well-written enough that, despite my reservations, I investigated the two sequels in the library today, Almost Perfect and Finding Perfect. I couldn’t bring myself to read them. Perhaps another time, when I can be more patient. The second book sees a woman return to the town with her son, whose father is a man she was in love with before, and then she left. Hey, good move. The third book involves a woman who decides to become pregnant using the frozen embryos of her best friend, who died of cancer, unable to use the embryos themselves. She doesn’t actually seem to want kids, particularly, this is more of a way of having a reminder of her friend, or perhaps fulfilling an obligation. Come on, this is a kid — make a real decision. Perhaps in the book she’ll debate the pros and cons, what effect it will have on her life, etc., but I’m not sure. (And I’m sure it’s no spoiler to say that she finds a guy.)

I am tired of women who basically do the “if he has to ask, I’m not going to tell him” routine, and men who insist “she’s just like all the others because…”

And I’m not singling out Mallery. I just started reading Hawks Mountain by Elizabeth Sinclair on my Kindle. It features two “broken” people — Nick Hart, a medical guy (possibly a doctor, not sure yet) and Iraq veteran, and Becky Hawks, another woman from a small town who went the big city, got trampled on, and came back.

Nick has nightmares and flashbacks to his time in Iraq, and I suppose Becky will do much the same about her social work in Atlanta, and both have built the proverbial fortresses around their hearts (Thanks, Sting, for the 80s flashback). Has Nick had counseling for his (possible) PTSD? Maybe. But he’s so determined not to be part of the human race that he’s built himself a cabin on a mountain, and is then pissed off whenever human interaction is required. Come again? Not trying to be callous here (my brother is in the AF, a cousin in the Army, another in the Navy — I know these wars are unprecedently difficult for the soldiers), but if you’re than damn determined not to deal with people, why don’t you kill yourself? Or, better yet, move some place with freaking internet so you can order it all and not have to deal with delivery people. Which might be easier if you don’t live on a mountain.

He also assumes that “Becky” is one of them and a threat to his mental tranquility. Newsflash: if the only way you can deal with life is to remove yourself from most of its participants, that tranquility is probably not going to last.

Becky sits and wonders and wonders about Nick and who he is. Hey lady — go to the library, register for the internet, and look him up.

I am obviously frustrated by characters who have options and decide not to use them, for no particularly good reason.

I try to make my characters realistic, and to do realistic things, and I realize that romances need an element of fantasy. That’s fine. But can the characters just not be stupid?

Cover art

So I’m working on finding a cover for a short story, Light and the Darkness, which I’m going to contribute to a new site, Yellow Silk Designs. I’ve discovered that I must go against the crowd in how covers affect me.

The covers of my e-books at Republica Press, and indeed most of the books there, do not feature your usual romance novel covers. You won’t find the rogue/pirate/duke/CEO with the six-pack abs pressing the bosomy wench/princess/CEO to his body. I think this is fine, and a good change of pace. Of course I’m not the only one — check out Nora Roberts under that name or JD Robb, Luann Rice and others. You’ll find scenes, perhaps a picture of a house on a hill or shore, something like that.

On the other hand, there are plenty of covers like this one. Or this one.

The thing is, I’ve found that in general, covers are not what draw me to a book. Now, I’m probably going against the current on that one; I’m not much of a shopper, for books, clothes or anything else. I love to browse as much as the next person, but I am likely going to be intrigued by the title, and/or the author’s name. The cover picture is almost beside the point, for me. Part of that is because there are so many similar ones. Shirtless man and (about-to-be) shirtless woman. Man looking longingly into woman’s eyes. Woman looking longingly into man’s eyes. Man embracing woman from behind, with her gaze down to the side.

This is done because it works, because it sells. I get that. So I’m trying to work with this, and look at some samples, but I can’t tell you how many of them make me roll my eyes and move on to the next. In fact, the one sample I’ve found so far that I like has two people facing each other across a distance, but the figures are hazy and the faces can’t be seen. Which is probably why I like it.

I think I must digress because I have to say that I’ve found I’m not fond of people pictures. I mean, I’ve seen portraits by the great masters and they’re lovely. However, in my home, I’d rather have a picture of a seascape, a landscape, a building. In the two pictures we have that do include people, the people are small, faceless figures. I can’t say why this is, but I’m sure it figures into why I prefer similar pictures on my covers.

So then I have to wonder why these sell so well. Do people really pay so much attention to the cover art? I’m betting yes, and that I’m the exception to the rule. But still, would something different be so bad? Would it turn someone off from a romance if they don’t see a body or two?

Do I think this is any kind of sell out, that I’d go for a “marketable” picture? No, I really don’t. Some might, but honestly, it’s not that important to me. If this is what the site owner thinks will sell, I’m willing to go along with it. Because I hope that what the reader remembers is the story and not the picture.

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