Evolution of Relationships in Novels…as explained by my dog

Evolution of relationships in novels…as explained by my dog’s interactions with the cable guy ūüôā

I watched Bella (I promise, I did not name her after Twilight’s lame heroine) interact with the cable guy yesterday, and I couldn’t help being amused at her steps toward him. ¬†Then I got to thinking, how very similar her stages of getting to know the cable guy were to relationship building in novels. :p ¬†So here is my silly “show” explanation on relationship stages, as shown through my dog (after all, aren’t they always telling us to show and not tell?). ūüôā

Yes, I am silly…and no, I’m not one of those people that lets their dog sit at the table during dinner (yet)… ūüôā

Step 1 – Distrust

Cable guy knocks and Bella barks. ¬†Her internal dialogue, “who are you and why do you enter my domain, sir?

I put her on the couch to separate them and tell her to stay.  If she could, she would mutter to herself or grumble.

Step 2 – Feigned disinterest

Bella: “I will sit on my person’s lap and watch you. ¬† But I really don’t care about what ever it is you’re doing.

Step 3 – Denial of interest

Bella: ¬†“I will sniff you, but it doesn’t mean anything.” Sniff, sniff. ¬†“I must warn you, I can sniff out liars and cads!” ¬†Sniff, sniff. ¬†“Do I detect essence of old spice mixed with…hmm a lunch of cheese burgers? ¬†Delicious.”

Cable man reaches to pet Bella. ¬†Bella: “Sigh, I will grudgingly let you pet me, but only because you smell of delicacies…

Step 4 – Curiosity

Bella: ¬†“You pet me nicely. ¬†But tell me, sir – how good are you at back scratches?

Step 5 – Finding shared interests

Bella: “You’re good at petting and scratching, but tell me ¬†– would you fancy a rope toss? ¬†Or perhaps tug of war?”

Cable guy throws Bella’s rope and she chases after it, bringing it back quickly.

Step 6 – Shameless flirting

Bella: ¬†“If I nose your hand and sit in front of you, will you pet me again?

Cable guy laughs and scratches Bella’s back.

Bella: “Excellent, I will stay here until you stop.”

Step 7 Р Acceptance & love

Bella: “Pet me more. ¬†Also, if you give me a treat (which my person keeps out of my reach), I will be your friend forever.”


Heeheehee. Of course, all of this happened over the course of an hour and a half. ¬†In most novels, and for most humans, the process takes slightly longer. ¬†But what an incredible amount of freedom and directness dogs have. ¬†Want someone to pet you? ¬†Make cute puppy eyes up at your human until he/she pets you. ¬†If only it were that simple for the rest of us. ūüôā



Review – Wallbanger

Ebook Review “Wallbanger (Cocktail Series),” Alice Clayton


In “Wallbanger,” we meet Caroline – poor Caroline, who has sadly lost her O. ¬†And how does one lose their O? ¬† Terrible sex, of course. ¬†Poor Caroline. ¬†Girl, I feel your pain.

Anyway, Caroline moves into a fabulous apartment owned by her boss.  All is well until nightfall.  You see, the neighbor next door has a rather interesting sex life.  And has such <ahem> prowess that Caroline can hear his bed banging against the wall (knocking down a picture off the wall at one point) as he spends time with his ladies.

But one night, this becomes too much and Caroline stalks to his door to confront him. ¬†Except she’s wearing a pink nightie and when he opens the door he’s wearing a sheet that leaves little to the imagination.

Caroline and the Wallbanger (real name Simon) meet again at Caroline’s boss’ party….and not surprisingly, they have chemistry. ¬†But, due to Simon’s committed-ish relationship with three women (yes, three, but not in one sitting), Caroline decides that they should only be friends.

…But, Simon has some serious sex appeal (obviously, this is a romance novel after all) and as Caroline gets to know him, she discovers that he’s got a great taste in music, is funny, interesting, and can cook the best meatballs ever. ¬†(Side note: ¬†Men, cooking is sexy. ¬†Very sexy. ¬†Extremely sexy if the food is edible…and not mac & cheese.)

Can Caroline take the next step with him…and can Simon be the man to bring back her missing O?

So, first of all ¬†– this book is written in the first person. ¬†Ages ago, I refused to read any romance novel written in the first person. ¬†But I’m so glad I’ve since reversed my decision. ¬†“Wallbanger” is hilarious and fun – and filled with the witty hero/heroine banter that I love so much. ¬†Alice Clayton’s style in this novel (this is the first of hers that I’ve read) is light, easy, and so fast to read.

Five out of five stars for “Wallbanger.” ¬†ūüôā

Smutty Saturdays

Summer nights are always hot, but it takes a delicious romance novel to add a little extra sizzle – and for that, we can thank Smutty Saturdays. ūüėČ


This week’s smut comes from Wallbanger (The Cocktail Series),” by Alice Clayton – a deliciously fun and funny book that you should definitely check out (stay tuned for my review).¬† And now…for smut!

“He hissed slightly and smiled. “You’re going to break me, you know this, right? ¬†I swear on all that’s holy, I’m not a machine – Christ, don’t stop doing that.” ¬†He groaned, thrusting into my hand without thought.¬†

“Ah, break schmake. I just want to fuck you until you can’t see straight,” I purred, tightening my fist as he splashed water over the side a bit.¬†

“I can barely see as it is. There seem to be three of you.” He moaned, pulling my legs apart and positioning me above him.

“Aim for the one in the middle, Simon,” I instructed and slid down.¬†

Hehehe. This book really delivers on the fun and smart ass dialogue (which you know I enjoy).

Enjoy the weekend, all of you readers….and enjoy the sizzle. ūüėČ

Too much?

Can there be too much sex in romance novels?


Yes, indeed there can be. ¬†<Gasp!> Never thought you’d hear me say that, did you? ¬†But alas, it’s true – there can be too much sex in a romance novel.

(Side note: ¬†Like the picture? ¬†I saw these “performance sheets” at Target and it made me erupt in giggles – definitely a necessity on any romance novel heroine’s bed.)

Recently, when I gave my sister the very rough draft of my first novel, she commented that perhaps there was too much sex in my novel.

Any why is that?

Snarky reader response: Because sex in a novel is inversely related to sex in the author’s life?

Oh, hush. :p

I didn’t set out to have my characters constantly humping in my first novel, it just kind of…well, happened. ¬†So, I suppose it was due to a few things – lack of control over my characters, uneven plot, difficulty in finishing my first novel, or maybe even me getting bored with the in-between scenes of my novel and adding in a few smutty scenes just for fun.

But, how can you tell if it’s too much?

Well, I don’t think it’s a question of too much in a story – who doesn’t like it when a book is packed with smut?¬† I think the issue is more on the timing. ¬†Does it fit with the other action (heehee) going on in the story and the characters’ emotional states? ¬†If not, ¬†well then perhaps the smuttiness should be postponed.

At least, that’s what I’m going to try, as I go through and edit my first draft. ¬†But don’t worry, my characters will still test the merits of the “performance sheets.” ūüėČ

Smutty Saturdays

What makes Saturdays better? ¬†Well, smut of course. ūüôā


Smut is generally, well, naughty. ¬†But I do enjoy when it’s funny too. ¬†A brave author is not afraid to throw in some humor – often at the expense of their well-loved characters.

Today’s selection of¬†smut is from Christine Bell’s “Dirty Trick,” and proves that some bedroom talk can be silly…

“Maybe he even wanted a little dirty talk.

She swallowed hard and hoped the sound of steam whistling covered the resulting gulp.  Might as well let it rip.

“Yeah. ¬†I want your c-” It stuck in her throat, and she tried again. “I want your big c-” ¬†Again, she couldn’t work it past her lips. ¬†He stared at her with a puzzled but patient smile. ¬†“I want your cock…a doodly do…in-inside my p- lady area…business,” she expelled in a rush.

Oh God, no. What was that?”

Heeheehee! ūüôā Just practice in front of a mirror if dirty words get stuck in your throat at crunch time, that should help loosen your tongue. ¬†:p

Happy Saturday and happy reading!!

Review: “Dirty Trick”

Ebook Review of “Dirty Trick (A Perfectly Matched Novel),” By Christine Bell

image¬†In “Dirty Trick,” we meet the part-owner of a dating service, Grace Love, and her neighbor/best friend, Detective Trick Mathews.

In Salem, Halloween is a huge deal and Grace finds herself without a date to the best party in town. ¬†Maybe she’ll meet Mr. Right (or hey, maybe Mr. Right Now) on All Hallow’s Eve…

Trick has been coyly trying to prove to Grace that they should take their friendship to the next level and that he is no longer <ahem> a man-whore. If he dons a mask and sweeps Grace off of her feet, maybe he can prove to her that they would be perfect together….

Hmmm…lying to your friend (especially in disguise) is a big no-no. ¬†But, as we’ve learned in the past, in romance novels – anything¬†goes. ¬†Can Trick sweep Grace off of her feet and still keep her trust?

Dirty Trick” was a little different than your average friend romance. ¬†Usually, in this genre, the friends add sex to their relationship for fun and then gradually fall in love (or realize that they’ve been in love with each other for a long time). ¬†In this one, Trick’s disguise allows him to hook up with Grace – which he didn’t plan on, but doesn’t really stop either. ¬†He does feel guilty, but can’t seem to stop himself from meeting her for a second time and puts off telling her the truth…which is a plot device for drama and makes the hero look like a weenie.

It’s a tricky thing, having your hero or heroine lie in a novel – and a very narrow line to walk as an author. ¬†Too many lies (or omissions) or lame motivations for lies and your readers will balk. ¬†In my first novel (which is still in rough draft form), my hero doesn’t reveal his true intentions to my heroine for quite some time. ¬†You see, he aims to steal something from her. This lone piece of my story made me struggle to finish – and struggle to come up with a good reason why my hero would do this. ¬†Now in romance novels, there are heroes that do a great many things that normal people really shouldn’t (this happened in the Wallflower series and I still absolutely loved one of the heroes). ¬†In some novels – ¬†circumstance, charm, or pure writing talent allow us to look past it. ¬†In my case at least, I’m still chewing on how to “fix” the lying issue in my novel. ¬†Or at least let my readers in on the motivations earlier in the story, so they don’t dismiss him entirely. ¬†Ugh. ¬†But alas, complicated heroes make a more interesting story – and also make authors go through several re-writes. :p

As for “Dirty Trick” – the characters have good chemistry, the dialogue is pretty good, the setting of Halloween in Salem is neat, and the story is fairly good…points taken off for a hero that should have come clean sooner or at least a heroine that figured it out on her own! ¬†I give the story a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Side note: ¬†Sorry I’ve been a bit of a slacker with my posts lately. ¬†Life has gotten complicated (as life is wont to do). ¬†But my wi-fi signal is strong and my reading appetite is still un-quenched! ¬†And, I am determined to get back to my regular posting schedule – yay! ūüôā

Happy Reading!