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SPECIAL HOLIDAY DEAL!
The Klaus Brothers 99 cent BOXED SET for a limited time. Offer ends 12-31-14!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Beard of the Day


I first discovered Simon Pegg in the most excellent movie Shaun of the Dead. I was on a "girl's weekend" with my mom and sis, and we were lounging in our hotel room watching endless hours of television. This movie came on and my sister said...."Oh, you're gonna love this one. It's right up your alley." Well hell, I was in LOVE...a funny, brilliant, quirky zombie movie. I was instantly hooked on the comedic couple of Pegg and Nick Frost. If you haven't seen this movie, it's a freakin' fantastic classic...you gotta see it! Also, Pegg's version of Scotty in the updated Star Trek was wicked good. I thought he stole the damned show.

Well, onto our beard critique. One, this photo is great because it totally captures his boyish good looks as well as his naughty sense of humor. I love red-heads...just think time-travellin' Scottish warlords with legs like tree trunks, thick, red beards, those luscious accents...hear me? Well, Pegg's got a British accent and a nicely groomed beard and stache. Hot Fuzz for sure. (Hee hee...sorry, that's a horrible joke but I totally couldn't help myself). Anyhoo, there's something sexy about a guy who knows how to make people laugh.

Be on the lookout for Paul, a new movie with Pegg and Frost, coming out this spring. It looks absolutely hilarious. Here's the link for the youtube preview...check it out!

Happy Hairy Friday to All! And Happy New Year!!!!
Penelope

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Random Thursday Updates


Here are some random updates and observations....

1) You know you're getting old when you're invited to a New Year's Eve party that promises to have you back in bed by midnight. O-kay. Sad, yet true....and the worst part is I love the idea! (Note to self: Get "L" tattooed on forehead in 2011.)

2) Read a couple of great books recently. In Too Deep is the latest Jayne Ann Krentz Arcane book...Fallon's story. I loved it! I cannot get enough of that funky paranormal stuff. Also, Do Over by Mari Carr was absolutely wonderful...so incredibly romantic and sexy. I adored the premise for this one (on 25th wedding anniversary, awesome husband from heaven re-creates all the couple's "first" special moments/places/events, etc.). Dude...you are the man!

3) Forget about M/M manly love obsessions. How about some hot girly action? hee hee...seriously, KT Grant's The Princess's Bride is smoky hot and I love the hilarious take on The Princess Bride. Such a cute and funny idea! Not done with this one yet...still working on it.

4) I decided to re-kindle my knitting addiction. Had a killer trip to the yarn store; now working on yummy pumpkin-colored scarf. My daughter has informed me I look like a little old lady as I sit by the fire and knit. (Maybe I should knit an "L" into the scarf.....)

5) I am going to work on two items from my bucket list (see side bar) in January. One is a visit to the Blaschka Glass Museum at Harvard. I'm also going to work on my terrarium with Natty. I love the plant nursery in the winter-time...it's like a hot, steamy jungle in there.

6) My profound New Year's resolution....Be Happy. ☺☺☺



Hope all of you have a festive New Year's!

Penelope

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Penny's Favorite Themes In Romance


I realized this week that I am gravitating towards certain kinds of stories. There are certain themes that really rock my boat, and certain themes I can't stand. Here's a run-down....I'm sure I'll think of more later.


Favorite Stuff:

1. Older Couples Rekindling Their Spark

2. Big, Curvy Girls

3. Funky Stuff....such as autistic characters, etc.

4. Amazing Paranormal Stuff

5. Beauty and the Beast

6. Redemption of Tortured Heroes

7. Brotherhood-Style Books

8. Humor in Romance

9. Highly Romantic Stories (think Balogh)

10. Super Loving Alpha Male Heroes...I love this combo!

11. Alternative Families

12. Bearded Heroes (I know...that one's a shocker, right?)

13. Shapeshifters

14. Metamorphosis....girly-girl turns kick ass, etc.

15. Raw, Lusty Historicals....another great combo!

16. Intellectual Hero/Heroine

17. Foodie-Style Books

18. Snappy Chemistry Between Hero/Heroine

19. Beautiful Prose

20. Symbolism

21. Ethnic Themes...gypsies, etc.

22. Unique Voice


Here are some themes/issues that drive me nuts:

1. Contemporary Romance

2. Too Much Deep POV

3. Too Much Mundane Detail (what the characters ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner....blah blah)

4. Eroticas Where The Characters Fall In Love After 50 Pages of Boinking Their Brains Out

5. TSTL Characters

6. Hardcore BDSM....don't like pain and suffering

7. Big Misunderstanding (aka Three's Company problem)

8. Cougar Stories (older woman, younger man)


My new favorite is the more mature couple theme...I am searching out more of these books. Any suggestions?


How about you....anything really rocking your boat lately? Driving you nuts? Let me know!

Ciao,
Penny

Monday, December 27, 2010

It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times...


2010 has been the weirdest year of my life.

It started out well enough. In fact, pretty great. My first book was published in December 2009, and it made a whole slew of e-bestseller lists in January 2010. One of the coolest things I've ever seen is the image of my half-naked Santa Claus book cover next to Stephen King's Under The Dome and Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. I spent the next six months working on my second book, and by July it was finished.

I was looking forward to celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary with my husband, and travelling to Jackson Hole for an awesome adventure vacation with the kids.

On August 3, 2010 everything changed.

I had a heart attack, at the ripe old age of 44. I had a bare metal stent inserted into my clogged artery. I spent a week in the hospital with a roommate who was 92 years old. My dream trip to Wyoming was cancelled. My anniversary celebration was postponed. My father fell ill a few nights after my heart attack and died a week later. He knew about my heart attack, but did not regain consciousness before his death, so he never found out I was okay. I really hate that. I pray that somehow he knows now. August 2010 had officially turned into the worst month of my life.

Facing your own mortality is complicated. I am handling it with humor, anger, disbelief, determination, hostility, melancholy, denial. Dealing with the physical recuperation (drugs, diet and exercise, fatigue, myriad doctor appointments, etc) has been far easier to handle than the emotional and mental process. I am still struggling with this part, and I'm not sure when, if ever, I will come to terms with why this happened. Why I got a second chance when others have not been so lucky. Who I am, why I am here, what my purpose is. Sound heavy? Yeah, well almost dying has the unfortunate side effect of making you introspective, even if you fight it.

So, as I face the close of this shocking year, I really have no answers. My will to live is strong. Strong enough to change unhealthy habits and restructure my life. My identity is up in the air. I feel as though I've pulled myself into a cocoon and am awaiting metamorphosis, unsure when I will emerge, and what exactly I will become. The person staring back at me in the mirror looks like a stranger. Fifty pounds lighter, with a starkness etched on her face, I don't recognize who she is.

All I know is I got a second chance. It's an incredible gift. It's more time with my husband, more time with my children, more time with my friends and family. Time to write more stories. Time to see an Orca in the wild? Sip mango margaritas while watching the sun set in Hawaii? Snuggle with my dog. Take a walk around the neighborhood and chat with good people. Simple things, adventurous things, everything.

I am looking forward to a fresh start. I am looking forward to leaving 2010 behind me. The good, the bad....I am ready for new.

I am ready to embrace 2011. Ready to embrace my second chance.

Not knowing what the future holds for me. Just thankful I have a future.

Bring it on.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Boxing Day!


Hope everyone had a great Christmas celebration. We had an amazing day...the kids were so happy and appreciative, our dinner was delicious--especially my husband's beef tenderloin with three sauces....red (Southwestern), green (chimichurri) and white (horseradish)--and I got some awesome gifts, including this really cool black wool hoodie! Yippee!

I am visiting Ex Libris today for an interview and giveaway. Stop by to find out what my favorite job has been over the years (you'll never guess!).

Now I have to gear up for a huge snow storm...which means getting some extra sleds (who needs food and water?).

Happy Boxing Day,
Penny

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Visit From St. Nicholas


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"



☃Merry Christmas!☃

Penelope

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve Updates



Hi everyone! I'm at Book Chick City today, doing a "Where Books Are Made" feature. There are photos of my home office (decorated for the holiday, of course!), Christmas tree, weenie dog in Santa hat, etc. etc. The photo above is one of my special antique elves from my Nana. I have a whole posse playing different musical instruments. Please stop by to say hello!

I also had two great reviews recently for Sweet Inspiration...


"I've got to hand it to Penny Watson; she has some seriously big baubles. It's not easy making a sexy contemporary romance out of pop culture's most un-sexy man...."

heee hee heee...I've got big baubles! Well, all right!



"Penny Watson's Sweet Inspiration is chock full of Christmas cheer. This is an adorable, sexy story that should be wrapped in a big red bow and given to any reader as a present."

I am so stoked to get two wonderful reviews. Good Christmas gift for me! Today is shopping day for Christmas dinner...beef tenderloin with three sauces....red, green and white (my husband's specialty). And for Christmas Eve, our tradition is having home-made pizzas! It's a lot of fun. Hope all of you are surviving the spectacular count-down....

Feliz Navidad,
Penelope

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas Dream


Hugh + Beer + Beard = Now That's What I'm Talking About.....

☺☺☺☺☺A Christmas Dream Come True! ☺☺☺☺☺

Enjoy,
Penelope

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Julia Barrett's Camping Trip From Hell: My Favorite Blog Post of the Year


My first introduction to the term "serial" as a fictional device was in the 9th grade, when my class was reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. The idea of getting a reader addicted to a story, and releasing it little bits at a time, seemed like a diabolical and brilliant idea to me. Just ask anyone obsessed with a daytime soap, the Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward, or Project Runway, how compelling a "serial" can truly be.

Of all the books, magazine articles, newspaper bits, and blog posts I read this year, the most effective serial was undeniably Julia Barrett's ill-fated canoe trip, also known as The Canoe Trip From Hell. Julia is a very talented writer and blogger, and this accounting of her canoe trip in Northern Minnesota caught me totally off guard. I didn't realize I would become seriously addicted, agitated, amused, amazed and emotional about a story that dragged on for 6 long days. And I do mean, long. We live in a time of immediate gratification. How difficult it is to be patient (24 freakin' hours!), waiting for the next installment of the story.

And this real-life story has everything in it. An intrepid heroine (Julia), a sweet, sexy, strong hero (Julia's hubby), an evil villain and his wife (Mr. Bob and Mrs. Bob), a suspenseful story line, a wicked sense of humor, a gorgeous setting and the requisite HEA. This series of blog posts is hands-down the greatest blogging I read all year. Here are the links to the series...please read them in chronological order, but realize you are all cheating because you get to read the whole story at the same time. Cheaters!!!!!!!

I'll leave you with my favorite quote....

"I have to go stand near the bear shit to cool off. I'm sending out bear vibes, hoping a bear comes and eats Mr. Bob tonight."

Sunday, August 29....Preamble--Red Flags
Friday Sept 3.... In the end....


Thanks, Julia for this brilliant story. So glad you made it back alive. (Bet you didn't send Mr. and Mrs. Bob a holiday card this year...hee hee hee!)

Addicted to 5-star hotels and indoor plumbing,
Penelope

Monday, December 20, 2010

Space Cowboys, Cinderella, and Some Black Suede Chaps


I read three great books last week...and they couldn't be more different. I got a Cinderella-inspired Harly, my first space cowboy sci-fi/romance, and some sexy humping love from Lorelei James.

First up.....Barbara Wallace's The Cinderella Bride, a Harlequin Romance. I haven't read too many Harlies...they conjure up memories of my sister's closet romance reading habit in high school. ☺ I have read a few....Touch Me, a Harlequin Blaze by Jacquie D'Alessandro, was fantastic. Some of the "Tycoon" books were less than stellar and chock full of clichés. The Cinderella Bride really resonated with me for several reasons. One, it rose above the cliché...the practical, nose-to-the-grindstone heroine transformed for one magical night in New York City. Wallace did a great job creating the pragmatic heroine Emma...her committed work ethic and loyalty to her boss, the matriarch of Kent Hotels, were totally sincere. The fantasy night in Manhattan was romantic and wonderful. The hero Gideon is a fabulous mix of charm, rugged good looks, maritime talents, and sophisticated hotelier. A great combination and totally appealing! The hilarious grandmother/temporary CEO who is addicted to soap operas was an excellent addition to the cast of characters. My only beef with the book is that the ending wrapped up just a little too quickly for me. Wallace did a perfect job drawing out their believable attraction and love affair, and I wanted more frosting on the HEA. Don't skimp on the frosting, baby!!!!! That's the best danged part.
Grade: A-

Next, I read a new-t0-me-author, Ella Drake. (Both she and Barbara Wallace are fellow New England Chapter RWA writers. Go, NEC!!!). The premise for her sci-fi/romance Silver Bound is fascinating. A woman has her mind wiped and becomes a sexual slave. The details about this process are incredibly cool and the difficulty in creating a character who has lost her identity is staggering. The heroine can't just become a mindless sex addict, or the reader won't give a crap about her. Somehow she has to retain some of her will and recognize her lost humanity. Drake does a wonderful job with this challenge, and also creates a sexy space cowboy hero, a totally absorbing and suspenseful storyline, a fabulous array of secondary characters, and delivers with the HEA. My only criticism with the story was that I was really hoping for a more blood-thirsty ending for the villain. For God's sake, he deserved a bad-ass whooping! I wanted the hero (or heroine!) to shoot 'em, stab 'em, torture 'em, fling him out of the space craft, wipe his mind (how do you like it, buddy????), etc etc etc. I know, I am shocking my own self with these violent tendencies, but seriously, getting carted off to jail was not a good enough ending for this big jerk-off. (Okay, time for some herbal tea). Otherwise, I loved this story, and am looking forward to reading more of Ella Drake's books!
Grade: A-

And the final chap-wearing, cowboy-humping, wrangler-wrangling, sexy read for the week...Lorelei James' Strong, Silent Type. I won a giveaway contest at Smexybooks and got this great freebie from Lorelei James...huge thanks to Mandi and Lorelei. Yippee! I adored the premise for this erotic story. A couple who has been together for 14 years has lost the spark in their marriage. I really like reading about older couples instead of young, horny characters all the time...especially in erotica. There is something very sexy about mature characters who have some life experience, and it makes for a more emotionally intense story. Quinn is a great hero...I love how he breaks out of his reticent shell to become more sexually adventurous, more romantic and more in tune with his wife's needs. Libby also realizes she's been short-changing her husband as a result of their infertility troubles, and their re-connection is completely satisfying. (In every way...Ride 'em, cowboy!). My favorite part of the book is when Libby makes Quinn's fantasy come true by wearing nothing but the fringy, black suede chaps. As Libby models the scandalous "outfit" Quinn says..."Keep goin. I'm gettin all kinds of worked up." Hee hee hee....gotta love those cowboys!

This is a great addition to the Rough Riders Series.
Grade: A

Okay, ladies and gentlemen. The Christmas Countdown Has Commenced...here we go!
Penelope

Friday, December 17, 2010

Beard of the Day



Jeff Bridges is someone who is aging extremely well in Hollywood (take note Sylvester Stallone...no more plastic surgery for you!).

Not only is Mr. Bridges currently kicking ass in Tron, but he is also channeling his inner bad-ass cowboy in True Grit. In fact, I would have to say that Jeff Bridges is the King of Bad-Assery right about now.

His beard is sometimes old and scraggly, sometimes neat and trim. But he always has that sexy, scruffy, growly, bad boy thing going on, which I totally adore. Oh my God, if they ever make a movie about Soulless, I'm praying Jeff Bridges gets the part of Conall the Werewolf! Perfection, baby!

Reading update: I read three great books recently, and will be discussing them soon...Barbara Wallace's The Cinderella Bride, Ella Drake's Silver Bound, and Lorelei James' Strong, Silent Type.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Penelope



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Penelope's Updates: Contest Winner, Blog Hoppin' and Firemen With Glasses


Good morning to all! First up, I would like to announce the winner of the $25 Amazon giftcard (just in time for Christmas shopping!)....thanks to everyone who stopped by and checked out the teaser for Sweet Adventure.

✵✵Congrats to Juju of Tales of Whimsy...you're the lucky winner! Merry Christmas!✵✵

Next up....my blog hoppin' schedule. Stop by Babbling by Books to enter a giveaway and ogle Eric Bana. Today (12/14) I will be at Sandra Sookoo's blog sharing a tasty Christmas cookie recipe. On Monday 12/20, I'll be visiting DIK....well, actually Oskar Klaus will be visiting and discussing the pros and cons of being Santa's son. On Thursday 12/23, I'll be at Book Chick City, doing a "Where Stories Are Made" post...you'll get to see photos of my holiday-inspired office, including antique Christmas decorations from my Nana. And I'll be discussing how I stay focused on writing a series about Santa Claus even when it's a hot and muggy summer day! I'll also be visiting Ex Libris within the next couple of weeks, date to-be-determined.

Finally, my obsessive holiday reading extravaganza continues. It's a sickness I tell you, a sickness! Anyhoo, my latest Christmas erotica is KT Grant's fun, sexy story The Christmas Fantasy. Grant does a great job creating a plus-size heroine (Mandy) who is struggling with her new identity. She has lost a huge amount of weight, but insecurities still linger. Jackson, the sexy firefighter she pines for, thinks she's gorgeous and desirable just the way she is. (I love you, Jackson!) Not only does he dispel her lingering doubts about her own sexiness, he is determined to forge an emotional bond between them. Mandy's self-doubts are spot on and totally believable for a woman coming to terms with her new body. Jackson is a fantastic hero...he's sexy, protective, he wears glasses (yee haw!) and he's a firefighter, for God's sake. Schwing! My favorite bits in the story are when Mandy dances around after her first encounter with Jackson (so cute!), and when Jackson realizes he's fallen in love with the heroine, and wants the whole enchilada with her, not just sex. That's my kind of hero, and my kind of erotica.

If only all of us could have a glasses-wearing, sexy firefighter hellbent on our sexual pleasure for a Christmas present. It would be a very, merry Christmas indeed. ☺☺☺
Grade: A-

Hope all of you are gearing up for the big day! Please stop by and visit me on my blog tour...I would love to see you!

Penelope


Monday, December 13, 2010

Penelope's Top 20 List for 2010


Yep, 2010 has been a doozy. Aside from the near-death experience (!!!!), it also had some interesting romance reading.

Here's Penelope's Top 20 for 2010:

1. Best New-To-Me Sub-Genre: Amish romance. A Simple Amish Christmas by Vannetta Chapman was an unexpected pleasure...sweet, romantic, and the hero has a beard. What more could a girl ask for?

2. Best Debut Novel: No contest. Carolyn Crane's phenomenal UF masterpiece Mind Games blew me right out of the water. The totally original, quirky and satisfying novel was ridiculously brilliant. Bravo, Carolyn!

3. The Best Book I Never Read: Lover Mine by JR Ward? I appear to have fallen off the JR Ward bandwagon, and I'm not sure when I'll get back on.

4. Best Quickie: Lena Goldfinch's The Language of Souls was just a gorgeous book. Beautifully written, and utterly romantic. I loved the symbolism, and I adored the final perfect kiss.

5. Best Fictional Beard: Ian from Robyn Carr's A Virgin River Christmas. A big ole lumber-jack style beard. And it's red. Win!

6. Best Tortured Hero: Malkom from Kresley Cole's Demon from the Dark. An abused blood slave, on the verge of sanity....a true savage hero. His path to redemption was that much sweeter (and sexier).

7. Biggest Disappointment: Blameless by Gail Carriger. Soulless was one of my favorite reads of the year. The delicious chemistry between Alexia and Conall was just too good to be true. The fact that Carriger kept these two characters apart until the bitter end of Blameless was an enormous misstep.

8. Most Totally Unexpected Kick Ass Book With Most Unlikely Heroine And Hero: Skin Game by Ava Gray. When I started reading this book, I didn't think I was going to like it. Or the characters. By the end, I was completely absorbed and praying for their HEA. Amazingly fabulous book.

9. Most Insane Temporary Reading Obsession: Tie between "Tycoon" books and aliens. What the hell was I thinking?

10. Biggest Bunch Of Marshmallow Fluff: Julia Quinn's Ten Things I Love About You. The Bridgerton series seems a lifetime ago.

11. Favorite Mystery: Annette Blair's Death By Diamonds. Vintage clothes, cool paranormal heroine, and a yummy love triangle made this the most adorable mystery I read in 2010.

12. Coolest Paranormal Descriptions: Water Bound by Christine Feehan. Rikki's affinity for water was spell-binding and awe-inspiring. Now that's what I'm talking about!

13. Favorite Christmas Read: A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr. This book was so emotionally satisfying. And Ian was one of my favorite heroes of the year...a wounded gentle ex-soldier healed by the love of a good woman. Sigh.

14. Best Historical: A tie between The Endearment by LaVyrle Spencer and Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley. Both of these books were beautiful love stories.

15. Most Heroic Ferret In A Romance Novel: Dodger, in Married By Morning by Lisa Kleypas.

16. Favorite Recommendation By Another Blogger: Julia Barrett's Beauty and the Feast, recommended by Mandi at Smexybooks. Not only did I love this book, I love Julia, too...she's a total sweetheart and a wonderful writer. Good pimpin, Mandi!

17. Best Sex Scene: The bath scene in Kresley Cole's Demon from the Dark. Holy Macarena! Soap me up, Malkom. Come on, you know you wanna....

18. Best Heroine: This is a toughie. Runner-up for this category is Rikki in Water Bound. Christine Feehan took a huge chance creating an autistic heroine, but her risk totally panned out. Rikki is strong, loving, loyal and brave. She's a wonderful heroine. But my favorite heroine of the year goes to Denise in Jeaniene Frost's First Drop Of Crimson. Some other readers were not digging this book--it's quite different from Frost's Night Huntress series. But I thought this book was great, especially Denise, an ordinary woman thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Not only was she completely determined to save her family and Spade, I loved that she made a point to save another character who was unfairly slated for death. That was a truly heroic act.

19. Best Hero: My favorites for the year...Conall, the growly, sexy alpha werewolf from Soulless. Spade from First Drop of Crimson. Malkom, tortured sexy soul from Demon from the Dark. Aidan, hunkalicious Irish hero from Nora Robert's Jewels of the Sun. But my #1 favorite for the year is Lev from Water Bound. When Christine Feehan nails it, she nails it. Lev is a stone cold killer who is incredibly patient and understanding with the autistic woman he loves. Lev and Rikki's love story is a perfect example of Christine Feehan's mastery of the romance genre.

20. Best Book: I love the unexpected. Gail Carriger's Soulless was a mix of steampunk inventions, paranormal politics, had a wicked sense of humor, a hilarious heroine, and a sexy werewolf hero. It was delicious. Skin Game was a wild, sometimes violent, sexy, suspenseful ride. These were both in the running for best read of 2010. But my absolute favorite for the year is Carolyn Crane's Mind Games. The premise is stunningly original, the storyline fascinating, the characters compelling, the writing superb. I was pissed off when it was over. Something tells me Carolyn Crane is just beginning her ascent to literary greatness. In my not so humble opinion.

All my best,
Penelope

Friday, December 10, 2010

Beard of the Day




Despite his cuss-filled tirade on the Terminator Salvation set, his disturbing choice of movie roles (American Psycho) and his penchant for severe weight loss, Christian Bale is a hottie. Especially with this nicely groomed beard. There's something about his look that appeals to me...he's got a little bit of a naughty boy inside of him (clearly evident by the cuss-filled tirade). But he also looks intelligent, masculine, sexy. And even though the beard is nicely trimmed, you get the feeling he's holding back a wild man.

Yowzah!

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I am juggling an 8 year old's birthday party at Plaster Fun Time and son's swim meet. And reading some naughty erotica (KT Grant's The Christmas Fantasy).

Peace,
Penny

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm Viral, Baby!


No, no, no. I don't have swine flu. My satirical post about the Amazon romance boards appears to have struck a nerve. Thanks to Babbling About Books, Read React Review, and Smart Bitches, I've had a boatload of traffic to my post. Thanks to all! Glad you like it.

Here are my random updates...

1) Daughter celebrated her 8th birthday yesterday. On her wishlist....high heel stiletto black books and a huge diamond brooch. What she got...an American girl doll. Happy Birthday!

2) I've been in a re-reading frenzy. Finished Rachel Gibson's Simply Irresistible (alpha male jock and prissy run-away bride get it on), Christine Feehan's Predatory Game (awesome Ghostwalker book with hero in wheel chair...it's fabulous!), and Mary Balogh's Under the Mistletoe anthology....I re-read "A Family Christmas," probably my all time favorite holiday novella. So romantic!

3) Speaking of Christine Feehan, I emailed her (again) to ask when she was going to write Skyler's story. She answered (again)...."I don't know when their story will be told. I only know that when it is time I will be able to feel it and then I will write their story." UGH! Feel it now, CF! Feel it now!!!!!!!

4) I will be visiting Not Another Romance Blog today for an interview, guest blog post and cooking lesson by Nicholas and Lucy Klaus, and a giveaway! Please stop by for the festivities. Rita is having a month long blog party for the holidays.

5) Also, today is the last day for my giveaway. Please check out the teaser for Sweet Adventure, leave a comment for me or any of the Klaus brothers, and you will be entered to win!

6) I picked up my Christmas cards yesterday. They spelled my son's name wrong. $#%@^#% Okay, now I have to wait for a rush order with the corrected cards. Clear blue ocean, clear blue ocean.....

Hope to see you at Not Another Romance Blog!
Penny


Friday, December 3, 2010

A Day In The Life Of The Amazon Romance Boards


New Topic: Big Breasted Heroines


Jeni: Hi! I really, really love books with big breasted heroines. Any recommendations for me? Thanks!

Cin: Have you tried Susie Q's series, Big Breasted Babes In Love? It's chock full of them.

Mari: Hi Jeni! Also, Susie W's book Lusting for Cari is a good one. I think the heroine is a 32CC, not huge, but still....big enough.

JK: 32CC is not big breasted.

Adam: Hi everyone! Hope you are all having a nice day. I thought you might be interested in my new book, The History of Bosnia. I released it today on the Kindle. Please give it a try. Thanks, Adam

Tami: I just read a fun vampire/werewolf/Amish/UF/steampunk spanky erotica called Dark. All of the 14 heroines had super big breasts. It was the source of their paranormal powers. I would definitely recommend this one. Good luck, Jeni

Gigi: Adam...this is a ROMANCE board. No one gives a flying f**k about the history of Bosnia. Go find some losers in the history section.

Tina: I just read a book with a small breasted heroine, called Sally and Bobby. Bobby has a nice chest, too.

JK: Stay on topic, Tina. We are looking for BIG breasts. Sheesh. I am down-voting your post.

Tami: JK, don't be such a b*tch.

Adam: FYI, The History Of Bosnia just got a 5 star review from my mother. Here's the link. I hope you'll consider my book. I worked on it for twelve years.

Gigi: Adam, GET OUT! We hate you. Like we give a sh*t about your mother's opinion. Get a freakin' life, loser.

Kati: Jeni, do you consider 36 DDD big enough? My twin sister Betti just wrote a book called Love in the Afternoon. She's an independent author and her book is great. The heroine's breasts are quite large and bouncy.

Jeni: Thanks for all the recommendations! I am going to check them out now...

Marci: Jeni, do you like PR? UF? w/ HEA? or M/M/M/F?

Adam: What language are you speaking?

Dotti: I read a Christian inspirational recently with a large-bosomed lady, called The Loneliest Rose. She was terribly self-conscious. It was troubling.

Jami: How about Outlander?

Marci: Why is it that Outlander is recommended on every board? Huh? For God's sake people, give it a rest. Outlander is not that great.

Gigi: Outlander is the greatest book ever published. I'm down-voting your post, Marci.

Marci: Oh, great, it's the We-Love-Outlander brigade. I'm down-voting your post, Gigi. You b***h!

Jasaminda: Hi! I just read a fascinating book about the history of Bosnia. Some of the characters have big breasts. It's really, really good. You should all go out and buy it right now.

Gigi: Jesus H. Christ, Adam. How stupid do you think we are? Jasaminda? GET OUT! We hate you, we hate Bosnia, we hate history books, we hate indie authors. I am down-voting your post, Jassy, and I'm reporting your spam to Amazon.

Jojo: Hi everyone! This is a great topic. I just read a book called Forever Yours, by Susie B. The heroine, and all of her sisters, and their cousins, and neighbors, too, had large knockers. Although, the book sort of sucked. But it does fit Jeni's criteria.

Patsi: Why the obsession with large breasts? Do breasts really define a woman? Her sexuality? Her desirability? I think other attributes are more important than breast size. Like creamy skin, luminescent eyes, and silky hair with lots of low lights and high lights.

Gigi: I'm down-voting your post, Patsi.

Tami: Kick it down a notch, Gigi. Did you take your lexapro today?

Staci: Hi Jeni! I just wrote a book called Lovers in Love. The heroine has large breasts. It's a wonderful and heart-warming and sexy story. Please check it out. Thanks!

WBJ: Oh for Christ's sakes! Will you indie authors get out of here! You are not welcome. You are not following Amazon guidelines and you are an abomination against all of mankind.

Staci: Pardon me? My book perfectly fits the criteria for this thread. Bite me, WBJ.

Gigi: I'm down-voting Staci's posts.

JK: You go, girl!

Chichi: Never mind them, Staci. The Promo Police try to squash us, undermine our creative impulses, destroy our spirits, and crush our hopes of ever having anyone besides our mothers purchase our books. But we independent authors will not be broken!!!!!!

Daisy: Go, Chichi!

Meggie: That's right, sistah! Indie Authors Forever!

Gigi: Where do these skanky indie ho's from hell come from? Seriously. They are KILLING me.

Kitti: Jeni, do you like back-door action (in your books, I mean...LOL!). If so, Gerald's Lust is a good book for you. The heroine has massive boobies. Hope you like it!

Jeni: Thanks, Kitti!

Tami: Did you write that book, Kitti? Just wonderin'....

Kitti: No. I'm not a writer. I'm have a doctorate in genetics and biochemistry from Harvard. I just happen to enjoy erotica with plenty of back-door action as a past time. What's it to you?

Adam: Hi Jeni-- I just re-wrote my book, The History Of Bosnia. I included several characters with large breasts. Please consider buying my book. I am begging you.

Babi: My favorite themes are death, murder, child abduction, rape and pillaging, and triads. Does anyone have a recommendation for me?

Tami: Babi, this is not appropriate for this thread. Please try to stay on topic. You can start another thread to discuss these types of books.

Cin: Actually, someone already did. Here's the link.

Barbi: My cat died today.

Joanie: Barbi, so sorry about that! Did your cat have big breasts?

Jeni: Well, thanks to everyone for your suggestions. My TBR pile is growing and growing! I think I'll start with The History Of Bosnia.

Adam: God bless you, Jeni. Will you marry me?


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Naughty and Nice


I am continuing with my obsessive holiday reading extravaganza!

First, the "naughty" selection: Evangeline Anderson's Kidnapped For Christmas. It's your typical holiday story...girl meets boy (by being kidnapped), boy spanks girl and gives her the best sexual experience of her life, girl falls in love with boy (after a few minutes), boy and girl have a huge misunderstanding involving a diabetic cat's name (which also happens to be the "safe word" for their BDSM play, unbeknownst to the girl), boy and girl pine for each other for three long, lonely weeks, girl shows up at boy's place of work in a trench coat and sexy lingerie, boy and girl make up with a spanking and sex-on-a-table, girl invites boy to her family's Christmas party.

So, here's what I liked about it...the heroine is "curvy" (not a skinny supermodel) and the hero is totally hot for her. The sex is spicy, the BDSM is "light" (not too crazy), and even though this story really has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, it's a fun, sexy read. I just find the whole idea of these two "falling in love" pretty ludicrous (as far as I know, it takes more than some spanking to fall in love), but other than that I thought this was an entertaining read.

Grade: B/B+

Now, for the "nice" book: The First Love Cookie Club by Lori Wilde. Even though I am starting to dread contemporary romances, I thought I would give this one a try. Lots of folks are recommending it.

What I liked...the story is very sweet, very sentimental, and chock full of Christmas-y themes. The hero is fabulous...I love him...charming, sexy, an incredible, loving father, and....did I mention sexy? Unfortunately, I wasn't digging the heroine...she was sort of irritating, and frankly, I couldn't figure out why the hero thought she was so great. There was too much deep POV in here (which happens a lot with contemporary romances, and it drives me nuts), but otherwise the ending was very satisfying. I was hoping for an epilogue with a wedding, to bring their mystical dreams to life, but we didn't get one. Oh well. Overall, a very sweet holiday tale.

Grade: B/B+

Think I might check out Mary Balogh's new Christmas anthology next. I'll be sad when December is over!
Penelope