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Graphic Sex Scenes in Romance Novels

25 Jun

Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I just don’t like gratuitous sex scenes in novels. I don’t see why they’re romantic or even sexy. If anything, they make me giggle. There’s something really over-the-top about these scenes. They just don’t seem realistic and especially in historical novels, feel really out-of-place.

Would a shy débutante really let a rake ravish her in the corner of a ball room? The thought makes me cringe. I remember skimming through my mum’s dirty novels as an adolescent. I’d enjoy the banter between the hero and the heroine but all the heaving bosoms? These scenes did nothing for me. I usually skipped them completely because romance can be expressed in other, more effective ways. I much prefer witty banter or a stolen kiss.

Historical novels are also filled with cliché characters, such as:

* The roguish, dashing Highlander
* The innocent, virginal English rose
* The witty, spunky heiress
* The conniving relative

I am sure there are many others. There are few original characters left anymore but unless written really well, these archetypes are tedious to read about. If you are going to flout historical accuracy by writing racy sex scenes, at least make the characters fun. What about a clergyman who falls for a courtesan? What about a woman accused of witchcraft finding love in her cell?

And then there’s the covers. What’s sexy about an unrealistic fellow rippling with Photoshop masculinity? And then they lean over the heroine, whose dress is half undone and spilling with cleavage. The word tacky comes to mind. I can’t help but think that this sort of soft-porn only appeals to middle-aged housewives with expanded waistlines. But looking at the steady sales of such novels, I must be mistaken. Give me the classy covers of Heyer any day. Modern authors like Amanda Grange or Abigail Reynolds, too, use historical covers. And I think they’re gorgeous.

The possibilities are endless. I always have a dozen potential stories in mind at any given time. Some are abandoned, others never reach the page. The point is: I write romance without sex scenes because I am more interested in the journey of falling in love. I grew up watching Jane Austen and being a re-enactor of the Regency period. Whether I like it or not, it has affected my writing.

So yes, I am old-fashioned. But is being a hopeless romantic really that bad? I would rather wait for the right one than end up with ten wrong ones.

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>Game of Thrones – Fantasy HBO series

11 Mar

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Epic alert. This looks very promising.

Based on the best-selling books by George R.R. Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire comes a TV-series called Game of Thrones.


Yep, this should be a feast for the eyes. Starring Sean Bean and Lena Headey (300) it is described as a story about kings, queen, knights and renegades all fighting to obtain the throne in the mythical land of Westeros. It is said to be a gritty fantasy story filled with intrigue and politics and considering it airs on HBO they needn’t hold anything back.

SYNOPSIS:


Seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros. Political and sexual intrigue abound. The primary families are the Stark, Lannister, and Baratheon families. Robert Baratheon, King of Westeros, asks his old friend Eddard Stark to serve as his chief advisor.

Eddard, suspecting that his predecessor had been murdered, accepts so that he can investigate further. It turns out more than one family is plotting to take the throne. The Queen’s family, the Lannisters, may be hatching a plot to take control.

Across the sea, the last surviving members of the previously deposed ruling family, the Targaryens, are also plotting a return to power. The conflict between these families and others, including the Greyjoys, the Tullys, the Arryns, and the Tyrells, leads to war. Meanwhile, in the north, an ancient evil awakens. Amidst war and the political confusion, a brotherhood of misfits, The Night’s Watch, is all that stands between the realms of men and the horrors beyond.


View the featurette below for lots of information, interviews and footage:




Games of Thrones has 10 episodes for Season 1. The series start airing on April 17th.

>Sixties Sophistication: Mad Details on Mad Men

25 Jan

>Count me among those who have yet to see Mad Men. Although the show looks undeniably stylish and has been lavished with numerous awards, I’ve yet to see one episode. After a long day at the office, I lack the time to watch series after series. Having recently finished my Supernatural S1 – S4 DVD box, I’ve now continued with House (S1 – S6). I can squeeze in one or two episodes a night before I go to bed and manage a few more on the weekends. Even so, you do the math. It’d take me another few months before I have time to immerse myself in the sixties world of Mad Men.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not interested. You might think it’s the costumes that are beginning to draw me in; pictures of pretty ensembles appear frequently all over the internet. Or you might think it’s the billboard charm of Don Draper that piques my curiosity and honestly, he knows how to wear his suits with style. Or you might think it’s the time period in general that puts Mad Men on the top of my to-see list. Nope. My mind was made up when I read an article about the props. Yes, you read that right. The reason I want to see Mad Men is because of the details rather than the big picture. Mostly the perfume bottle holder. It’s a gorgeous piece that really completes the scene.

I’ll show you what I mean. Click the link at the bottom to view the article and images in their original size for better viewing.

Seeking perfection: A stagehand attends to a minor prop detail as actresses January Jones and Kiernan Shipka (Betty and Sally Draper) prepare for a scene


CLASSY: Characters Roger Sterling and Don Draper in a bar scene

CLASSY: Characters Roger Sterling and Don Draper in a bar scene

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1315217/Revealed-The-incredible-attention-TVs-stylish-period-drama-Mad-Men.html#ixzz1C3K6hzV6

>A Regency Scene – A Mischievous Scheme

10 Jan

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A continuation of: part 1 and part 2

The only person in the county to share her opinion was her best friend, Amelia Warren, whom she had known since childhood. Miss Warren, who was three years her senior, acted the part of her adviser in all matters of importance; it was mainly through her influence that the Hamilton family lived with economy and good taste. Amelia frequently with her brought the latest news from Paris in terms of fashion and the occasional gossip. Thanks to her great wealth and title, Miss Warren could do whatever she pleased and had taken a lover rather than a husband.

The only reason society still acknowledged her was because her promiscuity was a private affair only Audrey could confirm. The lover had to her even been introduced; Mr. Dawson, a gentleman’s second son and therefore heir to nothing except an allowance of a meagre 500 pounds per annum. This display of shocking indecorum initially repulsed Miss Hamilton. But once she saw the freedom the arrangement provided and the many pleasures her friend was privy to, she began to envy her situation rather than condemning it.

“You should take a lover, Audrey. Disinterested as you are in marriage, you should still allow yourself access to the pleasures of matrimony,” Amelia imparted as they were drinking tea in the drawing room.

Audrey’s eyes grew dilated and she shifted in her seat and fidgeted with her dress.

“That is impossible. I should fear being discovered. Besides, I have not completely despaired of men; after all, Catherine found herself an excellent husband so it can be done. We are to organise a ball next week at The Crown. Mr. Sharpe has engaged me for a dance and I am promised an introduction to the elusive Mr. Beckham.”

The man featured in their conversation with some regularity and both were anxious to make his acquaintance to find out his true nature. “Oh, I forgot to mention – my mother lately stumbled upon Mr. Beckham at her tailor; she told me he is excessively handsome and exceedingly obliging.”

Miss Hamilton could not but laugh at her theatrical language. “Which does not account for his treatment of us. I shall believe it when I experience his kindness myself; I do not trust another’s opinions. Our neighbours are too impressionable to be relied upon for any sort of valuable information.”



“And does my mother fall in that category?” Amelia teased.

“She’s certainly knowledgeable compared to mine.”

Amelia smiled. “Oh, high praise, indeed! But let us speak in earnest. Are you on the lookout for a husband?”

Even Audrey herself did not know her heart. “Only a very great man can tempt me to accept him. I have not seen a worthy suitor yet. But mama has set her sights on a visit to London so that might remedy my predicament.”

Miss Warren adored London and had long wished her friend to spend the season there; she knew Audrey to be a hopeless romantic and no romance could be found in the country at present – all eligible bachelors had gone away to Town to catch an heiress.

“I think it a very good development. You stayed away too long – such country grudges sully one’s reputation. Besides, I have a great acquaintance in Town and I shall endeavour to introduce you to every single one of them.”

Audrey sipped her tea and indulged in some quiet reflection; perhaps she had stayed away too long, indeed. “I am much obliged, Amelia. My only worry is that no one shall notice me when you stand next to me.”

Although the two friends were equal in beauty and wit, Amelia’s wealth and prospects were superior. Audrey, though respectable and rich, could offer no title or grand estate.

“Nonsense. I have made it perfectly clear I do not wish to marry. No gentleman would willingly subject himself to a rejection by making me an offer. No, I am quite resolved to promote you as the most beautiful, angelic and sweet-tempered girl in the country. You shall have all the attentions that you deserve. You may rely upon it.”

But Miss Hamilton, having endured only one proposal and one season in London, flushed at the notion of such relentless attentions to her person. She hoped that those vying for her notice would be well worth the effort. “They shall abandon me once an introduction to my mother has been made.”

Ever since returning to the country since her disastrous first season, her mother had scared away any potential suitors; her persistence was infamous, her methods questionable.

“Do not make yourself uneasy. The gentleman in Town are far too worldly to be so easily discouraged; but, perhaps I should include a warning in my promotion of fair Miss Hamilton. It might arouse their sympathy, rather than their abhorrence.”

But the idea sickened Miss Hamilton. “No, pray don’t speak of my mother. I will invent some scheme to keep her home. I might apply to the generosity of my aunt and uncle in escorting me to events. They are sociable creatures and very fond of me. They often write to beg me to come visit. I shall make my apologies to my mother and explain. To do so without injuring her shall be my only difficulty.”

“Can we not send you to Town under some pretext? Surely, your relatives have need of you. Otherwise I will take it upon myself to devise a reason. At any rate, I could accompany you so your arrival would cause the necessary alarm and curiosity.”

“Oh, yes. Mama dotes on you. She thinks you a very good influence (ahem). I am certain of her acquiescence if we were to travel together.”

Amelia’s eyes glistened with mischief. “Now all we have to do is tell her.”

At such times of emotional trial she turned to poetry: John Keats was her current favourite, after a brief time of Wordsworth. It was in poems a gleam of life with all its promise and potential revealed itself to her. “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever,” she recited to herself to give her courage. Taking in a sharp breath, she entered her mother’s room and thought to herself: what would Jane do? Jane, of course, being Jane Austen.