Monday, October 21, 2013

A Two-fer: A Writerly Type Blog Hop & A Review

One of my good bloggy friends, Allyson Lindt, tagged me in a hop AND I've just finished reading her most recent contemporary romance, so for today's post I'm offering a two-fer-the-price-of-one. (Not that I'm charging y'all to read this, or anything, but you know what I mean...) So first, let's go to—

The Hop!

For this writerly-type hop, authors who've been tagged answer a buncha questions, then tag 3 of their fellow writers to do the same. (There's always a catch.) The questions are as follows:

What are you working on right now?
'Cause I'm pressed for time (and lazy), I'm gonna rip off the answer I gave in an interview I did earlier this month, with one of the gals I'm tagging for this Hop:
A mini-anthology of three short stories, as I want to show my more “modern voice.” In terms of fiction, my readers will have come to know the “Homer meets Jane Austen” voice I used in That Fatal Kiss, so I want folks to know I’m not a one-trick pony. Two of the shorts are paranormal/supernatural stories set in the present, and the third tale will follow Hades and Persephone as they settle into married life (with all the horrors that entails).
How does it differ from other works in its genre?
Well, I claim to be an author of "dark and whimsical romance." While there's plenty of paranormal stuff out there, even funny paranormal (MaryJanice Davidson & Katie MacAlister are two of my fave writers), my particular brand of whimsy has an especially sophisticated edge to it. I like to think so, anyway. (Be a lamb and don't shatter my delusions, if you disagree.) (Better still, don't disagree; it's not nice to contradict a Goth Mom.)

Why do you write what you do?
Oh, why the hell not? J/K. In her answer to this question, Allyson said she writes about what she wants to read: characters "living" in her world. I write about the world in which I'd like to live: one filled with magic. Also, I'm getting a little tired of the preponderance of nubile virgin chicks in the 21st century of romance fiction. C'mon, folks—in the 21st century??!?!!?! I want to read about middle-aged gals, like me, who've been around the block a few times, stalled, and eventually got their motors running again. (I'm hoping that last bit comes to pass for me sooner, rather than later.)

How does your writing process work?
When it's working, with lots of coffee. Formerly, with cigarettes, too, but I've been off them for a little over two months now. (Yay, me!) Uh...I like to write at night, possibly because when The Kid was little, that's the only time I had to write. I usually write a first draft long-hand, then typing it out becomes the second draft, though I've also written first drafts on my laptop (which I find both exhilarating and terrifying).

Writerly-friends, I tag YOU:

And now...

THE REVIEW!

TOEING THE LINE is #2 in Allyson's Bits & Bytes series (though actually, a prequel makes this the 3rd book, technically). Here's the gist of it:
Zane’s time in the Air Force doing electronic surveillance has taught him a thing or two about keeping secrets. But when his best friend, Riley, finds out what he’s kept from her, their “friends with benefits” relationship won’t be what threatens their growing feelings for each other.

Riley tends to fall hard and fast for the guys she dates, and it never ends with the wedding bells she expects. Tired of the heartbreak and unsure if she even knows what love is, she swears off unreliable things like dating and trying to find that elusive happily-ever-after spark. Focusing on her art seems like the perfect distraction, except she’s missing the physical side of being half a couple. Fortunately, her best friend, Zane, is happy to model for her drawings and tie her up in the bedroom, with no expectations. Just fun.

Zane’s granddad raised him with the belief that people who bring joy to the world should be protected at all costs. For Zane, his best friend Riley is one of those people, and he definitely doesn’t mind when making her happy involves helping her pursue her creative dream and some sport sex with a hint of kink. They can have fun, and he can keep her from falling for the next idiot who comes along while she searches for her Prince Charming.

Regardless of her resolution, as things heat up between them Riley finds herself falling again. She needs to decide if she’s in love with the idea of being in love, or if—despite Zane’s insistence that she deserves someone better—what she feels for him is the real thing. If she can’t learn to trust her heart and convince Zane he’s exactly what she needs, it will obliterate a lifelong friendship.
The idea of "no-strings-sex" seems a recurring theme in this series. Interestingly, apart from book 1, the couples involved already know each other, they've already got a history. With history, there are, naturally enough, feelings, which tend to make "no-strings-sex" tricky to pull off. On the other hand, when the sex is as hot as Zane and Riley's, I can understand being reluctant to leave off having it. The book starts off hard and fast with some spicy remote-sex, and develops into lightly-kinky real-life sex not too far down the storyline.

In this work of fiction, Allyson explores a truth that always amazes me: how people so intimately involved with one another physically can be completely clueless about one another's emotions (and sometimes, about their own). I can truly empathize with Riley's confusion as to whether what she feels for a man is actually love, or if she's just so lonely that she projects feelings which aren't real. (I really, truly can.) Toward the end of the tale, Riley does seem to have come to a resolution on this matter, which isn't altogether clear to me—I'd have liked to have seen what brought her to the point of action which broke through the impasse her relationship with Zane'd hit. But her choice didn't surprise, as every thought of hers (and Zane's—love the name, BTW) led up to this very moment.

TOEING THE LINE is a fun, quick, steamy read set in a modern world that fans of shows like The Big Bang Theory may really get into. I look forward to more of Allyson Lindt's hip love stories...and as it happens, her newest contemporary romance novella, Unconventional Fling, is available TODAY!

Click here to read Chapter 1 for FREE!

11 comments:

  1. Congrats on quitting smoking, and yes, coffee is always a must! I can't wait to read the anthology, I'm all about the modern voice, though you did do classic some serious justice in That Fatal Kiss.

    (and thanks for the review and the pimpage :-D)

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  2. Good for you for quitting smoking!!! Keep up the good work. Agree with you on the coffee though!

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  3. I am SO PROUD of you for quitting smoking! Keep it up girl!!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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  4. Yay for you! Smoking is a tough habit to be sure. Good review too...so many books to read out there! If only... Gave up long hand years ago, and boy has my cursive suffered for it. I don't mind because it's so much easier to pound my keyboard everyday.

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  5. I caught your notice on FB and then forgot all about it! I'm bad! LOL Thank you for the tag, I promise I'll answer it in November!
    Great review!
    I've also noticed that your book is receiving it's own great reviews! Congratulations, and so, so deserving!

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    1. Yeah, lemme know when you've done your post! :-)

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  6. Thanks, all! I appreciate the support. There've been some rough moments when I *really* wanted a cigarette, but I didn't cave. Man, this quitting business is *hard*.

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  7. You're definitely right about the large number of virgins present in romance fiction. A woman with experience in the bedroom can be quite sexy too! Is it weird that I like stories where the woman with experience is teaching the virginal guy a thing or two in the sack? Hmm . . .

    Oops. My mind wandered there for a second.

    Anyway, congrats on giving up cigarettes! Definitely one of the hardest habits to kick, but it sounds like you're doing great!

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  8. Congratulations on quitting smoking, that's a very difficult thing to do. I might say I'll never quit smoking because I'm a fire dragon, hahaha. (Seriously, tobacco quit me.)
    Dear Mina, I've come to ask you to drop by the cave, if you please, and pick up a special invitation there with your name on it. You're in my Guests of Honor list and it would mean the world to me you join the celebration on the appointed date. I hope you say yes. Dragon Hugs to you!

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    1. Sorry to be so delayed in replying; been traveling for the day job with little Internet access but hope to catch up soon. :-)

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