Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Dunno Why It Is...

That some foreign book covers just appeal to me more than others...


I'm sure it'll come to me... Answers on a postcard please...

Meanwhile yes I am buried deep, deep, deeeeeppp in the cave. With dire warnings to FOCUS and NOT to show my cyber face on the internet. I can remember a time when I used to be able to write you know. Sigh.

So I thought I'd leave you with the scenery instead.

You're welcome!

Oh P.S. This cover is best appreciated horizontally. Not that I'd know obviously - it's just a hunch...


Friday, September 5, 2008

Me In Various Different Locations

I'm all over the place this week. In more ways than one. So if anyone has a coffee in their hands and a few minutes procrastination time then why not come blog hopping avec moi???

As part of the celebrations for her year of her 50th Book I'm over at the VERY LOVELY Liz Fielding's blog and you can be in it to win it for a signed copy of The Millionaire's Proposal if you like too (if you already have it and you win I'll come up with an alternative - k?) The very fact that Liz has done fifty books kinda makes me reach for the cake. I'm fighting the good fight to get number nineteen done so the thought of what it took to get to more than double that??? Yeah. You're with me, I know you are. BRAVO LIZ and MAJOR KUDOS!!!

Then it's off to the IHeart Presents Blog where as part of the Modern Heat authors giving out advice for people writing Modern Heat or planning on entering the Feel The Heat contest - I'm talking dialogue. One of my strong points I'll admit. But then anyone who has met me will know talking has never really been a problem for me ;) I have a much longer list of things that DO. So you can come talk dialogue to me over there and ask questions and remember we're still taking Modern Heat questions here too - I'll get back to those at the start of next week. Come kick me if I don't...

Next up I'm being asked questions either today or over the weekend at the Harlequin Romance blog. Now I'm fairly sure it's not that long since I answered these for the lovely Donna but can I remember what a single one of them was at this point??? Erm... errrmmmmm.... Right. So that'll be ME going to look see what they were too then. This is a prime example of why no-one should ever give me keys to look after. Or small children. Though the sugar rush induced on a visit to Auntie Trish's usually makes the latter easier to locate. And encourages Auntie Trish to hand them back.

Please do visit and leave a comment. It makes me look like I have friends...

Meanwhile, back in the extended extended extended deadline cave I'm wondering why it was I was homesick in SUNNY and HOT California. When I left it was raining. Now I'm back it's _____ (fill in the blank at will). Suffice to say I'm considering building an ARK for all my animals. So this weekend I'll be writing and watching the rain slide down the windows while feeling guilty that my horses are still outside. Wanna tell me what you'll be doing this weekend so I can live vicariously through you???

And I leave you with a mystery to be solved supersleuths. When foreign editions arrive at my door I'm usually VERY good at figuring out where they came from. But THIS ONE is a COMPLETE mystery to me. It's obviously a language I've never been published in before. The book opens and therefore reads backwards. ANY IDEAS?! It's one of those things that's niggling me beyond belief. I NEED TO KNOW.


?????

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Review Of A Review For The Millionaire’s Proposal


Okay here we go. And before I even get started I wanna point out once again that EVERYONE has differing perceptions and they are all ENTIRELY ENTITLED to their opinion. Does that mean we all have to agree with those opinions? Work with me here. Read the line about perceptions and opinions again. Yuh huh? Okay - we’re good to go then. And yes, its gonna be loooonnnggggg…

No really. It is.


Prepare yourself for brutal honesty and a rare peek into my personal life. The latter I don’t tend to go into online and I’m not gonna elaborate on it so no therapy required – you can breathe easy. I’ve long since accepted my own particular version of insanity and the causes of it.

Now I’ve been known to disagree with the odd reviewer before in my early days. I’ve been known to rant. I like to think I’ve got better about jumping down the throats of people who don’t like my books to defend them… yes, welcome to the world of being a writer Trish. Thick skin required. I’ve learned to take the bad with the good a little better than before and like every other writer, if they’re honest about it, I’m selective about my quotes from reviews to show the most positive part them – even if it’s only four words out of 500. We’re in the business of trying to encourage people to read our books after all, and once the book is in a reader’s hands - whether or not they ever pick up another one ever again is up to them. We hope they do. We pray every day that they do. We eat copious amounts of cake while waiting to see if they have when sales figures come out… Mind you, we also leave links to the rest of the review so we’re allowing people to go read the 496 words that said the book sucked like a nine year old lemon…

Hmmm…I might need a second to rethink that one after this blog…

Anyhoos, in general The Millionaire’s Proposal has been very well received. I can put down the cake and step away. I don’t seem to have a nine year old lemon on my hands – so far. Not that I haven’t HAD a nine year old lemon. Trust me. I have books I still cringe at the thought of. Am I telling you which ones? Erm… no… I’d hate to prejudice you and I’m not looking for compliments. Though obviously my cake eating is substantially lessened by them ;) So running on the theory of percentages I was due a review that wasn’t so good. And I got it. In spades. I once headed a blog about a review as ‘It’s Official – I Suck’. This time I didn’t just suck. I crashed, burned, am TSTL in writerly terms and give nine year old lemons A BAD NAME.

Now I should point out that I’ve had five books reviewed by this site to date, by five different reviewers – and they’re a HIGHLY respected site. Two of those books held their head above water. They had some criticisms that were fair and I was just plain old ecstatic they hadn’t thought they sucked (especially since one of them was my first book!). But the last three have consistently sucked to higher and higher levels of lemonishness in their opinion and they’ve made some comments I understood but they’ve also made some that made me blink in wonder at how they read a completely different story to the one I thought I’d written. The argument from many would be that they’re not fans of series romance in general and we suffer harsher critique because of it. I dunno about that. And I’m not in possession of any actual proof, so I’m not even entering that debate. (I'm pretty sure it's libel or slander or something that might cost me money) I do think it’s fair to say they don’t like my writing. Fair enough. And they’re a busy, busy site trying to review dozens upon dozens of books a week FOR FREE so it’s not like they’re not doing a lot for the genre as a whole and their time isn’t PRECIOUS. It’s their frank and honest opinion that keeps authors on their toes and earns them respect. But I won’t be submitting to them again. It’s a waste of their time. It’s a waste of my money posting the book. I hold no grudge. It’s like dating – some relationships work and some don’t and this one plainly doesn’t. We’re just not a good match. And they’re more than capable of being mature enough to understand that isn’t meant in a stamping heels screaming and pouting kinda way.

In the same way they’re thick-skinned enough to take it when I review their review to make my point when it comes to differing perceptions…

Deep breath. Here we go.

The All About Romance review for The Millionaire’s Proposal:

‘Millionaire takes heroine on the trip of her life, traveling the world and showing her unique sights she never would have discovered on her own. As fantasy scenarios go, this one would be right at the top of my list. I've been all over the U.S., but I long for international travel, and thus far my opportunities have been rather thin. Happily, road and travel romances can let you live vicariously. Well, sometimes happily. I loved the premise for The Millionaire's Proposal, but thought the characters left something to be desired.’

This is one of the things I love about AAR reviews. They get straight to the point. Succinct description of the premise, a little about the reviewer we can understand and measure against our own experiences, a statement that everyone can agree with. And then down to the nitty-gritty. No messing around. I already know she hates this book. This is exactly why this site is so respected!

‘Kerry Doyle is about to take the trip of her life. After years of being tied to her family's prestigious Dublin hotel, she's finally put her foot down; she plans to travel the world and see everything she's been missing. On the plane to her first stop (New York), she sits next to a guy who keeps bumping into her. She says something about it, and the two strike up a conversation. His name is Ronan O'Keefe, and he actually writes travel guide books. They flirt, and he offers to show her around New York.’

(I’m now understandably wondering why it took me five thousand words to tell the reader all of that…) All absolutely true – except for the ‘he offers’ part at the end - Kerry asks. Small point, doesn't matter. I now know this person has read my book, not skimmed it or gone by the back blurb or cover and I thank her for taking the time to do that and posting a review. Without people to do this writers wouldn’t have quotes to put on websites to make it look like we know what we’re doing. They supply us with a free service that could cost us money we rarely have when we start out and they read the books because they love to read. Kudos and MAJOR APPRECIATION to reviewers WORLD-WIDE for that. You guys ROCK. I’ve said that MANY TIMES on here but it can NEVER be said enough!

‘Ronan actually has a secret. He is traveling the world too, but it is a farewell tour of sorts, because a rare genetic condition is causing him to gradually lose his sight. He plans to say farewell to all the people and places he loves, while he can still see them. When he meets Kerry, he has an inspiration: She can join him, and he can see everything through her eyes. Not only can she help him get around a bit, but her unique perspective can add something to his guidebooks.’

Yup - though that secret is on the back blurb so it’s not that big a secret before we open the book. But it is to Kerry. Now let’s see; he is, he has, he does. Erm… no. He’s attracted to her but walks away after one day, he can’t stop thinking about her and can’t stop himself from coming back. The ‘inspiration’ is an idea he doesn’t necessary think is a good one but again he can’t seem to stop himself from suggesting it anyway. He then tries to justify it to himself. The man is suffering from a small problem with a river in Egypt. That’s the way I’d thought I’d put it across. This reviewer disagrees. Fair enough. Next time I write a story I need to take that into consideration and see if I can make it clearer without spelling it out. All part of the learning curve…

‘Oh, but there's another issue. Ronan can't actually tell Kerry that he's going blind. Why not, you ask? Mostly because he's a big jerk, but also because the plot requires that his blindness remain a secret.’

Okay. Here’s where I’m starting to do the blinking at the screen thing. It’s not that he can’t it’s that he won’t. You’ve still gotta ask why not though. My answer is gonna be slightly different. He is a big jerk. But he’s a big jerk because he thinks he’s doing the honorable thing (He’s wrong) and no matter what he tells himself, he’s not coping with losing his sight anywhere near as well as he thinks he is (Surprise, surprise). Does the plot require he keep it a secret? Yes, it does. But it does because it’s a HUGE PART of his emotional conflict. Through Kerry he discovers how wrong he is.

Again as a writer I’m now asking myself why that didn’t come across. And I bloody well should be asking too. Because for that not to have come across I’ve failed miserably in what I set out to do. This is where the paranoia sets in. This is where I eat cake till I feel sick, I tell myself it's just one review and force myself to be determined to do better next time. No easy task if you’re in the middle of writing a book that already smells lemony. Whether or not I do better next time out will be in the hands of readers and reviewers. I'm open to being told I suck again. It's author-ly masochism. But that’s the chance every writer on the planet takes. And it’s why at some point ALL of us have to admit we can’t please all of the people all of the time and that some people will understand what we meant and some won’t…everyone has differing perceptions. A reader will either buy us again or they won’t. They have the power of the pocket. Too many of them vote not to spend their hard earned cash on another of my books ever again then my career is over. That’s the writers life. Soft squoodgy imaginative artistic soul that has to create believable happily ever afters pitted against big bad real world where those HEA's are as rare as billionaire’s sitting next to you on a plane. Hence why we eat cake so much

‘As they travel together, he takes care to always get back to the hotel early (because he's completely night blind) or stay at the homes of friends who are in on his secret and who will shield Kerry from the truth. Eventually Ronan and Kerry have sex, but he's determined not to continue their relationship afterwards, because he doesn't want to burden Kerry with a boyfriend/husband who is blind.’

Yup, once again true. This guy is a stubborn lump. He’s falling in love with this woman and yet he’s still determined he’s right when he’s soooo wrong.

‘Here's what I liked about this book: The Travel. Ronan and Kerry share exotic destinations and unique experiences. What fun!’

Thank goodness for that! Cos if I couldn’t get the travel part right when I enjoy it so much myself then I should be stood against a wall and pelted to death with nine year old lemons. I put a lot of personal experience from my traveling into this book and added a heavy smattering of dream locations I’d love to see. If I couldn’t get that passion across to a reader then I’d buy the lemons myself…

‘Here's what I didn't like about this book: Everything else. Ronan is probably the worst part about it. Keeping his secret is selfish, stupid, and unbelievable. But he's a jerk in other ways, too. He tells Kerry what she should pack and when she can shop. He keeps calling her "Kerry, Kerry Doyle" – which made me want to deck him with something heavy. I couldn't imagine why someone would want to be married to a lying, domineering asshole like this.’

Okay, here’s where the reviewer and I start to part company. She didn’t get Ronan at all. Keeping his secret is stupid, I’ll not argue that. Selfish? Selfish is the very last thing he’s aiming for. 'Unbelievable' is another personal perception.

Here’s how I saw it:

This guy has known since childhood that he would lose his sight. He has tried to fill his life with seeing everything he possibly could in the time he had. Just at the very moment he has to face up to the fact his time has run out and he’s going to have to give up a very large portion of the life he loves (and that makes him who he is); he meets a woman he can fall in love with who's about to set out on the very magical journey of discovery he's leaving behind. You tell me he’s gonna do well with that and approach the relationship with common sense and a clear head. Ronan doesn’t. It’s obviously a character trait the reviewer completely doesn't get and that’s her opinion and she’s entitled to it. I can’t change her mind. Other readers have understood it. I understood it when I was writing it. I’d have been as angry as Kerry was at the end when she discovered what he’d done. She pulls him on every single thing he’s got wrong from page 152 to page 156 and again from page 163 to page 173 (by which point he understands he’s an idiot, compromises are being made, she’s forgiving him and they’re moving forwards).

Thing is, now that the reviewer has decided the hero is a schmuck it colors everything else he does. Yes, there is a scene were he’s insisting she downgrade her luggage. I’ve traveled to varying places around the world (for up to a month at a time) and I wish someone would make me do this. I’m getting better at it. Theoretically. But I still carry entirely too much stuff BACK and this year alone I had to unpack my suitcases in airport terminals to get under the baggage allowance not once, not twice but THREE times. I now know to downsize to the bare minimum because I have the experience. Kerry is a first time traveler. Ronan is a seasoned traveler. He knows what’s ahead, she doesn’t. Does he go about encouraging her the right way? Depends on your personal perception… I actually thought it was a funny scene. Does Kerry understand why he’s doing it? Nope she wants to hang on to her stuff even though it’s killing her hauling it everywhere. Did I understand why I was constantly over the weight at three airports? Yes, but I wanted to hang onto my stuff even though it was killing me hauling it everywhere. And when some of my trip was bumpy and I got homesick and upset I wanted to hang onto it twice as hard quite frankly; every bottle of lotion cost me emotionally and the shoes STAYED. Those determined airport people had to bully every ounce off me with steely resolve. So in this book I obviously took my personal experience and my perceptions of travel and a part of my personality and put them all into Kerry. The reviewer didn’t get it, possibly because she hasn’t had the same traveling experiences I have. (Betcha her luggage is NEVER over the weight.) She plainly thought Ronan was a control freak when in my opinion - he was right. But just because a man is right doesn’t mean we women have to agree with him. Kerry disagreed with him and thought she was being bullied but the simple fact is her stuff was like a security blanket to her when everything else was so uncertain and she was thousands of miles away from home doing something completely out of her comfort zone. She was putting up a fight. Even if it involved petulance…

"What the time had done was demonstrate the change in their relationship- yes, his proposition to act as travel guide while journaling her reactions along the way had done that to begin with - but the first leg of their trip had highlighted it in spades. And, honestly, she kinda missed the ease they’d had with each other in New York. Her luggage was almost the last straw…” Page 55.

“Having her stuff with her was a kind of security blanket; he got that.” Page 58.

The when she can shop part? I know exactly where that came from. Ronan made a statement in the book about having shopped with a woman but once in his life and it being a test of a man’s patience. So when Kerry says she’ll have to shop to replace the stuff he’s downsized he tells her its not gonna happen. He’s not gonna let her replace all the stuff she didn’t need in the first place now he’s got her to get rid of it. This was supposed to be a joke women who have shopped with men would understand. I obviously didn’t make that clear enough…So we’ll make a mental note of that one then Trish...

As to the ‘Kerry, Kerry Doyle’. It’s how she first introduces herself and it becomes another running joke as the story progresses. At least that’s how it was meant. Again. A sense of humor is as wide ranging as perceptions after all. But I guess by this point if you’re forcing yourself to read a story about two people you can’t stand because professionalism dictates you keep going - every tiny little annoying thing that might have slid by with people you liked better suddenly becomes the equivalent of fingernails down a blackboard. As a reader I’ve had books I’ve tossed after chapter three. I have the luxury of being able to do that cos there’s no pressure on me to finish it and I don’t then go on and say who they are in a public forum, cos I really can’t do that (combination of ‘been at the other end’ and ‘what comes around’). And yes, there have been things in ones I’ve persisted with that I’ve thought oh COME ON - so fair enough.

‘But Kerry hardly deserves a free pass. She might as well have "doormat" stamped on her forehead. Her family is wealthy, and she has the means to travel, but she waits until her thirties to do so, because her family doesn't want her to leave, even for a minute. She should have told them off years ago. On the plus side, her submissive nature is sure to come in handy in her eventual marriage to Ronan "You'll Pack What I Tell You to Pack" O'Keefe. I guess you could say these two are made for each other, but that doesn't make them any more palatable.’

Here’s where we enter the quagmire of people’s differing perceptions on what constitutes a heroine who is TSTL. (And since I’m pretty much killing all my sales on this book by giving away the entire plot to make a point, I’m gonna hope if nothing else people will try and read it to see what their opinion is.) Kerry is wealthy. She does have the means to travel. She does wait until her thirties to do it, and her family is needy and doesn’t want her off on the other side of the globe when she’s always been there for them before. All absolutely true. She should have told them off years ago. If it was me I would have. Loudly. Submissive nature? Well let’s see what you think. Kerry had her own dreams and plans when she was younger. Then she lost half her family in one fell swoop in a car accident; mother and twin brother (see previous blog post on me and the body count theory/method of murder). Now I’ve lost close family members and I know what grief is like. This you don’t get over in a big hurry. This is a life-altering experience. In times like this a family rallies round and the strongest ones hold the rest of them together or at least bloody well try to. In Kerry’s case she stepped up to the plate and took on a role she had never intended to take on. She gave up her own dreams and plans. She knuckled down and got on with it and learned everything from scratch and then spent years trying to help support her needy family emotionally while burying herself in work. Does that make her appear like a doormat to some people? Maybe it does. But I for one know what it takes to try and conform to the expectations of others while living a life you never planned on having. I gave up writing at twenty and didn’t lift a pen for well over a decade because I was given so much pressure from people who told me it would never amount to anything and I needed to get a life and a job and earn a living. Enough people tell you that you start to believe it; we're good at stomping on dreams when we leave childhood behind sadly. So I became a driven career girl. I did well. For a long time I was head hunted from one job to another. The years rolled by. I met a guy. Got engaged. I was living a complete lie. Then one day I stopped and took a look around me at the life I would have for the next fifty odd years. And I summoned up the courage to walk away from every single thing that made me unhappy and to try for the dream I’d left behind. I sold my first book on my first try. Am I a doormat? Yeah honey, you come try it. Was I a doormat for more years than I care to mention? Yes, as hard as it is for people who have met me now to believe - I was. I really, really was. So the very fact Kerry had the guts to go for something she wanted for herself having lived for so long doing something she’d never asked for in the first place doesn’t make her TSTL. It means she’s STRONG. Does strong mean abrasive and argumentative and a dozen words I can’t put on this blog? I don’t think it has to but then I’m a ‘do unto others’ gal. Funnily enough so is Kerry. In-my-opinion. Not – plainly - in the opinion of this reviewer…

As to ‘I guess you could say these two are made for each other, but that doesn't make them any more palatable.’ Like I said. Opinions and perceptions differ universally. In this persons opinion the characters suck nine year old lemons. Full stop. I quite liked them myself. Ronan is capable of taking some of the weight off the shoulders of a woman who has carried a huge burden for most of her life while encouraging her to reach out and grab hold of her dreams and Kerry is strong enough to help Ronan along the path to the man he'll become when he's no longer able to do all the things that were such a huge part of who he was. I think that's healthy. I think they'll have a good life together. That was the ending I thought I'd written.

‘Since books often get automatic points from me just for exotic and fun settings, you'd think this book would have a real leg up on the competition. And it did, initially. But in the end, a trip's not all that fun if you don't like your traveling companions. And I don't think I'd really want to go anywhere with this pair.’

Oh well. You can’t win em all. And in this particular case, like in so many things in the world with so many different people, we’re gonna have to agree to disagree. This vision of the characters is most certainly not what I was aiming for when I wrote the book; as I hope you can see from yet another long, long, long blog post. There’s no way in hell I’m changing this readers mind, even if she reads this blog. And that’s fine. Seriously. I’m not even eating cake over it. I respect the site and a great many of the books they’ve loved, I’ve loved. But then there are probably just as many books they’ve loved, I’ve hated and they hated that I’ve loved. C’est la vie.

For my quote on the website I can of course put:

“As fantasy scenarios go, this one would be right at the top of my list… I loved the premise for The Millionaire's Proposal…”

And the link would allow my website visitors to read the rest if they so desired ;) It gives me 23 good words out of a possible 648 so for 625 words I still sucked nine year old lemons. But then as I’m a percentages gal I’ll compare the overall review to:

“Kerry and Ronan are perfect for each other and I fell in love with these two characters right from the beginning of the story.” Simply Romance Reviews

And:

“Ms. Wylie struck the right chord with this book, and there really is nothing not to like about it. Not one single, solitary thing." Romance Reader At Heart

And:

“Ronan does not trust himself enough to tell Kerry the truth. He thinks her kindness is a weakness while Kerry thinks kindness is a strength needed in any relationship. Ms. Wylie has written a fun story showing love can overcome any obstacle." Coffee Time Romance

And:

“The Millionaire's Proposal (4.5) is fresh, amusing and charming, and it has a solid core of emotional truth too. A keeper." Romantic Times

And:

“The dramatic conclusion makes this a romance whose insight into love will resonate with anyone who has loved or hopes to love deeply." Merrimon Reviews

And:

“Yes, I was prejudiced and wasn’t expecting much. Imagine then my surprise when I found myself totally blown away by the book–not only enjoying it, but actually giggling and sighing as I read!” Armchair Interviews

And:

“Trish Wyle touches the heart with THE MILLIONAIRE’S PROPOSAL. Creating characters that are easy to empathize with, she plunges them into an adventure of a lifetime.” Romance Junkies

Feel free to visit all the links to search for lemons. Does this mean this reviewer was wrong and I’m right and they should review all my books favorably just because a book did well with so many other people? Nope. It just demonstrates the problem with perceptions. We bring them to the table as readers, as writers, as reviewers, and in every other corner of our lives. It’s why no-one is ever completely right or completely wrong. Me? I’ve buffered the edges of the grey areas with cake. Lots and lots of cake. The. End.

Next up more Modern Heat Q & A’s and hopefully I won’t start another debate…

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hugh Jackman Tour 2008!

The little pink dancing guy is TWO YEARS OLD today and if you think the medicine is still getting to me then you can find out what I mean HERE.

And that naturally means that today is Hugh Jackman appreciation day! So to add to the fun I naturally am FORCED to place a picture of this lovely man on my blog... Oh the stress of it all ;) Rather appropriate for me this year though cos as of today The Millionaire's Proposal IS OUT and the inspiration behind Ronan is... you've guessed it... Mister Hugh Jackman! He proved too tricky for me as a previous hero and I had to re-cast but for this book he was PERFECT and Ronan really came to life for me! So THANK YOU HUGH!!!


Next up I'm gonna take a step back in the Modern Heat Q&A and talk a bit about some of the things I touched on in the last Blog regarding differing perceptions when reading a book. The tongue in cheek TSTL example I used has touched a chord with a few people and I just wanna try and clear it up a bit before I answer any more questions. To do that I'm gonna throw an example of one of my own heroines basically considered TSTL out there into the public eye. Yes - I do have them apparently. Do I think they're TSTL? Well no, obviously I don't. But then what I consider TSTL is not gonna be the same as the next persons idea of what's TSTL. And in the very same book the hero is considered a - and I quote - ' lying, domineering asshole'...

That book? Is The Millionaire's Proposal...

Sorry Hugh!!!

Now knowing me I'm probably gonna dig myself an even deeper hole than I already have - that's the beauty of a conversation like this not being held face to face. And I will say from the get go that no ten readers, or authors, or reviewers will ever come away with the exact same opinion on a book as everyone else - they'll even take different things away from it. It's actually one of the things I LOVE most about books in general. You put a group of series/category authors in the one room and ask them to debate it and many of them will leave that room vowing never to speak to several of the others again. It's not bitchiness. It's because we invest so much of ourselves into what we do that we tend to be passionate about our work and our lines. It's also our varying opinions and voices that make each and every line so confusingly diverse for anyone targeting that line and some readers will love one voice, some will hate it. It's the EDITORS decision at the end of the day whether a book does or doesn't fit in a specific line and that's why Guidelines are called Guidelines and not RULES.

A lot of our paranoia and the need to fight our corner for the books we love so much is that we've been so heavily criticized in the past that we now feel the need to fight back. Figuratively speaking the pink worm has turned. (ooohhhh I'm COPYRIGHTING THAT!) I could stand here and say not all Modern/Presents heroines are passive, not all Romance heroines are old fashioned, not all Modern Heat heroines are so defensive they come across as pricky - does that mean the vast majority of them are? No. Does it mean NONE of the are? No. In-MY-opinion. Will I debate this one till the cows come home over bottles of wine with author friends - hell yeah. Will others agree with me? Will you? Quite possibly not. I may even have lost friends in the last two paragraphs. But if there's one thing I've always done on this blog whether people agreed with it or not it's be what and who I am. I always thought that was the whole point of blogging. It's a personal thing. And I could jump in here every day with a smiling face and pretend like I live this perfect little life and everything I write is gold and being a romance writer is like living in an idyllic world full of bright shiny happily ever afters that keep me looking younger than my years. But I'd be lying so badly it would eventually poison my soul and turn me into that witch from The Wizard of Oz who gets squooshed by the house at the beginning of the movie. I've even tried smiling from the wrists down during the tough times here and if you're a regular blog visitor you'll KNOW how well THAT ONE worked out!!!

So to all I have offended with this blog I apologize. I really, really do. It's not aimed specifically at anyone anywhere. It's just me. I am what I am. And I'm pretty sure the warranty is up on making any major changes or replacing worn parts...

And in my defense, if I DIDN'T have this edge to my personality there wouldn't be a little pink dancing guy having a birthday today...

I'll be back with more about that example of perceptions taken from The Millionaire's Proposal next time. If you've read it feel free to say if you liked or didn't or what you took away from it and I'll even tell you what I was aiming for when I was writing it. And feel free to ask more questions on Modern Heat if you have them. I'll work through them as I try to finish this damn book that walked me into a brick wall of blankness over a dark pit of despair at the weekend. And if you completely disagree with everything I've said in this loooonnnggggg explanation of another part of my insanity then I'm as open to the scathing comment and the debate as I am to a nice comment or a cyber hug.

I'll just eat more cake with the former than the latter.