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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Girls' Series & Their Influence

How many of you were fans of girls’, or guys’, mystery series when you were teens? I’m talking about Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Cherry Ames, Trixie Belden, Vicki Barr, Connie Blair, The Dana Girls. I read them all, including The Hardy Boys, but my hands-down favorite was one you probably never heard of, Judy Bolton.

Nancy Drew was the most popular of the girls’ series. However, I always root for the underdog and I like to be contrary. So while most other girls were reading Nancy, I didn’t much like her, mainly because she was popular, wealthy, and self-assured. I discovered Judy Bolton, and fell in love with her and her friends. Judy, the daughter of a doctor, lived in a small town in upstate New York. Like Nancy, and the others in the girls’ and guys’ series, she solved mysteries.

I related to Judy because she wasn’t rich and perfect and beautiful like Nancy and she didn’t drive a cute roadster or have an adoring boyfriend. Judy had faults and she frequently made mistakes. While Judy Bolton wasn’t as well-known as Nancy Drew, Judy now has a cult following. A while back I belonged to a Judy Bolton Fans Yahoo loop. Many of the members make annual trips to the town in New York that was the model for Judy’s hometown. They even reenact scenes from some of her stories. I love the books but I wouldn’t go that far. I have almost a complete set of Judy books that I collected in the Fifties and early Sixties. Although Amazon now sells reissued Judy books, the originals are rare. Whenever I go to flea markets, I look for them. I find copies of all the other series, even Nancy Drew, but never any Judy Bolton.

Judy grew up during the course of the books, and when she was eighteen, she married a guy she’d known her whole life, Peter Dobbs. Peter was five years older, and a personification of truth, justice and the American way. He became an FBI agent, or G-man, as they were called back then. The romance between Judy and Peter started my love of romance and happy endings. I had a crush on Peter and wanted to marry a man just like him. The heroes and heroines in my books all have a little of Peter and Judy in them.

At the same time I was reading Judy Bolton, I devoured the YA historical romances of Elizabeth Howard. While her books were historicals, her heroines all had something in common with Judy: they were spirited and independent, and while not the most beautiful or the richest women, they weren’t afraid to go after what they wanted. I’m in the process now of buying my favorite Elizabeth Howard books from used online booksellers. The few I have so far are in honored places on my bookshelves.  Candle in the Night, picture below, is my favorite of the Elizabeth Howard books, a book filled with adventure and an emotional romance. In fact, as a tribute to Howard, I named my characters in Loving Or Nothing after the characters in this book, Tami and Daniel.

Judy Bolton and Howard’s heroines greatly influenced the type books I write. My heroines may not be so astoundingly beautiful that they literally stop traffic, but they are beautiful in eyes of the men who love them. Of course, my heroes are always drop-dead gorgeous. No matter their looks, my heroines and heroes have faults and doubts, and things haven’t always come easy for them. I love to put my characters in dangerous situations or situations merely dangerous to their hearts and watch them fight for the happy endings they deserve. Just like Judy and Peter. And in the course of fighting for what they want, they grow and learn valuable lessons and open their hearts to the love they crave.

What about you writers out there—what books did you read that influenced what you write? The same for you readers—did the books you read as teens influence what you read today?

Speaking of romance, I'm thrilled to announce I have a new release, a marriage-of-convenience that turns out to be anything but.

Wedded On a Dare (Love On a Dare Book 2)

A trip to Vegas...
            A gorgeous man...
           A beautiful woman...
          What could go wrong?

When a struggling actress takes a role as the glamorous temporary wife of a wealthy playboy, she finds love doesn’t always come on cue.

Struggling actress Kate Carluccio showed up for her wedding but her groom bowed out without warning. He absconded not only with her heart, but also her parents’ life savings. Her confidence shaken, Kate’s determined to find a way to restore her parents’ money. Then she’s offered the role of a lifetime: step out of her colorful high-top sneakers and into the glammed-up role of socialite wife to a shallow, annoying playboy. If only Kate wasn’t also secretly attracted to him, the one-and-a-half million dollars he offers with his proposal of a marriage-of-convenience might be easier to accept.

Breathtakingly handsome, super rich, and sophisticated with a bad boy vibe, Zach Lyon is a tabloid favorite. He may be a vice-president at his father’s company, but up until now he’s just played a supporting role. But when he discovers two executives are conspiring to force his dad out and take over the company, Zach decides it’s time to step into the spotlight. What better way than to take a glamorous new wife to Las Vegas to spend the Christmas holiday at the home of one of the conspiring executives?

As the curtain rises on the eclectic house party, Kate and Zach play their roles against the backdrop of schemers and snobs, while hiding deep secrets of their own. Can Kate pretend to love Zach without revealing the true depth of her attraction? Can Zach prove to his father he has the stability to go from understudy to leading man? They may have wedded on a dare, but with the stage set for romance, their marriage-of-convenience might just turn into a marriage-to-last-a-lifetime.

      Both books in the Love On a Dare series are available in a convenient boxed set.

Love On a Dare Duet

Buy Links:

Universal link for Wedded On a Dare:

Universal link for Love On a Dare Duet:

Monday, April 22, 2019

Happy Easter and Passover and Sunday!

So many causes for celebration! We have Easter, Passover, spring is finally coming to so much of the country that's had quite a cold winter! Wherever you are, dear reader, I hope you're enjoying a pleasant season of renewal.

I am always glad to celebrate different holidays with friends to see how they approach the best parts of the year and to appreciate our differences as well as the things that bring us together. Like a good book or more specifically a good romance. I think it represents all that we hope for. Someone to share our lives, to be a family with. And of course for the sensual explorations of the boudoir. Writing these intimate moments is both my pleasure and sometimes my frustration because I always want to convey what the characters are feeling in the moment. Sometimes someone will ask what it's like to write a sex scene, do we feel anything. I can only speak for myself, my own experience, and say it's an honor to be present with my characters when they reach these special moments.  Like in this contribution to the Magic and Mayhem Universe

His lips were smooth but firm, the bristles of the scruff I’d examined earlier rough against my face when he brought me against his body. Tall…so much taller than me but leaner as well. Muscular but not like a man who worked out at the gym, more like he came by it naturally or just got a lot of cardio. Maybe he liked to hike or bike…swam? But when he released my hand to hold me, my fingers found their way to the cap of dark hair and twined into it, holding him close to me.
I didn’t know what I was doing, perhaps the gin had been too much for me, that I allowed such liberties from someone who I not only didn’t know well, but who had been downright snarky about my business. But he felt familiar. I had only kissed a few men, and most of those hadn’t been very good experiences. Certainly had not lit my body on fire from the core out. Or evoked a sense of longing so strong I wanted to climb him to wrap my legs around him and beg him to take me.
He urged my mouth open with the tip of his tongue, and when I complied deepened the kiss, dominating, dancing with my tongue, twining and lapping, and it was as I’d dreamed. Dreams I never even remembered until now, but there they were.
I knew how to kiss this man, and he knew how to kiss me. The rumble from deep within him, I knew that, too, that lion with its fierce roar and tender purr. Early shifted me closer, adjusting so his knee butted between my legs and I ground down on it. Wanting to shred our clothes off and fall to the floor in a tangle of passion this sedate house might never have seen.

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Ethan Caine is back and I'm having a party!



Want to win some of the fabulous prizes, including signed books from some of our favorite authors? A Kindle?Books for the Kindle? 
We are giving these away and more to celebrate?
Ho.p on over and join the Desiree Holt Reader Group


Lisa Mallory’s marriage from hell ended with her husband, Charles’s, unsolved murder. Once a suspect herself, she barely survived the scandal that erupted when his secret life was revealed.  Four years later, her life finally back on track, her eight-year-old son is kidnapped and not returned, despite the ransom payment. When every other avenue fails to help, she turns to Ethan Caine, former Marine/special ops/private security, who is dealing with his own private hell. When he finally agrees to go after Jamie, he does not want Lisa slowing things down, although he may not have a choice. But in the exotic environment of the lush Quintana Roo jungle, passion explodes between them, and they wonder if it’s possible they could dare to hope for the future, even while the past and present threaten to steal it all.


Of course it was raining.  How fitting, Lisa Taylor Mallory thought, as she shifted on
the folding chair provided by the cemetery, carefully not to move out from under the umbrella the funeral home attendant held over her.  Next to her, four-year-old Jamie snuggled closer to here, needing the assurance of his mother’s warmth.
Dr. Howard Devol, pastor of Alamo Baptist Church, under his own umbrella, was intoning passages from the Bible.  He had already eulogized Charles to the point of sainthood.  Lisa had clenched her fists and swallowed the nausea the insisted on rising at the back of her throat.
Let it be over.  Please, please, let us just get this over with.
She let her gaze travel over the crowd of mourners. The cream of San Antonio society and the financial world gathered in their best funereal attire to mourn a man whose sins were swept in fire at the foot of a mountain.  Everyone had come, afraid of the fallout if they stayed away. The abundance of black umbrellas nearly formed a canopy of the assemblage.
The funeral was for Jamie, for whom this had all been so frightening.  He needed, even at his age, to have closure and known his father would be on a path to Heaven.  He could say his prayers at night and feel he had a direct link to him.  
Beside her, she felt her brother, Josh, squeeze her arm, a signal that said everything will be okay.
Okay wasn’t exactly the word she’d have chosen to describe the current state of her life.  She clenched one gloved hand in her lap.  No, okay, wasn’t even in the ball park.
At last the interminable ceremony was finished. Josh rose and nudged her to stand with Jamie.  The pastor signaled her to come forward.  With Josh’s arm supporting her, she stepped forward to the casket and took the white rose the pastor held out to her.  She stared at the casket for a long moment, then dropped the rose on its mahogany surface.
In a voice so low only her brother heard it, she said, “Rot in hell, you son of a bitch."


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Friday, April 19, 2019

Bone Frogs Are Back In Town!

Sharon Hamilton here. It's been awhile, and I miss you guys!

The Bone Frog logo is sacred to SEALs because it signifies SEALs passed. A good tattoo artist won't do a Bone Frog tat on someone unless they know for sure they are either in the community, or have lost someone close to them, usually a brother, father, son, etc.

I've twisted this a bit to mean "older guys".  I started using the term Bone Frog when I had my Bachelor SEALs series back in 2017 and 2018. Since they were mostly guys who had failed marriages, and were failing in other ways as well. They had money problems, suffered from lack of quality women in their lives and had questionable lifestyles. I called their little "support group" which met at one of the local Coronado pubs, "Bonefrog Brotherhood."

Only guys who were divorced, or getting divorced or on their multiple wives got to join. Of course, there were those who thought they might wind up there and came along for the support! A SEAL always has to be planning for his next move, right?

I've just released the third book in my Bone Frog Brotherhood series, SEALed Forever. It traces the story of a former SEAL, who, at forty, re-qualifies a second time for another enlistment. He's already been a medic for the first ten years, but after ten years of being out, he wants back into the Brotherhood. Over the series he meets his plus-sized heroine, Brandy (Tucker is a big man with a gentle heart), and together they fall in love, get married and now deal with his first re-tread deployment to Northwest Africa, Nigeria, to be exact.

With the backdrop of the old Slave Coast history, which almost becomes a dangerous character in my book, the men go on a mission to look for a sex trafficking and gun-running ring. The mission will continue in Book 4, due out in June, in SEAL's Rescue.

We're working on the audio now, but the digital book, and print versions are both out now. You can preorder SEAL's Rescue.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


A Duke for All Seasons!

Win a tiara below!

What’s better than a dashing duke? A dozen of them! In this case, a baker’s dozen—thirteen of your favorite historical romance authors have come together to bring you more than a dozen tantalizing novellas, with one per month, for a year’s worth of never-before-released romances.
Dukes by the Dozen
January – The Duke in Winter by Alyssa Alexander — When the highwayman demanded he stand and deliver, he didn’t know she would steal his heart.
February – The Difference One Duke Makes by Elizabeth Essex — Miss Penelope Pease is what every bright young thing never wants to be—ruined, thanks to an ill-conceived flirtation with the late Duke of Warwick. But ruined suits the new duke, his brother, Commander Marcus Beecham just fine—because after a career in the Royal Navy, he’s rather ruined himself. All it takes is one frosty night for two imperfect people to make the perfect February valentine.
March – Discovering the Duke by Madeline Martin — Reunited at a house party after a lackluster start to their marriage, the Duke of Stedton attempts to win his Duchess’ heart. Will a sizzling wager be enough to melt the frost between them, or will it truly remain the coldest winter in London?
April – The Duke and the April Flowers by Grace Burrowes — The Duke of Clonmere must marry one of the Earl of Falmouth’s three giggling younger daughters, but Lady Iris—Falmouth’s oldest, who is not at all inclined to giggling—catches Clonmere’s eye, and his heart!
May – Love Letters from a Duke by Gina Conkle — The Duke of Richland needs a proper duchess, but he wants his thoroughly fun, entirely inappropriate neighbor, Mrs. Charlotte Chatham. She’s widowed, older, and if the whispers prove true—barren.
June – Her Perfect Duke by Ella Quinn — Still suffering over the loss of his wife and child, Giles, Duke of Kendal sees Lady Thalia Trevor at a market and is instantly smitten. There is only one problem. She is already betrothed to another man. Will she defy her powerful father to marry him?
July – How to Ditch a Duke by May McGoldrick — Lady Taylor Fleming is an heiress with a suitor on her tail. Her step-by-step plan to ditch him is simple. But there is nothing simple about Franz Aurech, Duke of Bamberg. When Taylor tries to escape to sanctuary in the Highlands, her plans become complicated when the duke arrives at her door and her loyal allies desert her. But even with the best laid plans, things can go awry…
August – To Tempt A Highland Duke by Bronwen Evans — — Widowed Lady Flora Grafton must be dreaming…Dougray Firth, the Duke of Monreith, the man who once pledged her his heart and then stood by and allowed her to marry another, has just proposed.  While her head screams yes, her heart is more guarded. Why, after eight years, this sudden interest? When she learns the truth… can she trust Dougray to love her enough this time?
September – Duke in Search of a Duchess by Jennifer Ashley — The meticulous Duke of Ashford is dismayed when his children inform him they’ve asked the young widow next door to find Ashford a new wife. Ashford can’t think of a more appalling assistant than Helena Courtland, gossipy busybody he steadfastly avoids. But Helena sweeps into his home and his life before he can stop her, turning Ash’s precisely ordered world into a chaotic whirlwind.
October – Dear Duke by Anna Harrington — When the new Duke of Monmouth, decides to put through a canal, he isn’t prepared for an old mill owner and his stubborn—but beautiful—daughter to stand in his way. War is declared, and the only person who seems to understand him is the anonymous pen pal to whom he’s been pouring out his heart, a woman not at all who she seems…
November – Must Love Duke by Heather Snow — Lady Emmaline Paulson is destined to land a duke—at least that has been the expectation since she was a cherub faced babe. But she has no wish to live her life in a gilded cage, always on display. Besides, she already has her Duke—an adorable Cavalier King Charles spaniel pup she rescued from the Serpentine with the help of a handsome stranger. Maxwell Granville, heir to the Duke of Albemarle, wasn’t fishing for love—or fair maidens trying to save drowning puppies—that November afternoon. But that’s precisely what he found, IF he can convince Emmaline that her Duke isn’t the only duke she wants in her life...
December – The Mistletoe Duke by Sabrina York — The Duchess of Devon can't think of a better way to tempt her widowed son into marrying again, than to throw a Christmas Ball. And there simply must be mistletoe everywhere! But it's not until Jonathan meets his mother's humble companion under the mistletoe, that fireworks erupt.
January – Dueling with the Duke by Eileen Dreyer — When Adam Marrick, Duke of Rothray, shows up on Georgie Grace’s doorstep in rural Dorset, she thinks it is to acquaint himself with his cousin James’s widow and child. Instead the duke brings the news that Georgie’s four-year-old daughter Lilly Charlotte, whom James’s family disowned, has inherited a Scottish duchy. Unfortunately, the news has also brought danger to her door.
The Mistletoe DukeBy Sabrina York
When Jonathan Pembroke’s mother implores him to create a list of potential suitors for her beloved companion, Meg Chalmers, he does his best. Ah. How soon he regrets his largesse when he realizes he wants Meg for himself.

Then Mattingly went and said something that completely ruined his mood.
“So tell us about this girl.”
A simple question. Surely not one that should cause such an uprising of bile from his gut.
Jonathan sipped his brandy. It tasted bitter. “Girl?”
“You know.” St. Clare slapped him on the shoulder. “The one you mentioned in the invitation.”
Mattingly fixed him with a somber gaze. “We’re both dying to know more about her. Especially if she comes recommended by you.”
“Indeed,” St. Clare said. “I’ve been looking for a wife for months now, and cannot bear any of those flibberty-gibbets the mamas are proffering this season.”
Mattingly grunted. “Mindless twits. Tell me she’s not mindless.”
“No. No, she’s not mindless,” he said, but it was through tight lips.
“Good.” Both of his friends grinned.
“Is she pretty?” St. Clare asked hopefully.
Jonathan shrugged. All of a sudden, he didn’t feel like talking Meg up. Not to these two. “She’s not bad.”
“Not bad?” Christian blurted. “She’s gorgeous. Beautiful, intelligent eyes, lovely brown hair, and a face like a cameo—”
“Surely not like a cameo,” Jonathan muttered, but no one was listening to him. His friends had turned all their attention to Christian, who continued on, for far too long, singing the praises of Meg Chalmers. Over and over and over again until Jonathan wanted to scream at him to be quiet.
He couldn’t though. Couldn’t say anything.
And the damned irony of the situation was that he was the one who had welcomed these wolves to his door.
Judging from their expressions, they were going to eat Meg alive.
In a good way, of course. In a matrimonial way.
But Jonathan couldn’t still the unease in his belly or silence the howling of his soul at the thought of Meg choosing one of them. Marrying one of them.
Because then he’d have to pretend to be happy for them.
And that was a terrible prospect.

Enter now to win the Dukes by the Dozen Tiara!

Monday, April 15, 2019

RB4U wants YOU!!! #Romance #BookLovers #Reading #FictionBooks #Kindle #Amazon

Did you know that Romance Books 4 Us is building a newsletter?

Well, we are! 

And the best part is it will be entirely reader focused. Concentrating on books and authors that we know readers will fall in love with. 

Wait, you haven't heard the best part yet... 

We're holding a monthly Amazon Gift Card Giveaway to those who subscribe. 

So click on the subscribe button below and signup... 

You just might end up being our lucky winner! 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Birthdays - It's Time to Start Counting Backwards! Marianne Stephens

My birthday is today! How did I get to be so old? Isn't it time to start counting backwards?

I think about where I am in my life today and wonder: HOW DID I GET HERE SO FAST? Where has the time gone?

I've done things I planned to do as I grew up. I became a teacher, married, and now have a family that includes grandsons. Being an author was a second career I only thought about after age 40. When all 4 of my kids were teenagers for three solid years in a row, I needed something, an outlet, just for me and to retain my sanity. 

I had always been an avid reader, from biographies to Shakespeare (took 4 or 5 Shakespeare courses in college) to romance. Once hooked on reading romances, I devoured as many as I could each week. 

As my kids' teenage years were about to drive me nuts, I thought about writing. I'd read so many romance books. Surely I could try writing one!

M first attempt garnered some interest in three agents. Although hopeful, I kept thinking that nothing would happen - I hadn't "paid my dues" yet. And, I was right. I learned from my first venture into romance writing that one element was sorely missing in my masterpiece. 

Dialogue. Most of my book contained narrative and little dialogue. How had I missed that concept after reading so many romance books?

It took 10 years to finally "get it right" and get published. I joined groups, listened, learned. And took a major bit of advice from a wonderful author, Carla Cassidy. She told me that I was writing episodes, not connecting chapters. 

After her sage advice and changes in my thinking/writing, I sold my first book.

Damn. If I could only go backwards in age and take this advice...and start my writing career earlier...who knows how many books I would have published by now?

Anyway, I'm a year older and will celebrate with a dinner out tonight. 

Wish me a Happy Birthday in a comment and you could win one of our April Romance Books '4' Us contest prizes.

I'm giving away a $10.00 Amazon gift card to one person who leaves a comment for me by midnight 15 April.

NOTE: PLEASE put your email address in with your comment! 

Marianne Stephens

photo: flickr: Nick Kenrick's photostream

Saturday, April 13, 2019

15 Fun Facts about Cindy Spencer Pape

This was a challenge I did for a blog some years ago. I thought I'd repost this to let any new reasders get to know me a bit. :)

1. Regrettably, I have no supernatural abilities, unlike many of my characters. I have enough trouble telling right from left some days.

2.   For medieval and Renaissance fairs, I usually dress as one of the “Little People.” Generally I’m assumed to be a hobbit, though I won’t publicly admit to shaving my feet. Every once in a while I go dragon.

3.   My pets are all named for mythological beings, Loki, Sigun, and formerly Tyr, Grendel, Zuul, Chupacabra, Godzilla, and others.

4.   I have a gargoyle statue named Spot, who sometimes acts as my ghostwriter. You can find him on my website banner and in the picture below.

5.   Spot’s “computer” is a 1929 Royal typewriter that belonged to my great uncle. He taught me to type on it when I was 10. (The uncle. Spot isn’t that old.)

6.   I have a 6 year old granddaughter with an equal love of princess dresses and latex swords. She carries off both with great aplomb. And she has a wicked swing. Her 1 year old sister mostly just yells "BA!" when she wants grandma to pick her up. She does have a lovely crocheted battle axe.

7.   My husband and I are slowly remodeling an 1870 house. It’s smallish, built for a retired couple, (which we hope to be someday).

8.   We had a serious debate between painting our house pink or purple. My husband wanted pink until the house across the street went pink. So now ours is purple.

9.   This summer we will celebrated our 34th anniversary.

10.   I have an MS in herpetology but am afraid of snakes. (Even when I know better.) On the other hand, I adore lizards. Our only one at present is a small spiny-tail.

11.   I am totally UN-afraid of spiders—even though I’m allergic to their venom. There are currently multiple arachnids in our 3-generation home.

12.   The teardrop-shaped scar on my right hand is from a turkey vulture bite.

13.   My grandfather’s first cousin was also an author. He moved from Newfoundland to England in the 1920s and 30s and was a reporter, as well as writing 9 novels under the name Erle or Earle Spencer.

14.   He couldn’t spell it Earl, (which it was on his birth certificate) because there IS an Earl (aka Lord) Spencer. No relation as far as we know.

15.   Cindy is my real given name. Not Cynthia or Lucinda or anything else. Just Cindy. Spencer is my maiden name, used as a middle. My married name is Pape (rhymes with grape). There is no hyphen.

Come visit me at for more info, or find me on Facebook at


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

PARAPROSDOKIANS: "I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you."

Posted by R. Ann Siracusa

You may not find any paraprosdokian at the La Brea Tar Pits, but they exist. Really, they do! You can find them in Merriam Webster and most other dictionaries, snoozing between the pages.
However, you probably are familiar with this species which is commonly known as the ever- popular comedic One-Liner. Merriam-Webster defines paraprosdokian as “A figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to re-frame or re-interpret the first part.”
In fact, some paraprosdokians can change the meaning of the initial phrase and play on the double meaning of the words, creating a syllepsis
No! That’s not a baby paraprosdokian or a sexually transmitted disease. Syllepsis is another figure of speech in which a word is applied to two others in different senses. (e.g., caught the train and a bad cold.)
The paraprosdokian figure of speech is one everyone is familiar with, but writers should understand its use as another writing tool.
If you're like I was, at this point you are saying—or perhaps yelling—"What the heck are you talking about?" Even stronger language may be appropriate.
It is much easier to give examples of Famous Pararosdokians:
● "He was at his best when the going was good."— Alistair Cooke on the Duke of Windsor
●"If I could just say a few words...I'd be a better public speaker."__ Homer Simpson
●"If I am reading this graph correctly...I'd be very surprised."Stephen Colbert
●"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it."Groucho Marx
●"I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long."Mitch Hedberg

We're all acquainted with these one-liners because they're frequently used in comedy. They're fun. They're also useful in writing for several reasons.
● First, because writers are constantly advised to avoid clichés and to come up with new and fresh ways of expressing the same old ideas. A writer can use this technique to invent new and interesting metaphors.
                   ● Second, the use of this figure of speech can create humor or dramatic effect, or even for producing an anticlimax.
This device is used not only in comedy but in literature and frequently in films. Here are some examples of the use of the device in literature:
Example #1 – My speech to the Graduates by Woody Allen
"Contemporary man, of course, has no such peace of mind. He finds himself in the midst of a crisis of faith. He is what we fashionably call ‘alienated.’ He has seen the ravages of war, he has known natural catastrophes, he has been to singles bars."
The sentences goes along dealing with the meaning of life. The juxtaposition of final phrase contrasts so much with the serious topic, that it’s unexpected and, therefore, humorous.
Example #2 - The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
“Trin Tragula – for that was his name – was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher or, as his wife would have it, an idiot…”
Trin Tragula is portrayed as "a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher”, all characteristics the reader would think of as good traits. Adams, however, ends his litany by mentioning how Trin Tragula’s wife perceives him (“as his wife would have it, an idiot”). This ending is a surprise to the readers and creates comic effect.
Example #3 - The Cottage Maid by Patrick Branwell Bronte
“Religion makes beauty enchanting,
And even where beauty is wanting,
The temper and mind,
Religion refined,
Will shine through the veil with sweet luster...."
While this one is truly incomprehensible to me, it is explained this way. "In this excerpt, the author is talking about religion through the first four lines. However, in the last line, there is a sudden shift of sense" which gives a different meaning from the rest of the text.
JUST FOR FUN: Here is a Short List
There are many lists of well-known and not-so-well-known paraprosdokians. Here are a few:
● "I like going to the park and watching the children run around screaming, because they don't know I'm using blanks." —Emo Philips
● "I sleep eight hours a day and at least ten at night." —Bill Hicks
● "I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat." —Will Rogers
● "On the other hand, you have different fingers." —Steven Wright
● “I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.”
● “Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”
● “I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
● “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.”
● “The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.”
● “Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.”
Travel to Foreign Lands for Romance and Intrigue


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Multiple Personalities #names #amwriting #RB4U

Pen Names or Multiple Personalities?

Hello and thank you for stopping by today. With my marriage, divorce, and remarriage, my name changed which was sometimes a problem for people. My step-son is dating one of my former students and she remembers me with a different last name. It leads to some fun talks as we laugh about having drinks with teachers. 

Some of my favorite authors have more than one name. Nora Roberts who writes contemporary and paranormal romances under her own name, also writes a futuristic police series under JD Robb. Michigan author, Nancy Gideon goes by three different names, Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and her own. Another author used her "real" name for her YA books but her pen name took off and now she's re-branding all her books under the pen name. 

For me, it was always too confusing. I wrote under my married name (Melissa Keir). It was also my only name on FB until my husband's cousin married an woman named Melissa and she changed her name on FB!  

If I used a pen name, I worried about people finding all my books. I didn't want them confused about who I was. Then there is the additional marketing for two people. I spoke at length to people who used pen names and those who didn't...and then I took the plunge.

I have written two children's books under my childhood name- Missy Watling. My experts suggested that people who read my children's book wouldn't necessarily want to read my small town romances. There are different audiences for each, but I hope that my faithful readers will take a chance on my children's books. Both books have important messages and will be favorites of young kids with their beautiful illustrations. 

Huzzah- A Pool Mouse is available now in ebook and print.

Huzzah loves puddles and loves to watch the children swimming. He's too scared to get in the pool until he must save the day.

Come along as a mouse learns to take chances and finds that being yourself is the most important thing.  This sweet tale will be a family favorite for years to come.

Do you use a pen name? Has it ever been too confusing when you search for your favorite author?

Until Next Month,

Melissa Keir (and Missy Watling)

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