It’s a Book!

thenheshowedup-amazonIt’s release day! It’s been a long time coming, but today, Then He Showed Up is available in ebook and paperback. I’ve spent several years creating and loving the story of Jack and Kate. I hope you enjoy it as well. Click the title to go to Amazon to purchase.

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Men Don’t Poop

And Other Reasons I Love the Bathroom in Romance

toilet paperRecently, I discovered Jodi Ellen Malpas’ This Man, the first in her This Man Trilogy. Talk about your sexy, tortured, control-freak, alpha hero. Love it! (In fiction, not reality.) The book consumed most of my day. So much so, that I was greatly perturbed when I had to set it aside for the bothersome task of making dinner. (I’ve yet to sway the family to the wonder of Grape Nuts.)

As I was driving to pick up the pizza, my mind could only focus on the story. That’s when a thought occurred to me. Even though the hero, Jesse Ward, lives in a multi-million dollar penthouse, many of the story’s significant scenes take place in his luxurious, master bathroom.

Perhaps this sounds unappealing. But oh, no. You see, the bathroom is one of the most romantic settings in this genre. Authors take this necessary room and create a fairy tale castle that makes a Poconos, heart-shaped Jacuzzi feel like a prison shower.

How can this be? Let’s take a look:

EXHIBIT A – The Toilet. Men don’t poop. Neither do women for that matter. There’s never a pile of Time magazines and Cabela’s catalogues stacked nearby. You never have a character shout out, “Courtesy flush!” Even numero uno is only referred to occasionally, and that’s in the terms of “freshening up.” The grossest thing that happens here is when the woman vomits. But this serves as a perfect opportunity for the hero to show he’s a caring soul. He holds her hair, gets her a cold rag, and no matter how bad it is, he never gags.

EXHIBIT B – The Tub. This tranquil feature is often the spot for gentle love. The hero Bubble Bathpours the heroine a warm, bubble bath after she’s had a stressful day or even a night of strenuous “dancing.” He may be a cold-hearted gazillionaire, but he’ll get in and wash her hair as a way to show his feelings. Note, during this loving exchange, the couple never looks over to find mold on the grout. They never fight over who’s going to be stuck on the faucet side.

EXHIBIT C – The Shower. Ah, the hot, steamy shower. The place of many hot, steamy love scenes. Yes, you may see the gentle bathing of one another, but usually, it’s just good, old “dancing.” There’s plenty of room to try all sorts of moves. Probably because there aren’t fifteen, almost-empty, shampoo bottles covered in soap scum littered across the floor. Words and moans of passion are thrown out, but you never hear, “Quit hogging the water! I’ve got soap in my eyes.”

EXHIBIT D – The Sink. This simple fixture can be used for all sorts of romance – sweet or sexy. A talented author can take something as simple as a couple brushing their teeth and make your heart melt. Then again, they’re never looking into a mirror covered with toothpaste splatters.

This makes me reconsider our bathroom. Tonight, I’ll scrub out our big tub, surround it with all kinds of candles, and create a playlist of romantic classics. As the tub fills with a scented bubble bath, I’ll put on my sexiest robe and go down to find my husband. I’ll wrap my arms around his neck and whisper in his ear, “Honey, will you take the kids to a movie so I can relax and read my new book?”

Toilet Paper Photo by Wax115. Bubble Bath Photo by JDurham

Help us out, Hallmark

My husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this summer. It was a fabulous day. Yes, a big milestone, but more importantly, we celebrated during a peak.

Anyone who’s been married for more than a year, knows that the path of marriage consists of peaks and valleys. The peaks are what keep us going. They remind us why we married our soul mate.

And then there are the valleys. You’ve heard of “the seven-year-itch?” In my house, it was “the seven-year-hate.”

Hallmark thrives on peak times. The week of my anniversary, overflowing with emotion, I skipped down the aisle, reading every card with tears in my eyes, so moved by the words that reflected my love. I couldn’t narrow it down to just one, so I bought several, including one of those expensive, “extra-postage-required” cards. (Now that’s some love!)

But during the valleys, when it’s time to buy the obligatory card, we’re left hanging. There’s nothing out there that conveys our true feelings. We scan the cards, cringing at the words we can’t stomach to send. And it’s not just anniversaries. Think of Boss’ Day.

So I’ve come up with some ideas that Hallmark should consider.

Anniversary:

As we celebrate the day of our marriage, I want you to know… I hate your ass right now, but I’m sure it will pass. Happy Anniversary!

Daughter’s Birthday:

I can’t believe you’re sixteen. Through the years, my love for you has only grown… But if you don’t stop your smart-mouthing, you’ll be at your grandmother’s before you can say, “Facebook.” Happy Birthday!

Mother’s Day:

Mom, we’ve been through so much over the years, I could never put into words all that I feel for you. But on this Mother’s Day, I’m so happy to share… My therapist says I don’t hate you as much as I used to.

Hallmark, you can’t use these, but I’d be happy to start a new line for you. Maybe something like:

Get Real. When You’re Mad Enough to Tell the Truth.

Thirty-Seven Shades of Pink

I’m one of the gazillion women who were pulled into E. L. James’ Fifty Shades Trilogy. And I mean pulled, as in I’ve never been more grateful that you can download a book at 2 a.m.

But I’ve also heard that men are reading it to see what the fuss is. Many say they’re more confused than ever about what women really want.

So guys, in the spirit of helping out couples around the world, I’ll let you in on a Dom/Sub fantasy many women secretly dream about:

He undresses her, slowly, adoring every inch of her body, telling her how beautiful, firm and sexy she is. How he loves the red dents where her jeans pinched into her muffin top. How the cellulite on her ass turns him on.

He leads her to the bed, then ties her down. Not too tight, but to show he’s in control. Next he blindfolds her, whispering, “You must trust me.”

She nods, too nervous to speak. From there, he puts on music, something dark but soothing, perhaps Chopin’s Nocturnes. The next thing she knows, she feels a strap of leather gently gliding over her body.

In a dark voice, he says, “You will do what I say, or I will punish you with this.”

Her breath catches.

“You will lie here while I make long, passionate love to you. You’re not to make any effort. Just take the pleasure I give you. Then I’ll untie you, but you will not get off this bed. You must stay and take a nap while I take the kids to the grocery store. If you get up, I’ll know, and I will punish you.”

She nods again, her pulse racing.

“After that, I’ll bring you a glass of wine, but you must stay in this room. I’ll put on the first season of “Downton Abby,” and you have to watch all the episodes. The kids and I will clean the house. If you get up and try to help, I’ll tan your hide.”

His breath caresses her ear, and in a low, sexy voice, he asks, “Do you understand?”

Her voice shakes, “Hell, yes! . . . I mean, yes, Master.”