Monday, March 26, 2007

Savoring Scotland!

I confess: my motivation in writing Miss Fairmont and the Gentleman Investigator (which takes place in the Highlands of Scotland) was to relive my amazing trip to Scotland that we took nine years ago. Wow, has it been that long? The countryside was even more beautiful than I imagined.

Of course, we had our one mishap when, after an afternoon search for the Loch Ness Monster, hubby decided to take a shortcut back to our B & B. Uh... it's pitch black, we're on a narrow (one lane) farm road, and I sensed water bordered us on either side. Yep, a bit scary. I kept thinking, "No one knows where we are and we're going to end up in Loch Ness and get eaten by Nessie!"

What about your vacation adventures? Got any good ones? I could use a vacation right about now...


Pat White

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Undertaking Betty

I will freely admit that I'm not always drawn to the typical romantic hero. Take The Holiday, for instance. Cameron Diaz switches houses with Kate Winslet and ends up with Jude Law. Kate gets Jack Black. My first thought? Boy, Kate got the better end of that deal (seriously).

So for those of you who like your romance a little on the quirky side, may I suggest Undertaking Betty?

Full disclosure: a large part of the appeal of this movie for me is my undying love and admiration for Christopher Walken (I mean, come on! Look at the guy's hair? What's not to love?). I also have a strange fascination for the funeral home business (don't ask). Nevertheless, the film revolves around a rather sweet (and sometimes hilarious) story of unrequited love.

Here is the Amazon

"Undertaking Betty" (also known as Plots with a View and/or Plotz with a View)revolves around the competitive world of undertaking in the Welsh countryside. One of the most respected names in the biz -- Plotz Funeral Homes -- is directed by Boris Plotz (Alfred Molina), whose youthful dreams consisted of two decidedly cheerier concepts than the embalming process: dancing and marrying his childhood crush, Betty Rhys-Jones (Brenda Blethyn). Unfortunately, the pressure to take over the family business became too much for Boris to resist, particularly after Betty, despite being secretly in love with Boris, was married off to a known gold digger. Both Betty and Boris' lives remain firmly status quo until the death of Betty's mother-in-law, whose funeral arrangements throw the unsatisfied couple back together. While the spark between Betty and Boris is reignited, rival funeral director Frank Featherbed (Christopher Walken) grows increasingly angry; the American funeral director desperately wants to revolutionize the U.K. undertaking business with his unique "theme" funerals. Ultimately, Boris and Betty resort to desperate measures -- since the only thing keeping him away from Betty is her two-timing husband, they decide to stage Betty's demise and elope somewhere far away from the death business."

I highly recommend you go watch this trailer now!

Amanda Stevens

Cross-posted at Blasphemous Rumours.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Dolls, Dolls, Dolls!!!

My assignment this month is to blog every Wednesday, but I'm either very late with last week's post or very early with this week's. I have no excuse except that my birthday was on Friday and I started celebrating early.

I recently guest-blogged on
Alison Kent’s site about a concept known as spontaneous generation—i.e. people exposed to the same mass media stimuli are likely to come up with the same idea. This theory can explain why two movies with the same premise can be released by two different studios at virtually the same time. Armageddon and Deep Impact, for example.

I’ve recently experienced this phenomenon firsthand with my new thriller, The Dollmaker. The idea was inspired by a ‘twin’ doll catalog and by the old Vincent Price horror classic House of Wax (not to be confused with the Paris Hilton version). I had the premise in my head for years before I actually wrote and sold the book.

It’s out right now, along with two horror movies featuring dolls—The Abandoned and Dead Silence. And I recently learned that Jeffrey Deaver’s next thriller is entitled The Sleeping Doll.

So I ask you...what is it with all these dolls lately? Spontaneous generation or just some weird coincidence? And has this ever happened to you?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Love those heroes!

I love talking about Intrigue heroes. Why not? They’re the best!

At a chat this week, a reader asked me which actor I’d have play Zach Thomas in A Necessary Risk. I thought I had a set answer for this, because I know I had a specific actor in my mind when I started writing. (I always do. I’m one of “those” plotting board freaks who love lots of visuals.) Anyway, I realized I now can’t imagine anyone playing Zach other than…Zach.

All of my heroes become very real to me as I write. I’m sure we’re all the same way, otherwise the stories wouldn’t come to life, right? But there was something about Zach that really captured me. He’s scarred, emotionally-shuttered, determined to get revenge, yet finds himself sidetracked by the very woman he set out to use to unravel a mystery.

Ah. My favorite kind of guy. But I’ll shut up before I babble all day about Zach.

Joanna mentioned all the great Intrigues out this month. Personally, I can’t wait to dig in and savor every single story. I also have Amanda’s The Dollmaker set aside as my reward once I meet my current self-imposed deadline.

I must mention that I received the graphic this week for my June cover – book four in the Bodyguards Unlimited, Denver, Colorado series. (Joanna’s 24/7 is book one). I’ll insert the JPG here. I LOVE it. I just wish they’d stop using my picture on my covers. (Don’t I wish! LOL)

Happy weekend everyone! We’re watching the ice fall here in New Jersey. Yuck. Enough already. I’m ready for warmer days and lots of writing time on the beach.

Until next time – Happy Reading,


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sorry, I forgot to sign the last post. And I also have a book on the shelves this month. It's 24/7.

Joanna Wayne

RT reviews

He does indeed look like a fascinating and very sexy hero. I haven't seen the movie yet, but will try to catch it. I love reluctant heros who get pushed into the role and then surprise themselves by their valor.

Also thought I should mention that Romantic Times gave excellent reviews to all the Intrigues this month. So if you haven't picked up your six yet, be sure and do it. The Intrigues at my local Wal-Mart are almost gone.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Box Office Soars -- No Mystery Here

The big news at the movie houses this weekend was the amazing success of a film called 300. Now, I'm not one for violence and beheadings, and lately I've grown frustrated with docudramas that rehash old news.

Yet 300 blew me away. And not simply because of Gerard Butler's tight abs. ;-) Visually this movie, based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller, was amazing. I was also pleasantly surprised by the strong heroine and her relationship with a powerful ruler. The story was a traditional one of good versus evil as the soldiers fought for freedom and honor against incredible odds.

The success of this movie proves to me how much we're drawn to strong, larger-than-life heroes who, by the way, make great romance heroes!

Who are some of your favorite heroes of books and movies?


Pat White

Monday, March 12, 2007

Realistic story lines

Hi, Kath, loved it that you're still putting away Christmas decorations. I still have some to put away, but for now they're tucked away upstairs in the extra guest room. Just hope I don't have two sets of company at once before I put them away.

Like you, I like to think my stories could happen and actually get many of my ideas right out of the morning newspaper.

But then 24/7 could have come off the TV as well. So if you're addicted to 24 like so many of us are, give the book 24/7 a look. The hero works for a high profile/high tech protection service, and the whole story takes place in seven days of non-stop action. But the bond between the hero and heroine stems from their past and a short but sensual love affair they've never recovered from. I love this hero!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Escaping Reality

I was drying my hair this morning and trying to think about a topic for today's blog. I got to thinking about my new release and the reviews I've been getting. More than one reviewer has commented that the story in the book could actually happen.


I'd like to think everything I write could actually happen. I mean, it happens in my head, right? I imagine the action, the dialogue, the characterizations as if they're unfolding right before my eyes. Surely somewhere out there, these characters and events could come to life.

I want my stories and characters to ring true. Don't I? But then I thought, wait a minute. When I read, don't I read to escape reality? And don't I write to escape reality? Sure, I do.

That doesn't mean my stories aren't based in reality, but aren't they a bit bigger than life in general -- at least my life in general?

I mean, let's face it, any heroine of mine has better things to occupy her time than the fact she forgot to put away one of her Christmas scenes, and yes, it's now March. (Did I just admit that out loud?)

In the fictional worlds I create, the hero and heroine wouldn't spend a lot of time worrying about the fact they haven't gotten around to grocery shopping this week, or that they still need to paint the ceiling in his/her office, or that they're six weeks into their new gym membership and they haven't lifted one weight.

Well, maybe they do worry about those things. But, we don't see it, don't read it, don't necessarily want to know about it.

We want to see them in action, in all of their strong-willed, smart-thinking, true-loving glory. And maybe that's the greatest escape of all. Creating worlds that not only take us away, but hopefully carry away our readers as well.

So, I suppose I've answered my own question.

How about you? What do you expect when you read? A dose of reality? Pure fantasy? A mix of the two?

Until next time, happy reading! As for me, I've got some Christmas decorations to put away.


Thursday, March 8, 2007

New at blogging

Sorry, don't know why my cover didn't come through, but believe me, it is much more interesting than the blank purple blob. Check it out at

I promise to do better next time-or at least try to do better. I'm new at this blogging stuff. Next week I'll talk about my new series, lots of hot, sexy cowboys. Hope I'm not the only one who likes them!


Here's my latest. This is the launch novel of the powerful six-book Bodyguards Unlimited Series. Hope you like it. Visit my web site and take a look around. You can read an excerpt there and enter my contest.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


Your experiences with MySpace are very interesting. I'll have to get you to teach me how to maneuver there. Amanda and I are great friends, but totally opposite when it comes to public speaking. I love talking-to one person or a roomful. I'm one of those writers who are so extroverted that making myself sit alone to write is the most difficult thing I do.

I have a new book out this month, as well. It's 24/7, the launch book for the powerful new 6-book Bodyguards Unlimited Series from Intrigue. But more about that later. Right now I really do have to quit playing on line and WRITE!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Chicken Hunter Wants to be Your Friend

Now that I’ve ventured into mainstream thriller territory, I’ve been faced with the very harsh reality of self-promotion...a concept that strikes terror into my heart. I’m not a people person. I’m not good at networking, I break out in a cold sweat at the very thought of public speaking, and conferences very often give me hives.

But I was made for MySpace.

One writer described it as like passing notes in high school except with really loud music and easy access to porn. I won’t touch the porn aspect, but I’m all about loud music and I’m one of the few writers I know who absolutely loved high school. See: Dazed and Confused.

And I’ve met the most amazing people on MySpace. Mortician Miss who is answering all my questions about funeral homes. The German band Breathe whose song “The Laughing Dolls” is the soundtrack for my
Dollmaker blog and who featured my book in a newsletter to their fans. A horror writer who has a wonderful review of The Dollmaker on Amazon.

I’ve been interviewed, blogged, and made a top friend on several sites.

I’ve heard from someone who had a close encounter with a UFO and another who lives with a ghost. I’ve met people from New Zealand to Greenland (Hi, Chicken Hunter!), and I learned that Harlen Coben’s first concert was Blue Oyster Cult (so was mine!).

So are you on there yet? Because if you’re not, you should be. It’s the place to be.

And if you are on, stop by my site and leave a comment or send me a friend request. I’ll add you, I promise.

Amanda Stevens
Cross-posted at Blasphemous Rumours