Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
News About Shelley Blog Books Extras Contact Small Font Large Font

Archive for December, 2008

Reality in Romance

Angela James did a great post at Romancing the Blog a few days ago about reality in romances. “How is it,” she asked, “that the hero and heroine don’t suffer from morning breath in most romances?”

I’ve wondered this myself. Other things bother me, too, not usually enough to stop reading, but I do pause to consider. The issue of condoms bothers me, depending on the circumstances and the plot. In historicals I wonder about bathing. People didn’t used to have many baths because they considered it unhealthy and having a bath inside was plain hard work. The water needed heating and then servants needed to transport it to the bath. I don’t know about you but I’m wondering exactly how smelly things were. I like it when the hero or heroine take the time to swim in a river or lake.

I think about the feasibility of some sexual positions (can we say dislocated joints?) and wonder what happened to clothes. As my editor has points out to me it’s difficult to undress if you’re still wearing boots! Funny that…

What things bother you when you’re reading a romance? Are they enough to make you stop reading a particular book or author? Do you think I’m being hypersensitive because after all it is only fiction?

Forgot to Mention…

I’m the guest blogger over at Erotic Muses today. I’m talking about cat burglars and mentioned my upcoming release, Cat Burglar in passing…

Here’s the link: Erotic Muses

Sweet Nothings

Yesterday I purchased Everything is Fine by Josh Turner for my iPod. His singing voice is amazing – all low and sexy and it gives me the shivers. The man could sing me my latest rejection letter and I’d say, “Yes, please. More.” Of course it doesn’t hurt that he’s cute as well. Here’s the Youtube of him singing the song live at the Ole Opry so you can judge yourself.

Thoughts of sexy voices led me to accents. A guy could whisper a rejection letter to me in French or Italian and I’d ask him to say it again. Irish and Scottish accents are pretty sexy too, although since I’d understand what they were saying I mightn’t ask them to repeat it. Josh Turner is the only one who can get away with a repeat in English.

Here’s a Youtube of a girl talking in 21 different accents. She’s pretty good, but please, those of you who have met me in person – please tell me I didn’t sound like her version of a New Zealander!

PS. I listened to it again. Maybe the NZ accent isn’t too bad. Besides, I live in Auckland and not Wellington.

Which voices and accents do you find sexy? Who would you like to whisper sweet nothings in your ear? Who could read you bad news or a boring shopping list and you’d enjoy it?

Women Take a Stand

I’m an avid traveler and a recent article in the travel section of the New Zealand Herald caught my attention. It spoke to me. It made me laugh.

In some countries, you still have travel with a father or a husband before being allowed to enter i.e. Saudi Arabia. In other countries I’ve visited, such as Iran, women have to wear head scarves, covered shoes and a long sleeved coat. I have a photo somewhere of me and two girlfriends in the back of a cab in Esfahan, Iran. We’re dressed in black from head to foot and wearing huge grins. We wore a black chador during our visit plus headscarves. I remember being uncomfortable and hot for the full seven days it took us to drive through the country. That said, it was a wonderful experience and we met some lovely people.

In other countries such as Pakistan, India and Turkey, a woman needs to dress with care to prevent giving local males the wrong idea, i.e. that’s she’s available and ready for sex.

But there’s one other thing about travel that’s an even bigger problem for women, and that’s going to the loo. (Restroom for those of you in the US) Sometimes it’s hard to find one and at other times, they’re plain disgusting. A man can go anywhere – choose a spot, take aim and go. For a woman it’s not that easy. Take it from me, I have firsthand experience with this dilemma!

When we traveled overland in India, we’d pull up in the middle of nowhere for lunch. The first thing all the girls did was dive off the truck and find a tree to squat behind because within minutes the locals would appear. Many a time, we’d turn around and find a stranger getting a good view from behind. We learned to be quick.

That’s why this article fascinated me. It was about a new product called the Shewee that allows women to relieve themselves while standing up. To pee with a Shewee you unzip your trousers and push your underwear to the side. The Shewee is placed against your body and the spout angled toward the toilet or ground. A quick shake of the liquid resistant plastic and it’s dry and ready to store for the next time. At 17cm long and being very light, it can be stowed easily.

Here’s the link to the New Zealand website where it sells for NZ$19.90. (there’s also a US website – follow the links from the NZ one)

What do you think?

Contest!

I love my husband. I love cycling. Logic would dictate that cycling with my husband would be lots of fun. In a word–no!

Something about the combination of husband and a bicycle brings out the competitive gene in him. He has to beat me to our destination. Of course, it probably doesn’t help that, at times, I have a competitive streak, too. Some days it doesn’t bother me if he cycles off into the distance, leaving me behind.

Today wasn’t that day. My beloved husband irritated me.

When he cycled off into the distance, I took a shortcut, then I waited for him. He took a long time because he’d gone back to see where I was. He worried that I’d fallen off, which made me feel bad for about…um…two seconds.

Do you have a competitive streak in you? Do you like to win?

Random Thoughts on Christmas Day

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Random Thoughts During My Christmas Day

1. I need more sleep.

2. Bah-humbug!

3. I knew they’d be late and lunch wouldn’t be on time.

4. She should take a chill-pill.

5. Please sit down and rest.

6. Aw, what a cutie. (My new niece, Abby)

7. Ooh, book voucher. That will come in handy!

8. Can’t he see that he stole my seat? Does he need glasses or something?

9. I wish someone had given me a supersoaker!!

10. Run! Aw, heck! That’s cold!

11. It’s hot. I need my hat.

12. Oops! Wrong time, wrong place. Now my shirt is wet all the way through. I really need a supersoaker.

13. I’m tired. Thank goodness I’m home and can have a beer now.

My day was full of family, good food and a horrendously big waterfight where hubby and I both ended up very wet. Luckily it was a hot and sunny day. I’ve just driven home and can now sit down with a drink and watch some TV. I feel like watching some more Deadwood tonight. I don’t think it will take much to convince hubby. I hope every one has a day as good as mine.

Add/share your random thoughts in the comments section.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Tough Times

Times are tough here in New Zealand, much as they are worldwide. Unfortunately, some people try to take the easy way out and steal from others. I thought these security tips from my local paper would be a good reminder to everyone, especially with the holidays coming up.

1. Shut and lock all doors and close and lock all windows when no one is at home.

2. Do not “hide” keys outside your home. Burglars know this trick and will look for them.

3. Make sure valuables can’t be seen from outside.

4. Make your home look occupied when you’re away by using timers on radios and lights. Cancel milk, papers and mail deliveries. Have a neighbor collect junk mail.

5. When you buy new items like TVs, DVD players etc don’t leave the empty boxes out for rubbish collection or if you do, turn them inside out so you’re not advertising.

6. Hide or lock away passports and official documents because identity theft is on the rise. Note to self – don’t hide things so well you can’t find them later. I’m still looking for my car keys! :blush:

7. Don’t leave car keys near doors or windows.

8. Consider engraving your property. This puts thieves off because the resale value isn’t as good.

9. Keep a list of valuables (an up-to-date one) including serial numbers.

10. Deadlocks make it harder for burglars to get your belongings out if they enter via a window. Also lock internal doors such as those between the house and garage.

11. Window locks deter burglars because smashing glass attracts attention.

12. Visible alarms and security lighting is a good deterrent.

13. Invite neighbors to use your driveway and clothesline to make it look as if someone is at home.

14. Join a neighborhood watch.

Do you have any other good security tips to add? We might as well talk budgeting tips as well because as I mentioned, times are tough. What is your best money saving tip?

Heavy Breathing

The idea for this post came to me in the wee hours of this morning. I woke up all of a sudden to the musical sound of my husband’s snoring. Now, we’ve been married for a while, and I have him well trained. I handle this snoring business in two ways.

1. I’ll put my hand on hubby’s shoulder and say in a firm voice, “Turn on your side.” Like a well-trained seal, he turns over on his side without even waking and the snoring stops. I go back to sleep and all is well in the world.

2. Hubby continues to snore and I’m tired. I get grumpy and that’s when I wade in with a well-placed elbow. It’s a take-no-prisoners jab, designed to shock a snoring husband awake. If I’ve got to suffer and be awake then so does he!

This morning I chose method number one and he did his seal flop. The snoring stopped and I went back to sleep. I’m lucky since this doesn’t happen very often.

The noise of snoring is caused by parts of the nose and throat – in particular, the soft palate – vibrating as a person breathes in and out. At night, the muscles that help keep your airways open relax and become floppy. This causes the airways to narrow and vibrate more, making snoring more likely. Alcohol, colds and allergies, being overweight, smoking and sleeping on your back can all contribute to snoring. Evidently more than 3.5 million people snore in Britain. That’s a lot of noise. I imagine the figures are similar in the US and New Zealand. I can only wonder what a spying alien might think about all the racket!

In the interests of transparency, I’d better add that I snore whenever I have a cold. As I tell hubby, I have to breathe!

Ways to treat snoring include not drinking alcohol before bed, maintaining a good weight for you, sleeping on your side, raising the head of the bed and using a humidifier. These days you can also purchase special nasal strips, which are said to help.

Do you have people who snore in your household? How do you cope?

Note: Just a reminder about the Bitten by Books – Naughty Nights of Christmas contest. There are lots of great books up for grabs. I’m on Night 12. Don’t delay because the contest will end very soon!

Holiday Stories

Each year I think about reading special seasonal stories for Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Christmas. I say to myself, “That’s a good idea. It would get you in the mood.” Somehow, that never happens. I never organize myself enough to follow through and the thought slips from my mind.

This year, though, was different! I’ve read two Christmas stories, and I thought I’d tell you about them.

The first was Sweet Charity by Lauren Dane. I was lucky enough to receive a sneak preview of this wonderful Christmas story before it comes out next week. Lauren writes such great characters. They’re always strong, and they know what they want. Charity, the heroine is a prime example of this. It’s coming up to Christmas and she decides to go after what she wants. Actually that should be “who” because she wants Gabriel. I’m not going to tell you more, except that it’s a great little story and I really enjoyed it. Here’s the link to the book page at Samhain. It’s available for purchase on 23 December.

The other story I read and enjoyed was A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr. I’ve mentioned Robyn Carr a lot recently. I’ve fallen in love with her Virgin River series. I like the sense of community in the books, the repeat glimpses into characters’ lives from previous books and the small town setting. This one is set during the run up to Christmas and features Marcie and ex-marine Ian who has stepped away from life and lives as a hermit, high up on the mountain. Ian was Marcié’s husband’s senior officer (oops – that’s a mouthful!) and he tried to save Bobby. He carried him to medical transport but Bobby died. Marcie wants to track Ian down and give him some of her husband’s old letters. She wants to talk with him and thank him. Marcie changes Ian and helps him get the past into perspective.

This is a great book. It stands alone but your enjoyment will be much richer if you read the series from book one. And as an aside, if you start at book one now, you’ll be ready for the next three books in the series that come out back-to-back, starting in Feb 2009.

Do you like seasonal stories? Holiday stories? Do you read them? Do you have any favorites you’d like to recommend or do a mini review for in the comments section?

The To-Read Pile

It’s no secret I love to read and that my love of reading directed me on the path to becoming a writer. If you’re a reader and you’re anything like me, you probably have a huge to-read pile sitting by your bed or lined up nicely in a bookcase somewhere in your house. I like ebooks as well and have a stack of unread ones waiting on my hard drive.

When I’m ready to read another book, I sometimes take the one on the top of the pile and sometimes that particular book doesn’t grab me, so I’ll shuffle the pile around until I find one that suits my mood. When it comes to ebooks, I’m more likely to choose according to length. I’m reading short ebooks at the moment because I’m time-poor but still want to feel as if I’m actually reading.

I’m constantly adding to my to-read pile, despite the fact that sometimes it looks like Mt. Cook. (NZ’s highest mountain) I can’t seem to stop myself. I tend to read the hot books first, although I’m saving one Lora Leigh book for after Christmas. At the moment I’m going through a contemporary phaze, and my pile is now sadly depleted in this respect. I’m going to have to either replace them or start on another genre any day now.

Okay, I’ve confessed. Now it’s your turn.

What does your reading pile look like? Is it tidy or messy? Do you know what’s in your pile or are you in danger of duplication? How do you choose which book to read next? What about your ebook stack?

Deliciously Decadent December Winners so far

Winner of Crimson Prey is Fedora.
Winner of Quintuplets is Cathy M.
Winner of Rain God is Lexee.

Congratulations!



  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >