Friday, November 30, 2012

Romance books, birth control and disease (World AIDS Day)

AIDS is a word that you don’t come across much in romance novels. The words protection or contraceptives are not seen a lot in their plots either. In the world of romance and erotica, the introduction of birth control and protection breaks the flow of the sex scene. Or so I have been told. Their presence ruins the fantasy of unbridled, uninhibited boinking sought by readers. I suppose if the trappings are used, readers don’t want to read it. Swallowing that pill, inserting that diaphragm or rolling on that condom is too real and unromantic. For many the images of these duties have no place in romance fiction.

My characters use birth control and make it sexy, fun and not intrusive to the story line. Is it the romance industry’s job to sheath every male character’s member or pump every female character’s orifice with spermicide to insure against disease and offspring? Certainly not. Romance’s aim is not to turn off the audience or to preach. Its aim is to turn the readers on and to entertain them. Since tons of readers' real sex lives are influenced by the stories-du-jour (e. g. E. L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey series), maybe more stories involving AIDS, other STDs and/or unwanted pregnancies would satisfy a  sector of the audience that needs to find something both sexy and sexually informative to read.
Honor World AIDS day on December 1st.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The beauty of a Beta

The Alpha male hero has been, still is and will always be in the forefront of romance writing. Yes, he is the type of guy who sets hearts racing. He is no nonsense, full speed ahead in his actions and deeds. He follows his mind in the making of decisions. He’s always handsome, self-assured and knows how to tame the heroine with rough love. He’s the fantasy that never quits. That image works for me. Sometimes.

Actually, I, most of the time, prefer the Beta male hero. You know the guy who is still handsome, who is still no nonsense but thinks over and not merely re-acts to things. This hero is not full speed ahead. He considers all options and others’ sentiments when a decision is needed. He is a sensitive, caring lover not a jackhammer set of indefatigable genitals. And his job is not to tame the heroine but to take her as she is. Yeah, give me a Beta male hero and I get weak in the knees.
Listen up! being a Beta male hero is not equal to being a wuss. Wuss. I dislike that word. It combines disrespect for both genders. What an ugly economy of words! but unfortunately, it sums up how some readers view a Beta male hero. The Beta male hero is a little more grounded for my tastes. But that's my take. What's yours? comment below please.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thoughts on the older romance heroine

There have been many attempts at different types of romance genres. Several died on the vine due to the lack of readership or the lack of commitment on the part of the publisher. One imprint (I think from  Kensington) from the early 90s featured heroines over 40 years of age and beyond. It didn’t last long. I did get to read one book from the line. I believe it was an over 40 ranch-owning heroine and her younger ranch hand or foreman or a cowboy. I thought it was well written and showed nicely the heroine’s apprehension at dating, loving and bedding a younger man. The hero of course reassures her of his love but she doubts it and sends him away. After much drama they reunite in a happily ever after ending. Well, the line didn’t sell well and was cancelled. Lo, the poor heroine who is older than her hero if she wants true love. If she is presented as a sex-starved cougar she can get her brains screwed out and beyond. Which is all well and good if that is what you are looking for. But if you’re looking for a love story between a mature woman and a younger man, the pickins is slim as my grandma used to say. Extremely slim.

There are two entertaining May-December romances I return to when I need that itch scratched. Both have been made into films that I enjoy also. The first is Love in Another Town by Barbara Taylor Bradford. The second is How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan. I recommend both in both forms to pass any quiet evening. Add lots of popcorn, a beverage of choice and tissues. Watch and savor.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, The Presidential Election and Que sera, sera

Back again and punch drunk from the one-two of Hurricane Sandy and the re-election of President Obama. Well, what can I say? Sandy tried to wreck the presidential election. With all her horrific beauty and fury, she did succeed in knocking out power, toppling trees and houses and flooding neighborhoods. She took out my power for a week. The quiet was eerily calm. I suggest a self-imposed disconnect from all the distracting, electrical devices every once in a while. It’s so freeing. But just not in this jarring way. The re-election of President Obama surprised many in the country-- about 49 percent. I won’t gloat but I will say that the 49 percent must feel the way I felt back in 2000 when the Supreme Court selected Mister Bush. Nature and the Divine have mysterious ways of working. It’s not my business to know how. Anyway, both events were forces majeure. These two events show how the nation’s politicians and the East Coast’s citizens must co-operate with others from all political parties to rebuild.  It won’t be easy, peasy but it can be accomplished.

In the meantime, if your power is out but you have batteries or can use an e-reader, snuggle up with an IR romance and see how peoples of all races, lifestyles and beliefs get along through love.