Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Heating up the Holidays!

Blog Hop

Welcome to the Rock*It Reads Heating Up the Holidays Blog Hop. There are 15 stops on the blog tour. The more blogs you visit and comment on, the greater your chances of winning the grand prize, a $75 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble or Amazon, and a huge collection of books from the authors of Rock*It Reads. Smaller prizes will be available at each stop along the way.

Good luck, and have fun!


What better way to heat up your holidays than with the hot, sexy men of our romance novels?


I have to have a picture of my hero in my mind before I start. Sometimes that mental picture morphs a bit as I get deeper into the character, but sometimes the physical image of him holds for me through to the end. Here are two such cases.


The first hero I’ll tell you about is Tommy Godsoe, a police dog handler who has been sidelined by injury, from my book Protecting Paige (Serve and Protect, #3). It was important to the story that he be quite a bit younger than the heroine, Paige, a youthful-looking single mother. I also wanted him to be very attractive, with sensual features and a slightly dissolute look. He had to be very lean, with the body of a runner (K-9 handlers have to be extremely fit). As I searched my memory banks—and countless celebrity image sites—I found the perfect match: Jakob Dylan, of The Wallflowers. Here’s a YouTube clip of Jakob (it starts to close in on his face about 42 seconds in, if you want to advance it).



No doubt listening non-stop to Red Letter Days, my favorite CD by The Wallflowers, as I wrote the book contributed to Jakob’s image persisting throughout. But when it came to creating the book’s cover, unfortunately Jakob wasn’t available. ,-) I really like this cover, but it’s an example of the compromises you have to make. I’ve yet to land a cover where the hero truly looks the way I imagine him. That being the case, what I strive to do is capture something true about the story. I think this does that nicely.



Another character whose image I had firmly in my mind was Cal Taggart, the hero from Every Breath She Takes. He’s a former champion bull rider who has retired from the rodeo to run a cow-calf operation in the Alberta foothills. Most bull riders are very compact men. The tall, rangy ones tend to get whiplashed and battered. Cal’s not especially short, but he’s compact and wiry. I also didn’t want him to look like a stereotypical cowboy. I wanted him to have a sort of edgy cool factor where you could imagine him in a leather jacket astride a motorcycle as easily as on horseback.  This time, I looked to television/film and found my model in a guy with a similar name—Callum Keith Rennie, affectionately known by fans as CKR. In fact, when I settled on my model, I decided that Cal would be short for Callum as a tribute to CKR. Here’s a Youtube homage appropriately titled “Callum Keith Rennie is Awesomeness”.



This cover was created for me by Montlake and I think they did a great job. You can’t really see a lot of detail of the hero in this picture, but they nailed the emotion.


Cover - Every Breath She Takes


Of course, the way I see the hero of my books might differ wildly from the way you see him, and that’s okay. That’s more than okay. And hey, if you’ve read either of those books, I’d love to know who you imagine as the model for either Tommy or Cal. Seriously!


Both of these guys are very lean, Tommy in a taller, rangier way, and Cal in a more compact, powerful way. But I’ve cast heroes who are as big and robust as Russell Crowe, as pretty as Jude Law, and as rugged and … well, craggy as Daniel Craig. It’s not really about body type for me. I appreciate a wide variety of men. What about you? Are you as eclectic as me, or do you have a particular look you favor? A guy who’s just your type? Let me know in your comment below. From the comments, I will draw three random winners, for the following prizes:


  • $10 Gift Certificate
  • Signed print copy of my Rock*It Reads book Guarding Suzannah, the first book in my Protect and Serve series; and
  • Signed print copy of my newest release from Montlake Romance, Every Breath She Takes



Leave a comment below to enter for your chance to win!

Don’t forget to visit the other authors on the Blog Hop for more chances to win!

Kris Kennedy Bonnie Vanak Erin Kellison
Sharon Page Lila DiPasqua Elisabeth Naughton
Norah Wilson Jennifer Lyon Monica Burns
Vanessa Kelly Mia Marlowe Joan Swan
Pamela Clare Margo Maguire Rock*It Reads











I think I’ve forgotten how to blog. Seriously. I think all my news, all my Aha! thoughts about writing, all my failures and triumphs, my loves and hates, I’m tweeting. Or Facebooking. What’s left to blog about?

Oh, yeah. Deeper issues…

Okay, here’s something that’ll take longer than 140 characters to explore – my love of Justified. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a television show based on Elmore Leonard’s character Raylan Givens, a US Marshall, who appears – according to Wikipedia – in Leonard’s novels Pronto and Riding the Rap and his short story “Fire in the Hole”  Can I just say, frickin’ brilliant writing!

Trailer for Justified

Also, brilliant casting. Timothy Olyphant as Raylan was pure genius. I gather that Leonard’s material has not always been successfully adapted to the screen, but this seems to be a notable exception. And the fantastic casting doesn’t stop with the lead. I just finished Season 1, and there’s not a soft spot anywhere. Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder is a particular standout. He was brilliant in The Shield, where he played Shane Vendrell, the character I most loved to hate. But somehow I segued into just loving him. As one of my writer friends (MJ Frederick) said, it’s hard to take your eyes off him (Goggins) when he’s on the screen. But the whole cast is amazing. Raylan’s boss, his disreputable father, his Aunt Helen, the whole Crowder clan. Top to bottom, it’s amazing.

I also love the fact that it’s set in Kentucky (and doesn’t Raylan stick out like a sore thumb with that cowboy hat, cowboy boots and gunslinger swagger!).

As for the finale for Season 1 – Oh. My. God. My tastes tend toward the dark and violent when it comes to TV. I loved The Wire (I can still hear the sawed-off shotgun wielding Omar saying, “You come at the King, you best not miss” after the would-be assassin missed). I was spellbound by The Shield. Absolutely love Sons of Anarchy. I’m totally down with True Blood. I also have a lot of room for the quirky (Terriers, anyone?). But it’s pretty hard to top what Justified did with Season 1. Shows like this renew my faith in television.

Now, if we could only get Firefly back….