Archive for November, 2007

Why Barbie Dolls Don’t Have Nipples: Romance Heroines for Feminists by Isabelle Kane

November 29, 2007 By: Romance Junkies Category: Contests, Guest Blogger, Latest News 14 Comments →

How can one be a feminist and read and write romance novels? I believe that admiring strong, empowered women and seeking to portray them in one’s work is not contrary to the ideals of romantic love that we find in the most popular genre in the U.S. today, romance.            

Of course, there are the “virgin-to-the-sacrifice” books. These are the ones where the unbelievably gorgeous nineteen or twenty year old ends up with the thirty-five year old multi-millionaire businessman or English lord with whom she achieves a perfect and immediate sexual and emotional union. This sort of formula is typical of many Regency and even some Contemporary Romances. Not to be judgmental or negative, but these books irritate me. In addition to the power balance inherent in such relationships, they don’t seem to give the readers any credit. I’ve heard many of the criticisms of romance readers, we want the “candy” or the “frosting” of life portrayed in our books, not the real meat and potatoes, the material of substance. I don’t buy that. While some readers may go for the “save me” sort of heroine who gets swept away by her Prince Charming, I prefer the kick some b–, Lara Croft type of leading lady. I’m thrilled to say that the romance genre is truly broadening its horizons these days. The type of heroines that we see portrayed are of a variety of ages, sizes and shapes, who are often definitely not virginal, and who have jobs, careers, and interests of their own. They aren’t just blank slates for their men to “write on.”           

This gets me to Barbie. As the mother of a daughter, I care deeply that I write about spunky women who aren’t perpetual victims. I want them to have some “sass” to them, women who are on equal footing with their men. But our society constantly feeds our girls different messages. Look at the Disney princesses for example; almost all of them, with the possible exceptions of Mulan, who isn’t a princess, and Belle, are simpering weaklings who are waiting for their Prince to make their worlds all better. Barbie has been the most popular girls’ doll for decades. She is blond, statuesque, and has no nipples, though she does have huge breasts. My theory about this, and I’ll admit it may be paranoid, is that male manufacturers can sexualize her with large breasts, but nipples would make her more than just an object of fantasy. Nipples would conjure up images of motherhood. Now I’ll admit that Ken is also anatomically incorrect, but not in the same way. It’s not like he has part of something, as in the case of Barbie and the breast/nipple thing.            

The media and toy industry try to sell our little girls very warped visions of what they should aspire to. There have been some improvements. The Bratz dolls, even though they always wear skimpy clothing, are ethnically diverse. I have also seen a pregnant Barbie and a veterinarian Barbie. But I guess my conclusion is that many romance authors actually promote female empowerment in a way that our society needs to. We write about the full spectrum of the feminine experience within the context of loving relationships, arguably the most important part of life. We write about young women and old women, professional women and stay-at-home moms, those at the beginning of relationships and those who rediscover love in a decades-old marriage.           

Though our society seeks to limit and define romance in ways that are often harmful to women, romance writers sometimes empower our ladies and lead the charge to greater equality of the sexes. I hope many of you are with me on this one. Admire a heroine who challenges her mate, who asks tough questions, and stands with her man when the fates are against them. A dynamic relationship between a well matched pair between whom the sparks continue to fly until the last page is a far more meaningful happily-ever-after than simply riding off into a sunset.




Guest Blogger Isabelle Kane!!!

November 28, 2007 By: Romance Junkies Category: Contests, Guest Blogger, Latest News No Comments →

Happy Wednesday!!!!

It’s been quiet here, so come on by tomorrow and join guest blogger Isabelle Kane as she discusses romance heroines for feminists.

While you wait however sit back and enjoy a little about Isabelle and her latest release.

Isabelle Kane believes that romance and love are among the most delightful aspects of the human experience. She has a fondness for flawed heros, like Emily Bronte’s Heathcliff, but she also enjoys the sophisticated arrogance offered by such dashing fellows as Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy. She seeks to provide her readers with rich tapestries of stories in which love is just one element of the forces that intertwine the lives of her protagonists. She believes that every dreamer deserves the adventures and escape offered by an exciting novel. The greatest sources of joy and inspiration in Isabelle’s life are her husband and their three children. To learn more about her books and short stories, please visit her website at, and to join her mailing list, please e-mail her at

One Last Farewell by Isabelle Kane

Krystyna Sielska, a bold Polish beauty, hopes to escape scandal by fleeing her homeland for the imperial city of Vienna. There she encounters two men: a charming and handsome rogue and a brash and unpolished scoundrel. Both men seek to woo the lovely Krystyna, but another, a monster who goes only by the name of “Janus,” also pursues her. Can true love survive the flames of war?

Click for excerpt. 




And they lived happily ever after… by Jess Dee

November 26, 2007 By: Romance Junkies Category: Contests, Guest Blogger, Latest News 11 Comments →

Don’t you love the ending of a good romance? That wonderful finish, when you close the book with a long, wispy sigh of satisfaction. That for me, makes a book worth reading. The Aaaahhhh factor.


I love that last scene. I love the way the uphill battle suddenly evens out, and everything the hero and heroine fought so hard for or against suddenly amounts to everything. I love the sense that the characters know they have fallen in love forever, they have found their happy ever after.


Writing a romance is just the same. While working on the manuscript, I may not know what the hero and heroine will go through to be together, or what challenges they have to endure to prove their love for each other, but I do know they’ll get there in the end. They’ll make it. I know exactly how the last scene in the book will play out. After all I’m a romance writer. I do it for the happy ever after.


So why, why am I struggling so much with my current manuscript? I know the end. Heck, I knew it before I started the book. I have played the final chapter in my head so many times, I could direct it as a Broadway production.


I just can’t put it into words.


Do you have any idea how many times I have started and deleted this scene? How many times I’ve sat down to write it, and worked on something else altogether? Do you know how many books I’ve read in two weeks, trying to find inspiration to pen the last paragraphs of the manuscript? I think perhaps I should have written a paper on the art of procrastination instead, for I have certainly mastered it.


Have you ever read a book that you love so much, you find yourself reading a little slower than usual? You find yourself putting off reaching that final page, because afterwards, the book is finished—and then what will you do? You don’t want the book to end.


I once received a review for a book (Photo Opportunity, by Marina at Cupid’s Library), and one of the things she said was: “The absolute cherry on top is the ending that I must have re-read five times not wanting to let the characters go.”


Well, maybe that’s what I’m going through. Maybe I just don’t want to finish this manuscript because then I’ll have to say goodbye to the characters. It’s tough letting go. I’ve known the hero of this book for two years now. I know what he’s gone through to get his woman. Yes, I want them to have their happiness. They sure do deserve it—but how can I not be there to help them anymore? To guide them? How can I let them go off and make it by themselves? I’ll miss them too much.


I guess I have what is the writer’s equivalent to empty nest syndrome. My characters are preparing to leave home and make it on their own. I know I have no choice. I have to let them leave. Perhaps, when I’ve readied myself emotionally for the separation, I’ll finally be able to get that last scene down in words.



Until then, I’m off to read another love story (or four). I’m putting off the inevitable—saying goodbye. My characters will get their happy ever after, I promise. Just as soon as I’m ready to let them go. 

Guest Blogger Jess Dee!!!!

November 25, 2007 By: Romance Junkies Category: Contests, Guest Blogger, Latest News 1 Comment →

Please give a warm Romance Junkies Welcome to Jess Dee who will be joining us here on Monday November 26th.  Jess will be discussing writing the Happily Ever After in romance writing.

For now we offer you a little glimpse of Jess Dee and her most recent Samhain release.

Jess lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two sons. When she’s not racing after kids, cooking meals, packing away toys or finishing yet another load of washing, she spends her time lost in the wonderful world of books. Give her a chocolate, a cup of tea and a good romance and you’ll make her very happy.

Ask Adam by Jess Dee

Can one wild night of passion turn into the romance of a lifetime?

 Lexi Tanner’s got a major problem: AJ Riley, the man she’s about to approach for a hefty donation, turns out to be the stranger she shared a night of steamy sex with less than a week past. She’ll do anything to raise money for a children’s charity—anything except sell herself. Now how can she ask AJ for money without it seeming like he’s paying for sexual favors? 

If there’s one thing the past has taught Adam “AJ” Riley, it’s that loving someone can only lead to pain. He knows he shouldn’t feel so attracted to Lexi, and he definitely shouldn’t trust a woman who’d sleep with a man one week and approach him for money the next. Yet somehow Lexi breaks through all his barriers. His instincts tell him to run but his heart wants to give Lexi—and love—a second chance. How can he let go of his tragic past and still protect his battered heart?


Click to read an Excerpt.


You can find more about Jess and her writing on the world wide web.





Winners!!! Guest Blogger Denyse Bridger

November 25, 2007 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News No Comments →

Denyse joined us on Friday to discuss the many style of romance and so many of you posted back to her with your favorites.

 Two of you will be enjoying Denyse’s newest release Passionate Kisses. Winners please email with Denyse Bridger Blog Day Winner in the subject line and I will forward your email and choice of format to Denyse.

Drumroll please… The winners are…

Jennifer Cole and Lily

Thanks again to Denyse for joining us and we hope that she will come and blog with us here at RJ again in the future.

Winners!!! The Many Faces of Chaos

November 25, 2007 By: Romance Junkies Category: Contests, Guest Blogger, Latest News 1 Comment →

On Tuesday our blog was visited by none other than Chaoscat AKA Samantha Storm.

Of course that means we have prizes. Chaos has asked for two winner who will receive Kona Coffee and a download of their choice from Samantha Storm’s available titles.

Winners please email with The Many Faces of Chaos Winner in the subject line. Be sure to include your snail mail address and book choice in the email for Chaos.

And away we go…


Christine Dionne and Jenyfer Matthews

Thanks again Chaos for spending time with us over here at the blog and we look forward to you blogging for us again in the future :)

Winners!!! Most Memorable Thanksgiving Memory.

November 25, 2007 By: Romance Junkies Category: Contests, Latest News 1 Comment →

Happy Sunday!!! 

We have many winners to announce today so I thought we’d start with the week long contest first.

Everyone had such great memories and we thank you for sharing them with us. Keep a look out for another contest next month.

Here we go:

Winners please email with Thanksgiving Day Memory Winner in the subject line. Please remember to include you snail mail info and the name of the book you won.

Operation Second Chance by Roxanne Rustand, Superromance Harlequin- Author Autographed copy ~ Lisa Avila

Halfway to The Grave by Jeaniene Frost, Avon ~ Amelia

Blackthorne’s Bride by Shana Galen, Avon ~ Linda H

Taken by the Night by Kathryn Smith, Avon ~ Carol

In Her Bed by Deborah MacGillivray, Zebra, Author Autographed copy ~ Tina Burnell

Congrats to all the winners. Thank you for your continued support of the Romance Junkies Blog.

The Different Styles of Romance by Denyse Bridger

November 23, 2007 By: Jenn L Category: Contests, Guest Blogger, Latest News 29 Comments →

I don’t know if this is something that readers notice as much as writers will, but I am curious about it, so let’s talk! Most of us who write tend to not stick with one genre, but let our creativity take us wherever we feel the lure. I write mainstream, sweet romance, erotica, and fantasy. Some times I mix up the genres in unexpected ways, and you get an action thriller with an erotic twist, or a Victorian mystery with a hint of romance and paranormal. ALL of these styles are approached, by me, with a very different mindset. I think it reflects in the style of the writing. Do you, as readers, notice that?


Language for Historicals is an obvious challenge at times. But, it’s pretty much a given that you have to at least make the effort not to inject modern usages into the text or you totally lose the correct tone and ambience of your piece. Even with the erotica, the sexuality of  your characters should reflect the time in which you’ve written them, so many things are inappropriate. When you find modern words in a story that’s supposed be a couple of centuries ago in time, does it throw you totally out of the mood and story? It does me!


Does a hard hitting thriller with a sexy soldier of fortune have a different feel than a sweet story of discovering love and passion? Absolutely. At least in my mind. The era might be the same, but there is such a difference in the way it has to be presented. Bullets flying and threats to the lives of your hero and heroine add an edge to the passion, make it burn intensely and immediately, so the language can often reflect that instant hunger and need. If you’re “falling in love” for the first time, and the tone is sweet and passionate, you can play a lot more with the intimacies of the mind and heart. Allow all those beautiful, erotic whispers to build and shimmer on the surface before they explode and demand to be satiated.


Do you have a preference? I find I am drawn more to some stories than others in style, but when I write, I love them all. Tell me about your favourites, and your preferences, please? And thanks in advance for being part of this intriguing “chat” with me. It’s going to be fun! The book I’m offering as a prize is multi-genre, and there’s something for many different tastes, everything from Historical to Paranormal, with some pretty intense tales being told!


Denyse will be giving away to copies of Passionate Kisses so c’mon and post and you’ll be entered to win.

Guest Blogger Denyse Bridger

November 23, 2007 By: Jenn L Category: Contests, Guest Blogger, Latest News 5 Comments →

Happy day after Thanksgiving and for those of you don’t celebrate the holiday a big Happy Friday to you. Join us today as we welcome author Denyse Bridger. She’ll be discussing the different styles of writing in the Romance Genre. For now here’s a brief look at Denyse and her latest release.


I am a native of Atlantic Canada, and I’ve been writing for what seems a lifetime. As my readers know, I also refuse to be confined to a single genre, preferring to explore in many. While my special favorites are always historical, I’m developing a fondness for contemporary tales, as well. Fantasy is also an element of just about every story, whether it’s the fantasy of romance itself, or an exciting new world to learn about and understand. So, it’s my hope that every reader will find something to enjoy in my books, and will want to stay with me through the journey and see just how far we can stretch our creative dreams.



My first major release is in bookstores now, it’s a mainstream fantasy novel, based on Greek Mythology – As Fate Decrees. (And there’s romance, too, of course!) The Media Kit, a video trailer, and podcast interviews are all available at my website, so drop by! At the moment, my most important projects are a proposal for Harlequin Presents, and a new Anthology called The Italian Collection, six stories set in Italy and all named with the titles of romantic Italian love songs. I think it’s going to be great!


To stay current with all my projects, (and they are many!), or to just say hello, please feel free to visit my website:   Or, sign up for the monthly newsletter Romance and Fantasy. If you prefer to chat with me, and other readers, the newsgroup is open to everyone. Denysé Bridger News. I can also be found in MySpace at:, and my official blog is: Fantasy Pages


TWO copies of this eBook will be given as prizes, in whatever format the winners require.

Passionate Kisses by Denyse Bridger




Genre: Multi-genre Anthology (erotic)

ISBN: 978-1-59578-372-1

Release Date: September 3rd, 2007

Publisher/Buy: Liquid Silver Books

Cover by: April Martinez


Passionate Kisses is a collection of seven short stories, three of which have been previously published. In this single volume you’ll meet agents who risk not only their lives but their hearts as they struggle to survive in an often harsh and heartless world; a jaded Colonel returning from the Civil War who finds solace for his soul in the arms of woman he’s just met; a vampire who unknowingly condemns all of his kind to the eternal night; a couple who live busy lives that often keep them apart, so they make their own special magic hidden away in the mountains


The collection includes the following tales of erotic romance:


ANY OTHER WAY, (Contemporary, previously published by Amber Quill Press):  Protected Federal Witness, Carlos D’Alejandro and Agent Jade Whinton have had a relationship of convenience over the years, but when the people they love are killed, these two unlikely lovers are forced to face a truth neither of them has been willing to examine too closely, that their passion is more than intense attraction…


DESTINY MET (Post-Civil War): As the soldiers of the defeated Confederacy slowly make their way to the broken South, a jaded hero finds unexpected comfort in the arms of a lovely woman who has waited a lifetime to meet her destiny…


BOUND (Contemporary, previously published by Amber Quill Press) : Halloween is the setting for a very private party between two lovers, one of them a world-class, sophisticated intelligence operative who’s trying to teach his young and innocent lady that curiosity can sometimes take you places you’d be better not to go…


PERDITION (Historical vampire): Set in the ancient city of Alexandria, approximately 300 B.C., a High Priest in the Temple of Ra is seduced by an enigmatic woman who gives him immortality. Later, in the court of Pontius Pilate, at the trial of a man revered as the son of God, the Priest whispers a word of advice into the wrong ear, and condemns all of his kind to an eternity in darkness…


DREAM SEQUENCE (Contemporary, previously published by Amber Quill Press): Two modern lovers, living often separate lives, discover that making time for romance isn’t always easy, but the romance of their secret getaways is purely the stuff of dreams…


1-900-SURPRISE! (Contemporary): Late home from a Congressional Hearing, agent Martin Fowler decides to introduce his young lover, Daniella Renault, to the intimacies of sex via the telephone…


THE HUNT: (Contemporary/Vampire) Nicholas is ancient, and his current lover, Callandra, is one of the few women he has known over centuries who not only enjoys the hunt, she glories in it. Tonight, their lust for blood and each other will take them to a murky underground nightclub, where the vampires will quench all their hungers…


How I Set the Scene by Leila Brown

November 21, 2007 By: Jenn L Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 8 Comments →

When I started my book ‘The Diamond Heartstone’ I had to decide where I wanted it to take place. I knew the book was about white tigers. So I Googled big cat reserves. I found one that borders a national forest in California. I then used Google maps to show me the surrounding area. Then I chose where I would put a reserve.  

From the maps I chose an area that was surrounded by four lakes. Perfect. There was enough living area and water holes for a large number of animals. I printed out one color and one black and white photo. My inspiration. 

One week later imagine my surprise when I see the area from the air.  Yep, while on a vacation to San Francisco I see it from the air. Unprepared me has no camera ready.  I try to remember everything I can about it. How green is it? How blue is the water? Are there any houses, or anything nearby?  

So now I know it’s really close to San Francisco by air. I decide that I am going to use this trip for major research. I take pictures and document everything. The zoo. The coffee shops. The scenery. The neighborhoods. Everything.  

If I don’t write it down, I take pictures. Pictures that capture the emotion of the place. When I get home I am more than ready to write. I have the pictures. I have the feel. Only thing I don’t have is the words. And coming up with those is a whole other story! 

Leila Brown 

The Diamond Heartstone ~ Coming Nov. 21st  from Cobblestone Press

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