Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop

Welcome to the St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop! Comment to win a $10 gift card to All Romance eBooks. Your comment also enters in the big Blog Hop giveaway of either a Kindle Fire or a $90 eBook gift card!

I am pleased to be a part of this holiday Blog Hop, though I claim no Irish ancestry. Some like to joke that we're all Irish on this one day, but as this day also commemorates a Catholic saint I suppose I get half credit. :-)

I have no Irish-themed books, but if you browse my book list you will hopefully find a story that catches your interest. As this is a holiday blog, though, I thought I would share some of the quirkier things associated with the holiday. I hope you'll enjoy the blog in the spirit it is meant to convey.

When we think of St. Patrick's Day, we think of the color green. We wear green clothes to avoid being pinched - my seven year old is adamant that we keep this tradition. Some of us enjoy a traditional Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage, and a green beer - not sure if our Irish ancestors drank that exactly, but it's one use for green food coloring.

Other things you may see only during this time include:

The Shamrock Shake - Truthfully, I haven't had one of these in years, not since I was working at McD's in high school. The shake had a chalky mint taste back then. Perhaps it's improved now - I do know that the Shamrock Shake has quite the cult following, like the McRib.

Thin Mints - Green desserts and snacks are typically mint, and these Girl Scout treats are the epitome of mint goodness. They may not be synonymous with St. Patrick's, but they appear around the same time. In my house, they disappear soon afterward.

TV Specials -  I find it interesting that of all the holidays Charlie Brown and company covered in their CBS TV specials, they didn't do St. Patrick's Day. I suppose It's a Leprechaun, Charlie Brown didn't have quite the ring to it, but it hasn't stopped other shows from doing themed episodes. Case in point, The Drew Carey Show had one about a sex drug getting into the beer supply on the biggest beer-drinking day of the year:

...and a good time was had by all.

Is there something you look forward to on St. Patrick's Day? Leave a comment, and I'll enter you in my giveaway.

Monday, March 12, 2012

On Fifty Shades of Grey and Refurbed Fan Fiction

I need to stop moving to new apartments. Every time I move all the juicy stuff happens in Romancelandia. I admit I was late in opining on the Paypal kerfuffle, and I didn't do as good a job as other authors have. Right now, the tide has turned toward the news of a former fan fiction writer who signed a 7-figure deal to have a recycled Twilight fan fiction trilogy re-published for mass audiences.

I have not read Fifty Shades of Grey. I have not read Twilight. Truthfully, the latter series never interested me, and I doubt I'll commit any time to read those books, but I will say that this whole Fifty Shades phenomena leaves me amused and curious. Global media covers these books and stories of readers catching on to the series as though the author invented erotic romance. Not true. This is also not the first time a work of fanfiction has been reworked into a novel. Somewhere out there is a novel that was once a Xena fic. For the life of me, I can't recall who published it.

(UPDATE: Found it. The book is Lucifer Rising by Sharon Bowers. More on that book here.)

There's also a debate over whether these books are erotic and if they accurately portray the BDSM lifestyle. I also hear that the books are really "light BDSM," so conventional rules don't necessarily apply - I imagine those in the lifestyle would argue differently.

If you are interested in BDSM romance, though, I heartily recommend Bridget Midway's work. Especially Love My Way. Phaze Books also published The ABCs of BDSM by an actual Domme. I know the woman, and she knows her stuff.

I sit here now and wonder if I should read at least one Grey book to better understand the hoopla, but I feel odd paying ten dollars for recycled fan fiction. Part of me wonders, too, if I should recycle the stuff I've written over the years, but I never wrote erotic stuff. Being the oddball that I am, I chose out of the way fandoms, too. M*A*S*H, Quantum Leap...I once wrote a Harry Potter/Frasier crossover for crying out loud. I wish I could find that one - I rather liked it.

Anyway, if you're interested in my bizarre fan fiction past, you're welcome to browse what I left behind at My pen name was "majhoulihan," after Margaret Houlihan from M*A*S*H. Just a word of warning - don't be surprised if my next book is about the erotic BDSM adventures of a futuristic space crew on a "trek through the stars" that gets sucked into a time warp and lands at a Mobile Army Hospital in 1950s Korea.