About Madeline Iva

i write lady smut with smart women who like brooding men and feisty sex.

Tortured Heroes = Me, One Happy Reader

Madeline Iva:

He’s big, he’s hot, and he’s very very miserable. Why Tortured Heroes are their own sub-genre for romance readers.

Originally posted on Lady Smut:

acheronby Madeline Iva

I just discovered that Goodreads has a tortured heroes section — two in fact.  Popular Tortured Hero Books, and the Tortured Hero Shelf.  Meanwhile, All About Romance has a Tortured Heroes page that began in 1996!

You’ll see a lot of repeat books/authors on these lists, with books I happen to lurv.  Which leads me to suggest: aren’t tortured heroes their own romance sub-category/brand?  I think so.  Here are five top reasons why we love tortured heroes:

1) He’s Cursed.  Curses suck.  They can be painful, they can repeat daily/nightly/monthly — wherein the hero becomes the shameful opposite of what he wants to be.  See Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series for variations on this.  What you basically have here is male subjugation.  It’s hot.

2) He’s Cursed–for All Eternity.  The hero has gotta believe he’s in a mess he just…

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Off to Wis Con! Feminist S/F Conference


If you haven’t seen it yet, Maleficent is a realllllllly interesting movie, and not what I thought it would be like at ALL.

So my friend talked me into going off to Madison, Wisconsin for a week.  So excited to go to Madison, which I hear is hella cool.  Have no idea what I’m getting myself into, really, I’m just up for the adventure.

There’s a hair braiding party.  There’s a Mulan Slumber Party, and there’s a panel I really, really, really want to go to that’s about how Disney is sorta doing the fan-fic thing lately, taking fairy tale characters and putting them in alternative universes.  Not sure how that’s going to go, but if they’re talking about Maleficent, I’m listening.  You know?  I wrote a post about it HERE back before I’d seen the movie — but really, the movie is Sleeping Beauty turned on it’s head.

I’d like to go to more conferences in the future–this one happened to be super cheap.  No idea if any romance readers will be there, but my quest is to talk to fantasy people about elves, and wicked apprentices (wink wink, nudge nudge).

wiscon_28I’m back on June first when I’ll be talking to more with my editor about revisions to Wicked Apprentice, and maybe I’ll even find out if I have a release date for the book.  Yay!

Hope you all embrace your inner nerd and follow your bliss while I’m away.  Ciao!


Doing a juice fast for 5 days.  (agggggh!)

Doing a juice fast for 5 days. (agggggh!)

WHY #2SIZES? This is a twitter hashtag created by two romance authors who want to go down two dress sizes by the end of summer.

(Is there a deadline? I’m just assuming. As they say, ‘A goal without a deadline is just a dream.’)

I begged and pleaded to join their cause. I’ve been tweeting out my fitness/healthy efforts and this weekend I’m starting a 5 day juice fast.  So read on, my guppies, and learn all about it!


Is about posting the stuff you did that was good for your body and health and confessing to the stuff you did that was bad.

I’ve gotten into it big time since I started two weeks ago.  Spring is the time I recommence my yearly grudge match with my couch potato genetic heritage.  Actually, I come from a family of tall, strapping peasants.  Historically our bodies needed to soak up fat or starve in winter. I am trying to be more positive about this heartiness and look on the bright side — it’s not that my body wants to be fat, but if there was ever a siege of Virginia, I’d outlast you all.

In my quest to stop innate lazy inertia and a desk job from killing me softly, I want to Take Control of my body once again.

And I’m definitely NOT in control right now. By springtime various deadlines, big projects, and winter colds have knocked me complete off my exercise schedule.  It’s a scary thing to witness, people.  About 9 to 11 days after I stop exercising regularly I want to eat the world–and in giant portions.

MY SIZES: Meanwhile, I’m looking at my closet where there are 4 pairs of jeans I can’t or don’t feel good about wearing. :(

Four pairs of jeans in -- funny enough -- two sizes.  "More runs with me please!" doggie sez.

Four pairs of jeans in — funny enough — two sizes. “More runs with me please!” doggie sez.

What we have here from the top is:

Size 18 skinny boyfriend capri jeans.  I hate them.  They’ve always been my ‘too large’ pair of jeans, but only up top.  Skinny jeans were invented by imps from hell.  When you’re a size 18 they are a bit of an oxymoron.

1 pair size 16 W jeans — these are the two button jeans next down.  I could squeeze them on last year but they were tight and exiled back to the closet.  I look good in these jeans.  When they fit.

1 pair size 18 jeans — black jeans, and yet, much smaller than the 16 W.  Go figure.  Haven’t worn them in years.  Some would say toss them.  I say Take Back The Jeans–I can do this!

1 pair size 16 jeans.  I think I wore these in grad school — back when I felt fat for not being a size 14.  Sigh.  You can’t win people.  The last time I felt fit and wore size 14 like I meant it was in 2002.  That’s a while ago, isn’t it?

So I’ve been tweeting in regularly.  Do I really think I can get back into a size 14 by September? Hmmmm.  I’d be happy just feeling good about wearing any of these jeans outside, frankly.  That’s good enough for me.

I have so many OTHER reasons to hop on this whole #2sizes thing:

I no longer want to judge my body by where the biggest loser contestants are in the contest.  Can you relate? I used to identify with contestants who were about to go home.  Now, not so much.  :(

By posting what I *did* do, I’m giving myself a pat on the back.  Strengthening those good healthy behavior muscles in the process.

By posting what I did *not* do, again, I strengthen those will-power muscles.  I stop what I’m doing, call myself out on it, and re-direct.


I want to get back to my exercise schedule (dogs walks each morning, and gym classes every afternoon). People, exercise makes my wheels go.  I’m more motivated, my mind is crispy sharp, my cravings, anxiety, and lazy pants attitude are all stuffed away.  With that in mind, by the end of summer I’d like to be able to run five miles on the weekends without dying.

Inertia, Inertia, Inertia

I won’t lie to you — There are all these studies out saying sitting around is taking years off our lives.  As someone who’s watched her feet swell through a combo of having my period + urgent writing deadline keeping my butt in the chair — I am frightened by what inactivity may be doing to me.


No sugar until 4th of July.  Okay? Okay. Speaking of demon sugar — I have genes that are super-duper susceptible to inflammation.  It used to be that if I ate sugar I’d go a little hyper, and feel bleh afterwards.  Then, a decade or so later, when I ate chocolate, my face would always break out.  Now if I have processed sugar in any form at all, my skin breaks out, I feel like I’m high–i.e. I just want to lay about and watch TV and eat–and the cravings for more food are out of control.  And sometimes–which is really scary–I never feel full. Seriously.  Sugar is my cocaine, my cannabis, my alcohol…all rolled into one.  Hell, I’m Madeline Iva and I’m a sugar addict.

I want to get back to my glowy complexion, and eating sugary things (including white flour products like bread and pasta) is something I should only do once a month or less – like maybe on holidays or birthdays.   I’ve had a whole lotta sugar in my life time.  I’ve had my fun.  So no sugar until July 4th and then after that (other than a wee bit on vacation) Halloween.  And it’s not just what sugar does to my head…


My family also suffers from serious inflammation issues.  Like multiple generations of colon cancer serious.  And now I have found that fasting can tame the beast. Yes, a fast where I’m consuming calories but not fiber will take those inflammation issues right down to nothing.  Boo-yah!  And since my skin is pretty broken out right now, I think I’m due.

See, I tried this juice fast once before.  Shame made me do it.  My skin was getting more and more irritated, until my dermatologist said I had rosacea (which is a temporary rash for kids–but not for adults).  She indicated that I would have rosacea the rest of my life and be on three topical medications to quell it.  So she gave me all this crap to put on my face, and yet throughout last summer it got worse and worse.

People were like: what’s this weird sunburn/poison ivy on your face? I was NOT happy, friends.  I had watched a video called FAT, SICK, and NEARLY DEAD about this guy who had an inflammation skin issue and went on a juice fast and his inflammation issues went away.  Research on rosacea showed that it is actually an inflammation issue.  Since the juice fast worked for his inflammation issue–why wouldn’t it work for mine?

COOL FACTS ABOUT FASTING: Our bodies are made for fasting.  You’re even fasting when you sleep at night.  In fact, studies show you can weigh less just by not eating between, say, 7pm at night and 7am in the morning.  Or by semi-fasting (eating only 600 calories) 2 days a week. Or even 1 day a week.

So what was it like fasting for four days? I didn’t totally fast.  I had a small 200 calorie meal once a day.  But I lay about the house and I was in grumpy head by the time it was done.  It wasn’t bad, but I was staying close to home so that when I would get suddenly very hungry, I could juice immediately. However, my face cleared up drastically.  Like the rosacea is gone.  My dandruff went away too.  I found that I got cold — I bundled up and that’s why I plan on having hot soup and tea ready to go.  I know that after I ended the fast, I wasn’t very hungry and had no problem eating less for the next week and watching portion control.

JUICE IS NOT BOTTLED JUICE: I’m not going to be drinking orange juice from a carton or bottle or frozen concentrate.  That stuff IS sugar.  A glass of bottled juice from the grocery store has as much sugar as a candy bar.

Instead I’m juicing veggies with my juicer.  And not just carrots and beets — these have a lot of sugar.  Oh, don’t worry, I’ll have some blended fruit smoothies too, but not very much and without any added sugar.  I’ll make a ground up soup of broccoli and broth with leeks.  I’ll eat on schedule too.

imgresThe key is to grind stuff up because you don’t have to shun calories all together for your body to go into a metabolic fasting state.  You just have to avoid fiber.  It’s the lack of fiber that tells your body you’re fasting.  And you can’t just drink tea or water, that stuff runs right thought you.  Soup or juices are ideal.  Your stomach holds onto them and you feel full for the longest amount of time, but your body digests the nutrients.

The plan is to have three large glasses of veggie juice three times a day and 2 small glasses of fruit smoothie — banana, berries, apples, lemon, ginger — or some kind of similar combo–every day.  This will satisfy my sweet tooth, and I’ll have at least one smoothie with a big tablespoon of peanut butter in it for some fat and protein.  That will help me feel full.

So I’m wondering how it will go.  Will I feel like working? This time I’m definitely going to get out of the house — do some gardening, try to get work done.  Not super-brain work, but work in the garden.

Wish me luck — and follow #2sizes to see how it goes. :) I’ll be honest, I swear.

I Heart iZombie Hotties!

Originally posted on Lady Smut:

by Madeline Iva

The new zombie look is goth--Brilliant! The new zombie look is goth–Brilliant!

When I saw the ad for izombie, I was curious, because it looked playful and comedic-grotesque. Then I found out it was by Rob Thomas –who created Veronica Mars, so how can you go wrong there? So I started watching it on hulu and I have to say, I didn’t take a shine to the leading actress at first. She plays Liv, an uptight perfectionist goodie goodie. Blerg! But then, you see, she becomes a zombie half way through the first episode and suddenly I was liking her a lot more.

Major Liv experiences major fiance angst post-zombie.

Of course, even though her hair bleaches white on its own and her skin turned pale and she started wearing heavy eye liner, no one guesses anything is wrong. Why did you quit medical school Liv? Why are you eating brains? And she’s like…

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Wicked Apprentice

Originally posted on Lady Smut:

by Madeline Iva

Hate the character.  Love the man. Hate the character. Love the man.

Happy WALPURGISNACHT! Instead of writing about witches today I’m writing about wizards.

I’ve been working on my next WIP, a fantasy erotic romance called WICKED APPRENTICE.   I was inspired by…well, I don’t know what really.  I just woke up one Sunday after having a really hot dream, sat down with my lap top at the dining room table and whole story poured out of me in about four hours.

However, NOW, post-Hobbit movie trilogy I’m totally inspired by Lee Pace and his performance in THE HOBBIT trilogy as Thranduil, haughty Elf King.  I like both the actor in his everyday guise and his elfish persona.  I managed to incorporate the two sides into one character–a nice guy scholar dude who goes all fae in moments of stress, turning into an icy-hot wicked elf wizard.  Yum!

Lee Pace Lee Pace as a nice guy.

Revising the story, various…

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I Love a Cheap Adrenaline Rush

Hey readers!

Honey, I swear I'm working. Watching Gossip Girl is research.  Seriously.

Honey, I swear I’m working. Watching Gossip Girl is research. Seriously.

I love the cheap thrill of having a deadline, don’t you?  They don’t even have the world ‘deadline’ in German.  All they have is ‘due date’.  Boring.  Yawn.

‘Deadline’ is a much better word if only because it references death and desperation.  A finishing point of do or die.  A victory — or the agony of defeat and the sweaty tension of going into overtime.

Be glad you’re not married to a writer. I sat around a lot this week (mostly in my pj’s) looking like I was doing absolutely nothing three-fourths of the time, and then in between massive bouts of watching Gossip Girl re-runs making a tiny adjustment here or there to a scene. Finally on Friday I began working like a demon.

It’s like watching a billiards match where the players make tiny adjustments over the course of a few hours and just when you’ve settled into a nice deep coma, someone runs the table and the game is over. Drives my husband nuts.

Hope you all had a fabulous easter and are out at some point today getting your daffodil fix. I’m inside today from now until whenever racing to the finish line.