The Next Big Thing: C’est Moi!

I was tapped by Rebecca Lamb to do a Next Big Thing Post.  What is that, you ask? Well,  I answer several questions below about my novel manuscript that she sent me.  Then I pick some other authors to link to, and you my dear reader can skip merrily along the links discovering, hopefully, a whole slew of exciting new authors.  By the way, you can learn more about Rebecca Lamb’s work on her website here.  (Her manuscript, LADY VICE,  is glorious!)

Here are the questions:

What is your working title of your book?  I have two erotic romances that I’ve written: WICKED APPRENTICE–which is a fantasy erotic romance & BE MY BRIDEZILLA which is contemporary.  I’m going to talk about BE MY BRIDEZILLA today, since I’m sending that out to Loose Id this week.  They’re having an I Do, Unless I Don’t call for submissions call for wedding-gone-wrong erotic romances, and BE MY BRIDEZILLA is perfect for them!

Where did the idea come from for the book?  Basically, I thought about all the elements I was looking for in a romance: Sex, Fun, & Luxuriousness–With a little crazy thrown into the mix.  For instance, there is a hot wedding cake battle at one point that was soooo much fun to write.

What genre does your book fall under? Erotic romance, but with a lot of witty dialogue and a robust plot–a la Victoria Dahl.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? This is a GREAT question because I almost always base my heroes on an actor.

BE MY BRIDEZILLA’s hero is 100% shamelessly based on my obsession with John Krakinski.John

As for the heroine, this may reveal how out of it I am, but I was looking at People Magazine one day in the doctor’s office and I saw this photo and said:  “That’s her! That’s Becky.” It was Kim Kardashian pre Kris Humphries and the wedding-with-a-budget-bigger-than-Mexico’s-GNP.  As a result of this, I now feel a little sympathetic towards her marital breakup woes.  I mean, I feel that in picking her for my heroine I sent a lot of kharmic wedding break-up vibes her way.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A naughty bridezilla gets dumped on her wedding day, then runs off to Paris with her hottie wedding guest after discovering his penchant for taming bad brides.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  Come on you agents out there, represent me.  I dare ya!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  Two years, but that includes a lot of non-essential TV watching. It took me six weeks to reduce the manuscript by half.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  While the sex is more explicit than Victoria Dahl’s contemporary erotic romances, it has that same light comedic tone that her books have.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? I was watching an ad for Bridezillas one day where this actress dressed up as a sexy bride in long satin gloves was screaming at a chef and throwing spaghetti right into his face. I was riveted–I just couldn’t look away.  It was so out of control, and almost sexy in a way.  I thought to myself: Taming of the Shrew meets Bridezillas.  And voila!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  The ‘villian’ in the book is the hapless groom who turns out to be a sweetheart named Spencer.  About three-fourths of the way through the book, I found myself in one of those Casablanca situations wondering who Becky would end up with–Spencer or Braden? I didn’t quite know myself, and it made writing the ending very interesting because I found both men very sympathetic and really hot.

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

I was tagged by Rebecca Lamb.

I’m tagging:
Liz Everly and Nara Malone.  Click on their names and check ’em out!

I’m also tagging Leah St. James here cause the tag line on her book SURRENDER TO SANCTUARY just kills me.  “Love and Danger collide when FBI Agents David Owens and Anna Parker go undercover in a BDSM ring.” Doncha wanna read it? I do!

Sexy Holiday Cheer–

pretty treeHello sexy-sex kitten! Enjoying the festive season? I bet you are. If you’re looking for a little holiday joy, here’s some quick fun from Lady & the blog-o-sphere.  Enjoy!

Here are some great movie recommendations for the holidays. (I forgot to add White Christmas to the list.)  “What’s So Sexy About Christmas”? If you love holiday food and alcoholic holiday drinks try this perfect marriage of the two in this seasonal recipe for Bailey’s Irish Fudge.

Bing doesn't look happy.  Rosemary Clooney is George Clooney's aunt.
Bing doesn’t look happy. Rosemary Clooney is George Clooney’s aunt.

Wear your favorite scarf and mittens to watch the December meteor shower with someone special.  Date and details are here. Holding hands is mandatory.

If you’d rather stay indoors in front of a toasty fire, I don’t blame you. Here are  ten fun blog posts from Lady Smut to keep you entertained:

By now you must know about my obsession with Terry McDermott.

#1 This obsession includes All Men Scottish.

#2 Meanwhile, sexy bald men thrill Liz Everly.

Oops! I broke one.  Well, I'll just have to eat it.
Oops! I broke one. Well, I’ll just have to eat it.

#3 Elizabeth Shore concurs, but reminds us not to forget long haired hotties.

Elizabeth asked this year if horror can be erotic? I said hell yeah.  and wrote this campy post on         #4 really cute guys creeping into horror movies.

;>  Oh, you liked that, did you? Well then…

#5 Here’s some Steam-Punk sass.

#6 For some shivery fun, Pamela Palmer got interrogated about her dark n tormented creation: Vamp City.

ornamentsThe future — I predict it’s full of sex.

#7 Do you love Hunks O Steel?

#8 A World Without Men?

#9 Teledildonics? (Seriously–what are they doing over there in Second Life?)

Meanwhile, it’s Christmas.  Here’s something about #10 Sexy Elves.

Have a joyous holiday! May your stocking be full of delights and your time under the mistletoe slobber free.

Love n nutmeg,

xx Madeline

It’s Like Auditioning On THE VOICE

There’s nothing I love better than transcendence. The Voice is all about transcending that point in your career where you’ve paid some dues and want to reach the next level.  I was agog watching the auditions, and can’t wait for the battle rounds to begin.

Next week I’m headed off to my own transcendent experience– I’m headed off to New Jersey Put Your Heart Into A Book conference.  I’ll be pitching my latest manuscript there.

Yes, New Jersey is calling me.  It’s a lot like auditioning for The Voice.  You walk into a room full of editors and agents.  You sit down in front of one, and then you’ve got just a few precious minutes to convince her that she must see more of your work.

Last year I was nervous and I kept perseverating on the idea that without a Coach purse, I wouldn’t be classy enough for NJ and all the slick folk from NYC.  My DH scoffed at this.  Finally he stopped all my whining by saying, “Get a book contract and we’ll celebrate by getting you a Coach bag.”

When I went into the first workshop at the beginning of the conference, a woman came over and sat next to me.  She placed her glorious white Coach bag between us.  Not one to throw away a good omen, I immediately complimented her on her bag–and she introduced herself.  Her name is Elizabeth Shore, and we’ve been friends ever since.

I also got the unique chance to volunteer in the pitch room. That was a hoot.  I stood amongst the tense, nervous authors almost all of whom were sweating bullets, but still felt a strong sense of volunteerism while trying not to hurl.  The woman in charge said they needed someone to wrangle overly-enthusiastic would-be romance authors,  someone who could get them out of the room at the end of a pitch session if they just wouldn’t leave, and I heard the call. So for the next few hours, I became an editor’s bouncer, if you will.  Does it sound weird to say I enjoyed it? A part of me feels sympathetic towards people who don’t behave.  After all, if you think about it, most characters in romance novels don’t behave — if they all did, the plots would be exceptionally dull.

But the most heady part of going to NJ was when it was my turn pitching to editors and agents.  I learned that I just l-o-v-e pitching.

Why? Because pitching is a nugget of storytelling in miniature.  It’s a form all its own.  It’s story DNA.

Like the smell of a man’s cologne when he kisses your cheek, the perfect pitch presents you with a delicious sense of possibility.

Last year, meanwhile, I was totally new to the idea of having a ‘platform’.  I had about ten friends on Facebook.  That was so depressing.  This year, I am within range of 1,000.  But who cares? What really matters it that I’m going to have an absolute blast meeting people at NJ–both friends from last year as well as new people.  I feel like a whole new person–I blog, I tweet, and I’m a part of  Lady Smut.


Lady Smut (since you’re wondering) is a group erotic romance writers–including that same Elizabeth Shore of the white coach bag–who blog about all kinds of erotic romance books and related topics.  It’s classy, it’s funny, and it’s going great guns–in no small part to some or all of you who’ve subscribed :).  (I’m feeling the love, folks.) I’ve also become the person who organizes LOVE FEST –a day of romance panels at the Virginia Festival of the Book every March.  So this year, if someone asks me if I have a ‘platform’,  I can talk about the people I adore and efforts I’m involved in that bring me great joy every day.

I’ve also got a killer pitch in my back pocket.  So wish me luck–in a few weeks I’ll be back with tales of adventure!

RESTRAINT – Excellent Free Novella By Charlotte Stein

Liked 51 Shades of Blonde (Cosmo’s erotica short story)? You’ll like this story by Charlotte Stein even better.  Remember Charlotte Stein? I wrote a blog about her obsessing over Michael Fassbinder on Passionate Reads here .

So she has a new free novella out on Amazon.  Bad cover, GREAT story — the Amazon Link is here.  I won’t include a blurb, because I found it more fun to read that way — but there is a blurb on the Amazon link.


xo Madeline

Ps: here are some better covers of other work she’s written:


Capture With a Kick: Guest Blog Post w/ Dariel Raye

If you find Dariel Raye’s blog today you’ll see that I am her guest blogger, talking all about my favorite form of capture romance and my latest work: Elf Wizard’s Captive.

There’s also an excerpt from my work — Check it out and leave a comment!

I’m so excited to be a guest blogger, because I haven’t published yet.  (It takes time, people.) About a year ago when I was sending out a big swath of queries I remember perseverating on the issue of a platform.  I didn’t have one–no blog, and I didn’t understand Twitter at ALL.  RT? # ??? FF, WW — these were obscure code words to me.

It seemed like a catch 22 situation — how could I have a platform if I wasn’t published yet?  But how could I get published if I didn’t have a platform?  You have no idea how much of a push I had to give myself to throw my hat into the ring and start engaging.  All I could think about was how much would people want to connect with me if I wasn’t published?

But this is the true joy of romance.  Everyone I’ve encountered is so friendly and interesting.  I realize now that making connections with other folks–whether other writers or readers–has been the most rewarding aspect of trying to become a romance author.

I blow kisses to you all! 🙂  I’m so glad that I’ve been able to meet and enjoy everyone on Facebook and Twitter and thank you each and every one of you that visits my little ‘ole blog.  xoxo

Thinking about Victoria Dahl Thinking about Boobs

I really admire Victoria Dahl’s writing.  My friend recommended her when I’d finished my first erotic romance and I discovered while researching query letters that (gasp!) not a lot of erotic romance writers put out the comedic stuff.  Was anyone out there writing erotic romances that were kinda funny besides me? Victoria Dahl was, and I’ve been a fan of hers since.

Anyway, in her blog on Tumblr she talks about boobs (Sadly the post no longer seems to be up).  What amazed me when I read this is that I’ve always thought men had what I’d called ‘Fuzzy Vision’ too!

Fuzzy Vision: When a man focusses on specific elements of a woman’s whole self/persona and only sees certain details (boobs, smile, level of hostility/friendliness/horniness) with clarity.  The rest becomes a blurry, vague impression.


Female friend: You like Julie? Really? You mean the woman with the blue earrings?

Male friend: (remembering Julie–small tits, killer smile) Maybe…

Recently I took the time to talk to my Sweetie about this thing I call Fuzzy Vision.  He hesitated before being willing to consider endorsing such a hypothesis, suspicious that it was some sort of put down about men.

Not at all, I reassured him.  In fact, I adore Fuzzy Vision.  I can stomp around the house looking like Sasquatch, but if my hair is down, then I’m still beautiful in my Sweetie’s eyes. Fuzzy Vision is what allows women like me who make no effort with their appearance to meet and mate with superior specimens (like my Sweetie).

Meanwhile, we discussed that I, as a woman, have a kind of Fuzzy Vision too.  For instance, I cannot seem to remember any kind of car make and model–including our own*.  No, the only car model I can always spot is a Jaguar.  Go figure.  I mean, I can spot a mini, or a hummer, or something completely obvious, but point out some mid-sized four door thing and I’m clueless.  However, every now and then I’ll point to a sedan and say, “That’s nice,” and Sweetie will say “That’s a jag.”

So here’s to Fuzzy Vision in all its forms–from the kind that prevents guests noticing your dusty living room while you chat with them to the fuzzy vision that prevents my husband from noticing how much I’ve aged because my rack is still looking great.  🙂

*One time I parked during a chaotic St. Patrick’s parade on a block in our nation’s capital.  Going back later I was vaguely certain of where I’d parked, but thought the car was missing.  Was it stolen? I didn’t know, but I simply could not find it.  After driving around with a policeman for half an hour, he finally spotted it because of make/model, plus the out of state license plate.  So embarrassing.