Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Favorite Rogue: Rhett Butler by Libby Mercer


I’m probably going to be stoned to death for admitting to this, but… Mr. Darcy bores me to tears. That’s a strong statement, I know, and I can definitely appreciate his good qualities, but as a romantic ideal, I really don’t get the universal appeal. Captain Butler, on the other hand, well… he’s a different story.

A scoundrel. A scamp. A scalawag.

Any reader with even the slightest case of Bad Boy Fever (whether in real life or in fiction only) will warm to Rhett right from the start. His confidence, and yes even his cockiness draws the reader (or the filmgoer, if you prefer) to his side almost immediately. I think it’s a combination of courage and perhaps a bit of the devil-may-care that leads him to question aloud the wisdom of going to war in the presence of so many bloodthirsty gentlemen, desperate to fight in the name of honor.

And we can’t overlook the fact that the man is smart. Unlike all the other men in Gone With the Wind, who are swept up in the hullabaloo of impending war, Rhett is able to understand and articulate the foolishness of engaging in battle with the North. His later roles as blockade-runner and war profiteer don’t endear him much to his contemporaries. Granted, Rhett’s sense of community is questionable at this point in the story, but his business sense is admirable. It’s not mentioned in the film, but in the novel, we learn that Rhett, estranged from his family and kicked out of West Point, made his fortune in the California gold rush. Intelligence and business savvy are, I believe, two of the most universally appealing aspects in a man, whether real or fictional, and Rhett Butler has them in abundance.

One thing that sets Rhett apart from the other men in the Gone With the Wind is his frank sexuality, which is particularly notable when we compare him to the very non-sexual Ashley Wilkes. He makes no secret of his frequent visits to Belle Watling’s house of ill repute, and long before he asked Scarlett to marry him, he asked her to be his mistress. Although this was overlooked in the film version, in the novel, we learn that Rhett is the guardian of a young boy who’s away at boarding school. It’s never confirmed, but the implication is that the child is Rhett’s illegitimate son.

And then of course there’s the manner in which he handles Miss Scarlett. Scarlett is a top class manipulator, skilled in using her charms to bend people (well… men, anyway) to her will. She’s unable to do this with Rhett. Not that he doesn’t have it bad for her. Obviously, he does. But he’s fully aware of the motivation behind her coquettish behavior, and the fact that he has this knowledge takes her down a few pegs. Rhett is the only one who truly understands Scarlett and this is why they’re so perfectly matched. Too bad she doesn’t realize this until it’s too late.

So there you have it. Rhett Butler, my all-time favorite rogue. Just as a disclaimer, John Harrington, the hero of my new romance novel, Fashioning a Romance, is nothing like Rhett. He’s not the least bit rogue-ish. I have yet to write a Rhett-inspired hero, but I definitely plan to do so in the not-so-distant future. So be sure to stay tuned! 

Libby Mercer lives in San Francisco, CA. She enjoys crafts, knitting and sewing in particular and traveling. She also likes long walks on the beach, and a cup of hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire. Visit her website today to find out more about Libby and her books, including a lovely free read!




Friday, May 25, 2012

Spaced Out by Mary S. Palmer


Making revisions to my science-fiction book TIME WILL TELL gave me new thoughts about values. Since the outer-space beings in it have a lot of free time, I began to wonder how that would feel.
     
 Since I have a type "A" personality, I need to be busy. My philosophy is that people who have all day to perform a task, any task, take all day to do it. Perhaps without realizing it, they drag it out. A four hour chore can usually be accomplished in that amount of time.
     
 It's good for retirees to keep occupied, but it bothers me when they say, "I don't know how I ever had time to work." It seems to me they've just reset their priorities.
    
 The same would apply for people who say, "I don't have time to write." Honestly, though, don't we make time for the things we really want to do--especially fun activities? Oh, but writing is work. Right. But if you really love it, it's a blend of work and pleasure; sometimes, a catharsis. It can be much more entertaining to put down your own thoughts than it is to sit passively and watch a boring TV show with a plot line that tells you the outcome up front. Or one filled with so much sex, violence and offensive language that you can't even determine what the plot is.
      
That's a waste of time to me. I'd rather be creating characters and learning to love or hate them. In addition, I like to see where, when and how those characters are going to lead the plot forward. More importantly, I like to let them reveal why they act as they do. If I can feel what they feel, maybe readers can, too. In interacting with my characters, by extension, I am interacting with my audience.
     
 If I learned anything by editing my book, it is that outer-space creatures in novels often aren't too different from earthlings. Even though we may say we'd like to have time to do different things, most people become discontented and bored if they don't feel productive, except the couch potatoes, maybe. But I wonder if even they feel useless some of the time. Isn't it human nature to have a purpose in life? Perhaps TIME WILL TELL.

Mary S. Palmer teaches English at Faulkner State Community College and Faulkner University. She enjoys collecting beanie babies, and plates from the states and countries that she has visited. She writes stories in a variety of genres. Visit her website to find out more about Mary and her books.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Interview with Clayne MacDagon, Curse of A Dragon’s Claim, Forsaken series book 2 by Ciara Lake





Ciara Lake was asked to do Regina Paul’s blog.  She’s been really busy with other work. So, she asked me to participate in this interview. 
1.    What about you is heroic?
This is hard for me to answer this question.  I guess I am heroic in the love for my family.  I would do anything for my mate, Arianna and or my entire family.  I would sacrifice myself in their protection.  Also, I will protect my friends, my people as well.  I am a warrior and have fought many battles with the vampires and or anyone else who desires to pick a fight with us.  I hate to enter into conflict but I will not hesitate to defend my home.

2. Do you have a nickname? What is it, and where did you get it? 
Over the years my mate has started calling me Clay…instead of Clayne.  She just shortens my name.  She calls me this mostly when we are alone and in our intimate moments.

3. What's the worst thing one of your siblings ever did to you? What's the worst thing you've done to one of your siblings?
The worse thing my only sibling did to me was to die.  I know this sounds harsh, but this is the truth.  My heart breaks at the thought of her passing away from us.  She was beautiful and sweet.  Clarrisa was my twin sister.  We were so close from our beginnings.  My heart ached forever when we lost her.  The worse thing I did to her is to fail her, to not protect her as I should have.  I should have been there to fight off her attackers.  I have lamented over this fact for centuries.  I had failed to be her hero or even a good brother.  Sorry I get carried away.  Arianna scolds me for harboring these feelings. 
Arianna has helped me to escape my pain.  Our children have helped as well.  I see Clarrisa in my children’s eyes and it brings joy to my heart.   Despite the years that have passed I miss her so very much.  You know immortals aren’t supposed to die, so we are less equipped to handle such losses.  Clarrisa was murdered right in our home by the vampires.  This betrayal of the vampires from those who were supposed to be allies has caused me years of anger and hatred against them.  It almost stood in the way of me meeting Arianna.  My beautiful wife and mate, is a Dracvipen, a mix between vampire and dragon.  When I met her she was living as a Forsaken among the mortals.  She is my lovely soul mate, who has saved my heart from eternal loneliness.  She has not replaced Clarrisa, she has healed me with her love.  So you see sometimes hate can cripple a person.  I thank the gods I found my true love. She has eased my pain and brought me renewed joy.

4. What is something you had to learn that you hated?
I think I answered this question above.  The answer is the vampires.  I hate their blood thirsty need for war.  Their dishonesty and betrayal to other immortals.  I also hate Amuliana’s for what I think her part was in all of this.  I cannot speak too loudly against her as she is a goddess.  However, the deep down feeling I have about her wickedness causes my feelings to erupt.  Trust me when a dragon’s feelings erupt, the room gets really hot. 

5. What annoys you more than anything else?
It annoys me when my children don’t listen to me as they should.  My oldest daughter has waywardness about her. She wants to experience adventure. Too much adventure.  She has a hard head.
 She wants to travel to New York City in the year 2013. She wants to live and work among these modern day mortals.  She says they are interesting and curious.  She also has made friends with some vampires.  Can you believe that? They are young vampires born long after the conflict between us began.  But still, it worries me. 
I have warned her about modern cities too and mortal men with their more sophisticated ways.  Mortal men have changed a lot over the centuries.  They have the magic of technology now.  They are not the simpletons they once were.  They are powerful in their ways. Many are now in tune with the supernatural and we are more easily detected.   This has benefits and disadvantages to us.  Anyway, it annoys me she and my other children do not listen as I would prefer.  I always listen to my parents.  Ouch!  Arianna just slapped on arm. Okay, I guess not always…. Okay… not much.  Arianna keeps me honest.  J

6. What was the wildest thing you've ever done, sexually? Who was it with and when did it happen?
This answer better involve my mate.  Huh?  She is sitting here next to me as I do this interview.  I’m smiling and so is she. 
Of course, I have been faithful to my lovely wife and mate and I cannot remember anyone else.  I refuse to think of others, ever.  A dragon always is always loyal to their mates.  She is my heart, my soul.
 So, the most exciting or wild moments have been with Arianna. We have had romantic and wild moments while in the Enchanted Forest.  I love the time in that enchanted wood.  Making love beneath the branches of those charmed trees is like nothing else.  You can read about our sexually charged moments in Ciara’s book, Curse of A Dragon’s Claim, Forsaken Series book 2   

7. Is there any sexual activity that you enjoy and/or practice regularly that can be considered non-standard? (Bondage, Fantasy Play, etc.) Why do you like it?
            Arianna likes me to chase her.  We play this game a lot.  I play the big bad dragon after her and she acts like she is running.  She giggles a lot while running from my fierceness.  When I catch her I get to do all sorts of things to my lovely victim.  She likes that too.  She begs me for mercy and agrees to satisfy me in all I desire.
 She started this game.  I love it now.  LOL.  It is all done playfully.  Arianna, who once lived as a mortal, gets a really big thrill out of me roaring at her and flames coming out of my nose.  Then she soothes my beast, I transform to my human form to make love to my captive.  You may laugh, but we have fun. J    
That’s all I can say about my Lady wife, the rest is really too hot for this interview.  Just know Arianna is hot blooded as I am.  We really enjoy being together as much as possible.  It never gets old for us. 

Thank you for allowing me to do this interview.  I hope you enjoy our story, Curse of a Dragon’s Claim, Forsaken Series book 2.  Remember, immortals and Forsaken are among you.    
If you have any further questions for me, please contact Ciara Lake at CiaraLakeromanceauthor@gmail.com
Check out http://www.BeachwalkPress.com to purchase our story.

 Good day,
Clayne MacDagon