Monday Madness! A Contest Plus the winner of the Opening Day Giveaway.

The Winners of the Opening Day Giveaway are…

1 – Kris

2 – Kat

Scavenger hunt winner – Val Pearson

Lets all congratulate them on winning the grab bags! For the winners, watch for my emails to come to you today.

Also, watch for the do-over. We had some technical difficulties with the Scavenger Hunt, so we will have another very soon. Keep an eye out.

Now that we have winners for that, let’s start our next contest…

All you have to do to enter to win a copy of Bound By Love, By April Dawn is email. aprildawnbooks@ymail.com

Win a signed ARC of Bound by Love and a decorative cotton tote to put it in.
Bound By Love

Chloe Adderley is faced with an unwanted marriage and a father who is far more dangerous than she realizes. Her grandmother’s house in Italy seems the only safe place for her to go. She will pretend to be a governess, and hire a ship to take her there. It is a flawless plan. When she is attacked and knocked unconscious, however, she never suspects that the man who finds her will mistake her for a harlot.

Captain Darion Bannon is dismayed to discover that the unconscious woman he has taken aboard is actually an innocent lady. When Darion, a Privateer for the Sons of Liberty, is arrested and Chloe with him, they must face a cruel prison and transportation to the Colonies, and Darion finds himself fighting to keep the woman he loves. Only their love can help them survive the cruel twists of fate.

To enter you only need to email me and tell me if you follow my blog, are a friend on facebook, myspace, or follow me on twitter. Don’t forget to name them all in the email because your name will be entered for each of these.

You can earn an extra entry if you answer a five simple questions. You can find answers to right on my site. Email me the answers @ aprildawnbooks@ymail.com.

Everyone with correct answers will be entered to win. (I will email you to let you know if your answers were correct, and if not, you can try again.) One questionnaire per entrant.

Contest ends January 10th, and the winner will be announced on January 11th on Monday Madness.

All you need to do to get five entries is to follow me on my blog and twitter, be a friend on facebook and myspace, and email me with correct answers to the questions below.

Good luck, and thanks for entering to win your CD ARC of Bound by Love.

1-When did I first submit Crushing Desire for publication?

2-What was the original name of Bound by Love?
I had an entrant tell me that it is written wrong in two places on the net, so I’m giving it to anyone who gets close.

3-What is the release date for Crushing Desire?

4-Do both trailers for Crushing Desire and Bound by Love contain the book covers?

5-What is the name of my current work in progress, staring a female pirate named Cat?

HINT- Try using the search function to find old blog entries on my website. A lot of information can be found there.

    As with all A History book giveaways, you must be 18 to enter.

Good luck to you all,

April Dawn

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The Innocent Hero

“He made love with a sort of unflagging joy that made me think that male virginity might be a highly underrated commodity.” ––Claire Randall, Outlander heroine.

Ever since reading OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, I have been fascinated by the concept of the virgin hero. First of all, as a writer, creating a male protagonist who is both alpha and sexually inexperienced is a huge challenge. Let’s face it, most women prefer a bold love maker to a hero who has a learning curve in the bedroom. But a part of me keeps wondering if we aren’t missing an interesting complication, of sorts.

Lessons in love are just as stimulating and romantic, if the roles are reversed. In OUTLANDER, Jamie Fraser is not only an enthusiastic student, he’s a fast learner who is eager to pleasure Claire. Gabaldon writes some wonderfully entertaining scenes, including a first experience with fellatio and a lesson in “rough play.”

Eloisa James is the only other writer I can think of who has recently tackled the subject in WHEN THE DUKE RETURNS. Here’s a three sentence synopsis: Simeon Jermyn, English adventurer has recently returned to England. Having spent years studying various Eastern religions he has learned to control his emotions as well as his libido. Married to the duke by proxy years ago, the heroine has to figure out a way to seduce her virgin hero or the marriage will be annulled.
Both Jamie and Simeon are very different characters with the same complication, their virginity. In OUTLANDER, Jamie’s loss of innocence plays a solidifying role in his physical bonding to Claire and profoundly affects their emotional ties to one another. In the case of WHEN THE DUKE RETURNS, the hero’s sexual abstinence is the principal conflict in the high concept romance.

So, what are some of the shared character traits of the typical virgin hero? At random and not necessarily in order of importance, I will list a few:
1. With every breath they take, they are effortlessly masculine.
2. They exude a quiet, stoic kind of strength. They have nothing to prove to anyone.
3. They don’t posture (too much) and never abuse their power.
4. They are protective but also nurturing.
5. They are men in control of themselves. And in particular, their little man.
Up until now, I have not mentioned looks. Assuming our virgin hero is a fit, attractive man, and considered very desirable to women, control becomes a defining character trait for the virgin hero.

Trait number five demonstrates something very special about him. A man who has had many opportunities, but has chosen to remain inexperienced sexually. His reasons why can vary, but one inherent promise is his future fidelity. And oh yes, a man who shows that kind of control over his manhood has the makings of a very adept lover.

Ultimately, the male virgin protagonist is the quintessential innocent hero and that purity of spirit infuses all of his thoughts and actions. Oh, he is bound to fall from grace occasionally, torturing himself over his human failings, but that makes him all the more lovable, doesn’t it?

Hm-m, so how to go about creating a virgin hero? There are myriad ways a writer could chose to build him. I get weird tingles down my spine when I dream up interesting and odd complications and back story for my characters. Not only do these complexities add layers to the plot, but they allow characters to react to story events in interesting, unexpected ways.

And what about all the juicy possibilities there are in a dark, virgin hero. At the moment, the only one that comes to mind is Edward Scissorhands (Movie tagline: His scars run deep). And that leads to Johnny Depp. But then I always think of Johnny Depp when I create male characters. I’ll save that discussion for another blog on another Monday.
I think the main reason I have not written a virgin hero is because I haven’t found the right man for the job, as yet. One day, I’ll be taking a shower as I mull over a new hero idea in my head. I’ll squeeze out a dollop of hair conditioner and work it in. Make him a virgin, my muse will whisper, and that will be exactly right for both his character and the story. I look forward to that shower.

Has anyone out there read another virgin hero you’ve enjoyed? Please do share him.
Jillian

G. Jillian Stone
There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

Jillian is currently finishing the second book in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website

G. Jillian Stone

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Resolutions for 2010

Ten, nine, eight… Wait a minute! I am not ready for 2010. I haven’t made my New Year’s Resolutions yet.

Okay how difficult can this be. Hmmm… I am certain if I could find last year’s list there was an item about not leaving things to the last minute. Well, I’ll start this year’s list with more than wishes but with actions that can really be accomplished.

Reading:

  • Tackle the pile of unread books on my nightstand, especially those that are outside my favorite genre. Somehow these books always get passed over. But there is much to be learned in how authors, no matter the genre, handle their subject. I resolve to read at least six books this year with three outside my favorite genre.

Writing:

  • Make time to write every day. I seem to get involved in other things especially reading and answering blogs then I’m upset I haven’t moved my book forward. I resolve to write at least two hours a day.
  • Keep a journal of all those great ideas that seem to pop into my mind at odd times for story ideas, dialogue, locations et al. I am always so certain that I will write them down later and quickly forget what they are and agonize to recreate them. I resolve to keep a writer’s journal and use it.
  • Work with someone who believes in my work and me, someone who is as eager for me to succeed and will help me be the best writer I can be. I resolve to find the ultimate agent for me.
  • Ride on the train and see people, other than my family, reading my book. I resolve to get my work published.

Personal:

  • My characters live with me and are very much a part of me. It makes criticism a bit difficult. I resolve to develop a tougher skin and be more open to criticism
  • I resolve to volunteer where I can with the intention of learning more about the publishing industry, expanding my network and meeting other writers (writing can be such a lonely job)
  • I resolve not to leave things to the last minute – again!

I would love to hear your resolutions too! Please feel free to comment.

A Happy and Healthy New Year to Everyone!

Ruth Seitelman

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Scavenger Hunt Time.

Find the answers to the questions by searching the site, then email the answers to aprildawnbooks@ymail.com
Be sure to enter the opening day giveaway as well. All winners will be announced tomorrow during Monday Madness.

Find these answers.
Which of our Bloggers was raised in Saskatchewan?

Which of our Bloggers is inspired by Gina Showalter?

What is the name of the very first post this blog posted?

In the post One Man’s Thoughts Men v Women who finds out her boyfriend is a blood-sucking vampire?

What is the title of the novel our spotlighted author currently working on?

Email the correct answers to aprildawn@ymail.com
Winners will be announced tomorrow on the Monday Madness post.
Good luck to you all!
—-
April Dawn

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One Man's Thoughts: Men v Women

‘A beefy caveman totes his trusty club over one shoulder while he drags an unconscious woman by the hair through the dregs’ in many ways sums up the nature of romantic relationships. For the caveman, he has proven himself worthy to the female with his prowess in her capture and presumably has a lair in which he can provide shelter and food for his new-found love. If the caveman is successful he will have many offspring from several such headache-induced seductions. While this is a distasteful method for finding romance there is an acceptance of this scenario as being the fundamental social building blocks from which we have evolved. The result being that the confrontational relationship between men and women does make for bountiful sexual tension and thus good romance.

Allow me to first assure everyone that no anthropological evidence exists that early man engaged in the practice of clubbing women to acquire them as mates. The notion of such behavior is traced to stories written sometime in the eighteen eighties. However, the popularity and acceptance of the idea that men ‘hunted’ women in prehistoric society is telling as to our own perceptions of the dynamics between the sexes. What is it that attracts us to the juicy story about the pirate who captures a noblewoman and falls for her, a wounded cowboy tended to by a gentle Indian woman that doesn’t trust him, or perhaps the small town preacher’s daughter who discovers her boyfriend is a blood-sucking vampire? All of these are ripe with conflict and would make appealing plots.

In telling an enticing tale of the heart there are two basic forms of conflict, social dominance and physical dominance. Social dominance serves as both hook and obstacle for the would be couple. The difference in social standing can be anything, a wealthy industrialist and animal rights activist, royalty and commoner, people from different nations or cultures, but in the end it is this difference that electrifies the situation into an engaging story and makes the characters memorable. The unique situation that divides them is what constitutes the satisfaction of their coming together.

The second form of conflict is physical. This is the more delicate to handle, however takes the drama to a higher level. The kidnapped woman is the most familiar incarnation of physical dominance. The reader may know that the abductor, who is behaving as an antagonist, has no intention of harming the damsel in distress, but it is her fear and uncertainty that acts to entertain the audience. The physical threat can also be less menacing and may appear as withheld assistance. The brave woodsman who refuses to guide a noblewoman through a forest fraught with danger unless she deigns to grant him a kiss, or the nurse that mends a fugitive’s gunshot wound only if he reveals why he wishes to return to his parent’s graves before turning himself in to the police are examples of such physical dominance.

These dynamics are the focus of my writing and it was the exploration of such relationships in my first book that made me aware of my fascination with this aspect of human interaction. Somewhere between the need to control members of the opposite sex and submit to them is the balance that defines love for each of us. Reading and writing about this journey to discover that balance among characters allows us to live that experience in ways we would not be able to on our own. In short, romance is drama and drama is conflict.

Michael Matthews Bongamon

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Opening Day Giveaway!

We are so glad to see you that we have to celebrate!

We have two prize bags available. First prize gets first pick. Be on the lookout for a prize scavenger hunt for a third goodie bag.

Comment on the blog. Tell us what you think of the concept, of the posts so far, of the site, or just say welcome, and you will be entered to win!!!

What you will win.

A grab bag of goodies for you to enjoy which might just include some books, maybe some swag, and definitely one signed item from April Dawn.

Winner will be announced during Monday Madness.

We hope you come back to visit us often and see what a large group of diverse romance authors, and aspiring romance authors, have to say about all things romance.
You host,
April Dawn

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Tomorrow is the big day!

A History of Romance is open to visitors tomorrow. Please come by and see what we have in store for you. Be sure to check out the contest, and the new blogs. Have fun looking around the site.
April Dawn

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