#2 They can get a court order for anything they need regardless of how you feel about it.
#3 They wear asinine mirrored sunglasses so you can’t see their eyes or know what they’re thinking.
#4 They own handcuffs, even if they can’t find the keys.
#5 They have great lips.
#6 They have crazy dogs with issues.
#7 They’re arrogant.
#8 They can kiss. Boy, can they kiss.
#9They will get your family’s approval, even if they don’t have yours.
#10 They just might make you fall in love.
I had the most noble intentions of writing a blog post about funny books, but (you knew that was coming, right?) there are some great books out there. Books that remain on my shelf even if they don’t make it into my hands but once a year. Books I cannot bear to part with. So why not do a Top Ten (you know how I love Top Ten Lists) about books that I think are a knee slapping good time? I came up with a few ideas. Most of these are older books but still worth a read if you can get yourself a copy.
Twenty-Nine and A Half Reasons by Denise Grover Swank
Getting Over Harry by Rene Roszel
Men:An Owner’s Manual by Stephanie Brush
Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Cruise
Please say I Do by Karen Toller-Whittenburg
I was writing this list and more and more titles kept popping into my head. Then I reminded myself how subjective humor is and how many great books there are out there that I’ve missed (and maybe others have too) that are a knee-slapping good time. So I want to hear from you. What’s your all time favorite funny book? Heck, leave me two or three titles. Let’s share the laughter!
I am proud to say that I write romantic comedy, but I can’t say that I am naturally funny. Well, maybe I am a little bit. But the decision to make other people laugh while my characters fall in love was a conscious one. Unlike drama, humor is very subjective. What’s funny to one person may not make another so much as crack a smile.
There are certain ‘rules’ to jokes, certain aspects that make them work. Usually. And timing is everything. But first you have to understand humor. Men and women laugh at different things. Amazing, huh? For example how many men do you know who love the Three Stooges? Now, how many women? There are a few of the female persuasion who enjoy a good slapstick, but for the most part that brand of humor belongs to the men. The best way I have ever heard it explained was, “Women will laugh at a man slipping on a banana peel as long as she knows he deserves the fall.” This so-called female humor requires a set up, then a follow through. The first part of the joke might not be funny, but the second time it comes in, well, that’s when the laughter starts. For example, in my new Romantic Comedy, Love Potion Me, Baby, Brice Van Sant drinks a cup of shampoo (work with me here) and ends up marrying the first woman he lays eyes on—Suzanne Rose. The next morning he can’t remember her name. Naturally Suzanne is upset; she thought he was her prince. Instead he turned out to be a “big, fat toad.” Later, when Suzanne is forced to have dinner with Brice and a elderly business colleague and his wife…
She looked to Brice. Lie, his eyes commanded. But Suzanne was already growing tired of this decent. Despite Melvin’s candid remarks, and Claire’s bossy, Mother-knows best attitude, she liked the Greeleys.
“He’s my little toad,” she gushed, very proud of the syrupy tone of her voice. At least her words were true.
“Toad?” Melvin and Claire screeched at the same time.
Brice smiled charmingly. Drat the man! “Just an affectionate nickname. Right, my little salamander.”
The rule of three—for some reason, three is a magical number. Designers will tell you to hang pictures in threes, everyone knows bad things happen in threes, but humor also relies on the rule of three.
The room fell into an eerie silence. No one said a word. No one breathed. No one even chewed. “I’d like to tell you what a low-down, good-for-nothing, pond-scum-sucking bastard you work for.”
“Oh, snap,” Vanilla whispered.
“He’s untrustworthy. Non-committal. And he wears socks to bed,” Miriam continued. “Even during—”
“Oh, snap,” Vanilla whispered again.
“Argyle socks.” Miriam announced, as if that somehow transformed the act of wearing socks into a felony.
There’s also another ‘rule’ at play here—the rule of the unexpected—this requires some set up. Everything has to be in place for something expected to happen and then wham, the unexpected hits instead.
Silently, she lifted her head. She rose to her feet slowly, almost methodically. “Trick you? Trick you? Trick you, Mr. We-Were-Meant-To-Be-Together? ‘Oh, Suzanne, let’s get married,’” she mimicked. “‘I love you.’”
“I never said that.” How could he? He didn’t even believe in love. Love destroyed. “At least, I don’t remember saying—”
“You don’t remember?” Her voice rose in pure fury. “Allow me to help you recall. Last night you proposed. And I said yes.” She held up her left hand where a plain gold band, identical to his, sparkled in the light of the new day. “This is my wedding ring. This—” she made a sweeping gesture around her—“is the honeymoon suite. And this—” she picked up the pineapple from the breakfast tray— “is the fruit we were supposed to have for breakfast.” She drew back her arm.
Brice ducked just in time.
The large, edible missile went sailing over his head and crashed against the wall.
Some guys never learn. I like this ‘rule’ best. What woman doesn’t want to be the one to turn the rogue around? Now that can’t happen until the end of the book which leaves plenty of page space to teach him a lesson or two. And Brice, my friends, is one of those guys…
“An annulment, Suzanne. We can go back to Davidson and discuss the details. I can assure you I’ll provide you with an adequate settlement.”
Her mouth opened and closed twice before he realized once again he’d said the wrong thing.
“Suzanne, I—” The phone rang again. “Oh, hell.” Brice snatched it up. “Van Sant,” he barked.
“Boy.” The gravely voice boomed across the phone lines. Great, justfantastic. “Do you want to explain to me why you missed our meeting last night? We had very important matters to discuss. Matters of the utmost importance!”
“Settlement? You mean, money?” Suzanne’s cheeks were ruddy with anger. “You want to pay me for being your wife for one night. Isn’t that a little like prostitution?”
“Boy, are you there?”
With a shake of his head, Brice placed one hand over the receiver. He closed his eyes and then opened again, focusing his gaze on Suzanne. “If you’ll just be quiet for five minutes, I’ll pay you double.”
I hope you enjoyed this look into Humor and Love Potion Me, Baby. Long live the Romantic Comedy!
I thought I’d take the time today and talk about something near and dear to my heart: men. And not just any men, but romance heroes.
I shouldn’t have to say the words, but I’m gonna anyway: the heroes in romance novels are SEXY. They are alpha males, go-getters, men of action. They “take care of things.” They can hunt their own food, saddle break a horse, and close multi-million dollar deals while the rest of us are still eating breakfast. They can go into the wilderness with a pack of gum and pocket knife and build a mini-mall. They are “those guys.” And we love them.
Today I complied a list of the Ten Sexiest Romance Heroes IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) and INPO (In No Particular Order).
1~White collar professionals—Doctors, lawyers, judges, and the like. These guys are powerful, highly educated, and confident to the point of egomaniac. Which we all know is a requirement to be an alpha-male. And power is sexy, right?
2~Performers (heh, heh) Sorry, I should have said actors, all romance heroes “perform” <g>. And they are the best looking, most charismatic of men. Am I right? And with an actor, you never know what’s behind his mask. Is it the truth he’s showing, or only what he wants you to see? Which one is real?
3~Men of God—There is nothing sexier than a man who is battling the desires of the flesh and the goodness of heart. Talk about internal conflict!
4~Athletes—Hard bodies. Need I say more? Okay, travel, wealth, and testosterone.
5~Firemen—If I have to tell you why firemen are on this list, then you have to turn in your ‘Girl Card’!
6~Bull Riders—These are men who jump on the back of a thousand pounds of meanness, tie one hand to the beast, and somehow think it’s a sport. That kind of confidence goes a long way, if ya know what I mean! <wink>
7~Ranchers/Cowboys—Yes, they are different than bull riders. These are the steady cowboys, not the love ‘em and leave ‘em kind. They’ve sown their wild oats and though they might not be ready to settle down completely, if the right girl comes along, they’ll sure think about it.
8~Millionaires—besides the money and the power (and the fact that if you’re lucky enough to marry one of these chaps, you’ll never have to do the dishes again) these heroes need the true love of someone who can see past their bank account to the real person underneath. What heroine wouldn’t want to be the one to save him from that?
9~Law Enforcement Officers—From the local county sheriff of the smallest town in Texas to the homicide detective in the big city, these men are sexy, sexy, sexy. I should know, I’m married to one!
10~Construction Workers—Ah-ha! Gotcha! Brodie is a construction worker. Read the excerpt below to see just why he’s…I mean they’re on my list.
(All right, you’re probably saying “what about add your favorite here?” Well, this is my list, you’ll get your turn. Read the new excerpt from Brodie’s Bride, then leave me a comment about your favorite type of Romantic hero.
Brodie and Savanna have made their pact to spend the weekend together. A very important potential client, has invited the “family” man to Texas for the weekend to talk over contract negotiations. Savanna agreed with the plan in order to secure a non-questions annulment and save her father’s holdings. But the agreement is proving to be a little more than they bargained for.
“I have to go home,” she said quietly, turning away from him to stare into the postage-stamp sized back yard.
“But we have an agreement for the weekend. I think we should have some ground rules.”
“Good idea.” Savanna clapped her hands, then rubbed them together as if she were ready to get down to business. “Like what?”
“We only have two working bedrooms here,” Brodie said. “Mine and Nan’s. Do you mind sharing a room with me?”
Her pupils dilated, and he knew she was thinking about the scarlet room they had shared last night.
“My room has two beds,” he continued. “We can be like Lucy and Ricky.”
She smiled. “If it was good enough for the Ricardos, I’m sure I can handle it for a few days.”
“We may not so lucky at the Sullivan’s.”
Sobering, she nodded. “If there’s only one bed there, we can just take turns sleeping in it.”
“Fair enough.” Brodie said. “Now, as a married couple—especially at the ranch—we’ll be expected to act like a married couple.”
“Okay. But only around others. When we’re alone, we can act like we’re not married.”
“Correct. But sometimes…” He took a step closer to where she leaned against the porch railing. “Sometimes married people hold hands.”
He reached out and took her fingers into his own. Her skin was velvet soft and smelled so sweet, like the mountains after a rain.
“I—I don’t have a problem with that.”
“Sometimes married couples put their arms around each other.” He placed her hands behind his neck, then slid his arms around her waist.
“That’s okay,” she whispered. He watched as she swallowed hard.
“And sometimes married people kiss. Just a peck here and a peck there. Are you going to have a problem with that?”
“Huh-uh.” She shook her head.
“Maybe we should practice,” he rasped, bending his head close to hers.
“Maybe,” she repeated before he brushed his lips across hers once, then twice.
His intent had been the small, nearly chaste kiss of old married couple, but once he got close to Savanna, once he could smell her sweetness and taste her heady essence, he couldn’t stop himself.
He pulled her close to him, gathering handfuls of her tank top, securing her to him. Over and over he slanted his mouth across hers. Over and over, deeper and deeper, until her whimper brought him back.
He released her, his breath rasping in and out of his lungs in hard painful gasps.
She grasped the edge of the porch railing, looking as disturbed as he felt.
With demonstrations like that, they may not ever convince Blair and Nan their marriage was an accidental twist of fate, but they would surely convince Red Sullivan their passion was for real.
Brodie ran his fingers through his hair, just one more gesture to keep from reaching for Savanna again.
“There,” he managed to croak. “That wasn’t so bad, now was it?”
Thanks for coming by today! Ciao! <3–Amie
Cat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie—who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.
An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows—even though she’s not particularly good at either.
Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and—had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night—she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve).
Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd—and is afraid she might be both. Breaking the Rules is her first novel.
Cat blogs about the writing life and posts adorable pictures of Abbie over at the Catenabi Chronicles. Come say hello at: www.CatLavoie.com and follow @Catenabi on Twitter.
~*~*~*~*~ Connect with Cat ~*~*~*~*~
~*~*~*~*~Buy Links ~*~*~*~*~
~*~*~*~*~ Cat On Tour ~*~*~*~*~
Recently I was asked about writing humor (since some of you read the post Funny is as Funny Does, I won’t bore you with the details) but it made me think about what I think is funny and why. Typical to my thought process, that in turn spurred me to decide to write a post about the movies I think are funny. A Top Ten List of the funniest movies–IMHO. (I *love* Top Ten Lists.) But as I sat down to write this post, you can imagine what happened. I blanked.
The Full Monty
O Brother, Where Art Thou
National Lampoon’s Animal House
The Bird Cage
In & Out
In case anyone is keeping count, that’s not ten. Okay, okay, it’s *nine* but since this is neither horseshoes nor hand grenades, well…you get the gist.
Oh, The Hangover. Well, that’s ten, but I still want to hear what makes you laugh. What’s your favorite comedy?
1–Eye cream that actually does what the commercial says it does.
2–A cheeseburger that looks like the one in the ad.
3–Hair color that looks like the box.
4–A mom-bot like of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius
5–A 10 book deal with Harlequin
♥♥♥♥♥ You Gotta Read This Book! ♥♥♥♥♥
Stunned and seeking a shoulder to cry on, she turns to her perfect older sister, Leigh. But instead of comfort, Abby receives a surprise: Leigh needs her in the Caribbean to help with some mysterious personal business.
While assisting in the sale and repair of a bed-and-breakfast, Abby uncovers a few huge family secrets as she juggles an unexpected roommate, quirky locals, and nasty centipedes.
Abby’s world is further complicated when two potential suitors enter her life. Can Abby get beyond her own psycho drama long enough to open her heart to someone new? Or will she neurotically make her romantic life worse?
Packing nothing but her suitcases and a sense of humor, Abby George travels down an unfamiliar road, but it’s all she can do to hang on for the ride…
~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~
There are a few things about a book that (to me) make it worthwhile. I have to be able to smile, even laugh out loud from time to time. There has to be likable characters, even secondary characters, that I can identify with or recognize as being part of my life (if only for a time), and the ability to understand the story. And by that I mean, the story means something, it has a purpose, there is something happening that makes me want to find out what happens next. Rum Punch Regrets has all this and more. And more? You say. Yep–a beach, one of my favorite things in the world.
Abby George is real, she’s likable and easy to sympathize with, but (envy) she gets to hang out in the Caribbean. I have walked the beaches there, met up with characters like Abby encounters, and dealt with a few of the same issues. For those who have never spent time in the Caribbean, Anne’s description of St Kitts is spot on for most of the islands. It takes some getting used to, but it happens. However Abby has a little more on her plate than how to survive on island time. She’s got a host of family and personal issues that are enough to drive a lesser woman out of her mind. But Abby manages to pull it all together for the best of everyone involved.
Can’t take a vacation this year? Pick up Rum Punch Regrets. It’s the next best thing to a Caribbean vacation!
~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~
Anne Kemp is the author behind the Abby George Series, which includes her debut novella, All Fruits Ripe, and first novel, Rum Punch Regrets, which is available in print and as an eBook. She is also the columnist behind “Anne In Progress,” which appears monthly in the Frederick News-Post, a newspaper in the DC-Metro area. As a blogger, she was nominated for a 2012 Bloggers Choice Award for Best Humor Blog, and is known for penning “The Ultimate Late Bloomer.”
A portion of Anne’s proceeds are donated to Lupus LA.
~*~*~*~ Anne On Tour ~*~*~*~
**Everyone who leaves a comment at http://www.clpblogtours.com/2012/07/rum-punch-regrets-by-anne-kemp.html
will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Rum Punch Regrets before September 3 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**
I recently did an interview with Coffeetime Romance and More and one of the questions was about writing humor. Do I find it challenging? What do I like or dislike about writing humor?
Here are both the question and my answer–
When Brice is under the spell of the “love potion” it is humorous and heartwarming to read. Is writing romantic comedy fun? Challenging? How and why?
I love writing romantic comedy. I made a conscious decision to learn the craft. Now my muse works in that direction. When I sit down to write it is with humor in mind. There are times when it can be challenging. Not everyone has the same sense of humor and some situations don’t lend themselves to being funny. Luckily I have a BWF (Best Writer Friend) who reads all my stuff and tells me whether or not a joke is working.
Peter O’Toole said, “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” I’m not sure I agree with that.
I love writing humor. Maybe because my sense of funny is slightly over developed. Maybe because I don’t think we laugh enough these days. Whatever it is, I plan to face it with a giggle and a snort.
Here’s my one of my favorite funny parts from Love Potion Me, Baby–
Three hours and four antacids later, Suzanne pulled her modest import in front of Brice’s house, certain she was headed for hell after today’s deception. The lies were necessary, but that didn’t make them any easier. Aunt Petie had been so happy for her, squealing over the smallest details of Suzanne’s whirlwind courtship and marriage to one of the most eligible men in Texas. She had even baked Suzanne and Brice a batch of almond and kale wedding cookies. And it was all a hoax.
But it hadn’t been, a small voice inside her whispered.
Suzanne squelched that reminder. Stomped on it. She had to remember the real Brice. The Brice who demanded they share a room. The Brice who threatened to fire her sister unless Suzanne gave him the recipe for her shampoo. The egotistical, money-maniac who loved coffee and tolerated his mother’s eccentricities.
Suzanne groaned and started into the house. Chaos met her at the door. Bonnie chattered frantically in her native tongue while Jancy, balancing on her head, chanted in some otherworldly language. Randy raced through, his hand entangled into the leash of a giant, runaway sheep dog. In the middle of it all, Brice stood watching the door as if it held the powers of the universe.
“Where have you been?” he demanded as she closed the door behind her and resisted the urge to
run. He looked so casually handsome in a navy pair of Dockers and a striped polo style shirt that he took her breath away.
Bonnie squealed and ran after Randy and the mysterious canine. Jancy chanted on.
“I didn’t know you had a dog.” He didn’t seem like a dog kind of person.
“Then where’d the dog come from?” Suzanne asked, trying to keep her bearings. She swore she was in the right house, but then again…
“How the hell am I suppose to know? I just live here.”