Tardis Tea from Adagio Teas online.

Tardis Tea from Adagio Teas online.

There is such a thing as TARDIS tea and it’s magnificent, a twist on the classic Earl Grey blend.  You can get it via web order at Adagio Teas, which has a fine and varied selection of teas.

I’ve been consuming a great deal of tea lately as this whole daylight savings time swap messes me up in a big way. (And, yes, I know that we just ditched daylight savings to go back to regular time. It’s the switch that messes me up.) My current favorite is my classic breakfast blend tea. It’s what people think of when they usually think of tea but it’s smoother, has more flavor, and is less harsh than your basic Salada or Lipton teas.

I’ve also been writing. What started off as a little fun side project for Philip Drake and Del Sefton, the leads of Phoenix Legacy, has turned into a 44,000 word novella/novel? that is an erotic romance with a m/m/f trio. Yes, it has an S&M flavor but that will be no surprise to anyone who’s read the original book, as Drake has a telekinetic power that heals any injury and this makes him crave pain and the high from his healing.

It’s about found families, and love, and Ohana, and, um, there may be fire play involved. It’s out of my comfort zone but it seems to be one of those books that I needed to write, for whatever reason. I feel as if the book is gooey and sentimental but it’s also a book with whips and knives. So…yeah? I’ve tentatively called it

I’ve tentatively called it Hawk’s Family, but I’m not certain that will be the final title. Maybe Phoenix Inferno would be a better one. 😉

I’ve been doing my regular DC comics reviews with Ray Goldfield over at GeekDad. Recommendations: Go find the new Wonder Woman series by Greg Rucka and read it. It’s awesome, both in writing and art.

I’ve done some blogging again for Heroes & Heartbreakers and the B&N SF/F blog. I’d like to recommend Remnants of Trust by Elizabeth Bonesteel for those who enjoy space opera, and I quite liked talking with author Lexie Dunne about her new take on the Lois Lane archetype.

The other thing that’s been feeding my brain lately?

Re-reading J.D. Robb’s In Death series. I hadn’t noted some of the depths consciously before, such as Eve Dallas being the kind of rape survivor that we all exclaimed was “amazing and new” when it came in the form of Jessica Jones on Netflix. Then there’s the worldbuilding, in which America is recovering from the Urban Wars, and there’s a right-wing reactionary party wanting to bring the country back to where it used to be, in so-called better times. Timely, for certain, because whatever your politics, one can’t deny that the President-Elect received votes from those who think America used to be great and isn’t any longer.

Good luck to those doing National Novel Writing Month. I plan to spend the next few days going over every verb choice the novella. Note to self: stop using “didn’t” so much.

 

I’ve returned refreshed, revitalized and freakin’ inspired by the energy at Geek Girl Con in Seattle last weekend.

To all of you who attended my “Romance is a Feminist Genre” panel on Sunday morning that also featured Barb Ferrer, Karen Harbaugh, Kat, fandom representative extraordinaire, and moderator Suzete Chan, thank you so very much.

I had no idea we’d have such a receptive audience.

And to the person who asked about LGBT romance, thank you! We don’t have as much of it as we should, and there has been some pushback in the romance writing community about it from some quarters but thankfully, we also have people like Heidi Cullinan, who founded Rainbow Romance Writers.

After the panel, a number of people asked about where they might start in romance. I talked about a few at the panel but it seemed a good idea to have these down for posterity.

First, of course, I’d recommend Karen and Barb’s books, which are awesome, and Kat’s fan fiction is certainly a fun read. And you could amble over to my books page here and check out what I have and see if that interests you…

And then it depends on genre.

Science Fiction/Fantasy.
Linnea Sinclair. As far as I’m concerned, she’s the place to start for most geek girls who want to crossover as she’d working in the familiar galactic-style world, she writes fast-paced, layered, fascinating books with awesome characters from the leads to the supporting characters.

My favorite is Hope’s Folly. But Gabriel’s Ghost in the first book in her Dock Five series. She also has a number of unconnected stories. My favorite is Finder’s Keepers but, hey, the Kel-Patan fandom love in many quarters compels me to point out Games of Command.

Lois McMaster Bujold.
There are some writers whose books just fill your soul. Bujold’s books are like that for me. Ignore the dumb cover and the supposed similarity to David Weber’s Honor Harrington series. You want Cordelia’s Honor.

This is shelved in SF, not romance, and there’s so much going on around our leads, including galactic and civil war but it’s all the lovely characters that keep me coming back, from Cordelia to Aral to Bothari and later Miles and Mark, and Count Pierre, and Illyan and….I love these people.

Go. Read.

Contemporary: Jennifer Crusie.

Crusie was my gateway drug into romance. Hey, I like stuff blowing up and fights and murder, right, I don’t want a contemporary book but okay I’ll take a look and…what? This is FUNNY. This is interesting. I love these characters. I love their flaws, I love the way they interact, I love their ideas about how some men are muffins and some are donuts, I love the Krispy Kreme sex, and I love the Wonder Woman underoos.

Where to start? Bet Me is always a good place, and Welcome To Temptation starts with two sisters coming to their hometown to film a soft-porn movie (they’re directors, not the actors), and Don’t Look Down, written with Bob Mayer, is fast-paced action and a Wonder Woman theme.

Historicals:  Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick is the historical alter ego of contemporary writer Jayne Ann Krentz. Both her selves write books that are like crack, meaning once you start, you can’t put them down. I love the way her historicals layer in the setting, with heroines who are botanists and photographers, and fortune tellers and not just your average lord or lady. The heroes, too, aren’t necessarily heirs to great fortune, though some are, but they’re smart, resourceful and dangerous to their enemies.

These aren’t comedies of manners, like Austen or Heyer, but that’s okay because instead they’re thrill rides with mad scientist villains and obsessed magicians.

I’m not sure where to put the J.D. Robb series, which stars a homicide detective in a futuristic New York City and has elements of the police procedural, a touch of Bladerunner-style world building, and a hot romance, but start with Naked in Death. To me, this series is all about Eve Dallas, the most compassionate, bitchiest, haunted, relentless and intelligent woman in romance. I could build shrines to Eve Dallas.

And for more? Check out the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout Group on Goodreads run by Bonnie Burton and Felicia Day.

Because even if you don’t find titles, you’ll still be able to click and watch drunken Bonnie Burton and Felicia Day talk about romance books.