A Moratorium on Man Boob Book Covers

Romance heroes are a sight to behold. We get it. Don’t get me wrong, I like to look at nice pair of man boobs as much as the next person but could we please, please call a moratorium. The other day on Facebook I saw some promotion for a lovely heartwarming Christmas romance. It pictured a house out in the country, snow everywhere. A real snow globe moment. With a fence and a cowboy lounging against it, no coat, open shirt, man boobs on display. In the winter.

Brings new meaning to freezing your nipples off.

I mean, come one book publishers. Wake up. No one in their right minds would ever–okay football fans but they’re the exception– be outside in winter without a shirt. Not even romance heroes. Because they’re smarter than that. Hopefully. Or else I’m putting that book down and never returning.

There was another cover. This one with a huge storm brewing in the background. Dark, heavy clouds ready to break open any moment and rain down a heap of trouble. Another cowboy. Hat, jeans, nice belt buckle, oh wait – NO SHIRT. Out on the open plain waiting to get struck by lightning.

You can tell they weren’t boy scouts. They aren’t prepared. They didn’t even know enough to wear a shirt. Let alone a coat. They did have the hat part covered so I suppose they should get points for something. Or maybe those points should go to the powers that be deciding on what book covers will sell the most books.

I’ve noticed a couple of times lately, authors on Facebook asking opinions about covers or asking readers to vote on the one they prefer. I like that idea. Let’s do more of that. Then maybe publishers will get a better idea of what readers are looking for in book covers. Sexy people with their clothes on, especially during winter or a storm. Readers can see them undressed, in all their glory, later on. Inside the book, using their imaginations.

I love sexy covers. But I also don’t want a stockpile of naked man chests in my TBR pile. Whether it’s my ereader or the literal pile on my nightstand. I like the book covers with landscapes. I also seem to be drawn to ones that are black and white. or have objects significant to the story.

So I went to my Facebook page in search of a cover without a half-naked someone on the cover. I scrolled down and down, until I gave up.

So how about you? Had enough of man boobs on covers? What to see a different type of cover? Do you have a favorite book cover?

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Decorating in Discontent

Confidence-1I hate when that happens and I’m usually pretty good at not going there. But the last couple of days I did just that. It’s time to come back from the dark side. Because it does lead to darkness. You start to question your commitment. Worse your abilities, and it’s all downhill from there. Before you know it you’re wallowing. It’s lowering to admit. I don’t want to be the person who gives into jealousy and it’s poisonous head games. That’s when I knew I had to nip this shit in the bud.

First order of business. Figure out what’s making me crazy. I’m in the midst of a writing challenge. Not NaNo but within my own small writing group. My goal is to write a 1000 words a day. By no means an impossible task. I’m two-thirds of the way through. Writing first drafts always make me in turns euphoric and cranky. Add to that, I’m impatient to get to the revising/rewriting part of the process. I love revising. But writing the last third of a story, tying up all those lovely threads, pushing towards the end, makes me double crazy. And doubtful I’ll find a resolution that doesn’t completely suck. Cue my lurking insecurities.

So what do I do? I go to Goodreads. I visited the other day and was checking out new-to-me authors and looking for something to read. Because that’s what you do when you’re doing your level best to avoid your own writing. Found a couple of books I thought looked promising with 20,000 ratings and 2,000+ reviews each. When I checked further I found neither one of the stories were for me. <delete> There I saved you from my rant on selfish, abusive heroes.

That’s when jealousy moved in, signed a lease, and decorated in discontent.

I hate when that happens. It makes me feel small and petty. Not to mention unproductive. And unhappy. That’s when I have to start asking questions. Like what’s really wrong? Because it’s not poor Goodreads fault. And people like the books they like, end of story. They don’t need any more reasons than that to talk about the ones they loved reading. We’re as unique as the stories we prefer.


So, lesson learned? Writing first drafts stress me out. What should I do to avoid more stress? Perhaps this is the month to reread a book. One of my favorites and an old friend. One I know will not only soothe my battered brain but inspire me. And I’ll try to remember I’m not trying to find a cure for cancer and stop taking myself so seriously. Sheesh. I’ll take a walk. Get some fresh air. I’ll choose to be positive and productive.

Three of my favorite writers are Tara Janzen, Suzanne Brockmann, and Nora Roberts. How about you? Do you reread books? Think of them as old friends? What do you do to keep from stressing out?

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Let Them Eat Soup

There are lots of things I love about autumn and winter. And one of them is soup. Because I love soup! I love the taste, the aroma, the warmth it provides. There is nothing better on a cold night then a bowl of soup.

windyThis is one of our family’s favorites and fits in with my new love–cauliflower. I roasted some for lunch yesterday and it was delicious. It also incorporates my daughter’s love of sweet potatoes. It makes a lot so there will be leftovers which works for my son so he has something to eat when he decides to show up. My husband? As long as he doesn’t have to cook he’s happy. And he does the clean up. Because that’s the kind of save-the-day hero we really need.

So, if you’re writing away madly or deep in a good book or wrung out from the day’s activities take a break from the trauma of trying to decide what’s for dinner and make some soup. It doesn’t need to simmer for hours like plot twists. It’s not hard to put together unlike difficult chapters. It’ll be the hero of the supper hour. The warm comfort of a heroine. And will result in the happy ending of a full belly.

026Curried Cauliflower Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups Chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups Leeks thinly sliced (about 3 large)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic minced (I used more)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 medium head of Cauliflower broken up into small florets
  • 1 ½  cups Rice – any kind (You can also use frozen, leftover rice)
  • 1 medium to large Sweet potato (but not ginormous 2 – 2 1/2 cups) peeled and cubed
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of Curry powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Ground cumin

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic. Cook and stir until leeks begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

Stir in cauliflower, sweet potato, curry, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 1 more minute. Add broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Transfer soup to a blender in batches and puree until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot. Stir in cooked rice and coconut milk. Heat soup for 1 more minute. Serve hot.


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I Can’t Resist a Craft Show

Coldstream Pottery

Coldstream Pottery


This past weekend saw my Mom and I schlepping our hinnies down the aisles of the annual Best To You Arts and Craft Sale. Three and half hours later we were tired, hungry, and peopled out. But also productive. I was on a mission and I think I scored some pretty good stuff. I’d much rather shop for Christmas gifts at a craft show then the mall despite the noise and the crowds.

But you always have to get a little something for yourself, as a reward for…something. Things I always watch for:

Pottery mugs with a hint of blue in them.

I collect handcrafted Christmas tree ornaments.

My special find were wooden vintage picture postcards from Cedar Mountain Studios. I thought they would make a wonderful future giveaway.

Maybe you’re not a craft sale junkie. Maybe you’re a crafter? Or DIYer? Maybe you just like to look at crafts others have made on Pinterest? Me too. You can find me there too!

Today is also the first day of my writing group, The Saskatchewan Romance Writers, November Writing Challenge. Yay! Can’t wait to finish this story. We report our ups and downs on Facebook. We cheer each other on to whatever goal we’ve chosen. Mine is a 1000 words a day until the story is finished. I’m about two/thirds of the way through and struggling away at what is the hardest part of any story to write, for me anyway. The time where some things are wrapped up, some things are only started to be revealed, and your stringing others out. The hero and heroine are indulging in their need for each other and navigating new found feelings blissfully unaware of what’s coming at them.

Which means I’m going to need some new music. So after as a reward for 1000 words written I’ll be heading to iTunes to see what inspires me for tomorrow and the day after. Right now I’m listening to Aaron Lines and The Lights of My Hometown. It’s working my fictional small prairie town of Aspen Lake is calling and scenes need to be written.

Yep, I love what I do.

Happy writing! If you’re not writing, then happy reading! If it’s neither of those two, then press on and enjoy the hell out of whatever it is you’re doing! And remember to reward yourself and add to your precious collections when you’re able.


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