Sweet Rocket

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Trigger Warning

amazonwarnings

I can’t stop laughing about John Dopp’s Suggested Amazon Warning Labels.

Only I’d call them trigger warnings, because I’ve spotted at least three that make me lose my mind: plot that erodes suspension of disbelief, unrelatable protagonist and books apparently edited by chimpanzees. I won’t provide you with any examples of chimpanzee books, because I never make it past the third page.

I would like to add a few of my own, special to romance, but unfortunately I don’t have the skill to create those little warning signs, so I will just describe them:

  • Heroine dropped into wrong century: I picture a little heroine with a nose ring and tattoos wearing an empire-style gown and carrying a parasol. If the book is a time travel romance — 21st century woman, with all implied attitudes and speech patterns, inexplicably becomes the heroine of a Regency-era story — please tell me.
  • Series-itis warning: a little hero being flogged by tiny books that represent the other books in his book’s series. If the book doesn’t stand alone, please tell me. And if the book should ostensibly stand alone, make appearances/references to characters/plot threads from other books meaningful, or just leave them out.
  • Repetitive description/dialogue: three little heroines joined together, paper doll-style. If characters have the same conversations multiple times, or there are multiple identical descriptions of the hero/heroine’s childhood/home/clothing/ass, please tell me.
  • Copious mental lusting — a little hero with a cloud around his round head and drool coming out his mouth. Please don’t make me say any more about mental lusting. I’m so over it.

That’s all I can think of right now, but I’m sure I will add more from time to time. Which is your favorite? What warnings you wish you could find on books, lovelies?

UPDATE: Look everyone! Valancy at Blue Castle Considerations has made us some warning labels, bless her little heart:

warning-labels1-e1453894619578

Valancy, you are a diamond of the first water!

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Get Ready — Nocturne For a Widow Is On the Way!

Nocturne-for-a-Widow-Ebook

Here’s a first ever for Sweet Rocket — a cover reveal!

Ramping up the excitement for Nocturne for a Widow, the new historical romantic suspense novel from Amanda DeWees, here’s a teaser in the form of the cover for Nocturne, which will appear in ebook and paperback soon.

The heroine of Nocturne is none other than our favorite fictional Victorian-era actress, Sybil Ingram, who made a memorable appearance in DeWees’ recent With This Curse.  Sybil leaves the theater world (Under A Cloud, of course) to marry, but when she’s widowed and left nearly penniless, she latches on to an ill-starred inheritance from her late husband — a mysterious mansion in the wilds of the Hudson River Valley.

In short order, Sybil finds that life in her mansion is far from palatial. Strange doings in the house, a local society queen who is perhaps as dangerous as disapproving, and to cap it all, a challenge to her inheritance in the form of handsome, hot-tempered Roderick Brooke, whose own career as a violin maestro has ended in dark scandal.

Romantic comedy bred with gothic romance, Nocturne For a Widow will charm readers who loved With This Curse. “Sybil is one of the least gothic characters in With This Curse,” author DeWees says, “so I couldn’t resist plunking her down in gothic surroundings to see how she coped. Partly because of her personality, there’s a lot more comedy in Nocturne than in my previous gothics. I think of this story as Shakespeare’s Beatrice and Benedick in a haunted house.”

Look for my review of Nocturne For a Widow here on Sweet Rocket soon, and for release news, follow Amanda on Facebook at facebook.com/AuthorAmandaDeWees, or keep an eye on her website, amandadewees.com.

Until then, enjoy this gorgeous cover, designed by James T. Egan of Bookfly Design!


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Browse On By: Links to Love February 28 2014

from Dandy Bread and Candy via Blogspot

When you’ve picked yourself up off the floor after collapsing into a puddle of awwwwwwwwwwws over the insane cuteness of that Elvis Presley photo, take a look at these links:

If you’re feeling really dorky, and I, for one, usually am, take a look at the first sentences of classic novels, diagrammed. 

Verona, July 17, 1796

I write you, my beloved one, very often, and you write very little. You are wicked and naughty, very naughty, as much as you are fickle. It is unfaithful so to deceive a poor husband, a tender lover! Ought he to lose all his enjoyments because he is so far away, borne down with toil, fatigue, and hardship? Without his Josephine, without the assurance of her love, what is left him upon earth? What can he do?

We had yesterday a very bloody affair; the enemy has lost many men, and has been completely beaten. We have taken the whole country around Mantua.

Adieu, adorable Josephine; one of these nights your door will open with a great noise; as a jealous person, and you will find me on your arms.

A thousand loving kisses.

BONAPARTE

If you are a Regency romance reader, it’s hard to remember, sometimes, that Napoleon Bonaparte was ever anything but a dirty frog/Mad Corsican/filthy beast. Alas, it’s hard not to get a little warm and fuzzy when you read his letters to his beloved Josephine. This website created to complement PBS’ Napoleon documentary is full of suchlike letters and other information about Bonaparte — by the time you’re done, you might wish someone would write a Regency with a French perspective.

If you sometimes feel that there’s someone in Harlequin’s offices playing paper dolls with virgins, sheikhs, Italian playboys, Texas cowboys and cute babies, well, you’re almost there. Turns out Harlequin knows just How To Write The Perfect Romance, and was helpful enough to share the formula with the rest of us! Because this Harlequin page has no image, I took the opportunity to insert a wholly gratuitous bizarre Harlequin cover image. I’m ashamed to admit that I’m intrigued by this cover. 

I’m a little headachy today, so I’m going to sign off with that. But just so you don’t feel cheated, here’s another gratuitous image, this one of yet another cute guy doing the darnedest thing:

In which world’s fastest Scotsman and all-around cutie-pie Jim Clark proves that the 1960s were a much more adorable time in general than the 2010s.


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Guys Do the Darnedest Things: Read With Your Puppy

What a week. Subzero temperatures. Frozen water lines. Eyeballs singed from keeping the heat in the car cranked up as I drove an hour and a half home from work in said subzero temperatures. But here’s a little cuteness to make up for all that:

That’s just Cary Grant reading something with a puppy in his pocket. Guar-ON-teed to be the cutest thing you see all day. Maybe all weekend. Now don’t you feel better?


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Guys Do the Darnedest Things: Yum!

Fridays should be fun.

Here’s a gratuitous picture that hits a few of my sweet spots: fast cars, ice cream, and cute guys doing the darnedest things:

Oh what — reporters be wanting a statement? Jim Clark ain’t got time for that.

He’s eating an ice cream, just getting ready to leave 20 other drivers in his exhaust fumes.

We can wait, absolutely adorable two-time Formula 1 world champion and the 1965 winner of the Indianapolis 500, best driver ever and all around tiny little good guy Jim Clark. We know you’re busy.

(I linked the picture back to my Pinterest page full of guys and dolls in fast cars, but it comes to us courtesy of Peter Windsor’s wonderful racing blog. If you have the least little tiny interest in contemporary or vintage F1 racing, you should check it out.)


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I’m In Love With…. Villains!

It’s Villains and Anti-Heroes Week here at Le Sweet Rocket! In celebration of the best villains and anti-heroes romance has to offer, here’s a kick-off post featuring some of my very favorite villains!

Sometimes the villain’s the best part of the story. Or at least, in these cases, the hottest part! Here are a few villains I just love…

Orson Welles as the dastardly romantic Charles Rankin in The Stranger!

Dana Andrews menaces Ruth Warrick in Daisy Kenyon!

Richard Armitage (featuring that rarest of creatures, the attractive mullet) as the wretchedly sexy Guy of Gisbourne in BBC’s “Robin Hood”!

Basil Rathbone as, oh, just about any Basil Rathbone character!

Hot villains often make reappearances as reformed heroes/anti-heroes in romance novels. Some romance anti-heroes/reformed villains of note:

Conner Winslow from Mary Stewart’s The Ivy Tree

Freddie Sullivan from Mary Balogh’s Dancing With Clara

Lord St. Vincent in Lisa Kleypas’ It Happened One Autumn/Devil in Winter

Almost all of Anne Stuart’s heroes

Almost all of Victoria Holt’s heroes