Unusual Heroes

Posted in Romance on March 20th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

Everyone knows that alpha males are super popular in romance novels. They’re the kings, the real rulers of the romance industry roost. And, of course, you don’t just see the alphas in romance books–you can find them in movies (ex. pretty much every role played by the super talented Vin Diesel) and in television shows. Folks just seem to love those alphas!

But, lately…more heroes are emerging. Vicki Lewis Thompson has written an interesting series of books about unlikely, downright nerdy heroes–and those books are flying off the shelves. Apparently, women don’t just go wild for the big, strong, tough guys…they also like the smart, sensitive ones, too.

Well, in addition to the alpha and beta men, there is another hero type out there that I really enjoy. I don’t have a cool greek name for him, so I’ll just call him the “drunken pirate.” Yes, I said drunken pirate. You see…the hero that I’ve enjoyed the most in the last three years isn’t a guy who has tons of muscles or even tons of brain power. Instead it’s a man who weaves when he walks, a man who appears to be in sore need of a bath. A man, in short, who is my drunken pirate–or, as many of you may know him–Captain Jack Sparrow.

When I originally went to view Pirates of the Caribbean, I anticipated that Orlando Bloom would the strong, romantic lead–and, of course, he was. But…as much as I enjoyed good old Will, Captain Jack Sparrow stole the show for me, and I found myself thinking it be a heck of lot more fun to sail off into the sunset with him than to stay with the good-looking Will.

So…what? Did I go crazy? No, I don’t think I did. I think I just fell for the allure of an unusual hero. Don’t get me wrong–I still love my alphas, always will. But…oh…my drunken pirates are close second on my fav list. And I’m waiting, eagerly waiting, for the next drunken release: Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man’s Chest.

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Failure to Launch

Posted in Romance on March 18th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

I saw Failure to Launch last Saturday night, and, I must say, I thought the movie was absolutely hilarious.

Yes, Matthew McConaughey was sexy–after all, he is the sexiest man alive–and, as always, I loved listening to his drawl. But, despite Matthew’s appeal, I really felt his character’s friends were the ones who stole the show.

I don’t want to give away any important movie details, but I will say that every time Matthew got together with his buddies, I knew something funny would soon be happening. The three guys made a great group: one was the suave charmer (Matthew), one was a nature boy, and the third was a nerdish computer guy.

Sarah Jessica Parker did a good job, too. But, I found myself liking the charcter of her friend more than I actually liked her. The secondary characters really ruled this flick.

Failure to Launch followed the perfect romance formula–it began with action, it introduced the hero and heroine quickly, the secondary characters were loveable, there was a black moment–movie-goers got to wonder if the lovers would be separated, and, finally, everyone got to live happily ever after. Yep, in my book, a perfect romance. And a very fun movie.

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Um…I don’t write tailgating books…

Posted in Romance on March 18th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

So, last Sunday, my nephew was christened. I spent a fun time at the church holding my sweet, screaming little snookums and making nice chatter with friends and family. And, then, of course, came a reference to my writing–sometimes I really dread writing references.

A lovely lady says to me, “Are you still writing?”

I juggle Jack and reply, “Oh, yeah. I have to stay up pretty late some nights–like freaking 4 a.m.–but I’m definitely writing.” By the way, the freaking 4 a.m. part was just in my head–although I think it would have been really cool if I’d said it then. Sigh.

She smiles and gushes, “Well, I know this guy, he just wrote that tailgating book. You know, the one about Alabama. And now he’s on the bestseller’s list.” A pause, then a meaningful look as she tells me, “You should do something like that.”

Um…No, thank you. Really not into the whole tailgating scene. And, besides, I write romance. R.O.M.A.N.C.E. Not some football after party stuff. But, of course, I’m trapped by the politeness that my southern mom drilled into me, and I find myself nodding to the chick and muttering, “That’s an idea.”

Yep, it’s a an idea. One that isn’t for me.

So, for you other writers out there…do you ever get comments like this? Comments that just make you think…what in the hell?

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Posted in Romance on March 17th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d post a few Irish blessings and toasts. Enjoy!!

Here’s to lying, stealing, and cheating!
May you lie to save a friend;
May you steal the heart of the one you love;
and may you cheat death.

Oooh…I like that one. Here’s another:

May your troubles be as few and far between
As my grandmother’s teeth.

Or how about this one:

As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.

This one makes me feel wicked–in a good way:

May those who love us love us.
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.

This one’s fun, too:

May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven
half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.

And, finally, a serious note:

May your troubles be less
And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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The Importance of the Query

Posted in Romance on March 14th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

Yesterday’s post on Romancingtheblog was about synopsis how-to. There were several helpful links on synopsis writing, and a good discussion ensued.

However, in my nice, humble little opinion, I think that–in terms of catching an editor’s attention–you need a really strong query–and then you need to follow that query up with a powerful synopsis.

So…I’m going to talk about queries today. I really like writing queries–I have a simple formula that I use and my formula has worked pretty well for me so far. Here are my query steps:

  1. Begin with a nice greeting (Dear whoever).
  2. Go into the story hook. At this point, I usually insert about 2-3 paragraphs of strong, descriptive story material–kind of like what you’d see on the back cover jacket of a book.
  3. It’s the wind-up! I write a one paragraph summary stating the technical facts of the manuscript. For example: Shane and Mckenna’s (ficitional characters) story is told in my 90,000 word manuscript, Stolen Hearts. Stolen Hearts is a fast-paced paranormal tale of love, adventure, and danger. It is targeted for the Sega Genesis line (yeah, um, here you’d fill in whatever line you’re targeting).
  4. All about me! In this paragraph, I summarize my writing credentials–you know, publishing credits, membership affiliations, etc. I don’t put in personal info here–I try to be as professional as possible.
  5. Thank you very much! I end with a nice thank you–I mean, come on, the editor has just gone through all the trouble of reading my query. She deserves a thank you–even is she thought my query sucked.

So, that’s it. My Five Simple Steps for a Query. And, just so you can see my query steps in action, here’s the actual query I sent to my Red Sage editor for Bite of the Wolf:

(Note: I’m just writing Dear Editor for my greeting b/c I want to protect my editor’s privacy–but if this letter were really going to someone, I’d darn well have the actual editor’s name in place. Editors like to know you’ve researched the publishing house enough to know their names.)

Dear Editor,

Werewolves mate for life. And Gareth Morlet, alpha werewolf and leader of the strongest pack in the world, has finally found his mate. Gareth will not let anything stop him from claiming his woman–not the rogue wolf who is on her trial and certainly not his mate’s own fear.

Trinity Martin is a modern woman. She doesn’t believe in superstitions, magic, and certainly not werewolves! Or at least, she didn’t believe in them…until a werewolf abducted her. Now, the gorgeous wolf known as Gareth has told her that she’s his mate. And she doesn’t know if she should be terrified by that news…or thrilled.

With every moment that she spends with Gareth, Trinity’s self-control weakens. Her hunger for him soon knows no bounds. And as their passion grows, the evil stalking them grows closer and closer. Trinity knows that if she and Gareth are to defeat the monster hunting them, then she will have to accept the Bite of the Wolf.

Trinity and Gareth’s story is told in my novella, Bite of the Wolf. Bite of the Wolf is a sensuous paranormal story. It contains approximately 23,000 words.

Recently, I sold my novella, Never Enough, to your company. Also, I have sold two paranormal romances to ImaJinn Books. My first paranormal romance, The Vampire’s Kiss, is available now. (It was the 1st place winner in the 2003 San Francisco Heart to Heart competition.) The Vampire’s Kiss has received many great reviews, including a 5 star review from Coffee Time Romance, a 5 star review from eCataRomance, and a 5 star review from www.gottawritenetwork.com. I am a current member of the Romance Writers of America, and I belong to the RWA special interest chapter–Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance Writers of America. Additionally, I have joined RWA’s Published Authors Network.

I have included a partial manuscript with this query. If you would like to view the complete manuscript for Bite of the Wolf, please contact me at cynthia@cynthiaeden.com.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.


Cynthia Eden

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