Tuesday, May 13, 2014

J.L. (Janet) Greger Shows How to Make a Guy Romantic

J.L. and her dog, Bug
JL Greger is no longer a biology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; instead she’s putting tidbits of science and romance into her medical thrillers/ mysteries - Ignore the PainComing Flu, and Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight. She and Bug, her Japanese Chin dog, live in the Southwest. Her website is at http://www.jlgreger.com. Her blog JL Greger’s Bugs is at http://www.jlgregerblog.blogspot.com.

What makes a guy romantic in a novel?

The covers of old romance novels suggest that tall men with large chests and wavy hair are sexy, but that’s a cliché. No self-respecting author wants that label for her hero or her novel.

How can authors avoid clichés?
Look to reality, of course. Don’t tell about appearances but show actions.

An article in Huff Press for Women (January 27, 014) listed “the most attractive things that men do.” (Don’t you love reading the results of all those silly surveys? I do.) I turned this bit of “reality” into suggestions for developing a romantic male character in a novel of any genre.

1. Show the hero being kind to pets or strangers at least twice in the novel.
2. Make your lead male character be thoughtful in practical ways to the heroine. Doing a load of laundry without being asked is a romantic gesture.
3. Give your man a sense of humor about himself. Let him have a crooked smile or weird laugh.
4. Show the character participating in and talking about his interests and work with enthusiasm and knowledge. Dumb hunks aren’t attractive to most readers anymore.
5. Have the hero listen to women.
6. Describe the hero looking at the heroine, with something besides lust. This is especially effective if other attractive women are present.
7. Let your hero have at least one irrational fear or love. Indiana Jones was afraid of snakes; your hero could have an uncontrollable taste for chocolate.

The next points from the survey are a bit silly, but I suspect could spice up the image of a romantic male character.
8. Have your man roll up his shirtsleeves and work. Sweating biceps certainly worked for many movie “bad boys.”
9. Have a male character cook.
10. Have the male character hug the heroine from behind instead of kissing her.

Have fun developing interesting heroes.
Ultimately, if the male characters you develop are interesting to you, they probably will also be attractive and romantic to others.

About J.L. (Janet) Greger's Novel
In Ignore the Pain, Sara Almquist couldn’t say no when invited to be the epidemiologist on a public health mission to assess children’s health in Bolivia. Soon someone from her past in New Mexico is chasing her through the Witches’ Market of La Paz and trying to trap her at the silver mines of Potosí. Unfortunately, she can’t trust her new colleagues, especially the unsavory but sexy Xave Zack, because any one of them might be under the control of the coca industry in Bolivia. And coca is everywhere in Bolivia.

Sara and Xave will travel to Cuba in a fourth novel, called Malignancy. Oak Tree Press will be publishing this novel in the fall of 2014.

Amazon Buy Links for J.L. Greger's Novels:

Ignore the Pain (paperback):http://amzn.com/1610091310
Coming Flu (paperback): http://amzn.com/1610090985
Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight (paperback): http://amzn.com/1610090624

Please leave a comment to welcome J.L. (Janet) Greger to Sweet Not Spicy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Multi-Published Author, F.M. (Marilyn) Meredith, About Romance in the Rocky Bluff P.D.

I'm happy to welcome F.M. (Marilyn Meredith) to Sweet Not Spicy, where she tells us about romance in her mystery series. Morgan Mandel

F. M. Meredith aka Marilyn Meredith is the author of over 35 published books. She enjoys writing about police officers and their families and how what happens on the job affects the family and vice versa. Having several members of her own family involved in law enforcement, as well as many friends, she’s witnessed some of this first-hand.

More About Romance in the Rocky Bluff P.D.

In an earlier blog post I wrote about Officer Gordon Butler’s travails in the romance department. But Gordon isn’t the only one who has romance in his life.

Early in the series Ryan Strickland had a romance that caused a serious problem, then much to everyone’s surprise, he romanced the widow, Barbara Bertalone, and proposed. Their marriage has worked out far better than anyone ever expected, including Ryan.

Sergeant Abel Navarro has been happily married to Maria since his first appearance in a book. Oh, they are a normal couple with ups and downs, but probably the fact that Maria almost lost Abel once and they both have demanding jobs has helped them cherish what time they do have together.

African American Officer Felix Navarro’s marriage to Wendy has had its ups and downs partially because both sets of parents’ dissatisfaction with their children marrying outside of their race.

One of the biggest romances in the series began in Smell of Death when Detective Milligan had Officer Stacey Milligan help him with two gruesome murders. The romance continues through following books and a wedding is scheduled in Angel Lost though Stacey’s preoccupation with her plans nearly ends in tragedy.

As to what kind of romance might occur in future books, perhaps someone will come along for Vaughn Aragon, maybe not from within the department since all the females are taken, but perhaps he’ll meet someone from the community. Who knows, certainly not me.

Though this is a police procedural series, of course there are always going to be crimes and murders, but what happens to my characters has always been most important. Because they are real to me, of course they are going to have the same needs and experiences as people do in the real world—and being loved by someone is important to us all.

And Now, Something about the latest RBPD mystery, Murder in the Worst Degree

The body that washes up on the beach leads Detectives Milligan and Zachary on a murder investigation that includes the victim’s family members, his housekeeper, three long-time friends, and a mystery woman. 
Buy Link:

Thank you, Marilyn

Once again I am offering the opportunity to have your name used for a character in a book if you comment on the most blogs during this tour for Murder in the Worst Degree.

Tomorrow you can find me visiting Shelly Guisti at http://shelleyreadsandreviews.blogspot.com/

Please leave a comment to welcome F.M. (Marilyn) Meredith to Sweet Not Spicy.