Monday, 23 April 2012

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE


As promised, it is time for the second interview in the series, Men at Work. 

We authors tend to be a tad self-indulgent. We are ‘artists’, after all-or at least this is what our oft over-inflated egos tell us. No-one else could possibly understand the strength and tenacity that is needed in our quest for that ‘perfect’ novel or poem. With this blog series, I want to show we are not unique. Dedication, hard work and passion are the three cornerstones of success, no matter what line of work one may be in. Each week, I will show case a man, who, I believe, possesses all three attribute, who, through sheer determination, hard work and { yes, that word obsession} with his craft has risen to the top of his game. The first in the blog was a man known to many of my author friends.  Jimmy Thomas, cover model extraordinaire and friend to all romance authors, but this week, my guest will take us along a very different road {if you will excuse the pun}. I will stop rambling now and hand the floor over. Ladies and gentleman, without further ado, I would like to welcome Martin Short to my humble little blog. 

 


First off, Martin, welcome and thank you for stopping by. So on to the interrogation.  I know you have always loved cars but how old where you when decided you wanted to be a racing driver?

 When did I start breathing? No, seriously. After my divorce from the lovely owner of this blog, {amicable, I might add} I found I had a few more pennies in my pocket. I have always loved cars, but, now, I was able to indulge my new found 'wealth' by acquiring silly cars. All cheapies, around £2k, I was, nevertheless, attracted by them. My early stable housed a 1932 Hot rod / custom car, a dog of a Corvette, and an armoured car I used for the occasional trip to the supermarket when I decided it was necessary to eat. My pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance was the Lincoln Continental driven by Kevin Kline in the film, A Fish called Wanda. 
     My ambition, however, was to own a Lotus 7, a model well out of my price range. I am, as our dear blog owner can attest to, stubborn and so, undeterred in my dream, I came across a similar looking 'kit car' while browsing through Exchange and Mart. At the time, I was working in a London garage so it was easy for me to pop around to the dingy lock up where it sat – waiting for me. It was perfect; a tiny little car with a powerful engine. It cost a mere £1750. There was no doubt. The car had to be mine. From that day on, my fate was sealed. 


   Proudly, I drove it home to Cambridgeshire that night, running out of fuel on the way. But I didn’t care, just so amazed at how fast it accelerated, handled on corners, braked…..it was like a motorbike on the road, but faster. Because of my job, I had spent the last few years driving to London and back, using a particular back road to join up with to the A1. I’d always driven this road pretty much flat out, always striving to better my time. Well, in my little kit car, I smashed all my previous records. This small East Anglian B route became my training track and I got to thinking…. well maybe I can race? I was twenty-six years old.
 Six months later, I had built my first roll cage (later to become a business that would fund the racing). In 1987, I had rebuilt the car with help from friends, and drove it to my first race. I came 2nd in that race, and went on to win the Championship.

Who do you consider to be the biggest influence on your life, either professionally or personally?

 Without a doubt, my now wife, Michelle. I met her just after my first ever race. She and her brother came to my second race, and she took a great interest. She’s a very sport appreciative person, and helping out just came naturally to her. She became my pit crew (and girlfriend), and together we won that Kit Car Championship. We then searched for sponsorship together. She loaned me money when I needed it, and she completely supported this maniac in what became a total obsession. That obsession, 20 years on, took us to Le Mans 24 hours, where we finished 4th overall (a decade breaking achievement for a private team), gained us a multi million pound sponsorship, and a racing car business employing 30 people.


Is the world of racing as glamorous as it is often portrayed in the movie? Do you ever get scared?


It’s not glamorous at all in my eyes. It’s a practical business. But maybe I have forgotten what a normal world is like so it’s hard to say. I definitely started off thinking that it would be a good sport to get involved in to 'pull a bird' (lol) but girls generally are not interested,{ as I later found out - motorbike racing is the one for the girls.} However it is, I guess, pretty exciting, and it has taken us, my family, friends and loyal employees over the world: USA, Australia, Malaysia, and Japan plus most of Europe. It’s been quite a ride.
I admit to getting very scared in my earlier racing. Racing is dangerous and ferocious stuff. It can feel as if you were going into a physical fight. I used to be on beta blockers, then I took to swigging whisky to calm my nerves, but once the race started, the adrenaline took over. Now I am older and more experienced. I don't get scared like that anymore. I am generally very confident. However, I do not drive to the edge like I used to. Having my two sons definitely had an effect on me. I am more aware of my mortality.
At Le Mans, my first time in the Prototype car, I was doing 206 mph, 4 times a lap. Now, there is one point on the circuit where, a few years previously, cars had taken off – literally – and ended up in the trees. But these cars were closed cockpit. I was driving open cockpit. Was I nervous? Definitely – every lap. At one point, when I could feel the car go light at the front, I thought…. am I going to see my sons again? Thankfully, after that year, the cars became safer. These days I try to drive cars that are very safe. I make safety equipment, so I am more aware than most as to what can injures or, worse, kill a driver.


Would you like your boys to follow in your footsteps?


I don't have a great desire for that, to be honest. I know how hard it is. I succeeded because I was incredibly obsessed. My dad once said, if I put as much effort into his business as I put into my racing, that he would be a millionaire. He was right. I worked all hours and spent every penny I had to be the fastest. I am not sure if my lads will have that same drive. It’s an incredibly expensive sport. My dad wisely did not fund me at all for my racing. I had to earn it all myself, which is why I started my own business. That’s the kind of drive you need internally. At the moment they love football. They are both goalies and they love it. Morgan {the eldest and named after a British car}, like his brother Marcus (Marcos)) is starting to show an interest in Karting. He's not pushing me very hard on it, and I am not going to throw myself at it like a doting wannabe-like-me Dad. Let’s just let time take its course and see what happens.


Where do you see yourself in ten years time and is there anything you feel you still have to achieve?


Well, time is sadly taking its toll on me, though I am still pretty fit for a 53 year old. I really love racing, and winning still. I am still very driven. The funding for a lot of my racing dried up with the banking crisis so now I have to be a lot wiser and more careful about what I do. Back in 1988 I did 22 races for £6000 for the whole year, including depreciation on the car. Now that’s the cost for a weekend in one of my cars! So that needs careful thought! However, I am using my business to make it all happen and be viable. My business IS racing cars and racing, so that helps. In terms of achievements, I would love to be on the podium at Le Mans. That’s about all I would love to happen on a big scale. On a small scale, I just want to carry on racing as long as I can afford it and be competitive. The day I am no longer competitive, is the day I stop.

Thank you, Martin for that very insightful and candid insight into your life. Despite your success, you seem so grounded and it is so obvious your family is important to you. I wish you continued success. And now for the silly, fun part. Take it away, Mr. Short

Racing drivers - Hamilton or Schumacher?


Good question. I adore them both. I modelled myself on Schumacher a lot, though not necessarily with anywhere near his talent, but in terms of aggression and attitude.  I admit he could play dirty at times, but I could understand what happened with him when the madness/competitive spirit took over. Hamilton? I love his fight, but since he dumped his Dad, he has gone downhill. He doesn't see it, and having worked with my Dad for so long, I know what it’s like. You only have to at the relationship Jenson Button has with his to see why he is so grounded and on it. I will abstain / say both.


Kick-ass heroines - Lara Croft or the Kill Bill bride?


Kill Bill bride without doubt, which strangely, is one of my wives favourite films!


Crap food - Big Mac or Double Whopper?


Yum. Double Whopper. But they don't like me. Indigestion!


Spielberg movies - ET or Close Encounters?


You bugger. You know me too well. E.T. Seen it around 30 times now and I always get teary.


MJ - Thriller or Billie Jean?


Thriller. I stayed up late to watch the first screening of it. Amazing.


Monsters with big teeth - Godzilla or King Kong?


Don't go much on Monsters, but loved the last King Kong film.


Friends ladies - Monica, Rachel or Pheobe?


Rachel. Blade Runner.


Friends dudes - Joey, Chandler, or Ross?


None!


Well-Hard Heroes-Maximus Decimus Meridius or Leonidis {300}


Maximus!


Cocoa or ovaltine?


Neither. Yuck.

Once again, thanks again, to Martin for stopping by. For more information on Martin and his racing team, you can find him at these links.







Saturday, 14 April 2012

TORN BETWEEN TWO LOVERS.

Kalo Pasxa to all, {happy Easter to all}

So, here I am in Glasgow, loving it but still missing Corfu, especially at this magical time that is Orthodox easter. Instead of preparing to head into town for the wonderful celebrations that take place on my beloved island, I decided to re-vamp my blog {again}.
  The past three months have been a little hectic for me, what with the move {albeit temporary}to this wonderful northern city, dear auld Glasgae toon. I love it. I always have. It was where I spent my childhood. I admit, I was a little sceptical when I decided to come 'home'. Would I still feel the same? Was it a case of hanging on to memories and would the reality be disappointing? Not at all. If anything, now through the eyes of an adult {and I use the term loosely}, I fell in love all over again. Apart from the wonderful fish and chips, there is so much to like - especially the west end, my old childhood playground. For me, it all centres around the river Kelvin.
 It is a wonderful place for walks, running from near my house to the city centre, taking in the architectural brilliance of the university and museam and art gallery but more of this city and Scotland in later blogs.
   
For the loyal souls who follow my ramblings, I did promise, following the success of the Jimmy Thomas interview, that I would be hosting a series of interviews called Men at Work and this I mean to do, beginning this week. I just have to find a poor, unsuspecting victim to interrogate. I am hoping to end the series by interviewing a reallife close protection agent to tie in with the release of my next novel, Past Undone. The reason for this will become clear in the following weeks when the characters from Past will be dropping by the blog to present their take on the events unfolding in their story. They will also take questions from their audience. 
  Meanwhile, I leave you with a wonderful shot of Corfu at easter.

Monday, 19 December 2011

MEN AT WORK - WILL THE REAL JIMMY THOMAS PLEASE STAND UP





So, my lovely bloggers, I hardly need waste time on introducing my guest today as every romance author worth their pen and PC knows the delectable Jimmy Thomas, the millennium’s answer to Leonidas {only without the leather underpants} For those of you who have been hiding under a rock, his official bio can be found here

http://www.facebook.com/JimmyThomasDotCom/info

But ladies, do we really know him? I set out to discover the true Jimmy Thomas

So, Mr. Thomas, what to ask you? I am sure you are so bored with the same old so let’s make this fun. Twenty short, sharp questions to give my readers and your loyal supporters an insight into what makes Jimmy tick. Here we go….

1. Tea or Coffee - Coffee at home or office, passion fruit tea or raspberry tea when eating out

2. Beer or wine - Whichever she is drinking

3. Dogs or cats - Both :)

4. Blondes or Brunettes - Both :)

5. Rock or R and B - Both (rock for rocking out, R and B for rocking in ;)

6. Mariah or Whitney - To just listen to or have sex with? ;) Neither for listening; too slow... either for the
later
;)


7. Beach or mountains - MOUNTAINS - waterfalls, hiking trails, camping, nature; that's my thing! :)

8. Team Edward or Team Jacob - Shame on you... Team Jimmy Thomas ;)

9. Boxer or briefs {or none} - boxer-briefs or none.

10. Gollom or Dobby - Gollom

11. Football or Basketball - NFL Football: New England Patriots!

12. Nadal or Federer - Do I look like I watch tennis? ;)

13. McDonald's or KFC - Either, but only a few times a year

14. Gaga or Katy Perry - Both

15. Angelina or Jennifer - Angelina

16. Armani or Ralph Lauren - Armani

17. De Niro or Pacino - Both, but if I had to pick one... Pacino

18. Baths or showers - Alone: showers, with a girl: both

19. Batman or Superman - Batman (Prefers super hero abilities to be of one's own skills, not powers given to them)

20. Marriage or Bachelorhood - Marriage


Thank you so much for your candor and good answers - diplomatic at times. Lol.

So there you have it. ladies. Feel free to comment and let's see if we can get Jimmy to drop buy and comment on your comment. I will ask him to chose the most humorous and the winner will receive a free copy of my Dreamweek.

Thanks for dropping by and stay tuned for next week's Men at Work.

Viviane

Romance Novel Cover "Hero" video montage:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF7jZH5Ynds

2011 Romance Novel Cover Model Calendar:
http://www.jimmythomas.com/2011-Calendar.htm

Romance Novel Cover Model (2,202 covers)
www.JimmyThomas.com

www.RomanceNovelCovers.com

www.modelmayhem.com/jimmythomas

www.facebook.com/JimmyThomasDotCom

Jimmy's Favorite Quotes:

"Don't think you are, know you are" - Laurence Fishburne, The Matrix

"One who lacks courage to start has already finished" - Unknown Author

"Nothing is real unless you believe in who you are" - Sylvester Stallone, Rocky III

"It's not how many people you know, it's how many people know you." - Jimmy Thomas

"Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do." - Bruce Lee

"If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always be what you've always been." - T.J. Jakes

"Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will learn." - Chinese proverb

“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” – Paolo Coelho, The Alchemist

"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you" - Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience." -
Theologian Pierre Tielhard de Chardin

Thursday, 8 December 2011

TAKING THE 'MASS' OUT OF CHRISTMAS

Good evening, folks, from a fairly warm Corfu, Tis the season to be jolly or is it? So many people I have spoken to this year have told me the same thing. Christmas no longer holds any meaning for them. Leaving the religious issue aside, Christmas, for most, used to mean a time of joy, families getting together, good food and the sharing of gifts as symbolic representation of the birth of Christ. As a child, I used to adore Christmas. I reveled in the smells wafting from the kitchen. All homemade in those days, folks. My mother made her own cake, mince pies, puddings, own stuffing, fresh turkey. Of course, a few French delicacies where added. My mother made the most scrumptious liver pate and a salmon mousse for which she is renowned on four corners of the globe. Long after I believed in Santa, it was still a thrill waking up to exciting packages under the tree. As children growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, Christmas and birthdays was the time for receiving that gift you’d longed for all year. There was none of this, don’t worry, dear, mum will order it on Amazon – all-year-round spoiling that goes on today. The amount of money spent nowadays on unnecessary food and mountains of gifts is, quite frankly, in my opinion, obscene.
Oh I hear the battle cry go up – but you would do the same if you had the money. I beg to differ. I do not share this modern obsession with collecting ‘stuff’ just because I can. And where is the joy and thought that used to go into Christmas shopping? Again, back to my youth. Walking through the town with my sisters, to the background chorus of Christmas carols, choosing one totally useless but straight from the heart present for our mother – usually a gift box of Yardley soap and talc but she loved it. Now, I have even heard of folk calling each other up, Next catalogue open on their knees while they tell each other what to buy for themselves. Oh tidings of great joy – not!
Christmas should be about {again, I am not getting into a religious discussion} sharing quality time with friends and family, enjoying good food without excess and raising a glass {or two} to the promise of a better year. So folks, I dare you. Fill your kids’ stocking with a tangerine and a handful of walnuts, cancel the enormous Toys R Us and Amazon order, snuggle up with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine and shove in a dvd of It’s a Wonderful Life.
Viviane http://www.vivianebrentanos.com/ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Viviane-Brentanos-Author-of-Womens-Contemporary-Fiction/72889240497

Saturday, 3 December 2011

SEASONAL SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY

Hello, folks. I see it has been a while since I participated in this great blog share. All I can say in my defense is, for months I lost myself in my now completed saga romance but – hey 160k of passion, angst, betrayal will do that to you. Time to come down to earth and what better way than to present you with a Christmas six sentence teaser from Cold, Cold Heart – my contemporary romance. “Alexander Thompson! How many times have I told you not to open the door toFather Christmas?” The man standing on her porch was indeed dressed as Santa Claus, complete with wig, beard, rounded specs and a huge bulging sack slung over his shoulder. Rachel peered at him, wondering if they did You've Been Framed on Christmas Day. She drew in her breath. Behind the Benny Hill glasses, two beautiful blue eyes stared at her. “Daniel.” Want to find out why a mega star of the music industry dresses up as Santa Claus? Read on…..
Blurb: Who is Daniel Hayes? Why does a man who has everything - fame, fortune and the world at his feet feel so empty? What is his interest in Rachel Warner, a girl from a quiet Home Counties English town? Why does she hold the key to his happiness? Daniel Haynes is the man we have all dreamed of; the pop star we all wanted to marry when we were 16 but he only has eyes for Rachel. Rachel Warner - Why does Daniel's interest in her threaten her ordered yet unsatisfying life? Why does she have to live with the shadow of her ex-father-in-law breathing over her shoulder? Excerpt…. “I'm crushed.” The eyes crinkled. “Okay, you got me. And to think I paid a fortune for this crazy gear.” “Aw.” Alex's face dropped. “So you're not Santa?” Gaze drifting to the huge sack, the frown turned to a grin. The goody bag this stranger carried looked promising. “No, I'm not. Sorry.” Daniel crouched down. “But I bet you're Alexander. Your mother has told me all about you.” “You know my mum?” Alex pulled himself up to his full height of four feet and went into Man of the House mode. “In that case, I suppose it's safe for you to come in. He can come in, can't he, Mum?” He looked to Rachel for guidance. Rachel nodded, lost for words. Closing the door, she leaned against it, trying to catch her breath. Alex proudly led their visitor into the room, her parents looking on, their curiosity bouncing across the room. She could hardly blame them. Rachel put her hand on her heart, a heart pounding so wildly she thought she might faint. This isn't happening, she told herself. But underneath the shock, butterflies of joy beat their wings in her stomach. Excitement flowed through her veins. He came back! She glared down at the apron. Oh but what a time to turn up. She looked like a housewife from Take a Break magazine. Counting to ten, she went over to him. He'd removed the wig, beard and glasses. Her stomach plunged into deep space. He was so bloody sexy! Sensing her scrutiny, Daniel turned to her, his eyes reaching into her very soul. He smiled, bathing her in a shower of light. How did she think she was ever over him? “Rachel.” The way he said her name sent shock waves reverberating through the room. Rachel heard her mother's sharp intake of breath; she’d figured it out. “Daniel.” Rachel swallowed. “It'sit's nice to see you.” Lynn, now back downstairs, threw Rachel a look of disgust. “Pathetic,” she mouthed. Rachel ignored her. She and Daniel were locked in their private world. Daniel broke free first. “Uhdo you think I could get out of this suit?”He unbuttoned the heavy red coat. “It's real hot in here.” “I'll say,” Lynn muttered. She gave Rachel a sly pinch. “Don't just stand there like a zombie.” Rachel couldn’t move. “Aren't you going to introduce us, dear?” Mum to the rescue. She beamed up at Daniel, who, without costume, wore the familiar closefitting jeans and black polo necked sweater. Daniel held out his hand. Her father took it. He didn't seem quite as eager to welcome this stranger as her mother did. But then, fathers were naturally more suspicious. Before Daniel said another word, Tanya tugged on the back of his leg. Hands on hips, she scrutinized him with deadly intent. “I've seen you on MTV,” she proclaimed. “You're that Daniel Haines. My mum says you're hot. She says you've got the cutest—” “Thank you, Tanya.” Lynn fixed her with an if-you-know-what's-good-for-you-you'll- shut-yer-gob glare. “Daniel, how nice to see you again.” Grabbing hold of Daniel's hand, she tossed back her red mane for maximum effect. “Remember me? The show?” “How could I forget?” He took her hand and kissed the back of her fingers.”You were sensational.” Rachel watched in fascination. Daniel had rendered Motor-Mouth Lynn speechless. Lynn being Lynn, made a quick recovery. “Let's all sit down and have some wine, shall we? You are staying for lunch, aren't you, Dan? May I call you Dan?” Daniel winced. “To be honest, I kinda hate Dan. Daniel is good.” “Whatever.” Gripping Rachel's shoulder with all the finesse of a pterodactyl, Lynn pushed her towards the kitchen. “Rachel, your help please?” At the kitchen doorway, Rachel froze. Tanya was on a mission. “Do you know Rhianna??” Tanya blew a bubble the size of a football. Alex giggled. “Who? Oh, no, sorry, I haven't had that pleasure yet.” “Can you do rap? Do you know 50 Cent?” Tanya continued with the relentless interrogation. “Rap is for morons.” Alex pretended to be sick. “Be quiet, you two, and leave the poor man alone.” Her mother shooed them away. “Now, Daniel.” She fixed him with her what-do-you-want-with-my-daughter-and- when's-the-wedding wide smile. “Why don't you tell us all about yourself?” Rachel cringed. Bloody hell, he’d be safer with the kids. Before she could go and rescue him, Lynn yanked her into the kitchen. “You just had to go down and answer the fecking door, didn't you?” Lynn confronted her, the proverbial smoke coming out of her ears. She pulled the wine from the fridge. “You've ruined everything.” “You cow.” Lunging for the cork-screw, Rachel waved it close to Lynn's face. “You knew he was coming. But how—” “Brian.” Lynn extracted the corkscrew from her fingers. “It doesn't matter now. Pull yourself together. I'll see to this while you get up those stairs pronto. A major salvage job is required, I think.” She stopped in the doorway and sighed. “It's so not fair. He is so fecking shaggable.” Rachel hastily removed the awful apron. Hands still trembling, she opened the oven door to check on the slowly browning bird. The mundane action helped calm her nerves. Casting a quick glance around the now pristine kitchen, she thanked God for her mother's efficiency. “Right, Rach.” She closed her eyes. “Up those stairs before Lynn kills youoh!” “I came for more glasses. Apparently the kids are real partial to Chablis.” Daniel stood so close his warm breath fanned her face. With the slow, boyish grin that turned her insides to jelly, he slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her even closer. “Are you mad at me?” His gaze probed hers, thumb stroking her cheek, sending sparks shooting all the way down to her toes. She almost imagined them curling up. “Mad?” She barely got the words out. She found it hard enough just concentrating on standing. “Why should I be?” “Becauseyou said you didn't want to see me again.” “I ..l lied.” She felt him aroused, pressing against her. She recalled the feel of him in her hand – inside her. “I've missed you.” His mouth hovered close to hers. “Daniel...” Arms around him, she buried her face in his neck, breathing in the heady scent of him and wanting so much more. “None of that in the kitchen, please. It's mucky.” Tanya stood in the doorway, balancing on one leg, so obviously delighted to catch her prim old Auntie Rachel doing something rude. Rachel drew back from Daniel and made a hasty escape. Heading for the stairs, she heard Tanya say, “You're wasting your time with her, you know. My mum's much more fun. For more information about me, my work and where to purchase my books, please check out my brand new website http://www.wix.com/vivianebrentanos/stories-of-life

Thursday, 21 July 2011

BLOG HOP DAY - WHAT KIND OF CHARACTER WOULD I LIKE TO BE?


 Yes, folks, despite the too hot and humid temperatures, despite the 7 day a week working shift, I am joining in with this week's blog hop. And what a great question it is.
Of course, you writers amongst out there know there is a part of us in all characters we create {yes, even the nasty ones.} I ran through all of my female creations in my head and decided, I wouldn't want to be any of them - even though they end up with a great guy. Too much angst and hardship on the journey. I don't do pain. So, I turned to books I have read and still had problems.
   I quite fancied being the Bride in Kill Bill because she is so kick-arse but too much slicing and cutting involved. Scarlett O Hara - one of my favourite heroines but, hell no; I couldn't handle the corset. So then I came up with the perfect character. one that could have complete freedom to be what they wanted, when they wanted and, most important, if anyone pissed them off big time, they can simply leave. Yes - I want to be a ghost.



But one of those ghosts that can take on human form from time to time and then I could possess Rachel Weiss and have a raunchy time with Daniel Craig. Oh - and I would definitely take over Anna Kournikova for a few nights. Enrique wouldn't know what hit him. Oh the possibilities are endless: Gerard Butler, Russell Crowe. Oh wait  -this question was about fictional characters. Hey - I am writer. I can change the rules. Oh - here's a good one.

I would possess the bodies of all the world leaders {sort of a collective haunting} and get them to stop wars, save the environment and ban Justin Beiber and make Lady Gaga overall Presidentess of the world. At least we would have some fun.


Oh - I nearly forgot. As a ghost I could realize my dream and get to play guitar with AC/DC. I am sure Angus wouldn't mind me filling his shorts for a day.







BUT - most of all, as a ghost, I would team up with dear Michael Jackson and we would haunt every single person who made his time on earth a living hell and all while we were dressed in Thriller costumes. We'll get them yet, Michael.

Viviane

Thursday, 23 June 2011

THURSDAY BLOG HOP - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY








Great question and one that could apply to my hotel guests. They come in all shapes and sizes:most good, some bad {you know the kind - complain because they don't have a jacuzzi even though they only paid 17 euros for half-board}. And then we have the downright ugly. I suppose I can't elaborate on that or I will have the EU politically correct police on my back. Sigh - the world is no fun anymore.
Oh well, back to my characters. In most of my novels, I begin with my main female character being slightly spoiled, a little cold and cynical and then I watch as she thaws out under the direction of a cool, often equally tough guy. Occasionally, my hero will be so kind and gentle he is verges on gay but then, he will prove he is strong and ready to fight for his love. I like to keep a balance. I believe people are multi-layered and even if, for example, my secondary characters{i.e bullying ex-husbands, intransigent fathers} appear as evil as Hitler, I like to provide a little insight as to why they behave the way they do. The secret to believable characters is to keep it real.
And now a sneaky promo example. My soon to be released single title, Cold, Cold Heart stars one luscious, cool, kind-hearted, generous, so gentle Daniel Haines. He would die for his love, give up everything for her but then...she hurts him so much, something inside him snaps. Read on......

* * * *



“My my, don’t we look a pretty picture?”
Samantha stood in the loft apartment doorway of, arms folded, and her usually soft eyes laden with censure.
She breezed past him. “My god, Daniel, this place is a hovel.” She wrinkled her nose. “What is going on with you? What are you doing to yourself? You're fast becoming notorious, you know, according to what I've read in the papers.”
“I’m having fun,” he replied glibly. He crossed to the bottle-strewn coffee table and poured himself a whisky. “Want one?
Samantha knocked the glass from his hand, sending the Waterford crystal crashing onto the hardwood floor.
“For God's sake, it's only ten in the morning!”
“Is it?” He glanced at his watch, confused because he had been out of it for the best part of the weekend. Those Aerosmith boys sure did know how to throw a party.
“Look at you. You are a mess!” Sam studied him, expression one of exasperation. “Oh but I'd like nothing more than to grab you by the scruff of your neck and slap some sense into you. “
“I'm fine, Sam.” He stared at the whisky bottle longingly. “… just a little hung over, that's all.”
“Hung over? You look as if you've been hung, drawn and quartered.” She pushed him in the direction of the master bathroom. “Go and get yourself cleaned up and I'll fix us some breakfast. And then you and I are going to talk. But first, by the looks of you, you need some clean clothes. It is safe in there, isn't it?” She jerked her thumb in the direction of the bedroom. “Or do I have to step over a pile of nymphets?”
Daniel couldn't help but smile. So Samantha did read the tabloids. “Sorry, clean out of nymphets these days.”
Twenty minutes on, showered and shaved and dressed in faded jeans and a ‘Beethoven Rocks’ T-shirt, Daniel felt halfway human again. “Mmmm...” He sniffed the air appreciatively “That coffee smells good. I haven't drunk a decent cup in weeks.”
“No, I don't suppose you have.” Sam fixed him with her most intimidating schoolmarm stare. “All I could find in the kitchen was some milk masquerading as yogurt. Not to mention the pile of empty whisky bottles I tripped over. I had the doorman order up some bagels. I hate New York, but at least I can indulge in one of its famous delicacies.” Holding a rancid dishcloth at arm’s length, Sam wrinkled her nose. “Why don't you hire a maid? Because it doesn't look as if you gave your string of thoroughbred fillies much time to be domestic.”
“Now now, Sam.” He licked the cream cheese from a bagel. “It's not like you to be facetious and for your information—although I must say it’s none of your business—there have only been six 'fillies' in as many months. The press does tend to exaggerate. They see me talking to a woman and right away I'm f…sorry…sleeping with her.”
“Daniel.”
Sam sat next to him, looking totally out of place perched on the retro eighties-style chrome barstool. Her classic-cut Chanel suit was not quite up to the job.
“Being crude doesn't suit you. Stop trying to be something you're not. In this day and age six partners is irresponsible.”
“No worries there.” Daniel gave her a sardonic smile. “I bought shares in a rubber company.
Samantha's face reddened.
Daniel noted her discomfort with this foray into the dark and devious world of promiscuity. “That was uncalled for. I’m being a jerk, I know. I shouldn't joke. But I must confess, dear stepmother, my sexual reputation is nothing more than one big media hype. I haven't slept with anyone in months.”
“I'm sorry. I didn't mean to judge you.”
“Not as sorry as my 'stable of bimbos.'“ Lifting the mug to his lips, he grinned. “Of course, now the word on the street is that I must be gay. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned—or women in my case. So be it. Who cares? Maybe I am. Now wouldn't that be one in the eye for dear old Dad—a homosexual son. It's almost worth considering just to see his face. Or maybe I could do transsexual?”
“Stop it.” Samantha gave him a playful swat. “Now you're being ridiculous. Of course you’re not gay. This is about Rachel, isn't it?”
Daniel slammed the mug down on to the green granite counter. “Rachel! I wondered how long it would take you to bring her up. Why does it always come back to her? If it's not Mai, it's Ralph, and now you? You're all on my case. Get over her. I have.”
“You can't fool me, dear.” She caught hold of him by the sleeve as he made to get up and walk away. “Your excessive behaviorI think it’s your way of punishing
her.”
“How perceptive of you, and so early in the morning, too.” Daniel put up his hands. “Okay, you've got me. I stand guilty as charged. I admit it. I'd hoped that Rachel did see those pictures—God knows I put enough energy into posing for them—because I wanted her to hurt as she hurt me. I wanted her to die inside every time she saw me in the arms of another woman. I hope it killed her when she imagined me making love to them. I wanted“ He struggled to compose himself. “But now, Sam? I don't know what I want. I feel so numb inside. For so long she's all I thought about, all I craved. I put her on a pedestal. I worshiped her. But in the endwellI realized she wasn't so perfect. Then that's good, isn't it? Because it means I'm free of her.” He ran trembling fingers through his hair.
Sam's dubious frown made him laugh. “And I'm so full of crap, aren't I? I'll never be free of her. Oh, Sam, you know me so well.” He sighed. “But you are right about one thing. I can't go on like this. I was a fool for thinking I could drown my sorrows in the bottle. Unfortunately, the effects are only temporary. Every morning when I wake up she is still here.” Daniel took her hand and placed it on his heart. “She just won't go away, Sam, and I don't know what to do anymore.”
Huddling over the counter, he buried his face in folded arms. If it had been anyone else but Sam he wouldn't have allowed himself to break down. He knew she possessed the sensitivity not to try and comfort him.
“Call her, Daniel.”
He looked up and wiped away the tears.. “No, Sam. I'm all through with self-punishment. I'm not going to humiliate myself again. She had me twisting and turning this way and that. I went down on bended knees for her, and I won't do it again.” He stared into the coffee mug. “No. The next move, if there ever is one, must come from her. If she wants me then she knows how to find me.”
“This isn't like you. You were never so hard.”
“Well, maybe I've finally grown up.

Aw, bless...oh I do love my Daniel...and Rachel needs a kick up the backside.
Take care.

Viv

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