Friday, May 4, 2012

Romance Novel: Last Chance Saloon, Author: Marian Keyes,

 I'm in love, y'all.

Yes love. Swoony, hearts and flowers everywhere, love.

Her name is Marian Keyes.  I finished reading the first book that I've read of hers, hours ago, and the laughter is just now subsiding.

She's not all about laughter though. Her characters definitely arc and overcome tragedy.

I'd be reading along thinking, this is so REAL it's very similar to something that happened to me before, and suddenly the characters would do and say something so outrageous that I'd realize I picked the wrong moment to take that big drink of lemonaid cause it's gonna be a bitch to get out of my keyboard.

Her voice moves the stories along at the perfect pace and gives life to lovable, flawed characters.

She uses wonderful words like:
>insouciance - cheerful, carefree lack of anxiety or concern
>intransigence - stubbornly or unreasonably refusing even to consider changing a decision or attitude
>avuncular (don't you love to say that? uh vunk you lar - kind of rolls around on your tongue) -  resembling an uncle, especially one who is friendly, helpful, or good-humored

Before this romance winds down, I will have given her my heart completely because - she's very prolific. There are 14 books listed on her website. Most of them are in the library although I'll happily buy the later ones if they're not. She is permanently on my automatic-buy list of authors from this day forward.

I plan on reading every word she's ever put to paper so Marian and I will be together for along time.

That will be us when we go on vacation to a Northern Ireland beach. (Marian lives in Ireland. Not that I plan on stalking her. Much. Wonder what she eats for breakfast.)

According to her website, she, like many other clever writers, suffers depression. That just makes me love her all the more.

This book was copyrighted in 1999 so I don't think it's unethical of me to quote the last paragraph here. It isn't a spoiler unless you consider the mere knowledge that the book has a HEA ending a spoiler.

Anywho - it's this great toast.
"To life!" Seven glasses clinked in the middle of the table while seven voices chorused, "And men with big willies!"

I want to use that toast. Of course the likelihood of that happening is pretty remote considering that I live in a DRY COUNTY (can  you believe that shit?). And I mostly socialize with my family which includes my mother, the teetotaler who spends every other moment in church.

And there's that other factor. The I'll-never-think-of-it-until-it's-too-late factor. You know the one. I'll be remembering some event when I was presented with the perfect opportunity to use this toast and, head:desk, instead of saying - "To life and men with big willies!" - I will instead have said the ever brilliant "Cheers."

Back to my love for Marian, I would like to offer to name my first born after her but I had my first born 30+ years ago. Would you think it wrong of me to ask her to change her name?

I don't want to risk becoming one of those women who talks non-stop about her new love so - moving on:


My Savvy Authors Bootcamp update will be a bit of a let down. I didn't win. I know this even though the amazing Dawn McClure, who facilitated bootcamp in a most excellent manner, doesn't announce the winners until some time on Friday.

Actually to say I didn't win is not correct. I wrote words that moved my story along 27 out of 30 days in April. That's a big win for me.

I'm sorry to say that I've lost track of exactly how many words were in April and how many in May but my total to date is: 39,540.

I learned some things in SAB, also. I learned how to fast draft and that fast-drafting is definitely a good way for me to start a novel. I learned how to turn off my internal editor and doing so makes my writing flow better.

And I learned that part of my methodical nature is a bitchy, officious twit. Actually I already knew that, I just confirmed it. See - there is no whining in bootcamp. So it pushed my buttons that my teammates repeatedly posted their word counts with excuses for why they were so low (even when they weren't.)

My daughter, Marian (formerly Ruthie), observed that the word count of their excuses for why their word count was low, often exceeded their word count. Isn't she clever? Just like her namesake.

Chocolate bootcamp got off to a terrific start. We have nine writers, including moi. We had our first writers sprint with four people attending. And turning in a word count to the same place as other writers do everyday - is still keeping my butt in my chair with my fingers on the keyboard.

Now, I'm off to eat some strawberries. What are you up to?


  1. Marian oh my Marian!!! We will be SHARING the stalking duties, because I was SO there first. I adore that woman like you can't believe, oh wait, you CAN.

    Read her books in order dammit! Well, from now on anyway. Watermelon is first, then Rachel's Vacation, I'm pretty sure. Gawd she's too amazing for words. Never mind, read them however you like. (Just don't come crying to me if they feel "off" -said in an Irish accent.)

    I follow her on (as she calls them) "d twitters" and she's even tweeted me back! I nearly peed my squeeling self elf from the joy and excitement of it. Hell, I could go on and on and on and on......... but I won't.

    You ARE a winner with your original boot camp because you learned so much and then went on to start one of your own! WIN! I'm calling it, win. (Don't care what the numbers say.)

    1. I suppose since I'm not planning on sharing Johnny Depp with you, I'll have to share Marian. It kills me, though. Only for you would I even think about it.
      Someday you and I will have to meander through JD's part of France and Marian's part of Ireland. Dan can come, too. His legal knowledge will come in handy for interpreting the restraining orders that will probably follow us.
      Along with travel expenses we'd better save bail money.

  2. I shall have to look up Maid Marian. I have not been doing well with your bootcamp, but I won't give you any excuses. :) Hopefully next week will be better.

    1. You can give all the excuses you want. Just don't put them in the word count thread. And actually put them anywhere you want. It's not your fault that I am an officious twit!

  3. Best toast ever! How have I missed this writer? Marian Keyes is definitely getting a high spot in my TBR pile.

    1. I can see where she would be right up you alley.

  4. I love Marian Keyes. Love her. I echo the call to read Watermelon and Rachel's Holiday. She's one of the few writers I know who've made me want to throw my book down in anger at the heroine, and then pick it back up because you HAVE TO KNOW what's going to happen next. She also wrote a fun book on writing called Under the Duvet. So fun,

    I also love Katie Fforde (not to be confused with the also great Jasper Fforde). She is less well known in the US, but is a wonderful British author. My fave of hers is Life Skills.

    1. I've read something by K.F. I'll put Life Skills on my tbr.

  5. Marian Keyes - I'll have to check her out. Her books sound amazing.

    Chocolate Boot Camp - is awesome. I am enjoying it very much, though I'm struggling with Yahoo and I may have posted my word count for Thurday in the Wednesday thread, but I'm not certain. I'm not doing it to torment you, truly I'm not.

    1. No worries. I figured it out! Glad you're enjoying it. There's a sprint on Saturday. Hope you make it.

  6. Wow! I don't think I know this author either. Must go google. She sounds interesting and I'm just getting one toe wet in the contemporary romance pool (giving up romantic suspense for a while) so I could use this as feedback. Thanks Judy.

    1. I'm reading Rachel's Vacation now and it is also good.

  7. I am going to try and get a few more words written for today's count before midnight, or what ever time it is when I pass out on my keyboard mid-word. Which ever comes first.

    1. You go! Sprint tomorrow if you can.

  8. I'm always so out to lunch... I missed the original posting on chocolate bootcamp! So I was all "I don't understand, is she going to learn to make chocolate?"

    I want to join for May!

    1. And you have joined, Yay!
      Unfortunately I know all to well how to make many things with chocolate.