Jilly: Good Book Squee – Sweep In Peace (Ilona Andrews)

Sweep In PeaceYesterday, Michaeline explained her willingness to shell out $15 for a digital ARC of a book that she fully intends to buy again, in hardback, when it’s officially published. Today I’d like to share my excitement that Sweep In Peace, a book I’ve already read for free, is available to pre-order.

I hoover up everything Ilona Andrews writes, even her blog posts. She and her husband, Gordon, have a knack of creating worlds and characters that make me deeply happy. I get a lasting positive buzz from all their books – the mixture of humor, humanity, imagination, good writing and excellent craft fills me with joy – but I have an extra soft spot for the Innkeeper series (Clean Sweep and Sweep In Peace) because of the way I first read them.

The Innkeeper books Continue reading

Jilly: Alpha Males and Guilty Pleasures

Alpha Males & Guilty PleasuresHow alpha do you like your heroes? If your favorites are uber-dominant types, do they inhabit a sub-genre that expects or requires that behavior?

In my reading life I greatly enjoy alpha male asshattery. There are provisos: obviously the asshat in question must be a good guy deep down, he must have brains and a sense of humor, and he must be enlightened enough to respect and enjoy being challenged by a heroine who’s his equal and maybe even stronger.

Even with those provisos met, though, most of my favorite heroes indulge in the kind of high-handed, obnoxious behavior that I would find totally unacceptable in real life. It’s been on my mind this week, because I’m in the first draft of a new story and I’m gradually filling in all sorts of details about my hero. As I’m writing contemporary romance, it’s closer to home, and I’m finding it tricky to get the balance right. I found it a struggle with the previous book, too: after reading my opening scene from an early draft (a McDaniel College romance writing assignment), Jenny Crusie said she’d keep reading, but only in the hope that my hero, Ian, would get hit by a bus. Continue reading