Let's write a romance novel in the comments section of this post and submit it. I'll start:
Lurlene St. Lovelace parted the curtain of her boudoir and looked out to the shore. Waves crashed against the jetty as the wine-dark sea churned with the anxiety of a storm soon-to-come. Yet, her lover's ship, the Roger was due to port this morning. Would Baldrick, his limbs long and sinewy, skin tan and salted from the long voyage, rush up the beach to take her in his arms as she had dreamed for so long? Lurlene's breasts heaved with_______.
And with that she purses her lips and adjusts her bodice*
Behind her she hears a small, feminine cough. She turns to see ol' Muddy, her childhood nanny, now crooked and wizened with age. Muddy smiles and says, "Oh Miss St. Lovelace, do you think today might be the day? I've had a dream about it, you know." Muddy's eyes twinkled. "And you know that my dreams always have a strange way of coming true."
"I pray you're right," Lurlene replied, fanning herself nervously. "If my beloved does not return soon, that awful Mr. Bloodworth has threatened to remove us from our family home for defaulting on our lease!" She thought of Bloodworth then, of his cruel mockery of her dwindling fortune, and of his even crueler lips.
A terrible shudder wracked her spine as she considered what she might be forced to do, in order to protect her belovedest ones. No, better to not think about the possible worth of her pristine honor...
Mr. Bloodworth had proposed marriage as an alternative to eviction, but Lurlene would plunge the longest kitchen knife right between her lovely, ample breasts before she would give in to his despicable advances.
"Do tell me your dream, Muddy dear," She said to her beloved nanny.
Edited at 2009-11-17 07:31 pm (UTC)
Meanwhile, on the restlessly heaving ship the Roger, Baldur was pacing the desk listlessly and thinking of his own true honeybun Lurlene and how he so despertely missed her warm passionate embrace and her notable assets such as her large tracts of land. And there out in the distance -- was it -- it was land! The shore, specifically! And there -- the port! Baldur leaned over the desk's rail, his broad hands gripping the wood in a manly manner, and...
felt the timber crumbling under his strong yet gentle fingers. Damn those sea-worms! Just the moment that land was in sight, the ship finally began to fall apart. Baldur took a deep breath as the timbers broke beneath his firm yet yeilding weight, and...
plunged into the frigid waters. Over and over the turbulent waves pummeled his rock hard body into the seductive embrace of the wet depths. Fighting manfully against the tidal pull his hand brushed, then caressed, then grasped the slippery sides of cargo bobbing in the surf. He heaved his muscled torso onto the coffin and...
from the coffin came a moan.
'Ol Muddy awakened with a start. Unbeknownst to her she'd been screaming and the entire household was now awake. "Muddy? what the Devil's gotten into you?"
Edited at 2009-11-18 05:14 am (UTC)
Suddenly the calm chirping of the Cicadas was forced down, down and away as the Dock's whistle blew, and blew HARD! Steam rose, escaping with a force threatening to burst the dirtied copper. Vapor coalesced and dripped down the rugged pipe, adding yet more stains to the turgid form.
"A SHIP!!" uttered Lurlene.
"Noooow Miss St. Lovelace.." condemned the frail old woman "You doin' that EX-STRAP-POH-LATON ting yer daddy done warn yah bout..." her anger erasing years of voice lessons and buttock whippings.
The Matron of the Manor turned sharply to her Nanny and crossed her hands to her hips.
"I will not have you speaking to me this way, Ol' Muddy!" Lurlene exclaimed. "A nanny should know her place!"
Ol' Muddy bowed her head. "Sorry, ma'am. I won't speak out of turn again."
"Oh, I'm sorry, Ol' Muddy," Lurlene sighed, walking from the window to embrace her beloved, aged friend. "All this waiting, it's turned my head inside-out. What if my love isn't on that ship? I'll be forced to take awful Mr. Bloodworth's marriage proposal after all, or risk losing my ancestral home. And you know papa's spirit won't stand for that. He already throws dishes off the pantry shelves every midnight."
There was a sudden knock on the door, and Lurlene remembered Bloodworth had demanded an answer from her by one o'clock today. She glanced at the baroque grandmother clock standing by the door of her room for no real reason other than to serve its purpose at this moment. The clock read one!
"It's he! It's Bloodworth! Oh, Baldrick, won't you come and save me from this terrible fate!" she wailed.
"But, miss," Ol' Muddy said. "My dream, this is all of a part!"
The door opened with a most malodorous creaking sound, as it opened.
There, on the doorstep, stood a muscular, half-naked Indian Brave.
And unbeknowest to our dear main characters Lurlene and Baldurick, not only was he a muscular and half-naked Indian Brave, but he was also a vampire whose legendary prowess was known worldwide, even in these days without things like internet to speed the delivery of information!
Sparkling in the afternoon sun, as was the way with Indian vampires, he hefted Lurlene over his shoulder and onto his waiting horse. She kicked and pummeled him as he rode away from her home, but to no avail. "Oh, help me, Baldur, Baldrick, whatever your name is!" She had heard stories about the
sexy terrible things these noble savages did to their female captives and had no doubt of the fate that this Brave was intent on plundering the treasures of her secret bits.
Suddenly, she heard the pounding of horse's hooves behind them. She craned her neck and saw a strong white steed riding hard after them, but it wasn't her beloved who rode upon its back, but Mr. Bloodworth! His cruel lips parted to reveal his clenched teeth, his strong jaw set in determination. His long black hair flowed behind him like the standard of an army battalion. In his haste, the buttons of his dress shirt had come undone, revealing his well muscled and non-threateningly hairless chest.
[I cry uncle and cannot continue. Lordy.]
The sight of the naked man's chest hypnotized Lurlene. She felt herself grow faint.
"Help! Somebody save me!" she cried.
The maniacal laughter of Mr. Bloodworth echoed in her ears as she slipped into oblivion.
It was not the regular sort of oblivion, however, but something far sweeter, moister, a red velvet cake of an oblivion, with the tart aftertaste of raspberries and the void. In this confection of nothingness Lurlene of course saw nothing, as if her eyes were veiled in the sweet frosting of love instead of the horror glaze Mr. Bloodworth had so liberally applied. It was like being trapped in one of ol' Muddy's deserts, and if Lurlene could have unoblivioned herself for but a moment she would have again recanted the tone she too often took with her dear nursemaid.
Alas, now all was the diabetes-bane black of Bloodworth's oblivion, which in of itself would have given Lurlene pause if only she were not already so arrested, for should not the oblivion of her beloved be sweet, and the oblivion of a villain and cad like Mr. Bloodworth be bitter as lemons grown from soil fertilized with dead parents and watered with an orphan's tears? Could the tooth-rotting perfection of her current oblivion signify that perhaps her feelings for Mr. Bloodworth were of a different aisle of the confectioner's shoppe than she had previously believed? Thankfully, sweet though it was, Lurlene's oblivion was just that, and so she could not immediately confront this dire possibility. Then she woke up.
"I am a woman of my times, Muddy," Lurlene said angrily. "I wear a bodice, I listen to the right composers, and I know my letters. My father fears an educated female, the old fool. He's not ready for the future I represent."
She turned back toward the docks, her face softening into a look of simpering adoration.
"Do you think Baldur will like this dress?"
*which is a sleeveless garment occasionally stiffened with reeds (this one's not; Lurlene likes her bounce) worn since way back when, a subtle detail that totally places this novel firmly into the historical romance subgenre.
2009-11-18 05:19 am (UTC)
Hi, I'm here to ruin everything!
But her rotten left arm fell right off. Her heaving bosom dry and cracked, she would ravage the old woman sitting in fright in the corner of the room. Flesh was all she could think of - delicious, moist, pulsating flesh.
2009-11-18 01:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Hi, I'm here to ruin everything!
Victory for Jenlight!
Gods, that crap. Anything to rip off the writer.
The more I learn about this business, the more I feel ripped off the gods chose to make me a writer. Couldn't I be good at something else?
According to an Author Solutions spokesperson, the imprint will offer special services aimed at the romance market, including unique marketing and distribution services. All services are on a pay-for-service basis.
Hm. I wonder if they're saying (or falsely promising) to put your self-published romance novel into the stores with the regular Harlequin line. I doubt that regular bookstores would want vanity books on their shelves. And would Harlequin want these self-published books in stores since a customer might not know the difference between the two lines of books, and get a tome of absolute gibberish with the Harlequin name on it.
That's the implication, but of course most stores aren't going to bother stocking these titles.
As much as I love to have moolah, I couldn't live with myself if I made that money by intentionally deceiving others. Talk about seedy.
"I wonder if they're saying (or falsely promising) to put your self-published romance novel into the stores with the regular Harlequin line."
Note the particular verbiage: "*unique* marketing and distribution services." Saying, "unique" is a coy way of saying, "Oh hell no we're not putting you on the shelf next to our real books, not unless you pay us $30k."
No, they'll offer you "unique" distribution services, like having it available for download at a special site and possibly Amazon.com next to the lulu.com books. For enough money, you can buy anything.
I applaud them, really. It's a brilliantly nasty way to make money in a down economy. I should have thought of it!
2009-11-18 08:02 am (UTC)
The point of this is that romance readers are idiots?
Why would you say that? This is entirely poking fun at the concept of Harlequin Horizons, books which, by the very nature of the program, will probably never be seen or read by the average romance reader. So, for fun, we're trying to write the worst romance novel we can think of.
Your indignation leads me to believe you enjoy a good romance. Therefore you are probably aware even more cliches and tropes--help us write this!
Also, sign your name next time. Anonymous indignation doesn't carry any weight.
There will always be people preying on people whose dreams outreach their ability. But one would hope that it would not be done by a legitimate publishing house. Sometimes you have to look at the pile of dirty money and say "I'm just not going to pick that up."