Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Naughty Bits

Please let me introduce you to a very neat lady. TJ and I met almost two years ago when both of us were on the verge of signing contracts. Both of us had stars in our eyes, holding tight to our dreams of publication. And we can tell you, dreams do come true. I've read some of TJ's work and well . . . wow. Don't wait. Order her book now.

In anticipation of the upcoming release of her Reformation Germany-set historical, The Legacy, she's running her first contest in conjunction with her guest blogging tours (see below). She will be guest hosting four wonderful blogs between Mar 29 and April 7. Anyone who visits and posts a comment on at least two of the blogs will be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of The Legacy and either a $40 Barnes & Noble gift certificate or a $40 e-certificate for, a Texas-based German food store where customers can order everything from a spaetzle-press to apple strudel imported straight from Germany! If anyone has ever wanted to sample German food on someone else's Euro, now is the chance (or, of course, if books are preferred, the winner can choose the B&N gift certificate instead). For rules and information go to her

Take it away TJ.

I've been asked to be a guest blogger here on Killer Fiction, and since every dog must have her day, today is apparently mine. Not that I'm a dog, mind you, but I think you get my point.

What was my point?

Oh, yes, guest blogger. So, I've chosen as my subject husbands. I know, I know, it's hard to top Crime Scene Christie's husband posts, but bear with me. What I really want is advice.

So, husbands. I've got one, and he's a peach. Love the guy. Best thing that ever happened to me, most days. Other days, I'd like to shoot him, but even in Texas, where we live, the legal foundations for that are shaky. ("But, Officer, he forgot to reload the toilet paper roll, again. He needed killin'!")

Anyway, these days, hubby is on my "good guy" list because he's promoting my debut novel amongst his friends and co-workers and trying to market me to everyone he knows. My book, The Legacy, a historical romance set in 1525 Reformation Germany, will be available on April 1st everywhere (yes, that's April Fool's Day, let's get the jokes out of your system now. Go ahead, I'll wait.)

Done? Okay, back to the topic at hand, which is husbands. Mine, the peach, thinks I'm the best writer who ever walked. He's proud of me, having finally adjusted to the idea of his wife being a historical romance author. The adjustment was necessary when he finally thought to ask me, six years after my novel was completed and nine months before it was due to be released, if it had any S-E-X in it.

"Yes," I answered, wondering where this conversation was taking us but having a feeling I already knew.

"You actually describe ... it?" he asked, whispering the last word and darting a hunted look over his shoulder like David Janssen in The Fugitive.

I nodded. "Yep."

"But you don't describe it in detail. With body parts and everything. We're talking PG-13, right?"

I bit my lip. "R-rated, I'm afraid. Not the whole book, just certain ... parts of it."

Long pause. Another hunted look. "What parts?"

I smiled secretively. "I guess you'll just have to buy the book."

In a few days, of course, he can do just that, because even though he thinks I'm the best thing walking (see above), he's never actually read any of my romances before (and no, I'm not giving him a free copy. He can get in line like everyone else). Gotta love that blind faith, though. Still, now it means I'm biting my nails. My husband's a conservative guy. What will he think when he gets to that part? The R-rated one, I mean. Well, both of them. Okay, all three of them. Hubby is a romantic artist, he's a Picasso in the bedroom, but hey, I write Romance with a capital R, and we have to exaggerate in fiction, don't we? Will he wonder if I'm making comparisons? Will he wonder where I learned that stuff? Will he wonder why we don't get to do that stuff at home? Or if I expect him to? Do that stuff at home, that is?

I've got a good answer for that. Tell me what you think.

"Honey," he'll ask me, aghast, "is that what you really expect from a man in bed?"

"Sweetie," I'll answer, "that man is just a fantasy. A figment of my imagination."

"But isn't that what women really want? The fantasy?" His lower lip will tremble slightly, but then he'll firm it up, like the real man he is.

"Sugar," I'll answer, while laying my head on his broad chest and fluttering my eyelashes rapidly, "that guy might be my fantasy, but you're my dream come true."

What do you think? Will it work? Or, like a certain red-headed Lucy, will I have some 'splaining to do?

Any other writers out there who ever worry what your family might think when they read the naughty bits in your books?

TJ Bennett


Christie Craig said...

Hi TJ,

Welcome to Killer Fiction.

Are you like completely over the moon about your release?

By the way...I love your cover.

Crime Scene Christie

Faye Hughes said...

Great post, TJ! I think you've got some great comebacks lined up for your hubby when he asks "those" questions. LOL.

Congrats on your debut novel's release! I hope it's the beginning of many more!!

Faye, empress of exclamation points this morning

TJ Bennett said...

Thanks, Christie and Faye. I am indeed over the moon, walking on eggshelves, and all those other great cliches that combine the idea of sheer terror and rapturous joy in one quivering mess. :-)


Christie Craig said...


Sheer terror and rapturous joy. That sounds very familiar.

Enjoy the ride, TJ.

Crime Scene Christie

Pam P said...

Start 'splaining Lucy! LOL.

Congrats on your release TJ. I happened across a good review for it the other day, read more about it and put it on my wishlist.

Colleen Thompson said...

My husband enjoys telling anyone who asks that he's my inspiration for all the naughty bits. :)

Congratulations on your debut! I read the excerpt and can't wait to read the rest.

petite said...

Congratulations on this wonderful new release. It looks so compelling and unique. I am captivated with this novel. Best of success.

Lynne Marshall said...

TJ! You've missed your calling. You should write romantic comedy! Looking forward to your debut Historical novel, and I'm sure you and DH will work things out.


jo robertson said...

Too funny, TJ.

I think we all wonder about our family's reaction to the naughty bits. My daughters are amazingly open to all of them (yep, all one hundred two of them -- JK!). My husband just skips over them. He says he reads them, but I know better. I see his eyes glaze over and his cheeks turn red.

And when I ask him to stand up and let me try something, he responds, "You're just using me for research again, aren't you?"

Clever man.

TJ Bennett said...

Thanks, Pam! Ooh, so good reviews DO work. :-)

Thank you, Colleen. The check's in the mail. ;-)

Thanks, Petite. Compelling...unique...must write that down...LOL! Appreciate it!


Robin said...

Can't wait to read your book, TJ. And I agree the cover is beautiful! As far as husbands and naughty bits, mine thinks my sex scenes are hot. In fact, he'll occasionally offer his own suggestions to enliven the atmosphere and heighten the tension.

Kathy Bacus said...

Hi TJ & Welcome to Killer Fiction!

Love your post. Since all of my books so far have been 'mild' when it comes to love scenes, I really don't have a lot of 'naughty bits' to blush over.

Still, I remember the very first love scene I wrote for my very first book (as yet unpublished). A western historical, it had one love scene at the very end of the book and I can still remember feeling somewhat squeamish writing it.

Go figure. I can write murder and mayhem and not bat an eye, but 'icky love stuff'? Now that just doesn't come easy.

Thanks so much for guest blogging and best of luck with your book! As Crime Scene Christie pointed out, the cover is fabulous! Enjoy this moment!

~Bullet Hole Bacus~

Gemma Halliday said...

Welcome TJ! And congrats on your release - so exciting! I can't wait to be one of those people in line. ;)

When I told this one guy I dated that I wrote romance he said, "Cool! So, they're like sort of instruction manuals for making you happy?" I liked that one.


anne said...

Welcome, T.J.
Firstly I must read this book and congratulations on this lovely novel.

alissa said...

Congrats on your release. The cover artwork is appealing. I enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to this book.

ruth said...

Your blog today is amusing and your book excerpt is fascinating. I will be reading this novel. Congrats and enjoy.

Carol Ericson said...

Congrats on your release, T.J. What an interesting time period.

My hubby tells everyone he's the inspiration for all of my heroes. Snort!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous post! TJ, you made my tummy hurt with the laughing. Especially since I *know* your hubby, so I can totally see the exchange happening :). LOL!

TJ Bennett said...

Thanks, Lynne, Jo, Kathy, Robin, Gemma, and Carol for stopping by. And Robin, I'm afraid if my hubby offered me writing suggestions, I'd have to try that "he needed killin'" law in Texas after all! LOL!

Thanks Anne, Alissa, and Ruth, too! I'm so pleased that you like my cover and plan to read the book!

Anonymous (you know who you are), yes, if you know my husband, you have some idea of how "not" funny it was when it first happened...but we can laugh about that now. Well, I'm laughing, anyway, and hoping he isn't reading this blog!


Maureen McGowan said...

Oh, TJ, you crack me up. Seriously funny post. Serious question too, though.

I think the very hardest part for me should (WHEN) I get that illusive first contract will be dealing with questions from non-writer friends and family about the naughty bits...

Tori Lennox said...

Congrats on your impending debut, TJ!!!

Ana said...

Hello TJ, definitely you got the right answers covered. You can also tell him he is your inspiration. You are such a funny lady, congrats on the upcoming release of The Legacy.

TJ Bennett said...

Thank you, Maureen, Tori, and Ana. My hubby is indeed my inspiration, and the love of my life. I'm lucky he doesn't mind my kidding around. Not much, anyway. I do resort to that old joke when non-writers ask if he helps my research. You know the one: "I tried to use him for researching my love scenes once, but the keyboard kept sliding off his butt!"


Jenyfer Matthews said...

Very funny! Looking forward to your post AFTER he reads it!

My hubby has yet to read mine or *I* might have some 'splainin to do :)

Gemma- instruction manuals!! Bwahahahhaahah!!

Robena Grant said...

Hey TJ:
Enjoyed the post. I do remember reading some of those "naughty bits" when this book was a WIP.
I think hubby is in for a surprise. Like others have said, tell him he is now and forever will be your inspiration. Bet he'll blush and puff his chest out, maybe ruffle a few feathers and then strut around the henyard.
I love your writing and can't wait to read the finished product. Congrats! again.

Keri Ford said...

Husbands can be so funny, can't they? My dh read one of my books way back ago, and did the blushing thing, then was too embarrassed to want to talk about anything I’d written. Which is ludicrous, because he works in construction and a heck of a lot more sexual, vulgar language is passed around out there.

I think everyone in my family knows what I write except one person. I’ve decided I’ll wait until I’m published one day and just send a book in mail to let the cat out of the bag. You sound like a lot of fun TJ. I bet that humor carries over in your story!

Beth said...

DH won't read anything of mine until it is a book he can hold in his hot little hands. But he knows there are naughty bits and teases me about them mercilously. His mother doesn't know... she's very um... conservative, so I'm kind of dreading that ordeal. My mom read it, that was ok. When my best friend read it she said she kept picturing ME having the sex and it freaked her out. I had to insist it wasn't ME it was the character. She got over it.
I do like your line and delivering it in bed is good, men are easily distracted!

TJ Bennett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TJ Bennett said...

Sorry. My last post had yet another typo in it (and yes, I realize it was "eggshells" earlier, not "eggshelves" but Blogspot won't allow editing, just deleting). So, here is the grammatically correct version of my last comment:

Thanks, Jenyfer. If I survive his post-reading experience, I'll let you know. Robena, I had to laugh at the "cock o'the walk" image. Keri, husbands are funny about romances. There is a difference between "sex" and "intimacy" and I'm convinced that is why they may be more comfortable reading Playboy than a romance. Romances feel too ... personal somehow, and it makes them feel like voyeurs. We women know better, though, don't we? *wink*

Beth, I sympathize with you! I'd hate to think all my friends were imagining me ... that way ... okay, now I have something else to worry about. Sigh.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your fun post. I'm sure anyone who can write romance can 'splain it to their husband. You go girl!


Lark said...

Congratulations, TJ! Can't wait to read The Legacy. You must be thrilled.

I love your topic. My husband has never read any of my work and that's probably a good thing since I'm sure he'd have to over-analyze where exactly the love scenes came from. I hadn't realized he'd told several of his friends that I write romance until he got a call one evening from a guy friend who wanted him to ask me where he should go to find the best selection of sex toys in being a romance writer and all. Needless to say his logic baffled me. Still, I couldn't allow my husband to lose face so I mentioned a couple of places I knew of (who can miss the big sign on the West Loop at the Galleria?) and hoped they were still in business. A week later I got a thank you email from the guy's wife along with a request for a list of my favorite "steamy" romances. I sent the list and was grateful nobody felt compelled to discuss the shopping trip with me.

TJ Bennett said...

Oh, Lark, that is TOO funny. But, you probably saved that marriage! LOL!

Kate Willoughby said...

My hubby is not a reader of really anything he doesn't have to for work. Therefore, his attutide about the naughty parts I write is kind of don't ask, don't tell. He knows the parts are there, and chooses to coexist in peace with them. LOL

char10 said...

congrats on your release, loved the cover . It was very clever to use flowers to frame it ,instead of just using a picture.

catslady said...

Well historicals have always been my favorite - I hope some of your wonderful humor shows itself :) You're hubby is just a little bit late to ask questions now roflmao.

TJ Bennett said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kate. I think my hubby has taken your hubby's attitude to heart.

Thanks for the cover compliment, Char10. I was lucky enough to have some input on my cover--I suggested the garden and rebirth theme (among others) to Medallion Press' art department, and they ran with it. Turned out nice, eh?

Catslady, there is definitely humor in everything I write, although I don't write "funny" per se. I THINK funny, however; well, more sarcastic and witty and darkly droll most of the time, and it shows up in my work. I could find humor in a funeral, I'm afraid, and am constantly scolding my subconscious for its inappropriate behavior. :-)

Kim Lenox said...

Lol, TJ. I think you will, indeed, have some 'splaining to do!

I'm looking forward to your book so much!

TJ Bennett said...

Right back atchya, Kim! Love that hunky cover, and Victorian paranormals are hot! Can't wait.

Robin Bielman said...

Congratulations on your release, TJ! I look forward to reading it. So far my hubby's my biggest fan! I'm not sure how he'll feel if I get published one day, but right now he doesn't mind being my inspiration. :)

I hope you have a wonderful April 1st!

Anonymous said...

Hi TJ,

I am so excited about your book! I hope you are doing a signing... maybe April 13th? At a well-known bookstore in Encino? With the initials B and N? I can hardly wait to read your book. Your PUBLISHED book! Congratulations!!!!

Brenda K.

dragonfly said...

Hi TJ,
Hilarious blog! I can't wait to read The Legacy. Some time ago, you gave out big, fat beautiful Legacy bookmarks at the WHRWA meeting and I've been trading it from book to book. It will be a pleasure to slide it into its namesake.
Congratulations on all your success.
June F.

TJ Bennett said...

Thanks for stopping in, Robin, Brenda K., and June! I'll say my last farewells with you ladies as I make ready for my next blog tour stop over at History's Hoydens on April 1. And yes, Brenda, I seem to recall I WILL be somewhere in Encino that weekend *wink*. June, feel free to nab another bookmark when next I see you--I've ALWAYS got a few in my purse. We wouldn't want your other books to get jealous. :-)

Virginia said...

Congrats on your release.

My mother in law frowns on what I read but other then that no one else thinks anything about it. As far as my hubby he stays in the dog house.

Michele L. said...

Welcome TJ!

I enjoyed reading your blog! My favorite books are romance. They are my treat for an escape. Many congratulations on your debut novel! WOOHOO!

Michele L.

Billie Warren Chai said...

Congratulations TJ on the release.

My dh is writing his own novel. I should be wildly jealous as he is clearly the hero and the heroine is . . . his girlfriend from college.

I don't worry about him reading the sex scenes. I worry about my mother reading them! And I'm 54 years old.

TracyG said...

Mornin' TJ. Love the post. Why Reformation Germany?

My dh hasn't read more than a few scenes of my books. He's done proofing for me and he's brilliant at helping me with research, but he has no interest in sitting down to read my stuff cover to cover. Fine with me. When someone asks him about the s-e-x, he gets that little boy grin and just shrugs. Makes them laugh and leaves them wondering. :)

MsHellion said...

THIS is why I'm publishing under an assumed name. So they'll never know I published all these dirty parts. I'd never live it down.

Plus I'm unmarried and my father would freak out that I might actually be doing some of these things, ANY of these things.

For you, though, I think that conversation may work. You might have to distract him with a kiss right after...but otherwise, that should do it. Unless he remembers you didn't answer the question and circles this again.

I saw your ad in the RWR--I thought it was very exciting! Will have to go find it tomorrow!!!

TJ Bennett said...

Hi, folks. Just sticking my head back in for a moment to let you all know I've been informed by my publisher there will be a slight delay on the release of The Legacy because of a fire at the printing plant. The original release date was April 1st, a joyously funny date that left itself open to all sorts of humorous byplay. The distributor will now start shipping the books after April 4th, which is a decidedly unfunny day. However, if you want to know what other interesting things happened on that date in history, go here:


flchen1 said...

TJ, hilarious post--thanks! Congrats on your debut, and your DH does sound like a peach! :)

limecello said...

Hi TJ,

I'm so glad I followed your posts. Hehe - what fun. I'd definitely like to hear a follow up as to what your husband's reaction was. :D
Congratulations on the new release!

TJ Bennett said...

Hey, folks, in case you didn't catch the announcement, we have a winner for the blot book tours! BROWNONE is the winner of her/his choice of a gift certificate from B&N or and a free autographed copy of The Legacy. Please visit my website's contest page and send me an e-mail to claim your prize.