Friday, December 11, 2009

My Unfair Lady Review

My Unfair Lady
By: Kathryne Kennedy
Product ISBN: 9781402229909
Price: $6.99
Publication Date: December 2009

Pygmalion meets the wild west in this lively and unusual historical romance by award-winning author Kathryne Kennedy

  • Back Cover Blurb:

A Wild West heiress, Summer Wine Lee knows that she's not an acceptable bride for her fiance's knickerbocker family. She grew up in an Arizona mining town, cares more for critters than people, carries a knife under her skirts, and, worst of all, she has a highly improper secret from her past. But she also has high hopes that a real English Duke can teach her how to be a lady.

Were it not for his father's gambling debts, the Duke of Monchester would never have stooped to civilize Summer. But the more time he spends with her, and the more social scrapes he has to rescue her from, the more he finds it impossible to change her into a proper lady. How could he, when he's falling in love with her just the way she is?

"If you have not discovered Kathryne Kennedy's romances yet, you are truly missing out." Merrimon Book Reviews

  • My Thoughts:

My Unfair Lady was a delight to read on several levels.

Ms. Kennedy’s a pro at creating memorable characters, comical situations, a fun dialog, and an endearing love story.

The characterization of Summer, Maria (I have a couple of friends like her), and Byron were well done. Even her depiction of historical figures and villains, were realistically crafted. Not a cardboard figure to be found.

I loved that both M/C’s had hidden emotional conflict and only hinted at and unveiled slowly throughout the story. Both were very much a product of their respective worlds. I liked the way Ms. Kennedy obviously researched and reflected that research into her story. How insular the titled aristocrats were in Victorian England. They were somewhat inbred and confined by rigid rules of conduct—only allowed to marry within a certain strata, and the anathema of Gentry working any kind of trade. It was a time when the great fortunes were waning in the *modern* world of the time, necessitating importing rich brides, and many American brides with fortunes were sought and many titles were *bought by* rich American families.

Ms. Kennedy presents a fresh, independent American Miss into a very structured setting. Summer is a very capable young woman not given to vapors or panic when facing unknown situations. She is from frontier America where even women are crack shots, well able to defend both home and hearth and put food on the table.

Imagine the reaction of Byron’s world to such a young woman? His shock and gradual respect, especially given his prejudice against *title hunting* American women, his surprise that Summer needed little protection; in fact she tries to protect him. Her spunk and frankness is like a fresh breath of air in a stale room.

Ms. Kennedy creates a believable world. She also has a wonderful love story between Byron and Summer Lee Wine. Both are fighting the attraction and when they do come together it’s hot.

I loved Summer’s attachments to her *critters* and Byron's reaction to those critters (his poor boots). There were many comical situations that had me laughing out loud or giggling at the word picture.

The dialog is full colloquiums and the contrast between the two worlds is hilarious in places.

If you enjoy reading a good historical, you have to read My Unfair Lady. It’s one that leaves a glow in your heart and a smile on your lips.

As Summer Lee would say,
“Tarnation, you write a great story, Ms. Kathyrne!”

Excerpt from My Unfair Lady:

"Maria, this had better work," Summer muttered to the empty drawing room. For this was her friend's plan, not her own. Summer had wanted to hire one of the American heiresses who had already married a title; the ones that had gone through money so quickly entertaining Prince Albert that they sponsored young American girls looking for an introduction into society.

"Not good enough," Maria had responded, flipping her long, black hair over her shoulder. "Trust me when I tell ya', if ya' want to be a lady, ya' hire a man to teach ya' how to do it. And I finally discovered the perfect fellow, a poor Duke with two falling down castles who's feared by all in the social circle for his quick wit and nasty tongue...but is also a particular favorite of his Highness."

Summer couldn't take her eyes off the man who strode towards her home. All the other men wore those bowler hats, so he was easy to pick out, for his blond hair reflected the feeble rays of England's sun and glowed a golden yellow. He wore it unfashionably long and bare of the pomade that slicked most other men's hair back. Summer liked it.

The Duke wore a long coat of pale blue, narrow trousers and a deep blue cravat. He carried no umbrella or cane, and as he passed a group of gentlemen going in the opposite direction she realized that he was also not a particularly tall man. For some reason this made her feel more at ease, so that when the bell jangled, and Maria came in to announce that she had a visitor, Summer felt almost quite calm.

Until he walked into the room.

"Are you Miss Lee?" inquired the Duke as he ran his eyes from the top of her head to the tips of her kidskin boots. "Miss Summer Wine Lee?" The deep richness of his voice made her heart turn over.




Kathryne Kennedy is a college graduate and business owner, and is a multipublished, award-winning author of magical romances. She’s lived in Guam, Okinawa, and several states in the U.S., and currently lives in Arizona with her wonderful family—which includes two very tiny Chihuahuas.

She welcomes readers to visit her website where she has ongoing contests at:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

You're A Writer? What Do You Write?


My guest is Erotica Romance author, Tymber Dalton aka Lesli Richardson. Tymber/Lesli write various types of Erotica, Romance, and, as she says, "other things".

While I've read some Erotica and even critiqued it, there are some forms I've never read and probably never will. Yet, it's an increasingly popular and lucrative genre.

Tymber explains her fascination with certain aspects of Erotica. Why people make the choices they do and how she does her research to make her characters and stories realistic.

When I’m asked what I do and say, “I’m a writer,” I usually get an eyebrows-lifted, wide-eyed, “Oh, really? What do you write?”


Well, frankly, how do I answer that? If I know a little about the person and suspect they won’t be totally freaked out and edge away from me like I’m a rabid raccoon, I’m honest and I say, “Romance, erotica, and some other things.”

Sometimes that response will earn me a semi-confused expression and an, “Oh.”

A lot of the time, however I’ll get an, “Oh! Really? Like what other things?”


Those of you familiar with my writing, you know that I write a lot of—BDSM. I mean, a LOT of it. And you know, again, depending on the circumstances, how I approach the answers (usually while wanting to smack my husband for bragging his wife’s a bestselling author and leaving moi to try to explain to a ninety-something conservative Baptist woman what I write about) varies with the situation.

It’s not that I’m not proud of what I write, because I am. I’m just smart enough to know not everyone wants to read what I write about. The only reason the pen name Tymber Dalton came about was we weren’t sure if my husband’s employer would be…comfortable with him having a pervy writer wife and we decided to play it safe. By the time we realized no one gave a damn about what I write as long as it’s legal, I’d already been published under both Lesli Richardson and Tymber Dalton.

So back to the cocktail conversation of me trying to adapt my explanation of how I research the topics I write about. The truth of the matter is, I just sort of…fell into it.

It’s all my dogs’ fault. Get your minds out of the gutter. I’ll explain, keep reading.

I have six dogs. We used to be service dog puppy raisers. Watching my dogs is something I can sit back and do…forever. Forget shiny object distraction, I have fuzzy furry distraction. There is something fascinating to me about watching dogs interact, the pack hierarchy,the dynamics and interplay between them. Because when you have six dogs like we do, let’s be honest, you have a pack of dogs.

When I read my first BDSM story, it was more a M/s story about a Master and a pet, and I had that brain squeeze speechless reaction that watching the film “Secretary” gave me the first time I saw it.

I wanted to learn more about the dynamics. The more I learned, the more fascinated I became. Much like watching my dogs. To me, the sexy part of BDSM is the foundation of trust the players have to have with each other. To research, of course, I had to meet and talk with people in real life, go to play parties to watch and learn. I’ve met a great group of people, some of whom I’m lucky enough to call friends now.

My dogs trust that I will drop kibble into their bowls every day at approximately the same time. (Although my bulldog frequently tries to start the daily insurrection early if she’s not happy.) My dogs trust I will take care of them. They don’t question I’m “alpha” in the pack. I just am. Yeah, sometimes they act out, but that’s normal and natural.

BDSM is a lot like that, when you’re dealing with the psychological aspects of it. I’ve met people in the lifestyle who are part-time players, and those who literally live a 24/7 Master/slave life. Most people don’t know what they do in private, of course, but I’ve seen a Master drop a slave into subspace just with a touch and a few words.

There is a trust and a bond that is beyond description. To me, that is far sexier than spankings or bondage or anything else.

That’s why when I write about BDSM, my primary focus is on the people, the interplay and dynamic, not so much the toys or the big “O” scenes. Although, yes, I do try to write sexy scenes as well.

My dogs know I am their owner, their protector, their Mom, their world. While I’m not trying to say a M/s or D/s relationship is that simple, because people can think and reason (usually *LOL*) at a much higher level than dogs, in some ways, it is that simple.
The reason these people can turn themselves over to their partner is because of one basic and yet extremely powerful thing: trust.

In my latest release “Safe Harbor” (and it’s something I explored to a certain extent in “Love Slave for Two: Beginnings”) the main theme is trust. Lack of, earning, and total complete trust. Trust in yourself and in others. It’s a strong secondary theme in “The Reluctant Dom” as well. In my upcoming release “Cardinal’s Rule” (Captiva Press, early 2010) I explore what happens when that trust is shattered beyond repair and what happens next for the people involved.

I personally find the trust issue to be the sexiest thing, so that’s usually my focus. I like to explore the “real” side of BDSM. It’s not all I write, but you’ll see some common themes appear in my writings across various genres.

Life happens, and it adds the edge of humor and reality to a story that might otherwise be too intense or too…fake. In “Safe Harbor,” a miniature Yorkie likes to steal sex toys. (Okay, so my dogs partially inspired that one. We don’t have Acts of God in our house, we have Acts of Dog.) In “The Reluctant Dom” I wrote the scene where Leah wants to shave Seth in the shower before his first solo trip to the club with her and his less than enthusiastic—but extremely funny—reaction to that.

It’s real people, not cardboard stereotypes, which have the best stories to share. Personally want to read a story that isn’t sex scenes strung together, but a story about people I can invest myself in and see the reality of the world created by the author. That’s the kind of writing I strive to create, and I’m extremely grateful to my readers for their fantastic response to what I do.

Hey, it keeps my dogs in kibble, and I know that makes them happy.


Tymber Dalton lives in southwest Florida with her husband (aka "The World's Best Husband") and son. She loves her family, writing, coffee, dark chocolate, music, a good book, hockey, and her dogs (even when they try to drink her coffee and steal her chocolate).

When she's not dodging hurricanes or writing, she can be found doing line edits or reading or thinking up something else to write. She's a multi-published writer in several genres (and rumor has it she bears a striking resemblance to
Lesli Richardson). She loves to hear from readers. Please feel free to drop by her website to keep abreast of the latest news, views, snarkage, free reads, and releases.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Take Off Those Clothes And Get Into Bed…

My guest today is a special friend of mine. We’ve shared the First Chapters Romance contest together, moaned over the results, the promotion, and the angst. We’ve critiqued and encouraged each other. I’m happy to say she won. She’s a damn fine writer.

Please welcome, Romance Author, Starr Ambrose, to
Over Coffee. Starr’s stories are a good blend of humor, sassy, independent heroines, hot hero’s and she writes ‘get the fan honey, cause it’s getting hot in here’ love scenes. I would never, in a million years, have thought writing sex was difficult for her. Her scenes are so natural and very well written. Yet Starr admits:

I confess to a secret, a particularly embarrassing one for a romance writer. I don’t know if other romance writers share it, and I’ve struggled to overcome it, but I doubt I ever will. I just hope my readers can’t tell.

I hate writing love scenes.

And yes, by love scenes I mean sex scenes. The hero and heroine in their most intimate moments, described in detail. The very heart of a romance story. By the time we reach this part of the story, we are usually deeply invested in the ultimate happiness of our hero and heroine. We want their lovemaking to be as beautiful and fulfilling as possible. And we want to experience every breathless moment along with them.

I understand. So it frustrates me that as soon as I get my hero and heroine in bed (or on the couch, or the floor, or wherever) my mind freezes and the words stop flowing onto the page. I know what happens next, I just can’t describe it. Not a good thing for a writer.

Before you think I may be doing it all wrong, let me assure you that in addition to my own humble opinion that I can write one hell of a sex scene, reviewers have called my books sensuous, sexy, hot – all those good adjectives that mean I did it well. So why does it take me hours, days even, to get those scenes written?

Here’s the problem: While the brain might play an important part in sexual stimulation, no one wants sex to be a thinking activity. We want the heroine to lose herself in the hero’s strong arms, to be swept into a state of mindless bliss. Her nerve endings are tingling and her heart is swelling with emotion. This is no time for her to wonder if her fingernails are leaving marks on his back or if his muscles are shaking from the strain of holding her against the shower wall.

But I have to. I have to be inside her head, feeling what she feels, besides standing beside the bed, giving the play by play.

So what’s my problem? Is it modesty? Am I writing the wrong genre?

Couldn’t be. I love a good romance, and I want to share all these stories in my head. I must just need more practice. So…

Okay, characters, one more time -- take off those clothes and get in bed!

Our Little Secret Blurb

Lauren Sutherland's sister made a big mistake when she married the powerful and much older Senator Creighton. The senator's son Drew agrees. But the newlyweds have disappeared and even the FBI can't find them. Venturing into the elite Washington social scene, Lauren and Drew discover an elaborate web of explicit photos and blackmail, and a fiery attraction they can barely control...

"Our little Secret will delight romantic suspense fans who want a light, fresh, sexy spin on love and danger!"

Best-selling author Roxanne St. Claire

  • Writers: What kind of scenes do you have problems writing?
    Readers: What do you think makes a satisfying sex scene in a Romance?


Starr Ambrose writes contemporary romances about heroines with a confident attitude and a sense of humor. Add a smart, sexy hero and put them together with a little mystery and a lot of sexual tension for a fun romantic suspense adventure!

Starr is a small town girl at heart, born and raised in Michigan, and graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in English. She and her family live in rural S. E. Michigan on a small farm with horses, chickens, cats, and dogs. She enjoys the abundant local wildlife, except for raccoons, which should learn to keep their evil paws off her chickens.

Starr's Website has excerpts to both of her books and a blurb on the sequel to Lie To Me.

For dog lovers, my blog for Coffee with a Canine: . If you're a dog owner, check out this cute site!