Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Giveaway, A Sweet Story, Hot Abs, A Valentine Deal...All The Good Stuff!

Why We All Love Abs And It's All Okay!

So, I lured you here to drool over some delicious abs with me! And to let you know why my guys have such bodily gorgeousness. AND to let you know that I'm giving away two paper copies of Double Clutch in a Goodreads giveaway contest that ends this Friday, February 10. AND to announce that I'm going to run a .99 Valentine's Day sale on the e-version of Double Clutch this weekend (2/11 & 2/12) because I want EVERYONE to have a chance to be with Jake and Saxon this Valentine's Day! So there are all my announcements, and I'm providing a link to the contest, and then back to the abs, natch!

To enter to win a paper copy of Double Clutch, click here and throw your name in the hat!!

I recently wrote a YA contemporary romance called Double Clutch, and one of the highlights of writing it was creating these two amazing, gorgeous, brilliant guys. Do they have flaws? Oh, don't even get me started! But there is one thing I just couldn't budge on, and it's something that comes up a lot in complaints about heroes and romance and YA in general...my guys have abs.

Yep! Jake and Saxon both have them. Washboard abs that ripple when they take their shirts off. They have abs, and I'm not going to apologize or make excuses or giggle (okay, maybe I'll giggle a little tiny bit). But I will explain why it's perfectly okay for guys to have abs in fiction and for all of us to swoon.

Those are lovely abs, good sir.

In order to tell this story, I need to go back into my dating life. I like guys. I started liking guys back when I was a wee girl, and once I had my first kiss at summer camp, I was a goner. There are a few things that really make my heart thump. First of all, I love a good laugh. I love a guy who can laugh at anything and everything with me. I love nice hands. Big, calloused, rugged-nailed hands that have clearly been building something or making something really appeal to me. I also love shoulders. A nice, wide pair of shoulders can make me feel a little faint.

So, every guy I liked must have had a great sense of humor, nice hands, and huge, muscled shoulders, right?

Um, not so much.

The first boy I kissed was thin and gangly. He did have great hands, but his laugh was really soft and quiet.

My first real boyfriend was embarrassed by how stubby his fingers were. He didn't like his teeth, so he always laughed with his mouth closed, and it was a muffled kind of laugh. And his posture wasn't great, so his shoulders always looked a little stooped.

I dated one guy who had a big, jolly laugh, fine hands, and a definite six pack. We had absolutely nothing in common and wound up breaking up without a second glance back because we bored each other to tears.

Not that you're officially Mr. Wrong for every girl, fella! You're just Mr. Wrong for me. You'll find the girl  for whom you will be Mr. Right. I promise!

So how are those three things my things? Why did I go to all that trouble to describe them in so much detail? Well, they're the three things I love most about the guy I finally fell head-over-heels in love with. And they might sound slightly shallow, but represent what he means to me as a person.

My husband, Frank, has a laugh that is so loud and funny, it makes other people laugh. He laughs hard. He laughs from his gut, and he often can't stop. Like he's doubled over, crying from laughter. I'm seriously laughing just thinking about his laugh. Some people have said it sounds like a donkey that's scared for its life. He's been teased for it. People turn around in the movie theater and stare in shock when he laughs. And I LOVE IT!

When we first dated, I told a joke. It was probably fairly funny. I manage to be funny sometimes. Frank laughed so hard and loud, I was afraid he'd drive off of the road. I had a few boyfriends before Frank who just didn't appreciate my sense of humor, so his laughter made me feel great. And it was contagious. We spent so much time on every date laughing like hyenas about nothing and everything. We still crack each other up. I think it's why I still have a major crush on him, even after years of being married.

This is pretty much how we spent the majority of our dating time...it's still like that, only now we have a daughter who joins in and laughs like crazy with us!

And his hands? I'm a tall girl, and my hands are big, but when he holds my hand I feel kind of petite. I love having that sensation sometimes. And he does work with his hands. He works on engines, tiles my countertop, makes wooden toys for our daughter, landscapes, draws...his hands are dirty, calloused, and so capable. I love holding hands with him, because they just feel like Frank. They feel strong and safe and warm.

And the shoulders. Sigh. Frank has these big, broad shoulders. He has a tattoo on one that I love. He looks amazing in a suit. When he hugs me, his shoulders are so wide, I feel like I can just get lost in his embrace. It's amazing.

Okay, now I've described my husband to you, and I bet he sounds amazing. And, I have to admit, he is. But if you saw him in real life, would you go gaga? You might! Haha! He is pretty cute! But I have plenty of girlfriends who told me I could do better when we were dating. He had plenty of girls turn him down or dump him before he met me. There are things about his appearance and the way he is that some girls wouldn't be able to stand. And, sadly, he doesn't have a six pack!

Do I ever check out other guys? Do I drool over Ryan Gosling? Um, I am alive!

Ryan, you can talk to me about fonts all day long!

And I know he thinks other girls are pretty. That's okay. I know that for him, just like for me, there's a particular combination of qualities that just clicks on a higher attraction level...and that click happens when he's with me and I'm with him. It's very cool!

So about abs? Well, there is a different combo for every lady out there. We all know that. When I write these guys, I want you to know for a fact that they are hot, hard-working, sexy guys. And how do I tell you that in shorthand, even if I don't know your particular hot-button combo? Well, take a lookie, ladies! (You're welcome!)

This is internationally understood as HOT!!