Monday, July 23, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 43 Anne Gracie

I can't tell you how thrilled and honoured I was when my round robin 'would you like to post in my Great Big Blog Party' request resulted in today's post. When I asked my friend Anne Gracie for a contribution I hoped she'd respond - what I never anticipated was a very special post, one that raised the ugly spectre of jealousy in another friend - Anne McAllister - normally the most generous of people but who in this case was reduced to muttering enviously 'I want that . . .'

I know how she felt - I'd have felt exactly the same. A post from Anne with her warm, witty style, her love - a love we share - for atrocious puns - and her knowledge and understanding of writing and the publishing industry would have been just great. I never dreamed that I would get my very own Hunkthighs and Shoulderman story!

I first heard of Anne Gracie when my then editor told me that she had spent the evening before reading Tallie's Knight for the third time. Knowing the taste in books that this editor and I shared, this was enough to send me hunting for the book - and when I found it I devoured it at a sitting and then went and found Anne Gracie's other Harlequin Historicals - Gallant Waif and An Honourable Thief. And I loved them all. At the same time, Anne herself had joined a M&B loop that I was on and her posts often reduced me to tears of laughter as I read them - it was either that or nodding in agreement with something she said that was so full of knowledge and common sense.

Then in 2004, when I made the trip to Australia and spoke at the RWAus Conference in Coogee Beach, I was able to meet Anne herself in person - and found her to be as warm and witty and wonderful as her posts had been. Our time at the Conference passed way too quickly, but I have truly special memories of a shared breakfast with Anne G, Anne McAllister, Marion Lennox, and the BM of course, in a café overlooking the sea and feeling that I had come to know these women so much in the short time we had available that they would always be part of my life even though they were thousands of miles away.

These days Anne no longer writes for Harlequin - but Harlequin Historicals' loss is single titles' gain - her Perfect books - The Pefect Rake - The Perfect Waltz - The Perfect Kiss - The Perfect Stranger are all available to delight fans of her work (amongst whom one Sid the Cat counts himself as you'll see from the picture of him in this blog). Her newest title The Stolen Princess will be on sale from January 2008.

And Hunkthighs and Shoulderman?

Well I'll let Anne herself tell you about them. Just let me say that I couldn't be happier to have these two hunks grace my blog - it's a thrill almost equivalent to the possibilty of a certain Hugh-in-a-towel wring a post for me.

Here's Anne:

Some years ago, when I was a very new and green author, I was invited to join the Harlequin Mills and Boon authors' loop. On that loop, I met the most wonderful group of women -- some of the most famous and much-beloved names in romance writing. It was extraordinary how warm and welcoming they were to an obscure beginner from downunder, one who, moreover, wrote historicals. (I was the only historical writer on the loop at the time.)
But those women became my friends. We shared heaps -- we laughed and cried and ranted and soothed. It was on that loop that Hunkthighs and Shoulderman were born -- I have a silly streak a mile wide, and from from time to time something would strike me as funny, and I'd write a story, just for the loop.
Kate this one's for you. Congratulations on the 50th book.
Anne Gracie

What Women Want

"Women are a mystery!" Troy Hunkthighs tossed his money down on the bar and ordered a beer. "A complete mystery!"

His best mate, Clint Shoulderman looked up from something he was writing. "Yeah, Hunk, you're right," he said morosely, and returned to his scribbling.

"Whatcha writing, Clint?"

"A pome."

"A pome? Oh, jeeze mate, not to--"

"Yeah, to The Babe. I figure women like pomes, so if it's a good one, she might take me back."

"Mate,she dumped you a year ago." Hunkthighs frowned. "And didn't you take that girl, whatzername, out last night? The hot blonde."

Clint gave him a gloomy look. "For a start she gets me name wrong. All night she calls me Lint. And then she ups and brushes me off, just like a piece of fluff on a black jacket! I ask you, Hunk, is that any way for a girl to treat a guy?"

"Terrible, mate. No heart at all." Hunk said brightening as a group of Hot Young Things arrived in the bar.

"Yeah," Clint said. "So I'm trying again for The Babe. If I can just get this pome right..."

"Yeah, mate, you go ahead and write it. I'll go and do some research into women for ya."

Hunk hitched up his jeans and rocked on over.

"G'day, ladies. Yuz all look real hot. Anyone wanna get it off with me?" he said, the height of coolth.

"I'll think about it," a girl wearing a moulded-on lepardskin dress said carelessly. She sipped her Raging Orgasm. "Is that your friend over there? What's he doing?

"Don't worry about him. I'm the fun guy around here. He's just writing a pome."

"A pome?"All the girls stared. "What for?"

"Oh, to some woman who broke his heart."

"Awwww, that's so sweet," the women cooed and hurried over to soothe Clint Shoulderman's broken heart.

"Hey, wait for me," Hunk said.

"Rack off, this is women's business," Miss moulded-on lepardskin dress told him sharply. "Your friend is the Sensitive Type. You wouldn't understand. He needs a woman's touch."

"Hey, I'm sensitive. I need a woman's touch, yez can touch me anywhere," Hunk called after them, but it was too late. The women were swarming around Shoulderman.

Depressed, Hunk decided to drown his sorrows. He'd forgotten how good a broken heart was for attracting chicks. If only Miss Pouty Luscious, the love of his life, was here to see how she'd broken his heart.

He'd show them all who was the sensitive type. He pulled out an old envelope and started composing a poem to Pouty on the back of it.

Oh Pouty with your lips so red,
I think of you each night in bed.
Your bum looks great in tight blue jeans-

"What rhymes with jeans? Beans... means... steams... Nah, scrub that line." He chewed on his pencil a moment, then wrote,

Your bum looks great in tight white pants,
It jiggles when you try to dance.

Yeah, that was it. Women couldn't resist the sensitive poetry writing type. He looked around for the moulded-on lepardskin dress to read his pome to her, but they'd all gone, taking Clint with them.

"Damn," he said to the barman. "Waste of a good pome. Who understands what women want anyway?"

"Other women," the barman replied. He slid a cautious look around the bar to see if anyone was watching, then leaned forward and whispered, "But if ya really want to understand women I've got something that'll help."

Hunk leaned forward and whispered back. "Sure mate. I'll try anything."

"OK." The barman looked around again, then slid something across the bar to Hunk, fast. "Here ya go, keep it outta sight. "

Hunk looked down. "A book?"

"Not just any book, stupid. It's a romance, one by Kate Walker. Now put it away quick before anyone sees you with it."

Hunk managed to read the title before he pocketed the book. He nodded. He could fancy himself as a sheikh. "And you reckon this will help me understand women."

"Yeah. Make your hair curl, that book will."

Hunkthighs stared at the barman's bald head.

"Damn, it must really be hot!"

"It is mate, it is!"

Hunk drank the last of his beer. Despite his failure with Miss moulded-on leopardskin dress, he was pretty pleased with himself. He was onto a sure thing from now on. Finally he was going to understand women. And get his hair curled. Who'd a thought you could get all that from a book?
Anne has a signed copy of The Perfect Rake - the first in the series - to give away.
The question is from Hunkthighs -- what is it that women really want from a guy?
If you can give poor Hunk a little advice - post your answers in the Comments section and you could win


Annie West said...

Anne, how can I answer your questions when I'm laughing so hard? Unfair! Is there any hope that Messrs Hunkthighs and Shoulderman may appear in another story soon? I hope so.

Am wondering if the answer to your question could be rhyming couplets! Personally, I'm shallow - forget the poetry, I want a man who's strong, chivalrous, loyal and with a killer sense of humour.


Stacy S said...

I've been with my hubby 12 yrs now, but I would have to say honesty & fidelity. Those are the 2 main things with me.

Kelly Hunter said...

Those thighs, the shoulders, the towering comprehension of what women want... what's not to love?

Anne, I can't wait for your soldier series to begin.

And Kate, here's to you and your 50th book. Congratulations.


ilona said...

Stiffles giggles long enough to say:
I want honesty, faithfullness and love from my guy (and I get it in spades!). A sense of humour and a liking for kids doesn't hurt though.

KimW said...

hahaha! That's a great post. Here's my advice...

A big ole box of sweet treats
and a dinner filled with yummy eats
Nice conversation and a lil dance
Will give you that bit of a chance
Listen well and be a jolly good friend
Don't be looking over at the other gals read end
Soft music sung by blue eyed Frankie
Will set the mood for a little hanky panky
Don't forget the big ole blossoming bouquet
You'll be one step closer to the lay in the hay
Hang on dear friend and bide your time
Soon you'll be able to make ultimate climb

Ayla said...

What women want from guys?

It's true! (well sometimes ;) )
I've been with my guy for a year and a half tomorrow (eee yay) and engaged for a year (tomorrow eee)and all i need form him is him to be around. =D

PS Mum (ilona to the rest of you), dad doesn't like kids (or at least not us kids lol)

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

A girl wants a guy who doesn't have a swivel head when he spots other women, one who tells her how sexy she is, no matter what plague is upon her, and a guy who makes the bedroom a palace the minute he enters it.

Lois said...

Oh boy, nice to see you here!! I just had to pop in and say how I love those Perfect books!!! They are, well, perfect! :) Sad to see the series end, but can't wait for the next ones, whatever they may be! :)


robynl said...

loyalty, kindness, honesty and a sense of humor.

Liz Fielding said...

A cup of tea when you come in from a hard day at the typeface. And no singing...

Oh, Anne, what a treat to have another outing with Shoulderman and Hunkthighs. It's been much too long. When are we going to get the book? Please!

Anna Campbell said...

Anne, I can't speak for what ALL women want. But this particular chickie really wants is MORE HUNKTHIGHS AND SHOULDERMAN! I want them to have a series! I want to know about their children. I want to dream about them at night. Oh, that's right, already do that...

What a hoot! Thank you!

And, Kate, congratulations on the 50th book! I'm looking forward to joining the party in a few days but after HT and SM, I feel anything I write will be such a squib! Anne G, are you up for ghost writing jobs? ;-)

Hunkthighs said...

Hey, Annie,
Ya reckon me and Clint should star in a book, eh? you must really like pomes.

"Am wondering if the answer to your question could be rhyming couplets"
What's a couplet? Is it some sort of really short couple? Coz, Annie, honey, me and Clint, we ain't short -- not anywhere.
But shallow? Now you're talking. Love shallow babes, meself. We connect, ya know? On a really deep level. And strong, chivalrous and a killer sense, that's me. What's your phone number?

hunkthighs said...

yeah, honesty and fidelity.

I'm honest and but sorry, I don't play the fiddle at all. Me mate Charlie does, though. He's a whizz on the fiddle, plays irish jigs -- real toe-tapping stuff.

Kelly said:
"Those thighs, the shoulders, the towering comprehension of what women want... what's not to love?"

Hey Kelly, have we met? Coz you sound like my kinda woman.

Ilona, you sound pretty cute, but I don't mess with married women -- specially ones whose blokes carry spades. Sounds like one tough dude.

Troy Hunkthighs said...

Kimw -- awesome, mate, awesome.
You must be a professional pome-writter.
That line about getting a lay in the hay -- moved me to tears mate, it really did.
Now, assuming you don't have a bloke with a spade, what's your phone number.

Kate -- ya never told me I'd be meeting chicks on this thing. Clint doesn't know what he's missed out on.

Hey Pouty, if you're reading this --see? These ladies are classy, book-reading, pome-writting babes and they're hot for me!

Hunkthighs said...

Ayla, babies?
Nah, sorry babe, I'm a condom man from way back. And any way, if you're engaged you shouldn't be looking at me like that, ya know?

Nature nut -- hey, does that mean you're a nudist? Coz if you are, you're my kind of babe. But I havta tell you, I'm no good at the handyman stuff, so if you want your bedroom turned into a palace, I'm out. Decore isn't my thing at all. I'm more your lusty roll-in-the-hay sort. But hey --I'm good.
Especially after reading that book of Kate's -- man, that was some hot book!

Trish Morey said...

Kate, you clever chook, luring out Shoulderman and Hunkthighs to party with you. Might I suggest a "towel-off" with Hugh? I'd love to see how these guys stack up :-)

Congrats again on your 50th book Kate and on a great blog series!

Anne, so looking forward to your soldier boys.

Anne Gracie said...

Hey Lois
thanks for liking my books. I've got a new series starting up early next year - a group of ex-soldiers, brothers and brothers-in-arms.

Hi Liz! waving madly -- lovely to see you here. A book for Hunk and Shoulderman? I don't know if the boys would cope with that -- as it is, poor Hunk is exhausted by all his literary efforts and had to go off and have a beer or two to recover. Or it might have had something to do with a red-head in purple leggings and a beaded crop top...

Christine Wells said...

Nearly snorked my morning coffee over this one.

For Hunk:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Women want one thing--
A Gracie hero, it's true.
Someone chivalrous and kind
Whose hair isn't red,
Who's rugged on the surface
But smooooooth in bed:)

Anne Gracie said...

Hi Anna and Trish

Anna, Hunk says to tell you, "dream on, babe, or send him your phone no."

Ms. Morey, to you Hunk would like to point out that he doesn't need a towel. Or if he did, it would need to be a blanket.

Kate, what a Cat of Superior Taste Sir Sid is. That pic of him with my book is a delight. Do you think he'd give me a quote?

Troy Hunkthighs (pomewritter) said...

Christine, babe, usually women with coffee dribbling outa their noses ain't a turn-on for me, but hey, that pome -- beautiful mate. All it needs is a line about a lay in the hay...
And yeah, I'm smooth, babe, real smooth.
And no, I'm not a red-head -- I'm dark. And I'm off red-heads at the moment, especially snotty, stuck-up babes in purple tights--not that I've ever worn tights, Chris, babe, not even for the grade 5 school play where Miss Fitcher tried to get me and Clint into tights for some play about Robbin Hood -- we wuz into him and the bows and arrows fine, but all those merry men in green tights? -- fuggetaboutit!

Anne McAllister said...

Great blog, Hunk and Shoulders! (And Anne!) And whoever said what women want is more of you two, she's right!

No ugly spectre of jealousy here, Kate. I'm just happy to see them back in print! And is Angelos going to be a Shoulderman? Fingers crossed.

Christine Wells said...

Hunk, you're just too much man for tights:)

And congrats to Kate. 50 books--what an achievement!

Kate Walker said...

A towel *off* between Hugh-in -a and Hunkthighs and Shoulderman - of yes I could go for that!

Troy - now come on darling I promised you Babes - lots and lots of babes if you came out of hiding for me! And see - I keep my promises!

Oh yes - and tell Ms Gracie that A Cat of Superior Breeding will always give her a quote - like 'This is a great book to sleep on' or 'I purred myself to sleep over this book' . . .

Will they do

Hugs to Troy - but where oh where is Clint??

Troy Hunkthighs said...

" And is Angelos going to be a Shoulderman? Fingers crossed."

Hey, Anne, I checked with Clint, and he reckons there's a Greek branch of the family, (the Shouldermanopouloses) so Angelos could be his long-lost Greek cousin.

Anyway, ladies, I gotta go out for a bit, so I'll catch yez all later. You're all gorgeous babes. See Pouty, -- some women appreciate a man for hisself.

Cherie J said...

What attracts me to a man is what I find attractive in my husband: intregity, loyalty, love of family and strong.

Virginia said...

I loved the Hunkthighs and Shoulderman story. But seriously historicals are my favorite books to read. I think what most women want is a man that will be kind to her. A man that shows he really cares about her and her alone. A man that will be there when she really needs him. A sensitive man would be a good one to have.

Kate Walker said...

Troy, darling - Anne and I were discussing a possible Greek hero - my current hero has the name Angelos and we wondered if he was perhaps a Greek Shoulderman

Checking on that we found that if he was, his name would be Angelos Omosandros. (omos - shoulder andros - man) Do you think that Clint is one of the Omosandros family?

Sadly, your wonderful family name did not translate well into Greek - Hunkgampa is not the best hero name - somehow, I can't see 'Hunkgampa's Red Hot Revenge' or 'Hunkgampa's Secret Baby' on a cover



Troy Hunkthighs said...

Cherie, I wish you'd have a talk with Pouty for me, she just doesn't appreciate loyalty in a man. And strength -- now you're talking. You want me to show you me muscles?

Kate, you asked me if I thought that Clint is one of the Omosandros family? Nah, he's not Greek. You're thinking of his cousins , the Shouldermanopouloses -- but they're not omos. Clint might write pomes and stuff, but there's no omos or anything like that in his family -- he'd be pretty narked if you suggested it, actually -- he's not sophisticated and PC, like me. (Pouty taught me about being PC-- she reckons I'm a bit of a cave man -- heh, heh.)

And Hunkgampa's Secret Baby? -- no way, Babe. I'm a condom man. No secret babies here -- geeze, it's enough to give a bloke nightmares!

Anne Gracie said...

Virginia, yes, I'm a sucker for a historical hero, too. I guess that's why I write historicals.

I like it when the hero's sensitive side is buried deep, though, and revealed eventually only to the heroine.
And yes kindness is crucial, isn't it?

Jenny Haddon said...

I eagerly await Troy Hunkthigh's Guide to Dating. The man's got so much to share.

please, please,please, pretty please?


Home Bio Books USA Readers Writers Contests Events Blog Links

Join Kate's Newsletter

Email Kate

Modified and Maintained by HR Web Concepts