Thursday, November 13, 2014

What Batman Teaches Us About Characterization - Ashley Ladd Guest Post

Holy Batman!

Am I seriously suggesting that the 1960’s era TV Adam West version of ‘Batman’ that I watched as a kid can teach us about characterization?

Yes—good and bad.

When I finished making breakfast this morning and served my hubby in bed, he was watching the old sitcom so I joined him. After all, I absolutely loved this show—when I was six. It was my favorite thing on TV until I discovered Star Trek and fell in love with Spock.

Everything about the show seems so silly now that I was cringing—a lot. Yet, it was a real blast from the past.

This particular episode featured The Riddler played by Frank Gorshin, a very giggly, annoying villain who overplayed his part like all the other characters in the show. And of course this version of Batman was his usual stoic, heroic, super stiff self, not like the later charming Michael Keaton version.

My first reaction to the characterization was that it was way overdone, sickeningly so. Maybe it needed to be for six year old audiences but it’s irritating to my adult self.

So what do I think an over-acted, overly dramatic cast of characters can teach us about characterization? Although overdone (which teaches us to dial the dramatization down several notches and smooth off the rough edges) each character is unique.

Batman is always heroic, selfless, and stoic. He loves his expensive toys and always has some new gadget (or two).

Robin is eagerness personification—Holy cheesecake! this and that all the time. Whereas Batman speaks quietly, Robin usually raises his voice.

The Riddler giggles all the time and of course he leaves riddles as clues. He’s a prankster. And if we dared forget who he is, he wears a big question mark on his quest.

The Joker wears his evil, spooky grin. He’s a clown that makes us shiver, shudder, and quake in my boots. He’s pure evil itself.
King Tut is a psychopath who thinks he’s the reincarnation of the Egyptian monarch. He dresses like an Egyptian king and devises Egyptian-like crimes and punishments to fit with his persona.
I could go on but it’s clear that each player is a unique character. Still, in this early version of Batman, they are cardboard. We only got to view the black and white sides of their lives. Batman and Robin are pure good. The Riddler, The Joker, and King Tut are pure bad.

They’re a good start on characterization. They’re just one-dimensional. To make them truly interesting and sympathetic, they need more traits. They need to be rounded out. The 1960’s version of Batman might grasp a little kid’s attention but there’s a reason we don’t enjoy it as adults except perhaps for a few minutes traipse down memory lane—we want multi-dimensional, complex characters that make us think and emote. At least I do.

Keep Reading for an excerpt of Ashley's new release, Spooky Sojourn. (I luuurve this cover!)

Title: Spooky Sojourn
Series Name (If applicable) N/A
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary Erotic male-female contemporary paranormal romance
Book Length: 50,000 words

Someone’s trying to kill Deanna, but is it the ghosts she doesn’t believe in, the rich socialite who might be a murderess, or someone else with a beef against The Gilroy Hotel and Resort that Deanna has just been hired to manage?  The Gilroy’s owners want the ghosts, or whoever is causing the trouble at the hotel eliminated, and they are pressuring Deanna to do the job as quickly as possible. Harry DeVeaux, paranormal investigator comes highly recommended to do the job and against Deanna’s better judgment, she hires him.

Although Deanna thinks Harry’s crazy for believing in ghosts and Harry thinks Deanna has a closed mind to the possibilities of ghosts and they highly annoy each other, sparks fly. Deanna can’t help but fantasize about Harry and inspired by a romance convention visiting her hotel, writes her fantasies in a private blog that Harry finds, hacks, and reads. Ooh la la!


Drawing in a long, shuddering breath, he looked heavenwards and crossed his fingers behind his back hoping she wouldn’t throw something at him, hoping she’d be okay with his admission. “I found your blog and read it.”

Paling, the blood fled from her flesh and her eyes looked like sooty coals against her face. Her gaze clashed with his and held. “How did you find it? I used a pseudonym and I put it on privacy settings.”

He screwed up his lips, and scrubbed his hand over his face, preparing to tell more painful truths. “I’m a bit of a hacker and I like to research the people I’m working with.” Not sure she’d be receptive to his theory, he left out the part that he thought the ghosts led him to her site. He thought they were closet romantics. He wouldn’t be surprised if they’d locked them into the room now to force them into some alone time together.

When a tsunami of emotions flitted across her face he tried to read them. Fury. Embarrassment. Lust?

“You investigated me? You read my private musings?”

“You wrote about me? In some very intimate ways. At least I presume it was me since you used my name.” He fixed her with a piercing gaze. “Did you?”

A pregnant pause rent the air as she veiled her eyes from his view. Finally, she smoothed her skirt against her legs and admitted, “Yes. I have very mixed feelings about you. You make me crazy the way we argue, the way you believe in ghosts, and yet I find myself thinking about you, fantasizing about you.”
Taking heart in the last part even if he wasn’t sure he liked the first, he said with a lopsided grin, “You fantasize about me much?”

As if she suddenly got bold, she sidled up to him with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes and ran the tip of her finger down his chest. “Aren’t my blogs proof? The question is, do you fantasize about me?”

Buy links:

About the Author

Ashley Ladd is a disabled Air Force vet that is hard of hearing but still loves language, especially the written word. She loves a sexy man, especially one with a military background and they’ll often pop up in her stories. She also loves cats and has been known to empower a cat with the gift of speech. Unfortunately he wouldn’t shut up. J She loves to plug into Pandora and sip Diet Coke while writing, usually with a cat or kid at her side.

How you can contact Ashley:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Café - Rebecca Raisin Release Day!!

You are invited to the wedding of the year!

Snow is falling thick and fast outside the Gingerbread Café and, inside, its owner Lily is planning the wedding of the year. Her wedding! She never dreamt it would happen, but this Christmas she’ll be marrying the man of her dreams — in a Christmas-card-perfect ceremony!

The gingerbread is baking, the dress is fitted and the mistletoe’s in place — for once, everything’s going to plan. That is until her mother-in-law arrives... Suddenly, Lily’s famous cool is being tested like never before and her dream wedding is crumbling before her eyes.

In the blink of a fairy light, the Gingerbread Café has been thrown into chaos! Lily thought she had this wedding wrapped up, but with so much to do before she says ‘I do’, can Lily get to the church on time — and make this Christmas sparkle after all?
ChristmasWeddingInvite copy

Find the book here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Aust


Google play





a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Rebecca Raisin

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been widely published in various short-story anthologies, and in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance. The only downfall about writing about gorgeous men who have brains as well as brawn is falling in love with them — just as well they’re fictional. Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and, most importantly, believe in true, once-in-a-lifetime love.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Proper Care And Feeding Of An Author - Ashley Ladd

I was just playing working on Facebook and I found a very good picture about the care and feeding of Amazon authors and immediately I thought, “I’m an author! I want to be well fed!”
Specifically this list mentioned how to feed (help) authors.

·         Buy the author’s book(s)
·         Share “I just bought (name of book)”
·         Write a review
·         Like it on Facebook
·         Tag it
·         Share the link

I was just poking around Amazon and also found that you can also discuss the book(s) you bought on their forum. If there is no forum already established you are given the opportunity to start the discussion. You can also send gift certificates to friends and family who enjoy reading. What a neat, easy way to take care of your gift giving responsibilities.

Goodreads, ARe (All Romance eBooks), Barnes and Nobles, your personal blog, Twitter, and Facebook are all good places to talk about the book too. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time—leave a brief review with your rating then send a quick Tweet and Facebook post. Or share and retweet if you see the mention already written up in your feed. This morning I went to Hootsuite and posted to my Twitter, personal Facebook page, and author Facebook page all in one place. Easy peasy.

It’s always nice to pay things forward. If you’re a fellow author don’t expect a reciprocal review or tweet. Still, very often you’ll get one anyway. If not, don’t worry—a lot of other readers and authors are paying it forward to you. Plus you receive promotion when you post to social media. But this isn’t about you. It’s about helping others.

Or maybe it is about you. If reviews and promotion dry up for authors, if they don’t get enough sales and feedback, some won’t be able to afford to write. They’ll have to work a 9-5 job. Others’ souls may shrivel up and die so they’ll stop writing. In other words, the authors will starve to death.

In the end, both the authors and the readers will suffer.

So please, please, PLEASE feed us authors. Don’t let us go hungry.

Keep reading for an excerpt of Ashley's new book.

Title: Her Men
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary Erotic male-female-male romance
Book Length: 22,000 words

Forty-four year old Julie Weston has loved Timmy and James since her college days twenty something years ago. She's fantasized about both all these long years, never able to choose between them.

Hoping Tim and James will attend, she attends their college marching band reunion. When both men show up her dreams are answered. They're sexier than she imagined and she hopes they won't be disappointed by her older self.

It turns out both men came just to see her again and neither is happy about the other’s presence. They fight over her, confusing her more than ever. It takes a hot ménage…or two…for her heart to decide which one she’s in love with.

Beside herself, she put a pillow over her head. “Why do I still have feelings for him? Why do I want him?”
Connie removed the pillow and brushed the hair off Julie’s brow. “I thought you wanted James?”
She rolled to her side and punched the bed. “I want them both. God is that how Tim felt when we were together? He wanted me but he wanted her too? How can I put him down for that when I’m doing the same thing? I’m not being fair, am I? Or am I just a super slut?”
Connie tugged on her hair. “You’re being human. It took me a long time to discover that my heart lies with Eric. Give them a chance to woo you, to win you. You’re not a slut, just a woman with a choice.”
She shook her head. “Even if I fantasize that they’ll both make love to me at once? That they’ll tie me up and spank me until I scream? I am Super Slut.”
Connie chuckled. “That’s a common woman’s fantasy. I had the same one about Allen and Eric.” She lowered her voice and admitted, “One we lived out last time we were at the reunion.”
Amazement shooting through her, Julie bolted up in bed. “Shut up! You didn’t?”
“We did. It was awesome. I’m so glad we did. I’ll love the memories forever and it clarified who I wanted as my one and only.”
“Really? I hope they’ll give me that chance. I’ve missed them so very, very much. My marriage was miserable because I wanted them.”
“Shush. Stop worrying and take a nap. You’ll feel better.”
“But I’ll miss everything.”
“No one wants to see you throw up. I’ll check on you in a couple hours and if you’re better, we’ll rejoin the party.”
“I’ll miss dinner.”
“There’s a ton of hors d’oeuvres, not to mention room service. You’ll survive. Let’s just hope Tim and James don’t kill each other.”
She grabbed the pillow again and groaned into it. She hoped they wouldn’t too.

About the Author

Ashley Ladd is a disabled Air Force vet that is hard of hearing but still loves language, especially the written word. She loves a sexy man, especially one with a military background and they’ll often pop up in her stories. She also loves cats and has been known to empower a cat with the gift of speech. Unfortunately he wouldn’t shut up. J She loves to plug into Pandora and sip Diet Coke while writing, usually with a cat or kid at her side.

How you can contact Ashley:


Monday, September 1, 2014

Going Pecans! New Release from Gina Henning

Gina Henning has a new release. Check out this adorable cover!!

A warm pie. A tasty guy. Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

Homecomings for Lauren Hauser are always filled with delicious food and hopes for a distraction from her quirky family. The only exception with this visit: she’s been given the challenge of preparing her grandmother’s pie.

Set out on a journey for pecans, Lauren stumbles into Jack a guy who despite his charm (and kissable lips) appears to be in a committed relationship…with his career. His main concern is taking care of a last minute errand for a client, not Lauren or her quest for the key ingredient.

Frazzled in more ways than one, Lauren’s journey improves when Jack rescues her from an icy walk. Attraction and tension rise and soon pecans aren't the only things getting toasty in the kitchen.

Gina Henning currently resides where bluebonnets line the highways in the spring, but she prefers the rock flower anemone from under the sea. Above the ocean's surface Gina likes to dance with her three boys and travel to exotic places like the grocery store with her husband. Her pooch Schatzi is a mix between German Shepherd and possibly pig. One of Gina's favorite pastimes is running. She recently completed her one-and-done marathon. At the end of the day her glass of wine is always half-full.

Check out her book here on Amazon  and give a new author a try. Keep in touch with her by liking her Facebook page or give her a follow on Twitter @Henningland.

Gina also connects with readers on her Goodreads page. 

I always love finding new authors and can't wait to give this book a read!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Upcoming Release Party

Good morning, everyone!

Plotting Mr. Perfect, my new romantic comedy, will be released by Liquid Silver Books on August 25th.  Please join me for the multi-author release party on Facebook.

We will be giving away books, swag and Amazon Gift cards!!  Hope to see you there, but most of all I hope you enjoy Katie's story. She works hard for her happily ever after.

Thanks so much!

S.E. Babin

Friday, July 11, 2014

Guest blog - Haley Whitehall - Doctors in the Old West

Today I welcome Haley Whitehall, author extraordinaire and fellow Liquid Silver Books sister, to my blog. She's discussing doctors in the old west. Check out her new release Wild and Tender Care! Buy links and all the deets on Haley are below. 

There are many books, TV shows, and movies featuring the prominent lawmen, gunfighters, and outlaws of the old west. Perhaps the only well-known doctor is Doc Holliday and he was really a dentist. I really liked Doc Adams on Gunsmoke, but other than that doctors have been extremely overlooked. This is sad considering how important they were.

During the days when western towns were rowdy and rough doctors patched up gunshot and knife victims, they delivered babies, saw towns through epidemics and even declared men dead after court-ordered hangings.

There were few doctors out west. Many graduated and wanted to stay in the bigger cities. The mayor of Big Rock in Colorado Territory places an ad in the newspaper asking for a doctor to build a practice in their growing town. Dr. William Steere answers that advertisement, but will he get patients?

They are in need of his services … if only they can get over their racial predicude that he is a half-breed.

He sucked in his lips. She hadn’t said she didn’t have feelings for him. That was a good sign. By the way she looked at him he could tell she was interested. He just had to persuade her somehow that they could be together in Big Rock.

“I see, Miss Page. Well, I will be by tomorrow to check on you.”

“Check on me? Now listen here, Dr. Steere, I didn’t get shot. I didn’t even break a bone. There is no reason for you to check on my sprained ankle.”

Fire burned in her eyes. He didn’t respond, merely headed for the door.

She liked him, wanted him. Usually it was the boy who showed he loved the girl by antagonizing her. Miss Page was flustered because she loved him. He’d bet all his money on it. Of course, he longed for her to say those words. Hopefully in time she could.

Stuck in the chair with her foot emerged in the bucket of water Miss Page couldn’t run after and chastise him. However, her glare scorched his back. “Did you hear me, Dr. Steere?”

He turned around and grinned. “Yes, I heard you, Miss Page. I’m just doing my job. All my life I’ve had to work extra hard for the things I’ve wanted.” And I want you.

His piercing lust elicited a tiny shiver from Miss Page. His gaze having the effect he wanted gave him silent encouragement. Oh yes, she wanted him. “It was hard getting into medical school as a half-breed. I wouldn’t take no for an answer.”


Ida Page has seen the worst the west has to offer. Snubbed by the citizens of Big Rock, Colorado, ever since the town cleaned up its act and became civilized, she has tried to change with the times. No other line of work available, she became a laundress after the mayor shut down the whorehouse, but the good people will not allow her to forget her past as a shady lady. She has given up on ever being accepted, let alone falling in love, until a handsome half-breed stranger arrives in town.

After the War Between the States, William Steere has been looking for a town to build a medical practice. He answered a newspaper ad placed by the mayor of Big Rock and hopes their desperate need for a doctor will overrule their race prejudice against his half-breed status. At the Independence Day picnic, he is introduced to all the town citizens except for one woman sitting off by herself. This redhead draws him to her with merely a gaze.

Can the two outcasts find love and acceptance in each other's arms or will the town’s cruelty and a smallpox epidemic tear them apart?

Buy Links:

Liquid Silver Books ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes and Noble ~ ARe

Author Bio:
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical fiction and historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy. Visit Haley’s website at

Where to find Haley Whitehall:

Monday, June 30, 2014

Seven Inspiring Tidbits About Me!

I have been tagged by the awesome author Jayne Denker to participate in the Very Inspiring Blogger Award/Tour! That means I get to tell you wonderful people Seven Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me!! They may or may not be interesting or cool so I apologize in advance. 

1. When I was in junior high I did a very embarrassing dance to Jailhouse Rock in my choir class. I was supposed to be joined by a friend, but she backed out at the very last minute due to fear and perhaps a desire to remain cool, leaving me alone and surrounded by a group of twenty of my peers to gyrate and shimmy around the room. I should also mention that I cannot dance. This is still brought up sometimes when I run into people I went to school with.

2. When I was in the military, people would call me at least once a week and try to stump me with a random trivia question or a word definition. It became a source of amusement for them (and me) because I never lost. By the end, it got pretty outrageous and we’d be laughing hysterically on the phone.

3. I am incredibly introverted in some social situations, and they make me nervous. However, when I see something that I want I have this internal bravery that surprises me sometimes. I saw my husband across the room (literally) on Monday night karaoke. The fact that I was out was a complete fluke, but I knew it was meant to be. I came up to him, told him I thought he was cute, and said if he was interested he should come over and join our table. He did! We’ve been together almost 13 years now. 

4. I won an award for most books read in the entire school. I still have the trophy.

5. I tend to ramble random facts during conversation. This makes people uncomfortable. 

6. The smell of cucumbers makes me physically ill. 

7. I read approximately 3-5 books per week and run a large local book club. 

I'm tagging Lacey Falcone and Anna Silver. I'm supposed to tag 7, but I don't have 7!!  The rules: Post the logo and link back to your tagger (me!) and then list your seven tidbits. Go!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

News - A Brand New Home and Book Coming Soon!

Hey everyone!!

Yesterday was an absolutely FANTASTIC DAY! I received an offer and signed a contract with Liquid Silver Books for my new paranormal romantic comedy. 

I loved writing this comedy, and the characters in it ended up being some of my favorites. Kate, Leo, Mel and Will are almost too stubborn to live, but their path to romance makes me giggle every single time :)

I hope you all love this book as much as I do. I believe the book will be out sometime this year, but I do not even have a tentative release date yet. We have to get through the editing process first, and that hasn't even started. 

 Liquid Silver Books

I am SO excited to be traveling down this new path, and I hope you all stay along for the ride.

Just in case you were wondering about my mystery series, that will still be published by Corvallis Press. The second book in The Naughty Goddess Chronicles should be out sometime this year.

I am still working on The Hunt for Snow. I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do with that book because it is so non-traditional. I took classic fairytales, switched them up, then threw in a steamy romance. So it's a mix of romance, urban fantasy (because my MC is quite the gun-toting badass), and a bit of comedy). 

Also, I have a new cozy mystery series I'm about to start. I don't want to talk about that too much right now, but it does revolve around a very special lady named Annie. has a paranormal aspect to it as well. I hope to put that one sometime around September, but that is a very tentative date.

Hope everyone is doing fab!