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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Monday, July 05, 2010

Calling Team Julian! Hard Evidence excerpt/discussion

Dark Angel struts his stuff.

Sorry we missed Man-Titty Monday this week. Perhaps these images of Julian Darcangelo, aka Dark Angel, will make up for that.

Remember that Eduardo Verástegui was chosen by all of you during the I-Team Casting Couch competition to play the role of Julian should they be made into films. As an aside, a reader on Goodreads cast Hard Evidence herself and picked the exact Tessa and the exact Julian that we had chosen. Talk about amazing coincidence... Of course, I’d forgotten about Eduardo and ended up drooling over the photo she posted, but that’s another story.

I’m summoning Team Julian (and those of you who are members of Team RJMGZ) together for a reason. And that reason contains spoilers. So if you haven't read Hard Evidence beware!

There be spoilers here! Ye've been warned!

Okay, here we go...


First, more handsome face. Okay.

Once in a while, I venture onto Amazon and read reviews. Sometimes readers send me links to reviews, and sometimes I’m writing and want to risk my mojo by reading what people have to say about my books. I try to respect everyone’s opinion. It’s not my job to tell them what to feel. (I will admit to taking issue with those who say the reporting doesn't seem realistic or that Kat is a bad journalist or that no reporter would sneak behind razor wire. I’m a National Journalism Award winner for goodness sake! I do think I know what reporters would and wouldn’t do. Okay, got that off my chest.)

Recently, I read a review in which a reader said that Julian was a terrible hero. Actually, she said he was “repulsive,” “a total disaster” and “a whore.” She also said that he raped Tessa and that Tessa allowed him to rape her. (Um... Okay.)

Granted, the scene to which this reader refer is an edgy scene. Julian, pushed to the emotional edge by Tessa, explodes and acts out the unworthiness he feels. Raised by a monster of a father, he’d had a nightmare childhood, which he’d tried to turn to good by becoming a federal agent and going after men like his father. But that has meant years of masquerading as a sexual predator. And all that ugliness — his childhood, the brutal nature of his job — is inside him. He believes it makes him unworthy. And so what does he do?

Here’s the scene (Argh! Spoilers! Avast! Turn back!):

“I had no idea, Julian. I didn’t know anyone could do anything so terrible to a woman!” She shuddered, a wave of revulsion, of sheer terror, passing through her.

He held her closer. “Try not to think about it. Just let it go.”

“Those poor women!” She squeezed her eyes shut. “I can’t get the images out of my head! How do I make them go away?”

And then it hit her.

She sat up, stared at him. “My God, Julian, you’re exposed to this every day! How do you—?”

He pressed a finger against her lips. “It’s my job, Tessa.”

Something about the way he said it—the quiet strength, the resignation, the hint of buried despair—closed around her heart like a fist. “It hurts you.”

He sat up, rested his weight on one hand. “Somebody has to do it, and I’m better suited to it than most men.”

She ran a hand up his arm. “You’re as human as any man, Julian. You have the same right to feel as everyone else.”

“Don’t try to figure me out, Tessa.” He pushed off the bed, pulling away from her, a dark scowl on his face, an edge to his voice. “It’s a waste of your time.”

She hopped off the bed, cut him off at the door, her hand pressed against his chest to stop him. “Don’t try to push me away! It’s my time to waste.”

“Tessa!” One word, her name—a low growl of warning.

A muscle clenched in his jaw, his heart pounding against her palm.

She held her ground. “There’s nothing inside you that scares me, Julian.”

She saw in his eyes the moment his control snapped. In a heartbeat, she found herself pinned beneath him on the floor, her arms stretched over her head, her wrists cuffed by one big hand.

He glared down at her, an almost feral look on his face, his thighs forcing hers apart. “You really want to know what’s inside me?”

Then his mouth closed over hers in a brutal, punishing kiss.

Tessa didn’t object. Not when he forced his tongue roughly into her mouth. Not when he used his free hand to rip open her blouse, scattering buttons across the floor. Not when he ground his pelvis against hers, thrusting in crude imitation of sex.

He meant to frighten her, she knew. He wanted to show her how violent he could be, how badly he could hurt her. And yet it was himself he was hurting.

Tears slipped from the corner of her eyes down her temples as she yielded her body to his rage, her heart aching for him. Somehow he’d gotten her pants off and was now yanking his zipper down over the bulge of his erection. Then he buried himself inside her, pounded his fury and desperation into her without finesse or gentleness.

It was over quickly.

He groaned, shuddered, then sank against her, his face buried in the crook of her neck, his breath coming fast and heavy. For a moment he lay against her. “Jesus God!”

It was a cry of remorse. He released her wrists, started to pull away, but she held him fast, kissing his hair, her tears falling freely now.

Now, just to make it clear, I’m not upset with the reviewer who called Julian repulsive. Her review is her honest response to the story. From her point of view, he was despicable, and that’s valid and real for her. Reading this scene one can perhaps see why she felt this way.

However, those of us who understand Julian’s inner demons — i.e., me — see something different in this scene. And so I thought I'd ask you what you think Julian would do if the scene had been written differently, if it had been written like this:

But first, another break for handsome face. Okay.

She held her ground. “There’s nothing inside you that scares me, Julian.”

She saw in his eyes the moment his control snapped. In a heartbeat, she found herself pinned beneath him on the floor, her arms stretched over her head, her wrists cuffed by one big hand.

He glared down at her, an almost feral look on his face, his thighs forcing hers apart. “You really want to know what’s inside me?”

Then his mouth closed over hers in a brutal, punishing kiss.

"Julian, stop!” Tessa twisted and arched, trying to get away from him, her breath coming in pleading pants. “You’re hurting me! Please! Don’t do this!"


WWJD?

What do you think Julian would do in this scene if Tessa had fought him and screamed for him to stop?

And why in the world didn’t Tessa try to stop him? Is she okay with being abused? Can it really be rape if she understands him and allows him to do this?

Share your thoughts and I’ll follow up and explain how I saw the scene. Maybe we’ll even hear from Julian and Tess about it...

Also this week: RomCon comes to Denver! If you registered for the Pamela Clare Reality Tour please let me know ASAP via e-mail! I’d love to know who put their names in for the lottery. I will be posting my RomCon schedule here and on my Yahoo Group later in the week, and I hope to spend time with each and every one of you.

Plus, I’m psyched about meeting Anna Campbell in person and seeing KristieJ again.

NOTE: Blogger seems to be screwing up. I know some of you have commented and your comments aren't showing up. Neither are my responses. Blogger seems to have given Rita the last word. LOL! Maybe the glitch will clear up. Keep posting! They do end up in my e-mail Inbox, and I'm sure they'll show up later. — PC

30 comments:

Mitzi H. said...

She didn’t stop him for the same reason I wouldn’t stop him….She wanted him as badly as he wanted her….and he knew it. They are perfect for each other!!!

Gads…how in the world could anyone think he is repulsive or raped her???? I just don’t get it…..but then, it takes an emotionally mature female to appreciate a man like Julian, IMO.

Zosia said...

Julian is hands-down my favourite hero. I love romantic suspense, and I haven't found another Julian anywhere.

I think what's so great about this sub-genre is that the characters are often more realistic. I know a lot of straight romance readers like their heroes to walk around laying rose petals at the heroine's feet and giving her Shakespeare-worthy speeches.

Personally, I hate that. I hate the kind of romance novel that makes people laugh at romance novels.
Romantic suspense allows for writers to deal with grittier, more realistic issues, and I’m always reading comments from more conservative romance readers about how they refuse to read books with rape or prostitution or abuse or drugs or swearing or sex beyond a ‘fade to black’ or just about anything else. I’ve spent quite a lot of time in some pretty horrible countries, and when I read I want to actually care about something beyond, “before you my life was like a moonless night” (or whatever the hell Edward Cullen spouts every three seconds).

Julian was so busy hating himself he saw things from a different perspective to Tessa. If Tessa had told him to stop there's no doubt he would have stopped. This is a man who has devoted his life to helping women trapped in horrible situations, and I would have thought that by the time this scene happens a reader would be able to see the difference between Julian and the kind of men he's working to stop and what Julian’s doing and the crimes he’s working to prevent.

Zosia said...

Oh, and seeing as Hard Evidence is currently ranked #2 on Goodreads' 'Best Romantic Suspense' poll, I'm willing to bet there are plenty of people who 'got' the scene just fine.

Luci said...

Pamela, as is typical with me I always forget book details once i close a book. BUT I can definitely say that I had not felt it as rape at the time or as Julian forcing himself on Tess because that I would have remembered. I know that I had loved the book and had gone straight to reading Unlawful Contact.

The scene you posted taken alone is rough, yes but still it does not look like rape to me. We get Tessa's view of it too. How she understands what he is feeling, how she does not even try to stop him. I love it that she broke down too at the end though. It made it all the more real. He battling his demons and she accepting him and trying to help him but not without being effected by it. That happens so much in real life too.

I believe that if Tessa had said no he would have come to his senses and stopped. I never at any point in the book viewed Julian as repulsive. He was what is termed a truly tortured hero.

On the rape theme - I am all for second chances etc etc and have an innate belief that anyone can change if they really want to. I cannot say I would like to read a book with rape, but i did read one by an author I know you love Pamela and the heroine really really raped the heroine with out showing any remorse - at least up to half the book (which is where i stopped reading). And he forced himself on the heroine once, twice and by the third time I couldn't take it any longer.

Apparently by the end he redeems himself - I did not give him the chance to.

I think in such scenes the writing style is the key. And the way you wrote this scene is extremely realistic.

I agree with you though that each reader has his own views of a book and each person interprets things differently.

Luci said...

Oh BTW, thanks for reposting the pictures - I had forgotten what a real hottie Julian is :)

RitaSV said...

I never viewed that scene as a rape at all....she never asked him to stop and if she had he absolutely would have. She finally saw his wounds and allowed him to express all that jumbled sorrow and anger. She cried for him, not because of what he was doing to her. Tess was accepting him with no judgment and he needed her at that moment when he couldn't feel tender, only hurt. She was his soft spot to land in an ugly world and she allowed him to rage against that ugliness. I'm searching for words here but can't quite explain it...I just know that he would never, ever deliberately hurt Tess. EVER.

I haven't read Julian's story yet, but from the excerpt I have to agree with rita. There's a huge difference between rape and a tortured hero physically expressing his pain with an understanding woman. It's clear that Julian truly cares about Tessa and she cares about him. It's clear that he's devoted his life to helping women, not hurting them. The scene is gritty and rough, but it's honest. And HOT. Like Eduardo.

I like tender scenes when they're real, like the excerpt you posted from Carnal Gift. I don't like scenes that make me roll my eyes and think 'no real person with a Y chromosome would say/do that.' Nothing makes me put a book down faster.

Christine said...

I think it would have proven the point he was trying to make, and the story would have ended much differently, with him still being a shell of a person, trying to deal with the haunting images he had to see.

Hi, Zosia — Your post made me laugh out loud. No, Julian wouldn't lay rose petals at Tessa's feet or quoting Shakespeare (he's probably never read/seen Shakespeare). But he would rip his own heart out and hand it to her if she needed it.

I loved this: "I hate the kind of romance novels that make people laugh at romance novels."

Like you, I've been in some rough places. In my case, it was both physical and metaphorical. The "floating hearts" version of romance just doesn't cut it for me. Heroines who never swear, heroes who's only sign of a temper is a tense jaw.... Who are those people?
I need the world to reflect some of the reality I've seen. (My agent says the I-Team books are my form of therapy, and she's not far off on that score.)

And you're absolutely right. Julian goes into that moment thinking he's not much different from the men he's helped bring down, aka Burien, et al. But he has devoted his life to helping, not hurting women.

I didn't know about the Goodreads poll. Go HARD EVIDENCE! woot!

Hi, Luci — Yes, Tessa breaks down, too, because throughout the scene she's thinking of him and how much he's hurting inside. I think this scene is followed up by one in which Julian makes love to her very slowly and tenderly, giving her back everything he took, and she gets a sense of his mother's presence as Julian sleeps beside her. She promises his mother to watch over Julian. *sniff*

So she understood.

And, yes, he would have stopped.

I know the book you're talking about. I stopped reading at that point, too. Maybe I should finish it. But it absolutely was rape.

And you're welcome! Nothing like hot photos of a hero we love to start the day out. Better, in my humble opinion, than just sexy chest.

Hi, Rita — I couldn't have said it better myself. That's how I saw it as I wrote the scene. That's what the scene was intended to do — show Tessa the depth of Julian's pain and absolve him of it through love. And that love is show by her NOT fighting him and not reacting as if he were raping her. She later says something like, "You think you raped me? You didn't take anything I wasn't willing to give."

I love this: "She was his soft spot to land in an ugly world."

I wish more of us had that soft spot to land. The world truly can be ugly.

Christina, your comment isn't showing right now, but I'm going to reply anyway. Maybe it will show up in your e-mail Inboxes...

So sorry about Blogger!

But I think you're right. IF Tessa had fought him like that, he would have stopped. AND he would have gone on to continue believing all the bad stuff he believes about himself.

He completely breaks down in this scene, falls 100 percent apart. She catches the pieces of him. And that's what enables him to heal.

I don't know if there would have been an HEA for the two of them otherwise.

You totally got the scene the way I intended it. All of you did. Which isn't to say this other reader is dim. She just saw it differently.

REPOSTING

Hi, Rita — I couldn't have said it better myself. That's how I saw it as I wrote the scene. That's what the scene was intended to do — show Tessa the depth of Julian's pain and absolve him of it through love. And that love is show by her NOT fighting him and not reacting as if he were raping her. She later says something like, "You think you raped me? You didn't take anything I wasn't willing to give."

I love this: "She was his soft spot to land in an ugly world."

I wish more of us had that soft spot to land. The world truly can be ugly.

This comment has been removed by the author.
This comment has been removed by the author.

Here's what Jennie Marsland posted:

I haven't read Julian's story yet, but from the excerpt I have to agree with Rita. There's a huge difference between rape and a tortured hero physically expressing his pain with an understanding woman. It's clear that Julian truly cares about Tessa and she cares about him. It's clear that he's devoted his life to helping women, not hurting them. The scene is gritty and rough, but it's honest. And HOT. Like Eduardo.

I like tender scenes when they're real, like the excerpt you posted from Carnal Gift. I don't like scenes that make me roll my eyes and think 'no real person with a Y chromosome would say/do that.' Nothing makes me put a book down faster.


And Jennie, "gritty, rough and hot" are words I would use to describe the type of book I tried to write when I wrote HARD EVIDENCE. And that's a great description: a tortured hero physically expressing his pain. :-)

Kara C said...

Ok, Pamela, I know I can't possibly pass myself off at this point as being on Team Julian, so I hope I'm still allowed to comment. :) I think Julian would have stopped had the scene been written as that second version. I mean, yes, he has his demons, but hurt Tess intentionally? No way. And, like the other posters, I never saw that scene as a rape. I mean, he's no Marc, but I love Julian.
BTW, I checked your blog Monday, hoping for a glimpse of holiday M-T M, and who do I see? George? I laughed out loud. Not at all what I expected to see.

Anonymous said...

I don't recall reading that as rape-like, but it's been a while since I read HE. I could see why Julian would be hard to convince that he hadn't crossed the line, but I also think he would have stopped if the second version of Tessa's reaction had happened. That's the kind of verbiage that cuts through the haze. He would have stopped, I have no doubt.

We actually have had some interesting discussions on Amazon and here about scenes that people thought were rape while others didn't. One angle that really gets people going is "can a man be raped by a woman?" I say it's a definite 'yes', but there are plenty of women out there who disagree.

I wonder what that reviewer would think if the situations were reversed. People think it's not physically possible, but it is. As you said, she's not dim, but it obviously wasn't the intent of the scene and I do wonder 'what if'...

Beanbag Love

Hi, Kara — LOL about George Washington instead of MTM. Yes, MTM had the day off. LOL!

It's okay for you to join in even though you're the undisputed captain of Team Marc.

I also can't see Julian intentionally hurting Tessa. In fact, that is the one rule I have for my heroes. They can't deliberately hurt her.

At least your comment made it onto the board! Christina's is still out there somewhere. I even reposted it and it didn't stick.

Hi, Beanbag — Nicholas in RIDE THE FIRE was raped (at least in my opinion). I'll have to watch for that discussion.

Not sure why your post didn't show up, but it's great to see you here! Sorry about the Blogger glitch! It's not even letting me post without a password. Whatever!

Hi, Mitzi — Wow, your post wasn't showing up at all! You were first. Yeah, I wouldn't stop him either.

Julian is a pretty complicated character as romance heroes go - or I like to think so anyway. :-)

ronna15 said...

I never would have thought of that scene as a rape scene, EVER. I may not have experience being sexually abused(thankfully), but I feel as a woman, that that scene was not. I have always been repulsed on any writing that tortures a woman's virtue. Some may be evident with RIDE THE FIRE, but not without redeaming the woman's srength, which is fine. It always rips my heart out when I would come across a rape scene, but after reading HARD EVIDENCE, I could honestly say that Julian did not rape Tessa.

It's actually more of a self-inflicted pain for Julian. He continues to convince himself of the "monster" he is, to convince himself that he is not worthy of Tessa, to try to repel her, to scare her, but he's only hurting himself. Tessa, on the other hand willingly lets him do this becuase she loves this man, and understands why he's doing it, that he's only hurting himself. Tessa cried for him simply because the man she loves can't see himself as this wonderful, brave, strong, and caring person.

And for the record, if Tessa asked Julian to stop, he would have definately stoped and apologized for what he did.

-ronna ;D
(now, how about that interview with Julian and Tessa?)

Mary G said...

Hi Pamela
Great post. Love the subject & the picks. I did not see it as rape either. I saw it as Julian feeling too much for Tessa & wanting to show her he wasn't worth it. While it was rough, it was not meant to hurt. This is the clue:

It was a cry of remorse. He released her wrists, started to pull away, but she held him fast, kissing his hair, her tears falling freely now.

As in all your books, the rawness is juxtaposed with beauty every step of the way.

I think if that reader doesn't see it like you wrote it, she needs to stay away from today's rom. susp.
because none I've read is for the faint of heart.

KristinCP said...

Pam...you know I love Julian. Cripes! I named my Kindle after the handsome sex God! He's second only to Hunt, for me.

I could see where some readers might have taken that scene as something different than what us Julian fans took it as. But I think the way it was executed didn't come off as rape at all. As you wrote, she didn't object to any of it. To me, you wrote it clearly as Tessa accepting him, all of him...even the part that he thinks is evil. To me, it was all about her showing she cared about ALL of him, even his darker parts.

Had it gone down the "other" way, I'd think he would have stopped. Julian ISN'T a rapist, after all. He stops rapists.

Had it gone down that way though, we would have lost a major story turning point for both Tessa and Julian.

Thanks for posting this and the yummy pics, as usual!

Kristin

Anonymous said...

It's a while since I read HE, but I don't see this as rape. I had more of a problem with the earlier scene where he gropes Tessa in the car park. By this stage of the story though, we know them well enough, and how much they care for each other.
It's an interesting topic though. One of my early favourite historical romances includes the hero abducting and raping the heroine. It's set in the 1850s, was written c1960, I first read it in the early 1980s (when I was in my early 20s), and it's more historical epic than category romance. I didn't have any problems with that incident at the time, and have re-read it several times since (though not recently), but wonder if I would be so accepting if I came fresh to it now.
A lot comes down to the execution - in the hands of a skilled writer, with plausible set-up and motivation, and appropriate consequences and character growth, much can be forgiven. I'm not saying rape is acceptible behaviour, but neither is it necessarily unforgivable.
Lesley

Diane W. said...

I haven't read through all the comments yet, but I wanted to get my thoughts down before I'm completely distracted by those yummy Julian photos.

Personally, I thought that was THE pivotal scene in the book. Tessa was showing Julian she could accept and handle everything about him...the good, the bad and the ugly, and that she could love him right through it....and then past it.

It seemed like a very cathartic scene to me. He was expunging his demons as it were and she was taking it all in and giving him back nothing but acceptance and healing in return. I saw her tears as part of that healing process, not as some sort of cry for help because he was hurting her. I thought she was taking all of his hurt into her and releasing it for him through her tears.

I think that only then was he able to truly move forward in their relationship and in turn give her everything she needed without those ghosts haunting him and holding him back anymore. Tessa held his heart at this point....not the demons of his past. Without that pivotal scene, I don't think he truly would have been able to love her.

And really, isn't that what true love is all about? Being able to share the deepest parts of yourself with someone else and have them love and accept you for all that you are.

I think Julian and Tessa do that for each other in an amazing way, and I never once thought of that scene as a rape scene. In fact, it startled me when I read the title of your post. I was thinking, "Huh? Did I miss something in that book?"

Anyway, I loved that book and thought you did a superb job with it. I love sexy, complicated heroes with an edge to them. ;-)

Diane

Hi, Ronna — I hear what you're saying about finding rape in fiction disturbing. I have it or mention of it in a lot of my books, probably because I *was* sexually assaulted (as y'all know — I've been open about it) and that's a part of who I am no matter what.

But you're right. Tessa cried for him, not because of him. She didn't have to forgive him because from her point of view he didn't do anything to her. He only hurt himself by believe that he was less than he truly is.

Thanks!

Hi, Mary — Thanks for your thoughts.

"As in all your books, the rawness is juxtaposed with beauty every step of the way."<--- Wow, I really loved reading this. Thank you. I guess that's what I think life is like — beauty mixed in with tragedy and struggle.

Julian certainly didn't want to hurt her. He was in a tangled space of wanting her, of wanting to protect her from himself, of feeling unworthy of her and being overwhelmed by his own demons. He lashes out sexually, but he doesn't hurt her. And the entire time he's doing this, Tessa understands.

Hi, Lesley — You know I was just telling someone about The Flame and the Flower today. Wherever Heather goes in that book, there is a man waiting to rape her — including the hero, who does rape her. Twice!

I read that as a 15-year-old, and I loved that book. I was saying today that I'm not sure it would even get published. If it did, it would get a very mixed reception. But as it is, it is considered a classic romance.

Times change, don't they?

Good point. Lots of scenarios we can't imagine become plausible and even wonderful reading in the hands of a skilled writer.

Hi, Diane — Wow can I frame this and put it on my wall? Or maybe it goes in a book titled, "The Zen of Loving Julian Darcangelo."

I say that because a Buddhist practice is to breathe in the world's pain and to release only goodness. And that's very much what Tess does here, as you point out.

Or maybe she's Navajo. Because they believe that a woman's tears purify. (Something Kat told her in the book.)

Regardless, thanks very much.

I'm so glad all of you "felt" the scene the way I intended it to feel.

For Julian, this scene is about facing his own demons, and he never could have done it without Tessa.

You're so right that from here on, Tessa has his heart, whether he realizes it or not. They are inseparable. They are deeply in love. And Julian is slowly becoming whole again.

I'll have to see if I can round them up for an interview...

K.O said...

First off -- THANKS for the immediate revisit with Julian and Tessa Pamela! :) And this is definitely one of their "relationship forks in the road." You know I already think we see "romance" very much the same, and this emotional moment between Julian and Tessa was one of the very things that made this book stand out from the crowd. My interpretation of the scene (and especially where you placed it in their developing relationship) was an awakening for Julian. Tessa purposely pushed him to the very brink because she both trusted and knew she wouldn't break through his long established emotional barriers without stepping over the line. By doing so, he also stepped over the line and tested her very "trust" in his integrity. By purposely putting on his "big, bad, scarey undercover FBI" facade with her, and her not backing away, he knew that SHE KNEW he'd never truly hurt her or do anything she wasn't truly accepting or prepared for.

Julian's "forceful" taking of Tessa in that scene was definitely his "man-crying" moment - i.e. men don't cry, they use anger as "acceptable" emotions that they can show. Tessa knew it in that moment, yet she also knew if she had told him to stop ... he absolutely would have. Their lovemaking at that moment was more of a mutual exchange of a myriad of emotions only understood between lovers, and a heightened awareness of how committed they actually were to each other.

As for a reader who simplifies the emotions on their surface, and calls it "rape" when it clearly wasn't ... I'd say they are a bit emotionally pent-up themselves and only "feel" at a very superficial level.

BTW Pamela -- I feel so tickled that our little convo at GR inspired a blogpost! LOL! Cool! :D
K.

Hi, K! Fancy meeting you here. LOL!

I just got done reading your review of HARD EVIDENCE over at GR and want to buy you a drink. Thanks so much for that. I'm soooooooooo glad you enjoyed the story.

I feel bad for the reader who sees Julian as a monster because that exterior is only the outermost layer of him, as you so eloquently say.

Julian and Tess do test each other, in a manner of speaking. Julian does his utmost to scare her away, and she does her utmost to break through his wall.

I like what you called it — a "man-crying" moment. When I was writing it, I knew it would take something huge to make him tell her about his past and to give her that insight into his pain. He was never going to just sit down over dinner and say, "Sorry if I seem a bit distant and closed off, Tessa, but I was raised by a woman-beating pimp." LOL!

It's 7 AM and I'm already running late for work. How can that be?

But I did want to pop in and thank you for your post and for the review.

And what's this about Eduardo and a vow of chastity?

Not once did the thought rape cross my mind when I read Hard Evidence! My thoughts were wow this man is hurting inside and has no idea how to help himself. Where Tessa immediately wanted to heal and sooth his demons. I love Julian and the thought that someone wants to tarnish my man ruffles my feathers so to speak lol. Anyway Pamela I thought you done an outstanding job!

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Favorite Writing Quotes


"I am an artist. I am here to live out loud."
—Emile Zola

"I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day."
—James Joyce

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery."
—Jane Austen

"Writers are those for whom writing is more difficult that it is for others."
—Ernest Hemingway

"When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth."
—Kurt Vonnegut

"The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar is the test of their power."
—Toni Morrison

"No tears in the author, no tears in the reader."
—Robert Frost.

"I'm a writer. I give the truth scope."
—the character of Chaucer in
A Knight's Tale