Tag Archives: Romance

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – Freddo/Freddissimo (adj. cold/freezing)

Freddo (Freddissimo)

adj. cold, glacial, frigid
adj. fig. dead, lifeless
adj. fig. detached, aloof, impassive, rational
n.   cold, cold weather

from Word Reference

Freddo

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here.

Adesso, fa freddissimo!–Right now, it’s freezing! (You can find an explanation of how freddo changed to freddissimo in my previous post.)

The reason I chose freddo this week is obvious. Il Regno di Ghiaccio (The Reign of Ice, i.e. the Italian title of the Disney movie Frozen) is an apt description of the current weather. The roads are iced over, frostbite is a few minutes of exposure away, and my car is making weird noises. D.C. doesn’t have it as bad as the rest of the country, but it was cold enough for me to dig out my gloves, scarf and hat from storage.

One of the first things one learns in Italian class is that (as with the case in French), one “has” cold as opposed to one “is” cold. In other words, ho freddo literally translates to “I have cold” but is the Italian equivalent of saying “I am cold.” Additionally, the weather “does” freezing as opposed to “is” freezing–(Il tempo) fa freddissimo. The idiomatic equivalent of fa freddissimo is fa un freddo cane, which, as far as I can tell, literally translates to (the weather) makes a frozen dog.

And since I get lethargic and sleepy whenever it’s cold out, this is all the effort I can muster for today. But calma e sangue freddo! (Keep calm and don’t panic–lit. calm yourself and keep your blood cold). My next Italian Word of the Week will hit the interwebs next Thursday.

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment.  

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JustRomance.Me Hop: Baby, It’s Cold Outside – The Downsides of Heat by Tara Quan


JustRomance.me Bloghops

Welcome to JustRomance.Me’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside hop. Now that the holiday season is over, we can all focus on the joys (and perils) of this year’s White Christmas.  If you came upon this post by accident, but would like to join in the fun, just click the banner above and you can start at the beginning. There are lots of prizes up for grabs (one of which is a copy of my first novella, Tower in the Woods), and the Grand Prize is a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX.

Before I get on with my post, I probably should tell you that I’ll be giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card (electronic) to a random commenter on this blog (separate from JRM’s prize bundle). All you need to do is state the FULL NAME (First & Last) of the not so comfortable woman featured in the snippet below (aka. the heroine of my new release, Delicious Delay). Yes, this is a blatant attempt to bribe you into leaving a comment (*bats eyelashes*) [According to Random.org, the winner of this GC is the 7th commenter who is *drum roll* “Tammy”!]

Okay, onward with my post. I was born and raised in Bangkok (where it’s perpetually above 95F/39C). When I finished high school, I made the somewhat misguided decision of picking a university in Boston. Below was my dorm-room view for most of the “Fall Semester.”

Boston Winter

Suffice it to say I wasn’t a happy camper (I have absolutely no cold-tolerance). Now that I’m living in DC, the winter isn’t quite as bad, but it’s definitely not to a Bangkokian’s standards. So what’s a girl to do when it’s freezing outside?

One thing that always makes me feel better (and I’m not just trying to plug my book, I promise) is remembering the downsides of heat. Here’s a snippet from my new release that might cheer you up:

“Michelle Day fanned herself with the in-flight menu as she guzzled warming champagne. Hot air blew through the vents above her seat. At the height of summer, no air conditioning could win against the desert sun. […] Even with an icy towel on the back of her neck, her body kept sweating by the bucket. The creases at her knees and elbows itched. Her bra’s underwire and straps chafed enough for it to be classified as an instrument of torture. Desperate times called for desperate measures.”

Wondering what those desperate measures were? Delicious Delay is available from Decadent Publishing (here), Amazon (here), and B&N (here). Click on the cover to get to a much sexier excerpt and the blurb!

You should know my heroine’s name by now, so all you need to do is state it in your comment along with an email where I can contact you for a chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card.  I’ll draw the winner after the hop ends on January 5th.

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – [Buon] Anno ([Good] n. year)!

Happy New YearAnno

n. year

from Word Reference

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here.

Buon anno, tutti! (Happy New Year, everyone!–translation not literal) This week’s word came up a day early since it is the New Year. I’m going to put myself on a limb here and say buon anno is the Italian equivalent of “Happy New Year”. The only source I have to back this up are dubbed episodes of How I Met Your Mother (which are hilarious, by the way), so please feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken. Literally, the New Year is il capodanno (m. s.), and New Year’s Eve is la notte di capodanno (f.s.).

Anno (n. year) is a word that has given me much grief because I instinctively say per anno instead of all’anno whenever I refer to recurring events. In English, one says “X happens twice per year”, which somehow causes per (for) to tumble out of my mouth instead of the correct all’. I’m pretty sure I get corrected on this error at least 3 times a day while classes are in session.

Some useful phrases related to this word are ogni anno (every year, annually), l’anno scorso (last year), l’anno prossimo (next year), tutto l’anno (all year, year-round), and qualche anno fa (a few years ago). Of course, the romance writer in me zero’d in on the psychological term crisi del settimo anno (seven-year itch).

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well. 

Midnight Kiss Giveaway Hop – Delicious Delay by Tara Quan ( #Multicultural #Romance #NewRelease from @DecadentPub )

A Contemporary Romance

A Contemporary Romance

Welcome to the Midnight Kiss Giveaway Hop! As we countdown to New Year’s Eve, each participant will be sharing our favorite kiss. In my case, it’s a snippet from my brand spanking new release, Delicious Delay It came out last Friday and is available from Decadent Publishing (here), Amazon (here), and B&N (here).

Before I get on with my post, I probably should tell you I’ll be giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card (electronic) to a random commenter on this blog. All you need to do is state the FULL NAME (as in First and Last) of the man doing all the kissing in this snippet (hint: it’s in the blurb, which I have conveniently placed at the bottom of this post). I’ll draw the winner after the hop ends on December 31st. Remember to leave your email so I can contact you with the good news!

Onward to the kiss:

His tongue delved. She closed her fingers over his broad shoulders before trailing them down his triceps. One of his hands cradled her nape as the other spanned her back. The contact melted her muscles. With his arms snaked around her body, she felt captive even though she sat on top.

She should be in charge. She should be taking the lead. Instead, his mouth set the rhythm and pace, guiding her through the sensual dance she only now realized she had barely known.

She reminded herself this was just a kiss—a single, sumptuous, seemingly endless kiss that threatened to turn her brain to mush.

Midnight Kiss Giveaway HopAnd that, folks, is my contribution to this hop. There are lots of other fabulous giveaways from authors and book bloggers, so be sure to click on the banner to your left to hop along (or here). Along the way you will have opportunities to earn more entries for the big hop prize: a $25 Gift Card from Liquid Silver Books. [Congrats to Lori P. from Reading Until I Fall Asleep for winning the grand prize!]

Winners will be announced within three days of the hop’s end. The blog stop right after mine is Romance Author Mac Rome. [And the name I drew out of a hat is *drumroll* BN100. Congratulations!]

Blurb for Delicious Delay (read this to figure out the answer to my giveaway):

Stranded in a Middle Eastern airport, Michelle Day finds herself the object of interest for an abrasive, but all-too-sexy stranger—a stranger who tempts her with the forbidden in a land where indecency could get her killed. But how does one say no to such a deliciously, relentless pursuit?

Khalid Al Dehri takes one look at the red-headed spitfire in the business class lounge and knew he’d either been transported to heaven—or hell. Her tart response to his surliness intrigues him beyond all propriety and the longer he spends in her company, the more he can’t deny his forbidden attraction. But will she explore the sensuality between them or will society’s rules keep them apart?

Double Dose of Decadence – Delicious Delay by Tara Quan and Liar Liar by Alexa Bourne

Liar, Liar

Okay, I have to admit the alliteration was too tempting to pass up (who thought I could get 5 Ds in a row?). If you’re a frequenter of this blog, you must know by now I have a new release today. My short and (more spicy than) sweet romance Delicious Delay is now available straight from the publisher (here) as well as from Amazon (here). It’s set in a Middle Eastern airport (I don’t specify which, but you should be able to guess). There’s an Arab hero, a red-headed heroine, and a ton of naughtiness. It’s priced at a mere $2.99, and did I mention Monday was my birthday *bats eyelashes*? (Click here to check out the excerpt)

And that, folks, is the extent of my self-promotional abilities. I actually prefer talking about other people’s books (as readers of my author interviews can probably tell). As such, I’m delighted to present the fabulous Alexa Bourne, whose Romantic Suspense Liar, Liar shares both my release date and cover artist (Tibbs Designs). It so happens that Delicious Delay may have never been published were it not for Alexa. You see, I wrote Delicious Delay in response to a call for submission from Decadent Publishing’s Tease line, for which Alexa has written more than one book. I actually perused her back list quite a bit before I decided to hit send on my submission. It turned out that Delicious Delay was a better fit for Decadent’s main line, but that’s a separate story.

Liar, Liar features Devin McQueen, a kick-ass heroine who works as a victim’s advocate (Side Note: I think she and Nulli from More Than Strangers would get along swimmingly). She prefers safe predicable men (don’t we all?), but that changes when she meets the gun-wielding (and rather lickable) hunk on Alexa’s cover. You can find out more about him in the blurb below.

Blurb

Unable to protect her mother from her father as a child, Devin McQueen has made it her mission as an adult to protect as many abused women and children as she can. The rare moments she’s not consumed with work as a victims’ advocate, she limits her involvements to safe, predictable men….until she meets bounty hunter Grady Cooper. He is big, bold, brash, and has no problem speaking his mind.

Growing up in a broken home, Grady realized early on that good deeds had a price. To survive, he learned to weigh every decision by what he could gain. Unfortunately, the successful, solitary life he’s worked so hard to create spins out of control when demons from his past shake his confidence. His boss has given him one last chance—bring in Devin’s latest client quickly, and quietly and maybe he’ll still have a job. It didn’t sound unreasonable until he met Devin.

Suddenly, Grady must make a decision: save his career or follow his heart?

Buy Links: Decadent Publishing, Amazon

For more information about Alexa Bourne and her books, mosey on down to her website! (here)

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – Lupo (n. wolf)

Lupo

n. wolf

from Word Reference

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here.

You might be wondering why I picked a straightforward noun–an animal of all things–as this week’s Italian word. Honestly, I did it because it provides the perfect segway for me to plug my new release, Delicious Delay. No, said book is not a shifter romance (though I do have one bouncing around in my head, threatening to break free). However, in case anyone out there is wondering, the Italian words for “werewolf” are licantropo and lupo mannaro (yes, I have a vampire edition of this post planned for the not too distant future).

It’s always a relief for students to find idioms that exist in both English and Italian. Gridare al lupo (id. to cry wolf; to raise a false alarm), lupo vestito da agnello (id. wolf in sheep’s clothing) and chi si pecora fa, il lupo se la mangia (id. those who make themselves sheep will be eaten by the wolf) are great examples. 

And here comes the segway. Italians (or so my teacher told me) are superstitious. As such, they would rarely say “Buona fortuna.” Instead, they prefer to use “In bocca al lupo” (lit. in the mouth of the wolf) whenever they want to wish anyone good luck, to which the person would respond “Crepi il lupo” (lit. the wolf dies). Since my new book releases tomorrow, I’m need quite a bit of luck, so I’ll go ahead and say this a few more times to myself.

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well. 

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – Bellissimo (a, i, e)

Bellissimo (Bellissima, Bellissimi & Bellissime)

adj. very beautiful, all-beautiful, swell

from Word Reference

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here. For an explanation of how adjectives that end in “o” change depending on context, take a look at my previous post on “Caro“.

As with last time, we start with a mini grammar lesson.

  • Italian adjectives can be modified with suffixes (that’s a fancy way to say “endings”) to express different levels of emphasis. “-issimo” is the Italian absolute superlative, which basically means it is used to show that a certain quality is expressed to a highest degree possible. In this case, Bello (adj. beautiful) is modified to become Bellissimo, which is often translated to “very beautiful.” However, it is probably closer to “the most beautiful humanly possible.”
  • Cultural Note: That said, the Italian language seems to favor the dramatic (try watching Grey’s Anatomy dubbed in Italian–it’s very interesting). Therefore, it seems bellissimo is used somewhat capriciously.
  • Side Note: Remember I went over “Caro” last week? You guessed right–“Carissimo” is “very expensive, dear, precious, etc.”

So obviously, bellissima (f.) can be used to describe a woman. To see the Italian hand gesture equivalent of Una bellissima donna! (What a very beautiful woman!), you can take a look at Berlusconi’s first encounter with Michelle Obama (since sarcasm doesn’t translate well in text form–THIS IS AN INAPPROPRIATE GESTURE!). However, when talking about men, there seems to be a preference for the unmodified adjective (i.e. a hunk = un bell’uomo, un bell ragazzo).

That said, bellissimo can be used to describe a whole host of other things. Most common among them seems to be food (Questa pasta è bellissima!) and the weather. Occasionally, it is also used to mean “good”, but I haven’t quite mastered when and when not to use it in this fashion, so I won’t elaborate.

That’s it for this week!

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well. 

Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday No. 37 (#sffsat) – Rescued from a Trunked Manuscript – #Scifi #Romance

Here’s the next snippet from my nameless trunked manuscript. I’ll keep sharing it for quite a while since my sci-fi (post-apocalyptic) romance isn’t scheduled to come out until late February. 

For all past SFFSAT posts, click here. In the previous snippet, we witnessed Hades express some specie-ism with respect to a prospective employee. 

Nell made a show of glancing down at her slim platinum wristwatch. “You don’t have a choice—we have an infestation problem. The Order of Acolytes’ raison d’être is to kill undead, and their leadership is a veritable snakes’ den. And yet, that fragile human survived their employ for close to a decade.”

Forced to concede her point, he searched for another way out. “It says in her file this woman was fired.”

His sister gave him a disgusted look. “You know as well as anyone the Order’s idea of termination involves homicide. I don’t know how the girl did it, but she managed to get enough leverage to make them leave her alone. That feat, at the very least, should earn her an interview.”

Twitter: #sffsat SFFSat is a group of writers sharing snippets from both published and unpublished works of science fiction and fantasy. You can read more about the group by clicking the banner to the left, as well as follow links to the other participants. Any comments are much appreciated!

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – Caro (a, i, e)

Caro (and Cara, Cari, Care)

adj. beloved, dear, dearest, darling, sweetheart, precious
     good, kind, expensive, pricey 
n. a loved one, loved ones (fig. family)

from Word Reference

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here.

Since this is only my second IWoW post, I’ll start by very briefly and superficially going over two grammar points.

  • Adjectives that end in “o” (ex. caro), change endings depending on the noun it modifies. As such, caro (masculine singular) turns into cara if the subject/object is feminine singular, cari if it’s masculine plural, and care if it’s feminine plural.
  • Nouns that end in “o” also change when they become plural. Instead of adding an “s,” as in the case of English, Italians change the “o” to an “i”. In other words, caro (n. loved one) becomes cari (n. loved ones).

Basta (that’s enough) with grammar. So why do I think caro is cool?

First off, most romance readers have come across the expression “Cara mia” (my dear) at some point. For one, Lisa Marie Rice wrote quite a number of romances set in Italy and/or with Italian male leads. Of course, the “mia” (my, feminine singular) is just for emphasis–cara can be used on it’s own to express “dear, darling, sweetheart” as well. Oddly enough, what comes first to my mind when I hear cara mia is Gollum’s ravings over “my precious” from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. After all, “precious, mine” would be the most literal translation of cara mia.

I stumbled upon the use of caro/cari as a noun during my Disney Study Sessions, during which I watch youtube clips of Italian-dubbed soundtracks (that counts as work right?). In Mulan‘s Riflesso (aka. Reflections…yes, it’s a Christina Aguilera song), there’s this line that took me forever to figure out: 

se io facessi ciò che vorrei, i miei cari perderei

which roughly translates to “If I do as I’d like, I’d lose my loved ones (fig. family).” The line forced me to look the word up–until I did, I had no idea caro/cari could be used as a noun.

Of course, the usage of caro/cara a new Italian student would most likely learn is in reference to an “expensive” object. Since caro literally means “precious”, it’s very frequently used to describe the monetary value of items. Just to keep non-native speakers on their toes, however, poco (adv. few) caro = affordable.

By the way, a useful tourist-Italian phrase to know would be “No, grazie. è troppo caro,”  which means “No, thank you. (it’s) too expensive.”  And thus concludes this post. If you have any cool Italian words you’d like me to look up, just leave a comment pointing me in the right direction.

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well. 

Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday No. 36 (#sffsat) – Rescued from a Trunked Manuscript – #Scifi #Romance

I apologize for being a bit scarce lately. For very good reason (namely his sanity), DH requested I go on a short hiatus from all writing-related stuff. I’m now easing back into the flow of things.

Here’s the next snippet from my nameless trunked manuscript. I’ll keep sharing it for quite a while since my sci-fi (post-apocalyptic) romance isn’t scheduled to come out until late February. 

For all past SFFSAT posts, click here. In the previous snippet, we witnessed a spat between Hades and Nell, which resulted in minor damage to Hades’ wardrobe. The siblings are arguing about a potential employee who is waiting in the lobby. (Note: The cue word for this week is RAIN.)

“She’s too…human.”

Nell pointed her lacquered fingertip at the ceiling. “I’m sorry, but is it raining vampire detection experts of the immortal variety?” Her lips firmed into a straight line. “I didn’t think so. Now bring Cora Springfield in here and offer her the damn job.”

Hades slapped his palm on the desk. “She’s not going to survive the week. I need her to help me hunt, not arrange meetings.”

Twitter: #sffsat SFFSat is a group of writers sharing snippets from both published and unpublished works of science fiction and fantasy. You can read more about the group by clicking the banner to the left, as well as follow links to the other participants. Any comments are much appreciated!