Tag: Romance

A (Quite Self-Serving) Book Recommendation


Well, it took me far longer to get around to this than it should have, but Charis Colony: The Landing is finally available on Nook, Kobo, PubShare, and Apple Books.

The story: Dr. Raj Mondal is falsely accused of aiding an escapee from the eugenic-totalitarian state his ancestor founded. Now, security enforcers are after him, his wife, and their unborn son. Can they escape the agents of Colonial Security? And was anything they were told about the rebels of McGuire Point true? Read it and find out.

The cover is by a young woman from the Netherlands named Kristina Hofstede.

The First Rule of Romance


Romance is the lover at play.

An acquaintance of mine told me how he had asked his live-in partner to marry him. He and his partner had lived together for several years. He had been married before and had grown children. The kitchen faucet started acting up, so she got under the sink and began working on it. He was watching her work and was moved by how much he loved this remarkable person.

Overthinking It


Scene, on a hill in a field we see a car. A GUY and a GIRL laying on the hood, stargazing. After a moment passes, the GUY’S INNER MONOLOGUE steps out from behind the car, paces a bit, rolling his shoulder.

GUY’S INNER MONOLOGUE: “Man oh man, if she keeps lying there like that my shoulder is going to fall asleep. I should say something. There’s no way I’m going to say something; if I do she might move. If you lose circulation doesn’t the limb die eventually? If I don’t move I’m probably going to get shoulder gangrene or something. I can leave it a little longer though. Probably.

On E-Girls


I may be young, and I may spend too much time staring at screens, but I’m decidedly out of step with the bleeding edge of Internet culture. Only when Facebook became passé did I give in and make an account (which I seldom use). I’ve yet to touch Tik-Tok, and I doubt I ever will. All for the best, I think. But some friends just alerted me to a new-ish trend in the digital world: the so-called “e-girl” (or “e-thot,” in slightly less polite parlance).*

An e-girl is a young woman who sells feigned affection online. A customer gives her money, and she pretends to care about him by sending him pornography, seductive videos, personalized letters, or even presents. Yes, you read that correctly: A not-insignificant number of men are willing to pay random women on the Internet to give them attention. (Some even justify their pathology as a form of “providing.” “I’m doing my duty as a man!” they say. “I’m providing for her!”) This isn’t entirely new. I once read that the most popular offering among upscale brothels, for example, is not sex as such, but the whole romantic package — a nice dinner and a night on the town, followed by a consummation of the short relationship. The e-girl model makes a digital simulacrum of this available to every sad schlub with a laptop and an Internet connection. Can’t find a girlfriend? Just buy a fake one. Or try a dating simulator.

Lessons from an SJW Mob (or, Horror in Romancelandia)


Isolate the target. That’s the first rule of mobbing. But who knew it would result in so many targets?

My sister and I are writers. She’s romance, I’m mystery. We’re both members of Romance Writers of America (RWA). So, when a fairly big-name romance writer, Courtney Milan, was censured by RWA for cyberbullying, we got curious about what was going on. We got even more curious when Milan’s gang turned on the RWA board and got most to resign, ruined the reputation of the gay man who became president, and seems on the verge of taking down the 9,000+ member organization.

Caught in a Woke Romance


“May I hold your hand?”

He’d been going with her for a couple of months now, but familiarity doesn’t imply consent, and so he was as usual careful to ask her permission before initiating any sort of intimate contact. For a brief moment, he felt the old relief that she chose to go with the conventional pronouns, but he manfully shoved aside such a transphobic thought.

Member Post


David the Builder Tamar’s Great Grandfather   Our story begins with David the Builder. It was the Turkorba or “Time of the Turk” in Georgia. For nearly two decades the Turks, who had rolled through the Byzantine defenses in Anatolia, had freely raided Georgia for loot, slaves and Islam. David’s father, Giorgi, had been more […]

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Good Heavens, Miss Sakamoto; You’re Beautiful!


There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a young woman.

That’s from Proverbs, the sayings of Agur the son of Jakeh. Now, between you and me, I don’t know Agur the son of Jakeh from Adam son of a Hole in the Ground, but seeing as ten-year-olds aren’t noted for writing many proverbs, we can assume that he’s an old man. He must have been young once; he must have done this. Still, he’s ranking it as too amazing for him. Maybe it’s something he forgot with age? Well, I’m a young (relatively speaking) man, and if anyone ought to understand the way of a man with a young woman, it ought to be me, right? I don’t understand it. I can, however, pass on my observations, for science.

Member Post


I have a strong interest in family history and being able to identify with and connect to my ancestry. What really draws my interest is seeing how, through the ages, there are common elements to humanity; love, death, sadness, joy et al. I figured I’d share, from time to time, a few excerpts from some […]

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Member Post


A sensitive, scholarly Spaniard brooding under a vow of chastity. A fiery redhead, feral and untamed, raised by Africans, confounding the local villagers with her hot, exotic ways. He was trained for sainthood. She is rumored to be possessed by demons. Both are haunted by the same dream. What happens when their dream becomes reality? […]

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Member Post


One day a couple years ago now my friend confided in me that he often thought of getting married. As in, often. Not that he had anybody in particular in mind. He was wondering if he was being silly, or even strange or creepy. Now, this was at Brigham Young University, which has a certain reputation […]

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How to Do Valentine’s Day When You’re Thousands of Miles Apart


This is the first year that @1967mustangman and I will be together in person for Valentine’s Day. The first year of our relationship was long distance, and our trips to see each other were determined by our grad school schedules.

Granted, I think Valentine’s Day is a stupid holiday that usually ends up encouraging men to spend ridiculous amounts of money on flowers that are going to end up in the trash out of a sense of obligation and single women to drink heavily while contemplating “I don’t need a man! I’ll get a puppy. A puppy won’t argue with me about how to fold a fitted sheet or cheat on me with his ugly executive assistant.”

My dislike of the made-up holiday aside, this is the first time in years that I will be with someone for Valentine’s Day — should be awesome, right? This year probably won’t be quite as romantic though as last year. Here’s the schedule for tonight:

Ask Amelia: St. Valentine and the Interns


People of Ricochet, I am back. Just in time to sort out your love lives in the two weeks we have until Valentine’s Day.

Dear Amelia: I have two darling interns — bright, beautiful, all-American girls in the young leaders program at the Heritage Foundation. They want to balance careers and start families but can’t find life partners in this city. I want to protect them from Tinder and shield them from the late night spots and a decade of dating around, wasting their time. Basically they are me 10 years ago. What advice should I give them? — (Trying to be) Helpful on the Hill

Dear Helpful,

Member Post


Why is it so difficult for Americans to have dignity? What’s the trouble with women in the new generation? What’s the problem with work? What’s the problem with capitalism? All of these things come up in one haphazard way or the other in a new movie, one of few aimed at young women: The intern. […]

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Burning Man Missed Connections


CraigslistHug_Me_(3898086490) is the mostly free on-line want-ads and personals site that pretty much put the newspaper industry out of business. You can find anything — or anyone, I suppose — on Craigslist. The “Missed Connections” section is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a place where people who may have almost met, or locked eyes across a crowded subway, can connect. Each “Missed Connection” ad is a romantic mini-drama to the person who placed it. But to the reader, they’re all pretty much mini romantic farces.

Take a moment, if you can, to savor the “Missed Connections” from last week’s Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert.  Burning Man, for those of you who don’t know, is a days-long encampment in Black Rock, Nevada — about 100 miles north of Reno — where the young and the wish-they-were-still-young gather to run around freely, nakedly, and probably seriously high on more than the desert air. Worse, people often adopt “playa names,” a sort of Burning Man nom de guerre. If you sat down to invent a more irritatingly pretentious and pompously progressive event — up to and including the array of private jets that ferry the extremely rich to the site every year — you’d be hard pressed to come up with a better example than Burning Man.

But, okay, the kids have fun and that’s what’s important, right? Though if the Burning Man Missed Connections are to be believed, the kids need to learn an important lesson: if you’re wasted, you won’t remember her name: