Thursday, October 16, 2008

Denise Rossetti on The Hero Dimension

posted by Christine Wells

My dear friend and critique partner, Denise Rossetti is with us in the Lair today and she is giving away a signed ARC of her November 4 release, THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW. You don't want to miss this wonderfully sexy, dark, angsty fantasy romance. Hmm, can I think of any more adjectives? Yes, I believe I can! Superb!

But here is the delightful Denise in a less dark and angsty mood, musing and amusing about heroes...

I’ve always been intrigued by missing socks. I mean, where do they go, the little devils? Must be the same place wire coat hangers go to breed. I’m convinced there’s another dimension – beyond the paltry three we know. Or perhaps a fold in the time-space continuum, a wrinkle.

For want of a better term, I’m calling it The Hero Dimension.

You have to admit, it’s a really cool idea and it explains so many of life’s little mysteries - like why all heroes are totally buff.

Come on, can you remember a romance with a hero who wasn’t hard-bodied? I can’t. Our dude might be massive and muscly, or lithe and compact, but I guarantee, there won’t be an ounce of fat on him.

And guess what? The Hunkalicious Quotient isn’t affected by what our hero does for a living! Sure, he could be a special ops guy like a Navy SEAL – I’ll give you that one - but he could equally well be the CEO of some vast international corporation, or the guy next door, or a Pink of the Ton.

He’ll spend the book living a mile a minute, rushing from pillar to post, with no breath to spare between beating up bad guys and having mad, monkey sex with the heroine. We mere readers never get to see him working on his fitness, those chiseled abs are just…there. Same with movie action heroes. Cap’n Jack Sparrow pumping iron? Ridiculous! Though the rowing machine might be a possibility…

At this point, I’m pausing to think about the men in my life. You can too, if you like.

See? Developing a six pack takes hours and hours of sweat and dedication. Just ask Sven.

So, what I want to know is this: Given his packed program between the book covers, when does our hero get to the gym, hmm?

There’s only one answer – he goes to the gym in The Hero Dimension! It’s the special place where the beefcake gathers to bake itself to the perfect muscly consistency.

Amid idle conversation, and possibly a few beers afterwards.

Can you imagine being a fly on the wall? Ooooh…

There’s Sven, bouncing on one of those big exercise balls, happy as a Swedish clam, totally in his element. Mr Darcy is looking down his aristocratic nose at the hunky dudes from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. “My dear fellows,” he drawls, loosening his cravat, “I generally advise removal of sh*tkickers prior to exertion.”

I really do ponder the logistics of all this, honest. Actually, I think about the male physique a good deal, but only in the line of duty. (And I have a bridge to sell you.)

Gray from THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW (out 4 November from Berkley Ace) is partly a musician, partly an adventurer. He’s one dangerous dude, a mysterious sorcerer of shadows, all internally tormented and stuff. *happy sigh* In terms of studliness, he’s of the lean and mean variety. I made him a former mercenary and a deadly swordsman. (And I did give him a partner to practice with.) This short scene is our heroine’s first sight of him. Let’s just say he makes an impression. *grin*.

The singer’s accompanist sat on a stool in the furthest corner. Because he wore a black shirt and trews, he merged with the shadows as if he were part of them, scarcely there, his face a pale blur marked by dark brows. But the light washed over elegant, long-fingered hands, the lap harp he played gleaming with the rich patina of old wood and pearl inlay.

Dark and dangerous, as Krys had promised. Cenda dragged a breath in and didn’t let it out.

He’d rolled up his sleeves and she focused on the strong wrists, the muscle flexing in his forearms, the delicate precision of his movements. The extraordinary feelings that had washed over her in front of the fireplace returned in full force. Abruptly, her skin felt too tight for her body, as though she were netted in fire.
And a few pages later…

She’d thought his eyes must be as dark as his hair, but this close, they were a clear, limpid gray. Long-lidded eyes, full of secrets, shielded with extravagant lashes, surely the gift of some besotted goddess. His brows were strongly marked, with an upward slant at the corners. They gave him a sardonic air that went well with his lithe, self-contained grace.

“Mistress, may I sit?” he asked patiently, obviously not for the first time.
At her nod, he slid onto the bench beside her, bringing with him a wave of body heat, the clean, earthy scent of healthy male. His shadow wavered behind him, dark as slate. All the hair rose on the back of Cenda’s neck.

Aaaah, mine too.

I can imagine Gray out at night, running endlessly, padding in and out of the shadows of the street lights. He’s rather a solitary type – most of those dark, tortured, heroes are. No team sports. In terms of the gym, he’d be very interested in martial arts and possibly yoga.

What (or who) would you send off to this special dimension, if you could? Remember, you might not see it (or them) again!

What sort of sport or fitness training would your favourite hero be doing at the heroes’ gym? Would you like a job in The Hero Dimension? And if so, as what?


One commenter wins a signed Advance Review Copy of THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW!

I wonder what they do with all those single socks? *wicked chuckle*

THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW, coming 4 November, 2008 from Berkley Ace. For more information check out Denise's website.

And a quick heads-up: Denise will be interviewing James Griffin, the artist who created the magnificent cover for THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW (and, incidentally, the covers for THE DANGEROUS DUKE and SCANDAL'S DAUGHTER), on her blog on Friday 24th October (23rd here in Oz). Come along and find out how it’s done. We’ll be giving away more books!

110 comments:

Shannyn said...

BWAK! - I think I got the GR

flchen1 said...

Oh, wow! Terrific post, Denise! I'm not sure who I'd be sending off--I'd want to see them again, you see ;) As for what they do with the single socks, maybe sock puppets? I just saw the cutest book at the bookstore called Sock and Glove, little stuffed animals made from single socks and of course, gloves :)

flchen1 said...

Congrats on the GR, Shannyn!

Shannyn said...

Okay - Who to send to the hero dimension? MY husband. There is a huge part of him that misses his younger US Marine physique. He's far from totally out of shape. He can run 3 miles and lift weights - he's a carpenter. But if it could all come back easily, he'd love it. Then he'd come home and not complain that I made more homemade cookies.

Denise Rossetti said...

Gosh, Shannyn, you're quick! congrats on the GR.

I got him once, you know. *buffs nails*

Christine Wells said...

Woohoo, Shannyn! Congratulations on snaffling the Golden Rooster!

Wow, it sounds like you have a hero already, right there at home! I'm sure your hubby would appreciate a few extra of your cookies, though.

Christine Wells said...

LOL on the sock puppets, Fedora, what a cute idea.

Christine Wells said...

Hey, Nise! I meant to say in my intro what a beyootiful cover that is for Flame. Did you have much say in the design?

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi flchen1

That book sounds so cute. Christine, you could keep the boys amused for hours. Mind you, you might have to do funny voices...

Christine Wells said...

Funny voices? Moi? Vere vould you get ze impression I ken do zem, darlink?

Denise Rossetti said...

Shannyn, I think I'd send My Beloved off with your husband. Not that he's ever been with a country mile of resembling a marine. For a start, he's always had hair down to his shoulders. *g*

But he's working awfully hard at his health and fitness - puts me to shame. I'd love it to be easy, for both of us!

Denise Rossetti said...

Christine, about the cover...

Nope, not a sausage really. My editor, my agent and I threw around a few ideas, looked at some other covers, both pure fantasy and pure romance. We picked up the idea of the frame from fantasy covers.

In the end, they sent the artist, James Griffin, the first chapter and he developed the art from that. I love that he paid a lot of attention to what I wrote. Even said how much he enjoyed it! *g* That really *is* Cenda on the cover - look carefully for the three salamanders, BTW.

And Christine, we should say that James did both your covers. They're fabulous, but I truly believe The Dangerous Duke is one of the most gorgeous covers I've ever seen.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Shannyn, clearly he had a good time with you last time!

Denise, welcome back to the Banditas! Grab a cocktail! No, not the rooster's!

Firstly, can I agree with the sainted Christine and say how gorgeous that cover is? You must have thought all your wishes had come true the first time you saw it! Can't wait to read what's inside it!

Hilarious post. Mind you, seriously, a man who does hard physical work (hot monkey sex counts as hard physical work) does get toned just in the performance of his, uh, duties. I grew up in a farming community and most of the young guys were pretty honed because they were lifting and digging and pushing and pulling all day. When they got a bit older and started hitting the beer, that changed. But hey, we're talking about heroes here! They don't desert our fascinating heroines for the dubious joys of the Redland Bay Pub!

Louisa Cornell said...

ROFL at Christine's funny voices! Kudos, Shannyn on the GR! I wonder if you could make a sock puppet of the GR?

Hello, Denise, Goddess of the Hot, Hot Covers. I have those postcards framed to prove it and they STILL make my Mom blush when she sees them in my writing studio!! I SO enjoyed meeting you in San Francisco!

Can't wait to read this one. That is one HUNKAHOTALICIOUS HERO you've got there.

What would I send to the Hero Dimension? Why ME, of course!! I'm sure those guys need an etiquette coach or an exercise partner or SOMETHING!!

I wonder if I can get a leave of absence and a research grant to spend a LONG time in the Hero Dimension. Especially as I spend 9 hours a day in the "OMG Did he just scratch himself there? In the produce department?" Dimension! In this dimension there is not a six pack washboard stomach in sight. You can, however, see a beer keg belly, (sometimes an entire Clydesdale pulled beer dray belly.) You can hear a wine cellar mating call "Hey, baby, what time do you get off work?" And speaking of missing socks, well you do NOT want to know where those show up on some of these guys. Trust me!

So, yes, I would send myself to the Hero Dimension, just for research purposed, of course.

Louisa Cornell said...

And as for what particular exercises I would assign to the heroes of the Hero Dimension.

Frequent sweeping of the heroine (preferably me) off her feet and up the staircase BEFORE a night of hot monkey sex. Repeat often.

Plenty of arm and hand work as he massages the heroine's (again me) aches and pains away.

Fencing is a great source of exercise and toning and nude fencing gives me, the trainer, the opportunity to make sure ALL of the muscles get a good workout.

Denise Rossetti said...

Hiya Anna!

I've been so blessed by the Cover Fairy - but then, so have you my dear! To be honest, I very nearly burst into tears when I saw my cover for The Flame and the Shadow. I have a print of it framed and on the wall. Love it!

Dubious joys is right. *g* Though it's years since I've been to the Redland Bay pub.

And yes, studliness is all about youth, for so many men, and I like mine over thirty at least, thank you. Nothing more off-putting than a beer gut. And of course, I am a pattern card of physical perfection. ;-) Not.

limecello said...

Congratulations, Fedora!
As for sending someone to the special dimension? Currently, I want to send myself. My "super secret" project of a few weeks ago came though, and I don't want it. (Didn't want it then either, but what can you do.) Am now dealing with insanely unreasonable people and am up all hours and will refrain from further ranting.
But yes. I would definitely send me, so I wouldn't have to deal with any of "them."

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Louisa! *waving frantically* San Francisco was fun, wasn't it? The Banditas made us all feel so welcome. Wish we could have had more time to talk, especially about opera. *smile*

And yes, Gray is wonderful. I absolutely fell in love with him and in the chapter where I had to hurt him dreadfully, I genuinely felt sick doing it. More than just a figment of my imagination.

ROFL at the picture of the beer dray belly and the wine mating call. You've said it all, really.

You should definitely go to the Hero Dimension. As an etiquette coach. Also a singing coach. You'd get to watch those chests breathing...

Denise Rossetti said...

Louisa, am in total agreement about sweeping off feet and DEFINITELY massage.

But nude fencing??? *wince* Don't want to risk losing any of the good bits... Ouch!

Denise Rossetti said...

Oh Limecello, mucho sympathies. That's what known as the Poisoned Chalice. Just hang in there. Sending positive vibes...

Natalie Hatch said...

I'm looking for salamanders now... lol.
My hero would be doing parallel dips to get those arm muscles taut and terrific - did I tell you I have a thing for deltoid muscles? Mens arm muscles fascinate me. Not a bum man, arms are my thing.
Love the cover to your book, just fantastic.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOWZA Denise!

That cover is even hotter than the shoes you wore the night of the GH/Rita awards! ;-)

LURVE the idea of a Hero Dimension, and have a sneaky suspicion that the walls are decorated with all those missing odd socks.

Of COURSE Aunty would be there, crop in hand, as the disciplinarian. Every good hero needs a constant measure of discipline in order to accomplish all that sweeping of heroines (like Louisa, all the Banditas and BBs) and hot monkey sex. Never fear, Aunty is up for the task!

AC
P.S. Shannyn, hope the Mexican food doesn't 'repeat' on the GR!

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, I've never heard it called the 'produce department' before. Although I guess it makes sense (snicker).

Denise Rossetti said...

Natalie, If you really want to go salamander hunting, there's a larger image here -

http://www.deniserossetti.com/flamecover.html

In the print on my wall, they actually GLOW. Honest.

Oh my word, nothing like a good arm. I remember being fascinated by My Beloved's forearms, lightly dusted with golden hair. *sigh* Those were the days... But I'm also partial to a nice backside. Very, um, partial. heh heh

Lee Anne said...

Nice post Denise! I am not sure who I would want to send to the hero dimension. I dont know what becomes of all thos missing socks. Maybe someone wome where collects them for children who are missing mates tot heir socks.

Denise Rossetti said...

Well, Aunty, thank heavens for you! Whew! Someone to keep the unruly lot in order.

And yep, the cover sure is hot - in every possible sense, seeing Cenda is a fire witch. heh heh

Denise Rossetti said...

It's a mystery, isn't it Lee Anne? Missing socks. I used to buy the kids their school socks half a dozen pairs at a time, all the same. Didn't help. sigh

Donna MacMeans said...

Oh Denise - That is a HOT cover, love it! Love your description of your hero as well, those hairs on the back of my head definitely were standing straight off.

Who to send to the hero dimension - why me, of course. I will be in charge of sending the socks to their proper place, the hangers to theirs, and the heroes to my place (grin).

Shannyn - congrats on the nab!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hmmmmm since the GR has been rather rowdy of late and has not had a dose of p226's "training," perhaps we need to send HIM to the Hero Dimension...

AC

JC said...

I was always of the opinion that socks went to Mars, and that one day we'd land there and be like, hey! There's where my sock went!

My grandma says faeries steal our socks to warm their homes.

I like the alternate beefcake dimension idea though.

Lil said...

I'd like to send myself to the Hero Dimension in order to take up the position of Massage Therapist. The idea of toned muscle, smooth skin and silken hair make my hands gleeful. And when I am off duty, I think that I would thoroughly enjoy watching heroes indulge in fencing/swordplay and those practicing martial arts. *dreamy sigh*

Christine Wells said...

Hi again! Denise, I think James is a wonderfully talented cover artist and just the nicest guy to boot. I literally had tears in my eyes when I saw THE DANGEROUS DUKE's cover. But I also think FLAME is absolutely breathtaking. It's luminous, especially those darling little salamanders.

Um, Fo, SAINTED??? Could this be because some chocolates arrived in your letter box today??

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi there Donna! By now the Hero Dimension must be a pretty busy place, what with all the Banditas and BBs volunteering so selflessly. Lucky it's another dimension and therefore infinitely expandable.

And if you think Gray is, um, interesting, wait 'til you meet his shadow. Shad pretty well defines dark and dangerous. ;-)

Christine Wells said...

Louisa, you are too funny, I love that answer. Hey, I'd send myself also and I wouldn't mind too much if I got lost in that particular dimension for a while:)

All in the name of research, of course. Ahem.

Denise Rossetti said...

Aunty, the GR might look cute wearing a sock on his head?

Denise Rossetti said...

Good to see you here, JC!

Can't you just imagine the confusion at NASA when life in Mars turns out to be missing socks? To be followed closely by the learned papers on "The taxonomy of the genus of Greater Foot Warmers in the Martian ecosystem." Love it!

But I love your grandmother's explanation too. *smile*

Denise Rossetti said...

I'm with you, Lil, my friend! There might even be a certain amount of elbowing going on. grin

OTOH, I once asked a real massage therapist what it was like massaging different body types. She said male athletes were the most difficult, because their bodies had no "give" - literally. It was really hard work to actually provide a proper massage, what with all those muscles.

Poor thing.

Denise Rossetti said...

By now, Christine, there's a host of us all wandering about the Hero Dimension in the name of research. LOL

Christine Wells said...

Snork! Yeah, that must be really hard work.

Lil said...

But Denise, the exercise I would get by working would keep me in shape. Hard work is of no consequence...I would be so very dedicated to my job. And what with these patrons being heroes, if I were ever to have sore hands and arms surely one or more would volunteer to return the favor regarding my aching muscles. Would that not be one of the perks?

Gonna have to doze, now. Fabulous post.

Denise Rossetti said...

Lil, I can see that no sacrifice is too great. ;-) I'm in awe at your dedication - also your sheer guile. You are a brilliant, brilliant woman.

Massage as a quid pro quo. (Have I got that right??)

Jane said...

Naked fencing would definitely be the sport my favorite hero would be doing in the heroes' gym. Fencing is not only a physical sport but an intellectual one, too. I'm imagining my sweaty hero to be a great thinker, too. Smart is sexy.

Lil said...

Well, am not expecting that I would need filthy lucre in that dimension...however, had truly thought of occasional return massage by a hero or so as a fringe benefit. Ah, the delights...am gonna dream wonderful dreams from this!

Denise Rossetti said...

Me too, Lil - and I'm not even asleep! chuckle Nighty night, sleep tight.

Denise Rossetti said...

Couldn't agree more about clever men, Jane. Love, love 'em! In fact, one of my heroes (Mirry) is a great scholar and an encyclopedist. That he's drop-dead gorgeous, with magnificent wings and a wicked, feathery tail doesn't exactly hurt either!

The book's called TAILSPIN and there's more info here.

But I'm still a tad apprehensive about all those razor sharp blades in close proximity to the good bits. Ouch!

Annie West said...

Denise! Lovely to see you here with the Banditas!

So now I know where those socks go! All is explained. And there I was thinking they mated in the laundry basket so the odd socks were solo offspring!

Personally I want this strange hero world for myself. If our heroes can go there in a blink of an eye to keep fit why not me? I'll have some of that please - just think: all this sitting around writing, plus I could indulge in all the foods I adore and then spend a couple of nanoseconds in that wonderful gym and I'd be trim, taut and terrific. Denise - instructions on how to get there please. Now!

Annie

Eva S said...

Hi Denise,
great to see you here! Can't wait for your book, you know I like these dark, angsty heroes...
Who to send to the hero dimension? I could send my husband,but I'd rather keep him...He can still be useful.

Eric said...

Oh wow its Denise the super writer lady. I know all about the Hero dimension but I’m sworn to secrecy. In truth I can think of a good few people I’d send somewhere where there was a chance they may stay there. They could all wear one sock to help balance the natural order of things. ---- Wonderful to hear from you Denise, thank you for the wonderful, creative stories. ------ Eric

Natalie Hatch said...

If any of you have ever read Terry Pratchetts' The Hogfather, you'll know that there is a sock muncher who lives in washing machines and eats odd socks to make ones life a living hell. These vermin reproduce like crazy and will sneak into your laundry the minute you start up your new washing machine. Beware!

Meagan Hatfield said...

Hey Lady D,

Wonderful post!

As to who I would send to the Hero Dimension...why me of course, silly. Those uber hotties will need someone to *ahem* service them. When they are done showering of course. *winks*

Take care sweetie! I'm wishing you oodles of sales!!

Marisa O'Neill said...

Hi Denise! After LMAO, I have to say, Thanks so much for the image - oohh, a hero's dimension - you ask who would I send there? Need you ask. I'm on the first transdimensional flight over. Don't pass go, don't collect 200 dollars. And when I get there,I discover that I too have the body of a goddess. Therefore, no need to hit the 'hero gym' instead we go to that place between the pages. And yes I want Darcy first and one of the BDB second.

I'm very excited - I'll be starting The Flame and The Shadow this weekend - and yes I've already warned my family that they can not disturb - Gray and I will be busy 'hitting the gym'.

Caren Crane said...

Shannyn, be kind to the GR!

Fedora, too funny to think of the heroes making sock puppets. Don't give Denise any ideas...she is naughty!

Denise, it's lovely to have you with us today. As to the Hero Dimension, I would like to run the smoothie bar there, mixing up delightful fruity concoctions for the sweaty, exhausted heroes. When they're tired, you see, their defenses are down. A woman bearing a fruit smoothie takes on many goddess-like qualities. I'm sure you see where that is going. *wink*

I would like to send ME to the Hero Dimension so I could get buff in a hurry. I would love the wrinkle in time that would enable me time to exercise more! Plus, I would be motivated if, say, Mr. Darcy were there egging me on. *sigh*

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Wow, you guys already have a full blog in place and I am just getting my day started! Congrats on the GR Shannyn, he is a naughty bird so keep your eyes open.

I think I would send me to the hero dimension, I don't want to be a hero but I wouldn't mind getting firmed up in some places. I also wouldn't mind watching all of the heroes places getting firmed up.

I have accepted the fact that socks disappear, what I have trouble with is when they come back after I have trashed the lonely mate. That is just wrong.

Denise Rossetti said...

Hmm, Annie, brilliant idea, but requires thought...

Okay, dunno about you, but I don't want any heroes watching me huff and puff - ain't a pretty sight!

How about we create the Svelte Dimension, where we can all go and have a fabulous time, darling getting ourselves all toned and gorgeous? And then - a nano-second later - poof! We're back in present time looking totally perfect, thighs, bum and even those pesky bits that dangle off the upper arms.

And once we're all svelte, we can saunter over to the Hero Dimension.

See? Perfect! *beams*

Denise Rossetti said...

Lovely to see you here, Eva! And yep, Gray's my angstiest (is that even a word?) guy yet. Hmm, except Jan, from TAILSPIN, would give him a run for his money.

Aw, that's sweet about your husband. Lucky you (and him)!! *g*

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Eric! Now I have a vision of all these people banished to the secret Dimension, each wearing a single sock - somewhere. Hoo boy! ROFLMAO!!!

And thanks for the kind words. I try, I try...

Denise Rossetti said...

Natalie, I LOVE Terry Pratchett, but I have to confess it's years since I read Hogfather. Better read it again, if only for the sock munchers.

Once I finish the WIP, which is Book #2 in the series. Aaaaargh...

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Meagan, my friend! Great to see you here.

Funnily enough, you're not the first to think of that. Great minds, huh? The Hero Dimension is now chockers with selfless volunteers sacrificing their time and, um, energy. That was what you meant, right? *snicker*

Thanks for the support. Really appreciate it.

Denise Rossetti said...

Ah, Marisa, wouldn't it be wonderful? A body like a goddess? Ooooh-er!

A big part of the attraction for me is the idea of a "time out of time". Like having the superpower to freeze time. Such a seductive idea. Think of what you could do with it...

Like read a squillion books in one hit, a positive orgy of reading.

Come to think of it, that's exactly what I need now so I can finish this damn book (the sequel to FLAME) - a wrinkle in time. OTOH, it's a great idea to explore. Love it!

Rats! Now look what you've done. The Muse is jumping up and down, and kicking me in the head. Oh, lordy...

Denise Rossetti said...

Caren, me? Naughty? *makes big eyes* Surely not!

You're a clever, cunning wench, you know that? Insinuate yourself into their affections when they're all vulnerable? Smoothies?

Brilliant work!

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Dianna! I'm still a bit breathless. These Banditas and their Buddies don't hang about!

Oh heavens, that's a truly horrifying thought about orphan socks. You're right, it's somehow against the order of Nature for the partner to turn up after you've, um, deep-sixed the original.

And yeah, firm is a truly excellent word. Deeply descriptive. ;-)

Kirsten said...

Denise! I have been foaming at the mouth for this book ever since Nationals--and now that I've read the excerpt, even more so. I have SUCH a thing for musicians with long, elegant fingers...yum...

Now I don't know about sending my husband to your Hero Dimension. I don't want him getting significantly more buff than me. I like him being a little bit roly poly with me. ;-) I wouldn't mind going there myself, though. I do like that idea. :-)

BTW, I thought you should know that in the soundtrack of my mind, yours is the voice I hear whenever I stub my toe, or drop my toast, or do a hundred stupid things and want to shout, "BUGGER!" but my kids are around so I can't.

JC said...

Denise, you're right about something being intriguing about having time outside of time. When I was young I used to imagine that there was a place, (like a faerie hill but where time slows down instead of speeds up outside of it) where every single book ever written goes. One copy. If you climbed up the ladders and sat at the top of the bookshelf with a pair of really powerful binoculars, you could watch the room expanding.

Every single book you could ever want was there, and big couches and chairs to read them, window seats were you could read by the light of the sun or moon (of course, if you looked at two window seats next to each other, they'd be looking out to different worlds), and little cafe areas where you could talk to other people about the books you read.

The most mysterious thing about the room was not only did you find the books you wanted to read, but you oftentimes stumbled across books you would like to read if you knew the existed. Or books you needed to read but you didn't know that need.

*grins* Look at me rambling. Your comment set that memory off in me... I haven't thought about that world in years!

Susan B. said...

Good morning Denise,

19 days & counting for Gray!!! My Hubby stays pretty fit with his job but I'd send him off to tone/define his abs. I like to see those 6-8 pack ridges a little better!!! All other muscles in great shape!!!


Have a great day,
Susan

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hi, Denise! What a terrific post! And thanks, Christine, for bringing Denise by today!

Judging from my basket of orphaned socks, I believe wholeheartedly in the hero dimension. :-) I'd never considered that heros go there as well, but it makes perfect sense.

If my socks ever find their way home, I'm expecting them to have ripped abs & a new proficiency in the martial arts.

I don't know about sending my husband there, though. He gets to go to work, then leave the office & come home. I'm at the "office" (since my home is my job, as are my kids) 24/7. If anybody needs a trip to the hero zone to work on her abs, I think it's me.

jo robertson said...

Hello, Denise, welcome to the Lair! Great article and I loved the excerpt from your latest release.

Shannyn, the GR might have a slight tummy ache from over-eating at Chevy's yesterday, but he was very well behaved.

Mmmmmmm, hero dimension, what a delightful idea. I just love to be the gal to hand out those little white towels.

Kayelle Allen said...

G'day, Denise!

Loved the blog, then started reading comments and LMAO at some of them, especially, "...sometimes an entire Clydesdale pulled beer dray belly." ROFL!

I was going to hand out those little (keyword "little" white towels) but I see that job's already taken. Instead I'll sit by the fire and help the Story Witch spin tales that will make all the heroes beg for more. (I love hearing them beg for more *wink*)

As for the missing socks... alas most heroes wouldn't even notice they didn't match. They'd be too busy rescuing wenches, fighting off bad guys and/or other heroes who were trying to move in on the wrong story's heroine. There's some what's like that, if you get my drift. (nudge nudge, wink wink)

Glad I stopped by - very entertaining blog today. I wonder if there's some kind of dimension where we could send a) spammers, b) bill collectors c) telemarketers and all they can do is talk to one another all day. Lovely thought, that.

Virginia said...

I think I would send my hubby and son to the hero dimension. I think it would do them a lot of good.

Cathy said...

I love the idea of a hero dimension, Denise. I would be a towel girl at the Hero's Gym and would just soak in the visuals of all that man flesh. Like the vid workouts that Roarke does to keep in shape. Holograms of back alleys and bad guys to tone his senses and body.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Ah Denise, what a glorious way to start my day. The hero physique!

Who would I send there? Well, right now given the state of weird exercise equipment invading my house and the dh's crazed approach to it......HIM. If only so I can get some writing done in peace!!!

I might send the two firemen that came to our work last night. Dressed in complete firefighting gear, including axe, sweat dripping off their brows...oh yes...would definitely send them.

And I'm sure some of Sherrilyn's Dark Hunter guys hang out there too!

Cassondra said...

Yaaaaay, Denise is in the lair! (waving madly!)

Everybody, Denise was so sweet at National-keeping me company and talking me through my angst about pitching to a mega-agent. I'll never forget it. Oh, and I'll never forget her hot, hot HOT shoes, either. You wanna talk about "do me" shoes? Yep. Five inch red spikes with VELVET heels baby! Denise had, in my opinion the best shoes at conference. And Christine's were also in the running. Black shiny shoes with little sparkly red hearts on the back of the heel. OOooo--la-la. Hmmm. Maybe it's Oz. Maybe they just have better shoes in Oz?

Oh, that cover is SO beautiful. It's a gorgeous work of art all by itself, even if it weren't a book cover. You and Christine are so fortunate to get this guy to do your cover art. *drool*

Here's the thing about that hero dimension and sending anybody there...see...I think it's the washing machine. That's where all the socks seem to wander off. And the wire hangers that breed and have litters of more wire hangers--they're directly above the washing machine. So....if I send somebody there do I have to shove them into the washer? Do they have to fit? Do I have to actually run them through a cycle?

This is a little troublesome. I don't know if it's going to work!

Cassondra said...

In honor of this post and the potential for actually making use of this hero dimension, I think I shall have to create a new cocktail for the Bandita lair. The Spin Cycle.

What shall I put in it Bandita Buddies? Name your poison and we'll have the Denise Rossetti Spin Cycle I'll have to have it ready by D.C., don't y'all think?

JC said...

Cassondra, now I'm not sure I'd agree with you about having to put someone in the washer to get there... If anything I would think it would be the dryer. All the static electricity I think would be much more conducive to opening a hole between dimensions than the washer machine. Less chance of them accidentally drowning if something went wrong, also.

As for a drink, I'd have to think about it. What would you put into a drink that would invoke alternate dimensions, socks, and beefcake that wouldn't remind you of sweaty locker rooms?

catslady said...

What a funny and thought provoking blog lol. I don't think I would like a hero that was working out all the time - now if it's in his profession such as a construction worker or fireman or military man then okay lol. I would like to send politicians into that dimension of yours!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Gosh, what a party in the lair! Although, knowing Miss Rossetti as I do, I suspect right at this very moment, she's sleeping off her excesses! Wakey, wakey, Denise! We wanna play!

Anna Campbell said...

Denise, can you tell us where you got your inspiration for the world of THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW? What sparked your ideas for this book?

Kayelle Allen said...

The Denise Rossetti Spin Cycle would have creme de menthe, vodka, sparkling water, and be served on a heart-shaped plate with 2 chocolate-dipped strawberries (1 for Denise and 1 for Mirry).

Helen said...

Well done Shannyn have fun with him

Great post Denise who would I like to go to this Hero dimension probably my hubby but I would like to go as well and help with the training I think that would be fun and seeing as how I need to get fit it would be a good idea as well LOL.

Totally agree with you about the missing socks we used to make sock puppets with the odd ones when the kids were little and as yet I haven't started that with the grandkids yet but we do have a bag of them.

I do love the cover it is beautiful, congrats.

Have Fun
Helen

Christine Wells said...

Cassondra, thanks for the compliment on my love heart shoes, but Denise's 'Do me' shoes were spectacular, weren't they? And she has the legs to wear them, too!

If anyone wants to see a pic, they're here: http://www.deniserossetti.com/bio.html

Iona said...

Great blog, Denise. I had to go and have a lie down after thinking about all those heroes in the Hero Dimension.

I'm as normal as the next girl, so obviously my first thought was that I would want to send myself. However, when I thought about the whole missing sock thing, I decided I would have to send my son. He is the only one in our family whose socks go missing and I am wondering if there is a message in that (aside from the fact that he is inventive as to where he puts his washing instead of in the basket!). He's a cutie and has definite hero potential, and just think, in a few years time I might have some feisty heroine actually pleased I am her mother-in-law. Of course, he can only go if I know I can get him back!

Denise Rossetti said...

Mornin' all. yaaawn Just off to make a cuppa. BRB

That's textin' talk for be right back. Daughter taught me that. Fuddy duddy? who me?

Denise Rossetti said...

Right. Got the cuppa. Ready to face the day.

Hey there, Kirsten! With me, it's not so much the fingers (except under particular circumstances) as the voice. Oooooh, a man who can sing is so incredibly sexy. Bryn Terfel's voice reduces me to mush.

Gray is a tenor. My current hero has a magical (literally) baritone. LURVE me a baritone like dark chocolate. Ah...

Hang on a sec! Do you mean I said a rude word in company? Moi? *bats eyelashes* I'm sure I would never do that - unless some evil Bandita was plying me with alcohol. And we all know that could never happen. snicker

Denise Rossetti said...

Ah, JC, that was a lovely ramble! What a totally delicious idea. You've described Reader's Paradise, I think. It sounds absolutely blissful - especially the absence of demanding kids and a dirty house and a boss and deadlines...

Now there you go. A great idea for a blog post. Hmm...

Denise Rossetti said...

Susan B.! Great to see you over here with the Banditas!

Do you know, I've been so busy with Book #2, I forgot to count the days? 4th November is Melbourne Cup day here in Oz - the country comes to a standstill for a horse race. And you guys Over There have a race of a different kind that day, I believe?

You're a lucky woman to have a husband who looks after his health. Good on him!

Denise Rossetti said...

Susan S., ROFL about the Kung Fu socks. Hai!

All mothers of small children deserve a trip to the Svelte Dimension. Annie West and I invented it yesterday. No heroes there to see you huff and puff - and no kids either!

Off you go, my dear! Have fun! You'll be back in a nano-second, all toned and gorgeous.

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Jo! So you're going to be Towel Girl, huh? Great idea! Ah, those manly sweaty brows...

BTW, there's a longer excerpt here. In fact, it's the whole first chapter.

Denise Rossetti said...

G'day Kayelle! Ah, we'll make an Aussie of you yet. You should visit us Down Under, you'll fit right in.

And yes, the Banditas and the Buddies are always good value. Love the way they pick up on an idea and run awaaaay with it!

Oh, oh, oh, LURVE the idea of a special dimension for the pesky telemarketers. Brilliant concept! I know they're only doing a job, but still...

Denise Rossetti said...

A father-son combo, Virginia? That sounds lovely. They could do lots of that male bonding stuff! smile

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi there, Cathy! Would be such a shame to watch and not touch, don't you think? ;-)

Denise Rossetti said...

Oh Suzanne, had to chuckle at the crazed DH. As long as he doesn't actually do himself a damage. :-)

We had the firemen at work last week too. Watched them troop by as we stood about outside thinking about how much work we'd left inside. There was one (relatively) hunky one. The rest were - let's just say portly and leave it at that. I'm sure they're brave and efficient nonetheless, but after those calendars, it was a bit of a let down...

Denise Rossetti said...

Cassondra, my dear, I miss you! *snifle*

As for the shoes - mine and Christine's - we made it into Esri Rose's shoe blog. Scroll down to the end, we only just squeaked in!

And no, sweetie, they don't have better shoes in Oz, not for tiny tootsies anyway. I had a good vent about it in my blog a couple of days ago. Everyone welcome!

ROFLMAO about the washing machine. Now I'm imagining petite you feeding some hunky guy headfirst into the front loader. Lookit those boots thrash!

You're right. It is troublesome. I'm troubled.

Denise Rossetti said...

Cassondra, I meant *sniffle*. Don't even know what a snifle is. Interesting word though...

Denise Rossetti said...

Ooooh Cassondra, a cocktail! Great excitement chez Rossetti. Let's see, what do I like?

Champagne. Cointreau. Grand Marnier. Baileys.

Hoo boy! Spin Cycle? Brilliant name. I'm spinning already, just thinking about it. Yay!

Denise Rossetti said...

Hmm, JC, good points there. Now I'm imagining our Cassondra stuffing heroes in the dryer. I fear my brain is about to implode.

And yes, we need to be careful about avoiding the odour de jockstrap. Thinking, thinking...

Denise Rossetti said...

I agree, Catslady. There's definitely a way to overdo the gym work. I like my men ripped, but not overly. More like swimmers than body builder types.

As for the politicians - a workout with the Black Dagger Brotherhood would give them a whole new perspective on pain, I truly believe. evil cackle

Denise Rossetti said...

Oh heavens, Anna, now you're asking. (And see, I'm awake! Excesses? I wish!)

Okay. I've always been fascinated with the idea of the "shadow side". Jung talks about it. Add to that I'm a very sensate person - and I try to write that way too, every taste and texture. So I wanted a way to make that dark side concrete rather than abstract, real.

Add in the scariest concept I know of - the doppelganger - your evil double. More info here.

And voila! A sorcerer of shadows.

So there we have Gray, not just your usual conflicted hero - but deeply, fundamentally at war with himself.

As for poor Cenda, the gods have given her a gift she didn't want for a price in grief she can hardly bear. I wanted all the pain to be worth something for them both.

The greater the agony, the sweeter the redemption and the eventual healing.

So there you have it. Hope this makes sense!

Denise Rossetti said...

Creme de menthe, Kayelle? *frowns doubtfully* Isn't it green?

OTOH, totally on board with the choc-dipped strawberries program. I'd put Mirry on the plate too. :-)

Denise Rossetti said...

Lovely to catch up with you, Helen. Enjoy the sock puppets with the grandkids. And don't forget the funny voices! :-)

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Denise, sounds fabulous! Full of mythological meat and archetypal angst!

Denise Rossetti said...

Iona, of course you can have your son back! He sounds gorgeous. And just think, somewhere out there is a lucky girl getting ready to thank you for the great job you've done with him. smile

You never know, she might be able to exert more control over the dirty clothes situation, not to mention the socks. It's amazing what my son's girlfriend can get him to do!

Meg said...

Hi Denise....just got home from work and haven't had time to read throuhg all the posts. I would love to work in the Hero Gym as a towel girl...bringing towels and helping wipe down all those hot sweaty bods....*THUD*

Amy S. said...

Hi Denise! The Flame and the Shadow sounds great!

Denise Rossetti said...

Good to see you here, Meg. The Banditas are the best!

I think we have a queue of towel girls, but hey - the Hero Dimension is infinitely expandable and infinitely full of hunky men. Go for it!

Denise Rossetti said...

Thanks so much, Amy! I LOVED writing it - except for the bits where I had to cause poor Gray such terrible pain. But the end is good. :-)

Joan said...

Waving madly FROM the Hero Dimension...where I've been all day putting socks ON the hard bodied internally angsted heros here.

Yup, put a sockie on..smoooooooth it up that firm calf, hand slipping delicately onto the rock hard thigh and then....

bleeeeeeeeeeep....

This blog has been interuppted.

Joan said...

My blog posts keep getting bleeped out? What's that about?

Anyway, sorry I missed most of the day Denise. Your book sounds great and is on my shopping list.

It was lovely to meet you in SF too. I didn't get to hang with you like Cassondra, but I'm betting it would be one interesting time if I did ;-)

Christine Wells said...

Just wanted to say thank you, Denise, for being such a fab guest in the Lair. Sven will now give you a well-deserved massage before you go back into the deadline cave.
MWAH!

Christine Wells said...

Joanie T, you are a NAUGHTY gel!!!

Denise Rossetti said...

Oh my goodness, Joan, I can't imagine why you should be getting bleeped. I'm all in favour of hearing EVERYTHING!

Never mind about San Francisco. Maybe in Washington, we can get together and you can tell me all about your experiences in the Hero Dimension. In detail.

Denise Rossetti said...

Christine, it was my absolute pleasure to hang out in the Lair today. I had so much fun!

And a massage from Sven? Oooh, a bonus! grin Can I keep him overnight, like the GR? Huh, huh, pretty please?

Thanks for having me Banditas and Buddies. Was great!