Friday, February 26, 2010

Love in Boom

by Nancy

Anybody else here like a romance with some non-romantic boom in it? Where things blow up apart from the relationship? And somehow all that leads to HEA? Yeah, me, too.

I tried out various titles for this blog, including "boom in love," but Demetrius started snickering at that and other choices, and then Sven joined in. The two of them set aside their sibling-esque rivalry in favor of male bonding, which would've been nice had it not involved mockery of my blog titles. I'm never composing another blog where they can see it in progress. I'll do that from home.

Anyway, I wonder why I like romance with a heavy dose of action-adventure. Maybe it's because all the stuff blowing up and the bullets flying add to the stakes, the jeopardy, the chance that HEA won't happen. When I asked in the Lair for movies or books involving both romance and boom, Christine suggested Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Cassondra came up with True Lies, and Anna Sugden suggested the works of Suz Brockmann. These are all great choices with high stakes. What's at risk is not only true love but life itself.

Plus, I admit, I just like movies where stuff blows up. I prefer that gore not accompany the explosion, as it would in real life, but I do like a movie with some boom. Again, I think it's because of the stakes. In Stargate SG-1, which I so love, the fate of humanity is at stake. In the darker Battlestar Galactica, it's the same thing, but it's humanity versus technology, not just humanity versus evil humanoids, as in the Stargate series.

In Serenity, the stakes usually revolve around the ship's crew, but we care about them, engage on their side, and don't want to see them die.

The fondness for boom also leads to a certain darkness in tone. By the time the hero and heroine find their way to each other, they're scarred and battle-weary. At least times have changed enough that the heroine takes an active part in the battle. Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax and her March have to fight their way to each other time and again, sometimes through foes and sometimes through the scars and pain of other battles, and the struggle gives the relationship depth. These are science fiction novels, not romances, but the romantic thread runs strongly through them.

So what about you? Do you like boom with your romances? Romance with your explosions? Whether you do or don't, why do you think that is?


Christie Kelley said...

Did I get him today?

Christie Kelley said...

Nancy, great post. What's funny is I like action movies with romance. But I don't think to pick up a romance with a lot of action unless it's one of my friend's books.

Christie Kelley said...

And yay, he's mine! I'll try not to let the GR fly away when I go outside today. The wind is nasty. But he hasn't been here in a long while so I'll put the fireplace on for him and let him get comfortable.

Louisa Cornell said...

You got him, Christie !! Have fun and hide the keys to the car! Speaking of things going BOOM !!

Hope all of the Banditas in New England are faring well in the current Nor'easter that is pounding that part of the country.

I tend to like all sorts of romance, Nancy. I like stories where the relationship IS the conflict. I like stories where the hero and heroine are thrown together with a mystery to solve.

I also like romances where they are thrown together because everything keeps blowing up around them !! My CP writes historical romance set in the Regency and she started one set in the Victorian era. She LOVES to throw everything AND the kitchen sink at her hero and heroine. They spend most of their time on the run, getting shot at, knives thrown at them, things catch fire, you name it. She LIVES for adventure and LOVES to torture her hero and heroine with it. Makes for a fun read and a real wild ride.

Think about Last of the Mohicans, one of my FAVORITE romance movies ever. It is a historical romance with lots of boom, arrows, knives, hatchets, bullets, fire, you name it.

Many times my mood dictates what I want to read. Sometimes a girl just wants to blow things up! (Working at Wal-Mart those times are getting more and more frequent!) Sometimes a girl just wants to watch a bad guy get his comeuppance in the worst possible way.

Another suggestion for thrills, spills and chills is anything by Karen Rose !

Oh and Paula Graves new series with Harlequin has lots of boom.

And Lyn Stone's spy series for Harlequin has boom AND exotic locations.

I'm off work today and working on revisions, but I may have to take a break and watch Die Hard - one of my FAVORITE BOOM movies!

Nancy said...

Christie, you get the rooster! Yay!

It's interesting that you like action with romance but don't gravitate to the reverse.

We wouldn't want the GR to blow away, of course, but don't let him get too comfy!

Nancy said...

Louisa, these sound like great suggestions. I think putting serious boom in a historical can be a bit more of a challenge, but I love books that manage it.

Yes, Last of the Mohicans had serious boom!

My '06 GH finalist book had action at the end but not so much going through until that point, mostly emotional conflict. It's an anomaly. Pretty much everything else I've written has clashing swords or flying bullets or magical boom or some combination thereof.

Deb said...

Your love makes my heart boom.
Dynamite Couple
Dynamite Love
Titles for upcoming books, huh?! (Not.)

I'm not too keen on booms in stories, Nancy, but not really sure why. That doesn't mean I don't like action.
I don't mind shows or movies with booms. That makes for exciting viewing.

Nancy said...

Hey, I like those titles, Deb!

It's interesting that you like boom fine in movies or TV shows but not in books.

I like romantic comedies and romances that don't have stuff blowing up, but my first choices run toward those that do.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Christie, you're someone new for the rooster for flirt with all day!

Hmm, Nancy, what an interesting post and it's got me thinking. And yanno, boom isn't really what draws me into a romance. I'll take boom if I get a good love story as well. But boom as the main drawcard? Nuh. Having said that I've read a lot of stuff with great boom - Jeanne's first book springs to mind. In DARK AND DANGEROUS, the book starts with the heroine blowing up her own house. Serious boom. But I kept reading into the wee small hours because the characters were so intensely interesting. And I must admit DDL and his gimlet glare was what kept me going in LOTM, not to mention the music. I had to laugh - he spends that whole movie running. Have you noticed? Clearly a very fit fellow! He'd give Sven a run (ha ha) for his money.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

FUN post, Nancy!

I LOVED "True Lies" and all the "Die Hard" movies. Same with the "Lethal Weapon" series. That scene with the bomb in the toilet is unforgettable! And who can ever forget all the fantastic boom started by Star Wars?

I always throw in a little boom in my own books, though not to the same extent as most of the other Bandita "boom sisters". Guns and knives... sure! And my July release has a really cool (well I think so, hope you do too) boat wreck. ;-)

It's those little booms that keep ya going, isn't it?!?!


Nancy said...

Anna, I agree that boom alone is not enough. The characters have to be engaging, too. I rented Gamer with Gerard Butler, and there was so much mayhem, without enough character foundation, that I multitasked while it ran--until he tried to rescue his wife and daughter from the villain, at which point, I focused. This was the last quarter, maybe, of the movie, though. Won't be watching that one again.

What makes shows like Stargate SG-1 and Battlestar Galactica is ultimately the characters. You can't survive on TV if you can't make people care about your characters. That's what makes Castle, too, I think. Yeah, Nathan Fillion's cute, and all that, but it's the interplay between Castle and Beckett that carries the show. Same for White Collar with the extremely cute Matt Bomer plays off FBI agent Tim DeKay. Or Burn Notice, where lots of stuff blows up but I'd get tired of it if I weren't interested in Michael Westen and the people around him.

Nancy said...

Oooh, AC, a boat wreck! Can't wait! *g*

Yes, Star Wars was serious boom. Lifted special effects and movie boom to a whole new level. We already knew that when the Millennium Falcon jumped to hyperspace, but then when Alderaan blew up, wow!

Nancy said...

PS to Anna C.--I had not noticed that Hawkeye ran through most of that movie, but I'll take your word on it.

When I read that bit in Jeanne's book where the heroine's explosions starting going off, I was so freakin' envious. Wished I had written it!

Nancy said...

Oh, and I thought of another movie with great action and a romance though not HEA. The Peacemaker with Nicole Kidman and George Clooney. I really like that movie!

p226 said...

I just like boom.

But not in the movies. They almost never get explosions right. Too much fire, too much smoke, not enough dust. And people survive entirely too close.

I've been close to things going boom. Close enough that I was showered with debris. And, well, you just can't portray that in film. The closest was probably the beach assault in Saving Private Ryan. The audio was realistic at least. Boom. Silence. Wheeeeeeeeeeee as the ringing comes in before the ambient sound does.

And when you really blow stuff up, there's not much flame. There's a flash. But no flame. That red flame stuff is a slow oxidation process. Stuff that goes boom tends to oxidize VERY rapidly. So rapidly, that you really don't see much actual fire-looking stuff.

But, I like the boom. Making things go boom was one of my favorite pastimes. And, no, I don't consider firearms booms. Firearms are bangs. What I consider a "boom" involves C4, Comp B, or maybe a honkin' pile of ammonium nitrate.


I miss making stuff go boom. :(

Nancy said...

p226, Saving Private Ryan was the last movie my father and I saw together. I have to admit it was a little too realistic for me. When we came out, he said, "It wasn't like that when we (Navy corpsmen) landed at Inchon. The Marines had already gone in and cleared the beach."

So I guessed it was like that when the Marines landed.

The Mythbusters seem to seriously enjoy making stuff go boom, and they've demonstrated that several favorite movie/TV explosions (car gas tanks, propane tanks, etc.) just don't work in real life. Or not usually, anyway.

Thanks for the info on what really happens. I suppose that, like real courtroom procedure, isn't dynamic enough for the movies.

I'm sorry you miss the boom. At least you used to get to do it. Maybe sometime you can teach Demetrius (notice, I did NOT recommend the rooster). I bet he'd like to make things go boom.

Joan said...

You missed "Love in Boom"


Actually, I can take or leave anything exploding. As we've spoken of about other aspects...depends on the story.

I read heavily in historical so most of my boom happens in paranormals. There isn't flash there either....but SPARKLES :-)

Joanie, who just had her root chakra aligned and is feeling too meeeelllllooowww for loud noises

catslady said...

I really like variety so I'm usually up anything in my reading. I wouldn't want a steady diet but I do enjoy it as long as I'm enjoying the characters.

jo robertson said...

Great post, Nancy!

WTG, Christie, another Bandita captures the rooster.

I agree with your notion that romance in a boom story or boom in a romance story ups the ante. Same goes with the psychological thrillers, which are more what I write. Lady (or man) in jeopardy when two people are in love is the greatest conflict IMO.

jo robertson said...

Louisa said, "I'm off work today and working on revisions, but I may have to take a break and watch Die Hard - one of my FAVORITE BOOM movies!"

Great thoughts, Louisa. I adore all of the Die Hard movies. I think that's where Bruce Willis really excelled in his acting career.

I don't like my boom stories to be silly, though, blowing stuff up that wouldn't possibly ignite. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief a bit, but I want realism. Unlike Nancy, I don't mind the blood and body parts flying LOL.

jo robertson said...

I agree with Deb. There's definitely a difference between boom and action. I like both, but again, don't like anything that's silly or unrealistic.

p226 said...

..I suppose that, like real courtroom procedure, isn't dynamic enough for the movies...

Ironically, it's MORE dynamic. The problem, I imagine, is that it's a little too dynamic, making it just a tad dangerous for stunt-work. When the real-deal goes boom, rocks, fragments, chunks of whatever happens to be around go supersonic. I've seen 60 foot trees thrown from a mountaintop down into a valley. I once had to dodge a four foot spear-shaped splinter by climbing under the fender-well of a 5-ton truck. It stuck in the ground beside me like a javelin. That was over 800 meters away from the blast.

The movies tend to account for the lack of dynamics by doing slow-mo of people diving and flying candy-glass. When the real-stuffs go boom, the results tend to be pretty unpredictable except in the most controlled environments. And they're only marginally predictable then.

Donna MacMeans said...

Christie - congrats on the GR nabbing. It's gusty here as well. The wind is blowing snow as well as adding new accumulations. I'm so sick of winter. (sigh)

Nancy - I saw a movie on TV and thought of you. it was called 12 rounds (I think). The bad guy had a series of puzzles the hero had to solve. Each puzzle began with an explosion - you would have loved it!

I don't know if I like boom in the romances I read. I don't dislike them. I'm just not drawn specifically to boom. I do like the high stakes emotions that boom tends to bring - but there's other ways of hitting those life-or-death scenarios as well. If I like the characters, any kind of jeopardy situation will keep me turning the pages.

Helen said...

Well done Christie have fun with him but I wouldn't make him too comfortable LOL

Great post and yes I do like some boom in the books I am reading if the story calls for it like Anna I loved Jeanne's books and they had some boom in them. Some of my favourite movies are Die Hard and Lethal Weapon so yes I do like boom.

Have Fun

Nancy said...

Joan, I'm so glad you're feeling mellow!

Re: sparkles, you don't mean sparkly vampires, do you? Those meet with what might be termed great disfavor in certain quarters.

And magic can make boom. Jessica Andersen's Nightkeepers make serious boom.

Nancy said...

Hi, Jo--I like elements of psychological suspense, though some of them are a bit too gritty for me.

I'm not a fan of silly boom, either.

Nancy said...

p226 wrote: When the real-stuffs go boom, the results tend to be pretty unpredictable except in the most controlled environments. And they're only marginally predictable then.

I see what you mean. It'd be hard to get stunt people to work with stuff like that.

I'm not a big fan of slo-mo. It just seems fakey, maybe because my personal adrenaline is not pumping, so my personal time sense isn't slowed.

Nancy said...

Donna, I'm so sorry about the new snow. I think people in NYC are sick of it, too. Apparently a tree in Central Park fell over this morning and killed someone.

12 Rounds is showing periodically on one of the channels we get. I couldn't tell much from the description, but if you thought I'd like it, I'll check it out.

Nancy said...

Helen, the dh and I watched the first Die Hard movie and thought it was fine, but it was a bit too much cat and mouse for us. I've watched pieces of Live Free or Die Hard on TV. I may have to rent it to watch the whole thing.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Nancy, love Burn Notice. Wish my DVD provider would get something past season 1!

Joan said...

No...paranormal does NOT equal vampires in all things in my book...

And sorry...I'm such a dork. Love in Boom...your blog TITLE!


jo robertson said...

Anna, I love Burn Notice too, just watched it last night. I love the way they do boom even if it's not realistic and adore the way Fee always is eager to blow something up. What a bad-a** gal!

jo robertson said...

I'm with you, Helen. I love the level of boom in Jeanne's books. They seem very realistic (not that I'm an expert) and I "buy" the stuff happening.

jo robertson said...

Oh, Donna, I see that movie 12 Rounds is on HBO, I think. Was it any good? I was gonna DVR it and decided against, but on your recommendation, I will.

Anyone else know about 12 Rounds? Is it worth spending an hour or two on the treadmill :-D?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I know you're right about the movies and TV not realistically showing BOOM! I get that it is all as fake as those Star Wars explosions in space, but it's still FUN to watch.

And I agree again about guns being bang. That's why I don't really consider my stories BOOM. They are much more about bang and crash. :-)

Sorry Jo and all, I don't think I've seen "12 Rounds" so can't give you my always demure opinion. I am hoping to watch "2012" when it hits the RedBox or Netflix. Anyone see it in the theater? Is it worth watching?


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hope you and the chook are staying toasty-warm by the fire... Tell him not to SQUAWK, I said TOASTY not ROASTY! ;-)

It is POURING rain here yet again, so I'm sure the GR wouldn't much like it. I know *I* don't.

off to pout over missing dry weather

Nancy said...

Anna, I wish your provider would get it, too! I also wish the "season" would run more than 10 episodes at a time.

Nancy said...

Jo, I like Fee's love of what we might call a "direct" solution, too!

I know 12 Rounds has John Cena, the wrestler, in it. Don't know much else about it, but I'm going to give it a try, too.

Pissenlit said...

Do I like boom with my romances? Heck yes! Hmm, I may drift towards romance with my explosions a tad more than the other way around. Boom makes everything more awesome.

Nancy said...

Joan, you know I've sort of reached my limit on vampires in paranormals, but I have a lower limit than most on that. Though I did enough Moonlight on SyFy.

Nancy said...

AC, I think of boom as just a lot of action, though it technically applies to explosives, I suppose.

The boy saw 2012 in the theaters with his buddies. I just asked him what he thought, and he said, "thin on plot, big on effects," that it was two hours of the world blowing up while a man moved his family around. I don't think the boy was big on the ending, but I don't want to spoil that for anyone who's in the mood for two hours of the world blowing up. :-)

Nancy said...

Pissenlit wrote: Boom makes everything more awesome.

Well put!

Caren Crane said...

Christie, you astonish me nabbing the GR! Still have snow for him to shovel? *g*

Nancy, I adore BOOM of all sorts - including the Black Eyed Peas' Boom Boom Pow. *eg* I know that's not what you meant, but that's what the "boom" brings to my mind first.

I do love action/adventure of all stripes. I don't mind some gore, either, which explains why I adored Zombieland so much. I like lots of action and especially like some romance mixed in. Movies do this more often (and often better) than books. I think it's the immediacy of the medium or something. In books, we want reaction but in movies there sometimes isn't time for it, if that makes sense.

Yes, I love some BOOM with my romance. Bring it on! I also like quieter romances where there is much more internal dialogue...when that's what I want. I read widely and enjoy it all.

Caren Crane said...

Louisa, yes, Karen Rose does romance and boom really well!

Caren Crane said...

Deb and Nancy, I think a German group from the 80's named Trio had a song called Boom Boom and part of the lyrics (in English) were:

Boom Boom here they go again
Boom Boom
Boom Boom and my heart beats
Boom Boom

I loved Trio back in the day. *sigh*

Nancy said...

Caren, that's a great idea--Christie can make the GR shovel any leftover snow!

Now I have to find that Boom, Boom song.

When I'm in a mood for pure escapism, I go for science fiction. Serenity Star Trek, SG-1, mainly because there's guaranteed action and stuff blowing up.

The Thirteenth Warrior has great action though with a certain ick factor at times. I put that in the DVD player when I'm in the mood for a good fantasy adventure.

Just finished Fantasy in Death, and I have to say it's a dose of geek heaven. Holographic gaming plays into the murder, and there are cons, as in conventions, involved. Won't give away anything else. No explosions, so no actual boom, but plenty of POW! *g*

Deb said...

A Boom Boom song? Maybe Nancy, Caren, and I can form a new trio called the Boom Boom Sisters? Huh?

Now that I think about it, there were 2 songs we taught the kids at camp called "Boom-di-ah-da (I love the mountains)" and "Jaws, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom." It wasn't very nice, but we used to sing the Jaws song to them as they got into the pool...

jo robertson said...

Sorry, Cindy, I didn't see 2012 either. I just read an article by Stephen King saying if he doesn't watch 80 movies a year, he feels deprived. Now that's my kinda man. Time was, I could've kept up with him, but no more. Now if a movie doesn't get a good review, I'll wait for Netflix.

Which is a roundabout way of saying I don't think 2012 got good reviews, ha ha

jo robertson said...

Deb, that's just the kind of trick camp is for, right?

I remember "I Love the Mountains." We sang it as a round. Ah, girls camp, such fond memories.

jo robertson said...

My gosh, Nancy, how did you finish Fantasy in Death so fast. Didn't it just release? Mine came in the Amazon mailing today! Wahoooo!

Along with Robert Parker's last Jesse Stone book (I'm still grieving about that). Parker doesn't do regular boom-boom, but ole Jesse'll have his gun on.

jo robertson said...

Ah, Nancy, what's not to love about Alex McLoughlin (Moonlight)? I can't believe they cancelled his show and kept some of the other junk that's still on.

Nancy said...

Deb, I think I learned that boom-di-ah-dah song at camp, too!

Love the idea of forming a trio for the Boom Boom song. We have to learn it first, though.

Nancy said...

Jo, Fantasy in Death came out Tuesday. I started reading right after class yesterday and finished earlier today.

I heard that the guy in Moonlight was up for some other lead role, but now I can't remember what it was. The women in my American Fantasy class last year loved that show--and its star.

Barbara Monajem said...

I like boom! But it doesn't have to be literal boom. I'm just as happy with anything scary and suspenseful that makes my heart speed up. (I wish that qualified as aerobic exercise.) Much as I love it, though, I really can't tolerate suspense, so with books I usually skim to prepare myself, and I prefer to watch movies at home, so I can retreat to the next room and peek around the door if things get too suspenseful. :)

Nancy said...

But Barbara, isn't your new book suspenseful, the one coming out in April? In a paranormal sort of way?

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Nancy,

I like both: boom w/ romance and
romance w/ boom! I think it's the
passion in the situation that drives my interest!!

Pat Cochran

Nancy said...

Hi, Pat--

Good point. Passion and boom work together, I think, no matter what the mix!

EilisFlynn said...

I do love a little boom with love. The balance is tricky, though.