Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Guest Blogger: Christie Ridgway

Last year I found a great blog called Riding with the Top Down and I've been hanging out there ever since. It's a red convertible full of really cool writers including today's guest blogger. I just read my first book by her and I'm always excited to discover a new author, especially a woman who's in my same position -- the minority in a houseful of men. She's a California gal and married to a man she calls "Surfer Guy." So please give a big playground cowabunga to Christie Ridgway.

Guy Talk.

I’m surrounded by the reality of it, given that I live with my husband and two sons, no other female on the premises. I’m surrounded by the fiction of it too, as I write contemporary romances peopled with heroes that I consider all-guy as all-get-out. So how real are the words in our favorite romance novels? Has any man ever come close to saying to you, in those immortal tones of a Harlequin Presents hero, “You know you’ve been begging for my kiss, you darling little fool.”

Considering this topic, I wrote down what my men said to me this morning, beyond grunts and drowsy mumblings, that is:

“Don’t we have any breakfast meat?”
“Are there bugs in the cereal?”
“I didn’t knock it off the wall with a ball, I was tossing around a shoe.”

Obviously not the stuff of romance novels. But the hero of my next book, HOW TO KNIT A WILD BIKINI (out Tuesday, June 3!), is a writer/editor for a men’s magazine, so you’d think he might be more articulate, and perhaps slightly more, um, subtle, than those Presents men. I searched through the book for the most romantic thing he had to say, thinking he’d be a treasure chest full of knee-weakening bon mots. He turns out to be more “real guy” than I remembered, however. It’s what he does that appeals more to the heroine than what he says.

And that’s all man, isn’t it? They show us how they care, they don’t talk so much about it.

I did discover a lovely line or two, though. Heroine and private chef Nikki Carmichael has one eye that’s green and one eye that’s blue and they’re a source of fascination for the hero, Jay Buchanan. Early in the book he says to her: “Those amazing eyes of yours. When I look into them I don’t know whether I’m going to sink or fly.” Nikki’s response? She decides that murmured thought makes her want to swoon.

I hope you’ll be equally affected when you read the book. It’s the first in a new trilogy—all centered around a hip, surfside yarn shop in Southern California. Publisher’s Weekly says it “combines Malibu beachnik appeal with trendy knitting Zen” and that it’s a story in which “opposites attract, and steam rises in the kitchen and in the bedroom.”

But back to guy talk. What’s your favorite romantic line from a hero—either from fiction or reality? I’m giving away a copy of my new book and I’ll have the Playground Monitor select a winner from among those commenting. It’s great to be visiting here!


Maureen said...

I have to agree with you. Conversations with men tend to be very practical but one of my favorite romantic movie lines is from Jerry Maguire: You had me at hello.

MaryF said...

I had to laugh, so very true. Unfortunately I could not come up with anything romantic; more like inflammatory! It is from "Pride and Prejudice"; what I loved was that the the portent is exquisite! And its from all places "Pride and Prejudice" as said by Mr. Darcy toward Jane to Mr. Bingly.

"She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men..."

Playground Monitor said...

One of my favorite movies is "Romancing the Stone" but all the quotes from Jack Colton I remember are anything but romantic. Like when he chopped the heels off her shoes and she bemoaned "Those were Italian." His reply was "Now they're practical."


Angel said...

Welcome to the Playground, Christie! We're so happy you are here.

I can't really think of a line that stands out. Like you said, I'm bigger on what the heroes do than what they say. Or when they struggle to say something they know they should. I love that.


Roxanne St. Claire said...

Love guy talk. I got this from my 15 year old son yesterday:

Me: "I love you, honey."
Him: "Okay."
Me: "Not the right answer. Let's try again. I love you, honey."
Him: "I know you do."

Just had to pop in to say hey to Christie Ridgway, a truly classy, adorable, genuine lady and a great writer.


Christie Ridgway said...

Maureen: "You had me at hello." That line is still so sigh-full. I really do love that movie and think that other line, "You complete me" has kind of gotten a bad rap.

Instigator said...

Welcome to the Playground, Christie!

Hmm, good male lines. Nothing I can think of is rather romantic at the moment. I know there were some good ones in P.S. I Love You (which I just watched recently) but I can't remember exactly what they were. I do remember crying and laughing though.

I'm more of a look girl. I wanna see the hero (in my head or on the screen) give the heroine that look that says she's the only person in the room and/or universe worth paying attention to. I'm a sucker for intense eyes.


Christie Ridgway said...

MaryF: Nice, from P & P, though you're right, not strictly romantic. Along the idea of it's what a man does, not what a man says that can be romantic as well, my favorite moment in the Keira Knightley P & P is when Mr. Darcy touches her hand to...held her down from the carriage? Into the carriage? Whichever, you can see the electricity sparking between them.

Christie Ridgway said...

Playground Monitor: ::snicker:: on that line from Romancing the Stone. Note to self: That movie needs to be watched again. It's been a while.

Another of my favorite lines, and this one is romantic, is from a book titled The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch by Marsha Moyer. Highly recommend! The heroine, a widow, wonders aloud why the gorgeous hero would bother with her because she has so much baggage. And Ash replies, (I'm paraphrasing), "I don't mind baggage, that's where you carry the good stuff." I love that line.

Christie Ridgway said...

Rocki! Thanks for saying "hi." I just read an ARC of THEN YOU HIDE and loved it. (Look for my upcoming review in BookPage, I do a column on Romance for them.)

That's a great exchange with your 15-year-old. What a typical guy! Surfer Guy (my dh) just shook me awake this morning, not to declare his undying love or even to wish me a good morning, but to say, "Hey, did you hear about the shoot-out?"

He was watching morning news and there was a robbery yesterday at a coin shop in our SoCal little town. Big news! Couldn't wait! Not romantic.

Christie Ridgway said...

Instigator: I SO cried through P.S. I Love You. I made Surfer Guy go with me and he couldn't believe I'd taken him to such a sad movie. He's actually really good about watching chick flicks, but sad ones, nuh-uh.

I can't think of anything from it off-hand either, but those letters he sent her must have some really good stuff in them.

Smarty Pants said...

Welcome Christie! We're happy to have you visit today.

Personally, I have a hard time suspending belief when I read and the hero says something no red-blooded man would ever say. I actually once read a couple lines of a book to DB and he laughed and agreed. He would never, ever say something like that to me.

Somewhere in the middle is good, though.

I think most my favorite lines come from movies because they're more ingrained in my mind. Of course, right now I'm drawing a complete blank...

I'll come up with something today. Its too early right now.

CrystalGB said...

One line that I love is from Dirty Dancing. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

Problem Child said...

Hi Christine! We're glad you're here. Sadly, my Darling Geek is not one for the romantic lines, either. His attempt at a pickup line was "American girls are easy." Sigh. He just didn't understand why I didn't jump right into his arms after that.

And men wonder why we read romance...

I do like the line from "Keeping the Faith" when Jake says, "God was showing off when he made you."

Christie Ridgway said...

Crystalgb: Love that Baby in the corner line. I alluded to it in a book--the hero had been forced to watch a lot of chick flicks with his mom as the youngest of many sons.

We love that line because it shows that Johnny really sees Frances (Baby) and her situation.

Playground Monitor said...

I'm seeing a pattern here with exchanges between mothers/sons or husbands/wives. As a MOOS (I learned this term from Christie and it means "Mother of Only Sons) I have a few in my repetoire. My husband came home from a business trip once and wanted to tell me about a woman he'd sat next to in the airport. "She was so ugly she made you look like Miss America." As soon as the words left his mouth he knew he'd screwed up. I knew what he meant but let him stew a while. Oh who'm I kidding? I still make him stew over that one. LOL!


Christie Ridgway said...

Playground Monitor: Oh my gosh! Yeah, your dh should stew over that one forever. But see, guys who live in a mostly guy-world do not learn to self-censor. I try to give my boys a girl-perspective on things, but often they just look at me like I'm alien.

In the summers they cannot understand why I insist they take showers "since we're in the pool all day, every day." Yeah, like chlorine is a substitute for shampoo.

Sherry W. said...

Hi Christie! Let me first say I love the new book cover! Just the bright colors and title would make me stop to see what it was about!

My world is of the guy talk version. Bless his heart, hubby tries,(LOL) but he just seems to be missing those 'romantic bones'.

Oh well. That's ok - I'll just have to get my romance fix from books and movies. :)

Kathy said...

Hi Christie! I'm so glad you came to play.

I love all the good lines everyone is coming up with, especially those from Mr. Darcy. Rambo has a good one, though it's not romantic, but it still gets me. "When you're pushed, killing is as easy as breathing." LOL.

"We're speaking the same language but you don't understand anythin' I'm sayin', do you?" Gerard Butler in Timeline. Ah.... (Thanks again for the pictures, Angel!)

"Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation..." POTO, again Gerry.

Guys need to learn from Attila. When Gerry calls his new wife by his first wife's name. Oops! Can I get a witness? Poisoned.

terrio said...

Hi there, Christie. This books sounds so fun. Adding it to the TBB list.

I'm remembering a line from The Wedding Date. "I'd rather fight with you than make love with anyone else." Something like that. Very guy but somewhat romantic I guess.

It's just myself and my daughter in our house (plus female parakeet and female hamster) so no testosterone around to quote. *g*

I'm reading Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas right now. When Hardy Cates tells Liberty, "I'd do anything for you?" I sighed big time. But then everytime Hardy is on the page, I get a little flustered. Must read faster to get to his book.

Smarty Pants said...

"I'd rather fight with you than make love with anyone else."

Ooohh, terrio, I like that one. That is very much "guy" yet still enough to make my toes tingle.

Christie Ridgway said...

Sherry: My guy really tries, too, in his own way. When we were just out of college his birthday gift to me came in a crumpled and dirty paper bag. I opened it to find...greasy car parts! He'd tuned up my car as a surprise gift. It was a very caring thing to do, of course, and I was smart enough to recognize that even if it wasn't candy and flowers.

Christie Ridgway said...

Terrio: I LOVED Sugar Daddy. And I think I loved Blue-Eyed Devil (Hardy's book) even more. Word on the street is Lisa is going to write more contemps (as well as historicals) and I'm delighted by that!

Kathy: Great quotes. And music lyrics from POTO! There are some great romantic lyrics. "Layla, you've got me on my knees." (Eric Clapton). I've always wanted to write a heroine with the name Layla so she can get the guy on the floor!

Sherry W. said...

Oh Christie - how funny! That sounds exactly like the kind of pratical thing my hubby would do! Hey, the way I look at it - anyone can pick up candy or flowers but not many of them can tune up cars or repair broken household appliances. I guess they're keepers!

Christie Ridgway said...

Sherry: I was talking with some friends about what we look for in a man and I thought instantly, "That he can fix things."

Also, my guy can tell me if the leftovers will fit in the plastic container I've pulled out of the cupboard. That is a huge turn-on for me! ::wink:: Really, though, I have a terrible spatial sense.

terrio said...

Christie - some men might prefer a woman who has trouble judging the size of things at a glance. Just guessing.

I can't imagine how I'd feel about this book if a) I didn't know Hardy isn't really the hero and b) I didn't know I can go right on to reading his story. Thank goodness I'm slow to get to these things and spend enough time online to be in the know. Whew.

Speaking of Mr. Darcy, how about when Matthew McFadyen says, "You've bewitched me body and soul." That's a toe curler for sure.

Playground Monitor said...

Greasy car parts. LOL! I've received appliances for birthdays and Christmas, but he learned pretty quickly those were not appropriate gifts. He does much better now -- jewelry and trips.


Playground Monitor said...

Hardy not being the hero of that book threw me until I realized it. Sadly, I've no desire to read his book now. I just disliked his character so in Sugar Daddy. Maybe y'all can convince me why I should read Blue-Eyed Devil?


Liza said...

In Because I Said So, Johnny tells Millie "He loves that she smells like cake batter and he completely understands her when she talks in circles." I love that he gets her even when she is talking around the subject.

Smarty Pants said...

Liza, I have that at home. You just aroused a burning desire to watch Gabriel Macht...

Christie Ridgway said...

Sherry: LOL on my lack of size-sense being an asset! Hah! I'll have to tell Surfer Guy that one.

Liza: I've not seen that movie...and I love Diane Keaton and like Mandy Moore. You recommend?

Playground Monitor: Oh, but remember how wonderful Hardy is as a youngster in Sugar Daddy. Hold onto that. Then really, read Blue-Eyed Devil. I think you'll be happy. You guys have made me want to get up and go read both those books right now! I've been comfort reading (like the Marhsa Moyer book I mentioned earlier) a little bit this week. My mom left after a nice visit (we shopped massively, she bought me shoes!) and it gave me a lift to read some favorites.

Liza said...

I have watched Because I Said So almost every time it has been on HBO over the past few months. I love Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore.

Wendy said...

Hi, Christie!

I can't remember any romantic line from a hero but I do know the smallest thing can be soo romantic. :)

I can't wait to see PS: I love you! It looks sooo good. And I just know I'm gonna cry.

Great post!

Christie Ridgway said...

Okay, Because I Said So on my watch list, Liza.

Wendy: Tissues. At least a box, when you watch P.S. I Love You. Don't say I didn't warn you. It's a heartbreaker. But the guys are soooo cute.

Playground Monitor said...

I'll see about giving Hardy another chance. Of course, he'll have to wait behind all these movies folks have mentioned. I saw "Because I Said So" but haven't seen "PS I Love You." The DH needs to go on another business trip so I can have chick flick night and catch up. LOL!


Wendy said...

Christie, I think a box of tissues and a pint of ice cream will balance things out nicely! :)

Oh, the guys. Gerry and Dean's dad (what's his name again?) they're both definitely cute!

catslady said...

I don't think anyone mentioned what I think is one of the most famous two lines (maybe I'm too old lol) - Gone with the Wind - "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" and "tomorrow is another day" :)