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YOU CAN'T ESCAPE THEM - DEATH, SEX AND TAXES - MARGARET TANNER
Everyone has to pay taxes; no government on earth is going
to let their citizens get away without paying taxes. Taxes on your salary,
business tax, death taxes, you name it, they will tax it. Even the humble hamburger doesn't escape the clutches of the tax man.
In romance novels, we don’t talk about taxes. I don’t recall
ever having read anything about tax collection.
Sex – yes in all its forms, sweet and tender, just a kiss or
two. Hot and spicy, no shutting the bedroom door here, and the really hot stuff
that Margaret Tanner doesn’t write. I do commend the talented authors who do,
and pull it off so successfully in their erotic romances.
Death – In novels, I consider death to be a great tool in
creating emotion and upping the drama. I don’t mean having the hero and heroine
die, but the villains and secondary characters. Of course, near death
experiences for heroes or heroines is always good.
I have been thinking about this in regards to my stories. I
write historical fiction with romantic elements, so death is probably easier to
include in these stories. Harder to justify in contemporary romance, unless it
is some villain who is hell bent on harming the heroine and to save her life,
he has to go.
In bygone days, death in childbirth was quite common. People
died of snakebite/disease/illness because they were miles from medical
assistance or could not afford to pay for it. Bank robbers, stage coach
robbers, cattle rustlers etc. the sheriff could quite legitimately shoot these
criminals down without fear of reprisal from their peers, or condemnation from
In war, on the field of battle, soldiers die or are wounded,
so we happily accept this in historical romance. We probably shed a tear or two
for the gallant warrior and the staunch heroine who waits in vain for him to
return. We wouldn’t throw the book against the wall because of this. We just
sigh with contentment when another dashing soldier rides into the life of our
heroine and she finally gets her happily ever after ending.
I have to confess that in all my novels there is some sex of
the medium to hot variety and someone must die. Never a main character, of
course, but someone invariably has to go, usually a baddie, but not always so.
As for taxes, I never mention the word in my novels unless
it is to say – the heat became very
My novel, Falsely Accused, published by Books We Love, has
recently won the Historical Section of the Easy Chair Writing Competition. Yes,
there is a death or two in this story, but hey, the 1820’s were wild and
violent days in a young colony.
A Master Passion - A Founder's Marriage Angelica, older sister to Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, was a piece of work. Perhaps you've met someone like her--enchanting, intelligent, daring, filled with boundless energy, bubbling over with wit. She was also a champagne tastes kind of gal who brought the party along with her, brightening any room she entered. Men and women alike adored her. She had admirers not only in America, but in France and in Britain, too, among them the leading lights of the time. The French Statesman Talleyrand, the Whig Leader, Charles Fox, the play-write Richard Brinsley Sheridan, as well as Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, and the Marquis de Lafayette were among the many luminaries who fell beneath her spell. We can no longer see the glamor in this picture of her and her first child, painted by Trumbull. Fashions in beauty change. In one letter to his father-in-law, Hamilton speaks of Angelica and his wife Elizabeth as "our b…
As a writer
I know the power of words, and I’m constantly searching for the right words to
make my stories live. But recently I discovered the word “feminism” has been
misunderstood. I had no idea until daughter Andrea received a rude response
after she admitted she was a feminist. Made me wonder, why has this word been
demonized? Dictionary.com defines feminism as “advocating social,
political, legal and economic rights for women equal to those of men.”
Merriam-Webster has a similar definition. The term feminism originated in 19 century
France, I learned. A second-wave began in the United States during the early 1960s
with Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine
Mystique. Friedan wrote this book after talking with friends, who had
given up their careers to become housewives. These women felt unfulfilled in
their domestic roles, Friedan claimed. She blamed women’s magazines, run by men,
for encouraging women to become mothers and housewives, rather than career
women. A dif…
I grew up in
an engineering family and worked many years at Boeing. There, great flying
machines are built to stay in the air for literally hours and hours and jet halfway around the world without refueling. This is well engineered
stuff. With that in
mind, I’ve always considered the human body a high maintenance machine. It is
fragile and can’t take much without breaking down. It must regenerate (sleep) for
a huge amount of its shelf-life. It requires hours of upkeep, always needs wiping
down or, over the years, completely submersed in water with gallons of soap.
The human body must be constantly refueled which produces prodigious amounts of
venting waste. This turns out to be an expensive, never ending maintenance slog.
have thunk this a good design? Not me. I’d really like a conversation with the
designer and tell him my thoughts on how the human body could be improved. But
with that conversation unlikely, I’ll have to stew over poor engineering. Let’s take
one of the abo…