Not Quite Woke

Society is becoming woke to the decades, centuries – millennia – that women have endured as silent victims of a predatory culture. This is a good thing.

But such birth does not come without pain and blood. As the pendulum swings in a corrective direction, the risk that it will swing too far is real. Indeed, some have questioned if it is not already too late.

What is the danger of extremism in our reactions?

Innocent men who find their reputations destroyed, their careers damaged or erased, their lives upended beyond repair based on the word of another given absolute, priority value. Accusations equal to physical evidence or objective corroboration. Guilt presumed over innocence. An abandonment of any sense of due process. The failure to allow the accused to face his accuser.

A witch-hunt mentality that heightens skepticism regarding any and all claims of abuse. The potential of coming full circle as suspicion of motives and fear of accusation-used-as-weapon causes people to cast victims as villains. Uncertainty […]

By | 2017-12-11T08:00:00+00:00 December 11th, 2017|Categories: AAR Jenna, Real Life|61 Comments

Miranda Neville, you will be missed

I was shocked last week to find out historical romance author Miranda Neville had passed away. I knew she had been sick because she’d been away from Twitter for a while and when she returned we discussed it briefly. But she re-engaged with Romancelandia on Twitter, and I assumed her health crisis was over. So her loss to our book world brought on a welter of sorrow.

I first met Miranda at the Romance Writers’ of America conference in 2010 just after her second book The Wild Marquis was released. We met at the bar – where else does one go to meet interesting people at the professional conference for romance writers? We hit it off right away and shared many laughs over the course of those drinks. Much to my disappointment, I never met her in person after that.

However, we stayed in regular touch over Twitter, and we became friends. It was such fun discussing books, music, food, art, […]

By | 2017-10-30T18:33:45+00:00 October 31st, 2017|Categories: Authors, Historicals, Keira Soleore, Real Life|Tags: |5 Comments

Heroes in Real Time

I admit that I love to read romance novels for pretty much one reason – the swoon-worthy heroes. Be they Navy SEALs, roguish pirates, Scottish warriors or powerful tycoons, their confidence and swagger and charm all draw me in and allow me to escape to a fantasy world where the good guy will always save the day.

Given all of the recent turmoil in our world, what with hurricanes and political tempests galore, it’s tempting to escape into those fantasies as much as possible. But every once in a while, I’m reminded that real heroes walk among us. These are the guys and gals who put their lives on the line every day to help a stranger. They go in when others are rushing out. They serve as real-life examples to our sons and daughters of the best that humanity has to offer.

Below are photos of these super folks in action. We tip our hats and thank them profusely for their selfless heroism. And, if they don’t mind, we may do a […]

By | 2017-09-15T16:23:03+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Categories: AAR Jenna, All About Romance, Heroes, Heroines, Real Life|3 Comments

Exploding the Cold Shower Myth

The cold shower is the romance novel male equivalent of the internal hymen: you see it in books so frequently that you probably don’t notice it anymore, but when you stop to think about it, something’s off. In fact, everything is off. The cold shower, it seems, is just as grounded in reality as the mythical internal hymen.

What is the cold shower? Here are just a few of the many, many examples:

After ogling the heroine Jennifer, the hero Cletus reflects:

A cold shower was in order. And yoga. And then another cold shower. – Beard Science by Penny Reid

After ogling the heroine Lucy, the hero Zack reflects:

He needed a shower. A cold one. – Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie

After ogling the heroine Emma, the hero Connor reflects that if he couldn’t

take a cold shower, he’d have to settle for cold drinks. And maybe he should just pour the next one one in his lap, where it would do the […]

By | 2017-07-03T18:28:01+00:00 July 4th, 2017|Categories: Caroline AAR, Real Life, Romancelandia|2 Comments

Another Kind of Winter Warmer

I’ve so loved reading all of the Winter Warmer recipes shared by everyone at AAR. I plan to try out a number of them over the next few months (first up, Melanie’s potato soup).  But I find I’m now in the need of a very different type of winter warmer.

A little over a week ago my apartment complex came through and installed a lot of energy saving devices in all of the apartments. As someone who tries to be energy efficient, I was very enthusiastic. I came home one evening to discover a new “low flow” shower head, new pipes (wrapped with some kind of insulated stuff) under the cabinets, energy-efficient light bulbs, and a programmable thermostat. Having only dealt with an old dial thermostat before, this programmable thermostat was a revelation. It came pre-programmed for optimal energy savings, set for cooler when people are assumed to be at work or sleeping.


By | 2017-05-24T17:18:31+00:00 December 28th, 2013|Categories: AAR afterhours blog, LinnieGayl Kimmel, Real Life|Tags: , |9 Comments

Trick or Treat

UnknownMy having an October birthday has meant many, many Halloween themed parties over the years.  Then my youngest daughter came into the world on October 30 and we had two in the family born close to that veil between the living world and the dead.  I was actually finishing costumes for my two oldest children when I went into labor.  When each of my children were old enough,  I made costumes and drove my kids to other neighborhoods or attended church events on Halloween.  Unfortunately, the neighborhood we lived in for nearly twenty years was not conducive to trick-or-treaters and in all of those years we had exactly three trick-or-treaters…TOTAL. […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:35+00:00 October 30th, 2013|Categories: AAR afterhours blog, home, Real Life|Tags: , |5 Comments



I wear crocs from the moment the last of the snow and ice clears in the spring until the first snow flies again in the fall. These comfy, open air shoes are easy to put on and take off, come in a variety of colors and can be worn with practically anything. That is what I love about them – they are just so darn convenient.

I started with one modest pair of taupe crops. They could be worn with most things and were perfect for “hasty” days when I just didn’t have the time to put an outfit together. That lasted three years. Visiting the crocs store this summer was my downfall. I got a pink pair. Then purple. Black. Now my “need” includes a pair of blue crocs. Since it has started to show signs of winter where I am I will hold off on that purchase till summer. Still, I look in my closet and cringe when I realize I […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:37+00:00 October 22nd, 2013|Categories: AAR afterhours blog, Fashion, Maggie AAR, Real Life|Tags: |4 Comments

Car Repair Woes

I despise dealing with car repair, don’t you? I’m not completely ignorant about how they work, but I’m certainly not interested in fixing them myself, which means depending on a service technician. The problem there is finding one that you can trust. I’ve been burned so many times! […]

By | 2017-05-24T17:18:05+00:00 September 6th, 2013|Categories: AAR afterhours blog, Real Life, Uncategorized, Wendy AAR|Tags: , |6 Comments

I Could Drive 55


This past week I passed the aftermath of a fatal accident on a highway. The next day when I looked up the accident report I learned that the victim was a thirteen year old boy. He was travelling with his dad and brother. According to the news “Troopers say (the father), was driving a Honda Civic when he came up behind the slower moving tractor-trailer. The(driver) started to change lane, but hit the back end of the rig, sending his car into a skid across the median.” The posted speed limit for the area is 70 miles per hour. It is believed he was going slightly in excess of that while passing.


By | 2017-06-23T08:30:39+00:00 August 30th, 2013|Categories: AAR afterhours blog, Maggie AAR, Real Life|8 Comments