Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Guest Post -- Author Melissa Blue: Please Don't Call Me Humorous

I'm so happy to welcome rom-com author Melissa Blue to eulogize the dreaded "rom-com" label, and to tell us about her book FORBIDDEN RENDEZVOUS!

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I'm sorry to have to be the one to inform you, but like chick-lit, romantic comedy is dead. I kid. Sort of.   I've had this conversation off and on with other writers for a while, but we all agree humor is not welcomed in some circles. And it's a scientific fact (ok it's a Melissa Blue fact) that once you have to explain a joke, it's just not funny anymore. The same could be said once you slap on chick-lit or romantic comedy onto a book. Folks go into the book expecting the funniest, I-almost-peed-in-my-pants hilarity. When all they get are a few chuckles here and there the book has failed on that perceived promise.

I'm not going to lie to you. It's a conundrum. What's a humorous author to do? You won't want folks opening your book expecting every moment to be serious when you have like 323 dick jokes, thinly veiled ones, placed throughout a 40k story. At the same time, the pressure of 323 loud laughs has to happen. What if there's only 320 chuckles? You have failed.

I've made a study of this. In order for a joke to work the writer has to know their audience. On some basic level all of them have to have seen/experienced the same things. That's not even taking in the probability the person holds your same sense of humor. Because by proxy you have to make a joke that everyone would laugh at.

You can't tell because you're reading this blog in real time but I've sat here staring off into space for five minutes trying to think of an example. So...

They are both partially naked in the pool. She jumps in and tells him to come in to play. And by play she means something else entirely.
The water is cold.
The hero jumps in.

* insert joke of a man being in cold water *

Yeah. Ten more minutes of staring into space and I've got nothing but a comparison of thumbs and small peens. I can't take the pressure of being funny. So let's just say I write light and fluffy romances. If they make you laugh that's awesome. As far as I'm concerned romantic comedies and chick-lit is dead to me. And please for the love of cold water and * insert joke about a man being in cold water * don't call me humorous.

Who are some of your favorite chick-lit authors? Some of your favorite rom-com authors?

* Sophie Kinsella is one of mine.

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Lucy:  Here are the blurb and an excerpt -- BRB, adding this to my to-read pile, as I generally enjoy both dens and sinning.

When the Beaudelaire Hotel turns into a Den of Sin for the New Year's weekend, any and every fantasy can become a reality...
Seraphina Gibson orchestrates fantasies, but this year she'll create one of her own. It's against the rules for an employee to participate in the weekend-long sex-capade but she's willing to risk it for Luke Moreland. The man's a mystery, but in a sea of CEOs and Fortune 500 billionaires, he stands out. His past and connection to her boss is clouded in intrigue, but she knows what he wants, and she plans to star in one of his voyeuristic trysts.
Born with a silver spoon Luke Moreland is used to getting everything he desires. Being next in line of his family's winery leaves him very little time to take advantage of his riches. For a weekend, out of every year, he gets to feel the thrill of the chase. Not even in his sexual fantasies does he like to lose control, but then Seraphina walks into his playroom. He doesn't know the truth of her past, but he knows the risk she's taken to be with him. That doesn't matter. He's going to spend the next two days with her in his bed and keep her secret.
When reality crashes into their fantasy, will they survive?

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“Call me Luke. I insist.”

She gripped the files to her chest. Not that he could see anything but a hint of her femininity. She wore pants suits and not even a button was left open to tease him with a view of her dark-olive skin. When alone, at the end of the day, would she take the pins out of her hair and free the ebony strands? It killed him to be this close to her and yet so far from touching, seeing the woman underneath the professionalism.

“Was there something you forgot to ask me during your interrogation?” she asked.


She pursed her lips, but the corners of her mouth turned up. “I think Mr. Beaudelaire would like to know you hold his staff hostage.”

Henri would be displeased that he'd shamelessly flirted with any of his staff. Doing more than flirting? Now that would cause trouble their friendship didn't need. They used to be close as brothers. It had taken the last four years to be more than casual associates.

With that in mind, he considered Seraphina and just how far he could take this. “Have dinner with me. One that isn't a ruse for work.”


He hadn't expected her to say yes, yet, but the quick refusal without any trace of doubt in her tone confused the hell out of him. She'd enjoyed herself. He could pick up on the slightest discomfort or sign that someone really didn't like him. He'd honed that skill in college when his world fell apart. He used the skill in all his business dealings.

Henri had his rules, but Luke had suspected Seraphina didn't let anyone in. “Are you seeing someone?”


“Shitty childhood?”

“No,” but she said it with a laugh. “Back up.”

He took two steps and crossed his arms. She had room to leave now, but she only pressed her shoulders against the oak door. Usually he let her be, but this year there was something different about her. He didn't care what it was. He welcomed it.

“Then tell me why,” he said.

“You're a customer. It's against the rules.”

The answer sounded recited. “And if I wasn't?”

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Buy Links:

Author Bio:
Mel Blue is the risque pen name for Melissa Blue. Her writing career started on a typewriter one month after her son was born. This would have been an idyllic situation for a writer if it had been 1985, not 2004. She penned that first contemporary romance, upgraded to a computer and hasn't looked back since.

Outside of writing, Blue works as a mail clerk for the federal government, has a paralegal certificate (that she has more use for as a dust pan) and is a mother of two rambunctious children. She lives in California where the wine is good and, despite popular belief, is not always sunny.

You can find her camped out on Facebook or Twitter. Check out her website to sign up for her newsletter and get updates on new releases.


  1. Great teaser! Nice to meet you, Mel!

  2. She said "peen." *laughs and points*

    Yeah. Comedy is hard. I like slapstick. I also like dark comedy. Both are difficult for some people to read. That doesn't stop me from attempting it. I like dick jokes and smutty double entendres.

    I like folks like Meg Cabot and Janet Evanovich's old romances (they're kind of silly, but, hey - so am I).

    1. Yes, I said peen. *giggle snorts*

      You know I'm not a fan of slapstick. Though Sophie Kinsella is huge on that in her books. I think I continue to write chuckle-worthy kind of books because there is a an audience who appreciates the hell out of what we do. They laugh at the right parts and it feels like one hell of a win.

      I've only read one Evanovich, but Meg Cabot's Size Twelve Is Not Fat series is a re-read.