Saturday, March 15, 2008


In the last few days I've read several very short books--the word count usually designated as a Quickie. I have one Quickie of my own that's been released by Ellora's Cave, Everything Lovers Can Know. The lone review I received for ELCK was lackluster at best because the reviewer was disappointed that it wasn't longer. Ahem. By definition, a Quickie is short and quick.

If it was longer, then it wouldn't be a Quickie! These short books that are not part of a special series (Hallowe'en, Jewels of the Nile, etc.) are clearly marked as you can see from the cover on my book so that there can be no mistake when the reader purchases the book... it's a Quickie!

However, that reviewer for Everything Lovers Can Know was correct about one thing. It's a short book and when you limit the length of a story--any story--then something must be sacrificed. In a Quickie, normally a very hot sexy story, then plot development and character development often fall by the wayside.

There are ways to deal with those issues to a certain extent. In my book, I gave a bit of backstory in the first two pages, explaining how the characters had known each other from childhood, sharing a mental bond nearly their entire lives. That at least demonstrated that when the time came for them to jump into bed--well, they weren't complete strangers! They had a shared background and experiences to help cement the relationship.

Unfortunately this is not always the case. In the last few days I've been catching up on some of my reading and several of the books in the piles were Quickies. For the most part, I was left with the feeling that the books ended after the first four chapters. In one case, I'm pretty sure that it didn't reach the middle of the story, left alone the end.

When I write, I tend to be a bit wordy, so Everything Lovers Can Know will probably be my first and last Quickie. It takes a real gift to compose a complete short story all by itself. Then if you introduce the required elements of frequent sexual encounters, that makes the exercise much more difficult. I admire those writers that can pull it off. I'm just not one of them. I like my characters to have some basis for sex other than the rationale that it feels good. Or might feel good. Or maybe it's been so long that they just vaguely remember that it possibly felt good at some time in their distant past.

In the meantime, I'll stick with longer story lengths that allow me to get to know my characters. They can be fascinating people with quirky traits and oddball ideas. I enjoy getting to know them. Whether they are stubborn and willful or compassionate and patient, they are people I wish I could meet.

Maybe, you'd like to meet some of them, too? In this excerpt from Everything Lovers Can Know, Baron proposes to Jade in a most unlikely place...

“Baron, what do you really want to do with your skills? If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?” she asked quietly.

“Treat the poor,” he replied instantly without thought.

“Then do that. Allow me to help you do what’s important to you. It’s certainly more important than me playing a violin or piano or clarinet.” She relaxed and turned to look out the tiny window. “I’ll pay for a clinic.”

“Jade, that’s a lot of money you’re talking about,” he said warned flatly.

“I know to the penny exactly how much money it will take. Mikhail and Duke did a complete cost analysis for the project. I think you should do it.”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that. It would fulfill you in a way that nothing else will.” She took his hand in hers. “Think about it,” she said quietly. “Just think about it.”

“All right, I’ll think about it. Now let’s talk about something else,” he said grumpily.

Catching back the smile that threatened to break across her face, she nodded. “What would you like to talk about?”

“Your music. I really loved your last album.”

Butterfly Stomp?” She laughed. “I figured that would be the one you didn’t like.”


“Oh, I guess because it’s not classical music. You used to always make fun of the musicians that played pop. Which song did you like the best?” she asked alive with curiosity.

“Hmmm. I suppose it would be a tie between Butterfly Stomp and Alligator Twinkletoes,” he teased. “March of the Guinea Pigs was kind of cute, too. That little clarinet riff was great.”

“The critics hated it.”

“But the fans loved it. It went platinum in two weeks.”

She turned to stare at him in amazement. “How do you know that?”

“I read,” he pointed out dryly. “I also listen to the news. Butterfly Stomp got a Grammy nomination. What are you going to wear?”

“What am I going to wear?”

“You are going, of course. And you are going to win it,” he pronounced positively. “And I’m going to be there to see it this time. I missed it when you won for Jade’s Joy.”

She tweaked his nose. “Maybe I’ll go naked.”

“Oh. Well in that case, we’ll watch it on TV.”


“Jade? I have something to ask you,” he said nervously.

Staring at him in puzzlement as she quirk a curious eyebrow. “What’s wrong?”

“We’ve spent the last week making mad passionate love. We’re on our way home to a wedding that’s been completely planned. But there’s just one little thing missing.”

Her lips twitched. It wasn’t hard to figure out where this was going and trust Baron to wait until the last minute. He stood up, moved out into the aisle and knelt down. People all up and down the aisle were craning their necks, trying to see what he was doing.

Are you really going to ask me to marry you like this? She demanded silently.

As publicly as possible.

He took the small ring box from his pocket, opened it up and asked in a deep tone that carried nearly to the back row, “Jade Alexander, I love you with all my heart and want you for my wife. Will you marry me?”

A deep hush fell over the plane. Fighting a smile, she folded up the armrest, leaned down and kissed him with her whole heart, before replying, “I will.”

Ragged cheers broke out as the passengers passed the word. A couple of moments later, the pilot impishly informed the passengers that they had a newly engaged couple on the plane.


Don't forget to get your instant cup of cheer by stopping by Amarinda's Place at and then over to Kelly's Blog at

Blessings on your day!


  1. I had a similar review experience. I think I got caught in a reviewer's frustration about the nature of the novella. The comments that were left were that there were elements that weren't developed. I agree. But the length of the story often dictates what we can do with it. Hopefully she'll find those elements deepened in the next two installments of the series.

    My first (and probably last) Quickie, Seeing Me by Elyssa Edwards, comes out March 28th.

  2. Hmmm...'instant cup of cheer'? I have 'meh Saturday' on my for quickies - always hard to write yet people want them. I have a problem with shutting up in the required word length. However, I have read Lovers and I see no problems with it. I liked it - some people will never get quickies but then they're not the market quickies are aimed at

  3. Lovers was the right length for that story but certainly there is a desire to know more about them. Then again, you bring them up in the Mystic Valley series which takes care of that desire. YOu rocked it, Anny.

    I don't write quickies, but I can imaging it would be difficult being in a believable relationship if you just met and are copulating like mad.

  4. I loved ELCK and it made me want to read DD. And then I was hooked.