There’s a New Blogger on the Block

Leah Braemel *waves to everyone*  Hi, I’m Leah Braemel, the new girl on the Everyone Needs a Little Romance blog.  *insert snoopy dancing here* (Sorry about that, my dancing really needs to come with a warning, doesn’t it?)

While I’ve been here as a guest blogger several times before, I was thrilled when the ladies invited me to be part of their group. (I tried to find a photo of me and Cynthia d’Alba together in Kansas City earlier this year, but I don’t have one. How did that happen, Cynthia?)   When I wrote this post originally I wooted about being ENALR’s token Canadian member and how I’d broken their international member cherry!  (Hey, I write steamy romances, you know I had to go there, right?) That quickly changed since Amy Ruttan who is also from Canada just joined us. (We’re insidious. We’re slowly taking you over…mwahahahaha)

I’ve been married to my college sweetheart for thirty-five years. We have two wonderful sons who are all grown up, who we are extremely proud of. We also have a 2 year old shih-tzu cross named Seamus who behaves like a cat, and a cat named Turtle who behaves more like a dog. (If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook  or my blog, you’ll see lots of photos of them.)  I write steamier romances, mainly contemporary, with the Hauberk Protection romantic suspense series from Samhain, and Texas Tangle from Carina Press, which is a contemporary menage, but I also have Tangled Past, which is my lone historical menage, also from Carina Press, and I have a new western romance trilogy coming out from Carina starting with Slow Ride Home coming out on November 11th.  (Visit my website to check out my books.)

Okay, to answer those Canadian stereotypes. Yes, I do say “eh” a lot. No, I don’t say “aboot”   *squinty eyes at all my friends who fall down laughing and say I definitely do*  I don’t!

Although I am shy when you first meet me, once I start talking, or writing, I’m…well, I’ve been described as being “verbose.” Though in my defense, that’s usually only true if it’s a subject I’m passionate about. And yes, even though the above is true, I am an introvert and small talk befuddles me.

My spelling may look weird to you on occasion because Canadians spell things differently than Americans. Sometimes. Sometimes we spell things the British way. Sometimes we don’t. We’re weird that way. So if you see a U in honor or color or valor, it’s not a typo. Same with jewellery. That’s just how we spell it. Oh, and we use terms like spelt and spilt and amongst that I’m told Americans don’t tend to use.

And speaking of spelling, at the moment I’m buried in double deadlines of writing a new cowboy trilogy for Carina Press. Book one, Slow Ride Home, is off with the copy editor at the moment, and the full manuscript of book two, No Accounting for Cowboys, is due too darned soon.  What’s that got to do with spelling? Well, I write about cowboys in Texas—which can be a challenge for this Canuck. Not only do I have to remember simple things like not only to not put a U in valor, but I also have to remember other idiosyncrasies. Like how Americans don’t put “the” in front of their highway numbers the way we do. (You’d say “You’ve got to take I95”, I’d say “You’ve got to take the I95.”)  Subtle, but something an American reader would pick up, right?

Those little details are important, and sometimes time consuming to check.I’m certain my American critique partners and beta readers snicker at some of the emails I send asking that type of question. But ever since I read a book written by an English author who had her American private detective in a story set in Florida throw his fag in the bushes, I vowed to myself I’d never make such a glaring mistake, because, yeah, those little details are really important or they pull the reader right out of the story. Trouble is, sometimes you don’t know they exist until someone else points them out.

Got any other tips of things I should be remember to do, or not do, when writing Americans? Or Texans? 😉

(By the way, I’ve been to Texas, and everything is bigger down there, especially the ribs and the rabbits. OMG those suckers are huge! And delicious. The ribs. Not the rabbits. I have no idea if the rabbits are delicious, they’re just huge.)