Regency Friday Fun: Introducing Dr. John Blackmore.

Who is this mysterious Dr. Blackmore?  Well, he’s the hero of my next Regency-set historical romance, My Favorite Countess.  Like many writers, I often take inspiration for my characters from the movies or TV – in this case Hugh Jackman provided a whole lot of inspiration!  My hero is a crusading slum doctor, an accoucheur, or, as he would have been referred to in the Regency period, a man-midwife.  In other words, John is an obstetrician.

John is also a handsome and sophisticated man, and who better to model him on than good old Hugh?  Just look at that picture – could you imagine the kind of bedside manner you’d get from a guy like that?  Rowr!

I also found inspiration for my Regency doctor in the TV show Grey’s Anatomy, in the form of Dr. Derek Shepherd, as played by Patrick Dempsey. Like Derek, my hero is driven and dedicated, with more than a few personal demons to challenge him.  It was really fun to create this character – I like dukes and earls as much as the next gal, but it was fascinating to delve into the world of a dedicated Regency physician, and also imagine what would happen when he was matched up with a strong-willed aristocratic heroine.

My Favorite Countess will be released on May 3rd.  Over the next couple of months I’ll be blogging about some of my reading on 19th Century medicine, particularly obstetrics.  It’s a fascinating if occasionally hair-raising topic, which left me with a great deal of sympathy for the women of the time.  Stay tuned!

Super Bowl Sunday Redux

Super Bowl Sunday.  Love or loathe it, but it’s hard to ignore.  I’m not a football fan, although everyone else in my family is, some to the point of lunacy.  So I grew up with it as a background note, even being dragged to the occasional Eagles game by my parents.  But now that I’m an adult I never watch football.  Except for that one Sunday, when like bazillions of other people I’m sucked into a vortex of canny programming, uber-patriotism, stunning talent, and even more stunning idiocy.

Even if you don’t like football, there’s something for everyone.  Such as some truly spectacular men like the Packer’s Aaron Rodgers. Sue Grimshaw, the romance buyer at Borders, rightly pointed out that Rodgers is hunky enough and cool enough to be a hero in his own romance novel.

For anyone who’s read Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Chicago Stars series, you can easily imagine Rodgers cast as one of her football hunks.

But even if the game or the athletes leave you cold there are the commercials, which have become a sport unto themselves.  This year saw the usual group of winners, losers, and just plain bizarre entries – yes, I’m looking at you, Groupon.

The most popular choice so far seems to be Volkswagen’s Star Wars take-off.  You’d have to have a heart of stone not to get a chuckle out of that one.  I’m also a sucker for anything to do with dogs, so the Doritos Pug Attack and the Bud Light party commercial both gave me a laugh.

Then there’s the idiocy part, which was Christina Aguilera mangling the national anthem.  And the halftime show by the Black Eyed Peas was pretty wretched, too, another example of spectacle overwhelming the performers.

But my favorite part of the entire evening happened before the game with the reading of the Declaration of Independence by current and former NFL stars, joined by military personnel and by people from local communities.  Yep, I know how corny it’s supposed to be, and I’ve also read the criticism about it.  But I found it pretty darn moving, and I also liked that it showcased the men and women in the armed forces who risk their lives every day.

I gotta say, though, by the end of the looonggg evening with way too much food and alcohol, I was happy – very happy – to turn off the TV.  Super Bowl Sunday is a lot of fun, but I’m grateful it only happens once a year.

Motorcycle Mayhem And The Sons Of Anarchy

It’s my regular monthly gig at The Pop Culture Divas and I’m talking about my favorite TV series, The Sons Of Anarchy. Who knew that motorcycle mayhem could be so much fun – and so smart.  Drop on over and find out why this show can teach you everything you ever needed to know about writing and telling stories.