Which Farm Kings Brother for Next James Bond?

Mucky Manor is my one-hundred twenty acre tree farm.  I live here for the serenity I need to write my novels.  Yesterday, I got the day free and visited my dentist.  Being the culture monger I am, I let my dental tech guide the conversation.

“I’m thirteen weeks pregnant,” Caitlyn told me.  “Mrow, gag, gok, g-good,” I managed to say, with the stainless steel implement she was using lodged in my mouth.

“Do you watch TV?” she asked.

Is that a trick question, I wondered.  I fessed up with a nod.

“Have you seen Farm Kings?”

The stainless steel prybar came out of my mouth, and before the suction tube went in, Cait shot me a knowing smile as she waited for my answer.  I stared blankly and then told her I’d just finished my most recent novel, so I was coming down off a high from watching several recorded episodes of Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo.

Ha-ha-haaaaaaa.  A shared laugh, a couple of comments about June and Honey, and then Cait guided us right back to Farm Kings.  She told me how the King brothers were “eye candy” that made the show worth watching.

Um-hum, I thought.  I’ve seen guys farming before.  So what?  Having tried to raise Limousine cattle here at Mucky Manor, I know all too well how hard farming is.  My prize bull, Perfect Kata, nearly killed my brother one day.  Kata took an eighty mile-per-hour run at my bubby and only stopped when the hammer my brother was holding hit the bull between his eyes.  To his credit, Perfect Kata liked me, just not my brother.  But I digress.

“Eye candy,” thirteen weeks preggers Cait had said, with her knowing look, waiting for dummy me to get the message.  “King brothers.”

Ahhhhhhhh.  I’m slow on the uptake, but I finally began getting it.

“There are nine of them,” Cait said.  Nine.  And then she filled me in on the show’s brothers.  Sadly, she had to watch–and then re-watch–the old episodes.  But thank gawd, Great American Country (GAC) is filming yet more Farm Kings in September of 2013, so Cait will be seeing much more of the shirtless, sweaty King brothers.  And so will we.

Farm Kings is a new reality TV show about–yep–nine brothers and their sister and mother, who all work as a team to keep their farming life intact, after Mom and Dad’s divorce.  I read somewhere that their message was to “support local farmers.”  But is that the message?

I can see Cait driving all the way to Pennsylvania to buy produce from the King brothers, but I don’t think it’s the King brothers’ carrots and cabbage she’s interested in.  The King brothers posed shirtless for a shot on an online magazine called Edible Allegheny.  Not to seem overly salacious and never to sound sexist, but using Cait’s term, the fact is the brothers make beautiful eye candy.  And that’s what’s selling.  Image

The King brothers are building a brand with their bodies, and while “buy local” might be their message, they’re going to undoubtedly be appearing as cover models somewhere, or in movies other than their reality-based Farm Kings.  I question when one, or all of the brothers, will appear shirts on on GQ’s cover, for example.

I’ve long hoped Hollywood will pick a more exciting James Bond.  What do you think?  Can the country Kings go continental?  Which one would make the next–and greatest of all–James Bond?

I’m Mary McFarland at WWW.MARYMCFARLANDAUTHOR.COM.  Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved.

What Type of Kisser is Your Romance Novel’s Protag?

www.prepperpodcast.comThe Suck Face Kiss Has Consequences – How’s my hero or heroine’s kiss?  Being a romantic suspense writer, I obsess about kissing.  Knowing how others view kissing can help our characters become better kissers.

When it comes to kissing, there’s a few rules.  Resist the urge to superimpose your own style of kissing on your characters.  Before I write a scene in which a kiss is given, I put kissing in a cultural perspective.  It helps me set the tone for my protag’s kiss.  Kissing  has consequences, you know?

It’s not the kiss that sets the tone for readers: it’s the relationship dynamic.  Observe the guy to Condi’s right in the photo (right).  He looks concerned.  This kiss is pregnant with implicit meaning.  “Really,” he’s saying, chagrined, “let’s keep this light, fellas.”  “Chill, dude,” Condi is saying, “it won’t last.” The world experienced President Bush’s and Prince Abdullah’s kiss.  Readers experience your protag’s kiss, so don’t make them feel like strange voyeurs or onlookers.  They’re not.  They’re in there with your protag, kissing away.

The French Kiss:  It’s Not How but Why – The French kiss can turn off readers.  Let’s say your protag gets carried away.  The French kiss is “wet, moist, deep.”  Your protag’s tongue shot into someone’s mouth, ear, navel, etc.  What if, instead, you focused on your protag’s response to the kiss (assuming she or he enjoys a French kiss)?  Readers know how to French kiss.  They don’t want to taste the saliva.  They want to know how it makes your protag feel.  Do her toes curl?  Does she see blue lights?  Come on, you’re a writer.  Put some art into that French kiss.  www.prepperpodcast.com

One of my favorite ways to handle a kiss is to find dangerous places and/or situations in which to kiss and then put my characters in them.  I have friends who think it’s a challenge to kiss in department store windows with everyone looking on.  For example, one friend used to sneak kisses in the window of the Gap, on New York’s W. 85th, with hundreds of people walking by and gawking.  But what about Guanajuato, Mexico, where kissing in public has been banned?  If your protag wanted that kiss, had to have it, but would be arrested for taking it, how much more risky–and rewarding–would it seem than being kissed in the display window at the Gap on W. 85th?

It’s hard to imagine anyone kissing in public in Saudi Arabia, where it can earn your protag a lashing, and I’m not talking about a tongue lashing.  President Bush got away with it because it’s a cultural custom, but the consequences of having your protag kiss in public in Saudi Arabia could be dire.  So . . . I’ve arranged to have my protag do it.  In my next novel, Excess, set in Dubai, I’m putting my characters in jeopardy by having them steal a kiss in public.

What’s your protag’s favorite or least favorite places and ways to kiss?  Your ideas for writing better kisses?  I’d love to know.