Writing Intelligent Romance. And Why I Have a German Shepherd.

Yes, the two are related!

That’s my overarching theme. My philosophy if you will– Intelligent romance. It is not a contradiction in terms.

I received a letter from a long-time fan, Joy. She wrote to thank me for writing decent heroes. She’s not a fan of what my author friend, Penny Watson, informs me are known as Alpha-holes- Alpha male protagonists who use and abuse women. (Think Fifty Shades or worse.)

I appreciate the feedback, Joy. :)

It is my goal to create characters who are intelligent, competent, courageous and kind. Men and women who love with all their hearts and souls yet retain their independent identity. I detest heroines who are TSTL and heroes who are jerks. I read a lot, a whole lot, and I always wonder why an author would glorify a woman who would hang around to fix an abusive man. Why do I wonder? Because once upon a time, in real life, I tried it. Didn’t work out so well. It’s self-defeating and frankly, dangerous.

Unfortunately I experienced quite a bit of physical and sexual abuse when I was younger. I have revisited these events in some of my work – Anytime Darlin’ and Come Back to Me – but once I opened my eyes to the reality of abuse there was no closing them. There was also no fixing the abuser. Only in fiction does the love of a good woman fix a bad man.

One of the things I learned was, or is, this– Each of us must take responsibility for our own behavior. An abusive man or woman only changes if he or she wants to change. There is no magic tool in any tool kit that will do the trick. There is no snap of the fingers to make it all better. I know other women who’ve survived abusive situations. They say the same thing I say – Thank god I came to my senses and got out. I’ll add- Before I got killed.

And so I write intelligent heroines. They like Alpha males, (I like Alpha males), but not Alpha-holes. And yes, an Alpha male can be both Alpha and kind at the same time.

Now you know why I keep a German shepherd like Jake around. He’s not only my best bud, he’s my protector when I’m alone at home and off alone on my hikes.

 

Whole lotta free goin’ on.

Incorporeal_v3 (1)Sara Wise is sick of ghosts. They’ve haunted her since she was a child, destroying her family, endangering her life. When an incorporeal being appears in her shower, she curses him soundly and orders him out, but this ghost is sticky. Not only does he invade her shower, he moves into her home, invading her dreams, sharing her bed. The reluctant Sara finds herself falling in love with a dead man.
Despite Sara’s objections, Natan de Manua isn’t permitted to leave. Protecting the woman is both his penance and his means to redemption. She’s not easy to protect, she fights him nearly every step of the way, except in her bed. Nathan may have come to regain his soul, but instead he risks losing his heart.

Incorporeal is Book One of The Soul Series. The sequels to Incorporeal are now out: In the Flesh, by J.R. Barrett and Stay by J.R. Barrett.

Free Link:  Incorporeal

And a few fun shorts~~

IsItSpicy_200Do you have a Jewish mother? Would you like to borrow mine? I have a helpful Jewish mother ready, willing and available to interfere in every aspect of your life. If there’s a way to please her when she comes for a visit, I haven’t yet discovered it. Perhaps you’ll have more success.

Free Link:  Is It Spicy?

YouMightJustGetIt_200Kate has locked herself out of her new apartment building for the third time in a week. She’s on the stoop in the rain, barefoot, shivering and soaked to the skin. Her neighbor, Eric, arrives home in the nick of time and lets her in. That’s twice now he’s saved the day. When he invites her for a quick supper, how can she say no?

Eric has been waiting for an opportunity to get to know Kate. His kitchen window faces hers across the courtyard and he noticed her right away. How could he not, with her lovely halo of short curls and her beautiful smile? When he finds her stranded on the stoop, he gets to play the hero. When she agrees to his dinner invitation, he hopes he’ll get to play a lot more than that.

Free Link:  You Might Just Get It

LizandMeAlba is caught between the man she loves and the woman who loves her. She can’t please both and she can’t have both. Someone must lose and it breaks two hearts.

Free Link:  Liz and Me

Go! Upload! Enjoy! Julia

One Four All, by Julia Rachel Barrett (That’s me!)

jrb-ofa3So I got the cutest review over on Amazon for One Four All – which matters because you know I only have three, wait, let me repeat that, three reviews in total. So one more review is a 33.33% improvement over what I had previously. Right? Am I right? You know I’m right!

I can’t post the entire review because all reviews belong to the reviewer. You can read it here– One Four All — but I can quote it:

I really enjoyed how Julia brought all the characters to life. Sometimes in menage stories the men all sort of blur together but here Kepp, Red and Wat are all very distinct individuals who had never even considered sharing a woman together. And what a woman they meet. Lira is a strong character who embodies what a princess should be and while you know she will win over her men, because it is a romance story after all…

I would definitely be willing to read a continuation of this story with these characters going forth from the end of this book and dealing with all the trials of a royal marriage where the woman is the royal heir. I’m sure it would be a very good read based on this part of the story.
*hint to Julia*

Dear lovely reviewer- Hint taken.

Hot. Hotter. Hottest. Smokin’ Hot.

Hey! Good News! 

All my full-length Siren Erotic Romances are only $0.99 for your Kindle!

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Get your hot and spicy Science Fiction Romance! The Award-Winning

Captured!

Mari never expects to find herself caged in a cargo hold on a spaceship. She quickly learns from her captors she’s headed to the meat market. When they try to return her to hypersleep, she resists. After allowing her to stay awake, Mari realizes her survival depends on connecting with the male in charge, Ekkatt. She must make him see her as a sentient being or she will end up as dinner.

Ekkatt has never spoken to any human. They are valued for one thing, the money they bring at auction. The Attun race is vegetarian, but other species prize human flesh and bring in good money. Then the female with red hair speaks to him and forces him to admit she has a name. Mari throws Ekkatt’s entire life into question, the biggest question…can he watch her sold to the highest bidder?

anytime darlin'

Get your hotter and sweeter Romance Suspense right here!

Anytime Darlin’

Paramedic Jake McKenna drops to his knees beside the young woman. Beaten, starved, she’s barely breathing, burning with fever. He stabilizes her, but when she opens her green eyes and stares, panic-stricken, into his, he realizes this is only the beginning of their relationship.

Devlin Barre has been through hell. If her uncle finds her, she’s dead. When she looks into the warm brown eyes of the paramedic, she knows deep in her bones she can trust this man with her life.

Devlin and Jake grow close, but, fearful of commitment, Devlin runs off to rebuild her life, leaving Jake heartbroken.

Five years later, Jake and Devlin meet again. Neither has forgotten a single detail of their time together. Both harbor the secret hope that they can begin again–this time, for keeps. But Devlin isn’t the only person who ran off. Her uncle still waits for the right opportunity to get the one person who got away.

jrb-phb3

Push your boundaries in my hottest Contemporary Romance, Pushing Her Boundaries.

Maggie is done with men. Flying to Minneapolis to celebrate her sister’s engagment, she’s seated beside the type of man she always falls for. A sexy, arrogant alpha jerk.

Mace Williams irritates the woman next to him. She’s so damn sexy, he doesn’t care.

When their seatmate suffers a cardiac arrest, Maggie and Mace team up to save his life, but it’s too late.

In Minneapolis, Maggie heads to a restaurant with her sister, only to find Mace waiting. Worse, she learns he’s the brother of her sister’s fiance. Stuck in her sister’s apartment with Mace, Maggie offers him one night of sex, anything goes. No obligations, no recriminations. Mace agrees…he wants more than Maggie’s body, he wants her heart.

Thrown into a disastrous canoe trip, they must work together to survive. Maggie must face her demons and trust Mace with her life. Mace is determined to save her, regardless of what the future brings.

jrb-ofa3

It don’t come any more smokin’ hot than this one. (Giggle!)

One Four All, a sizzling Science Fiction love fest.

(That’s my arm and tattoo by the way.) As author Penny Watson says to me– “You can’t even dumb down porn! One Four All is written with the intelligent woman in mind.” 

Lira Pakan, heir to the Throne of Zhinshu, has vanished. Her zealots gather along the border with the neighboring state of Khubuk, awaiting the outcome of her father’s pleas to the World Court.

Captain Tanner Kepp serves in the elite Special Forces of Khubuk. When the captain is ordered to choose two men to accompany him to Land’s End, an isolated compound on the maritime border between Khubuk and Zinshu, the last thing he expects to find is the missing princess.

Captain Kepp, Arms Master Cer Watso and Sergeant Redda Till realize they must rescue her to avert all out war. The princess, however, has other plans. These men can be more than her rescuers. According to the law of Zhinshu, she must choose three men as consorts. Her people say: “one to guard the right hand, one to guard the left hand, and one to guard the back, always.

Go! Buy! $0.99! Love yas!

What do women really really really want?

Oh you poor poor men.

BDSM. Fifty Shades of Grey.

BDSM. Fifty Shades of Grey.

Caught between the borderline questionably mysoginistic Fifty Shades of Grey and the demands of the politically correct apologists.

The most sensitive man in the world.

The most sensitive man in the world.

Must be paralyzing.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know what I really really really want.

Why am I still sexually attracted to the man I’ve been sexually attracted to since I was fourteen years old and to whom I am currently married? The man who is the father of my three children?

He’s comfortable in his masculinity. He never apologizes for being a man. He likes being a man and boy oh boy so do I– like his being a man I mean.

I’ll come right out and say it– I’m an assertive self-confident independent woman who wants a manly man. I don’t see any reason to deny it, make any excuses, or apologize. The heart wants what the heart wants. Blah Blah Blah.

Which brings me to this, the article behind this blog post:

(I’m not Amazon-averse. On the contrary, I love Amazon. But here is a must-read hilarious totally politically incorrect article about men and dating:)

Amazon is killing my sex life.

Go. Read.