Hotties of Literature!!!!!

Hey everyone!

Okay, so a bunch of authors have agreed to blog about one of our favorite topics today: hot guys!

Gah! It's just so much cuteness!

Gah! It’s just so much cuteness!

Where was I? Oh, right. Hot guys.

So I spend a lot of my time thinking about what makes a guy attractive. It’s one of the things I love most about my job. And while I know some people may scoff and start muttering to themselves something along the lines of this girl needs to get a life, just hear me out.

I think what we read does affect the way we live. Which isn’t to say that after reading Harry Potter you should try to play quidditich.

Still laughing!

But I do think that books (and movies) send strong messages to their readership about how men and women should behave. So when I write my novels I definitely spend a lot of time trying to find the line between confidence (hot) and arrogance (erm, no).

It’s surprisingly hard!

I think most people agree that Edward Cullen overdoes it with Bella by being on the creepy side of protective. But wanting to make sure that your friends, you know, live to see the ending?

Super attractive!

So when I first started writing I had this small epiphany. I like my guys the way I like my girls: witty, snarky, flawed, and willing to fight for what they believe in.

And yeah, that means I like my guys to have some personal damage. That’s what makes them feel real to me. It’s also what makes me fall in love with them. If Logan Beckett wasn’t so touchy about needing a tutor, I wouldn’t have been able to finish writing Awkward. I would’ve stared at the screen and yelled “Stop being so freaking perfect all the time!”

Because perfection is boring.

But you’re here for the pictures of hot guys, right? So let’s begin!

Zach Gilford.

Um, swoon! I think it’s the grin. It’s part confident and part sweet and full on adorable! Small confession: Zach Gilford is the reason I watched Friday Night Lights. Larger confession: I didn’t exactly watch Friday Night Lights. I skipped the football stuff so I could get to the good parts. You know, like every scene with Zach Gilford sans football uniform.

Although I soon learned that watching only the high school drama parts of Friday Night Lights earns a girl absolutely no cool points with the members of her college football team.

Sigh.

Still…while Zach has just the right amount of adorable, I think he’s too old to play Logan. The guy was pushing believability as a high school student even back with Friday Night Lights was on the air.

So let’s check out a different FNL hottie:

Matt Lauria.

If you’re wondering why I seem oddly fixated with the guys from this show, I’d like to point out that that they managed to get the largest collection of hot unknown actors to join the cast.

Like Grey Damon.

I’m a little afraid to post a picture of him here since YA rockstar Brigid Kemmerer has told me (repeatedly) that he belongs to her. She may have told me to stop ogling her protagonist without permission. Although, I think her exact words were: MINE, MARNI. MINE MINE MINE.

But…can’t look away! So. Much. Hotness.

*Fans self*

Damn. The good ones always go quickly. Which is why I’m staking my claim right now on…

Logan Lerman!

For the record: the name thing is a total coincidence. I did not have him in mind when I wrote Awkward. He’s ridiculously perfect for the role though. The sexy smirk? Check. The effortless hot factor?

Um, yeah. I think he has that too!

I didn’t stumble across Logan Lerman until I was writing Decked with Holly (my holiday sequel spin-off which will be released this September!) and that’s when I fell under his spell.

Here’s the embarrassing part.

I made a collage. To be fair, it’s not all devoted to Logan Lerman. I used it to plot out the novel and…it looks like I’m a stalker.

(Hey Logan. Um, just in case you’re reading this…I swear, I’m not a deranged fan. Really.)  

I took this picture a year ago and as you can see not a lot has changed.

Yeah…it’s still pretty embarrassing. But the collage totally helped! Decked with Holly is the funniest of my novels and since I’m still swooning over Nick Wyatt, I must have done something right. For those of you who read the teaser at the end of Awkward, I pictured Emma Roberts playing Holly and Molly Quinn as Jen.

Although I’m always interested in hearing who you would cast in those roles!

I don’t want to spoil anything for future readers so I’m going to attempt casting three of my favorite YA hotties:

1. Rob Wilkins from Meg Cabot’s 1-800-WHERE-R-U series.

(A young Ian Somerhalder!)

Why is he hot? Well, there’s the dark mussed hair, the piercing blue eyes, the confidence, oh, and the motorcycle! He’s a good guy who is willing to break into a government compound to bust out the girl he met in detention. Rob might not be good when it comes to actually discussing his feelings, but he’s always solid in a crisis.

2. Ash from Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series.

Okay, so this is kind of cheating because I know Julie so I’m 95% sure she would cast…

Ben Barnes! (I’m guessing she likes his hair longer, but I think it’s sexier this way.

So what makes Ash sexy? Correction: what makes Ash so sexy that he distracted me from the wildlife in Africa?

For starters, he’s a prince among faeries. He’s got a sly smile, a quick wit, and he’s a crazy good kisser.

Or so I’ve read.

He’s also noble and sweet, with a sensitive streak that I find utterly charming.

Which brings us to our final hottie!

3. Colin from Torn and Tangled by Erica O’Rourke.

Matthew Goode.

Not sure if Erica will agree with me about the casting (I’ll be sure to post her response) but here’s why I think Matthew Goode captures Colin’s off-the-charts sexiness.

He’s got that skeptical look, which makes you rethink decisions…but he’s also going to back you no matter what happens.

Colin has made some decisions in the past that are making his life very difficult in the present. And the fact that he’s hired to bodyguard a girl seeking vengeance for the death or her best friend isn’t going to help matters. But he does what he thinks is right and that’s why I’m completely in love with him.

Plus he’s ridiculously sexy.

(Side note: Jenn Rush (author of Altered and Bot Wars) believes that Colin is destined for disappointment. She thinks Luc will get the girl in the end…but she couldn’t be more wrong. I think. Poor Erica will have to listen to a lot of grumbling no matter what happens!)

Anyhow, that’s all the sexiness I can handle right now!

I hope you join the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #HottiesofLit today! Or if you don’t feel comfortable with Twitter, maybe you can leave a picture of a hot guy here for me? I’ve got a novel to write and I can always use some hot male inspiration!

~Marni

P.S. Don’t forget to check out these blogs for more hotness!

Jenn Rush’s Blog

Brigid Kemmerer’s Blog

Julie Kagawa’s Blog

 

Advertisements

Why What Happened with Rush Limbaugh Matters!

Hey everyone,

So…I promised myself never to blog mad. Again. This, of course, was after I discovered firsthand the way that my anger can obscure good judgement.

That expression…seeing red? Not entirely inaccurate.

That’s why I’ve been so careful only to blog a few days after I’m mad. Although usually by that time, I have something positive I would rather share instead. I tend to let my anger fall by the wayside.

Life is too short, right!

Mainly, I started this Don’t Blog Mad policy because I don’t want to post something online which offends people and which might someday embarrass me.

But this time, I’m breaking my rule.

When I first found out about Rush Limbaugh’s vitriolic comments towards Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, I was furious. For those of you who haven’t been following the story, here’s what happened:

It all began with the Republicans in the House calling an all male panel to speak about upcoming contraception legislation. When the Democrats realized the Republicans had no intention of calling any women to discuss what is most definitely a women’s health issue they asked to have Sandra Fluke speak as their witness. They wanted Ms. Fluke to testify about getting insurance through her Catholic university where contraception was not covered. More specifically, about the health problems that women at Georgetown faced because of this policy.

What health problems? One of her friends lost an ovary because she had to navigate around Georgetown’s objections to her medical prescription.

Now right here: I was angry. Furious, actually. Politicians and academic institutions interfering with women’s rights to consult a freaking doctor and get the medical help they need! I was livid.

It gets worse.

Republican Darrell Issa said that Sandra Fluke was “not qualified to testify” on the issue…leaving it, instead, to the real experts.

Men.

This Funny or Die video really lets the experts share!

House Democrats (under Nancy Pelosi) later convened a forum to hear Sandra Flukes testimony. You know, so she could actually explain why this is such an important issue for millions of American women.

What happened next?

This is the part most people have heard. Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

Those two words have been getting the most airtime, probably because that’s the only part of his three day marathon of misogynistic personal attacks for which he has apologized.

It’s laughable, really, that he claims: I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

Well, Media Matters counted at least 46 personal attacks in those three days. It’s impossible to spew that much hate-filled rhetoric without intending someone to take offense.

Let’s look at the highlight reel of what he said:

1. “Can you imagine if you’re her parents how proud of Sandra Fluke you would be? Your daughter goes up to a congressional hearing conducted by the Botox-filled Nancy Pelosi and testifies she’s having so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills and she agrees that Obama should provide them, or the Pope.”

2. “What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid for sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.”

3. “She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps.”

4. “The left has been thrown into an outright conniption fit. … The reaction that they are having to what I said yesterday about Susan Fluke — or Sandra Fluke, whatever her name is — the Georgetown student who went before a congressional committee and said she’s having so much sex, she’s going broke buying contraceptives and wants us to buy them. I said, ‘Well, what you call someone who wants us to pay for her to have sex? What would you call that woman? You’d call ’em as I — slut or prostitute or what– that has sent them into orbit.”

5.  “I’ll happily buy her all the aspirin she wants. … We would happily buy Sandra Fluke all the aspirin she wants. What could that possibly cost? … I’m offering a compromise today. I will buy all of the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want.”

6. “Ms. Fluke, have you ever heard of not having sex? Have you ever heard of not having sex so often? What next that you can’t afford are you gonna go to Pelosi and say we need to buy? Mink? A Volt? A Prius?”

7. “So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. And I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

8. “So, if we’re gonna sit here, and if we’re gonna have a part in this, then we want something in return, Ms. Fluke: And that would be the videos of all this sex posted online so we can see what we are getting for our money.”

9. “I want to know, who bought — Ms. Fluke, who bought your condoms in junior high? Who bought your condoms in the sixth grade, or your contraception? Who bought your contraceptive pills in high school? Wouldn’t you be just as likely to go broke in high school and junior high as you would be in college?”

10. Limbaugh went on to say that an MSNBC anchor had said that “Limbaugh yesterday squarely aimed his words at Sandra Fluke questioning her virtue.” Limbaugh then said: “I’m not questioning her virtue. I know what her virtue is. She’s having so much sex that she’s going broke! There’s no question about her virtue.”

11. Later on the show, Limbaugh played a clip of congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee condemning Limbaugh’s attacks on Fluke and calling Fluke “a courageous young woman.” Limbaugh then said, “Stop the tape. Courageous. Recue that to the top. Courageous, having so much sex she’s going broke at Georgetown Law. (laughing) Gosh, I love this.”

12. “Here’s a woman exercising no self-control. The fact that she wants to have repeated, never-ending, as-often-as-she-wants-it sex — given. No question about that.”

13. “Did you notice in that sound bite was Sheila Jackson Lee or Maria Cantwell or one of them, talked about the strength that Sandra Fluke had to go before Congress — which is amazing. She’s having so much sex, it’s amazing she can still walk, but she made it up there.”

14. “Here this babe goes before Congress and wants thousands of dollars to pay for her sex. Well, that’s what it is. If she wants her contraception to be provided, that means she wants to have sex without consequences, with no worries, no responsibility.”

15. “[T]he Democrats are putting on parade a woman who is happily presenting herself as an immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her-life woman. She wants all the sex in the world, whenever she wants it, all the time. No consequences. No responsibility for her behavior.”

16. “Georgetown’s a pretty expensive school. I don’t buy your argument that’s it unaffordable. Have you ever heard of the term ‘budget’? Have you ever heard of aspirin? Have you ever heard of saying ‘no’? You can’t afford it, you don’t buy it. You can’t afford it, you don’t do it.”

17. “Were these kinds of women around when I was in school?” Limbaugh then said: “Oh, oh, no, no, no. I didn’t know any Flukes. No. Well, wait. I take it back. Yes. Every school had a couple of ’em. You know, for every 500 students, every school had a couple of these. Now they’re everywhere. That’s what you’re getting at, right? And the two at your school, I mean even with birth control, you wouldn’t go there. That’s the big difference. I mean there were women that you might think you could get a disease, but you didn’t care.”

18.  Reacting to the news that Obama had told Fluke her parents should be proud of her, Limbaugh said, “OK, I’m going to button my lip on that one.” He went on to say: “OK. Let me ask you a question. … Your daughter appears before a congressional committee and says she’s having so much sex, she can’t pay for it and wants a new welfare program to pay for it. Would you be proud? I don’t know — I — I’d be embarrassed.”

I feel sick.

I’ve been watching this play out in the media and I keep waiting for my anger to ebb so that I can blog about it.

But it’s not going to happen.

Sandra Fluke never discussed her sex life with the American public. She testified that women are being prevented from receiving appropriate medical care.

So why am I am blogging about it now? I’m terrified that America is missing Sandra Fluke’s message.

I’m scared that with the preoccupation of his name-calling and his apologies (again, only related to the two words “slut” and “prostitute.”) we are ignoring that the majority of Rush Limbaugh’s unbelievably hateful attacks were based on an incredibly faulty premise:

That contraception equals sex.

It doesn’t.

Really. It can be taken for any number of reasons, including to prevent cysts from growing on ovaries. It can also be used to regulate menstrual cycles to alleviate cramping and to ensure that the female body is functioning well.

Rush Limbaugh was vilifying Sandra Fluke but he was also insinuating that a lifestyle which includes birth control is one built upon reckless, empty sex without responsibility.

Here’s my story:

A few years ago, I had a health scare. I’ve always had an irregular period but since reaching college I would sometimes go four months between cycles. And it made me really nervous. My mom told me to relax and said that there was probably nothing wrong with me. But I mentioned it to some of my friends and the more I thought about it…the more certain I became that I needed answers. I needed facts for my own peace of mind. So when I came home over break, I scheduled an appointment with my doctor.

It started out the way that all my doctor’s visits begin: sitting on a long examination bed while I answer questions that should be obvious but which, for whatever reason, become illusive as soon as somebody asks them. My doctor pulled out various shiny instruments to check my blood pressure etc. and I felt myself getting increasingly jumpy. I started fearing for the worst. Rare disease with unpronounceable Latin names were surely the culprit!

I kept that particular thought to myself.

But it was all pretty straight forward: I explained about my period situation. My doctor took notes on her clipboard. And then she told me that my irregularity might make it hard for me to conceive in the future.

I was horrified.

Here I was, a college student, just informed that getting pregnant might be a challenge…and I wanted to cry. I wanted to bawl my freaking eyes out. Sure, I wasn’t planning on giving birth any time soon. I mean, I still don’t even have my college degree and I’m planning on making a career out of young adult fiction. I’m not exactly in a position to be bringing a new life into the world–financially or emotionally speaking.

But I’ve always wanted a kid.

So hearing that it might not be possible for me? Not easy to handle. My doctor recommended I have some tests performed at the hospital and I instantly agreed. I needed more information. I needed to know whether I was going to spend the next fifteen years of my life obsessing over adoption.

After a handful or awkward hours, the tests were complete. And after a tense week of waiting, the results were in: nothing wrong with my ovaries. My mom’s prediction was confirmed. I was fine. Irregular, of course, but healthy.

That’s when my doctor discussed birth control with me. It wasn’t because I was planning on becoming an over-sexed twenty-something. It wasn’t because I wanted to have wild, condom-free sex in the mountains of Ashland. Although, frankly, I don’t see anything wrong with either of those things if it involves consenting adults who are comfortable with their level of intimacy.

I’m not going to share the outcome of my doctors visit with everyone. It doesn’t matter. That should be between me and my doctor. The reason I’m sharing this story is because when I was terrified about a childless future, I discovered that birth control could make it easier. Simple hormone regulation with the birth control pill could make pregnancy possible for me.

That was empowering. Kids or no kids, I had control over my body, over my future. Now politicians are trying to interfere and take that power away.

Rush Limbaugh intentionally vilified Sandra Fluke as sexual depraved, immoral, irresponsible and reckless. He wanted to make this incredibly brave woman ashamed for demanding access to birth control.

I’m not ashamed.

I’m also not a slut. Nor am I a prostitute. My parents shouldn’t be ashamed of me for speaking up for something I believe in.

Oh, and Rush? You know that little dig at Georgetown? The one where you said “Well, I guess now we know why Bill Clinton went (there)”?

I’m a student at Lewis & Clark College. And, yeah, our most famous alumni is Monica Lewinsky.

That doesn’t make me a slut either.

Now a lot of Republicans have been getting very defensive. They’ve been hollering “It’s not fair! Rush isn’t the only person to ever make an offensive comment! Democrats have made them too! Why aren’t they being punished?”

First of all, I have never heard of a Democrat making 46 personal attacks on an individual in three days. Rush Limbaugh has truly sunk to a record-breaking low.

But what I hope we can all agree on is that this kind of misogynistic language needs to be stopped. No matter the source, it is unacceptable. And in the future, I promise, if I hear about a Democrat making this kind of a vitriolic mischaracterization, I will blog mad again! In the meantime, digging up old stories about Democrats feels like a distraction or an excuse for Rush.

And I’m not willing to hear excuses for Rush.

What I find most troubling is that the majority of the Republican candidates for presidency have  limited their reactions to Rush Limbaugh’s hate speech by simply addressing his language as problematic. They wish he hadn’t called Sandra Fluke a “slut” or a “prostitute.”

Beyond that? I haven’t heard them denounce his sentiments.

I wish all of them would admit that this is a women’s health issue. That Sandra Fluke is trying to make women aware of the rights our government is currently trying to strip away from us. I want the Republicans to be outraged at the nerve of a political body believing it has the right to play doctor without a medical degree.

This news story isn’t about Sandra Fluke overreacting to a little name-calling. It’s a very real warning about the kind of gross mischaracterizations and verbal abuse that women face today when they stand up for their rights.

I want to leave you with this final message from Meg Cabot, one of my favorite young adult authors:

Rush Limbaugh, I lost an ovary to cysts. I’m on the Pill to keep from losing the other one. And that ovary does NOT accept your apology.

Neither do I.

Sincerely,

Marni

P.S. For those of you looking to get involved in speaking out against Rush Limbaugh, I highly recommend you boycott the advertisers who support his show. The first amendment gives everyone the right to free speech. It doesn’t mean corporations have to pay someone to promote their products. And it doesn’t mean that you as a consumer can’t demand that the companies you support condemn this kind of hate-filled rhetoric.

P.P.S. For those of you who are interested in where I got my source material, I primarily used Media Matters. I also highly recommend people watch Rachel Maddow’s analysis of these events. Although you might want to skip the first three minutes.

Rachel Maddow

P.P.P.S. I would love to hear your stories. Please leave a respectful comment below!