Thursday, 1 September 2011

Raccoon Tooth Necklaces…

We have a lovely guest author with us today. I really enjoyed her blog, so grab a cup of coffee or cold drink and sit back to enjoy a look into Jennifer Madden's world.

I was, and I guess still am, a total tomboy. I’ll admit that. I grew up on a dairy farm, riding cows and horses, and loved being outside with ‘the boys’ doing hay and working on vehicles. Kitchen work? Ugh! The nastiest punishment I could receive as a kid was having to do dishes or laundry. Still don’t like doing either one. (But now I have kids and I make them do it!)

I met my husband weaving baskets at Longaberger Basket Company, and he says he fell in love with me when I was working on a buddy’s truck and had grease smeared on my face. I pride myself on being self-sufficient and a more-than competent woman, so it took me a while to rely on him. I took care of my own vehicle, put myself through college and kept an apartment while working full time. I was a deputy sheriff for nine years, and it was not unusual for me to be called a bitch at work. That was fine, because it usually meant I was doing my job correctly, to the letter of the law.

When I had my kids, I finally started to mellow. There’s nothing like being pregnant to bring out a woman’s feminine, nurturing side. I bought pretty maternity things for me and began pampering myself. I started looking at clothes for the baby and *gasp* decorating. My first child was a boy, rowdy and happy to play with mom in the dirt and ride four-wheelers with her.

Then my second came along. A beautiful, happy, blond-haired, blue-eyed girl. Who also loved to play with mom in the dirt and ride four-wheelers with her.

I was fascinated with having a little girl, because I thought maybe I could make her a little more socially acceptable by getting her to wear dresses and play with dolls. Well, I quickly discovered the dresses better be machine washable to get the mud out and the dolls better be able to hold toy guns or they’d end up in the trash. Pretty little necklaces better have good fasteners to hang onto the bicycle as it rattles through a field.


I went to a chapter meeting one day, and my husband called me, bewildered and needing advice. The daughter had found a raccoon skeleton in the field and ripped a tooth out of the skull, and she wanted Daddy, her hero, to make a necklace out of it. Her reasoning was, big brother had a shark-tooth necklace from the aquarium, so how was this any different? I told hubby to try to clean it up and go ahead, I guess.

Regretfully (NOT!), the tooth shattered under the drill bit, so she had to go without.

I’m presented with these situations on a daily basis, anymore, and I kind of given up on femininizing dear daughter. Is that even a word? Yes, she occasionally wears dresses now, but they better match her black eyes and the bruises on her knees.

I come from a long line of tomboys, and we’ve all turned out fantastic, so I guess I’ll just roll with whatever she throws at me.

Strong women are definitely a theme with me, though, in my writing. When I first read romances, you had the pansy-ass, ‘Oh, Rex, can you help me?’ twits that just drove me nuts. That was when I started writing heroines. I guarantee you will not find a pansy-ass woman in any of my books.

My newest release is titled Wet Dream, and it’s about a strong woman who wants to be just a little softer for one night. And the war veteran who steps in to be her hero. Here’s the blurb:

Ex-FBI agent Ginger Hampton is not surprised when her date is a no show. Madame Evangeline, owner of 1NightStand promised her a perfect night…but Ginger is used to disappointment in love. The fact that she’s six feet tall, model perfect and owns her own high-end security firm tends to intimidate men. In spite of herself, she’d had high hopes for this date.

Madame Eve’s email had told him to watch for a woman in distress, and the woman at the bar is exactly that. Chief of Security Cameron Jones doesn’t see himself as a hero, but he’s willing to check on a special guest for his boss. He doesn’t realize until he sees her face that it’s Ginger Hampton, his own personal weak spot. She’s not turned off by his brutal scarring, and even flirts as if she’s interested. When he escorts her to her room, does he have the balls to respond to her interest, and stay the night? How can he say no to…

His own personal wet dream?

I loved writing this story and exploring the dynamic between these two characters. Would you like to win a copy? Tell me the best tomboy (or princess, if you swung that way) story from your past. Come on, we all have them. Good or bad. The one that cracks me up the most will win a copy of Wet Dream. I’ll note the winner in the comments section September 2nd.

And if you don’t win, you can always pick up a copy at:


Or Decadent Publishing-

You can check out my website here:

And I have to thank the blog owners for letting me speak here. Fantastic blog for women!


Sharon Sullivan-Craver said...

Loved the blog . I was a tomboy too and guess I still am. I live in jeans and haven't worn a dress since I had to a t a wedding ( my daughter's).I also was a wrench monkey. I would do my own maintenance instead of waiting for someone to do it. My second daughter was and is a tomboy too. Not afraid to get dirty and was forever bringing critters dead or alive home.
Great read here. Thank you.

Faith said...

Really enjoyed reading your blog, Jennifer! I have one dau who was tomboy, but becoming a mother seems to have made her more girly-girl for some reason and her first child is a li'l boy who's a bruiser, lolol.

My youngest dau is 100% girl right down to the nail polish, heels, makeup, jewelry and dreaming of being a high-profile fashion model.

Loved the bit about the raccoon tooth! Li'l girls can be so amazing!

Cassie Exline said...

Great blog. And no I wasn't a tomboy, prissy girl here, but I can weld a hammer if I have to and I'm not helpless. You had me with your comment: "no pansy-ass women in your books." Yes! Me neither. Nothing makes me grit my teeth more than weak women who apparently lost their brains.

Donna McDonald said...

Jennifer, great blog. I laughed and laughed. Okay, here's my tomboy story.

My neighbor friends before the age of 12 were all female. So when we got together to act out the plays I wrote and directed (ha!) I made sure I got all the male parts. I got to be the hero over and over (and the villians--always males back then). Who knew it would be so helpful later in my life? I have HATED being a girl because I was a short, 96 lb version back then with a tomboy soul who wasn't allowed to do anything. Bruce, my 6'2" fiancee is the first man in my life to change my mind about the joys of being female, but I still laugh at myself when I get a pedicure. I've learned to fix the outside, but I still have to work on feeling like a female on the inside.

Dave Thome said...

When I was staying home with my 3-year-old daughter, she refused to wear anything but dresses. Pink ones. This was nothing my wife nor I ever encouraged. Several years later, she and I canoed to an island in a northwoods lake and came upon some rodent's skull. She dubbed the island Rodent Skull Island. She's in law school now, and still displays that skull. I never thought of her as a tomboy or worried about her being "too girly." She's clearly grown into a woman--a smart one who's lived alone in several cities and has traveled the world (and paid her own way).

As far as men being scared by successful women...that's undoubtedly the case lots of the time. But, face it, sometimes powerful women, like powerful men, can be pricks. And, believe me, class plays an important role in men's relationships with other men. You'll rarely find two rich guys and two bums watching football together.

Janice said...

I always been a Tom boy. I climbed trees, played in mud with cars and when we went to grandpas, I caught toads.

Years later, as a grown up, I got married and had a daughter who loved to wear dresses. But she didn't stay a girly-girl, not with me for a mom.

On a visit to a friend's house as we were leaving, I spotted a toad. I picked it up and my daughter asked to hold it. I handed it to her and then my nephew wanted one. I hunted around for another and found it. By the time my long winded husband finished his goodbyes to his buddy, we all had a toad in our hands.

Hubby is used to me and my antics by now. He just sighed and asked his friend if he had anything to hold toads in.


JM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JM said...

Sharon, TOTALLY understand. I broke down and wore a pretty, frilly skirt for hubby when we went on a cruise last year, but that's the only time in about 10 I have.
Nothing wrong with girls knowing how to actually fix their own vehicles. My dad taught me to change oil, plug and wires, work on the carbeurator. Men aren't always as heroic as we write them, and you may stand on the side of an interstate for hours waiting on somebody to help you. I think all girls should be self-sufficient that way.
Thanks for stopping!

Fauth, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I love this blog, and I come every few days to read up on you girls and your guests. Thank you so much for letting me take up space here.
Take a little time and at least teach your princess a few basics, then she can go back to doing girly stuff. ;-)

JM said...

Cassie, we need prissy girls in the world too! Don't worry!
We live in a different generation now, and the shy, retiring virgins who couldn't do anything for themselves were the norm back then. I used to read the Harlequin books with the circle scene on the front, and I was somewhat horrified by what was in there. I couldn't imagine acting that way. Especially not for a stinkin' boy!

Hi Donna! Oh, very cool! See, you had an audience even years ago.
Totally understand about being torn. You're a step ahead of me, though, because I've never gotten a manicure or pedicure. I have broken down and PAINTED my toenails, and that kind of ridiculously tickles me for some reason. I usually pick a bright purple or blue.
Thanks for stopping by!

JM said...

Hi Dave! It's great to see a guy here!
Your daughter sounds like a perfect mix of both. I congratulate you on raising her well. Sounds like she has a fantastic life.
As for the guy thing, I agree with everything you said. Powerful women can be pricks. I saw a disturbing study the other day that said not-so-nice women get further ahead. So, is that because they are acting like men, and being less emotional in their jobs? I would say so. When I was a cop, I had to be pretty hard-ass. People (criminals) will lie to your face and take every weakness you show them, be it physical or emotional, and exploit it. I don't know if your daughter is going into criminal law or not, but you may want to ask her about it.
Thank you so much for the comments!

Hi Janice! I'll tell you a secret. I love toads. And turtles. I keep a turtle tally during the summer of turtles I rescue from the road. I'm up to 12 this year. And if one of them happens to end up on our farm, hubby has learned to just smile and shake his head. Those are the good guys. The ones that put up with our tomboy-ness.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Anthology Authors said...

Was I ever a tomboy! LOL I climbed trees, played in the mud, and took my barbies swimming. (g) Since Ken sank, Barbie always saved him. We also performed funeral services for them whenever we ripped off an arm or leg. There are numerous pieces of Barbies buried around my mother's house and in the neighbors' yards that if they ever excavate in the far distant future, they'll probably wonder what the hell these things were. (g)

I was a mix of girl and tomboy, although I leaned more toward tomboy. I'm still a mix, and I like to get dressed up occasionally, but most days, you'll find me in shorts and a T-shirt or pants. Dresses are too inconvenient. You can't sit like a sailor if you feel like it without showing everyone your panties. (g) And nylons are a four letter word in this house. (g)


Cherie Marks said...

Hey Jennifer!

You know I'm a sucker for your writing. I haven't picked this one up yet, so it would be great to win it, but I was only a part-time tomboy.

My parents divorced before I remember them together, so when I was with my mom, I dressed in pink, strawberry dresses and had braided hair. However, when I went to visit my dad on the weekends, that was all forgotten. My hair rarely got brushed, and I spent most of my time crossing and crawling through the rafters of my grandfather's barn, riding ponies and goats, and playing ball with the boys.

Honestly, I'm less critter-phobic than the hubby because I got used to everything that flies, crawls, slithers, and hops long before I knew to be afraid.

Great post! I love strong heroines, and you never disappoint in that respect. Keep them coming!

Robyn M Speed said...

LOVE the blog! I adore strong women and, like you, cannot abide wossie female characters!

Worked on my car with my son and LOVED every moment of it!

Don't ever change!

JM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JM said...

Hi Cherie! Sounds like you had a good balance in your life too, even though your parents were divorced. You have to have a little dirt in your blood to keep you grounded right?
And thanks for the compliments!

And the winner of the free download is:
Anthology Authors. You cracked me up. My family learned very early on NOT to buy me Barbies, because they just ended up in pieces, or burned, or some other catastrophic event.
Why DID Barbi float, and not Ken? Implants?
Just kidding.
Send me an email at authorjmmadden at gmail dot com with your download preference.

Thank you all so much for commenting and being cool. Those of you that didn't win, follow the links to download me anyway. Thanks everybody!

Anthology Authors said...

Hahahahaha, Jennifer! I grew up in the 70s when Ken's torso was hollow. You could pull his arms, legs, and head off. Even still, water would seep in and he'd sink quickly. (g) Barbie was solid plastic. (g) Chlorine does wonders to their hair. (g)

Yay! I will email you. :)