Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Using Body Language to Show Emotions

I'm one of those authors who have a small group of body movements I include in my writing. I have a larger list I keep on file. I just need to refer to it more often.

All body language must be considered in context, but if I've set my scene correctly and established my characters' good and bad points, a little body language can help add life to the story. I'll share a few with you.


Anger is one expression of fight-or-flight mode -- an automatic, instinctive reaction to a threat. In many cases, there is an underlying fear of being harmed. Thanks to autonomic nervous system arousal, the heart rate increases, pupils dilate, and the face may flush. Other signs of anger:

􀂃 Balling the fists

􀂃 Crossing the arms tightly

􀂃 Clenching the fists once arms are crossed

􀂃 Tight-lipped smile

􀂃 Clenched teeth

􀂃 Shaking a finger like a club

􀂃 Stabbing a finger at someone


􀂃 Pupils dilate

􀂃 Women will cross and uncross legs to draw attention to them

􀂃 Mirroring - (usually unconsciously) mimicking the other person’s body language

Closed to Conversation

􀂃 Keeping the hands in the pockets (esp. men)

􀂃 Arms and legs crossed

􀂃 Sitting back

􀂃 Folding the hands together on a table (creates a barrier)

􀂃 The “figure-four” leg cross (setting the ankle of one leg on the knee of the other) and then grabbing the lower half of the top leg with both hands.

Opennesss and Honesty

􀂃 Exposure of the palms

􀂃 Arms and legs unfolded

􀂃 Leaning forward

Submissive Signals

􀂃 Smiling - that’s why some people smile when they’re upset or afraid

􀂃 Slumping the shoulders

􀂃 Doing anything to appear smaller


􀂃 Men in particular have a tendency to stroke or rub the nape of the neck when they’re upset. It acts as a self-soothing gesture to deal with a “pain in the neck.”

􀂃 Crossed arms - arms act like a protective barrier

􀂃 Self-hugging - arms are crossed, hands gripping upper arms

􀂃 One-arm cross - one arm crosses the body to hold or touch the other arm - women keep a hand on a purse or bag strap to make this look more natural

􀂃 Clutching a purse, briefcase, or bag with both arms

􀂃 Adjusting cuffs or cuff-links (men’s version of the purse-strap grab)

􀂃 Folding the hands together in front of the crotch (men)


Lying causes a subtle tingling in the face and neck, so the gestures below are attempts to eliminate that feeling

􀂃 Covering the mouth - can be like a shh gesture, or they may cover the mouth completely - some people try to cover it by coughing

􀂃 Touching or rubbing the nose or just below the nose - often a quick, small gesture, not a scratch

􀂃 Rubbing the eyes (especially men)

􀂃 Scratching the neck with the index finger

Superiority, Confidence, Power, Dominance 

􀂃 Steepling the fingers (aka setting the tips of the fingers together)

􀂃 Folding the hands behind the back

􀂃 Thumbs sticking out from pockets when hands are in pockets (can be front or back pockets)

􀂃 Hands on hips

􀂃 Straddling a chair

􀂃 Hands folded behind the head while sitting up (in men; in women this thrusts the breasts out and becomes sexual)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Two Christmas Reads for 99 cents Each!

Today is the last day of November. In my mind, tomorrow--December 1st--starts the real Christmas season. Some start after Halloween. Others after the turkey's stuffed. Me? I wait until the holiday month arrives. Old school, I guess. That doesn't mean I haven't written a Christmas novella earlier this year. I have. It's up for purchase. Cost? 99 cents for Kindle or Nook versions.

Ciera Parker moves to Willow Bend, New York, to begin a new life away from the scandal her ex-husband created. She loves her job as a dispatcher at the police and fire station in the town. What she doesn’t love is Detective Mason Holt and his overbearing ways. He’s been watching her for two years and she’s beginning to get all hot and bothered. But she’s sworn off men and this one has a reputation of being one step above a man-whore.

Mason Holt is not what everyone thinks. He’s more family man than one would believe. Since his sister’s husband is serving overseas, he takes on duties as a father figure for his two rambunctious nephews and niece. He’s ready to settle down with children of his own and he’s got his eye and his heart fixated on a dark-haired beauty in the communications center.

Now, all he has to do is convince Ciera all men aren’t bad. That he does have his good points—until he gets stuck in her chimney on Christmas Eve.


The story that kicked off my "Wild Heat" firemen's series--SANTA WORE LEATHERS--is also on sale for 99 cents.

Take one man-shy reporter, a gorgeous ex-Navy SEAL turned firefighter, add in a thong-stealing dog… and Christmas will never be the same again!

There’s only one thing on Becca Sinclair’s Christmas list this holiday season – her very own column in the local paper. And if she can build a huge blog following, her wish just might come true.

Enter Dan ‘Wolf’ Wolford aka the man-whore next door and the new star of Becca’s popular, post-divorce blog about men. A Navy SEAL turned commander of the Florida Marine Rescue Unit, Wolf’s the very definition of the word alpha – and with an endless rotation of women on his doorstep, this hunk on a Harley has Becca and her female followers all hot and bothered!

All Becca wants for Christmas is her newspaper column, right? But when she finds herself the target of Wolf’s irresistible attentions, her snarky comebacks become less and less convincing and, suddenly, she’s not so sure anymore…


Friday, November 25, 2016

Silent Signals, A Cowboy Christmas Series

Have I got a holiday treat for you! SILENT SIGNALS, A COWBOY CHRISTMAS SERIES from the fabulous Linda Carroll-Bradd.

After losing half his herd in the Great Blizzard of 1886, rancher Konrad Werner needs to safeguard his cattle. Tomboy Anora Huxley trains the Australian Shepherds and Kelpies that run the family’s sheep herd. Although cattlemen and shepherds are at odds, the pair discovers common interests. A threat is overheard, and Konrad rides out to Anora’s ranch to protect her. The tense situation reveals their true feelings. Will Anora be swayed by family loyalty, or will she listen to her heart that responds to Konrad’s silent signals?

Mikel returned, dropping two rolls of wire onto the counter. “I have a new shipment of barbed wire too. Perhaps that works better for your needs?”

Konrad turned and laid a hand on the smooth wire. “The fence to pen in my cattle has several components, so this is what I need. But thanks, Toussaint.”

The shopkeeper shrugged. “Some ranchers prefer the barbed.”

“I do too, and I may have to resort to that when the winter weather sets in. But I’ll wait on that purchase.” He leaned his other hand on the counter. “This year, I’m building a brush fence. I’ll use what I can from downed branches and rocks cleared from the field that will be planted in the spring.” He shrugged and straightened.

“Makes sense.” Mikel nodded as he pulled the pencil from his ear. “I remember those types of fences in old country. Uncle had them around his vineyard.”

Konrad was sure his wasn’t the only sad story the store owner had heard over the last year. “Gotta come up with the cheapest solution for protecting my cattle.” He shook his head. “The ranch can’t withstand any more losses like last year.”

“Excuse me, sir.” A female voice floated in the air.

The tone was pitched low, almost intimate. Konrad shifted and raised an eyebrow at the tall woman dressed in an ill-fitting coat and a split skirt that showed several inches of boot-encased legs. “Are you speaking to me?”

“Have you considered using herding dogs to contain your cattle?” The blonde woman took one step closer, her gaze intent.

“No.” This stranger had an opinion about how he ran his ranch? His body stiffened.

“I train the dogs that work the sheep at Green Meadows Ranch, and I don’t see why the dogs couldn’t be used with cattle.” She glanced over her shoulder and then back to connect with his gaze. “The principles are the same, as long as the person uses the right cues.”

He squinted at the green-eyed woman who stood only a few inches shorter than his six-foot height. Wisps of blonde hair had escaped the edges of her plain black bonnet and straggled along her cheeks. Her face was pleasant enough—probably would be more so without the frown creasing her forehead. “Have we met?”

“I apologize, Mr. Werner. I’m Anora Huxley.” A blush reddened her cheeks. “I am acquainted with Gaelle.”

His younger sister by five years. Which explained why he didn’t know this woman from his schooling years. Huxley did sound familiar, though. But he didn’t have time to contemplate why because the woman now stood by his side. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a thick-set scowling man hovering two feet away who looked madder than a newly branded steer. The second member of the arguing duo.

“My dogs are exceedingly smart. A special breed with strong herding instincts. They respond to hand signs and whistles, and from a distance of more than ten rods.”

He held up a hand lest he be stuck here listening to her run down every detail. “I do not wish to be lectured on how to run my ranch. My brush fence will suffice.” Regretting the stiffness of his tone, he lifted a finger to tap the brim of his hat. “Good day, Mrs. Huxley.” He spotted the brief widening of her gaze before scooping up the roll of wire and headed toward the storeroom. Irritation at the outspoken women and her high-handed advice put an extra punch into each footfall.


As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication--a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, Linda writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor from her home in the southern California mountains.

Linda’s Links:

Website           Blog    Facebook        Twitter                        Goodreads

Monday, November 21, 2016

When Will the Election Finally Be Over?--Monday Musings and Mumblings

I thought the day Calvin and I went to the voting polls would be the end of all the political sniping. Color me naïve. Yup, I thought as we sat up, watching the results roll in, this unholy mess would finally be over. The winner wasn't a certainty when we went to bed and, once during the night, the light from Calvin's iPad woke me. He gave me the latest update. I groaned and rolled over.

The winner was announced and the loser called to congratulate. Niceties were exchanged. Painful, I'm sure for the one who lost.

But STILL the campaign ugliness continues. Some of the posts on Twitter from both sides are caustic. Facebook posts are just as bad. It's as if everyone is looking for a fight. My own son included and if I could get my hands on him, mid-forties or not, I'd fan his ass. Whether your side won or lost, accept it with grace...and move on.

Stop with the negativity and the "yeah, well what do you think of this?" We're better than that. We're Americans and we're better than that.

I realize my words will fall on deaf ears. See, I don't care who you voted for. As an American, your vote was your right. My thanks to you for exercising it.

Now, let it go. We're better than the protests and the mean tweets and the argumentative posts.

Our country has some real issues. Let's come together and support our Congressmen and women so they can do their best. Call. Email. Make your voice heard to them. Not to the rest of us who can't do anything about it and simply just want a break from it all.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Release Day for "Hers to Heal" is in the Single Didgets

Or 8 or 7, depending on what day you read this. I feel like I wrote this book a year ago and I think I probably did. HERS TO HEAL is book 2 of the Black Eagle Ops series. If you've read book 1,  HER SURVIVOR, you'll get caught up with the characters you met and loved in that story. If you didn't read it, you won't be lost. Both books are stand alones and I tried to write the second one so readers of book 2 wouldn't feel lost.

In this powerful, sensual romance from the author of Her Survivor, a broken woman meets a shattered warrior—and discovers a passion strong enough to heal each other’s deepest wounds.

Navy SEAL Reece Browning sacrificed body and soul in the line of duty. He survived torture at the hands of America’s enemies, but lost his career and his voice in the process. Traumatized and desperate to get his PTSD under control, Reece escapes to Eagle Ridge Ranch. Under the big Texas sky, he finds peace, a renewed sense of purpose—and a woman who makes him feel like a man again. Her smile lights up his dark days, and her caress helps him forget the night terrors
Ex-Marine Gina Wilson also bears painful scars: emotional wounds inflicted by men she once trusted with her life. She has fought hard to overcome her demons and build a good life for her daughter, and Reece is too intense, too damaged, too raw to let into her heart. Yet she’s drawn irresistibly to his steely gaze and heated embrace. No one else understands what it’s like to suffer in silence. And when Gina’s daughter is threatened, it’s Reece who risks everything to save the day.