Thursday, 28 April 2011

Cheeky Sod!

So, I woke this morning (as you do), checked my emails then went on Facebook (as you do). I saw I had a private message and clicked on it, expecting it to either be from a friend or some form of invite to a page or event.

Oh no. It wasn't anything like that. It was a message from some guy who simply wrote: You need a face-job.

Ohhh, yes, he really said that.

I thought: Hmm, maybe I do need a face-job, mate, but you won't be able to tell from THAT photo. I have gained wrinkles since then and bags under my eyes (how bloody delightful growing older is...). Besides, if I need one, is it any of your pissing business? And then I thought: Does he not realise that picture was changed in Photoshop? The hue/saturation? Does he think I go around with eyeliner that thick (okay, sometimes I do) and my face is pure effing white like that?

So I checked him out. He wasn't on my friend's list. So this guy, some random bloody stranger, decided he would send me that message. And get this...if he's judging on appearances, then so the hell am I. HE needs a bloody face-job. Ugly old busstard.

So, while it didn't overly bug me (not what he said, just the gall he had in actually saying something so rude), I then sat and thought: Uh-oh. Is "face-job" some new sexual term I'm not aware of? Does he want to do rude things to my face involving his doo-dar? And why would he think I'd find him attractive (think 1980s guy with a bad haircut) and allow him to get his wanger out and "face-job" my face?

There are so many perverts on Facebook, you have to wonder, don't you? Mind you, there are many rude people too. I won't even go down the road about why a woman felt the need to make a sarcastic comment about one of my excerpts on my page. MY PAGE! Oh, dear. I went down that road. Oh well. Jeez, I thought Facebook was a safe place to play, but what with barbs being thrown like this, I may well stop playing there.

Face-job, indeed.

Yeah, mate, if you saw me in ASDA the other day, squinting because I'd squirted washing detergent in my bloody eye, then you might be right in thinking I need one.



Inbox Blues

Author Anne Manning joins us today. I so feel her pain!

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When Marci invited me to blog here at this fabulous place, and told me that I was free to rant, I started thinking about what my topic would be. What really ticks me off? Ah, so many things, so few words....

Since I spend so much of my life on-line, my major irritations are to be found in my email inbox.

  1. I’m on several yahoogroups and there’s always someone who simply must respond to each and every post. Usually in a condescending way that ends up irritating everybody. That’s right, people who don’t know when to shut up tick me off. Doesn’t matter what the subject is, they know more about it than you. Blah-blah-blah... Now, I myself believe that “if I explain it long enough, often enough, and in enough detail, you will agree with me that I’m right.” But I’m in the 12-step program and doing quite well, thank you. Of course, before you can get help, you have to know you have a problem, and some people just don’t know they have a problem. I wonder if Intervention takes cases like this?
  2. Extremely loooooong signatures. You’ve seen ‘em. The post says “me too” and is followed by a signature that’s ten lines long. Do we really need to know your entire curriculum vitae with every single post? Do we need to read a blurb for your book and the wonderful review quotes every frickin’ time? Cut it down, for Pete’s sake! Think of how many little electrons sacrificed themselves for your shameless self-promotion.
  3. Spam!!! “Anne Manning...get cheap Viagra®!” Or the ones from the darling little girls from Eastern Europe who are willing to show me everything they got and how they can use it. Okay, I know these are from spambots, but can’t someone program the things to figure out that a person named “Anne” probably won’t be interested in Viagra®? Send me spam about where to get cheap chocolate...I’d probably click on the link for that!
  4. Chain emails, especially the ones that promise you everything you’ve ever wanted if you’ll just inflict the danged thing on ten of your best friends...and have them send it back to you. I didn’t want it the first time! Sometimes a friend will include me on one that celebrates our military service members. “If you love the troops you’ll send this to ten people!” Nobody ever explained to me exactly how sending a chain email helps the troops. I’m thinking they’d really rather get a care package with books, playing cards, baby wipes (no kidding, they love these), and letters of support.
  5. But what really grinds my cookies to a fine powder are chain emails that tell you a sweet story of a religious nature. In the interests of full disclosure, I am a Christian. Maybe that’s why it really galls me to read an email with said sweet story, then get to the end of the thing and see what amounts to “if you love Jesus, send this to ten of your friends. If you break this chain, God won’t love you anymore.”

    Does God really monitor our email? I thought only the National Security Agency did that!

    But that’s another rant.

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Anne Manning writes all kinds of romance—paranormal, historical, contemporary—from her secluded bunker in San Antonio, Texas. She also writes with the sister of her heart, Kathryn Overton, as Taylor Manning. Anne and Taylor’s books are available from New Concepts Publishing, Uncial Press, and Hard Shell Word Factory.

Anne’s favorite of her own books is still The Raven’s Lady. Rational scientist Eibhlin Fitzgerald crosses a shimmering time curtain and winds up in 11th century Ireland. She wants to go home, but an Irish warrior has other ideas. This 2000 EPPIE winner is still available in eBook and print from New Concepts Publishing. It has absolutely the best time-travel romance cover ever!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

One in the Eye...

Today I did something I always do in the supermarket. I spied a new washing detergent and had to smell it before I decided whether to buy it. It was one of those gel versions, so the hole the stuff comes out of when you pour has this kind of suction thing. So I had to squeeze the bottle in order to get a puff of smell. You know the kind I mean, right?

Well, I squeezed, and out shot a dash of washing detergent—right up one nostril and in one eye.

Oh. My. God.

I walked around that shop with my eye streaming and me worrying I looked like Cameron-effing-Diaz in Something About Mary, with “stuff” in my hair. I patted my hair, rubbed my eye, soaked up the tears with my cardigan sleeve. And you know what? My eye is STILL sore hours later. Whose stupid idea was it to make those suction tops, eh?

I s’pose that’ll teach me for constantly sniffing washing detergent or fabric conditioner, but I know I’ll do it again and again.

What mishap have you encountered today?

Monday, 25 April 2011

Snow Vandals

Help us welcome James Kellogg, author of E-Force, a thriller that releases from Wild Child Publishing May 10th. While this view may not be popular to snowboarders, being an alpine skier, I can completely relate. (grin)

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Another Rocky Mountain winter is retreating under the onslaught of Spring. I've strapped on the skis, Telemark and Alpine, for the last time until November. It's been an epic season. Ripping turns through bumps, carving first tracks in powder, catching all rocked! Memories will be etched in my brain long after the last patch of snow gives way to wildflowers and mountainbike trails. I recall powder-choked steeps, monster mogul fields, wind-blown cornices...and snowboarder punks.

The image of one particular crisp Colorado morning suddenly hijacks my thoughts. I see mountains draped in a blanket of snow after a big overnight blizzard. The clouds had blown out and the slopes glistened like fields of diamonds under the rising sun. Not a single cloud blemished the azure blue sky when I hopped an early chair up the mountain that day. I was en route to powder extraordinaire!

My anticipation rose as the lift climbed higher. Like an eagle, I soared closer to upper Primo. It's studded with beautiful moguls. From a distance the ski run resembles the dimpled surface of a golf ball. Gliding closer, I admired the champagne powder coating the bumps like frosting. It looked so sweet. In minutes, I would be picking a line and dropping in on my descent.

In an awful instant, my heart sank. A half-dozen twenty-somethings in baggy pants and audacious-colored jackets came into view at the top of the run. They were lounging on their butts, a universal behavioral trait of snowboarders. It had to be a mirage. I rubbed my eyes, but couldn't erase the dreaded snowboards fastened to their moon boots. No!!

I felt like I was watching a passenger train hurtling toward a bus stalled on the tracks. There was nothing I could do to stop it. I watched in horror as the snowboarder punks rose and peered down the slope. Riding a fluorescent green board and dressed in loud plaid, the first one slid off the precipice and careened into my mogul paradise.

Neglecting to take a winding line between the bumps, the snow vandal turned his gaudy board sideways like a snowplow. He plummeted straight downward. The edge of the board had the effect of a razor blade on facial stubble. "Turn through the bumps! Turn!" I hollered as they pass below my dangling skis. Flipping me his middle finger, the punk and his unskilled minions scraped downhill with uncaring abandon. It was as devastating as strip mining. The beautiful mogul run was ravaged.

Despite the disappointment, I managed to find a few unspoiled powder stashes to salvage the morning. At lunchtime I cruised back down to the lodge. Much to my dismay, it was nearly impossible to walk in the vicinity of the ski racks. The area was littered with snowboards, one of them fluorescent green. The snowboarder punks leave them at whatever spot they happen to disconnect boots from bindings. I remember eyeing the empty spaces in the ski racks. That day I had enough.

Without another thought, I grabbed an armful of boards, including the blinding green one, and trudged toward the end of the deck. Another skier nodded approval and joined me in the endeavor. We dumped the boards behind a heap of snow and gave each other knuckles. "That'll keep from tearing up terrain for a little bit," I declared to my vigilante comrade.

Not long afterward, I relaxed at one of the tables on the deck. Can't beat brown-bagging it outside in the sun. My shoulders slumped when snowboarders besieged the table next to me. Immediately my gaze fell upon the kid in the loud plaid suit. The fallout from those guys was inescapable.

While I wolfed down the last bites of a sandwich, the inane conversation of the snowboarder punks invaded my ears. Uttering tirades of four-letter words, they were like gangster rappers who couldn't rap. Stupidity is often contagious. I remember being cognizant of becoming dumber with each second I was within earshot of that clan.

I was just about to flee when a guy walked up and asked if one of these youths had lost a driver's license. Intrigued, I observed the plaid kid's blank expression. He was like a cow staring out from a stockyard.

"Is there a name on the license?" a more articulate member of the group asked.

"Oddly enough, there is a name on it," the Samaritan responded. "It's Edward."

That animated the cow-eyed, plaid kid. "My name is Ed."

"Check your pockets," I chimed in with a suggestion.

The kid patted his legs like his pants were on fire. "Oh, my God! There's a hole in my pocket!"

"Is there a birthday on it?" another punk spoke up, clearly hoping to score a fake ID.

"Of course there's a birthday on it," I scoffed. "The question is, when's Mr. Ed's birthday?"

After some thought, Ed recited the date. It didn't come easy.

"You're a winner," the Samaritan declared. "Here's your license, Ed."

"Now I've got to go find my wallet!" Poor plaid Ed looked like his head was going to twist off his neck. "We've got to get back up there."

The gang of snow vandals charged off like a bunch of keystone cops in wacky outfits. It wasn't long before the first curses drifted my way. They'd obviously discovered their haphazardly discarded boards were missing.

A smile crept across my face. Bad Karma, dudes. That sucks.

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Colt Kelley, a disillusioned employee of an environmental organization in Aspen, finds his life shifting into high gear when he stumbles into an unexpected romance with a beautiful woman with a turbid past. But the newfound bliss is obliterated by E-Force, a clandestine group of militant radicals engaged in an escalating campaign of destruction against the Colorado assets of AmeResort Corporation. A dark conspiracy lurking below the eco-terrorist facade thrusts Colt into the crosshairs of law enforcement and a lethal network of merciless thugs and corrupt cops. Pressed into a race against time and ruthless evil, Colt must stop E-Force from hurtling toward an unthinkable act of terror. The fate of the nation hangs in the balance.

Genre: Thriller
Book Length: Plus Novel
Word Count: 100,000
Pages: 375
Price: $6.99

Pre-purchase the book here.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Gossip, Coming in Late, Leaving Early, and Underwear

Author Victoria Roder joins us today. She touches on a subject dear to our hearts--customer service, or lack thereof--with a sarcasm to rival us. Please give her a warm welcome.

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Is it just me, or does anyone else notice how the work ethics have changed? Do you remember a few years ago when customers where cordially greeted by the cashiers, baggers, stockers, and anyone else working in a store? Now, if you work in a store don't come unglued, there are still very efficient and helpful workers, but instead of the norm it is the exception. When I shop with my sister Tammy, if the cashier or waitress doesn't greet us, she'll say, "Hello, my name is Tammy and I'll be your customer today."

When I stand at the register, it drives me crazy when two employees working together, continue to gossip about their boss or other employees that they work with. Helloooo, I speak English and I can hear you. I want to jump on the conveyor belt and yell, "quit talking and move your lily white a..!" How can a young, exuberant person move slower than a convicted killer on their dead-man's walk to the lethal injection? Come on already, the ninety-year-old greeter at the door moved faster.

I spent many years as a waitress and I have been a manager at several different types of businesses and service industries. I am here to tell you that good help is hard to find. I've heard every excuse you can imagine for coming in late, leaving early, or missing work. One employee I supervised called in and said she'd be late because she was a little dizzy. I bit my tongue and thought, how was that different than any other day she came to work?

The most memorable excuse I ever got for a part-time person to leave work early was that she needed to wash her husband's underwear. What? Thank God I can control my sarcasm once in awhile, because, many questions raced through my head. The woman only worked three hours a day. Couldn't she get his underwear washed sometime in the other 21 hours? Does the poor man only have one pair of underwear? Does she have the time consuming task of taking his underwear to the river to beat them clean on a rock? I thought about buying her husband a few extra pair of undies, but then she'd never be at work. She'd be too busy following her husband around to find out who the hell sent him underwear.

Do you have something that drives you crazy about workers or fellow employees? Feel free to share, just don't share their name!

Victoria Roder is the author of paranormal romance The Dream House Visions and Nightmares rated BEST BOOK by The Long and Short of It Reviews. The truth can be more frightening than a nightmare. Murder, mystery and age-old revenge. Available at Amazon.

The cover for her action thriller, Bolt Action was just featured on in an article about book covers changing from bodice-rippers to butt-kicking babes. If you have time, check it out. The paperback is available at Guns, Harleys, attitude, a serial killer, and sexual tension Bolt Action offers it all. Check out the butt-kicking video on YouTube.

Coming soon to Wild Child Publishing, children's chapter book The Curse of King Ramesses II and from Vinspire Publishing a picture book entitled What if a Zebra had Triangles? Please feel to drop by her website.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

PDA or Public Displays of Affection

Yesterday while walking home from swimming, I saw a couple who needed to get a room. These weren’t teenagers. Anymore, I almost expect teenagers to try to stick their tongues down each other’s throats. It doesn’t seem to matter where they are. Everywhere is their bedroom. o_O

So, yesterday when I first stepped out of the pool area and onto the sidewalk, I saw it.I wasn’t sure what it was. They appeared as just a blob, obviously human, but it didn’t have a face, just this curly, out of control hair. The more I looked at it, the more I realized that it had to be two people. Was it an adult and a child? And then the arms moved in a way that shouldn’t happen between a child and an adult. (Eep!)

At that point, I realized it was two adults mauling each other in a public park full of high school kids. He was on sitting with his feet under him; she was sitting on his “lap.” They were wearing about the same color (taupe). His taupe newsboy cap blended in with his bald head, which explained why I was confused about the hair and no face. The kids didn’t seem to mind, but me? Really, people! They were obviously at least in their 30s, possibly 40s. Do you need to act like teenagers in the park?

Obviously, I found this tongue-down-throat-hands-all-over-the-place to be a bit much.

I remember as a child at a local mall this couple groping each other. Well, sort of. The woman had on a pair of camel toe inducing pants. The man’s hand cupped her butt, the fingers wrapping around and venturing into her crack. Her hands cupped his butt, too, unlike this photo. They walked ahead of us. Even at ten years of age, this seemed inappropriate to me. This wasn’t something I really wanted to see then. (Nor would I want to now.)

Was I prudish? Eh, I don’t know. My parents were affectionate in front of us kids. They hugged, kissed (quick kisses), and my dad would pat Mom on the butt, but there was no full on groping, etc.

Now, my husband has a hard time even giving me a quick kiss in front of our daughter. In part because a simple kiss can turn him on. (grin) Being the evil person that I am, I like to tease him. (grin) It's fun, it's painless (for me), and I don’t want my daughter to think showing affection is a bad, uncomfortable thing. However, I want her to be a mauler either.

Holding hands, hugging, or a quick kiss doesn’t bother me. Mauling, hands in crotches, tongue kissing, lying on top of each other as if you are dry humping, etc. does. If you are doing to do any of that, get a room. I don’t want to see it, hear it, or smell it. (I’m not saying I’ve smelled it before. Well, at least not someone else’s. I mean… Okay. I’ll shut up now. Grin)

Here are some photos to test your limits. So, what do you find acceptable?

Photo 1: Acceptable? Unacceptable?

Photo 2: Acceptable? Unacceptable?

Photo 3: Acceptable? Unacceptable?

Photo 4: Acceptable? Unacceptable?

So, what's your limit?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Tweeting Among Crickets

Help us welcome Leigh Ellwood. An award-winning author of romance and mystery, her latest release, Silver Wings, is an anthology of homoerotic steampunk out from Phaze Books. It is available from Phaze, All Romance, and Kindle. You are welcome to visit her online at or read her blog at

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Friends and family sometimes take issue with the work I do during the day, sometimes accusing me of hardly working at all. "So, you sit on your butt and fool around on Facebook all day and get paid for it, right?" they accuse. I will admit, when I tell people that I work in social media management I must clarify that with a lengthier explanation of what I do. There actually is work involved, and management. You may have a Facebook profile and Twitter account, but for social media firms that handle multiple accounts for a variety of companies, the pace veers off into wild and frustrating tangents. To give you an idea of what my life is like, here's a typical day:

Day job boss likes to stand as close as possible to my desk, eclipsing the sun that filters through my window. His daily overviews of my work are not unlike a pop quiz conversation. "How's Client A? How's Client B?" The questions come rapid fire, as though he's daring me to trip up.

I answer, "They're fine," which is pretty much the standard state of business social media. "Fine" means nobody has vomited all over your Facebook wall with complaints of bad service and spam messages for generic erectile dysfunction medications. "Fine" means you manage stability after Facebook has once again changed the rules of operating your page for actual marketing.

So the rest of the exchange goes something like this:

HIM: What have you got going on today?

ME: I'll be setting up the campaign for Client A. I was thinking a nice focus on their pancakes...

HIM: Yes, that's good, but they really want to market their waffles. Everything is waffles right now. Waffles are hot, and they're on page five in Google under waffles.

(Here I might frown, considering waffles really aren't the focus of the business.)

ME: Sure, I can do something with waffles.

HIM (wandering off, muttering): Waffles...

Three days later, he comes back.

HIM: Hey, on Client A have you done anything with pancakes?

ME: Uh, no. You wanted me to concentrate on waffles.

HIM: Well, their search analytics on low on pancakes. Can you do something about that?

This is how social media works. It basically works until the rules change, and they change often.

Of course, I might exaggerate here with regards to job frustrations. My strength here is in social media writing, which I do rather well. If you need fifty articles on why you should buy a stainless steel sink, I'm your first call. If I do have a weakness with this business, it's that I have no time to utilize my skills for my important accounts - my own. When I do have the opportunity to tweet on my account, the last thing I want to do is sell my own books because I'm too tired to think of a clever pitch.

Some of you who work during the day and write/market at night - tirelessly slugging through the double life - may suffer the same shortcoming. How can one get excited about pimping books when you'd rather split one open, lay it over your face, and start snoring? There are programs and social media tools that allow you to schedule tweets and Facebook updates to release at set times, sort of like an Internet alarm clock. I usually recommend that to authors who can't afford my services. It is probably something I should do right now instead of writing this - setting up tweets to release every hour, on the hour.

Right after I've had something to eat. Waffles sound good.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Joys of Changing Banks

The other day, I visited my bank to close out my accounts. The bank that supposedly would have free checking until you die or until the 405 (a well-known freeway in Los Angeles that's forever under construction) stopped having construction decided to start charging $10 a month for an account under some unrealistic amount of daily balance. Granted, the bank has since changed hands, but I was irritated when I first heard about it. At the time, I asked a bank representative about this, he said, "Oh, you have this type of an account with us, too, so you won't get charged."

Imagine my "surprise" when I discovered that, lo and behold, he was wrong. By the time I realized this, the bank had already taken $100 total out of all our accounts. Needless to say, I was, um, irate. I called the 800 number and chewed some ass, but it did me little good. On the other end, I could practically hear the guy rolling his eyes at me.

After I had my say, I asked him what would make an account fee free. The list was long, but if you've ever listened to one of those pharmaceutical commercials about their drugs and side effects, you know that you'll only escape getting one of those side effects if you're dead. Well, yeah, pretty much that. I'd have better luck being eligible for it if I'm dead.

Well, you know what? Fine. I'll just take my money elsewhere.

So, last Friday, I march in with my checkbooks ready to close all but my business accounts and my main account as I wait for the outstanding checks to clear. (They may lose those, too, as soon as I have the time to change all of that information at all of our distributors.) I go in around 1 pm. My daughter gets out of school at 3:15 pm. This should be plenty of time to do it, right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The teller doesn't realize what I want to do, even though I state in plain English, that I want to not just withdraw all of the money, but I want to close the accounts. When she does, I now have to see a banker. Um, why? It should be fairly easy to close the accounts, but whatever.

Of course, there's a line for the banker, but luckily, I have my iPhone, or I may have been homicidal after waiting about 15 minutes to see someone.

The banker, Jose, was very nice. He didn't even ask me why, which was fine by me. I didn't care to expound anyway. I just wanted out of there so I could deposit the money somewhere else. In a bank that actually wanted my business.

Another half hour went by (perhaps it was more). I was still sitting in the bank talking to Jose. He couldn't figure out why my personal and business accounts weren't linked, because, you know, with a business account, I got a free personal account.

Really? Why didn't the dude on the phone mention that earlier? Because he's an asshole? Because the bank is run by a bunch of greedy SOBs? Because... yeah, I can think of a variety of reason, none of them flattering.

I finally got these accounts closed, but in order to get my money, I had to go back to the teller. (rolling eyes--what a production!) I'd been in the bank over an hour now. While waiting for the teller to give me the cash, Jose walked up with some refinance information in case we wanted to bring our mortgage to them. (HAHAHAHAHAHHA Seriously?) I took the opportunity to ask him:

"So, since the accounts were linked and that was the bank's error AND I was supposed to have a free personal checking account with my business account, it would be nice if you refunded me for those fees on my main account."

"Of course, Ms. Baun."

At this point, it was 2:30 pm. I had a half hour to move my money to another bank before I had to pick up my daughter. I just managed to do it, but what a hassle! We should be able to show our IDs and close out all of our accounts without spending two friggin' hours in a bank!

At 3:10 pm, I arrived home. I was irritated, but glad to have it done.

Whatever happened to banks that care?

Monday, 18 April 2011

Where Have All the Heroes Gone?

Today we have author Trinity Blacio with us. She's one of Ravenous Romance's top-selling authors of paranormal menage novels with her 5th book due out this month in her Running in Fear Series. She's joining us this April Monday to rant about how everyone wants something for nothing and that it seems real men have vanished from the planet.


I’m going to rant about today’s values. I’m so sick of hearing children, teenagers, and adults whining. I’ve been taught if you want something then you work for it. At the age of fifteen, I started working full time while going to school. Ever since then I’ve worked, but do we see that today? Very seldom. We see kids and adults expecting society to just give them what they think they deserve.

“Mom, Greg has an iPhone, so will you buy me one?”

“Excuse me, do you know how much those phones cost?”

“How much money do you have? Did you get paid today?” my son asked.

“It’s none of your business if I got paid or not. You want an iPhone? Then start working and save up for it!”

“But Mom it will take too long! I want it now!”

Son stomps upstairs and slams his bedroom door.

Ha! Mom has a hammer and a screwdriver. She takes the door off the bedroom. “Now try and slam the damn door!”

I remember when all a father had to do was look at me in that stern way and I’d know I was in for it. I even see adults disrespecting their own parents! If anyone—and I mean anyone—did this to my mother, they would either be dead or limping!

Our society has become too lazy; everyone is trying to sue somebody for a quick buck. Sure it’s tough to find a job out there. Believe me, I know. It took my husband two years to find employment, but he found a job that he likes. Sure, there were times he just wanted to give up, but he didn’t.

Then I see women today having all these kids and they can’t even take care of the one or two they already have. I have two such boys that come to my home every weekend, both calling me Mom, because their mothers do nothing for their sons. One is even abusive to her boy. He cries when he has to leave my place to go home, but I can only do so much. Yes, Children Services has been called and they are aware of the situation.

However, I do think my husband should take some lessons when it comes taking care of me, his wife.


My husband and I will usually schedule doctor appointments together so we can make one trip. Well, we were both sick, so I scheduled the appointment. It turned out he had a slight cold while I had full-blown pneumonia. The doctor wanted to put me in the hospital, but with one look at my husband she knew that wasn’t going to happen.

Sure enough, the doctor gave me two breathing treatments, two shots in the ass, and then sent me home with meds and instructions to go right to bed. Once at home, I get into my PJ’s to relax, but the husband decides to go get drunk! Do you believe that! God, I was so pissed. He left me to take care of the kids alone while he went off to act like a conceited jerk. Needless to say, all hell broke loose at home that night. No sleep, of course, but boy did I get even.

I’m tired of doing everything! I cook, clean, used to work two jobs while the husband was looking for employment, and I took care of the kids, Photobucketpaid the bills and made sure everyone else’s needs were met before my own. But do you think if I become sick that someone would step up to help me? No! I get yelled at for lying down. Moms aren’t allowed to get sick. Excuse me, but where are the men who used to take care of the bills and their wives? Where are the modern-day heroes, who will hold her when she’s sick, defending her if someone attacks her character? Now, I’m not saying all men are like this. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen many women do the same thing, and it drives me crazy. You married him, so stick up for the guy!

If you have a man or a woman who does this for you, hang on to him or her, because such partners are rare nowadays! I hate to ask, but where are the John Waynes and June Cleavers of the past? I guess that’s why I always make my men alphas in my romance novels.

Trinity Blacio

Blurb for Running in Fear: Cupid's Venom

Six years of living in a cell sure can be hell on a girl. Not to mention the fact that Cecil Windstream was only sixteen years old when her family was taken away to be experimented on. After escaping, all Cecil wanted to do was die, but unfortunately the snake DNA that had been injected into her wouldn’t let her die, and either will her mates.

Tug Brimstone was an alpha wolf by nature, but even he wasn’t as powerful as his Remi LeBlathe, their true alpha. Happy to be the new head master in their jointly owned BDSM nightclub, Tug wasn’t looking for anyone, but fate had another plan for him. In less than two days, he finds he has three mates, two who are part snake and wolf, and now he’s tempting fate by injecting snake DNA into his own body so he can mate with them.

Rory Sherwood is mate to Tug Brimstone, Clayton Glands, and Cecil Windstream. How can one tiny female who has been beaten, experimented on, and is a virgin overwhelm him to the point where he forgets his own name, let alone seriously changing his DNA, just so he can mate with her?

Clayton Glands, the muscle behind the National Council of Wolf shifters, has hidden a family secret all his life, but in less than twenty-four hours he has found his mates, exposed his secret, and gained a son.

In a one-week time span, three alpha males Tug, Rory, and Clayton must protect their female from the scientists Cecil had escaped. Not only is her life in danger, but also her son’s, and the future of every shifter around. The war against good and evil is coming to a head and their journey is just part of the story to come.

For more about Trinity's series go HERE.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Dumbass Doctors

When did doctors lose compassion for people and start thinking of only money, big houses, luxury cars, and vacations?

I've met two doctors in my life who truly cared for the patient. Sadly, one returned to the military to help familys on a U.S. Army base (they deserve a great doctor, but I actually cried when she left to go out west), and the other retired last September.

Nowadays, if it's not misdiagnosing a patient's problem, doctors refuse to see you if you don't have insurance, or the doctor will see you but treats you like you're dirt.

Give me Dr. Who over today's doctors any time!

A li'l over two weeks ago, my 6 year old came down with yet another virus. He was coughing so hard he couldn't catch his breath, so I took him to the ER at 9:30 that night. When we pulled into the ER parking lot I was relieved to see no other cars, which meant that the ER was quiet and we'd get in and get out quickly.


We sat for 45 minutes in the waiting room AFTER they quickly took us in and got my son registered for the ER. When we were finally sent back to see the doctor, he took an x-ray of my son's chest and a strep throat swap to check for that too. The nurse told me it would be six minutes for the strep test results and twenty for the x-ray.

Cool. We'd be out of there in 30 minutes tops.


We waited three freaking hours! Why? I'll tell you why, the damn doctor was in the physician's lounge watching TV! Even the nurse was furious! When the doc finally came in he said my son didn't have anything showing up on the chest xrays, that he didn't have strep, but the coughing was probably a virus aggravated by allergies, he then told me he'd give him a dose of good cough medicine so my boy could sleep undisturbed the rest of the night.

Oh, really? Good cough syrup, huh?

He sent the nurse in with a dose of Benadryl. What the hell?

What is wrong with today's doctors?

A few days later, my grandson became really ill over the weekend, so my dau took him to the ER. Low and behold, she ended up with the same doctor. He did nothing for that baby. Nothing! An hour after she returned home, one of the ER nurses called and asked why my dau didn't take the prescription for the baby with her.


When I left the ER with my son that night, the nurses were so pissed at the doctor that they loaded my boy up with all kinds of cool stickers as a way of apologizing. The head nurse kept telling me how sorry and embarrassed she was, but it wasn't her fault. It was the jackass's fault who was hanging out in the physician's lounge.

No wonder malpractice insurance has gone through the stratosphere!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Excuse My Sarcasm

*I'm in a hurry today, so I apologize for any typos!*

Here at Four Strong Women, Marci and I are the two who bitch about the public school systems until the cows come home. I think I tend to get on my soapbox about it a li'l more than she does, but phone calls between us often center on public school woes. She'll discuss her issues with her daughter's school with me, and then I'll tell her the latest about the three school districts I've dealt with over the last two years. One thing is for certain. We both agree that today's school systems are all about money and control, and less about a real education. However, the federal government seems to ignore this issue in each state, but doesn't have a problem preaching education is a top priority for the future generations.

Bwahahaha! No child should be left behind—my ass!

Okay, okay, let me back up and start from the beginning. I'm in rant mode, so grab a cup of coffee.

Some who know me online know that my granddad was a teacher his entire life. I've taught in public schools on a volunteer basis, and I was an online writing instructor. One thing my granddad always said, and what I've learned is true, is that no two children learn in the same manner. One will pick something up immediately, another learns quickly, yet another has a moderate pace of learning, and then there are others who struggle to grasp their studies or perhaps they have problems in math and science, but excel in history and English.

And then you have ones like my dau who was so bored out of her mind she stopped doing her homework because it was the same crap over and over…

As a result, you have morons in the board of education offices who look you in the eye and tell you your child isn't smart enough to do online schooling.

As Ace Ventura would say, "Oh ree-hee-hee-heely?"

If the damn schools would truly teach our children--I repeat, IF--then our kids wouldn't be struggling or bored out of their ever lovin' minds! After battling that particular school district for nearly nine years, I'd had enough and I pulled my oldest daughter out of public school and enrolled her in a state-run online school direct out of Columbus, Ohio.

The first year my dau breezed through everything. Her counselor and teachers were so impressed that she was told she'd graduate early. Elated, we were so happy that we'd found a great online school. The girl maintained a 4.0 gpa, and was well ahead of the other students in her classes—remember, the moron who said my child wasn't smart enough to do online schooling?—and furthermore, the classes were ten times more difficult than what was being taught in her old school. And it was so nice not to have to deal with teachers who worried more about fundraisers for the football team or taking valuable class time to teach HOW to take the proficiency tests so the school would rate higher and get more funding.

Excuse me. I must apologize for my scathing sarcasm when it comes to school systems and the government.

After years upon years of fighting three different school systems in the area, I can't seem to curb the sarcasm anymore. Anyway, when my daughter finished last year, she had high hopes of graduating early. All she needed—or so we were told—was senior government, one more year of science, and since she wants to go into animal medicine, she was told another year of math (this made five courses of math) would help her (which stymied me, but I thought okay, she only has three classes this semester, so why worry about it?).

However, the problem was that government class wouldn't be taught until the second semester, so she'd have to wait until after the second semester to pursue an early graduation. So my dau took her science and math class, plus she took a 5th year of English just to have something to do with her time. Report card time rolled around and hers was all Ds and Fs. I nearly came unglued and chewed my dau out because I'd trusted her to get her work done and do it well. A week later I was apologizing to her because it was the school's computer system that had messed up her grades. It took one of her teachers nearly a month of battling the main office to rectify it. The office said they'd send us an updated report card--and she had all As except for a high B--but regardless of phone calls and emails inquiring about the updated grade card, we never got one.

Second semester ends, and along comes the Ohio Graduate Tests, which are the most useless tests created! No matter how well you do throughout your school career, if you do not pass these tests by the time you're to graduate from high school, you just don't graduate. You are forced to then pay for the tests and continue to take them until you do pass, and then you'll receive your diploma. No going to college until you graduate, right? Right. The dau took the OGTs. A teacher even came to our home to give her the exams, and she said the dau had aced hem.

A month passed and we were notified that the dau failed he OGTs and that she also got Ds and Fs on her second report card. Then we caught the error. The last two numbers of her student ID were transposed! We called and called, complained and ranted, and even the same teacher went to bat for us. And I can only assume the other girl—yes the school knew who it was—passed all these courses with flying colors that she never worked for. After all, she had my dau's grades! The school would not rectify the situation no matter how many times it promised to do so.

However, during this time, the school kept calling me about the re-testing time for the OGTs again. And, I might add, threatening me with recordings and some live jerk who was a pompas ass called too. Talking to me like I'm a stupid mom is an excellent way to activate my Sarcasm Mechanism (I can strip the hide off a Gila Monster with my snark).

Needless to say, the guy hung up in a huff when I got done with him. Why wouldn't the school rectify her report cards and OGT scores? I have no proof, but my theory is that they wanted to keep her in school another year to get the funds for her as a student and to get the funds for her re-taking the OGTs too.

As for the other girl with my dau's grades? My guess is she was the type of student that schools love to push through to get them out of the system and out of their hair.

Finally, after weeks and weeks of arguing with the state online school, my dau, who is 18, withdrew from school. She's going to study for her GED and hopefully catch the testing date this fall to take the test. She has a fiancé, a baby, and they have a nice li'l home, but she desperately wants to get her diploma and go into college to make a life for herself. Our worry is that the dau will have to jump through hoops of fire when she applies to college to prove that it was the state's screw up on her grades and OGT scores.

I was seriously thinking of getting my teaching degree starting this fall, but after this last battle, after I saw how the state and federal government truly does not give a shit about a REAL education, how it's all about the money, the control, and taking parental rights away, I decided against teaching. My dau is so disappointed in the system, as am I, but what can we do? We're only two li'l drops in an ocean of unrest. Unless parents take back the educational rights of our kids, two li'l drops here and there are waved away by the government like we're just pesky flies.

My two youngest are now in a school district that focuses on teaching and less about what the state insists it should do (they can do this because they're well funded outside of the state's help), but they do have some incredibly stupid policies—so they can keep the state off their back—and it abides by strict laws due to the school being so large. Two examples are the following:

A) If your child is sick and you can't get h/her into a doctor because you have no transportation or help from family/friends, or the doctor is booked solid, your child gets 5 unexcused absences then your ass lands in truancy court where you have to explain this to a judge and then pay the court costs.

B) My youngest dau was attacked by another girl and ended up in a physical altercation to defend herself. However, the principal could not tell me the other girl's name (although I knew who it was because she's THE school bully), nor discuss the incident with me due to new confidentiality laws. However, the bully still bothers my dau, and the principal continues to ignore the situation (and yes, I'm gearing up for another battle over this, and will be well-armed with copies of the no-bullying laws!).

What the hell is going on with the U.S. school systems? Where is the common sense? Home schooling and private schools are on the rise. Gee, wonder why? Get the damn politics out of the school systems and go back to good old-fashioned teaching!

The following sign should be the U.S. Government's motto for our education system.

Monday, 11 April 2011

It's been one of those weeks. Who am I kidding? 
This started about two weeks ago, although I didn't 
suspect those next two weeks would basically be in 
the toilet. Oh, there've been some summits that have
kept me sane, but the nadirs... Yeah, they've been 

pretty good. It could be worse, of course.

So, it started with quarterly reports. I wanted to 

complete them a week ago Monday, and I have this
fabulous accounting program that cuts the time down
by 7 or 8 days, maybe more. It's just that I have a
knack for finding all of the bugs in this program. It 

seems every time I use it, I break it. (It's a gift, truly.) This time, I 
accidentally put in a date when importing some data that made the 
program crash. (See, I told you I'm good.) They knew about this bug, 
but no one in the history of the program had found it (g) 
I had to send my database to the programmers to fix. Luckily, they 
work fast. However, this, and a few other things, put me back a day.

I suppose this should have been an omen of sorts for these next two
weeks. It wasn't. I mean, I'm used to screwing up the program. (g) It
was par for the course, and all was well until Saturday night.

That night Lily came down with a really nasty cold and a fever so high
she burned to the touch. This is particularly scary as Lily has had
seizures. For two days, sleep did not exist.

It's been up and down from there on out with too many troughs and not
enough summits that it's almost funny.

I managed to finish quarterly reports and send them all out a week ago
Tuesday, nearly a week in advance. That's a first.  Yay me! But
Wednesday saw me cleaning the biohazard of a front shower as Mom and
Jan, a family friend I haven't seen for 7 years, are coming to stay
with us on Friday. If I didn't clean it, Mom would, and I'd be
embarrassed to let anyone use it.

Mind you, sleep had still eluded me even though Lily's cold had
improved to just a cough. With each successive day, I was growing more
exhausted and grumpier. They were scheduled to arrive Friday. They
did, but not until midnight. Mom had a key, but couldn't get it to
work so she called me. I was sleeping, and despite being exhausted, I
pulled my ass out of bed and sat up for another hour. I could sleep in
in the morning, right?


Um, no. Lily was so excited that Grandma was here, she was up, which meant I was up because she had to come into our bedroom first and wake _me_. 

(I love her, but sometimes... ;))

My Saturday plans were shot to hell because Jan wanted to go to Malibu and spend the day on the beach. Lucky for him, we had a beautiful day. Besides seeing them, this was one of the bright spots of the past two weeks. I played with Lily, and we built a sand castle

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Comment and You Could Win a Copy!

Shea Prescott is astonished when millionaire Cruz Castillo chooses her to design his new home on his ranch. They hardly travel in the same circles. But Cruz had been hot for Shea since he first saw her and when they meet, the chemistry between them ignites. Cruz coaxes her deeper and deeper into a whirlpool of erotic sex, awakening latent sexual desires and bringing her orgasms beyond her wildest imaginings. Her body screams yes at his every touch, but will she say yes to the most important question?

Friday, 8 April 2011

Junque In The Trunk And Stoopid Men!

Welcome author Melissa Bradley to the Four Strong Women Blog. Melissa is a regular commenter here and an amazing author. Since most women are NOT a size 2, I think just about all of us will be able to identify with what she has to say here today. Sooooo...take it away, Melissa!


I have been dying to come on Four Strong Women for some time. I crack up every time I visit because it’s so good to know I’m not alone with some of these frustrations and that certain homicidal feeling that comes when dealing with extraordinarily stoopid people. Yes, I said stoopid because for these people there is a whole other level. My rant today concerns men and dating, a common problem to be sure, but as someone who carries a lot more junk in her trunk than I should, I find that there is a unique attitude reserved especially for those us of the voluptuous variety.

I want to know when overweight became a synonym for desperate. Last time I checked Roget’s, I saw chubby, fat, round and other more colorful terms, but no desperate. So why is it when I was out with some friends not too long ago, that a certain ass came up behind me, leaned in and said (I’m not shitting you) “You have a spankalicious fat ass, Big Mama. Let’s get it on.” No greeting, no introduction, not even a name. And the worst part? He was not even drunk.

After I refrained from ripping his twig and berries off, I informed him that I was not that desperate, that I would rather blister from radiation poisoning than to suffer his touch. His reply of course was “Fat bitch. At least I was willing to fuck you.” A red haze filled my vision and my friend restrained me as the bouncer escorted the “ignorant prick” (his word) outside. I mean, I know guys get drunk, high, etc and say things, but as was the case with this guy, there are a lot of stone sober men who think that just because they deign to approach me, I should automatically be willing to hit the sheets for some bedroom games.

I handled such jackasses with aplomb when I was in my twenties, but now that I’m older I thought that I would be encountering real men and not have to be bothered by such immaturity. Sadly, that’s not the case. A few months ago in another incident, I had a blind date with a not-too-shabby looking guy who was a few years older than me. I was looking forward to a good time as my friend assured me he was pretty cool. At least according to her husband. His face fell the minute I approached the table and I could tell he was disappointed that his date turned out to be overweight. Which is funny considering the paunch he was sporting. I’d seen the look a million times before so I braced myself and prepared to walk out. However, he was very polite and didn’t make the usual excuse for a quick exit so I stayed. We had a few laughs right off and I began to relax. Unfortunately, he started flirting with our pretty young waitress. Disappointment arrowed through me, along with a healthy dose of anger and I readied some excuse to leave.

When I called him on the flirting, he seemed stunned and made all these valiant protestations. I started to leave and well he got very contrite and much to my stupidity, I decided to remain. He was nicer after that and I ended up having a good time. Then he walked me to my car. I thanked him and he leaned in to kiss my cheek. Right in that moment, his true colors came roaring to the fore. He said, “I had a great time, how about we go back to your place so you can shimmy out of those big jeans and show me how you big girls do it.”

I went cold all over, then told him in no uncertain terms that if he wanted to see how this big girl did it, he’d never have sex again because I would break him. Then came the requisite response of “Don’t be such an uptight bitch. At least I was willing to touch you. Think about it. How many offers could a woman like you really get.” I can’t win. Where are the guys who don’t care about looks, who have a modicum of decent behavior? My family and friends wonder why I don’t like to date. I have tons of male friends who are great, but I just can’t seem to find a great one who wants to be more than friends. Arrgh!

Thanks for letting me vent. It helps to get it all out there. As a treat so I don’t end on a downer, I have an excerpt for you to read from my newest release, Byzantine Provocateur.

Byzantine Provocateur

Amber Quill Press/Amber Heat

ISBN 978-1-61124-072-6


An ancient city sparks forbidden desire…

Thalia Burton arrives in Istanbul to relax and enjoy the company of her old friend. Hoping to forget the boring rut her life had become, she never imagines one meeting with Fadi's brother re-igniting the dim flame of passion inside her. Captivated by the heat in his golden eyes, Thalia finds herself tempted beyond reason...

Murat Bahar had only intended to meet Thalia as a courtesy to his family. One look at the lovely American incinerates his intentions. She is an exquisite morsel he longs to taste, a taboo treat enthralling him like a siren of myth. Perhaps just one night…

Once is not enough. Thalia and Murat embark on a fiery, secret affair that could burn them both, costing them friends and family.


Thalia and Murat decide that one time together was not enough…

Pulse thundering, Thalia followed Murat as he drew her deeper into the gardens. She wondered what was up with him. He was going against everything he’d told her that day. He swept her along the twisting and turning paths, around topiary animals, past urns, statues and bushes, down until they emerged in a shadowed folly overlooking the Sea of Marmara.

The cool breeze nipped at her, tugging her upswept hair, chilling her skin as he faced her.

Murat slid a finger along her jaw, her neck, tracing a tingly path to her décolleté. He stared at the pendant nestled in the hollow of her throat, like he was trying to figure out exactly what to say.

She held her breath, the butterfly touch sending tiny thrills rushing along her nerves. This was crazy. If she were smart she’d turn around right now and find her way back up to the ballroom.

“Once was not enough, tatlim,” he said hoarsely.

“What?” Thalia wheezed, unable to get a deep breath.

His hands slid down, grasping her arms and drawing them around his neck, pulling her into the shelter of his body. The spice of him surrounded her, blending perfectly with the scents of garden and sea, a hypnotic perfume that drugged her senses.

“I think you understood,” he whispered, his palms gliding up to caress her back. His heat through the delicate silk radiated along her skin.

She glanced up, eyes widening at the intense emotions she found reflected in his glittery gaze.

“I have hungered for you these last days and nights.”

Desire rolled through her like a gathering thunderstorm.

Dear, Jesus, please, please don’t let me wake up.

She wanted to kiss him, to wrap herself around him like a vine and never let go, but… Her darned conscience nosed its way into her fun.

“You said all those things,” she managed in a surprisingly steady voice. “How can you just turn all that off? And what about Fadi, your parents?”

His arms tightened as he nuzzled his lips into her throat. He whispered to her in Turkish, as though he were too overcome to form the right words in English. The exotic syllables fell hotly against her sensitized skin and her breath caught at the tiny electric thrills.

He drew back, the moonlight rendering his golden eyes silver. The torment there matched her own.

“This is a quandary, I know, but you are a rare breath of sweet fresh air, Thalia. My world has become too narrow, too constricted. Always doing what others expect. I need to be with you, if only for a little while.”

No one had ever spoken with such passion to her before, had ever laid themselves so open. Reaching up, she traced a thumb over his firm lips, her gaze never leaving his, emotion making her throat tight.

Author Links

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Perils of Reading Erotic Romance

Today we have a guest blogger. I read an article on Miz Love Loves Books and it just cracked me up. So I contacted Miz Love and asked if her reviewing sidekick, Miz Management, would like to expand a bit on the article and share with everyone at Four Strong Women. Wasn't long before I received a note from Miz Management saying she'd be delighted to tell everyone just what happens when you read really good erotica. So sit back, get ready to laugh. This is a real HOOT! And if you haven't visited the Miz Love Loves Books site, you should. It's a different kind of review site. Check it out!

Take it away, Miz Management...

I’m going to give you an honest-to-God answer to a question some people might well have asked. Why do people read erotica? Well, for me it’s because I’m scared. Yeah, scared of doing anything other than my usual bedroom acrobatics, which doesn’t amount to anything more than vanilla sex with a little smack to my azz every now and then.

Hey, I don’t knock the spanking when I can get it, but it isn’t that often. I mean, you need a partner for it, and smacking yourself just makes you look plain damn weird. Plus, it doesn’t feel the same. So, yeah, you just realised I admitted that I’ve smacked myself. Haven’t you? When you’re…you know…?
Ok, maybe that’s just me then.

So I read erotic romance because that way I get to experience all the naughty stuff without having to do it. I mean, I know I’m not really experiencing it, but in a way I am because I’m living through the characters. Yeah, that’s a bit sad, right? But when you’ve been as dry as the desert down there for as long as you can remember—dry as a desert when a man’s involved anyway—reading all about it kinda helps, you know? I don’t, um, fiddle with myself when reading or anything like that—not that there’s anything wrong with it if that’s your thang—I just squirm a lot, get hot cheeks (on my face, because I don’t smack myself while reading, goddamnit!) and wonder where the hell I was when romps and fun were dished out when I was in line to be born. For the record, I was also absent for the distribution of slender hips, a nice rack, and an oval-shaped face. I turned up and tagged on the end of the queue just in time for collecting a…wait for it…beauty spot. Someone up there was taking the piss.

I’ve never tried BDSM, although if I had the courage and knew the guy wasn’t going to go around telling everyone at our local pub about it, I would. I’ve never been tied up properly—I don’t think a loose necktie around my wrist counts, do you? Not when I could pull my wrists apart without much effort. And I’ve never had a burglar break in through my back door, if you dig what I’m saying. I’ve always said my azz was for the sole purpose of being a hole where my body waste comes out of, ya know?

So I’m probably considered boring, but with erotic romance, I get all the know-how about these things without having to do a damn thing but read. And get this, if I do get a guy interested and I do get the courage to tell him I want to try this or that, he’ll think he’s won the bloody lotto. I’d look cool and knowledgeable, asking for all this stuff to be done to me, not to mention the horniest chick he’s ever met in his ever-lovin’ life, and…then I’d have to pretend I knew wtf I’d been talking about by actually doing it, when deep inside I’d be shitting bricks.

A sad state of affairs, right?

I read a book on the train the other day. Ginger Snap by Shoshanna Evers. The review for it is on And, man, that book shocked me. I thought I’d read about it all. Boy, was I wrong! It involves some sexy shenanigans with a ginger root put in places other than your cookie mixing bowl, know what I mean? And let me tell you, it got me all in a quandary. Now, not only do I want to try the stuff in all the other erotic books I’ve read, now I want to use a finger of ginger on my damn self and see if it burns as much as it says in the book. What the hell’s that all about, huh? Why all of a sudden do I want to try all these things out? Is it because the books give me ideas, let me know what I’m missing? Is that it?

I have no idea, but I think I’m going to make a good effort in finding myself a burglar. Yeah, I want my house broken into and all my belongings stolen. I want to be tied up and smacked on my azz until I can’t stand it anymore. And I want to try nipple clamps.

(Where the hell did that idea come from? Wtf is happening to me?)

I’m drowning in a sea of naughtiness as a reviewer, guys ‘n’ gals. I’m thrust—see, even that word has got into my article here, Jeez!—into book after book where everyone is having sex in ways I never thought possible, while I’m stuck with Quivering Quentin, my trusty plastic, dick-shaped friend, and no hope of ever trying this stuff out. And I’m shocked that I even want to because I thought I was vanilla. Clearly, I’m vanilla, with white sauce, nuts, and a whole heap of cherries that need popping—cherries being the first time I try all the things I wanna try.

I’m just glad the other books I read don’t make me want to do what’s in them too. Like Good Housekeeping—who wants to bloody clean, huh? Gardener’s Green Fingers—hey, don’t knock green fingers; I read an erotic book about an alien once, and green fingers or not, he was HOT! Maybe I ought to ask my next boyfriend to wear green latex gloves and pretend…

Well, maybe one day I’ll come back here and tell you if I ever do any of the things in those books. Maybe…if I find the courage to do any of them. Now, I’m off to the supermarket. I need some ginger…