Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Friday, 26 October 2012
Tuesday, 23 October 2012
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Tuesday, 16 October 2012
All summer, a broken dryer was no big deal. Just hang the clothes on the line outside. Cheaper anyway, right? Of course! Enter fall. And the rain. And the cold. And the miserable. For Two Weeks!!!!!! Socks and underwear and dancing tights are getting to be in short supply, so, I broke down. I hauled two weeks of four people's clothing, towels and bedding to the laundromat in a cab, because we're environmentally friendly and don't own a car.
Let's just say between cab fare and those machines? I could almost have bought a used dryer for the amount of money I spent last night. That's a pocket full of cash and three and a half hours of my life I will never get back.
In fact, the more I think about it, the madder I get. I would be over the moon if I got paid by the hour what I spent by the hour last night. Hell, I'd sure as shootin' be able to afford a new clothes dryer, never mind a used one...
Thank goodness for my son and his irresistible baby blues. The very nice Christian laundromat owner and her friend had ordered pizza, and all he had to do was look longingly at that box once and they were all over offering him slices of pizza pie and cookies for dessert. Which I appreciate, because once she empties those machines out, she can sure afford it better than I can!!!
But....HUZZAH!!!!!!! Observe: the blessed mountain of clean laundry. So at least there's that.
Monday, 15 October 2012
Please help us welcome Nicole Morgan. Oh, do I know this feeling!
~ ~ ~
Okay, not really. I actually love my computer. It was an affordable option at a time when I really needed a laptop. And it's been really very good to me over the past year and a half. It's not the computer itself. It's the work that needs to be done on the computer on a daily basis. I mean how many hours is a woman supposed to be able to sit in front of a computer all day long before it becomes inevitable that she will go completely BSC (aka bat sh*t crazy)?
I'm sure many authors out there will agree that it's hard to manage the multitude of tasks that we have in this day and age of publishing in the 21st Century. Between general promoting, interacting with our fellow authors and hopping all over the net to both spread the word about our books, but also help our colleagues, there are times when I run out of enough hours in the day to even write.
Ahh...but, of course I start off every day with a "master plan" to be super productive the first couple of hours so I can spend the rest of day offline and doing nothing but what I love the most, writing. *sigh* That would be so nice. Still, no matter how many times I start every day with this resolve of turning off the little internet option on my laptop it never happens.
Now, I could ask you all to share with me your tips on how to better manage my time, get more accomplished and be the best that I can be, but I won't. See, this is a mini-rant. I'm a frustrated woman at the end of my rope who just wants one of you to please, for the love of all that is good and righteous in the world to please, please invent a machine that stops all time so I can catch up and *POOF* I'll say, "look at all I got done today!"
*Sigh* If only... If only...
Okay, back to work I go, but I would just like to say that out of all the ways I would like my butt to hurt, having it sore from sitting too much was not what I had in mind. Grrr...
Nicole Morgan aka BSC Author ;)
~ ~ ~
Jace Walker served his country for ten years in the Army. Years of combat and war left him with invisible wounds which bring him to the lowest point in his life. In a moment of crisis, he meets his angel.
After years of being an attentive and loyal wife, Alexis Foster catches her husband's infidelity. Her life changes as she gets divorced and becomes a single parent.
Years pass and Jace finds his angel once again. Only this time she's no longer married. He vows to do anything in his power to sweep her off her feet and make the angel he remembered from all those years before become his. Despite her insecurities, the two find an attraction stronger than either of them anticipated.
Will he entice her into letting down her walls? Or will she entice him into finding a true and unrelenting love?
eBook purchase link:
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Saturday, 13 October 2012
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Okay, this is a unique post. It's also hilarious. Welcome author J.M. Kelley to Four Strong Women!---Faith
I write romance. I’m often asked why I chose that particular genre, and I have several perfectly accurate responses to that question. The truest answer, however, is one I tend to keep to myself, since it’s not very…romantic. The real answer has a lot to do with the simple fact that the everyday man, well…let’s just say guys tend to leave me either scratching my head in confusion or banging it against a wall in frustration.
See, I’m single. A serial monogamist. Well, a reformed serial monogamist, since the only deep, meaningful relationship I’ve had in a while has been with my Facebook account. I don’t get out much, okay? But every once in a while, I have the opportunity to interact with the male species, and it’s always such a shock to the system when I’m reminded that the men just don’t act like romance novel heroes.
|Photo courtesy of Flicker.com/commons.|
In a romance, your hero will know when you have something on your mind. He may not necessarily try to suss out what the problem is right away, but he knows. And he will try to cheer you up or wait for an opportunity to present itself in which he can ride up on his white horse and save the day just in the nick of time. In real life, your beloved will see the evidence of emotional turmoil on your face and say, “What’s with that look? Got gas?” If he’s especially motivated, he may offer you a Tums.
In a romance, your hero will see you gazing longingly at him across the room and realize that you must have feelings for him. And that he has feelings for you. He will walk determinedly across the room and sweep you into a lusty embrace that would put all other lusty embraces to utter shame. In real life, your beloved will catch you looking at him and immediately check his fly. Then he will forget he ever caught you admiring his average, but pleasing, physique. Also, he will remain completely oblivious to your affections, and turn to ogle the cleavage of an approaching skank in spandex.
The romance hero will want to discuss your feelings. The real-lifer will want to discuss the knock-knock joke his best friend from high school just texted him.
The romance hero will hold your hair when you’re sick. The real-lifer will take a picture of you draped over the toilet bowl, and then promptly post it to Facebook.
The romance hero will buy fine wine and chocolate-covered strawberries for an intimate night together. The real-lifer will strongly consider Taco Bell before grabbing a bucket of KFC, and then try to turn on the Yankees game in the middle of dinner.
The romance hero will sit quietly by your side, sharing a silent moment of love, bliss, adoration, and contemplation about your future. The real-lifer will try really hard to hide a nose-pick as he mentally debates whether or not he’s going to buy a Carolina Panthers hat this coming weekend.
The romance hero will buy you a precious diamond. The real-lifer will buy you hedge clippers.
It’s maddening, being a romantic at heart. I want to be wooed! I want to be swept off my feet! I want roses and wine and violins playing softly in the background! So why, if I know first-hand that men conceived in Times New Roman 12-point font can’t ever be eclipsed, do I still think I might want to have a real-lifer of my own?
I’ve got a rationalization for this. I do.
Even the most fascinatingly complex romance hero, in real life, would be boring. Boringly perfect and sexy and talented and charming and…and…
|Photo courtesy of Flicker.com/commons.|
Boring. Yes. Boring. I think most readers and writers of romance know the score. In the end, the fantasy is great. A fun escape from day to day life. A vacation from the mundane. But fantasy doesn’t sustain. It runs out of steam very quickly.
In the end, we just want (or already have) a normal guy who might someday achieve a glorious moment of knight-in-shining-armor. Maybe they’ll even achieve two or three in the course of a lifetime. And most of us are okay with that. Reality can be quite nice, after all.
We’ll take the stupid jokes and the Yankees worship. Because it came from the boy who, despite the nose picks, the obliviousness, and hell, even despite the damn Taco Bell, can win (or already has won) your heart. Even if his fly has a tendency of slipping open at the most inopportune times, if he’s willing to stand by your side through thick and thin, it’s okay.
The Beatles were right. All you need is love. Love and hedge clippers.
For more from J.M. Kelley, please visit her website at www.jmkelleywrites.com.
Tuesday, 9 October 2012
As an author and editor, I always thank the Great Geek Gods for inventing the internet. You can find anything you want. For crying out loud, “googling” is an actual verb now.
Here’s are the search results for some of the random thoughts floating around in my Facebook friends’ heads:
|Liz Crowe's idea of housework|
On the other hand, Shank buttons have that loopy-thing on the back. You know, the kind of button that loves to get snagged on stuff because it sticks out and then you lose the little bast**d and can’t find a replacement that ever matches the original. Yeah, that’s the shank button. Google says the shank button “usually looks more elegant”. Not when you lose the little bast**d, it doesn’t.
|Two-hole button vs. Shank button. |
Stop the ignorance!
“Hey, we just pulled this guy out of the lake. He's not breathing! Wait, I have a great idea...let’s blow smoke up his arse!”
“Dude, that is an awesome idea!”
|"We received a report that you're having trouble breathing, ma'am."|
Best Place to have Sex in an Airport (Mahalia Levey) – You know you want to know the answer to this. Well, according to a reputable travel site, here’s the top ten airports to have sex in. No suggestion for a specific location, so it appears it's up to you to determine the exact spot to hook up, but keep this handy list in your carry-on, because you just never know:
|Now you know. Don't ever say you don't believe|
Monday, 8 October 2012
So, I just got back from a whirl wind trip to see my in laws. This trip was full of family time which was great and it was also full of a lot of meal time. So what, you ask? You've got to eat. Yes, I know...but when we travel to visit my husband's family we eat out a lot or have big family meals and it stresses me to no end because the thought that enters my mind about 93 times a day is "Will my pants still fit when I get home?" or "Will the comfy pants I wore on the plane, the pants I wore specifically because they don't chafe in places, will they still be comfortable and fit on the way home?" I know it's ridiculous. I have self-control and can say no to a third helping of dessert, but it's just that this weekend, every time we went out it seemed like every meal was a big meal. I know...whine, whine...but the problem is that
1.) When I'm really hungry, I can really pack away the chow.
2.) I have the metabolism of a sloth—or some other animal out there that has a really slow metabolism and doesn't burn off their food very quickly.
This is seriously annoying to me. I love to eat, I love food, but if I go a couple days in a row without exercising, even if I'm careful at big meals, the pants feel a bit too snug and discomfort becomes my middle name.
So, when we go away and we're busy and I don't have time to even go for a walk, I wince every time the topic of food is brought up. On Saturday night, while at a church spaghetti dinner, my in-laws asked us if we wanted to go for breakfast the next morning after church. We said sure, but my husband caught my wince and asked me about it later.
"Do you not want to go for breakfast?"
"No, it's fine," I said.
"It's just you made a face..."
"Yes, I know...I didn't mean for you to see the face because it's stupid. I was just thinking about how when we get home my pants won't fit."
It's ridiculous and I realize that. However, most days I battle with my internal fat meter. I know I'm not fat, but I'm not skinny and I try to keep my attitude and body issues in check because I'm trying like hell to NOT pass them onto my daughter. I tell myself every day that "I'm not fat!" And that my ass looks pretty good in the jeans I took longer to decide to buy than I took deciding to buy my house. I actually have great self-esteem days and stretches of time where I truly believe that I'm lovely the way I am.
And then I watch Bridget Jones's Diary.
Sigh...I love this movie. The characters are wonderful and Colin Firth makes me melt. As a huge Pride and Prejudice I love that he is the Darcy character again. Bridget herself is fun, has great lines and is someone I'd love to go drinking with EXCEPT, according to the movie, and I suppose according to the person who wrote the book the movie is based on, Bridget is fat! It's ridiculous and even though I really enjoy the movie, every time I watch it I end up hating my body for a while because I'm essentially the same height, the same weight and the same body shape as Bridget. The scene that makes me feel freakishly huge the most is one near the end where she's telling Mark she likes him while she is wearing a black dress. I have this dress; I wore this dress to my brother -in-law's wedding and when I put it on and looked in the mirror I thought "I look like Bridget Jones." And then, logically of course, I went plummeting into a shame spiral and assumed that to the world, I looked fat.
I am fully aware that this is all insane and over the years I've gotten better at beating my negative and often emotionally vicious internal dialogue into submission. In the world of la, la land, Bridget Jones may be considered heavy by some ridiculous standard of beauty that can only be met by people who deny themselves one of the basic necessities of life, food, but in the real world, there is nothing wrong with her size.
I don't like feeling down about myself and I get tired of my negative side. We live in a world that is so focused on the outside that worrying about it often makes my insides hurt. This trip that we went on this past weekend really put a lot of things in perspective and I know that I need to focus my energy on more important things and not my pant size. Now that we're home from our trip, and my pants are a wee on the snug side, I honestly don't care. I'm going to get back to my normal routine, think about the things in my life that are really important and be able to tell my daughter with honestly that as long as you are healthy, what you look like doesn't matter.
And of course, not watch Bridget Jones's Diary.
I hope you all have a lovely, positive day and thank-you to Four Strong Women for letting me vent on their fantastic blog.
Ivy's Blog: Ivy B Misbehavin'
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The Fifth Story By Ivy Bateman Book Trailer
The Fifth Story is available at Breathless Press
Blurb for The Fifth Story
Every day we encounter doors. Some of these doors are open to us and some of them are closed, but when we pass through any door, a different truth or mystery lies beyond the threshold.
The night Bryn is pulled into a world of her own stories by a shadowy being, her reality is changed forever. Souls and danger, hauntingly beautiful witches, sexy and dangerous vampires, a soldier with a dying wish; she knows that each door leads to a story and to outcomes she can't control, but in order to return home, Bryn must complete a set of tasks for the enigmatic and strangely sensual Darkness.
With four stories to enter, four items to retrieve, Bryn takes part in plot points so out of character that she almost loses herself in the tales she's written. More than once she questions her sanity and curses herself for creating such perilous realities, but she always remains focused on her goal; the creation of the fifth story.
Excerpt from The Fifth Story By Ivy Bateman
She walked quickly around the counter and headed to where the sign indicated where the washrooms were, but she couldn't find the women's room. Then she almost slapped herself with ridiculousness. Who cared if she went into the men's room? She marched over the door and pushed on it. Immediately she fell back. The door was stuck. She pushed on it harder, but could only open it about a foot. Something, or someone, was lying in front of the door. Bryn squeezed her head through the narrow space and looked down at the floor. Coran was lying passed out on the cold tile.
Bryn thought maybe something strange had happened in her story, and Coran was already dead. How lucky would that be? However, she realized that the story hadn't changed that drastically when Coran groaned, revealing that he was very much alive. He rolled over, away from the door.
With his weight suddenly off the door, and Bryn's weight still being pushed against it, the door went flying open. Bryn stumbled and fell into the washroom. None too gracefully, she hit the floor with a satisfying smack, and knocked her head against the tile floor with a hard clunk.
"Ow," she said, as she rolled on her back and pressed her hands against a rapidly rising goose egg on the right side of her head. "Ah" she yelped as the door closed on her foot.
"Are you okay?" asked a voice with a gentle Scottish brogue.
Bryn turned her head and opened her eyes. Coran, who looked like he'd been through a rough time, was leaning over her. His blond hair was a mess and it fell into his gray eyes. He had soot on his face and he smelled, not unpleasantly, of smoke. He gave her a little smile. "My dear, are you all right?" he asked her again.
She smiled in return. She was touched by his concern. The ash on his face and the apparent absence of anyone else in the castle told her she had come into the story not long after the first time she'd entered with Darkness. Coran had every right to ignore her and he really had no time to get involved with a stranger and yet, he didn't seem to be in any rush at all. Instead, he helped Bryn sit up.
As soon as his hands touched her skin, Bryn gasped and felt her heart beat quicken. Coran looked embarrassed and quickly, on unsteady legs, he stood up and got a paper towel. He wet it with warm water and kneeled down a couple feet away from Bryn. He handed her the paper towel. "Your face, it's quite dirty."
"Oh, thanks." Bryn said, trying to avoid looking at him too much. Her heart was pounding in her chest. Why had she written Coran to have this effect on women?
"It looks like I'm not the only one that's recently been in a bit of a scrap," he said with a chuckle. Bryn couldn't help beaming at him with amazement. He was just as kind as she'd written him to be. However, if she was correct, this man should be putting all chivalry aside and be searching the castle for Melusine. He should be calling upon the ancient gods to help him in battle with the sea witch, but instead, here he was, watching Bryn wash her face and being concerned about her well-being.
"Is your head very sore? Can you stand?" he asked as he gently touched the bump on her head, but quickly pulled hand back when Bryn sucked in her breath at the feel of his hand on her hair.
"Yes, I mean—no, it's fine, and yes, I can stand," she stammered as she pushed herself off the floor. She again tried to avoid eye contact with him, but it wasn't helping. Coran was having a profound effect on her senses—something which she should have remembered could happen, but had completely forgotten about. In her story, Coran had a powerful effect on women and it was something he could do nothing about. Whether it was his aura or his pheromones, no one could tell, but women, upon meeting Coran, not only couldn't control themselves around him but didn't want to. Their thoughts would travel immediately down a sexual path as soon as they stood close to him and they would offer themselves to his every whim. Even the most reserved women would find their bodies pulsing immediately with desire for the tall blond stranger. Only those who knew how to, could control their passions for Coran. Katie, his assistant, was usually one of them, but sometimes, her guard would slip and she would be overcome with sexual longing for her handsome boss.
Bryn was finding her own guard was slipping rapidly and started thinking about very naughty things and wishing that she had time to explore her hidden bad girl side. Was this happening because she'd written him this way or was it because he looked so much like Tyler?
Thursday, 4 October 2012
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Help us welcome Livia Ellis, author of Memoirs of a Gigolo.
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I received an email from someone who downloaded Memoirs of a Gigolo during the promotional give away on Amazon. I think is best addressed right here. Three of my choice favorite quotes, not taken out of context, and preserving all anonymity: "If you want to write porn then write porn - don't try to pretend anyone would read the story and not just skip to the good parts... There's a big difference between a romance novel and one that people want just for the dirty bits... Real writers would never write porn..." For the last one, does anyone have Anne Rice's number for me?
Erotica is to ballet what Porn is to pole-dancing. Erotica is the sultry dark eyed international man of mystery (maybe it is a cliche, but there's a reason he's a popular guy) who gives a smart savvy woman exactly what she wants and in abundance. Porn is gopher-like Ron Jeremy huffing and puffing his way to an aneurysm on the back of some probably not so bright girl young enough to be his granddaughter. Eeeewwwww. Erotica is sexy. Porn is just sex.
I've read my fair share of erotica by choice and as a means to help a couple of my writer friends who write erotica. Well written erotica, like any well written work, has a story that people want to read. Yes, there is sex and hopefully in abundance, but it's part of the story. It's woven into a tapestry that conveys a whole experience. Porn is just screwing. Granted I've seen some porn where, bless him, the director has gone back to his film school roots and is trying to create something more meaningful than just people boning. But it's still porn. The "story" is secondary to the humping and moaning. Actually without the humping and the moaning there would be no story. Remove the sexual element from a work of erotica and you still have a well crafted story.
Crafting an erotic story, is as time consuming and detail driven a task as writing any other work. The end product has more to do with the ability of the writer rather than the subject. It's like saying the painting was lousy not because the painter doesn't know how to blend color or interpret a shadow on the canvas, but that the model was chubby or the fruit was rotten. To imply or even out right state that the writer who chooses to focus her time and effort in one genre rather than another is somehow less able than other writers is insulting.
I imagine I can sum it up as would any good pole dancer who spent years training as a classical ballerina: it's not as easy as it looks. You think writing good quality erotica is all about the in-out? The gauntlet has been thrown down. Show me what you got!
Oliver Adair enjoys a life of women (sometimes men), travel, and sex. Unfortunately these things cost money - something he doesn't have a lot of. When he's offered an opportunity to get paid for doing what he loves, he happily signs on to become a male escort. But first, he has to pass the interview process. The madam of the agency has one of her girls put him to the test. Oliver quickly discovers that in this world, not only is being a mans man a la James Bond still desirable, but expected. By embracing his masculine sexuality, he makes a name for himself in the world of escorts.
Bio: Livia is an American writer living in Dublin desperately trying to figure out the ever changing world of publishing and writing. Her current release, Memoirs of a Gigolo, is available on Amazon. For more about Livia and her books, please visit her website.
Monday, 1 October 2012
This past weekend, Charlie and I actually made it to a movie theater and saw Trouble with the Curve. Other than going to see children's films with Lily, it has been a long time since we've seen a movie in the theater. Not that we haven't tried. It just seems that every time we have enough time to do this, there is nothing I want to see. So, when Lily stayed the night over at a friend's house Saturday night, I jumped at the chance to go.
How was it? The movie was really good. It's not a blockbuster. I'd say it's a movie with an older style of writing, in that it's not all about action, the camera shots don't cut back and forth every 45 seconds, and the story (and characters) develop. Clint Eastwood played Gus Loebel, a crotchety, old baseball scout. (He's very good at crotchety. LOL) Amy Adams played his daughter Mickey and was very good. She has beautiful hair. Yes, I know I shouldn't have been thinking about that, but her hair truly was gorgeous. Every time she flounced off, which she did a lot, I noticed it and envied her hair. LOL I have never seen her in a movie. (I know, I know. I told you it's been a long time since I've seen a movie.) Her love interest, Johnny "The Flame" Flannagan, is the Justin Timberlake.
All of them do an excellent job in their roles. Clint's character evoked some memories of my own father. Not that my dad was ever as difficult to communicate with as Gus was, nor did my father have difficulties telling me he loved me. Perhaps it was just that Clint and my dad were from the same era and my dad enjoyed Clint.
It's a somewhat predictable storyline, but I didn't mind. There was a happy ending, some emotional ups and downs, and a... well, I won't ruin it for you.
If you like happy endings with a strong story and some emotional ups and downs, you'll enjoy this movie.
Despite the expense of the tickets, the popcorn and medium soda, the overloud sound system, and over half of the seats had broken armrests, it was lovely to just go out and enjoy my hubby sans child.
The entire evening was lovely, including the movie! I say go see it.