Saturday, December 29, 2012

#MovieReview - Twilight

Opening weekend, Twilight's box office numbers were somewhere in the neighborhood of $141 mil.  OMG!  I can't believe it.  I still can't believe that I watched all five movies.  Yep, all five.

When the mad blur began, I read Meyer's four books before the first movie because I wanted to know what the hype was all about.

I enjoyed book one and book four, tremendously.  When I watched the first couple of movies, I believe I was just as wrapped up in them as every teenager out there.  I really analyzed this phenomenon.  Why was I as anxious to watch the first movie?

I guess no matter what age you are, maybe, we all have a secret hope that we find that one breath-stealing unbreakable love.

By the time we reached book two, I felt like it was a little like...hmmm, am I the only one who felt like it was a long suicide note.  Then the whole imprinting thing turned me off.  (I'm an aunt and for some reason I couldn't let it go.  I kept wanting Meyer to change that part of the story.)

So, here we are now with the final installment.  I read the books so long ago that  I can't match it up to the book, exactly.  But, I enjoyed the movie.  Acting aside.  It was fun and fast-moving.  The books didn't necessarily move at the same pace.

Kellan!  BEAUTIFUL!  Did you guys see his shoulders and arms.  Come on.  No fair.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Does it matter who's right?

I've tried to distance myself from every news store regarding the loss of the beautiful young children of Newtown.  Why?  Because I have young nephews and a niece, it broke my heart to hear of the loss.  I don't have children, and I can't remotely begin to imagine how the children's parents feel or what they're going through at this time in their lives, so close to the holidays.  A time when children are filled with so much joy and happiness that it hurts my heart to imagine the emptiness in those homes or the sadness that forever more will drench this holiday season for the affected families.

I read First Lady Michelle Obama's open letter to Newtown.  I've watched CNN, Fox News and local news reports.  And I guess, I'm tired of the debates.

Why does it seem we (as a country) still can't find common ground?  So many lives were lost.  It's not a party debate.  It should be a "humanity" debate.

How do we not allow the loss of these lives, and those lost every day in similar violent situations, not be in vain?  How do we change it?  Does it begin with us as individuals, or do we continue to sit back and listen to ridiculous debates that eventually resolve nothing?

Below is one of my favorite holiday songs, remade by CeeLo Green.  My heart and prayers are with Newtown.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

#BookReview - Angels' Blood by @NaliniSingh

I fell in love with Nalini Singh's writing when I read her Psy-Changeling series.  But, I hadn't read her Archangel series.

I sat in on Nalini's discussion at RT 2012, and you guys know I became a true fan at that moment.  She was so incredibly warm and open.  The fans and authors in attendance all spoke of her angel series, and I felt like I couldn't be a part of the discussion.  So, I wanted to be sure to read as much as possible before RT 2013.

I stood in line to purchase a copy of Angels' Blood directly from Nalini, and, of course, I had to have it autographed!

I read Angels' Blood in two days.  Until I read J.R. Ward, I was never really a fan of series.  Then, all of a sudden, I thought it was the best thing in the world next to Netflix.Why?  Because when I finish one, I can push a magic button on my Kindle and boom there's another lovely book.

Nalini twisted the mythos of angels and vampires and dropped it on its head.  Angels become god-like creatures that put more fear than hope into those that love them.  The relationship between angels and vampires was for me the "touch" of Nalini that was all her own.

There have been so many treatments of vampires and angels that you become a little bored with it all.  I'm glad that I've found this series because it made it fresh for me.

My love affair with Jeaniene Frost's Cat and bones isn't over.  But, I am definitely enjoying the ride with Elena and Raphael.

Raphael the immortal that's lived so long, his heart is silent.  Elena, human--hunter-born, thrown away by her father left to to her own devices.  How do you love someone that you fear?  Sometimes, that can go both ways :-)

Singh and Austin 300x225

Nalini and me @ RT 2012!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Guest blogging @FTHRW Voices from the Heart blog

Instead of just once a month, I'm now blogging twice a month on the 12th and the 27th over at Voices from the Heart!  A blog from From the Heart Romance Writers!

Who knows what I'll talk about each month :-)  But, whatever it is...why don't you join me, and stay for awhile.

And while you're there, take a look at some of the great posts from other members of FTHRW.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rules for writing fiction

As written for The Guardian by Rose Tremain, author.

1 Forget the boring old dictum "write about what you know". Instead, seek out an unknown yet knowable area of experience that's going to enhance your understanding of the world and write about that.

2 Nevertheless, remember that in the particularity of your own life lies the seedcorn that will feed your imaginative work. So don't throw it all away on autobiography. (There are quite enough writers' memoirs out there already.)

3 Never be satisfied with a first draft. In fact, never be satisfied with your own stuff at all, until you're certain it's as good as your finite powers can ­enable it to be.

4 Listen to the criticisms and preferences of your trusted "first readers".

5 When an idea comes, spend silent time with it. Remember Keats's idea of Negative Capability and Kipling's advice to "drift, wait and obey". Along with your gathering of hard data, allow yourself also to dream your idea into being.

6 In the planning stage of a book, don't plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it.

7 Respect the way characters may change once they've got 50 pages of life in them. Revisit your plan at this stage and see whether certain things have to be altered to take account of these changes.

8 If you're writing historical fiction, don't have well-known real characters as your main protagonists. This will only create biographical unease in the readers and send them back to the history books. If you must write about real people, then do something post-modern and playful with them.

9 Learn from cinema. Be economic with descriptions. Sort out the telling detail from the lifeless one. Write dialogue that people would actually speak.

10 Never begin the book when you feel you want to begin it, but hold off a while longer.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

#MovieReview - Cloud Atlas

So, depending on your religious beliefs, you may or may not like Cloud Atlas.

I haven't read the book, but couldn't wait to see this movie.  I wanted to see how someone would treat the idea of multiple lives and how they intersect over time be good or bad.

Also, I love the idea of how the same people continue to crossover each other's lives again and again.

The movie begins so slowly that it was a bit painful.  But, we understand that they needed time to set up each character's timeline.  They needed to be able to make sure the movie watcher was well-rooted to each individual character before they started twisting them all into one.

I enjoyed the movie, but as I said, it begins slow.  Without giving away too much, the futuristic characters sounded a bit live historic slaves.   I found that odd for so many different reasons.  It will take a minute before you get comfortable with their language.  But, its easy enough to catch on after you hear it a few times.

The amount of roles each actor plays is absolutely amazing.  You miss many of them.  At least, I did.  Women play men, men play women.

But, connecting the dots is half of the fun of watching the movie.  You want to see how much of a role they play in each other's lives.  And sometimes, it's just a brief moment that's never even noticed.

I enjoyed the movie, and I think if you have an open mind to reincarnation, you will, too.  But, don't leave at the very end.  Just in case you missed something, you will get to have a few questions answered.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Guest blogging @FTHRW Voices from the Heart blog

Instead of just once a month, I'm now blogging twice a month on the 12th and the 27th over at Voices from the Heart!  A blog from From the Heart Romance Writers!

Who knows what I'll talk about each month :-)  But, whatever it is...why don't you join me, and stay for awhile.

And while you're there, take a look at some of the great posts from other members of FTHRW.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

#BookReview - Anne Rice's The Wolf Gift

Finally, I've finished reading The Wolf Gift! It took longer than I'd planned, not because of the quality of the book.  But, because I dreaded finishing the book.  For many reasons, would the characters I'd grown to love die, where were the other werewolves, was there a bigger plan?

Anne slowly folded back the layers of the story.  She did it in such a way that my emotional connection with Reuben built to a level of true love for him and his well-being.

I still couldn't help writing the story in my mind.  I wanted more for Reuben's family.  When I say more, I mean I wanted them to be included more in the story of Reuben's life as a man wolf.  I kept imagining how his brother, mother, and father could contribute.

When I think about the men of the pack, I think of how great the members of Reuben's family would fit right in with them.  Including Reuben's girlfriend.

So,what does this mean for the book overall?

For me, it means that I wanted more at the end.  Maybe, Anne Rice's plan is to write a sequel.  Or, this will become a series.  And I know exactly how it should go :-)

But, I'll leave it to Anne.

For now, know that this book takes its time introducing you to Reuben.  But, you become so connected to Reuben that you fear for his safety and hope for his love.  You want his parents to be able to become part of his inner sanctum.  You cry for his brother's pain.

When the members of the pack finally make themselves known, you feel their power and the fear they place in those around them without even trying.  And you want to know more.  You want to know why they are feared so.

The ending has a little too much talk and not enough action because Anne preferred to leave all explanations until the last chapters of the book.  She keeps the readers as confused and two steps behind as she does Reuben.

I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who wants a good read with a well-developed character and story.  It's not a pace quickening thriller.  But, a comfortable read.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

#GuestAuthor - K.M. Jackson

This week at Romancing the Pen, my guest is K.M. Jackson.  Her debut novel is Through the Lens!

Kwana discusses something that's really close to my own heart.  Strong heroines!

Kwana will also giveaway a free digital copy of Through the Lens to one lucky person!  So, don't just lurk...tell Kwana what you think.  Leave a comment, and you might be the lucky winner.

Blurb: Mika Walters is a normal-sized woman working in the not-so-normal world of New York fashion. As longtime assistant to uber-sexy photographer Alejandro Vega, she's tired of being the girl in the background. Just once she wants Alejandro to look at her with the same smoldering look he gives to his willowy models and now she has her chance. Stranded. After a travel mishap where the rest of the crew and the models can't make the remote island location shoot for another three days, Mika is taking her moment to catch Alejandro's eye and put herself in front of his camera and if all goes to plan, his bed . . . at least until the real world catches up with them.

Alejandro doesn't know what's gotten into Mika. Maybe it's the sand, maybe it's the sun, but he doesn't really care. All he knows is that he's finally opened his eyes and is seeing her clearly for the first time as the smart, gorgeous, and incredibly irresistible woman she is. But why can't she realize that what he's feeling for her is not one of his usual one, well, three night stands. This is real. Real love, real passion. What's it going to take for him to prove to Mika that she's the woman he wants? Now and forever.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rules for writing fiction

As written for The Guardian by Colm Tóibín, novelist and short story writer.

1 Finish everything you start.

2 Get on with it.

3 Stay in your mental pyjamas all day.

4 Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

5 No alcohol, sex or drugs while you are working.

6 Work in the morning, a short break for lunch, work in the afternoon and then watch the six o'clock news and then go back to work until bed-time. Before bed, listen to Schubert, preferably some songs.

7 If you have to read, to cheer yourself up read biographies of writers who went insane.

8 On Saturdays, you can watch an old Bergman film, preferably Persona or Autumn Sonata.

9 No going to London.

10 No going anywhere else either.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Body Image - What do we owe our children?

This post purposely has no pictures.  Why?  Because recently, I saw an interview with a young woman who'd posted an image of herself on her blog with a caption "This is my body, deal with it!"

When I think about my childhood, and how difficult I thought it was...I can't believe how easy it was compared to today.

As a child, I was incredibly thin, and I wore glasses.  A definite set-up to be teased and taunted by anyone who knew the word nerd, geek, or whatever.

But, I don't remember people telling me I should hate myself, or hurt myself, or kill myself because I was thin.  Why do kids today think it's okay to be so cruel to each other?  Who are they listening to?  Who is teaching them to be so mean?

Then, I remember...

They're learning from us.

We--adults--are the ones rating women and men on clothes, physiques, hair, anything we can.  And we wonder why teenage girls take to the internet to ask people if they're pretty or to state that they don't need anyone to reaffirm that they are pretty.  Two sides of the same thing isn't it?

I look at my little niece who is as thin as I was when I was her age with the same large eyes and full lips.  Will she have to face the same things I did or worse?

To every girl or boy that's ever had a mean or nasty word said to them or about them, I hope that you all know that yesterday was then, today is today, and that tomorrow has too many possibilities for you to ever think nothing will or can change.

Stop Bullying!

As an author, this affects me because I've been thinking about the characters in my books.  My heroes and heroines.  Are they representative enough of everyone.  I've written characters that are tall, short, larger in statue, athletic, and of various races.

But, is it enough?  What do we owe our children?

Friday, October 26, 2012

#Bookfair in Memphis, TN - Bookstock

I had the best time at Bookstock held at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library!  Forty authors from the beautiful south lectured, networked, and sold their books.  Authors ranged from Christian fiction writers to Romance writers to "How-to" writers.  Great mixture of nationally, digital first print, and indie authors.

I made lots of new friends and look forward to what's next!

Me and Roger C. Bethel

Check out my shirt :-)!

If you missed this one, don't miss it next year.  Or, check out the Southern Festival of Books.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I love #BradPitt I don't care what anybody says...

CHANEL N°5.  I've never bought a bottle a day in my life.  But, yes, because of Brad Pitt, I will give it a look on my next trip to the perfume counter.

I don't understand why people are bashing the commercial. 

Is it any different from Charlize Theron's J'adore DIOR ads?

 Or, Natalie Portman's Miss Dior Le Parfum


 What is this really?  Brad is gorgeous.  I'm not personally upset about the fantasy that if my man wore the same cologne as him that he might be a little more just like Brad: sexy, gorgeous, financially set for freaking life!

Come on.  Men thumb through the pages of Playboy drooling over women who's turn-offs are what--people who don't read Playboy :-)
Is this just a matter of people not loving the stylistic choice of the director of this spot? Or, are people hating on Brad because he's beautiful?

Is there only room for humorous male cologne commercials?


 Humor or sexy?  Or both?  What do you think?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

#BookReview - Once Burned by Desiree Holt

I picked up Once Burned while attending RT2012.  I picked up so many books at that conference, and I've still got a long way to go before I finish the pile of books I brought home.

I've probably said it before, but I don't normally read Erotica.  So, when something catches my eye, there's normally a reason.  My reason - curiosity ;-)

Once Burned is an Erotic Romance Suspense.  It layered in just enough suspense to keep me turning the page.  Once Burned is not a thriller, but is truly a cozy little "whodunit," think updated "Murder She Wrote."  I found myself despising the people of the small town of Stoneham just as much as Cassie Fitzgerald.  And, honestly, couldn't wait for the next scene between her and Griffin Hunter :-)

It's one of those intriguing stories of when you leave home can you really return.  And do you really want to?

If I were Cassie, I don't think I'd want to.

Although this book has murder and break-ins, I never get the sense Cassie Fitzgerald is ever in danger.  I feel that she is instead in the middle of a conspiracy that would rather her gone than dead.

The characters were developed well, and the story moved at an even enough pace appropriately spaced with sex and story.  The sex moved the story forward and wasn't just thrown in to titillate, but it did!

I had the discussion with a friend of mine of what is Erotica.  Before I read the book, I'd imagined the sex would be more hard-core.  I was surprised by this book, and enjoyed it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What makes you cry?

My girlfriends all tell me how they were pure emotion during their pregnancies, but I've never been pregnant, and I'm not now.  So, can anyone tell me why I cry all the time.

I was watching a freaking Google+ commercial with a father and daughter, and literally teared up at the end. Like what was that?

And come on, who doesn't cry at all of the holiday commercials.  Do you remember the one when the soldier returns home from duty, and his younger sister knows he's home first? It's a coffee commercial that makes me cry every single time.

Whether it's my little nephew smiling at me or an episode of "Sons of Anarchy" I seem to cry at the drop of a dime.

Help me :-) I swear if you guys respond to this, I'll probably cry!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Don't be afraid... follow your dreams.

I don't know how many times I've talked with friends and family about taking a chance and stepping out on a limb.  When we'e young, we don't really care what anyone says.  We think we can do anything we set our minds to.  But, somewhere along the way, we lose that bravado.


I am one of those people who definitely believes that dreams aren't just for twenty year olds.

My guest at Romancing the Pen this week, Lizzie T. Leaf, shares with us her dream.  And how she inspired someone close to her.

Join us and tell us about your dreams.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Guest blogging @FTHRW Voices from the Heart blog

Instead of just once a month, I'm now blogging twice a month on the 12th and the 27th over at Voices from the Heart!  A blog from From the Heart Romance Writers!

Who knows what I'll talk about each month :-)  But, whatever it is...why don't you join me, and stay for awhile.

And while you're there, take a look at some of the great posts from other members of FTHRW.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I'm branching out a little.  For anyone that's read any of my pieces, you know my wheelhouse would be classified as Women's Fiction or Contemporary Romance.  Well, I've been teasing myself with a few pieces that will take me deep into other genres.

One of the pieces I've been researching will cross two: historical and paranormal.  Because they both will be new to me, I've been deep in research trying to lay the foundation for my story.  As a result, recently, I watched a PBS special titled "Death and the Civil War," which was inspired by Harvard President Drew Faust's book The Republic of Suffering.

Let me first say that while in high school and college, history class meant nap-time to me.  So, why would I decide to write this new piece.  I don't know.  It's been something that I've wanted to do for awhile, but I wanted to wait until I'd tackled a few other pieces, first.  Now, I feel like I might be ready, but I'm still terrified that I won't get the story quite right.

The only way to make myself feel a little more secure is by researching what I can about each piece of my idea.  After I have enough detail, then I'll tackle telling my story.

This documentary was so powerfully sad that it again made me wonder if my treatment of my story idea will work.  I don't know, but I can't quite let it go.

death and the civil warIf you haven't watched this documentary, I would definitely suggest it.  But, I would definitely warn that if you come from a military background, or the southern part of the U.S. touches your world in any way prepare to cry and feel like you owe somebody something.  I wasn't prepared for the overwhelming feeling of love I had for the soldiers that served. And I was thankful that the military members of my family weren't subjected to the conditions that the truly brave men of the civil war endured.

Amazingly effective and entertaining documentary!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

@BrienMichaels joins me this week

I am so proud to have my friend Brien join me this week.  I remember when....oh wait, I'm not that old, yet :-)

Brien self-published his first book through Amazon at the ripe old age of 14!  Yep.  This kid is awesome.  Now, he's celebrating his first release with Loose Id, and he's visiting with me to chat about it.

I absolutely love his writing and I think you'll probably find a little something in his writing that speaks to you, too.

Visit me this week on Romancing the Pen with my guest Brien Michaels.

And Brien is also giving away a $25 Amazon GC during his tour.  But, you have to follow the tour to find out more details!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rules for writing fiction

As written for The Guardian by Zadie Smith, novelist.

1 When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.

2 When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.

3 Don't romanticise your "vocation". You can either write good sentences or you can't. There is no "writer's lifestyle". All that matters is what you leave on the page.

4 Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can't do aren't worth doing. Don't mask self-doubt with contempt.

5 Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.

6 Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won't make your writing any better than it is.

7 Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.

8 Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.

9 Don't confuse honours with achievement.

10 Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.

#Bookstock -- Memphis Area Authors' Fair

If you haven't heard about it.  Don't worry.  I'll tell you what you need to know.

Bookstock will have over 40 Memphis area authors showcasing their books.  Adult, children and team programs activities.  The keynote speaker, Kristen Iversen will speak on "A Passion for Story From Book Idea to Finished Manuscript."

There will be live music, cooking demos, and author talks.  There will also be an author scavenger hunt for prizes.

And all of this is free!  FREE!

Checkout this website for more details.

Friday, October 5, 2012

#NewBookRelease - Love All Over Me by Angela Kay Austin

I've been hinting to this one for awhile.  And it's finally here!  Love All Over Me was inspired by one of my favorite singers--Monica.  If you haven't heard her music, you have to go and purchase any album you find.  She's a singer who actually sings.  She's lucky we're not friends because I swear, I'd find reason to coax her into singing for any reason.  Ex:  "Monica, I feel man just dumped me."  Or, "Monica, I broke  a nail."  Whatever would work :-) Monica's response would be instant beautiful music to uplift me.  Right?  Of course!

The song that inspired this short is titled "Love All Over Me."

As I watched the video, I thought what if that first love was lost, but in a more permanent way.  But, what if the love left behind couldn't let go, and what if the lost love couldn't let go either.  What would that mean for both of them?

Here's the blurb for my new release:

Tamara Blanden blames herself for the loss of her one true love.  Hidden away from life, she lives only to see him again.

Jerome Blanden couldn't let go of his love, even in death.  Because of him, his selfishness, she'd loss so much time.  Time he couldn't give back.  But, he could change everything.

I hope you'll purchase your copy today!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

#MovieReview - Sparkle

For anyone who hasn't seen the original Sparkle, I don't want to spoil anything for them.  But...

Plot: Single mother who's been chewed up and spit out by the music business hides herself away from life behind religion and raising her children.  The youngest of her daughters loves to write and sing, but fights against her desire because of her mother.  But, a series of twists and turns leads the trio of sisters to the stage, and right into the dangers their mother warned.

The original movie had actors like Philip Michael Thomas and Irene Cara, and in my opinion it was a true 70's movie deep with drugs, death, and family angst.

The remake had Derek Luke, Whitney Houston, Mike Epps, and Jordin Sparks.  I can't say I thought the acting was anything great, but I did like a few of the loose ends that they cleaned up from the original.  I loved the sass of Tika Sumpter.  The emptiness of Carmen Ejogo was believable.  But, I thought some actors' talents were a little wasted, namely Derek Luke.  I've seen him much stronger in other pieces.

We've discussed Magic Mike before, at time while watching this movie, it felt like the female version.  Some of the shots nearly ran right up the female actresses' dresses while on stage, especially Sister's.  Some of the shots, I don't think were flattering.  But, some did add layers of understanding to the relationship between Sister and Mike Epps' character, Satin.

I think what I liked about this version vs. the original is that it showed the strength of family.  I loved the sisters standing together to fight.  I loved the sisters not giving up on each other.  I loved that the mother in the end took a look at herself and went...this is my daughter's life.

Jordin Sparks has a beautiful voice, but I think some scenes of her singing didn't have felt overacted and too exaggerated.  But, Carmen Ejogo matched her singing with her character's pain.  And the sassy sister played by Tika Sumpter held her own.

In the original movie, again typical 70's style, everybody good doesn't win at the end.  In this version, you're satisfied with where the characters are when the credits roll.

But, I wonder if the actors themselves were...I don't remember seeing anyone aside from Jordin Sparks promote the movie, which may speak a lot to the quality of the movie itself.  Even if you look at the covers posted as part of this blog.  The emphasis of the movie was Jordin Sparks, and I don't think she really had the acting talent to carry it.  But, I did like the script.  Overall, I would think this was a good Sunday afternoon movie to watch with your mother an your sister, if you have one.

Catch it in the matinee :-)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What exactly is a love story? How is #love defined?

A love story.  What does that mean?  Love? Romance?  What are they really?  Subjective at best.

My guest, Ken LaSalle, has visited me before, but this time, he's discussing what love and romance mean to him.  And why he chose to mix them together with a little environmental appreciation.

What can be said about a book that has a taxi driving polar bear ;-)

Drop by and join my guest Ken LaSalle at Romancing the Pen!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Who do you consider to be a classic author?

I'm not referring to the "classics."  Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, or Milton.  I'm talking about modern classic authors.  Authors that have something to teach all of us aspiring authors.

I'm reading Anne Rice's The Wolf Gift, and honestly, it's taking longer than I thought it would take to read.  Not because there's anything wrong with the book, but because it's not written to be read quickly.  Some may say this is a plot-driven story because there is a bit of an unknown element to the book, but I think it's more character-driven.  There is a ton of character development and it's driving the pace of this story.  We don't know anything the main character doesn't know.  We discover as he does.  I find myself pushing the character wanting him to explore another room, walk through the forest, look at one more artifact.  I want to know more.  I want him to be okay.  To be safe.

I feel so connected to this character that it's making me anxious.  I worry that with the flip of one more page something I don't like will happen to him.

I find myself reading this story as much for pleasure as I am for studying how she's tied me to this character so much that I think as he does about the people in his life.  And that I fear what will become of him and his power.

Have you read anything lately that's taken it's time to pull you in and clamped on tight?

(Of course I'll let you know how this one goes.)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

#BookReview - Lover Unleashed

You guys know I love all things J.R. Ward, but it took me some time to decide to read this one...I don't know why.  I guess I really didn't have much interest.  I think mainly because the heroine--Payne, hadn't really captured my interest in the other books that lead up to her own story.  J.R. Ward does such a great job of building anticipation for the next book.  I'm about to explode waiting on Lover At Last!  But, this one has sat on my Kindle for awhile.

Our heroine, Payne, is injured.  That injury requires the medical expertise of Dr. Manuel Manello. The introduction of a human into the clandestine world of the Black Dagger Brother possesses problems for many reasons.  But, the constant use of this doctor's abilities is needed.  However, the BDB's use of Dr. Manello begins to cause problems for him in the human world.

Also, we see the introduction of the Band of Bastards lead by Xcor, and learn why they are who they are separate, but equal in skill and ability.  The question that must be answered is: who is Xcor to Payne and Vishous?

The more questions I post here, the more I will raise or answer questions for those who've not read these books, and I'd hate to spoil it for you.

But, I will say that J.R. Ward continues to intrigue me with her ability to create couples that compliment each other seamlessly, which is why my heart quietly broke in this one for Vishous and his mate Jane.  I guess we'll all see what happens.

This books only continued to fuel my excitement for Blay and Quinn!  Stop teasing me!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fear...what is it good for?

Fear.  I am a huge fan of psychological thrillers.  I love books and movies that pull me in and have me screaming at the pages or the screen like what...why...come on :-)

And as a writer, I think I incorporate a little bit of fear...not blood and gore, heads rolling around on the ground gore, but fear into every story.  And when my guest this week at Romancing the Pen sent me her post on fear--phobias, I thought, wait...I use fear, right.  I ran through the synopses and character profiles of my books, but nope...not one phobia anywhere.  Big opportunity for me in the future to incorporate some of the things my characters fear into the stories I'm working on.

Thanks Elise for an awesome idea!

Join me and my guest Elise VanCise at Romancing the Pen.

Chatting with Kissa Starling

Today, I'm a guest over at Kissa Starling's blog.  I've been in a dark corner writing :-) to be more specific, an outdoor patio surrounded by beautiful trees while sipping some great wines.  But, hey it's all the same, right?

So, now, I'm taking a little break to jump back in and say hi to a few friends.  Kissa has once again allowed me to pop by her blog to chat with her and her readers, and I hope that you'll join me.

Also, don't forget to drop by Romancing the Pen to visit with my latest guest, Elise VanCise.

And soon, I hope to share some more fantastic news with you all!  I just finished proofing the galley for my latest short story.  A sweet love story that focuses on what happens to a loved one who can't let go...even after death.

What would you do if you had the chance to see the love of your life again?--even if it were only temporary.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Character Inspiration

Loved him in Four Brothers!  I still cry every time I watch the movie, and "that" scene plays.

But, this man, and the words, "...give in to me..." dangerous!

Garrett Hedlund, actor

Country Strong isn't that fantastic, the ending felt to contrived, but who cares...he's in it, and he's gorgeous!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rules for writing fiction

As written for The Guardian by Will Self, novelist.

1 Don't look back until you've written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceeding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that you have a substantial body of work before you get down to the real work which is all in . . .

2 The edit.

3 Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.

4 Stop reading fiction – it's all lies anyway, and it doesn't have anything to tell you that you don't know already (assuming, that is, you've read a great deal of fiction in the past; if you haven't you have no business whatsoever being a writer of fiction).

5 You know that sickening feeling of inadequacy and over-exposure you feel when you look upon your own empurpled prose? Relax into the awareness that this ghastly sensation will never, ever leave you, no matter how successful and publicly lauded you become. It is intrinsic to the real business of writing and should be cherished.

6 Live life and write about life. Of the making of many books there is ­indeed no end, but there are more than enough books about books.

7 By the same token remember how much time people spend watching TV. If you're writing a novel with a contemporary setting there need to be long passages where nothing happens save for TV watching: "Later, George watched Grand Designs while eating HobNobs. Later still he watched the shopping channel for a while . . ."

8 The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement – if you can't deal with this you needn't apply.

9 Oh, and not forgetting the occasional beating administered by the sadistic guards of the imagination.

10 Regard yourself as a small corporation of one. Take yourself off on team-building exercises (long walks). Hold a Christmas party every year at which you stand in the corner of your writing room, shouting very loudly to yourself while drinking a bottle of white wine. Then masturbate under the desk. The following day you will feel a deep and cohering sense of embarrassment.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Movie review - Magic Mike

It had to be done.  I held out for as long as I could, but on the constant push of one of my close friends, I broke down and went to see "Magic Mike."

The plot is simple: young aimless boy has friend who works as a stripper.  That stripper introduces him to a world filled with the things of a young man's dreams, if he dreams of : women, sex, and drugs without consequences.

But, eventually, there are consequences, and those consequences affect the young stripper and those who are around him.

At it's core, it's a fairly moving story about a sister's love for her brother, a young man's journey to self-discovery, and another man's introduction to the power of his manhood and sexuality.

If you discovered that you had the ability to capture the attention of anyone you wanted how would you use that power?  Would you abuse it?

I've seen a strip show or two :-), and I have to admit you always have that little fantasy lingering in the back of your mind.  Honestly, after watching  "Magic Mike" it erased those thoughts right from my mind.  The characters were sad and incomplete.  The fantasy on the stage was all they were--nothing more.  This is because of two reasons: one the writing only partially flushed out the secondary characters, and two there wasn't much more to the characters.

I love Channing Tatum!  He can dance.  He can act.  But, this definitely wasn't one of his best acting venues. Matthew McConaughey is one of my all time favorites, but he was a little too thin, too tanned, and too everything for me in this one.  I kept waiting for Alex Pettyfer to cut his beard, or at least shape it up.  Cody Horn, unfortunately, anyone who looks like her will conjure up images of Kristen Stewart and, fairly or not, they'll be compared.

For Magic Mike 2, can I make a few casting suggestions:

Boris Kodjoe

Jason Mamoa

Shemar Moore

This movie begins fast and fun, then becomes a little sad before ending on a soft hopeful note.  There are definitely a few scenes that make you wish you could add your dollar!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My guest this week begins her blog post...

"What does it take for someone to overcome such a deep hatred and low self-esteem to fight their death at their own hands and come out on the other side?"

In my life, I don't know if I've ever been in the place that she describes, but I have had some incredible trials.  Because there are still many emotions I haven't felt, I use a lot of what I find in my research.  Books. Movies. Interviews.  When I did research for one of my characters that lost her child and her husband, I read blogs of mothers who'd experienced that loss, and even now my fragmented memories of those articles make me want to cry.

Reading my guest's blog at Romancing the Pen made me want to know more about her and her books.  To be able to take such emotion and twist it into the a creative form of expression is amazing, and honestly what we do as authors.  We pull readers into our worlds be they real or imagined.

Please join me this week, as I again host Erika Lindsen at Romancing the Pen!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book review - Once Burned (Night Prince, Book 1)

First, I have to begin by saying that I read this book in two days!  Yes, two.  Also, let me say that I absolutely love all things Jeaniene Frost!  I literally gobbled up the Cat and Bones series, and I couldn't wait for this one to be released.

Now, that that is out of the way...

Talk, smoldering (literally,) and sexy!  Throughout the Cat and Bones series, we've been casually introduced to Vlad Tepesh, and personally, I've fallen a little in love with him every time, but I still love you Bones!  His hard and fast rules regarding loyalty both frighten and appeal to me.  Could anyone ever live up to it...who knows, but I definitely understand his want for loyalty, honesty, and love.

The book opens light and fun, and the action kicks in fast.  But, Jeaniene Frost doesn't spoon-feed you, she lets you discover the answers as the characters do.  Sometimes, maybe a step behind.  When I found myself asking the question of why, moments later the characters supplied an answer.  Although JF is writing in the world of paranormal, she doesn't front-load the story with unnecessary world-building, maybe because so much of it has already been introduced through Cat and Bones.

Vlad is one of JF's best Alpha males, and Leila is wonderful woman on a path of discovery.  The two of them together a very reminiscent of Cat and Bones, but still have their own identities.  But, JF, knows we love her other characters, and throws us a little cameo with a hint of mystery to keep us hungry for more.

Vlad and Leila's story is fast, fun, and a little heartbreaking, but every step of the way, I'm right there with them anxious to turn the page, but all the while dreading the last one.  Now that I've flipped that last page, I can't wait for that next one.  Spring is way to far away :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Character Inspiration

I don't know why I find myself scrolling through Netflix searching for movies with him, but dang...look at those arms!

Donnie Yen, actor

Loving me some Donnie!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

#GoddessFish Blog Tour - Shewanda Pugh

Join me on August 14th, as I host Shewanda Pugh at Romancing the Pen!

Shewanda Pugh

When an insecure, bi-racial woman begins a cloak-and-dagger love affair with a Japanese American man, she is intent on keeping her bigoted family in the dark—albeit with devastating consequences. On the night of her brother’s murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through the hood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief. Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her white mother killed her black father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge her fast-growing love for Takumi. And had he never made love to her that way, in that unraveling, soul-searching sort of way, she could’ve done the same. But love’s a devil that way. So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone. And Tak understands this—for now. After all, Deena’s career hinges on the favor of her mentor and boss, his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she’s never had. And away from him.

Don't forget to follow the tour and comment.  Shewanda will give away a $10 Amazon gift card! The more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The dates of the tour can be found here.

Visit Romancing the Pen, now, for more about and to read an excerpt!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Do you need a dating coach?

Do you know how to date?

We've all seen romantic comedy after romantic comedy and, of course, we've read our fair share of romance novels.  But, if someone asked you how to date...what would you say or suggest?

I think the cliched movie based on the story-line of beautiful cultured person "fixing up" the nerdy geek is so overused that it's crazy. but, recently, I saw another version of this same cliche that made me wonder just how many people have used a dating coach.

I, personally, know people who've used: on-line dating sites, dating phone lines, and speed dating as a source of finding that perfect someone.  (I wrote a blog for From the Heart Romance Writers' Voices from the Heart Blog about soul mates

Just how hard is it to find a lover, a friend, and a companion all rolled into one?  And when you find that special someone, how do you know it's the right person, and not a temporary love :-)

What would you be willing to do to find the love of your life, or do you think you've already discovered that mysterious love?  Have you guys ever searched for dating coaches?  The tips on their websites are what we as romance writers filter into our books every time we tell a story.  We write stores about: intelligent, strong, people, especially those of use who write Alpha characters.  Although our characters might be thrown in the middle of some exciting adventure, or some critical moment in their lives, we still write about characters who know themselves and what they want, but for whatever reason we've created they haven't found that match.

If you were a dating coach, what would be your steps of advice for finding the love of your life?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Rules for writing fiction

As written for The Guardian by Ian Rankin, author.

1 Read lots.

2 Write lots.

3 Learn to be self-critical.

4 Learn what criticism to accept.

5 Be persistent.

6 Have a story worth telling.

7 Don't give up.

8 Know the market.

9 Get lucky.

10 Stay lucky.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Amazing Spider-man

I never read comic books as a kid...I guess it's the whole girly-girl thing.  But, I was a huge tomboy, so go figure.  But, my baby brother was a comic book, science fiction kind of guy, and I would watch a lot of it with him.

And still, I love it!

I've discussed remakes and re-imaginings with all of you before, and probably so many of us have wondered when some fresh new ideas will come to someone.  But, I have to admit, I really enjoyed "The Amazing Spider-man".

Like every other version, Peter discovers himself, love, and the importance of family.  But, you fall in love with the vulnerability of Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, and the innocence of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey.  Can I just say Emma Stone is the Meryle Streep of tomorrow.  She freaking disappears into every role.  And what can I say about Sally Field and Martin Sheen.  One of the things I enjoyed about this movie was the cast and their acting.  They didn't overact because someone told them they were in a science fiction movie. They didn't all run around speaking in odd little voices.  No.  They "acted" and they did it well.  They knew and understood their characters because they made me care about them: their desires, losses, loves, and dreams.

And the romance writer in me love Peter's little whisper in Gwen's ear!  Awh :-)

Great action, appropriately crazy villain, maybe a touch too long, but overall fun escape.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I won't name this one

This book I won't name because I'm not sure if it was me or the author :-)

This one had a more formulaic love affair: fireman and writer.  I think it depends on what kind of story you like to read.  If you want to feel a little more comfortable with your story and know where it's going, this would be your type of book.

Within pages, you know the couple will be together, and you know he'll rescue her.  After all isn't that what heroic firemen do?

I think a lot of my difficulty with the book stemmed from some of the paragraphing.  Character point of view was, at times, difficult for me because there were no spacial of character indications of POV changes.  And the transitions weren't always smooth.  I reread several passages to have a better idea of what was actually happening.

The character development flowed easily enough, but the two leading characters were both distrusting loners, where do you think the story is headed?

Short and simple, the story wasn't complicated, and overall, I was satisfied at the end.  But, I guess, I wish mainstream publishing houses didn't always throw the formulaic story at us.  I'd be nice if they gave us a little credit for wanting something more.  It may not always be hugely successful (financially,) but until they give it a shot, who really knows.

What type of book do you like?  Do you want to know what happens, or do you like a few surprises?  Do you need the pretty bow wrapped around your ending?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Erotica v pornography

According to Wikipedia,
Erotica (from the Greek ἔρως, eros "desire") are works of art, including literature, photography, film, sculpture and painting, that deal substantively with erotically stimulating or sexually arousing descriptions.
while the definition of
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter. Pornography may use a variety of media, including books,magazinespostcardsphotossculpturedrawingpaintinganimationsound recordingfilmvideo, and video games. The term applies to the depiction of the act rather than the act itself...

Depending on where you stand on this issue the difference in the two may be too subtle for differentiation.  And, honestly, I'm not here to debate the moral correctness of either.  But, instead in this age of Fifty Shades of rey,  I was extremely shocked to see a news broadcast on CNN regarding a request to ban porn in hotels.      I have never rented porn in a hotel, but I don't know if I'm okay with people affecting my ability to rent porn if I want to rent porn!

According to the CNN report...
-Omni Hotels discontinued it's offering in '99
-Marriott plans to phase out it's offerings by '13
-Choice Hotels leaves it to the discretion of it's franchisees

Whether or not you choose to watch porn or read erotica, I guess, for me, the operative word is "choose."  If I chose to read Fifty Shades of Grey, shouldn't I be able to walk into any store and pick it up?  And shouldn't it be the same way for my porn?  I guess I can still go to one of those wonderfully well-lit inviting porn shops and pick-up my porn :-)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Character Inspiration

Every time I watch Pathfinder, I fall in love with this man a little more.

Karl Urban, actor

Can't really say that I've ever wanted to visit New Zealand.  But, now, I think I may have a reason :-)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Authors what tools do you use to know your readers?

Personally, I'm a huge fan of blogging!  I was one of the first to use and love Digg, Reddit, MySpace (yes, MySpace,,,betcha some of you miss it now,) FaceBook took me a little longer to get into, StumbleUpon, and Tumblr.  Lately, I find myself being a bit of a Twitter junkie!

But, how do we use these tools wisely, and not spread ourselves too thin, and end up using all of them poorly?  I don't think I'd know what I'd do without networking everything, or scheduled calendars.  I can sit one day and a schedule out months of uploads and not think about it again.  Or, I can hop onto Twitter and FaceBook everyday :-)

But, there is always something new around the corner: Instagram, Pinterest, Triberr.

Join me this week at Romancing the Pen as my guest, Shelly Bell, author of A Year to Remember, discusses Triberr with us.  And let us know what you think as readers and writers.  What should we use, and how much is too much?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Rules for writing fiction

As written for The Guardian by Annie Proulx, journalist and author.

1 Proceed slowly and take care.

2 To ensure that you proceed slowly, write by hand.

3 Write slowly and by hand only about subjects that interest you.

4 Develop craftsmanship through years of wide reading.

5 Rewrite and edit until you achieve the most felicitous phrase/sentence/paragraph/page/story/chapter.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

First, I have to say, I love a lot of things about fairy tales...I've always thought women should be portrayed a little stronger, but otherwise, I love their moral strength.

So, needless to say, I was excited to see a lot of the fairy tale remakes, but, I'm not sure anymore.

I think I'm probably one of many who believes that, unfortunately, Charlize Theron's looks don't allow people to take her seriously as an actress, which is  weird to statement to make as a woman.  Especially when I think about Angelina Joile.  The thing is, how long of a list do you have of attractive female dramatic actresses, not romantic comedies.

However, I think Charlize Theron was perhaps the best thing about this movie.  Aside, from the absolute gorgeousness of Chris Hemsworth.

At some points, Charlize's portrayal may have been slightly over the top, and out of balance with Kristen Stewart's Bella part two, but I think I appropriately felt sorry for and hated her at the right moments.

I appreciated the action of the movie, and I think the bleakness of the world made me root for the success of our heroes.  The world our heroes lived in and fought against had many layers, some of which didn't seem fully explained.  If the "evil" queen reigned supreme over all, but the dark forest, then how do you explain sanctuary?

What I think I loved most was the Queen's backstory.  Strip away the magic, and her story could be one told by women of any time or place.  The Queen didn't care for much, but the relationship she had with her twisted brother showed she was indeed capable of love, and deeply suffered from its loss.

I know I'm supposed to connect with Snow White, but I can't say I cared much.  She didn't inspire me, nor did the fealty of the dwarfs to Snow White.

The Huntsman, okay, I admit it, I kept waiting for him to strip off his shirt, and found myself extremely disappointed when it didn't happen.  But, still, I cared that he hungered to feel the void left by his wife, and his desire to believe and hold onto any opportunity that might return her to him.

Kristen's tomboy Snow White and Chris' Huntsman, however, do not "fit" as a romantic couple.  The maturity of Chris and the youth of Kristen were too vast.  I didn't even find myself hoping for a romantic development.

Is it bad when the movie ends, and you want to know more about the bad guy than the good?  I wanted the queen redeemed, and whoever had hurt her to be punished.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Yes, yes, I love J.R. Ward

Soap Opera style story-telling is how I’ve heard J.R. Ward’s writing described, and if I’m being totally honest, I hate soap operas, so it’s amazing for me to say how much I love her books.

The stories of Rhevenge and Phury didn’t engage me as much as the others, so I’d actually stopped reading them, but I jumped back on board because of RomanticTimes, and I’m quickly making my way through the remaining books in anticipation of the story of Blay and Quinn (Can’t wait for this one!)
Everyone out there has probably read Lover Mine, but just in case there are a few out there like me, I won’t spoil it for anyone.

John Matthew (I loved him before he was John Matthew and love him more now) is the kind of hero that many can relate to.  He was never perfect, and only because of his own moral compass did he not end up causing as much trouble as he fought.  But, when he finds the man that snatched his Xhex from underneath his nose, he will show him that he is a member of the Brotherhood for a reason.

Lash was privileged and took full advantage of what that afforded him.  Now, that he knows the secrets to his true identity, he wastes no time using what he now knows of himself to take revenge on those that have wronged him.  Kidnapping Xhex was meant to “get even” with those that pissed him off, but her fire and temper feed into his own twisted reality, and he falls in love with his captive.

Xhex only knows one thing—how to be a good assassin.  Love doesn’t play into her future.  The casual relationship she had with John Matthew was successfully put behind her.  But, now in the prison created for her by Lash the one thing that gives her peace is the memory of the gentle giant, John Matthew.  She needs to escape, revive, and get her revenge on the man that trapped her.

While the excitement of this moves forward, we learn more about Xhex and John’s connection.  Why John has always felt inexplicably pulled to the mysterious woman with the gun metal grey eyes.

And we learn why Xhex has chosen to cut herself off from love.  Why she believes her love can destroy a man and make him lose everything.

What I love about this book is that it takes me back to why I love to read J.R. Ward, it’s non-stop action that takes you right up to the big reveal. 

These books are not stand-alone, I believe you would be completely lost if you don’t start at book one, but hey that’s what a soap opera is all about…isn’t it.

I think that newer authors wouldn’t get away with the large chunks of Darius’ diary that were thrown in as stand-alone chapters.  But, as a lover of J.R. Ward, I kept reading and waiting for the connection not only of these chapters, but also of the chapters detailing the exploits of a ghost being chased by the paranormal film crew.  Yes, I said paranormal film crew.

Reading Lover Mine, at times, felt like reading three or four books at once, but at the end of the book I was happy.  Excited about the possibilities of the next books in the series, namely Tohr and Blay and Quinn.
Like always, the book moved fast, some of the twists were unexpected, and although the Darius chronicles and paranormal TV show interruptions slowed the pace of the book quite a bit, it enhanced the over all story.

I think the only story line that didn’t capture my interest in this book was Payne’s.  I’m hoping that her story will draw me in more because I have to read it, right?  Can’t miss out on anything that will be further developed for Tohr or Blay and Quinn.

Now, the only real distraction for me would be the slang.  I had to reread a lot of passages because I don’t have kids, and had no clue what J.R. Ward was talking about J

I was extremely happy with the conclusion of this story.  John Matthew has been one of my favorite characters since he first appeared in her books.

I’ve already got my Kleenex prepared for Tohr’s story.  I love him just as much as John Matthew!
I’d definitely recommend this book, but would advise that you pick it up from the beginning of the series.  It might get a little confusing if you don’t. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Character Inspiration

A lot of the stories I write are interracial romances.  And often, I take my leading men and women right from American pop culture.  But, lately, I find myself getting a little bit broader.  Thanks Netflix!

I have absolutely fallen in love with Korean romantic comedies.  My latest crush is Lee Dong-Wook.  I watched Perfect Couple, a romantic comedy with Lee Dong-Wook and Hyun Young.  The movie reminded me of light funny chick lit.

As I work on the hero for my next piece, I have to admit that many of his quirks will be drawn from Lee.

For any of the other authors out there, where do you get your character inspiration for your novels (interracial or not?)  Do you draw from your own life and experiences?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What do you think is beautiful?

As I sit here flipping through the pages of one of my favorite catalogues, I have to ask myself, what is beauty?

Let me say, I am a 5'8" size six African-American woman, and of course, the first thing that jumps out at me is that I don't see many people in the magazine that look like me, my niece, or my young cousins.  Personally, I think I'm freaking gorgeous :-) But, perhaps, the people who produce the catalogue in my hands don't.  Do they think anything about me is sexy?  Height, weight, hair texture, ethnicity?

Like so many other girls, growing up, I wanted to be a model, actress, singer, whatever. I have tried many of them, too, but writing is where my heart finally landed.  But, writing isn't a full-time job.  Marketing is still how I pay my bills.

People might say that a lot of what I do is based on "appearances," but there is a lot of research behind the messaging and design of what I do.

And that's what makes me wonder what the message is behind the images on the pages of this catalogue.  Maybe, that's one of the reasons I love writing interracial romances.  Not just for the people who live and love it every day, but for people who don't.

John Mayer, infamously, was shunned by many after comments he made regarding what he found beautiful.

I'm a pretty equal opportunity kind of gal...Brad, Johnny, Idris, Shemar, Michael call me any time :-)  But, for so many of us, we still are not willing to look for different forms of beauty.


What's beautiful to you?