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!