Monthly Archives: February 2012

Bitches or Subs:Where are all the normal women in fiction?


Okay I know this rant doesn’t cover ALL books, and of course I don’t mean yours 🙂 But seriously I’m getting a bit tired of reading books where the women either fall into a submissive housewife role as soon as they have a steady guy or are rude bitches pretending to be strong.

Does no one remember Captain Janeway? Strong, competent, sexy, and sensitive? Wow! A whole person who’s also a woman in power. Are we sure it can be possible? Or how about ANY of Joss Whedon’s female characters?

A more important question is why are women writing these one-dimensional female characters? Why is it romantic for a young girl to completely give over her self, her life choices, and her safety to a guy? Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a sexy dom/sub story. But these aren’t thought out choices of a strong couple. These are young girls losing themselves in their guy. Of course they don’t lose much because they tend to be boring to begin with.

The other side of this is the bitch. These are the supposedly “strong women” who treat people like crap, cuss, ignore the needs of others, and are completely emotionally unavailable. When did strength become acting like a jerk and refusing to compromise?

I’m sure if I had a degree in psychology or if I turned my crazy writer brain from my current manuscript, I could create all sorts of interesting character profiles, but really I need to keep working on my current projects. I shall refrain from psychoanalyzing people, for now.

Why do you think we have come to this new trend? What are some of your favorite female characters? What is it you love about them?

S&M Barbies


So some of you might remember the tribute to my son when he turned 17. Well, my daughter also deserves a post because she’s very entertaining and the opposite of my son. This makes parenting interesting since I never have to deal with the same issues twice.

Tala is amazingly creative, she writes rockin’ poetry, she loves to create stories, and just like her mom, she is a total pantser. This drives her teacher, who wants her to plot, insane.

Her awesomeness doesn’t stop there, she sings, too. I placed her for voice lessons with a college student who is earning his doctorate in vocal performance. She plays the piano and composes her own songs. She takes musical theater class, and she likes to design clothes.

We did buy her a sewing machine but we need to get her sewing lessons. So right now her favorite medium is duct tape. Yes, duct tape, which she uses to make what I call S&M Barbies. She doesn’t know what S&M means, thank goodness. She wraps her dolls in a variety of duct tape which looks like vinyl S&M gear. It’s hysterical and bit worrying.

Tala is great, but I won’t lie: I am equally and excited and scared of what comes next for her and us.

And in honor of Tala one of her favorite Bollywood songs

My first ROW80 check-in


Last week I signed up for ROW80 so of course my world got all crazy and I got nothing done. So this Sunday I’m here to list my goals for the week.

1- writing 1000 words per day. I can work on my WIP or write blogs, but no internet until I’ve written 1000 words.

2- I will write a first lesson for a Create Diversity in Your Writing class I’ve been thinking of organizing.

3- I will check out 3 review sites for submitting my book.

4- Send my next two chapters to my critique group.

5- Set up some more interviews or guest posts for my blog and for me to do.

I’m just starting with these as goals, if I do well I’ll add some more. 🙂

Castle in the Sky


I have another Hayao Miyazaki movie for you. Yes that should be enough for you to run out and get this movie, but if not I’ll prattle on. This is a great movie, beautifully animated, a fun excited story with chases and mystery, and fun Miyazaki steampunk going on.
If that’s not enough o tempt you, Cloris Leachman does the voice of the airship pirate captain, and of course she fabulous. There is also the voice talents of James Van Der Beek, Mandy Patinkin, Andy Dick, Mark Hamill, and Anna Paquin.
This is a fun movie for the whole family and one I enjoy enough to own.

Saving Grace


This is one of those movies that I own. It’s funny, sweet, charming, and has a great ending. Grace’s husband commits suicide, leaving her alone and shockingly horribly in debt, so she does what any normal middle aged house wife would do, she grows pot. Craig Ferguson plays her partner in crime, and as always the small village she lives in is filled with fun quirky characters.

Sci-fi romance with Frankie Robertson


I met Frankie Robertson at my RWA meetings, and she has been a wealth of knowledge and support. As I step into the world of self-publishing I am constantly grateful for her blog and that she still responds to my desperate freaking out emails! LOL!

As a reader, my first love was science-fiction and fantasy, but then I discovered the romance genre. Now I enjoy blending the two, writing romantic fiction with an otherworldly twist. With a background in property management, occupational therapy, and paranormal investigation, I bring a diverse experience to my stories. In fact, it was my time as an investigator with the Western Society for Paranormal Research that inspired one of the characters in VEILED MIRROR.

I live with my husband in the desert southwest and we have a back yard that’s regularly visited by hawks, bobcats, lizards, and quail, while the coyotes sing to us from beyond the fence.

How old were you when you fell in love with reading? Can you remember what book/ books it was that inspired you?

I was eight. My aunt sent me a copy of Lewis’s THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE for Christmas. (I still have it.) My mother started out reading it with me, but then said, “If you want to find out what happens, you’ll have to finish it yourself.” I did, and a voracious reader was born.

LOL- what a sneaky mom you have. I loved those books too, I read several in the series more then once.

We all have favorite books, ones we nag our friends to read, buy our loved ones as gifts, and the biggy, the books we read over and over again. What books have you read more than twice?

Lewis’s THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER is still one of my favorites. I’ve probably read it, or parts of it, half a dozen times. Having read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy was a qualifying question for my husband. (He’d read it seven times, so he passed.) In romance, Jo Beverley’s HAZARD is one I’ve read four times. And something about Rachel Lee’s IMMANENT THUNDER really works for me. I’ve read it three times.

What is the geekiest thing about you?

I really love watching HGTV. Since I was a kid, I liked to draw houseplans.

We’re all supposed to be eating healthy, but what naughty treat tempts you the most?

Reeces’ Peanut Butter Cups. I debated the relative merits of the full size vs. miniature size cups with with Ozzy Osbourne’s drummer Randy Castillo over dinner at my brother-in-law’s house. We both agreed, the miniatures are best.

Yum! I think I need some now.

What is the best advice you give, but hardly ever follow yourself?

Be patient. Whether you go the traditional or self-publishing route you need to be patient. I have a mug that says, “Take my advice, I’m not using it.”

I need that mug!

Where is the weirdest place you’ve ever written?

The dentist’s waiting room.

I would be too nervous to write there. Even cleanings make me shaky.

Give us a super secret peek into what you’re working on next?

DANGEROUS TALENTS will be coming out this spring. It’s the first book of the Vinlanders’ Saga. It’s a romantic fantasy set in the alternate dimension of Alfheim.

As a 911 operator, Celia Montrose has been trained to deal with any emergency — except being thrust into another world. No amount of crisis management training could possibly prepare her for meeting the descendants of the lost Vinland colony or coping with their strange world. Only her innate courage gives her the strength to face kidnapping, murder, and betrayal, as well as magic and romance.

Lord Dahleven is trying to avert a war when he rescues a strange and beautiful woman from the drylands. Is she in league with his enemy, or will Celia be the key to saving his people?

I can’t wait for this to come out! As I’ve read your other books I know I’ll enjoy it.

Many thanks to Frankie for stopping by and answering my odd questions. I hope you’ll check out her Blog and visit Website for news of upcoming releases.

Jared Price is a Celestial, one of a race of beings often taken for angels. Exiled on earth, he’s offered a chance to return to the Celestial Realm. All he has to do is protect Cassie Lewis from a demonic assassin. A genuine psychic, Cassie can’t resist Jared’s Celestial aura, but she doesn’t trust him. He’s hiding something behind his strong mental barriers and she’s learned the hard way that what you don’t know can hurt you. But when a demon tries to kill her, Cassie has no one else to turn to. Then the stakes are raised even higher, and Jared must decide if Cassie’s love is worth sacrificing a dream he’s held on to for 150 years.

Beth Hart is alive and well and hunting for her killer. When her brother-in-law Chris and her twin sister Ellie die in suspicious accidents, Beth impulsively switches identities with Ellie to lure the murderer into revealing himself. Beth can’t rest until she finds the killer, and neither can the real Ellie who haunts Beth’s dreams, sometimes providing clues. FBI fraud investigator Jason Blackforth fell hard for Beth at Chris and Ellie’s wedding, but he left her as quickly as he found her—undercover work and relationships don’t mix. Now, grieving and believing Beth is dead, Jason is appalled to find himself fantasizing about the widow of his best friend. He wants to help “Ellie” through this difficult time, but she reminds him so much of Beth. Something just doesn’t add up. Can he discover what secrets the widow is hiding and find the killer before they both end up dead?

Elise Craft is a well-bred Victorian lady who would rather study the flora and fauna of England than play the social games of the ton. Then she makes an exotic, and erotic, discovery on the border between everyday England and Faerie.

You can find Frankie’s books here.

Old Loves


I love reading old books and not just because it makes me feel good to have read another “classic”, but because they are windows into our past. I love learning about how a day went one hundred years ago. Or that in the 50s moms would have homemade baked goods waiting for their children at the end of the school day, and you didn’t wear underwear under your pj’s because you’d get too hot.

I love learning about how they would eat, address each other, or get themselves to work. What was important, what morals and values did the author feel were important to show. Men in romance stories didn’t have rippling abs, they had money, manners, and status. Woman didn’t have big boobs and the abilities to deep throat; they had grace, modesty, and charm that could make a man forget himself *swoons*. Not that I don’t enjoy smut, because abs and deep throating are great things, but sometimes it’s fun to go back and read about a time when even the raciest book would be rated PG by today’s standards.

I also miss the innocence of children that is found in older books. I just finished reading Tom Sawyer. In one passage he and two other boys are down by the river. They run around naked and swim and wrestle, and it’s fine, because they are children. The general population would never have thought of it as sexual at all, because they are children and they didn’t equate children with sex. Yes, there were monsters back then as they are now, but the general population, the healthy people, wouldn’t have thought anything of it.

Old books tend to have a slow cadence to them that modern books don’t have. It’s not bad that new books don’t have it, I don’t think my book has it, but I enjoy reading something with a good rhythm to it.

One other thing I love about older books is the words. Whenever I switch from a book written fifty or more years ago to today I’m saddened by the words we’ve lost and how simple our words are today. Some of the words I miss that I’m going to try and sneak into my work include: vexed, ponder, spectacles, diligence, crossly, gaily, queer, and my favorite – presently.

I found this video via another writer- it’s amazing. Let’s celebrate old books!

Do you read older books? What do you love about them, other then the old book smell? BTW someone needs to make old book smell air freshener for those of us with Kindles and no room for new books.

Zombie Apocalypse Training


For years I’ve been attempting to lose weight and get in shape. Last year I joined a gym with a friend who signed up for personal training then “forgot” to cancel it when we realized we couldn’t afford it.

So anyway our trainer is evil, as all trainers apparently have to be, and as one can tell by my years of trying and failing to get into shape I’m not good at sticking to things especially when they are uncomfortable or down-right painful.

So how am I getting through this? I think if it as zombie apocalypse training. Because you know escaping zombies is a bit more urgent then fitting into a smaller size of jeans. I think of squats as building leg muscles to run and kick with, push ups for climbing and carrying, and the evil abs exercises for building core strength for swinging axes, machetes, and cricket bats. It’s easier to force myself to do one more of the damn things when I think of protecting myself from hungry rotting zombies.

How do you get through things you don’t like to do? And yes once I am a vision of buff-ness I will be on your zombie killing team.

The Secret of Kells


This is a beautifully animated movie from Ireland. The art is so amazing you could turn the sound off and be completely captivated for the full length of the movie. But don’t do that because the story is a great one. I rarely give plot synopsis because I suck at them and it sounds all fake and stupid. I will say this movie makes me think, as I struggle to protect myself and my family for the dangers in life, am I forgetting any of the important things? Am I so caught up in my worries and fears that like the Abbot I have forgotten the beauty and joy in life I’m trying to protect?

The Secret of Kells has everything you want in a childrens/ family movie; a great story, fun characters, history, and a lesson without being preachy.

Okay this trailer highlights the more suspenseful parts of the movie, but there is also a lot of humor and fun.