Category Archives: Enterview/Guest Blog

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful


Because I am out of town Kassandra Lamb, a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer, has agreed to post today to keep all of you entertained. So give Kassandra a warm Arm Chair Adventures welcome!

“Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful”

Are you old enough to remember the 1980’s Pantene shampoo commercial that made this line famous? Or perhaps it resonates because of the lyrics in Keri Hilson’s much more recent “Pretty Girl Rock.” Actually I could have sworn that Elizabeth Taylor said it first, but, after a quick romp around the Internet, I was not able to prove this.

Unfortunately, for all too many of us, the answer to that line would be “I don’t hate you; I hate myself because I’m not beautiful.” And sadly there are a lot of people in our society, especially women, who would say that even while those of us around them are secretly envying their beauty. Not only has physical attractiveness become the main criteria for okayness in our society but most people actually see themselves as a lot less attractive than they actually are.

Why is that? If being beautiful, handsome, adorable, is what makes us valuable, than why aren’t we all clamoring that we are beautiful, handsome, adorable? Oh, if only the connection between self-esteem and body image were that simple.

The reality is that if we feel poorly about ourselves, for a variety of reasons, than we are going to perceive our package as not okay, no matter how beautiful we are. One quote that I did find for Elizabeth Taylor, who was drop-dead gorgeous and an incredibly talented actress, was, “I don’t like my voice. I don’t like the way I look. I don’t like the way I move. I don’t like the way I act. I mean, period. So, you know, I don’t like myself.”

Interestingly, she did admit that, “…when I was a little girl, my father was abusive when he drank and seemed to kind of like to bat me around a bit.” Could explain the low self-esteem.

On the other hand, if we perceive our bodies as less than attractive, in our society at least, this tends to undermine our self-esteem. I am one of the few women, amongst my circle of friends and acquaintances, who actually sees my body fairly accurately. Until my late thirties, I was, and perceived myself as, a reasonably slender, moderately attractive woman, with nice hair, warm brown eyes, a cheerful smile and less than perfect skin. I liked my appearance basically, or at least I wasn’t displeased with it.

Then I developed a problem with my thyroid and experienced the onset of middle-aged spread in a huge way (and I mean that literally). In less than a year, I ballooned from 125 pounds to 160, and suddenly I found myself feeling insecure–a feeling I had not experienced in the last 15 years! I was shocked that my self-esteem, that I had always assumed was grounded in my intelligence and other talents, was that easily shaken by a shift in my appearance.

Over the next decade, I slowly came to grips with the betrayal of my body, which is a good thing, since I gained another 15 pounds before the doctors finally got my thyroid problem under control. Now I’m pushing sixty (hard) and I’m back to thinking I don’t look half bad for my age, since I still have the hair, eyes, smile combo going for me. But a lesson was definitely learned about how fragile our self-esteem can be, in the U.S. of A., when our bodies are less than perfect.

This whole issue of body image and self-esteem has been on my mind lately because, in my book that just came out, Family Fallacies, the protagonist, Kate–a woman of average attractiveness–is being wooed by a very handsome guy. He’s six-five, 240 pounds of mostly muscle, with gold flecks in his hazel eyes and an easy-going, sexy grin.

*stopping to fan face; must be having a hot flash*

Her good friend, Rob, is very uneasy about this budding romance, and it takes awhile for him to realize that the disparity in their appearance is the reason for his distrust.

That brings me to the next and, I think, optimistic point. Research has found that people tend to be attracted to those of a similar level of attractiveness. This is good news for those of us in the butt-ugly to moderately attractive range. There is someone out there, probably several someones, who will find us cute, or at least will be relieved that we’re no prettier than they are!

The reader discovers, as the book progresses (with mysterious things happening; well, because it is a mystery after all), that Kate’s suitor wasn’t always a hunk. He was a late bloomer.

Which brings me to the last of my points about this complicated interaction between body image and self-esteem. The body image we develop in our teens may very well continue in our brains long after we’re grown. I had a male colleague who was quite thin (naturally; he was not anorexic), and yet he admitted that he still tended to see himself, in his mind’s eye, as chunky because he had been a chunky teenager, until he grew into his weight during a late growth spurt. That’s where I got the idea for my character’s body image issues. At one point, he confesses to Kate that he often does a double-take when he walks past a mirror, because his internal self-image is of the short, scrawny sixteen-year-old that he once was.

Do you know anyone like that, whose body image is dictated by something other than reality? Does any of this resonate for you? What are your thoughts about the link between body image and self-esteem?

Thank you so much, Alica, for your hospitality!

And to show my appreciation, anyone who comments below will automatically be entered in our contest to win a free e-book set of the first three books of my mystery series. And if you go to and comment there, your name will go in the hat twice. The winner will be announced this Friday, here and on misterio press. You can also pick up an extra chance or two of winning by commenting at the two stops left in my little romp around the blogosphere.

Thursday, I’ll be talking about getting A Check-Up From the Neck Up with some tips for maintaining good mental health at Ginger Calem’s cyber-home,
Friday, I’ll be chatting with Jennifer L. Oliver about writing, eating and puppy dogs (no, we’re not eating puppy dogs) at

Hope to see you there, and good luck in the contest!

Kass Lamb

Thank you Kass, it is very interesting how much the number on the scale can effect how we feel about ourselves!
You can find Kass’ book Family Fallacies at B&N and Amazon

Remembering the Titanic with Marlene Dotterer


Today I have my life opposite with us. I grew up in the Bay Area then moved to Tucson AZ where I became a Natural Child birth coach! As you’ll read from her bio we probably passed each other on the freeway!

Marlene Dotterer grew up as a desert rat in Tucson, Arizona. In 1990, she loaded her five children into the family station wagon, and drove north-west to the foggy San Francisco Bay Area. To stay warm, she tackled many enterprises, earning a degree in geology, working for a national laboratory, and running her own business as a personal chef. She’s a frustrated gardener, loves to cook, and teaches natural childbirth classes. She says she writes, “to silence the voices,” obsessed with the possibilities of other worlds and other times. She is married to The Best Husband in the World, and lives in Pleasant Hill, California.

1.If you were to write yourself into your book what kind of character would you be?

I’d be the slightly nutty old lady down the street.

That sounds like a lot of fun.

2.What is the geekiest thing about you?

Have you seen my science fiction library?

Can I borrow books? LOL!

3.Who is your arch nemesis?

Anybody who thinks they can tell me what to do.

I like it.

4.What mad ass survival skill do you have?

I can cook and I don’t mind it if all I have is a campfire. Just don’t ask me to identify any plants. Oh, and in a pinch, I could help deliver a baby.

I’ve gotten to help deliver a baby, it’s amazing!

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

Do your Kegels!

I’m doing some right now.

6.If your book was turned into a movie who you play your main characters?

Well… I think Colm Meany would be great as Sam, my physicist. Emma Stone would be perfect as Casey. But Thomas Andrews – I don’t know. Victor Garber played him in Titanic, but he’s too old for the part now, especially since Tom is 34 when we first meet him in my book. The real Thomas Andrews was a very handsome man, but I can’t think of any current actors of that age who look like him.

7.Why write about Titanic?

I was very young when I first heard about Titanic, and it always made me feel sad. But I wasn’t obsessed with it, even after James Cameron’s movie came out. But about five years ago, I became curious about Thomas Andrews, who was the ship’s designer He went down with the ship. What kind of man built ships like that? How did he get started? Who was he? So I started researching, and I had the strangest reaction. I was heartbroken at his death, as if he was a close relative, and I just found out he died. Weird, I know – but everything I read about him showed that he was kind, generous, and happy. That he loved life and he loved people. Everyone who knew him, loved him. I had to write the book to give him a second chance at life. It’s my tribute to him.

Strong emotional attachments past events make me wonder about past-lives.

8.You’re going on the Titanic Memorial Cruise in April. What is it?

This cruise is to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage. It includes the same number of passengers that were on Titanic (around 1300), and will have many experts who will provide lectures and exhibits about the ship. Many of the passengers are descendants of people who were on the original ship.

We’ll follow the same route Titanic took, except we plan on ending up in New York! On the night of April 14/15, we will be above the spot where Titanic now sits, and will have a memorial service out on deck at the time she sank, which was about 2:20 a.m.

I’m very excited about it, as are all of the passengers. We’re all getting to know each other through Facebook!

Also, I’ll be blogging about the cruise as much as possible while I’m on it. The BBC will be along, as well, so there may be an interview. Keep an eye on my blog for that, and for other “specials” I’ll be posting about leading up to the cruise.

That sounds amazing, I will be jealously following your updates.

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

I’m working on Bridgebuilders, the second Time Travel Journals book. It’s got parallel universes, neutrinos bouncing around all over the place, a megalomaniac, a rebel alliance, a hot, young, high school teacher and the brilliant student who has a crush on him, which just may be reciprocated, but I’m keeping it clean…

Don’t keep it clean on my account- *naughty grin*. Seriously it sound like a great book.

10.What style of book do you secretly long to write, but are afraid to try and do.

Hey, if I want to do it, I’ll try it. Life is short.

Good for you!

11.As an author tells us three things that will mean success to you in your writing career.

A certain level of sales. Say selling thousands of a particular book over a one-year period. I don’t need to be the next Amanda Hocking, but I’d like to reach a decent number of people.

I’d like to qualify for membership in Science Fiction Writers of America. That requires traditional publishing, so I’m still working on that angle with some of my other books.

And third… this is the embarrassing one to admit: to be respected enough to be a panelist at Cons. I guess all this means that I want validation. I want people to like my books and if they like them, to let me know.

I am with you 100% on being invited to Cons. That is definitely on my list of success!

Marlene thank you so much for taking the time to join me on my blog.I can’t wait to read the posts of you’re cruise!
And for anyone else who wishes to follow Marlene’s exciting adventures, she can be found here-




The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder

Imagine being there before the Titanic set sail.
Now imagine being there before she’s even built.

Sam Altair is a physicist living in Belfast, Ireland. He has spent his career researching time travel and now, in early 2006, he’s finally reached the point where he can send objects backwards through time. The only problem is, he doesn’t know where the objects go. They don’t show up in the past, and no one notices any changes to the present. Are they creating alternate time lines?

To collect more data, Sam tries a clandestine experiment in a public park, late at night. But the experiment goes horribly wrong when Casey Wilson, a student at the university, stumbles into his isolation field. Sam tries to rescue her, but instead, he and Casey are transported back to the year 1906. Stuck in the past, cut off from everyone and everything they know, Sam and Casey work together to help each other survive. Then Casey meets Thomas Andrews, the man who will shortly begin to build the most famous ship since Noah’s Ark. Should they warn him, changing the past and creating unknown consequences for the future? Or should they let him die?

The construction of White Star Line’s Olympic-class ships forms the backdrop for a passionate love affair between Tom and Casey, who must overcome the many differences inherent between an Edwardian Irish gentleman, and a member of America’s Generation Y. The fictional love affair grows alongside real lives from history: the Andrews family of Comber, Lord William Pirrie, Bruce Ismay, and the thousands of skilled men who built the remarkable ocean liners of the early twentieth century.

Buy at Amazon or Smashwords

Little Women, Discovery, and Bill Jones Jr


Today I am hanging out with Bill Jones Jr. I have met many wonderful people as I have begun blogging, and I have to admit that Bill is one of my favorites. He’s blog post range from funny to profound- and frequently both at once.

Bill Jones, Jr. assumed from an early age that he would be a photographer when he grew up. From age 12, he could be found bicycling around the streets of downtown Hampton, Virginia, camera in hand. Already an avid Science Fiction and Fantasy buff, at age ten, he was exposed to the poetry of Nikki Giovanni and the fiction of Jack London and Madeleine L’Engle. The writing bug was born.

For a time, he satisfied his “starving artist” yearnings by publishing poems in various literary journals. In 2007, he wrote a short story, which would later become the first two chapters of The Stream. In 2009, he began work on the book in earnest, completing his first novel, The Stream: Discovery, and its sequel, The Stream: Awakening, writing the books back-to-back in four months.

Bill is currently preparing for the 2012 release of The Stream: Awakening, and is working on a number of other projects, including Emprise, Book 3 of The Stream. When not at his day job as a Market Research Analyst, Bill can be found writing, at the gym, or wandering the streets of Washington, D.C., Nikons in tow.

There are zombies out there; he can feel it. It’s just a matter of time before he gets that Pulitzer Prize winning photo of one.

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

I fell in love with reading before I could read. Seriously. We lived in my grandfather’s house, and he had this huge bookcase at the top of the stairs. At four, I couldn’t wait to figure out what those books said. I even taught myself to read because no one else would do it. What clinched the love affair for me, however, was Dr. Doolittle. I’m pretty sure I read every single one of those books, usually one after the other, like a chain-reader. Good thing they don’t cause cancer.

2-What is a book your friends would be surprised to know you’ve read?

Probably Little Women, of all things. In middle school, we had a reading assignment, and I couldn’t come up with any books I wanted to read. Partly as punishment, I think, the teacher assigned me Little Women. To her great surprise, and my astonishment, I liked it. I don’t think anyone but she and I ever knew I read it.

I’m adding Little woman to my to-be-read list.

3-Everyone seems to complain when their favorite book is made into a movie or mini-series. What is your favorite movie based on a book?

Most of the time, I’m disappointed in movie adaptations. There are some exceptions, however. At the moment, my fave is “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (either the American or Swedish version). I think that’s because the movies follow the story so closely. I just wish they could have found a 4’11” actress to play the lead in the American version. I would have paid extra to see someone so little kicking butt.

I watched the Swedish version, without knowing what it was about. Wow- very intense movie.

4-When the zombie apocalypse comes what is going to be your weapon of choice?

Oh, I will be a multi-weapon guy. I figure I’ll need a shotgun for those quick group shots, a reliable automatic like an AK-47 or an AR-15, plus a machete. This is assumes, of course, I can’t get my hands on any nukes or drones. When the apocalypse hits, I plan on kicking serious butt. That’s why I work out. Carrying all those armaments and ammo can tire you out if you’re not prepared. The zombies won’t even know I’m coming. I’m totally masking my body’s smells with rotting meat, and dressing like a zombie. Then, when they aren’t looking, BAM!!

Dibs for being on your team!

5-Did your high school English teachers hate you or love you?

My English teachers loved me. It was all the other teachers who hated me. I used to go hang out with my English teacher or the school nurse while I was skipping Physics. I actually received a high school academic award in English. It was a Lion’s Club Award for “Excellence in English.” It astounded me at the time, as I had long considered English to be my worst subject. However, I come from a long line of teachers – immediately post-slavery, to be exact. As a result, I was raised to be a grammar Nazi nerd. In the 12th grade, there was a new English teacher, fresh out of college. She was sweet, but knew NOTHING about grammar. Guess what subject they gave her to teach? So, unbeknownst to the other students, I would help her with grammar, and she would teach the class. I suspect she must have told the other English teachers. I know no other reason why they would have chosen me.

Grammar is my weakest point as an author. Thank goodness for editors.

6-What mad ass survival skill do you have?

In an apocalypse, I’m the guy you want to be driving the oversized SUV. I drive exactly like a Manhattan cab driver – not the stupid yellow cabbies, but the Gypsy cabbies. I’m not as nice, however.
If not that, it would be that my super-secret-only-my-best-friends-know skill is that I can read people – especially sociopaths – almost immediately. I’m the guy who’d pick out the serial killer, then run, while you were busy flirting with him. Unless I like you, then I’d warn you first.

I have pretty good instincts/ ability to read people, but I hope you’ll let me know if I’m talking to a psycho.

7-If your book was turned into a movie who would play your main characters?

If The Stream were a movie series today, Jaden Smith (Will’s son) would play Charlie, Lourdes Leon (Madonna’s daughter) would play Robin, and Morgan Freeman would play G’pa Joe. Alas, it is not to be. Perhaps one day, a trio of newcomers will play those roles. Now, if Roxx is made into a movie, I want to do the auditions myself. Calling all super-tall supermodels. Heh.

I too have dreams of casting for my movie- I have a lot of circus people- yum.

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

Wow. I have ADD, so I’m actually working on three things. (Remember, I’m the guy with 5 blogs). First, I am editing the 3rd book of my series, The Stream. It’s called Emprise, and I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m also editing a post-apocalypse Sci-Fi adventure, Hard as Roxx. I love Roxx. Imagine if Clint Eastwood’s “Man with no Name” character had a baby with Gisele Bundchen, and that baby grew up studying Jeet Kune Do (a la Bruce Lee) her entire life. Yeah, she’s like that, and 6’3”. Now, imagine if she lived in a world where only one child was legal, or even possible, and the penalty for violating that law was death. Yeah, you can guess what comes next. 🙂 Mama times two. Roxx does not like bad laws.

However … you said super secret … so, I should talk about the new book. So far, I just have the main characters and the title. I know the basics, but haven’t come up with the big “What If” yet. It’s called D ‘ark, after the title character, Jeanne Dark. Dark is a thriller about a woman who was hit by a vehicle on her sixteenth birthday. She suffered massive brain damage that sent her into a coma. It resulted in her brain’s central mapping having been disrupted, and then, re-mapped in a way heretofore unseen. She can read people. It isn’t psychic ability, exactly. She’s not reading their minds. Rather, she can see them for whom they really are. In effect, her brain’s reads visuals, her subconscious, and intuition as if they were one thing. People’s words are colors; their thoughts are light, and their true essence is as real to her as hair color is to you or I. Except that no one but her sister knows. All people see is the slightly damaged security consultant who can never remove her sunglasses.

Or something like that. 🙂

I can’t wait until you start posting snippets of it on your blog.

9-What style of book do you secretly long to write, but are afraid to try and do?

I want to write Space Opera, which I would merge with a romance. That. Would. Rock. However, I’m still not ready. I’m just about to start reading Iain Banes’ Surface Detail to get in that Space Opera frame of mind. Or just in the mood for popcorn.

I don’t think I could write a Space Opera, but I would read yours.

10-As an author, tell us three things that will mean success to you in your writing career.

I can interpret this question a number of ways. Either you are asking what achievement will represent success, or what factors I think will lead to my eventually becoming successful. In answering, I guess I’d combine the two.

First, my definition of writing success is that my books become popular, widely read, and people look forward to the next work. Wildly successful, in that vein, means I can retire from my day job, because there is sufficient demand for my books.

However, even if that’s true, if books are selling wildly, and people are buying, I won’t feel like a success unless I am satisfied that I’ve become at least a very good writer. There is a technical side to the craft and an artistic side. Good writing requires mastering both. I would want my books to sell because the consensus is that I am good at crafting a story, I have a unique viewpoint, and people care what happens in my books. If the books sell, but these things are not true, I’d still be disappointed.

Finally, in order to have a story that someone cares about, I think it comes down to characters. Sure, there are plenty of readers who are more concerned with other things, but as a reader, I’ve always been character-driven. Therefore, success for me means I have developed memorable characters, they are based in genuine human behavior, you, as a reader, can feel what they feel, see what they see, and weep when they hurt. And, when their story has ended, I would want you to feel a loss at their absence.

That longing, once the book is done, and the story told, that is the stuff of which dreams are made. That, to me, is success.

Bill thank you so much for taking the time to join me today! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better.

To find out what’s going on with Bill you can follow his Writing Blog or Photo Blog or Charlie and Robin’s Tumblr Blog or Bill’s Website He also has a Twitter and a Facebook

The Stream: Discovery –

Charlie Patterson is an exceptionally bright young man, with no close friends. When his great-grandfather becomes trapped within the world of dreams, the Stream, Charlie and his friends set off to save him. There they will encounter fur-covered dragons, deserts of colored glass, distorted history, and strange beings galore. However, there is a growing darkness in the Stream, and it wants both Charlie and his great-grandfather.

Charlie’s entire summer has been filled with increasingly disturbing dreams. Most feature a strange, dark-haired girl, who watches, but does not speak. Her name is Robin LeBeaux, a girl from New Mexico with a tragic past, and she is quite real. Despite Charlie’s insistent logic, and Robin’s enthusiastic illogic, they become fast friends. Together, guided by Robin’s deceased sister, they discover a singular talent – the ability to walk into and influence others’ dreams.

The Stream: Awakening – The Early Reviews

In the second installment of The Stream, Charlie and his friends return to escort us back to their fantastical world. It is impossible to not be irresistibly lured in by Bill Jones’ inventive characters and page-turning pace, as skillfully crafted in The Awakening as it was in The Discovery. Once again, Charlie is the ideal humble hero, each character’s individuality comes through in clever, zany dialogue, and our imaginations are enchanted through clear and vivid scene descriptions. Fans anxiously awaiting this sequel won’t be disappointed.

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.

Bayard/Lamb Vote for a Pair in the White House!


I am thrilled to be hosting the lovely, practical, and fierce Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb on their world renown blog tour. I hope the questions I have asked this dynamic duo will entertain you and help you choose who to vote for this November!

1- With the internet the world is become a smaller place and yet it feels like we really don’t know a lot if any thing about other countries and cultures, how will you help us get to know other peoples and their way of life?

Actually, with the internet and the constant emphasis in popular culture on “cultural diversity,” we think the most elusive cultural concept is that of American culture. So we would start out by introducing people to American culture.

America has become so fractured by Special Snowflake groups, all in a race to hyphenate themselves into special status, special benefits, and special linguistic treatment, that this country has forgotten what we all share – an American culture.

What is American culture? It’s this computer we’re reading on. It’s the car we drive. It’s the subway we ride.

And the smartass t-shirts we’re wearing? Hard core American culture. Seriously. Nothing says American like a smartass t-shirt.

And ketchup. Would the French have invented ketchup? The Germans? The Africans? No. Way. In fact, we came up with ketchup just to piss them off. It ties us together as a people. We even put ketchup on our smartass t-shirts. What could be more American? That’s what our school kids need to be learning instead of how different we would all like to think we are.

We could go on, but the fact is that there is entirely too much emphasis on “cultural diversity.” We need more emphasis on what makes us Americans. More cultural solidarity. Let the uniting force of ketchup flow!

2- In my work I see a lot of children not reading at grade level. The current school programs just aren’t working. How will you help increase not only our children’s ability to read but their love of reading?

First of all, we will leave them alone and let them be kids. According to the wisdom of ages, children aren’t developmentally ready to read until they begin to lose their teeth (around age seven). Part of the reason many kids don’t love reading is because they’re stuffed into chairs and force-fed the alphabet from the time they are three years old. You know that generation of Americans who put men on the moon with a slide rule? Yeah. They learned to read at age seven, and they were fine.

When the kids reach second grade, we will provide them with Kinects and interactive video games. Their world is a world of internet and text so we will teach them with their own tools. Not only will they learn to read, but teaching them with Kinect will also combat childhood obesity. It’s win/win. Kids get their few precious years to be kids, and when they do learn to read, they are getting a bit of exercise, as well.

3- In times of possible or emanate disaster our government has put out notices of emergency supplies everyone we should have on hand. With an Alien Invasion and/or Zombie Apocalypse looming over us, what will you as our fearless leaders recommend for us to fill our emergency boxes with?

Pictures of Nancy Pelosi and Rosie O’Donnell in bikinis. It will make aliens turn around and go home immediately, and it will make zombies rip out their own eyes and start eating themselves. If you still want to live, yourself, after seeing those pictures, stock up on ammo and Twinkies.

4- I remember from an earlier post your plan to help with the energy crisis by giving everyone a bicycle to help power our gadgets, and there by losing weight- I’d like mine to be and elliptical please. However as the fattest country in the world it seems to me we need to change our relationship with food. The French have five course school lunches and frown on parents picking up their children during lunch. The Japanese have made it illegal to be overweight. How will you education adults and children in order to eat healthier?

Our Secy of Agriculture Shawna Coronado, has already started a campaign to make food, itself, healthier. The fact is that there is something fundamentally wrong when we can blindfold people and put fruit in front of them, and they can’t tell us what it is because it doesn’t smell like fruit.

Big Food puts everything from GMO’s to beaver anal glands (“natural flavorings”) in our food, and they aren’t even required to tell us. We believe people should know what is going into their bodies. We will have stringent labeling regulations, and we will go after the food industry with the same fervor as people went after the cigarette industry. Our motto will be, “If a second grader can’t read it, don’t eat it.”

5- Teenagers can make some amazingly stupid choices. Is there anything you’ll be able to do to help our teens make healthy choices? I would be nice if more of them could reach their early twenty without getting pregnant, maimed in a DUI, or joining a cult.

As the saying goes, you can’t grow brains and balls (or boobs) at the same time. The fact is that teenagers are going to make stupid choices. That’s why we call them teenagers and we don’t let them vote or drink.

However, we believe the way to start influencing kids to make more sensible choices is to start with the adults. Particularly in schools, there’s no common sense in dealing with kids. As a result, there is no respect for authority, and there is no trust when a teen needs guidance.

Take Zero Tolerance policies, for example. A 10-year-old child in Piper’s school district found she’d picked up her mother’s lunch bag, which contained a small knife to peel an apple. She immediately turned in the knife. Her reward for her honesty and good citizenship? She was suspended from school. I’m guessing she will never make the mistake of talking sensibly to an adult at her school again.

How can we complain about kids not using their brains when we don’t use ours? We will start teaching teens by being better examples. We will re-introduce intelligence and discretion when dealing with our youth rather than simply enforce reactionary measures that abdicate our responsibility to think and respond appropriately. We’re running on the platform of common sense. Instead of trickle down economics, we’re going for trickle down horse sense.

6- We put such a huge emphasis on school and college that those children and adults without that type of book/study intelligence feel stupid and less then- it didn’t always use to be this way. Do you have a plan to make blue collar jobs respectable choices again? Will there be education programs in High School for those who would rather rebuild an engine, lay tile, or landscape then sit and read another text book on the civil war?

We would turn once again to reality TV. Right or wrong, the entertainment industry leads our nation in defining pop culture concepts, such as the concept of physical beauty. In the 1950s, “5’2” and eyes of blue” was all the rage, not to mention blonde hair and white girls.

It wasn’t until such greats as Tyra, Naomi Campbell, Grace Jones became beauty and movie icons that concepts of beauty expanded to include the majority of the population. And Star Trek, alone, was revolutionary with its cast: Lt. Uhura in the heart of the Civil Rights Movement, Checkov in the deep of the Cold War, and Sulu only 20 years after our war with Japan, and while we were at war with Viet Nam. All of these characters were popular images that challenged traditional stereotypes.

If we’re going to get kids excited about being carpenters, policemen and plumbers, we need to glorify those professions in popular culture. Have a “bachelor” who drives a garbage truck. Have a reality TV series about how much money plumbers make. Have sit coms about landscapers who love their work. Kids need to see healthy examples of blue collar professions in the pop culture around them.

7. Every year there are dozens of articles, news reports, and talks on body image and how our media effects our children’s views of themselves. One of the things I like about BBC shows is they have real average looking people in them- not always, but even their pin up lovely ones are more real looking then most of our actors and actresses. Can you as our future leaders do anything about the images our children are exposed to?

Have the children turn off the TV and go outside to play. Then refer to our answer for question 6. J

We want to thank Alica for her time and for hosting us today. It’s been an honor.

If you would like to host a Bayard/Lamb 2012 Campaign Blog Tour Stop, please contact Piper at And remember. Vote Bayard/Lamb 2012 – Because We’re Not the Other Guys.