Female Empowerment

Top Ten Reasons “Secretary” Beats “50 Shades of Grey” – SundanceTV

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I mentioned how poorly 50 Shades of Grey, tries to depict a D/s or BDSM relationship, in a few earlier posts.  This article illustrated it more concisely than I could.

Top Ten Reasons “Secretary” Beats “50 Shades of Grey” – SundanceTV.

Dusting off the Cobwebs

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deep-breathYes, I am still alive.   No, I don’t want to talk about it, because I know how badly I’ve neglected my blog.  Suffice it to say, that I have begun to climb out of the darkness and am finding new light.

I have met some interesting new people, and one amazing person in particular, with whom I have much in common.  Part of starting a new chapter, is the element of newness and wonder seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes.  Sometimes we need to step back and strip away our biases against ourselves and see the simple beauty they see.  Thank you friend, for seeing inside my soul and being present with me.

There are a few wonderful books I’ll be sharing with you soon.   Just have to knock the cobwebs off the blog and publish my reviews.

Happy weekend, everyone.  I promise not to be a stranger.  Much.

A-Z Challenge: “B” is for Blogging

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BWhen I started this blog, it had no real direction or theme.  In fact, I did not expect anyone to read it because it was going to be a place to synthesize my thoughts.  I never expected to “meet” other bloggers and be moved by their words, laugh with them or feel badly when they were experiencing the tough side of life.

I also did not expect to post my thoughts on books in a public forum for others to read.  I was content with posting my thoughts on Amazon or Goodreads, but the blog gave me the opportunity to add more personal comments that I did not feel were appropriate on Amazon or Goodreads.  Ultimately, this led to the reorganization of the blog.

My life has been in a state of transition for the past four years and some things are still unsettled.  I feel that everyone that has flowed in and out of my life, has helped me move in the right direction.  Some have moved into my life for a brief period to demonstrate what I want or do not want out of friendships and some have helped me along my blogging journey.  So today, I am recognizing Michelle from Ms. Romantic Reads, Anna from Herding Cats & Burning Soup, Becca from Lady or Not…Here I Come, The Chicks from Chick Swagger and Suzie from Suzie81 Speaks.  All of these bloggers have encouraged me, stopped by to chat and inspired me with their words.   May you all continue to brighten other people’s days with your wit, snark and spirited discussions.

 

Bella Juarez releases “Hanging By a Moment”

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Used with permission by the author.
Used with permission by the author.

Widower and Air Force reservist, Tom Ryan fills the empty spaces in his life by building dream homes for others. When he’s invited to a client’s party, he meets the owner’s sister-in-law, a tempestuous artist, and discovers that maybe there is a wrong time to meet the right person…

Free-spirited Emily Sanchez is known for pushing the envelope in art, but meeting dependable, and down-to-earth Tom challenges her. The man has submissive written all over him, and she thinks she might be just the woman to peel back the layers and release the brilliant passion inside.

But when they are paired by Madame Eve, Tom turns the tables on Emily, because he’s always been curious about the lifestyle and if the chaotic artist is willing to surrender, they may discover their deepest desire…

Purchase Hanging by a Moment on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or BookStrand.

About the Author:

Bella Juarez is originally from San Antonio, Texas and now lives and writes on a small ranch in South Central Texas. She draws inspiration from the real life heroes and heroines of the United States military and her many experiences in the twelve years she worked within that world as well as from her life in the civilian world. Her love of thrill and adventure are reflected in her stories. When she’s not writing, Bella runs a business and is active in the business community. She also runs half-marathons.

Find out more about Bella on her website, follow her on Twitter, and like her Facebook page.

5-Stars for Hayson Manning’s “Winning the Boss’s Heart” – Book Review

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Manning-winning-bosss-heartMason Christian has twelve weeks to flip something old into something new, and then he’s getting the hell out of Footsteps Bay – a tiny New Zealand coastal town. Not even his temporary secretary and personal assistant–the feisty, luscious Billie McLeod–will deter him, but there’s no denying she makes him feel alive. More alive than he’s felt in three years…
Billie has one dream: save enough money to finish her degree. That’s why she’s agreed to work for hard ass, all-business-no-pleasure Mason Christian–a man who has every intention of destroying through modernization the town’s most cherished historical home. Before she can say ‘see ya’ she’s signed on the dotted line and is contractually bound to be Mason’s forty-second assistant. But working with male perfection every day is awesome with a capital A–as long as they can stick to a hands-off policy that gets harder every day…

My Review

42 Gives Magic Man the Last Offer He Will Ever Refuse

With her second book, Winning the Boss’s Heart, Hayson Manning took us to her beautiful home country of New Zealand.   Set in the bucolic coastal town of Footsteps Bay, Mason Christian hired Billie McLeod to work as his personal assistant on a project he hoped would be completed quickly.

Billie was a heroine who knew her own worth.   After suffering some personal setbacks, she was saving money to finish her degree, and working for Mason seemed like the fastest way to earn the most money.   She fearlessly challenged Mason and the sarcastic nicknames she created for him, were inspired.  Nothing like treating the boss with the same impersonal disdain, as he treated his employees.

Mason was a deeply broken man, sublimating his emotions in his work and keeping people at arm’s length.   As his feelings for Billie grew, he was forced to confront some painful events from his past.   Little did Mason know that fate would intervene, to give him a compelling second chance at love story.  Ms. Manning beautifully constructed and sensitively handled, Mason’s heartbreaking past.

Billie and Mason’s interactions ran the gamut of emotions from trepidation, to antagonism, to friendship, and finally, acceptance, and love.  Lovingly meddlesome townsfolk and growing spicy, sexy action rounded out this terrific story.

With Wife in Name Only, Hayson Manning became a must-read author for me.   After, Winning the Boss’s Heart, she became a must-preorder or must-1-click author for me.     I highly recommend her books for well-developed characters, richly illustrated locations and secondary characters and multilayered storytelling,

Links to my review on Amazon and Goodreads.

About the Author

Author Hayson ManningHayson Manning grew up in a small New Zealand town in a family of scientists and engineers Hayson was told firmly that her ‘day dreaming’ phase would end. Soon, she’d be entranced by the inner workings of the periodic table and be spellbound by quantum physics. But Hayson loved living in the lands she created. Oh, the creatures that stopped by. The princes and princesses, unicorns and Frank a friendly chain-smoking shark.

It soon became apparent Hayson wasn’t going to be awarded the Nobel Prize for services to the atom.

She conformed and has worked as a demon word processor, sliced ham in a delicatessen, sorted freight, pulled midnight shifts in a bank and counted baked bean cans in a stock-take. She never stopped dreaming of writing alpha dudes and sassy woman.

She’s lived in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, London, California and is now in Sydney. All she ever wanted to do was write fun and flirty people who aren’t perfect but will fight for that one person who will love them for who they are.

Represented by Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates, that dream has come true, writing for Entangled Publishing. She loves a good glass of wine, dreams of winning the lottery, cries while watching Antiques Roadshow and cannot speak she’s sobbing so much by the end of Undercover Boss. She is also an expert at finding new and inventive ways to avoid exercise.

Find out more about Hayson on her website, follow her on Twitter and like her Facebook page.  She loves to hear from her fans.

“Battle Flag” by Lo Fidelity Allstars featuring Pigeonhed is the Song of the Day

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A word of caution.I first heard “Battle Flag” in the late 1990s as a club mix. It was originally written as an homage to Prince by Pigeonhed and remixed and recorded by Lo Fidelity Allstars. The beat and a few of the lyrics stuck with me. However, it was not until I heard it on the episode of “ER” where Dr. Carter (Noah Wylie) meets, and is stabbed by, a Schizophrenic patient that it grabbed me.

Then, I heard it on an episode of The Sopranos and was thrilled when they included on one of their show soundtracks.  It has become one of my get-up-and-MOVE jams.

The song starts off with a bang and just keeps going. Here are the first few lines:

Your construction
Smells of corruption
I manipulate to recreate
This air to ground saga
Gotta launder my karma

Gotta launder my karma, indeed.   Great advice for all of us.     Wave your own battle flag!

Another Year. Another Birthday. Hell, Yeah!

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happy-birthday-to-me-21117388Ponder this thought for a moment: middle age rocks.  I speak of this from experience, as a member of the last generation to have a truly “innocent” childhood and adolescence.

I grew up during the Cold War, learned what GRID/HIV/AIDS was and how it was really transmitted, in middle and high school.  I watched the Challenger accident happen live.  I remember the launch of MTV, and when the “M” was synonymous with music, like the “US Festival” and “Live Aid.”  “Lollapalooza” was a little known festival advertised on college radio that took place in an empty field in Orlando, which now houses another shopping center.   Trips to New York City included a stop on the observation deck of the World Trade Center, as well as, dodging drug dealers and prostitutes on Broadway and 42nd Streets.

Some days I feel every bit of my age, as I reach for my bifocals to read menus or an article online.  Often, however, I do not.   I have been told consistently that I look about ten years younger than I am.   I have no desire to pretend to be anything but 46.  I earned each grey hair, extra pound and stiff joint and muscle.   I have also earned the right to look back upon my life fondly, but choose to look forward with a renewed sense of adventure.  I have no desire to be in my twenties, or thirties, again.  Did you hear that Madison Avenue?

The best part about being in my mid-forties is the ability to say, “fuck it,” and mean it.  I am not going to be an attorney, police officer or super-heroine, as I dreamed about in my youth.  I am happy to know it and move on.   Age brings wisdom, but also self-reflection and self-care.   It is liberating, sexy, peaceful and joyful.

My goal is to help contemporary fiction authors realize they are missing a rich demographic by not writing about middle-aged characters, who are sexy, intelligent, independent, quirky and fully developed.   After all, we have more disposable income to purchase books, and will, if we see ourselves reflected back.  The beauty of self-publishing is that consumers, not publishing companies, are driving demand.   I will be demanding more experienced characters, loudly.   I am 46 today, hear me roar!