Editorial by Carlos Sabino on the lack of response by Latin American countries to the critical situation in Venezuela. Panamá remains the only country to demand the OAS (Organization of American States) intervene. As a result, Venezuelan President Maduro severed economic and diplomatic ties with Panamá on Wednesday. This was the statement released to the press by President Martinelli of Panamá, in response. It is important to acknowledge, that Venezuela was one of the most vocal countries in calling for investigations of violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations in Panamá, in the mid to late 1980s.
I love the Betches for their hard-hitting commentary. And, snark.
I watched and live tweeted throughout the show on “tvtag.” It was one of the best Oscars shows I’ve seen in years. If Ellen is not available to host, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, should be considered. The female comics keep the jokes funny and tasteful.
I lived in Tampa for almost ten years, before moving to St. Petersburg and can vouch for the eclectic arts scene that exists here. While the article mentions our new and growing craft beer industry and some of the local breweries, it fails to acknowledge the long-time City, County and private partnerships that have contributed greatly to re-investments in the City of St. Petersburg. Our City has dedicated green space and dog parks, and a Mayor, Rick Krisemen, who worked tirelessly throughout his career to ensure our Human Rights Ordinance was developed and passed. In fact, he was the first elected official to sign last year’s St. Pete Pride Proclamation, which coincided with one of the most successful, family-oriented, Pride celebrations in the country. (He served on the City Council when he signed the Proclamation and was instrumental in keeping pressure on previous Mayors to sign the Proclamation).
Palabras de mí compatriota, cantante, actor y activísta, Rubén Blades. No siempre hemos coincidido en la materia política, pero presenta un buen resúmen de las fallas garrafales, por todos los mandatarios y partidos políticos, en Venezuela.
Desafortunadamente, Argentina, Brasil, Uruguay y Paraguay han respaldado a un gobierno que continúa la repreción y violaciones de los derechos humanos de sus ciudadanos. Las redes de comunicación mundiales todavíano dan la cara por los el pueblo Venezolano.
¡Sigan la lucha, amigos, chamos y chamas! ¡Sus hermanos Latinoamericanos están con ustedes!
Penny Sansevieri summarized trends that authors need to understand, in order to remain competitive in a changing digital age. Everything you write, how you interact with readers and how many products you release are part of your brand. Be sure they all present a cohesive picture.
It was a beautiful Tuesday morning. The sun was shining and there were no clouds in the skies over Tampa Bay. The waters were serene and there was a break in the heat and humidity of the Summer.
I was parking my car under the building, ready for another day at my job, which I loved. I was listening to the popular morning radio show at the time. My office was less than a mile from Tampa International Airport.
Then the unthinkable happened as we watched on television. The events were horrific, and yet, they were real.
Unable to form words or thoughts, my co-workers and I either cried together, hugged each other or retreated into a quiet meditative space. I learned that our organization had no disaster plan of any type. As someone who had worked as an Urban Planner, on Emergency Management Plans and helped update our County’s Home Host Program, this was inconceivable. (That organization still did not have a Disaster Plan when I left for other opportunities. I doubt that they have implemented one, to this day).
I received the phone call from my husband. Hubby, my beloved US Army Veteran, was no stranger to terrorism, having been stationed in West Berlin. He immediately began to tell me what safety protocols needed to be activated, because terrorist attacks were suspected. To this day, he cannot explain how seamlessly his Threatcon persona appeared. In the weeks and months that followed, we remembered events from out pasts triggered by the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. Hubby helped me understand some deeply buried PTSD of my own (Panama – Operation Just Cause), while he opened up about some of his demons.
Twelve years have passed. Some things remain the same, while others have changed. Unfortunately, the closeness we found in each other, as human beings, in the immediate aftermath of the attacks has been forgotten. Sadly, it has been crushed by intolerance and hatred.
I pause to share the eloquent words of Meg Cabot’s 9/11 post. Meg, a bestselling author, lived in New York City at the time and her words still have the same impact as when she first published them.
Tymber Dalton has written some of the strongest alpha males in contemporary adult fiction. She has a unique talent to create multifaceted D/s and BDSM characters, because at the root of each character are honorable qualities, that are worth exploring. While some characters may require a great deal of redemption in their journey towards deeply emotional relationships, they all have something that draws readers in. We want to root for these characters.
I am disappointed with the current “fascination” with assholes masquerading as “alpha heroes,” especially in the NA genre. No one would want to date, bed or be in relationship with these men, outside of books. Why do we tolerate it from fictional characters? Aren’t they supposed to be our ideal men (and women)? Clearly, we need to raise our standards. Ms. Dalton provides advice and pitfalls to avoid, from an author’s perspective. One of the goals of books in “romance” categories, is for characters to reach a HEA or HFN (happily-ever-after or happy-for-now) culmination. Characters need to earn and deserve it.
I hoped this article, written by a member of Generation-Y, would spark a heated discussion, on his site. Unfortunately, it created a forum for people to question his facts, but not offer any alternative thoughts. Sadly, I suspect it will continue to degenerate into a list of “I know you are, but what am I,” “you’re WRONG,” or “______ you” comments, so I brought the discussion over here, so we could delve into it with a little more in depth.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of Generation X. I received extensive human resources training in generational differences in the workplace, but I am a product of my generation and it certainly impacts by world view. I identify with many of the characteristics ascribed to my generation: independent, due to being a latch key kid; suspicious and mistrusting of companies/corporations, after seeing many of my friends’ parents lose their jobs in the 1980s and 1990s; comfortable in a diverse workplace (and world), and place a great emphasis on work/life balance. I work to live, not live to work. I am also aware that we are not one of the larger generations (population-wise). I graduated college in 1991 and in the mid-1990s returned to advise a couple of student organizations, at the same university, as a volunteer.
For the past eight years, I have noticed a growing disconnect with the students. I knew I was “aging out,” or identifying more with their parents, than the students themselves. Every year I felt as if we were growing apart, even though I tried to keep up with their cultural trends and interests. This year, however, the gap became too great. I knew it was time to move on, when my patience dwindled to nothing.
One of the minor reasons I stopped advising college students, was that I felt they were too “fragile.” The women I worked with directly, learned quickly, that I never minced words. To some, it was a rude awakening. Some rose to the occasion immediately upon being treated as an adult. Others did not, and discovered the “joys” of personal accountability, or cleaning up one’s messes. I may have been the adviser, but ultimately, they were responsible for decisions made. Time after time, I was impressed by these women, but they seemed to be the exception, not the norm.
When I read Eddie Cuffin’s article it resonated with me, because it hit upon many of the things I witnessed, not the least of which was a delayed emotional maturity. At that moment, I knew my “honesty is the best policy”….well, brutal honesty, in my case, would not work with the newest generation and it was an opportunity for someone else to take my place. I was also exhausted of being “misinterpreted,” “translated” or worse, “watered-down” to make my words less harsh to delicate Generation-Y egos. So, I moved on, but left with a sense that there was unfinished business and that I never really understood the newest 18-20-year-olds.
Generation-Y followers, do any of the ideas brought forth in this article resonate with you? What about my Generation X and Baby Boomer followers, what have you observed? Please share!
My Mazel of the day goes to Julie Richman, for tearing my heart out to Bruce Springsteen, the soundtrack of my youth. I have some beautiful Mazel Shot Glasses from Andy Cohen’s Bravo Clubhouse, just for you, Missy.
I will start by publicly flogging myself for thinking this was a “New Adult” novel, featuring a bunch of entitled, horny, self-centered, shiftless college students. It is not. I will further admit that I purchased it on sale, thinking it was a New Adult novel, featuring a bunch of entitled, horny, self-centered, shiftless college students. Therefore, my Catholic girl penance is that I am writing this post at 4:45 a.m. ET, after staying up all night long to finish reading Searching for Moore Enough said.
Ok, I took a couple of cat naps last night and work from home. Don’t feel too badly for me.
Holy debut novel, Batman.
I mean, HOLY. FUCKING. DEBUT. NOVEL.
The premise is simple: what if you were only one Facebook friend request away from your true love – that one person who knew you better than you knew yourself – 24 years after you last saw each other? Would you reconnect with her/him, even if it meant uprooting the life you had been creating for yourself? If you were given that chance, would you take it?
Searching for Moore begins in the present day. Schooner Moore’s wife, CJ, is throwing a lavish party to celebrate his 43rd birthday. It is filled with “the beautiful people,” superficial individuals who only wish to be seen at this party to rub elbows with the rich and famous. Schooner Moore is both. What CJ and her “guests” fail to realize, however, is that Schooner dislikes the shallow displays of artifice that are his life and social circle. Then, his college buddy, Beau, casually mentions that he has chatted with Mia Silver, a classmate from college, via Facebook.
As Schooner reminisces, we are transported back twenty-four years into the past. He remembers their freshman year of college and the first taste of independence, of “finding himself,” meeting diverse people and learning about true love. Schooner meets and is immediately attracted to CJ, the quintessential, beautiful prom queen. They are the “perfect” All-American blonde couple, who would be featured in an ad for Ralph Lauren. He also meets Mia Silver, antithesis to CJ, sassy New Yorker, attending school in California, who marches to the beat of her own drum. CJ fits into his world, effortlessly, like a well-decorated room that lacks personality. Mia challenges his mind, steals his heart and completes his soul. Schooner and Mia are each other’s first true love. Then, Mia leaves him, without a word.
We return to the present day and Schooner sends Mia an innocuous Facebook friend request. A friend request that she is fated to accept. The story continues as the veil of time is lifted, a lifetime of betrayal by CJ is exposed, and that first true love is renewed.
Ms. Richman writes Schooner so that the reader is able to see the “real” Schooner that Mia sees. He has spent his life as a handsome shell, a chameleon who morphs into whomever he is expected to be. He has been incredibly successful in business, but we know he is so much more. Conversely, Mia is a ray of sunlight, warm, ebullient, full of life and loyal. She is successful, loved and will bring balance back into Schooner’s life. Unfortunately, not everyone is pleased with this reunion, especially CJ and Zac (CJ and Schooner’s son – who inherited his personality from CJ).
We live a lifetime through their story. There is the angst of first heart break, the ambivalence and acceptance of life’s circumstances, and the joy and hope for renewed, healing love. Then, Ms. Richman ends this rollercoaster ride of emotions with a cliffhanger the reader sees building from the middle of the story, but is incapable to stop. Searching for Moore is funny and quirky, profound, poignant and moving – all at the same time. It is the best book I have read about aging Generation-Xers, this year.
Exceptional debut for Ms. Richman! I need the second book NOW!!
For some reason, I have been consumed by military romances this Summer, especially those that seem to hit close to home. These stories feature men and women who have left active duty military service, returned to the US and reintegrated into civilian life. The majority of the characters are suffering the effects of PTSD, and other physical, mental, and/or emotional trauma. Perhaps this has been my way of working through some of my issues, as the wife of a former serviceman with PTSD. Or maybe I just like spicy, erotica featuring former military members and the people love them. Either way, anything that brings more attention to men and women who served, and continue to serve, is ok by me.
The latest story I read was Ann Mayburn’s “Still.” TEAR-JERKING SCORCHER.
On the surface Michelle Sapphire was not a female character I would typically like, as she was the typical beautiful, tall, blonde, rich, smart doctor. (Meh). However, she quickly established herself as a multifaceted woman I would want to know, as a professional (Doctor) and as a friend. While she was deployed to Afghanistan as a Navy doctor, she met Gunnery Sergeant Wyatt Callahan and they established a strong “brothers-in-arms” bond.
Upon returning to the U.S. Michelle and Wyatt were reunited suddenly when she bailed him out of jail, following an event triggered by his PTSD. She gave Wyatt two options: go home and never speak to her again, or agree to live with her for a month, as her submissive.
Wyatt accepted the challenge, and together they worked through their relationship, survivor’s guilt and commitment issues. Wyatt learned how to trust Michelle and their connection. Michelle, a Domme, learned to embrace another submissive into her heart and life. She dominated their scenes, but always ensured that Wyatt felt safe and cared for. The more they opened up to each other, the hotter the action got, and the deeper their emotions ran.
This was one of the most realistic depictions of PTSD, in men and women, I have read. Wyatt already respected Michelle, as a higher ranking Officer, so stepping into the role of her sub was a logical transition. By using the D/s relationship, Ms. Mayburn fully incorporated Michelle and Wyatt’s existing (non-physical or emotional) Officer/NCO connection to help each other through the realities of PTSD. It only helped to strengthen their D/s bond because they already trusted each other.
At the end of the book, Ms. Mayburn included a list of resources for service members and their families/friends that provided support services for everything from PTSD and other health concerns, to relocation, and homelessness. This was already an emotional read for me, and seeing the list at the end (in addition to Ms. Mayburn’s note to her readers at the beginning of the book) made me cry. She absolutely understood.
I hope Ms. Mayburn writes Yuki and James’ story, soon!
After reading so many books, some good, some bad, some great, about D/s relationships, I was looking for a novella that featured a Domme (Fem-Dom). I wanted to delve into the mind of a woman, who was a exploring, or discovering, her dominant nature. I was not interested in reading about a stiletto boot-wearing, riding crop-wielding, man-hater interested in cuckolding men, or a switch, or another ménage `n friends, etc. It was a short list. A very short list. I was happy to find Charming Carmen (Incognito 6).
Carmen’s friend Olivia (from Seducing Olivia [Incognito 1]) shared some of her experiences as a sub and Carmen was intrigued. Olivia (and her two husbands) invited Carmen to Incognito, their BSDM club, to see and learn more about the lifestyle. When she was introduced to some of the members, it was clear that Carmen was a Domme. She just had not learned how to express it. When Carmen saw Carl, she knew he was the sub for her. There was only one issue: Carl belonged to Kat, Domme and owner of Incognito. Oops? Awkward.
Carmen “won” a weekend with Carl (as her sub) as part of a fundraiser. They were both surprised to discover the connection they felt when the first met, was intensifying and could become deeper. Carl, an experienced sub, became her teacher. As they began to trust each other, emotions they sublimated also began to surface.
Their scenes were deeply personal and the writing really did Carmen’s character development, and growth into her Domme nature, justice. The scene where Carl finally submits fully, was beautifully constructed, and moves slowly and seductively. The sex was hot, and the connection between Carmen and Carl was palpable.
I did not read this series in order. In fact, as of writing this review, I have only read Charming Carmen (Incognito 6). The story stands alone, even though characters appear throughout the series in each other’s stories. I downloaded Collaring Kat (Incognito 5) and will likely read it next. I may work my way backwards, through the series, as most of the novellas feature more “traditional” D/s relationship with male Dom(s) and/or ménage.