Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Year in Review

This is the last week of 2015, and so I thought I’d reflect on my resolutions for the year. As I reread some of my posts from January, I see that I had a lot of goals, which is great. It is always good to have aspirations. But as I review those goals I realize that for many of them I have fallen short of the goal line. We won’t even focus on the ubiquitous weight loss goal. Let’s just say that I’m still a work in progress. But you’ll be happy to know that I’ve bought not one, but two Beachbody exercise programs to whip me into shape for 2016. I know, I know, but hope always springs eternal. Now onto writing, I thought I’d be done with writing Eli and Mia’s story, but I’m not. Life got in the way, as did laziness, if I’m being perfectly honest. My new goal is to have it finished and ready to send out to a publisher by June. My writing group helped me to work out some of the kinks, and I hope the new direction will make for a better story. As for my western, my plan was to edit it throughout the year. Sadly, I’ve not really looked at it. I think part of the problem is that I’m focusing on its flaws instead of its great potential. Maybe in 2016 give it another chance and fall in love with it again. My last resolution was writing this blog. I had committed to posting every week about things I loved, be they about the written word or not. I’m thrilled to write that I was mostly successful. There were only two weeks that I failed to create a post. Now that I’m at the end of this journey, I wish I had been able to report back that I had posted every week. Not that it had been always easy. There weeks I wracked my brain trying to come up with a topic, other weeks ideas were rushing at me. However, without knowing that I had made a commitment to my readers, I don’t think I would have been as determined to blog every week (almost). I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog as much as I have had in writing it. See you next year! Oh, and long live resolutions!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Things to Love about Christmas

Christmas is almost here and though it isn’t my favorite holiday (that distinction belongs to Thanksgiving) there are still plenty of things that I love about the holiday season. I love getting Christmas cards, smelling my tree after a long day, and getting gifts doesn’t suck either. Here are the three things I love most about Christmas. I absolutely adore Advent calendars. I’d never even heard of them before going to college. Then during my freshman year, my French roommate got a care package from Paris. I can’t remember all of the goodies she received, but I do remember being entranced by her colorfully decorated paper and cardboard calendar. I was absolutely charmed as she got a chocolate treat as she did a daily countdown to Christmas. I wanted a calendar so bad. Now I have an Advent Calendar of my own and my honey leaves treats for me to find every day. I love me some Donnie Hathaway, Mariah Carey and Darlene Love and I love them even more when they are crooning their Christmas hits. But, as much as I love secular Christmas songs, my absolute favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. After Thanksgiving I hear it all the time over the radio and in movies, but when I was young the only place I had heard O Holy Night was in my church. It was sung by my mother. I’d be so proud hearing her beautiful voice singing words of love for the Christ child and giving justice to the author’s words. Now when I listen to it, it reminds me of my mother as much as it reminds me of Jesus’ birth. Lastly, yall know I love movies and television right? So I think it is fitting that my third most favorite thing about Christmas is a movie that got famous from being on television all of the time. No, not A Christmas Story, (though I do love that movie), but It’s a Wonderful Life. How can you not love George Bailey’s story of sacrifice, family, dreams deferred and friendship? My honey has never seen the movie and I’ve just bet her that she can’t sit through it without crying. I know that George, ZuZu and Clarence will move her and make her appreciate life and the Christmas season as much as it has made me appreciate them. And yes, I cry every time I watch it. I hope that for this Christmas you get a chance to enjoy all of the things that make the holiday special for you. From the bottom of my heart, have a very merry Christmas and an amazing New Year!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

My Favorite Contemporary Romances

A few posts ago I created a list of my ten favorite historical romances. Today I thought I’d share a list of my favorite contemporary romances. This list was definitely harder to create than the earlier one, probably because I’ve been reading historicals for almost 30 years compared to just 10 years for contemporaries. In no particular order, I bring you my favorite contemporary romances. • Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E. L. James. Okay, this is actually my favorite one. What can I say, I’d love to have Christian Grey served up on a platter. Preferably naked and as neurotic as he wants to be. • Breaking the Silence by Katie Allen. I love me some alphas and anti-heroes. But the hero in this book is a sweet, hot beta boy that just steals your heart. • Josh and Hannah by Lynda Chance. I don’t read a lot of YA or NA but Lynda Chance writes one hell of a dominant alpha hero even if he’s still in high school. • Knight by Kristen Ashley. When you don’t want to read about a bad boy, but are craving a bad man, then Knight is the one for you. This might have been the first time I’ve ever had to question my morals because of a romance. Read it and see if you will too. • Twist Me trilogy by Anna Zaires. If you love a capture romance, if you love a sociopath for a hero and all kinds of violence then this one is for you. Trust me, you’ll love it (or hate it ) • Willing Victim by Cara McKenna—this one is an honorable mention. Unfortunately the book ends just when the romance really begins, but it is so hot, is about such a taboo topic and is written so well that I couldn’t help but add it to the list.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sexiest Lap Dance Ever

I don't know what it is about this scene that I love so much. It could be because I love watching lap dances, or because Tarantino truly understands the sensuality of the everyday (can you say flip flops?). Or maybe it is the dancer's slight pooch peaking out of her t-shirt. All I know is this scene makes me fan myself every time I see it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Love of the Dance

My friend Vincent surprised me with tickets to the Nutcracker this weekend and I loved it. This was the third time I’d seen the show but probably the first time I truly enjoyed it. To be fair, I was a kid the other times and I have never enjoyed wordless entertainment. Also, I think I appreciated it more because I too am a dancer. My mother put me in dance classes when I was five because she thought the exercise would solve the problem of my skinny legs. She was wrong, but my love of dance was born. I’ve danced in recitals and later in life in clubs. However, my appreciation of dance and dancers didn’t really come to life until I had to entertain an audience. I know what it feels like to worry about my wig being on straight or if my moves are on point. I know the exhaustion and the exhilaration of being on stage and figuring out when I can take a potty break while still in costume. There’s a lot you have to do to present perfection for an audience. Too many times dancers don’t get credit for all they do and all they inspire. The Nutcracker has reminded me that no matter its form, dance speaks to something in my soul. To be able to express oneself with arms and legs and facial expressions is a gift that I don’t want to take for granted. And I certainly don’t want to take it for granted in other dancers. Thank you Nutcracker for bringing me so much joy. What a way to start off the holiday season!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving Yall!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands down. You’d think it was Halloween since it is my birthday and I love ghosts, or the Fourth of the July for the fireworks and barbeque or even Christmas with all of the pageantry that comes along with it. But none of them can hold a candle to Thanksgiving in my heart. The simplicity of breaking bread with those you love, appeals to me. It warms my heart that as a nation we have this one meal in common. I adore the idea of someone spending hours slaving in the kitchen to create a perfect meal for those dear to them. I love the fact that we focus on what we are thankful for and that there are no presents to take the focus off friends and family. Heck, I love the food! I hope this Thanksgiving you have the chance to spend it with someone you love and that you have something for which to give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I am a Writer

Those of you who read this blog know that many times I use this blog to make confessions. So here goes another, I haven’t been writing consistently for a while. Like a long while. And when I say consistently, I mean hardly ever. Yup, I’ve been committing the sin of being a writer who doesn’t write. I don’t think it is because I don’t like my work in progress or because I don’t have the time. It is just so hard dang it. I was supposed to have completed my rough draft by the end of the summer. It is now mid-November and I’m still far far away from that goal. Rats. Most days I come home from work and all I want to do is lay in my Lazy Boy, watch some TV and read a good book (oh the irony I know). On the weekends I’ll think about my book , think about writing my book and before I know it, Sunday night has rolled around and all I’m doing is dreading the beginning of another work week—it has been one of those years. Going to my romance writers’ meetings are very inspirational and tend to light a fire under me, sadly the fire tends to die out by the end of that day. But I became inspired at my last meeting. I knew that NaNoWriMo was coming up and I wanted to participate, so I set that as my goal at the meeting. No, I’m not writing non-stop for hours every day, but I have committed to writing every day from October 24 until November 30. Let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy. I’ve battled tiredness, frustration, a weekend get-away, my birthday and a court summons. And yet I’ve kept my commitment to myself. Many days I only write three sentences (the minimum I’ve committed to) and sometimes I’ve written pages but through it all this experiment has reminded me that in order to be a writer I must write. After posting this blog I’ll be off to put in my pages for the day. My name is Mila; I am a writer, so I must write.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Happy Anniversary The Love She Wants!

It is the first year anniversary of The Love She Wants. I thought in celebration I'd post the scene from Moulin Rouge that helped inspire the tango scenes. I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I heart Ghosties

I love Halloween. Not because it is my birthday or because people get super creative playing dress up or even because we come together as a community in an effort to rot the teeth of small children. Nah, those are just bonuses. I love Halloween and the Halloween season because of all the scary ghost stories on TV. Now, I’m not talking about fake ghost stories like the kind told ‘round a campfire that keeps you shivering in your tent instead of using the bathroom. No, I adore honest to God, real ghosts and the stories about them. That’s right, I believe in ghosts and am fascinated by their behavior. I love hearing about how they haunt houses and people. I love how they appear at night or right out in the daylight. I love how they spook and confuse folk. Maybe most of all, I love how they confirm my belief in life after death. Don’t get me wrong though, I am scared of ghosts and am afraid that I might one day see one in person. But that doesn’t stop me from relishing every ghoulish tale I see and hear. Maybe it is just in my blood. I am a Halloween baby after all.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Crushin' On Girl Crush

Okay, I am really late to the party on this song. I haven't been listening to country music lately, so I missed out on this song when it came out. Every once in a while I'd catch the very end of it while flipping through stations and think 'gee that sounds good'. But before today I'd never heard all of Girl Crush. OMG (I know, so 2012)I'm OBSESSED with this song! It is so sexy and so sad that it makes me want to cry and fan myself at the same time. If you've never heard it, you're in for a treat. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Love, My Lust, The Infomercial

Hello, my name is Mila and I love infomercials. All kinds too, be they about a miracle blender or an age defying skin care regimen or even a fish oil supplement. If it can make my life better, I’m listening. But my absolute favorite, the kind of infomercial that I love the most, is the all mighty exercise video infomercial. Some Saturday mornings I’ll scroll through my channels just searching for new exercise infomercials. And sadly, it doesn’t end there. Once I find one that catches my interest, I will watch it two to three times that day, and then several more times during the week. Within a week I’m obsessed with the product and believe that it will be the key to my happiness. I’m going to be thin, and healthy and gorgeous once I get my hands on it. My current obsession is PiYo. Maybe you’ve seen the ads, it is a combination of Pilates and yoga. Talk about speaking to me, those are two types of workouts that I actually enjoy. Did I mention that I have Pilates videos and have a whole cardio/yoga program that I bought a year ago (I had to have it after watching another infomercial, go figure)? But lusting or not, I have promised myself I won’t give into my infomercial lust, at least not yet. I have plenty of videos, many of them unviewed. PiYo has to wait until I’ve tried some of my other loves that I lost interest in once in my possession—I mean come on, actually doing the videos can be a dud. I’d much rather just fantasize about my after photo. So no new videos for me, but no one can stop me from trolling those channels looking for my next love.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Autumn Love

I’m a fall baby so it is no wonder that I have a special affinity for the season. Like most, I love the changing of the leaves and the crispness in the air, but those aren’t what I love most about fall. First off, I love that it has two names and of the two autumn is my favorite. It is so romantic and evocative. But that is only the beginning, I love seeing my local Dairy Queen advertising Pumpkin Spice Blizzards. Those things are amazing and I don’t even like pumpkin pie. I love finally seeing caramel apples in my local grocery store and the first biting taste of apple cider of the year. I know, you’re thinking I only love the tastes of fall, but that’s not true. I love snuggling up on my couch on the weekends when the wind is blowing and knowing that I don’t have to face the chilly weather if I don’t want to. I love hearing the reverberation of Friday night announcers’ voices as they explain what’s going on during that night’s football game, even though I’m not at the game. I love flipping through magazines to see what this year’s new boots will look like, even if I have to intention of sporting them. And don’t get me started on big sweaters. When the first leaves fall off the trees, I know I can finally dig out my big sweaters and lose myself in their comfort. Summer is my favorite season, but the charms of autumn sure do give her a run for her money! So what do you love about fall? Are they my favorite things or whole different slew of wonders that make you happy when the leaves turn?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Happy Birthday Grandma

Today is my grandma’s birthday but sadly this is her first birthday where she’s not here with us. She would have been 102 today. Last year we celebrated at the Cheesecake Factory and although she was in a wheelchair, had lost her second oldest son two days before and was wearing a wig, grandma didn’t seem like she had spent 101 years on Earth. In fact, people kept coming up to her and congratulating her and telling her how good she looked and how young she seemed. Thinking about Grandma makes me feel warm inside. She was smart, loved reading (guess I got that from her) and could make me smile with a sly comment. She lived far longer than most of us will, so I can’t say that I wished she had more time but I confess I wish I had spent more time asking her questions about her life. If you still have a grandma or a grandma figure in your life make sure you find out her life story, give her some love and let her know what she means to you. Happy Birthday Grandma! I hope you’re having fun up there!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Brainstorming, and Laughing and Writing Oh My

Every year a group of romance writer friends and I rent a house by a lake and brainstorm books together. We help each other if we are stuck on a problem or come up with plot points that we wouldn’t think of on our own. When this started we would come up with ideas for 30 books, now we’re happy if we’ve managed to brainstorm 15. Sadly, or not, we are having too much fun to discuss just books. It is a time to get together and talk with authors who love to write, women who love romance and folks who can appreciate a good laugh. We came up with ideas for future westerns, erotica, light comedy and a whole lot more. I even left with a better idea of how to make my latest story work—thanks ladies. Of all my writer-friend get togethers, this is the one I look forward to the most. Things over heard at brainstorming you might ask—hey, why is that guy bathing in the lake, can sex robots be self-lubricating and what is dinosaur romance (yes, you read correctly, dinosaur romance)? If you write, or even if you don’t, I highly recommend getting away with friends to discuss the mysteries of the universe (and dinosaur sex).

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fashion Fashion Fashion

To look at me you wouldn’t know that I absolutely adore fashion.  Given my druthers, I’d go through life in sweatpants and an over-sized t-shirt. I won’t (and can’t) wear shoes that have more than a kitten heel and makeup is something I put on reluctantly once or twice a year.  But for all of this, I love fashion and all it has to offer to the senses. Back in the 80’s I lived for my copy of Seventeen Magazine. I need to find out what was in style this fall, even if I wasn’t planning on wearing it. Back in the 90’s I would not miss Style with Elsa Klensch on CNN even if you’d pay me, the catwalk was like catnip to me. Although those are no longer sources for my fashion addiction, I have found other means to keep me satisfied.

This week was New York Fashion Week and you can bet your sweet patootie I was sitting with Melissa Rivers and NeNe Leakes critiquing the fashion lines. Tonight the Emmy’s are on and no, I won’t be watching the show or even the red carpet. But come Monday night I’ll be glued to Fashion Police to see who wore what. It makes no sense and yet there you have it, a fashion victim who loves fashion more than just about anything.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Pretty Girl

The poem Pretty Girl by Semhar Tadesse is one of my very favorites. I found it years ago on YouTube, but it is a poem that can haunt you and today it had me thinking about heroines. One of the hot topics on romance blogs/forums is whether or not heroines in romances should be beautiful and perfect or should authors write books about regular girls.

I’m torn because I love a pure fantasy based romance with my perfect hero and heroine. But sometimes it is refreshing to read about a woman who is overweight or dealing with a physical issue that makes her less desirable in the dating/marriage market. Those stories need to be told too.  I believe that readers do want to read about someone they can relate to. And yet, we don’t give the “pretty girls” credit when we say that we can’t relate to them. As the poem above notes, beautiful women have their own trials and tribulations. And the sad part for me is that before hearing this poem, I had never considered what a burden beauty could be—I know, how naïve of me. So perhaps there need not be a debate between beautiful heroines and regular heroines. Maybe if authors reveal the plights of all these women, readers will be able to relate to the characters, whether they are pretty or not.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Summer Lovin'

Labor Day Weekend signals the end of summer, my absolute favorite season. Instead of lamenting its end, I thought I’d reflect on things that I loved about summer 2015. So in no specific order, here are four things that made me feel fabulous this summer.

v  Visiting family—My brother and his family live in Seattle, so I headed out west to walk the city, dine at the Space Needle and spend time with them in a great city.

v  Oktoberfest—I’d never gone before, and though I’m not a teetotaler, I rarely imbibe. And yet I had a great time hanging out with my honey, drinking some liquor and dancing to an 80’s cover band. Who knew German culture could be so fun?

v  Retirement party—I’d never been to one before, but I loved hanging with my work buds on a deck celebrating a friend’s new-found freedom

v  Discovering new and old authors—Tillie Cole and Lydia Michaels are my ones to watch now that I’ve sampled some of their work and really liked it. And I also rediscovered Kat Martin. I forgot how much I love old school late 80’s/early 90’s romances.

Here’s hoping that fall 2015 will be just as fun as the summer. So how was your summer? What things made you want to enjoy a never-ending summer?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

My Favorite Books

I realized yesterday that though I am a romance writer, I have shared little of what I like to read in the romance genre. I’ve been reading romance for almost thirty years and up until 10 years ago those romances were exclusively historicals, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that my favorite romances are historicals. So behold, here are my top 10 favorite romances. They are set mostly in England in the 1800’s with a few set in America. I love me an alpha male, but I’ve got betas and some gammas too.  All of these books rate more than a 10, so if you want to read an amazing book, any of these will fit the bill. So in no particular order (except #1, which is my favorite) here are my top 10 favorite books.


  1. Simply Love by Catherine Anderson—A contract, a determined man and a naïve girl lead to a wild ride.
  2. Dark Fires by Brenda Joyce—My absolute favorite guardian/ward story!
  3. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas—This is the ultimate good girl/bad boy story. It also has one of my absolute favorite scenes in a book ever. Let me know if you find it.
  4. Upon a Moon Dark Moor by—If you love Wuthering Heights but it left you dissatisfied, this is the book for you. Finally a HEA!
  5. To Have and to Hold by Patricia Gaffney—A convict turned mistress and a lord, romances don’t get more unpc than this
  6. Waiting for the Moon by Kristin Hannah—Amnesia, a group of misfits and a touch of the paranormal make this a fantastic read
  7. Silk and Shadows by Mary Jo Putney—I simply love love love this book. If you like mysterious heroes, revenge and betrayal, you’ll love it too!
  8. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley—I wanted to read a book about a hero with Asperger’s and like she was reading my mind, Ms. Ashley wrote this amazing book.
  9. Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas—I love nothing more than a villain turned hero and bonus points, it is tangentially related to Dreaming of You.
  10. Wild at Heart by Patricia Gaffney—A feral man and the woman who helps civilize him.
  11. The Wind Dancer by Iris Johansen--This is a bonus book, cause I just couldn’t help myself. It is set in Renaissance Italy and if you have a friend who looks their nose down at romance, give them this book and watch them change their mind.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Thousand Words

Since a picture says a thousand words, I'll let this pic do all of the talking. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Love of a Good Book

I love chocolate, and television, X but there is nothing in this world I love more than a great book (my honey excluded of course). My happiest memory is of my twelve year old self snuggled up on my grandmother’s couch all by myself reading Little Women. I can still feel myself getting lost in the story while it snowed furiously outside. There was no place else I had wanted to be nor anything else I had wanted to be doing. I’d just wanted to escape into the world of the March sisters and let everything else fall away.

To this day reading an amazing book is my favorite past-time, it is almost like falling in love. As I type this blog entry I’m wincing. I’m currently suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome in part due to reading my Kindle nonstop for the past week. Damn the older versions with buttons. Even though I’m in pain and even though I have to go back to work tomorrow, and be on my computer for hours, I haven’t been able to tear myself away from the book I’m reading. So I happily suffer just so that I can find out what happens next with my stammering MC club hero and cult escapee heroine.  And it is so worth it.

Whenever I hear someone say that they don’t like to read or don’t like fiction, I feel so sorry for them. They’ve never experienced the wonders of becoming someone else or traveling through time or seeing the world from a whole new perspective. And that it is definitely a loss.

So instead of preparing for my 9-5 or even catching up with Orange is the New Black, once I’m done writing this post I’m going to pick my Kindle back up and fall in love all over again.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Bound to Love This

I love movies and romance and sex and a damn good plot, so of course I love the movie Bound. This mid 90's suspense should be on every movie lover's list of flicks to see. And if you like steamy, well Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly burn up the celluloid. Their chemistry is off the charts. This scene right here makes you want to grab a girl and kiss her, or at least that's what it makes me want to do :) Enjoy!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hypocritical Much?

Hi my name is Mila and I’m a hypocrite. I don’t like admitting it, but sadly it is true. Saturday my boo and I went to see Trainwreck. I really enjoyed watching the heroine fall in and out of bed with men and joking about it. But as I was watching the movie and enjoying the walk of shame on film and imagining all of her others, I realized that Trainwreck’s heroine was the type I hate to read about in a romance novel.

I like virgins, young ones, older ones, heck even born again ones. I’ll even settle for a heroine who is experienced in bed, but just not too experienced, if you know what I mean.  I cringe at slutty heroines, those that will sleep with a ton of guys and not even blink an eye. The odd part of this is that in my non-romance world I like to consider myself a feminist.  I abhor slut shaming and I think women should be able to do whatever men do and not think twice. Want to have a one night stand? Good for you. Planning a threesome after lunch? More power to you. But for God’s sake don’t make me read about my heroine doing that in a romance novel.

You might be saying to yourself that this is an odd opinion but not a hypocritical one. Well here it is (please know I’m holding my head down in shame).  I have absolutely no problem if my hero is a man-whore or a rake or a “bad boy”. He could ball an entire cheerleading squad and I wouldn’t bat an eyelash. If my heroine even fantasized about blowing a soccer team I’d be put off and would probably stop reading the book. I know, I know, what kind of feminist am I?

I wish I knew why I love good girls and detest the bad ones in romances. Maybe it’s because I was a good girl many years ago. Or maybe I’ve been brainwashed into believing only good girls deserve happy endings. Perhaps I need to find some books about slutty girls and see if I like reading about how the other half lives.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Happy Ending Please

I was having lunch with friends today and the subject of movies and books came up. We all agreed we wanted a happy ending—in a romance that is, though I suppose we’d take one in real life too. This isn’t a surprise considering we all write romance but I’m sure we aren’t alone. So why is it that now a days we have to watch and read everything (including romances) with one eye closed, waiting for the ball to drop, or the gunshot to explode or the cancer to hit? Why can’t our heroes and heroines have their happily ever after?
Have you seen the promos for Nicholas Sparks’ latest movie The Longest Ride? It looks right up my alley—hot cowboy type, cute girl, guaranteed romance. Yes please. And yet I haven’t watched it because I don’t know who’s going to get the ax. I’m sure it is coming because in far too many of Mr. Sparks’ works he’s reluctant to give his couples a happy ending. My theory is that if they get to walk off into the sunset in one piece he’s written an honest to God romance and men don’t do that. In fact, most mainstream creatives don’t do that.
If we spend a good chunk of our lives pursuing and then maintaining love, why is it that watching and reading romances so shameful? Why can’t Nicholas Sparks be a true romance author and be proud? Why not give us romantics the happily ever after we crave? I read romance because I adore watching couples fall in love and create lives together. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Happy Birthday Clueless, Dammit!

I don’t have any children, so I have the luxury of not having daily reminders that the sands of time are sliding by me. When I do get reminders, it can be very jarring. I can firmly remember the first time pop culture made me feel old. It was over ten years ago and I was working at a middle school. Walking down the hallway one day I overheard a conversation about Wham. I’d smiled to myself listening to the girls talk about a group I loved, until I heard a girl refer to them as an old group from the 80’s. Old group, what! Wham was the bomb and very relevant. And then I realized that they hadn’t had a hit in a couple decades. Ouch. Damn pop culture, reminding me of my mortality.

I felt it again today. Innocently perusing the net, I stumbled on an anniversary story. The movie Clueless turned twenty this weekend. Yikes! Dionne and Cher can’t possibly be twenty years older. Because if they are that means I’m 4…. Well, I’m certainly older than 40. I loved Clueless back in the day and will stop and watch a scene or two (or the whole movie) when I catch it on tv. Knowing all of the crazy fashion and catch phrases are twenty definitely makes me feel past my prime. Ouch again. I suppose I need to remind myself that age is all in one’s head or even remind myself that aging is a good thing—the alternative is not something I want to experience any time soon. Hmm, maybe I need to rent Clueless for old time’s sake. And who knows, I might just have to mosey over to YouTube and catch a Wham video J

Sunday, June 28, 2015


My brother sent me a link to this video when he learned marriage had been granted to gays. He said that marriage equality reminded him of this song. His gesture quite touched me. Happy marriage equality everyone! Oh and the 80's rock!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Vacation from Vacation

After reading a few entries of this blog you’ve probably picked up on the love theme. Authors, actors, shows, I’ve even discussed what I love about romance novels.  This week I’m writing a little more of the same, with a twist. This week my adoration is focused on vacation. There is almost nothing in this world I love more than vacation, particularly summer vacation. The sun is shining, breezes are warm and I don’t have to be anywhere for two months. Let me tell you, there is nothing more seductive than knowing that you don’t have to do anything or go anywhere or see anyone (unless you want to) for eight weeks. Can you tell I’m an introvert?

Vacation is rejuvenating, and relaxing and full of adventure all at once. During my vacations I get to see friends and family, stay up as late as I want, sleep in, sit on my couch for hours (I kid you not) and do whatever the hell I want. I usually have goals I want to meet during each summer, and many times they fall by the wayside (the seduction of lazing the day away can be hardcore). Here I am ten days into my vacation and I haven’t  written a word (this blog post not included). Not that I didn’t have good intentions. I took my honey to a romantic cabin in the woods to celebrate her birthday and I brought my Alpha Smart with me. Yeah, I didn’t even open the bag I had put it in until the second to last day we were there, and then only because I had to find a power chord. I kept telling myself I have plenty of time, I had a rough year and deserve a break, there are plenty of days left. Say the phrases enough times and they can sound very reasonable.

Heck, I even contemplated bailing on this blog post because it is a reminder that I should be producing pages. And then it happened. I was surfing Amazon looking for another book I don’t need to read, when I decided to read the author bio. The book was a Rita Finalist and I was curious about who wrote it. The author, it turns out has written several seemingly successful books (hence almost getting the Rita) and I was impressed. But what stopped me cold in my tracks was learning that the she started writing after taking a short story class in January of 2012. Yup, 3.5 years ago this chick was taking writing classes and now, well now she’s certainly more successful than me. And I realized she didn’t earn that success by avoiding writing her stories. So vacation for me is over or at least the carefree I don’t have to do jack part of vacation. From here on out I need to be producing pages so that soon some writer can read my bio on Amazon, or Goodreads or somewhere else and get inspired to put her butt in the chair and write. As always, wish me luck!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wedding Love

Weddings, I love weddings. I always have. Again, not surprising since I’m a romance writer. I think I love them so much because they are a part of my childhood. My mother had a beautiful voice and was often asked to sing at folks’ weddings. She didn’t want to go by herself and so I kept her company as her plus one. When I was young, watching brides and grooms pledge their love for each other was nice, but not the main event for me. It would take my teenage years for me to actually appreciate the ceremony. Back then, I had different priorities. Mainly, the cake. My mom would usually hang around for the meal but had little desire to stay for the whole reception. And yet I insisted that we stay long enough to watch the couple cut the cake, and for me to sample it.  Even then I knew what was important in life J
I still adore wedding cake, and won’t leave an affair without having a piece. Heck, even bad wedding cake is still pretty good. Now in my mature years, my favorite part of the wedding is the dress. I’m obsessed with wedding dresses. My favorite television show is Say Yes to the Dress. When the show aired for the first time, I said to myself ‘finally they figured out what people really care about’. Now every Friday (and some weekends if there’s a marathon) I get to indulge in my favorite past time, drooling over wedding dresses. Tulle, lace, taffeta, sweetheart necklines, oh the sight of them makes my heart flutter. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a woman choose an amazing dress.
My college roommate’s wedding was this weekend. Guess what I obsessed about? Yup, the dress. Okay, I was a little obsessed about the food too—my friend knows how to throw a party. Full disclosure, three weeks before the wedding my former roomie enlisted her friends’ help to find what looked like from the picture she sent a blue tutu and white tank top. I was petrified she wouldn’t find anything she liked in time and then I was petrified the vision in her head would not work in real life. I worried for naught. What was a blue tutu and tank top in the picture she sent became a light blue tulle skirt and sleeveless blouse with a cowl neck. It fit my friend’s personality to a tee while being fun, elegant and beautiful. Even though I didn’t get a chance to see her walk down the aisle in a traditional white gown, she looked fabulous. Wedding dresses, it seems, can be amazing even when they aren’t dresses.
Oh and her cake was pretty awesome too!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Falling Off the Wagon

“I’ve got friends in low places…” okay, the falling off the wagon referenced in this week’s blog title isn’t about alcohol or drugs. I’ve fallen off the New Year’s resolution wagon. And I’m not even counting my weight loss resolution. No, I’m talking about my romance reading goals.

I started with such great intentions, no buying any more books until I finished all of the unread ones on my Kindle. They were piling up like crazy and truly driving me crazy thinking them. For the sake of my sanity, I had to reduce their ranks. It was definitely an ambitious goal (you do remember The Craving right?) but then I got realistic and immediately amended the goal so free books didn’t count.

 Well, I did pretty well. I didn’t break my word until last week—kinda. Actually, the wheels started falling off my resolution pretty early. In January I bought a paperback. The book was almost twenty years old and I got in a half price bookstore while on vacation. What am I, a saint? So that didn’t count. Amazon Prime kept reminding me of my monthly free books and in the grips of the The Craving, I picked up a few books. Hey, I didn’t buy them, so that was okay. But the guilt set in, and the books weren’t that great, so back to Amazon they went. I promised myself no more Prime slipping. Two months ago I convinced myself library books weren’t cheating. Bad idea. And of course, I needed to support my friends, so I bought five of their books a month ago. Oy. Last week I finally cracked, really cracked. It was only 99 cents, practically free. But that slip led to me buying a paperback of a favorite author. It had been a rough week and the book had been on my wish list for weeks—don’t judgeJ But, I’m sliding down a slippery slope, so I’ve decided to put the brakes back on. I’m almost at goal, just seven more books to go. I just need to hold on a little longer, read a little faster and stop opening those damn Book Bub offers!

So how are your New Year’s resolution’s coming along? I hope better than mine. If not, it isn’t too late to recommit, 2015 is still young.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day and My Dad

My father was a Vietnam Veteran. Like many who served during this era, he was ambivalent about his service and was conflicted about war in general. To be honest he didn’t really speak of his time in the army. Almost all that I know about his time in Vietnam came from pictures of a cute younger version of my dad and short snippets that I heard from my mother and grandmother. I learned he was never in combat, but I took greater pride when my grandmother explained that my dad was too smart to be on the front lines, instead he worked with confidential documents. Unfortunately, I never did find out some of our country’s secrets from him J

This is my first Memorial Day without my dad. And just as we think about those men and women who gave their lives for their country on this day, I can’t help but think of my dad. I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and between barbeques and parties with friends, you give a thought to those important to you, whether they served in the military or not, whether they have passed away or are still with you.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Tattoo My Heart, or My Sleeve

I don’t know if it is a mid-life crisis or what, but I want a tattoo. No, I’m not turning 40 (been there, done that) or getting divorced (I hope not) but I do have the urge to shake things up. I’m a pretty mundane person but I do have an alterna streak that runs through me and every couple of years the craving to do something different takes over. At 24 I found bellydancing, at 29 I got my nosed pierced, by 35 I got my first tattoo and now I want a third.

I love tattoos. I love their artistry, I love their sexiness, and I love how they can be unexpected and so out of the box. Okay, I love how they make me feel like a bad-ass. So I’ve been thinking of getting another one. I was a good girl when I got my first two tattoos, I made sure they were in places they couldn’t be seen unless I wanted them to be. Now I want one in a more visible spot, one I can admire on a daily basis. The problem is, of course, my 9-5. But I’m so tempted. As I get older the more I appreciate the idea that life is too short and that you have do what makes you happy. A visible tattoo would make my simple soul happy. And the young'uns are making it hard to resist temptation. They are getting more and more obvious tattoos, jobs be damned. In many ways they are winning. I see tattoos while being served in restaurants, in my doctors’ offices, and barely peaking from suits. Even my new boss has a visible tattoo. I know, it shocked the shit out of me. And again the temptation rears its ugly head.

Perhaps I need to write a bad-ass character with lots of tattoos everywhere. I would give my newest love interest Eli tons of tats, but she’s a professional and can’t have any visible ones either, drat. Oh well, maybe the hero of my next book. Meanwhile I’m still debating whether I should be good or just enjoy being bad—in long sleeves at work J

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mom, What's Not To Love?

Drip, drop

Rain flip flops

Pitter, patter

Skitter, scatter

Plops, plops, plops

Behold the first poem I ever wrote. I was either in the second or third grade. After reading it, my mother thought I was a writing genius. I kid you not. Now, for an elementary kid’s class assignment, it wasn’t bad. But the reason mother loved it so was because I wrote it. She was being supportive of me, and hopeful that her enthusiasm might turn into my promise. My mom’s faith in me is one of the reasons I am a writer today.

 When I was thirteen my mother and I were in a drugstore where I spied a book that caught my attention and wouldn’t let go. A hard bodied blond man on the cover clutching a beautiful scantily dressed female is definitely an eye opener for a teen. I saw that book and had to have it. My mother was used to me asking her to buy a book every week. I suppose she’d rather spend her money on reading materials than clothes or whatever else teens desired. However, this was the first time I had asked her for a bodice ripper. Jane Austen this was not. And yet with almost no hesitation, she put it on the counter with the rest of her purchases. Captive Caress (yes, she bought me a book titled Captive Caress) opened my eyes to romance novels and I haven’t looked back since. It is a love that has lasted me for decades and for that I must thank my mother.

Seymore’s belief that I could do anything (including write) and her willingness to indulge me in a new passion (Captive Caress wasn’t the last romance novel she bought me, as you can guess) has molded me into the writer I am today. On this Mother’s Day I’d like to thank my mother for being a great person and an even better mom. Hopefully she’s reading this blog post and smiling down on me.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there, you deserve every accolade you receive!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

All About Mila

This week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by contemporary and paranormal author Constance Phillips. Stop by her blog and learn a little more about me and some great romance writers at .

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Living an Authentic Life

Like a lot of people, for weeks I have been waiting with baited breath to see the Bruce Jenner interview with Diane Sawyer. On a Friday night I’m more likely to be conked out on my couch than I am watching something on the boob tube, but I made sure I was awake at nine last Friday to catch all of the juicy details.

I know I’m aging myself, but when I was a child Bruce Jenner was the epitome of masculinity and what it meant to be an American hero. I look at pictures of him back in his Olympic prime and it is hard to deny that the man was fine as hell. I mean the muscles alone can make your knees weak. So to think, that whole time he wasn’t living the life he wanted is incredible, and incredibly sad. As humans we only have a short time to make the most of our lives. To spend the majority of it wearing a mask for fear of what people might say and do is disheartening. We should all be able to live the lives we wish, whether that means we seem odd to others or not.

In the beginning of my novella The Love She Wants, neither Kayla nor Tommie is living an authentic life because of their concerns of living the way others think is right. I won’t spoil the story for you if you haven’t read it yet, but from my above comments you can probably speculate about how it might turn out. As a matter of fact, my latest piece that I’m working on now also deals with living an authentic life. Hmm, I wonder what my subconscious is trying to tell me? But I digress, here’s to Bruce Jenner and to living the life you’ve always wanted.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Good Bye Gilbert

Growing up, Anne of Green Gables was my favorite book/series, second only to Little Women. I loved learning about life in late 1800's/turn of the century Prince Edward Island and the crazy mishaps and adventures of Anne Shirley. I even nicknamed one of my friends Anne-girl in honor of Anne Shirley. To be fair, my friend was also a redhead named Anne, so it wasn’t much of a stretch.

I fell in love with the Green Gables series before I found bodice rippers, but without a doubt they satisfied my preteen craving for romance. Gilbert was the perfect boy next door who swept Anne off her feet and me along with her. And I loved the movies almost as much as I loved the books. Just thinking about them (the books and the movies) brings a smile to my face, and warm memories of my childhood coming flooding back to me. That series helped foster my love of reading and wanting to be a writer. So, it is no surprise that I am devastated that the actor Jonathan Crombie, who played Gilbert in the movies, has passed away. Hearing about his death is like hearing about an old friend passing away, which in some ways he was. It is very much a cliché to say rest in peace, so instead I’ll hope Jonathan/Gilbert is in a better place with Marilla, Matthew and Ruby because they are forever intertwined in my heart.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lovin' What You Do

I was walking through a big box store this weekend when I saw a pillow with the words “do what you love, love what you do” embroidered on the front. Now I’ve heard the statement before, but for some reason it seemed to get me to thinking about if I’m living my life this way. This is probably because I’m of a certain age. I’m no longer uber young, but I still have more than twenty years of work ahead of me before I can retire from my day job. Plus, I’d been having heart to heart conversations recently with a friend about careers and “finding your bliss”. M. is also of that certain age. She’s starting to wonder if she should stick with her job, though she’s feeling blah about it, or try to find something doing what she loves and face the uncertainty of a new work life. Let’s all agree that doing what you love might not pay the bills. And we all have bills, big ones.
 I like my 9 to 5 job just fine, but I can’t say that I love it. I do however love writing. Okay, that is a bit of an untruth. There is an adage that authors don’t love writing, we love having written, and in my case this is doubly true. I find my favorite part of being a writer isn’t putting words on the page, but creating characters and scenarios and situations in my head. I love developing a love story; however, getting it out of my head and onto the page is a whole other story (no pun intended). But at least I get to do what I love. And I certainly love what I do. Even if I never sell another story, that won’t prevent me from coming up with people who are perfect for each other, or dreaming of how they meet and fall in love. I may never be able to do what I love to pay all of my bills, but I can certainly love do what I love to feed my soul. I hope you too are doing what you love as much as you can to feed your soul.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Mad About Mad Men

Tonight the first episode of the last season of Mad Men aired and I’m on cloud nine. I love Mad Men. I know I use love a lot in this blog but it really is true (and I seem to be consumed with movies and television—no surprise since I grew up watching way too much of both). I fell in love with Mad Men before it actually hit the airwaves. I saw a preview about it and fell hard immediately.

I love the 60’s fashion, hairstyles, architecture, office politics, sexual politics and even the sexism inherent in the workforce back in the day. God, especially the sexism. Odd I know, but how can you appreciate where you are if you don’t know where you came from?  But most of all, I love Don Draper. He’s everything I adore in a hero, movie idol handsome, sexy as all get out and confident as hell. A liar and a cheat, complicated and compelling. Flawed without doubt but undoubtedly worth saving. Le sigh, I mean, what more can you ask for?

Ever since the first season I have been toying with a character based on DD—and this was way before fan fiction was allowed to see the light of day. My character (still unnamed) is tortured by a past he’s hiding and consumed with controlling his world and the new lover in it. He thinks that just by the force of his will he can make everything perfect and right, but sadly, my heroine isn’t cooperating. Hmm, the more I think about it, the more I’m tempted to drag the story back to the front of the queue. Well, while I’m figuring out how to torture Mr. No Name, every Sunday night I’ll sit down and enjoy the Don Draper experience. After all, this season marks the end of an era.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Married At First Sight

I’ve been really inspired by a show (big surprise considering how much TV I watch). If you haven’t seen it, Married at First Sight is a show about strangers who don’t meet, see or know anything about each other until they are at the altar. Instead they are matched by a group of experts. Obviously these people are desperate. And optimistic. And hopeless romantics. And I love it all. I find the idea of going out on a limb and doing anything to find one’s match, swoon worthy. As humans what we want most is to make a connection with another person, give them our heart and trust. This of course can take forever to find, or we may never find it. Meanwhile, it has been incredibly heartwarming to see men and women on the show who long so much to find their partner they are willing to marry a stranger with the hope this person will turn into a helpmate. How can you not sigh at their romantic chutzpah?

In reality arranged marriages have always baffled me. Why in the world would anyone let their family pair them with someone they don’t know? And yet, the sort of arranged marriage on the show doesn’t seem so far-fetched. If I hadn’t met my honey I could totally see myself putting my love life in the hands of experts who are willing to find the best match for me (they say there is no such thing as a perfect match, and I tend to agree). I asked my honey if she were still single if would she go on the show, and she said she’d give it a shot. I guess that says something about our own compatibility. We’re both hopeless romantics. Or just crazy J

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Submissive Lives

I just recently read an article about submissive wives. Not wives who are submissives in bed, but instead wives who let their husbands take the lead in their marriage. The author allows her husband to have the final word in family discussions and she defers to his decisions. I’ll be honest, this sort of blows my mind. Full disclosure, I am not in a relationship with a man so I cannot fully understand what it is like to be married to one. Also, I’m a pretty accommodating person who hates to fight, so many times I wind up giving into my honey’s wishes. But with that said, the feminist in me truly resists the idea that one person in a relationship is always right simply because he has a penis. Perhaps I’m being a little naïve here but I think compromise is always best. If that won’t work, the final decision should be made by the smartest person in the relationship or the person who has the better grasp of the situation or the person who has the most at stake. But that’s just me.

The article’s author says that by being submissive in her marriage, it allows her to have a more satisfying sex life. She believes that by giving herself into her husband’s care she can trust him with anything, including her freaky sexy side (okay, those are my words). It is an interesting concept. I don’t know if I buy it, or if would work for everyone, but I am a firm believer in doing what makes you feel good. Marriage is tough, and if letting your husband decide what yall do with your income tax money makes you both happy in and out of bad, then I’m not mad at you. I’m just a little perplexed J

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Saturday, March 7, 2015


So yesterday I finally rented the movie Belle and it was much more than I was expecting. I had seen previews for it on other DVD’s I had rented and to be honest I didn’t really know what the movie was about. When I picked it up I knew it was about a biracial woman in 18th century England. That was enough for me to be intrigued.

What I learned is that Belle is based on a true story about Dido Elizabeth Belle, a woman born to Captain Sir John Lindsay and a former slave he had rescued. We don’t ever learn much about her mother, or even her father, except he wanted her raised with her aristocratic white family. How revolutionary! There were many levels to the movie and of course a romance. What I found most interesting was poor Dido’s position in the world. She was obviously much better off than most blacks at that time. She was raised a lady and even had her own fortune, and yet she lived on the edges of society, not fitting in anywhere. Even worse, her family did not want her to marry because they believed no one worthy of them would make an offer and they (and thus she) were too good for anyone who would want a black wife. Oy, quite the conundrum and truly quite sad.

But Dido does find not one but two suitors and even love while battling for the rights of blacks in England. To say that Belle is interesting is very simplistic. It has a little bit of something for everyone. You can find romance, lush costumes, social structures of 18th century England, and a court case concerning slaves I had never heard of before in Belle. But best of all, it had Dido, a woman ready to take on the injustices of her world. Pick it up some time, you won’t regret it.