Sunday, December 5, 2021

A Few of My Favorite Things (The Christmas Music Edition)

I'm one of those grumpy people who doesn't want to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. Except for this year. This year November hit and I was like, bring on White Christmas with a side of Last Christmas. And all of the other comforting songs that I need this year to make 2021 better. Oddly enough, I was today many years old when I realized that all of my favorite Christmas songs are about relationships. Celebrating relationships, longing for lovers and trying to seduce a hottie. What can I say, I really do love love, even subconsciously. Here's my list of (sort of) Christmas love songs. You know them and probably love them too.

1. Please Come Home for Christmas--It's a toss up between the Eagles and Bon Jovi versions. My absolute favorite Christmas song.

2. Baby It's Cold Outside--So so wrong, but so so right. Glee's version is hands down the sexiest version out there.

3. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)--Mariah's version is great, but this song belongs to Darlene Love.

4. This Christmas--The Christmas season doesn't officially start until I hear Donny Hathaway croon this song. It's everything.

5. River--My newest favorite Christmas song. It just breaks my heart to hear it. But then I have to hear it again. And again.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Fall in Love With Midland

So my newest favorite country band is Midland. I mistakenly caught them in concert a few years ago when I went to a Little Big Town Concert with Kacey Musgraves as the opening act. Well, Midland was also opening for them and at the time I thought, hmm, these guys are pretty good. And they've only gotten better. They're old school, a little tongue in cheek and their music ranges from great line dancing songs to ones that will break your heart, to others that make you want to fall in love right along with them. If you haven't checked them out, don't wait. They're too good to sleep on.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Mama Mia

I'm starting a new story and my hero (who still doesn't have a name) is super hot. And blond. And super hot. I'm still figuring him out and his story, but his hotness defintely plays a major role. Randomly looking through a fitness article I came across this guy. Lord help me, that body. I have found my inspiration for Hot Blond Guy. Hopefully this pic inspires you too.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Censorship or Justice?

I normally use this space to tout the things I love about writing, romance and the world. But today I’m going to discuss something that I hate. I know, hate is for Hitler, but this subject has been rolling around in my head for weeks and today I realize that I truly do hate it. Full disclosure, I don’t know the whole story. I’ve read literally two articles about it and am very likely making some assumptions, but such is life. The writing life. Karen Witemeyer won the Vivian Award for best romance book "with religious or spiritual elements” for At Love's Command. But RWA took it back because some people found it offensive due to how the subject matter was handled in the book. For those that don’t know, the Vivian is the top award in the romance writing world. The book centered on a hero who was involved in the massacring of Native Americans and finds redemption through God. Sounds like a pretty basic plot for Christian romance but it upset some folks. For years marginalized people have been made to be plot devices and their stories have been used for the white Christian gaze. Quite frankly, they are sick of it. I get it. I don’t read books about slave owners/former slave owners. And I might be offended if one won the biggest award in the romance world. But the writer in me cringes at the idea that a book that has been identified as excellent, would lose out on an award simply because it offended people or because it was from the (possibly narrow) viewpoint of a certain group of folks. That feels wrong to me and like something that could lead to censorship, if not by the industry then certainly the author. Realistically, we don’t all have the same perspective on our country’s history. Realistically, the “winners” have been able to shape the narrative. Realistically, this has angered minority groups who finally have the power to push back. And certainly I don’t blame them. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t set right in my spirit to go down a slippery slope of determining whose story gets told and whose doesn’t simply because it could offend someone. Instead, I want the stories written by people of color to be read and feted alongside those written by white folks so that people can see our worlds from our point of views and acknowledge our greatness.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Love at First Sight?

You'd think that as a romance writer I would be a hopeless romantic. In fact I took a quiz from Psychology Today and I had a decent hopeless romantic score, 74 out of 100. And one of the questions got me thinking. It asked if I believed in love at first sight. And I do, in sweeping romance novels and heart warming movies. But in real life? Nah son. Love at first sight is the height of romantic ideals and finding your soulmate just by looking into their eyes, is a literal dream. But I don't think you can know the soul and worth of someone just from how well they fill out a shirt. To love someone truly, you have to know them as a person and not just as a sex object or even a love object. Which means I don't believe in throwing caution to the wind and swooning over love. I might write about it (sometimes)but in real life I can't sign up for it.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Baby Making Music

I love music. The fun of 80's pop, the mournfulness of country and the smoothness of R&B all bring me so much joy. But my absolute favorite genre of music is 70's Soul aka Baby Making Music. The kind of music that puts you in the mood to get close, very close, to the one you love (or the one you lust after). Silk Sonic's Leave the Door Open is a 70's Soul throwback so iconic, so romantic, so damn perfect that it was love at first sight (well you know what I mean). And as good as the original video is, the group's Grammy performance has won my heart. So if you're ready to fall in love, click on the video above. Just be careful, you might get pregnant!

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Simone Ashley, My My My

Yall know I love Bridgerton, right? Then you know that I'm excited that they've chosen the next actress to star as the heroine for the series. I don't know Simone Ashley's work, but she sure is fun to gaze at (see photo above if you doubt me). Bring on the tale of The Viscount Who Loved Me, Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey will surely make it must see tv.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter Yall!

Happy Easter everyone. I hope it is filled with hope, happiness, love, family and maybe a little church :) .

Saturday, March 6, 2021

I'm Here For The Rise of the Hot Asian Boy

I tend to avoid teen shows like the plague, except for Glee, Glee is amazing (well the first three seasons were at least). You can chalk it up to the fact that my teen years weren’t cute (both literally and figuratively). Or that I work in a high school, so teen angst is how I pay my bills. But since bootlegging Netflix, I’ve been watching more teen shows. And I’ve noticed something interesting, the rise of the hot Asian boy. In shows like Never Have I Ever and Ginny and Georgia and the movie Moxie, cute Asian boys have ruled. I love that teen Prince Charming doesn’t have to be blonde, blue eyed and white anymore. Instead he can be an ethnicity that, in my day, was not associated with hot. As a matter of fact Long Duck Dong from Sixteen Candles is the only Asian guy I can remember from my era’s teen movies. And hot he was not (though horrible stereotype he was). But times are changing luckily. I’m thrilled that the powers that be are re-imagining what’s desirable and Asian boys are now part of the hot equation. And I’m loving that.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

The Vanishing Pile

Y'all know I love romance novels, right? I mean really love them. When I was newly out of college my roommate would make fun of me and call me cheap because I was haunting the library to find the books I loved instead of buying them. But let's face it, I was on a new graduate's budget and the library was my best friend. Things have changed, among them my salary, so now I can buy as many books as I want. And that's a problem. I buy waaaay too many. More than I can read, literally. At this moment I have at least 115 unread/partially read romances on my Kindle and 85 unread/partially read paperbacks.Yup, over 200 books. It started to get overwhelming because I knew I owned great books that weren't being read because a new shiny book was always getting published. Or maybe I was in the mood for a specific type of book so I'd go hunting on Amazon, never mind the fact that I might already own something to kill the craving. So I've decided to not buy any new books in 2021, instead I'm going to read what I own. I'm not even going to let myself borrow from the library. Shocking, I know. This is going to be a hardship, already I've been tested by a friend who invited me to join a book club. But it's going to be worth it. I get to read some amazing books this year, and I get to make room for the amazing books to come! So tell me, how many books do you have in your to be read pile? Is it as bad as mine? Even worse? Do tell!

Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Duke and I

My wife doesn’t read, which is a bit of a conundrum for a writer and someone who loves to read. She says that if the book is good enough, it will be made into a movie. I always chuckle when I think of this, mostly because I know a ton of great books that will never make it to the silver screen. And yet, Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I has done it. Better than a movie, but it is a series on Netflix. While I have never read any of Quinn’s books I know of her reputation and I have waited with bated breath to watch Bridgerton, the show based on The Duke and I. And it was all that I had hoped for and more. I adored the costumes, the Regency period mores, the ballroom scenes and the intrigues. But above all, I loved the hero, Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. He’s black y’all! He’s arrogant and yummy and black! I can’t tell you how mind blowing it is to see the hero from a famous romance be depicted in the form of a black man. To know that all that is desired and all that is good in a leading man is encapsulated in brown skin and wooly hair. It makes this writer want to jump up and down with glee. Thank you Shonda Rhimes for opening this world to us and reminding everyone that romance, historical romance, belongs to everyone. That it can come in all shapes, sizes and shades. That a black man can be what women (and men) most desire. And thank you Simon Basset for being you. Especially when being you means breaking the rules of who and what is a Regency hero.