Monday, April 30, 2012

Fifty Shades and Women's Rights

Since reading the Fifty Shades of Grey I find I still am on the fence on whether I "like" the story or if "love" it. I'll get back to you on that. It's been said by folks like Dr.Drew and even Dr.Phil that the 50 Shades is demeaning to women, abusive, simulates rape, and applauds sadism. My question to these people is: "Have y'all read the books? I mean really read them instead of just scanning and picking out the parts you find shocking?" For those of you who have not read books 1-3 this is a SPOILER ALERT! Click off this blog right now should you not want parts revealed before you've had a chance to read them. Go ahead, I'll give you a few minutes. I'll even put on some elevator music while we wait. Ready? Okay, Fifty Shades character, Christian Grey is not only a self made millionaire at quite a young age(probably a child prodigy-we don't know but let's face it-the dude is smart.)Everything on the outside would leave one to believe he is perfect in every possible way, but he's not. The sexual behaviors such as the BDSM ARE NOT what makes Christian imperfect. I mean unless you are practicing the Missionary position, anything can be labeled "indecent" or "kinky" it is all just a matter of preference. In early primitive cultures women were mounted like animals. In some cultures women were kept in Harems and taught how to "please a man". During both the Spanish Inquisition and in 1692 Salem,Mass.,couples that engaged in sex that was not sanctioned by the church were deemed heretics, witches, and of the devil. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be put to death or burned at the stake just because of my sexual preferences. So even though Shades hits on some Taboo kinkery here, I think it is pretty mild compared to what the human race has done since the dawn of time. I mean you didn't really think that the Mother ship just crash landed here did you? So back to Christian Grey. Christian and many other practitioners of BDSM like the control and the pleasure/pain aspect. There are levels to BDSM. Some are more severe than others and in my opinion-Christian with Ana is pretty lukewarm. In the books we find out that Christian was abused and neglected as a young child. Even after his adoption by the Grey's he could not interact as a normal child despite all the love they gave him. He could not bear to be touched and needs control because at the age of 15 he was out of control with anger mixed with puberty. His mother's friend, Elena takes Christian under her wing but it's the kind of wing a pedophile would offer a confused and impressionable child, which Christian was. She pulled Christian into her world and so you gather that all his walls, his bossy nature, his over reactions,and such are due to abuse in two phases of his childhood. When he was young-his mother did not protect him and neglected him due to her drug addiction and the abuse he suffered at the hands of her pimp. He grew up in extreme poverty and hunger. At another stage in his life, puberty he was seduced and mentored by a woman who should have known better who had some sort of sick attachment that led her to carry on a liaison with a teenage boy that grew into a young man. Dr.Flynn would explain to Anastasia in book 2, that Christian is not a sadist even though he believes himself to be one. He also discloses to Ana that Christian by-passed his adolescence and how to deal with feelings, emotion, and certain other areas of his psyche. All makes me think of the Freud's theory on the stages of development and if you skip one then you can look forward to many years of therapy. So what is with this about Women's Rights and Fifty? Many claim the books promote abuse even rape in women. If you come to that conclusion I urge you to go see a therapist. I have read the books twice now and even took notes and I do not see abuse. I see disagreements and I see a man trying to cope and come to terms with loving a woman who goes against everything he's put in place as a safety net and combating his fears. I believe had E.L. James written the book in more than just one POV,we would have seen that and these people claiming abuse and disrespect to women would see what those of us who have actually read the books to see, is that Christian Grey may have kinky and out landish tastes when it comes to sex but there's more going on with him than just the label of being an abuser of women. I would also challenge folks to brush up on BDSM. There are never BDSM relationships within the community of BDSM practitioners that are not willing and consenting adults. Each BDSM relationship(s) is different and again go on different levels from mild to severe. They adhere to strict guidelines(for example Christian's contract in book 1) and there is an undeniable trust. There may not always be love but there is the bond for respect of trust. You'd be supprised dear readers at the many walks of life who opt for the ball gag lifestyle. For me, I'm not really too far into a bunch of hardware and being flogged but then again, I've never tried it. So to each their own. So the next time you hear about Fifty Shades of Grey promoting abuse-I want you to laugh and tell them to go adn read the books instead of watching a talk show or skimming through it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cursed Awakening, the Creature Feature

In the past few years, the popularity of vampires and wolf men have become really popular. Cursed Awakening, the first book I have ever written came from something in my own life. No I did not grow up in a religious cult nor do I have any friends who wolf out at will. Well, sometimes I think my husband grows claws and fangs when the bills come due but that's another story. However I will say that I grew up hearing all those urban legends. Even now I love to watch those paranormal television specials on haunted places, The Jersey Devil, and the Ghost Lights. One of my favorites were the stories about the Jersey Devil and the famed Chupacabra. So when I had Nyx howling in my imagination and threatening me with Scooby Doo Re-Runs I thought aside from the "human" struggles of both Nyx and Ivy what else could I add to my canvas here, and then it came to me one night after I had watched this movie called Splinter, a movie I recommend but i warn you it has the creep-ew factor to it times ten. So I took what I could from the Jersey Devil and the Chupacabra legends and even artists renditions and viola, I had my monster. I had to think, "What would scare me?" and I flipped through all my favorite movie and book monsters. Which ones had really done a number on me and my bladder? I couldn't have a psychotic clown-that has been done already and a psychotic clown stalking the woods was too bad B horror movie. So I quickly dispatched some magical sadist wielding knifed or bladed hands and no one in the Southwest is getting into Hockey unless it's on the television. So I x'd off teenage twisted Wiccans and put my Vampires back into their blood bank cafe promising them I would play with them again soon. They were a little long in the tooth about it but they got over it. So I thought about my old friend Ripley and the Aliens. Yes, I still cannot watch the first two Alien movies in the dark-sue me. I had my creature feature! I kept my monster a beast but one with some sort of intelligence; one that hunted in packs. I wanted a blood thirst like the legends of the Jersey Devil who killed indiscriminately. Think Pumpkinhead meets Bigfoot and you've got the Chupacabra from Cursed Awakening. I even added long serrated poisoned fangs and long curled claws. I wanted them to be able to speak so my mind went to that creepy seen in Independence Day when the Alien manipulates the vocal cords of a scientist. I wanted their voices to be distorted, insect like, and menacing. I think the end product was a grand success! So tell me, what's your favorite monster? What creation leaves you breathing hard, looking for a place to run and hide, and makes your bladder react? Come on, let me hear ya! Leave me a comment and let me know what bump in the night makes your skin break out in goosebumps!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Writer In Me

Since I was little I escaped through books and stories. One of my first books that I can remember loving to read was a Fairy Tale book that my grandma Betty Ashba had gotten me for Christmas. In those pages I walked the trail with Little Red Riding Hood and fought through brambles and thorns to see a prince awaken a princess that was sleeping in a castle under the evil spell of a witch. That book is one of my most precious possessions and it is valuable only to me. Those stories and countless ones I came up with led me discovering the writer in me. For so many years I shared what I put down on paper with very few people. One of the first stories I shared with my English teacher was a story I wrote on a dream I had about my uncle Gary. I had a great love for my uncle. He was young, funny, had an infectious laugh that I can still hear in my ears to this day, introduced me to Space Dust aka. Pop Rocks candy, and could make me feel like I was flying on a tire swing. Most of all he reminded me of my father, since they were brothers they favored quite a bit. I remember his wild hair and that he smelled like leather and soap. I had written about looking outside my window and seeing him standing there in an olive green t-shirt and jeans-probably what I last remember him wearing and he was smiling. He had died previous in an accident, but I remember feeling all the happiness I always felt when I was around him. The teacher called me to his classroom before the end of the day. I can remember being nervous because I wasn't sure what I was being called down for. Mr.Hensley was a wonderful teacher but I had really went out on a limb by letting him read the story. I remember sitting in the front row and waiting for him to get done watching the halls after school and then he came in and shut the door. He went to his podium and he had the few pages that had made up my story in his hand. He pulled up a chair and took off his glasses and looked at me. He placed the story before me on a desk and my first thought was, "Oh God, it's really bad!" However, that wasn't his reaction at all. He patted my hands and told me that my story had moved him so much because he'd had someone that had been special to him as well as a young child. I was dumbstruck. I mean what do you tell a teacher whose eyes were watering as if he was on the cusp of tears. He told me he wanted me to write something for him every week. He gave me tips and even gave me subjects to experiment with. For the rest of the school year, I met with him and one of the rare poems I wrote, he video taped me reading to add to his collection of students reading poetry because he loved it. That nurtured the seed that was already planted. When I was in high school I wrote all the time when I wasn't doing school work or gabbing. When I would be up late at night I would write. I joined the Drama club and Reflections to write but true to form I never could bring myself to let anyone read anything until I was in Mr.Moritz's class. Mr.Moritz had given us an assignment to write a short story about anything. I labored a full two weeks and handed in a short story about a girl who met a boy who could time travel. He liked it but he said I held back and wanted me to write something else. Again I put my nose to the grindstone and wrote a short story about a girl who spent a night with a vampire who wanted nothing more than conversation. It was that story that led to Renegade Night, the first in the Guardians Of Night Series. He loved the story and told me first that I was too bright of a girl to be writing about vampires-Mr.Moritz was too much of a Disney guy, but I had to become a writer! Mr.Moritz was one of my favorite teachers, and when he died I cried it seemed for a week. Not all of my writing was well received. One night after being mad at my sister for getting us grounded, I wrote a story about a woman stalked and "possibly" murdered by her deranged Siamese twin sister. My sister said it gave her nightmares not to mention my grandmother didn't like it at all and I was grounded an extra week of no mall; which at the time was a punishment worse than death. I wrote anything that popped in my head whether it was a story or poem. When I started college, I had to take a creative writing class and Ms.Willis loved the things I would turn in. She also told me that writing was in my blood-it was what I was born to do and I had to keep it up. I was flattered and just took it as something nice but not serious. I turned 35 and I came to the realization after discovering that long ago story I had written for Mr.Moritz, that I had to know-I had to know if I still had it since when my grandfather passed and then 8 months later my best friend died of a tragic accident I hadn't written or even read a book. I began letting the words and ideas flow and wrote and rewrote and wrote until I had four composition notebooks full. I gave them to my sister to read, and after a few days she said she loved it and I had to send it out to someone. So we began researching how to go about doing it. I have to admit at this point, that I didn't know about sites like Writer's Beware or Author's Den. I sent out a perfectly edited manuscript I had typed out on Word to 80 publishers that I just found by random. I didn't know anything about sending query letters(which I advice people to learn how to do). A few sent the classic reject letter and some just didn't send anything at all. Publish America(the Great American Scam Publisher) actually called. I was so naive and elated that I didn't do my homework and when they sent their contract I signed it with the understanding that they were a publisher-not a vanity press, but the "ink was already dry on the paper". I wont' go into the enormous let down Publish America is but here I had this book with my name on it and I felt like I had finally gotten to the brass ring. Well the brass ring was nickel plated. When everything crashed and it dawned on me that I had basically thrown my hard work away to a vanity press who wanted MY money not money for my book, I was devastated. I wept, I sobbed, and I almost gave up. Almost. I think I would have had I not just found the so many people who had been through this and were still writing and still trying. It also helped that I had a friend and mentor in Canadian Author, Denyse Bridger who introduced me to the fine folks at XoXo Publishing. So am I on the New York's Best Seller list? No. Am I in book stores nationwide? No, not yet. Do I still have my love and passion for writing? Yes, and even more so I must say. I know I'm going to have to pay my dues like most other great authors. The Stefanie Meyers, E.James, and other overnight sensations are rare but I find that with each story I write and new stories I discover is just another tool for me to hone my craft! The writer in me has not yet begun to fight or give up, but she's always creating tapestries of stories. I'm constantly looking at what I can look at and see in a different way. So whether it's a story about something that goes bump in the night or a child's adventure with mermaids,pixies, or some character's journey over the turbulent seas of life to come out on the other side; I'll be writing it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Let's Review Some Books And Movies

Wow it's been a while since we talked books and movies, huh? Well let's start with what's in the awesome and what's on the D-List. Awesome Books To Check Out!!! 1). The Guild Hunter Series by Nalini Singh. I was skeptical about these books because I'm usually on the iffy when it comes to books that center around angels. Why? I love angels, even in my own book, Renegade Night I mention angels but I had really read some angel centered books that just left me blah. THAT WAS NOT THE CASE WITH THE GUILD HUNTER SERIES! In Angel's Blood, the first book it begins with the story of Elena, a hunter born with the ability to track vampires. She can scent them out and it makes her one of the best. Vampires take on a whole new twist to the myth which I REALLY appreciate and the Archangels/angels take on one as well. Humans are Made vampires by the angels. No one knows how it is done except for the angels but they contract 100 years of servitude. Forget what you've ever seen or been told about Angels. The angels in these books are not the Guardian type. That is not to say they're not evil but they can be ruthless and cold when they want and some of them...well I won't ruin it for you. Elena is contracted on a top secret mission by none other than the head Archangel in charge of New York. Raphael doesn't just want Elena though for a job, he wants to possess her and Elena is about to give Angel Boy a run for his money! However,when you play with angels, death is always an outcome. Just get the books and you'll love them as much as I do! They are soooo worth the read. 2).Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon Retribution is the latest installment to the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Sundown Brady in a past life was a deadly gunslinger, card sharp, and hired killer. In his mortal life he was known as William Jessup Brady and when he was betrayed by his best friend, he cried out for vengeance, no he cried out for Retribution. In the Dark Hunter world, Sundown answers to no one but Acheron. Well okay he has a Squire that gives him enough fits and a best friend that's flighty. Being located in Las Vegas, one would think Sin City had a lot to offer a Dark Hunter, but the Daimons are the least of his worries. A gorgeous but ruthless woman by the name of Abigail Yager is determined to kill him and she's going through Dark Hunters to do it. Abigail was orphaned as a young child by the very man she once thought a friend, Sundown Brady the Dark Hunter. She was taken in by a Daimon family and her hatred of Dark Hunters and Sundown has been honed to a sharp edge. She wants Retribution and she wants it now! However before she'll get her chance, something evil has been unlocked and the world may just end before either of them find Retribution. I was hooked from the first page and again Sherrilyn Kenyon gives us a reason to love her Dark Hunters! She not only tells the tale of Sundown and defines him but she also introduces Native American lore and characters. It is a book well worth the read and it even has a surprise story of the birth of Acheron and Tory's first born that will even give you a reason to root for Artemis! 3).Glass Slippers & Jeweled Masques (an Erotic Cinderella Fairy Tale) by Denyse Bridger All I can say hot hot! This story has the premise of the classic childhood fairy tale, but that's where it all ends! Cindi Lancourte is the illegitimate daughter of a powerful businessman and a lovely woman who worked for him. Acknowledged when his wife died, she was quickly relegated to the role of servant by his new wife and step-daughters, but an invitation to a Masquerade gives this Cinderella a new shot at happiness with a handsome Prince Charming. This book is available for EBook format. Cindi's journey is one of discovery in all the most erotic and sensual ways. There's nothing Disney about this book but it is tastefully and sinfully written. Enter the world of Glass Slippers & Jeweled Masques from the mind of author Denyse Bridger today! 4).Wanted: Dead Or Undead by Kerrelyn Sparks Phineas McPhee aka. The Love Doctor, Dr.Phang, and The Blardonnay Guy just wants love in his life even though every female vamp wants him. Phineas only wants the one woman who doesn't want him and hates vampires, Brynley Jones. Brynley Jones has no love for Vampires and works with them to be close to her brother. To say she comes from a dysfunctional family is an understatement when you come from a werewolf family and not just any werewolf family but the Supreme Pack Leader's family. When the infamous and dangerous Corky Currant is on the prowl as Queen of the Malcontents, Phineas must follow a lead to Wyoming. Trouble is,everyone else is in Europe tracking her. That leaves Brynley Jones to be his day guard as well as be able to assist him. Now if Phin can just manage not to fall for her more than he already has and not wind up Werewolf chow, things might work out. Brynley just wants to let her inner wolf out but she has a past she can't run from no matter how much her inner wolf wants to. With an unlikely pairing under the worst of circumstances these two come together and more than the fur flies! This book was hilarious, heart wrenching in parts, and highly engaging. I just can't wait till the next book in the Love At Stake Series. If you haven't discovered Kerrlyn Sparks, I highly recommend her! Her Love At Stake Series is wonderful and entertaining! Books To Pass On I try not to be too judgmental on books but a few just fell flat with me this time around. 1).Wings by Aprilyn Pike has got to be one of the worst books I've ever read. I got this as a gift, and I believe it's more of a YA book but ugh where do I start. The heroine finds out she's a fae. I am not against Faeries but this book was nothing more than more pixie dust. Great for kids and I loved Tinkerbelle too, but I think Tink is still more entertaining than this book was. Total stinker! 2).Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs Hey the Little Mermaid was always one of my favorite stories as a child so I was on board with reading Tempest Rising. I can't tell you how it ended and it takes a lot for me to stop reading a book even if it's a bad one in the middle but that's what happened. I just had the worst time getting into it and following the plot or even liking the characters for that matter. What really got me was that it was in the wrong section at the local Walmart. It was YA not adult even though it appears Ms.Deebs tried. Apparently she missed the mark. It was like if Saved By The Bell had been a Sci/Fi show. Think a cheap knock off of the kid's movie Aquamarine and you would have Tempest Rising. So what had you rushing to the movies or the video store? 1). The Grey starring Liam Neeson as a hunter hired to keep the wildlife safe from the loggers who are en-route to the Alaska. What ends up happening is the plane crashes. If being in the Alaskan wilds are not bad enough in the snowy regions there are these huge wolves who want the intruders to their territory out...well more like they want them for dinner and it becomes a battle for survival. Liam Neeson is the star of this movie. I don't really get into movies that portray wolves as the bad guys because they are becoming slaughtered for their pelts and their numbers are dwindling however these were not your ordinary wolves. These were wolves on steroids. Not only is Liam Neeson's character driving the men onward to civilization in hopes of leaving the wolves behind, but he's got his own baggage to deal with and eerie as it is-it's the loss of a wife. This is sooo worth the rent! 2). The Woman In Black starring Daniel Radcliff. Unless you've been living in a rock, Daniel Radcliff rose to fame with his portrayal of Harry Potter. He certainly shows those grown up acting chops in this movie. The Woman In Black gave his horror movie buff here the heebie jeebies and I jumped and screeched more than a few times! It's effects are not over done and the thrills and squeals come at all the right moments. I don't have anything bad to say other than I hated the ending. It's worth seeing but if you've missed it at the theaters, make sure you get it on DVD. The Woman In Black is engaging and will definitely give you more than a few reasons to maybe leave a night light on. 3).Immortals staring Mickey Rourke as a ruthless sadistic king who is bent on defeating the Gods. The only salvation is a young peasant, Theseus who must fight to not only save all of humankind, the oracle Phaedra, and the Gods themselves. I loved this movie right up until the last 45 minutes of it. When you think of Immortal you don't think of Gods being able to be slaughtered and I don't know I just kind of expected more I guess. The special FX are great and the premise of the plot is great too but somewhere it just fell short! So my opinion is to just wait for this on the Redbox or the Discount Rental shelf. 4).Footloose You know I was pretty on the fence about this remake and you know you just can't top Kevin Bacon but this movie-this remake to an 80s classic came real close! I thought Dennis Quaid's performances as well as the rest of the cast was on point! Highly recommend watching this movie! Awesomeness and you'll even want the soundtrack! Well that's my hits and misses so tell me, what are you reading or watching?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Anonymous Email

I don't usually read Forwards, but I got this one and I couldn't help but share it here. This month is National Child Abuse Awareness month and if you've gotten this in your inbox, I know you probably were as impacted as I was.


I don't know why you were mad at me. I can't understand what it is I did wrong! Please stop hitting me, please stop screaming and calling me names. I didn't ask to be born, why can't you love me enough to stop?


None of my friends' dads ever came into their rooms at night. I thought when I finally let you the first time, you'd get it out of your system! I screamed and cried and all you did was promise me sweet things and then threaten to hurt me or mom if I told anyone. How can I tell anyone what you did to me in the car? How can I tell anyone what you took and made me do? How can I tell anyone that you don't even ask anymore, you just do as you please? Please stop, please hear my voice, STOP! Stop ripping my heart and soul into pieces!


Boys don't cry, and only God knows how hard I've tried but when I begged you for just a bowl of cereal, I didn't mean to make you so mad that you'd actually throw me down into a basement and lock me away. The nights were cold and I had to use the bathroom where I slept then you would come and beat me some more. You're my parent, why are you doing this to me? Did you ever love me? Why did you keep me if your life was too complicated for me? Why? Please Stop, Please let stop!


I was brand new, and I didn't understand that I wasn't supposed to cry. I didn't mean to, but I couldn't speak. I didn't mean to make you angry. I-I didn't know my brand new life would be a short one! Please, Please Stop!

Please Please Stop the abuse of children! Just because you don't see bruises doesn't mean that they're not there! Abuse of any kind is wrong regardless if it's to a child, adult, or animal.