Tuesday, October 25, 2011

They're all gonna laugh at you!

What’s your favorite scary movie?
It’s that time of the year again.  HALLOWEEN!  It’s one of my favorite times of the year—the colors, the haunted attractions, the endless marathons of scary movies.  I love it.  To honor this momentous holiday, I’m counting down my TOP 5 favorite scary movies.  But before I do that, I have to admit it was hard to narrow it down to 5.  My husband and I are horror movie junkies.  So I have a list of honorable mentions that didn’t make the list:  Poltergeist, Jaws, The Ring, The Shining, Carrie, and Silence of the Lambs.
5.  When a Stranger Calls:  “Have you checked the children?”  This is one of the scariest lines EVAH!  Why?  As a mother, it’s terrifying to think that somebody has gotten to your kids right before your nose.  And the voice was scary.  I even liked the remake. 
4.  Friday the 13th:  This is a classic.  And it had the big twist that the mother was the killer.  It also had to scariest ending EVAH:  Jason jumping out of the lake and pulling the girl down with him. 
3.  The Omen:  The music alone is spooky.  Then you have random people throwing themselves in harm’s way for a little boy.  Not to mention, Damien is satan’s spawn.  Enough said.
2.  Nightmare on Elm Street:  So, as a kid I watched this movie for the first time and I was never the same.  The song, “1, 2, Freddie’s coming for you” is creepy and downright evil. 
1.  Halloween (1978):  Michael Myers is the ultimate homicidal maniac.  He’s scary and it could actually be a real person.  Both Freddie and Jason were dead, but Michael was a real guy in the first movie who flipped the script.  He always seemed to be lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce.  It doesn’t matter how old I get, I still get scared when I watch the movie. 

What is your favorite scary movie?

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Great Pretender by Millenia Black

From Millenia’s Black website (http://www.milleniablack.com/):  “Castles Built on Sand are eventually washed away by the sea…  How deeply can the past be buried?  Don’t all secrets come back to haunt us?  Leslie Cavanaugh enjoys the perfect life in West Palm Florida. She has the best husband, daughter, and career.  But Leslie Cavanaugh is not who she claims to be.  And when her sorrowful past is exposed, she struggles to hold her family together, and nothing can prepare her for the most intimate betrayal of them all!”

This wasn’t the first book I’ve read by Ms. Black.  I read her first novel, The Great Pretender, which was a quick, exciting read.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on The Great Betrayal.  As with The Great Pretender, there were plenty of twists and turns in this book.  The author has a way of creating drama and heightening suspense. 

Once I finished, though, I couldn’t help but feel cheated.  Although I ‘figured’ out the betrayal early on in my reading, I still held out hope that I was wrong.  And if I was wrong, I would have had to give Ms. Black 5-stars because that’s such a rarity.   Alas, I wasn’t wrong.

The pacing along with my need to prove myself wrong propelled me to the end of the book.  And I have to say, I was disappointed. 

Overall, it was a good, juicy read (reminded me of a soap opera).  My rating:  3.5 stars.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ice Ice, Baby!

Around this time every year, I get excited.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY) is approaching quickly.

The only downside to these fun months is the cold.  And living in Michigan, I've already had my fair share of the chills.  Nevertheless, I can't help but smile at the thought of Christmas lights, the smell of pine, the seasonal decorations, and Never Scared (hopefully in time for New Year's). 

I have a lot to look forward to this winter.  What are you looking forward to in the next coming months?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: Sweet Little Lies by Michele Grant

Sweet Little Lies
By:  Michele Grant

Christina Brinsley has been burned by love, and that’s an understatement.  Her third engagement blows up in the worst way just days before the wedding.  As a result, she decides to dedicate herself to work and avoid relationships all together...until she meets Dr. Steven Williams.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

Let me start by saying…I love a good romance.  Sweet Little Lies was a great romance/chick-lit.  I loved it.  The main character of Christina Brinsley was real, raw, and familiar.  I found myself simultaneously rooting for her and rolling my eyes at her in certain spots.  But I knew her.  Dr. Steven Williams?  What can I say about this hero?  I wasn’t prepared to fall in love with this character, but I did.  He was the perfect man for Ms. Brinsley.  He kept her on her toes AND gave her a dose of reality when she needed it.  He loved her so completely, despite her flaws. 

This is my first book by Ms. Grant, and I’m impressed.  I’ll definitely be checking out her first novel, Heard it all Before.  Ms. Grant took me on a journey with this book, exploring issues that are relevant to women and men in our community.  Everybody knows a woman so jaded about relationships (with good reason) that she doesn’t see a good thing when it’s staring her in the face.  We all know the ‘friend’ that you would never trust around your man.  And we all know about expectations.  This book had all of that and more.  I didn’t want the story to end.  In fact, I’m rooting for a sequel.

My rating:  4/5 Stars!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I will remember: 9/11

I was working at Pfizer on 9/11. When the first plane hit, people were buzzing about it, but we didn't know many details. But when the second plane hit, we were all rendered silent. I'll never forget rushing back to my desk from the cafeteria to check on my family members in New York (one of whom worked at WTC building 3). I immediately prayed for those involved and hoped for the best. It was a relief when our bosses streamlined the news on our computers so we could stay in the loop. Eventually, they let us go home. I drove home as fast as I could and held my family close. Then we settled in and watched the coverage for the rest of the day. My family members were okay, but so many people were not. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones. And I will always remember.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Are you getting old?

So, my birthday was Tuesday.  Yay!  I feel blessed to see another year and I had a good time with friends and family on Saturday, but I can't help but feel....old.  Don't get me wrong, I'm blessed to see another birthday, let alone another day, but I find myself wishing for days of old.  Here are some reasons why:
  1. When I turned 7, I couldn't wait to get to the corner store to stock up on Lemonheads, Boston Baked Beans, and Big 'Ole Freeze Pops.  My son will never know about going to the corner store because we don't have one.  And if we did, there is no way I would let him walk to the store by himself to get anything.  Not to mention, those old favs had so many carbs and were so bad for our teeth, I would probably get spanked by the 'Mommy Police' for letting my son indulge in too many treats.  But I had so much fun back then.  I long for the simple times. 
  2. When I turned 11, my favorite movie of all-time was released:  The Color Purple.  I was engrossed in the Original USA for Africa version of "We are the World".  I would also love to watch Saturday morning programs on Channel 4 like The Smurfs.  My 11 year old daughter only knows what a Smurf is because of the movie released in theaters this summer (which I still haven't seen yet, but want to).  Cartoons were simple.  Tom and Jerry or He-Man were the norm.  Now, I can't even pronounce some of the shows being watched by the children of today.  And what's with all these teen shows about dance teams and music groups? 
  3. When I turned 13, I was listening to Michael Jackson's "Bad" and watching Dirty Dancing.  Michael Jackson was my all-time favorite.  I loved him and "Bad" was actually a song that had a deeper meaning.  My son, who is thirteen, gets to listen to some questionable songs with no meaning whatsoever. 
There are times like these where I long for those times:  Break Dancing on cardboard boxes, songs with meaning, sugary treats for $.01 a piece, movies with a heart, and the innocence of youth.  I only pray that my children can look back on their childhood with the same fond memories that I have from mine. 

What are you favorite memories from childhood?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We fall down, but we get up!

Okay, so I took a tumble yesterday and I'm in horrible, excrutiating pain.  But I'm still here.  The doctor says bruised rib, so no laser tag for my birthday like I planned.  BUT, I'm still here.  I'm still counting down to my 37th birthday.  I'm still working.  I still have a book coming out in the fall.  Oh, and I finished my edits.  YAY!

That song is so true:  we fall down, but we GET UP! 

On another note, I got a brilliant idea for a new romance.  I hope to start working on it once I finish The Affair.  It's my first venture into paranormal, so wish me luck. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm a Water Walker

You cannot discover oceans unless you have the courage to leave the shore!

So, I'm almost done with edits.  And I suddenly felt fear of the unknown.  I was speaking with a close friend of mine (more like a sister) and we were talking about fear.  Sure, the sane part of me knows that you can't let fear dictate choice.  But the insane part of me is letting fear do just that. 

It's time for me to step into the deep end and not be afraid to drown....or even leave the shore. 

What are your fears?  Is there something you feel you have to do, but are afraid of jumping into it?

Thursday, August 4, 2011


On my iPod:  Motivation by Kelly Rowland
On my Kindle:  Sweet Little Lies by Michele Grant

Okay...so I need a little motivation.  Can't seem to get that song out of my head and it definitely helps that my fav, Busta is on the remix. 

And my poor Kindle has been neglected, so I haven't been able to finish Sweet Little Lies, although what I've read so far is great.  Believe me, she has created the ultimate man in her character, Steven.  I can't wait to read more.   

Unfortunately, I'm still editing Never Scared.  Hopefully, I'll be done within the next week.  And then, maybe I'll be inspired to finish my other projects.  I'm giving myself an 'editing' deadline of August 12th, which is the day my daughter's friends will descend on my house for her birthday.  6 screaming girls will definitely zap my energy for a while. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Smooth Editing? Of course not.

On my iPod:  Kisses don’t lie – Evelyn Champagne King
On my Kindle:  Sweet Little Lies – Michele Grant

Unfortunately, unlike my iPod playlist, editing is not smooth sailing.  I didn’t realize how intensive this could be, all the cutting I would do.  And I have to admit, cutting my words is like cutting a limb sometimes (not that I know what that feels like but you get it, right?). 
I wanted to dive into it much like a person would dive into a pool during a heat wave or even a sweet dessert on a cheat day.  My goal was to be finished in record time. 
The problem?  I have no time to sit down and write.  A page here, two pages there is hardly record time.  July has turned out to be the month where I run around with my head cut off (that award usually goes to August). 
Wedding to plan and coordinate.
Relatives in town.
Book to edit.
And a slew of other things I’d rather not mention.
Let’s hope I can find some quiet time to get back into my Never Scared zone. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Look into your Heart...a lesson learned from a classic movie.

Soooo...I've had my iPad for over 6 months now and I'm just realizing everything it can do.  I recently watched Sparkle through Netflix on my iPad.  Sparkle was one of my favorite movies, growing up.  I used to watch it with my favorite person in the world, my Aunt Brenda (better known as B-Love).  When she passed away, I continued the tradition every now and then. 

This particular time, though, I was watching it and was struck by the love story between Sparkle and Stix.  In particular, I actually sat down and listened to the words of the song, Look into Your Heart. 

If you look into your heart
With a positive mind
Take self inventory, your woman and your glory
Leave the bad things behind

Wow...how profound.  Love.  It.  I don't know about you, but I'm inspired.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A thought...

“There is something frightful in the way in which not only characteristic qualities, but particular manifestations of them, are repeated from generation to generation.”
       -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
I saw this quote and immediately thought of Never Scared.  I’m deep in edits right now, but life kind of gets in the way.  What I think I know, I don’t.  And what I think I don’t know, I do. 
Never Scared, at its core, is about a generational struggle:  a struggle to turn away from a legacy of crime, murder, and mayhem.  Parents should be cautious of negative qualities that could be passed on to our children.  It could be something as simple as how you see your glass:  is it half empty or half full?  Or it could be something as complicated as how you view your relationships with men/women.  Either way, it’s something to be aware of as we go through our daily lives.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Are you going to eat all that? Confessions from a BFF.

There are a couple of questions that really irk me.  As I was writing in my journal, I realized I had a lot of bitterness inside for the questions that really make me want to hurl.  And being a full figured gal, there were a plenty.  One thing that I hate is when people question my food choices.  I already know I’m plus sized.  I don’t need to look in the mirror to get a reality check because I see myself every day.  I see every imperfection to the nth power.  I don’t need others to point that stuff out.  What I definitely don’t need, when I sit down to eat, is that dreaded question:  “Are you going to eat all that?”
The answer is, “YES.  I’m going to eat this whole cheeseburger with all the fixings and the steak fries because I paid for it and I WANT it.”  It’s better than stopping off at McDonalds before a Lady’s Night (which is supposed to be a night to relax and splurge) to make up for the bird eating for display purposes only.  I shouldn’t have to answer that question.  If I was 5’7”, 150 pounds, no one would even ask.  So, why are they asking me?  No one asks the group drunk if they are going to drink that 6th Long Island.
There is only one thing worse than eating with the food police.  When I go out to eat, which is not that often anymore, I want to be able to enjoy a meal.  Perish the thought that I, for once, don’t care how many calories are in a meal.  There comes a time when I’ll want dessert and not have to share it with the whole table in a quest to appear less Miss Piggy-ish.  It’s time out for that.  Really.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Come Closer...it's Scandalous.

Come.  Closer.
Feel what U've been dyin' 4
Don't be afraid, baby
Touch it and explode
Understand, understand that I love U
But more than that - I want you

Okay...those few lines are from one of Prince's best songs, Scandalous.  And anyone who knows me, knows that I absolutely love Prince.  There is no other artist like him.  But, this song was from the Batman Movie Soundtrack.  Love.  It.  In fact, I love it so much, I wrote a little short with the same title about a year ago.  I dusted off the cobwebs of this little story and decided to try and publish it.  And y'all?  It's smokin'.  It's Hot.  It's...scandalous.  So, I'm taking a break from The Affair  to polish this short, and hopefully, my muse pushes me to finish soon so I can get back to The Affair. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Don't get it twisted...Lady is a killer.

As most of you already know, Never Scared is finished.  And some of you may even wonder what it's really about.  And as the writer, I often wonder how many themes actually exist in the book.  When I write, it's all about the characters first....plot a close second.  Once I have the characters down, the plot can basically write itself. 

Everytime an idea comes to mind for a book or short story, I begin the process by writing a very in depth cast of characters.  I want my characters to hop off the page and I want my readers to identify with my characters.  And I want the readers to root for the characters even though they may do questionable things.  My biggest example of this is the protagonist in Never Scared, Alexa (Lady).

When I had the initial dream that inspired the book, I immediately started putting pieces together for Alexa's puzzle.  I developed her back story because I felt like I needed to know her to write this book.  Since she is the lead character in the book, I wanted to breath life into her through her experiences.  These experiences may not even be revealed in this first book but they are always in my mind when I write 'Alexa'. 

Of all my characters, she is definitely one of the favs because there are so many layers to her.  There are so many intricate details to her life that make her who she is.  AND most importantly, I'm rooting for her and my hope is that you will root for her as well. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Welcome to the Basement!

My first blog was a bust!  I'm going to try this again because...I'm Never Scared (pun intended). 

Right now, I'm in query hell.  I have been sending out countless queried for my first book, Never Scared, and I'm winding down to the end of the road.  Of course, it's not dismal (I still have a couple out) but I'm impatient.  I know this about myself.  And it's definitely something I'm working on. 

Since I started quering though, I've been working on completing a couple of my other manuscripts.  The first one up is The Affair.  And here's my problem and a little history.  The Affair was actually started before Never Scared.  The first 50,000 words kind of wrote themselves.  BUT...I'm blocked.  I even did a dreaded outline.  And I just haven't had the desire to finish it.  I did write a killer rewrite of the best love scene ever.  And I mean ever.  Here's the premise:  Sydney Williams high tailed it out of her home in Virginia to get away from a suffocating relationship.  Life was good for Sydney when she arrived in Michigan.  She was working for one of the big automotive companies in the area.  She was engaged to a successful, although boring Caden.  Life was good.  But when Caden cheats on her in her own bed months before the wedding, Sydney turns to her best friend, Nathan Morgan.  Unable to control her long hidden (or maybe not) desire for Morgan, Sydney throws caution to the wind and spends the night with him.  There's one problem:  Morgan is not just any best friend.  Morgan is Caden's brother. 

So, what's a sista to do?  I can't very well paste my fingers on the keyboard and force myself to write.  If you have any ideas, please let me know. 

Anyway, welcome and come back often.