Nov 09

Please Hear Me Out: Why This Election Hurts

Let me begin by saying I know this is an odd place for a post about the election. I also know that it will cost me some readers. I’ve made my peace with that. But I do hope that those who think both candidates were equally bad or don’t understand why so many of us are terrified by this Trump win read this with an open mind and, even if you disagree, try to understand where we’re coming from:

The day I fully understood that Trump’s candidacy was dangerously different from that of other Republican candidates was when my son drove down to Anaheim, CA to go to Disneyland with a friend during primary season. While he was on his way I turned on the news and heard about the KKK march that was taking place at that very moment in Anaheim. As I tried to reach my son I listened as the event descended into violent chaos, resulting in numerous injuries and one counter-protester being stabbed with a flagpole carrying the Confederate flag.

As Trump’s campaign continued, I watched as anti-Semitic posts on social media increased in both frequency and repulsiveness. I listened when Melania (Ms.-Anti-Online-Bullying) was asked about a reporter who, after writing a story about Melania, had been inundated with Tweets and emails with the reporter’s face super-imposed over Holocaust victims while Trump was cast as the happy SS officer ready to turn on the gas. Our soon-to-be First Lady’s response? “(The reporter) provoked them.” Melania did not condemn the anti-Semitism. She did not call for the attacks to stop. Neither did her husband.

Over the last year I’ve read the accounts of the basketball teams of mostly-Hispanic high schools who were greeted in the gymnasiums of their competitors with big pictures of Trump and calls to “Build a wall.” I’ve tried to absorb that hate crimes against Muslims are up 78% since Trump announced his candidacy.

And of course I’ve heard person after person laugh off Trump’s boasts of sexual assault.

Trump did not invent bigotry.  I am not naive enough to think that the KKK sprung up in Anaheim overnight. But this was the first time in many decades that they felt confident enough to march through those Southern Californian streets.

Individuals who have hate in their hearts but previously had enough shame to restrain themselves in public forums have been emboldened by the rhetoric of Trump’s campaign. The KKK made that much clear when they officially endorsed Trump in their newspaper. They never endorsed Romney, McCain, Bush, Dole or Bill Clinton and they sure as hell didn’t endorse Obama.

But now the man who has been endorsed by The KKK, David Duke and the head of the American Nazi party who helpfully pointed out, “Donald Trump’s campaign statements, if nothing else, have shown that our views are not so unpopular as the political correctness crowd have told everyone they are!” will be our next President. It’s patently absurd to think that having seen their candidate of choice succeed these hate groups are now going to dial it down a notch.

Yes, I fear what Trump will do in the Oval Office, but I fear what he has unleashed in others more. And the fact that this wasn’t a serious consideration for half the American voting public hurts. Worse yet, I now know that it WAS a consideration for a not insignificant number of Trump voters who either embraced the hate or decided they could live with it. That hurts more. If my dignity and safety as well as the safety and dignity of those who look like me, or belong to other minority groups, is valued as less important than punishing Clinton for her husband’s trade deals or for using the wrong email server how can I feel any degree of patriotism? Yes, I know many of Trump’s voters didn’t like what he was saying but rarely did they hold him accountable by insisting that he change his rhetoric if he wanted their vote.

When Trump won my first thought was, maybe my family needs to get out of this country. Clearly that was the first impulse of many people based on the crashing of Canada’s immigration website. The logistics of becoming an expatriate would be hard for my family, but not impossible. But what about all the marginalized Americans for whom moving would be impossible? Am I supposed to abandon them when they are at their most vulnerable?

I can’t do that. I have to stand with them. Speaking out against injustice and for other people’s civil liberties has never been as important as it is now that I know half the country either doesn’t see it, doesn’t care or, in some cases, hope to be the perpetrators of that injustice.

Please don’t be one of those people. Regardless of how you voted, please hear me. Stand with me, with my son, with the Americans who tried and failed to protect us against this abuse with their votes on November 8th, 2016. Please hold our next President accountable for his words, particularly if you did support him or if you didn’t vote at all. Because his words will translate into other people’s actions. It’s already happening. Please see it and help us stop it.

Oct 17

SALE ALERT!

Love cheap thrills?

JUST ONE LIE is on sale for $1.99* (reg. $7.99) for a limited time! It’s rebellious indie rocker, Mercy Raye’s story of passion, love, heartbreak & redemption.Slide1

 

Slide1Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ekv9h7
B&N: http://bit.ly/2emBdlo
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1PYfgFR

*ebook only. Trade paperback on sale for $4.48 from $15.99 at Barnesandnoble.com

Sep 14

A New Sophie Is On The Way

No, I don’t have a cover yet, nor do I have a release date. But I do have a title:

CHAOS, DESIRE & A KICK-ASS CUPCAKE!

You can read the synopsis on my Sophie Katz mysteries page.

And you can readDeep Under the 1st chapter if you buy Lisa Renee Jones‘ novel DEEP UNDER which is currently on sale for 99¢!!

You’ll also get excerpts from upcoming novels by Audrey Carlan, Whitney Gracia Williams, Carly Phillips, Nicole Snow, Layla Hagen, Linda Jones and Linda Howard, Melody Anne, Brenda Novak and Geneva Lee!

No matter how you look at it, you win. So go out and grab Deep Under and get a taste of a Kick-Ass Cupcake!😜

 

May 09

The Surprises of Being A Mom

13174181_10153646744934077_3083748045224293548_nWhen you become a mom, you come to understand how inadequate the word “empathy” is. Because when my son is hurting I don’t just understand & share his pain. His pain IS my pain. When he feels pride in an accomplishment you can bet that pride is seeping out of my pours. And when he’s happy life is good and all my other problems seem smaller and more manageable.

 

If we all really knew before we decided to have kids that this is what we’d be in for we might have stuck with the birth control. After all, what this means is my mom’s been through the distress and drama of TWO divorces, one from her 1st husband and my divorce from mine. It means that I have been through the anguish of middle school twice. It’s not that our childrens’ experiences are our experiences, but the emotional fallout is.

13173483_10153646744989077_2413584274410436916_oBut I didn’t know so I did become a mom, and now I can’t imagine life without this richness and amazing intensity. Both the gifts and blows of being a parent have done so much to shape who I am. It’s turned the mere act of living into a more passionate, thrilling, frightening and wonderful adventure. I’m so grateful for that and I’m so appreciative of my mom who has stood by me during all the good times and bad because now that I’m a mom, I understand what that took.

So Happy Mother’s Day to her and to all the moms who stand strong through the pain and elation of parenting. This is one holiday that you have personally earned.

May 02

Shout Out to Old Navy

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This weekend I spent quality time with my white husband, threw myself into working on my manuscript featuring my black, Jewish protagonist and wrapped Sunday up by watching Game Of Thrones with my mixed race, teenage son, perviously mentioned white husband and my sweet, black mutt of a dog…so I totally missed this weekend’s uproar over the Old Navy ad featuring an interracial couple & their mixed race kid. I can’t even wrap my mind around the fact that there are still so many racist idiots out there who are stupid enough to go public with their hatefulness (click the link for details if you missed it too). Anyway, my own happy, mixed-race family will definitely be shopping Old Navy now. Thanks for the ad!! http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/05/old-navys-interracial-ad-is-upsetting-trolls.html#

Apr 26

DECEPTIVE INNOCENCE $1.99 ebook sale!!!

Surprise! The 1st book in the PURE SIN series, DECEPTIVE INNOCENCE is on sale for $1.99! I don’t know how long the sale is going to last but in celebration I’m posting an extended…er…NC-17 excerpt from the book below. Enjoy!:

deceptive innocenceLander was wise enough not to take his limo into that part of Harlem, so we’ve caught a cab. We’re sitting only a few feet away from each other, not talking, not touching, just . . . thinking.

I’m fiddling with my garnet ring, trying to lay out a plan for the evening. I’ve never had sex with a man for any reason other than the satisfaction of my own desire, but I’m ready to make the sacrifice for the sake of my cause. I’ve prepared myself for that.

So sleeping with the enemy isn’t a problem . . . but wanting to sleep with the enemy is.

That’s something I’m not prepared for at all. Over the last few days his self-possession, quiet intelligence, and savagery have been wearing on my defenses. Like the effect of waves against a cliff, the erosion isn’t immediately devastating but it’s noticeable.

He reaches over and touches my leg, his eyes still on the window. His fingers move up and down, his caress al- most casual . . . almost. But there’s a soft rhythm to his movement as his fingers rise a little higher, pushing my hem up ever so slightly, then sliding down again to my knee. It’s not demanding or insistent. Just confident. Confident in what he’s allowed and what boundaries he’s able to push.

Being touched by this man, this man who represents so many things that I hate . . . it should be awful.

It isn’t.

His hand goes a little higher. He’s touching my inner thigh now, just barely, but still, I shudder. e in- voluntary reaction makes me blush and I quickly look away.

No, this isn’t supposed to be happening at all.

When the cab drops us off at his Upper East Side building, he greets the doorman with a word and leads me to the rear of the lobby, his hand on the small of my back.

“Cool digs,” I say as he pulls me onto the elevator. When I turn, I more fully take in the lush entry area, its crown molding, its expensive furniture, its little touches of decadence.

“It could be worse,” he admits, sticking his key into the slot that will allow us to get to his penthouse. The doors close and he turns to me. “Do you like elevators, Bell?” He steps forward, into my space. Instinctively I step back, but that only serves to bring me up against the wall. His lips touch mine so gently it’s practically a caress, nearly innocent.

And yet.

I feel his hands move up to my waist as his mouth quietly, softly moves down to my chin, my neck . . .

“The doors could open at any moment,” I say. I try to add a little laugh, but the sound comes out as a staccato breath.

“Yes,” he says, “they could.”

He leans into me, and his body is different than I thought it would be—harder, stronger.

He doesn’t know who I really am; he can’t.

His hands are on my hips, and the hem of my dress inches up as his grip becomes firmer, more demanding.

I’m going to destroy him. I’ll bring down his entire family.

His lips rise to my ear, his tongue finding my most sensitive spots there.

This is a sacrifice—it’s supposed to be a sacrifice . . .

.. . but that’s not what it feels like.

I close my eyes just as the elevator slows to a stop. He pulls away, but only a little. “Welcome to my home.”

Slowly I open my eyes again and step into his penthouse. The art pieces on the wall are originals, mostly by artists I don’t know . . . except for the charcoal nude rendered by Degas.

This man owns a Degas.

I don’t comment on it. Instead I just continue down the hall past the kitchen, the home office, into what serves as a living room.

One wall is lined with books, the other with windows. In the corner is a small bar, stocked with expensive bottles that look as decorative as they do sinful.

“You have a view of Central Park.” I step up to the wall of glass and stare down at the dimly lit landscape. I can feel his eyes on me . . . It’s almost like he’s touching me.

This man is my enemy.

“iIf I lived your life I would go to all the fancy par- ties,” I say lightly. “I bet you get invited to all sorts of red-carpet affairs. I bet you could be in a tux every night of the week if you wanted to be.”

“No man wants to be in a tux every night.” He pauses, leans back on his heels. “I’d like to guess your name now.”

“Oh?” I flash him a bright, playful smile. “You think you can?”

“Yes,” he says quietly. “I think I can, Bellona.”

My breath catches. I feel a knot in my stomach. Of course, it’s not my birth name—he doesn’t know that.  But it isn’t information I’ve given him either. “How did you know?”

“I’ll tell you tomorrow . . . in the morning.” He comes to my side, reaches up, pushes my hair behind my shoulders. “Tonight I want to know if you’re like your namesake. Are you a goddess of war?”

“I’m not a goddess,” I say quietly.

“And yet I bet you’d hold your own on a battle- field.” His fingers slide down my neck. I expect him to lean in for a kiss again, but he doesn’t. Instead he just lets his fingers go to the scooped neckline of my dress, tracing it lightly, watching me. When his fingers move lower, over my dress, over the curve of my breast, I look away.

“No, no, warrior,” he whispers, taking his other hand and turning my face back to him. “Keep your eyes on me. I want you to see me seeing you. I want you to look into my eyes when I touch you.”

Part of me wants to say no. I hadn’t planned for this level of intimacy. I don’t know how to handle it.

But this is the path I’ve chosen. It’s a path that can lead me to my revenge. And without revenge I have nothing. My whole life will be nothing.

His fingers continue to caress, running up and down my breasts. I feel my nipples harden. The fabric of my dress is thick enough to conceal them and yet as he looks down at me I’m sure he knows. It’s in his smile, in the mischievous glint in his eyes.

His hands move lower, over my stomach, lower to the hem of my dress, then just below it, forcing his hand between my legs as I lean my back against the window, suddenly needing support. e glass is so clean it looks like I’m leaning against air itself, as if I’m on the verge of falling.

Maybe I am.

Slowly he raises his hand, raising my dress again as he does. e feeling of his palm against the inside of my leg makes me squirm, but as instructed I keep my eyes on his, watching him watching me.

“Do you know what I’m going to do next, Bellona?” I nod.

“Tell me.”

“You’re going to move your hand up . . . to my thong.”

“And when I touch your thong, will it be wet?”

My heart is beating at an uncomfortable pace. “Yes,” I whisper.

His hand goes up, touches my panties, moving back and forth. It’s such a thin strip of fabric, no protection at all, really.

“Ah,” he says with a smile, “an honest woman.”

The irony should make me laugh.

Want to read more? Grab DECEPTIVE INNOCENCE (Pure Sin book 1) now while it’s still $1.99!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/26pQTuw 

BAM: http://bit.ly/1Ufl9nc

B&N: http://bit.ly/1UfkOky

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1SI81Vq

iTunes: http://apple.co/1KABc6W

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/1QyU0Vo

 

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