Category Archives: The Redhots

The Redhots: Taking Sassy to a New Level

It’s March Madness with the Redhots today as Marcia Richards and I dish on What Makes a Woman Sassy?

(image courtesy flickr Creative Commons – Mrs Inman)

Ever wanted to have the perfect comeback?  Ever wanted to one up someone with a good line?  Ever left a situation, thinking minutes later, and had the exact witty thing to say in retort?

You are not alone.

We asked some of our favorite Redhot Women to tell us their best comeback stories, and here’s what they had to share!

Catie Rhodes

To give this story a frame of reference, I’ll first say that everyone has a personality flaw. Mine is taking joy in making others feel stupid. With that in mind . . .
The guy trying to sell us a “free” security system said, “It’s only one dollar a day.”
I said, “So it’s $365 a year.”
Puzzled, he said, “Well, no. It’s only a dollar a day.”
To which I replied, “Right. And there’s 365 days in the year–except on leap years–so it’s $365 a year. That’s not exactly free, you know.”
He left after that.

Nina Badzin

Something my mom always advised me to say to people who ask uncomfortable or pushy questions: “That’s a really personal question.” It’s not much of a comeback but it does state the obvious and usually puts the other person back in the shame pit where that question should have stayed.

Donna Newton

When I was a Special Police Constable, I was ‘walking the beat’ around town and a van of builders drove past. They bibbed their horn and shouted terms of endearment from the windows, to which I turned and blew them all a kiss. My Sergeant laughed because he said I was ‘endorsing public relations’.

*****

And thus these women are my idols!  I’m totally going to steal Nina’s phrase of “shame pit.”  That needs to get inducted to mainstream society slang.

What makes me feel like a sassy woman?

The truth of the matter is lack of sleep.

I’ll explain.

I am a very light sleeper.  A very light sleeper.  If the smoke alarm beeps once, I will hear it.  If my honey is snoring, I will smother him with a pillow politely dig my elbow into his spine until he wakes!  😀 

One night, while in college, I awoke to a stranger kicking the door and calling out for our neighbors across the hall to open up.  This went on for awhile.  Full on sole of foot slamming into the door!  I tried to wake my boyfriend and make him deal with the guy, but Joe is undoubtedly the fairy lovechild of Sleeping Beauty and Rip Van Winkle and nothing short of a hurricane cascading an Eric Clapton cover band with a pack of wild dogs whistling Dixie was going to wake him up.  It’s quite revolting actually.

It was clear that I must take matters into my own hands.

Now, because I am a light sleeper, when I am woken from a good sleep for unnecessary causes, I turn into the Incredible Redheaded Bitch Hulk.

So I got out of bed and whipped open our apartment door, where the guy tipped over drunk, back first into our hallway (because he had been sitting on the ground bracing his back against our door and stomping his foot against the neighbor’s door across the hallway). 

This sh!t is going to stop.”

I know for a fact that’s what I started with.  Any and all expletives stated after that are a blur of sleep deprivation and rage.  I know I shouted to him something about what a moron he was for repeatedly kicking the door and not hearing the dog bark, which clearly indicated the neighbor’s weren’t home.  And then there was a threat made about calling the police and if I heard so much as one more toe tap on the door I’d filet his foot into a new doormat on which I’d stomp my own feet every day.

I think he whimpered.

I shut the door and went back to bed.  I didn’t hear a peep after that.

*Victory is MINE!*

The next day when I returned from class, I saw my roommate’s door open and asked, “Did you NOT hear that guy kicking the door last night?!”

My roommate cracked up laughing, “I heard you rip that guy a new one!  I was like, “Ha ha!  My 90 pound roommate showed your ass!”

Your welcome.

What can I say?  Lack of sleep makes me sassy. 

*****

What turns you into a Sassy Redhot Woman?  What was your best comeback?  Even if you can’t think of one on the spot, tell us what your comeback would be!  Go ahead, get it off your chest!  Riotous women are standing by to help you. 

And tune in for more Redhot boldness with the Fabulous Madam Marcia and her guests -Jenny Hansen, Barbara McDowell, Piper Bayard, and Helen Atkinson!

Redhots

#TheRedhots

Advertisements

What Makes a Woman REDHOT?

Hi Everyone!  It’s another episode of The Redhots, and we have something a little different in store for you!  First, I must sadly say I’m flying solo this month because Shhh – Marcia’s writing/sleeping/writing/sleeping!  She’ll be back next month and we have a FABULOUS blog planned for you all!

So this month, I teamed up with the endearing August McLaughlin for her

Beauty of a Woman Blogfest! 

Since I believe we all need a little REDHOTness in our lives, I challenged several of my favorite bloggers to share their thoughts on What makes a woman REDHOT?  Here’s what they had to say!

I’ve spent a great deal of time in the fashion world and can’t tell you how many of the so-called hottest women around are tepid, sad or apathetic on the inside. We feel and appear hotter when we pursue our passions. When we do what we love and go after it with gusto, our hotness grows and radiates outward, making us feel and appear more attractive. We can’t diet, stylize, fake or buy our way into that kind of beauty—a great thing, in my opinion. – August McLaughlin

Independence.  A woman who can stand on her own two feet AND stand her ground when the situation calls for it makes her Redhot in my mind.  Or at least that’s what I tell myself since I tend to have a very outspoken and stubborn personality. 🙂Tiffany White

A RedHot woman has confidence in her talent, the courage to take risks, and compassion for others in need.  – Jolyse Barnett

Then I asked the guys to way in!  Cause wouldn’t every woman want to the ability to read a guy’s take on beauty?!

Redhot sexy is a gleam of clever intelligence in the eyes. It is an aura of self-confidence rippling out from a woman like voluminous silken robes. Physical appearance is but an accessory, accentuating the true Redhot woman’s inner luminescence.Gene Lempp

There are many traits that make a woman redhot, but none of them have to do with physical beauty. There’s intelligence (smart is sexy!) and self-confidence and a great sense of humor. The ability to laugh at yourself and never take life too seriously. Practicing joie de vivre each and every day, without even thinking about it! Not surprisingly, these are all traits that my fiancee possesses – and she is the hottest woman I know!Mark Petruska

To me a Redhot Woman is someone who knows her own mind, embraces her humanity/success and failure, practices compassion, and never ever wants to stop learning. I was reading something recently about the double standard women face when it comes to “natural beauty” e.g. look beautiful but make it look effortless, and it got me to thinking that beauty is really in the eye of the holder. A woman that can answer the question of what makes her beautiful in a meaningful way is as Redhot as it gets. Oh and weird, too. Weird people are great.Joe Cardillo

In terms of looks, I think the fashion magazines have it wrong. It’s not being stick thin that makes anyone hot, but muscle tone (and I’m not thinking body builders here!). I know plenty of women who aren’t stick thin but are very beautiful because of this. The other thing is confidence. Confidence and the willingness to work at things (get your mind out of the gutter at this point) makes all the difference.Nigel Blackwell

Thanks everyone for weighing in!  What do I think?

I think a woman’s sexiest attribute is her ability to laugh!  To laugh with one’s gut, to be ok with laughing at oneself, and to always, always laugh with one’s friends! 

How would I sum up what makes a woman REDHOT and beautiful?

Women wish to be loved not because they are pretty, or good, or well bred, or graceful, or intelligent, But because they are themselves.

What are your thoughts?  What do you think makes a woman REDHOT?  Who’s the most beautiful woman you know?  

And be sure to click over to August’s blog on Friday where she’ll have all the Beauty of a Woman blog posts linked up and ready to read!!!  Thanks August for hosting this fun blog hop!

Redhots

The Redhots: So Hot, So Not Review of 2012

SAMSUNGHappy New Year Everyone!  With each new year comes hope and beginnings, but it’s always fun to look back at the past year to remember it’s highs and lows.

Well, today The Redhots are saving you the trouble!  We’re here to report what we think was SO HOT and also what was SO NOT
for the year 2012.

The Redhots – SO HOT!

  • Using Social Media To Tell You Who You Are!  No point in years of journaling and asking yourself those hard life questions, “Who am I?”  Now there’s an app for that!  It’s called Social Me and you can use it too!  Jenny Hansen first introduced it to me, and you can check it out by clicking here!  What it does is analyze your Facebook account, for as long as you’ve had it, and compile that info to tell you about what your profile is telling everyone else!

zeebly.com

Here’s a synopsis of what Social Me said about me:  Jess uses more words per sentence and yet fewer periods than 94% of people.  Jess is also more optimistic and uses longer words than 99% of people.  Jess is extremely humorous, but not educational, not even a little bit.  Most of her friends are between the ages of 24-59, and they like when Jess posts about South Korea, fairy tales, and LL Cool J.

Without Social Me, I would’ve never known that I’m guilty of writing extremely long run-on sentences with very little punctuation, if any, because I must have the lung span of an elephant and an elephant never forgets…to listen to LL Cool J.  

I also learned that 99% of you must be very sad and have no way of articulating it.  Forgive me, ‘articulating’ means:  You no words have.  Feel baaaaad.  Perhaps you might be happier if you listened to more LL Cool J. 

And they say I’m not educational!

  • Debut Authors Hitting Your Shelves! – So many great authors launched their first books this past year!  There was Tiffany A. White, Catie Rhodes, Myndi Shafer, August McLaughlin, Leanne Shirtliffe, David Walker, Angela Orlowski-Peart, and many others I know I’m forgetting and don’t mean to.  But one author was the first to be featured with the Redhots, and that’s Fabio Bueno and his release of Wicked Sense!

WickedSense.ebookcover.FabioBueno

  • They Made A Movie About Male Dancers! – It was a year of guilty pleasure films, and of my favorites, was Magic Mike.  Based on some stories Channing Tatum knew while he worked as a dancer, he and some other favorite men:  Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, Alex Pettyfer, and Adam Rodriguez showcased their best dance moves for a story with slim plotline, but all the right rising action.   (Shameful, I know, but I couldn’t resist!)
     

The Redhots – SO NOT!

50 Shades of Black and White:  A Biblical Response to 50 Shades of Grey – I just really hope it includes the phrase from my Catholic school days of “petting is a no-no.”  Careful now, Jesus is watching you…and he thinks you’re a slut.

Fifty Shades of Gray Matter – Same story told with zombies!  Now, someone tell me how this works.  If you tie up your zombie lover, won’t their limbs just rip right off?  Who needs a riding crop when you can use your own arm?!

Fifty Shades of Chicken – Told from the point of view an overheated fowl (does that mean it’s fried), the book contains photos of erotically placed birds.  Quote:  “What are the safe words, Chicken?’ ‘Golden,’ I mumble, ‘if I’m approaching doneness.’ ‘And?’ he prods…  ‘Black, if I’m in danger of drying out.”

Fifty Shades of Mr. Darcy – Interweaving the classic Jane Austen tale with the 50 Shades book itself, we are introduced to Lizzy Steele and Mr. Darcy’s “Blue Broom Cupboard of Seriously Kinky Sh*t.”  It is a truth universally acknowledged…that a man in possession of good leather boots, won’t be riding just his pony.  

Fifty Shades of Silver Hair and Socks – Flipping the table, so to speak, it is an old silver haired blogger who wears argyle socks that is turned on by a young entrepreneur woman.  Be careful, old man, this lady comes with baggage!

I almost want to change my answer, maybe the 50 Shades parodies can be part of SO HOT!

  • The Jersey Shore Cast – vh1.com

    Reality TV and Lindsay Lohan – Why is it considered fun to watch marathons of Jersey Shore?  All they do is drink, get in fights, and date one another!  It’s like Dawson’s Creek was abducted by aliens and they came back with hair extensions, a bartender’s manual, and Ugg boots.  Have at it, kiddos!  And while we’re at it, here’s your own beach house too!  Throw in the Kardashians, Teen Moms 1 and 2, and all the Real Housewives!  Don’t even get me started on Lohan!  She and her parents are so messed up!  She makes Britney Spears’ melt down look like a trip to the ice cream shop!

  • KFC’s Chicken and Their Customer Service – Did you hear about the kid who thought he ate brain at KFC?  Ok, this technically happened the first week in January 2013, but it’s definitely a SO NOT!  He snapped a photo of this gross chicken wing and posted it on social media, because that’s what consumers can do now.  Of course, millions were disgusted and how did KFC respond?  By reporting back to consumers that though they haven’t inspected the actual item, it appears from the photo to be a kidney that wasn’t removed, and not a brain after all!  No health risk was made, and they offered the 19 year old kid coupons for more KFC!!!  To bring back a phrase from the 90’s, that’s wack!

wiki images

Now head to Marcia’s blog to continue reading about what the Redhots thought was SO HOT and SO NOT in 2012!

It’s your turn to share!  What trends and topics of 2012 did you think were SO HOT and SO NOT! 

But first, please pick your favorite topics from the poll below to let Marcia and I know what you’d most love us to blog about this year!  You can select as many topics as you like and feel free to share more thoughts and ideas in the comments box!  We’ll see you there!

The Redhots: A Picture Says A Thousand Words

(image from zazzle.com)

Happy Redhots Day!

It’s another month’s edition of The Redhots and Marcia Richards and I are back and bolder than ever!

*crickets*

Ok, you caught us, we’re both crazed madwomen right now!

Let’s face it, the holidays are stressful!  Believe me, I work in retail.  I’ve put in an insane amount of days and hours for the past month – hence the disappearance of me from the blogosphere.  But I’ve missed you all and wrote you a little poem while I was away.  So settle into your pajamas, kiddos, Jess is going to read you a story!

*****

The Sale Before Christmas

It was the sale before Christmas
and all through the mall
the customers were shopping
for gifts big and small!
 
The registers were ringing,
the managers running.
And somewhere in their temporal lobes –
a constant, steady drumming!
 
This coupon! That special!
Lines the length of trains! –
Had this particular manager
wracking her redhot brains!
 
There were gifts to still wrap,
Heck presents to buy!
Not to mention the store potluck,
that dang peppermint pie!
 
There was severe lack of sleep
and a small bought with the flu.
But Christmas was coming!
What’s a girl to do?
 
The dishes began to pile at home,
and the laundry was crawling the walls.
Is this what Kris Kringle had in mind
when he said “Deck the Halls?”
 
At last the day came and went,
though short, it was full of cheer.
With family members, grace and thanks
I can wish you a Happy New Year!

*****

Your turn!  This Redhots edition we want to hear YOUR holiday stories!  Marcia and I are each posting a picture about the holidays and we’d love to hear your reactions, stories, perhaps poems (who doesn’t love a good limerick or haiku?) all about the holidays!  Thanks for sharing and we hope you all had a very happy holiday!

(image from shutterstock.com)

Redhot Women: We Met Them on Twitter

We’re Baaaaack!  Marcia Richards and I are serving up another REDHOT edition of:

The Redhots!

Today, we’re introducing you to two women from the Twitterverse who we think exemplify what it means to be REDHOT!

Marcia’s guest will show you how to feng shui your home!  Don’t miss it!  Go say hello!

And my guest, I admit, I actually found through YouTube and then twitter stalked found her!  She’s the owner of the only beauty salon and bookshop, Beauty and the Book, plus the founder and Queen of the WORLD’S largest book club!

Introducing Kathy Patrick

JW:  You own the only Beauty Salon and Bookshop in the country.  What has it meant to work everyday at the two things you love most?  And how did your shop come about?

KP:  Everyday I wake up at the crack of dawn as I can’t wait to do what I love to do, make people feel better about themselves, BEAUTY, and talk about great reads, BOOKS, thus my shop is Beauty and the Book.  These two are the best marriage ever and for me it makes my life always a celebration of big love!  I don’t go to work, I go to play and get paid for it!  Do the thing you love and you’ll never work another day in your life but then you will never work harder.  Your work will just seem like play, at least it does for me.  If I was rich, I would do what I do for free.  Unfortunately, I have bills just like everybody else so I have to charge.

My shop, Beauty and the Book, came about because I lost my job as a book publisher’s representative.  Due to the influx of large box stores coming in to my four state territory, the independent bookstores that I called on began to close in droves.  Since I was the last one hired, I was the first one fired, as my boss put it downsized.  So it was my sister who suggested to me to go back to doing hair.  That’s how I put myself through college.  When I told her I would be bored just doing hair, she said, “Do the book thing too!”  Beauty and the Book was born!  It’s all in the first chapter of my book, When Life Hands You a Lemon, forget Lemonade, Make Margaritas.  My book is called “The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life” and is the first book you are to read when you become an Official Pulpwood Queen Book Club member!

You also lead the world’s LARGEST book club!  Tell us about the Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys passion for literacy and dialogue. 

I have always had my nose stuck in a book so when the local book club invited me to come join their book club when I opened my shop, I jumped at the chance.  You can imagine my surprise and embarrassment when after blurting out how happy I was to be FINALLY in a book club, the hostess pulled me out into the galley of her plantation home.  “I’m sorry, but we didn’t invite you to join our book club but to be a guest.”  This is not in my book but I wish I had put it in there as that is exactly why I started The Pulpwood Queens of East Texas Book Club “where tiaras are mandatory and reading good books is the rule!”  Our book club would be inclusive not exclusive and anybody could be in our book club.  Who makes up those silly rules anyhoo!  So six complete strangers joined me and everybody else has been joining us ever since.  We aren’t your mama’s book club and our book club is not homework.  

We aren’t your mama’s book club!

If it isn’t fun, well, quite frankly Jess, I’m just not doing it!  I challenge all my now 550 world wide book clubs to take on a literacy mission.  For me it’s The Dolly Parton Imagination Library Project which helps children get reading ready for school.  Dolly makes reading fun as each child in my county from birth to kindergarten gets a FREE book to read and enjoy.  We want everybody to understand and be on the same page that reading is the best entertainment in the world and the side benefits are if you become a real reader, school just makes more sense.  Reading is as important to a child as water, food, shelter and a loving home.  Pull a child onto your lap and read to them.  Tell me that isn’t the best way to show love to your child.

The Pulpwood Queens, like yourself, are full of extraordinary, confident, intelligent, and talented women!  You ladies know how to have fun and live life large.  Tell us a secret!  (We know you have them!)  😉

The Pulpwood Queens are the largest “meeting and discussing” book club in the world as I crown girls Queen, they lead their own book club their own way.  I give them ownership but I do ask, no wait, command as their queen to read the books I select.  I am also on a mission to not only make them read, but I select books from oftentimes first time, first book authors. I also love to help those authors whose books change lives like Sam Bracken and Echo Garrett’s book “My Orange Duffel Bag”.  Echo sent me the book and I was blown away.  Another charity of choice is their not for profit, www.myorangeduffelbag.com as this helps teens make the right choices. It’s quite a story and one that makes the world a better place.

 
Somebody also needs to introduce the next Harper Lee’s, Margaret Mitchell’s, Ernest Hemingway’s, well, you get the picture.  I also ask each chapter to champion a literacy cause and my goodness these girls are blowing me away.  In fact, I came up with a KAT Award for just that.  Last year, my winners went to my South Louisiana chapter that provides books for a whole school in Nicaragua.  My Alaska chapter started a prison chapter and have now started a paroled prison chapter.  My Colorado Queen started a brand new school library for a Native American Indian School in North Dakota.  I could go on and on and on on these girls.  We aren’t just a book club, we are literacy leaders!
 
My secret is to make reading fun!  For years I watched parents drag their children to the book store of which I was a Children’s Manager and Buyer.  Looking for books with the most points, the accelerated reading program had sucked all the fun out of reading books.  So I told them a story, the story of a boy who survived a plane crash to swim out of the plane as it was sinking with only an ax.  He had to learn how to live with that one precious possession.  Then I would stop, “More, more they would cry!”  I would then hand them Gary Paulson’s “The Hatchet” and you couldn’t keep them from reading the book, they had to know the full story.
My secret is to make reading fun!  So, I told them a story!
  
Basically it is the same way with adults so why not approach reading as entertainment than a lesson.  So we don tiaras, wear boas and leopard print.  I give them license to rule as reading queens then I select books that make them want to read.  What if a nearly broke general store owner was receiving a grandfather clock in shipment.  One that if sold could bring her out of the threat of foreclosure.  And what would happen if when a crow bar was taken to open the box and if instead of finding a clock, you found a man.  A man who steps out of the box, oh the mystery.  Hook, line, and sinker my friends, welcome to “Man in the Blue Moon” by Michael Morris.  Reading is an adventure, so we go on many literary adventures in either our book club meetings or on our literary trips.  So far we have been to Italy, France, a cruise to Bahamas, England, and I take my Pulpwood Queens with me where ever I go to book festivals, speaking engagements, and why not have some big time fun while we are at it.  I even took five of my book club members on my book tour, 27 stops, 7,000 miles, and they are my best friends in the whole wide world!


With your video chats for Beauty and the Book, you’ve interviewed and come to know many authors in such fantastic ways!  You’ve gone vintage clothes shopping with Karen Abbott, you’ve had Lisa See cook dinner for you, and you’ve gone real estate hunting with Fannie Flagg!  What author are you still wishing to meet, and what activity would you want to do together? 

Today my answer is Dolly Parton as her new book released “Dream More” and she is a literacy promoting hero!  And if I could just spend the day with her singing perhaps, I love to sing harmony, alto, and talk to her about an adult literacy idea I have involving music.  She is my inspiration, in fact, I wrote all about her in my book too!  I’d also love to meet former President Bill Clinton because after reading his books, he’s as big a reader as I am.  Or Tom Wolfe, love everything that man writes, perhaps, Barbara Kingsolver.  You’ve heard the term, “So many books, too little time”.  I feel the same way about authors.  I want to meet them all!!!

As a hairdresser, I’m sure you stay up on the latest trends, but you also focus on inner beauty with your clients.  Tell us your best beauty advice!  And ok, share a guilty pleasure beauty buy too! 

My beauty secret is common sense, good skin care and a healthy lifestyle.  But if you have to invest in one thing, invest in a smile!  The hardest thing for some people to invest in, but a smile will get you more than anything money could buy.  I work on zero budget.  I have found that being kind, loving people and being gracious when people tell you a flat out no will get you more places than expensive anything.  But don’t take no for a final answer, offer something else and if they say no, offer something else.  Pretty soon, they will say yes or at least think about your passion!  The secret to the fountain of youth is finding your passion.  It keeps you alive, vibrant, and ready for anything.  I just refuse to give up.  I’ll get there eventually or die trying!  My guilty pleasure is dreaming beyond your wildest dreams.  

If you have to invest in one thing, invest in a smile!

 What’s next for Kathy Patrick and her Pulpwood Queens? 
Well, my documentary on my reading life and Girlfriend Weekend is now finished by film maker William Torgerson.  We premiered FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS at the Phenom International Film Festival in Shreverport/Bossier City, Louisiana and it WON the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film!  Ta da!  I plan on taking it to book festivals across the country to share our love of reading!

 
I am also working on my next book, “Eureka”, which is a novel, no kidding!  I try to break all the rules!
 
And I haven’t given up on having my own book club talk show, so if anybody is with a network, please check out my Beauty and the Book Show at www.beautyandthebookshow.com.
 
I plan on starting next year a Writer’s Retreat and there is nothing I adore more than authors and learning the art and craft of sharing a story whether true or fiction.  The sky is the limit as far as sharing my love of books!  I would like to spend more time speaking to children, students on my love for reading and already have many speaking engagements lined up to do just that!
 
So when it comes to talking books, I am so there!  All I ask is for someone to give me that chance to help books change peoples lives for the better like they have for me!  I’ll end with my favorite quote, “Life is not made up of atoms, but stories!” by Muriel Rukheyser and to me it’s our stories that separate us from the animals, it’s what makes us real and human.  We live in the world that everyday is isolating us from each other.  People need community and I can think of no better way to create that community than through books.
“Life is not made up of atoms, but stories!” by Muriel Rukheyser
Kathy, thanks so much for sharing your REDHOT dreams and passion for books with us!  
Readers can learn more by visiting you here:
And don’t forget to see who our REDHOT guest is at Marcia’s today too!
Thanks for dropping by!  Stick around and we’ll see you in the comments section!

The Redhots and Fabio Bueno: A Wicked(ly) Sens(ible) Review

Admit it!  You were all holding your breath in anticipation of who our mystery writer was going to be for this edition of…

The Redhots!

Marcia Richards and I are back together for more Halloween fun, and we invited debut author Fabio Bueno to join us this month as our first ever Indie Author Interview!

You know the saying “Double, double, toil and trouble…”?  Well, I thought there’s two of us redheads, so let the cauldron bubble by serving you up TWO interviews with our YA paranormal fantasy writer.

Meet Fabio!

Author of Young Adult novels, family man, gamer, “runner,” geek, kindle hugger, coffeeholic, SCBWIer, x-men hopeful, district 3 tribute, hufflepuff, daydreamer.

He’s recently written a book.  A book called Wicked Sense, which just so happened to win 1st place in the YA category of the Sandy Literary Contest!  Here’s the Goodread’s blurb:

Wicked Sense –

Witches inhabit our world, organized in covens and hiding behind a shroud of secrecy—the Veil.

Skye’s London coven sends her to Seattle’s Greenwood High to find the Singularity, an unusually gifted witch who may break the Veil and trigger a dangerous new era of witch-hunting. Things get complicated when Skye meets a charming new classmate, Drake. Skye’s job becomes even trickier when she clashes with Jane, an intimidating rival witch.

Drake falls for the mysterious Skye, but odd accidents, potion mix-ups, and the occasional brush with death kind of get in the way of romance. Once he discovers Skye is a witch, he goes to war for her, even though his only weapons are a nice set of abs and a sharp sense of humor.

Fighting off wicked Jane and the other dark forces hell-bent on seizing the Singularity’s immense power, Skye and Drake will risk everything to save the covens.

Going on a date has never been harder.

*****

I promised double the fun, and Fabio…he really didn’t stand a chance against Marcia and I!  He agreed to be interviewed by BOTH of us!  So the first half is here, and it continues over at Marcia’s place!

*****

1. The main character in Wicked Sense is a witch with the gift of True Sight. Do you believe in the paranormal – ghosts, spirits, auras, mediums?

I believe in some of it. Spirits, auras, and mediums seem plausible. I want to believe that people (and animals) have a certain connection with one another and with nature. A line in Wicked Sense paraphrases one of Arthur C. Clarke laws: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Similarly, maybe some aspects of what we call “paranormal” are actually biochemical and physical properties we don’t understand yet. I expect that someday scientists will find evidence of the paranormal.

2. I loved the inner monologues of teens, Drake and Skye. How was it writing both a male’s and female’s perceptions of High School? And dating?

I loved it! It was like writing two books at once. I could play with how they perceive events and interpret things differently. I wanted to show a little bit of male thinking too, which is not explored in Paranormal Romances very often. This setup allowed me to inject some humor, uncertainty, and angst—all integral parts of high-school life and the dating scene 🙂

3. Were you always a reader/writer? What was your favorite book as a teen?

YA wasn’t as prevalent when I was a teen (I’m not that young), so I usually read adult fiction. I had an eclectic taste, reading Isaac Asimov, Agatha Christie, Mark Twain, and Jules Verne. Books that made a mark on me as a teen include “Rebecca,” “Catch-22,” “The Little Prince,” “Stranger in a Strange Land,” and “Robinson Crusoe.” And I used to read a lot of mythology and “history of inventions” books.

4. You’re a regular face on social media, getting to know and support other writers. What has the writing community meant to you?

Writing a book is exhilarating, and publishing it is very rewarding. But connecting with so many wonderful people, online and in person, is the best part. I am usually a shy person, but I feel completely at ease with my writer friends. And the support, wow. Writers are genuinely invested the happiness of one another. We hurt when a writer friend faces a setback, and we rejoice when a colleague breaks through. We share and try to help with each other. I’ve learned so much, and I hope I’ve been giving back too. I’ve worked in the academia and in the corporate world, and the difference between them and the writing community is striking.

5. In your bio, you describe yourself as a District 3 Tribute, a Hufflepuff, an X-Men hopeful! I love it! What’s your favorite pop culture craze right now?

I get news and trends online. Among my favorites are the hilarious George Takei Facebook page and the tweet #hashtag chains where everybody contributes a funny tweet to a very specific topic, like #pickuplinesforwriters, #IYKWIM, #replacesongtitlewithcake and so on. I waste a lot of time on Tumblr (meme central) and Pinterest. I’ve been visiting YouTube more than I should too. The clips from the record-breaking skydiver who jumped off a balloon fascinate me (one is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkIiPtj7Awo ). And I must confess that I’ve been watching parodies of Psy’s “Gangnam Style”(oh, the shame). Check out this dancing robot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmeJvkN4ntI

6. And in the spirit of Halloween, what’s your favorite memory of this holiday? And share your best costume!

Now that I have kids, my best memories are from when I took them to their first trick-or-treating, of course!

I don’t always wear a costume, but a couple of years ago, I decided to go as (geek alert!) … Rorscharch from Watchmen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorschach_(comics)) . How did I fare? See for yourself: here’s the original action figure, and the costumed me. I didn’t have a leather trench coat, though…

Rorschach, the action figure…

Rorschach, the Fabio!

Thanks, Fabio!  I love the costume!  And Readers, you can get more Wicked Sense and more Fabio at Marcia’s blog:  Wicked Sense is Wickedly Bueno!

You can also find more Fabio here:

*****

Now, want to learn how you could win one of 6 awesome chances for a copy of Fabio’s book, Wicked Sense?  I thought so! 

We’re kicking off Halloween with a fun photo contest!  You could be a winner of one of 6 prizes!

What you need to know to enter:

1. There are three categories you can enter one time each:

  • Costume – your best ever, be it scary, cute or funny
  • Outdoor decorations – your scariest or most creative
  • Party room decor – you can include your Halloween tablescape, your unique pumpkin carving, and your room decorations

2. Post your pictures, up to 3 only, at our Twitter hashtag: #TheRedHots or on our Facebook pages between October 19th and October 30th. The winners will be announced on Halloween!

3. For extra chances to win, you can choose to do the following:

  • “Like” Marcia’s and my Facebook pages
  • Tweet about the contest three times between the 19th and the 30th linking to our posts
  • Subscribe to our blogs

The prizes:

  • Grand prize will be an autographed print book by our indie author plus a Halloween Goody Bag.
  • 5 bonus prizes of a Kindlegraphed ebook from the author

Good luck!

The Redhots.  Two Redheads.  Two Opinions.  Keeping it sizzling HOT!

E-Book Giveaway and Halloween Photo Contest!

This coming Friday is the October posting of The Redhots!  News, reviews, and interviews brought to you by your favorite redheads, Marcia Richards and I!

We’re excited to bring you a surprise interview by a new indie author!  And, he’s giving away not 1, not 2, but 6 prizes!!!

You could win one of the following:

  • Grand prize will be an autographed print book by our indie author plus a Halloween Goody Bag.
  • 5 bonus prizes of a Kindlegraphed ebook from the author

Curious how to enter?

1. There are three categories you can enter one time each:

  • Costume – your best ever, be it scary, cute or funny
  • Outdoor decorations – your scariest or most creative
  • Party room decor – you can include your Halloween tablescape, your unique pumpkin carving, and your room decorations

2. Post your pictures, up to 3 only, at our Twitter hashtag: #TheRedHots between October 19th and October 30th. The winners will be announced on Halloween!

3. For extra chances to win, you can choose to do the following:

  • “Like” Marcia’s and my Facebook pages
  • Tweet about the contest three times between the 19th and the 30th linking to our posts
  • Subscribe to our blogs

Get Creative!

Looking for ideas on what to submit?  Halloween is my favorite holiday!

Here’s some pictures I took to get you in the mood!

Spooky graveyard scenes…

Spooky Halloween Decorations Inside…

Spooky Decorations Outside!

Orange and Black Themed Table Layouts

Costumes that go together! (Rocky and Bullwinkle!)

Costumes that DON’T! (Zombie Cop and Dolly Parton)

The possibilities are endless!  So get started!  I’ll be watching for you over at #TheRedHots.  We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

(Not on Twitter?  Feel free to post the photos on my Facebook page!  I want to see whatcha got!)

Hope Springs: Beware this RomCom’s NOT for Children!

So, Hope Springs…where to start?  With Meryl Streep trying to sensually massage Tommy Lee Jones’ very wrinkled body?  Nope, nope – too early for that imagery!  Meryl gettin’ down with her bad self?  Eating a banana while reading Sex Tips for a Straight Woman from a Gay Man?

Wait, wait, why are you running away?!  I’m not done with my review!

Ok, I fully admit it was my idea to review Hope Springs for the Redhots.  Had I known what I was getting myself into, I would have let well enough alone!  I swear!  There are things people my age aren’t supposed to know!  Things we shouldn’t know!  Because if we knew them, we might never have sex again, never get married, never have children, and then mosquitos would take over the planet!

I thought it would be a light hearted film about love.  The preview made it so inviting!

The first mistake I made was taking my best friend, Cat, with me to see the movie.  Cat recently got married this past August.  She’s still in honeymoon bliss.  Wanting to spend more time with her husband…probably cleaning the house…I assume.  I’m not married, I’m not sure what those people do.

What I hope they don’t do, is turn into Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones in the film Hope Springs!  Ack, people!  I have to develop a new rating system just to efficiently describe this marriage movie monstrosity!  We’ll be dissecting the film under the following categories:

  • Hope Floats, But Your Sex Don’t Spring
  • The Ick Factor
  • All I Truly Love are the Costumes
  • Was There A Happy Ending, I’m Still in Shock from the Close up of Tommy Lee’s Lips?

Ok, to get started, Hope Floats, But Your Sex Don’t Spring!  

The premise for this movie is a couple that goes to intensive counseling after 30+ years of marriage has turned them into roommates rather than life partners.  Sleeping in separate beds, Kay and Arnold (Streep and Jones), have lost their lust, I mean love, for one another.

What follows is an all too real picture of what could be the future.  Hope Springs had the potential to cover any number of marital concerns and obstacles, but at its heart, it focuses on sex.  Meaning Kay and Arnold aren’t having any.

Further discussion of their lack of sex, in fact any physical contact in some time, leads me to:

The Ick Factor

I know this film is probably giving hope to couples all over that it’s not too late to spice up their sex lives, and I’m all for it, I really, truly am!  But I just don’t want to see it!

Number one on the Ick Factor list is Tommy Lee Jones’ lips, or lack thereof!  His face wrinkles just sort of melt into where his teeth are.

Then there’s the awkward touching.  Picture Meryl Streep’s hands pat pat patting Tommy Lee’s upper thighs, then staring at his aroused face.  *kech*   I just threw up a little.

You don’t want to know what “went down” in the movie theater, but I actually felt pity for Kay after watching that scene!

And this was all made the more awkward because Cat would not stop snickering very audibly next to me in a theater full of older couples and us.

(image courtesy Mrs. Inman – Popping In and Out, Creative Commons)

All I Truly Love Are the Costumes

The saving grace of this film was the realistic costuming they gave the characters.  Kay works at Coldwater Creek, and she is definitely in floral blouses and matching sets throughout the film.  And I liked the subtle detail of having her wear the same necklace, different ways, while she was traveling.

Was There a Happy Ending, I’m Still in Shock from the Close up of Tommy Lee’s Lips?

I don’t think I’m being a terrible spoiler when I tell you that Kay and Arnold get their groove back.  Even though I was happy for them, it was, and remains to be, hard to shake the frightening images I was forced to face.

I mean, frozen in my theater chair, so disturbed I couldn’t look away AND I forgot to drink any of the wine I snuck in with my purse!  That’s fer realz, y’all!

Final Recommendation:

My newly married friend best summed up the movie as we washed our hands (because we couldn’t put soap in our eyes), that it might be a movie to watch periodically throughout one’s marriage.  To use it as a spectrum gage of “are we this couple and if so what the f*ck are we going to do about it?”

In the meantime, if you’re in a happily committed relationship, might I suggest the newest season of Dexter for date night?

*****

Don’t take my word for it!  Check out Marcia’s opinion on what it’s really like to be married!  Hope her hubby has better lips than Tommy Lee!

Redhots

50 Shades Freed: Why I’m So Happy to be Done Reading the Christian Grey Trilogy

Welcome to the First Edition of The Redhots!

Two Redheads.  Two Different Opinions.

It’s Marcia Richards and I serving up spice with our opinion on all things HOT and buzzworthy in the world.  We’re kicking off our monthly series with the book that’s been flying off the shelves, sneakily read on airplanes and during office lunch hours, the book you won’t tell your mom you’re reading (unless you’re Marcia), the S & M sensation:

Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E.L. James

(amazon.com)

I started reading this series back in May.  I was in the middle of the second one while flying home from the DFW Writers Conference, and I kid you not, the woman sitting next to me on the plane ride over was reading the first book.  And on the flight back, the woman sitting next to me was reading the third one.   Go figure!

I noticed, that both these women were very discreet trying to read the book on the plane.  They had folded the cover over, and leaned into the window.  When the flight attendant came around, the woman reading the third book asked for a glass of water, which she proceeded to down!  She immediately asked for a second glass.

Now, I’m normally the quintessential poster girl for “Wisconsin Nice,” but I couldn’t help myself.  The following is a paraphrase of the conversation we had.  J is for me obviously, and P is for Passenger.

J:  Are you getting steamy over there?

P:  *busted laughing* I know, I tried to be so secret about it, but you caught me!

J:  Well, you can have as much water as you want, but if I see that chair of yours tip back, I’m asking the flight attendant for a new seat!

P:  *further laughing* 

Now, let me give you some background on the very opposing forces in which I was raised.  A part of me, will always be shocked that people actually talk about such things out loud.  Nine years in Catholic school will do that to a person.  Our religious books had titles like Heavy Petting is a No No.  Once, after an honest conversation with my father wherein he admitted to having tried cigarettes, I tried the approach with my mother, asking her if she’d had sex before marriage.  We were in the car, and I’ve never seen such a horrified look cross anyone’s face, “Jessica!  How dare you ask me that question!”  She didn’t need to answer for me to know the truth there.

Around mid high school, I became introduced to the French-Cuban writer, Anais Nin.  Nin was known for her collection of diaries that spanned 60 some years over the course of the French Bohemian movement.  She also penned erotica; started writing it for a dollar a page.  Not bad!  At the height of her literary career, posters announcing Nin’s readings had to use symbols rather than her name as code so the police wouldn’t turn up.  I now have one of these symbols as a tattoo.

Anais Nin (Flickr Photo courtesy Mrs. Inman – Popping In & Out)

*****

If someone would’ve told me that in 2012 the book of the year would be an S & M, sexy pain/toy book, I probably would’ve said Awesome!

Having now read the whole series, I’d rather spend my money in the following two ways:  A donation to the local women’s shelter and a new vibrator for me.

Let’s get this over with shall we! 

I was fully aware that the series began as a form of Twilight fan-fiction.  As you read along, you can practically cut and paste the characters from one to the other.  Edward/Christian is a domineering man who is apparently so hot women cannot function through their days without staring at him.  Bella/Ana is a naive, socially-awkward girl whose only true talents are falling down and twirling her hair.  Jacob/Jose is the only ethnic character and in true form, vanishes from the story all together towards the end.

Let’s see then we have Alice/Mia, the quirky sister who tries to run everyone’s lives.  Emmett/Elliot, oooh no subtlety there.  The bossy, valedictorian friend Jessica/Kate who will, just like in the movies, be your friend, not be your friend, be your friend – but only after she starts dating your boyfriend’s brother.

Ok, we’re on to the male lead’s parents:  financially well off, intrinsically good at everything, and yet still kind Carlisle and Esme/Carrick and Grace.  And yes, the female lead’s parents are divorced, with mom remarried and Bella/Ana lives with dear old dad Renee and Charlie/Carla and Ray.  What’d the author do, just flip-flop those around? Ruh-nay…Ray!

What is supposed to keep us readers entertained is the eminent danger that Christian and Ana find themselves in when they are haunted by both Christian’s psycho Mrs. Robinson-like ex and Ana’s sleezy boss.  However, if I were to choose the real danger in the book, I’d say Christian Grey.

Here’s my rant, readers.  I get that is a work of fiction, fan-fiction!  By its very definition it is taking elements, or complete storylines, and having fun with them because you enjoyed those characters so much you don’t want them to leave your side!  Except that in this case, Christian Grey isn’t a slightly overbearing vampire who only ever shows caring towards his girlfriend in a puppy love-albeit blood-drinking way.  In this case, Christian Grey is an abusive man.

At the end of the first book, if Ana was my friend, I would be telling her to RUN and RUN like hell from this guy!  And my biggest fear is that women are reading this book and thinking, yah, this is ok, this is sexy!  Are they fooling themselves into thinking they can change a guy who is QUOTE:  “fifty shades of f*cked up”?

But Jess girl, give the readers some credit!  They know it’s just a story!

Are the sex scenes steamy?  Yes.  Did the book turn me on?  At times.  But mostly, I wanted to pack a bag for Ana and stay up late watching Girl, Interrupted.  I wanted to lend her my copy of The Vagina Monologues.  No, what I really wanted to do was to help Ana grow a freaking spine!  The subplot of “Ana wants to be an editor” is weak at best.  And nothing she accomplishes at work (the only other world we see her in besides the one with Christian) is in merit with what she’s practiced and proved.  She’s given everything because her boyfriend owns the company.

And why does he love her?  Mr. Fifty Pages of the same adjectives grey eyes with the hot body and million dollar company?  Yah, who wouldn’t be obsessed with a mousy-haired, anxious mess that falls through your office door and asks if you’re gay?  I know I’m aroused just thinking about it…

And let’s talk plausibility for a moment.  If my previous arguments didn’t pull you to my dark side, maybe this plot fail point out will.  Several scenes of conflict include multiple break-ins of Christian’s apartment by both a psychologically disturbed ex and Ana’s creepster boss.  AND YET, it’s mentioned throughout the WHOLE series that Christian is paying extensive money for one on one security of his whole family!  What, did you hire a whole slew of Elmer Fudd’s to protect you?  “You wascally-wabbit!  You ewuded me again!”  Why not invest in ADT?  It’s probably more money efficient and they have proven results!

The entire time I was reading this book, I kept wondering when Christian Grey was going to turn into a vampire!  At least then I could better separate reality from fiction!  But no, he’s just a blood-sucking ass of a guy metaphorically.  

Can we please talk about the ending for just a minute?  It’s cool, I’ll follow suit with the author and wrap it up in three paragraphs or less because I’m bored a great writer!

If you’re worried about spoilers, don’t!  Once again, if you’ve seen Twilight, you already know where this is going.  Only, it’s like the author didn’t have the decency to really show us how the characters changed, so she just stuffed it all in a diaper bag/epilogue.

I’m so happy to be done reading this series, and I couldn’t wait to tell you not to!  You may not believe me after the reaping I just put E.L. through, but I am proud of her for finding a market that made her more popular than Harry Potter!  I say kudos for getting the erotic genre more fame in mass media.  I hope she keeps writing.  But I also hope she doesn’t expect me to read it.

Don’t take my word for it!  Read between the lines with Marcia Richards!  The woman who told me that Christian Grey was “following her around the house for days!” 

I told you he was a stalker!

Catch more of the Redhots next month when we review the film Hope Springs.

%d bloggers like this: