Tag Archives: Marcia Richards

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

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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!

Announcing the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge and other ROW News

(amazon.com)

Hey ROW80 friends!  I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving!  Mine was short but sweet since my parents came up for the holiday and spent it with my honey’s family.  Everyone hit it off splendidly and I was happy to have a bit of home before starting my midnight shift for Black Friday.  I did an 11 hour shift that day and worked through the weekend, which equaled about 7 days in a row.  Today was my first day off, and I admit it, I didn’t write on my novel.  I had a Downton Abbey marathon.  It felt good to be a bum for a day.  Real good.

But…exciting things are happening!

ROWmodel Awards are back!

ROWmodel of the week goes to Jessica Fritsche and her post, Know When To Fold Em.  After struggling with her WIP finding hole after hole, she set it aside to go back to a different project and is a busy writer bee using this new project for her NaNo novel.  She cracked out 4,000 words in one day and sounds like she’ll keep going strong!  Go Jessica, we’re all rooting for you!

Honorary ROWmodel of the week also goes to Myndi Shafer for Making It Happen:  Work How You Can, When You Can.  You’ll never guess where Myndi sometimes goes to get her writing done.  This girl’s got gumption; and she’s using it to make her dreams come true!

The 2013 TBR Pile Challenge has kicked off!

So exciting!!!!  Adam at Roof Beam Reader has launched the 2013 To Be Read Pile Challenge!  Haven’t participated before?  You must!  I love it!  The challenge, should you choose to accept it, involves picking 10 books (plus 2 alternates) off your bookshelf that have been sitting there for at least a year.  Books with a publication date of 12/31/11 or before all qualify.  You have the course of 2013 to read your 10 books and link back a review of the book along the way.  Complete the challenge and you could win a $50 Amazon gift card!  I’m working on my book list now!

What titles would be on your list?

A Reggae CD Giveaway!

Looking for some new jams?  I’m hosting a music giveaway with Wisconsin Reggae band, TUGG, for a FREE copy of their full cd, Come Sunrise.  All you need to do to enter is comment or tweet one of the interview posts I did with the lead singer, Andrew Hughes.  Part 1 is about the changing music industry and Part 2 is about social media and the music business.  Chime in!  We’d love to hear your voice!

Last, but not least, The Redhots are back!

Tune in this Friday for another FIERY edition of The Redhots!  Marcia Richards and I are back introducing you to two REDHOT ladies you’ll want to know on Twitter!  Want a hint for who it’ll be?

  • The first is going to tell you how to feng shui your house!
  • And the other is the founder of the largest book club in the world!

Two Redheads.  Two Opinions.  Keeping it REDHOT.

Share with me, my pretties!  How was your holiday?  How is ROW80 going?  What books are on your TBR list?  Could you use a new reggae cd?  And who do you think our Twitter guests will be?

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!)

Three Ways to Trick Yourself Into Organizing Your Social Media

Happy Life List Club Friday, everyone! I’m so happy to be here at Jess’ Happiness Project again. It’s so much fun ’cause you never know what could happen. She could jump out from behind the screen in a crazy costume or bring in a critter she found on vacation, like that baby alligator, and scare the you-know-what right out of me!

“Who me?”

Anyway, Jess is occupied now over at the blog of our newest Life List Club writer, Lara Schiffbauer. PLEASE go over to visit Jess when you’re done here so I won’t get pranked. While you’re there, say ‘Hi’ to Lara and introduce yourself. So, while I’m here and Jess is over there, Sonia Medeiros is at my blog Doing The Write Thing by entertaining you all. Stop by and give her some comment luv, too, would you? Thanks.

Note: Since I began writing this post, several other bloggers’ posts have been published with similar and/or additional useful information. I’ll link to some of those posts in the body of mine.

I know, you’re asking why should you have to tone down your socializing. Being social and friendly is so much more fun than working, right? Right.  You can socialize all you want IF you don’t have a day job, a book to write, a family to feed, a need to sleep now and then.

We’ve all admitted to having a very full schedule and now we’re adding social media networking on top of it. That means you have to allot a specified amount of time to take care of your social networking ‘needs’. I’m going to show you how you can have fun and not overdo it at the same time. Bonus – you’ll also be able to keep track of whom you’ve visited or supported!

My Desk Before*

Now don’t get the idea that any of these organizational skills come naturally. Uh, uh. Only since I’ve been retired have I had the time to work at being organized. Prior to that, it was hit-or-miss success with keeping it all together. I have always been a list maker and that’s the ONLY thing that saved my butt previously. Even now, it’s a struggle but it keeps my fading memory from totally burning out.

One important thing to remember: Writing is a business. Start treating it like one and you’ll be amazed how productive you can be.

Roll up those sleeves. We’re about to start working smarter, not harder, at keeping up with our self-imposed obligations to network and support others.

1. Get Tough – Make a list of all the blogs you follow. Assess each blog on the list and decide if it falls into one or more of the following categories: Blogs I LOVE, Blogs with info I NEED. Some will overlap categories and some won’t fit at all. For those that don’t fit into either category–UNSUBSCRIBE.

While you’re listing them, put them into a spreadsheet format where you can keep track of whom you visited. Fabio Bueno published a great post on this so, instead of writing my own explanation, check out his HERE.

Overall, I probably cut out about 1/3 of the blogs I was reading. You can do it, too. When you try to find relevance in what they have to offer you and you find there isn’t much–snip, snip. I’m left with the blogs to which I’m comfortable giving my time and support.

 2. My Editorial Plan – a. Take the time to write enough blog posts to cover you for two weeks and then maintain that number. If you just can’t find the time to do that, at the very least, write 2 blog posts that you can save for emergencies.

b. Stockpile a list of topics that are timely, interesting and viable for your blog. I use a big desk calendar–you know the kind with big squares for each day. This is where I plan my topics for each posting day. I write very specific topics on my posting day squares. When the blogs have been written, had photos and links added, and scheduled in the queue, I write DONE in the square. I can see at a glance how many more need to be written or whether I need to go back to a particular post and add pictures.

c. If you use WordPress for your blog, you can schedule a specific publishing date and time, and you can set it up to automatically post your blog to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

d. Planning ahead for Tweeting is even easier when you use TweetDeck or HootSuite to schedule the tweets to go out 2-3 times a day. Jenny Hansen at More Cowbell just posted about a new-ish timesaver for promoting your own blog posts, as well as those of others. It’s called Triberr. It will increase the number of people you reach with your posts, too. Check out Jenny’s post HERE, and then watch for her next two posts in the series that further explain this new idea.

My Desk After*

3. Watch the Clock – Decide how much time you can realistically devote to social media. Your WIP writing should take precedence. After all, you’ll have no writing business without the written product. Determine how many hours you need to devote to your WIP.

Then comes the foundation of your platform, your blog. How much time do you need to keep up with it each week? For example, if it takes you 2 hours to write posts for your Wednesday theme and 3 hours to write for your Friday theme, 30 minutes for ROW80 and your easy day’s post only takes 1 hour, you need 6 1/2 -7 hours a week to write for your blog.

How many hours do you have left in your week for other social media? You still need to read other blogs, comment on them and tweet/facebook/google+ them.

This is where you begin feeling overwhelmed, right? I’m going to set you free from guilt right now! No matter what your schedule looks like –

No one has unlimited time to support and network with other writers, friends, and associates. You are not alone!

Do not feel guilty if you don’t comment on every post everyday-even for your close friends. If you can’t keep up, shorten your list. Choose one day a week to visit, comment and promote. OR Choose to visit, comment and promote on no more than two posts a week for each person. There is no reason to feel a sense of urgency in commenting on blogs. Whenever you are able to visit, the post will be there, still shiny and new for you. Your comment at any time will be appreciated.

If you’re regularly following more than 25 blogs, you should take a closer look at how many of those are really important and beneficial to you, then see where you can make that list more manageable.

Do you have other timesaving practices to share? What’s your biggest time-suck?

*All images from Google

     Marcia Richards is a veteran blogger and author of Marcia Richards’ Blog…Sexy. Smart. From The Heart. Marcia writes about Sweet Obsessions, Women, History, and the path to realizing your dreams. She has a Historical Trilogy and a collection of Short stories in progress. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing with the grandkids or her husband, traveling or turning old furniture into works of art. She believes there is always something new to learn.

Come hang out with Marcia at: http://twitter.com/MarciaARichards or http://facebook.com/MarciaARichards .

Visit Marcia at: http://Marcia-Richards.com

SWF Seeks Blogger BFF

The Incredible Marcia Richards

A few weeks ago, my fellow Life List Club founder and writer extraordinaire, Marcia Richards, contacted me about being her number one commenter.  As a reward, Marcia is featuring me in her new Woman’s Day blog series!  I’m thrilled to be visiting her blog today where she forced asked me to discuss what makes me sexy, smart, and full of heart!

Here’s a little teaser, but you can see the rest of the blog at Marcia’s site!  Please stop by!

SWF Seeks Blogger BFF

When Marcia first contacted me that I was her number 1 stalker commenter and she wanted to feature me on her blog, my first thought was “Which ballgown should I wear to her place?”

Hardly.  I’ve always been more like one of the guys.  Well, not in any good athletic ability kind of way, my arms are the size of pipe cleaners!  But I’m kind of a goofball.  For a month in high school it was speculated that I was in fact one of Jim Henson’s Muppets come to life.  No kidding!  Apparently I laugh like them and have several muppet-like quirks such as I rarely use a knife to cut my food.  *shrug*  I just don’t like it.

So when Marcia said she wanted to know what makes me sexy, smart, and full of heart, I looked under the bed.  There’s got to be some of that stuff under here somewhere!  *coughs from dust bunnies*

Guilty Good Reading: A Mash-up of Awesome

Happy late Thanksgiving everyone!  Getting my post up a bit later today since I just finished working a 12 1/2 hour day in retail.  *phew*  Guilty Pleasure Friday will be back again in two weeks, but for now, I leave you with my favorite reads from the prior week!

On Writing:

Alica McKenna Johnson guest blogged at Myndi Shafer’s with great writing advice about how to add more diversity to your writing.  She’s honest and open about the tips she uses to write characters from different countries and ethnicities.  Check out her guest post Don’t Bleach and Iron Your Work.

On Reading:

Jillian, a literary student who blogs at A Room of One’s Own, informed me of The 2012 To Be Read Pile Challenge!  For all you bookworms with that evergrowing list of books to get to, take this challenge along with me and see yourself accomplish some great books you’ve never given yourself the time to get through.  The only real catch is they need to be at least a year old in publication.  I’ll be posting my list and hope you’ll share your own!

Thanksgiving is still in season and August McLaughlin shared the Books I’m Crazy Grateful For and sparked a fun conversation in her comments.  Share your own books that shaped your life and made you grateful you’d read them!

Tim L. O’Brien posted an awesome blog about Why Books are Important.  This is part three in his series and focuses on getting kids to read.  He’s got smart advice and an awesome link to a site where you can check out the perfect titles for your kid of any age to read and have them glued to the page rather than to the screen.

On Women:

If you don’t regularly follow the Life List Club blog hop every other friday, you missed an inspiring post by fellow co-founder, Marcia Richards all about long distance swimmer Diana Nyad.  She’s a courageous woman who will inspire us all to do our own Xtreme Dream challenges.  So after you’ve read Marcia’s post, check out Diana’s own blog about her recovery process from her attempted swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys after being attacked by box jellyfish.

What’s in a Name…:

If you haven’t been following Nina Badzin’s baby naming debacles, you’ve been missing out.  She recaps the long nine month journey and also reveals her newest addition’s long awaited, and well thought out, name in Finally, His Name.

Because Humor is Necessary During the Holidays:

I love Sara Grambusch’s blog.  She’s got the spunky and self-deprecating humor that I adore in a person, and she also provides delicious healthy recipes.  In this post, Household Things I Do Wrong, she recounts the number of times she’s unsuccessfully mastered the art of housework.  Let’s all pray she and I never become roommates; angels will weep for society.

The Good Greatsby will have you stitches with his headlines: Starbucks Announces: Come for Joe not John.  Must read for coffee drinkers and users of public bathrooms everywhere!

Jenny Hansen serves up More Cowbell when she asks Is Adulthood Stealing Some of Your “Grooviness?”  Dance parties are a known reaction to Jenny’s posts; you’ve been warned.

Charles Gulotta relives his edible memoirs in his entertaining tale toward intelligence; he calls it Chew on This.

Enjoy your weekend!  See you all again Monday!

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