Tag Archives: The 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!

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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?

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.

A ROWdate: What Exactly Have I Accomplished?

Hello ROWers!  Can it be another week has flown by already?!

Well, my ROW goals are as always, ongoing.  But after returning from vacation, I had one busy week to dive back into.  Sadly, no writing got done.  That’s the big focus for this week and I have the next two days off to get crackin’!

Here’s what I have accomplished!

I’m on track with my reading, completing 2 books so far this month!  Hope to get a third, maybe fourth as well. 

I recently finished reading NYTBS author Karen Abbott’s newest book, American Rose:  A Nation Laid Bare, The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee.  Some of you remember that Karen did an interview with me, and I must say, this book is just as great as the last one!  WOW!  I had no idea Gypsy’s story was so sordid and full of survival at the same time.

I also finished Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close, a debut novel for the author.  This book was my “I’m in a lot of weddings this summer, someone please commiserate with me!” pick.  Interestingly written.  Not how I expected it to be, but still kept my attention.  It’s as much dating sagas of the girls as it is the weddings they attend.

I did support my fellow ROWers and writers all around!

Tried to catch up on many of the blogs I missed while on vacation.  Cheered some of you on!  But also came across this post by Jenny Hansen of More Cowbell.  Jenny admitted that she, and her writing, were suffering from grief.  While she’s working on her memoir, many emotions surrounding her difficult pregnancy came flooding back.  Her post was one of great vulnerability and honesty, and I truly appreciate her sharing with us so that so many other writers had a place to speak their feelings and know we’re not alone.  She gave that gift to me in this post.  Jenny, thank you.

There is lots of love to go around, check it out!

Drumroll Please:  I successfully officiated the wedding of my best friend!

Photo courtesy Kelly Ottesen Photography

Well, she came out crying, so she totally set me off right at the beginning!  Dang you, Catherine!  But, I regained composure and it was a beautiful ceremony that demonstrated their love for one another the whole day through.  Both Cat and Aaron’s family invited me in as one of them and it was a full day’s celebration with delectable food, games, and even horseback rides!

Congrats to my best friend and her new husband!  So happy for you guys!

Other News and Announcements!

I’m so excited to share with you all now the two new adventures I’ll be taking on!  Many of you know and read about the end of The Life List Club, co-founded by myself and the talented Marcia Richards.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to maintain enough contributing writers with everyone’s crazy schedules, so for now we put that blog to rest.  But Marcia and I are busy bodies to the core and couldn’t dream of not hanging out together!  Seriously, we’d be heartbroken.

Sooo, after some fun brainstorming sessions, I’m pleased to announce that Marcia and I will be starting up a monthly column, so to speak, called The Redhots!  It’ll be news, reviews, and interviews coming at you live from two of your favorite redheads! 😉  You can see Marcia’s intro to it here, and I promise to get mine up and running tomorrow!  We’ll be kicking off our column on August 31st with a review of Fifty Shades of Grey!

And that’s not all…

While on vacation, I was contacted by the lovely Jennifer Lyn King and Nina Badzin to be a contributing writer for a hot new blog called Great New Books.  We’re actually starting up an online book club!  We’re discussing one book – which you the readers vote for – for a whole month!  We’ll have discussion questions, interviews, and giveaways and are always looking for your recommendations.  All the books we read will be published within the last year, so we’re going to give you the scoop on what’s new that you just have to get!

Ok, that’s all folks!  How is your week going?  Hope you got more writing done than I!  Have a fabulous weekend!

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