Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ropin Romance Naughty but Nice Winners and #New Contest Announcement

I spent a fun time at the Ropin' Romance Naughty but Nice, Facebook event yesterday and thanks to all who responded to my questions. I said I would announce the Winners here this morning so here we go!

Question #1:  Now that George Clooney if of the market, which bachelor do you think will replace him as a TOP HUNK?
All responses will be entered into a drawing for the gifting of a copy of Nordic Heat from Amazon Kindle. Winner to be announced on my blog tomorrow by 10 a.m. CST.
Winner is:  Suzanne M.


Question #2:  Of the new television shows that have debut so far for this fall, what is your favorite?

 Respond and be entered into a drawing for several swag items…a Lizzie T. Leaf sticky note pad, a 2015 calendar, pen/highlighter and an eBook copy of DEAD Awake. Winner to be announced on my blog tomorrow by 10 a.m. CST.
Winner is: Carol C.
I only used initials for you last names but you know who you are from yesterday's event. Congratulations and message me on FB to give me the information I need to get you your prize.
Also, for the month of October, anyone who responds to one of my blog posts here (an actual blog by me, not a guest or a featured book post) will be entered into a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift certificate.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Memories of #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft

Did you watch Meredith Vieira last Monday when she talked about an abusive relationship in her younger years? A woman this well know stepping up to share #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft puts more focus on an issue that has long been in the closet needs to come out. Her sharing also brought back memories of my experience.
I married young the first time, and went from my parents’ rules to those of my new husband. At first the ‘do this’ and ‘do that’ wasn’t’ too bad. I’d been used to a lot more rigged demands. After all, he was military and was used to things being done a certain way. So what if he discovered an example of my first attempts at writing a book and laughed. All that meant was I sucked. The manuscript ended up in the trash and the love of writing became more focused on reading books by those who could tell a story.

Several years and two children later things were rocky. The first time he hit me was while stopped for a traffic light he yelled, “shut the f***” up.” I’d heard those words before, but not the slap that followed. Shocked, I huddled against my door and worked to stop the blood flowing from my nose.
The next morning my neighbor and best friend called and told me to come over for coffee. I hesitated, but put extra makeup on the bruised side of my face and forced a smile when I entered her house. She looked at me and asked, "What the hell happened to you?”

My efforts to cover up the bruising hadn’t worked. I broke down and told her what happened. She encouraged me to leave, but where would I go? My family couldn’t afford to support us and my job skills were ‘homemaker’ and according to my husband, not a very good one. “He apologized and promised not to hit me again,” I told her. (He had apologized and promised never again.)
He kept the promise too, until a few weeks later when he came home late and drunk. His cold dinner didn’t set well and that led to an argument…and another slap.

This time I wasn’t stunned and stood my ground. I picked up the cast iron skillet setting on top of the stove and waved it at him. “You ever lay another hand on me and you’ll regret it.”
His response—laughter and pointing out he could take the skillet since he was bigger and stronger.

“Yes, but you have to sleep at some point.” Maybe it was the implied threat, or he saw the determination in my eyes and knew I meant what I said, but he turned and went to bed.
No, he never hit me physically again, but he did continue the hurtful comments. They eventually included the kids. Foolish ME still worked to save the marriage for the sake of the children. Then one day after he had a nastier than usual tirade, my little girl burst into tears and screamed at me, “Why do you make us live like this?” I knew then we had to get out. At that time we lived in a foreign country, but with the transfer back to the states we ended up close to the city where my best friend lived, and thankfully, I knew people in the community who helped in my job search.

Fortunately, I did get a job even without a college degree, and we got by. And yes, I’m glad I left. In fact, I wish I’d left sooner. I did manage to get counseling for myself and the children. We made it through to a bright life.
That was a lot of years ago and I remarried. That one ended in my husband passing, but he never raised a hand to me.

The children from my first marriage are now adults and have families of their own. Watching them interact with their spouses makes me proud. They disagree at times, but there is give and take, just like I have in my third marriage. As my daughter said at our reception, “Mom, I think you got it right this time.”
Have you been in an abusive relationship, or know others who have? How did you, or they get out? If not, reach out to a women’s center in your area. Don’t stay because he promises to change even though you love him. Unless he is willing to seek help, change isn’t going to happen.

And if you can't find the information you need, check this list of organizations that can direct you to someone.   http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Domestic-Violence-Organizations-Where-to-Get-Help

#WhyIStayed #WhyILeft #FindHelp

Monday, September 8, 2014

A View to a Kill and Shoes

My husband is a big James Bond fan, so last night when asked me to watch A View to a Kill with him…AGAIN, I did. Having seen this one (and the other Bond movies numerous times) there wasn’t a huge need to focus on the plot. This led to me focusing on other things like Tanya Roberts, the Bond Girl’s, shoes.
I become fixated with how those shoes stayed on while she dangled in an elevator shaft, ran through a mine, climbed up and down scaffolding; even when she was picked up and pulled into the Zorn blimp.

Now we aren’t talking about sneakers or even a pair of flats. NO! Try stilettoes. Yep, the chick wears a pair of pencil thin heels that added at least four or five inches to her height. Still, no matter how tuff the going got, those bloody shoes never fell off.

Glue? Double-sided tape? Or were they so small and tight the wardrobe department had to use a wedge to get them on her feet? And how did they get her out of them for the shower scene with JB at the end…or did they?
Those questions led me to thinking about other movies where realistic isn’t part of the plot, and yes, most of the Bond films fall into that category, especially the earlier ones. Come to think of it, so do a lot of films in the 50’s, 60’s and beyond.


So, today’s question:  What films come to mind that little things, like shoes, grab your attention and you become fixated on?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Favorite Walking Tour

The May trip was great, but one of my favorite 'to do' in London was a Jack the Ripper walking tour. Here's a picture in an alley as evening descends and the street lights start coming on. Enough to give a bit of a shiver when your mind wanders to the subject matter...murder!

What is one of your tours?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Kindness Beats Bullying

Did you watch the Emmy's last Monday? If so, you probably saw Aaron Paul's shout out to his wife and her Kindness campaign. A lot of people did. In fact, so many saw it and went over to take a look they crashed the site.

I have check it out, though not that night, and signed up. Kindness is something this world can use in SPADES!

But this has taken me down memory lane. When I was in school, what is now called bullying was referred to as teasing. And no, we weren't writing on stone back then. Things had advanced to paper, but I digress.

My family wasn't rich. In fact, that's an understatement. They were downright poor. My idea of a pretty dress was going to the feed store with my uncle when he bought sacks of feed for the farm animals and picking out one or two that would be used by my aunt to make me a new dress.

When I started school guess what I wore. Yes, there were a few other children in the same styles, but we were the ones teased. In my case, I had a funny last name. My maiden name was foreign in the area of the south where I grew up. Add in the funny clothes, crooked teeth, and height that had me taller than my classmates, there were lots of taunts thrown my way. Is it any surprise I loved homework because it took me out of the classroom to my room where I didn't have to listen to the whispers or loud jeers about my looks or clothing?

But I learned through the years to stand up for myself and FOR OTHERS! 

My question for you: Have you been bullied either in school or at the work place?

Also check out the Kind campaign website: http://www.kindcampaign.com/

#kindness #bullying #memories