Thursday, August 31, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. DC has added a vending machine that can help dispense various lifesaving items to folks, including condoms and narcan.  
2. There were two shootings that made headlines recently.  Black Girl in Maine has a thoughtful piece on some of the work needed to stop racist shootings. And the Daily Tarheel had a memorable print edition in the wake of their on campus shooting. This links to their digital front page, but the upper left corner has a link to the print edition. 
3. There are now 98 metro stations in the DC area system - these folks from Chicago came and set a record for hitting all of them in the shortest time (so far).   

Monday, August 28, 2023

My Own Ripped Bodice Bingo

I read a lot this summer. And yes, I binged a few authors in particular. 
Since there is also a 23 for '23 push, to suggest folks try to read at least 23 authors of color this year, I have starred any that fit this qualification. No reviews in this post, they are all good books. I'm a big fan of reading things you like, not because they are good for your reading challenge. But you can do both!
Also, there were some other suggestions in my earlier post, including some of mine. 
Some of these books are in multiple slots, obviously for bingo I trimmed it down, but left it this way in case any of these are a particular fave for anyone.

Kissing for Science -Second Chance at Paris by Cole McCade*, The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston*, We Are Totally Normal by Naomi Kanakia*, Mixed Signals by B. K. Borison
Cover has a body of water on it - Year of Cecily by Lisa Lin*
Fae/Fairies - Surrendering Saul by Holley Trent*
Prohibition - Love's Serenade by Sheryl Lister*
Train - Zero Day Exploit by Cole McCade*, We are Totally Normal by Naomi Kanakia, An Island Princess Starts a Scandal by Adriana Herrera*
Farm - Between Then and Now by Zoe York, Mixed Signals by B. K. Borison
Librarian - The Coyote's Cowboy by Holley Trent*
Bachelor(Ette) Party - Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston*, Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston*, Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh* 
Long Distance Relationship - The Comeback by Lily Chu*, Something Wild and Wonderful by Anita Kelly, Year of Cecily by Lisa Lin, Rock Courtship my Nalini Singh*
Vigilante sh*t - The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston, Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston, Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston, Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston, Breaking Badger by Shelly Laurenston, Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales 
Grazing hands gently - The Comeback by Lily Chu
Left at the altar - His True Alpha Janine by Chencia C Higgins*, Fall Into You by Georgina Keirsten*, The Coyote's Cowboy by Holley Trent, Year of Cecily by Lisa Lin
Protagonist smells like citrus - I'll Come Back For You by Charish Reid*, The Rules of Forever by Nan Campbell
Reunion - Second Chance at Paris by Cole McCade, The Beast in Him by Shelly Laurenston, Love's Serenade by Sheryl Lister, Year of Cecily by Lisa Lin, Dos and Donuts of Love*, Capture the Sun by Jessie Mihalik, Never Ever Getting Back Together by Jessie Gonzales, The Rules of Forever by Nan Campbell
Makeover - The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston, Fake Dates and Moon cakes by Sher Lee*, Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales
Outer space - Second Chance at Paris by Cole McCade, Capture the Sun by Jessie Mihalik, We are Totally Normal by Naomi Kanakia
Alliterative Title - Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston, The Coyote's Cowboy by Holley Trent, Breaking Badger by Shelly Laurenston
Choreographed Dance - The Comeback by Lily Chu, On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi*, Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh
Relationship of Convenience - Bet On It by Jodie Slaughter*
Character acknowledges romance novels exist - On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi, Bet On It by Jodie Slaughter, Going Bicoastal by Dahlia Adler, Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh
Fainting Couch - Going BiCoastal by Dahlia Adler, What the Hex by Alexis Daria*
It was supposed to be one night - Zero Day Exploit by Cole McCade, The Wolf's Joy by Holley Trent
Swimming - Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston, Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston, Fake Dates and Moon cakes by Sher Lee, We are Totally Normal by Naomi Kanakia, Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales, Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh
We have the same job - Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston, Dos and Donuts of Love, Capture the Sun by Jessie Mihalik, For Butter or For Worse by Erin La Rosa

Friday, August 25, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. This story of how a hip hop club became a place for teens to hang out was interesting as we are in another period where teens are so rarely allowed to gather in groups without spending money.  
2. This one house in Lahaina looks okay, due to a quirk of winds or yard materials.  
3. Something about the headline about a spotless giraffe tickles me, but a spotless giraffe has been born.  
And there is another bookish auction to raise funds for Maui.  This one was put together by kidlit folks, and there are a number of Hawaiian items, school visits, and other goodies.  

Thursday, August 24, 2023

7 Things: New Release - Troubled by Love

1. I mention this in the acknowledgements, but the original idea for this story came along from an idea that Jackie Barbosa had for a series of stories, so of course thanks go to her for this. 
2. I wrote the original version of this before Roe v. Wade was struck down. DC remains a place with somewhat easy access to abortion, so a lot of changes on that front were not needed to the story. But of course having to ponder access to medical procedures, and the funds and associated time off work are not easy in our world, even when funds, and access are available. 
3. Did I get another museum date in here? Yes, yes, I did. 
4. Does someone (it's Dan) in this story work in food and show up with food a lot? Yes. 
5. This story stands entirely on its own, but does a character appear from another story? Yes. I apparently can't help myself. Lillian, who is Zane's sister in Undercover Bridesmaid shows up, as does Xavier. Do I have additional plans for them? Stay tuned. 
6. Will there be texting and maybe flirty texting? You know it. 
7. And here's the official blurb and order links. 

Amy's now ex sent Dan to her instead of himself. Living in a new city and having to go get an abortion and dump her ex was not how Amy imagined this new chapter of her life going. 
Dan has been working hard to get his food truck going. Picking up ride shares, bartending, and barely sleeping, has all been to support that goal. Amy is the first person to make him wonder if he should be finding time for things that aren't work. 
After a few months of texting they decide to make a go of it. But when her ex shows up, Amy will have to figure out have things really changed? 

Monday, August 21, 2023

Romance and Inventions

Saturday was Bookstore Romance Day, so I watched a number of the panels, and also made a trip to the local bookstore, and maybe bought some cards and things too.  
And then yesterday was the last day of the Da Vinci exhibit at DC Public Library, so, I went. My friend had been warned that it was popular, and they were limiting people in the room, so we'd be wise to get there before opening. 
And I gotta tell you, DC, the town that lines up before the library opens is kind of on brand. 
The exhibit included several of his sketches of various machines, all kept in a darkened and climate controlled room so that these ancient drawings can be preserved as well as possible. There was an actual clock too, which was fun to look at.  
It's kind of amazing to look at these sketches and doodles from a few hundred years ago.  Humans are often such wonderful dreamers, and seeing evidence of that was really an interesting opportunity.  
And yay to local libraries!  
Also, last reminder - the Romance for Maui auction closes today.  My item is still somewhat affordable. If things have exceeded your budgets, there are also stickers you can pick up to participate.  

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. I read Michael Oher's memoir Beat the Odds, but had not paid much attention to the conservatorship, so was saddened to hear that he feels misled about what that meant for movie rights and such.  Along with listening to Sheryl Lee Ralph talking about the small amount she signed over rights to the "Dreamgirls" character she helped create, we really need to take a look at story rights more carefully.  
2. Naka Nathaniel talked a little about how water rights on Maui have been leading in the direction of catastrophe for a while. 
3. Some senate interns set out to take a selfie with all 100 senators.  
Also, the #RomanceForMaui auction blew past it's goal, but some items, including mine are still reasonably priced.  I know some kidlist authors are also doing an auction next week, and I'll post about that one too.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Auctions and Things

This is a repeat for my newsletter buddies, but a couple of things are happening now and/or soon. There is an auction to raise money for folks affected by the fires in Hawai'i. I have donated a custom short story to it - info here. There are also other cool things from books to crafty things to chats with cool writers and so on.
Also, a reminder for folks that if you Kobo Plus, and are looking for some fun reads, there's a list here of authors (including me) with books in Kobo Plus.
And, Troubled by Love is complete and ready for it's debut to the rest of the world next week.

Monday, August 14, 2023


I don't know if you've heard, but it's been hot in the northern hemisphere of late. I met up with a friend to eat ice cream and sorbet and she joked that since we do this in winter quite frequently, it was sort of funny to be doing it when it was actually hot.
The nice thing about eating ice cream in cooler weather is that the logistics of bring extra home are easier. 
I confess, I had paid little attention to the temperature for the day, had only focused on confirming it was not expected to rain. And so I planned an errand before meeting up, and also after, and walked home and was surprised that I was feeling so toasty. 
I had just gotten a haircut and so expected to feel magically cooler. I tend to hydrate early and often, but of course when consuming sugar, you need more. When running errands in high heat, you need more. 
I was also wearing a new hat, and had perhaps not chosen my most breathable fabrics to wear. I slathered myself in sunscreen but forgot bug spray. I console myself that I probably would have sweated it all off. 
Of course I told myself I survived tennis days hotter than this, and here I could standing in the shade much of the time. But of course it was still hot. Hot in the shade is still hot. 
Heat tolerance helps, but it is still hot.
And as there are no prizes for withstanding heat, maybe one should space out one's errands. 
I have hydrated more. I am okay. But I think sometimes we forget that endurance earns you very little. And really accomplishing slightly less might be okay on a heat advisory kind of day. Unless napping in the shade after eating ice cream is what you are trying to accomplish. 
Stay cool, folks. 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. The WaPo used recent events in hockey to discuss some hockey romances.  (Also I had missed much of the drama until it reached a head, so had not been commenting.  But basically hockey players, and other athletes are real people.  What you imagine to yourself or amongst your friends is fine and good.  But tagging actual people in your fantasies about them is sexual harassment. Their spouses should not have to ask you to stop.  They should not have to ask you to stop.  And their teams should not be egging you on.) 
But, there's only a short list of hockey romances in that article. There are plenty more if you want suggestions, contact me.  
2. Jane Friedman's particular issue with books she had not written being posted to Amazon has been resolved, but she's correct that this will likely be an ongoing issue.  There are two other authors who publish under some variation of Tara Kennedy. All of them come up when you search my name of Amazon.   One of them gets listed as me all the time on Goodreads, and yes I have tried correcting it, but it gets linked back each time.  In my case, as far as I know these are real people publishing under their also real name.  But with more AI books being posted, it would not surprise me if they try to piggyback on the name of existing authors.  Much the way in the early days we saw a lot of Nora C. Roberts books.  
3. And I was pleased to see that Yilin Wang, the translator whose work was used without permission or attribution in an exhibit has reached a settlement with the museum.  
And one additional note.  As I mentioned to newsletter folks, I'm doing a group promo with some other authors in Kobo Plus.  If you have a Kobo Plus Subscription (or are in your free trial period) and were looking for authors who have books in there, there's a list that includes me if you click here.  

Monday, August 07, 2023

Fanning is a Collective Effort

So, things were hot out there over the last few days again. Sports stadiums often have less shade that one might want when there's a heat advisory afoot. Some people drank or ate cool things. And many many people had fans. 
Now you, like I have, may have heard the rumor that fanning yourself actually expends enough effort that you end up making yourself hotter. As far as I can find, this may not be true, or may be dependent on a large enough set of factors that it's hard to predict. 
But if a bunch of people sitting all together are all fanning, well then it helps. Somewhat like a massage chain. If many folks are fanning, then the collective breeze cools down many people, and so the efforts of the group benefit the group. 
Sure, choosing to fan myself is a thing I do for me. But if the people on either side of me are also fanning, I'm going to be cooler than what I could do alone. We all will.
And keeping cool is important in these toasty times. 

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. Elizabeth Acevedo was interviewed as her new novel released this week. 
2. This article suggests we can parade better.  
3. This piece on Reappropriate is about the stories families tell, and I enjoyed it.