Friday, July 29, 2016

Please read Margaret and Helen's latest post ...

Feeling So Much Better

Watch President Obama talk about America and Americans and you start to find your footing again.

It's better.

The Democratic National Convention had some moments of brilliance and let's face it, I fan girl all over the Obamas and then back again so a little Michelle and Barack and I'm thinking, "oh my goodness, look at the pretty sun coming out from behind those nasty clouds".

And then, love her or hate her: Hillary Clinton secured the nomination and history was made.

History was fucking made.

I don't care who you are or how you feel about her: we watched history be made tonight and it felt amazing.

In my lifetime man walked on the moon, a black man became president, gays got the right to marry (and serve in the military and be treated like humans) and we just saw a woman get the nomination to run for President of the United States for the Democratic party.

Jeebus. What a great day.

Did I mention Obama's speech? Where he said, "ignore those haters who talk about storm clouds and let's look at that pretty sun together."

Well he might have said it a little differently but that's what I heard.

What a pretty sun. I think I'll walk in the light for a while.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Lesser of Two Evils Is Still... Evil

This is s a personal rant. A personal opinion. This is not Carolyn's opinion: just Lori's.

I cried driving to work this morning. I cried because I'm heartbroken. Because the Democratic National Convention is going on and the party I've voted for and been a part of all my life is fractured beyond healing.

We did so well with Barack Obama. He was a breath of fresh air, a new beginning. He saw the world the way I want a president to see it: as a global community. He saw America for what it is: a melting pot of cultures, religions and people. Obama believed he could help bring America into the future as part of the global community, as a member of the world. The Republican party hated him but so many of us saw the world as he does and believed in what he wanted to achieve.

He didn't do as much as he wanted but this America moved forward. And as violence and terrorism is dominating the news, Obama is trying to keep the rhetoric down and keep this world a community. It's why he doesn't scream terrorism or Isis or "radical Islam" the moment something happens. He's trying to keep the hate at bay so the problems can be solved.

It's why Obama is a man who can say Black Lives Matter and cry when a cop is killed. Because the truth is self evident and he's never lived the "either/or" that so many are spouting. Black Lives Matter and cops aren't bad. One doesn't negate the other. Obama gets it.

Then we get Trump. That horrible, horrible man. He's like the Id gone wild: he hates anyone who isn't him and that's a white, Christian male. He judges women only on their looks, he mocks people with disabilities and the wall he wants to build isn't just to keep Mexicans from crossing our borders but to keep out anyone who isn't... yeah: a while, Christian male.

I believe that if Trump becomes president we might see American Muslims placed in internment camps. I believe that. I believe that we'll see people we thought we knew turn away from compassion and embrace xenophobia and hate.

So vote for Hillary, you tell me. Oh man, I wish it was that easy. Except that Hillary's moral compass broke years ago and I don't believe in her. She voted for the war in Iraq. She didn't support gay rights till it was fashionable. She just hired the bitch of the DNC to work for her after she rigged the nomination process to cheat Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton is a career politician who doesn't vote her conscience or beliefs because she has only one true belief: advance Hillary. I believe she could, as easily as Trump, put us in a war. Hillary sold her soul long ago and Trump simply doesn't have one.

So my dilemma. I don't want to vote for Hillary but then that's equal to a vote for Trump which I can't do. I can't vote for either with any positive outcome for America. And I believe that voting is a privilege we should never take for granted.

So we have two evils and they're both evil. What do you do?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Carolyn's August Books

Well, life does go on for those left behind and since my brain is empty (and has been for awhile, lol), here are the August books I've pre-ordered. I think my book buying is about to be cut abruptly short, although I'll always have authors I just have to have, even if I have to wait for paperback prices.

And here we go.

1.  Blood of the Earth (A Soulwood Novel)
     Author: Faith Hunter
     Publisher: Penguin Group
     Release: August 2, 2016
     Price: $7.99

Set in the same world as the New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, an all-new series starring Nell Ingram, who wields powers as old as the earth.

When Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she was almost alone in the world, exiled by both choice and fear from the cult she was raised in, defending herself with the magic she drew from her deep connection to the forest that surrounds her.

Now, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, and agent Rick LaFleur has shown up at Nell’s doorstep. His appearance forces her out of her isolated life into an investigation that leads to the vampire Blood Master of Nashville.

Nell has a team—and a mission. But to find the Master’s kidnapped vassal, Nell and the PsyLED team will be forced to go deep into the heart of the very cult Nell fears, infiltrating the cult and a humans-only terrorist group before time runs out…

The first book of a new series set in a familiar world. I think this might be good and Lori, you do like witches.  :-)

2.  Reaper's Fire
     Author: Joanna Wylde
    Publisher: Penguin Group
     Release: August 9, 2016
     Price: $7.99

New York Times bestselling author Joanna Wylde returns to the “wild and raw”* world of the Reapers MC with the story of Gage and Tinker…

The club comes first. 

I’ve lived by those words my whole life—assumed I’d die by them, too, and I never had a problem with that. My Reaper brothers took my back and I took theirs and it was enough. Then I met her. Tinker Garrett. She’s beautiful, she’s loyal, and she works so damned hard it scares me sometimes . . . She deserves a good man—one better than me. I can’t take her yet because the club still needs me. There’s another woman, another job, another fight just ahead. 

Now she’ll learn I’ve been lying to her all along. None of it’s real. Not my name, not my job, not even the clothes I wear. She thinks I’m nice. She pretends we’re just friends, that I’ve still got a soul . . . Mine’s been dead for years. Now I’m on fire for this woman, and a man can only burn for so long before he destroys everything around him.

I’m coming for you, Tinker. 

I remember Gage from one of the earlier books. I need to reread the series because everything is a little hazy now, but the Reapers had a spy mission going in another town against some gang interfering with their income and Gage and that book's hero were the spies. I liked Gage, from what I can remember and will welcome him into my life.  :-)

3.  Betrayals
     Author: Kelley Armstrong
     Publisher: Random House
     Release: August 9, 2016
     Price: $12.99

The exciting fourth novel in bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's "impossible-to-put-down" Cainsville series

When Olivia's life exploded--after she found out she was not the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers--she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she discovered the truth about her parents' crimes in an investigation that also revealed the darker forces at work in the place that had offered her a haven. As if that wasn't enough, she also found out that she, Gabriel and her biker boyfriend Ricky were not caught in an ordinary sort of love triangle, but were hereditary actors in an ancient drama in which the elders of Cainsville and the mysterious Huntsmen who opposed them had a huge stake.
     Now someone is killing street kids in the city, and the police have tied Ricky to the crimes. Setting out with Gabriel's help to clear Ricky's name, Olivia once again finds her own life at risk. Soon the three are tangled in a web of betrayals that threatens their uneasy equilibrium and is pushing them toward a hard choice: either they fulfill their destinies by trusting each other and staying true to their real bonds, or they succumb to the extraordinary forces trying to win an eternal war by tearing them apart.

So glad this wasn't a trilogy because, while I like Ricky, I am a Gabriel fan all the way and I figure if there are enough books and I hope hard enough, the author will come through for me. It would take a lot of character building on Gabriel's part but  - I BELIEVE IN HIM. YOU CAN DO IT,GABRIEL! I KNOW YOU CAN!!  Ahem - looking forward to this book. 

4.  Wild Embrace
     Author: Nalini Singh
     Publisher: Penguin Group
     Release: August 23,2016
     Price: $11.99

The “alpha author of paranormal romance”* presents a stunningly sensual collection of four all-new Psy-Changeling novellas, in which taboos are broken, boundaries are crossed, and instincts prove irresistible...

Echo of Silence
In a deep-sea station, Tazia Nerif has found her life’s work as an engineer, keeping things running smoothly. But she wants nothing more than to break down the barrier of silence between her and her telekinetic Psy station commander...

A changeling who can never shift lives a life of quiet frustration—until he learns how to let his leopard come out and play...

Partners in Persuasion
Still raw from being burned by a dominant female, wolf changeling Felix will never again risk being a plaything. But for dominant leopard Dezi, he’s the most fascinating man she’s ever met. She just has to convince this gun-shy wolf that he can trust the dangerous cat who wants to take a slow, sexy bite out of him…

Flirtation of Fate
Seven years ago, Kenji broke Garnet’s heart. Now the wolf packmates have to investigate the shocking murder of one of their own. And the more Kenji sees of the woman Garnet has become, the deeper he begins to fall once more. But even his primal instincts are no match for the dark secret he carries...
Four new stories? 400 pages of Nalini Singh? This is a no brainer!
So, these are my orders for August. Might be awhile before I can read them; I'm having problems with concentration - and the desire to read, to be honest. But I'm a known collector, I collect things I'll never use and all these authors are "my" authors and I'll keep on collecting them as long as I'm able. Not a long list, but they are all good books and I look forward to reading them.   

Saturday, July 23, 2016

RIP John McCullough

Romance is such a fun thing. We read books with alpha heroes who take care of business and beta heroes who quietly take care of business and we swoon and compare our book boyfriends and its all good.

Then there are the real men. Not the romance heroes but the nice guy, the men who don't have books written about them but who take care of business by taking care of their families and their wives with no glory. They aren't heroes. They aren't romance icons. They're better than that.

Carolyn lost her John on July 21. He was sick for a while, they thought it was flu... maybe pneumonia... maybe a virus of some sort. When the doctor finally got his head out of his ass, they found John's lungs riddled with tumors. In less than two weeks, he was gone.

I didn't know John. I know and love Carolyn and because of that, I knew the John she married. He was a funny guy, always cracking jokes. We'd be talking and he was always in the background putting his two cents in. Sometimes he'd answer the phone and we'd flirt at first and then joke.

He was a charmer. John was the guy who found every woman beautiful. He was the man who told Carolyn the cure for a headache was sex... and she always felt better after (damn him, she laughed).

He never had glorious jobs (although he was a cop for a time) but every time he left a job he moved on to a job that was better financially and gave his family a foot up. Carolyn said he was never fired from a job in his lifetime, and that's one huge accomplishment in my book.

They had two sons together and John was that guy who taught his boys to hunt and be men. He didn't always understand the boys but they looked up to him and I know that his sense of humor is definitely alive and well in his sons.

John McCullough was never a romance hero but he had a woman who loved him, that he loved. They understood each other and didn't care about the others idiosyncrasies. They didn't have big misunderstandings, they didn't have to climb over obstacles or deal with mass murderers. They lived a life together. They had some hard times. They had some great times. They stayed together.

I guess that's the thing that makes men like John a dying breed. They stick to their wives and families even when its hard. They don't look for greener grass or younger women, they don't have big dreams and little ambitions. John's generation and the men like him, are men who vow to honor and be there and that's what they do.

In his own way, John McCullough was a great man. And his strength, integrity and decency made him a hero. He gave Carolyn a love story that was full of laughter. He gave his sons a clear truth in what a man could be.

Our world is sadder without him.

Rest in peace, John McCullough.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Understanding Dani Mathers

You've probably read about Dani Mathers by now: Playboy Bunny of the year (that's a thing). She's a pretty, blonde lady model who snapped a picture of a naked woman in a gym locker room of a naked woman showering with a pic of herself laughing and a stupid caption shaming the woman for not being as attractive as Dani Mathers.

I won't repost the pic because the woman never consented to the picture and reposting it all over the internet as news outlets and social media is doing is a continuation of victimizing the woman. Personally I believe everyone who has posted it is culpable.

But Dani Mathers... we're going to ignore her fake ass apology because well, what she said in essence isn't true. What the truth most likely was is that she posted the picture as a meme with the intent it would go viral and put her in the limelight. She wasn't counting on the backlash, she thought people would laugh. That woman showering was a prop in the picture of Dani Mather's life.

And that's the point to me. What happened in this situation becomes a parable for what our society has become. Dani Mathers, in that one picture, became Donald Trump. Became AllLivesMatter. She became the Stanford rapist.

Dani Mathers showed herself as America has become: lacking empathy. Seeing the world as nothing but a major prop in the meme that is her life. She didn't think that she was violating that woman's privacy by taking a naked picture of her in a law-protected private area. She saw a great chance to maybe gain more Twitter/Snapchat followers. The naked woman was human, she meant nothing.

We could use this situation to discuss the websites created for men to post naked pictures of ex-lovers/wives/girlfriends and why they aren't being prosecuted (with the zeal that Dani Mathers is). We could discuss the guy who hacked into celebrity phones and posted their private nudes (has he been caught or prosecuted yet?) But well, those are male on female crimes which doesn't count in America. However let's get the Bunny.

I do feel Dani Mathers deserves to be prosecuted. Don't get me wrong on that. I also know that what she did isn't going to open any meaningful discussions about women's bodies being private and sex crimes against women. So we won't bother to go there because that stuff doesn't matter to most white male Americans.

However, we need to recognize that our society is turning into a society of Dani Mathers. Disconnected from others. Unaware of decency or caring. We're turning into a society that can hear or read Donald Trump's speeches and not be disgusted by his xenophobia, racism, misogyny. We've become apologists for the worst our society has to offer.

The internet has jumped on the Hate Dani Mathers bandwagon and it doesn't mean a thing. Because an attractive, young woman doing what she did fills everyone with malicious glee to persecute and destroy. Men, women, children and dogs are all posting about how ugly the model truly is on the inside and what a vile creature she is. These are many of the same people who believe the drunk woman who got raped behind a dumpster by the Stanford swimmer shouldn't have been drinking so much.

Yes, Dani Mathers did something vile and she will be prosecuted for it. She'll probably serve more time than the Stanford rapist and she'll probably have less opportunities for the rest of her life than he will. Memes will continue to appear making unaware people the butt of their jokes and no one will bat an eye. We'll see the majority of America elect a president who mocks women for their looks and being on their periods and decent people will despair but most Americans won't give a damn.

Yes folks, this is your America. Do with it what you will.