The 50 Flare Up

I could start this post with “Many of you have asked about my feelings on the latest E L James Twitter conversation and the backlash surrounding it” But, in all honesty, no one has asked me about it.  However, as a reader, writer and fan of 50, I feel the need to comment on it.

Those of you not familiar with the latest – let me give you a little background.  The author of 50 Shades of Grey, E L James hosted a Twitter chat where readers could ask any question they’d like and she would do her best to answer.  The only “requirement” was tweeters use the hashtag #AskELJames so their question could be tracked.  The good news – the hashtag was trending…for quite some time.  The bad news – many of the questions were rude, hateful, and downright mean.

Here’s a sample:

  • I’m interested in who you’re planning to plagiarize next #AskELJames
  • My next door neighbor was stalking me. Did I miss an opportunity for love by blocking his number? #AskELJames
  • If my partner wants to visit her mom, should I hit her before she leaves or after I follow her? #AskELJames

The list goes ON and ON and ON and ON…just type Ask EL James Twitter into Google and you’ll find hundreds.  While some of you may have no clue what the hell those questions relate to, many of you do.  (BTW – if you think 50 was plagiarized, have you read Crossfire…or any other “erotic romance” on the market today?!)

Yes, it’s true.  Christian Grey is a dominant and, for some, is seen as a little bit of a psycho where Anastasia Steele is concerned.  BUT.  BUT, BUT, BUT…hasn’t every single romance novel known to man had some sort of a chase involved?  Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy and girl date, boy and girl fight, boy tries everything he can to get girl back…and many women swoon with wonder and ask “Why can’t I find a man who would do those things for me?”

Is 50 extreme? Sure…that’s the point.

Is 50 Shades of Grey for everyone?  No, absolutely not.

Is it a book about abuse?  In my opinion – NO, absolutely not. For some people, the answer to that question may be “YES!!”  But that’s the great thing about the book.  Everyone see’s it differently…and as we’ve all been taught – it’s not to say I’m bad and you’re good – JUST DIFFERENT.  We have a different perspective on what we’ve read.  And that’s OK!  Personally, I didn’t much care for the sex scenes, more for the underlying love story and watching two people battle their own demons for love.

What’s not OK is to attack someone and their work.  To hide behind your computer or smart phone and tell someone their writing sucks, that they should choose a new profession.  What if someone said that to you about your work?  What if someone emailed you and said “You’re horrible at your job.  Quit.  Find something new.”

What’s more –  many authors think of their books are as children.  They nurture them, care for them, build them…what if someone said to you “I don’t like your child.  Don’t have anymore.”  Extreme?  Yes.  But I know FOR A FACT that’s how some authors feel when their work is criticized.

Did EL James open herself up to criticism when she agreed to do a Twitter chat?  YES, absolutely.  Does that give people the right to say whatever they want to another human being?  NO.  If you didn’t like the next movie George Clooney appeared in, would you walk up to him on the street and say “You suck at being an actor.  You should quit.”??

Is 50 Shades the best written book on the market?  Heavens no.  It’s a work of FICTION, something for people to enjoy however they see fit.  For some, it made their marriage more interesting.  For others, it gave them something to whisper about over coffee.  Others saw their business boom.  Some absolutely hated every word and would never dream of reading anything similar.  Again, however YOU see the book is just fine…but don’t bully someone who sees it differently…or the person who created it simply because you didn’t like it.  Would you tell a waitress to quit their job if you didn’t like the food at a restaurant?  A book, just like food, is a matter of personal preference.

The bottom line regarding the #AskELJames issue is this – those who belittle, bash, bully and target others using social media (or any other kind of media) ARE abusers, and should be dealt with as such.  I think it’s high time people remember “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”


Hello, Mr. Grey

Ladies….are you in for a treat today!!!  The one and only @CGreyCEO_DK from the Darker Shades RP family on Twitter has stopped by to answer a few questions.  I’m so thankful to Christian and his wife, Ana for taking time to talk with me over the past two days.  They are a truly amazing couple who have so much love for one another it makes me all swoony inside.

If you’re not following the Darker Shades family on Twitter (@DarkerShades_RP) – please take a moment to do so.  You’ll find the whole gang there – Kate, Elliot, Dr. Flynn, Luke, Jason, Gail, Sophie, Grace…and many more!!  The group has picked up where the third Fifty Shades of Grey book left off, and they are totally and completely INCREDIBLE at what they do.

And now, please welcome, Mr. Christian Grey!! {Giggles and blushes}

ChristianGreyDKCongratulations on your latest baby news! How shocked were you? More than the first time? {laughs} And, inquiring minds want to know – are you hoping for a little girl to spoil??

Thank you. I was shocked to say the least. It was truthfully the last thing I was expecting to hear…but after having time to process, I am incredibly excited. I would say both times were equally as shocking…just for different reasons. And would I like to have a little girl that looks like my Ana to spoil? Absolutely, but happy and healthy are my priorities right now.

You clearly love and really excel at being a father to Teddy, how has fatherhood changed you?

I do love being a father. I never imagined there was a love like this that existed…I wouldn’t say fatherhood has changed me as per say, but it has enhanced parts of my personality that I didn’t even know I had.

You and Anna have been through quite a lot lately – do you think all of this is helping you grow as a couple?

Of course. We’ve been through so much this year, both good and bad, and I think we are learning and growing with each situation.

You certainly gave Ethan a piece of your mind a few days ago…were you surprised to hear what he was saying?

I can’t say that I’m surprised necessarily…but I was taken aback by the fact that he came in to my home behaving in that way. I rarely act out physically the way I did, but there are some things I refuse to stand for. Having my love for Ana questioned is one of them.   (That’s kinda hot…right ladies?!)

You recently found out you have a biological brother; clearly that has put some added stress on the family as a whole. How are things working out now that everyone has had some time to process?

That’s definitely been difficult for everyone to process. Everyone, with the exception of my brother Elliot, seems to be handling the news fairly well. I think with time, everyone will accept Nick into the family…he needs that.

I think it’s safe to say that since you’ve been with Ana you have changed a great deal. Did you ever imagine you’d have the life you do today?

Never. I was very content with my life before Ana came tumbling into it, but now I can’t imagine my life any other way. I have things I never dreamed of having…a wife…a family of my own…I’m still the same man I was when I first met Ana, I’ve just discovered new shades of myself.   (Awwww!!! Swoon alert!)

You were so great with Sophie when her mother died, and she in turn has given you some wonderful advice on Elliot and Nick. Did you ever expect to have such a strong bond with her?

Sophie is such a bright, beautiful, intelligent young lady. She’s been through so much and has been able to stay strong…something I was never able to do as a child. I admire her…our bond is something I will always cherish.

Anything you’d like to say to your followers?

To my followers…Thank you. None of this would be possible without you. Your love and support makes it possible for us to tell our stories. Through every twist and turn, both good and bad, you’ve been here showing us nothing but love and friendship. Thank you…

An interview with Anastasia Grey

Hello, loves!!  I have a really special treat for you all today ~ an interview with the one and only Ana Grey from the most excellent “Darker Shades” RP group on Twitter!!!  {Happy Dance}

For those of you not familiar with the Darker Shades (@DarkerShades_RP) family on Twitter – they are an incredibly talented group that has continued the Fifty Shades story where the third book ended.  I adore the entire lot of them and I’m so thrilled that Ana has agreed to answer a few quick questions for me.  (And, readers, if you’re really nice…we may even get Christian to stop by!!!!! GAH!)

Thanks again to @Steele_AnaDK for taking time out of her day to chat with me.

AnaGreyDKFirst off, congratulations on your pregnancy! Shocking, I’m sure, but also wonderful! Spill it sister – are you secretly hoping for a girl??

I am hoping for healthy first and foremost. I would love nothing more than to see Christian with a girl. He would be more amazing than I could possibly imagine.

How is Teddy??

Teddy is amazing…our nearly 5 month old bundle of joy. He is so bubbly and full of personality. He always looks like he is pondering something. I think he will start to roll soon =)

Also, congratulations on the first edition of “Grey Seattle Sounds” coming out this month – how does it feel to have the first edition so close?

This has been a labor of love that I am so proud of Kate for taking it, forming it and making it what it will be. She is so talented.

Ethan and Christian sure had it out – did you see that coming? Did you know Ethan had such strong feelings towards you?

No….I didn’t see it coming. Ethan has feelings for me? What? He’s never said anything. **(Anna…really…he totally made a play for you! Christian punched him for it!)

It’s wonderful to hear your mother is moving near you, but how is she holding up with everything in her personal life?

Mama is strong. I feel so guilty because I think it’s my fault. I just want her happy…however that looks.

You and Christian have had some major ups and downs over the last few months – do you think this is helping you grow as a couple?

I will never let him go…no matter how hard he pushes…he will never let me go no matter how hard I pull…I love him **(SWOON!!)

Christian has certainly changed quite a bit since we all first met (and fell for) him *giggles* What changes have meant the most to you, or had the biggest effect on you and your family?

The biggest change is the acceptance in himself that he has a large capacity to and for love. I am honored that I could show him that.

Anything you’d like to say to your followers?

To my followers…you have all been so supportive to me through the good times, the bad and the even uglier. I am thankful you choose to read our ever changing story…show us love, respect and most of all your friendship. Meeting you has brought me such joy. I thank you all…@CGreyCEO_DK and I thank you all from the bottoms of our hearts. Because of you this is possible xxx

BOOK BLAST ~ No Regrets With You ~ by KD Bryan

Excerpt #2

Cutting him off Carli said, “You’re right Reid, I don’t understand I wish with every part of my being that I did. But in the end does it really matter? No, it doesn’t. You’re the only one who can make me understand and you won’t. You shut me out, you leave rather than explain and you choose this so-called life that you cling to over letting anyone in that can share it with you.  That’s not living Reid, that’s existing in the vacuum you’ve created for yourself.”

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The Fixed Trilogy ~ a review

ImageEvery now and then a series comes along that knocks your socks off. This has happened to me more than once. It started with Fifty Shades, continued with Crossfire and ended with the Gabriel series…or so I thought. The Fixed Trilogy by Laurelin Paige deserves to be put on the top shelf with the above mentioned reads because it is, in a word, FANTASTIC.

The series begins as most do – boy sees girl and wants her, bad. Girl sees boy and thinks he’s stunning…and dangerous and while I should run far away I just can’t. But, that’s pretty much where the similarities end. We meet Alayna Withers first – a bright and beautiful night club assistant manager with a, shall we say, checkered past. Then in walks Hudson Pierce – a stunningly handsome, successful CEO whose past is anything but normal. Alayna agrees to quite a strange “arrangement” with Hudson and the rest…well, the rest is quite amazing.

The storyline throughout these books is relatively simple – can two damaged souls find love with one another? I say ‘relatively simple’ because while the base of the story is simple, the rest is not. Alayna and Hudson have incredible walls to scale and just as soon as they make it to the top of one, someone pushes them off. The two are met with sinister ex-lovers, defiant family members, conniving co-workers, menacing media and on top of it all – their pasts sneak up to bite them in the ass at every turn.

These three books had me upside down, inside out, confused, turned-on, laughing, loving and loathing all at the same time. I also couldn’t put them down. I read the entire series in four days…that’s a new record for me. The books are FULL of swoon-worthy moments, like when Hudson tells Alayna, “I’ve never been more serious, Alayna. You’re the first person I’ve ever met who makes me believe I might not be crazy. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

But, I warn you…things are not always what they seem…

And that, right there, may be the best thing about this series.


If you enjoy hot, sexy, panty-ripping (and dripping) story lines – this trilogy is a MUST READ.

Find Laurelin on Facebook, Twitter and her website (where you’ll find information about “Hudson” scheduled for release in July!!!!!)


*Note – if you do not download the trilogy as a set, the order of reading is “Fixed In You”, “Found In You” and “Forever In You”

Capturing the Cowboy’s Heart – a review

ImageHot, Fast and Sexy are three words I would use to describe this book (and subsequently how I imagine I most cowboys). This is the first book of Lindsey’s I’ve read, and I’m certainly glad I gave it, and her, a shot. 

This book is the story of the meddling reporter, Lacy Dalton, and angry (in a very sexy way) cowboy Cade Tyler who lost his wife to a car accident two years previous. Cade is an ex-rodeo man who now spends his days looking after his ranch with the help of his best friend, Burk. Lacy arrives on scene to do a story on Cade, his rodeo career, and his life since he’s left riding. Her arrival is a complete surprise to Cade (well done, Burk, well done) and Cade, of course, resists. Lacy, being the stubborn reporter she is, gets Cade to do the interview by agreeing to be his ranch hand for as long as she stays…not an easy task for a city girl.

Lacy, Cade, Burk, and the resident mutt embark on an adventure that’s full of highs and lows of all kinds. Cade finds himself torn between the grief and memories of his late wife, and his new, uncomfortably real feelings for Lacy. While Lacy struggles with writing a story that could help her career, but possibly hurt Cade in the process.  Lacy not only finds her self falling for Cade, but for life on the ranch in general.

As I read about this dynamic couple, my emotions ran the gamut – anxious, curious, turned-on, sad, worried, and happy. What I think I enjoyed most about this book was just when I thought it was over, I got more!   Between Lacy’s never-ending descriptions of how hot Cade looks in his jeans, to the way Cade fantasizes about Lacy’s lips – this book will certainly turn up the heat wherever you are reading.

Lindsey does a great job of letting the characters write the story for her – she doesn’t force or manipulate situations just to add pages to the book.  Her writing is free and easy like a summer day and her “heat” is right up there with other books I’ve read – giving us a little taste of what life with a cowboy is all about. YeeHaw!!

As I said before, this is a fairly fast read and would be a wonderful beach/vacation book as we head into summertime all around the country.

Find Lindsey on Twitter, Facebook and on her website where you can read all about her other books and see pictures of toilet seat serving dishes.

Fire at Twilight – a review

ImageThis is a brand new author for me and I’m so pleased to say I really enjoyed this book, the first in the “The Firefighters of Darling Bay” series. This story follows the journey of acupuncturist, Grace and firefighter, Tox. (Come on ladies, who doesn’t love a firefighter?!) The two could not be more different if they tried, but they find themselves drawn to one another in a seemingly magnetic way.

Tox is rough, tough, crass and all man. Grace is an all-natural fixer by nature who is constantly working to make everyone’s lives “better”…or so she thinks. Grace and Tox are introduced in a rather embarrassing way – as the air conditioner in Graces’ clinic starts on fire, she attempts to put it out and upon finishing the job promptly passes out into Tox’s arms (not a bad place to be by all standards). Tox finds himself constantly thinking about Grace – a new feeling for him – and does his best to romance her while Grace tries to come to terms with the way everything about Tox makes her hot, and clumsy.

This story moves along at a rapid pace (which I very much enjoy) and makes for a wonderful beach/vacation read. The writing is witty, sweet, and hot in a few parts. The bedroom scenes are “closed door” making her writing very similar to Katy Regnery’s “Heart of Montana” series.

The greatest thing about Lila – she actually works at a firehouse! She’s a dispatcher! *Hey, Lila, is there a “Bring a Reader to Work day”??

You can find Lila on Twitter, Facebook (GO THERE NOW! It’s full of HOT firefighters!!) and the web.

P.S. The three book Darling Bay boxed set is available via Amazon and other online retailers. Visit her website for more information.