Friday, March 27, 2015

Pumpkin: A CinderMama Story @InesWrites on #RomanceBeckons

Welcome Ines Johnson to Romance Beckons.
She's sharing her latest book and talking about strong women.

Have you been paying attention to the evolution of the Cinderella story? If you’ve watched the Disney blockbuster, Frozen, then you have. Young girls and women are no longer waiting around for a man to come by on his horse, sweep them off their feet, and give them shoes.

Okay, I doubt any of us would turn down the shoes!

My point is that women are now taking the reins of their own stories and rejecting the Cinderella trope of changing themselves into someone new. In many, dare I say most, of these stories the prince doesn’t pay attention to the Cinderella character in her ordinary world of working 9-5pm with grime under her nails and threadbare clothes. He doesn’t look her way until she gets magicked into expertly applied makeup, a binding, shape-shifting corset, and brand new shoes.

My first notice of this was in the film Working Girl. This 80’s retelling of the Cinderella story featured a bright secretary who had dreams of entering the boardroom with a briefcase instead of coffee. When her wicked boss steals her idea, the secretary seizes an opportunity to steal into a high profile business meeting by pretending that she’s her boss, while also wearing her boss’s dress and shoes. Melanie Griffith, as the secretary, uses Harrison Ford’s charming character to get her into the board room’s door. When the business deal goes south, Griffith doesn’t wait for the knight in a business suite to rescue her. Instead, she shows off her ‘head for business and bod for sin’ in order to win a business deal, thwart her boss, and get her man.

A decade later Drew Barrymore retold the Cinderella story in Ever After. In a pivotal scene when Barrymore’s character, Danielle, has been taken prisoner by the evil Pierre Le Pieu, the audience holds their breath as the prince leaps onto his horse and heads off to rescue her. But Danielle picks up not one, but two swords, and swashbuckles her way to an escape. As she’s walking out of the castle a free woman, the prince arrives moments too late with her shoe in hand.

Nearly another decade later came another retelling with Penelope. Penelope is an heiress born under a curse that can only be broken in the face of true love. The problem? Penelope’s face doesn’t inspire sonnets and poems as much as it does a hankering for breakfast meats. Penelope’s snout nose has caused her to be rejected her whole life, including rejection from her own mother. When she finally finds a man willing to tolerate her looks and break the curse, she comes to the realization that she likes herself just the way she is. And just like that, the curse is broken and Penelope’s outside matches her glowing inside.

In today’s stories, women don’t wait around for men on horses. They take the reins, defend themselves, and declare love to their own reflections. They’re now even qualified to deliver true love’s kiss to their own sisters as we saw in the blockbuster Frozen.

In my fairytale retelling, Pumpkin: a Cindermama story my heroine has given up on fairytale love. Single mother Malika “Pumpkin” Tavares lost faith in fairytales after she fell for a toad. Town royalty Armand “Manny” Charmayne has been searching for his soulmate all his life, whom he’ll recognize at first sight by a golden aura, that only he can see, surrounding her person. Manny doesn’t see gold when he meets Pumpkin, but the more he gets to know her the more he considers defying fate, if only he can convince her to take a chance on love again.

BLURB

Single mother Malika “Pumpkin” Tavares lost faith in fairytales after she fell for a toad. Now she believes she’s not cut from the storybook, heroine cloth and searches for Mr. Good Enough amongst the sidekicks and supporting men of the town.

Love at first sight isn’t a cliche for town royalty Armand “Manny” Charmayne. For generations the Charmaynes have spotted their soulmates by seeing a golden aura the first time they laid eyes on The One.

When Manny meets Pumpkin he sees…nothing, but sparks fly off the richter scale. The more he gets to know her the more he considers defying fate, if only he can convince her to take a chance on love again.

EXCERPT
Pumpkin turned and stopped in her tracks. Not because of the near collision, but because of the Adonis who stood before her. Tall and lean with dark, thick curls atop his head. But it was his eyes that arrested Pumpkin. They took her back to her teen years, watching Donnie Simpson on Video Soul; or farther back to Smokey Robinson doo-wopping with The Miracles. They were a pale gray. And he smelled... edible. Like fresh baked, butter croissants sprinkled with earthy spices. 
"Excuse me," he repeated, with a slight Southern drawl that was more refined than lazy. 
He prolonged his vowels just enough to let you know he was Southern, but the consonants he pronounced perfectly. "Are you Heather?" 
And of course, he was looking for someone else. "No, my name is Malika." 
He looked at her and squinted. Then his eyes rolled past her up the steps of the Department of Family And Child Services building. "Oh, sorry. I thought you could have been one of my volunteers." He stepped away, clearing her path to the entrance. 
I thought you could have been one of my volunteers. 
Pumpkin looked beyond him to see a voter registration table.
I thought you could have been one of my volunteers. 
Part of her knew she should simply walk into the DFACS building to find her cousins and her son, because who knew? LaRon and LaTom could've let him go to the bathroom by himself and just forgotten about him —again. But another part of Pumpkin smarted. 
He'd taken one glance at her, paired it with her Eubonic-consonant-rich name, added it to her current location, and come away with an incorrect assumption. 
"You know, I could have been yours," she said. 
He turned back. "Mine?" 
"I mean, I have done something like this before." 
"Something... with me?" 
"No! I've never met you before." 
He opened his mouth to speak, thought better of it...
Author Bio
Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you’ll love her books!

Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she’s contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations.

Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CLICK on this Love Story @LisaWBecker #amreading

WELCOME Lisa and CLICK series to Romance Beckons.
Lisa had endured her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates, many of which inspired Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click. The books, about a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and “hard to put down.” The first in the series has now been optioned for a major motion picture.

She’s written bylined articles about writing and online dating for Chick Lit Central, Cupid’s Pulse and numerous book blogs. Her books and story have also been featured in Single Edition, Career 2.0 and The Perfect Soulmate among other websites.

As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “for every chair, there’s a tush.” Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!

Find more about Lisa here: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Pinterest | Web

Click: An Online Love Story
Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds entirely through emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical “B” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee wades into the shallow end of the dating (cess)pool and endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to "click" with the right man. 

Double Click
Fans of the romantic hit Click: An Online Love Story will enjoy another voyeuristic dive into the lives of Renee, Shelley, Ashley, Mark and Ethan, as Double Click picks up with their lives six months later. Are Renee and Ethan soul mates? Does Mark ever go on a date? Has Shelley run out of sexual conquests in Los Angeles? Will Ashley's judgmental nature sabotage her budding relationship? Through a marriage proposal, wedding, new baby and unexpected love twist, Double Click answers these questions and more. Readers will continue to cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. 

Right Click
Love. Marriage.  Infidelity. Parenthood. Crises of identity. Death. Cupcakes. The themes in Right Click, the third and final installment in the Click series, couldn't be more pressing for this group of friends as they navigate through their 30's. Another six months have passed since we last eavesdropped on the hilarious, poignant and often times inappropriate email adventures of Renee and friends. As the light-hearted, slice of life story continues to unfold, relationships are tested and some need to be set "right" before everyone can find their "happily ever after.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Queen of my Kingdom: Places Authors Write #amwriting on #Thursday13

Spring is here! And along with Spring comes soccer season.

With my boys all involved with soccer teams - two playing and one as a coaching assistant - I'm on soccer fields and carpools nearly every day. Those long, cozy winter evenings at home are gone and writing time is at a premium. My daytime hours when they're in school just aren't enough so I've discovered the art of writing on the sidelines during practices. While the other moms are doing that gossiping thing, I'm saved by headphones and my small laptop.

I've learned there really isn't anywhere you can't write when you put your mind to it.

Here are 13 Places I Write:

  1. In the car during sport practices.
  2. On the sidelines during half-time.
  3. In the garden under the sun.
  4. By the pool.
  5. In bed.
  6. On the couch.
  7. In the carpool line.
  8. As the passenger on a road trip.
  9. On an airplane.
  10. In the airport.
  11. On the kitchen counter while cooking dinner.
  12. In a coffee shop.
  13. In my office. 

Where do you write? Do you have trouble finding time at home to write? Leave a comment and tell me how you fit your writing into your life.

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