Wrecked – Blog tour.

 

I am pleased to have Anne Conley here on FP,TD today! Anne is a Facebook friend, though if we met in person, I don’t think we’d lack for conversation ;)  i had the honor of beta reading Wrecked and really enjoyed the story.  I think you will too. I’ll move out of the way and let you get acquainted with the latest Serendipity story!

wrecked banner

 SYNOPSIS

Welcome to Serendipity, Texas, where the days are hot and the nights are steamy. Meet real people with real problems, as they live life and find love in a small town.

One moment of distraction, and Renae causes Jason to wreck his motorcycle, setting into motion a love affair that could be her undoing.
She has big plans for her empty nest, but one night of passion changes everything. He’s perfect. Too perfect, but her own stupidity entwines their lives together forever. What if she finds out he’s gassy, doesn’t like kittens, has a terminal illness, or…hates babies?
Jason is just visiting his dad in Serendipity, not staying. But his plans change when things with his dad are worse than he thought. Renae is a pleasant distraction, and the more he gets to know her, the more she becomes another reason to stay.
When their lives entwine, they both have choices to make, hurts to get over, and ideals to let go of. Is it possible for them to do it, in order to get their happily ever after? Or will things be wrecked?

wrecked 7
wrecked 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 EXCERPT:

  Jason stood too.  “I guess I should go.  As much as I would like to stay… I don’t think you want a repeat performance.”

He sounded hurt, and she wanted to reassure him.  He’d been so agreeable all night, and they’d gotten along so well.  Renae touched his arm.  “It’s not that I don’t want that, Jason, I do.  As long as we’re talking about that amazing night we shared.”  She watched as he nodded.  “But I was really drunk that night, and I want a real relationship with you.  Not like a marriage or anything, but I don’t want something based on great sex.  Does that make sense?”

He nodded soberly, waited a beat, then his face cracked into that grin that made Renae willing to do anything.  “Great, huh?”

She laughed.  “Stud-muffin caliber sex.”

He stilled, a perplexed expression on his face.  “I don’t know what that means.”  She answered with a shrug, secretly amused by his confusion.  “But sex in the future is still on the table, right?”

Renae nodded.  “Yes, I think so.”  It was something she’d considered, repeatedly.  Especially at night when she was supposed to be sleeping.

“Good.”  He lowered his head to hers and kissed her.  It was such a sweet and tender kiss, considering they’d just been talking about how great the sex between them was, that Renae was caught off guard.  She’d been preparing for a conquering kiss of triumph, since she’d just agreed they might have sex someday.  But this kiss was a consuming kiss, his warm lips softly nibbled on her lips and when she opened, he slowly swept his tongue inside, softly overwhelming her senses, until yet again she was a trembling mass of nerves.  He seemed to sense it, and his hand came to her lower back where he supported her.  He didn’t pull her closer, or press himself against her, he just held her, kissing her softly.  When his other hand reached for her face, she couldn’t stop herself from melting into him.

Her own hands tugged on his hair, adjusting the position of his face so she could deepen the kiss.  As much as she loved the tender kiss, Renae wanted more.  She whimpered into his mouth as she pulled his hair, and something seemed to snap inside Jason.  He hauled her against his body and a primal sound came from the back of his throat.  He trailed kisses across her cheek and down her neck, whispering about her smell and the things she did to him.

“No control around you… so fucking perfect… want more.”

She pulled his head back up to her face to keep kissing him and wrapped one arm around his neck while her other hand snaked down his chest.  She felt like a volcano had erupted inside her and her veins were filling with molten lava.  The only thing to quench it was Jason.

When her hand reached his impressive erection, she pressed against it, and that primal noise came again from his throat.

“Stop,” he groaned.  “God help me, if you don’t want this right now, you’d better stop.”  Her t-shirt was balled up in his fists, knuckles taut and white and he was gritting the words out between clenched teeth.  She realized then what she’d done right after telling him she wouldn’t have sex with him.

“I-I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to do all that.”  Taking a step back, he let go, but his hands stayed up in front of him, as if he could only force the fingers open but not make his arms go to his sides.  She straightened her hair.  “I kiss you, and it’s all over.  I guess kissing isn’t such a great idea, either.  Not until I’m ready for the rest…”

The look on his face would have been comical if it hadn’t been so real.  “Are you serious?  I can’t kiss you?”  His mouth wouldn’t close, and the look of sheer disbelief in his eyes was cartoonish, especially with the wrinkles on his forehead.

“Okay, not necessarily no kissing, but I seriously need to learn some control.”

He slowly relaxed his face, and then a slow smile covered his face.  “I think I might can come up with something for that.  Don’t move now.”  He dropped a quick kiss on her cheek and turned before she could respond.

WHERE TO BUY:

Amazon US ~ http://amzn.to/1usPWAI

Barnes & Noble ~  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wrecked-anne-conley/1119721659?ean=2940149833696

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 Anne has written her entire life and has the boxes of angst-filled journals and poetry to prove it. She’s been writing for public consumption for the last four years. Currently she is writing two romance series. In Stories of Serendipity, she explores real people living real lives in small town Texas in a contemporary romance setting. In The Four Winds, she chronicles God’s four closest archangels, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael, falling in love and becoming human. She lives in rural East Texas with her husband and children in her own private oasis, where she prides herself in her complete lack of social skills, choosing instead to live with the people inside her head.

 AMAZON~FACEBOOK~TWITTER~WEBSITE ~EMAIL

 GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a1e1b6e339/

As usual, Rafflecopter doesn’t always like to play nice with Word Press, so please let me know if the link doesn’t work.

FREE Novel! 

Barnes and Noble:  http://bit.ly/14ekx5K

Smashwords:  http://bit.ly/14ekx5K

Blog:  www.anneconley.com

Go forth and read, people! And thanks to Anne for visiting with us today.

Melanie

Mob Mentality

With everything going on in the world and reading historical novels have made me think about human nature and how to not only convey it in novels, but what makes a person fall into a mob mentality.

In the case of humans, it boils down to fear. Fear of being different. Fear of being ostracized. Fear of retribution for not following popular opinion.

Between the books I’ve been reading, following the Scottish referendum vote, and a tour on our recent vacation, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I would do if ever faced with a mob mentality situation. The Revolutionary period is what comes to mind when I think of it. We’re over 200 years removed from the situation and think it would be easy to say we would choose being a Patriot. A Rebel.  Would I have been able to go against the Loyalists and fought for independence from England?  Could I have risked my family’s security? If I’d been married, would my husband have risked his life, and the family’s livelihood, to fight for a cause in which he believed?

Then I started thinking about mob mentality and human nature. As a member of the romance genre, I’ve had numerous writers, agents, and editors tell me that I needed to write a certain way or include certain things in order to sell. Now, they’re probably right. To a degree. But in a naturally over-saturated market, why would I want to write what everyone else does? I’ve heard tons of readers say they’re looking for a new spin on the old story or something completely unexpected. I know I’ve got work to do, but I’m trying to write something different, bring a new spin to the story, and still enjoy what I’m writing. If I hate what I’m writing, how could I expect the reader to fall in love with the story?

I know I’m on a role here lately. I’ve been thinking about how to make my stories better. In doing that, I’ve been thinking about human nature. Mob mentality is one of those things that we tend to think of as something that only happens in extreme situations. But it’s there in smaller situations. A group of bystanders who see an accident, yet no one comes forward to help. Hearing a person yell for help, yet continuing to walk by. Going with the general consensus because voicing a true opinion would make us unpopular with coworkers, friends, or even family.

I think that’s why we’re seeing such a surge in genre bending stories and people willing to be different. It’s time for a revolution. People going against the grain because it’s the right thing to do, not because it’s “cool” or will force a reaction from people. It’s time to break away from the mob. Difficult as it might be. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point. I’m still not completely comfortable with it, but usually the right thing to do rarely makes us comfortable.

 

 

 

Women in the Media

We find ourselves in a time of change. Same-sex marriages are being allowed in more and more states and women are pushing for even more equality. Equal pay, equal representation, and a change in how women are viewed and used to advertise products.

That last is where I have an issue. I’ve read a ton of articles and talked with people about how women are sexualized in the media. How scantily clad women in sexually suggestive positions frequently bombard viewers on the television, in movies, in ads. I’m not disagreeing with the fact. My problem is women blaming men for sexualizing women. We, as women, are just as much to blame.

I’m sure a few people just clicked away and a few others felt a bump in blood pressure at that last statement. Hear me out. I’ve never been on a casting call, but I would bet that there is a least some description of the job when a person shows up for an audition. If not, then the wardrobe would be a definite clue to what’s expected. As women, we have the power to say no.

We have the power. The power at the theater. Women are scantily clad or serve a minimal role in the overall story? Don’t buy a ticket. Women are shown in bikinis rubbing up against a music artist in a video? Don’t buy the song on iTunes or buy the album.  Tired of seeing women prancing around in leotard on stage that run the risk of exposing more skin than a bikini? Don’t buy a concert ticket. I have to admit, the thought of being bombarded with someone’s thighs and well-groomed crotch for two hours has kept me away from concerts for over a decade. I can honestly say, there hasn’t been a female group or artist I’ve wanted to see in concert since I saw Reba McEntire back in ’95.

I don’t know if its because I’m a romance writer, but it seems to me there are plenty of women represented in the writing field. 90% of editors and agents I’ve contacted or talked with have been female. Women’s roles seem to be shifting in books too. Think of the last three Young Adult novels that have been made into movies. Bella Thorne from Twilight. Katniss from Hunger Games. Tris from Divergent. I’m sure you’re thinking about Harry Potter but even though Harry was the main character, Hermoine, Ginny, Lily, Mrs. Weasley, Bellatrix LaStrange (no matter how deranged she was), Prof. McGonagall. So many strong women had equal parts, especially if you read the books. Heck, even the last three video games my husband has played have had female lead characters.

Where my real problem lies is in the fact that men are now being made to look like the idiots in order for the women to look strong, smart, what have you. Why do we feel the need to make light of the men in order to lift ourselves up? Isn’t that just completely flipping the circumstance? Speaking of flipping circumstances – Magic Mike. Chippendales. Thunder from Down Under. See where I’m going with this? Why is it okay for us to ogle men and post naked or near naked pictures and call them “writing inspiration”? Isn’t that doing the EXACT. SAME. THING. that we accuse men of doing? Granted, I appreciate a nice looking man, but truthfully I think guys fully clothed are so much sexier. So much more is left to the imagination.

I’m not denying that there’s an imbalance in things. Try being a woman in the South working with a bunch of men, raised to be “men” who believe women should be in the home raising the kids instead of bring their hormones and mood swings to the office. They still make disparaging remarks about me being a woman, but I’ve worked my way up and am a person that people come to for information regarding past jobs and where to find the details and they know I’m reliable because I’ve worked hard. I’ve proven my worth in the scheme of the company and have been compensated accordingly. I’ve called them out on some of the comments they’ve made and some comments, they’ve apologized for. It’s all I can ask for. A willingness to think about what they said and maybe not say it the next time. If they do? That’s up to them.

Since I’m on the subject. Working hard. To me, taking off your clothes is not working hard. That’s fighting dirty. If a woman dresses in a way that is guaranteed to elicit a specific response from a man (attraction, a natural sexual response) don’t turn around and accuse the man of acting like a pig or treating you as a sexual object. If your lady parts are easily visible, guys, and some girls, will look…and comment…and possibly touch. Its a DNA deep response to propagating the species. I’m not saying it’s the victim’s fault if they’re raped or assaulted because they’re ” dressed a certain way”. Men need to curb their responses in those instances. But we as a sex need to admit that we play into the system. With the clothes we buy, with what we read, with how we spend our dollars, how we convey ourselves to the world. I’ve never been one to dress in tight or revealing clothes. Mine is a self esteem thing, but if you see my boob hanging out, then something broke.

It’s up to all of us; men and women. Be the instrument of change instead of blaming others.

Melanie

 

 

Plagiarism – A serious issue

Plagiarism – A serious issue.

If you’re an author, please read.

Another one committed to memories

I usually don’t post much when a celebrity dies. But Robin Williams is different. He’s a big part of my childhood, and I never realized until he passed, just how large of a place he held in my heart.

Growing up, my mother, brother, and I used to sit in front of the TV and watch Mork and Mindy every week. And whenever they played re-runs. And of course his movies I don’t remember watching The World According to Garp until I was older. Then there was Aladdin. I love that Disney let him improvise the majority of his lines because they were just so good. Robin made that movie what it is. Someone posted a picture of the end where Aladdin sets Genie free and I cried for a good 30 minutes afterward.

Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire (not one of my favorites, but still good), Hook, One Hour Photo and so many others. One thing that made an impact was a stand up my mother and I watched one night on either VH-1 or MTV of Robin at the Met in New York, sometime in the late 80’s.  Dad was asleep I think, and let me tell you it was nearly impossible to keep quiet. We laughed so hard, tears streamed down both our faces and we would crack up for days afterwards just thinking about the skits and looking at the other would send us into fits of giggles. That’s the first time that I laughed so hard that I stopped breathing. My diaphragm froze up or something. I don’t know but it scared the heck out of me.

Fast forward to 2008. The hubby and I and the hubby’s best friend were leaving San Francisco. My two friends had already left to go home and it was the three of us going through security. I was the first one through and sat on the bench putting my shoes back on waiting for the other two. I look up and see a man sitting on the bench across from me. He’s wearing a cap, a black t-shirt, black windpants and black tennis shoes. A man trying to blend into the crowd. What made me notice him? His arms. Those hairy arms that he always made fun of. Then I looked at his face. Yep, not daydreaming. I’m sitting across airport security from Robin FREAKING Williams!!!! It was funny because on our tour of the city the previous day, the guide mentioned that Robin was a resident of the city and that people frequently saw him around town. I just knew we never would see him.

The hubby finally emerges from the line and sees the look on my face. I cut my eyes toward the man on the bench and he looks down and the look on his face says “No way!” I nod emphatically, hoping I’m not calling attention to the man on the bench trying so hard not to be noticed. The hubby sits down a few feet away. Robin looks up, the hubby says “What’s up?” (No joke, just a nonchalant ‘what’s up’ to the biggest freaking comedian on the planet). I think he said Robin said “Not much” then continued on to either his flight or a private lounge. We couldn’t really see because we were still waiting for hubby’s friend to get through security. Turned out, they searched his bag because of the Pringles can of beach sand that showed up on the x-ray.

Anyway, I’ve had people tell me “It didn’t happen if you didn’t get a picture”.  Well, it did happen. And there’s no photograph because I recognized this human’s need for a bit of privacy and lack of attention. I’d like to think he knew I did that for him because I saw that need and that his head nod toward me was enough for me as a fan. Would I have loved to talk to him? Absolutely. But me getting to talk with him wasn’t as important as me respecting his unspoken wishes. And I really hope he knew.

No one but Robin will ever truly know the thoughts and feelings that coursed through his body. No one should sit in judgement of the way he chose to deal with those thoughts and feelings. I certainly won’t. I choose to remember the memories he gave us and the memories of my family members who have passed and shared my memories of Robin. He was a special man. A bright light on this Earth that lit the darkness for many of us, if even for a short time.  None of us know the journey another has taken. We can only offer them kindness and an ear to listen or a shoulder for support until they can move forward again.

In this world of hyper-connectivity, we’re losing the personal touches and some feel even more alone than before. Please do not judge…listen, connect.

Thanks for all the feels, Mr. Williams. You will be missed.

I’ll always keep you right here. <3

Telling time

“How do you tell time?”

This was one of the questions in a workshop I attended. Of course, my mind went to images of a clock, both digital and analog, a calendar, the usual. But that wasn’t what the presenter meant. It was about memories associated with a time in our lives.

Then I started thinking about it. One incident was when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. I don’t automatically say “January, 1986″.  No, my mind instantly says “Mr. Moyer’s science class, eighth grade”.  Same as when President Nixon passed away. My mind doesn’t think “April 1994″, it recalls “That happened three month’s after Mom died.”

See what I’m getting at? I never really thought about it when writing until that point. I’ve tried to work things into my writing, but it’s sometimes difficult because I don’t want to date my novels and have them only be relevant to the here and now. And I’m trying to convey time when the reader is just getting to know the characters.

What made me think about this was the audiobook I’m listening to. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon. It’s set in North Carolina in the early 1770’s. The American Revolution is in its infancy. The instance that got me thinking about time was the start of the battle at Lexington. Gabaldon doesn’t just give the reader the date and current events. It’s more involved than that.

Paul Revere's Ride - Source

Paul Revere’s Ride – Source

The character, Brianna Randall MacKenzie, wakes and realizes what day it is. She nudges her husband and says “Yesterday was the eighteenth of April.” She then begins to recite the Longfellow poem about Paul Revere’s ride warning that the British Regulars are planning an attack on the Colonist rebel militia. What makes the entire passage fascinating is the fact that Brianna was born in 1948, went to school in Boston during the 1950’s and 60’s and learned about the history of how the nation came to be as a child. During her recitation of the poem, the reader is subtly reminded of not only the current time (1775) but of Longfellow’s time when the poem was written (1855) and Brianna’s childhood (1950’s/60’s) and how the current events are literal history for Brianna and her husband Roger, a historian born in 1940.

What brought it even more to life for me this time around reading it was having been to Boston and seen both Old North Church and walked through Paul Revere’s house in the North End of Boston. Now that I’ve visited where these events happened, they come to life a bit easier for me.

Gabaldon’s illustration definitely gives the reader a fuller appreciate of the time and what is happening to the characters. And, I admit, as Brianna (voiced by Davina Porter) began reciting the poem, I found myself chiming in.

"Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere"

What instances of time telling have you read that made you stop and think about how you tell time?

Have a great week everyone!

OH! Don’t forget to check out the Goodreads giveaway for Renaissance Wench. Open until 7-27-14, click on the cover on the right side at the top of the page. It will take you straight to the giveaway!!

Melanie

Old North Church (and other Freedom Trail sites in Boston) – http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/freedom-trail/old-north-church.shtml

Renaissance Wench is available now!!

ebook_cover

That’s right, folks. Renaissance Wench is out there in the world, ready for you all to read! Here’s where you can get your copy. Don’t forget to share. I really love how this story turned out. Maybe this year, I’ll see if Simon or Callie are hanging out at the Renaissance Festival ;)

Here are the links!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Renaissance-Wench-Melanie-Macek-ebook/dp/B00LS61CSE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405559097&sr=1-1&keywords=melanie+macek

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457651

I’m still working on the Barnes and Noble formatting. Paperback will be available through Amazon or you can order one through the blog and I’ll send you an autographed copy.

Hope you feel moved to purchase a copy. If you do, I would appreciate if you left a review.

Melanie