Love Me Forever by Kate Hofman
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Blurb: Lydia Hawthorne is a serious novelist, much to the disappointment of her mother. While laying the groundwork for her new book, her cousin Edward introduces her to Armando Monteverdi, a very handsome police lieutenant. As they are getting to know one another, he begins investigating the murder of her godmother.
As their table was being tidied so that the dessert could be served, a tall, very handsome man entered the dining room and walked in their direction, glancing at the diners. Noticing him, Edward quickly stood to his feet and waved him over.
“Come and have dessert and coffee with us, Armando,” he invited quietly. Rick hastened to bring a chair, which he placed in the space beside Lydia. Edward nodded, pleased.
Edward then turned and said to the women, “This is my friend, Armando Monteverdi.” He gestured to Lydia, then to Mary. “My cousin Lydia Hawthorne and her friend Mary Westwood.” As the women held out their hands to shake Armando’s, Edward explained to them, “When we needed to add a member to the remaining founding members to help maintain our usual number, we unanimously elected Armando.”
Armando lifted one shoulder in a casual shrug. With a charming smile he said, “They only invited me because I’m a Police Lieutenant, and this way they can be sure of very prompt attention to any misbehaving member or guest!”
It was suggested to me by DCL staff that a piece about being a romance cover model or a Mr. Romance contestant would be great as the convention is going on.
I can say being involved in 3 past contests was a great experience on the whole, and of course it can be quite an ego boost. I can say I’ve made some friends that I still keep in touch with today. One day, perhaps even next year, I may visit the convention again. I had some questions put to me in regards to being a past model; such as am I ok that some women may only like me for my looks and muscles? Another statement given, what I thought about the fact that most women look at cover models as ‘unattainable’, and another was what I thought about the statement that “cover models are not intelligent.”
So first off, what do I think of only being seen as muscles or looks. Honestly, I would be surprised. I understand that some could see me that way I suppose, but I’ve always been slow to accept compliments that way. Moreover, if I were only seen that way, it’s not much of a compliment to me or the observer themselves. I suppose if women were only to see the models that way, that may explain why some of the visitors at conventions feel they can be so touchy feely with men they don’t even know. After all, if they are just muscles, it de-humanizes them almost to be being an object. I’d like to think I am worth a deeper look by anyone.
Now whether models are unattainable is another question, and I think it’s very specific per definition of unattainable. The idea I was given was whether the “average” woman could be with a cover model. The answer is of course she could. The problem lies in that whether you’re a cover model or not, every single person is drawn to certain physical types or personalities, hair colour or whatever. So I think it would be unfair to suggest a particular model is “unattainable” simply because he prefers someone over someone else. We all have a criteria, some of these “average” women could seem “unattainable” to certain “average” men who have asked them out and been rejected because they were too bald, too poor, too heavy… who knows. Are these women “unattainable”?…well to those gentlemen, I guess yes, they are. One thing that has puzzled me over the years is how a woman could look at the guys for his looks, his muscles, his smile, know almost nothing else about him, and then call him “unattainable” or superficial because she feels his rejection is based on her being heavy set and not taking time to get to know her on the inside. Yet she’s asking him out or even just to sleep with her based only on his outward appearance, not his heart or mind beyond some public persona. Maybe the guy is just not into one night stands. Maybe he is looking for someone equally dedicated to being in shape. Maybe he’s looking for someone that respects him enough to engage in real conversation before suggesting anything. Maybe he’s into brunettes and not blondes…and maybe even if the conversation is great, he is simply not physically attracted to you. He is not “unattainable”, he is simply selective.
Are cover models intelligent? Well, I think on the whole it would be no different than the percentage on the street. I imagine intelligence varies from person to person, model or not. The convention and the sight of some models can make some of the ladies act crazy, yet they are normally reserved, intelligent and in control, so time and place may change one’s judgment of the model too. Some models may play dumb because it’s easier or that’s what they think women want to hear, who knows. One can only get to know people, reserve as much judgment as possible, and allow experience to decide, if one must judge at all. And for what it’s worth, “cover models” also have women that are “unattainable” to them, we don’t always get the girl either…
DCL is a Proud Sponsor of The Midwest Writers Conference 2015
50 SHADES OF GREY with Lord David Deslandes
So…since the recent release of the movie and some controversy surrounding the movie, it was suggested I should write the blog about 50 Shades Grey. The fact is I haven’t seen the movie and from all reports, it doesn’t sound like it would be worth spending the money to go. As for the book, I haven’t read that either except for about 3 pages someone gave me to read, suggesting it was some really hot stuff. I was unimpressed with what I read. I didn’t find it ‘crazy’ or extreme or overly creative. I’m not sure what that says about me other than my own imagination is decent.
What I would like to focus a little on is the fact that some feel that this movie seems to highlight some measure of abuse: emotional, mental and physical. However, the various internet posts and comments I have heard seem to indicate that some people believe that extreme sex, or BDSM if you wish… is wrong, evil or some sort of avenue for abuse to take place. Unfortunately for these people, I do not believe this to be the case at all. To make it clear, I do not condone any kind of abuse but I think, like most things in this world, there is a good and bad side to everything. Basically, it is how it’s used that determines everything, much like a gun is nothing until put in the hands of a person.
There are people who no doubt will enjoy the movie and or book because they find it safe to explore elements of their imagination or sexual fantasies without any risk to themselves…nothing wrong with that. I read a post on Facebook the other day, “Women say they want a 50 shades sex life, but can’t handle a finger up their ass.” I think it’s actually a fair statement that many people enjoy the IDEA of certain sexual fantasies but could never see themselves following through with it and again, there’s nothing wrong with that either.
I am going to share something with you as to what I have instructed my own young daughter about in regards to sex, as we have had an open dialogue on it for some years. I informed her in a context she could understand that there are many kinds of sex and none are wrong or more right. I said to her imagine sex is like the time you have at recess to relax and have fun, to spend time with your friends. Some days you feel energetic and you want to play skipping or 4 square or tag. Maybe some days you just want to sit and quietly talk or sit alone and read or what else you may enjoy. But whatever activity you choose to spend your time on, you also choose to do that activity with someone who equally wants to do that and wants to be there with you playing that game; that it’s wrong for you to force or push your friends to play something they don’t really feel like and just as equally wrong for them to do it to you. I believe she understood the concept, though not officially stated, of MUTUAL CONSENT. Some people may question why I have spoken to her on this, but I don’t want her growing up and feeling that her fantasies or appetites are ‘wrong’ or that she should feel ashamed. Now I have also cautioned her to be careful who she shares those intimate aspects of herself with, especially as she begins to date. I know for myself, when I was about 20, I had a frank discussion with a young woman about sex, and apparently scared her with my ‘honesty’.
As adults, so long as we can mutually consent to a sexual activity we are engaging in, then there is no harm. It may be hard for some to understand various appetites but it doesn’t matter if they get it or not. If someone likes to dress up and role play or get spanked, tied up, have clothes pegs on their nipples, harsh language or names being spoken, or other things being done, it doesn’t matter so long as it is mutually accepted, agreed upon and desired. It is fair to say that not everything we try we will like. If there is a caution for adults, it is to be careful whom you open yourself up to, who you trust in this way and equally that not all fantasies have to be realized. Some can remain just that…a fantasy.
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Confessions of the Cleaning Lady-–
Stowed away in the trunk of a pharmaceutical representative from Killarney, a band of feisty Irish faeries is released in the outlying suburbs of Philadelphia, where Malachi McCurdy sets up bachelor housekeeping. In need of a housekeeper, he is introduced to Shawna Egan, unaware that “his” faeries have taken up residence in her oak tree. Shawna, who was raised with tales of the Fair Folk but never realized she can see them, learns it the hard way when she cuts down the tree in which they made a home. She gives them another and faeries always repay their debts. But Shawna has secrets, and although she knows Mal is what she is seeking, will he want her after he has heard the confessions of the cleaning lady? If so, he will need help from the Fae, for the dragons he must slay for his lady live in her mind.
When the son of Zeus and Aphrodite bumbles into a meadow south of Killarney, he is met by a band of indignant faeries outraged by his target practice. Soon, however, all the supernatural creatures are overshadowed by an estranged couple intent on fisticuffs! Can Cupid effect a reconciliation between the humans? Or is just a wee bit of intervention by the Fae in order?