Friday, September 30, 2011

Making Public Decisions TOO Personal

In 2006 a Buffalo Grove [IL] High School board member, elected amid promises to bring her Christian beliefs into all board decision-making, challenged The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan and others based on "excerpts from the books she'd found on the Internet."  The books were all retained.

Wow, this one stunned me and, after reading about it a few years ago, I still find it deeply disturbing.  Okay, scary actually, really very scary.

Visit the ALA to find out more about Banned Books Week.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Queen of the Week

I remember reading and loving Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Blubber, Forever, Otherwise Known as Shelia the Great, The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo and many many more by Judy Blume, a anti-censorship advocate who has written many books that have been challenged and/orbanned.  Most were retained, some out right banned, and others had rules applied in order to keep them somewhat available.

13 books have been challenged, for a variety of reasons, and thankfully she continues to write today!

Visit the ALA to find out more about Banned Books Week.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Snow White was Challenged?

Back in 1992 students in Duval [FL] County public school libraries restricted students unless they had parental permission to check out Snow White by Jacob Grimm because of it's graphic violence:  "a hunter kills a wild boar, and a wicked witch orders Snow White's heart torn out."

I remember watching the Disney movie based on this story as a child and, yes, I was scared, but not tramatized.  It didn't teach me to kill or wish to tear out someone's heart either.  What it did was encourage me to see every Disney fairy tale flick up through adulthood when Entangled was released and for my imagination to feel free to explore and grow exponentially.

If you're interested in fairy tales in their original format, a book I frequently revisit and highly recommend is The Annotated Brothers Grimm by Maria Tatar.  It delves into the brothers mindset at the time they were written as well as how they were altered over time.

Visit the ALA to find out more about Banned Books Week.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My All Time Favorite Banned Book

Every year I reread the same book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which has gone through many many challenges that seem to change over the decades.

In the 70's the complaints were to the words "damned" and "whore lady".  The 80's saw the most progression with challengers claiming it was a "filthy, trashy novel" to the book doing "psychological damage to the positive integration process" to finally the use of the word "nigger".  The latter issue is the one that has carried the most weight ever since.

This is a book I remember reading in high school and, probably because it was "required", I didn't take all that much away from it - not like I did the movie.  It was because I reread this book as an adult that I took so much more away from it and thoroughly appreciate Harper Lee's claim that she doesn't need to write another book because she said it all in the first one.

I like going back and reading those books we were told to read in school, under a timeline and with a test at the end, and discover all that I missed the first time around.

Visit the ALA to find out more about Banned Books Week.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A World Without Dictionaries is Unimaginable

Yes, Dictionaries are another surprising area where books are often challenged/banned - shocking!

We used them when we were first learning to read and write, and I still use them today as a writer.  My favorite happens to be the frequently challenged American Heritage Dictionary and I often refer to it and my theausarus.  Fortunately, students in Sparks [NV] elementary school classrooms had 1100 Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary returned to their classrooms in 1993 after a sixth grade teacher objected because it contained obscene words.

Visit the ALA to find out more about Banned Books Week.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Religious Texts Are Not Exempt from Challengers

The Bible, Koran and Talmud are only three of the many religious books to be challenged and/or banned.

In 1993 a challenged from the Noel Wien Library in Fairbanks [AK] claimed the Bible was "obscene and pornographic", but was retained.  This isn't an old problem or found just a US problem.  1986 found Ethiopia under a socialist military government who confiscated and/or destroyed the Koran.

My personal opinion is that intolerance, ignorance and general lack of respect for other religions plays a big part in todays troubles.  They shouldn't be ignored or insulted, that path will never end well.

Visit the ALA to find out more about Banned Books Week.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Banned Books Week is, Unfortunately, Here

Unfortunately, it's that time of year when the ALA let people know that they are those amongst us that try to BAN a book(s).  Sad, but true.  What I wish these folks would do is very simple:  If a book does not appeal to you, close the cover and pick up another.

We aren't all the same and many of us like to think for ourselves, so, with that in mind, here's the list of the Top 10 Challenged* Books for 2010.

1.   And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson [print]
2.   The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie [print]
3.   Brave New World by Aldous Huxley [ebook and print]

4.   Crank by Ellen Hopkins [ebook and print]

5.   The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins [ebook and print]

6.   Lush by Natasha Friend [ebook and print]

7.   What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones [ebook and print]

8.   Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich [ebook and print]

9.   Revolutionary Voices edited by Amy Sonnie
10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer [ebook and print]

My suggestion is to pick one of these books or another from the list - so easy now that most are available in an ebook format - and read it with the pleasure of knowing you can choose to read any book you want to read, not only what someone else think you should read.

*=Challenged does not always lead to a book being banned, but it is still of great concern.  Each challenge of a book is one made against our personal freedoms.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Moon Over Paradise went to...

Moon Over Paradise by Tom Brown
Love this little gem of a painting.  When I first saw it, besides reminding me of Missing in Paradise which had just been released, it brought to mind many nocturnal happenings that take place beneath a moon which make us happy, and hopefully Sweet Vernal Zephyr will be just as inspired.

Congrats, darlin', and enjoy!

Thank you all for entering - I had fun doing this contest and, if I find another painting inspiring and want to share, I'll definitely do this again.

Missing in Paradise by Tilly Greene
contemporary erotic romance + bondage

When the love of Mike’s life breaks up with him abruptly, he doesn’t know where to turn. Mary is an emotional mess who reacts without thinking, and immediately regrets her decision. Making things right with Mike isn’t easy. It requires privacy to rebuild their love and share their lust. Neither expects their getaway to become a major news story.

The tattooed retired surfer and daytime TV star are opposites, yet perfect for each other. But paradise isn’t easy on them. Their bond will need to stand up to the strain of a public-relations nightmare if they have any hope of making it work.

Mistakes are made and they need privacy to fix things, but what about the media?

Buy from Ellora's CaveAll RomanceAmazonBN

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Emmy Fashion Thoughts

Emmy night was a fashionable sea of red and black, neither of which is easy to distinguish on the red carpet or on film.

Ok, that's not entirely fair to say, but it pretty much narrows it down to what I remember of the nights fashion.  Just because there were mainly two colors worn doesn't mean they were bad.  The red camp was where Kate Winslet looked wonderful in Elie Saab, Kerry Washington to die for in a liquid red Zuhair Murad gown and Sofia Vegara nailed it in a more tangerine Vera Wang.  On the black side it was Evan Rachel Wood in sparkling Elie Saab, Naya Rivera in an architectural Lloyd Klein, Lena Headey was gorgeously covered in Alessandra Rich [with hot pink shoes occassionally peaking out from beneath the hem] and yes I loved the Pucci Gwyneth Paltrow wore, just not on her - sorry.

So if those were all good, what were my favs?

Easy, they weren't red, black or loud colors, they were much subtle and that made them stand out even more.

From left to right, it's Amber Riley in Simon Taghdiri, Rashida Jones in Alberta Ferretti and Elisabeth Moss in Marchesa.  Love the colors, the subtle emellishments, the structure of the gowns and how well they suit each woman, all of it.  If I had to choose just one as a fav, the it would be the Alberta Ferretti as worn by Rashida Jones - I'd wear that one in a heart beat and not change a thing.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

B/W and Steaming Hump Day

There are plenty of words that come to mind with this picture of Nik Thakkar as photographed by Joseph Sinclair and seen on Homotography, but I'm saving them for a story.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Aprhodisiac, Enhancer or Weapon?

"The myth of Spanish fly's aprodisiac powers comes from the defensive chemical it secretes, cantharidin.  When ingested, it inflames the urinary tract so much that it can cause a painful and long-lasting erection known as priapism.  In sufficient quantities it leads to inflammation of the digestive tract, kidney damage, and even death.  Marquis de Sade - and countless others - had confused this condition with sexual arousal and mistakenly believed that it would have a similar effect in women."

What did I learn from Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart?

Spanish fly is most definitely not an aphrodisiac like chocolate, unless - I think - sadism and masachism are what gets you off.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What do you see?

Where does your eye go in this pic by fab photographer Tony Duran?

The apple?

Mine goes to the cute black dress and spectacular belt!

The tattoo is fake, but if you go to Homotography and check out the rest of the photo shoots pics, you'll find it appears in rather intriguing places.

Again, thank you Tony :-)

Friday, September 09, 2011

I Did a Bad Bad Thing and it led to Contest Time!

Moon Over Paradise by Tom Brown

Missing in Paradise, a contemporary erotic romance with some bondage, is my most recent release and it happens to be set in an area I know really well - the Southern California coastline.  That's where I was born and grew up, and still visit a couple of times a year.

One of the more unique qualities to my home town is that it was known back in the day and still is as a artists' colony.  What does that mean?  On any given day you can walk down to the beach and see an artist painting.  Trust me when I say creativity, whatever way it might be expressed, was never discouraged.

Something I took away from this outlook on life is the ability to embrace the joy a painting can offer.  It doesn't have to be big, ornate or expensive, however, what it does is open a window for the viewer to travel through - much like a writer does with words.

So, with that in mind, this little jewel* of a painting, picked because I enjoy Tom Brown's work, loved it in particular and the subject matter/title - Moon Over Paradise - reminded me of Missing in Paradise, is the prize and all you have to do is tell me what the month/date your birthday is - yes, it's that simple!

You have 9 days [through September 18th] to either comment here [ensuring an email addy I can contact you at is present] or email me the month and date of your birth.

And, yes, this contest is open to those who live abroad as well!

Have fun and fingers crossed you get a bit of paradise :-)

*=Brown defines the piece thusly: "Paintings this size are known by various names such as miniatures, ACEOs (Art Cards Editions and Originals), postcard paintings or pocket paintings. And they are highly collectible. This painting is a mere 4”x3”. It can be displayed in an elegant frame, and yet it is small enough to fit in your pocket or use as a one-of-a-kind bookmark. It is painted with genuine oil paints on an art card and will be shipped in a plastic protective sleeve."

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Missing in Paradise by Tilly Greene is OUT!

Missing in Paradise by Tilly Greene
contemporary erotic romance + bondage

eBook now available at Ellora's Cave

When the love of Mike’s life breaks up with him abruptly, he doesn’t know where to turn. Mary is an emotional mess who reacts without thinking, and immediately regrets her decision. Making things right with Mike isn’t easy. It requires privacy to rebuild their love and share their lust. Neither expects their getaway to become a major news story.

The tattooed retired surfer and daytime TV star are opposites, yet perfect for each other. But paradise isn’t easy on them. Their bond will need to stand up to the strain of a public-relations nightmare if they have any hope of making it work.


Mary Miller breathed deeply of the fresh salty air as she sat on the beach and watched Mother Nature do her thing. Waves crashed with a roar, rushed onto shore only to disintegrate and return to the ocean with a gentle swishing sound. The motion was a constant, predictable and yet never the same. She didn’t know when it happened, but at some point the beach had become an example of what she wanted out of life. No sharp edges or harsh points to cause pain throughout a unique journey.

The peacefulness of the beach at dawn eased into her pores and pushed out the tension. A slight breeze carried ocean spray to her uplifted face. There was only one blotch on her otherwise wonderful life. Mike Kane, the man she loved and had broken up with before he eventually walked out on her. They were great together and she’d wanted forever with him, except she knew they wouldn’t last that long. Leaving before she was left had been her solution for self-preservation. Unfortunately, she’d handled it all wrong and had only herself to blame.

Sipping her coffee, she watched a surfer ride a wave in with a variety of moves, before turning back over the crest and heading out for more. Maybe it was relaxing on the beach or watching surfers tackle the waves, but he was there in her head. She needed to figure out what to do next. As for the decision to leave first, she knew ending their time together hadn’t been right from the beginning, but had done it anyway and regretted it ever since.

“Hey,” the casual one word greeting startled her, but it was a large board and paddle dropping to the sand that made her jump. She looked up to see the man she’d been thinking about sit at her side. Encased in a full wetsuit, he rested his arms on bent knees as he checked out the waves.

Mary hadn’t a clue what to say or do to ease the tension between them. They’d been friends as kids, sweethearts in high school and finally lovers as adults. She didn’t want to lose him, but needed to think about what was best for her mental state.

Knowing an apology was necessary and actually giving one were two different things. She had no idea where to start, but knew simply saying sorry wouldn’t be nearly enough. Turning to look at him, she was struck by how handsome he was and her body responded to his sensual appeal. Didn’t her brain know it should be taking the lead right then, not her physical need for him. Apparently the two parts of her weren’t talking either and the pulse of desire beating in her pussy managed to rev up her hunger to be held by Mike again.

Had she said hello? She couldn’t remember saying anything and was shocked. Then again, it wasn’t a total surprise. Obviously Mike Kane robbed her of common sense. Looking at him closely, she soaked in every bit of flesh hidden away and left highlighted by the black rubber suit. Only his head, hands and feet were visible, and she felt compelled to wrap her arms and legs around him and never let go.

An onshore breeze helped the waves rise higher and delightfully rumpled his brown hair. She loved when it was in need of a cut. A little long so the strands curled a bit around the ears and neck. He’d probably rolled out of bed, put on the wetsuit and come out to paddle over the cold water. The man emoted sex and her need for his touch grew in strength. Her breath caught in the back of her throat when he turned and met her gaze. There was something there deep in the beautiful brown orbs that made her flinch, but they were connected. With the bond made, she was reminded of the last time they were intimate and wished they were making love instead of not talking to each other on the beach.

As if he read her mind, Mike suddenly held her as if he’d never let go and she was exactly where she wanted to be—held by him.

Momentum took them down to the sand where he held her hands on the sand by her head. Unable to manage a single word to either tell him yes or no, and it was definitely a yes, she gasped with pleasure when he threw a rubber covered leg over hers. The move hadn’t been necessary because there was no chance she’d leave.

In a heartbeat, his lips pressed firmly against hers and all she knew was how much she wanted whatever he offered. What they shared was not soft or tender, but what passed between them was filled with turmoil of raw passion and emotions.

He opened his mouth, ran his tongue across the seam as if demanding entrance and hers opened, ready to be ravished. They circled and danced around each other, hungry for the link they’d shared before. Thankfully Mike couldn’t ignore her need for his possession. He teased her passion to the surface and promised fulfillment. At first the kiss they shared was packed with what she believed was desire and love, then lust denied rushed forward and wouldn’t be ignored.

It was pure coincidence that he’d come down to the beach to paddle and collect his thoughts before seeing Mary, only to find her calmly watching the dawn’s surfers. Everything he’d planned to say to her fled as blood pumped through his body. Mike inhaled deeply to try to gain stability, only he caught a whiff of her flowery scent and was lost. He reached out and took what he wanted. The woman he loved was in his arms, beneath him, and he showed her what they had together.

Missing in Paradise by Tilly Greene
contemporary erotic romance + bondage

eBook now available at Ellora's Cave

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

What a Surfer Treasures

My BIL surfs and stand up paddle boards, and he collects surfboards like I do books.  He goes on surfing holidays, reads surfing magazines, and would thoroughly enjoy riding a board by Roy Stewart, a master craftsman from his home country of New Zealand.

One board called The Baron, 12 foot long and 27 inches wide, weighs 45 pounds, costs $528,000 and is gorgeous!

I know Mike Kane, the hero of Missing in Paradise [September 7th at Ellora's Cave], would love to take this baby out for a long ride.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Naughty Thought for Monday

Jean Paul Gaultier Botte Secrète Gown
Coming towards a person they see classic elegance and from the back, they see the tie them up and treat them like they're showing they want!

This was one of the options for Mary Miller, the heroine of Missing in Paradise [September 7th at Ellora's Cave], to wear on a night out before the media.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

It's almost time...

El Porto Manhattan Beach LA by Pedro Sezekly
I love this photo of a Southern California sunset, they are truly stunning moments in time which is why I couldn't miss writing one into Missing in Paradise [September 7th at Ellora's Cave].

Friday, September 02, 2011

Want to laugh?

The Best Drunk Story of the Month

Be a Man by Bruno Fracassa
A drunken man walks into a biker bar, sits down at the bar and orders a drink. Looking around, he sees three men sitting at a corner table. He gets up, staggers to the table, leans over,looks the biggest, meanest, biker in the face and says: "I went by your grandma's house today and I saw her in the hallway buck-naked. Man, she is one fine looking woman!"

The biker looks at him and doesn't say a word. His buddies are confused, because he is one bad biker and would fight at the drop of a hat.

The drunk leans on the table again and says: "I got it on with your grandma and she is good, the best I ever had!"

The biker's buddies are starting to get really mad but the biker still says nothing.

The drunk leans on the table one more time and says, "I'll tell you something else, boy, your grandma liked it!"

At this point the biker stands up,takes the drunk by the shoulders looks him square in the eyes and says...

"Grandpa...Go home!"

**Oh, S, you're wicked - thank you for the laugh!**

Thursday, September 01, 2011

An Easy Craft Project

Here it goes - I have a jewelry box filled with lovely baubles and also a multitude of smaller boxes, placed tidily in two different rooms filled with treasures from the past I want to keep, but not necessarily wear, although I might want to for fun.

How can I see what I have and actually wear them, not just leave them to reside in boxes?

I need to find a rack. yes, a garden rack - preferably an old rusted out one with character.

This interesting hint for repurposing an item was found in an article called DIY Decor Inspiration: 14 Eco Crafts for the Home found on Web Ecoist.  I found the site while researching Missing in Paradise [September 7th at Ellora's Cave], where the heroine, Mary Miller, professional monikers are the Queen of Green and the Guru of Reuse.

A few hints that I enjoyed are passed on in the book, but not this one.