Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Question Of The Month: The Housework Edition

If the Housework Fairy could wave her magic wand so that you would be exempt from one household chore for the rest of your life, what would you choose, and why? 

Jennifer Lohmann: There's no way laundry can top cleaning the bathroom for awful chores. Especially the toilet. 

Pamela Hearon:  Cleaning the litter box is my least favorite chore.  My cat is an old diva (16 years old!) and, yes, I'm thankful she uses the litter box still.  But two litter boxes, each used several times a day, keeps me hopping!  And it's always YUKKY!

Cathryn Parry:  Vacuuming.  Vacuuming makes me cry. Luckily, I traded this with my husband--he vacuums, cooks and grocery shops.  I do the rest.  (I think I made a good deal.)  :-)

Vicki Essex: Just one chore? 

I'd love to have someone else clean the windows--something I never do anyhow!
Jeannie Watt:  I love doing laundry, but I hate folding and ironing. My idea of heaven is to be able to make the clothes clean and have someone else put them away.
Laura Drake: Bad time to ask...I'm moving into my new house, so I'd say unpacking! But that's not truly housework, so I'll have to say vacuuming. After I had back surgery, I couldn't do it anymore - it flat hurt! So my dear Alpha Dog solved the problem. Three days later, Rosie, our robotic vacuum showed up (named after the robotic maid in the the Jetsons). See, it turns out, Texans don't DO vacuuming.

Claire McEwen: I know a lot of people have said cleaning the toilet is the worst, and I agree, but I'd add that cleaning the area around and behind the toilet is my least favorite of all!

Kris Fletcher: Wait - you mean we're supposed to be cleaning these things?

Now chime in, readers, and let us know what job YOU would gladly give up to the Housework Fairy. Remember, misery loves company!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Retro Sewing

By Jeannie Watt

I've been absent from the blog for a few months, having finally popped back in during February to share my scary slippers. I started a new job last fall and it's been a huge time suck--much greater than I'd anticipated. Add a few book deadlines to the mix and, well, something had to give. Yes....it was housework.

During this time of settling into the job and being terrorized by deadlines, however, I have become deeply involved in a new hobby that allows my brain some vacation time--I collect and sew vintage patterns.

If you will be kind enough to understand that the pattern illustrations are purposely elongated, and my body is the opposite of elongated, I'll share with you some of the patterns I've collected and sewn over the past year.

From the early 1930s:

The pattern:
The reality:
Yes, I wore it to work.

From the early 1940s:

The pattern:

The reality:
I really am happy here, but the sun is frying my eyes, which I am desperately trying to keep open.

From the 1950s:

The pattern:


The more compact reality:


My next project is also from the 1940s. I plan to start it next week.


I'm thinking of making an entire vintage wardrobe to wear to RWA Nationals this year. Of course, I also have to write a few books and finish the school year at the same time, however I'm hopeful that I may be able to pull it off. (If you're interested in following my progress, please join me on my sewing  blog.)

It's great to be back!

Jeannie




Friday, March 14, 2014

The Gift of Nagging

The best gift I ever gave my husband was to nag him.

Last summer, I noticed that a mole on his back had changed. I knew that a change in a mole can be a sign of skin cancer, and since my husband is a pale-skinned redhead, his risk factor was already higher than for the general population. I told him to go to the doctor. He, being a typical guy :-), assured me that.nothing was wrong, he felt fine, and I was being paranoid.

But the mole bothered me. My gut said this wasn't something that required the usual "wait and see" approach. So I nagged. And researched. And nagged some more until, just to shut me up, he made an appointment.

You can guess the rest of the story. The doctor took one look at the mole, said, "I don't like the look of that," and removed it immediately. There were stitches and tests, multiple appointments and new doctors. The official diagnosis -  melanoma - led to more procedures and more doctors and robbed me of the ability to breathe.

As one doctor removed his stitches, she told my husband that he owed me a big bouquet of flowers. (His classic response - "But those are expensive!" was met by the doc's ever-so-practical. "Not if you buy them at the grocery store." Which he did.) But as welcome as the flowers were - hey, I'm not going to turn down a pretty bouquet! - my best gift came this morning when my husband was pronounced cancer-free. Better yet, because this was caught so early there is no need for any additional treatment. He will still need to be watched for a possible recurrence, of course, but the odds are overwhelmingly in his favor.

I am one very happy nagger.

Dear readers, I am not usually one to race myself or my family to the doctor. (Witness my complaint to my doc last May that something was wrong with my elbow. She asked when it started hurting. My answer? February.) But there are times when haste is our very best friend. Skin cancer rates are rising rapidly. I urge you all to make yourselves aware of the signs, take precautions, and listen to your guts.

And never, ever hesitate to nag. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

DABWAHA madness has begun

On Monday, the nominees for the DABWAHA tournament were posted and THREE Super Authors were nominated, The First Move from Jennifer Lohmann, Back to the Good Fortune Diner by Vicki Essex, and The Other Side of Us by Sarah Mayberry.

Don't know what DABWAHA is? During the month of March, much of American shuts down to watch the college basketball tournament (March Madness). Inspired by that madness, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Dear Author have set up a tournament pitting romance novels against one another. After the wild card books are chosen (you can suggest your favorites until the 15th via this form), everyone will set up a bracket and then the voting will begin! The smack talk on twitter has already started.

So, Superromance fans, we're looking for your support. Bracket Sunday is March 16th. Voting starts on the 18th. Make sure you set up a bracket and vote, vote, vote! Tell your friends to vote. If you set up a bracket, there are some awesome prizes.

Got questions about DABWAHA? Ask 'em in comments and I'll try to answer (I may be slow, but I will answer).

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Winner of a copy of IN HER CORNER

The winner of a copy of my latest mixed martial arts romance, IN HER CORNER, is...




Congratulations!



Please email me at vicki@vickiessex.com with your mailing address and I'll send it ASAP!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mixed Martial Arts, Romance and My Latest Book


The opening of the month means new Superromance books, and this March includes my second novel to feature mixed martial arts, titled In Her Corner.

From the jacket cover:

Bella Fiore has a lot to prove. For three generations her family has dominated the world of mixed martial arts—a tradition Bella dreams of carrying on. Her family, on the other hand, doesn’t agree. Without their support, she’s relying on the coaching of medal-winning Kyle Peters.
Training with Kyle is not what Bella expects. They’re constantly butting heads. And with the body of a Greek Adonis, Kyle’s mat technique isn’t her only focus. Not that this attraction can go any further. She has a title to win! Yet when Kyle proves Bella can always rely on him, a championship may not be the only thing worth fighting for….

People ask, why put romance together with mixed martial arts? It can be a bloody, brutal sport, certainly, but the men and women who dedicate themselves to MMA are amazing, fascinating people. Apart from being some of the world’s greatest athletes, many fighters have really interesting back stories about how or why they got into the sport, and I hoped to capture a slice of that in my books.

Women’s mixed martial arts is especially exciting for me to follow. WMMA has finally gotten on the radar since the world’s largest MMA promoter, the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), had its first women’s match, and an all-female league, Invicta FC, started last year. The level of strength, skill, commitment, perseverance and sheer grit these ladies have blows my mind. They face regular criticism for entering a realm dominated by men, some of whom still believe women do not belong in the cage. And while the UFC has finally recognized female fighters, there are still so many challenges these women—and all women—face. I got to explore sexism, genderism, misogyny, and the microaggressions women put up with daily when writing In Her Corner, and it helped me understand a lot about my own life, too.



I’m giving away one copy of IN HER CORNER to a commenter! Tell me: what are your thoughts about mixed martial arts? Have you or would you watch a fight between women? Why or why not? Draw takes place Friday, March 7! Winner will be announced March 8.
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