Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Filtering History

Yesterday KJ Charles did a guest post on Joyfully Jay's blog, wherein she warned against 'timewashing', or applying a contemporary mindset to characters in historical fiction. To a certain extent it's unavoidable, because modern readers don't really want to know the nitty gritty about sanitary, health, and hygiene practices from back in the day, but Ms. Charles argues that when it comes to sexism, racism, and gender/orientation issues, a writer needs to be a lot more careful.

I mean, if your hero is the only guy in his entire 19th century Southern American town who doesn't have a lick of racism in him, he might not be quite believable.


Timewashing. It's a cool word, and it got me thinking about another challenge for writers of historical fiction: The status quo rendering of history may not be accurate.

What do I mean by that?

Basically, if your understanding of history comes from a textbook, you might think every important thing was accomplished by a jowly white dude with a funky haircut and a badly fitting suit.

(Insert a mash-up of Winston Churchill and Walter Cronkite here.)

Or these guys. They fit the description.

Anyone who has read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States knows what I'm talking about. There's what happened in the history books, and then there's what actually happened. You just have to dig a little to figure out what part women, people of color, and people with different orientations played.

Let's look at some examples. 

Have you ever heard of Edmonia Lewis? She's one of the 100 Greatest African Americans...

"Motto edmonia lewis original" by Henry Rocher - National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

Edmonia Lewis was a sculptor who studied at Oberlin College and in Rome. Among the highlights of her career, she sculpted a bust of Henry Longfellow, and her work was displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Once, long ago, I studied Longfellow in school. 

I never heard of Edmonia Lewis until I started making this post.

Another example is given by the women who fought in the Civil War - as soldiers. 

Frances ClaytonMissouri Artillery and Cavalry units.

Something like 400 women fought in the Civil War. Motivated by the same things as their male counterparts - patriotism, mobility, money - they disguised themselves and did battle. Some were discovered when they were wounded or killed. Some were simply never discovered. You could argue the reason their contribution is overlooked is that their numbers were small and they made an effort to remain invisible. 

But maybe we overlook them because they don't fit the expected narrative for how that war was fought.

Shared tombstone of Charity Bryant and Sylvia Drake, a 19th century lesbian couple.

Here's another thing that might not fit the expected narrative: same-sex couples who lived together and were treated by their communities like they were married. Click on the tombstone picture or the link at the bottom of this post to read more about Miss Bryant and Miss Drake. Their story is a pretty compelling argument against the idea that same-sex marriage is a modern construct.

When I was doing research for my novel Aqua Follies, I read about MacIver Wells and John Chadwick, a gay couple who moved to Seattle from Canada in 1957 to open a gay bar. They had some trouble getting permission to stay, because "the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 specified that "aliens afflicted with psychopathic personality" should be excluded from the United States." (Gay Seattle, GL Atkins, 2003

Because gay men were included in the definition for "psychopathic personality".

The Immigration agent who interviewed Mac and John pointed out that they'd  lived together for years, they owned a house together, and they held joint bank accounts, however when they challenged him to prove they'd had sexual relations, he couldn't, so they were allowed to stay in Seattle. 

To me, one of the most interesting things about their story was that two men owned a house together and shared a bank account. They were living - and sharing - their lives, and only when they immigrated to the US did they run into any trouble with authorities. They had to know people, to have friends and family and community. Maybe, as appears to have been the case with Miss Bryant and Miss Drake, their immediate circle knew about their relationship in an abstract way, but didn't want to know the specifics.

And maybe I'm optimistic, but I think on the microscopic, everyday level, people are more accepting of each other's differences that we give them credit for. I certainly don't have the academic background to make big broad statements, but I have to wonder if the trauma associated with World War II led to the pervasive conformity seen in the 1950s (Hello, Senator McCarthy), and if that conformity filtered a great deal of what we otherwise might know of as history.

So women and people of color were taking part in word affairs and LGBTQ people didn't magically spring into existence sometime after Stonewall in 1969. There are more stories than what you find in a standard history textbook, and if you're going to write those stories, you need to both pay attention to historic ideas and attitudes, but also look for real-life examples of people who didn't fit into stereotypes. Any story will be much stronger if it's grounded in the truth.

If you would like to do some more reading, jump HERE for more about Edmonia Lewis, HERE for more about women who fought in the Civil War, and HERE for more about Miss Bryant and Miss Drake. And if you actually do know about history, let me know what you think about my theory that '50s conformity played a role in whitewashing (timewashing?) history.


Monday, March 23, 2015

A.O. Peart Cover Reveal - I just can't resist! (@Angela_Peart)

Cover Reveal

I'm not a real book blogger, you know? I don't have multiple posts every day, telling you about what's new and interesting. I do, however, have at least one guest every week. They're someone I know, mostly friends of mine or my friend's friends. Angela Peart's like my neighbor, so when I saw her cover reveal on the Book Enthusiast's site, I jumped at the chance to play hostess. And O.M.G but these McCoy Raven Brothers covers are COOL! Keep scrolling for blurbs and excerpts and pretty pictures (VERY pretty pictures!) and a giveaway at the bottom!

Hawthorne Bridge Across Willamette River by Portland Oregon Wate

Book Title: Resist Me (McCoy Raven Brothers, 1) Author: A.O. Peart Genre: Romantic Suspense Release Date: August 2014 Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Goodreads Button with Shadow

Hawthorne Bridge Across Willamette River by Portland Oregon Wate

Book Title: Reclaim Me (McCoy Raven Brothers, 2) Author: A.O. Peart Genre: Romantic Suspense Release Date: December 2014
Goodreads Button with Shadow

Book Blurb
Hawthorne Bridge Across Willamette River by Portland Oregon Wate

Resist Me - Standalone Book One in the McCoy Raven Brothers series

One fateful morning changes everything.

Lisbeth, the lone spectator of a shocking murder, believes the FBI witness protection program may be the only way for her to survive. But when a powerful explosion reduces the safe house to ashes, killing all of the FBI agents on duty, will she turn to a perfect stranger for help? 

Ethan, a former-Marine-turned-firefighter, has never really cared for any woman. He lives his life to the fullest, enjoying the bad boy stigma and cultivating a particular taste for dominant sex. Girls come and go, allowed to stay only long enough to satisfy Ethan’s wild appetite. 

 One morning at dawn, Ethan’s fire brigade is called to a fatal house explosion that levels the structure. When he pries open a trap door to the hidden panic room located under the house, he finds a gorgeous, though disheveled brunette. Lisbeth instantly turns Ethan’s world upside down, and he’s overcome by the burning desire to protect her, no matter the consequences.

Hawthorne Bridge Across Willamette River by Portland Oregon Wate 

Reclaim Me - Standalone Book Two in the McCoy Raven Brothers series

When the past comes charging back, the choice is never easy.

Abused as a child, Willow Conrad has managed to develop compassion for others early in life. She believes there is some good in every person, even in the “lost souls”. But when Seth, her boyfriend, loses his temper one last time, she is left badly beaten and broken inside.

Jack McCoy has finally grown up. He used to engage in street brawls to release his anger and reassure himself of his own worth. Serving in the Marine Corps and then becoming a firefighter has put his life back on track.

When Jack’s friend asks him to help Willow, he doesn’t hesitate, despite a reckless predicament he narrowly escaped that very evening. But when he stands face-to-face with Willow, he knows his past is back to haunt him.

Will they take the second chance and let not-so-forgotten feelings resurface and blossom, moving past what drove them apart before? Or will Jack relapse into his destructive ways and lose Willow forever?
All Books in the McCoy Raven Brothers series are standalone with no cliffhangers and feature a HEA. They can be read in any order.

All McCoys_black_and_white

Hawthorne Bridge Across Willamette River by Portland Oregon Wate

Resist Me

I don’t know how long I stood like this, but when I looked around, Ethan was sitting on the log a few feet away, watching me with the tiniest smile on his lips. Did he understand what I was feeling? And for a flitting moment, I believed that we actually gazed into each other’s souls.

He slowly stood up, his eyes locked with mine. Taking a few slow steps, he came very close to me. There was something predatory in his stride, but that didn’t frighten me. Instead, it made me long for his touch. I didn’t move. Ethan’s hands gently ran over my arms. His smile disappeared, and his handsome, masculine features rearranged into an intense, possessive look. 

This alone—his expression and his caress—left me breathless, my heart pumping. I froze in anticipation. My lips parted. His right hand came to the back of my neck. His fingers wrapped in my hair, gently tugging my head back until my face upturned toward his. His other hand pressed on the small of my back, bringing our bodies dangerously close.

He kissed me, and I truly welcomed that kiss. No, I actually embraced it.

At first, it was tender, as if he wasn’t sure how I would respond. When I didn’t pull back, his lips skillfully explored mine. His tongue darted from between them, teasing me, testing my reaction. I parted my lips and let him in. He took my mouth with such hunger as if he wanted to kiss me forever.

His sharp intake of breath sent a wave of hot desire through me. I’ve never been kissed like this—so tenderly but intensely and adeptly at the same time. He tasted of mint toothpaste and smelled of a delicious mixture of soap, something musky, and something very male.

I moaned into his mouth. He inhaled again, and his tongue licked deep inside my mouth, sliding over mine, possessing me. This was the sweetest torment I’ve ever experienced. I was lost in this kiss; I was lost in this moment. The feel of serenity and peace I felt just seconds earlier was quickly replaced by sexual tension; by pure, shameless desire.

Ethan pulled away, panting slightly, his expression laced with longing and pain. It sobered me in an instant, and I stepped away from him. I hung my head, taking deep, calming breaths. This wasn’t the way. This shouldn’t have happened.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I should’ve never done that. It won’t happen again.”

I looked at him. “It’s not entirely your fault. I wasn’t exactly fighting you off.”

He clenched his jaw and walked away. I touched my lips, swollen from his amazingly devouring mouth. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted him, and that he wanted me too.

Oh, that immediately complicated my situation… our situation. Why did I let myself get lost in him? How could I forget the reason I was here with Ethan? Stupid, stupid, stupid me. I was mortified and mad with myself. Now what? Staying with Ethan in the cabin was going to be, mildly speaking, awkward.

Ethan_Meet the Raven

Hawthorne Bridge Across Willamette River by Portland Oregon Wate

Reclaim Me

 “Shhh. Go and stand on the stairs right below the landing.”

Without protest, she did exactly as she was told. Positioned to the left of the door, I waited, for more than one minute, keeping my body motionless but ready to spring, if necessary. I sensed Willow’s uneasiness. She had no idea what was going on or what to expect, based on my weird reaction. That must’ve been very confusing for her, but I couldn’t explain now. 

And then it happened as I predicted—the apartment door opened just a notch. My core muscles hardened and I kept as far to my left of the door as the adjacent wall allowed. That way, whoever was on the other side would see the area to my right—and their left—first, which gave me a couple of seconds’ advantage before they could notice me. 

With my left arm in front of me for protection and my right arm bent, drawn back for more impact and my fist ready, I was in the most optimal position to attack if necessary. But I couldn’t make any move before I knew for sure that the person on the other side of the door wasn’t Rita. 

The door creaked a little and opened wider, revealing a stocky, middle-aged guy in a dark hoodie. I stepped in front of him and, in one practiced motion, drew my right arm back farther, clenched my fist, and delivered a powerful upper cut. That should’ve caught him square in the jaw, but he was fast and blocked me with his forearm then countered with a precise punch toward my torso. 

Willow screamed. I blocked the punch, twisting at the hips to avoid most of the impact. That in turn drew my assailant forward, throwing him off balance. I took advantage of his momentary unsteadiness and rammed into him with my shoulder, using my body weight to its full advantage. I had at least thirty pounds on him, despite his stocky build, since he stood no more than five foot six. 

My shoulder connected with his ear, and I heard him grunt in pain. While he staggered backward, I had a chance to regain my own balance and adjust my stance. He moved with good speed, and by the time I was hurling another punch, he delivered a roundhouse kick, which I managed to avoid by mere inches. 

The guy was trained in martial arts, but that didn’t deter me. I spent most of my life learning and practicing various martial art techniques and I was just getting warmed up here. 

Another kick, this time a vicious front one, was flying my way, but I was ready. While I bent my knees and tightened my core muscles, I let his foot pass me then grabbed it and yanked forward. The last thing I noticed before he went down was the sheer surprise in his eyes. He clearly hadn’t expected such a dirty move. 

As soon as he hit the ground, I was on him, throwing a heavy punch to his jaw. His head snapped to the right, and he was out cold. Blood trickled from a cut on his lip and the spot where I hit him last was quickly turning red. 

My knuckles hurt like a son of a bitch. Hitting someone in the jaw was only painless in the movies. I shook my hand, wincing. Willow was right beside me. “Jack, are you okay? Who is this guy?” 

I looked at her, grimacing more from uncertainty than from pain. The last thing I needed was for her to see me fight again. That was exactly what broke us apart six years ago. “I’ll live,” I mumbled, worried what her next words might be. 

“You’d better.” Her eyes danced all over my face as if checking for injuries. She took my throbbing hand and gently enclosed it inside both of hers. “Let’s put some ice on this. It hurts, doesn’t it?” There was so much gentleness and concern in her voice that I forgot all about the pain and gaped at her in disbelief. 

“I called the cops already. Requested the same officers as before. I’ll look for Rita.” She got up and went inside the apartment. She turned the lights on and I heard her call out, “Rita, it’s me. Willow. Are you in here?” 

I was still stunned by her unexpected reaction, when the guy on the floor stirred. He was coming around. I rolled him onto his stomach and swiftly pulled his arms back. He groaned and started to thrash, attempting to throw me off. I grabbed him by the hair and slammed his forehead on the floor, twice—hard. He lay motionless, probably unconscious. 

I needed something to secure his wrists and ankles together. “Willow! Did you find Rita? I need you here!” 

She rushed out of the apartment. “She’s in there, tied up and gagged… and really pissed off,” Willow said breathlessly. “I need to get a knife to cut through that rope.” 

“Wait,” I stopped her. “Help me here first.” I pointed to the man. “Take off his boots.” 

“What?” she asked in disbelief. 

“Just do it.” 

“But … what do you want his boots for?” 

“Shoe laces. Pull them out, quick.” 

Comprehension replaced the look of incredulity on her face. A moment later she was tying both laces into one long piece, using a double fisherman’s knot. I stared in awe at her rapidly-moving fingers. “Where the hell did you learn that?” 

“Rock climbing.” 

She rock-climbed? That was freakin’ impressive. Willow offered the perfectly-joined laces to me. I coiled it around the man’s wrists and secured the ends in a knot that probably wasn’t as perfect as Willow’s, but would definitely do the job. 

“Okay, I’ll help with those ropes in a moment. Go check on Rita and find me something to tie his ankles. I don’t want to take any chances of him kicking one of us.” I stood up and dragged the guy inside. When his legs cleared the threshold, I closed and locked the door. 

A moment later, Willow returned with a solid-looking leather belt and a box cutter. “Will this work?” She gave me the belt. 

I examined it. The leather was thick and the buckle was well-made. I nodded. “Looks solid enough. Thanks.” I wrapped it twice around the man’s ankles and then secured the buckle. 

He came around and started to squirm. “What are you doing, asshole? Let me go,” he hissed. 

I ignored him. Willow stood silently, frowning. 

“Untie me!” 

“In your dreams. Lie still.” 

I stood up and motioned for Willow to come with me. The guy lifted his face off the floor and looked at her. “Ah, so you’re that little bitch who put Seth in jail. Whores like you should be beaten to death. That’s what you deserve, you fucking thief.” 

“Interesting,” I said, “So this is some kind of revenge for that snotface Seth?” 

I made a move toward him to shut him up, but Willow grabbed my arm. “Not this time, Jack. Seth’s friends deserve a proper welcome.” 

Before I even had a chance to ask what she meant Willow took a vase with a bouquet of wilted flowers from the small hallway table and dumped the decaying plants and dirty water over the guy’s head. She put the vase down and stood with her fists firmly planted on her hips, admiring her handiwork. 

The guy sputtered, gasping for air. Dark, slimy pieces of leaves and stems clung onto his face and hair. Baring his teeth, he unleashed an impressive spate of profanities and threats toward Willow, myself, and whoever else he could think of at that moment. 

Willow flashed a really nasty grin and, cocking her head said, her tone mocking, “Next time you want to come for a visit, let me know in advance so I can serve something fresher. This was all I had available. I hope you enjoyed it, nevertheless.” 

I gaped at her in disbelief. She was actually enjoying herself and didn’t appear at least frightened or ashamed by the man’s nasty comments. 

“Now, if you’ll please excuse us.” Willow turned on her heel and pulled me with her toward Rita’s bedroom. 

We ignored his shrieks and his feet and head banging furiously on the floor. He kept yelling about his bail money, and how he was going to make Willow pay him back. 

“That was classy.” I chuckled, referring to her putrid flower arrangement stunt. 

She winked at me. “Glad you liked it.” 

“Remind me not to ever piss you off.” 

“I’ll make a note of it.” 

Smart ass. I liked this new Willow more and more. 

We found Rita on the floor, tied to her bed with a thick rope. Willow had already pulled the gag out of her mouth. “Jack! Help me out, would ya? I need to break that fuckface’s legs and arms.”

“You’re not breaking anybody’s limbs, Rita. Now, tell me what exactly happened.” I said and then asked Willow, “Where is that box cutter?” 

Willow produced the blade and offered it to me. 

Rita yelled obscenities at the guy again. He lay on the floor right outside the bedroom, while shouting equally colorful atrocities back at Rita. 

“Be still, so I can cut that rope.” I kneeled down and began to slice through her bonds. 

“Son of a bitch! I’m gonna fucking kill ya!” Rita screamed, struggling against her restraints. “Fucking asshole, who’s laughing now?” 

“Rita, stop. Tell me what happened. Are you okay? Did he hurt you?” Willow helped Rita sit up, while I continued cutting the rope. 

“That prick over there attacked me when I was leaving the Black Pelican. With all the commotion … wait, do you know about the drive-by shooting?” 

 “Yes, we saw it on the news and immediately drove there to get you, but we couldn’t find you, and nobody knew where you were. I called and called but you didn’t answer,” Willow said in a rush.


Meet the Author

A.O. Peart writes romantic comedy, romantic suspense, paranormal, and urban fantasy novels.
Her Bestselling romantic suspense novel Resist Me has been listed as #1 in several Amazon categories and on Bestseller lists, including the Movers & Shakers. Books in her NA contemporary romantic comedy series Almost Bad Boys were also listed as Bestsellers on Amazon and were nominated by the Indie Romance Convention 2014 for four different categories, including The Best Indie Upcoming Series, while Angela was nominated as Best Indie Author of the Year 2014 Almost Matched was voted as #36 among "The 50 Best Self-Published Books Worth Reading 2014" Angela lives in the Seattle area with her family and a chronically curious cat Cinnamon. 
You can often spot her in one of the countless Seattle Starbucks locations, feverishly typing on her computer and sipping coffee with cream—or rather cream with some coffee in it. Don’t be surprised when a paperback you ordered from her arrives “decorated” with coffee and chocolate stains (kidding!)

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Aloha, Baby (A Short Story Serial - Part 5)

Blue eyes, dimples, and a hot surfer's body means trouble, right? There's only one way for Katie to find out...
Losing seventy pounds was sure something to celebrate, but at the same time it created problems Katie never expected to deal with. Like, what to do when the hot-bodied surfer, Jack, turned out to be the DJ at her roommate's favorite dance club. Katie was positive he had ‘Trouble’ stamped on his butt. Didn't he?

If you want to catch up, check out the previously-published sections. Here's a link to Part 1 Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4...

Let's see...last week Katie was on the dance floor between her very blind date (Dan) and a sorta pissed-off DJ (Jack)...

 If it came to a fight, I’d put my money on Jack. I tried to catch his eye. “It’s nothing.”
“Nobody asked for your help,” Dan snarled.
Jack didn’t look intimidated. He shrugged and wrapped an arm around my waist. “Looks to me like she said she doesn’t want to dance…with you.” He gave the last words just a little more weight and pulled me to the back of the dance floor. I was too scared to turn around to see how Dan had responded.
“He’ll be out here with someone else before the song is over,” Jack spoke softly, right in my ear. “I’ve seen those two douche bags in here before.”
When we were nearly to the back wall, Jack turned so he was facing me. “Will you dance with me?”
I reached for his shoulders, nerves keeping my fingers pressed together like a doll’s hands. He put his arms around my waist and pulled me close. “Wait,” I said and took a step away. I slipped off my shoes and came back to him. This time I clasped my hands behind his neck, figuring if this was going to be my one chance I was going to make the most of it.
“Thank you for the rose.” I angled my head so I could talk right into his ear. He smelled good, like suntan oil and aftershave, and his white polo jersey made his skin look really tan.
He smiled, which made little jitters run through the middle of my body. It was warmer on the dance floor than in the rest of the club, and my skin was gummy all over. Jack didn’t seem to mind as I felt his calloused fingers play with the bare skin on my back. Moving to the beat felt good, like there was a layer of energy linking us together. I tried to remind myself he was trouble. No one was listening.
It didn’t seem like much time passed before Jack stepped back. He smiled just enough to show off his dimples. The look in his eyes raised my body temperature even further. “Gotta go start the next song. Come see me, okay?”
“Yeah. Thanks.” I walked off the dance floor carrying my shoes in my hand with a three-mile grin. One of the women who’d been sitting by the DJ booth walked past, knocking into me with her shoulder.
“Excuse me.”
The woman glared at me as she moved away. I almost laughed. This was a night of firsts, what with men nearly fighting over me and women trying to start brawls. I decided I might need to go out to clubs more often.
When I got to the table, Meli shoved my purse into my arms. “We’re going.”
“Oh, is it…really? What time is it?”
“About one-thirty. Let’s go before the line gets too long at The Wave. My cousin’s not working tonight.”
I really didn’t have to think hard to make my decision. Dave and Dan were talking to a couple of women on the lanai. By the way her eyes kept darting toward the guys, it was obvious Meli was eager to get out there to defend her claim. I tucked the stem of the rose into my little clutch purse, letting the blossom show. “You know, I think I’m just going to stay here.”
“Oh, are you sure?” Meli looked over at the brothers, uncertainty in her voice.
“Yeah.” I gave Meli a hug. “I’ll take a cab home.”
Dan didn’t come over to say goodnight. I watched them leave and, carrying my shoes and the rose, walked over to the DJ booth.
Jack glanced up from his work and saw me coming. I could tell he was smiling because the creases at the corners of his eyes got as deep as his dimples. When I got to the door, he was holding a record with the edges against the palms of his hands. After setting it on one of the two turntables in front of him, he let me in. “Hey, Shave Ice. Howzit?”
“They were going to go to The Wave.” I joined him in the booth, perching on a barstool in the back corner so I’d be out of his way. I wrapped my toes around one of the cross rungs and suppressed a grin when I noticed him checking out my toenail polish.
A long desk ran along the wall facing the dance floor. The turntables were on the center of the desk, with a mixing board off to the right and a rack of electronic gear on the left. Lights on the various boxes flashed in time to the beat. All around us were shelves holding record albums with a few rows of CDs mixed in. Jack waved to a waitress through the glass. After a minute she stuck her head through the door.
“Hey, like, I got paying customers out here.” She sounded grumpy but I could tell from her grin that she was just giving him a hard time. She was also very carefully checking me out.
Jack eased himself between the two of us. “My friend here is thirsty.”
With my cheeks flaming, I ordered a diet soda. As far as I was concerned, I was cut off for the night.
The waitress had a cocky smile on her face as she left, and I’m pretty sure I saw him roll his eyes as he closed the door behind her.
“So how’d you and your friend get hooked up with those two?” Jack pulled a couple albums out of the racks, checked their titles, and put them back.
I let my shoes go and they thudded on the ground. “Meli works with the blond one.”
“She should be careful.”
“Heck, no matter where they go she’ll have a cousin who’ll help her out.” I tried to ignore the women who were still sitting by the door to the DJ booth. “What about you? How many phone numbers have you collected tonight?”
“There’s only one number I want, and you haven’t given it to me yet.” He handed me a piece of paper and a pen.
“For sure.” I laughed and wrote it down. This was definitely a night of firsts.
The waitress came in with my soda. She might have winked at him, but didn’t have anything sarcastic to say.
He found the album he was looking for and brought it over to the turntables. “You’re not driving tonight, are you?”
“Taking a cab. I live in Kahala.”
“I can drive you. Kalani and I have an apartment in Nuuanu. It’s not out of the way.”
“Kalani’s your roommate? What’s up with him, anyway? He never even looks at me.” I
frowned into my soda.
“Ouch. Guess I’m just the leftovers.”
“Shut up,” I laughed. “It’s just weird, is all. All the times I’ve seen him on the beach, and he never even says hello.”
Jack paused to lift one album off the turntable and set another one on. He held a set of headphones up to one hear and spun the new album with his fingertips until he had it where he wanted it. With practiced hands, he mixed one thumping dance song into the next. “It’s because you remind him of his ex-girlfriend,” he said when he was done. “She really pissed him off, and he’s afraid of what he might say if he opens his mouth around you.”
“He’s trippin’.”
“He can’t help himself. It was love.” Jack gave an exaggerated eye roll and clasped his hands in front of his heart, which made me laugh. “So you’ll let me give you a ride home?”
“Um…I guess. Sure.”

Jack reached over and brushed his knuckles down my cheek. As I blushed and ducked my head, I heard Hula Girl laughing somewhere in the back of my mind. 

Katie's in trouble now....I think Jack's got an agenda, don't you? Check back next week to see.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Guest Post: Destiny Mine by Nana Prah

Cute baby photo? That's cheating...

So my friend Nana Prah is taking part in a blog tour to promote her hospital romance Destiny Mine. Nana and I have more in common than just writing - we're both nurses, and therefore we tend to laugh at the same thing. She promised me a special post for her blog tour, and I think she delivered. Give it a read and see what you think...and keep going, because there's a $20 Rafflecopter giveaway at the end.

The truth about nursing humor

Nurses have a, well, let’s just say peculiar sense of humor. 

When we get together in a huddle during a rare break, it’s on. People outside of the nurse’s circle don’t always get us.  Okay, we may look like angels in scrubs, but we tend to be worse than sailors when we aren’t speaking to a patient. Not just with the cursing, but with our choice of topics. 

Sex being high on the list.

What body part has a nurse has never seen? Penises and vaginas of all types. Yes we make fun of them at times, but only the body part. It’s rare that we remember who it was connected to.  It’s one of the things we do for stress relief.  Sometimes our conversations are subtle while other times they are downright bawdy.

One of my co-workers years ago took a towel and started telling a story about Thanksgiving and a turkey. By the time she ended, she’d rolled the towel into the exact replica of a penis. It was so funny.

A conversation that sticks out in my mind between two nurses (I wasn’t one of them).

Nurse 1: Here take a packet of KY.
Nurse 2: I don’t need it. I get so wet I can bottle and sell stuff.

Yeah that conversation had me gaping right before I laughed.

When I write medical romances, I make my nurses raunchy, at least to a minor extent when they’re talking to each other. Not only is it fun to do, but it reflects the conversations nurses have in real life. 


Extraordinary midwife, Esi Darfour, is looking to get married.  She’s a master matchmaker but has no luck when it comes to her love life and has yet to find a man worthy of her. Until she has to deal with gorgeous Dr. Adam Quarshie outside of work. 

Adam is a player who refuses to get married—ever. His interest lies more in getting her into bed than in having any kind of committed relationship. Esi’s matchmaker instincts warn her to run in the other direction as quickly as possible, but her heart insists she stay…get closer…and see if what they feel for each other can change his mind.

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About the Author:

Nana Prah is a multi-published author of contemporary, multicultural romance. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s reading, indulging in chocolate, and enjoying life with friends and family. 

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Enjoy the following excerpt for Destiny Mine:

Esi and the other midwives sat at the nurse’s station relaxing while they could. The one client on the ward was experiencing her first delivery. During her last vaginal examination, she’d reached two centimeters. Delivery would take place after getting to ten centimeters, so she had a long way to go until she’d push her baby out. 

Although the labor ward was quiet now, at any moment it could fill up, creating an unimaginable amount of work. The midwives took the rare opportunity to chat. 

“Have you heard who Dr. Quarshie is dating?” Efia asked. 

Esi’s ears perked up as the conversation moved from the exorbitant price of tomatoes to someone considered to be one of the hottest doctor’s in the hospital. 

Alice looked up from writing her note on the patient. “I haven’t heard he was dating anyone.” 

“I bet she doesn’t work in the hospital. Rumor has it, he’s given up on dating nurses.” 
Martha protruded her lower lip out in a pout. “I never had my chance with him.” 

Esi’s eyes widened in shock at the sweet woman. “Martha, you’ve been happily married for ten years. What would you do with Dr. Quarshie?” 

Martha wiggled her eyebrows. “Oh, you’d be surprised. I love my husband, but a girl can fantasize. Can’t she?” 

They all giggled. 

“Tell us already, Efia. Who is the great Dr. Adam Quarshie dating these days?” Alice asked. 
Efia jerked her head towards Esi. “None other than our own star midwife.”

Esi snickered remembering how ludicrous rumors could get. “What? Where did you hear that? Would have been nice if I’d been the first to know.” 

“From Yaa in the outpatient department.” Efia responded. “She said she saw you two getting cozy at a dinner about three weeks ago. Is it true Esi?” 

She ignored the question. “If she came up with this conclusion three weeks ago, why is she spreading the rumors now?” 

“She’s not. We were talking yesterday, and she happened to mention it to me because she knew I worked with you.” 

Breathe. No need to get angry. You’d provide more fuel. “Because she saw me at my cousin’s house, and Dr. Quarshie was there. She presumes we’re dating? She was there too, and they conversed a bit. Can’t I say the same for her?” 

Efia’s grin turned impish. “Only if you also saw them walking down the most popular street in Osu the previous night.” 

This damn man is going to be the death of my reputation.

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