Making lesbians happy – one book at a time

On Being Anonymous

When I was in the fifth grade I was in love with my math teacher. She was young, vibrant, wore a mini-skirt and sat on top of her desk. I sat on the front row and gazed up at her every day. I was completely head over heels. One day she put a box on her desk and told the class that it was a suggestion box. That we should drop notes in it on how to make her a better teacher, or how to make the class more engaging, or even tell her problems we’re having in her class. She promised to address each and every suggestion. She even said we could make the suggestions anonymously—we didn’t have to sign our names on the suggestions.

Suggestions Box

I stayed up all night writing my suggestion. I slipped it in the box the next day and waited impatiently for her to find it.

Here’s what my note said:

I love you. I love your mini-skirts. You have pretty legs. You have a pretty face. I love math. Yours truly, Miscellaneous.

She didn’t read the note aloud in class. And it was not until several years later that I realized I had mistakenly written miscellaneous instead of anonymous.

Which brings me to the point of this story. Since I didn’t have to sign my name to my note, it freed me to write something I would not have written otherwise. This isn’t always a bad thing. But sometimes it is.

Sometimes… Anonymity is a cloak for evil.

Think of the KKK. They covered their clothes and their faces. They did not want to be recognized for the evil deeds they committed. Hiding under a sheet was the only way they could lynch and burn. They took great pains to not be recognized.

This also brings me to the idea of reviewers on Amazon. Some are also known as trolls.

troll

Some also have many anonymous names – known as sock puppets.

sock puppet

There are some nasty, nasty reviews out there. And what do most of them have in common? They are done anonymously. They are done hiding behind a fake name. Or in some cases, names. I am not equating a nasty review with the KKK, but the principle is the same. They are doing something they know is wrong and have to hide under a sheet to do it.

The next time you read a nasty review check and see if the commenter had the guts to leave their own name.

I am not advocating for all reviews to be positive or glowing. I am advocating for a modicum of kindness. Is it so hard to be kind? To write what you truly think in a review without being cruel or personal?

You want to see examples of cruelty? Read any comments on any article written about Hillary Clinton or Amy Schumer. Boy, do the nasties come out of the woodwork when a strong woman is mentioned. And, most of them, are written anonymously.

If you can’t sign your name next to something you write, then perhaps you should NOT be writing it?

be kind

Read all our books for FREE!

reading6 copy

Click here to read for Free!

The Underground

Saxon and I went on another excellent adventure. This time we went to Fayetteville, Arkansas. It’s only an hour drive from where we live. Arkansas, home of the Ozark Mountains, is absolutely gorgeous. And here’s some FYI: The Clintons used to live in Fayetteville before he became Governor of Arkansas. They taught law at the University of Arkansas. UofA is one of the reasons Fayetteville has such a youthful, hippie, artsie vibe.

Saxon and I went to Fayetteville to check out one of our favorite art galleries—The Underground. They were having a showing of the works of VL Cox. VL Cox, a woman, grew up in Arkansas. She experienced first-hand what it was like to live and grow up in Trumplandia. (I refer to racism disguised as Christianity in America as Trumplandia.)

As I wandered from exhibit to exhibit I became more and more emotional. By the time I through, I was in tears. I have never been so emotionally affected by art.

It started with this sign posted outside the gallery:

20170414_143835

The first exhibit showed a female mannequin under an American flag. It looked as if the woman was trying to burst through the flag, but instead was being smothered. I think every woman can relate to this.

20170414_143855

The next piece of art was titled “Stained.” She used pages from the Bible, which she fashioned into tea bags, then made into a representation of the American flag. It shows us the harm that conservatives and the Tea Party have done to America.

20170414_142207

The next installation was too big for me to capture in one photo. I had to use three photos instead. (One of the photos shows my cutie-patootie wife!) This installation is a moving one – meaning it actually moves around the country. Cox loves to put it near state capitols for all to see.

20170414_141910

20170414_141923

20170414_141902

Here’s another good one. It shows a Bible being thrown into a metal sign. (Note the bullet holes also in the sign.) It is titled “Ready, Aim, Fire and Brimstone.” The artists says it represents “how easily the Bible is thrown around these days.”

20170414_142659

I’m not going to show you pictures of every piece of art. I’m afraid WordPress would explode. So, I’ll show you two more that hit home with me.

This piece is entitled “White Bread.” It is painted on a real screen door. The artist made this after learning about a Klan camp held each summer at the National Ku Klux Klan headquarters in Harrison, Arkansas. (Only two hours from my home!) Parents send their kids to this camp to learn how to be a proper racist. Notice the teddy bear is facing backwards to represent loss of innocence. This gave me goosebumps.

20170414_143104

I didn’t get the name of this next piece. That’s how moved I was. And my photos aren’t too good either. Hard to take pictures when you’re crying. This is a real KKK outfit, worn to many a real lynching. When you look closely, there are blood spatters on the robe. This is one of the eeriest, most moving art installations I’ve ever seen.

(as a side note, I just found out that my great-grandfather was a member of the Oklahoma KKK. So, mix in some shame with the other emotions.)

20170414_143342

If you’re ever anywhere near Fayetteville, Arkansas, I urge you to visit The Underground. They do new, unusual, and subversive works. Also, keep an eye out for VL Cox. You can read more about her and her work here. Her art has been called a “wake-up call” and a “slap in the face.” And it sure was.

reading1 copy

Click here to see our selection of FREE books!

I read an article the other day about how lesbians make a lot less money than straight women. We don’t read less, though. In fact, I would venture to say that we read more. Because most of us don’t have children to keep us from reading! (After my daughter was born, I didn’t read or write for almost ten years. I simply didn’t have the time.)

crying baby

So, we make less money yet we read more. That means books cost us more than the average woman. Knowing this, you can imagine how happy I was to find a solution to this dilemma.

My Lesfic is a site that offers discounted lesfic books for half the price they usually go for. A lot of you may already be familiar with BookBub. BookBub is a site that sends you a daily email of discounted books. However, in the LGBT section, it’s mostly M/M books. Once a week or so, you will find a lesfic title. This new site, founded by Harper Bliss and her Mrs., is the lesbian BookBub. Except it’s ALL lesfic, ALL the time.

woman reading

All you have to do is go to My LesFic and sign up for their weekly newsletter. It’s free! Then once a week, every Friday, you will get a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox. There will be 3 to 4 lesfic titles showcased at half their usual price. All you have to do is click on the link and save money!

Saxon and I are joining the ranks of the best-selling lesfic authors who will be offering their books at My LesFic. I hope you are as excited as we are!

Click here to start saving at My LesFic!

A Perfect Romance

“Pulls you in and won’t let you go.

“Funny, funny, and more funny!”

APR cover

Click here to buy or borrow for free!

Who Is Big Brother?

Remember in George Orwell’s 1984 how Big Brother watched and listened to everyone through their mandatory TV sets? There were cameras and audio recording devices set up everywhere poor Winston went. He hid in a cubbyhole to write in his journal. In order to make love to his girlfriend, they had to take a train out to the boondocks, walk around for a long time, then hide behind bushes to get the deed done.

Cropped-big-brother-is-watching-1984

Orwell was prophetic in his imagination. There have been news articles written lately about how smart TVs and smart phones can listen in on your conversations. Even Kellyanne Conway told the media that microwaves could take pictures of you.

C9ONXDHUIAAMgDN

Our government isn’t putting recording devices on every street corner like in Winston’s Oceania. (Well, except for those cameras that take pictures of cars that speed or run stop signs. Okay, I guess they do have cameras on street corners.) But our government is also monitoring our activities in another way, a much more devious way. They’re enticing us to spy on each other.

police lyrics

We are recording each other constantly with our cell phones. We take pictures of each other. We record videos of each other. Each time there’s an altercation, we hold up our phone and hit that green record button.

And if spying on each other wasn’t enough… We are now spying on ourselves. We post on Facebook everything we’ve done, everything we’ve eaten, everything we’re feeling. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat… you name it. We’re announcing to the world everywhere we’ve been and everything we’re doing.

Our phones even tell what location we are at and send it to social media sites. If the government ever wanted to figure out where you are and what you’re doing, it wouldn’t have to look any further than your Facebook page.

Welcome to 2017 where Big Brother isn’t some faceless, fictional character in a book. Big Brother is you.

 

99 cent sale!

Hurry! The sale only last a few more days!

Till Beth

Click here to read!

Excellent Adventure

Saxon and I went on an excellent adventure. That’s my name for driving and not knowing where you’re going to end up. When I was a teenager I would go on excellent adventures by driving my car as far as I could until I ran out of gas and then seeing what happened next. What usually happened next was I walked to a house, borrowed a phone, and called a friend to bring gas. My excellent adventures are a bit more grown up now. This time Saxon and I ended up back in my little home town at the place I worked when I was fourteen-years-old.

The Ku Ku.

kuku

It’s a fast food restaurant shaped like a Cuckoo clock. It even has a birdie that pops in and out making the noise. Well, the birdie stopped popping out back in 1967. But it is still poking out of the top of the clock, frozen in time.

KUKU2

Waitressing at The Ku Ku was the second job I’d ever had in my life. I wore a brown checked uniform, complete with name tag, and paper hat. I served up hamburgers and French fries while Billy Joel sang on the radio about catholic girls. My friends were delighted with my new job. They would come by and ask me for free French fries.

I am ashamed to say I gave them free fries. A lot of free fries.

In my defense, I was only fourteen. I didn’t know how to say no to peer pressure.

The owner knew how to say it, though. He fired me.

My job at The Ku Ku lasted only two months.

So, this is where Saxon and I ended up on our big adventure. The place looked exactly the same on the outside. The inside had changed quite a bit. New brick façade. There was an added-on room. The kind that looked like a bay window but bigger.

The hamburgers and fries were still fantastic. And… I kid you not… Billy Joel was singing on the radio.

But you wanna know the most amazing part? The owner was still back behind the grill flipping burgers. The exact man! After thirty-five years! He looked remarkably the same. Same eyes, same frown, bigger belly.

I couldn’t help myself. I waited till he came out from behind the grill and I went up to the counter. “Hey,” I said. “Remember me?”

“I sure do,” he said, grinning. He pulled out a tray and plopped a large order of fries on it. He shoved it in my direction and said, “For you. Free fries.”

I guess that was his way of saying he forgave me.

This is why I like our excellent adventures. You just never know what’s gonna happen.

 

Start your own excellent adventure with book one of our new True Heart Series!

h2hcover2

Click here to buy or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Last Chance

to read Wild at Heart

for only 99 cents!

wildheart cover

Click here to go on an adventure with Calamity Jane and Belle!

Free with Kindle Unlimited!

Down Time

One of the top questions readers ask me is: “Where do your ideas come from?” I usually answer, “They come from the shower.”

It’s true. My best ideas always happen in the shower. And they always seem to strike just as I’m fully lathered. I try to remember these ideas, but after losing about several dozen before I could write them down,  I broke down and bought a water-proof pen and pad. It hangs on the back wall of the shower. Now  I can jot down the ideas without getting out of the shower.

shower

I used to smoke. Whenever I reached a hard point in a book, not knowing what to write next, I would go outside, walk aimlessly around my backyard and smoke until the next idea hit me.

These two things may seem like they don’t have anything in common, but that’s where you’re wrong. Each activity, showering and smoking, keeps my body busy while letting my mind roam free. I call this down time. And my best writing always happened during my mind’s down time.

But now there’s a big problem. The cell phone and social media is taking away my down time. (I also don’t smoke anymore, so there goes that.) Now, each moment that isn’t filled with something to do, we grab our phones to play games, tweet, or snapchat. We jump over to Facebook or stream Youtube vines. This isn’t proper down time. It’s filling our brains with crap until they explode.

brain

In order to be creative, our minds need that down time. It needs a void that it alone can fill with imagination. But what happens if there are no more voids to fill?

What happens when we stuff our heads with TV sitcoms, a stupid president’s tweets, and Facebook posts?

trump_tweets_05

Then we have no new ideas and all we can do is regurgitate what others have already said. The imagination shrivels up and dies. And along with the death of our imagination will be the death of music, books, and theatre.

Technology will reign supreme and creative endeavors will slowly pass away.

I don’t know about you, but that is not what I want.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go take a shower. I feel a new idea coming on.

h2hcover2

Click here to read our newest book!

 

42 percent of women voted for Trump. They willingly voted for a man who treated women like objects, and who bragged about grabbing their pussy without their consent. He raped and beat his first wife. He’s had five children by three different women. And almost half of the women in America are okay with that.

I don’t entirely blame the rise of Trump on men. No, it’s not the angry white men that are solely responsible. I’ve known all along how much men hate me because I’m a woman. It’s the women who hate women that surprised me. Shocked me to my core. Over the past few weeks I’ve come to realize that women are misogynists, too. They are perhaps the worst perpetrators of misogyny.

Don’t believe me? Look at your TV. There are TV sitcoms where fat white boys have beautiful, stacked wives. Have you ever sat and watched one of these programs, laughing along with the rest of America?

Movies galore show older men with wives or girlfriends who are twenty to thirty years younger. And it doesn’t stop with movies, either. It happens in real life. Old men dump their wives of thirty years for a girlfriend their daughter’s age. I could blame the men for this, except it’s a woman who is dating him.

I read a Vanity Fair article where a woman in Trump’s tower restaurant was overheard saying something about how sexy Trump was. Wait a minute! Sexy? Trump? Are you fuckin’ kidding me? Then I realize that a lot of women probably really and truly think that. Think what you want of Melania, but you have to admit that she’s a beautiful woman. How did that overweight, rozacea-skinned, dim-witted, bad-dresser of a man snag a woman so beautiful? Money? Yes, money and power played into it, I’m sure. But not without Melania’s consent.

Women are the worst misogynists of all. They try to starve each other by using ads of models to compare their bodies to. They strap shoes on their feet that make it impossible to walk. They inject poisons into their bodies to remove wrinkles or make duck-lips or— as I think of them—Botox death masks.

Make-up is another example. We try to make our eyes bigger, our lips more kissable, our cheeks blush. How many times have I overheard another woman say, “She’d be so much prettier if she’d  put on some make-up.” Or, “She should lose a few pounds.”

How many women have repeatedly voted against having control over their own bodies? They cite the fact that they’re Pro-Life, but is that the real reason? Nobody is asking a woman to have an abortion, they’re simply asking that each woman be able to control what happens to their own body, their own life. That is not a difficult concept to grasp. Maybe Pro-Life is simply a disguise for a deeper problem?

We can blame all this on men, of course, but even women who love women are not blameless. Lesbians are also misogynists. How many times do lesbians share photos of sexy women that are demeaning just to titillate our senses? Even in our own literature – lesfic – we applaud graphic sex scenes. Not romantic, sexy scenes, but GRAPHIC sex scenes.

Before we lay all the blame at the feet of men, perhaps we should look at the part we play in the misogyny game. Examine your own life. How much do you play into shaming your own body or the bodies of other women?

If the rise of Trump has taught us anything it‘s that 53 percent of white women are willing to get on their knees before a fat, ugly man and debase themselves and their gender.

If we are going to change misogyny, we need to start with ourselves.

%d bloggers like this: