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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Excerpt: Connections


Connections – Date of Publication: July 2008

(Romantic Comedy)


Connections is a romantic comedy that’s perfect for today’s world where love is often found in Cyberspace.

Monday through Friday, for one hour a day, newspaper reporter Christianna Dayne’s life is wonderful. Despite her hectic life, she always manages to spend her lunch hour at Cyber Town where she can catch up with her best friend Samantha, grab a bite to eat, and most importantly, hook up with her cyber boo online. Christianna is definitely feeling LitGuy66, but she’s too afraid to meet him because she doesn’t want reality to come crashing down around her. What Christianna doesn’t know is she’s not in control; fate is, and when fate puts a flesh and blood man before her – a man who just happens to not only be her possible Mr. Wonderful but also her ultimate scoop – Christianna must decide whether to flee or stick around and pursue the endless possibilities.



EXCERPT



I smiled when I noticed my girlfriend, Samantha, working. I waved, skipping over to her.

“You’re awfully giddy today,” she said as she handed a customer his change.

Approaching the counter, I leaned over, widening my smile.

“Actually, no,” I replied. “I’m tired, pissed, and cold as hell, but you know I couldn’t miss my lunch date.”

“What did Dave do this time?”

Samantha and I laughed. Dave was brothers with Samantha’s stepfather, so she knew all the dirt on him—even what wasn’t fit to print.

“Sam, he has me doing yet another mission impossible which means I won’t be able to hang with you this week.”

Sam’s icy blue eyes widened before she slapped the counter and chuckled. “Um, excuse me,” she said in her hard born-in-New-York accent, which so contrasted with her epitome-of-American-beauty blond hair, blue eyes, and model figure. “When was the last time we went out? You never go out.” She wiped the counter and nodded, her long blond hair dipping over her shoulders. “Which explains why you haven’t dated in how long?”

I raised my eyebrow. “Sam, I didn’t come here to be reprimanded for being a spinster.” I sighed. “Besides, dear old Mom already beat you to this convo over the weekend.”

Sam reached across the counter and patted my hand.

“I’m sorry, chica,” she said. She brightened and added, “But you do have your date today. How long has this been going on, two months now, right?”

I broke into a jaw-hurting smile. “Yeah,” I said as if shy.

“Why don’t you two just get over it and meet? It’s not like it’s a crime to meet someone on the Internet these days or anything.”

I pushed my thick, wiry hair back from off my face and blew into my hands. “I never really thought about it. I mean, he sounds too good to be true, and this one hour of my day makes me so happy. I would hate us to meet and negative vibes pop off. Then, I wouldn’t have this…” I lifted my arms and spun in a circle before I pointed to my favorite spot in the café.

Sam’s eyes moved toward my PC in the corner and then back to me. “Chris, you need to stop playing what if. I mean this could be the guy for you.”

“What’s gotten into you, Sam?” I asked, laughing. “You’re hardly the advocate for Internet romance. I often wonder why you even work here because I can bet you that a lot of these people come here to talk to people they are interested in romantically.”

“I guess I just see you in here, every Monday through Friday, talking for your hour, and floating out of the door because you’re so happy. Maybe I’d like to see you happy for more than one hour a day, five days a week.”

I smiled at my girl, taking her hands in mine and giving them a squeeze. I glanced at the contrast of our hands—hers being alabaster and mine the color of cinnamon. I chuckled, thinking of how people often looked at our color; raised brows at our loud, usually not politically correct discussions; and refused to see that we were sisters beyond our hues. Since we hooked up and lucked out as roommates our first year of college, Sam and I had been joined at the hip. Not even full-time jobs or the daily grind of life could keep us from staying connected.

“Thanks, Sis,” I said. “I know you’re just worried about my so-called love life. Not all of us can be graced to have a love like you and Jake.”

“True, but you know Jake and I have our problems…”

I gave Sam a serious look, before asking, “So how are things, between you, Jake, Jax, and Jamaica?”

“It’s going,” Sam said, sighing. “Jake and I can do nothing but continue loving each other and watching out for Jax. Jax is so young. I don’t want to hurt her with her mother’s crazy issues. If Jamaica is going to act up, then we’ll just have to deal with it then. She’s been okay since we talked to her, but you never know.”

I nodded. Our conversation was halted as a guy approached the counter. Wow, I thought, he’s cute. I knew Sam was thinking the same thing because she offered me a smirk before helping him.

“What can I do for you?” she asked.

“Uh, yeah,” he said, looking rushed, “can I get a cup of coffee and a turkey Swiss croissant?”

“Sure thing.”

“Ditto on that order, Sam, but make my coffee a caramel latte, please.” She nodded and turned away. I drummed my fingertips along the counter, catching glimpses of the guy out of the corner of my eye.

“Hi,” he said, catching me glancing. I turned toward him, a blush rising in my cheeks.

“Hi,” I replied, embarrassed. Now looking directly at him, I was like Elvis, all shook up.

He was gorgeous, in that artsy kind of way, and his Hispanic heritage just added to his machismo factor. He had the most beautiful pair of brown eyes—after my own—and a nice full mouth. He ran his hand over his slightly spiky brown hair and offered the other to me.




Want to know what happens to Christianna and her cyber boo? Pick up a copy of CONNECTIONS today – it’s only $1.95 – enjoy it over a sweet latte.

This e-story by Shonell Bacon can be purchased via (Lady Leo Publishing)!
Once you read it, go check her out and let her know what you think! She'll post your comments!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

If I Don't Call...

Q: Does it mean that i dont care?

A: No it doesn’t mean you don’t care, however, it can/may convey to the person who wants to hear from you that you’re not willing to step outside your comfort zone to let them into your thought processes. A lot of space in between phonecalls during a time of newness just sends a message of disinterest.
It also depends on who or what this person is to you, did you mention up front that you’re not really a phone person, are you using that as an excuse to not really be bothered to exert the energy?

The same way you wish to know without a shadow of a doubt that someone’s into you… the same way, the other person would want to know.

I’m a firm believer that one makes time, or does what one doesn’t necessarily like to do, if one decides that the other party merits it or not.

Granted, in every relationship, it seems as though one party ends up with the onus of keeping it going. There’s one person that will call more often, one person that will say, I haven’t heard from … in a while, let me see what’s up. I guess with every relationship, you decide… which one you’re going to be or evolve into.

For a relationship (any type) to grow or go anywhere, it takes some nurturing, some time and some sacrifice… ergo, so if the phone is not it… you betta be an emailing so and so, a texting so and so, an IM-ing so and so or a postcard mailing so and so… do something so the other party knows they’re not in this thing… alone.

Jus my two cents.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Contest: The Next Top Poet of MySpace!









..
Comment | Copy This



The Man On His Way

Emotional
mind all over the map
angry,
affected, rejected, dejected
I almost elected
to withdraw from the fray,
caught up in patterns of yesterday
totally unrelated
nevertheless projected
negativity had its hold
your character tried
and unprotected

Rational
mind fought the good fight
God's word to me
brought my flaws to light
no assassination
allowed on His watch
He said to me
With a gentle touch

All in all
I'm proud of me
Hanging like Zaccheus
up in the tree
Scared I might fall
but willing to hold on
Cause I want an audience
with the man on his way
who really has so much to say
that I want to hear
come what may

The above represents the audio and written versions of my entry into the NEXT TOP POET (MNTP) COMPETITION hosted by Yasmin Coleman of APOOO Books. I chose this poem because a friend whose opinion I value highly, thought it was the bee's knees. It's usually hard for me to judge because I don't consider myself to be a poet(ess) just a writer/author who loves words and the challenge of seeing how many I can make rhyme in a row and still make sense... lol.

Every once in a while, if I feel strongly enough, or the Holy Spirit inspires me... I come up with a true gem. The above was engendered by an online relationship. (What... surprised? Come on... I am the author of Age is Just a Number: Adventures in Online Dating lol)

The party did a disappearing act and I began to doubt my judgment and his character. The above was my attempt to explain to him, how his unexplained silence was judged... by me, initially.

He thought I was slamming him and felt hurt... go figure... I thought I had worked that out by the time the third stanza came around... but maybe not?

Anyway... I hope you enjoy and I'd love to hear your comments and/or feelings about the piece. And if, and only if, you deem it worthy. I'd appreciate your show of support by voting for it/me on May 4th.

Peace,
~D

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Excerpt: Still Hot: The Uncensored Guide to Divorce, Dating & Sex

The following is an excerpt from the book Still Hot
by Sue Mittenthal and Linda Reing
Published by Running Press; March 2008;$12.95US/$13.95CAN; 978-0-7624-3112-0
Copyright © 2008 Sue Mittenthal and Linda Reing

Keyword: cheating

Be alert to suspicious activity surrounding your husband's high-tech gizmos. These are a dead giveaway. Especially if you know how to hack.
  • Has his BlackBerry turned into a CrackBerry addiction?
  • Is he up at two in the morning, IM'ing "the office"?
  • Did he schlep a laptop on your family trip to the Grand Canyon ?
  • And make nine secretive Airphone calls from the plane?
  • As if he's the Secretary of State?
  • On Air Force One?
  • When he's really a Rite Aid pharmacist in coach?
This is credible intelligence. Elevate the homeland security risk to SEVERE, and prepare for evacuation -- his.

Out of nowhere, his cell phone reception has permanently deteriorated -- but only at home. He now needs to leave the house in order to get a signal. He does this furtively and often.

You turn on the computer and notice his new screen name: "HotRod287."

Suddenly he has a weak bladder. Every time you go out to dinner, he uses the facilities at least three times. You catch him tucking away his BlackBerry as he emerges from the men's room.

Remember how you used to sit with your legs slung across his lap while you watched TV? Now his cell phone occupies your spot. Plus he leaves the room during the last four minutes of the Super Bowl because he just got a text message.

Does Liz's experience sound familiar? Before her husband went on a business trip, she asked how to reach him at his hotel. "I'll be in suite 1277 , but just call my cell," he replied. "I turn off the room phone because I get wrong numbers all night long." Uh-huh. Liz didn't have to be be Nancy Drew to figure out the following:

  • He wasn't staying at that hotel.
  • In fact, there wasn't a room 1277 at that hotel.
  • Because there were only seven floors in that hotel.
  • He wasn't even in the city where the hotel was located.
  • His business associates weren't coming along.
  • He didn't want to be disturbed.
  • Particularly by Liz.

Every time you walk by, he immediately shuts down the computer.

When he goes to take a shower, he stashes his Black Berry in the pocket of his robe and locks the bathroom-door. It's a good fifteen minutes before he turns on the water.

While your family vacations at a lakeside cottage, he's pacing the dock. Every other day, he drives forty miles to an Internet café, claiming that "they have the only authentic espresso in the area."

You find him crunched in the closet, whispering on his cell phone while pretending to select a tie.

When you go online to Google a restaurant, you notice that the most recently visited website on the computer is russianladies.com.

And that he put a personal password on his Word documents. After you guess it in thirty seconds, you find drafts of letters to "Svetlana, my zaichik*."

Rifling through the filing cabinet, you spot a new folder marked "Travel." Inside, you find Map Quest directions from Minsk to Kiev.

Oh, sweetie. The worst is yet to come.

*Bunny Rabbit

Copyright © 2008 Sue Mittenthal and Linda Reing

About the Authors:
Sue Mittenthal has worked as both an editor and writer for newspapers and magazines. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Esquire, Family Circle, Glamour, Ladies’ Home Journal, Reader’s Digest, McCall’s and Consumer Reports. She is currently a freelance writer in New York .

Linda Reing began practicing for a career as a stand-up comic at age 7. When she realized that this would mean performing in front of audiences, she quickly changed gears. Over the years she has continued to embrace humor as her means of coping with the world, as well as a way to entertain friends and family. She is a fundraiser and lives in New York City .

The authors met when their children were toddlers and reconnected when their husbands toddled off.

For more info rmation, please visit http://stillhotbook.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Blog Tour: Meet Victorya Michaels Rogers

Happy Valentine’s Day! Online dating can be adventure to say the least as Dee has found out. Here are some tips out of my latest dating book THE AUTOMATIC 2nd DATE to make your adventure a bit more fun and “successful” as you anticipate your next first date, whether you met him online, at church or through a friend.

Victorya Michaels Rogers, author THE AUTOMATIC 2nd DATE



the automatic 2nd date


DEE: Your new book offers a unique dating approach. Why focus so much on getting a 2nd date?

VICTORYA: If you can’t get past the first date, you won’t be booking a honeymoon anytime soon. The sad thing is ladies who would really be great catches are just blowing it and scaring their dates away by making silly, careless mistakes on their first dates—like talking too much, obsessing on exes, talking about marriage, calling the guy before or after the first date. If they just tweak a few of their dating behaviors, they can transform their dating life without changing who they are! If these secrets become a habit, you can stop stressing about first dates and focus on your man and deciding if HE is the great catch and worth your time. When you do that, 2nd dates become automatic.

DEE: 98 of 100 first dates asked you out for a 2nd! Were you just a natural at dating or was there a point in your dating life where things dramatically changed to gain that high percentage?

VICTORYA: I was NOT a natural at dating. They don’t teach you how to date in school. Sure I had my share of 1st dates, but I didn’t have my first BOYFRIEND until I was 21! It wasn’t until utter frustration at 23 that I decided to really study the art of dating. I read every dating book on the shelves and observed successful couples and watched the celebrities around me since I was in Hollywood. I learned the walk and the talk and finally men took notice, asked me out and the 2nd dates began to become automatic.

DEE: How can one back on the dating scene after a long absence adopt this hopeful attitude?

VICTORYA: Before you jump back into the world of dating allow yourself time to heal and reflect on where you’ve been. What was missing in your past love life? This is your season to really make it all about you. Love yourself first and deliberately pursue the life you always wanted! If you’re a single mom, obviously you need to seriously consider the needs of your children. But you also have to take care of you and come up with what you really want in a relationship before you start dating again. If you don’t know what you want then you’ll just date whoever takes notice and most likely that is was your problem in the past. You are valuable deserve to have a great relationship. But you have to believe that and know to recognize him when is comes along!

DEE: You say every woman has an internal “Male GPS.” What is it and how do we use it?

VICTORYA: Available men are everywhere -- at the drive-thru, at work, at school, at church, at restaurants, at the mall, the gas station, sporting events, etc. You just have to know what you’re looking for and believe he exists. The Male GPS –male global positioning satellite—is in your mind. Your mind is an extremely power instrument that is always working and wants to be right! We’re just bombarded with so much information we need to focus. When you think about something enough, amazingly it seems to begin appearing everywhere you go. Let’s talk cars as an example. If you want that new blue Honda SUV, of course you believe it exists and it’s on your mind so it suddenly stands out every time one drives by. Just like thinking of your next car, think about what kind of guy you want.

The key to finding your next 1st date begins with your mind. You can instantly turn on your internal MALE GPS by figuring out specifically what you’re looking for in a guy, visualizing a man with those traits and believing he exists.

DEE: In Automatic 2nd Date you list many unique places to meet men. Tell us a few.

VICTORYA: Aside from the internet which as you know is quite the popular place to meet these days, there are many places to meet men right where you live. I advise skipping bars and clubs and just plunging yourself into the social world around you—be it at your church, country club, charity, or a special-interest group at your community center, even your work place! As you interact with more and more people, you will automatically find yourself around — and introduced to — available men.

DEE: What would you say to someone who went on a date, thought everything was perfect, yet never received a call back for a second date?

VICTORYA: If you haven’t heard back from your date within a couple of weeks, even if you were convinced it went wonderfully, think back about that evening. Did you really have anything in common? Did you talk too much about yourself? Did you “go too far” physically to the extent that you felt a little guilty the next day? Did you act too needy, too pushy, too bossy, too snotty or too boring? If any of this is the case, your date may have been scared away and wouldn’t tell you even if you asked. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though; just let it go. It was only one date and if he’s gone, that person wasn’t meant for you. At least by reviewing it honestly in your mind, you may be able to learn what to do on your next first date.

DEE: Today is Valentine’s Day. You say it’s bad to spend a lot of money on your man today. How does buying your date gifts hurt your relationship without you knowing it?

VICTORYA: Buying your man expensive gifts puts pressure on him, especially on Valentines Day. You want your man to feel like the pursuer, not the chased! Make any gift you give him more about the thought than the price tag and never out give your man. If he can’t afford to reciprocate he’ll feel he’s not good enough for you and leave. If he can reciprocate but doesn’t want to, he’ll feel pressured and leave. It’s a no win situation. So before marriage, think thoughtful and little in regards to gift giving and offer lots of gushy thanks when he gives YOU gifts.

DEE: Thanks for all your tips Victorya. Do you have a website my readers can check out for more dating secrets?

VICTORYA: Indeed I do. My website has a lot dating secrets for single women! Check it out-- it’s http://www.mantokeep.com/. You can also order my books and learn about my coaching program. I hope I have helped you begin to see that dating does NOT have to be overwhelming, scary and stressful. In fact, believe it or not, you can actually enjoy the process if you take the time to find out what you REALLY want in a man, sharpen your dating skills and take risks. There is so much information I’d love to impart to you to make dating less anxiety filled, so feel free to visit my site anytime and/or check out my book The Automatic 2nd Date.

Victorya Michaels Rogers, Dating Coach, Author The Automatic 2nd Date