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When She's on Top by C. X Brooks coming Sat. 4/14 from BlackOpalBooks.com


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Has Romance Fiction Abandoned Grown-Ups?


     Try finding a mainstream contemporary romance novel without one or all of these three adjectives sprinkled throughout the dialogue and narration. Regardless of the characters' stated chronological ages, so many of them talk, think and act like hormonal teenagers. 
     Must the explosive growth of the teen, young adult and new adult publishing markets thrive at the expense of the variety and volume and caliber of fun fiction content for grown-up readers? Established bestselling adult fiction authors have been converted (drafted/coerced/brainwashed?) into becoming YA writers. The results have been mixed, often yielding characters and stories that in no way reflect an author's previously established storytelling greatness. 
     Isn't it possible and profitable to meet the demands of the rapidly growing markets for younger readers while also continuing to meet the needs of grown-up readers who've outgrown the exclamatory angst stage in life and in their preferences for entertainment content? 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Ladder: Holding On and Climbing


My personal belief is that every person is of equal intrinsic value to the enrichment of civilization regardless of gender, skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, social class or religion. Unfortunately, present-day society uses a more convoluted formula to assign value to people.
(Originally created in 2012 at the beginning of my own learning curve regarding the complexity of gender identity, listing Trans and Intersexed under sexual orientation was not done with malicious intent.)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dodging Eros Launch: Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Jan. 2016

More details are coming soon on the Dodging Eros: Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Facebook page.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Brain Escape Coming Soon

New fun fiction for grown-ups to ring out the old year and start the new one is coming soon. ARCs, promo and giveaway details TBA.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

OOPS! It Happened Again

Obliviousness of Privilege Syndrome Parade of Stars
September 2015 Edition

  1. Matt Damon: His original statement to Effie T. Brown didn't shock or surprise me. It was his "merit over diversity" remark during his apology that disappointed me because diversity does not mutually exclude merit or excellence. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-diversity-makes-us-smarter/ 
  2. Nancy Lee Grahn: Her response to Viola Davis's Emmy acceptance speech unintentionally reinforced many points about fighting to be included and the blindspot those who are routinely included often have about the challenges faced by people who are regularly excluded. 
  3. Martin Shkreli: Projecting a smug, condescending manner of patronizing ennui, plus a glaring failure to admit the obvious truth about the company's primary pricing motives made his CBS This Morning interview with Don Dahler seem like a Jimmy Fallon spoof of a CEO who is out of touch with the immediate, negative impact of his attitude and his actions.     
Confession: These examples just feel like variations of the same unending struggle to make opportunities and resources accessible to all people in equitable, ethical ways.

Bogus Assumption Treated As Fact: The rest of us don't pay a cost when other people are discarded.

Monday, August 31, 2015

One Race, Warring

church ambush in S.C.

on-air ambush in V.A.

gas station ambush in T.X.

species: noun; a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding. The species is the principal natural taxonomic unit, ranking below a genus and denoted by a Latin binomial, ex. Homo sapiens a.k.a. Humans (first Google.com result) 

Confession: Sometimes the news makes me feel as if human beings will never embrace the fact that we're one race, sharing one planet with one sky and one ocean (called by many names according to the nearest land masses).

Bogus Assumption Treated as Fact: The last one standing in a race war has reason to celebrate the annihilation of all others.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Excessive Force


Confession: Hearing the police officer's tone of voice when he commands Sandra Bland to "Get out of the car!" like she's a disobedient beast makes me sick to my stomach for many reasons. First, because it triggers visceral memories of my every encounter with a male authority figure who became enraged at not receiving immediate, unquestioning obeisance. Fortunately for me, none of my experiences were with legitimate law enforcement officers.

Mine have been more similar in tone and attitude to Trayvon Martin's encounter with his killer where some self-appointed gatekeeper who passes judgment based purely on skin color and narrow-minded beliefs about what black people are and where our place is. Or like Jordan Davis's with his killer, who used a gun to punish a car full of young black men for having the audacity to defy him. (I'm not anti-gun; I'm anti-lunatics-with-guns whether the crazies have badges or not.)

Watching this video makes me feel sad and furious and mystified as to why, in the 21st c., black and brown people--disproportionately from the non-black/brown population--keep ending up violently restrained, then dead after committing very minor misdemeanor infractions of the law.

Sandra Bland
Eric Garner
too many others to list

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Roget, Webster & OED to the Rescue

Observation: When fiction phenom Katy Evans uses these words in her aggressively visceral writing style, they read as distinctive identifiers with layers of impact. When other authors' prose are peppered with these words they lose their emotional punch.
Bogus Assumption Treated As Fact: If one bestselling author's writing style and vocabulary compels readers, that means readers want every author's style and words to reflect the exact same style and words. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Not OK in Oklahoma (University)

Sigma Alpha Epsilon
(SAE What!) 
Observation: Some racists spend more time and energy smack talking (and chanting) rather than performing and achieving at superior levels.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Breaking Free

The original artwork for the Dodging Eros, Through Past, Present and Pleasure by Cardyn Brooks cover image boldly ventures into an uncertain future.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mental Poison

I have no disagreement with President Obama as a human being. In fact, I'll go so far to say one of the things I respect very much is the role model that he has served as a husband and a father. And I think he has been an exemplary husband to his wife and an extraordinary father to to his daughters. Frankly, America needs a good role model like that.
-Mike Huckabee during a speech at the National Press Club February 2011

Observation: Sanctimonious hypocrisy sells more books. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Opposite Effect

Observation: Anti-freedom fanatics never seem to understand that murdering individuals doesn't kill inalienable truths; it just makes defenders of freedom more dedicated.