Wednesday, January 19, 2022

CONFIDENCE IS EVERYTHING!

 I was feeling myself today. I woke early, nothing hurt, and I felt ready to take on the world. The Pretty Princess hopped out of bed without being prodded and she too greeted the new day with a bright smile and no grumbling. I had two quick errands to run this morning, so after dropping the Princess off to another day in second grade, and the Paw off to the groomers for a much-needed haircut, I made a quick run to the post office and then to the library. Errands complete I decided to swing by my favorite store for a quick browse. I reasoned it was early, there wouldn’t be a big crowd and I might have an opportunity to shop the aisles in peace.

It was my lucky day! One elderly woman entered before me. Two staff members greeted us, and we had the entire store to ourselves! In times of a pandemic this was an epic moment! The other woman headed in one direction, and I headed in the other. We passed each other in the home goods section, avoiding all contact.

And then I turned down another aisle and there he stood. Even with a mask I could tell he was a nice-looking guy. He was large with an athletic frame, closely cropped haircut, and a warm umber complexion. There was the barest hint of gray in his hair, and he carried himself with an air of maturity. After a quick assessment (okay, maybe not so quick) I apologized and turned to head in the opposite direction.

“No problem,” he said, the timber of his voice sliding like butter against my ears. “I hope you’re having a good morning?”

“I am, thank you for asking,” I responded.

“I’m looking for a gift for my mother,” he said as if I’d asked. Maybe there was something in my eyes that questioned why he was looking at China serving pieces.

“Well, aren’t you sweet!”

“She has everything so it’s near impossible to shop for her and it’s her 85th birthday.”

“What a blessing! I’m sure she’ll love anything you get her. I have no doubts that just spending time with you will be the best gift ever.”

I could see him smile behind that mask and he nodded. We chatted for a few more minutes and then he continued on his search as I resumed my browsing. Heading to the children’s section of the store I found myself grinning, thinking I still got it! Appreciating that I couldn’t tell you what “it” was if you paid me. I just knew I felt good. I felt confident and emboldened and immensely blessed.

He was paying for his selections as I exited the store. A minute or two later he called out across the parking lot. “Would you like to grab a cup of coffee?”

I waved. “Thanks for the invite, but I don’t think my husband would appreciate that.”

He laughed and nodded. “I understand completely. He’s a lucky man, your husband.”

I laughed with him. “You have a good day and happy birthday to your mother!”

Sliding into the driver’s seat of my car, I did a little shoulder shimmy as Ginuwine’s song, Pony, blasted out of the speakers. I sat in all that confidence for a good, few minutes, then I looked at myself in the rear-view mirror.

I’d left the house and forgotten to comb my hair and I hadn't put on an ounce of makeup!

Confidence is everything!

Friday, December 24, 2021

Dear Santa Claus

 

Dear Santa Claus,

How are you doing? I pray this finds you safe and well.

As I write this, I know you were just spotted in the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. You’re expected to arrive in Bolivia shortly. I’m envious. You’re still able to travel around the world. Many of us can neither afford that luxury nor are we willing to take the risk travel holds today. I have no doubt that you are vaccinated and boostered. We all know this pandemic is nothing to play around with. I always air on the side of caution. Better safe now than sorry later. Just make sure you keep a mask close in case you bump into anyone along your trek tonight.

It’s been quite a year, Santa! After 2020 there was expectation and hope that this year would move us past viruses and quarantines and return us to a semblance of normalcy. That didn’t unfold in the way we’d anticipated. We are still plagued with illness and loses, and things are far from the normal we all remember. We now have Omicron, a new variant to the virus, and more people are willing to put themselves and others at risk just to prove a point that’s disputable. It’s a sad state of affairs, big guy, but many of us are still holding out for a miracle of sorts.

On a personal note, I can’t complain. I’ve been immensely blessed this year and I’ve tried hard to bless others as often as I’ve been able. As a family we experienced a wealth of loss last year, burying more than our fair share of family members. It was bad. This year we welcomed babies! Lots of new babies. Life continues and it’s a choice whether we keep up, or not.

I don’t have a lengthy wish list this year, Santa. All I want is to see loved ones safe and healthy. I wish for abundance and prosperity for those in need and when you have a moment, blow some common sense though the air for those who do most of their thinking without their brains. I’m grateful to still be standing, Santa and I appreciate that I’m still able to do what I love. Even when things got hard and all seemed lost, I continued to be blessed and I don’t take that for granted. Some more of that would really be nice.

Lastly, some kid out there has a pony on her wish list Santa. Please, don’t make her wait for thirty-plus years to get it. I’m still trying to figure out your problem with giving a girl a stallion! Just imagine what I could have accomplished if I’d gotten mine when I’d originally asked.

Keep your head down, Claus! We’ve missed you and we want to see you again next year. Give the Mrs. my regards and kisses to the elves. Tell Rudolph we know about that problem of his and we’re keeping him lifted in prayer. That bright red nose is a dead giveaway! Booze rarely solves problems long term, but I understand. Starting my day with a shot of bourbon in my coffee had become a bad habit I had to break. Might I suggest organic juices for our four-legged friend?

Continue to bless us with joy and love, Santa! I promise to try to do the same.

Until next year,

Deborah

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

BESTIES

I respect my limitations. I know there are some things I’m just not good at. Although my intentions are always good, I regularly fall short of full and total success. Much like this blog that I seem to regularly forget about, I’m bad about calling people and keeping up with them. My inability to remember and acknowledge birthdays and anniversaries defies logic. Some things come to me after-the-fact and by then, it’s usually too late. My social etiquette skills are just horrific more times than not.

I have a bestie who never forgets an important date and regularly follows up with the appropriate card or acknowledgement. She sends the perfect gifts when a loved one is lost and never misses a celebration of someone’s accomplishments. She has regularly put me to shame, and I’ve always envied her ability to make what seems unfathomable look so easy.

Lately though, I think she’s given up the ghost and I can’t much blame her. Hell, why call folks who don’t try to call you? This Thanksgiving was not the first holiday I didn’t hear from her. The last few years have seen her bypassing those of us who look like we don’t appreciate her and her efforts. So, this year I did call for the holiday. Albeit two days late, but two days was a true win for me. Not that I’m defending my actions, but hell, I know my shortcomings and there is no point in me lying about them.

I love my dear friend and her ability to remember and acknowledge those of us in her life has always been a blessing to me and many, many others. You could depend on her like clockwork and personally, I became very comfortable with that. I could fall short because she was there to pick up me and my slack. But I can also see that her not getting that back from me could be perceived as me being selfish and diminishing. I have no doubts that it has raised questions about the depth of our friendship and whether or not I am truly someone she can still depend on.

I genuinely want to do better and be a better friend. And I know that I’ll put forth the effort but like that last diet, it might not last long. It’s not who or how I am but it also doesn’t negate my love and affection for the woman who is more sister to me than anything else. She has always been my rock and my cheerleader, encouraging me forward when I didn't think I could take another step. She's my oldest and dearest friend and I love her unconditionally. She is my bestie! She knows me better than most, so I hope, if nothing else, she knows my heart.

Monday, June 14, 2021

A GOOD DAY!

 Yesterday was a good day! I love book events. I'm also partial to book clubs because book club members are pure joy! Yesterday, I was honored to visit with the Round Table Readers Literary Book Club. It was their first post-pandemic, in-person book club meeting and my being able to pull up a chair to the table and talk books with them made my heart sing! It was also two years ago today that Round Table Readers also hosted me.

Their book choice had been STALKED BY SECRETS, the fourth book in my To Serve and Seduce series. They had great questions, challenged my thought process, and taught me a thing or two. They always hold me accountable with my stories and I try not to disappoint. The conversations were engaging and the laughter abundant. Of note, I've given up playing the trivia games. I never win and most leave me in the dust with the old school music and movie questions. It's amazing how much I don't know or remember!

I'm also a tad biased when it comes to these women. I consider myself an honorary member of Round Table Readers. I've often invited myself to their meetings to rub elbows with my fellow authors. They've generously included me in their activities and I've often said I need to start paying dues so I can get in on their cool tee shirts. They always have the coolest tee shirts!

These women have supported my writing for years now! I love them to pieces! My sincerest appreciation to Ms. Kay Edmundson who chose this month's book and Mr. LaSheera Lee for always having my back. Kudo's to the staff and patrons of da Vinci's Table for the great service, spectacular food, and wonderful entertainment. And a nod to God who showed up and showed out with the most spectacular weather and a potential blessing that no one saw coming!





Saturday, April 10, 2021

CARELESS WHISPERS by SYNITHIA WILLIAMS


I love a good love story and my sister-author-friend Synithia Williams has done it once again with her newest Jackson Falls novel CARELESS WHISPERS. Anyone familiar with Synithia and Jackson Falls and the Robidoux family have been waiting with bated breath for Elaina Robidoux’s story and Synithia does not disappoint. She brings the sexy, the messy, and the drama to the pages making this a delightful, page turner that you will not want to put down. 
 

I asked Synithia about writing the romances she writes. 

“My life is pretty routine. I get up in the morning, get the kids ready for school (virtually currently), work a day job, prepare dinner in the evenings, and spend time with the family before bed. But, right before bed, I get to do something amazing. I sit down in front of my laptop and I get to write sexy, messy, romantic stories. I’m not surrounded by drama, lies, secrets, and glamours settings (my seven tiaras excluded) but I get to let my imagination run wild crafting stories that are full of heart, some humor, lots of drama, and plenty of heat.  

“My latest novel, Careless Whispers, is the fourth book in my Jackson Falls Series. A series that was inspired by my love of romance novels. In Careless Whispers Elaina Robidoux is suddenly ousted from her family’s business. A business she sacrificed so much for. To reestablish herself in the business world she has to work with the man who is partially to blame for her firing. Alex Tyson was once the bane of her existence, but as they work together, and Alex not only sees her vulnerable side but cherishes that part of her an unexpected love grows. I love my pretty routine life and wouldn’t voluntarily invite any of the drama I put in my stories into my day to day, but it sure is fun to explore the richness of human emotions and the beauty of falling in love through my writing.”

DRAMA! DRAMA! DRAMA! I get excited just thinking about it! But why don't I just give you a little tease so you can get excited too!


“This is the family’s room.”

She said the words as if he were a toddler encroaching upon a forbidden space. He supposed Elaina did view him as an unruly child. “That’s what he told me.” He stood and put out the cigar in the crystal ashtray next to the leather sofa.

When he looked back at Elaina, her eyes narrowed. Alex’s stomach did an unwelcome flip. He hated how much he was attracted to her. He’d rather be attracted to a man-eating succubus than Elaina. At least a succubus would take him out with a smile on his face. Elaina was not the type of woman to bring a smile to a man’s face.

She was beautiful. Her thick, wavy dark hair looked so damn soft. God was the only person who knew how many times he’d considered the softness of her hair, her smooth terra-cotta skin, or her full lips, and even then he’d deny it on judgment day. Her chestnut-brown eyes were bright and sparked with intelligence when they weren’t narrowed with skepticism or frozen over with disdain. Then there were her curves. The woman could make men stop in their tracks. He knew because he’d seen it happen. Full breasts, trim waist and rounded hips. He’d wanted to taste her luscious lips the second he’d seen her. Until she’d opened her mouth and told him all the reasons Robidoux Holdings didn’t need him.

He wasn’t sure why Elaina disliked him so much. Despite the rumors that he wanted the CEO position, he didn’t, and had made that very clear to Grant. A part of him was glad she openly despised him. Knowing he had absolutely zero chance with her made ignoring the way his body automatically reacted to her easier.

“There are other places you could have gone. Why did he let you up here?”

Alex wasn’t in the mood to argue. He also avoided being alone with her for too long to prevent any evidence of his crush from showing. If Elaina got a hint that he was attracted to her, she’d have his balls skinned and mounted on her wall like a trophy in no time.

“Ask him, Elaina,” he said in the blasé tone he used with her. “Your father invited me. I decided to come. I won’t be bothering you anymore.” He walked toward the door.

Elaina grunted softly. “I guess today’s the day I run men off.” The words were muttered under her breath.

Alex stopped at the door. Her hand shook as she brought her drink to her lips.

He frowned at the unusual display of a chink in her armor. Her words hadn’t been for him to hear, and he had no reason to find out what was wrong, but the slight slump of her shoulders tugged at an empathetic soft spot he hadn’t realized he possessed. “Are you okay?”

Her head whipped in his direction. Her eyes widened, and her arched brows drew together. “Of course I’m okay. Go down to the party and enjoy the free food.”

The coarseness of her words bristled. His hand tightened on the doorknob. He was ready to leave without another word, until the light glinted off the sheen of tears in her eyes. She looked away quickly and went further into the room.

Unsettled, Alex stared at her profile against the window. Elaina was a force to be reckoned with. If he made any reference to her tears, he might end up with his jugular ripped out. He didn’t have a clue what to say to lift her spirits. The two of them weren’t friends or cordial colleagues. Yet that newly discovered empathy wouldn’t let him leave without saying something.

“You did a great job on the party.”

She frowned at him. “What?”

“The party. I know you did most of the planning. From what I can tell, you did a great job.”

Her chin lifted. “It’s not that hard.”

“Still, I know your dad appreciates it.”

She sipped her drink. “Doubtful.”

“He does. But even if you don’t believe it, then know that I appreciate it.”

“Why would you appreciate it?” she asked suspiciously.

He thought about her earlier comment. “I like free food,” he said with a smile. Her mouth fell open. He’d at least succeeded in surprising her and taking away the sad look in her eyes. Alex hurried out the door before she could think of a snarky reply.

It's only a tease, but you get the idea! CARELESS WHISPERS is available wherever books are sold so go get your copy NOW! And please don't miss the other books in the Jackson Falls series. You'll be disappointed if you do.



Synithia has loved romance novels since reading her first one at the age of 13. It was only natural she would begin penning her own soon after. It wasn’t until 2010 that she began to actively pursue her dream of becoming a published author. She completed her first novel, You Can’t Plan Love, in the fall of 2010 and sold it to Crimson Romance in 2012.

Her novel Making it Real was a USA Today Happily Ever After blog 2015 Must Read Romance and A Malibu Kind of Romance a 2017 RITA finalist. Synithia has also written two books under the pseudonym Nita Brooks.

When she isn’t writing, she works on water quality issues for local government while balancing the needs of her husband and two sons.

You can discover more about Synithia and her books HERE!

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

PLEASE DEAL WITH YOUR SHIT

Let me preface this rant with an apology for my French. For those of you who are sensitive to bad language, I’m sorry, but sometimes I cuss and I wasn’t interested in watching my language for this post.

2021 is the year to deal with your shit! And I am saying that with my whole chest!

I had a conversation with a relative lately who was nasty for no other reason than she could be. No one has ever called her out on her nastiness. She low key attacks friends and family because she is broken and refuses to deal with her own shit, so assaulting loved ones has become her behavior du jour. Her husband endures most of her abuse. Most men would have gone out for a loaf of bread and stayed gone. But he continues to endure her tantrums and violent outbursts. To some degree he enables her bad behavior because he loves her and he wants to be there when things get better between them. I wish him well with that, but I don’t see it happening if she doesn’t start dealing with her shit.

This woman is blessed and she takes that for granted. Personally, I have neither the time, or the energy, to coddle her issues. I have my own damn problems to deal with. I’d go down the list if I thought it would give her something else to consider, but I know I’d be wasting my breath because in her small world everything is always about her.

With the New Year, it’s time for all of us to do some self-reflection. It’s time to take inventory of our needs and wants and assess what’s broken, what needs to be fixed, and what needs to be discarded. Then we need to get to work. My relative refuses to even consider therapy. She doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with her. Nothing that she can’t fix herself. But she would benefit from talking out her issues with a neutral party. Someone who isn’t going to agree with her just because she says they should. Someone who can see through her crap and who isn’t afraid to call her out on it. She needs to face the trauma she’s buried deep in the core of her psyche and begin the work to unpack the baggage she’s been lugging around like a favorite coat. She needs to do what we all need to do! She needs to heal by whatever means necessary!

But healing won’t come if one isn’t willing to put forth the effort. You can’t right what’s wrong when you refuse to ask for help. There’s no coming back from those dark places if you won’t even acknowledge that you’ve fallen down that rabbit hole and can’t find your way back. If you won’t look in the mirror and be honest about the monster you unleash on others to help you cope with your hurt.

It’s okay to be broken. It’s not okay to wave the shattered fragments of your pain around like a weapon. It’s also okay to not want help. It’s just not okay to expect that you can drag those who love you into your hell and they will stay and take it.

Clean away from your own doors this year instead of worrying about what others are doing behind theirs. Be the best version of yourself that you can be and if that means fighting for your sanity, then damn it, get in the mud and fight! Stop worrying about what others think or how things may look. Most folks are too focused on their own issues to truly care about yours. Besides, you acting like a damn fool in the middle of the night and smiling in the morning like no one will figure it out, rarely works. Someone always knows. Someone else is bound to see and personally, I’m not keeping your bad behavior a secret, so you can trust at least one person is going to tell.

Get it together. A well-lived life depends on it. And you can’t be whole if you are investing all your energy in being angry and hostile and a miserable bitch to the very people who are least deserving of it.

So, please, deal with your shit!

Friday, January 01, 2021

DEAR BABY NEW YEAR


Baby New Year, hello! And Happy Birthday!

Let me forewarn you, this isn’t your typical welcome and hello letter. I usually save my end of the year rants for Santa Claus, but I gave him a break this time. I’m sure he was inundated with Santa letters this year with the needs list for many being astronomical. After the year we’ve all had I knew he probably couldn’t handle much more bitching and complaining. Not that I ever bitch or complain. Except maybe about that pony he never did deliver, but I digress.

We are all in a weird space right now and the pressure on your shoulders to get the new year back on track would break the best of us. You don’t have that option. To be blunt, if you screw up, we will come for you. Your predecessor blew it big time, in unfathomable fashion. Hell, all you really need to do now is stand still, keep quiet and not break anything to do a better job than he did. Seriously, no fast moves or loud noises are allowed this year.

We desperately need some peace and quiet. Just a few moments of stillness where we can hear ourselves think. We need to be able to breathe without fear, with or without a mask. Our losses in 2020 have been monumental. I have had to grieve so much that I don’t know how to grieve anymore. Bad news comes and I can’t shed a single tear. I’m completely numb and I have no plans to spend the next twelve months feeling as though I need to keep building walls to protect my heart.

So, the onus is on you to get it right. You’re allowed baby steps for a few minutes. Maybe even a day or two, but then we need you to dig in your heels and get moving. Your learning curve is going to be short and sweet. It’s a lot, I know, but I have faith that you can do it! Many of us will be cheering you on. If you have questions, ask us, not the last guy. We’ve kicked 2020 to the curb. He’s come and gone and couldn’t give advice to a tick on his ass if he needed to. I know the work you have ahead of you is monumental, but the challenge is here to make you stronger, not break you.

But understand, failure is not an option. We’ve had more than our fair share. Our politicians have failed us. Our governments have failed us. Sadly, even friends and family completely blew it this year so we can’t take anyone else falling down on the job and getting it wrong. Most especially the new guy. You’ve got a clean slate. No excess baggage and more importantly, you’ve been warned! It’s not often that we call out the last guy and his screw ups. Usually, we let you figure it out for yourself. We can’t risk it this go-round.

So, welcome, baby! We’re done cooing at you and tickling your chubby cheeks and I’m sure that was good while it lasted. Now, we’re giving you a little nudge out the nest; okay, maybe it’s a swift kick, but I know you understand. Get it cracking, kid, and please know, I’ll be praying daily for your success!

And please, tell Santa I’ll catch up with him later in the year. We’re good with that pony but I’m going to need him to step up his game this Christmas!