Saturday, November 28, 2015

Things I've learned as I become old

They say that with age comes wisdom, and I don't know if that is true or not. What I do know is that I've come to recognize some things as truths to me.

They might not be your truths, but they are mine.

Me, as Freddy
5. There is no movie I absolutely have to see in the theaters.

There are movies I'd like to see on the big screen. I love going to movies, so for me, paying to go is all about the experience I have when I'm there. The big bucket of popcorn (white cheddar cheese sprinkles, please) and the surround speakers... It is an experience.

That said, movies release to Netflix four months after their theatrical debut. They release to DVD in about three months... and sometimes those numbers fluctuate. Mostly, I can wait three months. Sometimes I don't want to, but still... I CAN wait and will wait for most movies since I can sit in my pjs and have taco night with my kids rather than going to a theater where I'm not even allowed to play Candy Crush during the slow parts of the film.

4. There is no piece of new technology that I have to have.

My sis & me at Christmas in the 80s
Arguably, if I lost my arm and they came up with a new arm device, I might actually have to have the device. But the new Apple or Android phone? Yeah, you've got to be kidding. I'm not paying five or six hundred dollars for a phone that I fully recognize that I'm going to drop the minute I try to get in my car. I'm an author, so my paycheck fluctuates a LOT, but say I was making minimum wage in my current home state (Ohio) which is $8.10 an hour. (Note: If I went out to get a job today, I'd likely be making just that for at least a while...) The new iPhone 6s Plus (with 128GB!) is currently available

Assuming I work about 40hrs a week, that's a week and a half for a phone I won't be able to find when I need it. For something I'm going to drop on the ground. For something I don't actually NEED, but I might just want.  Nope, nope, nope.
for $499 so we're going to round that to $500 to make the math easier for me to do. At minimum wage, I'd have to work sixty-two hours to afford an iPhone... plus the contract or however I wanted to activate the phone.

3. If my kids don't get a pile of presents as tall as them, they will not think I don't love them.

Cranky little me
I can't buy their love, and although my logical brain recognizes this fact... I kind of want to recapture every year that magical look of wonder they used to get when they were little. I tend to get a little panicky around the holidays because I ask them to make me a list and WHO CAN AFFORD ALL THESE THINGS?!

But my kids are cool as hell, so they sometimes get that look when I take them to a new place. They get that look in a museum (which usually has free admission) and they get that look when we're all hanging out and laughing.

So nothing I put under our tree is going to give them the pleasure that my time, my willingness to be in the present with them, and my love will give them.

Me and Aunt Lee
2. I can fix almost anything, but I can't fix dead.

I can't talk to my Aunt Lee again, no matter how many times I want to call her. I can't get another hug from her or smell the uniquely Aunt Lee smell ever again. I can remember her. I can tell my kids about her... But she is gone.

And I really loved her face. She wasn't classically beautiful or anything, just incredibly lovely to me.

With that knowledge, I can realize that I need to spend time with the people I love today, because I don't know if they or I will be here tomorrow.

1. And it doesn't matter how I look.

Me & my niece
Also a reflection because of Aunt Lee... I realize that it doesn't matter what I wear. It doesn't matter what makeup I put on my face or what fancy beauty techniques I use...

To those that matter, they will see me as lovely because they love me. To those that don't matter... they won't see me regardless of what I wear. I read once that most people are too concerned about what they look like to even worry about what you look like... and I've found that to be mostly true. Sure, maybe job interviews or other professional situations are the exception--since the goal is to make a good impression--but for regular day to day life? It doesn't matter.

The ones that love me will be happy to see me. They missed me, they want to be near me, and what is on the outside? That's not the important part.

My little niece loves me very much, but probably not as much as I loved Aunt Lee. She runs into my arms and gives me snuggles and tells me all the wonders of her world. I adore her, but she doesn't care if I brushed my hair. She doesn't care if what I'm wearing is name brand... she sometimes cares about my nails, but only because she wants to polish them.

Love doesn't care how you look. And if it does? I don't think that is love.

Just some random thoughts I was having today, so I thought I'd share them with you all.
mama virg

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#NewRelease Desert Wolf by Heather Long #WolvesOfWillowBend

Desert Wolf
by Heather Long
Wolves of Willow Bend #8

Cassius, Alpha of Sutter Butte, leads the most ruthless and dangerous pack in the United States. Misfits, castoffs, and forgotten wolves, they rose to create a pack more than a century ago in utter defiance of the order of the day. Seen as pitiless and cruel, Cassius wants more for his people than a yearly bloodbath as they fight for a better spot in the pecking order. To change his pack means to change himself, and he will find rebellion on all sides, not to mention from his own defiant heart.

Sovvan Stark, Omega of Delta Crescent, lives a cherished, beloved life in the center of her pack—a delicate and hard won balance. Though she is not the only Omega, she is the most experienced with the tremors of pack upset when power shifts from Alpha to Alpha. When her Alpha approaches her about Sutter Butte’s request, Sovvan considers the matter for several months. While she might hold within her the key to helping the Sutter Butte Alpha, the undertaking could very well kill her.
Accompanied by a single Hound, Sovvan begins a journey to help Cassius rebuild the foundation of his pack, but first she will have to transform him…

Buy Links


Sunday, November 22, 2015

#Spotlight on Sly "Bullhorn" Brodsky, Offensive Line (First & Ten Book 5)

Sly "Bullhorn" Brodsky, Offensive Line (First & Ten Book 5)

By Jean C. Joachim

Sly “Bullhorn” Brodsky wished winning the heart of Samantha Drake was as easy as protecting his quarterback. A top offensive lineman in the NFL, Bull tried to live down his rep as a womanizer. Locker room chatter had elevated him to the level of “player” in more than football. But Samantha Drake, dark-haired, stunning sister of a teammate, didn’t want to have anything to do with him. Or did she?

On his best behavior, Bull pulled out all the stops to woo the reluctant beauty. He was making progress until a woman from his past reappeared. Tiffany, the one woman who broke his heart, is in trouble. Is Bull the only man who can help?

Samantha is overcoming her doubts about Bull until Tiffany arrives. Is the blonde really in hot water or does she just want another chance with the man she discarded?

Enjoy the return of your favorite First & Ten characters in this book, too. Surprises, twists, and football action scenes will keep you turning the pages. 

Buy Links 

“I’m grubby. I need a shower,” she said, pushing to her feet to glance in the mirror.
The next image to take over his mind was stepping into a steamy shower behind Samantha. He blinked a few times and took a deep breath, hoping his thoughts wouldn’t inspire an erection.
“You okay? Were the boxes too much?” Her dark, chocolate brown eyes held concern.
He laughed. “You kiddin’? That’s nothin’. I take down guys ten times that weight in every game. Geez. What do you think? I’m a pussy or something?”
She made a face.
“Sorry. I need to clean up my words.” He sensed color in his face. He’d never had a girlfriend like Samantha Drake. She was smart, beautiful, and nice. She did volunteer work at the New Life Shelter for battered women and kids. But she wasn’t his girlfriend, only a friend. With no benefits. He sighed.
“My brother, Devon, talks like that too. You’d think football players never went to college.” She handed him a cold bottle of water.
He downed the liquid. “What’s next?”
She turned around in the room and sucked her lower lip between her teeth. “Bed, books, clothes, rocking chair. Hmm. How many boxes are still in the car?”
“Then that’s it. The place looks pretty empty.” She perched on the mattress, tucking her feet under her.
“You’ll have it furnished before you know it. Come on. I’m gonna bring those boxes up then take you out to dinner.”
“Thanks. Be right back.” Her thousand-watt smile turned his innards to jelly.
He sat in the rocking chair while Samantha washed the dirt off her luscious body. Or what he assumed was luscious. Sylvester “Bullhorn” Brodsky, known to his teammates as “Bull,” had the hots for Samantha Drake, and it was keeping him up nights. While he waited for her to want him back, his imagination ran through a half dozen things he’d like to do to her under the warming spray of hot water. She was a little slip of a thing, and he was huge. Six foot three inches tall and two hundred fifty pounds of pure muscle, the offensive lineman could lift her up with one hand.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

#FreeRead #Paranormal Unicorns Fart Glitter

You can now read the first six chapters of Unicorns Fart Glitter (the first in a paranormal trilogy coming in 2016) for FREE on WattPadd!!

Ruby Asher—the most fabulous of the Asher triplets—loves color, sparkles, and everything girly. The middle sister, Ruby prefers to stand out and make people happy. With her pink-colored hair and bubbly personality, people tend to assume she is a flake. So when a twist of fate drags her, minus one stiletto, into the paranormal world, no one believes her or leaps to her rescue.

But—fact—a were-unicorn tripped on a kitten and bit her shoulder. The unicorn in question, Silas Eliot, is in hiding from the rest of his kind. He hates his dual nature, hates all things glittering and colorful, and just wants to be taken seriously as a hardcore, shock metal musician. Can Ruby help him redesign his look to better fit his dream while he teaches her to deal with her new gift...or will they both find love at the end of the rainbow?

Find it HERE


Friday, November 20, 2015

#NewRelease #audiobook USA Today Besteller - The Penthouse Prince


Buy Links


Single mom Jeanie Long was trying to save her butt at work by reporting her manager to the company owner. Instead, she finds herself greeted warmly by gorgeous company CEO Camden James...and introduced to his father as his fiancée. Now she's been hired—complete with a hefty pay raise—to be the fake fiancée of the infamous “Penthouse Prince.”

Camden doesn't believe in love. He believes in mutually beneficial business arrangements. With his real fiancée off cheating on him, Camden needs someone to help him prove to his father that he's definitely ready to marry. Yet Jeanie's combination of beauty and bluntness act like an aphrodisiac, and their “for the press” kisses look incredibly real. So real that Jeanie and Camden are either really convincing actors...or they've fallen for their own charade.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I took the YouCam App out for a testdrive and this is what I found... #Review #AppReview

There are those who say we live in an age of unrealistic expectations and unattainable beauty standards. From the size of your behind to the lushness of your pout, women are trying out new things to become "perfect."

It isn't just women, either. The rise of manscaping, metrosexuality and lumbersexual have proved that men are also held to standards of beauty as never before. Instead of going in depth into the cultural ramifications of setting a standard of perfect merely on physical aspect rather than focusing on spiritual and intellectual pursuits, however, I'm instead going to look at a free app I found on my phone.

It is called YouCam and it claims to be an instant makeover.

Pffft, said I. For you see, I spent years learning about makeup and the correct application, so how could some app possibly give me a makeover? Surely, it will look massively photoshopped, right?

Well, this is me. I'm just an average gal with above average rainbow in my hair.
And sometimes a cat or two...

I do have some acne (because the universe is unfair and apparently decided I should pay for my teen years of blemish-free face with an adulthood of spots) but no major wrinkles or anything (yet.)

Here's me on YouCam:
Glamorous? Well, a lot more so than the normal me. This picture was literally taken within an hour or so of waking up. I hadn't brushed my hair yet and I wasn't wearing a spec of makeup in real life. But look at me! No pores, no flaws, just shining awesome.

And fake. This is so very fake. But other than the lashes (which I think you can still tell are added) this is a REALLY good photoshop. Like, if you didn't know me, you might believe I look at least mostly like this.

Here's a side-by-side of the app and the original pic.
Yeah, real me had pores. I had pinkish spots and under eye baggage. My hair really isn't brushed and I look far from flawless.

On one hand, this is awesome. I no longer have to put on makeup to take a snazzy looking pic! That's awesome!

On the other, it does imply a standard of beauty I won't ever actually manage in real life. Could this be damaging to young girls who are forming their ideas about what beauty is? Could it mean people won't recognize me in real life? Okay, I'm not sure if that second one is a bad thing, but moving on...

You can also give yourself enlarged eyes. Like REALLY enlarged. I thought I looked anime, but folks said I looked like everything from an elf to an Olson twin (Maybe I am the lost Olson. If so, I really want my sissies to bring me a new car. Nothing flashy--just a nice 2015 Spark would make me happy. Sisters? Mary Kate? Ashley? Liz? Nothing? Damn.)

Anyway, I found this app to work better than I expected. I also think that I'm old enough and wise enough to understand that if all my buddies suddenly start looking WAY better than I remember them looking when I saw them earlier at the gas station, I'm going to know it was because of digital magic and not take it personally.

However I will say there are teen girls out there, striving to find their place in this world and wanting to fit in. To be considered beautiful. Remarkable.

To them I want to say... You ARE beautiful. You don't need an app to make you lovely. You need a good heart, a big brain and a willingness to keep getting back up when life smacks you down.

But, you can play with silly apps... so long as you remember that reality and fiction are not the same thing.

xoxo mama virg

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Coming to audiobook CD and audible in ONE WEEK!
(Already available in print and ebook!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

#NewRelease Elite Ghosts! Six novels from NYTimes, USAToday and award-winning, bestselling authors! #AvailableNow

Six novels from some New York Times, USA Today and award winning bestselling authors! Six individual novels that create one giant book! One story leading into the next into the next! This is a continuation in the hunt for Red Wolf including all the characters you love from Elite Metal!

Check out the amazing book trailer here!

Elite Ghosts
Target: TungstenHeather Long
Zinc’s HeartRebecca Royce
Lithium’s RescueSabrina York
Thallium’s SubmissionAnna Alexander
Nickel’s Wounds Saranna DeWylde
Titanium’s SacrificeJennifer Kacey

For more than two years they’ve been ghosts. Nothing but names on empty tombstones. Men and women forced to fade into the background after being pulled from the rubble. Dead Marines saved from a fate worse than death, but ordered to stand down while their lives disappeared all around them.

Some knew it could happen if a mission exploded. Double crossed by more than just Red Wolf. But now is their time to be reborn from the flames of a Phoenix. No longer imprisoned in the shadows. A half-life between them and their future. To make things right coming back to life is their only option.
Loyalty is their salvation but damage is always more than skin deep.

A new hope. A new family. Elite Ghosts. 

Elite Ghosts Buy Links
AMAZON | B&N | ARE | KOBO  | Smashwords | iBooks

Target: Tungsten by Heather Long -
Bradley “Tungsten” Peck. Marine. Lover. Friend. He’s the man who can get anything, find anyone, and accomplish every goal. At least he was, before he lost the only woman who mattered…he won’t stop until he gets her back or she puts a bullet in him.
Zinc's Heart by Rebecca Royce - 
Zinc has nothing to proveand everything to lose.
Lithium’s Rescue by Sabrina York - 
He will save her…unless she saves him first.
Thallium's Submission by Anna Alexander - 
From now on the only orders he will follow are hers.
Nickel’s Wounds by Saranna DeWylde - 
Hell hath no fury like a Marine who’s lost her way. Beauty was once her currency, but for a woman who can’t feel anything but agony, she has nothing left. Except the vengeance that could destroy the one man whose love could teach her how to save herself.
Titanium’s Sacrifice by Jennifer Kacey - 
 Titanium. Warbucks. Commander. Brother. He is all of those things. And none of them. Giving up everything to save the men and women under his command was easy until it comes to one…last…sacrifice.

Monday, November 2, 2015

#NewRelease Forty Candles by USA Today Bestselling author Virginia Nelson! #Contemporary #Romance

Will she get her wish when she blows out Forty Candles?

Chloe Walker did everything right. She went to college, got a good job, dated the right men—everything. Peering at forty from a bit too close, she realizes she can be miserable that she didn’t end up happily married to the handsome prince…or she can count her lucky stars. She tries to go with stars, but the universe seems to have other plans.

Jack Leonard has loved Chloe since they were kids. He’s stood by her through all life’s little messes, been her shoulder to cry on, and figured one day they’d wind up together. He figures he’s just waiting her out. When her life goes swirly, he’s got to convince her that some men are worth risking it all for.

Can Jack make Chloe rethink her birthday wish or will she get just what she asked for when she blows out Forty Candles?