Tag Archives: Books

Rising Ash Hits the Shelves

The book is here!!

Times Square
This has been an especially weird week for a book launch. I had to do some unexpected travel due to some family circumstances, so a whole five days have already passed. But at long last, the paperback copy of Rising Ash is available for purchase.
This project started out about three years ago as a NaNoWriMo project, my second time completing it. I took the manuscript over the following year and re-worked it for release in serial format for release on Kindle. The goal had always been to get it out in paperback, and I’m also toying with the idea of doing an Audiobook version.

Even if you have already read the Kindle versions, you will want to check out the paperback. (Hint: There are a few differences and revisions!) I like to think of it as akin to the Director’s cut of Blade Runner. 😉

But if you haven’t already, go ahead and click right on through and grab your copy today!

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My Interview with Veronica Rhine

The following post was originally published on May 5th, here at the blog of acclaimed fantasy and horror author A.M. Rycroft. Rycroft’s latest book “The Taming” is now available for pre-order on Kindle, with physical sales coming soon. The giveaway promotion for Veronica Rhine is no longer active, but follow her on Twitter for more promotions, @writerveronica. 

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An Interview With Paranormal Romance Author Veronica Rhine

Veronica Rhine is a prolific author of romance and paranormal romance titles. The Dream Walker Series is now available on Kindle and Amazon.

R.G. Westerman: Who is Veronica Rhine?

Veronica Rhine: I’ve been called complicated, but I don’t think that is necessarily true. I am a human animal trying to survive, just like everyone else. That is what I write about. Survival. I think that means different things to different people.

R.G: What does it mean to you?

V.: It means having all your needs met. One of my favorite devices to use in writing is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Once the basic needs are met, food, shelter, clothing, all of a sudden a whole new layer of needs appears. Comfort, happiness, enlightenment. I am sitting here craving a plate of bacon, because let’s face it. I’m always craving a plate of bacon, and I realize that if I were to get that bacon the next thing I would be aware of is the need to… I don’t know, find the meaning of life. It is as if we are never truly satisfied.

R.G: Tell us a little bit about your current series?

V.: It is good. I am allowed to say that about my own work, right? But it is that measure of satisfaction, I guess, that drives my characters. They all have the same desire to find the thing that makes them feel complete, if even for a moment. For Athena it is about escaping her dismal reality. The dreams she has makes her realize just how unhappy she is in her waking life.

R.G: Where did you get the idea for this series?

V.: From my mind of course! No really, I get asked that a lot. I am never sure how to answer that. I guess you could say I had a dream and when I woke up I asked the question.

R.G: What question is that?

V.: The same question all writers ask themselves when they begin a story. “What if…?”

R.G: Ah, yes. I know that question. So back to the Dream Walker series. Can you describe it in a nutshell?

V.: The main character is Athena Maze and she keeps having these dreams. This gorgeous man keeps visiting her and hot and steamy hijinks ensue. Of course this may or may not be real, and she may or may not be traveling between realms. It is loosely, (very loosely) based on Sleeping Beauty. I guess you could say “inspired by” more than based on.

R.G: Is there anything else in the works? What do readers have to look forward to?

V.: Funny you should ask. I’m toying with a Cinderella trilogy. Of course it would be just about as much like the fairy tale as this one is like Sleeping Beauty. I’m still knocking the idea around. I have a lot on my plate right now. But one thing I don’t have on my plate right now is bacon! I need to go and find some.

V.: I almost forgot to mention. The first book of the trilogy, Athena, is available for a free download on Amazon until May 5th (http://www.amazon.com/Athena-Book-Dream-Walker-Walkers-ebook/dp/B01EP4UP8I/). Everyone should flock to the site, literally right now and download a copy. It’s brilliant. You become a better human being by reading it.

R.G.: Duly noted. I’m going to get my copy right now.

Follow author Veronica Rhine on Twitter @writerveronica.

 

 

 

The Only Thing I’m Going to Say About “Fifty Shades of Grey”

So I haven’t read it and I haven’t watched it and I don’t intend to. But I am coming to realize that it would be remiss of my duties as a feminist if I did not at least acknowledge this cultural phenomenon in some way. I intentionally know very little about this story/book/movie, except from what I have been exposed to from the media and various conversations and what not. I do know that I walked into a supposedly family friendly book store last week, which featured a prominent display depicting an image of a woman with her arms bound over her head and a man looming over her holding her face. Hey, I’m all in favor of doing whatever you want to do with whomever you want to do it with, in the bedroom (or whatever other room of your choosing), but I don’t necessarily want to see pictures of it while on a family outing.

Here is a few other things that I think I know about the story.

  • It features a young girl, naive, repressed, etc. She sees herself as plain, dowdy and boring, but others think she is quite pretty and interesting. (Can we get past this trope already!!??)

  • She meets a rich, handsome hero under dubious circumstances.

  • She is intrigued by him, even though he seems to be rude and self absorbed pretty much right off the bat.

  • They go out.

  • There is something about a contract, to which she agrees. Supposedly the contract dictates multiple details of her life including but not limited to what foods she can and cannot eat. (How little self esteem does one have to have for this nonsense to fly!?)

  • There is something about a helicopter ride.

  • At some point he sells her car without her knowledge. (I’m sorry, but if someone sold my car without my knowledge, I’d report it stolen and press all kinds of charges. I mean, people develop emotional attachments to their vehicles, develop memories, etc. i.e. “I had this car my senior year of college, and we road tripped down to Pensacola during finals week.” I don’t care if I’m driving a beater. It’s my property and no one has a right to sell it except me.)

  • There is some sex in the story.

  • Somewhere towards the end he beats her up and prompts her to count to six. From everything I have heard this scene is disguised as a sex scene. But apparently she is not into it and she is crying and upset. So really he’s just hitting her and getting off on it despite or because of her reaction. I don’t know which is worse.

  • Finally, she stands up for herself to some extent and walks out.

There. That is the full extent of my knowledge. It may or may not be accurate. Feel free to let me know one way or the other. I’ve heard countless readers/ movie goers say “Oh, but wait!” and “Don’t worry. In the end she actually SAVES him!” and so on.

But I guess the question I have always come back to is this. Why would she want to? What is so fascinating about this obnoxious thug that she must invest so much of herself into leading him to redemption? It is not our job as women to ‘fix’ our men. This mindset continues to remain prevalent. It’s disgusting. Men are capable of self control, self awareness, empathy, and accountability. Can we please start saying so out loud?!

There are so many things about the story that make me want to run the other way, and of course I am appalled that such a large portion of the population has been sucked into this narrative.

I don’t get it.

There is another list which I must post here. I would like for you, dear reader, to join me in a small game. See how many similarities you can find between the two lists.

  • Controlling behavior

  • Possessiveness

  • Makes major decisions without consulting partner.

  • Criticism and control over details of partner’s life, appearance, eating habits, etc.

  • Isolation

  • Sexual pressure

  • Demands for actions, sexual or otherwise, the partner is uncomfortable with.

  • Holding partner responsible for emotional state.

Do you see it?

This is a partial list of warning signs for an abusive relationships compiled by the National Domestic Violence Hotline. These traits are not romantic. They just aren’t. I’m a little concerned that the ticket sales are indicating that so many movie goers seem to think they are. Keep in mind that I HAVE NOT seen the movie, nor have I read the book. Please feel free to let me know if I have any of the details incorrect.

In the mean time, here are a few helpful links for anyone who might need a resource for help.

NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: http://www.thehotline.org/

RAPE AND INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK: https://www.rainn.org/

Of course if one needs immediate help, call 911.

The Duck Stops Here.

Oh, man.

I tried. I mean I really tried to write something topical and tackle this whole Phil Robertson thing… Is it Robertson or Robinson…?

See, I don’t even care enough to Google the name and make sure. It hurts my brain to try and engage those who are defending his words. Sure, he’s allowed to have them and free speech and yadda, yadda, yadda. But he didn’t get arrested so it’s not a breech of the first amendment. There that’s done. Blog post done.

Nope, just kidding.

Then he came out and said that it’s important to marry women young because otherwise they are only after your pocket book or some such. Where are the flocks of supporters for this statement? Oh, he was just kidding you say? Really? Really?!!

Having grown up mostly in the Southern region of the United States and having been female for the whole of that time I can assure you that he was not kidding. What he speaks is representative of a very real and pervasive mindset. I can assume this, even though I don’t know the man, never met him, never care to. I’ve never watched the show nor do I intend to. But I have read time and time again that he is representative of a subset of our society. That part I agree with. I have seen posts on social media that the show represents a family of red necks and therefore we should not be surprised when he says something that a redneck would say. That I can also agree with. It’s all part of the culture. Meh, pay it no mind. Shrug it off. He represents an antiquated viewpoint from a small vestige of our society. Ignore it and it will go away.

That I cannot do.

Because last I checked, rednecks can vote. And this mentality regarding women is dangerous.

I was a sophomore in high school. First period was a study hall class and I spent it in the library. This was back in the day when the last fifteen minutes of first period was devoted to Channel One, a run-by-teens news show with flashy Saved by the Bell looking graphics. I sat behind the check out desk reading a book. Some students were mulling about waiting for Channel One to finish blaring out from the wall mounted televisions. One guy was leaning against the desk near me.

Heavy into my literary high school ennui I muttered under my breath “Uch, Channel One is creepy. It’s too much like 1984,” 

The guy across the desk peered from under his tattered John Deer baseball cap and asked in a thick drawl, “Why, what happened in 1984?”

I glanced disdainfully in his direction. “You know,” I said, “’Big Brother is watching’?”

He shifted slightly. “What’s your brother got to do with it?”

I shook my head. “Nevermind. It’s a book.”

“A book?”

“Yes,” I said “A book. Rectangular thing made of paper… ‘S got words in it…?”

His eyes lit up slightly. He must have recognized something I had said… He smiled, leaned in and said, dripping with gentlemanly charm, “Now what’s a good-looking girl like you doin’ readin’ books?”

True story.

Just as I glanced up at him from the pages of the offending book the bell rang letting out class.

This is the first inkling of a moment when I realized that something may be afoot at the Circle K. I am not in Kansas anymore. All is not quiet on the Western Front. Big Brother really IS watching. From that moment forward I began to become aware of something sinister, a nasty underbelly of expectations regarding my behavior. I traveled along living my life, experiencing joys and pitfalls just like everyone. Reading, learning, living. Then every once in a while someone would look at me and say “You don’t have to act like that you know,”

“Act like what?”

“So independent. Especially now that you have a boyfriend,”

Wait, what?

More than once in my life has a guy told me to “stop using such big words. No one knows what you are talking about,”. Sorry no. I don’t have a list in my head of words that other people don’t know. I’ve been told that I don’t behave the way women are supposed to. I’ve been told that I read too much, that I know too much, that I am too outspoken. I’ve been told to be submissive, that there are certain jobs I shouldn’t have or can’t do (sometimes during the very moment of doing said job!).

Hearing a phrase from a guy on television about women being a commodity who are to be treated a certain way to avoid or guarantee a certain outcome, to predict behavior and restrict experience cannot be shrugged off or ignored. Yes, his behavior is ridiculous and reprehensible, and it absolutely hurts my brain to hear those statements. But guess what. It isn’t the first time, probably won’t be the last and I would venture to say that there might be hordes of other women who have had similar stories.

Well guess what? Last time I checked, women can also vote.