For my Christmas list, I wish to do a great deal of good deeds that don't go unpunished, like backing out farther into a bright yellow post that left a huge paint transfer on my car so a nice person leaving See's Candies can leave a primo parking spot for me. Or writing letters to manufacturers asking them to create the "Beta Parent." The Beta Parent comes custom made to look just like you or Dad, and plays ping pong with six year olds (great hit son!) and three year olds (oops, I dropped the ball, hahaha. oops I dropped the ball, hahaha!) and comes with automatic, positive dialogue like "Fingers belong in your lap instead of your nose," and "I'd buy that for you but it's not on the list," and "How would you feel if..." And responds to every answer with "tell me why" and "you guessed it." Kids would listen to the Beta Parent, because they know that, just like the nanny, the Beta Parent doesn't really care that they eat three meals a day of protein, good carbs, veggies, and fruits, and that they get enough sleep, but the Beta Parent can even lie in a child's bed and has a light snore function, perhaps even a nightlight and a built in library of classics such as Good Night Gorilla, Hot Rod Hamster, and Once Upon A Potty. The Beta Parent's slogan would be: "Hey Parents! Buy Yourself Some Time!"
"Ho ho ho," Santa would respond. "That sounds like a really self serving Christmas list, Liz. "
In that case, I would humbly nod my head and admit to my selfish desires and ask instead for everyone to get along and love each other, and Santa would say, "But how will you write historical fiction twenty years from now?"
"You've got a point there, Santa. Perhaps a housekeeper and cook for a day?"
"Now you're back to self serving."
"All right, I'll take the motorized Godzilla action figurine then." (I have a friend who is a urologist and would let forth a litany of crass jokes at this point.)
The other day, while I was on my way to see The Nutcracker (doctor friend, insert crass jokes here) I was driving one of those roads adjacent to the sidewalk where no one in their right mind walks unless they've got one of those complexes where they truly believe they will never be run over by a wayward car while swaying back out of the bike lane on their mountain bike or jogging halfway down the middle of the road. I came up behind an Acura, and the driver stopped in the middle of the road with no stoplight or stop sign in sight, and began texting. Now unless they received a text that said LCL SWGE PLANT EXPLD GIANT CLOUD CMNG UR WAY there's really no excuse to stop like that. Slamming on the brakes, I swerved past muttering unintelligible words as the driver of the Acura stared out the window at me, trying to decipher what I was mouthing. Since I have kids in the car, and I am a lady, after all, what came out of my mouth was "Hey you!" with a pointed finger like an old school marm and off I went to the ballet. I began to ponder the concept of time, and whether the Beta Parent was such a great idea after all. Texting is an amazing concept, and a great way to keep in touch socially. Professionally nowadays, there's no excuse not to stay connected, so texting saves a lot of trips for parents who work in an office.
So it appears we have a paradox between what makes things easier, and what can make life harder in the long run. Beta Parent, off the list (although I might consider a day rental someday). Defensive Driving, on the list. Texting on demand, off the list. Texting while waiting in response to important subject matter other than "Hey, what r u doing?", on the list. So, this Christmas and from henceforth, I'm going to buy myself some time with some extra care. It costs a lot less than careless mistakes.
Blog Guest Post: Introducing Lee-Ann Graff Vinson, author of the scintillating romance Callie's Fate
When I stop to admire the cover of Callie's Fate, which is often for obvious reasons you can see here, I know for sure this book is going to be something sexy! I love the way it begins in a non-cliched manner. A group of old fashioned sorts seem to have determined that a romance should not begin with a heroine being married. I'm glad author Lee-Ann has stretched the boundaries and taken risks with this one, and it looks like it's going to be a great story. Thank you, Lee-Ann, for creating a fresh, original story and refusing to write romance with the same old same old!
Why did you decide to become a novelist?
I don’t think I decided, it was decided for me. My enjoyment for writing is just something that’s always been. When I realized I might actually have a talent for creating stories people would be interested in reading, I was pregnant with my first child, at least four feet wide (or felt like I was) and soon to be a stay-at-home mom. So, the question was, “How serious am I about a career in writing?” This was quickly followed by, “Will I be any good?” I figured if I could give birth, I could probably handle the pain of the dreaded rejection letter. I stared fate right in the eye and said “pretty please?” Along came Gypsy Shadow Publishing, and my first e-book came screaming onto the screen in October 2010, all 4,700 words of her.
I am so with you on that. There is something about gestating that really stimulates the creative process. After all, we are creating life. It only seems natural that great things and great ideas should occur at this time.
Tell us about your latest book.
When Callie takes the red-eye home to surprise her husband for their anniversary, she finds the surprise is on her. She watches as a blonde tart in six-inch heels teeters out from her home and toward a cherry-red Mustang, which is parked in her spot.
Enraged, Callie does the only thing she can do. She drives to her favorite coffee house, scrolls through divorce lawyers who claim to eat cheating husbands for breakfast, and cries. Her only consolation is Christian, a Marine, whom she befriended on a chat site almost a year earlier.
While waiting for her marriage to end, Callie agrees to finally meet Christian in person. She has always been a woman in control, but the mere touch of this man has her begging for more. Christian is only too happy to oblige, leaving Callie agreeing with the motto ‘The Few and The Proud’. She has never experienced a man who could make her see stars, but Christian does his duty, and does it well.
Unhappy circumstances bring them together. A week of sexual bliss makes it impossible for them to part, leaving them to wonder how they can, once again, test the hands of fate
Who is your greatest inspiration? Why?
That would have to be the women out there who can balance their careers with their families and still smile at the end of each day. Keeping a clean house, always being on time (or early) for appointments, never running out of the important groceries, these are things I used to be good at. Heck, I excelled at them. Now? Not so much. I could use about four more hours in each day and another day in the week to fit in all the things I have going on (and I don’t even work outside the home!) As well, I think my children sucked out the brain cells that control my organizational skills, as they seem to have disappeared as well. Having said that, I wouldn’t give them up for anything in the world. They are my heart and soul, and yes, my inspiration.
Two words for you, Supermom. Gingko Biloba. It's the only way I can remember to wash my hair after having four children. To have a novel published, and raise a family, is absolutely amazing. Big props to you and I cannot wait to read your book.
Where can readers pick up a copy of your book?
‘Callie’s Fate’ is available through Gypsy Shadow Publishing. It can also be found at Amazon.com, Bookstrand, OmniLit and Smashwords.
Thank you so much, Lee-Ann, for stopping by and sharing your time with us at The Visionary Lounge. We look forward to a lot more great books from you in the future.
And while you're in the mood for art, check out the News and Events section for the latest on a book signing on Thursday, December 15th, at Barnes and Noble in San Jose. Buy two or more books and receive a free T-shirt and some swag. The author signed books will make great Christmas gifts, and the tee will be a great gift for you! Hope to see you there!
Or if you're infatuated with technology's modern conveniences, check out this fantastic sale price for An Affinity for Shadows at Barnes and Noble.com.