Tolerating Intolerance. Who’s kidding whom?


I have to vent.  I have to rant.

What is it with the world these days?  No one can say anything without offending someone else.  It’s ridiculous.  For example, there was an article I read recently about Florida’s new business logo.  It’s being called ‘sexist’ by some because the marketing team made up of men and women at Enterprise Florida (the state’s chief economic development agency) chose to replace the ‘i’ in Florida with a picture of a tie.

Some suggested the ‘I’ should have perhaps been a cell phone or maybe the ‘F’ could have been draped in pearls, or maybe they should have anchored the ‘A’ in high heel shoes.  Seriously?  There are actually people upset about this?

Get a grip folks.  We have a sequestration looming, the government is intent on keeping their drones to spy on Americans, 4 brave Americans are dead in Libya and the White House is covering it up, and our Constitution is being ripped to shreds while we all sit back and watch Hollywood elites make fools of themselves, and yet we’re going to complain about a ‘sexist’ tie?  Give me a freaking break.

I can’t tell you how mad I get when I see people apologize for something they said because it offended someone else.  Good God.  Get a backbone you whiny wimp heads and stop being so offended.  Your offensiveness is offending me.  If I had a dime for every time someone said something that offended me, I’d be richer than Bill Gates.  I swear, our society is turning into a bunch of babies. 

I am sick of tolerating intolerance.  NPR’s Nina Totenberg felt the need this past December to apologize upfront for saying she was at a “Christmas” party.  Really?  Who was she afraid to offend that she felt the need to apologize for saying Christmas?  Would she have felt the same if she’d said “Hanukkah”, “Ramadan”, or “Kwanzaa”?  Oh, wait, we’re supposed to be politically correct and say “Holiday” party.  Tell me, when did “Christmas” become a vulgar word and “F^#k” become a fitting word to use 20 times in a sentence?  Why am I supposed to tolerate hearing the “F” word (which I do find offensive), but whiny beanie baby nut jobs can’t tolerate the word “Christmas”?  I have the following words for them:  let me tell you something you foul-mouthed hypocrites, if I can tolerate your disgusting, nefarious, iniquitous, obnoxious jargon 24/7, 365 days a year, you can tolerate my saying Christmas for one freaking month out of twelve.

Also, will someone please tell me why I have to tolerate listening to some moron’s cell phone conversation while in a public setting?  The other day I heard a whole conversation in the grocery store about some guy beating up his girlfriend, taking the ‘slut’s’ cash, buying some ‘hits’, only to come back later and apologize to his ‘ho’ for being a “f$#@^$%g a$$hole”.  And let me tell you, this chick wasn’t even trying to be discreet.  I think the whole store heard her.  I found her language and the entire conversation offensive and inappropriate.  Had I said something, I would have been regarded as intolerant.  I’ll tell you what I’m intolerant of:  other people’s’ lack of respect and consideration for others while in a public setting.  That just burns my bippy.

What happened to morals?  Decency?  Respectability?  When did it become repugnant to create wealth, maintain a good work ethic, self-respect, and high moral values?  When did people become angry and intolerant of those things that once made us as a great people and a great country?  When did we – the good, the honest, the ethical, the respectable – become wimps and let the bullies beat us into submission?  Why do so many feel they are entitled to someone else’s hard work?  Why did we allow it to get this far? Better question – what are we going to do about it?

John Kerry told a young member of JUMA (a group of young Muslims in Germany) that Americans have the right to be stupid.  He also went on to say how tolerant Americans are of each other’s beliefs and expressionism.  NOT.  I’m tired of our leaders apologizing for America and telling lies.  I’m tired of tolerating intolerance.  I want my country back.  Anyone else with me?

TIED, by YA Author, Laney McMann – COVER REVEAL!!


Hey everyone.  I have a glorious surprise for you.  I’ve been holding onto this for over a month, itching for the day I can share it with you.  Please say hello to J.Taylor Publishing’s newest YA author, Laney McMann, and her debut novel, TIED, the first in the Fire Born trilogy!

TIED_Cover_blogNormal people don’t believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.

Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.

Or is that all in her head?

Layla doesn’t know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.

No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?

The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.

In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal  of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.

Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?

The answer may never be far enough … away.

* * *

With a passion for the supernatural and all things magical, Laney developed a voracious appetite for reading fantasy at a young age. A vivid imagination helped set the stage for creating her own worlds and placed her onto the writing path.

By the time she reached her teens, she’d accumulated notebooks full of poems, which led to short stories and finally novels. Young adult dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and mythology are among her favorite genres.

A former classical dancer and chef, she grew up in sultry Florida where she still resides with her family.

* * *

TIED won’t be released until SEPTEMBER 09, 2013, however! you guys can click HERE to add it to your to-read shelves.

please click HERE to visit the official site for Laney McMann.  You can also find her on Twitter Facebook and Goodreads.

 

If you could…


Today I’m starting a new post for Fridays.  It’s called, “If you could…”

Today’s question:

If you could literally transport into a novel and become part of the main story line, what novel would you choose and why?

I can’t wait to read your answers.

The Beauty of a Woman


boaw-2013This week I’m participating in August McLaughlin’s amazing Beauty of a Woman BlogFest tour.  I hope you drop in on the site and sign up.  I’d love to read your posts.  Below is  my offering to the tour.

***

I met a woman once.  On the outside she wasn’t a great beauty. She was what others called ‘attractive’.  She sported a square face, almond-shaped blue eyes and hair the color of honey.  She wasn’t tall. She wasn’t short, but she had a sense of style.

Her eyes twinkled most of the time, and her hair, even when mused, always looked great.  She smiled a lot, loved a lot, and cried a lot when confronting deep heartache or overwhelming joy.

She never became angry when life hammered her with disappointments; instead she turned them into lessons, lessons that strengthened her over the years.  Her brain was sharp and quick; her tongue soft and gentle.

She was strong in her moral beliefs and held tight to them, knowing if she sacrificed what was in her soul, she would be untrue to her spirit.  However, she never forced others to believe as she did; rather, she simply guided their thoughts to accept, not necessarily approve, another way of thinking.

She was kind, loving, and a wonderful mother.  She listened and offered her shoulder to cry on, and words of wisdom when needed.  She never passed judgment, allowing her children to grow and become who they needed to be in their own time.  And while she may have wished they’d taken different paths in life, she never condemned them for the ones they chose.

She loved openly, honestly, and with every inch of her being.  She accepted the good with the bad, the wrongs with the rights, and carried herself with pride and dignity in the face of adversity.  Where others would have given up, she held strong and weathered the storms.  She never complained of a neglectful husband.  There was a time he wasn’t so, and that was who she remembered.  There was pain, regret, and heaven knows she had her share of life’s battle wounds, but she spoke of them as old friends, not enemies, and she embraced them openly and with vigor.

She had lost her youth, the elasticity of her skin, yet she still kicked up her heels with the best of them.  She was a writer, a storyteller who loved life, and there wasn’t an animal she didn’t adore or a baby she didn’t want to nurture and kiss.  She also took time to tap into the child within, to fantasize about dragons, castles and lands in mist and dreams.

She was everything I find beautiful in a woman:  strong, confident, kind, loving, warm, tender, smart and funny.   Who is she?

My future me.  The woman I want to become.  The woman I want others to remember me as when I leave this life and travel into the next.  It’s  a tall order, but I can do it.  She’s calling to me.  All I need to do is be as brave as she is and follow.

***

Please be sure to stop by the other participant’s sites and read what they find beautiful in a woman:

 

The Midas Tree has the Midas Touch


I recently finished the book, The Midas Tree, by Dr. Lesley Phillips, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Here’s a little bit about the novel:

MidasBookJoshua lives in the Garden Of Color and Light, an idyllic paradise where he is always playing and having fun. Each day is like any other, until he finds a magical golden acorn that enraptures him and propels him on an incredible adventure.  After being guided to chase the acorn as it flies through the garden, Joshua discovers a door at the base of a tree; and once he enters his life changes for ever.
Joshua is transported into a mysterious realm within “The Midas Tree.” Desperate to return home, he sets about exploring this unfamiliar environment. He encounters sticky situations and meets tricky characters along the way. Fortunately he does not have to face them alone. His guides are the mystical creatures that live inside the tree, called Devas. They are keepers of ancient secrets that can help Joshua to cope with the obstacles he encounters and the challenges he meets. Joshua learns from the Devas that if he wishes to return home, he must first transform himself – and “The Midas Tree”. The processes that the Devas expose him to begin a path of self-revelation where he learns the truth about himself. This spellbinding story overflows with challenges, magical creatures and mystical superpowers, which you too will discover along the way. “The Midas Tree” is a spiritual adventure novel aimed at a middle grade to Young Adult audience; although all the adults who have read it like it too.
butterfly

The first thing that struck me about this novel was how beautifully the book captures the essence of spiritual growth without being preachy or religious (not that I have anything against religious books, but since this book is meant for younger children, I liked the idea of teaching spirituality and leaving the teaching of religious beliefs to parents).  I was immediately taken with Joshua, his curiosity and his innocence.  As soon as he enters the secret realm of The Midas Tree, I knew I was in for a very special treat.

I am usually not one for talking animals in books, but in this case, they are necessary and endearing.  Not only do they speak, but they teach us about who they are and their connections to the universe. The Midas Tree is a wonderful exposition on the most purest, spiritual level of how we all are intertwined with one another, and how one single deviation from our natural course can set off a domino effect that has long lasting effects on our lives and our world.

The Midas Tree is not only inhabited by these wonderful creatures, but also by Devas:  fairy-like creatures who have separate but equally important  roles to play in teaching Joshua about the spiritual connectivity of all life.  They are probably my favorite characters in the story.

Throughout Joshua’s journey, I also encountered the spirituality in myself, and I learned a few things about tuning in and connecting with my spiritual self.  For someone who is fascinated with chakras, astral traveling, meditation and the laws of attraction, this novel gripped my spirit and led me down paths of understanding without realizing it.

Children and adults alike will enjoy this book for its wonderful lessons and unique and very special characters.  If The Chronicles of Narnia and Alice Through the Looking Glass are some of your favorite books, you will adore The Midas Tree.  It is definitely a book to add to your permanent collection for a lifetime of reading.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

The Midas Tree is available at Amazon on Kindle and in paperback.

Dr. Lesley Phillips is an author, Meditation Teacher, Spiritual Counselor, Clairvoyant and Energy Healer.  To learn more about her and The Midas Tree, please visit her website here.

You can also connect with her on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.

Jack & Jill Volume 1 – A Review


jack-jill-volume-one-coverToday, I bring you Jennifer M. Eaton’s, Jack & Jill, Volume 1, a collection of two endearing, romantic short stories.

From the back cover:

Connect the Dots

Jill writes her most intimate Christmas wish to God—and throws it away for its ridiculousness, but Christmas wishes have a way of coming true, even when you don’t know what you’ve wished for.

A Test of Faith

One day after her Christmas wish comes true, Jill faces a wrenching choice that tests her deepest beliefs. Will love prevail over conviction, or is happiness nothing more than a fairytale?

***

When I first read these stories as a beta reader, I fell in love with them.  I love them still.  The characters are vibrant, well-crafted and endearing, especially Jill’s young daughter, Nikki.  They work well together, and the reader can’t help but fall in love with them and cheer them on.

The settings are well imagined and beautifully written, down to the snow on the ground and the corporate reports sitting empty on the computer screens.  The reader can’t help but feel Jill’s pain at the corporate Christmas Party in Connect the Dots, or experience and sympathize with her inner turmoil in A Test of Faith.

While the plot of both stories is all about Jack and Jill finding the ultimate romantic someone in their lives, the stories are character driven, not plot driven.  Jennifer Eaton takes us deep inside her character’s psyches, and she is unafraid to expose their weaknesses and self-doubt.  While these stories are not religious in nature, there is an underlying theme based on faith and the importance of listening to and following what is in one’s heart, not what is in one’s head.

These stories are sweet, romantic and will touch the soft side of everyone who reads them.  If you’re a softie and a sucker for sweet love stories like me, then this collection is perfect for you.  And….seeing that this is Volume 1, I can only assume there will be a Volume 2 in the near future?  I can’t wait to see what Ms. Eaton has in store for our romantic couple.  Maybe a wedding???  That would be delightful.

I urge you all to get a copy of Jack & Jill Volume 1.  You won’t regret it.  The stories are sure to warm you anytime of the year.

Jack & Jill is available from Amazon in the following formats:

paperback

Kindle

jennifer eatonAbout the Author:

Corporate Team Leader by day, and Ranting Writer by night. Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.

Jennifer hosts an informational blog “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes)” aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be.

Beyond writing and motivating others, she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally.

Jennifer’s perfect day includes long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but her greatest joy is using her over-active imagination constructively… creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.

Ways you can connect with Jennifer:

Blog    Facebook    Twitter   Goodreads

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Blogging from A – Z coming April 2013!


A-Z badge 2013It’s that time again, bloggers!  The annual Blogging from A-Z extravaganza!!

I participated in this last year and loved every minute of it.  This year I’m going to try to be a bit more regimented in getting my posts together ahead of time and scheduling them.

So, what is the A-Z challenge?  Each day in the month of April (except Sundays), participants put up posts on their blogs that match the letter of the alphabet for that day.  The challenge this year starts off on April 1 with the letter A.  Whether you go with a theme or freestyle, your post must match the letter of the alphabet for that day.  April 2 will feature the letter B, April 3, the letter C and so on.

This year, I think I’m going to do something a bit different.  I am going to try to focus on themes or ideas from the first book in my Chronicles of Fallhollow series, In the Shadow of the Dragon King.

I urge everyone to participate.  You can find all the instructions here.  Over 700 bloggers have already signed up.  All the folks at A – Z ask you to do is visit at least 5 other blogs a day, starting with the five that are listed below yours on the list.  If you can do more, great!

Ok everyone!  Go sign up!!  Hope to see you on the A-Z Blog Challenge for 2013!

Okay, I’ll admit it – I’m a hopeless romantic


“I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.  I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me.  I love you for the part of me that you bring out.” ~ Roy Croft

When I was young I used to eat, dream and breathe the whole love/marriage connection thing.  I dreamed about my wedding day a lot.  I always had a beautiful white gown, full and flowing, with a veil a mile long.  The event would take place in a magnificent castle garden in Spring.  I would have a classical string quartet for the wedding and Bread and Elton John would perform at the reception (hey, I grew up in the 60s and 70s).  My cake would be six tiers, each one a different flavor to wake up the senses.  My dream husband would be tall, dark-haired, green-eyed; a gentle but confident soul, a man who loved me for me for all my faults and all my attributes.  He would be funny, someone who longed to be with me as much as I wanted to be with him when we were apart.  Someone to grow old with, to share good and bad times with, to laugh with, to love, honor and cherish.

Funny, but neither of my two marriages ended up anything like my dream.  In fact, they were quite the opposite, yet, through all the heartache, I remain a hopeless romantic.  And I owe it all to a man who entered my life between my two husbands.  

Six foot four, dark brown hair, emerald-green eyes, he was a dream brought to life.  He was a Tennessee gentleman with a voice as smooth as molasses, a heart the size of ten universes, and a smile that lit up a room.  He wrote music, was a jazz musician by night, computer geek by day.  He loved animals, kids, traveling, life, reading, but most of all he loved me…unconditionally.  Just thinking of him even now makes my heart swell to the point it feels like it will burst.  I still love him with every ounce of my being, not only for who he was, but who he helped me become.  Sadly, he died in an auto accident 6 months after we met.  Killed by a drunk driver.  My life would never be the same.  

Why God took him away I don’t understand.  What I do know is this man’s love still burns bright within me.  It sustains me, keeps me going; it is my beacon of light through the storms of my life.  It is my strength.  My rock.  It is eternal, and it will be there waiting for me when I leave this life and pass into the next.  What more could a hopeless romantic ask for?

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