Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Dear Mom #2

Mom,

I don't know what to say.
I don't know where to start.

Some days I feel better now. The last five days I've felt worse.
I think I want to tell you that even though I was always the "problem child," I'm the only one who hasn't changed my profile picture yet. And it will be a long time before I do.
Sometimes I take the mood to, but I can't do it. Because I don't want you to really be gone.

Your husband got a new girlfriend. She's five years older than me, and Sheila thinks she's a stripper. Sheila and I have decided you'd be okay with this, because you were basically okay with anything he did.
We are not okay with this. You're not here to smooth stuff out anymore, and we don't care.
Josh and Kimberly are okay with it, to the point Kimberly felt a need to message me about her poor dad being attacked.
Umm... Yeah. Put the brakes on that. My mom is dead, so I feel so bad that your poor mistreated dad got a wrath of words for his own bad behavior. Between her telling me you were her mom too (although the woman she has ALWAYS called mom is still alive) and defending her dad I sent her a few emoticons and she blocked me...BAHAHA
After I blew up on everyone, your husband felt it appropriate to FINALLY make sure the stuff was taken off FB. Don't give him too much credit. Frances asked him to take it down a day earlier before Josh or I saw it, and before any of your grandkids saw it. Instead, I went up to my hotel room from ELF's dance convention and found her live streaming the race track. The race track I grew up at of all places. Wow. Just wow.
So I'm probably not going home for Christmas again. That truce was short lived.
*Shrugs* You picked him. I didn't. I still maintain this.
Love,
Jeni

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Dear Mom #1

Dear Mom,

I'm sorry for anything I've ever said about you on this blog before today. Not because they weren't true. I don't lie. But because I didn't know how hard it was to be a parent when I started blogging. Because when I held the ELF, I didn't know it only gets harder. And mostly because I lashed out in anger. Some things I had a right to be mad about. Some things I probably didn't, but either way acting out of anger cost us ten years.
I was so happy when you came for ELF's dance recital. I had so much fun with you. I thought things were going to be better...
You were gone the next day.
People tell me things were better, because we had that time. But it feels worse.
I want to shake you for driving across four lanes of traffic instead of spending two minutes at a red light. I want t tell you it's ridiculous to go to Longview to go to a jewelry store and the Olive Garden when Garland is the same distance with like paved roads and less trees. But you've probably figured this out.
But you left us. You left us all. I probably deserve it, but Tracy? ELF thought you were Payton's mom until you died and she found out Payton actually has a mom.
I probably should have written you more when you were alive. LOL. But somehow you managed to bring out the annoyed, rebellious teenager in me well past the teen years.
This is probably the first of many letters, because writing is still the only thing that makes me feel better, and I think I buried my patience for fiction with you.

Hurt and angry,
~J~
PS--You've caused me to overuse words. #ThanksMom

Saturday, August 26, 2017

His First Lady- Falling for the Billionaire Boxed Set

My romantic comedy His First Lady is available only in the Falling for the Billionaire Boxed Set. When hearts get involved, this marriage of convenience becomes anything but…

The only letters Mandy Buchanan wants added to her name are MFA but with her dad refusing to pay for a frivolous degree, she may have to add the letters MRS first.

Eric Hernandez wants to be the U.S. President but he’s got two strikes against him: his bachelor status and a popular reality TV star for an opponent. The only thing that can save him? An endorsement from popular Senator Jack Buchanan. If only the Senator didn’t hate Eric’s guts…

Eric has a proposal: A fake wedding that gets them both what they want. Mandy gets her degree, Eric gets a shot at the White House, and one overbearing father gets hot under the collar.

But Eric’s an annoying stuffed shirt like her dad, so Mandy isn’t ready to strike a deal. There is just one problem. His campaign knows Mandy’s secret pen name was the blogger who broke the story about her father’s scandalous affair a year ago.
It’s marriage to a hot billionaire, or be disowned.


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Friday, June 9, 2017

Branding

I've spent years not really knowing what to call what I write. Because one book was fun, cute, and light and the next was the violent progress of ripping myself out of postpartum depression. And then the next also high concept but in a completely different way, a slower way.
And after spending time in indie book groups, I realized what no one at a conference has ever been able to tell me. Every book I wrote wasn't different.
I write two kinds of books.
High-concept YA (often controversially so--but high concept)
Light, funny adult romances.

So you may have noticed you can't buy Decree of Hope anymore.
It's gone.
I can't undo A Missing Peace, because I don't own it.
But the rights will revert back to me in two years and it will disappear too.
Don't worry. They'll both be available under a pen name. As I hope the books I've written under these past few years, while I haven't been publishing will. I know one of them will be released as Beth Fred, the pragmatic mom who bites the crust off her kid's bread and hands it back to her and gives directions in reference to the nearest candy shop.

And the high-concept often gritty YA and NA will be released under my ultra-ego who still has a rebellious streak and doubts the system.

You may have noticed that I haven't blogged much these past few years.
That may or may not change now that I'm a full-time writer/editor. But I had something to say today, so I felt like saying it.

Friday, September 30, 2016

In Need of a New Goal

The Big Dreams Blogfest is hosted by myself and Misha Gericke. On the last Friday of every month we come together to discuss our progress.

When I started this bloghop, my goal was to make a million dollars writing. At the time, this seem hard but doable. Time went on. Life happened. Things changed. It no longer seemed possible. Like any good author I revised. My new goal was to sell 500 ebooks/month. I wasn't sure if this was possible. But everyone needs a goal. Time went on. Life happened. Things changed. It didn't seem possible. My new goal was to make $1500/month consistently. Yeah. You guessed it. Doesn't seem possible. At this point, I think my goal is to determine what my goal is. I have no idea how to even go about this.

I don't think I accomplished much in September and yet I want to say I accomplished more than I did in August. However, I went back to look at last month's post and quickly realized why it doesn't seem I accomplished much this month. I set no goals!

But here are a few things I did do.

  1. Lost 10 pounds. This is a huge deal for me.
  2. Went off candy. Finally.
  3. Blogged more than once!
  4. Sent a query letter for the first time in years.
  5. Worked on revision of thesis--(Learned about revision)
Goals for October
  1. Lose 10 lbs.
  2. Stay off carbs
  3. Write 3,000 words
  4. Figure out what to put in a newsletter and start writing one.
How are your goals coming? What are your goals for October? Anyone have suggestions for a newsletter?


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

DIY MFA Review: Who Asked You

"Kaleidoscopic, fast-paced, and filled with McMillan’s inimitable humor, Who Asked You? opens as Trinetta leaves her two young sons with her mother, Betty Jean, and promptly disappears. BJ, a trademark McMillan heroine, already has her hands full dealing with her other adult children, two opinionated sisters, an ill husband, and her own postponed dreams—all while holding down a job delivering room service at a hotel. Her son Dexter is about to be paroled from prison; Quentin, the family success, can’t be bothered to lend a hand; and taking care of two lively grandsons is the last thing BJ thinks she needs. The drama unfolds through the perspectives of a rotating cast of characters, pitch-perfect, each playing a part, and full of surprises."

Congratulations to Terry McMillan for creating a deep and rich depiction of recent American history. Who Asked You is a complex exploration of racism both directed at and from the African American community.
Now that we've established what this book is and let's establish what it's not. It's not a pleasure read. The subject matter is deep and dark from a nurse who sexually abuses her disabled patients to drug addiction. The book is fiction but reads like non-fiction. (So if you like non-fiction it may be a pleasure read). And if you're looking for romance, you're in the wrong place. This book is not marketed as a romance, but since this is "romance world" I feel like I have to be clear.
This is not my usual read. I read it for my Romance & Women's Fiction Class. Still at about half way through I would have finished it anyway because of the characters. Each one was fully developed and somewhat unique. A LOT of characters had povs which made the narrative hard to follow--and made it read more like non-fiction--but to have that many pov characters and have them read authentic is an impressive feat for any writer.
The only thing I really didn't like about the book was Nurse Kim. In her first POV section she graphically describes a sexual encounter with a man who though doesn't seem to object couldn't legally consent. He's also married and the relationship is inappropriate since she's his nurse. I do not like graphic sex scenes. But I REALLY do not like graphic sex scenes involving non-consenting, disabled old men. #Gross. The bigger problem with this scene is that it serves no purpose. It never comes up again. When Mister gets eczma and has to see a doctor I thought for sure he had herpes and Nurse Kim was going to get caught. Nah. Just eczma. It really never comes up again, and Nurse Kim is otherwise a likable character. But I was never comfortable with her and dreaded her sections for the rest of the book, because of that one scene that didn't add anything.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Thoughts on Marrying Winterborne

"A ruthless tycoon
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…
A sheltered beauty
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable… the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…
Marrying Mr. Winterborne"

Wow. Just wow. Okay. I can breathe now. So this is not clean romance. My clean romance fans, I apologize. But wow. I loved it. I didn't expect to and I would have liked to see fewer and less graphic sex scenes, but the romantic tension was exquisite. Rhys would do anything for Helen and she loved him as much. I usually prefer sweeter romances because in mainstream romance the sex usually becomes the action and there is less focus on the romance. I think the sex and the romance got equal play here (and as I've said for my tastes that wasn't neccessary) but it did nothing to take away from the romance and in a way added to it.
Helen discovers she is the daughter of Rhys's biggest enemy and is advised that it would hurt him to know. Still, she doesn't want to keep a secret/lie to him. And then she learns she has a little sister which she can't expect Rhys to care for. So she plans to go away alone and raise her younger sister. Rhys is a good man, and given his birth to a poor Welsh family and the way people look down on him in spite of him being self made and rich, I thought concerns of his thoughts on her birth were overplayed. And Rhys did not let me down!
It's not my typical book, but I picked up the first in the series today.