Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Realistic Love & Romance in Books


For those who have been there, done that and all the rest we might want to take a pass on, will agree the best parts of realistic love and romance is the first stage of love; falling in love... along with the 15-20-30 years later when we realize we are with our best friend. Somewhere in the middle of all this, also is the time when the chips are really down and that element of surprise happens.

The element of surprise is just that…an element that can’t be prepared for, or plucked out of self-help books and tucked in purses or back pockets for later use. This element won’t be found looking around corners or in dark crevices, and no one, neither best friend nor beloved family can pre-warn or advise on what to look for or how to handle. That’s because a surprise is just that… a surprise.

This is exactly what makes some realistic love stories and romance novels so darn good.

One of the best ‘realistic’ love elements inside from ashes to africaby Josh and Amy Bottomly was that marriage counselor. To avoid spilling any spoilers this element proves how even the skilled at relationships can be in for a surprise.

Now, Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker by Marla Martenson was a book that surprised the heck out of me. The title got me. I expected the book to be rich on matchmaking, which it was, except the matchmaking tales didn’t trump Marla’s own match-made story.

The Last Blind Date by Linda Yellin is another realistic love potion. The advice from the friends... the family…the guy…Linda’s writing…and the surprise element in that ending totally won me over.

The Cost of Hope by Amanda Bennett contains a wonderful surprise. Even I questioned that opening, doubting this relationship. Redeeming doesn’t always mean happy, but as in the case of this story, redemption never fails to deliver harmony all the way around.

Doing Germany by Agnieszka Paletta is another favorite high on love and harmony, and humorously clever writing to boot.

I've read some dynamite romance novels not slacking on realistic redemptive love either.

Lifetimes Ago: A Love Story Inspired from Past Memories by Susie Schecter is a very well put together (almost paranormal, but realistic paranormal) romance story.

Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella (original edition) humored me, similar to She Likes it Rough by GVR Corcillo. (1st edition) The antics don’t stop in these two.

The Crisis before Midlife by Mario D. King (1st edition) is an urban tale that mixes realism and humor very well. Quite relatable… and a tintsy-wintsy spoiler acoming… I flew out the chair on that ending. Oh, how I loved that ending!

And The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber was one story where I did whine to myself, “I want to write a story like this.” …Something that is sweet, humorous, beguiling, realistic… zero profanity and lovey-dovey all rolled into one. I think I have that story, but won’t be sure until I get to The End.

A Valentine Treat

Monday, February 1, 2016

Celebrating 400+ Years of Black Life in America


Celebrating Black History Month is the time when I get nostalgic thinking of all aspects of black life in America, unsung and sung, that mean the most to me.

Family, of course, comes first. I may be one of the few, if not the only family member in my entire ‘humongous’ family who ten years before Roots aired, gobbled down every story my grandparents and father told. Paying homage to family, in 2005 I took those stories and wrote the most told version of our lineage (on my father’s side) in my first memoir ‘God Be the Glory.’

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Fans, Fame, Fortune and Fun: Making A Cake, and Eating it Too!

January 2009 when I first started blogging, I had neither expectations nor a plan for OEBooks. From the get go I started out exploring and soaking up knowledge on who was doing what, when, where and why in the book blogging ecosphere. This was a new space for me.

I learned a lot; how to draw fans, get likes and comments, and the one where I focused the most attention, building a reading audience.

Through blogging there've been a few BIG HITS; and a comparable BIG MISSES. Reminds me of something someone said to me once; 'how there are times when I’m on it... the humor and personality flowing...leaving none to spare. And then there are those other times when I’m so far off my game that it is a plural shame.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Lifelong Unwavering Influence



It’s no secret. I don’t go out of my way to be liked; not to be mistaken for recklessly disregarding the feelings of others or intentionally trying to be irksome. A long time ago a mentor gave me unwavering advice that has served me a lifetime, any time I’m in doubt.

I was told if someone doesn’t like you, no matter what you do, they’ll never ‘really’ like you. YOU lose twice trying to twist and turn and reshape YOUR natural self to fit and fill the desires of others.