A Mother's Day Treat: Interesting Facts About the Rhapsody Series

This time around it won't be me pounding out a post at the stroke of midnight after everyone has celebrated the occasion. I'm joining the festivities in a sensible fashion, while the mood is right.

In honor of women who selflessly sacrifice so much of ourselves bringing life into existence, and giving true meaning to that existence, this treat is for you. And daddies and fathers hang on. You are priceless too, but the fact to the matter is your day comes in June.

To Moms, Mamas, and Mothers everywhere… the sacrifices you've made, and continuously make, from your patience to showing that selfless love you so often demonstrate…whether mediating, mentoring, or protecting us…even protecting us from ourselves, is a very brave and commendable skillset indeed. My goodness, in lieu of no instructions, you are doing the most important work in the world!

With that, and this is gonna be a long one, but truly worth it, here's a special treat sharing interesting facts about the Rhapsody Series; the most profound, and bravest set of novels especially written and specifically devoted to motherhood and family... Sweetness…

(Series I) Leiatra's Rhapsody – Had no idea this novel would lead to a series of novels. 1st version was printed 2005 (1st written 2004), and has almost 10 reprinted editions, making it my most circulated and read novel. Throughout the revisions however, the premise never veered; delving into the compromises and required stamina involved in romance, love, marriage, and family. Now I may have removed a tryst or two…haha…but the story remained in tact. The most astounding part of the writing process however, was recalling the difficulty I had bringing closure to the story. It wasn't until I started getting questions and feedback about WHY Leiatra does the things she does, when I realized this story needed a sequel. Stats: Extremely enjoyable to write… over 100,000 words. Favorite part: Naming my heroine.

(Series II) Something Xtra Wild – This was the novel where I realized I CANNOT listen to love jams while writing love scenes. Oh. My. Goodness! Stats: Very easy to write… almost 100,000 words. Favorite part(s):  Mentally answering the complexity of questions I'd been asked, to write the entire story; and settling on its ending (actually using eeny, meeny, miny, moe!).

(Series III) This One I Got Right – Although I may have not picked up on this fact at the time, but this novel might very well be my first, best example of true storytelling. Favorite part(s):  'Plotting' the opening AND ending; alongside the garnishings behind selecting the title. Note: Garnishings denote being told to tone things down based on the first two novels in this series. Welp, I 'turned' the sexual components up because I worked very hard keeping the first two novels as toned down as I could without compromising the true labor involved in maintaining a healthy home. Stats: Easy to write… apprx. 90,000.
(Series IV) Rye & the Rump – I still get asked to bring a copy of this book to events. Those talking about and reading my books (who don't hang out online) want to see the actual book where the title was voted on and selected at my first book event. Stats: Fairly easy to write… apprx. 80,000. Favorite part(s): Setting up the scenes where Blaine is trying to figure out Leiatra (his wife). Hilarious! Although this is the only novel out of the series where (whoops… let me retract, because it happened while writing My Love too) getting very emotional writing one of the scenes. I love children and get really touched when mothers do not exhibit that natural motherly instinct, as what happens in this novel.
(Series V) My Love – oh, my, my...my love... this one was a lot of fun to write, and challenging at the same time. Leiatra---the mother, is still taking the lead on looking after everyone in the family (friends included), while grappling with needs of her own. And Blaine is still assuming his masculine role in trying to understand and appreciate the woman he married for the person she is. Favorite part(s): I love, love this story for the fact that it is toned down;-) yet illustrates and then harmonizes so perfectly the work involved in motherhood, marriage, and building a happy home. Of course it took four novels to get here; exactly what makes this series a powerfully phenomenal journey! Stats: Fun to write… apprx. 85,000.
Memoirs on Motherhood read and highly recommended...

You Have No Idea by Vanessa Williams & Helen Williams; When We Were Colored by Eva Rutland, The Cost of Hope by Amanda Bennett, The Life and Laughs of an at Home Mom by Chris Liefer, Funny In Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas, and Sacred Bond by Keith Michael Brown.

Highly Favored Novels...

Tempest Rising by Diane McKinney-Whetstone, Daughters of the River Huong by Nicole Uyen Duong, and The Secret Sense of Wildflower by Susan Gabriel.

Suggested Reading based on what I want to read...

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman, Audition by Barbara Walters, Tina Fey's Bossy Pants, and based on a speaker event which piqued my interest some time ago on the subject of women and motherhood, I'm still curious about reading Ann Crittenden's non-fiction work, The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World Is Still the Least Valued.

And check out this blog! Happy Wives Club blog, voted #1 marriage site on the web by About.com

Currently reading Healing After Dark by Morris A. Cohen, M.D., which just may make the list for my Father's Day reading selection.