#MondayMorningMusic – Wild Thing by Tone Loc

Good morning, peeps!

It’s yet another awesome day to start the week – after a week off with no one’s schedule to contend with, my stress level has dropped immensely, my sense of humor has quickly returned, and my creativity is beginning to be at the forefront of my mind instead of stuffed down while I focus on everything else. This is, in a word, amazing! 🙂

So, lots of things on my plate – things I had to put off for the past couple of years due to having zero time to do them.

I stumbled across “Wild Thing” by Tone Loc over the weekend. It’s one of those songs that reminds me of high school. I’m not entirely sure why because it was not in the realm of music I normally listened to, but there’s something catchy about it. I cannot tap my toe whenever I hear it.

And there are worse ways to start off a week besides toe tappin’. 🙂

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#MondayMorningMusic – I’m Free by The Soup Dragons

So, in the world of the unexpected, but neither surprising nor shocking, all things considered, I’m going with “I’m Free” from the Soup Dragons on this fine Monday morning.

It’s amazing the gifts that raise themselves out of the ashes from other people’s scorched earth policies.

Something Wicked This Way Comes, my ass. The wind can blow that shit right back from whence it came.

So, let’s dance, people! It’s celebration time! <3

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#MondayMorningMusic – The Spanish Inquisition by Mel Brooks & Co

Mel Brooks & Anne Bancroft / Georges Biard [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Good morning. 🙂

After an incredibly busy weekend that found my birthday smack dab between Good Friday and Easter, I spent Saturday with a friend, going to see Ready Player One (which was awesome!), a late lunch at Tijuana Flats (I went off my normal, low carb way of eating for the weekend) and some writing time (during which I did exactly zero writing). Today, I stuffed myself silly, hung out with my family (including my nieces and nephews, who I absolutely adore, and who all gave me homemade artwork for my birthday!)

I spent the rest of Sunday taking care of some personal business and chilling out. Including watching History of the World Part I, one of my favorite movies ever. I love Mel Brooks, and I love that HotW Pt 1, is so quotable!

There’s also a fabulous song & dance number during The Spanish Inquisition, that is hilarious. So, enjoy your Monday and this little ditty…

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#MondayMorningMusic – History Repeating by Shirley Bassey

I have eclectic taste in music, to be sure – and I’m glad for my love of music being all over the map.

I may or may not have mentioned this before, but one of my favorite jobs ever was working for a music importer. I adored most of the people I worked with – they also had an amazing knowledge, each with their own specialty –  and I had access to music that ran the gamut from big band to pop vocals to doo wop to electronic to death metal and everything in between.

At any rate, I seem to recall the first time I heard this song was when it ran on an old Jaguar commercial. I was so enthralled with the singer’s voice, I just had to find out who it was.

It didn’t take long… 🙂

So, enjoy a bit of “History Repeating” by Shirley Bassey on this fine Monday morning.

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#TellTaleTuesday with Jennifer Wilck and Five Minutes to Love

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Welcome author Jennifer Wilck and her new release Five Minutes to Love for this week’s Tell Tale Tuesday.

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When I started to write Five Minutes to Love, I knew I wanted my main characters to meet on a speed date. The concept intrigued me and my characters are the right age for it. The problem was, I’m not. I’ve been married for twenty-three years and speed dating wasn’t a thing back when I was dating. Even if it had been, I met my husband in college, so I never had to deal with dating in the “real world.”

Luckily for me, I had two fortuitous things happen to me.

The first was I got to witness an actual event. Okay, maybe “witness” isn’t the right word. That’s too above-board. In truth, my daughter and I spied on one. You see, we were in New York City with my husband and a friend. After a lovely day walking around, we stopped for dinner at a restaurant our friend recommended. In the back of the restaurant, on the way to the restrooms, was another room with a bar and there was a sign announcing a speed date event. People were already arriving, so I raced back to the table, grabbed my daughter and brought her to the restrooms, where from the door, we could watch the event. I may or may not have recorded the hostess giving instructions.

So now I knew how it worked. But I needed to make it interesting. Well, despite the fact that I’m an old married lady with teenaged daughters, I do have single friends. So I asked them if they had ever tried speed dating, and while none of them had, they put me in touch with someone else who had done it. And wow, did she have stories! Her stories populate the event in my book, brought it to light, and I’m grateful for her experience and humor in sharing with me.

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Curious about Five Minutes to Love?
Here’s the blurb

Aviva Shulman has had enough of the dating scene. Her father valued his high-powered career over his wife and family. She wants something more, someone who values her. But her roommates are determined to find her the perfect match.

Jacob Black doesn’t have time for relationships. A third-year law student, he’s focused on studying and getting a high-paying job with a top-notch law firm. But his overbearing mother wants him to find someone and settle down.

Their paths cross at a speed dating event and sparks fly. But is five minutes long enough to determine a future together?

Excerpt

And it wouldn’t be fair of me to tease you about the speed dating fiascos without giving you a little hint, which starts with Jacob, the hero, having been dragged to the event by his roommate:

“So, you ready to find the woman of your dreams?”

“Here? I doubt it.”

“That’s what I love about you, Jake. You’re always the optimist.”

Jacob took a long swallow of his drink. Some of the tension of the day disappeared. “I’m a realist. It’s not possible to find the woman of my dreams in five minutes. Besides, with the Bar exam looming and the long hours we’ll have to put into a job at a law firm, no woman in her right mind will want to get involved with either of us.”

“We don’t need one in her right mind, Jake, just…” Adam molded his hands into an hourglass. Jacob elbowed him in the ribs. “Ow!”

“Grow up.”

The hostess began her instructions, and the chatter died down. “Okay, ladies, you’re going to stay seated while the men move from table to table at five-minute intervals. Make sure to write down the name of each person you meet. Circle the name of anyone you’re interested in. At the end of the evening, turn your program in to me. I’ll provide you with the contact info of anyone for whom there is a mutual interest. That’s it. Have fun. If you have any questions, ask.”

The bell rang. Jacob sat at a table across from a petite blonde.?“Hi, I’m Samantha.”

“Hi, Samantha, I’m Jacob.”

“Nice to meet you, Jacob. I’m a dietician. Do you know how much weight you can gain from alcohol?”

“Uh, no, hadn’t thought about it.” He pushed his glass to the side.

She sipped from her bottle of water. “Most people don’t. That’s why I only drink water. What do you do?”

“I’m a law student at Seton Hall.”

“Oh, student diets are the worst. You should make sure to get lots of fiber and vitamin C in your diet. Potassium, like from bananas, is also important.”

As she continued her list of essential ingredients, Jacob stared blindly into space. Just when he thought he couldn’t stand any more of her advice, the bell rang.

“Well, it was nice to meet you, Jacob.”

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Five-Minutes-Love-Serendipity-Book-ebook/dp/B079WMLNJB

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/five-minutes-to-love-jennifer-wilck/1128011304?ean=2940158814495

The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5742-five-minutes-to-love.html?search_query=jennifer+wilck&results=6

Author Bio

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Jennifer’s Online Playground

Website: http://www.jenniferwilck.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Wilck-201342863240160/

Facebook Readers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2055470311366345/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWilck

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjenniferwilck/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jennifer-wilck

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#MondayMorningMusic – All These Things I’ve Done by The Killers

I remember the first time I heard this song was on the radio when I lived in Los Angeles. I also remember thinking it was a completely different band, though for the life of me, I can’t remember who I thought it was.

It brings good memories for me – I had a great time living in California, even if the reason for my moving out there was suspect and not entirely well thought out. 🙂

Case in point: To mix up this week’s #MondayMorningMusic, here is a bit from my essay “Ten Steps for Befriending a Rockstar or The Gentle Art of Stalking*”.

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*Disclaimer: I am not encouraging anyone to actively stalk a celebrity (or anyone else, for that matter). It is, as they say, a bad idea, and will potentially result in a restraining order and / or jail time. These “steps” are based on my own experiences and should not be copied. If I met my Rockstar today, I would most likely not do a quarter of the crazy (and downright stupid) things I did. I don’t regret them, but I wouldn’t repeat them.

*****

The gentle art of stalking and befriending a Rockstar requires a perfect balance between getting noticed and not scaring the hell out of him.

Must haves (in no particular order):

1 Rockstar, 1 small bottle of Vodka, 1 blank cassette tape marked as “mood music,” pens, paper, 1 small cardboard box, 1 small votive candle, poster board (as needed), Sharpie® markers in assorted colors, camera, Internet connection, 1 Brain plush doll, email address, random questions, picture(s) of yourself, acceptance, investigative skills, inquisitive nature, love of travel, sense of humor, and active imagination, ability to flirt, reliable transportation, a pinch of interest, love of adventure, infinite supply of patience, and an addiction to excitement.

Most importantly: An express willingness to make yourself look like an ass. Repeatedly.

Step One

Before you can embark on the adventure of stalking and befriending a Rockstar, you first have to locate one. Candidates for the position must be beautiful to you. This is important. You do not want to choose a Rockstar based on other people’s criteria. This is your Rockstar, not someone else’s. Putting another’s standards above your own will only result in dissatisfaction and / or disaster.

In addition to matching your idea of beautiful, your Rockstar must also be able to inspire you to great heights and feed your imagination. If you can’t envision being both perfectly naughty and perfectly normal with your Rockstar, then you’ll need to keep looking.

Some tips on finding your Rockstar:

1. Listen to his music – Do his lyrics speak to your soul? Do the melodies he crafts create an emotional connection?

2. Peruse music-related Internet sites – Does the image he project goad your imagination into overdrive?

3. Go to live shows – sometimes fate sets up a flawless bit of synchronicity.

NOTE: Should synchronicity occur, accost him after the show, and, if your Rockstar is bald, rub his head for good luck. After assuring him you won’t hurt him. Then take pictures. Don’t worry if they come out blurry; if all goes as it should, you’ll have plenty of time to snap more.

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The full essay can be found in Fractured: essays on love, friendship, and the nightmares in between at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. In the meantime, enjoy this week’s song!

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#MondayMorningMusic – Burning Inside by Ministry

By Selbymay (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve only seen Ministry twice in my life – once at the former West Palm Beach Auditorium (aka the leaky teepee – now known as the West Palm Beach Christian Convention Center, owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses), where Al Jourgensen (I encourage you to click on his name, pop on over to Wikipedia, and check out the info that’s there – super interesting) tweaked the lyrics to “Stigmata” and sang something about choking a chicken (I know I wasn’t the only person to hear this as I asked the person I was at the show with – we had a good laugh about it) and at the 1992 Lollapalooza.

I drove down south (I think it was in Miami – it was so long ago, and I can’t remember) with friends and met up with other friends, back when all we ever seemed to do was go to shows. By the time Ministry ended their set (I do believe they were the last to go on) I could barely move. I’d spent all day out in the hot Florida sun, packed in various seas of people, dancing, and having a grand old time. It was dark by the time we left. One of those all-day affairs. Snapple was in then, and I sucked down as many of those as I could. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t end up with heatstroke or a sunburn (I’m about a pale as can be) – or broke from buying all the Snapple! 🙂

Anyway, in the spirit of the good, old days – of friends who used to be the end all to be all, and who you lost touch with years ago, I give you Ministry’s “So What”.

It seems apropos, all things considered.

Happy Monday!

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#MondayMorningMusic – Edelweiss from The Sound of Music

Mornin’. This week’s choice for #MondayMorningMusic might seem like an odd choice, but I loved seeing Christopher Plummer interviewed on the red carpet last night – he’s such a class act! – and The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies (my second favorite musical after The King and I), so here we are…

Happy Monday, y’all! 🙂

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#TellTaleTuesday with Charlotte O’Shay and A Model Engagement

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Welcome author Charlotte O’Shay and the gut-wrenching – and, sadly, all too common – story behind her novel A Model Engagement.

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Thanks Keiti for the opportunity to share the inspiration behind my current release A Model Engagement.

[KJ: Thanks for stopping by to tell us your story, Charlotte!]

 When Lacey Reed rebels against her conservative, controlling parents by moving to New York to become a lingerie model, she falls into the trap of a sexual predator who then blackmails her.

She blames herself for her predicament as victims often do.

When I was in college I planned a career in journalism. One of my freshman journalism assignments was a day in the life piece. Each member of the class was go to a pizza place anywhere in the city and interview the proprietor. I don’t recall the name of the place I chose— maybe I’ve blocked it out.

Predator story short when I explained my purpose to the owner of the place, he ushered me into a back room so we could talk— privately—a small, dusty room off the kitchen containing a metal desk. As soon as he closed the door behind us, and moved toward me, unease crept down my spine. A sixth sense that has never let me down before or since told me what was about to happen.

I had to get out of there. I can still see the flour on his hands and the threatening menace of his arms. I was five feet two and 105 lbs. and he was old enough to be my father. What power did I have? I did the only thing I could think of. I started talking and kept talking loudly till I talked my way out of there.

Did I tell anybody about this near miss? No. I did the assignment. I chose another pizza place and wrote less of an interview and more of an observational study of all of the pizza lovers of every age and every walk of life who frequented the homey space.

That was my last journalism class. I changed my major and eventually became a lawyer. It’s no coincidence I spent part of my career assisting abuse victims navigate the legal system.

What I remember most is how for so long, I blamed myself. How I didn’t tell anyone because the rest of the class did the assignment, hadn’t they? I blamed myself for being so naïve or maybe I gave off the wrong vibe. It had to be something I did wrong. I was nineteen years old and a born and bred New Yorker.

I should’ve known better, right? Wrong. But it took me years to realize it.

Flash forward to two years ago when a famous TV icon was accused of sexual assault by a string of aspiring actresses. No one believed these women because, you know, they’re “actresses.” He said it was consensual or in some cases denied it happened at all.

That’s when I wrote A Model Engagement. And because I love romance and a happily ever after, Lacey’s finds the courage to confront the predator. She also meets the love of her life a gorgeous, gentle giant named Connor, who falls hard for her and schemes to keep her in his life.

One Amazon reviewer called A Model Engagement “real, relevant and romantic.” I agree.

In spite of the topic there are no graphic scenes of sexual assault in the novel.

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Blurb

Lacey Reed jumps at the chance for independence with a career in the big city. But her naivety and ambition blind her to the lure of a blackmailer.

With her savings gone she has nowhere to turn when she literally runs into financier Connor Devlin.

Though dazzled by Lacey, Connor sees the desperation she tries to hide. He hires her as his fake fiancée. Now Lacey has a job and he has a bandage for a family crisis.

When the blackmailer ups the ante, Lacey resolves to face him down— no matter what the consequences.

Does that mean Lacey will lose the only man who’s ever seen who she truly is?

Excerpt

It all came back like a rush of filthy sewage.

How he’d drawn her in. Discovered her desire to reap the most financial benefit from her career before retiring. Then, in a seemingly normal progression, he set up a meeting at his office. Designed for shoptalk so that they could discuss photographic details of her breakout exclusive ad campaign for Mon Secret.

His home office as it turned out, complete with multiple couches and a closet full of evening wear and fur, props for the shoot. Lacey had developed a veneer of sophistication during her four plus years in the business. Or so she’d thought. But Barry’s lavish living and working space wowed her. She cringed as she remembered telling him how eager she was to start.

Lacey relived it all in that split second and Connor, who’d done nothing more than offer her his jacket and then a ride home was suddenly a stand in for the monster who had taken her piece of mind along with practically every red cent she possessed.

Buy Links

Amazon – http://amazon.com/dp/B074DPCV76/

Nook – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-model-engagement-charlotte-oshay/1126899607?ean=2940158616327

The Wild Rose Press https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5260-a-model-engagement.html

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-model-engagement

ibook – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-model-engagement/id1267055968?mt=11

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Model-Engagement-City-Dreams-Book-ebook/dp/B074DPCV76/

Amazon Australia – https://www.amazon.com.au/Model-Engagement-City-Dreams-Book-ebook/dp/B074DPCV76/

Author Bio

Charlotte O’Shay was born into a big family and married into another big family.

The drama! The noise! The inspiration!

Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in law. After four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters. She lives on the far westside only 3 subway stops from where she grew up.

When Charlotte isn’t reading or writing steamy contemporaries featuring heroines in crisis and swoony heroes with issues, she’s on the hunt for that perfect pair of sunglasses.

She LOVES to hear from readers.

Sign up for news about giveaways and new releases: http://eepurl.com/b4lbvn

The City of Dreams series are standalone books linked by Sabrina and Vlad’s wedding in The Marriage Ultimatum.

Book 1,   The Marriage Ultimatum ~ Sabrina & Vlad
Book 2,   A Model Engagement ~ Lacey & Connor
Book 3,   Their No Strings Affair ~ Honey & Jake

Charlotte’s Online Playground

Website: http://charlotteoshayauthor.com

Facebook: Charlotte O’Shay  – http://facebook.com/charlotteoshayauthor

Twitter:  @charlotte_oshay / http://twitter.com/charlotte_oshay

Instagram: charlotte_oshay_author

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/charlotteoshayauthor.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/coshayauthor

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#MondayMorningMusic – You’re Nobody Til Somebody Loves You by Sam Butera and the Witnesses

So…

Many moons ago I worked for an import music distributor – hands down my favorite job ever.

One afternoon, when both of my bosses were out, we received a call from Sam Butera, who proceeded to read me the riot act over what he believed were misshipped CDs. He was on tour, as I recall, and CDs were supposed to be shipped where he was playing and not his home.

In any case, he had it completely wrong, and I got bitched out over his mistake.

I still think it’s funny, and so today I leave you with You’re Nobody Til Somebody Loves You by Sam Butera and The Witnesses.

Happy Monday!

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