#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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#MondayMorningMusic – Golden Girl by The Bibles

Supermoon that occurred on March 19, 2011 in Spokane, WA.**

Many moons ago, when I was working on my BA at Agnes Scott College – right about the time my health started going all wonky, as it turns out (hindsight, and all) – there was one semester when Cactus Girl dragged me out to see live bands. I used to go see live shows all the time, but this semester marked the beginning of what I refer to as “can’t be bothered with anything” syndrome, something I spent ten years writing off (and beating myself up over) as a character flaw.

At any rate, one of the bands we went to see quite a bit was called The Bibles. They were fun to see live – and CG and I had quite the adventures that semester. Probably the most fun I had at college.

So, CG, this one’s for you. What?! *head cock* (does that count as mixing metaphors? lol)

**Image By Astrotool (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

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#TellTaleTuesday with Kay Harris and Don’t Let Him Go

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Welcome author Kay Harris with her to-be-released-tomorrow!! novel Don’t Let Him Go for this week’s #TellTaleTuesday.

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My sixth contemporary romance novel “Don’t Let Him Go” will be the first one to be published (as opposed to self-published). It comes out on February 14 (how perfect, right!). The journey to having this multicultural romantic comedy published by The Wild Rose Press is an extraordinary one (at least I think so).

Three years ago I was living in the Bay Area. I lived on the island of Alameda in the East Bay and worked in downtown San Francisco. Each morning I took the ferry across the bay, under the Bay Bridge and to the historic ferry building (always sipping on fancy coffee.) Each evening I took the ferry back home (sometimes sipping on red wine from the bar in the back of the boat.) It was a fantastic commute for sure, but it was also the beginning of this story.

“Don’t Let Him Go” is the tale of a conservative-minded corporate lawyer who finds herself stuck working with a bleeding-heart activist. Like the cities that lie on either side of the Bay where this story is set, the couple is multi-faceted. One is straight-laced and well-put-together but with a strong sense of right and wrong held deep inside. The other is raw, exposed, and far more comfortable in his own skin. The bridge stretching between them is the connection they unexpectedly find. And like the Bay Bridge that connects San Francisco to Oakland it is regal, proud, and often overlooked in favor of the shiny red bridge that runs north to south.

Okay, so I’m getting dramatic. But I love this story and I love these characters. They spoke to me each day as I rode that ferry and after I returned home each night I wrote it all out. Last April I was preparing to self-publish “Don’t Let Him Go” as I’d done with five other books before it, when I attended the Las Vegas Writers’ Conference. It was there that I met the amazing ladies of The Wild Rose Press and a new future, a new dream for my characters was born.

So now here I am, prepared to release my baby into the world. I hope you all will love it as much as I do!

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Blurb

The only thing worse than getting stuck with a bad client is falling in love with him. 

Candace Gleason passed the bar, landed a great job, and is making a killer salary–basically, all of her dreams are coming true. Until she’s assigned to keep the boss’s petulant son out of trouble.

Jack Morrison is the rebellious black sheep of a mighty real estate family. He runs a nonprofit whose mission is to save poor people from evil corporations, like the one his own family owns. He is obnoxious, ridiculously charming, and insanely hot. He is the bane of Candace’s very existence.

Sparks fly from the moment they meet.  Candace suddenly has more to worry about than keeping Jack out of jail. She has to keep him out of her heart.

Excerpt

I folded my arms across my chest and glared at Jack as he moseyed into the room. “You ambushed me.”

Jack came to a stop a few feet away and nodded. “I did.”

“That’s it?” I spread my arms out and leaned forward. My voice rose despite my effort to control it. “That’s all you have to say?”

“What do you want me to say? You’re smart. You can see what I did back there. I used you for my own gain.”

“You’re a prick!”

“I’m not surprised you feel that way. But I am sorry you had to get caught in the crossfire.” He moved to the couch and took a seat in the middle of it, purposefully giving me the high ground.

He slung his arms over the back of the couch casually, making him look like an arrogant ass. And that is exactly what I thought of him at that moment. So I called him on his supposed apology. “Are you?”

“Yes, I am. But you’re not innocent, Candie. You put yourself in this position by going to work for Morrison.”

“It’s Candace!” I shouted, on the edge of insanity.

He didn’t respond. He just looked at me with that infuriatingly handsome face and waited, an amused grin dancing on his face.

Buy Links

AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2BoiLDO

B&N: http://bit.ly/2n6FeQX

AMAZON CA: http://amzn.to/2GadB20

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2DwlHjL

AMAZON AU: http://amzn.to/2E2G1u8

THE WILD ROSE PRESS: http://bit.ly/2EQeBHj

Author Bio

Kay Harris has had a diverse career with jobs ranging from college professor to park ranger. Now she adds author to her repertoire. Kay writes romance novels that contain a little bit of sweet, a dash of sexy, a touch of heartbreak, and a whole lot of fun!

Kay grew up in the Midwest and has since lived all over the western United States including Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. She loves to hike, is obsessed with museums, and enjoys taking her extremely tall and very handsome husband on adventures.

Kay’s Online Playground

WEBSITE:  http://www.kayharrisauthor.com

BLOG:  https://www.kayharrisauthor.com/blog/

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/KayHarrisAuthor

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKayHarris/

GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15060640.Kay_Harris

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kay-harris

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#MondayMorningMusic – Cry by Angie Aparo

Borrowed from Angie’s FB page. 🙂 Click on the photo and it’ll take you there.

Mornin’ all! Running a bit late this morning – Thanks to a slight bout of insomnia last night, I woke up later than usual.

This week’s #MondayMorningMusic is “Cry” by Angie Aparo. I was introduced to his music when I was working on my BA at Agnes Scott by a woman I no longer keep in touch with. But I distinctly remember her showing me the CD insert for The American while sitting on the brick wall in the little courtyard between Presser and Campbell (I think…it’s been a loooong time since I’ve been on campus. EDIT: It’s actually between Presser and Buttrick – thanks, Cactus Girl! xo) and saying, “You’re gonna love him. He’s bald!”

I did indeed love him and only slightly because he was bald (and beautiful)! He has the most amazing voice (one that sounds exactly the same live as it does on recordings) and The American is one of those albums I can put on and not only listen in full, but play on repeat, repeatedly.

(And, oh, my gah! y’all, he does the most amazing version of Oasis’s “Champagne Supernova” – you can find that on YouTube, as well… sigh)

In short, I could sit at his feet and listen to him sing all day long and then some more.

Some of you may associate Angie’s song “Cry” with Faith Hill – he did rework it for her and she did in fact sing it (there’s an amazing duet of it he did with Faith that I’ll include below the original version…) – but he’s the writer and the original singer, and while I enjoyed Faith’s version, ultimately it holds nothing compared to Angie’s for me.

So, without further ado, here is Angie…

And here’s the version of Angie singing with Faith Hill.

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#MondayMorningMusic – Tell that Girl to Shut Up by Transvision Vamp

Good morning.

No big story behind this week’s #MondayMorningMusic, except to say that “Tell that Girl to Shut Up” by Transvision Vamp is one of the quintessential high school (after I moved back to the States from Germany, so junior & senior years) songs for me, and the album it’s from (Pop Art) is one of three cassette tapes I still own (the other two being the soundtrack from Dogs in Space and The Greatest Hits, So Far by Public Image Limited).

I know why I kept Dogs in Space and Pop Art on cassette – because neither were available on any other format for the longest time. I’m not sure Dogs in Space is available on anything other than vinyl (although I do have it on CD thanks to a friend of mine). I know I can get PIL on CD, so why I kept the cassette is beyond me.

I think I have a hard time throwing anything away. lol

Does anyone else still have random albums on cassette tapes?

Anyway, enjoy Transvision Vamp and have a Happy Monday! 🙂

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#MondayMorningMusic – Psycho Killer by The Talking Heads

Running a bit late with this week’s #MondayMorningMusic – it was an insane past four days. My kitty, Dorian Gray – picture at left 🙂 –  ended up at the vet for what turned out to be a sedation (which I don’t like doing – he’s 12-13ish, so he’s definitely not a spring chicken, by any stretch… why do I feel like I’m mixing my metaphors? lol) and an ultrasound. Turns out he has something called Inflammatory Bowel Disease. So I’m trying to figure that out and get him to feeling better and back to relative normal. He’s eating better, so there’s that.

In honor of him, today’s #MondayMorningMusic is “Psycho Killer” by The Talking Heads. Not only does Dorian Gray strive to be Florida’s most prolific lizard serial killer, *every* time I hear this song, I sing it as “Psycho Kitty” in tribute to Mr. Gray.

Hope everyone has a wonderful start to the week, and I’d appreciate any prayers, good thoughts, and mojo for Dorie’s recovery.

<3

k

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