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How to Read a Romance Novel

By Nicki Salcedo Everyone likes to criticize romance novels. They are the bullied kids on the literary playground. Mostly because romance novels are happy. Nobody likes happy people. Recently posted an article “Eloisa James on Feminism, Sexuality, and Why Romance Novels Are More Than Worthy of Respect.” It was in response to some mean […]

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Pam Mantovani - June 9, 2014 - 9:30 am

Once again Nicki, you make such strong, valid points – without criticisizing anyone

Chudney Thomas - June 9, 2014 - 2:35 pm

I love romance novels. They take you to another place and give you a respite from the everyday. You often learn something new or inspired to try something new. Even inspired to visit someplace you’ve never been before. I’m not ashamed of loving or reading romance novels and I read every chance I get. I don’t read much YA but I’m of the opinion if it gets someone to read then it’s a good thing.

Maureen Hardegree - June 9, 2014 - 6:23 pm

I love your wholehearted endorsement of a genre that never fails to provide escape from whatever my current woes are. Happy endings make me happy, too!

Nicki Salcedo - June 9, 2014 - 9:22 pm

Hi Pam, I love all kinds of books. Why genre bash? Critical people reveal a lot about themselves when the say “Don’t”. How about this? Don’t censor my reading habits! :)

Nicki Salcedo - June 9, 2014 - 9:27 pm

Chudney, I don’t read much YA either, but Romily Bernard has converted me to YA suspense. Good stuff. We are still in the picture book phase in my house. And let me tell you, there are some stellar picture books out right now. (The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. Great book. Pictures and words and happiness. Everyone should read it even if you don’t have kids or if your kids are 40 years old.)

Nicki Salcedo - June 9, 2014 - 9:30 pm

Maureen, life is tough. Sometimes I just need to read a book about a cute man in a castle. Is that so wrong? Thanks for stopping by.

Laura Drake - June 10, 2014 - 5:23 am

Love them, Nicki! I’d better, I write them!

Cinthia Hamer - June 10, 2014 - 8:53 pm

Brava, Nicki!! I’ve never understood why so many denigrate a perfectly wonderful genre and if people roll their eyes, make a sarcastic comment or patronize me when I tell them what I write, I just shake my head in sorrow and move on.

Nicki Salcedo - June 10, 2014 - 11:05 pm

Laura, I agree. Me too!

Nicki Salcedo - June 10, 2014 - 11:09 pm

Cinthia, I like to read everything, and I’m curious about people who feel the need to denigrate. It’s their loss. #teamhappyreader

Multi-life Bucket List

By Laura Drake   At my age, you have to start being realistic about your bucket list. After all, I may not be at the bottom of that bucket yet, but I can see the bottom from where I am. For example – some of the items on my list are now beyond me, physically. […]

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Liz Flaherty - June 1, 2014 - 6:21 pm

I want to learn to swim (I may get that one done in this life, but I’m still terrified),to travel more than I’m going to get the chance to this time around, and snow ski. I’d like to play the piano and hike the Appalachian Trail, too, but that’s leaning toward miracles. :-)

The Language of Flowers

By Jean Willett   Spring is here, finally, after a harsh winter, occasional slew of tornadoes and torrential rains that still linger as if the clouds can’t quite spit it all out the first time. With spring come warmer temperatures and flowers. I’m drawn away from my desk with an urge to pull out my […]

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Jacqui Nelson - May 23, 2014 - 8:41 pm

I love pansies as well, Jean, but my all time favorite is the peony. And I think they are just about to come into bloom where I live – so lucky me :)

Kim MacCarron - May 23, 2014 - 10:08 pm

I have several favorites. My favorite scented flowers are wild honeysuckle and lavender.
One of my visual favorites is the delphinium. Although once they are picked and put in a bouquet, they wilt and lose their shape pretty fast. I had them put in my wedding bouquet anyway, but they had to be held up with rebar. lol.
What a neat post about flowers, Jean. Cool info about poppies and violets. I think lots of flowers have special meanings behind them. For me, when I smell roses, I think of my grandmother, who put rosewater and glycerin on her face every night. I remember that scent so well. When I smell roses, I always close my eyes for a few minutes and smile with remembrance. :-) It’s bittersweet now that she’s gone.

Keely Thrall - May 23, 2014 - 11:50 pm

When I first moved to DC I was astounded by the abundance of pansies planted everywhere. Our usually mild winters mean they often survive into January or even later, right next to their completely bizarre (to my Midwestern eye) planting buddy, the ornamental cabbage. Say what? In 18 years, I’ve since grown used and learned to appreciate these pretty partners – catching sight of them during gray days is always a lovely surprise.

Would love to know if there is some deep hidden meaning attached to the marigold. I think they were the first flower I learned and they happy faces remind me of my childhood. Maybe their super secret message is joy… :)

Natalie Meg Evans - May 24, 2014 - 4:18 am

Hi Jean

For me, it’s roses. Not very original but I can stare into the face of a rose for minutes and wonder at its complexity. Roses are never one colour, but a fusion of shades. My favourite is Compassion, a salmon pink tea-rose climber which gets on with life and flowers all summer – if we don’t have heavy rain. The fragrance is exquisite and one flower head goes through three or four changes of shade. You see, roses evolve through the season. The other thing that makes me like a rose is that, for all their voluptuous beauty, they’re practical plants. They survive hard frosts, floods and storms, enjoy standing up to their knees in muck and don’t sulk unless they’re left dry. Bees love them too.

Jean Willett - May 24, 2014 - 12:49 pm

What great choices –
Roses mean love and joy; a paragon of virture; beauty and fragrnce; the queen of flowers; used to treat headaches, hysteria and other complaints. :)

Marigold means sun and fate; a reliable weather forecast; a love-potion but also a flower of the dead; medicinal qualities; used as a food dye

Peony are luminous flowers, healing roots, phosphorous seeds; mystical and magical powers; an ardent love of God

Delphinium represents big-heartedness and the essence of divine qualities. They are also meant to symbolize levity, fun and a general sense of joy.Interstingly, when consumed in large quantities, these flowers can be poisonous.

Lots of plot possibilities :)

Enough’s Enough

By Laura Drake   I’ve recently discovered that I’ve entered a new stage in my life. Yes, I’m retired, but I’ve been retired for three years now, and I still have the full time author gig.  I think our move to Texas is what finished a transition that, I only see in retrospect, began a […]

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Jean - April 29, 2014 - 9:38 pm

Wisdom comes with age is the saying…I think you’ve hit the mark. I’m experiencing the same thing as we look toward retirement. He’s ready, I’m not. The full-time author gig will keep me happy. It’s the stuff that I’m willing to dump instead of shoving in another cabinet. It is liberating to just give it up and not worry about another piece of something.

With all the tornadoes destroying homes and lives this week, I thought about what’s important and realized the few things I’d grab on the way to the basement. Makes all the other stuff superfluous.[I did see the benefit of a tablet/Kindle/Nook :)]

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

Liz Flaherty - May 10, 2014 - 6:16 pm

It’s not so bad, is it? I admit, I’d like to have more energy and fewer wrinkles, but they’re not really such a large price to pay for the pleasure that’s come with age.


By Jean Willett   Today, a fellow writer is suffering the loss of her husband. She’s a writer, a mother, a wife and an artist. She wears her many hats with joy and tonight she sheds tears for a love lost too soon. We all face life that may crush our spirit, our creativity, our […]

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Connie Gillam - April 23, 2014 - 11:20 pm

Lovely, Jean.

Tamara LeBlanc - April 24, 2014 - 9:15 am

Thank you so much, Jean. I will miss Dusty every day for the rest of my life. He was so good to me, our children, everyone he ever met. It breaks my heart to lose him…but your kind words and the lovely poem help soothe a bit of the pain.
Thank you for this post and for the beautiful card you sent me.
I am blessed to have such caring friends.

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