Category Archives: #postaweek2011

Blitzed by Bejeweled

On December 23rd I made the mistake of asking my daughter what game she was playing on her iPhone. “Bejeweled,” she replied. “Want to play?”
Frankly, she should know better than to entice me into something so addictive. I had been perfectly happy up to that point not knowing what Bejeweled was. Oh sure, I saw the posts of my Facebook friends and their scores of this and various other games. I’ve had my ups and downs with Facebook anyway and tend to hide my friends who do nothing but post their game scores, because frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. And I’d much prefer they not know my pathetic Bejeweled scores, although whether I successfully blocked it, I’m not sure.
That first night I played long after my daughter left for the night. She kindly left her phone with me, but eventually it ran out of juice. Like a true addict I dug through her suitcase searching for her phone recharger, only to realize her phone recharges through her computer. I now am amused by the thought that even if I had been able to successfully recharge the phone, how would I ever have navigated through her apps to find the game on my own?
She later explained the game is available on Facebook and don’t you know I downloaded it ASAP. On Christmas Eve, long after gifts were opened and family had departed, I stayed up until 2 a.m. playing this ridiculous game that I don’t understand and am not very good at. Why, then, am I addicted?
I do believe we all have some form of addiction. For years I was addicted to crossword puzzles courtesy of my friend Sandy. Then, after my friend Lynn explained Suduko to me, I did those puzzles constantly. I still attempt the daily one in the newspaper when I have time. But now I’m on to something new and I have no idea why.
I justify it by telling myself it’s no worse than watching TV for hours at a time, which frankly, I do only if I’m reading as well or playing a card game on my laptop. Sometimes I even work out while watching mindless entertainment shows.
But now that I’m addicted to Bejeweled, I just sit in front my desktop computer and play again and again and again. I think I’ve worn out the hint button because much of the time I can’t see the big picture. I have this idea that the gremlins inside the game are laughing at me when they hint at a possible move. They are saying things to each other about me. “What an idiot.” “Man she’s slow.” “Why does she bother?”
These are all the things I say to myself. I don’t understand the coins system, the explosions, what makes all those extra points add up after the game is over. I honestly haven’t a clue why I can sit mindlessly playing such a ridiculous game while telling myself I could be doing so many other things with my valuable time. Yet there I sit.
Good thing each game is only one minute. My morning so far has gone something like this: game of Bejeweled; sip of coffee. game of Bejeweled; sip of coffee. Last night it went something like this: game of Bejeweled; handful of caramel corn; game of Bejeweled; handful of caramel corn. My daughter evidently has decided to encourage all my bad habits. Where do you think I got the big tin of caramel corn?
I keep thinking Bejeweled is a metaphor for my life: Most of the time I don’t understand what’s going on, yet I keep muddling through it, trying to figure out my next move. I receive helpful hints along the way although I’m not always quick enough to pick up on them. Just when I think I’ve got it figured out, a big sign is going to flash and tell me time’s up.

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My Oldest Friend

“Write about your oldest friend.”
I am interpreting this to mean someone with whom you’ve had a friendship of long duration, not someone you’re friends with who is a senior citizen or close to it.
My oldest friend is Cathy. We met in secretarial school and soon discovered we lived down the street from each other so we started car pooling.
My initial impression of Cathy was, she was well put together and nicely dressed. We were learning speedwriting in order to take dictation and as a left-hander, Cathy had to turn her notebook upside down so the wire binding wouldn’t be in her way.
On our brief break during morning classes, Cathy, this other girl Charlotte and I would drive to the nearby McDonald’s for Cokes and fries. Cathy would pull out a box of fancy French cigarettes. She liked them because they had a gold band around the filter. She had to go to a special tobacco shop downtown to buy them.
Cathy had a plan. She was attending secretarial school so she could work as a secretary while she attended college. Soon she found a part-time secretarial position. On paydays, she’d have an assortment of envelopes earmarked for various purchases. She’d divide her cash up into each of them. She drove a little yellow car her father who was a doctor had bought her. She was still dating her high school boyfriend, but they eventually broke up.
I remember the first time I went over to her house and saw her bedroom. She had a can of Dr. Pepper open on her desk along with a big bag of Cheetos. Cathy was pretty slender, but right then and there I thought, “I can be friends with this girl. She eats junk food.” She had a bulletin board crammed with mementos. Cards and ribbons and ticket stubs. All kinds of stuff.
I’d had a relationship that ended badly and I moved away from the area for awhile, but Cathy called me on Christmas. I think that’s when I knew she was going to be one of those forever friends. We hadn’t known each other for very long, but the fact that she missed me or thought of me enough to call me on Christmas meant a lot. When I moved back we started hanging out all the time.
We’d haunt the cosmetic aisle at the nearby Albertsons and practice applying individual fake eyelashes on each other. We were regulars at a local pub that sold cheap pitchers of Sangria.
Our lives took different paths. She did go to college and got her degree. We followed each other through our various romantic relationships and we were in each other’s weddings. In fact, she was the only person I asked to stand up with me at my wedding.
For years Cathy collected Hummels. I never did understand their appeal. She went on to make a career in the world of scrapbooking which was perfect for her since she was doing it long before it became big business.
Cathy was always a champion multi-tasker, but she honed her skills even further homeschooling five daughters. She may still be struggling with her addictions to M & M’s and Pepsi.
We haven’t lived in close proximity to each other for years, but we manage to see each other at least a couple of times a year. In between, there are long telephone calls, occasional texts and Facebook. We used to randomly send funny cards to each other for no reason at all.
Together, we’ve pondered the reason we became such good friends. I’m not sure we ever know why we click with one person and not with others. I can say now, with so much history between us, that Cathy is one of those people who simply gets me. We often think alike and have the same reaction to things. We are always there for each other, even if it’s just a phone call to vent to someone who will understand when we’re upset. There is something to be said for having at least one person in your life to whom you can say anything.
Years ago we talked of taking a trip to Paris together. Then 9/11 happened and we put it off. After that there were other reasons we didn’t go, kids and college expenses and scheduling conflicts. Instead of funny cards we started randomly sending each other small Paris-themed items just for fun. We both have quite a collection now. My passport is about to expire and has no stamps in it. Sigh.
I suggested perhaps a trip to Paris, Tennessee might be doable, but Cathy has yet to respond to that idea.

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Working Girl

Just a few of the encounters I’ve had with customers in the past couple of days:

“I’ve Got a Lot of Nerve”
May I use your phone?
Yes, if it’s a local call.
Why are you taking the phone over to that comfy chair to make your call? Why are you keeping the phone on the table next to you?
Why, when the phone rings, do you think it might be for you? Seriously?
Um, no, it’s the district manager and it’s for me. We’re running a business here.
Oh, well, I just have to make one more call at 2 p.m. What time is it?
It’s five to two. What am I? Your secretary?
I repeat we’re running a business here.
It’s on behalf of the mentally ill. I’m disabled.
I’m sorry about that but…we’re running a business here.

“I Am Not A Liar”
Do you have blueberry frozen blended beverages?
No, I don’t think we’ve ever had blueberry frozen blended beverages.
Maybe not in this location you didn’t but I assure you at one time blueberry frozen blended beverages were available.
I’ve been here for eight years. I don’t believe we ever had blueberry frozen blended beverages.
I’m not making it up. I’m not a liar.
I didn’t mean to imply that you were.
(It is entirely possible we had blueberry frozen blended beverages at one time and I’ve completely blocked it out of my memory. But we’re talking years ago.)
P.S. Thank you for purchasing $20 worth of drinks even though we didn’t have blueberry frozen blended beverages and you clearly thought I had insulted you by implying you were a liar.

“I Am Helpless”
I’m driving to Tampa from the East Coast with my friend. How far away am I?
About 150 miles.
It will take us ten minutes to order two drinks and two sandwiches.
Can you cut those sandwiches in half?
Can you carry them outside for us. My friend has weak hands.

“I Don’t Have My Receipt”
My cup broke and I want to exchange it for another one.
We don’t do returns or exchanges on merchandise without a receipt.
Fine, can I speak to your manager?.
He’s not here. I’m the manager at the moment.
All I want to do is exchange this cup for a new one. The lid came off and I dropped it and it shattered.
We don’t do returns or exchanges on merchandise without a receipt.
No one told me that.
Did you buy it here?
No, I bought it at another location a couple of miles further down the road.
Maybe you can take it back there and they’ll exchange it for you.
Why would I do that? I live a minute away from here.
I’m sorry ma’am. I suggest you try the other store.
I have my child with me. Why would I drive twenty minutes (it’s not a twenty-minute drive) to another store and subject my child to that?
No comment. Roll eyes. Feel blood pressure rise.
You can call corporate customer service. Maybe they can help you.
Why don’t you call them for me?
Corporate customer service is only open weekdays in another time zone during these hours.
Can you call your manager because I’m not leaving here until you do what I want you to do.
Fine. Manager says if you’re being that big a pain in my ass to exchange your cup.

“I Have My Receipt”
I need to exchange this cup because the person I bought it for has one already.
Do you have your receipt?
Yes, I do.
That’s lovely. I got into an altercation with a customer the other day who didn’t have a receipt.
I would never try to exchange something without the receipt.
What a pleasant surprise. Would you like a beverage today?
No, thank you.
Okay. We refunded the full amount to your credit card. Is there anything else we can do for you?
No, thank you. Have a nice day.
You have a nice day, too.
Why can’t all the customers be like you?

It IS good to be employed. But this is also why I write fiction.

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Is This My Scattered Moments Blurb?

A picture is worth a thousand regrets… Scarred by childhood abandonment, Amanda Heinrich is trapped by vows she made to her husband, Martin, her child and herself. Even after she meets her soulmate, Hart Michaelson, she sees no escape from the life she’s created.
While she fights her connection to Hart, her focus drifts from her marriage leaving Martin open to seduction by a woman Amanda considers a friend. Photographer Lyla Decker has an agenda all her own and a camera trained to do her dirty work.
When Hart is accused of murder, photographs surface to tell their own version of the truth: Martin was not the honorable man he was believed to be, nor does Hart and Amanda’s relationship appear at all innocent.
Every choice Amanda has made is cast in a sinister light and Hart’s freedom, as well as her own, hinges on her ability to expose a deranged killer’s secrets.
A camera may capture scattered moments in time. Soulmates capture each other for life.”

Don’t get me started on the angst of writing a blurb. Usually it isn’t such a struggle, but for some reason I can’t encapsulize the gist of Scattered Moments in a few simple sentences. I can say it’s about a married woman who meets her soulmate thirteen years too late, which it is, but there’s so much more to the story. Here are some of my other blurb attempts:

Lonely wife of a wealthy man… Amanda Heinrich sold herself short when she married Martin thirteen years ago. Left with the scars of abandonment by her own mother, she swore she’d be a better wife, mother and woman. She vows to honor her commitments to husband and child.
Wakes at the touch of a carpenter’s hand…When Amanda meets Hart Michaelson she discovers her soulmate and what it means to be truly connected to another human being. Amanda fears retribution from her husband which will devastate her daughter and Hart.
Scattered moments, prying eyes… Amanda and Hart’s innocent encounters are secretly photographed by someone Amanda considers a friend. Those images, along with ones of Martin in compromising positions, become damning evidence when Hart becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation.
Abandoned lover now despised…Amanda and Hart must expose the photographer as the murderer.

And then there’s this:

Amanda Heinrich meets Hart Michaelson and instinctively knows he is her soulmate. She is forced to examine every choice she’s made, including her thirteen-year marriage to a man who barely notices her. She can no longer deny her role in creating her discontent with the life she thought she wanted. The vows she made to herself long ago may no longer be valid.
Meanwhile, someone Amanda considers a friend lures stuffy Martin Heinrich into an affair by offering him a taste of deviant sexual experiences.
Mysterious photographs of Hart and Amanda’s innocent encounters as well as compromising pictures of Martin begin to surface after a murdered body is discovered on the Heinrich’s property. The images cast a sinister light on Amanda’s relationship with both men, forcing her to confront her guilt and regret. When Hart is accused of the crime, Amanda must save him if she is to save herself.
She and Hart must expose the unseen photographer as the murderer before Hart is convicted. In doing so, Amanda becomes the woman she always wanted to be: A woman deserving of love from a man who’s always known who she really is.

At the moment I’m not thrilled with any of them and even less thrilled with the one that appears on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I’ve been back and forth with a couple of critiquing friends who’ve given helpful feedback, but one of the wonderful things about being an independently published author is, it’s up to me.

Can’t I just say, “This is probably the best book I’ve ever written. Read it. You’ll love it?”

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Picky Reader – 25

Flirting in Cars by Alisa Kwitney. Sort of a women’s fiction/romance story. I liked it.
Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I thought I’d read everything of hers, but I must have missed this one. True to form, SEP never disappoints her readers.
Violet by Design by Melissa Walker. I don’t normally read young adult fiction. This was a pretty good book, although if young adults tend to annoy you, don’t bother. The character of Violet is full of contradictions and waffles between being wise and immature. But that is the nature of young women her age.
A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff. I enjoyed this book. It has a lot parallels in it and connections made from past to present through the main character who owns a vintage clothing shop. She heals her own emotional wounds by helping a dying woman put her past to rest.
Fools Paradise by Jennifer Stevenson. I read this on my Kindle. It is a laugh-out-loud romantic comedy about stagehands and union infighting. There is one bedroom scene in particular which I found wildly hysterical. Fun and entertaining.
Picky Reader - 25 Here is another book I’m recommending. Scattered Moments. I am still working on a good blurb for it. (Don’t get me started on the angst of writing effective blurbs.) What’s a married woman to do when she meets her soulmate thirteen years too late? Sure there’s lots more to the book than that, a frenemy with her own agenda and a hidden camera, a husband she doesn’t know as well as she thinks she does, and vows she made to herself long ago which she now must re-examine. Scattered Moments is available for 99 cents on and right now. P.S. I would have posted this blog much earlier if WordPress wasn’t being a pain and not letting me upload my gorgeous cover. I still don’t know how I did it!
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Namaste: We Are One

Namaste:  We Are One

What You Can Do to Create World Peace 

This is the title of a book by Deborah G. Hoofer, LMHC.  It’s a book everyone on the planet should read and take to heart, actually understanding and following the suggestion that we greet everyone we come into contact with by using the word, “Namaste.”   Surprise, surprise, “Namaste” (pronounced “namastay”) isn’t just a word used by the yoga community.  Translated it means, “I recognize you and honor you as a child of God.”  Or, more specifically, “I recognize and honor you and me as children of God, and therefore, we are one in God’s family.”

Ms. Hoofer (who, in the honor of full disclosure is a friend of mine) has done an exceptional job of condensing why we truly are one in God’s family.  She explores the beginnings of the various faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  Another surprise.  They all have roots in the same place. 

This is a short book, under a hundred pages, but the point it makes is huge.

I have thought about using Namaste as a greeting or a parting word in Starbucks.  Especially since I often have to remind myself that God loves all of the customers just as much as he loves me.

Seriously, what if we all perceived that God loves each one of us the same?  The enemy we are fighting is a loved child of God.  The people those protesters are rallying against?  Well, guess what?  God loves them just as much as he loves the protesters.  Al Quida members and the Taliban?  God loves them the same way he loves the Pope and Mother Theresa. Barack Obama and John Boehner?  Yes, He loves them both the same.

Here is what people don’t get and what We Are One attempts to convey:  WE ARE ONE IN THE EYES OF GOD.  There’s only one God, no matter what form of Him you believe.  All religions are rooted in the same place.  Imagine if even a quarter of the world’s population got that message and behaved accordingly!  World peace is a concept we believe is impossible, but after reading Ms. Hoofer’s book, one can start to see maybe it isn’t. 

I don’t normally recommend books, but then most of the books I read do not have world-changing possibilities.  This one does.  Even if all it does is make each reader recognize that they could make this change within their own family, or with one other person, it’s a start.  World peace can start in your world and spread out from there. 

You can order the book here:

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 #Namaste: We Are One

Drinking Alone

You’d think I’d be used to it by now.  If you follow me anywhere, Twitter, Facebook, etc., you are already aware of my white zin addiction.  It’s sad but true.  The cheaper the better and I drink it over ice.  Anyone shuddering out there, yet?  Sutter Home is okay, but I prefer Beringer or…Barefoot is pretty good, too.  Beringer is $4.97 a bottle at Wal-Mart.  Used to be more expensive, but for some reason the price came down.  Might be because I’m the only customer who buys it.

I have no one to drink with because my husband doesn’t really drink and he shouldn’t.  Even when he used to have the occasional cocktail, he just became more like himself.  My kids are out on their own.  I have not one friend locally I would feel comfortable inviting over for a glass of wine on the spur of the moment or one I think would come.  My schedule never seems to mesh with any of my friends anyway and many of them live far away from me.  Is anyone feeling sorry for me yet?  Don’t.  I’m sharing the cocktail hour with you.

I tried to call my mother, because frankly it doesn’t hurt for me to have a glass of wine in my hand when I have a conversation with her.  But she doesn’t answer her phone.  She doesn’t have an answering machine, either.

I asked on the Samhain Cafe loop if anyone still believed in the concept of forever in relation to marriage, considering all the rampant divorce, especially among Hollywood celebrities.  But do twenty-somethings everywhere even believe in the idea that marriage is supposed to last a lifetime?  I wondered.  Most of the responses to my inquiry were positive.  Readers on that loop, at least, still think forever is possible.

As I said, that’s a good thing.  Who wants to read a romance entitled “A Sometimes Kind of Guy” or “Until the Going Gets Tough Kind of Guy”?  Romance is part fantasy, it’s an escape from reality.  We all want to believe the guy we’re with won’t bail on us at the first bump in the road, right?  Nor should women duck out of a relationship just because it isn’t ideal at the moment.

My next subject is soulmates.  I’m close to offering a book I’ve been working on (on and off) for fifteen years for sale.  First as an eBook and soon in print.  It’s about a married woman who meets a man who is her soulmate.  But she meets him thirteen years too late, after all her decisions and commitments are made.  Can she walk away from what she has when she discovers something she didn’t even know was possible exists?  It’s called Scattered Moments because even though she never crosses that line, time spent in her soulmate’s company comes back to

haunt them both when her husband is murdered.  (Why does WordPress space funny after you insert images?)  I’m having a hard time getting the blurb just right.  That’s what I worked on today and also finalizing the manuscript format before I send it to someone else to format for the electronic version.  Here’s my latest blurb effort:

A picture is worth a thousand words… 

One touch of a carpenter’s hand forces the wife of a wealthy man to confront a truth she can’t deny:  She found her soulmate much too late. 

Chance meetings feed their longing for each other, but they spell doom for Hart Michaelson and Amanda Heinrich after her husband is murdered.  

When disturbing photographs surface, the unknown photographer forces Amanda to acknowledge that not only was her husband not the man she thought he was neither is she the woman she wanted to be.  

Unless they can expose the killer’s hidden agenda, images of their scattered moments together will keep Amanda and Hart apart forever.

I also got probably the best rejection letter I’ve ever received from an editor which I’m sharing in part, although I won’t mention the name of the editor or the publishing house: 

I finished Scattered Moments and very much enjoyed the story. It’s compelling, very well written, as all your stories are, but…There is absolutely nothing wrong with the writing or the characters or the storyline,  Barb, especially since I was engrossed enough to finish it in one sitting…it seems…not the right publisher for this story. 

I sincerely hope you can find a home for Scattered Moments. This story just reinforces for me what an amazing writing talent you have.

Basically, this particular house doesn’t publish this kind of book, but I found a home for the story.  Barbara Meyers, LLC.  Can’t wait to get it out there within the next couple of weeks.  Thanks for sharing the cocktail hour with me.  In case you were wondering, I’m generally  incapable of drinking more than two glasses of wine (or I fall asleep) and I’ve barely consumed half a glass while writing this post.  Remember to drink responsibly.

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#aforeverkindof guy


God – The Original Forever Kind of Guy

My contemporary romance novel, A Forever Kind of Guy, came out this month and in preparation for its release I started thinking about a lot of things.
Marketing, first of all, which I don’t begin to understand and its importance is something I balk at. Not to insult all the marketing experts out there, but bear with me.
Of late, there’s been a lot of buzz about Twitter. You’ve got to be on Twitter, you need to tweet X number of times per day, use hashtags and @ signs, let your followers know you’re there and you’re interested. Have conversations. Etc.
I tried to join an online workshop to learn more about Twitter, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. There are many online marketing shoulds for an author like me. Have a Facebook fan page. Blog about things readers are interested in. Etc.
Of course, I want my own personal marketing tools like bookmarks and such. Sometimes the list of what I should do seems endless and I’m reminded I’m only one person. A rather humble person, at that, and marketing oneself doesn’t come naturally to those of us who aren’t comfortable tooting our own horn. Really, my biggest problem is trying to think of something even remotely interesting to post even once a day. If I can’t be clever or entertaining, what’s the point?
I began to think, is this all really necessary? It seems like too much. When I feel overwhelmed, I hand things over to God. “Here you go, God. You take care of this. I’m not going to worry about it any more.” Immediately the response I heard was, “Don’t worry. I’ve got this. I’m in control.”
I heave a huge sigh of relief.
He must know I could literally bust my behind doing everything marketing experts tell me to do. I could drive myself crazy trying to keep up with it all, get my name out there, post my status six times a day and Tweet ten, and it’s entirely possible it will make little or no difference in my sales. There are a million other authors climbing on the same bandwagon doing exactly the same thing. At some point, don’t we cancel each other out?
When my first two books came out I decided if only ten people read one of them, then those were the ten who were meant to read it. There was a message there just for them, or they needed that escape. Whatever reason my book ended up in their hands, I was fine with it.
Caroline Myss says something about doing whatever you were put on earth to do, create whatever you were inspired to create, then let it go out into the universe and the universe will respond. Your part is done. This may explain why so many authors try different marketing ploys and can’t quantify the results. You can put forth a lot of effort for questionable results. The only thing that is under my control is writing the best book I’m capable of writing.
While the hero of A Forever Kind of Guy is an earthly forever kind of guy, I kept thinking about God being the original forever kind of guy.
I imbue my heroes with all the qualities I admire in a man, but upon further examination, they are God’s qualities as well. Patience. Kindness. Loyalty. Understanding. He doesn’t give up. He protects and fights for the ones he loves. He offers comfort in difficult times. He makes a promise to be there forever and he never wavers. I like creating a hero who is always one step ahead of the heroine. Imagine how many steps ahead of us God is.
All of this led me to the title of this blog. (Even if nothing I’ve written here makes sense to anyone but me…it doesn’t matter. God gets it.)
On my books’ acknowledgments page I always thank God because without him, where would I be? Maybe people wonder how a romance writer can profess to have a relationship with God. After all, those characters I write (sshhh) have sex before they’re married. Horrors!
Whether or not an author chooses to address it, pre-marital sex has been a staple of American society for many years. I doubt God is shocked. He understands the emotional component of a sexual relationship, which is what romance novels like mine are based on. It’s why the characters are in an exclusive relationship and why they head for marriage at the end of the book. The journey they shared through the story becomes the glue that bonds them together. Their search for someone to belong to is over.
Sadly, many of us search endlessly for a forever kind of guy while overlooking the fact that He’s always been here.

A Forever Kind of Guy Quiz


Is he A FOREVER KIND OF GUY? Take this quiz and find out.

1. Your car breaks down on the freeway. When you call your guy for help he:
A) Tells you to lock the doors, sit tight, he’s on his way

B) Suggests you call AAA for a tow and a ride home

C) Can’t be reached because he’s in jail for DUI. Again.

2. There’s a death in the family. Your guy:
A) Lets you cry on his shoulder while he makes all the travel
arrangements so he can attend the services with you.

B) Calls your best friend so she can help you through this difficult time.

C) Is annoyed with your tears and the interruption in his television viewing schedule.

3. You’re frantic because your purse was stolen with your wallet and cell phone inside. Your guy:
A) Consults his back-up list of credit card numbers, cell phone companies and driver’s license bureaus and helps you make the appropriate calls. (After he attempted to catch the thief at great peril to life and limb and called 911 when the guy got away.)

B) Is bent out of shape because you’d offered to pay for dinner. Again.

C) Watches the thief escape and says, “Wow, look at that guy go.”

4. You invite your guy home to meet your parents. He:
A) Arrives on time, appropriately dressed, with flowers for your mother and a bottle of 12-year-old Scotch for your dad.

B) Arrives 45 minutes late and slightly inebriated. Later passes out on your mother’s new sofa.

C) Doesn’t show up because he’s playing pick-up basketball at the park with his buddies and forgot.

5. You’ve discovered you’re pregnant. You’re ecstatic. When you share the news your guy:
A) Hugs you like he’ll never let go and says the timing couldn’t be better.

B) Buys another pregnancy test and suggests you repeat it because it could be a false positive.

C) Decides he needs his space and wants a paternity test before you see a dime of child support.

6. You receive two tickets to a performance of Swan Lake: Your guy:
A) Asks where you’d like to go to dinner before the performance.

B) Agrees to go with you if you’ll go to the Extreme Wrestling finals with him.

C) Apologizes for missing it but there’s a rerun of Law & Order on TV that night.

7. You ask him if your new outfit makes you look fat. He replies:
A) Everything you wear looks good on you

B) Not any fatter than usual

C) Yes. Especially your butt.

8. You have the flu and can barely lift your head from the pillow. Your guy:
A) Brings you tea and toast and fluffs your pillows for you

B) Refuses to come near you in case you’re contagious

C) Breaks up with you because he’s not good with sick chicks

9. In a sports bar, another man makes an inappropriate comment to you. Your guy:
A) Insists he either apologize to you or step outside

B) Doesn’t hear it because his team just scored

C) Says, “Good one, man.”

10. You’re short on cash until payday and need five dollars for gas money. Your guy:
A) Takes your car to the gas station and fills it up as a surprise. Then gives you cash so you can stop for coffee on your way in to work.

B) Grudgingly gives you $3 and makes you sign an IOU.

C) Wishes he could help you out but his unemployment check’s late.

11. The last time your guy brought you flowers was:
A) Last week. No occasion. Just because he knows you like them.

B) Last year. Because he forgot your anniversary and/or birthday.

C) Never. He thinks flowers are stupid and a waste of money. After all, they just die.

If your answers are mostly A’s, congratulations. You’ve found A Forever Kind of Guy who knows how to treat a lady.

If your answers are mostly B’s, you’ve got a lot of work to do. Unfortunately, this guy might be untrainable.

If you answered mostly C’s, get out now. It’s better to be alone than to be with this guy.

A Forever Kind of Guy Quiz ©2009
Barbara Meyers

This quiz is meant to be fun, but there might be a grain of truth in it as well. It originally appeared online on the Nine Naughty Novelists blog on September 27, 2011. I wanted to share it with all of you since today is the official release day for the eBook version of A Forever Kind of Guy. A print version should be available summer of 2012. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you did, remember positive reviews on the site where you purchased it are always welcome and appreciated. And like all authors, I love hearing from fans. Comment on my blog or write me at
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You may also want to read the first of The Braddock Brotherhood series, A Month From Miami.


Everyone Should Have A Son

Amendment to above statement: Everyone should have a son like mine.
The poor kid. He was the first, the oldest, our guinea pig because new parents know nothing, absolutely nothing about raising children. I look back at all the mistakes I made with him, the regret I have about things I did or didn’t do and it makes me sad. He turned out better than okay in spite of the inept parenting he received, which has more to do with who he is than it does with me.
I wasn’t a very nice mother when he was little. I’m afraid, if I hadn’t pulled back in time, I’d have followed in my own mother’s footsteps. Thank God that didn’t happen. When my son was maybe three, I’d spanked him for something, I forget what, and I thought I was becoming borderline abusive. I asked my husband how he could let me do that. When I apologized to my son I told him sometimes I just didn’t know what to do. He looked at me with tear-filled brown eyes and said, “Just be nice to me.” I don’t think I ever spanked him again. Who knew a three-year-old was qualified to offer parenting tips? But the truth is, at that young age, he made me a better mother.
After that when I thought I might lose it, the best thing I could do was send him to his room so I could vent my rage elsewhere. Yes, my children will tell you, I might have slammed a door too hard or put a dent in the drywall a time or two. But better to vent on inanimate objects than on them.
I don’t know now if I was the kind of mother my son needed. One of the biggest mistakes I made as a parent was giving my kids too much freedom. I didn’t ask enough questions and I didn’t follow my gut instinct when I should have. They made life-changing mistakes I will always think I could have prevented if I’d been tougher and stricter and less trusting of them as teenagers. But I can’t undo it now. Like most life lessons, once you learn them, you never need them again.
My parenting was a result of my own childhood. That feeling that I never got to do anything. That I was always told no. I didn’t want to be that way with my kids. So I said yes much too often and to their detriment. But they survived in spite of it, and I hope learned whatever lessons they were meant to learn.
When I say my daughter is a better version of me, my son and I have actually talked about how he is a better version of his father. He has the same intelligence, the same work ethic, the same drive and ambition. But in my son, many of his father’s sharp edges are softened. He has the kind of warmth that draws people to him. He’s interested in helping others see their own potential. He’s a natural leader who can lead with integrity and honesty. He’s not afraid to be who he is, but he doesn’t have to toot his own horn. He’s simply quietly confident.
When he was little, what I remember about my son is he never feared joining in. If I took him to a playground, he’d go play with the other kids. He was always doing something, often making up games for the neighborhood kids to play, creating goals and rules. I guess he still does that in a way, in his own life and in his career.
And he can write. He could always write. Oh, and like his father, he has such a memory. For facts, figures, things he’s read. Sports trivia. An almost photographic memory which I envy.
He has a natural talent for hospitality and for business. He gets what makes a business work, what makes it successful. He understands people, how to motivate them, how to discipline them without breaking their spirit. How to bring out the best in them.
He has said when he was in school, especially high school, he treated everyone the same. He wasn’t mean and he wasn’t a snob. Which is a good thing because he lives in the same area where he grew up and he runs into a lot of those same people on a daily basis.
He’s taken unconventional paths to get to where he is now, but I think that was what he had to do. He had to do it his way.
There’s nothing better than having a son you can be proud of. Someone you admire. A son you enjoy and who brings you joy just by being who he is. That’s why you want to tell everyone, “He’s mine.”

Created February 20, 2011, by Barbara Meyers