Category: Just Stuff (page 1 of 5)

Goodbye 2016!

This past year has been a difficult one for a lot of people, but for me, it wasn’t too bad. I signed with a new publisher in February, and they released the first book in my new contemporary romance series in July. I finished writing the second book in October, and started developing a dystopian romance series I plan to write after I finish book 3. I’m also working on a short story to release in the next month or so.

The year was full of personal ups and downs. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in May and had a hysterectomy in June. But I’m feeling much better now. We built a beautiful new house and moved in just before Halloween. Next spring we plan to bring a dog into our home.

The New Year brings a measure of uncertainty. My daughter will be going to a new school so my schedule is going to change. I’ll adapt eventually, but it’ll take some time. But I have books to write and good books to read, so if the need for escape arises, I’m all set.

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I have decided to turn off comments for all blog posts and pages. The last real comment I got was posted months ago.  All the rest are spam. If you have questions or comments about a particular post, you can join me on Facebook. All my posts also appear there.

You can find my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/AmeliaJamesAuthor/

Or you can send me a friend request here: https://www.facebook.com/AmeliaJamesRomance

Thank you.

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Merry Christmas from Amelia James

May your holiday season be richly blessed.

christmas_layout_31Thank you for another great year.

~Amelia

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I apologize for the inconvenience

I’m trying to move trashystreasures.com from WordPress to another host, but it’s not going well. I’ve contacted people to help me, but that’s taking more time than I wanted to. I hope to have this thing up and running again soon, but I don’t know when that will be. In then meantime, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, or my publisher’s website. Thank you for you patience.

~Amelia James

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Outlander Absolved #MondayBlogs

Outlander commentary conclusion. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

My life is full of demands and distractions. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book I couldn’t put down. I just don’t have the time. But I spent four consecutive hours finishing Outlander last week. That’s as close as unputdownable as I get.

My thoughts:

The arrangement between Colum, Letitia, and Dougal didn’t surprise me at all. I suspected those exact circumstances from the beginning. In fact, the practice is almost Biblical. If a man died without a male heir, his brother was allowed—expected even—to marry the widow and get the job done. So in my twisted mind, their deed is perfectly acceptable. How messed up am I? Too bad Dougal didn’t enjoy it more. He’s lucky they got a boy on the first try.

Dougal says he can’t do anything about getting Jamie out of prison? I call bullshit. The size of Scotsman’s (and women’s) balls are legendary. Hadrian’s Wall was built to keep the Scottish away from the Romans. (That’s my theory.) The pansy wants Jamie dead, and he’s only too happy to let the English do it for him.

I know Jamie won’t die because there’s seven more books coming, but I’m a nervous wreck. I hope Claire and Jamie have a detailed reunion, or I’m gonna be really frustrated.

Ahh… I needed that. 😉

Damn, Gabaldon takes the ‘torture your characters’ idea literally—and to the extreme. She did the worst things imaginable to Jamie, and she let you see him at his weakest point. I’m used to seeing heroes who never waiver, never crumble, but she made him human. And that is more appealing than a guy who can’t or won’t let you in.

When Outlander was released, all I heard about was Claire’s dual marriages. Why did I never hear about her absolution? My born again Christian friends should’ve been all over that. Maybe they never read that far. Or maybe I did hear about it, but I’d already closed my mind.

If I were reviewing this book, I’d give it 4.5 stars. It tends to drag in spots, and Gabaldon does a few things my editor would never let me get away with. I think there were enough sex scenes, but I would’ve spread them throughout the book instead of concentrating them in the first half. That’s a personal preference rather than a criticism. But a book that can pull me away from the chaos of my afternoon is going on my keeper shelf, and I’m sure the rest of the series will join it.

Conclusion: The original issue I had with Claire’s supposed adultery proved baseless pretty quickly. My only defense is that… nope. No defense. I learned to think for myself a long time ago, but there are still lessons I need to learn. But that’s okay, I love learning new things. If I ever get to the point where I think I know everything, I’m gonna have a problem.

Thank you for sticking with me. Here’s your reward.

Ooo… I get all squirmy listening to Sam/Jamie.

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The Day my Mom Found Out

Or how I outed my trashy self.

It happened on the same day I posted the cover for my upcoming release. While making dinner, I checked my email on my phone and found a reply to an email I’d sent my mom earlier: “Who is Amelia James?”

“Oh God.” Then the giggles hit. I panicked and posted on FB. “What do I do?” I got a lot of replies. Some along the lines of what I was thinking, some that made me laugh, but all 100% supportive. I wrote back to Mom and asked where she saw the name. And then I waited.

I hate waiting. All kinds of crazy shit went through my head. I got scared. I got angry. I imagined defending myself and my writing with some pretty choice words. Not knowing how she found out made my hands shake, and I wanted to puke.

She said the name was on the email I’d sent from my phone, but I couldn’t see it anywhere. Hubs and I did some test emails, and we discovered that I’d changed my name to Amelia James on my business email and my phone changed it on my personal email too. Dammit Hardison! I replied back with the word weird (from my phone again, idiot) and left it at that.

But I knew I had to ‘fess up. My secret identity was failing and I needed to be the one to tell her. So I wrote another email.

Amelia James is my pen name, and I write romance novels, the steamy kind you used to take away from me. I didn’t tell you because I knew you wouldn’t like them. I’m sorry I lied to you about my work. I told you most of the truth. I am editing. I just didn’t tell you the books I’m editing are mine.

I’m doing well. I have a good publisher, and my books are selling well. One of my books even knocked Fifty Shades out of the #1 spot on Amazon for a few hours. I’ve wanted to share my success with you so many times, but I didn’t think you would approve.

So you probably want to know why I chose to write trashy romance. Honestly, it chose me. Sex was a big dirty secret when I was growing up. You didn’t volunteer information, and I didn’t ask questions. The church told me to wait, but no one bothered to explain why. Reading romance became my escape and writing it is my therapy. And to tell you the truth, I enjoy it. I never got to enjoy exploring when I was young because I was made to feel ashamed. I’m not ashamed anymore.

I’m not asking for your approval. I’m an adult and this is my choice. It’s not your fault. You are a great mom. I love writing about love and relationships and everything that goes along with them. And I’m good at it. I’m making a living doing what I love and that’s all I’ve ever wanted. I chose my pen name to honor Dad. He spent his life doing what he loved, and I think he’d be proud of me for achieving my dream.

I don’t expect you to read my books, and I don’t want you to. They’re not your thing. I just wanted you to know who Amelia James is.

And I waited again. Hubs thought I shouldn’t have told her, but I got tired of hiding. I didn’t know what she’d say. I figured she’d feel like she’d failed and tell me she’d pray for me. Her actual response made me smile through tears. She said she’s proud of me. She was afraid I wasn’t writing and worried that I didn’t have a way to express myself. She knew she didn’t explain sex well to me or my sisters, but she wasn’t comfortable with it. And then she said she wants to read my books. Aaaaaaack! No no no no no! Now I’m a little weirded out that my mom might actually read the sex I’m writing.

So this is a rather anti-climactic ending, but I didn’t see it coming. And now I wonder if my Mom is the one who taught me to think for myself. I suspect this story isn’t over…. (It’s just getting started. Mom posted my pen name on her FB profile where all my conservative friends and family will see it. Here we go.)

And to everyone who helped me deal with this: thank you. Your support and encouragement is amazing and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. I am truly blessed.

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Aural Sex and Other Pleasures #MondayBlogs

Outlander Commentary Part 3. Review Part 1 and Part 2.

I didn’t have much time to read last week, and it seems my major issues with this book have been resolved. So I’ll most likely be wrapping this up soon, and I doubt I’ll need to comment on the rest of the series. I don’t do book reviews. I read for pleasure, not homework.

My thoughts:

Jamie is a major stud. What he lacks in experience, he makes up for in enthusiasm and endurance. He wore me out. But since Chapter 23, (Holy Hell! I highlighted that one in my Kindle.) Gabaldon has started skipping the sex scenes altogether. I’m sure they’re not necessary to the story, but I prefer to read all the juicy bits. Sex was a big secret for most of my life. What I lack in experience, I’d like to make up with explicit detail, even if it is fiction.

Claire and Jamie

Claire has acknowledged she loves both her husbands, and she’s feeling bad because she’s happy. Conflict 101. When Outlander first came out, I knew nothing about writing, and I still struggle with conflict. If Claire had been a single woman, (as many time-travel heroines are) her story wouldn’t have been so compelling. She wouldn’t have been so driven to return home. She wouldn’t have been so torn when faced with their choice to stay or go. The issue that kept me away from this book for so many years is exactly what makes it so powerful. Idiot.

Have I mentioned that I looooovvvve Jamie? Book boyfriend, indeed. He’s so hot even the guys want him. But still no more sex. Lots of flirting and affection, but I need some love! Jamie’s hair was short in the beginning of the book, but now it’s past his shoulders. I have such a fetish for men with long hair—and he wears a kilt! Yep. Luv him.

Jamie no shirt

As I’m reading, I’m wondering what this book will look like on screen. I can’t wait to see that! But I’m even more excited about hearing his voice. “Aye, I mean to use ye hard, my Sassenach. I want to own you, to possess you, body and soul.” 

Here’s a little tease:

*brain melts out ears*

But even without the detailed sex, my crush on Jamie has deepened to the point where he’s become a new muse. (I’m not giving up my current muse. There’s no reason I can’t have more than one. 😉 ) He’s inspired a character in my WIP, and maybe he’ll get his own book. And I promise to write all the juicy bits in explicit detail. Reading for pleasure. That’s what I’m all about.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, but try not to spoil anything for me. Thanks!

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Speak Up! You Could be Heard.

I write about all kinds of taboo subjects: group sex, premarital sex (forbidden when I was growing up), a little bit of bondage and other sex games, but there are two subjects I never discuss–politics and religion–as a firm rule. It’s just too easy to piss people off when you venture down those roads, and I’m in the business of making people feel good.

However, there’s an exception to every rule, and racism is one issue I will always speak out against for several reasons. 1. It’s wrong to judge someone based on the color of their skin. Plain and simple. 2. It’s stupid. This is the 21st century, right? 3. My daughter is African-American, and it kills me to know she has to deal with this shit. I need to be an example for her.

So yesterday, when I heard about the #boycottcoke response to Coke’s Super Bowl commercial, I had to address it. I read some of the tweets and many were supportive of Coke’s ad, but some were just plain stupid. America the Beautiful is not out National Anthem. D’oh! And who defines American? My daughter’s birth parents are from Africa. Does that mean she’s not American? Her birth certificate says she is. And when has the U.S. ever been purely white?

The Coca-Cola logo is an example of a widely-r...

I asked that question on Twitter, but got no reply. The average life of a tweet is 30 seconds, or so I’ve heard, so I wasn’t surprised. But later in the day, I found this tweet in my timeline: From @CBCCommunity: @TrashyWriter You’re quoted in my #Storify: Coca-Cola’s multicultural #SuperBowl ad sparks boycott, angry backlash.

A news blog quoted me! I don’t know who they are or how big their readership is, but that’s not the point. Among the hundreds, or maybe thousands, of idiots who complained, a voice of reason was heard. And mine wasn’t the only voice, but even if it had been, I still would’ve spoken out against the evil and stupidity. It’s a small thing, and maybe it didn’t make a difference in the big picture, but it made a difference to me and maybe someday my daughter will have a few less fools to deal with. I can only hope.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. ~Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797)

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Don’t Check your Brain at the Door #MondayBlogs

Outlander commentary part 2. Read part 1 here.

I grew up in a church that thrived on ignorant judgments. The first person who told me, “Don’t check your brain at the door,” was, oddly enough, a pastor’s wife. I met her long after I’d moved away from home, after I’d written my first sex story. When I read Chapter 14, I felt like I’d spent my whole life clinging to stupid ideas. I’d wasted years avoiding something I enjoyed based on a rumor. Yep, I’ve been an idiot for a long time.

My non-review observations to this point. (I should say SPOILER ALERT in case I’m not the only person on the planet who hasn’t read it.)

Jamie’s an outlaw! Hotness factor +1000. His name isn’t MacTavish. I knew that. Now I know why. But he’s still a mystery and that gives him another 1000 hawt points.

Claire caught him making out with another girl! And she teases him about it. There’s an unwritten rule in romance that once the hero and heroine meet, they don’t touch anyone else. Obviously Gabaldon has no problem breaking rules. I like that. I have to admit I’m jealous. But then, if I were Miss Longhair, (what’s her name?) I’d be ducking into alcoves with Jamie, too.

Chapter 9 – The Gathering. I can’t help thinking of Duncan MacLeod and Highlander. “There can be only one….” But more than one Scottie hottie in my head is definitely a plus.

Duncan MacLeod The HighlanderJamie has a reputation as a ladies man. Why does that bug me? I write guys like that all the time. (Austin and Alex are the worst.) Maybe it’s because he may have fathered a child with a married woman. Cheating gets to me. I was cheated on once, and my dad cheated on my mom. But I let Alex sleep with a married woman. I thought that was hot. This makes no sense. Let it go….

Jamie’s a virgin! Oh I had to laugh at that. And Claire had to marry him to escape Captain Randall. Well, don’t I feel stupid. Is this why my friend kept saying, “I can’t wait till you get to the wedding.” Or is there another wedding, one they want? Yeah, I’m a romantic.

I love that Jamie’s name is Fraser. I have a huge crush on Brendan Fraser. Rawr.

O'ConnellClaire finally admitted (to herself) she’s attracted to Jamie. All this time it seemed like she didn’t care about him at all, other than a friend and a patient. I think Gabaldon could’ve done a better job showing Claire’s interest in him, build the attraction slowly and let the reader see it rather than tell us all of a sudden. That’s how I’d do it. Or maybe it was so subtle I didn’t notice. I tend to read quickly.

Whew! Chapter 15. Really hot even though Gabaldon skipped over the good stuff and wrote the rest of it rather vague. Let the readers use their imagination. She has talent. And I’m doubting mine. This is why I don’t read as much as I should. Don’t check your brain, dummy. Learn from it. What does Gabaldon do that makes her vague sex scenes so effective? I guess I have to read chapter 15… and 16 again. Heh.

Find out more about the Outlander TV series at the official site.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, but try not to spoil anything for me. Thanks!

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How Outlander is Helping me Deal with my Repressed Past #MondayBlogs

Part 1

The Outlander series came out when I was in high school. Back then I was in the habit of judging things I knew nothing about. That’s how I was raised. If it sounds like a sin, condemn it. Don’t bother trying to understand it. I’d heard that Claire was married when she met and fell in love with Jamie. Adultery, even fictional adultery separated by centuries, was a sin. Bad book! So I never read it.

Flash forward a couple of decades and half a dozen trashy books of my own (much more sinful than anything Gabaldon ever wrote, I’m sure), and the romance blogosphere started buzzing with the news that the Outlander series was coming to TV. I started seeing pics of Jamie and Claire. Well damn. I never could resist a man in a kilt. I talked to a friend about my hesitation. I’m sure she wanted to laugh at me, especially knowing how I’ve done my ‘research’. She told me the book handled their relationship well, and it’s the only series she’s ever reread.

So I caved and bought it. And I liked it. This isn’t a review. I’m still reading the book, so I’m going to give you some of my thoughts along the way. Should be interesting (to me at least) to see if my concerns were warranted, and if not, (which I fully expect they won’t be) how I deal with that.

First impressions:

I read an entire, rather long paragraph before I realized it was written in first person. Not a single I in the whole passage. I’ve got four in these three sentences. Gabaldon’s good. And she can write description and internal monologue without letting it get dull.

But after three full chapters of being in Claire’s head, I’m hoping we’ll get into Jamie’s at some point. There are 6 or 7 more books to come, so I’m not giving up on him.

I like Frank, which bums me out because I was hoping he’d be an asshole. That would make my issues easier to deal with. Captain Randall is an evil bastard though—and not in a good way.

Claire’s palm reading revealed that she’s a woman whose husband isn’t likely to stray from her bed. In other words, she likes sex. Which makes me wonder if Frank has strayed. (This is me wanting him to be a creep.)

The vicar’s housekeeper reads tea leaves and palms. This is something that would’ve sent my fundamental friends and family into a tizzy. But the scene gave us a lot of important info about Claire so we needed it.

I fell in love with Jamie real fast. I’ve only known him a short time, but he’s everything I want a romance hero to be: young, cute, charming, bold, and hey! He wears a kilt.

And I love the fact that Claire rescued him.

Claire seems to have accepted the fact that she traveled through time pretty quickly, but she’s smart and logical so it works for her. I love that present day is 1945, which make this a historical/time-travel romance (in my opinion). Historical is my favorite genre.

That’s all I’ve got so far. I’ll post more soon(er) or later. With an energetic 3-year-old in the house, it’s hard to find time to read, let alone write about it.

Find out more about the Outlander TV series at the official site.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, but try not to spoil anything for me. Thanks!

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