Suenammi Richards Romance Headline Animator

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sandra's Social Friday Teaser

As Sandra stepped up onto the porch of the house, Ayita dropped her hand to take her daughter’s arm. They walked in, and Ayita had set up tea for them.  Sandra groaned inwardly; her mother had something to say to her.
“Sit, pishee.”
Sandra laughed lightly at the endearment she hadn’t heard since she had been young. “What’s going on mamma?”
Ayita sat, and began pouring tea.  It was chamomile and lavender. The smell alone said that this tea was from Ayita’s self-grown stock.
“That’s what I was going to ask you.” Ayita sat, and looked over expectantly after she handed Sandra a cup.
Sandra listened to her mother’s odd accent that seemed to combine French, Greek, and the clippings of southern American English from her rural mother and father before she commented. “Nothing new except for my doctorate. What are you and father doing here?”
Her mother stirred the tea with her finger, and lightly tasted it. “Your father is consulting one of the top mole docs here.  I am considering things.”
Sandra nodded.  A mole doc was another molecular scientist like her father.  Jiri’s research had taken them around the world, and back again so many times that Sandra couldn’t keep up.  Jiri “the original Dr.” Dalianas was a complex man to say the least.  He had always seemed larger than life to Sandra, and that would have a lot to do with him being the most physically intimidating molecular scientist she had ever met.  She had met a few thanks to who her father was.
Biochemistry and molecular biology was her father’s life.  Always he seemed obsessed with solving the genetic make-up puzzle.  DNA mapping was his specialty.  So constantly he traveled to consult with doctors in his field to get a little bit further in the mapping of the human genome. Talking about it always brought an eerie light into his already unsettlingly bright pale green eyes.  As a byproduct of his passion, the man demanded from himself peak physical condition always insisting that knowing what the body could do made him manic about fulfilling it.
And her mother; when Ayita considered things, they were usually big things. With her towering height, Ayita had always been the most beautiful woman in the world to Sandra. Considering that she spent most of her life modeling, the world seemed to agree; the entire world outside of America that is.  It was a shame that she hadn’t been very popular with her oak skin tone, caramel eyes, full lips, and blunt nose.  Because of her exotic looks, and the social upheaval in the states, her mother only worked in Europe, and various other locales outside of the States.
The irony is that her career hadn’t really taken off until after Sandra had been born.  It started one afternoon doing a shoot in the south of the French Riviera.  The prime minister of France had been a fan of Ayita’s for years.  Having the chance to meet her, he did. They had dinner, and talked politics.  Being no political slouch because of the amount of social consciousness that had been artfully instilled in her by both her parents, Ayita had impressed the Prime Minister to no end.  He recommended that she become an advisor, and soon set the plan into motion. Soon she became quite a political figure in Europe during the 1980’s up until the Bush regime took over, and made foreign relations more stressful.
“What are these things?” Sandra asked insistently.
“A spot in the United Nations,” she said with the polite calmness most people would use discussing the weather.
Sandra squeaked a little, “You’d be awesome at that.”
Ayita merely frowned, and made an iffy noise. “Still considering.” She sighed and glanced at the floor. “Honestly I was hoping your father would be ready to settle, and we could go to Mendocino.” Her eyes sparkled warmly as she lifted them to Sandra’s. “I’ve always loved it there.”
“It’s beautiful,” Sandra agreed as she took a sip of the tea not really believing that her mother still amazed her at 25 years of age.
The quiet inquisition that had been perfected by Ayita Sittingbull-Dalianas began as she sat quietly sipping tea, and staring avidly at Sandra.  Sandra sighed, no longer hiding her exasperation, and tilted her head at her mother giving her a pointed look.
“This works on dad, doesn’t it?”
Ayita slowly smiled.
“Yes I am still a virgin,” Sandra began, “and I’m starting to think that it’s not a problem.  We are not all as lucky as you and dad were.  And most certainly not all as gorgeous as you are—”
Her mother made a negative sound, “You are beautiful Sandra.”
“And you’re my mother; you have to think so.  What I’m saying is that I’m fine.  I have successfully defended my dissertation, and that meant so much for me.” Sandra paused looking for a sign that this would be enough. Then sighed, and continued, “I have accomplished almost all I want in this life.”
“No husband; no children.” Ayita gave her a consoling look. “Why plant a garden, and then not let the flowers bloom.”
Sandra stifled the urge to argue with her mother.  In the end Ayita wanted the best for her daughter, and when you had a husband like Jiri, you assumed that marriage was good for everyone.  She just didn’t seem to understand that they were a small margin of what actually went on with men and women.  Not that Sandra had vast amounts of experience. It was just that numbers don’t lie. During her brief and eventful 25 years of life she had seen, three uncles, five aunts, two first cousins, and an adventurous third cousin marry.  Out of the eleven marriages she witnessed, and the 6 that were in existence before she had been born, only 9 of them had lasted, her mother and father, their immediate parents, a couple of cousins, and a set of aunts and uncles.  Only nine out of an overall 18.
“One promise pishee, and we will discuss this no more,” Ayita stated strongly with a clear finality.
Sandra nodded knowing that when her mother asked for a promise like this she was true to her word, and she wouldn’t let up until you agreed.

Ayita met her daughter’s turbulent ever-changing eyes, and said softly, and slowly. “Let the tide catch you once. Let yourself feel the ocean before you say you don’t enjoy it.”

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Not Another Bodice Ripper - The Case for Serious Romance Part Two


Love is a personal endeavor no matter how universal television commercials would like it to seem. The nature of it is idealized for some, and wide open for others. The truth is when writing about something as profoundly intimate as love, it is really bad form to try and relate love in another voice or fashion other than your own. The truth and charm to a story comes from that bit of truth that is included. That bit of truth is the relatable aspect of any story. This is the core of your own voice as a writer. Regardless of how many people 'understand' your character's plight or not, the truth of the situation will ring forth and give the story just the push it needs to really fly.

With that in mind it is very bad form for generalists to assume that a certain plotline or story premise is in line with any pre-described social agenda. The liberation of women was just that, liberation. Liberation is the right to make choices. A woman can decide if she would like to be a public figure or a private one. A woman can choose to vote, bare children, and get married or not. The claim that the creation of or reading of romance somehow 'tricks' women into believing in self destructive rhetoric is almost more offensive than any other misogynic claim as it actually feeds into the myth that women are incapable of processing thought beyond what they know to be a fictitious account.

In laymen's terms, the claim in essence says that a grown woman is not capable of separating fantasy from reality. This is a claim usually attached to mental illness, and honestly makes light of conditions suffered by those who have legitimate hormonal imbalances, injuries or birth defects that are associated with mental illness. Reading romance is not an illness. Also it no more detracts from feminist prose as it would add to it. With that being said, no romance is the same. Like all forms of entertainment and media there are levels of content. No two books actually read the same.

The romance formula is very easy to follow. Usually two people, and in recent entries sometimes more, have a great potential for a romantic relationship. They must confront each other and often times the results are not initially positive. That is because of individuality. This is an aspect of romance that is explored more than it is in some of its traditional fiction contemporaries. You have the dichotomy of a relationship as opposed to the relationship being a side car to the dichotomy of the story. In the end the essence of the story is to confront relationship boundaries and expose them. This is a very emotional plane of existence that can sometimes hold the same trauma as a tragedy. And it should. Love is a life changing event. Seeking to experience it, and be bound to another person for all time is also a life changing event. As far as I know not a single life changing event has ever gone quietly and without lessons in humility and shame. These are human emotions that bear the weight in most situations. Yet in love they are the core of what this entanglement is about.

The way a writer creates this is wide open. This sense of growing affection and intimacy is developed from one thing and one thing only, seeing the person for who they are and loving them because or despite it. This is a truth that romance novelists understand that is rarely examined in most contemporary literature where relationships seem to be of convenience and not of necessity. Others are forced attachments where the characters are bound by seemingly invisible tendrils of emotion that are strong enough to bond yet not strong enough to carry the story.

To some degree the emergence of more acceptable contemporary popular fiction, and the need to be perceived a certain way by others has taken the blush from the rose as far as sweeping love relationships are concerned. Romance novels have long been the butt of literary jokes and recently in a twisted parody of art imitating life some have even endeavored to live up to this reputation of being incomprehensible smut with bad punctuation and grammar. But what are the far reaching consequences to this? This seeming end to fairytale as it were that now blocks the heart from even seeking some idealized contentment. Is it this lack of 'romance' being taken seriously in day to day life that has enabled a lack of respect for sex, marriage, and all romantic relationships? Has the 'replaceable' mate taken the place of the 'irreplaceable' mate?

Today more than ever in a world of revolving doorlike changes we need the purity of actual romance.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Coming Soon: Brenda's Bounty

Brenda was on her third shot of Patron, and not really understanding why that memory had presented itself so freshly upon her getting home.  All she knew was that she needed to drive it out right now. It had been her first lesson in love. Only she had been too young to understand what it meant.

“Brennie Ann. .”  Brenda started in the heavily accented way her mother used to say it. “I should’ve told you, what trouble men will make ‘or ye. The greatest disservice I ev’r did to ye was ‘ot ‘elling you what a bleedin bastard yor father was for ‘eavin us till I died.”

Her mother hadn’t lived for much longer after that night. She had been near the end when the doctor relegated her to bed rest.  Instantly her gaggle of sisters that hadn’t been able to stand Anthony Margiani had not hesitated to come to their sister’s bedside. Each and every one of them, Aunt Sarabelle, Josephine, Margery and Carolyn had come to Willie’s home and stayed to make their sister as comfortable as possible as they took care of house and the child that Tony Margiani had left behind.

Brenda shivered as she remembered the last days.  Her mother had wept and called out for Anthony.  The pain from what she was experiencing had rendered her nearly mad.  Aunt Carrie had started feeding her shots of liquor to try and ease it.  But even that was eventually not enough.  Those last days she couldn’t be consoled and the whole time she had yelled the one phrase over and over again. “Tony, I ‘ought ye loved me, ‘ow could ye ‘eave me to do this alone. Our Brennie, take care of Brennie.”

Her aunt Margie would hold her in her lap rocking her and whispering in her ear the whole time. “Don’t mind ‘er love. She’s ‘ust upset. It’ll be o’er soon.” Her aunts Margie, Carrie, Sara and Josie took turns staying with her mother or staying with her. She could always feel the wetness from their tears falling into the mop of her hair. 

Brenda quickly poured herself another shot and hit it.  She let the liquid burn making her ice blue eyes water.  At least she told herself that was why her eyes watered.  Brenda hadn’t cried over anything in over 10 years.  Not something she was proud of, just a fact. 

She had spent so many years crying, over her mother, over her jilted at the alter status, over years and years of trying to please a man that only saw his failure in the eyes of his daughter. It had taken her father 2 years after the death of her mother to actually come back to Wales for her.  By then she was the community child of her four aunts, and the 6 children that were her cousins that they were also trying to raise. Her aunts were good women, but also brutal women.  Only Josie and Carrie where even still married. They spoke their mind and didn’t care who heard it or how graphic it got. They hadn’t spared Brenda’s ears over the evils of her father those years after they had bitterly buried their sister as she had jumped from house to house.

She remembered the day like it had just happened.  She had been on the streets hustling tourists.  Wasn’t something she had been proud of, but it was what all the kids were doing.  Little wharf rats they had called them. They would do bait and switch on unsuspecting travelers.  Take them through seedy neighborhoods and get them lost there. It was amazing how many people came to England looking for a waifish orphan child to swindle them. Even in the 80’s when Brenda was coming of age they expected 17th century.  She and her little crew saw opportunity and were there to deliver.

Punk rock had started to take over the airwaves and British teens and pre teens alike became rebellious and cliquish. Walking around with a chip on their shoulder and willing to thumb their noses at authority. She had been 12 years old and all bony limbs in one of her punk girl outfits.  Her favorite in fact was a red plaid school girl skirt, some torn fishnets, Doc Martens, a ripped Sid and Nancy T-Shirt and a moppish haircut like the one Chrissie Hynde wore.  All bought and paid for by her swindling money. Her aunts had gotten to the point where they didn’t ask the child how she came about these funds knowing they wouldn’t like the answer.

“Little girl, what’s your name?” the man called from the other side of the street.

She had barely glanced at him as she yelled. “Piss off,” in her roughest voice.

“Brennie..” he had called. “Brennie Ann.”

Brennie had been fine, it was the Brennie Ann that had set her off. She had turned enraged by being called that. “Sod it off old man, no one in the bleedin ‘ell calls me that any- .” she had thought to finally push her moppish bangs out of her eyes and stopped speaking as she recognized the man. “Pa,” she whispered.

He nodded down at her as he stared at her as if he couldn’t look away. “Christ you look just like her,” he whispered.

And then the rage came flooding back. “You piss’r! You left us! You left ‘er to die!” She threw herself at him trying to hit him. In her rage she only noticed after she began to get tired that he wasn’t fighting back. He was taking it; letting her rage against him.  As she wore herself out she could finally hear what he was saying.

“Mi bella, mi dispiace.” My beauty, I’m sorry.

Her rage gave way to tears as her hits became weaker and less impassioned.  He finally was able to lift her up and just hold her as she wept.

Sacramento California hadn’t been a terrible place for a teenage girl to grow up.  If you didn’t spend the whole time being a self-righteous brat.  Of course Brenda had spent most of her years with her father reminding him of what he had done wrong. Melanie, her dad’s new wife had put an end to that a few years after he had moved her there. Luckily Brenda had found the street punks in Sacramento so she always had someone to go whine too when home life became unbearable.  

But something odd happened to her when her first baby brother was born.  It had happened right there in the hospital when she had seen him for the first time.

“There he is Brennie. Your little brother, Lawrence.” She had moved her moppy bangs out of her face to stare at the bundle from the window.  He had looked so perfect, unspoiled.  She had felt this welling of hope.  It would be different for him.  She would see to it. He would be a good man, and he wouldn’t leave his family just because times got tough.  There was hope still.

It had been the same with the twins, Warren and Walter.  Each little boy represented an opportunity to build a new man.  One that would be the way they were in storybooks, and not the way they were in real life.

Brenda's Bounty Coming November 2015

Catch the 1st two books of the Series, Sandra's Social and Charlotte's Chance on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads

w/ love