Showing posts with label Multicultural Romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Multicultural Romance. Show all posts

Friday, May 12, 2017

How Colan Got Here from Shuttered Vision Coming June 2017

Colan had been no different. For most of his 36 years of life, films had sustained and carried him. He would never forget his first drive thru experience. His mother and father had taken them to see something he thought he really wanted to see until he turned around to look at another screen in the tri screen theatre. There he watched, without sound, Legend. Shortly thereafter his father had left and he fell completely into the world of moving pictures as his mother had to leave him to fend for himself as she had to work more. So he watched movies, every kind he could watch.

He had been raised in a back-water Oklahoma town called Chandler right outside of Oklahoma City. When he had become high school age he had talked his mother into letting him go to the best high school in the state located in Norman Oklahoma near Oklahoma State University. There he had started the process to get into the University of California Berkeley. From there he had gone to Tisch School of the Arts at New York University with a 4.0.

Colan had graduated full of zest, zeal and an appropriate amount of artistic angst. He had hit the independent film scene on fire. His first three movies had been shot down instantly. The people he pitched to insisted that Americans didn’t want to think. They wanted blood guts and senseless violence. He had been unconvinced. The public took what they could get. He was going to make films again.

All of his professors had seen the idealist in him and knew what that meant. One by one over the years they had warned him away from Hollywood. Make films overseas first, he had been advised. No no no, he had been a patriot. He had only wanted to give his creations to American audiences first. With the choices being Disney and Hollywood, he had chosen the later.

So, there he had gone. Hollywood was everything he thought it would be and a slew of other things he hadn’t expected. He had expected to be disgusted. To be insulted as the art he loved was being canonized and mass produced without thought or originality. What he hadn’t expected was to be lured in by the potential of ultimate power. To be held enrapt by the bright lights the lifestyle, the parties, the drugs, the sex. Some of those women he had met along the way had been willing to do anything. Anything at all for a shot. The realization of all that has been lost happens much later.

Ironically, the most seductive lure of it had been the competition. Being better, doing better hopefully in a way that shows everyone how bad someone else is at this job. Colan had started as a rigging grip. After 5 years of wheeling and dealing, flaunting his degree, his good looks, and southern charm, Colan Abrams from bumfuck Oklahoma and a broken home was the most sought after movie producer in Hollywood. He had gotten to be an assistant of a producer within a year and half of being in the company. Produced his first film within the next six months as the man he was working for cracked under the pressure. Pressure, Colan had eagerly and liberally applied. That year he had turned a summer blockbuster that would’ve fallen on its ass with the previous producer into a multi-million dollar worldwide hit.

The rules are simple for success in Hollywood. Money is the name of the game and the only resume item that’s respected. Rule one summer, it was luck. Rule two summers, the kid might have what it takes. Three summers followed by a killer Halloween and an amazing Christmas showing. Baby the kid’s a star.

Colan was a country boy at the core of his being. He hadn’t been used to women that looked like Hollywood wanna be starlets did.  He had never even let himself imagine men willing to prostitute like Hollywood wanna be leading men did. Like any naïve young man, he had lost his way. He had been exposed to it during school. Needless to say, it wasn’t the same.

In the past the purity of the art of crafting film had kept him focused and removed from much of the party life. Soon he learned that he wasn’t really making films anymore.  He was in the business of making money. With the purity of the art gone, all that was left was this sickening people pulsing floor show. When the lifestyle had started not to be enough he had become a little worried. When the drugs had started to not be enough, his worry escalated. When the sex became practically another form of currency he had started having full blown panic attacks.


Two years ago, Colan Abrams, multi-billion-dollar movie producer, film company executive, and all around Hollywood behind the scenes badass, suffered a nervous breakdown. His perception of the world had never been the same since.

Coming June 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Understanding Fiona from Shuttered Vision Coming June 2017

Fiona Canters grew up differently than the rest of the free world within the United States of America. When 5-year-old Fiona first told her mother about one of her extraordinary dreams her mother had smiled pleased. She asked her daughter to tell her what they meant. Confused Fiona had not answered. The very next day she had been privy to the conversations the women in her family had away from husbands, boyfriends, sons and fathers.

“Fiona dreamed last night,” her mother had told her mother-in-law excitedly.

“Does she know what it means?” her aunt had asked anxiously.

Her mother proudly shook her head then and recounted the dream for the listening gaggle. With gasps of delight and praises to the Almighty they had all regarded Fiona differently.

The Canters were a French Creole line. Originally, they intermixed with a line that had roots in Native America, Africa and Ireland. Now they were a rainbow people. The shades of relatives spanned the realm of possibility.

Fiona’s mother was Salvadorian. Her skin the color of burnished copper. Her hair fell blue black tightly curled and silky across her shoulders. Her light brown eyes always alight with seemingly forbidden knowledge.

A Canters man, her father was tan skinned by nature. His dark eyes and mixed features made it hard to place into a particular ethnic set. From that, Fiona had emerged a shade lighter than mahogany. Her eyes an almost eerie shade of dark grey. They looked lit from within as the iris closest to the pupil was a paler grey than the midnight that it changed into as it floated to the rims.

“Witch eyes,” her grandmother had said that night as the women talked. She took the child’s measure for the first time.

Fiona had starred up innocently into the clear hazel eyes of the paler woman. She felt that nagging suspicion of being in the presence of something that was more than it seemed. Of course as a child, she had no true idea of what it was. Just this sudden unmistakable unshakable awareness as she peered up at the woman. Always waiting for her to change form right before her eyes.

She had always been fearful of her father’s pale, hazel eyed mother. The woman had eyes that saw too much. They saw everything and communicated with the souls of others without their knowledge. These were things she had heard whispered growing up among the others.

The others were the ones of her family that had been born without that extra thing that most of the women had. It was a generation skipping instance. Every once in a while, a woman in their line was born without that extra sense of the world, without the vision to see into others through dreams, premonitions and senses that were a family birthright.

They were raised in a different way than those with sight. Still loved and shown the same affections and care. They were kept away from the ones who bared stunning signs and levels of awareness. It was a courtesy to both sides. The children would grow to understand and appreciate each other before they interacted. This way they could understand their differences and not treating each other badly over them.
Before the conception of every child, the women of the family dreamed. During the pregnancy, the women dreamed. They dreamed of the child they would bare. They would know before modern technology whether a boy or a girl would be born. When the mother conceived her entire existence was enrapt in the being she carried. Through their personal dreamscape, they would understand the nature of that child. How it should be raised and what it should be led to do.

Even those born without the special gifts procured to the blood line were dreamt of. Regardless of whether it had been given sight or not. One day they may raise a child that most likely would be given sight. Regardless, they needed to be raised in a fashion to be able to deal with their child’s gifts. That was why all dreams and premonitions centered on the child.


Fiona was the exception. Fiona’s mother Alejandra calls that time in her life ‘el negro’: 
The dark. For the first time in her life, she knew what it was to live as most people do. She had only common sense, instincts and logic to guide her way through. All of her dreams during Fiona’s conception and birth had been shielded from her. All premonition and sensory insight dulled to just instances of déjà vu. Her mother-in-law said it was because the child she carried was blank. Meaning there was nothing to see.

Coming June 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

You'll Save That For Mine

As I was working on the second edition of Make Mine a Heel I got to indulge in some of my favorite scenes. This one is top 5. Its their first and most fun fight.

Banner stopped the recording. “What was that?” She asked sharply.

Keith stared at her intently as if he had expected her reaction. “What was what?”  He asked deliberately.

“You cannot break out Ayn Rand on general American society. Do you realize how many people have no idea what ethical egoism is?” She actually put up quote marks with her hands as she said ‘ethical egoism’.

Keith became very still and disturbingly serious as his eyes never left Banner’s. “Yes I do.” The statement was as still as he was. He stopped long enough to let that sink in, and then continued, 
“You’ll take back the interview I give, or I’ll give no interview.”

Banner felt the hairs on her spine prickle as she began to understand what this was really about.  She needed to revise her game plan. Keith was going to make this a lot harder to dismiss than she had thought he was going to. Something else she was starting to understand that he knew before she even got here.

“Maybe we should eat first?” Banner supplied peaceably.

Keith nodded with a sharp cold smile as he uttered. “Maybe we should.”

He nodded at someone that Banner couldn’t see. A short dark haired girl appeared and once again Banner ceased to exist.

“Hi Keith, your usual?” she asked in a manner that suggested that perhaps she was part of his ‘usual’.

“Sorry darling, just the shake.” He said to her in a familiar tone.

She pouted and then turned razor dark brown eyes on Banner. “And what can I get you?”

Banner frowned. She hadn’t even looked at the menu. “The special.” She said quickly. It was her default in unfamiliar waters.

She paused and took one look at the storm brewing across from her. Just then she remembered the dull pain in her head.  In her mind the words, ‘fuck it’, were clear as a bell.  “And a Crown and coke.” She finished quickly.

Keith watched the cute little waitress leave and then focused all of his attention on Banner. “You didn’t strike me as the type to drink on the job.” He teased.

Banner was beyond being able to curb her thoughts anymore. Questioning her professional ethic was beyond reasonable. “I don’t have to when I like the job.” She snipped back.

“Are we not getting along Ms. Hemweigh?” His accent flared which let her know that his temper was up.

“Nowhere near. I suggest you stop picking at me until we are both more reasonable.” She advised sharply meeting his gaze unapologetically.

The look on his face said that the last thing he wanted to be with her was reasonable. “I thought I was being reasonable. You seem put out that I know big words.” He snapped back.

Banner sighed, here we go, she thought. In her best professional tone she started her spiel. “Mr. Daniels, it was not my intention to insult your intelligence, but I refuse to insult the intelligence of my audience.”

He nodded as he looked away from her for a moment. She could practically feel his teeth grinding. Then with a sharp tilt of his head she knew she was going to get what popped into his head anyway. The thought that had him grinding his teeth for self-control. “No, you’ll save that for mine.” He supplied.


Make Mine A Heel available in ebook and coming soon in print.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Make Mine a Heel 2nd Edition

In an effort to keep Fiona and Colan a little longer I decided to edit and release a 2nd edition of my first self-published ebook and historically top selling, Make Mine a Heel. As always when I dive back into the pages of this book nostalgia takes hold.  This time it was so refreshing as I expected such a mess of a story and saw that even then my voice had a cadence and a charm I hardly expect to see or read. I started critically and then I just fell back in love with Banner and Keith:

“You must hate me,” Banner whispered.

“Why would I hate you Bay? You’re at least here trying to understand.” His deep voice sounded solemn, humble. “That’s more than that jackass that knocked my mother up has ever even tried to do.”

The next thing she knew his hands were on her shoulders and she could feel his breath at her ear. “Yeah, we got off to a rocky start, but you’re here for the same reasons I am. We’ve done what we’ve done for basically the same reasons. I could never hate you.”

He turned her to look at him; the truth of it in his eyes. “Twice in your life?” she asked.

He gave a false smile with a joyless laugh. “I may have exaggerated a little.  I believe the last time I heard from the son of a bitch was him admonishing me for my career choice. With my size and athleticism I should’ve become a basketball player. Something people could respect.” He turned from her. “That was when I realized what a fool I’d been all my life. You tell yourself you’re doing something just to prove what you’re worth. It isn’t until much later do you actually admit who you’re trying to prove it to.” He admitted.

“Broke your heart,” she guessed.

Keith laughed. “A broken heart I could’ve dealt with. This was worse. It broke my spirit,” he shook his head gravely as he spoke. “I didn’t know which way was up anymore.” His voice turned gravelly as he spoke as strong emotions coursed with his words. “I had convinced myself in the deep dark parts of me that I never try and speak to that if I did good in this he would see what I was worth.” He stopped his face taking on this expression of mocking disbelief as he continued, “Finally he would come along. Be repentant, beg me to forgive him, and we could start fresh as I proved that I was worth his time. Now I would allow him to do the same.”

He sat again staring at the screen, the two men in the ring tumbling, twisting. The announcer was increasing his tone, his pitch to match the action. The crowd was screaming, yelling.   This was made all the more apparent by his stillness. His green eyes wide yet focused on the screen, almost innocent with shadows. For a moment Banner could see him as he had been when he fell in love with this sport. That young boy that hadn’t yet understood the whys and hows of life, but knew if he could chose it would be like what he saw.

“My foundation, my hopes and dreams were rocked and shattered. It was more devastating because I didn’t know until that very moment how much of what I had done and become was based on this perception. I had built everything on the idea that one day he would think I was worth his time.” He stared silently at the screen for a few moments after his wrenching speech.

Banner looked at the screen because his face was much too painful to look at. Then she just looked at the floor because watching what had made him choose what he had chosen was no better. She could see it. What a small boy would see; all the fans, the unconditional love, the affection. The absolute lines of right and wrong. Men hugging each other knowing that it was okay. It was the same things that made young boys play football or any other sport. Why boys joined the military. Why they joined gangs.  Always, they were just looking for a man strong enough to love them. They sacrificed everything only to wake up one day and realize that the only man that could do that for them is the one they become.

“My father, and I use that term loosely, is a waste of space,” he began his eyes never leaving the screen. “I was never going to matter to him. I was the fallout of a drunken night on a leave weekend from some Mexican whore that didn’t know any better. He was the son of a high ranking Navy Colonel and no way was the world going to know what he sired and with what. He considers my mother and our family mongrel beasts; nothing but poor hapless peasant stock. Had he known that I was being born he probably would’ve had it taken care of. As it was, my mother was much smarter than he ever figured. She used it to get into America. She made the ass pay child support and raised me to know all sides of myself. Not just the ones she was comfortable with. She planned it all out, right down to my name. Now I just know that the prick did a disservice to only himself. He missed out on an amazing woman.” He ended reverently.

“And a son,” Banner said softly.

“I think some things are hereditary. It took me a while to become the boy my mother tried to raise.”   He dropped his head. “The fallout from me was much worse than my father had ever wrecked.” He said dispassionately.


He wiped his face showing his exhaustion. “You’re right; I need a break. Didn’t realize it, but that took a lot out of me,” he gestured towards the TV. “Sit and watch for awhile?” he asked.


Make Mine A Heel available in ebook and coming soon in print.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Tripping the Light Fantastic an excerpt from Shuttered Vision

Fiona was running, the earth was moving fast beneath her feet. She was laughing and playing.  The sun was bright and florid. The air rich with the scent of poppies.  She stopped running and started twirling in circles, just like she had when she was little.  The man that stared down at her was her favorite man in the world. She stopped spinning and threw herself into his waiting arms.

“Fee-Fee.” He said like he always had softly, quickly and yet insistently giving it all the French inclinations it desired. “What are you doing here?” he asked in his odd Spanish, Texan, French accent.

“I wanted to see you.”

He gave her that chiding look that only an overindulging father gives his child. “Petite, you have other things to do besides obsess over me.  How is your mother?”

“She misses you.”

He shielded his dark eyes. “And I her.  We will meet again she and I.”

“Soon?”

He gave her a firm look. “What have I told you about asking about the future?”

“Don’t do it.”

“You have something to do.” He stated as he gave her a final hug and then put her down.  He looked into the horizon of the grassy area that they were on.  It was like a still set almost.  Wind blew and there was grass and the smell of poppies but it was static, none moving giving cry to the illusion of the place.  With firm steps he walked to the edge of her vision and poked the sky.  It rippled from the spot.

“He’s eavesdropping.” He stated.

Fiona felt shock and surprise. “No one comes here but me, not even Momma. How--”

“He’s searching for you cherie. And he has found you.”

He moved now to stand behind Fiona, slowly he took her hand and moved it across the sky.  It felt like satin under her fingertips and like water the fabric of the sky parted and fell away to reveal her field and there was a tall blonde man standing in the middle of it.  Fiona turned to go back but it was too late, she was now in her field.

Instantly Fiona was enraged with the man. “What are you doing here and who in the hell are you?”

He stood there staring at her. “You can see me.” He said softly.

“Of course I can see you.”

He shrugged. “You were running and twirling, it looked like you were talking to someone but I didn’t see anyone else.”

Fiona felt herself take a deep breath. “What are you doing here?”

“Hiding.” He smiled back at her.

“Should I bother asking who you are?”

“I’m nobody darling.”

Fiona felt herself start to move towards him, but she didn’t walk.  It was almost as if he willed her to him and she merely floated over. She looked down and saw her field moving beneath her feet.  She tried a few times to stop the motion and was unsuccessful.

“What are you?” she asked in a ragged fashion.

“Just a man.” He said evenly.

“No way, no one does –“

“I know, no one controls this but you.”

She was right in front of him now. She was elevated so that she could look him in the eye.  His sea green eyes searched her face. “My those are amazing eyes you’re got.  With the right light, they’d film like a dream.  People would think they’re CGI’d.”

“I doubt I’m the filming type.”

“You’re right. You’re gorgeous but you’re built too much like a real woman for Hollywood.  It’s all about the illusion you see, trick the world into believing only filmable things should exist.  Very few men would even see your face with the rest of that displayed.”
Fiona felt herself blush.

“Beautiful lips.” And then he leaned into her.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Colan Abrams from an excerpt of Shuttered Vision

“Mr. Abrams.”

A pause.

“Mr. Abrams.”

Longer pause.

“Colan.”  From a different voice.

He jerked awake. “Yeah, yeah what is it.”

“I can’t even describe how rude what you’re doing is.”

Colan wiped his face and resettled himself in his chair. “It wasn’t intentional I had a rough night last night.  I apologize.”

The four people at the table stared at him.

“Please continue.” He gestured loosely at the man speaking.

“So here is where the film actually moves . . “

What movement Colan thought to himself.  Another horror film where people disembody each other in horrific ways.  There is no movement in a film about brutal death.  There is brutal death, a half to fully naked chick and oh yeah a glorified psychopath.  Alfred Hitchcock knew what horror was.  It was an element of the mind.  He understood that what the human mind could imagine was much more horrific and gruesome than what he could ever show on a screen.  Even with today’s technology he would only redefine darkness, horror, true terror.  He would create art.  Film making was an art.  True film making, movie making however was a tired racket.  He could always tell within the first 30 seconds of a pitch if he was talking to an artist or a hack.

The horror flick being pitched, “Until Dawn” was a movie, not a film.  The screenwriter had cobbled together the shock value factors of the last 4 years of highest grossing horror movies and was selling them like they were fresh stock. And because Colan was in the business he was in, he would have to underwrite it and start production as soon as the hack was ready.  Because he was not a film producer, he was a movie producer and never should the two actually met.

If he had known that a Bachelor’s from Berkeley and a Master’s from NYU would’ve gotten him here, he would’ve saved the money.  That way at least he’d be like Paul sitting next to him, none wiser about the difference between art and crap.

“You hear that Col, the ending, it’s totally unique.”

“No it was done in 1976.  It’s a variation on the original ending of Carrie, the one they didn’t have the funds to do during that time period, the one Stephen King actually wrote.” Colan corrected without really thinking about it.  He sat up straight.

“Bottom line, it’ll easily be the Halloween blockbuster the year its’ released.”  He paused as the pasty man’s excitement started to fill the room. His partner nodding in agreement.  It was always like this when he talked to these guys.  Had to be how music producers felt about most rap styles that had nothing to do with the original slam poetry and hip hop styles they so carelessly discarded yet have to thank for their future success.

“Any plans for sequels?” He asked carelessly.

The man grinned from ear to ear. “Well I was trying to produce a stand alone but if the studio would like a franchise I am more than willing to negotiate those terms.”

Colan stood. “Wonderful, you and Paul here can hack it out. I mean hash it out.”  He fixed Paul with a blank look. “In the current media market we can shoot for 3 total, with a possible 4th upon villain restructuring.  Get me 2 in the can in 28 months.”

Paul was taking notes and nodding.  Colan stared down at his pristine bottle platinum blond locks carefully and artfully moussed and gelled into hip spikes. Reflexively he ran his hand through his own shoulder length blonde mane trying to remember the last time he’d even washed it with shampoo and conditioned it.  Felt pretty rough to the touch.

“Done.” Paul confirmed and looked suspiciously up at him with his dark brown eyes.

Colan smiled at the look of suspicion.  He was always wondering what he was up to.  What angle he was playing.  Wouldn’t he be surprised the day he told him there never had been one. He turned and left the room. 

Couldn’t blame Paul.  That was the life.  Movies made a lot of money, they also spent a lot of money.  Those two factors together drew a certain kind of person.  A land shark.  But there were levels of shark and cannibalism was not only tolerated it was often encouraged.  To reach the level and status that Colan had reached required a lot of guilty memories.  Paul was just being careful because you never knew when one of those beasts was going to turn on you.

Colan would’ve had a guy like Paul for lunch eight years ago.  He had been without remorse when it came to getting to the top and being able to call the shots.  He had been a fool to believe that being at the top of this industry would do anything but change his priorities. People have this fantasy that once they get to the top of something, they can just instantly change the entire institution and structure.  They think they have a noble cause and noble goals. 

Colan had been no different. For most of his 36 years of life, films had sustained and carried him.  He would never forget his first drive thru experience.  His mother and father had taken them to see something he thought he really wanted to see until he turned around to look at another screen in the tri screen theatre.  There he watched, without sound, Superman. Shortly there after his father had left and he fell completely into the world of moving pictures as his mother had to leave him to fend for himself as she had to work more.  So he watched movies, every kind he could watch.

He was raised in a back water Oklahoma town called Chandler right outside of Oklahoma City.  When he had become high school age he had talked his mother into letting him go to the best high school in the state located in Norman Oklahoma near Oklahoma State University.  There he had started the process to get into the University of California Berkeley. From there he had gone to Tisch with New York University with a 4.0.

Colan had graduated full of zest, zeal and an appropriate amount of artistic angst and he had hit the independent film scene a blaze.  His first three movies had been shot down instantly.  The people he pitched to insisting that America didn’t want to think, they wanted blood guts and senseless violence. He had been unconvinced.  The public took what they could get. He was going to make films again. 
All of his professors had seen the idealist in him and knew what that meant.  One by one over the years they had warned him away from Hollywood.  Make films overseas first, he had been advised. But he had been a patriot.  He had only wanted to give his creations to American audiences first. 

With the choices being Disney and Hollywood, he had chosen the later.

So there he had gone.  Hollywood was everything he thought it would be and a slew of other things he hadn’t expected.  He had expected to be disgusted to be insulted as the art he loved was being canonized and mass produced without thought or originality.  What he hadn’t expected was to be lured in by the potential of ultimate power. To be held enwrapt by the bright lights the lifestyle, the parties, the drugs, the sex.  Some of those women he had met along the way had been willing to do anything.  Anything at all for a shot. It isn’t until it’s much too late do you realize what you had to become to get there.

But the most seductive lure of it had been the competition.  Being better, doing better hopefully in a way that shows everyone how bad someone else is at this job. Colan had started as a rigging grip. After 5 years of wheeling and dealing, flaunting his degree, his good looks, and southern charm, Colan Abrams from bumfuck Oklahoma and a broken home was the most sought after movie producer in Hollywood.  He had gotten to be an assistant of a producer within a year and half of being in the company.  Produced his first film within the next six months as the man he was working for cracked under the pressure.  Pressure Colan had eagerly and liberally applied. That year he had turned a summer blockbuster that would’ve fallen on its ass with the previous producer into a multi-billion dollar worldwide hit.

The rules are simple for success in Hollywood.  Money is the name of the game and the only resume item that’s respected. Rule one summer, you got lucky, rule two summers, you might just have what it takes.  Three summers followed by a killer Halloween and an amazing Christmas showing, baby you’re a star.

Colan was a country boy at the core of his being.  And like any boy not used to women that looked like Hollywood wanna be starlets did or men willing to prostitute like Hollywood wanna be leading men did, he had lost his way. He had been exposed to it during school, but it wasn’t the same.  In the end, the purity of the art always held him first and kept him focused.  But with the purity of the art gone, all that was left was this sickening people pulsing floor show.  When the lifestyle had started not to be enough he was a little worried.  When the drugs had started to not be enough, his worry escalated.  When the sex became practically another form of currency he had started having full blown panic attacks.

Two years ago Colan Abrams, multi billion dollar movie producer, film company executive, and all around Hollywood behind the scenes badass, had a nervous breakdown.  And his perception of the world had never been the same since.  


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fine Times On That Road to Hell - Make Mine a Heel Excerpt

Banner could tell that Keith was in a rare mood.  The women who knew him the best sat silently.  Banner stared at him, waiting.  He pinned her with his eyes.  They were a maelstrom of chaos, rage, unrest, determination, acceptance, and then  . . .  desire.
“You ready to interview,” he directed at her casually.
Banner inhaled sharply. “You know I’m ready whenever you are,” she combated quickly.
He nodded, sharp and determined. “Then we should get to it.”
He bent and kissed his mother on the cheek whispering something in Spanish in her ear. She turned and put her arms around him, and just held on; saying nothing, yet saying everything. 
He pulled away kissing her on the top of the head, and looked over at Banner. He gestured to another room, and started out.  Banner walked over to where his plate sat, and picked it up along with his iced tea. She then stopped in the doorway, and waited.  He took three more steps before he turned around, and saw Banner holding what he had turned back for.  He stared at her for a moment, and then a slow easy smile spread across his face.  The tension from the moments before was starting to drain away from him.  He looked at the floor, and shook his head, as if he were arguing with himself.  With renewed vigor he took slow casual steps over to Banner. 
Banner just watched him because he was moving in that way that made her lose track of what she was thinking, or doing for that matter.  She just stared at him understanding that he was getting closer, and knowing that she really wanted him to.  Her eyes had fixated on his hips. She finally realized that she was actually staring at the man’s package, and went for his eyes instead, and found that to be even worse.  She was in his focal points.  He had taken notice of her, and she would be hard pressed to get out.  They said that the easiest way into a man’s heart was through his stomach; perhaps just understanding that stomach played a large role in the process.
Honestly, she had never become more aware of herself as a woman than she was in that moment, and it was so very cliché. She stood there holding his meal, and he was coming over to retrieve it.  It should’ve been simple.  But something about the way he moved, the look in his eyes, and the sureness of his step implied so very much.  It said that at that moment in time, he was having trouble deciding what he wanted more; the food or the woman.
Banner felt her spine stiffen.  She was not cut out to resist a full on assault by this man.  It had been a mistake to grab the food and drink.  Too damn casual; too damn comfortable.  She was acting in such an uncustomary fashion for her. The action implied an intimacy that she shouldn’t have.  For her, it had been factual.  He was a big man. There would not be a successful interview if he didn’t eat.  In truth she had been taking care of her job, not him, she quickly rationalized.  But the way he stalked up to her reeked of possession, and not just in regards to her belonging to him; this was much more unsettling because it implied a belonging of him to her.  Banner couldn’t speak for him, but she’d lose her damn mind if something like that belonged to her.
Keith took the plate and glass from her, and said almost beneath his breath, “that’s three.”

Make Mine a Heel  On Kindle

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What is W.A.R.M.? Feminism at its finest

The red light turned on, and the teleprompter started. Sandra took a deep breath and followed.
“Thanks Clarice.” She flashed her television smile, all teeth and no warmth.  “I’d like to welcome you to Sandra’s Social.  On this our first episode I’d like to tackle the one social topic that we all have an opinion on.”  Automatically Sandra switched sides to face Camera 2 via instructions from the teleprompter.  “Everyone has participated in the old argument of man vs. woman at some point and time in their lives.  Mars and Venus has become a catch phrase signifying the social acceptance of men and women being as different as night and day.  Are men and women destined to be on different social planes for eternity?  Will there ever be true equality? Will men actually start calling the morning after?” She threw in a fake laugh for good measure.  “For you ladies who are sick and tired of status quo, I have a special guest for you.”  
She consulted her notes, and then presented her face to the camera again.  “Unbeknownst to the Metroplex there is a contingent of women who have decided to take social evolution into their own hands as my special guest Michelle Gardner will explain.”  
Sandra stood as Michelle walked onto the set, obviously done up by the same hair and make-up girl, but pulling it off much better than Sandra in a crisp smart looking dark blue Versace pants suit with matching Dolce & Gabbana pumps. Looked like Brenda took someone shopping.  They shook hands briefly, and Sandra sat behind her desk while Michelle took a seat next to her.
“How are you Michelle?” Sandra opened warmly.
“I’m well Dr. Dalianas,” Michelle answered in a slightly wavering voice.
“Please Sandra.”  They give each other fake smiles, and Sandra leaned onto her desk to give Michelle a curious look.  “Tell me about W.A.R.M.”
Taking the cue Michelle smiled. “Well Sandra,” she crossed her legs.  “W.A.R.M. stands for Women Assisting in the Reclamation of Man.  I’m a sociology major at SMU.  My studies have predominantly focused on women and minority groups.  Well a year ago a friend of mine and myself, after reading your book, “Dealing with the Socially Naïve Mind”, decided that we could in fact generate a social evolution.  I think Janice Parker said it best.  ‘Change doesn’t initiate itself; change is a product of rebellious thoughts that spur rebellious actions.  When this starts the only action to counter it is a reaction, the very thing it needs to grow.  Thus it is a wave that cannot be stopped, a tide that will spend itself in its own time.’
Sandra nodded appearing detached. “I’ve read that book, Man’s Social Rejection of Change I believe it’s called.”
“Very good reading.”  Michelle canted her head, and smiled even broader.  “But back to W.A.R.M..  The basic function of W.A.R.M. is to bridge the gaps between men and women by retraining men to understand the new woman.  It’s not the fault of men really.  Our generation has undergone very revolutionary transformations in our societal structure.  We stand on a precipice, and we can either climb down safely or jump.  You just have to consider the facts. Women’s equality didn’t have a voice that was actually heard until the 1920’s. That was less than 100 years ago.  There are people still alive that recall in detail the acts that transpired to see to this, most of us are direct products of the very society affected the most by this.  The basis of W.A.R.M. will be immediate and local.  The US is liberal enough to actually enact the beginning stages.  Women who were ready for this change have socially adapted to this quickly, not all but a majority have.  Extensive research shows that the faction that loses the most power in social change always adapts the slowest.  So there is a proper acclimation period that must be recognized.  What my group does is try to ease the period for men. Even speed up the process by putting them directly in contact with the new socially reformed woman.”
“Sorry to interrupt, but this sounds a little assuming.”  Sandra paused dramatically. “Why would men need assistance in this period of acclimation? Shouldn’t you just let nature take its course?”
“True Sandra, but in this cause we have to recognize that nature demands that men and women learn from each other.  We are not saying that nature will not handle this, or even that it’s unable to proceed without our help.  Our intention is to aide.  This is a learning process for both sides.  Women need to learn how to tell the difference between a pre-equality man and a post-equality man.”
“So there is a difference. Not all men need assistance.”  Sandra looked avidly towards the camera then back at Michelle.
“Some men have successfully made the transition, while others are dragging their feet in favor of older ways.  
“What is your opinion of making the,” she formed cliché quotes with her fingers, “transition?”
“I’m glad you asked Sandra.”  Michelle uncrossed and recrossed her legs the other way, as Sandra had instructed her to do when going into a long tirade.  “It’s simple, a man has successfully had the transition when he can look at a woman and not see only a means to sate his sexual desires. When he can hold actual conversations with her, and respect her opinions. When he doesn’t divide chores by gender, but based on likes and dislikes.”  She looked directly into the camera. “When he can look into a women’s eyes and know, not just say it, but know that he is looking at his equal.”
“Some people would argue that what you speak of is a type of manipulation. What about those people who are perfectly happy with the way things are?”
“They don’t have to participate.  We still live in a democracy where our rights and freedoms are upheld by our nation’s very constitution.  W.A.R.M. is by choice like everything should be.”
“Some would say that your W.A.R.M. is a highly volatile feminist group. A sort of man-hating faction that won’t accept what we have before us in our society.”
“I do understand that there will most likely be opposition and anti-W.A.R.M.ists as it were.  I also understand that we could be perceived as a fascist militant faction trying to set its own agenda into play.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth Sandra.”  Michelle canted her head slightly with a smile.  “The truth is that the women of W.A.R.M. are merely trying to aid male and female relations.  We are trying to help assure that relationships of all kinds benefit from the teachings.  It is an understanding we are reaching for, not a separation.”
“The women of W.A.R.M.,” Sandra let the phrase hang for a moment, then continued, “Would a man be allowed to join W.A.R.M.?”
“Of course, we would be hypocritical if we did not allow equal membership.  The name W.A.R.M. is merely that, a catchy name meant to garner attention.  This group is open to support from all sources.”
“Could you outline some of W.A.R.M.’s objectives and goals?  I find myself very curious as to the actual scale and scope this project intends to attain.”
“Well W.A.R.M. would like to begin here in the state of Texas with the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.  Meetings will be instated in various locations as an introductory course, an initiation of sorts.  The initial meeting will be free, and only serves as an informative Q&A session for potential W.A.R.M.ists.  After this there will be literature provided, and then anti-misogyny courses would start where potential W.A.R.M.ists would be taught to teach others, thus expanding the base of meetings to outside the Metroplex moving into the surrounding states, and hopefully nationwide by the end of a 5 year cycle.”
“What is the benefit of the reclamation of man?”  Sandra winked at the camera.  “I know a lot of women who enjoy men as they are.”
“I enjoy men as much as the next woman.  I question the motives of women that don’t want a change, and I warn men against those women who would prefer things to remain.  Most likely it is because a man that doesn’t consider a woman an equal is easy prey for women who enjoy that type of sport.”  Michelle laughed lowly, “But that’s another subject, and another group.”
The ladies threw their heads back and laughed together.
“No, the benefit is more tangible than that. You lessen the truly tragic cases, and   instances where men believe and feel like they are even expected to visit violence and sexual aggression onto the women in their lives.  Have you ever been in a battered women’s shelter Sandra?”
Sandra sobered immediately.  “Yes I have.”
“So have I.  For those watching that haven’t, you should educate yourself in what inequality of the sexes has done to some lives.”  She looked pointedly into the camera again.  “I concede that in most of those cases you have troubled minds and people that, whether inequality were an issue or not, would’ve found someone to hurt.  I’m saying, why make it so easy for them.  Most of those women concede to being considered pieces of property.  The men thought it their right sometimes to even think for the women.  
There are still a large number of countries in the world where women are less valuable than cattle.  Just because we are Americans does not make us oblivious to this.  The next time you are online go to a thesaurus, and put in the word woman, and be as appalled as I was at the large number of derogatory, demeaning, and most upsetting, inanimate words that are associated with being this gender.  All of this thinking is a crippling misogynistic malady that holds our society firmly in its grasp.  We are at a very crucial point where we can decide to change this, or to simply endure.  Myself and the ladies of W.A.R.M. have made our choice.”
The shot closed in on Sandra who was nodding approvingly with pride at Michelle.  She glanced up with a look of surprise on her face, smiled, and then immediately placed her impassive façade up again. 
“Thank you Michelle.  You have given myself, and my audience much to ponder.”



Sandra's Social Book 1 of The W.A.R.M. Front series
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How to Survive Running Away With the Circus – The Conclusion

By Banner Hemweigh

When I researched fan sites, books, and magazines, I noticed that no one really talked about story and plot lines.  The focus was always on the people themselves. The fan base is curious to know these people, not the basics of the sport.

For a decent amount of the world, somehow these characters have transcended the ideas that have always made professional wrestling a joke among other professional athletes. Were I covering professional wrestling strictly for the athletic appeal it would hold very little paper, and very little ink.  But that is because I’m a sports writer, and the things I would focus on bear no weight in the competition that is actually being waged.

The feats that are conducted are very athletic.  The physical and muscle control of most of these performers is inspiring to behold.  So it isn’t the nature of the physicality of the sport that makes me say this.  It’s the nature of the degrees of success.  They aren’t rated by numerical terms.  Success is gauged by crowd control. We aren’t talking stats and numbers; this is about emotion.  This is not to say that most athletic competitions aren’t emotional.  They are, but you cannot break down the field of professional wrestling to cold hard brass tacks.  The true scope of this is not as cut and dry as a football game where there is an absolute winner, and an absolute loser.  What is being achieved is failure for some, and success for others; which if done well, is success for all. 

The storylines should be critiqued like television sitcoms.  The performance should be rated by those knowledgeable about delivery, timing, and the physical challenges of a ring performance.  The quality of show production should be gauged by members of like entertainment vehicles, and rated as such.

Should professional wrestling be covered like a sport?  No. However it should be covered as an alternative form of live theatrical entertainment that just happens to be a sport.  Which is exactly what it is.

I found myself comparing what I saw with the circus.  A very suitable analogy when you consider all of the parts that constitutes a circus; part drama, part skill, and always loads of artistry.  The biggest difference is public perception.  After all, no one questions whether or not the tight rope walker is actually on a tight rope.  No one asks if the trapeze artist is truly using a trapeze.  Wouldn’t it be nice if no one questioned whether or not that man just jumped off of a ladder?


Professional wrestling is a part of American culture, just like football.  The swarms of fans, the dedicated workers, and the billion dollar revenues don’t lie.  And while I am not qualified to cover it, there are people out there who are.  What I would like to see is someone covering it properly to garner the respect it deserves.  Because, in the words of my favorite professional wrestler 3D, “whether you like it or not, it’s the best thing going.”

From Make Mine a Heel by Suenammi Richards

"I liked this story. I'm not a big romance fan, but first this writer knows her stuff about football, Texas culture, and pro-wrestling. Second, the romance sucked me in. I wanted these two to get together because I genuinely liked them. This story is a Powerslam for any romance/sports fan!"
@alchemyofscrawl - Coral Russell

"I have to say I am a professional wrestling fan so this book really caught my interest as soon as I read the description. I very much enjoyed this book and definitely most likely will be reading it again at a late date."


"This isn't a garden variety romance novel featuring sports or wrestling. Ms. Richards has provided the reader with plenty of colorful characters that are dealing with sad, if not tragic, circumstances (racism, child abandonment, ethnic prejudice, drug abuse, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book."

-The Book Diva

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How to Survive Running Away With the Circus – The Performer

By Banner Hemweigh

Keith Daniels is one of the most respected men in his field these days.  He is always greeted when he arrives; his word in the ring rates as law, and no one second-guesses him.  There isn’t a performer that is trusted more whether in the ring, or out of it. He stands a stunning 6 feet 9 inches tall with the athletic versatility of a triathlete in a 280 pound frame.  He has a natural charisma that hums off of him, the diction of a scholar, and if that isn’t enough, he ain’t bad on the eyes.  He’s also the biggest, baddest heel professional wrestling has ever seen.

According to HWE statistics, on average roughly 30% of a live audience will actively jeer a character that is a successful heel, or ‘bad guy’ character.  In industry speak, it’s called heat, and it is the initial response of an audience that knows you’re coming out to see them. For a face, which is the standard ‘good’ guy, it’s called pop, and the pop ratio is relatively higher, roughly pushing towards the 60% mark. It is very hard to generate enough emotional distain to convince a crowd to waste the energy to boo you when it could be used cheering on their face.  These are factors that alter nightly, by locale.

On any given night, in any arena, anywhere in the world, Keith Daniels as 3D will generate heat that is closer to 50%. This average is said to only increase after he has been talking for 30 seconds or more, a ratio that insiders call ‘outrageous’.  Like all things there are exceptions, but with the truth of professional wrestling being broadcast, it’s harder to generate actual distain.  Everyone knows you’re acting.  So how does he do it?

Teddy Rogers recalls meeting a ‘skinny, scrawny 15 year old’ wanting to be trained to wrestle.  Now he refers to this same man as a gift to the industry. Teddy has an idea of what makes Keith Daniels the man that he is.

“Something in that boy that you don’t find everyday.  Is it will, spirit, drive.  Boy has more charisma in his pinky finger than most guys have in their entire bodies; more athletic ability than an Olympian, and I still can’t find anything to compare with the amount of heart he has.”

When asked when he knew he was ready for the ring, the champ is humble.

“Some days it’s when I got through my first televised match without a missed cue. Other days it’s when I finally convinced Teddy to start training me.  But most days, I’m still waiting.  It’s hard to determine ready for a field that is constantly in flux.” 

The man known as the selfish mouthy 3D comes off as unassuming.  The intelligence of the man is evident in his speech.  His respect for his peers and contemporaries pours out of him at every opportunity.  And his love for the fans is inspiring.

After the pay per view in his hometown of Dallas, TX, I conducted a final interview with Keith Daniels, and asked him to sum up what this profession has done for him.


“It’s provided more than just a paycheck.  It’s given me focus when I don’t have it.  Clarity when I can’t think clearly.  It’s shown me the levels of myself that I didn’t know I had.  I wasn’t always a good person, but I am a better one today, and I know it has a lot to do with what I choose to do for a living, and more importantly, how I choose to do it.”


From Make Mine a Heel by Suenammi Richards

"I liked this story. I'm not a big romance fan, but first this writer knows her stuff about football, Texas culture, and pro-wrestling. Second, the romance sucked me in. I wanted these two to get together because I genuinely liked them. This story is a Powerslam for any romance/sports fan!"
@alchemyofscrawl - Coral Russell

"I have to say I am a professional wrestling fan so this book really caught my interest as soon as I read the description. I very much enjoyed this book and definitely most likely will be reading it again at a late date."


"This isn't a garden variety romance novel featuring sports or wrestling. Ms. Richards has provided the reader with plenty of colorful characters that are dealing with sad, if not tragic, circumstances (racism, child abandonment, ethnic prejudice, drug abuse, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book."


Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to Survive Running Away With the Circus – The Payoff



So why do this for a living?  A profession that endears criticism, seems to have lackluster benefits, and a more than challenging pace?  For love of performing was the number one answer. And the ability to make your own way best stated by Teddy Rogers.

“Does this sport show a boy what he’s made of?  Yes.  Does it grind up boys that aren’t made of enough up?  Yes.  Does it reward those who are tough enough?  Every time.  Not many things in this life have that kind of return anymore.”

The opinion is that for those that see it out, there is no other way to live.  What I found was a culture of respect, trust, and value that is sometimes lost in other professions, but is a necessary element in this one. Over and over again I was told stories about the tragedies of life, and what hole was filled by this business from individuals who may have found themselves in much more tragic circumstances had this not been an open option for them.

Sheryl Cassidy shares a very similar view of the profession with ring legend Teddy Rogers, and views the business as having an open door policy.

“This place is for freaks and outcasts, the common man, and the uncommon one.  The parts of society that the upper crust likes to pretend don’t exist.  Here the American dream still lives.  Anybody, from any walk of life, any background, any ethnicity, any creed can come, and if they are willing to work hard they can achieve whatever they want.  The world is open here, and we turn no one away unless they prove they are unwilling to work hard”



From Make Mine a Heel by Suenammi Richards

"I liked this story. I'm not a big romance fan, but first this writer knows her stuff about football, Texas culture, and pro-wrestling. Second, the romance sucked me in. I wanted these two to get together because I genuinely liked them. This story is a Powerslam for any romance/sports fan!"
@alchemyofscrawl - Coral Russell

"I have to say I am a professional wrestling fan so this book really caught my interest as soon as I read the description. I very much enjoyed this book and definitely most likely will be reading it again at a late date."


"This isn't a garden variety romance novel featuring sports or wrestling. Ms. Richards has provided the reader with plenty of colorful characters that are dealing with sad, if not tragic, circumstances (racism, child abandonment, ethnic prejudice, drug abuse, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book."



Thursday, March 20, 2014

How to Survive Running Away With the Circus – The Price

By Banner Hemweigh

Employees to the HWE are contracted much like any other sport.  These contracts are negotiated prior to performing, and are quite binding. Almost all contracts given by the HWE leave most of the expense of the profession with the athlete.  All travel is arranged, and paid for by the performer.  Only a select few get the company treatment where all is arranged for them.  The performers are considered freelance agents.  Without being recognized by artist guilds or athletic unions, this business is left in the hands of the provider of work, and is without specific regulations.

According to HWE Head Project Manager and On Site Liaison Sheryl Cassidy the level of commitment needed to successfully perform the job and compensation are not equitable to the performer.

“Roughly you make maybe $500,000 a year, mid-carder money.  The bigger stars can go past the million dollar mark if they play their cards right.  So you pay for all travel, hotel, transportation, and just what’s needed for a life on the road.   You take pay cuts if you get injured, pay cuts if you don’t get booked for a pay per view, pay cuts if your merchandise doesn’t sell.  Also the HWE offers no benefits. No retirement, healthcare, or even the basic standards for working in other industries such as disability, accidental death and dismemberment options.  Which in this business, should be a part of the contract.  These are things you have to acquire on your own.  When you factor in hours actually worked, hours spent going to work, and all else in between with fan events and charities it’s considerably more than a standard full time job that only requires a 40-hour workweek. I hate to say it but my family runs what is actually a modern day high paying sweatshop.  Employees spend most of their money and time paying to work.”

The ideas expressed by Sheryl Cassidy come in light of her own personal crisis as she finds herself the daughter of the company, but the girlfriend of a performer.  This insight has crossed the barriers that had normally been in place for decades, and it’s forced the second daughter of HWE owner Thomas Cassidy to take another look at what her family has helped cultivate.

There can be a case made that most entertainment careers carry the same type of policies.  Actors on stage and screen, professional musicians, professional dancers lead very similar lives.  But according to Sheryl Cassidy, with the amount of money being generated the compensation should either be more or benefits should be given for all, and not just case by case.

“Professional dance is a great example.  The larger more successful companies give contracts that take care of everything from living arrangements to paid leave.  Because their bodies are their livelihood they have to treat it that way.  When a dancer gets injured they don’t lose money because they were contracted for a specific period of time, not for how many shows they do, or don’t do.  As the top draws they’ve earned the respect of their peers, and expect the company to take care of them.  Unions have been created to see to the special needs of professional artists and athletes.  It’s long past due for professional wrestling.”


Unlike other contracted sports and performing arts companies, professional wrestling is not seasonal.  Within the HWE organization, usually the only time that a performer receives a break is through an injury. No HWE performer gets paid while injured even though most injuries are received on the job.  With contracts that average 3 or more years of a nearly none stop work load it cannot be compared with even Hollywood movie contracts that pay millions for under a year’s worth of work.  


From Make Mine a Heel by Suenammi Richards

"I liked this story. I'm not a big romance fan, but first this writer knows her stuff about football, Texas culture, and pro-wrestling. Second, the romance sucked me in. I wanted these two to get together because I genuinely liked them. This story is a Powerslam for any romance/sports fan!"
@alchemyofscrawl - Coral Russell

"I have to say I am a professional wrestling fan so this book really caught my interest as soon as I read the description. I very much enjoyed this book and definitely most likely will be reading it again at a late date."


"This isn't a garden variety romance novel featuring sports or wrestling. Ms. Richards has provided the reader with plenty of colorful characters that are dealing with sad, if not tragic, circumstances (racism, child abandonment, ethnic prejudice, drug abuse, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book."