Kicking it with some Sex, Lies and Beauty Aids

I am busting at the seams. My good friend Deb Julienne just gave me an amazing birthday present. She has graciously allowed me to share a sneak peek of her March 3rd release ‘Sex, Lies, and Beauty Aids’ today on the Giggles. I am truly honored she’s given me not only a break from blogging today, because there’s no telling what sugar induced coma I’ll be in after all that cake and ice cream, but she has allowed me to share this with you my friends. So sit back and let’s get ready to see a classic in the making.

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Sex, Lives and Beauty Aids!

By

Deb Julienne

From

Lyrical Press

Sex, lies, and beauty aids finally earn the girl next door a little respect.

Sabrina Thompson, editor of Skin Deep Magazine’s successful Natural Beauty Secrets column,

is handed the challenge of her life. Take over the Love and Sex column or lose her job.

What does a twenty-four year old virgin know about love or sex when she’s never been on a

third date? To complicate matters, there’s a new guy at the helm. Her only crush’s clone

is issuing orders. While his pompous and ambitious twin dries out, playboy and ne’er-do-well

Trent Wellington must assume his identity and save his family’s flailing magazine. The

bright spot amid staff cuts and content restructuring is the plucky editor he once made a

fool of himself in front of at a family gathering. Fooling everyone isn’t easy, especially

when Sabrina inspires his true self to be more than he ever has.

Years of hearing she’s too nice to date have left Sabrina’s frustration simmering. It boils

over when she discovers Trent’s deceit and she vows to make him pay. Getting even has never

been so much fun.

 

CONTENT WARNING: mature language, sexual situations

A Lyrical Press/Kensington Books Contemporary Romance

ISBN-13: 978-1-61650-516-5

 

Even “the girl next door” can get revenge with the right tools

in Sex, Lies, and Beauty Aids.

Excerpt

 

“Oh for the love of God.” Bent over the tiny sink in the office restroom, Sabrina Thompson cupped cold water in her hands and splashed her lips.

Shocked, she stared into the mirror. Her reflection didn’t lie. Who’d have thought her skin could burn so badly without actually being on fire?

Of all the dumb-assed idiotic gimmicks. Why had paraffin wax, petroleum jelly, and jalapeno extract sounded harmless? Hindsight. Redder, plumper lips without lipstick seemed like a reasonable goal. She’d never expected this. If there were a Mick Jagger look-a-like contest, she’d count on a rejection. Even he wouldn’t want these lips.

“This is what I get for trusting the Internet.” Her lips vibrated like a kazoo when she spoke. The recipe probably had a tag for great April Fools pranks and some fifteen-year-old boy wrote it while he laughed his ass off. It crossed her mind to take a picture of the results to show what not to do.

Why today, of all days, to have an early morning meeting in the boss’s office? Thank God her boss was also her best friend. Sure, Kat would have questions about her lips. And yes, there’d be laughter at her expense, like that was something new.

Sabrina gently blotted her lips with a moist paper towel, and prayed she’d removed it all. She checked the makeup covering the scar on her right cheek, peeked out the bathroom door to be certain the coast was clear, and headed to Kat’s office. At least since she’d come in early, nobody was around to witness her humiliation.

Kat had been out of town, on the East Coast, something to do with her family. Other than a quick email to schedule this meeting, she hadn’t heard from her in over a week.

She stopped by the water cooler. Ice water in hand, she dropped into one of the ultra-modern leather chairs opposite Kat’s desk. Dunking her sore lips in the water, she made a mental note to run by her favorite consignment shop during her lunch to check out the Manolo’s that had just come in. Tina said they were her size. A perfect gift to herself for her promotion to Senior Editor. She admired the framed covers of past magazine issues lining the office. Kat made the magazine what it was today. She was proud of the periodical.

“Sabrina, right on time, as us—” Kat stopped mid-stride. “What the hell is wrong with your mouth? You look like a fish.”

Startled, she sloshed water on her skirt and tried to act casual as she wiped herself off. “The recipe didn’t mention possible swelling, only increased blood supply to the lips.” Better than what you do with yours, caught in her throat at Kat’s colorless expression. So much for hoping it wasn’t that bad.

 

 

Links to find Deb just about everywhere in the world

Website: http://www.debjulienne.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deb.julienne

Pinterest:http://www.pinterest.com/debjulienne/

Twitter: #debjulienne

 

 

 

A little bit about our Deb

 

 

While some say truth is stranger than fiction, Deb Julienne’s experience runs more along the lines of a slap-stick comedy. She believes when life tosses you lemons the only thing to do is to turn it into Limoncello.

 

Joking aside, Deb’s dream of being published will come true with the release of her first book, SEX, LIES, AND BEAUTY AIDS, a romantic comedy, coming out March 2014.

 

As a long time member of both Romance Writers of America (RWA) and her local RWA Chapter, the Sacramento Valley Roses, she fills the hours she’s not writing romantic comedy and romantic suspense with her day job at a Silicon Valley Corporation, playing in the kitchen concocting her award-winning jams, jellies, preserves, and sauces (with alcohol of course).

 

Born and raised in San Jose, California, she now resides in her own little bit of heaven in the Sierra Tahoe National Forest Basin, with her husband of 33 years, their three sons and one daughter, and two very precocious grandkids.

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Memoirs of an old fart?

Looks like I’m about to be old again. I know. Funny how I always seem to get old once a year. You’d think I’d have gotten used to this old business by now. It’s not like I don’t mind the aging business. I sure can’t stop it from happening, but I’d appreciate it if a little more wisdom seeped through. I’m not exactly as stupid as I used to be. I just seem to have developed new stupids to replace the old ones. This blog isn’t about all that. Then again, I’m not entirely certain what it is about. I’m just in a rambling off at the mouth mood.

 

More than once in my life, people have told me things happen for a reason. Since experience has bore this out to be true, I guess the fact I became a writer late in the game seems to be a product of this divine truth. I honestly don’t believe I could have attempted it any sooner. Sure, I dabbled with the idea early in life. As a reader from a very young age, I was constantly amazed by the people who wrote the books that transported me to other worlds. Even then, a part of me wanted to create worlds just like my idols.

 

I tried as you might expect, but soon found words were fun to read but hard to pull out of your mind. My eight year old self shelved my writing career in favor of drawing. Comic books combined two of my loves, reading and pictures. I shifted my story telling to a visual medium. Can’t say I succeeded any better, but I learned to do two things that I believed helped me to become a writer. Come on, man! What are these two things?

 

Well, hold your horses. I’m getting to them. The first was to think visually. Huh? I can’t be certain if it’s the same for everyone, but I don’t think in words. I think in pictures, moving pictures to be exact. When I first began writing, movies would play in my head, whole chapters some days. From those mind movies, my books take shape. I can honestly thank the comic artists who I greedily consumed as a kid, teenager and yes, adult for teaching me that words are nothing without pictures to fuel the written word. Sacrilege you might be saying to yourself. Or, even something more mean. Buddy, if you need pictures to read, you need to reevaluate your ability to write. I agree with you, but I also ask you to bear with me. I do have a point to make. Pictures don’t detract from storytelling, they enhance the experience.

 

Which brings me to the second thing I learned from my time as an artist. Storytelling is the art of painting pictures in the mind with words. Whether spoken or written, it is the job of an author to take his thoughts and concepts and distill them into words. He or she must take those words and so completely infuse them with life that a reader can’t help but be transported into another world. At least, I see the job of an author as being this. Since, I have read more than a few authors who were experts at this, I feel confident in making this judgment. If you disagree, feel free to tell me.

 

The thing is this, at age eight, or even eighteen, I don’t believe I had matured enough as an author or human being to become a writer. Sure, I’d lived, but I hadn’t lived enough to gain the practical experiences to call myself a fully functioning adult. Hey, if you know me at all, you might still disagree that at age forty-five I’m a fully functioning adult, but why would I want to be? The greatest part of being alive is the ability to still see the magic in the world around us. If you can’t stop to enjoy the everyday miracles of just being alive, I feel sorry for you. That said, I’ll gladly claim the title of big old kid. Life just sucks too much sometimes to accept reality as it is. I would much rather envision magic all around us and a future where people don’t hate on each other as a recreational hobby. And, if I can give one reader a break from so-called reality, I have all the satisfaction I need from being an author.

 

As I sit back and enjoy my last week of being a forty-four year old kid, I look back on the history of my life and don’t see regrets and missed opportunities. No, I look back on a life lived in spite of my missed opportunities and the mistakes I’ve made along the way. Those things didn’t stop me from reaching this point. I didn’t suddenly die because I took a wrong turn here or a left turn there. No, these turns brought me to this point in my life. They brought me joy, sadness, and a host of family and friends that I might never have had if I’d given up on this road to who’ve I become. I might not like what I see all the time, but I sure like the man I might someday become. This isn’t a road that just ends. No, it’s a journey born of never ending change and growth.

 

My writing is just the outward example of those two things most of you will ever get to see. My first book is no way as good as my last book. Hey, the book I’m working on now won’t be as good as the one five years down the line. But! For the man I am today, it is the best book I’ve ever written. My maturity as a person and author has given birth to the book hounding my fingertips into the life you will one day get to read.

 

Next week, I might be one year older, but the child inside me will never grow up. That is the key to me writing. The old fart behind the keyboard isn’t the one letting his imagination soar. Nope, it’s the kid lurking inside me doing all the work, because he never gave up on dreaming of bold new worlds and the heroes, and heroines, who conquer them.

 

So, if you don’t see me next week, me and the kid will be eating cake and ice cream with funny hats on our heads and getting ready to see what the next forty-five years has in store for us!

Dreaming

I’ve always been a dreamer. My head has always been in the clouds. As a result of all that cloud time, I’ve pretty much let down every dream I’ve ever had. I’m not proud of the fact, but it’s true nonetheless. As a kid and for most of my adult life, I dreamed of being an artist the likes of Michelangelo, Goya, or John Byrne. Instead, I sort of let my art and all it meant to me fall to the wayside. I’m not even sure when it happened. Just one day I decided not to pick up the pencil and shut down that part of who I am. I denied it for a good long while.

Here’s the thing about creative people. Creating isn’t a hobby, a job, or even an addiction to us. It IS who we are. We can no more stop totally being artistic than we can stop breathing. So, my desire to draw may have diminished but my mind went on dreaming without me. And, those dreams gradually created new pathways in my mind. New avenues for my ability to travel down. Of course, I was oblivious to all this taking place. I had too much on my plate being a husband and father to think about being an artist, let alone a writer. It takes a lot to fill those two shoes. You spend hours at a day job you mostly hate to bring the comforts your loved ones deserve home. If you’re lucky, they never realize how hard a job that is. Because it is a hard job, the hardest job I’ve ever had, but so worth the effort. I have only one regret. That I didn’t take the time to slow down and appreciate the little moments as much as I could have. I was so busy trying to be the perfect this or that, I missed the important part. Enjoying it. Sure, I had glimpses of genius and did enjoy it when I thought I had time. It was the other times I wish I could go back and recapture. That will be the regret that haunts me to my dying breath.

Now, I’m a writer. A new dream. A dream given to me by the woman who taught me what love is all about. My wife’s love is truly the reason I am able to write. As a teenager, I dreamed about what love would truly be like. Let me tell you. For the most part I got it wrong. Jenn educated me on the subject. So, true love might not be the dancing in fields and running down beaches every day of the week, but it is more satisfying than those fevered teenage what ifs. It’s also why being in love is the easiest and second hardest thing I’ve ever done. If you think Happily Ever Afters just appear like magic, you’re even more deluded than us artist types. HEA takes more commitment than anything else you want to do in life. The sad thing is the fiction, both the visual and literary mediums, that paints different pictures of what happens once the end credits roll.

That’s why when I write, I hate to paint that picture. Sure, I want my characters to be in love for the rest of their fictional lives. What parent wouldn’t? Because that’s what authors are. We give birth and agonize over every second of our fictional babies’ lives. I just don’t want to make it easy on them. Maybe that’s why I write series. I want to show true love as it really is. Nasty, messy and altogether too real sometimes. If you truly love someone, it’s worth every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears you throw at it. Sadly, sometimes it still might not even work out because that initial rush of hormones accompanying love doesn’t have the lasting power you think it does. My friends, that is real life. I know I write things supernatural and steeped in fantasy. It doesn’t mean I can’t be real about it.

So, what dreams are left to me? What is the dream that drives me to keep writing? It isn’t the bestseller list, if you’re wondering. With age has come some wisdom. I no longer look at dreams as impossible grasps for the brass ring. Dreams should be attainable. If not, you will end up with nothing more than a broken spirit for your trouble. So, to answer my own question. When I dream of writing, it isn’t for fame or fortune. Though, I wouldn’t turn either down. No, when I see success, I see a single person closing one of my books and saying, ‘That was one great read.’ Because, touching a reader, even if it’s only one, is more satisfying than seeing my name on some list in a newspaper I don’t even have delivered to my front door.

I leave you with one last thought on dreams. Never stop having them, but don’t let your dreams define your future. I think you’ll find as you grow older, you define your future and dreams just make it easier to see the happiness to come.

A Muse Speaks Out

So, I’m here.

 

Before you start wondering if this is Jmo off on another one of his insane diatribes, it’s not. It’s me, his muse. Apparently, I’m responsible for some sort of massive writer’s block and he is currently curled up in the fetal position sucking his thumb and clutching a Boba Fett action figure to his chest.

 

‘Boo hoo, I can’t write. The world is coming to an end. Maybe, I can get a job at the Kwikie Mart and be a normal productive member of society.’

 

You know what drama queens authors are.

 

As a result, he laid a guilt trip from hell on me, and I agreed to come on here and blog for him this week. If you’re expecting some profound revelation about how authors don’t need muses, the ability to write resides solely within them, you’re <censored> out of luck. Writers can barely tie their own shoes. Their heads are so in the clouds some days I wonder if they can function in society without someone telling them what to do. So, forget about writing without someone whispering sweet nothings in their ears.

 

As a muse myself, let me tell you, musing is a freaking hard job. It’s not nine to five either. And yeah, we get vindictive about it at times. We give them ideas when they have no chance in hell of remembering things. The ride home from work. In the shower. In the middle of the night when they can barely see. My personal favorite, when they’re doing their bodily functionary business. Nothing is funnier than seeing an author scrambling to jot down an entire chapter on a roll of TP with an eyeliner pencil. Any fool knows those things don’t stay sharp for crap, and if you try to use the sharpener that came with it, the lead will shatter before you get the chance to write, ‘It was a dark and stormy night’. The hours I’ve laughed my butt off over that.

 

But, I digress. I know after reading that you’re probably wondering why muses aren’t undergoing extensive anger management therapy. Well, we are. It’s called working with authors. In our defense, they push us to it. You tell them to go in one direction, and what do they do? They go in the opposite one. Then, blame us for it. Well, it’s not my fault if they can’t get the wax out their ears. Honestly, if they’d just get their preconceived ideas about plots out of their heads, things would flow a whole lot easier. Plots are static. They adapt, change, freaking evolve with the growth of the characters.

 

How hard is that to understand? What might have been true on page 12, might not be the case by page 154. People change. Why shouldn’t fictional characters? Come on, people! Even the author has changed, matured — even and you don’t know how I hate to use the word in relation to an author — during the course of writing a book. Real life has given them new insights into themselves and the world around them. That alone has to affect the story rolling around in his or her head. Writing isn’t about fiction, even if it’s the genre in question. Writing is fundamentally the act of interpreting life and presenting it in an entertaining way to those with a literary bent. I don’t include those Philistines waiting for the movie adaption. An entirely different muse altogether is over that department. They’re hacks so let’s not dwell on them or I’ll get all mental about it. Needless to say, they sponge off all my hard work to boil it down into an hour an a half of drivel that barely scratches the surface. Yeah! I got issues on the subject. Now, this in no way applies to Peter Jackson’s muse. That guy is a genius. His muse, not Peter Jackson. Muse rule one: Never give the author the credit.

 

Simply put, a muse’s job isn’t to inspire an author. It’s to keep the clutter that is their brains from interfering with the art of writing. Believe there is so much crap up there, it constantly amazes me writers can do anything other than drool and putter their fingers against their lips, as they sit in front of the television. I’ve watched Jmo do it enough to know how true that statement can be.

 

Look, despite what the public at large might think, muses do have lives, and mine is calling. Before I jet, I’m going to lay it out in clear distinct terms that even an author can understand.

 

Muses inspire.

 

We don’t write the crap for you.

 

If you have writer’s block, it’s not our fault. It’s you, not us.

 

Finally, I need that vacation Jmo is always saying I’m on. So, if you need me I’ll be in New Orleans until after Mardi Gras. So, if any authors are out there are attending, I’ll be throwing beads of inspiration from a balcony near you. You know what to do to get them. Men, I expect to see six packs. If I wanted to see middle age sag, I’d just stay home with Jmo.

 

I’m out of here!

 

Sincerely,

Princess Leia River Natalie Jessica Mirrena Whatshernameiss,

Muse at large.

 

Hey, before I go, if you really want a peek inside the lives us muses, you should check out Be-Mused, an anthology. Me and Jmo collaborated on a spiffy little story in there. Don’t mean to offend you with blatant marketing of this nature, but muses work off of commission, so if you’re not buying, I’m not keeping myself in the lifestyle I’ll like to become accustomed to.

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Be Mused

An A-MUSE-ing Anthology

 

Available

From Desert Breeze Publishing

 

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/be-mused-an-a-muse-ing-anthology-epub/