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I feel really fortunate that I’m in a career, finally, where I write whatever I want. Nobody is standing over my shoulder saying “Nope. You can’t say that.”
Well, there are people who say that, but we’ll get to them in a minute.
I give my thoughts, opinions, curse, talk about sex, high heels, and well, be as much of a snarky bitch as I want. I even say “Hello, Mcfly,” cause I think it’s funny and I’m friends with one of the extras (now an author) from the movie. Sometimes I write difficult essays about my past. I do this because I’m a writer. And because I can.
I’ve written two books of essays, released them both this past year and am thrilled to say they’ve been well-received, are selling well, and one, The Mancode: Exposed, even made it into the Kindle Top 100 Paid the first week of January this year.
For the most part, the majority of my reviews are terrific. For the record, I don’t have friends and family review my books. I don’t even ask. Legitimate reviewers (book bloggers, book reviewers, even well-respected journalists, etc. — people I don’t know and have never met) are giving their opinions. And of course, there are people who read the book and post reviews on their own.
I also get lots of people who don’t like, no who hate what I write. Who judge me as I person, based on my writing. And that’s cool. No really, it is.
I love that I’ve made them so hopping mad, so emotionally curled up into a little ball of fury that they write horrible, mean things about ME. That this redhead in a sea of blondes is the target of their vehement rants. Me, this chick that a year ago nobody had ever even heard of before.
It’s awesome.
Now, I don’t react to any of these reviews because A) it would be unprofessional and B) seriously, it’s a waste of my time.
But wait. Is it?
As authors, we put ourselves out there and knowingly or not, are now targets of criticism. Reviews, from readers and reviewers, help others make buying decisions. Like it or not, you and your book are now a product. Most legit reviewers follow guidelines – checking for structure, flow, grammar, editing, formatting, proofreading, etc. while readers general give a gut feel to the work.
Unfortunately, there are also people who regularly give 1-stars for whatever reason. To protect their own favorite authors in some way, because they don’t like you, indie backlash, who knows? Oftentimes, these folks haven’t even read the book (notice it doesn’t say ‘Verified Purchase’) and their reviews are often one line.
So, I’ve come up with what I call The D.I.A.L. Strategy for dealing with these 1-star reviews to help my author friends and readers separate helpful reviews from those that are perhaps just cyberbullies.
1) DEAL: One of my author friends says, STOP. Don’t read anything under a 4-star. It’s bad for the psyche. Another says it’s toxic for your soul and it affects your confidence.
But, is it a waste of time to read them in the first place…really?
No. Listen, we put ourselves out there. Accept that people will hate you for whatever reason. Your hair color. Your eyes. Where you live. People hate that I mention a certain brand of shoes and say “baby.”
So what? Deal with it. Man up.
I don’t mean read it to let it get under your skin and crawl into a trembling hole of freaked out chocolate coma. Ok, well, do that if you must, but then get up and drink some coffee. It’s good market research and demographic data, i.e., people who hate that I say “baby” are not people who will buy my next book.
Good to know. And oh well.
For any creative, should we heed our critics?
2) IGNORE. As a long-time sale rep (fifteen years), I had a proven track record of success. Won lots of awards, trips, bonuses, was promoted to the home office, blah blah. Had decent managers, one great one, several not so great. One not so great got in my car for our first ride-a-long and after our first call together said, “I don’t see what the big deal is,” and put me on performance improvement. (This was after I’d been chosen out of all the top senior reps in the region to work with the international head of the company and had a stellar day just weeks earlier.)
What she said didn’t change a thing about my daily routine (except for a few more inane reports). I still exceeded my quotas and won more awards.
My point is this: everyone is a critic. People who dislike you and even people who think the world of you. Is that feedback helpful? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
Ignore may seem antithetical to my other points but what I mean is don’t let it eat at your soul. It is what it is. These people are not gods. Does their opinion matter that much if you don’t even know who they are? Do you respect total strangers who are saying awful things about you? I know I don’t. 
3) ANALYZE Do I read it all? Yes. I learned, for example, that some people think #hashtags are #typos. People sometimes criticize or judge what they don’t understand. So I added into my introduction an explanation of what hashtags are as well as a quick sentence on my Amazon page. (I even had to explain them to Amazon, but that’s a whole other blog post.)
Someone else said I used cliché “Sex and the City” phrasing in all my essays, which made me laugh since I’m one of the few women who hated that show. Though I did use one example of Carrie in one essay. (And everyone knows she wore Blahniks and I love Prada.)
But that is useful information for future. At some point. Probably. Maybe? 
4) LAUGH What many of these 1-stars write is so off the mark (and I’m not only talking about my books here; I’m very protective of my favorite authors and check their pages often), I often wonder if they read the book I wrote, or if we read the same author’s book.
Clearly many of these folks are on a mission to leave poor reviews for authors that often have nothing at all to do with the content of the book itself. Notice, they are often a single line – a sure sign they haven’t read the book at all.
I wrote last week that it’s important authors (or any creative) surround ourselves with people who support us, but ultimately you have to trust your own voice and vision.
My overall feeling is this: don’t take anything personally.
Writing is an art. Words can be so lyrically beautiful they can make us cry. Or we can disagree in fury. Or laugh til our stomach hurts. Evoking any emotion is the point. Any author lives for that.
Hate me all you want – that’s a pretty strong emotional reaction.
Thank you.
I’m writing my view, my experiences, my truth.
If you want to write your truth, write your own damn book. 

Answer this: What’s YOUR way of dealing with difficult reviews? Comment below, on Twitter, or Facebook. I LOVE comments, opinions, and polite discourse. If you don’t want to be polite, go drink more coffee.  

You should FOLLOW Rachel here, TwitterFacebookGoodreads, or email any questions. 

Want help with your social media or author campaign? Email me for info, rates, and references. 


What an enormously crazy week here in #badredhead world.

Even I’m sick of talking about my book, but for the sake of those who are on the fence about Amazon’s “evil” program KDP Select, I thought I’d share some data with you.

I took my book THE MANCODE: EXPOSED free last week for two days. TWO DAYS (for those not in the book world, this new Amazon program requires exclusivity, but allows authors to go free for five days of their choosing once every three months).

This was last Tuesday and Wednesday, January 3 and 4. I went free along with about four or five other bestselling authors and we mentioned each other on our pages, a cross-promo if you will.

I had over 22, 000 free downloads in that two days.

Now remember, those are FREE downloads — I make no money. But, that’s a good thing.

Bear with me.

Why is that good? Because it shot my book up to the top of all kinds of free lists, charts, rankings, etc. AND it helped my overall ranking. I went to bed on my birthday (January 2nd, if you want to send presents) at about 23K overall, and woke up at #883 overall.

So what does that mean when I went off free at the end of the two days?

It put me in the #400 or so range. This was important because on Friday of last week I was the featured author for the Indie Book Collective’s Bestseller For A Day — see last week’s post below. Long story short, the goal is to get that author into the Kindle Top 100 Paid — and we did! Or I should say, all of you who purchased The Mancode: Exposed on Friday did and I thank you from the bottom of my snarky heart.

I ended up at my lowest (which means my best) ranking, as low as #76 at one point — awesome.

As of this writing, I’ve climbed back up to #96 but it’s holding fairly steady in the Top 100. The book is also across the board #1 on Marriage, Parenting and Families/Humor, and Parenting and Relationships. It was also #1 in the Kindle Lending Library for NonFiction books (of almost 40K books) for the weekend and is still in the Top 10.

And the best sign it’s doing well? The haters are crawling out of the woodwork. Always great.

Yes, it’s exciting. And I would be excited. If I weren’t so freakin’ exhausted…

Why, you ask?

Well, my husband sawed the flocked tree in the house so my floor is covered in flocking flock. (Notice how I didn’t say fucking flock? Oh. Damn.)

I’ve got a killer migraine that even Nutella has not cured (never mind — that’s totally #Chickspeak), and I’ve got a six-year old recovering from the stomach flu which has had the wonderful side effect of making him too weak for temper tantrums.

Silver lining, baby. Silver lining.

Nothing like reality to keep a girl in check.

Or an evil Amazon program.


Something cool is happening this Friday, January 6.
Something YOU get to be a part of.
And it only costs a buck.
Yea, you heard me right. One dollar.
But to you and I, it could mean so much more. Why, you ask? Because not only do you help me show the Big 6 publishers what an indie author can do by purchasing my top-ranked, highly-praised book The Manocde: Exposed, you also have a chance to do something for yourself: get FIVE terrific additional books free AND you also have a chance to win a free Kindle for you (or a friend).
How awesome is that?
Details below:
January 6 is Bestseller for a Day! This is your day to save with RachelintheOC’s The Mancode: Exposed, the follow-up to her bestselling A Walk in the Snark! (Also promo priced at only 99cents for this special event!)
Experience Rachel’s trademark humor this January 6th with Bestseller for a Day PLUS five 99 Cent Bonus Buys! And be entered to win a Kindle!
This Indie Book Collective event is designed to push indie authors to the top of the Kindle charts! Readers get great books at great prices, and authors get the promotional push to be successful. And we all know what successful authors do—they write MORE books to feed your need to read.

What are people saying about this hilarious new offering from Rachel Thompson?
Mancode: Exposed is a scathingly funny, rapid fire and heartfelt look at guys. Author Rachel Thompson delivers a satirical piece that invokes shades of Penny Marshall and Seth MacFarlane.”
~Casey Ryan, Host & Creator, Cutting Room Floor radio program

“I absolutely just love the work of Rachel Thompson. Not only is she an amazing person, her writing is witty, humorous, and OMG brilliant! Where the heck does she come up with this stuff?”
~BK Walker, reviewer,

Here’s more about Mancode: Exposed!
I’m over forty. I don’t have a blankie. I have vodka.
Is it possible to truly expose men?
Okay, wait.
Men, women, sex, love, stereotypes…important world topics like garages, lingerie, and um, chocolate? It’s a melting pot (okay, now you’re just getting hungry).
But more than that, it’s about all the levels in which we communicate, viewed through Thompson’s looking glass of humor and deconstructed with her special brand of snark!
She explores controversial questions like:
·      Can we outrun our DNA?
·      Will women always be slaves to our talkative nature (après sex)?
·      Will men never be free of the chains of emotional withholding?
·      Can we transfer their paper towel changing abilities from the garage to the kitchen?
This January 6, it’s your turn to grab The Mancode: Exposed for the incredibly low price of 99 cents and see for yourself why it makes readers laugh with appreciation. And don’t forget FIVE bonus buys with the chance to win a Kindle:
Pups in Teacups by Carolyn McCray
Myth of Mr. Mom by Jeremy Rodden, et. al.
Muse Food by Jess McCallum and Amber Scott
The Dee View by Dee Dee Robson
Our Indie Experience by The Indie Book Collective
Just purchase The Mancode: Exposed at the promotion price, send a friend that you know would love finding a fun, fast-paced read at an awesome price, and grab the FIVE Bonus Buys that are the perfect companion reads to this hysterically funny book! Hop over to BESTSELLER FOR A DAY this January 6th and fill out the entry form (located at the top of the right hand column of the site) for five extra entries to win a Kindle!
Interested in participating in Bestseller For A Day as a Bonus Buy book? We’re always on the lookout for great indie books to include in our promotions! What’s required? You must be available in eBook format, be on Twitter, and have a blog. Want more info? Contact us at for more information!

FOLLOW Rachel on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or email any questions at Be sure to purchase your copy of The Mancode: Exposed this Friday, 1/6 and don’t forget to go BACK over to the Bestseller For a Day website for all the goodies! 


I think resolutions are stupid.
There. I said it.
It’s not that I think I’m perfect. Noooo.
It’s just that, you know how you get to a certain age and think…aw, fuck it…?
Well, yea. That’s where I am. I’m forty-eight on Monday. Yup. And it’s cool.
I didn’t write this post so y’all would tell me happy birthday (though feel free).
I can be a bitch (especially pre-coffee). I curse too much. I spend way too much time on the computer (at least it’s a Mac) and iPhone. I need to exercise more. Do more laundry. Remember to eat.
But here’s the deal: I love my life. Though my drama tween and Tasmanian devil boy drive me occasionally insane, they’re beautiful and we’re raising them with strong morals and values. They have good, loving hearts. I would never, ever change the fact that I brought them into this world. I’m honored to be their mother.
Except maybe when the six-year-old is screaming at the top of his lungs. Then I tell my husband, “That’s YOUR son, you know.” I gave him his eyelashes. 
Contrary to popular belief, I’m not just the humor-writing, snarkalicious funny chick with her head stuck in Pradaland. 

I’m not blind to the difficulties going on the world. We’ve certainly been affected financially. My guy owns his own business and has taken a hit. So I’m doing something about it! I’ve taken what I’ve learned these past three years in social media, blogging, and writing (plus my fifteen years in sales and marketing) and am now helping clients of my own (in addition to the free volunteer work I do as a cofounder of the Indie Book Collective).
There’s always something new around the corner in this crazy publishing business and I’m excited about what 2012 will bring in the eBook industry. I see more changes in social media and I’m already looking at new opportunities. 

So, here’s how I look at resolutions….
I don’t. (I think I’ve made that clear). New Year’s is a day that leads to another month where the year changes and when you write checks you forget and get annoyed. Monday is another day. Carry on.
If you insist on making a huge deal out of it, feel free. 
I’ll be drinking my coffee and working on my next book.
Keep moving forward.*
You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and my two books A Walk In The Snark and The Mancode: Exposed on Amazon (no Kindle required — free apps for all smartphones, computers, tablets, and clouds). Any questions RE: my consulting, please email me at

*Know who said this? Tell me below…


Christmas has come and gone. 

The clean-up fairy is hungover from partying with the elves. 


The stuff that was hung by the chimney with care is now strewn about the living room no matter how much I try to clean it up by wiggling my nose. 

I’m under deadline and have a migraine. 

The boy needs a bath and the tween is sick — again. 

My poor husband is drowning in Legos and even his old man glasses aren’t helping. 

I’d kill for a double martini about now. Or a double caffeine shot. Hmmm…

I think I’ve watched too much That 70s ShowI’m this close to finding out where Fez is from, dammit. 

The good news?

My first book, A Walk In The Snark is actually ranked higher on the Amazon charts than Shit My Dad Says AND Go The Fuck To Sleep

Me. My little Snark book. Say What…The Fuck? Or is it holy shit? #teehee

(That’s just so much fun to say.)

Me: Babe, my book is ranked higher than the Shit and Fuck books. Hus: Haven’t we discussed cursing in front of the children? 


How did I get here? Through my unnonsupermodel good looks? No. Because I’m a marketing genius? Well, maybe. Naw, kidding. 

But I do work with smart people. And okay, I do know a few things. 

I hear from authors all the time they’re disappointed a particular promotion didn’t work, or that after a few weeks of tweeting, they’re upset they haven’t sold more books. Some discuss poor Amazon sales but have no reviews up…um, what? 

Snap out of it! 

When you’re an indie author, it’s on you to make all that stuff work. So make it work! Don’t blame others if you’re books aren’t selling. DO SOMETHING about it. 

There are tons of resources out there to help you: there’s me, the IBC, John Locke’s book, the book I cowrote w/ Carolyn & Amber called Dollars & Sense: The Definitive Guide to Self-Publishing Success (it’s a buck, people); webinars, novel publicity firms, google, Kindle boards, Twitter #hashtags like #amwriting and #pubwrite discussions, Facebook groups, and more. 

I do tons of stuff, all the time, every day, across many platforms. Lots of different promos. Google ad words. Have an active, consistent social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, and I pretend to do stuff on Goodreads. 🙂 I have mentors (Carolyn McCray, Amber Scott, Jessica Swift, Sean Gardner, and a few others) who teach me all kinds of great stuff. My friends and fans are supportive and amazing. Book bloggers and reviewers have been critically important. 

All those factors have gelled over this past year to make Snark a hit. Which still kind of boggles my mind. But the main thing…the thing that really helped me? 

KDP Select. Yup. Evil Amazon and their new evil program, if you listen to the naysayers. 

Listen, it was an easy choice for me. 93% of my profits this year from Snark came from Amazon, so the choice was easy for me to sign up my two books. I picked the five days before Christmas to have Snark go free. (Thanks for the advice, Carolyn). 

Why Snark and not my latest release, The Manode: Exposed? Easy. I had history already. It had the better ranking. It had visibility. It had the most reviews, likes, and tags. It had already reached #1 on the Motherhood list fifteen times. I was already entrenched in Amazon’s recommendation queue. 

My point: go in smart. Don’t expect miracles.  

So what happened? I had over 10,000 free downloads. Decent, right? I thought so. For me. Lots of people have gone free and had ten times that many. Other people have gone free and had a few hundred. So I’m pretty happy with it. 

The bigger deal is Snark ended up #1 on a bunch o’ lists: Motherhood, Family Relationships, Parenting and Family, Top Rated, and in the Top 5 or 10 or Advice/How-To, Humor, Non-Fiction, etc. etc. 

So do the downloads make a difference? I’m not paid on them. How does it work after the free part is over? 

When you port back over to paid, you hopefully take the rankings with you. So…did I? 

Not initially. I went back over around #4900 overall; however, I took the listings with me…after a day or two. I was #1 across the board in three categories and listed on about ten lists. But as of this writing, I’m around 400! Funny, I don’t feel that old. Bah, dum, bum.

As for sales, I’m averaging about forty sales of Snark/day now. Way more than ever before, when my average was ten. This has carried over to Mancode; where I was selling maybe four/day, I’m now selling about eight. 

Lending has also increased. My total lends goes up hourly it seems. I haven’t broken 500 yet, but it won’t be long. Not huge numbers, but again, it’s all about the rankings. 

Bottom line: great experience. The exposure has been amazing. Sure, if exposure paid my rent, I’d be thrilled but it doesn’t. But it leads to great things. Think about it: 10,000 downloads. If even 10% of those people left reviews for me…#whoa. Even 1%! 

If you’re in this whole thing to make a ton of money, find a day job. Despite numbers like these, it’s not enough to make a living…yet. I also only have two books out (plus the one I’ve cowritten and the two anthologies I’ve contributed to…but still…). I’m now working on my third. 

In the meantime, I help other authors with their social media campaigns. That’s how I make a bit more money. If you want personalized, customized advice, let me know (email me at and I’ll give you my rate and more specifics of what I can do for you. 

I also teach free webinars for the Indie Book Collective each month — first Tuesday of every Monday at 5:45pm PST via webinar. Next week it’s on Tuesday, 1/3. Sign up at 

So has it been worth it? 

Ya think? 

(This is only my experience. Yours could have been/may be entirely different. Would love to hear your thoughts below.)

You know where to find me and all that stuff, right? 


This one is for the guys, but I encourage all chicks to read. You’ll see why in a sec. 

If you’re at all like my guy, this is how he holiday shops: 

Him: Babe, give me your Christmas list so I know what to get you. 

Me: Um, okay. 

Granted, there’s not much joy and romance in this process, but after nineteen years, it kinda works. I will admit, I adore surprises (especially when accompanied by a gift receipt), and find it thrilling when my man deviates from the list. It not only shows me that he’s got some life left in him in the romance department, but some spark in trying to please his woman. 

After all, the list is his idea, not mine. 

If you are looking for some gift ideas, stuff that’s sure to please your chick, look no further. I’m a total product whore. Of course, a pair of black Pradas is always appreciated (by both parties, #ahem), but if your budget is not quite that expansive, here are my recs. *Note: none of these companies pay me. I simply like their stuff. 

1) Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish (available at Sephora): This is one of my all-time favorite body products, EVER. It’s actually made from brown sugar. You chick will use it in the shower as an exfoliator (sloughs off the dead skin) and it will make her smooth, soft and she’ll smell like a delicious cookie, but better. I also use it as a scalp massage and lip scrub. 

It’s normally priced at $60 but they have a terrific holiday set with three products: the body polish, body cream & lip treatment for $76. In girl math, this is a good deal. (It’s on my guy’s list, for sure.) 

2) iPhone: We women love our gadgets (I’m talking tech, ya pervs). Get her the damn iPhone, already. The increase in my productivity is unbelievable. I can blog, read, write, check stats, Skype, consult with clients, and more. If you’re feeling flush, throw in the MacBook Air. I can’t tell you the difference in my writing life going from an HP to this wonder machine. The capabilities are mind-bottling (sorry, couldn’t help myself #BladesOfGlory). 

3) MAC Cosmetics: I know, scary: buying makeup for your chick. But the fabulous folks at MAC make it SO easy! Buy anything from their holiday collection and your girl will love it. OR purchase any lipstick from their VIVA GLAM Collection and 100% of the proceeds go to help support people living with HIV/AIDS. (The new color is Gaga Glam — pretty.)

4) Uggs: People say Uggs are out of style, but I say cold feet always need to get warm. (Do you really want those ice cold toes on you?) I love the original Uggs. They don’t get stinky like the fakes. I’ve tried them all, believe me, and one real pair can last a few years. THAT’S a good investment in both Girlworld and Manland. A pair of classic boots will set you back about $160. Man up, dude. Probably too late to buy them online, so I suggest Nordstrom. They have by far the best selection and even some sale items if you have to justify the purchase in your man mind. 

5) Jo Malone: Hands down, my favorite fragrance line, ever. If you’re unfamiliar, Jo Malone uses aromatic oils to create different scents for women to wear individually or to mix and create our own. I wear Lime, Basil, Mandarin ($55 for a small bottle) and have for many, many years. It’s the only scent my little guy knows, which I kinda dig. 

I occasionally mix it with Grapefruit or Tuberose. Check out the site and see what appeals, though it’s truly a sensual experience to go to the store and play with all the scents and see what you like or what she likes. They’re extraordinarily generous with their samples — see what appeals to her and let her wear it for awhile. I literally have hundreds of vials of different samples. I told you they were generous and their packaging is a gift in itself. (Their boxes are amazing. I keep them.)

You can order direct or go to Nordstrom, Neiman’s or Saks. 

Additional thoughts: I have a love/hate relationship with lingerie, but I’ve always kinda felt it was more of a gift for men. I prefer to buy it for myself because I know what’s flattering on me. If you want to encourage your woman to purchase some, buy her a gift certificate to somewhere classy, like Nordstrom or GapBody, which has affordable, soft, pretty things — not Victoria’s Secret or god forbid, Frederick’s. #justsayin’

Also, if it says Chanel on it, in any way, shape, or form — she will love it. Doesn’t have to be a handbag (though, whoa dude. Your Saturday nights are SET for the year). Even a compact is lovely. Mascara is awesome. Lipstick or nail polish in a pretty Chanel bag — oh yea. Kind of a no-brainer. Even the woman who isn’t into designer labels welcomes Chanel. 

Finally, enjoy your holidays. You’re been a wonderful group to me this year, so I want to show you my thanks: if you haven’t had a chance yet to purchase A WALK IN THE SNARK, I’VE MADE IT COMPLETELY FREE on Amazon the next five days as my gift to all of you (this Monday 12-19 thru Friday 12/23)! 

Remember, no Kindle is required to download an Amazon book — simple download the free Amazon Kindle app for your smartphone, PC, laptop, tablet, or cloud. Then off you go go, baby. Read away. 

And THE MANCODE: EXPOSED is only 99cents thru Christmas as a part of the Indie Book Collective’s Indie Book Blowout sales event. Hundreds of books, 140 authors, have priced our books at only 99 cents to help you purchase presents for friends and family or load up your new Kindles or Kindle apps! There’s also a free Kindle prize and free Amazon gift cards giveaway every day. Be sure to click on the site each day. 

So Happy Chrismakuh everyone and I’ll see you next Monday! I’ll be around on social media of course and you can find me on my blog tour the next few weeks to help get the word out about my new Mancode book (I’m also offering a free Kindle — just comment at any point in the blog tour and you’re automatically entered for the random drawing at the end) — so check out my reviews and interviews schedule here: and find out cool stuff I’ve never revealed before…

I’m also honored to be the featured author on TWO blogs this Tuesday: author Terri Guiliano’s (bestseller In Leah’s Wake) blog –she asked me amazing questions — as well as the award-winning review blog Reviews and Interviews by Lisa Hazelton — another fun one, for sure. I hope you’ll check them out. And a visit to The Mind of Omegia on Thursday — a blast also. 

Now, go dream of sugar plums or something.


Today begins the Twelve Days of Christmas Indie Book Blowout – woot!
So like, yea. What does that mean exactly?
In case you haven’t heard, the Indie Book Collective has put together our second greatest sale on Earth of hundreds of terrific authors. Okay, wait.
Over two hundred authors have priced our books (there ya go) at only 99 cents through Christmas! How do you know which authors? Two hundred  — that’s a lotta meatballs. I mean authors. I mean books.
I need more coffee.
I have my two books, the #1 bestselling A Walk In The Snark and my latest release, The Mancode: Exposed, included in this amazing promotion. I hope you’ll all rush over to Amazon and download both of them today (remember, no Kindle required –simply download the free Kindle apps for smartphone, computer, tablet, PC, laptop…you’re getting the picture).
If you can’t get there today, it’s okay. I forgive you. The eBooks will be promo priced at only 
99 cents through the holiday.
What’s great about this Blowout is not that the name is kinda fun and naughty – although there is that. No, what’s so great is that you can load up your computer, Kindle, eReader, tablet, laptop, smartphone…whatever (again, no Kindle required to download eBooks from Amazon – remember, just download the FREE APPS) and since each book is only 99 cents, it’s a wonderful way to shop for gifts for friends, family, even yourself. 

If you’re unfamiliar with how it all works, you can purchase eBooks and even gift them, too. Cool, right? 
Plus there are $100 Amazon gift cards up for grabs every day (see the website) and ho ho ho, a free Kindle, baby. Oh yea.
If you’ve already purchased my books, I thank ya. Please now go hit the LIKE button, agree with the tags (at the bottom of the page) and leave a review if you have a sec. Okay, a few secs.
Reviews, LIKES, and tags are so incredibly helpful and important to all authors, but especially indie authors. We need your word of mouth to help people hear about us. You’ve been instrumental in helping A WALK IN THE SNARK hit #1 on Kindle Motherhood over fifteen plus times! So thanks from the bottom of my snarky heart.
Please support the other amazing authors on the promotion. They’re all awesome and are listed on the site each day, today thru Christmas Eve. Check in each day to register to win the daily Amazon $100 gift card AND the free Kindle!
A few faves from today:
·      Carolyn McCray’s Fated I LOVED this book. I love all of Carolyn’s books but this one really stayed with me afterward. Great.
·      Amber Scott’s Soul Search Our latest Bestseller For A Day and for good reason – it sucks you in and doesn’t let you go. Don’t miss out on this terrific hot ghost story.
·      Elena Gray’s Widowmaker Scary, great. I couldn’t put it down.
·      Guy Magar’s Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot* is an amazing memoir of his filmmaking days as a director in TV and film. Terrific behind the scenes stories of a young James Cameron, Mr. T, Anthony Quinn, Jane Seymour, and more. But it’s also a love story – ladies, get your hankies. When his beloved wife Jacqui gets leukemia, Guy drops everything to care for her. *All proceeds of this book will be donated to City Of Hope for the month of December, therefore his book is priced at $1.99.
And soooo many more!
If you’re considering self-publishing, I highly encourage you to check out Dollars And Sense: The Definitive Guide to Self-Publishing Success and Our Indie Experience. Real, practical information. It’s not all pretty, but it’s all really real.
Did I mention how much I want to thank you for all your wonderful support this year – here on my blog, Twitter, Facebook, and of course, buying and reviewing my books? Well, THANK YOU. I’m one grateful #badredhead.
Now I’m off to go buy some freakin’ awesome books, baby. I hope you are, too!

Want to learn more about #badredhead? About The Mancode: Exposed? Well have I got a treat for you…

I’m starting a month-long blog tour with Virtual Blog Tour Cafe starting this Tuesday, December 13 through Sunday, January 15. Tons of wonderful book bloggers and reviewers are hosting, interviewing, and digging deep into The Mancode: Exposed. Yea, baby! 

Details to follow in the next few days. Stay tuned…



I have written only once about this topic previously (on my blog). Some events are so harrowing, they either shape who we become or we move past them.

Our neighbor molested me when I was young, just eleven years old.

About the age my girl is now.

He was a dad, with girls of his own. It wasn’t just once, and it didn’t just happen to me.

There’s way more to the story that I won’t go into here, except to add that I did testify against him in both civil and military court. He did go to jail. He was also courtmartialed.

This series is about fear. How it shapes us. The impressions it makes on our souls.

What happened happened. I focused on my studies, athletics, family and friends. I never felt this experience held me back in any way, despite knowing it was always there. I didn’t share it with people, of course.

Who wants to talk about something like that?

In my last piece MISTAKE NUMBER FOUR, I discussed the attempted rape I experienced in college. I think my instinctive response to fight back with everything I had was directly related to what happened to me as a child, when I wasn’t able to defend myself against someone so much bigger and stronger than I. 

It wasn’t until I had a daughter of my own that the anxiety set in. I didn’t even realize what was happening, to be honest. I had to return to work and the thought of leaving my precious baby girl with a total stranger (an incredibly sweet woman in my own home, where my husband worked from his home office) caused me to spin into postpartum depression.

My world turned gray.

Though the circumstances were entirely different, taking that leap of faith, trusting someone else not to harm my child as I had been hurt, completely took over my entire thought process, even when I wasn’t consciously thinking about it. It was such a terrible thought, I stopped thinking, stopped functioning in any normal way.

I’ve since learned much about hormones and the havoc they wreak on your body, thoughts, moods, (even sleep!) and how pregnancy (and post-pregnancy) affects all of that. I researched, I read, I got help. I had a wonderful female OB/GYN who immediately recognized what was going on with me and put me on appropriate meds—and sent me to a therapist, pronto.

Given the experiences I’d had in my past, you would think I’d been in therapy my whole life. However, I’d never been before. I’m fortunate that I found someone great, and he has helped me work through much of what I didn’t understand. 

Embracing what you fear most about your past is something many people run from their whole lives—we see it every day with drugs and alcohol. I’m convinced that’s why my ex-love killed himself — his addiction to alcohol and anger stemmed from his rough upbringing. While I dabbled, as most kids do, I never did anything hard and I fortunately don’t have an addictive personality. Unless you count coffee. Then, yea.

Listen, I’m not the poster child for mental health by any means. I recognize when the gray is closing in, when I start to get defensive and turn in on myself. That’s when I take a step back. I retreat. I don’t shout out or attack. I’m steely and I fight back in my own way. I’ve learned to ask for help. 

And I write. I always, always write. With honesty, I give you a glimpse inside my heart.

I own my fear, but my fear does not own me.
On a much lighter note, my new book THE MANCODE: EXPOSED is now available — woot! Please visit Amazon to download your copy for only 99cents this week (no Kindle required — they have free apps for your computer, smartphone, or tablet). 

A WALK IN THE SNARK (also just 99cents this week) has hit #1 on the Kindle Motherhood list wow, eleven or twelve times now. Take that Jenny and Tori with your fake boobs and blonde hair and your millions — ha. Redheads so rock. (Call me.)

You should follow me here, on TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads. I’m the redhead who uses naughty words. 


Not a funny piece today. 
I wrote this for the website Lifarre. If you’d like to read more, click here for the full Elements of Fear series (under the Broken Pieces tab). Thanks for your time. 


College, 1983
I’m a sophomore, nineteen years old.
A nice enough guy from one of my journalism classes invites me to a frat party, I say yes. (Mistake #1: his turf).
I go with a girlfriend – she drives. (Mistake #2: always have your own transportation). I didn’t know him very well and it wasn’t an official date or anything. If you’ve been to college, you know how guys ask you out without actually asking you out? They invite you to a frat party. (Yea, it’s like a punchline.)
Girlfriend is a sorority sister, so she floats in on her pink fluff of air-kisses and vapor. With my writer’s eye, I observe the mating rituals and try to figure out how many beers it’s gonna take me to either fit in with this Ralph Lauren crowd or scope out who’s got the weed.
As I’m deciding that two beers is a good number (hey, I’m not driving), Bill shows up. I know this by the he-man grip he places on my arm. (Mistake #3: underestimating a dude based on size – no we’re not talking sex here, ya guttersnipes). He’s not a big guy, but he is lean and wiry. He wrestles for the school and has been asking me to watch his matches. I cheered in high school – I don’t do wrestling (have you ever smelled those places)? A dedicated girlfriend kinda has to watch her wrestler boyfriend’s matches. I wasn’t that, so I’d politely declined.
Bill was rather charming and a smooth talker. We chatted for an hour or two. He was friendly, he held my hand; all was fine, sweet. When I needed to use the bathroom, he escorted me through the crowd and told me, “Hey, use this one back here. No one knows about it. I used to live here so I know this house backwards and forwards.” Because I really, really had to pee, I let him lead me by the hand into a room where I thought the other bathroom was.
I had no reason NOT to believe him, right?
He locked the door so fast, I hardly saw it. As I was putting together in my mind that something wasn’t right, he threw me down on the bed and pinned me with one knee. His face turned into something unrecognizable, like a monster you’d see in a movie… teeth baring, inhuman.
I wasn’t wearing sexy clothes that night. I didn’t do anything besides spend time with a guy who seemed, outwardly, like a decent guy from one of my classes. We hadn’t even kissed.
Yet here he was. Tearing at my clothes, hitting me, unzipping his pants. My heart was beating so loud, I could hear it in my mouth.
It didn’t happen, though. There’s a “happy” ending. Why? Because I fought. I kicked, I bit, I scratched, I screamed. Did I think it would make a difference? I don’t know, because I didn’t think. Not until later.
Not until after.
They say that once your heart rate goes above 200, your problem-solving abilities go out the window. You’re acting purely on instinct. Fight or flight kicks in.
I guess it was a combination of factors that ended his attempt: my reaction, people finally for god’s sake knocking on the door, and the fact that I drew blood when I scratched his face. It’s almost like that sobered him up, snapped him out of it. Made him human again.
He told me he would deny everything, of course.
Facing him in class that Monday was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. And yes, he told me I’d been “asking for it.”
Back in the early-80s, the term “date-rape” didn’t exist. I didn’t know that’s what had happened to me. Conventional wisdom was that I had nothing to report but fighting off some jerk. A ripped top, a few bruises. 
Attitudes toward rape and attempted rape have come a long way, baby. But we still have far to go.
I didn’t realize ’till later, when I became a mother myself, the impact of my experience…