Fifty Shades of Grey—don’t believe all the criticism.

bigstock Romantic couple in a hotel roo 12127391 <i>Fifty Shades of Grey</i>—don’t believe all the criticism.As mentioned in my previous post, I went to see Fifty Shades of Grey Friday night. This movie is based on the first book in the series by E. L James.

I watched the movie knowing the basic story line, yet I can’t compare the movie to the book; I’m not qualified because I haven’t read it. One thing I find interesting are the anti-50 Shades posts and links flooding social media, with claims the movie glamorizes abusive behavior—some sites even list chilling quotes from the movie to prove their point.

The efforts to discourage viewers obviously haven’t worked, considering how well the movie has been doing, and those claims haven’t been entirely accurate. For one thing, I don’t recall the chilling quotes in the movie, and if they were there, they must have been taken out of context.

I can’t speak for the books—but in the first movie, the male lead, Christian may have issues—but he never forced the female lead, Anastasia to do anything. When she said “stop”—he stopped.

I saw Anastasia as a sexually curious, naïve yet spunky young woman who experienced an instant chemistry with charismatic Christian. Her character shares a trait with many naïve women, in that she hopes to “fix” the man she is falling in love with.

I saw Christian as a screwed up, basically good person, unable to have a normal relationship—imprisoned by his sexual issues which stem from an abusive childhood.

Could their relationship (if they were real people) be a recipe for abuse? Certainly. But I don’t believe it is bad to explore—via literature or a movie—how such a relationship might spiral out of control. Anastasia was okay with a playful spanking and a little rough sex, but she couldn’t wrap her head around the fact Christian wanted to punish her, hurt her. I never felt the movie condoned abuse. If anything, it could be seen as a cautionary tale.

As for the acting, I think Dakota Johnson did a brilliant job. I loved her in the role of Anastasia.

The viewing I attended was sponsored by a local woman’s business group as a charity event, as part of a “lady’s night out.” The theater was packed—with women. By the response of the audience I don’t think the movie is swaying women toward submissive behavior. When Anastasia stood up to Christian at different points in the movie, or got sassy with him, the audience cheered. They also laughed at the many humorous parts, lines often delivered by the talented Dakota Johnson. When the movie ended, the audience groaned—they wanted more.

One of my male writing friends asked me about the movie. His wife wanted to see it, and he was afraid he’d find the sex scenes so lame he wouldn’t be able to resist commenting, thus spoiling her enjoyment of the film. For some reason he seemed to think the sex scenes would have a bunch of sappy dialogue. Uhh…no…in fact, I imagine a guy might find the sex scenes in the movie pretty hot. As for me, I was a tad uncomfortable watching them in a theater filled with other women. But, they weren’t (IMO) any racier than what we might see on an HBO show, like Game of Thrones. I’d feel more comfortable watching those type of scenes at home with my husband. It isn’t something I want to watch with a group of people.

Another “issue” expressed with the film is the outrage by some in the BDSM community who claim the movie doesn’t accurately depict their lifestyle. Umm…I didn’t know there was some sort of certification process for the BDSM lifestyle. As I mentioned in the previous post, James never claimed to be writing a how-to on BDSM. I am fairly certain that if you gathered up all those who claim to be part of the bondage and sadomasochism community, you’d discover there will always be factions pointing fingers at others, declaring they are not doing it right, therefore are posers.

This movie isn’t for everyone. For those who dislike graphic sex or sexual subject matter, you’ll probably want to skip this one. But if you’re concerned the movie glorifies abusive relationships, I wouldn’t skip the movie for that reason.

Will the second movie fulfill the haters’ prophecy and glorify domestic violence? I have no idea. I’ll have to wait and see for myself.

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Fifty Shades of Grey, today’s soapbox.

50 1024x569 <i>Fifty Shades of Grey</i>, today’s soapbox.Tonight I’m attending a lady’s night out function in Havasu—which will include dinner, cocktails, a fashion show and a short walk to the nearby theater to watch Fifty Shades of Grey.

I’m a little nervous. Oh, not about the movie—about going out in general. I’ve become a bit of a recluse these days, especially considering the fact that during the last eight months when I haven’t been in front of the computer, my hubby, Don and I were off to doctors’ appointments or the hospital. 2014 wasn’t a stellar year for our health.

We’re banking on a healthy 2015, and so far the prognoses looks good considering my recent news that I won’t need chemo.

This means it’s time to get back in the real world, and Don’s given me a nudge, telling me to go have fun with some lady friends.

I will be watching 50 Shades twice—because my mother wants to see it, and she won’t be going with me tonight. Mom read all three books, and is curious to see the movie. I started the first book, but life got in the way and never got back to it.

I find it interesting how some people are protesting the movie. As my daughter pointed out, she couldn’t remember any protests for movies like Saw. It seems the release of Fifty Shades has become something of a soap box for various groups.

On one side are those in the BDSM community who are insulted by the portrayal of their lifestyle. On the other side are advocates for victims of domestic violence who insist the movie promotes abuse. And then of course, are those who oppose anything remotely sexual.

Author Colleen Hoover mentioned on her Facebook page how some people claimed to be praying for her soul because she attended the movie’s viewing in New York. She happens to be friends with Fifty Shades author, E. L. James and even has a cute selfie of her and James on her private FB page.

I don’t think Colleen needs any help on her soul. Not long after becoming a bestselling author she was giving back, donating to charities, reaching out to others and staying grounded. She’s been an exemplary role model for those who find success overnight.

But back to the movie and those on their soap boxes.

For those in the BDSM lifestyle—get over yourselves. James never claimed to be writing a how-to for would-be doms and subs. She has an imagination and crafted a story—it is fiction. The story is hers. If you want to write a book that depicts “the correct” version of the BDSM lifestyle, write it.

For those who never read the book yet promote a boycott—really?? I get not wanting to watch a movie if it sounds like something you wouldn’t enjoy. But to actively protest something you haven’t personally watched, doesn’t seem quite right. Now if I heard puppies were killed during the making of the film, I would be all over the boycott.

Since I didn’t read the series I asked my mother this question: Do you think the Fifty Shades of Grey series promotes domestic violence? Mom (who is 86) laughed and said—no, not at all.

I’ll let you know how I liked the movie. Oh, and if you want to pray for my soul, go for it. I can use all the help I can get.

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Good news today!

Book three Good news today!Yes, I am working on Haunting Danielle, Book 3 —and after today, I’ll have fewer distractions.

This morning I received the news I’ve been waiting for. I don’t have to have chemo. Until today, I didn’t realize how distracted I was by not knowing. It’s like I can get back to living my life—writing my books—focusing on the stories I want to tell.

In a few weeks I’ll be announcing the official release date of Haunting Danielle, Book 3.

Life is good.

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What reviewers are saying about Coulson’s Wife

todayblog1 What reviewers are saying about <i>Coulsons Wife</i>...On Monday Coulson’s Wife received its 250th Amazon review. The last eleven reviews posted are either 4 or 5-stars—with seven of those being 5-stars! As I write this post, the book has a 4-star average on Amazon.

Of course, not everyone loves Coulson’s Wife. Some readers hate it. While it’s received 105 5-stars and 78 4-stars to date, fifteen reviewers gave it a 1-star. But that’s okay. I don’t expect everyone to love or even like my writing. But the fact it has resonated with a group of readers brings me more than a smile.

Coulson’s Wife is not for everyone. Here are a few things readers (who enjoyed the book) said about Coulson’s Wife.

I do not remember crying so hard. I never cry while reading, but this book brought tears to my eyes.

I was surprised to find myself so absorbed into the story, I even cried.

I haven’t found a book in quite some time that held my interest enough that I could read it in one sitting. This book did it!

I’m so glad I finally read it because it’s one of the best books I have read for a while.

A splendid story where there’s really no good guys and bad guys but friends, family, employees making the best of situations they could not control beginning right before 1900 and taking us through to about 1950.

The twists and turns kept you off balance, and intrigued.

This book is so different than any other romance novel out there. The description doesn’t do the book justice because it’s much greater than it.

Haunting.

I got this free on my Kindle and what a terrific surprise. The author has an incredible way of weaving the story line along with historical references.

I loved this book! A sweet, romantic love story! Not your typical “red-hot; alpha male; hop in the sack for heavy sex” type of book.

Amazing, wonderful, moving, all the things that I can say. I laughed and cried.

Had some tears coming down, but I did love the ending but wish it didn’t end like that. So recommend it!!!

A wonderful love story that keeps you involved and begging for more till the end!!

I really don’t want to give out any spoilers, but this book surpassed my expectations. I downloaded this on a whim and didn’t think it was gonna be all that good. Now as I write this review at 3 o’clock in the morning after just completing this masterpiece, I am now going to start book 2.

This is a real grabber. I could not put it down till I finished it at one sitting. This is a story of frustrated love and fulfilled love that keeps the reader in suspense. Great read.

I LOVED this book…thank you…best book I’ve read in a long time.

The characters are developed and grow over time. The plot was also well developed and kept me interested. I recommend this book.

History strongly weaved in and out of this story which I loved. Everything about this book kept my attention. The story was focused on relationships without the details of sex.

A wonderful read!!! Engaging from the very beginning. I planned to simply preview the book to see if it would appeal to me for a future time. Instead, I was drawn in at the very beginning and continued to read until it was finished, a one day read.

I like a book that touches all of my emotions. It made me happy, sad, laugh and even cry.

This was a remarkable book about complicated romance and relationships during a time in history when the world was quickly changing.

The characters become real as the reader is swept along as the story unfolds.

This was a very moving book which I read in one day. Great story and although it says book 1 it was a standalone novel.

I loved this book. I never got bored. Several surprises. Warm and a beautiful story of a woman who loved deeply.

Read it in one day. The best book I have read in ages.

More than a story, I found Coulson’s wife to be a journey with the characters. A well edited piece of art where a couple of human generations are neatly squeezed in, yet detailed where it really matters.

It was just raw and real.

I read a lot of romance novels and this one stands out as one of the better ones.

(You can download Coulson’s Wife for FREE at most eBook venues.)

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Back in focus!

008 300x200 Back in focus!I visited for the first time on Monday with my chemo and radiation doctors. I was surprised – and delighted – to learn I may not need chemo!

According to the chemo doc I am borderline needing chemo, and as he told me, “My job is to treat your cancer, not to give you chemo.”

He’s having another lab test done on one of the lymph node they removed and when he gets the results, he will determine the best course of action.

Overall the prognosis is good, and I think I can get back on track and once again start focusing on my current work in progress: Haunting Danielle, Book 3.

Happy, content and back to serious writing!

Photo: Lady Girl asking, “Well, what are you waiting for? Start writing!”

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Haunting Danielle, Book 3 Update

Haunting Danielle 3 <i>Haunting Danielle, Book 3</i> Update

Yesterday, I sent out the following letter to subscribers of my Haunting Danielle newsletter:

Haunting Danielle, Book 3 was initially slated to be released January 1, 2015. I intended to take advantage of Amazon’s pre-sale feature (as I had with Book 2 in the series), which would have have Book 3 for sale prior to its actual release date, and then on January 1, it would automatically go to all those who placed an order.

Unfortunately, life got in the way and I decided it best not to offer it at Amazon for pre-sale.

What happened exactly? Some of you know both my mother and mother-in-law lived with my husband and me. My mother-in-law lived in a guest house on our property, and my mother lives in our house with us. Both ladies turned 86 last year.

At the end of October my mother-in-law went into the hospital, and after two weeks and two surgeries, she passed away. Despite her age, it came as quite a shock to us. According to the doctors she was doing well and about to come home, and considering her father lived to several weeks short of his 100th birthday, we thought she’d be around longer.

In the midst of planning her funeral and settling her estate, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. As you can see, with all this going on, promising a book for a January 1 release date didn’t seem like a great idea.

I had surgery on December 2, and next Monday I go see the Chemo and Radiation doctors to schedule my treatment. What’s in store? I have no idea.

I am currently working on Haunting Danielle, Book 3—I’ve the story partially written, with the rest of it rattling around in my head.  I would love to promise the book by the end of January, and it is possible, yet I can’t make any promises. I have no idea how I will react to chemo. I’ve one friend who recently went through this, and had no problems. She didn’t get sick or miss a beat. Yet, I have other friends who talk of nausea, brain fog and other unpleasant stuff.

I wanted to let you know what is going on with the current book in the series. As soon as I send this email off, I intend  to get back to writing – Haunting Danielle, Book 3.

Bobbi aka Anna

—————

After re-reading what I wrote, I have to say I was optimistic to say it was possible to have Haunting Danielle, Book 3 out by end of January 2015, considering everything.  However, it will be released in 2015; I just can’t guarantee precisely when. Hopefully I will know more in a couple weeks.  In the meantime, I continue to work on the series.

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Haunting Danielle now available at Barnes & Noble!

HD Logo2 Haunting Danielle now available at Barnes & Noble!

If you wonder why I haven’t been around much lately, read my other blog, written under my real name. You’ll find it here.

I had hoped to release Haunting Danielle, Book 3 on January 1, 2015 but dealing with a death in the family and medical issues slowed things down a bit. Instead of being released the first of the month, look for Haunting Danielle, Book 3 toward the end of January 2015.

The series is no longer excusive on Amazon. Nook readers can now find Haunting Danielle at Barnes and Noble. It is also at Smashwords, and will soon be at iTunes and Kobo.

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