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Are George & Anfisa doing a reality show? #90DayFiance

Apparently, she's just signed with a talent agency and perhaps that means we will be seeing the trainwreck that will be some form of "Keeping up with the Russian & Medical Marijuana Man." I hate to admit it, but I'll be watching.


Last night's Reunion show went by so quickly. I really want to ship Mohamed back to where he came from (Tunisia.) He's so smug and arrogant. I don't understand why he thinks it's his RIGHT to stay in America. He acts like he was scammed by Danielle. Okay, shouldn't you have to take some kind of test before you go importing people into the country? I mean, Danielle should have known better. I looked pretty decent back when I was 42, and I would have questioned any 27-year old who fell madly in love with me from across the world. Not that I'm not great and all. LOL But seriously, how do these people find each other? I know I get an attempted catfish at least once a week. They're usually wearing a military uniform and JUST about to retire. (So convenient!) They also start with a leading question. Danielle, and others like her, please don't answer the leading questions. If you don't know someone, don't answer their questions! Especially when they are 27 and suddenly looking for love with a middle-aged you.


Which brings me to "Before the 90 Days" with a new set of Love, Green Card Style. (Sidetrack, if you watched how great was it watching Loren take down the scammers Anfisa and Mohommed? Girl has guts! "Get a XXX job! It's 2017!" Seriously, why do you get to stay in the country if someone paid to bring you here and marry you and then you don't stay married? That seems like a law waiting to expose the slow and mentally ill of America. And we have a few.

I cannot watch the weirdo in Haiti with his child bride and their collection of 4,000 panties. It is TOO disturbing. Do you remember that song, "Fancy?" By Reba McIntire? It kind of reminds me of that. Her parents are selling her to better their lives.

I like the sweet, little Paul and his Karine in Brazil. They're a complete mismatch, but I want him to find love. There's something hot about a guy who comes equipped with an entire drugstore, and makes you take a pregnancy and STD test. He's careful, I'll say that for him. Ah, the romance.

The real star of the show is Darcey and her 27-year old Dutch hottie. Yesterday, they met the parents. Mom was sweet and beautiful, if not a little quirky. Stepdad was rude and telling Darcey to her face that Jesse is out of her league. Which may be true, but talk behind her back like a normal person!


Anyway, the show needs Twitter. It's simply not fun without watching it with other people who are just as obsessed with these strangers as my household is.

5 Steps to Book Proposals with Passion...

I'm in the midst of writing a new proposal. Let me just say, that I'm a little out of practice. When I was working with a publisher and had a book out every six-to-nine months, proposals were basically a paragraph of "here's what's next." And my editor would say, either, "That's fantastic, let's do this thing!" Or, "What else do you have for me?"

After a four year hiatus from writing, I'm essentially starting from scratch. I do have a book coming out next year with Revell, but it's a one book deal, so I will need to plan for what is next. Which brings me to the topic of proposals. How do you get this passion you feel for a project across to the publishers and their marketing team? Of if you're self-publishing, how do you sell your work to someone who has never heard of you? Here are a few tips:

1. Condense your idea into one line.
You want to make it easy for the publisher to see the marketing potential of your book. The best way to do that is come up with a one-liner to top your proposal. What's the selling point? Have you ever seen a movie trailer where the explanation goes in a million different directions, and you're like, "What the heck is that movie about?" The movie will probably bomb because a good movie has a good one-liner and addresses its audience. A book is the same way. Qualify your buyer.
Here's my one-liner from my bestselling, "What a Girl Wants."

"All she wants is a cute, Christian guy who doesn't live with his mother...and maybe a Prada handbag."

From the line, you understand that the book is essentially, a lighthearted beach-read with humor. It's probably not for fans of "The Fast and the Furious 6."


2. Deliver on your Promise.
Here's a publishing "secret." Everyone is looking for the next big idea, "The Jurassic Park" of our era, if you will. If your idea is a breakout concept, or decidedly different, every publishing house will probably want it. Now, that proposal needs to deliver on the promise you've made. So if you've promised the reader that dinosaurs are coming back to life, make that happen in your proposal. Once an editor is intrigued, they're looking at the first chapters to see if the author has the ability to pull off their idea.

Early in my writing career, an editor once told me, "This is an important story. It's a story that must be told. But you're not the writer to tell it."

Ouch. Yet, it was totally true. I was not really passionate about the idea and that was reflected in the proposal. FYI, I'm still friends with this editor and respect her greatly. She was absolutely correct, but don't let this happen to you. Be sure that the idea you're pitching is something you're passionate about and you have the knowledge to pull it off. It should be a concept that if asked at a party about it? You would ramble on at an embarrassing level.

3. Set Yourself Apart
When it comes to writing the genre of romance, it's essentially the same story told over and over again. So how do you stand out from the crowd when writing the same basic plot? Find something that will sustain YOUR interest through the entire book and your readers will follow. It's not just "write what you know," it's "write what you're interested in."

I'm utterly fascinated with the left brains of Silicon Valley. I write most weeks at a Starbucks with brilliant engineers/entrepreneurs. And they fascinate me because it is so far from what I do in life. An example: Last week one of the wealthy entrepreneurs who travels the world for his work and has a bajillion patents saw me struggling with my chapters. I told him what I was doing and he said, "Start in the middle. What do you need to do to get there?" He also suggested "storyboarding" my chapters. Now, I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer, so I'm fascinated by how someone NOT in my business can look at the practical side of things and break it down. THAT is why I have so many engineers/science minds in my book. My heroines have been patent attorneys, chiropractors, a happiness science researcher, and a chemical engineer/nose for perfumes. I cared enough about those things to sustain me in research throughout the book process. That passion will translate into your proposal. So make sure you're interested in something enough to set yourself apart from the standard plot.


4. Make the Writing Match the Book's Style
If you're writing Chick Lit, you want your proposal to be quick-witted and humorous. If you're writing romantic suspense, you want your proposal to involve intrigue and reflect your personal writing style. Writing Literary? Show some of that beautiful, flowery prose.

Sometimes, writers get so nervous about the proposal that the synopsis is nothing like their book. It's basically, this happens, and then, this happens...Don't get so caught up in the minutia of a proposal that you forget who you are and why you're telling the story. Speak your plot like you would tell a friend a story and then, go back in and edit it to be professional. You don't want to be too stilted and lose interest.

5. Do the Marketing Department's Job for Them
In any proposal, you'll want to compare you book to competing titles and writers who have found success in your genre. Compare yourself to several titles/writers and explain under each how your book is different and would stand out in the crowd. If your book is like a Karen Kingsbury novel set in the wilds of Alaska, let the publisher/agent know!

There are lots of websites that offer a sample proposal if you're looking for formatting ideas. This is just some "thinking out loud" on what I do to sell my novels. I hope it helps.

Richard Chamberlain as a priest -- again...

I started a movie called, "The Perfect Family" on Amazon. It's terrible. About all the terrible things the world thinks Christians are -- bigots, oblivious, anti-gay, etc. ANYWAY, Richard Chamberlain is in it with Kathleen Turner. He plays a priest. It just made me want to turn it off and get back to "The Thorn Birds" again. They even named the cold-hearted Catholic woman, Cleary in the movie. Bad homage people.

Colleen McCullough respected her Catholic faith while showing us some people within the church are bad apples. If only they all looked like Father Ralph!


Stereotypes are a pathetic way to tell a story. I should mention, it might have a great, redemptive ending, but it was so boring I didn't get there.

The Train Wreck that is, #90DayFiance

If you're not watching "90 Day Fiance" on TLC, I feel for you. You're missing out! I don't get a lot of time for crap television anymore and "The Bachelorette" lost me at week two this year. Wow, those were some boring bachelors. Granted, probably more the marrying type, but when it comes to reality television, the truth is the NON-marrying types are far more interesting. Especially when they get married. Like on "90 Day Fiancé."

This show is the gift that keeps on giving because after the tumultuous 90-day period and subsequent wedding, we get to follow up with "90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After." Hint: It usually isn't. The stars of this show are Mohammed and Danielle who both used each other (him to get a green card) and her to get a hot, young thang. They are now suing -- he wants a divorce so he can stay in America. She wants an annulment to send his cheating self back to Tunisia. I'm just going to say it. I don't think Mo is a cheater. I think he's probably more the type who would get killed for his desires in his own country. But that's up for debate. What is not is that they are both unstable human beings and they blame each other for all of their problems.


The other stars of this show are Jorge and Anfisa. Jorge wanted a hot chick, so he sent to Russia for Anfisa. Anfisa is at best, a manipulator and a user and at worse, a domestic abuser who doesn't seem to hide her violence for the cameras. Now, to be fair, Jorge told her he was rich and she told him that's why she was marrying him. Jorge isn't as rich as he said. But he's also not allowed to work because Anfisa is very needy and cannot be left alone for five minutes. Although they have been separated for a month and she has the cash for botox and a sweet apartment in the OC, so she can't be too bad off.

Still, you can't help but feel for Jorge. He loves this woman and that seems a dangerous place for any man.


Now, they have started with "Before the 90 Days" where desperate Americans who can't find a suitable relationship, head (usually) to a third-world country where a relationship with Quasimodo looks reasonable to get them out of poverty. The creepiest of this season is father of four, Sean (47) and his twenty-year old Haitian beauty. When he meets her, he declares it's the best day of his life and that he's the happiest he's ever been. Gee, thanks Dad. I would LOVE to be a fly on the wall and watch this with Sean's ex-wife.


Not to be outdone by her male counterpart, we have boy toy-loving Darcey -- who is a beautiful 42-year old from Connecticut. She's met Jesse, a hot-young 24-year old in Amsterdam. I have to say, this was a little disturbing to watch with my 23-year old son. But I don't think he was tempted. Jesse is a bit of a strange one. He says he's not shallow and more mature for his age. But he seriously has the most kept eyebrows I've ever seen, so he's not exactly low-maintenance. He's also worried about a woman's smell (her pheromones linking to his) and Darcey's high-running energy. (Will she calm down and mesh with his energy?) We wait with bated breath.


The great thing about these shows is that you can literally watch them with anyone. It will make you feel better about some choices you've made in life. And also be grateful that your spouse is not bound to you for a green card or enough food on their plate.

When people treat you like they don't care, believe them...


This is a lesson in life that I need to get through my thick skull. I make a lot of excuses for bad behavior -- trying to find the good in someone that maybe isn't there. It still amazes me to read the news or watch the ID Network and see what people are capable of for no apparent reason. What have they won if they break someone's heart? Some imaginary game in their head, I suppose. Life is too short to chase after people who don't want you in their life. Fact.

What's a life lesson you've gotten over and over again, but still struggle to beat?

When Life Imitates Art -- I've Become Ashley Stockingdale's SIL:

In my book, "With this Ring, I'm Confused" Ashley Stockingdale's sister-in-law wants her to wear a dramatic dress. A Scarlett O'Hara dress. A tacky gown, if you will.


Here's the thing. I'm a child of the 80's. I love me a sparkly ballgown. Over-the-top is fine by me, but I'm about to be a mother-in-law. OMG, that makes me sound old. I mean, I'm happy to be a MIL and all, but my future daughter-in-law and son are practical about their wedding. They just want a small gathering with Chipotle for food. (Apparently, they're not getting much news about Chipotle on Okinawa.) Anyhoo, the bride is sending me all these darling little slip dresses and beachy frocks and I'm sending her these:



She's not having it. If my son was around, he'd tell me to cool my jets or I won't be invited to the wedding. But for the life of me, I just don't know why any bride wouldn't want to sparkle! I ABHOR being the center of attention and I feel like being swallowed up by a dress helped me get through the day.

But what can I say? I'm a romantic. I mean, what can you expect when your future mother-in-law writes romance for a living? She's going to be bit quirky, no? Hopefully, she gets my sense of humor. She's marrying into it because my son is pretty similar.