50 Shades too many

Gracey HitchcockClick on the topmost title to open and scroll

As Valentine’s Day nears, the hype over 50 Shades of Grey is building. I have seen product tie-ins that make sense, such as for sex toys. But I am shaking my head at the ones for nail polish, wine, and a host of other items that seem hard to connect to E.L. James’ sexy bestseller. 

It might just be me, but the whole 50 Shades thing seems dated since the first shock wave at the popularity of the rough-sex romance hit. Perhaps, my ennui is due too many months of breathy Beyoncé-laced teasers or too many E.L. James-sanctioned cheesy Shades of Grey products, but I just feel like I have already seen it all 50 times too many. 

I am curious how everyone else will react. Will 50 Shades be another Twilight mega-success or we have all been “Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no” at one too many times. 

Happy Valentines’ Day darlings however you chose to spend it. 

Take time to enjoy the sweetness in life. 

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Gracey Hitchcock

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A seriously sexy trilogy

The Inside Out Trilogy by Lisa Renee Jones is a sexy-romantic read as well as a sizzling hot romance and a mystery. Jones takes the new genre of soft B&D chick lit to a new level with a sassy heroine, likable hero, and complex plot.
Sara is a brunette beauty who teaches high school but would rather spend her days in an art gallery. Her life changes when she begins to read a book left behind on her coffee table by her friend Ella. It is the private erotic diary of a woman named Rebecca. Sara is quickly drawn into Rebecca’s life. Rebecca has Sara’s dream job of working in a posh art gallery. But Sara is slowly horrified as Rebecca’s writing about  “her master” takes on an onerous tone.
Rebecca’s diary and belongings have been bought at auction by Sara’s best friend and fellow teacher Ella, a young, cash-strapped teacher who hopes to sell the sexy diaries on eBay with Rebecca’s other processions for a profit. Buying and selling the contents of abandoned lockers is her new sideline to supplement her low pay as a teacher. She considers the explicit, well-written dairies a potential windfall.
Sara who has read the diaries is worried that Rebecca is in trouble and needs help. Sara is debating what to do when Ella suddenly announces her “new rich boyfriend is taking her to Paris. Before leaving on her trip Ella gives Sara all of Rebecca’s things including the diaries.
Sara is hooked. She needs to know more about Rebecca. She calls the gallery where Rebecca works. On learning that Rebecca has indeed disappeared and has not returned to work as expected, she makes plans to attend a benefit at the gallery and find out more about what has happened.
Before she knows it Sara has Rebecca’s job and is drawn deeper into a mystery and a relationship with a charismatic, talented, handsome and dangerous artist.
The Inside Out Trilogy has it all: romance, glamour, sizzle, and suspense. Lisa Renee Jones is a master at keeping it all fresh and even unexpected in a genre that is all too often tired and tacky.
If I Were You is the first book in the trilogy. It follows Sara as she enters Rebecca’s life and meets Mark and Chris. Both are alpha males and very attractive. Chris is a ensual, rebel who teases and challenges Sara. He is also a world-famous painter who demands love, but also runs from it. Mark is a handsome and commanding man with impeccable taste and  grooming. He is also the millionaire owner of the gallery and her boss. Both men play games with dominance and submission. Sara finds herself both frightened and intrigued by their world.
In the second book, Being Me, Sara is now deeply into her new life at gallery. She finds herself pulled between the demands of her  boss Mark and her lover Chris. She is also desperately trying to find Rebecca. Sara begins to discover a hidden side of her own personality. She also discovers that her lover is haunted by dark demons that threaten their love.
In the final book, Revealing Us, Sara and Chris flee to Paris. There they finally strip away the dark secrets that have kept them apart. Together they explore and create a new sensual reality.
If this popular genre intrigues you, or if you are a fan but require writing and wooing with your writhing, then Lisa Renee Jones is the writer for you.

A touch of seduction

All too often romance these days consists of text messages and Dutch dates.
Darlings, life these days can be just a little too dull. Maybe that’s why so many women have taken to reading the Fifty Shades of Grey. They crave excitement, fantasy and touch of seduction. However, I don’t believe millions women actually desire lovers who wield whips and are emotionally unavailable.
When women I know talk about the book, what intrigues them is not the kinky sex, but the raw desire with which Christian Grey pursues Anastasia, the heroine. They are fascinated and envious of the romantic gifts and exotic locations the author uses to create her popular fantasy. None of these women declare, “my sex life is so dull, I wish my husband or boyfriend would be as kinky as Christian Grey, or even adventurous in a Fifty Shades of Grey way. No. All of them, especially the young single women, sighed and said, “I wish a man would pursue and romance me like in that book!’
None of these women are gold-diggers. They have careers and go to dinner or on a vacation by themselves. But they crave the thrill of being an “object of desire”. They want to be pursued, romanced, lusted-after, and seduced. Instead they are facebooked, texted, and Dutch-treated. It is enough to drive any red-blooded, romancing craving female mad. What they all want is a little seduction in their lives.
So while the chances – or even the desirability – of a Christian Grey appearing on the scene are slim, the situation is far from hopeless.
In Joie de Vivre: Secrets of Wining, Dining, and Romancing Like the French, Harriet Welty Rochefort shares how French women keep life interesting and remain so seductive.
According to Rochefort, an American who married a Frenchman and has spent most her adult life in Paris, a French woman never makes life too easy for a man. A true Parisienne is always a bit difficult. She is never too easy to please or predict. She is intriguing and presents a challenge that men find irresistible.
Rochefort points out that some French men find Parisian women too difficult and that is why they marry Americans. But in general, most men find women who play hard-to-get are attractive. I think she is right.
Parisian women get away with the hard-to-get routine because, according to Rochefort, they are thin, chic, and self-confident. She points out that a stylish Parisian may not be beautiful or even pretty, but she will know how to make the most of herself with the perfect haircut, discreet but artful makeup, and fabulous shoes.
Confidence, chicness, and unabashed femininity according to Rochefort, is what French women use to stoke the fires of desire. You will never catch a true Parisian pointing out her flaws, whining about her diet, or asking “does this make me look fat?” Instead she will eat small portions of tasty French food and enjoy it, dress to flatter her body, and spend the evening in lively and amusing banter.
Rocheport points out that while French women adore their children they never let motherhood eclipse womanhood. 
According to Rochefort, in France women in top jobs are not afraid to dress like women in the workplace. She reports that all over Paris you will see professional women, from top executive to architects to doctors, in designer dresses and fashionable shoes.
And the French take time for passion and flirtation, too. Rochefort reports that even in the days of 24/7 texting and the email-driven work-world, the French linger in cafes several times a day. Where better to flirt over a glass or a café au lait? If you are married, have your husband meet you there, or prepare an elegant repas a deux at home. Do have I have to tell you that children and seduction don’t mix! There’s another good reason for the French custom of firm bedtimes and a fixed household regime. (And FYI, Rochefort raised her children happily the French way.)
So darlings, if life is feeling a bit flat and grey, why not try it the French way?
Get your hair done. Vow never to leave your home looking less than fab. If French women can do it, so can you.
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Show some skin

 Darlings, summer is the time to show some skin. I don’t mean to go to the office dressed for the beach, but this is time to feel the sun on your skin and strut your stuff. So spray on your sunblock, slide into a fab summer frock or pretty top, and let that summer weather work its magic. 
Everyone is talking about the book 50 Shades of Grey these days. Some call it ‘mommy porn.’ But all the women I talk to who have read it – ages 20 and up – agree that the romance in the story is the real turn-on. No one wants the whips and chains in 50 Shades of Grey.
So darlings, get out flounce about and generate some desire.  It helps to make life sweet.
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Gracey Hitchcock
Photo by: www.yanka.ca