Monday, December 12, 2016

Retail Makes the Holiday Go Round

Hi. I'm Roxy. I've worked in retail (in various forms) for twenty years now. Let that sink in. For twenty years I've dealt with registers, coupons, returns and...(Insert dramatic music here)...holidays.

I am including my time serving in the restaurant biz in this too because if you ask me, restaurants are like the ultimate retail battleground. But instead of weekly or yearly fluctuations you get daily ones. Tip your servers well. They deserve it.

With the holidays slamming into us with the force of a freight train most people are thinking about gifts to buy or who is going to bring what to the holiday pitch in. Me? I'm trying to remember the last time I saw my husband for more than an hour. (We both work retail. I know. We're suckers.)

This post is a funny for all of my other retail warriors out there. I want to make sure you're aware of "Retail Robin".  This is a meme that has been making me say "Same." for quite a while now. And I know this time of year we could all use a giggle snort.

You can also find a fantastic Tumblr page where people post retail horror stories and coordinating memes. Here are a couple head nods for all the other retail workers.

1.  "Do you take credit cards?" Now granted...I did serve time at a few retail establishments before credit cards were a thing. (I'm old) But even Aldi takes plastic now. Yes. We take credit cards.

2. "I have a coupon for that!" We get that coupons are awesome. Hell, I get excited when I see a customer stack coupons in a way that saves them a ton. But every cashier knows you take a deep breath and roll your shoulders to loosen up before that one customer comes rolling into your lane.

3. "This is expensive."Not a damn thing I can do about it. If I could change the prices of items at will. A LOT of them would be cheaper. LOL.

4. "Yes./No Thanks." There's a lot of feeling invisible this time of year when you work at a store. Nothing is worse than having someone not listen to you when you're trying to help and then getting pissed when you don't live up to their service standards. 

For everyone who is blessed to have a job outside the retail world...happy holidays! For the rest of us...New Years is only a few weeks away. And that's when we get an excuse to be hungover. We'll make it. 

~Roxy (Right before I go to work for the day)

To find Roxy's books with buy links and what she has coming up next check out her website at

Monday, December 5, 2016

I love sales and I cannot lie...

I'm not big on camping out to get show tickets or waiting in long lines to be first in the store on Black Friday. But I do love me a good sale.

This last Friday (as I write this) I was online doing regular work when an author friend posted on Facebook: "Got this great app at 95% off! I was going to buy this later when I got enough money, but can afford it now for much less!"

Sale, great app...I was intrigued. I took a look, and darn if it wasn't exactly a tool I needed for my author arsenal...ahem, kitbag, with a LIFETIME ACCESS to fun pictures.

Yeah, I plunked down $50 for that puppy. Was it worth it? You tell me.
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Monday, November 21, 2016

#NaNoWriMo Lessons

If you follow me on any social media, you'll probably see me talking about #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

There are people who adore NaNoWriMo and gobble up any info/blogs/vlogs they can on the subject. Me.

And there are people who are probably sick of hearing about it by now.

I'm hoping you're in the first group, because I'm going to talk about it.

NaNoWriMo is my favorite time of year, because all of us introverts tend to crawl out from our writing cave and attempt human interaction. We are social. Just in small groups. For very limited periods of time. Online. ;p

I'm leading a Word War group this year. (And we're winning, of course.) Which means my own word count has been on my mind more than ever. I tend to need deadlines. I need someone breathing down my neck and asking me where the hell my writing time was today.

I adore the NaNoWriMo graph page too. It tells me where the I'm supposed to be at any time in the month, and exactly how freaking far behind I am. Or ahead. When I'm ahead, it's awesome.

I also regularly stalk my writing buddies. (Want to be my buddy too? Find me HERE on the site.)

We are rounding the corner into the last week in this month of writing with abandon, and I swear, I get something new from this experience each time I do it.

The top 5 things NaNoWriMo has taught me?

1. I can finish a novel. I'd never made it to the end of a book before this writing competition. I was a serial starter. Tons of scenes, and first chapters, and I'd always peter out. NaNo taught me to stay the course. Interlocking Hearts, was my 2014 NaNo novel. It took me until mid-december to get to the end, but I credit NaNoWriMo for giving me the head start, and the sprinting buddies I made, to help me make it to Paisley's happily ever after.

2. Authors always think someone else writes better than they do. Every single one of them. Anyone I have met who I idolize in the writing world strives to be better. They all look up to other people for inspiration. Even the people you think have it all, don't think they're doing it right. Send your favorite author an email and gush over them. I promise you, they never get tired of it.

3. Everyone needs an editor. If someone says they self-edit. They either put out books that aren't worth your time, or they lie. Once your ideas are on the page, it's time to rip them apart with a red pen and kill off the ones that aren't helping your story along. The first time you have a thorough edit. It. Will. Suck. Buck up, and keep going.

4. There is someone on the internet staring at a screen who needs a word war buddy. Type in #wordsprint or #1k1hr into the twitter search. You'll find someone racing to get their word count in too. I also my Facebook friends to write with me.

5. Now is the time to try something new. What you're doing is hard. Whatever goals you've set for this month, 50k new words, finishing up an edit you've been putting off, writing every single day without skipping one... You're doing something that pushes you. I try and do something new each round. I'll try out a new drafting technique, or a new program, or just a new genre. I use NaNo to do something I might not have done otherwise. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but I have so many more resources to learn through other writers at this time of year, that I'd be crazy not to take advantage of it.

Love it or hate it, NaNoWriMo is here, and we're sprinting toward the finish line. If you know someone who is writing, cut them a little slack. They might talk your ear off about the highs and lows of this month. Meet them somewhere with coffee and cake so you can smile and nod supportively.

They also might be drowning in the craziness that is writing that first novel. Send them a meal. They've likely been living on frozen pizza and coffee.

Are you writing this month? Have you learned something about your writing? Or do you have any tips that are getting you through?

Chat with us about it!


To find Roxy's books with buy links and what she has coming up next check out her website at

Monday, November 14, 2016

5 Ways to Get Your F*cking Zen On

It's been a year, hasn't it? For real. The death, the destruction, the Pokemon Go servers always being down.

There has been a huge need in my life for something to escape from it all.

So in the spirit of wanting to do anything but hear the news or be an adult I thought I'd share my top five ways to get my fucking zen on.

1. Headspace. This is an app that I have started using to take ten minutes and settle myself down. Meditation is one of the best ways I have found to give my mind a break from all the bad shit I think about on a regular basis. The link I provided takes you to their website, but I like using this on my phone because it sends me reminders. It helps me remember to take a damn break.

2. Good smelling shit. I know that vanilla and lavender scents are very calming for a lot of people. And I do like them too, but my fucking jam are these white sage incense cones. My local crystal shop sells them, and even walking into that place gives me a sense of peace.

3. YouTube. There are still commercials unless you pay for the premium YouTube Red, but I find a lot of really great content on YouTube, and some of my favorite shows to keep up with are Good Mythical Morning and the React videos from Fine Brothers. But there are also plenty of inspirational videos channels like Pinch Me Living.  And if you really want a mind trip, plug in some headphones and search for ASMR.

4. Go outside. If you're like me, the outside is mildly scary. There are people and bugs and cold. *shivers* But I have started listening to audio books and podcasts, and taking my dog around my neighborhood. People will leave you alone if you have headphones in. So I always cue up something great to keep me in my happy place. Either that or I open up Pokemon Go and hatch some eggs!

5. Re-read a book! Remember that one book that made you binge read all of the author's work? Or that book that made you laugh out loud at an inappropriate place? Pick that bad boy back up and do a re-read.

My favorite re-reads are Three to Ride by Sophie Oak (who now primarily writes as Lexi Blake) and Bite My Fire by Mary Hughes.

Those are my top 5 zen tips. Call it zen, call it self-care, just remember to do something that helps you get through the day. You're important, and so is your sanity. Take care, everybody!


Monday, November 7, 2016

HeAt Up Your Thanksgiving--funny pics you won't believe

hoto credit: atomicshark talkin' turkey via photopin (license)
I'm looking to heat up your holidays this 2016. So the second thing I did was search for funny turkey pics. First, I wrote a list :D

I've got sure-fire suggestions for how to heat things up this holiday season. Do you like --
  • Dark heroes
  • Alpha billionaires
  • Desert adventures
  • Christmas hijinx
  • Midnight magick
  • Presents, parties, and perks

Check out Dark Whispers, $0.99 through November 6 but going up soon!
Check out Hot Chips and Sand, special $0.99 preorder price good THIS MONTH ONLY. Many more low-priced preorders at ☆҉➹☆November Preorder Super Sale & Giveaway! ☆҉➹☆҉ Get your November romance reads. Plus enter to win a #Kindle.
Check out Biting Holiday Honeymoons, FREE at most vendors including Amazon and
Check out TRS's great Thanksgiving bash November 19-22 with $100 Amazon Gift Card!

photo credit: Louish Pixel Crazy Thanksgiving via photopin (license)
Like grab bag prizes? To heat up the 2016 holidays, I'm having a "Caption This" contest most Wednesdays running for the whole week. Check out my Facebook page.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Two of our own Lusty Linguists are participating in a Halloween Hop on Facebook today. With over 100 authors and bloggers participating, we wanted to give you the scoop so you could get in on the fun.

Roxy Mews is giving away a copy of "A Love Worth Biting For" on her page. This book originally released in October and who doesn't need some sexy hybrids to read about?

Mary Hughes is giving away a copy of "Masked Attraction: Pull of the Moon" on her page. A wizard, a shifter, and fun in closets. Definitely a great way to spend the time between trick-or-treating.

The hop is going on through tomorrow, so there's still time to enter. If you want a complete list of all the participating blogs and authors, check out Cheap Thrills Books, or just click on the first link and read the post to find the next stop.

And best of all, you can enter to win a Kindle or Amazon Gift Cards! Head to the rafflecopter entry form on Cheap Thrills Books and get your entries in. 

Good luck everyone, and happy hopping!

Monday, October 24, 2016

It's coming...

Not long now.

It's going to consume the lives of writers all over the world.

Stock up on supplies.

Just one week until NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month takes place in November every year. It's a time of literary abandon where thousands of thousands of participants are reducing sleep and increasing caffeine to pound out 50,000 words in just 30 days.

There are people that love #NaNoWriMo, there are people that hate it. I'm in the former group.

My first book exists because of a NaNoWriMo novel. And with a just a week until the kickoff of another November here is a down and dirty list of what I have to have when I start cranking out the words.

1. A group of people to sprint with.  I found this was the best part of NaNoWriMo for me. Writing with people and commiserating with other writers when my characters run amok is one of the best parts about this tradition for me. Even just having people on my buddy list to battle against was so motivating for me.
(If you want to be my buddy, you can add me on the site, HERE.)

2. Snacks. This isn't all about food. Well, not totally. Basically get your shit ready before you sit down to write. Gather drinks, snacks, music, and throw a pizza at your significant other to make sure they eat. Give yourself permission to get lost in your work and not emerge until you get your daily word count.

3. Rope for your inner editor. Tie that voice in your head up and just write. Yes, it's okay to leave mistakes in for November. That's what edits are for. ;) Getting to "The End" is the most important part of this month.

4. A sense of humor. You've got to laugh at yourself. You'll make mistakes, your characters will run away with all your carefully laid plans and toss them into the abyss. All hell will break loose. Let it. Laugh with it, and enjoy the ride. 

Tell me, are you writing a novel next month? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you write with all of the crazies, or laugh at all the authors pulling their hair out?

If you're writing, come do it with me. 


To find Roxy's books with buy links and what she has coming up next check out her website at

Monday, October 17, 2016

Roxy's #CheapDate with Arbor Mist

Tonight’s cheap date is with Arbor Mist Moscato Mango Strawberry.

This wine has lots of names. Again…we have a twist off cap. I will say, this trip down cheap date lane has made my opening of wine bottles infinitely easier. Do all cheap wines have screw on caps? This could be a feature I could get behind.

The cap has a little peel off strip. Think pack of gum type situation. Grab the little tab and the wrapper comes off. Corked wines need to get behind this technology. Because I can’t tell you how many times I have stabbed myself trying to get the tin foil stuff off the top with a knife.

Yes. I know a knife is not a proper cutting tool. This is why I am reviewing CHEAP wines. (Classy fucking lady, right here. And yes. That is a partially completed wall behind me. New house woes.)

Let’s look at the label! Because wow. This one actually lists the nutrition facts. Are wines doing that now? I have never seen that before! And after looking at the sugar content on this…I never want to see it again. (19g of sugar per 8oz. YIKES!)

This also has “High Fructose Corn Syrup” listed as an ingredient behind the wine. Hold up. The first ingredient is “Moscato wine”. Then there’s a whole list of other things. Maybe that’s why this one is only 6% alcohol.

This is going to be weak.

Sniff time!

Whoa. This smells straight up like candy. I can’t tell what kind of candy. I make hubby smell it too. I can’t figure out where I’ve smelled this before but I have definitely smelled this smell.

Me: Doesn’t this smell like candy? I can’t figure out what kind, but it definitely smells like candy.

Hubby: Do you consider wine candy?

Me: Stop it. It smells like candy! What kind do you think it smells like? I can’t place it.

Hubby: I think you’re mistaking wine for candy. Do you need some chocolate?

I hit him. But now I want chocolate too. Better finish this up so I can sample some of the “Halloween” candy I’ve bought to be prepared.

I still can’t figure out what it smells like. It’s like hearing a song and being completely unable to place the name of it even though you can sing the whole damn verse.

Fruit rollups? Gummies? Maybe those peach rings I stacked on my fingers as a kid? NO! I think I’ve got it. Does anyone remember that scent that was all over the place in the 90’s? It was super sweet and we had it in lip balm, in markers, and even that scented slime? THAT’S THE SMELL!

Okay. I totally have to drink this, because I always wanted to eat those things but I was too chicken.


This wine has almost as many bubbles as a champagne but without the foam head. It’s damn near clear. Barely any color at all. It smells like the end of a fruity bath bomb in the glass. Still fruity but slightly off.


Whoa. To say this is sweet is an understatement. To say this is wine is an overstatement. This tastes like straight up sugar syrup. It’s even fairly thick. I can feel it in the back of my throat. I think my throat just got slimed.

This was not an easy drink. (Remembering the sugar content, that’s probably a good thing.)

Let’s put ice in it! I heard from a lot of people that I should have put ice in the last one. This sucker could use some dilution.

It foamed up like a soda when I put the ice in. Maybe that’s why I’m having a hard time with this one. I cut out full-sugar sodas a long time ago and they are all way too sweet for me now. Maybe if you drink soda on the regular this won’t taste so sweet to you.

But I gotta tell you, I’m damn near gagging.

With the ice it’s not as bad, but I don’t feel like I’m drinking wine. It tastes like flavored water with a lot of sugar in it. Like someone tried to stretch the Koolaid a little too far.

The flavor doesn’t match the scent. This one might be fun to put in a sherbet punch if you’re going for a dessert type thing. It just isn’t what I’m looking for when I pop the top on a bottle of wine.

I pass the glass to hubby. Who drinks full sugar soda and dislikes wine.

Me: Here. Try this. Does it taste like wine?

Hubby: No. It tastes pretty good.

Me: *Laughing* Of course you like it.

Hubby: It’s not bad at all.

Then hubby steals another drink and heads down the stairs.


I wouldn’t buy this again. But Hubby might.

One Thumbs Down, and a Non-Wine Drinker’s thumbs up. You make your own call on this one. But I’m going back to Riunite

So do you drink Arbor Mist? It was definitely not for me. What wine should I try next?


To find Roxy's books with buy links and what she has coming up next check out her website at

Monday, October 3, 2016

I’m Just a Big Cat

The internet is a source of amazing information. Apparently, according to one study (, my son’s cats think I’m just another big (and slightly stupid) cat.

I believe this. It would explain why they cuddle and take the pets sometimes and not others. Why they steal my chair. And why they lay on papers...specifically, bills and manuscripts. They’re saying “Life’s too short to work all the time. Come play with me!”

Although, with all respect to the researcher, there's another explanation. 

Cats think they're human! I have pictures to prove it.
Carpet Layer Cats: “Nap break!”

Editor Cat: “I’m sorry, these thirty pages have to go.”

Fashion Cat: “Tie one more thing on me, and you’ll see how good my pedicure is.”

Princess Cat: “Bring me my tuna!”

What about you? Do your cats think they’re human, or do they think you’re a cat?