Well, Aggravated Husband here, and my family survived the hurricane that just ripped through North and South Carolina a few days ago.

We evacuated some days after our governor said we should. We have a son who lives in New York state, but we didn't have to go to his residence.

We stayed at a small hotel in Walterboro, SC for not quite a week, then proceeded home.

We were very, very lucky. When we we returned home, our house was not damaged at all and all of our utilities were still functional.

However, my mother is out of power with a number of surrounding roads blocked. She lives just outside of my hometown of Dillon, SC, which is experiencing the effects of flooding. At least her house is not flooded and she has a generator, so there is that. She also has other people she can live with nearby, so she isn't completely out of sorts. Thank the Good Lord for that.

To all that have assisted our section of the country. thank you and bless you.

Crazy Duck Lady may have suffered from premature empty nest syndrome, even though we have not thrown our youngest boy out of the house yet. He, however, will be 21 years old near the end of this month, so on Mary Anne's birthday earlier in the same month she was beginning to yearn for another little one to fill her heart and give some love to.

Well, she found it. It's furry and tiny and cute - everything Crazy Duck Lady wanted.

Say hello to the newest member of the family: Pixie Bear!

Angry dude here, the lucky husband of the Crazy Duck Lady.

Today's my birthday. I'll be fiftajjdisoijd this year.

I was born on my Dad's birthday. So I never really had big birthday parties or anything like that, especially considering the economic status my immediate family had when I was growing up.

But this is the first year that I've had my birthday that my Dad was not around to at least say "happy birthday" to me, and that I couldn't do the same to him. He died a number of months ago.

My Mom misses him so much, but she did wish me a happy birthday today. My wife and my boys will be here with me as I praise the good Lord for another year of life, and for all of them, I could never express enough gratitude.

Happy birthday, Dad. I love you, and will until I see you again.

Dear little morons,

Angry Old Fat Man here, aka your worst nightmare and the reason you dream of gulags as places to put me and my generation in.

Let me announce today's topic: the New Atheism and its ignorant dipshit unthinking followers.

I have been on Youtube lately and made the mistake of reading the comments, the writers of which overwhelmingly suffer horribly from the Dunning–Kruger effect.

This is mainly because young little morons do not know that they are ignorant, and therefore display their stupidity by believing if SMURT PEEPLZ HURP DURP (i.e., people that are as ignorant as they are) say it, it must be true and the little morons must repeat it 2 B SMURT 2 HYULK HYULK.

The piece of spinach stuck in my teeth right now is the description of Christianity as a "Bronze Age fairy tale hurp durp".

These little imbeciles have latched onto the "it's fashionable to be atheist because it makes me look smurt hyuk hyuk", which is an ignorant piece of mental trash and philosophical laziness. Why? Because anybody with any cursory knowledge of history and/or Christianity could tell you it's simply not true. It is also not true of the Quran.

The Iron Age (which, please note, succeeded the Bronze Age) began long before the advent of the New Testament and, for that matter, the Quran (which I don't care for, but anyways...) . Jesus Christ was crucified during the early Imperial period of Ancient Rome. As any enemy of Rome at the time could tell you, the typical Roman soldier did NOT have a bronze sword. It was STEEL, it was hard, and it was as nearly as sharp as a razor. So no, it WASN'T the Bronze Age.

Islam came along after a couple of hundred years of Imperial Rome's collapse. Scimitars were long, curved, hard, and sharp. AND STEEL.

So this whole "Bronze Age" bullshit you want to pull out is simply you being parrots for people only slightly more knowledgeable than you are, if you consider Kim Kardashian's huge ass and drooling hatred of President Donald Trump to be knowledge. You need to put down the Playstation controller, go outside, and get a job, at which point you will begin praying that the government doesn't take all of your money and give it to a useless basement-dwelling moocher who has bipolar PTSD autism that only allows him to breathe and maintain a Twitch channel to play some game with his fellow moochers with lots of bright lights and loud noises.

AOFM signing off, for now.

 

Hello there dear gentlefolk (and assorted jerkasses) it's me, Angry Old Fat Man, otherwise known as Crazy Duck Lady's husband and website manager.

My wife has discovered a strange, wonderful thing. It is the ability to link, via the site Books2Read, to a "universal" vendor page for each and every book she writes.

So far, I've put a button on every book that has this capability (in the Mary Anne Graham book page) to allow you, our blessed readers, to buy the books for whatever e-book device you happen to own. The button looks like this:

Right now it's functional in the Mary Anne book list page, but it will soon be available in the Olivia Outlaw book list page and possibly the Book Bundle page as well.

Enjoy them, s'il vous plaît!

Hello my delightful little readers, it's me, the Nasty, Angry One.

Wow. It's been a long time, hasn't it?

I'm so sorry about the time period involved, but we've had a lot going on at Casa de Pato Loco (House of the Crazy Duck). Thanksgiving, family loss, Christmas, and now New Year's. Along with my working over 2 hours away, one way.

Anyway, onto the GREAT news. This new year, 2018, brings with it the fifth book in the Forever Series, A Forbidden Forever.

According to the author, my dear wife, this one is from the viewpoint of Vlad the Gypsy. Click the picture above and buy it for the Kindle. The paperback will be available soon.

Until next time, my kiddies, have a Happy New Year and may 2018 be one of the best for you, if not the best.

1

I'm from South Carolina and it's a football rivalry state.  Here, you're either a Gamecock or a Tiger.  You may not have attended either school, but you're still one or the other. (I attended law school at the University of South Carolina, so it's a legit alma mater for me. And BTW, like Darius Rucker says, our USC was a school before California was a state.) In SC, team loyalty is a matter of tradition, heritage and culture.  Both teams have had good years and bad years, but fans stay loyal.  Clemson has had many more good years and by far holds the edge in the rivalry football game - especially lately - but forget that whole National Championship thing.  You know what matters?  It matters who wins the Carolina-Clemson game.

The Gamecocks have been in a rebuilding period since Steve Spurrier walked away from the team mid-season several years ago.  But they hired Coach Will Muschamp and he's done an amazing job.  It's Year 2 of the Muschamp era and the Gamecocks are #2 in the SEC East - instead of dead last as was predicted pre-season, and they'll end with a winning record and go bowling.  They're 7-3 now, Wofford is ahead which will have the Cocks 8-3 going into the last game of the season -- the "Palmetto Bowl" - the BIG one - the Carolina-Clemson game.  No one outside of the state thinks we can beat Clemson this year, but Gamecock fans believe.  And win or lose, the Gamecocks will proceed with the motto that Muschamp brought -- "So what?  Now what?"

I read a blog  from "The State" newspaper, and it's the first time I'd heard of the motto.  It seems the team has adopted it and the players live it now.  I've just decided to adopt it too.  What better saying to guide your life?  Whether you won or lost, yesterday is in the past. We can't change yesterday.  We can relive it, and allow the mistakes of the past to define the future or we can say, "so what."  If it was, then it was and no amount of self-torture will change it.  It happened.  So what?

The thing we can change is what we'll do today, and how we'll approach tomorrow.  We can choose to recognize that today is ours to conquer and tomorrow is ours to prepare for.  We can wake up saying, "now what?"

On a writing level, this means that I can look at Amazon and see that my books haven't taken off yet.  Kindle Unlimited folks - love y'all - have been reading, but not enough customers have been buying.  I could wallow in that, and cry over that.  I could toss up my hands and stop writing altogether, or I can say, "So What? Now What?" I chose the latter.  I've dropped the price of a few of my books to .99 cents, hoping that it will spur some folks to join a duck lady in the journey over the top of forever.  The books that are currently .99 cents are:  Brotherly Love, Seducing The Billionaire, and Tempting Duty.

Maybe you haven't read one of my books before.  So What?  Now what - you can do is pick up one of my .99 cent specials and give crazy love a try.  And here in Casa de Duck my youngest son and I (the football fans in the family) will await the Carolina-Clemson game, saying So What if Carolina lost last year. It's Now What time!

Entertainment Weekly says that the "happily ever after" genre is taking on Trump by joining the resistance.  I'm distressed to learn that some of my colleagues are repeating the mistake made by the entertainment industry. Like actors, actresses and comedians, writers are free to have political opinions.  Among friends and family, or at a political gathering held by folks of a particular leaning, expressing political opinion is perfectly acceptable.  Conning your audience into buying one thing and selling them another is a lie and liars deserve to lose.

The article notes that Lauren Billings, who writes with Christina Hobbs as Christina Lauren, responded to readers who reject mixing romance with politics by saying, "we share our opinions in our books in every word we write."  If that's true, before you ever buy one of their books, you should consider that these writers aren't channeling their characters, they're not telling you the story you bought, they're feeding you their personal beliefs and ideology.  Is that what they marketed?  Is that what readers bought?  No, it's not.  With all due respect to Ms. Billings, Ms. Hobbs and every other romance author on the planet, readers don't give a darling damn about what you think or feel or believe.

Readers buy romance to crawl inside the heads and hearts and souls of the hero and heroine.  A good writer often pens thoughts she'd never have and describes acts she'd never perform.  How does the writer do that if "every word she writes" contains her opinions?  She can't.  An author feeding her opinions through the mouths of her characters is telling her story - not the tale the readers bought.  A writer who gives in to ego to that extent echos the errors of entertainers.  There is a reason that movie theaters are empty.  Romance writers who feed readers stories with political overtones are herding romance to a place where shelves stay full.

The EW piece commits the same mistake made by reporters, prognosticators, actors and entertainers.  It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of why Americans back President Trump.  The President is neither anti-gay nor anti-woman and neither are the hordes of Americans who voted for him.  Many Trump supporters aren't particularly conservative.  What unites ALL Trump supporters is not a political party.  In fact, it is the exact opposite of a political anything.  Trump supporters are tired of politicians, labels and political correctness.  America voted Trump into office to elect a businessman who would run the government like a company.  Some businessmen want to make and sell a better car or a better thermostat.  Trump wants to make and sell a better America - not better for Democrats or Republicans, or for liberals or conservatives - but better for the vast majority whose lives and beliefs mix a little from all of those things to create the most unique thing on Earth:  an American.

Writers should disclaim and denounce the EW article and everything it contains and advocates.   I disclaim it and I surely denounce it. Romance writers should write  because they want to tell stories where people face obstacles, triumph over tragedy and end up happily ever after.  Those stories should be the character's stories, told through the eyes and the hearts and the minds of the characters, not the authors.  A writer who sells a love story but delivers something else has betrayed her readers. That writer will not inspire that reader to do anything but avoid her work in the future.

Life is full of problems and despair and the Great Duck knows - it's far too full of politics these days.  Anyone who wants to experience any of those things can turn on a number of 24-hour news channels.  People don't go to a movie to hear an actor mouth lines filled with political drivel.  People don't turn on a comic's special or late night program to hear him talk abut how much he hates Trump.  And people don't read a romance novel to RESIST anything.  Romance is about indulging senses and emotions. It's about love and triumph and living through a roller coaster ride that ends at a happy forever.

People don't read romance to get some writer's take on politics or her opinion on the President.   So, the EW piece has it wrong  - it's not the romance authors who should join the resistance movement.  Romance readers should RESIST any writer whose product description or blurb describes a love story but tells a thinly-veiled political allegory.   So, how to RESIST being deceived by a writer, especially one you enjoyed before?  Here's how - RCW - return, complain and warn.

Whether you bought it in Kindle or in Paper, return any book you were conned into buying.  Complain to the seller.  Email Amazon or Apple or Barnes and Noble or your neighborhood bookstore.  Email the big publisher.  Explain that you were the victim of a bait and switch that you feel was a deceptive act by the writer, the publisher and the seller.  Explain that you expect a clear warning about any romance novel containing political opinion, references or overtones. And warn your fellow readers by posting a review on the seller's website, but don't stop there.  Follow up by tweeting and posting on any board or forum where you interact with other readers.

Are authors, actors, comedians, singers or athletes allowed to be political?  Absolutely.  They can write a political book, give a speech at a rally or appear on an opinion talk show.  But they must learn to separate their politics from their work because the audience is not paying to support their politics.

Politics is politics and romance is romance. Any author's effort to combine the two should be met with reader resistance. Resist with your purse, your email, your reviews, your boards or forums, and your Facebook and Twitter. Unless there is a clear posted warning that the books contains a political point of view, all readers should be able to buy and enjoy romance novels by all writers.  Any writer who believes otherwise can be taught that they are wrong and it is the readers' job to administer the lesson.  Money talks and reviews and social media make fine megaphones.