It’s an ugly truth about dating that men have despised since the beginning of time. You take a woman out, have a great time, set up a future date, and one day you have a conversation that starts with, “My girlfriend (blank) said to me/wondered about/ or asked me …”
The moment a man hears those words uttered he’s already straightened his back to take whatever emotional blow about to be delivered and secretly praying this type of conversation will come to a quick end. I know it’s convoluted but I’m here to tell you why women put you thorough his mild form of medieval torture and explain what you can do to steer your conversation back on track.
Ever since God created play dates, sleepovers, and phone with unlimited minutes girls have understood the art of being social with each other. From a young age, we’ve created relationship scenarios between Ken and Barbie and hosted pretend tea parties imitating the conversations we’re heard our mothers participate in with their friends. In general, women find heart-to-heart talks with our friends to be a great stress reliever and the best course of action when we’re sidetracked by a problem. So there’s nothing you can do to stop a woman from soliciting her girlfriends’ opinions about your dates. And I mean nothing, unless you manipulate her into believing secrecy is paramount to the longevity of the relationship. (I strongly advise against that tactic because all it takes is for your lady to ask one wise woman, or hear a thought-provoking Sunday morning sermon, and your plan will fall apart like a deck of cards.)
I know you don’t like that women talk about their relationship and want to nip such action in the bud but if you say anything against a woman’s close girlfriends, it will become a sore spot of the relationship. They’re the women she relies on in good and bad times. They were around before the sway of her hips turned your head and will be there if the relationship has a rough patch. Your reaction to news that her inner circle was told about you should be positive because it means she sees some potential in the relationship. But if she begins peppering your conversation with enough questions to remind you of Bill Clinton at a Senate Impeachment trial, you need a counterattack to remind your lady that her friends aren’t steering this relationship.
Good Women Protect Their Friends
Keep your cool and remind yourself be proud that a portion of her girlfriend gabfest consisted of her sharing the wonderful time she had with you. Her friends realize once she falls for you totally, it will be much harder to do any investigative inquiries. (Yes, many women have gone missing in action once they’re in a relationship, only to surface two to three months later.) So while she’s just a little smitten, many girlfriends go on alert and want to make sure she asks the tough questions and has her head on straight before Cupid starts shooting arrows. Many guys have similar guy friends or their own relationship modus operandi that keep them from being overwhelm by the wrong person too so have some empathy for her gal pals.
Turn the Tables and Make Your Own Assessment
Once the questions start coming fast and furious, take command of the situation, and set the tone for the rest of the conversation. Answer a few questions and then cut right to the chase. Ask the lady you’re dating if she’s told her friends about you and your initial date and why she did.
If she confesses that she usually gets her friends opinions on all new relationship or says yes, it was a topic that came up in passing then ‘Proceed with Caution’. If you overreact she’ll never forget it and her friends will get an earful at their next chat session. Instead say “Okay, I see”, let her know you’d enjoy meeting the women one day, and change the topic by talking about the next date you would like to take her on.
If she’s a mature woman, she’ll find your attitude refreshing because very few men see a group of girlfriends as anything other than narrow-minded gossips. If she’s immature, she won’t let you change the topic and will provoke a drama-filled conversation to assert her independence.
Now if your lady completely denies that she’s spoken to her girlfriends about you but you believe she has, that’s a ‘Red Flag’. There’s some immaturity, manipulation, or a low self-esteem issue at work here. Deception in any form spreads like a cancer. You already know women talk to each other so if she states she hasn’t, she may not be genuinely interested in anything long-term. Or she may wait until the second or third date to make up her mind or tell her friends. Take your time and take note of any hot/cold fluctuations in her interest level to get to the bottom of this mystery.
Some Friends Mean Well, Other Mean Harm
Everyone has a friend or family member that can ruin a new relationship with their bad advice, make you second guess your attraction, or point out a small reason to stop dating someone. If your lady’s friends are having her ask questions to disprove her ‘great guy’ theory, then they may not be good emotional support for her. They shouldn’t disrespect the new relationship by having their happy friend suddenly treat you like a police detective.
The good news is the majority of a woman’s girlfriends want to see her happy and her new relationship succeed. And your date should be smart enough to know when taking people’s advice isn't a good idea, and when it may cause more harm than good.
All of us know some people with hidden agendas and ulterior motives based on bias, jealousy, etc. Don’t let a woman’s girlfriends determine the pace of a new relationship because if they can strongly influence it at the beginning, they will intensely ruin it in the end.
Stay confident, handsome, and otherworldly!
It’s been a busy week, so I decided to put in an extra-long solo workout at the gym for the endorphin rush. While I was running on the treadmill and listening Mariah Carey’s ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ Pulse Club Mix on my iPod, I noticed Zeus enter the building. He was greeted warmly by two female trainers manning the reception area and flashed his captivating smile to let everyone know his day was going well. When his gaze met mine, he nodded, and walked with purpose towards my machine. I pulled one earbud from my ear and waited.
“I’m getting good feedback, Ang. What’s next?”
My mind went blank for a few seconds and I was tempted to stop the machine, when he placed a firm hand on the treadmill’s front console and raised his eyebrow slightly. It was like he was daring me to stop my workout and collect myself but that would show I wasn’t good at multitasking. And no one has ever accused me of that.
So I increased the speed for emphasis and smiled sweetly. “Women like men of action, so I’m discussing the importance of the action date.”
He eyed me closely, as my pulse quickened, and a smile returned to his face. His observant gaze was averted for a few seconds when a group of women leaving the spin class came into his peripheral vision. He enjoyed being around people improving their game, so gym workouts fit his regimen nicely.
“Perfect. I’m looking forward to reading it.”
He gave me one last appreciative glance before tapping the treadmill handle and headed into the men’s locker room. It was time to start a power workout of his own. (NOTE: Since Zeus' website is no longer functional I'm placing my articles on my website this week for my single male readers that want one woman's perspective on dating.)
It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone enjoys observing a body in motion. The human body is a magnificent machine and when you are interested in someone, the way they move comfortably in their skin will increase your attraction. Women often tell each other, a great dancer is great in bed and men think, all yoga enthusiasts can perform amazing sex positions. Is there some truth to these beliefs? Perhaps, but the reality is attraction is always increased when men and women watch each other move.
The Action (or adventure) date capitalizes on this notion and will keep you in a woman’s memory for a long time. The ‘lunch date’, ‘dinner and a movie’, or ‘quick drinks at the bar’ have been done many times and doesn’t feel any different, no matter how great the location. Women learn how you treat servers and what you like to eat but the date itself isn’t eventful or memorable. They can experience the same type of date with their girlfriends and family members. It doesn’t push us out of our comfort zone and make us rely on your wisdom and expertise.
Different activities on a date will create a bond of trust in both parties and build togetherness. By embarking on an action date, a couple can start building a collection of special things they have done as a team. Think about the following, when planning an action date with a woman you’re interested in getting to know better:
Have You Always Been Active?
Yes, all of us have been asked this question and all of us say, “Yes, I like to do (fill in the blank)”, but do you know how to spot when a woman is lying about how active she is? That’s right; you plan an action date. Dancing, walking, jogging, and hiking can be done in various places. You can pack a picnic meal and hike to a nice place to enjoy the fresh air and no pressure conversations will happen when you’re concentrating on completing a task together.
No one wants to tell a person they’re dating that their lifestyles aren’t compatible, but everyone knows, an active person prefers an equally active mate. Many people hold an image of a fit person as their ideal companion because we’ve been inundated with media images of physically fit people since our childhoods. But due to the increase popularity of crash diets and plastic surgery, it’s getting harder to determine if good genes, hard work, or a shortcut sculpted the body you’re fixated on. If you’re a man that has no desire to be with a sedentary woman, then the action date should be your choice for the first date, so she can understand the lifestyle you prefer to live.
Expose Her to Your Interests
If you enjoy golfing, give her a lesson, but don’t make her feel incompetent, if you’re an expert and she isn’t. Give her pointers so she can learn to appreciate the effort it takes to master the sport. Help her see why you love baseball, basketball, or football by teaching her how to handle the ball. You need to know if she’s comfortable and willing to try something you love.
Now remember, it doesn’t take much energy to watch a sport, so don’t take that shortcut. No matter how many women suggest you should, don’t do it. Women have mastered tolerating sports if they’re interested in a new guy. Tell your date you want to go to the batting cages together or to the park to throw around a freebee and a football, and you’ll learn if she’s willing to compromise her dating ideals and let you design a date that will uncover who she really is. Just make sure you state how much fun it will be to see her in a more relaxed atmosphere and that it won’t be some boot camp training exercise.
Experience Something New Together
If you are interested in community service projects, take your date and volunteer together. Help feed the homeless, read books to children at the local library, or help Habitat for Humanity build a home for the day. You can also pick an activity to increase your knowledge in an area you don’t know much about like a cooking lesson, an art class, wine tasting, or a dance class.
Completing a task together will help you understand if the two of you can overcome challenges as a team. You will see if a woman shuts down when she’s overwhelmed or becomes a chatty Cathy. You will also learn if she can laugh at herself, show compassion for others, and have a good time in an unusual situation. She will also learn similar things about you.
Want a Quicker Bond, Add Adrenaline
Science says you’ll bond quicker when you add a little adrenaline. The fight-or-flight mechanism always kicks in when we’re doing something we haven’t done before (or haven’t done in a long time. Now don’t scare a woman off by suggesting bungee jumping off the nearest bridge, instead think about bike riding, indoor wall climbing, riding a roller coaster, horseback riding, ice skating, etc.
Feeling a little scared to try something will make most women turn towards their date for reassurance and protection so only attempt an adrenaline date if you’re ready to support her emotionally. She will look to you for support and encouragement so don’t let her down.
It’s important to remember after any type of action date you should have a normal post-date activity. Take her out for a meal, a quiet walk, or grab a drink. It will give you a chance to talk about the experience and assess if she enjoyed herself. If she’s smiling at you like the first time you met, ask her out for a more conventional date because now you know how comfortable she is with you.
Stay confident, handsome, and otherworldly!
Romancing a Woman on The Phone
Thanks to everyone that emailed, Tweeted, and Facebook ‘liked’ my first ezine article, I sauntered right back into Zeus’ office in my sexy purple power suit, leaned my hip on the front corner of his desk, and asked, like a power player full of moxy, “Can I take another go at it?”
He glanced up from his work and didn’t speak at first, but the fact he granted me an audience, at that God-forsaken hour, meant he respected and appreciated my tenacity. He leaned back slowly in his chair and stared up at me, now most people would think I had the upper hand from our body positioning, but they’d be wrong. Zeus doesn’t have to stand over you to exert dominance; he can do it with his eyes alone.
After several seconds of silence pass, I developed a heightened awareness of him and started to second guess my boldness, but I couldn’t let his tactic unnerve me. I wanted an answer, and come hell or high water this man was either, going to make me feel like a NFL franchise player with a new contract, or he’d watch me, for the last time, march my pretty little behind out of his office…
Well, I can happily report he extended me another pass…one that I don’t take lightly. (NOTE: Since Zeus' website is no longer functional I'm placing my articles on my website this week for my single male readers that want one woman's perspective on dating.)
So let continue where we left off securing the first date. I always call a guy that leaves a lasting impression and extends his number because a great phone conversation can ultimately clench the first date. If the conversation goes well, I know I’ll have a good time with this person. If not, I’ll discard the number, get a pedicure, and watch something on HGTV.
Here are a few things you should remember when preparing to talk to a woman on the phone:
Women Don’t Believe Men Hate Talking on the Phone.
Guys talk on the phone to make business deals and trash talk about the latest NBA draft picks. They can talk about politics, finance, or women, with the cold beer in one hand and their cell phone in the other. We’re seen you converse on phones for work, to plan getaways, and talk to your mentors when you in need of validation, so if you don’t talk to me for longer than five minutes, because phone conversations are “not something you’re comfortable doing” you’re doubting my intelligence and putting your comfort ahead of mine. And both will label you as immature and totally beneath any man of class.
Now, I know there are romantic coaches telling men ‘don’t talk to women on the phone’ but I’m here to tell you…they didn’t mean never! People are busy with careers, friends, family, and other commitments so you can lose the whole ‘I‘ll just send her a text’ routine. That’s what high schoolers do and nothing a man does to woo me should remind me of an adolescent; not the way he acts, dresses, or communicates. Remember silly rabbit, tricks are for kids.
And yes, I understand talking in person is preferable to using an electronic device but if you’ll indulge me a little, in the beginning, you’re get so much more on the investment. Give a little and be willing to compromise because nothing turns a woman off quicker than inflexibility.
Talk to Me Like a Man, Not my Best Girlfriend
Don’t ask me what television shows I watch or inquire about my closest girlfriends. You’re determining if we’re compatible not auditioning to be a part of my entourage. Focus on me and not the mindless fluff women talk about to pass the time. I don’t care if you can name all of the housewives on Bravo or know the last guest Oprah interviewed. On my list of qualities I’m looking for in a man, I can’t find ‘likes similar television shows’ anywhere because it’s not a priority in couple compatibility. Now, if you choose to ignore this advice you’ll move yourself quickly into the ‘guy friend’ category. And I’ll see you more like a brother than a man I want to spend time with, then the idea of dating you exclusively will be the furthest thing from my mind. And unknowingly, I’ll start calling you to get a ‘man’s opinion’ about men I’m interested in dating because we talk all the time as ‘friends’.
Also, don’t talk about your past relationships like we’re going to bond over your revelations. We both have exs and unless one of them is picking up or dropping off your children at your house, I don’t want to know anything about her at this point. Telling me about former girlfriends or ex-wives won’t win you any points because we both know how the story goes: you were once in love with X, things got rocky with X, things ended with X, and now you’re dating again. I really have empathy for all stories of woe and heartbreak, but the first phone call with a prospective date should be comfortable, fun, and engaging. If I want to hear about love choices gone wrong, I’d call a certain Latina and ask how things are working out after she left that dancer she was seeing.
Don’t put our conversation on hold
If your other line rings, someone knocks on your door, or someone just made a game winning play on the TV, think twice before you put me on hold. (Note: The exception being your elderly mother is returning your call or your child needs you.) Busy people think placing a prospective date on hold will shows how important you are and how hectic your life is, but it really shows you have an attention span of a gnat and can’t give a woman your undivided attention. In my case, if I’m interested in a very busy man he'll always tells me the best time of day to call him. And when I call he’s ready to talk and makes sure the interruptions are little or non-existent because it’s a fact finding mission for him too and an astute man knows how to use his time wisely.
I know some men and women start conversations on the phone and then place the caller on mute so they can email, watch television, or place another quick call. They think their multitasking is fine because they can still hear the caller while they place their focus somewhere else but they’re just being rude and disrespectful. If I called you at a time when you’re busy tell me and reschedule our conversation because something else requires your immediate attention. Remember, sensible women understand a phone call can come at inopportune time, while immature girls will become indignant due to their narcissistic tunnel vision.
Remind Me of Your Attraction, Then Ask Me Out
I’ll admit it, I love when a guy reminds me how good I looked and smiled when we first met on our first phone conversation. It’s nice to hear the same sentiments said in a sexy tone meant for my ears alone. So tell women more about your first impressions and the only reason you contained yourself was because you need to know more. Every woman wants to be desired in a way that makes them feel proud to be a girl. You’re seen the way we light up like a Christmas tree at a compliment, so you can imagine how we'll act when you make us blush.
And when the conversation has that same nice banter that made you extend your number, but with a little more personal playfulness, stop it short and ask me out. Right there. Don’t lead up to it, wait for the conversation to come to an end, or talk to me for a few hours –you’re not my man yet, so it’s not required. When you’ve established again that I’m sincerely attracted to you, ask me out and my answer will confirm it. Remember, you’re directing this conversation and real men enjoy looking at women in person, so leave me wanting to continue this talk on a date.
Besides, everyone knows women have a tendency to overanalyze conversations. If you talk to me too long, I’ll replay that conversation in my mind and try to determine what type of man I’m dealing with and once I think I have you figured out it will be hard to convince me otherwise. So keep some of your mystery and let me learn more about you in person. Make me worry about impressing you with another outfit and call my best friend in excitement and talk to her all night. Let me fantasize about enjoying a memorable date with a great guy like you because you’re a catch.
The first phone call should never feel intimidating because it’s only a ten to fifteen minute conversation to establish a valid attraction and ask a woman out on a date. If a woman says something that doesn’t inspire you to ask her out then you’re under no obligation. You can thank her for the nice conversation and tell her to have a great week. But if the conversation encourages you to spend some quality time with this beauty then seal the deal and be prepared to have a great time with a woman that’s excited to see you again.
Stay confident, handsome, and otherworldly!
Hi guys, Zeus, a friend of mine extended to me a special invitation to share some of my single lady insights to his male viewership and as you know, you don’t ignore an invitation from a deity commanding thunder and lightning. (NOTE: Since his website is no longer functional I'm placing my articles on my website this week for my single male readers that want one woman's perspective on dating.)
Let me begin by saying this is the first time I’m speaking frankly about my love life online and I do so with some trepidation. I promise to be direct and honest but in return I ask for you to have an open mind and a degree of empathy for my viewpoint. I’m not a relationship guru nor do I profess to have all the answers on the inner workings of a woman’s mind. I can only give my honest opinion so you can add my contribution to your dating arsenal or just view it as light entertainment, the choice is completely yours.
Now, with that out of the way, let me set the record straight. I adore men, utterly and completely; I believe there are great men in the world searching for their better half and I’m fortunate to be able to say the majority of my past relationships were with some real quality guys. They varied from average-looking to head-turning handsome; between jobs to making six figures; reflective to charismatic; and dry-humored loners to ‘life of the party’ conversationalists. But alas, those relationships ended, like some do, for various reasons but I’m not harboring any grudges or contemplating blasting anyone reputation on the internet. Such negative energy would only sabotage my next relationship.
So as a woman with a healthy appreciation for many facades of manhood, here’s what makes me intrigued by a man approaching me for a date.
A genuine greeting at first observation
When you meet me for the first time that is when you'll know if your attracted to me or not. There’s the scent of my perfume, the shape of my body, the look in my eyes, and the way my words roll off my tongue that will either make your body take note or have no measurable reaction. It’s your job to determine what you’re feeling and let that translate into the banter of our first conversation.
Now don’t forget to observe the setting we’re in, if you run into me on my job, surrounded by my subordinates and colleagues, the words you utter should balance a delicate between letting me know I have your interest and not putting my personal life on display. Water cooler gossip about my personal life will erode my professional credibility and just like you, I value my reputation at work.
If you run into me at the gym, running errands, at church, a charity event, or a conference, I prefer your first words to be a genuine greeting not some pickup line follow by full body scan. Just say ‘Hi’ and remember you’re the one in control of the conversation because you initiated it. If the conversation progresses like an exhilarating tennis match, then I’m either: entertained, curious, or attracted to you.
This is where my answers to your questions, the inflection of my voice, and your ability to observe my body language will give you clues to my attraction. Tap into your inner Alpha male and access the situation before proceeding. If I halt the conversation quickly, don’t take it as an invitation to pursue me harder. I’m just not interested. Besides, do you really want a relationship to start with a woman that doesn’t have some physical pull towards you? That’s an uphill battle, handsome and nothing about a lady that’s meant to be your woman should be a battle.
You are single. Period.
Men, please don’t be selfish and pretend you’re single, when you’re not. If you’re interested in dating me seriously, I won’t tolerate any ‘bait and switch’, jumping through hoops, or come in second to another woman. I’m just not built that way. I know my value. Manipulating a quality woman to date you will not progress into a healthy relationship because the foundation is substandard. If you desire to date while you’re married or going through a divorce, place your focus towards women that are in the same situation and seeking the same. I personally like men that are completely single, truly want a serious relationship, and live their lives drama-free.
If you haven’t figured it out by now most women in their 30s and up, date to mate; the multiple partner arrangement is never our idea. Yes, we can be social butterflies, dress to impress and turn flirting into an art form but that’s just what makes being a girl fun. I’m the type of woman that enjoys a good conversation with anyone but when my heart and body are captured by one strong, intelligent man, I relish in being adored by him,…and him alone.
Talk about you, not your resume
If you think I’m interested in being intimate with a long list of accolades, awards, and colleague recommendations, you’re sadly mistaken. I want the man, not the persona. I’m not looking to become one of your constituents or employees, but I hope be your woman, supporter, confidante, and friend.
I don’t become threatened by a man’s success and try to emasculate him because of it. I guess that’s why powerful men find me fascinating. I can appreciate how hard you worked to achieve your success and can make you feel like a king but only if you let me see the soft underbelly of the warrior. Yes, I know that involves a lot of trust but I don’t ask for anything I’m not willing to give in return. So make my pulse race instead of my head swim by tossing your Curriculum Vitae back on your office desk.
Don’t let me take control of the conversation
I’m a woman that knows how to hold a conversation. I’m easy to talk to because I have a genuine interest in people from all aspects of life. I gain wisdom from every conversation when I’m open to being enlightened but I like it when men turn the tables and ask me things about myself that cause some introspection.
Show me that my brain matters because I wouldn’t be where I am without the intellect to back it up. Besides, if you don’t take control of the conversation I’ll take it as a slight indication that you have a laid back, go with the flow personality. If that isn’t the case, show me who you are, hold your own during our first meeting, and keep me on my toes.
If you get my number, call me
It’s not my job to pursue you, ask for your phone number, or convince you to date me. I wear stilettos instead of Nikes for a reason, handsome. Let me give you an example of what you’re up against.
For the car aficionados, you wouldn’t expect a car salesman to hard sell a Porsche Panamera GTS, would you? The fact that you’re in the showroom looking at that fine piece of machinery already denotes you want the car, can afford the price and upkeep, and are ready to see how she handles. Well I carry that metaphor over to dating, and caution men don’t step to a quality woman and expect her to sell you on her fine attributes. This is the first meeting, and the fact that your standing there talking to me for five minutes already proves this is the prelude to a possible date, not an audition or a job interview.
Remember what Chris Rock stated in his 1999 Bigger and Blacker comedy routine, guys have been pursuing women since they were teenagers so I’m not really conditioned to be overly aggressive and ask for your number. I don’t care how many groupies, ex-girlfriends, assistants, and volunteers are giving you everything, including their blood type, due to some crazed belief that there’s a short supply of good men. If you’re interested in me, be prepared to give me a way to reach you.
Now, I know that sounds like I’m being a diva, but I’m really not. I rarely give my number, due to a few stalker situations. And most career-oriented, private women prescribe to the same modus operandi so if I ever break protocol and extend my personal number, don’t take it lightly. Oh, and if you don’t call within 24 hours, don’t bother. You’ve already shown me you have other priorities that supersede getting to know me.
Plan an action date upfront
My most memorable, fun dates were the ones that involved action: the Warrior Dash in Maryland, jogging in Philadelphia, museum visits in DC, road trip to the Hamptons, or horseback riding and golfing in Jersey. When it comes to dating, everyone does dinner and a movie or some version of that formula but come on guys, conversations can take place anywhere. You can talk during a walk on the beach, a cooking lesson, a couple’s workout at the gym, tossing a freebee in the park, or climbing a rock wall. The best thing about the warmer weather is getting out and enjoying yourself.
Action dates give me a better chance of seeing how comfortable you are with your body and different surroundings. Are you apprehensive with anything physically challenging? Do you have an adventurous spirit? Do you think it’s sexy when a women’s skin glistens with perspiration? Do my pheromones turn you on?
An action date will give insights to these questions and reveal how attentive you are to me. Most men and women have mastered normal dating situations and but not action dates. Nothing reveals a person’s real character faster than taking them out of their element. Just make sure it’s not a date where a bathing suit is required. That’s just creepy for the initial dates unless you’re both surfers.
So there you have it what I like in the initial contact with a man that’s interested in me. It’s all about the way he talks, looks, and converses with me. Then he gives me a way to get in touch with him so we can talk further before he asks me out on a fun date. Please sent your questions and comments below or on my contact page and I’ll answer them right away.
Stay confident, handsome and otherworldly!
Today I'm doing a guest post at Jera's Jamboree where I'll promote my novel SOUTH BEACH and I'll give some of my insights on writing about best friends, a sisterhood by choice.
I have a confession; I’m very selective when I make a shift from acquaintance to friend with new people. Past circumstances taught me a true friendship requires an enormous amount of vulnerability, honesty, and reciprocity so I select the members of my inner circle guardedly. As an author and blogger in the Facebook age, I’ve noticed how people blur the distinctions between acquaintances and friends repeatedly. That’s why I used the platform of my second novel, SOUTH BEACH, to remind women of the definition of friendship and how to cherish their women friends.
As women move away from marriages in their early twenties and begin to work hard in their careers, you may have noticed best friends are playing a strong role that rests somewhere between constant companion and therapist. Now, an acquaintance may know surface things about you due to their regular interactions, like your colleagues at work or your neighbor next door but real friends know essence of you. Your values coincide with theirs and they won’t hesitate to stand beside you when others walk away. They know what upsets in public and how you hide behind a mask of indifference until you can shed your tears in private.
Visit Jera's Jamboree to read the rest of my post on writing about best friends.
When authors learn the craft of brand building they must be conscientious in avoiding career-defeating behaviors that will undo their hard work.
The Internet is a fantastic place to network with authors and build fan readership but it can also inundated writers with negativity and entrancing websites that shatter writing regimens. It’s important to remember writing is a business that requires professionalism. Aspiring and new authors need to foster good habits that display their integrity, talent, respect and dedication.
Implementing the following actions will show literary agents, publishers and industry insiders that you take your work serious and want to forge successful working relationships:
* Respond to email and telephone messages in a timely manner
* Voicemail recordings are free from any caller tunes or background noise
* All written correspondence is free of spelling and grammatical errors
* Punctuality for all appointments
* Refrain from industry gossip and honor confidences
* Adhere to submission guidelines when submitting your work
* Think before you speak, email or write
* Recognize and highlight people that help improve your craft
* Admit shortcomings and take responsibility for mistakes and errors
* Honor deadlines and commitments
* Be proactive in the advancement of one’s career
* Develop the skill to accept and implement constructive criticism and advice
Facebook and Twitter are wonderful interconnected ‘social networks’ but don’t let that lull you into a revealing too much personal and/or irrelevant information. Writing is a profession so act like a professional and use those sites to mostly promote, market and share information about your work. The fans will appreciate the added resource and you’ll discover an increase in their ‘tweets’ and ‘wall posts’.
How people feel about you –from editors, agents, peers and fans– directly correlates to career opportunities and reader loyalty so pride yourself in developing your professionalism. Continue to put your best foot forward and keep your career goals in mind with each interaction.
During her senior year in high school Elizabeth Ryan transforms from a slightly overweight, frizzy-haired, naïve student into a striking, perfectly coifed beauty that has no problem command male attention. This lifestyle makeover gives her the opportunity to date the boy of her dreams, Aidan Mitchell, and snag the attention of Spencer Hayes.
It sounds like the setup of a perfect New Adult novel, right? Well, if you know anything about high schoolers, their lives are FAR from perfect. In BEAUTIFUL ONE Mrs. Cope gives readers an opportunity to see how parents’ choices can have a lasting effect on their children’s actions and their relationships.
BEAUTIFUL ONE asks readers to look deeply into the characters, beyond the surface love triangle.
Elizabeth (a.k.a. Liz) is a fraternal twin that spent a lot of her overweight, high school years envying her brother, Mason’s perfect relationship with her friend Melissa. They’re the type of teens that have no problem kissing in front of their friends and when Mason’s band groupies get overzealous they laugh it off because their relationship is build on love and trust. From what can be gathered from this story, Liz, Mason and Melissa come from supportive, loving families and each teen as have a strong ideal of what a healthy relationship looks like.
On the other side of the spectrum is the background of Aidan Mitchell and Spencer Hayes. Both young men are dealing with their parents’ baggage and it colors the way they handle their responsibilities and their relationships. So when you place a beautiful, shy, compassionate girl (Liz) in between them it makes for an eventful academic year.
I really enjoyed the way Mrs. Cope layered her characters. There wasn’t a clear-cut hero or a villain. I could easily tell you the reasons you should be Team Aiden or Team Spencer because both of these young men are inherently good guys. The way this novel is written makes you feel like you’re right in high school with these students. Emotions are raw and complex as they learn more about themselves and the repercussions of their choices at the close of senior year.
This novel is clean fiction that focuses on how teenagers deal with reinventing themselves, pre-martial sex, the toxicity of controlling relationships, vehicular manslaughter, and the repercussions of parental drug abuse. It also showcases how healthy relationships will push you to be a stronger person to reach your goals (i.e. conquering shyness and tackling hard subjects to improve your GPA).
Mrs. Cope created beautifully flawed characters determined to live by their own rules. She makes readers feel like they’ve stepped into the lives of the teenagers surrounding a budding Indie-Alternative California band.
Everything about this first installment was perfect. I love the relationships, the second chance, the misunderstandings, and the tender kisses. The characters are so well developed that by the end of the novel you’ll feel like you know them personally.
I’m looking forward to the other books in this series and I highly recommend BEAUTIFUL ONE for all New Adult readers.
Mary Cope is a first time author with Astraea Press. Her book, BEAUTIFUL ONE, is the first in a planned trilogy. She is currently writing the sequel, BEAUTIFUL MESS.
Mary enjoys spending time with her family, baking, listening to music and taking long walks with her yellow lab, Maggie.
You can learn more about Mary at her website, marycopeauthor.com.
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Today I'm doing a guest post at Romance Me where I'll promote my novel SOUTH BEACH and I'll give some of my insights on secret admirers.
In my novel SOUTH BEACH Gray Ryley has a secret crush on his colleague and friend Laila Sheridan and it’s very hard to deal with working so closely with her. He keeps things very professional at work, so no one knows his secret but he wrestles with trying to control the urge to kiss her and make her his own.
Secret admirers have been in the news a lot recently because of unstable people taking things too far and actually letting their behavior cross over into stalking. This has led to people wondering if secret admirers are creepy or romantic. Here’s some sound advice for anyone wishing to anonymously express their interest in someone in the hope that they will discover someone likes them...
Visit Romance Me to read the rest of my post on how to deal with professing your feelings to someone and how to deal with having a secret admirer.
Today I'm doing a guest post at Christine's Words where I'll promote my novel SOUTH BEACH and I'll give some of my insights on how you can stop sabotaging your chance to be loved by a real man.
Infatuation is heart pounding and exhilarating, dating is fun and breathtaking, but committing to loving someone can be a little terrifying if you’re doing it right.
In my novel, SOUTH BEACH, Gary Ryley believes Laila Sheridan plays too many love games to be capable of loving a real man. He’s watched her pick the wrong types of men to date, flirt with countless number of others, while always keeping the vulnerable parts of herself hidden from view. It’s the classic stance of the commitment-phobic and it takes a lot of people to make her understand saying you want true love and actually being ready for it are two different things.
With summer love in the air, most singles are gearing up to take another approach to finding ‘the one’ and I’m here to give you some tips so you can stop sabotaging your chance to be love by a man that worthy of you.
Visit Christine's Words to read the rest of my post on how to increase your chances to be loved by a real man.
Today I'm doing a guest post at What Readers Want where I'll promote my novel SOUTH BEACH and I'll highlight the AMB Ovation Awards (The Angie), an award that recognizes outstanding achievements in the multicultural romance literary profession.
Unlike traditional awards that carry more romance industry notoriety, like the RITA, I founded a fan-based platform to increase awareness of the growth of the Multicultural/Interracial/African-American romance genres. These reader-based awards serve to remind writers their fans appreciate their efforts.
Visit the What Readers Want website to read the rest of my post about the Angie Award.
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