Friday, February 16, 2018

Silence

I’ve hesitated to write anything about the Parkland shooting because I don’t have a right. It’s not my tragedy. It’s a national tragedy and we all feel awful, but I’m not the parent of any of the students. I’m not a teacher in the school. And writing about it, up until now, has seemed like jumping on the bandwagon and trying to get attention.

That’s not me.

But the thing is, I don’t talk when I’m upset, I write. And not writing about this is worse for me than the chance that someone will think less of me for doing something I shouldn’t.

I’m not a parent of a Parkland student. But I am the parent of someone whose best camp friend goes to Parkland. I watched as my daughter received real-time texts while her friend was in hiding. And I am the friend of another set of parents whose children were inside the building. All three kids were physically unharmed. I know them all and I am grateful.

I can’t imagine how any of the parents felt. I can’t imagine what that experience was like. But I do know how I feel and I’m in a strange limbo right now. Watching the news and scanning the faces of the children escaping the school—looking for specific faces—is very different from the horrified curiosity of the rest of the nation. Texts were read to me, and I had to help my child deal with the sudden silence of no texts. It makes the experience more intimate. At the same time, I have the luxury of distance. It wasn’t my child I was searching for as the news loops played the same video over and over again. I can, for a time, forget.

But that distance? It’s really not far. I know those three kids. I played with two of them as babies. I’ve hosted one of them in my home for weekend visits. I’ve hugged one at camp. And I’m raw, even now.

That rawness is making me understand a little bit the desire not to discuss how to stop these tragedies, that’s it’s “not the time.” Don’t get me wrong—any politician saying this should be trashed right now, right away (and behind the scenes, I’m doing it—the time for grace is long past). But in this age of social media, a lot of the information I relied on came from updates posted by my friends as a way of reaching the hundreds of people who had concern for their children.

As I scrolled through my feed, it was physically painful to see other people’s vitriol. Not that it isn’t justified. I get it. I really do. This country needs gun control and we needed it yesterday (countless yesterdays, actually). But the last thing I wanted to see were photos from the scene, graphic cartoons, guns. I needed some time and space to heal. I still do.

Yet I have no right to complain. They’re not my children. I should be focusing on mine, on helping her deal with this tragedy that could have been so much worse. So that’s what I’m doing. And maybe that’s how we fix this. Because if the tragedy only affects those directly in its path, little will get done. They are in mourning and shock. But the rest of us, we need to make sure someone does something. And soon.

Yes, this post is about me. And some will think I’m selfish for writing about myself when others are so clearly hurting—I’ll be judging myself as soon as I hit “publish,” trust me. But if it takes a village to raise a child, then when the child is hurt, the village suffers.

As it should.

Silence doesn’t help. And even though I, personally, haven’t been able to stomach the current anger, I’ll get there. As much as I’d like time to breathe and recover, I know that’s not right for everyone else.

So please, somebody do something. And keep doing it, so that the rest of us, as soon as we are able, can join in.




Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Release of Don't Let Him Go

Please welcome Kay Harris on her release day!

I am grateful to be here on the release date of “Don’t Let Him Go.” This is my sixth novel, but the first one being published, and I am thrilled the The Wild Rose Press is making this dream come true for me.

“Don’t Let Him Go” is an opposites attract, contemporary, multicultural romance that takes place in the stunning setting of San Francisco. While I have always been inspired to write romance novels by my sincere admiration for the depth of human relationships and the strength of the human heart, this particular story has its own unique journey to being written.

While the characters in my novels tend be different from one another in many ways, the idea of people who appear on the surface to be opposites but are at the center one, comes from my own love story.

Even our closest friends are surprised that my husband and I found one another. But while the differences in our heights, our demeanors, and even our choices in careers seem to be so vastly divergent, deep down we are one soul separated at birth and reunited at last.

So it should come as no surprise that I finally wanted to address in writing this dynamic in relationships where people appear on the outside to be mismatched puzzle pieces when in fact they are a perfect fit. In today’s climate, this seemed all the more poignant. 

Candace is a conservative-minded corporate lawyer. All she ever wanted was to leave behind her hippy parents and make a life filled with a large salary, nice apartment, and regal career. An assignment at her brand new dream job slams her into constant contact with Jack Morrison. In a rebellion of his own Jack rejects his family’s business and wealth. He strikes out by starting a non-profit that fights his father’s corporate greed.

Opposing goals, dichotomous worldviews, and jobs to be done that run in direct conflict to one another—none of this will stop Candace and Jack from finding the common soul they share.


I hope you will take the opportunity to dive into the story of this unlikely couple. Thank you for your time and happy reading!

Release date: February 14, 2018
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural Romance
Length: Novel
Series: I Want Morrison (Book 1)


Blurb:
Candace Gleason passed the bar, landed a great job, and is making a killer salary--basically, all of her dreams are coming true. Until she’s assigned to keep the boss’s petulant son out of trouble.
Jack Morrison is the rebellious black sheep of a mighty real estate family. He runs a nonprofit whose mission is to save poor people from evil corporations, like the one his own family owns. He is obnoxious, ridiculously charming, and insanely hot. He is the bane of Candace’s very existence.  
Sparks fly from the moment they meet.  Candace suddenly has more to worry about than keeping Jack out of jail. She has to keep him out of her heart.

Excerpt:
I folded my arms across my chest and glared at Jack as he moseyed into the room. “You ambushed me.”
Jack came to a stop a few feet away and nodded. “I did.”
“That’s it?” I spread my arms out and leaned forward. My voice rose despite my effort to control it. “That’s all you have to say?”
“What do you want me to say? You’re smart. You can see what I did back there. I used you for my own gain.”
“You’re a prick!”
“I’m not surprised you feel that way. But I am sorry you had to get caught in the crossfire.” He moved to the couch and took a seat in the middle of it, purposefully giving me the high ground.
He slung his arms over the back of the couch casually, making him look like an arrogant ass. And that is exactly what I thought of him at that moment. So I called him on his supposed apology. “Are you?”
“Yes, I am. But you’re not innocent, Candie. You put yourself in this position by going to work for Morrison.”
“It’s Candace!” I shouted, on the edge of insanity.
He didn’t respond. He just looked at me with that infuriatingly handsome face and waited, an amused grin dancing on his face.
Buy Links:
THE WILD ROSE PRESS: http://bit.ly/2EQeBHj

Social Media Links:

Author Bio:

Kay Harris has had a diverse career with jobs ranging from college professor to park ranger. Now she adds author to her repertoire. Kay writes romance novels that contain a little bit of sweet, a dash of sexy, a touch of heartbreak, and a whole lot of fun! 

Kay grew up in the Midwest and has since lived all over the western United States including Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. She loves to hike, is obsessed with museums, and enjoys taking her extremely tall and very handsome husband on adventures.



Monday, February 12, 2018

Sorority Life

So, the Princess is rushing. Actually, I’m told the correct term at this point is new member education, since she’s already been accepted into a sorority.

As you can tell, I’m not a sorority person. When you’ve been bullied as a kid, the last thing you want to do is be in an organization run by girls whose goal is to judge you—at least, that was my impression at the time and it’s why I chose to join APO, a co-ed service fraternity whose goal was to help others. If you could perform service projects, you were in. But I digress.

The Princess has loved the idea of sororities probably since she watched her first movie that had them as characters. She applied to colleges where they were a part of the social life and told us she planned to rush. I didn’t like the idea, but I wasn’t about to lay my fears on her.

And, the more she told me about her thought process, the more impressed I was. As she went to open houses and then through rush, she evaluated the girls based on their personalities. She was drawn to the houses where the girls weren’t cookie-cutters of each other. And she eliminated sororities based on their philanthropy—were they serious about helping or were they just going through the motions.

She ended up getting a bid from the sorority she wanted to join even before she started rushing, and she’s happy. Very happy. The girls are nice, there’s no hazing, and although they are putting her through a lot of requirements that seem silly to me, she’s bonding with her sorority sisters and having a lot of fun.

Now my biggest problem is remembering their names. Because I am TERRIBLE at remembering names, especially of people I don’t see all the time. Both of my girls can go on for hours making fun of me for not remembering the names of their camp friends, or being unable to identify them in pictures (trust me, I have other good qualities, but remembering names is not even in my top ten*). She’s been calling and texting daily telling me about all the girls she's gotten to know. It's a big sorority and there are a lot of girls. That means a lot of names. As far as I can tell, the only thing saving me so far is that apparently most of these girls’ parents chose their daughters names from the Top 10 lists of their birth year. So really, I only have to remember about 10-12 different names. Out of about 50, that’s not too bad!




*You might think I use “Princess” or “Banana Girl” to protect their identities. Could be. Also could be I can’t remember their actual names. ;)