Saturday, May 13, 2017

#ChickLitMay Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

Congratulations Kathy Davis, the grand prize winner of the Kindle Paperwhite!  The Book Boyfriend Blog Hop is now closed. 


GRAHAM BLENDERMAN here, asking for your vote for Book Boyfriend 2017!  You may remember me from such adventures as Cruising to Bermuda with my Neurotic Future In-Laws, or Getting Hitched at a Retirement Community Before Nearly Falling into a Sinkhole.


Wearer of flamboyant shirts? Inventor of iPhone fart apps? Plays Fur Elise like an angel?

I’m hearing nothing but crickets out there. Geez. You ladies must've been too hung up reading about the broody, silent types to take any notice of me. You were off drooling over shirtless billionaires with helicopters and traumatic pasts, while I was over here wrangling the love of my life’s elderly parents onto a pair of Jet Skis. That’s cool. I’m not offended. It’s not like I dressed up as The Beast and waltzed my fiancee around an enchanted castle or anything. Speaking of which, at least my lovely wife has been paying attention. She’s the one who nominated me for this Book Boyfriend deal.

At least, I think it was her. There’s a slight chance that it was Francine, or Janice, or maybe even Nadine. Or Lana. Heck, I suppose it could have been Flavio. Although, that might violate the terms of the restraining order.

What’s that? You hear the words 'restraining order' and now your interest is piqued? Now you’re thinking I sound like a hot ticket? Perhaps the cartoonish looking fellow on the purple scooter isn’t so lame after all. I’ve got abs, too, you know. And money. I just don’t feel the need to flaunt them all over Amazon.
I saw your eyes flicker up to the red X. You’re thinking there might be a shirtless dude on the next blog. Go ahead. Just know that beneath my shirt lies not an emotionally tortured Navy Seal with a paralyzing fear of commitment, but a one-woman man with a pretty standard fear of heights. Beneath my shirt lies not a meth addicted ex-rock star with trust issues, but a devoted husband who's seen Sharknado fifteen times, and twice in the theater. 

I'm GRAHAM BLENDERMAN, and I'd appreciate your vote. 

Thank you! 

**To vote for Graham, please email your vote to**

To enter to win the Grand Prize of a Kindle Paperwhite, plus 30 e-books from participating authors (I will be giving away a copy of Summer at Sea), hop to all the stops listed below, collect a candidate's name from each stop, then submit all 30 names to!

Entries for the hop will be accepted until Sunday, May 21st at midnight E.D.T. A winner will be chosen on Monday, May 22nd. This Grand Prize giveaway is open internationally.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Celebrating Indie Authors

What better time than the first annual Indie Author Day (October 8th!) to post what may be my last post as Secretary4Life? It’s true! As of this past June...


As of this past June, I am no longer required to do any of the following:

1) Order lunches for people whom I couldn’t care less about whether or not they eat.

2) Sit at my desk reading a book for 3 hours straight until, at 4:57pm, someone finally comes over with work for me to do. 

3) Listen to people cough and fart from the other side of a thin gray wall.


Okay, I can't think of a fourth thing.  Ever since I left work, I've pretty much forgotten every thing that ever happened there.  But, just look at this post of mine from December, 2009:

Thanks to indie publishing, I no longer have to be a miserable secretary pretending to be a writer. Thanks to indie publishing—and Kindle Direct Publishing in particular—I was able to make my books available to thousands of readers, receive an overwhelmingly positive response, and leave my secretarial job to become a real, non-miserable (but still coffee-addicted) full-time writer!

Let’s take a look at what I was up to in August, 2009:

Thrilling, true.  But look at where I am in October, 2016:

Thanks to indie publishing, instead of dealing with this...

...I get to work from the comfort of my freezing cold home office (until I'm making J.K. Rowling kinda money, I'm not allowed to crank up the heat).  Indie publishing has changed the lives of so many writers, and given us so many opportunities that did not exist ten years ago.  It's an amazing time to be a writer, and I encourage anybody with a dream of seeing their work published to not give up.

On that note, I also encourage you to go to Amazon where they are celebrating #PoweredByIndie for the month of October, and check out some of these other indie authors.

Please also stop by Kathryn Biel's awesome Pinterest board for Indie Book Day 2016!

Friday, July 17, 2015


I have hair issues.  They go back to 7th grade when I brushed and blow dried my perm every morning until it looked something like this:

While my perm days are behind me (physically behind me...emotionally, they're here to stay), the fact that there is still hair on my head means that my troubles are far from over.  My hair is neither straight nor curly.  I have a widow's peak.  I have bangs that exist to hide my widow's peak.  My neither straight nor curly hair frizzes and curls to 3 times its normal size the second that it interacts with rain, drizzle, fog, the beach, water rides, the splash zone at Sea World, misting booths, or children with water guns. 

If you come near with me with a Super Soaker, I will punch you.

I can't wear a hat in wet or humid weather because:

A) I would look like this:

B) Once a hat goes on my head, it's there to stay. You can't mash a bunch of sweaty bangs down under a hat all day and then take it off in order to pose for - oh, let's say, your UMass freshman ID card - and expect to look fantastic.  No, you come out looking a little something like this:

The reason I'm on this subject is because I'm heading to Orlando in August, and am planning how I'm going to handle eight days worth of frizzy hair/curly bangs hell.  Last night I tried embracing the widow's peak by pulling my bangs back with hairpins.  I'd spent some time online reading people's opinions about how beautiful and unique they are.  Just look at Fran Drescher, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kourtney Kardashian!  Yes!  I too can be a beautiful widow's peak person!

I came out of the bathroom and my 5 year old son said, "Is that how you're going to look on vacation?" 

Hairpins out.

Plan B is one of these cordless, rechargeable, mini flat irons that I can whip out in the Magic Kingdom ladies' room after either one trip down Splash Mountain, or one rain shower.  The battery charge won't last long enough for both. 

I know I sound very superficial, and it's just hair, and who really cares.  But come on.  We're talking about curly bangs here.

Curly. Bangs. 

No thank you.

If a genie granted me three wishes they would be

1) Make there be an Earl of Sandwich in Central Massachusetts.

2) Make my cats stop throwing up.

3) Make my hairline straight so I can pull it back without looking like Count Chocula.

When I think of all the time I've wasted worrying about my hair, and then I think of all the bald men out there laughing their asses off as they run in slow motion through waterfalls (that's what they do, right?), I could cry.

But I can't cry.  The tears would do a number on my hair.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

It's here!

My second novel is now for sale on Amazon!

Four jackets of varying weights, enough socks for the entire Confederate Army, three umbrellas, most of the antacid aisle from the local pharmacy, and six pairs of old people sneakers that all look exactly the same.

Have you ever helped your parents pack for a weeklong cruise?

No? I didn't think so. So shut it.

So begins vacation for Summer Hartwell - twenty-six years old, living with her anxiety-ridden parents, and unwillingly booked by her brother on a weeklong cruise to Bermuda. Despite the nightmare of being trapped aboard a cruise ship with Mom and Dad, Summer sees a rare opportunity to fulfill The Prophecy – her mother’s declaration that she will live at home until she gets married. With two thousand passengers onboard, at least one of them must be husband material, right? 

The only problem is Graham Blenderman – her brother’s best friend who is joining them for the week, in all of his tall, blonde, extroverted glory. Graham doesn’t believe Summer needs a husband in order to break free from her parents. He thinks she just needs a little bit of nerve. And to Summer’s introverted horror, he’s willing to spend the entire week proving that he’s right. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

If Spongebob Worked In An Office (ok, my office)

When you've been bored out of your mind for the past six hours, with nobody even asking you for so much as a photocopy, and are approached at 4:55 p.m. with something that needs to be done immediately:

When somebody is coughing and sneezing and really should just go the hell home already:

When the email comes in that _____________ (insert name from above), will be out sick today:

When you've spent the past three hours copying and pasting text from a PDF into a Word document and fixing all the words that came over like this:  I !0\/e My j0b..`\  And you are finally finished:

Only to have them tell you, "Never mind, we didn't actually need that."

And then later, when the initial rage has passed and you realize that yes, this is really your career:

When you've worked here for 10 years and somebody asks you, in all seriousness, if you know how to fax/fed ex/scan something:

The few seconds after someone with an absolutely ridiculous name calls in and you're debating how in the hell you're going to announce it over the PA system:

And that moment when you realize it's 5:00 on a Friday (even if we don't get Columbus Day off):

See ya. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tikker Life Countdown Watch

As if it's not bad enough wasting 8 hours a day sitting in a cubicle, imagine doing it with one of these babies from Sky Mall strapped to your wrist:

Terrific!  Sure it's good to live life and make the most of the time that we have - I just don't think having the equivalent of a bandana-wearing-twenty-three-year-old-backpacker constantly shouting"YOLO!" in my face is the best way to go about it.  Also, I can't see that it's good to, like, constantly think about the minutes of your life ticking away.  They make medication for that kind of behavior.  And I mean, if you're getting shit done just so you can cross it off a list before you croak, and you're less than ninety-two years old and not in possession of a terminal illness, that's pretty morbid.  Imagine the anxiety. 

Imagine doing the dishes or the laundry with one of these things on?  I'm not talking about getting it wet either.  I'm talking about the thoughts that it will cause to run through your head: 


This watch might actually make you kill yourself.  The funny thing is that the free spirits taking selfies in front of Big Ben aren't wearing this damn thing.  No it's going to be on the wrist of some sap trapped in a cubicle.  Because if the sap trapped in his cubicle had the means and the freedom to do all of that YOLO kind of crap, he would already be doing it.  Trust me, we would all be doing it.

And maybe one should get shit done because it feels good to get shit done, and not because one is in a weirdo, self-inflicted, anxiety-inducing, race against the clock. You will literally have a clock. On your wrist. Calculating when you're going to die.

That sounds fun.

Can't wait til Christmas, Sky Mall.  Hope you've got a good return policy.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

And you thought swimsuit season was rough...

Well it’s almost that time of year again - time for the stores to start selling skimpy, role-playing, lingerie outfits under the guise of being Halloween costumes. Time to tack the word sexy in front of even the most un-sexy of concepts in order to sell shitty costumes to women with low self-esteem: Sexy Ice Cream Truck Driver, Sexy Big Bird, and my personal favorite of the day, Sexy Ursula:

I’m sorry, Sassy Ursula. Now, in case you forgot, here is what Ursula actually looks like:

Ursula, according to Wikipedia, is an “obese, lavender-skinned, white-haired female human with a facial mole, but from the waist down she has six black tentacles."

Well I’ll be. I always said that if ever there was a character destined to become a slutted-up Halloween costume, it was Ursula the half human/half octopus sea witch from the Little Mermaid. No doubt.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should all dress up like this:

Or this:

Even though those are totally lovely costumes.  And okay fine, this one isn’t too terrible, aside from the poor choice of shoes.  You're a Ninja Turtle for Christ sake, save the black pumps for the Naughty Secretaries.  A thigh-high brown suede boot would have been a better choice:

But then we have the likes of this:

And this:

Googling the words “sexy Halloween costume” simply takes you to lingerie sites that have slapped a “halloween” tag onto all of their usual inventory. The above picture I found on a site called “Forplay."  Cute.  Nothing says Halloween party like bobbing for apples and gratuitous nipple exposure.

I also found this:

Notice the clever placement of the trident.  I'm willing to bet this little number is available in crotchless.

Look, I know I'm 35 years old, live in the suburbs, and on Halloween night wear a black Columbia fleece and a pair of Sketchers that I've had since, literally, 1997.  But where in bloody hell are other people wearing these costumes?  If you count up all the websites selling these things, there have got to be millions of these costumes taking up space on planet Earth, all in those cheap plastic bags with the snaps.  But there can't possibly be that big of a market for them. I've been to Halloween parties, even when I was younger, and people just don't show up in this shit.  Frat parties?  Probably.  Smart idea, by the way.  Beverly Hills?  Yeah I can see that.  That gross older couple down the street who you've always suspected were swingers?  Most likely.

Anyway, moving on to my next point.  Why do women’s Halloween costumes MAKE NO FUCKING SENSE?

Take this one:

Your classic Sexy Eskimo.  A total idiot.  You know what keeps you warm in the North Pole, ladies? Pants. And not being in a perpetual state of about to suggestively lick a popsicle.  Want to see a man's eskimo costume?  Here:

He's holding a dead fish.  And he's covered head to toe like, you know, he has a brain. Let's try this again.  Women's firefighter costume:

Looks like it's got a good thermal layer.  Those fishnets should hold up well in the event of a backdraft.  And here we have a man's firefighter costume:

Ah, what does it matter.  I have one child and he's a boy.  Speaking of him, a few years ago he dressed up like Nemo.  You know, the fish with one big fin and one small fin, and a tail and all that.  

Oh, yes, here it is:

Crap, that's not right. 

Anyway.  Here's a woman's Luigi costume:

And a man's:

Sigh.   Granted, not many women would want to go out in public wearing those overalls, but how does that translate to Luigi donning a pair of thigh-high white stockings?  This is what he thinks of that:

Me too, Luigi.  Me too.