Monthly Archives: October 2020

Tarot Tuesday! Pick Your Card!

It’s been so hard to get around to these posts lately! I hurt my back a few weeks ago, and that left me barely getting through the day for about a week. Things are on the mend now, and it’s time to get back down to business. Let’s pick some cards for the week!

This card is from the Sacred Traveler Oracle deck by Denise Linn. In a time when many of us are faced with being stuck indoors or unable to travel, this is a great deck to help us think about new places as we work on our inner selves.

Choose the card from the picture below that calls to you the most (1, 2, or 3). If you have a question in mind, ask it. Let your heart and mind guide you.

Are you ready? Scroll down to find your card!

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#1 – Protected by Angels: You need to know that there are always angelic forces guiding your path. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, you’re heading in the right direction and constantly being guided. You simply need to be open, and you’ll feel their presence. You may even find physical evidence of this guidance in the form of a feather.

A secondary meaning for this card is that you are the healing, angelic force in someone else’s life.

#2 – Begin Now: It’s time to start that journey that’s been on your mind! This isn’t necessarily a physical journey, though it could be. Let go of anything that’s holding you back, and understand that you often have to let go of the old to bring in the new. You’ll never know what’s waiting out there for you unless you go find out for yourself!

#3 – Miracles: Something exciting and majestic is just waiting to happen in your life! Keep in mind that a miracle can take any number of forms. The more you pay attention to even the tiniest phenomena, the more you’ll see around you. Life itself is a miracle and a reason for celebration, so revel in the glory of it and know that bigger and better things are coming your way!

What card did you choose? What did it mean for you and the week ahead? I’d love to know!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Filed under Tarot and Oracle Cards

Contemplations on Romance as a Genre

I did a book review a while back on a Nora Roberts book. Someone left a rather snide remark on the shared post on my Facebook page, basically saying I was wrong for enjoying the book. I’ve thought about it a lot since then.

Romance as a genre is often thought about as smut for lonely moms that’s poorly written. I’ve caught myself thinking the same as I read for research. (Despite my passion for dragons and fantasy, most of my freelance work involves ghostwriting romance.) I’ve got plenty of books on the shelf from library book sales or that have been passed on by friends, and I dove into them expecting them to be terrible. I’ve actually found there are some really great stories between those cheesy covers.

Obviously, there’s got to be sort of appeal to the boy-meets-girl story. Even in action movies, the guy has to get the girl at the end, right? I personally find Die Hard to be an incredibly romantic story.

Perhaps the problem isn’t with romantic notions but in marketing. Current romance covers have changed quite a bit, no doubt in an effort to be appealing as a thumbnail for digital purchases. Shana Galen‘s books are an excellent example. I admit I always found the classic covers to be pretty amusing, with Fabio’s hair blowing in the wind and a simpering woman in a gauzy dress groveling at his feet. It’s corny, and it invites potential readers to judge the book by its cover. But hey, if you’re looking to get swept away by a romantic story, I guess that cover says it all!

I think we could also tackle the rather unhealthy relationships that are, well, romanticized in the genre. A couple who doesn’t communicate well enough to admit they’re crazy about each other can’t really have a happily-ever-after, can they? And why wouldn’t any reasonable woman run screaming for the hills when the man who’s so interested in her is known for being dangerous, either physically or mentally? I’ve thought a lot about whether romance creates unrealistic expectations. It might, but I think it’s also important for us to consider that real-life people aren’t perfect. You’ll find any number of people in the world who are bad with money or lose their temper or who suck at communicating or who leave their dirty socks on the floor, and yet they still manage to find The One. Maybe the romances we’re reading about are just far more relatable than we’d like to admit.

If you’re offended by the romance genre because of the sex, then I suggest you sell your television, cut up your library card, and trade your smartphone in for an old-fashioned flip phone. It’s everywhere. I’ve seen ‘worse’ stuff in music videos than I’ve read in some novels. In fact, most romance novels are about the emotional connection instead of explicit bedroom scenes. Sex is used as a marketing tool for men all the time, so what’s the problem if it’s marketed toward women? Would a cheap romance novel be an unacceptable marketing tool for a woman who has a lot of cooking and cleaning to do?

I certainly don’t have all the answers on this, but it’s something to think about. If you think romance novels are terrible, you might want to read a few and give them a fair shake. (Suggestions below) If you have read them and still hate them, then maybe just scroll along and let someone else enjoy the genre. It isn’t as though romance is going away any time soon!

For historical romance, try Shana Galen and Susie Murphy.

For something more modern, Nora Roberts is always a good start.

For fantasy romance, try Susan Carroll or J.R. Ward.

Who’s your favorite romance author, book, or series? I’d love to know!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Filed under Book Reviews, On Writing