Tag Archives: Contempooary Romance

On #bingewatching, #beingcool, and #Millennials

I used to consider myself one of the “cool” people. Really. I did. I was always up on pop culture so I could talk to any age group; my daughter’s friends always asked me questions, opinions, and actually liked sleepovers in our house. They valued my opinion.  I was relatively thin ( for a few years!) and dressed in all the new season’s styles every year.

But something changed and I don’t know when it happened…

Let me esplain it, Lucy.

I was binge watching the E! show So Cosmo about the lives, loves, and careers of twenty-something millennials who all work at COSMOPOLITAN magazine.

I wanted to watch because I wanted to get a “feel” for what millennials are up to these days, to – maybe- use in my writing. I know about women in their 40’s and 50’s but I write about younger gals, so I thought I’d use this show as a sort of reference for putting my finger on the pulse of today’s woman.

What’s that saying about the best laid plans?? Yeah, not so much.

The basic plot line of the show involves the magazine’ surprising turnover of its Editor in Chief Joanna Coles to a new editor. Joanna is 2 years younger than myself ( me, 56; her, 54) and is a powerful, assertive, smart smart smart woman in an industry that has been typically defined and run by men: publishing. She brought COSMO  to the number one magazine women buy – both in trade ink copy and e-zine – during her tenure. To say she is a woman who gets things done and has her finger on the pulse of the Cosmo “girl,” is true. For the purpose of disclosure, Joanna was offered a new position with the Hearst organization ( the parent company of Cosmo) – a much more powerful position, which is why she was leaving Cosmo. You go, girl!

As I started watching the show I was quickly invested in the lives of the cast – all 20 and early 30 somethings. Most of them were single ( one was married with a kid), lived in Manhattan and took full advantage of city living by going out most nights to “party” and de-stress. Now, when I was their age (a millennia ago!) “party” meant literally that. Have a party to celebrate something. Apparently, it doesn’t mean the same thing anymore and this is where I realized my cool moniker was starting to shift.

By the third show I realized I was not only NOT cool anymore, I wasn’t going to be again in this lifetime if this was the yardstick to measure cool-dom by! I didn’t even understand most of the references the cast was using about fashion, life, and relationships. COSMO prides itself on being the voice of female empowerment and I totally buy that.  The Cosmo girl is billed as successful, smart, and sexy; able to live life to the fullest with no regrets, and the women in this cast are. Their purpose is to advise, counsel, and acquaint women on a myriad of topics relating to life, love, career, and finances.

But as I watched this show and the lives of its cast unfold, I began to realize that female empowerment does not mean the same thing to all women. For instance, the word “party” again. To some of the cast women it meant – basically – going out and getting as drunk as they could in an effort to unwind from the stress of their work lives. In the next breath, during the cast interviews, they would say they were living the dream life. So why then, is their work life so stressed they need to get drunk to unwind from it?
See what I’m saying?

They also look at relationships in a much different way than I thought. It’s cool now ( apparently) to hook up ( another word that doesn’t mean what it used to!)  with a series of people randomly, casually, and with no strings attached until you find one you may want to stay with…for a while. Maybe. Cosmo millennials don’t appear to view that whole Happily Ever After with a single mate concept as a  valid thing.

Okay, so now I am not only NOT cool, my whole existence for being -writing the HEA – isn’t ( apparently) relevant!

Before you write me scathing letters, hating me for trashing an entire generation of millennials,  know this: I realize this is just one little “reality” show on a network known for scripted reality shows. My daughter is a millennial who happens to live in Manhattan and I know she and her friends – who are all successful, smart women – don’t think and act in the typical Cosmo Girl fashion portrayed in this show.

Believe me – I get it!

It doesn’t erase the fact that I am no longer cool,  though!

When I’m not bemoaning my lack of cool, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

The San Valentino family…

My very first Christmas Romance Book, A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS  has just hit the proverbial shelves and I am over the moon! I love love love the San Valentino family and am so happy I could tell Gia’s story in time to share for the holidays. Her sister Chloe’s story was told in the Valentines Day Candy Hearts book, 3 WISHES, and ever since then I’ve been dying to give Gia her own happily ever after story.
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Like the San Valentino’s, I was raised in a large Italian/American family.  I need to put a disclaimer in here: I am 100% Irish. My parents divorced and my step-father was of Italian heritage, so it was his large family I grew up in. Many of the traditions and family experiences I write about in A Kiss… I actually experienced  through interacting with my step-family. The difference between my book’s stories and my real life is varied, but let’s just say the San Valentino clan are a lot more loving than the family I grew up with. A lot more.

The San Valentino’s revere family. To them, it is first, last and always. From the way the entire family gathers every Sunday after Mass to eat, to the way they each weave and inveigle their way into each other’s lives and “businesses”, this is a family that would do anything for one another. And when I say anything, believe me. I mean it. From getting you that sold-out, unattainable , everyone’s gotta have it this year Christmas toy, to helping you remove a business associate who’s become a pain in the neck. And when I say remove I mean it in the truest sense of the word – you never saw or heard from them again!

The San Valentino’s are true loyalists with matriarch Nonna Constanza leading the family and keeping the old country traditions alive. They never leave the house without first kissing the picture of the current smiling Pontiff on the wall next to the front door. They cook everything from scratch. You will never see a processed food box, or a commercial jar of sauce or gravy in their cupboards. Mama and Nonna even bake the bread the family enjoys every day at every meal. Natural produce, farm grown vegetables and meats from a traditional butcher are the only food allowed to be served in their home. The one concession they give is to dessert, which they purchase from 95 year old Pappa Pontevecchio, who’s owned Pontevecchio’s Bakery for over 65 years. Even Nonna admits his pizzelle are so much more flavorful than her own.

Gia, as the baby in the family – a term she will forever be known as even though she is 24 – wants a life of her own with a man who loves her and bambini she can spoil. Her family wants this for her too, but they go about introducing her to the kind of men a 21st century woman runs in the other direction from: no-neck wise guy wannabes with old world thoughts on wives – namely the pregnant and barefoot kind! Gia loves her family, but wants a man who will see her as an equal in every way. When she meets Tim Santini, a man who seems to fit her fantasy in every way, a misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something other than the man of her dreams. Their story is the basis for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS.

I hope you enjoy reading about the San Valentino family as much as I did writing about them.

When  I’m not writing, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Editors, Friends, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor