Renee Bernard

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm Taking "The Boys" on the Road!

Renee Bernard
Controversy abounds as I face the inevitable...I have to take "the boys" on the road when I travel to my parents for the holidays. Of course, the boys go with me everywhere but things are different now.

I should clarify right away that while some women refer to their breasts as "the twins" or "the girls", I have always called mine "the boys". Because while the grass is always greener on the other side, I've had them since I was eleven, they are mostly a hassle (i.e. 'No, Victoria's Secret doesn't have your size, ma'am.' and 'Ummm, my eyes are up here, guy!') So, somehow, "the boys" just seems more appropriate.

Anyway, flash forward to now. A woman was asked a few weeks ago to step off of a plane for breastfeeding. Big fuss, and the inevitable flurry of protests and apologies...no big deal most people would say. Except now I'm eyeing my plane tickets and praying for mercy...because my daughter is coming with and as you guessed, 'the boys' play a Critical Role in her nutritional intake. (aka the Only Role to date.) And while the normal person doesn't have to worry... I'm never that lucky. "The Boys" are hard to hide, and juggling a wriggling baby, a pillow, aforementioned boob and then the socially required shawl/blanket/scarf is...well, a challenge. Last time we attempted a public feeding (it was an emergency) at a public park, I believe we did more entertaining of the crowd than anything else. I kept trying to picture all these serene pairings of woman with child during a tender moment, and instead probably looked like a woman determined to lose a wrestling match topless to a ten pounder with attitude.

sigh. Beyond modest, it is my lot in life to face the inevitable. It's not a political statement. It's sustenance for my daughter. I'm a first time mom and while other women seem to be able to feed their babies and balance a book on their heads, I've never been that graceful. And so, here it comes. It's inevitable that this won't go as smoothly as I'm hoping and you know what they say about 'good intentions'. Odds are high I'm going to sit next to someone openly displeased with the two of us (or is it the four of us?)

I'm blushing already. But she's worth it. So, if you're the unhappy soul sitting next to us on the plane, glaring at me, baby and the boys--what can I say? "Excuse me, could you hold this scarf for me?" Or should I throw caution to the winds? "Got milk?"

mercy.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

First Booksigning

Renee Bernard

And speaking of torture... Okay, it wasn't that bad. Not bad at all. A lovely Friday evening in my favorite local bookstore, Hidden Passages, chips, cheese rolls, a vegetable plate, wine and even a cake (the store owner made it with flames coming off of my book title...it was just too funny!) Oh, yes. And me. Digging in my heels and refusing to read a single paragraph out loud, but having a great time.

After all it was a nice small crowd of extremely familiar faces. Friends and family and ex-coworkers and shop owners from the store next door, and I kept thinking..."Does it count if people show up only because they know you personally?" "Or does it count more?"

It felt very surreal and very comfortable. I'm not sure anything compares to the 'home town' crowd...and it was really more about seeing everyone and celebrating the moment. They bought every book we had in the first ten minutes and then just hung out to talk and enjoy the nosh.

Bottom Line: There's nothing like your first time.
Lessons Learned: Wine is Wonderful to have on hand at booksignings, but the dark chocolate is always the biggest hit.
Best Moment: When a sweet five year old asked if I would sign her Dr. Seuss book... after a panicked thought of 'omigod...is this illegal to sign a dead guy's book?', it was really just wonderful to see her face light up to get a signature just like her mommy had. (though I'm sure the reading experience will differ greatly).

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Last to Know

Renee Bernard
So, I finally blog, start poking around...and I'm realizing that I've missed more than I realized by avoiding the cyber-plane of existence.

Friends are describing the colds they have, that bizzarre guy at work's latest cubicle decoration, and insights into their lives I could never have guessed at. They share all of this online in their blogs and nowhere else... Not in phone calls or emails...

And there I was. Thinking I was a socially connected and happy camper. Now I'm thinking I was out there in a pup tent by myself and unaware that there was a raucous party (complete with hot showers and a full bar) just a meadow or two over.

Yeesh!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Blind Aphrodite

Renee Bernard
I've been asked a few times about this one, and I thought I would try to clarify things here...especially since the title is appearing on searches at Amazon, etc.

A few years ago, I did the unthinkable *gasp* and published my book, BLIND APHRODITE, with iUniverse, a print-on-demand online publisher. It was a wonderful learning experience, and while the reviews were great, it was barely a blip on anyone's radar. (Ah, the joys of rookie self-promotion vs. a distinct prejudice against print-on-demand books!)

Undaunted, I simply shelved the lesson under "fun but painful", and decided that I'd brave the more traditional route on my next outing. I did, which led to this next trilogy and anthology with Pocket Books and my debut as a now, truly published author (others word choice, not mine).

So, there you have it. I may see about reviving my poor little book one of these days--perhaps with a redraft to make it steamier and a bit heftier...but I'm afraid that once you've put the duckling in the wrong pond, you can never take it out again. For now it is out of print, I own the rights and who knows...

Anyway, thanks for asking about that "first book"!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New Addictions

Renee Bernard
Well, even just one day into the blogosphere, I'm beginning to understand what everyone was saying about the addictive and dangerous nature of these things. But once you're in the water, who wants to stop paddling?

Besides, it's just one little blog. How bad can it be? (insert nervous giggle of denial here)

Ferfe will just have to forgive me for blogging a bit less than she'd like these days. I am finishing the manuscript for MADAME'S DECEPTION. The most 'traditional' of the three books in the series in some ways, it's set in the least traditional backdrop and decidedly steamy. (All three are, but there's something about a bordello that just encourages characters to lose their reserve...)

So, it's back to the keyboard... (now if I could just stop checking to see what's happening on my new favorite blogsites...)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Lady's Pleasure

Well, at long last, and after quite a few people have asked after it, "A LADY'S PLEASURE" from Pocket Books officially released yesterday! To celebrate, I have finally listened to Cindy Cruciger's endless prompting to begin a blog... I'm late to the blog-party, but at least I made it!

I'm so excited about my first mass paperback, the reviews have been very generous so far and I couldn't be more grateful for the way things have been unfolding these last few months!! Robin Schone describes it as a roller-coaster experience, so I'm just trying to enjoy the ride.

I'm hard at work on the sequel, MADAME'S DECEPTION... so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear reactions to the book, or any comments/questions from "out there". Thank you to everyone who put "A LADY'S PLEASURE" on their wish lists! Thank you so much!