Sunday, September 30, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #1

Good morning and happy Sunday! Today I'm doing something new - I'm participating in Six Sentence Sunday. I thought I would share with you six sentences from a short story that will be released by Museit Up Publishing in December. It's called The Belgian Chocolate Treatment. I hope that you enjoy it!

I'll share the cover with you when I have it. I just know it will be awesome!

This is just a glimpse at Milan and Jesse!  Enjoy!

Milan was a few inches taller than Jesse, he discovered, as he came up behind him. Jesse’s lips were at about the level of Milan’s jaw, and he found it hard not to simply kiss him there, to stop his shoulders from shaking, to stem the tears he suspected were falling. He reached up his arms, wanting to hug Milan to him tightly, to take the first step—

The tinkle of the shop bell. Jesse retreated, stumbling back to his side of the table. In his haste, his hand knocked a spoon off the table. It clattered onto the floor. 

Since I don't have a cover, I'd like to share the inspirations for my guys:


Milan (I apologize for the angle, but I can't get it to turn properly. I blame Blogspot)

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Guest Blogger Alicia Nordwell

Good morning! Happy Saturday! Please welcome my friend and fellow author, Alicia Nordwell, whose first  book, Pricolici, was just released! Alicia, have a seat, I'll make something to drink. Go ahead and start if you would.

The Questions
1)      You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice—who is that person and what item do you have?
The Professor, you know from Gilligan's Island? Cause frankly, I love smart men and he was pretty damn smexy. I'd smack him upside the head if he tried to make coconut phones, but I'm sure he could rig up a solar battery for my kindle that I'd just have to take to keep me busy while he figures out how to get us out of there. (I couldn't help, obviously, the sun is so not my friend! I'd be on a palm frond pallet under the treeline.

2)      Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?
I don't like musicals, so I really can't say.

3)      Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scenario using them:  bounce,  committed, breakfast
I bounce in his lap, my back arched. His hands clench on the headboard, giving me free rein to take what I want. He'd teased me for hours last night, left me wanting, my need unquenched. My dreams had been full of erotic scenes.
Now I have the power. I'd considered teasing him but need committed me to my course. I drive him hard, taking what I needed.
"Soon?" Miquel groans.
I gasp when he thrusts up. "Now!" We groan together.
I slump against his chest. He smells spicy and good. My stomach rumbles.
"Time for breakfast?" I ask hopefully.

4)      You’ve just been let loose in the world of fiction, with permission to do anyone you want. Who do you fuck first and why?
Oh gods. Hands down, James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. I don't like other reds (being one myself) but jeez, Gabaldon created one incredibly hot and sweet man. I like his 18th century machismo too, it's cute.  Plus, he wears a kilt. Easy access!

5)      What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?
We're lame, after 15 years together it's usually dinner and time without our bratlings. 2 weeks ago he got off work early and texted me 'Hey, you know what? We could go to the dump together, like a date! Just the two of us!' Yeah. Suave is his middle name.

6)      When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?
Same time? Seriously, usually I get a vague 'Oh I should write a story with this *insert element* and sit down with a document and start writing. The characters come as the story comes. I don't think I even a bio for them until I've gotten a chapter or two into the story.

7)      If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?
I guess a younger Susan Sarandon. I love her attitude and well, frankly, I'm a smartass.

8)      Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?
Umm ... No. No favorite horror anything. *points to self* BIG giant wuss.

9)      Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?
Not a real one, lol. Though I don't think I'd say no to a hot, manly Highlander ala Jamie Fraser from Outlander!

10)   Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
Nah, I don't think I can get out there too much more. I had one guy get a bite taken of him by a Carthera that kept threatening to eat him.

Story Blurb:
Forced out, Tucker was vulnerable and alone. Betrayed by his haitas, he unknowingly drove straight for Pricolici territory. Their alpha claimed him, as a hultan and his mate. Tucker didn't believe him ... at first. Facing an attack from Stelian's ancient enemy, Tucker found out what he truly was.



“Did someone try to hurt you on your way here? Were you attacked by a human?” Stelian’s voice was a low snarl.
“No!” Tucker clenched his hands into fists.
“Shane got lucky then.”
Tucker tried to stay calm and ignore his resentment at the lupe’s obvious belief that he was too weak to protect himself from anyone. “I can handle the humans and if you’ll just let me go, then my freaky pheromone problem won’t affect anyone in your haitas either. I’ll leave right now.”
Stelian’s nostrils flared as his hands slid over his lower stomach toward the waistband of his pants. “What makes you think they haven’t already? That I’m not thinking about bending you over that table and mounting you right now?” Stelian smirked at him.
 He shuddered a little at the heat in Stelian's voice, and the look in those fierce eyes.
Shit! He hadn't really noticed but Stelian had moved closer as they talked, inch by slow inch. Amazingly, Stelian was only several feet away, and Tucker could feel the alpha’s aura flowing toward him. He hadn't realized his awareness of the lupe’s power was gone until that moment. Stelian dominated the room even without the power that reinforced his place in his haitas.

"Don't worry, you're in my territory now." There was satisfaction in Stelian's voice. "If your haitas didn't know what they had, then it’s not my place to enlighten them."

"What they—” Tucker froze when Stelian stalked around the table. He grabbed the chair and slung it sideways. Stelian’s huge hands slammed down on either side of Tucker and his arms made a cage, penning Tucker when the smaller lupe would have tried to bolt.

"Oh yes. You're very special," Stelian said as he bent down to drag his nose up Tucker's neck. A stinging bite at Tucker's ear and a low growl stopped him when he tried to jerk his head back.


Tucker froze at the order from a voice laced with the wolf's growl. The ache he’d felt earlier from the bartender had nothing on the way he felt from the suddenly overwhelming surge of lust that emanated from Stelian.
Something welled up inside him and Tucker felt his eyes shift. Everything became sharper and clearer when he saw through the eyes of his wolf. He knew his normally murky green eyes now shone as golden as the larger lupe's.
Entranced by the angles and shadows he'd missed with his human eyes, Tucker stared at Stelian's dusky skin where it stretched tight over his sharp cheekbones. The Pricolici were mostly old lupes that had emigrated from Romania. They’d passed that coloring on to their pups. Stelian’s Romanian blood gave him a deep skin tone and even the yellow eyes of an excited werewolf looked natural on him, as if he was never fully human.

Tucker couldn't help but lick his lips as he stared at the strange lupe's strong and handsome face that matched the hard, muscular body he’d been pinned against earlier. All lupes were stronger than they looked, but Stelian was taller and more heavily muscled than the biggest male in his old haitas. Unbidden, the power inside Tucker poured forth and met Stelian's aura.

There was a sensation of blending, a mingling of two different yet similar forces. Stelian’s hand was hot against Tucker's neck as he tugged at his chain, pulling his face closer to Stelian's. The lupe's breath puffed against his lips, only inches away from Tucker’s. It startled Tucker and he jerked away, his power snapping back inside him like a rubber band as his chair tipped over backward.

Additional info:
Ebook will be on sale on Friday, Sept. 28th at: 

Thank you so much for stopping by, Alicia! Pricolici was one damn hot book, I'm here to tell you. I loved these guys, and I know you will too!

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

Friday, September 28, 2012

Follow Friday

Happy Friday one and all, although it's a rather gray and dreary day here. Hopefully the sun will make an appearance at some point!

Q: What is the BIGGEST word you've seen used in a book lately - that made you stop and look it up? Might as well leave the definition & book too. 

I have to admit that I don't look words up often, and I don't tend to commit them to memory. Rather I absorb them into my vocabulary. I think I did look up something in a book I recently edited, The Lion's Embrace, by Marie Laval, a 19th century romance/adventure that takes place in Algeria. But I honestly don't remember what word I looked up, just that I did look up something.

Thank goodness for the Internet, right? I don't even remember where my actual paper and ink dictionary or Thesaurus are. I'm spoiled by being able to go to these places online.

Want to be a part of Follow Friday? Or just visit the other participants? You can check it all out here!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Briefs: Trapped in Time

It's Wednesday, so it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers!  This week, the prompt was: "Suffer the little..." or the alternate prompts:  Use: three, hairy, billiard ball or "When can I see you again?" or "He/she said what?" or Use: scales, tradition, engine or use: dapper, dandelion, direct or "If I were you, I'd..."

Last week, in Trapped in Time, Vittorio and Doll named their new son, and they discovered that they were near the end of their journey. Today, they push on to reach the mysterious Professor... Enjoy! Then don't forget to visit all the Wednesday Briefers whose links follow my tales!

Trapped in Time #21

We are far too nervous and excited for sleep, so we gather around the communal fire and discuss the subject of mutual interest to us all—the mysterious Professor. It is amazing to us that there is another human here in this prehistoric place. We’d assumed we were the only ones, as our arrival predates that of man by many years. So who is this man and how did he come to be here?

Charlie is unable to provide us with any answers. “I do not know,” he confesses, somewhat apologetically. “I’ve never actually spoken to him as I speak with you.” That’s only natural, as he has only met the Professor while he was a monkey, a condition that Myron has changed.

“It’s all right,” Myron reassures him with tender kisses and gentle caresses. They’ve become very close since Charlie’s transformation. I’m concerned at what might ensue should the spell that binds Charlie as he is should fail. For both of them.

“How old is he?” Vittorio asks. Good idea. Perhaps we can piece together clues from what Charlie can tell us.  “Is he our age? Older than we are? Younger?” Of course, this assumes that Charlie has been observant of these types of things, a rather broad assumption to make.

Charlie puckers his brow in thought. “Older. Definitely older.”

“Are there any other people like him or is he alone?” I ask.

“Only him. He is the only one.”

“Does he live in a cave?” Myron contributes.  It has become almost a game to see who can ask the right question to elicit the most informative response.

Charlie shakes his head. “No, the Professor built something from the trees. He is very clever, he is. He says he is also lucky that he had some of his things with him.”

“What kind of things?” I eagerly ask.

“I do not know,” Charlie says again.

By the time we are ready to retire for the night, we’ve learned little.

“We’ll get all of our answers soon,” Vittorio assures me.

At that moment, Myron and Charlie walk by us, hand in hand. Charlie says something, but I cannot understand his words. He looks over his shoulder at Myron, then disappears behind some rocks a short distance from our camp.

I look at Myron quizzically.  “He said what?” I swear Myron is blushing, but in the darkness it’s hard to tell.
“He said to meet him over there…” He waves a hand toward the rocks.

“But why…” I begin, only to have Vittorio squeeze my hand.

“Go on, Myron,” he says softly. “Mary and Kitty are both asleep. Everything is well.”

Myron doesn’t look at us; he mumbles a quick thank you and follows in the same direction that Charlie took.
It’s only when Vittorio draws me to him and our lips meet that I realize what is going on, and that we too need time apart from them, time for ourselves.

We quickly take advantage of this unexpected solitude to remove all of our clothes and press our naked bodies close together: stroking, kissing, touching, loving. We make love until we are spent, and then we cuddle by the fire and dream together.

Morning comes. Charlie and Myron have returned, and Charlie brings some fruit he has found. It looks like a banana, but fatter and sweeter. I slice them and cook them and they are very delicious. We clean up our camp and set off.  It is heartening to know we are close to our goal, and to the only other human being in this entire world. We can only pray that he has some answers to our questions. Undoubtedly he has an interesting story to tell of how he came to be here, and we can tell our tale to him, if he is interested in listening.

From what little Charlie has told us, it sounds as though this Professor is very self-sufficient. Perhaps, if we are lucky, he has some knowledge of our situation and how to reverse it.  Although I do not expect this to be the case. Unless he just happens to know magic, like Myron.

It’s a beautiful day. Kitty is in a playful mood. He’s tired of being carried, so we let him walk, even if it slows us down a little. Mary is just as watchful of him as we are, and is quick to put him back on the right path if he seems about to stray.

For lunch, we content ourselves with fruit, not wishing to take the time for a fire or to hunt for small game.  Our path leads us downward into a shady valley where we find a small stream. We jump into the water fully clothed. The sun will dry us again, and it is the best we can do at the moment regarding our laundry situation, but soon, I vow, we shall do better.

Afterward, we climb up the gentle slope until we reach the top.

“Look!” Charlie points. There ahead of us, to our amazement, we see what appear to be two wooden huts huddled close to some very large rocks, as well as a small pond.  Smoke curls up from one of the huts; a most welcome sight.

We cannot help but hasten our steps, eager to meet this mystery man if for no other reason than he is one of us, even if he is a stranger. Vittorio gathers Kitty, and holds him, despite his protests—good thing he has not yet learned to use his claws—while Mary sits on the seat of the penny farthing.

Suddenly a figure emerges from one of the huts, sees our group and stops, no doubt amazed by our sudden appearance.  As we draw nearer, he begins to wave.

Suddenly, I stop and I stare, and my mouth falls open in amazement.

“Doll?” Vittorio asks in concern.

“Doll?” the man also asks.

I stare at him in disbelief. “Vati?”

And then I faint.

to be continued

Don't forget to check out the other Wednesday Briefers:

Lily Sawyer      m/m 
Michael Mandrake     m/m
Cia Nordwell  m/m
MA Church     m/m

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

Monday, September 24, 2012

Guest Blogger Sharita Lira

Today I welcome my friend and fellow author Sharita Lira!Some of you may know Sharita from her literary triad - three writers/personas, each with their own distinct personalities and styles. Today she is going to discuss two thirds of that triad - the ladies, Rawiya and BL Morticia. Shar, why don't you have a seat, I'll make us something to drink,  like a chocolate choochoo martini, and you can go ahead and get started.

The Two Female Sides of Sharita Lira

Rawiya: Hello readers. I’m sure those of you who know Sharita Lira are aware of the two females in the triad. Myself, Rawiya, and BLMorticia.

BL: The wicked gal. Yes I am…more like the snarky wicked gal who writes funny stories about romantic couples of any orientation.

Rawiya: And me, who pens tales of interracial romance in contemporary settings. In other words, real erotica for real people.

BL: And erotica with snark are our taglines.  So what’s the major difference? Me, I like humor in my stories.

Rawiya: And I like longer love scenes as well as more sensuality. I can do a little humor too, but I don’t do it as well as BL.

BL: And I’m a little too impatient for long love. I like getting to the climax a little quicker. My characters mimic me too except when I throw a monkey wrench in their plans. I do that a lot, by the way.

Rawiya: I do too, to a certain extent; nothing better than a little tension in a story.

BL: How about a lot? Some angst thrown in makes for a fabulous tale, doesn’t it? And better sex at the end. So, whichever you prefer. The snarky and angsty…

Rawiya: Or the long winded romantic…there’s a story for you, right?

BL: I’d say so. Thanks for listening to us. How about looking at our series?

Rawiya: Good idea since we’ve got five books. From NNP, the Something New On the Menu series, all m/m with romance…

BL: Snark and a little bit of angst. Check out the first four books of this collection from Naughty Nights Press.

Rawiya: Thanks for having us, Julie!

Something Fresh Served Hot from Something New on the Menu Series Book One

A gay contemporary comedy which features a Chicago homophobe by the name of Jimmy LaCosta who works at a diner called the Greasy Spoon on the Northside of Chicago near Boys Town. While working, Jimmy meets the incoming manager, Alex Seidling, a young British man who his present boss is hiring to take his place as he retires. 

After the initial meeting in which Jimmy feels uncomfortable with Alex's stares, Jimmy cultivates a friendship with Alex which develops into something totally different than he himself expects. This shocks him and he tries to fight it but because of his growing feelings he decides to pursue it despite all of what he has been taught.

Will he do what his body wants? Will Alex accept his advances even though he will soon become Jimmy’s boss?

Click here to read an excerpt

Buylinks - Amazon ARe Smashwords

Time to Make the Donuts Something New on the Menu Series Book Two

Blurb: Andre, a customer, comes in and pays him a visit. The two lock eyes and immediately connect on a personal level. Because of this, Christopher decides to pursue when Andre passes him his card. He wonders what the young man does for a living however, he’s so smitten by him, Chris doesn’t give it much thought.

Little does the shop owner know, Andre actually works for his biggest competitor as a secret shopper and has been told to use any method necessary to find out the secrets of the shop as well as convince him to sell his shop and become part of the national chain.

When Christopher finds out, he has a surprise for Andre and deals with him in a rather humorous way. Will he trust Andre once he finds out this fact? Will he give up his shop under the pressure the well known franchise?

Buylinks  ARe  Smashwords Amazon

Click here to read excerpt

Smooth Like Latte Something New on the Menu Series Book Three

Blurb: Brendan Walsh is an uptight business executive working for his father and missing out on real life due to his relentless drive for success. Fearing his homophobic father’s wrath - and the potential to destroy his financial future - Brendan hides is true orientation and lives a life of boring celibacy.

Upon meeting Davori Jenkins when the hunky barista serves him a latte just the way he likes it, Brendan takes a chance, leaving his number with the tip in the hopes of changing his future love life.

Will Brendan be able to come clean with his father - risking his fortune - or will he take a chance at losing a man who he wants as his future?

Warning: This is an m/m interracial romance. Real romance. Some sappiness is ahead with two very good looking men who are searching for that happy ever after ending.

Click here to read an excerpt

Sugar Daddy Something New on the Menu Series Book Four

Blurb: Matthew Davidson wants a MAN! The setting shifts away from the America’s to Britain where Matthew and his childhood friend, Devon Peartly attend a cooking school to obtain their cooking certificates. The young man wants a partner so badly, he decides he’ll try an online dating service in hopes of finding a black man that can take care of and satisfy him romantically.

He finds that man, Antwon Bantu on an online dating site and is instantly intrigued. Little does Matthew know that Antwon is involved in a “convenient” marriage and is seeking a younger partner so he can finally get on with his life. Instead of confessing the truth, he decides to hide it, fearing he’ll lose the chance with Matthew if he informs him. To complicate things, Antwon’s wife claims to be in love with him. Antwon must choose what’s more important; loving Matthew or saving his impeccable reputation as a top barrister in the London courts?

Which will he choose?

Click here to read an excerpt

BLMorticia is currently a published writer with Naughty Nights Press and Rebel Ink Press. Her first two novellas, My Lieutenant and Something Fresh Served Hot are Silver star recipients on All Romance Ebooks. She writes bi weekly for Red Lipstick Diaries, guest blogs monthly on the Naughty Nights Press blog and a writes column twice a month on Blak Rayne Books. For more info, please visit, Erotica With Snark

RAWIYA is the more sensual erotica writer in the BLRawiya duo. Rawiya's first sole author book, “Time to Make the Donuts” is now available in multiple digital formats through online vendors and her first MMF Living In The Now was released in April from Naughty Nights Press.
Rawiya loves multiracial characters who overcome obstacles other than race. Sweet, sassy, and spicy would be the best way to describe her work. Happily married mother of two, loves music, computers, and travel. She blogs regularly at Wicked Sexy Writers. For more please visit the Rawiya’s blog on Wordpress.

The Literary Triad -!

Michael Mandrake –

 Thanks for stopping by, Rawiya and BL!  Shar, have another drink? I made mudslides!  

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Unwritten Vol 5: On to Genesis Review

The Unwritten, Volume 5: On to Genesis  
Author/Artist: Mike Carey/Peter Gross
Publisher: Vertigo
American release date: January 17, 2012
Format/Genre/Length: Graphic Novel/Fantasy/144 pages
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: Suggested for Mature readers
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Similar series or titles to check out: Sandman, Lucifer, Hellblazer

With Tom Taylor presumed dead and Wilson’s estate up for auction, what else can Lizzie and Savoy do but try to steal what they need from it? Specifically Lot 57. Lizzie provides a diversion so that Savoy can surreptitiously photograph the layout of the auction house where everything is on display for inspection. And while they are mulling everything over in the safety of a small diner, the wayward wanderer himself unexpectedly returns after his absence of three months, bursting on the scene from inside a glass of water!


Repairing to another location, Tom tells them his whale of a story. When Savoy asks if he’s found “the Source”, Tom says he has, and that he thinks that it’s people. People who read a story and get something out of it. Maybe even give it back.

Lizzie and Savoy convince Tom, who wishes nothing to do with his father’s estate, why they need Lot 57, and he reluctantly concurs. They break into the auction house, where everything is waiting to be auctioned off the following evening, and quite an interesting haul there is, including a sensory deprivation tank and a stuffed rabbit. But the best laid plans go awry, as they often do, and when the auction begins, there is a valuable new addition to the collection—Tom Taylor himself. With Lizzie and Savoy close at hand, as collateral evidence that Tom is the real deal.

Afterward, with the journals in hand, Tom has to do some serious reading, in order to glean anything from them. The trouble is, there are thirty damn volumes. And his father’s writing isn’t necessarily linear, and he doesn’t always get to the point. An accidental discovery while in the public library, gives them a potentially useful tool to use for those areas of the journals that are sparse in details, a firsthand glimpse into what was.

Tom is convinced that a comic book character from long ago by the name of Tinker holds some clue to what they seek, so he insists on pursuing the lead because he feels his father’s mention of it means something. Meanwhile, Pullman’s employer is unhappy with the results of the auction. But not for long.

Tom, Lizzie and Savoy travel into the past in order to arrive at answers in the present; they make a new friend, and reconnect with an old one.


The deeper we get into the heart of the story, the more exciting this series gets. The premise of the power in the written word is an intoxicating one, dizzyingly brought to life by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, for that is the magic behind everything. And the power that everyone wants to control.

In this volume, we see a lot more of Tom’s father, Wilson Taylor, than ever before, all linked with the superhero Tinker, as Tom seeks to learn the truth of his parentage, of his birth. But time is running out, as the bad guys seem to be closing in, and people who have ever been a part of the story are being snuffed out.

Despite his fears of what may be revealed, Tom pushes on. He has grown a great deal, as a character, since we first met him, with the help of Lizzie and Savoy. He’s stronger, and more mature, coming into his own as a man, something that was lacking from his life before. It isn’t easy to examine one’s own life in such detail, perhaps to learn unpleasant truths about his father, and maybe himself. But this is the stuff that makes heroes, and Tom has definitely become the hero in his own story, at last.

This is a fascinating read which only gets better and better, and is wonderfully illustrated by the talented Peter Gross, whose artwork drew me, as much as the writing, to Mike Carey’s Lucifer series. This is one seriously imaginative series. It ranks among my all-time favorites, and is a definite keeper.

Can’t wait to read the next volume, which comes out October 23.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Follow Friday #51/Book Blogger Hop #34

Good morning and Happy Friday!

Q: What hyped up book do you think was worth all the talk?

I heard a lot about Fifty Shades of Grey and my curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to try it. And I loved it! I know there are a lot of people who make fun of it. I think they're just jealous. 

Q:  What is one thing that your blog readers probably do not know about you?

I was once part of a local branch of a national singing organization called Up With People.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A definite step in the right direction - looking at The New Normal

Last week, NBC brought forth a new program called The New Normal, and the program was good. Not perfect, mind you, but good, and a definite step in the right direction.

Bryan (Andrew Rannels) and David (Justin Bartha) are happy and in love in Los Angeles. David is a successful OB/GYN (I'm not sure what Bryan does but he's so gosh darn adorable, who cares, right?) All they are missing to make their lives complete is a little bundle of joy.

Goldie (Georgia King) is a single mom in the Midwest with an adorable and precious eight-year-old daughter Shania (Bebe Wood) and a bigoted, horrible grandmother (Ellen Barkin) who has raised her. Goldie is appalled at the things her Nana says, especially around Shania, and the child is not slow to let Nana know that she doesn't like her attitude. On an impulse, Goldie asks Shania where she'd like to go. "Let's drive to Hawaii!" So Goldie takes her grandmother's car and her daughter and drives as far as she can in that direction, forced to stop when she reaches the Pacific. There she takes stock of her life and her dreams. She had Shania far too early, putting everything on hold. Now she wants to make a better life for them both. But that takes money, if she's going to become a lawyer.

Bryan and David need a surrogate - Goldie needs a lot of money. It's a match made in heaven. She agrees to carry their child, and becomes pregnant by one of them and thus the premise of the show. An irate Nana follows Goldie, to her dismay, and insists on staying. Naturally, she finds the whole idea of the surrogacy distasteful.  

Let me start out by saying this show is from the makers of Glee. But I decided to watch it anyway. After all, they also did American Horror Story, which I loved. Glee, not so much. I had to watch The New Normal simply because of the premise, and the chance to see what the network would do in showing a loving gay couple and their desire to have a child.

The relationship that is portrayed between Bryan and David is pretty damn awesome. They kiss, they cuddle, they have tender moments - they are even seen lying in bed together. No sex, but hey, you wouldn't expect that from a series on network TV, shown during prime time. It airs at 8:30 on Tuesdays here, in the Midwest. I don't even care that they don't show sex, that's not important. It's the love and affection that is, and it's there.

You might remember Justin Bartha from the National Treasure films (which I adore!) He played Nic's nerdy sidekick Riley. He absolutely shines as David, the more level-headed of the pair, while Bryan is the dreamer. I'm not familiar with Andrew Rannels, but I intend to become so, as he is gorgeous, sexy, cute, adorable, and plain dreamy. I hear he's in The Book of Mormon, the musical, which is coming here in February, and I pray that I can afford to go! Bryan is the starry-eyed one who wants to rush out and buy baby clothes, while David, being a doctor, is more practical and wants to wait until the pregnancy is farther along.

Shania is a very bright, very unique little girl. In the first episodes, she spent a lot of time cosplaying a character from the film Grey Gardens, which only endeared her all the more to Bryan. I found it wearing after a while, but that seems to have passed, luckily. She's more open-minded and wise than her very bigoted, very offensive great-grandmother.

Now here is what I consider to be the bit of a fly in this ointment. Nana. Although I have hopes that this is changing, her character is filled with far too many slurs and epitaphs for my comfort level, and far more than I feel the show  needs. We get the idea. Really. These are terms that would not be tolerated anywhere else, and using them for the sake of a laugh is... well, uncomfortable.  Her character, thus far, is one-dimensional - and a horrid dimension at that. However, having said that, I'm hoping that there will be growth and the slurs will decrease in both intensity and number. In the third episode, which involved buying baby clothes, she actually shared a moment with Bryan, when they both quoted, "With six you get eggroll." If this character growth doesn't occur, I have to say that the show will be doomed to not be taken seriously, and will also insult a great many people.

My other reservation about The New Normal goes back to the Glee creators, whose touch I can see in the very feel of the show, as well as its use of music. It's a comedy, yes, I know that, but even so, there are comedies and there are comedies. Don't aim for the broad laughs, the wide brush that you use for Glee. Go for subtlety, nuance, and yes... normalcy. Sometimes the dialogue is too glaringly obvious as to the point they want to make. Don't make the mistake of assuming your audience are idiots. Trust me, the idiots aren't watching this show and probably never will.

Know your audience, and entertain them.

I'm not saying it can't be realistic, and that there aren't people who feel this way, because obviously there are. In the last episode, when the boys kiss in a department store, they receive flak from a man who doesn't want his daughter "subjected" to the sight. Sadly, this is a common occurrence, one which will hopefully become a thing of the past as people learn how to open their minds. And the more bigoted generation dies out, slowly but surely, making way for a new, hopefully enlightened, generation. Ideas change; it's the nature of man. Remember, at one time we all thought the world was flat. We know better now. (Except for the members of the Flat Earth Society, but that's another story).

I say bravo to NBC for daring to bring us this show in the face of such societal pressures as the Mormon Church, who refuse to show it on their affiliate station in Salt Lake City. I say boo to all close-minded people who think they have the right to control what other people think or watch. Not your call! I'd like to see more shows like this, ones where the couple being gay is not even the focal point, but simply is what they are, know what I mean? Where having gay or bi-sexual or lesbian or transgendered characters will not be an oddball occurrence, but simply a new normal.

After all, the important message here is that love is love is love... Embrace it and pass it on.

Thanks NBC, you've earned my respect. Now, keep on working at it, you've got a real winner here.

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie