It’s #RIAuthor Month! Meet Satin Russell


 Satin Russell books

Reconsidering Romance

“Well, it’s not formulaic, like romance.

“Oh, you write those kinds of books.”

“Not interested, those are woman stories.”

Let’s be honest, romance gets a bad rap by everybody who doesn’t read romance. It’s the bad girl genre with the questionable reputation. The vapid hussy among literary types. Well, I’m here to push back on those stereotypes and hopefully convince you to give this much maligned genre another chance.

“It’s formulaic.”

Yes, like most genres, there are certain parameters that romance adheres to. According to the RWA, every romance should have a centralized romance between two (or more) people and a “happily ever after.” However, there are an infinite number of possibilities that lie between those two points.

Don’t believe me? Just look at the vast array of sub-genres within the romance category. Sure, you have the well-known contemporary romance and historical romances. There’s also paranormal romance, sci-fi romance, sports romance, romantic suspense, lgbtq romance, erotic romance, clean and inspirational romance, Christian and Amish romance, and many others!

And why should that be so surprising? Walk up to anybody who is in a relationship and ask them how they got together, guaranteed they will each have a unique story to tell you.

“Romance is fluff. Only insipid, unintelligent people read it. I prefer literature.”

Have you ever stopped to think how challenging romance is? You’re basically taking two, completely separate people and trying to find a way for them to come together in a meaningful relationship. If that were easy, everybody would be happily paired up and the divorce rate would be sitting at zero. It takes self-reflection, communication, interpersonal skills, empathy, and courage to be in a healthy relationship. Not only does a person need to know what they want and need, but they also have to be able to express those needs, and then identify it in their partner. The romance genre explores the many diverse paths towards that success.

“It’s basically porn for women.”

Ah, yes. Many romances have – gasp – sex! Not only sex, but women who are empowered to search for and achieve mutually satisfying sex. You know what? It doesn’t stop there. Women in romances are also making informed decisions about their fate and goals throughout the book. Sex is just one aspect of their self-determination. How empowering is that? Why as a society is that considered so taboo? Frankly, I think we could use more examples of that.

And, no. Romance shouldn’t be just for women. To be honest, we could use more MEN reading romance and becoming familiar with what stories by women for women look like. Who knows, if more men were open to reading romance, we might be able to bridge the gap between “Mars and Venus.”

So next time you find yourself dismissing romance as a genre, or you hear someone with a similar reaction, please stop and reconsider! Romance has so much more to offer than a bare chest on the cover and a titillating climax.

Satin Russell

Satin Russell was a financial advisor for many years up until she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer back in April 2013. It took her a year of saving and planning before she was able to commit to her goal full-time.  Her debut novel, Secret Hunger, was published in April of 2015.

Satin lives in Massachusetts and is married to the love of her life, a man who literally flew halfway around the world for her. Other than writing, she loves reading, supporting fellow authors (especially self-published ones,) traveling, and photography. She’s also partial to a good whiskey every now and then. You can visit her website, and follow her on TwitterAmazon, and Facebook.

GIVEAWAY! The author is offering a signed print copy of her book, Secret Hunger, to one lucky winner. All you have to do is comment on this blog post. The winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication. US residents only, please.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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It’s #RIAuthor Month! Meet Denise Flagg


Klaus's First Winter Flagg

Take a stroll with Klaus the dog through a charming New England neighborhood and meet some of his friends along the way. On this adventure, you will discover, alongside Klaus, how Sally Squirrel, Billy the Eastern Bluebird, and Freddie Frog survive the cold and snowy winter months. Have fun while learning about migration and hibernation on this fascinating autumn morning walk.

Christmas with Klaus Flagg

When Denise and Ernie carry a tree into the house, set it in a stand, and water it, a baffled and curious Klaus wonders why. Klaus turns to his friend Pebbles, who is a dog, too, for the answer. Join in the excitement as Klaus plays in snow for the first time, discovers an ornament with his name hanging from a tree branch and learns about Christmas traditions and the reason for the season.

Denise Flagg

Denise Flagg’s love of books and animals have merged together to create a children’s book series that entertains as it educates. She serves on a volunteer committee for Friends of the Providence Animal Care & Control Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, dedicated to supporting the humane care of the animals in the city of Providence.  For more information about Friends of the PACCC, visit their website.

Denise lives in southern New England with her husband Ernie and their sweet rescue dog Jax. A percentage of her book sales are donated to local animal shelters. She is a passionate advocate for making a difference by adopting at your local animal shelter.

Denise’s books can be purchased at retail stores across Rhode Island or online at Amazon  and Barnes & Noble or directly through her website.

GIVEAWAY! The author is offering a print copy of Klaus’ First Winter to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment below. The winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication. US residents only, please.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, September 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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It’s #RIAuthor Month! Meet Yvette Nachmias-Baeu


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I did not begin to write seriously until 2009. Having said that, I have always found writing to be the way I am able to best express myself. Words and the way they are put together intrigued me and stringing them together to create a narrative has become my greatest joy.

My first book was prompted by the death of my husband.  The notion of life and what it means, death and how it affects us, became a meditation on loss and what life actually is.

A Reluctant Life (a memoir), my first published book, was a winner at the New England Book Festival: Honorable Mention in 2012. It is at once a guide to grief, a vibrant memoir, and a lucid meditation on the purpose of life and death. It stands easily alongside Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking and Joyce Carol Oates’ A Widow’s Story.  Read reviews of the book here

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Clara at Sixty (a novel) is the portrait of a woman who, after losing her husband at an age when life begins to contract, returns to the world of fumbling, emotionally-confused relationships. The series of mismatches are sometimes passionate and exciting adventures, sometimes funny, but ultimately sad. Still grieving and searching for her identity, marginalized by a society that views women past their prime as invisible, she knows she must come to terms with the loss of her husband, the death of too many friends, and the new reality of “being an older woman.” Her search to find meaning for the last chapter of her life is the universal struggle that begins at birth and changes over time and circumstance. Clara, in the end, discovers her way forward. Read reviews of this book here

Yvette other cover

Best Friends (non-fiction). This book of letters tells the story of two aspiring young women, Beth and Yvette, whose correspondence spans a period of twenty-seven years—from San Francisco to the return to their roots in New York City at the beginning of the sixties, where they’re part of the Downtown art scene of the time and their circle includes friends who will later become famous, to the end of the eighties when their lives have spun off into widely divergent paths, one of them tragic.

Best Friends is scheduled to be published next month.

Yvette

Yvette Nachmias-Baeu has been a psychiatric nurse, a professional actress, an advertising producer at a major New York agency, a farmer, and a creative entrepreneur. Her first book, A Reluctant Life, a memoir about the death of her husband and the process of grief, won honorable mention at the New England Book Festival. Clara at Sixty is the fictionalized sequel. Learn more about Yvette at her website.

Books are available as paperback and ebook at all outlets and through her website.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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Winter Rules


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As we march toward spring, take a look at these Winter Rules, as published in the Pawtuxet Valley Gleaner, February 5, 1881.

  • Never begin a journey until the breakfast has been eaten.
  • Never take warm drinks and then immediately go out in the cold air.
  • Keep the back – especially between the shoulder blades – well-covered, also the chest well-protected.
  • In sleeping in a cold room, establish the habit of breathing through the nose, and never with the mouth open.
  • Never go to bed with cold or damp feet; always toast them by the fire 10 or 15 minutes before going to bed.
  • Never omit regular bathing, for unless the skin is in an active condition, the cold will close the pores and favor congestion or other diseases.
  • After exercise of any kind, never ride in an open carriage nor near the window of a car for a moment. It is dangerous to health, and even to life.
  • When hoarse, speak as little as possible until it is recovered from, else the voice may be permanently lost, or difficulties of the throat be produced.
  • Merely warm the back by a fire, and never continue keeping the back exposed to heat after it has become comfortably warm. To do otherwise is debilitating.
  • When going from a warm atmosphere into a colder one, keep the mouth closed, so that the air may be warmed by its passage through the nose, ere it reaches the lungs.
  • Never stand still in cold weather, especially after having taken a slight degree of exercise; and always avoid standing upon ice or snow, or where the person is exposed to a cold wind.

So, are you a rule follower?!

Read to Write


I’ve had this book in my head for years, and it’s about time I draw it out of my memory and put it to paper (or on my monitor, then my thumb drive – well, you get the point). I don’t expect anyone other than my friends and family will read it, once it’s finally written, but then again, that’s what Kathryn Stockett thought when she wrote “The Help.” She said she never thought anyone would read it. And I feel that way, too. But I’ll still write my book.

I’m writing more now that I’m not working. The fact that I left my job is for another more dramatic and emotional blog, but when I was working I wasn’t able to write. My head was always somewhere else, even after I’d left work and come home.  Even on the weekends. Now, there’s a lot of free time, and I’m writing. Writing this blog every few days.  Starting a new blog, which I’ll mention once it’s up and running. Working on my book. I’m kind of busy! It’s understandable that writers want to hole up in a cabin, or in a deserted beach house in the middle of winter, to write. Few distractions. Here at home, even when my husband is out of the house, there is laundry, dog-walking. The telephone rings and a friend is checking in. But it’s not annoying, it’s just life.

For inspiration, I read. I read books by people who write the way I would like to write. And although I believe it’s a good thing to read a variety of books (biography, romance, science-fiction), for now I’ve been concentrating on the authors who have meaning for me as a wannabe writer. Those authors can be the warm blanket, the strong coffee, and sometimes, the light bulb.

Life is short! Turn the page.