Thursday, June 22, 2017


            Maybe “hate” is a bit strong, but there are some current expressions which I find especially annoying because they are so overused. Perhaps you have your own list too. Here are four that make me grind my teeth a little.

1. “At the end of the day…” I’m sure you’ve heard this one. It seems to have flared up a couple of years ago, and now everybody’s using it, especially on CNN. All I have to hear is a political commentator start a sentence with “At the end of the day,” and my ears shut down. For one thing, the phrase is filler, intended to launch a sentence while the speaker figures out what to say next. For another, it’s wordy. If you must use this phrase, then please file it down. I’d be happy if the offender shortened it to “In the end” or even “In the final analysis…”

2. “There’s no there there.” I actually liked this for a while. I found it clever and a bit witty. But you know, after 5000 commentators used this phrase, I began to feel there’s no there there. Whatever originality once existed has gone someplace else than there.

3. “Man up,” or “Why don’t you man up?” It used to be “Why don’t you be [or act like] a man?” But times change. Newt Gingrich used this during his latest campaign for president when he said one of his rivals should “man up” about something. This phrase seems to have faded from use recently, but never fear. I expect a surge of testosterone to bring some variation of it back.

4. “It is what it is.”  - Not to be confused with “Tell it like it is.” Recently, my dentist put my nose out of joint (say, wasn’t that once an overused phrase?) when he dismissed my polite complaint concerning a bad tooth by saying “It is what it is.” I wanted to reply, “How brilliant! How perceptive and profound! Did you figure that out all by yourself, or did you learn it in dentistry school?” What exactly does this cretinous statement mean? Is a cow what it is, too?

          Dear readers, that’s all for this time. If you have any phrases or expressions you personally dislike, why don’t you man or woman up and share them with us? At the end of the day, I have to know if there’s any there there, or if it simply is what it is.   

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Please check out CONQUEROR OF THE STARS, Book 4 of the Inspector of the Cross series. –Amazon:  -  and MuseItUp: 

Read one of my novels for FREE! INSPECTOR OF THE CR0SS - This is book 1 in my series so if you haven't read it, here's your chance. Reviews will be appreciated! Amazon:

Friday, June 9, 2017

Poems About Poems

Image result for poems images

Can you write poems about poems? Of course you can. Here are two poems I wrote long ago.

                                                            This Poem

                                                This poem is hypnotic.
                                                Watch these words.
                                                Your eyes are getting heavy.
                                                You are getting sleepy.
                                                You are beginning to feel at peace
                                                with yourself.
                                                Now your thoughts are a child’s.
                                                Now you are inanimate,
                                                a leaf on an iron wind.
                                                Now you are the first thought
                                                you ever had
                                                closing like a bud in snow.

                                                Now I am this poem,
                                                each word a reflection
                                                in your eye.
                                                You are my reader
                                                getting sleepy
                                                beginning to feel at peace
                                                with yourself.
                                                Ready to join me
                                                in my poem.                          

                              If God Were An Imagist Poem

                                                so much would depend

                                                a red god

                                                glazed with heaven

                                                beside the milky

--With profound appreciation to William Carlos Williams’ famous imagist poem “The Red Wheelbarrow”, presented below.

                             The Red Wheelbarrow
                                    so much depends

                                                a red wheel

                                                glazed with rain

                                                beside the white
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Please check out CONQUEROR OF THE STARS, Book 4 of the Inspector of the Cross series. –Amazon:  -  and

Read one of my novels for FREE! INSPECTOR OF THE CR0SS - This is book 1 in my series so if you haven't read it, here's your chance. Amazon:

Friday, May 19, 2017


Multi-Award Winning Author, including...

       The IPPY Award  - Visit Cynthia's Web site:

Book 3 of the Forbidden Footsteps Series - On Sale for $1.99 until June 1. - Steamy romance mixed with espionage.





* * *

EXCERPT: "I'm only here on vacation." His fingers played with the softness of her neck and caressed the perimeter of her car. She started to melt from his touch and glanced at his hand on the table.  

God, his hands are so sexy, strong, slender fingers, and so well-defined. I bet he would know how to caress a woman all over. What in hell am I thinking? I'm still married. Does being separated give me more leeway?  

She grabbed her pocketbook from the tabletop in an effort to leave. "We better go. It's getting late."

* * *

BLURB: Peril lurks in the old-world historic streets and shadowy back alleys of the City of Light and brings Cindy to question both her sanity and heart.  

                                                                                                                                              Is the risk to find true happiness worth her life?  

                                                                                                                                  Fleeing her violent past to find a new life, Cindy Hastings' bright future turns dark, as her courtship with the wealthy and sensual French rock star Jean-Claude LeGrand uncovers his expertly crafted facade and his exotic tastes. His sinister secrets create a razor-edged race for her between love and lust, fraught with terrifying evil. Cindy is forced to face the hidden scum of Paris' murky underworld to find the truth. Could English-speaking Stuart Dumont be her only lifeline to survival? 

Over 111,000 words. Adult content for language and situations.                                                                                                                                                   


~ Cynthia and Friend ~


John: Cynthia, I've heard some rumors that Forbidden Footsteps is the best in the series.

CYNTHIA: Trish [Trish Jackson] thinks that book 3 is my best because of tighter prose and I ratcheted up the tension, even with a tip of the hat to Fifty Shades. My romance differs from others as my criminal romance theme is darker.  I like the degree of danger to mix things up as my characters grow and discover how to deal with emotional and physical conflict.

Cindy, the main character, has been through a lot in book 1 and 2 (she was a supporting figure in those novels.) I introduce what the reader assumes to be her hero. I like to throw crime into the mix. The stakes are always higher when there is the threat of death or an actual murder. All that said, each of my books in my series is a stand-alone. Even in book 3, I'm careful not to give away plot points in book 1 and 2.

Yes, my books are steamy but I don't describe tab A, nor slot B. I know the trend for most romance readers is erotica, but that's just not me. My WIP is Dangerous Reach, which will be book 4 in my Forbidden series.

John: Tell us about your background as a writer.

CYNTHIA: Well, it's been a steep learning curve. I'm a retired cardiac RN. Been living from the wrong side of the brain for creative endeavors. I lost my skill of forming sentences, spelling, grammar, etc. in writing. Nurses chart (writing on patients' charts) by using phrases and abbreviations--tenses are mixed, i.e.: Spleeping, Coughs, spoke with sob (short of breath). I wanted to be an author from the get-go, but Dad had other ideas then: nurse, secretary, librarian, or teacher. I wrote short stories as a child and into my teen years.

John: What do you like so much about Barry Manilow?

CYNTHIA: Barry's words, "Do what you love and the rest will follow. Follow your dream. Never give up." As you know, I've met with Barry several times. He's always been supportive, encouraging, and genuine and kind. We chatted about his music and my writing. He could have easily said to me, "Don't mention my name or use my photo in relation to your writing or books." He never said that. Instead he wished me great success and not to become discouraged. That's one reason I dedicated by first book, Front Row Center, to him. Yes, I should've made that dedication to my husband, but I was so appreciative of his kindness and generosity and wanted to thank him with the dedication. All my other books are dedicated to Mitch.

John: Does crime/mystery and especially danger interact with and enhance the romance/sexuality or sexual tension of your fiction?

CYNTHIA: Yes, most definitely! Who wants to read the typical formula of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. If a psycho character is in the mix or a hard-hearted hit-man, all the better. That is when the true nature of the character is revealed. A prime example of increasing the sexual tension is that the hero turns out to be a criminal of some sort. Now the leading lady must make a decision--close her eyes to the truth and pretend all is right in her world, or muster up the courage to forsake the relationship and chalk it up to a life's lesson?

Available on Amazon:

John: Hmm, how does this all relate to your culinary writing?

CYNTHIA: My cookbooks? I've always enjoyed cooking and started at the age of seven. I feel that cooking should be enjoyed and romance with cooking is a no-brainer when you have your loved one helping you stir that pot or slice a tomato. Plus, cooking encompasses all of the senses as does making love. Also, I thought the cookbook would be a fun gift for anyone celebrating an occasion or for a bridal shower, etc.

John: Thank you, Cynthia.  You've been a great guest, and I encourage all readers to look up your books.

CYNTHIA: It's been a pleasure to be here, John, and I'd love to hear from readers.

# # # # #

Monday, April 24, 2017

Have You Ever Received an Unusual Birthday Gift?

Well, on April 16 I did.  In fact, I received two. Here's the first.  It's the birthday card my son David gave me.  

(Click picture to enlarge it.)

When you open it up, David's written greeting says HAPPY 76!!! BOW WOW WOW! And a deep, harsh, male voice chants "BOW WOW WOW, YIPPY-O, YIPPY-AYE" over and over to a manic beat.  Then a demented chorus comes in, singing something that sounds like "GOOD FLOWERS!"

I think my son is trying to tell me that I've gone to the dogs.

If you want to know what my son's OTHER birthday gift was, check my Amazon Author Page at

HOW ABOUT YOU?  Have you ever received an unusual, memorable birthday gift or present? If so, what was it?  Please comment and let us know what it was and why it was so different or great.

For just $6.95 each! 

Finger puppets of some of the most badass females that have ever lived.

Finger puppets of some of the most badass females that have ever lived.
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Via
Like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks. $6.95 each from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


John B. Rosenman

A funny thing happened the other day. I was navigating Facebook as I often do, and I noticed that Morgan Freeman had just died. I was both surprised and saddened by this news. I always liked Morgan Freeman. He was a good actor, and when he spoke, so did God if you know what I mean. Now a car accident had claimed his life.*

It was a shock but I continued on, only to see the next day that Brad Pitt had also bit the dust. Maybe it was contagious.

Fake news has always been around, but lately it’s become more common. In another “news” account, Morgan Freeman is not only dead, he’s been cloned. Wait, hold the presses, there’s even more. Morgan Freeman just married his step-granddaughter!  

As the site Politifact states, "Fake news is content that is manipulated to look like a real journalistic report, but it's not. It's completely made up. And the headlines are designed to go viral." Often, it's hard at least initially to tell the real from the fake, especially if we're not the kind to question or do a little digging. If we're "informed" that Hillary Clinton is running a child sex ring out of a pizza shop, we may believe it, especially if it fits our political bias or beliefs or is presented in a plausible fashion. Do "Democrats want to impose Islamic law in Florida"? Absolutely! On the other side, we have BuzzFeed's recent release of allegations concerning President-Elect Trump's ties with Russia and his "perverted sexual acts." It never seems to stop.

The motivation behind false reporting and manufactured stories can be almost anything. It can range from a political or social agenda to a simple desire to have fun and get a rise out of people. Or it can be to make money. Whatever the case, it is important for Us, the People, to be skeptical and to look before we leap into acceptance.  Credulity can be costly, whether to ourselves or others. Sometimes the truth can actually be hidden or difficult to see, or even ugly and unpleasant. Just ask anyone who has been unjustly sentenced to prison.

As I see it, there are two main reasons why there has recently been an epidemic of fake news.

1. Social media and the internet.  Facebook, to mention just one platform, often has sublime and beautiful posts such as lovely photographs of nature and animals of different species living in mutual harmony and support. Unfortunately, it also offers a lot that is ugly and obscene, as well as irresistible to the gullible. Above all, anyone who can log on can often get away with doing anything they want, things which they wouldn’t dare do in public. Faceless trolls and liars disseminate their mischief with impunity. If someone reports them and the site takes them off, they soon crop up elsewhere. The internet in particular is hard to resist. We all know people who have taken countless selfies from all conceivable angles. Why? Because they want friends and folks to react positively. And so do the frauds and pranksters who post fake news.

2. We’ve lost respect for research, scholarship, and critical thinking. This is at least partly related to #1. Before I retired as an English professor, I noticed that more and more of my students’ research papers were plagiarized from online sources. These articles were so quick and easy to find that some students didn’t even bother to go to the library. Why spend so much time and effort trudging all that way to dig through the stacks? Instead, they sat on their butts and cut and pasted whole sections of articles directly into their papers. Easy-peasy! I’m afraid that this casual, lazy attitude toward one’s sources has contributed to fake news. Sometimes, indeed, the offenders may even have difficulty distinguishing truth from falsehood. In the end, the truth is what they think it is.

Perhaps you can think of other factors that contribute to fake news. The important thing is to remain skeptical and to be on guard for it. Otherwise we run the risk of being seduced by falsehood and paying a terrible price.

* Previously published in PnPAuthors Promotional Magazine.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Humble Heroes Just Do Their Job

  John Glenn died recently. I think most of us would agree that he was a national hero. To mention just a few of his accomplishments and contributions: he was a multi-decorated fighter pilot of 150 combat missions; the first American to orbit Earth; a national political figure for 24 years in the Senate; and at 77 years of age, the oldest, by far, to return to space via the space shuttle Discovery.

But I want to focus on something else. John Glenn was not only reluctant to talk about himself as a hero, he apparently didn’t think of himself as one. He said, “I figure I’m the same person who grew up in New Concord, Ohio, and went off through the years to participate in a lot of events of importance.” When referring to his Earth-orbiting mission, he was flatly dismissive. “What got a lot of attention, I think, was the tenuous times we thought we were living in back in the Cold War. I don’t think it was about me. All this would have happened to anyone who happened to be selected for that flight.”

I don’t think it was about me. I’ve noticed that many of the greatest heroes have this self-effacing quality. We see them often. A cop or fireman risks their life to save the lives of others, and what do they say? “I was just doing my job.” When asked, they say they don’t think of themselves as heroes. They habitually defer to others and avoid the spotlight. They don’t think of themselves as superior to anyone, and praise and attention often embarrass them. If I may be permitted a personal reference, this is a major quality of Turtan, my fictional hero. For God’s sake, don’t praise him or make speeches in his honor. He was just doing his job.

This description describes to a T the values of Irena Sendler, a Polish woman. She risked her life to save the lives of 2500 Jewish children during World War II. She was caught, tortured, and severely beaten by the Gestapo who tried to make her reveal the names of the children and of her comrades. Despite her agony, Irena Sandler refused to do so. She was then sentenced to death and narrowly escaped. You would think after demonstrating such courage and conviction, that this woman would pat herself on the back a little and accept a compliment or two. Not at all! When interviewed, Irena Sandler said, “Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existence on this earth and not a title to my glory.”

In other words, I was just doing my job.

I’m not saying that people who display bravery and courage are not heroes if they thump their chest and brag a little. It’s okay to strut a bit and bask in well-earned praise. And I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t like movie superheroes and men and women of action who risk their hides and do glorious and splashy deeds. It’s just that during my life, I’ve noticed that it’s often the unsung and unnoticed heroes who are the most noble and praiseworthy. They may not be as glamorous or romantic, but they shine with a truer light, the kind you may have to watch closely to see.

I’ll give you one more example. I taught for nearly forty years at HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Often the families were poor and struggled to send their children to college. As an English professor, I came in contact with single mothers who labored at two or more jobs to afford a higher education for their children. To me, they were heroes. There was no stirring, uplifting music when they got down on their knees to wash a floor, and they weren’t featured on TV shows or the covers of any fashionable magazines. Nevertheless, in my book they were heroes, and I sometimes reflected on the strength and courage they must have possessed, especially when they themselves pursued a higher education thirty years or more after they had dropped out of high school.

In a way, these women were just doing their job too and didn’t think of themselves as heroes. Yet they were, and I believe such individuals deserve our recognition and appreciation far more than the glamorous stars we so often worship.

CONQUEROR OF THE STARS, Book 4 of John’s Inspector of the Cross series releases January 2017 . . . Pre-order now $3.00.  AMAZON                                       MUSEITUP
The first three novels of John’s Scifi-Adventure Inspector of the Cross series are available at


Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Maggie Tideswell, author of A Convenient Marriage.

The idea of two complete strangers getting hitched has always intrigued me, for one simple reason—why would they do such a thing? Could such a relationship succeed? By successful relationship, I understand not only the longevity of the marriage…but is it possible for the participants to actually fall in love with each other in such a strange arrangement? Love is found in the most unexpected places.
A Convenient Marriage grew over a number of years. The basic story was simple—a divorcee with two children, an ex-husband being difficult over visitation, as well as a fiancée unable to commit. Holly’s friends suggested that she needed a new husband, placing an advert in the paper for one behind her back. Joshua was struck by a simple plan when he saw the ad and responded to it.
Why would Holly marry a man she’d never met, and why would Joshua respond to an ad for a husband, then actually propose to a woman he had never clapped eyes on? So, in came the dawdling fiancée, Nicole. Both Holly and Joshua were justified in not planning the marriage to be a real one, because they each had an agenda of their own, but Nicole was the injured party. For their plan to succeed, they had to marry—the real kind, down to that all-important piece of paper married—and they had to seem to be totally in love with each other. That it is all a scam, only they would know.
And here comes the ‘but’. Holly and Joshua’s plans go awry from the moment they meet on the steps of the chapel where their fake marriage is to take place, when both recognize the immediate attraction. Back at Joshua’s wine estate—yes, he is a rich landowner where Holly expected him to be a pauper—Holly meets Joshua’s mother, his brother and sister-in-law, and Nicole, the fiancée, who found out about Joshua’s duplicity in a room full of people. No one can blame Nicole for being a tad upset. Or can they? To add to Holly’s woes, she seems to have acquired a ‘ghost’ demanding she tell a story.
Amidst Nicole’s shenanigans, Joshua’s mother’s disapproval, Holly’s ex’s aggression, and the ghost following Holly around, will these two accomplish what they set out to do? Or will life get in the way?
Joshua’s and Holly’s journey through the uncharted seas of a blind marriage, where no rules apply, is a stormy one. Place your order here:

About the Author
Maggie Tideswell lives in Johannesburg—South Africa, with her husband, Gareth. She began writing when her kids were still very young, squeezing a few paragraphs at a time between the hectic schedule of raising three children, and working full time in the catering industry. She wrote many books before considering having them published. Now that the children have all made lives for themselves, there is more time for writing.

After much experimentation, Maggie writes passionate paranormal romance, of varying levels of heat. The paranormal, things that happen for which there are no logical explanations and ghosts are of particular interest to Maggie. What events in a person’s life would prevent that person from ‘resting’ after death? The ‘Old Religion’ is another special interest. And love, of course. Why do people fall in love? What keeps them together for a lifetime when so many relationships fail?
Maggie’s advice to aspirant novelists is two-fold. Never give up, and write every day. Writing is a craft that has to be honed with practice. And the only way to practice writing is by doing it. And a bonus, never stop reading your favorite genre. Reading it and writing it is the only training for a writer.

“Maggie Tideswell's latest novel, A Convenient Marriage, will have you turning pages as her characters cope with a marriage of convenience, well-meaning but nosy friends, a meddling ghost, jealous exes, and more. My advice: Make room on your Keepers shelf for this story!” (Loree Lough, best-selling author of 107 award-winning books, including Harlequin Heartwarming's "Those Marshall Boys" series.)