Open Culture

If you aren’t checking out the website, Open Culture, you are missing out. Recently, the website alerted everyone to a wonderful opportunity to learn to cook from a stellar chef. Jacques Pepin.


Below is a direct link to all 48 videos. Enjoy.

Facebook and its Dirty, Dirty Practice of Allowing Right Wing Lies and Hate Speech

I have been off Facebook for a week. In mid-July, my page will disappear. While I miss the daily contact with friends and authors, I do not miss Facebook. I made the decision to leave Facebook after Facebook censored me for a second time for using the term, “white people.” Facebook determined it was hate speech. At the same time, Facebook allows right wing pages and groups to spread hate and misinformation. I cannot in good conscience support Facebook. Below is an article on one right wing outlet that is spreading hate and misinformation. Far from being censored, Ben Shapiro is a relationship with Mark Zuckerberg. Here is an article on the right wing hate allowed to flourish on Facebook.

Free Course from Yale University

Yale University has made an African American History Course, From Emancipation to the Present, available to everyone for free. The lectures are available on video and the course materials are free. It is a wonderful opportunity to expand your knowledge. The course is described as follows: “Prominent themes include the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction; African Americans’ urbanization experiences; the development of the modern civil rights movement and its aftermath; and the thought and leadership of Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, “Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X.”

Ida B. Wells

Treat Yourself and Introduce Yourself to Bardcore.

If you aren’t on the subscription of open culture, go to the site and sign up. It might be the best thing to arrive in your email. This week, it shares bardcore and medieval renditions of current songs.

In the meanwhile, enjoy the medieval version of Bad Romance.

Dancing Makes You Happy

This article explains some of the reasons why humans love dancing. As a child, my earliest memories of dancing were with my mother who was dancing in our living room. Decades later, while I was visiting my youngest sister, Alicia, Vida da loca came on the TV and suddenly it was a dance party. My mom, sister and I were dancing to the music. Our children joined the fun. It really isn’t a party unless everyone is dancing.

During the disco era, I was at the club dancing several times a week. Later, I was dancing to New Wave music at a gay bar in Champaign and at the New Wave Lounge in Fort Lauderdale. Even later, being heavy with child did not stop my dancing in clubs in Chicago. I miss those days. These days most of my dancing is done at home, by myself.

My youngest did competitive dance as a kid. I loved the practices and competitions. Judith also misses dancing. She is thinking of lessons so she learn new routines. When I post old videos and pictures of the competitions, her old teammates state they miss dance practices and competitions. We should find more opportunities to dance and we should never get too old to dance.

Thanksgiving 2019-It isn’t a party unless everyone dances

Twitter Fight

The fight between actor, Ron Perlman, and Rep. Gaetz and Sen. Ted Cruz is highly amusing. The 70–year- old Perlman is verbally pounding the two. Sen. Ted Cruz is demonstrating his toxic masculinity by challenging Perlman to wrestle 56-year-old Jordan, because might makes right in his circles. I would put my money on Perlman. But here are some screenshots of the flame war.

Broken Knight



“Everyone needs to read this book. ”

Photo Jun 22, 4 45 13 AM

I have been seriously neglecting this blog. I will be posting some reviews in the near future, including one for Broken Knight.  It is sitting on my kindle, demanding to be read.


– Harloe Rae, USA Today bestselling author.



Broken Knight, an all new standalone about first loves, betrayal and loss from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen, is available now!



Not all love stories are written the same way. Ours had torn chapters, missing paragraphs, and a bittersweet ending.


Luna Rexroth is everyone’s favorite wallflower.






Underneath the meek, tomboy exterior everyone loves (yet pities) is a girl who knows exactly what, and who, she wants—namely, the boy from the treehouse who taught her how to curse in sign language.

Who taught her how to laugh.

To live.

To love.


Knight Cole is everyone’s favorite football hero.






This daredevil hell-raiser could knock you up with his gaze alone, but he only has eyes for the girl across the street: Luna.

But Luna is not who she used to be. She doesn’t need his protection anymore.

When life throws a curveball at All Saints’ golden boy, he’s forced to realize not all knights are heroes.

Sometimes, the greatest love stories flourish in tragedy.



Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

$2.99 for a Limited Time Only


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(Available 8/25)

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Right now I wanted to just be here in silence with my best friend. And somehow, I don’t know how, but Luna sensed it. So we sat there for what felt like two hours but was probably a lot less, until I opened my eyes again. Her eyes were closed, too. I watched her for a while.

When she opened her eyes, it felt like she took something away from me.

“Let’s jump,” she said.

“I’m quite fond of my limbs, Moonshine.”

“Stop being such a big baby.”

“Big, quarterback baby who just finished a football season in one piece and would like to keep all his body parts intact.”

She crawled out of the treehouse and settled on the branch. It was thick, but I doubted it could carry my muscular ass for more than a few seconds before snapping. I rolled my eyes and settled next to her. She slipped her hand in mine.

“Three, two, one.”

It was a short, sweet way down.



About LJ Shen

L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 Best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to nineteen different countries.


She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.



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The Billionaire’s Fake Fiance by Annika Martin



TBFF_ebook_amazon_kobo_ibooksBack in high school, I would go to the local Woolworth’s and buy up all the Harlequin Presents. I was a sucker for their romance novels featuring millionaires and beautiful heroines— despite the fact many of the love stories were dysfunctional and toxic. Time marches on. I got older, a lot older, and romances now feature billionaires.  I no longer have an appetite for romance novels featuring billionaires. I never was a big fan of Cinderella, and most of these stories are newer, sexier versions of Cinderella.

But I am going to read everything Annika Martin writes.  She never fails to entertain. She has written three standalones, yet connected romantic comedies featuring billionaires. The first two, Most Eligible Billionaire and The Billionaire’s Wake-Up-Call Girl, were laugh-out funny. I recall scenes and chuckle. With the Billionaire’s Fake Fiancée, Annika Martin entertains us with a mystery as well as romance and humor.

Rex O’Rourke is a self-made billionaire (all the best billionaires are). To keep an important client, he must join the client and her wealthy family on their mega yacht. Socializing with old money wealthy on their mega yacht is Rex’s version of hell. He would instead be working. Even more unfortunate, to quail the entirely true rumors about Rex’s never date the same model/actress twice lifestyle, Rex’s assistant made up a story about a fiancée. Now Rex had to spend two weeks on a yacht with a fake fiancée. Of course, Rex’s greatest fear is the gorgeous fake fiancée will throw herself at him. (Gorgeous women throwing themselves at you is one of the downsides of being a hot billionaire. And you think you have problems.)

So, Rex describes the one woman that he would never be tempted by…bubbly, loves soap operas, impoverished, colorful hairstreaks, loves Hello Kitty, and turns pop songs into ditties about her pet. Rex might be oblivious that he is describing Tabitha, his hairdresser, but his assistant recognized her immediately.

Tabitha is in high demand as a mobile stylist in New York City. She has a waiting list of clients. But she must rest her wrist for six weeks or risk more severe consequences. The resulting loss of income had her worried. So, the offer to be a fake fiancée is tempting. So, despite her dislike of dishonesty, she agrees to the job.

The job requires a makeover. She has a dull, expensive wardrobe suitable for a yacht vacation. Her colorful hairstreaks are covered up. But no makeover can change the irrepressible force that is Tabitha. Due to her expansive knowledge of soap operas, Tabitha knows that the newly discovered, long lost nephew of the wealthy client is an imposter! She sets out to uncover the fraud. This behavior does not please Rex, who does not want to upset his client.

Rex just wants to work in his cabin. But he cannot ignore Tabitha and her wild soap opera conspiracies.  And maybe, just maybe, Tabitha is not everything Rex hates and despises.

The Billionaire’s Fake Fiancée is a delightful read. It has lots of humor and sexy romance. If I had to describe Martin’s writing in one word, it would be joy-filled. So, take time for yourself and indulge in some joy.

Creative: Michele Catalano

Photographer: Wander Aguiar

Model: Thiago

Meet the Author:

Annika Martin loves fun, dirty stories, hot heroes, and wild, dramatic everything. She enjoys hanging out in Minneapolis coffee shops with her writer husband, and also likes birdwatching at her bird feeder alongside her two stunningly photogenic cats, especially when she should be writing. She’s heavy into running, music, saving the planet, taking long baths, and consuming chocolate suckers. She’s worked a surprisingly large number of waitressing jobs, and has also worked in a plastics factory and the advertising trenches; her garden is total bee-friendly madness and her most unfavorite word is nosh or possibly fob. A NYT bestselling author, she has also written as RITA award-winning author Carolyn Crane.

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