CORNER OF THE SKY

Today is a celebration of woman bravery, patriotism and determination.  Based on a great and amazing true story that Hollywood has failed to tell.

A Hollywood Producer hired us to write a screenplay about Jackie Cochran. Back when women were real heroes Jackie became the first woman to break the sound barrier 57 years ago today. In an F-86 Sabre plane, borrowed from the Royal Canadian Air Force, Cochran surpassed Mach 1; over the course of her flight, she averaged speeds of 652.337 miles per hour. But this was last major milestone of her career.

Our screenplay, yet to be produced but having varied and long term interest in Hollywood, deals with her early career, a period when her life and the lives of other women were in grave danger. During World War II women weren’t allowed to enlist in the military, but they were allowed to fly American built aircraft from the factories to the front lines. This is the story of a first brave women who risked their lives to do what they loved…to fly. Fictionalized story based on the real life of Jackie Cochran and her creation of a pre-WASP group of female volunteers who went where no woman had before…into the war zone. Before the United States joined World War II, Jackie Cochran was part of “Wings for Britain”, an organization that ferried American built aircraft to Britain, becoming the first woman to fly a bomber, (a Lockheed Hudson) across the Atlantic.

In Britain, she volunteered her services to the Royal Air Force. She won five Harman Trophy as the outstanding woman pilot in the world. Sometimes called the “Speed Queen,” at the time of her death, no pilot, man or woman, held more speed, distance or altitude records in aviation history, than Jackie Cochran. In September 1940, with the war raging throughout Europe, Jackie Cochran wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt to introduce the proposal of starting a women’s flying division in the Army Air Forces. She felt that qualified women pilots could do all of the domestic, noncombat aviation jobs necessary in order to release more male pilots for combat.

This is the story of the women she recruited for this dangerous mission and how they managed, against all odds, to succeed.

Visit our website at http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com and check out the “My Hollywood Years” pages for Jackie’s story and other original screenplays in addition to my over 40 award winning and best selling novels that have sold over 3.25 million copies world wide.

Here’s Jackie with Chuck Yeager, the first male pilot who a mere six years earlier also broke the sound barrier.

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And here she is when she led the Wings For Britain force in WWII.

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SPOOF!

SPOOF!

By Kathy Clark

 

It used to be people would say “it is what it is.”   But that may no longer be true.  Actually, it is getting less true every day.

REALITY ROMANCE novels are stories about real people engaged in normal activities whose lives are interrupted by the unexpected.

But what is reality in the early part of the Twenty-first Century?

In current films, for example, it is increasingly difficult to identify the parts of the movie that are real and those that are CGI (computer graphic imaging).

Today, most people glance at their phone screens and check the caller ID before answering their phone.  But few people realize that with little or no technical expertise, it’s easy to make any name and number appear as the caller ID on your phone.  Every day people get called by the police or the IRS with warnings about arrests or worse because money is owed for unpaid tickets or taxes.  But don’t send them that check.  It’s probably scammers who have misidentified themselves as authorities that you trust.  SPOOF!

Maybe you’ve received an email from someone and in fact the sender never sent the email.  SPOOF!

A newer, more complex trick is to cause someone’s geographical location as shown on their cell phone or vehicle GPS device to be somewhere it isn’t.   SPOOF!

REALITY ROMANCE is contemporary life.  In the third book of our SCANDALS series, WORST DATE EVER, an on-line dating service is hit by a spoofer.  As the incidences escalate from identity theft to murder, Tulsa and a millionaire fireman must work together to stop the hacker.  Of course, romance and mayhem follows.

Go to this link to find the best priced copy of WORST DATE EVER, book #3 from our SCANDALS Series-  www.lrd.to/worst-date-ever

Here are the first three books in the SCANDALS Series…

 

And our website has all of our books – http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com

 

There are many types of spoofing but here are a few of our favorites as they frequently show up in our Twenty-first Century news, TV shows, films, and books:

CALLER ID SPOOFING

  • Public telephone networks often provide Caller IDinformation, which includes the caller’s name and number, with each call. However, some technologies (especially in Voice over IP (VoIP) networks) allow callers to forge Caller ID information and present false names and numbers. Gateways between networks that allow such spoofing and other public networks then forward that false information.  Since spoofed calls can originate from other countries, the laws in the receiver’s country may not apply to the caller. This limits laws’ effectiveness against the use of spoofed Caller ID information to further a scam.  So next time a police officer or an IRS agent calls, don’t panic.  Unless you’re expecting the call, it’s probably not really an official.

 

eMAIL SPOOFING

  • The sender information shown in e-mails(the “From” field) can be easily spoofed. This technique is commonly used by spammers to hide the origin of their e-mails and leads to problems such as misdirected bounces (i.e. e-mail spambackscatter). E-mail address spoofing is done in a similar manner as writing a forged return address using snail mail. As long as the letter fits the protocol, (i.e. stamp, postal code) the SMTP protocol will send the message. It can be done using a mail server with telnet.

 

GPS SPOOFING

  • GPSspoofing attack attempts to deceive a GPS receiver by broadcasting counterfeit GPS signals, structured to resemble a set of normal GPS signals, or by rebroadcasting genuine signals captured elsewhere or at a different time.  A “proof-of-concept” attack was successfully performed in June, 2013, when the luxury yacht “White Rose” was misdirected with spoofed GPS signals from Monaco to the island of Rhodes by a group of aerospace engineering students from the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin. The students were aboard the yacht, allowing their spoofing equipment to gradually overpower the signal strengths of the actual GPS constellation satellites, altering the course of the yacht.

 

All of these fascinating new technologies can create great conflicts and plotlines in current literature and other forms of entertainment.  It changes every day, so if you’re a writer, be sure and do your homework.  If you’re a consumer…BEWARE.

Bottom line?  What it is isn’t what it is.

 

You Are What You Were When

You Are What You Were When

By Kathy Clark

 

Great characters…that’s what several of our REALITY ROMANCE Blogs have been about.  What makes characters memorable and what makes people love or hate them?  They have to be real.  They have to be people you want to know or who are similar to people you already know.  Nothing kills a book faster than a character you don’t care about.  Love them or hate them, they have to make an impact.

The lead characters of most romance novels are in their early twenties to late thirties range.  But the supporting characters can be all ages, shapes, colors, and personalities.  If there wasn’t a variety, the story would be pretty one-dimensional.  You’ll see authors add babies, teenagers, parents, grand-parents, and even animals.  They all make interesting additions as long as you, the writer, makes sure that they’re consistent, real, and important to the plot.

When we were creating our Austin Heroes series, we knew the three books were to each feature one of the Archer brothers.  How do you balance a cocky DEA agent, a golden-boy Texas Ranger, and a prodigal son Homeland Security officer?  One of our favorite TV shows is Blue Bloods that each week ends with a big family dinner.  Well, we decided to adapt that meal idea to a family of alpha men who are supposed to leave their guns at the door, but almost never stop talking shop.  Who could be strong enough to counteract these powerful personalities?

Their feisty grandmother, of course.  Grammy grew up in the Sixties as a young musician turned hippie, immersed in the culture of Haight Asbury.  She still enjoys smoking pot on the porch and living on the edge of society.  What better conflict for three grandsons who have sworn to uphold the law?  One even has a drug dog who definitely has a conflict of interest every time they come for dinner at Grammy’s.

The fun part about writing Grammy was that we could make her bigger than life.  The challenging part was that we had to keep her in character and have her appropriately represent her generation.  There are plenty of Baby Boomers out there who would spot anything disingenuous or incorrect.

Equally important was when we were writing Another Chance, the third book in the series.  The premise is that Luke (the Homeland Security officer) returns home to Austin on an assignment and bumps into his high school sweetheart, Bella.  So, while not actually having two sets of characters, we had to deal with Luke and Bella as emotional teenagers and as cynical adults.  That involved going back to the Eighties and staying true to that era, as well.  Do you remember that there were no cell phones, DVDs, CDs, or internet back then?

Working with all those characters at various stages of their lives was a lot of fun.  Their lives, loves, emotions, heartbreaks, and ambitions were all woven into the plot, making a complex, but realistic view of a family.

My husband heard a wonderful speech by a man named Morris Massey, a marketing professor and sociologist.  His decades-long work is focused on values, generations, and what he calls Significant Emotional Events, or SEE’s.  Some of his most noteworthy, useful and entertaining topics include:

  • The Original Massey Tapes – 1: What You Are Is Where You Were When
  • The Original Massey Tapes – 3: What You Are Is
  • The Original Massey Tapes – 4: What You Are Is Where You See
  • What You Are Is What You Choose…So Don’t Screw It Up
  • Dancing With The Bogeyman

They tell how to make characters that are true to their backgrounds and beliefs.

Authors tell you character background by several means:

  • What their pop culture is about [music, words, films, books, art etc.]
  • Reference points [age of family members, what grade they are in school, if they are on social security or in the military are the obvious examples]
  • And the obvious clue, the author just tells you

Dr. Massey’s findings will help you create wonderful characters that are consistent with their age and upbringing.  When a senior citizen acts like a teenager or a college student dresses like a grade school kid, the reader is thrown out of the book.  These incongruities, unless there are “payoffs” later in the book, just show you didn’t do your homework and you didn’t really know your own characters.

Following are some quotes from Another Chance that illustrate our point.

“Grammy took us everywhere in that bus.  When the engine burned up for the third time just two years ago, she had it towed back to this field, then held a wake for it.  Hundreds of people came out.  It was the event of the year.”  Nick shook his head and smiled as the memory of that crazy party flashed through his mind.

“She has lots of friends?”

“Everyone from the 60s who was involved in music…that is, anyone still alive…showed up.  It was…colorful.”  Nick glanced over at Jamie.  “I have to warn you…Grammy is not a typical grandmother.”

“And this must be Harley.”  She looked down at the dog that was sitting at attention next to her, his gaze focused on her with burning intensity.  She wore a long prairie skirt and tie-dyed T-shirt with her curly steel-gray hair pulled back into a ponytail.

“Grammy, you’re killing me,” Nick said.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You’ve got a joint in your pocket, don’t you?” Nick asked.

“I might,” she admitted with an unapologetic grin.

 “I’m a DEA agent, and Harley’s a drug dog.  What are we supposed to do with you?”

“Arrest me,” Grammy challenged nonchalantly.  She leaned over and petted Harley whose concentration didn’t waiver.

“I should.  Maybe a night in jail would be good for you,” Nick retorted.

“Ha!  Like I haven’t been to jail before.”  She chuckled.  “The first time was back in ’67…or was it ’68?  Anyway, me and a bunch of other women burned our bras in the street outside The Playboy Club in San Francisco.  I haven’t worn a bra since.”

 

So what does the teaching of an expert in this field, Dr. Morris Massey, tell us?  Dr. Massey’s credentials are on line.  In his book What Works At Work (Lakewood Publications, 1988) he was cited as one of the most influential workplace experts of the time.  And to fully understand why people believe what they do and have the values they do, you have to understand where they’ve come from.

Morris Massey has described three major periods during which our values are developed.

 

The Imprint Period

Up to the age of seven, we are like sponges, absorbing everything around us and accepting much of it as true, especially when it comes from our parents. The confusion and blind belief of this period can also lead to the early formation of trauma and other deep problems. The critical thing here is to learn a sense of right and wrong, good and bad. This is a human construction which we nevertheless often assume would exist even if we were not here (which is an indication of how deeply imprinted it has become).  If parents are poor their kids often will value wealth.  If they’re jobs are a t risk and they’re unemployed the kids will value job security and when they’re older days off without pay is a significant.

 

The Modeling Period

Between the ages of eight and thirteen, we copy people, often our parents, but also other people. Rather than blind acceptance, we are trying on things like suit of clothes, to see how they feel. We may be much impressed with religion or our teachers. You may remember being particularly influenced by junior school teachers who seemed so knowledgeable—maybe even more so than your parents.

 

The Socialization Period

Between 13 and 21, we are very largely influenced by our peers. As we develop as individuals and look for ways to get away from the earlier programming, we naturally turn to people who seem more like us. Other influences at these ages include the media, especially those parts which seem to resonate with the values of our peer groups.

 

So your kids or even you at about age seven, between eight and thirteen or between thirteen and twenty one, are primary time periods that mold us.  Is it any wonder therefore that kids growing up in the fifties explained a lot about the existence of the hippies of the sixties and seventies and the push back the baby boomer generation always seemed to be doing in the sixties through to today.

 

Kind of makes you wonder what imprints kids in the early twenty-first century will value as adults.  The point of this blog?  Be sure your characters are consistent with their age and era.  Of course, not everything you know about your characters will come out on the page.  But it impacts who they are and how they will react to whatever conflicts you’re going to throw in their path.

 

Our series novels are in three different age ranges for example:

  • The young adult series, TIME SHIFTERS, is about four sixteen year olds.
  • The new adult series, SCANDALS, is about five adults age eighteen to twenty five
  • Romantic Suspense, both the Denver Heroes and Austin Heroes series, is about characters in their mid to late twenties.

 

AFTER LOVE COVER

SEX AT WORK Or LOOK WHO’S MAKING COFFEE!

 

By

Kathy Clark

 

What do Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Taylor, Mark Zuckerberg, and Brad Pitt have in common?

They all had a workplace romance with one or more of their co-workers.  In Reality Romance novels, workplace romances are often central to the story.  Even Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele start out in his office…and we all know where that story ended up.

So what’s happening on the job while people are working nine-to-five?

The facts, based on surveys from Vault.com and Forbes give us facts about the reality of office romances.  Who’s doing it?  55% of women surveyed and 56% of men have been willing participants in some type of workplace relationship.  Career climbers?  Hardly.  Only 3% did so with the expectation of gaining pay, stature, or position.  That leaves 97% who did it just for fun or personal reasons.

How do these relationships start?  Why does it makes a good plot for a Reality Romance  novel?

  • 19% happened while traveling out of town
  • 12% “ran into each other” outside of work
  • 11% the relationship was sparked at a happy hour get together
  • 10% evolved after late nights at work together
  • 10% were lunch buddies first
  • 9% said it was love at first site

The survey leaves 29% who either didn’t volunteer how their workplace romance started.  On the other hand, we all know people who have had multiple office romances and therefore the above statistics may also include some double dipping, so to speak.

The survey led us to investigate further.  When sex was involved, here’s what people claimed:

  • 19% have done it on the job
  • 89% of those admitted to having been caught doing it

The conclusion must be that if you do it on the job, there is a very high chance of being caught.  Perhaps that’s part of the appeal.  Some people’s libido is heightened by danger or risk.

The breakdown statistics of where the romance takes place when on the job are not as clear.  The most common places to be discovered having sex at work were in the board room, the engineering lab, the stairwell, and the office kitchen.   Surprisingly, the breakroom was not a highly frequented place and the employee’s vehicle wasn’t mentioned.

 

By now you’ve got to be asking why?  In a word…attraction.  And there are three factors that lead to work place romances developing:

  • We gain attraction to others based on our familiarity and proximity to them. If you spend eight hours a day with a co-worker, and three waking hours with your spouse, this can give an office mate the advantage.
  • We spend one-third of our lives at work, dealing with the same clients and problems as our co-workers. Having something in common, even if it is on an impersonal level, can create the illusion of a deeper bond.
  • The average coworker comes to work well-groomed, nicely dressed and on their best behavior. Believe it or not, you are actually seeing the best of those you work with.

Before you toss all the research and surveys away, one more set of statistics.  Which businesses or industries are the most fertile, so to speak?

  • 72% in the insurance sector
  • 70% in education
  • 60% finance and banking
  • 59% manufacturing
  • 56% technology
  • 55% energy
  • 49% law
  • 49% accounting

Are there lessons to be learned by these eager office scoundrels?  Regardless of how things turned out, men and women would likely participate in another office romance, with 70% of men saying they would do it again.  While that number dips slightly among women, with only 62% saying they would pursue another workplace relationship if the option became available.  The general consensus on office romances amongst both sexes is clear.  Why not?

One major facet of on-the-job romances is the part that stretches beyond bosses and subordinates and co-workers. The workplace includes customers, be they clients, victims, or suspects.  That is real life which is what Reality Romances are all about.

On-the-job romances are a fact of life and, therefore, are juicy subjects in Reality Romances.  We’ve written and had published 14 novels since 2012.  Discounting the four YA time travel mystery romances in our Time Shifters series, here’s where our Reality Romance novels fall as regards work place romance stories –

  • Romantic Suspense, New Adult [Indie published]
    • Due Dates
      • Our heroine, Killeen Ames, discovers her new life comes with a man she can’t resist who doesn’t know the dark secrets of her past.  Doubly unfortunate, the man is a co-worker and now her boss.
    • Killer Date
      • Our hero in this second book in the series, Reno Marks, loves women…as a whole, but he’s never been in love. In fact, he doesn’t really know what it is. His love interest in this heart stopping Romancing the Stone like adventure and romance is not a co-worker but a client. I guess we’re expanding the Reality Romance genre to include customers and clients.
    • Worst Date Ever
      • Tulsa Wiggins, our heroine and smarter than smart, is forced to stake out a suspected perp by moving into his luxury apartment. The Reality Romance genre expands further to include suspects in more than one way. 

 

  • Erotic Romance [Loose Id and Indie published]
    • Master Suite
      • Together our heroine and hero explore the sensuous world of BDSM game play. Unknown to him, they work at the same medical facility.  The office romance begins.
    • Fantasy Suite
      • Alright, plain and simple, there is no office romance here. Just more of the Fantasy Island meets the Love Boat activity that takes place at the exclusive Fini Luxury Resort & Spa near Aspen, Colorado.

 

  • Romantic Suspense [Random House LLC published 3 of the 6 to date]
    • After Midnight
      • Our Denver, Colorado Cop, Sam Morgan, gets sideways with an on-the-job attacker and his “office romance” turns out to be his only clue to the killing of a fellow officer…providing he can keep her alive.
    • Cries In The Night
      • Our heroine, Julie Lawrence, is a victim’s advocate for the Denver Police Department and through her involvement of helping the people in the city experiencing their worst nightmare, she becomes involved with both the love of her life and the one who is out to end her life.
    • Deep Night
      • A deeply touching story of a woman’s profound healing, and the amazing man, her co-worker, who’s with her every step of the way.
    • After Love
      • One of most beloved characters in the last few years is DEA agent Nick Archer. His love interest, Jamie Chambers knows how to sniff out trouble but as you will see execution of a plan is harder than the plan. In this story, Jamie is neither a co-worker, boss nor subordinate. But it could be argued that he is her client as she provides him with his new K-9 partner, Harley.

 

Find all about these novels and all our books on our website at http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com and here are the links to the books mentioned in this blog.

Romantic Suspense, New Adult [Indie published]

Due Dates amzn.to/1RG22gd

Killer Date amzn.to/1VQiH6N

Worst Date Ever amzn.to/1LUTRQY

 

Erotic Romance [Loose Id and Indie published]

Master Suite amzn.to/22apRTb

Fantasy Suite amzn.to/1TAc481

 

Mainstream romantic suspense

[Random House LLC published 4 of the 6 to date]

After Midnight amzn.to/1ZGWCYs

Cries In The Night amzn.to/1ftgfBA

Deep Night amzn.to/1pFZeJu

After Love amzn.to/1RTJIq6