Purple or no?

I mentioned in my last blog post that I have left corporate America behind me.

Today, it occurred to me that I no longer have to conform to traditional business standards. I can set my own hours, dance to the beat of my own drum, eat dessert first. I can even have mermaid hair if I wish.

Never heard of mermaid hair? Well here are some examples:

I said something about this on Facebook and received lots of messages telling me to go for it, a few telling me to try something less drastic first and one wise soul who said “For some reason I don’t see you doing this.” As soon as she said it, I knew she was right. I probably wouldn’t.

But part of me really wants to.

So I am accepting the challenge. If we can get 500 subscribers to the new Duncurra YouTube channel, I will do it. I will film it. And I will post it on the channel.

If you haven’t done it yet, click here to check out the channel…and while you’re at it subscribe.

❤ Ceci

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Duncurra…experience it!

I am beyond thrilled to announce that I have left the pharmaceutical industry to focus all of my energy on writing and publishing.

But while I was wrapping up the day job, exciting plans were underway. Over the last few months, Duncurra has signed some new authors, built our social media platform and revamped our website. However, most exciting is that author, Lily Baldwin, and narrator/screenwriter, James McCreadie, with a tiny bit of help from me (and I do mean tiny), have built a Duncurra YouTube channel that I think you are going to love.

We have content that ranges from stopovers at some of Scotland’s most beautiful places and moments of Highland history, to Duncurra book trailers. We even have a complete audio-book, Jack: A Scottish Outlaw, by Lily Baldwin. However, this is not your typical recorded book. It features dual narrators and sound effects making it a unique listening experience. And the best part? It is completely free.

If you have ever been curious about an audio-book you will never have a better way to try one.

We will be adding content weekly, bringing you a variety of videos including recipes, seasonal surprises and even an opportunity to meet some characters from Duncurra novels. And, of course, more free audio-books. Look for my book, Once Found: A Pocket Watch Chronicle, in the Fall.

Duncurra’s Scotland awaits…click here to experience it! Be sure to give us the thumbs up on videos you enjoy, leave comments if you wish, let us know what you’d like to see and, above all else, subscribe so you don’t miss anything.

❤ Ceci

 

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A rant about “lifestyle”

Today on Facebook, I saw the following statement, applied to the LGBT community:

“I don’t agree with their lifestyle.”

These words, when applied to someone’s sexuality make me cringe.

They make me shake my head.

They make me angry.

I try to avoid being overly controversial and I realize that some of my readers may strongly disagree with what I am about to post. I’m posting it anyway for the people I love.

I am tired of seeing a person’s sexual orientation described as a lifestyle.

It isn’t a lifestyle.

A lifestyle can be defined as a combination of opinions, attitudes, interests, values, needs, and wants. It can be molded by a multitude of factors including one’s family, community, faith, upbringing, even income.

So, if I say someone identifies themselves as a vegan, immediately certain things about how that person chooses to lead his or her life pops into mind. To say a vegan doesn’t eat meat, is oversimplifying it. Vegan’s don’t consume or use any product derived from animals. They don’t wear leather. They don’t eat Jell-O. They won’t take a vitamin containing Magnesium Stearate unless it is clearly identified as coming from a vegetable source. A person might decide to become a vegan for a variety of reasons that may differ from other people who choose to be vegans. But everyone who identifies as a vegan makes many consumer choices based on that decision. That is a lifestyle.

Choosing to enter a religious order is a lifestyle choice.

Choosing to sell everything, buy a sailboat and sail around the world is a lifestyle choice.

Choosing to live as green as possible is a lifestyle choice.

The key here is that generally one chooses a lifestyle. One does not choose a sexual orientation. For anyone who is reading this who identifies as heterosexual, do you honestly believe you chose that? Didn’t you always just know it? Did you reach a point in your life where you wondered, “Hmm, am I going to like girls or boys?” Maybe so, but I doubt it. There are certainly those who do question or even suppress their sexual identity, but I suspect the vast majority of people don’t. Furthermore, if I say I am heterosexual does that tell you anything about my lifestyle? No. It only tells you my sexual orientation.

Therefore, there is no such thing as an LGBT lifestyle, just as there is no heterosexual lifestyle. Someone’s sexual identity does not define the way that person chooses to live, it only defines the gender to whom they are attracted or the gender with which they identify.

I think it does real damage when we refer to something over which an individual has no control as a lifestyle choice. Defining someone’s lifestyle based on one aspect of who they were born to be makes no more sense than suggesting one’s lifestyle is dictated by the color of their eyes.

Rant over.

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Retiring…but not from writing

Fortune, croppedI have worked in medical research and pharmaceutical development for nearly twenty years–my entire professional life. I started my career as a nurse at the National Institutes of Health. After nine years, I became a Consumer Safety Officer/Regulatory Project Manager at the Food and Drug Administration. From there I moved into the pharmaceutical industry and have held leadership positions in both medical writing and regulatory affairs.

I am proud of the body of work I leave behind me. I am particularly proud of the people I have had the privilege to mentor.

All that said, the time is right for me to set this aside and take up the mantle of author and publisher on a full-time basis. There are characters in my head clamoring for their tales to be told; I want to be able to give them the novels they deserve. There are also authors who have stories to share with the world, who can’t do it on their own. I want my company, Duncurra LLC, to be able to provide publishing and promotional services to these authors, while ensuring that they are fairly compensated.

My daughter, Meghan Cusack, will be joining me in this endeavor. She holds a BA in English, with a minor in writing. Her specialty is multi-media communications, which is an invaluable set of skills for marketing and promotion in today’s environment. She, along with Lily Baldwin, James McCreadie, Debbie May, and Kathryn Lynn Davis will be teaming up to make Duncurra LLC a publishing and promotional team like no other.

This next chapter of my life begins July 1, 2016. Stick with me as the universe unfolds. I promise you wonderful things to come.

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P!nk

I am not cool. I’m just putting this out there. I am completely out of touch with current trends in anything. I suspect this is because 1) I work remotely–my commute is to the coffee pot; and 2) I almost never watch TV–four shows in the last two years that I binge watch when I have the time, and thus rarely see commercials. Mind you, I have nothing against TV. I’m sure there are lots of shows I would enjoy. However, since I have a full-time day job and lots of books I want to write, I just don’t have time.

There was a period in my life when I could have faked it to a degree. When my kids were in high school and lived at home I knew a little pop-culture. If I heard something in passing, with which I wasn’t familiar, I could ask the experts. Bless them, they never rolled their eyes, they always just explained, often pulling up video or audio for me.

Anyway, that is all to say that I don’t really know who P!nk is. I have heard of her, I know she is a popular musician, but if she delivered roses to my door, I wouldn’t recognize her. However, she tweeted something this week that I saw on Facebook and I admire it. I know there was a reason for it and there is a lot of fur flying on both sides. However, setting all of that aside, I love the message in the tweet so I am reposting it here.

Shout out to all of the women, across the world, using their brains, their strength, their work ethic, their talent, their “magic” that they were born with, that only they possess. It may not ever bring you as much “attention” or bank notes as using your body, your sex, your tits and asses, but women like you don’t need that kind of “attention”. In the quiet moments, you will feel something deeper than the fleeting excitement resulting from attention, you will feel something called pride and self-respect. Keep on resisting the urge to cave. You’ll never have to make silly excuses for yourself.

~ P!nk, March 8, 2016

So this is a “shout out” to a pop artist about whom, admittedly, I know almost nothing. But I think she got it right with this. To you I say: Well done, my lady P!nk (which would be totally hip in the fourteenth century).

 

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The Midwife goes live tomorrow!

CoveFinal2LG-TheMidwifeThe Midwife: The Pocket Watch Chronicles

Can a twenty-first century independent woman find her true destiny, in thirteenth century Scotland?

At his father’s bidding, Cade MacKenzie begs a favor from Laird Macrae—Lady MacKenzie desperately needs the renowned Macrae midwife. Laird Macrae has no intention of sending his clan’s best, instead he passes off Elsie, a young woman with little experience, as the midwife they seek.

But fate—in the form of a mysterious older woman and an extraordinary pocket watch—steps in.

Elizabeth Quinn, a disillusioned obstetrician, is transported to the thirteenth century. She switched souls with Elsie as the old woman said she would but other things don’t go quite as expected. Perhaps most unexpected was falling in love.

The Pocket Watch and The Midwife are standalone novels and can be read in any order.

Please note, The Midwife is a romance novel. It contains several mildly explicit intimate scenes. If you prefer either more or less steam you might be disappointed.

And what’s next you ask?

Once Found is available now for pre-order, and will be released on May 27, 2016.

CoverFinalLG-OnceFound

Once Found: The Pocket Watch Chronicles

Elsie thought she had found love.
The handsome young minstrel awoke her desire and his music fed her soul. But just as love was blossoming, the inconceivable happened—Elsie awoke more than seven hundred years in the future, in the body of Dr. Elizabeth Quinn.

Gabriel Soldani thought he had found love several times, only to have it slip from his grasp. In medical school he had fallen hard for Elizabeth Quinn but their careers led them in different directions. When their paths cross again, he hopes they’ve been given another chance.

There’s only one problem…the woman he’s never forgotten doesn’t remember him.

Once love is found…and then lost…can it be found again?

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Wow, March is almost here

I can scarcely believe my last post was at Christmas.

No, that’s a lie. I can believe it–it’s just a tad embarrassing. But life has a habit of wedging its way into the best made plans. Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t share the news of my upcoming release.

The Midwife, the second book in the Pocket Watch Chronicles is available for pre-order on Amazon and will be released in a week on March 1, 2016.  It is a full-length, stand alone novel. It’s only relationship to The Pocket Watch is…well…thirteenth century Scotland, Gertrude and the pocket watch.

CoveFinal2LG-TheMidwife

Can a twenty-first century independent woman find her true destiny, in thirteenth century Scotland?

At his father’s bidding, Cade MacKenzie begs a favor from Laird Macrae—Lady MacKenzie desperately needs the renowned Macrae midwife. Laird Macrae has no intention of sending his clan’s best, instead he passes off Elsie, a young woman with little experience, as the midwife they seek.

But fate—in the form of a mysterious older woman and an extraordinary pocket watch—steps in.

Elizabeth Quinn, a disillusioned obstetrician, is transported to the thirteenth century. She switched souls with Elsie as the old woman said she would but other things don’t go quite as expected. Perhaps most unexpected was falling in love.

Please note, The Midwife is a romance novel. It contains a mildly explicit description of a wedding night–think two shades rather than fifty. If you prefer either more or less steam you might be disappointed.

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