Beauty of a Woman: Don’t judge us by our covers!

boaw-2013It’s long been said that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you know what? We do. Everyone does.

Sometimes, it’s reasonable–if a publisher or independent author didn’t care enough about the book to give it a decent, professional cover, how good can it be? But the fact is, plenty a wonderful book has been published with a plain, poorly-executed, or inappropriate cover.

What’s really sad is we do this with people – especially women. Yes, we do. Everyone does.

There are men in my life who, as much as I love them, are really bad about this. Every story, every incident related, if it concerns a female, begins with an assessment of her looks:

“This little girl came into the bar–she was as cute as a button, just turned eighteen–her friends left her and she needed a ride home.”

See how that worked? The first thing he focused on was her appearance. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the man in question got a female friend and the two of them drove the girl home. But still… what did her looks have to do with her plight?

It isn’t just men, either. By the time we’ve spent more than a couple decades on this earth, we figure out that the guys don’t really care that much what we wear, how our hair’s styled, or if our makeup is perfect. We dress to impress other women. How many times have you heard one say, “Oh God, I can’t believe she’s wearing that.” Or “Why doesn’t she do something about her teeth?” Or make a disparaging comment about someone’s weight?

Women in the public eye have it even worse. Sure, the appearance, clothing and polish of Hollywood personalities at awards ceremonies are analyzed to death whether they’re men or women. But the women are analyzed a lot more, and come under a lot more criticism, whether their outfit was too dowdy or too skanky, how much she’s showing her age, and oh noes, does she have a bit of a belly bulge??? Even women who are famous for something completely unrelated to looks are judged by them: “She’s a fat cow, but she’s a good golfer.” The men in my family don’t dis Hillary Clinton for her policies, but for her looks.

Stop judging us by our covers!

Stop judging us by our covers!

Well, I say it’s time to stop the madness. Stop judging us on looks!

That heavyset woman you’re making fat jokes about? May be the kindest and most generous person you’ll ever meet–and one of the most beautiful.

That homely chick at the office with the frumpy clothes may be the person who knows everything that’s going on and keeps the place organized and moving forward. She’s beautiful because she pulls everyone together and helps them all to succeed.

The mentally-challenged girl who’s socially awkward and can’t speak clearly? Probably knows more about unconditional love than most of us will learn in a lifetime.

That middle-aged woman in jeans and a sweatshirt who doesn’t bother with makeup may be developing software that will save the government millions of dollars (we can hope, right? 😀 ). That “old hag” may be the person who gives your children a lifelong love of learning, and turns them onto a path of success or serving others. That ugly-tired soccer mom is tired because she’s raising the next generation, and teaching them to be responsible adults. They’re beautiful in their passion for what they do, and what they do for others.

And Hillary Clinton? Hate her policies if you don’t agree with them, but for heaven’s sake, give the woman a break. She’s in her mid-sixties and spent four years as the United States’ Secretary of State, what has to be one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. Like her or not, she’s strong and tough, and beautiful for that.

What do you think? Do notice people judging others on appearance? Do you ever catch yourself doing the same? Please share – I’d love to hear from you! It’s something I have to work on, too.

This blog is part of the Beauty of a Woman Blogfest 2013, sponsored by August McLaughlin. Be sure to check out her site and visit other blogs celebrating all of the beauty that is a woman! Even better, get a chance to win a Kindle fire with each comment here and on other participating blogs!

Photo credit: Microsoft Office Clipart
Note: the beautiful women described above are just examples; none are meant to be anyone I know. Well, except maybe the software developer. 😀

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

WANA Wednesday: Romance of all Kinds, Fun for Kids, and ROW80

Notorious Lady AnneThis week’s new releases look like good ones! My RWA-chapter buddy Sharon Cullen released her new historical romance last week, The Notorious Lady Anne. It’s the story of Nicholas Addison, celebrated captain of the Blackwell Shipping Fleet, who has agreed to take Mrs. Emmaline Sutherland aboard the Pride and ferry the raven-haired beauty across the Atlantic on what he imagines will be a routine trip. But when the ship is attacked by pirates, the seemingly innocent passenger is revealed to be none other than the infamous marauder Lady Anne, whose name strikes fear in the hearts of sailors everywhere—and whose seductive wiles commandeers Nicholas’s affections.

Lady Anne, a legend of the high seas, has spent the last eleven years plotting revenge against her father, the owner of Blackwell Shipping. She’s targeted the Pride in hopes of plundering its captain’s company secrets. But beneath her fierce courage and bitter determination, Anne has the delicate heart of a woman—a heart that cannot help falling for Nicholas. Now Anne must make a difficult choice: bring down Blackwell or surrender to love.

The Notorious Lady Anne was featured in USA Today last week too! For more information and buy links, visit her website.

5-minute Love StoriesLooking for a bite-sized read? Check out Five-Minute Love Stories by the Los Angeles Romance Authors, which includes “Finding Julian” by Debra Kristi. In these busy and hectic times, sometimes you just need a few minutes to relax and escape the world, written by some of the shining stars and exciting new voices in Los Angeles.

This anthology of twenty-two short stories explores the many sides of love, featuring love in the traditional sense while several stories show love in broader terms, love of family, love of a pet, and even a super-spicy love story.

For more info, see Debra Kristi’s blog or Amazon.

TroopMonkesyChildren’s author Julie Hedlund celebrates the release of her debut storybook app, A Troop is a Group of Monkeys. It’s an interactive book for kids that introduces some of the fun plural nouns for animal groups (like “a pride of lions”) in a musical, rhyming story. Written by Julie Hedlund and illustrated by Pamela Baron, the app features original music by Tim McCanna, whose ditty you won’t be able to stop humming until long after the book is closed.

Each of the animal groups—a troop of monkeys, a colony of bats—comes to life on the screen and invites young readers to enjoy interactive play while reinforcing the vocabulary words on each page. The crocodiles snap their jaws, and the lions lick their paws. What do you suppose the skunks will do? More information is on Julie’s website or on the Apple iTunes store.

a-harry-situation-cover-1We have a new release in contemporary romance, too – A Harry Situation by Kristy K. James. In this book, Harry Saunders, the new employee for C & J Construction, turned out to be a woman, and the only thing Chris Parker wanted was to fire her. In his opinion, there was no place for females in this business. But labor laws meant that she stayed, making him nothing but miserable. Until he discovers a secret she’s been keeping from everyone. A secret that brings out every protective instinct he possesses. More info is available on Kristy’s website.

ROW80Logo175Quick ROW80 update: we’ve re-dyed the lace, and it’s now lavender! I’ve also completed part one of my writing workshop assignment, and put in an hour on prewriting for my next work. Fitness is also on-track so far, with two workouts in.

boaw-2013On another note, something exciting is happening on Friday, Feb. 22: The Beauty of a Woman Blogfest! Sponsored by thriller author August McLaughlin, this event features dozens of bloggers all writing about what the beauty of a woman truly is. I don’t normally post on Friday, but this week, I’ll be posting my BOAW contribution on a thoughtful and important topic. So be sure to check back here then, and stop by August’s blog for links to all other blogs AND a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

What about you – do you like historical romance? How about super short stories? Have you ever heard of storybook apps? If you’re participating in ROW80 (or heck, even if you’re not!), how are you doing on your goals so far this week? Are you participating in the Beauty of a Woman blogfest, or  planning to stop by and read? I hope to see you there! Let me know – I’d love to hear from you!


Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.


Valentines, Witches, Thrills, and Romance Past and Present! Plus ROW80 Check-in

It’s WANA Wednesday and we have a little bit of everything this week! So there’s sure to be at least one of these five fantastic-looking books that’ll stir your passion! Check out…

The Valentine GrinchHow about some contemporary romance? Unless you’re a Grinch… as in The Valentine Grinch by Sheila Seabrook!

Hearts, cupids, and diamond rings … bah humbug! Amanda Goodwin inherited her Valentine grinchness from her Grandpa George, so when she returns home for her Grandma Elvira’s Valentine’s Day wedding, it’s bah humbug all the way. Until, that is, she encounters her grandpa’s ghost.

Fortunately, she’s not in this alone. Long time friend, Dane Weatherby, totally gets her grinchly attitude. Between Grandpa’s demands for her to stop the wedding, Grandma’s inability to let go of her dearly departed husband’s urn, and Amanda’s parents acting friskier than a couple of newlyweds, she’s ready to give in to her grinchness and head back to the city.

Only true love can stop Amanda. And if Dane has his way, he just might convince her to say I do instead of bah humbug. More info at:

Easy Bake CovenOr maybe you’d like to venture into the paranormal, with Liz Schulte‘s Easy Bake Coven, where the Abyss is watching her … waiting for her.

For Selena Warren being a witch is no big deal. She dabbles in harmless magic with her friends and never thinks much about it. When her grandmother is attacked, Selene uncovers an ancient grudge that threatens the lives of everyone she loves. With no other choice, she puts her trust in a stranger who knows more about who she is than she does and shows her a world of elves, half-elves, fae — and one peculiar sekhmet named Femi. This unusual new world could swallow Selene whole, take away everything that makes her who she is, but the with a forgotten past beating down her door, she will have to dive in to save her future. More info at:

In Her ShadowAugust McLaughlin released her debut thriller, In Her Shadow, last month, but is celebrating its launch this week. This is the story of one woman locked in a basement, nearing death and longing for escape. Another baffled by the inexplicable symptoms wreaking havoc on her life. Both are lost and alone, yet somehow connected. And time is running out…

Near the tenth anniversary of her parents’ unexpected death, Claire Fiksen, a lovely young Harvard-grad and gifted psychologist in Minnesota, develops bizarre symptoms of an eating disorder that threaten her fledgling career, her relationship with a handsome young medical student, her grasp on reality and, soon, her life.

When her beloved grandfather reveals that there may be more to her parents’ death than she’s realized, Claire’s pursuit of healing becomes a desperate search for answers as she delves into her family’s sordid past. Meanwhile, someone is watching her every move, plotting to draw her into her own twisted web of misery. Claire has something he needs, and he’ll stop at nothing to obtain it. Every step Claire takes brings her closer to the truth and danger. And her life, she discovers, isn’t the only one at stake. More info at:

Mystery of the HeartMy In Real Life writing friends have been busy too! This week, Jillian Kent celebrates her birthday and the release of the third in her Ravensmoore Chronicles historical inspirational romance series, Mystery of the Heart.

Lady Mercy Grayson has secretly been studying medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has dressed as a man to pursue the same passion her big brother Devlin, Lord Ravensmoore, pursued outside the acceptance of society. Her secret has been discovered. Now she’s running away from Scotland and her dreams. Will she be able to accomplish what she feels is God’s calling, or will the parameters of society and those who want to use her secret to accomplish their own selfish ends determine the course of her future?

Vincent Lyons, Lord Eden, is an adventurer coming home to London to deliver the mysterious Holy Lance to the prince regent who wants to see if the legends are true surrounding this relic that is said to possess both the power of healing and destruction. His life is catapulted in another direction when he meets Mercy who is pursuing a different kind of adventure that will cause him to question everything he believes.

Both will be forced to examine their personal motives when members of a voudon tribe, the Regent, and the London Legend Seekers Club search to possess the ancient relic for their own purposes. More info at:

Tempting the BillionaireFinally, Jessica Lemmon has big news – the release of her debut contemporary romance, Tempting the Billionaire! In this story, Crickitt Day needs a job . . . any job. After her husband walks out on her, she’s determined to re-build her life and establish a new career. When swoon-worthy billionaire Shane August hires her as his assistant, she jumps at the chance to prove herself. Despite her growing attraction to her boss, she vows to keep things strictly professional. No flirting. No kissing. Definitely no falling in love…

Shane August is all business, all the time. He’s a self-made man who’s poured his heart and soul into his company, and he’d never allow himself to get involved with an employee. Then he hires sweet, sexy Crickitt-and he can’t keep his mind or his hands off her. But no matter how much he wants Crickitt, Shane fears that painful secrets from his past will always come between them. With fate working against them, can these two lonely hearts learn that sometimes mixing business with pleasure is the perfect merger? More info at:

ROW80Logo175And now, a brief ROW80 upate: I don’t usually get much done in the beginning of the week, especially since this ROW began on Monday so we’re only talking two days… yet I did get two chapters of Hangar 18: Legacy edited! I also have kept up with my fitness so far, working out both days.

What about you? Do you like light and fun romance, or are you more for thrills and chills? Have you read any good books lately, or know of any exciting new releases? Please share – I’d love to hear from you!


Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.