Pampered princess and daughter of a Mexican crime boss,
Isabel (Izzy) Ramirez is a newly appointed assistant
professor working toward tenure and promotion. Driven by
voracious desires, including ambition for advancement in the
legitimate world and lust for her boy toy, Izzy’s house of
cards is threatened when the department chair confronts her
about a major transgression. Izzy’s take no prisoners
approach means she makes sure her boss can never expose her
Graduate assistant and guy-on-the-side, Sean Richards wants
Izzy to leave her sleazy husband. If she would only get away
from that crook, he’s convinced that he can bring out the
better woman who exists beneath Izzy’s tough sex siren
exterior. He adores his hot blooded Latina and will do her
bidding--up to a point. Despite the mind blowing sex, he
can’t and won’t murder for her.
As Izzy’s nosy parker friend and colleague doggedly follows
an obscure trail of clues about the department chair’s
death, Izzy is forced to choose between reverting to the
ways of her unredeemable father--or becoming the
extraordinary woman she sees in Sean’s loving eyes.
I believe that we all have the ability to change who we become and we are not bound to become the environment we grew up in. Although to do this you need inner strength and somehow you have to find that there is a different way to do things. If you are not shown or exposed to different ways your chances of not repeating what you are used to are considerably reduced. If however you meet someone to show you the way or you are a reader or movie goer or traveler of somekind and are exposed to different experiences it becomes more about choice, commitment and determination. I myself have changed so much since meeting my husband and moving to a different state. I really believed everyone grew up the way I did and was amazed that I was so misinformed. I am grateful everyday that he and I met and that he was so patient with my evolving personality. :) Wow can I babble or what? (Patti Paonessa 6:50pm August 7, 2011)
Thank you for reading and commenting. You're not babbling. I was sitting here nodding my head as I read your post. I agree. Until we are shown how things are done differently elsewhere, how could we know better? I think of Oliver Twist and Fagin with all those children. He fed them and was kinder than most adults to them. Why wouldn't they do his bidding and pick pockets? (Sharon Buchbinder 8:51am August 18, 2011)
Hi, sweetie. Let's see: naughty or nice? I'm reviewing my wip now and that's a dilemna she has. Her mother always preached on the nice topic so much so, she is almost paralyzed.
Like most everything, there's a balance. I'm thinking four champagne cocktails might be naughty, but sure taste nice. lol (Vicki Batman 12:56pm August 18, 2011)
I believe we are our own person. Sometimes someone special can help you see who you really are meant to be, but basically no matter how you are raised, you have the ability to be whoever you choose to be. can't wait to read this book. Thanks for being such a great author. (Constance Biller 12:16pm August 19, 2011)
I agree with Constance, we are what we want to be. It is too easy to blame upbringing - I came from a broken home but I turned out great!lol! (Barbara Hanson 4:18am August 19, 2011)
Gender and family roles have some effects on how you turn out... I like to think that everyone has the chance to be whoever he/she chooses to be. (May Pau 8:43am August 19, 2011)
I am going to just love this book....as it kinda fits right into my life. I do agree that how you are raised has alot to do with how you are as an adult but I also agree and believe that everyone should be who they want to be and hope that they strive to exceed for that. Sometimes when you are brought up in an undesirable situation then a person has a had time finding the strength and courage to become someone else. It took me many years to find my own way...but I finally broke free!!!! (Dawn Staniszeski 9:17am August 19, 2011)
I believe the die is cast by our upbringing. I know that as a child, there were a lot of things that were drummed into my head, not only by my parents, who were very strict, but at school, which was a Parochial one. Back then, the Nuns were very demanding, and I felt mean to a fault, but now that I look back, I am thankful that they were. The upbringing that I had did put me on a bit of a guilt trip, but I had a heck of an education while I was under the control of the Nuns. I later switched to Public education, and was blessed with good teachers there as well, which rounded out my educatin with things I never would have learned in Parochial school, such as how to play the Cello and how to Crochet, for example. My Parents were extremely strict, but that's how their Parents raised them, so the tradition was carried down, I suppose. I hated every minute of it, but it taught me values some other girls didn't have and made me a better person for it. From time to time I get the streak of "bad girl syndrome" in me, but nothing illegal, just to release some tension. I think everyone has a little "bad girl" in them that needs to be released from time to time, depending on the circumstances. Sorry if I went on a little long. Your new book sounds wonderful, and I can't wait to read it!! (Peggy Roberson 9:51am August 19, 2011)
I believe that everyone has a bit of bad girl and good girl in them and can become whatever they decide to be. Also, that a person can change throughout their life depending on situations they encounter. I also believe that 2 friends that are opposites can greatly influence each other. Looking forward to your book. (Jody Hollenbeck 10:17am August 19, 2011)
I think the black white thinking comes from home and being how you were raised with those influences, good/bad.. I was raised in a very strict house, had nuns for teachers til graduating high school, I was abused my family member, I received corporal punishment everyday just because- so I would be a good girl. Rebelling was smoking, trying to run away, and finding abusive relationships.. fulfilling the role set. I denied myself, who I am for good/bad, black/white, denied my creativity, my hopes, dreams, and fantasies. Through it all, I am getting to know who I am now, my wants without contraints or labels. (Carla Carlson 1:16pm August 19, 2011)
I think that we can be and do whatever we want if our will is strong enough. If we have the strength inside to want to go in a certain direction... I know outside things influence us, but it is whether we want to use it or let it bend us that can direct our lives. (Colleen Conklin 1:20pm August 19, 2011)
I agree with Vicki Batman - 4 champagne cocktails ought to do it!
Seriously, I feel that everyone has both sides of the story in their make-up, and that their upbringing will influence how they turn out as an adult, but there is still that measure of self-determination that will have the final say.
Lynn (Lynn Rettig 1:50pm August 19, 2011)
I was also raised by a very proper mother and my sister is just like her. Please don't get me wrong, these are two great ladies, however, I tend to be much more open to new adventures in life and to saying what I think. I try not to be rude or hurtful, but I have earned the label, "The Mouth." My husband and I laugh and have fun doing silly things and remark often that my sister would be shocked. I know she would like to break out of her shell, but she has always been the type that says, "what will the neighbors think?" There are so many people like that in this world and I find that sad. Life is too short pretend to be someone you are not. Be the person you are both inside and out. Connie Fischer firstname.lastname@example.org (Connie Fischer 1:55pm August 19, 2011)
You don't have to repeat the cycle of your family, unless you came from a home that was balanced with a lot of love. You see generations in a family repeating the unhealthy conditions. But you only need 1 person in that family to say enough is enough & have the courage to break the cycle. I know because I can from a broken family. I know people who took drugs & said it was because they came from broken families. I didn't. I believe that is a cop out. Yes sometimes people need someone outside of the vicious circle to believe in them & show them that there is a better way. At first, I stayed in an abusive marrige because I didn't want my daughters to come from a broken home. I realized that I was doing them more harm than good by staying. By leaving & standing up for myself, I have shown them that they don't have to settle, that they deserve better in their lives. In this day & age, we all have choices to make our lives better & healthier. (Beverly Beltz 2:09pm August 19, 2011)
Hello everyone! Wow! What a great discussion. I had to do that 4 letter word today (W-O-R-K) and what a nice surprise to come back and find all your wonderful comments. I LOVE this! I'm going to post a comment for each one of you. ;)
@Vicki--Thanks for coming by my darlin' you are the jelly to my peanut butter (yes, I'm heavy on the nuts!)Does nice mean being everyone's doormat? Or saying "yes" when you mean "no?" Cuz, I used to be "nice" that way. But it took me a loooong time to find out that kind of nice only suffocated the real me. And, sign me up for that cocktail party!
Hugs, Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 4:07pm August 19, 2011)
Hi Constance--Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Yes, we are responsible for our own actions, absolutely. But our belief system can REALLY get in our way. And when you have a parent who labels you from childhood as "FAT" and "UGLY" (like my mother did to me) no matter what the mirror told me, that's what I saw. It took seeing myself through my husband's eyes to believe that I didn't deserve those labels (Okay, I will fess up to needing to lose that last 15 pounds..LOL!)
I hope you enjoy the read!
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 4:12pm August 19, 2011)
Remember the ADDAMS FAMILY? They were the weirdest family--but they loved each other in their own ways. With a good mentor--an aunt, a teacher, a preacher--kids can be so resilient and survive even the worst environment.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
I hope you enjoy the read,
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 4:14pm August 19, 2011)
Thanks for reading and posting. In the US culture, we are lucky in that laws protect us from gender bias--not that it doesn't happen but we have civil rights that other cultures don't. In Latin America and Mexico(Izzy's family of origin) machismo is a large part of the culture. In general, that means women won't be afforded the same opportunities as men--unless they come from wealthy families, as Izzy does. In some countries, women are still struggling to be treated as equals under the law and courts. We are very fortunate to be able to make choices.
I hope you enjoy the read,
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 4:28pm August 19, 2011)
We can be whatever we what despite our upbringing or with the help of it. (Roseann Moss 4:29pm August 19, 2011)
Thank you for your kind words! If you think about how many people don't have a CLUE about how to raise children, it is a miracle that most of us turn out to be "normal." Okay, well, I'm not all that normal because I'm a writer and we do what the voices tell us to do...but kids don't come with an owner's manual. Isn't that like a major design flaw??? And isn't it amazing how people can turn their lives around? You go girl!
I hope you enjoy the read!
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 4:39pm August 19, 2011)
I agree, we are dual by nature, which is why we all enjoy the good vs evil stories. It's engrained into our bones from ancient times. Which side will win in this story? I'm not gonna tell--I'm going to let the readers decide. And, yes, I've had friends who gave me GO UP goals and those who gave me GO DOWN goals. It took me a while to figure out that I needed to be extra careful with the second group!
I hope you enjoy the read and I'm looking forward to your responses to it.
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 4:43pm August 19, 2011)
I am so sorry you were abused. My childhood was filled with beatings and emotional and psychological and other abuses and they are so hard to overcome. Once I realized how much pain I was in, I was lucky to find good therapists and a wonderful group to work with at my university. I hope your true wonderful self is out and shining now, because you have set yourself free.
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 5:27pm August 19, 2011)
Some of us are stronger than others. My mother used to try to break my will with abuse and by telling me I was just like my grandmother--"stubborn." My deaf and non-speaking grandmother was my caretaker from ages 3 through 5. I thank God everyday for her unconditional love. And I take pride in that stubborn streak. She couldn't beat it out of me. ;)
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the read!
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 5:30pm August 19, 2011)
Let's get that cocktail party started! It's 5 o'clock somewhere!;)
Yes, for the most part we have choices. In our country, we attend public or private schools and our childhoods are influenced by that. Without my grandmother, teachers, and siblings who protected me, I think I would have been much more damaged by my mother's abuse. I learned I had choices and that they weren't always easy, but I could make them.
Thanks for posting!
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 5:34pm August 19, 2011)
I know what you mean--I'm the one that says what everyone is thinking--but won't say. I've had footin mouth disease a LOT. My internal censor is a little lax at times. If you ever saw UNCLE BUCK, there's a great line where he tells his niece that if she'd get that stick out of her kiester, they'd get along just fine. I howl at the line every time I see the film. Yes, life is too short to stay wrapped up in a straight jacket!
Thanks for dropping in and posting!
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 5:38pm August 19, 2011)
Thank you for sharing your experiences and good for you for having such a great insight. I'm betting your daughters think you are the strongest person in the world. It takes great courage to get out of a bad relationship and to do it for your kids, as well as yourself.
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 5:41pm August 19, 2011)
Thanks for stopping in and commenting. Yes, in this country we have wonderful resources to draw on. Sometimes it can take us a while to find them. But once we do, we can take advantage of those opportunities to better ourselves.W
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 5:43pm August 19, 2011)
Everyone has has inner strength, but some never learn to use it for the right reasons. I was lucky, for I had a great childhood, great parents, but some of my friends and cousins were not so lucky. But through the years, I've learned so much about people and their strengths and weakness's......I've helped many, but some just like to stay as they are, so I don't push. It's for them to use their inner strenght.......and hey, give a smile to a stranger and you get many back!!!!!! (Joanne Bozik 6:04pm August 19, 2011)
You are so right! I had a visitor from California this week who could not believe how nice everyone was to him here in Baltimore. Total strangers smiled and called him "Hon." He was shocked in a pleasant way. Your response can make someone's day better. I like the idea of passing it on, helping others even if it's just a little thing like a smile and a hello.
Thanks for posting!
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 6:09pm August 19, 2011)
It is about not losing face in public. We are taught not to embarrass our families from the moment we are borne. If we as kids do not behave, then our parents are bad parents. So everyone of us keeps secretly on what our family really is like. No one wants to say that we have a dysfunctional family. So we make up lies and lies have a way of trapping us into more lies.
The problem is that we are worried about what people think about us and at the same time looking for approval of ourselves' worth. (Kai Wong 9:05pm August 19, 2011)
You have hit the nail on the head. Saving face is a big deal--across cultures. Shame and blame is the game. So we keep wrapping ourselves in layers.
Thanks so much for stopping in and posting!
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 9:52pm August 19, 2011)
Breaking the mold is a crap-shoot. I've seen some highly unlikely people do it successfully, while others, who you think have all the gumption necessary to change anything, fall back into the same smelly rut time after time. (John Clark 10:02pm August 19, 2011)
I know what you mean. I've seen people w/ every advantage in the world trash their lives. And others who have zip rise above it all. I'm more toward the latter, having come from poverty, abuse & Section 8 housing.
Thanks for commenting!
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 10:12pm August 19, 2011)
I think there is always the ability to have will over destiny, I think you can break out of the mold. (Lisa Kendall 10:33pm August 19, 2011)
I think I am the person that I'm today because of my wonderful parents. They taught me really good values for life.Books sounds great,Thanks for giving me a chance to win it. (Linda Hall 10:44pm August 19, 2011)
My family help make into what I am today but my husband was a big help to. He makes me feel happy. (Janice Reyes 11:29pm August 19, 2011)
I think we all have the ability to control who we are. If you're not happy with who you are only you can make the changes to become who you want to be. Good luck and happy writing! (Tracie Travis 11:46pm August 19, 2011)
Thanks for commenting and for signing up for my newsletter. You are now automatically entered in the monthly drawings to win ebooks. The next one will be out September 7, 2011.
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 6:45am August 20, 2011)
Good parenting is critical to creating great kids and good citizens. Thanks for commenting. I hope you enjoy the read.
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 6:46am August 20, 2011)
Our families and significant others make a huge difference in our lives, don't they? Thanks for stopping by and posting.
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 7:05am August 20, 2011)
Psychologists call that an internal locus of control, i.e., you believe you are in charge of your life. I'm operating under that premise now. ;)
Thanks for commenting and for your kind words.
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 7:08am August 20, 2011)
While families will always influence the way we act, everyone is capable of change. (Lisa Richards 2:19pm August 20, 2011)
I could write a book on this myself (well....that's a long shot!), but I'm sitting here with 3 broke (not fractured) ribs from falling out of a garbage can yesterday, then accidentally poking my eye with the roller brush this morning (patch on and everything!), so I'll just say I believe your thoughts and actions are a choice, whether you've grown up with it or not, in whatever ways. I'm a great believer in pulling up from the depths that inner strength to make a positive change. Now I'm going to kick back and take more pain pills so I can breathe and hopefully see what I typed....LOL. Thanks! (Sheila Calabretta 6:14pm August 20, 2011)
I agree, everyone is capable of change, but not all are motivated to do so. Lots of research has been done on how to overcome obstacles to changing self-defeating behaviors.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 8:29am August 21, 2011)
Good grief! Sorry to hear of your multiple mishaps. I wish you a speedy recovery for your ribs and your eye. Try to relax and thanks for commenting.
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 8:32am August 21, 2011)
Hi Sharon, thanks for the good well wishes....feeling better. Best of the best to you with your writing endeavors. You'll go FAR with your talent and insights. (Sheila Calabretta 2:18pm August 21, 2011)
Hi Sharon, Just got in from our RWNZ conference and am wading through my inbox *g*. Saw your post and wanted to stop by to say, "Hi", and to tell you how much you post resonated with me. Thanks for the "Aha!" moment. Hugs! Maree (Maree Anderson 10:15pm August 21, 2011)
Thanks for your kind words. Feel better.
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 11:50pm August 21, 2011)
Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hello. You must be exhausted. I'm glad my post resonated with you.
Hugs back at ya!
Sharon (Sharon Buchbinder 11:51pm August 21, 2011)
Lets hope we all have the strength to be who we want to be, even when it's difficult. (Shirley Nienkark 11:46am August 22, 2011)
I think I need to print that out and post it on my wall!