Monday, August 18, 2008

Dara Torres: The Epitome of the Olympic Spirit

I wanted to hate Dara Torres from the moment I saw her incredibly toned body and steely abs. What other 41 year old woman looks like that? None that I know. So I tried to console myself with the idea that maybe all she does is eat, sleep and live training. That HAD to be the answer. Nope. She has a two year old daughter. No good mother exclusively eats, sleeps and lives anything if they have a child, and Dara seems like a good mother. Damn. Then maybe she's so super focused on her swimming that she ignores the other competitors. Nope. You can see her chatting it up and laughing with all the other women swimmers between her events, no matter where they come from or how old they are. Double damn.

But this is the episode that really clenched my fangirl attitude for Dara.

During the preliminaries for the 100 meter freestyle, Dara and the rest of the swimmers were to get on their blocks for their heat. Instead, Dara passed the other swimmers and went to speak to the official. She then returned to her block, talking to the other women as she went, and it was noted by the commentator that lane 8's swimmer wasn't out of the locker room. Within a minute, the straggler jogged out and everyone got on their blocks. The heat began and Dara qualified for the finals (or semifinals--I can't recall and it really doesn't matter). So what had Dara gone to the official about? The late swimmer, from Switzerland I believe, had torn her suit just before the heat was to begin. While she changed into a new one, Dara let the official and the other swimmers know what was happening, that the young woman was on her way, and that they would be holding the start of the heat until the last swimmer was out there. She told the official they would be waiting. Not asked. Told.

When the heat was over and the interviewer at pool-side caught up to Dara, she asked what had happened. Dara explained, then said, in effect, "We're competitors in the pool, but outside of it we're friends."

That is why you, Dara Torres, embody the Olympic Spirit. Dedication that has you capable of competing--and kicking ass--in your 5th Games. An openness and warmth that makes competitors friends. Good sportsmanship that extends beyond the pool or playing field.

Congratulations on your medals in these Games, Dara. I will never have your abs, but I can strive to achieve your attitude.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sharron McClellan and Jody Wallace: Come On Down!

Two of my friends and crit partners have books out or about to come out, and due to the chips in my head I'm required to post about them. No. Not because of the chips. Because they're wonderful books and wonderful authors and you have to buy them or I will be terminated...

All kidding aside (since when, you ask), Jody and Sharron are fabulous writers who knock my socks off every time I read their stuff. And I read a lot of their stuff so my socks are flying all over the place.

Jody's latest release from Samhain is Survival of the Fairest. It's fun, funny, sexy and quite the ride. Chock-full of interesting critters, human and otherwise. Here's a blatant rip-off from her site:

SURVIVAL OF THE FAIREST -- Paranormal Romance by Jody Wallace

Talista has been sent, like all young fairies, to a remote area in humanspace to survive two weeks without magic. But Tali’s got different ideas. What better place than Vegas to learn to live like humans, a true test of survival?

Jake always knew he was different, even before he learned about his flair for hypnotism. He has no trouble mesmerizing the luscious Tali during his magic show, but the lights that appear around them aren’t part of the pyrotechnics.

Can he accept the truth? And will that truth bring them closer—or tear the fairy realm apart?

Tali isn't your typical fairy princess. Not by a long shot. And the blurb fails to mention the gnomes. They aren't typical either. You can get the word right from them here. Go down to the Wednesday July 30 video post. Be sure you don't have any liquids near when you watch. Then go buy the book.

Sharron's book, coming out in September, is face-paced and action-packed. Another blatant rip-off, this time from *her* site:

Mercenary's Honor September 2008

Fiona Macmillan has incriminating pictures of the Columbian head of Security executing a rebel leader. On the run with the police force searching for her, she turns to Angel Castillo, ex Mercenary, to get her out of the country before she winds up dead in a ditch.

Unfortunately, Angel doesn't think much of reporters but more important than his distaste for Fiona's profession is a dying man's request that he help her.

Angel and Fiona are in heaps of trouble from the get-go and it's non-stop action and romance (of course) from the first page to the last.

Go order and pre-order your copies now. You'll enjoy having your socks strewn about, trust me.