Passion With a Purpose

I know… It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. Lots of things, both good and bad, have happened in my personal life. But as many of you know, I am not one to dwell, so I’ll just ask for some good thoughts and prayers if you believe in that.

In the meantime, a friend and fellow author, Bridget Blackwood, reached out and invited me and several others to donate to a silent auction where 100% of the proceeds gp to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network).

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If you would like to check out the many available packages and help with a very worthy cause, please click HERE.

This particular cause, for so many reasons, is near and dear to my heart. Please check it out and share! My offer is definitely a custom gift and from the heart.

The Unique Tale Self Discovery and Sexual Awakening by @MeganReel

The Queen Megan Reel

Those of you who regularly read my blog posts already know that I’m all about female empowerment and sexuality, so when a friend told me that there was a book that whose premise I might find very intriguing, I thought, “why not?” I’m all about discovering something new and fun, especially if it also allows me to support a fellow author.

So I looked the book up.

Not gonna lie. I balked for a second because, let’s be real. The cover’s kind of unfortunate. And I’m a bit of a cover whore (yes, Anna Cade, we share that in common). But, I decided to try to overlook the aesthetic and give it a shot anyway.

I’m soooo glad I did!

Here’s the low down skinny on this book. The very beginning of The Queen was a little confusing and slow as the author, Megan Reel, laid the foundation for the world she’s building…but it quickly evened out into one of the more intriguing premises I’ve read in a long time!

Truth is, it was very interesting to me to read a unique version of a matriarchal society where the peace of a nation was held in the hands of a lone female ruler. And here’s the female fantasy kicker: The Queen was expected to take 6 male consorts– all masked, unknown to her (and the rest of her country), and representing different, sensual animalistic features. Technically their purpose is to give her a female heir to take the crown.

But that’s where it gets really tasty, not to mention exciting…. Because as “peaceful” as everything is supposed to be, there’s definitely intrigue in the form of an assassination threat on her head. All of this is occurring at an annual feast that this country puts on in celebration of the men that the Queen (who is a virgin due to gaining the throne at an early age after her mother is killed) will be given as consorts.

Alendra, the Queen, is outwardly self possessed, intent on following her mother’s footsteps. She’d been told that her control and regal demeanor are key. That she should keep herself separated and untouched by the world around her. But, like many of us, she’s NOT her mother. She’s both passionate and a bit of afraid of her own desires, but determined in her self discovery. So she seeks guidance in overcoming her fears of the unknown and rediscovers a mysterious friend from her youth who challenges her and pushes her to think more; be more.

And then the icing on the cake came as her own sexual awakening came in the form of a night of sexual decadence and bliss, fulfilling so many of the various fantasies we, as women, have about taking and being taken.

The cherry topper? This is just the beginning of this series, and I’m dying of curiosity to see where Megan Reel takes us next!

So, although it was a bit of a slow start, it definitely turned on the heat and left you wanting more. Hopefully, the next cover will tease the senses the way that the author did between the pages!

Yes, I’m saying I would definitely recommend this book. What about you guys? What book turned out to be much more than the cover for you? Are you a cover whore? Is there a new author you’d care to share with me?

@NBlackthorne on The Victorian Era and Sex Disorders

After writing my masturbation post a week or so ago, my awesome pal and fellow author, Natasha Blackthorne, reached out to me to let me know how much she enjoyed the post & that her upcoming new release had strong ties to the miseducation surrounding masturbation. I was THRILLED! Of course, considering I absolutely adore her historical erotic romances, I invited her to come over and play in my sandbox for a while. So, without any further ado, here’s the lovely and talented Natasha Blackthorne!

  
First, I’d like to say a big thank you to Kitt, for inviting me to her blog to discuss some of the history that underlies my upcoming release, The Delicate Matter of Lady Blayne. Kitt has one of the most interesting and engaging blogs on sexual positivity and I am always honored to be a guest here. 

The Regency period is fascinating to me for many reasons. For me, it’s the psychological pressures and the resulting changes that took their society from the relative sensual indulgence of the Georgian era to the more, at least outwardly, restrictive and repressive Victorian era. To explain where the darker aspects of my story came from, I’ll give a little historical background information. 

The History

During the late Georgian Era, the emergence of the industrial age and the continued expansion of enclosure (the consolidation of formerly small and plentiful landholdings and farms into a smaller number of large estates owned by an elite group) the pressure on resources and jobs reached maximal levels.  

By 1789, Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, wrote an essay on “the Principle of Population”, painting pictures of humanity overcome by a population boom that drained all resource and led to mass starvation and suffering. He believed this population explosion would be fueled by out of control carnal lusts and proposed universal self-control and chastity as a preventative measure. 

The upper class wanted to conform to behaviors and self-control that would separate them from the increasing encroachment of upwardly mobile middle and lower classes. If mere birthright no longer guaranteed that a person was “worthy” of being privileged, then they would prove that they were morally superior and worthy by their behavior. 

Of course, uncertainty regarding overpopulation and shifting socioeconomic status was only one of the many anxieties swirling in the general psychological undercurrent. The Regency generation had already grown up under a cloud of anxiety due to the uncertainty caused by the Napoleonic Wars. It was a generation plagued by so-called fragile nerves and anxiety disorders. In response, doctors, both the well-intentioned and the unscrupulous, stood ready to prescribe the cures. 

This undercurrent of anxiety over health, both physical and mental, led to a push for more control over the human sensual animal. Unfortunately, the ladies bore the larger brunt of the pressure because men continued to have their sexual outlets in secret and away from normal, socially sanctioned family life. The human body became seen as a closed system of sexual energy, orgasm began to be referred to as a draining; a sort of “spending” instead of as a healthy release. Emotional disorders diagnosed in girls and women were tied to “inappropriate” sexual expression and desires. Female masturbation became a primary focus/target.

We associate the idea that “misuse” of sexual energy leading to mental debility most strongly with the Victorian Era, but the roots for these attitudes began earlier. Famous physicians with interests along these lines were men like Dr. Thomas Beddoes. He believed that sexual reading materials could lead to gluttonous desires and ruin young people’s nerves. 

Dr. Samuel Solomon, who published A Guide to Health in 1795, blamed frigidity, nervous disorders, general physical debility and infertility on early masturbation in females and called it the “foul pollution” among other names. He presented his “cordial balm” as a cure all for such excesses and likely sold a great deal of it to lonely, awkward young people who lived hard lives with little solace except a solitary one. These are just a couple of examples of the types of thinking that were beginning to circulate in the late Georgian period. 

The Delicate Matter….

In my story, The Delicate Matter of Lady Blayne, Catriona is a young widow who has already gone through some experiences that have prevented her from expressing her true self. She’s trapped in a role that she has long outgrown and shamed for some very intimate sexual behaviors that were no one else’s business. But those around her want to control her, to prevent her from achieving her adult independence. And her sexuality is one area where they have invaded her privacy in an attempt to suppress her. 

Under pressure, she becomes distraught. Desperate. Others see her deep depression, not as a cry for help, but as a sign that she needs to be fixed so that she can return to her former, girlish role.  

Her late husband’s mother contacts a well-respected physician, Dr. Meeker, who is said to have an excellent track record with “handling” out of control and deeply disturbed ladies. This doctor believes that female sexual energy is a potentially destructive force on a woman’s mental and physical health.  

His prescription is to attempt to control and redirect Catriona’s exceptionally self-indulgent sensuality and to tame her sexual desires. His dark eyes and coolly intelligent, charismatic manner, fascinates Catriona at first, while his sympathetic understanding overwhelms her. He promises what she needs most. 

She is quickly trapped in a relationship of manipulation and abuse of trust. She becomes the subject of the most invasive and abusive experiments at his hands, with emotionally destructive consequences. She’s driven the ends of her ability to cope and, at the start of the story, she is battling in the only way she knows to overcome the manipulation and brainwashing to which she has been subjected. She’s fighting for her sanity. 

The hero, James Blayne, is her late husband’s cousin and the new Baron Blayne. A former naval officer and hero of the Napoleonic Wars, he’s a highly self-controlled gentleman, determined to protect her against any further abuse. He’s disconcerted by her alluring, sensual nature even while he experiences an overwhelming temptation to follow her lead and indulge in both sexuality and other sensual pleasures. His life has been one of duty, honor and obligation. Now his interactions with Catriona makes him question, for the first time, what is really important in life. 

When Catriona reached out to him, she did it out of self-preservation, a desperate chance to escape. But will she end up saving him as well? 

Wow, Natasha, it sounds like you’ve really outdone yourself this time & I can’t wait till your new release! What do you guys think? Is it any wonder I’m so thrilled to be one of the many authors participating in your Online Release Party on Facebook? All are welcome to join the party and WIN FREE STUFF, by the way. Just click the link to join. 

And if you’d like to learn more about Natasha, here’s where you can find her:

Blog: http://natashablackthorneblog.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Natasha-Blackthorne/217388964952800?ref=br_rs

Twitter: @Nblackthorne

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4878430.Natasha_Blackthorne

Google+: https://plus.google.com/109806914738068189660

Tomato Power

If you thought I’d be talking about the health benefits of the tomato, you’ve come to the wrong place. Instead, I’m going to be showing a little love to the badass women of country music. Why? Because a few days ago an industry “expert” basically said that the way to have a successful country radio station was to play less music by female artists. In fact, he referred to them as the tomatoes in the salad, and males as the lettuce.

Not gonna lie, I almost threw down a Cheeseburger in Paradise reference (you know, I like mine with lettuce and tomato), but instead I thought I’d share some responses from some kickass female artists. Here’s Miranda Lambert, taking to Twitter and posting Keith Hill up on his BS:

 And if you don’t know what makes Miranda awesome, how about a bit of the power and emotion she brings into her songs… Tell me this song doesn’t tug at the heartstrings and nostalgic memories.
Yup. Tomatoes. For sure.
And then there’s one of my all time favorites, Martina McBride (Click her name to get to her FB page and see the rest of her statement.):

Wow…..just wow. Just read this from a major country radio publication. How do you feel about this statement? I…

Posted by Martina McBride on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This one’s a Tomato for sure. I mean, who can relate to a message of love from parent to child? Who on EARTH would want to hear THAT?

Here are a few more Tomatoes….

Trisha Yearwood, who wraps her voice around your heart and squeezes

The double tomato of Reba McEntire and Linda Davis (Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum’s mom) from back in the day.

Or this old school/new school Tomato combo of Dolly and Carrie Underwood.

I’m also pretty sure the legendary Patsy Cline would be shocked to hear her music has been relegated to “Tomatoes.”

I’m not gonna lie, ya’ll know I have a quirky sense of humor. I almost made a Cheeseburger in Paradise reference (you know, “I like mine with lettuce and tomato”), but decided instead to focus on my love of tomatoes. To be honest, I can’t eat lettuce as a standalone, but tomatoes? Love ’em!

So what I’d really like you guys to do is to share your love of country tomatoes by leaving a Twitter link to some of your favorite “Tomatoes” songs and/or artists. I’d also love to hear why you love the artist or song you share….

Masturbation Misses

Masturbation Month

I couldn’t let the end of Masturbation month without acknowledging it. After all, we have a pretty strong history together if you recall my prior posts like Self Discovery, or Lessons in Going Solo, or Self Pleasure: A Solo Sport? Obviously I’m passionate about sexuality and self pleasure.

Maybe that’s why I’m still able to be surprised when I come across the woefully uneducated or amazingly puritanical viewpoints. Maybe I shouldn’t be, but in this modern age of technology and education, I still find myself blown away.

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Okay, so this one is funny and a bit cute. There’s nothing at all wrong with the naïve innocence that comes with youth. In fact, it’s important to hold on to that innocence.

But…

And this is a big one.

It’s also important not to shelter your child so much that they are completely clueless about themselves, their sexuality, and the world around them. Don’t leave the job of teaching sex (and I’m not talking in the “sex is evil” sort of way) and/or the body to their friends or teachers.

Teach them not to be afraid of self discovery. Teach them not to be ashamed of the strong physical reactions self pleasure can bring. And for goodness sake…at least give them an idea that sex toys exist or you could wind up with a situation like this….

Fleshlight

Okay. So it’s funny in an OMG, kinda gross sort of way. But here’s a truth. If we talked about sex openly and honestly, would this meme even ever happen?

Or worse….

Can you imagine being so woefully uneducated about sex toys and pleasure that this happened?
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So technically it’s not a masturbatory toy, but you get my drift. These things are misses in education. In open discussion. In sexual awareness.

Self pleasure is a powerful thing! So is information. It’s through self pleasure that we discover what feels good. How to teach our partners to help us enjoy sex. How not to settle for a poor relationship simply because they make you “feel good” because you can do that all on your own without any help.

So now it’s your turn…

Why is masturbation and/or sex education important to you? Or if it isn’t, why not?

The Final Goodbye (A #MemorialDay Story)

By U.S. Navy photo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By U.S. Navy photo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I wrote this story a while back to honor those our country has lost defending our freedoms, and it seemed only right I share it again this weekend.

The Final Goodbye

He stood alone. As he gazed out at the white crosses that covered the beautifully manicured lawn he felt the weight of his 48 years drag his shoulders down in a way he never had before. It had been a long time since he’d been back to this place, and he’d hoped to never return.

“A parent should never outlive his child.” Grief scratching at his throat.

He blinked back tears that stubbornly refused to fall. Part of him clung to the image he had in his mind’s eye. Full of laughter and vitality, that precious dark head bent over to kiss his young wife’s distended belly, before he turned around to say goodbye. David promised to come home soon.

He shook his head as the pain threatened to suffocate him. Not like this. This had to be a bad dream. He just needed to wake up and everything would be okay again. Unfortunately, the folded triangle of fabric pressed tightly to his chest told him everything was all too real.

His bowed his head, fingers digging into the precious flag. Alone with his grief he dropped to his knees and cried out to the only person who could hear him.

“God, if you’re listening…this is too much. Almost more pain than I can bear! My boy was a good son, a great husband. He was going to be a great father. He loved you. Loved this country. He wanted so badly to follow in his grandpa’s footsteps. Did you really have to take him, too?”

The hand on his shoulder felt familiar. It had been decades since he’d experienced that touch. He looked up to find his father standing beside him. He wore the same dress blues he’d been buried in 40 years ago and he hadn’t aged a day.

“Dad…” he choked out, blinking, sure this was some sort of hallucination.

There was a wealth of understanding and regret in his father’s eyes. “Hello, son.”

“I’m finally losing it, right? Hallucinating? A psychotic break caused by grief and stress?”

“No, son. You’re not. God heard you…. So did I. We’ve never been far away. When you called out, I asked him to let me go to you.”

Although none of this seemed real, he decided to go with it. Maybe he was dreaming. What harm could it do?

“It’s all so damned unfair, Dad!” he railed. “First you, then my son? Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of him. Proud of you… But did the price have to be so high?”

His father wrapped strong arms around him, something he’d missed most of his life. He soaked in the comfort, gaining some strength before he let go. With a bolstering breath, he straightened his spine, threw his shoulders back and raised his head.

“I’m proud of you, you know.” His father looked at him with the same piercing blue eyes as his son. “I’ve watched you grow into a strong, honorable man. I know it wasn’t easy for you to let David join the service. After the way you lost me, it would have been all too easy to encourage him to go a different direction.”

“It wouldn’t have been right. Being a soldier was all he ever wanted.” He shrugged, his smile, bittersweet. “To be a hero, just like his Grandpa.”

“It may have served you better not to paint me with such a heroic brush,” his father laughed. “I appreciate that, by the way. The way you kept me alive in your heart. The way you shared me with your family. It meant everything to me.”

The man shook his head. “I didn’t do anything all that special.”

“Yes you did,” his father smiled. “It may seem like nothing to you, but it’s what gave your son the courage to chase his dream. He knew the danger, but he also saw your gift. When his number was called, he didn’t worry. His son and wife are in good hands with you. He knows you’ll keep his memory alive, just like you did for me.”

“You’ve seen my David?” Tears finally flowed, unchecked.

His father nodded. “Of course. You didn’t think I’d let your son get to heaven without a welcome party, did you?”

“He’s okay? My boy. You’ll look out for him, Dad?”

“Of course.” His father nodded his head. “He’ll be loved. Surrounded by family, both military and kin.”

With one more shuddering breath, he clasped his father’s hand and squeezed.

“Tell him, Dad.” He bit his lip as his voice broke. “Tell him I’ll watch over his family down here. I know he’ll be watching out for them with you. And please, tell him I’m so proud of him.”

“I will.” His father smiled one last time before fading away.

As he stood, gazing out at all the soldiers that came before, he could have sworn he heard David’s voice on the gentle breeze.

“I love you, Dad.”

Squeezing the flag to his chest, he nodded.

“I love you, too, son. I’m proud of you.”

Bringing on @beth_teliho and Her Beautiful Book

Have y’all met my fun, feisty friend, Beth Teliho?

No?

Well it’s time to fix that. She’s a great friend, a brilliant blogger, and an up and coming author. So, of course, when I found out her book was finally making it’s much awaited appearance I just had to invite her to get to know you guys. (And did I forget to mention she’s also generous? She left a chance to win a prize if you hang out….)

So, without further ado, the brilliant and beautiful Beth Teliho!

Beth Advertising Banner

Hey everybody! Thanks for having me. Kitt asked me to share a bit about my book, so here goes.

Imagine yourself as eighteen again. No, really. Think about that time in your life. All the uncertainties. The trepidation and excitement mixed with insecurity and fear. The angst. Hormones charging through your veins like bulls, twisting and turning your emotions on a dime. The yearning to find yourself and understand who you are.

What if on top of all that you also had an enormous secret? One that no one else in the world knows except an empath, who also happens to be your brother. Not even your parents…or a single friend.

Imagine this secret so encompassing, it swallows the rest of your world whole, like the sun’s shadow eclipsing the moon. Other experiences are muted as a result. You feel empty and desperate; you’re disconnected from your family, and unable to make friendships.

You exist in a figurative cave. The only beacon of hope is the sliver of light your secret provides. The secret you love as much as you hate. The secret that robs you like a thief in the night while providing the air you breathe.

And even though you tried desperately to research information about it…you’re left with nothing. Zero. Nada. Nil.

Because it has no name. It has no support group. In fact, it doesn’t appear to exist anywhere else in the world. Which is why even if you could tell someone…you wouldn’t. They’d think you were insane.

Can you envision this? Are you feeling the immense pressure on your chest, squeezing your lungs? Feel the crushing isolation? The bitter angst in your veins, boiling with rage?

Good. You’ve just entered the world of Devi Bennett, the main character of Order of Seven.

But the secret isn’t Devi’s only problem. There’s also her unknown heritage, a reoccurring dream about an African tribal ceremony that’s plagued her since childhood, and an inexplicable connection to a certain tree. Mysteries that she hopes can be explained by finding her biological family.

“My older brother, Nodin, remembers more than me.

But I have something he doesn’t. 

I have the dream.”

Then she meets Baron, an intense and alluring energy healer, whose prophetic dreams seem to be connected to her.

“Two days ago I didn’t even know this man.

Now his absence is an earthquake.”

But when one of his visions leads to an ancient legend that could link to her birthright, she learns her secret may be more imperative than she ever thought imaginable.

“The air seems to suck out of the room, leaving a silence so loud it’s screaming.”

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Order of Seven is a unique, edge-of-your-seat novel that intricately weaves, adventure, danger, mystery, magic, love, religion, hope, self- discovery, family, and fate into a ride you won’t soon forget.

You won’t read this book. You will eat it. Drink it. Inhale it.

You will live it. Real time. Through Devi’s eyes.

It will crawl under your skin and consume you. Let it.

This is the kind of possession you want.

Beth T bio pic

BETH TELIHO is a writer, artist and tree hugger who lives in Texas with her husband and two adventurous sons. Restless in the mundane, she writes about the abnormal, paranormal and otherwise fantastical because that’s what quickens her heartbeat. She laughs at inappropriate jokes, and prefers spicy food and margaritas to almost anything. One day, she hopes to live in a treehouse, where she can be an eccentric introvert with at least seven cats.

Blog: www.bethteliho.me

Facebook: www.facebook.com/writerbisme

Twitterverse: @beth_teliho

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/bethteliho

If ya wanna shot at Beth’s prize, just click:
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