Nature of Life

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When tears,
Unchecked,
Rain heavy
On your heart
While winds of change
Howl mercilessly,
Whipping through,
Against battered soul,
Devastation in it’s wake.

Shattered
Doesn’t have to mean
Destroyed.
Pieces can be
Picked up,
Put together,
Creating something beautiful,
Renewed and stronger.

Roots spread deep
In the fertile soil
Of
Heartache, pain
Love, loss…
Feed your re-growth,
With lessons learned,
Empathy,
Kindness,
Generosity of spirit.

Become
Your own destiny,
Your salvation.

It occurred to me that although this month is National Poetry Month, I haven’t yet celebrated it with one of my own works. Part of it was that I was feeling heart broken. I realized that it was time to use the grief I was feeling over the loss of a friend and the worry over some family and friend health issues toward something more constructive.

So here’s my attempt to redirect the turmoil I’ve been feeling lately. Hope you guys like…

We also lost a childhood friend recently… A guy named David Lamb. He was an artist in his craft….music. He was part of a band called Brown Bird.

May you all feel the warmth of love, friendship, and self reliance. I hope you all see the beauty within yourselves that I see in you. May you reflect beauty and love on your own paths as you walk through life.

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From Kilts and Brogues to Blue Collar Hotties: Chatting It Up With Jessi Gage

Today, I’m so excited to get to hang out with one of my favorite people, Jessi Gage. Jessi has been a friend and trusted beta reader for me. She’s wonderful and insightful…and just an over all good person. Some of my more long termed followers may remember her from a review I did called “So What’s Under Your Kilt?” but I felt that you guys deserved to get to know a bit more about her….and her new book.

Jessi Gage

Jessi Gage

Me: Hi, Jessi! Thanks so much for taking the time to come and hang out. As I said above, I’ve known and loved you for a while, but some of my readers may not know you, so why don’t you kick things off by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Jessi: Thanks for having me, Kitt! I remember when Mae Clair referred me to your blog. Little did I know one little click would open up a whole world of inspirational poems, thoughts on music, and gabbing about female sexuality! Not to mention friendship!

About me: I’m passionate about my family, the Lord, writing, Cheetos, and Candy Crush Saga. I’m developing an affinity for beading along with my 4yo daughter, Sarah. I’m not quite as excited about smashing toy trucks, but I can put on a good show with my almost 3yo son, Titus.

I can’t listen to music when I write, but I must listen to music when I drive.

I have a weakness for cupcakes.

I’m from New Hampshire and once drove alongside a moose on my way to work in white-out conditions. I would have stayed home that day, but I was selling Christmas trees at the flower shop I managed, so going in was kind of required. Fortunately, people in NH, and moose for that matter, tend to know how to handle snow on the roads.

I like the fact that I never have to drive in snow in Seattle, where I am blessed to live in close proximity to lots of extended family. But I miss watching it snow. We’re lucky to get 1 snowfall per year here.

Me: Ooh…. Cupcakes. But seriously….a moose? That’s hilarious (and a bit scary).  Why don’t we talk about mutual passion. Writing. Or more specifically, writers who inspire us. Name your top 3 writers or books that have most influenced you either as a writer or a person.

Jessi: Amy Raby is a fantasy romance author who is also one of my critique partners. Her Hearts and Thrones Series is published with NAL Penguin-Signet Eclipse. I’ve been trading critiques with Amy for years, and her concise, fast-paced writing has majorly influenced me. I have a tendency to overwrite and be melodramatic. Through critique and the example of her tight writing, she has taught e much about the economy of words.

Karen Marie Moning writes urban fantasy and time-travel romance. I prefer her time-travels to her intense urban fantasy, but everything she writes is brilliant. It was after reading her story of how she became published that I began to believe this was something I could do. She’s also one of those authors who manages to keep tension high page after page, book after book. She’s an inspiration.

Kristen Ashley writes everything. Fantasy, contemporary biker romance, contemporary gothics, and probably some other stuff too. Talk about prolific! I love KA’s writing. I also love her commitment to interacting with her readers. I’m learning a lot about social media and marketing my books from watching what she’s doing. I’ve also just finished writing a contemporary that I suspect was influenced by her biker romances. Warning to anyone who hasn’t read her yet and wants to check her out. Her writing is like crack for romance lovers. You will not be able to quit her.

Me: *blushes* Although I’ve heard of all three, I have yet to read any of their stuff. Guess I’d better get to it, huh? So, next question…When you aren’t feeling very inspired, where do you go or what do you do to put yourself into the right frame of mind?

Jessi: Read, pray, sing with my kids, watch TV for inspiration, crush some candy. You know, the usual. Lack of inspiration doesn’t usually last long. I’m lucky in that way.

Me: I LOVE that. I’m a pretty big fan of almost everything you mentioned…especially the reading and singing. Speaking of reading… Do you re-read books? If so, which book have you re-read most and why? If not, what author/book/song/movie is your guilty pleasure?

Jessi: I don’t. I hang onto books because I always think I might want to re-read them, but I never do. There’s always something new and exciting to read. Or to write!

The closest I come to re-reading is going through my Kindle notes for my favorite highlights, like if I’m giving a review or if a particular book inspired my own writing. I have referenced a lot of Highlander romances in my research for my Highland Wishes series. My favorites for this kind of re-reading are all Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander romances, Sandy Blair’s books, and Julie Garwood’s.

For my Blue Collar Boyfriends series, I reference Kristen Ashley, Cara McKenna, and Maya Banks.

Me: Those are some really good and diverse authors! My fave is Julie Garwood. She writes such interesting (and unique) leading men….and so do you! Millionaire heroes seem to be all the rage these days, yet you decided to buck convention and go blue collar instead. (Great choice, by the way.) What made you decide to go in that direction?

Jessi: You know how they say, “Write what you know?” Well, I grew up in a mobile home down the road from a granite quarry and a truck wash. We called it “the sand pit.” My dad was a gunsmith, a Harley rider, and a Vietnam veteran. To say my upbringing contained a lot of colorful language and exposure to blue-collar guys would be putting it mildly.

I love writers like Kristen Ashley for going into the worlds of people who aren’t necessarily rich or particularly successful in business. I love a hero who works hard, makes a modest living, and struggles with issues we can all relate to. Derek is that kind of hero.

He’s a divorced construction site manager with anger-management issues, but he’s not a bad guy. He loves spending time with his 11yo daughter and has a big heart. He just needs the right heroine to bring out the best in him, and that’s what I gave him. His dream girl…uh, literally.

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Me: He’s definitely a hottie, that’s for sure! Give us a bit of a teaser… What’s up next on Author Jessi Gage’s horizon?

Jessi: This is a big year for me. After the sale of my former publisher to another press, I decided to get my rights back on my two backlist titles and to self publish them along with the three releases I had already planned for this year. That makes FIVE releases this year.

Reckless is my latest release. For the blurb and links, look below. And for a shot at a free e-copy of Reckless, click the word GIVEAWAY to go to my Rafflecopter page. You’ve got the whole month of April to enter. Winners will be announced May 1st!

Up next is the second in my Highland Wishes series, The Wolf and the Highlander, coming May 1st. I’m continuing to write in both my Highlander and Blue Collar series. For all the latest updates, make sure to subscribe to my blog and newsletter!

Me: Why don’t we share a little bit about your awesome book now? You know, I’ve read this book, too, and LOVED the story. It definitely wasn’t the typical pristine romance…

Blurb

Sometimes it takes a miracle to find forgiveness.

Divorced construction worker Derek has anger management issues. Acting rashly on the freeway, he causes an accident. His truck escapes unscathed, but he can’t say the same for his conscience. Visions of the wreck haunt his dreams, but they’re always followed by the sweet caresses and soothing words of a beautiful woman who calls to everything male in him.

Cami assumes she is dead. With no memory of her past, all she knows is endless fog and the occasional visit to a darkened bedroom where she comforts a man battling nightmares. When she wakes in a hospital bed and regains her memory, she assumes the ruggedly handsome Derek was no more than a figment of her concussed mind.

As Cami recovers, she learns that Derek is not only real but also the driver charged with causing her accident. She should be furious with him, but their inexplicable nights together showed her a tender side beneath his rough exterior. Will she let one reckless mistake drive them apart, or will forgiveness have the right of way?

Buy Links

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  All Romance  Goodreads

Jessi: Thanks so much for having me, Kitt! I always have a blast visiting your blog, either as a guest or a reader or commenter. You keep things lively!

Best of luck to you on your own recent releases!

Me: The pleasure was all mine, my friend! I consider myself blessed to have met you. You’ve a wonderful gift and a warm, generous heart.

Wasn’t she awesome, guys? Do you guys know Jessi yet? Have you read her books? If so, what was your favorite? If not, why not? 😉 Seriously…. If you’re wondering how to get to know Jessi better, here are her links. Go find her NOW!

Website | Newsletter | Blog | Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Goodreads

Friendship and the Generosity of @NBlackthorne

As many of you know, things have gotten very hectic for me in my “other” non-writing life. This means I’ve been having to manage my days and haven’t had as much time to spend writing and on my blog. Fortunately, this is a temporary thing as I help a close friend get his business off the ground.

In the meantime, I’ve had some really great friends like fellow author Natasha Blackthorne who have filled in and shared a bit about themselves with you guys. (Yes, that means there are more friends I’ll be sharing with you. You’ll love them. I promise!)

Well, Natasha has been so generous that she also invited me to share a bit of myself and my writing on her blog, so I did. I’d really appreciate it if you guys could take a moment to stop by, comment, and/or follow her. She’s a wonderful woman. Truly!

BTW, the offer is open for any of my friends… Just email me so we can designate a time and some parameters to your visit.

PS. Has spring arrived for those of you who live up north yet?

Sext and the Modern Age

Many of you may not know this, but my “real world” career outside of writing is actually within the wireless electronics industry.

Yes, that means I’m a pro with smart phones, tablets, etc. It also means I keep up with a lot of the trends…and have usually tried them before they became the cool thing to do. 😉

Selfies? Yeah…I think I started doing that 8 years or so ago.

Sexting? It was a think long before the Favre scandal or Anthony’s Weiner was exposed… 😉

So when Ande Lyons, the Passion Curator for Bring Back Desire, invited me to write a post about relationships and sexting, I jumped at the opportunity. I think it gets a bad rap….and you guys know how I can be when I’m discussing a topic I’m passionate about. Ya’ll have got to stop on over and check it out. Your support or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Are there any new trends in technology that have wowed or intrigued you? Anything you’ve heard people talk about surrounding technology that you were afraid to ask about because you didn’t want to sound stupid? Share with me….I’ll try to explain as best as I can…or maybe one of the other folks on here will dive on in.

In the meantime, I’ll share a little snippet from my book, Four One Night, with you guys where my heroine, Dani, definitely uses her cell phone to bring on the fun…

Four One Night WEBSITE USE

 

Shaking my head and smiling at our antics, I dialed Michael, glad her mood had lightened with my playful distraction. With the receiver to my ear, the muted strains of “My Cherie Amour” floated through instead of a ring. The frigid air whipped through the thin cotton of my shirt causing a shudder to ripple through my curvy frame. I grabbed for my key fob and quickly pressed the unlock button.

“Hey babe,” his dark, raspy voice came on the line. “What’s up?”

“Well, that all depends on you,” I purred as my hands motioned Candace to get in the car. “Work was nuts and Candace and I need to blow off some steam. We’re headed over to Club Heat for ladies night. Will you join us or do we need to find some other sexy men to play with?”

“Ooh, someone’s feeling feisty.” I could practically see his smile through the rumble in his voice. “I love it when Miss Dani comes out to play.”

“Then you’re gonna love me tonight.” Grabbing the handle, I tugged my door open. Finally out of the chilled air and in the driver’s seat, I slammed the door shut and shoved my key in the ignition.

“Two wild women looking to unleash themselves after a bad day?” The little beep of his car alarm being released sounded through the receiver followed by the slam of the door. “That may be more than I can handle alone.”

Tipping my head against my shoulder to cradle the phone, I turned the key in the ignition, quickly followed by the heater. “Michael Gallo! Afraid you might need reinforcements?”

Music flared in the background as he started his car. “Afraid is such a strong word. I prefer to think of it as being prepared for any eventuality.”

“Well, you know how I feel. The more, the merrier. Hot men and alcohol make everything better!” With one last look in my rear view mirror, I shifted into drive, leaving our bad day in the dust.

His rich laughter slid through me, warming me from the inside. “Good. I’ll give James a call and we’ll see you soon.”

I nodded. “Sounds like a plan.”