Playtime: What Goes in the Box…

Vibe

Many moons ago I bought my first vibrator. It was exciting. It was taboo. It was hidden in a brown bag so no one would know what I’d purchased. After a quick trip to the store to pick up some batteries (let’s be real, first timer…didn’t want to run out and didn’t know what to expect) I rushed home, excited to play.

Alone in my room, I freed the teal gel cylinder from the wrapping, washed it, and slid the batteries the hard plastic handle piece. I toyed with the various settings against my hand to get a feel for how it operated, then disrobed and moved to the bed.

This was going to be awesome, right? So much easier and fun than my own fingers?

Not exactly.

It wasn’t so much the going in. Lubrication (both self and purchased) helped with that. It was more the uncomfortable, burning feeling.  And the feeling like the only way to rid myself of that uncomfortable burn was to pee.

I knew that the lady at the pleasure party said that they were considered “novelty” items, but it was explained that this had more to do with the rules of other countries about exporting things that were used for sex. That’s why there were things like rabbit ears or hummingbirds or dolphins on the clitoral stimulator….or so I understood back then.

It never occurred to me that pleasure items were not held to any health or safety standard. That they could be toxic. In the end, I gave up on that particular toy figuring it must be an allergic reaction. Heck, I’ve been known to have a sensitivity to latex condoms, so I just chalked it up to that! And then I did a bit more research.

Did you know that many of the older toys were made with toxic products? That they were safer to be used in conjunction with a condom? Or that the type of lubricant you use can actually dry you out? In fact, check out the article I wrote for Sexual Wellness News on exactly this topic this week! It’s all about how to shop for great non-toxic toys. And if you have any doubts that not all lubes are created equal? Check out this blog post from my favorite lube company. It’s from a nurse’s perspective on why their stuff is head and shoulders above the rest.

Don’t get me wrong, this has NOT stopped me from enjoying pleasure enhancers. It’s just made me much more careful in my choices. Heck, ya’ll know I’ve always been pretty vocal about sharing what I like….and reading materials to help you get there.

What about you guys? Any sex toy nightmares to share? Any tips you’ve learned along the way? Caring is Sharing, afterall!

Advertisements

Between the Sheets With Liv Rancourt

Whenever I have the opportunity to share someone new and fun with you guys, I jump at the chance. This time I was tickled pink because I don’t think when Liv Rancourt asked if I’d like to share her newest book with you guys that she realized just how passionately I love music. As a former choir girl, her premise had me sold from the get go. Seriously. How could I resist a combination of my two most favorite things? Romance and music… So, without any further ado, here’s Liv! (BTW, she’d love to hear from you.)

LivRancourt

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Kitt. This looks like such a fun place!

This morning while I was hanging out on-line, I saw a tweet from the amazing Delphine Dryden where she referred to one of her books as a “nerdmance”.

Isn’t that an awesome term?

Like, nerds need love too, you know? And if ‘nerdmance’ ever becomes an official category, I’ll be happy, because it’s the perfect description of my new novella Between the Sheets.

This may be a bit of a stretch, but I’m going to guess that when you’re looking for a hot, contemporary romance, you probably don’t expect the hero and heroine to be music teachers. Yeah, didn’t think so. I mean, my hero Randy can rock the house when he’s on stage with his blues band, but his main gig is teaching high school students to play in tune.

And Maggie? She’s the heroine and she teaches grade school kids the basics of music theory…when she’s not worried about how to keep the kindergartners from peeing on the carpet. No, Between the Sheets (and the title refers to sheet music, thank you very much) doesn’t feature billionaires or Navy Seals or high fashion models or superstars.

Just two ordinary – well, above-average attractive – folks who meet at a music teachers retreat and try real hard not to fall in love.

Obviously they’re not successful, otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a story, right?

Just to give you an idea, here’s a short(ish) excerpt. Maggie’s reading Cosmo, on her way to the annual Western Washington Choral Directors retreat. And, oh yeah, she’s been celibate for way too long…

Between the Sheets_highres cover

Blurb

Life for music teacher Maggie Schafer has been full of flat notes lately. Sick of being single and celibate, she vows to get her groove back at the upcoming Western Washington Choral Directors Annual Retreat.  Too bad the only guy who seems interested is a pompous dork who thinks he’s God’s gift to women—and the music education world. When he gets a little too arrogant and crosses boundaries, gorgeous pianist Randy Devers swoops in to run interference. After sharing a shockingly hot kiss in front of the whole conference, Maggie and Randy come up with a plan to pretend they’re dating. However, the more time they spend together—and the more physical their “pretend” relationship gets—the more she wonders if there could be anything beyond just smoking chemistry and a friendly agreement between them. Maggie’s got history, Randy’s got baggage, and they’ve got a weekend to get their rhythms in sync and figure out how to turn their solo lives into a beautiful duet.

Excerpt
I came to the article promising to turn me into a sex diva. Crazy. Halfway down the page, one of the bold-type headings demanded I Flick His Frenulum. I vowed to flick the next one I saw, once I figured out where it was located. Apparently it would fire up his treasure trail, the line of hair running south from his bellybutton. The article said a real diva should take the initiative and undress her man. And I could imagine doing that exactly never. The next page suggested the standing doggie-style position would bring me to the highest heights.

O-kay.
The whole thing had me all twisted up, excitement and fear and desire making like ribbon candy in my belly. I tried to picture the kind of man I’d want behind me for standing doggie style. My ex came to mind, but right about the time the flood of bad memories started, Krista interrupted me with a sharp poke to the ribs.
“Check him out,” she said, her voice barely audible.
A man leaned against the railing at the front of the boat. He gazed out at the water, taking lazy drags off the butt of a cigarette. Since he mostly had his back to us, I felt free to stare.
Yum. He wore a pair of faded jeans and a light green T-shirt. He turned to the right, giving us a profile shot and showing off a pair of wire-rimmed glasses. His toned forearm had the freckled, light toast color redheads get in the sun. He wasn’t a true carrot-top; more like a sandy red, and his short hair could have used a trim. His beard, too, was a day or so into scruffy.
A black tattoo circled his arm just below the hem of his sleeve, calling attention to the swell of his bicep. I closed the magazine and sat forward, trying to get a better look at the tat, when Krista grabbed my elbow.
“There is no way.” I spoke without turning my head or moving my lips, even though my twisted candy core started to melt. “Because even if he turns out, by some miracle, to be a music teacher, I couldn’t string sentences together in front of someone so incredibly handsome.”
She gave my elbow a shake. “If you get the chance, you are totally going to hit that.”
I shoved the magazine at her, hoping the Ginger God didn’t turn around and notice my blush.
Krista had always been the optimistic one.

Buy Links

Goodreads 
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Google
Amazon

About the Author

Liv Rancourt writes light, funny, contemporary romance and urban fantasy. Her novel Hell…The Story was a 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award quarterfinal entry. Previous publishing credits include Forever & Ever, Amen, a paranormal romance from Crimson Romance, and A Vampire’s Deadly Delight, an urban fantasy novella from Black Opal Books. She has also contributed several short stories to the Ten Tales series edited by Rayne Hall and she is represented by Margaret Bail from Inklings Literary Agency.

Liv’s day job is as a neonatal nurse practitioner, and she’s taken care of small and sick infants for almost thirty years. Before she got serious about writing, she spent her free time fronting a rock band and hanging out in the church choir. Currently, she lives in Seattle with her husband, her two kids, and a slightly addled menagerie.

She can be found on-line at her website & blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

The Funny, the Empowering, the Lifesaving…

The last couple weeks, even smiley ol’ me needed some help finding things to laugh about. Fortunately, my friends and Facebook came through…

A fellow coffee lover posted this hilariousness….

I also saw this awesomeness that spoke to my inner music lover…

And my hilarious and awesome buddy, Anna, from Herding Cats and Burning Soup posted this to our Kinkery group…(so you know it’s going to be both hilarious and naughty)

And this morning, I saw this particular review shared on facebook regarding Veet Mens Hair Removal….I laughed so hard I cried. Those of you who’ve followed me for a while on here know just how seriously I take Manscaping. 😀

So thanks! Ya’ll didn’t know how much your posts brightened an otherwise tough week for me.

And then there were some truly sweet and empowering things that people shared.

My friend, author Kristy K. James, shared this story about Taylor Swift and her going out of her way to send a special message to a fan who was being bullied. It moved me to tears.

Another friend posted the video for the new Colbie Caillat song, Try. Talk about powerful and empowering. A message reminding us to be ourselves! We’re beautiful just the way we are. I know that this message is near and dear to my friend, August McLaughlin’s heart.

And then there’s the lifesaving….

Lately we’ve talked about how technology has changed the world, and often not in a good way. But there have also been some amazing things that have come from the tech world. Did you see how an App saved a baby’s life?

Check out this story about the Pulse Point app…. How cool is that?

So, despite all the ups and downs, there has been a lot of “cool” thrown in there, too. What about you guys? What things have made you laugh, touched your heart, or simply made you want to share? And if you have a smart phone, what apps have you found that make a difference in your life (or maybe someone else’s)?

Celebrating My Prince Charming

IMG_0437.JPG

My happily ever after began 5 years ago, today…or that’s what a piece of paper says. In reality, it started when I was 19 years old and too full of myself to notice it.

That’s how old I was when I first met my husband. Back then I mostly dated pretty boy GQ types who rarely challenged me to be “more” on any level. My mom would tell you that’s probably why, in my youth, I changed boyfriends as quickly as some people changed bed sheets. She claimed that they weren’t “smart” enough to capture my interest, so she never worried. She knew I would get bored.

Still, when Mr. Kitt came along, he wasn’t what my friends considered my type. They cautioned him not to get his hopes up. He’d just grin. He knew exactly what he wanted and wouldn’t be deterred. He became my best friend, instead.

Most guys would hate being “friend zoned,” but not him. He noticed my friends lasted longer. He got to know me. My hopes, my dreams, my loyalty, my fears. And I got to know him. His sneaky brilliance, his ability to see through the facade to the true face of people, his irrepressible humor and ability to talk meaningfully about anything.

He waited a year before he made his first move. I never encouraged him, thinking we didn’t really have any sexual chemistry. Boy, was I surprised when he proved how thoroughly wrong I was!

That was 21 years ago. Our friendship? 22 years.

Wedding Day

He’s taken the heat for years because the world assumed he was the reason it took us so long to get married. It wasn’t. He always knew what he wanted. Me? Let’s just say I had some scars. He knew it and he waited patiently for me to face them. He stood beside me all the while. He never let me get away with things. He was honest, even when it hurt. He challenged me. Made me think. And he expected the same from me.

Kiss

So today, I’d like to say Happy Anniversary to the patient, loving man who knows me inside & out and loves me anyway. You truly are my best friend and partner, and the person I want to share happily ever after with because I know with you it will never be boring. Thanks for all the adventures so far, can’t wait to see what’s next.

Happy Birthday, Baby Brother

I still remember the day it hit me.

Oddly enough, we were coming by the house to pick out your funeral clothes…and to pick up more stuff for us to wear. Mom couldn’t stand to be in the apartment anymore. Too much hurt, maybe. Or just too many memories. Either way, it was the second time we came back home after getting the news you wouldn’t be coming home with us.

I threw open the door and called out….”Hey, Jonathan!”

I forgot. For one moment, between the car and front door, I really forgot. Until the moment I called out your name. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. You were gone.  I cried….harder than I ever had before. Tears of the heartbroken.

You may have been four years younger, but you were one of my best friends. It was habit. To tell you about my day. To laugh with you. To find out about yours…and I knew you’d be excited to be staying at Auntie Marta’s for a while….except you wouldn’t be there with us. Not ever again.

Just so you know, it’s been 26 years since I last saw you…and I still remember you. Still celebrate your laughter. Still miss your smile. And I try to live each day in a way that brings honor to your memory.

And I’m not alone in my grief. So many others are doing the same thing around the world…because someone desecrated your birthday. I’m glad you weren’t here to see that. It would’ve broken your heart. But you would’ve been proud…of how people rallied to be there for one another. To give comfort. And hope.

So today, I’ll smile through the tears….I’ll be the best me that I can be. Because I know deep down, it’s the best way to honor your memory.

I love you.

Speeding Things Up With Lissa Matthews

When I was first discovering the joy of the Kindle App and the fabulous erotic romances (especially on the kinky side), one of the first “spanking” good reads I came across was from the fabulous Lissa Matthews. Her women were real. Her men, dominant. I was in love. And then Lissa responded to one of my Tweets…and another. She was even cooler than her books! And she loved coffee. And football! Needless to say, I think she’s amazing! 

When I heard she’d re-released one of her awesome Racing series books, I asked for the honor of hosting her. She said YES! She’s sharing a bit about her love of racing…and a delightfully racy excerpt. You guys are going to love her as much as I do! So, without further ado, one of my favorite people ever…. Lissa Matthews!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi. My name is Lissa Matthews and Stick Shift is my new release. Well, my new, old release. And working on it after several years was like visiting friends I hadn’t seen in years. We kind of picked up as though time hadn’t passed us by, yet, there were new things and new revelations I learned about these wonderful characters that I hadn’t been privy to when I was writing them the first time around. They didn’t know me all that well and had to take some time to warm up.
It’s interesting how as writers we personalize our characters. We try not only to bring them to life for you, the reader, but they’re as close to us as our living breathing friends/lovers, etc… Sometimes, closer. We talk to them. We argue with them. We feel what they feel. We see into their intimate moments, their kinks, their fantasies. We might create them and they might embody some part of us, the writer, but they take on a life of their own and we are at times at their mercy. At least, I am.
Stick Shift is the first book in a series titled The Bad Boys of Racing. I love NASCAR, but will watch other forms of racing too. My son got me into it. For a long time, if it had wheels and a checkered flag, he’d watch it. But Stick Shift is just as much about a woman who is independent but blossoms under the love and attention of a young, hot shot race car driver. She’s plus size and the hero loves it. She’s a little submissive, but at times she’s a little aggressive and he loves that too. They have a great chemistry and when I had the opportunity to get the rights back from the publisher, I jumped on it.
I revised the book, extended some scenes, added some new information, added in an excerpt from the second book which will be out in the next few months, and a recipe for molasses cookies which do play a role in the book. If you haven’t read Stick Shift, I hope you’ll add it to your TBR list or just go ahead and 1-click it.
I appreciate Kitt for offering up her blog for me to tell you a little about my book.

StickShift200x300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available at Amazon!

Blurb:

Falling in love at two hundred miles an hour…

Cam Carter is young, hot, and cocky as hell. He’s loved by some, respected by few, and hated by more. He’ll do anything to win the next race, the championship, or the heart of the girl.

Lily is unlike any other challenge Cam has faced. Quiet, full-figured, and several years older, she’s trying everything she can to resist the pull of this bad boy of racing.

Can they find a way to cross the finish line and take the checkered flag together? Or will obstacles, both inside and out, push against them until they crash and burn?

Excerpt:

Oh God. She was really there, staring at him, and he – bless his gorgeous face – if his smile was anything to go by, he looked happy to see her. She suddenly felt out of her element again and not quite up to the dress code in her blue, lacy knee-length skirt and white frilly t-shirt. Her pink painted toes curled under as she shifted her weight nervously from one foot to the other in the cute, sparkly flip-flops Alli had talked her into wearing. Then again, there probably wasn’t a dress code, given that he was in faded, threadbare jeans with holes in the knees and one of the back pockets ripped at the seams. His T-shirt was black with a washed-out logo she couldn’t make out, and his sneakers had seen much better days. Still, she felt uncertain about how she looked standing there while they stared at each other. What was it about him that drew her and scared her all at the same time? Maybe it was his freshness, his youth, his smile that was all too knowing and aimed at her. Maybe it was because she was out of her depths and he was way out of her league.

Things like this just didn’t happen to women like her.

He stopped in front of her. “You’re here.” He sounded pleased and Lily hoped she wasn’t making a terrible mistake.

“I-I hope it’s okay that I just showed up without calling first. My friend drove me here and wouldn’t let me call. She was afraid I’d chicken out.”

“Would you have? Chickened out?”

“I tried several times, but I was already strapped into the seat of her car.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re here. I can stop checking my phone every thirty seconds now.”

Checking his phone? Surely he wasn’t serious. Guys didn’t do that sort of thing. Guys like Cam Carter didn’t do that sort of thing. “I’m sure you probably made plans for tonight. I just wanted to…” She wanted to what? She was stranded. Alli had left almost as soon as Lily’d stepped from the car. She hadn’t wanted to give Lily a chance to escape.

“You just wanted to what?” he prompted for her to continue.

Lily hated that she was stumbling all over her words. The man had her tongue-tied and she wished she hadn’t had that particular thought, because she would love to be tongue-tied, naked, and wrapped around him.

She had to stop thinking like that, too. Instead, if she could just stay focused on how much younger he was than her, how different their lives were, she might actually get out of this awkward mess unscathed.

“I don’t know, but I shouldn’t have shown up out of the blue.”

“I love the surprise. I don’t have plans other than you. If I did, I wouldn’t have told you to meet me. No one needs me until tomorrow, so that means I’m all yours tonight.”

“Oh.” She likely hadn’t hidden the surprise at his choice of words, because he laughed. All hers? Yeah, right. In what universe was a man like Cam Carter ever going to be “all hers”?

“You like that idea.”

He was reading her mind again, just as he’d done at the autograph session. She had to learn not to be so transparent. Alli was forever telling her that everything she thought or felt could be seen in her eyes and in the expressions on her face.

She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She could do this. “Well, yes, of course. How could I not?” She’d play along. How often did an average, ordinary music teacher get this kind of opportunity? “I’d be crazy to not want you all to myself.”

“Great. Because that’s how I want you.” He stepped close and traced the outline of her cheekbone with his callused and scratched fingers that melted her even more. “All to myself.”

He was going to kiss her. She knew it because he took off his sunglasses, because the pulse beat in his neck had kicked into high gear, because his lips actually brushed hers. Oh. My. God.

He’s too young. He’s too young. He’s too young.

Her mind rattled off the litany, knowing she needed to remember it, no matter how weak it might be. It would be so easy to get carried away if she spent any kind of time with him. But all of her reminders, all of her good intentions drifted away at the softness of his lips, the insistent tip of his tongue, the feel of his hand sliding into her hair, the pressure and control he exerted in holding her mouth to his.

It was a brief kiss, just a small taste of him, but it was enough to whet her appetite for more. The little devil inside her head laughed. As if she needed her appetite whetted. For days she’d thought of him and little else. She’d never wrestled with anything more.

Should she or shouldn’t she?

More than once, she’d picked up the phone and dialed his number but never let the call go through. What if he hadn’t remembered her by just her name and voice alone? What if he put her off or changed his mind or hadn’t meant for her to take the date and time on the picture seriously? What if it was a bum number?

Lily’d been so uncertain what to do that Alli had forced her into the car and dropped her off at the race shop, exactly as she’d told Cam. As soon as Alli left, Lily entertained the notion of walking to the nearest bus stop, but then Cam stepped outside, and she couldn’t move, could barely breathe. She didn’t want to leave without trying. Trying what, she didn’t know, but there was definitely something in the air between them.

“Just as sweet as I knew you’d be,” he said softly, his lips still grazing hers

Just as hot as I remembered you being. Lily smiled, not trusting her voice to speak just yet.

“My shy little kitten.” He chuckled and shook his head. “What do you want to do? Dinner? A movie? A concert? A club? Whatever you want to do, we will do.”

“Shy, little kitten?” That had cleared the fog enough for her to open her mouth.

“Yes.” He nipped the tip of her nose with his lips. “You’re all shy and timid, like a scared kitten. Relax, beautiful. I won’t hurt you. I just want a date with you.”

“A-a date?”

His brow wrinkled and his mouth twitched at the corners when she stammered out her question. She wanted to kiss that mouth again and she wanted to brush her fingers against the creases in his forehead. She wanted to touch every inch of him, commit him to memory.

“Yes,” he confirmed. “What did you think this was?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t know you… A date? In public? With me?”

Cam’s smile faltered as he gazed at her curiously. Now he was the one looking uncomfortable. “Was I being presumptuous in thinking that you might like to go out with me?”

“I… No. No, not at all. I definitely would like to go out with you.”

“On a date? In public?” The light returned to his face as he teased her, and it took her breath away. Damn. The effect the man had on her.

Cam Carter.

She wasn’t strong enough to deny him or herself. He was offering her a chance few women ever got, just as Alli had said. Alli told her to make the most of it and Lily couldn’t think of a reason why she shouldn’t throw caution to the wind just once and do this one thing for herself.

“And just so we’re clear, Lily? It’s entirely possible that I’ll want more than one date by the time the evening is over.”

To learn more about me, you can find me several place around the internet: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Newsletter

Celebrating World Sexual Health Day and August McLaughlin

August McLaughlin (aka the GirlBoner woman)

August McLaughlin (aka the GirlBoner woman)

As many of you know, a great passion of mine is helping to spread a sex positive message and to aid in building people and their self esteems up. So when I stumbled across August McLaughlin’s blog about two years ago, an instant connection happened. And when she decided to introduce #GirlBoner, I was cheering loud and hard.

August has quite the compelling personal story, and she’s touched my heart. As we became friends, it was clear that she is someone to be admired and respected because she is a woman of both word and action. She celebrates life in general, and her fellow womankind in particular, by hosting such events as Beauty of a Woman (which I was honored to participate in this last year). But she doesn’t stop there. She’s got her own GirlBoner Radio show. If you haven’t tuned in and listened to her shows, you’re missing out. And as if that’s not enough, she was also one of BlogHer 2014’s Voices of the Year.

Yes…. August is one beautiful, busy woman….and tomorrow she’ll be a panelist and Emcee for World Sexual Health Day. What a well deserved honor for her, and what a fabulous cause! The really cool part is that we can participate online because the event will be streaming live! And if you want to be part of it via Facebook or Twitter, you can do that, too!

On top of all this, she’s an author and she sings! In fact, we’ve decided that the first time we meet face to face, we’ll be singing together, so we’re thinking karaoke party…. Who’s in and what songs are a must sing at a karaoke party to you?

And on a more serious note, how will you be celebrating your sexual health this September 4th?