Thankful for You – Finding My Attitude of Gratitude (and a gift)

This year has been hard for everyone. No doubt. Between the Rona, quarantine, politics (which I will not be engaging in discussion about because that’s not my style and everyone’s entitled to their opinion), all the sad and strange happenings that seem to be occurring in everyone’s lives, this world could feel downright oppressive.

If you’re not ok right now, I get it, and I’d like to hear from you because I’d like to show you some love and support (and add you to my prayers–even if it’s not something you believe it it can’t hurt, right?).

But me? I need a different kind of focus…

My Pretty Purple Bling-y Glasses

The reality is most of those things are outside of our control, right?

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you already know “out of my control” is not my bag…so I focused on my controllables.

Like finding pretty purple glasses that make me feel kinda sexy.

Like discovering that the silver in my hair looks hawt enough to embrace growing it out until it’s safe enough to meet with my stylist. (I’m in a state where I could go because we’re not locked down, but she’s the caregiver for her elderly mother and I don’t feel comfortable exposing her to me when I’ve been an “essential worker” and around people this whole time.)

Most of all I’m thankful for YOU–my online family. I’m grateful for the laughter from shared memes, the check-ins, the likes and comments, the messages, the encouragement and feedback.

It meant so much to me that I wanted to do something nice for you, so TODAY and TOMORROW ONLY I’ve made A Way With Words FREE!

I’m spending today at work, but tomorrow both my brother-in-law (the ER doc) and I will be off, so we’ll enjoy our family Thanksgiving then. I can’t wait for all the fabulous food and family time.

What are you thankful for? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? What about your favorite food?

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.

JessiGage_Reckless_1400px

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?

Friends are the Sweetest Thing EVER!

I’m fortunate to be surrounded both in real life and online by an amazing group of friends. We laugh together, support one another, and cheer each other on. In fact, my awesome buddy, Ande Lyons, of Bring Back Desire, was kind enough make me this!

Love Yourself

This was the quote August McLaughlin featured on her blog, announcing the winners from her Beauty of a Woman (Girl Boner edition) Blogfest! What’s even cooler? I’m one of those winners! I will be reading my post, then hanging out for a little bit to chat on the one and only GirlBoner radio! Yes, I’ll share more when the time comes, but guys…seriously. If you haven’t checked her show out yet, you need to do it NOW! You won’t regret it, I promise!

As if this isn’t already an abundance of friendship and support, there’s more! My dear friend, Stephanie, invited me to do a guest post and GIVEAWAY on her blog!

Fangs Wands & Fairy Dust

We actually met at Authors After Dark in Savannah (Steph, how did we not wind up taking a pic together then???). We sat together during the Vampire Ball and we started chatting. Afterward, we became friends on Facebook and Twitter and I followed her blog, so when she found out she’d be headed to my neck of the woods for a little while she reached out and asked if I’d like to meet her for coffee or wine.

COFFEE? WINE? I was IN! Well, truthfully, it was Steph, so she could’ve mentioned a walk on the beach and I’d have still been good to go. She’s pretty awesome.

She’d welcomed me to write a guest post for her blog, which thrilled me to death. I love her blog! But I wanted to do something special. Something unique for my friend. So, since my tastes vary and I’ll write whatever comes to mind anyway, I asked her if there was something specific she would like me to cover. The task she gave me proved to be not only fun, but right up my alley!

Four One Night WEBSITE USE

Stop by, show her some love (and me some support)…because, like I said….she’s awesome and I’m giving something away! Plus, we’re talking BDSM terms, fantasies and Four One Night!

And because it wouldn’t be The Sweetest Thing without a clip from one of my favorite movies of the same title…(And it’s a shout out to my favorite “kinkery” book club and their love of cock rings)…here’s a little something/something.

And my shout out to all my gal pals and our crazy ass sense of humor? (Because my BFF and I would totally do something like this.)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, despite hubby’s accident yesterday (he was unharmed), it’s been a great week for me. Are you celebrating anything you want to share with the class? 😉

What I Brought Back

bringing-sexy-back

Unlike Justin Timberlake, I feel no need to bring sexy back…mostly because I never thought it was lost.

Sexy is something intangible that lives inside each and every one of us…. Often, all it really takes is tapping into our innermost thoughts and fantasies.

Desire is another story all together. Sometimes we need some poking and prodding…and some good directions to help us Bring Back Desire…. Today, Ande Lyons has invited me to share some of my thoughts on ways to make this happen by repurposing a post I wrote a little while back…with a bit of a Bring Back Desire twist.

Stop by and say hi! We’d love the company…and to hear your thoughts on our chosen subject for the day. You guys aren’t the slightest bit shy, so I’m sure you’ll have plenty to contribute. I, for one, can’t wait to get your thoughts.

In the meantime…. (And I’d love to hear about when this happened to you) Ever found yourself in a situation where you were in denial about what was really going on?

Ladies (or maybe guys, too)…ever found yourself dating a guy and wondering how that happened? You guys were just hanging out…ALL THE TIME…and he paid… But you kind of thought you were just friends until someone said something?

Guys…ever had a friend make a comment about how he didn’t realize you and your girlfriend had moved in together and you said he was wrong…only to look around and realize her toothbrush was next to yours in the bathroom, that she had a couple of drawers in your bureau and clothes in your closet…her shampoo in your shower…and she really didn’t go “home” much anymore?

Then you’ll really appreciate the humor in this video… and don’t forget to check out my guest post at Bring Back Desire!

Passion’s Flame

Passion_by_Sparticous on DeviantART

Passion_by_Sparticous on DeviantART

 

Wash away this heartache,
Mine-
Cleanse me with your fire.

Breathe me in for you
alone;
Feed me your desire.

Punish me with searing
touch,
Brand me with each kiss.

Bind my body with your
Love,
Burn me with your bliss.

Help me soar beyond
the flame,
Guide me to your soul.

Hold me till I scream your
Name,
Fill me till I’m whole.

Take this trust gave
Willingly,
Hold it safe and sound.

My gift, I lay before
your feet,
The treasure you have found.

There are several levels and undercurrents to this poem. I feel that’s part of the beauty of life and experiences. I’d love to hear your interpretations/impressions of what you feel or see when you read it.

Self Discovery

self-touch

Soft touch
glide on scented
skin.
The reverent kiss
of finger tips
follow
curve
of breast
and hip.
Warm response,
arched back,
hardened buds,
taut;
seeking
heated suction
or cruel bite…
Aching.
Hand delves down,
discovers
center of my universe…
Wet welcome
permeates the air.
Hips raise,
meet seeking touch…
Beg to be filled.
Quick thrust,
fingers
strong and sure.
Once,
and again.
Light sheen glistens
Body uncontrolled.
Friction heats
tiny bud
bursts…
Red lips
raised in supplication.
“Oh, God!”

This is my 200th post! I wanted to do something different to celebrate my little landmark when it hit me! Timing is everything. Coincidences happen for a reason. I find it kind of hot that my 200th post happens to fall on National Masturbation Month. Inspired by August McLaughlin’s Girl Boner post on Self Love in relation to Body Image, I decided to follow her example.

It’s also been a while since I’ve shared poetry…especially erotic poetry, so I’ve been overdue. I hope you appreciate my poem in celebration of the joys of self love. The body is a temple that deserves celebration. What things about May make you want to celebrate?

Hope you guys also enjoy the sexy, hot song I found to go with our Sexy Study of Sensual Self.

Art Of Prose

Words-
Dive
Onto blank page,
Breathe life,
Create feelings,
Thoughts, universes…

Strong enough
To mold minds,
Empower
Or
Bend wills.
Able to cut deep;
Gently heal.

Words-
Carelessly misplaced,
Recklessly thrown
Easily misread,
Misunderstood.
Choose carefully.

Words ARE Power.

I’ve been insanely busy, but I couldn’t let today, World Poetry Day, go by without finding a way to contribute. Many of my friends are quite brilliant wordsmiths…and I’m always blown away by their ability to impact the world around them simply by tossing words about and carefully placing them in positions they deem will have the biggest impact. Kudos to them.

Own Your Power

Today, as I contemplate that it is International Women’s Day, I’ve been thinking about what makes us so special as women. There are so many things that make me absolutely proud to be a woman. At it’s core, though, I think it boils down to one thing. Resilience. We are very good at recovering. Sometimes it’s a physical thing like child birth while other time’s it’s heart break or loss. Regardless, as a whole, we find ways to regroup, recover and come back stronger. I felt the above music illustrated that super power quite well.

I attempted to put my feelings about women in general into a poem, and this is what I came up with.

beauty_sunshine

Mystique

“The Weaker Sex”
is what we’re called.
Generations
of velvet encased
iron core,
who have held
and nurtured
in body and heart-
souls,
Sons who become
fathers,
daughters to
mothers.
We’ve stood firm,
guardians of the castle
charged with
sacred duty
to mold, guide and nurture,
teach and love.
Dry tears,
kiss away wounds
spiritual and physical.
Healing powers-
steeped in
understanding,
forgiveness and patience.
We hold on if we can,
let go when we must.
kindness, empathy
and knowledge.
Strength is required
to be
“The softer side.”

To all the women out there, I hope you realize how truly strong you are and that you have someone who shares your life who recognizes those superpowers you carry so effortlessly. Today, on International Woman’s Day, I think it’s fair to ask. What do you think makes women unique and/or powerful? What things do you respect the most?

For all you girls…in whichever part of life you happen to fall in…this is for you. Hold your head up. Own your power! You ARE strong.

 

Power Of A Name

Yesterday I read an awesome blog from one of my blogging buddies, Crazy Train To Tinky Town, about what’s in a name. In fact, she was talking about how she came to be named. Oddly enough, I’d been thinking a lot about that exact topic as I’d recently come across one of my old journal books that housed my poems. In there was a poem I wrote for a creative writing project.

What do names and my project have to do with each other? Well, the project was to ask your parents how your name was selected, then write about it. As it turns out, I come by my poetic streak naturally. In fact, I remember that when I was younger, my mom would write long, long poems…usually church and God related. This meant that the words she used to describe how my name was selected were very strong and artistic. The teacher never specified HOW we had to write about our name selection, so I chose one of my favorite mediums. It was a creative writing class, afterall.

The parents-and me, incubating in Mom's belly

The parents-and me, incubating in Mom’s belly

Baby Girl

The angels in heaven
must have joined me
in my
celebration
on the day you
were born.
A beautiful,
perfect
baby girl
entering
an imperfect world.
I prayed
that God
would grant you
strength enough to
stand tall
in the midst of
the despair
you would
one day
face.
So I named
you
courageous.

Spaghetti Face Me

Spaghetti Face Me

I wrote this back on May 6, 1992. It’s the meaning behind my name. I hope you found her awesome explanation of how she arrived at my name interesting. Funny, it wasn’t until that class that I bothered to ask about why my name was chosen. I was 18 at the time.

You know, she’s always treated me like I was brave and strong. I don’t know if it’s because of the name or how she treats me, but most of the time I’ve felt that way…a bit like a lioness. I think she’s proud of the person I’ve grown up to be. I just hope she thinks I’ve done justice to the name she chose for me.

Back in Germany

Back in Germany

What about you? How did you come by your name? Do you think it has any bearing on the person you are today?