Sexual Assault Does Not Negate Happy-Ever-After

As many of you know by now, sex positive discussions is intensely important to me. So many people have their sexual growth and understanding inhibited due to upbringing, religion, and worse, traumatic sexual experiences. Being closed away from one’s sexuality due to whatever reason stifles and inhibits personal, emotional growth and well being and can destroy otherwise healthy personal relationships.

Recently, when I discovered my pal, Jessi Gage, had launched her first ever holiday book, I reached out and asked if I could help her pimp it. I was thrilled when she mentioned that there was a sensitive topic of a sexual nature she’d wanted to address and thought my blog would be the perfect forum. When she gave me the specifics, I was honored. This subject is near and dear to so many hearts. (Don’t believe me? Check out my other pal, Bridget Blackwood’s post.)

Take it away, Jessi! (And please, guys, as always….share your stories, thoughts, and/or experiences because we’d love to hear from you!)

sexual assault

Thank you, Kitt, for hosting me today. I’m a huge fan of you as a person and as a blogger. You are one of my favorite advocates for women’s sexuality. Your voice and the voices of August McLaughlin and Ande Lyons are desperately needed and greatly appreciated by many.

I thought your blog would be a good place to confess my insecurity over a recent first for me. I’ve got a new release out, Cole in My Stocking. It’s my first holiday romance, and it’s the first time I’ve tackled sexual assault in a book. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous about this.

In a romance, you want conflict and tension, yes, but you don’t want to disturb the readers, at least I don’t. That’s not my thing as a writer. I like to leave readers with a serious case of the warm-fuzzies. If people put down my book with a happy sigh, that’s my idea of success. So I wasn’t sure how to handle it when my heroine, Mandy, insisted she had survived a very traumatic situation in her past, a situation in which all her control was taken away: a sexual assault.

Fortunately, Mandy assured me her trauma was well past. It doesn’t appear on the pages of Cole in My Stocking other than as brief flashes of memory that still haunt her. But Mandy needed to spend time in this book working through issues that resulted from her assault. And Cole needed to be the man to help her do it.

See, Mandy has not been able to have a physical relationship with anyone since her assault. She has PTSD. As a counselor, she knows this about herself, but clinical knowledge doesn’t necessarily translate into being able to overcome the emotional scars of her past.

Fortunately for Mandy, Cole is up to the challenge of helping her tackle her physical and psychological issues. He does it by loving her, showing her he is trustworthy, and most of all, through his unwavering patience with her physical limitations.

To get this dynamic right (I hope I got it right!), I consulted my beautiful and generous sister-in-law, Kate, who has a counseling degree and has a heart for helping people. She helped me shape Mandy’s memories and reactions and encouraged me not to hold back when naming the horror that happened to her: rape.

Mandy’s story has a happy ending—of course, since I will never write anything that doesn’t end happily. But it might be a painful read for a woman who has experienced anything like what Mandy experienced. Then again, it might be helpful. Early reviews are indicating that Mandy’s journey is touching and realistic.

Excerpt from a 5-star review by Becca Moree of Breathless Ink:

Learning about what sweet Mandy has been through was tough. It was emotional, and for anyone that has been in a situation where their control, their power, their self worth has been stripped from them…just know that this book can be extremely difficult to read. Mandy’s reactions to what happened and how she handles intimacy after were very realistic. I’m not sure what Jessi Gage did to write this type of story in such a believable manner, but what I can say is that I appreciate the way she wrote this story. It means a lot to me that she managed to write a sweet love story (which I will talk about in a bit) while fitting in details that may help people who have never dealt with assault understand. I felt that it was written in a way that shed light on the way victims of assault think. The way they deal with what others see as a simple situation.

Reviews like this certainly help me feel less nervous about Mandy’s story. I’m so glad I wrote it and I hope lots of people find some holiday hope and cheer in it. I want to leave you with some words from Kate and some resources on sexual assault. Here’s Kate:

Sexual assault is an almost scientific term for a vomit-inducing nightmare. Alas, we are forced to contend with the term, so let’s be clear on its definition. According to the Justice Department’s website, sexual assault is defined as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient… forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.”

http://www.justice.gov/ovw/sexual-assault 

Recent government-funded studies have brought to light some shocking statistics about sexual assault and rape specifically:

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/219181.pdf  :

Nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped.

Only 16% of all rapes are reported to authorities.

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv13.pdf

35% of all sexual assaults are reported to authorities.

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf

Teens aged 16-19 are 3.5 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault than the general population.

http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_executive_summary-a.pdf : 90% of rape victims know their rapist.

50% of victims are raped by their intimate partner.

There are a ton of implications in these stats, but I’ll highlight just a couple. What strikes me most about these stats is that rape is so common. We encounter women who have survived sexual assault every day. Eighteen percent of US women have gone through this. You are friends with rape victims. You are family of rape victims. Let that sink in for a minute.

Next, most rape is being done by guys we know. That is actually a pretty scary statistic. Think about it. Women are more likely to get raped by a man they know than by that ominous lurking predator in black, looming in the dark behind that bush. And to top it off, rapes are underreported. In other words, the bad guy is getting off way more often than not.

Sexual assault clearly affects our culture and us personally more than we realize, because it is happening all the time. I encourage you to ask questions and have conversations. Educate yourself on why and how sexual assault is so prevalent in our society. (I’ll give you a hint: It’s not because men are uncontrollable animals.)

Learn about victim blaming:

rape culture

consent:

and ways you can help the women (and men) in your own life who need support after sexual assault.

Here are some resources for you or a loved one needing immediate help after sexual assault:

Resources:

National directory of rape crisis centers: via RAINN website or call 1-800-656-4673

Online sexual assault support group: AfterSilence

Advice for loved ones of assault victims: RAINN website support

Bandbacktogether Blog

Thank you for reading! Please forward this post at will since you never know who might need the resources Kate shares above.

Thanks again, Kitt, for having me! It’s always a pleasure to blog with you!

For more information about Cole in My Stocking and Jessi Gage’s other books, visit her at:

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

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Cole Blurb and Buy Links

Mandy never planned to return to Newburgh, New Hampshire, the hometown that unfairly branded her a slut, but she has no choice. Her father has died, and she’ll be spending Christmas settling his affairs. She hopes to get in and out of town without attracting the looks of disgust that drove her away, but when a certain Oakley-wearing, Harley-riding cop starts hanging around, an old crush is revived and the rumor mill restarts with a vengeance.

Cole has always been attracted to Mandy, but he has never acted on it. Besides being sixteen years older than her, he was friends with her father. The rumors people in town spread about her were bad enough without an inappropriate relationship adding fuel to the fire. But when Mandy returns to Newburgh fully adult and looking more gorgeous than ever, he can’t keep his distance, especially when an old secret of her father’s surfaces and puts her in danger. He’ll stop at nothing to protect her, but convincing her to stay in Newburgh, with him, will take a Christmas miracle.

Reader Advisory: Contains references to a past sexual assault 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play | All Romance | Goodreads

Highlight:

He cupped her chin and made her look at him, even if they couldn’t see each other in the dark. “What did he do after?”

“What do you mean?”

“When you freaked out. What did your boyfriend do after that?”

Tension straightened her shoulders. “What any decent guy would do. We stopped. He stopped. He was a perfect gentleman.”

He scoffed.

“What? He was. I was a total spaz and he was cool about it.”

“He was cool about it?”

“What? What’s that superior tone for?” She was getting angry. He loved that about her. She’d stood up to Tooley a few days ago. She was standing up to him now. If she didn’t like something, she let you know about it. Now that was a characteristic he could believe she’d gotten from Gripper.

“You said you freaked like always when things get to a certain point, that you always blow it. You think you blew it with that guy because a single attempt at second base went poorly. I meant what happened afterwards? Was there a conversation? A second attempt after you had some time to process what happened? A third?”

“What guy would want to try again after something like that?”

“This guy would.”

Jessi Gage

Jessi Gage

 

Jessi Gage bio:
Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. She’s a passionate reader of all genres of romance, especially anything involving the paranormal. Ghosts, demons, vampires, witches, weres, faeries…you name it, she’ll read it. As for writing, she’s sticking to Highlanders and contemporaries with a paranormal twist (for now). The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.

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

I Have A Writing Process?

I was recently tagged to join a Writing Process Blog Hop by my new friend, Maris Soule. It’s been a while since I’ve played this particular brand of “Tag,” but Maris was generous enough to ask, and this particular one intrigued me. Believe it or not, there are even rules to this!

The Rules: Like I said, it’s sort of like tag. You’re asked to participate, and if you agree, you’re assigned a date to answer 4 questions and asked to find 3 writers to follow you. Not too complicated, right?

Right now I bet you’re wondering…who did Kitt tag? Well, rest easy, it wasn’t you. Just kidding. 😉 Actually, I tagged my awesome long time friend and fellow writer, KerryAnn. I also hit up one of my first blog buddies, author and Mythical Monday extraordinaire, Mae Clair. And last, but definitely not least, one of my favorite Scottish time travel authors, blog friends, and incredible beta reader, Jessi Gage. Don’t worry, their deets will be shared in more depth later…and ya’ll better check them out!

So, before I answer the questions, here’s a little history on the lovely lady who tagged me: Author-Picture-Maris-Soule Maris Soule was born and raised in California. She was working on a masters in art history when she met a red-head with blue eyes who talked her into moving to Michigan–for just a couple of years. She’s still married to that man and still lives in Michigan (though she migrates to Florida in the winter). Soule has had 25 romances published by Harlequin, Silhouette, and Bantam (she’s a 2 time RITA finalists) and 2 mysteries published by Five Star. (Her P.J. Benson mysteries or “Crows” series.) In addition to writing mysteries, Soule has been putting some of her early romances out as e-books, and she recently signed a contract with Robert Hale Ltd. for a suspense about a woman in her 70s with a deadly past. Every Wednesday Soule writes a blog that generally deals with writing.

Check out her blog or Follow her on Twitter!

She’s a very cool lady who I’m fortunate enough to know personally thanks to Florida Writers Association and our Sarasota Writers Group.

Now, on to the questions for yours truly….

Kitt Bio Pic

1)  What am I working on?

Currently, I’m working on 2 projects.

My primary piece is the third part of my Wild Side erotica series. I tentatively named it Happily Unmarried After, and so far it’s stuck. Those of you who’ve read Three For All and Four One Night will be thrilled to see their beloved wild woman, Danielle Monroe, up to her uninhibited ways (and all the fun that goes with it).  Yes, if you click the above links, excerpts will follow. 😉

The other piece is an erotic romance novel, yet to be named. So far it’s just some character sketches and a couple of scenes, but we’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

2)  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hmm. Well, I guess I’d have to say it’s the way my characters are portrayed in my books. There are no billionaires or zillionaires in my books, first. Second? The setting is fairly common, and easy to imagine. Finally, my characters are fun and likeable with a playful, bantering dialogue. They don’t take themselves or each other too seriously, which makes them immediately likeable and relatable. I like to think that most people could read my characters and easily insert themselves into one of the characters and their very doable fantasies.

3)  Why do I write what I do?

My initial instinct to this question was to say, “Why not?”

The truth is, I write it because I enjoy it. Yup! For me, writing sex is fun! For as long as I can remember, I’ve been accused of having a gutter brain. I’ve also been gifted with a knack for understanding people and a talent for writing. I figured this was an opportunity to combine all my passions, then share it with others.

The other reason is because I feel very strongly that my books contribute to my belief that a sex positive lifestyle and approach is highly doable. If I can help someone open themselves up to the possibility of embracing their inner sexual goddess, then it’s worth it. It’s meant the world to me when someone’s come to me and told me that something I wrote on my blog or my book helped spice up their marriage/love life…or better yet, reminded them of the joy and sense of adventure that comes from acting out a fantasy. One is never too old for that!

4)  How does my writing process work?

One time recently, I tried to go by the way of plotters. It was a huge mistake. I talked to a fellow writer, planned the story with her over the phone, then headed off to write it. Yeah, that was the first time I sat down at the computer and the words refused to find a natural flow. Everything was a battle. Worse, once I was done, the characters were stiff, the action ‘flat’ and the story, awkward. It also lacked believability. That particular method didn’t work well at all for me.

Thankfully, it wasn’t difficult to get back to what’s worked for me in the past….I write what comes to me. Usually in chronological order, and definitely by the seat of my pants. I follow the story as it paints itself in my mind. My first draft is always rough, and by my second and third, the original is nearly unrecognizable through the growth of my characters, the dialogue, and the drama. I also usually give myself a week or so off from that particular work in progress between drafts so that I can look at my piece with a fresh set of eyes and a little distance. I find my clarity of vision for the WIP is best during those moments.

Introducing my fabulous writer friends:

KerryAnn

KerryAnnKerryAnn writes from her home in New England which she shares with her husband, daughter, and her two American Eskimo dogs who alternate between being her writing companions and writing distractions.  She prefers to write compelling characters in a variety of genres, but mainly contemporary and young adult fiction.  When she’s not writing KerryAnn usually has her nose in a book – family stories that cross generations, romance, paranormal, historical fiction, as long as it has unforgettable characters, she’s all in. Check out her blog or ‘Like’ her Facebook page!

 

Mae Clair

Mae ClairMae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars. She snagged the tail of a comet, hitched a ride, and discovered her writer’s Muse on the journey.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at http://maeclair.net/
You can also ‘Like’ her Facebook page, Follow her on Twitter, or on Google+.

 

Jessi Gage
Jessi Gage headshot2Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. She’s a passionate reader of all genres of romance, especially anything involving the paranormal. Ghosts, demons, vampires, witches, weres, faeries…you name it, she’ll read it. As for writing, she’s sticking to Highlanders and contemporaries with a paranormal twist (for now).
Check out her website, visit her blog, ‘Like’ her Facebook page, Follow her on Twitter, or on Google+.
Please check out these ladies and follow their blogs. Next week will be their turns to share their writing processes. I know that I can’t wait to see what they share. What do you think? Does peoples’ writing process intrigue you? Bore you? What genre do you most enjoy reading?
Yes. What that really means is that I’m asking you to be an active participant on my blog. Say whatever you’d like to say. I’m not exactly easily hurt or offended…and you know how I love good dialogue. 😉

Congratulations to the WINNERS!

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Thank you to everyone who participated in the Hot Summer Romance Giveaway Hop! It was a blast to have so many new names stop by and comment on my blog. I’d also like to send a special shout out to Malia Mallory for inviting me to participate.

My winners were Heather A and Booklady. Their congratulation emails and prizes have been sent off! Hope you enjoy your new book!

Wishing For A Highlander

Since it was all about love and summertime…I figured I’d post a song about winning and love. Who’s better than Shania Twain for that?

Hot Summer Romance Giveaway Blog Hop!

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Hey everyone! I’m so excited to be participating in the Hot Summer Romance Giveaway Blog Hop sponsored by Insatiable Reads book tour! It’s all about romance, Romance and more ROMANCE! Did I mention Romance? Oh, and books!

What has me even more thrilled are the prizes you guys can win just for commenting.  I know, I know… You’re wondering what that might be, right? There are two Grand Prizes for the Hop!What can you win? How about this? #1 is a Kindle Fire. #2 is a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate.

But they’re not the only one handing out prizes. So am I and the rest of the participants! What am I giving away? My most recent favorite Highlander ebook, that’s what! I know I’m not the only person with a weakness for men in kilts, so I’ve decided that I’ll be giving away an e-copy of the awesome Jessi Gage’s novel, Wishing For A Highlander. The best part? Since it’s an ebook, everyone (including people not in the US) are welcome to enter!

Wishing For A Highlander

What do you have to do to enter? It’s simple. As you guys know, I have a passion for romance novels (especially erotic ones) and music. Since the blog hop is romance themed, here’s what you’ll need to do to be entered. Tell me about your favorite romance novel or most romantic song and don’t forget to leave an email address.

All winners will be selected randomly! Click the button below to check out the other participants and their prizes!!!

Good luck!

So What’s Under Your Kilt?

I’m a sucker for Highlanders. I admit it. In fact, Julie Garwood spoiled with characters like Alec Kinkaid and Ian Maitland. The Bride was probably my first ever “trashy” romance. So when my awesome blog buddy, Jessi Gage, came out with her first book entitled Wishing For A Highlander, I was stoked! There’s not a lot sexier than a man in a kilt….

Wishing For A Highlander

Since I absolutely love Highlanders, I’ll kick this off by telling you a little bit about my favorite new Highlander, Darcy. He’s got a problem most modern day men would love to have. He’s young, handsome, in line to become the next laird of his clan…and he’s got an extremely large dirk. Unfortunately, a vengeful witch (well, okay…she’s really more of a bitch) convinced him that no woman would want him because he was too big. In this day of technology and internet, it sounds laughable, right? I mean, how often do we hear guys talking about the size of their daggers? If you’re female…and have spent any time on the internet…you hear it all too often. Unfortunately for him, windmills were about as advanced as their technology went, so he couldn’t exactly check with Google or WebMD. (Of course, then he might have been convinced that he had elephantitis or something even worse, but that’s a story for another day.) So here’s this hot warrior with a sexy Scottish brogue…and he’s a virgin. That ain’t right.

Fortunately, his answer comes to him from the future in the form of a museum worker named Melanie. As she prepares to head home, she sees this old artifact, a box with a mysterious past and mutters a wish for a sexy highlander. In my universe, the guy would magically appear in front of me. Thankfully, this book uses Jessi Gage’s imagination, because she transports Melanie back in time and lands her smack in the middle of a clan war and in need of rescue. Don’t get me wrong, this is a modern woman…she saves herself from the first skirmish, but being out of her time (and pregnant…did I forget to mention that?) has her a little out of sorts and needing a team assist. And in runs Darcy…literally.

For a few, that would be enough conflict to make the story interesting, but Jessi Gage is no average story teller. She takes it up a notch with action that keeps you on your toes and enough plot twists to make you feel like you’ve just hit the corkscrew on a roller coaster ride! The best part? The heroine is no wilting violet, but a strong, capable woman. And the hero? Whoa, baby! Hot, smart and brave…in a kilt! And a nice strong sword to sheathe in the right woman. Just the way I like ’em.

If you haven’t found your lifetime love(s) yet, this book will definitely have you wondering if maybe you’re just in the wrong century…and if you’ve got a Highlander waiting somewhere for you.

Have you read Jessi’s book yet? If not, what are you waiting for? She’s fantastic! If so, what did you think of Darcy and Melanie?

On a final note, it is incredibly hard to insert foreign accents, brogues and other languages into books and still sound utterly natural…and she does a stellar job! Jessi is an awesome writer with unlimited potential….and she’s a wonderful person, too. I strongly encourage you to check out her blog, follow her on Facebook or Twitter, or buy her book. You won’t regret it!

Lightening Struck Twice!

Guess what? Guess what? I’ve got some news! Can you tell I’m excited?

So the Awesome Ande Lyons at Bring Back Desire reached out to me again and asked me to repurpose another of my posts for another article! Of course I am thrilled! Anything to help women out there discover or rediscover their sensual side is an awesome cause to me. The fact that she dedicates an entire website and radio show to this specific purpose is amazing! In fact, I think she and August McLaughlin and her Girl Boners have a ton in common when it comes to shared causes! Maybe that’s why I enjoy them both so much. 🙂

Anyway, I would love it if you guys would drop by her site, check out the post and give her some love! We have re-titled it, but I think some of you may still recognize it.

I’m also working on finishing another project by the end of the weekend, so hopefully I’ll have more free time to hang out with you guys again. I’ve missed you guys! In the meantime, Please, PLEASE! What have you guys been up to? What’s new?

To celebrate the near completion of my projects (thanks to Jessi Gage, what began as one found a way of multiplying), another repurposed article under my belt and the beginning of the weekend…we need music! A little nostalgic flashback sounds good to me!

Dipped In Awesome Sauce!

I’ve got some really exciting news to share with you guys! First, my project is done. Now I’ve just got a few touch ups, then on to the next thing. This means I’ll be back to normal in the next day or two with posting regularly and reading everyone’s posts.

Second, I heard from my friend, Ande, at Bring Back Desire. She wanted to let me know that the post I’d repurposed on Making Love v. Having Sex for her had been viewed 981 times so far! Woohoo! I know a big part of that was you guys, so thanks for stopping by, checking it out and commenting!

In fact, I’d like to throw some shout outs to my awesome blogging buddies who showed some love. If you haven’t checked out their blogs yet, click the links to their blogs…you won’t be sorry:

The Cranky Caregiver– Her story on how WordPress has given her an appreciation for a form of writing she’d never cared to explore before.

Jessi Gage– A little bit about her new release Wishing For A Highlander

Phil– The Regular Guy NYC. In this particular post he discusses the things about flying that make him crazy and keep you laughing and nodding.

LJ Kentowski– She’s writing a new book. Here, she’s introducing us to one of the colorful characters in her new piece of work.

Gloria Richard- You’ll just have to read it to understand. Needless to say, she’s definitely a kindred spirit.

Since then I’ve written another post that appealed to her that she’s asked me to repurpose. Needless to say, I’m honored. She is wonderful, and so it what she does. By the way, if you haven’t liked Bring Back Desire on Facebook, you should! Mondays are especially awesome because she does Romantic Music Mondays and she takes requests.

I can’t wait for you guys to see which post I repurpose for her next… And hopefully, soon I’ll have some news to share with you on this project ‘o’ mine.

By the way, was I the only one completely thrown off by the fact that Easter is in March this year?

It’s An Honor Just To Be Nominated….Thanks, Ella!

Hey Ya’ll! Back in December the wonderful Ella Medler awarded me with the Liebster Award. I promised her that when things slowed down and I had a moment (and got through the Blog Of The Year awards) I would accept the award and answer her questions.

liebster-award

Well, things have finally eased up…and being a woman of my word, I have finally had time to go back and participate. So here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Post eleven random facts about yourself.

3. You answer the eleven questions asked by the person who nominated you.

4. You think of a new set of eleven questions and nominate eleven others to answer them.

Thank you again, Ella, for thinking of me…It is my absolute honor to accept your nomination!

So…without further ado, here are 11 random facts about yours truly:

1. My parents told me that I used to speak German pretty fluently back when we lived there…and that I was my father’s translator when he needed to speak to the landlord. (I’ve since lost all but the most common words)

2. I hate running, yet I’ve allowed my friend and editor to talk me into doing Disney’s Food and Wine half marathon run in the future, so I’m training & doing my first 5K in February.

3. It took me 3 months to become fluent in Tagalog & 6 months to be fluent in Kapangpangan…a local dialect in the Philippines.

4. The first time I became tongue tied in front of a celebrity was when I met Terry Bradshaw. I’m still kicking myself because I had to have come off as the biggest “girlie girl”. Although I know about his Hall Of Fame Career with the Pittsburgh Steelers…what did I say to him? “I really LOVE watching you and Howie on TV.” He was classy about it…didn’t even laugh. In fact, he put his arm around me and thanked me, saying he wished they had more fans like me.

5. You know all those videos people watch of other people falling or tripping or other such things…and laughing? I could have probably starred in a couple of them. Yes, although I can be graceful…when I fall…It’s always in a BIG way…and more often than not, with an audience.

6. I got a chance to play with dolphins this last year.  It was a blast!

Kissing Dolphin

7. I have a soft spot for accents…3 in particular…Australian, Southern and Hispanic…(something about endearments spoken in Spanish or with a southern drawl that makes me go all melty inside… and Aussies can make anything sound hot!)

8. I have 2 Shiba Inu dogs…My mom thinks the reason they’re so smart is because they’re Asian…LOL! (Not just a little ethnocentric, right?)

Doggies

9. I have actually been “motor boated” by a drag queen…it was my bachelorette party.

10. I would rather get muddy playing tackle football than going to a spa for a mud bath.

11. I’m a HUGE Dallas Cowboy fan…and I HAVE met a whole bunch of their players…past and present. Most famous one I’ve shaken hands with? #22-Emmitt Smith at his Hall Of Fame induction celebration.

Me with Jay Novacek

Me with Jay Novacek

 

Ella’s 11 Questions:

1. What did you last have for dinner?

Don’t remember what I had last night, but hubby is currently making filet mignon with a portabella/wine topping, cheesy tomato tartlet & a cheesy broccoli bake (yes…he loves cheese) for dinner tonight as I’m typing this.

2. If money were no object, would you fly to the moon?

Hmmm… I might, just to say I’ve done it…though I don’t really have a huge desire to go there. (It seems kind of boring, and not sure that no gravity would be all that fun)

3. What was your bravest act in the last 12 months?

Deciding not to file for unemployment (because that would require looking for a job) and focusing on writing my first book. Following my true passion.

4. I don’t expect you to remember the title or author, but what was the plot of the worst book you ever read?

It was some sort of erotica…one of those no happy ending ones (though I wasn’t aware of it at the time). What was the plot? There really WASN’T one…just fighting, sex and death. Waste of my time.

5. What is the sport you wish you mastered to perfection?

There really isn’t one… I love all sorts of sports, but if I mastered any of them to perfection, I think I might lose interest. I enjoy learning and growing constantly.

6. Where would you go to spend your last day on Earth?

For me, it wouldn’t be a where so much as with whom…and the answer would be…with my loved ones. (Hubby, dogs, family)

7. What is the most romantic gesture you ever came up with for your loved one?

It’s a toss up between writing a poem for my love or singing to him…

8. If possible, in what century would you rather have lived? Or is this one just fine for you?

Although I’m perfectly happy in the century I’m in, I’d have loved to have been around (maybe as a lady in waiting) with Eleanor of Aquitaine during Henry II’s reign or back in Ancient Greece or Rome… I also think it might have been cool to be around for Alexander the Great…or follow Jesus around. (I LOVE History!)

9. If you had the chance, what new genre would you like to introduce? Describe it, please.

I don’t know that there would be a new genre I’d introduce… I rather like the ones we have right now.

10. What gadget couldn’t you live without and why?

Phone-I enjoy interaction…I talk, I email, I social network…getting rid of it would be like cutting off a limb.

11. What is the most infuriating thing about today’s world, in your view?

How hateful and cruel people can be to one another…without even thinking or considering or caring.

My 11 Questions for my nominees:

1. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?

3. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

4. What one movie can you watch over and over again and never get sick of?

5. What talent do you wish you had and why?

6. If you had to pick one famous person of the same sex to have a man or girl crush on, who would it be and why?

7. When you think of historical figures, who do you most admire and why?

8. If you could be a professional athlete, what would be the sport you’d like to be a pro at?

9. What was the coolest thing you have ever done for someone else?

10. What are you most afraid of and why?

11. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment to date and why?

And my nominees are:

Phil– Funny, a bit sarcastic…and pretty cool…for a New Yorker. He’s a new friend with a passion for Speakeasies, watching living, breathing train wrecks and fitness.

Susie– She’s a woman who grabs life by the horns and dances…whether people are watching or not. Even Thor loves this woman!

Austin– My favorite Modern Day Philosopher who has quite the knack for putting a whimsical twist on current events while still making you think. (but isn’t that what Philosophy is all about?)

Rob– He’s blunt, a bit warped (he’s even got a “fan chick stalker diary” and “zombie diary” going on), funny…and very few things are out of bounds with him. It may also explain why he actually had to post a clarification blog for his new followers! He’s also featured a bunch of guest bloggers (including yours truly).

Loni– A wonderful, supportive new friend and author. She always finds time to stop by and give a kind word. Things like that mean so much.

Wordsurfer– A sweet lady who is a lot more courageous than she gives herself credit for. She’s always got a keen observation or a thoughtful comment. I’ve been enjoying getting to know her.

Jen– An empty nester who thinks she’s a “beginner” at poetry…but so far from that. She’s fun, and thoughtful…and full of insight. (Plus, she’s got that awesome Aussie thing going on for her…I’m jealous of her accent and I haven’t even heard her speak.)

CrazyTrainToTinkyTown– Yes, she really is a bit crazy…but in the best possible way! She makes me laugh. Her comments are quirky and full of fun, just like her!

LJ– A wonderfully talented writer friend who has this work in progress that has me completely intrigued. She’s a riot and my sister of the dirty mind. She’s also amazing in the way she supports her friends.

Ray– A new friend I met through Susie, he’s honest and insightful. In a very short time I’ve come to appreciate his reflective nature and his willingness to share.

Jessi– She just released a new book about a sexy Scottish Highlander…Yum! She’s a fun friend who is entertained by the fact that I’m a bit off the wall and you never know exactly what to expect when you stop by and visit me. She also understands that a love of erotic romance (both reading and writing) does not negate my love of God or my faith.

Seriously…you guys need to check these folks out…and if you’re not following them yet, why the heck not? Can’t wait to see what kind of answers they’ll have for my questions.  Hope you guys are entertained by the random facts about me and my answers to the awesome Ella’s questions…

But in the meantime…What does Liebster even mean? Anyone know?