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Archive for the category “Friends”

The Most Rebellious Thing I Did While Growing Up

I feel as though this blog post is going to be an overwhelming disappointment. Of the five of us kids, I was really the least rebellious.

For instance, I  wasn’t the sibling who relandscaped a neighbor’s lawn with my car and relocated their patio furniture (also with my car) into their inground pool. That wasn’t me. That was my brother who’s two years younger than me.

I also wasn’t the sibling who ended up on Cops (and virtually every news station in the U.S.) because we got pulled over and my girlfriend stole the cop’s car and ran multiple barricades and had to have the tires shot out. That was my brother who’s thirteen years younger than me.

Nor was I the sibling who staged a fake hit and run accident that alarmed the old lady down the road who then called the cops. That was my brother who’s fifteen years younger than me.

Lastly, I wasn’t the sibling who cut off a huge chunk of below-the-ass length hair from the top of my soon to be sister-in-law’s head. That was my sister who’s eighteen years younger than me.

Most of my rebellious transgressions were the civil disobedience kind. And interestingly enough, most of my rebellious acts featured the same person…

  • Protesting and pushing the limits of the flagrantly sexist dress code at the Catholic high school I attended. (I spent a bit of time in detention for that.)
  • Protesting the preferential treatment the football players received at said Catholic high school by staging a walkout of my religion class with my forever friend, Alex Kourvo.  (More detention.)

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    These weren’t our detention outfits. This was just us being cute af.

  • Starting a literary magazine, with Alex and some other friends, and getting shut the fuck down by the administration. Yes, that happened. We put together a chapbook type collection of original fiction and poetry. We all contributed, someone’s dad bought us paper for printing and cardstock for the cover, and we distributed it to students at the school. And we all got in trouble. We were called into the office and reamed out. There was nothing offensive. Nothing problematic. But there were six or seven kids who dared to be creative, and that was a transgression that wouldn’t be tolerated.

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    Recently found a copy of contraband literary journal.

  • A final bit of rebellion was the garage band I was a member of–again, with my girl, Alex and several of our other friends. Our name? Rebell and the Ions. (If you put it together, it spells, Rebellion – get it?)
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    For some reason, the grouper fish was our mascot.

    You may have noticed a bit of a theme here. We’re still amazing forever friends, we’re both still writing, and we’re both still rebelling.

    Also? Neither one of us has been on Cops.

Be sure to check out Jess, Jessica, and Deelylah’s post and see what kind of shit they got up to.

It’s a Twenty-One Year Friend-a-versary!

Gather ’round my loves, and let me tell you a story.

On July 6th, 1994, I went to a Tori Amos concert with a friend. He had this other friend, that he was dying for me to meet. He was convinced that we would get along perfectly, so he arranged for all of us to go to the concert together.

Let me paint you a picture of myself on July 6th, 1994.

I was ginormously pregnant with my first child. (Said child was born 2 months later, almost to the day.) It was hot and humid as fuck – because July…in Michigan. Also it was just unnaturally awful that year.

I was wearing a dark plum, gauzy maternity dress that I’d made. It was long and flowy (any of you who’ve met me in person are unsurprised) and the top buttoned because I planned to use it after the pregnancy for nursing. There wear also flip flops. Because swollen feet and ankles.

I was so ridiculously huge that I was waddling as only a hugely pregnant woman can. My boobs grew three sizes that day between the time I put that dress on in the morning and the time I met them for supper. There was serious button gape-age. I was hot. And sweaty. And crabby. No…I was downright bitchy. Just…awful.

When our friend introduced us, I sorta wanted to cry. Here before me, was the cutest little alterna-chick I’d ever seen. Let me tell you about Roxanne. She was (and still is) fucking adorable. On July 6th, 1994, she was wearing this longish, sleeveless, creamy taupe-ish crocheted sheath dress with big old black Doc Marten boots, a nose ring and various other piercings and tattoos. Also, she was bald. Utterly bald. And all I could think was Look at this adorable little waif. She’s absolutely gorgeous and even her head is a pretty shape. Fuck me. Also, despite the unreasonable heat, she was not sweating.  Bitch.

Despite my wild jealousy, and hormonal ravings, I fell in love with her immediately. And after twenty-one years, that love is bigger than ever. She’s hilariously funny. Even when I’m not pregnant, she makes me pee my pants. She’s honestly one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met – wickedly smart and emotionally perceptive. She’s introduced me to some of my favorite books and music, and we often have conversations speaking entirely in metaphor. She’s also the most amazing cook I’ve ever met and helps me with all things kitchen-y.

At this point, you might be wondering to yourself if she’s perfect. She is not, in fact, perfect. She doesn’t like The Princess Bride. No. Not even a little. She also hates musical theatre.

But here’s the funny thing – I found out very recently. In spite of my godawful bitchiness, she liked me right away, too. Apparently, I amused her. And the whole lumbering, sweaty, pregnant woman thing? She thought was “radiant”.

She said that.

With a straight face.

I like to think, that like most of my amazing friends, Roxanne and I were meant to find each other. And I cannot imagine stumbling through the last twenty-one insane years without her.

And now that our friendship is officially old enough to go off and drink on its own, I hope you’ll join us with cheers of, “More wine!” while we both prepare for another school year of sitting on the Homework Throne, forcing our children to do their schoolwork. (You’ll notice…no one is challenging us for our thrones…fuckers.)

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Austin Authors Affair Post Game Wrap-Up or What I Was Doing When I Wasn’t Here

Last week Thursday, my girl, Jess Jarman, and I traveled to Texas. Jenny Trout was supposed to come, but she was sick as hell, so it was just me and Jess. There were a crap ton of delays on the way there, and we finally got to the hotel sometime after midnight. We were starving because we hadn’t eaten anything other than that almonds that she cleverly packed for the plane so we ordered room service. While we were waiting for the food to arrive, I kept staring at this picture on the wall in our room.

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And the following conversation happened:

Me: Huh. A sex toy. That’s a bold art choice for a hotel room.

Jess: *looks at me incredulously* That’s a spur. *more looks* We’re in Texas.

Me: Oh. Well that makes more sense, doesn’t it?

What? I was really, really tired. And hungry.

The next day was full of rain, but we got to catch up with friends and the awesome Heather Newbury Almendarez took author photos of me and Jess. I can’t wait to see them! We had to squeeze them in around the never ending rain in Austin.

The meet and greet was Friday evening and the book signing was Saturday. I got to hang with a bunch of my favorite people, meet some new favorite people and sell a bunch of books. Here’s a few pictures before the signing started.

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After the signing, we went out for food… (yay food!)

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After that was the karaoke party where Jess injured herself pre-gaming. We bought some adult apple juice then realized they weren’t the twist-off caps. So we called down to the front desk for a bottle opener. However…they sent us a corkscrew. But Jess, being the enterprising person that she is made it work.

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I put on my brave-girl pants and sang Adele’s Rumour Has It. I think it went pretty well. And fellow blogger, Paige Prince, sang all the songs and rocked it!

One of the highlights was discovering that the suite next door, the one that connected to our room, was the room of a couple of our friends. One evening Jess and I came back from visiting with other friends and low and behold, the doors between our rooms were open. We crept through and I said that I felt like I’d just walked on to the set of a porno. Jess immediately yelled “Porn Portal!” and things were never the same again. But seriously…look at this place.

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Other highlights of the trip include reading “Go the Fuck to Sleep” to our Porn Portal roomie, Joanna, as a bedtime story, followed by reciting “Where the Wild Things Are” from memory. Having the power go out in the hotel and climbing down seven flights of stairs during a tornado warning only to discover flooding at the bottom of the first floor stairs. Going out to eat, laughing our asses off, laughing so hard I got multiple asthma attacks, seeing people I don’t get to see nearly often enough, getting lost with Paige because neither of us have any sense of direction, Dwarven Erotica, not having the shuttle service show up and dealing with the surly replacement cab driver who wants to be Michael Crichton while verbally pissing on our chosen genres, having my skirt rip and show my ass at the airport, this sweet little peg-leg bird with only one foot inside the airport and me having a Will Graham moment.

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Jess’ take on our trip is here.

Dena Garson has some books and a surprise to share!

Welcome everyone! I’ve got the super adorable Dena Garson on the blog, today! And she’s debuting something very cool, here, today! Read on to find out what!

Tell us about a day in the life of Dena. 

Well… it’s usually a beautiful day in the neighborhood…

Ha! Okay, really – a normal day for me means getting up and going to the day job. I’m a Process Improvement Consultant, which means I get to be nosy and go find out what other people do in THEIR jobs and then help them find faster, more efficient, and sometimes cheaper ways to do it. Sometimes, though, we get called in to help implement new systems or add controls into processes. It’s interesting and never the same thing twice.

After the day job I get to spend time either on some practice field or at a game with one or the other of my boys. Sports are very big in my house. I keep wondering how or why I haven’t written a book with some kind of athlete or sport involved.

Writing time and all that author business gets smooshed into the lunch hour, while sitting on the sidelines, or during the boys’ homework time. I am sooooo thankful for wireless technology!

Do you have favorite moments from Risky Business and Down To Business? Can you share a bit about them?

Risky Business is about two coworkers who are pulled together at an after-hours company event thanks to an embarrassing betting pool. One of my favorite moments in Risky Business is when Jake confesses to Mia that he’d been fantasizing about her for some time. I love the idea that the guy you’ve been dreaming about was thinking about you too! *sigh*

Down To Business is a quick glimpse into John and Leigh’s married life. They’re scheduled for a weekend getaway but a work deadline is getting in the way. My favorite part is at the end, so I hate to give it away. Suffice to say that I like my characters to be able to laugh and enjoy sex even though it’s not a tidy process (not if you’re doing it properly!).

In your opinion, what makes a good hero?

In romance, I want to know that the hero has the right to be with the heroine – that they’re a good match for each other. If possible, I want to see that he is capable of being totally devoted to the heroine by the end of the book. He can be as strong or as flawed as you want, but the heroine should be the one person in the world (or universe) he is willing let his guard down with or expose his soft underbelly to.

Is there any genre or subgenre you’re longing to tackle but haven’t yet?

Yes, there is, as a matter of fact! Historical romance. I’ve had a story idea for as long as I can remember. I’ve sketched out my characters – maybe even the whole plot by now – but just haven’t written it. YET. I will one of these days!!

Do you have any other new or upcoming releases you’d like to share a bit about?

I finished another contemporary romance a couple months ago – loosely titled Snow Effect – and I’ve been working on edits. It’s. I plan to pitch it to an editor at the RT Booklovers Convention this month. It’s stupid but I get a little nauseous just thinking about pitching even though I can self-pub it (since that was my original plan anyway!) So, we’ll see which way that one goes!

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Here’s the book info:

Risky Business

By Dena Garson

Mia Sanford has admired Jake Hudson from afar ever since she transferred to Marketing. She might be comfortable tangling with the company playboy in meeting rooms but not in private. Facts and figures she can handle, but that blue-eyed devil is out of her league.

Jake was impressed with Mia, the sexy analyst who provides his monthly Marketing data, the first day he met her. Not only is she smart and reliable, she has legs that have inspired a few sizzling hot workplace fantasies. However, her girl-next-door demeanor and the company’s no fraternization rules force Jake to keep things strictly professional.

When Mia becomes the target of an embarrassing betting pool at the annual office party, Jake alerts her to the danger. But since he never expressed an interest in her until now Mia isn’t certain if he’s really looking out for her, or just trying to win the pool himself. If she trusts him, it might place both her reputation and her heart on the line.

Amazon, Coffee Time Romance, All Romance, Smashwords, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, Amazon UK

 

Down to Business

By Dena Garson

Blurb:

All work and no play makes John a dull boy… but not if Leigh can help it.

When weekend plans are threatened by a looming work deadline, Leigh finds a creative way to motivate her husband to knock out one last contract. Dinner, a locked office door, and a little skin – she knows exactly what John likes and uses it to their advantage.

Amazon, Coffe Time RomanceAll RomanceSmashwordsB&NiBooks

 

And debuting here…Dena’s new book trailer!

 

Author Info:

Dena Garson is a Process Redesign Specialist by day and a writer and jewelry designer by night. She is raising two rowdy boys who play lots of sports which forces her to spend way too much time on the practice field and/or sidelines. Thankfully she has a loyal and loving Labrador Retriever to listen when she complains and a spoiled cat who reminds her daily she is merely a servant.

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Native Tongue by Lucy Felthouse is Out Today!

The lovely Lucy Felthouse, my fellow treehugger (and all around awesome person),  has a brand new book out! Check it out!

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Blurb:

They may be back on British soil, but the battle isn’t over.

When Captain Hugh Wilkes fell for his Afghan interpreter, Rustam Balkhi, he always knew things would never be easy. After months of complete secrecy, their return to England should have spelt an end to the sneaking around and the insane risks. But it seems there are many obstacles for them to overcome before they can truly be happy together. Can they get past those obstacles, or is this one battle too many for their fledgling relationship?

Author’s note: Although this story does work as a standalone tale, it’s recommended that you read the first instalment of the characters’ journey first—Desert Heat, which is available from all good retailers.

Buy links: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/native-tongue/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25462496-native-tongue

**For those of you that haven’t yet read Desert Heat either, there’s a great value double pack containing both books available exclusively on Amazon (from 14th May), which is available for lending, and for Kindle Unlimited members: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/desert-heat-native-tongue/

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Excerpt:

Captain Hugh Wilkes drummed enthusiastically on the steering wheel of his car as he drove it up the M3 towards London. He sung loudly and tunelessly along to the song on the radio, too, but it didn’t matter. No one could hear him.

He’d surprised himself by being so chilled out about the volume of Friday evening traffic. He wasn’t the most patient of people, so the slow progress should probably have been increasing his blood pressure, if not leading to full on road rage. But, although he’d have loved to be actually achieving the speed limit, not bumbling along at a mere fifty miles per hour, Wilkes was just glad the traffic was moving at all. Britain’s roads, the motorways in particular, soon came to a standstill if there was so much as a tiny bump between two vehicles. So any progress was better than none.

Besides, what could he do about it? His only other options to get to London from his base in Wiltshire were a train, or stealing a plane, helicopter or tank. The latter might just cause a little bit of bother, and mean the end of his army career, not to mention criminal charges. The former meant cramming in amongst sweaty, disgruntled commuters. If that wasn’t bad enough, he’d be charged an extortionate amount to do so, probably wouldn’t even get a seat, and would likely be subjected to delays.

At least driving took him from door to door, with plenty of personal space. And if there were delays, well, he could sit them out from the comfort of his own vehicle, with the climate control set to the perfect temperature, and the radio blasting some of his favourite tunes.

The next song was even better, and Wilkes’ tuneless wailing became more enthusiastic, as did the drumming on the steering wheel. He was in one hell of a good mood, and if he was truthful with himself, he knew it wasn’t just the fact the M3 was moving at a nice pace. It wasn’t the Friday feeling, either. Sure, both of those things were contributing to his happiness, but the main reason he was grinning like a buffoon was the thought of what awaited him in the capital. Or rather, who.

Rustam Balkhi. His gorgeous Afghan boyfriend, whom he’d met out in Afghanistan while they were working together for the British Army. Now, with their tour of duty over and the forces’ presence pulled out of the country, the two men had returned to England. Wilkes had gone back to his regular army life in Bulford Camp, near Salisbury. Balkhi was in London, where he’d recommenced the medical training he’d postponed to become an interpreter for the Brits.

The past few weeks had been somewhat of a whirlwind. Wilkes’ return to the UK had been straightforward, but Balkhi had had to jump through some hoops in order to get back onto his medical course. He’d been willing to start from scratch, but it’d seemed like an awful waste of time, so Wilkes had spoken to his superiors, who’d explained to the university what important work Balkhi had been doing. Fortunately, they’d been persuaded of Balkhi’s commitment and character, and allowed him to pick up where he’d left off. That settled, Balkhi had to pack up, travel back to the UK, find somewhere to live, move in… and all before the start of the next academic term.

Wilkes had felt terrible. His return had taken place a few weeks before Balkhi’s, so although he’d been granted some leave for R&R, he hadn’t been able to either spend it with Balkhi, or to use it help him with his relocation. By the time Balkhi had set foot on British soil, Wilkes was back to work. And, given nobody knew about the two of them, or even that Wilkes was gay, he couldn’t exactly ask for more leave in order to help his boyfriend move into his new flat.

Life had conspired against them ever since, so this was the first opportunity they’d had to see each other since saying goodbye in Afghanistan all those weeks ago. They’d communicated via email, text message and phone calls, but it just wasn’t the same. Especially since they’d gone from seeing each other every single day for the best part of six months to not setting eyes on each other for weeks on end.

Wilkes had struggled terribly in the interim. Life had been tough enough while they were still out in the desert. After weeks and weeks of trying desperately to ignore their growing attraction, they’d finally given in to it. It had been stupid and risky, but, having quickly realised there was more to their attraction than the physical, they’d decided to carry on their relationship in secret while they were in Afghanistan, see how it went, and figure things out once Wilkes’ tour of duty was over. Balkhi had always intended to return to the UK for his studies, so they would, at least, be living in the same country.

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 

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