So Long 2013, I’m Leaving You.
2013 was filled with lessons. I learned to listen to my inner voice and my true self more than ever. I also learned there were things that I was not meant to conquer. While I was temporarily upset, I ultimately felt elated. The weight was removed from my chest and I was able to breathe again. It was empowering. Sometimes the best lessons learned are those associated with loss. They may be painful, and show us parts of ourselves we may not be comfortable or satisfied with, but the mirror they hold up to us reflects reality, and helps us move forward. Grieve, for what was lost, if we must. Then grin, as we say, “Whew! Time to try something new.”
Books were my constant companions and led me to amazing friendships with readers, authors and bloggers. These authors’ words helped me through a year of personal and professional failure. They provided bright spots on bleak days and a few moments of escape, while I regrouped. I will be forever grateful.
My “daughters,” Kristen and Sammy, and I solidified our bond and I look forward to meeting them in a few short months. They are some of the strongest women I know and unbelievable examples of motherhood. I thank Julie Richman for writing the books that brought Kristen and Sammy into my life.
Hayson Manning’s books brought this sumptuous Kiwi goddess into my life. She has been an amazing Facebook pen pal, whom I hope to meet someday soon. We have a date on a beautiful island in the South Pacific to sip frosty beverages and ogle gorgeous, shirtless, alpha men. For research purposes, of course.
Julie Leto, whose work I have admired for many years, joined the ranks of independently published authors with her Dirty Dare novellas, which have recently been released as one novel Dirty Dare (Sexy Suspense Novel). She has been writing intelligent, strong female characters for many years and I highly recommend her work. (I hope I don’t lose my fangirl mind, when I meet her in 2014, for café con leche. I really have loved her, since the old Blaze days at Harlequin. And, I do mean old days.)
Military romances, a longtime passion of mine, also featured predominantly in 2013 and I read books by Heather Long, Tonya Burrows, Kelsie Leverich, Bella Juarez, Jeanette Murray Melissa Schroeder, Laura Kaye, Kaylea Cross, Cristin Harber, J.M. Madden, Tawny Weber and Ann Mayburn. Many featured Veterans finding, and keeping love, while dealing with the aftermath of their service, like PTSD and injuries sustained in combat. These women write with an understanding and deep respect for men and women in uniform and I am excited to read their offerings in 2014.
Towards the end of the year, I “discovered” Robin Covington, Avery Flynn and Kimberly Kincaid or the “Man Warriors.” I was drawn to their quick, yet snarky, senses of humor and began to read their books. I was not disappointed, as their characters reflected each one’s unique style and attention to character development.
My paranormal “jones” was satisfied by Shelly Laurenston, Rosanna Leo, Milly Taiden, R.E. Butler, Lauren Dane, Alexandra Ivy, Lauren Wright, Laura Kaye, Heather Long and Christine Warren. Wolves, big cats and bears…oh my! Last, but not least, were Gina Maxwell who made tough, tattooed MMA fighters lovable and Tymber Dalton, Joey W. Hill and Cherise Sinclair, who have known how to push my “envelope” just right, for years.
My other constant companions were Hubby and our K9 kids. They kept me sane, grounded and made me laugh when I could not and smile when I thought I would drown in my tears. I am blessed to have them in my life. Hubby, your gentleness, strength and patience knows no bounds. I love you more today, than the day I married you.
So 2013, I bid thee adieu. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass, on the way out. You will not be missed.
Why Hello, 2014…you’re a sexy beast. Sit right down here and let’s get to know each other, shall we?
This entry was posted in Accountability, Blogging, Book Reviews, Books and Authors, Gratitude, Wisdom and tagged Alexandra Ivy, Ann Mayburn, Avery Flynn, Bella Juarez, Cherise Sinclair, Christine Warren, Cristin Harber, Gina Maxwell, Hayson Manning, Jeanette Murray, JM Madden, Joey W. Hill, Julie Leto, Kaylea Cross, Kelsie Leverich, Kimberly Kincaid, Laura Kaye, Laura Wright, Lauren Dane, Melissa Schroeder, Milly Taiden, R.E. Butler, Robin Covington, Rosanna Leo, Shelly Laurenston, Tawny Weber, Tonya Burrows, Tymber Dalton.
Book Review – “Still” by Ann Mayburn – Explosive Domme Doctor and Her Alpha Gunnery Sergeant Sub
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For some reason, I have been consumed by military romances this Summer, especially those that seem to hit close to home. These stories feature men and women who have left active duty military service, returned to the US and reintegrated into civilian life. The majority of the characters are suffering the effects of PTSD, and other physical, mental, and/or emotional trauma. Perhaps this has been my way of working through some of my issues, as the wife of a former serviceman with PTSD. Or maybe I just like spicy, erotica featuring former military members and the people love them. Either way, anything that brings more attention to men and women who served, and continue to serve, is ok by me.
The latest story I read was Ann Mayburn’s “Still.” TEAR-JERKING SCORCHER.
On the surface Michelle Sapphire was not a female character I would typically like, as she was the typical beautiful, tall, blonde, rich, smart doctor. (Meh). However, she quickly established herself as a multifaceted woman I would want to know, as a professional (Doctor) and as a friend. While she was deployed to Afghanistan as a Navy doctor, she met Gunnery Sergeant Wyatt Callahan and they established a strong “brothers-in-arms” bond.
Upon returning to the U.S. Michelle and Wyatt were reunited suddenly when she bailed him out of jail, following an event triggered by his PTSD. She gave Wyatt two options: go home and never speak to her again, or agree to live with her for a month, as her submissive.
Wyatt accepted the challenge, and together they worked through their relationship, survivor’s guilt and commitment issues. Wyatt learned how to trust Michelle and their connection. Michelle, a Domme, learned to embrace another submissive into her heart and life. She dominated their scenes, but always ensured that Wyatt felt safe and cared for. The more they opened up to each other, the hotter the action got, and the deeper their emotions ran.
This was one of the most realistic depictions of PTSD, in men and women, I have read. Wyatt already respected Michelle, as a higher ranking Officer, so stepping into the role of her sub was a logical transition. By using the D/s relationship, Ms. Mayburn fully incorporated Michelle and Wyatt’s existing (non-physical or emotional) Officer/NCO connection to help each other through the realities of PTSD. It only helped to strengthen their D/s bond because they already trusted each other.
At the end of the book, Ms. Mayburn included a list of resources for service members and their families/friends that provided support services for everything from PTSD and other health concerns, to relocation, and homelessness. This was already an emotional read for me, and seeing the list at the end (in addition to Ms. Mayburn’s note to her readers at the beginning of the book) made me cry. She absolutely understood.
I hope Ms. Mayburn writes Yuki and James’ story, soon!
Here is the link to my Amazon review: Explosive Domme Doctor and Her Alpha Gunnery Sergeant Sub
This entry was posted in Alpha Female, Alpha Males, Book Reviews, Books and Authors, BSDM Romance, Military and tagged Ann Mayburn, Book Review, BSDM, D/s, domme, erotic romance, female dominatrix, male submissive, Marine sergeant, Navy doctor, PTSD.