B K Nault
Harold Donaldson, a hermit-like computer forensics analyst, unwillingly becomes the custodian of a beautiful, handcrafted kaleidoscope that changes lives when it shows viewers an image from their future. As evil operatives willing to kill for the technology close in, Harold’s forced to rely on the very people he’d formerly scorned for their help in solving its mysteries. Together with his new posse, including Pepper, a breast cancer survivor and Rhashan the Rastafarian, Harold sets out to discover the source of the ’scope’s inexplicable powers. Just as he’s focusing in on the secrets, Harold sees disturbing truths he’s run from all his life. Multi-layered and blending together several genres, “The Kaleidoscope” includes mystery, romance, and a bit of sci-fi, spinning Harold’s world from black-and-white boring into Technicolor adventure.
Wild Rose Press/Crimson - http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=1210
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Kaleidoscope-B-K-Nault-ebook/dp/B00W2MH3OK/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=
Barnes & Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-kaleidoscope-b-k-nault/1121876955?ean=2940151328708
Book Movement (book club site) http://www.bookmovement.com/searchReadingGuide/search/kaleidoscope/title/ASC/
Ruddy complexions were like skywriting, a girl in high school had told him once. The message may appear slowly, but everyone can see it for miles around and remember it for days. “I have to get back to work.” He gathered up his trash and headed for the can. When he turned around, Pepper was standing close, nose to his chin. “Tell Glenda hello.” Before he could go, she grabbed his arm.
“Harry, I really mean it. I am glad I saw...what I saw. Where did you get it again? Could I get one like it, or is that a one-of-a-kind thing?”
He told her about the encounter in the park with the homeless man. “It’s a mystery why he picked me.” He pictured the day of the handoff, the police hurrying the old guy away before he could explain himself. The police responding to his own complaint about the vagrants camping out. She was the first person he shared this with.
“You have been given much responsibility in many areas.” With that, she stood on tiptoe and pecked him on the cheek. “You have been given a gift. Thank you for sharing your magical looking-piece with me.”
“Um. You’re welcome. And thanks.” He demurred, dropping his hand from her grip. “But I don’t believe in magic.”
“A man of science and numbers, I get it.” She tipped her head sideways, considering him. “The mysteries of the universe reveal more than we see with our eyes or hear with our ears. If we slow down and really absorb what it’s trying to teach us, we might be surprised and delighted.” She poked a slender finger at his chest. “I choose to keep my mind open to the possibilities. What about you, Harry?”
About the Author
B K Nault writes both fiction and nonfiction (also writes as Beverly Nault). Empty-nested and downsized, she and husband Gary live full time in their RV they call Flight Risk - nicknamed Fly. Gary power-glides in "The Gnat" while Beverly safely explores new horizons on her Kindle, banging the keyboard creating new worlds from her off-beat imagination. They're "livin' life at the speed of diesel."
Books and Awards
More books by Beverly:
The Seasons of Cherryvale, Series, Jubilee Press 2011-2013
Fresh Start Summer
Grace & Maggie Across the Pond
Murder, Most Sincerely, Jubilee Press 2013
“Camouflaged Christmas,” 21 Days of Christmas Fiction Devotionals, Broadstreet Publishing 2015
Lessons from the Mountain, What I Learned from Erin Walton
With actress Mary McDonough, Kensington 2011
Awards and Recognition
Amazon #1 Bestseller (Lessons from the Mountain)
Ella Dickey Literacy Award (Lessons from the Mountain)
Gold Medal Reader’s Favorite (Lessons from the Mountain)
San Diego Christian Writers’ Nancy Bayless Excellence in Writing (Fresh Start Summer)
21 Great Summer Reads -Real Simple (Fresh Start Summer)
Reader’s Favorite Five Star and Honorable Mention (Fresh Start Summer)
Grace Awards Finalist (Fresh Start Summer)
AuthorsDB Silver Award Cover Art (Spring Blossoms)
San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild
Romance Writers of America
Website - http://beverlynault.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beverly-Nault/363697507748?ref=hl
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/bevnault/
Eat Crow and Die (A P.J. Benson Mystery - Book 3)
by Maris Soule
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Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Five Star Publishing
Release Date: May 20, 2015
Length: 281 Pages
P.J. Benson knows Sheriff’s Detective Wade Kingsley wouldn’t blow up his own boat to kill his ex-wife and her new husband, Michael Brewster. Sure, Wade wasn’t happy that his ex was taking their six-year-old son, Jason, to live in California, but Wade and Jason were also onboard the boat when it blew up. Wade would never have endangered his son that way. Nevertheless, the investigating detectives consider Wade their prime suspect, and Wade’s ex in-laws loudly accuse him and threaten to file for custody of Jason.
Under the circumstances, P.J. is certain this isn’t the right time to tell Wade she’s pregnant, but bouts of morning sickness give her away. Wade is upset by the news. P.J. wonders if it’s because he’s afraid he’ll be put in prison for a double homicide he didn’t commit, or if he’s afraid the new baby will cause P.J. to become schizophrenic, as was the case with her mother. Even P.J. is worried about that. Although Wade doesn’t want her playing detective, P.J. soon discovers that Michael Brewster wasn’t as great a guy as everyone thought. But did anyone hate the man enough to kill him?
As I headed for the room number Ginny had given me, I thought back over the four months I’ve known Wade. The first time I saw him, he reminded me of Nicolas Cage and Tom Cruise wrapped up in one man. He certainly didn’t look like a homicide detective. Back then he thought I’d murdered someone. That or I was crazy, like my mother. We've had a couple more misunderstandings since then, but for the most part we’ve gotten along quite well—in bed and out. On the other hand, there are times when he can be stubborn, irritating, and unreasonable. As I neared his room, it sounded like he was being all three.
“I’m fine,” he bellowed. “I do not need to be in bed.”
“Until the doctor releases you,” a feminine voice said, “you need to stay put.”
“Damn the doctor. I told them downstairs I need to get back to South Haven.”
“Are you giving the nurse a bad time?” I asked as I entered the room.
Wade made a grunting sound as he looked my way. “They’re treating me as if I’m sick. I hit my head, that’s all.”
The poor nurse looked at me and shook her head. “He’s supposed to rest.”
“Be a good boy, Wade. Do as she says. Put your legs back up on the bed and rest.”
He glared at me—at both the nurse and me—but he put his legs back up on the mattress and allowed her to pull a sheet up to his waist. He didn’t lay back, so I asked, “Can he have the bed cranked up, so he can be in a seated position?”
“If it will keep him in bed, I guess so.”
She didn’t make a move, and neither did Wade, so I stepped closer and pushed the button that raised the back so Wade could be in a fully seated position. “That better?” I asked.
He grumbled, but gave a slight nod, then winced.
He had a four-inch square bandage on his forehead, and I could see some discoloration along the side of his face, but it wasn’t until he went to lean back against the pillow behind him and grimaced that I knew it wasn’t just his forehead that had been injured.
“If you need anything, press that button,” the nurse said, indicating the red one on the corded remote.
Wade grunted, and she quickly left. I’m sure she was glad to leave him to me. He clearly wasn’t in a good mood.
“You seen Jason?”
“I just left him. He’s with Ginny.”
“He seems fine. They’re waiting for the results on a couple of tests, then, Ginny said, she’ll bring him by your room.”
“That or I’ll pick him up as I leave.”
“I don’t think they want you leaving today.”
Again the glare. “I’m fine. I hit my head, that’s all.”
“Uh-huh. And how many stitches?” I asked, pointing at the bandage on his forehead.
“I don’t know.” He gave me a crooked smile. “Maybe fifteen.”
“And the back of your head?”
“I have a little goose-egg, that’s all.”
I reached behind his head, but I’d barely touched his scalp before he let out a yelp. From what I could feel, his “little goose-egg” was more like an ostrich egg. “How did you hit both the back and the front of your head?”
“I don’t know.” He let out a deep sigh. “I don’t remember anything from the time Linda and that arrogant bastard she married finally arrived at the boat with Jason until I found myself on a stretcher, being lifted into a helicopter.” He narrowed his eyes. “I don’t even remember that very well. It wasn’t until they poked my head with a needle that I really started focusing on what was happening.”
“You don’t remember taking the boat out on Lake Michigan?”
He started to shake his head, but immediately stopped. “Not a thing.”
The pupils of his eyes were dilated, and since Wade doesn’t do drugs, and it was fairly light in the room, I figured the doctors were right, he did have a concussion. I’d heard how people who had concussions often couldn’t remember what happened before or even after the accident. Some lost entire days. Sometimes the memories came back; sometimes they never did.
“I do remember Linda said they didn’t want to fish,” Wade grumbled. “Here she insists she wants to go on this fishing trip with Jason and me, that both she and Brewster want to go along, and then as soon as she arrives—an hour late, at that—she starts making a fuss about going fishing. I’d even brought fishing poles for the two of them.”
“But they did go out on the boat with you? With you and Jason?”
“They must have.” Wade looked out beyond the end of the bed, and I could tell he was trying to remember.
“Do you have any idea where you and Jason were when the boat blew up?”
“No.” Wade looked back at me. “You haven’t heard anything about Linda?”
“So they’re not here, not in the hospital?”
“I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think so.”
From his expression, I knew what Wade was thinking. If Linda and her husband were on the boat and had been thrown to safety, Linda would be with Jason now. The woman had become paranoid since telling Wade that she and her new husband were moving to California and taking Jason with them. She was sure Wade was going to do something to stop her.
“If she was on the boat . . .” I started to say, but didn’t finish. The thought of what might have happened to Linda—to both Wade’s ex and her new husband—caused my stomach to lurch.
About Award-Winning Author Maris Soule
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Writer, teacher, artist, wife, mother, dog trainer, horse rider, boater. Maris Soule can list an array of occupations and avocations. Even as a writer her 29 published books span a variety of genres and subgenres, ranging from short stories to romances, romantic suspense, and mystery. A two-time RITA finalist, Soule has placed in and won several writing contests. Born and raised in California, Soule and her husband now spend their summers in Michigan and their winters in Florida.
If you’re in the mood for a quickie (ahem), you’ll love this collection of eleven sexy short stories from New York Times and USA Today bestselling erotic romance author, Shoshanna Evers —“Queen of the erotic novellas.” (Fandom Fanatic). This collection pulls Evers’ published stories together from nine different anthologies into one volume. Includes a never-before-published story, plus the bestselling Overheated!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Shoshanna Evers has written dozens of sexy stories, including The Man Who Holds the Whip (part of the NYT bestselling MAKE ME anthology), I Am Not Your Melody (from the NYT bestselling Cowboy 12-Pack), Beauty & the Beast: an erotic reimagining (from the USA Today bestselling Wicked Hot Reads), The Enslaved Trilogy and The Pulse Trilogy from Simon & Schuster Pocket Star, and the national bestseller, The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride...and Baby.
Her work has been featured in Best Bondage Erotica 2012 and Best Bondage Erotica 2013, the Penguin/Berkley Heat anthology Agony/Ecstasy, and numerous erotic BDSM novellas including Chastity Belt and Punishing the Art Thief, originally from Ellora’s Cave Publishing.
The non-fiction anthology Shoshanna Evers edited and contributed to, How To Write Hot Sex, is a #1 Bestseller in the Authorship, Erotica Writing Reference, and Romance Writing categories.
Shoshanna is also the cofounder of SelfPubBookCovers.com, the largest selection of one-of-a-kind, premade book covers in the world.
Shoshanna is a New York native who now lives with her family and three big dogs in Northern Idaho. She welcomes emails from readers and writers, and loves to interact on Twitter and Facebook.
Sexily *Evers* After… ShoshannaEvers.com
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Excerpt from Melting Ice
Copyright 2015 Shoshanna Evers. All Rights Reserved.
There was a simple floral comforter on a queen-sized bed in the center of her bedroom, positioned to accentuate the feng shui of the space. She had paid handsomely for a beautiful wrought-iron bed frame with lots of decorative swirls, imagining how her future boyfriend would make use of the frame to tie her up.
But there was no boyfriend. Hadn’t been for a long time. And when there was a man in the picture, somehow Amanda couldn’t quite find the courage to reveal her basest desires.
With self-bondage, there was no way out if things went wrong. No one to save her. No safewords to stop the game. She supposed that should make her less interested in trying it out, but instead it made her even more turned-on. The thought of being completely bound and truly helpless made her wet.
She took the cuffs to the bed, and snapped one half around her wrist, shivering with excitement at the sound of the metal clicking into place, even though her other hand was still free and holding the key.
She pressed her wrists together, pretending both her hands were cuffed, and practiced using the key in that awkward position to unlock the cuffs and free herself. It was so simple she laughed.
Downstairs, she watched the clock, determined to wait two whole hours to make sure her ice was fully frozen around the key. In the meantime, the other ice cube she had set aside in a dish took one hour and forty-five minutes to melt completely. That was surprising—who knew it would take one measly cube so long to melt?
She kicked the thermostat up a few degrees. That way she’d be comfortable naked, and the ice would melt a bit faster. She wasn’t sure how much faster—but there was no time for another experiment. The key was frozen in the lock, and if she didn’t get to come now she thought she might die.
Soon, she knew she’d have more than her fill of orgasms—because she was going to cuff herself to the bed with a vibrator tied to her. The thought alone was enough to make her panties damp. Plucking the cube with the key frozen dead set in the center out of its tray, she slipped the ice into a shallow custard dish and carried it upstairs to the bedroom, placing it by her pillow. The clock was ticking, the ice imperceptibly melting already.
Shoshanna will award a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter a $25 Amazon/BN GC.
Hello Dr. Ruxandra LeMay for visiting today. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi Melissa, thank you for hosting me online. A little about me: well, I was born and raised in Romania, and moved to the US to go to college in Michigan. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but since my parents were paying for college, I ended up with a Business degree, followed by a career in the corporate world. Half way through, I realized that was not my calling and decided to go back to school and completed a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology. I have been married to my college boyfriend for 12 years and have 3 wonderful boys.
Thanks! So I guess it's Go Blue for you. It sounds like you have an interesting life. Now on to some personal questions.
If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
Like I mentioned, I grew up in Romania, which at that time, was a communist country. My parents and grandparents were more concerned with physical and financial security and not as much with emotional growth. Our family motto was “stop whining, get over it, and pay attention to where you are going.” I am sure others can relate to this kind of upbringing. However, as a parent of three and as a psychologist, I recognize the need for validating a child’s emotions, and how much that contributes to their confidence level….so I would dedicate a whole lot of time to processing and validating a seven years old’ s experiences.
For what are you grateful?
Health and kids. I learn from my kids every day.
If a zombie virus took over the world, how many days do you think you could last before you were infected? And what would you do to postpone the inevitable?
So, this question kind of flares up my anxiety. Seriously, I have no idea, but right now I feel like I should go grocery shopping to stock up just in case.
Sorry. Let's try something more fun. What television sitcom is most like your family? Why?
Well, we have three boys so between their school, sports, birthday parties, play dates, and then my husband’s projects and my work, the best way to describe our home life is “moderately organized chaos.” So, it’s something in between “Everybody loves Raymond” and “Blackish.”
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
Taking long showers, painting my nails, watching movies, and sleeping…..not that I get to do too much of it.
Let’s find out a little bit about you as an author. Did you always want to be an author?
No, not at all. And I don’t really consider myself an author. I see myself as a psychologist that wrote a self-help book, truly hoping to help as many as possible.
How did you decide to write a Self-help book?
I specialized in couple’s therapy, couples at every stage of their relationship, from newlyweds to the divorce court. I noticed some patterns, researched these patterns, and developed some interventions to help along the way. But, unfortunately, I also noticed that most couples and families don’t go to therapy until it’s too late. So, I wanted to capture them before that happens. And I figured a short, direct, and no-nonsense book would capture and sustain the attention of both partners.
Tell us about your latest release: (blurb, excerpt, cover)
So, the title is “My spouse wants more sex than me: The 2-minute solution for a happier marriage.” This may give it away a little, but it is essentially a book about sex and communication in a marriage. These are usually two big issues in a relationship.
Sex challenges appear every time there is difference between the level of sex desire; and this usually always happens three to five years into any relationship, especially if there are kids, stress, money problems. But couples are not easily inclined to be truthful about how they feel about their sex drive and take either a passive or an aggressive route in communicating their needs.
I also noted that the low sex drive partner is often accused of having something medically wrong with them while the high sex drive is accused of being addicted to sex. Although sometimes, this may be the case, the majority of times, there is nothing wrong with either of them.
I also write about pregnancy and motherhood as two important areas that obviously affect sexuality. There are a lot of biological, cognitive, and emotional changes that go into these life stages. They truly change a woman’s sexuality and the relationship dynamic. Most of the changes are positive, hopefully, but that’s not always the case. A child puts a lot of strain on a relationship because it takes a lot of energy out of the parents, but especially out of the mother. When she does not have much left to give to her spouse, he often feels left out and uncared for.
No matter what the situation is, the book offers them a solution to bridge these differences and these times without the blame, without finding fault or pointing fingers. And it works, if people are open enough to try it.
Let our readers know how they can get a hold of you…
They can email me at email@example.com, also on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter (although it’s kind of hard for me to get my point across in 140 characters)
Is there anything else that you want to share… feel free!!
I am obviously biased because it’s my book, but these interventions have been tremendously successful when applied so for those that will be reading the book, I strongly encourage them to read it with the spouse and to practice before they cast a vote!!!And then, I would love to hear from them.
And on a final note, I was looking at your books and actually I referred to this type of genre in my book. I was making a point how women can use these books as foreplay, and the spouses will just have to be around when that happens to enjoy the benefits. Win-win!
Thank you! I agree. Women need that mental foreplay so much more.
Is sex at the bottom of your to-do list after mopping the floors, laundry, and packing the kids’ lunches?
Would you rather catch up on your favorite show than have sex?
Then this book is for you.
Nowadays, women work more than ever; they juggle a career, a household, kids, bills, pets, their own parents and in-laws. In a relationship, marriage to be precise, sex is on a continuum: from hot and sweaty to non-existent. The author has seen numerous couples in therapy, all struggling to make the transition from “I can’t breathe without you” to “I would rather sleep than have sex.” Although most couples experience these changes, many don’t know how to handle them. Women feel exhausted, guilty, and wondering whether they need medication to feel some sort of sexual desire again. Men feel unloved, misunderstood, and highly frustrated. Nobody wins. And sometimes, the table turns and the man has a lower sex drive.
This unique book offers a practical solution that is a great compromise for both genders. It’s fast and easy to implement and maintain. It’s the real deal. The goals are realistic, easily attained, and make an actual difference in the relationship.
Dr. LeMay also talks about the fact that the female and male sex drives are different but there is no reason to apologize for such a difference. There is nothing wrong with women that have a low sex drive and not all men are addicted just because they like sex.
This book offers a compilation of tips and ideas to increase assertiveness and honesty during sex. Finally, the author introduces 10 insights into what affects female sex drive such as husband’s participation in household chores, his effort in looking good for his spouse, and his willingness to accommodate his wife’s sexual needs.
For More Information
- My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2-Minute Solution for a Happier Marriage is available at Amazon.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Why write The 2-Minute Solution? Well, at first, because my husband insisted on it. I can’t tell you how many times we have argued over whether this book will make a difference. In his mind, he is fighting on behalf of all the married men who are possibly misunderstood and sexually and emotionally deprived, and he strongly believes that this book will help many.
Interestingly enough, while the psychologist in me totally agrees with him, the female part of my brain continues to side with the stereotypical question: “Why does he care about sex that much?” This is kind of crazy, because I didn’t have this question when we first started dating. Honestly, I probably would have felt confused if he hadn’t cared about sex back then.
How did it all start? Well, we have been together for seventeen years and married for twelve years. We definitely think of our relationship in BC and AC terms - that is, “before and after children.” Our children are the most amazing people in our lives, and we are a hundred times happier and more content since they were born. They are also the reason for a lot of changes in our lives.
Before children, our lives consisted of work, lots of spontaneous date nights, movie marathons, and a whole lot more adrenaline between the sheets.
After children, our lives consist of getting dressed, making breakfast, packing lunches, getting dressed (did I say that already? That’s because I’ll bet one of us is not dressed yet), brushing teeth, driving kids to school, picking kids up from school, doing homework, taking kids to sports practice, getting dinner ready, feeding everyone, washing everyone, reading stories, and getting ready for the next day. Did we feed the dogs? How about the turtles? Or the fish? Are we done for today? Because I just want to get some sleep before we do it all over again tomorrow. A few years ago, there was a mom on YouTube who could sing her entire daily routine in one minute. Back then, when I was single, I thought she was weird. Today, I am that mother.
On the rare occasions when I go out to Happy Hour with my girlfriends, also mothers, we compare notes about our kids, about our spouses, and most often about how tired we are. And with that, occasionally we laugh about how our intimate lives have changed. Because I am a fairly private person, I am not quite ready to dive into specific details about how my sex life has evolved in the last eight years, but let’s just say that it has morphed into something a lot less steamy and romantic and a lot more practical.
This brings us to how the idea behind this book was born. Fortunately, while all of these changes were taking place, I was also getting a graduate degree in psychology. Both my husband and I agree that psychology kept us together, helped us grow, and allowed us to truly learn about each other.
As a child of divorced parents, I have developed an interest in how relationships start, maintain, and end, so it was a natural progression to focus on couples’ therapy during my graduate studies. Over time, I have gathered a lot of notes from the hundreds of books and articles, hours of therapy work with clients, and conversations with friends and relatives, and I have used many quotes and ideas from these sources in my writing.
Although there are a number of good books on sex, marriage, and communication, I have always found that most of the couples’ books are too long, are too complex, and try to cover too many intricate aspects of a relationship. Many readers get lost in all of the information and have a difficult time finding areas of focus or ideas that could be immediately applied to day-to-day life, so they can experience the much-needed relief in a timely manner.
Becoming a wife and a mother helped me develop a different and much better way of understanding and relating to my clients than any of the theories covered in graduate school. I realized that most of these books, although great resources, are often difficult to implement when your daily routine is as chaotic as I described earlier. Thus, I have tried to simplify the process of marital therapy to five key elements: sex, communication, financial matters, parenting, and dealing with in-laws (extended family).
This book will cover only two of these areas: sex and communication. I generally believe that if spouses are able to manage these two areas, they will have a significantly easier time working out the others.
I won’t lie. Marriage is hard. Once the blinding lust is gone, marriage is work. It is about constant compromise, scheduling, taking turns, sharing, and giving up personal likes for the benefit of the children and the integrity of the relationship. And even if you manage to get all of this right, there isn’t a guarantee that the relationship will survive. It ultimately comes down to the ability of each spouse to let go, as well as the partners’ level of optimism, sense of humor, and degree of commitment.
Obviously, when a marriage becomes work (and it will), the quantity and quality of sex change. This is not my opinion; this is just a fact of life. It simply depends on how much it changes. If it disappears or if it becomes the topic of excruciatingly painful daily conversations, you and/or your spouse have to do something about it, if you want the relationship to survive.
My straightforward approach to sex in a marriage has often been called “unromantic” or “too pragmatic.” There is some truth to this, but I prefer to describe my method as “a commonsense, easy-to-implement, and effective approach to a challenging time in a couple’s life.” And it works.
My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2- Minute Solution for a Happier Marriage is a self-help book about sex and communication in a marriage. It is a humorous and straightforward book that talks about the reality of a marital relationship, not about the fairy tale you see in movies. With this book, I hope to:
- First and foremost, challenge the traditional mind-set that good sex has to last for at least thirty minutes of foreplay, thirty minutes of penetration, and thirty minutes of cuddling.
- Share the truth about the differences between men and women in terms of sex drive, desire, and arousal.
- Offer a solution for the times when these differences widen, such as illness, stress, or being busy with work and parenthood.
- Help spouses understand each other’s experience and find the time, energy, and motivation for sex in a crazy and fast-paced day-to-day routine.
The truth, however, is that most women nowadays work full-time jobs, still take care of the children and the household, and sometimes help care for ailing parents, relatives, or friends. Most women who are physically, mentally, and emotionally drained from juggling all of these tasks just don’t have the energy or motivation to have sex.
Nonetheless, this is not one of those books that tell you it’s your job to keep your man happy. It’s not going to tell you to buy sexy lingerie, how to find anyone’s secret G-spot, how to give mind-blowing oral sex, or how to have one-hour-long orgasms several times a night. You can find that advice in each of the last five hundred issues of Cosmopolitan or Glamour magazine. Most likely, you already know how to do most of those things. Most likely you used to do some of these things. But today, that is such a thought of the past. Today, the only thing you are looking forward to is watching a few episodes of Scandal, snuggling with a good book and a glass of wine after the kids are asleep, or getting a full nine-hour beauty sleep.
In all fairness, I also know women who struggle with the extreme opposite situation: their husbands are not interested in sex. Although the core of this book is directed toward women with lower sex drive-related issues, the ideas in this book are very much applicable to both scenarios; thus, both men and women could benefit from reading it.
As a matter of fact, for best results, I encourage you to read this book with your partner. Reading this book together is an opportunity to find out how you both feel about the topic and to understand each other’s perspective. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to learn that you are not alone. The experience of whatever is happening (or not happening) in your marriage is shared by many, many other couples. That insight in itself is often therapeutic.
However, the most important part is that The 2- Minute Solution is a hands-on book that strongly encourages practice. No self-help book, no matter how great it is, will make a difference unless the readers are willing to practice the skills described. To help with the practice aspect of this book, I have included “The Insight Corner” at the end of each chapter. This box describes a variety of assignments that are supposed to make you think about, talk about, and do things that may be out of your comfort zone, but are great stepping-stones for change. Please remember that practice takes time and failure before one can experience long-lasting success.
Those who know me can vouch that I am a big believer in “practice what you preach,” so I can say that my husband and I have been working at these skills for about seven years. I won’t lie; it did take some work, but this work was worth the time and effort. And don’t get me wrong, these skills and ideas will not resolve all of your marital problems, and they will not prevent arguments from happening. As a matter of fact, we still experience ups and downs that make me doubt my expert status at times, but, overall, we have made it so far, and we still like each other.
Please keep in mind that I wrote this book to complement and not to replace other medical, pharmacological, psychological, and spiritual resources available for couples’ health and marital therapy. There will be times when it is recommended to consult your physician, a sex therapist, your pastor, a friend, or a relative on the thousands of things that could go wrong (or right) in your relationship. I wrote this book, however, to stimulate a different perspective.
The thoughts and sex-provoking ideas described in this book have helped many, but they may not be helpful to all. While I am a licensed psychologist with experience in couples’ therapy, I am not a physician or a licensed sex therapist. Please consult with a physician, especially if you have a condition that may affect your sexual endeavors.
Finally, just to cross this off the list and ward off all of the critics who may line up to say that this book will take women back to the dark ages, this is not about a “wife’s duty to perform” or about some sort of submissive perspective. I meant this book to be a modern and fresh “hands-on” approach (no pun intended) to highlight how biology, communication, and psychology can come together successfully and contribute to a loving and committed relationship in today’s fast-paced and often stressful home environment.
During her formal training, she continued with her interest in relationships, this time in family and couples’ therapy: pre-marital education, marriage counseling, and post-divorce mediation. In addition, she worked with adults and adolescents struggling with addiction, anxiety, and mood disorder related issues. Last but not least, as she became a wife and mother, women’s life concerns became another topic of interest. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, ante- and post-partum challenges, low sex drive, and parenting have all been at the forefront of her study for the last ten years.
She has a very direct and practical style. Therapy takes time and money. They are both valuable and she does not want to waste your time or your money. She wants to offer the most effective recommendations that you can implement right away so you can feel immediate relief from whatever it is that you are facing. Her book, blogs, and therapy are all a reflection of her belief that even small changes, if they are the right ones, can make a big difference in someone’s life.
Her latest book is the nonfiction/psychology/self-help book, My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2-Minute Solution for a Happier Marriage.
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I'm so excited to share my friend and fellow author, Vicky Burkholder's book...as well as her advice on writing. Be sure to check out her book below. You're going to want it. Take it away Vicky.
I don’t know any author who hasn’t has someone propose a story idea to them. Why don’t you write my life story? Why don’t you write a story about this guy who… I don’t like (name the genre). Why don’t you write (name another genre)? And so on.
So why don’t I write… any of the above? I probably have. Oh, not necessarily the idea that was proposed to me. I would never do that (mostly because it gets into a grey area about rights and all that stuff). But I’ve written about people – I used to write for a newspaper and I specialized in human interest stories. I’ve written in different genres (romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, contemporary, etc.). I’ve written boring policy and procedures manuals for businesses and organizations. I’ve written short stories and long novels. I’ve written essays and poems. And now blogs.
But I keep coming back to my first love, or loves, and that is science fiction or fantasy with a touch of romance. Some of them even have a bit of mystery to them. But they all come out of my imagination. I create the worlds in which my characters live. I create the situations they find themselves in.
When I write those other things, yes, I can do them well and have received kudos (and payment) for them. But they are not where my heart lies. They are a struggle to write. They don’t flow as well off my fingers as the ones I love do. And yes, there are times when my loves have turned on me. Like any long-term relationship, there are ups and downs even with the genres I love. But for the most part, they are not as much of a struggle as writing something that doesn’t resonate with my imagination. Unfortunately, our fans (or publishers), don’t always let us go the way we want.
I’ve heard other writers say the same thing. A good friend, who is a multi-published writer and a New York Times best seller, is tired of writing what she does all the time and wants to branch out to other areas. And she has, but those books of her heart do not do as well as her regular ones. So what should she do? Continue to force herself to write in a genre she no longer has an intense interest in? Or go a new direction knowing it could be detrimental to her career, but make her much happier as a creative person?
It’s never an easy choice. But one thing that is easy is that if a person comes up to me and says “Why don’t you write…?” I’ll smile and nod and say, “That’s an interesting idea. I’ll keep it in the back of my mind for now. Thank you.” And then I’ll go write my own story.
Speaking of stories…
“Lovin’ the Odds” is my newest story in the “Gambling on Love” series from Liquid Silver Press. I’m having a lot of fun writing these stories – other worlds, outer space, alien (though human-like) races – what’s not to love? A little bit of science fiction, a little bit of intrigue, action-adventure, and romance.
Catch her, kill her, or kiss her? So many choices, so little time. But Carter Jamison has to decide one way or the other what to do about Sabrina Rutledge. Wounded, hunted, and stranded on a desert planet, they will need to put their distrust aside and work together to survive.
Carter pulled out the chute and a pack of lightweight frames that he used to make a shelter. He returned to the shuttle, dislodged the rocks blocking the rear hatch, and popped it. Smoke poured from both hatches. The interior was a shambles. He used the fire suppressant to put out the few flames he saw. Fortunately, most of the fire had already burned out. He unhooked cushions from two of the seats and hauled them back to the shelter. He activated the release switch on both, opening them up into thin sleeping pads that he laid out. Once he had everything set up to his satisfaction, he carefully carried Sabrina in.
She weighed no more than a feather, and he felt her bones through her clothing. Dark circles not from bruising showed in the fair skin under her eyes. He wished she’d open her eyes so he could look once again into their golden depths, the color of fine whiskey. He’d fallen in love with her eyes. He shook his head to stop the thoughts bouncing around. He was a Fleet agent doing an undercover job. He had no time for a relationship. Nothing more than a quick liaison to quell any urges. And no matter what her social calendar looked like, Sabrina Rutledge was not a quick fling. She was the type of person you settled down with. Something that would never happen to him.
But his heart refused to listen. They’d had something special. At least he’d thought so. Then he’d seen her with others, though never any one man for more than a few times, earning her a reputation as a stuck-up diva—something he wasn’t sure she deserved. After all, she was just trying to protect herself. That’s what he told himself, often. She was everything he’d ever wanted in a woman. Everything except loyal.
He backed away from her. He shouldn’t have come after her. There was no way this would be any good. What did she have that was so important to Tyler Adams anyway? Was it just her? Or did she honestly have something? If it was in the shuttle, it was as good as destroyed. He grabbed her bag and quickly dug through it, but other than a change of clothing, a first-aid kit, and food and water for a day or two, he came up empty. Nothing. Unfortunately, sitting here in the middle of a desert full of Ki crystals, he wasn’t going to get any messages out to anyone to let them know.
Carter unpacked a thermal cell and started water heating. “First things first.”
Using cleansing cloths, he wiped her face, checking for additional injuries. Other than a few minor scrapes and bruises, there were no other problems beyond her leg and arm. He used his knife to cut away her pant leg, clenching his jaw as he felt the smoothness of her thigh. The gash was not pretty, but it looked like she’d tried to seal it. He cleansed the wound and used his own tube to finish what she’d started. The other serious injury was her arm, and he’d already taken care of that. He covered her with a thermal blanket and went out to make sure their shelter was secure.
The sun had set and the twin moons were high in the sky. He looked into the stars. His life was out there now, not here on Tairis. He’d lived here before going undercover, guest of his friend Kiernan, leader of one of the local villages and Carter’s safe-drop spot for messages to Fleet. He’d been second man at Kiernan’s wedding, and spirit-uncle to his daughter and son. He hoped Kiernan could find them, otherwise he wasn’t sure how he’d get Sabrina out of the desert. Himself, he could get out with no trouble, but her in her present condition? That was going to be a challenge.
He shivered as the breeze picked up. The desert could be bitterly cold at night and, if he remembered correctly, they were coming into the stormy season. That meant high winds and freezing temperatures at night. He weighted the edges of the makeshift tent down with rocks. Though there wasn’t much growth around, he managed to scrounge up some dry branches—enough for a small fire—and crystals. They would hold the heat, but he had to be careful not to touch them with his bare hands. Prolonged exposure to raw Ki crystals could wreak havoc with human physiology. The fire and crystals wouldn’t be much, but it was better than nothing. Holding his bounty in his covered arms, he returned to the tent.
Sabrina hadn’t moved, and that worried him. He knew basic field first aid, but what if she had internal injuries? He pulled out a portable medi-scanner, already pretty sure it wouldn’t work. After the third time it told him Sabrina was a neutered male, species Cerulean, he gave up and stowed it back in his pack. Not only was she very much a female, but she had two arms, not four, and her blood was red, not blue.
He made her as comfortable as he could, then pulled his sleeping pad next to hers, in case she needed him during the night. At least, that was what he told himself as he lay down, facing her.
Not so long ago, he’d been in the same position, but the circumstances had been significantly different. After going out a few times and enjoying each other’s company, she’d surprised him by going to bed with him. Unlike now, they’d been in his bed, in a comfortable apartment on the outer rim of the station. The sex had been incredible as they moved from the sofa to the bed, touching, kissing, teasing until both were too hot to breathe. He remembered the way she felt in his arms, the way her thick hair felt in his fingers, the way her eyes darkened with passion. They’d gone from casual dating to what he’d thought was a serious relationship. At least on his part it had been serious, as he’d fallen hard for her.
Then Tyler had sent him to another Fun Palace to quell a strike, which he’d done. When he’d returned two weeks later, Sabrina was gone. A few quiet inquiries let him know Tyler had sent her planetside to analyze the viability of setting up a permanent casino there. When she returned to the station a month later, she wouldn’t even talk to him. Then he heard she was dating one of Tyler’s accountants. He got the message loud and clear. He’d taken every off-station job Tyler would send him on. It gave him a chance to see more of Tyler’s operations, and it kept him away from her.
“So what happened?” he whispered as he reached out to smooth a stray hair from her face. “And what brought you to this?”
He closed his eyes to sleep, but all he could think about was her. Her scent tickled his nose, teasing his memories. She smelled like a summer day in his family’s garden, sunshine and flowers. He rolled over onto his back to stare at the darkness and to try to forget how much she’d hurt him.
During the night, Sabrina’s thrashing woke him. He tried to calm her and got a solid punch in the jaw for his efforts. Lost in the throes of a nightmare, she’d reinjure her arm and more if he didn’t calm her. In addition, she was burning up. He scrunched around and pulled her into a tight embrace, her back to him.
“Brina, baby, come on. Relax. It’s all right. I’m here.” As soon as he started talking, she calmed down, wilting in his arms. When he felt it was safe, he moved away to get the first-aid kit, then gave her a shot of antibiotics and an analgesic. Done with that, he sat back on his heels and stared at her. He knew what he should do to bring her fever down more, but damn, it was hard. And so was he.
“I hope you appreciate this.” He bent over her and maneuvered her out of her filthy jumpsuit. Underneath, she wore black lacy panties and bra, ones with dark red roses embroidered on them. She also had on a small pendant she always wore. He’d commented about it once, and she’d grasped it like a lifeline. He figured it was something special to her. It wasn’t even all that pretty, but she never took it off. “Double damn.”
He sponged her off with cleansing cloths, shivering in the cold night air, then laid her back down and covered her with a thermal blanket. Several times during the night, he alternated calming or cooling her. Finally, toward dawn, her fever broke, and she sank into a more normal sleep. Exhausted, he caught a few hours of rest as well.
The sun was midway to zenith when Carter woke again. He checked on Sabrina. She was still sleeping, but at least she showed no sign of the fever. He went outside to relieve himself and climbed a low hill to get his bearings. Nothing but rocky desert lay in all directions. Kiernan’s village lay to the west. He hoped Posi had been able to contact Kiernan, or it was going to be a long, difficult—if not impossible—hike out, if Sabrina could even make it. Somehow, he’d get them both out. Then he’d strangle her.
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