2014 in Review

Sometimes it’s hard to believe a year can pass by so quickly.  365 days will come and go in the blink of an eye if you’re not careful, and you can miss a lot of things.

However, I am grateful that I didn’t miss much this time around.  I vowed to myself that 2014 would be the year everything changed, good or bad, and man….I was right.

In 2014 I got to be on a radio show and the world was introduced to a geeky, awkward young lady who giggles too much and has a tendency to evoke long silences.  I’m working on it–I swear.

In 2014 I released the first story in a series that has embedded itself in my heart and as I prepare to write the final book, I find myself incredibly sad.  I feel as if I’m saying goodbye to a family member I’ll never get to see again.

In 2014 I got my first taste of success when I released a M/M romance that I was terrified to publish.  With the encouragement of my friends, I released Rowan and Kasen for the world to see: I never imagined they would send me to the best seller’s list for the first time.

In 2014 I received my first ever royalty check and I have to tell ya, that is an amazing feeling.

In 2014 I made wonderful, dear friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

In 2014 I learned you can’t trust everybody and there are always going to be people who won’t hesitate to stab you in the back, hurt you, and never feel an ounce of remorse for it.

In 2014 I made goals and I achieved them.  I reached for the stars without a fear of falling.  It was worth it.

In 2014 I lost people I loved and I watched friends around me lose people they loved.  I was reminded of my mortality and the fact that I need to make the most of every day:  I try to.

In 2014 I put my heart and soul into everything I decided to do, and I will continue to do so when 2015 arrives.

2015 will be my year.  Again.

And it will be yours, too.

The REAL hottest tv hookups of 2014 (Probably, definitely NSFW)

So I was reading an article from BUZZFEED on the hottest tv hookups for 2014.  I was scrolling….

scrolling…

scrolling…

and then I hit #1 and got so angry.  How in the blue bleedin’ heck do you have a count down like that and not include SONS OF ANARCHY?

WE ARE TALKING JAX TELLER.

WE ARE TALKING CHIBS BONING THE SHERIFF ON THE HOOD OF HER CAR.

HOW. DARE. YOU.

So I made my own list.  I hope you enjoy it.

You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find gifs from this episode.

So, basically, the hottest tv hookups on tv for 2014 is THE BEGINNING SEQUENCE OF SOA 7×10.

You are WRONG.  You are WRONG.

WRONG.

SOA all the waaaaaaaay.

Bonus Tig and Venus gif.  They are my OTP.

Is this thing on? It’s been a while…..

Well hello there, glorious land of blogging!  Long time, no see.  How are you? How are the kids?  What’s on the agenda for—

Wait. Why am I talking to a blog?

-notices readers- OH. Right. Yes.  You there, person reading this.

I haven’t made a post in a little while, but I swear I’m still alive.

(No, I’m not. I’m typing from the grave. Death finally shared the wifi password.)

^I don’t expect you to get that unless you’ve read Transition. ;)

Anyhoo. So I have been mostly busy with RAoC and Giftapalooza.  There’s a lot to be done this year and it’s been a little overwhelming, but I’m happy to report many children in need have been gifted with no signs of stopping!

I’ve been dabbling a little with Blood Betrayal III: Blood Resurrection, but not too much.  Elves are easily distracted creatures, did you know?

I’ve also been preparing for Christmas here in the Ridener household.  I still have a lot to do.  I have a dinner to plan–the first dinner, mind you, that I’ve actually been nominated to cook.

Yeah, you read that correctly.

Probably not, but I’ve seriously never been in charge of the Christmas dinner before. That’s intimidating stuff.  I’m no Mrs. Bamey.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a quick update.  It feels weird not making a proper blog post.

Before I head off again to do whatever, I wanted to invite you all once again to join us for Giftapalooza.  It’s an extension of RAoC and we’re helping gift kids in need.  We’ve almost hit $2,000 in gifts already.  We still have A LOT of awesome thank-you gifts that haven’t been claimed and a lot of those are paperbacks!  So come on over and play Santa for a child in need. <3

All right. I’m done for now…I think.

Have a wonderful day and happy reading.

xx

Ridener Ramblings: Call me superstitious, but….

Author takeovers of any kind are not meant for me.

No, I’m not crazy.  I will swear by this.  I have proof!

I am so tired right now and I plan to fall asleep in minutes, but I needed to take a moment just to express my bafflement about this particular situation.  Author takeovers are a great way to promote yourself and support your friends, especially during release events…

But this is an omen for me. Bad luck. SUCH bad luck!

Just tonight I was meant to make an appearance for an author I was so incredibly honored to hang out with.  The fact she even wanted me to be there had me on cloud nine.  I love love love her and I was excited to partake, BUT….

My sister-in-law got hurt.  A nasty cut on the leg that had to be stitched up and she’ll be super sore tomorrow for sure.  Thankfully one of my wonderful street team members was able to pop in for me and she did an excellent job.

Takeovers hate me.  The indie gods don’t like it and here is more proof.

My first ever author event was back in February when I released The Truth about Kadenburg.  It was the first time I ever tried hosting anything that had to do with me and I was nervous as all get out.  However, only about an hour or so in….

My nephew ran his dirt bike into a moving car in the street.

That was the most terrifying experience of my life and I had the worst panic attack a person could ever experience.  My chest ached for a week after that.

He was okay, of course, but at the time we didn’t know that.  It was just terrible….terrible, terrible.  Luckily, a few friends took over the event until I was calm enough to return. (Was not calm.  Pretended, but totally NOT calm.)

So I have determined that author takeovers don’t like me and I shouldn’t volunteer to participate anymore because I’m only asking for someone I care about to get hurt.

No. Bueno.

Perhaps these are only the thoughts of a seriously tired writer, but I think I’m going to steer clear of takeovers for a while.  I’ll still happily donate ebooks and bookmarks for giveaways and prizes, but I really think I need to test this theory out.

Leave it to me. -sigh-

TOTALLY NSFW. Erotica ‘lit tropes’ and me. A rebuttal.

I recently read an article from Cosmopolitan.com and it really got me to thinking.

The article can be read HERE if you are in interested, but I decided I have a few things to say about this.

I am by no means an erotic author.  I don’t think I could do it to save my life, but I do include a lot of steamy scenes in my novels and I believe any good book should have at least one good love scene.  Well..unless it’s a kid’s book.  That’s a big no-no.  Don’t ever try to do that.

Now when I say ‘love’ scene, I mean a LOOOOOVE scene.  We’re talking bow chicka wow wow.  I am embarrassed to talk about sex.  I put Scorpios everywhere to shame with my bashfulness when it comes to the subject, but like I said, something about this particular article kicked my brain into overdrive, so I’m going to write about it now.

Family, close friends, people who changed my diapers–Do not read this.  You have been warned.  Let’s not make Thanksgiving Dinner awkward, okay?

1.  Women climax on demand.

So the first bit of the article talks about a man saying, ‘Come for me’, and then a woman unravelling on command.  Now, from my experience this doesn’t necessarily work, but while reading it can be hot as hell.  There’s nothing sexier than a man giving his woman the attention she deserves and huskily whispering into her ear, ‘come for me’.  Don’t tell me you don’t bite your lip when you read that.  You know you do.

Before I continue, I’d also just like to remind people that erotica and fiction in general are written for a reason.  We like to escape reality and the great thing about books is the fact they aren’t always realistic.  Remember this picture?

My point exactly.

2. “I come undone.” 

Okay, so I can agree with this one a little bit.  But I also believe that stories have to be written in a way that readers can relate.  If a woman is having the best sex of her life in a particular scene, the reader needs to know that.  If a woman comes undone, spiritually separates from her body and floats into a place similar to heaven–that’s what the reader wants to read.  Make them feel it.  Show them with whatever words necessary.  If coming undone is the way to do it, then be my guest.

3. Women come from penetrative sex. 

Okay.  I totally understand this one and I can argue it until the sun comes up.  A LOT of guys probably don’t know how to do this.  Some men are shit in bed–but so are some women.  Am I right?  That’s just common knowledge.  However, when you meet the right guy who totally knows what he’s doing, it is possible to have an orgasm from penetration.  If you deny this can happen in a story even though it definitely happens in real life, I pity you.  I sincerely hope you meet the right man soon.

4. Women never have pain or hesitation when he wants to put something up their butts. 

Again, I totally see the point to this. I could never be a fan either, but when it comes to erotica and romance in general, I believe readers want to get lost in a story of dirty passion and aren’t really into the whole resistance thing.  Unless..you know..you like that sort of thing.  Most readers aren’t interested in the lead female stopping the hero from burying himself within, no matter where that ‘within’ is.  They want the kink.  They want the steam.   Now in my stories, personally, especially with my gay couples, there is always that initial sting of discomfort because that’s pretty damn realistic.  I can’t speak for every writer out there, but it’s just something I do.  From a woman’s perspective, anal sex is not something I have an interest in, ever.  It may be mentioned or hinted at, but I have no desire whatsoever to write it out.

5. “My sex” It’s called a clit.

Ugggggh. Okay. So let’s just be honest about this one.  It’s BORING when you only use the word meant for the actual thing.  Do I make sense? God, help me.  I hope I do because talking about this is awkward enough already.  I am not that old woman from that sex show that used to be on tv at night time.  Most of the time it’s hard enough to write about, let alone actually talking about it on my blog. For the world to see.  *gulp*  We understand that a clit is a clit just as much as we know a horse is a horse OF COURSE OF COURSE.  But we have to play it up sometimes.  No one likes to read the same thing over and over again.  Call it a love button, sensitive nub, or whatever you want, but please don’t always just refer to it as your clitoris. Her clitoris.  Whatever.  Make it fun.  Be imaginative!  That’s why God gave us imaginations….?  Probably not…but hey, we have them, so use ‘em.

6. “His length” It’s called a dick.

I will seriously be the first person to tell you that referring to a man’s penis in a book as ‘his dick’ seriously turns me off.  I feel that ‘dick’ is a term men like to use and therefore should be left to the men.  My preference is for cock, actually.  I like using that word in my stories. Dunno why, but my point is….no.  Don’t use dick.  Unless you’re a man writing from a man’s POV…don’t do it.  Length, shaft, tallywhacker, one-eyed Willy, steel rod, cock, sex stick…I don’t care how you word it, just don’t say dick.  That’s so….plain and disappointing.

7.  Men are infinitely more sexually experienced than their partners.

Not true!  I’ve read plenty of stories where the women were more experienced and taught their men a thing or two.  I get where you’re coming from though, I really really do.  However, I think a lot of readers enjoy the story of a woman slowly coming into her sexuality with a man who knows the how-to and isn’t afraid to show her.  It can be a turn-on to read these types of stories, but it can also be a turn-on to read about a woman teaching her lover the ropes of lovemaking.  Either or works here.  I don’t really have a preference.

8. Quivering thighs caused by arousal.

I can’t speak for every woman on the planet because we’re all different.  What turns me on may not work for someone else and vice versa.  However, I have been with a guy in the past who could make me tremble simply with a glance.  He didn’t even have to do anything but stare and sweet heavens above, I was practically puddy.  I’m sorry if you’ve never met a man who can do that for you, but it is possible.

9. Climaxing from almost nothing, like, he blows on her nipple.

If you’ve been teased long enough, orgasms are possible from the slightest touch or lightest application of pressure.  If you’ve never been so turned on that the smallest thing sets you off, well, I actually feel really, really bad for you.

10. No one sees anything when sex is had in a car.

How enjoyable is it to read about Jack and Jill getting it on in the back of his car if they get interrupted by the nosey prude walking by?

*Tap tap tap* I see what you’re doing in there!  Shame on you!

Nobody wants to read that.  Come on….

11. Desire “pools in [a woman’s] belly.”

I have never read a sex scene in which a woman describes her arousal as a ‘stomachache”.  I don’t know what books you’re reading, but desire pooling in your tummy is massive heat and electricity brewing into a storm of unbridled passion.  I can’t recall coming across any of these descriptions that hint as needing a Mylanta chewable.

12. UTIs don’t exist. 

Maybe I’m not digging deep enough, but I’ve never read a book in which he alternates from anal to vaginal sex in one go.  I’d probably smack a dude for that, personally.  But you know, this does bring up a very interesting thing I read about a while back.  Did you know that readers SHUN people who actually put the use of condoms in their sex scenes?  Seriously!  I couldn’t believe it either and now I’m way off topic. Hm.

13. The “sex god” likes to wash her hair when they take showers together.

I do have a good argument for this.  Our fictional boyfriends are MEANT to be greater than the real life disappointments most of us come across.  We want a man who will treat us like the queens we are.  Having a man who paints your toenails, washes your hair, brushes your hair, and gives you a back rub before sexing you up has to be the best man I can ever dream up.  I don’t want to read about a dude who crawls into bed, grunts and breaks wind, and then asks me to go get him a beer. Boo on that. BOO.  Let him wash my hair, damn it.

14. Shower sex is the HOTTEST THING EVER I COME UNDONE OMIGOD.

Fictional sex scenes are meant to be volumes greater than the real deal…unless you’ve got a man who said sex scenes were inspired by.  I’m not a fan of shower sex, but I’m sure someone out there loves it.  Let them read about their shower sex in peace.

Hey…at least no UTIs in this case, right?

15. The couple does it like seven or eight times a day and still has time to go out to eat and work at jobs.

I can definitely agree with this one…in a way.  But seriously, why wouldn’t you want to read about LOTS of sex in an erotic story?  Isn’t that kind of the point?

16. Women have magical orifices that are not only resistant to infections but also require no lube ever.

Or maybe he’s just that damn good and revs her engine.  Some dudes can be that talented, y’know?

17. The relationship is always love/hate.

I read the comment for this one in the original post and may I just say, once again, that most of these things happen for a plotline.  If people did things simply we wouldn’t have a lot of movies either.

‘Why don’t you just let one of the eagles fly Frodo there?’

‘What? And have no story? Ridiculous.’

18. She always loves giving blow jobs.

No, she does not.  I definitely agree with this one.  If anything, while reading erotica, I believe women should be on the receiving end more often than men.  However, this is a preference.  I think blow-jays (come on. Please tell me you get that reference) are totally EW. (Do you get that reference, too?)  So I can agree with the original author of this article because I don’t enjoy reading every single detail of a woman going down on a man.  But, again, this is just a preference.  Different strokes for different folks.  Readers like what they like.

19. All guys are really super excellent at finger-banging.

If the hero in a story doesn’t know how to do this, I don’t want to read about him, especially in an erotic book.  Honestly. End of story. Case closed.

20. Finger-banging in public — like, you’re at dinner with his boss — is common.

I’ve never read 50 Shades (SHUN THE NONBELIEVER), nor do I want to.  But there isn’t anything wrong with being spontaneous and such scenarios can be really hot in books–especially erotica ones.

21. The man always has impeccable and sexy fashion sense.

Well, why not?

22. And can dance really well at da club.

Again, why not? A man who can dance on the floor dances even better in bed.

23. His penis is always the size of a firetruck.

Well nobody wants to read about a dude with a centimeter Peter.  Where’s the fun in that?

24. The characters get aroused and speak with periods. Between. All. Their. Words.

Sometimes. It’s. Just. Hot.

25.  Everyone orgasms every time they have sex.

For the women who can’t achieve orgasm, whether it’s just nature’s fault or her partner’s, this is crucial in erotica.  They read it for the big ‘O’, or fifty of them.

Well, there ya go, folks.  I’ve written about sex and I hope it was just as embarrassing for you as it was for me.  While writing my rebuttals for each point, I have come to the realization (which I kinda always knew) that erotica is meant to stir our deepest desires and bring fantasies to life on the pages of stories written by the masterminds of euphoria and bliss.  This is why books such as these exist.  Maybe some of these tropes are a little overdone, but I don’t think love scenes can exist without most of them.

Hm.  You learn something new every day, eh?

New and Upcoming Authors to Check out.

Kollasjer1

SYNOPSIS:

Included in teaser photo above.

Releases February 3rd, 2015.

GENRE:

contemporary rocker romance

AUTHOR: 

Kelli Jean

[Goodreads]

BIO:

I was born and raised in Miami, but now live in the Arctic. I have a deep passion for music (I love some good heavy metal and rock ‘n’ roll!), literature, and ancient history. Reading is my first love, and have great respect for the written word. I’m a mother to a wonderful little girl, life partners with an amazing man, and live in Sheep Country.

SYNOPSIS: 

Five years ago, Kat lost her family in a car accident.  Ever since, she has been in a deep depression.  She quit her job and started writing so she would not have to leave her house.  She lost herself.  She has no idea how to come out of the ugliness.  She decides that she needs to push herself out of the house but she needs to go where no memories exist.  She decides to go visit the country where her family was from, Portugal.  She rents an apartment from her uncle with the hopes of finally being able to start moving on.

            Rey is serving in the United States military.  He is living in Germany but only has a few more months before he contract is up.  He goes on leave for his cousin’s wedding which is taking place in Portugal.  He rents his uncle’s apartment for a few weeks.  When he gets there, he realizes someone is staying in there.  When he realizes it is Kat, his world is turned upside down.

            Kat and Rey have a history.  Although nothing ever happened between them, there were some feelings and emotions that were never expressed to no one.  Rey vows to help Kat get out of the depression by getting her to go sightseeing and possibly open up.  Will Kat allow Rey to help her? Can Kat get past the death of her family and allow someone into her heart?  Will Rey’s military career put a stop to a relationship before it starts?

Released on September 17th, 2014.

GENRE:

Contemporary Romance

AUTHOR: 

Janet A. Mota

[website]

BIO:

 I live in Jacksonville, FL with my husband and 2 children.  I love to read and have always had a passion for writing.  I am a lawyer and also hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology.

SYNOPSIS: 

Years ago, Danika decided to run in order to protect herself and her unborn child. Things have remained quiet for years hiding a the small southern town where she decided to start her life over and raise her little girl.  she’s even started working in the clubhouse of a local MC. She thinks she’s safe…. until her past catches up with her.

Will she accept the protection of the MC? Or will she decide that she’s had enough of living in fear and fight back?

Release date to be determined.

GENRE:

MC Erotica, Romance

AUTHOR: 

Danika M. Love

BIO: 

I am a stay at home mom of three and oilfield wife. I took myself out of the nursing field a few years ago when I was diagnosed with FibroMyalgia and chronic migraines.Now I fill my days with my children, dogs, writing and taking care of my disabled father.

T-shirts for a Good Cause.

You guys, I have a problem.

It’s an ever growing addiction and it may not go away.

There’s no hope for me.

Recently I decided to try my hand at designing t-shirts and I soon found myself teaming up with Indie Authors & Book Blogs to create fun t-shirts for readers and writers alike in an effort to raise funds for Giftapalooza, Random Acts of Christmas, and even some giveaways for their blog page.

There’s one issue now.

I. Can’t. Stop.

The madness continues as I have designed several t-shirts tonight alone, and they’re all running for 23 days!

Oh, heavens.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I have a store and you are more than welcome to browse it.  Some of my designs currently have discounts so be sure to check those out!

$3 off BOOKS: Because Reality is Seriously Overrated

$3 off RAoC t-shirt (proceeds are going towards Christmas dinners for families in need)

$3 off I’d rather be WRITING