This is your monthly autumnal post about masturbation and romance books. Yep, you’ve read that right!
October being National Breast Cancer Awareness month is yet another reminder for me that cancer is part of my life. But also a month to celebrate!
Believe it or not, breast cancer changed my life in a good way.
When I was first diagnosed back in 2010, I was 28 years old, already struggling with an auto immune disease and couldn’t possibly think the lightning could strike twice… or thrice. But it certainly did, seems like I’m a lightning catcher and a good one at that.
A few of you know about my latest fight with cancer last year, so far, I’m proud to say I made breast cancer my bitch, but still, it stays around a hovering threat, a shadow that won’t fade. Breast cancer is a persistent cunt like that.
When life keeps trying to put you down, you can either passively surrender or take matters in your own hands and find ways to make the best out of what’s being thrown at you. Turns out, I’m not a pushover, never been. Granted I would be fighting, but I would be fighting AND be happy!
For me, a huge part of my emotional therapy and mental balance went through reading.
I discovered myself a new reading genre and romance just became my favorite outlet after a shitty post-chemo week, a round of radiations or when bad news were piling up.
Reading these amazing stories, strong and empowered or delicate and sweet heroines, alpha heroes, beta heroes, all around good guys or sadistic bastards… It provided my mind some food for thought, it pushed unnecessary worries away, making me fall in love stories after stories which each new character I was lucky discover.
It doesn’t seem much, but just the fact to be able to put a wall between me and cancer was salvaging. And romance books were that wall for me. The thickest. The brightest. The happiest. The soundest. The safest place of escapism I could afford daily and anywhere.
This community helped me get through this in a way, helped me to alleviate and level the bad.
The Romance book community also brought amazing new friends. Book friends. Author friends. Best friends. I’m so grateful for each one of you. Thank you for the daily book talk, thank you for your unwavering enthusiasm, thank you for the moral support. Thank you book lover you!
Breast cancer is a bitch. The treatments are exhausting and just plain hard but at least we have them and I’m lucky enough to live in a country (France) where I don’t have to worry about being treated—no matter what.
I do feel very concerned about the few of us without access to what is considered a given in my country. Breast cancer is scary. Cancer is scary. But most cases of breast cancer are now curable with a treatment and if diagnosed in time, the earliest possible, chances of recovery are bigger and treatments become less aggressive.
Many of you have this chance, or at least have access to diagnosis and prevention plans and if you are one of those lucky gals, please, please —here comes the masturbation part of our post— check your tits out! If you’re scheduled for a mammogram or an ultrasound, don’t wait, do it in time.
In all seriousness, if you can’t afford an exam or check up by a doctor, you can do this basic routine : once a month, under the shower, in bed—alone or with the help of your man, your woman— in front of your mirror, just put your book down, and take a minute to self exam!
INSTRUCTIONS HERE ☞ http://bit.ly/1Riu9nq
Now, for the romance book part… A few book recommendations
During my unquenchable thirst for everything romance, I’ve had the chance to stumble upon little gems with heroines having a history with breast cancer and I thought I’d share a few with you today!
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to check out this #PinkOctober giveaway I’m running on my Facebook page. 2 followers will win the ebook of their choice and a surprise from me in the mail. 🙂
Barefoot in the Grass by Judith Arnold
Originally published as a Showcase title by Harlequin Books, Barefoot In the Grass is a groundbreaking story about a woman reclaiming her life after treatment for breast cancer and a man learning the true meaning of beauty and the true power of love. After two years of treatment, Beth Pendleton leaves her high-stress job in New York to join a quiet law practice in sleepy Devon, New Hampshire. She buys a house, adopts a dog and tries to figure out how to live the rest of her life as a woman with one breast.
Construction company owner Ryan Walker is immediately attracted to the beautiful newcomer, but although the chemistry between them is strong, she seems determined not to let him get too close. He knows she’s hiding something—and once he learns what it is, he isn’t sure he’s strong enough to handle the truth about her. Beth has the courage to have endured brutal medical treatment and embraced life. Does Ryan have the courage to love a woman whose body is scarred and who may still be shadowed by death?
Named one of the 300 best romance novels of all time by Romantic Times Magazine.
Home for The Holidays by Sarah Mayberry
Joe Lawson has a thing for his new neighbor Hannah Napier. As a single dad, he shouldn’t be thinking what he is about her. Still, that doesn’t stop them from getting close. And the way she connects with his kids, it’s as if they’re a family.
Turns out it’s too good to be true. Seems Hannah has plans that don’t include staying in Melbourne. Joe won’t stand between her and her dreams, even though letting her go is nearly impossible. The holidays are looking grim, with him and his kids missing Hannah like crazy. But it is the season of surprises, and Hannah may have one for them!
He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widow, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.
After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly… even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.
And the last thing they ever expected was each other.
But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.
… she should have chosen the strip club.
“Babe, I’ve handpicked everythin’ and everyone in here. I know what I want and I get what I want,” he breathed. “And I keep what’s mine.”
Cruise Control by Sarah Mayberry
What good is a second chance if you don’t take a risk? That’s what limo driver Anna Jackson asks when the seriously hot Marc Lewis climbs in her car. She’s changed her looks, her career and now it’s time to shed the conservative habits of a lifetime. And seducing Marc is the best way to do that. Sure, he’s her client–sort of off-limits–but she’s not wrong about the invitation in his eyes.
All she has to do is remember three simple rules–never stay overnight, make no plans for the future and never, ever talk about emotions. Once they hit the sheets, however, the rules aren’t so easy to follow. And once they spend the night, can feelings be far behind?
FU Cancer by Hilaria Alexander
Lucy has always been a good girl. The most hardcore thing she’s done in her life was falling for a divorced man ten years her senior.
But he was the love of her life, and she married him. When her Peter Pan of a husband decided to divorce her, she thought it was her chance to start anew. That was until she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Besides looking like Britney circa 2007, she is taking it well, real well. You might see her walk around the hospital during chemo sessions with bright colored wigs and outrageous t-shirts that seem to shock the most conservative employees. One of them reads FU CANCER.
What if love can’t heal all wounds?
After too many years of secretly loving her best friend, Zoey realizes she’s been shortchanging herself. It’s time to take action. This New Year’s Eve heralds the year she’s going to tell Rob the truth. Even if he is on the road, reaching for musical stardom with his band.
Her plan is derailed when she discovers a lump in her breast—and it’s not “nothing to worry about”. How can she ask Rob to take a chance on love when her future is so uncertain?
Rob has spent his entire life chasing his dream, but the moment he hears Zoey’s voice on the phone, he realizes he’s been running the wrong race. Zoey never sounds like she’s been crying. Ever. Without a second thought, he books a flight for home, determined to give her everything she needs. A shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold…and nights of intensely emotional, passionate sex.
His biggest challenge, though, is convincing his best friend that he’s in it for the long haul. Because he finally knows what he wants, and it’s not fame and fortune. It’s her—and her love.
Here Comes The Groom by Karina Bliss
If Jo Swann weren’t so furious, she’d probably laugh. Her best friend, Dan Jansen, has launched a campaign worthy of his Special Forces training to arrange their wedding, from music and minister to flowers and food. What part of no does he not understand?
Their marriage ‘agreement’ was a tipsy scrawl on the back of a coaster…three years ago. It’s not a question of love. Of course she loves Dan. She’s loved him all her life. If only she could get him to slow down a minute and listen—to be the friend she needs right now—she could convince him that marriage would ruin everything.
Beautiful Scars by Shiloh Walker
Some scars cut right to the heart.
Three years after her divorce, Chaili Bennett is over her ex. Her only problem now? Of the few men she’s dated since, no one “gets” her. Not like Marc Archer—a man who’s never seen her as more than a friend.
Marc Archer needs a date for a last-minute charity event, and he needs it fast. Not that women aren’t throwing themselves at his world-famous face and body, but sometimes it’s less messy—as in less personal—to use his sister Shera’s escort service.
The last woman on earth Marc expects to see in his sister’s office is Chaili. There’s something different about her, but nothing pleases him more when Shera sets them up. That simple date quickly evolves into much more as they both discover the other fills a deep, secret need they’ve shared with no one else.
Though Chaili insists one night is all she wants, Marc isn’t walking away now. Not until he discovers what put the shadows in her eyes. And the scars on her soul.
Warning: This book involves soulful songs, soulful sex, a soulful singer and lots of heartbreak. But no worries, there’s a happy ever after.
Author’s Note #1: All of Me is a standalone, non-cliffhanger, with an HEA.
Author’s Note #2: Because I want All of Me to be a good fit for potential readers, please know there is explicit language, explicit love scenes, and a whole lotta love. 😉
Stella Ciaramitaro spent the last year battling a disease that tried to take her life…and take her away from her four crazy, pain-in-the-butt sisters, occasionally suicidal father, and career as an Emergency Room nurse. Stella’s disease wreaked a lot of havoc, leaving her with visible and invisible scars, but she’s hanging in there. Doing just fine, actually.
Or she was until HE showed up.
Nathan Drazek is a mess and he knows it. A childhood full of mental and physical abuse, four tours in Afghanistan, and ten years policing one of the toughest beats in East Cleveland have left him aloof and nearly incapable of interpersonal relationships. But that’s okay, because Nathan isn’t interested in anything more than just getting by.
Or he wasn’t until SHE showed up.
From the moment Nathan nearly arrests Stella on, sparks fly, limits are tested, and boundaries are shattered. A tenuous, tender friendship quickly evolves into something powerful and passionate they cannot wish away or control. But as they grow closer, new issues arise and old hurts resurface, threatening to destroy their fragile new beginning.
With everything at stake, Nathan and Stella must ultimately decide which runs deeper: their scars or their love.
Losing control is just the beginning…
“What would you do if the sexiest man in the world was bent on bringing you unbearable pleasure again and again? Joy Hightower wasn’t sure she could survive the experience…or live without it.”
It’s not often you’re hired to paint a body tattoo—and what a body—on a total stranger at a Hollywood film set. A reserved and careful art teacher, Joy would never forget it. In a rare fit of raw desire she gave herself completely, knowing she’d never see him again, or ever repeat such a shameless, naked impulse.
Little did she know, the man with whom she shared that lightning bolt of lust was star Everett Hughes. For Everett, women and sex came as easily as fame. But how could he hope to convince the guarded Joy that beneath the hard body and sexy façade of celebrity was a real man who wanted only one, real woman?
In the heat of an intoxicating affair, Everett endeavors to break down her barriers, gain her trust, and expose himself as the real deal. But can Joy do the same, and reveal to him the vulnerable woman who longs to be loved, wanted, and desired forever?
The Trouble With Josh by Marylin Pappano
Heck, the whole town knew that the impossibly charming cowboy was so irresistible to females, he would never settle down. Until a sweet, petite city gal visiting Hickory Bluff suddenly proved irresistible to him. Problem was, Candace Thompson’s past offenses were unforgivable to Josh’s big, beloved clan. So what to do with the hunger he felt for the one woman who should never be his?
Once an ambitious reporter, Candace had sacrificed love and friendship on the altar of her career. Until a life crisis guided her to change her ways, to visit Oklahoma long enough to right her past wrongs. But would falling for Josh ruin her well-made plan, or could this sexy cowboy be her very own dream come true?
Breast Cancer took my grandmother from me when I was 10 years old. I now have the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon with my grandmothers initials tattooed on the top of my foot.
I love this, that you have this to remember her and her fight. Take care, Danielle. <3
I had no idea this was was part of your story, Alleskelle! I’m glad to hear you’re making breast cancer your bitch and I hope it continues in that vein. Sending lots of love!
Thank you, Leigh! As you said, it’s only a part of my story, I’m feeling lucky I have every medical tool available, a great team of doctors and good support! But I feel like I have the upper hand on cancer! <3
Cancer sucks and I love the way you are fighting that b****!
You are a warrior woman! Thanks for sharing your story.
A rare, aggressive form of breast cancer took one of my favorite Co- workers a few years ago. I still miss her. Best of luck to you as you continue your fights!
Thank you! <3 It's always mind boggling to realize how many of us or relatives have been touched by this disease.
I am so blessed to know you. You are such an inspiration Alleskelle!
I am so thankful for this post and for the awareness to do a self examination for breast cancer.
I watched and mourned 4 of my Aunts suffer and battle breast cancer. Unfortunately, they lost their battle.
Because breast cancer is in our family, my Mom and I have had mammograms done since we turned 40.
Breast cancer can be beaten!!
The sooner we find a cure the better, but until then we must be aware or our bodies and any changes that may occur. That is why we must know how to do self examinations, and not hesitate if there is something amiss.
And, free health care must be provide for these services!
I wish free health care could be available for any woman. Alas, it seems like an utopian wish. But yes we can at least try to share awareness about the basic but essential self exam. This is how I discovered my tumor back in 2010.
I’m so sorry to hear about the women in your family, Heather. <3
Not entering but I do want to say how awesome and courageous you are! I haven’t read most of these books but I do remember reading Fix You and loving it. <3
Thank you, Hooker! Fix You was a great read, I loved how realistic and honest Mari Carr went about it.
Love you A! ❤️
I just admire strong women like you, I don’t know if I’ll be able to go thru this in life.
So, girl, you have all my admiration! And thank you so much for this amazing chance! I also shared the post, so everyone could read this beautiful story of yours! ❤️
Maria Novella Ribetti Marta Ambrosi
Thank you, Elisa! Although I wish for you to never go through any of this, I’m convinced we all have the strenght to fight in us. You must keep your eyes on the prize : life! <3
My grandma had breast cancer.
So many women have been touched. Don’t forget to self exam, Dona! <3
Thank you so much, Jenny! <3
Closing this today! Thank you all for participating! Will pick a winner tonight! <3 <3 <3
You’re our Wonder Woman, and we’re yours!
This fucking bitch called cancer is everywhere – I don’t believe it’s possible to find a person who hasn’t been touched in some way. Personally I lost my mum due to breast cancer. It’s more than 20 years since she was first diagnosed…and she fought and beat it…or so we thought. It didn’t come back as breast cancer…it returned in her bones with no cure in sight. She fought hard once again and one a few battles…but after 2½ years she lost the war. I have scans and mammography done every second year…and I support anything and everything to help fight it <3 You are an inspiration for the way you fight – a true picture of strength <3