Monthly Archives: October 2014

We all want Connection

Genevieve called the other day.

“I’ve done something stupid,” she said. “I’m hurting.”

Genevieve is one of the wisest, smartest, and most courageous women I know. If she’s in pain, it’s real.

“I got involved with a married man.”

I talk a lot about the power of sex in the book “Exposed.” Sex is a force that often governs our thinking, drives individuals and societies, has altered the course of nations. History is mostly purged of this, but in that sense, history lies.

“The sex must have been incredible,” I said, mostly to lighten the darkness of her mood.

“It wasn’t that good,” she said.

“Then why…?”

“I don’t know. I broke it off almost two weeks ago. But I’m like an addict. Do you know how much I want to pick up the phone just to hear his voice? Do you know how much I want just to catch a glimpse of him? Thinking about him occupies most of each day. I’m miserable!”

We talked for hours. It was clear Genevieve had fallen in love with this man. Both of them had been honest, in their way. He told her early on he would not leave his family. Genevieve did everything she could to protect his wife and her children. I won’t go into the morality of what Genevieve did, or he did. It’s not my place to judge.

The chemistry that brought these two together didn’t start with sex. It started with conversation, respect, humor, laughter. A sense of Connection. I’m coming to believe that this too, is biological, at least it’s part of the wiring of our brains. I’ve seen it too often, and yes, experienced it myself, to deny that Connection is a force almost equal to sex itself.

The word “infatuation” doesn’t capture the power of the InLove addiction. The “Gotta Be Next To You.” The need to be Connected to this or that man, or woman, even if it can’t work. My grandmother would nod and say, “It is exquisite, it is painful, it is what we are.”

Lisa cleans for me. She is recently separated from a husband who cheats on her, lies to her, and treats her like something she cleans from my fridge brought home from some restaurant six months ago. “If he would just communicate…” she started to say to me.

“Stop it.” I replied, and it startled her. “You are making up a man who doesn’t exist.” She was confused.

“You don’t get to take the good things and weave out of them someone you want to love. That man doesn’t exist, except in your heart. You are making yourself miserable. Stop it. Go out, go do something, try to have some fun.” I was brusque, because I wanted Lisa to hear something besides sympathy. I wanted her to hear strength.

I said something similar to Genevieve. For want of a better word, I said she obsesses over a man who cannot be hers. A man who put his family at risk, a man with whom the sex was not great, a man she can’t really have. She is making up out of the good pieces a man to be InLove with, and because he’s not accessible, let alone real, she digs for herself a deep hole of despair.

“It will get better, if you stay away from him,” I told her. “Find and use whatever you need to start forgetting. Dating, sex, marathon training, self talk, work outs. Whatever. You can start with the idea that he doesn’t deserve you.”

This tearing away of Connection causes one to bleed. Ultimately, she just has to heal. And she will, but she has to go through it to get through it. I’ll be there when it gets tough.

POSTSCRIPT: Genevieve broke it off, started seeing someone new. Two weeks later, the man she obsessed over had told his wife that he wanted out of their marriage, moved out after Christmas and is now making Genevieve the happiest woman I have ever seen her to be. There are no guarantees but there can always be hope, and I am not always right. ~J.

Will you post a review?

As of 9 a.m. Seattle time on October 21, “Exposed” was ranked #1 in the Erotic Suspense category of books available through free promotion, 24th in the larger Erotic category, and 852 out of all books available for free under promotion.

Wow. Thank you, again.

To keep this going, we need more reviews. If you haven’t downloaded “Exposed,” the eBook is free on Amazon, here. If you enjoy the book, please take a minute and post a review. Every single one of them helps.

The publisher of “Exposed” is pushing for the next book. I was doing something else, but perhaps I need to revisit my priorities!

This is so much fun.

~Jessica

 

“Exposed” free on Kindle for three days

For those of you with a Kindle, or who have the Kindle app on your computer, the publisher of Exposed is giving away electronic copies for another three days. Get it here.

So far, our rankings have been wonderful. We were in the 7th spot in our genre yesterday, and doing surprisingly well in all categories.

Thank you.

If you haven’t downloaded “Exposed,” there will never be a better time, for each of us. If you’d like to write a review, that would be wonderful. Tell a friend about the book.

This is so much fun.

 

Exposed is launched!

Exposed went on sale today. And we have stellar reviews already on the board!

Thank you, Rozeteee and Melanie, whoever and wherever you are. If you send me your address via the web site, I’ll send you a signed copy of the book. I can’t go through Goodreads for contractual and ethical reasons.

The same goes for the first 20 readers who buy (here) the Kindle book and post a review on Amazon.  I will purchase a paperback, (yes, I get a deal, but they cost me more than the Kindle editions costs you!) I’ll sign and send it to you with a note of thanks.

Together, we can make “Exposed” a success!

About reviews: I’ve been very fortunate on the reviews we got on Goodreads. Even the ones that weren’t so pleasant. Every  single one has taught me something, even when two seemingly had the exact opposite opinion.

Example: The very first review loved the parts that included my grandmother. The reviewer even quoted bits I included  that I thought gave meaning. Another reviewer thought all that was superfluous, and thought I should have stuck more closely to the promise of the blurb. The sex, I suppose.

What did I learn from that review? That everyone expects something different, and that many of us impose our expectations on what we see, what we read, what we feel, instead of absorbing it as presented. I’d forgotten that, and it was good to have a reminder.

Grandmere taught me the very same thing.

Back soon,

~Jessica

Four Days to Launch

Exposed will be released in four days, and I’m asking everyone I know for a little help. I’m willing to give something in exchange (“Where’s my self-interest?” frequently asks one of my characters).

I would like to give a free copy of the book to those willing to write an honest review and post it on Amazon in the first five days after the book is available. Exposed is not a long book, and several “prereaders” have finished it in a day.

I’m excited. This is one more step in a process that began long ago, and could be the first step on a whole new journey. My grandmother would caution me to be calm, and not invite disappointment about things that were out of my control. But still…

Grandmere wasn’t a fatalist, she was French. Sometimes, on the surface, they look a lot the same. What looks like arrogance, or a demanding idealism, or a blasé reserve, is more often than not simple cautiousness. The French are a romantic culture who have seen much of what they value destroyed over centuries by war, greed, or simple efficiency. They do not easily succumb to hope.

But I have hopes for “Exposed.” It offers readers something of value, and I think it’s fun. We will all have a lot more fun if it is a success, which I’ve been told it will be.

If you’d like to help, and get a free copy of Exposed in the bargain, send me an email and I’ll send you a book.

~Jessica

The Fear Factor

Men are a necessary evil, some women say. I disagree. They aren’t necessarily evil. They aren’t necessary at all.

But I happen to like them.

Several women have come to me in the last several months, hoping I will do bad things to their (former) spouse. Usually, the bad things they want done involve the court room. Other times, I cut the conversation short.

At some point in almost every discussion, though, the woman takes some responsibility for what went wrong. Not necessarily the failure of the marriage, but their failure to see it coming and plan for the outcome.

Lauren’s husband moved his wife of 18 years and their children to Hawaii from California. Almost to the day of establishing residence, he told her he was moving out and wanted a divorce. He paid much, much less than he would have in California.

“I just KNEW something was going on,” said Lauren, who had put the @$$&@!# through college and was raising his two sons. It’s not like she’s going to get nothing, but she isn’t going to get what she deserved after dedicating her life and her youth to this man.

“Why didn’t you do something, stop it from happening?” I asked her.

“I was afraid, I think.”

“Afraid that he might do something violent?”

“No, I was afraid of the truth. That the marriage had failed. I hoped the change to Hawaii might save it. If I had confronted him, that would have been the end. I didn’t want to face that.”

Lauren is not the only woman who decided to live on hope rather than in the truth. The monkey statue of “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” is well-known for a good reason.

This goes both ways. It’s not just women who hide from the truth out of fear. Men I know have continued with women who simply just didn’t love them anymore. Their fear of loss provided a ticket to some pretty outrageous behavior. They were able to add humiliation to the list of hurt.

I don’t have an easy solution. My favorite and impossible one is to acknowledge that marriage is a contract, and that entering a contract without a clear understanding how it will be terminated is just stupid. I think every marriage should come with a prenuptial.

Yes, I know that might throw a damper on the somewhat childish belief that “our love is different and will last forever.” That’s okay, you’ll be fine after a couple of days and a bottle of wine when the document sits at home with your parents. No, I’m not going to comment on what your church may believe. Sermons lost the battle to facts a long time ago.

But, required prenups are not going to happen in the current mash-up of morality, bad religion and government overreach.

So, as a second option, I tell women and men friends who feel their relationship is not working that they have to find courage, and honesty. The courage to be honest, and to let go. Have the discussion. Set your boundaries. You might find you don’t have to sacrifice nearly as much.

Acting or not acting out of fear that you will lose something that is already lost is a very poor strategy, and one that’s almost guaranteed to make your nightmare come true.

~Jessica