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Falling Off The Face Of The World

November 27, 2013

So…you’re probably wondering where I’ve been. Where are the books, Dee? Why haven’t you been online? No twitter, no Facebook. In fact, I’ve been on an epic decline starting as far back as late May, but it became a near shutdown since August 23rd. Yup, I know the date. Because, dear friends, that was the first day that my body went completely into revolt.

To explain, I need to back up, just a bit.

Hi, my name is Dee and I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, otherwise known as EDS. In layman’s terms, its a connective tissue disorder that effects the entire body. Skin, muscles, tendons, joints. If can effect the very connections in your brain and the rigidly fitting pieces of your spine. It’s systemic, because what it really comes down to is that people like me don’t make collagen properly. In fact, we screw it up royally and to date, they have no way to really fix it.

EDS occurs in about 1 in 400,000 people, which I suppose makes me fairly special. I showed strong symptoms and was diagnosed at age 13, which apparently makes me more special. Most people present in their twenties or never find out what’s wrong until their forties. In that way, I’m lucky. Once doctors find out what I have, they’re less inclined to call me crazy. Slightly less, anyway.

The other thing that EDS does is open you up for a whole host of uncomfortable side issues. Since I’m a girl, I had the not as exciting opportunity to develop endometriosis at a very young age. Suffice it to say, I’m not so very young any more and both conditions are degenerative.

Which, brings us to this summer and where I’ve been.

I’d like to say I was holed up writing—I know I owe you all several books and i do plan to get them out. Or on a surprise vacation. Or really anything that didn’t involve doctor visits, more medication than I’ve ever had in my life or consist of months of unrelenting pain. But it is what it is. And to be honest, it’s still going on.

What began as yet one more miserable cycle to get through was compounded by multiple cysts, a developed infection and an EDS attack, which I’d been fending off periodically since May. Stress has a way of triggering the EDS so that I have nerve pain along with joint pain and I found myself unable to move hardly any part of myself without a frightening amount of medication. (To me, anyway. I know some folks really can push those meds.) It meant three months of trying to heal.

Trying, being the operative word.

The doctors are sure that I need a hysterectomy, but they’re also sure I need to pay for that kind of thing. I’m uninsured, unlikely to become insured and i just don’t have that kind of cash lying around. Neither do most people, I figure. Who would? There are ways, of course, government programs I can possibly qualify for. Maybe. Anyone who is uninsured and in need of services knows that this is not an easy route. It’s circuitous, has several setbacks and takes a lot of time and energy I just didn’t have yet. My reserves went to my kids, day in and day out. There just wasn’t enough of me to go further.

As most Moms out there know, the world doesn’t stop because you’re sick. The house needs cleaning, the kids need care and food and the bills need paying. So I worked, worked every web job I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, the writing just…dried up. It’s hard to be creative when you’re in a gauzy cloud. The voices just don’t come. But code, code has definitive yes and no answers. I could code and know for sure it was right. And if the pain kept me up at night, at least I had something to do.

It’s taken all these
months, but I’m finally mostly off the meds. I am surfing the government pages to see about MediCal and any other program that might help put yours truly back together again. I still have some bad days. Days when I get so frustrated with the pain I want to throw things. Wish for someone else’s body. Want to curl up in a ball and cry. But I also have days when I know my family loves me, when they help me and surround me with the support I need to get to the next day. And the next. That’s every day, really. They take care of me emotionally, even when they can’t fix me physically.

So, why the long story about what’s wrong? Because one in 400,000 people is still a lot of people. People for whom pain is more than a word—its a daily existence. And the numbers of women suffering with Endometriosis is staggering. But its still not something people are comfortable talking about. When you have it, you get the impression that its impolite to discuss it openly. At best, it’s spoken about in broad numbers and statistics. But I’m more than a statistic. I’m a wife, a mother, a person. I’m broken. But I’m here. And since my condition–expensive and distasteful as it is–refuses to go anywhere, neither will I.

I’ve never hidden anything about my health problems or my life in general. I do believe in privacy, but there are some things about which we should speak. We should share, not whisper at the back of a party or discuss only amongst ourselves. These last couple of years watching the state of women’s health laws be slammed back into the dark ages is the biggest proof of that. So, I’m open about my condition, because there’s just going to be times when I lose the fight and disappear for a while. I don’t like it—in fact, I hate it more than I can tell you—but I promise this.

I’ll keep coming back. I’m not quitting. Not on the writing. Not on this stupid condition that has been getting the better of me the last few months. So if you can bear with me, I’ll do my best to make it up to you.

Many hugs to you all,
Dee


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Lovestruck Giveaway Hop: Locke Jackman!

August 14, 2013

Hello Reader!

Thanks for visiting while on this blog hop! To see a full list of participating blogs, click the picture to the left or click HERE!

Now allow me to introduce to you my Lovestruck hero, Locke Jackman. Think everything majestic and daunting about the Vikings…then make him modern day. Locke is a family man, a “born nurturer”, according to his father. The eldest of seven, Locke was in college, chasing his dreams of becoming an Olympic oarsman, when his parents died in a plane accident. Without resentment or remorse, Locke left his education and career behind to step in and raise his siblings.

Now, nearly twenty years later, the kids are grown and Locke’s on his own. Sort of.

TIM_300His sister’s best friend has long had Locke’s attention, this newcomer to their small town called Rancho del Cielo. Susie has not only captured his attention, she stole his heart at first sight. But Susie isn’t interested in a relationship. She’s got hands-off signals at every turn…but for some reason, she has trouble resisting Locke’s not so charming ways. Oh, he’s sweet. He’s loyal to the point that he sacrifices himself without blinking an eye and he’s definitely the strong silent type. All qualities that appeal to Susie, but a man like that gives everything of himself to the woman he loves. And he expects everything of her in return. Susie’s just not that sure she has anything left of herself to give.

Until one night, they both lose their restraint…and suddenly, Locke has one more reason to convince Susie she wants to be his. One more chance to show her he’s the man she’s been looking for all her life.

As a writer, you have to fall a little bit in love with all your heroes. Okay, a lot. But when it came to Locke, it had nothing to do with falling in love. Nope, I was just flat out, head over heels, totally stupid in love. He has that effect on you.

But don’t take my word for it. Readers and reviewers alike have been going crazy over this determined and devoted hero.

Check out how much:

“Locke is an adorable hero, all gruff and protective. He wants Susie and is willing to fight both her fears and her past to make sure they can be together…All we see is Locke being gentle, understanding, kind, and fiercely in love with Susie. And that’s a really great part of the story.”
—Jane, Dear Author

“I dare you to try and resist Locke Jackman.”
—Jennifer, Romance Novel News

“(A)fter spending time with Locke Jackman? I think every other man wouldn’t be able to hold his own next to this sexy and gentle hero.”
—Sandy, The Good, The Bad & The Unread

“Dee I’m extremely sorry that it took me this long to fall in love with Locke but now that I’ve finally read it I’m truly kicking myself for taking so long. He’s just amazing and the fact you gave him a partner that won’t let him roll all over her is just amazing…I adored him!!”
—Steph, Book-a-holic Anon

And, hey, nothing like evidence to find out if Locke is the hero for you, right?
Find out for yourself if Locke can make you feel lovestruck too!

(Please Note: This excerpt is for readers over 18 and is definitely sensual. Okay, possibly dirty. You’ve been tempted…er, warned.)

Excerpt

Copyright © 2013 Dee Tenorio
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Susie sank into the bed, her head on her pillow, her fingers speared in Locke’s hair. The short strands sprang through them, tickling as she held him tight to her.

I so should not be doing this. But she wanted him more than she wanted anything in the entire world, especially reason. His mouth made love to hers, slow strokes of his tongue, ones she could feel in tighter, infinitely more sensitive places. Places that were coming awake in a rush, wanting their turn in his care.

She arched beneath him, her aching breasts tight and desperate to rub against him, but he was too far. He held himself just above her, his thigh between hers, pressing to the core of her that was getting wetter by the second, his forearms under her back. He’d held her like this before, cradling her like a precious thing, protecting her from the size of him. Didn’t he know she wanted the size of him? Loved feeling his weight and breadth. All his strength, trembling under her fingertips…her lips…

She dragged her hands down his neck, sculpting his shoulders, her fingers curling into the rough fabric of his work polo shirt. It didn’t feel right, not when she knew the smooth contours of his warm skin. The taste that was so uniquely him. She tugged on the offending fabric, wanting it out of her way. For some reason, he took that as a cue to pull away from kissing her.

At her mewl of displeasure, he simply shook his head and yanked the shirt off, throwing it away like it was on fire. He almost dived back down to her but stopped short. Next thing she knew, he had the hem of her blue T-shirt and was whipping it over her head too.

“Hey!” Damn it, the shirt wasn’t exactly a tent but at least it did something to hide the fact that her already large breasts had swelled to fuller proportions.

“We should get rid of this too.” His surprisingly deft fingers popped the clip above her breastbone before she realized what he was talking about, and her monster tits did the rest, snapping the straining material completely off until it hung only from her shoulders.

She looked down at herself, shocked but not, then back at his self-satisfied smirk. “I’m not going to ask why a man so widely regarded as the Town Monk knows how to do that.”

That sexy half smile of his lifted one corner of his mouth. “Probably shouldn’t, no.”

Susie shrugged out of the useless straps of her bra, aware of Locke hungrily watching every sway and jiggle. Was that a sweat breaking out on his brow? If it was, he deserved it.

“Are you secretly a man-whore?” she teased, loving the dusky color rising on his cheeks, just barely visible in the light from the living room area. “Out on the weekends prowling for tail? Scoring like a champ?”

He had to be, the way he’d managed to already undo her pants button and zipper. His big hand slipped under the fabric at her back, cupping her ass firmly before dragging her clothes past her hips. Another kiss, probably to shut her up, but she didn’t care. This was hot, wet and open, his tongue licking at her lips, the hard muscles of his chest pressed seamlessly to her breasts. Ten seconds, she realized. That was all the time he needed to get her buck-ass naked and not minding at all. “Not last I noticed.”

She reached for his fly, more than willing to cop a feel of her own.

Only, somehow, she was on her back again, Locke’s hips between her thighs and slowly, gently grinding against her mound. His jeans weren’t exactly comfortable, but something about the texture on her inner thighs had her gasping.

“Tonight’s for you, remember?”

No. “I want to touch you.”

He brought his forehead to hers, his eyes closed, strain in every line of him.

“You have to leave me something, Suze. I’m holding on by a thread for you.”

She swallowed, guilt slithering back to the forefront. “I could—”

He chuckled, a harsh sound lacking humor, but it didn’t scare her. Not when

he pressed such soft kisses to the edge of her jaw. “Don’t tempt me, baby. You have no idea what I’d give for you to do me that favor again, but I meant what I said. I’m taking care of you tonight.”

He proved it too, moving those magical lips down her neck to the valley of her breasts. One hand slid up her ribs, lifting one, molding it reverently. Susie’s eyes closed at the first curl of his tongue around the tip of her nipple. She didn’t cry out though, until the first draw of his mouth on her. Pleasure raced up and down her nerve endings, leaving her gasping.

Locke lifted his head, eyes narrowed on her face. “Did I hurt you?”

So good… Of course, if she told him that, he would want to know why she was so sensitive. Not going there. Not tonight, anyway. She blinked as wide as she could, purposely fitting her teeth over one side of her bottom lip. “If I ask real nice, will you do it again?”

His growl rumbled through his chest and into her belly.

She smiled. And she kept smiling, her gaze locked with his as he went back to driving her completely out of her mind, one breast at a time. Carefully, as if he had all the time in the world, he dedicated himself to pleasing every single inch, until she quaked there on the edge of a slow-rolling precipice.

And that’s when he slid to her side, giving himself room to glide his fingers up her thigh to the slick folds waiting for him.

He parted her lightly, seeking out her clit with the gentlest pressure. Killing her with patience. She lifted her hips for him, but he didn’t take the hint.

“Always rushing me,” he murmured instead, sounding so pleased she could have happily held her pillow over his face. Only that would make him stop and then she’d really have to kill him.

“For the love of God, Locke, hurry up!”

“Uh-uh. I’m enjoying this.”

“What? Making me rip out your hair?” Because she would. She needed the release she could feel just beyond her grasp. Hidden somewhere below, where he stirred his fingertips and dipped just within her. She wanted him deeper. Ached to have him deeper. Locke had filled her before, completely. The satisfaction of it remained in her dreams to this day, until she almost wondered if her body had been made to fit his. If only they could… No, even this had a shadow of risk, but she couldn’t turn back now. She clenched his wrist in her grip, trying to move closer.

“Shhh, baby, let me give this to you. You’re almost there,” he crooned into her ear.

She thought he was nuzzling her neck, which, all right, it felt nice, but it wasn’t what she needed. Not until she turned her head, and he suddenly clamped down, his teeth finding an erogenous zone she didn’t know she had. Two thick fingers plunged into her, the ball of his hand striking her clit with each devastating thrust. Blinding white went off behind her eyes at the same time a keening wail tore through the air.

She drifted in that white, melting in that pleasure, distantly aware of the man beside her, holding her, kissing soothingly along the line of her neck. She smiled, the sensation of being pet like a cat almost silly after that giant sexual overload. But it was also so…wonderful. No pressure to hurry back to him, to return any favors. Just that rough, warm hand roving from her neck, down her chest to her belly, again and again and again. She wanted to raise her lashes and say something to him, but her eyes weren’t cooperating and her body had melted into practically nothing.

“Sleep, baby.”

Baby… Yes, she had to tell him soon. Three more days, and she’d tell him everything. Until then, she’d treasure every second of this bliss that she could…

***

He never would have guessed hell could make him this happy.

Sure, he was folded up like a grasshopper to fit on this bed that was actually too small for Susie, tangled in blankets he didn’t need, and his cock had been aching like an unsatisfied bitch for over an hour, but none of those things mattered. Susie was in his arms. Her long body wrapped around him the way he’d dreamt of for three miserable months. One arm draped over his shoulder, her leg folded over his hip, all that sun-gold skin bare for him to stroke. The jeans were strangling him, but it was worth it.

He gently pushed her hair off her face, petting the heavy black waves back. He didn’t have to be so careful, he knew. She was practically in a coma now, her body so relaxed he could probably carry her to his own, much more comfortable bed across town without stirring her. She likely wouldn’t be too happy about that when she woke up, though, so he contented himself with running his hand up and down her back. Over the curve of her hip, hugging her thigh tighter to his side. So what if he spent the rest of his life with bed-induced scoliosis, he was happy.

He couldn’t even remember the last time he’d said that to himself. He’d had happiness, of course. The days his siblings had graduated from high school. Every time one of them succeeded. Or just when they were all together, the teasing and laughter of a full, happy family filling the house to its rafters. Knowing he’d done right by them, despite the mistakes he’d made along the way.

This was different.

He sighed, releasing the tension that had been his constant companion all these months. This wasn’t about his siblings. It had nothing to do with pride. Susie and his pride had a definite exclusionary agreement. No, this was about…belonging.

Being exactly where he was meant to be.

Doing what he was meant to do.

Taking care of the ones he loved.

You’ve got too much of your mama in you, boy. He could just hear his father’s voice, affectionate and bemused as ever. If you two had your way, the whole world would still be in their nappies. That’s what he had always said when he caught Locke keeping too close an eye on whichever kid was toddling their way into trouble, just before ruffling his hair so hard Locke always checked afterward if any was left. Not that his father ever meant to hurt him, but Finn Jackman wasn’t always the best judge of his own strength. He did everything wholeheartedly— laughing, loving, living. Good times or bad, he found joy in the little things and spread it around.

Locke knew how much he looked like his father, to the point that there was almost no trace of his mother to be seen, but he always wished he took after the man in that way as well. His mother was a born nurturer. She kind of had to be with seven kids, not to mention anyone else who passed by. A heart too big for her chest, his father used to say. She took care of people and it made her happy to do it. And when she needed care, his father was always there. Making her smile, making her whole.

That was what Locke always wanted, why he never settled for someone who would have been willing to help him raise the kids. Something was always missing, until he simply accepted the fact that he was never going to find it.

Then Susie drove into town in a cloud of dust…

And it found him.

Maybe she was right, he wasn’t a romantic man. But from the first time she turned around to look at him, lifting those crazy plastic sunglasses and pulling that cherry lollipop from her red-stained lips, he knew what he’d been waiting so long for. That gut-punch sensation that he’d just met the rest of his life.

It was here again, settling lazily into his bones, causing his eyelids to droop and his body to finally relax.

This was where he belonged.

Now to just find a way for Susie to figure out the same thing…


So how do you make Locke–and the four stories that are part of his series–all your own? It’s simple! Enter the contest below for your chance! But if you just can’t wait, you can always find Locke with your local e-tailers! It’s totally up to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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The Purge Has Begun…

August 11, 2013

Okay, now, we all know I am not the queen of Facebook. In fact, I really suck at Facebook, which is why it has taken me SOOOOO long to do this conversion. I’ve been asking folks to switch over to the “Fan Page”, because that’s my professional page. I’ll be turning my Profile page Private so I can keep that just for family (It really doesn’t do to have the kids seeing my pro life and the things that come to my page are not always SFW, if you know what I mean.) Plus, dudes, I SO need to simplify my life a bit.

Now, I’ve made pleas for Friends who are not related to make the switch and almost got kicked off Facebook for sending too many messages, so, I’m now moving onto the Purge. If you’re wondering where to find me or why you aren’t getting my thrilling updates on which baby is trying to kill me or take over the world, lol, I can still be found at http://www.facebook.com/DeeTenorioFanPage and I’ll be so glad to see you there!

Many hugs and I hope everyone will understand!
Dee


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Thursday Thirteen: 13 Things I’ve Been Up To

August 8, 2013

thursday-13

I’ve never done a Thursday Thirteen before–usually because I don’t really do anything 13 times or ways, lol, but I wanted to take a crack at it because they really are fun to read. So, here goes. 13 Things I’ve Been Up To:

1. Writing: I’m currently working on expanding “Convicted”, a novella, for Entangled Publishing. It’s an exciting project and I’m hoping you all enjoy it when it comes out! (Sorry, no date until I get it to my editor for her to slap into submission.)

2. More Writing: I’m also working on a submission to my agent, who is a lovely woman who is probably ready to choke me since I teased her with erotic cowboys without finishing the chapters. Luckily, she has kids and knows how hard it can be to smuggle out erotic cowboys while the children are underfoot every moment of every day. (Soon, Kim, SOOOOON!)

3. Formatting: Lots and lots of formatting. Updating self-pub books with new excerpts, preparing to release another book as soon as the rights reversion is complete and making different versions for Amazon, BN & Smashwords so readers can have links to direct stores (or not). (Yes, your brain starts to melt by the 3rd version.)

4. Cooking: Now, most of you know I’m not a cook, so lets use that word loosely. It’s really more like “continual sandwich making”, with some freezer pizza, top ramen and fried rice thrown in for variety.

5. Limping: Alas, my condition (EDS) has decided to make this summer “The Summer of my discontent.” Meaning, I sound like a castanet combined with a wimpering pup. So, sadly, there has been much whining as I find a way to make the obnoxious situation go away.

6. Laundry: My mom has actually come over 3x to help me get it all done. We do. It builds back up. There is no escape from it. (Please save me.)

7. Sitting on my bed: I have a desk. I’m hiding from it. It’s covered in papers and registrations and schedules I need to put together. (Don’t tell it I’m in here!)

8. Reading: Not like I used to. I read Hunger Games finally, in a day because it makes my niece crazy when I read a book in a day, lol. Next up, The Bone Collector (Niece won’t let me read Catching Fire til she’s done with it, so…next summer?)

9. Coding: I’ve been working on several sites this summer, including my first one with a store that I’m still up to my eyeballs in. Learning might sting a little but, new skills are always awesome to get.

10. Making Sales: I put “10 Ways To Steal Your Lover” on sale for $1.99 at Amazon & Nook. Since I’m still learning Nook Press, lol, this was a very interesting experience! On Sale for the month of August!

11. Blog Touring: I feel like I went everywhere this summer, talking about my new release, “Trust In Me”. I saw a lot of new folks and the conversations were a lot of fun.

12. Releasing A New Book: There’s a ton of stuff involved with getting a new book launched and encouraging/luring/begging people to read it, lol. Lots of making yourself visible and doing giveaways and trying not to be offensive. (Um, I swear a tiny bit…)

13. Running Giveaways: Like this one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What did you do this summer? :)
Dee


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

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One Week til Back To School!

August 7, 2013

I love my kids. I love all of them, like a fat kid loves cookies. That said, I’m SOOO looking forward to them going back to school. This summer has run me absolutely ragged and you don’t want to know what my house looks like. (nudges random sock under the bed) Ironically, I was so glad when school ended because I was run absolutely ragged by the school year, lol.

I’m not sensing a whole lot of enthusiasm for the coming year, lol.

I do, however, have all these fantasies about what I will do with at least 6 uninterrupted hours to work. No one complaining about being hungry or bored every twenty minutes. (I actually have a kid who wants to sit and stare at me for endless minutes at a time. I’m not sure what she’s looking for but let me tell you people…it’s weird. LOL)

Seven more days til…well, waking up at the crack of dawn so I can make lunches and yell at people to make themselves presentable before shoving them out the door and having a cup of tea allllll to myself.

I’m greedy, I know, but I absolutely cannot wait. What about all of you, what’s your countdown to Back To School?
Dee


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