It is my great honor to introduce Nonnie Jules to you today! Nonnie is an accomplished author, poet, wife, mother, and creator and president of Rave Reviews Book Club. Nonnie works tirelessly on behalf of others and models true leadership. This is Day 13 of the “100 THINGS WE ALL WONDER ABOUT NONNIE JULES” Blog Tour! I encourage you to visit each stop to get a complete picture of the Grand Dame we know as Wonder Woman! Her tour line-up can be found here.



Leave a comment at each stop and get your name entered that number of times into a random drawing for one of the 5 giveaways listed below!

(2) $10 Amazon Gift Cards

(1) $5 Amazon Gift Card

(2) e-book copies of “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE…”


Anyone who purchases a copy of  “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE,” “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND,” of “IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC” and send to me a copy of the purchase receipt to nonniejules@gmail.com, and also leave a comment along the tour, will get their name entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon Gift Card!  One entry for each book that is purchased, whether in e-book or paperback format.  Purchases must take place between 2/14 – 2/29/2016.  If you have already purchased all of my books, then feel free to gift a friend, just for the chance to win!  Spend a little, and you could win a lot!


Anyone who reads and posts a review of “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE…” “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER…”or “IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC” and sends the link to their review to nonniejules@gmail.com, will get their name entered into a drawing for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!  One entry per each book read and reviewed.  Reviews must be posted between 2/16 – 3/15/2016 to be placed into the drawing.

Now…Here’s Nonnie!

Q: What gives you joy, Nonnie? What events, activities accomplishments, people fill you with pleasure?

A: Rebecca, you should already know that the first on my list of things that give me joy is my wonderful family. Reading and writing both bring me joy, exercise brings me joy, cleaning my home, walking around just basking in the glow of my beautiful home…all these little things bring me GREAT joy! Being of service to others is also high on my list of things that bring me pleasure.

Q: As busy as you are, how do you take care of yourself, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually?

A: Well, I nourish my mind with ideas and I allow myself the freedom to let my thoughts wander. When they do, they return with a storehouse of wonderful ideas for me to use in my quest to help others reach that pinnacle of success! I nourish my body with exercise and clean eating for the most part. I meditate and pray, twist myself into knots with Yoga and Pilates…and I try to live an honest and “true” life…I practice what I preach.

Q: Looking back at your life, what 3-4 things (happenings, philosophies or people) gave you the confidence and strength to start RRBC?

A: Let me share this quote from my site, www.BooksByNonnie.wordpress.com: “As a child, no one ever told me I couldn’t, therefore, in all things I THINK I CAN.” Rebecca, I can hear my mom saying, even now: “She was the only child I had who demanded things!” “She was the only baby I had that came out breach.” I take all these things to mean, that even as a child, I knew that I was destined to do great things, because even as a child, I expected it…demanded it, even. I came out feet first because I knew that these feet were made for some serious miles!

Q: In ten words or less, what do you want written on your tombstone?

A: Here lies the remains of Nonnie Jules, she lived her life by her own rules. She wanted to serve and serve she did. This appearance…her farewell bid.  OK, maybe I wouldn’t have it to read that way, how about simply: A full life lived, in service to others.

Q: You have commented about your wonderful husband and happy marriage. What advice would you give to newlyweds.

A: You’ve misquoted me, Rebecca. I said I was happy. I can’t speak for him…LOL!


To follow Nonnie’s tour and to get more of your questions answered, please visit her Blog Tour Page on the 4WillsPub site http://wp.me/P43s9i-FEw. Thanks for stopping by today and good luck on winning some of these great prizes!


Twitter:  http://twitter.com/nonniejules

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BooksByNonnie

Blogs:  www.nonniewrites.wordpress.com , www.BooksByNonnie.wordpress.com




Trailer:  https://youtu.be/qbUK3XQ5-dA


NJ Cover Design


Trailer:  https://youtu.be/fQBnt0wix88



 Trailer: https://youtu.be/zg15rptFN2g


1If Only There Was Music book cover


Trailer: https://youtu.be/g2gNns8ZVFI

“Jazz: America’s Gift” By Author, Richie Gerber

It is my great honor to welcome AUTHOR, RICHIE GERBER on the first stop of his “Jazz: America’s Gift” Blog Tour!

Richie Gerber image

Richie Gerber is a musician, performer, comedian, and impresario. Over the years, he produced hundreds of jazz concerts that featured his band The Free Radicals, playing straight-ahead jazz, bebop, and swing with jazz greats like Eddie Higgins, former Count Basie alumnus Pete Minger, five-time Grammy nominee Ira Sullivan, and Buddy DeFranco.

George Gershwin’s BIG January 1924

Richie Gerber - The Astor Theatre

New Year’s Day, January 1, 1924, New York City

For 25-year-old George Gershwin, 1924 started out with a bang. On New Year’s Day, young George had both hands full writing the music for the three-act Broadway musical Sweet Little Devil. His partner for the gig was his lyricist buddy, Buddy DeSylva. They were working tirelessly to finish up the music for this Broadway musical comedy slated to open at the 1,600-seat Astor Theatre on January 21st.

The Astor Theatre was located in the heart of the “Great White Way” at the corner of Broadway and 45th Street. Sadly, the Astor was demolished along with four other historic theaters—the Helen Hayes, the Morosco, the Bijou, and the Gaiety—to make room for the Marriott Marquis Hotel in what is now known as “The Great Theater Massacre of 1982.”

Sweet Little Devil started out with the initial title of My Dear Lady, but the producers renamed it The Perfect Lady just before its shakeout performances in Boston and Providence. It then went on to the Big Apple, opening on the 21st as Sweet Little Devil. The comedy’s circuitous title change from “dear lady” to “perfect lady” to “devil” is quite remarkable. Then again, it shines a light on the Broadway producers’ twisted thinking on what theater-goers would buy into. But let’s be honest, in New York City, Broadway tickets for a show with “little devil” in the title will outsell “dear or perfect ladies” every time, hands down!

The Gershwin-DeSylva team banged out a total of fifteen songs for this Broadway musical, three of which were chopped in the final cut. So Sweet Little Devil ended up as a final production with a dozen songs. Each song of the final dozen took hours of tweaking and polishing for any number of reasons—think, accommodating a prima donna or making the tune easier for the chorus or making it longer or shorter. You get the picture. Just for the record, Gershwin was one of the most accommodating composers in the biz. Mr. Flexibility.

Sweet Little Devil ran for 120 performances, which meant it lasted the season. At the time, that was considered a successful musical.

In the early morning hours of Friday January 4th, the seeds of change were planted in the lowly, smoke-filled Ambassador Billiards Parlor on Broadway and 52nd Street. Of all the billiard parlors in all the world, the Ambassador Billiards Parlor was about to change American Popular Music forever. JAZZ was about to become the talk of the town, America, and the world! And George Gershwin was the centerpiece of this upheaval. You may be wondering, How could this possibly happen?

At the time, George was downing beers, smoking cigars, and shooting three-cushion billiards with Buddy DeSylva (who incidentally won the game). Meanwhile, his older brother, Ira, was reading the amusement page of the Herald Tribune. Ira burst out about an announcement claiming that Band Leader Paul Whiteman was producing a concert dubbed “An Experiment in Modern Music.” The article went on to state that “George Gershwin was at work on a jazz concerto,” which the Whiteman Orchestra would play at the February 12, 1924, concert in Aeolian Hall.

George looked at the newspaper and then at Ira and Buddy and told them that this was news to him! Not only that, he said it was virtually impossible because he was way too busy with the soon-to-open Sweet Little Devil. In a few day’s time, he would be leaving for Boston for the rehearsals.

Gershwin hastily called Whiteman—who was baptized “The King of Jazz”—and told him there was absolutely no way he could work on this new project. He advised the bandleader to get back to him in six months when his schedule might see the light of day. After some back-and-forth negotiations, Whiteman and Gershwin “met in the middle.” In other words, Gershwin agreed to deliver the “jazz concerto” in less than 24 days. The Whiteman Orchestra needed rehearsal time, so the sooner the work was completed the better. As you can plainly see, George’s negotiating skills were no match against the King of Jazz. Obviously, Gershwin had never read Trump: The Art of the Deal.

To be fair, Gershwin wanted to get this gig, which meant he was ready to take on just about anything for the chance to make history. George was an ambitious young man with something to prove. The times were changing all around him. Following World War I, a new dynamic America had emerged. Prohibition, speakeasies, gangsters, and the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, ruled the day. There was a new carpe diem, live for today, ethos. The machine age and the modernism movement in art were taking the country by storm.

Gershwin wholeheartedly embraced this new modernism through his music. In fact, Gershwin and his Rhapsody in Blue would become the champion of this new America. Actually, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was the herald of The Jazz Age and The Roaring Twenties. . . . But I am getting a bit ahead of myself here.

In the first days of 1924, George hopped a train to Boston for the première of Sweet Little Devil. This train ride to Boston provided the inspiration for his Rhapsody masterpiece. He wrote:

“I was summoned to Boston for the première of Sweet Little Devil.…It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattle-ty-bang that…I suddenly heard—and even saw on paper—the complete construction of the rhapsody, from beginning to end.…I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America.…By the time I reached Boston I had a definite plot of the piece.”

“As for the middle theme, it came to me suddenly, as my music sometimes does. It was at the home of a friend, just after I got back to Gotham….all at once I heard myself playing a theme….No sooner had it oozed out of my fingers than I knew I had found it.…Within a week after my return home from Boston I completed the structure in the rough of the Rhapsody in Blue.”

Gershwin said that he began writing the piece on January 7th and finished eighteen days later on the 25th—two and a half weeks! However, in a June 1926 article titled “Jazz Is the Voice of the American Soul,” which appeared in Theatre Magazine, Gershwin said, “I wrote it in ten days.” So who are we going to believe? Eighteen days or ten days? George Gershwin or George Gershwin? You decide. Either way—IT WAS REALLY, REALLY FAST!

So, upon his return to Gotham from Boston, George dove exhaustively into his newest and about to be his greatest project. George dubbed the working title of the piece American Rhapsody but changed it when his brother and master wordsmith, Ira, suggested Rhapsody in Blue inspired by Whistler’s “Nocturne in Blue and Green.” George loved Ira’s suggestion because the music had, “a dominant theme derived from the fashionable ‘blue’ or melancholy rhythm.”

Enter Ferde Grofé, Paul Whiteman’s longtime crackerjack arranger. Since the Rhapsody needed to be completed in breakneck speed and Grofé knew the ins and outs of the Whiteman Band as well as the capabilities of each and every musician in said band, he could put his masterful arranging hand on the accelerator.

Every day while living with his parents and siblings in the family’s uptown Amsterdam Avenue and 110th Street apartment, Gershwin would compose several pages of his magnum opus on the upright piano in the back room. Grofé would snag the “catch of the day” and hustle off to his studio to transform Gershwin’s two piano form creation into a fully orchestrated work designed specifically for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.

This exquisite dance of the two extraordinary virtuosos ended on January 25th—eighteen days from Gershwin’s’ start to finish! Remember, Sweet Little Devil premièred January 21st, a mere four days earlier.

Since Gershwin was pressed for time and knowing he was booked as the pianist for the performance, he delivered only 60% of the work to Grofé on the 25th. It’s fair to ask then, if Gershwin handed Grofé 60% of Rhapsody, what happened to the rest of the piece?

Short answer: Gershwin intended to improvise the remaining 40%. THAT’S JAZZ!

On the original final manuscript, 181 bars of the 452-bar manuscript were intentionally left blank with Gershwin’s handwritten directive “Wait for nod,” advising conductor Paul Whiteman that his piano improvisation was concluded and to cue the orchestra to resume.

Grofé sequestered himself in his studio to wrap up his orchestrating duties. He finished orchestrating the work in ten days, on February 4th, giving the orchestra a scant eight days to learn and rehearse Rhapsody in Blue, not to mention the twenty-two other pieces slated for the concert. Ergo, “An Experiment in Modern Music” featuring George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at the citadel of the hoity-toity, high-culture blue bloods, Aeolian Hall, was ready for Prime Time.

George Gershwin’s January 1924 proved to be the start of one of the most momentous years of his short 38-year life. Imagine Gershwin riding the train to Boston hearing its “steely rhythms” and “rattle-ty-bang” saying, “I frequently hear music in the very heart of noise.”

Jazz America's Gift by Richie Gerber

Contact info for Author, Richie Gerber:

Twitter:  @jazzgift1
Purchase link:

Jazz:  America’s Gift – www.amazon.com/dp/B0100RC8CK


bannerThis tour sponsored by: 4WillsPublishing Author Services

Meet Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author J.A. Stinger

Today, I am honored to host a blog written by wife, mother, Army veteran, and author, J.A. Stinger. J.A. co-authored her debut novel, Generations Beyond, with her husband P.W. and is currently working on the sequel. J.A. describes Generations Beyond as a  Military Sci-Fi w/ a dash of Romance.

JA Stinger solo bio pic

J,A, Stinger has been chosen by Rave Reviews Book Club as their Spotlight Author for the week of January 10-16.

How Do You Write?

by J.A. Stinger

I think that’s the question that I get asked most often. My honest answer is “very sloppy and organized at the same time”. If you looked at the bag that I carry, and the notebooks it contains, you would wonder how I ever got anything finished. But if you looked at my Google Drive, you would find Folders and Files on just about everything imaginable.

I keep a messenger bag with me that has four notebooks in it, so that I can jot down ideas when they pop into my head, which could be at any random time. I also have my tablet in there, so I can do my reading. Right now, the main notebook has scribbles on the trilogy for Project: Generations and all the plot twists that I’ve come up with for that, as well as the prequel and the next series that is coming that spawned from the original.

order chaosIn the other notebooks there are notes on the other stand-alone novels that I’ve thought up along the way that have nothing to do with Project: Generations or anything related to it. There’s Sunset Oubliette, which is a Hollywood fiction with the main character being a tragic child star. Next, there’s Pull Me from Shadows, which has Mia and Caleb. That one is a Contemporary Thriller/Romance. I’ve been working on that story since NaNoWriMo 2012, and since I didn’t start out with an outline, I have no idea where I was going with it or what the ending of it was/is going to be. It may end up being a short story with no ending and let the readers’ imagination take them where they want to go.

I work in tandem with my husband and co-author. I have to admit that my weakest point is dialog, but his is story ideas. So, in that regard, we make the perfect team. Since when I try to write something and I think all my characters sound the same, he helps me out. And since he can’t outline or plot his way out of a wet paper sack, everything works out grand.

Remember when I mentioned Google Drive earlier? That’s where we write everything. Since it’s a fluid document and saves everything in real time, we don’t have to worry about saving a Word Document and saving it to each other when we edit. For our situation, it’s perfect.

When it comes to any editing, that’s all me. Social Media? That’s me as well. Formatting and cover design? You guessed it. All me. He’s content with being a pretty face next to me on the back of the cover and having his name on the front.

If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them. Contact me through the social media links listed below. I’m always happy to connect.

 Social Media Links for J.A. Stinger:

Twitter: @Jenniferstinger

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JAStingerAuthor/

Website: https://jastinger.wordpress.com

J.A. Stinger is the co-author of Generations Beyond

j.a. stinger generations beyond cover

Get Your Copy of Generations Beyond At:






For more information on J.A. Stinger, Rave Reviews Book Club, and other great authors, visit: https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com





Strengthen Your Marriage: The Power of Casual Touch

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Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated is a book based on years of interviews and research into the practical workings of marriages. Woven through hundreds of interviews and testimonies is this truth: To be fulfilled in your sex life and marriage, you must believe you are both loved and liked by your mate. One of my favorite chapters in the book is Chapter Seven-The Power of Casual Touch, because it offers simple ways to build that much needed belief. Below is the chapter in its entirety. You may find out more about Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated here: http://bit.ly/sexbookpg. You may purchase the book on Amazon: http://bit.ly/SexMarriagePB.

Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated 

Chapter Seven

The Power of Casual Touch

At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.


Jesus touched people. That is not a euphemism for connecting on an emotional or spiritual level. The God of the universe became a man and physically placed His hands on lepers, on the sick, and on sinners. Power, healing, and love emanated from His touch. But still, actual touch was not necessary; Jesus could have healed without physical contact. He touched because humans need to be touched.

We come out of the womb with touch as our primary language. The culture of our family, our spiritual beliefs, our society, and even our climate stymie that dialect. Americans touch less than the majority of the world. Those in colder climates touch less than those who live in warmer areas, and people of faith are more uncomfortable with touch than agnostics and atheists.[ii]

Fortunately, those are trends we can buck. Personal physical contact is life giving. We may be uncomfortable with it, but with effort our marriages can be made stronger and our intimacy deeper if we learn to practice the art of touch.

Helen’s Story

Sex means nothing to me. I don’t care if we never have sex again, but I’d wither up and die if he didn’t hold me.

Lisette’s Story

I used to hate seeing couples cuddle up in church. It seemed wrong to show so much affection in a worship service. Now, I wish my husband would put his arm around me and pull me close, wherever we are.

Aileen’s Story

Every time he touches me it means sex. Sometimes I wish he’d just hold me because he wants to hold me.

Cecily’s Story

I know he loves me. I’ve never doubted it in thirty plus years of marriage. He holds my hand, rubs my shoulders, just reaches out and touches me when he can. That says more to me than words.

Rhonda’s Story

I don’t want him to touch me in public. It feels like a show, because he doesn’t touch me at home. I cringe when he touches me.

Marci’s Story

I’m way more affectionate than he is. I want to touch and be touched. I’m less likely now, though, to take his hand or lean on him while we watch a movie. I don’t know if he’ll return the affection or pull away. Sometimes, it’s not worth the risk.

What Research Tells Us

Casual Touch is the Language of Love

We are not people who touch each other carelessly; every point of contact between us feels important, a rush of energy and relief.

Veronica Roth[iii]

Your body responds to touch. God created you that way. He gave you hundreds of thousands of microscopic easily stimulated nerve endings that send messages to your brain. The meaning of a touch translates to pleasure, pain, comfort, fear, anger, relief, love, affection, and a myriad of other emotions. Research studies illustrate a wide range of physical and psychological benefits that come from being touched, even by strangers. Much more valuable is touch from someone you love.

Casual touch is just that—casual. It is touch that can be done in public, in front of your children or your parents. Holding hands, rubbing shoulders, a touch of her face communicates love she can feel and the world can see.

Casual touch communicates affection. It is not surprising that couples that report being very satisfied in their relationship touch each other more often than those who feel unsatisfied. As important as it is to touch your mate with affection, it is more important to positively respond to their touch. Men and women both report a higher degree of emotional intimacy and satisfaction with the relationship when their spouse reciprocates affectionate touch.[iv]

The positive results of making, or bringing back, casual touch as part of your relationship are astounding.

A tender touch, as simple as running the tips of your fingers up his forearm, tells him that you care for him. An extra squeeze when you’re holding hands implies intimacy. Sitting close enough to rub shoulders tells her you like to be with her. A hand on his shoulder tells him your attention is focused on him.

The opposite is true, too. Failure to casually touch communicates desire for distance. It says you want to protect your space. It tells your spouse you are blocking some part of yourself from him.

That may not be your intention, but on some level, touch, lack of touch, or a negative response to touch sends a clear signal ranging between affection to dislike. You can speak romantic words, but if you do not reach out with casual touch or cringe when she does, your spouse may still doubt the depth of your attachment.

Casual Touch Builds Friendship

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.

Friedrich Nietzsche[v]

When you enjoy the person you are with, it comes more naturally to touch them. Touch, both giving and receiving, builds trust. Touch invites open communication. Touch celebrates unity.

Do you treat your spouse with the same level of joyful touch as you treat your close friends?

I Don’t Want to Touch or Be Touched

You are ice and fire

the touch of you burns my hands like snow.

Amy Lowell[vi]

An infant who does not receive ample loving touch is at a higher risk of behavioral, emotional, and social problems as he grows.[vii] A marriage that does not foster ample loving touch is also at higher risk of behavioral and emotional problems. Touch deprivation is an issue that marriage counselors see on a regular basis.

Touch is necessary. God designed us with an innate need to give and receive touch.   Our emotional and physical health suffers without it. For that reason, God often brings people together with a variance of perceived need; one partner has a high comfort level and acknowledged need for affectionate touch, and the other has a resistance to it. Beautiful healing and deeper intimacy can result for the spouse who is touch deprived, but without understanding, serious problems in the relationship can develop. Both partners suffer.

If you are the spouse who does not want to be touched, determining why casual touch is objectionable to you is the first step to enable change. In this area, a little change can vastly deepen your emotional intimacy and the quality of your marriage.

It Is Not My Nature to be Touchy-Feely

Our comfort level with casual touch is most affected by our childhood. Those who do not grow up viewing and participating in casual touch can have both a physical intimacy deficit and/or a skewed perception of the value of affectionate contact.[viii]

For others, boundaries of culture, past rejection, shyness, fear of overstepping your spouse’s boundaries, or dread of doing something wrong can be internalized and result in a distaste for casual touch.

In all of these cases, the resistance to affectionate touch is a learned behavior. You are designed by God to touch and be touched. With effort, a great deal of effort in some situations, learning to give and accept touch can also be learned. The key is to recognize the value of touch and take intentional steps to bring that to your marriage.

Begin with communication. Make a date to talk about your feelings. Tell your spouse that you are not comfortable with a lot of affectionate touching. Give the reasons, if you can. Assure him you desire to grow in this area. Ask him to initiate personal touch that does not lead to sex once a day. You commit to initiate one casual touch a day as well. Talk a lot and add to the frequency of your touches until it becomes natural to you. Revisit why you are uncomfortable and why touch is valuable as often as you need.

Be patient. Enjoy the success.

Casual Touch Always Leads to Sex

By far, the number one reason women give for resisting personal touch is their belief that their husbands use casual touch to maneuver them into bed. They believe sex, rather than affection, is the motivation. It is an accusation many husbands deny.

Selected Comments From the Wives

“I don’t want to be touched because I can’t afford to give up an hour to satisfy him when I’m trying to get dinner on the table.”

“He just wants sex. That’s why he does it.”

“I’m tired. I’d like to feel him hug me more, but I don’t have the energy for what comes next.”

To reject personal touch because the timing is not right for sexual intercourse does damage to both partners. One feels rejected, and the other feels used. Casual touch and foreplay touch differ, and both are vital for a healthy marital relationship.

Casual touch can be public. A hug in front of the kids, hand holding on a walk, a scalp massage during television watching, or giving your partner a gentle forearm squeeze at the dinner table are casual touches that show affection.

But casual touch can also be private, and foreplay touch can feel the same even though one partner’s intent is not sexual. Because the touches are similar, cues can be missed resulting in anger or frustration. How does one partner know what the other is thinking?

The only solution to this problem is communication.

First, and most importantly, agree with your spouse that casual touch is valuable, and you want to share that with each other. Next, acknowledge the significance of foreplay touch. Discuss the differences between the two types of touch in your relationship. Ask your partner to share his or her cues. How can you know what her touch means? How can you know if he is saying he loves you or he wants you?   For example, “A hug means, I love you, but when I add a kiss on your neck it means, I want you.”

Cues will change—you want them to change as your relationship grows. When you learn to watch for them, and your intimacy deepens, they become easier to read. At first, it may feel like spontaneity is lost when things are discussed in such detail. You are two people on a journey to become intimate in mind, body, spirit, and emotions. Talking and planning gets things going in the right direction. It keeps you from getting lost, or it gets you back on the right path. It doesn’t mean you can’t veer off later when you’re steady and on course.

Finally, share with each other how you want your partner to accept affectionate touch when they are not ready for sexual intimacy. Communicate your love and your desire, but acknowledge that sex cannot always happen. Learn how to be graceful and loving as you enjoy casual touch even if it can’t become more intimate at that time.

Trust builds when each of you takes an active role in initiating casual touch. Each partner needs to be touched. Each partner needs to touch.

I Have No Affection for My Spouse

Kaila’s Story

Married 28 years

We’ve been married a long time. I’m not attracted to him anymore. He’s hurt me too much. I don’t want to touch him, much less have sex with him.

Mia’s Story

Married 13 years

It’s not his fault. We’ve just grown apart. I don’t know what to do. I know I don’t want a divorce, but I don’t want him to touch me either.

Anne’s Story

Married 4 years

Everything he does drives me crazy. I don’t know why I married him.

Melina’s Story

Married 21 years

There’s too much resentment. Too much neglect. He’s a good man to other people, but he doesn’t pay attention to me. I don’t think of him fondly.

My heart breaks as I read and listen to stories of marriages on the brink of destruction. Sometimes, intense counseling is necessary to aid healing.   Check with your church and with people you trust to find a counselor who understands and supports your faith and is trained to help you in your situation.

When affection for your spouse disappears, it does not need to be lost forever. You have a powerful God who fills you with powerful love. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). You have the almighty God of the universe to fill you, sustain you, and love you as you are.

The focus here is on you. What can you do to rekindle your love and affection for your spouse? How committed are you to allow God to change your heart? Can you do the work needed without expectation that your partner will ever return your love? Because if you focus on changing your mate into something you want, nothing but frustration, anger, and pain awaits.

If you are willing to risk rejection, to give more than you thought possible, and to try day after day after day, casual touch is a powerful tool to spark a dying love.

Research studies across the board demonstrate that affectionate touching is essential for emotional development; it also eases physical pain, slows the heart rate, drops blood pressure, and speeds up recovery from illness. In other words, touch has the power to heal.[ix]

Affectionate touch heals physically. It heals emotionally. And it heals relationally. Casual touch says I love you, and you are important to me. Most importantly in this case, casual affectionate touch begins to build a love bridge that reaches from you to your spouse.

When you make the conscious and deliberate step to act out an emotion you once felt, your heart begins to feel again. Not the first time, not the second, and maybe not the third. But if you desire to love your spouse, and you demonstrate that love before you feel it, amazing things can happen. There is power in demonstrating love without feeling the emotional tie. By choosing to love, by using your mind to consciously decide to demonstrate affection, affection grows. Love grows.

If possible, ask your spouse to hold you every morning and every night—just a thirty-second hug. Asking brings your spouse onto the love bridge. It helps build the affection for him or her, too. If you cannot ask, you must step forward and do. Hug. Hold. Be physically close for thirty seconds.

Reach for his hand whenever you can. Put your arm around her as you walk or sit. Two, three, four times a day initiate affectionate touch. Come back and try again later if your partner pulls away. Let him or her know you need to touch and be touched. You will not give up on your relationship.

What do you have to lose? It does not compare to what you have to gain.

I Get Busy and Forget to Touch

Everyone gets wrapped up in life. Work, kids, chores, errands, church, and friends pull us into a crazy business we can only handle by complete focus. If casual touch doesn’t come naturally, or if it isn’t part of the routine, it gets forgotten.

So make it part of your routine.

Sure, it means more when it’s spontaneous. The goal is that when he sees you he’s so motivated by love and affection that he can’t keep from giving you a hug.   Sometimes it takes work to reach your goals.

Set a reminder on your phone. It beeps, you find him, and you hug him.

Send an email: “I forgot to hug you this morning. I owe you two hugs tonight. Love you!”

Experiment with different types of casual massage. Write it in your day planner as you would for a professional massage.

Challenge each other in competitions with the winner receiving a ten-minute massage. If you are sports fans, bet a foot massage on the game you are watching. If you cheer for the same team, bet on how many points will be made, or strikeouts, or whatever seems fun. If you are into movies, bet a massage on how many cars will crash, or how long it will take before you laugh. Anything! Betting massages insures you will be touching each other. It adds intimacy to whatever you do. Have fun with it!

Prayer, patience, commitment, and love work together to build affection. Choose to love your mate. Choose to demonstrate your love with casual touch.

How Do I Touch You? Let Me Count the Ways

When it comes to casual touch, it is best to trust your instincts. If you think about touching your spouse, do it. Catch his or her eye and smile; just a second adds power to your message of love.

Hold hands whenever possible.

Hug each other. Hold on a few seconds too long.

Play footsies under your dinner table.

Put your head in his lap as you watch a movie or the news.

Pull her head to your lap and give her a scalp massage. Cup her head with both hands and slowly move your fingers in circles. Ask her how it feels. Does she want it softer or harder? You can also gently pull strands of hair. Move across her scalp as you pull.

Use your fingernails as you stroke up his forearm.

Give her a hand massage. Use lotion and your thumb to give steady pressure.

Use his electric razor to shave his face. Have him lie down in bed. Use gentle strokes to put him to sleep.

Massage her feet. Use lotion. Press your thumbs in circles across her arch. Run your fingertips along the base of her toes. Rub her heal across the palm of your hand. Just touch, smooth, and pamper her.

Giving your spouse a full body massage does a lot of wonderful things for your relationship. If you make this a regular part of your life, you might want to purchase a fairly cheap portable massage table. If not, the sofa or bed works, but can be hard on the body of the giver. Start with gentle pressure. You are giving and receiving touch, not trying to release knots. Smooth, long, confident strokes feel good. Use lotion, and try to avoid jerky movements. Women tend to carry tension in the muscles around their neck. Do not squeeze too tightly. Ask how the pressure feels and adjust. Men tend to carry their tension in their lower back. Use your thumbs and push up and down along the spine (one thumb on each side), then use the heel of your hand to press from the spine toward the hip in the lower back.

The buttocks hold large muscles. You can roll your fist across them, or use the palm of your hand to go deeper. Again, ask how your pressure feels and adjust.

When massaging the legs and arms, begin at the extremities (feet or hands) and move toward the heart. Long, firm, gentle strokes feel good and are comforting.

One of the most relaxing massages is one done on the face. Begin with your fingertips at the center of your spouse’s forehead. Bring your hands down to his or her temples, one hand on each side. Move your fingertips in circular motions over the temples. Repeat several times. Press one finger on each side of the bridge of the nose. Move your fingers, pressing over the sinus area. Use your fingertips to rub circles over the joint of the jaw, and then gently massage the outer part of the ears. Finish with a scalp massage.

On Your Own

Look in the mirror and remind yourself of these facts every day:

God knows my every fault, and He loves me deeply.

I am worthy to be loved.

I am a masterpiece created by the God who invented beauty.

God blessed me with talents, some of which I have not yet discovered.

God has forgiven me. I must forgive myself.

It is right to love myself. I see value in who I am.

I am a work in progress. I like where I am going.

Evaluate yourself:

In 2 Thessalonians 1:3, Paul says, “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.” Do you believe your love for your spouse can increase? What can you do to help your love grow?

Affectionate love and sexual love go together in good marriages. Which type of love is strongest in you? Which type of love is strongest in your marriage? Do you see the value in working on each type of love? Why or why not? What strategies do you have for working on affectionate love? On sexual love?

What keeps you from casually touching your spouse more often? Can you change that?

Count how many times you casually touch your spouse in one day. Add to it the next day.

Sometime this week, say these things to your spouse:

You are worthy to be loved.

I am worthy to be loved.

I need to touch you. I need you to touch me.

Can I give you a massage?

I think about you when you are gone.

I’m glad we’re friends as well as lovers.

I need your affection.

You make me happy.

I love you. I’m glad I married you. I’d marry you again tomorrow.

Open Communication

Conversation Starters

What is the most sensitive part of your body to touch?

What do I do that that tells you I love you?

If we were in a room full of people and couldn’t have sex, what five things could I do to show you I want you, I need you, and I love you?

Did you see/feel a lot of affection when you were growing up?

How can we model affection for our children?

Just an Idea

Take a walk. Hold hands the entire time.

While watching television, exchange scalp and neck massages. One partner sits on the floor in front of the other. Switch half way through the show.

Do a mundane chore together (washing dishes, folding laundry, etc). Casually touch often throughout the time you work.

Bet a fifteen-minute back massage on the next sporting event you watch together.


[i] Plato. BrainyQuote.com, Xplore Inc, 2014. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato394857.html, retrieved 11/5/14.

[ii] Rick Chillot, The Power of Touch, Psychology Today,

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201302/the-power-touch, retrieved 11/2/14.

[iii] Veronica Roth, Allegiant, Katherine Tegen Books, October, 2013.

[iv] Rick Chillot, The Power of Touch, Psychology Today,

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201302/the-power-touch, retrieved 11/2/14.

[v] Friedrich Nietzsche. BrainyQuote.com, Xplore Inc, 2014. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/friedrichn109784.html, retrieved 11/14/14.

[vi] Amy Lowell, Opal, Selected Poems of Amy Lowell, by Amy Lowell, Melissa Bradshaw, ‪Rutgers University Press, 2002.

[vii] Katherine Harmon, How Important Is Physical Contact with Your Infant? Scientific American, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/infant-touch/, retrieved 11/13/14.

[viii] Doug Weiss, Don’t Allow Touch Deprivation to Creep Into Your Marriage, Charisma Magazine: New man

http://www.charismamag.com/life/men/6746-married-faithful-mad, retrieved 11/13/14.

[ix] The Healing Power of Touch Delivers both Emotional and Physical Recovery, Insiders Health,

http://www.insidershealth.com/article/the_healing_power_of_touch_delivers_both_emotional_and_physical_recovery/4438, retrieved 11/14/14.


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I’m greatly honored to host Author John Howell on the  “His Revenge” Blog Tour. John Howell is a very supportive member of Rave Reviews Book Club. He is also a phenomenal author! I enjoyed his book, My Grl, and I’m looking forward to His Revenge.Rebecca


John Howell

This is the fourth stop on the 4Wills Publishing “His Revenge” Launch Weekend Blog Tour. I certainly have had some fun and want to thank my host today as well as 4Wills Publishing for setting up the tour. Please contact them at 4Wills Publishing for any and all author services.

When you embark on a journey of revenge, start by digging two graves one for your enemy and one for yourself. This Chinese proverb points to the fact that revenge is a dangerous business. When the act of revenge is complete, there is usually suffering on both sides of the issue.

His Revenge front final

In my new book His Revenge there is clearly enough evidence to suggest the path to revenge can be troubled and uncertain. John J. Cannon is certain he wants revenge for the murder of a friend and the sinking of his boat. The target for this desire is his enemy Matt Jacobs, who also has revenge on his agenda. Matt wants the Western World to suffer for not allowing the Palestinians a land of their own. We also find out in the story he has a deeper more personal reason to hate the infidels than just a displaced people. Matt is a billionaire leader of a terrorist splinter group calling themselves The Desert Wolves. He has the funds and the motivation to cause disruption and pain to the United States. He has been warned not to continue his destructive path by his religious leadership, but Matt’s ego and emotion ignore these warnings. He feels he is above the law of man or God.

His Revenge is available now on Amazon and KDP Select

Here is an excerpt of a conversation between John and Matt Jacobs.

John to Matt Jacobs, “You’ll be awfully pleased with yourself then.”

“Oh, my dear man. I’m so pleased with myself that I might even find a way to reward you for your help.”

“I should feel grateful?”

“It doesn’t matter what you feel. The point is, we have a job to do, and you’re going to help. If you decide you don’t want to help, well, I’m sure Winther described what would happen.”

“He did, but I want to hear it from you.”

“There isn’t a whole lot to say. If you don’t help us, your girlfriend and a bunch of other folks are going to be martyred for the cause.”

“This doesn’t bother you?”

“Well, if you mean by blowing up those people because you wouldn’t allow us to complete our plan, then yes, it would bother me.”

“No, I mean killing innocent people.”

“They are the same as you and are not innocent. They’ve been born on the wrong side of perpetual combatants who will only stop fighting when my people are given their rightful homeland back. It’s not their fault, but it’s their fate.”

I grit my teeth. “There’s no talking with you.”

“There is no talking ‘innocent’ because there are none on your side of the conflict.”

“And on your side?”

“I believe we are all innocent, and it wasn’t our people who took the heritage lands away. It was your culture that decided we were no longer the rightful overseers of Palestine. Think for a moment how you would feel if a bunch of soldiers moved into your neighborhood and then told you to find a different place to live if you didn’t care for what was going on. If you decide to stay, then think of being under military law with no rights whatsoever.”

“This is still your viewpoint. There are two sides to every issue. Didn’t the Jewish settlers have a right to live as well?”

“Okay, let’s go back to my example concerning your neighborhood. What if a bunch of people moved into your area and simply squatted on the unoccupied land? Because of their political power, the world politic gave them the land, and you found yourself having to make the choice to stay or go.”

“Yeah, well, I can say I wouldn’t care for it, but I can also tell you I wouldn’t be killing people over it.”

“You only think you wouldn’t.” Jacobs rises. “I believe you would be capable of killing those who were taking away what belonged to you. You smugly say you wouldn’t because you have never been in our position. Also, if you, like me, lost some people very dear to your heart at the hands of your enemy, you wouldn’t think twice about who is innocent and who is guilty. Thank you for the chat.” He walks back to the rear of the airplane and he and Winther discuss something that seems important, as Winther frowns deeply.

John Howell photo

About John W. Howell

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes fictional short stories and novels as well as a blog at http://www.johnwhowell.com. John lives on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and spoiled rescue pets. He can be reached at his e-mail johnhowell.wave@gmail.com, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241 or Twitter at @HowellWave

My GRL_johnwhowell



My GRL is available on Amazon and wherever e-books are sold




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I’m happy to meet you here at the Rave Reviews Book Club’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY

This happening month-long party gives you, the guest, a chance to rub shoulders with great authors, hang out with interesting fictional characters, win fabulous prizes, and invite everyone you know to join the fun!


Marc Estes, Beem Weeks, and Harmony Kent


Prize #1: A $15 Amazon Gift Card

Prize #2: An e-version of Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated

Prize #3: An e-version of your choice of any of my novels

All you have to do to enter is read this blog and comment before midnight, September 17 CST.  

Welcome to my Rave Reviews Book Club Back-To-School Book and Blog Party! Since I just finished a book about sex and marriage, I thought it would be fun to discuss those topics today. At 3 am one dark and foggy night, I realized many of you might not enjoy such a personal conversation at a public party. At 3 pm on a sunny afternoon, I decided sex is always a fun topic no matter where you are.

This is how I decided to satisfy both my 3 o’clock brainstorms: In the first short blog, I’ll share the trials and joys of writing in multiple genres. You can read that, skip the sex, and comment below. Or, you can skip the genre talk, devour the one about sex, and comment below. Or you can have extra fun by reading both and, of course, commenting below. Take your pick, and as long as you comment, you will be entered into the great RRBC give-aways!

The Multiple Genre Nightmare

BookCover5_25x8_BW_330.pngI recently received a one-star rating on Amazon for my debut novel, Into Dark Waters. The review said:

“Much too graphic for my taste. I thought since it was billed as a Christian novel, it would be more a who-done-it than a shock-and-Gore.”

I did not ever bill this as a Christian novel-though it isn’t anti-Christian and pretty squeaky clean in the sexual sense. It is dark and disturbing at parts.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00058]But since I also write to a Christian audience (Diary of a Christian Woman-How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage and Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated), it’s expected that all my books would appeal to that genre’s readers.

BookCover5_25x8_BW_330.pngMarketing for multiple genres means multiplying your time and finances, and maybe changing you pen name. It is such a nightmare, that if I only cared about sales, I would choose one style and stick to it.

As much as I love selling my books, I write because I have to tell the story that’s running around in my head. I can feel my characters fighting to escape. I hear their screams and am haunted by their whispers. Sometimes, their story is funny. Other times, it’s dark and mysterious. Once, as with The Geek Club, the story appealed to kids rather than adults.  The bottom line is that the story belongs to the characters. And many, many characters inhabit my brain, each with their varied and crazy journeys.  It’s not my fault I can’t market all of them to the same people.

Money isn’t everything.  Neither are reviews.

Right now, I feel the stomping of characters’ footsteps—characters that want me to tell their stories in sequels to Haunting Megan and Diary of a Christian Woman. Next week, I’ll sit down and begin to put on paper the story of the character that stomps the loudest.

As for my non-fiction–people asked me to write it, so I did.  It’s excellent.  I’m proud of it and what it has to offer.  But now that it’s done, I’m looking forward to letting the imaginary people out of my head so they can lead me on their adventurous escapades.


Now…If you want to skip the sex, drop down to comment bellow!

Sex Education-That Awkward Class We Thought Would Be An Easy “A”

This blog post is appropriate for those 18 and older

I remember very little about my high school sex-education class. There was something about a condom and a cucumber, vivid descriptions of venereal diseases, and the class clown who made us laugh and the teacher cry. I’m pretty sure we never spoke of the bond between emotional and physical intimacy nor the pain that rips apart souls when that intimacy is damaged.

In our world, sex is supposed to be simple, like fitting together pieces of a puzzle—an easy “A”. That is not reality. In a nationwide survey, the vast majority of men and women gave their physical marital intimacy a failing grade.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]I wrote Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated for couples that want their sex lives to be worthy of a grade higher than the average “C”. I wrote it to give relationships practical tools and ideas to move their emotional and physical intimacy to Honor Roll status.

This book has Christian in the title. That does not mean that only Christians will benefit by what is found inside. The early chapters deal with issues faced by those raised in a culture of repression often found in churches. It is my belief that people of faith should have free, joyful, celebratory marital sex lives. After all, we follow the God who created our bodies with all the hormones, nerve endings, and g-spots for our enjoyment. The Bible we read has an entire book dedicated to physical expression of love. One goal of Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated is to help people accept their own sexuality as a gift from God, given to them to enjoy with their spouse.

Second, scripture illustrates how sexual intimacy and emotional intimacy are bound together. I want the reader to know that along with hundreds of interviews, surveys, and current research, this book will use the Bible to show us ways to deepen our love and help us find freedom in sexual expression.

Every chapter in Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated begins with testimonies from people who share their struggles, fears, failures, and successes. Here are some of those stories:

Andrea’s Story

For a long time, years and years, I didn’t think he cared. I could see him zone out when I talked about my feelings. His eyes would just drift away. When I told him I was leaving him, he just stood there. He didn’t say anything, so I thought he wanted me to go.


I don’t know what to do. I try to be romantic and add more cuddling or foreplay, and my wife seems irritated like she doesn’t have time for that. Then, when I skip straight to sex, she gets mad because I didn’t seduce her. I can’t win.

Aileen’s Story

Every time he touches me it means sex. Sometimes I wish he’d just hold me because he wants to hold me.

Cecily’s Story

I know he loves me. I’ve never doubted it in thirty plus years of marriage. He holds my hand, rubs my shoulders, just reaches out and touches me when he can. That says more to me than words.

Rhonda’s Story

I don’t want him to touch me in public. It feels like a show, because he doesn’t touch me at home. I cringe when he touches me.

Rita’s Story

Romance is sensual—I mean it involves all the senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell all play a part. If something is off, the mood is off. It’s worth setting the scene. My husband is good at that. It’s one thing I really love about him.

Shirley’s Story

When we first got married, he’d bring me meaningless little gifts. He gave me dishtowels once. I remember thinking, “Gee, thanks! If you actually used these to help me they’d mean something!”

Carl’s Story

I could feel Grace, my wife, pulling away from me. I tried to talk to her, find out what I’d done to make her treat me like that. Finally, my mother-in-law told me Grace didn’t think I loved her. I TOLD her I loved her every stinking day! She had to have her mother tell me she felt unloved?

Marielle’s Story

I start my day taking care of my aging parents, then it’s get the kids to school, go to work, pick up kids, pick up dinner, and collapse on the sofa. I don’t have the energy to brush my teeth, much less have sex before I fall into bed.

Zena’s Story

I imagined a near-every-night scenario for sex. But life kind of takes over. Everything is good, but by the end of the day, neither of us want to do anything under the covers but sleep.

Leona’s Story

My husband doesn’t want me as much as I want him. It hurts. I feel like I’m lacking something. He’s a man. He’s supposed to want sex. Why does he turn away from me?

Tadd’s Story

She’s always too busy, too tired, or she has a headache. We shouldn’t fight about sex, but when we aren’t having any, my frustration rises and I get angry faster.

Kristof’s Story

If I could go back to the day before I failed my wife (had an affair), I would choose death over the hell I brought to my family.

Jodi’s Story

His work was more important than I was.

You can find out more about Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated at http://rebeccareilly.net/?page_id=530

Amazon 5 Star Review:

“Rebecca has a message to share that will help marriages, young and old. She isn’t afraid to tackle tough topics in this book and I’m impressed at how she was able to incorporate both humor and gut wrenching interviews throughout. Applicable to those with and without faith, I think anyone who’s been married for any length of time would find this insightful and helpful. For those of you who enjoyed her hilarious fiction book “Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Gray To Spice Up My Marriage” from 2013 I know you’ll appreciate this book as well.”

Buy Links:

Amazon Paperback: http://bit.ly/SexMarriagePB

Amazon Kindle: http://bit.ly/sexamarriage

iTunes: http://bit.ly/iTunessexandmarriage

Barnes and Noble:  http://bit.ly/sexBN

Please comment below to enter to win! I’d love to hear your thoughts…and if you have any memories of high school sex-ed, pass them on and give us a laugh (or a cringe)!

  I’ll see you at the next stop of the #RRBC BOOK and BLOG BLOCK PARTY! http://wp.me/P49Fi9-2y5


My Heroines In Their High School Days: Back-To-School Book and Blog Block Party!

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This happening party gives you, the guest, a chance to rub shoulders with great authors, hang out with interesting fictional characters, win fabulous prizes, and the best part—you can invite everyone you know to join the fun!

The prizes you can win at this stop:  

First Prize-A $10 Amazon Gift Card

Second Prize-An e-book version of Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage

Third Prize-An e-book version of Haunting Megan

Fourth PrizeAn e-book version of Into Dark Waters

All you have to do is read about my favorite fictional women and comment before midnight, CST.  Share your thoughts, or tell me what do you remember most about high school.


Christa Nardi, Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Brian O’Hare, Gwen Plano

And….This Rave Reviews Book Club’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY goes on all month–With great prizes every day!

Check here to find all the prize-awarding stops!


My Heroines In Their High School Days

Keeping with the Back-To-School theme, I thought it would be fun to take a peek at the early lives of some of my book’s leading ladies to see how they would have faced their first day of high school.

But first…an announcement from our principle:

“Attention: Those wanting Sex Education: Today marks the release of Christian Sex andPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071] Marriage: It’s Complicated by Rebecca Reilly. This book is full of true stories, research, and practical how-to advice to help you deepen the emotional and sexual intimacy in your marriage. Stop by http://bit.ly/sexbookpg to see what the excitement is all about and find the links to order your copy today!”

Phoebe as a freshman (from Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00058]I bought a neon pink sweat suit to wear on my first day of high school. How was I to know the pretty girls had declared pink was out that year? I felt like a stick of cotton candy toddling around campus. If only it’d rained. I could have melted away instead of shining like a beacon of nerdiness.

Of course, I got lost and walked into boys’ locker room instead of the girls’. The tuna fish in my sandwich soured and stunk up the cafeteria. I tripped up the stairs, split my new pants up the crack, and squirted blood all over myself when my nose smacked against the sidewalk. At least wearing neon pink wasn’t my biggest problem anymore.

On a brighter note—I raised my hand in class and answered every question asked. I think my teachers loved me. That will make me popular!

Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage-Synopsis

Food is not a great substitute for sex, but it’s all I’ve got.

It’s not that I’m not happy in my marriage. I am. George is a good man, and I love him. I love our two children. I love our home. I love our church. And I love my job. I love everything I have.

And I’m bored out of my mind.

I know God created sex for marriage. And not just for beautiful people, either. Sex is supposed to bind a man and wife; to give them an intimacy they share with no one else. Sex is supposed to be fulfilling. And fun! I think we’re supposed to want to have sex with our spouse.

iTunes: http://bit.ly/iTunesDiary

Amazon: http://bit.ly/amazondiary

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/diaryCWbn


Julie as a senior (from Into Dark Waters)

BookCover5_25x8_BW_330.pngJulie slid her damp palms across her thighs. The tight fit of her new jeans made her uncomfortable, and she felt fat rather than the sexy she’d hoped for. She buttoned the crisp, pink collared shirt and hesitated only a few seconds before deciding to leave the top one undone. Joel will notice me today, she told herself. She left the room quickly before her reflection scared her into changing into the old, conservative style clothes she’d always worn.

For Julie, stepping onto the school bus was like entering a different world—comfortably familiar and sparkling with promise. Old friends, new friends not-yet-met, and the prospects of the year ahead took her mind off her embarrassing attempt at look-at-me fashion. How could her impossible dream of romance compete with the reality of laughter and the social whirl of high school?

When the bus pulled into the lot, Julie’s smile died. She stayed seated until only she and the driver remained. She looked down and sighed. Julie quickly buttoned her shirt to the top, picked up her book bag, and stepped onto the campus.

Into Dark Waters-Synopsis

A cruise ship is an easy place to commit murder. Body disposal’s a cinch, and suicide’s the likely verdict. The only problem is determining how to choose the next victim.

Sad and sexy, women find Detective Jim Tanger attractive. He doesn’t care. His wife’s suicide three years ago froze his soul. When Jim hears that Sunburst Cruises has lost another young female passenger to an assumed suicide, Jim’s passions erupt. He pushes the department and the cruise line into letting him investigate. Battling seasickness and overwhelming shyness, Jim must protect the women and find the killer only he believes exists.

Julie Cooper loves her husband Joel. She hopes their anniversary cruise to Hawaii will be a new beginning for them. Before her suitcases are unpacked, someone unleashes a campaign of terror against her. Anonymous threats, cryptic messages in her cabin, and an attempt on her life force Julie to look at the one person who might want her dead; the one person she trusted with her life.

iTunes: http://bit.ly/DarkWatersiTunes

Amazon: http://bit.ly/amazonWaters

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/Watersbn 

Megan as a sophomore (from Haunting Megan)

BookCover5_25x8_BW_330.pngIt’s tough to go unnoticed when your grandfather forgets to buy you new jeans, and the only ones you have are two sizes too big in the waist and three inches too short. Too tall. Too skinny. Too gawky. Too weird.

That’s the girl who sees ghosts, someone will say.

She looks like a ghost herself, they’ll laugh.

They’ll look me over then look away.

You know her mother’s in jail for murder, they’ll whisper.

You know she discovered the bloody body, they’ll giggle in sick delight.

Maybe it’s her fault her sister’s dead, each one will think.

But I will know.

She doesn’t belong at school with normal people, they’ll shout.

I don’t belong anywhere.

Haunting Megan-Synopsis

After suffering years of abuse at the hands of her alcoholic mother, Megan wakes to screams, cries of murder, and the room splattered with blood. Sent to the mountains to live with the grandfather who’d once abandoned them, Megan must learn to care for her young sisters and manage Wind Hollow Lodge. Fighting to live a normal life, Megan ignores the haunting memories of her past. But she can’t ignore the ghosts that terrorize her. Believing her sanity is slipping away, Megan is unable to keep her visions a secret from the town. When murdered men are discovered on Wind Hollow land, people start to wonder just how crazy Megan Wilson really is.

iTunes: http://bit.ly/HauntingiTunes

Amazon: http://bit.ly/amazonHaunting

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/HauntMegBN

Please comment below to enter to win! I’d love to learn about your first day of high school! 

  I’ll see you at the next stop of the #RRBC BOOK and BLOG BLOCK PARTY! http://wp.me/P49Fi9-2y5

Welcome JASON ZANDRI’s As Life Goes: Elementary Blog Tour


I am honored to host Jason Zandri on this stop on his As Life Goes: Elementary Blog Tour!  Jason is a skilled and talented writer whose books I’ve enjoyed. He’s also very supportive of other writers.  Thank you for supporting Jason…and remember to leave your comments below.


Offering up segments of your books online as free excerpts is a great way to get readers engaged with your writing, your style of writing, and the theme of the given story you’re sharing with them.

At times you have to decide, do I want to share out the first few chapters sequentially to give potential readers the startup and to entice them to read the rest, or do you
cherry pick some juicy parts, like different scenes of a movie that you might view as a preview trailer, to get them excited about the full story.

It’s hard to decide what to do and not second guess yourself. For example, I saw a ton of movie trailers for the recent theatrical release of Marvel’s “Ant-Man” before the movie was showing and every single one trailer left me underwhelmed. What makes matters worse is that I am a huge fan of the superhero genre, so because of that I generally allow for a huge level of latitude and consideration when something seems like it might be mediocre, where the larger movie going base might not. To have a movie be a big success you can’t draw from “just” the fan pool; you have to entice other movie goers to be entertained by the overall film and not the general subject matter (in this case – a superhero story).

Ant-Man might have its detractors, but I was pleasantly surprised with the film overall as a good superhero movie and a good story overall. It had moments of smart comedy in it (without being “stupid”) and it was much more than just a “flash/bang” action movie.

The point I am getting to is that in the end, the theatrical trailers did not do the movie justice.

The same can happen if you decide to cherry pick across your book to what you think are the good parts in an effort to entice a reader. You might over deliver on the excerpts and not leave enough for the reader to enjoy in the full story. Or what you might believe are the best parts to cherry pick, don’t end up being the strongest parts of the story, the way your readers see it.

Of course, if you have a slow starting book, just picking the first three chapters could have a similar effect. You might not hook them enough to get their attention.

Sometimes a mix will work, where you start the potential reader off with two of three chapters you want to offer to whet their appetite, and then give them a critical or pivotal chapter in the middle of the story that makes them compelled to find out what happens next.

One size never fits all and I find with myself trying both methods to see what works best. I am figuring out what is working best by asking readers that I am in touch with, what brought them to my story. The ones that respond “the free excerpts,” I ask them what “hooked” them so I can get an idea where to focus in the future.

With that, I have three links back to my blog where I have three existing excerpts to “As Life Goes: Elementary” and tomorrow’s post on the blog tour will be a previously unavailable excerpt – “As Life Goes: Elementary” – Excerpt IV, so be sure to visit back to read it.

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As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt I

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt II

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt III

About As Life Goes: Elementary

“Every new beginning starts from nothing. Understanding that you can have everything in the love of one person, isn’t that worth the risk of personal capital? Isn’t that kind of love worth it?” – Diane Wakeford

“Have I ever told you, you’re the nicest boy I’ve ever met?” – Melissa Bancroft

“I will have the friends I want. I don’t care what boy likes me or what boy I like. You’re an awesome friend. I am not giving you up because we’re going to different schools or for any one person either.” – Elizabeth Wellsworth

Mark Sanford returns to his hometown with his son Matthew in tow to rebuild their lives. Recently divorced, and with the mother totally abandoning her parental responsibilities, both father and son are beginning their fresh start together.

Matthew begins to make new friends in the neighborhood and at school while he tries to find his place among people that have been friends with one another for years at elementary school.

Mark takes over the reins of the former family corner store with the help of a young woman looking for work. The ability to love and trust that woman entering his life is difficult for him because of all he has lost. For Matthew, that “first love” is difficult to understand without a motherly influence and with a father that has been deeply hurt.

As Life Goes: Elementary – Links to Excerpts

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt I

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt II

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt III


Books and links

Before Another Sunset (The Sunset Series Book 1)

Another Sunset (The Sunset Series Book 2)

I Hero: The Beginning

I Hero: Nathan Returns

As Life Goes: Elementary


As Life Goes: The End of the Innocence – (expected November 2015)
As Life Goes: The Reunion – (expected April 2016)
As Life Goes: The Wedding (expected July 2016)
As Life Goes: The Funeral (expected October 2016)

 I Hero: Untitled Book 3 (Expected first half 2016)
I Hero: Untitled Book 4 (Expected second half 2016)
I Hero: Untitled Book 5 (Expected first half 2017)

Social Media links

Twitter – @GUNDERSTONE https://twitter.com/gunderstone/
Facebook Author page – https://www.facebook.com/jzandri
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonzandri
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+JasonZandri/
Author blog – The GUNDERSTONE Review https://gunderstone.wordpress.com/



Jason has been working in the information technology field in one form or the other since 1996. He is currently employed full time at Bloomberg LP as a Systems Engineer in the R&D group. Jason lives in Wallingford Connecticut, with his wife Renata. He is the father to four children, three boys and 1 girl – 11 years (Andrew), 9 years (Angela), 7 years (Adam) and 6 years old (Alex).


What Is the Difference Between Sex and Christian Sex?

Is there such a thing as spicy in “Christian” sex??

What is the difference between Christian sex and non-Christian sex?

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It made me very happy to find these questions on a post about my new book, Christian Sex and Marriage—It’s Complicated.

The short answers are simple:

Yes—there is a difference between Christian sex and non-Christian sex.

Yes—Christian sex can (and should) be very spicy.

What is the difference between Christian sex and non-Christian sex?

Difference Number 1—Many Christians Suffer from Shame, Guilt, Fear, and Failure in the bedroom (I realize living in other subcultures that repress sexuality have these problems, too)

If you were brought up in the church, chances are you heard hundreds of teachings about the evils of premarital sex. You also learned that if you abstain from having sex before marriage, you’d be blessed with amazing sex from your wedding night on. The combination of these and other Christian culture norms puts so much pressure on couples that sex drives can be repressed. Shame, guilt, and fear block the joy that God desires for us in our married sex lives.

Here’s an excerpt from Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage to illustrate how many Christians feel:

We both wore white at our wedding and considered it a badge of honor. We had done it God’s way, and we were arrogantly sure our coupling would be blessed.

Instead, the wedding night was a bust.

It’s not that we couldn’t figure out what to put where (we weren’t completely stupid), but our expectations were so high, that when fireworks didn’t explode in our room, we went to sleep disappointed.

That didn’t mean we stopped trying, of course–we’d waited decades to experience sexual fever in the flesh! We knew we’d get fireworks eventually, so we kept pounding away.

By the third day of our marriage, I couldn’t walk and George’s manhood was covered with friction blisters.

I came home from our honeymoon thinking we’d never have sex again.

I was wrong. After giving ourselves a few more days to heal, George whipped out his Bible and got my juices going again.

We even got creative; I got on top.

We found our rhythm and have kept at it for nineteen years.

But I think there’s supposed to be more.[i]


The first few chapters of Christian Sex and Marriage: It’s Complicated address the mindset of believers. To be intimate and free in the bedroom, Christians need to understand that God created our bodies to enjoy sex. Intercourse is a tool to deepen physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy. Guilt has no place. Shame needs to disappear. Intimacy must release fear.

Difference Number Two—Christians Have the Power to Invite God Into Their Marriage and Bedroom

Though that puts a weird picture in your head, God desires complete unity for His children, and a great sex life is one way to help accomplish that. God designed all the hormones and nerve endings that make our bodies tingle and burn with desire. It is ridiculous to repress what God gave us to enjoy. Furthermore, we enjoy it most when we follow His instruction manual. When God takes part in all aspects of marriage, making love takes on a new and deeper meaning.

Is there such a thing as spicy in “Christian” sex??

The very nature of this question illustrates the complete lack of understanding Christians and non-Christians have about sex. We are free to enjoy, free to express, and free to experiment within the bounds of our marriage. Christians, more than any other culture, should have the most exciting, vital, and spicy sex because God is a part of our marriages. Our intimacy should be deeper. Our trust should be stronger. Our sex lives more fulfilling because we know the character of the One who created it.

Christian Sex and Marriage—It’s Complicated answers both these questions with the added bonus of activity suggestions, testimonies, self-evaluation, and more. Pre-order today! http://rebeccareilly.net/?page_id=530

Diary of A Christian—How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage is a fiction humor novella that shares one woman’s struggle to spice up her sex life. http://bit.ly/amazondiary

[i] Rebecca Reilly, Diary of a Christian Woman—How I Used 50 Shades of Grey to Spice Up My Marriage, http://bit.ly/amazondiary.

Team Marriage: Spread the Word

How intimate is your marriage? Would you like real, practical help to deepen the sexual and emotional bond you share with your spouse?

Christian Sex and Marriage—It’s Complicated is a new book written to share ideas, activities, research, and advice to help strengthen Christian marriages.

I believe this is a powerful tool. Edited by marriage and family counselors, pastors, and couples, the information is practical and easy to read.

I need your help. Would you consider joining Team Marriage, a group of people taking 5-10 minutes a week to get the word out about this book? The commitment is simple and lasts only four weeks (from now until the September 2 launch date).

I will send you 2 emails a week with a link to a blog post that talks about the book. All I ask of you is that you add a personal comment and share the information with your friends on Facebook, email lists, and/or other social media.

Our goal is to promote pre-sales of Christian Sex and Marriage—It’s Complicated. High pre-sales bring focused attention from outside promoters—attention that isn’t available once the book is released. As an independent author, this is a critical step in getting the book into the hands of couples that need it.

As a thank you for joining Team Marriage, I will send you a coupon for an e-copy of any of my books (and my eternal gratitude J).

Pre-order Christian Sex and Marriage—It’s Complicated Today & Save!

iTunes: http://bit.ly/iTunessexandmarriage

Amazon: http://bit.ly/sexamarriage

Publish Date: September 2, 2015

To join Team Marriage, just email me at:


Write, “I’m on your Marriage Team” in the subject line.