Why We’re Screaming – Lucy Felthouse

The NHS’s Unsung Heroes by Lucy Felthouse

The UK’s NHS (National Health Service) is world-famous, and rightly so. It provides people with the healthcare they need, when they need it, and without presenting them with an enormous bill after the fact, giving them something else—aside from their illness—to worry about.

It gets a bad rap in the media, who pick up on its shortcomings, its wait times, staffing issues, management issues and so on. Basically, all the bad stuff is reported on, and none of the good. The fact it’s free, the fact that the “boots on the ground” work their backsides off to give the best possible care they can to patients.

So I’d like to give a hearty mention here for the NHS’s unsung heroes, who, in my opinion, are the nurses. I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals, and in particular a chemotherapy unit, over the last few months (I don’t want to go into that, though!), and I’ve seen, first-hand, that those nurses are rock stars. Seriously. These men and women are knowledgeable, professional, caring and always have a smile and a kind word ready for you, and even a hug when you need one. These are people that will bend over backwards to help you, even if something isn’t technically their job. These are people that miss their lunch breaks, that don’t eat until their shift ends because they’re so busy caring for other people. These are people that have doctors asking them questions, asking their opinion, because they know just as much, and in many cases, more than the doctors do. And yet the doctors are lauded as the heroes, while the nurses are painted as just being “there,” doing “stuff.”

It’s absolutely not true. Without those nurses, in that chemotherapy unit and doubtless elsewhere in the hospital, the whole system would fall to pieces. Their work is vital, and they’re bloody good at it. So, although none of those amazing nurses I’ve had the fortune to meet will probably ever see this post, I hope some nurses will, whether they work for the NHS or not, because I want to thank them. Just for being amazing.

To everyone else—next time you meet, speak to, or have any dealings with a nurse, pay more attention. Healthcare wouldn’t be possible without them, so let’s show them some appreciation. They deserve it.

Now I’ve said my piece, onto something a little less emotional… details on my latest release! Also, huge thanks to Cate for letting me be involved in this awesome charity effort for such an amazing cause, and well done on organising it. Please dig deep in the auctions, guys, every penny raised is desperately needed.

P.S. Fuck cancer.

*****

eyeswideopen_800 - CopyAn ordinary girl catapulted into an extraordinary world meets two even more extraordinary men—but what will she do when she discovers their sexy secret?

Fiona Gillespie moved to London shortly after graduating to take advantage of the opportunities the capital could offer. However, months later, she’s still living in a horrid flat and working in a grimy East End pub. The problem is, she doesn’t really know what she wants to do, career-wise. So when she happens upon an advertisement for a job at a plush Mayfair hotel, she jumps at the chance. A great deal of determination and a spot of luck land Fiona her dream role.

But working at the Totally Five Star London is just the beginning. She adores the role and flourishes, impressing her bosses and making her increasingly determined to climb the career ladder.

While her career is flying, though, her love life is non-existent. She hasn’t even thought about men, never mind met or dated one for months, so when she bumps into two gorgeous businessmen in the hotel, she’s surprised to find her head has been well and truly turned. Even more surprisingly, they flirt with her—both of them! She’s drawn to James and Logan, despite feeling that they’re way out of her league.

When a misunderstanding leads Fiona to James and Logan’s sumptuous top-floor suite, she has no idea what she’s about to uncover. Scenes of people-trafficking, drug-pushing and wild sex parties all appear in her active imagination. Yet what she actually sees is something she’d never even considered before, something that piques her interest.

After discovering their sexy secret, what will she do with this new-found knowledge?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of anal play, spanking, sex toys and bondage.

Buy links: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/eyes-wide-open-totally-five-star-london/

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26080607-eyes-wide-open

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy_Felthouse (2)Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

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Why We’re Screaming: Erzabet Bishop

pomegranate largeCancer is a frightening thing. A couple of years ago I got the scare and it was perhaps the most sobering experience of my life. It was routine annual girlie exam. (I know, right. We all looooove those.) Anyway…the test came back abnormal. I had been diagnosed with PCOS with ovarian cysts. Even more fun. The pain and cramping. The weight gain and tiredness. Who’s body was this? Cause I wasn’t amused. (Still not and still dealing.)

The day came for the colposcopy and I had no idea what to expect. Certainly not what happened. For those of you lucky folk who are unfamiliar, a colposcopy is when they take chunks out of your cervix. Without pain killers. You feel a giant pinch inside of your …um…lady parts shall we say and when all is said and done you feel like a hollowed out gourd. It sucked. A lot.

I went home feeling like The Great Pumpkin and hubby took care of me. My friend from work came and held my hand. She is a nurse and understood the frightening thing this was. Cancer. Wow. Not me. No way. How could that even be possible? I was in my thirties. It had to be a mistake.

Then the waiting…

I got lucky. The tests came back negative with the possibility that I may have to do the test again at some future date. It runs in my family. But there are people all the time that didn’t get that second pass and that’s why I wanted to be a part of Scream for the Cure. Cause I did a lot of screaming when I thought I had it. Turns out I got lucky-this time. But I know there might come a day when it could be a different conversation and I have to put on my big girl panties and deal.

Cancer has taken so many people from my life. My sister in law. My great aunt. My mother in law. But you fight. You live for the people who are dear to you and you go on. Love is a powerful thing. To all of you fighting cancer I send light and love. To the ones left behind, I offer courage and compassion for the days ahead. I hope that my books can give you some laughter and maybe even an urge for ice water.

Love, light and happiness.

Keep on reading.

XOXO

Erzabet Bishop

Erzabet Bishop is an award winning author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Dinner Date, Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Mallory’s Mark (upcoming 2016),The Devil’s Due (upcoming 2016), Charity Benshaw’s Enchanted Paddle Emporium (upcoming 2016),Tethered, Sigil Fire, Glitter Lust (upcoming 2016), Written on Skin, Club Beam, Pomegranate, Fantasies in Red, Sweet Seductions: The Erzabet Bishop Collection, Holiday Cruise, Fetish Fair, Temptation Resorts: Jess, Temptation Resorts: Marnie, Taming the Beast, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. Erzabet has been a finalist in the GCLS awards for 2014 and 2015. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies. When she isn’t writing, she loves to review music and books.
Follow her reviews and posts on Twitter @erzabetbishop.
Links:
Amazon author page: http:// amazon.com/author/erzabetbishop/

Why I’m Screaming – Samantha Bryant

Cancer, Thief of Grandfathers

meandbatman copyCancer is a specter in so many of our lives. I know it haunts me, for the people it has stolen from me. Cancer is one of the meaner deaths, taking vitality and strength away before finally taking life itself. Watching a tough and strong person lose his or her fight can leave you feeling helpless in a way that few things can. You feel like there’s nothing you can do.

The first theft was my grandfather. Ray. It was prostate cancer that stole him, hollowing him out from the inside until he was a husk of himself. I was close to my grandfather. Other than my own father, he was my main model for what a man should be. Sitting in his lap reading, his deep voice vibrating through his chest against my ear, was one of the safest places I have ever been in my life. He supported me in my dreams and aspirations, strong in his belief that his granddaughters would make a difference to the world. His pride in me was a motivator in so many ways. He is part of why I teach and why I write.

I wasn’t there when he died. I was in Alaska, teaching language arts and Spanish at a rural school and living in a community where I might be late to work because there was a moose blocking the path. It was an adventure, and he delighted in the idea that I was having such an experience. He told me not to come back to watch him die. We had said our goodbyes on a farewell tour to Montana the year before. He’d spent some of his youth there as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps, and my family’s last gift to him was a trip, allowing him to see the land he had loved so much one more time.

I missed it when cancer stole another father from our lives, too. My husband’s father fought hard, tooth and nail, through three separate invasions. We were on our way to see him when he lost, too weakened by the earlier battles to win a third time.

Grandpa Fred lived to see his son married to me, a move he approved heartily. He threw himself into being a grandfather to my daughter from a previous marriage and the daughter of his own bloodline equally. I like to think we made his last years better, by bringing him new people to love. He was a wonderful grandfather and father to us, and we feel his loss in our lives every day.

So, yes, cancer has left its mark on our family, like the families of so many people. My daughters missed the chance to grow up knowing these two great men. Maybe there was nothing I could do to save the grandfathers cancer stole from us. That’s why I’ll always support charities like this one. Raising funds for research and study so that, in the future, no one else has to suffer like this? That’s something I can do.

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full-swing-computer-shoes2 copy cover2500 copySamantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day and a mom and novelist by night. That makes her a superhero all the time. Her debut novel, Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel is now for sale by Curiosity Quills. You can find her online on her blog,  Twitter, on Facebook, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on the Curiosity Quills page, or on Google+.

Why I’m Screaming – C.E. Kilgore

corinneI grew up with cancer. I didn’t have cancer myself, but it was always there, always lurking. I didn’t have monsters under my bed, I had pill bottles and a vaporizer on the nightstand in the bedroom I shared with my mother. I didn’t have playdates or family vacations, I had trips to the doctors and overnights at the hospital. But I always knew I was lucky – every ‘one more year’ was a victory, we spent so much time together, and I was happy for that.

My mother attempted to give me a normal childhood, but she was limited by her medications, the proximity to her doctor and the gage on her oxygen tank. It was the 1980’s, and cancer treatment was limited to high-dose chemo, medications that did as much harm as good, and a lack of the cancer-specific treatment centers that they have today. When I was nine, her body had given all it could give. Cancer didn’t care that she had been a nurse, a mother, a devout Christian. It took everything, and left nothing.

For a while, I thought my life with cancer was at an end.

At age nineteen, cancer knocked on my door again. And like last time, the deliveryman wasn’t for me. My father had kept it hidden for a few years, but it quickly snowballed into a debilitating decline. It wasn’t the 1980’s, though, so there were all kinds of new treatments and possibilities, and he tried all he could – including something to do with bee stings. Unfortunately, access and cost is still a major issue for those with cancer. He went through every penny had, but in the end only gained a few extra months. Cancer didn’t care that he had been a race car driver, a man of fire and passion, who had plans to die on a speedboat named Beyond Reason. It took everything, and left nothing.

He would have been sixty-five this October.

I’ve talked to my doctor. I know my odds. Genetically speaking, I’m a time-bomb waiting to go off. Cancer will knock again, and one day it will be for me. I don’t know when, and I don’t know what I’m going to do when it does.

What I can do is hope. I have hope that organizations and events like Scream for the Cure will help to raise awareness. I have hope that advancements in medical science will continue to offer new treatment and chances for cures. I have hope that insurance companies and drug companies will work together so that a person’s life is not dependent on how deep their bank accounts are. I have hope for the future, because when you live with the shadow of cancer in your life for so long, you learn that hope is what will one day defeat it.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to Scream for the Cure or other cancer causes. And thank you to all the wonderful authors who are supporting this!

C.E. Kilgore
http://www.cekilgore.com

Why We’re Screaming: Landra Graf

Raven Pirate Assassin Spy-300x450Last year I blogged about losing my grandmother. Today, I blogging about a friend and a co-worker who lost her battle over a year ago.
My friend, Donna, worked hard and long. She was divorced and a mother of two. In the years that she fought cancer she took care of her mother and dealt with many other trials. I learned in that time that even the strongest of wills can’t always beat cancer, neither can the drive to survive.
Donna beat a double mastectomy, but by then the cancer had spread into her lymph nodes and her stomach. She continued with chemo treatment, three different rounds of three different kinds before she decided to stop trying to fight. No suggested doctors treatments, pills or injections could get the cancer to release it’s hold on her. She chose to spend her last days enjoying time with her children and grandchild, before an infection spread in her arm, where fluid had pooled.
When she passed I was not in town. No, I was states away at the RT Writers Convention in New Orleans. I missed a chance to say goodbye, but my friends who passed on my goodbyes told me she understood. Because she knew how important writing was to me, how I was off pursuing my dreams. “She’d smiled and chuckled”, they told me. Then she left this world, bound for something greater.
I can’t, won’t, and refuse to remember the lessons her death taught me. That life is too short to hold grudges, to not smile or laugh, and to lose yourself in working without following dreams. That doing the right thing means more than the bottom line, then your free time, or spending a little extra gas to get someone to a doctor’s appointment. Finally, I will always remember that friendship should lift you up, not put you down, and being a friend means giving of yourself and never asking anything in return.
Author Bio:

Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day, and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.

Find Landra: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

Why I’m Screaming – Nancy Fraser

Why an Author Screams … Nancy Fraser

“Cancer is a word, not a sentence.” – John Diamon

Like a number of the other contributors before me, I too have been touched by this dreaded disease. And on numerous occasions. My father and his four brothers all died of some form of cancer. The beloved cousin I grew up with battled it four separate times, the very last recurrence claiming her life.

In June 2012, endometrial cancer came knocking at my door. I was lucky…if there is such a thing where cancer is concerned. We caught it early and, fortunately, even my recovery was uneventful and did not require chemo. You can bet I book my yearly follow up like clockwork.

Not long after I was diagnosed, my good friend and occasional writing partner, Patti Shenberger, discovered the colon cancer she’d defeated years earlier was back. With a vengeance. Patti was a mentor to dozens upon dozens of aspiring authors. She presided over the Greater Detroit Chapter of Romance Writers of America for a number of years and, in that time, worked tirelessly for the benefit of its members. She was an inspiration to many because of her knowledge of the romance industry, as well as her kind and generous spirit.

 Patti & Me

Despite her own setback, Patti was my cheerleader through my diagnosis, surgery and recovery. We continued to work on our joint project and were well into the third book of our post-Civil war series while Patti’s illness continued to progress. In addition to our writing, we also shared the title of grandmothers to two beautiful baby boys. Aiden was her first grandchild, William my fifth. When writing and editing became too much for her, Patti’s emails to me became all about her family.

In early April of 2014, Patti made the hardest decision of her life … to stop the chemo that was making her weak and unresponsive … so that she could live out the remainder of her time in the comfort of her home surrounded by friends and family. And, even though we lived over a fifteen-hundred miles apart, I made one last trip to visit her. We shared some take-out, a lot of wonderful memories, and a final hug.

Less than a month later, she was gone. She left behind a loving family, hundreds of friends, over 500 Facebook followers, and scores of writers who benefited from Patti’s expertise. It’s only fitting that I write this column today, October 7th, because it would have been Patti’s 55th birthday.

As much as I miss my family members taken by this horrible disease, as much as I feared for my own life, losing Patti has left both a personal and professional hole in my heart.

For those of you who have been touched by cancer, please know you are not alone. We are all there with you in spirit. For those who have not felt cancer’s icy grip, count yourselves lucky beyond belief.

Author Bio:

NancyFraserLike most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published twenty-two books in both full-length and novella format. Nancy will release her 25th book in 2016. She is currently working on a Valentine’s Day novella, her next Rock and Roll novella, and a story about a racy Scot titled “Kilty Pleasures”.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Media:

Website: www.nancyfraser.ca

Blog: http://nancyfraser.ca/wordpress/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor  @nfraserauthor

Facebook: http://facebook.com/nancyfraserauthor

Why I’m Screaming–Inge Saunders

Because I’m a writer there are a lot of situations/scenarios in life I have to imagine myself in. I always push my emotions and experiences to the limit to see what my characters can endure. One thing I haven’t imagined and was very reluctant to do was imagine the worst day of my life.

For parents the worst day of their lives is when something irrevocable happens to their kids. They have no way of protecting them from it or coming up with a solution. They’ve always soothed all the wounds, but then here’s something no amount of reassurance and love can take away. That’s their worst day.

Mine, is the other way around.

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Last year in April I went with my mother to the doctor’s office, she’d been experiencing blood flow when she shouldn’t be and went for a checkup. Her gynecologist recommended they do a biopsy. They found a growth in one of her ovaries. Her doctor didn’t call it what the surgeon cold bloodedly said to her, “You know you had cancer.” He had called it a growth. She had to go in for surgery.

I don’t think there are words to describe how surreal life is after such a prognosis. The everyday hustle and bustle of traffic slows down. People going about their day, seemed pointless. The sun, the air, everything’s magnified. And while my senses picked up on these things, I saw my mother’s face‒pale shock contorting it into a mask.

And I fought. I started to fight like I’ve never fought for anything in my life. I focused on the exact words of the doctor, banishing the C-Word. I compartmentalized every single fear and spent the next couple of months living through the worst day.

They decided to do a hysterectomy, the operation took three hours. I waited in the hospital room because my face was the first thing my mother wanted to see when she woke up. I had a deadline for edits on my second book, so I worked while I waited.

The surgeon came to talk to me right before they brought my mom out. He said the growth was smaller than the tip of his pinky finger. Which is probably bigger than the tip of my pinky finger, but didn’t exclude the fact that the growth had been small and hadn’t spread, they checked.

In the next couple of months I took care of my mother. I’m the youngest of three and usually viewed as ‘the baby’, and here I was taking on the responsibility of someone who typically took care of me. I had made it through the worst day, I knew I could do this and I did.

Cancer is personal. Like any illness or disease that threatens your life. Both my grandparents on my mother’s side died of lung cancer (both were smokers). An aunt also died of cancer due to faulty surgery right at the end of the Apartheid era when hospital care hadn’t been what it’s supposed to be for a lot of people in South Africa. Again, cancer is personal.

My mother forms part of the blessed who detected the growth early before it could infect the rest of her system. I am grateful and thankful for that. I remember when she first told me she needed to go to the doctor, how I kept on her to make the appointment. I also remember standing firm on her going for the operation. Not everyone has someone to ‘bully’ us into choosing our health. And mothers never seem to put themselves first, yet they are so integral and vital to our lives.

But this disease impacts both genders, any age and race. It doesn’t discriminate. My hope for taking part in this cause is to encourage everyone that when you feel/see something is ‘off’ with your body, have it checked out. It’s scary. But the longer you hold off the worse it could get. It might even be nothing. Either way make sure. Your life matters to someone, if not for yourself, than do it for them.

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Author Bio:

Inge Saunders fell in love with books when she started reading romance novels with her grandmother. Intrigued by the worlds books unlocked, it was inevitable she would take pen to paper.

At age fourteen she wrote her first novel which wasn`t such a roaring success according to her brother. Not discouraged, she realized something fundamental: as a writer you can only write about what interests you, a principle she still upholds in adulthood.

When she`s not writing about that ‘inexplicable attraction’ she`s reading almost every sub-genre in romance out there, spending time with friends and family and taking hikes in her hometown`s National Karoo Park.

She forms part of Romance writers` Organization of South Africa (ROSA) and currently has two books out with Decadent Publishing; Falling for Mr. Unexpected and her latest release Dance of Love.

Blog: Inge Saunders – Inside These Lines

Books by Inge Saunders: http://bit.ly/1defI54

Twitter: http://ingeulrikesaunders.twitter.com

Facebook: http://ingesaunders.facebook.com

Other Sites: http://ingesaunders.goodreads.com

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