Sunday, May 26, 2013

New blog series

We've just finished a push on Armed Forces day with Breathless Press. Many chose to review the anthology Serviced. But, being in the armed forces is about more than a day, or even a week. It's a lifestyle, a way of thinking—and not just for the service men and women, but for their support system. Whether its family, community, or their local VFW halls, there is more to being in the army then putting on that uniform. I've had this idea to do a series of guest posts from people on both sides of the track—deployed/enlisted and the family that are left behind.
My first guest is actually someone who's seen both sides of that track. She's fellow author, Natalie Petrovoskii. Give her a warm welcome and be sure to talk to her in the comments section. Ask questions, tell her hi, whatever blows your hair back J
First, welcome and thank you for agreeing to do this. I know it can be a very personal thing.
Thank you for having me-it is great to be here! I am not often the one being interviewed. 
How long were you in the armed forces? What branch? And  your position?
I joined the armed forces as part of an Infantry regiment when I was 18 years old and served for six years. Originally I selected the Infantry trade (woman have been allowed to serve in combat trades for some time in the Canadian military.) After I had my two oldest children I decided to re-muster as an Administrative Clerk.
Why did you join?
I joined for several reasons. As a teenager I was an air cadet and for the first time found a group of people where I felt I fit in. I had a great time in cadets and made lots of friends. I saw military service as an extension of that. My Grandfather and two Great-Uncles served in WWII in the Air Force-my Grandfather was shot down with his bomber crew and evaded capture for several months before being liberated. He made it home, which means I am able to be here today! My two Great-Uncles were both killed in action at ages 22 and 26,and I often think of the ultimate sacrifice they and many other young men and women made for this country. They are the reason we are able to enjoy the many freedoms we have and I personally feel that should never be forgotten. I think it is possible to lend support to men and woman serving even if you do not agree with the military/war. None of us join up because we want to kill people-we join because we want to be part of something bigger than ourselves and make a difference-here at home or abroad.
What was your favourite part of being in the service?
Definitely NOT the food, lol. In all seriousness it was the sense of comradeship, no matter what we were doing. Nothing says friendship like your buddy inspecting your waterlogged feet for skin breakdown after wearing wet combat boots for days at a time. The times when we were called out to assist during a disaster in our home country were also very important because it showed people in our own backyard that the military is not just a bunch of gung-ho killers-we are there to help in the worst of situations.
Can you describe what it's like to put the uniform on? What it means?
For me when I put on that uniform I was representing my entire country-I was making a statement and standing up for what I believed in. I felt pride and kinship with those that had served, fought and sometimes died before me and all those who would after I was gone.
What's the hardest part?
The hardest part is when you lose a buddy. When somebody you trained with and saw every day is suddenly gone it hits you that there is danger involved, that you are not invincible. As time goes on you remember them and the sacrifice they made. You never forget.
What would you say to someone considering going into any branch of military?
I would say that you have to be prepared for the very real possibility that you will be called on to enter the theatre of war. Whatever your position is in the military you are a soldier first and if it comes down to it you could be sent anywhere at any time, and if you are not prepared for that then don't sign up. That being said it is a great experience because there are so many things to experience and places to go. 
Now, the other side of the coin, being the spouse of someone who is deployed.
What went through your mind when your husband was deployed? Having been in the service yourself, you had a good idea of the dangers. Better than most of us who only have a general idea.
The first time my husband deployed he was sent to Rwanda during the genocide of 1994-a horrific experience. I was very afraid and tried to prepare myself that he may not come back. The military had support networks in place to help us but really it was the other spouses that I clung to because they knew what I was going through. I had a 13-month old and was due to deliver my second child while he was away. I spent my entire pregnancy alone and really embraced the military community.
How do you cope?
Most of the time it was very difficult-especially as I watched the full horror of the genocide unfold on television. I tried to stay focussed on my daughter and my soon-to-be born son. I went to deployment nights to meet up with other families of deployed members. I wrote letters and sent care packages and lived for the occasional satellite calls that were patched through a ridiculously long network.
Is there a secret to getting through being separated like that?
For me I think the secret was to remember that he was helping people who needed help the most and I could do without him for a while. Being around other spouses helped me a lot. I could say anything and they understood me, they shared my fears.
How did you feel differently from being the one left behind from when you yourself were the one on assignment?
It was definitely harder for the military to pull the wool over my eyes because I knew how things worked. I knew who to talk to if I needed answers and fast. It was also scary because I knew all too well what he was facing there and the danger he was in.
What is the single best thing a spouse/significant other can do for their loved one who's deployed or sent off across the country for training or other assignments?
The MOST important thing is to stay connected-through letters, packages and phone calls when you can get them. The hours during deployment/training are long and there is a lot of time spent doing the "hurry up and wait" thing. Just having that taste of home helps keep dark thoughts at bay-you have no idea what they are seeing and/or experiencing on a daily basis and it could be the worst thing imaginable. It could also be mind-boggling boring so entertain them! Messages from home are so important, I can't stress that enough. Soldiers spend so many holidays away from home, they miss birthdays, anniversaries, funerals…even the birth of their children while in service to their country. There are many soldiers who have nobody to write to them, and there are organizations out there that arrange for people to write to a soldier serving. Care packages are great-include things like packaged spices, wet naps, soap, shampoo, lip balm, magazines, pictures, and recorded television shows, anything that will lift their spirits.
Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog today.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

We are all guilty of sticking with what we know. Whether it be at a restaurant, book genres, or the makeup we put on; we're sticklers for familiarity. I want to challenge you all to add some spice to your lives this next week and take the Read Something New challenge! Read a new genre, a new author, whatever—just read something new. To help, here is a list of genres. We've featured an author and one of their books or series for each genre. Hope you find something you like!


Urban Fantasy 

D. F. Krieger, Panthers in the Playground, Faxfire Series Book 1

Zoologist Dr. Zeara Faxfire and her side-kick cat, Magic, are called in to help when a panther is discovered during a police investigation. What is a girl to think, though, when the parents of a missing child keep calling her and the panther in question is writing words? Detective Jake Markovich, who is assigned to the case as well and happens to believe in the paranormal is a whole different distraction that turns Zeara's world upside down. Can she lose her grasp on the safety of logic long enough to reach out to those asking for her help?

The only thing Zeara knows for sure is that time is running out, and she must compromise a job she adores to save the panther in her care.

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Dianne Hartsock, Shelton in Love, Shelton Series Book 1

Shelton's falling quickly for his sexy roommate, but can he forget the pain of past rejections and give Nevil what they're both aching for?

Shelton is falling hard for his best friend and roommate, finding Nevil's dark good looks and moments of gentleness almost impossible to resist. But Nevil is more interested in affairs of the body than the heart. As Shelton's desire for the man grows, he wonders if he can change Nevil's mind. But does he even want to? Nevil might not stay, once he learns Shelton's secret, and then his loneliness would be complete.

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Kelly Yeakle, Forbidden Desires

When Dani meets the delicate beauty that is Carmen she knows instantly that she wants her—in her life and in her bed. But can Miss. Commitment-phobic look beyond the sex to see the woman beneath?

To Carmen, the wildly beautiful Dani is a new and exciting friend. What she hadn't counted on is the simmering desire she feels when in Dani's presence. As her relationship with her boyfriend sours, Carmen begins to wonder if there is more to Dani than she realizes.

Should she give in to this, the most forbidden of desires?


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Leona Bushman, The Ulfric's Mate, War of the Weres Series Book 1

Nolan and Alexandria fight their sexual attraction, but can't deny the pull of being mates, despite a serial murder investigation.

Nolan Littlebull is the alpha of the Wahpawhat pack of Werewolves and the lead detective on a series of murders of pregnant women from his pack. Torn between human justice and were justice, he travels deep onto the Yakama Reservation tracking the ones responsible. He is attacked by one of the rival pack, only to be defended by another from the rival pack.

Alexandria George is the healer for the Lupins. She defends the mysterious wolf in their territory from her pack's bully and escapes with the stranger. Nolan and Alex face the complications of being mated and together they must find and identify the killer while facing an uncertain future.

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Shyla Colt, No Man Left Behind Anthology

Even after our brave men and women leave the battlefield, the scars can linger physically and sometimes mentally. Here are three tales of courage, strength, perseverance, and love that deal with both.

After a long sting in Afghanistan, Cpl. Trevor Martin finds himself home for leave and contemplating reenlistment or civilian life. Weary and tired of the grim sights he's witnessed, he turns to his old friend Carly for comfort. When Trevor shows signs of PTSD, Carly urges him to get help, hoping that Repairing His Soul won't cost them their rapidly forming romance.

After a near death experience with an IED in the Middle East, Staff Sgt Alexander Denning is grateful to be alive but scarred inside and out after his fiancée's bitter rejection of his choice to continue serving. Georgette "George" Harper is attending Jane Wayne day for her sister when she's smitten with the McMap instructor Staff Sgt. Denning. Can she convince him what they have is worth the risk? Wooing Her Sergeant may be harder than she thinks.

When Mika gets a phone call that her husband Kasey's been hurt abroad, it's her worse nightmare. Prayers and the grace of God deliver him through, but the battle isn't over yet. The journey back to happiness and health will be painful, full of setbacks and damaged feelings, but Mika refuses to give up on the man she knows is her one true love. A true Marine's wife is Always Faithful, no matter the cost to herself.


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W. Lynn Chantale, Indulging Sin, Love Smackdown Series

Moses Hawke has loved Sin from the moment he laid eyes on her, but being with her cost him a good friend and valuable partnership. Sin knows what Moses sacrificed to be with her and she’s willing to keep a few secrets of her own to maintain their peaceful existence. Some things are not meant to be hidden and when all Sin’s transgressions become known, she’s left to wonder if Moses will still be there to protect her.

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Angeline Rain, Rescued Love, Second Chance Rescue Book 1

Can the doctor, who made a life out of helping animals, heal a human?

One by one, household dogs disappear only to come back after senseless abuse. Veterinarian Jordan Powell will stop at nothing to ensure her patients' safety. Even if that means seeking help from ex-boyfriend, police officer Nate Thrillson, the man whose heart she once broke.

The last thing Nate wants is a relationship. He has an inoperable cancerous tumor in his brain and his days are numbered. Yet, he couldn't resist Jordan.

It's a race against time to save the dogs and the man who captured her heart. Can the doctor, who made a life out of helping animals, heal a human?

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Raven McAllan, The Wager

Catherine is in despair. Her brother has lost a wager and the prize is her. The winner is the one person she dare not be in thrall to. How will she cope?

Brook suggests they wager on the outcome of the previous bet, but he intends to win.

What happens is more than either of them anticipates.

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Angelica Dawnson, Blue Moon House

Julia has the chance to become one of the vampires of the Blue Moon House. Before being accepted, however, she must prove herself to each of the vampires, and each has their own exacting cost.

Ranging from lesbian, to being forced, to physical torture, she is pushed to her breaking point time and again. Eventually her perseverance pays off and she crosses from submissive to dominant and vampire.

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LB Shire, The Damned

Sometimes, what a man needs is a little hope...

Travel worn, and weary, Shane Gregor rides into Hell's Hollow for a drink and answers. On the run for a crime he didn't commit his days are numbered unless he can find proof. What he discovers instead is a green eyed enchantress and a sheriff who's out for blood. When the law catches up to him, can he put his hopes in a woman he's only just met?

A widow who has fallen on hard times, Josie Talbert became a soiled dove for the sake of survival. Her life changes in the course of a night, when a dark and dangerous cowboy steps through the doors of the Dead Horse Saloon, a death sentence looming over his head. Can his words of innocence be trusted? Can a lone woman change the course of fate?

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Adult Bedtime Stories  

Doris O'Connor, Goldie and Her Bears

Take one very human girl. Add three bear shifters and one BDSM club. Shake well. What do you get? Lots of delicious fun.

When Goldie Lockwood receives an explicit note, signed by none other than the man she fell head over clit in lust with on first sight, there is only one thing she can do — obey. After all she is dying to find out what goes on behind closed doors at the exclusive BDSM club.

Having his Goldilocks pounced on by his brother and sister had not been in Jason Stanhope's plan, even if the little human's responsiveness blows the triplets away. Porridge, chairs, beds, she tries them all.

But, can she be the sweet sub they need? Or will Goldilocks live up to her name and run away screaming?

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Kimberly Gould, Cargon, Honour & Privilege

Lives are won, lost and traded on the three-tiered Cargon boards.

Eve, a serving-girl, has watched the elite from the outside, seen the dramatic shifts based on the results of the Game. With a growing need to reach beyond her station, she can no longer accept her position on the edges.

Wagering her own life, she wins and emerges in a strange new world. New rules and old acquaintances tangle to make Eve’s life less comfortable than her position would suggest.
One pawn moved, but an entire world shaken – Eve will change the world.

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Young Adult

J. Lilley, Discovered, Shalean Moon Series Book 1

When Rach moved to Scotland she knew there would be changes. She hadn't expected them to be quite so dramatic. Not only was there a new house, new school and new friends, there was also a secret to discover.

Brios Parde was a Patriarch in waiting. When the powerful leopard shifter senses a new Shalean he is amazed to discover it's the new girl. All his senses tell him Rach will be important to him.

However the Rogues try to destroy the budding relationship. Will Rach decide to side with Brios or help stage an uprising?

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We hope you see something you like and wish you the best on the Read Something New Challenge!