My entire life is my music-and all the trappings that come with it. Sex, booze, and rock ‘n’ roll is all I ever wanted. Touring the world as the lead singer of Balefire, I have it all. Until on hiatus, I meet the girl next door.
Ashleigh Baker is nothing like the groupies and celebrities who usually have all my attention. In her cute floppy hat with her knees stained with dirt, she spends her days creating a flowering show piece from her rented yard. She’s the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever met, and she acts like she doesn’t want a damn thing to do with me. But from the moment I laid eyes on her, she’s all I can think about.
Growing up the only child of an Air Force Colonel, all I wanted was to stay in one place for more than a minute. When I score a pretty little house with a long-term lease, I just want to grow my flowers and my freelancing gig as a music reviewer. Then a loud Harley wakes me from a sound sleep and I discover my neighbor is Blu Connolly. Yeah, that Blu Connolly, lead singer for my favorite band Balefire. With his killer good looks and panty-melting voice, he’s a walking temptation to sin. Though I do my best to avoid him, it seems Blu has other ideas. He’s on a mission to wear me down, let him in, but what happens when he stops wanting to sing for me?
Tam DeRudder Jackson is the author of the paranormal romance Talisman Series and the contemporary romance Balefire Series. Her favorite “room” in her house is her back patio where she dreams up stories of romance and risk. When she’s not writing her latest paranormal or contemporary romance, you can usually find her driving around with the top down in her convertible or carving turns on the slopes of the local ski hill. The mom of two grown sons, Tam likes to travel, attend rock concerts, watch football and soccer, and visit old car shows with her husband. She lives in the mountains of northwest Wyoming where she spends most of her free time trying to read all the books. Her TBR piles are threatening to take over her office, and she’s fine with that.
Paulette Stout is the fearless author of Love, Only Better, a contemporary novel and bedroom rallying cry for women everywhere.
Born in Manhattan, Paulette is the gold-star wordsmith and owner of her content marketing agency, Media Goddess Inc., where she crafts content for her list of global clients. Prior to MGI, Paulette led content and design teams at several tech companies, and one educational publisher where her elimination of the Oxford comma caused a near riot.
Paulette’s prior career as a media buyer/planner in New York earned her three industry awards, including a MediaWeek All-Star. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Cornell University and her MBA in Marketing from the Lubin School of Business, Pace University.
You can usually find Paulette rearranging words into pleasing patterns while wearing grammar t-shirts.
Q & A with Paulette Stout
How did you come to write a novel on such an unconventional topic as women climaxing in the bedroom?
I wrote Love, Only Better for the millions of women who feel “less than” because they suffer with unfulfilling intimate lives. It’s a taboo topic to discuss, even with one’s partner, and this leaves too many women feeling ashamed and alone. Love, Only Better puts women’s sexual gratification front and center. My hope is that as women experience the main character’s sexual transformation, they’ll feel empowered to seek transformations of their own.
What makes now the right time for us to have this cultural conversation?
Women’s gratification is so relevant to the current conversation we’re having about women’s empowerment. From work, to home, to the public square—and the White House, women are finding their voices. It’s time we extend that agency into the bedroom. We as women deserve it all, especially in bed.
Why did you choose to write a novel vs. a memoir or non-fiction work?
The journey in the book is one I personally experienced. But when I was seeking help, the only information available was clinical, dry and useless. Writing it as a novel enabled me to share all those useful lessons an approachable package that’s easy to consume. And truthfully, if I wrote it as nonfiction, no one would believe it!
How much in the book is your authentic story, vs. fictionalized?
The entire sexual journey presented in the book happened as depicted. From the doctor visit, to my participation in the clinical study, the radio vibrator comparison, all the way through to the experiences with the masturbation coach. It all happened. The romance and all the characters are completely fictionalized, though as all writers do, I draw inspiration on my personal life.
Did you have any concerns about writing a book on this topic?
Yes of course. I would be crazy not to. But it was a story I felt compelled to tell. I’ve always felt that If I had a question, or a complaint I needed to speak up. Undoubtedly, there are always others with the same question or concern who are not comfortable using their voice. I happen to be someone who is comfortable using my voice, and Love, Only Better is the ultimate test of that courage.
The study scenes in the book are striking. Can you talk to us about what it was like to participate in a process like that?
Sitting in the spotlight talking to a room full of doctors sitting in shadow was the most violating experience of my life. But that gives you a sense of my level of desperation that I would put myself through that. Their questions were brutal: What arouses you during sex? How did you feel when you touched this or stroked that? Those types of questions are so deeply personal. Our sex partners may not even know. However, every step got me close to my goal, so that includes the study.
Why do you think women’s sexual gratification has been so taboo for so long?
In many ways, society still likes to keep women chaste and muzzled. Men are the virile ones. Their sexuality is on display, discussed and measured. Their prowess comes first, while women’s is an afterthought. It’s important to note that our gratification often comes not through intercourse, but other stimulation. That turns the male standard of sex on its head, and it’s perhaps not something men want to even consider. It makes more work for them!
What message do you have for women who had the same challenges you did?
Don’t give up. You’ll get there. Sex is an amazing experience when women are able to climax. It’s worth the effort to understand one’s self and learn the techniques that will make sex worthwhile.
What do you hope women will gain by reading your book?
That it’s okay to talk about orgasms. That every woman should demand more of herself and her partner to make sex an enjoyable experience.
Is your novel a how-to book?
No. it’ a fun romance novel. But it does have enough how-to information to guide women to more satisfying bedroom experiences. I’ve even created a tip sheet of topics covered that’s available for free on my website, paulettestout.com.
Talk to us about the best friend character, Barbara. She’s a lawyer. Was having a Black professional significant for you to include?
Barbara is a great character and I enjoy writing her. I may give her a series of her own one day. Growing up in Manhattan, I was surrounded on a daily bases by a melting pot of people from all walks of life, including many successful Black professionals. Too often in our society when we talk about the Black community, we only talk about those struggling in inner cities. However, there is a growing Black middle class, upper class and millionaire class, so I wanted to accurately portray the people I saw around me when living in New York. I wanted to share that perspective.
Did the main character’s estrangement from her parents mirror your own life?
I was a quintessential latch-key kid, so yes. I had a tremendous amount of independence at an early age. That can be empowering, but also isolating. Rebecca definitely reflects aspects of the loneliness and frustration that can happen when teens are left to their own devices a bit too much when growing up.
The love interest, Kyle. Is the stunning man with the black motorcycle based on someone in particular?
Yes of course! He’s a composite of all the wonderful qualities I love about my husband.
For Rebecca, sex is a joke missing a punchline. No crashing waves. Only pangs of inadequacy. At twenty-eight, shouldn’t she have had one by now? Her snickering ex thought so. His taunts echo in her ears as he rolls out of her bed. Then out of her life.
Lost, Rebecca seeks expert help, joining a study for women who can’t “finish” in the bedroom. There is such a thing? It’s unconventional, for sure, but she’s desperate for answers. The no-sex mandate is a no brainer. Who’d want to be with her anyway?
Then Kyle moves in. Her blue-eyed, black motorcycle-riding dream of a neighbor lives a heartbeat away. Sparks flew immediately. But could the timing be any worse?
If he learns her secret, she’ll lose her best chance at love. But if her lessons fail, she’ll be left eternally broken. Unlovable.
What started as a search for fulfillment, has suddenly become a quest for something far greater.
Love, Only Better is an intimate quest full of heart, blending a fun next-door romance with steamy dates-for-one. Perfect for fans of Helen Hoang (The Kiss Quotient), Jennifer Weiner (Good In Bed), Jojo Moyes and fans of women’s fiction full of wit, spice and soul.
Love, Only Better is about a young woman having a issue with intimacy and not a clue on how to fix it. Rebecca the main character was a delight to get to know. The solution she tries was hilarious, but not unrealistic. The homework assignments were ones that should have helped Rebecca, but I believe she was fighting against them. Her negative thoughts were blocking her from the full experience.
When she meets Kyle, the nephew of her neighbor Bessie, I was hopeful since Ethan broke up with her. I kept wondering if she was going to tell Kyle about the study she was in especially after finding out his ex-girlfriend was the videographer. I did appreciate Kyle’s character especially for his patience with Rebecca.
This book touches on a conversational topic that is taboo, but I’m glad the author wrote an entertaining yet educational story. It reads as a well researched book. The characters were relatable and easy to connect to especially Rebecca and her friend Barbara, who brought a little humor to the story for me.
This book also drops a little wisdom. I will say go into this book not solely as a romance book, but also women fiction with a little humor. Its main focus is helping Rebecca understand her body to achieve satisfaction, the romance element is a bonus. I recommend Love, Only Better to Readers to women fiction readers who happen to like romance.
*This book was provided by the author for review purposes only.
A magical Time Travel Romance, inspired by the cult classic, Somewhere In Time, sweeps readers from 1947 and beyond.
Present Day, Katherine ‘Kat’ Monroe, a celebrated jazz singer, is just ending her first national tour when she meets an elderly stranger who gifts her a locket with a mysterious message tucked inside. Through a series of events, Kat stumbles upon a strange portal in the theater and is suddenly transported to the postwar community of her beloved town…1947.
Kat is thrust into the intrigues of a world that threatens her career and may break her heart. Navigating her way amid risk, passion, and jealousy, she learns her only chance of understanding what has happened lies in Phillip Gordon, a handsome young pianist. What begins in curiosity becomes an urgent need. Kat finds herself torn between two very different versions of Phillip, in two contrasting worlds, one of whom will have to die before the other can fully live again.
Love’s Refrain is Book One in The Stardust Duet – a melodic tale about a man’s devotion, the woman tempting fate to save him, and a bond that transcends time itself.
If you love sizzling romance, edge-of-your-seat action, time travel, a swoon-worthy hero, and a talented heroine in a small town setting, you’ll love KG Fletcher’s dramatic time travel romance books. Each is a standalone with a guaranteed HEA, but an interconnected narrative. Best if read in order.
Buy Love’s Refrain and escape into a lyrical time travel romance adventure sure to steal across the meadows of your heart!
**FAIR WARNING: This book contains scenes of detailed intimacy and adult language. It is intended for readers 18+**
Dubbed, “The Singing Author,” KG Fletcher lives in her very own frat house in Atlanta, GA with her husband Ladd and three sons.
As a singer/songwriter in Nashville, TN, she became a recipient of the “Airplay International Award” for “Best New Artist” showcasing original songs at The Bluebird Café in Nashville, TN. She earned her BFA in theater at Valdosta State University, and has traveled the world professionally as a singer/actress.
She currently gets to play rock star as a backup singer in the National Tour, “Remember When Rock Was Young – the Elton John Tribute,” www.almosteltonjohn.com
She is also a summer artist-in-residence at her alma mater performing roles in musicals for the Peachstate Summer Theatre program, her favorite roles to date being Donna in Mamma Mia!, and Marmee in Little Women the Musical. During lockdown and all through the pandemic, KG got creative using a bedroom closet and used her BFA to full advantage narrating and producing the four books in her Reigning Hearts Series. (Now available on Audio.) She plans on narrating and producing ALL of her stories!
KG is a hopeless romantic continuing her work on her original cabaret act called, “The Novel Romantic – an unexpected evening of sweet & spicy love” to help promote her romance novels. As a full-time indie-artist, a particularly thrilling moment was when her Amazon best-selling romance novel, Georgia Pine became a 2019 Maggie Award of Excellence Finalist.
KG loves to interact with readers on social media, and is a conference speaker sharing how music can enhance a writer’s experience. For more info about tour dates (and FREE concert tickets), go to www.kgfletcherauthor.com/contact.html