Please meet Kimi and Art Ogami. They have been married over 60 years and met through a most unique set of circumstances. Valerie Mann and I were fortunate to meet them both at the 44th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage .
Art was one of hundreds of thousands of Japanese Amaericans, citizens sent to ‘camps’ during WWII. He was a 20 year old American born man at the time, and the only thing he had to say about it was…”We did everything the government asked.”
After the war, he traveled to Japan where he renounced his American citizenship in order to work as a civilian military worker…in the American military hospital. There he was introduced to Kimi, a typist who worked with his sister.
Kimi told us the town they lived in was scheduled to be the place where our second atomic bomb was dropped, but due to a lot of moisture in the air, the military command feared the spread of radiation around the world, so sent the planes on to Nagasaki.
So, in the midst of war and injustice, they met. Many things happened since… They married. Art regained his citizenship and returned to America. Art and Kimi had three children, worked hard, and are so proud to have three houses, one to leave to each of their children. Actually we learned very little about his time in the camp. They spoke of the positive things, happiness, family, prosperity. They never said one bad thing about a government that let Arts’s family down so badly and nearly killed Kimi and everyone she knew. They were also very happy to share their love story, thrilling our romance writers’ hearts.
Their dignity and grace is nearly impossible to convey.
Art is 92 and Kimi must be close to that. They do not look their age, as you can see despite my poor photography. And they have based their life together on the good things. So many times it’s easy to dwell on the bad, but they reminded me it is possible to surpass injustice. To succeed and find happiness. To be married over 60 years and smie at inside jokes.
Manzanar and some of the other camps where Japanese Americans were imprisoned are still around, and if you have the opportunity to visit, I highly recommend you do so. They are reminders of a mistake we as Americans do not want to repeat. They also hold they spirit of a people who built basketball courts, wading pools, grew orchards and continued to live and love…even when the country they respected treated them so poorly. The ManazanarCommitte site has a great deal of informaton to offer.
Rainbow Book Reviews says: Like the other 1Night Stand stories, this one is short, hot, and is the consequence of just a touch of Madam Eve’s uncanny magical abilities in bringing couples together who either have no idea they really belong together, or want to have a partner but don’t know where to start. In this case, we have two men who are best friends, both think the other is straight, and both have developed a huge crush on the other. Neither wants to risk their friendship, so they do nothing.
The whole review can be seen here.
I am thrilled to be part of a f/f anthology to be released in early fall. Featuring Anastasia Vitsky, Cassandra Dayne, Lucy Felthouse and Patricia Green and me! Stop by often for updates on the project. We were all delighted to focus on the delicious possiblities of a second chance at romance.
LOVE’S REPRISE, OCTOBER 2ND FROM LAZYDAY PUBLISHING
Love gets a reprise in these five short stories by best-selling authors, Cassandre Dayne, Patricia Green, Lucy Felthouse, Kate Richards and Anastasia Vitsky. All about women’s relationships with women, the romance and erotica are deep and abiding, with musical interludes flowing throughout. Three stories include spanking, sometimes a little BDSM sneaks in, often the stories are erotic, and sometimes the relationship is about true friendship. A second chance for love between women is the over-arching theme. Anastasia Vitsky brings us a story about Leila and her best friend Carene. Leila is faced with the unhappy choice of staying in a small town with Carene, or reprising her musical career, something she wants very much. Music plays a part in Cassandre Dayne’s, “Broken Dreams,” a story about the lead singer of a rock band who finds love with her former friend, veterinarian Samantha Mason. Their deep, dark cravings are finally revealed. In Lucy Felthouse’s story, a ruse first used to push men away later becomes a part of this female couple’s lives as they explore the truth of their love for each other. In Patricia Green’s contribution, the torch singer known as “The Entrancing Emmaline Irmagard” is faced with breaking up with her long-time piano player or accepting her second chance spanking for previous bad behavior. Kate Richards tells the story of neonatal nurse Kim, who has withdrawn into herself due to the loss of the one she loves, but she finds herself teased out of herself when she meets Nora. The only problem is that she doesn’t know if she can take a chance on love again. Find the passion, the intimacy, and the desire among women in this anthology written entirely by women. Love’s Reprise will melt your heart on even the coolest days.
As the lead singer of Driven Wild, the hottest alternative rock band in the States, Ginger Parsons seemed to have the dream life. A darling of the media and fans alike, the fact she was married to Draeven Montgomery, a movie star and recent recipient of the “Sexiest Man Alive”, allowed everyone to believe her life was perfect. Little did anyone know about the dark and ugly secrets she kept sequestered deep inside. Her marriage was nothing but lies. After one wretched event, she escaped to her hometown, determined to pick up the pieces.
Samantha Mason, Sammy to all who knew the tom girl, was everybody’s friend. A well respected veterinarian, she lived her life caring for animals – the only creatures she could trust. A chance meeting with her childhood friend, the very woman she’d given her heart to almost fifteen years before, was a reminder that love had no boundaries. A nasty argument and a difficult decision to live a vanilla life had pushed them apart. As a new friendship was formed, the fires that burned within were re-kindled and they explored the dark cravings they both hungered for. But a looming decision faced them both. Could she convince the gorgeous rock star that second chances really could exist?
A woman bumps into someone from her past. A someone who doesn’t like her very much. The reason being, many years ago the two of them were friends, and one night when they were out clubbing, they were approached by some men who wouldn’t leave them alone. The girls danced together very provocatively, giving the men the impression that they were lesbians, and together. It worked as the men left them alone, but woman number two then tried to kiss woman number one. Woman number one was horrified – hadn’t realised woman number two was that way inclined. They fall out and don’t speak again. In the present, though, woman number one has come to realise she is attracted to women, and it was mainly fear that spurred her reaction to the attempted kiss. She tries to build bridges with woman number two, who’s reluctant. They do eventually make friends, and then move into a relationship.
Obviously it will be much hotter and much more exciting than my brief, which is more like a short synopsis. Hope it’s okay for everyone, and perhaps we should make sure none of us use the same character names. I haven’t got any for mine, yet. I don’t normally figure those out until I start writing.
The Entrancing Emmaline Irmagard
1948, Los Angeles/Hollywood
This is a F/F erotic spanking story about Emmaline Irmagard Winestein, torch singer. She’s dropped the Winestein and is known as “The Entrancing Emmaline Irmagard.” She’s quite famous and puts on great shows in Hollywood, Manhattan and around the world.
We open with her anticipating a spanking from her piano player, Theresa. Emmaline missed a show altogether, having gotten drunk after breaking up with her saxophone-playing boyfriend. She was distraught and left her phone off the hook. She’s often late, but when she didn’t show up, Theresa had to play a solo performance. The venue (a trendy nightclub in Hollywood) is very angry.
Theresa tells Emma that they’re through. She’s done with covering for Emma and with nagging her to do her job. Emma knows that Theresa is a big part of her act and doesn’t want them to break up. She respects Theresa and has a secret crush on her. She’s been intrigued by Theresa’s preference for women friends for several years. She doesn’t know how to bring it up.
Emma says she’d like to do better but she doesn’t know how to stop her self-destructive behavior. She begs for a second chance. Influenced by her crush, she asks for a punishment to show her sincerity. Theresa is hesitant at first, but Emma suggests a spanking. Theresa is surprised, but warms up to the idea.
Emma gets her spanking and it leads to something erotic.
Kim’s life has always been on a rail. Good college, career as an RN, marriage to a doctor. Only one thing didn’t fit her parents’ ideas for her life. Her marriage partner is a woman. But they have one another and all is good until Cynthia is killed on a medical mercy mission. A trip Kim had planned to be on as well.
Assailed with guilt, she doubts herself and withdraws, emerging only to work in the neonatal unit of the local hospital and then retreating into her misery. She no longer participates in the overseas trips, terrified of another plane crash or kidnapping.
Her parents are pushing her to ‘try’ dating men, implying that her choice has led to her misery. And in her loneliness and depression, she begins to believe them. Still, she’s in no shape to date anyone until she meets Nora. Another dedicated healer, Nora works with severe birth defects and Kim admires her first for her compassion, then for her beauty. But when Nora’s special skills are called upon for a trip to a third world country, Kim has to decide whether she can put aside her fears and accept the love of the second wonderful woman in her life or retreat into her pain.
Leila is a professional violinist debilitated by tendonitis, and she is living with her best friend from childhood, Carene, who is an orchestra teacher in a small town. Leila is temperamental, fiery, and undisciplined; Carene provides her with discipline.
Leila works to make a comeback in the professional musician world, but she struggles with her decision because doing so will mean leaving Carene and her small-town life. She loves Carene and loves the discipline Carene gives her, but after being told she could never play professionally again she can’t bear to turn down a second chance at the career she loves. Will a second chance at this career cost her the woman she loves?
Here is how the wonderful reviewer at You Gotta Read Reviews describes him” “Lukas is a prepper. Not only is he prepared for devastating earthquakes, he’s also one of the engineers who has invented technology and products to help others prepare for the worst. But, unless something drastic changes, he will be safe in his underground bunker all alone.”
I’m a big fan of romance heroes who are not only hunky (which he is) but smart as well, and I believe Lukas meets that mark. The reviewer goes on to say: “Virgin Under Ground is a fun short story with likable characters and an intriguing setting. I would love to have had more of Lukas and Jane’s story…”
I do plan to write more stories about members of the Nevada Area Preppers, but Easy Peasy by Stephanie J. Grace is coming soon to Decadent Publishing…and there are also members in good standing there as well as a heroine whose talents contributed to the comforts of Lukas’s bunker!
The full review is available at You Gotta Read Reviews.
Just a little something to wake you up…
Paul flipped onto his stomach on the cushioned lounge. Music from the poolside bar filtered to where he sunned himself on the private terrace outside his room. Another hour remained before he was due at the end of the dock for transport to his 1Night Stand date. Arriving a day early had given him a chance to relax so he wouldn’t be exhausted, but the time had dragged.
Who would the famous matchmaker, Madame Eve, send him for his wonderful night? He’d indicated a preference for dark hair, dark eyes, and a muscular stature. His growing attraction for Rex made it impossible to deny he could find a man attractive. Fuck-worthy even.
He’d arranged a date with a Rex look-alike in hopes he could get him out of his system. See if he even liked being with a man. But the pressure around the house had grown until he needed to do something to blow off steam.
Even Andie, their other best friend from forever, didn’t hang around as often. She came over, cooked for them, and bailed. Which kind of sucked because he lusted after her, too. I’m a really fucked up friend. One day the two people he cared for most in the world would realize they should be together. Honorable, protective Rex would take care of Andie and they would be a family.
He would be the guy who came over for Thanksgiving. Uncle Paul to their kids. Hiding his feelings forever, behind his patented clowning. God. He pushed up on his forearms and sat on the edge of the lounge, head in his hands. Great pity party. But he knew he was right. So there he was, on the date of a lifetime.
About to have sex with some strange guy. The fact that the date had been set up on some offshore island, where they wouldn’t have any contact with the outside world for a full twenty-four hours, made it that much worse.
Would he even be able to get it up? The only man who’d ever made him hard was his best friend. Forcing back the despair that turned his limbs to lead, he headed for the shower. If he couldn’t expunge Rex from his system, he’d have to go home and admit his feelings. Then move. Far away. Maybe he could get a transfer to Alaska.
And leave the door open for Rex and Andie to finally get together. As it should be. As they would have by now if he wasn’t such a selfish bastard. Rex would never make a move as long as Paul hung around.
I’ve never been one of those girls who needs piles of angst to trigger strong emotion. Little things can get the waterworks going—a song, the perfect picture, a grumpy word at just the wrong moment—so when The Challenge Series call came at Decadent Publishing, I wasn’t sure how to jump.
I’m not a dramatic girl and though I value a good conflict, I prefer the ‘us against the world’ type plot. I feel conflict faced together makes a couple sooo much stronger, so I usually give them something to rock side by side.
The Challenge Series call asked for characters working through their own struggles, also finding love. Every character has its own personal challenges, but I don’t think I’ve ever set out to intentionally break a character, but with Jenn, I did.
Giving a deeply personal, universally frightening challenge was out of my usual ‘box’ but Jenn proved herself more than ready for the challenge and Dorian, her leading man, showed his worth in support and love.
This one makes me think that sometimes, the stronger the challenge, the sweeter the reward.
***How do you like characters challenged? Deep inner conflict or outside battles? One lucky visitor this week will win an eBook of Home to Hellas, so be sure to leave your name and email with your answers.***
Home to Hellas
The Challenge Series
Jenn’s love of basketball and travel lead her to Greece, but only one
man could keep her coming back. After sharing sexy summers with
distinguished businessman Dorian Logos, Jenn returns for a seventh
with more emotional baggage than she’d like, but her feelings for
Dorian push her out of her comfort zone.
Dorian has loved Jenn for years, the young American delivering spice
and sweetness during their weeks together. When she arrives in Hellas,
limping from an injury, he quickly sees more than her knee is hurting.
He want his love to be enough to heal all ails, but it’s hard to show
his love to a woman who can’t tolerate his touch. If he can help Jenn
get well, he might be able to make their usual summer last forever.
All the best,
I just received a notice that it has moved up to #30…and I am so thrilled! I hope you’ll have a chance to read Two Men and tell me what you think of the story. The AllRomance Ebooks buy link is here.
Paul lifted his duffel then stared at the pink sand beach before him. “So I just wade on in?”
“Yes,” the blonde said, sliding into the water and sloshing in their direction. When she arrived at their side, the water hit her lower thighs. At his height it wouldn’t even hit his knees. “If Donny beaches the taxi, it’s a lot harder to get going again than just letting you off here. Is that okay?” She reached for the hand the pilot offered and hopped onto the deck.
“Sure, no problem.” He kicked off his deck shoes, set his bag down, and dropped in, then grabbed his things and faced shore. “But where do I go when I get on land?”
“Just head straight up the beach to the path. You can’t miss it…there’s one building on the whole island.”
He returned their waves and started toward the date that would change his life. I can’t believe I’ve committed to having sex with a man. He would find out whether that was possible. Whether he could approach Rex when he got home rather than just hint. I’ve had a crush on you for years. Want to fool around? Couldn’t sound lamer. But if this one-night stand didn’t get him out of his system, he would do it. Rex would either be horrified and throw him out on his ass or assume he made another one of his jokes.
But he’d have to be clear as the sea around the island. Provided he could follow through. And since all his previous experiences were with women, he didn’t know for sure.
He had one reason to believe Rex might be interested, and it wasn’t much to go on. How long had he watched him jack off on the couch? Hopefully all the way to the end.