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Hi. Sometimes you hit a bump in the road, and after falling on your butt, your need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get rolling again.
That bump in the road for me was cancer. I was diagnosed about eight months ago. I’m lucky, though. It was treatable with surgery and required no radiation or extra therapy.
So my story has a happy ending. I had the surgery in late January and I’ve had the follow-up where the doctors informed me they’ve gotten it all and there’s only a 5% chance of it recurring.
Relief and smiles all around!
In the months leading up to the surgery, I did alternative treatments to ensure I had every chance of getting through this with the best possible outcome. I’m still doing some of them because… well, they’re making me healthier.
I’ve lost 65 pounds, which my doctors and alternative practitioners are thrilled about. My high-blood pressure is down to normal and I’ve gone off all but one of my prescription drugs. I seem to be healthier than I was a year ago. And as I continue to lose weight (yeah, I still have a ways to go), I’ll keep getting healthier.
The whole thing has been stressful and terrifying, though. The initial diagnosis was a punch in the gut, then there was the agonizing uncertainty leading up to the surgery… and afterward until the final results came in.
I’m sure that the crazy stress I put myself under over the past few years trying to release a book or more every single month played a part in me getting sick. People close to me kept telling me to slow down or I’d burn out but my answer was that I had to keep going. Keep bringing in income. There was no choice.
But now I realize that nothing is worth losing your health. I was amazingly lucky, and now I really understand that there is always a choice. And I’m making it now. I’ve vowed to slow down and give myself downtime every day.
I know that sometimes I’ll slip (it’s already happened), but then I’ll re-evaluate and figure out how to proceed in a better way.
To help, I’ve decided to take up art to keep me excited about doing something other than work. I’m taking SkillShare classes to learn to draw, starting with some really fun stuff, like drawing a friend as a Disney princess. I want to draw mermaids, fairies, angels, and beautiful princesses. Maybe even some sexy men.
I love working with colour and am using Copic markers right now. I’ll expand to watercolour and other media as I proceed. Hopefully, next time I guest blog with Delilah, if I’m brave enough I’ll share something I’ve done.
So if you find yourself really stressed, taking on too much, finding it hard to breathe you’re so piled under, I urge you to take a moment, decide that ultimately your health is more important than anything else, and find a way to lighten your load.
Start by doing something for yourself. Grab an adult colouring book, go for a walk, meditate… anything that gives you an hour or so to relax every day. Even pick up a good book! 😉
And remember, enjoy your life.
Talking about picking up a good book, today I have a new release, Forbidden Mate. It’s the first story of a steamy sci-fi romance series called Abducted. There will be 5 books in all, and I’ll be releasing one per month.
Yeah, I know, I just said I need to slow down, but three of five stories in the series were originally published through Samhain, so I’m only writing two new ones and my very capable husband is taking on most of the production work to get the books out. So this is a wonderful opportunity for me to release every month while maintaining a lighter writing load.
Now check out the sexy cover!
Being abducted by aliens to be mated to their king is not how Aria imagined her dream vacation would begin.
Aria’s career fills the void that foster care left behind, but recently, steamy, erotic dreams make her think she’s working too hard. A free trip to a luxury resort is just the ticket. Until she’s ushered to a “VIP party” and abducted by an alien who insists she’s his king’s soul-mate. Love at first sight, let alone sight unseen, is a myth. Her increasing attraction to the ship’s captain, however, is far too real.
Captain Tai Gaman’s mission was simple. Kidnap Aria and deliver her to his king. What’s complicated is the blinding desire he feels for the Earth woman that is almost impossible to resist.
As the sexual hunger between them reaches unbearable height, Tai must make the most difficult decision of his life. Claim her as his own, or fulfill his duty to the king.
Forbidden Mate is the first book in Opal Carew’s sexy sci-fi romance series, Abducted. If you love stories with a captivity theme that lead to passion and everlasting love (and a lot of exciting, explicit sexual encounters), then you’ll love every story in the Abducted series.
Buy this passionate and sexy sci-fi romance today for some serious heat!
Excerpt from Forbidden Mate…
Tai watched her expression go blank, then her lower lip start to quiver. Gattra, she was going to faint.
He jolted forward, catching the slumping woman before she hit the floor. He scooped her into his arms, and her softness and warmth pressed against him, magnifying the already intense feelings thrumming through him ever since she’d come aboard.
The result was instantaneous. Adrenaline jolted through him. Every cell in his body screamed its need for her. His groin tightened and his penis hardened.
He gritted his teeth against the onslaught. This was his brother’s woman. She would soon be his queen.
He laid her on the couch and tucked a cushion under her head.
He’d been aware of her for a long time—the residual effect of the psychic link he shared with his brother—but he hadn’t expected that awareness to increase so dramatically with proximity. It was Zander’s link, and he was still many light years away.
Tai stroked long strands of dark blonde hair from her face, ignoring the rush of arousal her silky skin triggered. His gaze lingered on her perfect oval face, pretty, curved nose and delicate, full—and very kissable—lips. Her closed eyelids hid her beautiful, cobalt blue eyes and made her seem very vulnerable.
Damn this business. He’d hated the look of fear in her eyes when he’d explained why she’d been brought here. Clearly, she believed she would be mistreated. The pain lacing her eyes when he’d reminded her of her unfortunate past still scoured his heart like steel wool. With a history like hers, stealing her from her home was mistreatment. But as much as the thought tugged at his heart, there was nothing he could do about it.
He fetched a cloth and dampened it with cool water. He knelt by the couch and pressed it against Aria’s forehead. Her eyelids flickered open, revealing two vivid blue pools speckled with gold.
“How are you feeling, Aria?”
She pushed his hand away. As her fingers brushed against his skin, he felt heat rush through him. She started to sit up, but he restrained her gently with a hand on her shoulder.
“Relax. You’ve had quite a shock.”
“I don’t want to relax. I want to go home.” Despite her protest, she slumped back against the cushion.
Although she no longer fought to sit up, he couldn’t draw his hand from her shoulder. The need to touch her was too powerful. The sharp sparking of his senses was addictive.
“I’m afraid that’s not an option.”
She scowled. “Of course it’s an option. It’s just one you choose not to consider.”
Her scent, an exotic, spicy musk, filled his nostrils. He found himself easing toward her, his voice softening.
On the edge of his consciousness, a part of him worried that these wild, erotic feelings might swamp his well-trained, highly controlled restraint.
“I’ve already explained why. Once you’ve joined with your tanash’ae, you will thank me.”
“I highly doubt that.”
Silence hung between them.
He knew her hormones must be raging. That’s what happened when a tanash’ae bond was awakened. Her need would intensify to an intolerable level as they traveled closer to Sa’oul and her tanash’ae, Zander. Tai did not intend to allow her to suffer.
She licked her lips. He couldn’t help following the motion, watching her now glistening blush-pink lips in fascination.
“So what happens now?” she asked.
Now I taste your lips and take you to the heights of ecstasy.
He found his head dipping toward hers and stopped, pushing aside the urge to sweep her into his arms and kiss her senseless.
“Well, that depends. I’m sure I can find ways to entertain you.”
Again, here’s the buy link:
As a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of erotic contemporary and sci-fi romance, Opal Carew writes about passion, love, and taking risks. Her heroines follow their hearts and push past the fear that stops them from realizing their dreams… to the excitement and love of happily-ever-after. Her books have won several awards, including The National Readers’ Choice Award (twice), The Golden Leaf Award (twice), The Golden Quill (4 times), CRA Award of Excellence, JABBIC (multiple time) and Silken Sands.