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Australia Day Sale

 

Australia Day

 

Super stoked that A Heart Worth Mending has been included in Amazon Aus’s Australia Day Sale.

You can find out more about the Nights at St Mary’s series here or go straight to the purchase site here for the US or here for Australia

Happy reading!

XX Amanda

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Are you doing it right?

The Personal Files

Yes, I’m going there. And I’m sorry in advance, but I have to have a bit of a rant because the universe seems to be beating me over the head at the moment with a concept that just doesn’t sit right.

Apparently, apparently¸ life ends after marriage. Or, more specifically, a couple’s sex life ends once they have children and settle into the routine of raising them.

Really?

Truly?!

Noooo!!! Say it isn’t so!

But it must be true. The movie makers say it’s so. And the authors agree. Nobody has time for sex once they have kids. That’s why sexy internet chat rooms have become so popular and the divorce rate is so high.

There’s even scientific evidence to support pop culture’s theories. A quick Google search shows many psychological studies and surveys that point to the same conclusion. Parents with young children have less sex than before they had children. And even worse, parents of teenagers have even less sex.

Aaarggh! We’re all doomed. Turns out you don’t need condoms once you have kids, they are contraception enough.

But hang on, that can’t quite be right. Otherwise, how do people have more than one kid? Is everyone having immaculate conceptions? Or maybe they are so supremely fertile once they’ve popped one out that just a hint of sperm once a year is enough to fertilise an egg?

Or maybe, just maybe, pop culture is wrong.

Maybe even some of these scientists are wrong.

See, there’s a myth I’ve heard lately. A rumour circulating amongst some marrieds that flies in the face of this prevailing pop culture belief.

I’ve actually heard it said that life after children is better.

No! It can’t be true, you say.

But they do.

Oh, they must be talking about the experience of parenthood.

But they’re not.

There’s no doubting that the experience of parenthood expands your life exponentially, but these rumours I hear aren’t about that. These rumours I hear are about sex. Specifically, that sex can get better after kids.

Shock! Gasp!

Seriously.

Seriously?

Children = better sex.

But think about it. Relationships often deepen when two people share the experience of parenthood (and I’m not talking solely about biological parenthood – the same concept applies to step-parenthood). A natural part of that deepening relationship is going to be expressed during sex. And although you can’t have sex anytime you want anymore, because, well, there are kids around; that can actually add to the experience.

Pretend for a moment that you are on a diet. Say you have restricted your chocolate intake to one treat at night time. How much do you look forward to that treat? How much do you think about it during the day? And just how good is it once you finally sink your teeth into all that sugary confection?

That is what sex after kids is like.

If it’s not… well, maybe you’re not doing it right.

XX Amanda

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DSC_2582Amanda Canham writes romance and speculative fiction. You can find out more about her light, heart-warming medical romance series here.

 

What’s your line in the sand?

line-in-sandCan you ever truly stay friends with an ex?

When I say friends, I mean a strictly platonic friendship, with no blurring of the lines, no falling back into bed, no mixed messages.

I can’t.

Well, at least, not until a certain line in the sand has been crossed.

For me, that didn’t happen until an ex told me he was in love with a stripper. After that, I knew there was no going back.

Looking at it now, I probably should have drawn the line earlier – for example, when he had a threesome with my best friend and a random stranger they picked up at a nightclub.

But I was young, and at the time it hadn’t seemed like a huge deal. After all, we weren’t together anymore. We were being wonderfully mature and had turned our relationship into a “friendship”.

The problem with being friends with an ex is that the relationship barriers are so easily blurred. There’s not a lot stopping you from falling back into old habits, even just for a night. Or at least you tell yourself it’s just for the night. But your emotions aren’t so easily controlled.

So, is it possible to actually stay friends with your ex?

Maybe.

But if you’re like me and constantly question your decisions then it’s almost impossible to do so without blurring the lines.

There are some people out in the big wide world that don’t have this problem. They are confident decision makers who never seem to doubt themselves. My husband is one of these freaks. Of course, my too-ing and fro-ing on decisions drives him insane 😉

For the rest of us “normal people” it’s not that simple. And when you stay friends with your ex, you can find yourself in constant turmoil. That’s when you need to cross that mystical line in the sand. Or, more specifically, your ex needs to cross that line.

The point of no return is different for everyone. Often, you don’t even know what that line is until it’s been crossed. And sometimes, once it’s been crossed, you don’t even want to be friends anymore.

Relationships are huge emotional investments, and ending them can cost us a lot. Trying to stay friends is a way of minimising the emotional expense, but if it leads to months or years of confusion and heartache, is there any point in trying to stay friends?

I’d love to know what you think in the comments below.

 

Till next time.

XX Amanda

Is infidelity just about the sex?

Does anyone else watch House of Cards? For a politically based show, it can be a little racy… and most of the sex happens outside of the character’s committed relationships. I confess, I find the show quite intriguing – I guess it’s always interesting to see how the other half live. I’m more of your average Joe (or Jane) type of gal, a world away from the power-broking deals of Washington DC, where the show is set.

The particular episode I watched this evening had even more infidelity than usual – not one, not two, but three different characters cheated on their respective partners. The motivation for each individual infidelity varied, and it got me thinking about the nature of infidelity itself.

Why do people cheat?

Can it ever really be as simple as: man sees boobs, woman offers sex and all rational thought disappears until the blood recirculates to the male brain? Does that actually happen in real life?

The thing is, it’s not just men that cheat – women do too.

There are a plethora of articles online explaining why people cheat, ranging from low self-esteem to a lack of sizzle at home, from the thrill of doing something naughty to an inherent desire to leave their relationship. But are these just excuses? Are these just the modern human need to justify and analyse what is a basic carnal need?

Sexual desire is a biological function to promote the continuation of the species. When you enter into a committed relationship, you are not automatically blinded to attractive members of the opposite sex. So does this mean, given the right set of circumstances, anyone could cheat? That’s a rather scary thought and one I tend to disagree with.

See, I don’t think infidelity is just about the sex. I think the true infidelity isn’t the physical act itself which could in fact be over in a matter of minutes (or seconds if you’ve picked the wrong fella) but the intimacy of sharing the act which you have promised to share with one person only.

We, as humans, are stronger than our basic animal desires. Unless alcohol or other mind altering substances that take away our ability to reason are involved, the decision to cheat is just that – a decision. In which case, no matter the reason, the infidelity isn’t just for the sex.

But maybe I’m a little naïve. What do you think?

Till next time
XX Amanda

What are we really celebrating on Valentine’s Day?

redrose on black rockHow did you spend your Valentine’s Day?

Was it thoroughly romantic? Were you one of the spoilt few that was showered in roses, chocolates and diamonds?

Or, like most of us, were you left with the bitter taste of a not-so-romantic night?

I know I shouldn’t complain. I did get roses & chocolates & a child-free dinner date which is more than a lot of people, single or coupled up. But my lovely romantic Valentine’s Night ended with watching the latest test cricket match with my in-laws. Not quite what I’d hoped for.

It’s the damned hype surrounding the day that gets your hopes up. The movies, the adverts, the publicity about this universal day of romance – it makes you want to feel special, to know that you are special to someone, even if it is just for that day.

But when you don’t get that special moment the disappointment can be crushing, especially if you were half-expecting something. I still remember, year after year hoping to receive a rose at school. And year after year I was disappointed, always the nerd-girl in the corner watching the popular kids receive rose after rose.

These days, since the rise of Facebook and Twitter, it’s much worse. When your newsfeed becomes clogged with the gifts people receive, it can make the loneliness that’s usually hidden in a dim corner of your heart shine brightly. In some ways it’s even worse than Christmas. At least the posts at Christmas are generally well-wishes to others. On Valentine’s Day all it seems to be is people posting their damn roses. The day is no longer about love, but bragging.

It’s easy to get cynical about this day. From movies to roses, dinner to chocolates or even diamonds, we are being conditioned to think love equals money. To believe that unless we are spoilt to the nth degree we are not loved as we deserve.

That’s a lie, though. We don’t need to be spoilt to know that we are loved. That’s not what this day is about.

When you break it down, in essence, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating our humanity. All animals, humans included, must mate to reproduce. But we, as humans, do so much more than perform our biological duty for the continuation of our species.

We love. We hope. We care.

And yes, because we feel so deeply we do also hurt. But I wouldn’t want it any other way.

XX Amanda

 

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Can a toy replace the real thing?

Guess what I did last night?

I went to a sex party!

Now, before you get too excited, I should clarify that it wasn’t like a ‘70s fishbowl party, where the ladies put their keys in a bowl and ended up with a new partner for the night. It was more like a tupperware party but with lingerie and sex toys rather than plastic food containers.

Have you been to one?

It’s rather fun. We played a few games, learnt a little bit about each other (including finding out my friend’s grandmother was more sexually adventurous than most of the twenty-somethings at the party!), and got to check out a few items I wouldn’t normally go shopping with the kids for.

The lingerie was gorgeous, some of the products interesting, but it did get me wondering…

Would a sex toy ever replace the real thing?

Ranging from self-thrusting mm-hmms, to vibrating butterflies and tongue simulators, there seemed to be everything to get a girl off in any way she’d want. Hell, there was even a gel to get you all warmed up – who needs foreplay with a substance like that?

But how do these toys compare to the real deal? There’s next to no mess; you’d be sure of your happy ending; and you wouldn’t have to worry about a vibrator snoring afterwards – there’s an off button for that. Put like that, one really does wonder why we don’t all switch from the man to the toy right now. Batteries are cheaper than beer.

Sure there are good things about having a man (or woman) around – they might put the garbage out, or rescue you from spiders, but how do they measure up where it counts? Based on the sales pitch I heard, not all that well.

Maybe I’ve got it wrong, though.

Perhaps the saleswoman was just rather good at her job – she almost had us convinced you wouldn’t need a man if you bought her kit of goodies. But once she started passing the toys around and we could have a proper feel (hands only, above our skirts) I have to be honest, I found them rather… lacking. The materials didn’t quite feel right, the vibrations too set, too controlled, as for the tongue simulator – well I’m really not quite sure how a ferris wheel of plastic flaps is supposed to feel, but it certainly wasn’t good.

I’m sure the toys are great, in the right place, or the right setting. But for me, the toy just won’t cut it.

Give me a real man any day of the week.

Till next time Peeps! Xx

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