Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Valentine's Day Ideas for Fun, Food and Romance During Covid

 Here in Toronto, we're locked down and under stay-at-home orders. How will we be romantic without leaving the house?

Just a few ideas:

1. Try New and Different Sex Stuff

I don't know about you, but I've got plenty of ideas I keep meaning to put into practise. When it comes right down to it, though, my partner and I usually resort to the same-old-same-old. Not that it's bad! It's good stuff, I swear, it's just that it's easy to fall into a pattern. Valentine's Day at home presents us with a great opportunity to shake things up.


2. Massage Your Person

If you're celebrating V-Day with a partner, try giving each other massages.  This could be sexual or not sexual or a bit of both.  The only time my partner has ever fallen asleep during sex is the time I poured oil all over him and gave him a cock massage. He found it so relaxing he was out like a light. 


3. On-Demand Sexy Skills Webinars

Whether you're going solo this Valentine's Day or you're spending it with someone special, check out these on-demand webinars from sex and pleasure educator Luna Matatas. I've attended Luna's webinars and they are fun, informative, and welcoming to all genders. There are plenty to choose from, including Dirty Talk Skills, Hotter Handjobs, Delicious Dominance Skills, and Seducing the Butt.


4. Ruby Waters Digital Concert (and Dinner, if you're in Toronto!)

Thanks to Crow's Theatre in Toronto, you can purchase digital tickets to listen to the sultry tones of Ruby Waters this Valentine's Day. If you're in the city, you can also opt to purchase a fancy-ass dinner that will be delivered to you. Find out more here: https://www.crowstheatre.com/whats-on/view-all/dinner-and-a-show-ruby-waters


5. Write an Erotic Letter

Writing your fantasies down on paper is an especially useful communication tool for those who have trouble expressing their wants and needs verbally. If you've got someone special to write to, great! If you don't, no problem--you can still write to that dream lover. This is an especially great idea for anyone who can't be in the same room with a partner due to pandemic restrictions.


6. Make Homemade Cards

I loved crafty stuff when I was a kid, and I still love crafty stuff as an adult. Wasn't it fun as heck to make homemade cards for your classmates? Break out the doilies and the scented markers, because it's time to draw some hearts.


7. Exercise Together

Release those endorphins by exercising together! I can tell you from experience that it really builds a bond. Take a hike if you like, or find an exercise routine online you can try together. And if you're just you, do it to it! It's icy outside, so I do a lot of walking videos online. You don't even need a lot of space, and I always work up a sweat.



8. Breakfast in Bed

The early bird bakes the bread. Or cooks the bacon. Or butters the toast. No matter the makeup of your household, if you get up first, treat your people to a special brekkie. If you don't live with anyone else, you can always bring breakfast back to bed. Who's gonna stop you?



9. Bake Something Sweet

I love baking. I find it to be such an indulgent activity, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing my baked goods with the people I love. Bake with your household, or bake on your own and drop off your sweet stuff at the homes of family and friends who haven't seen in a while in a contact-free way.



10. Get Cooking, Good-Looking!

If your household usually takes turns cooking dinner, do it together this Valentine's Day. All hands on deck! And if you live alone, you could cook virtually with friends or family. Technology is our friend.



11. Play Games

My partner and I play cards and board games all the time, and it always makes me feel like I'm on vacation. It's nerdy good fun. Being a word person, I happen to love Scrabble and Boggle and crossword puzzles, but I can also recommend cribbage--a game I learned as an adult--and poker, which I played as a child, odd as it seems. My grandmother used to play Scrabble online against her internet friends, so there are lots of virtual options, too!



12. Read a Book

I'm not just saying this because I'm a writer and I want you to buy my books--I also think it's a great and unusual recommendation for Valentine's Day. This idea came to mind because my partner was telling me that, when he was a kid, he wasn't allowed to read at the table. BUT there were some days he would come home for lunch and his mother would ask him, "Would you like to read today?" and he would eagerly nod yes.  He has fond memories of the two of them sitting at the table together, reading their books in silence, and enjoying every minute of it. Kind of cute, right?


Just because restaurants aren't open doesn't mean we can't enjoy a romantic Valentine's Day during a pandemic. Remember, you can still support local restaurants by buying take-out or delivery. 

Whether you're spending Valentine's Day with yourself, a partner, or an entire household--and whether you're looking to spend a little money, a lot of money, or none at all--I hope a few of my ideas will appeal to you and make it a little easier to plan a romantic occasion without too much planning in advance.

Love you!

Giselle

Monday, January 11, 2021

Positive Changes in the Personal Sphere #MondayBlogs #Mindfulness #Meditation

 It's four in the morning and I can't sleep, so I'm reflecting on some of the positive things I've accomplished over the past year.  I'm weaning myself off my habit of ruminating on everything I'm not satisfied with, in my life.  There's a positive, right there.

I wrote some books.  That's something.  It's something I don't customarily acknowledge as an accomplishment, now that I've been writing books for 15 years. I need to work at celebrating each new book I write.  I'm a work in progress, in that regard.

For well over a year now, I've been posting daily to my music blog. That's something I'm proud of.  Doing anything daily is hard work, and there have been many times I've considered throwing in the towel. I kept at it, though, and I'm pleased to share music and memories with the reading public every day of the year.

The things I'm most proud of are personal.

But not too personal that I won't share them with you.

Since the start of this pandemic, I've enrolled in three free online courses that focused on personal growth. I completed the ones on happiness and relationships, and I'm currently working on a course in mindfulness.

One thing that came out of the happiness course was a commitment to meditation practice. I try to do this daily, but it doesn't always happen. Every time I meditate, I feel like I've done it wrong. I don't think I'm getting results or seeing effects.  But I keep hearing about all these studies showing the positives that come out of meditation, so I keep at it, and I see those positives manifest in my life. 

Even if I don't feel like I'm doing meditation right, I'm still seeing benefits.

The most significant course I took this year was a course of therapy.  This is something I've needed for decades, but I've never had the resources. The pandemic changed that, for me, because the province I live in made free therapy available to everyone.  

I went through an extremely intensive twelve weeks of CBT combined with the support of an excellent therapist, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that it changed my life.

Honestly, the reason I sought out therapy was that I looked at my behaviour, my mood swings, my midlife crisis, my perimenopausal rage, and I saw that I was being very unfair to my partner. Unpredictable. Irrational.  Out of control.  I was so afraid of losing him. Our time together has been the best time of my life.

I wish I could have sought out therapy for ME instead of doing it for my partner, but I guess I never valued myself highly enough. I never thought I was worth it. 

Looking back, I realize therapy would have been worth any money--even money I didn't have. But I can't change the past, so I won't bother saying I wish I'd done this decades ago. Because I did give therapy a shot decades ago, the last time I had access to free therapy sessions. Unfortunately, there therapist I was paired with wasn't a good fit for me.  The three sessions I had were not terrible helpful.  Certainly not life changing. 

These ones were.  

The work we did led me to insights about my personality that were truly mind-blowing. And they were the kinds of things where you're like... how did I never notice that about myself? Why did I never connect those dots? They're the sorts of things you see in someone else and go, "Oh, well, she behaves this way because of that thing that happened to her." 

Easy to see in someone else, much more difficult to see in oneself.

When I did that happiness course, I found out that my overriding positive personality trait is gratitude. 

But I could have told you that.  

I am deeply grateful for this career I get to keep because of readers like you. I'm grateful that book sales provide a roof over my head and put food on the table. I am grateful to have a loving and supportive partner who welcomes personal growth rather than being intimidated by it. And I'm grateful for all the resources I've been able to access that cost only my time and effort.

The other day, I said to my partner, "This time last year, I thought I was going to lose you. With all my hormonal changes and mood swings, I didn't think you'd stay with me--and I couldn't have blamed you, if you'd left. But with all the therapy and meditation, I feel so much calmer. Is it just me, or have I changed?"

He assured me that the change has been tremendous. I guess I didn't need him to tell me that, but it's always nice to get positive feedback from someone you hold in high esteem.

Now I just need to work on being one of those people I hold in high esteem.

The work is never done. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

This Stage of Life: A #Gay #BDSM #Erotic #Romance Story

I recently got my rights back on this story, which appeared in an Evernight anthology called HIS: Manlove Edition--so if you bought that book, you've probably already read This Stage of Life. Well, unless you bought the book and didn't read it. I used to do that a lot: buy a stack of books and maybe read one of them, then buy another stack and same thing. 

Anyway, if you haven't read This Stage of Life and you're hankering for a gay erotic romance featuring a former theatre student who meets up with his former dance teacher, this is the story for you--especially if you're curious about puppy play... because these men are very into it!

When he was a student, Andrew attended the Triple Threat musical theatre program at a respected arts school. Back then, he had a girlfriend. The dance teacher, Mr. Czarneki, had a wife. Twenty years after graduation, Mr. Czarneki is widowed and Andrew is gay. There's a definite spark. When Andrew follows his former teacher home like a puppy, Mr. Czarneki shows Andrew how to play like one.

This Stage of Life is being added to new ebook retailers all the time. You can buy it from a wide number of online stores, including... 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Now In Print: Juliet's Diary #Lesbian #Erotica #Novel


My pandemic novel Juliet's Diary is now available as a paperback!

This fourth book in my Lesbian Diaries series came as a bit of a surprise. I didn't plan it, but then we found ourselves in the grips of a global pandemic, so I wrote a novel featuring characters living in the now-times. 

You can buy Juliet's Diary in print at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089M5B2JB?tag=dondes-20
and other places, I'm sure. 

The ebook is still available, too! (links below)


Juliet’s Diary
My Secret Plague Journal
Series: The Lesbian Diaries
Book: 4

Juliet is young and in love. Problem is, there’s a pandemic gripping the planet. She knows she’s not supposed to leave the house, but her lust for her girlfriend makes her defiant. How can Juliet get close to Romi if she has to stay away?

Lesbian fiction from award-winning queer Canadian author Giselle Renarde.

Buy now from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1023428?ref=GiselleRenardeErotica
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0893931Y4?tag=dondes-20
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=IhTmDwAAQBAJ

Apple: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/juliets-diary-my-secret-plague-journal/id1514850526
BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/juliets-diary-giselle-renarde/1137068563
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/search?query=9780463259344

This book is also serialized on the Radish app: https://radish.app.link/ydNxOnxfH6


tl;dr buy Juliet's Diary in print from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089M5B2JB?tag=dondes-20

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Pure Energy in Best Lesbian Erotica Volume 5

 

Just a quick post to let you know I've got a story in the latest Best Lesbian Erotica anthology, edited by Sinclair Sexsmith. "Pure Energy" is a brand new tale--you've never read it before--so you'll have to grab a copy of Best Lesbian Erotica, Volume 5 to see what it's all about. 

Read more about Best Lesbian Erotica, Volume 5 at Sinclair's website: http://sugarbutch.net/ble5/

Buy your copy from your favourite local retailer, or your second favourite, or third favourite, or buy it from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Lesbian-Erotica-Year/dp/1627783083?tag=dondes-20

Here's the BookDepository link: https://www.bookdepository.com/Best-Lesbian-Erotica-Year-5-Sinclair-Sexsmith/9781627783088

You know I love libraries, so why not check to see if your local library system has BLE5 in stock? (It's on order at mine.) If not, you can always make a purchase request! 

There was something else I was about to say, but the perimenopausal brain fog has taken over.  I hope it wasn't important.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Be the Boss: A Gay Shapeshifter Menage Romance

Eight years ago, I wrote a story about a raccoon shapeshifter who changes the lives of a gay couple--for the better! It was published in an Evernight anthology called Alpha's Claim: Manlove Edition. Perhaps you've read it? If not, Be the Boss is now available as an ebook! 

Be the Boss
A Gay Shapeshifter Menage Romance

By Giselle Renarde
Word Count: 7,500
ISBN: 9781005525446

Desmond and Markus have tried everything from couples' counseling to threesomes. What's it going to take to stop all these petty arguments?

After seven years together, Desmond still feels like Markus expects him to be the boss when he doesn't suit the role. They can't even get excited about each other's bodies anymore... at least, not until the raccoon in their attic shows the boys his human side.

Markus and Desmond both want a man who takes charge. Maybe Azeban the raccoon shifter can give them what the need.

A gay shapeshifter menage romance from award-winning queer Canadian author Giselle Renarde.


Be the Boss is available now. You can find it at a wide range of retailers and subscription sites, including:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1049025?ref=GiselleRenardeErotica
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08LH9J7W7?tag=dondes-20
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=gIQEEAAAQBAJ
Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/x/id1536196732

If you're a Scribd (or you want to be), here's the link for Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/480795799/Be-the-Boss

And if you do your reading at Radish, here's the Radish link: https://radish.app.link/XuqZfLtoNab

Read an Excerpt:

Alone in bed, Desmond drifted off to the sound of sharp little nails scraping across the joists overhead. He’d have to call animal control tomorrow, see if they could help. Get the raccoon out of the attic, get Markus off his back—two birds, one stone…

Dreams spun him off in all directions, from fanciful flight to surreptitious seduction. When he rolled over in his empty bed, he wasn’t surprised to find the man from the side yard sitting naked in the reading chair. Hell, he wasn’t even surprised the man’s eyes were masked in black, like a thick streak of charcoal from temple to temple. He’d had much stranger dreams, and often they were lucid, like this one.

“Someone’s got to be the boss.” The stranger tossed an apple into the air and caught it with the same hand. “Can’t go through life like this.”

“I don’t want to be the boss,” Desmond said.

“Never said you had to be.” He took a bite of the apple and smiled as he chewed.

Desmond’s body felt like lead sinking into the mattress. He couldn’t move his arms or legs. “Markus doesn’t want to be the boss and I don’t want to be the boss, so we’re sort of stuck.”

“Are you?” The stranger stood, and his erection drew Desmond’s gaze away from the apple.

“Are we stuck? Yeah.” Desmond watched the stranger’s cock swing as he approached the bed. “Aren’t we?”

“You need someone to tell you want to do.”

“Who, me?”

“Both of you.” The stranger hopped off the floor, landing with both knees at the base of the mattress. Desmond felt it sink between his feet. His heart froze as he stared at the man’s swollen dick. “You and that man of yours—you need someone to take charge.”

“Someone like you?” Desmond asked, barely pushing the words past his lips.

Here are those links again:

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Emma's Diary: Anxious, Insecure and Madly in Love (The Lesbian Diaries, Book 5)

Do you ever ask yourself: Am I normal?

I don't, because I assume I'm not. Like many people, I have mental health issues that impact the way I see the world. What I do ask myself is, "How would a normal person feel in this situation?" I often ask myself if I'm overreacting. Or underreacting. 

This is especially true in relationships. 

Last night, I started watching some of the old Frasier episodes where Daphne is dating Niles, but Niles is still married to Mel. They brought to mind this new book of mine, Emma's Diary, part of my Lesbian Diaries series. Emma is in a somewhat similar situation. Her girlfriend has just left a marriage in order to be with her, but she's agitated and jealous much of the time. Anxious. Things aren't moving fast enough.

Sitcoms probably aren't the best measure of normal behaviour, since characters are often put in unlikely situations, but I see a bit of Daphne in my Emma. Maybe you'll see a bit of my Emma in you.

Emma’s Diary

Anxious, Insecure and Madly in Love
Series: The Lesbian Diaries
Book: 5
Release Date: September 21, 2020
ISBN: 9781005713669

Anxious, insecure, and madly in love. Emma finally has everything she wants in life, so why isn't she happy? If this is supposed to be the best time of her life, then why is she constantly questioning her situation? It's not easy to build a full-time future with someone when you're sure it'll all fall apart. A million things could go wrong, but will Emma ever learn to see how much is going right?

Lesbian fiction from award-winning queer Canadian author Giselle Renarde.

Buy now from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1039976?ref=GiselleRenardeErotica
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GP5TR76?tag=dondes-20
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=4j_-DwAAQBAJ

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/x/id1529206434
BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940164230272
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/Search?Query=9781005713669

Friday, September 18, 2020

Another Place to Find My #Erotica #Audiobooks: hibooks

When I started collecting links for my audiobooks, I came across this website: hibooks. I spent ages cutting and pasting these links before realizing that, when you're on the page for one of my audiobooks, plenty more are listed below. 


Wedding Heat: One in the Hand
https://www.hibooks.com/discover/audiobook/wedding-heat-one-in-the-hand



Monday, August 24, 2020

Garbage

This is a post I wrote a few years back for a writers' blog. It's a good one, especially for fellow creatives, so I'm reviving it here at Donuts and Desires:



I started hearing this song on the radio a couple months back--"Only Happy When It Rains." I kept thinking how much I enjoyed it. The lyrics spoke to me and I liked the sound.

Last Friday, by chance, I caught a concert of indie and alternative rock on PBS. One of the bands performing was called Garbage. That's how I found out who'd been singing that song on the radio: Garbage.

That's how I found out when the song came out: 1995.

I was in high school in 1995. If I could go back, I'd spend my teen years listening to grunge and punk and... I don't know. I still don't know what's cool. When I was a high school student I listened to a classical radio station and Broadway musicals. My best friend in Grade Nine loved Iggy Pop. I should have followed her lead.

Anyway, doesn't matter. I can't go back in time. The point I'm trying to make is that this song is 20 years old, but it's new to me because I didn't listen to cool-kid music back then. Everything we create--as artists, musicians, writers--isn't just new the day it comes out. A song is new forever to new listeners. 

A book is always new to new readers.

Tax-wise, I don't know how royalties are reported in other countries, but here in Canada royalties from artistic works or inventions are reported on a T5--a statement of investment income. That's how I like to think of my books: as investments. I don't expect to do the work today and get paid for it consistently at two-week intervals. That work needs to pay off over the course decades. After I die, it'll keep earning money for my heirs (okay, my cats).

Most of my readers don't know I exist yet. They haven't found me. I haven't found them. Some of them haven't even been born. Twenty years from now a reader will find something I wrote tomorrow and it'll be new to them. I'll be new to them.

Take Care,
Giselle

Friday, August 14, 2020

Giselle's Lost Treasures is Now Available in Print!

A beautiful woman holds golden glowing treasures in her hand

Giselle's Lost Treasures
14 Erotic Tales
by Giselle Renarde


New loves, old flames, burning desires and more!

Erotica by Giselle Renarde has appeared in more than 200 erotic anthologies, but the fourteen tantalizing tales in Giselle's Lost Treasures have never been included in any such collections until now! Unearthed for your reading pleasure, these stories by award-winning author Giselle Renarde feature playfully kinky husbands and wives, lesbian lust during WWII, an incurable crush on the delivery guy, and many more couplings you won't soon forget.

Discover something new, fresh from the vault, with Giselle's Lost Treasures!

Get the paperback now from https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08F6TF81C