Happy 5th Annual Survivor’s Day!!

celebration5 years ago tonight I had a life threatening AVM rupture that changed my life forever.

But I was too stubborn to accept all the limitations the doctors told me I would have, and continue to fight daily against the deficits I was left with to make the most out of the 2nd chance at life I’ve been given! I’ve come a long way in 5 years!

Many of you have been with me through this entire ordeal and I want to give you all my love and appreciation!!

Everything happens for a reason, even my brain blowout! And even though I’ve had tons of curve balls thrown at me over the past 5 years, both medical and personal, I’m happy and living a great life.

Even my long term deficits are becoming more livable as I adjust to my new normal. Granted, that old life I had and that person I was before the rupture are gone. But I’ve made peace with the new me and although I will always try to improve, heal and move forward, even if I can’t, I’m all right.

I always half jokingly tell people that I can feed myself and wipe myself, and I still have lots of people in my life who love me. That’s more than a lot of people have – brain aneurism or not!

Many people have told me how inspirational I am for getting this far. And while I appreciate the sentiment, I don’t really feel inspirational. I didn’t really have much of a choice. It was either accept the dire picture they painted and roll over and die, or fight back and carve a new life out of the new hand I had been dealt.

Honestly, I was just too fricking stubborn to die or to follow all the limits that I was told I would have to live with for the rest of my life. Not quite inspirational, but there you have it. LOL!

So today, if you are so inclined – raise a glass to stubbornness and perseverance, and take the time to tell every single person in your life who means something to you exactly how you feel. You never know when will be the last time you get to speak to them or see them.

I was so incredibly lucky to learn that lesson and now I tell all those I love how I feel–often! Even my friends have gotten used to hearing “I love you,” from me. Because they are important to me and my life, then and now, wouldn’t be what it is today without them.

So if you want to take any inspiration from my struggles – grab life with both hands and wring every bit of happiness you can from it! Don’t let anyone set limits on you and what you can accomplish. Get out there and LIVE!

For those of you scratching your head at what this whole brain blowout ordeal is all about – here’s the blog about it I wrote in rehab to “get it out” and start the grieving for the life I had lost and start to accept the new life I would live.

A 1st Person’s Bird’s Eye View through 7 Brain surgeries and back through recovery!

Just for memory lane – here’s me a month after I got out of the hospital. My hair is starting to grow out and the red dot on my forehead is still very visible where they put the clamp (front and back) to saw off the bone flap of my skull for the craniotomy.  Fun stuff…LOL! I’m looking pretty rough, but after 51 days in the hospital, I’m surprised I don’t look even worse.


My thoughts looking back at this picture? Damn my nose looks big with my hair so short!  LOL…

Tina Hair Growing Back

Blessings and love to you all!


Snarky Even in Death – Confessions of a Writer @TinaGerow

grim-reaper4When I die I want to be cremated. I don’t want the guys to spend money on a funeral. I’d rather they have a big party.

BYOB and munchies and invite all of our friends and family. They can tell funny stories about me and remember me with a laugh rather than grief. They can drink and eat and have a good time and know that I’m there watching them have a great party!

And Darian Gerow has promised to dress up as the grim reaper, complete with scythe!  :)  So hold him to it, everyone!  :)  Full black hood and the whole deal!!

And I don’t want to sit on someone’s mantle somewhere in an urn so I have to be dusted. I told them to sprinkle me somewhere, or I saw an ad where you can be nourishment to grow a tree :)  How cool is that??

I’ve attended many funerals and they were sad and grief-filed and depressing. I want people to laugh and know that I’m off causing mischief on the other side plotting for my next life!

Now don’t think I’m planning on this any time soon. Hell, death has tried to get me a few times already and so far I’m winning the fight :)  Mwaaaahaaaaa! But I know someday it will finally come for me. I’m not scared of dying…although HOW I die does concern me a bit. I’d obviously rather go in my sleep peacefully.

When I was in my 20’s I always joked that I’d like to go having hot sex. But I don’t want to do that to poor Jon! How depressing to have your wife die during sex!!

Already passed the brain blowout so gotta find something interesting yet painless and possibly even funny so the people at my party will have something else to crack up about.  And they’ll know I would’ve enjoyed the jokes!

Just make sure there’s lots of butterscotch martinis flowing, Kayce Lassiter, Cheyenne McCray, Bev Petrone, Christ Eaton, Lisa Pietsch & K.T RobertsThe Butterscotch Martni Girls, can raise toasts to me and know I’m making snarky comments and toasting back!!

So there’s my weird confession. I know some people will think this is totally odd. But for those of you who know me well, you’ll probably nod and say, “Yup – Totally Tina”  :)



What Editing Really Is

editing face

Tina Gerow Talks Books & Vegas

vegasTell us about something that has just happened or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share.  

My son is about to turn 21 –he’s getting older and dragging me with him!!  EEP!  We’ve been promising him since he was 10 that when he turned 21 we would take him to Vegas!  So we’ve planned a long weekend with family and friends and we’re going to try to get a block of rooms on Freemont Street and do a budget trip to Vegas –if that’s even possible…LOL!  We took him when he was 10 and we did the aquarium, Phantom of the Opera, walked along the strip, M&M store and all the kid friendly stuff.  He loved it, but anyone who has been to Vegas knows you can’t fully experience it until you turn 21!  So may the force be with us :)

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?  

My Obsession comes out on the 21st!  It’s Ageek, pariah who overcomes his youth, to become a highly successful dungeon owner.  Then his high school crush walks into his dungeon and rocks his world!

If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?  

Master Dex, the Dom and hero for Book 2 in my Club Desire series, My Addiction, would love to come and talk.  “Iloved watching Brent meet his match in Sandra.  She’s a strong lady and will definitely keep him in line!  Now I’m ready to write my own Happily Ever After!  Ijust returned from Quantico where I completed the training to become a full agent.  I loved being an analyst for the past decade, but I’m ready for new challenges!  Come join me for a wild ride and some steamy kink!

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?

My Club Desire series is starting with My Obsession which releases on July 22nd.  I’m currently writing My Addiction, which is book 2.  My agent and editor and Ihave tentative titles for book 3 & possibly 4, but we’re taking it a book at a time to see how the series goes.

What books have influenced your writing?  

Every book I’ve ever read has influenced my writing!  A huge influence came from Stephen King’s ON WRITING.  It’s an amazing book if you’ve never read it!  Ithink all writers can benefit from it.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?

I’ve been so lucky to be able to meet so many of my favorite authors at conferences around the nation.  I would love to meet and talk with Stephen King!  I’d also love to spend a day with Jane Austen!  I think it would be fascinating to get to know the woman who wrote books during a time when writing was considered something well bred women just shouldn’t do!  She was obviously a romantic, creative and a strong lady with a great sense of humor and the ironic.  I think we would really hit it off!

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover and why?  

It really depends on the situation.  Ithink Iwill always love paperbacks.  I grew up reading them and I love the smell of books and the sensation of running my fingers over the pages as they are turned.  However, I also love the fact that no matter where I am, if I have extra time, I can pull out my iPhone, open my Kindle app and read any of the books I have loaded on there.  OR buy a new one and read it immediately!  The flexibility and convenience of that is wonderful.  Also – I have two huge bookshelves in our office overflowing with books of all types and genres.  Ebooks don’t take up any physical room and I can have twice as many as on my bookshelf and can search through them effortlessly!  But having said all that – my answer is “YES”  I love books, any way I can get them and read them!  I love the ability to lose myself in a story and fall in love as my characters do and experience their losses and accomplishments along with them!

Where do you prefer to buy your books?  

There have been plenty of times in my life where Iwould go to the library each week and check out the max number of books, read them all, turn them in and check out the max number all over again.  Rinse & repeat!  But now Itend to buy my books either in paperback or in ebook.  The paperbacks that I love get a place on my overflowing bookshelf.  The books that I know I won’t ever re-read I give to one of my friends so the book can find a loving home elsewhere!

Are you a self published (Indie) Author?  

As of the 21st of this month Iwill have 15 published books.  14 with New York –I.e. Traditionally pubbed, and 1 self published.  Sleeping With Shadows was the last book I wrote just before my brain blowout in 2010.  I was in between contracts and inspiration hit, so I wrote the book that is definitely the book of my heart.  My agent said it was the best book I’ve ever written and she shopped it around, but just couldn’t sell it.  She told me I should really self publish it.  So I talked to other friends who had self published and I dove in!

What book would you like to read again?  

YES.  LOL.  Ihave way too many to list them all, but just a few off the top of my head are Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, Hamlet by William Shakespeare,  The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley, King of Spades by Cheyenne McCray and Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey.

Tina Gerow Telling Secrets Veiled in Fiction?

Do you have a specific writing style?

Not that I use consciously, but I’ve had people tell me that my writing is distinctive.  Distinctive of what?  A smartass who isn’t entirely stable?  Yeah –I can see that…snerk!

How did you come up with the title?

For the title of my latest release, Ibrainstormed with my agent and editor.  The series name Loveswept has found that Club and then the name of the club works best with readers.  They gave me a working title of Club Paradise, but Ithought that sounded more like a tropical resort than a dungeon.  So I brainstormed with them, even breaking out my thesaurus and pitched Club Desire, which was accepted.  Then for the book title, the format of MY and then a descriptor was already set for the line so we did the same thing.  Because the story was already 3/4 written at that point, I knew which title would work and which wouldn’t, so we finally ended up with My Obsession.  And for book 2, My Addiction.  Book 3 already has some possibilities on the table, but hasn’t been nailed down yet.  But I was really happy to have so much input into the title.  Some publishers allow different levels of input, and not just for titles, but for covers and blurbs as well.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

bdsmI usually don’t have overall “messages”in my books, unlike what they taught in my high school English classes, but I’ve been told that most of my books have the message of allowing strong women to “find” themselves before giving themselves up to love.  And they often save themselves.  In my Club Desire series, I suppose the message would be about the BDSM lifestyle.  The overreaching theme I learned while doing all that research was that their motto is “Safe, Sane & Consensual”  and anything that falls outside of that is abuse and not what they are about.  So I suppose I hope this series will educate people about the BDSM, fetish and kink lifestyle.  I know I had some preconceived notions going in, but a lot of those were changed by the time I was finished.  One of the main things that stuck with me other than the ‘Safe, Sane & Consensual’ is that the sub has the greater power in the D/s relationship.  I always thought that the Dom had all the power, and that was the point.  I also thought that any woman who wanted to be dominated had to be weak.  From my research and talking to subs AND Doms, I was totally wrong.  Not sure if I would ever be brave enough to try it out – mainly because my vanity would get in the way – I no longer have the cute body I did in my 20’s.  Vanity – thy name is Tina!!  It’s certainly not because I’m too vanilla for it, as anyone who has read my Cassie Ryan books would figure out pretty quickly.  EEP.  Don’t tell my husband.  Eh…he already knows…poor man!  Snerk!  When I started doing research for this he told me in no uncertain terms that he would NOT be taking me to a dungeon to do research.  He told me to ask my critique group.  I think the girls would gladly go, but our schedules just haven’t lined up yet!!  Stay tuned :)

How much of the book is realistic?

If I was answering this about any other Cassie Ryan book, my answer would be “not much”but with my Club Desire Series, other than someone blasting out the top of a mountain in Paradise Valley, AZ, enough so they could put in 4 basement levels, I’d say I tried to keep everything VERY realistic, as my last answer explained.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Snicker…while I usually have a little of myself in every book – unwittingly, and I shamelessly use those around me and their experiences, the dungeon and the happenings there came from research, reading, and my own imagination.  I’m not saying that I’m uber vanilla in that arena, but back in my wild days, I didn’t even know there WERE dungeons in this town.  Now I find out there are several!  Shows you what I knew!  And whenever I mess with hubby and tell him things like that we need to get a St. Andrew’s Cross for our bedroom, he just rolls his eyes at me…LOL.


Just Imagine!

holding back


Be Sexy For Me

dont read

Tina Gerow: I Wouldn’t Change a Thing

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My local Romance Writers of America Chapters –Valley of the Sun Romance Writers.

Do you see writing as a career?

Definitely.  I’m in this for the long haul.  I’ll be the little old lady still typing away and writing smut in between naps…LOL!

cover64230-mediumIf you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No.  I’m pretty happy with it, and Ihope it connects well with readers.  Itried to strike a balance of the BDSM/fetish stuff with the relationship/romance and suspense.  My critique partners and my editor seemed to think it’s good and will be well received so crossing my fingers over here!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Back in kindergarten.  Iwas fascinated with books and reading.  As soon as Ilearned to read I started imagining different scenarios or endings to the books.  I think that’s where the idea that I could write started.  I wish I could find my kindergarten teacher – Mr. Riggins and thank him for starting me off right!  He was such a terrific teacher.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?  

My current WIP (Work in Progress) is Book 2 in my Club Desire series.  Kate is a sub to the rich and powerful in L.A.  Her father is a rich and powerful businessman and he always had expectations for his daughter that didn’t align with what she wanted.  So she rebelled, like any strong heroine in that situation would :)  She’s become bored with the kink scene in L.A. And is looking for a change.  The fact that it will put some distance between her and her father is a plus.  Dex has been one of the main Doms in Club Desire in Phoenix.  He was a high level FBI analyst, but wanting more of a challenge, he went to Quantico for the training to become a field agent.  So when his supervisor approaches him to go to a dungeon in L.A. And get to know Kate for his first assignment, he has no idea how much his life is about to change.  Kate unwittingly has some knowledgeabout a plot to take out congressmen who are standing in the way of passing bills that will secretly funnel money to terrorist organizations.  As you can imagine, sparks fly and nature takes its course between Kate and Dex, but there’s also the suspense element to the story and Kate’s unresolved relationship with her father that needs to be dealt with.  So expect another kink-filled, hot story with fast paced suspense and emotional punch!  Or at least that’s what I’m striving for :)  These characters deserve a great book, so I’d better get back to work!


Don’t Be That Guy

dont always

Tina Gerow Gets Kinky

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

rosie-odonnell-dan-akroyd-exit-eden-movie-1994-photo-GCI learned a LOT about the BDSM and kink community.  My Obsession is my first book involving those, even though I’ve written and published several other very erotic books.  The main thing I learned was that their motto for their lifestyle – especially for the Dom/sub (D/s) relationship is “Safe, Sane, Consensual”  In other words, whatever they are doing must meet those parameters   The sub actually has a LOT of power in that equation.  They set soft and hard limits beforehand and have safe words they can use to stop everything on a dime!  I know we’ve all heard jokes etc about safe words, but they really are used.  And those Doms who ignore them aren’t good Doms!  By the same token, those Doms who manipulate, guilt or otherwise coerce a sub to go along with what they want are NOT good Doms.  Like a lot of people I just figured you pretty much gave up all of your say so if you agreed to be someone’s sub. And that a safe word was a last ditch thing, only used in the most extreme circumstances.

I also learned about a whole bunch of kinks and fetishes that I have now added to my “No Way in Hell” list.  Everyone has different levels of comfort, and I’m definitely not on the pure “vanilla” side of things, but some of those just make me cringe.  I don’t want to get into too much detail since I just ate, but one of the big ones that made me shake my head and wonder why the hell anyone allows it is anal fisting.  WTH???  If you aren’t sure what that is, it’s exactly what it sounds like.  Someone inserts their entire hand in someone else’s anus and then makes a fist and, well….you get the idea.  I know friction against the prostate gland for men can be very pleasurable and many women enjoy anal sex, but a fist???  Let’s just say, even the biggest guy I’ve ever been with wasn’t as big as an arm and fist!!  Makes me cringe just thinking about it.  And here’s something to think about….THIS was the “tame” one I felt I could write about on here without losing my lunch!  That should give you something to think about!  As my son always says…  “There’s a kink out there for absolutely everything.  And for each of those things, there are people who get off on it.”  After all my research, I believe it.  But while I’ve always been considered adventurous by friends, boyfriends and my husband.  I’m positively vanilla by some of these standards!  I now return you to your PG13 blog post :)

Do you have any advice for other writers?  

Don’t stop to worry about what your Mom, best friend, pastor, grandma etc will think about what you are writing.  Just write!  You can’t have all those “censors”inside your head and still write a good book!  Yes, some of you—your views, your true self etc will come across in your book.  That’s just part of being a writer.  But if you aren’t being true to yourself, or are just trying to write to please others, you won’t be able to write a good book.  Also, don’t try to write a “best seller”- just write the best damn book you can write.  It will find its audience.  And just remember that not everyone will love or even like your book.  That’s okay!  They don’t have to!  And my biggest advice!  Get your butt in the chair and write!  Every day if possible!  Set a schedule and try to stick to it.  I usually try to take Sunday’s off, but other than that I try to write every day.  Now sometimes life gets in the way, but I always build some slack time into my deadline schedule to allow for that.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope this book gives you insight into the fetish/kink lifestyle and also brings you a story about both a woman and a man coming to terms with their past, and opening up to each other enough to trust and love.  And yes, Ihope you enjoy some really hot and steamy kink!

What inspired you to write your first book?  

I had always wanted to write and for years had dreamed about seeing a book with my name on the spine on the bookshelf at my local bookstore.  I had a friend who had psychic gifts and we had several conversations about how it worked, how he experienced things etc.  And that kicked my muse into high gear.  And because I had read so much science fiction, fantasy and romance. AND I’m a bit twisted…lol!!  I came up with a psychic serial killer who preys on women with untapped psychic potential.  But when he tries to push open the door to my heroine’s psychic powers (which is how he kills), her partial psychic powers that he unleashes are much more powerful than his and she breaks away.  Cue the sexy FBI profiler who hides his psychic powers on the job, but who is the best man to protect her.  Writing the sex scenes between two people who could read each others’ minds was both a challenge and a BLAST!!  :)

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’ve been told I do, but I think of my style as a mish mash of styles that I’ve learned and built up over time.  I’ve written 16 books, and as of the 21st of July I will have published 15 of them.  I learn and grow with each and every book, and if you go back and read Into a Dangerous Mind (my first book) and then jump forward to My Obsession, which releases next month, I think you’ll see a HUGE difference in writing style.  Although I’m pretty sure my writing voice has stayed the same, or at least similar.