Friday, October 8, 2010

All About the Pink

Today I'm continuing my All About the Pink blog tour. So, let's welcome author, Jennifer Johnson.  

Lilly-Welcome Jennifer! But before we get into a discussion on something as serious as breast cancer, why don't you tell us a bit about your latest release, Rescue Me.

Jennifer-Before I talk about Rescue Me, I want to let your readers know I have two published novels with The Wild Rose Press, The Jinx and The Clergy AffairBoth are comedic romances.

Lilly- I love romantic comedies! They make for great movies. So, tell us something about The Jinx. Got a blurb and a buy link?

Talk about a house call! All Ellen wanted was to get her ring out of the bathtub drain; what she got was a rude plumber who made her clean out her closet, bled all over her bedroom carpet and fainted. Then refused to let her pay her bill! What’s with this guy? This guy – Rick Braswell – is having a midlife crisis at thirty. Ever since making a house call for that crazy Ellen Anderson, Rick’s crisis has turned into crises. He’s having the worst luck of his life, and every accident and injury involves Ellen. And yet there is something about her that makes Rick want to beat the jinx; so he can love the woman.   

Lilly-  That sounds like a fun read. What about The Clergy Affair? How about a blurb and buy link on that one?

Reverend Deborah Reynolds wasn't expecting to fall for-or over-Sam Perry, one of the groomsmen at the wedding she was officiating. But when Sam answered her door early the next morning and greeted the biggest gossip in town, Deborah found herself in hot water with her congregation. She never imagined soon after she would be flying cross country with Sam and broadening her horizons by visiting a nudist beach, learning the paths of ants, and falling in love. But there were still her life and vocation at home to consider. Ministers don't believe in Prince Charming, don't wear brightly-colored lipstick, and certainly don't steal kisses in the church pantry!
Can Sam Perry convince the Reverend that even a woman of the cloth can have happily ever after?
You can purchase The Clergy Affair from 

Lilly- This one sounds good too. So now, let's hear about your latest release, Rescue Me.

My current release is Rescue Me, published by Turquoise Morning Press, is a southern small town story about picking up the pieces of one’s life and making those pieces into something beautiful. 

Lilly- Can you give us a blurb and an excerpt?   

Jennifer-Sure, Lilly, thank you.

Sitting in a U Haul truck of her parents’ front yard at midnight, Amy Mann decides it’s time to break it to them she’s divorced from her husband and moving back home with her seven year old son Toby. As Amy settles into her hometown, she has a plan to get out of debt, get her college degree, and put her life together.

Enter Captain Riley Pennimon, local firefighter and superhero to Amy’s son. Riley is kind, brave, and civic-minded. The captain does not fit into Amy’s putting-her-life-together plan, and yet he looks way too good looking without a shirt. Toby has decided Riley is just what they need for a happily-ever-after. 

Can Amy make peace with the demons of her mistakes and let the captain rescue her?

Can Riley let go of the pain of his past and grab onto the family he’s always wanted?

“It doesn’t have to be like this, you know,” Riley said in a casual manner as he turned the key in the lock.
“Like what?”
He turned his attention from the lock to her. “You biting my head off every time you get within snapping distance.”
“Look. I know what this is all about. My dad wants to fix us up. If you hadn’t noticed, he invents reasons for you to come over. Toby and I do fine. I’m going to pay off my credit cards, go back to school, and make a life for myself and my son. I’m not interested in a relationship.”
“Okay.” The door swung open, and Riley motioned for her to go in.
His acquiescent attitude stole a bit of her nerve. “It’s not that…you know…I mean…you’re good-looking in a hot, kind-of, way, but I’m not into sex with a man…”
Riley bit his lip, mirth on his face and a dimple in his cheek.
“Or anybody. I don’t have any sex drive. I haven’t for a long time since Toby was a baby, so it’s nothing personal, and it’s not funny.” She shut her stupid mouth wishing she could take back every single embarrassing word. She closed her eyes so she wouldn’t have to be humiliated further by seeing Riley laugh at her. A moment later when she opened her eyes ready to glare at him, her heart skipped a beat at the hungry expression on Riley’s face.
And not for food.
For her.
It was the look of the lion as he caught sight of the gazelle. Fear fluttered in her stomach, and something else, too. A long forgotten urge budded and opened. The air crackled between them. Amy reached her hands up to feel the heat of her face and recognized the urge.
Lust. Desire.
Oh, no.
Time for the gazelle to run.
Riley’s eyes narrowed as if he knew she was about to flee. He took the two steps which separated them, put his arms around her, lowered his head, and touched his lips to hers.
Zing. Zing. Zing. Nerve endings throughout Amy’s body fired rapidly, deliciously. Riley’s mouth moved over hers, and Amy greedily returned the kiss, testing, tasting, awakening. She groped his back, feeling the firm flesh she had spied from her bedroom window. Riley’s masculine scent surrounded her. His large frame engulfed her, giving her a sense of power and yet, his touch was careful, cherishing.
With his hands on her upper arms, Riley gently pushed her away. Through passion-hazed eyes, Amy blinked at him.
Riley dropped his hands leaving Amy’s heated skin bereft. She took a shuttering breath.
Riley shook his head as he studied her. “No. It’s not funny, but it’s also not true.”
He strode toward the firehouse, and Amy watched him leave noticing his rumpled and untucked shirt.   
Her hands had bunched up the material and kneaded the bare skin of his back. She was the culprit. Oh, boy, was she ever.

Lilly- Oh my! This sounds hot. And it's definitely going on my "must read" list. Where can we find it?

Jennifer-Rescue Me is available digitally and in trade paperback. Here is the link to my publisher's site: Rescue Me can also be purchased at Amazon in both formats and the digital download at most internet books sites including those listed on  the right of the link I've included. The ISBN is 978-1935817161.

Lilly- I wish you mega-sales with all these wonderful books. Now, down to business!

As you know, October is breast cancer awareness month and this month is all about the pink.  So, I'm giving you the floor, so to speak. I want to hear your breast cancer story. I understand you didn't personally suffer from the disease, but someone close to you did. And as anyone who's been touched by this horrible disease knows, it doesn't just affect the patient, it affects everyone close to the patient. So, tell us your story.

Jennifer-About seven years ago a close friend of mine found a lump in her breast. She received radiation, and was declared in remission. Five years later she went for a mammogram and cancer was found in the other breast. The doctor did a lumpectomy. We were thankful that this was all that was needed, but about a week later they called her back and told her she would have to have the breast removed because the cancer was more widespread than they thought. I advised her to ask about having a double mastectomy since she had already had cancer in the first breast, but the doctor told her it "wasn't necessary". In talking with this doctor, he also told her reconstructive surgery wasn't an option for her because of her age. She is in her late sixties. I thought this was outrageous. If she wanted reconstructive surgery, I don't care if she was a hundred and sixty seven, he should have explored that option with her.  But she isn't assertive like I am. She just accepted what he said without pushing him for other options. Unfortunately, my friend doesn't live very close to me so I couldn't go to the doctor with her and pound his head or ask the hard questions she wasn't comfortable asking.

After the mastectomy, it was very hard for her to accept this new image of who she was, but I kept telling her how beautiful she was because that missing breast meant that she was still here for me to love her. When she showed me the scar, I was honored, because I know at that time she felt vulnerable and ugly. But that scar was the most beautiful pink line I'd ever seen because it meant she was still alive. Since she did not have reconstructive surgery, we celebrated her prosthetic bra and the fake boob in it. And thank the Lord for how realistic it feels. That's right, I felt her fake boob.

I still get angry when I think that the doctor dismissed her wishes about what would be the very best for her. Even if taking the other breast wasn't necessary, if it helped her sleep better at night because she wouldn't worry about it coming back a third time, then it would be necessary. You know? I'm not sure what I could have done differently with my friend as I tried to encourage her the very best I could. My hope in telling this story is to implore every woman to be assertive with your doctor, ask questions, and know it is within your rights to ask for a second opinion. This is the only body we have, so, by God, we better fight for it. And if some doctor disagrees, well, I sure as heck am going to wipe the dust off my boots from that doctor's office, and never go back. I will find a doctor who will work with me and respect my thoughts about my body.

So, that's my story, Lilly. And I thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell it here.

Lilly- Your friend is lucky to have you. I can't tell you how much that type of moral support helps when  you've just been told you have breast cancer. As a breast cancer survivor and a mammographer, it angers me to hear a doctor--any doctor--tell a woman she is too old for reconstructive surgery.

Unless a women was in poor health before the cancer diagnosis or there are contraindications such as an underlying heart or lung condition that would preclude a non-lifesaving surgery, then there is no such thing as "too old."

I'll bet if that same doctor underwent a penectomy for carcinoma of the penis, he'd want an implant, regardless of his age! And yes, penis cancer is very real and a penectomy is the term for a penis amputation.

It's not about vanity. It's about healing and feeling whole and well again.

While prosthetic breasts are fine for some women, others feel disfigured without reconstructive surgery. And women have so many choices today from saline and silicon implants to TRAM flap surgeries that use tissue from the stomach to create a new breast. They can also use tissue from the back if the patient has had prior abdominal surgeries.

After a mastectomy, women deserve the right to chose whether or not to undergo another surgery, regardless of the doctor's notion of how old is too old for breasts.

As for your friend wanting a bilateral mastectomy, I can't blame her. Not as a mammographer or a breast cancer survivor. Women with perfectly healthy breast but who carry the BRCA gene (the hereditary breast cancer gene) often opt for prophylactic mastectomies to avoid developing breast cancer in the future.

So, if your friend wanted a bilateral mastectomy after she'd already had cancer in both breasts, then her doctor should have taken her concerns seriously and discussed her options.

One thing women of all ages need to remember: If you are not comfortable with your doctor's recommendations or don't feel as if he/she is taking your concerns seriously, seek a second opinion. It is your breast. Your right. Your health. And your life. And we all want to be survivors.


  1. RESCUE ME sounds like it will be a hit. Thanks for sharing your friend's story. Assertiveness has never been a problem with me...except when the Doctor enters the room. You are right. Bring a friend.Good luck with the release!

  2. Thank you, Nancy. If you don't like what the dr says, get another opinion. This is my body so I get a say in what happens. The dr should be open to that.

  3. Hey Jennifer! Great post! I, too, am a big supporter of breast cancer awareness. One can never be too cautious.

    Many sales to you, dear!

  4. Thanks Nancy and Renee for stopping by!

  5. Jennifer and Lilly thank you for the great interview and for sharing your friend's story.

  6. Sherry,
    Thanks for being such a great supporter of TWRP authors and breast cancer awareness!

  7. Yes. Thanks, Sherry and Renee for visiting. Okay. I'm going to practice what I preach and schedule a mammogram. It's time.

  8. Thanks Lilly for this post and introducing Jennifer.
    Jennifer, I love reading romantic comedies and will check out The Jinx and The Clergy Affair. Also, a southern small town story like Rescue Me sounds like a great read. I live in a beautiful southern small town close to Lilly.
    Thanks for the personal story about your friend.
    I also support breast cancer awareness and cancer research for a cure of all cancer.
    God Bless You Both! Hope to see you soon Lilly.

  9. Thanks for stopping by Becky. I love seeing your "face" on here!