Friday, October 16, 2015

Riptide 4th Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway - Guest Post by Sarah Lyons

Thank you for joining Riptide on our 4th Anniversary blog tour!
We are excited to bring you new guest posts from our authors and a behind the scenes insights from Riptide.
Don't miss the limited time discounts and Free Books for a Year giveaway at the end of this post!


Please welcome Sarah Lyons to the tour.


Words are my life. Well, stories. But stories are built out of words. I have earned three degrees and built two careers on my love for words and the stories they build—specifically stories of romance. Words mean so much to me, in fact, that I have more than 500 of them (503, to be exact) tattooed on my arms in forty different quotes. Almost all of those quotes are about sex and/or love, and almost half of them come from Riptide books I’ve edited.  

My right sleeve is dominated by a quote from Eminem’s “Sing for the Moment”: “Words are a motherfucker.” Because they kind of are. But the sleeve starts with two other quotes that kind of sum everything else up for me, too: “Language is a skin,” by French literary theorist Roland Barthes, and “But the greatest of these is love,” from 1 Corinthians 13. Language is how we hold things together—it’s how we keep our emotional insides together—and everything revolves around love.   

My first Riptide quote is from Alexis Hall’s Prosperity, and it’s not actually about love: “words, they ain’t for filching. I know cos I’ve tried. Somebody has to give them to you.” But it kind of is about love, too: you can’t take the words “I love you” from someone. They have to be given to mean anything.  

Then we have a bit of Shakespeare and a bit of Jane Austen. And we move on to Joey W. Hill’s words, “Like love itself. Pain and pleasure, sorrow and remembrance, joy and memory-making” (from Submissive Angel). Love isn’t just the good things—there’s bad things too, but love makes it all worthwhile in the end.  

I have two quotes from Heidi Belleau: “Love’s a crazy whore. That’s all there is, really” (Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane, Mark of the Gladiator), and “Love it or hate it, you sure as fuck can’t ignore it” (Heidi Belleau, Wallflower). I think the first one doesn’t really need explanation, but the second one is actually referring to Art. But stories are art, too, and that quote is my reminder that they can’t be ignored.  

I have two quotes about queer love in particular, both from historical romances, that remind us that queer love is worth anything and just the same as any other love. Amelia Gormley claims, “I dinnae doubt damnation would be worth it” (The Laird’s Forbidden Lover). And Alex Beecroft argues, “To them I will be able to say there was fidelity here, and love, and long-suffering sacrifice, and joy” (Blessed Isle).

Then two quotes about the glory and joy of passion: “And I wanted this. This mad swirl of desire. Kisses of blood and roses. Pleasure that could undo me” (Alexis Hall, Iron & Velvet), and “a gathering storm, swirling furiously, thunderously fast and uncontrolled, part wrath, part beauty, mixed with a little pain, and oh fuck, yes” (SE Jakes, Catch a Ghost).  

Then two quotes about kink. One about learning that being kinky is nothing to be ashamed of: “accepted that truth without guilt or shame” (Jane Davitt, “Tree Topper,” O Come All Ye Kinky anthology). And one about the pleasure of kinky sex: “sharp and kind of dark” (Alexis Hall, For Real). 

And two quotes about endings, one a happy ending: “when he kisses me it feels a bit like fear, and tastes a bit like tears, but it’s as bright and sweet as sherbet, and I decide to call it joy” (the last words of Alexis Hall’s, Glitterland). And one about how endings go wrong: “You taste of desire and regret and passion and recrimination and hope and loss and power” (Alexis Hall, Shadows & Dreams).  

And then on my left arm, going in the opposite direction, I’ve got quotes about the deep joy and point of love:

·         “For a moment, the only clock in the vast world was the beating of both their hearts.” Amy Lane, The Deep of the Sound

·         “And if the heart is going to err, It’s surely always best to err on the side of love.” Alex Beecroft, Trowchester Blues

·         “At some point, the world disappeared. He disappeared, and the only word that mattered was you.” Z.A. Maxfield, Hell on Wheels

·         “I tasted salt, and blood, and him. I took him into me, and it was life that joined us, then, not death.” Alexis Hall, Sand and Ruin and Gold

·         “the bone-deep knowledge that she was loved, wholly and deeply, by someone who knew her greatest flaws and loved her anyway.” Megan Mulry, Bound with Love


Some quick statistics:

·         Total tally: 503 words and 40 quotes

·         Alexis Hall has the most quotes (6) and the longest (31 words)

·         My shortest actual quote is from John Donne’s “The Sun Rising”: “Nothing else is”

·         I have an Oxford comma (“, and”) and a semicolon

·         All together, the most common noun is “love” (12 times), followed by “word” and “heart” (5 each), and “kiss,” “joy,” “fuck,” and “taste” (4 each). Yes, that means that I have four fucks to give. 


About Sarah: 

Sarah comes to editing from two directions: from her academic work on popular romance studies and from reviewing for Dear Author. Academia taught her how to analyze narrative structure. Reviewing romance for almost four years taught her how to spot dubious motivation and wooden dialogue at thirty paces. She has transferred her analytical and reviewing talents to editing, so when she makes you cry, it’ll be in private rather than for the whole world to see. You’re welcome. 

She can almost always be found procrastinating on Twitter: @SarahSGLyons.

Anniversary Sale 

Many great collections are being sold at a special discount by Riptide this week only. Check out the sale on this series and other bundles at



To celebrate our anniversary, Riptide Publishing is giving away free books for a year! Your first comment at each blog stop on the Anniversary Tour will count as an entry and give you a chance to win this great prize. Giveaway ends at midnight, October 31, 2015, and is not restricted to US entries.



  1. Wow, so many great quotes! I can never remember the good ones so this is one way!

  2. This is great! I love books! Lucky me. I live about half a mile from the public library. But owning books, is so much better.

  3. This is an amazing giveaway.. thanks for the awesome giveaway! :)

  4. Talk about dedication! That's so cool!

  5. That is definitely dedication, and yay for an Oxford comma!

    --Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

  6. Happy Anniversary!!

  7. They're all beautiful quotes. But this is my favorite: “And if the heart is going to err, It’s surely always best to err on the side of love.” Alex Beecroft, Trowchester Blues

    Thank you for sharing your love of words with us. And thank Riptide for sharing books for those of us who love to read words.

  8. Wow that's amazing! And the quotes are really lovely.