Taylor Jenson wants nothing more than to escape the drama of her cheating ex and her self-absorbed parents. So when her half-sister offers her a job, Taylor flees to the small country town to bide her time until she starts her brand new successful life at university. The life she wants.
She didn’t expect to meet Isaiah Butler, a gorgeous country boy who is convinced there is more to her than the shallow young woman everyone else seems to see, including herself. He isn’t like any guy she’s met before and she’s completely thrown by the intense sexual attraction she has for him—something she didn’t know she was capable of feeling.
But when Isaiah reveals his past obsessive-turned-dangerous sex life, Taylor doesn’t trust that he can continue to resist what had lured him to that life in the first place. And she questions if she is enough of woman to help him stay away.
When a series of life-changing events brings them together in ways that are new to them both, Taylor soon learns that sex is not just about physical gratification, trust can be earned if you’re willing to be vulnerable, and life and love require a leap of faith to get what you want.
Behind the Story
The book is dedicated to those who have had their sexuality hijacked and are fighting to get it back.
What do I mean by “hijacked”? Our sexuality hijacked by media, big business, societal norms, religion… and everything else that influences us to be what we’re sold is “normal” or “in” to be loved and accepted.
When I was writing Say My Name in 2016, my intention was to explore individual authentic sexuality, a deeper love expressed through sex than what we typically see portrayed in media, an intimacy that is sacred, and the wounds/traumas that are obstacles to living true to who we are in our relationships.
I picked the New Adult genre because it was in my late teens when I started to experience the shutting down that was a result of my sexuality being hijacked. So I wanted to write about a relationship between a couple around that age who were made aware of this influence. I wanted to explore what these fictional characters could do, and how they could help each other, to take their sexuality back.
At the same time, I wanted to make it entertaining. I love the idea of venturing into deeper issues and presenting the wisdom that comes with that in a way that is enjoyable and exciting to the reader. The idea here is even if the underlying layers of the story don’t resonate with you, you can still read it as a romance novel with an HEA and the possibility of finding a new book boyfriend.
Gosh, I hope I accomplished at least some of this.
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Tricia Best is a dangerous writer, or so her writing method has been called, as she writes her stories by observing the visions in her head and then coming back to earth when it’s time to edit. By day she is an explorer, traversing the inner landscapes of her psyche (where she finds the best writing material) as she embraces the human experience called life. Her profoundly enjoyable life includes reading, drawing, volunteering, working as a part-time administrative assistant for healers, hanging out in nature, unabashedly eating chocolate, listening to music, indulging in frequent sensory deprivation and practicing natural movement fitness. She is highly introverted and a recluse by choice, only coming out of her cave for the most special of occasions (and grocery shopping), and lives in the Greater Toronto Area with her husband and two feline fur babies.
Say My Name is Tricia’s first book.
Taylor walked through the doors and was catapulted into hunger by the smell of fresh-baked bread. She moved toward the juice bar with her stomach growling.
She had developed the habit of looking at strangers like she was nearsighted and wasn’t wearing glasses; usually a quick glance produced a fuzzy blob that identified a body was in close range. She would steer clear of it and then vaguely target the next blob to be avoided. She generally kept her focus on what she was looking for, safely avoiding the possibility of making any spontaneous human connections.
She liked spontaneous like she liked surprises. Hell no.
So when she looked up at the guy blob behind the juice bar, she was surprised to notice he was laser-focused on her; their sudden eye-to-eye contact caused something to shift in her.
She first noticed that he held his full lips in a concentrated line, had a dimple in his chin where his stubble looked thicker, and his bare arms had very little hair. When she shifted her eyes up again, she was pleasantly surprised to look into eyes of a colour she had never seen before; a green band around the pupil, surrounded by blue and edged in a dark rim. His black eyelashes made them really stand out and she found herself considering their uncommon aspects. Are they more green or blue? Do they change colour when he’s sad?
His eyes narrowed slightly but somehow she felt strangely invited to continue to openly stare at him. And for no earthly reason she could understand, it felt safe to take him in like this because he felt familiar, like they already had a bond on some level. A connection.
The monologue in her head gave way to the silence of a sudden sharp compulsion to really see him, to really know him.
Though she felt overwhelmed by the rush of emotions, for the first time since she was a child she was curious about another human being. The wondrous fact that he was returning her attention made her skin tingle with an electricity that made her feel fully alive. And a little drunk.
“Hiya,” she said.
No response. Maybe he was mute.
“May I have two medium green juices to go, please?”
He kept his eyes on her until he had to turn fully toward the juicer and make her order.
Now it was time for her to discreetly check out the rest of him, switching into a gear she didn’t know she had- a bravado to leisurely take in his body. He was over six feet and toned and sculpted in a way that was more art than bulk. Loose shorts and sandals complimented a look that could only be described as endurance athlete meets rugged outdoorsman. Her eyes roaming back up, she saw that the short stubble on his face accentuated a sharp, chiseled jaw, and his ivory skin contrasted with shiny black hair that looked smooth as silk, even while tied back in a knot at the top of his neck.
She felt something new move within her, and a powerful surge of desire heated her whole body. She clamped down on the feeling before she exploded. Violently blowing apart into little body pieces would be disturbing, not to mention counterproductive to ever having hot juicy guy (yes, she so just called him juicy) ever look at her again as if he had been searching his whole life for her.
Should she use the bravado she had just discovered to say something to him? Taylor’s mind went to work.
OK, how about, “You’re hotter than my hair straightener”? No, I could never pull that off.
Maybe, “Nice day we’re having, eh?” Nope. Too Canadian.
How about something personal like, “Did you get your beautiful eyes from your mom or your dad?” Hmm… but what if he didn’t want to talk about his parents?
His silence makes him seem deep. How about…
She had nothing.
She hadn’t noticed he had put the green juice on the counter until he cleared his throat. How long had he been standing there watching her? She felt a flush start at her neck, but when she looked into his eyes she felt that sense of familiarity again. Suddenly zoning-out didn’t seem like such a big deal.
She picked up the juice and headed to the checkout counter, him following along. He punched keys on the register as he asked without looking up, “What’s your favourite colour?”
“I heard it was a good ice-breaker and everything else I could think of seemed too intense.”
Damn, she could have used that one a few minutes ago.
“OK, my favourite colour today is blue.”
She thought for a second. “Purple.”
“So you have two favourite colours?” he asked, now looking at her.
“How do you know which colour is your favourite on any given day?”
“I decide in the morning when I select my boy shorts.” She said it like she was talking to her big sister, and then she realized that though he felt familiar, she wasn’t actually familiar with him at all.
And now he was frowning.
She swallowed nervously. She’d obviously gone too far by not only discussing her boy shorts with this guy who wasn’t a blob, but by also revealing that she purposely owned only two different colours of comfortable underwear.
“Um, they’re all from the Victoria PINK collection, though,” she said in her defense, as if that tidbit would clarify everything. And while that little fact would have worked to distract her high school girlfriends from her dorkiness, clearly he didn’t contain the “shallow girl gene” or he wouldn’t still be frowning at her.
“They make me lucky,” she blurted… and then quickly realized how that could easily be interpreted. Gah. Apparently her brain had overheated during that earlier surge of desire and was now fried. Her face skipped red and went straight to crimson while she pressed her lips together to stop more words from falling out. She had to stop digging herself a hole right now or else she would soon need to jump in and excavate on to China.
Still frowning, he cleared his throat. “$15.72.”
She took one more chance to try to recover. “I mean the colours bring me good luck, not the boy shorts.”
His whole body language was now saying I wish she would just go away. “$15.72, please.”
Taylor handed him a twenty, grabbed the juice, and rushed out the door before he could give her the change.
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The Name “Taylor”
My nephew’s name is Taylor. That’s right; Taylor is a boy’s name in my family. As for using it as a girl’s name, well, I thought it was kind of funny because I have a nephew named Taylor (I know, weird sense of humour) and it came up as a name I would associate with a popular high school girl.
The Name “Isaiah”
I am in love with the name Isaiah. It is one of those names that resonates deeply like a favourite melody.
I remember trying to read the Bible when I was around ten years old. I didn’t get very far (later I would learn the New Testament by becoming fanatical about all things “Jesus Christ Superstar”). If I had managed to read it, I might have come across the name Isaiah before reading Katie McGarry’s Dare You To.
Though Isaiah was a minor character in the book, the second book in the series was centred around him. Thankfully, I was a little late to the whole Pushing the Limits series party so I didn’t have to wait to read Crash into You. He became my very first book boyfriend (I have one other but I’m not telling who). You always fall hard for your first.
I use astrological profiles to help round out the development of my main characters. It’s always been a thing for me. So that basically means as soon as I come up with a name, I intuit their birth date and time, and where they were born.
Here are the astrological profiles for Taylor and Isaiah.
Taylor Marie Jenson
DOB: April 17, 1997, 12:46 a.m., Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Isaiah Scott Butler
DOB: September 17, 1994, 1:20 p.m., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Location, Location, Location
The town where Taylor lives with her half-sister, and where she meets Isaiah, is loosely based on Huntsville, Ontario. The provincial park is based on Algonquin Park. I picked this area because the very first line I wrote for the book was in the living room of our suite in the Deerhurst resort in Huntsville.
And maybe, just maybe, my muse for Isaiah’s gorgeousness (looks and presence) was working in a market there in the summer of 2015.
I can neither confirm nor deny.
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