Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Relationship Book Written by a Devoted Couple: Partners in Passion Guest Post and Giveaway!

Partners in Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy and Long-Term Love
Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson
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Happily married partners in passion themselves, award-winning authors Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson provide readers with a fun, step-by-step manual to creating a lasting, loving and erotic relationship.

Partners in Passion proposes alternative models of long-term connection, founded on mutuality, a collaborative mindset, empathy and transparency. It features interviews with long-term couples and includes an extensive resource guide that covers everything from health to erotica, with excellent advice from many of today’s leading sexuality and relationship educators.

Inside, you'll learn:
  • Why communication is important but talking is overrated
  • How to balance the need for intimacy with the need for personal freedom
  • Ways that sexual adventuring can strengthen your bond
  • Tips to deal with discrepancies, distractions and disruptions in your sex life
  • Ways to maintain a vibrant erotic connection throughout your lives

How Partners in Passion Came About

Partners in Passion: Practicing What We Preach
Writing together is both challenging and immensely rewarding. It is a way of constantly discovering each other, and it forces us to practice what we preach!

You Never Know What Will Become a Book
We take our writing very seriously, and the process we have developed over four books has served us well. We didn’t write formal proposals for our first two. The Essence of Tantric Sexuality was an adaptation of a series of recorded lectures, and we sold the manuscript. Tantra for Erotic Empowerment was based on an online course we had developed several years before, so we were able to sell it with a verbal pitch and sample material from the course. The next two, Great Sex Made Simple and our current book – Partners in Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy and Long-Term Love were sold based on standard non-fiction proposals, although we had pitched the general concepts to the publishers before starting on the proposals.

Pitching Partners in Passion
Partners in Passion began to take shape when we met with Brenda Knight of Cleis Press at Book Expo America in May 2011. At that meeting, she invited us to submit a proposal for a couples book to be included in Cleis's renowned "Ultimate Guide" series. We had taken a workshop on writing book proposals at MediaBistro some years earlier. At first, we resented the need to write proposals—thinking why not just write the book. Now we find the process to be very valuable, since it forces you to focus and get very specific from the start. As we worked on Partners in Passion, it became clear to us that this was a more ambitious and more comprehensive book than we envisioned at first; we now see it as our big statement about relationships and sexuality. Cleis recognized this too, and when they accepted the manuscript, they decided it should be a stand alone title.

Conversation to Manuscript: Our Process
When we write together, we typically start by discussing a topic, often while we are driving. Patricia touch-types the conversation and later writes a very preliminary outline that incorporates her notes. Mark then writes the next draft, and we take turns editing that draft. Patricia prefers to get Mark’s feedback in a redlined document, whereas its easier for Mark to sit side by side and hear Patricia’s comments, while looking at the unedited document, because he wants to understand the intent behind the suggestion. The comment box in Word doesn’t feel sufficient. We work though the book section by section in this manner.

Listening as if It Were the First Time
Once we’ve completed the first draft, we read the manuscript out loud to each other a minimum of ten times and edit as we go. We’re diligent about delivering a high-quality and well-edited manuscript, and we often beat our deadlines. This is something that makes publishers and copy editors very happy.

To Be Creative, You Must be Vulnerable
Because we write about relationships and the writing process is one that involves a lot of vulnerability and potential blows to the ego, we have to apply the relationships skills we advocate in the process itself. It’s probably one of the most dramatic examples of having to practice what you preach that we can think of. We’ll often take a time out to breathe together and eye-gaze for a few minutes in silence, before getting back to work. Beyond that, writing about sex means that we’re always talking about it and always conducting research. This forces us to be almost constantly open to discovering something new. And we believe that remaining curious about each other and cultivating the capacity to be surprised are keys to keeping relationships fresh.

About the Authors

Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, a devoted married couple, have been teaching Tantra together since 1999. Their approach combines traditional lineage-based Tantra with the best contemporary methods so that students can bring heightened awareness and an expanded capacity for pleasure into all aspects of everyday life.

The couple has taught throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, and Australia. They are senior students of Tantric pioneer Dr. Jonn Mumford. Dr. Mumford has named them his lineage holders for the Americas and Europe. In addition, they have studied Bhakti Yoga with Bhagavan Das and Tantra with Dr. Rudolph Ballentine.

Michaels is a graduate of New York University School of Law and a member of the Bar in New York State. He holds master's degrees in American Studies from NYU and Yale. Formerly, a playwright and translator, he translated and adapted Goldoni's The Mistress of the Inn for the Roundabout Theatre Company, and co-wrote The Thrill of Victory, The Agony of Debate, which premiered at New York's Primary Stages. Johnson is a retired professional operatic soprano who toured throughout the United States, Europe, and South America and performed with the New York City Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Komsiche Oper Berlin. She currently is active in the conservation and preservation of New York's native turtles.

Michaels and Johnson are co-founders of the Pleasure Salon, a monthly gathering in New York City that brings together sex-positive people and pleasure activists from a variety of communities.


Books à la Mode is giving away one finished print copy of Partners in Passion—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What is the best relationship advice you have ever received? What is the worst?

Don't forget to include your email address or Twitter username in your comment so I know who to contact when I choose a winner. Don't make me track you down!!!! No email = No entry!
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Mark, Patricia, and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher—a huge thank you to Cleis!
Giveaway ends April 2nd at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only—sorry, international readers! Check out my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide—there are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!