Today I am so pleased to welcome back Z. Allora to Joyfully Jay. Z has come to talk to us about her latest release, Tied Together.  Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


Thank you for having me! I love visiting.

Anxiety SUCKS! I’m not an expert on the subject, but I’ve suffered with the gut wrenching fear for years. Robin Strider, one of the main characters in the book (Tied Together) I’m releasing today is plagued by anxiety, which stops him from doing what he longs to do. I’d thought we could discuss ANXIETY.



*General Anxiety-feeling of doom with no identifiable cause

*Anxiety Attacks-overwhelming fear (which any of the other types can morph into)

*Social Anxiety-fear of being seen negatively by others (appears as extreme shyness)

*Post-traumatic Stress (PTSD)-aftermath of traumatic, life-threatening event.

*Phobias-exaggerated or unrealistic fear, when in reality no danger is present

*Obsessive-compulsive (OCD)-unwanted thoughts or behaviors needed to be perform to avoid intense anxiety



Acknowledge Your Anxiety

I envision my anxiety as a child… if I ignore it the voice gets louder, and louder and LOUDER! I acknowledge: “Yup, my heart is racing and my head is trying to convince me this paper cut is cancer. Looks like a normal cut, but I realize I expect the worse possible outcome. Damn it. It would suck to die. I will clean this cut which could be cancer (not), and I wonder what character X would do in B scene in my work in progress….”

  • 1st Acknowledge the fear fully (really flesh it out) and then distract… the distraction gives my anxiety some place to go.
  • Focusing on something else can de-rail anxious thoughts or allow you perspective.


Take Care Of You

I know this seems time consuming or expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.

  • Exercise: Take a walk, jump up and down in place, or actually work out. It will burn your excess energy and you’ll feel calmer.
  • Write down things that make you happy: think of the little ways you can have pleasure throughout your day >>> doesn’t have to cost you a penny. (Mine are: take a bath, use chopsticks, put ice cubes in my water, sing Happy Birthday when I wash my hands, write…)
  • Caffeine & Sugar: It’s very hard, but try to limit your intake, even if you can’t cut it out completely.


List Your Anxieties

I know putting them on paper seems overwhelming, but pretend these aren’t your issues but your best friend’s. Are they realistic? What can you do to lessen them? Set aside five minutes a day to think about them and see if progress was made on them… Similar to the above suggestion: acknowledge the issues, worry in a controlled timeframe, and move on. (Anxiety can simply be put to rest by actually doing what we need to do)


Support and Stability

Friends and family who support you in a way that works for you when you become anxious. Many people don’t understand what to do, because my paper cut to most people is a paper cut. I need someone who I trust to listen to my concerns, take them seriously enough to discuss them and then slowly help me put them into perspective. (Not always easy for those around us to do so, I learned to do this independently)


See someone

Talking to a therapist can help. Sometimes, taking a little pill can help you break the cycle that is holding you prisoner. Taking a medication doesn’t have to be a long-term thing. See someone you trust, and usually just speaking to someone and learning techniques that work for you are enough.

  • Join an anxiety group online.
  • I find when I focus on others, my own voices soften so I can function.


One of my distractions is I write. I acknowledge my issue, then I imagine one of my characters dealing with the same thing, and move on. A number of my characters suffer from anxiety… two of which are in my hot rocker series.

In Tied Together, Robin Strider is plagued with anxiety. He lost his mother at a young age and had an abusive childhood, which colors everything in his world. Robin is waiting for the other shoe to drop, because the filters he’s developed taught him only bad things happen.

His inner dialogue haunts him. He can’t follow his desires because he’s afraid everything good in his life will all be taken away from him. His lover uses BDSM to give him space from his anxiety and boundaries so he can feel calm and secure enough to find his inner strength. (BDSM is NEVER a cure for anything.)

Finally Fallen’s Justin was brutally raped and left traumatized. Due to PTSD, he was unable to have a physical relationship. With the steadfast security of his lover he is able to access the sexual part of himself. He loves to cross-dress and uses it as a crutch to deal with his anxiety so he is able to live the life he wants to live. (Yes, I know some people frown on crutches, but his lover finally convinced him to speak to someone. Though Justin will still gender bend his clothing.) Justin also uses a technique called grounding where you name five items you can hear, see and feel. Sometimes he goes through the list several times and sometimes describes them in detail to bring him back from his personal hell.

Anxiety isn’t fun but it can be managed. Don’t suffer with it. Find techniques that work for you.

Big Hugs, Z.

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Josh has loved Robin since the day they met, although he never dared to follow his heart. After the two are kicked out of their house, a night of despair turns into a night of discovery, forever changing them both. One taste of his dream leaves Josh hungry for more, but Robin’s fear of abandonment forces him to pull back, denying them both.

Their fortunes changed. Josh and Robin are now in the limelight with legendary megaband The Dark Angels, but Robin is still the scared little boy inside the rock star who isn’t convinced he won’t be left behind. He clings tightly to the word “brother” because stepbrothers can’t leave, right?

There’s only one way for Josh to prove to Robin, now and forever, that the love tying them together can never be broken.


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