Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Book Release Announcement: Finding Ecstasy by Rebecca Pillsbury. Read more about this intriguing story. FREE on Kindle from 09 - 13th November



Given the choice between chocolate or sex, Rebecca always chose chocolate. That is, until a series of transformational experiences caused her to let go of three decades of sexual repression and shame. A serendipitous encounter with a Brazilian man sets the stage for a six-year journey toward the discovery of a new sexual and spiritual truth and a love that comes full circle.

Set against the backdrop of Buenos Aires and London, with the soulful music of the blues intricately woven throughout the journey, this book is more than just a captivating love story. Healing sources of spiritual guidance accompany the joyful and romantic ride.

Deeply intimate, insightful, and enriched with playful humor, this story invites readers to not only engage in the beauty of one woman’s journey of self-discovery, but to embark on their own journey toward living life to the fullest and highest degree possible.



A Brazilian in Buenos Aires

I arrived at the 06 Central Hostel in downtown Buenos Aires and checked into a dorm room with six beds. I said a silent prayer for quiet roommates—the fewer, the better. I lucked out and got only two: a tall, awkward Italian man named Marco, who spoke not a word of English (or anything but Italian), and a Brazilian man named Boris. Ponytailed with a double-pierced ear, he was, to me, exotic and attractive but unattainable. Chances were a language barrier would keep us from communicating in any meaningful way.
That first night I sat at a long table in the common area with my laptop, likely journaling about the artisan chocolate I’d indulged in while in Bariloche. I was content to be alone at the corner of the table, as it meant no one had to know I did not speak Spanish (despite my best efforts in a beginner class I took before leaving Nashville). I feared being considered what I believed I was—an ignorant American. And then Boris, sitting at the opposite end of the table, said something to me. Instead of being put off by my bewildered look, he simply switched to English.
Damn. Busted. I replied—and he spoke again. Despite my intentions, I was having a conversation. And despite myself, I was pleased to have someone with whom I could talk for a bit. He worked for an American company and was fluent in English. Our conversation evolved from the standard, “Where are you from? How long are you here?” to our shared passion for blues music. I told him that I was a lindy hop and blues dancer.
“I’m familiar with lindy hop dancing but blues dancing? What is that?” he asked.
“Blues dancing is also a contemporary partner dance with African roots, but it’s led by the music, rather than specific dance steps. To me, it’s more liberating than lindy hop, because of its freedom from rules and restrictions. It’s a dance strongly connected to emotion, ranging from extreme joy to extreme sadness. I love it so much because it gets me out of my head—you have to be out of your head and into your body to dance, which is normally somewhere I don’t want to be,” I released a shy giggle. I could see he was intrigued, so I continued.
“It’s actually helped me get over the fear of being touched—when you blues dance, you actually get to be held. Dancing to the blues feels like a big, beautiful hug. It’s a relationship free of expectation, since it only has to last until the song ends.”
I surprised myself by sharing the personal details of my experience with Boris.
“Wow, it sounds beautiful. I’d love to see what it looks like.”
Encouraged by his positive reaction, I moved to sit next to him so that I could show him some videos of the dance on my computer. When I was done, he extended the time we sat next to each other by showing me shaky footage of the punk rock band he played drums in. As the evening progressed, he shared that he was ending an intense ten-year relationship. His time in Buenos Aires was meant to clear his head. I divulged that I also was escaping an unhealthy relationship.
When, tired, we moved our things into the dorm room, we found Marco already in bed, but Boris and I were having a hard time ending our conversation. I lay on my bottom bunk, and he sat down on the floor beside me with his arms wrapped tightly around his bent knees, leaning against the wall by the head of my bed. Every time a lull in the conversation would suggest impending sleep, one of us would seize the opportunity to fill it.
“One of my best friends moved away to England. He’s studying at Oxford. I haven’t told him this, but I really miss him,” Boris said once.
I reopened my eyes and noticed the glimmer of relief in his own: I was still awake. He continued, “I really admire his courage for moving abroad. I want to leave Brazil too. Fuck Brazil. I want to see the world. There’s so much more out there.”
“So what is stopping you?”
“My friends in Brazil say I’d be crazy to leave my job. Everyone wants to work for this company, and if I left I’d have to start all over. There would be no guarantee I could get a job like this again.” As Boris shared his dream, the hunger in his eyes was reflective of my own longing for something more.
Though I didn’t want the night to end, I regretfully expressed that exhaustion had taken over my body. With a hint of disappointment, but in a nurturing tone of acceptance, Boris wished me a good night and retreated to his top bunk on the opposite side of the room. I lay awake for a while, smiling about my new friend. I had a strong suspicion he was beginning to see me in more than just a friendly way. I started plotting how to block any advances. My fear and shame around sex were so deeply embedded in my brain they kept me from wanting to open myself to any relationship beyond friendship. My biggest wall was Boris’s own: he’d be returning to Brazil in four days anyway. How much could happen?
The next two days began with what became my weekday routine in Buenos Aires. My alarm would go off at 10:55 a.m., which gave me five minutes to take advantage of the hostel’s free breakfast. I would gather my dos medialunas con mermelada de durazno (“two croissants with peach jam”) and jugo de naranja (“orange juice”) and leisurely dine at the communal table on the patio. For those two days, I had had the special treat that Boris would already be there telecommuting. I delighted in his morning company before I had to get ready to attend my Spanish lesson, followed by a tango lesson later in the afternoon.
In the evenings Boris and I would team up to do a bit of sightseeing. That first night on the town, Thursday, he invited me to join Marco and him for dinner at a pizzeria down the street. I had already eaten, but I eagerly joined them to continue exploring this compelling Brazilian man. Doing so with Marco present made me feel safe. Seated at the dinner table, Boris pulled from the cavities of his brain the few Italian words he remembered from school so that we could interact somewhat within our trio. Marco invited Boris and me to join him for a concert after dinner, but we took turns saying we preferred to stay in for the night. It wasn’t yet spoken, but we both felt a seed of promise at the opportunity to be alone together.
Relaxing on the patio back at the hostel, we stole penetrating glances at each other in between bashful withdrawals of focused attention. Conversation came naturally, but our thoughts playfully considered a connection beyond merely verbal territory.
“Do you want to do something together tonight?” Boris asked with the same look of hopeful yearning I had recognized the night before.
“What did you have in mind?” My heart began to race.
“Do you like wine? I can buy a bottle, and we can share it back here.”
“That sounds great.” I released a sigh of appreciation that my nerves would soon be able to experience a respite.
He went out to buy a bottle and returned shortly to where I’d continued to sit on the patio.
“Ready?” he asked.
“Sure!” I said enthusiastically, while remaining seated at the communal table.
Boris moved to step inside our dorm room.
“Oh,” I said with surprise. “You mean in there?”
“Yes, of course,” he answered curiously.
My insecurities began to boil. I had already demonstrated the innocence of a child, not the confidence of an adult woman, by expressing surprise that he had intended us to share the wine privately. Hesitantly, I followed him into the room. My mind fought flashbacks of being led to another bedroom in my past, but I knew this was a different man. This was one who sparked emotions in me that I had never felt with anyone else, even though I still did not know him well.
Relax, Rebecca, I thought. Sharing wine with a man in a hostel bedroom does not mean it will lead to sex. My intuition, however, told me two things: one, that he was a good man, nothing like Ryan back in Nashville and, two, that it likely would lead to sex—if not now, then soon.
Boris locked the door behind us. I was acutely aware of this extra step—a certain sign that something private was about to happen. I was somewhat scared to be there, but I wanted to take this next step nonetheless. We opened the bottle of wine and began listening to music on my laptop. B. B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone” joined the rotation. The sheer beauty of the opening notes evoked feelings of foreplay in my mind, and I could tell that Boris was particularly moved as well.
King’s voice eased into a seductive moan as I stood to allow the music to pass through my body. I was inspired to express the intensity of what I was experiencing, and I invited Boris to dance with me.
Our eyes met as we swayed in a close embrace and quietly sang along to the words that transcended continents, languages, and cultures to land in the hearts and memories of both our beings.
I led Boris through some basic blues moves, isolating and rolling various parts of my body to accentuate and hit particular notes, pausing to breathe slower and deeper in communion with the more profound parts of the song. The dance allowed me the freedom to express myself without feeling vulnerable. Much as dancing is an excellent outlet for the socially awkward because it doesn’t require talking, it is equally an effective outlet for the sexually inhibited because it doesn’t require nudity. I just needed to respond instinctually to the music. It felt like I was coming home to myself. I let go of my inhibitions a little more as the song began to come to a close.
Although the lyrics suggest a triumphant release of attachment, our experience was contradictory. We were falling under each other’s spell. One more pass around the room, and Boris pressed me up against the wall of lockers and kissed me passionately. I’d never been kissed like that. This was a Latin kiss. I found myself wondering if the term French kiss should be revised.
We were hooked—“just friends” be gone. The fairy godmother sprinkled her magic stardust, and we were magnetically connected from that point on. Until Sunday, that is. Three days away.
The night ended sweetly. We kissed some more, and then some more, before retreating to our respective bunks for the night. So far, so good. I wasn’t completely found out yet. I might still be a woman in his eyes, I considered.
Friday night we met up after our daily activities and joined two other couples I had met through my tango dance class for dinner and salsa dancing. At dinner, Boris’s and my hands joined under the table, and at the dance our eyes continuously sought connection. When I danced with another man from our group, Boris openly demonstrated his jealousy. I took pleasure in the fact that he saw me as desirable enough to catch the eye of this attractive other man and felt okay with that feeling because I wasn’t playing with Boris; this other man was not a threat to him. I was, instead, enthralled with this striking Brazilian man who felt so familiar to me.
We closed the night in true porteño style, the way Buenos Aires natives do, not returning to the hostel until 5:00 a.m. Boris and I were disappointed to find new roommates in our dorm, but our sheer exhaustion would have prevented any degree of intimacy anyway. We went straight to our respective beds.
Saturday would be the first—and only—full day that Boris and I would spend together in Buenos Aires. We took full advantage of it, walking along the newly developed waterfront of Puerto Madero before crossing the river and renting bikes to explore Costanera Sur, an ecological reserve of trails amid gorgeous marsh and grassland. It was a refreshing place to escape the noise of the city and find some privacy, but the severity of the mosquitos prevented us from indulging too long.
The geography of Costanera Sur reminded me of La Crosse. I had traversed trails like this by bike many times throughout my life, as they weaved behind both my elementary school and my college campus. I found rare moments of seclusion on those trails, away from my family and, later, away from my roommates. I finally had a place to just be. I filled journal after journal while sitting on benches among the wetlands; I wrote poetry depicting both the beauty of nature and the anguish of my adolescent soul. Always, I daydreamed of faraway places.
And now here I was, nearly six thousand miles south, and my surroundings looked the same as where I’d come from. A deeper look, of course, revealed that I couldn’t have been farther away—Buenos Aires flora could not survive in La Crosse. I was different too. The distance from home had changed me. I had a companion by my side, an exotic man with whom I’d already become quite comfortable. How could a man from so far away—raised with a different culture, language, and religion—have so much in common with me? Why did he feel so familiar?
I left the questions to hang within me. I knew I was inexperienced in the realm of love. I’ll likely feel this way with many men in my future, I mused. This particular story has an obvious and impending ending. A few more days, and our relationship will simply become fodder for nostalgia.
But there would be time to contemplate the future later. All I knew was that now, our experience together at what we dubbed Puerto Mosquito was blissful. My heart fluttered with each stroke of Boris’s touch. I delighted in visibly being part of a couple. When you’re painfully single, couples in love can be spotted around every corner—or at least couples in lust. For once, I was one of them. To experiment with the idea of being in a romantic partnership while in public felt safe to me. There was no pressure to go too far.
Later, back in our room, we wondered how we should end the night. It was St. Patrick’s Day—a good opportunity to celebrate. It was also Boris’s last night in Buenos Aires before returning to Brazil. I sat on my bed as he sat cross-legged on the floor in front of me.
“I just had a crazy idea,” he began. “I really don’t want to spend my last night with you in this dorm room. Would you be open to me getting us a hotel room?”
I felt an intense wave of inner conflict. I was simultaneously flattered, excited, and terrified. Our mere four days together had come to this. My instinct told me that this next step was one I should take, and I interpreted that message as approval from God. So, I knew that if I said no, it would be strictly out of fear and my own insecurities. I was on this trip to stretch my boundaries, to challenge myself and see what came up for me. I knew what I needed to do.
“I’ll agree…on two conditions. One, we get ice cream first and, two, we get a bottle of wine for the room.” The little girl in me was craving the comfort of a sweet and familiar physical sensation, and the emerging woman was inviting me to experiment with new aspects of pleasure.
I thought Boris was going to jump for joy, as I could feel his energy level heighten, but he remained seated, allowing only a generous smile to grace his face.
“Great,” he said quietly, with the adorable accent that touched my heart.
I walked cautiously with him to an ice cream shop. My stomach was a bundle of nerves. I trusted my desire to share this night with him, but I also felt like each step was bringing me closer to impending doom. Well, I’ll probably never see him again after tomorrow. Once he realizes I have no idea what I’m doing in bed, it will just be a matter of passing a few more hours with him. At least I won’t regret not trying.
We ate our ice cream and continued our walk to find a liquor store. It was too late to purchase a bottle from a wine shop, so Boris came up with the idea of buying a bottle from a restaurant. The manager on duty eyed us suspiciously, contemplating if he should sell us a bottle without our having been patrons at his establishment. Boris managed to charm him with a gesture toward me and a plea along the lines of “Please be a gentleman—it’s for the lady.” He finally acquiesced and, bottle in hand, we found the nearest decent-looking hotel to check in to for the night.
We approached the front desk carrying a bottle of wine and no luggage. I wondered how many times the hotel staff had seen this scenario. I had been informed by locals that Buenos Aires was infamous for its albergues transitorios, hotel rooms rentable by the hour for young couples needing a reprieve from their parents or married individuals needing a reprieve from their spouses. But this was not a hotel of that sort—the entrance was not hidden by protective walls, and the edifice lacked decorative neon lights.
We spent considerable time communicating that we were in need of wine glasses and waiting for the staff to try to locate a pair. We ended up settling for two paper cups. Though the hotel was not of the high-class variety, it still came with a concierge who eagerly rode the elevator with us to bring us to our room. I think he simply wanted to eavesdrop on, or perhaps participate in, what appeared would be an enjoyable night. Five awkward floors later, and only after repeatedly being assured that we needed nothing else, the concierge left us alone at our room.
We enjoyed our bottle of red wine, which aided in loosening Boris’s tongue, buying me some time to adjust to the fact that holy crap, I’m in a private hotel room with a man I barely know! We talked for a couple of hours—principally about God.
“You know, my religion would condemn me for being here with you now.” My eyes met Boris’s as I searched for approval to continue without being judged.
“Do you believe you should be condemned?” He held my gaze.
“Well, no. But I do believe in God. There is so much beauty in the world that I can’t deny something larger than us has created it all.” I paused before continuing, “So I try to follow his teachings. I figure if I live an honest, good life the majority of the time, a few sins will be overlooked, and I’ll still go to heaven.”
Boris waited for me to finish before revealing his perspective. “I used to believe in God, but growing up in Brazil I have seen so much suffering. Where is God in that? I prefer to just live my life as a good person and not worry about someone else’s judgment. When I die, I die. That’s it. At least my life will have offered some purpose while I was here.”
“Really? You don’t believe we have a spirit that lives on?”
“No, I don’t. Our spirit just dies with our body. Death doesn’t scare me. I like the idea of death. When my grandmother died last year, I asked my mother if I could keep her skull. I thought it would be so beautiful to have it to remember her by. She wouldn’t let me, though.”
“I’m not surprised.” I laughed. “Where I come from, that would be considered sacrilege.”
“Where I come from too,” his words trailed off, revealing more similarities between us than we’d originally thought.
Speaking to Boris about my faith allowed me to feel known. If I was going to share the sacredness of my body with this man, I at least wanted him to know a piece of my soul.
Finally, the crutch of conversation that I’d been leaning on gave way to the reason we had placed ourselves in the hotel room to begin with. A look came across Boris’s face that read, It’s time.

Book is FREE for a limited time:
09 - 13 November, 2014


Though one of her childhood fantasies was to have superhuman powers that allowed her to travel instantaneously around the globe—or at the very least, fly—it is Rebecca’s distinctly human persona that causes strangers and dogs alike to want to be her new best friend. With a commitment to spreading joy and inspiring others to let go of shame and let shine their light, Rebecca unabashedly reveals her own vulnerability so that others may feel safe exploring their own.

Rebecca was a prize winner in Christine Kloser’s 2013 Transformational Author Writing Contest and has been featured on Viki Winterton’s Write Now Radio! program alongside top literary experts and publishing professionals. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon, though you may not find her there year-round—a vagabond spirit cannot be tamed. You could look for her frolicking in forests or careening on rocks by the sea, but you’ll have a better chance following her at

Rebecca Pillsbury is available for select talks. To inquire about a possible appearance, please contact


This is what Reviewers say about this book:


I immediately connected with this book and its characteristics. finished reading it in one night and it was completely worth the read.  
Julissa @ Goodreads.  

A book that sticks in your mind.

They say the sign of a good movie or book is that even when you've completed reading it, the words and ideas continue to take up space in your mind. This book is of that variety. In between sets of reading, and certainly after swiping the last e-page, I found myself frequently pondering some of the ideas she offers and comparing them to my own. And the beauty of this book is that the author encourages the reader not to necessarily believe in her beliefs, but to share her passion for living with a set of beliefs that work for her, with the hopes that her readers will do the same for themselves. The premise being that once we've carved out a path of our own - once we have a better understanding of who we are and who we want to be - we are better prepared for blazing our own trail, moving through our lives with fearless grace.

The author describes her spiritual journey and sexual healing process via snippets and flashes of her life story. Part travelogue, part love story, and part inner-conversation, she pointedly and fearlessly expresses not only the shame she felt growing up, but also the release of that shame by braving new experiences, finding her truth through reading and deep introspection, traveling near and far, and dancing the Blues.

The great thing about this book is that its stories are relatable. The beauty of that type of memoir is that we are offered a space to reflect on our own "ordinary" moments in a deeper and more thoughtful way. Finding Ecstasy encourages this, and may even be the author's "soul" purpose of the book itself.

If you're up for a book that forces you to reflect, this one is definitely for you!  

 Julie V @ Amazon.

I have my copy. Do you?

Book is FREE for a limited time:
09 - 13 November, 2014


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