Friday, 26 August 2011

Hurricane Irene and the End of the Party

Well, I think Hurricane Irene has rudely interrupted our party :) - to say nothing more! I just wanted to say I'm thinking of everyone in the hurricane's path and hoping you all stay safe.

In the circumstances, I'm going to leave Lila Munro's contest open until Monday morning, so feel free to keep commenting until then.

Thanks to everyone who joined the party as commenter, lurker or voyeur :). And a huge thank you to our fun and generous guests of hunour, Anne Rainey, Sloane Taylor, Desiree Holt, Angela Knight and Lila Munro.


Hope to see everyone next month for the Science Fiction Romance party!

Marie

Welcome Lila Munro!

To make sure the Erotic Romance Party goes out with a bang, our final guest of the week is author Lila Munro, who sees the world rather differently these days... Welcome, Lila!


Living Through a Writer’s Eyes

Ever wonder what the world looks like through the eyes of a writer? I can guarantee you one thing the world looks much, much different for a writer. At least from this writer’s eyes it does. How do I know this? Let’s just say I’ve shopped with my normal friends and I’ve shopped with my writers friends…trust me we see things differently.

How many writers out there walk around with a notepad or recorder in their pocket or purse? In the car? Normal people? So, that was about a hundred to zero. The first clue that the writers in the crowd see things in a completely different light than the normal folk. You see, through a writer’s eyes, every single person we come in contact with is a potential character waiting to introduce themselves. Every situation is a potential scene. Cool looking cars, tasty food, off the hook clothing, tattoos, piercings, hair styles—they all have the potential to end up in a book. I seriously doubt normal people notice as much about people, places and things as a writer does. For me the world is a buffet of story ideas.

Now take that idea and apply it to not only a writer, but say a writer who writes erotic romance—or take it a step even further—to BDSM and/or ménage. How much different do you suppose the world looks to those writers even compared to “normal” writers? So different a normal person would burst into flames if they spent a few minutes in my mind. 

My life as a writer didn’t start off in that world. My life as a writer started out as a regular, every day, run of the mill, erotic romance writer. I had the solid story lines, the believable characters and the hot sex to top it all off. However, my characters led a pretty vanilla life. Then one day, a new muse set her little foot up on my doorstep and a new era in my writing life began. Research ensued—lots of it in fact. And a strange thing happened. As differently as I viewed the world before, that difference may have increased by ten-fold. For instance, a simple trip to the fabric store one day turned into a BDSM researchers dream. How many normal people do you suppose go along feeling the fabric and knot testing it to make sure their heroine won’t lose circulation in her cute little toes if her hero ties her up with it? How many people might look at rings to hang curtains with and their thoughts wander toward inexpensive and quite cute nipple clamps? How many uses are there for a tracing wheel, hem clips or a ruler? Now you’re getting a view from a naughty writer’s point of view.

Now, let’s leave the fabric store and wander over to, say, a kitchen accessory store….What can we find here that might lend itself to creative license? Hard rubber spatulas…paddle material. Olive oil…nifty lubricant. Cute little popsicle molds…ice play with class. Feather dusters, candles, industrial rolls of saran wrap, and the list goes on. Oh, let’s not forget suction cups...need I say more? Wonder what’s over at the hardware store…

Of course this store lends itself to a bondage lover’s dream come true. Eye bolts, chains, outdoor plant hooks to be disguised as a place to hang someone’s arms over their head. Fence posts to create a nifty outdoor place to spread eagle someone for a little flogging. And rope of all sorts, some of which is even neat colors—of course you need to keep in mind research is necessary to know what gauges are best and which one’s won’t leave burn marks. Oh and look over in the gardening section at all the cool cane poles that normal folk associate with staking up their tomatoes. Guess what else they’re good for. Yes, a good wallop to someone’s tender back side. And speaking of tender backsides, just what do you suppose a good leather and horse supply store mind give me in terms of ideas. Crops, and reigns, and chaps—oh my!

See how much differently the world looks through the eyes of someone like me? If I can find all that in normal stores what do you suppose happens when I go to a reputable naughty store…

Thanks Marie for having me over today. I so appreciate the chance to be here with your fans and readers. Today I’ll be giving away a PDF copy of Identity Crisis, book one in the Identity Series. Just simply leave a comment so we know you were here and not just being a voyeur. J 


Lila Munro is a writer of contemporary romance currently residing on the coast of North Carolina. She is a military wife and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fourteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Destiny’s Fire, A Slower Lower Love, Salvation, Force Recon: Beacon Bayou, and Identity Crisis. Currently she’s working on sequels to several series to be released throughout 2010-2011. She’s a member in good standing with the RWA, Passionate Ink and EPIC. Ms. Munro always works as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Rebel Ink Press. She loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted via her website http://lilamunro.weebly.com , her joint effort website http://www.wickedmuses.blogspot.com or through Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Lila_Munro  You can also contact her via email at lilasromance@gmail.com   For more information about Rebel Ink Press please visit their website at www.rebelinkpress.com

IDENTITY CRISIS by LILA MUNRO


You have to leave the city of your comfort…

Jillian Stewart was as straight laced as they came. Or was she? After one man tearing her down to her very foundation, she’s set out on a path of self-discovery. Pursuing a Master’s degree in sociology, Jill’s determined to wrap her mind around the complexities of the BDSM world. Getting into a good doctorate program won’t be easy so she’s pulling out all the stops. After disregarding her professor’s warning against subjecting herself to the lifestyle, Jill finds she’s drawn to her tutor. But this isn’t her world. Is it?

and go into the wilderness of your intuition…

A career Marine Corps officer, Stephan Sachelles has always chosen to keep his lifestyle choices to himself. He avoids the underground house parties on the base to frequent a club miles from home in an effort to protect his privacy. Steph’s been a Master at Steele Image for years and he's enjoyed the company of many of the subs there with no intention of ever settling on just one. How would he make that work…it wasn’t like he could convert his base house into the dungeon of his dreams. Then Jill walks through the door. Steph’s intuition tells him there’s wild abandon inside her fighting for a chance at life. In the depths of her eyes, far behind the over analysis of everything she encounters, Steph sees the heart of a true submissive. But the resistance Jill puts up is driving Steph crazy. While she’s a good student, she just won't let go. Fighting his own internal battle, Steph finds he wants nothing more than to be the only Master to help her find her true identity.

Please enjoy an excerpt:

Steph retrieved his beer and tugged on it as Dillon initiated his line of questioning. The normal protocol for this punishment was that each time a question was asked, for every additional lie the sub told, a piece of clothing was removed. However, Steph hadn’t even had a chance to firmly establish what things Jill might be into and had no idea what her hard limits were, but he had a feeling being naked in front of strangers would be an iffy one for her. Even though her wrist fluttered wildly after he’d peeked down the front of her shirt, the shutters she could so cleverly pull down at will had flown up for a moment and a streak of terror flashed across her face.

“What is it you’re studying, Jill?” Dillon asked, maintaining a bit of distance. Steph knew his game, however. Dillon invaded someone’s space an inch at a time and before a sub knew it, she had no space left.

“Sociology,” Jill said with a scowl.

“Excuse me, pet?” Dillon asked, moving a bit closer to her feet.

“Are you deaf?” Jillian shot at him.

Dillon’s mouth fell open and his eyebrows shot up. “Does she know the punishments for disrespect yet?” he asked Steph.

“Either she didn’t read them at all or not thoroughly enough, which surprises me as analytical as she is. Maybe now’s a good time for that,” Steph answered. “Describe a couple of our choices to her, Dillon.”

“Well, my first choice is always a trip to the dungeon where I chain my mouthy sub to the wall and flog her senseless,” Dillon told her. “If I wanted to be creative, however, I’d strip her down butt naked and send her around the bar with a  sign on her back allowing any Dom within reach to swat her mouthy ass with the most convenient thing available, hand or otherwise.”

Steph watched Jill’s eyes closely. The mention of chains sent a wave of sheer terror through her as did the mention of being stripped and paraded around for all to see. With her jaw set tightly, Jill’s lips were soon ringed with a ghostly outline as she tried to conceal her trembling.

“Care to try again, Jill?” Steph asked her. “Dillon asked a question. The question wasn’t out of the way and he deserves your respect.”

“Sociology, Sir,” she muttered, sending Steph an angry glare.

“Do you enjoy that?” Dillon’s eyes never left hers and Steph doubted that Jill even noticed his fingers creeping along the bar top toward her toes.

“Yes, very much, Sir,” Jill answered, squirming, seeming uncomfortable with her elbows on the hard surface of the bar. Steph knew from his quick study of her records she had no medical issues involving joints so he knew some level of discomfort was acceptable at this point. Being a bit less than comfortable now would pave the way to be more so later.

“Is this your first trip to a BDSM club?” One of Dillon’s long fingers skittered across the toes on Jill’s right foot. She tried jerking away, but Dillon caught her foot and firmly planted it back where it had been then continued to brush the top of her foot. “No, no, pet. Right here. I won’t hurt you. Now answer the question.”

“Yes it is, Sir.”

Steph was satisfied thus far that Jill was being honest. Her eyes were clear, her pupils were normal size and free of obstruction and what he saw there was nothing but the truth.

“And you’re working on a thesis?” Dillon now stood even with her knees, rubbing a thumb along the back of her right one. “What is it you hope to learn?”

Jill’s eyes grew a bit wider and her pupil size increased ever so slightly. Steph glanced at her throat and noticed her pulse had quickened at that question. She had an answer but didn’t want to share it.

“What makes the people that do this tick. I need to know why this works.” Her breath hitched as Dillon’s palm met the back of her thigh. “Sir.”

“And why is that important to you?” Dillon asked.

That did it. Her pupils blew up and a mixture of fear and apprehension swirled in them. Whatever her reason, it scared her and she didn’t want anyone knowing. Then the shutters slammed shut hiding the hint of vulnerability Steph was sure he’d seen.



Today, Lila is giving away a PDF download of her book Identity Crisis. To enter the draw, just comment on her post, or reveal a secret fantasy of your own :). The contest will close at midnight tonight, and the winner will be announced tomorrow on this thread.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Freeing Al

Since I promised yesterday, here's a naughty excerpt from FREEING AL, a story about a vampiress who likes to be tied up. Of course, she's never yet discovered bonds she couldn't break! Anyway, here's a quick blurb and an excerpt.


FREEING AL
By MARIE TREANOR
Available from Ellora's Cave

Book three in the Psychic Seductions series.

Big Al MacNab is in trouble. Recently out of prison, he’s running his late uncle’s pub in the Scottish Highlands and trying to make a success of a local music festival. But he’s haunted by his own past—as well as by two persistent ghosts. Every criminal in the country wants to kill him, the police want to put him back in prison and his mother wants him to stop swearing. He doesn’t need a sexy vampiress serving drinks in his pub, let alone showing him kinky new uses for the restraints in his cellar.

Draguta, a vampire in search of a cause, has come to Scotland to find her ex-lover, Karoly, who owns the Transylvanian castle she wants to turn into a vampire safe house. Biting Al releases a lot of pent-up lust which has to be assuaged. Falling in love with Al revives a compassion and humanity she no longer knows how to deal with. Worse, she knows that after helping to free Al from his problems, she has to free him from herself.

*

Enslaved by a kiss. For a moment, the stunned thought sliced through my daze of helpless bliss, panicking me. I pulled away and found my back against the wall. I tried to speak, but instantly he sucked the words away in his beautiful, punishing mouth. At the same time, he ground his cock into me and I moaned.

His hands stroked my thigh, slid up over my hips and waist and the sides of my leather-covered breasts. Something dangerously like a whimper broke from my ravished lips, but he didn’t release them. His hands were on my shoulders, sliding down my arms to my hands, which he raised and pressed lightly back into the stone wall.

There was a snap. Several snaps, and the sound of clanking chain.

I froze. I could feel cool steel around my body, at my hips and waist and just under my breasts. I heard the screech of sliding metal and almost at the same time, bands closed around one ankle and both wrists.

Al’s eyes, dark with lust, stared into mine. “That’s what you want, isn’t it?”

Stunned, I stared back. I wanted to dispute it, but in all honesty, I couldn’t. Hadn’t I been fantasizing about this very scenario last night? Just before I walked away from him, and he let me?

I said, “It doesn’t matter. Your chains can’t hold me. I’ve broken your locks before, remember?”

“You won’t break these.”

I jerked. Admittedly not very hard because I still thought I could bask in this situation just a little longer. But the complete lack of movement inspired me to try again, pushing my body more more forcefully against the restraints, and then again with all my considerable strength. I tugged hard on the manacles.

Nothing budged. I stared at him. If I’d had any breath, I’d have been panting.

“See?” he said smugly, and kissed me, rubbing his cock deliberately between my thighs.

His hands roved up from my waist and covered both of my breasts, kneading. Pleasure surged through me. He broke the kiss. “I’ve never even seen these,” he said in wonder, and began to unfasten the buttons of my jacket.

It seemed to take forever, leaving me in an agony of anticipation. And then, when he opened the jacket and just gazed at my breasts, I wanted to die of embarrassment. And pleasure. I liked him to look. I wanted him to keep looking forever. I ached for him to touch them.

“Christ,” he said unsteadily. Very slowly, he bent his head and took my left nipple into his mouth. His hand came up and palmed my right breast, softly running over the nipple while he began to suck on the left.

I moaned, arching my hips involuntarily to find him. But the chains held me back. All I had was the attention of his mouth and hand on my breasts. All? It was more arousing than any sex I could remember. His hand closed on my breast, kneading, while his thumb flicked back and forth across the nipple. It felt like heaven, especially when his tongue did the same to the other.

He swapped his hand and mouth around, the caresses of each growing stronger. My head fell back against the wall in bliss.

His knee came up, pushing between my thighs, stroking my throbbing, tender pussy.

His mouth released my nipple with one last lick. “You like that, Draguta?”

I couldn’t speak.

He took his knee away and I whimpered with loss.

“You like that, Draguta?” he repeated.

I nodded once, desperately, and he gave me his knee back. I arched into it with a moan, trying to rub myself more forcefully against it. The steel of the bottom body-band dug into me, just above my pubic bone, adding a further, wicked pleasure.

Al pushed the jacket back off my shoulders, tugging it down at the back to reveal as much of me as possible. He kissed my shoulders and throat, sucking the skin into his mouth until I let out an animalistic growl of need.

Even that didn’t scare him off. Instead, his fingers slid inside the middle steel ring, around the waistband of my trousers and found the fastenings. He raised his head so that he could watch my face while he undid my buttons
.
He grinned wolfishly. “It’s like Christmas.”

The buttons open, he slipped his hands inside, stroking the skin of my hips and belly. He knelt, kissing my stomach, dipping his tongue into my navel. He groaned. “Your skin is like velvet. Only it tastes of…I don’t know, but it’s like nectar.”

He tugged my trousers down over my hips and legs, letting the steel restraints graze my bare skin. He paused to stare at the neat, black curls at my pussy. One good thing about being a vampire: your pubic hair never grows.

He swallowed. “You really don’t like underwear, do you? Every bit of you is so bloody lovely. What the hell are you doing here?”

“Hanging around,” I said weakly.


:) Marie

Welcome Angela Knight!

I'm thrilled to welcome the fabulous Angela Knight to the party! A best-selling and ground-breaking author, Angela is a lady of many talents, a couple of which she's about to reveal! Welcome Angela!


COVERING THE PASSION

By Angela Knight


OK, I'll admit it -- I just love romance covers. Not because I think they're amazing artwork, though some of them can be. I love them because there's no better way to get somebody to buy your book.

I'm going to A.) Date the hell out of myself, and B.) Admit something a bit embarrassing. Back when I was in college, I walked into my favorite bookstore -- B. Daltons, a now defunct chain. And stopped dead as a bolt of pure admiring lust shot through me.

There, in a cardboard display, was a set of books with a painting of a handsome bare-chested man walking out of the ocean. He had an utterly amazing body, backlit by the moonlight, the wind whipping his long hair, and his face was hawklike, utterly masculine, yet incredibly handsome.

I bought the book on the spot -- and discovered the work of Laura Kinsdale, a lyrical and   wonderful historical writer I quickly came to adore. And the hunk on the cover? Kinsdale fans already know: Fabio, who was on damn near every cover of every book she published in the 1980s.

I told you it was embarrassing.

This was long before Fabio was attacked by a duck or shilled margarine or anything like that. But that book taught me the power of cover art, because it got me to buy it, and I discovered a wonderful writer as a result.

I learned the other side of that equation around the same time. Romance novelists and readers decided they hated those embarrassing "clinch" covers staring Fabio and some girl with giant white titties. They wanted something subtle, classy, yet romantic.

They wanted flowers.

And for a while there, every book New York published had a freaking flower on the cover. Walking into a bookstore got to be like strolling into a Teleflora ad.  After a while, it got hard to tell whether you'd read the book or not. (Kind of like now, when half the covers star a headless white guy.)

Then there was a whole year when my favorite romance series, Loveswept, had nothing but the same damned flower on a cover. Four books. Every month. Same damned flower.

Now, I loved Loveswept and its authors -- people like Debra Dixon, Sandra Brown, and Iris Johansen, to name a very few -- but after awhile, I had no idea whether I had read any given Loveswept or not.

Within the year, the line went under. And I was not surprised. Covers are the way readers tell books apart. They're Important. That may sound shallow, but it's not.

A cover tells readers who a book is aimed at -- if a brawny torso, it's either female romance readers or gay men. Submarine blasting out of the ocean? Probably Tom Clancy fans. A guy dressed in leather riding a dragon? High fantasy lovers.

I can be all the way across a bookstore, and I can still tell if I might be interested in that book. Yeah, I'll have to flip it over and read the blurb, then the first few pages to see if the writing sucks. But it's still the cover that gets me across the bookstore.

And that's the kind of cover I want as a writer. I want a cover that grabs eyeballs from thirty feet away.

The bar is even higher for e-book covers. Covers on most e-tailer sites are about the size of a postage stamp. (Remember those? You stuck them on the front of snail mail.)

Yet that 200 pixel by 150 pixel image has to hook eyeballs, tiny or not. I'm a cover artist for Changeling Press, so I've had to think about what makes a great cover.

The key bit is the central image. It needs to be dramatic, striking -- and simple. Thus half-naked headless guys. In leather. Yum.

But you need something juuuuuuust a bit different too.

As an artist, I've had writers tell me these wish lists -- "I want a bear and a spider and a mountain lion and two Native Americans in a hogan..."

"Baby, you've been snorting toner again. What part of '150 pixels wide' didn't you get?"

Pick one thing. One really important image about your book -- a tattoo on a powerful shoulder, say -- and build the cover around that. 

Then I ask myself, "Would I cross the bookstore for a better look at that?"

Use lettering in a color that contrasts with the background -- white against midnight blue, for example. No curlicues in the font. That pretty pink script may work great in a bookstore, but fuck if you can read it at 150 pixels.

What I do when designing my covers is zoom the heck out until the cover is teeeeeeeny tiny, tampon-for-an-ant size, and see if I can still read the title and the author's name. If I can't, I fiddle with the coloring and the font until I can. Nice bold lettering, usually light against a dark background works best.

Then I send the cover out in search of eyeballs.

Gotcha.


Angela Knight is the New York Times bestselling author of the Mageverse series. Look for Master of Shadows, out now. For more information, visit her website at www.angelasknights.com.



An Excerpt from MASTER OF SHADOWS:

The knight filled the doorway with his height and swordsman’s solid brawn. He was dressed all in black – He would be, she thought. A black knit shirt tucked into black jeans over soft black boots, the darkness broken only by the glint of the silver belt-buckle at his narrow waist. His hair fell around his shoulders in thick, blond strands that gleamed like expensive silk.

Tristan had the face of a Renaissance warrior, long and square-jawed,  his cheekbones precise juts, with sculpted hollows and a determined chin. His mouth was wide and far too sensual for her peace of mind. His eyes glittered vividly green under his thick blond brows demanding and more than a little arrogant.  

“Sorry to interrupt your  party, but I’ve got a nasty situation on my hands.”

Belle gave him a smile sweet enough to rot the fangs right out of his head. The kids, of course, were staring at him in hero-worshipping awe. “Come on in, Tristan.” Since you already let yourself in my house without knocking. “We’re celebrating Davon’s first mission.”

“Congratulations.” Tristan didn’t even glance over at him. “Look, Belle, I’ve got a pissed-off werewolf waiting for me. It’s kind of urgent.”

She bared her teeth. They weren’t fangs, but they apparently got the message across; he flinched. “I’ll be happy to open a gate for you to go meet your fuzzy friend, but I’m a little too busy to accompany you just now. I’ll join you once the party’s over.” Damned if he was going to stroll into her house and start ordering her around. Not when he’d been treating her like a Black Plague victim for weeks.

“Belle, if you need to go on a job, we can clean up,” Cherise said earnestly.

“I think we can all be trusted not to get drunk and trash the place.” Richard gave her a lazy grin, shameless flirt that he was.

Tristan glowered at him before turning the glare on her. “Look, I realize I’m interrupting fun and games with your . . . boys, but the Direkind needs us to investigate a murder. And they’re convinced magic was involved.”

Belle stared, making the instant leap. “Warlock.”

“That’s my thought.”

“A murder?” one of the kids asked. “Who?”

“What happened?” Davon looked uneasy.

Tristan didn’t reply, his gaze hard and demanding on Belle’s. 

Dammit, there was no choice in this one. She had to give him what he wanted. Again. Warlock and his daughter were the only Direkind werewolves who could work magic, and he was both immortal and incredibly powerful. He was also murderous, ambitious and insane.. Belle and Tristan had locked horns with him the month before, and had damn near died doing it. If he’d surfaced again . . .

Belle stood and looked around at the Majae. Unlike the vampires, they did eat, which is why she’d spent the day cooking for them. “There’s more hors d’oeuvres in the kitchen, girls. Please finish them off. Stay as long as you want.”

As Tristan stepped aside, she stalked past him through a chorus of good-byes. “All right, where am I opening this gate?” she said after he’d closed the door behind her. “And what the hell’s going on?” And why have you been avoiding me?


Today Angela is giving away two copies of MASTER OF SHADOWS. To enter the draw, tell us what you like to see on the covers of Erotic Romance novels! Or comment on Angela's post in some other way. The contest will close at midnight tonight and the winners will be announced tomorrow on this thread.


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Boundaries


I always think of today's guest of honour, Angela Knight, as a bit of a trail blazer in the world of erotic romance, so the prospect of having her here today got me thinking of how the definition of romance had been pushed forward in recent years, and where the boundaries of erotic romance lie now - not just for publishers but for readers, and for writers.

Basically, I suppose, if it's legal and between consenting adults, anything goes in terms of the sexual acts indulged in, and the gender and number of partners involved. With one or two added no-nos that I personally find gross in any case! And I think that's what it comes down to for both readers and writers - within the field of erotic romance, the boundaries are personal. For example, I find it difficult to write about certain sexual acts with any conviction - such as SM related stuff, because I'm just not into pain! Which doens't mean I can't enjoy reading about it if it's well written by someone else - I can then see it through her eyes. So my reader limits are different from my writer limits :)

Other aspects, like bondage, play very close to dangerous issues like force which is never tolerable. And yet many women have fantasies about being tied up. Fantasy being the key here. You can live out your fantasies - whether they involve pain or chain! - if you trust your partner - or partners. Then there's no question of force or fear, and the fantasy can be fulfilled. In fact, I can share a bit of bondage fantasy with you tomorrow from my novella Freeing Al :)

But for today, what I really want to know is, do you have limits in what you're prepared to read or write in the realm of erotic romance? When - if ever! - does it go too far for you?

Marie

Welcome Desiree Holt!

Today, I'm delighted to welcome another old friend to the party - the wonderful and prolific Desiree Holt, who recently celebrated her hundredth release! Congratulations, Desiree, and welcome to the party!

Erotic Romance

There are so many different definitions of erotic romance that sometimes I wonder if we’re all reading and writing the same thing. But I can tell the difference between erotic romance and erotica-the first is a love story and the second is purely an erotic experience, between people who may never see each other again and are together purely for the thrill. I’m a Happy Ever After kinda girl so for me the romance is paramount. The people involved must feel emotionally for the other or others and must, at the end of the story have at least a Happy For Now.

So what’s the difference between, say, sensual, spicy and erotic?

I think it all boils down to the explicitness of the sex scenes. One of the first things I learned when writing sex scenes of any kind was to focus on the five senses–taste, touch, smell, hear, see. The more explicit the scene, the more intense the reaction of the senses. And each scene can be expanded on that basis, so if the author does it right the reader becomes physically and emotionally involved with each character.

My late husband, my hero, my best friend, was the one who first encouraged me to dip my toe in the waters. A publisher I was with at the time was opening a line of erotic shorts and I was waffling about whether I had the skills or the ability­–or courage–­to explore this new genre.

So I outlined a plot, did my little character sketches, and sat down to write. And what a wonder! The scenes actually flowed.  And even better, were believable. What a miracle!

Then I began to research the subject, reading authors who had and were making a name for themselves in the field. I learned from them how to weave scenes together so the sex was meaningful rather than blatant. And I learned that I loved writing scenes at the maximum heat level, because to me, that was the maximum expression of feelings. For example, in BDSM relationships there is a level of trust necessary that I don’t think is there in other situations. Maybe that’s why I write so much BDSM–because I can show how deep the trust is and how the relationship is about so much more than sex. I think one of the greatest compliments I get from my readers is from those who tell me their husbands love when they read one of my books! LOL!

Joy Ride, my newest release from Decadent Publishing, isn’t about BDSM but it’s a lot about trust.

Last year I went to Johnny Depp’s Viper Room to see a performance by an excellent rock band, Run Devil Run. The moment I stepped into the room the music enfolded me like an erotic cloak, ramping up each of my senses and making every pulse in my body throb. The person who drew my attention, however, was the bass player. Can you say sex on a stick? He was sooo into his music, and so “hawt” on stage you could feel the energy and electricity sizzling from him.  I knew I had to write a story where the hero was based on him.

Check out this shot of him.



And so Joy Ride was born.

For Emma, the good girl poster child, it’s about learning the intricacies of sex that she’d never experimented with. For bad boy bass player Marc it was about showing her so many ways to share their feelings for each other as the sex between them becomes hotter and hotter. I hope you’ll come along for this erotic ride.

And to celebrate, Decadent Publishing will give away a copy of Joy Ride to one lucky person drawn from those who comment today.

Joy Ride
Available at: Decadent Publishing, Amazon, Sony, All Romance eBooks.

Blurb:
Emma, the good girl poster child, is running from a life she suddenly sees as grey and suffocating. A life where she’s successfully buried all her hopes and secret dreams. Until the night she wanders into Aftershock and is immediately drawn to Marc, the hot bass player with the band. Marc doesn’t much care for the groupies who hang around the band. He wants a woman he can create a life with that’s a counterpoint to the craziness of the rock music business. When he sees Emma for the first time something inside him cracks wide open. Just one sizzling glance between them and he’s sure he’s found the woman he wants. But as the relationship grows, there’s a huge stumbling block: Emma won’t tell him her name.  The sex is fabulous but he wants more. So does Emma but her fear of everything falling apart builds a barrier she can’t seem to cross. Marc is taking her on the joy ride of her life, but will her own insecurities destroy everything?

Excerpt:

Clutching the cold beer bottle in her hand, she wedged her way between gyrating bodies, hypnotized by the music until she reached the front of the crowd…and stopped at the edge of the stage, mesmerized. The bass guitarist stood with one foot balanced on the monitor in front of him, his body leaning into the sound. His head was thrown back, dark hair flying around his face as he pounded out the rhythm of the song they were playing. He was wild, uninhibited, totally immersed in his music. He moved with an incredible grace to the accented beat, hips thrusting as his clever fingers plucked the strings and slid on the neck of the guitar.

For one incredible moment, Emma had the feeling he was playing only for her and she realized she really had been struck by “Lightnin’.” Permanently electrified by it.

A surge of heat raced through her, and it wasn’t the kind that emanated from the tightly packed sweaty bodies. Instead, an electric excitement gripped her, sending a charge of unfamiliar sexual thrill to every nerve. Her breasts tingled and between her thighs, she felt a throbbing as deep as the sound of the bass. At first she stood stiffly, clutching her drink. People jostled and shoved her as they kept time to the beat. She took two quick swallows of the beer, grimacing at the bitter taste. But as the alcohol eased her tension, she found herself catching the rhythm of the music and trying to mimic the movements of the bass player, totally caught up in the seductive lure of the song. For one crazy moment, she was gripped by an uncontrollable urge to jump up on the stage, and bump and grind with him. Her! Emma, the good girl!

Clumsily juggling the beer bottle, she slipped the thin strap of her purse over her head so it lay crosswise between her breasts. Her focus still on the bass player, she swayed to the beat, hips moving, rocking. When the song ended, the bass guitarist threw back his head on a final note and then looked out into the crowd, peering beyond the glare of the stage lights.

His eyes seemed to find hers as if pulled by a magnet, and a fist slammed through her.

Ohmigod!


And soon at all online bookstores

Find me at:
Twitter: @desireeholt
Facebook: www.facebook.com/desireeholt


Decadent Publishing is giving away a copy of Desiree's Joy Ride to one lucky winner who comments on her post today. The contest will close at midnight, and the winner will be announced tomorrow morning on this thread.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Erotic Romance Versus Porn

We were talking a bit about this yesterday, so I thought I'd discuss it a bit more!

A friend of mine who read one of my books, once accused me of writing porn, which rather took me aback - my books are the milder end of Erotic Romance and I was more used to editors advising me to heat things up! On the other hand, they are pretty graphic, and the sex is pretty important to the story, and besides,my friend wasn't used to reading this kind of romance.

But it did get me thinking: am I writing porn? If I am, should it matter? And if I'm not, what makes it not porn?

Well, any kind of writing has its skills and so long as I was doing it well, it shouldn't matter. Only it does matter to me. Because I never intended to write about sex, except as an expression of feeling. I wanted to write about relationships, because in real life or in books, those are what fascinate me - my husband calls me  "relationship bore" in retaliation for me calling him chess bore or computer bore :). And for me, it's more fun when the relationships themselves build as part of a wider story, even when they're a central part of it.

No one can deny that good erotic romance is arousing. To show the feelings of the characters, it has to be. And that side of it is fun too, for both readers and writers. Let's face it, it's an important part of llife and growing relationships! But it isn't porn. It isn't even erotica - it's romance with benefits :).

So that's my view. What do you think?

Marie




Welcome Sloane Taylor!

Today I'm delighted to welcome my old friend Sloane Taylor to the party. If you like a bit of humour with your hot, sexy heroes, Sloane's your woman :). Welcome, Sloane!

Time to Say Goodbye

Authors write great prose we remember long after the book has been set on a shelf. Songwriters express the trauma with meaningful lyrics we hum for months, even years. Saying goodbye is a constant in our lives. Sometimes the end is coupled with sadness and pain. Other times it’s a euphoric feeling because the stress is gone.

It’s inevitable there will be such a moment for us all and it seems to happen when least expected. Lovers part, friendships fade, our children move on, and family members leave us. Yet we hang on, not wanting to let go

Is it easier when you cut the tie? It is for me.

CZECH MATE was my tenth book and the hardest to let go. My heart still aches for less than handsome, but hot as hell, Dragan with his deep hidden secrets as he oversees his 5-Star hotel in Prague. Of course, Chicagoan Lacey and her sassy mouth have a special place in my heart. We worked hard to overcome the low-priced hooker image she conveyed. It almost killed me when we had to give up her hot pink feather boa. She doesn’t know this, but I’ve kept it as a souvenir and love to tease Studs with it. That boa is little something I need to remember my girl and her antics. How I miss Dragan and Lacey with all their conflict and tension while they dealt with a sexual attraction neither could deny over their five day sex fest.

But do they ever think of me? Do they care that I miss them? Want them to at least acknowledge I was once a part of their lives? Probably not now that they’re out into the world, out amongst readers who laugh, cry, and savor their most intimate sexual details as their story unfolds. I am forgotten, deleted from their minds faster than a used condom.

Of the fourteen books I’ve written and had published, not one of my babies, my children I slaved to create and satisfy, ever thanked me.

But I really can’t complain. Other characters have paid attention to me and my hard work. Recently, I receive an email from a nice lady who said God had sent me to her to teach her better sex techniques. Hmm, but maybe I’m confusing her with the Foreign Princess who emailed that her royal family had perished and she needed my help. All I had to do was give her my bank account number along with a few other pertinent facts and she would deposit thousands of dollars in my account so she could safely come to America. Of course she would split the funds with me for making it all possible.

What could I say to these two people I couldn’t say to the sexy characters who stole my heart and favorite positions? For once it was easy. Goodbye!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell

CZECH MATE by SLOANE TAYLOR

Life isn't easy for aspiring interior designer Lacey Blake when she finds herself stranded in Prague dressed like a dolled up hooker for her fetish minded, soon to be ex, boyfriend.  The cash-strapped American traveler, boasting a feather boa and stilettos that would make a dominatrix cry, is saved by an intriguing offer proposed by a staid giant in a sleek Armani suit.  It doesn’t take long to convince herself there’s nothing like a sex-fest to get the most out of a free vacation.

Dragan Petrovic is determined his 5-star hotel will retain its unblemished reputation and no prostitute will kickoff her career in his lobby.  But one look into her eyes and he knows there is more to her than a micro mini and a push up bra.  The urge to protect her drives him to madness when he suggests an unusual scheme that stirs up deep desires and alters their lives forever. 
Lacey is hot and ready for action when she accepts Dragon’s offer, and to relieve the sexual tension between them, takes the matter in hand…

EXCERPT:

...Lacey lifted out a teetering stack of silky looking items. Lingerie? A light blue bra encased with what must be rhinestones slid to the floor, quickly followed by the matching lacey bikini panties.

“What are these?” Dragan knelt next to her, blood pounding through his veins as he captured the delicate cloth in his hands.

“My undies.” She continued to rummage, spilling more silken items onto the carpet.

He lifted an eyebrow. “Uncomfortable?”

“Surprisingly, no.” She giggled, her creamy skin taking on a rosy glow as she dipped her head lower to the suitcase. “Damn it, where is it?”

A vision of her dressed only in the intimate garments and those sexy high heels strapped to her ankles flooded his mind, sending jolts of electricity south.

His stiff cock, which seemed to be its normal posture in her presence, swelled larger as she walked toward him, its throbbing head anxious to be deep inside her, wrapped in her wet heat. The tips of her hard nipples shoved against the silky fabric of her bra, their outline a beacon to his aching member. His fingers itched to caress the soft mounds, rising over the miniscule rhinestone-studded cups, and tongue her hard nipples. He could almost feel the erotic sensation when he released them, mounted her and slid his cock between their firm flesh.

She stepped closer, drawing his attention lower to her shapely hips. Mesmerized, he watched them sway, the movement seductive, sensual, compelling him to taste her.

The clear gems sprinkled across her sheer panties twinkled in the dim light. He licked his dry lips. The burning desire to kiss the lacey vee at the apex of her thighs, suckle her clit through the thin material and graze a finger along her folds brought sweat to his brow.

She slid the bra straps down her shoulders. His heart thudded, banging against his ribcage. He stood…

“Earth to Vic. Come in, Vic.” A hand shook his shoulder, returning him to the present. “Um, you might want to let go, big time.”

He glanced down at his hands, wadding her undergarments into a knot. Kersati. Fuck, what the hell could he say to her and not appear to be an old lecher? “I apologize. My mind must have taken a short vacation.”

She laughed. “Yeah, right. Don’t even think I’ll buy that one, big guy.”

Dragan pursed his lips, not sure how to determine the best way to measure Lacey’s shapely body without appearing to molest her, especially after making a fool of himself over her delicate underwear. He did not trust himself to hold back, and not wrap her in his arms and kiss her until she begged him to make love to her.
Kersati, how the hell could he have become so affected by this young woman in a matter of an hour? He looked at her, his hands fisted tight at his sides.

“Do you have a tape measure?”

He shook his head, not trusting the right words to travel past his lips.

A grin spread across her face and carried to her bright hazel eyes, eyes that seemed to see deep into his soul.
“Then how do you plan to do this? String? Belt?” Her voice echoed the humor radiating from her face. “Silk scarves?”

He looked at his raised hands, the fingers spread wide as if he were testing melons in the market. Disgusted by his absurd action, he jammed them into his trouser pockets.

“It’s not going to happen if you don’t make it happen.” She reached for his wrists. When he dug them deeper into his pockets, she laughed. Kersati, his balls were drawn so tight they hurt...




(A few words from Sloane about her books and her contest!)

Hi Marie,

Thanks for having me out today. It’s a pleasure to be here and meet your friends.

For those of you who don't know me, I’m a sensual woman who believes humor and 

My stories are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. As a true romantic, my women bring more than lust to their men’s lives.

I was born and raised in Chicago. Studly, my non-husband and mate for life, and I split our time between a home in Illinois and a weekend cottage on the back roads of Indiana…or you can catch up with me as I travel though Europe, researching new material.

You can learn more about me and my work on my website http://sloanetaylor.com/ . I also invite you to join my Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sloane-Taylor/130811866964428 .

Now let's have a little fun today with two easy contests.

The question is how many books do I currently have published? You can find the answer on this blog. The prize is a download of FRENCH TART.

For the second contest, please tell me how hot you like your books. Do you want to be titillated, have your thighs squeezed tight, or somewhere in between? This prize is a download of FINNISH FANTASIES.

Good luck and thank you for playing!

Sloane


Sloane's contest will close at midnight tonight, and her winner will be announced tomorrow morning on this thread.


Monday, 22 August 2011

A Devilish Fantasy...

When I began writing romance - about seven years ago now! - it wasn't really erotic. More, romance with a little heat. Gradually, the heat turned up, although my stories are probably still the milder end of the erotica spectrum! Most of what I write is fantasy of one kind or another, so when one of my epublishers (Changeling Press) sent out a call for erotic stories to heat up a cold winter, I had this naughty fantasy about a woman who fell asleep on a sunny beach, and whose erotic dream didn't stop when she woke up :).

Here's a tiny excerpt to set it up:


ESCAPE: Devilish Fantasy
By Marie Treanor
Available Now from Changeling Press

When Fiona wishes for someone wicked to liven up her dull holiday in the sun, she hardly expects to wake up on the beach making love with an actual devil, complete with horns and forked tail…





Fiona wasn’t pleased to wake up. She’d been having a very pleasant, highly erotic dream and it was not a good time to leave it. On the other hand, as the distant sounds and smells of the beach intruded into her slowly surfacing consciousness, she realized she felt refreshed by her nap in the sun, and ready to face the challenge of her shitty, dull little life.

She stretched luxuriously in the warmth of the sun, and for the first time became aware of a constricting weight pinning her down. The weight moved, causing exquisite sexual tingles inside her body. Physical tingles.
Skin lay on hers, from breast to thigh. Outside her body and in.

In?

Her eyes flew open. She stared into the dark hazel eyes of a man. A very handsome man with tangled black hair and distinctive upward-sloping eyebrows.

Shock held her paralyzed. She was having sex with a total stranger, and she should have been well freaked out. She was. Yet somehow she couldn’t summon up any outrage, never mind fear. Because he felt so good inside her.

But this wasn’t right!

“Who the devil are you?” she blurted at last.

“Got it in one,” said her lover with a wink...




:) Marie

Welcome Anne Rainey!

It's time to welcome our first guest of honour to the party - the very exciting Anne Rainey! Anne and I share an editor at Samhain Publishing, but she's also published with Ellora's Cave, Red Sage and Kensington. I'm delighted to have her with us today - welcome, Anne!

Anne Rainey’s Wild Life

<takes a sip of white zinfandel>

So, the life of an erotic romance author is pretty straight forward. To start with we all have the beauty of a goddess and the sex drive of a teenage boy. We can type as fast as any sixteen year old girl with a cell phone and we have the winning smile of a Hollywood starlet.

What are we doing when we aren’t writing? To begin with we keep a stable of beautiful men whose only concern is our happiness. Our men are hand picked. They go through a rigorous interview process, which includes running an obstacle course while naked. They must know each and every way to pleasure a woman. Failing this last task will get you tied to a wall and flogged.

<pours a bit more wine>

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Living in erotic bliss, having our every demand met must be pretty great, right? Well, we aren’t a greedy lot, of course. Why do you think we put pen to paper? We spread our happiness in the only way we know how—through our wicked stories. Ah, there are so many delicious men in our stables and so little time to give them all stories of their own.

<giggles> “Jonas, stop kissing my neck! It tickles.”

Really, Jonas Phoenix is such a sweetie, but he’s absolutely insatiable! You should have seen how happy he was after he read his story, Pleasure Bound. Or, more specifically chapter thirteen of Pleasure Bound. He thanked me in the most delicious way possible.

<releases a contented sigh>

Um, where was I? Oh, yea, my wild life of sex, stable boys, wine and chocolate. So, there you have it. The truth at last. I shop at Victoria’s Secret, own a stable of sexy, muscular men. I have bubble baths every single night. I eat only the finest chocolate money can buy. Yep, all true. My exotic life is one big party. 

<winks at Jonas>

Lord have mercy that man has great hands. Why, just last night he gave me a full body massage. Left me positively panting, let me tell ya.

Um, anyone here buying this load of crap? No? Okay, the truth is that erotic romance authors are moms, wives and daughters. We have dirty dishes, piles of laundry and errands to run. A good day is meeting our word count AND getting the dinner on the table on time.

The thing is, writing naughty stories does tend to be a blast. I love every second of it! I love reading them too. Some of my keepers: Wicked Pleasures by Lora Leigh, One Dark Night by Jaid Black, and Standing in the Shadows by Shannon McKenna—to name just a few.

Now, what are some of your favorite erotic romance stories?  

Also, here’s the blurb for Pleasure Bound, which releases October 25th! (and yes, Jonas Phoenix is quite wickedly delicious. That part of my story is true, hehe)

Pre-order here:

Blurb:

When Desire Burns This Hot...
With his sexy smile and rock-hard body, P.I. Jonas Phoenix is used to having women flock to his bed. But these days there's only one woman Jonas wants-and she won't give him the time of day.

The Only Choice...
Deanna Harrison knows she can't fight her attraction to Jonas forever, but she's looking for more than a fling. So Jonas issues Deanna a challenge: give him one weekend at his Miami beach house to win her over. No strings attached. No limitations.

Is Surrender...
Once in Miami, the sexual tension erupts as Deanna finally lets go-and lets Jonas pleasure her in ways she's only dreamed of. But while their bond grows stronger, danger lurks close by-and it could be deadly for them both...

Note:  Pleasure Bound is connected to So Sensitive. You can read the prologue and first chapter of So Sensitive here: http://annerainey.com/bookshelf/so-sensitive


Adult Excerpt from Pleasure Bound:

Jonas tore himself out of his thoughts and sprinted toward the front door. His entire body went from zero to sixty as he glanced through the peephole. It seemed to take a shitload of time to unlock the door and get it open. When he did, Jonas nearly swallowed his tongue at the sight that greeted him.

Deanna stood in the hallway wearing a short black dress and a pair of the sexiest black pumps he’d ever seen on a woman. Attractive didn’t begin to describe her. Long legs, silky dark hair spilling down over her shoulders, and curves in all the right places. His hands itched to reach out and touch.

“Deanna,” he said by way of greeting.

She planted one hand on her hip and clutched a small black purse in the other. “Are you going to let me in or what?”

Jonas grinned at her sullen expression and stepped back to give her room to enter. After she was inside, he shut and locked the door. Deanna looked around the room; no doubt the interior designer in her was hard at work measuring up his furnishings. He, on the other hand, was busy measuring her up. Such a sweet ass. 
What he’d love to do to that delicious body part alone. Yum.

“Uh, I told you I needed a decorator, so don’t complain if it’s not up to par.”

She turned, halting his little fantasy. “It’s not so bad.”

“It’s ugly as hell and we both know it.”

Their gazes clashed. “I didn’t come here to talk about your couch.”

Jonas moved closer, noticing the way her spine stiffened. “I was hoping not,” he murmured. “And?”

“I’ll come to Miami with you.”

She said it so fast; Jonas had to take a second before the full meaning of her words hit him. “Be sure, Deanna. Be damn sure.”

She nodded and placed her palms against his chest. “I am. I’m through denying myself.”

He kept his hands at his sides and willed himself to stay calm. “I won’t hurt you, kitten. I’m not Gary.”

“I know you aren’t, but I’m not the fling type of woman, Jonas. I don’t do casual sex.”

“Good,” he growled. “There’s nothing casual about what I feel for you.”

Jonas wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against him, needing to feel her curves and valleys; then he tasted her as if he had all night. He licked her lips, and they parted for him. He thrust his tongue in and fucked her hot mouth. Her soft, pliable flesh against his hard body made him crazy with need. She was a drug to him. At that moment, Jonas knew he would do anything, say anything, to be inside of her sweet heat. The idea that she had so much control over him pissed him off.

Jonas lifted his head and stared down at her closed eyes and flushed face. He took in the scoop neckline of her dress and the tops of her heaving mounds of flesh that were exposed. Christ, what he wouldn’t give to tug the material a few inches south, to see her tits all plump and soft and ready to be suckled. He ached to wrap his lips around her nipples and nibble on them with his teeth. Bending his knees, Jonas lifted her into his arms and strode toward the couch.

Her eyes shot open when he sat her down in the center. He saw realization dawn in their pretty depths. “W-what are you doing?”

“Giving you a taste of what you’ll get in Miami.”

 “Jonas, please.”

He wasn’t certain whether she was pleading for him to continue or let her get up and leave. Jonas bent down and kissed her again, tasting her sweetness. He lifted an inch and asked, “Please what, Deanna?”

She buried her fingers in his hair and tugged him forward. “Please kiss me again.”

“Mmm, my pleasure, kitten.” He tilted her head back, forcing her to look at him as he covered her mouth with his. She let out a little whimper. “You’ve been driving me crazy,” he whispered between kisses. “I’ve been a pain in the ass all week because I couldn’t stop thinking about you.” He kissed his way over her chin and lower. When his lips found the jumpy vein in her neck, he licked and sucked. Deanna’s fingers tightened, 
pulling almost painfully at his hair. “Soon I’m going to kiss every inch of you. I’m going to fill you up.” Jonas went to his knees in front of her and took hold of the hem of her dress. “Until then, until Miami, there’s this…”

“Jonas, what are you doing to me?” she asked in a voice gone husky with her arousal.

“I’ve been dying to taste you,” he answered. Deanna’s eyes rounded and fire sparked to life in their brown 
depths. “Lift up a little for me. Prove to me that you want this.”

When she quickly complied, Jonas’s dick hardened. He slipped her dress upward a few inches, not quite exposing her panties. The satin of her lightly tanned skin beckoned him. Lowering his head, Jonas kissed a little mole high on her inner thigh. “Jesus, you have the sexiest legs I’ve ever seen.” When he pushed the dress up to her waist, exposing a black, silky thong, Jonas’s dick wept with joy. “Goddamn, that’s hot.”

She started to protest, and he could see the way her cheeks bloomed pink at his erotic words. He didn’t know how experienced Deanna was, but he suspected she was way too innocent for the likes of him. Not that it mattered, because he wasn’t going anywhere.

Jonas fingered the leg band of the thong and hummed his approval. “Did you wear this for me, Deanna?” She licked her lips and stayed silent. Her gaze ate him up, though. If she only knew what that look was doing to his self-control, she’d get up and run.

Not willing to give her too much time to rethink her decision, Jonas tugged the little black scrap of material to one side, baring her pussy for the first time…



Today, Anne is giving away a print copy of her newest release at Kensington, So Sensitive, AND an ebook of the winner's choice! To enter the draw, answer her question above: What are some of your favorite erotic romance stories? Or comment on her post in some other way. The contest will close at midnight tonight and the winner will be announced tomorrow on this thread.