Aphrodisia Authors

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The End

There are no two words that are prettier to an author than The End. We like it, we love it, we want some more of it.

Unfortunately for most of us, getting to The End is an eternal pain in the backside. Some of us write a million drafts, some of us sculpt and hone one draft. Any way you look at it, the process is one of pain, misery, and tears. You lose sleep at night and your blood has a higher caffeine concentration than a latte from Starbucks with fifteen espresso shots. And that's when things are going well. That agony is balanced by this scary, overwhelming drive to finish. If the characters are talking to you and the world building is working, it's a rush that's right next door to orgasm. (Nothing ever actually beats an "O" face. Not even chocolate. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

When we get to The End, it's a time of joyous celebration and end zone dances that put the NFL to shame.

Why am I blogging about this? You guessed it. I just put a full-length novel manuscript to bed last night at 1AM. I'm a bit loopy, but grinning from ear to ear. Is it wrong or weird to pet a manuscript while it sits on your desk awaiting the UPS delivery guy?

Hope y'all are having as awesome a day as I am!

-Crystal Jordan
http://www.crystaljordan.com

Posted by Crystal Jordan :: 9:24 AM :: 17 comments

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Could you write it on the road?

Could you write it on a train?
In a Starbucks? On a plane?
Would you, could you, in a car?
On a napkin, in a bar?

I always envied Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw for her ability to write her column wherever she happened to be at a given moment. J.K. Rowling wrote much of the first Harry Potter in the local coffee shop. In Cassie’s blog, she mentioned writing in Starbucks.

No way I could do that. At least that’s what I used to think before my husband and I sold our house, drove across the country visiting three sets of relatives for six weeks at a time, went to Europe, and then moved to a new state. All in the space of one year.

During that year, I set up my computer in more places than I care to count. I learned I could write in a London hotel room sitting in a chair that had a broken leg, while I had a horrible cold, and while my husband was out sightseeing without me. I learned I could write in my sister’s crowded spare bedroom on a makeshift plastic table from Office Max while sitting in a chair that doubled as her cats’ scratchpost. And though I’d rather write in an office, it was nice to learn that I didn’t need one in order to write.

Elizabeth, I am.

Elizabeth Amber
Nicholas, The Lords of Satyr
erotic historical paranormal romance
(Kensington Aphrodisia, August 2007)
www.elizabethamber.com

Posted by Elizabeth Amber :: 11:51 AM :: 5 comments

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Is That All You Think About Is Sex??

I was sitting in Starbucks writing away and minding my own business when a girl who looked to be thirty-ish asked me what I was writing. Now, I have no problem with this question. And usually, the person walks away from our discussion with my book mark, and zap! another person has heard my name and heard about my book. Win/win, right?

Well, yesterday didn’t follow the usual script. The woman, let’s call her Joan, asked what I was writing and I answered, “I’m writing a book,” then we went into the inevitable, “Are you published?” and finally into “What kind of novels do you write?”

My answer? “This one is an erotic paranormal romance. It’s the second in a trilogy in working on. The first book came out earlier this month.”

This is the point at which I usually offer a bookmark and they take it. So, she threw me when she said in a flustered voice, “Is that all you think about is sex?”

One of my major defense mechanisms is sarcasm and it chose that moment to kick in. I'm not at all ashamed of what I do, but her response really blindsided me, for some reason. She had already mentioned that she was a computer programmer, so I said, “Do you think about anything but code?” Now I did say it lightly, those comebacks are best said with a big smile and a joking manner. And Joan actually stopped and cocked her head to one side looking thoughtful.

“But you WRITE this stuff. You have to immerse yourself in these worlds you create. So, in effect, inside your imagination you are having tons of sex in all kinds of kinky ways. You have to think about it all the time to come up with stuff like that.”

At this point, I really wanted to point out that she must’ve read a lot of erotic romances to know what was in them, but I refrained. Instead, I stayed with what I had. “I’ve worked in technologies. In order to code, you have to steep yourself in the code. It’s very similar to writing, you put on some headphones for some mood music and lose yourself in how to build this site or program, much the way a writer builds characters, a world or a scene. But I’m sure you think about other things than code now and then, right?”

Joan laughed at that point and gave a slight nod. “True. But don’t you feel like you’re…” Joan looks around to make sure no one else is listening and lowers her voice, “becoming more perverted with each book?”

That made ME laugh. “I’m just as perverted as I ever was, but now I get paid for it. It’s a perfect win/win scenario. And not only do I get to have sex with lots of people and in lots of ways inside my imagination, but I’ve also planned and carried out murders, fought zombies and succubuses and shifters, flown, fought battles and even died a few times. I get to play “What If” all day long, just like I did when I was a kid, and that’s my job. I absolutely love it.”

Side note here - here’s the lesson for today, which I should’ve remembered earlier in this conversation with Joan, but didn’t. Usually, when people ask you questions, the question and even the answer you give – is about them. It’s not about you. They are trying to find out how whatever they are asking pertains to THEM.

Anyway, back to our story, after this, Joan let it spill that she had always wanted to write, and especially write HOT. But she was afraid of immersing herself in all that sex, that it would change her and turn her into a sudden nymphomaniac or something. She was also afraid of how people would react, not just her family and friends, but the general public. So, I assured her that my perversion level hadn’t really changed—and that I knew other authors who wrote even hotter than I do, who are still perfectly normal, monogamous and happily married people. However, if she truly was a closet nymphomaniac, or maybe even more sensual than she allowed herself to be currently, that this profession might let that woman out to play. I ended up giving Joan the information for both of my local writers groups, and I do hope she comes.

Now I did hand out four bookmarks right after Joan left to four people who were trying not to look like they were listening into our conversation. And all four of them (sassy ladies in their mid nineties was what they called themselves) had absolutely no problems reading about sex and one actually made a request—apparently it’s her deep dark fantasy to have sex surrounded by a bunch of hunky men who are watching and “enjoying” watching, if you get my meaning.

I told her my first book is already available at all the major book stores…and they happily left to run to the Barnes and Noble down the street, in search of Ceremony of Seduction as well as any other books with that cursive Aphrodisia ‘A’ on them.

Don't you just love happy endings? :)

Cassie

Posted by Casie Ryan :: 11:58 AM :: 12 comments

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

um...exactly how accurate do you want that?



I write several different sub-genres of erotic romance, but my favorite and the one I now write for Aphrodisia, is definitely historicals, particularly erotic Regency historicals. I'm lucky because I grew up in and around London, England, with the history all around me. I even majored in history at college and wrote my thesis on "The Welsh and the Founding of Quaker Pennsylvania" (my first 'published' work-all 2 copies of it!)

So you'll understand if I try to be as historically accurate as I can. One of the things that fascinates me as a writer is the whole topic of fertility, (possibly due to my Roman Catholic upbringing, who knows?)When I was writing my last book, I realized that I needed more information about condoms and whether they were actually in use during the Regency period. I found out that they were used, and I even found a picture of one (see above) and, even better, a recipe from 1824 about how to make them! (just in case you have a few spare moments this weekend)

How to make a sheep-gut condom.
Soak a sheep's intestine caeca in water for a number of hours, then turn inside out, and macerate them again in weak alkaline, changed every 12 hours. Scrape them carefully to remove the mucous membrane, leaving the peritoneal and muscular coats, and expose them to the vapour of burning brimstone. Then wash them in soap and water, inflate them, dry them and cut to a length of seven to eight inches. Finally, border the open end with a ribbon to tie round the base of the penis, and before use soak the condom in water to make it supple.

I was delighted to find out about this and used this 'product' in my story to great effect. Of course, after the book was published, I found out that these condoms had to be soaked in water for about half an hour before they were soft enough to use. I'm not sure that even the best author in the world could write an erotic love scene around the hero popping a condom in a glass of water and waiting for it to soften-I should imagine other things might soften as well. And I can't quite see how even the most ingenious of heroes would arrive 'pre-soaked'-(any ideas gratefully received.)

I think I'll just have to pretend that the pre-soaking has happened and move on...as I said, sometimes historical accuracy just interrupts the flow of my writerly imagination!

I'm still anticipating the cover for my first Aphrodisia Regency historical "Simply Sexual" Feb 08, hopefully I'll have it by the time I get to blog next month! I'm sure it will be much nicer to look at than that sheep gut condom complete with ribbon...

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Posted by Kate Pearce :: 1:39 PM :: 8 comments

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sexy Beast IV


My novella in Sexy Beast IV is set in the distant future far from Earth... and is currently titled "Abundance".

Kayla Michaels, daughter of General Augusta Michaels, is bound for an arranged marriage on Fourth Colony when the ship carrying her is attacked and her stasis pod is ejected during the melee.

She awakens on a small jungle moon aptly called Abundance. It is uncolonized and had been deemed uninhabitable by New Earth long before she was ever born. With her pod damaged beyond repair and the locator beacon offline, she realizes that she is on her own. The relief of escaping the arranged union is dampened only by her somewhat dire circumstances.

Jude Aroca is the son of a human scientist and the leader of the native population of the Yaw on Abundance. The arrival of a human female on his world is a violation of the peace treaty New Earth signed nearly thirty-five years before. The humans promised to leave the small jungle moon alone in exchange for technology.

Now there is a woman in his jungle... and she’s wrecking havoc with all of his senses. No woman—none among his own kind—had ever smelled so perfect, so right. The beast he carries inside of him, a gift from his cat-shifter father, agrees.

__________________

I'm really excited to be apart of this anthology with Kate and Dawn. I snagged the cover from the model's Myspace page. Thanks to Crystal Jordan for spotting it!

All the best,
Deanna Lee
deanna@deannalebooks.com
www.deannaleebooks.com

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Posted by author :: 12:44 PM :: 5 comments

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Keeping it in perspective

Sorry about the title. I truly suck at them; just ask my editors over the years. While waiting to fall asleep last night, I convinced myself that I'd come up with a great topic for my blog, but after reading several that came before, my idea lacks a certain heat or energy. It's not specific to erotica which is what Aphrodisia is about.
Just the same, I'm going to stick with what I came up with because I've convinced myself that people (at least a few) care what goes on behind the scenes in a writer's life--not the actual writing (especially erotica) but the whole balance thing.
So here's the deal. I've been writing since shortly after the first ice age which means I have a lot of experience or something under my belt. When the writing bug first hit, my sons were babies. I'm not crazy about admitting this, but I sometimes resented the time and emotional energy motherhood took away from the creative process. I WANTED TO WRITE, WANTED TO WRITE, DAMN IT! But as all parents know, children need a certain amount of love and attention and have their ways of getting it. Then they hit school age and suddenly I was handed what felt like vast amounts of time to myself, and I made the best of it. I became a writing machine, and my production reflected that.
Maybe I've mellowed, maybe I'm just getting old and lazy. Whatever the reason, I've learned to embrace whichever hat I'm wearing at the time. Case in point. Last night I had 12 people at the house for a family get-together and enjoyed every moment of it. My nephew's wife asked, as she always does, about my writing. I responded only briefly because last night was about her, her husband, and their growing children.
Writing is what I did earlier that day when I had my office to myself, (and no, I didn't tell her about the foreplay I'd written) but I'd switched off that part of my brain and wanted to focus on where those beautiful children were in their development, how much they'd grown and changed in the year since I'd seen them. I also wanted to observe the interaction between my sons who'd recently had to resolve a conflict. My mind was filled with processing a multitude of family dynamics, observing and recording. This was real life, developing personalities, husband/wife communication, three generations each with their own place in the march of time.
And at the end of it when my brain was shutting down, I acknowledged that the evening had enriched me as a writer in vital ways. I might not be aware of what specific observations I'm drawing on when I'm writing, but in subtle or maybe not so subtle ways, my characters will be full-bodied because I lived in the moment last night. Even if I'm writing hot and heavy sex, my hero and heroine will or should be complex human beings because I was privy to the human animal from ages 5 through 70.
This morning I'm refreshed and renewed. The creative well is fuller than it was 48 hours ago. Thank you life.
Vonna Harper

Posted by Vonna Harper :: 11:07 AM :: 2 comments

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

In The Mood...

Now that I've come up with a title for my post today, Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" is in my head. No, I'm not that old, but I grew up listening to it, thanks to my dad.

Sometimes it seems that characters in erotic romance get "switched on" pretty instantly. They just have to smell a guy and they're ready to go. I know I've written scenes that go that way, but isn't that part of the fantasy of erotic romance? That we buy into this dream where a drop-dead (and occasionally undead) gorgeous guy gives the heroine (i.e., us) a smouldering look and we get all hot and bothered?

It's a broad generalization that isn't always true though, in writing. I know my characters don't always get aroused straight away, but I lead into it by having them banter in a (hopefully) witty way; or by arousing partners by playing a kind of "Truth or Dare" game.

In MADE FOR SIN and SHOW ME watching others having sex becomes a turn on for various characters.

Then there's anticipation. I use it when my hero and heroine have already become intimate. I write historical, so there are long dinner parties where they're forced to sit apart and make polite conversation with other people while casting surreptitious glances down the table at the other. Or they have to dance together, hands touching, hands touching the upper back, joining arms, close enough to have a whispered, teasing conversation, but not close enough for anything else. Not in public anyway.

Alas, there was no dirty dancing during the Regency period (unless you want to include the waltz), so everything has to wait for a private time.


What gets you in the mood quickly?

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Posted by Celia May Hart :: 1:01 AM :: 5 comments

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Anyone for a little tantric sex?


What woman could resist, if a guy offered tantric sex? It seems like a no-brainer, but you’ve yet to meet my September heroine, Ann Montgomery. She’s a control-freak workaholic lawyer – performance focused and goal oriented. For her, sex is about orgasm. Get one as quickly as possible (a feat she often has to work to achieve), then get back to her job.

But then she meets laid-back masseur, Adonis Stefanakis. For him, sex is about process, not result. Sure, she’ll get an orgasm, and another, and another, but if he gets his way they’re going to be making love in various ways for hours. And hours.

Imagine her shock when she pulls out her day-timer to schedule a sex date, and he tells her to mark off six hours. SIX HOURS???

She’s terrified. But fascinated. Can she let go her control-freak tendencies and performance anxiety, let Adonis be her sexual guide, and just go with the flow? Find out, in my September release, Touch Me.

And imagine your own reaction, if a sexy Greek god offered you six hours of tantric sex…

Isn’t it true, though, that often when a woman and man first get together, they’re not perfectly compatible in bed? I know in romance we tend to write it differently – the earth moves, and way more than once! Somehow each partner magically knows the other’s body inside and out (as it were!). But it seems to me, more often than not in real life, there’s a process of adjustment and getting to know each other and figure out what works. And isn’t that a whole lot of fun?

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Posted by Susan Lyons :: 9:27 AM :: 9 comments

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Straight Up or With a Twist?

Recently a fellow author friend was researching a publisher and asked if I'd flip through a few books to help her get an idea of the level of sensuality and word style before she submitted. As a writer I'm always curious about what other writers are doing and ideas to improve my craft, so I agreed. 

Several stories used the frank terms I'm accustomed to reading in erotic romance. A few other tales had a slightly more colorful, say we say purple, style of description.

I will admit one line about "her acquiescing thighs" has certainly remained in my memory. 

But, my point isn't to knock any author's work or writing style, but made me wonder at such a dramatic differences in one house and what readers think.  

Which do you find sexier straight language/"dirty talk" or rich, sensual descriptions or a combination?

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Posted by Megan Kerans :: 6:02 PM :: 1 comments

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lots Of Spanking

Now tell me, who does not love lots of spanking? Spanking brand new books and websites, that is! :)

I was trolling around BarnesandNoble.com and what did my wandering eyes see, but that the September books are already shipping! Guess I won't have to wait to dive in with The Lord Of The Deep, or drop by The Pleasure Palace for some sinful fun that I can only hope involves plenty of Sexy Beasts fighting over who gets to Touch Me first. Ah, the fantasies....

But of course when I am waiting for them to arrive I will be having a rolicking good time with the August books--Nicholas (AKA, holy hot bod!), Blood Rose, Built, and Ceremony of Seduction.

I haven't had the chance to read the August books yet, but if you have and need something else to pass the time while you wait for those smoking hot September releases to arrive, drop on by my spanking new Body Moves site and check out the happenings.

Posted by Jodi Lynn Copeland :: 9:31 PM :: 2 comments

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Let's Celebrate Jodi Lynn Copeland!


Why? Because she rocks! Giving it 4 stars, this is what RTBook Reviews said about OPERATION G-SPOT:

Three women who have been denied the pleasure of a man-induced orgasm are out to get theirs in this seriously hot anthology. Copeland creates fabulously realistic characters…






And this is what RTBook Reviews said about AFTER HOURS--Copeland does a fantastic job of bringing the reader into the smoldering-hot scenes, with details that will have you reaching for a cold glass of water. The sexual chemistry between the characters in each tale is strong.











Her book BODY MOVES comes out in Oct and it has the most gorgeous cover. You want to know her web site? http://www.jodilynncopeland.com/









You can read an interview with her at http://romrevtoday.blogspot.com/2006/12/ask-five-withjodi-lynn-copeland-and.html

Her fans already knew she rocked. She's been wowing Ellora's Cave readers for a long time; now she's wowing Kensington readers.

She's really wowing her Aphrodisia sisters. Faced with scheduling demands that would bring the rest of us to pour knees, she finds time to organize our blog! She's fit all of us Aphro authors into monthly slots, not once but twice. She sends us monthly reminders, so we have no excuse for forgetting.

In short, she's showing us what her fans already knew—she rocks. Thanks so much for all your help, Jodi! Organizing our blog has to be as easy as herding ferrets (ask Devyn Quinn), and about as thankless.

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Posted by Lucinda Betts :: 9:45 AM :: 11 comments

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

What inspires a plot?

As usual, I had to think really hard for something to blog about. Given that my mind is tiny and my brain cells are few and far between, I really had to stretch my limited resources.

Since writers are often asked how they get their inspiration to create (well, I'm never asked, but that's a different post), I thought that I would explain where I get my ideas. The old adage is to write what you know. (again, I know nothing, but that's yet another blog post).

So where to begin? How do I explain the inspiration process that turns a black smoke persian and some hunky dude in a jeans ad on the back of my Entertainment Weekly into a species of alien shape-shiters called The Niviane Idesha (Embracing Midnight Dec 08). Or how to explain the death of a favorite soap opera character when I was 13 some years later turning into the character of Morgan Saint-Evanston, a manic depressive alcoholic assassin who also happens to be the living embodiment of the Grim Reaper (The Keeper of Eternity). The soapie character I mooned over didn’t have a one of these characteristics, by the way.

Well, who-hoo, I'm going to share my secret: I don't know how I do it. Inspiration just happens. Right now I am in the process of creating a new shifter species for the sequel to Flesh and the Devil. Here's how the process comes together for me. Keep in mind that I'm drawing off what I actually know through 41 years of experience gained through living on planet earth:

I had no clue as to what would emerge. I had a character, Dani Wallace, introduced as Brenden’s younger sister in Flesh and the Devil. She’s young, 21, a stripper. She’s also a practicing witch. Her spells have been known to go awry. Other than that, I had no idea of what her book would be about. So…

First, I went to a website for exotic names and pulled a few names that sounded, um, exotic and got their meanings. Then I plucked the stories of the Seraphim out of Judeo-Christian literature (a being of pure light that is supposed to have direct communication with god and have a fiery burning form). So from that, I create the Jadian shapeshifters, a xenophobic very tight knit race, not really friendly toward humans whom they see as a lesser species and want little to do with.

Why Seraphim? Easy. I saw a commercial advertising John Travolta's movie Michael. Knowing nothing about the Seraphim, I went to a research site and plucked out the info about these beings that appealed to me, then recreated them as the Jadians, a species populating the earth before mankind. (After all, whom were the others Cain married into when banished from Eden? Questions like that can inspire all kinds of possibilities) Again, it was just a moment when inspiration solidified into something I could use for the book.

Next, I got the Hamlet/ Lear thing going, with an ageing father and his two sons in a rivalry as to whom should assume the throne. We all love to steal from Shakespeare, and why shouldn't I. Having just watched "Shakespeare in Love" with Gwyneth Paltrow, I was reminded of all those plays we had to read in high school. Then, they bored me senseless. Now I find they inspire a way to further my plot.

So Casedren (my hero, and I love that name) is unfit as he is unmated, but he is the oldest and due the throne if he finds a suitable mate. WHy not have dad throw out a challenge? The son who can rediscover the lost power of the Jadian gets the throne. Casedren needs a mate of not entirely mortal origins (Dani and Brenden are descendents of the Wyr bloodline) and a witch.

Now let's add some menace. Dani thinks she is being stalked by the psycho watching her dance in the club (hehe, she is) Another reason she is in danger is that she is Casedren’s perfect mate, one his brother, Cellyn, wants dead.

Since everyone one does wolves or tigers or other were-shifters, I am making the Jadian serpentine shifters. The story will center around the search for the Devani--(or celestial light/power)--through the Eye of Jadi (eye of creation). The true Jadian king and his consort can wield this power of the gods (by legend attained through sexual magic to reach into the astral realm). The ability has been lost to the Jadians for thousands of years. Casedren has chosen Dani because of her Wyr background. He then kidnaps her to be his future queen.

Being a young spoited brat, Dani reminded me of the early Princess Diana. Therefore I decided her training to become (an unwilling) Jadian queen would be based on the trainings Diana must have received when preparing to join the royal family. A very formal, very strict atmosphere would be stifling to a young, free rebel like Dani. Looks like she and Casedren are going to have quite a bit to work out!

And...that's as far as I've gotten in sketching out the sequel. Some things I have yet to clarify, but at least I've got a pretty sold base on which to start writing the book. What twists and turns are to come haven't revealed themselves yet.

So, there you have it. That’s how the plot of Dancing with the Devil (title tentative) came to be. Something from nothing, pulled out of thin air.

So anyone else care to share their quick plotting secrets?

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Posted by Devyn Quinn :: 2:56 PM :: 11 comments

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bits, Bytes, and Words

Last night, I attended Media Bistro’s Summer Fling Party at the Bubble Lounge, where 60+ editorial/design staff, full-time freelance writer/editors, TV/radio/newspaper reporter/anchor/producers, book publishing, and film industry professionals mixed and mingled.

As I sipped my first Rasmopolitan, I chatted with a freelance writer, discussing the daily challenge of mentally shifting from the freedom in writing to the rigidity and bureaucracy of the “day job.”

“I understand,” she said. “You enjoy the creativity of the right brain more.”

At first, I agreed. But, as I moved on to my second Rasmopolitan, I realized that wasn’t quite true. Because I love using both sides of my brain. It’s the freedom of use that distinguishes the two. In the day job, I feel like my brain is in a box, confined to only think within the acceptable confines of policies, procedures, and egos. With writing, both sides of my brain are free to explore any idea and implement it.

In my day job, I focus on technology, but I’m limited in the ways I can apply it. But with writing – the promotion of me and my writing – the ways I can use technology are endless. Which is why I was excited by the whole “streaming” live-over-the-Internet concept when I launched my live talk show, “Chatting with Chase.” Or the automated email list management functionality when I discovered Constant Contact for my newsletter. And my latest passion, merging text, sound, animation, and graphics in videos, which I indulged recently when my friend Saeeda videotaped me 'finding Derek,' the hero of Sex Lounge, at Swig:'



So while I love giving my right brain free reign in the stories I create, I crave the use of the day job, left brain skills in the business side of writing. I think I’ll go grab another Rasmopolitan and think about this some more …

Best,
Rachelle Chase

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Posted by Rachelle Chase :: 10:00 AM :: 7 comments

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

On bodice rippers and guilty pleasures...

A conversation on one of my online author lists last week has stayed with me. A member wrote in, commenting on an article that referred to romance novels as “guilty pleasures and bodice rippers” and a number of others wrote back in defense of the genre, with, of course, their own stories on insults hurled and offensive comments made about romances in general. What’s stuck in my head is how defensive everyone is. Personally, I’ve had it with feeling a need to apologize for what I love to read AND write.

First of all, reading romances, for me at least, is a guilty pleasure, but certainly not because of the content. It’s because when I’m reading, when I’m lost in that wonderful world another author has created, I should probably be writing my own world—but that book in my TBR pile has called to me louder than the work in progress.

As far as the bodice ripper description? That label got hung on the genre when the covers depicted exactly that—some overbearing alpha male ripping the bodice of the heroine’s dress, and we, as readers, didn’t let that stop us. We devoured every one of those books with pure delight, but times change. Covers change, stories change, but the label lives on. Instead of taking it as an insult, we should learn to appreciate the fact the genre we love is so much a part of the American lexicon. Of course, that doesn’t excuse the folks who, when they learn what you write, think nothing of referring to your work as smut or women’s porn.

My answer to that? “Really? I thought they were just terrific stories about love and life with a guaranteed happy ending.” Face it...in today’s world, it’s hard to disagree with anything that promises a happy ending! I quit apologizing a long time ago for what I write and love to read. It’s especially important now, because I’ve moved on into a genre that is edgy and sexy, stories that skirt—and often cross way over—the comfort zone for a lot of people.

I’m proud of the fact I write erotic romance and I don't hesitate to say so. When the eyebrows go up, as they inevitably do, I take the topic and run with it. It’s not easy to get published in this huge and horribly competitive market, and I’m not about to let anyone try and take my sense of accomplishment away from me. Another thing to remember—romance drives the publishing world. Our books sell! Do not try to intimidate the 600 pound gorilla...

Of course, it means you need to have your “stock replies” available for the snide put downs! My favorite is, “Oh, you write those smutty books for women.” We’ve all heart that one, right? My response? “Yeah, but it’s very good smut—and it sells real well.” That always turns the conversation in my direction. It’s hard to insult someone who loves their work!

I told you mine...now tell me yours!

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Posted by Kate Douglas :: 8:57 AM :: 10 comments

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Kiss Of The Dragon in SEXY BEAST III

I know it is not available until August 28th but I thought I would post a small excerpt from my story in the SEXY BEAST III anthology.

I was so delighted to be considered for this anthology... to be included in a book with two of your favorite authors is an honor and I am thrilled!


Kiss Of The Dragon... By Lacy Danes.

Meet Nora and Chester... Nora can read energies and is human, Chester is sexy weredragon.

Turning in to the lab Nora jolted to a standstill as her breath locked in her lungs. A tall man hunched in front of the computer on the far wall. She paused in the doorway and tried to get her lungs to expand. His copper hair curled against the collar of his tailored, black, leather biker jacket, catching the dim glow of the computer room in the curls.

His snug, fitted attire showed off his body to perfection. Her eyes widened as she probed past his facade and tingled as his entire body glowed with a bluish-gold energy. The intensity of the aura pulled at her. She had never experienced anything like his vibrance before. Who was she trying to fool? His energy? Right… My gosh, what an awesome ass.

She ran her tongue along her lips then snagged her lower one between her teeth, the flesh between her thighs tingled. Gosh, she was horny. She’d searched for a dish as yummy as this guy her entire trip in Hawaii.

Must be the new guy and he no doubt possessed a sixth power. That would be one explanation for the glow.

St. John said he was a wiz, and the project would get past the detector’s hurdle because of him. Bet a breakthrough hit him in his sleep and to get ingenious discovery off his mind, he came into work. She smiled. Just her luck… no one around but her and an incredibly sexy man.

She cleared her throat in the computer hum of the room, and he turned in slow motion. Her heart seized in her chest and her throat closed, controlling her breath.

Blue eyes so intense, so deep and clear, met hers and wetness slid from her pussy and pooled in her panties. Oh. She wanted to shift her stance at the sudden dampness but didn’t dare.

His eyes held hers, a smile of pure sex on his face. He was beautiful. His skin, pale and clear, with a sprinkle of small freckles across his nose. Somewhere within her a familiarity tickled, and this moment played in her mind like deja vu. The corner of his mouth quirked, and his gaze dropped ever so slowly to her lips.
Her mouth parted, and she felt the drag of his lips and his tongue across hers as if she’d kissed him for years. The memory imprinted deep in her soul. Her limbs trembled, and she shivered, gooseflesh priming her skin.

A man had never aroused lust in her so intensely before. Her skin tingled just standing there admiring him. Oh. She needed to kiss him, to feel what her subconscious remembered. Desire, a memory, and belonging, pulled not only her sensual self but also her power.

She couldn’t resist.

This was destiny. Not that she was perceptive to what destiny was. Her life played out anyway but what she wished. God, just look at how her Dad treated her, when he actually took the time to acknowledge her existence. She shuddered remembering the sting of his words, ‘You’re crazy’, as his hard hand slapped her face and she cried. She bit her lip and devoured the blue eyed man with her stare. Time to do something she lusted for. She stepped forward and the man leaned his hip on the counter’s edge, and watched her with a gaze that said he owned her.

Don’t make a fool of yourself. She clutched her Pluto mug and set the cup down by her computer, then continued past the never ending counter to him. God, he wouldn’t stop staring at her.

She halted three feet from him and raised her eyebrows. “Who are you?” the words so soft they lacked all fortitude and held a sense of awe. Could she be any more desperate to touch him?

“Chester, Chester Shields.” He held out his hand in an invitation to shake it.
Her eyes widened. Could she touch him? What an odd contradiction. Not one second before she pined for that in every way. But now… She thought it better not to be here at work. One touch from him and without a doubt she wouldn’t be able to stop. She would end up straddling him and humping him like a dog. My God. A lump formed in her throat. She wanted that. Her gaze took in the lab. No one was here. So would it matter?

“Nice to meet you, Chet.”

His smile broadened and he slowly lowered his hand, placed his fingers on his thigh, and squeezed his… Oh my! Was that what she thought it was? A hard dick the width and length of a paper towel core lay against his thigh under his hand as he squeezed the roundness.

“No, not Chet. Chester.” His voice low and husky then laughed at her.

Her gaze snapped to his face.

His eyes flamed with blue smoke. “Only those bound to me call me Chet.” He winked.

What? What was he talking about?

“Oh.” Did he say bound? Her brows drew together, and her nipples pebbled hard. She wouldn’t mind being tied up by him as he did wicked things to her, if that was what he meant. She wanted to relive the memories in her soul. To relive his kiss.
He shifted and crossed his legs at his ankles as if waiting for her to say more. She stared at his black Cole Hanns, then let her gaze go higher, up his long, lean legs, until she reached the zipper to his pants. His hand still covered the ridge on his thigh and his thumb traced the tip of his erection.

The image of his long, naked legs tangled with her short plump ones flashed before her and she gasped. His hips rubbing her bottom, the hot skin of his dick pressing into the pucker of her ass. A wave of heat and cold washed through her body and she grew fevered and clammy all at once. She struggled to breath and squeezed her butt cheeks together. Yum. Anal sex was one of her favorites. She shivered. What an image.

Warmth infused her cheeks, and she slowly raised her eyes to meet his again. One of his brows inched up in question and his smile grew bigger, mocking her. Were her thoughts that obvious? His lips twitched and his chest vibrated as if holding in a chuckle.

“Yes, dear. They are.” He reached out and wrapped his searing fingers around her wrist, then pulled her hand to his cock.

Grin. Hope you enjoyed.
Lacy.

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Posted by Lacy Danes :: 2:09 PM :: 4 comments

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Proactive vs. Reactive

A lot of people (authors and others) helped me on the road to publication, and so I try to give back by helping others. One thing that I do is volunteer my time to judging writing contests. I am currently judging a contest where I find myself struggling with a couple of entries. My concern is that I am aware of the scores given by the other judges on the same entries, and mine are much lower--something unusual for me. The problem I see is that the characters within the story are very passive, or at the very least reactive. And so this leaves me wondering, how do readers feel about the proactive versus the reactive or passive character?

To explain, the reactive character is the one who responds to things as they happen to her or him. While the proactive character is the one who sets out to accomplish things instead of waiting for fate (often in the form of another character) to take a hand. To me a mark of a strong character is that they are proactive, that for the most part they don’t have a fatalistic attitude, or at least if they do, by the end of the book this is resolved and they are now proactive.

How about you? Do you see being proactive as something all main characters should be, or set out to attain? Or is it okay to let the characters simply react to the unfolding story, so long as they do so in a sufficient manner?

And on a whole other note, Happy Birthday!! Quite a few of the Aphrodisia authors are Leos, and either celebrated their birthday this last week or on the cusp of doing so. May the year ahead be the best yet!

~ jodi

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Posted by Jodi Lynn Copeland :: 12:25 PM :: 6 comments

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