Archive for February, 2015

Guest Author: Lynn LaFleur & Romancing Raine

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Please welcome to my blog today Lynn LaFleur. Lynn and I go way back in the romance novel writing world. Today I’m featuring her excerpt from our box set Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances. Her contribution to this hot box set is Romancing Raine. Warning…this is an explicit excerpt.

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Kaylen opened the door wider so Raine could enter. He took the opportunity to admire her ass as she walked past him. His cock responded, making him thankful for the loose khakis he’d chosen to wear tonight with a button-down shirt.

“Everything is beautiful, Kaylen. I love all the candles. And the table looks incredible. You went to a lot of work.”

“I wanted it to be special for you.” He crossed to the kitchen. “Dinner will be served between seven-fifteen and seven-thirty. I’ve opened a bottle of Bordeaux for us. Why don’t you get comfortable in the living room and I’ll bring the bottle and glasses?”

Kaylen entered the living room to find Raine sitting in a corner of the couch, her legs crossed. He’d turned on the two lamps to their lowest setting. Their soft light mixed with the candlelight turned her skin golden. He almost stumbled at the sight, she looked so beautiful.

He sat next to her, splashed wine in each glass. After handing one wineglass to Raine, he tapped it with his. “To an evening of good food, good wine, and good company.”

Raine smiled at his toast before she took a sip of her wine. “Oh, that’s very nice.”

“Told you. Wait until you taste the filet.”

“I can hardly wait.”

To prove her words, her stomach rumbled. Kaylen laughed while Raine blushed. “Hungry?”

“Obviously. I haven’t had anything to eat since the torte in your plane.”

“I hope you like French Onion soup. I ordered that instead of salad.”

“I love it.”

He glanced into his wineglass, amazed that he continued to feel so nervous about this evening. “It isn’t a good idea to invite a woman to dinner and not find out what she likes or dislikes.”

“I’m not a picky eater. Except for artichokes.” She shivered. “I can’t imagine why anyone would eat them.”

He tapped her glass again with his. “I agree with you there.”

Raine sipped her wine, then openly studied his face. “We seem to agree on a lot of things.”

“Like what?” he asked, stretching his arm along the back of the couch behind her.

“Music. I loved all the songs you played while we were flying today, and what’s playing now. Food.” She lifted her glass an inch. “Wine.”

“I like wine, but I’m not an expert. I asked Kaci what went best with filet. She suggested either Merlot or Bordeaux.”

“I’ll tell you a secret.” She leaned closer to him. Kaylen bent his head so she could whisper in his ear. “I’m not an expert either. I just know what I like.”

Kaylen laughed again, delighted at her honesty and humor. Very little about this woman didn’t delight him.

He lifted tendrils of her hair, rubbed them between his thumb and forefinger. So soft, and his touch released the scent of flowers. “You’re so beautiful, Raine.”

“That sounds like something a man would say to a woman before he kisses her.”

“It could be, if that woman wants a kiss.”

“She wants it very much,” she said softly.

Only too happy to grant her request, Kaylen pressed his lips to hers in a gentle kiss. He tasted the wine on her breath, mixed with the unique flavor of Raine.

He knew immediately that one taste wouldn’t be enough.

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You can find Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances at these outlets so don’t miss out. This box set is 99 cents for a limited time and it’s on preorder right now!

Amazon

B&N

Kobo


iTunes

 

Contest & Facebook party for Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

 

Hey everyone! Thanks to everyone who helped make the Thunderclap for Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances such a success this week! In the meantime, have you entered the Rafflecopter and signed up to attend the Facebook party? If not, read through this post and get the links down below.

 

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Amazon—>http://amzn.to/1zUoU6U

B&N—>http://bit.ly/1vKVg4B

Kobo—>http://bit.ly/1KWW3AT


iTunes—>http://bit.ly/1yCohKg

Do you feel lucky? Seven tantalizing paranormal and contemporary romance tales designed to heat your days and melt your nights. This boxed set is only available for a LIMITED TIME for 99 cents so grab your copy before it’s gone.

Seven complete stories. Professionally Edited. Limited Release.

Forevermore by Denise A. Agnew

Mae Sutton travels to Scotland to investigate tormenting dreams that have plagued her since childhood. Once in the shadowy, misty land, she discovers a brooding Highlander—and a secret that threatens her very existence. Mae and Aidan have lived before, and the dark legacy that destroyed them once, may destroy them again…

Keep Me by Faith Andrews

Sexy, tatted up, underwear model Marcus Grayson is every girl’s dream—or more likely worst nightmare. Tessa Bradley is a self-sufficient, take-no-bull, single mother—well, now she is. When she runs into Marcus, her friend Riley’s once-adorable turned smoking-hot little brother, she has no idea how he’s about to rock her world.

Encounter 14 by Monique DuBois

Brooke is determined to get lucky on her favorite night of the year: St. Patrick’s Day. When she meets a charismatic Irishman with the same thing on his mind, sparks fly. Will Brooke’s bad luck in dating take a turn for the worse, or has she just found the luck o’ the Irish?

Archangel Jed (A Novella of The Seven) by USA Today Bestseller Lisa Hughey

Her secret has the power to destroy them both….

Jed, Archangel of Wisdom and Knowledge, has something to prove. Luci, a human Sage, has a dark secret. While on a quest to find a book that contains the knowledge to protect both their worlds from their mortal enemy, a forbidden love blossoms. But can Jed save her when the truth is revealed?

Risqué Business by USA Today Bestseller Titania Ladley

Curvy Amy MacGowan has gained enough weight to tip the scale opposite a pot of gold. But she lives out her fantasies behind the headset of her 900 phone-sex company, Risqué Business. Just her luck, her hot ex-lover Gabe Rizzuto buys the café next door. Ah, just grand. Sooner or later, he’s going to notice she’s “bloomed,” and knowing his shenanigans, Amy’s in for some risky business.

Romancing Raine by Lynn LaFleur

Kaylen Montgomery is hit with instant lust when he sees Raine Bridewell…

Turning on the Irish charm has always made women fall at Kaylen’s feet. Not this time. Getting involved with another owner—or the brother of one—isn’t anywhere on Raine’s to-do list. Enter Shae, a four-inch fairy, who is sure Raine and Kaylen belong together.

Wolves In The Highlands by Megan J. Parker & Nathan Squiers

An artist sets out to find inspiration in the hills of Scotland and falls into the arms of two shapeshifting highlanders. As she’s entangled in their world, she finds more beauty and danger than she ever thought possible. These two beastly Scotsmen just may save her career…

If they can save her life first.

Get Lucky Facebook Party! Sign up here and party with us on March 17 from 7pm to 10pm ET!

Enter our Rafflecopter here and get a chance to win prizes from the authors!

 

 

 

Tracy Cooper-Posey & Hot Sex & Story Telling

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Please welcome author Tracy Cooper-Posey. I’ve enjoyed Tracy’s books for many years, and I love her take on writing sex in romance stories. Take it away Tracy!

Tracysmall

My take on sex and romance stories.

If you’ve read any of my books at all, you’ve either noticed that the sex is way off the charts, or you’ve noticed that the sex is so mild it doesn’t register on the Richter Scale.

I would like to talk about that.

What prompted this post was a long series of reviews, and one final one I got recently from a reviewer who has read some of my titles, in a fairly narrow range. She mentioned that she was surprised by the story, which “wasn’t my usual” and the lack of sex.

I still don’t know if that is a good thing or not. Nothing else she said makes it clear whether she was disappointed or pleased by the absence of specified body parts and the departure in subject matter.

Nevertheless, her observations sat in the back of my brain, brewing. Now, a few weeks later on, I’m writing about sex. Not about that specific review, or any review or feedback in particular, but sex and how it relates to my stories. The reviews were merely activators that got me onto this subject.

How Readers See It

I’m about to make a series of bold, assertive statements, based upon several years of reader and professional reviews of my books.

There are as many readers who hate my hot, sexy books, as there are readers who love the hot sex. All of them read my sex-filled books and praise or ding them, accordingly.

There are just as many readers who like a book that focuses on the story and leaves the sex in the bedroom behind closed doors, as there are readers who think a book is incomplete without a bit of nooky, preferably a lot of it. This secoind group of readers read my books that gently by-pass the sex scenes, and find it disappointing in some indeterminate way. Note, I don’t think they consciously realize it’s the lack of hot sex that makes the story feel “inadequate” – but they’re savvy enough to realize that for them, something is missing.

There are even more readers than the above who either don’t know I write hot, sexy books, or don’t know I write books without hot sex in them. (PS: There’s also a lot of readers that don’t know I write anything other than vampire romances.)

Across all those sets of readers is a small subset of reader that will flatly refuse to read a book with(out) sex in it, even if the cover grabs them, the blurb makes their heart race, and it’s exactly their genre, sub-genre and the hero is blue-eyed and black haired, just like they prefer.

Clearly, how much sex is in a story makes a difference to readers.

Where The Divide Began

There seems to be a division between erotic romance and “normal” romance. Just calling non-erotic romance “normal” makes it sound like erotic romance is abnormal–a negative connotation–yet I see this tag used everywhere.

Unfortunately, this division began because of the history of erotic romance. It’s the new(ish) kid on the block, and when it was first introduced to Romanceland around the year 2000, frank sexual scenes were novel, naughty, and for readers who glommed onto erotic romance, the frank sex was the only reason for reading erotic romances. They could read just as many paranormals, historicals and romantic suspenses without the sex, but chose not to.

Publishers like Ellora’s Cave and the erotic imprints of other romance publishers encouraged this distinction by ensuring that the majority of an erotic romance story was focused on the sexual storyline.

Fourteen years later, romance readers have it pretty much tattooed on their brains that erotic romance is about the sex, with a bit of story thrown in to hold it together.

Erotic Romance Has Become A Major Division Of Romanceland

You get erotic romance, sweet romance and sensual romance – the big three divisions.
Underneath them, you get every sub-genre invented or about to be invented: Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance, Futuristic Romance, Urban Fantasy, Steam Punk, Historical, Time Travel and on and on and on. All three of the major divisions contain every single one of the sub-genres within it. (I believe Amish romances might be a rare exception, but having said that, I just know someone will email me to point out an Amish Romance title that is also erotic romance!)

Readers tend to stay within their preferred division.

What Sex In A Story Means To Me

Of course, I’m breaking rules. That’s pretty much the story of my life.

Way back when publication was a foreign concept for me, I started out writing sweet romances. That didn’t last long. I always preferred reading the heated, throbbing romances, so I swiftly shifted in that direction with each succeeding manuscript.

Finally, I began to write and publish with Ellora’s Cave, who required a very high level of sex in every romance. When I was writing for them, it was expected that (a) there would be a sex scene within the first 15% of the story, and earlier if you could manage it, (b) somewhere in the story the heroine would be penetrated in every orifice (that is, anal and oral sex were required), and (c) sex scenes would be fully developed and preferably longer than a page. (d) There were to be no closed door scenes at all (as in, don’t write; “he dragged her to the bedroom.” End of scene.) If the hero(es) and heroine(s) were having sex, it was to be described in detail.

One thing all that writing for Ellora’s Cave did for me: It cured me of any blushing hesitation over writing anything at all. I don’t duck scenes that need to be in my story – the sexy kind, the heart-wrenching kind, or the gross, horrible, or just plain horrifying kind.

It also taught me a lot about my own tastes in reading. It might be a surprise to you, but for me, the story is the supreme master. (This may not be such a surprise to you if you’re familiar with the imprint logo I use on all my books*).  For me, Story Rules. I frankly don’t care how much sex there is or isn’t in my story. I want the story to be well-told, and preferably, highly emotional and satisfying to read.

I like romance to hold a strong part of the story. The Romantic Interest sub-plots that movies insert make me want to throw up. The token female makes sheep’s-eyes at the hero, then there is ten seconds of them kissing, then thirty second of her wailing about how he has to come back to her at the end of the movie, and at the end, they kiss again. This particular form of “romance” makes me break out in hives and hiss at the director. I usually try to avoid that writer/director after being subjected to one of these storylines. Top Gun came perilously close to this line, for example. Jack Ryan; Shadow Recruit was also superficial and very light on female characters.
If you’re familiar with the Bechdel Test, you’ll probably understand my complaint. Romances should be well told. Not tools to give the hero (who gets all the character development) a set of balls for the primarily male audience who think such things are meaningful (“look at the sexy babe I kissed/bedded/made fall in love with me! I am invincible!”).

Mostly, I do not watch movies for their romantic quotient. I avoid disappointment that way.
Because a well told romance is important to me, I consider myself a romance writer first and foremost, regardless of the division and subgenre I’m writing in. I want that fully developed romance storyline, complete with strong characters butting head-on as they fall in love. Anything less is just disappointing.

How much sex gets displayed on the way through the story depends on a number of factors – all of them story-related. I pretty much know going into a story how much sex is gonna show. If the hero(es) is/are so alpha they make your teeth ache (and paranormal romance is littered with alphas), then the chances are pretty good that if they stay in character, those alpha heroes aren’t going to show so much as a glimmer of warmth in their eyes anywhere someone might catch them doing it. That means, most of their vulnerability and the emotionally weighted scenes are going to happen during and after sex, when the alpha is feeling secure about his manhood and safe enough to reveal how he really feels. Not describing all the sex in this case means the reader is going to miss a big chunk of the romance story. This applies double to MMF romances: Nearly all the scenes that show the heroes being brought to their knees for love happens in and around sex, because that’s a guy thing.

Romantic suspense is similarly over-laden with alpha heroes; men in uniform, men totting guns, men being manly.

You can get beta and gamma heroes in these genres, absolutely, but it’s not as common, and a beta hero that is capable of expressing himself anywhere other than the bedroom means the demands of the romance changes the storyline. Sex becomes just another expression of love, and is de-emphasized as a result.

Then there’s the story itself. If the hero and heroine are physically running for their lives, they’re wouldn’t normally stop and have hot sex as soon as the bad guy turns his head. This is one of the issues I have with the high-sex-quotient expectations of erotic romance as a genre. It artificially skews storylines, makes some stories impossible to tell within the erotic romance division (even if the story demands really hot sex in order to show the romance properly developing). Worse, it absolutely guarantees that the whole plot will come to a screeching halt for dozens of pages while the appropriate amount of fucking takes place.

No, I am not a fan of erotic romance, per se. I do like hot, frank sex in my stories. As long as it makes sense.

A Spectrum, Not a Division

A few years ago, I wrote a post kvetching about the classifications used to box people into a sexual orientation. Bi-sexual, heterosexual, etc. These tags drive me crazy.

When I am writing my romances, I don’t think about sexual orientation at all. I don’t label my characters. My story people fall in love, and that love changes their lives. It just so happens that some of the heroes fall in love with another hero and with the heroine as well. They may have had same-sex relationships in the past. Or not. It doesn’t matter – just like any previous romances the heroine had in the past has absolutely no bearing on this romance (unless the previous asshole makes it difficult for her to commit – but that’s part of romantic conflict, and nothing to do with sex).

In that particular post I proposed the idea that who you have sex with shouldn’t require a label. It’s just sex. Hopefully, good sex. But ultimately, sexual orientations range across a spectrum, and even the most heterosexual human on the planet can be curious about their own gender. It just means they’re curious, not bi-sexual.

Drawing artificial boxes and trying to place people in those boxes is pointless. It also leads to a lot of confusion. I’ve had readers and reviewers mention they were “shocked” when a hero kissed another hero, because I hadn’t warned them the hero was bisexual earlier in the book.  No, I didn’t carefully label the hero as bisexual (although I did actually hint that he wasn’t averse to taking men to bed, but they apparently missed the hint). I don’t think it’s necessary to label the characters. They are what they are – unique individuals who fall somewhere on the Kinsey scale.
Interestingly, when the Kinseys first published their Scale, they were careful to point out that anyone’s position on the scale could shift over time, or even from day to day. Sexual orientation is a moving target (like most women’s weight!). If it can change from day to day or from hormonal low to high, then sticking a permanent label on it is a waste of time. Wait five minutes and the label will be out of date.

It’s also dangerous, because the label sets up expectations and creates barriers. It also generates unwarranted prejudice in people who rely on those labels to classify others and judge them according to the label they add.

Sex In Romanceland Should Be A Continuum, Too

So, if sexual orientation is a sliding scale (or, a moving target), then the amount and quality of sex in stories should also be a sliding scale, shouldn’t it? I don’t see why there should be divisions that say “this book has the word ‘cock’ in it, so it’s erotic,” or why lots of sex scenes makes a book erotic. Or this book here slides over the sex scenes, so it’s a normal romance.

I actually hate the word “erotic” – it comes with so many negative connotations, because the world generally misinterprets what “erotic” really means. Many of my books are shoved into the “erotica” dumpster because there’s two heroes, and there’s frank sex.

I would argue that my books, and quite a few books by other authors find they’ve been shepherded into the erotica department actually don’t belong there at all. It’s only by virtue of the sex in them that they’ve landed there. But lots of sex or a lack of sex, or frank sex should not be the measure of whether a book is erotic romance.

If a measure must be used at all, the sole measure should be how much the sexual sub-plot affects the storyline. If the sexual subplot provides the major romantic conflict, and everything focuses upon what happens between the protagonists, then that is an erotic romance.
On the other hand, for example, a romance that is set in the future and spends most of its time focused upon the time-travelling adventures of the heroes and heroine, but also has a lot of sex happening between the three…that is not an erotic romance. The sex is hot and plentiful because most of the romance and relationship stuff happens during the sex. But the plot doesn’t fall apart if the sex is removed (although the characters become very flat and boring and the romance itself suffers badly, if not permanently). It’s a futuristic romance or a paranormal romance (or both), that just happens to have a lot of frank sex in it.

If the sex in a story is shoe-horned in, arrives early and seems gratuitous at times, then that’s an erotic romance, probably written to meet a publisher’s guidelines. The publisher’s name and the imprint on the spine can also be used as a guide to erotic romances.

The Bottom Line

Erotic Romance is a sub-genre of Romanceland, and it’s not going to disappear anytime soon, no matter how silly I think the artificial division might be. Like all the other genres, it helps you, the reader, find stories you want to read and will enjoy.

I, however, will continue to ignore the divisions and write stories with or without sex, genre mashing as I see fit, and using subjects and settings that enhance the romance and makes the story a great read.

For that is my artificial division: Great romances…and not.
___
[* You’ll see my personal mantra, which has become my publishing imprint, on all my books, including the title page of the ebooks: Stories Rule. Turn your head sideways and read the logo: ]
____
Tracy Cooper-Posey is an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author. She writes erotic vampire romances, hot romantic suspense, paranormal and urban fantasy romances. She has published over 70 novels since 1999, been nominated for five CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award.

She turned to indie publishing in 2011. Her indie titles have been nominated four times for Book Of The Year and Byzantine Heartbreak was a 2012 winner. She has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at MacEwan University. 

She is addicted to Irish Breakfast tea and chocolate, sometimes taken together. In her spare time she enjoys history, Sherlock Holmes, science fiction and ignoring her treadmill. An Australian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line.

Her website can be found at http://TracyCooperPosey.com. Tracy appreciates hearing from readers and can be reached at Tracy@TracyCooperPosey.com.
You can also find Tracy here:
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/tracycooperposey
Facebook Fiction Page: https://www.facebook.com/TracyCooperPosey
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/cooperposey/
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Twitter: @TracyCP

Thunderclap for Get Lucky!

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

What is Thunderclap? It’s an opportunity for people to share great news about a book that’s come out! If you could share this Thunderclap for Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances, I would so very much appreciate it! Click here for the details. Get lucky is on 99 cent preorder right now. You can get your copy at these fine retailers:

Amazon—>http://amzn.to/1zUoU6U

B&N—>http://bit.ly/1vKVg4B

Kobo—>http://bit.ly/1KWW3AT


iTunes—>http://bit.ly/1yCohKg

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Preorder of Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances #99cents

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Hey everyone! It’s been a whirlwind of things since I’ve participated in the Be Mine: Ten Erotic Romances for Valentine’s Day box set. So guess what? I’m in another box set with seven other authors. Here are the blurbs to tantalize you. Get Lucky: Seven Steamy Romances is only available for a limited time at 99 cents so grab yours while you can! Scroll down to the bottom to get the links!

 

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Do you feel lucky? Seven tantalizing paranormal and contemporary romance tales designed to heat your days and melt your nights. This boxed set is only available for a LIMITED TIME so grab your copy before it’s gone.

Seven complete stories. Professionally Edited. Limited Release.

Forevermore by Denise A. Agnew

Mae Sutton travels to Scotland to investigate tormenting dreams that have plagued her since childhood. Once in the shadowy, misty land, she discovers a brooding Highlander—and a secret that threatens her very existence. Mae and Aidan have lived before, and the dark legacy that destroyed them once, may destroy them again…

Keep Me by Faith Andrews

Sexy, tatted up, underwear model Marcus Grayson is every girl’s dream—or more likely worst nightmare. Tessa Bradley is a self-sufficient, take-no-bull, single mother—well, now she is. When she runs into Marcus, her friend Riley’s once-adorable turned smoking-hot little brother, she has no idea how he’s about to rock her world.

Romance Quickies (Encounter 14) by Monique DuBois

Brooke is determined to get lucky on her favorite night of the year: St. Patrick’s Day. When she meets a charismatic Irishman with the same thing on his mind, sparks fly. Will Brooke’s bad luck in dating take a turn for the worse, or has she just found the luck o’ the Irish?

Archangel Jed (A Novella of The Seven) by USA Today Bestseller Lisa Hughey

Her secret has the power to destroy them both….

Jed, Archangel of Wisdom and Knowledge, has something to prove. Luci, a human Sage, has a dark secret. While on a quest to find a book that contains the knowledge to protect both their worlds from their mortal enemy, a forbidden love blossoms. But can Jed save her when the truth is revealed?

Risque Business by USA Today Bestseller Titania Ladley

Curvy Amy MacGowan has gained enough weight to tip the scale opposite a pot of gold. But she lives out her fantasies behind the headset of her 900 phone-sex company, Risqué Business. Just her luck, her hot ex-lover Gabe Rizzuto buys the café next door. Ah, just grand. Sooner or later, he’s going to notice she’s “bloomed,” and knowing his shenanigans, Amy’s in for some risky business.

Romancing Raine by Lynn LaFleur

Kaylen Montgomery is hit with instant lust when he sees Raine Bridewell…

Turning on the Irish charm has always made women fall at Kaylen’s feet. Not this time. Getting involved with another owner—or the brother of one—isn’t anywhere on Raine’s to-do list. Enter Shae, a four-inch fairy, who is sure Raine and Kaylen belong together.

Wolves In The Highlands by Megan J. Parker & Nathan Squiers

An artist sets out to find inspiration in the hills of Scotland and falls into the arms of two shapeshifting highlanders. As she’s entangled in their world, she finds more beauty and danger than she ever thought possible. These two beastly Scotsmen just may save her career…

If they can save her life first.

You can preorder your copy here:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iBooks

Kobo

 

 

 

Release Day! Have A Little Be Mine!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

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Woot!!!!!

Today is the release day of Be Mine: Ten Erotic Romances For Valentine’s Day. The great thing is you get ten stories by seven authors for only 99 cents. This boxed set is only available for a limited time, so be sure to snatch it up while you still can. This box set includes my hot paranormal romance called Heat Wave.

You can find Be Mine at several outlets in ebook format! Click here to get all the links.

Thank you!