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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review Of Nopeming Shores By Margie Church With J. Andrew Lockhart

Nopeming Shores
Nopeming Shores By Margie Church With J. Andrew Lockhart

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 757 KB
Print Length: 236 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 160592489X
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing, LLC (October 11, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B005UUTQMI
Source: Amazon.Com (link to purchase HERE)
Purchase: Barnes And Noble (link to purchase HERE)


Blurb:


An IED snuffed out Gabe Holliway's life, but couldn't destroy his love. Using his unique gift, Gabe struggles to help his young wife, Lily, rebuild her shattered future.


But when Gabe's ghost reaches out to her, Lily fears she's lost her last hold on sanity. Can she trust what she discovers and what her heart says? When she sees Gabe face-to-face, can she believe her eyes?


When love transcends death, the answers are found in Nopeming Shores.


Before I give you my review I must warn you. When reading Nopeming Shores make sure you have a box of tissue's handy. Trust me, you are going to need them. Margie weaves such a heart wrenching tale that you just can't walk away from. I too have lost someone near and dear to my heart and so I could totally relate to Lily's plight (could also be part of the reason I cried so much....^_^).


Lily Holliway is a widow grieving over the lose of her husband. Everywhere she turns she feels like she is drowning in a sea of despair. Her close friends Jana and Alex try all they can to help Lily through her pain but to no avail.


Shane Keefe  leaves his large veterinary service in Memphis to start over at his friend Alex's Leigha Acres Veterinary Service in Stevers. Shane has a successful practice but is unlucky in love. He is hoping the move to a new town will turn things around for him.


When Shane bumps into Lily at her job, Love's In Bloom, you can tell there is an unspoken attraction between the two of them but with Lily still grieving over her husband Gabriel, their timing is always off.


There is so much I have to leave out of this review otherwise it might not strike just the right note to tug at your heartstrings and make you cry your eyes out....lol. Not to mention it would give away some things that might ruin the overall story for everyone. Margie knows how to tap into peoples emotions and make you feel her characters pain, as well as, their joy. This story truly amazed me and I am so thankful I got a chance to read it. On a scale from 1-10 I give Nopeming Shores a MIND BLOWING 20. This month I have read two other books that have caused my scale to jump to 20, but I must say, this story of love and loss really called to me. If you have lost a loved one, believe in getting a fresh start, enduring love, or just love a book that can make you cry then Nopeming Shores is a MUST READ. Everyone needs to run out and grab a copy of Margie's book and let Nopeming Shores rejuvenate you.

Link:
http://www.site.romancewithsass.com/
Facebook: Here
Twitter: Here
GoodReads: Here
Shelfari: Here

Monday, December 26, 2011

Riptide Publishing Blog Tour

RiptideLogo_Stacked
Riptide Publishing


Surprises (Romeo Club Series Book #1) By Brita Addams


Welcome to Brita Addams's stop on Riptide Publishing's Blog Tour. I love getting to know the authors from Riptide. Brita Addams has stopped by today to grant me an interview. Brita is so giving today because she is offering one lucky person (18+ or older) who comments with their e-mail address over at Sinfully Tasty Reads their choice from her backlist - excluding A Minute After Midnight, An Evening at the Starlight and Romeo Club. Now, it's time to sit down and let's hear what Brita has to say about her Romeo Club Series.

Brita Addams Interview Questions
Surprises: Romeo Club #1


You have recently released a short story, Surprises, which is the first of the Romeo Club
collection. To start us off, would you like to tell my readers a little bit about the book
from your perspective?


Sure. Romeo Club is ostensibly a dating service for gay men of distinction. It's
upscale and caters to an exclusive clientele. Aaron, the blond cutie who works the
front desk, and a few other things along the way, has an eye for the special guys, and
when he senses that certain quality, he brings the man to the attention of Blake, who
owns the club.


In walks Don, who is sick of the club scene and wants something more and we have
the set up for Surprises.


The Romeo Club collection will be a set of vignettes. Each one will feature a
different client and that person's particular kink. They're short stories, about sixthousand
words each, so by definition, they get to the meat of the vignette rather
quickly. There won't be any romances involved, as these are pure erotica, meant to
get the reader all warm and excited.


Surprises focus on the activities of a private BDSM club. You also have a historical
series that takes place in a similar type of club. As an author, what is it that draws you to
this type of setting?


First, let me say that Romeo's isn't a private BDSM club. It's a private club that
caters to the sexual kinks of its clientele. BDSM is just one of those kinks.
Historically, I don't know for a certainty that such clubs existed, but sex certainly
did. LOL Hence, I created the Sapphire Club and treated the happenings there in
terms of the time in which it existed. The kinks ran the gamut, within the strictures
of technology and invention.


With respect to the Romeo Club, what fascinates me, overall, is the fact that people
really do go to such clubs, motivated by their desires to get the most out of their sex
lives. To explore beyond that which is universally considered the norm, and dig deep
within themselves to find that one element that will satisfy their inner most desires
and needs.


Creating a modern day Sapphire Club seemed a given to me. I often pay tribute in
my writing to that series, which has been very good to me. However, that is where
the two diverge. With each of the Sapphire Club stories, there was an involved story
woven in, with the club as the backdrop.


In the Romeo Club series, we'll explore a different fantasy, a different kink with
each installment. Not all will be BDSM, as a matter of fact, the second in the series,
Rubbed the Right Way, explores erotic massage.


The stories are only five to six thousand words each, and are thoroughly erotica,
which focuses on the fantasy/need/desire rather than delving into the deep reasons
why.


My intention with Romeo Club is to give the reader a hot read either over their
lunch hour or at bedtime, when time is at a premium. Each story is self-contained
and will only have the carry-over characters of Aaron and Blake in most every one,
though not all.

Rubbed The Right Way (Romeo Club Series Book #2) By Brita Addams


A second Romeo Club book, Rubbed the Right Way, is coming out on December 5. Can
you tell us more about this series? Are there more books in store after that? Will they
feature Don, Blake, and Aaron, or will you be introducing new characters?


Blake and Aaron are carry-over characters and the depth of their association will be
revealed slowly as time goes on. Don may or may not appear again, but he definitely
won't be a major player again.


Each story will have a new main character, around which the fantasy or kink will
revolve. It's all about what their desire is and how the Romeo Club can fulfill it.
I have three written, and my intention is to write twelve to fifteen, which if accepted
by the editors at Riptide, will be published over a course of time. I've proposed
several and the editors are receptive, but acceptance is subject to the quality of each
story.


I read on your web site about the process you use for choosing character names and how
you look at things like early census records and your family tree. Did you have any
special inspiration for the character names in this story?


As a matter of fact, the answer is no to that question. I don't know any Aarons,
Blakes or Dons. This story and another recent release, A Minute After Midnight,
are the only two that don't have characters named for someone I either know or
who are in my family tree.


You have quite a big backlist so obviously you spend a lot of time writing. What else do
you like to do to keep you busy?


Ah, well, I, ah, write. That's the truth of it. I spent many years playing at it, raising
my family, and putting creative writing on the back burner. Now, it’s one of my
driving forces. I spend as much as eight hours a day writing, revising, and editing,
but always something to do with the craft.


In the evening, I watch a couple hours of television with my husband and daughter,
then retreat to read for an hour or two before I go to sleep.


I'm never at a loss for something to do and I positively loathe the word "bored." My
children knew never to say that word in my presence because they knew I could
always find something for them do. I often joke that if I'm ever bored, it's by design.
But, alas, I can honestly say, I'm never bored—quite the contrary. There aren't
enough hours in the day to do all I want to do.


Do you find you like to read similar books to what you write? What genre do you most
enjoy reading?


I love historical, het or m/m, though sadly, there aren't a lot of m/m that are worth
reading in that sub-genre. I'm picky, I suppose.


I'm very drawn to m/m these days and have been for quite some time, starting with
my reading of everything in Aleksandr Voinov's bag of tricks. He's damn brilliant
and I simply love his work.


I love biographies and just about anything historical in any genre. I read a little
contemporary romance, but not much. I'm not much for the "Hey, baby, wanna
f**k," bar line and I find that all too often in the contemporaries I've read or shall I
say, attempted to read. The guys don't have to work for it, if you know what I'm
saying, and that doesn't appeal particularly.


Romeo Club, you'll notice, aren't romances. The purpose of the visit to RC is to
satisfy a sexual need. However, in a romance, I want some romance and not just
excuses to get it on.


I am extraordinarily grateful for Riptide and their attention to detail. I'm looking
forward to reading my fellow author's work. If the experience I had is indicative of
what everyone goes through in the editing process, (and I've heard from the other
authors that indeed it is harrowing, but satisfying), Riptide is about to turn the m/m,
gay fiction genre on its ear.


None too soon, from my standpoint. Sad to say, I have more "I Couldn't Finish,"
books in that file on my Kindle than I have in the "Read" one. I crave quality, good
editing, and believable characters.


Here’s the blurb from Romeo Club #1: Surprises:


Are you willing to put yourself in our hands?
Smart, successful, handsome, and thoroughly sick of the club scene, Don ventures
into a popular upscale dating service. Aroused and intrigued by the boldfaced
sexual queries on the Romeo Club’s application, he finds himself embellishing
one answer after the next. Don thinks he’s taking control of his fate, but when
he’s done, he ends up turning over a lot more than just his questionnaire to the
dominant Adonis who runs the service.


In a private back room, beneath the snick of handcuffs, the slide of silk over his
eyes, and not one hot mouth but two upon his skin, Don learns just how much
more than matchmaking the Romeo Club has to offer a guy who doesn’t mind a
few surprises.
This title is #1 of the Romeo Club series.


You can purchase Romeo Club #1: Surprises at Riptide Publishing.


Romeo Club #1: Rubbed the Right Way is available for pre-order. Your order will
gain you an entry in Riptide’s Free Books for a Year contest.


Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all my questions! If folks want to know
more about you or your books, how can they find you?


It seems I'm everywhere. Here's all my haunts:


Email address: britaaddams@gmail.com
Website
Blog
Twitter: @britaaddams
Facebook
Goodreads Page:


Thank you so much for coming! You are welcome back any time!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing Everyone A Very Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas Comment Graphics

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, or any other holiday you might celebrate. I have had a great year with my blog. I have had some really great authors dropping by and giving of their time and their works and to them I want to say Thank You. From my family to yours Happy Holidays....^_^.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review Of Soul Survivor (Lost World Series Book #1) By Misty Evans


Soul Survivor (Lost World Series Book #1) By Misty Evans


Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 316 KB
Print Length: 152 pages
Publisher: Carina Press (June 20, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B004XVTNGY
Source: Amazon.Com (link to purchase HERE)
Purchase: Barnes And Noble (link to purchase HERE)


Blurb:


Haunted by tragedy, FBI profiler Rife St. Cloud is driven to find the person who brutally attacked six women. Unfortunately the only survivor, Keva Moon Water, has no memory of what happened, and the evidence makes her the prime suspect.


Keva cannot die. She has waited a thousand years to be reunited with the man she loves, whose soul sleeps within Rife. Though he refuses to believe her claims of immortality, there's no denying the passion that burns between them. Keva desperately hopes their sexual connection will be enough to awaken Rife's memories of the love affair that started a war and bound their souls together for all eternity.


But when Keva's own memories come trickling back, she realizes that a future with Rife depends upon confronting the mistakes of the distant past...


I haven't read a lot of time travel stories but this one intrigued me. The fact that there was an FBI agent and people being attacked really drew me into this story. I love a good romance story but I am also a mystery/horror fan.


Rife is a hard working FBI profiler. So hard working in fact that he is sent home by his superiors because they are afraid he will burn himself out. To Rife, Keva is a stranger who seems to know him almost better than he knows himself.


Keva can not die because she abused her powers a thousand years ago. Keva and her true love Kai's soul have been like two ships passing in the night. They have lived in the same places but have never seen each other but now Keva see's her true love in Rife. At the start of this story she has no memory but as time goes on she realizes her past misdeeds and tries to set things to right.


Rife and Keva have a real strong sexual chemistry. Keva knew it would be hard to convince Rife that he is the reincarnation of her love Kai because he is a no non-sense, by the book, matter of fact type of guy.


I liked how everything played out. The way Rife was described made him drool worthy, which is important in a hero....lol. Keva was a strong heroine who finally knew what she did wrong and went about trying to right her wrong. There was a villain in this story that seemed like it would be hard to defeat but actually wasn't so that was kind of a big let down. With that being said, I still really liked the heat between Rife and Keva and their story was enjoyable enough to almost make up for the easily defeated villain. On a scale from 1-10 I give Soul Survivor an 8 simply because of the villain. If you are looking for a time-travel story with great characters with great sexual chemistry then Soul Survivor is the book for you. While you are picking up Soul Survivor keep an out out for book 2 when it comes out.


Link:
http://readmistyevans.com/
Twitter: Here

Review Of Between (Between Series Book #1) By Cyndi Tefft

Between
Between (Between Series Book #1) By Cyndi Tefft


Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 315 KB
Print Length: 253 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1460937104
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B004XZUMBA
Source: Amazon.Com (link to purchase HERE)
Purchase: Cyndi Tefft's Blog (link to purchase HERE)


Blurb:


It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile and Scottish accent.


After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.


Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.


When I read the blurb and excerpt of Between I knew this was a book I needed to get my hands on. When I bought this book I had such high hopes. I am so glad I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. From the first sentence this story had a hold of me and I so didn't want to let go. The way this story started totally threw me for a loop. I didn't expect what happened to happen so early on in the book. I was virtually at the edge of my seat the whole time.


Lindsey Water is your typical 19 year old who just recently started collage and who didn't have her whole life figured out. Her parents haven't been divorced all that long and her relationship with her boyfriend Ravi wasn't everything she wanted it to be. When she meets Aiden she soon discovers he is everything she ever wanted in life.


Aiden MacRae died over 300 hundreds years ago and he spends his afterlife transporting souls from earth to heaven. He is there to help then transition and accept their death so that they may be ready when God calls them to heaven. Aiden never expected to fall for Lindsey so hard and so fast.


Aiden and Lindsey share a deep connection that transcends all things. They also know that their time together can't last and so they try to make the most of the time that they do have. Aiden shares memories of Scotland and Lindsey shows Aiden all the new things that he has never been privy to while he was being a transporter.


This book had me feeling all kinds of emotions from wanting to fling my book across the room (but since it was an e-book on my Tablet I thought that wouldn't be good....lol) to crying like a little girl. To me that is the sign of an extraordinary book. If a story is able to elicit such emotions in me then that is a testament to the author's ability to tell a great story. Cyndi told a phenomenal story that keeps you wanting to read it even after it is over. On a scale from 1-10 I give Between a VERY BIG, ENTHUSIASTIC 20. I know, I know I am off my scale but you don't understand how AMAZING this story is. If you believe in destiny, true love, love conquers all, and fate you really do NEED to read this book. EVERYONE needs to run out and grab a copy of Between and let Aiden and Lindsey's story restore your faith in love. Be on the look out for Hell Transporter (Between Series Book #2) when it comes out. I know I will be one of the first people to buy it.


Link:
http://ctefft.blogspot.com/
Facebook: Here
Twitter: Here
GoodReads: Here

Friday, December 16, 2011

Review Of ARC Fateful By Claudia Gray

Fateful
Fateful By Claudia Gray


Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (September 13, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062006207
ISBN-13: 978-0062006202
Source: Amazon.com (link to purchase HERE)
Purchase: Barnes And Noble (link to purchase HERE)


Blurb:


Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It’s 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they’re sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself.


Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He’s in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it’s because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously. . . .


Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves exist and are stalking him—and now her, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.


In Fateful, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray delivers paranormal adventure, dark suspense, and alluring romance set against the opulent backdrop of the Titanic’s first—and last—voyage.


OMG, this book ROCKED. Ever since I saw the movie Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet I was intrigued by what happened to the RMS Titanic. I LOVED how Claudia did the reverse of what the 1997 movie Titanic did, which is by having Alec be rich and Tess be poor. I also  enjoyed how she placed real elements along with her imagination and characters.


Tess Davies is a maid in the wealthy household of the Lisle's. Tess longs to get away from her life of servitude. The Lisle's are heading to America aboard the RMS Titanic which gives Tess a way to escape her life and start over.


Alexander Marlowe is the heir to Marlowe Steel and just as trapped in his life as Tess is. Alec is trying to escape his demons and hide himself away back in American. He came to Europe with a personal mission, which by all accounts, he has failed at. He is struggling with what he is and what he wants in life.


When Alec and Tess meet again on the deck of the RMS Titanic they are drawn to each other by an inescapable force. But since this is 1912, and servants and the upper class don't mix EVER, they try to deny the growing attraction between them. But that is easier said then done when werewolves are thrown into the mix. Now it's a race against time to make it to America and escape their enemies and come away with their lives.


There are tons of things I want to say about this book but I don't want to ruin it for anyone. When I was told "If I love Werewolves and the Titanic than I would love this book" I was so determined to get my hands on it. I never wanted this story to end. Claudia is a fantastic storyteller with amazingly gripping characters. The way she tells her story I could almost feel like I was on the deck of the RMS Titanic. This is definitely a MUST READ book. On a scale from 1-10 I give Fateful a GINORMOUS 20. Yes, I know it is off my scale but this is just one of those books that I feel everyone needs to experience for themselves. It makes you believe in love and hope. It also teaches us that love trumps all social classes. If you love history, the Titanic, love, werewolves, danger, intrigue, secrets, and betrayal then Fateful IS THE BOOK FOR YOU. EVERYONE needs to pick up a copy of this book.


Link:
http://claudiagray.com/

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review Of The Texan's Bride (The Hardin Boys Trilogy Book #2) By Linda Warren

The Texan's Bride (Harlequin Super Romance #1735)
The Texan's Bride (The Hardin Boys Trilogy Book #2) By Linda Warren


Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Harlequin (October 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0373717350
ISBN-13: 978-0373717354
Source: Amazon.Com (link to purchase HERE)
Purchase: Barnes And Noble (link to purchase HERE)


Blurb:


Sheltered her entire life, Jessie Murdock has rarely gotten her way. Until her dying father makes a deal with Cadde Hardin. Cadde will get shares of Shilah Oil on one condition—marry Jessie. In love with him for years, Jessie doesn't hesitate to sign the papers. But she didn't sign up for a completely absent husband.


Now Jessie has a counter offer. She'll give Cadde controlling interest of the business if he'll give her a baby…the natural way. Only he has a few caveats of his own. When life refuses to follow their written plan, Jessie and Cadde have to decide which is more important: their unspoken love or the family business.


This book was recommended to me by a new friend and I have to say I really, really enjoyed it. Although we both didn't realize it at the time, it was actual book two of a three book trilogy....lol. 


Cadde Hardin is all about Shilah Oil. He is a true business man that likes to work long hours and give the job his whole undivided attention. Cadde was never in the market for a wife at least not until his boss and mentor R. Murdock offers him a deal he just can't refuse. Seeing this as the opportunity of a life time Cadde takes Murdock up on his offer and marries his daughter Jessie. To Cadde this is a marriage of convenience and nothing more. Just a means to an end to get his hands on Shilah Oil.


Jessie Murdock has loved Cadde since the first time she laid eyes on him. When her father told her she was to marry Cadde, she saw this as her one chance to have the man she loves. Little did she realize her marriage wouldn't be the ideal situation she had envisioned for herself.


For 18 months they both lead a totally separate life living in two different houses except for twice a week when Cadde stays at the Murdock Mansion. During this time Jessie devises a plan to get Cadde right where she wants him. She offers him controlling interest in Shilah Oil if he agrees to one condition of hers. Jessie wants Cadde to give her a baby the old fashion way.


Now this is where the story gets really good (and trust me it was good before this point too....lol). This story had me rooting for Cadde and Jessie the whole time. You might also want to invest in some tissues because this story can be a tear jerker at times. This book really surprised me, in the fact that, I didn't really think I would enjoy this book as much as I did. It is a hidden gem that needs to be discovered by all. On a scale from 1-10 I give The Texan's Bride a 10. It is a great story with a good message that I myself could relate to in some ways. I have already ordered book 1 The Texan's Secret and Book 3 The Texan's Christmas so I can read up on the rest of the Hardin boys. I encourage everyone to pick up this trilogy and see why I love them Hardin boys.


Link:
http://www.lindawarren.net/
Facebook: Here
Twitter: Here

Friday, December 2, 2011

Riptide Publishing Blog Tour

RiptideLogo_Stacked
Riptide Publishing


Grown Men By Damon Suede


Welcome to Damon Suede's stop on Riptide Publishing's Blog Tour. I love getting to know the authors from Riptide. Damon Suede has stopped by today to guest post for all of us. Damon is so giving because he is offering one lucky person (18+ or older) who comments with their e-mail address over at Sinfully Tasty Reads a copy of Hot Head. Now, it's time to sit down and let's hear what Damon has to say.


Action Pact by Damon Suede
(why some “sexy” books just aren’t)


All of us have had the misfortune to read erotic romance that, y’know, isn’t. Ugh. What’s worse?


In theory the characters look hot, the setup seems charged, the intercourse pushes every kind of
blistering sexual boundary but in the end… meh. How does that happen? When does taboo and
carnal become tedious and comical? How can something salacious become a snoozefest? Like
comedy, sexiness that falls flat can actually kill the enjoyment of an entire romance or even
doom a book to the will-not-finish pile… and yet erotic romances need a certain amount of
sexytimes to merit the name, right?


Well, I write erotic romance, so I think about this problem constantly. When I’m reading or
writing, I’m always tracking how stories gets under our skin the right and the wrong ways. After
20 years writing for film and theatre, here’s what I’m learned about hotness on the page:

Actions fascinate people; activities bore them to tears.

That almost sounds like a tautology, but it ain’t.


Readers connect to characters making choices and making change happen in and around their
lives; they always pay attention to specific actions focused on a goal which must overcome
friction. Two naked people rolling around sticking parts of themselves into and onto each other
may be titillating for a couple minutes of rubbernecking, but what engages the reader beyond the
wet spots is the ways that the interaction transform the people involved or the events around
them. Action arouses interest, provokes desire, and sparks empathy. On the other hand, activity
defines tedium: a task or motion repeated without consequence or alteration. The only difference
between the two is the will of the person involved. As Gilda, Rita Hayworth seduces in order to
survive and in order to keep her secrets buried.


Specificity is the source of everything great.


THIS is the reason that Jane Austen can make you hold your breath when hands brush or eyes
meet. Charged by the strictures of Regency Britain, her protagonists risk ruin every time they
speak too candidly or allow intimate improprieties like a lingering glance. The tension allows
actions to occur in maddeningly subtle and seductive ways. Contrariwise, Showgirls will always
be a piece of flaccid sophomoric trash entertaining for all the wrong reasons, no matter how
much groping/grabbing/grinding goes on. Even with the relentless nudity and “kinky”
shenanigans, all of the incessant repetitive activity affects nothing, changes nothing, means
nothing; Wall-to-wall candy-colored sleaze and it cannot even succeed as softcore porn! Yikes.


Readers pick up romance with certain expectations. At the most basic level, they want to
experience the unfolding of a relationship that ends positively. Fair enough. But if the
protagonists hop in the sack on page two then squirm and squirt for 200 pages without sense or
consequence, it will have the emotional and erotic impact of a re-grouting a tub.
Hot Head
Since Hot Head came out, I’ve gotten anywhere from 40 to 50 fan letters focusing entirely on the first kiss between my heroes. That scene is ten pages long and not by accident! I’ll admit, I LOVE kissing and I know that fetish crept into the writing of that scene… but I believe the reason that liplock nails people is because there are about four actions occurring at that exact moment their mouths meet. Those actions infuse the kiss with thermonuclear friction and so it sticks in people’s minds. The readers remember the heat and
charge of that moment because of the actions woven through it.


There’s an old chestnut about Hamlet being this amazing tragic hero who does nothing. This is,
of course, complete bullshit. Hamlet never stops doing things for a moment: he argues with a
ghost, pretends to be insane, stages a play, attacks his friends, insults his family and sullies his
innocent lady love with some very nasty innuendo, murders and betrays and wrestles with cant!
Hamlet’s actions in the play never STOP; in fact the only thing he doesn’t do until the gory
finale is take his justified revenge… but all of those other actions lead inexorably and ineffably
to that perfect bloodthirsty finale.


Okay, so fair enough. Shakespeare knew his shit. Big whoop. How does that translate to the juicy
bone-dance you have planned for your protagonists?


Action or activity? Any activity can be elevated to an action, if the stakes escalate and the
context carries enough charge. And any action can be made into a boring activity if the author
removes the stakes and context. The simplest way to test a love scene? Ask yourself after the
characters climax: what changed because of the intimacy that just occurred? If the answer is
“nothing” then you’ve just wasted time reading (or writing) an activity which fits the story like a
concrete swimsuit.


In essence, readers trust authors to provide action that sustains the story and rewards the time
spent inhabiting its world. The author’s tacit promise to provide action separates pros from hacks
(and prose from pablum). This responsibility to provide action is the basic contract between
entertainment and audience. It’s the root of the overworn “Show don’t tell” criticism from
English 101 classes across the world. It’s a relentless reminder to professional authors that
writing is a job and not a hobby.


My question to you is: how do you plan to keep the sex active rather than an activity. What does
the act of sexual intercourse do, get, or make change in their relationship that drives the story
forward? As an author, you have to move beyond the mechanical porno model (“time for
another cumshot.”) towards character. How is THIS sex scene different than the last or the next
sex scenes? How do the intimacies build upon each other and refract in the characters’ lives? In
life people have sex for any number of reasons, but only some of those offer the kind of drama
needed to sustain a narrative. Having sex for revenge, having sex to heal, having sex to cement a
bond are all clear, playable actions for a character. Activities that will kill the story or cripple it:
having sex to scratch an itch, having sex because you’re bored, having sex because the editor
said, “It’s been 30 pages.”


Of course that’s not just sex; EVERY scene in your story flourishes with action and buckles
under activities. Unfortunately love scenes in particular tend to become literary quicksand if
nothing’s going on but the smoosh. As Hollywood has often observed, any sex scenes on screen
stop your film dead for the three minutes it takes to run a montage of body parts over a song.
Most popular film and television treats love scenes voyeuristically…as boring, static,
inconsequential activities; small wonder that popular fiction does the same.


Bottom line: if you give your readers permission to skim they will. Agatha Christie knew this,
she provided new information on every page. Readers couldn’t skim or they’d be lost. Sex
scenes need that kind of precision and context. No two couples make love the same way; sexual
intimacy is (and should be) as singular as the people involved. Why would any author waste an
opportunity to flesh out these subtle gradations in a character by foisting generic hokey-pokey
onto their readers?


A book is a promise.


When a reader trusts me enough to plunk down hard-earned money to buy something I made, I
believe I owe them something. Labeling a book “erotic romance” establishes a pact with our
audience, and we flout it at our peril. I have a novella called Grown Men coming from Riptide
on October 30 and in many ways it’s raunchier and riskier than my first novel.

In a sci-fi universe which encourages genetic modification and franchised sex
resorts, things were gonna get a little kinky and carnal. An eight-foot giant presents certain…
umm …challenges and opportunities to a normal-sized human lover. My two heroes demanded a
different kind of eroticism, and the vast disparity between their sizes made certain things
possible and other things scary. The eroticism needed to be specific or it would have sucked
asteroids. Discovering the intimacy between them allowed me to map the relationship between
them on their terms. They made the love, I just caught it on paper.


So, the next time you pick up an erotic romance, get specific! Pay attention to the sex. Is
something happening during the scene or does everything stop so they can insert tab A into slot
B enough to punch the meter? Distinguish between actions and activities. Learn to spot activities
when they crop up. Don’t put up with them in your own writing or anyone else’s. Does sexiness
only appear when literal SEX is occurring or do they build sexiness into the characters’
transformations and the world of the book. When and how does it turn you on? If you eliminated
a scene of intimacy how would that affect the story if at all?


Hold all your erotic scenes accountable, those you write and those you read. Are your characters
doing the deed, having sex, or making love? Invest your intimacy with meaning and context to
wring every drop of possible power out of each moment.


Action is a pact all books make. As writers, it’s a promise to our readers, a bargain with our
characters, and an discipline we owe ourselves.


Here’s the blurb from Grown Men:


Every future has dirty roots.


Marooned in the galactic backwaters of the HardCell company, colonist Runt struggles to
eke out an existence on a newly-terraformed tropical planetoid. Since his clone-wife died
on entry, he’s been doing the work of two on his failing protein farm. Overworked and
undersized, Runt’s dwindling hope of earning corporate citizenship has turned to fear of
violent “retirement.”


When an overdue crate of provisions crashes on his beach, Runt searches frantically for a
replacement wife among the tools and food. Instead he gets Ox, a mute hulk who seems
more like a corporate assassin than a simple offworld farmer.


Shackwacky and near-starving, Runt has no choice but to work with his silent partner
despite his mounting paranoia and the unsettling appeal of Ox’s genetically altered
pheromones. Ox plays the part of the gentle giant well, but Runt’s still not convinced he
hasn’t arrived with murder in mind.


Between brutal desire and the seeds of a relationship, Runt’s fears and Ox’s inhuman past
collide on a fertile world where hope and love just might have room to grow.
This title is #1 of the HardCell series.


You can read an excerpt and purchase Grown Men at Riptide Publishing.


BIO


Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon
as it was legal. Though new to M/M, Damon has been writing for print, stage, and screen for two
decades. He’s won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his
demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who
keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him at:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
FB Fanpage
Google+

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