Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Vintage Smut

I started this post over on my site last week sometime. Vintage Smut


I have a deadline looming off in the near future... March 1st and I have been writing and editing daily again which is a wonderful and satisfying feeling.


To get myself in the mood to write hot and steamy I tend to enjoy looking at old black and white Victorian photography. I am simply amazed by the images... they are a snap shot in time that leaves me thinking... what happened just before this... what will happen next. They engage my mind and my creativity sores.


My favorite site to visit for this kind of research is....
http://www.vintagelovelies.com/


here are some of my favorites from this site.




This image is one of the inspirations for the final scene in my story Lusts Vow in my first book WHAT SHE CRAVES. There is something about seeing a couple in this position that is so open so erotic to me... put a mirror in front of them so they can watch and... well, yum... my scene from Lusts Vow was born.

And another...

I love how the couples heads are in this image... there is a tenderness to it. And goodness... look at the mans hand. I have a thing for hands... wink.... and his is stiking against the soft curv of her bottom. Maybe in more ways than one.


So what kind of vintage smut do you enjoy?

hugs and kisses,
Lacy.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Simply Sexual

by Kate Pearce

What can I tell you about this book? Firstly, I have no real idea where I got the idea for it from. I remember a few vague thoughts about Turkish pirates, sieges and white slavery and then these 2 characters appeared in my head, one of them complete with a name, which is really weird. So there he was, Lord Valentin Sokorvsky, a Regency noble man and a businessman, looking for a wife.

But I also knew that at the age of 10 he'd been kidnapped along with another boy, by Turkish pirates and sold to a brothel. Not one of those nice Princess and floaty drapery harems, but a place where he and his blond haired companion, Peter Howard are forced to have sex with each other and anyone with the coin to pay for them.

Rescued and returned to England at 18, Valentin has issues-big issues not only with his sexuality but with his best friend Peter, a man he's tied to in many ways. A man who is still in love with him. So the book is about an older Valentin coming to terms with his voracious sexuality in a way that satisfies both his needs and the needs of his new wife, Sara. Throughout most of the book, Val is in major denial about his relationship with Peter and with how he deals sexually with his wife.

Here's an excerpt:

Sara's breathing shortened and Valentin knew she was close to a climax. He pulled back, barely touching her, wanting to see her face in this most intimate moment. He drew back the folds of her dressing gown to expose her breasts and nearly lost what little sense he had left.

Her rose red nipples glinted with gold. He stared at the rings that pierced her sensitive flesh. She flinched as he reached out a finger. With great restraint, he lightly touched the ring. She would be sore for a while. Even more sore if the ring was ripped out, as had happened to him. He still bore the scar on his chest. He traced the warm metal with his tongue and removed his fingers from her pussy.

“Does it still hurt?”

She bit her lip. “A little.”

He licked her nipple as gently as he could and she sighed.

When she healed, he intended to spend a great deal of time lavishing his attention on her breasts. God, it was possible that he’d never let her out of bed again. He cupped her chin and kissed her mouth, giving her a taste of her own pleasure. His cock throbbed. He wanted to be inside her with a primitive urge that shook him to the core.

Still kissing her, he reached down and opened his breeches. His breath hissed between his teeth as his cock sprang out, blindly seeking her. She dragged his breeches down to expose his buttocks and tight balls.

“Oh God, Valentin, I missed you.”

He groaned as her fingernails scraped his skin. Releasing her mouth, he slid back down between her legs and pushed her knees wide with his hips. She’d take his cock now and scream out her pleasure.

Sara quivered as he pushed her hand away from the jade dildo and grabbed the base of his shaft. His cock was bigger than he’d ever seen it before. He guided the massive weeping crown along the lower side of the jade, engorged red flesh to pale green, velvet heat to cream-washed stone. Her sheath swallowed him below the jade.

He waited until her flesh gave willingly and then continued his slow penetration. Sensations exploded over him, the clench of her pussy, the rock hard resistance of the stone above him. He was trapped in an erotic vise of his own making.

“Valentin.” Sara clutched his muscled shoulders, her fingernails digging deep. “Oh. God, I’m going to come.“

He pressed deeper until his balls slapped against her buttocks and held still as she milked his cock with the strength of a ravaging storm. He caught her screams in his mouth, refusing to end the kiss even when she nipped and bit at his lips in the final throes of her climax.

When she finished shaking, he pulled out and removed the jade dildo. He stared down at her beautiful, wet, fuckable pussy. So much for restraint. He was beyond that now and so was she.



It's available from Kensington Aphrodisia and is due out on the 29th, although it has already been spotted in stores. Of course, you can also buy it online at Amazon.com and Amazon uk

What's even more fun is I got to write a companion book "Simply Sinful" which comes out in November, which reverses the focus and gives us Peter Howard's story, complete with his sexual trysts with another man and the man's wife and his take on his complicated relationship with Valentin.

So how do you feel about sexually ambiguous Regency Rakes masquerading as romance heroes?

Comment and you might win your very own copy of my edgy erotic Regency-set novel "Simply Sexual"

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sex and Death

Eeek. That's what my agent said when she saw my latest partial.

In it, a major character is dying (in Forbidden Shores one of the protagonists was dying but it was apparently okay because he was bad) but coming gently into that good night. No no no no. It would scare editors. As would the fact that he might or might not be in a wheelchair--the ADA does not apply in the rarified world of erotic romance.

Uh, I said, which is so often the case when I talk to her, I'll rewrite.

And thought about it. What about Tristan and Isolde?

Or Romeo and Juliet?

Oops. Of course: no HEA.
But there is a very strong connection between sex and death. The Elizabethans referred to orgasm as a death--it can take you out of your body, it can suspend time, and it's a mystery. (Oh and quite often people shout "oh God oh God" so it must be a religious experience, right?).

It means that Orsino's line from Twelfth Night is highly erotic:

That strain again, it had a dying fall.

And here's the first stanza of a song by Dowland:

Come again! sweet love doth now invite
Thy graces that refrain

To do me due delight,

To see, to hear, to touch, to kiss, to die,

With thee again in sweetest sympathy.

If you want to hear the song, follow this link to Kathleen Battle and Christopher Parkening's recording Pleasures of Their Company and listen to the song. Even in the brief sample, you'll hear the breathless build up on the fourth line, and then a wonderful suspended note on die. (Sorry I can't give you a more precise link to the song.)

It can be all about the breathing--here's an interesting article by Annie Sprinkle.

I'm just doodling around on the edge of a huge subject but of course the French refer to orgasm as le petit mort (the little death--I think that's the right gender. It's spelled in all sorts of different ways online). Because people in the throes can look as though they're dying--or having a fit, yawning, hiccuping, sneezing, an infinite variety. Try looking in the mirror if you haven't already. Or, take a visit to this splendid site which has some free content, including a nicely edited sequence narrated by two jolly Australian women:

www.beautifulagony.com

Enjoy!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Writing Process, or, I don't know WTF I'm doing

So I was stuck for my topic this week. I can share my latest writing news (that SHOW ME has been sold to Spain; and that I’ve bought an Alphasmart Neo to save my back from lugging my ancient laptop to and from work so I can write during lunch), but as you can see, that didn’t take very long.

Fortunately, one of the readers of my livejournal blog (hi, wilhelmina_d!) came to my rescue.

So I took her suggestion of writing about my writing process, because it is evolving for me, right now, or rather, I think it may be going back to how I originally wrote with a good deal more craft know-how supporting it. This topic is something I’ve written about in response to interviews, especially with the History Hoydens, so I was able to chart a little about how things are changing with my writing

The first book I wrote and finished, was much the same way everybody writes a first book, you just wrote it. Mine was a series of scenes where things were neither resolved nor the conflict deepened with kissy stuff as needed. I did manage to naturally include the “black moment” (when the characters believe all is lost) but it was more of a dark grey, really. A lot of character development and very little actually happening.

Then I got eddicated by RWA. Anyway, this is how my writing process usually works: It begins with a scene. It could be the beginning or the end, but it’s usually a scene very close to the opening of the book. In SHOW ME, the library scene came to me first. In my novella for THE HAREM, it was the hero climbing in through the heroine’s window (although my editor is entirely to blame for quoting the Beatles at me and I took the quote as a serious suggestion instead of more metaphorically. I am still not sure what the metaphor was). The opening of MADE FOR SIN came first.

For the current work-in-progress, I came up with a scene that seems to be a midpoint of the book .... but given my past record, it is probably the beginning of the book. Which makes one wonder about the first three chapters I’ve just finished because that scene isn’t in there, but more on that later.

Once I have the scene, then I have to figure out who these characters are, how this story is going to work within this historical framework (bearing in mind that there are consequences to breaking society’s rules). Some things we might come up with were just not within the ken of the hero and heroine. (Which is, I’m sure, why there are so many tomboy heroines in historicals, we need our heroines to be capable in some way.)

So it’s scene, characters, plot.

And by plot I mean, I’ve figured out how it starts and how it ends. At least, that’s the way it used to work. I flew blind practically all the way through ONE MORE TIME. The only story questions I asked myself with that book were: What’s the worst thing that could happen right now? and How do I fix this?!?!

But before then, I would plot the entire book with the usual “stuff happens” marked a few times in the middle of my synopsis and with a clear end in mind. When I reached that point, I knew the characters so much better so I could ask the first question (What’s the worst thing...?) and make life miserable.

My big flaw that I work hard to overcome, is the sagging middle, the “stuff happens”. I think I am still too nice to my characters sometimes.

So what about the sex scenes? Well, that first scene that comes into my mind for an Aphrodisia book has often been the first sex scene or the prelude to it. I learned off umpteen revisions to that first book that the action starts right away: whether its an accidental tumble, or someone pointing a gun, there’s got to be action of some sort, right? *wink*

Currently, I’m flying blind again. I’m not even sure that what I’m writing now will make it into the book. Only I have to write it because that’s the only way I’m going to get to know these two characters (because otherwise they will not talk to me) and why on earth they would come together when so much is keeping them apart. I mean, their being together is something that should be outside their “ken”. I’m still working through that. The tough part is, I’ve reached the “written three chapters and thus have a proposal” part. [edited to add: that I actually looked at the chapter files and have written a prologue and two chapters and thus have one more chapter to go.]

You see, once you sell, well, you stop writing a novel from beginning to end and start writing proposals. So these days, I get my initial idea, write the first three chapters, and then write a synopsis. I run it by my brainstorming buddies, the Goofy Gals: Judy Laik, Jacquie Rogers and Sherrie Holmes, and they point out all the gigantic plot holes and so it all gets revised and off it goes.

I really miss writing a novel all the way through. So I think the current work-in-process might be an “all the way through” novel. I have vague ideas, thanks to the original scene that came to me that’s supposed to be the middle of the book, but I don’t have anything remotely resembling an ending, because there are two heroes to this one, folks, and I don’t know which one she should end up with.

It is, as they say on the internets, the sucketh. But I will work it out eventually.

So that’s my writing process right now. In other words, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, except that if it doesn’t increase tension and I don’t learn more about the characters then it’s obviously not making it onto the page, let alone the book.

So authors, has your writing process changed since you started and is it still evolving? Readers, do you even notice? *grin*

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chocolate in my Peanut Butter...


Why do I have chocolate in my peanut butter? I’m working on my first historical with Bantam/Dell which isn’t erotic, but which have had sex scenes that I have lovingly created and which do exactly what I wanted them to do. (Yay!) And early readers have said they are very hot (whew), hot enough to please my erotic romance readers but not too far out there to maybe…well, scare a reader not ready to go that far. I’ve realized it’s getting more and more difficult to make the distinction, something we’ve talked about here. Sensual romances are now hotter, and erotic romances may start without a sexual "bang", so defining the two is complicated.

Anyway, while I’m tuning up this WIP, I’m also writing an erotic paranormal. The sex scenes there? Not so good. Originally I decided that I would go all out and write a very sexy book. Perhaps a capture/bondage story—a way to push my boundaries. At the very least, the entire plot would focus on the sexual encounters and how the emotions and pleasure shared redeemed my vampire heroes and teach my virginal heroine a thing or two about life, adventure and happiness.

But it’s just not working that way. My heroine is not about to have sex with two notoriously evil vampires, regardless of whether my plot demands that she do it or not. She’s a strong woman with some dormant magical powers of her own and while she might be ready to start surrendering her heart, she’s not about to let a couple of vampires tie her up and have their way with her.

I know my story will resolve itself, but I wonder, for other authors out there, what do you do with heroes and heroines who want to take their own path in the story? And for readers, have you read books when the sex felt forced or contrived?
In other news, I’m going to be doing a book signing at our local sex trade show, Sexapolooza. This is my first time at an event dedicated to all things sexual, so it’ll be interesting! I’ll let you know all about an innocent’s journey there later on .

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Looking Forward, Looking Back: A January Post with Love to the Bodice-Ripper

Blame my over-exuberant spam filter, or perhaps the exigencies of getting a draft of my forthcoming book to my editor: I let my membership in my local San Francisco Area Romance Writers chapter lapse for a couple of months last fall.

I did send the manuscript in on time. If you want to find out more about the forthcoming book -- due out in November 2008 -- you can check my in-the-works web page for info as I feel myself sure enough of it to share it with you.

And I also rejoined the chapter -- making our poor membership coordinator reenter all my stats into her database.

When did you first join? she asked me.

Oh, that's easy, I said. Sometime in the fall of... um??? Well, some year in the late '90s. In truth, I wasn't sure which -- but I knew it would have been the year I began writing The Bookseller's Daughter in earnest.

'97, '98, '99? It wasn't like my romance-writing career took off fast. The years between my getting the idea for the book and beginning to write it were spent doing things like wandering around museums getting a visual understanding of rococo style (which slow process I heartily recommend, no matter how at odds it is with the way things are generally done in this biz).

Ah, but I did remember what else I'd been writing when I joined RWA. And so I knew I'd find out the year by going to the page on my website that lists my published essays, bringing up Molly Weatherfield's review essay on Francine du Plessix Gray's At Home With the Marquis De Sade, and checking the date.

1998.

And how, in 1998, did I ask Salon.com to describe me?

Molly Weatherfield is the author of the comic pornographic novels Carrie's Story and Safe Word, and is currently working on a bodice-ripper that takes place in pre-revolutionary France.

Sacre bleu! I said I was writing a bodice-ripper. Because I didn't yet know that the word was verboten to those of us in the romance-writing trade.

Perhaps it still is.

I'll see when I speak about at the Popular Culture Association Conference in San Francisco this March. The name of my comments (I'll be part of a panel) will be "From BDSM to Erotic Romance: Observations of a Shy Pornographer."

Yes, I mean the name to be provocative. But I also mean it as an honest end run around a vexing methodological problem: how can you have read enough to authoritatively discuss so huge a field as popular romance fiction? I'm not sure how romance scholars get around that one, but luckily I don't have to because I have a certain authority as, duh, an author. So I'll be starting from the case of my own trajectory, from Carrie's Story and Safe Word to my erotic romance novels. Because whatever I found out there in porn world, I (and others) it brought home to erotic romance, which seemed to be waiting for it, for us, for... something. (In any case the subgenre seemed to know what it was waiting for, or so will be part of my premise -- jamming all my speculations into 20 minutes will be like jamming Persuasion into 90 minutes -- and here's hoping I do better than the folks at Masterpiece Theatre.)

Part of what I'm going to speculate about is whether the bodice-ripper moved the romance genre forward. And whether what it moved romance toward was a discussion of erotic desire that paralleled some of the feminist (and -- let's never forget -- gay and lesbian) pornography of the 80s, where I found my Molly Weatherfield voice.

Because I'm beginning to think it was no accident that the bodice-ripper became wildly popular during the heyday of second wave feminism and the brave, heady post-Stonewall pre-AIDS years.

It certainly was no accident that when I wrote a scene in my first erotic romance novel where a bodice is in fact, ripped, I brought to it all the confusions of tense, agency, and consciousness that I'd been exploring in the Carrie books:
In future years Marie-Laure would never be quite sure what had really happened during the next moments. Of course she’d recall it with vividness and clarity, joy and delight. But she’d never truly be able to separate perception from imagination or distinguish memory from surmise. For how could she possibly have experienced every astonishment, decoded every sign, interpreted every wonder of that first embrace?

He’d mumbled something when she opened the door and looked up into his dark eyes. Pardon me, Mademoiselle Vernet, I’ll explain all this later, was what she thought she heard; perhaps he’d also said something about “danger” or “protection.”

But the only words she could be sure of were “Mademoiselle Vernet,” the only emotions she’d be able to swear to were giddy delight and delirious elation -- silly, selfish relief and prideful vindication, in truth -- that he hadn’t forgotten her name after all.

He wasn’t wearing his coat or waistcoat. She’d caught a quick glimpse of his hips and thighs in pearl-gray velvet breeches. The lights and darks of the velvet, illuminated by her flickering candle, revealed rather more than she was prepared to admit that she’d understood.

Nonsense, she’d think later. Of course she’d seen the bulge between his legs. After all, she wasn’t a child or a fool -- the velvet was definitely stretched by the tumescent flesh beneath it. And even if she’d been embarrassed to bring it to consciousness upon first observation, there could be no doubt of what she’d felt a moment later, no mistaking the urgent press of him against her own hips and thighs.

And no use pretending that she hadn’t been thrilled by it.

The weave of his linen shirt had grazed her chest and shoulders; his hand cradled her breast. She’d gasped with surprised recognition: somewhere, in some secret place at her center, she’d wanted his hands on her breasts ever since she’d watched him pile books onto Papa’s desk.

Was that the sound of cloth ripping? It was hard to discern behind the sound of her heartbeat and her breath, hard to concentrate with his mouth against hers, opening it, probing and teasing it with his tongue.

His other hand was tight at the small of her back. Well, it had been tight at first. Yes, she was sure of that. He’d held her closely -- for a moment. And she was pretty sure of what had happened next, almost certain that his hand had loosened, had become more adventurous. It had moved downward, slowly but confidently lingering over the curve of her buttock, while it gathered her skirt and petticoat out of the way. And as for where his hand was poised to go next, and where he might put his fingers...
Not to mention that I learned from the SM tradition to wonder where "reality" leaves off and theatricality begins.

So since I'm gonna be yammering away on these issues until the conference and perhaps beyond, I'd love your help toward preparing my comments.

What to you think about all this? Where do you find the roots of your taste for erotic fiction -- in bodice rippers, writers like Anne Rice, classic French erotica, low-rent porn, or what? And where do you think this mix of genre and market is going?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dirty words

Writing what we do, you have to come up with words to describe body parts and acts. I have a list on my site of historic terms used for this but...
when I started writing Erotica I cringed every time I came to the BAD words. You know Cunt, Cock, Fuck, Dick, Pussy.

No matter how you try they come up... whether in dirty talk or in descriptions. These words have been around for ages.

Here are their descriptions:
Cunt: Female genitals or vagina. According to Hugh Rawson in Wicked words, 1989 it was the "most heavily tabooed of all english words." John Wilmot the earl or Rochester. 1648-1680 was one of the last to use the term openly. having just described a premature ejaculation in "the imperfect enjoyment". he wrote:"A touch from any part of her had done't:/ her hand , her foot, her very look's a cunt."

Cock:Penis from the 15th century through the 18th century this was standard english. only in the 19th century did this become vulgar. Ex. "O man what art thou when thy cock is up?" Nathaniel Fields, Amends for Ladies 1618.

Fuck: Copulate the earliest recorded use of this taboo term was in 1503 in Northern England and through its etymology is not certain it is likely derives from middle english funken or German Ficken, meaning strike. it appeared in dictionaries in the 16th century.

Dick:Penis As a common term dating back to the 19th Century Dick may be the most popular of the many names applied to the penis. It comes from the word derrick a crane that can rise up.

Pussy:Female Genitals. This usage dates back tot he 17th century.


The word that gives me the most trouble is Pussy... it raises all the little hairs on the back of my neck when I say it and when I type it. I feel foolish speaking it... LOL. I have no idea why. blush.

What are the words you have difficulty with?

Hugs and Kisses,
Lacy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sex and the Story

Hi, I'm Jackie Barbosa, and I write erotic romance.

Sounds like a confession at a 12-step meeting, doesn't
it? Except I have no intention of stopping. Because
midway through 2007, I sold an erotic historical short
story, Carnally Ever After, to Cobblestone Press and honestly, I'm
hooked! I now have a contemporary novella contracted
with Cobblestone, titled The Gospel of Love:
According to Luke
, which has an anticipated
release in June of 2008.

When I started writing seriously a little less than
two years ago, I didn't set out with the intention of
writing erotic romance, historical or otherwise. You
see, at the time, I wasn't even aware that such a
thing existed. What I did know was that I liked my
romance novels a bit hotter than the ones I was
reading at the time and felt I wasn't finding those
sorts of books. In retrospect, I realize I just wasn't
looking in the right places.

So my first novel began as an attempt to write a
traditional romance, just with a little more smut. I
have since completed that manuscript and consigned it
to the Magical Mulch Pile1 under my bed,
but I learned a lot from writing it, and one of the
things I learned was the characters can't just have
sex because the author wants them to have sex. You
see, I'd fully planned to get my hero and heroine in
the sack by no later than page sixty in that projected
400-page novel, but as it turned out, the characters
I'd created steadfastly resisted that plan. It just
didn't make sense for them to start tearing up the
sheets before about page 300, although there were
plenty of longing glances and so forth leading up to
that moment. By the time I actually got the two
characters in bed together, it made sense, but it
certainly wasn't what I'd intended when I started out.

I took a real lesson from that experience, however.
When I set out to write Carnally Ever After
(more or less on a dare from my friend Ann
Aguirre
, (who has since contracted several books
with Ace), I knew I had to have a reason to get my
characters into each other's pants (or more
accurately, trousers and drawers) early and often. And
the sex couldn't just be there because I wanted it to
be it had to move the plot and, most importantly, the
romance forward in a significant and meaningful way.
Each sexual encounter had to change the story question
in some way, to affect the hero and heroine's goals
and motivations, and heighten the conflict and the
question of how they'd arrive at their happily ever
after.

A common criticism of erotic romance seems to be that
the stories contain sex for the sake of sex, and
perhaps in some cases that's true, but I certainly
don't believe it has to be so or that it ought to be.
A few weeks ago, I was responding to a question on a
loop (a common one): What's the difference between
erotic romance and sensual romance? And my first
blush response was, I cant explain it, but I know it
when I see it. Then it occurred to me that I had a
better description. I responded, In a sensual
romance, but the romance drives the sex. In an erotic
romance, the sex drives the romance.

YOUR TURN: What do you think distinguishes erotic
romance from sensual or traditional romance? I'd love
to hear your opinions!

1The Magical Mulch Pile is a coinage of my
fellow Manuscript Maven and dear friend, Erica
Ridley. Check out her blog sometime. It's full of fabulous
stuff!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bending it

This is a late post because ... well, it just is. But this morning, shoveling oatmeal into my mouth, I began to catch up on the newspapers and found an intriguing article in the Washington Post about two designer underwear campaigns featuring sports stars. Of course I can't remember who the other guy was, but David Beckham was signed for Armani. And here he is in his skivvies and all his ripped perfection. Ooh.

Now the thing is, he looks ultra sulky, and Beckham has a killer smile (oh, and okay, he's some sort of football--that's soccer to most of you--genius married to a stick insect) and seems to be a nice sort of guy as superstars go. So why sell something based on strength and menace?

Which brings me to my attempt to define masculinity, or what I consider masculinity; that a man truly secure in his masculinity might do things that are not stereotypically male. The hero of Forbidden Shores, for instance, does his own laundry, in an age where gentlemen had servants and/or females for that sort of thing. Beckham, bless him, appeared publicly in a sarong--this may also have been when he posed for a gay magazine--I'm not sure, because I borrowed this pic from a Swedish blog (the name of the pic is humpa.jpg, which I find hilarious, but probably means something innocuous in Swedish).

He's pale, muscular if on the skinny side, and much less glossy. The oil and ice-cube-for-the nipples assistants were not needed at this shot. He still has that wonderful muscular body, but he looks as though he's just dropped to the floor after fighting... or something. Very male, very human, very sexy, very vulnerable. Would it sell underwear? Probably not. Appear on an erotic romance cover? Probably not.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I find the concept of a strong man showing his vulnerable side very sexy. How about you?

Friday, January 4, 2008

An O by any other name...

Well, Happy New Year to everyone!

Congrats to Celia for her RT Reviewers Choice nom! That's fantastic news, and I'll be at RT cheering you on!

I was in a restaurant over the holidays (eating, of course...oh, dear...eating, and eating and eating...)...anyway, there was an item on the menu (dessert, of course) that was described as orgasmic.

I sort of nodded. Yeah, it was chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Some (real) whipped cream. More chocolate. Mm-hm. Yes, I could see it being orgasmic.

Especially if one is suffering from PMS. (We all know how that works, don't we, Strumpets?)

Anyway, I was wondering what other treats could be considered "orgasmic"--ones that are of the food variety (and, yes, I know that food and sex are oft combined, but I'm talking about food-only. Treats.).

So, what's your favorite non-sex orgasm?

I'll take a good chocolate anyday...Godiva or Milka, with caramel. Or...oh, yes...the Great Wall of Chocolate from P.F.Chang's. Yu-ummmm.

And PS: here's the cover for my May release, Master: An Erotic Novel of the Count of Monte Cristo. Pretty, yes?


(Yes, I know there's a typo. They've fixed it; I just don't have the new version yet.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Let's kick off the new year with talk about SMUT!


Earlier last month, Pam wrote about Pornotopia and the realm of fantasy that is erotic romance. In our early blogging days, we talked about smut too, and what it meant to use that term.

We interrupt this blog because I forgot to announce that ONE MORE TIME is a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award nominee for Erotic Romance. Yippee Skippee! We now return to our regular broadcast blog.

Last month, I had a booksigning at a local independent bookstore along with three other authors, none of whom wrote erotic romance (mystery, mystery with vampires, and epic fantasy). The chat session actually went well, because we could all riff off our subgenres in answering questions about research and so on.

So with four very different authors, it was a mixed crowd, with a fair share of "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" going on when it came to my books. You know, the stuff we bitch about -- how nobody takes us erotic romance writers seriously and how we get comments about us “researching our novels” *wink wink nudge nudge* from our relatives and they all really don’t have a clue there, do they? (Although it was confirmed that fantasy authors do get similar grief.)

There were some characters up the front sniggering and elbowing each other. Well, instead of getting a stick up my bum about it (can I really say that, safely, on this blog?), I actually played with the audience, playing along and then drawing back to say, "Well, my book's really more about X" and plunging in again.

It was fun!

No shit, there I was, dodging the “research” question and talking about Regency gowns and how it affects movement, when before I knew it I was talking about taking said clothes off.

Dodged the whole research on sex toys issue though.

Ladies and gents, that night I owned the word “smut”. That night, despite that I had a hardcover author to left of me and a hardcover author to the right of me, I sold all but two of my new release.

So, no more being snobby about my art. It’s smut, pure and simple, and sure there’s a message and a theme in it if you want to talk about it, and there’s no doubt in my mind that what makes an erotic romance readable are that the characters are three-dimensional and the plot is somewhat realistic, but let’s be honest here. Isn’t it the dirty bits we’re all really interested in?

By the way, those two sniggering fellows up front? Didn’t buy my book. Although I had my photo taken with one of them and signed their autograph books. One had a good excuse for not buying, so I can hardly blame him.

So, dear readers -- can you own the word smut? Why? And if not, why not?

Oh, and I'm having another booksigning next Wednesday -- at the Barnes & Noble on 10775 Westview Parkway, San Diego, CA 92126 -- that the's 9th January at 7pm. Come and talk smut. Hopefully, I'll still be in this playful mood...