The Thrill Ain’t Gone: Cara Vance’s The Necromancer’s Wife

30 Jul
Click to buy.

Click to buy.

By Madeline Iva

Sometimes the thrill is gone.  Blake and Miranda broke up this week.  The week before it was Ben and Jennifer. Aggggh.  I liked both of these couples a lot.

Some people say when they break up for good it’s like they can’t ever remember feeling that thrill in the first place.  On the other hand, Huffington Post reports that “Sex With Your Ex” is a hot new trend.

Meanwhile, in romance the focus is usually on the beginning of the relationship.  The finish line is commitment and/or marriage.  It’s like a restaurant that only served appetizers.  (Yeah, yeah, tapas bars are great, I know. But sometimes you hanker for a main course–and dessert.)

Here are three books that focus on these round-and-round intense relationships where the couple is spellbound long after they meet and mate.

I just love the beginning of the OUTLANDER series– Claire has so much to cope with and the world is so different for her, but Jamie tumbles for her from the moment she’s sitting between his thighs on his horse.   They have to overcome a lot to be together.  Yet even in book two and three when they are together, the fun and romance doesn’t end there.  Events and old scars draw them apart, they are driven to betray each other in certain ways that they don’t quite mean to.

What’s great is how like giant magnets they are always sucked back together.  They resolve what happened, get past the ugly, get back into that magic circle of need, confidence, passion, bliss.  A+ Gabaldon!  (And A+ any of you out there who have mastered this in your own relationships.)jamie-claire-sex-scenes

Speaking of Ben Affleck–If we want to go to the other extreme–the twisted side of this bonding –there’s GONE GIRL.  A lot of people hated the ending.  I get it.  To me the most fascinating part of the book dealt with the onion peeling that occurs in a relationship. Even when the husband is despising his wife, there’s still this itch of curiosity.

He knows her in a unique intimate way that no one else does and vice versa.  Yet even so, mysteries lurk–mysteries so deep that only he can spot them.  He becomes obsessed with getting to the bottom of who she really is.  Only he can read the clues, only he can solve the puzzle.  The police don’t know it but she’s been a bad girl and is getting revenge on him for being a bad slacker husband himself.  Now that she’s missing she’s definitely regained his interest.

I liked the intensity and depth of his focus on how smart she was, how she knew him like no one else and he knew her like no one else.  It reminded me of a hot, dirty tango, one with hair pulling and bodies dragged across the floor. Alas, the author took things in a completely different direction at the end of the book.  Did you read it and hate the ending? Most people I know did.

Jezebel said GONE GIRL's biggest villain was marriage.  So true.  And that underbelly exists in all marriages perhaps--a cynic might say.

Jezebel said GONE GIRL’s biggest villain was marriage. So true. Perhaps that ugly underbelly exists in all marriages–which is why people were so sucked into the book.

Finally, there’s  THE NECROMANCER’S WIFE.  If GONE GIRL is about the bad side of marriage, then THE NECROMANCER’S WIFE is about the really ugly side of marriage.

A woman wakes up to discover her husband has raised her from the dead–and is having sex with her–in another body.  How did he make this happen? How did she die? Why is she in a different body each time? The answers are ultimately unhappy ones, even as the plot underscores an undeniable sexual pull between this couple–and the secrets that lurk underneath.

What is this book? Who knows.  It’s not a romance–there’s no HEA in site.  Revenge porn? People do spend quite a bit of time naked in the book and it moves right along, following through on the how and why the wife is brought back to life by her husband after she’s dead. Yeah, revenge porn is probably the best description for it.

After reading THE NECROMANCER’S WIFE I was left in a contemplative mood.  Why do I love what I’ll call the “deep relationship” couple trope so much? Is it the sensuousness of OUTLANDER? Jamie’s uxoriousness? Definitely!  Is it the moment in GONE GIRL when the husband desperately wants to see his wife again–if only so he can throttle her? I actually found that part kinda hot.

But I think I’m in love with the idea that some people are just chemically combustable together. A good marriage is never perfect, but it’s got magic in it.

While you’re perseverating on that, you can take a peek at THE NECROMANCER’S WIFE on Amazon –click on the cover.

Meantime follow us at Lady Smut — we get all sweaty just for you. (I’ve blogged three times this week already.)  Subscribe to our newsletter!

 

Weird Sh*t

29 Jul

By Elizabeth Shore

I’m back after a week in Finland. As you may appreciate, I’m still a bit foggy. The combination of jet lag, copious amounts of vodka, and trying to get back to post-vacation daily life has left me bereft of blog post ideas. What to do? First, I ate ice cream, figuring a jolt of sugar would do the trick. Turns out that doesn’t work. Who knew. So then I trolled the internet in search of inspiration, confident I’d stumble across something that would prompt an idea. Instead what I kept coming across was just a whole lot of weird, crazy stuff. Do you remember the old Arsenio Hall show? The old one, before the other one that came afterward that sucked. He had an ongoing bit called “Things that make you go, hmmm.” Like why is some crude oil referred to as light and sweet, as if it’s used in cooking or something. Hmmm.

Anyhoo, the stuff I came across elicited sometimes a hmmm but other times more of a WTF? So in no particular order, I present for you a selection of oddities.

1. Young girls dyeing their hair grey.
I came across this article in the New York Times a few months back and it puzzled me down to my toes. Grey? Really? Yeah, really. It’s a trend so popular with some that it even has its own hashtag, #grannyhair. Some of the girls say their choice to go grey gives them a “sense of individuality.” Well, OK. I suppose there’s that. The article didn’t mention anything about the hair down there, so I’m assuming it’s just atop the head. Nonetheless, wouldn’t you want the carpet to match the drapes? Hmmm.

2. The Kylie Jenner lip challenge.
Take a shotglass, place it over your lips. Suck. Suck hard! Induce negative pressure from the suctioning and engorge all those tender little blood vessels until your your top and bottom lip resemble mirror images of uncooked bratwurst. Then take a selfie and post it on Instagram. Hilarious! If you suck long enough you can even break those little vessels and cause permanent damage. Cool beans, baby.

3. Countries that don’t kiss.
You might think that’s just an oddity among some lost world bush tribe or something, but you’d be wrong. A recently published article in American Anthropologist reveals that only 77 out of 168 studied cultures showed evidence of romantic kissing. (the study discounted familial kissing such as a mother to a child or cheek-kissing greetings as in some European countries). For those into math, that’s only 46% who like to lock lips. So, um, what do those in the other 54% of countries do when they’re trying to get their motors revved? Smell each other, maybe?

4. Covering your cat’s bum with a sparkly adornment.
Thank the stars above, someone’s out there solving the world’s problems. ‘Cause, you know, there’s nothing worse than having friends over, and like, the cat finally emerges from under the bed, and you’re all, “hey, kitty, come say hi to my friends.” And your furry lil puddin’ pads over to say hello and then, AHHH!! You can see her butthole!!! Kitty has her tail up and her back door is exposed for everyone to see. You’re mortified, right? Of course you are. But fear not! Twinkle Tush to the rescue. This essential adornment fits around Fluffy’s tail and drapes down just so in order for a round sparkly disc to discreetly cover that unsightly image. Cat lovers unite. We can all breathe easier.

5. Why anyone thinks Brody Jenner is a “sexpert.”
A few weeks ago, self-described “sexpert” Brody Jenner launched a weekly call-in show on E! called Sex with Brody. Makes sense, right? I mean, the 31-year old model and star of a couple failed reality TV shows (Bromance, The Princes of Malibu) surely has a load of “sexpertise” he can teach the world at large. Although, he recently did admit that his younger half-siblings Kylie and Kendall could “teach him a thing or two” about sex. Eeewww. Surely you didn’t mean that like it sounded, did ya, Bro? Hmmm.

There you have it. Things that make you go hmmm. Or WTF! If you want an even better reaction, follow us at Lady Smut. Our new daily posts will make you say, Cool.

 

 

 

RWA 2015 Very Brief Round-Up

28 Jul

By Liz Everly

I have severe “jetlag” from the Romance Writer’s of America National Conference, so I’m not posting my usual witty, utterly fascinating schtick. But I’ve found several interesting write-ups from  other bloggers about the RWA conference hat I thought I’d share.

I LOVE this post from Suleikha Snyder about diversity at RWA.

Here’s a great round-up from Sarah Wendell of the blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

Another round-up with great observations.

Here’s one I loved because it was a great description of the hotel the conference hotel. Not a good place for this kind of conference, in my humble opinion.

One of the highlights for me was meeting one of my favorite erotic romance writers. Sigh.

Ms. Sylvia Day signing my book!

Ms. Sylvia Day signing my book!

Hot Fun in the City

27 Jul

by Madeline Iva

Hey all — Kiersten Hallie Krum ran off to Romance Writers of America’s national conference last weekend in NYC and needs to catch her breath after all the fun she had.

Hope she brings back goodies for us next Monday — new authors to talk about, new books to explore, and all the smexy news about what went down at the conference.

I was so happy to see that our mutual buddy, the ever-funny Kimberly Kincaid was nominated for a 2015 RITA award at the conference for her book PUSHING THE LINE.  Isn’t this cover to die?

Pushing the line

Heres Kimberly Kincaid at RWA in the middle of what she calls a 'hot lady sandwich'.

Kimberly Kincaid at RWA nationals in the middle of what she calls a ‘hot lady sandwich’.

Meanwhile, if you want to get your Lady Smut thang on, the Magic Mike XXL debate rages below.  Kiersten blogged about it HERE the other week and yesterday Alexa Day gave her own take on the movie HERE.  If like me, you’re gaga about the film, check out what these women have to say. :)

 

No Roads Lead to Rome: The Tragedy of Magic Mike XXL

26 Jul

 

She's wearing the pants in this movie, neighbors. What a shame.

She’s wearing the pants in this movie, neighbors. What a shame.

By Alexa Day

Last week, I was struggling with my fears that Magic Mike XXL would turn out to be everything people said it was. A feminist stripper movie, which did not distract its primarily female audience with a plot or anything that might prove disturbing. Two hours of gentle reassurance that yes, you are pretty and men should be nicer to you! An evening of gentle hand-holding and slightly adventurous sexuality.

Basically, I was afraid it would turn out to be the gummy vitamin of stripper movies. Not frightfully stimulating, but good for you in small doses.

I also said I would eat all 800+ words of last week’s post if I was wrong.

And I was wrong about a couple of things. I was also right about something. Then, on top of that, I was disappointed by things I didn’t expect to disappoint me.

Because I will be able to eat words without spoilers, and because I think folks enjoy seeing a good bout of verbophagy, let’s start with the things I was wrong about.

1. Joe Manganiello. I didn’t mention Joe last week, so I can’t honestly say I was wrong about him. It’s just that Joe has been right in front of me all this time, and I didn’t notice him, which is kind of criminal. Last movie, I was distracted by the plot — and I do not apologize for that — so I didn’t pay quite as much attention to Big Dick Richie as I should have. This time, he’s got the best scene in the movie and the best line in the movie, so he’s harder to ignore. The first word I need to eat is Manganiello. It’s a pretty big word, but I was really wrong, so I’m going to eat it twice.

2. The dance. Is dance enough to sustain this movie by itself? Well, let’s adjust the question. Would I have paid full price to remove all the plot from this film and just watch hot, scantily clad men dancing about the big screen (or the stage) for my personal amusement? Yes. Yes, I would have. I do still need a plot, and I find the suggestion to the contrary a little off-putting. But I can totally be present just for dance.

3. The moral. I’ll be a good sport and eat some words here, but in all honesty, I think everyone has been wrong about the moral of this story. This is not a story about what women want. It’s a story about artistic authenticity. Before the movie takes a hard left turn, Mike and his crew have a long talk about the route to success. Success doesn’t come from trying to figure out what other people want (or used to want), says Mike. It comes from you doing you, and from your willingness to share that with the audience. It’s a frightening prospect for any artist, and watching each of the men slowly embrace the idea is the molten core that makes the film work. Each of them takes a huge chance on the idea, each of them is a little vulnerable during the process, and each of them is a better off afterwards.

Ultimately, women respond to authenticity. Doubt me? Ask yourself this: how did Big Dick Richie get a smile out of the girl at the convenience store?

For the record, I continue to object to a stripper story with a moral, but there it is. Last week, my colleague Madeline Iva alluded to the potential for a new brand of erotic romance, and I hope that’s what she is referring to. I think the genre would benefit from more artistic authenticity and less writing directly to a fickle market. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve pulled many an artistic punch because I thought that’s what the market wanted, and I have been the loser every time. That’s another story for another day, though.

This concludes the word-eating portion of today’s post. I cannot address the place I was right or my major disappointment with this film without disclosing a great deal of plot. All the spoilers come after this classic Toni Braxton video. If you’re trying to avoid that sort of thing, this is a good place to say goodbye for now. I’ll see you back here next week.

Still here? Great.

Last week, I predicted that “everything gritty and complicated and potentially unpleasant or challenging has been excised from the storyline established by the first movie.” Well, that happened. Everything and everyone that made the last movie complicated and challenging has been removed with near-surgical precision. Everything. Everyone. It left me shaking my head, but before long, something else drew my attention. I only mention the surgery here because I cannot pass up an opportunity to say “I told you so.”

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let us come to Rome.

We are introduced to Rome and her club, Domina, when Mike needs help. I won’t waste your time with sugarcoating. Rome runs a predominantly black club. Indeed, it certainly looked like Mike and his friends were the only people in the place who were not black, but that place was crowded, and I can’t say I saw everyone.

That bothers me a little. I have an issue with separate but equal entertainment forms, but I don’t have the space to go into that here, when I’ve addressed it before. In any event, Domina seems like a clear response to complaints that the first film wasn’t diverse enough. I myself didn’t care about that because the first film had enough story to keep me very engaged. I’d also prefer not to have diversity issues resolved by awkwardly sticking a large number of black people onto the plot with duct tape. But that’s not my biggest problem here.

From the beginning, when she sends another man out the room to talk with Mike, it looked to me that Rome was being set up as an asexual special helper. I wanted so much to see that Rome was going to be more than that. She certainly eyes Mike hard after introducing him to the club as a ghost (a ghost, by the way, is someone who disappears from a romantic relationship without so much as “it’s not you, it’s me”). She doesn’t even seem to be angry at Mike after the way he’s treated her in the past.

But that’s as far as it goes. Rome does make Mike work for what he wants, but she takes nothing for herself. I kept waiting for her to cozy up with Mike or one of his lovely friends. I know she’s done it before, so we cannot rely on the tired excuse that maybe she isn’t into the swirl. I even thought Rome’s age was an issue before I saw Andie MacDowell. But sadly, by the time Mike and his crew are upstairs for the only non-sexual afterparty in the entire film, I knew where this was going. Among other things, Rome helps Mike and his friends get to a house filled with authentic Southern caricatures, who are evidently acceptable sex partners. Then she disappears until he needs her again.

No roads lead to Rome.

She’s certainly a capable helper; she’s smart and confident and absolutely fearless. She’s compassionate and gorgeous and open-minded. She also seems to know the business like the back of her exquisitely manicured hand. And so I defy anyone to explain why she isn’t a better love interest than the women at Caricature House. I mean, I think I know what the answer is, but I want to hear someone say it.

Magic Mike XXL goes to great pains to make sure that its audience does not perceive Rome as a potential sex/romance partner for any man in the film. Mike performs to impress her and please her customers, but it’s clearly a matter of business, and he does so with tremendous reluctance. He confesses his relationship with Rome in a low mumble from the darkness of the back seat. I half-expected a fusillade of inappropriate responses, but Mike’s barely audible admission is met with silence. I wondered which would have been worse.

I would never have done this to Rome. Ever.

Part of my brand promise is that heroines like Rome, smart, sexy, confident black women, are at the center of the story, whether they’re in it for the sex itself or the romance or both. You should not find a woman like Rome — who is absolutely killing it despite the fact that this film keeps putting her in men’s clothing — helping other people and leaving the story empty-handed. Not in my stories. I know a lot of other romance writers are also living this brand promise; my colleague Tracey Livesay and I have had many an animated conversation about it. But when are we going to start seeing ripples outside our very narrow slice of Romancelandia? When is popular culture going to start catching up?

I guess it’s possible that an audience of 21st century American women is totally okay with this sort of thing happening to female characters of color. Maybe no one cares that this is quietly encouraging people to think that this is the proper place for female characters of color and by extension, women of color in the real world. I hope that’s not the case, but I guess it’s possible. It’s certainly easier to believe that than it is to accept that no one sees this trend at all.

Let’s return to Toni Braxton.

In the time before she joined the world of questionable reality television, Toni Braxton made the really sex-positive music video I included with this post. The elevator game is a pretty apt metaphor for my own love life (I’ve been a damned lucky girl, and I ain’t done yet), as well as the love lives of my characters. And so this is what I wanted for Rome. I wanted to see her picking and choosing (albeit from a more diverse cast of suitors), not helping and disappearing. I cannot understand why so many characters like Rome are being marginalized, and I don’t get what else I can do to stop this from happening.

But maybe Mike is as much part of the solution as he was part of the problem. Maybe I need to focus harder on just doing what I do and trust that authenticity will open doors for the characters I love so much.

I don’t have the answers. I just have a brand promise and a new determination to be authentic.

As for you, are you following Lady Smut? We’re keeping it real.

Sexy Saturday Round Up Will Be Back Next Week

25 Jul

fantasy 1We’re taking a week off while *some* of us are away at RWA in NYC this week – *cough Liz Everly, Kiersten Hallie Krum cough*.  So we’ll be back next week to head up our usual round up of the good, the bad, and the smexy.  :)  Meanwhile, scroll down to see Elizabeth SaFleur’s yummy interview with Joey W. Hill.

Integrating the Erotic in Romance and Hitting a Groove with Best Selling Author Joey W. Hill

24 Jul

By Elizabeth SaFleur

JOEY W. HILL is en erotic romance author and storyteller who causes one-click, trigger-happy fingers. She’s garnered a legion of fans for her contemporary works, which feature a diverse cast from boardroom executives to cops, as well as her paranormal tales, which involve mermaids, vampires and angels.

Her stories never disappoint to melt your panties off while causing your heart to swell in your chest. Expect to fall in love along with her characters. Also plan to drop everything else in your life so you can finish the book.

She’s penned more than forty acclaimed titles and six award-winning series, and been awarded the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Erotica. And for good reason.

Joey generously stopped by LadySmut to answer some burning questions about her writing, how she comes up with her characters and what’s next in her many series.

Thanks for stopping by, Joey. Of all the writing genres you could write, why erotic romance?

Romance is my favorite genre to read, but growing up, I found the romance stopped short of how far I wanted it to go. Over time I realized it wasn’t even about “stopping outside the bedroom door”. I wanted a story where the undercurrents of Dominance/submission that were so prevalent in the 80s bodice rippers were fully actualized, as well as an important element of the story itself (not sex thrown in as filler or merely to titillate). I wanted a book that was every bit as good as any other quality romance. When I started writing, it made sense to me to write what I loved most – and what I wanted to read.

One of the many joys in reading yours books is reading about, and sharing, the deep emotional journey with your characters. Where do your characters come from? Do you start with “I’d like to write about something who is X?” or does the character come from some other place?

Thank you! Like most writers, I could claim this or that idea came to me from an intriguing person passed at the grocery store, or a dream I had one night, etc etc etc. However, once I put that down on paper, the character and story almost immediately starts shaping into something unique, with a lot more layers than those brief encounters provided, so I think the truthful answer is I don’t know where they come from. I’m just glad the muse lets me write the stories of these heroes and heroines. I do believe where I go with my characters is very influenced by the stories I loved as a romance reader. They were typically books by those authors who dug deep into who their characters were – Laura Kinsale, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Penelope Williamson, Nora Roberts. They made us feel and share their characters’ moments of broken heartedness and how they overcame obstacles to achieve their love stories.

In your books, you aren’t afraid of mixing up the power exchange stereotypes. I’m thinking about the male characters who are still “alpha-like” who submit (or at least grow equal) to a dominant female (The Vampire Queen’s Servant and Willing Sacrifice) or the dominant female who meets her match (Mirror of My Soul). Do you start a book thinking “I want to explore XYZ type character in ABC power exchange role” or do they come pre-disposed to their place in the power exchange and the story goes from there? Or other?

LOL – I used to have this running joke that all I had to do was think “I’ll never write a story like that” and presto, the muse would throw it right in my lap. My first BDSM romance, Make Her Dreams Come True, was a Male Dom/female sub story. Since I am a female sub and I love those delicious male Doms, I figured that was always the type of dynamic I’d be writing. Oh no. The very next story, Holding the Cards, was a Female Dom/male sub story, with a hot gay Dom helping to initiate the action between them. Then right after that came Natural Law, an alpha male homicide cop who needs to submit in the bedroom. I thought, “great, got that out of my system. Let’s go back to that simple Male Dom/fem sub dynamic. Nope, again, we went from there to Ice Queen, which threw together two Dominants, male and female. Yet writing those books was so stimulating, from there forward I decided whatever the muse deemed I should write next, I wouldn’t question it. That practice has allowed me to explore so many more aspects of the Dom/sub relationship than I would have if I’d just stuck to M/f alone. (though I still love writing those hot male Doms too. LOL).

naturallaw_msrNEW2013

In your latest contemporary erotic romance book, Soul Rest, you gave us two happy endings. (Thank you!) The two couples are people we’d been introduced to in previous Knights of the Boardroom stories – Ben and Marcie of Hostile Takeover, and Leland and Celeste.  (We met Leland in Afterlife, and Celeste was referenced in earlier books as the reporter who gave the K&A men the “Knights of the Board Room” name; she also shared a free prequel vignette with Ben called “Retribution”, available on the JWH Connection fan forum). Were you always planning on giving these characters more air time? Or did they “ask” for it? (If the latter, do your characters do this often?)

It varies. Sometimes, from the moment a secondary character walks onto the page, I know he or she is going to have a book of his/her own. They have such a strong presence, there’s no doubt in my mind. When Leland came to Rachel’s rescue in Afterlife, he filled up the screen. So he was one of those. Celeste was a bit different. She’d only had a brief mention in the previous books. Then I did a free novella for the fans of the series that featured her and Ben in a prequel. During that freebie, it was mentioned that Matt was going to help her leave the social column for the paper and secure a foothold in crime reporting. As soon as I wrote that line in “Retribution”, I saw her and Leland together. But up until then, I wasn’t sure if or when she’d have her own story, or who Leland’s heroine would be. So it really just depends on the character.

 afterlife hostiletakeover_413x680 SoulRest-Flower600x900

The Vampire Queen books present quite a world! The power theme also runs throughout these books with servants and masters either by choice or force. What would you like your readers to get from these power struggles? Or perhaps they are just meant to be a sexy romp and power is sexy!?

It’s funny you should ask this, because recently I’ve received a couple of emails along the lines of “you should really have your next character be like ‘this’,” or “the storyline should go ‘like this’.” I have no control over that, seriously. When I started the Vampire Queen series, I had always wanted to explore the Dominant/submissive possibilities in the vampire-servant relationship, because I loved the mysterious quality of that bond. Discovering how many ways a vampire and servant can express that connection is fascinating, so I’m basically on the same ride with the readers.

We confront situations that aren’t the least bit comfortable and are sometimes downright offensive. They’re almost always politically incorrect, but amid that spiral, at the center of it, we find really intense love stories, which to me is the whole point of any of my stories. Love doesn’t fit a formula, doesn’t have a static etiquette or fit just one mold. It’s as unique as the people involved in it. When you add in Dom/sub elements AND the freedom of putting it in a paranormal/vampire context, you get a captivating journey.

Though yes, it can also be a very sexy romp (grin). Since these books can be pretty extreme at times, there are places where unexpected humor and some less emotionally intense sexiness can help us ease back. Unrelenting drama can be exhausting, after all.

MarkVamp413x680  TBV cover 413X628

Do you start book series with more than one book in mind? Or do they develop into a series later?

These days, most of what I write I know up front if it’s going to kick off a series or not. The exception to that was my very first series. I’d written Holding the Cards and then Natural Law, and was working on Ice Queen when my publisher said, “Hey, since all these explore different facets of a BDSM relationship, why don’t we make them into a series?” So the Nature of Desire series was born and became the series that launched my career.

What is your definition of erotic romance versus steamy romance?

In steamy romance, I think you have great sexual tension and a good amount of sex scenes that are enjoyable to the readers and add to the story, but they don’t drive it. You could tone them down, lift out a few, and the story would still be the story. In erotic romance, particularly BDSM romance, the erotic is integrated with the story such that you would lose important elements of the book if it was removed or watered down. This is not the same as saying the book is just all about sex and there’s no story beyond the bedroom. It means the emotional development of the characters and what makes the readers want to know more about them and see if they get their happily-ever-after is driven as much by the erotic interaction as any other part of the book. It sounds like a fine line between that and a sex-for-sex’s-sake, one-handed read, but it’s a line that erotic romance readers are pretty clear about! (LOL)

Do you have a favorite writing “moment?” Perhaps something just came together or a character you love just appeared (or anything at all)?

No favorite moment per se, but anytime I hit what I call “the groove” when writing, that’s bliss. That’s the moment when all of a sudden I know what’s emerging on the screen is REALLY working, that it’s the way it’s supposed to be. I still might have to edit the crap out of it, but I know it’s the right stuff (beaming).

You are quite generous with your (many) fans, visiting the JWH Connection (fan forum), being on social media, and always willing to engage them. Do you have a favorite “fan” moment?

What you kindly call generosity, I call gratitude for how wonderful my readers are to me, because they truly are. Thanks to them, I’ve been blessed with so many incredible moments, I don’t think I could pick a favorite. But I will pick a fun one (wink). I’m sort of embarrassed to say it gave my ego a mile-high boost (grin). I was at a conference and a group of very enthusiastic ladies approached my table and introduced themselves. One of the ladies held her hand up and said “Look, I’m shaking. I wasn’t even shaking when I met J.R. Ward!” Since I’m an enthusiastic fan of JR Ward’s BDB boys, that was high praise.

So that was one of the ego-stroking moments, and one I’ll cherish. But what has moved me the most over the years are the reader emails that tell me how my work has empowered them in ways that enhance their own loving relationships with significant others. Or how the stories themselves have helped them through some rough personal times. An author really can’t ask for more incredible praise than that.

What is next for you, writing wise? What can we look forward to?

Right now I’m working on the next Vampire Queen series book. While I’ve written contemporary M/m stories, and ménage a trois stories in this series that have some pretty heavy M/m elements, this will be my first purely male/male Vampire Queen series book AND one where both men are sexual Dominants. So it should be interesting to see where it goes! The book is called The Night’s Templar, because one of my heroes, Lord Uthe, was a Templar Knight. Here’s the blurb for the story:

Lord Uthe, a member of the Vampire Council, was a Templar Knight centuries ago. Even up to the present day, he has attempted to honor the spirit of the Rule, despite the volatile and highly sexual nature of the vampire world. Yet now he’s caught the attention of the Fae Lord Keldwyn, liaison between the Council and Fae Court. Keldwyn challenges Uthe’s emotional isolation and dominant nature. When a quest from Uthe’s past requires Keldwyn’s help to protect both their worlds, Uthe will have to decide whether the Fae male is a gift from God to be cherished and trusted, or a curse who will make Uthe fail the Order he promised to serve all his life.

I’m writing the first draft now, and hope to have it out before year end. I’ve been playing with images on my Pinterest board, so if you’d be interested in seeing my impressions of Uthe, Keldwyn and other things related to their story, you’re welcome to visit!

I also have another serial in the Naughty Bits world coming. Naughty Wishes, which will be released initially as a four-novella serial January-April 2016, follows a contemporary threesome. You can read an excerpt here (http://www.storywitch.com/book-nb-ts). Here’s their blurb:

Samantha is in love with her roommates, Geoff and Chris. She knows they feel the same way. After seeing Geoff’s reaction to a visit to Naughty Bits, an erotica shop with an extensive BDSM inventory, she’s also pretty sure he’s a sexual Dominant who wants to claim both her and Chris for his own.

Yet the two men have been best friends since childhood, and that friendship keeps them frustratingly hands-off toward her and each other. She wants to respect their code of honor, but she craves deeper, more primitive reactions from them.

Having a submissive nature herself, she’s more than willing to tease Geoff’s Dominant side to life. Chris is the wild card for them both, but Sam is ready to play the hand they’ve been given. She’s determined to see if her naughtiest wishes can become the love of a lifetime, with two men who are everything her heart desires.

Is there anything you’d like to tell readers that I haven’t asked?

Thanks for letting me hang out here! If you’ve enjoyed my work in the past (or find you enjoy it in the future) I write free novellas and shorts revisiting the characters from my series. It’s my way of thanking my readers for their support; plus it gives me a chance to hang out with the characters in a slice-of-life way, rather than putting them through a full length plot (wink). If you’d be interested in downloading any of those, they’re out on the JWH Connection fan forum. Access and more info about what you’ll find at the forum is available here. (http://www.storywitch.com/community)

Also, at my website you can find FREE excerpts and blurbs on all my books, as well as buy links for most to the multiple vendors. Here are the links to the series we’ve mentioned above if you want to take a look – just click on the book whose excerpt you want to read.

Vampire Queen Series
Nature of Desire Series
Knights of the Board Room Series

SPECIAL NOTE: A handful of my titles are reverting back to me after July 23, so you may find the buy links broken as we transition. Never fear, though – check back in the next week or so and we should have them up to date again!

Where to find out more about JOEY W. HILL:
Website: http://www.storywitch.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeyWHillAuthor
Twitter: @JoeyWHill
Fan Forum: http://www.storywitch.com/community

Thank you for stopping by, Joey!

The Circle: My Favorite Erotic Romance Authors

23 Jul

by Madeline Iva

 

Never LovedWhen I look up Charlotte Stein’s latest book on Amazon – (have you seen it btw? Looks delicious, doesn’t it? I mean, it reminds me of Sheltered, and that’s okay with me because I lurved Sheltered) — Amazon asks me if I’ve read Cara McKenna.

I love Cara McKenna.  And when I look up Cara McKenna, it lets me know that other people who also love Cara McKenna also love Anne Calhoun.

I love Anne Calhoun.  And when I talk to my friends who also love Anne Calhoun, they all tell me I must read Beth Kery.

But Amazon doesn’t recommend Beth Kery along with Cara McKenna, Anne Calhoun, and Charlotte Stein.  Instead, Amazon recommends Lilah Pace.  Okay, Amazon, I’ll check out Lilah Pace at some point.

Daring TimeYet I trust my friends much more than Amazon when it comes to recommendations.  And it seems like there is this circle of authors that embody the kind of erotic romance we all adore.  E rom that is smart.  Feminist-y in spirit.  Hotter than hellllllll.  Although–it does tend to stay in certain parameters, I’ve noticed.  Parameter which Beth Kery strays from (just gonna say it here–there’s anal in Beth’s work.)

So there you have it — a circle of erotic romance writers, with the token kinkster being Beth Kery.  Which is fine by me — I like the occasional down and dirty kink.  And apparently my erotic romance writing friends too.

You’re thinking that’s a pretty small circle — and you’re right.  I’d definitely add some concentric rings to go around it.  I’d toss Lynn Silver into the next ring, as well as Shari Slade, and Christina Lauren of Beautiful Bastard fame.  These ladies are definitely tromping around the same kind of romance territory in terms of tone, class, and you know, hotness.  (At least IMO.)

Amazon has its own opinions.  It thinks that if I like Charlotte Stein then I must like Skye Warren too. I find this fascinating –because Skye Warren used to write as Amber Lin who collaborated on a few books with–wait for it–Shari Slade.

But isn’t Skye Warren writing dark erotica? So why would Amazon recommend Skye and not Beth? No idea.  At any rate I’d toss Victoria Dahl into the next outer ring ’cause she’s working the same kind of hot sex stuff, even if she’s daffy and funny and much lighter in tone than everyone else.  She can zing around in a circle all by her self, kind of like an electron, circling the nucleus of an atom.  Maybe I’d add in Annika Martin for company (she writes that Kidnapped by the Kinky Bank Robbers series–rather daffy and light.)

And what about me and my writing? Well, hell.  I aspire to write like what I want to read naturally. But I gotta read more.  It’s not like I only want to fall to my knees and worship a few lovely erotic romance writers.  I’m open to more awesomeness and freely admit that while my Kindle is chock full of books, I am drawn much more to books people have personally recommended to me.

This is where you come in.  It’s time for audience participation.  Have you read these ladies above? Which of their books did you like best? If you have–or even if you haven’t–who ELSE do you recommend? I’m all ears–do tell.

Meanwhile, even though God and everybody is at RWA in NYC and we’re not, we can follow Lady Smut.  Hell, you can even subscribe to Lady Smut and win some books.  At the very least you can join our mind-meld about all kinds of smexy smart stuff.

 

 

 

Midnight Sun And Hot Men

22 Jul

By Elizabeth Shore

Hey All, I’m off this week, away in Finland and hanging out with my friend Sami Eskelin.

Sami Eskelin

Sami Eskelin

NOT!
Sad to say, I’ve never met Sami Eskelin. He IS, however, Finnish. So are the guys below. I figured that since I’m away in Finland, you all should virtually join me. So enjoy some northern eye candy and I’ll see you next week.

xo Elizabeth

Sami Lepisto

Sami Lepistö

Mikko Salo

Mikko Salo

Tero Pitkämäki

Ville Valo

Ville Valo

Confidence is Sexy

21 Jul Come Undone

I am crazy busy as usual (writing under so many names!). The joy of my summers is that I have a looser schedule than when I am teaching (never mind that I am in Scotland instead of New York, so very very happy). So many good things are happening — spending time with my family, seeing friends here and there, reading (such a luxury!) and of course, writing lots.

There are always times when confidence slips away, but at present I am soaring high [knocks wood]. It’s amazing how much easier everything is when you’re confident. Hurdles are jumped, delays laughed at and problems simply provide new routes to success (would that it could always be thus). Because much of my viewing is chosen by a wee lady, this is the song of my confidence at present:

I guess it’s part of being a certain age but rock-n-roll equates with confidence in my head. I know other people might imagine being dressed to the nines, or wheeling and dealing behind a desk, but I imagine it to be strutting across a stage, wowing an audience — holding them in the palm of your hand as they scream and sing along. It was the way to break out of poverty into riches, it was the way to get people to hear the words they had ignored. It was the way to scream, ‘I am sexy, dammit!’ even if you were not conventionally pretty.

Because what it comes down to is confidence: believe you are sexy and act the part on stage — even if the stage is just your local coffee shop, or in the pages of your books. Truth is, you are awesome as you wanna be!

Follow Lady Smut: we’re awesome too. And check out this great box set I’m part of inspired by Duran Duran. Nine novellas for just 99¢ — such a bargain! Pre-order now.

Come Undone Twitter pre-order

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 16,990 other followers

%d bloggers like this: