Tag Archives: Samhain

What’s In A Cover?

28 Feb

ShameWhat’s in a name? That’s which we call a rose

by any other name would smell as sweet.  

So Romeo would were he not Romeo called.

But what about Romeo’s face? What about his body? As a writer, I know it’s all about the words, but hey, I’m a very visual person too.  Take my office, for instance.  All my projects are out on my desk, with the important ones on top.  If it’s in the filing cabinet, then I’m not thinking about it.  Outta sight, outta mind.  I’ve got to see it to get excited about it.

So I really appreciate a great romance book cover–especially a great erotic romance cover.  I love romance covers that make me take a second look.  An excellent cover makes me covet a book that I wouldn’t have desired otherwise.

Good or bad? You decide. The title is just too much.

Good or bad? You decide. The title is just too much.

I tip my hat to the people who design them.  I bet it’s a lot harder than it looks. For instance, those romance covers where it indicates a woman is in a menage with several guys.  I bet this is a cover design specialty.  Clearly you want to indicate that there are several men here and one woman, but you don’t want to make it look like a dog pile.  Then there’s the way in which a few men are touching the woman at the same time.  You don’t want the woman to look like she’s in a relationship with an octopus–some multi-armed, naked torso mutant.

Looking through some recent erotic romance books out in the world, I noticed that I have 5 categories of romance covers I’m drawn to.  Here they are:

1) The arty cover.  So arty, you might call it Ahhhhr-ty.  I notice that black, red, and white cover designs are really in right now.

Juicy cleavage never did a cover wrong.

Juicy cleavage never did a cover wrong.

2) The squidy shameful cover–but one with taste.  Something that indicates a little wiggling is going on inside the book.Owning Wed

3) The “I just got f***ed real good cover.Dark Destiny

4) The “I’m just about to get f***ed real good cover.Revving Her Up

5) And finally: the emotive cover.  Cowboys

Faces are hard.  I don’t want to de-personalize others, but it’s so easy to have an expression in a woman’s mouth that makes me wrinkle my nose.

Almost coming out of her corset distracts you from her face a little.

Almost coming out of her corset distracts you from her face a little.

A certain tension around the lips can read, well, bitchy.  There’s bitchy hot, of course, which is great, but I’m talking bitchy in an annoying way.  I also don’t care for the “I’m a dumb blonde mouth”.  So anyway, my guess is that it’s a lot harder than it looks to get an erotic romance cover with emotions on the face that work.  This one worked for me, but her eye is a little dead–if you’d started at her nose I wouldn’t have complained.

study 2What kind of cover do you like best? I found an entirely different cover for A STUDY IN SHAME. Here it is. They look about the same in terms of age and color palate, so I wonder if one cover was designed for women, and another cover for men.  What do you think?

Seeking Sexy Stories

6 Feb

SONY DSCWe write a lot on Lady Smut about romance and sex. We like it, we read about it, we write about it, we talk about it. But it occurred to me that we may have a “can’t see the forest for the trees” kinda thing going on with our own blog. What I mean is, because we’re so entrenched in the industry, we’re also very familiar with where one can go to download hot, sexy stories. But such may not be the case for our readers. While it’s easy enough to do a search on Google, what you get back may very well be nothing more than  information overload. There are a lot of publishers of romance and erotic romance out there. But which ones are good? Which ones really put their writers to the test to offer up quality stories and not just poorly written, cheap schlock that’ll make you regret ever opening chapter one. How does an interested reader wade through the morass?

Fear not! Lady Smut is here to help. Here we offer some suggestions on where to find quality erotic romance for the most discerning reader (and a couple of places to avoid).

Carina Press is the digital arm of Harlequin. They publish both erotic romance and erotica. Carina says their digital focus allows them “greater flexibility” (according to their website) in the type of stories they acquire. The flexibility, one assumes, is from the mothership of Harlequin itself which likely has more rigid criteria in what its editors can bring in. Carina has the benefit of the Harlequin marketing machine (and $$) behind it and produces high quality books. The erotic romance stories are definitely hot, but if you’re looking for truly scorching reads, there are a few more publishers for your consideration.

Founded in 2000, Ellora’s Cave is a well-established publisher of erotic romance. They feature four imprints: Romantica, their own trademark blend of erotic romance; Exotica, where the emphasis is on the heroine’s sexual journey instead of the development of a relationship; EC for Men, featuring hot stories from the man’s point of view;  and Blush, Ellora’s Cave’s “traditional” romance imprint with less emphasis on sex. Ellora’s Cave has been around for awhile and offers a large variety of lines within their imprints to suit an array of tastes.

I would be remiss for failing to mention my own publisher, The Wild Rose Press. TWRP will be publishing my contemporary erotic romance, Hot Bayou Nights, later this year. Their tagline is “where romance blooms,” and their hot line, the Scarlet Rose books, are “where passion burns.” TWRP publishes in both electronic and print and has a variety of erotic romance stories ranging from “traditional” male/female to menage, BDSM, and homosexual.

Some other reputable, established erotic romance publishers include Samhain, Loose ID, Phaze, New Concepts, and Carnal Desires, which says they publish “sophisticated erotic literature.” A peek at their site, however, does state that romance must be central to the plots so I’m including them here.

Several publishers feature BBW (big, beautiful women) stories. Resplendence Publishing is one of them. They have a nice looking, easy-to-navigate website with BBW right at the top. Draumr Publishing seems to have a very strong emphasis on BBW romance, although their website leaves something to be desired.

If you’re looking for gay romance there are a lot of good publishers to select from, including Torquere Press, Ravenous Romance, and ManLove Romance.

Lastly, I mentioned a couple of places to avoid. Because we at Lady Smut are erotic romance writers, we would never recommend publishers who’ve been listed with questionable dealings with their authors. Among them I would list Red Rose Publishing (not in any way to be confused with The Wild Rose Press); Noble Romance, and Naughty Nights Press.

I’m hopeful that I’ve introduced you to at least one or two new publishers. Give these presses a chance. Check out their websites and the books they offer and pick up some hot new sexy stories. Enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: