This new thing I’m writing

I started yet another new story (or 3)… This one features a couple a lot older than my usual characters, they’re in their 60s and meet on a plane. I wrote some detailed notes and characters profiles and I hope I can see it through.

Last week Emma and I went to a ‘Writing Elegant Erotica’ workshop and the lady running the workshop made us do a writing exercise that sparked 1000 odd words. I may write more. It’s a second chance story.

RL is kicking me in the teeth, essays and annotated bibliography sparking meltdowns. Not seeing how I’ll survive year 3 of my studies at this point.

In better news, I have a new favourite author, Stefanie London. Loved her DARE book, Unmasked and the free short-ish story she published for free on the Harlequin website. I also just read her novella “Loving the Odds” and I’m hooked. And we started watching Mayans M.C. and phoar! hello sexy man!

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That talking thing… (Blast from the past 17)

So… They did the sex. 

Now they need to do the talking.

Emily is not a fan of the talking.

Alas, it needs to be done. 

Before more sexy times…

***

Richie heard the message tone and when he checked his phone he found that Maddie had sent him a funny photo of her and Tamara at the big corrugated iron elephant at the zoo. It made him smile and he showed Emily who was sitting next to him on the couch, eating her Teriyaki chicken on rice.

After the pharmacy they’d decided to get some sushi on the way to her house so they didn’t have to go out again. They’d also stopped at the supermarket to get condoms, following a brief, not-as-awkward-as-he-had-imagined chat. They were on the verge of fixing things between them, it seemed counterproductive to tempt fate for a second (or third) time. Continue reading

Two lines can change a lot of lives (Part 4)

I like to have a fully written chapter as buffer before I share one with you guys, but the last one was so emotionally charged (I heard it made some people cry…) that I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging for too long.

Just so you know, Wade is not in fact blind drunk in the backyard… Nor is he a violent drunk.

He’s feeling very lost at the moment, poor man, and he was too lost in thought to remember about that bottle he brought out from the kitchen. 

It’s been a long and emotional day for all of them. 

Enjoy.

*** WARNING ***

this is a very smutty chapter.

***

“I’m gonna go to bed, Mum,” Abi said as they walked in the house after dropping Nico home. She looked very jumpy and kept sneaking glances towards the kitchen.

“Okay, honey.” Celia could understand Abi’s reluctance to see her dad after he’d ripped into her earlier. She wrapped her arms around the teenager. “I love you. And your dad does too. He’ll come around, he just needs some time to get used to the idea that his baby girl is no longer a little girl.”

“I know, it’s just…” Abi sighed. “I love you, Mum. Please tell Dad I love him and that I’m sorry I disappointed him. Good night.”

“Good night, honey.” Celia let go of her daughter and watched her make her way down the hallway to her bedroom before she went looking for her husband. Continue reading

Two lines can change a lot of lives (Part 3)

There it is.

The chapter I lost and had to write again from near scratch (I’d texted bits of dialogue to my wife so I was able to recover that).

Wade can feel there is something his wife and teenage daughter are hiding from him, but he didn’t expect exactly how his world is about to be flipped upside down.

It got darker than I had anticipated.

Part 1

Part 2

***

Something was going on.

Wade wasn’t quite sure what yet, but he was good at reading body language—a skill that came in handy in his line of work as a lawyer—and the way his wife and their teenage daughter were exchanging glances and clearly having one of their silent conversations when they thought he wasn’t looking left him in no doubt that they were hiding something.

He’d had a great afternoon with the boys at the water park, for their weekly dose of ‘man time’ as they referred to it, then he’d taken them for ice cream. Celia had got home not long after them, without Abi who, he was told, was spending time with her boyfriend, Nico. Wade had gone for a run and, as he was turning onto their street on his way back, he had been surprised to see his sons wave at him from his mother-in-law’s car as they drove past. When he’d walked into the house Celia had told him Nico would be joining them for dinner and sent him off to have a shower after a kiss that caused Abi to fake dry-retching noises.

He’d come back downstairs to find Celia cooking her famous BBQ ribs and special slaw while Abi was getting started on caramel dumplings for pudding. While it wasn’t unusual for their sixteen-year-old daughter’s boyfriend to join them for dinner, the menu struck Wade as a bit out of the ordinary. Added to that the fact that Celia had sent the boys to spend the night at her parents’, something was definitely going on. What, he wasn’t quite sure yet. He knew they would tell him when they were ready; past experiences had taught him that pressing for an answer nearly always ended up in a lot of yelling, tears (theirs) and frustration (his).

So he got himself a beer and chatted with Nico after Celia shooed them out of the kitchen. The boy had a good head on his shoulders, all thanks to his mother and his stepfather, and he had a lot of plans for the future. He was also very respectful of Abi’s wishes and that helped Wade forget the two sixteen-year-olds were sexually active.

Ah yes, that had been a fun conversation… Continue reading

OMG OMG OMG

Guys!

I finally finished re-writing chapter 3 of that story with all the babies, that my computer ate over 18 months ago…

I’m also on mid-semester break which means reading and knitting. Now if my elbow could stop hurting, that’s be great.

Here we go again…

Emma is writing a new story. One that I gave her the bare bones of an idea for, seeing as I’m the ideas lady.

But this morning when I woke up I had words in my head. Words for her second chapter…

So here you go…

***

Who was this woman?

When he’d propositioned her in the kitchen Jack had half expected her to slap him in the face and storm off, calling him a pig. Instead she’d made propositions of her own that made his blood hot and his dick hard.

He looked around his bedroom, trying to see it in her eyes as she walked slowly along one of the walls, taking it all in. For the first time he felt shame. This woman, Ivy, deserved better than rumpled month-old sheets and naked girls posters. He could feel it in his gut.

“I’m sorry.”
She turned when she heard his muttered apology and smiled at him, shaking her head. Her smile went straight to his dick; if they didn’t get down and dirty soon he feared he wouldn’t be able to physically get out of his jeans, the steel rod between his legs impeding the undressing.

“Don’t be,” Ivy said and her smile got bigger. “It’s perfect.”

Jack stalked to where she was standing by the small window and grabbed her roughly by the hips, pressing his hard cock against her belly. He ate up her moan with his mouth as he plunged his tongue between her lips. Her fire burned him and he couldn’t get enough.

On being a reader of romance

I’m a reader of romance. I also love crime novels, and for a while I read every book I could find that had vampires in it, I even had a spreadsheet (if you want gritty killing machine vampires, I recommend the David Wellington series, 13 Bullets). But really, when I do have time to read these days, more often than not I’ll be picking up a romance. I’m a sucker for a love story with lots of sex and a happy ending.

I started reading Mills & Boon/Harlequin romances when I was 15, much to my mother’s despair (because ‘trashy’ romance novels are not ‘real’ books apparently). I never really stopped reading them, but over the years I have developed a taste for the raunchier ones, as one does (Desire series, anyone?). In the same way my taste for them has evolved, so have my views on gender roles and feminism. I remember starting a Mills & Boon book a couple of years ago that I could not keep reading, the emotionally abusive undercurrent in that book was too strong for me.

I’ve also grown tired of the usual tropes. Here are a couple that really get my goat:

  • The powerful billionaire with tragic past falls for a woman with a menial job and makes her see that he is the one for her, no matter how many times she refuses him. He knows her better than she knows herself and usually coerces her into a relationship/sex/marriage under threat. I once read one where the guy, who’d just found the woman again, 6 years after walking out on her, and finding out she’d had twins, threatened to get full custody (fully expecting to get it too, because of who he was and his inflated bank account) if she didn’t marry him on the spot.
  • The whole first time sex thing, especially the ones where the man can feel that the woman is a virgin, or he’s already half inside her when he feels a barrier that he has to push through… Basic human biology, people, the hymen is NOT halfway up the vaginal canal!!

The trend at the moment seems to be tattooed bikers who are in a motorcycle gang. Or cowboys. I have nothing against either, in fact, I just read 2 Mills & Boon Dare books by 2 different authors featuring a tattooed guy who’s in a MC and enjoyed both of them immensely. And I guess it’s a good idea to be writing to the market, because then you’ll get sales.

And as much as I love a good sexy romance with graphic sex scenes that make the reader all hot and bother, I can still enjoy a fun romance with no graphic sex (I aim to own (and read) every book Trisha Ashley has ever written, and I’m getting there).

I’ve been writing and I’ve been thinking about getting an actual book out so I went looking at the specs for submission for Mills & Boon/Harlequin Dare and this is what they’re after:

Sexy. Passionate. Bold.

Harlequin Dare stories push the boundaries of sexual explicitness while keeping the focus on the developing romantic relationship. Come meet the sexiest men alive!

Key Elements

  • The heat level is explicit and graphic. The hero and heroine have a powerful sexual and emotional connection.
  •  We’re looking for authors who have a distinct, memorable voice and write stories with a high level of sexual tension as well as graphic sex. 
  •  We want to read the ultimate alpha hero of all of your sexual fantasies! While billionaires, CEOs and other successful, affluent men are welcome, we are also open to grittier heroes and anti-heroes.
  •  Heroines are empowered, fun and fearless women who don’t necessarily need a man in their lives—having a man is her choice…and her pleasure! Bold heroines are a key hook for this series and their independence is as important as the character traits of the alpha heroes.
  •  Stories must be contemporary. Readers should be swept away by sexual fantasy, even as the characters deal with real world obstacles and challenges in the face of their love.
  •  The setting can either be metropolitan (Paris, London, New York, L.A., Sydney, Rome) or exotic (the Amalfi Coast, Hawaii, the Caribbean). The setting alone doesn’t make the story sexy but it certainly helps!
  •  We are open to 3rd person or 1st person point of view. There should be a balance of POV between the hero and heroine.
  •  A word count of 50,000 means stories must be fast-paced and plot-driven.

We are open to many different story types, though we are not currently considering law enforcement (police, FBI, etc.), western-themed, military, sports, small-town romances, paranormal or historicals.

These are sexy contemporary romances and we’re not accepting erotica or erotic romance. We are not interested in BDSM (light bondage is acceptable), ménage, age play, bestiality, incest or rape. Each manuscript will be evaluated on how the subject matter is handled.

I read it a few times and I don’t feel that anything I write fits their bill. Here’s the bit that comes after the story types bit. While I absolutely cannot get behind bestiality or incest or rape, I have written stuff with polyamorous characters and I understand that is a different, more specialised market.

However I’m still confused by the sexy contemporary romance vs erotica/erotic romance part. Where does one draw the line? How much hot monkey sex must the characters have to put you in the erotica category as opposed to the sexy romance one? I guess it’s one of those things I could just google. But you know what? I am pretty sure I already have and I read an article or two and left as confused as I was before I’d read them.

Oh well.

I’ll just keep writing what I write, if I ever get my mojo back (it’s been a stressful term with lots of school work and the next 2 weeks are going to be the worst).