Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Kaily Hart to my blog, as she stops by on her virtual book tour to talk to us about how she feels about the erotic romance label. After her guest post, you’ll find a blurb and excerpt of her book, Picture This, which is now available at Ellora’s Cave.
Be sure to leave a comment for Kaily, as she’s giving away a goody tower to one lucky commenter who participates in the discussion during her blog tour!
Now without further ado, I’ll turn things over to Kaily.
I never thought much about a label for what I write. That was until I had to describe it in terms readily understood and generally accepted, and I found there wasn’t one out there that I was completely happy with. I do write hot, but ‘erotic’ is just too close to ‘erotica’ and I don’t consider what I write to be erotica at all. I write hot and scorching love scenes, but it’s never sex just for the sake of sex. It always develops the characters further or propels the story along in some way. And ‘romance’. It’s just such an old fashioned word and I do struggle with it a bit. To me, it has too many overlays from the days of the ‘bodice ripper’ type books and I don’t think it really reflects the intensity of feelings my characters have for each other. Who talks about having a ‘romance’ these days?
I write hot because I think intimacy and sex is an integral part of a developing relationship. For me anyway, leaving it out of a book would be like leaving out a huge part of the story. You can learn a lot about a person when they’re most vulnerable and how they interact, what they say and do during intimate moments, can really have a bearing on the story.
I spent a lot of time a few months ago coming up with a tag line for myself. It was an involved process where I wrote out several pages of words and phrases that I thought described my writing and my style. Of course, it had to be original and there are already some really great ones out there that are already taken. I settled on ‘Love… Steamy style.’. It still doesn’t fit 100% but I think it works for now and accurately represents what I write.
Ultimately, I write about deep emotional commitment, love, between two people and there’s no closing the bedroom door in my books. Of course, not all my characters actually make it to a bed.
So, do you like the term ‘erotic romance’ or do you think there’s something better out there?
Desperate and young, Jillian Moore did something she knew would one day come back to bite her in the ass. She’d posed nude. For money. Years later, and on the fast track to a successful career, she’s still haunted by her mistake. She can’t help but wonder when her past will catch up with her.
Samuel Steele is not short on female attention, but the women who warm his bed pale in comparison to the fantasy he’s created of the seductive temptress in the painting hanging prominently in his bedroom. A fantasy that has ruined his once-satisfying sex life. When he discovers that her exact likeness works in his building—works for him, in fact—things get interesting. Perhaps there’s hope for his sex life after all…
“Well, thank you for your time and for the information. It was very helpful.”
Jillian put the phone down a little harder than she’d intended. It slammed back into the cradle with a sharp crack that more than matched her mood.
It’d been sold, again, three months earlier. Private auction, anonymous bidder and there was no way for her to find out who’d bought it. All she knew for sure was that it’d been a man. It figured. Damn, she’d been close this time. Not that she would have been able to afford to make even one bid herself. It had opened at fifteen thousand and after some fast and furious bidding had finally gone for a cool seventy-five thousand—dollars. Jeez, she’d probably be paying off her student loans for another twenty years and some guy had dropped seventy-five grand on a picture?
Jillian sighed. She wasn’t even sure what she’d do if she could uncover the identity of the new owner. She’d kept telling herself she’d be able to buy it one day once she got established. She’d planned on it, she’d counted on it. It was why she’d tried her damndest to keep track of it for the past ten years. Her only hope now was that it would sit in some private collection, gathering dust and never see the light of day. Yeah, right. She’d never, ever been that lucky. All those years ago, who would have thought? Deep down though she’d known and it had plagued her ever since. When she least expected it, it was going to come back and bite her on the ass. She just knew it.
* * * * *
“Sam? Man, are you even listening to me?”
Sam couldn’t tear his eyes off her. The dark luster of her hair, the curve of her cheek, something about the shape of her body. It just now occurred to him, but he’d seen her around the building before. He’d noticed her legs he remembered, appreciated the toned lengths, the shapely calves and too easily imagined how they’d look wrapped around his waist or up around her ears. And her mouth. God, the things he’d thought about her mouth.
How could I have forgotten that?
As soon as the thought formed he knew the answer. He had a strict hands-off rule at work that he’d never broken, not even in his head. Until her. He’d made himself forget.
He watched her mouth curve into a smile and his dick twitched in immediate response. Something flared low and sharp in his gut. It was a sensation he didn’t think he’d ever felt before, at least without some form of specific and intentional stimulation.
“Who’s that?” he demanded.
He heard rather than saw Duncan’s puzzlement. He motioned across the expanse of the elegant lobby. “The woman there. Slim, dark hair, black suit. Talking to the blonde.”
“I thought you didn’t fuck around with the staff?”
Sam’s balls tightened in a rush. The explicit image he got was shocking. Not just because it was of her—on her knees in front of him while he fucked her from behind—but because he hadn’t been able to censor it, or control his body’s reaction to it. Sam shot him a glare. He was in no mood to be trifled with.
Duncan cleared his throat. “Ah, sorry, I think her name’s Jennifer, something like that. She works in Finance. Or maybe it’s Legal.”
“Jillian?” he managed to choke out. “Could her name be Jillian?”
“Last time I checked you were head of Human Resources, Duncan.”
“Jesus, Sam, we have over four thousand employees, two thousand in this building alone. I can’t personally keep track of all of them. I haven’t worked with her directly. She’s probably—”
“Find out. I want her file on my desk in ten minutes.”
“What’s got into you?”
Sam took a deep breath. “Schedule a meeting with her.”
“Yeah, with me.”
“You don’t know where she works or what she does in your company, but you want a meeting with her? Why?”
Sam felt the impatience he’d tried to contain roar through him. He wasn’t used to having his orders questioned and he sure as hell wasn’t used to explaining himself to anyone.
“Because I’m the fucking boss and I said so.”
How do you feel about the erotic romance label? Let Kaily know to be entered in her draw!
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Madelyn Ford to my blog, as she stops by on her virtual book tour to talk to us about the appeal of angels in romantic fiction. After her guest post, you’ll find a blurb and excerpt of her latest book, MY AVENGING ANGEL, which is now available at Samhain Publishing.
Be sure to leave a comment for Madelyn, as she’s giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Certificate to one lucky commenter who participates in the discussion during her blog tour!
Now without further ado, I’ll turn things over to Madelyn.
Angels and Demons. It’s the ultimate struggle of good versus evil that dates all the way back to biblical times. Michael and Lucifer. Brother against brother. And why does this appeal to us so much? Because we want goodness to win, and in romantic fiction, true love to triumph.
Lately, I’ve been reading that angels are the “new vampires” and while I haven’t noticed a surge in angel romances, I can certainly understand the appeal. These beautiful graceful creatures have grasped hold of our imagination because they fight to save mortals from the very evil bent on destroying them, sometimes at the risk of their own lives.
But what truly makes our female hearts patter is with angels comes the notion of soulmates, love at first sight, and happily ever after. The mystical bond that ties two individuals together, with angels, can be soul deep and as readers, we buy into the notion that angels would be able to recognize this connection.
So will angels take over the romance market? I doubt it. But will I continue to have fun writing about them? You can bet on it.
MY AVENGING ANGEL
To save her life, he must break a covenant—and lose his heart.
An Angels and Demons story.
It’s Victoria Bloom’s twenty-fifth birthday. But is she out celebrating? Oh, no. She’s in a stuffy old attic with the Three Stooges—a.k.a. her so-called spirit guides. There’s a demon who wants her dead, the same one that killed her mother two decades ago. No worries, say the Stooges. All she has to do is summon an angel. What could go wrong?
Well, plenty when you summon the wrong angel. The next thing Tory knows, she’s got one very bad-ass, pissed-off and sexy Archangel on her hands.
Michael, mighty warrior, leader of an elite team of demon killers, is shaking in his heavenly combat boots. Not because he finds all humans distasteful. But because he’d rather face Lucifer himself than the woman his soul has just recognized as his mate. Binding himself to a mortal, one who will eventually die, is the one path he’s sworn never to follow.
It’s too late now; his fate is sealed. With one touch, she becomes as necessary to him as the air he breathes. He will move heaven and earth to protect her—but against a demon as powerful as Asmodeus, heaven and earth may not be enough…
Warning: This book contains one bad-ass Archangel with a fiery, um, sword, a witch who blows things up, one nasty demon who is trying to kill them both, and ghosts who make interfering their mission. Steamy sex is had, even with the voyeur ghosts—though Tory is still blushing.
Asmodeus stared down at the sniveling, postulating human, a sneer lifting the corner of his lips. He’d been ripped from his dimension, brought to this godforsaken plain known as Earth and he wasn’t happy about it. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the protection spell the man had woven into the circle surrounding him, Asmodeus would have killed the weakling for his audacity.
“Why have you summoned me, human?” he demanded, taking a step forward to test the barrier. He was delighted to find a slight weakness in his invisible cage. He could work with that.
“I ask your help, my lord,” came the timid reply.
Folding his arms across his wide chest, Asmodeus watched as the man remained on his knees, head bowed to his chin, and found the action mildly mollifying. He might just hear the human out before he killed him.
“You called me forth to ask my help?”
“Yes.” Brown eyes met his briefly before dropping back to the floor. “There is a woman—”
“I am the Lord of Wrath, king of the vengeance demons, not a damn matchmaker. Release me now, human,” he growled, rethinking his earlier plan. He was going to enjoy taking this creature apart piece by tiny piece.
The man’s head shot up, surprise lining his features. “I don’t want her love, my lord.”
“No? Then what is it you seek?”
Eyes narrowing, a look of intense hatred bleeding into those brown orbs, the man growled, “I want the bitch dead.”
“And if I do this for you? What are you willing to sacrifice?”
Asmodeus studied the pitiful being for a moment, then a grin slowly spread across his face. Dead he could do. In fact, he would relish every moment of the act: skin tearing beneath his nails, blood oozing forth and the fragrant cries of pain tickling his ears. But he was getting ahead of himself. First there was payment. And then he had to decide if he would kill the human after reaping his soul or just maim him, leaving him alive to do Asmodeus’s future bidding. Oh, so much pain, so little time.
With one tiny hand, she brushed sweat-drenched hair from her eyes while she reached out with the other, fingers trembling slightly, to nudge the prone figure on the bed.
“Mommy,” she whispered. Her gaze fell to the empty bottles littering the bedside table and she knew it was a waste of her time. Mommy always got like this after the bad man left. But she had to try. “Please, Mommy. You need to wake up.” She grew louder as her urgency rose. “The bad man is coming back. We have to hide.”
The soft voice in her ear told Tory she was running out of time. Hands swirled out of the mist in an attempt to herd her away from Mommy but she clutched Mommy’s shirt tightly in her fists. Unexpectedly, pain exploded throughout the side of her head, filling her eyes with tears. Mommy had hit her.
“Go back to bed, you little shit,” Tammy Bishop mumbled, rolling away from her. “Get out of here.”
The voices were frantic now, raising the level of terror coursing through Tory’s small frame. Then she sensed him, the bad man, the one Mommy had said was her daddy. But she’d felt the evil rolling off him and knew Mommy had lied. Tory’s daddy was a prince. Or an angel. Or maybe a princely angel. Just not the bad man.
She let the mist guide her into the hall closet and burrowed under a blanket that had been thrown carelessly on the floor. Surrounding her, the mist obscured the blanket and her presence beneath it only moments before the front door of their little apartment crashed open. She slapped a hand over her mouth to conceal a tiny cry, tears beginning to slowly leak down her cheeks. The voices murmured softly, trying to soothe her, but it wasn’t until heavy footsteps went unheeded past her hiding spot that Tory’s immediate panic receded. And then the screams began.
Clasping her hands tightly before her, Tory began to pray to the angels. She didn’t want to die and even though Mommy sometimes called her a baby, she wasn’t. Tory knew if the bad man found her, he would kill her. And so she prayed until Mommy grew silent and the laughter began. The sound, one Tory knew she would never forget, chilled her to the bone. Her prayers were forgotten as pure terror filled her soul, squashing all that was good, all the hope and love within her, leaving her dejected and heartsick.
It called to her, trying to draw her into its evil web, and the only thing holding her back from answering was the mist. They saved her that night, the spirits drawn to her light, not releasing her from their otherworldly grip until all was silent and the veil of evil had lifted. Only then was Tory able to crawl out of the closet.
“Mommy?” she called as she slowly trudged down the hallway.
Coming to a stop outside Mommy’s bedroom, the hands tried to hold her back, but she slipped right through their grasp. Their protection had weakened them and she had to see…had to know.
What filled her vision stunned her for one split second before high-pitched screams of horror were ripped from her throat. And while she shrieked, tears streaming down her cheeks, trails of her mother’s blood slowly trickled down the walls.
How do you feel about angels in romantic fiction? Let Madelyn know for a chance to be entered in the draw for a $15 Amazon gift certificate!
Some of you may have noticed the new website layout I revealed just before leaving for RT. It was designed by my fabulously talented friend, Fiona Jayde, and I was thrilled with it. Unfortunately, only a week after it went live, it just… disappeared.
I wish I was being melodramatic. I’m not. My service provider has no explanation for what happened. One day the WordPress database was there, and the next, it wasn’t. Apparently someone deleted the database, but it wasn’t me, and it wasn’t Fiona, which doesn’t leave anyone else who could have done it. There’s always the possibility that my website was hacked, but why would a hacker just delete the database and not do anything more malicious? (I changed my passwords to be on the safe side, anyway.)
This may be a mystery that won’t ever be solved. So to get over the loss of my beautiful new website, I’ve been eating chocolate (an absolute must around technological disasters) and working on a completely new, fully redesigned website. This time, I’m doing it all myself. I’m having fun teaching myself things about WordPress I never would have known, and I’m taking my rusty Photoshop skills out for a ride, too.
I look forward to unveiling the end result.
Today’s Snippet Saturday theme is “Favorite Intimate Moments.” One of the things I love about participating in Snippet Saturday is seeing how different authors interpret each theme. (Make sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post to see what other authors had to offer today.) As for me, I had a hard time deciding, but finally ended up choosing a scene from ALL THE KING’S MEN
. Kirel and Nalina remain my favorite couple of all those I’ve written over the years.
This is a tender, sexy scene… but not in the traditional sense. Enjoy!
“What’s going on?” she asked when the silence continued to stretch on.
Kirel didn’t answer at once. Apprehension curled in her belly. Where had he gone, and why was it taking so long?
He approached from the other side of the bed, startling her when the mattress dipped beneath his weight.
She did as she was told without protest, her heart hammering a steady beat in her chest.
He slipped a length of fabric around her eyes and tightened it, knotting it behind her head. Nelina barely had a chance to gasp as the shadows that had surrounded her field of vision darkened to an impenetrable sea of black.
“The Tradition demands that the future queen meet three important criteria.” His breath warmed her cheek as he spoke.
Nelina fought to keep her voice impassive. “Not that it matters, but what are they?”
“First, she must be able to learn from others. That’s why the Guardians are instructed to teach her certain skills she must then display to the Fates and the citizens of Aris.” He tugged at the laces holding her blouse tight at the base of her throat. She felt the fabric loosen around her breasts then slip away altogether as he unlaced the bindings and slipped the two sides of the fabric on either side.
“Sexual skills,” she whispered, guessing where this discussion was headed.
“Precisely.” He rolled one of her nipples between his fingers.
Goose bumps broke out over her skin and she fought back a shiver. “All—all of the Guardians?”
Remembering the strong bodies pressed against her in the carriage caused her sex to moisten. All three of them…at once? The thought was almost too much to bear.
“What else?” she asked when she could trust herself to speak.
“The future queen must also be able to obey without question, without protest. That’s something else you’ll be taught.”
A nervous chuckle escaped her throat. “Good luck with that one.” Yet despite the ludicrous statement, desire swirled low in her belly, adamant for release. Cream slipped out from between her folds, slicking her thighs. “Is that it?”
“No.” Kirel moved to her side and gently pushed her back on the mattress. Her breasts quivered, the extended peaks throbbing for his touch. “Most importantly, she must be able to share herself body and soul with the king…and with the people.”
“You mean she’ll—I’ll—have to fuck other men in front of an audience?”
“The Guardians,” he confirmed. “We’re the only ones allowed to touch you. By sharing yourself with us as you give your body and your heart to the king, you’ll prove to the Council you’re ready for the responsibility of ruling Aris. And you’ll bring the blessing of the Tradition down upon us all.”
“And if I fail?”
Kirel hesitated. “You won’t.”
“If I fail,” she repeated, “what happens then?”
“The Fates hold your future in their hands, as they do all our destinies. If you refuse to go through with the Trials, or if you don’t complete them to their satisfaction, they’ll choose your punishment themselves. Whatever they devise, you can be sure their retribution will be two-fold. Not only will they discipline you for your failure to obey them, but they’ll also want to deter all other women who may one day be granted the same privilege you seem to care nothing about.”
She pressed her lips together, unable to reply. She needed a moment to process everything he’d told her. The information he’d shared hadn’t changed her mind about what she had to do. If anything, it only reinforced her goal. She had to get out of here as quickly as possible.
There was no way she’d go through with this mating ceremony, no matter what the Fates decreed. The last thing she wanted to do was marry a virtual stranger even if he was king!
Kirel lifted her skirt. The movement of the fabric caused a light breeze to stir the curls at the apex of her thighs. It felt cold against the slickness that had gathered between her pussy lips and she trembled slightly.
She pressed her thighs together, though she knew he couldn’t make out much in the darkness. Besides, he’d already seen much more, though she doubted he remembered most of it. Memories of their lovemaking had probably fled his mind as quickly as memories of her. She couldn’t fool herself into thinking otherwise.
And if everything he’d told her were true, unless she could find a way out of the castle, she’d have to endure acts much more humiliating than this at the hands of the king’s men.
Her pussy fluttered. Gods, the thought was much too arousing! Her stomach muscles rippled as she fought to keep a shiver from stealing up her spine. How perverted was it that she craved the dark, lustful things of which Kirel had spoken?
As if reading her thoughts, Kirel let his hands travel up the inside of her thighs, his fingers questing amidst the crisp curls that masked her damp arousal. He found the heat hidden within her core and probed the pouting lips of her cunt. Her slippery juices coated his skin as he dragged his fingers through her slit.
Gods, he must know how badly she wanted this. Wanted him…and…and the others.
Her heart hammered a steady beat against her chest. Blood roared in her ears, drowning out everything but the sound of her own panting breaths. Parting her legs wider, she arched her back and instinctively pushed her hips forward, seeking the stimulation of those long, tapered fingers deep inside her ultra-sensitive passage.
Kirel’s sharp hiss filled the room when he delved into her tight channel. Her pussy squeezed down on the intrusion that filled her. It grasped the long fingers and pulsed around them while Nelina panted and squirmed, matching the determined thrusts with circular movements of her own.
“You’re so wet,” he murmured. “Tell me this is all for me.”
The words lodged in her throat. She dragged in a breath then another. “Think what you will.”
His soft chuckle slid through her body like a caress. “Fair enough.”
He pushed inside her and then withdrew, varying his rhythm until she quivered, perched on the edge of climax. When he pulled out of her completely, she cried out, her pussy fluttering madly with intoxicating need.
He thrust into her again, this time with the dry fingers of his other hand while he brought her cream up to her lips and slipped it into her mouth. She savored the musky taste of her wetness on his skin and sucked greedily at the fingers he slid between her lips.
She imagined it was his cock she devoured, though her pride wouldn’t let her ask him to turn the fantasy into reality. Oh how she’d loved to suck and lick every inch of his erect shaft. With languid strokes, she did it again now, transported back in time by the fevered probing between her legs and the fingers in her mouth.
He had only to touch her swollen clit lightly and the pleasure that had been steadily building inside her expanded and burst. The climax poured through every part of her with a fury she couldn’t remember ever experiencing. It spread outward, rushing from her groin through to her extremities with waves of delicious agony.
Her pussy contracted, spasming with eager, desperate need, convulsing in ecstasy. The fingers slipped from her mouth, allowing her to scream her pleasure.
“Kirel! Gods, yes! Yes!”
Her cry echoed off the stone castle walls and reverberated in her ears along with a second groan—a heady, masculine one. The pressure on her cunt eased as Kirel’s fingers slipped out of her. She felt the mattress shift and knew he’d risen.
“Good night, Nelina.”
If you enjoyed this small glimpse of Kirel and Nalina and would like to read more, pick up ALL THE KING’S MEN in print or ebook format.
And don’t forget to check out the other wonderful Snippet Saturday excerpts being shared today:
I just returned from the Romantic Times Convention. For those of you who don’t know, this is one of the largest gatherings of romance authors and romance readers. It’s an annual conference, and it takes place in a different city each year. This year, it was held in Columbus, Ohio.
I’m going to skip over my horrid travel experience and just say that the conference was wonderful!
I presented on three panels this year, and they all went very well. By far the workshop I gave alongside Mechele Armstrong, Samantha Kane, Trista Ann Michaels and Liddy Midnight was the best attended. The workshop was entitled THE MÉNAGE PLOT: THE GLUE THAT HOLDS THREE (OR MORE) PEOPLE TOGETHER. We nearly packed the room. There were tons of questions, and at the end people came up to talk to us. A number of them said this was the panel they got the most out of from the entire conference, so I was thrilled. Since the panel was Friday, I left on a high note.
I also attended a few workshops myself — two of which were unbelievably good for me. One was on goal setting and productivity, with Vicki Pettersson. Absolutely amazing workshop. She was engaging, fun, genuine, and she gave me a ton of things to think about. I think attending that one workshop will do more for my productivity in the next year than anything else I could have done. The second was on conflict, and it was given by two historical romance authors: Robyn DeHart and Tracy Garrett. They made me think about conflict in ways I never had before, and I’m not new at this writing thing. Just when I thought I couldn’t get much more out of craft workshops, along comes something like this that makes me dig deeper than ever. I’m very glad I attended both of those. (This just goes to show that you never know where your next critical tidbit will come from. Take every opportunity to learn!)
I also attended other events: the parties in the evenings, the agents’ panel, the editors’ panel, some publisher spotlights. If you have an opportunity to attend an RT conference, or any writers’ or readers’ conference, for that matter, take it. It’s a fabulous way to network with industry contacts and to learn, learn, learn!
What was the last writers’ or readers’ conference you attended? If you’ve never attended one, what’s holding you back?
Related articles to check out:
And the winner is…
Keatonkat (post 38)
Congratulations! Please email Fiona directly so she can send you your gift card.
Thanks, everyone, for playing!
Today I have the pleasure of hosting my good friend Fiona Jayde as she frolics across the Internet on her virtual blog tour. She’s written a fabulous blog post for us on Romance Novel Cliches and Why We Love ‘Em. Leave Fiona a comment below, and you’ll be entered to win a $15 Amazon.com gift certificate! Follow her on tour for more chances to win.
PAS DE DEUX
One wrong move, and she could be dancing on her grave…
Two years after an injury put her dancing career on hold, Lynnrina Kovaleva is determined to reclaim her place on the stage. On the eve of her comeback production, she takes the edge off her nerves with a one-night stand in the strong arms of celebrity bodyguard Mateo Rivera.
Ex-cop Mateo is celebrating one hell of an anniversary: eight months since he was declared unfit for duty. When a delicate beauty boldly propositions him in a bar, he chooses to lose himself in her body rather than lose his mind to alcohol. This choice comes back to haunt him when he’s hired to protect a prima ballerina who’s been receiving threats.
Despite her shock at seeing him again, Lynn must not allow their intense attraction—or any creepy fan letters—to undermine her performance. Mateo can’t reconcile this coldly focused dancer with the passionate woman who seduced him. Yet he sees fire under the ice, pain hidden by the smooth mask of perfection.
The vivid memory of their entwined bodies wars with the job at hand, but he must keep Lynn safe—regardless of the cost. The most difficult challenge, however, will be keeping his hands to himself.
Warning: Contains jetés, pliés, a chilling touch of danger, and the boiling heat of an unwanted attraction that combusts into passionate sex.
Romance Novel Clichés and Why We Love ‘em
The Boss and the Secretary. The Private Eye and the Bombshell Client. The Jaded Cop and the Murder Suspect he can’t seem to take his eyes off. The Bodyguard and the woman in danger he must protect.
Pairings such as these can be common in the romance genre. We know how such stories will end (for the most part anyway), we understand the core conflicts these characters may have to push through in order to get their happy endings. And yet, we reach for such stories again and again. (At least I do!)
Perhaps it is the fantasy of reliving a particular favorite “fantasy pairing” that draws us readers to similar books? My personal favored pairings are The Jaded Cop and the Murder Suspect as well as The Bodyguard and The Woman he must protect. I’ll usually buy any book with these themes. (Those and The Renegade and The Assassin)
My favored romance clichés offer such delicious possibility of friction between characters that I can’t put a book down – even if I’ve read variations of similar themes before. Of course the characters will be different, with different motivations and different problems. But the core conflict that will keep the characters apart while pushing them close together through attraction, lust and finally love will remain the same.
In case of the Bodyguard, he must remain professional, but how can he keep his cool – and his killer instincts – when he is starting to get emotional over the client? She is not just another client anymore, and I love seeing that struggle between cool professionalism and hot passionate emotion.
This was the main inspiration behind Pas De Deux – I wanted to experience that same delicious tension which comes when characters are extremely attracted to each other, but refuse to act on that attraction due to personal and professional barriers. Here’s a small snippet:
Pas De Deux © Fiona Jayde
Mateo waited for another kick of lust when those stormy dark eyes finally met his. As punches went he wasn’t disappointed. He simply hoped that she wouldn’t look below his belt.
“I can take care of myself.” Low voice, a soft hint of an accent.
Mateo wondered if she knew that she rolled her Rs when she was upset or… Fuck. At this rate he’d have permanent zipper marks. “Really.” He didn’t state it as a question.
“Yes. Really.” If looks could kill, he would be frying. Except he couldn’t focus past the nipples pebbling under the dark fabric of her top.
His one regret had been not having tasted them.
“Show me.” He didn’t even know what he was saying.
“Show me how you take care of yourself.”
She smiled, serene and beautiful. And Mateo barely missed a pink-shod foot aimed at his jaw.
He caught it just before she clocked him, felt a short tremble when he gave in to the urge and rubbed his thumb over her skin.
Those dark eyes flared wide and soft and brown.
“Let go.” A firm no-nonsense voice. More color on her cheeks.
“Say pretty please.”
The silence stretched, so tight he could’ve snapped it.
“Let go.” She whispered it, a hoarse and silent plea.
“Might want to take another self-defense class.” Disgusted with himself, arousal pounding his body, Mateo opened up his hand and thought he heard a muttered curse. If nothing else, the words cheered him right up. “Didn’t think I’d see your face again.”
As far as Jaded Cop and the coolly beautiful Murder Suspect… All I can say is keep checking back!
To the readers: what are some of your favorite romance clichés?
All right, so there probably aren’t any pod people living in those… pods.
Okay, so the pods aren’t even really pods. They’re light fixtures in a restaurant. But they’re intriguing enough to get my imagination going.
(click on the image for a larger version)
I’m an amateur photographer and digital artist. One of my greatest pleasures is being able to sit down for an hour with a photograph, and see what secrets lie beneath the image as it was originally captured.
Today, I worked on this photo:
(click on the image for a larger version)
… and the entire time I worked on it, playing with the colors, the tone, the nuances of the image, I kept thinking, “What’s she looking at?” Do you see her? The woman in the blue dress staring out at the ocean? Is she looking at the guy on the sailboat? Is she waiting for her merman? Is she staring out at the horizon, wishing she was anywhere but here?
The writer in me can’t help but wonder… What do you think?
I’ve been putting in some very long hours at the day job, and although I’ve been meeting my word count in the evenings, I’ve also been desperately in need of another creative outlet. So I started a new Photoshop project, and in a few sessions, I had this:
(Click on the image for a larger size)
It’s not perfect… I’m noticing more and more flaws the longer I stare at it, but overall I’m happy enough to share.