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Friday, May 13, 2011

Forwarding address

I have moved my blog to a new home. Here's the new address:

I'm so grateful you all have chosen to follow me on Blogger, and I hope you will be comfortable in my new home. I will be removing this blog in a few days.

See you in the new neighborhood!


Secret Storm excerpt - shower sex

Something wasn’t right.  This wasn’t his bed.  This wasn’t his home.  Home wasn’t safe.  Was he safe here? 
Jack opened his eyes and looked around without moving a muscle.  Sunlight filtered in through closed curtains, lighting a neat, carefully arranged dresser against the opposite wall.  The mirror and the walls around it were covered with photos.  The faces looked familiar but he couldn’t make them out.  The bed he was lying in was warm and soft—comforting.  The woman sleeping next to him was the one who held his heart in his hands.  Almost literally, Jack smiled.  Sara’s palm rested on his chest, his heart beating under it.  Images of the night before chased sleep from his brain.  Wow.  How did things get so out of control?  He meant to be gentle with her, but he couldn’t remember how he ended up ripping Sara’s clothes off.  A guilty smile found its way to Jack’s lips.  He shouldn’t have enjoyed roughing her up, but Sara sure seemed to.  Wasn’t she the one who provoked him?
Sara moaned, and her fingers curled involuntarily, digging in to Jack’s chest.  He winced and lifted her hand.  “Oh sorry,” she blinked at him.  “I thought you were my pillow.”
“I am,” Jack smiled.  “I’ll be your pillow anytime you like.”
“Mmm…nice.”  She closed her eyes again.
Jack touched her face, brushing her hair off her cheek.  So beautiful.  “I love the way you look first thing in the morning.”
Sara looked at him like she didn’t quite believe him.  “This is the first time you’ve seen me first thing in the morning.”
“Yeah, but I love it already.  Your hair is all tangled and curled, your eyes are sleepy, and your body has a few bite marks and scratches from the things I did to you.”  There was that guilty smile again.
Sara moaned and pressed her lips to his neck, nibbling up to his ear.  “Do you have any idea how hot you make me?” 
Jack kissed her wandering mouth.  “Show me.”
She gave him a wicked smile then took his hands and put it between her legs.
“You’re wet,” he whispered.
Her hand slid down his stomach.  “You’re hard.”
“We should do something about that.  Come on.”  Jack threw back the covers and took her hand, pulling her toward the bedroom door.  He stopped and made sure the hallway was empty then they scurried to the bathroom. 
“What do you have in mind?”
“I was thinking a nice hot shower would feel good.” He turned the water on and waited for it to get warm then he pulled her in with him. 
“Mmm…I like.”  Sara kissed him, pressing her wet, slick body against his, wishing she could wake up like this every morning.  Her fingers tangled in Jack’s wet hair, pulling it back from his face while he held her under the warm water, kissing, kissing, and more kissing.
Sara gasped when her back touched the cold tile wall, but she relaxed and let the shower and Jack’s touch warm her.
Jack kissed her warming skin, stroking her wet body with his hands, exploring and tasting.  Last night was too rushed to fully enjoy her so he took his time, nibbling her ears, nipping her neck, tugging her nipples with his teeth.  She squealed when he did that so he kept doing it.  He directed the showerhead at one breast while he fondled the other, pulling her nipple into his mouth, circling it with his tongue.
Sara’s legs turned to jelly, but Jack held her up.  His mouth moved down her stomach, and she held on to his shoulders.  His tongue slipped between her thighs.  “Ohhhh…,” Sara moaned.  Jack stood up and pointed the shower spray lower.  Sara giggled when the water tickled her pink flesh.  The tickle got more and more intense, insistent.  She tried to get away, but she didn’t want to.  Then she noticed Jack was the relentless one and she stopped trying to move.
Jack was on his knees, tasting her.  The tip of his finger slid inside her, making circles right at the edge.
Sara was at the edge of madness.  “Oh Jack,” she groaned.  “You’re such a tease.”
He chuckled.  “Is this what you want?”  His finger slid in deep, stroking and thrusting.  “Or do you want something else?”

Secret Storm – available now on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Self-publishing’s downside

“There’s two sides to every Schwartz. He got the upside; I got the downside.” ~Dark Helmet, Spaceballs
There are a lot of upsides to self-publishing. The author has control over everything: writing, editing, cover design, and marketing. The self-publishing process is typically much faster than traditional publishers, and…there’s no rejection.
Or so it appears.  While you’ll never have to face personal rejection from an editor or publisher, you will have to deal with the stigma of being a self-published author.
“You’re not a good enough writer for a ‘real’ publisher?”
Actually, I am, but that’s not the point.  My point is, aside from struggling to maintain my self-confidence (see last week’s blog Self-publishing is easy…not), the second hardest part of self-publishing is getting people to take me seriously. 
I’ll be the first to admit there are a lot of poorly written self-published books out there. I’ve read a few of them. They weren’t pretty.  There are a lot of hidden gems too, but you have to find readers willing to take a chance.
I think the key to selling more books, for me at least, is getting people to read them.  Reviews are helpful but they take a long time, and many book bloggers will not review self-published books.  For more tips on getting reviews, see 10 Tips for Querying Book Bloggers.  So I have to make my books available to readers in as many places as I can find.  I have excerpts posted on Facebook, Worthy of Publishing, Amazon, and here on my blog. Barnes & Noble and Smashwords allow readers to download samples.  I am also conducting a giveaway promotion on Twitter.
So if you’re feeling adventurous, read one of the excerpts above (the one on my blog is really hot). You just might discover a self-published gem.
Authors: how do you get your book to readers? Where do you post excerpts? Feel free to post a link. May the Schwartz be with you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The truth about turn-ons

I grew up in a fundamental church that viewed women and girls as pure and innocent, but a girl with sexual experience (or even unfulfilled desires) was damaged goods.  Fantasies were sinful (lust in your heart); therefore, masturbation was a sin. (I did it anyway.) After I lost my virginity, I beat myself up for years because I felt like I was no good.  I believed that God forgave me, but I couldn't forgive myself. (And then I met hubby and his open-minded family. I learned a lot from them.)

What turns women on?  For me, the forbidden.  In all but one or two of The Devil Made Me Do It’s stories, the characters are married to each other.  I wrote those several years ago when I was learning to think for myself. I explored ‘forbidden’ subjects like spanking, exhibitionism and voyeurism, and role-playing (forbidden to me, anyway).

The whole idea behind The Devil Made Me Do It is many women are taught it's wrong for them to enjoy sex, so if there's someone else to blame (i.e. the 'devil' or the guy who seduced her), it wasn't her fault if she enjoyed it.  I think women who openly admit having a healthy interest in sex (or even reading romance novels) have to be strong because they'll take a lot of crap for it.

Quarterbacks aren't supposed to dive head first.
He had an injured shoulder too, but he got the touchdown.
I can't give you a simple answer on what turns women on because there isn't one.  Every day it's something new and I'm always surprised by what interests me.  There’s no quick and easy answer because the truth (if they knew it themselves) might frighten men (and us too).  Another turn on for me (I don't often admit this to anyone): a little bit of violence. Not blood and guts, but a good dose of testosterone. That's why I'm a football fan. ;)

What turns you on? Give it to me straight now…I can take it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tell Me You Want Me - Sex Lessons

This scene did make the final version. If you like it, buy the book!

“That was just the tip of the iceberg, just an initiation.  You have a lot to learn, my sweet Janie.”
“Is that right.”
Okay brain, cooperate.  “That’s not what I meant.  I still have a lot to teach you…um….”
Jane laughed and climbed on top of him.  “Then I am your willing student.  Show me everything you know.”  She leaned over and licked his nipple.
Austin sucked in his breath.  “You seem to know a lot already.”  He grabbed a fistful of her hair at the back of her neck, pulling her down on his chest.  “But I still have a few tricks up my sleeve.”  He pulled her hair, exposing her throat to his mouth.
That should’ve hurt, but it felt exciting and scary at the same time.  That one simple hold had her completely in his control…and at his mercy.  “Teach me.”
Austin nibbled her neck.  “That’s lesson number one: a little restraint is a lot of fun.”  He bit her neck and held it, her pulse throbbing under his tongue.
“Lesson number two.”  Austin let go of her hair and shifted her so she was sitting upright, giving him a great view of her naked body.  “All you have to do to get a guy’s attention is show up naked and bring beer.”  Her pretty round breasts bounced when she laughed.  “The beer is optional.”  Especially when naked looked as good as she did.
“So what you’re saying is: men are easy.”
Jane smiled and twisted her hips, watching his eyes roll back in his head.  “What’s my next lesson?”
Lesson?  What lesson?  Oh yeah.  A wicked grin lit up his eyes as he flipped her on her back and fell between her spread legs.  “Lesson number…whatever: a hard man is good to find.”  He rubbed his hard cock against her wet flesh.
“Mmmm…you already taught me that.”
“It’s worth showing you again.”  He pushed her thighs apart and leaned in close, rubbing his cock against her.  She moaned and arched, begging for more, but Austin was a little more patient.  He slid inside her, giving her just the tip.  He waited there a moment, savoring her hot wet flesh, and then he pulled out. 
“Please do.”
He slid inside her, just enough to wet her for more.  This time he watched her eyes roll back.  “Lesson number…oh screw the numbers.  Anticipation is a good thing.”  He pulled out.
She reached for him.  “If you say so.” 
“You taught me that.”  He slipped back in, but not as much as she wanted.
“Did I now.”
Out.  “Yes you did, you little tease.”  He slid in again, just barely—waiting, enjoying—and then he slid out. 
“You’re so cruel,” she gasped.
“You like it.”  He pressed forward just a bit, twisting his hips while she moaned.
She didn’t deny it.  She wrapped her legs around his waist and tried to pull him all the way in, but he resisted.
He was torturing himself as much as he was torturing her.  He would give her what she wanted—and more—but he wanted to make her crazy for him first.  She twisted beneath him, making his blood boil.  Who was he kidding?  He was the one who was crazy for her.
“Why are you smiling like that?”  Jane studied his face.  It wasn’t his usual naughtier-than-sin-itself smile.  Even his eyes were different—bright, shining—happy. 
“Because I like you,” Austin said.  “I like your sweet lips.”  He leaned down and kissed her.  “I like your sexy neck.”  He nipped it.  “Mmm I like your fat nipples.”  He sucked each one.  “I like this cute freckle here.”  He kissed it.  “I like your soft, soft skin.”  He planted kisses between her breasts all the way down her stomach to–  “I like this yummy spot right here.”  He kissed the nub between her legs that was already throbbing for him.
“I like that spot too,” she moaned.
“And I absolutely love,” he knew he was on dangerous ground with that word, but he didn’t care, “being right here.”  He sank deep inside her and softly, slowly touched his lips to hers.  She melted against him and he held her close, kissing her more deeply. 
Jane sighed and wrapped her legs around him, holding him tight.  She’d keep him there all night if she could. 
“But first,” Austin abruptly pulled out, sitting back on his knees.  Jane sat up with him, protesting.  “But first,” Austin laughed.  “I have plans for you.”

Tell Me You Want Me - available now on Kindle, Nook and Smashwords.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ten years ago today

I lost my father to cancer. About three years ago, I decided to think of May 7 as the day his cancer ended, but something about the 10th anniversary is making that difficult.  I can’t believe he’s been gone that long.  That’s more than half my marriage. 
My dad was a big goof.  He was known for his practical jokes and his offbeat sense of humor.  He gave everyone nicknames.  My pen name, Amelia James, is one of the many nicknames he had for me.  He loved the outdoors, and he was a skilled carpenter.  For my wedding present, he built me a china cabinet and put his name on it. “It’s a one of a kind Raymoon (one of his nicknames) original,” he said with that goofball smile I miss so much.  He spent his entire career, more than 30 years, protecting and preserving our natural resources.  My dad made a living doing what he loved.
I’ve been feeling down the last few days, like everything I’m doing is pointless.  My dad fought cancer for three and a half years, but in the end, it didn’t do any good.  I spent the last days of his life with him, and though I wouldn’t trade that time for anything, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through.  But one of the many things my dad taught me is that I can’t give up doing something just because it’s hard.  A month before he died, he was still ordering fishing gear from Cabelas, still trying to do what he loved.
And now I realize the best way to honor my dad—this year and every year—is to keep doing what I love.  I need to keep writing no matter how many rejections or bad reviews I get.  I need to keep marketing my books no matter how many days without sales go by .  Being a self-published author is the most challenging job I’ve ever had, but it’s also the most rewarding.  I can’t give up just because it’s hard.
Thanks, dad. I love you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My favorite guilty pleasures

“Show me a woman who doesn't feel guilty and I'll show you a man.” ~Erica Jong

·         Listening to Christian Kane sing—even better—watching him sing.
·         Real potato chips with mountains of full fat dip.
·         Writing a sex scene that makes me wet.
·         Man Candy Monday  Man candy. Period.
·         Glen Livet 21
·         Daydreaming about any of the above (well, maybe not the potato chips).

Music, food, sex, men, Scotch, imagination. Did I miss anything?

“I no longer have guilt about pleasure. Guilt is wasted energy.” ~Amelia James

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tell Me You Want Me deleted scene – cheerleader sex

This is an extension of Austin's bedroom encounter with the cheerleader.  I deleted it because it was completely gratuitous, but I like impulsive sex so here it is:
“Oh Austin, don’t stop now.”
Austin smiled.  “Patience sweetheart.  I know what you want.  I know what you need.  And I know how to give it to you.”  He leaned over her back and nibbled her shoulders, rubbing his cock between her thighs, teasing her.
Carrie buried her face in his pillow and raised her hips to take more of him.
“That’s it, baby.”  He drove in deep and she squealed.  Lunging forward, he grabbed a fistful of her hair in one hand and a handful of her breasts in the other.  Banging against her ass, Austin leaned back on his knees and took her with him, holding her upright against his body, thrusting up into her.
“Do you like it like that?”  He growled in her ear.
His hold on her hair was so tight, she could barely nod, but her sweat-sheened skin and ragged gasps for breath told him she liked it.
“Or do you like it harder?”
“Ohhhh god….”
“Sounds like a yes to me.”  Austin pounded her, driving into her tight wet flesh. Her skin felt hot and soft and slick, grasping and stroking his cock.  He groaned and pulled out and pushed in nice and slow so he could savor her hot pussy clinging to him. Yeah baby, that's what he liked.
Carrie gasped and called out his name, going limp in his arms.
Austin grinned.  If Jack was home, he probably heard that.  Didn’t matter.  Austin lowered Carrie to the bed and crawled on top of her.
“Your turn, Austin,” she sighed.  She pushed him back and climbed on top, straddling his cock.
Austin moaned, watching Carrie's breasts bounce.  The sight of a beautiful girl riding him should’ve finished him off right there, but Carrie just wasn’t doing it for him.  He closed his eyes and imagined a stubborn brunette soccer babe naked and squirming underneath him.
Oh god yes….

Monday, May 2, 2011

Self-publishing is easy…not!

Sure the publishing part is easy once you get everything formatted right, and then wait 24-72 hours for the epublisher to convert and upload your book.  Then you check the final product, correct the weird formatting bugs, upload and wait…again.  If you’re lucky, you only have to make corrections once.  If not….  Wait, did I say that was the easy part?
The hard part is selling your book. I did things backwards.  I published my books and then I started marketing them.  I didn’t know anything about book launches, release dates, or advance reviews.  Getting a review takes a lot of time. Learning to use Twitter and Facebook took me some time as well.  Hint: set up a Facebook Page for your book, not a profile.  I highly recommend research—and lots of it—before you start marketing.
No, the hard part is not getting discouraged.  My first book, Tell Me You Want Me, sold half a dozen copies before I really started marketing it.  Wow.  Maybe this wasn’t so hard.  But then it didn't sell at all—for days.  I stepped up the marketing and sold a couple more copies.  I found someone to give me a review and that sold a few more copies.  But then days went by and no sales.  I got discouraged. What did I get myself into?  Was it worth the effort?  Should I give up now and get a dayjob? *cries*

The hardest part of being self-published is believing in myself. I don’t have a publisher to tell me my books are good.  I don’t have daily sales to confirm that. All I have is shaky self-confidence that needs a good hard shot of encouragement more often than not.  But the really cool thing is when I need encouragement, I get it.  I have the best fans in the world.  I may only have 12 of them, but they are awesome!  And that is the best part of being self-published—having a personal connection with my readers, knowing people are reading and enjoying my books.
Self-publishing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  My dad used to accuse me of avoiding hard work, and he was right.  I used to.  But there are so many resources for the self-published author the only way I’m gonna fail is if I give up when the work gets hard.
I. Will. NOT. Give Up.
Here are a few of the resources I used:
Worthy of Publishing – Post chapters for free and add a buy link.
Novel Publicity’s Building a Facebook Page – this is just one of the tons and tons of useful articles on their blog.
Top Ten Ways Authors Can Use Twitter – The key to Twitter is to follow people who give good information and to make your tweets a balance of promotion, good information and socialization.  Don’t just promote yourself.  Help others and they will help you.
If you publish on Amazon, make sure you fill out your author page.
There are lots more resources out there.  I’ve only listed a few.  When you get discouraged—and you will—don’t be afraid to ask for encouragement. You are not alone.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday quickies

I had ideas for two blogs this morning, but we’re going carpet shopping today so I don’t have time to explore them fully.  So here’s what occurred to me today.

First thought: I understand escapism. I saw a good quote on a bumper sticker: "Reality is for people who lack imagination." Imagination is my escape from reality, from judgment, and sometimes from plain old boredom. Writers choose to share their imagination with others and risk being judged for it, but if we don't share, we're not happy. I'm not anyway. I need an audience. My audience understands and that's why I write.

Second thought: Celebrate every success, large or small, and when you don’t have any successes, celebrate someone else’s.  So yay for book releases! Yay for impending book releases! Yay for book sales even if it’s just one or two! Yay for time to write! Yay for ideas when there’s no time to write! Yay for people who understand!

I was a cheerleader in high school so let me know what you have to celebrate today, and I’ll cheer for you.  Yay for new carpet!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Don't tempt me. Oh okay, go ahead.

I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it. ~ Mae West

I felt compelled to write about temptation today.  I have no will power. The best and worst part about working and writing at home is the refrigerator.  I can’t resist snacking so I don’t keep snacks in the house. When I get the munchies I usually end up eating something weird, melted cheese for example.  Not melted over anything, just melted.  Yum.  If I do for some reason have snack food available, I eat it all at once to ‘get rid of the temptation’. Yeah, sure. So I avoid food temptations by avoiding them or eliminating them.

One temptation I don’t bother avoiding or eliminating is men.  I’ve always been a lusty girl.  My first celebrity crush was Jon Baker from CHiPs. He was cute and sweet, an all-around good guy hero.  Then one summer my mom dragged me to a sci fi movie I never heard of and I abandoned my good guy crush in favor of my first bad boy—Han Solo.  (Han shot first!)  Wow.  The rest of my girlfriends liked Luke, but I wanted Han.  I’ve always been the different one. When I was in college, away from my mom’s no rock music rule, I discovered Richard Marx and Jon Bon Jovi and my long hair fetish was born. 
So what’s my point? I don’t really have one. This is just an excuse to daydream and post pics of yummy (to me) guys.  I could go on about Bruce Campbell  (told you I was different), Brendan Fraser (yummy mummy slayer), and Christian Kane (OMFG), or Drew Barrymore (I’m open-minded) but I gotta get something done. 
What was I doing again? ;) Who was your first crush (male or female)? 
Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Teacher judged for writing erotic romance

I don’t know where to start.  There are so many directions I could take. I’m trying to collect my thoughts on this subject, but my brain is fried from formatting all morning, so forgive me if I don’t make much sense.
As a romance author: my first thought was what if it happened to me?  I’ve blogged about my mom’s and my friends’ uptight, fundamental ideas.  If Judy Mays were a teacher in the community where I grew up, my friends and family would be among the first to ostracize her.  If they found out about me, I have no doubt they would condemn me just as quickly. How would I react? With my head held high, dammit.
As a mom: I will not shelter my daughter. I will do my best to protect her, but I will not forbid her to read things I may or may not agree with.  I will teach her to think for herself.  She can read my books if she’s interested in them. 
As a human being: this really is none of my business. Why does it matter what adults do in their free time? As long as she isn’t doing anything illegal or hurting anyone, I don’t need to know about it.  And no, erotica isn’t illegal or harmful.  Sex is a great stress reliever.  Maybe if more adults got laid more often, they wouldn’t need to take their frustrations out on other people.
As a romance reader: where can I get her books? Here’s one place: Amazon Kindle
And here’s more: Copia Romance All Romance
It’s good to see the romance community coming together to support one of our.  Maybe we can teach the world a thing or two about love. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yeah, I'm a tease

I found these interview questions on Erotica for All. I don’t know when I’ll be featured on their site, so I thought I’d post a few of them just to get you excited. ;)

  • How did you start writing erotica?
    • I’ve been reading romance novels since I was in junior high.  My mom took them away from me, but that just made me want to read more.  After I got married, I got a subscription to Playgirl magazine and I spent more time reading the stories than looking at the pictures.  Really!  I wrote three short stories, sent them in and two of them were published, one as Fantasy of the Month.  I’ve been writing sex ever since.
  • What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
    • My favorite published book is Tell Me You Want Me. It was my first novel and I fell in love with the bad boy hero (he’s a lot like my husband).
  • Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
    • Jack Wheeler from Tell Me You Want Me and Secret Storm.  He’s a man with a dark past. On the surface, he’s charming and sociable, but underneath there’s a terrible secret haunting him.  He’s scarred physically and emotionally.  He intrigues me and he’s great in bed. ;)
  • How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
    • I daydream. 
  • If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
    • Two things: write stream of consciousness until I get the problem worked out, or take a shower.  I get great ideas in the shower.
  • If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
    • Jack – I want to check out the scars on his body. 
  • What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
    • I like erotic romance. That’s what I write.  I write contemporary, but I read historical, especially Scottish historicals.  I love men in kilts!
  • What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
    • Writing my first novel.  No, publishing and selling my first novel.  Writing was the easy part.  Selling it, especially when you’re self-published, is a HUGE challenge.
If you’re an erotica author, you can submit profile information to Erotica for All.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My mother told me to be a good girl

…but she never told me why.  All my life, I’ve always done what I’ve been told. Do your homework, Jane. Get good grades, Jane. Stay away from boys, Jane. 
Today I met this guy…Austin Sinclair.  I know who he is—campus heartbreaker, troublemaker—all around bad boy. He doesn’t know me, of course.  Why does that bug me?  It’s not like I’m looking for a guy.  It’s my senior year, and I’m focused on my career. I have no time and no need for men.
So why can’t I stop thinking about him?  He called me baby, sweetheart. God, that made me feel….  Anyway, I told him I wouldn’t go out with him unless he found out my name. I have nothing to worry about. He won’t bother.  Guys don’t chase after a girl like me.  I’m boring.  I’m plain. I’m a good girl.
But I don’t want to be good anymore. When Austin pressed his body up against mine (wow) I wanted to be bad—really bad—and somewhere, deep inside me, a bad girl came to life. Even if I never see Austin again, I’d like to know that bad girl better. But you know…I keep hoping he will find out my name. I’d love to see what happens then.
Meet Jane Elliot’s bad girl in Tell Me You Want Me available now on Kindle and Nook.        

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The bad boy appeal

I wrote the original version of this post while Lost was still on the air.
I watched the season premiere of Lost last night. Sawyer, the con man, is one of my favorite objects o’lust. He makes me hot in ways I can only begin to describe. Every week my husband asks me what I see in him (are you blind?) and other than the obvious fact that he’s gorgeous, the most appealing thing about Sawyer is that he’s a bad boy.
Yes, Sawyer and all bad boys can be pretty dangerous, but there is just something about them that makes many women wet, not just me. Let me see if I can explain why a bad boy appeals to me.
·         No strings attached. A bad boy is not marriage material. He’s not even relationship material. He is raw sex.
·         He’s dangerous. You don’t know what kind of trouble he’s going to start, but you can bet it’s gonna be a thrill ride.
·         You can’t control him. He doesn’t ask you what you like in bed. He tells you. Sometimes he doesn’t even tell you. Talk is overrated.
·         He doesn’t make love or have sex with you. He fucks you. He fucks you well.
·         He’s not afraid to get a little rough. A broken bed frame and a bruise or two means you had a good night.
Austin Sinclair, from Tell Me You Want Me, is a charming bad boy.  Playful and fun, his only threat to you is losing your heart.  His naughty personality was inspired by my husband.  Jack Wheeler, from Secret Storm, is a man with a secret past. Potentially dangerous when he loses control, he has a few bad boy moments—in the shower with Sara, for example.
Why is all that appealing? Bad boys appeal to my sexual nature at its most basic level. Primitive, animal, urgent.
I know there’s more, but I’m finding it hard to think straight at the moment. ;-) Who is your favorite bad boy?

Monday, April 18, 2011

The more sins you confess....

"The more sins you confess, the more books you will sell." Ninon de L'Enclos (1620-1705) French Author

Does that mean I need to confess my sins or my characters’?  Hmmm…I’ll start with my characters.
Austin Sinclair – charming star college quarterback who can’t keep it in his pants.  He calls his women baby or sweetheart because he can’t remember names and he doesn’t bother trying.  Even his name is sin.  Blames his father for his wicked ways.  But he’s about to meet the woman who challenges all that.
Jane Elliott – straight-A student, dedicated soccer player, and amazing softball pitcher who has no time for fun. Blames her mother for her repressed and guilt-plagued life.  But when she meets Austin, she makes time for fun. Is he worth the trouble?
Jack Wheeler – solid as a rock running back, dependable as they come best friend who won’t let anyone get close to him. Blames himself for a past tragedy he struggles to keep secret.  He wants to let Sara in, but he doesn’t know how to let the past go.
Sara Jensen – caring, comforting, giving woman who won’t take care of her own needs.  Blames her exes (including Austin) for her inability to trust men.  She knows Jack needs her, but why won’t he trust her?
Amelia James – author of melt-your-face erotic romance who keeps her genre choice secret from the people who know her best.  Blames her repressed upbringing for her current lustful ways.  She wants to tell her family about her books, but will they judge her?
So there you have it—sins galore.  I have lots more to confess, but I can’t do it all at once.  More stories to come—and I mean that in a good way. ;)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Who is this girl? And why do I want her?

I was just looking for a good time when she walked in and interrupted it.  Damn woman.  I’ve seen her before but I can’t remember….  She’s cute but she’s not the kind of girl who turns a guy’s head.  She’s got a body built for full-contact sports…if you know what I mean.  Dammit, what is her name?
I asked her out because that’s what I do. I’m Austin Sinclair, and I’m the campus heartbreaker.  I earned that reputation, I worked hard for it, and I’m proud of it.  But this girl wasn’t impressed.  That’s different.  Usually women do whatever I want, but she said no.  No? Are you kidding me?
Oh well. I can easily find another girl…if I want to. Hm. I don’t want to.  Dammit!  Why can’t I get her out of my head? I don’t even know her name so it should be easy to–
Wait. That’s it. She’s not easy. She’s stubborn, sexy, smart, stubborn. Yeah, I said that twice. She cringed when I called her baby, and those gorgeous green eyes burned right through me. Wow.  I asked her out again—I gotta get to know this girl—and she told me she would if I remembered her name.  Shit. I’m in trouble.
She plays soccer—that much I know. All I gotta do is find the team picture and…oh baby…. Sexy librarian glasses, messy pinned-up hair, gorgeous eyes—Jane Elliot. I’ll never forget her now. Janie, darlin’, I hope you’re looking for trouble because trouble just found you.

Find out how much trouble Jane and Austin get in: Tell Me You Want Me.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Romance novels are good for women

I was reading various blogs yesterday and I came across a humor blog that showed a romance novel cover with questionable images.  I skimmed through the comments and found several disparaging the romance writing genre. Aren’t they just porn for women? Romance novels are trash/bad for women—the same BS I heard growing up.  That’s when I jumped on my sex-is-a-good thing band wagon (and ended up having a very interesting email conversation with another author, but I’ll keep that to myself).  I started thinking (I do that too much) and I realized it wasn’t just sex that has a bad image (depending on who you ask), but romance novels too (again, you gotta consider your audience).
So today I’m on my romance-novels-are-good-for-you! bandwagon.  I started writing the stories in The Devil Made Me Do It when I was in my 30s. Even though I was never taught sex was bad, I somehow thought it was, and the idea behind those stories is that I need someone else to blame (i.e. the 'devil'), so I wasn't responsible when I liked sex or wanted to explore my sexual nature. Today’s romance novels show women who have a healthy interest in sex and they’re not afraid to enjoy it or express it. This is especially true of Sara Jensen, my heroine in Secret Storm (shameless plug). Sara and Jack have some issues in their relationship, but sex isn’t one of them. 
I’ve been addicted to romance novels since puberty, and I couldn’t give them up even when I tried.  They provided a place for me to explore my sexuality when I had nowhere else to turn, no one to talk to.  Sometimes I call them mindless escapism, but even more than that, romance novels are my refuge.
These two blogs make my point better than I do:
Being a feminist romance reader I sent this one to my mother-in-law and she said it confirmed her position that intelligent women read romance.
Okay, I hope I’m done thinking now.  I gotta get some work done!

How do you feel about romance novels? Are they just mindless porn or have you learned something from them?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why I write about sex

I look harmless. Everyone who ‘knows’ me thinks I’m a good girl. When I showed my sister my tattoo, she said, “Is that real?”  So if my family or high school friends ask me what I write about, the last thing they expect to hear is trashy romance novels.
I grew up in a very conservative and fundamental family and community. My mom dragged me to church every Sunday, I went to youth group twice a week, and in high school I was known as a holy roller.  I wasn’t taught sex was bad. I wasn’t taught about sex at all. I had to learn on my own and that wasn’t always a pleasant experience.
My mom tried to protect me from all the ‘bad things’ in the world. She wouldn’t let me listen to rock and roll, and she got music banned from school buses. She wouldn’t let me eat sugared cereals. She wouldn’t let me watch R-rated movies. So when I went to college—500 miles away from home—I lived on Lucky Charms. It was the best food in the cafeteria.  My MP3 is loaded with classic rock: Aerosmith, Van Halen, AC/DC (Def Leppard, Pour Some Sugar on Me, oooo naughty), and all the stuff I wasn’t allowed to listen to in high school. I’ve seen more X-rated movies than I can remember.
I write about sex because it was denied to me when I was growing up. I wasn’t allowed to experience innocent adolescent exploration.  I didn’t have a playful, joyful sexual awakening.  Mine was filled with guilt and shame, and I had no one to talk to so I found refuge in romance books.
(/rant) If you want to protect your daughter from something, expose her to it, carefully and with guidance. Let her learn why you think it’s bad and then give her the tools to decide for herself if it really is bad.  My mom and my church never told me why I had to wait until marriage. They just told me what to believe, and I was too shy to ask questions. (/end rant)
I write about sex because I believe sex was created for us to enjoy. I didn’t learn how to enjoy it until I was in my 30s, so there’s a lot of pent-up pleasure inside of me eager for release.  But mostly I write about sex because it’s a lot of fun, and I’m good at it. Sex is a pleasure I was denied for far too long.  I no longer have guilt about pleasure, but that’s a subject for another day.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sample Sunday: Halloween Treats

This story was published as Playgirl Magazine's Fantasy of the Month in November 1997. I added some detail, but the basic story is the same.

Boring, boring, boring.  Anna Jones stifled a yawn and tried to focus on the conversation around her.  It was the worst party in the history of Halloween.  The host was dull, the drinks flat, and the entertainment, well, less than entertaining.  When a sudden thunderstorm finally dropped the curtain on that so-called party, Anna took her cue and made an early exit. 
            The storm rumbled across town, but it wasn’t raining in her neighborhood yet, and the electricity was still on.  There was an hour of trick or treating left, so she rounded up some stray pieces of candy and put them in a basket in case any little ghosts and goblins came calling.  Catching a glimpse of herself in a mirror, she decided not to change out of her vampire victim costume.  Anna smiled, admiring her gown.  It was a great dress, something any bodice-ripper novel heroine would love to be ripped out of.  The full satin skirt trailed behind her just a bit, and the rich brocade bodice was laced up the front with a satin ribbon, shaping her full breasts very well. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

You will know my name

Yesterday when I was skimming through Twitter tweets, I found a post from the Indie Book Collective that said this: Bloggers, posting everyday is not a necessity. Make your post interesting and to the point. Quality over quantity.
While this is true about any kind of writing, my first thought was to disagree. I have some experience in business marketing, and what I learned was that you have to be persistent in getting your name in front of your customers—or in our case, readers.  I kept thinking (I tend to over think things), I realized it was a relief not to have to post every day.  I have enough to do already.
But I couldn’t get that thought out of my head, and I decided that for me, an unknown author trying to build name recognition, quantity is as important as quality.  Maybe J.K. Rowling and Nora Roberts don’t need to blog every day, but Amelia James (who the hell is she)? It couldn’t hurt.
So here I am again, writing my sixth post in three days.  I’ll do my best to keep them interesting and to the point, but until the name Amelia James equals well-known romance author, I’m going to post as often as possible. You will know my name.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: Tell Me You Want Me

I will admit, I haven’t read a romance novel in quite awhile, so I wasn’t exactly sure about what to expect. It has been said that a romance novel contains two elements: A basic love story and an emotionally satisfying ending. “Tell Me You Want Me”, by Amelia James, not only delivers these two elements brilliantly, but has the added element of amazingly hot, raunchy sex scenes.

“Tell Me You Want Me” centers on two characters: Jane Elliot, a brainy yet athletic college senior, whose focus on her studies leaves her little time for love, and Austin Sinclair, the studly football quarterback, who is simultaneously the campus heartthrob and heartbreaker. Their first encounter happens early on in the story and drives the point home that Austin is indeed a bad boy. Austin’s roommate and life-long friend Jack and Jane’s roommate Sara are also featured throughout the book.

At first glance, Austin seems like the typical “love ‘em  and leave ‘em” type of guy. However, a well-written prologue gives a background that informs the reader why Austin is the way he is with women. Keeping the reasons for Austin’s attitude toward women in the back of the reader’s mind instantly makes him more likeable. Ms. James doesn’t disappoint with her description of Austin as a love interest; he is “tall and strong with a smile like an angel and deep blue eyes that promised sin”. He has the boyish charm to accompany his good looks, he’s a (persistent) smooth talker, and he possesses a reputation of being amazing in bed. He has his pick of any woman he wants, whenever he wants.

Jane, on the other hand, is very much the opposite: Men are a distraction for her. She is a star soccer player and a scholar. Her mother didn’t let her date in high school, and even though Jane is away at college, her mother’s strict rules still apply in her mind. The reader finds out about Jane’s sexual history, which isn’t quite the same as Austin’s. Despite all of that, and despite the fact that Jane isn’t usually the type of girl that Austin would go for, Jane finds herself unable to resist Austin.  Perhaps it is because of his reputation…and his muscular body. Maybe her attraction to him is based on what he represents and what she desires: freedom.

The sex scenes in “Tell Me You Want Me” are hot to the point that they will make your face melt. Ms. James is very straightforward with them, although there are a few scenes with a bit of refreshing build-up. Descriptive and graphic language brings realness to these situations and avoids the cheesiness that one might expect from a romance novel.

The story and growth of Jane and Austin make this book a pleasure to read. As the book progresses, they change in many ways; some are obvious, but there are some surprises. Can Austin reign in his impulses? Will Jane finally be able to let herself go? Will Jane and Austin fall in love, or is this just a fling for the both of them? What happens when Austin’s father enters the picture? These conflicts and more are resolved quite nicely, and an epilogue ties everything together and wraps it up with a bow and a believable conclusion.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. “Tell Me You Want Me” delivers a light, fun, sexy whirlwind of a romance that required me to take a cold shower after I was finished reading it. The story balanced out the sex, and the ongoing tension between Jane and Austin kept me flipping the pages. I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to read a love story with a good amount of hot sex involved. Who wouldn’t want to check that out?

Lisa McFerren