Monthly Archives: August 2012
If you’re visiting us for the first time for the Romancing The Blog Hop welcome! Please pull up a chair, kick off your shoes, grab something to drink and chat a spell. Here on the blog we love to talk about books…mostly romance books. In honor of the hop I’m also giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Entry has two simple parts. You do not have to like me on Facebook…or friend me on Twitter…or tweet anything to your followers…though if you want to do those things that would be fine.
To enter the contest:
Part 1: Answer one (or more) of the questions below or join the conversation by responding to someone else’s comment in the comments section. EACH comment is good for one entry into the drawing so if you answer each question that will give your four entries. If you come back and respond to comments left by other people that will give you even more entries. Conversation is fun!
- What is it that draws you to the romance genre?
- What is your favorite sub-genre and why?
- Who is your favorite romance author and why?
- What is the last book you read – would you recommend it – to which readers?
Somewhere in your comment or response mention something you saw on this blog besides this post. You don’t need the link…you can be general…something like I enjoyed the post from guest author xxx on alpha heroes (note there is no guest author xxx-so don’t copy this).
You do not need to leave your email within your comment, though you do need to fill it in within the form that you use to type your comment. I will be using the email in the form to send out the $25 Amazon gift card, so be sure you leave the email address you’d want a gift card sent to.
That’s it – simple and fun – right?
My answers to the questions are in the comments section…you can respond or leave a comment of your own to enter the contest.
When you’ve finished enjoying this blog be sure to bookmark us so you can find your way back. Then check out the 200 other blogs and enter their contests by visiting Romancing The Blog Hop and clicking on each participating blog.
There are some great GRAND prizes being given away through this hop too. They include:
- 1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet (The Kindle Fire is VERY cool – I have one and do a good share of my reading on it – the rest I do on my Android phone).
- 2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
- 3rd Grand Prize: A Large Swag Pack
Have fun hopping!
Today we have Mysti Holiday joining us on a single day blog tour – meaning she’s making a bunch of stops at a bunch of blogs all on ONE day! She’s out and about today, making the rounds to talk about her latest release Sugar Walls. Sugar Walls is a story about best friends who after years of friendship find themselves attracted on a sexual level. I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of best friends to lovers stories. Do you like friends to lovers stories? What do you like most (or least) about this type of romance novel? Leave your comments after the blog post to enter Mysti’s giveaway.
Mysti will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one random commenter and to one random host at the conclusion of the tour. Leave your comment here to enter, then follow the rest of the tour to enter at the other stops for more chances to win.
About Mysti Holiday
She’s married to a wonderful man who happily sacrifices himself for research, and she spends most of her days dreaming of interesting and unusual situations in which to place her characters. But most of all, she’s a sucker for a happy ending.
About Sugar Walls
When Emilie is dumped by her boyfriend, best friend Jack Voss offers a shoulder and a place to live–the other side of his duplex. He’s always there, fixing her problems, her car, her sink. Emilie doesn’t know what she’d do without him, or with the feelings she’s having for him. His shoulder doesn’t just offer comfort anymore; his touch is a turn-on. Their shared wall is the only thing keeping them from sharing a bedroom—and fanning the flames might risk breaking something that Jack can’t fix.
An Excerpt From Sugar Walls
Emilie hadn’t lied about the leak in her pipes. Just like she hadn’t broken her dishwasher, or the leg off her couch, or the alternator in her car on purpose. But, to be honest, it was almost a relief when those things happened, because they gave her an excuse to see Jack.
She’d called him first thing this morning when running water for her coffee had resulted in puddles beneath the sink. He’d come over the first chance he’d had and now he was on his hands and knees on the linoleum looking at the pipe that oozed moisture, oblivious to the woman behind him who was also soaking wet, albeit for an entirely different reason.
His ass looked good enough to take a big bite out of. Emilie couldn’t help herself; it was right there, sticking out from under her kitchen sink, and she had to clench her hands into tight fists to keep from grabbing it. Still, that didn’t keep her mind from wandering, and when one of his hands reached out for a wrench, she pictured it on her, cupping her breasts, thumbs circling the rosy buds. Instantly her nipples puckered, as tightly clenched as her hands, and her crotch dampened even more.
Keep Up With Mysti Holiday
Please welcome author Starla Kaye back to the blog. In the past Starla has entertained us with posts about hair, Medieval warhorses, and posts about heroes and heroines. Today she’s here to talk about something she’s been doing for a long time…writing spanking stories. Please make Starla feel welcome by leaving your questions and comments for her at the end of this post.
Writing a spanking story
By Starla Kaye
I have been writing and publishing romances with spanking elements for over ten years and have gradually figured out what works for me. My stories vary from erotic play to light domestic discipline elements to harsher punishments, even with some BDSM at times. I do not write the severe type of discipline stories, which doesn’t mean that I don’t read them occasionally. They just aren’t the stories that I prefer to write.
Above all else in my books involving spanking, my characters trust each other. They also either love each other or are falling in love—be it a f/m or a m/m story. Even in my harshest punishment books, Hawke’s Lady (a pirate story) and Royal Directive (a sci-fi story), the hero and heroine had strong feelings for one another.
Anytime you write a romance there are a lot of basic components to consider: the time period, setting, basic mores of the time, and the general plot. Then there are the characters and their backgrounds, their emotional baggage, and their individual goals. And there are the conflicts that keep them from reaching their goals too easily, and conflicts that have the main characters basically butting heads from time to time.
In a spanking romance (which is how I refer to the stories I write), there are even more components to deal with. How intense should the discipline be in the particular story? Who is the dominant character? Who is the submissive? How does each of them feel about discipline and what made them feel that way? Do they agree between them to certain rules and certain types of punishment? Will all of the punishments be consensual, non-consensual, or a mixture?
The writer of such stories should also understand the basics of various types of discipline. This includes the how and why of the different kinds of punishment: casual, pre-emptive, disobedient, maintenance, motivational, multiple, stress relief, punishment, or erotic/play. It is also good to have knowledge of the various types of implements.
Here is an excerpt from “Snowed in with Her Cowboy” from the anthology Cowboys in Charge that shows some of what I have described. This is a couple with a struggling marriage, who have agreed on domestic discipline with certain boundaries, and they love and trust each other. This would be more of a stress relief type of discipline.
Kelly’s heart pounded, her whole body thrummed in anticipation. Her husband was going to spank her.
She’d pushed him to the breaking point this time. How had this gotten so out of control? She hadn’t meant to attack him. Her head hurt, her heart hurt. Everything in her life seemed to be wrong at the moment. Her job. Their marriage. It was Christmas time and she usually loved this part of the year. This year it was yet another burden to bear.
James sat down on the side of the bed and drew her to his side, jerking her from her musings. “This isn’t necessary,” she said and looked anxiously at him. The sad expression on his ruggedly handsome face made her feel even worse. She loved this man with all of her heart, and yet lately all she seemed to do was argue with him and cause him pain.
“I think it is.” He guided her over his hard thighs. “It’s been a while since I’ve burned your butt. Usually it calms you down. I’m hoping it will again.”
Yes, she’d calm down.
He moved his thumb so that it smoothed lightly over her lips and he heard her breath catch. “I wouldn’t mind at all spanking you a bit. Letting you find out for yourself how exciting it can be. If you’re game, that is.”
Her eyes widened and she mulled it over. It sort of tickled him that she thought everything over so much.
“Yes, I believe I would like to try it,” she said quietly.
Well, hell! She continually surprised him. Before she could change her mind, he helped her move next to his stretched out legs. Then she slid across his lap, squirming forward until she had her bottom over his right thigh.
“Is this right?” She looked back at him, cheeks pink, but determined to do this correctly.
“Perfect, darlin’.” He fingered the edges of the tiny lace panties. “Normally I give bare bottom spankings. But I don’t think these little scraps are going to lessen either your pleasure or mine.”
She buried her head in her arms and he heard a muffled, “I’m ready.”
Every square inch of her looked tense. You’d have thought she was in for a serious walloping and had braced for it. He almost chuckled, but he didn’t want to embarrass her. This was a brand new experience for her and he wanted it to be a good one. Gently he smoothed his hand over her creamy buttocks until she seemed to settle down. Then he lightly smacked one cheek with his open palm. He quickly followed that one with a slightly harder smack to the other cheek.
Head still buried, she moaned, “Oh. Ummm.”
He picked up the pace and spanked her lightly, then harder, then lightly for several minutes. Her smooth cheeks turned a pretty shade of pink and he was getting a serious hard-on. Unsure if he could do anymore, he asked huskily, “Had enough, sweetheart?”
She wriggled back off his lap, reached back to touch her bottom, and smiled. “Interesting. It stung just a little. But mainly it made me hot all over.”
She rubbed her butt. “Warm. Tingly.” Then she smiled sassily and reached around to touch between her legs. “Inside, too.”
Dexter fought the powerful urge to lay her down right then and take her. But he remembered all the planning for tonight she’d done. He had to hang on a while longer. “How about we try something else now?”
“Really? You’re still up for these little games?” She looked so excited he couldn’t have denied her anything. But it would cost him.
In answer, he guided her to lie down beside him. As she watched him curiously, he picked up the can of chocolate and ran a tiny line of syrup around each nipple, trailed a line down her abdomen, stopping just above her curly auburn bush. She quivered and sucked in a breath as he set the can down. At this point his cock was throbbing something awful, frantic for thrusting deep within her. But he couldn’t do it yet. She was waiting, watching, anticipating. He’d finish this game for her, even if it killed him.
My final example of using a spanking element in a story to heighten the sensual/sexual intensity comes from my latest book from Decadent Publishing, The CEO and the Cowboy, a m/m romance. These are two alpha men, both strong-willed and confident who began a relationship that surprised them both. As in all romances, they reached a save-it or break-it moment and have discovered how badly they want to save it. I won’t fully explain the circumstances that led to this moment, but it was a situation that turned things around for them.
He watched Calhoun’s face redden in embarrassment as he stepped next to him. His respect grew even more. He’d never been spanked as an adult, but he’d done it before to other men. He wasn’t exactly a Dom, yet he got a certain thrill out of baring a man’s ass and turning it red with his hand. His lover had one of the best asses he’d ever seen. That fact, along with the musky scent of arousal and the sight of that long, thick shaft, made his own erection grow even harder. He wanted this man. He wanted him down on all fours, his fine ass waiting for him to drive deep inside his tight hole.
“You know this is difficult for me to do,” Calhoun said uneasily, pulling him from the pleasant thoughts.
“You can change your mind,” he offered, testing him. He could take the apology and give him a second chance. But getting the big man to submit to him in this manner seemed important. If they could get through this, maybe they really might have a chance at a solid relationship.
“No. I came here to say my piece, knowing what you might do.” Calhoun heaved a disgusted sigh. “I did wrong by you. Said things I shouldn’t have, and I didn’t mean.”
The cowboy’s cock remained fully aroused, and he sensed it embarrassed his lover to be in such a state under the circumstances. It took a lot of courage and determination to stand there so exposed and vulnerable. If he hadn’t already been in love with him, this would have done it. No other lover had ever made him feel as deeply as this one did. No other man had ever made him as desperate to fuck as he did.
But they needed to deal with his problem first. It was one of those “start as you plan to do in the future” times. He expected to be respected, or there would be consequences to pay. In turn, he expected to pay respect to him or pay the penalties himself. He believed in fair play.
He nodded at his lap, waiting to see if Calhoun would actually make the next move. It took a second, but he stretched his six-foot-two body awkwardly over his thighs. The stiff cock settled against the side of his leg. Just the feel of it had his heart pounding. He knew well how good it felt to have the shaft thrusting into his ass. But it wouldn’t happen tonight. No, after this unpleasant business was taken care of, he would be the one driving home, firmly in charge.
“I suspect this is the first time you’ve been in this awkward position as an adult.” He nudged the jeans and briefs down to mid-thigh, pulling in a breath of admiration at the sight of the taut ass before him. He loved that butt.
“Definitely.” He kept his head down, clearly uncomfortable. “It’s been a long damn time since I went over my dad’s lap.”
He shifted his shirt higher, thinking about how much he wanted to strip his lover of every shred of his clothes. He smoothed a hand over the butt cheeks, and they quivered under his touch.
Calhoun craned his head around. “If you’d rather forget this….” He let the hopeful suggestion fade away, but his expression was resigned to what he meant to do.
HAWKE’S LADY from Blushing Books
ROYAL DIRECTIVE from Blushing Books
COWBOYS IN CHARGE from Black Velvet Seductions
SNOWED IN WITH HER COWBOY (as a single story) from Black Velvet Seductions
RANCH CHRISTMAS from Blushing Books
SANTA WEARS SPURS (as a single story) from Blushing Books
THE CEO AND THE COWBOY from Decadent Publishing
Please welcome Cara Bristol back to the blog. Today Cara is talking about book endings.
Letting readers bask in the afterglow…
By Cara Bristol
Imagine enjoying a moving, thrilling sexual encounter with someone you love, and then two seconds after your partner comes, he pulls out, grabs his pants and dashes out the door. “It was great. Thanks, Babe.” With a wink and smile, he disappears, never to be seen again.
Wouldn’t it kind of spoil the moment? Forget the moment, wouldn’t it cast a pall on the relationship?
Yet some romance novels end with that way, robbing the reader of warm and fuzzies after an intense, emotional experience. The endings are too abrupt. End of story, end of final chapter.
We know the hero is going to get the girl. It’s a foregone conclusion. The couple might live Happily For Now, rather than Happily Ever After, but they still come together.
So what makes for a good ending isn’t WHAT happens but HOW it happens and how long it takes to happen. In romance, perhaps more so than in any other genre, readers identify with the characters. We laugh, we cry, we worry (we get horny) right along with the heroine and live vicariously through her to love and lust after the hero.
But until the end, all is not rosy for the couple. They have conflicts, experience despair, may even break up. We, as emotionally-invested readers, suffer with them.
So when a story ends – BAM! — with the resolution of the plot, it feels too abrupt. We’ve been cheated out of the post story afterglow that leaves us feeling satisfied.
In Imaginary Land off the page, the characters go on to live happily ever after, but readers can’t. Our emotional journey ends with the book.
What I try to do as an author is to let my characters be happy for a while AFTER the plot has been resolved. As a practical matter, that means ending the story – having the characters reunite — in the middle of the final chapter and then bask in their togetherness to the end. If my readers have struggled with my characters, I want there to be payoff for them too.
One of the WORST romance endings I’ve encountered occurred in one of the most beautifully written novels I’ve ever read. It was a historical romance in which an emotionally damaged young woman goes to work as secretary for a physically scarred man. I cried throughout the entire novel.
And then it ended. Maybe not a BAM, but a bam. Happily, yes, but the resolution wasn’t quite long enough for the amount of angst I had suffered. But I would have been okay if author hadn’t stabbed me in the heart and twisted the knife.
She included an epilogue.
Fast forward about 50 years. The heroine attends the hero’s funeral!
NOOOOOO! After everything the hero and heroine went through – after everything I went through – for the hero to die even 50 years later – left me feeling awful. I do not want to be sad after I finish a romance novel. That’s not why I read them.
What kinds of endings do you like to see or not see in a romance?
Cara Bristol is the author of Intimate Submission, Secret Desires, Unexpected Consequences (Rod and Cane Society Book 1), False Pretenses (Rod and Cane Society Book 2), A Scent of Longing and Reckless In Moonlight. Her seventh erotic romance, Destiny’s Chance was contracted by Loose Id and she is busy at work on her third Rod and Cane story. The title is a secret.
As those who’ve been reading the blog for a while know, we’ve participated in blog hops in the past. Personally I enjoy them. It’s fun to see new people here and it’s fun to read their comments. It’s lovely when those who stop by on a blog hop become regular readers.
Because the blog hops we’ve done in the past have been fun I signed us up to participate in three more that will be taking place throughout the fall. Since we’ve jumped onto the bandwagon of blog hops I thought I’d ask those of you who read this blog, what is it that attracts you to a blog hop? Do you usually visit every site on a hop or do you hop around a bit only visiting a few sites? What factors influence which blogs you hop to?
One thing I noticed about the blog hops I signed up for was that they seem to have a loose theme associated with them. For example, THE ALPHA MALE BLOG HOP October 19-22 is focused on alpha males. Do you like blog hops where all the bloggers focus on a specific topic for the hop or do you prefer blog hops where topics are varied and everything goes? What have been some of the more fun blog hops you’ve participated in?
When you visit a blog on a blog hop, what kinds of posts do you like to see? Have you done blog hops for things other than books?
When you visit a new blog on a hop do you usually read just the post on the landing page or do you poke around a bit on the blog? What elements on a blog would make it likely you’d return to the blog again after the blog hop?
Most blog hops have prizes to be won at each stop. What kind of prizes do you like to see offered? Which prizes guarantee you’ll stop at a specific blog on a tour?
Me…when I take part in a blog hop I usually don’t visit anywhere near all the sites because I tend to get drawn in by the first few blogs I visit and I tend to poke around a lot in those blogs. The result is that I don’t get to those further down the list.
One of the more fun blog hops that I did was a blog hop where each blog gave away a pattern for a quilt block with a spring theme. That was a lot of fun as it was a bit of a treasure hunt with each blog having a free pattern that was the “goodie”. In spite of getting drawn into the blogs quite a bit, I still managed to collect a fair number of spring themed quilt block patterns which I will someday use in a quilt.
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