March 29, 2015

Talking Shop: Revisiting "Mates" ~ A Paranormal Romance Cheat

This "Talking Shop" article originally went live in February of last year. It's one of my favorite subjects and hopefully it will get more PNR authors thinking more about one of the genre's most overused tropes.

 


I'll be the first to admit that I can be an Overly-Analytic Bitch when it comes to the stories I read and write.  However, I also feel the genre of erotic romance, and especially paranormal erotic romance, gets a bad rap in "mainstream" circles. As erotica continues to gain more legitimacy, authors in the market must strive to keep the genre fresh, original and dynamic. To do that, we need to get away from cheats, tropes, and cliches.


One of my least favorite overused tropes in paranormal romance is the concept of "mates".


March 27, 2015

Friday Free Read: Lead Me Not...

This week's Free Read takes place in the world of the Four Courts; the urban fantasy series begun with Goblin Fires. Lead Me Not features one of the lovely Winter Royals: Talaith, Fourth Daughter of Oberon. If you've read Goblin Fires, this short story takes place before the events of that book.

Talaith recognized the perfume the moment she stepped into one of the private alcoves backstage. Jasmine and hibiscus: a scent all at once nostalgic, bittersweet, and arousing. Even in the pounding atmosphere of Frostbite, the New York nightclub owned and operated by the Winter Court—her court, in other words—that subtle scent stole all of Talaith's attention. 



"Kymera," she mused in a tone of playful exasperation. "What a pleasant surprise."

March 25, 2015

Wednesday Writing Challenge: Blood on the Floor

Welcome to the Wednesday Writing Challenge!

Every Wednesday, I pose a new writing challenge here on the blog. These challenges come from books on writing, classes I've taken on creative writing, or sometimes just from my own imagination. If you're an author, hopefully they will help you get your writing juices flowing and help you improve your craft.

 


 

??  Want to Participate  ??

The Wednesday Challenges are open to all readers. In order to participate, simply comment on the challenge post with your response to the exercise. Not only is it good practice, but you could win something nifty and fun!

March Prize: A copy of Secret Identities, a new Breathless Press anthology!





For Full Contest Details, See Here ~

PLEASE REMEMBER YOU MUST BE SIGNED UP FOR THE NEWSLETTER. OTHERWISE I MAY NOT BE ABLE TO NOTIFY YOU IF YOU WIN!

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 And now...

***Here's Today's Challenge!***

March 23, 2015

Talking Shop: Tentacles, Furries, Rape Fantasy ~ Taboo Sexual Fantasy

It's an exciting time to talk about sexual identity and lifestyle. Especially with the ever-increasing number of social media and special interest sites, many, many more people are finding a place to explore and learn more about their own sexual identities, and others who share them.

 

What's the difference between a hentai schoolgirl and a Catholic schoolgirl?

 

Even with this advent of increasing sexual identity awareness, though, there are still some areas of sexual fantasy and interest that get the side-eye from others. As an erotic author, this creates an opportunity: I'm a huge fan of exploration of these 'taboo' sexual fantasy realms, and the underlying allure that makes them attractive--and hopefully, more accessible to the mainstream.

March 19, 2015

Friday Free Read: The Gothic Doll

It's time to meet yet another one of the demon clans from my Blood and Fire series. You can read all about the succubi in my short novella, Angel's Keeping, but first enjoy a little taste of their magic with this story about a wistful young man and his darkest fantasy.

 

It started innocently enough: she appeared in the coffee shop, a fair-haired girl, a little gothic doll.  She wore dark lipstick, gray eyes framed by dark lashes and smoky eyeshadow.  She wore her hair with a headband decorated by the skull-and-crossbones symbol, and her off-the-shoulder black blouse showed the tattoo of a Chinese dragon winding up her right shoulder.  She sat in the corner, sinking into the cushions of a sofa to watch the readers with silent interest.


Darren noticed her during one of his poems, her head tilted slightly to the side as she listened, fingering the heavy pewter pendant around her throat.  She was instantly captivating: dark and elegant, beautiful in a way he might never have expected.  
When he left the stage, though, she glanced away, almost skittishly, and stood up again, hurrying out the door.

March 18, 2015

Wednesday Writing Challenge: Sensory Deprivation

Welcome to the Wednesday Writing Challenge! 


I was sad to see no one tried this one...so I'm giving it another go, but this time you can earn ~3~ entries in the monthly competition!

Do give it a try, darlings...

Every Wednesday, I pose a new writing challenge here on the blog. These challenges come from books on writing, classes I've taken on creative writing, or sometimes just from my own imagination. If you're an author, hopefully they will help you get your writing juices flowing and help you improve your craft.

 


Some of these challenges may be very good ones or may include an element I consider highly important for writers to learn...so occasionally I may cycle through some of my favorites more than once. 

 

??  Want to Participate  ??

The Wednesday Challenges are open to all readers. In order to participate, simply comment on the challenge post with your response to the exercise. Not only is it good practice, but you could win something nifty and fun!

 

March Prize: A copy of Secret Identities, a new Breathless Press anthology!




For Full Contest Details, See Here ~

PLEASE REMEMBER YOU MUST BE SIGNED UP FOR THE NEWSLETTER. OTHERWISE I MAY NOT BE ABLE TO NOTIFY YOU IF YOU WIN!

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 And now...

***Here's Today's Challenge!***


Write about an everyday interaction.

Walking the dog.

Gardening.

Eating a meal.

Chatting at the office.

Spending time with a loved one.

Make up your own.


Describe the experience as though you are completely blind.

March 15, 2015

Talking Shop: Fan-Fiction

Recently, an author friend of mine was the victim of a little author bullying, on the subject of fan fiction and writing. This particular brand of bullying comes along as a result of the idea that, "fan fiction is not real writing."

 

Thorin and Thranduil "slash" fiction

 

Truth Time: a few years back, I would completely agree with this opinion. I remember attending write-ins and kick-off parties for National Novel Writing Month, where fellow participants would announce their November project was a Dr. Who fan fic, or a mashup of their favorite Avengers/DC Characters, and--I'll admit--I harbored a very negative opinion of them. To me, National Novel Writing Month was a professional challenge, the purpose of which was to produce an original, imaginative, and potentially publishable work. People who used already-established characters and worlds as their set-up were, to my mind, 'cheating'.

March 13, 2015

Friday Free Read: Join the Party

In this week's Talking Shop, I discussed the positive points of a writer experimenting with a subject, without self-inhibition. It makes for a very good exercise, even if what the author is working on doesn't make it to publication.

That's what I had in mind when I wrote this short story: Join the Party. This is my attempt at writing something super-hot just for the sake of seeing how far I could push it.



The house was thumping with loud music and milling bodies, liquor flowing like, well, wine at a feast of Bacchus.  Yes, I know Greek mythologies—I’m a straight-A student.  Nobody at this party would probably expect that, though…

I grinned behind the lip of my red plastic cup.  I was drinking rum and coke tonight: sweet and bubbly, a little bit playful.  I was feeling a little bit playful.  No, heck… I was feeling downright dirty.

March 11, 2015

Wednesday Writing Challenge: Messy Bedroom

Welcome to the Wednesday Writing Challenge!

Every Wednesday, I pose a new writing challenge here on the blog. These challenges come from books on writing, classes I've taken on creative writing, or sometimes just from my own imagination. If you're an author, hopefully they will help you get your writing juices flowing and help you improve your craft.

 


Some of these challenges may be very good ones or may include an element I consider highly important for writers to learn...so occasionally I may cycle through some of my favorites more than once. 

 

??  Want to Participate  ??

The Wednesday Challenges are open to all readers. In order to participate, simply comment on the challenge post with your response to the exercise. Not only is it good practice, but you could win something nifty and fun!

 

March Prize: A copy of Secret Identities, a new Breathless Press anthology!




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March 9, 2015

Talking Shop: A Writer's Self-Indulgence

http://kharyrandolph.deviantart.com/art/Sleeping-Beauty-175036459

                     Sleeping Beauty
               by
KharyRandolph on DeviantArt           

I've recently been reading the erotic Sleeping Beauty trilogy by A.N. Roquelore (Anne Rice, actually). It's been on my radar for a few years but honestly hadn't captured my interest. My decision to finally read the books came more out of a sense they'd be a good opportunity to learn something.


Mind you, I read a lot of books - including Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey - for this reason. I'm of the opinion authors can learn something worthwhile from a book, even if the book itself is atrocious...and believe me, some of the books I've "learned from" are definitely atrocious. But in fact, I think the terrible books quite often teach the best lessons, if in a cautionary manner.


But back to the Beauty trilogy. If you don't know, these books explore an alternate epilogue to the traditional Sleeping Beauty myth: a world in which, after the Prince awakens her, Beauty is swept into a new life as a sexual slave, and introduced to a world of bondage, discipline, wildly indulgent sexuality, and decadence. In an author's foreword included in my audiobook editions, Anne Rice describes her intent to make every page one filled with heat, sensuality, and arousal. If readers are going to dog-ear the steamiest parts to return to later, her wish was that every page of the Beauty trilogy would be tagged.

March 6, 2015

Friday Free Read -- Black Magic Lust

A Friday Free Read
From the World of Blood and Fire

Caleb’s quarters were dark, lit only by the flickering half-light of candles ensconced in little braziers along the wall.  His rooms were deep within the family’s sprawling manor, no windows to the outside. Typical of him.  A fair scene for secret sins.

 

He took me with a passion born deep, a hunger and desire we’d kept simmering on the fire for far too long.  He devoured me, every part of me, eating me up like a proud, powerful lion.  He couldn’t be starved—Caleb would never have any trouble finding willing partners.  Tall and brooding, he turns women’s heads with his long, tawny blonde hair and roughly stubbled jaw; he speaks with a gently rolling brogue, calling ladies lassies and fillies and luvs.  He's deadly and dangerous, anyone could tell, and I’d seen scores of hot-blooded women throw themselves at his mercies, offering him their bodies with gleeful desire.  I know he’s a man who’s never had to go without: still, when we came together, he was consumed by an intensity that drove me wild.

 

Caleb could have any woman he wanted.  It was part of his contract.

 

 “Shyla,” he gasped, pushing me up against the wall and kissing me with feverish lust.  “Och, Shyla, you're like fire.” 

 

Any woman but me, that is.

March 4, 2015

Wednesday Writing Challenge: Wordstorming

Welcome to the Wednesday Writing Challenge!

Every Wednesday, I pose a new writing challenge here on the blog. These challenges come from books on writing, classes I've taken on creative writing, or sometimes just from my own imagination. If you're an author, hopefully they will help you get your writing juices flowing and help you improve your craft.

 


Some of these challenges may be very good ones or may include an element I consider highly important for writers to learn...so occasionally I may cycle through some of my favorites more than once. 

 

??  Want to Participate  ??

The Wednesday Challenges are open to all readers. In order to participate, simply comment on the challenge post with your response to the exercise. Not only is it good practice, but you could win something nifty and fun!

 

March Prize: A copy of Secret Identities, a new Breathless Press anthology!




 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 2, 2015

Talking Shop: Sexual Identity and Storytelling

While recently chatting with a friend and sometime beta-reader of mine, I asked him how he felt about the main character, Sadira, in my current work-in-progress, tentatively titled Master Me.

My beta reader kind of shrugged and said he didn't really care for stories of BDSM, and Sadira's character was (to him at least) entirely defined by her involvement in power exchange. He had some of the usual stereotypes about power exchange in mind: why would an "abuse survivor" return to a lifestyle of abuse, for example, and assumptions aplenty that the story was really about the character's "warped mindset". All ideas that I hoped to unravel in the story of Master Me, really. What struck me, though, was his expectation that Sadira's sexual identity was only about what happened in the bedroom.