When rehabilition is required for the ‘victims’ of #BDSM by @Lance_Lly

The Home of Wayward Girls: Beginnings Book One of a BDSM tale of love, sex and power by Lance Llyn Lance Lyn isn’t just your average stuffy businessman, he’s a billionaire corporate investor who finds investments in alternative sources of … Continue reading

How do you like your love fix?

Mills and Boon or hard-core erotica? Realistic and
gritty, or pure fantasy and escapism? Maybe with a blend of humour, or a touch
of the paranormal?
Contemporary romance is all about modern love, sex
and relationships; but the diversity is as vast as the open sea. It’s just
about the biggest umbrella term in fiction and probably the most subjective;
although the sub-genre list is growing so the chances of not finding something
to your taste, is pretty slim!
I love the scope of writing in this genre and the
reading of it has led me to pastures new in terms of variety. To be honest,
there are few books outside this genre that don’t benefit from a romantic
interest running alongside the main theme. And yet . . . I struggle with the
word, ‘romantic’. It still invites those old images of perfect young couples
silhouetted against a sunset, gazing into each other’s eyes. The woman was
always rescued by the man, usually a doctor, the ‘happy ever after’ was always
guaranteed, and usually well in sight by the beginning of the last chapter.
For a good while, romantic fiction has been all
about the beautiful, thirty-something-year-old woman being let down by a man;
but what about the forty-something-year-old man, being let down by a woman?
Romance in novels has evolved and changed along with
the role of women in society. What used to be deemed almost as porn, is now
acceptable in fiction . . . or is it? What does get me slightly hot under the
collar is the idea that erotica is romantic; it tends not to be in my opinion.
We know the basic facts, don’t we? That, as women, we need more emotional
connection for a piece to feel sexy, or romantic.
Can I get away with not mentioning 50 Shades? No?
Okay, I guess not. Well, I didn’t feel the love with this book and I’m taking a
gamble that the current fascination with being tied up will fade, along with
the vampires and the gargoyles. So, is erotica another name for soft porn?
On the other side of the coin, romance with no love
scene or hint of sex in any shape or form, is slightly unrealistic for these
times. If an author has built sexual tension into a novel then I tend to feel a
bit cheated when the characters, poised at the scene of the act, skip forwards
to the following day or the chapter suddenly ends. I feel like the door has
firmly closed, with me, the reader, on the wrong side of it.
Personally, I feel sex in fiction works best when
the sexual passages fit within the tone of the book. It’s a very fine line to
write good sexual scenes and, for me, it always works best when it just
triggers the imagination, but without taking its place entirely. I find romance
much more enjoyable to read (and write about) when it is blended within real
relationships. After all, the actual chemistry of love is still something of an
enigma and one of the most powerful feelings we can experience. Although
research can fill in a lot of gaps, there is no substitute for drawing on real
life experiences and most readers can easily tell the difference, especially if
you are aiming at ‘realistic and contemporary’.

And lastly, what about the men? We have some
terrific male romance writers, which just prove that the old images of this
genre are becoming less and less contrived. So, in answer to the original
question, I like my love fix with some feeling; sometimes funny, sometimes
poignant, but above all it has to be real.

Author Jan Ruth

Jan Ruth has written three, full length, novels: Wild Water, Midnight Sky and White Horizon. Find Jan Ruth here:


Jan Ruth on Amazon

When writing romantic scenes where does one draw the line?

Cindy McDonald

E.L. James certainly took boundaries to another level but even the most timid romance readers were picking up her books and diving in. The critics went nuts, but hey ya know what? Everyone, yes, everyone, was reading the Fifty Shades trilogy.

I love a well written love scene, and I make a concerted effort to read a lot of them. Why? Because when I write a hot scene I want it to be hot. I don’t want it to fall flat, and for the reader to roll their eyes with a grumbling “Eh…” tumbling from their lips. But not everyone is comfortable writing the kind of scenes like that of Christian Grey’s “playroom”. As for me, I find myself walking a very vigilant line. Let me explain…

When I published my first book, Deadly.Com, I informed my husband over dinner one evening that there were a few “suggestive” scenes within the pages. He stopped with his fork almost to his mouth, looked at me over his glasses, and said, “What do you mean by suggestive?” Uh, oh, I could see this was going to be a problem. You see my husband and his family are an extremely conservative group of people, and I could see in my husband’s face that he didn’t want to have to explain to his family that his wife was writing dirty books. In fact, after Deadly.Com was published and the family read my book, they have never mentioned my writing or my books again. It is sort of a taboo subject at family gatherings. Hmmmm.

Okay, so while I was writing my second book, Hot Coco, my husband decided to broach the very sensitive subject over breakfast on the deck one morning. He very casually said, “I hope you’re keeping those suggestive scenes in check. I mean you spent twenty-six years as Miss Cindy, the dance teacher in this community. People entrusted their children to you. What would they think?”

Wow! That put a whole new spin on writing romance—which is exactly what Hot Coco is, a romantic comedy. And yes, there are suggestive scenes in the book. I was taken aback. Should I concern myself as to the position that I used to hold in the community? Is this a problem for romance writers in general? Are their reputations in the community tarnished because they write books with sex or suggestive moments? I had never thought about it before. When E.L. James’s neighbors see her in the grocery store, are they wondering if her playroom is red? Are they speculating as to how many different kinds of whips she might own? Yikes!

You may be asking yourself, what is this writer going to do? Is she going to allow her in-laws and her former occupation to dictate what she writes? Nope.

When I posted the excerpt from the third book of my series, Dangerous Deception, on my website I featured a very sensual scene between Ava and Lugowski. As a matter of fact, it is also the featured excerpt announcing the book at the end of Hot Coco as well. That said my scenes are of a sultry suggestive nature. I have never written an in-your-face sex scene naming body parts or taking the reader into the steamy tangle of desire between the sheets with the characters—yet.

My Unbridled series has been mainly murder/suspense storylines with one romantic comedy thrown into the mix for fun; however I have an ardent desire to write a romantic suspense series, and have decided to do so in 2013. I have some decisions to make as I write my new series. Will I cross that line to pen those hot sex scenes? Or shall I protect my sweet Miss Cindy dance teacher reputation and remain steadfast on this side of the line: very sensual yet strictly suggestive scenes?

I think through it all an author has to find his/her own comfort level, without becoming too comfortable, too complacent in one’s creativity. I truly admire writers like E.L. James, Cindy Gerard, and Maya Banks. They are able to toss all inhibitions aside and write smokin’ hot romance. I am toeing the line. My eyes are fixated on it like I am waiting for someone to shoot a pistol into the air so that I can leap forward. Can I cross it? Do I want to cross it?

Dangerous Deception

Old Age Ain’t for Sissies! 

Vic Deveaux’s glory days as a winning jockey have ended, but he refuses to accept that pile of horse hockey!

When the West family asks Vic to take an easier position at their Thoroughbred farm, Westwood, he becomes enraged and teams up with two greedy stable hands in a scheme to kidnap the youngest son, Shane.

Things turn ugly when Vic discovers that his new-found friends have murder on their minds. Suddenly Vic finds himself between a rock and a hard place. He has betrayed his good friend, Eric West, but will he participate in his son’s murder as well?

Not content to sit at home and wait for her men to bring her brother home, Kate West convinces homicide detective, Carl Lugowski, to check out a hunch at an old abandoned mansion. Soon they’re trapped in a hornet’s nest of a notorious biker gang.

Oh yeah, Vic’s deception has placed the West family in more danger than they know what to do with!

Cindy McDonald Contacts
Author Cindy McDonald