The topic for today’s post came in and I panicked. I’m not talking a little “oh no, what will I write about” panic. I’m talking “holy crap, there is no way to do this in less than a doctoral thesis” panic. The topic? Discussing our favorite book. I know, I know — I see the panic on your face. I felt the same way. How can I choose just one book? Impossible. This isn’t a remake of Highlander and there are no swords and beheadings and stuff. But I’m still talking books. Just a little off center.
Reading is a huge part of my life. I’ve been a compulsive reader ever since I was a kid. Some of my favorite memories center on the mailman delivering my Disney reader books every month. Remember those little square, cardboard-cover books? Yeah, those. I still have all of mine, even the ones my evil little brother defaced with crayons. He almost had his eyebrows shaved for that one. If only Mom hadn’t caught me with the straight razor… There’s still time, though.
When I entered elementary school, I was exposed to the Serendipity books. They were a huge turning point for me. It was like this creative switch was turned on in my brain and I fell in love with reading. It was then that I knew I wanted to write. I wanted to create stories that made people think and feel and get lost in the words. I was six.
As I got older, I continued to read. As a child, my absolute favorite book was Watership Down. I didn’t understand all of the social implications of the book, but the story was incredibly engaging and it made me think. I was nine when I first read it.
I also loved anything by Shel Silverstein, particularly A Light in the Attic. The man was a brilliant voice for children. One of the favorite things I have ever written is a silly poem. It won awards. It made me realize humor had to be part of my literary voice.
In college, I read romance. Lots and lots of romance. Anything I could get my hands on — historical, contemporary, paranormal. I realized that romance gave me an outlet to get lost in a world where the outcome was much more predictable than anything I was facing at the time. And, though predictable happy endings occurred, I never knew which path the author would take to get me there. Of course, my favorite book then was Outlander, though I know the author isn’t keen on having her book categorized as straight romance. That book taught me the value of complex world building and reader engagement.
In my thirties, I glommed onto paranormal romance like it was an illicit $5.99 drug. Yes, paperbacks were still $5.99. I read Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, JR Ward and a few Sherrylin Kenyon. I found Nora Roberts’s different trilogies and ate up anything with recurring characters. I discovered I’m madly passionate about stories where I get to experience characters over and over. A main character in one book who cameos in the series? My favorite setup ever.
It wasn’t until my mid- to late-thirties that I discovered “good” erotica — stories with an actual plot that were sexy as hell. Thank you, Denise Rossetti and Robin Rotham. I discovered that closed-door sex scenes annoy the crap out of me and, therefore, have no place in my writing.
I entered my forties last January. I’ve discovered Gena Showalter. Why it took so long is beyond me, but it did. I’ve devoured everything of hers this summer. Her paranormal romances have indulged my love of world-building in a contemporary setting.
So many authors have had so much influence on my love of reading that it seems horribly unfair of me to limit myself to one favorite. In forty years, I’ve collected favorite books and favorite authors and favorite themes and favorite… You get the idea.
What about you? Are you able to identify one book that is, above all others, The One?
I don’t know how I survived without my Pinterest. Does anyone else have this problem? LOL
My pinterest name is janspringer1 and I am a pinterestaholic. There, my deep dark secret is out!
I love pinning pictures onto boards. My favorite is collecting photos with similar color themes. Black Beauty, Sapphire, Emerald, Shades of Chiffon, Gold, Silver, Tiffany Blue and Copper Love, to name just a few of my color boards. My boards include themes such as birdhouses, autumn, leather & latex, man candy, christmas, the walking dead, kiss kiss and bondage, again, to name a few. At last count, if I counted right, I have more than 250 themed boards and I have the pleasure of following 2,700 pinners and am being followed by 1,800 pinners.
For my writing, I find the pictures are an inspiration. They inspire me to get ideas of where a story is going. My heroes and heroines are retrieved from my Man Candy and Heroine boards as well as from whomever is pinning hot looking hunks or interesting women at the time. I use pictures to decorate my heroes and heroines’ rooms in their houses, the cars they drive, bedrooms they make love in and even lovemaking positions.
If I see something I like, I will like it and/or pin it and I am thrilled when someone “likes” one of my pins too.
Pinterest can be found here: http://www.pinterest.com
For tips on how to use Pinterest:
If you’d like to follow one, several or all of my boards, my pinterest name is janspringer1
Hope to see you there.
Today’s post is about our favorite love scene…specifically, mine. This topic actually made me squirm in my seat because I’m a little shy, believe it or not. 🙂 So I’m going to dive in and just get the blushing over with.
I have two and a half favorites, actually. The first one is, predictably, from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. It’s the first time Jamie and Claire have sex, and it just kills me every time I read it. He’s a virgin. Everything that leads up to this moment lets your know how important it is to him and how awkward it is for her. They talk, marking the time passing by a ringed candle (one ring burned away for each hour). Then Jamie begins to touch her. He talks about gentling her, not sure what he’s supposed to do. It’s the sweetest love scene. It’s poignant in a way that, knowing their story, just kills me.
The “half” is actually from the same story. Jamie and Claire are in an underground cavern with a pool, sort of a warm spring. They’re rediscovering each other, finding their way back to what they were. I absolutely love, love, love Diana’s description of this love scene. It’s passionate and emotionally deep. The connection is so far from physical. I absolutely get chills thinking about it. If you haven’t read this book, go forth and do so. Now.
Alright. Here’s the other favorite. It’s hands down my very favorite erotic scene in the entire world. Ever. Without exception. It’s written by Denise Rossetti. The book? Gift of the Goddess (Phoenix Rising, Book One). The main hero, Brin…just thinking about him makes the seams of my jammies begin to unravel. He’s hawt to the millionth degree, folks. I’m talking spontaneous-panty-combusting hawt. He’s absolutely everything that flips my switch, from alpha to compassionate to smart to self-sacrificing. I want to eat him up, one slow bite at a time. So which scene is my favorite? I’m going to be honest and tell you that if he’s in the scene, it’s my favorite. I’ve never been a fan of straight fantasy (which this book is), but this book made me learn to look twice.
Brin is a shaman of Lufra’s, the goddess of pleasure (basic summary). He’s been trained to pleasure a woman beyond her wildest dreams, and he’s really, really…gifted. (fans self) I’d offer myself up as a sacrifice. Let’s just leave it at that.
If you haven’t read either of these books, you should give them a shot. I love them both for entirely different reasons.
What’s your favorite love scene? Is it passionate or emotional? Subtle or graphic? In one book or ten? I love to hear from readers, so feel free to chime in!
This time around we’re talking about the best love scene we’ve ever read and why it worked.
The only one that instantly comes to mind for me was from one of my favorite Kresley Cole books, Dark Desires After Dusk. I don’t want to get into the whole story because if you haven’t read it, you MUST, but needless to say the hero is doing a bad thing by leading our unwitting heroine to her doom. Oh I love Holly and Cadeon. They’re my favorite characters, I think. Probably because Holly starts out as this shy, repressed person who turns into this kick ass heroine with one of the sexiest bad boys in the Lore.
Sorry, didn’t mean to get all excited. I just love this book. Anyway, to set the scene, Cade is bringing Holly to a bad man in order to regain his brother’s lost kingdom. He’s torn because he knows Holly is his mate. Knows it. And she’s destined to become the mother of the bad man’s babies, so he has to keep his mitts off her on their long road trip from New Orleans to Alaska. Hello? He’s sexy as hell and she’s this little vixen of a woman. Can we say impossible situation? Toss in her curiosity about him, sex and her burgeoning powers and we have a volatile, doomed affair.
So here we are to my scene. They’ve been playing with each other, bringing each other pleasure with their hands and mouths, but no full on penetration. And Cade offers to let Holly drive his brothers McLaren.
And driving this beast of a car turns her on. He can tell as the speedometer climbs up and up. She grows aroused, he grows aroused and he tells her to pull over. She does and next thing we know, Holly is perched on the fender of this fine ass car, her pants around her ankles and Cade between her legs.
It’s funny really. I’ve read a lot of books, some with sex scenes so hot I’ve had to fan myself. But the only one I remember is this one because it’s painted in my mind. He’s there, pleasuring her with his mouth and he tells her to play with her nipples, that he’s busy. When she looks down at him kneeling in front of her, it’s to see his hand moving in a tell-tale jerking motion. I can see this scene and it’s sexy as all hell. That he’s so hungry for her, he doesn’t care if cars pass. The restraint he shows when he knows flat-out fucking her will bring him more pleasure than anything is…just mind-blowing. But he wants to bring her pleasure and for a selfish man (as we learn he is through the other books and the start of this one), is sexy as hell.
There are books out there that probably have hotter scenes, but none of them were so memorable I can almost remember the exact wording, the exact sequence of events that led to it. That’s powerful writing and one day, when I grow up, I’ll do the same.
Kresley Cole, if you’re reading this, you’re my hero! I HEART you!
By the way, I’m leaving for Romantic Times Convention 2013 tomorrow. If you’re going, be sure to look for me at Ellora’s Cave’s Disco Inferno party on Wednesday night, the big ebook expo on Thursday, and the FAN-tastic Day Author Event on Saturday from 6:30 to 7:00.
I write Sexy Steampunk and Sensuous Sci-Fi. And I get to make s*** up!
My Tangled series is erotic science-fiction and so far consists of
It takes place in a world inhabited by humans, Vampires and Naemas, a race that is part angel, part demon. These races are just part of the world, aliens if you want, and all have their own gifts and struggles. I just love the idea that I can create whole worlds and races, even spaceships, and let my imagination run wild. I usually have a concept in mind and then the characters come to me. At first just in single words, but the more I think about them, the more they develop in my head. I tend to outline, but that is usually just a sentence or two, leaving me plenty of room to manoeuvre (and get stuck;). The more I write, the more I get to know my characters and the more my worlds come alive.
At the moment I have plans for one more Tangled book, possibly two (a one-sentence character from Tangled Indulgence demands his own story;) and then I want to branch out. In Tangled Shadows we meet a young woman with unusual gifts and an even more unusual heritage. Her story will start a whole new series with new races, characters and worlds…and I can’t wait to get started.
I branched out into steampunk because I love the aesthetics and, once again, the possibilities are endless. You have certain structures in place, but you can twist and turn your history until it works for you and the story. In Rescue by Ruin a young woman has to find a way to protect herself from an abusive man by ruining her reputation. That way she will be cast out of society and become ineligible to marry.
I stuck quite closely to real history and the conventions set up in that world. Of course, the place her ruination is to take place is a dirigible of ill-repute, but that is the fun part-mixing reality and fantasy.
In the story I just finished, Dirigibles Are Forever, Queen Victoria passed a law a few years after taking the crown to give women equal rights. My story takes place nearly fifty years later, but my heroine still has to struggle with men who believe they can do a better job and don’t like having a woman as a supervisor. Obviously this never happened, but it created a new Victorian world for me to play in and mix things up.
I enjoy reading contemporary and (proper) historical stories, but I love diving into a world created by an author even more. I love seeing what challenges and rules they come up with and the torture they put their characters through.
What can I say? It is just so much fun to make s*** up!;)
What do you prefer-reality or fantasy or a mix thereof?
Note: I stole the phrase from Gina X. Grant. When we brainstorm a story and I worry about accuracy or how to move something along she always tells me to make s*** up.
I have fun writing erotic romances because I am encouraged to “push the envelope” and that means being really naughty. I love being naughty. *wink* *nudge*
Some Genres I Write
Futuristic Erotic Romance
I enjoy writing futuristic erotic romance because I get to create any kind of world I want. No restrictions. I let my creative mind go nuts. LOL. In my “Outlaw Lovers” series at Ellora’s Cave I went really dark. I’ve killed off most of the women’s population after terrorists unleash a submissive virus that goes viral. The virus mixes with deadly flus etc… The women who are left alive have a fight on their hands with many sexy hot men who are craving female companionship. In order to accommodate men’s needs for women, the government decrees women are to be “shared” by groups of men. The latest in the Outlaw Lovers series is “Resistance”. More on the Outlaw Lovers can be found here.
Post-Catastrophe Erotic Romance
In The Desperadoes, (Siren BookStrand) most of the population has disintegrated due to a burst of solar flares. The survivors are left in a world without electricity and women are forced to do what they must in order to survive. Of course they will find love and romance along the way. *grin* For more info please click on covers.
I also write contemporary erotic romance, kink, paranormal, and erotic romantic suspense.
For more of my books, pop on over to my website http://www.janspringer.com
This week’s post is on why we love our genres so much. It’s something I’ve never really put into words, so writing this has been a challenge. I’ve been mulling it over in the hopes I’d get it right. Here you go–my best effort:
I freaking love romance. Period. I want a good story that gives me a sense of who these characters are and why they’re right for each other, even if it’s only right now. Sure, HEA’s (happily-ever-afters) are brilliant, but I’m just as satisfied with a good HFN (happy-for-now) if it means the book is part of a series. Because I looooove series. But under that broad category of romance, there are sub-genres that really flip my switch. Primarily those genres are paranormal, urban fantasy with romantic elements and (some) historicals. Yes, my likes are wide and varied, but they all have one primary thing in common: kickass women who are not content to let life come to them. They seize the day, whether by choice or circumstance, and show the men around them exactly what a strong woman is capable of accomplishing.
“Fine,” you say. “But this isn’t news. What makes your genre preferences stand out?”
I’m glad you asked.
There’s something about the otherworldly that absolutely thrills me. The idea that there are vampires and shifters and fey (oh my!) in our midst? Wow. It makes me look at the grocery store clerk differently. It makes me wonder if the hot pale guy at the doctor’s office was giving blood or getting it. And what about the gym teacher who can climb a rope, hand over hand, and never break a sweat? (I’m talking about you, Mr. Carson.) Not. Natural. And that’s the thrill.
There’s also the matter of these men being incredibly sexy. You never read a book with an average-looking ocelot shifter. You never find a mediocre fey lover between any set of covers. And you certainly never read about ugly vampires. These men are always out-of-control sexy and, without fail, they’re packing both the goods and the skills to use them. Who doesn’t love that?
Give me a kickass woman with a gun in her hand and her battered heart on her sleeve and I’m your slave. I want fierce women who dont’ shrink away from violence, whether they’re dealing with it or the cause of it. Doesn’t matter. I love reading about women who meet challenges by charging into the fray. “Kicking ass and taking names” is a way of life, and they don’t complain about it. Instead, they learn to manage it, deal with the fallout of bad decisions in battle and in bed, and always find a way to defeat the Big Bad with smarts, tenacity and serious weaponry.
Romance is often secondary to the plot, and that’s fine with me. I do love (smoking, scorching) hot love scenes, and urban fantasy typically delivers.
Also, the world-building fascinates me. I love being able to make up my own rules and fit my characters into those parameters. So. Much. Fun!
This one’s a little different. I don’t like all historical romance. I’m all about the stories where women buck convention and find a way to defy societal expectations. Those are the stories that make me want to read about days gone by. I’m not interested in women who faint and heroes who think they’re superior. Give me Alpha males and spirited women. Those are the characters I love to play around with. I really enjoy researching eras long past and then figuring out how to successfully bend–okay, break–the rules in order to find happiness.
So there you have it–my love of, well, love. The one thing these genres have in common is that, at some point, the girl gets the right boy and, at least in my worlds, love prevails.
What are your favorites? Why? I’m dying to hear from you. Maybe I’ll find a new favorite author. 🙂
The theme for the next two weeks is what makes my genre fun.
I’ve been writing on and off since I was fifteen. Some of those stories were contemporary with not a shapeshifter or vampire or witch in sight, but for the most part, if I were to look back on my work, there was magic at work somewhere. When you introduce that illusive “magic” to a story, the possiblities are endless.
It also helps when you’ve written your way into a corner. You know, the plot has absolutely nowhere to go because you’ve made it nearly impossible to save the day. How do you fix that? Create a spell/ability for your hero/heroine and voila! It’s fixed!
Not that I use that very often. *cough* I try to work things out in a more logical way…but eh. Sometimes a writer’s got to do what a writer’s got to do!
But probably the best part of writing paranormal (and sci-fi which I’m still working on), is that the possibilities are endless. When you write in a genre with rules you make up, you’re only limited by your imagination. And let’s face it, we wouldn’t be writers if we didn’t have an imagination.
I love braingstorming new ways to twist old myths. The succubus who wants to fall in love instead of feeding off of sex. The banshee who can’t cry. A lion shifter who’s also a rock star. A fashoin designer grizzly bear. Okay, so I really like weird angles when I write my paranormal stories, but that’s all part of what makesk them so much fun to write! I don’t like the same old, same old. Just ask my stylist. Every time I go to see her, I tell her “I want to try something different”. I’m the same when when it comes to writing.
How about on the reading end? I love reading fusion stories. You know, historical paranormals, or sci-fi erotica *cough*. Do you like the same? What’s your favorite paranormal race to read about?
Fairytales. Love em? Hate em?
I for one love them. There is just something so uplifting when it comes to a happily ever after.
But which is my favorite? This is a really hard question. I like so many. And I love reading them as much as I love watching the different renditions of them on film.
Of course I watched the Disney versions as a child. I loved Cinderella. But there are also some non-animated versions I liked better. The first one I ever remember seeing that wasn’t animated was Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
But as time went on the movies involving fairytales became so much better.
Loved this version of Cinderella.
But my most favorite would have to be Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.
Now I really wanted to find something with the music from the sound track in it, but as I was looking at the trailers I noticed the music played in them was from Willow. Another awesome movie by the way LOL.
When I was in band we learned to play the music from that sound track and played it for our year end concert. Yeah, first confession, I was a band nerd. Trumpet. Go brass! But the music from this was awesome. I can not tell you how many times I have watched this movie. So this would have to be my favorite fairytale. 🙂
But I must give a nod to Once Upon a Time and Grimm. I love these two television series. 🙂
Check out Seductive Reunion and see why it received five stars. 🙂
I think…I hope, I’m right in thinking the next topic on our mighty list of blog topics is about what gets us going no matter how badly it’s done…sexually. I think that’s where we’re supposed to take it.
If it isn’t, I blame my erotic writing history on how I interpreted this blog topic. It’s not my fault. Don’t judge me! Anyway, there’s one thing that works for me whether I’m in the mood or not. Whether it’s an accident or not. And it involves my ears.
I remember going out partying in college. We were purely platonic group of six. Three girls, three boys. At that time, we were just out enjoying ourselves, goofing off, drinking, being “intellectuals” and having fun. I had a crush on one of those guys. Sure, you knew it was bound to happen, right? Well, yeah. He was cute, funny, smart and we had a lot in common. But we were friends and no one wants to destroy that friendship bond or put it at risk, so I never did anything to show my interest which means he probably never noticed I was a girl.
But on this one particular long weekend, he did something that put me firmly in the “girl” category. We were at a bar, all six of us listening to music and drinking and laughing. He leaned over and spoke into my ear. I’m sure it was something sarcastic and funny. It could have been “I’m going piss”. I don’t remember. Because when he spoke, breath rushed over my ear and I did this full-body shudder. The kind you see people doing on those medical emergency shows when the “paddles” are put on them and they’re shocked back to life. It was the warm, moist air hitting those itty bitty hairs along my ear canal and the rim of my ear that left me twitching and shuddering and, yes, to my embarrassment, completely turned on. For my friend. In the middle of the bar.
I glanced over at him and noticed the evil grin. Oh yes. He was well aware of what he’d just done.
It’s just one of those things that turns me on whether I want it to or not. It’s an erogenous zone that leaves me vulnerable. Add to that a little nibble of the ear and I’m a quivering mess. I don’t know if it can be badly done. Oh. Yes, it can. Years later, a boyfriend attempted the same thing except he decided to explore my ear canal with his tongue. *shudder* Not in a good way either. The subtle tease is what I like. Once he backed off giving me an oral ear examination and went back to the nibbling, blowing air thing, I was back on board.
If there’s bad kissing or a slightly less-than-enthusiastic response on my part, all it really takes to get my motor running is for a little warm air skating over my ear and I’m back in the game like a champ. In my fantasies, my lover spends a long time on my ears and my back (which is partially tattooed and extremely sensitive…oh, that’s another thing but I’m not going to talk about that today) until I’m just a village waiting to be pillaged. *swoons*
I don’t think it’s an ear fetish though. I might have to look that up on OMG Sex Facts. Hm. Do you like to have your ears nibbled on? Lapped at? Your ear lobes tugged on? Played with? You can tell me. I told y’all!