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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Special Announcement from @EvernightPub #Romance #RB4U

Same Smart & Sexy Romance with a fresh new look!

Evernight Publishing just revealed their brand new website look and logo. As a premier publisher of Romance, Erotic Romance and Urban Fantasy, you're sure to discover your next favorite book Evernight. With new titles releasing daily, you'll find a large selection of contemporary, paranormal, gay, interracial, historical, sweet romance, ménage and everything in between at as well as most major online retailers.

Follow Evernight on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Stay up-to-date on specials and new releases by subscribing to their Newsletter.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Vive La France

Bonjour! My husband and I very recently returned from a week in France. We were on a Viking River Cruise from Paris to Normandy. We landed in Paris June 12, our 40th wedding anniversary. At dinner that night on board the ship, the staff sang a love song to us and gave us a cake to celebrate. Below is a picture of the cake and of us. Considering we were going on 36 hours without sleep due to flying in from Philadelphia that morning, we don’t look too bad. No matter what happens to us in life, we’ll always have Paris.

You’ve all seen the Viking River Cruise commercials and gotten the brochures. Viking is awesome. The staff, mostly from Eastern Europe, was gracious, attentive, pleasant. They couldn’t do enough for us. The food was amazing. The chef was Greek, and very creative. We ate and ate. I gained weight but refuse to get on a scale now. Why depress myself? Of course, no one forced me to eat. But how could I resist? Our ship, the Viking Rolf, was built this year. The stateroom was beautiful, if a tad small. We had a French balcony and could look out as we cruised along the Seine.

We toured Paris by bus, went to the Louvre, to Notre Dame Cathedral, saw Monet’s garden and house in Giverny. We also took walking tours of the medieval towns of Vernon and Rouen. Rouen was where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. We loved Rouen. Such a quaint little town. After our tour, we had free time. We used that time to have a drink at a 5-star hotel, where I got a short French lesson from the bartender, then we strolled around and bought chocolates and macaroons. My husband and I developed a taste for French macaroons. Yum! Every night during the summer months, the Notre Dame Cathedral of Rouen puts on a stunning light show. The show started at 11 p.m. We went with a group from our ship, and a good time was had by all.

We spent a full day in Normandy and saw Omaha Beach where the Americans landed on D-Day. Our tour guide, Michael, part Portuguese, part Australian, was very emotional when talking about Normandy and D-Day. His Australian grandfather was a medic at Normandy. Michael had us Americans stand on the steps leading to the beach and sing the National Anthem. When we got to the part about the rockets’ red glare, we heard thunder in the distance. He asked all the vets in the group to stand with him on the beach. My husband, a Vietnam War combat vet, had to be persuaded to join the others. We all clapped for the vets. I had tears. The whole thing was so inspirational, despite the pouring rain. Here’s a picture of the crosses at the American cemetery in Normandy. The flag was flying at half-staff to commemorate the slaughter in Orlando.

 The trip would have been much more enjoyable if it hadn’t rained every day. It seemed that it would pour just as a tour was starting, then clear up when the tour ended. The sun rarely came out, and when it did, it would peek from the clouds for several minutes, then duck out of sight. We also saw Versailles, and took a bus tour of Paris by night to see the light show at the Eiffel Tower. To us Americans, Versailles and the Louvre were super crowded, but our tour guides said they weren’t crowded at all. Tourism is down all over France due to the terror attacks.

The passengers on the Viking Rolf were mainly American, about 95%, with the rest being from the UK and Australia. However, and you knew a “but” was in there somewhere—as wonderful as Viking was, and as friendly as the other passengers were, my husband and I didn’t feel at times as if we were in France, as we were surrounded by Americans. We loved cruising down the Seine while sitting on the deck, weather permitting, or in the lounge. This was our first cruise, and we discovered we’re not cruisers. We like to be on our own to explore foreign cities. The Viking tours were well-organized and great, but we would rather have been able to linger at the places we liked. Being confined to a ship, even one as beautiful as the Viking Rolf, isn’t for everyone. We met many people on the ship who were on their seventh and eighth tours with Viking. They love cruising. If you are someone who enjoys cruising, I highly recommend the Viking River Cruises.

Of course, being a writer, I’ve come up with several scenarios for a story set in France. At dinner one night, some of our table mates threw out ideas for me to use in my story. I gave out my card to many of the passengers, who said they’d check out my books. I think my France story will be a romantic suspense, maybe on a river cruise. France is a beautiful country, very green with all the rain they’ve been having. I love to incorporate local scenario into my stories. Here’s a picture of the French countryside from our ship.

On the subject of stories set in foreign lands, I’m happy to announce I’m part of an anthology from World Romance Writers, made up of writers from all over the world. Our first anthology, Letterbox Love Stories, Volume 1, will be available for pre-order shortly.

What if a life-changing letter arrived in today’s mail? Now imagine it leads to love and adventure.

From the northern British Isles, across the mainland of Europe, and onto Turkey, nine international romance authors share spellbinding love stories told across time. And each begins with a letter…

My contribution is Curating Love, set in Ravello, on Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

A letter inviting Chloe Decker to curate the art collection of the wealthy DiMarco family of Ravello, Italy, lets Chloe begin to picture a new life for herself after a tragic loss. But she’d never included her employer’s sexy grandson in that portrait. Matteo DiMarco, the playboy scion of the DiMarco family, will never again let a woman betray him. But sweet, earthy Chloe reawakens old dreams. Wary of losing her heart again, Chloe’s not ready for a relationship, even with a fine Italian masterpiece of a man like Matteo. Besides, her future is in Philadelphia, not Italy. Can Matteo convince her to stay and take a chance on him? Can she open her heart and paint a new picture that includes them both?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Three Tips to Promote Your Book(s) Without Driving Away Readers #RB4U @NNP_W_Light

You’ve just published a book. Congratulations! You’ve done something that many have tried and few have succeeded. Give yourself a pat on the back… then put on your thinking cap. It’s time for the next step: promoting your book.
Book promotion is something most authors dread. I get that and I’m here to help. Being an author myself, I know how overwhelming it is to sell and market your book. In today’s publishing market, both traditional and indie authors are expected to promote and be active on social media.
Romance Books 4 Us asked me to share some book promotion tips with you today. Who am I? My name is Mrs. N and I’m the co-owner of N. N. Light Author Promotions. I’m a social media marketer by trade and I have the social media reach of over thirty-million. I’ve been in the book industry for over twenty-six years and I specialize in matching books to readers. In addition, I’m the author of three books (with more on the way) and I firmly believe in authors helping authors succeed.
Below are my three tried-and-true tips to promoting your book(s) without alienating readers. The key to effective book promotion is to balance selling of your wares and connecting with your followers/readers.

Tip #1: Be a real live person. In the digital age, robots and automation are everywhere. Don’t be a talking billboard on social media. Don’t scream at the top of your lungs, “BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK!” Instead, connect with your followers and take an actual interest in their lives. Say hello and talk about things that interest you.
When I first joined Twitter, I had no followers. I started following people who shared similar interests. I soon had a following and made connections. I built a trust with my followers and laid a foundation that’s more valuable than money. Sure, it was a slow process but these same followers are still with me today.
Love to bake, shop, hunt, travel or another hobby? Talk about it online. Intersperse news about your writing and books with what you like to do in your free time. Your following will soon grow and readers will connect with you, the person.

Tip #2: Pick three social media outlets and be consistent. Every day, a new social media outlet pops up. It’s hard to keep up. I mean, who has time to tweet, pin, facebook, tsu, post pics on Instagram, etc.? I surely don’t. Readers want consistency so here’s my advice: pick three social media outlets that work for you. For me, it’s my blog, Twitter and Pinterest. I post to my blog every day (Monday through Friday), tweet 24/7 and add pins to my Pinterest boards at least once a week.
My followers know if they want to connect with me, the first place they do it is Twitter. It’s my go-to platform and I’m always on there. I’m a social butterfly and I love how Twitter is like a global social club. I meet people from all over the world, get news I can’t get elsewhere and connect with people I’m interested in. I can share my thoughts on a topic without having to explain myself. If I have news to share (whether personal or professionally), it goes out to my followers and even strangers (when I use the right hashtags).
My blog is my secret weapon. Secret weapon? Yes! Every day, I create new content online and Google grabs it, sorts it and ranks it. Through SEO (Search Engine Optimization), I’m able to help Google get my writing into the hands of readers. Since I started blogging, my followers have sky-rocketed.
Authors underestimate how powerful a tool a blog is. Not only can you have one place where you can promote your book(s), the more you write, the higher your blog gets ranked by Google. Think about it for a second. Every time you post something on your blog, your writing goes out into the world. If you post twice a week for a whole year, that’s 104 sales pitches for you as a writer and author.
Sales pitches?
Yes, sales pitches. Each time you write a blog post, it’s a sales pitch for someone to read, secretly disguised as an inspirational thought, writing tip, recipe, book review, vacation memories, holiday remembrance, etc. Someone who’s never heard of you will run across your blog post and read your writing.
What happens next will be up to your writing. If your writing inspires/moves the reader, they’ll comment, follow your blog or even check out your book(s).
The best thing about using your blog to showcase your writing is that it’s absolutely free. It doesn’t cost you a thing and the results will astound you.
Remember one important thing about social media: be consistent. No matter what social media platform you use, be consistent. You don’t have to post every day like me. Find what works for you and do it. If it’s only once a week or once every two weeks, that’s fine. Just let your followers know what the schedule is so they’re in the loop. If they think you’ve abandoned them, they’ll leave and won’t come back.

Tip #3: Use graphics in your promotion. Studies show that 76% more readers will click-through to check out your book(s) if a graphic/photo accompanies your blog posts/tweet/update. Readers are visual creatures and one way to pique their interest is to create a quote graphic.
Find a compelling quote that will draw readers in. Create a graphic using one of the many software applications available (Photoshop, Adobe, Canva, etc) and save it to your computer/device. I have a folder with all the graphics I’ve used for my books so it’s easy to post to Twitter/Pinterest/Blog.
I can’t stress this enough, use graphics in Twitter and on your blog. Trust me, you’ll get more readers intrigued with a visual aid than by saying you have a book for sale.
Like the graphic states at the top of this post, it all comes down to trust. Readers will be more likely to buy your book(s) if you have established a connection and they trust you. I’ve built trust as an authentic author/blogger/reviewer and readers trust me when I tell them something is great.
I hope these tips have helped you to see that book promotion is not only essential but fun, too.  You’ve done the hard stuff, writing and publishing the book. Promotion is sharing your writing with the world while building your brand.

Biography: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.
Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.
Our mission statement for our books, our promotion business and our life is: Spread the Light.  These three simple words are easy to remember and yet can change the world!  It doesn’t matter what spiritual belief you hold dear, you have the Light inside you.  Kindness, compassion, empathy, encouragement are all attributes of the Light.
In addition to being authors, we’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. We both love books, have ever since we were young and have the social media reach of over thirty million. Matching up books and readers is something that gives us great pleasure.

We’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Monday, June 20, 2016

5 Reasons Why Cross-Cultural Romances Are Great…As @TFWalsh discovered

My husband was born in Australia. In fact, his family tree traces back to the first few fleets that arrived on Australian shores back in 1788. He’s a true blue Aussie.
Me, I was born in Romania and moved to Australia at the age of eight with my family.

While we’re both from vastly different cultural backgrounds, it only brings us closer. He adores the way I can roll my ‘R’, which he can’t do, and I love learning all the different Aussie sayings.

In my Wulfkin Legacy series, I wanted to show this exact blending of cultures. For example, in Cloaked in Blood, Marcin is Hungarian, the heir to the Emperor Alpha throne. While Selena is Turkish and her father is the great Sultan Alpha. So, yep, these two grew up with diverse lifestyles, but it lends itself to discovering some amazing things about each other. Such as Selena introducing Marcin to delicious dishes.
5 tongue-in-cheek reasons I believe cross-cultural relationships are great.
  • You can’t help but find the other person fascinating as you learn about their background, their language, their culture. You’re always learning new things
  • Perfect reason to travel abroad regularly
  • Becoming bilingual, plus the kiddies will be too
  • Discovering new foods and learning from the mother-in-law how to cook it perfectly
  • Life will be full of surprises with new situations always coming up. Like in Romanian Easter, we paint boiled eggs, then tap them between two people. The person whose egg doesn’t crack is the winner. It’s all about picking the best egg initially. Something my husband has become an expert at:)

Cloaked in Blood
The daughter of a sultan alpha, Selena Kurt agrees to an arranged wulfkin mating to protect her sister from a dangerous alpha from the enemy clan. To her surprise, her match is Marcin Ulf, the next in line for the Hungarian throne . . . and the wulfkin who broke her heart years ago.

Marcin is just as shocked to learn he'll be matched to the enemy's daughter and the woman he's never forgotten. Before they can be paired, however, they're drawn into a tournament where Marcin will compete to free his estranged imprisoned brother, while Selena battles for the life of another wulfkin alpha. Both intend to seize this chance to save those they're fighting for - even if it means facing off with one another just as their romance rekindles.

Will tribe loyalty triumph, or will they realize they're better off as a team before it's too late?

Grab Your Copy: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | GoogleplayiTunes

Sign up here for T.F. Walsh’s newsletter to keep up to date with latest releases, special offers, and exclusive content.

About The Author
T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she's always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fatherhood and Romance Novels

Okay, I admit it, I hate to write scenes with condoms, because one of the tropes for romance stories is the Secret Baby. I used to think this was so trite and overused. Now I see the beauty in it. I've used it 3 times in the past 3 years.

In my latest example, Jameson Daniels, the hero in Nashville SEAL, discovers he is a father when a young woman comes up to him after a concert. He thinks she's one of those girls who frequent his motel after his events, and doesn't recognize her. I know that's a bit sad, but she'd changed her appearance, and I did show him dreaming about the wonderful week with her and wondering what had ever become of her.

Lizzie tells him he's a father. Here's the SoundCloud snippet:

In working on the full length novel now, which will be my next release in August, I'm developing the relationship with his daughter further.

Fatherhood is no less complicated than motherhood. I've always said that a man who loves a child, regardless if that child is his own blood, is indeed a real man. So is a man who steps up to the plate and takes responsibility for a child he may have brought into the world and without his knowledge. We can judge them, assume lack of protection and poor choices could lead to this little miracle, but in the end, there are millions of people all over who come into this world in this fashion. For centuries this has been a trope, and has happened regardless of being rich or poor, or station in life.

We want our men to be strong and to protect us. We want to support and love them back for all they do for us, especially today. But I think those of us who live in romance novels know the true test of manhood isn't in his shorts, or the way he fights or defends. It's the way he is amongst the gentlest of us, towards the innocent, the weak and old, toward women and children.

Happy Father's Day Warriors! We love and worship you with devotion that will never end.

NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, "Sharon Hamilton's storytelling satisfies like a thick bar of chocolate. Sharon's romances are scorching hot, filled with suspense, adventure and adrenaline-pumping action."

Join Sharon's Newsletter for VIP updates, contests, upcoming appearances, events and news! -

Visit Sharon's website at

Saturday, June 18, 2016

PROMO OP: #Publishing Professionals - Schedule your spot now for 2016 on #RB4U!

Romance Books 4 Us is scheduling for guests in the upcoming months, but our spots fill up quickly so don't put off securing those spots that you need! 

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Old fashioned Proverbs to Live by

Guilty Secrets has been out a couple of months now and I'm delighted with it's reception...I've got a new historical in the publishing line-up, as well as several new books in my Mage series. More about them later, but I'm busy, busy now with editing and the hated paper work. I'd be happy just to write and let others do all the blah stuff. Not possible, though, I guess, but wouldn't that be nice?

Bought a new book the other day from my favorite second-hand store. This one is call  "An Apple a Day" and traces where some of our most common sayings originated. It's author is Caroline Taggart. Fascinating stuff, at least to me. Let me give you some examples.

 1.  A new broom sweeps clean.  Interestingly enough, this dates back to 1546! And again in1616 there is a saying, "New brooms sweep clean, yet old friendship shall retain." Supposedly this evolved into the belief that on New Years Eve you should sweep your house to get rid of the old year's dirt and start the next day with a new broom.

 2.  Don't change horses in midstream. This one particularly caught my attention, since it's credited to Abraham Lincoln. In a speech in 1864, he advised against changing political sides, and recalled " an old Dutch farmer who remarked to a companion once it was best not to swap horses when crossing streams. I don't want to even think of all the implications of this saying in this particular political atmosphere.

3.  Distance lends enchantment. From the Scottish poet, Thomas Campbell, in 1799, from his best selling "The Pleasures of Hope."

"Why do these cliffs of shadowy hope appear
More sweet than all the landscape smiling near?
'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view
And robes the mountain in its azure hue."

4. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.  From a poem by William Ross Wallace, a nineteenth century poet.  Amazing isn't it, when one phrase is the main survivor out of a large body of work by an author.

They say that man is mighty,
He governs land and sea,
He wields a mighty sceptre
Over lesser powers that be;
But a mightier power and stronger
Man from his throne has hurled,
And the hand who rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

This little book is fascinating, and I'm intrigued by lots more in it.  If this kind of stuff appeals to you, let me know and I'll do more. I've got a whole book of the stuff. And do let me know if you have any questions about me or my books..I'd love to hear from you.

I'm at MuseItUp, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, all the usual places, and my website,


Thursday, June 16, 2016

So, Now I’m A Restoration Project… by Claire Gem #Romance #Writing #RB4U

As one way to come up with ideas for blogs, new plot lines, or interesting social media posts, I subscribe to Google Alerts. For those of you who don’t know how this works, you can set criteria in the form of particular words in the Google Alerts “bot.” Every day, if something posts on the Internet—anywhere—with one or more of those words in the title, you will get an email with a link to the piece.

For my paranormal/ghost romances, I have alerts set for the terms “ghost,” “haunting,” and “paranormal.” I get some really interesting stuff on those three almost every day. I also have an alert set for my pen name, Claire Gem, just in case. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be named a NYT Bestselling Author and the email announcement will end up in my spam folder.

I occasionally get pieces with both words – Claire and Gem – in the title, but not usually in order or having anything to do with me. Recently, however, I received an alert with this title:

Curbed Inside: Touring an Expanded, Modernized Lake Claire Gem

Hmm. Better check this one out. Especially since a lake played a very critical role in my last release, Hearts Unloched (Loch Sheldrake, N.Y.).

Turns out the piece is from a real estate site based in Atlanta, Georgia. There is, apparently, a Lake Claire there, where a vintage home was recently renovated—A Lake Claire Gem. Me, right?

From what Josh Green who wrote the article says, I was “curvy” and dated “from 1987.” Well, he got the age off by about twenty years (maybe thirty…), but what the hell? I’ll take every compliment I can get.

However, he also described me as an “anomaly on a dead-end street” that “was beginning to show its age.” I never even met this guy. How dare he? And how does he even know???

Of course, I’m just kidding. Mr. Green goes on to describe how the present owner of the two-story residence, designed by Architect Dan White, had a vision to “modernize and expand the property in a mellifluous, exhilarating way.”

Okay, I admit it. I had to look up mellifluous. It means “sweet or musical, euphonious (had to look that one up too), honeyed, and mellow.”

Sounds pretty good. And from the photos in the article, it seems they’ve succeeded in bringing a forgotten, outdated house into the 21st century—with euphonious mellifluence.

Wish somebody would do that for me.

My point here: Google Alerts is a very useful tool for the writer. Would I ever have known there was a refurbished home—my namesake!—in Atlanta, Georgia, without it? If you don’t already use this handy little tool, you can access it here. Figure out what key words would inspire you, generate ideas for the genre you write in, and fix you up an alert. It’s a very handy, free, and sometimes enlightening tool.

I mean, how would I ever have known about my snappy, updated home in Atlanta without Google Alerts?

Claire Gem writes intensely emotional contemporary romance, sometimes with a paranormal twist. Her last release, HEARTS UNLOCHED, was an award-winner in the 2016 New York Book Festival.

Her new release, available TODAY, is A TAMING SEASON: Book I of the Love at Lake George Series.

Manhattan domestic violence counselor Zoe Anderson is going on the most important vacation of her life.

Before she can move on, help other women, Zoe needs to heal herself. Her Cinderella life shattered three years ago one fateful night, leaving her a young widow, scarred inside and out. In an attempt to reclaim her life, bury her demons, and save her job, Zoe sets out for picturesque Lake George to claim the treasured family cottage she recently inherited. The place where she found happiness—before. Reboot, restore to an earlier time.

What she finds is a rundown shack.

The neighboring resort mogul, Jason Rolland, whisks in to her rescue, insisting Zoe stay at his upscale Lakeview Lodge. The wealthy, handsome, star of his own radio show, Jason's Lair, he's a terminal bachelor. But Jason figures he might use the gifts God gave him to convince the sexy redheaded stranger to give up the crumbling eye-sore next door. A challenge he’s definitely up for. He’s been trying to buy the cabin—and demolish it—for years: the last reminder of his own tragic, childhood memories.

Zoe can’t deny her attraction to the tall, dark-haired Jason with his pool-water blue eyes. Definitely fling material—if she can just get past those flashbacks from the night everything changed. And the knowledge that when it comes to happy-ever-after, you usually don’t get a second chance. Hardly possible with the Tiger of Jason’s Lair.

What Jason doesn’t figure on is Zoe’s charms melting his emotional armor. But with his reputation, can he ever win her heart? Can a tiger really change his stripes? Or will their pasts come back to bite them both?

Join Claire and many of her friends and fans at the Facebook Launch Party from 3-6 p.m. EST.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Mysterious Allure of The Sheikh, The Virgin and Secret Babies by Suz deMello

When I was the authorial equivalent of a young whippersnapper--back in the 90s--there were all sorts of dogmas about what could and couldn't be the subject of romance novels. Tropes and characters such as marriage of convenience, secret babies, cowboys and the like were the steady fodder of series publishers such as Harlequin. Some subjects were untouchable, including sports figures and BDSM. And sex never occurred between characters in Regency novels--as far as the Polite World was concerned, Upper Ten Thousand babies were the products of Immaculate Conception or were found under cabbage leaves in Hyde Park.

Silly me--I hadn't heard about a lot of that. My first manuscript was about an injured quarterback. My third was a sex-laced Regency. Not only did that Regency win awards, but it's been my most consistent seller.

Both were published and did well, which goes to show that the conventional wisdom is often not so wise.

But then I spent a few years writing for Silhouette Romance, a division of Harlequin. And what did I write? Sweet romance. First a baby book--which made it to the finals of the prestigious RITA contest--then a cowboy with amnesia, then two sheikh books, both of which were bestsellers. I just published a secret baby book, which became a bestseller on All Romance Ebooks. And my next story for the Naughty Literati is a sheikh book.

my bestselling secret baby book
find it at
So why the persistence and popularity of these timeworn tropes and themes?

It's simple: readers like familiarity.

It's often said that romances are formulaic and predictable--this usually spoken by a man in a disparaging tone. However, that man wouldn't see that his favorite mysteries, thrillers and superhero movies are also formulaic and predictable. All plots are based on a simple concept: resolving conflict, and they have one mission: to make the reader feel good (or, more cynically, get the reader to buy).

Because I'd already written two sheikh books, writing, Alice's Sheikh wasn't a big stretch. However, my two previous sheikh books had been set in the US, one in Florida and the other in Texas. Alice's Sheikh is set on the sheikh's home turf, his mythical kingdom of Barr Aghiba, islands in the Red Sea. But all of the usual alpha male tropes are there: wealth, power, hotness. And my heroine, just like the heroines of my other sheikh books, is a virgin.
Folks say that romances are easy to write because these cliches are used. Guess what? They're harder. It's more difficult to make a book convincing when one has to write something as unrealistic as a twenty-something virgin in a contemporary novel.

So how did I do it? In one sheikh book, my heroine was eighteen. That she was still a virgin was plausible, even though she'd attended a year of college. In my second sheikh book, the heroine, though in her twenties, was still a virgin due to suffering an attempted rape (Engaged to the Sheikh).

In Alice's Sheikh, Alice is the daughter of two passionate, hard-partying druggies who died from overdoses. Even before that had happened, Alice had decided that passion was dangerous. She focused on other aspects of her life instead. Thus, her virginity and resistance to the sexy sheikh are motivated by something other than a desire to stick with the cliches. 

Conflict must exist and be resolved, but it has to have a logical reason for its existence and has to be resolved in a logical way,

Decide for yourself whether the conflict is logical and resolved in a logical way.

Alice's Sheikh is part of the Naughty Literati's upcoming anthology, Naughty Heatwave: Turn up the Heat. Get it at all online etailers!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Line Between Very Sensual and Erotic Romance Stories by Marianne Stephens

I've had two pen names for years: Marianne Stephens and April Ash. I say that MS writes mainstream, sensual romances and AA writes erotic romances.

Now, however, I'm not sure. I think the two names/sides of me have merged.

My sensual romance stories in all the anthologies are pretty hot...scenes are very descriptive and some naughty words are used. Marianne Stephens has been the author for all these. While I don't write extremely graphic scenes nor do I ever use the "F" word, I wonder if some people think I should label them as erotic.

Terminology: Yes, I use some strong, sexual words. But when I compare these stories to what AA has written in the past, I consider my short stories a bit more tame. Not sweet, but right up near that erotic category.

What do you think separates very sensual stories from erotic? Is it how graphic sex scenes are? Sex terms used?

Until I think I've crossed the line into writing an erotic story, I'll keep using my MS pen name for my hot stories!

Two stories out in anthologies/boxed sets this month.

Naughty Heatwave - Turn Up the Heat, is out now: My story is HOT BUNS.
Hot Buns ~ Marianne Stephens
Angela offers to pay Vinnie to use his bakery ovens until hers are delivered. For financial reasons, he agrees. Being near her threatens his determination never to forgive her betrayal. When the truth surfaces, both must share the blame. Can smoldering love between them flame into passion once again?
Buy links found HERE.

Wickedly Wanton releases on 15 June but is available for pre-order.
My story: DANCE FOR ME
On a dare, Carla enters a stripper amateur night contest. Fellow professor Nate catches her practicing in her office. Always intrigued by her, Nate asks to watch again and their mutual attraction leads to a lusty affair. Her secret’s out, but she won’t know his until the amateur contest night.
Buy links found HERE.  It's already a Best Seller at ARe!

Marianne Stephens

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