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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


Rose Anderson said...

Best luck on the new anthologies!

I juggle two names too - Rose Anderson and Madeline Archer. Rose writes the hot stuff and Madeline writes everything else. I'm still at the point where I put both names side by side hoping readers who like my style of storytelling would see I do differentiate. They can have me both ways! ;)
I like to think of Rose's writing as adult romance. Rose doesn't use the $100 hot words but the door is wide open to the poetry of lovemaking. Madeline closes the door.

Melissa Keir said...

This is why I only have one name to write under. I write what I write. I remember as a younger reader finding out that a favorite author had another name...sometimes when I read their other work, I was pleased and picked up a new favorite series and other times, I was not happy with the other stories. The tie between the two names/one author was the only reason I considered reading their other things. It didn't always work but it did allow me to look.

jean hart stewart said...

Interesting post and sometimes a hard decision for writers. I don't consciously decide as I'm writing, and sometimes the story turns out hotter than I thought it would. Right now I'm thinking my coming book at Muse, Victoria's Visions, had better be classified as mild erotica. I find it really hard to tell sometimes.

Paris said...

I used to ponder what made one story erotic and another sensual and decided that if the relationship stemmed from a sexual encounter and graphic sex with all the ear marks including explicit language was the major focus of the story, then it was erotic. A sensual romance might start out with a sexual encounter but the relationship builds before the next encounter. With today's modern usage of explicit language in even mainstream novels along with hotter love scenes, the lines can blur. Confusing, but the only marker that seems to define a story seems to be whether or not sex is the main focus.

As for the pen names, I think that I've finally given in to the notion that branding is a valid reason for having more than one pen name:)

Molly Daniels said...

This was the reason I created Kenzie Kenzie, I use the blatant, in-your-face terminology, while as Molly I leave it more to the imagination. I do catch myself at times, using a Kenzie term in a Molly book, so I 'get' what you're saying about the lines being blurred, lol!

When I'm in person, I tell readers that 'Molly' is 'author peeking in the bedroom door' while 'Kenzie' is 'standing beside the bed, taking notes'!

I laughed back in 1999 when an agent told me that Forbidden Love was 'erotic romance' ten years and it's pretty tame when you compare it to an April Ash book:) Proof that what to one person is 'erotic' but to another is more sensual.

Blogger said...

I have just downloaded iStripper, and now I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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