Friday, January 28, 2011

At This Moment....

I've not been up to much. I know, not the thrilling update and or post you expected. Sometimes we need down time. Yanno?

I've spent a lot of time with Kealie working on Hotties and making the blog look awesome. Let me tell you, looking at men isn't a hardship. It's...really...hard....

But in all that looking, I've sorta let the story slide. Tory and River are sitting prettily waiting for me to let them finish the story. Kinda funny to watch a couple of gay men who really want to have oodles of hot monkey sex sit back and be...still.

Don't get me wrong. I want to get back to them. I'm dying to. I'm really emotionally involved in this story. So how do I get out of the rut? How do I get back from stagnant?

I'm listening.

OH! Want to see how I picture Tory and River? You do. I'll leave you with that.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Writing Sex is Harder Than Having Sex

Over a year ago, my writing partner, Kealie Shay, challenged me to a duel: we were both going to start and finish a complete erotic romance story of at least 7500 words in 24 hours. If you keep in mind the only erotica I’d written were a few 1000 words stories for Whipped Cream Reviews, and that aside from those, I’d never written a fully consummated love scene in my life, I was clearly feeling both ambitious and a bit delusional.

Shockingly, we both met that goal and my story became “Shut Up & Kiss Me” published by The Wild Rose Press.

When I submitted my story, it was slightly under 8,000 words. Today, it’s almost 13,000 words and the additional 4,000 words are nearly all sex. To be honest, after receiving my first round of edits from my wonderfully patient and supportive editor, Lori, I asked her why she’d contracted my story. Because – OH MY WORD – the edits were intensive, and they were 90% about the sex scenes. Considering this was erotic romance, and that the sex scenes are a big focus, I was and still am amazed.

Here are the facts. I’m a pretty good author. I’m multi-published outside the erotic romance genre, so I know how to string together words. I also used to be an editor, so grammar and I are pretty close friends (we form a tight trio with the Chicago Manual of Style). I suppose this must have reflected through, so Lori felt secure enough in my writing ability. Still, she had to hold my hand for months while we pounded out the sex (hmm... pun intended!).

I never thought I’d get sick of sex. I was wrong. After a few rounds of edits, I never wanted to write about or even think about sex again (my husband did his level best to talk me out of that last bit *wink*).

The simple fact is this: in erotic romance, the reader wants to know every single thing that happens. Every touch, every shiver, every gasp. It’s not enough to have the hero kiss the heroine. As the author, I had to document the way his lips moved, felt, tasted moment by moment.

While I’m certainly no expert and have lots more to learn, I’m miles better than I used to be at this gig. Take a look at some examples between my initial submission and the final, published story.

(Original, Unedited):

He braced one hand on either side of her face and imprisoned her against the door. She writhed against him, clearly frustrated that he was taking things so slowly. But after years of waiting, he wasn’t going to rush through.

He kissed the corner of her mouth, traced the outline of her lips with the tip of his tongue. She turned her face in an attempt to capture his mouth in a kiss but he moved away. He made love to her cheek and her throat; he caught her lobe in his teeth and gave it a tug before swirling his tongue in her ear, and then blowing on it. He delighted in the shivers he felt against his body, and repeated everything on the other side of her face.

(Final, Edited):

He braced one hand on either side of her face and imprisoned her against the door. She writhed against him, clearly frustrated he was taking things so slowly.

But after years of waiting, he wasn’t going to rush even one part of this. He’d fantasized how she’d taste, look, feel. How she’d moan when he sucked on her breasts or feasted on her body. How she’d scream his name when she came. Every single moment counted tonight, every one a dream come true. She wasn’t some bar hook-up or a one-night stand.

She was Kasey. And that was so much more.

He tried to ignore the twist of his gut as he realized what was happening, tried to lose himself in the physical sensations, and pretend the feelings inside didn’t exist.

He kissed the corner of her soft mouth, traced the outline of her eager lips with the tip of his tongue. She turned her face in an attempt to capture his mouth in a deeper kiss but he moved away. He made love to her cheek and throat, tasting soap and salt and something uniquely Kasey. He caught her lobe in his teeth and gave it a tug then swirled his tongue in her ear and blew on it.

Her shivers against his body made his cock throb, and despite being desperate to touch her skin-on-skin, to feel her moist center, to roll her nipples between his fingers and have her touching him, he repeated everything on the other side of her face. He caught each sigh, each moan, each shudder and echoed them with his own.

Did you notice that the second version is more than twice as long as the first? I was told that the line “He delighted in the shivers he felt against his body” simply didn’t tell us enough of how he felt and I needed to show how he was affected.

What about this? I thought it was a pretty good scene, until my editor once again poked and prodded and pointed out the things that needed expanding upon to make it better.

(Original, unedited):

His control snapped and he pulled her to the floor, burying his head between her legs. She moaned, writhing against his most intimate kiss. He pushed her legs farther apart and settled between them, sucking on her clit, lapping her cream—had anything ever tasted so good? He pressed a finger into her pussy and then another, pistoning them in and out while he took her over the edge with his mouth. She clutched at his head, pressing it harder against her groin and then convulsed around his fingers with a cry.

With one final lick across her clit, a move that made her jerk, he moved back up her sated body and captured her mouth. She wasn’t going to come down, only move up again and again until she had no energy for more.

He felt her lips curve in a smile against his. Then she pulled away from the kiss, sucked on his ear lobe and said, “My turn.”

(Final, edited):

His control snapped. He dropped to the floor, pulling her down with him and tore at the tiny straps holding her panties on.

“Mine...” he growled beneath his breath and buried his head between her legs. She moaned, writhing against his most intimate kiss and her legs dropped farther open, allowing him to settle between them, to suck on her clit, lap her juices—had anything ever tasted so good? He thrust a finger into her soaking wet pussy and then another, pistoning them in and out.

Straddling one of her legs and rubbing his jean-encased cock against her knee in the same rhythm as his tongue licked her clit made him shudder as his own climax built.

“Cole, oh, God, Cole...”

Her hands opened and closed against his shoulders as she tipped her pelvis to give him even more access to her core. He sucked her into his mouth again, flicking his tongue across the tip of her clit, then added a third finger inside her cunt. She clutched at his head, shoving it harder against her groin and finally convulsed around his fingers with a cry. After the last spasms from her orgasm squeezed his fingers, he slipped them out. Her body jerked when he gave one final lick across her clit and then slithered up her sated body and captured her mouth. Her stiffened nipples grazed his chest and sent little pulses of awareness through his body.

Her lips curved in a smile against his. Then she broke off the kiss, sucked on his ear lobe, and said, “My turn.”

Again… more than 100 words added to this. In this case, some of it was dialogue because Editor Lori mentioned that my characters were awfully quiet during sex and this wasn’t acceptable either!

And lastly this little tidbit…

(Original, unedited):

She unzipped his pants, and pulled his cock free, loving it with her hands, nibbling carefully up its length. “Mine.”

She took him into her mouth and sucked hard and fast, pumping him to the point she felt his balls tighten in preparation to come. She released him with a pop, and pulled his pants completely off.

(Final, edited):

She slipped her hands from his loose grasp and unzipped his pants. Her hands danced along the ridge inside his cotton briefs before she pulled his erection free, loving it with her hands, grazing her teeth carefully up its length. “All mine.”

She enveloped him with her mouth and sucked hard and fast, tongue flicking across his length, hand squeezing the base. Caressing his balls, she brushed one fingertip across his rectum. His cock jerked in her mouth. Her lips curved in a tight smile around his shaft at the sure knowledge he was hers for the taking. She pumped him with her mouth and hand to the point that his balls tightened in preparation to come. Her own pants were soaked with the juices of her arousal, and she throbbed with the need to have him inside her.

Kasey released him with a pop, and ignored his words of protest. “Not yet, not yet,” she chanted.

The last scene, above, was originally 193 words from the point she unzipped his pants until they shuddered in completion. The final version? 761 words from unzipping to incredibly satisfying mutual orgasms.

Writing sex isn’t as easy as doing it. You have to pay attention to two bodies and every single thing each body is doing, feeling and how it responds, how it moves, where the hands are, how they’re positioned -- not to mention what’s going on inside at least one person’s mind. Every shiver of awareness, every bead of sweat, every touch, every last shudder. It’s not just about what is going on, though that is important, it’s about HOW IT FEELS.

Right now I’m working on a story that has one ménage scene, because four hands, two bodies and one penis wasn’t enough… I needed six hands, three bodies and two yummy penises to keep track of. Double the work… but double the fun!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book Video ~ Beyond Eden by Kele Moon

Beyond Eden by Kele Moon
Ellora's Cave

Three lifelong friends find themselves tangled in a web of love, pain and dangerous secrets in this erotic Garden of Eden tale.

Tall, dark and handsome Danny Carlow has always gotten whatever he wants except for the two he wants more than anything—his best friends, lovers Paul and Eve. Determined, he waits like a snake in the grass, poised for the right moment to offer them a temptation too delicious to resist.

Artist Eve Everton makes the painful decision to leave her true love Paul for the siren call of New York City. Ten years later, with her life in shambles, she returns. When Paul’s waiting arms aren’t available, Eve falls for Danny’s charm and finds herself a willing accomplice in the dangerous games Danny plays.

Former college football star Paul Mattling is now a successful attorney with a bright future ahead of him. But behind those brilliant blue eyes are secret desires for a taste of the forbidden. Will he play it safe or give in to Danny and Eve and bite the apple?

Reader Advisory: Not for the faint of heart, the pain in this story is vivid and real, the emotions even more so. Haunting and poignant, Beyond Eden presents a darker side of BDSM. You might gasp. You might cry. You might find yourself reading it again and again.

Want to see your book commercial here? Email us at to find out how!

Friday, January 21, 2011

When is Enough, Too Much....

I happened to be chattering away with Kealie, looking for the week's next hottie and well, we're besties so we talk about everything. Now, after the stuff with the menfolk and some other issues, it came down to this: what's enough to share and what's too much?

Get your mind out of the gutter. We shared the CB's only a couple times. Er... I mean...Anyway...

I also happened to be participating in a chat where the discussion turned to sex toys. Which ones? Nipple clamps. Or are they clips? Or...oh you get the idea. And mind you, we were sharing story ideas and how we'd come to the conclusion that the particular toy/position/partner was what should be used in the story.

It got me this world of sharing and talking about everything, what's the point at which TMI really is TMI? I mean, there are lots of things I won't share (beyond the boys). There are certain things no one needs to know about and I'm sure there's plenty they just plain don't want to know about. Kealie and I would readily admit we're TMI royalty. And get us in the same room. Nothing is sacred.


Where do you draw the line? As I said, get us in a room together and certain things are shouted that I'm sure our mothers would die if they heard us. But we also have lines we won't cross. What are those for you? I might say I've experimented with a set of nipple clamps (gotta keep those boys in line somehow), but I won't go into details. That would be uncivilized. Or something like that.

Thoughts? What are your boundaries? I'm listening.

To get you talking/commenting, I'll leave you with this yummy morsel I found on T.A. Chase's blog.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How Much Is Too Much?

So ... I'm writing a menage story. At least, I'm plotting it in my head and have some of it written. It's a true menage a trois: three people (in my case, it's M/F/M). Despite it feeling a bit racy for me ... I realize it's pretty tame, since three is no longer that big a deal in erotic romance.

Lately, I've seen stories with these types of labels: M/F/M/M/M/M/M/M

Really? I'll be honest, I don't know what I'd do with seven guys. At least not all at the same time. I don't think there's a bed big enough. I'm tempted to read the story just to view the logistics.

But, how many are too many?

I like menage stories. A good menage is one of my favorite genres to read. But, I prefer three... I read one once that was M/F/M/M/M ... and while it was pretty well written, just didn't do it for me. First, I had to try to keep track of all the different parties and since there wasn't a lot of introduction before they all got down to it, that wasn't the easiest thing for me. Next, all the men sort of blended. They were all alpha, and brothers, to boot -- so similar to the point of being unremarkable.

I can't even remember the title.

A good menage story should stick in the brain. The menage the popped my cherry was a short, simple one: "Hired Hands" by Wendi Darlin. It wasn't a committed menage, but it was believable and hot and it satisfied me on every level: sexy, romantic and the kind of situation I could even see myself in.

The next one I picked up was "Rough Justice" by Kyann Waters. Again, a believable situation. Two guys both crazy about the same woman... one of the guys isn't really into menage. He's NOT gay, and uber-alpha ... so he fights the idea. Admittedly, this story had a couple things that I didn't care for (night stick as dildo made me shudder), but it otherwise really did it. It made sense, it was romantic and oh-so freaking hot. Perfect.

Now and then I stray outside the number of three, but I find I just don't like it. I don't believe it and that is the toughest thing for me to get past.

What about you? Do you really love the "menage and more" stories? If so, can you recommend one to me? What's your favorite menage story? Come on, folks... DISH!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Book Video ~ Coercion by Lux Zakari

Coercion by Lux Zakari

How far will one woman go for love?

Introverted and insecure Valerie Mercer was promised that during her senior year of college she would finally attract attention from boys…but never dreamed that would include Michael Vartanian.

Good looking, troubled and every parent’s nightmare, Michael is adamant on introducing Valerie to a world of both pleasure and, inadvertently, heartbreak. His interest in Valerie is dependent upon the mood and fidelity of his on-and-off-again girlfriend, Breeze.

Nevertheless, Valerie lets her hope and desire override common sense and soon finds she can’t deny Michael anything…no matter what’s at stake.

Content warning, explicit sex, prolific drug and alcohol usage, profanity.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Bogged Down....

I've had a lot going on in the last few days and it's not much fun. I don't generally talk about my private life because, well, it's private. I'm going to break my rule for a little bit.

The boys have been the boys and one expressed his desire to be go out on his own. Now, I'm a firm believer in "if you love them, let them go...if they return, it's meant to be. If not then it's not." I gave him my arguement for wanting him to stay and he was adimant--not enough attention, too much of my attention went to writing, not enough private time... So...I let him go.

I'll be honest. It sucks. I love them all equally. I don't want to lose any of them. But I'm also at a loss. I want to write--that's in my blood. Am I supposed to stop doing something that's ingrained in my soul because it upsets my partner?

Anyway, this isn't my normally fun Friday type post. I'll post a hottie tomorrow and make up for it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Video ~ Careless Whisper by Wendi Zwaduk

Our first book video of 2011!!

He’s her kinkiest desire, if she’s willing to open her heart and believe in him.
The dead don’t always rest in peace. Some stick around to make the lives of the living hell on Earth. Ryan Black knows the frustration of dealing with the dead. He’s a Ghost Explorer. He’s conquered houses filled with apparitions, abandoned school buildings that house angry vermin, and managed to woo the female population of Snake Falls, Ohio. But he’s about to face his toughest challenge, convincing sceptical Samara Jacobs she not only shares his gift, but holds his heart.

Women fall at Ryan Black’s feet and Samara’s determined not to be one of the many—that is until she’s forced to work with him. He’s certain ghosts exist and willing to prove it. The more she gets to know the man behind the television persona, she decides the handsome klutz who chases things that go bump in the night isn’t so silly after all. But is he worthy of her love?

This book contains anal sex and a little harmless domination.

Available Late February 2011 FROM TOTAL-E-BOUND!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sending it Out into the World...What if...?

So...I've got this neat little WIP. I've worked and worked on it to make it shine. Well, shine in my opinion. It's time to get it out of my computer and get it into the hands of a CP.

Here's the scary part. Well, the first scary part. I've worked and worked on this short story. I love the characters and feel like they are not only a part of me, but a part of my family. I've heard some authors say their books are like their children. I wouldn't say Tory and River are my children, but rather some damn sexy men I got out of the closet.

I've known the sting of working on a story and polishing the diamond only to find it's a very clean turd. Blunt, but the truth. I hate working on something and finding out there is a huge plot hole or a gigantic TSTL moment or something in it. Drives me crazy.

So, I'm scared. I love Tory, but I'm uncertain that he doesn't come off a little too good to be true. It's possible, but will readers buy into his feelings. And then there's River. This guy has been put through the ringer at the hands of another person. I want to make sure the reader feels his feelings and can understand him. I want them to like both men.

(I'm shaking a little here.) So, out into the world it goes.

How do you deal with the stress? Ladies? I'm asking you, too. How do you cope and feel less twitchy when the work you've slaved over has gone out to be picked apart?

I'm game to know, so I can at least keep myself occupied. (Well, the boys have offered several creative suggestions, and I'm completely open to trying the suggestions, but that's neither here nor there.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's a Little Silly ...

...but I discovered how easy it is to get derailed from writing a particular story.

You see, my current WIP has a working title of "Mr. Fix-It". I loved the title, and it so fits the story and I was zipping right along until ...


I smacked right into a wall -- I discovered that my targeted publisher already has an erotic short titled "Mr. Fix-It".

The discovery broke my heart and really dampened my excitement about the story.

Silly, isn't it? After all, the story is still the same. The hero and heroine are the same people doing the same things. A title does not a story make.

But ...

I'm still struggling to get back on track. I need a new title, I think. One that excites me as much as the original one. Yet, I don't want to get hung up on a title, since publishers often ask for changes ("Shut Up and Kiss Me" had a working title of "Love Your Enemy"), but even so, maybe it would help me get back on the writing wagon.

Do you get hung up on titles for your WIPs?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


My life has been... not conducive to doing anything that wasn't my life lately. I sit down to write... life intrudes. I get online and start checking emails and chatting with my girls... life intrudes. I try to read... life intrudes... heck life intrudes on itself lately. I'm just lucky Megan hasn't stopped talking to me altogether since I can't seem to string any number of days together where I get to see or talk to her. *sigh*

It hasn't all been bad, and it hasn't all been good. Health stuff (of my own and of close family members), everyday stuff, Holiday stuff that included two trips when I wasn't feeling my level best, life stuff that makes it hard to concentrate or to even get out of bed in the morning ... it's all been an interesting stew of things... and all I can think most of the time is, "I'd rather be writing."

But, I find that it's hard to concentrate on your writing when minor and major concerns keep cropping up. There are days I just want to cry and writing doesn't even enter my thought processes until the storm has passed. I cant' say that I stop thinking about writing completely... I've found that there's always some part of me thinking on something or other from a story. I have a few stories in the works, and I keep hoping that life will back off for just a little bit and give me a few minutes... hours... days... years to get done what I want to get done. So far, it hasn't happened.

I didn't want anyone to think that I'd just... quit... abandoned everyone. I just haven't been able to do much other than take one day at a time and hope for the best. I hope everyone is still around and that you don't think i've abandoned all you loyal readers. I'm thinking (read, HOPING AND PRAYING) that all will slow down again and I can actually get my name out there other than that girl who's the friend who is trying to write. I've missed everyone, especially my girls here at the Menagerie, but I hope everyone understands that life isn't always kind and it doesn't always let us do the things we want to do. So... yeah... *sigh*

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Post Your Book Video with Us!!!!

We Wild Women have been posting book trailers on this blog every Sunday!

If you’re an author looking for promotional opportunities, then we here at The Menagerie can help. We have set aside Sundays to play your Book Trailer, if you have one to share.

If you would like us to post your book trailer as part of your ongoing promotions campaign just email us at: and let us know what days would work for you. As sometimes the demand is great for a certain day, please give us more than one day in order of preference and we'll try to accommodate your needs as much as we can.

Hope to hear from you.

~Kealie, Megan, Mysti and JennyKat
~ The Ladies of The Menagerie