Tag Archives: erotica

Write Strong Women and Marry Your Best Friend: An Interview About Romance With Author Roni Loren

As part of my To Be Read Challenge, I included a (signed – squeee!) copy of Crash Into You by erotic romance author, Roni Loren (@RoniLoren). I met Roni at DFWcon 3 years ago and have attended her sessions on writing realistic romance scenes. She is fabulous.

So are her books.

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Crash Into You

Sometimes the past can bring you to your knees…

Brynn LeBreck has dedicated herself to helping women in crisis, but she never imagined how personal her work would get, or where it would take her. Her younger sister is missing, suspected to be hiding from cops and criminals alike at a highly secretive BDSM retreat—a place where the elite escape to play out their most extreme sexual fantasies. To find her Brynn must go undercover as a sexual submissive. Unfortunately, The Ranch is invitation only. And the one Master who can get her in is from the darkest corner of Brynn’s past…

 

 I am very pleased to welcome Roni to the Happiness Project!

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Describe yourself in three words.

Perfectionistic, Introverted, Curious

What drew you to writing erotica? What do you love about your genre?

It was a genre I loved to read, of course. But I was really drawn to the fact that it had very few boundaries. Like I could write suspense in my story but it didn’t have to fit the restrictions of a romantic suspense. And it could be contemporary but the romance didn’t have to be light and airy. All I needed to make sure I had was a happy ending and a lot of steam (which is fun to write.) So it allows for a lot of freedom in my stories, which makes my muse happy. 🙂

I write nonfiction about my family and they all want pseudonyms. 😉 How did your friends and family respond when your first book came out?
I’ve been lucky. My family is hugely supportive and not hung up on the fact that I write the sexy stuff. My mom even reads my books (even when I told her not to, lol) and tells her friends to buy my books. I don’t hide what I write from anyone because I’m not ashamed of it. If they ask, I’ll tell them. Though, people are usually surprised when they find out because I’m the quiet, mom-next-door type. I think some people expect erotic writers to fit some outrageous image. But the people writing it (and reading it!) are every day women (and men, for that matter.)

That’s awesome! What are you reading right now?

I just finished Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland because I’m a pantser with plotter envy (and am obsessed with writing craft books.) But fiction wise, I’m reading Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (YA Steampunk Paranormal) and rereading The Shining by Stephen King.

Oooh, nice picks!
Settled in for the night after conferencing, reading Roni's book

Settled in for the night after conferencing, reading Roni’s book

I read Fifty Shades of Gray, and hated it. The main character is pretty flat – quite literally, actually, she’s tied down and having sex so much. Your lead female in Crash Into You (Brynn) is really 3-dimensional. Her mother works in the sex industry, Brynn is a sexual assault survivor, she works in a social work setting with other domestic violence victims, and she struggles to claim her own sexual identity despite her past. In what ways do you think Brynn is a champion for women, and what do you think are her shortcomings?

It’s important to me to write really strong women, particularly because of the power dynamic I use between the hero and heroine. In Brynn’s case, I wanted to show how tough and smart she is because even though she has this urge to be sexually submissive in the bedroom, she’s an independent, brave woman in her every day life. She’s driven to help others, and ultimately, she learns to help herself. The theme in all my books usually comes back to healing and self-acceptance, so I think Brynn is a prime example of that. No one fixes her problems for her. She has to learn to move through her fear, heal, and then embrace who she is.

I’m getting married in 2 months. What’s your advice for keeping the passion alive?

Yay, congrats! 🙂 I’ve been married for almost 13 years, and it still feels like we just got married (so I guess that’s good!)

 

That’s wonderful! Congrats to you, lovebirds!

 

I think the key is to marry someone you have a deep friendship with, who gets you, and who makes you laugh. That takes care of a lot of things. But with keeping the passion alive specifically, I think it’s important to develop a level of trust that you literally can talk about anything (including fantasies, likes/dislikes, etc.) with no judgment or expectations, so that you can keep things fresh. When I hear that some husbands don’t like their wives reading romance novels, I want to bonk them on the head because—hello, that’s just going to give her new ideas of what she wants to do with/to you, lol. Buy her stacks!

 

Great advice! I know you love to watch Reality TV, what are your guilty pleasures right now?

 

I just finished American Idol, of which I’m a faithful follower. And now I am so ready for Big Brother. It’s the one reality show that I can convince myself I’d have a shot at winning (ha!) unlike shows like Survivor or Amazing Race where I’d last 3.2 seconds. But there’s something about watching all those intricate human dynamics that I can’t look away from.

 

If you could host a Romance Award ceremony, who would you bestow a trophy to for the following:

 

Hottest Big Screen Actor: Oh, so many. Bradley Cooper is always a fave. And recently I’ve developed a crush on Jimmy Fallon (though, not technically a big screen actor) because funny is hot.
Best Couples Getaway: I like cold places since I live in TX, so a mountain cabin in Lake Tahoe maybe.
Most Decadent Dessert: Cheesecake

Sexiest Thing About Women: Our brains.

What’s next for you? What can readers watch out for?

In August, I’m releasing a novella called BLURRING THE LINES that is separate from my Berkley series. It will be sexy contemporary romance with a paranormal twist and is part of a multi-author continuity series called Invitation to Eden. (I’m thinking of it like the show Lost but with more sex and happily ever afters, lol.) Then in September I’m releasing a novella, FOREVER STARTS TONIGHT, and in November, my serial novel, NOT UNTIL YOU, is being put into an omnibus edition. So lots of things coming up! (In other news, I won’t be sleeping until next February, lol.)

We’ll be watching! Thanks Roni for joining us. Always a pleasure learning from you and I love your advice (and characters) about being strong, independent women with PASSION!

RoniLorenAuthorHeadshot2

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son.

If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that’s it. She is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat. Website: www.roniloren.com

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E-BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!

One lucky commenter will be receiving an e-copy (Nook or Kindle U.S.)
of Roni’s book Still Into You!

Random drawing will be held on Wednesday @ 5pm CST,
winner announced on Thursday’s blog!

Dinosaur Erotica? All in the Name of Research

There’s been a surge out there of Facebook and blog posts with the theme “You Know You’re a Writer if…” It’s considered perfectly normal for thriller writers to have a google search history containing things like: household items used in explosives, where to buy crack in Shipshewana, Indiana, and letters from death row inmates.

I, however, am not a thriller writer. I write humorous nonfiction. So what I do for research?

I read dino porn.

Let me explain.

Do you all follow Jenny Hansen? Because yes, I’m blaming her for this post. Jenny has a FABULOUS blog called More Cowbell, and one of her reoccurring blog series is about crazy book titles. Behold…Crazy Books, Part 9: Dinosaur Erotica.

Dinosaur Erotica Exists and It's Just as Amazing as You'd Imagine

image from Jezebel.com

*stands bashfully in the corner*

I don’t know if you guys knew this about me, but um…I love dinosaurs.

This 3-D flick is gonna rock y'all!

This 3-D flick is gonna rock y’all!

So after reading Jenny’s post, I thought I’d read one of these dino-porno-saurus texts. Ok.

I went with a classic. Taken by the T-Rex. And it’s only 19 pages!

Here is what I learned:

  • I do not, in fact, love dinosaurs.
  • I believe I like them an average amount. Meaning, I dig them in Spielberg films.
  • I am going to have nightmares from reading this book.
  • P.S. There was no plot. NO PLOT!

Let me tell you a little about the authors. Yep, plural. Because it takes two…to write less than 20 pages with no plot in something they define as the “monster sex” genre.

Meet Christie Sims!

Image of Christie SimsHi! I’m just a plain old, everyday Midwestern girl that lives a normal life. However, while my outward tastes are relatively simple, my inner thoughts are filled with lusty thoughts of big, strong, powerful monsters having their way with beautiful maidens.

Midwestern girl? I’m pretty freakin sure this isn’t a photo shot from Lake Michigan!

Meet Alara Branwen!

Image of Alara BranwenAlara Branwen is your typical college student by day, but by night she is a crafter of sexy, hot, sensuous, “monster” fantasy erotic fiction. All of her stories are based on her own desires, or from personal experiences.

The co-author is a dragon?! That’s why the book is co-written. Alara must be the cultural liaison for reptilian hard ons!

If you’re interested in learning more about this raptor-ous book series, (because there are many, many more), you can go on Amazon and look them up.

As for me? One and done!

I’m off to have nightmares now! Ta ta!

What do you think? I have to know!

 

50 Shades Freed: Why I’m So Happy to be Done Reading the Christian Grey Trilogy

Welcome to the First Edition of The Redhots!

Two Redheads.  Two Different Opinions.

It’s Marcia Richards and I serving up spice with our opinion on all things HOT and buzzworthy in the world.  We’re kicking off our monthly series with the book that’s been flying off the shelves, sneakily read on airplanes and during office lunch hours, the book you won’t tell your mom you’re reading (unless you’re Marcia), the S & M sensation:

Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E.L. James

(amazon.com)

I started reading this series back in May.  I was in the middle of the second one while flying home from the DFW Writers Conference, and I kid you not, the woman sitting next to me on the plane ride over was reading the first book.  And on the flight back, the woman sitting next to me was reading the third one.   Go figure!

I noticed, that both these women were very discreet trying to read the book on the plane.  They had folded the cover over, and leaned into the window.  When the flight attendant came around, the woman reading the third book asked for a glass of water, which she proceeded to down!  She immediately asked for a second glass.

Now, I’m normally the quintessential poster girl for “Wisconsin Nice,” but I couldn’t help myself.  The following is a paraphrase of the conversation we had.  J is for me obviously, and P is for Passenger.

J:  Are you getting steamy over there?

P:  *busted laughing* I know, I tried to be so secret about it, but you caught me!

J:  Well, you can have as much water as you want, but if I see that chair of yours tip back, I’m asking the flight attendant for a new seat!

P:  *further laughing* 

Now, let me give you some background on the very opposing forces in which I was raised.  A part of me, will always be shocked that people actually talk about such things out loud.  Nine years in Catholic school will do that to a person.  Our religious books had titles like Heavy Petting is a No No.  Once, after an honest conversation with my father wherein he admitted to having tried cigarettes, I tried the approach with my mother, asking her if she’d had sex before marriage.  We were in the car, and I’ve never seen such a horrified look cross anyone’s face, “Jessica!  How dare you ask me that question!”  She didn’t need to answer for me to know the truth there.

Around mid high school, I became introduced to the French-Cuban writer, Anais Nin.  Nin was known for her collection of diaries that spanned 60 some years over the course of the French Bohemian movement.  She also penned erotica; started writing it for a dollar a page.  Not bad!  At the height of her literary career, posters announcing Nin’s readings had to use symbols rather than her name as code so the police wouldn’t turn up.  I now have one of these symbols as a tattoo.

Anais Nin (Flickr Photo courtesy Mrs. Inman – Popping In & Out)

*****

If someone would’ve told me that in 2012 the book of the year would be an S & M, sexy pain/toy book, I probably would’ve said Awesome!

Having now read the whole series, I’d rather spend my money in the following two ways:  A donation to the local women’s shelter and a new vibrator for me.

Let’s get this over with shall we! 

I was fully aware that the series began as a form of Twilight fan-fiction.  As you read along, you can practically cut and paste the characters from one to the other.  Edward/Christian is a domineering man who is apparently so hot women cannot function through their days without staring at him.  Bella/Ana is a naive, socially-awkward girl whose only true talents are falling down and twirling her hair.  Jacob/Jose is the only ethnic character and in true form, vanishes from the story all together towards the end.

Let’s see then we have Alice/Mia, the quirky sister who tries to run everyone’s lives.  Emmett/Elliot, oooh no subtlety there.  The bossy, valedictorian friend Jessica/Kate who will, just like in the movies, be your friend, not be your friend, be your friend – but only after she starts dating your boyfriend’s brother.

Ok, we’re on to the male lead’s parents:  financially well off, intrinsically good at everything, and yet still kind Carlisle and Esme/Carrick and Grace.  And yes, the female lead’s parents are divorced, with mom remarried and Bella/Ana lives with dear old dad Renee and Charlie/Carla and Ray.  What’d the author do, just flip-flop those around? Ruh-nay…Ray!

What is supposed to keep us readers entertained is the eminent danger that Christian and Ana find themselves in when they are haunted by both Christian’s psycho Mrs. Robinson-like ex and Ana’s sleezy boss.  However, if I were to choose the real danger in the book, I’d say Christian Grey.

Here’s my rant, readers.  I get that is a work of fiction, fan-fiction!  By its very definition it is taking elements, or complete storylines, and having fun with them because you enjoyed those characters so much you don’t want them to leave your side!  Except that in this case, Christian Grey isn’t a slightly overbearing vampire who only ever shows caring towards his girlfriend in a puppy love-albeit blood-drinking way.  In this case, Christian Grey is an abusive man.

At the end of the first book, if Ana was my friend, I would be telling her to RUN and RUN like hell from this guy!  And my biggest fear is that women are reading this book and thinking, yah, this is ok, this is sexy!  Are they fooling themselves into thinking they can change a guy who is QUOTE:  “fifty shades of f*cked up”?

But Jess girl, give the readers some credit!  They know it’s just a story!

Are the sex scenes steamy?  Yes.  Did the book turn me on?  At times.  But mostly, I wanted to pack a bag for Ana and stay up late watching Girl, Interrupted.  I wanted to lend her my copy of The Vagina Monologues.  No, what I really wanted to do was to help Ana grow a freaking spine!  The subplot of “Ana wants to be an editor” is weak at best.  And nothing she accomplishes at work (the only other world we see her in besides the one with Christian) is in merit with what she’s practiced and proved.  She’s given everything because her boyfriend owns the company.

And why does he love her?  Mr. Fifty Pages of the same adjectives grey eyes with the hot body and million dollar company?  Yah, who wouldn’t be obsessed with a mousy-haired, anxious mess that falls through your office door and asks if you’re gay?  I know I’m aroused just thinking about it…

And let’s talk plausibility for a moment.  If my previous arguments didn’t pull you to my dark side, maybe this plot fail point out will.  Several scenes of conflict include multiple break-ins of Christian’s apartment by both a psychologically disturbed ex and Ana’s creepster boss.  AND YET, it’s mentioned throughout the WHOLE series that Christian is paying extensive money for one on one security of his whole family!  What, did you hire a whole slew of Elmer Fudd’s to protect you?  “You wascally-wabbit!  You ewuded me again!”  Why not invest in ADT?  It’s probably more money efficient and they have proven results!

The entire time I was reading this book, I kept wondering when Christian Grey was going to turn into a vampire!  At least then I could better separate reality from fiction!  But no, he’s just a blood-sucking ass of a guy metaphorically.  

Can we please talk about the ending for just a minute?  It’s cool, I’ll follow suit with the author and wrap it up in three paragraphs or less because I’m bored a great writer!

If you’re worried about spoilers, don’t!  Once again, if you’ve seen Twilight, you already know where this is going.  Only, it’s like the author didn’t have the decency to really show us how the characters changed, so she just stuffed it all in a diaper bag/epilogue.

I’m so happy to be done reading this series, and I couldn’t wait to tell you not to!  You may not believe me after the reaping I just put E.L. through, but I am proud of her for finding a market that made her more popular than Harry Potter!  I say kudos for getting the erotic genre more fame in mass media.  I hope she keeps writing.  But I also hope she doesn’t expect me to read it.

Don’t take my word for it!  Read between the lines with Marcia Richards!  The woman who told me that Christian Grey was “following her around the house for days!” 

I told you he was a stalker!

Catch more of the Redhots next month when we review the film Hope Springs.

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