Today, I have a fellow Evernight Author and close friend on, who is talking about her debut novel, Kidnapped Hearts. A hot, new release is surging up the charts.
D.C: Hi, Cait! What can you tell us about your book?
CJ: Small town girl and owner of The Memory Café, Pamela Young, regales in her life with her friends, aptly named the Band o Friends until her life is turned upside down with stolen bearer bonds mysteriously coming into her possession.
After a five-year disappearing act, Jake Gibson returns home retired from the FBI and ready to make a mends with his estranged family. A freelance case falls into his lap, involving the woman he’d resisted years ago. Jake will do anything to protect Pamela, even put his life in jeopardy along with his heart.
DC: What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
CJ: I have two books that are in the editing stages and hope to have submitted by spring.
DC: I know all about that, trying to keep up with all of you has me running in circles. *laughs* What are your writing goals for this year?
CJ: With the two I already have written, I hope to have four out this year.
DC: Four? Can you believe that only a few years ago, an author was lucky to get out one? How do you come up with ideas?
CJ: Places I visit, my dreams, stories popped into my mind.
DC: *thinks on own dreams* Hmmm, I might get in trouble if I wrote about my dreams. Anyhow, what do you enjoy most about writing?
CJ: It amazes me the directions my characters and plot will take once I start typing. I never know what will happen.
DC: So you don’t outline? I’ve heard of some writers who can do that. While I admit that my outlines often change, I’ve gotta have the set theme, otherwise I lose the suspense I try to build. *makes face* So what about you? Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or...?
CJ: I start with plotting.
DC: Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
CJ: Early morning before the house wakes. My husband is the only that has left the house and all is quiet.
DC: I need at least three cups of coffee before I can start writing. The caffeine needs to wake me up. What is your favorite scene from this story and why?
CJ: My favorite part of any story is when the meet cue, when their breath hitches and their lost in the nearness of the other person.
DC: *sighs dreamy* I know what you mean. I love getting lost in a good scene, and a good book where that happens. Who first introduced you to the love of reading?
CJ: My mom. She was an avid reader. A year after she passed, I needed a way to connect to her, so I picked a romantic suspense book. A year afterwards, I was writing.
DC: These are few of Cait’s favorite things:
A scream shot Jake out of the bathroom. He’d been spying on Pamela in a bathing suit that barely covered her luscious breasts ever since she snuck out of the house until nature called him away. In his underwear, he dashed through the sliding doors in his bedroom and spotted a silhouette walking out of the water. Looking through the binoculars, he released a breath. Pamela was okay.
There was something sensual about surveilling her through binoculars. Not quite the upstanding thing to do. Then again, it was his job to watch over her. Outside of tying her to a bed, which wasn’t a terrible idea, he didn’t have any other choice.
Pamela’s next movement shocked him. She unfastened the top of her bathing suit. The discarded top landed on the sandy beach.
Jake sucked in a breath and leaned forward against the railing, supporting his weak knees. Pamela pulled the strings on each side of her too tight bikini bottoms. It slipped away.
Hard as a rock, he observed a butt naked Pamela dash into the water. Jake swallowed as her firm mounds disappeared. The sight hypnotized him until a strange prickling at the base of his neck occurred, his hair standing on end. He surveyed the stretch of beach. Nothing. He focused back on Pamela.
“Damn it.” The realization smacked him in the head like a tree branch. He had been so engrossed keeping an eye on her that he forgot agents roamed the area.
After lobbing his binoculars in a nearby chaise, he descended the deck stairs, bounded down the boardwalk, and scrambled through the sand. “Pamela!” Crap, he should have yelled Betty. The concern dissipated as his mouth watered and his dick twitched. Pamela faced him. Her lush globes swayed, beckoning him. His eyes drifted south as her waist broke the water’s surface. The moon illuminated the dark hair of her mound.
He shoved his lust aside as anger rose. “Anyone could see you.” He grabbed her beach towel from the ground. Within seconds, he stood in front of her, blocking her luscious body from anyone who roamed in the shadows. The problem was he had a direct visual of her feminine form. Like a divining rod looking for water, his male anatomy pointed directly at what it wanted.
He groaned and pressed his hand against the unthinking part of him. The ache made him cranky. “What the hell are you doing?” He moved his hand and touched her arms; her naked breasts touched his bare chest. They both stilled. He wasn’t this strong. No man was. “God, Pamela,” he said on a sigh.
The hunger in her eyes drove him crazy. He wanted his lips on hers, his hands on her firm breasts.
She shifted, and her nipples stroked his skin.
“For the love of God,” he groaned. His voice sounded strained, even to him.
“Should I remain patient?”
His eyes lifted from her breasts that begged to be touched, landing on the mischievous gleam in her eye. “No. Yes. Damn it.” He raked his hand through his hair and sucked in a mouthful of fortified air. “I can’t … but yes, we both need to be patient.”
He grasped her shoulders, turning her until her back faced him. “Raise your arms.” He wrapped the towel around her, commanding his hands not to stray from her shoulders. Despite his efforts not to touch her, he kissed the back of her neck.
She eased away and faced him, her lips turning up at the corners. “Remember, be patient.” She whisked by him.
His body pulsed with need. Wiping his hand down his face, he followed her out of the bay.
Holding her towel firmly, Pamela trotted up the boardwalk toward the house. Jake’s footsteps sounded behind her. She wanted to reach her bedroom before he could say another word. What had she been thinking to disrobe the way she had? The discarded bathing suit lying on the beach flashed in her mind. Tomorrow, she’d unearth it. Hopefully, the tide wouldn’t sweep it into the water. If it did, she’d leave some money in the drawer with a note of apology.
She edged around the group of flowering bushes hiding the outdoor shower and washed her feet, then turned to ascend the steps. A hand on her waist stopped her. Jake had caught up with her. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
The hand dropped, and the voice that responded made her skin crawl. “It’s nice to see you, Pamela.”
ABOUT CAIT: Born and raised in Virginia, I spend my time between being a mom, a taxi for my children, and writing. As a child, I had an active imagination. As an adult, I loved to escape into romance books and movies. Put the two together and you have a writer of romantic suspense novels.
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I'm hosting over at Evernight Publishing's blog, stop by and see how you can put those naughty skills to use. Mix that inner vixen with a bit of confidence and have him begging at your feet.
Read here: Evernight Publishing
And just to announce, the winner of last week's post is Shari David! Her prize is a choice of a book of her choosing on the Evernight page.
So, this weekend I attended the Liberty State Fiction Writer’s Annual Conference, and besides meeting many new authors, reconnecting with seasoned ones, and pitching to editors and agents, I made a lot of new contacts, some of which are very enthusiastic individuals.
One of those individuals was an editor with a new imprint to Audiogo.com, called Insatiable Press. This imprint is very fresh and they are looking for active and new authors to submit to this new venture they are starting. This particular editor handles the erotica line and between the ease in which you can talk to him and the exciting process in which to take part in, I got to thinking about submitting an erotica piece to them. I told Bob (that’s his name) as much and he genuinely was all for the idea. (I tell you what; the guy is also a master with pitching and completely set me at ease.) In discussions, I’ve tried to come up with an idea and when talking it over with a new author, several misperceptions came up. It took a bit to explain the differences, and it isn’t a topic I’m a stranger to. Let me repeat, this isn’t something new.
A lot of people have common ideas about not only erotica, but also romance itself.
I know in my career field, working directly with law enforcement agents, when they learn I’m a published romance author, their initial response is, “Oh, like Fifty Shades, right?” I will nod, knowing I can never really explain all the differences that fall into romance. The follow-up response, ninety percent of the time is, “So you write smut?” or “You write about sex like “that” book?”
No, that’s not what I write entirely.
That is not all romance is. While physical intimacy has a part in the budding romance, it’s not the focus, nor does it define what writing romance is.
Then again, you will always find some sort of erotic content in my books.
I said it.
Was it so hard? No. But it never has been for me. However, I know of two or three new authors in the field who do have a problem with it, despite their books actually holding erotic content, or sex as it may be.
Erotic is defined as devoted to, or tending to arouse sexual love or desire. Or strongly marked or affected by sexual desire.
It may be different for others, but when I think of erotic, I don’t think of nothing but sex. Nor do I think of anything “dirty.” More so, I don’t and will never be scared or ashamed to say I have written erotic romance. There’s that word again …
Seeing as how it keeps popping up—pun intended—let’s touch on the main portions of romance and books associated with romance. Yes, the two—romance and erotica—are different and the main points separating them are a HEA (Happily Ever After)/HFN (Happy for Now) or not.
A romance cannot be called a romance—period—unless a HEA/HFN is found with the lead characters. A book with romantic elements is very different that a romance novel. The comparison can be the difference between a book such as Romeo and Juliet, which is fiction with romantic elements. Why? There is no HEA at the end. The two die. Not very happy is it?
A romance novel, such as any of the novels written by Pamela Clare, and about 99% of the ones written by Harlequin, or hell, (insert book promo now) my own Feral Craving, are though because at the end, there is the HEA.
So back to the main portions and how to tell the difference. Listed below you come to understand the difference in each:
- Porn: These books are designed to turn a reader on. Period, end of story. Such books can be found here.
- Erotica: These books are designed to show the development of a relationship between two partners that is based on sex. This is the main point between the two and how they connected. HEA is not required. Such books can be found here.
- Erotic Romance: These books are designed to show the building of a relationship through both courtship, whether it be traditional or not, and sex. Sex is present and frequent, but it will not be the primary focus of the story. A HEA is required. Such books can be found here. Think Fifty Shades, Sylvia Day, or even Maya Banks.
- Romance: A HEA is required. It could be a sweet, traditional or not, and could contain sex. Most of anything though, is the feelings are the strong contention of these stories. Think of books such as Nora Roberts.
Therefore, in response to these lovely cops and agents I work with, my response is simply an eye roll and a slight knock against the head.
My main focus is in romantic suspense. These stories do have a heavy erotic content, but they are still considered suspense and more so my focus is on the building of trust as the two work together. Could they be called Erotic Romantic Suspense? Well, sure, if that floats your boat. My characters and their stories on how they live their lives, how love finds them, and how they find their hearts are very real, and very raw. They are not ashamed to show attraction to the other lead, and more so from myself, as an author, I am not ashamed to show the true connections, and all between—again, pun intended—these two people. Mind you, they are fictions, but are as real as can be, like you and I.
More so, the word erotic can mean many different things to several individuals. You’ve seen pictures dotting along this post, and to me, erotic is sensual, attraction, sultry looks, and a craving so intense you can barely contain yourself. Erotic is beautiful to some, and distasteful to others. I choose to see the best out of it. Google the word erotic and search through images. Several beautiful pictures pop up, none of which are distasteful at all.
So authors, readers, do not be ashamed to acknowledge erotic in any shape or form. Stating sex sells is something that can be left unsaid, because it’s highly known and I, for one, would rather follow every step of a relationship, and not feel as if the characters were forced to hold back. A scene can be done just as tasteful as some of the images found in a search. A scene of lovemaking between two characters can be as wholesome as a turkey dinner.
In addition, inside writing an erotica book, well, that’s simply a story for another time, one I will be blogging about in the coming months. Because yes, I’m gonna give it a shot.
Tell me though, what do you think about when you hear or see the word erotic? An answer will be chosen at random for their choice of a book purchased from the Evernight website.