Friday, December 3, 2010

Release Day for Bound to Ignite!

Tis the season for....spankings?

Bound to Ignite, the third and final story in my South Jersey Heat wave series, is released today!

Watch the trailer (warning: NSFW!)

Gillian Daniels keeps a secret buried deep in her heart—she craves an erotic spanking. When a friend’s wedding reunites her with the man who first ignited her fantasies, she can no longer deny her desire. Though Gillie has been friends with Eric Kerr since high school, she knows he'll never settle down. She's certain, however, that for one night, he'd be willing to make her darkest desires come true.

Eric has wanted Gillian in his bed and in his life for longer than he cares to remember. But she throws him a hell of a curve ball—she wants him to spank her. The idea makes him hot and ready, but contrary to Gillie’s belief, he’s never been involved in the lifestyle before.

In the bright light of morning, will their bond be strong enough for Gillie to trust?

EXCERPT:

“You know, Eric, sometimes I find myself just a little bit curious. I wonder what it’d be like to play like Lisa and Ben play.” Her mouth dried and as she finished her sentence. Eric’s arm tensed under her hand. He glanced to the side and surveyed the mostly empty diner.

Gillie kept her gaze on him, knowing no one could hear them. She’d slipped a twenty to the hostess on the way in, just to make sure they wouldn’t be disturbed. She held her breath until Eric’s dilating eyes returned to hers. The soft flesh between her breasts quivered.

“I suppose every couple is different,” Eric replied, betraying nothing.

“My fantasies make me hot. And…and I was wondering if…” breathe, “…you might be interested in exploring with me?”

Eric blinked a few times before clearing his throat.

“Are you asking…if I would…if you and I could…?” His eyebrows were high and his voice sounded low and gravelly.

Gillian nodded, never breaking eye contact. She shivered from her spine down to her hips as Eric searched her face. She left herself open, tilting her chin. Emotions played on his features, thoughts Gillie couldn’t hope to read and, if she were honest, didn’t really want to understand.

Of course, it was complicated. Of course, it would change things. Those details didn’t concern her, not anymore. She would have him, even if it were just for one night.

“Gillian, I—” Eric looked away.

“Don’t.” She gripped his arm.

He stiffened. Panic jolted in her belly. She let go. Consent can’t be forced. She shoved her hands back under the table so she wouldn’t be tempted to touch him again.

“Eric,” she made her voice even and sure, “I don’t want any promises, really, I don’t. I don’t want to talk about the past or the future—not even next week or next month. I just need one night. I need this. It’s all I can think about, and,” she took a deep breath, “I think you want it, too.”

She’d done it. No matter what he said, things would never be the same.

She looked out across the diner, trying to give Eric time and privacy to think. Gillie closed her eyes. If Eric walked out, she didn’t want to watch.

Her heart jerked as the diner bench creaked. He hadn’t left, however, he’d come round to her bench and settled in next to her. Rough heat radiated from his fingertips as he slid them, slowly and lightly, from her cheek to her chin. His knuckle touched the bottom of her chin and urged her face up.

When she opened her eyes, she found a lingering reserve reflected in his. Her gaze fell to the opening of his shirt. A few dark hairs peeked out and she imagined how he would look when naked. Light curls would spread across his chest, tapering off lower to a taut stomach and then…Oh God. She licked her lips. Closing her eyes again, she focused on the sensation of his finger on her chin.

“Tell me more about your needs.” His baritone broke her reverie.

Light as an eyelash-kiss, his knuckle retraced its path across her cheek. Gillian couldn’t call forth a single sound, though her breath returned in a rush. There was a vast gap between suggesting a fantasy and actually spelling one out. She edged toward the precipice.

“I…I…” Gillian peeked around him. The diner was empty except for a few old men reading papers at the far counter.

Eric wrapped one arm about her waist. She snuggled into his hard, athletic body and inhaled. His soothing scent filled her, dissolving the tension from her shoulders. He stroked her hair to a gentle rhythm and effervescent bubbling tingled in her chest like cold champagne.

“Better?” he asked, his lips muffled by her hair.

“Yes,” she sighed. His warmth eased through her and her heartbeat slowed until it matched his, steady and strong.

“Tell me what you want, Gillie. Tell me everything,” he whispered against her ear. His tone held just a hint of command. Gillian sucked in her bottom lip. She loved that tone.





Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Almost Release Day!!! & You Tube Hot Men Find

Just a few more days until my final title, Bound to Ignite is released!

I was surfing "hot men" on you tube (hey, don't judge!) and I found this. I thought the Wham soundtrack added just the right LOL touch :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Trailer for Bound to Ignite

Three weeks from today Bound to Ignite will "hit the stands"

In search of the next story

Well, my trilogy is all finished and edited and submitted. What's next? I've no idea. I've been trying to think of a new story.

Should I continue exploring bondage and submission?

Should I try multiples or m/m?

I keep asking myself: What's hot? I don't mean what's hot in the marketplace...I mean "What's interesting to me?"

I don't think of myself as a particularly kinky person. I'd love to be able to write a light, funny vanilla Harlequin presents (The CEO's secret baby). On the other hand, I find the belt in this picture almost as hot as the guy wearing it. *sigh*

I guess I just have to keep looking. I know there is a story out there, just waiting to find someone to tell it...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Guest Blogging with Rachel Leigh

I'm guest blogging on fellow Wild Rose Press author Rachel Leigh's blog on 4 reasons to read erotic Romance!

Come check it out!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Release Day Confession & Contest

Hum, Release Day... why does everything sound a bit sexual in the world of romantic erotica?

I've been posting quite a bit lately, in preparation from the release of book two (out of three) in the South Jersey Heat series, Bound to Surrender.

It's here! It's available! And I promise you, it's hot!

And so I come to my Release Day Confession. Have you ever done anything embarrassing in the name of research? I have. I told the story over at the Menagerie Authors and alluded to it in this blog post, but I'll give you all the gory details. There is a contest at the end, so keep watch for it.

In Bound to Surrender, Bryce uses two "toys" I didn't have any personal experience using: nipple clamps and bondage tape. Realism is important to me, but what's an erotic writer to do? I surfed the net for awhile and read as much as I could about the different kind of nipple clamps and the kinds of sensations they can create (Thanks Blowfish.com!). But, when it came to bondage tape, I was at a loss.

I needed to know Bryce could cut the tape with his teeth and I needed to know what sort of sensations Christina would feel when he bound her with the tape. I knew I was going to have to suck it up and buy some.

Should I order it? No. Packages I order are always going to my neighbors and besides, resorting to mail-order seemed kind of wimpy. I happen to live just off lower 6th Ave, and have about 20 sex shops within 2 blocks of me. (Ah, Manhattan!).

I set out for the shop--but, on first pass, I just kept right on going...all the way to Staples. I had to warm up, I suppose. I kept telling myself I was being silly. I'd been in sex shops before, just never alone. Why should that have made a difference?

I returned, sucked in and descended the stairs.

The funny thing about sex shops is, if you're a woman and you enter, men seem to scatter. Not couples, but men alone. Within seconds, I was the only one in the place. I tried to be all nonchalant and find the tape myself, but the veneer covering my embarrassment grew pretty thin, pretty quick. I could tell I was the color of cranberry juice--sunburn wasn't an excuse, it was January!

A suprisingly cheerful gray-haired lady stepped out from behind the desk. She had asked a few times if I was OK, and finally I just blurted out "Bondage tape, please."

"Oh!" she said, looking conspiratorially impressed. "Good Choice." She frowned, "But what color would you like, Ma'am?"

I don't know why, but the "Ma'am" got me. I could barely speak, but I mumbled, "Whatever, it doesn't matter."

I followed her to a whole wall of bondage tape. (queue singing choir)

"It makes quite a bit of difference," she said, running her hand down the display like Vanna White.

I chose pink.

It turns out, when I opened the package and touched it, I discovered that it felt like thick saran wrap, which was nothing like I expected. The whole experience was worth it. In the end, I even ended up with an extra scene for my book. Bryce and Christina visit the very same shop I went to...

Post a comment and you could win a copy of Bound to Surrender! Drawing will be held next Wednesday!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just for the fun of it...

I'm always looking for inspiration & one of my favorite inspiration is couples in love. A link to the add for the new Beckham fragrance (which, BTW is hot), led me to this collection of fan photos of the couple.

Quite honestly, I don't know much about them, but the joy and affection and sexual chemistry that is apparent in these photos is amazing.

Hope y'all enjoy....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bound to Surrender's First Review

Gemstone Reviews gave Bound to Surrender 5 gems (its highest--an 'outstanding' rating). To quote the reviewer, "Tess Lamont has done an excellent job with this story. It is well written and holds your interest from page one. If you are looking for a quick read pick up this one. It's worth it. Great job."

Check it out: Gemstone Reviews

I'd like to say I've celebrated with a glass of red wine, but I was kind of already halfway through my pour when I read the review :)

Thanks Gemstone Reviews!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Book Trailer: Bound to Surrender

I wasn't going to do a book trailer, but hey, it was fun last time! Here is the Trailer for Bound to Surrender

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Release date for Bound to Surrender

I received the galley and release date for Bound to Surrender--Woot!

I comes out on 9/10/2010. I'm so excited about this one because, although it's the second in the trilogy, I actually wrote it last & it's the first story I ever wrote that developed completely "organically."

The genesis was a late night FB IM conversation: Is sex always about surrender?

From that one question sprang these characters, the sexual tension between them, and ultimately the resolution of their story.

The link is here: Bound to Surrender

I'm also excited because it features quotes from a writer/reader/reviewer I met through this blog, Gina Kincade. And because it's dedicated to two friends who've been incredibly supportive through this journey.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Excerpt: Bound to Surrender

I don't have a release date for Bound to Surrender, but since the cover is ready, I think we are getting close! To celebrate I thought I'd post a teaser. This is from an early scene. There is a heat wave in South Jersey, my heroine, sexy school librarian Christina, has just decided to get ice cream. Who should walk in behind her but the man she's just been fantasizing about, Bryce Walker. Bryce begins the scene:

“I hear the vanilla here is very good, but if I were you, I’d be a bit more adventurous.”

With a bolt of awareness, Christina recognized Bryce Walker’s throaty baritone. His voice sent chills up her legs. When she glanced sideways, the muscles behind her knees weakened further.

Eyes like his should be illegal.

Her reaction to him was the exact reason that she’d avoided the man for months. She could not control her body’s response to him, no matter how hard she tried. Damn hormones. Every time she got within ten feet of him, a shiver started somewhere behind her lower ribs and slithered down, pulsing in her sex and forcing her to seek release—either by self-distraction or, more frequently, in the privacy of her bedroom with the help of her vibrator.

Bryce was not a man to be trifled with, however, and she’d had her fill of overbearing males, thank-you-very-much.

His rakish smile stopped just beneath his sunglasses. I’d be more adventurous. Christina had no doubt of the double-entendre of his suggestion, but she couldn’t act offended. Her body drummed the truth. She wanted nothing more than to pick up what he was putting down.

“Hello, Mr. Walker,” she said, in her best librarian-voice. “Thanks for the advice, but I wasn’t considering the vanilla.” She lifted an eyebrow. Their eyes locked and the pulse in Christina’s sex began.

The bells clanged as another customer entered the shop. She turned back to the server.

“I’ll go with the maple walnut,” she said, correcting her posture and straightening her skirt.

“Cup or cone?” the teenage clerk droned.

Bryce stood way too close. His heat radiated through her blouse, contrasting with the cool sensation of the counter against her belly. Christina suppressed the urge to giggle.

“Cone, please,” she replied in clipped tones, but on impulse she added, “and you know what else I want? I want Jimmies.”

The clerk nodded, not bothering to glance up before preparing her order.

“Feeling reckless?” Bryce asked, cocking his deliciously masculine head to one side.

She shook her head no. “Indulgent, more like. It’s my birthday.” Why did I tell him that?

“In that case,” Bryce turned and spoke to the clerk, “I’ll pay for the lady, and add a single cone of vanilla to the order.”

The clerk nodded, handing Christina her cone. She thought of refusing Bryce’s offer, but decided against it. To tell the truth, his gesture made her feel ridiculously pleased, even giddy. She couldn’t remember the last time someone had bought her ice cream.

“Hey, I thought you said to try other flavors…” she laughed. “I wouldn’t have pegged you as a vanilla man.”

“Oh, I’ve tried other flavors,” he replied. “Once I know what I like, though, I stick with it.”

Christina swallowed. “Mr. Walker, you really don’t have to pay for me,” she forced herself to say.

“But I want to,” Bryce purred, taking his own cone and handing the clerk cash. “Besides, it’s your birthday.”

Bryce held out his arm toward one of the shop’s small tables. He placed a warm hand on the small of her back and guided her toward the table. Then, he slid in across from her and leaned forward.

“Happy birthday, Ms. Welch,” he said, his voice low. “Do you have a wish for me to grant?”

Bryce’s eyes held her, testing her and challenging her to respond. She swallowed a lick of ice cream. The cold sensation slid into her belly as she tried to remember the reasons why she’d held this man at bay. Bryce was strong, virile, and clearly interested. Why had it seemed so necessary to keep him at arm’s length?

Work. Michael. Oh yes, and the uncontrollable flame he stoked in her pussy.

Just as she was about to slow it down, her mind rebelled. Too much denial, it screamed, too much restraint. What harm could a little flirtation cause? She practically salivated with the need to take what he offered.

“A wish, Ms. Welch?” Bryce prompted.

“Mr. Walker,” she asked as her throat dried, “are you flirting with me?”

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Photo Tuesday Tease: "holding hands"


I haven't posted a Photo Tuesday Tease in awhile...

I saw a photo that was so evocative today, I just had to post it. I would love to credit the photographer or models, but I couldn't find out who they were--if anyone knows, tell me!

How romantic is this shot?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Covers for Bound to Surrender & Bound to Ignite


I just received the covers for my next two books in the "South Jersey Heat" series of 3. The upcoming releases are Bound to Surrender (Christina's Story) and Bound to Ignite (Gillian's Story).

These covers are soooo HOT, I could have used them for my "Photo Tuesday Tease"!

Like the first, they were desiged by my talented editor Angela Anderson, who captured the feel of both the story and the characters in each one. Yea! I feel so lucky.

What do you think?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Updates & Previews

I haven't posted for awhile, but I have been working!

Today I sent in the blurbs and excerpts for Bound to Surrender & Bound to Ignite.

Want a preview?

Bound to Surrender

Though single motherhood taught Christina Welch ruthless self-denial, in her heart she secretly craves a man who'll drive her wild in bed. Now that her son is spending the summer with his father, and she can't keep her mind off the one man who has haunted her dreams all year long: her son's baseball coach.

Bryce Walker lusts after the sexy librarian who never missed one of her son's home games. Respect and caution hold him back, but every time she peeks at him under her lashes, instinct tells him she needs what he has to offer.

When Bryce meets Christina by chance on her birthday, desire smolders hotter than the early summer heat wave. He buys her ice cream, but they both know only one thing will cool them down. As Bryce leads Christina into the a world of sensual pain and pleasure, she discovers heights of emotion she never knew existed. She learns to trust Bryce with her body, but can she trust him with her heart? Summer doesn't last forever, and Christina must decide...

Bound to Ignite

Gillian Daniels keeps a secret buried deep in her heart: she craves an erotic spanking. When a friend’s wedding reunites her with the man who first ignited her fantasies, she can no longer deny her desire. Though Gillie has been friends with Eric since high school. She knows he'll never settle down and she'd never be stupid enough to fall under his spell. She's certain, however, that for one night, he'd be willing to make her darkest desires come true.

Eric has wanted Gillian in his bed and in his life for longer than he cares to remember. But she throws him a hell of a curve ball: she wants him to spank her. The idea makes him hot and ready, but contrary to Gillie’s belief, he’s never been involved in that lifestyle before.

Through the night, Gillie and Eric sink deep into the “game”and the bond between them strengthens. Eric never intended for this to be a one-night stand, but as he experiences Gillie's willing submission, his “dom” instinct is roused and he's even less willing to let her go. In the bright light of morning, will their bond be strong enough for Gillie to trust?

And, just to refresh your memories, the story that started the trilogy (still available):

Bound to Be Mine

Stripping had not just been profitable for Lisa Emery; it had given her the power, the control, to be the woman she wanted to be. She’d had a stimulating job and the perfect man at home—her master. Together, they were exploring the darker side of passion, and both seemed to bloom with the knowledge. Why then had he suddenly disappeared just when things were going so well? And why now was he back?

Ben Johnson knew the “life” he and Lisa were living had been wrong...just knew it. Something that felt that good couldn’t be right. According to his therapist, “only by atoning for your wrongs could you really grow and change as a person.” Why then, after so many months apart, did he still need to dominate Lisa, to bend her to his will and give in to his baser instincts?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Reader Responses!

I'm having a great day! I received reader feedback from two readers today. (They could, for all I know, be the same person, however...hummm...)

Anyway, On Bound to be Mine's page on the Wild Rose Press site, Texas Lady wrote, "I loved the book, I started at 8 PM at night, and could not put it down, until I had read the very last word. I loved the characters Lisa and Ben and could understand where Ben was coming from. I look forward to more books by the author."

Woo Hoo! I've been hoping since February that someone would post a review. If I'm on the fence about a book, I always buy it if there is a few favorable reader review.

And on a forum I recently joined, a reader wrote and tole me she could not put down my story.

***Tess collapses into her cheapest-model Jennifer Convertible couch and sighs into the pen-ink stained pillows***

I so needed this.

I love, love, love to hear from readers. So if you have anything to say, or want to suggest a blog topic, or chat--please drop me a line!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Photo Tuesday Tease: hold your breath


I'm traveling this week. ...ah the wonders of the Northern California coast. I don't think I've ever been anywhere that has spoken to me in quite the same way. The redwood forests are breathtaking.

But you didn't stop by to hear about my travels did you :)

No! Today is Photo Tuesday Tease.

I spent the morning driving through the mountains and reveling in the occasional ray of sunlight. So I chose this shot for today.

If I try and do anything when I write a sensual scene, it is capture the moment this photographer illustrates so well---the hold-your-breath time-is-suspended moment when a touch turns intimate. There is so much worth celebrating in that moment...anticipation, appreciation, heat, hunger...it's all good.

So where ever you are out there & whatever you are doing, take a moment to savor your own memories of such a moment. (do I hear a collective sigh?)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menagerie Authors: Author Interview ~ Tess Lamont

I've been interviewed by the lovely ladies at Menagerie Authors... Come check it out and learn about my embarrassing bondage tape experience...

Menagerie Authors: Author Interview ~ Tess Lamont

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Photo Tuesday Tease...the foot tickle

Today's Photo Tuesday Tease it a wee bit small. But damn, what a shot.

It's from Vanity Fair a few years back. Ah, Viggo. The man just oozes sex appeal. I just love the way he is looking at her...and, since most of my stories involve bondage play, well...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A New Review for Bound to be Mine

I'm so tickled that Bound to be Mine just got reviewed by "Got Erotic Romance"! Here's what reviewer Jillian Carroll had to say:

“One thing Bound to be Mine has is plenty of erotic sex…but more than that, it has lots of emotion. Well thought out by the author, I could feel Lisa and Ben’s fear, pain, love, respect and ultimately, hope. Whether vanilla or kinky, sex is only as satisfying as the partners make it. Lisa and Ben know exactly what satisfies them in the bedroom ~ and it is extrinsically linked to the love and adoration they have for each other everywhere else. If you like the kinkier side of romance as well as a good love story, read Bound to be Mine!”

Yea!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Photo Tuesday Tease: Just About to Kiss.

It's now mid-April, which means I've missed one week of Photo Tuesday Tease--unconscionably remiss!!

I won't give platitudinal (is that a word?) excuses. But I will serve up the pic that serves as the heart of my book trailer, a Big Stock photo I purchased that I like to think of as Just About to Kiss.

There's something of the 80's/90's I'm-so-in-love montage-ness in this photo, and I think that's why I love it so much.

I searched through hundreds of stock photos before choosing this one for Lisa and Ben. Part of the reason I love it lies in her zen-like submission to the moment, and his dominant-but-slightly-bewildered look....

Yummy.

With my apologies for my lost Tuesday...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Photo Tuesday Tease: Hug, please


SO....

If you've read a few of my posts (or my stories), you may have realized I believe everything contains inherent sensuality. I believe that, by tuning into the sensual richness of life, by celebrating & examining your sexuality, you can find deeper, richer meaning. In other words, I believe sexuality and spirituality are linked.

However, not everyday comes up roses.

Life's snapped a few of my nemesis triggers of late. I'm drained & my wellspring of sensual richness, for the moment, is dry. So instead of pretending & posting one of my usual photos, I'm going to be true to the moment, and post a less provocative picture.

The photo is still full of love, tenderness and connection, it's just not as sensual as some of my other "teases."

This picture reminds me that, even when the well is dry, you can still connect. It says to me: The rain will end, the flowers will bloom...but for now, just hug like you mean it, and let go of the worry.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

On Sex Shops and Toys


When I wrote the follow-up to Bound to be Mine, my intent was to stay with the bondage theme, but mix it up. The heroine of the next story, Christina, appeared in the first, so I knew she was sarcastic, slightly more inhibited than her friends Lisa and Gillian and (intentionally) repressed. Of all three heroines, though, Christina seemed to me to be the one that would be the most curious about "toys," and I wanted to have a little fun.

Well, I was pretty certain I wanted to include bondage tape in Christina's story, but I had no idea if the hero would need sissors to cut a length of tape from a role or not. There's no shortage of sex shops my neighborhood of NYC, so, in the name of research, I set out to explore. In the first shop I braved, the clerk was, thank goodness, a lovely, helpful woman. I left with all the information I needed to finish Bound to Surrender....and a bit more.

The last time I went to a sex shop was in the 90's. Believe you me, variety and novelty have exploded since then. Just for kicks, I thought I'd post one of the more intriguing vibrators available: The Pirate Pendant. It looks like a necklace, but wait! A discreet button allows you to choose one of two speeds.

I can't say I'm in the market (for starters, it's plastic) but I enjoyed the creativity of this one so much, I just had to share.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Photo Tuesday Tease: Ungrounded

I love the composition of this Tuesday's Photo Tuesday Tease. It feels sort of ungrounded--just the way a good kiss does!

Two more stories in Contract with The Wild Rose Press!

Yesterday I received the news that The Wild Rose Press accepted two more of my stories! These two will round out my "Jersey Heat" series. In Bound to be Mine, my heroine Lisa turns to her friends Gillian and Christina for support and advice. Bound to Ignite follows Christina's story and Bound to Surrender concludes the series with Gillian's story. All three take place within the same super-hot South Jersey summer.

I'm so excited that all three will be released by The Wild Rose Press! I'll post updates when as they become available!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Photo Tuesday Tease: I Want to Hold your Hand

What's happening in the hazy-unfocused background of this pic is hot, but the reason I chose this pic was the hand-clasp.

Hands are so under-rated as a sensual body part. I happen to find the finger-threading in this shot intensely romantic, intimate and sensual. Even as they are occupied with more, um, intense foreplay, they remain connected.

And that's about all I have to say today. My apologies. One thing that is DEFINITELY NOT sexy is a head cold. Hope to be on my feet again soon....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Photo Tuesday Tease: Kiss


Um, I'm having trouble thinking of a tagline for this photo. Bed kiss? Foreplay? Hand in hair? Whatever you want to call it, the heat jumps right off the screen, doesn't it?

I'm wading into tricky territory here, but I think that the difference between porn and erotic art (in pictures anyway) is the presence of intimacy--an obvious emotional connection between the people in the photograph. There is something about the way he spreads his fingers across her back that is both sensual and protective.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Photo Tuesday Tease: Blissful sleep

Alright, here it is...the photo Tuesday Tease shot for today: the aftermath....blissful sleep.

I've been married for almost 10 years, but I can remember what the first experience of falling asleep in a man's arms....can you?

There is such mystery in attraction, even now I can spend a lazy Saturday morning wrapped up in my husband's arms and feel perfectly in balance: centered, loved, cherished.

I think the thing in this pic that stands out is there is absolutely no tension in their bodies or on their faces. Bliss.

Monday, March 1, 2010

In search of a Writing Process


By the time you've hung around RWA (Romance Writers of America) for a few years, you've probably absorbed terms into your vernacular that confuse and vex your non-writing friends, like HEA, promo, author-loop, author branding, hook, contest slut, etc.

One word I've heard and contemplated quite frequently is the word "process." As in, "What's your writing process?"

When I first started writing, I figured I didn't have one. Or, if I did, my process consisted of painfully bleeding words into my laptop between periods of panic. I knew that couldn't be right. So, I began to explore other people's "processes." I tried so many different things: storyboarding, using various plot arcs and themes, collage-making, question-and-answer sessions with my characters and NaNoWriMo, just to name a few. However, not until I finally dropped the idea of a "right" process and relax a bit did my own personal process start to evolve.

Now each story takes shape in a similar fashion:

1. Inspiration. A line, a picture, a theme or character spark the bare bones of an idea. For Bound to be Mine, it was the thought of a man coming to grips with his Dom nature--when a therapist and 12 step program are telling him his urges are wrong.

2. Shake the idea. Next I shake the idea until I have a hero, a heroine and a few mental "movies" of them interacting. I note everything at this stage (if the original idea is a tree, the notes are like fruit falling). Most of the images I use, some get tossed as the idea refines.

3. Bare Bones Outline. Third, I write the barest of outlines. I hand-write images and scene progression in bare detail, just enough to jog my memory once I start writing. I think of it as a short-hand outline.

4. Rough Draft. I transfer the Bare Bones outline to Word, creating a story as I go. At this point I employ April Kihlstrom's advice and just write. No editing. No worrying about verb agreement or spelling or pesky cliches.

5. Rewrite. Rewrite, filling in and correcting some of those cliches.

6. Rewrite. Rewrite again, doing more of the same.

7. Listen. When I feel I've gotten the heart of the story down, I cut and paste the whole thing into Free Natural Reader software. I LOVE this software. It helps me find missing prepositions and misused words. But it also helps me see where the story flow is off or more description is needed. (I discovered this program AFTER Bound to be Mine was edited and scheduled for release). I listen and make changes as necessary.

8. Listen again. There is always something I miss the first time, like an adjective used twice on the same page.

9. Submit! Woo Hoo!!

If it sounds like a long process, well, it is. Perhaps I'll need less polishing as I become more experienced. On the other hand, whenever I think it's too long or too hard I remember the best writing advice I've ever read. I'm paraphrasing because I always end up giving away my copy of this book, but in "If You Want to Write," Brenda Ueland writes "don't think of writing as work, it's a privilege." (The Artist's Way says something similar: art requires enthusiasm more than discipline.) Without the thought there is a "right" process, writing can be fun.

So, if you are looking for your process, I'd recommend throwing out the idea that there is a right way, and accept your process as it evolves. Since I learned to trust what feels right, writing never feels like bleeding onto the page anymore.

Writing is world-building, and creating a world takes time. To remind me of this, I bought the poster pictured above and put it on my wall. You can't pit cherries all-at-once and you can only craft a story like you pit cherries: one small, juicy detail at a time.

Does anyone out there want to share their process? (or their advice for finding one?)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Whipped Cream Review for B2bM: 4 1/2 Cherries!

Although by forcing 2 flight cancellations, the weather in New York City did it's best to discourage my return, I finally made it home this afternoon. I did a little happy jig as I plugged back in. Diving into the web after an absence is kind of like sinking into a nice, warm bath :) Even better, some great news was waiting in my in-box. Google alert notified me of a new site mentioning Bound to be Mine: Whipped Cream Reviews!

It's so exciting to get feedback & I'm overjoyed they included my story in their list.

So how did it turn out? Pretty good, I think. Reviewer Fern gave Lisa & Ben's story 4.5 Cherries, saying, "The story is well-written and progresses at a steady pace, which is wonderful in a novella this length. Ben and Lisa have an excellent chemistry, and their emotional scenes are both touching and heartbreaking. Be sure to place this story onto your TBR list, especially if you love a BDSM themed erotica with oodles of emotion."

Woo Hoo!

Here's the full review.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Early Photo Tuesday Tease! The I'll miss you kiss


I'm taking off today. For four whole days I will celebrating a friend's birthday in (somewhat) sunny Florida. I'm taking along an Alphasmart so I don't break momentum on my current manuscript and a cell in case of a family emergency. I'm not, however, taking my laptop--my friends don't have a home internet connection.

Usually, unplugging gives me jumpy, I'm-missing-something-important attacks. However, I'm going to make a conscious effort to stay in-the-moment, enjoy the company of good friends and know that whatever needs my attention will be here when I return. Still, my throat's drying as I think about not having access to email. Crazy!

Anyway, my trip means an early Photo Tuesday Tease! So what photo did I find for this week? Since I'm leaving, I thought an "I'll miss you kiss" would do quite nicely. Don't you just love the urgency in this photo?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wild Rose Press Titles, including Bound to be Mine, are available @ Amazon

I've been lusting for a Kindle for so long, and now I have one more reason (excuse?) to pine: Wild Rose Press titles are available for Kindle download from Amazon!

You can buy Bound to be Mine here.

I'm so excited that Wild Rose Press is selling in this venue. Woot!

Photo Tuesday Tease: flirting on the couch

OK, so the characters in this one are pretty recognizable. And, because it's Carrie, the dress takes up as much space as the romantic interlude :)

Still, this is such a fantastic photo. There is romance, there is flirting, there is sensuality. I love how her knee is resting on his thigh and how his hand is holding her waist. The moment captured has so much promise.

I didn't watch the show in a regular basis, but I am a fan. I think it gave women confidence to own their sexuality in a way nothing else before it was able to do. Does something make you uncomfortable? Talk to your girls! You want to try some toys? Well, go and get some. Curious? Try it and see if you like it. I love the sensual freedom the show embodied. Confidence in your sexuality is, after all, is the sexiest thing of all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Contest Winner & the best V-day card ever

To choose a winner, I wrote the names of all comment posters on paper, folded them, and dropped them into my mini-cauldron. (It's normal use is pencil holder) Then I closed my eyes, swirled and picked out a name.

The winner in my contest for a free copy of Bound to be Mine is....

Gina Kincaid.

Congratulations, Gina!

Thanks to everyone visited & posted comments. I truly appreciate your time and interest. I'll run another contest soon. Until then, I hope you have a very Happy Valentines day.

Speaking of Valentine's day, I have to share the best Valentine's day card I ever found. Believe it or not, I bought it from my college bookstore. On the cover it said, "I'd walk 1,000 miles for one of your smiles." Then, on the inside it said, "I'd walk 1,000 more for that thing you do with your tongue."

God, did the boyfriend at the time get red. It still makes me laugh.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Release Day!! & 2 signs you may be writing/reading too much erotica

Woo Hoo! It's great to see the link go live. You can now purchase Bound to be Mine here.

My contest is still running, so if you post a comment today, you'll be entered into a drawing tomorrow to win a free copy!

Now for the top two signs you've been writing WAY too much erotic romance:

1. "Release Day" brings to mind images of the big O.
2. "Submission Guidelines" makes you think less about publishers and more about your character's "play time"

Sadly, both happened to me this past week. **shaking head** I gotta lay off the coffee.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Story Trailer for Bound to be Mine

I fiddled around for about three hours to try and capture the essence of my release in a trailer. Did it work?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Release Countdown! Bound to be Mine Excerpt/Teaser

For one crazy second, with her lips just inches
from his, he thought she might kiss him. If she did,
he knew it would not be a loving, gentle kiss, but a
punishing reminder of all he’d left behind. Inside, he
wrestled for a response. The plan was to fulfill step
nine: Make direct amends to people we harmed
wherever possible. Ben could feel the gentle heat of
her breath against his face. His plan clearly needed
to be amended, if not abandoned completely, or he
was going to lose control. He would not be able to
resist much longer…God, how he wanted her.
She pulled back before he broke.

Shit. Shit.

She sauntered to her couch and sat, bending a
knee beneath her. She tasted her wine, watching
him like she understood his need to escape. Ben
could sense the web about him—a carefully planned
trap.

Photo Tuesday Tease: Intimate Kiss


There is something so intimate in how she wraps her lover's head in her arms...not to mention the sensations his lips must be tickling from her decollete!

Her face speaks volumes: love, lust, tenderness.

Very nice...

Three days until Bound to be mine is released!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Privacy Alert: Clearing Autocompete from the location/search bar in Firefox

As an erotic romance writer, there are times I have to look up web sites that I wouldn't want my high-school aged nephews stumbling upon. For instance, recently I wanted to include some fancy and unusual lingerie and browsed a site called Lady Strange. Although I cleared my browsing history using the tools menu, the site kept returning as an option when I typed www into the location bar. Frustrated, I backed up my bookmarks and then uninstalled and reinstalled firefox. When I reinstalled my bookmarks, the site came back!

Grrrr.

I finally did figure it out, and just in case other writers/readers have this problem, I'll include the fix in this post.

It turns out that firefox 3 has a feature called the "awesome bar" that, "Over time, it adapts to your preferences and offers better matches, based on how frequently you visit each site and how recent those visits were." (Quote courtesy of Mozilla help directory)

Frightening!

So how do you get rid of it? Well, if you haven't bookmarked the site, you can simply highlight the address in the location bar and delete it. If you have bookmarked the site, however, the awesome bar will simply retrieve the information. The only way to stop it is to go to Tools, Location, Privacy. In the bottom of the box it says "Location Bar: When using the location bar, suggest:" and then has a drop down menu. Choosing "Nothing" from this menu will turn off the awesome bar.

Phew!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

On how to recover from a bad experience...

I found this quote on how to recover from a bad experience in an old Oprah Mag (I can't help it, it's an addiction...I've subscribed for years!). I just love it:

"Write yourself a new chapter-a hopeful, happy one that involves your being insanely well-dressed and sexually fulfilled."
---Faith Salie

Amen!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's not Photo Tuesday Tease, But I had to share


IMG_1380
Originally uploaded by photo_place
Isn't this fantastic? There is so much mood & tenderness in this shot! It's from flicker, taken by photo_place.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Photo Tuesday Tease: The Slow Unzip


Today's photo Tuesday Tease is a photo of Ali Stephens taken by Michael Thompson. (It will appear in the February issue of Allure Magazine.)

Is there anything like the slow unzip? And can the slow unzip come at a better time than during a passionate kiss? The sound, the sensation of the clothes falling away...

*sigh*

Monday, January 25, 2010

Romance on Ice


Last night my husband and I were lounging on the couch and looking for something to watch since our usual Simpsons/Family Guy hour was smoked by football. We ended up watching ice dancing.

The reigning champs, Meryl Davis and Charlie White danced to Billie Jean. I was so swept away by the pair, I had to check out their winning Phantom performance on you tube.


Oh. My. God.

It doesn't hurt, of course, that Charlie White bears an uncanny resemblance to my first celebrity crush...I'll leave that one up to your imagination rather than date myself too much...

I'll definably be tuning in for the Olympics now & hoping to find some more inspiration for stories!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Photo Tuesday Tease: Blindfolded


I gotta make this one short. I'm moving the day after tomorrow and things are down to the wire: boxes & furniture scattered and piled in every direction!

But here's the photo Tuesday tease...

BLINDFOLDED!

Removing a sense heightens all the others...but the blindfold adds even more than that. There is also the anticipation. What's coming and from where? (or from whom if you are really in an adventurous mood!)

The gift of the blindfold is sensation...it's all you can worry about, all you an experience, when you aren't spurred to reflection by your eyes.

I like this pic because she seems to be testing out the experience. Her head is tilted as if to say... humm, this could be interesting. The blindfold itself adds to the fun. Silk or Satin, it's whispery touch is of itself a sensual experience....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Photo Tuesday Tease: The Car Kiss

I'm trying to get into the habit of blogging regularly, although for now it seems like writing letters to myself that simply happen to be posted in public. (Though writing posts has helped crystallize the experience of "being" Tess & wanting to put all I've got into this part of my writing life.)

I'm ready to try a regular feature Photo Tuesday Tease. I'll confess it's not my first attempt. I took down "Under-Appreciated Body Part Day" because they sounded silly (although I did LOVE the one about the inner wrist--maybe I'll rework that one sometime).

ANYWAY, I have a few Romantic/Erotic/Suggestive/Sex-positive (though fairly tame) pics that I've gathered from here and there (mostly tumblr). For the next two months at least, I'm going to try a Photo Tuesday Tease. I'll post a pic and a few words about the story it creates for me. If you are reading, please feel free to comment or post your own story.

I think this shot is hot because it looks like a couple that simply cannot keep their hands off one another. You can almost feel the heat between them. Is he whispering something in her ear as he draws down her shawl? The way she is stretching back her arm makes me think she is fully experiencing the sensations of the moment: the weight of her earrings as they dangle forward, the brush of his hand against her back....


Please Note: If the pic doesn't show it's creator, then the creator wasn't listed when I found it. If you see a shot, however, that is copyrighted, please let me know and I'll take it down immediately.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

free verse refections

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

--William Carlos Williams

This poem infuriated me in high school; I wasn't much for subtleties. Lately, though, I find myself thinking about it from time to time. It has a beautiful simplicity, and a stark truth I never could have grasped then: we often take for granted the things most important. (Ever try and remove yard waste without a wheel barrow?) Those things most important we forget to honor, we leave in the rain, we fail to notice...at least until something contrasts with it.

Writing erotica has been the "white" to my "red"--the thing that made me notice things I've taken for granted...from the feel of a nylon stocking to the erotic possibilities of secret-sharing. It's a bit of a surprise, but not an unwelcome one.

And since I was appreciating subtleties, I decided to poke around the internet and read some other poets who infuriated me. I found this gem by ee cummings. (And I'm certain if this one was included in the anthology, I would have had ALOT more interest in free verse!)

i like my body when it is with your body.

It is so quite a new thing. Muscles better

and nerves more. i like your body. i like

what it does, i like its hows. i like to feel

the spine of your body and its bones, and

the trembling -firm-smooth ness and which

i will again and again and again kiss, i like

kissing this and that of you, i like, slowly

stroking the, shocking fuzz of your

electric fur, and what-is-it comes over

parting flesh . . . . And eyes big

love-crumbs, and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new

--ee cummings

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