September 30, 2008

Sex & Writing: Kayla Perrin, author of OBSESSION

The Author

Kayla Perrin is a USA Today and Essence Bestselling author. Her first novel, AGAIN, MY LOVE, was released in 1998, and Kayla's 32nd novel was just released by Harlequin Spice (OBSESSION). Kayla has been nominated for and won many industry awards. Most recently, she won a Borders Award for the Bestselling Multicultural Romance of 2007, MIDNIGHT DREAMS.

Learn more about Kayla and her works at her website and MySpace page!

The Book

When Sophie Gibson's husband confesses to an affair, she is enraged and devastated. And when her husband suggests that she settle the score by having an affair of her own, Sophie isn't interested. But soon the idea of sex as payback intrigues her, and out on the town she meets Peter. She soon begins an affair with him, but Peter's love turns obsessive. And when Sophie ends their affair, Peter won't take no for an answer. Because if he can't have her, no one can.

Click the cover to order your copy of OBSESSION today!

The Question: Is sex an important component to develop in your writing? How are you able to weave it into a work AND also have a strong plot development?

For me, this question is especially valid. Not only am I writing general women's fiction, I'm writing erotica. What I strive to do with each erotic title is write realistic sexual situations with strong plot and strong characters. How do I do it? Truthfully, it's not that hard to weave in a strong plot when you look at your characters as fully-fleshed out people, people who not only have careers and issues to deal with in the story, but realistic sex drives as well. Considering the person as a whole makes it easier to include a sexual component. Sex is a natural part of an adult's life, so yes, it's important to deal with this aspect in my some books more than other.



The tip of the feather inched its way along my bottom lip. Such a light, wispy touch, but it sent a jolt of heat through my body, causing me to part my lips and emit a shuddery moan.

Another stroke. This time across my upper lip. My naked body quivered.

Quivered with anticipation of the pleasure that was to come.

The feather traveled lower, over my chin, then crossed the expanse of my neck from left to right. Right to left. All with agonizing slowness.

Then it stopped. Abruptly. Five seconds went by. I held my breath, waiting for what would come next. The blindfold over my eyes prevented me from seeing, but also heightened my sense of excitement. I could hear every sound in the room, smell everything. Mostly, I heard only my own raspy breaths and the whirring of the ceiling fan above the bed. But I could smell the desire in the room, clinging to drops of warm moisture in the air. I could smell the sweat dampening his skin. The scent was musky and heady.

And arousing.

When the feather caressed my left nipple, my body jerked, making my wrists and ankles pull against the ties that bound me to the bed.

“Do you like that?” he asked.

“Yes,” I responded, surprised to find my voice faint. “Yes,” I repeated, louder this time.

Once again, nothing. My hips writhed. I groaned softly. I was eager for his touch now. Desperate for it.

“Patient, bella,” he murmured.

“Easy for you to say,” I told him. “You have total control over my body right now.” Total control over my pleasure.

“Have I disappointed you before?” he asked.

“No,” I answered honestly. “Never.”

“And I will not disappoint now.”

The feather touched down between my ribcage, then traveled south, where it dipped into my belly button. It continued its lazy journey into my strip of pubic hair, then stopped—just when I wanted it most.

I whimpered. “Please, don’t make me beg.”

September 29, 2008

Sex & Writing: Will Belegon, author of SQUEEZE PLAY

The Author

Will Belegon is an author/editor of erotic and romantic novellas and short stories. His primary publisher is Phaze, but he also has work available from Charles River Press and his poetry has appeared at Oysters & Chocolate and Clean Sheets. Will has been a finalist in the Eppies and Dream Realm awards and his collaboration with Alessia Brio on Switch won the 2006 Best Mainstream Short Story award from Preditor’s & Editors.

He has read his work to nightclub audiences in New York City and to an audience of four at one a.m. in San Diego. He is currently working on his first vampire story for Phaze, a novella entitled Real Vampires Don't Surf and his first solo novel, an erotic paranormal horror-romance set in his beloved hometown's Gaslamp District.

His next upcoming release with co-author Alessia Brio is Squeeze Play, which contains the stories "Double Header" and "Spring Training" starring the dynamic Andrea Spring.

In addition, he writes about the Chargers and Padres, rants about politics on his blog, coaches Little League, fences competitively and gets constantly manipulated by his two reasons for being, his children.

You can learn more about Will and his creative passions at his blog and MySpace page!

The Book

Squeeze Play is a print and e-book compilation of two novella's previously only available in e-format. It tells the story of Andrea Spring, an advertising executive in Chicago with a taste for the finest things in life. To Andi, when it comes to men, that means athletes. An arrangement they love, because a night with Andi has some very tangible benefits on the field of play. Andi has everything figured until something happens she never expected or wanted. She falls in love. Not with one ballplayer, but with two. Andi's life is about to get very complicated.

Squeeze Play contains one of Will Belegon and Alessia Brio's most fully realized characters ever. Andrea Spring is uninhibited, confident, beautiful and some would say magical. But to say that Andrea Spring is fully realized is not to say that she is unchanging. Through the events of this book, Andi learns a lot about love, a lot about herself and an awful lot about how life gets the most interesting just when you thought you had it figured out. It also has some of the hottest sex that these two writers have ever put to paper.

Coming From Phaze Books this October!

The Question: Is sex an important component to develop in your writing? How are you able to weave it into a work AND also have a strong plot development?

As an author who focuses primarily on erotic fiction, the first part of that is obvious for me. It is crucial. When someone buys a book expecting hot sex scenes, I better deliver. Because if I don’t, it won’t matter how good my plot or characterization is. I will have disappointed them. Odds are they will never buy another of my works.

The second question is, to me, both equally obvious and yet consistently overlooked. We all recognize that sex sells, we all talk about how it pervades popular culture. Yet we so often discount why it does. Sex is one of the primary motivational forces of human life. People do things to acquire it, just like they do fame, fortune and glory.

How much of the music we listen to has been generated by the fact that some teenager wanted to learn how to play guitar so he could be in a band and get chicks? How many times has someone achieved a feat in order to impress a boy or a girl?

Sex is a primary force. It always will be. So it can be used as motivation and therefore be intricately tied to plot. And of course, in erotica, sex may actually be the plot.

Sex is also a very good way to reveal character. A Romeo Void song from the eighties says “I might like you better if we slept together” but in writing I use a variant. I might know you better if we slept together. A person or character who is literally naked is often metaphorically so as well. Small actions can be magnified to reveal larger truths. For example, think of the differences that can be revealed by a light switch. In many situations, the most you might be able to reveal about a character through the use of a light switch is whether or not they feel it is important to conserve energy. (Of course, having said this I can now think of many other ways to use it… but we’ll address that another time.)

Now put that light switch in a sex scene. Your female protagonist meets her husband at the door dressed only in one of his dress shirts. As he puts down his briefcase, she grabs him by the tie and walks backwards down the hall, dragging him to the bedroom. As she enters the bedroom, she turns off the light.

What have we revealed or hinted at? There is no single answer. But we have greatly increased the revelation of personality for the character. She may be daring enough to do the dress shirt, but self-conscious enough about her body to not want the lights on, even with her husband. It may be the way she was raised. She may be wanting him to know what she is doing only by the other senses, forcing him not to rely on sight.

Or she may need the cover of darkness so that her lover, who is hiding in the closet, has a chance to sneak out while the husband is distracted.

In all cases, it’s not the light switch that is revealing. It is the impending sexual activity. Without that motivation, the absence or presence of light is inconsequential.

This is not to say that you have to have explicit sex in your writing, although I obviously do. But the presence of sexual motivation is a necessary factor.
Love stories aren’t about finding someone to eat pasta with by candlelight. They’re about what happens after dinner.

This is not to say that love is subservient to sex. They are just quite intimately related. Love can be powerful without sex, although it is usually not romantic love in such cases. Sex without love, on the other hand, is still a powerful tool for a writer.

Whether it’s revealing how the espionage team got the secret plans or how the sports star was convinced to throw the game, sex is a valuable part of every writer’s toolbox. Call it the screwdriver to go with money’s wrench and violence’s hammer.


"Spill it, girlfriend. Which one did you do?" Jay David epitomized the stereotypical gay man, from his effeminate gestures to his immaculate sense of style, to his insistence on being called by both of his given names.

Feigning innocence, Andi dropped her oversized Versace handbag onto the booth's bench as she slid in beside it and motioned for their server. "Whatever do you mean? Unsweetened tea, please, with lemon."

The server rushed to fulfill her wish just as every straight man she'd ever met had done. It got old after a while. Perhaps that's why she so enjoyed Jay David's company. With him, there was no subterfuge, no manipulation, and no expectation--just friendship, unwavering support, and plenty of laughter.

The first person she befriended upon relocating to Chicago seven years ago rolled his eyes and sighed. "Both. I should've known. You did them both, didn't you? Honey, you gotta stop fucking the opposition. It's not good for the home team. That loss was brutal. BRUTAL!"

Andi grinned and shrugged as she nodded her thanks to the server and stirred half a packet of artificial sweetener into her tea. "What can I say? I'm good for morale."

"You ain't kidding, sweetie. Those two set a team record for double plays yesterday. They were ON. And that dinger in the top of the sixth had your name written all over it. Six for fucking eight between them, Andi! Four runs scored!"



"I'll tell you later."

"You better! Anyway, I only wish you'd juice our boys that way."

They paused long enough to order lunch. "Uh uh. Too risky. That kind of thing has the potential to cause a lot of damage, y'know, both on the field and off. In fact," Andi sipped her tea as she capped the decision in her mind, "no more teammates for me--not concurrently, anyway--even if that means no more double headers."

Jay David placed his drink on the table, carefully dabbing the corners of his mouth as if he held a fine linen napkin instead of the popular brass-and-fern eatery's red paper variety. He took a deep breath, exhaled, and launched into a tirade that stunned Andi with its vehemence.

"How dare you so casually dismiss a scenario I've been fantasizing about since my teen years? Do you have any idea how sexually arrogant you sound? Just where am I gonna get my vicarious thrills? Tell me that! I swear on my best butt plug..." He stopped upon realizing that his voice carried to the adjacent booths and continued in a much lower, but no less emphatic, tone. "I'm serious, Andi! I think anyone with a pulse would love to have the variety of your experiences--whether they admit it or not. Why would you voluntarily limit that?"

Andi raised an eyebrow. "Where did that come from? Did you get caught cybering again?" The expression on his face made a verbal response unnecessary. "Honey, you're the one limiting yourself by staying with someone who doesn't appreciate your hot, horny nature."

He held up his hands to stop the lecture, so Andi shifted gears. "I know just what you need. Both teams are on the road this coming weekend. That doesn't happen very often. Let's hit a day spa for the works--manicure, pedicure, facial, and massage--then go shoe shopping, then the latest chick flick, then dinner. My treat."

"On one condition," he cautioned as their soup and salad arrived.

Andi raised one perfectly-plucked eyebrow, a gesture that spoke much more than the proverbial picture's thousand words. She opened her mouth to add to the nonverbal response, but Jay David cut her off with a dismissive wave of his salad fork.

"Stop right there, hot pants. I know what you're going to say, and I really don't need to hear it again. My relationship with Sebastian is ... complicated." Complicated didn't begin to describe it, but in the years since Andi blew into the Windy City, it was Jay David's longest lasting relationship--that is, if she stitched their time together like a quilt, each patch lasting a couple months until their innate differences reached critical mass and drove them apart. A few days, maybe a week, would pass before their sexual chemistry pulled them back together, beginning the cycle anew.

September 18, 2008

Sex & Writing: Rachelle Chase, author of SIN CLUB

The Author

Rachelle Chase is an award-winning erotic romance author (SIN CLUB and SEX LOUNGE), noted speaker (How to Get Published by Accident, Aggressive Promotion for Penny Pinchers, and Making the Mundane Erotic), business consultant, and model. Rachelle also hosts “Chatting with Chase,” a live talk show featuring interviews with best-selling romance and erotica writers, co-sponsors the annual “Chase the Dream” Contest for writers with author Leigh Michaels, and was recently invited to be “the voice” on a new talk show launched by

Additionally, an excerpt from “Out of Control,” Rachelle’s novella in SECRETS VOLUME 13, was used in ON WRITING ROMANCE, published by Writer’s Digest Books, to illustrate how to effectively heighten sexual tension in a romance book.

She’s appeared on Playboy Radio, the Hip-Hop Connection, the Jordan Rich Show, and other radio programs nationwide. For more information on her books and contests, please visit

The Book

Night after night, his voice goes out over the radio waves, helping the lovelorn and the heartbroken. But Dr. "Love" takes his advice one step further, urging his listeners to take their lives into their own hands-and pursue what they desire…


Bored with a boring lover, determined to settle for casual sex, too focused on the sex lives of celebrities to worry about her own - Jessie, Sharice, and

Alyssa are ripe for Dr. Love's advice.

Chase the Dream Contest site:

SEX LOUNGE Finding Derek CONTEST site:

Click cover above to purchase SIN CLUB today!

The Question: Is sex an important component to develop in your writing? How are you able to weave it into a work AND also have a strong plot development?

I write erotic romance, so sex is VERY important. The way I weave it into the story and have strong plot development is by making sex a part of the story.

When my characters are doing nonsexual things or are talking about nonsexual things, there are sexual undertones. When my characters are having sex, the sex is moving the story forward – meaning, the hero and heroine are bringing their baggage, fears, dreams, etc. into the bedroom – and after sex, both are changed in some way. This change sends them down a new path, until their new beliefs about themselves are challenged up to and during the next sex scene, which then starts another change-and-down-a-new page chain of events, and so on. Until all the necessary change has occurred and my characters have become “new” people at the end.

So, while sexuality/sensuality is present in some way in every scene, it supports and emphasizes what is happening in the story. Sex is NOT the story.

Let’s take an example – this is something I teach in my Making the Mundane Erotic course. Because, a big part of making sexuality or sensuality part of the story is by making everyday, nonsexual instances, erotic.

It’s a technique I call “Layering” – where you add layers of sensuality to something mundane.

So, let’s say I’m starting Too Sexy for My Clothes, an erotic romance that reunites ex-jock, Zack Thomas, and ex-cheerleader, Samantha Hines in Sweetwater, Texas thirteen years after high school. They parted hating each other, with Zack leaving town. But Samantha’s called him back, because she needs his help. Zack insists she meet him at his motel room.

I’ve decided to open the scene in Samantha’s POV, because she’s the one with the most to lose. She’s angry, confused, scared, and filled with dread about meeting Zack. I know what I want them to say, so I jot down the dialogue:


“Thank you for coming.”

He remained silent.

“Are you going to help Kevin?”

“What? No small talk? Fond reminisces of the past?”

“I didn’t come here to make small talk.”

”Then tell me what you want.”


Okay. I’ve got conflict in the scene, which definitely sets up the tension. So now I go back and layer in thought, action, reaction, and senses, trying to make as many of them sexual in nature.


“Thank you for coming.” Samantha’s words were forced.

Zack ignored her gratitude. Instead, his gaze raked over her, sweeping her face, resting on her lips, before moving down. Her breasts, stomach, hips, legs and back up.

“Are you going to help Kevin?”

His eyes returned to her face, expressionless. “What? No small talk? Fond reminisces of the past?”

“I didn’t come here to make talk.”

”Then tell me what you want.”


Alright. A bit better, but it still needs more …


“Thank you for coming.” Samantha’s words were forced.

Zack ignored her gratitude. Instead, his gaze raked over her, sweeping her face, resting on her lips, before moving down. Her breasts, stomach, hips, legs and back up.

His look was meant to insult.

Her breathing became ragged.

“A-Are you finished?”


His eyes took another tour, slower this time, covering every inch of her body. Probing, and invading. Insolent.

“Are you going to help Kevin?” Her voice pleaded. Her body thrummed.

His eyes returned to her face, expressionless. “What? No small talk? Fond reminisces of the past?”

“I didn’t come here to make small talk.”

“Then tell me what you want, Sammy.” The same tone. The same words. Only thirteen years ago, she’d stood on tiptoe and traced his lips with her forefinger, dipping inside. His tongue had circled her finger. He’d suckled. She’d gasped, the hot wetness causing a flood of moisture elsewhere. Lower. Where she’d wanted him to touch and kiss and lick. And her gasp had made his eyes narrow, darkening to jet black.

I want you, Zacky.


© 2008 by Rachelle Chase. All rights reserved.

Do you see how the scene has a sexual undertone, even though it’s not about sex? Comments? Questions? Want to try your hand at making the dialogue above sexy? Or want to share your own example – either something that you’ve read or written?

I’d love to see your examples!

If you author and book title must be credited in the post if they are excerpt someone else’s work, PLEASE make sure to state the author and book title.

Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for a free copy of SIN CLUB.

PLUS, I’ll award a copy of SIN CLUB and a sexy bra sachet and bodice key chain to the person who leaves the example I like best. As I stated in my post, the example can be either one they created or one found in a book.


What's hotter than a sexy excerpt? An audio one! Check out an audio excerpt of SIN CLUB here:

You can get a second taste of SIN CLUB below. Excerpt from “Sharice: A Sinful Phone Call” in SIN CLUB by Rachelle Chase

Oh. He meant he wanted them to take a shower together. A frisson of discomfort bubbled in her stomach. She hadn’t taken a shower with a man since Darrell.

There’d been candles and champagne, which they hadn’t touched until afterwards, so anxious they’d been to fuck. Only, it hadn’t been just a fuck – or so she’d thought, until she’d walked in on the same scene with him and her best friend mere weeks later. It didn’t take a doctorate degree to know that he just wasn’t that “into” her.

She stopped in front of the sink, causing Jamal to turn back to her.

She tried to remove her hand from his grasp.

He held tight.

“You go ahead. I’ll shower after you,” she said.

“Hmmm,” Jamal released her hands, sliding them up her arms, his gaze following their action, as if there was something interesting to their movement.

Trailing her shoulders, they circled inward, tracing the scoop neck of her shirt, to the hint of cleavage.

Her skin prickled under his path.

Her breath hitched, though whether from the touch of his fingers or the intense way he stared at her body, as if memorizing every line, she didn’t know.

His fingertip dipped into the valley between her breasts, before moving down. Both hands rested on her waist.

“You want to take a shower alone?” he asked, his hands lightly stroking her waist.

No. “Yeah.”

He stared at her, his dark eyes taking in her eyes, before moving to her lips, lingering. When his gaze returned to hers, his eyes resembled melted Belgian chocolate.

Hot. Wet. Gooey.

“Okay,” he said, sliding his hands under the hem of her dress, over the outside of her thighs and hips, and up the sides of her body.

Sharice shivered, unable to stop herself.

“Lift your arms.”

“What are you doing?”

“Getting you ready for your shower.”

September 12, 2008

Sex & Writing: Lauren Dane, author of FATED

The Author

The story goes like this - A few years ago, Lauren Dane decided to quit her job and stay home with her brand new second child. As a result, she had lots of conversations in a sing-song voice but no real outlet for adult thoughts and words. While on bed-rest with her pregnancy with the tiny monster, Lauren had plenty of down time so her husband brought home a second hand laptop and she decided to “give that writing thing a serious go.”

Lauren had no idea how fabulously wonderful it would feel to actually make a go of her writing and she’s thankful every day people actually want to read what she writes! She’s well aware of her good fortune and loves every moment of it, even when she has to edit and put Barbie’s dresses back on over and over again. She still hasn’t managed to figure out how to shut out the sound of the Backyardigans so she can write a love scene, though.

To say Lauren is online would be an understatement! You can visit Lauren on the web at her website, her blog, Dane & Hart, Maverick Authors, and her MySpace page.

The Book

Just because Fate brings you your perfect mate doesn’t mean it’ll be easy.

Cascadia Wolves series

Could there be any worse fate than a road trip from Seattle to L.A.—with one’s mother—to attend a wedding? Why yes, when one isn’t married yet, like Megan Warden. Toss in a grandmother and a carload of already married sisters and it’s a recipe for sneaking sips of “special” coffee while someone else drives.

Shane Rosario has better things to do than attend a wedding where his father’s relatives will be at him nonstop about getting married and having children.

If it weren’t for seeing his anchor bond, Layla, he’d have taken a pass on the entire weekend. It would be easy, since he’s become adept at hiding who and what he is.

When the two weren’t even looking, Fate steps in and before they know it, their bond is sealed. Bonded pair, married in the eyes of their people. Two people tied together in every way. Trouble is, Shane’s not sure he wants all that comes with Megan. And Megan’s certain she’s not willing to live outside her pack, pretending to be human.

The distance between them is more than geographical. It’s a widening gulf rapidly filling with resentment…an emotional divide only acceptance could bridge.

Can Shane can accept himself to cross it? Only if they let love take control.

Click cover above to purchase FATED today!

The Question: Is sex an important component to develop in your writing? How are you able to weave it into a work AND also have a strong plot development?

In my case, yes. I write erotic romance and romance with strong sensual elements so I want to be sure the sex I write is relevant to the plot, moves the story in some way and is more than just, “oh page 12, time for a three way!” which is one of my pet peeves in books. Sex writing is a skill to be honed like anything else.

The construct of an erotic romance is different than that of another romance because the sex is framed differently, it’s more central to the story, but that doesn’t mean an author has to sacrifice story for sex. An erotic romance is like any other book in that the author needs to tell the story of the people within it until her characters breathe and make sense to her readers. Sex shouldn’t come at the expense of anything, like any scene in a book, it should add to the book. No scenes should be tossed in or wasted because the author has an invisible checklist of sexual positions she thinks she has to fill in order for the book to be deemed “hot.”

In truth, sex is wonderful material for a story. It’s rife with possibilities. Not just love and joy but anger, loss, connection, guilt, grief – it’s not only a great vehicle for emotion but physical action as well. An author can really show you things about her characters through a really well done, well placed sex scene.

And I’m not just speaking about the physical act, but also in setting up longing, desire, chemistry between your characters. Readers should feel it and understand, in some sense, why the characters are drawn to each other:

In my novella, Sensual Magic (May 09 in second Vegas anthology from Spice) – the hero and heroine meet and have very intense chemistry from the start but it didn’t make sense for them to jump straight to sex. It had to build between them before they’d give in to their desire:
Nell Hunter had been living in his head since the moment he’d met her. In every woman’s walk, he looked for her, compared, found them all wanting. In every woman’s eyes he searched for green, intelligent depths and got brown or blue.

She’d imprinted him in some way. Laid her existence on his skin until it fit him. The feeling was stifling and exhilarating all at once. To feel such an intense draw to another person with a sort of longing was an entirely unfamiliar thing to William. He’d felt lust, desire, even love, but not whatever it was plaguing him right then.

She returned to his thoughts like a song he couldn’t get enough of. And like that experience he kept waiting for the annoyance to set in, for his subconscious to move on to another, new shiny thing. But it had not happened. Instead, the longing spread, deepened.

He toyed with it, with thinking about it even though it made him wary. He approached thoughts of Nell Hunter and the way she made him feel, knowing aversion was better. He thought on it anyway.

It’s about having your characters do things that make sense for who they are. I want to believe it. Don’t just throw a spanking in because it’s page 45.

I like to use elements of BDSM in a story to push it forward in some sense. In Thrice United, Nate, a sexually dominant man pushes Holly, the heroine, to understand how much he loves her and sees her as beautiful. But she can’t understand it because they’re GQ magazine hot and she feels dumpy and not in their league.

There’s a scene where he binds her and stands her in front of a mirror and makes her tell him what part of her she likes, how she’s beautiful. It’s a hard edged scene with some paddling and him pushing her past her resistance to understand how beautiful she is. He’s using that intimacy between them to push her walls down and break through to a new level of connection.

To my view, that’s what any good author of any sort does. She takes all the elements of a story and presents them in a way that works for those characters and that story. She builds and uses everything between the beginning and the end to the best of her ability. No fat, not waste. I’m sure I fail at times!

Goodness knows I’m not perfect and I learn more every day. But it’s my goal to use sex as a tool to make any story I write mean something rather than just take up space on the page.

September 6, 2008

Wanna Promote Your Blog? Try Blog Collage!

If you don't know about Twitter, then you need to check it out. I've met some great people there like Tim McTee, co-founder of the new site Blog Collage.

How Long Has Blog Collage Been In Existence?
Blog Collage is brand new. We launched on Friday August 22, 2008.

What Was The Spark That Led You To Create Blog Collage?
Well, the blog collage is a partnering venture between me and my brother Zack. We live on opposite sides of the country and our only way for communication is iChat. Zack is very savvy with computers, blogging and all things Web 2.0 and has been blogging since I can remember. A couple of years ago, after lots of "haha"s and "wtf"s, he convinced me I needed to start expressing my humor and strong opinions in a blog.

Soon after that, I wanted to know who was reading my blog, how to get more people to read it, and where I could find some other interesting blogs for my personal enjoyment and sourcing. He explained to me some different options, most of which seemed either too time consuming, or costly. It was long that we came up with the idea for the Blog Collage.

How Can Blog Collage Help Generate Traffic To A Person's Blog?
There are many ways in which the collage can generate traffic to a someone's blog. For starters, we have RSS feeds for people to add to their reader of choice; this makes it possible for people who don't have time to visit our site everyday to gain access through their rss reader to the most recently added blogs, the most active blogs, and our latest blog articles.

We are also in the process of developing widgets, web applications, and a blogcollage iphone application; all of which will be distributed through popular social media networks.

In addition to the above, anybody who adds their blog to the collage will be piggy-backing on our adwords campaign and widespread social networking efforts including our Twitter feed where every time a blog is added, we will post a tweet to our network....oh, and let's not forget the people who will be visiting the site on a daily basis to click on random, interesting images to be introduced to new blogs that they would have otherwise never found.

Has Blog Collage been a successful endeavor thus far?
Although it's been less than a month, we are having some incredible feedback so far. We look forward to continued, widespread compliments from both blog writers and readers.

What Is Your Ultimate Goal For Blog Collage?
The ultimate goal for Blog Collage is to create a place that will benefit bloggers and readers alike. At the same time, we want our site to be conveniently accessible; we understand that there are endless options on the internet and want our visitors to have options as to how they access our content.

One person may have the time to visit our site everyday; whereas, another person is busy and will want to have something he/she can add to his/her igoogle, rss reader, or social network of choice.

For the price of a pretty good meal at one of the restaurant chains - $25 - Blog Collage subscribers can buy a six-month residency on the grid. With so many blogs and so many books to compete with, writers should utilize all effective ways to promote their works to generate SALES.

Check out Blog Collage today and reserve your spot in what's sure to be one of the hottest locations for a blog to dwell.

September 5, 2008

Sex & Writing: Zetta Brown, author of Messalina - Devourer of Men

The Author

Zetta Brown’s debut erotic romance, Messalina – Devourer of Men, hit the streets in June 2008 and has already received an excellent, 5-star review on from The Original ChickLitGurrl as well as a Coffee Time Romance Reviewer Recommends Award.

A native Texan, she met her husband, author and publisher Jim Brown, online and their internet romance led to their marriage and her moving to Scotland. She has started to chronicle her experience in her blog, Sistah in Scotland, or SiS for short. She is also the owner of The Full-Bodied Book Blog that discusses “characters of substance” found in books of fiction and nonfiction.

Zetta holds a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Southern Methodist University and is the author of several short stories published in literary journals. In 1998 she was the regional first-place winner for The National Society of Arts & Letters (NSAL) Award for Short Fiction. In 1999 and 2000, her stories were adapted for performance at the Craft of Writing conference in Denton, Texas. She has also had the honor of obtaining a residency at The Writers’ Colony in Dairy Hollow in 2002 as well as attending the Hurston-Wright Foundation’s Writers Week in 1998.

Learn more about Zetta through her website, book page, and blog!

The Book

When life imitates art . . . expect to be framed.

Eva Cavell is a woman with an embarrassing secret.

She is sexually frustrated and is convinced that her size and race intimidates men.

In an attempt to relieve her sexual tension, every Thursday she goes to a local movie theater and allows strangers to fondle her in the dark. During one of her escapades, Eva meets renowned artist, Jared Delaney, a smooth Southern gentleman with irresistible violet eyes. He has been watching Eva on her weekly visits and sees through her icy defence and straight through to the hot passion burning underneath.

Messing about in dark theaters isn't a good pastime for Eva. She has an image to uphold as a tenure-track instructor at a private Denver college and the youngest child of a prominent black family.

Despite desperate attempts to maintain control, Eva's world is spiralling into chaos. As emotional pressures build inside her, an explosion is imminent. Will she ever be able to live her life how she wants and without shame?

Click cover above to purchase MESSALINA - DEVOURER OF MEN today!

The Question: Is sex an important component to develop in your writing? How are you able to weave it into a work AND also have a strong plot development?

I have said that I don’t trust asexual people. In my opinion, sex isn’t a villain or a hero, it just is. Sex can be used negatively (rape), or it can be used positively (procreation), or for fun and entertainment. I prefer to use sex for the latter. Sex can be written in any genre—but does it need to be there? The answer to the question of whether or not sex is important in my writing depends on the story and how much focus the sexual act is to have.

I’ve written short stories and novels with varying heat levels. I wrote my first “love scene” (I was too young to see it as “sex”) when I wrote my first novel at the age of ten. I was already reading Barbara Cartland, Harlequin, and Silhouette romances. Granted, those early books were not as explicit then as some of the lines are today, but they helped open the door to my sexual education.

When I wrote my early stories, I would copy the “love scenes” from my favourite Silhouette Desire books and incorporate them into my own. Yes, I am admitting to plagiarism. But since these early stories never saw the light of day and are long gone, I’m not going to worry about any copyright infringements.

But copying those scenes were an education in itself. It helped me deconstruct what was happening. I may not have known entirely what was going on, but I was having fun trying to figure it out! It also led me to read more erotic tales, like Story of O, The Pearl, and others.

I discovered that writing about sex doesn’t have to be explicit in order to convey sexual intimacy. For example, the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice can
be considered erotic but not by the usual means of sexual penetration—but penetration through the bite on the neck. Whereas stories by Anais Nin portray sex as we (generally) know it: insert tab A into slot B, albeit with extra flair.

In my novel, Messalina – Devourer of Men, Eva Cavell is a woman in her mid-thirties who is sexually repressed despite her strong sexual desire. As an erotic romance, sex is important in this tale. Throughout the novel, Eva is coming out of her sexual shell, and the story calls for various levels of detail to show this. For example, here’s a snip from the first chapter where she admits a penchant of hers:

But there’s something thrilling about sitting in a dark room with other people all facing the same direction with our eyes, supposedly, focused on the screen. The darkness allows fingers to fumble with buttons, zippers, and other obstacles that prevent flesh-on-flesh contact. Darkness allows nimble digits to circle around a man’s swollen pride or spread apart the vertical lips of a woman’s secret. Suddenly, the room brightens because of a scene change and, depending on level of nerve, fingers recoil to their proper, prayer-clasped position on your lap or they probe deeper, squeeze harder . . . get wetter.

While not graphic, I’ll give you three guesses as to what she’s describing. Later on in the novel, I’m less subtle when showing the action between Eva and her man Jared because, at this moment, they are in heat:

His loins slap my thighs as every ounce of his power goes into each thrust. He ploughs into me, making the bed springs quake, and we ride them for all they’re worth [. . .] I spread my legs wide to accommodate him and he hooks his arms under my knees, anchoring me in place.

Pretty obvious as to what’s going on . . . but what about here?

It is slow going but worth it. I am in sweet agony feeling a combination of being ripped open and stuffed simultaneously. Some moments later, Jared gives a sudden thrust and we both cry out. He is completely lodged and I constrict around him. He embraces me and we lie still, both of us trembling.

It’s not blow-by-blow like the passage above, but it is evocative, just the same. The “heat” is still there and what you have here is a couple who now trust each other enough to expand their sexual experiences.

When it comes to sex and strong plot development, it is my characters who control the sex. Their character development drives the plot, and if they are not focusing on the sex, neither will the story.

The Excerpt

“I’ve seen you here before, you know.”

I freeze for a moment, but soon recover then put down my cup. “I beg your pardon?”

“I’ve seen you—here—before. Several times.” He takes a sip of his coffee not minding that he’s just uncovered my greatest fear: the fear of discovery.
“Frankly, I’m surprised you’re alone.”

I look at him again, hard, my brain cycling through all the faculty, departmental, and staff meetings to try and place his face. I can’t.

“Who are you?”

He laughs but not in a derisive way and turns in his seat to face me. Once again his mouth turns up in a smile making me wonder if his lips are as soft as they look. His knee brushes against my thigh sending a spark of electricity up my spine.

“Don’t look so scared, Evadne. Your secret is safe with me.”

“And what secret would that be?”

“Do you really have to ask?”

“I think I do.” Even I couldn’t resist smiling as he gives me a knowing look. I twist my upper body in his direction and rest my arm on the back of my chair. As expected, Jared takes in the presentation of my cleavage but only for a moment. “I’m not used to conversation.”

“Well that’s a shame. A pretty thing like you is bound to have something to say.” He winks and turns away to take another sip of coffee. His lower lip looks full and succulent as it supports the rim of his cup. The muscles in his neck flex as he swallows. I would love to bite that neck. Mark him.

“Do you think?”

“Come on, Evadne.” Smiling, he faces me. “Don’t sell yourself short. You may try to look easy, but you’re not. You have taste. I can tell from the films you see—viewing companions not included.” He winks at me again and I get butterflies in my stomach. “You carry yourself like a queen. And girl,” he says, shaking his head, “there are some things you can’t learn off the street.”

This time it’s my turn to laugh. “You’re very observant.”

“It’s what I do, darlin’.”

This time there’s no hint of playfulness in his tone and we sit, taking each other in. For the first time I notice something else about Jared’s gaze.
Although clear and open, his eyes are still dark enough as not to give everything away.

In the silence, we hear the downstairs lobby fill with patrons. He looks back over his shoulder, once again giving me a view of his neck. “The film’s letting out.” He smiles and stands. “Shall we go?”

“It depends.” I raise my head to look up at him and give a playful smile. “What do you think of my viewing companion now?”

In response I am treated to a flash of his white, even teeth in a grin that would melt the resolve of the coldest virgin.

“I also said you had taste.”