Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chains of Desire Winner

Thanks for everyone who took the time to comment the other day. I'm thrilled to announce that the winner of a free download of Chains of Desire is....

Congratulations! Send me an e-mail at and let me know what format you would like and I'll send it on to you :)

And for all you disappointed commenters, you can buy your very own copy here:

Thanks again to those Naughty Girls for inviting me this week!

Romance with more...sizzle

Friday, May 29, 2009

Workin' It!

When I was a teenager, I was something of a goody two shoes. One of those perfect attendance, straight A, President of the French club type girls. All I did was study, study and occasionally study really hard. Then one day I decided I needed to see what things were like in the real world.
I decided I needed to get a job.
I realize this is not groundbreaking. Lots of people had jobs as teenagers. And my plan would have probably worked out well if I hadn't chosen to work at a well known chicken joint.
Now I like chicken as much as the next girl. I didn't even mind the ugly uniform. What I did mind were the horrible customers. From the harried woman with the gaggle of kids who decided to pay entirely in nickels to the mean older man who yelled at me because I couldn't keep his ridiculously long order straight. I hated working there and didn't feel even an ounce of regret when I quit a week later.
Needless to say after that experience I appreciate a great work environment. But I've never had a job anyplace like the setting of my newest series...
Desire Incorporated - The Temp debuts TODAY!

Ava Kincaid took the temporary job at Desire Incorporated because she desperately needed the money, not because she was secretly hoping to see her ex-boyfriend Gavin Sloan again. She’s already been there, done that and gotten kicked in the teeth. She just wants to do her job and go home.

But when they meet up in the halls of Desire, the chemistry between them is as strong as ever. Suddenly she’s doing way more than filing…

Temping has never been this good and Ava finds herself wondering if perhaps this position could lead to something more…permanent?

Read an Excerpt

If only going to work could be this much fun for the rest of us! Stop by my website to check out more about this exciting new series. If you sign up for my newsletter you'll be entered to win a copy of the book and other great prizes!

And just for kicks - I'm going to host a special contest here that's exclusive to the Naughty Girls blog. Everyone who follows this blog by June 15th will be entered to win a copy of The Temp. So hit that follow button and join the Naughty Girls for regular updates about the mischief we get into :)


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Menage is the Word

First of all, I want to thank Minx and the other Naughty Girls for inviting me to talk about one of my favorite subjects – writing sex scenes. More specifically today – writing ménage.

Chains of Desire, a futuristic BDSM novel, which will be released by Ellora’s Cave this Friday, the 29th, includes my first ménage. I admit I was a little nervous about my first time, but in the end I was pretty darn satisfied.

I’ve heard many writers say they’ve gotten ideas for stories from dreams and I always though that would be so cool to have happen. But I never had until a year or so ago, when I woke up with the image of a petite blonde, bound and on her knees between two large hunks, servicing them front and rear. That image stuck with me and I was finally able to give life to those people in Chains of Desire.

There are certain challenges to write a ménage – and not just keeping track of all the limbs. There are all those extra sensations and emotions to deal with when three people come together intimately. That’s really important. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the choreography that you can forget about the people, forget about their desires and fears, their actions and reactions to everything that’s going on.

I admit my favorite part of writing (and reading) a ménage scene is experiencing with the heroine the intense sensations she feels when two men focus all their attention on her. Two pairs of hands on her body, coaxing the tingles and quivers and throbs from her that can be nearly overwhelming. Two mouths on her, teasing her with lips and tongues and teeth in two places at once. Two cocks filling her, driving her arousal even higher. I want to give myself over to the sensations as well.

Sensations began to overwhelm her. The sharp pain in her nipples alternated with the spears of pleasure shooting between her legs. She had to remember to breathe when Micah pulled back from her throat, before he thrust again. His moans gave her pleasure. Jarrod’s fingers and cock continued to slide in and out of her body, making her nearly spiral out of control. His groans of pleasure sang to her. Her body rocked wildly between them.

But then there are the emotions – and they can often be confusing to the characters dealing with a threesome. Some ménages are a one-time thing, but that still doesn’t mean there can’t be jealousy as the hero shares the woman he feels strongly about with someone else. And the woman may feel conflicted if the second man arouses her as much as the hero does. And if this is a committed threesome, or you have some male on male action going on too, don’t neglect the realistic emotions the characters may try to ignore, because sooner or later they have to deal with those emotions if the readers are going to believe in your happy ending.

Micah had circled around behind her and was clearly admiring her ass. A stab of jealousy pierced Jarrod’s chest. He knew he had to get over it this time. If this didn’t work, he’d spend the rest of his life haunted by the images of hundreds of men enjoying her body. The thought burned his stomach like acid.

When you get right down to it, writing a ménage scene is really no different that writing any other sex scene. The choreography is the minor detail, the sensations and emotions your characters are feeling is what really matters. With ménage there’s just a little bit more.

I will be giving away a free download of Chains of Desire to one lucky commenter. I’ll be soon working on another ménage, an erotic short for Red Sage, so I’ll ask this question of all the readers today. What do you look for in a ménage? Why do you enjoy reading them? I'll hold the contest open until the end of the month. Be sure to stop back to here on May 31st to find out if you're the winner!

Romance with more…sizzle

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Making characters come alive

Thanks for letting me have the opportunity to blog here girls!

So, how to create characters that aren't just cardboard cutouts? Well it's different for every author of course, but for me it comes down to two things. Get them right and the rest follows.

Those two things are character assets that are also flaws, and fear.

We all have them. That part of us that is an asset sometimes but also a serious flaw at other times. For me it's impulsiveness. If I decide to do something I have a burning need to do it NOW! Now, impulsiveness can be good - I get things done lickety split, I love trying new things and I'm always up for spontaneity. In my writing it comes out as plot twists that just turn up in my head and I go with them. This trait of mine has led to some great things in my life - the time I just took off and spent a year working in the Mediterranean, the day I woke up and decided wouldn't it be fun to have a motorbike? It also led me to the Old Man, but that's another story :D

But it constantly gets me into trouble too. I've never learned to think before I speak for example. My Old Man calls it my Foot In Mouth disease. I open my mouth and the words just fall out. Normally the wrong ones, or at the wrong time. It causes my friends no end of amusement when I unintentionally offend random people. And this post for example. I was going to post something quite different. I saw Crystal's post and thought 'Ah, I could type mine up and schedule it to post on the proper day. Do it NOW!' So I typed it all out and popped in the proper date for posting. Only I didn't, not quite. No, I posted the bloody thing straight on the blog ( because I didn't waste time checking did I? No, that wouldn't be impulsive enough for me!) MORTIFICATION! I've just posted right over Crystal! I've usurped her blog. Nooooooo! And somehow I couldn't get to edit / delete it. It took twenty minutes of logging in and out, swearing all the while, till I managed to delete it. Phew.

So an asset that is also a flaw. For every positive aspect of any trait, if you take it far enough ( and in fiction, the best characters never do things by halves do they?) it can become an equal and opposite flaw.

And secondly - fear. This, as far as I'm concerned, can often be the biggest thing to think about for a character and, most importantly, one that drives the plot. What is your character afraid of most? What is the worst possible thing that could happen to them? It's often linked the asset / flaw. For instance, at very formal do's I clam up - afraid of looking like a complete idiot when I say the wrong thing ( and I will). Your character might be afraid of falling in love, of failing someone they are close to, of breaking a promise.

And once you know what it is that makes them wake up sweaty and screaming in the small hours, then you have it. Conflict. And quite often a whole plot. Because then you can make that thing happen to them, or threaten it. Yes, I love to put my characters through the wringer. Bless.

That fear drives what happens in my stories. The events that would be nothing to any other character become momentous purely because of who they are and what drives them. And once that fear is there on the page, either overtly or disguised, once you know what is driving them even if it's only hinted at in your prose, then that's when they come alive on the page.

Win an ebook and jewellery! See the contest on Julia's website.
Julia Knight's first book, Ilfayne's Bane, is published with Samhain Publishing. You can find out more about her at


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Smut - Why I Don’t Like The Word

Hello Naughty Girls Next Door ~ thanks for inviting me to your blog. At the risk of inflaming other authors, I’ll gently explain why I don’t like the word smut.

I’m an erotic romance writer. I write titillating fiction designed to thrill and excite and make you sweat, and always with a happy ending. But don’t call what I write smut, because I won’t stand for it. And here’s why:

The dictionary’s description of “Smut” as a noun is
-A particle of dirt. (Okay)
-A smudge made by soot, smoke, or dirt. (Still acceptable.)
-Obscenity in speech or writing. (Whoa. Stop right there.)
-Pornography. (Now that’s just clueless)

And also describes “Obscene” as
Offensive to accepted standards of decency or modesty (Accepted standards? Bite me.)
Inciting lustful feelings; lewd (How are lustful feelings obscene?)
Repulsive or disgusting (Excuse me?)
So large in amount as to be objectionable or outrageous. (Hmmm....)

Okay folks, none of these describes erotic romance fiction. Sex is not dirty! Human genitalia is not repulsive or disgusting. (Though in my books, it might be so large as to be objectionable or outrageous :] )

Some writers, such as the wonderful Morgan Hawke who is much more established and experienced than I, proudly boast they write smut. I say, power to them. These writers stand up against common, narrow-minded preconceptions with greater courage than I. But when it comes to my own books, I strongly declare, romantic erotic fiction is not pornography. It is not dirty. It is not repulsive or disgusting. So don’t call it smut.

The reading of a book is a very private thing. You could say it’s as private as masturbation. You read a book by yourself, silently, in your own head. A reader’s experience with my books is singular and intimate. Calling romantic erotic fiction smut, is, in my opinion, as arrogant as someone else passing judgment on another person’s bedroom activity. Simply said; if you don’t like it, get outta my bedroom. But don’t criticize me for it.

My goal is to write heroines you want to be. My goal is to write heroes you want to be with. My goal is to write happy endings that make you tingle. And my goal is to write engaging sex scenes that make you hot. And hopefully, for my readers’ sakes, I succeed.

Crystal Kauffman recently celebrated the debut of her very first -not smutty- book with Loose-Id. The Combat is the first in a trilogy about gargoyles who protect humankind from vampires. If you haven’t read it, you still have a chance to win a free copy at the Get Hooked On A New Series contest, drawing held June 1. Or download a copy today and enter Crystal’s personal contest running through May 31st, to win a brand new Sony eBook reader.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Alpha or Asshole?

One of the most popular heros in romance novels today seems to be the Alpha male. Whether it's the literal alpha of a werewolf pack or the laird of a Scottish clan, this particular hero crosses all genres. I'm willing to admit that I love them. There's something about a take charge, confident, warrior hero that makes my inner damsel in distress swoon.

Now I'm not pointing fingers or overanalyzing here but I've started to notice a disturbing trend. Some of these heros aren't so much alphas as they are assholes. Even worse the heroine seems to just go along with it and responds as if his attitude is sexy instead of insulting. I'm not sure what annoys me more, the hero being a butthead or the heroine not putting him in his place. Then I started to wonder - What if it's just me? Maybe no one else sees this as irritating and you're just reading too much into it?

So where do we draw the line? When does confidence turn into arrogance? How far can a guy go before dominant becomes domineering?



Thursday, May 14, 2009

Things Better Left Unsaid...

With texting and twitter so popular, there are a lot of messages floating in cyberspace that people probably wish they could take back. I just heard about a site called "Texts from Last Night" which is hilarious. Here's a peek:

(570): why did i make a hit list last night containing only McDonalds?
(1-570): you tried to order a magarita mcflurry and when they said they didnt make those you tried to call 911

(617): yo I sort of want to f**k rachel maddow. but I'm not a lesbian. actually I reaally want to so maybe I am a lesbian. at least on weekdays at 9.

(510): I got a call from 999 999 9999. I didn't answer it because I was too busy freaking out about the number.
(1-510): It was probably Jesus.
(510): I feel like he would have left a message.

(206): She punched me in the face after i pulled it out and grabbed my cell phone. Ill be the one hiding in the bushes with one shoe.

(207): using no condom is gross. my vagina has a dress code.

(609): ive been sending my husband naked pics of my whole body from my phone..its a work phone. do you think our boss can see? if so, im either getting fired, or a raise.

(305): He's not gay. He just has bad gaydar and he gaydared himself and was wrong.

This is why some people shouldn't drink. This is also why some people shouldn't use twitter. And there are some people who really shouldn't do them at the same time!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the hardworking mother's out there take this day to rest. To those who aren't - take a rest too! Believe me, it's best to get all the rest you can while you can.

I plan to take some time today and just do something completely frivolous. Shop for something I don't really need. Read a book, paint my toenails or SOMETHING that isn't laundry, work or childcare. Sometimes I have to remind myself that even though I'm a mom, I'm also a woman too. I cherish the quiet times when I can renew that part of me as well.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

Optimist that I am I love any excuse to celebrate so I find myself saying "Happy this" or "Merry that" for holidays that I don't even normally celebrate. Even so it's hard not to get infected with Cinco de Mayo fever since everyone around me is having a fiesta!

What is Cinco de Mayo? If you ask the average person they would probably say it's a great excuse to drink Corona but the proper definition is:

Cinco de Mayo
A national celebration in Mexico, commemorating the victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza over the French expeditionary forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

So that's a shot of history to go with your beer.