Archive for the 'News' Category
July 20th, 2007
I clapped long, hard, and literally until my hands stung when I saw Pam’s picture and gorgeous book cover up on the big screen at the RITAs last Saturday night. (The RITAs are the Romance Writers of America awards for excellence in romance fiction—think the Oscars of romance). Unfortunately someone else took home the statue but it was so thrilling to see a fellow crumpet up there!
I do have an exciting announcement of my own to make. SIN, my Regency set erotic romance about the daughters of an erotica artist, won the National Readers’ Choice Award for erotic romance!
I was stunned. I believe I made a brief acceptance speech in Klingon. Then I tried to order a glass of wine only to discover I’d left my wallet upstairs. It was also all rather poignant as I’d just turned in the last book in that trilogy, HOT SILK, on July 3. Writing the short epilogue for HOT SILK, in which all members of the family gather for a wedding, left me teary eyed.
Another surprise for me at the RWA conference—I had copies of BLOOD ROSE to sign! BLOOD ROSE isn’t officially “out” until July 25 (though I’ve heard of store sightings already). It was great to reel in passing readers with the promise they’d get a book NO ONE else could.
Plus, I really enjoyed meeting my fellow crumpet strumpets for Elevenses. Thanks so much, Celia, for bringing the Tim Tams. I’ve never tried the before, but on the first bite, I completely understood how addictive they are!
Since BLOOD ROSE is popping up on the shelves, I’m posting an except!
And if you haven’t checked out Colette Gale’s contest—read the email below this one!
Excerpt from BLOOD ROSE by Sharon Page
Her mouth dried as she saw his abdomen—the solid planes of muscle, more soft golden hair, the enticing indent of his navel. Her gaze dropped to his small clothes, riding on his lean hips…
It was as though she had stepped into one of her scandalous dreams.
“Do you know what happens to housebreakers, Miss Lark? Sometimes they get transported.” His voice was silky. “And, like me, sometimes they serve a sentence in prison—and learn about all the perversions of mankind.” His eyes narrowed, hard and cold in the soft light. “You should be thankful that I found you. I don’t know what Sommersby would have done if he had.”
Serena knew she couldn’t show fear. “And what will you do?” she asked.
He reached down and picked up the journal she’d been reading. She caught her breath—waiting to see his reaction. He threw it back to the table and grinned. Astonished, she felt her jaw drop. How could he smile at such monstrous thoughts?
“Meaningless scribble to me,” he said.
“You—you mean you can’t read?”
“I was born in a whorehouse, love, where women serviced rough men for pennies.”
“But Lord Sommersby—the previous Lord Sommersby did not teach you? I thought he had taken you in as an apprentice.”
He shrugged. “From your look of shock, I take it that to a governess a lack of education is sinful indeed.” Mr. Swift’s deep voice lingered on sinful and her quim dampened in response.
“I could teach you to read,” she offered. Perhaps it was a way to convince Mr. Swift not to have her arrested, to convince him to help her, but mostly she wanted to help him.
He had desired her in that brothel. He desired her now. She could read the heat, the male promise, in his beautiful green eyes, and it set her heart racing even faster.
“Why would you want to do that, love?” He paced to the table and leaned on it. Beneath his shirtsleeves, his muscles bunched, and she licked her lip nervously. Mr. Swift looked utterly unconcerned about being half-naked. But why should it startle her so? Vampires were often naked.
“You don’t know much about me, do you?” he asked, his voice husky, with a gentleness that wrapped around her heart.
“No, Mr. Swift,” she answered with equal softness. “I do not.” She read vulnerability, poignancy in his emerald eyes.
“I would like to know about you, Miss Lark. You fascinate me. Why does your past matter so much to you? You can’t bring your parents back, sweetheart.”
“I know.” She blinked away tears—tears at having to lie. “But my past has made me who I am—and I don’t know anything about it.”
“What do you really want, Miss Lark? Vengeance on the vampire who took your parents? Perhaps that vampire is already dead. Is that the most satisfying thing you can imagine, Miss Lark?”
July 19th, 2007
SIN is the National Readers’ Choice Award winner for erotic romance! Also, SIN took second place in the Passionate Plume contest!
July 4th, 2007
…in erotic Romance.
As I wrapped up my WIP (and sent it off to my editor a week early—nothing like an upcoming conference to make you speed up), I’ve been thinking about heroes.
A book needs a strong, compelling heroine who the reader can identify with. But is it mainly the hero that sells the book—first to an editor or agent and then to the reader. I think that is what makes crafting the alpha male so complex—how can a dominant man who may or may not express himself be sympathetic and appealing? (Check out Pam’s post yesterday).
But I’ve discovered the one essential quality my hero must possess (and most do in erotic and sensual romances.) He must like oral sex. Giving, of course, as well as receiving.
Would readers accept a man as a hero if he refuses to pleasure his lady orally? Would they still desire him if he’s “just not into that”? Personally, I can’t see it. When I create my heroes they also tend to enjoy giving oral sex. My men aren’t reluctantly doing it just because they know they have to pleasure the heroine, or are trying to prove (to heroine and reader) that they will be a dutiful, conscientious lover. I want my hero to find every inch of my heroine appealing, tempting, and desireable.
I don’t believe I’ve read a romance (one that includes explicit scenes) where the hero does not perform oral sex on the heroine. Readers, have you found any? Have you noticed the lack if you have?
So here’s to fireworks for our heroines, and Happy Independence Day!
July 4th, 2007
SIN is a finalist for the 2006 National Readers Choice Awards!
And SIN and BLOOD RED have sold to Germany. SIN previously sold to Spain. More details will be posted soon.
Sharon will be presenting 3 workshops at the Romance Writers of America National Conference in Dallas, Texas, July 11-14, 2007. If you’re attending, check out:
- Shameless and Shocking Self-Promotion with Sharon, Kate Douglas, and Sharon’s agent, Jessica Faust of BookEnds, LLC. (Friday, July 13, 3:15-4:15)
- Finding the Perfect Agent with Sharon, author Opal Carew, and agents Jessica Faust and Emily Sylvan Kim. (Friday, July 13, 4:30-5:30)
- Twelve Ways to Establish a Great Relationship with Editors with Sharon, Opal, and their editors Hilary Sares (Kensington) and Rose Hilliard (St. Martins Press). (Sat. July 14, 11:00-Noon).
June 25th, 2007
As I wrap up the last in my Rodesson daughter’s erotic Regency trilogy, I’m planning my next proposal. And the question I’m wrestling is: can my hero and heroine be kinky? And how kinky can they be?
When I’ve read some erotic romance, I’ve noticed that kinky is often the preserve of the “bad guy”; kinky is the line drawn between good and evil. The villain pursues group sex, bondage, fetishes, and often preys sexually on children (and yes, I’ve had my villains do that too).
The hero and heroine might try a little bondage or some new positions, but can they be truly kinky and be heroic? I.e. can my hero just not be able to perform without a good spanking first? I’m apt to think not—I think that would just raise too many concerns in the reader. Mainly, what has happened to him to limit his sexual responses to one pattern, and how can he be…well, made a more well-rounded and whole lover?
In my proposal, I wanted my heroine to be afraid of her sexual fantasies. The hero will show her how normal, healthy, and fun they are. I want my heroine to reach the level of trust where she reveals the images that disturb her. And as a writer, I know I have to toe a delicate line—I want to celebrate fantasy, exploration, role playing, etc., but I know I can’t just eliminate the weight of morality that comes along with playing those games. The guilt is important, and adds a lot of the spice, but I don’t want characters wallowing in it.
So while I’m crafting villains for my new idea, I want to show that the evil doesn’t come from indulging in kink, but in using power, violence, and torture to harm another person. In all the info I’ve read on the BDSM lifestyle, what is most important in a good relationship is consent and trust.
Here is an excerpt for my August ’07 book, BLOOD ROSE, where my heroine tries to understand the dynamic between predator and prey in a vampires’ brothel:
Serena’s face was on fire, her throat dry and tight.
Mr. Swift leaned forward—heavens, she felt his erection push against her backside. He was aroused. She wanted to push back against him. But she tried to stay completely still.
“Is this the sort of thing you do?” she croaked the question at him. She should disapprove. But she found watching so arousing, so irresistible.
“Is it the sort of thing you would want to do, little lark? Wouldn’t you wish to perform for him, to entice him beyond all control?”
She had no answer, swallowed hard. “But those women are enticing vampires. The vampires will feed from them, hurt them.”
“But you know vampires do not always kill—and the only ones allowed here are those with control over their feeding urges. And the girls are well treated, in a way. They have warm beds, beautiful clothing, and are very well fed. They have every comfort they could imagine. These are not girls trapped and abused by a brutal madam.”
“They are free to leave?”
“Yes, but they don’t leave.”
“Why not—if they have freedom, why would they not take it?”
Swift leaned closer. “Because they need to offer their blood. They cannot exist any longer without joining with a vampire and surrendering their blood.”
“Slaves? Or worse—food!”
“In all relationships, one partner feeds on what the other offers. In different ways. The vampires are as much their slaves.”