None right now.
(all international & blog specific unless told otherwise, aka "U.S" only or "TW" aka Tour Wide)
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Violet Gray: Sparkly New Covers from Niina's Cover Design: Guess what? It's Christmas at my house! Hmm, actually I think it's better than Christmas. My two titles, Submitting to Ethan and The Vampire's Submissive, have sparkly new covers from the exquisitely talented, Niina Cord, and I couldn't be happier. I'm tickled pink. Pleased as punch. Well, you get the idea.
A self-published author via the Amazon Kindle platform, I originally created my own covers using Amazon's beta cover creator...
Read More : http://thevioletgray.blogspot.com/2013/10/sparkly-new-covers-from-niinas-cover.html
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Title: My Beautiful (The Beautiful Series #2)
Author: Alicia Rae
Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Cover Design: Okay Creations
Event Organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
"Still trying to recover from a tragic loss, Lily’s worst fear is falling in love. Distancing herself from everyone is the only way she can keep heartache away.
Deep down though, Lily realizes that living without Kyle is too painful. She finds strength in Kyle’s arms, and he gives her the courage to face her past. With every step forward, Lily continues to nurture and mend her damaged heart.
Just when Lily feels closure within her grasp, secrets from the past finally catch up with her, and Lily will discover that more than her heart is on the line.
Will love be enough to save Lily?"
Add to Goodreads
Thank you to my dear sister, Kels, who showed me a few years ago how much I truly missed reading. And to my loving husband, for not throwing away my Nook, and planting the seed of writing into my mind. I am forever grateful. Xo
Readers, words cannot thank you enough for supporting me along this incredible journey. I hope you enjoy my novels as much as I do writing them. I thank each and every one of you.
Believe in yourself and follow your dreams...
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
I definitely agree with those!
Now let's take a look at Owning Sarah :
This book looks fabulous!!! Now what is a party without prizes?
Julie is giving away 3 signed print copies of Loving Sarah, which is book 1 in the series :
"Eight years ago Jesse Colter fled his small town, leaving behind eighteen-year-old Sarah Marshall, broken-hearted and devastated. Now a retired Navy SEAL, he’s back and he wants only one thing—Sarah Marshall—preferably bound, naked, and on her knees before him.
She has never forgotten Jesse. He’s been the object of all her sexual fantasies since she was fifteen, as well as the star of nightly dreams that have become increasingly erotic over the years. So when he suddenly reappears in her life, she is torn. Can she trust him not to hurt her, or will he once again break her heart? Warily, she agrees to let him introduce her to his world—the world of bondage, Domination, and erotic slavery. When he also introduces her to his best friend, Adam Sinclair, Sarah faces a daunting future of sexual submission to two powerful alpha males.
But Sarah faces an even bigger challenge. Someone is stalking her. Is it the old enemy who’s just been released from prison? Or is it someone else from her past who is determined to destroy any chance she has at happiness? Can Adam’s and Jesse’s love protect her? Or will her world explode in a cataclysm of betrayal and violence that will destroy them all? "
Just fill out the rafflecopter below to enter!!! Good Luck!!
“Greedy little sub,” Adam chuckled. He manipulated her slick, swollen pussy lips, sliding them back and forth until one of the frozen red grapes popped from its dewy prison. It sat, glistening lewdly, nestled between her sopping wet lips like some obscene sex organ. “Do not come,” he instructed quietly, working his tongue beneath the grape and sliding it all the way up her slit. He flicked it rapidly across her frazzled clit before pulling the small fruit into his mouth and chewing noisily.
She was gasping like a beached fish, desperately trying to hold off her climax.
“Do not come,” he repeated, squeezing another grape free and looking at it for a long moment before taking it into his mouth. “God, you taste delicious,” he murmured, sliding his tongue back and forth along the length of her slit, just barely touching that nerve-ridden nubbin of flesh that was the center of both her pleasure and her torment. “Like sunshine and flowers and sweet, sweet cream.”
She lay there, shuddering and twitching as he tunneled his tongue into the depths of her cunt, releasing two more grapes and sending her body spiraling up, up, up toward the orgasm that hovered so tantalizingly out of reach. The orgasm she so desperately craved, yet knew she must not have. The one she fought with every trembling muscle in her body.
Adam pushed her right up to the edge. Then stopped.
He straightened, watching her entire body shudder helplessly as yet another orgasm retreated. He reveled in the power her submission gave him. Power to control, to direct, to manipulate. Power to render her helpless against her body’s own dark needs even as he drove her to the ultimate in sexual pleasure. “You do not have permission to come,” he reminded her as, one by one, he pulled more round red globes into his mouth. He released her pussy lips and stood up to allow Jesse to take his place.
A sob heaved from her lungs as she frantically fought her body’s brutal need to climax.
Jesse spread her labia apart with his thumbs, revealing her entire slit from her clenching ass hole at the bottom to the portal of her vagina and her clit at the very top. Her flesh was pink and swollen and dripping with the cream of her arousal. By now the remaining grapes were held firmly in place within her vaginal walls. Jesse rubbed his nose along her cleft, lapping his tongue at her dripping entrance, making her shudder and squirm. Placing his palm over her mound, he pressed down. “Push,” he said and a grape popped out onto his tongue.
He bit into the crisp flesh and was rewarded with a burst of tart sweetness that blended with Sarah’s own unique flavor, making it the most delicious treat he’d ever eaten. He ate all the remaining grapes, taking his time to dig each one out, finger-fucking her, building her arousal to a fever pitch. By the time he finished the last one, she was moaning and writhing and burning with the need to come. “Please, Jesse,” she begged, her voice hoarse with passion. “Please….”
“Please what?” he asked perversely, grinning as he slowly circled his finger around her clit, manipulating the surrounding flesh without actually touching the pearl itself, keeping her teetering on the edge, frantic and desperate.
It was pure torture and she gritted her teeth and stiffened her muscles in a losing effort to
keep her climax at bay. She knew she wouldn’t be able to hold out much longer. “Please let me come,” she begged.
“I don’t know.” Jesse tilted his head, appearing to consider. As he did so, he began tapping his thumb repeatedly against her clit, increasing her suffering a hundred-fold.
Oh. My. God! The breath shuddered from her lungs. Her muscles clenched so tight she feared she‘d never get them to relax again. She squirmed as her need to climax threatened to swallow her alive.
“Whaddya think, Adam? Has she earned the right to come?”
Sarah’s beseeching gaze flew to her other tormenter, who gave her a sly smile as he reached for her clamped breasts. “Yeah. She’s been a pretty good girl.”
“Then come for us, Sarah,” Jesse toggled her clit, Adam released the clips on her nipples, and she let out a shriek as her orgasm hit her with the force of an avalanche, blasting through her, leveling everything in its path. Her back arched into a rigid bow as pleasure clenched her muscles so tight, she thought she heard bones snapping. And while she was still screaming and jerking about wildly, Jesse stood and unzipped his jeans, freeing his iron-hard cock. Grabbing her hips, he thrust into her, stroking savagely in and out until she came again, her muscles clamping around him so tightly his eyes crossed.
And again she came, with tremors so violent they rivaled a magnitude 10 earthquake, even as Jesse spilled his seed deep inside her. He pulled out and Adam took his place until he, too, climaxed, emptying himself inside her still-convulsing cunt. He remained deeply buried, rocking his hips hard against her, letting the long, liquid pulls of her inner muscles milk every last drop of come from his pumping cock. There was so much it splatted onto the floor in thick, milky blobs. Finally, with a hoarse cry, he pulled out, staggering backwards to collapse into the chair behind him, his hand still stroking his dwindling cock, wet and slick with the combination of all their juices.
Sarah flopped back on the table, jerking like a spastic marionette, totally spent, wondering desperately where all the oxygen had gone.
She was dimly aware of Jesse scooping her up off the table and flopping into the nearest chair with her straddling his lap, holding her close, crooning softly in her ear. His voice came at her from a great distance, gradually fading until there was nothing but silence. She had passed out.
BUY LINKS FOR LOVING SARAH
BARNES & NOBLE
Monday, October 7, 2013
Caroline Tolbertson just wants to be left alone. But her mother is determined to see her married off, no matter Caroline’s protests--or her embarassing lack of suitors. Seeing David Cameron, her childhood crush, again sets her heart racing, but she’s older and wiser now. And no, that wasn’t her heart sinking when David suggested a faux courtship instead of the real thing.
But Caroline has never been very good at following the rules, and the fake attraction soon grows into the real thing. Now Caroline has more scandalous pursuits in mind and David is finding it very hard to say no to his gorgeous friend. Will giving in to temptation send them both down a path they each claim to abhor--straight to the altar?"
Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble, / Books-a-Million / Indie-bound
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpznycdbreE
(Two Digital Copies of WHAT HAPPENS IN SCOTLAND by Jennifer McQuiston)a Rafflecopter giveaway
Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2013/08/now-booking-tasty-virtual-book-tour-for_19.html
A veterinarian and infectious disease researcher by training, Jennifer McQuiston has always preferred reading romance to scientific textbooks. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, their two girls, and an odd assortment of pets, including the pony she promised her children if mommy ever got a book deal. Jennifer can be reached via her website at www.jenmcquiston.com or followed on Twitter @jenmcqwrites.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
The City Gal’s Guide to Dude Ranch Survival
by Maggie McGinnis
Thanks so much for hosting me today! I’m so happy to be here!
In honor of Accidental Cowgirl’s release, the Whisper Creek ranch hands have put together their own City Gal’s Guide to Dude-Ranch Survival :
Early means early: Wake-up’s when the rooster decides it’s wake-up. Not when your pretty little alarm clock goes off
Breakfast is required: And you better eat more than a granola bar. We’ve got work to do, and you need fuel.
Grooming is not: You’re gonna put a hat on over that hair, anyway.
Riding is work: You’ll hate us the first two days, but trust us. Your thighs will thank us for this vacation. Your butt, too.
Horses play tricks: Yeah, don’t let the big eyes fool you. They’ll be the first ones to puff out their bellies to mess with the straps when you saddle them, and then once you’re on, boom! Down you go.
Calves do not want to be caught: We make it look easy, and we’re totally not laughing when we turn you loose to try roping them. Not laughing out loud, anyway.
Trail riding 101: Follow the leader, people. No shortcuts. Shortcuts lead to mooses. Yes, that’s the plural of moose around here. You don’t want to meet one this week. Or two.
Yeah, we do eat those: See that rabbit over there? Cute, yes? But see, if we lose sight of the supply wagon and have to go it alone, that little puffball could totally be dinner. Don’t name it.
No, we definitely don’t eat those: Some mushrooms are good. Some mushrooms are very, very bad. Do not eat the bad ones. In fact, just don’t eat any mushrooms. The hospital’s too far away.
Snakes love sun: Especially sunny rocks. Don’t get near them, especially on horseback.
Snakes bite: Hard.
You can too sleep: That’s nature, people. Nature makes noise. But it’s good noise.
Those twinkly things in the sky?: Those are stars. You might see one or two of them back East. Yep, there’re thousands out here.
You’ll want to stay here forever: Because once you experience a day on horseback, meals by the fire, and a night under the stars, you might never want to go back home.
So that’s the ranch hands’ version of country living advice. What advice would you give someone new to your area?
Thursday, October 3, 2013
3 GUEST BLOGS - "FIREFIGHTER FANTASY", "WRITING CONTEMP. ROMANCE" & "MORE TO LAS VEGAS"! ( #GIVEAWAY )
Welcome to Jessica Jayne, Jenny Lynn and CR Moss
- these ladies have come over to For The Love of Reading with 3 Top Notch Guest Blogs
- and that is not all, if you are interested in winning a Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo Touch or Samsung Galaxy Tablet then baby are you in the right place! See the Giveaway below The Awesome Guest Blogs!
Jessica Jayne, author of IN FLAMES
on why firefighters are her favorite fantasy…
|Copyright © 123RF StockPhotos|
Why are these guys so damn sexy? I ask myself that question many times as I drive past our local firehouse and find myself slowing down to check to see if the guys are out washing the trucks or shooting hoops in the driveway… with their shirts off, of course! I do have lucky days! Does that sound stalkerish? I can’t help it. I think the guys at the local house are getting used to me! :)
|Copyright © 123RF StockPhotos|
Selfless. Firefighters may have some downtime during their shifts ( thank God - because that’s when I get to catch them outside the firehouse horsing around :) ), but when a call comes in, it’s all work and no play. And that’s because lives could be at risk, including their own. They suit up in their turn-out gear and boots and head to a scene not knowing exactly what they may have to face, but ready and willing to face any danger that may await them, even at the risk of their own lives.
Courage. Firefighters face precarious situations on the job. Saving the cat thirty feet up in the tree, rescuing a child from the fourth floor of a burning building, or pulling a man from the wreckage of his car, these guys save lives… every day! They are heroes! Forget Superman. Move over, Batman. These guys are for real!
And so are their hard bodies! ;) Enjoy!
by Jessica Jayne
"As a fireman, Matt Riley was at the scene when his brother, Chad, was killed. He suffered greatly from survivor’s guilt and depression after the accident.
The last year has been difficult for both Gracelyn and Matt. They’ve relied on each other to get through the tough times. With the anniversary of Chad’s death upon them, Gracelyn and Matt once again turn to each other for comfort and support.
They find it in each other’s arms (and bed). Will their desire for each other consume them? Can they overcome the guilt and scrutiny to find love again…together?"
Jenny Lyn author of BURN
“Why I love writing contemporary romance…”
Thank you so much for hosting me today!
Here’s why I love writing contemporary romance: It’s relatable. We all lead busy lives, have days when we come home tired and not in the mood for anything. Well, except for maybe sex. The characters in erotic romance are always up for hot lovin’, aren’t they? Hey, it’s the best kind of stress relief.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking any of the other genres. I love a good paranormal or sci-fi story as much as the next reader. Who doesn't want to get lost in a wildly different world with vampires or aliens or shifters?
|Copyright © 123RF StockPhotos|
Burn, my latest novella from Evernight Publishing, features Irish beauty, Tate Reilly, who’s one seriously overworked ER doctor, and sexy chef, Ryan Hart, the man who broke Tate’s heart eight years ago when he walked out of her life in the middle of the night.
In Burn, Tate works herself into a stupor, like a lot of us often do. Ryan runs a busy commercial kitchen as a sous chef. Most of run a busy kitchen at home. In their downtime, they take in a Braves game. Been there, done that, super fun! I wouldn't recommend it in the middle of July, though. Just sayin’. And of course, they find plenty of time for sexy shenanigans and falling head-over-heels in love with each other. Hopefully all of you make time for that part as well, because that’s what makes the long workdays and messy kitchens worthwhile.
I’m thrilled to be a part of the Evernight family. We would love it if you’d help us celebrate EP’s third anniversary by checking out our talented group of authors and entering to win some fabulous prizes during our Birthday Bash!
by Jenny Lyn
"Eight years ago, life was good for Tate Reilly. Living in Atlanta and attending college, her dream of becoming a doctor was within reach, and she was in love with Ryan Hart. Then one night while Tate slept, Ryan disappeared. No note, no phone call, nothing left of a love she thought would last forever.
Ryan never wanted to leave Tate behind the way he did. The best way to spare Tate the disruption of her bright future with his problems was to make a clean break. So he did the hardest thing he'd ever done—he walked away.
Now Ryan is back in Atlanta, and he has every intention of winning Tate back, no matter what it takes. The heat between them is undeniable, and it’s not long before it melts her resistance and she starts to lose the grip on her heart again.
But time doesn’t always heal all wounds. Sometimes you have to shed more blood to become whole again."
CR Moss, author of WILD WEST PROMISE
“There’s More to Las Vegas…”
|Copyright © 123RF StockPhotos|
I’m here to share a few tidbits of information to assist you in your next visit to Sin City should you wish some good ol’ cowboy and western fun.
Rodeos. Las Vegas is host to: The Helldorado Parade and Rodeo; the Indian National Finals Rodeo; & the National Finals Rodeo. Talk about lots of cowboy hats, boots and extra manly goodness in the city. ;)
Drinking and dancing? There are western themed bars! North end of the strip: Gilley’s Las Vegas http://www.gilleyslasvegas.com/ they say, “Take the spirited saloons of the frontier days in the wild west and combine it with the excitement, style and action of the Las Vegas Strip, and you’ll have a hankering for the new Gilley’s Saloon at Treasure Island.” South end of the strip: Stoney’s Rockin’ Country - touts itself as the largest country nightclub in Las Vegas http://www.stoneysrockincountry.com/
Off the strip? Check out Cowboy Trail Rides. Ride the trails of Red Rock Canyon… Have a western barbeque... http://www.cowboytrailrides.com/index.html.
Just so y’all know, I’m not endorsing, or being reimbursed from, these places. I just happen to know about them and wanted to share some knowledge. Attending, visiting, using any of the places/services here will be your own responsibility. ;)
I also want to let you know the latest DD Ranch Tale: Wild West Promise. This book and the first two books in the Double D Ranch Tales series takes place outside of Las Vegas near the Red Rock Canyon area. Here’s the blurb. Enjoy! C.R. Moss
* In life and the afterlife, on the Double D Ranch, one belief holds true—the power of desire changes lives.
* A rugged wrangler. A feisty Irish woman. A day full of promise. Times are wild on the Double D, and one ranch hand is in for the ride of a lifetime.
* Little does Maggie O’Hurley know her life is about to change. She visits the ranch to attend a friend’s bachelorette party and meets a wrangler named Kent. Her immediate attraction to him revs up her libido, and she plans to do what’s needed to snag the sexy cowboy…including making a decision she never thought she’d deal with again.
* As a workaholic, Kent Samuels hasn’t been with a woman in ages. When a bewitching redhead steps into his path, his world tilts, and she’s all he can think of. He doesn’t know if he’s able to give her forever, but he will give her what time he has. Once he does, he knows he can’t let her go.
* Past experiences war with ideas for the future, but can the pair make promises they can keep?
For more on C.R. Moss & RM Sotera, the Wild West books, & where to purchase visit http://doubledranchtales.blogspot.com
:: Giveaway Information ::
Evernight Publishing is giving away 1 Samsung Galaxy Tablet, 1 Kindle Paperwhite, 1 Kobo Touch, 1 Amazon $100 gift card and 1 Evernight $50 Gift Card and swag pack.
*One winner per household per prize. Evernight employees/authors are ineligible to win.*
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
"All is fair in love and war.
Jacob Matthews learned that lesson the hard way when he discovered just how far some people will go to win someone’s heart.
When fate brought Samantha Monroe back into Jacob’s life, he finally started to believe that his world was going to be complete. He loves Sam with the kind of intensity that burns deep and scalds your very soul. But fate had other ideas in mind, forcing him into a life filled with cold touches, long silences and complete misery.
Brooke Dugan had to have Jacob Matthews. It didn’t matter that he was in love with someone else, she always got what she wanted. And what she wanted was Jacob. Brooke vowed that she would stop at nothing until Jacob was tied to her forever… in both life and death.
Find out what happens when lies are revealed and the bitter truth comes out. Hearts will be broken and bonds will be tested.
Everyone is worthy of love -- even Jacob, but can he find his happily ever after?"
Prepare yourself for the emotional follow up to Love Square…
Tentative release date of October 2013.
**Disclaimer: This content is unedited and subject to change**
Copyright © Jessica Ingro
My heart is thudding in my chest and my palms feel sweaty. I don’t think I’ve ever been this nervous.
“Jacob. What are you doing here?” Sam asks. I come to a stop in front of her and my smile drops at the tone of her voice.
“I just happened to be on my way to your house, when I spotted you sitting here.” I notice Lily’s body visibly relax out of the corner of my eye. Poor thing thought I would sell her out. No way in hell would I do that, not when I owe her the world for telling me where to find Sam.
“Why were you on your way to my house?” Sam cocks her head to the side in confusion.
“I needed to talk to you after everything that’s happened. Can I just have a few minutes?” I plead with her. I don’t care if it makes me look pathetic. It’s do or die at this moment.
Sam looks unsure and nervous for a few seconds. I release the breath I didn’t realize I was holding when she nods her assent and hands the baby to Lily.
“I’ll only be a minute, Lily. Can you just watch Tessa for me?”
“Take your time.” Lily stands holding Tessa and murmurs low to the baby, walking over to the swings.
I sit next to Sam on the bench and angle my body towards her. I catch her scent on a light breeze and it brings back so many memories.
Sam stares at me silently, waiting for me to speak. She seems weary of my presence. We never used to be this way around one another. I guess it’s all the cheap shots and low blows we’ve dealt out over the last year, making her react to me this way.
“Did you hear about Brooke and Aiden?” I ask right off the bat. No sense in beating around the bush. Besides, I don’t want to let on that Lily overheard them fighting and spilled the beans to me about it.
“I did,” she says quietly and gives me a sad half smile. “I’m really sorry about what happened. Aiden told me the hell Brooke put you through. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for you to discover the depth of her deception.”
Sam’s hands start to fidget with the baby blanket resting partially on her leg. I reach over and cover them with my own, squeezing them gently.
“Thank you. But I should be apologizing to you for allowing her to come between us.”
She glances down at our hands and looks up with tear filled eyes and shakes her head. When she doesn’t say anything I decide to continue with my plan.
“I still love you Sam.” At my words her eyes close, her face looks as if she’s in tremendous pain. “Do you… do you think we could try? I’ve gone over it a million times. If Brooke and Aiden hadn’t conspired to keep us apart, when you left Aiden and came to me, we could have been together. We could still be together.”
“I -” she starts and then stops. She looks down again and stares at our hands again for so long, I’m afraid she isn’t going to answer. Why isn’t she answering? Please God, let her answer!
“Jake. I’ll always love you.” Her words make my heart soar.
“Then say you’ll be with me. Say you’ll let me love you forever. Say you’ll make me whole again,” I beg her, while inching my way closer to her on the bench.
I raise my arm and rest my hand on the side of her neck, tilting her head up towards me. My thumb sweeps across her jaw while I search her eyes for consent. When her face turns up slightly and her lips part just a touch, I decide to take that as my green light. I lean forward and brush my lips gently against hers. I instantly feel the sensation that I always feel when I’m with her. The one that has my stomach dropping and my dick stirring.
Lost in the moment, my lips find hers again. This time I put more pressure on her mouth. My tongue slowly glides along her bottom lip, remembering the taste of her. Her lips part and my tongue slides inside alongside hers. My other hand leaves her hands and cradles the opposite side of her face, so that both my hands are now holding on to her for dear life. I tilt her head and deepen the kiss. My tongue explores every inch of her mouth, seeking, tasting, memorizing the feel of it.
The rest of the world melts away. It’s just her and me. The sounds of kids playing and birds chirping fade. All I can hear is the light rasps of our breathing and the small little moan that she’s making. Finding the willpower, I pull away from her delicious mouth and rest my forehead against hers. My hands tense on her face while I try to find my composure. That kiss has just turned me inside out.
Jessica Ingro grew up in Central New York. She spends her days as a Security Analyst at an IT consulting company. She spends her free time reading books and developing ideas for her own stories. Writing is her secret passion that she’s been fostering since elementary school, when she wrote her first book about a puppy. Writing has always been one of her secret dreams and she can't wait to share her stories with the world.
She currently lives in New York with her husband and three dogs.
Author contact information:
Web – www.jessicaingro.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/JessicaIngroBooks
Twitter – http://twitter.com/uvrays1997
Love Square (Book #1) Information
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Love-Square-ebook/dp/B00E0N09ZO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1380432733&sr=1-2&keywords=love+square
Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-square-jessica-ingro/1116093468?ean=2940045154345
Smashwords - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/337746
Monday, September 30, 2013
"Bridget Ross is a woman with a shameful secret. Despite a life full of success and close friends she denies herself her true desires in penance for the crimes she can't take back.
Connor Reynolds is a man without a purpose. His own tragic past prevents him from putting down roots and pursuing his dreams.
Their paths collide forcing them to face the ultimate question … is their love worth confronting their deepest fears and insecurities?"
Five Things Every
Erotic Romance Needs
by Elene Sallinger
I think we all have specific things that we look for in the books we read and they aren't necessarily the same from person to person. My list is simple, only five things, but without these things I won't be satisfied with a book and I likely won't seek out anything else by that author.
1. A heroine that doesn't make you want to poke your own eyes out.
I love romance novels. I've been reading them since I was 10 or 11 years old. I started out with Barbara Cartland and have progressed to erotica. One thing unites all the novels I read – a good heroine. Nothing makes me put down a book faster than a woman who wines, feels sorry for herself, refuses to solve her own problems or routinely makes bad decisions. This isn't to say I want a stereotype “strong” woman. I'm very open, in fact I enjoy flawed characters, they are much more believable. One of the things I enjoy about the Harper Connolly series by Charlaine Harris is that Harper doesn't always do what I expect and sometimes I disagree with her. But, there comes a point where a character goes too far. She crosses that line into inane or weak and meek and I just can't stomach that. I need a relatable woman that I can champion.
Bad characters drive me crazy. I've been known to scream at books the same way I scream at the TV when I'm not happy with what a character is doing. The more a character makes me want to put out my own eyes, the less likely I am to finish that book.
2. A hero that makes your heart race even as he melts it.
I'm a huge fan of what I call the warrior poet. A man who can kick ass and take names right before he utters the words that melt your heart and make you weep. I need the heroes of the books I read to have an edge of unpredictability and just a hint of danger. They don't need to be bad boys, but I need to know that they can be relied on in a tight spot. I want my heart to race as I question will they? Won't they? How could they? Then, I want my heart to melt when they do something so sweet and tender that you can't help but get damp-eyed.
I've had this happen in real-life and it's an aphrodisiac unlike any other. My freshman year of college, I was stalked by an ex-boyfriend around the same time I met my daughter's father and longtime partner. He faced down the man following me. It was a tense situation and I was scared to death. Later that night, I took him home with me and saw him with my new kitten, Rex. He let Rex crawl all over him, laughed at his antics and slept with that kitten curled up next to him. I was hooked immediately. My badass boyfriend was a sucker for kittens. I knew then that I wasn't going anywhere.
It's the same way with the books I read. I need complicated men with big hearts.
3. A compelling conflict.
Personally, I need more than “he had his heart broken before.” That's just not enough for me. We've all had a broken heart, that just isn't enough reason to resist love, so I find those stories boring. I want to bleed right along with the characters. This may sound harsh, but I'll read a story about a couple working past her rape, or his past abuse, faster than I'll read about a woman having to overcome her ex cheating on her. It's a rare “broken heart” storyline that grabs my attention.
4. Great, believable sex.
Nothing throws me out of a story faster than ridiculous, unbelievable sex. As both a writer and a reader, I want smoking hot, relatable sex that leaves me breathless and anticipating more. Bad sex, like bad characters, will ensure I don't finish a book. Recently, I was reading a paranormal romance about a vampire couple. Everything was going well. The storyline was compelling. I genuinely liked the couple and the settings were rich and exotic. Then, they had sex on the ceiling. Now, I get vampiric abilities and all that, but sex on the ceiling was just too much for me. Levitation! During sex! I put that book down and didn't finish it.
Even worse are the clinical sex scenes that read like medical recitations. Yes, our genitalia are correctly called “penis” and “vagina” but those aren't words I want to see when I'm supposed to be getting hot and bothered because my couple are finally about to do the deed. You might as well talk about mammary glands and areolas rather than breasts and nipples. Clinical sex is a major turn off and quick way to make me never read another story by that author.
5. A satisfying ending.
The end of the book is probably the most important part. It's the last impression you have of the story. A bad ending will send a reader running the other way faster than you can say “boo!” Now, I don't personally need a happy ever after or even a happy for now ending, but I do need the ending to make sense within the framework of the story I've just invested my time and energy into reading.
As an example, my favorite book of all time, Dragondoom by Dennis L. McKiernan, has a very sad ending, yet it is extremely satisfying within the context of the story. In the story, Elin and Thork, embark on a quest and through the adversity they share, they fall in love. The couple doesn't have a happy ending. I cry every time I read that book. But, there was no other way I can see that story ending. It just wouldn't have made sense. Despite the sad ending, this is my favorite novel and one I highly recommend.
Thank you for having me!
Elene Sallinger is Giving away two free eBooks to random commenters during the tour!
August 5th - September 30th!
Comment here about the Guest Blog above to take part!
Hailing from Washington, DC, Elene Sallinger first caught the writing bug in 2004 after writing and illustrating several stories for her then four-year-old daughter. Her writing career has encompassed two award-winning children's stories, a stint as a consumer-education advocate, as well as writing her debut novel, Awakening - a novel of erotic fiction that won the New Writing Competition at the Festival of Romance 2011.