3 HQN Authors Dish about Overcoming Fear & Writing Sexy

Woot! I'm excited to bring not one, but THREE super-awesome-califragilistic Harlequin authors with stacks & stacks of wonderful published stories under their belts to visit. Harlequin romances can be sweet and sensual, but also HAWT & spicy! Today on the blog, sharing what makes them nervous in terms of sexy writing, are:

Stephanie Draven is a multi-published award-nominated author of myth-inspired paranormal romance. Writing for HQN Nocturne, Stephanie’s Mythica series asks the question: What if the monsters of ancient mythology still walked the earth...and what if you found out that you were one of them? Currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies, Stephanie lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.

Laura Kaye Voted Breakout Author of the Year in the 2011 GraveTells Readers’ Choice Awards, Laura is the bestselling and award-winning author of a half-dozen books. Hearts in Darkness is a finalist for the EPIC eBook Award for Best Novella, Forever Freed won the NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011, and North of Need, the first book in the Hearts of the Anemoi series, was named GraveTells’ Best Book of 2011 and won their 5-STAR Gold Heart Award, and won Sizzling Hot Read of the Year at Sizzling Hot Books. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


Leia Rice is an avid lover of everything Parisian, Ancient Grecian and Ancient Roman. She wishes that women would still wear the pretty dresses and petticoats that they did back in the 18th century, but she’s well aware how much of a pain they must have been. Leia writes historical fiction, romance and erotica in these  areas, because she cannot get enough of each respective time period.

Stephanie, Laura & Leai share the one thing that they are little afraid to write & seek feeback & encouragent from you! SO, come weigh in on what YOU think makes or breaks a sexy story!

Resolve Not To Fear Your Fantasies
Three HQN Author Confessions

Laura: I’m chuckling at Leia’s answer! Wait til you see it! :P Hmmm...while I do use it, I’m always a bit shy of using the ‘c’ word. No, not that one, the other one. LOL I’ve lost you, I just know it. Mkay, I’ll give you more of a hint. The second letter is ‘u’. Aha! Now you’re with me! Erotic writers are encouraged to use the blunt terms, and euphemisms are roundly discouraged and even made fun of (throbbing member, anyone???). But, while I have no problem talking about and writing about a guy’s ‘c’, using the ‘c’ word for a woman’s nether regions always gives me pause. Usually, I plow on through the hesitation if I think the story calls for it, but what’s your thinking on one or both ‘c’ words? Full disclosure: In the Service of the King totally called for both ‘c’ words - this is one hot, full-on, in-your-face story. Yum-my.

Stephanie: My hero inThe Fever and The Fury is totally unafraid to drop the f-bomb. In fact, Lieutenant Luke Lazaros keeps using the naughty word because it embarrasses my otherwise bad-ass ancient demi-goddess of a heroine. But I’m afraid to write a hero who likes to call my heroine names. This happens all the time in real life sexual situations and I think it’s part of healthy dirty talk. However, so much of what goes on in bed is shrouded with shame and taboo that I’m terrified readers would hate any hero who used a word like slut, even if I otherwise made it very clear that he has nothing but the most profound respect for her. What do you think? Would you be able to handle a hero who had a filthy mouth?

Leia: I’m afraid of writing about anal sex. It really squicks me out when I find it in books. Especially when I don’t have any warning that it’s coming, and then BAM! Surprise anal sex. It’s just not pleasant! That’s why I’m afraid to write it. Should I?

Djinns On the Brain & Giveaway

I'm spending today at Book Lovers Inc

sharing my paranormal experience & why I write. And my very kind hosts are giving away 2 copies of The Djinn's Dilemma. Woot!

Come visit with me!

Ideas Cramming My Brain OR the Development of a Story

I have post-Valentine's sweet treat for you -- the funny, irrepressible, unsinkable Avery Flynn, author of the steamy Dry Creek romance series set in small town Nebraska. She is also chief cheerleader of our Kiss of Death RWA chapter. Avery's sharing how she takes her ideas and pulls together stories.

Her most recent release is A Dry Creek Bed (Book 2 in the series) and let me whet your appettite with an excerpt:

"I do believe I can arrest you for looking at someone like that. You've got to be breaking some indecency laws."

Taking a deep breath, she recovered her bearings. Mostly. "You're out of your jurisdiction, sheriff."

Now...here's Avery on her writing process:

Where does inspiration come from? Everywhere.

A Dry Creek Bed is Beth and Hank’s love story at heart, but the mystery surrounding them involves the trifecta of villainous motivations: revenge, land and greed. 

 First,  let me set it up a bit for you.

In A Dry Creek Bed, readers discover Beth Martinez still mourning the deaths of the grandparents who raised her after her parents died in a car accident. Beth has seen her share of tragedy, including having the dream of starting her own family ripped away from her. Though quietly in love with Hank for years, she knows they’ll never be together. Hank, now the Dry Creek County sheriff and divorced from his first wife who lied to him about her desire to have children, wants a family, something Beth can never have and can’t give him. Despite their mutual desire for each other and Hank’s determination to pursue her, she manages to keep him at a distance.

All Beth has left of her family is the home built by her grandfather. So when a mysterious developer makes an offer on the property, she refuses. Soon she’s receiving threats and can no longer hide what’s happening from Hank. Forced together by circumstances, it becomes harder and harder for them to rein in their passion. Suddenly, the stakes go higher. Coercion turns into murder and it’s up to Beth and Hank to uncover who wants the land and why—before they both end up dead.

I have to go back to one of my favorites, Gone With the Wind for the first nugget of inspiration for A Dry Creek Bed. In it Scarlett’s dad tells her it’s all about land and in Nebraska that’s true too.

My stepfather recently sold his farm and it was heartbreaking for him. He thought he’d be farming it until he dropped in the hayfield. That got me thinking about the importance of land and how it can tie families together. The question that popped into my head was: what if the land is the only tie you have left to your family, what would you do if someone tried to take it away?

From that developed the villain of A Dry Creek Bed, a mystery developer pushing people off their land. Beth is the only person standing between the developer and millions in profits. Verbal threats morph into vandalism which morphs into physical violence. It’s up to Hank and Beth to uncover decades-old secrets, revealing that all is not what it seems in their rural Nebraska home.

Inspiration strikes all the time and I have far more ideas rolling around my brain than I’ve had time to write - thank God for the little notebooks I carry everywhere. These ideas slow roast in my noggin for a few weeks, months, years until their time comes. Usually I know it’s time when the characters start popping up in my dreams. Then I know I have to get my butt in the seat and my fingers on the keyboard.

Thanks Avery for visiting & sharing! To learn more about her, check out http://averyflynn.com/

Now, how do you turn your ideas into stories?

Come on share, you might inspire someone! Also, I'm giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate so one lucky commentor can get his/her hands on one of Avery's books (Up A Dry Creek is Book 1 in the series) and maybe a few other good reads :)