Saturday, January 22, 2011

What Does It Take To Get You Excited?

Okay, I admit it. I was trying to get your attention. But hey, a little excitement is a good thing. A lot of excitement is better though. And when it comes to passion, well, what’s life without it?

Writing has always been one of my passions and after discovering RWA in 1995, I started learning how to craft a story. It was wonderful. I’d finally found a community where people didn’t think it was odd to scribble down lines of dialogue and plot lines on the back of scrap paper while standing in line at the grocery store.

It would have been nice if it had been smooth sailing all the way but if it had I may never have discovered a few things about myself that I needed to. I wrote for years and even with the encouragement that I received from critique partners, I began to wonder if I would ever sell. I have to tell you, the excitement well was running a little dry.

That all changed three years ago when my first attempt at writing an erotic story stalled, and I ran across an open submission call for Older Women/Younger Men stories from EC. For the first time in a long while I was excited about a writing project. And then I figured out why.

I realized that I hadn't challenged myself in years. For one thing there was a definite deadline, not one I just made up for myself. I think I had two months. Two months to attempt something I’d never done. Writing a novella meant writing very tight while still telling a compelling story with all of the elements of a full length novel. I was terrified but the excitement was there and it was just what I needed to force me out of my writing slump.

As soon as I sent the novella off I discovered that I was still inspired and resumed work on the novel that was to become “Assassin’s Kiss”, and my second sale. My first, the OW/YM man novella, "No Holds Barred didn't make the cut for the "Oh Yum" anthology but EC did publish it in 2009, the same year they bought “Assassin’s Kiss”.

Do I still have writing slumps? Oh, yeah. But these days when I’m stuck on one story, I don’t have any problem working on another, because I know that sometimes, one spark can lead to another. There will always be something special about this first book for me, not just the sale but the process that it sparked. I’m going to leave you with a blurb and excerpt. I hope you enjoy it!

Blurb: What’s a woman to do when the younger man she can’t forget tracks her down after a night of passion, meant only to celebrate her fortieth birthday? If you’re Raphella (Ella) Dotti, you succumb to a year of Sunday morning, long-distanced phone calls with thirty-year old Jake Truhorn and end up agreeing to celebrate your next birthday with a week of unbridled-no-holds-barred-anything-goes-sex. No problem, right?

Unless you have a few trust issues, gravity challenged breasts, the hips of a Sicilian peasant and are prone to gut wrenching, chest constricting panic attacks. Unless the man you’re spending that week with looks like he walked off the cover of a romance novel and has an agenda that includes Sex Toy Poker, the joys of uninhibited outdoor sex, painting you nude—cellulite and all, a fantasy three-some for two and entrusting him with a heart you’re afraid of losing.

Excerpt: Erotic/R

Delicious heat radiated from somewhere behind his very starched shirt and the thought that she’d never be cold again slipped through her mind before she could stop it and then his hot insistent mouth was on hers and she stopped thinking.

She was vaguely aware of her shawl slipping away. Jake’s hands were everywhere, tracing her shoulders, molding her back, exploring her. He found the side zipper of her very elegant black silk dress. She bit her bottom lip, smiling as he drew the zipper down with the same slow deliberate ease he was doing everything else.

“This dress should be enshrined,” he rasped, drawing the shaped bodice away until her breasts bounced free. He kissed them while he peeled the satiny fabric over her ribs, followed the path with his tongue, licked into her bellybutton, feasted as if she were a rare delicacy to be savored.

“You’re very good at this,” she whispered, when he skimmed her out of her garter belt and stockings. He wrestled her panties down with his teeth and she shivered when the air hit her bare bottom.

“I’m very inspired,” he whispered back, kissing her pussy as if he was kissing her mouth and that was all it took. Her knees buckled, she shook, was still shaking when he swung her into his arms.

Breathless and naked against his fully clothed chest, her skin tingled but it was his possessive gaze that ensnared her. “The next time will be better,” he said, lowering her to the bed, ripping at his tie. “After that, we’ll be amazing.”

After that? She arched her brow, and bit back a nervous laugh. She’d be gone after he rolled over and started snoring.

“Oh that looks like a challenge, Raphaella Dotti and if there’s one thing I like, it’s a challenge.” He grinned, looking young, potent and just the slightest bit dangerous.

He pushed his slacks over his bare hips, ripping open a condom packet with his teeth and rolling the protective sheath over his cock with a caress that had her mouth watering.

Her skin prickled and the hair on the back of her neck fluttered like a caress. She lifted her arms, smiling, until he slid into her so quickly she gasped. He gave her just enough time to settle before he rocked her into a rhythm that turned hard, sharp and fast at exactly the right moment.

She groaned and reached for him when he slid out of her, arched when his warm tongue circled her clit and speared inside, thrusting like a small warm cock. She caught the rhythm. Almost there.

Until he slid backup her body and eased his tongue into her mouth. She could taste herself, salty and sweet at the same time. Quivering, she almost came when he thrust his cock back inside her. She clenched her inner muscles, trying to draw him deeper. And then each thrust became sharper than the last and she coiled, tightened, shattered. His roar reverberated through her and sent her crashing into another wave of pleasure.

She was still shivering from her orgasm, boneless and replete when he kissed her, whispering against her lips, “You are so beautiful.”’

Ella didn’t have enough energy left to laugh. She was used to men telling her that to get her into bed, not after they’d already gotten her there.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the excerpt. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a teensy bit nosy and after talking about how I work through being stalled, I’d love to know how you do it. Authors, how do you deal with being stuck on a story? And readers, please let us all know what it is you like to do to take the pressure off. What’s that you say? You like to read. Just for grins, let us know what you like to read!

Until next month, happy reading!


Tina Donahue said...

OMG, what a cover - what a story!!! The excerpt is beyond yummy. Paris, you outdid yourself with No Holds Barred!!!

Tamsyn said...

Really hot excerpt! Thanks! and that cover is really yummy. And reading this book will definitely take my mind off work!

Paris said...

Thanks, Tina I think it's a wonderful cover too. Syneca did a wonderful job! I'm so glad you liked the excerpt:)

Paris said...

Tamsyn, thank you so much. Glad I could help to take your mind off work:)

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I know what you mean about feeling odd about writing on a scrap piece of paper in the grocery line. It does feel like coming home to associate with other writers. It's like the odd ball society--but in a good way.
I love that your character wears a garterbelt. What is it about those contraptions that are just so sexy? I love your hero. "Next time will be better." What modesty.
I've had several episodes of being stuck. I've tried working on another story but that didn't work so well. I tried skipping forward in the story to write the part I knew was coming. That was okay. Finally, I took a class on procrastination and writer's block. Now that really helped. The secret thing for me was to set a time--a short time of ten minutes--to write. I found that, once I got started, I went beyond the ten minutes every time.
I've talked too much now. So let me just wish you the very best, Paris.

Paris said...

LOL! I don't think you could ever talk too much:) We all have different methods of working through and I'm glad you found one that works. I have the old "I'll get to that later" mindset that cropped up while I was raising kids--I don't have any excuses now so I'm going to try your 10 minute trick! Thanks:)

Diane M. Wylie said...

It's interesting to hear the processes other authors use when creating their stories. What a great excerpt and hot cover! I imagine there are lots of people who read your books and are very glad you challenged yourself. Good luck, Paris!

Paris said...

Thanks Diane! I'm so glad you liked the excerpt and cover and taking part in the discussion today:)

Redameter said...

We've all been through, "I'll never make it" stage I guess. We've even had those stalling moments with a manuscript and tear the page up and tell yourself, "This just isn't good enough." But as writers we all know too well that we go on writing and somehow, some day, someone likes what we wrote. When I wrote Always Remember, I told myself, "man, I'll be lucky if I find a publisher for this one." I didn't stick with regular rules of romance. But the story was compelling, and Secret Cravings saw what I saw in it. Thank God

That's a very hot excerpt. And I couldn't help but sympathize with the woman who was older thing. I mean, you worry about what you must look like naked. And to think it might turn anyone on, surprises you. It's nice to see a man who enjoys the pleasure of a mature woman.

In reality I think, what would a young man want an older woman for though. Come on, falling boobs, wide hips, stretch marks maybe even surgeries. How could they want this over a young and beautiful body? LOL

Love and blessings

Venus said...

Great post Paris! I love living and learning from all the fabulous ladies in the romance community :-)

Judy said...

I love the cover and the excerpt- so hot!!!

I do love to read, just about anytime and anywhere!! It relaxes me when my mind is racing.

Rawiya said...

OOh, the cover is lovely the excerpt very hot!

Nice post Paris!

Paris said...

Rita, LOL! I think we all fantasize about being loved for ourselves and that was the story I set out to write. I had to ask myself who would see a woman from a "different" perspective and not seek magazine ad model perfection and came up with Jake, who is an artist and appreciates beauty in any form. I turned fantasy into reality, if only for a few pages:-)

Paris said...

Hi Venus, great to see you here! Thanks for stopping by:)

Paris said...

Judy, reading saved my sanity when my children were small and I needed an escape, LOL! I'm so glad you loved the cover and excerpt.

Paris said...

Rawiya, thanks for stopping by and the lovely compliment on my cover and excerpt:)

Estella said...

The excerpt was awesome.
I will read anything fiction, anywhere, anytime.

Paris said...

Thanks Estella, glad to hear it:)

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Very yummy and intriguing! Nice new site too! Good luck, Paris - I'm excited for you!

Paris said...

Thank you, Julia;)I'm excited too!

Carol L. said...

Nice cover and one Hot excerpt. Steamy and tantalizing.Thanks for sharing this. :)
Carol L

Gabrielle Lee said...

Love the cover.Great excerpt.Thanks for sharing.