Please join me in giving a warm welcome (as only I know you wonderful people can) to romance author and fellow Canadian, Rosanna Leo.
I’d like to extend a huge thank you to the super talented Selena for allowing me to be here today. What a thrill!
As an erotic romance author, I’ve had a chance to blog now about many different topics. Love. Sex. Gorgeous men and flustered heroines. I think I’ve touched on all of that now. I wanted to do something a little different today. So because my fifth book SUNBURN was just released, I thought it was a good opportunity to consider what I’ve learned about writing romance.
1) Good romance requires conflict. Sure, it might be easy to pen a novel about some guy who wanders to the corner store for milk, sees a gorgeous girl, they talk, fall in love and get married. But where’s the interest in that story? I think we’d all like an easy romance like that, but not in the books. Not that you need some dastardly villain lurking nearby, waiting to steal the dude’s milk carton or anything like that, but you need something to stir up some interest.
2) I love seeing the normal girl-next-door get the hot guy. When I began writing, this was pretty much my mandate: geeky gal should end up with sexy (preferably immortal) dude. I still like this idea a lot. Heroes in romance lit are generally impossibly-beautiful men, and rightly so. However, there is nothing more gratifying to me than to pair that gorgeous fella with a regular gal, one with curves and hang-ups and issues. I love seeing those sparks fly.
3) Be gracious to your readers. I’ve been darn fortunate. My readers have been incredibly kind to me, and I’ve been able to receive some lovely reviews that have warmed my cockles. Like any other author, though, I get the odd negative review. Do I stomp and curse? No. Do I plot that person’s demise? No, as tempting as it may be. There is no sense spreading negativity and I’m really pleased when anyone picks up my books. I say thank you and move on. Feedback is always a gift.
4) And lastly, I think the thing that strikes me most is how supportive the romance community can be. Whether we’re talking readers or other writers or publishers, this community is warm and welcoming and inviting. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.
Patience O’Conner is a travel blogger who lives for her work. Her dedication to her readers brings her to the famed Helios Resort in Mexico, a locale that stuns her with its beauty but at which she suffers from some very strange accidents.
Luckily, hunky resort bartender Apollo Delos is always there in the nick of time, a malcontent guardian angel. Apollo stuns Patience again and again with his life-saving abilities, to say nothing of his smoldering looks and apparent desire to keep her alive.
Before long, Patience wonders if there is more to the sexy bartender than mixed cocktails and insane first-aid skills. Something strange is happening at Helios and Apollo doesn’t want to talk about it.
Can Patience open herself up to this enigmatic man, even though she is terrified to be vulnerable again? And can Apollo recover from an eternity of hurt and learn to trust once more?
They must both decide before Death comes calling.
She put her hand on his arm to get his attention. A sensual shiver ran up his spine.
“You do understand why I can’t drink, right? I come from a family of addicts. The addictive gene is in me. I can’t slip up even once. I’m terrified I’ll fall into the same patterns.” She paused, her eyes haunted and dark. “I was addicted to something, to someone, once. And I didn’t recognize myself by the end. I can’t go back there again. I have to stay strong.”
His head spun. Who was this person to whom she was addicted? He had to know. Was she married before? Was it a boyfriend?
Who hurt her?
He had to know, but there’d be time to find out later. Right now, she looked ready to crumple. Damn. Their conversation had struck a nerve in her.
He rushed out from behind the bar, knowing only he had to make her feel better, and pulled her into his arms. She yielded, all warmth and softness against him. She laid her head against his neck, and a tear dripped onto his skin.
“Patience,” he whispered into her hair. “Please don’t cry. I won’t let him hurt you.”
Apollo with all his heart was making a vow. He wouldn’t let anyone hurt her; not the demon, and certainly not the little shit who’d hurt her once before.
She looked up, tears streaming down her face and her chest rising and falling with shaky breaths. “I’m sorry. It’s not like me to cry. I don’t know what came over me!”
“By all the gods,” he murmured, in a trance. Even in pain, she was mesmerizing. There was a healthy sheen to her skin. Her cheeks were rosy with emotion. Stray hairs had escaped her ponytail, ornamenting her face. “You are so beautiful.”
Her lips parted in a welcome she probably didn’t even realize she was extending. She sighed, and her breath poured over him, heating him to the core. He had to kiss her. There was suddenly no option but to kiss her.
He brushed his lips against hers, feeling no resistance. He moved slowly, bestowing feather-light kisses all over her mouth. And then, shocking and exciting him, her tongue slid into his mouth. Penetrating, seeking more.
Inflamed, he held her tighter, moving his body between her legs as she sat on the bar stool. Their kiss deepened as their tongues played and probed. He bit her lip, none too gently, and she moaned.
Oh, sweet Pandora’s box!
But as quickly as the kiss had crushed them, it was over. Patience pulled away and out of his arms. Dazed, his heart palpitated as she scrambled off the stool. And before he could recover to stop her, Patience ran away down the wooden path toward the lobby.