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The Good Old (Sexy) Days

21 Jun
Today I have the fantastically amazing Elizabeth Boyce, author of historical romance, here to share some very interesting things to make you go, “Hmm…”
Author Elizabeth Boyce

Author Elizabeth Boyce

People (Usually old people [Who am I kidding? I’m an Old. 😦 {Get off my lawn, you little punks!}]) like to gripe about today’s youths being worthless degenerates, how civilization is sliding into moral decline, and how much better things were in The Good Old Days. You know The Good Old Days, don’t you? Silver-tinted and brimming with tall glasses of whole milk and paternal wisdom, The Good Old Days were a simpler time, when men were men and women were women and children respected their elders. Entertainment was wholesome in The Good Old Days. Authority figures like teachers and cops were respected in The Good Old Days. Women and minorities couldn’t vote and child labor laws didn’t exist in The Good Old… oh. Anywho, back in The Good Old Days, as society’s morality police would have you believe, people didn’t write or read filthy stories. Love was pure. Mr. Darcy didn’t sneak Lizzy Bennet into the hayloft for a tumble, did he? No! In The Good Old Days, people behaved decorously and had quiet, decorous orgasms only after they were married. Today’s historical romance novels, say the biddies, are full of dirty smutty smut that shouldn’t even be there.
No worries. They’re married.
To them I say, Pshaw! That’s right. I pshaw’d those historical smut naysayers. I’ll do it again: PSHAW! We authors of steamy, spicy, hot, and otherwise sexy historical romance stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our smutty sisters in other genres and proudly declare: Sex is awesome and you can’t make me feel shame for writing about it. We are not the first people to write about sex. Shoot, even cavemen depicted sex. 28,000 year old Aboriginal art discovered in Australia last year clearly illustrates couples copulating. Before written language existed, people were writing about sex. Ever since our primitive forebears committed to rock what was really on their minds, humans have written about sexual relationships. And why not? Sex is the sole biological imperative. All other instincts exist to make sure we survive long enough to reproduce. It’s kind of nature’s thing. I refuse to believe that people only admitted interest in reading about sex in the last fifty years. And I have centuries of good, clean smut backing me up.
Tell that sexy tale.
Take for instance The Canterbury Tales. You might remember from British Lit class that there was a good bit of ribaldry in the Tales, but do you recall just how graphic Chaucer got? “The Miller’s Tale” is about a carpenter’s wife who has an affair with one man, and is pursued by yet another. We’re presented with gems like these: “And privily he caught her by the queint” (That’s the, um, c-word in Middle English); “And helde her fast by the haunche bones;” and “But with his mouth he kiss’d her naked erse Full savourly.” Mmmm, savourly butt. And that’s just one tale! Shakespeare’s plays are notoriously peppered with innuendo and double entendres. A brief exchange from Romeo and Juliet:
MERCUTIO: Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting: it is a most sharp sauce.
ROMEO: And is it not then well served into a sweet goose?
MERCUTIO: O here’s a wit of cheverel, that stretches from an inch narrow to an ell broad!
Yeah, baby… serve that sauce in my sweet goose. Oh, yeah. Ooo, your wit is getting huge. It’s almost an ell [45 inches] long! Basically, if you’re reading Shakespeare and aren’t sure what he’s talking about, sex is a safe guess. And then there is John Donne, whose poems describe sexual longing tender and intense enough to make you weep, such as in these excerpts from “The Sun Rising”:

  Thy beams so reverend, and strong
Why shouldst thou think ?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long. 
She’s all states, and all princes I ;
Nothing else is ; 
 and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that’s done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ;
This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.
Suddenly, ruffs totally do it for me.
I die. I swoon straightaway. But then Donne gets funny on us, too, such as in “The Flea,” in which the narrator attempts to convince his love interest to give it up. Having both been bitten by the same bug:
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;   
Thou know’st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead
Later, the narrator’s lady squishes the flea. So much for reasoning his way into her bed. Today’s historical romance novels follow modern writing conventions. We go deep into our point of view characters and try to provide the reader with a full body, sensory experience. We tell you what characters taste and smell, what they feel, what they think. And yes, for many of us this includes writing about the sexual aspect of the developing romance. We walk a path well-trod by our literary forebears, who recognize sexuality as an integral aspect of the human experience. For me, emotional love is inseparable from the physical drive pulling two people together. Neglecting this key component of falling in love is only telling half the story.
Be sure to check out Elizabeth’s work; you won’t be disappointed! Once a Duchess and Once an Heiress are available now. Worry not–you won’t have to wait long for Once an Innocent, coming July 8th. To learn more about her and to get info on her books and more, visit her site by clicking here! In the meantime, get a gander at one of the most beauty-full covers you’ll ever see and check out the blurb for the upcoming romance…
Freakin' amazeballs, right?!

Freakin’ amazeballs, right?!

Jordan Atherton, Viscount Freese, returned from the Peninsular War scarred and ready to live as a dissolute bachelor. Society knows nothing of his secret occupation or of the obligation binding him to Lintern Abbey, the estate he loathes. When his Foreign Office superiors discover a network of French agents near his country home, Jordan quickly devises a house party scheme to cover the influx of his men hunting the enemy. With no time to lose and political stability hanging in the balance, Jordan turns to his friend, the Duke of Monthwaite, for help. Would the duke be so kind as to loan Jordan some ladies to populate his party?

Lady Naomi Lockwood, Monthwaite’s younger sister, is snatched from her warm, secure world when she’s suddenly forced to go to Lintern Abbey, despite her pleas to stay home. Stunned by her family’s abandonment, Naomi and her aunt travel to the Yorkshire home of the handsome and enigmatic Jordan Atherton.

There Naomi soon realizes this house party is not all it seems. The estate is neglected by its master, as is Jordan’s ward, a mysterious Spanish orphan. When Naomi demands answers, Jordan distracts her by indulging their mutual attraction. With danger drawing closer and her family far away, Naomi must stand on her own to uncover the truth and protect the home and people she’s coming to love—including the maddening Lord Freese.

Inquiring Minds

7 Jun

Vristen: Today I’m handing over my blog to the fabulous Elle Rush. She’s even graciously agreed to give us a little taste of her story, “Bear With Me”. Take it away, Elle!

 

Guest post and excerpt, courtesy of Elle Rush:

I have a question. Of all the possible wereanimals and shapeshifters out there, why have I never once seen a story about a sasquatch? Really, they are the ultimate half-man/half-beast creation. They’re perfect.

And fictional. But so is the story that shouldn’t stop anyone. It’s a great idea (and if you want to steal it, go ahead) but not one I’m going to be chasing any time soon. I’m playing with my own shifters, whose origin story starts light years away.

I didn’t write a sasquatch shifter story but one did make it into “Bear With Me”. Here is one of my favourite exchanges between Bear, the human-turned-grizzly, and Manon, the park ranger who was looking for him:

“…You were right about there being a meteor shower. You were a little off on the timing though. The big ones started a couple weeks ago. They’re still happening. NASA is going nuts. Airlines too. It’s world-wide and unpredictable. The news is saying it mostly happens at night.”

 

“This is happening all over the world?” No wonder she wasn’t freaking out on him.

 

“This? No. Nothing about people changing into animals. That would have made the news. The meteorite strikes. There have been a few stories about quarantined areas and some samples being sent off to government labs but those are only on fringe news websites.”

 

Bear allowed himself to be distracted for a moment. “Why do you follow fringe news websites?”

 

“I’m a park ranger. I try to keep up to date on Bigfoot sightings.”

 

“Really?”

 

“No. I ran a web search on the meteor showers since your file indicated you had an interest in astronomy. They popped up.”

 

He wanted to ask more, but Manon’s sigh said she wasn’t finished.

Maybe there is a limit to limits of disbelief. Maybe wereanimals from outer space crosses that line. I don’t think they do. I think that the limit is only determined by the scope of the story and the quality of the storytelling. I’m hoping I reach those levels.

 

Bio:

Elle Rush is a Canadian romance author from Winnipeg, Manitoba. When she’s not travelling, she’s hard at work writing her hot sci-fi shifter and contemporary romance eBooks which are set all over the world. Elle earned a degree in Spanish and French, barely passed German, and is starting to learn Italian and Japanese. She has flunked poetry in every language she’s ever taken. She’s also has mild addictions to tea, cookbooks and the sci-fi channel. Follow her at www.ellerush.com or on her Twitter account @elle_rush.

A collection of hot, shifter romance!

Blurb for “Bear With Me”, part of the “Beneath a Spring Moon” collection:

When Bartholomew “Bear” Cain set up camp in the Manitoba wilderness to get an unobstructed view of a meteor shower, he had no idea he was going be exposed to an alien element and merge with a grizzly bear. Learning to control the shift is hard enough, but when poachers steal his gear, Bear has to learn to survive.

Manon Martin, a conservation officer sent to look for a rogue grizzly, but obsessed with finding the missing man, discovers both when Bear saves her from a wild animal attack. Manon vows to keep him safe—not just from the returning poachers, or through the cold winter’s night, but into the future beyond, assuming they both survive.

Pick up this story, and three others, from Liquid Silver Books, Amazon, ARe (All Romance Ebooks), Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.