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It’s Simple…No Glove…No Love… by Kacey Hammell
Yes, it’s cliché and a phrase used often over the years but it’s steadfast and true. The use of protection in Contemporary stories is a debate that I’ve heard many times in various circles and forums, and opinions vary on it. As mainly a writer of Contemporary Romances, I choose to use condoms in my stories. I believe it is an aspect of a story that readers are expecting. With paranormal, science fiction and possibly historical genres, protection isn’t a staple for readers and is unnecessary. But with modern Contemporary stories, there needs to be a level of believability and it is necessary for authors to touch upon the crucial piece of today’s society. While authors can get away with pushing the boundaries a lot in romance, we have to understand that readers also look to us to be knowledgeable on the trends and what is relevant in our society. And today’s women [and men] are conscience of the importance of condoms. There are many readers who would probably say it’s not important or it “kills the mood” but we all know that people shouldn’t accept the lack of condoms. We have to understand that in today’s world, a woman isn’t (or shouldn’t) demand the male to go bareback before they know one another long or a lack of commitment is spoken. What “kills the mood” for me personally is a story when the lack of protection has led to a pregnancy, then the story is sometimes rushed and I have to accept the couple together within a couple dozen pages. Yes, most times, heroines are intelligent enough to be on birth control, but there are about a dozen stories I can name immediately that let me down because of love with no glove. For me – my practice when writing condoms into my stories is not to make the conversations three or four pages long or so drawn out the characters lose the heat, but probably two to three sentences of discussion between the lead characters and I move on. Or the male just pulls the condom out of his pocket/wallet and takes care of the matter like a wonderful hero should! It’s a responsibility of both parties involved to protect one another, and it’s mine to honor them with intelligence and care. I’m putting them in situations that are realistic and emotional and condoms are just a part that has to be taken care of.
So what do you think? Are you turned off by condoms in stories or do appreciate authors using them?
Sweetest Salvation by Kacey Hammell After the deaths of her husband and child, tragedies that she blames herself for, Andrea “Andy” Sheaver has shut herself off from the world. The only place she finds any relief from her shattered heart is Club Splendor, where she and her husband often frequented. There, Andy submits to pleasure and pain in order to feel something other than grief for a little while. But Hunter Sullivan won’t stand idly by and watch Andy self-destruct. Her husband’s best friend, and the owner of Club Splendor, Hunter has kept his love for Andy hidden for years. He refuses to think of her at the club, cold and detached, looking for an easy fix to take away the pain in her heart. Hunter wants her to be vibrant in life again and sets out to prove he is exactly who she needs.
“A Contemporary & Hot Happy Birthday”
By Carlene Love Flores
This past spring I sat in a “Writing Hot” class during my romance writing chapter’s retreat. My face lit up like I was standing in the middle of a bonfire as our workshop presenter opened up to questions. Why? Because I wanted desperately to raise my hand and ask what other words could be used to describe certain lady parts besides the “P” word. Enter my good friend and fellow Evernighter Avery, sitting beside me with a wicked grin on her face, who blurted out the “P” word for me. This is why I love her. My face still enflamed, our wonderful presenter smiled and it was then that I bashfully turned around in my seat to see lots more smiling faces on those seated behind me. It took a millisecond for ladies to start chiming in. Boy did I get some good suggestions. If you’ve read many romance books, you know there are plenty of words to describe the female body and specifically the parts that like to get all tingly. And I, as a writer and devout reader of these books, LOVE it all. For whatever reason, though, there are a few that make me stutter when I try throwing them into a story. And I am on a mission to be a big girl and use those words in my contemporary romances! So where are good girls to go to find this motivation? The Writing Hot workshop was a great start. But we need more. We need follow up to keep us primed and ready to write those words. I’m pretty sure Avery would kill me if shared her home address, no matter how many Oreos I bribed her with for private lessons. My next best idea? Your local, fictional rock star. You see, I know something about myself and maybe you know this about yourself. If you’re shy and giggle and snicker while reading those steamy scenes in your romances like me, it’s going to be pretty hard to put yourself out there with real, live people and ask for advice about these naughty subjects. So naturally, I created the very naughty and ornery boys of Sin Pointe to talk me through it. Stefan, the bass player whose story is in the very early works, is the best and he’s taught me the most. In a very honest moment we had in my head one night, he said, “Carlene, why are you so worried about this stuff? The words aren’t coming out of your sweet mouth, they’re coming from mine and Jaxon’s and Will’s. Not so much Benny’s because he’s too sweet, but I digress. Let us talk, baby. Now go do your thing.” So I kind of heart Stefan. And Jaxon. And Benny. And Will. If you’d like to heart them as well, check out my contemporary series with Evernight, The Sin Pointe Novels, and see how my private lessons with Stefan have paid off.
And Happy 3rd Birthday to Evernight and all you lovely readers!
A jaded young woman sets out on an intense road trip home to deal with her past when she is asked to allow a relative stranger to tag along. But she’s seen too many good guys succumb to the harsh realities of her supposed privileged life in the music business and intends on keeping her distance. When she picks up Lucky, the southern gentleman cousin of her selfish best friend, she has absolutely no idea of how to accept a perfectly good person with good intentions.
Contemporary Guest Post by Donina Lynn:
Who remembers the first romance novel they ever read? Honestly, I can’t. That was a long time ago. But what I can remember is that Fabio was showing off bits of his chest on most of the covers and terms like “throbbing love muscle” were used to describe male genitalia. Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up. Back then, the general theme to romance books was simple. A man and woman meet, decide they hate each other, hate turns to lust, and by the end of the book they’re rolling around the floor with parts that throb. Okay, those were the books I read. I’m sure there were others out there, but the point to this ramble is that we’ve come a long way, baby!! Kudos to social evolution! Because as society became more open, diverse and accepting, writers chugged merrily along adapting to what their readers wanted in romance. No longer is it about a size two, single, white female in her early twenties meeting an equally single, white male around the same age with bulging muscles and in the end they lived happily-ever-after. Today, there are stories about multi-cultural couples, big and beautiful woman and older adults. Wait! That’s not all. How about some ménage, BDSM, or GLBT? The options are as vast and unique as we are as individuals. Contemporary romance has transformed bringing with it real words and real-life, three dimensional, complex characters with modern issues, hopes, fears, sexual preferences and fantasies. Yay, on the fantasies! Because, who seriously hasn’t thought about a ménage or bondage at least once in their life? I’m raising my hand right now and there is good news for those of you who are in agreement … we are not alone. How do I know this? Because the stories are being written and they are being read by people just like us. Contemporary romance is about our relationship, in some way, to the characters. They reflect how we think, what we desire, our fantasies, and the situations and experiences that surrounds us each and every day. When I wrote Arms of Serenity, I took what I knew and made part of the hero’s character based on a real and tragic event of a friend of mine. It was something that I could relate to and I knew others could, also. That’s what makes Contemporary romance so enjoyable. It’s that bond you form with the character because you can understand and identify with them. In some small way, you’re not only routing for their happy ending … you’re routing for yours, also. Yes, we’ve come a long way and who knows what we might be reading in twenty years from now. No matter what the future holds, I have no doubt contemporary romances will be changing right along with it, evolving and reflecting who we are and the society we live in. As long as there isn’t any more throbbing love muscles, I’ll be enjoying them right there with you. Arms of Serenity, published by Evernight Publishing: Blurb:
Plagued by guilt, Nicholas Hollsten ended his military career in the Special Forces and returned home only to be forced into a life he never wanted. Nick found himself running his father’s company and making good on a promise to his team. Angry and frustrated with the direction his life was taking, he calms his thoughts by filling his evenings and bed with soft distractions. Until one woman captures his interest. Rebecca Klayton thought she was happy in her small town, running her bakery and avoiding love. That emotion only meant heartache and being left exactly where you started—alone. Lesson learned. But, when the sexy stranger from their hot New Year’s Eve party shows up at her counter, will she be able to ignore the temptation or will she find what she’s been missing in the Arms of Serenity?
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/arms-of-serenity-by-donina-lynn/