Behind the Craft – A Study of Seduction

I write romance, therefore I love good sex. And good sex becomes great sex when there are layers of seduction.

Disclaimer: These are my opinions, and mine alone.

Seduction doesn’t start with the first kiss or the first smile. No, it starts when you see or meet the person of interest. And there is something about them that leaves an impression.

As a romance reader, seduction begins on page one. This is where the author introduces the characters.

What does he or she look like?

Are they strong, dominate, rich, poor, shy, smart? Tell me what makes them memorable! Or contrarily, what makes them a jerk-face.

My favorite meet cues are the ones where sparks fly.  I’m not talking about a quivering quim because the hero is so hot and built like a small mountain. I’m talking about a meetings were the hero or heroine goes down in flames.

For example, in Kristen Ashley’s Sweet Dreams.

Lauren gets hired as a waitress. It’s her first day (I think) and the hero walks in, looks at her, and suddenly tells the owner they need to talk in the back room.

In that scene the hero calls Lauren horrible nasty names. She’s hurt, devastated and can’t believe someone so beautiful would say those things about her.

Oh my heart hurt…. but at the same time I was giddy. Why? Because I knew that this guy was going to have to work hard to redeem himself.

Redemption didn’t come easy.

The seduction started when he showed Lauren, in small gestures, that he cared. Starting with small gestures and moving to large ones. Each one made me, as the reader, fall more and more in love with him.

Thinking about all the things he did and how he laid it down….

fanning-myself

A layer of seduction is when a stubborn character softening to the other character. It doesn’t matter which way it goes.

I can appreciate an uptight female softening for an easy going male, as much as reading an arrogant player finding value and appreciation for a female with a soft voice and curvy hips.

One of my favorite books where the female softens to the male is Suzanne Wright’s Here Be Sexist Vampires.

Sam, is the heroine of the story. The meet cue is a powerhouse of amazing. She strong, confident and smart. The hero desires her, but he doesn’t see her as an equal and she like…

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Ah, it’s epic.

Sam does not lower her standards for him. And that’s why the seduction is a slow burn. It does not start until the hero figures out what he has to do, and he changes his actions, his attitude and treats her with respect. Honestly, by the time they get together, you’ve been waiting so long you want to scream.

I might have threatened to throw my kindle a few times during the course of this book. I mean, the hero was good, but he didn’t get it.

My favorite book where the jerk-face hero softens for a female will forever be Lisa Kleypas, Devil in Winter.  This is me every time I re-read it.

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Eve is a shy wallflower with a stutter. She has money, but not from nobility, her father ran a gambling hell. The hero in this book is the villain from the previous book. He’s not at all interested in a romantic relationship. Actually he’s against any kind of relationship with Eve.

A marriage of convenience, until he softens to his wife. He admires her inner strength, her good heart and her genuine lack of standards. It’s because she expects nothing, that even a little goes a long way.

It will get you in the feels.

Seduction is not sex, it’s what happens before the sex. It’s when one character is interested in the other character. But that other character is only mildly interested or worse, not at all, and the main charter converts that disinterest into rabid desire.

It’s the actions that make the undervalued person feel valued.

Here’s an example of seduction. A long time ago, a man named Casanova was known for having several bed partners. Back in the 1720’s he didn’t flirt to toss up a shirt, he had to seduce her as customs demanded at that time.

This one time Casanova walked in to a tavern and saw a beautiful actress. This actress had a lisp, one where she had trouble pronouncing “R’s”. Instead of telling her that he would get over it, or that he would pay for her to get speech therapy, he did something clever, he left.

For the next three days and nights he wrote a play – one without the letter “R” in it. When he returned and presented it to her, she was overwhelmed at how personal and thoughtful the gift was. He did something few men at that time did, he showed interest by showering specific interest and acceptance.

That’s powerful seduction – acceptance.

Unfortunately, I’m not Kristen Ashley, Lisa or Suzanne so I can’t say my romances have expert seduction. But I’m getting there. Every book is a new chance to bring two people together and explore the ups and down of a growing relationship.

Thus far in my Unexpected series I loved writing Sci’s romance. I spent a lot of time thinking about how long it would take for a person raised in a culture where touching and family was not even a concept.

The seduction was mental. It took time for Sci, my hero, to enjoy listening to the heroines mind, and accepting that there was more to life than what was in his culture.

I’m currently working on the next book in the series where my hero, Yon is an arrogant know-it-all and my heroine is shy and suffering from years of slave labor. The seduction is not unique but I hope that it satisfies my readers enough that when my couple comes together, it makes them want to cheer.

 

 

 

 

Behind the Story: All about Lotus Adaamas

Lotus Adaamas is hot, humid and acidic. One island made from five volcanoes run by Demons. If that’s not enough to keep your distance from this port planet, then you may be the right kind of crazy.

If Vegas had a baby with New York City and that child grew up and had a one night stand with Hawaii – that baby would be Lotus Adaamas.

You got to hustle to make a living on Lotus Adaamas. You have to know when you’re getting handled, when there’s an opportunity, and when you can take what you want from an unsuspecting visitor.

They have sexy women, devilish men, gambling, and the best black market dealers in the universe. And if you’re looking for something special, it’s important to know which dealer to trust to get your product and deliver on time.

On Adaamas, that Z. (meet my character inspiration for Z)3e0f7971e85154c138fb4f6d986651c5

Z is the guy who arranged to meet Vivra to deliver her a pink powdered pistol, he was the made and sold her the pixie pistol. He’s also the hero in my next book.

I’ve decided to write A Silk Demon’s Deal. It is the first book in the Lotus Adaamas series and it lines up perfectly in the Unexpected series as book #2.5.

For those of you who Captain Rannn, you may be excited to know the heroine of this book is his sister Adelia. She is his adopted sister, who was married, divorced and then exiled to from Yunkin.

This story leads right into Unexpected Commander book 3 in the Unexpected series. My hope is that the more you know about the worlds, the races and the people, the better reading experience you will have.

Here is a teaser *unedited* scene when Adelia first interact with the hero in the story.

 

She grabbed the dirt under her and flung it at his face, got up and ran in the opposite direction.

“Wrong way, Pet, that’s the way to my warehouse.” He called.

She veered to the other side of the street and didn’t hear him behind her. A heartbeat later she felt a strong grip grab her arm. “You came all the way out here, it would be stupid to waste the trip. Let’s catch up, what have you been doing since this afternoon.” Peering down she watched him wince. “Seth, your face is bright red. Going to need some Terren sunburn cream.”

She didn’t need cream.

She needed to dislodge his grip or become the psycho’s next victim. No such luck, his grip was tight. He pulled her all the way back the inside the warehouse. The other male, watched with mild amused smirk. The lights were on and the body she saw was gone but the streaks of blood on the floor left a fateful reminder of how dangerous Z was. “I won’t tell anyone about the body.”

Once inside the building Z told the other Demon, “Shine, close the door and see if you can find some rope.”

Shine looked at her and then Z. Surprise with a mixture of contempt on his half curled lip he asked, “Rope? Are you sure?”

“What do you mean, am I sure? Of course I’m sure.”

A snort. “A chair, a gun and a glare will do. She’s terrified, she’s not going to go anywhere.”

Z didn’t seem upset about the change. “Fine, get me those.”

Moving into a hallway she heard Shine yell out. “Think she’s a spy for Trane?”

Z held her in one hand and grabbed a chair in another. Positioned it near a series of boxes stacked almost as high as the ceiling. “No. She was left at the docks this afternoon.” Z yelled back.

Just to be clear she told them. “I’m not a spy.”

Z pushed her down to the chair gave her a single threatening finger and a look. Shine, his friend came back with a small gun. The gun didn’t look like any she had ever seen before. It had a blue marble looking handle with a series of small lights on top of the barrel.

Z took the gun, pointed it in her direction and tapped the air. As he grabbed another chair and set it down in front of her. He lowered so their eyes were closely aligned.

“I’m dying to know, how does a thief get kicked off her crew and winds up on my side of the island?” The contrast of his friendly tone holding a freakishly odd gun confused her more than it should have.

“I took one of the blue zorrs here.”

Rolling the gun, a gesture to continue.

“I wanted to sell you something, but I can see your busy, so I can find someone else.” Adelia sat forward, hoping that she sounded confident enough he would let her leave.

“Mmmnnnn. Sit back.” He used the gun to accent his words. “We’re just getting started. And you didn’t answer my question. How did you get kicked off the ship? I heard your captain say you’re a thief. I don’t do business with thieves, but I’m willing to hear you out. So make your sob story get me in the feels.”

 

Behind the Story: Slang and other Futuristic Terms

Every good fantasy, paranormal and science fiction book has new vernacular.

Combining new worlds, new races and cultures there had to be a list of new slang words, religion and cultural norms.
In the Unexpected Series you can’t miss the deity Seth of Stars. This is the Yunkins god, who rewards those who live and die with honor. But don’t be deceived the Yunkins aren’t always the composed, meek and charitable race.
Yunkin is a planet mostly covered in ice. The inhabitants, long ago sailed their icy seas and conquered until there was only one race, one religion and one way. Sound familiar to you?
If you were thinking vikings, then you’re right. Their culture was very similar to the Vikings. But after conquering others they redefined their ways, instead of an honorable kill, it became an honorable death, morphing into an honorable life.
Yunkins were the ones who helped the humans defeat the Kirca (demons), but then a little of their vikingness came out and they decided humans weren’t equipped in wherewithal, strength, technological advancements or honor – so they took over.
Once a viking, always a viking.
As time passed, and each race got use to the other cultures, I figured there would be terms that would become well known. Here are a few of the words you should know. I use the below frequently in the series.
  • Bahity – A demon disease (It’s not really a disease but what demons call it when another demon settles down with a mate)
  • Scathy Barbist – A large snake (2′ wide and 10-60′ long) with necrotic venom
  • Blitz – A quick round of sex
  • Bula pasta – Seaweed pasta with brine sauce
  • Gurk – A Brat
  • Jubriaan – Demon alcohol brewed on Lotus Adaamas. Heavy oak flavor distilled tree a sap.
  • Keleps – Money
  • Medscanner – X-ray, image of the body, blood, bones, veins, compositions, detects anomalies
  • medscope – A small device that heals most major wounds and illnesses.
  • Minky – A Brand name of electronic devices
  • Niffy drink – A carbonated sweet fruit drink that gives you the giggles or smiles.
  • Pim – A sweet fruit found on Angny planet. It tastes like a pear and a grape were cross pollinated.
  • Red algae hard candy – Bolark candy
  • Tarq – A chronic masturbater who mutilates his or her sex organ for sexual gratification
In full disclosure, most of those terms came fluidly, but when I started book two, I wanted a slang term that I could use instead of calling someone an asshole. I don’t cuss in my books unless you consider bastard or damn a curse word – I don’t, but regardless I wanted to keep the language clean. Not that my books are clean, they aren’t.
There’s sex and a little gore in every book because I like those things. I also like cussing – my husband does not like that, so I keep those words out of our conversation, but no joke if you meet me when he’s not around…. you’ve been warned.
First time, rough draft, I wrote that Sands called Pax a tarq right before the meeting, and I took my hands off the keyboard, touched the tips to my lips and whispered, “I love it.”
It felt right.
Then, because I couldn’t use the word asshole to describe the word in the book, came up with that definition. So….yeah.