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and all her books look foward to meeting you at the…
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(All Brisbane readers)
It’s my current greatest claim to fame that I was once told by a very senior top-five publisher that I write great sex. I was SO CHUFFED because writing great sex is hard.
As much as I know you’re snorting with me right now. It’s true. Writing great sex is hard.
Some of us do it with the lights off, a candle burning, a glass of wine. Others do it in daylight, drinking coffee in a café or in a car, while waiting for the kids to get out of school. Some of us fight for every racy word while, for others, the words flow like your heroine’s love juice.
Writing great sexy time is essential for those of us (like me!) who write at the steamier end of the romance spectrum. Writing great sexy time is also crucial in those sweeter stories, even when you’re about to slam the door in your readers’ face. Your reader still has to be swept up in the arms of your hero and BELIEVE that your heroine is about to get it good (or vice versa, I’m equal opportunity sweeping).
So, the million-dollar question is – HOW, DAMN IT? HOW?
Sex isn’t just about insert tab A into slot B.
And even if it were – there are multiple tab A’s and slot B’s to be had, and multiple positions in which tab A can be inserted into slot B. Google ‘Kama Sutra’ if you don’t believe me.
But, you don’t want to just focus on the mechanics. What does your main character hear, what does she see, what does he feel? What do they taste and touch? Diana Gabaldon (in her book ‘I Give You My Body’) talks about the Rule of Three. Focus on three of the five senses and you’re on your way to writing great sex.
2. Get comfy with intimacy
Recently I came across the 12 Stages of Intimacy (which come from a study conducted by Desmond Morris, a behavioural scientist, on why marriages last or break). I’m certainly not the first romance writer to identify this framework as really useful for building sexual tension (Google it, there are plenty of articles out there like this one from Jenny Hansen) but if you’re not yet on board, I suggest you give them a look.
Like teenagers in the back seat of a parent’s car, sometimes you’ll jump a stage, or combine a few. But, if you broadly follow this progression (whether fairly immediately, or stretched out over a story), you’ll do pretty well in the writing good sex stakes.
3. Don’t be shy.
Birds do it. Bees do it. It’s even likely your parents did it at least once.
Most of us were not a product of immaculate conception, I promise.
You need to loosen up to write great sex. And the words on the page don’t have to precisely reflect your experience.
Writing a great anal sex scene on the page – when it’s right for your characters – doesn’t scream to everyone that you’re engaging in anal sex every night.
Well, it might to some, but they’re idiots.
Writing fabulous BSDM doesn’t mean you’re a masochist (although, if you’re reading this you’re probably an author so… same same but different?!). Writing a terrific deepthroating doesn’t mean you’re Linda Lovelace.
The qualifier to that is you HAVE to do your research. Anal sex requires lube. BDSM should have a safe word. Cervixes should not be pounded (those who listen to the My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast will agree with me. That hurts). And all good contemporary sex requires the participants be safe (except in surprise baby stories, of course. There’s always an exception to every rule).
So, maybe that glass of wine tip isn’t such a bad one. Having lubrication when engaging in coitus is never a bad thing…
The last thing I want to mention here is, to write great sex, don’t be afraid to explore. Not everyone likes the same things and every one of your characters will be different.
So, they’re going to like different things. Some will like it sweet, and others will like it spicy. Some will like it in bed, and others will want to swing from the rafters. Some will slam the door in your face, while others will invite you to watch.
Don’t be afraid of any of it because, believe me, if you’re uncomfortable writing it, we’re probably going to be uncomfortable reading it…
And Google is your friend. It’s an unending Pandora’s Box of tips, tricks and things you may never have really needed to see! But, seriously, there are plenty of legitimate sites out there that can help you with the detail of those less mainstream sexual practices, and with alternatives positioning (I mean, you could do it missionary all the time, but who wants to do that…).
So, they’re my tips for writing great sex. What are your best tips? What’s the best sex you ever read?
Winner of the Inaugural Romance Writers of Australia Spicy Bites sexy short story competition, and member of the Love Sabrists, Kristine loves telling sexy tales, exploring relationships between complex women and the strong men who love them, then working out just how much pain to inflict, or not inflict, before giving her characters their HEA (or, at least, their HFN). She’s also a non-practicing lawyer who now works in human resources, and writes and reads, to escape into other worlds where coffee (and red wine) is abundant, designer shoes and handbags are cheap, chocolate has no calories and men always put the toilet seat down.
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February 2019 sees the one-year anniversary of the Love Sabre Anthology!
Buy it at www.lovesabre.com
Kayla stood poised on the rim of the Luna crater, scanning the bowl for anomalies.
The unfamiliar craft was almost hidden in the shadow under the ramparts. From the buckling on the stubby wing tip it must have been a rough landing.
Without hesitation she scrambled down the escarpment and headed for the ship. The long bounds felt painfully slow as she crossed the fine powdery surface. Her 190cm height and muscular build was an advantage here at least.
It was unlike any ship she’d seen. The surface glowed with a metallic green sheen and clouded glass bubbled in a semi-circle around the blunt nose. Three of the stubby wings extended at an angle halfway down the short cylindrical body. The damaged one had dragged against the stony ground near the rim of the crater.
Instinctively, she placed her hand on the oval pad forward of the wings. A woosh of sound heralded the opening of a panel easily large enough for someone her size. Kayla hesitated only a split second before fitting herself into the shallow compartment. Darkness enveloped her along with the hiss of air.
She barely had time to wonder if her impulsive action had been ill-considered when the inner door opened. She tumbled into a narrow corridor lined with cabinets. An airlock at the far end was only a step away and Kayla used another panel to trigger the opening.
Blinking at the brightness of what must be the pilot’s cockpit, Kayla stepped forward. It was hard to see detail, even with the sun visor on her helmet retracted.
“May we be meeting?”
The deep husky tone startled her and she spun around, knocking against one of the consoles. A large gloved hand steadied her.
“Do not alarm.”
He was beautiful. Her heart clashed against her ribs. And not human. So large he made her feel small, even in the bulky suit. He was humanoid, whatever that meant. Two arms, two legs. Beautifully muscled as befitted his large size. One head. Smooth and hairless with a central ridge of bone that extended from his nose over his forehead and splayed into three over the large skull.
He wore a close-fitting suit in a metallic green reminiscent of the coating on the ship’s hull but above that, his skin had a similar tint with an undertone of yellow. His eyes captured hers and she stared at them, hardly believing the vivid swirl of blue and green, again with that hint of yellow.
His deep rumble reverberated through her. “You are good?”
Kayla gasped as she registered his words. “You speak English?”
His wide mouth curved up. “Not so good. You have many transmissions.”
“That’s how you learned? Listening to our radio transmissions?”
The was an infinitesimal movement of his broad shoulders. “Some.”
“Where are you from?”
Again that wry lift at the corners of his mouth. “It is far.”
Kayla pulled off her helmet and glanced around at the cockpit, noting the two seats. “You have a co-pilot?”
“She is gone.”
His forehead drew together, wrinkling against the shallow ridge of bone. “I think…passed.”
“Passed away? You mean dead?”
A slow nod. “I think…yes.”
A female. Something tightened in her chest. “She was special to you?”
“I don’t think…”
Kayla searched for words. “Partner? Lover?”
Again that slow nod. “Love. Yes, I know that word. No, not love. So…partner?”
The tightness eased. How odd. He was a stranger. An ALIEN. “How long have you been alone?”
“Many cycles.” He gestured at the sky through the window bubbles. “It is far.”
There was an element of pain in those words that made her wonder. “Will you go home now?”
“Home. I cannot go home.” His liquid eyes flared with something dark. “I stay here perhaps?”
Kayla thought of the team back at the base. It was an international team. But an alien might stretch the friendship. “Is your ship repairable?”
“Perhaps.” The resigned expression on his face suggested otherwise. He touched the symbol on her sleeve. “And I am not to be welcome.”
“You come in peace?”
He glanced down his body. “In one piece. I think.”
Kayla dragged her gaze away from the snug fitting fabric outlining his magnificent body. “I mean…you don’t wish to harm us?”
His large hands spread to indicate the interior of the ship. “With what? Is nothing to harm.”
“And you don’t have anywhere else to go?”
He shook his head, his jaw tight.
“Perhaps you should come back to the base. We need to report what’s happened.” It hit her somewhere deep in her gut. He would be wanted down on earth. First Contact. Often talked about, but this was it. Not some invading alien race, but a single man in trouble. Vulnerable.
“You have many partner, lover at this base?”
“No one special. Work colleagues.” She tapped the symbol on her sleeve. “Scientists.”
“You also are alone?” His voice seemed deeper somehow, the eyes swirling gold.
Breath stalled in her throat. “Yes.” It was true. Men found her size intimidating. They might respect her work as a geologist, but they didn’t ask her out. She’d made friends in the team here in the last eight months, but no-one special. Ever.
He stepped closer. “We are alone together.”
For a moment she wondered if it was his language skills at fault. The warmth in those strange eyes told her otherwise. He found her attractive. An odd flutter began deep in her gut. She pointed at her badge. “I am…my name is Kayla.”
“Iya, Kayla. I am Gorish.” His large hand thumped the odd shaped symbol on his chest.
“You, me. Lovers?”
That flutter deepened to a heavy pulse low in her body. It was definitely appealing. “Perhaps friends first.”
“Friends. I like.”
“I think I would like it too.”
His thin lips curved up in a smile. “We are good?”
Warmth flooded her body, her heart thumping steadily and a little fast. “Yes. We are good.
“Those amazing eyes glowed “Together.”
Heather Garside grew up on a cattle property in Central Queensland. As a child she loved books and the bush, and not a lot has changed. She now lives with her husband on a beef and grain farm in the same area and has two adult children.
She has published four novels and has helped to write and produce several compilations of short stories and local histories. The Cornstalk was a finalist in the 2008 Booksellers’ Best Award, Long Historical category, for romance books published in the USA. Breakaway Creek was a finalist in the QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program and was published by Clan Destine Press. It is a rural romance with a dual timeline. Heather has recently re-released two historical novels with new titles, Colonial Daughter and Colonial Legacy. Continue reading “Inspiring History, with Heather Garside”
By Joslyn Chase
If you’re here on BookBaybz, it’s a safe bet you love Romance. I don’t have to sell you on the appeal—you know what you love about it.
But how do you feel about Romantic Suspense?
If you think about the books, movies, and television series that have made the biggest boom in recent years, chances are good that suspense fiction will cross your mind. Girl on The Train, Gone Girl, Mission Impossible, House of Cards, Sherlock, Killing Eve, to name a few. These are stories designed to infuse intrigue and deliver thrills. Continue reading “Romantic Suspense: A match made in Heaven”