UPDATE: ARC winners of TEMPTED announced:
Shiloh Tolbert & Lisa at Once Upon a Chapter
Winners, please email me at elisabeth (at) elisabethnaughton (dot) com with your snail mail addy.
Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who played along!
Anyone who has read my books knows I tend to write on the steamy side. My scenes have made my husband blush several times, my neighbors wonder just what happens in our house and my mother refuse to read any book that has the word "Bed" in the title. Personally, I blame the atmosphere. You see, my husband works for a pharmaceutical company and used to sell Levitra (an ED drug) and my neighbor conducted at home sex toy parties. I ask you...how can a romance author NOT write hot when she's surrounded by that?
Seriously though, I've read a lot of romance novels over the years and don't think I write any "hotter" than a lot of other authors. My books tend to have only 2-3 love scenes per book, but I do play up the sexual tension whenever I can. And because of that, if I were to be honest, I would tell you (shh...this is a secret) the steamy, sexy scenes are the hardest ones for me to write (no pun intended). Give me blood and gore and fighting and emotional angst over a lip lock or love scene any day. I can write 25 pgs in one day and be on a real roll but once I get to the part where the main characters have to kiss, I stop dead in my tracks.
Why? I think because in a romance novel, getting the heat right is so important. Important to the characters and the story and the organic unfolding of the novel. And as a writer, I want to make sure the steamy scenes play out naturally, that they fit the characters and that readers won't recognize them as cookie cutter. I also want them to work with the plot. We've all read novels where the romance felt forced. Since the romance is what readers are reading my books for, it makes sense the heat level is the place where I tend to get hung up the most.
RT has labeled my last few books "scorchers" rather than simply "hot". This was news to me as I don't particularly think the heat level has gone up that much in my books, but I'm not complaining. Luckily, I write about some sexy guys, so it's not exactly a chore to turn up the heat when they're on the page. Though it is hard work and (fortunately...pun intended this time) someone does have to do it.
Thanks to the awesome peeps at Sourcebooks who sent me a few extra ARCs of my very hot upcoming Eternal Guardians novel, TEMPTED, I'm giving away TWO ARCs here today. Just leave me a comment and tell me what heat level you prefer to read in your romances - mild, hot or scorcher. Or...all of the above. :)