Sex Scenes

Writing Sex ScenesThis topic recently came up as a prompt during the February Instagram challenge I participated in. The first place I went was to my blog archives to see what I’d said about this before. Turns out the last time I’d written about it was almost eight years ago. Not surprisingly, my thoughts have changed a little.

So, here we go!

Writing sex is an interesting subject to me since it’s one I’ve struggled with throughout the years. My first novel was a sweet contemporary romance, so I skipped the sex altogether. The pressure of writing sex intimidated me. Plus, the book’s content was pretty sweet, so sex didn’t feel necessary. I’d also written a novella with sex in it (Jungle Heat), so I was good with writing it. It had a mainstream heat, not too hot and not too sweet.

My first publisher specialized in erotic romance, so the heat level needed to be ramped up. Sex scenes needed to be plentiful. Needing to write so many caused me to majorly burn out on them. That’s why the Cry Wolf series and Beneath the Broken Moon doesn’t have as much sex as some of my books.

After the hiatus I took this past year, the charred bits have begun to flake off. Along with my passion to write, I’m beginning to enjoy writing sex again. Hooray for small victories!

One thing that hasn’t changed for me is needing to be in a certain mindset to write sex. I used to try to muscle through them because they were next, and I’m not crazy about writing scenes out of order. However, I’ve found that if I try to just write them regardless, they need a lot of editing. If the scene doesn’t excite you, chances are it won’t excite the reader either.

What I do with love scenes sometimes is type **insert sex scene here** and move on. The scene will be there when I’m ready, even if that happens to be during the editing process.

A funny story is one time I turned in a book to my editor with **insert sex scene here** still in. I was really tired, and my eyes must have glazed over it. My editor was confused, but I wrote the scene and turned it in for her to look it over. After that, I try to be more careful!

Until next week,

Sarah

Historical Fiction

vaulted cellarHistory has always been one of my favorite topics.

In college, I started out as a double major in English: Creative Writing and History with an emphasis on European History. That didn’t end up happening since I was so ready to be done with school. Knowing how helpful the time I’ve spent learning from Romance Writers of America and the internet has been, I wish I’d gone with the History major instead.

But I digress.

I’ve always loved historical romance novels and historical fiction. At one point, I didn’t feel comfortable writing them and the level of research that go into something like that. They still do intimidate me, even though I’ve written a fantasy romance series set in medieval Ireland, a Wild West paranormal romance novella, and co-wrote an urban fantasy romance that takes place in an alternate reality Ireland.

Regardless, I sincerely admire authors who write them. I’ve accepted that paranormal romance and urban fantasy placed in contemporary times is more my forte.

Anyways.

My favorite historical time period and location is Dark Ages and Medieval Europe, particularly in Scandinavia (Vikings!) and the UK and Ireland. So many fascinating things happened, and I love reading about mythology. When my husband and I have traveled, we always try to hit the museums.

There’s also ancient Greece and Rome. I’ve read a couple of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books that incorporate that time period, which were really cool.

I’m very passionate about history. Surprisingly, it’s been a while since I’ve read a historical romance or fiction. That genre is on my TBR list this year, though, since I’m challenging myself to read wide.

What are your favorite time periods to read about? Do you have favorite time periods you don’t feel are represented enough in fiction?

Leave a comment. I’d love to know what you think!

Until next week,

Sarah

Valentine’s Day Sale on The Assassin’s Mark

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! I hope you have an amazing February 14th whether it’s with a loved one or by simply treating yourself.

The Assassin's Mark

For a limited time, The Assassin’s Mark is currently marked down to 99¢ from it’s usual $2.99 price. Be sure to grab your copy by February 16th! The sale lasts only lasts until Saturday evening, and this book won’t be marked down again anytime soon.

Writer’s Mission

Since the end of last year, I’ve thought more about this topic than I have for a while. What’s my mission as a writer?

As an entrepreneur, I have a business plan with my long term goals and what I’d like to accomplish. That’s a different cap than a writer’s mission though.

The pull for me to become a writer comes from my childhood. I used to escape into books and let reality take a back seat, even if it was for a little while. Exploring a world that I might never get to see, all through the pages of a book.

For the first time in a while, that’s happened to me again. I fell face first into a book that started out a little slowly, but now that it has sank its claws into me, all I can think about is getting back to it! I’m relieved it’s the first book in a series because the book is almost over, and yet, I don’t want it to end.

That’s something I crave to create for my own readers. To entertain them and whisk them away to make believe worlds too. To let the book sink its claws (or fangs) into them and not let go. To keep them thinking about it until it’s over.

It’s a great time to reflect on that mission. I’m truly grateful to everyone who has read my books. Hearing from people that they love them is humbling (and blows my mind).

Until next week,

Sarah

Cover Reveal for Beneath the Broken Moon: Season One

I’m excited to announce that I’m going to be releasing the complete first season of Beneath the Broken Moon in March. If you’ve read all five parts currently available, then you’ll have read this book. It’ll be available in both ebook and paperback.

Blurb: Carmela she struggles to choose between the alpha werewolf she’s destined for and the vampire she’s enchanted by, but the wrong decision could lead to deadly consequences…

Werewolf relationships are all about influence and offspring, especially as the species is becoming extinct. Carmela Santiago resents that type of life. She dreams of falling in love and being happy, not following the dismal example her parents have set.

When sensual vampire Derek Ashmore rescues her from dangerous hunters, she tumbles head over heels for him. Not a wise decision since werewolves and vampires are mortal enemies.

Meeting her caring mate-to-be Brendan Kelly has her further questioning the future. Regardless, her life has forever changed now that she’s met not one, but two men who pull at her heartstrings…

Add to Goodreads

Until next week,

Sarah

Reading Challenges

Many moons ago, or at least that’s how it feels, I used to do reading challenges a lot. With a huge TBR list, there was something magical about seeing what topics were presented each month and digging through my books to see what fit where.

These days, I’ve basically followed what my Kindle suggests to me. That’s cool sometimes, but it doesn’t give me that same excitement as the reading challenges did before.

So, my reading goal for this year is at least 24 books, which might not be a lot compared to some people, but that would be four more books than I read last year.

This year, I’m following Roni Loren’s The Read Wide Challenge. There are plenty of books in many genres that I’ve had, so now I’ll a solid reason to actually finish them! Hooray.

Do you enjoy reading challenges? How many books are you hoping to read this year?

Until next week,

Sarah

The Leopard Who Claimed A Wolf is Available

The sixth book in the bestselling Cry Wolf series is now available at your favorite retailers.

When a wolf loves a leopard…

He’s her protector…
Caitlyn Fraser, a wereleopard who has always hated cruel werewolves, is the former prisoner turned mate of Dougal Sterling, Alpha of the Scottish pack. She’s courting jeopardy with her determination to attend the funeral of her brother’s father, since the Pack blames her for Alistair’s death. But still Dougal protects her from his wolves.

Her defender…
Short of allies, Dougal struggles to balance loyalty and attention between the Pack and Caitlyn. When the Pack’s stability crumbles, he’s faced with the return of his older brother, the rightful Alpha, who shirked his duty after their father’s death. However, Ewan’s challenge will be a battle to the death. Sheltering Caitlyn can only lose Dougal more friends, but he knows she’s the mate he’s longed for.

But survival takes two…
Menace lurks in every corner of the Highlands; Alistair and Ewan’s supporters and haters of shapeshifters abound. Caitlyn and Dougal must stick together, pushing back fiercely when they are attacked. Even if that puts them in mortal danger…

Read an Excerpt

Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks | NookKobo | Google

Add to Goodreads

Until next week,

Sarah

Refueling the Muse

One thing I’ve learned is how important it is for me to keep my muse fueled up. It’s pretty easy for me to switch into workaholic mode and go go go without taking time for myself. Then again, I think that’s probably true for a lot of authors. However, that’s not sustainable.

Taking the hiatus last year and focusing on myself and my health was fundamentally important. Not only did it help change my outlook on self-care, but I feel like, for one of the first times in my life, I truly understood the importance of having balance. I also realized how much I enjoyed writing once the pressure was off.

I had a few weeks where I was busy and out-of-town where I was overcome with an overwhelming need to put words down on the page. That was a magical moment that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. Before re-evaluating things, I let myself get bogged down with the business and marketing side of writing biz that my passion for writing was smothered. However…

This year, I’m taking steps to keep that balance in mind. Here’s what I’m doing:

  • – Prioritizing writing, even if it’s a few hundred words, no matter what needs to happen.
  • – Meal planning to keep my body fueled with healthy food.
  • – Journaling for my mental and creative health.
  • – Using two planners, one for my business and the other for my personal life. The personal planner has daily things to accomplish that’s just for fun (like reading and video games). Planning fun sounds strange, but if it works!
  • – Exercising to keep my body and mind healthy.
  • – And finally, making time to do something fun with my hubby and family.

What are you doing to keep yourself mentally/physically/emotionally in good shape this year?

Until next week,

Sarah

Plans for 2019

2018 was something else. I’m happy that it’s in the past. I accomplished some great things, but I’m so excited for this new year. It feels like there’s so much potential, and no, I’m not just saying that.

In December, I stumbled upon Heart Breathings and started devouring the YouTube videos. (They’re really good.) There was a planning/productivity course detailing Sarra Cannon’s method of quarterly goal planning. I wasn’t sure about taking it, so I waited until the last minute to make a decision before taking the leap. That course really changed my outlook on goals and planning.

A couple things I learned, for instance, was breaking goals down into quarters makes it easier for someone to accomplish their goals. She also discusses the difference between a goal and a project. A goal is focused on an outcome while a project is something that can be broken down into tasks.

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been utilizing what I learned and getting so much accomplished, even with it being a holiday season. Now that it’s January 2nd and the holidays are over. I’m excited to see how productive I’ll be and how much more balanced my life will be with a plan in place.

Until next time,


Sarah

Happy Holidays!

I hope you had a Merry Christmas yesterday, and that you’ll have a Happy New Year starting next week.

It’s still a shock that the year is almost over, but I’m more prepared for 2019 than I have felt about any year in a long time. I’ll explain more about that in next week’s post.

As for what I did during Christmas, my husband and I spent time with family over the weekend. Christmas Eve and Christmas were all about enjoying one another’s company. We stuck with our ‘tradition’ of having Chinese food for our Christmas meal, which is something we’ve done for the past almost five years, I think.

Our time with one another has been really relaxing. We’ve watched a Christmas movie on Netflix, drank hot chocolate, enjoyed a fire in the fireplace, and, of course, played plenty of computer games together.

Until next week,

Sarah