Thursday, 6 April 2017

A New Genre - By Lily Harlem

Writing in a new sub-genre is always both fun and a challenge. I started out, back in 2010, writing MF contemporary erotic romance (Madam President) and believing, naively, that's where I'd stay. That, however, couldn't be further from the truth and over the last seven years I've strayed out of my comfort zone only to find  myself very comfortable and having an enormous amount of fun.

My first foray with another subgenre was menage a trois. I plucked up the courage to try this one because I'd read a couple of brilliant ones. They'd been quite an eye opener and also inspirational. Shared was born and snapped up by a publisher very quickly. It was hugely successful selling thousands of copies in the first few weeks, and continues to be a good seller and a genre I stick with. The dynamics of writing about three people in a relationship is just such a feast for an author. Not just the physical aspects of their relationship but also the emotional. There's so much that can go right, but also so much that can go wrong making for delicious conflict, then delicious make up sex.

From there I stepped into the gay erotic romance pond. If I hadn't spent a late night, with plenty of wine, chatting to some MM authors in the beautiful city of Lincoln, that never would have happened. They were all so enthused by their genre, inspired by reader reactions and caught up in the moment that I had to give it a go. I banged out my Caught on Camera seriel (part one is FREE) in a matter of months and was whisked up in my new love of GBLT writing. I've since written many more MM stories and MMF, all because of that one night.

Fifty Shades came along at a time when I was already writing about BDSM in my novels, it was a niche genre back then, no doubt about it, but suddenly it became mainstream and everyone was having a go at their version (what that book did to the industy is a whole other blog post), but for me personally I decided to write my version of a billionaire BDSM novel, this was out of my comfort zone, billionaires are few and far between and I wouldn't normally have cast one as a hero, but I gave it a go and was happy with the outcome, as were readers. Kane Ward, in Her Dominant Billionaire, proved to be just the right amount of sweetness mixed with sterness, and damn the guy is good with his hands.

A story that had been germinating for a long time and was hard to put down on paper for me emotionally was Breathe You In. This is because I was inspired to write this novel when I was working as a coronary care nurse, the characters emotions were very vivid to me. But even though it was, at times, stretching my emotions to write, I had to do it. I was thrilled with the end result, Breathe You In is one of my most favorite of all the novels I've written. It's sexy, raw and real.

Vampires and shifters. What? Did adults read these books? Were they sexy? That was my first thoughts when I came across this genre several years ago. I thought blood suckers and shifting creatures were confined to teen novels and movies. How wrong I was. After reading several I soon found my mojo and wrote Bite Mark and Claw Mark and discovered just how sexy these otherworldly men could be.

For years I've groaned when Mr H put sci-fi on the TV. I just didn't 'get' it. The fantasy was too unrealistic, the plot lines didn't hold my attention. But the minute I decided to write my own sci-fi that all changed. Making up the rules of my own 'world' was so much fun. I adored creating alien landscapes in my mind and describing them,  and twisting the environment to suit, or not suit, my characters needs. I was in charge, it was fun. I got it and Reckless and Master of her World were born!

Finally my latest journey into a new genre has been historical. I threw in a bit of time travel too, just to keep myself on my toes! I've always loved reading and learning about Victorian England so sent my character back in time to find her very own upper class hero (who is of course kinky too, as those Victorian's were!). I loved writing Head of Household, and will definitely be writing more historicals in the future. What about you? Favourite sub-genre to read or write?

Thanks for reading

Lily x

Find out more on my website and get a FREE ebook when you sign up to my newsletter - the sub-genre is sporty romance for the freebie!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Guest Post - Samantha Winston Shapes Up!

Hello everyone, it's Kay here today. I'm delighted to introduce you to erotic romance writer Samantha Wilson. It's time to shape up...
Hi Brit Babes, and thank you for having me as a guest on your blog! I saw some posts about exercise, and thought that was a terrific idea – we writers tend to be sedentary creatures, so I thought I'd tell about the time I decided to get fit with a personal trainer...(of sorts).  And then I added 8 things about me – so you can get to know me!
The Personal Trainer in my breakfast cereal

I bought my regular package of sugarless fruit and fibre cereal and lo and behold, there was an exercise CD within. I decided it was fate – it’s vacation here and my gym class won’t start for another two weeks. So, I put my gym clothes on, moved the coffee table, and put the CD in my computer. First two little cartoon heads came on – Monique and Dave – and they told me about my new gym program – complete with a healthy diet (consisting mainly of the sugarless cereal, I imagine. I sort of skipped that part.) Then they asked me some questions about my height, weight, age, etc. Being a pathological liar, I put down:

Name – Princess Noodle (now everyone knows what name I use in the gaming sites)

Age – 25 (of course!) (d’oh!)

Height – 175 cm. (a lie, a lie!)

Weight – 55 kilos (an even bigger lie – oh, I’m in for it now.)

I hit enter and waited for Monique and Dave to die laughing. They didn’t. The cartoon talking heads then asked me to peruse their profiles and Choose One of them as my Personal Trainer! (gasp – my own personal trainer from a cereal box!) I chose Dave, only because he was cuter than Monique (who needed something done with her hair) and in his profile the word ‘fun’ appeared more often than the word ‘serious’, which Monique used too much for my comfort. So, I chose Dave and Monique whined something about being disappointed but if I changed my mind, she was always there…which kind of creeped me out for a minute until I remembered they were just cartoons on a CD. OK.

I then got to fill out my schedule with this little calendar I keep on my desktop which will beep or do something annoying to remind me “It’s Time to Exercise with Dave!” (Oh, I wish.) Anyhow, I finish that and then chose the “Exercise Now!” button. Let’s Go!
Dave appears, all buff and holding a whistle and a towel – he looks like a life-guard. He tells me that my training session is divided into three parts, the warm-up, the work-out, and the stretching. I hit warm-up and off we go. Dave says,
“Stand up straight. Lift knees as if marching in place.” I wait for him to do it along with me, but he only does it once and stops. Some trainer. I do that for about two minutes and switch to warm up number two. Something about deep knee bends. Then I click, click, click ahead to see what joys await me and see sit-ups, leg-lifts, etc. etc. I’m disappointed. Dave is no fun at all. Where are the aerobics and rock music?

So, I keep Dave on the computer while I load Bon Jovi on my cassette player and off I go. I decide to try to remember my work out from the gym. I start with the easy step-touch. OK – that’s fine. But what does my teacher do next? And what do I do with my arms? I can’t remember. I realize that during gym my brain switches off and I simply copy what the teacher does like a mindless robot. I move my arms up and down (I feel like I’m about to take off) and my daughter comes in, sits down with the dog in her lap and watches for a few minutes. I put some extra effort into my moves, hoping to impress my daughter with the importance of a good work-out.

“Mom,” she says after about five minutes. “You’re traumatizing the dog.”

Over on the computer screen, Dave watches impassively. I’m starting to like him better than my daughter. “Don’t you have any homework?” I puff, as I step-touch and wave my arms.

After half an hour I’m tired and do my sit-ups with Dave cheering me on, then my stretches, with Dave offering advice (don’t strain yourself. If it hurts, you’re doing it wrong.) Oh, well then, I better stop Everything! I finish my 40 minute work out and turn Dave off. He waves goodbye and says, ‘See you soon!’
Maybe Dave. Maybe.

Eight things about ‘Moi’, or Leo vs Rat

1. I’m a Leo – that says it all.

2. I’m also the Chinese sign of the Rat. Talk about a shock to the Leo! The rat part of me keeps my feet on the ground. The Leo part of me snobs the rat. They bicker.

3. Leo likes loud music and parties, Rat hates noise and fuss. Luckily Leo sits on Rat when we go out, and we usually have a great time. Rat sulks.

4. The Leo in me insists that the house be clean at all times. Leo also insists I get a maid. Rat just passed out. Thrift is Rat’s middle name.

5. I clean my own house. Leo wails ‘At least wear gloves so you don’t ruin your manicure!’ Rat sneers.

6. The Leo in me loves jewellery. The Rat in me hocks it whenever we need rent money. I bought two pearl necklaces for 15$ each. Leo was horrified. Only 15$? They must be fakes. I hocked them for 60$. Rat sang all the way home. Leo sulked.

7. One of my cashmere sweaters got a huge hole. “Throw it out!” cried Leo. “Wear it to gym,” said Rat. I wear it to my gym class. Leo is secretly thrilled.

8. Leo and Rat both like good food. They agree that chocolate is next to Nirvana. Peace at last.

Samantha Winston writes erotic romance, she's the alter ego for Jennifer Macaire, who writes time-travel and YA fiction. Her website is here: Her next book out, Time Tracker, is here: and her blog is here:

Thank you so much for reading!