Tag: authors

Why Erotic Romance Is Pornography (& That’s Something to be Thankful For)

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends. In Canada, we celebrated our Thanksgiving more than a month ago, with all of the turkey and none of the great sales. I’m thankful that you and I live in countries where we are free to express our thoughts and opinions, and where it is totally okay for women to write books with hot sex. So while you’re waiting for that bird to cook, here’s some food for thought.

I was visiting another blog last week when I came across a post about romance novels being ‘porn for women’. I’ve heard the term ‘Mommy porn’ as well, especially in relation to a certain colorful trilogy, and I’ve heard the term used to describe romance novels in general. Usually women are quick to deny it. After all, women don’t like porn. Do we?

First, let’s look at the definition of pornography. According to Merriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pornography), pornography can be defined as:

1: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement; 2: material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement; 3: the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction <the pornography of violence>

Many erotic romance novels would certainly be considered pornography under this definition. I see you waving your hands and I know you’re going to say that erotic romance novels are about telling a story, not just about sexual arousal. But I dare you to read a story-driven erotic romance and NOT be aroused during the sex scenes. The reason we write these scenes is to cause sexual excitement. They are certainly not often necessary from a plot perspective, although there are some exceptions. Let’s be honest. Readers (and I certainly include myself here) pick up the erotic romance novels because they enjoy being sexually aroused by them. If we didn’t want to get all hot and bothered, we’d pick up the sweet romances instead. A mainstream romance does not fit the definition of porn. It may have occasional scenes of a more sensual nature but not of the sort most people would be completely turned on by.

So here is another way of looking at it. My husband has a huge collection of porn. And he’s got the whole range of stuff from VHS to DVD to books to magazines (sorry honey, you know I love you!). I know what porn is. My standard of judging whether something is pornographic is to ask myself, “Would I want my children finding this?” If the answer is no, it’s porn. We make sure to keep hubby’s stuff well hidden. Would I care if my kids picked up your average Harlequin? No. Not that my eleven year old son would. When I told him I was having books published, the conversation went something like this:

Me: I have a book for grown-ups being published.

Him: Cool! Since you’re an author, can you introduce me to J.K. Rowling?

Me:  Writing a book doesn’t automatically put you on speaking terms with every other author.

Him: Well can I read your book?

Me: Absolutely not.

Him: Can I read it when I’m 40?

Me: I guess I can’t stop you then.

Him: What kind of book is it?

Me: A romance.

Him: Oh. (noise of disgust) Well never mind then.

But I digress. Or do I? If my standard for pornography is its suitability for my kids, then my book most certainly is pornographic. I don’t even want them to see the cover! Nor do I want them to find my collection of ebooks, because they aren’t appropriate. Period.

So now that I’ve established that erotic romance (at least the sort I read and write) is pornographic, let’s discuss its suitability for women. Well, duh! Of course it’s for women! And for you hand wavers from before, this is where the story aspect comes into play. I love a good romance story. Many women I talk to love romance.  I first read romance when I picked up my mom’s books at home. (Corollary standard for porn: Would I want my mother finding it? Answer: NO!) But as I said before, if it was only about the romance story, erotic romance as a genre, would not exist.

So if you are looking for something sexually arousing, why not try watching porn, too? There really is something for everyone out there. Just as the romance novels have a heat rating, porn has different ratings, too. It doesn’t have to be all hard core gang banging. There is an increasing amount of “couples” porn out there – all the hot sex (which will appeal to the guys) but with the important story included for the girls. Admittedly, some films do this better than others, but so do some books. And while you’re busy watching the porn, give your hubby a book or two. Mine enjoys them because there’s lots of hot sex, but enough of a story to keep it interesting. We’re both finding that my writing ‘dirty fuck books’ has side benefits 😉 and me watching porn certainly helps with the book ‘research’.

But the most important reason for sharing your interests is the connections you can make as a couple. It is a starting point for those discussions about sex that are sometimes very awkward. How do you tell him you’re ready to try some BDSM? Hand him 50 Shades, with your favourite parts highlighted. Or watch a movie and tell him which parts you like best. It certainly won’t make things dull! And it may just give you 50 things to be thankful for.


Happy Thanksgiving!


Windswept, by Diana MacArthur, is available from http://www.bookstrand.com/windswept

Click here to read Melodee Aaron’s review of Windswept!

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/11/22/why-erotic-romance-is-pornography-thats-something-to-be-thankful-for/

Rules for Authors — Number Four

What follows is one of my Rules for Authors.

These rules are things that all real authors should make a part of their mentality and are words to live by. Trust me…

After more than twenty-five years in this crazy business, I have learned these things well and they do make a difference!

No. 4 – If your “publisher” wants money, they are a printer, not a publisher.

See also Rules 1, 2, and 3 as they are closely related to this Rule.

This Rule summarizes the previous three rather nicely.

Honestly, this is just common sense, and needs very little in the way of expansion. But that has never stopped me from doing it anyway.

Look closely at your publisher. Do they want money to edit your story? Do they want you to pay for or provide cover art? Do they want to charge you a fee to read your story? Does your publisher charge you to have your story listed for sale in their catalog?

In other words, are you, as the writer, going to have to pay the publisher any money at all? What about paying for things that are a part of the publisher’s costs of doing business?

If so, you are not dealing with a publisher…you are dealing with a printer.

If you are dealing with a printer, that’s just fine as long as your goal is to be a printed writer. But let me give you a little tip here…save some money and go down to The UPS Store or maybe the FedEx/Kinko’s and just have them print your story. They can do a nice book-like layout and even put a cover on it (if you provide the art) and make you as many copies as you like.

Yes, it really is just that simple.

Here are seven things that are common to real publishers:

(1) They do not charge for editing.

(2) They do not charge for cover art.

(3) They do not charge to read your story.

(4) They do not charge to have your story in their catalog.

(5) They pay royalties. (The printers do this, too.)

(6) They pay an advance. (All decent print houses, anyway.)

(7) After you are established—and if you’re any good at all—they will contact you (or your agent) asking for new stories.

Again, if the operation you are dealing with doesn’t do all of these things, you are—at best—dealing with a printer. At worst, you are being conned.

Keep Loving!


Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/11/19/rules-for-authors-number-four/

Rules for Authors – Number Three

What follows is one of my Rules for Authors.

These rules are things that all real authors should make a part of their mentality and are words to live by. Trust me…

After more than twenty-five years in this crazy business, I have learned these things well and they do make a difference!

No. 3 – Never pay for cover art.

See also Rules 1, 2, and 4 as they are closely related to this Rule.

As outlined in Rule Number 1, cover art is a part of the cost of doing business, but that cost belongs to the publisher, NOT the author. Just like with editing as detailed in Rule Number 2, the biggest reason is Rule Number 1 itself, that money flows TO the author, but there are other more subtle reasons.

I know a few authors who do their own cover art, and I envy them to a large degree. I’m horrible at anything even hinting at graphic arts. PhotoShop is an absolute mystery to me. I just can’t do it. I need an artist who can make all of this work.

The exact same arguments for using the publisher’s editors apply to cover artists, but to an even larger degree…I would estimate that 90% or more of the advertising for a book is directly from the cover art. Think about it…

A potential buyer is strolling through the bookstore (brick-and-mortar or online, it doesn’t matter). Before they read the blurbs or thumb through the book to get an idea of the story, they see the cover. Does the art make them pick up the book to read the blurbs or thumb through the content? If not, a sale just passed you by.

Just like with editors, it all has to do with motivation.

A contracted artist will create a cover that the writer likes. Yes, that’s important, but it’s only number two on the list of priorities, and that’s being generous. The writer is not the person we need to sell the book to…not even close.

An artist working for the publisher will create a cover designed to market the book to the public. In other words, something that will make the aforementioned shopper pick up the book and look deeper.

Once again, the motivation is money, but the difference is where the money comes from.

Contracted artists make their money by pleasing the writer.

Publisher’s artists make their money by selling books.

Keep Loving!


Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/11/12/rules-for-authors-number-three/

Rules for Authors – Number Two


What follows is one of my Rules for Authors.

These rules are things that all real authors should make a part of their mentality and are words to live by. Trust me…

After more than twenty-five years in this crazy business, I have learned these things well and they do make a difference!

No. 2 – Never pay to have your book edited.

See also Rules 1, 3, and 4 as they are closely related to this Rule.

As outlined in Rule Number 1, editing is a part of the cost of doing business, but that cost belongs to the publisher, NOT the author. The biggest reason is Rule Number 1 itself, that money flows TO the author, but there are other more subtle reasons.

The biggest of these has to do with the attitude and approach to the editing task.

A contracted editor working for (and being paid by) the writer makes their money by getting writers to come to them to edit their work. A huge percentage of that income is from repeat business where a writer keeps coming back to have books edited. There is also the word-of-mouth advertising where a writer tells their friends how great John Doe edits their books. This all means that the editor has a vested interest in getting the writers to like them.

As a group, writers have pretty big and fragile egos. We sweat blood, laugh, cry, pull our hair out in clumps, fall in love with our characters, learn to hate some other characters, and in general see our stories as our children. Just like a momma bear, we will defend our stories to the death. If someone attacks our story, we will come to hate that person. In business, we will look for someone who treats us—and our stories—better and likes them just the way we write them.

See the problem here?

The contracted editor will tend to tell us what we want to hear. This may or may not be intentional, but the tendency is to say what the writer wants to hear so we like the editor and will come back to them and tell our friends how great they are.

In other words, for a contracted editor, they have no interest in if the book sells or not. Their income is based on how much the writer likes them. The contracted editor must have the writers like them in order to make a living.

Now let’s look at an editor that works for the publisher…

The publisher’s editors are paid by the publisher. They might be paid on salary (or hourly), or they might be paid per book that they edit. Some publishers even pay a royalty to their editors. It varies, but the bottom line is that the publisher pays the editor, not the writer.

This boils down to the fact that the editor (and publisher) doesn’t care if the writer likes the editor or not. The editor’s job is to massage the story into something that will sell. If they fail to do so, they won’t work for the publisher for very long.

Both of these editors are motivated by money, but the source of the money is the difference…

Contracted editors only make money if the writers like them.

Publisher’s editors only make money if the story sells.

See the difference?

Keep Loving!


Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/11/05/rules-for-authors-number-two/

Rules for Authors – Number One

What follows is one of my Rules for Authors.

These Rules are things that all real authors should make a part of their mentality and are words to live by. Trust me…

After more than twenty-five years in this crazy business, I have learned these things well and they do make a difference!

No. 1 – Money flows TO the author.

While most of the Rules for Authors are not in any particular order of importance, this is number one for a reason: It is THE most important Rule and actually summarizes many of the other Rules into one easy to understand concept.

So, what does it mean?

Simply stated, the author should always be paid for their work and should never pay someone else in order to create their work. See Rules 2, 3, and 4 in particular.

As stated in Rule Number 4, if an author pays a “publisher” for editing, cover art, or anything else, you don’t have a publisher at all…you have a printer.

Think about it…

If you need some business cards, you go to a printer. They will, if you desire, create the artwork, layout, and other technical details for you, and then they will print, cut, and package your cards and ship them to you. You pay the printer for these services, and the printer deserves to be paid for these services. The only place they make any money is by providing those services to you.

A publisher makes their money by selling books. Editing (from acquisitions, to line, to content, and every other stage) is simply getting that product ready for market. The cover art is just marketing. These things are a normal part of the costs of doing business—just like the electric bill—for the publisher.

In other words, these costs are NOT the direct responsibility of the author.

Yes, I know…

The higher the costs of the publisher, the less they can afford to pay the author in terms of royalties, but this is another problem most writers (as opposed to authors) have in their thought processes…an editor (or artist) working for a publisher can process more books for less money than can an independent contractor.

They also do a better job.

If you hire an editor to work on your book, they have a vested interest in saying everything is perfect. Why? Because you are paying them. The more you like them and the more they stroke your ego, the more likely you are to bring them more work in the future.

The publisher’s editors get paid no matter if you like them or not. They keep their job by editing books into something that will sell for the publisher, so they don’t care about your feelings.

And never lose sight of the fact that this is a business. We are all—authors, publishers, editors, artists, etc.—here to make money.

Oh, don’t give me that crap that you write for the joy of writing or that you want to change the world.

You’re going to starve to death with that attitude. Get over it.

Remember that writing is a lot like sex…

At first you do it because it’s fun.

Then you do it for a few close friends.

But if you’re any good at all, you end up doing it for money.

Keep Loving!

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/10/29/rules-for-authors-number-one/

Representatives v Agents — Do You Need One?

In my Rules for Authors, I make a distinction between an “agent” and a “representative”, and I have received many E-Mails from artists—mostly writers—who want to know the real differences. While some of the differences between the two are alluded to in the aforementioned Rules for Authors, there isn’t much detail there.

In an effort to make this clear to all—especially the budding authors in the room—I decided to write a little more about the topic here.

Before we move into the real meat, I want to address a common question…”Do I need an agent?”

The short answer is no. You can sell books without an agent, and of that there is no doubt. The writer can do all the things an agent would do for them and save the money, but at what cost?

The long answer is yes, especially if you plan to make a living at writing. An agent will get the best deal for you (that is, more money) and can usually get a book sold faster than you can on your own. More importantly, the agent is good at selling books. The writer is good at writing books. While you are doing all the things the agent can do (better), you are not writing. If you don’t write, you don’t eat. See my point? Do what you do best and let an agent do what they do best.

First, let’s look at the traditional literary agent. What exactly does an agent do for the writer? The short story is that they shop your book around to publishers and work to get the best financial deal for the writer. Most agents have contacts at many publishers and can bypass the slush-pile of works waiting on the acquisitions editor’s desk, effectively bringing your story to the top of the heap. This doesn’t mean that the editor will accept the work for their publishing company, only that it will be looked at sooner. Some agents have good enough rapport with the publishers to increase the chances of a particular work being accepted, but this is a dying art. Most agents can’t—and won’t promise—that your book will be accepted by any publisher.

Many agents do other things for the writer…pre-editing before trying to sell the book is just one example. Some agencies have editors on staff or on contract who will do some level of editing long before the manuscript ever sees the inside of a publisher’s office. Just how much editing is done depends on the particular agency. Also, some agencies charge an extra fee for this service, and that amount varies wildly. Other agencies offer promotion and other things, but that is rare.

The big thing about agents is that they tend to contract for only one book from a writer at a time. As the writer evolves, becomes more popular, and develops a following of readers, the agency may offer a contract with a broader scope, but new-comers to the business will get a one-time contract for one book. In other words, if you have a track record of being a saleable author, you may get a long-term, multi-book deal, but if you are fairly new, you’ll be relegated to one book at a time.

Then there are the fees charged by agents…the industry standard is 15% of gross royalties, including any advance. In other words, for every dollar the publisher pays you, the agent gets fifteen cents. Also keep in mind that some unscrupulous agents may charge you for things like telephone calls, mailing manuscripts, and travel. The good agents include these kinds of things in the standard 15% cut. As a rule, the publisher actually pays the agent and the agent takes their cut and sends the rest to the writer. Simply put, the publisher won’t split the payments to two different places (that raises their costs) and the agent doesn’t trust the writer to send them their slice of the pie. Sorry, but that’s the way things are.

In a typical agency, the actual people doing the work of an agent can have literally dozens of writers as clients. (I know of one agency whose agents have well over a hundred clients.) This is especially true today where the vast majority of the contact between the agent and publisher is via phone or E-Mail. There is no need to travel to the publisher’s office to pitch a book to the acquisitions editor…you can do it all from your desk. This means that the agent’s time for a particular writer is quite limited. If you, as an author, need personal attention for some issue, you’ll probably need to make an appointment. This begs to question just how focused can such an agent be on your book and selling it to a publisher for the best deal. Due to the workload, the agents will tend to take the first offer they get—within reason—and move on to the next sale…for another writer.

There are hundreds—if not thousands—of literary agents out there. Just do a Google search and you’ll get a huge list.

But there are also “Literary Representatives” out there. These are different animals than what most writers are used to, and they function more like a talent agent. Let me tell you about them…

Representatives contract with a writer, not for just one book, but for all the books the person will write over a given time frame. In other words, the representative will take your great books, your good books, and the crap that we all turn out now and then, and they will sell all of them. Honestly, an agent will take a pass on all but the best work, and that becomes wasted time. The representative takes the good with the bad because they are selling YOU, not a particular book.

As I said, this is more like the traditional Hollywood talent agent than a literary agent. Many such representatives work with a wide range of artists, not just writers. A few examples of the kinds of artists these representatives deal with are: writers, actors, screen/tele-play writers, painters and other media artists, and even people in the professional sporting world.

Such representatives tend to be hard to find because they rarely accept submissions. Instead, most watch the industry for new rising stars, and will contact the writer first. Some do take a limited number of submissions, but that can be a disappointing process for the budding author.

The representatives that do accept direct queries or submissions have a very low acceptance rate, usually around 0.05%. Yes, that’s right…they tend to accept only about one in every five-thousand writers who make a submission. Some are even lower. What makes it worse for the budding author is that the rejection letters from agents are usually non-personal form letters with no details…they just say thanks, but no thanks. Representatives tend to send a rejection letter that is highly personalized and tells you exactly why you are being rejected, often in very blunt and direct terms. Something like, “Maybe you should consider a different career choice…I understand that McDonald’s is hiring.”

But, if you ARE selected, that means you are going places, and the representative is there to help that happen.

Most representatives provide all the things an agent does, plus a lot more. Editing of a manuscript before shopping it around to publishers is always included. And we’re talking about a real edit here, about what the publisher would normally do. The idea is to get the book almost ready to go to print before the publisher even sees it. Books are edited by staff or contracted people for all the normal things like spelling, grammar, and the rest, but some books need special attention. For example, a historical novel needs an appropriate historian to review for factual correctness. A sci-fi work might need a real scientist in some field to review the science. You get the idea.

Why all of this work? Agents place books all the time without this. Yes, they do, and the process can take weeks or months, or even longer. The representative tries to place the books in days. The only way to do this is to be able to prove to the publisher that the book has very little left in terms of work to go to print. A fast once-over, a cover, a few blurbs, and a week later, the thing is on the store shelves. This saves the publisher a ton of money, so they are willing to take a chance on a new writer. And they are willing to pay more.

Almost all representatives do promotional work, too. Pick a media, and they will use it to push a writer or book. A big part of book promotion is the old reliable book signing. The representative works with the publishers and stores to set these up. All the author does is show up in the right place at the right time.

How much does all this cost? Usually the same 15% the writer would pay an agent. The thing is that the agent figures they will sell this one book, and that book will sell a certain number of copies leading to a given income for them. The representative has higher target sales and represents the writer, not a book, so their income ends up being higher.

And here’s another big deal…the people who work directly with the writers at most representatives only have a few clients, in most cases less than ten. This means they can focus on you and your book and also help you with any special needs you might have.

As a side perk, most representatives also offer other services that writers and other artists need. Things like legal services, accounting and tax help, travel, retreats, classes, and a wide range of other goodies are usually available for additional fees. Some of the fees are additional percentage points while others may be just one-time fees. It varies and is usually billed on a case-by-case basis.

But there is another cost…the representatives will push you to produce books. In the evaluation stages, they will determine what you are capable of doing in terms of writing, and they will make it clear that this will be your goal. If you fall below a certain predicted annual sales figure that varies from one representative to another, they likely won’t contract with you. This is because they are investing a huge sum of money in you and your work, and they need to make a profit. For a typical novel, a representative could easily invest $100,000 before the book is even sold to a publisher. Since they get 15% of gross royalties, the book needs to pull in nearly $700,000 in royalties. If we assume the book has a cover price of $15 and the royalties are 10% of that, this works out to selling about 450,000 copies. And this is just to break even. All of this rolls together to say that the representative needs you to write a lot of books to make a living.

Welcome to the real world, kiddies. Writing is not easy. Writing takes a lot of time. Writing is hard work. Sometimes, you will need to write instead of lying in front of the TV with a bag of chips and a beer. Sometimes you will need to write instead of going to your son’s baseball game. And guess what? If you were doing any other job, the same things would still happen.

The difference is that you would be making less money and doing something you probably hate to do.

And never forget that writing is job. There is no difference between writing and driving a truck…you do both to make a living. You might love to write and hate driving that truck, but you do both for the same bottom line reason.

Think of it this way…

Right now, you get up, go to work, work, have lunch, go home, and decompress. This all probably takes up around eleven hours a day. After that, you try to eek out some time for the family and for writing. If you can write 500 words an hour and squeeze in two hours a day, it will take you 110 days to write an average novel. That’s about three books a year.

Now, imagine this…you get up, sit down at the computer for eleven hours, and then spend the rest of the day with the family. The careful reader will note that you have MORE time for the family now because the writing is already done. If you write the same 500 words an hour, it will take only 20 days to write your next book. This works out to around 18 books a year.

It ain’t rocket science, people.

“But”, you ask, “I can do that on my own or with an agent, right?”

Frankly, I doubt it.

If you do all the promotion, pitching the book to publishers, and everything else, where does the time for writing come from?

An agent doesn’t care what happens beyond this one book. Besides, if you dump 18 books a year on the typical agent, they will do one of three things: Place them at the first publisher that comes along for low-ball dollars; Run screaming from the room and tell you to find someone able to deal with that workload; or Tell you they are all crap and to come back when you have a real book. None of these are optimal solutions.

The representative will take all of these books, get them polished up and ready, and place them for the best deal possible. And then ask when you will get the next book to them.

And there is one final reason to have an agent or representative…

Almost all of the major players in the publishing business prefer “agented” submissions. Some even require it…in other words, no agent, no thanks. The publishers do this to weed out the bad apples as early as possible…it saves them time and money.

Sorry for the mixed metaphors. Anyway…

Do your homework and decide if you need an agent, representative, or nothing at all. If you need some help, talk to other writers about who they use and their experiences. Sadly, a typical response is, “I use Joe Blow and he sucks, but I have a contract.” Luckily, this is usually followed by, “But I hear that Richard Roe is pretty good.”

Then start contacting the names on your list. Are they accepting new writers? What are their specialty areas, if any? How many clients does each contact person work with? How long is the contract? And anything else you can think of.

The idea here is to make you successful.

How you define that is totally up to you.

Keep Loving!

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/09/24/representatives-v-agents-do-you-need-one/

Seven Sinfully Sexy Sisters

The Sin Sisters are all gathered ready to announce the arrival of book one – and to give you a sneak peak into book two – in the Seven Sister Seriesby Paloma Beck. We’ve caught them in the middle of girl time…

Eloise looked around at her sisters, so content with them surrounding her. The flames from the fire pit in the center of the stoned patio flickered across their faces, each so beautiful. The mood was more quiet than usual, her sisters more relaxed. Maybe it was the wine they’d been drinking since before dinner. Eloise was just so grateful to all be together. So much was changing for them and she was happy but still needed this connection.
“Two down. Five more to go,” Paige spoke into her wine glass but each sister heard the softly spoken words and turned in her direction. She noticed and acted surprised they had heard her. But the sisters know better since near perfect hearing was something they’d each come to live with. “What? You act as if this is such a shock. It’s the prophecy.”
“It’s love,” Gracie insisted.
“Love is a fairytale. We are a prophecy,” Paige quipped back. “We will each take a mate and it won’t be long now. Prophecy says the seven born to the seventh shall complete the link. And it shall be one after the next in quick succession.”
“Oh Goddess, Paige, will you stop it,” Amelia untucked her legs from beneath her and sat forward in her chair, her anger rising. “You cannot judge the emotions of others. To each their own.”
“I’m not judging emotion. I’m stating fact and the fact here is that whether we like it or not, we are this prophecy so love or not, we’ll be mated,” Paige explained.
“Ok, Paige, I’ll give you prophecy but you have to agree that there is a piece of that prophecy that relies on love, a connection, romance…” Layla mused.
“Romance? Are you kidding? Even you tried to fight Madden,” Paige stood then and paced. “You’re going to romanticize this now, aren’t you?”
Layla remained relaxed in her seat while trying to explain, “I was hesitant. I’d never felt many of the desires you take for granted. They were all so overwhelming and I was afraid. But when I opened myself to Madden, and then to Anton, I let them love me.”
“That is so romantic,” Sadie grinned and reached over to touch Layla’s arm.
“Romantic is this chunk of diamond on her finger,” Gemma added. From the other side of Layla, she reached for her diamond ring and moved it so the flames glittered off the many facets and sent light glittering through their circle.
“Mmm… how he gave it to her was even more romantic,” Eloise tacked on with a wide grin.
“How about you, Eloise?” Layla attempted to get the spotlight off her, “What does Caedon do that’s romantic?”
With a blush that nearly turned Eloise as scarlet as her wrap, she shook her head with a cheshire grin. “I tell no secrets.”

Eloise’s book, Eternal Envy, releases on October 8th. But first, catch up on the series by reading Layla’s story in Lustful Cravings.

Lustful Cravings, Paloma Beck
Seven sisters are entwined in a legacy bigger than anyone ever expected. One by one, they will find their mates from the immortal Valendite breeds and secure their place in history. Each sister embodies one of the seven deadly sins only to be cast aside once claimed. But claiming comes at the price of separation, causing a weakening of their combined powers, which none want to happen… until Layla, holding the sin of lust within her body, locks eyes with Madden.
Madden is one of the strongest of the Valendite Breed, a group of near-immortal men originating from the Italian Wars in the 1500s. Today, the Valendite Breed serve as the Terrorist Elimination Unit (TEU), an invisible arm of the CIA. Their only weakness is their need for a mate to carry on the Breed. So now that Madden has found Layla, he will never let her go.
With forces mounting up against the Breed, Madden and Layla will need to rely on all of their powers combined to get them to their Pronouncement.

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Madden pulled away from her, just slightly, and she whimpered in protest. He chuckled and kissed her nose when he saw her wrinkle it. Struck by the flush of her cheeks, Madden noted the same flush running down her throat and to the very top of her breasts. As she took deep breaths to calm herself, he placed his forehead against hers. But Madden only paused for a moment because he had no intention of letting the emotions he was pulling from Layla subside. He would not let her gain the control she was wrestling for. A woman off-balance was what he needed her to be.
As part of the Valendite Breed, Madden had been raised to know the prophecy, to appreciate the significance of finding your mate and claiming her. He planned to worship Layla until the day they died. The sharing of blood so sacred, nothing could tear them from one another. Not only would their blood bond them together but it would also sustain Madden and prolong Layla’s life so she lived as long as he did.
Madden moved his hands to frame her face and drew her head up to meet her eyes. He brushed a soft kiss against her full lips before speaking, his voice husky with desire. “Take your tongue, Layla love, and touch it to my sharpest teeth. The blood exchange will bind us and I can take you then. Ho bisogno di te. Please don’t make me wait.”
Madden’s words were barely finished when he took her mouth again. Gently his tongue drew hers out, slowing to let her catch up to his need. When he felt the puncture wounds and tasted the first drop of her blood, he moaned low inside himself. He felt Layla tense at first and then soften her body as it settled into his own. Her moans began to mirror his. He could feel her desire as if it was his own, and it multiplied the urge to claim her and demand she submit to him as his mate.
Madden held back with every piece of control he had been trained to possess. This moment required him to remain in control, to ease her in the mating. He felt her pull away. Her body shuttered and a small whimper bubbled up from her throat. He was suddenly struck by her vulnerability.
“What’s happened, Madden? Why do I feel this way?” His Layla was frightened and he wanted nothing more than to comfort her. Her feisty golden eyes now appeared panicked. Madden couldn’t bear it.
“Layla love, we’re bonded now. You will forever feel what I feel just as I will feel the emotions inside of you. It is a powerful thing for mates. It will make the next act we perform even richer than any romance book you’ve ever read.” He rose then from the floor between her legs and pulled her to him, carrying her out of the room.
“Which way to your bedroom, Layla?”



Author Paloma BeckPaloma Beck is an erotic romance writer in both the Contemporary and Paranormal realms. Happily married and living a life of total contradiction, Paloma runs carpool service for her three sons, volunteers in PTA and teaches religious education. Then in the moments when her characters talk to her, she journals their stories – and they are anything but PG. As a natural introvert, quiet time with her characters is necessary to keep sane while writing is the perfect outlet for her creativity. Paloma believes a daily dose of coffee and a good book make any day better.

BLOG: http://RomanceBeckons.blogspot.com
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Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/09/06/seven-sinfully-sexy-sisters/

Judges for Make Melodee’s Banner Contest

I am pleased to announce the panel of judges for my Make Melodee’s Banner contest.

Gracie C. McKeever – Erotica romance author. Gracie has more than two dozen novels and short stories to her credit in a wide range of subgenres, and they are all must reads for anyone looking to spice up their reading list. You can learn more about Gracie and her books at her website at http://www.graciecmckeever.com/ and at her page at BookStrand located at http://www.bookstrand.com/gracie-c-mckeever.

Morgan Ashbury – Erotica romance author. Morgan has more than twenty books available in a number of subgenres, and continues to turn out top-shelf work story after story. If you like it hot, you’ll love Morgan! Find out more about Morgan and her books at her homepage http://www.morganashbury.com/ and her page at BookStrand http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury.

Lieutenant Colonel Brian Buck, USAF – Brian is the only non-author on the panel, but he is uniquely qualified to judge the contest. Brian is a veteran of the Iraqi war, has worked with the Joint Command for MIA/POW, and is currently commanding an ROTC program at Louisiana State University. And he has been a fan of my books and a close friend for many years.

Jamie Heppner – Jamie is an author of many genres of fiction who is currently waiting for his big break. Like all authors, he is in a learning process…I’m just not sure that he knows what he’s getting himself into just yet. You can read more about Jamie and his works at his blog http://jamieheppner.blogspot.com/ and FaceBook page http://www.facebook.com/JamieHeppner.

A big thank you to all of the judges!


Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/01/04/judges-for-make-melodees-banner-contest/