Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh, Aren't We Clever?

As a writer, one of my favorite things is when I experience what I like to call "writer's literary bliss". Usually some kind of impromptu dance around my office ensues, so high am I on my sheer brilliance. Because really, could anyone else be so clever? So bright? So...funny? Of course, the moment is short-lived and I remember that little monster called subjectivity. What I find to be one of the greatest literary gems ever to be penned will be seen by others as, well, words on the page. Words their eyes roll over, bringing them to a passage they find clever, a string of words that did nothing for me. I believe that writers have their favorite passages in the books they create and send prayers heavenward the editor won't try to cut "this scene...this line...this incredible fruit of my creative mind". In my book "Addicted", here is one of my passages that delighted me to no end (excerpt contains explicit sexual if you care, right?).

He leaned in and kissed me, his tongue running along my bottom lip in a coaxing tease. “I want to make you come, Jane. But I want to do it with my mouth. Please let me taste you.”
I never said yes. I never said anything at all. This is the kind of reaction that results in your underwear being shoved into a man’s back jeans pocket. I didn’t think about my lack of response, however. It was difficult to think of anything after his mouth was on me.

As readers, we also have passages and scenes we have experienced from an author's voice that live with us. I'll never forget a scene I read years ago from a Nora Robert's novel titled "Command Performance". Here's the short version: Eve is girl who grows into a woman who has always had a crush on Prince Alexander (her father is close to the royal family), but is overly intimidated by him. She is friends with the other royal siblings, calling them by their first name, but only addresses Alexander by his title. The prince has always harbored feelings for her, and is frustrated to no end that she is so standoffish, and very jealous of her close relationship with his brother. When she stumbles upon him in the stable, he confronts her about how she addresses him (I'm getting all tingly just thinking about what's to come). He corners her, fitting his hand into her hair at the nape. "Say my name," he says in his intimidating timbre, hovering over her. When his name spills tenatively from her lips, he is on her like white on rice. Hot. So, what book scence hangs in your mind?


Anonymous said...

You're kidding, pick just one? Not gonna happen. But I really like this from on of my current wip's.

“Dinner?” she asked.
She’d stepped out of the way to let the server pass and Tom closed the distance between them, crowding her against the wall.
“Yes, dinner,” he whispered into her ear.
“But I thought….”
“What? That I would strip you naked and take you against this wall the minute you walked in?” His warm, moist breath sent shock waves of lust down her neck. He bit her earlobe lightly before adding, “Make no mistake, Beth, I will have you. But I’m a civilized man, I invited you to dinner, I will feed you dinner.”

I really love this, not sure why, but I know what you mean about people liking different sections of a text. I guess it comes back to different strokes for different folks.
Great post Devon.

Devon Gray said...

Oooh...I loved this scene from your wip as well! I especially like the "I'm a civilized man, I invited you to dinner, I will feed you dinner." That's not all he did.

Lara Dien said...

From The Fortuneteller's Lay - my current release (sorry, it's a little long):

Devon ran a hand through his hair, ready to explode from frustration. The woman kneeling in front of him was doing her best, but it just wasn’t working. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d gotten so intensely focused on something, only to have nothing happen.

She looked up at him, her blue eyes wide and uncertain, ruby lips pursed in a perfect “O.” Her sun
streaked hair was pulled back in an innocent, girl-next-door ponytail, but her attitude said it was just an invitation to have a man undo the tie holding it back. Standing above her like this, he was in the perfect position to see she wasn’t wearing a bra, and
her perfect, grapefruit-shaped breasts had to be fake. No one had tits that perfect without help.


“Never mind,” he growled, grabbing the girl’s arm. “I’ll get the file myself.”

I did have to change the scene a little, but mostly it got left alone, so I was pretty happy ...


Judith Leger said...

LOL! Yes, indeed, we are so very clever!

I have a sensual scene in my upcoming novel, LOVE'S TRUE ENCHANTMENT, from the Faery Rose line at The Wild Rose Press where the dialog ended up rhyming. Didn't intentionally do it, just got caught up in the moment. I guess that's the best place to be when you writing and you're immersed so deeply into the scene and your characters.

Wishing you the best, Devon!

Judith Leger

TamiC said...

I love Nora Roberts! I haven't read that one, but I am definetly going to have to go find that. I can't even think of anything now because I read all these excerpts and I am like oooo thats good, oh I like that one. Sooo thanks a lot guys! Oh and the cover for Addicted, VERY HOT.

Helen Hardt said...

Hi Devon, great post! Your Nora Roberts example about the name reminded me of a section of one of my historicals that I'm particularly fond of. One of my CPs hated it. Ah, subjectivity! Here it is: (And Lara, you don't need to apologize for length; this one's longer than yours!)

“So would I, Your Grace.”

He gently turned her around to face him.

“Daniel,” he said softly.

“I’m sorry?”

“I want to hear you say my name. My Christian name.”

“Oh, I couldn’t. It wouldn’t be proper...”

Then his mouth was on hers, slowly sliding over her lips, coaxing them open. He nipped gently at her lower lip, teasing her with his tongue. She sighed as he licked her, searched inside her. She was kissing him again. In his bedchamber. She should be fleeing, but her legs wouldn’t move. Didn’t want to move...

He trailed to her cheek, covering it with fluttering kisses that felt like the wings of a butterfly, then made his way to her ear and nipped lightly on the lobe.

“Say my name,” he whispered. “I want it to drip from your ruby lips like a fine Bordeaux. I want to feel the silky caress as you whisper it against my neck. I want to hear you sob it into my mouth as I kiss you. Please, Lily. Say my name.”

Devon Gray said...

Thanks for sharing, everyone! Lara-I'm glad you didn't have to change that scene very's a hot one. Judith- you left us hanging! I want to know...what's the rhyming excerpt ;-) Tamic- you will not regret that Nora book. There's a whole series...four of them. It's Cordina's Royal Family. Thanks for the kudos on the cover- he definitely has a hot back! Helen- I love your exerpt! There's just something sexy about these royals wanting their women to use their Christian names. Just say it! LOL

Judith Leger said...

Okay, here it is. About the middle section: His dialog then her answer. Hope you enjoy. It's in my coming soon Faery Rose: Love's True Enchantment.

“Hello, Caitlyn.” Amethyst eyes shone with an inner light.

She smiled, joy overriding everything else. “I’m dreaming.”

He grinned. His hand lifted and came to rest just above her left breast. “Are you? A sweet dream?”

“Oh, yes,” she sighed, leaning forward. Her fingers itched to touch him and see if he was real. Raising her hand, she laid the palm flat on his chest where his shirt gaped open and found solid warmth. “Oh.”

A low chuckle brought her gaze up, and her breath caught at the gentle glow in his eyes. “Do you like?”

Shifting to her knees, her caress glided toward his jaw. She brushed her thumb across the satiny flesh of his full bottom lip and sighed once more. “Yes.”

They leaned as one and touched lips; soft, tender, their breaths exchanged for an instant. “Open your eyes and look to your heart.” The accent flavoring his voice was stronger than she remembered. Beautiful and lyrical, she listened to each layer of it. “Look deep, past all barriers, to the center. Find what you lost and you will be free.”

“Only if you stay with me,” she whispered against his mouth and slid her fingers into his hair to hold him. His hands encircled her throat, his thumbs under her chin, tilting her head. She captured his lips and deepened the kiss, opening her mouth and crossing the threshold of his with a gentle probe of her tongue. He tasted of cinnamon, her favorite spice. She moaned as heat climbed from the soles of her feet to inflame her body.

“I’m dreaming, and I never want this to end,” she whispered when the kiss ended, arching her back as his lips moved over her jaw to her neck. Warm breath slid across her skin.

Kaye Manro said...

Good post Devon! And what wonderful sensual responses from others.

Bestselling historical author, Sue-Ellen Welfonder comes to my mind as a great sensual sex-building writer. In my opinion, she is one of the best historical romance writers of our time. Reading her books has helped me in my quest to wirte good sex scenes. She publishes with Warner.

(Talk about long comments-- girls, I think mine is way long!)Since everyone is sharing a passage from their own work, how about some Sci-Fi royalty? This is from one of my specrom novellas. Keep in mind Sci-Fi romance is a bit different, but is just as sensual.

T'Kon held her captured within a tel-trance as he studied her. An anomalous wonder, this naked mammalian female...

He raked his talon across the swell of her breasts. Her nipples puckered beneath the web of his hand. He rubbed the pinkness and marveled at the way it puffed, responding to his touch. More, he wanted more. What did it taste like? He lowered his mouth, curled his rolled tongue around one tip and licked. It tasted briny and the node hardened. He licked again, rubbing the other nipple with his claw...

At the juncture of her thighs, he found her wet place and his mating organ engorged in overpowering need. He drove his sheathed fingers into her open crevice and used his receptive web to slide along the slick outer surface. His talon found a distended nodule, a part of her arousal. He massaged the swollen tip with his web and thrust his fingers in and out of her watery opening. She writhed and throbbed against the net of his hand, and his yearning mounted.

Breathing rapid, the familiar mating hiss rumbled a vibration inside his throat. He had to pull back and quell his desire to copulate. He had only meant to explore this forbidden species. Yet his cock surge near the edge.

In a sudden move, she reached out and impaled him. She pushed his hand hard into the wetness between her legs thrashing against his sensitive web driving him to the brink of fervor...

beverley said...

Wow, there are just so many, hard to single one out. I do love this one Linda Howard historical when he walks into the bedroom and slowly--and I do mean SLOWLY--closes the door and then turns the lock!!! Talk about total anticipation.

Devon Gray said...

Thanks for giving it up, Judith- LOL. I loved the excerpt- the rhyming section was sigh worthy!

Kaye- You're right. Different but just as sensual. I haven't been exposed to a lot of sci-fi, mainly just paranormal. What would you say is the biggest difference between the genres? Is it the types of characters themselves? The setting? I'm intrigued, if not a bit ignorant-LOL!

Devon Gray said...

That sounds like a Linda Howard I missed (and I thought I'd been so careful!). If you hop back on, tell us the title, Beverley! Oh, and you should have posted something from your about anticipation...

Kaye Manro said...

Hi Devon, thanks for the comment!

Here's a rather long answer to your question. (Sorry I'm so wordy.) A true Sci-Fi romance is most often an interstellar space oriented adventure/romance. The basic difference I would say in Sci-Fi romance-- labeled specrom for speculative romance--and other subgenre romances is (you guessed it, Devon!) the characters and the settings.

Think Sci-Fi channel’s TV shows like Farscape, or Stargate Atlantis and Movies like Star Wars, with a developing romantic relationship between different species. The interspecies romantic relationship is the key.

For an example, here is the basic setup for my novella, ENDANGERED: Hero, T'Kon is from an advanced but peaceful race of humanoids with reptilian DNA. His planet, called Asconage is in a parallel galaxy to our own Milky Way. He is on a survey mission studying what his race calls the Terrain world, which is really our Earth. He is in a cloaked (invisibly shielded) ship in orbit around Earth. When T’Kon's spacecraft encounters a malfunction, he crashes into Earth's Sonoran desert. Heroine, Maya is a scientist on a quest to save the endangered lizards of the Sonoran Desert. Naturally, she finds T’Kon and his spacecraft hidden inside a sand dune. And, well the rest is the development of a sexy and sensual interstellar romance, laced with a little danger and adventure.
Never doubt-- these stories can be oh, so sexy!

I hope this helps. I guess reading or writing stories in this subgenre isn't for everyone. But they are becoming more popular all the time. (TOR is a big publisher of specrom)

Just as Nora Roberts is the queen of all romance, Anne McCaffrey is the goddess of Sci-fi romance.

Carolynn said...

My favorite sexy scene, by far, is from Nora Roberts Dance of the Gods when Cian bats aside Moira's sword and kisses her. I love fight scenes that end in passion...can't help it! :D

Here's a blurb from my Blaze-targeted MS: (and yes, it's long - sorry!)

“Look at me,” he murmured.
As if. How was she supposed to face him?
Rather than ask her again, Shawn looped a handful of her hair around his wrist and jerked her head just enough for her to see him looming over her back. “Want it like this?” As a wicked thrill shot up her spine, her nipples tightened to painful points. “Fine by me.”
His hands caught her hips and he pushed her onto her stomach. She heard her dress rip as he shoved it up over her ass, felt the roughened caress of his broad palms up the backs of her thighs as he lifted her, drawing her to her knees.
For one shocked second, she froze, wondering if he really intended to enter her from behind. She expected to hear the sound of a condom being opened, but there was nothing but the hum of his breathing—as if he were studying her from that angle, her legs splayed wide, her butt thrust up in the air…

Devon, Addicted sounds great! Can't wait to read it. :)

Devon Gray said...

Hi Kaye- I'm so impressed with myself...figuring out the difference. I truly admire your creativity- you can't rely on observation to write about the worlds in your work. How fun it must be to write! Thanks for sharing more information about the genre. I would guess we will be seeing many more of these as time goes on.

Carolynn- All I can say is...thanks so much for leaving us hanging! Cruel, cruel girl. Your book sounds hot! I'm writing down that Nora title...I haven't read that one! I've found she has a talent for couples in the heat of an argument moving on to something even hotter. Best of luck with your manuscript and I hope you enjoy "Addicted". Thanks for stopping by.

Lara Dien said...

Judith, I hope this isn't offensive, but the cadence of that dialogue sounded like someone saying a love spell--beautiful!

I'll admit, I don't read much scifi of any sort--fantasy based in reality is more my speed. I read Anne McAffrey YEARS ago, even some Andre Norton (who lives in MY neck o' the woods, can you believe it?), but these days? Interspecies romance? I figure I'm doing well to manage inTRAspecies!

I admire anyone who can build complete worlds and make them make sense!


PS I do like Spider Robinson's Callahan books, but, you know, it all happens here. One memorable line, from Callahan's daughter in one of them: "From here I see fingers and a tongue. Anything else is a bonus."