Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Awakening



Ysbail of Ellesmere is a pawn in her guardian's war. For decades there has been unrest between the marcher lords and Owain Gwynedd ap Gruffydd, King of Gwynedd. The most recent war had been the bloodiest she could remember in her eighteen years. Madog ap Maredudd, Prince of Powys, and his allies lost untold numbers of men at the hands of Owain's soldiers. When a settlement of truce is presented to Madog, it's at Ysbail's expense. She is to marry Bedwyr ap Owain, one of King Owain’s bastard sons, and his most notorious henchman. If all the rumors and stories she's heard are true, she knows her marriage will be rife with horror and fear. 

Since proving himself worthy with his sword, Bedwyr fights at his king's side. He's shed oceans of blood and sent untold numbers of men to their graves. He's become what his name foretold—the grave-knower. He's afraid of nothing, least of all death. All men fear him, including those who fight at his side, and sometimes even his own king. Terror of him lives within women's hearts; only the bravest of whores accept him into their beds. And children weave their own tales of the monster they hear him to be, embellishing the details to their own gruesome degrees.
When King Owain informs Bedwyr that he's to marry Ysbail of Ellesmere as part of a peace settlement with Madog, Bedwyr is furious. A man such as Bedwyr can only survive on the battlefield. For without love, hatred will send a man like him to the edge of insanity. Then push him over. But when Bedwyr sees Ysbail for the first time, blood-thirst turns to blood-lust, and he vows to show her that she should have no fear of him.

EXCERPT
He gazed at her slumbering form. Firelight danced over her flawless skin. She was the fairest woman he had ever seen, her skin perfection but for the flush in her cheeks as she thought to defy him, and that of the passion he awoke in her. The fairness of her features only served to accent the deep blush of her lips.
Her lips.
 She did not kiss him like a novice. Following his lead, she kissed him back with equal alacrity. He felt she was yet unsure of her own power over him, but he knew it was only a matter of time before she could control him with a simple touch.
And her eyes were the palest of green. Or were they blue? He could not tell. He only knew they reminded him of pools of seawater ensnared in the white sands along Cymru’s coast, and just as translucent. He could gaze long into her eyes, searching their depths, letting himself be hypnotized by them.
Her features were gentle, innocent. It was as if she had never witnessed any of the world’s horrors, that her heart and soul were pure. In that she was now married to the likes of the Grave Knower was incredulous. More so incredulous was her fearlessness. She never cowered before him. Not even as she stood naked before him, challenging him with her gaze.
Indeed, she was the very opposite of himself.

Erotic Author Scarlet Valentine


Scarlett Valentine is the alter ego of award-winning romance author, Kemberlee Shortland. Together they write Erotomance -- Erotic Romance.  

Originally from Northern California, Scarlett has spent the last fourteen years living in Ireland. She's traveled extensively through Ireland and Wales. When she's not writing, she can often be found castle hunting.

Scarlett's stories cross subgenres to explore hetero, gay and bisexual relationships in a series of stories that include time periods from historicals and contemporaries, futuristics and science fiction, paranormal and suspense, and more.

 Awakening is the first book in The ABCs of S-E-X: Love by the Letter series and is available 2 November 2011 though Highland Press.






















Please Welcome Scarlet Valentine

Please welcome Scarlet Valentine author of Awakening

Why I chose erotica and thoughts on the future of the genre



Thanks for having me here today. I’ve really been looking forward to this. And thanks for asking me about why I write erotica and where I see the future of the genre.



I’ve always written traditional romance, and over the years, my love scenes have gotten a bit steamier. A few readers asked if I’d ever written erotica so I thought I’d give it a try. Only problem is that no matter how hard I try to write sex, the story always gets in the way! So after a few failed attempts at erotica, I gave in and compromised. I’m still writing great love stories. They just have a lot more sex in them.



That doesn’t mean the story is all about the sex. In the case of Awakening, there’s a big story here. The plot is set against a true historical setting, and my characters, Bedwyr and Ysbail, must get over emotional and physical obstacles in order to earn the trust of the other in order to live in harmony. The sexual part of their relationship is just as important as the romance. And it must be every bit as poignant.



I’m a firm believer that, no matter what the story is about, if it has sex in it, the sex has to be an integral part of the plot and not just fluff or page filler. If characters are going to have sex, it has to mean something. Gratuitous sex, even in erotica, is just titillation. In my opinion, straight titillation is just porn. Sex starts in the brain and moves south as stimulation (first emotional then physical) increases, so it’s no wonder the majority of erotica readers are women. Woman are emotional creatures.



I wrote an article last year about the changing lines between romance and erotica, and porn. In the article I said: “One can always tell erotica written by women and that written by men. Women's erotica is 80% emotion and 20% graphic detail, as with men, it's 80% graphic detail and 20% emotion. Women want to know how it feels emotionally and men want to know how it feels physically. I know I’ll get slaughtered for saying this, but this is why women are generally better at writing romance and erotica, and why men are so much better writing thrillers.” http://hearticles.blogspot.com/2010/06/blowing-curtains.html



This is why erotica is mostly ‘written by women, for women.’ Men buy erotica too, but they usually just flip to the ‘good parts’ and leave the story behind. Another reason why men buy nudie mags—it’s all there in graphic detail, nothing left to the imagination. Instant arousal. For women, we want the emotional build up to the bedroom scenes. While we can enjoy a great quickie, we know it’s still part of an emotional bond we already share with our partner.



As long as erotica is written by women and for women, I can see the erotica industry thriving for a long time to come. Especially as sex and erotica are more widely accepted and talked about in the general public.



What I mean by that is twenty years ago, women were still hiding the covers of their romance novels. Today, it’s quite common to see women with romance novels with the cover quite visible. And maybe it’s just a fashion trend, but it’s also become more common seeing women with erotica novels, too. And we all know those covers can be quite racy!



I’m still dedicated to traditional romance, where sex as the final frontier in relationship bonding, but I’m really enjoying the steamier erotic romance. And I hope my readers enjoy my stories, too.



~ Scarlett

“What’s a little bondage between friends?”


Available now – Awakening, book one of The ABCs of S-E-X: Love by the Letter series


www.scarlett-valentine.com