Forgive Me Somehow, Danielle Steele

CLICK ME to buy!

CLICK ME to buy!

In case there’s someone out there who didn’t know, my big sis, Lucy Blue, is a much better writer than me.  So much better that I’ve let her take over my blog today to talk about her new release, Alpha Romeo.  It’s a scintillating tell-all book written in the style of a Hollywood memoir.  Think about it this way– it’s the book about Angelina Jolie that you’ve always wanted to read.  Lucy herself describes the book as being  throwback to the old Danielle Steele/ Sidney Sheldon days.  Anyway, today she’s taking over to talk about how she came to write Alpha Romeo and why it’s such an important book for her. 

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When I was a teen-ager, my mother’s favorite writer was Danielle Steele.  It was one of the many things we fought about.  “Those books are just garbage,” I would tell her.  “They all have the same stupid, melodramatic plot.  The characters are paper dolls.  They read like the back of a cake mix.  You read Thomas Hardy for fun, for heaven’s sake.  How can you read that crap?”

                As I recall, her defense usually ran along the lines of different strokes for different folks.  But if I’d been particularly obnoxious, she might point out that she couldn’t understand how her beautiful daughter could enjoy “sickness” like Stephen King and Anne Rice, either, but she still loved me.

                As I got older and started writing fiction of my own, she read every word I wrote.  She was what that sicko Stephen King would call my “first reader,” and she praised it all, even the stuff outside her comfort zone, even the stuff I never finished.  She encouraged me every step of the way, and when I sold my first book, a horror opus about vampires, consumptive whores, and Shakespeare, no one could have been more proud.

                Mama’s health was never great, but about ten years ago, she took a definite turn for the worse.  I was in the midst of writing about medieval vampires for Pocket Books.  I actually made my first draft deadline for The Devil’s Knight during a two-week leave of absence I had taken from my day job to take care of her after her second open heart surgery.  I don’t remember ever having the conscious thought to write a “Mama book.”  I was very happy with my vamps.  But right around that same time, reading a tabloid account of a celebrity divorce, I got the idea for Scarlett Cross, a movie star who’s been haunted her whole life by the violent death of her mother.  I started writing about her in first person, a technique I hadn’t used for anything but short stories since college, because that was just how she came out of my head.

                There are no supernatural monsters in Scarlett’s world.  Maybe at that point in my life, the real world seemed a lot scarier than any horror I could think up.  Maybe I lost the knack for believing in fairies and witches and vamps for a while.  I know I made Scarlett a movie star to keep the fantasy, to keep that distance–the same reason, I suspect, that all of Danielle Steele’s heroines in those days were fashion models and lady business magnates and the daughters of Russian nobility.  Those women go through hell, but they look fabulous doing it, and they never have to worry about stuff like money or bad plumbing (at least not after the first fifty pages).  I know for me at that time, the story of an ordinary woman watching her mother waste away was beyond my talent and strength.  But I could write the outlandish trials and tribulations of Scarlett Cross at lightning speed, wallowing in her pain.  I wrote her made-up memoir right alongside my paranormals, hundreds and hundreds of pages of her voice telling the lurid story of her life while my own life as I had always known it fell apart.

                And out of that came my latest book, Alpha Romeo, the story of Scarlett’s first love.  Mama passed away in 2008, years before my notebooks full of Scarlett gelled into anything like an actual book, but sections of that manuscript were the last of my writing she ever read.  “I love this one,” she told me.  “This one is you.  This is the one.”  And while I know my vamps are as much me as Scarlett, and I still think Danielle Steele’s writing kind of sucks, I love this story in a way I’ve never loved anything else I’ve written.  Because I know she would love it, not because her daughter wrote it, but because it’s her kind of book. 

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Our poor mother always wondered how she ended up with two daughters who liked to hide in a fantasy world.  I think it’s safe to say that we are exactly what she made us. Here’s more about the book:

If the tabloids only knew.

Scarlett Cross is the classic Hollywood princess. Daddy is a movie star; Mama was a supermodel murdered when Scarlett was only four years old. Now she’s eighteen pretending to be younger for the sake of her father’s image and starting her own career as the muse of a famous European auteur. But bad boy actor Romeo Kidd is everything she’s ever wanted. He makes her feel safe and loved and wanted for the first time in her life, and she’ll do anything to keep from letting him go.

If Alpha sounds like your kind of book too, you can click the image above and zoom right over to buy it!  It’s also available from Purple Sword Publications and All Romance if you prefer a different format.  They also have nifty-neato excerpts so you can test drive first!! 

#TeaserTuesday “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”

CLICK ME to buy for $1.49!

CLICK ME to buy for $1.49!

So I’ve decided to try this #TeaserTuesday thing.  I don’t normally do it, but I’ll give it a whirl.  So the idea is to give a teaser– just a little paragraph– of your book.  My problem is, I have the hardest time finding ONE paragraph that will entice all of you rabid readers.  But I’ll do my best.  BTW– this teaser isn’t exactly SFW. 

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“No undergarments.  How scandalous, Miss Spencer,” he rasped against my ear, so close that I could feel his lips moving against the cuff.  He accented his mock displeasure with a firm squeeze.  My nipple immediately tightened under his palm.  Biting back a groan, I leaned back into his embrace.  I could feel his cock, already impossibly hard and trapped in an unforgiving prison of denim, nudging against my backside.  “I could do it, you know,” he continued.  “I could eat you alive.”  His words made my heart pound like a jackhammer against my breast, sending a shockwaves of sensation straight to my center.  Involuntarily, I moved against him, rocking my hips backward in a desperate attempt to get some sort of relief.  Between my thighs was a rainforest, hot and wet.  I wanted so badly to open them and let the cool air sooth my sex.  I was thankful that I had opted for no panties.  I don’t think my body would stand the friction.  “Careful, love,” he whispered, his voice startling me. “It wouldn’t do to have you come right here in the elevator.” 

Copyright © Alexandra Christian, 2014

All rights reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

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Damn, that Alexander Kensington– whew…. I could just eat him up.  Here’s more about the book so you can go buy the WHOLE thing for the bargain price of less than 2 bucks! 

Fangirl favorite Alexander Kingston has a “type”—blonde, willowy and sophisticated. He doesn’t give mousey wardrobe mistress Elizabeth a second look, until she transforms herself and sets out to seduce him.

But dark desires are at play. Before long their erotic encounter will turn into a date to die for.

Inside Scoop: This story contains sinister themes and predatory intentions.

A Romantica® horror erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave 

http://www.ellorascave.com/gentlemen-prefer-blondes.html#

 

Increase Sales Through Stupid Publicity Stunts

Wow… two blog posts on two consecutive days!  That must be some kind of record for me.  I was scrolling though Facebook today (surprise, surprise!) and I noticed that a publisher had put up a link to an excerpt of a book that I personally find a little questionable.  Yes, I write erotic romance and my stuff is pretty darn racy, but I like to think I manage to maintain some class with what I write.  Given what I know of this publisher, they’re pretty well known and in my opinion, have always been a class act.  That’s why I really had a difficult time with this particular book that they’re putting out.  The book in question (and keep in mind that I have not read this book and probably won’t) seems to advocate some unsavory behaviors.  Trust me when I tell you that I have a pretty narrow definition of “unsavory.”  Mind you, the book isn’t rape fantasy or daddy-daughter porn or anything like that.  But I do feel that it paints a pretty yucky picture of women, which in this new age of degradation (i.e.– Supreme Court regulating birth control, rape jokes and Justin Beiber) is pretty unsavory.  The publisher in question has always been about empowering women.  But, how is it empowering to show women– particularly young women– that it’s okay to have promiscuous sex and sell it to get what you want?  Their other titles feature heroines that are smart and sexually liberated, however that doesn’t mean that they’re sexually irresponsible or opportunistic.  Again, let me remind you that I have NOT read this book, only that I’ve heard a bit about the plot.

So my next question is, why would a publishing house that has made such great strides in bringing erotic romance to the forefront suddenly decide that trash fiction is their next big thing?  I can only conclude that they’re trying to drive sales.  With so many other publishing houses producing steamier romance in the wake of Fifty Shades of Gray, sales on specialty houses have dipped.  In other words, they used to be the only game in town and now they have competition.  So they’re responding by using sensationalism and “celebrity” to sell books.  I use the word “celebrity” very loosely.  After all, we live in an age where “you tube personality” is a job title.  I wish I were kidding.  The publisher thinks that by slapping a “celebrity” name on the book that it will be a feather in their cap that will drive up their sales.  Here’s the catch:  anyone buying this particular type of book is not going to buy the book.  They’re going to steal the book (illegal downloads, etc). And they aren’t going to steal it to say “oh what a great book,” they’re going to steal it to say “you will not believe this shit!”  I fear that this publisher, who has had a good name in the publishing industry and with a base of rabid readers, is about to be very unpleasantly surprised. 

The other thing that peeves me about this is the way in which it’s being promoted.  This link on Facebook was to an article on cosmopolitan.com.  Cosmo-fucking-politan.  I also heard about this book on a nationally syndicated radio broadcast.  Have any of this publisher’s other authors been featured in Cosmo or on the radio?  Have any of this publisher’s other authors been offered the level of promotion that this author has been?  Most likely, no.  I would imagine that the other authors are being treated as second class citizens in comparison.  The other authors that have devoted so much time and energy producing quality work for this publisher are now being shoved aside for a flash in the pan who, by all reports, can barely string a sentence together.  I predict that these authors will be looking for a new home soon.  Is it a coincidence that Samhain has just announced that they’re revamping and expanding their press? 

The universe is rarely so lazy.