Reading Sexy Books For or With Your Partner & A Message to the Dudes

Photo by M31 (flickr cc)Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! 

Today, I ran across a post by Maisey Yates over at the Peanut Butter on the Keyboard blog on why it's important to keep the sizzle in your marriage. And I ended up having a sideline conversation with her about it where the topic of romance novels came up. Obviously, we both write romance, so we're a bit biased, but both of us see them as relationship enhancers rather than detractors. Life can be crazy and busy and exhausting. And sometimes when we finally roll into bed at night, the last thing on our minds is sexy times. We can forget how nice it can be to lose ourselves in the touch of the person we love most.

And sometimes all we need is a little nudge or reminder. Taking a few minutes in the evening to decompress and read a book that focuses on the greatness of romance can be just the thing that puts us back in the right frame of mind. It reminds us how transcendent kissing and touching (and kinky things, if you're reading one of my books) can be with someone you love. It provides space in our minds again for romance and sex, shoving out all those other things--the dishes, the kids' homework, the pound we gained this week, the project at work-- at least for a little while. It can remind a woman what a sacred space we can create when it's just you and the person you love with nothing else between you.

So when I hear some guys deride romance novels or worse, get jealous of them, I kind of want to smack them on the back of the head. The logic goes something like this: "I should be enough. I don't want her lusting over some fictional dude to get turned on for me." Come on, guys. It's not about wishing you were some other dude. Women need to be in the right state of mind for sex and often it's harder for us to block out the other stuff and focus--reading a book and getting swept away in some sexy story can help refocus us. It makes us fall for you all over again and reminds us--hey, we have this guy we love sitting over there and all this sexy stuff that is going on in this book--well, we can have that too. Right. Now. Hello, there.

It also can make us more adventurous and open to new things in bed. I'm sure there are many men out there right now (especially after the surge of BDSM romance out there now) who are smart enough to not make fun of the thing that made their women say--so, hey, honey, maybe you could tie me up tonight and tell me exactly how to please you. Lol. 

I've had a number of my readers tell me that they even pick out their favorite scenes from my books and read them aloud with their partners. How fun is that? It's a sexy activity and it provides a more comfortable way to convey--hey, maybe we could try something like this. AND, it conveys to the woman that her guy is totally secure in himself and their relationship and is willing to hear her fantasies without all that judgey-ness.

And nothing is sexier than a guy who is confident and secure enough to know that there's no way a fictional hero could compete with him in his woman's eyes. Promise. That. Is. Hot.

So go forth and have a fantastic Valentine's Day!

Blatant self-promotion alert: And if you're looking for a sexy, short read for you and your partner to try out, STILL INTO YOU, my novella, is about a married couple re-kindling the flame by getting a little sexually adventurous and is only 2.99.

Anyone read steamy books with their honey? How does your partner feel about your reading habits?

Spice It Up Thursday: Music Is For More Than Dancing

Photo by halighalie (click pic for link)Welcome back to my Spice It Up feature. This is a short blog series I'm doing in honor of the release of STILL INTO YOU, a story about a married couple trying to fall back in lust with each other after life has gotten in the way. :)

So far we've talked about Sexy Role-Playing and The Real Girl's Guide to Lingerie. Today I'm covering something a little more basic. Music.

There's a reason movies have music in the background of the sexy scenes. It adds a layer to things, inspires certain emotions or moods. Yet, in our own lives, we often forget that this can be added to our own sexy times with our partners. Yes, it takes extra thought and maybe a little planning, but nothing is sexier than partners making an effort to make something a little more special and less mundane.


Tips on Using Music in the Bedroom

Beware of the radio

One option is to just turn on the radio to a favorite station and hope for the best. But be warned, this can often derail more than enhance the situation. Nothing like having a sexy moment and a commercial for the local plumber comes on or a song that you hate. Women, more so than men, are easily distracted in the moment. So don't set yourself of your partner up for losing focus.

Each of you make a playlist on your own. Then maybe have a collaborative one.

What your idea of a sexy soundtrack is and his idea may be two different things. That's okay. Each come up with your own playlists and then take turns using them. And don't judge the other person's. You should each be free to pick what you want when it's your turn.

You don't have to focus only on the romantic love songs.

If romantic slow songs are what make you happy, that's fine, use them. But push yourself a bit and think of songs that are sexy in their own right without necessarily being the traditional love songs. Sex can be slow, romantic, intense, dirty, fun, kinky, whatever. There are all kinds of songs that can play to the mood you want to set. (I always think about this when writing. Even if I don't write it in, when I'm writing a love scene, there is usually a certain type of music playing in the background depending on the mood of the scene.)

Consider having a few afterglow songs too.

See, I told you this takes planning. So maybe you went the intense route and used heavy rock music for your sexy times. Afterwards, you're not going to still want that blaring, so have a mellow, we're in the afterglow playlist you can switch to and enjoy the moment with your partner.

Headphones can be fun.

This is moving into a little bit of sensory deprivation kind of thing, but wireless headphones or earbuds can be a fun thing to try. You can also add a blindfold and then the person can focus on nothing but their partner's touch and the sound of the music. The music via headphone can keep the person totally focused on the moment and what they're feeling. Fun times. :)


All right, those are just a few ideas, but hopefully it gets you started on thinking about what could work for you.

Oh, and another reminder...

My STILL INTO YOU contest is still open: Order STILL INTO YOU This Week and Win a Box of Awesome, a gift card, or a 20 page critique from me!


Question for y'all: What do you consider the sexiest song ever?

Mine is probably "Cry to Me" from Dirty Dancing but that's because I'm obsessed with that movie and it plays during my favorite scene. :) 

On Marriage, Toilet Seats, and Stranded Turtles

Holding Hands

Photo by Rachael Shaoiro

 Today is my ten-year wedding anniversary. For those of you doing the math, yes that means I got married at the ripe old age of 21. I know. Believe me, I got a few raised eyebrows back then too. Especially since I'd met my dear hubby on the internet--which a decade ago was quite a scandalous thing to do. It was before the days of and such. We met in an AOL chat room and ended up IMing about LSU football of all things. Eight months later he picked up and moved from Dallas to Baton Rouge to be with me. *insert Awwww... here* :)  Two years after that, we were hitched.

So I was well aware when I was standing up there at the alter that there were people in the audience watching us like we were the After the Rose ceremony of The Bachelorette. You know the--"Yeah, this will never last. She met him on AOL for God's sake and she was only 19 when she *thinks* she fell in love. Poor dear has no idea what she's getting into."

Well, to them, I say ninny-ninny-boo-boo. Sometimes the young and stupid get lucky. :) And I at least knew a good thing when I saw it.

Here's how I knew it was love:

1. He could quote lines from Sixteen Candles and knew lyrics from both Metallica AND Debbie Gibson songs.

2. We chatted for months online and never once did he ask me my cup size. (Which back then was like the first question out of every guy in an AOL chatroom.)

3. He could make me laugh so hard on the phone that I did that unattractive snorting thing and didn't care that he heard it.

4. He wrote me old school type love letters (via email) that made me feel like I was in my own romance novel.

5. On our first date, he asked permission to hold my hand. 


Photo by paddynapper

And why we're still ass-over-elbows in love ten years later...

1. He has never, not once, left the seat up in the bathroom. Ever. 

2. He can be a total badass but also is the most soft-hearted guy I've ever met. Yesterday, we almost hit a turtle trying to cross the road. Hubs pulled over, got out the car, and in 108 degree heat headed back to where the turtle was to pick him up and walk him back to a nearby pond. 

3. We have our own sides of the bed. I don't care how in love you are. When it's time to go to sleep, everyone needs their own zone. 

4. He tolerates supports the fact that I spend my work time writing about imaginary heroes with perfect abs and posting pictures of Boyfriends of the Week. (see his take on it here)

5. We still make each other laugh daily, which I think when it comes down to it, is the most important ingredient of all.

So to my husband, I say Happy Anniversary and thank you. If I didn't have my own romance hero in my life, I would've never been inspired to write the books that I do.

Now, I'd love to hear what you guys think are the keys to a good marriage? And how did you know your significant other was the one?

The Hubs Speaks: What It's Like Being Married to an Erotic Romance Author


Hubs is singing to me, not yelling, for the record. :)


When people find out I'm an erotic romance author, I often get the the same few questions. One, of course, is the giggling "do you do your own research?" question. The second is typically what does your husband (or family) think? 

Well, I can tell you my family is very supportive of me and my writing (even though I have forbade the male members of my family to read my book when it comes out.) But anyway, I figured instead of doing a post about what my husband thinks, I'd let him have him own blog post today.

So I gave him a few questions to tackle and let him have at it. 

Take it away, babe...


What’s it like being married to an erotic romance writer?  What’s the best thing? What’s the worst?

It rocks!!!  There are lots of benefits for me as your husband.  Hard to list THE BEST THING so here are a few.  

-Creating your stories, while always bound to a deadline and a lot of work, is fun.  Fun jobs make fun people.  

-Our “how was your day” conversations have to be cooler than most couples, right?  “My day was ok.  I researched insert sexually explicit subject for a scene I’m working on.  Did you know…..”

-Having your wife reside in an erotically charged creative zone constantly has good benefits ;-)

-The very best thing for me?  Your dreams are coming true.  All the rest is icing.

The Worst???

Deadlines and social media can be consuming.  Sometimes I have to remind you the computer has an off switch.  However, you do a great job balancing your life between family and your career.


How do you feel about your trampy wife’s Boyfriends of the Week and naughty Tumblr pics?

Is this a loaded question?  Here goes…


The average Tuesday used to be pretty predictable for me.  B.O.W. has totally changed that.  Now, Tuesday is one of my most anticipated days, every week.  Who is my lovely wife publicly lusting over this week?  So many options, it’s always such a guessing game.  Once I open the page I am usually dazed for a moment.  Then the natural guy reflex kicks in and I begin to ridicule the boyfriends in some way.  A couple of examples:

“That Eduardo guy must have really liked the movie Zoolander because all I’m getting here is Blue Steel”


“I wonder if Jared Leto needs a booster seat at his dining room table to prevent making a mess when he eats a meal?”

Nikki Sixx is awesome and would totally kick the sh** out of all these other wannabe’s (I could have a boy crush on him but would never admit it). :)

In all seriousness, even though I may torment you a bit about this subject, I know it’s harmless.  You have a different list you keep and I’m the only one on it.  You girls are pretty funny with your crushes though, just saying.



I’m proud that you feel comfortable to share images that inspire your creativity and art.  Most of the black and whites of couples are worthy of being framed and hung in (cool people’s) bedrooms.  They are beautiful.  Good job.


Do you read her work? Is that a hard thing to do? What did you think the first time you read one of her romances?

Yes, I do read her work.  To be honest, I thought I was going to need therapy just to crack the first one open.  It is a HUGE leap of faith, regardless how secure you are inside of your relationship, to read your spouse’s work in this genre.  It’s impossible not to link your own relationship characteristics (physical and emotional) to the characters in every way.  

I remember thinking midway through Wanderlust (my first) I needed to take a year off of work to hit the gym, learn to sing, learn to play electric guitar, and get some tattoos.  Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration.  I could have pulled that off in a couple of weeks.  Seriously though, it was a good lesson for me to separate the fantasy away from my own reality and enjoy the book for the awesomeness that it was.  By the midpoint of the book I couldn’t read it fast enough.  It was absolutely fascinating that I was married to the person who created it.  Then, a few months later, I got to read Crash Into You which was much more, uh, well, just much more.  I was over it.  I ate the book like junk food.  How awesome to read through a chapter or two and then go out and have the author walk you through the thought process to generate it?  Or give her a high five for a great plot twist?  So cool.  


What would you recommend to other spouses if their significant other is entering into this business?

 Don’t set any expectations about anything and keep a very open mind.


If this were your blog, who would be your first Girlfriend of the Week?

Ok, so here’s the part that could get me in trouble maybe.   My honest answer is…..You.  I’m kinda crazy for you.


However, if I had to post someone else?  Let’s see.

I have to scratch Carrie Underwood off the top of the list.  Besides being blonde she recently recorded a Motley Crue song which sent her to hyper-awesome status.  Unfortunately she’s been given the Hollywood treatment, lost too much weight, and works out so much, I think she could kick my ass.  Sorry Carrie.

(*What hubs really said was a guy could get his skull crushed between those thighs, lol.*)




So I’ll go with another American Idol alumni.  Katharine McPhee.  Now, it has to be early Katharine McPhee.  Natural looking and kind of all american.  Blonde Katharine McPhee who became a real diva is not invited to join.  I love blondes, but it doesn't apply in this case.  





So there you have it. My husband is the real rockstar in my life and no hero in any of my books or boyfriend of the week could ever come close to being as awesome (and lick-able) as he is. I'm a lucky girl.


Feel free to throw out any questions to the hubs. He'll be stopping by to respond to comments if needed. And how does your significant other or family feel about your writing? Would your guy put up with my boyfriends of the week? What's the most embarrassing or inappropriate question anyone's ever asked you about your writing?