I recently figured out that I’ve been writing romance for the past 20 years. I’ve written countless short stories and published nine novels. And in every single one of them, all of my characters are white. Why is that a problem? I’m as WASPy (White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant) as you can get, so what’s the big deal? Write what you know, right? Except that my world, my family is no longer entirely white. (I doubt we ever were. My grandmother’s side of the family has some Native American features no one will talk about.)
Several years ago, my sister introduced my bi-racial nephew to the family, and a few years later his brother joined us. They’re great kids, and I wish I got to see them more often. When my husband and I filled out our adoption questionnaire, we decided we’d accept a child of any race since our family already had a splash of color. We fell in love with Energizer Girl the moment we saw her. Didn’t matter that she had glowing brown skin and tiny black curls. Love has no limits.
When I started writing novel number ten, I needed a name for my heroine – a looney free spirited artist, a blonde Phoebe Bouffay type. A friend suggested Destiny and an image popped into my head.
She wasn’t blonde. But she was exactly the woman Kurt and I were looking for. We both fell in love with her.
Last summer Hubs and I binge watched The Walking Dead, and I developed a crush on the gorgeous badass. Not Daryl. Michonne.
Novel number twelve will have two African-American characters, the heroine, Bree, and a smooth, cool, charmer who hasn’t told me his name yet. Dammit Hardison! I like him already.
Write what you know? Yes, but only to a point. I know very little about people outside my race except what my daughter is teaching me. Love has no limits. I’ve learned to use what I love to bring my stories to life. Took me 20 years, but I’m getting it. I can no longer ignore the color in my life, so expect to see more of it in my writing.
One of the reasons I love going to RomCon is because I get to meet romance readers. During my first year, I went to the author social, and I felt like I didn’t belong there. I wondered if I’d made a huge mistake in signing up. But the next day, I co-hosted my first reader event, and I knew I was in the right place. I’m there for the readers.
My favorite is event is the book signing because I always learn something. Last year I was featuring my new release, Home Is Where the Heat Is, with its non-typical romance cover. I’d gone a little too far away from the genre with it, and a reader told me so, in no uncertain terms. You can find the whole story here. This year, I showed off my romance collection with covers that hinted a romance. The authors seated on either side of me both had shirtless guys on their covers, so I felt like I stood out from the crowd.
Not so much.
Readers stopped at the shirtless guys next to me, skipped my table, stopped for shirtless guys at the next table. I felt overlooked, even when I offered chocolate. Just a few days before the convention, my publisher had emailed me and said my books weren’t selling and wondered if the non-traditional covers were hurting them. The book signing convinced me.
So I have hot new covers for the College Romance Series. Two more new covers are coming soon. These are the kind of covers I originally wanted. I want readers to stop at my table too, and not just for the chocolate.
Special new release price of only $0.99 for the first 24 hours only!
When you are an author, inspiration comes from lots of different places. Sometimes it is overhearing a conversation between two strangers, sometimes it is from reading newspaper articles, it can even come from dreams. In the case of writing Survivor, my inspiration came from my husband’s love of survival shows.
I normally hate my husband’s television choices. We have completely opposite tastes. Where I love fantasy and drama, he prefers documentaries. But one evening we were sitting down to watch yet another show about a guy surviving out in the wild, only this time the survival guy had a minor celebrity with him. I joked to my hubby that she had only volunteered to go on the show so she could get up close and personal with the hot ex-SAS guy, and just that simple comment sparked a little flare of a story in my mind. Right away, I opened a new Word document and started typing.
And so, Survivor was born! If you go and grab your copy now (publication day) you can get it for the special price of only $0.99 instead of the regular price of $3.99!
Broke and fallen from grace after her billionaire father is convicted of embezzlement, ‘It Girl’, Charlie Charleston has little choice but to accept the offer her agent makes for her to appear in the reality television show, Celebrity Survivor.
The thought of being stranded in the middle of nowhere without so much as a scrap of makeup, and all for the general public’s entertainment, scares the life out of her. Charlie hasn’t even so much as been camping before, never mind existed without any creature comforts, and with food she has to catch and kill herself.
Upon being introduced to ex-marine and survival expert Tyler Janson, the man who will be guiding her through all matters to do with surviving in the wild, she wonders if things might have started looking up.
The problem is Tyler seems to think she’s about as pointless as a pedicure, and nothing she does gets his attention.
But when their plane goes down in the middle of nowhere, something Charlie is sure is a set-up by the producers of the show, she is determined to show Tyler Janson exactly what she’s made of.
Like what you’ve read? Survivor is available to buy at the following places for $0.99 for the first 24 hours of publication only!
Marissa Farrar has always been in love with being in love. But since she’s been married for numerous years and has three young daughters, she’s conducted her love affairs with multiple gorgeous men of the fictional persuasion.
The author of fifteen novels, she has been a full time author for the last five years. She predominantly writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but has branched into contemporary fiction as well.
Her short stories have been accepted for a number of anthologies including, Their Dark Masters, Red Skies Press, Masters of Horror: Damned If You Don’t, Triskaideka Books; and 2013: The Aftermath, Pill Hill Press.
If you want to know more about Marissa, then please visit her website at www.marissa-farrar.blogspot.com. You can also find her at her facebook page, www.facebook.com/marissa.farrar.author or follow her on twitter @marissafarrar.
She loves to hear from readers and can be emailed at email@example.com.
Guys like Ryker Russo don’t notice girls like Jenna Armstrong. Constantly on the move, Jenna doesn’t want to settle down anywhere. As long as her latest motel room has a television, wi-fi, and a vending machine, she will make do. It isn’t just Jenna’s curves that make her self conscious. Beneath her clothes she hides a secret, one that she is running from.
But when her car breaks down, leaving her without a mode of transport to get to the next town, mechanic Ryker seems to show an interest in her. With his muscles, tattoos, and piercings, Ryker has trouble literally written all over him. Jenna can’t understand why he would want to be seen with a fat girl like her, and besides, she needs to keep moving. Time is running out and she’s terrified if she stays in one place, her past will catch up to her.
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/Kudn3
Ryker turned to her, the laughter fading. She caught the look in his eye and it wasn’t one of humor. She bit her lower lip in mock coyness as his eyes raked up and down her body. He took a step toward her, pushing her back into the wall behind. His movements were rough and urgent, grabbing at her clothes to yank her t-shirt over her head while she fumbled at the button of his jeans. He pressed her body up against the wall with the length of his own, kissing her hard, his fingers laced in her hair. His kisses were hard enough to leave her lips bruised, but she returned his urgency, their tongues meeting and sliding together. The silver ball of his piercing grated against her tongue, sending shivers of desire through her body. She wanted to get her hands on his naked skin, and she needed to do it right now. She couldn’t stand the idea of any clothing separating them.
They broke the kiss just long enough to pull t-shirts over their heads and rid each other of their jeans, Ryker losing his shorts with the denim. He grabbed her wrists with one hand, pinning them above her head against the wall behind her, while his other hand delved down, into her panties.
Held against the wall like this, helpless and at Ryker’s mercy, she moaned as his fingers slid through her pubic hair and down, between her inner lips. He pushed a finger inside her and then added another, curling his digits inward to find the secret spot on her inner wall that made her whole body throb. She cried out with pleasure. He kissed her neck, and across her shoulder, slipping her bra strap down and exposing one breast. His mouth closed over her nipple with a wet heat, his teeth grating.
Jenna’s breathing became more frantic. Only his hand holding her wrists and his fingers insider her held her up, or her legs would have given out, leaving her in a crumpled heap on the floor.
Her arousal started to build in a tightened coil deep in her belly, building higher and higher as he increased his movements inside her. She tried to tug her hands away, wanting something to grab hold of, but he held her firm. His teeth gently sank into her nipple, sending a sharp jolt of pain directly down between her legs and she unraveled, crying out her pleasure louder than she meant to.
Ryker slipped his fingers from her and used his body to hold her up as she collapsed against him. She panted, her forehead rested on his chest, looking down. His arousal was evident, bobbing up to meet her gaze.
She wanted to repay him.
Jenna dropped to her knees and held his length in her hand, steadying him. Ryker gazed down at her, his lips slack, his eyes hooded with need. He reached out and put his palms flat against the wall, steadying himself.
Jenna parted her lips against the shiny, smooth end of him, inhaling the musky scent that was purely Ryker Russo. She licked the salty drop of his desire and then sank her mouth down over his length.
Ryker gasped above her and she glanced up to see his eyes closed, his lips parted. She swirled her tongue around him and increased her pace and suction. He grew even harder in her mouth and she reached out to gently cup his balls and squeeze.
His eyes flew open, locking her gaze with his. “Fuck, Jenna,” was all he managed before he reached down to drag her back up again and tore her remaining underwear from her body.
“Wait,” she said, forcing herself to be sensible. “We need protection.”
“It’s okay, I’m clean.”
“Yeah, so am I, but that’s not the only thing to worry about.”
“Jenna, if you happened to get pregnant, I would be the happiest guy in the world.”
She kissed him. “You’re crazy. But this isn’t the most stable place I’ve been in my life, so get us some protection.”
He gave a smirk. “Whatever you want.”
He grabbed the condom from his drawer and quickly sheathed himself.
She held her arms out to him and gave him a wicked grin. “Now come here and do me.”
He slammed her hard against the wall, and hooked one of her legs around his hip, opening her up to him. His hard length pressed against her most intimate part and with a forceful thrust, he pushed up inside her, filling her. Jenna cried out, her head falling back against the wall. Ryker’s mouth was on her throat, grazing her skin with his teeth, as he thrust again and again. She gripped her nails into the muscles of his shoulders, her body jerking with every movement, her heel digging into his taut ass. One of his hands grabbed the curve of her bottom, while the other roughly held her breast. She didn’t care that their love-making was rough and brutal. It was as if he was trying to claim her for his own, fuck her into submission.
Jenna’s orgasm powered through her, grasping tight to Ryker as he let out a guttural groan and held himself deep inside her.
They clutched each other, their breathing gradually returning to normal. Ryker dropped a kiss on her shoulder and then pushed her hair away from her face with one hand.
“I fucking love you, Jenna. Don’t ever leave me, okay?”
She pressed her lips together. “I love you, too,” she told him.
But she couldn’t promise she would never leave.
Marissa Farrar has always been in love with being in love. But since she’s been married for multiple years and has three young daughters, she’s conducted her love affairs with multiple gorgeous men of the fictional persuasion.
The author of seventeen novels and numerous short stories, she has successfully self-published for the last five years. She predominantly writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but has branched into contemporary fiction as well.
If you would like to know more about Marissa, you can usually find her hanging out on her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/marissa.farrar.author . You can also tweet her at http://twitter.com/MarissaFarrar
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The Outlander series came out when I was in high school. Back then I was in the habit of judging things I knew nothing about. That’s how I was raised. If it sounds like a sin, condemn it. Don’t bother trying to understand it. I’d heard that Claire was married when she met and fell in love with Jamie. Adultery, even fictional adultery separated by centuries, was a sin. Bad book! So I never read it.
Flash forward a couple of decades and half a dozen trashy books of my own (much more sinful than anything Gabaldon ever wrote, I’m sure), and the romance blogosphere started buzzing with the news that the Outlander series was coming to TV. I started seeing pics of Jamie and Claire. Well damn. I never could resist a man in a kilt. I talked to a friend about my hesitation. I’m sure she wanted to laugh at me, especially knowing how I’ve done my ‘research’. She told me the book handled their relationship well, and it’s the only series she’s ever reread.
So I caved and bought it. And I liked it. This isn’t a review. I’m still reading the book, so I’m going to give you some of my thoughts along the way. Should be interesting (to me at least) to see if my concerns were warranted, and if not, (which I fully expect they won’t be) how I deal with that.
I read an entire, rather long paragraph before I realized it was written in first person. Not a single I in the whole passage. I’ve got four in these three sentences. Gabaldon’s good. And she can write description and internal monologue without letting it get dull.
But after three full chapters of being in Claire’s head, I’m hoping we’ll get into Jamie’s at some point. There are 6 or 7 more books to come, so I’m not giving up on him.
I like Frank, which bums me out because I was hoping he’d be an asshole. That would make my issues easier to deal with. Captain Randall is an evil bastard though—and not in a good way.
Claire’s palm reading revealed that she’s a woman whose husband isn’t likely to stray from her bed. In other words, she likes sex. Which makes me wonder if Frank has strayed. (This is me wanting him to be a creep.)
The vicar’s housekeeper reads tea leaves and palms. This is something that would’ve sent my fundamental friends and family into a tizzy. But the scene gave us a lot of important info about Claire so we needed it.
I fell in love with Jamie real fast. I’ve only known him a short time, but he’s everything I want a romance hero to be: young, cute, charming, bold, and hey! He wears a kilt.
And I love the fact that Claire rescued him.
Claire seems to have accepted the fact that she traveled through time pretty quickly, but she’s smart and logical so it works for her. I love that present day is 1945, which make this a historical/time-travel romance (in my opinion). Historical is my favorite genre.
That’s all I’ve got so far. I’ll post more soon(er) or later. With an energetic 3-year-old in the house, it’s hard to find time to read, let alone write about it.
Find out more about the Outlander TV series at the official site.
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, but try not to spoil anything for me. Thanks!
Do you know that Evolved Publishing has another romance author? Darby Davenport’s debut novella, Walk Away with Me, is getting great reviews, and I scored a steamy excerpt! Check out Charlie and Ethan getting spicy in the kitchen….
Charlie ripped at the buttons on Ethan’s shirt and pushed the fabric off his shoulders. Finally, finally, finally, her kitchen fantasy was coming true, and it proved to be even spicier than the food they’d just shared.
He lifted her tank top over her head and pulled her messy blonde hair from its ponytail, allowing it to fall in soft waves over her shoulders. Her teeth found his earlobe and gave the delicious, plump flesh a little tug. At the same time, he unhooked her black and red lace bra and flung it into the dining room. The moment her breasts were freed, he moved his hands to gently twist the nipples between his thumbs and forefingers while keeping his mouth glued to hers.
She moaned and worked her way out of her shorts, little by little, so as not to disrupt his skillful fondling. “I can’t wait,” she said between gasps. “Take off your fucking pants.”
He seemed surprised by the coarse language and aggressive tug at his belt, but obeyed her request without the slightest hesitation. Luckily, this time he’d had the foresight to keep a few condoms in his pocket. He worked the latex on as she watched, licking her lips with desire.
When he fell to his knees and brought his tongue to her throbbing mound, she jerked away. “No, none of that. Let’s get straight to it.”
He gave her another kiss, then thrust into her as requested. The curve of his cock combined with the angle of her hips on the counter to play at her G-spot in the exact, right way.
She worked her hips back and forth to make him go faster, harder, fuller. Every time she came close to climax, he slowed to a gentler tempo. “Harder,” she moaned, refusing to return his kisses until he let her come.
He smiled wide, showcasing his gorgeous teeth.
He’s playing games with me….
Erotica is often considered a sub-genre of romance, but the one thing that separates it from the genre is erotica does not require a happily-ever-after (HEA) ending. The Romance Writers of America, in its definition of romance, doesn’t use the words happily ever after. They require an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. The word happy does not appear in their definition.
Her Twisted Pleasures is not a romance. It does not end happily; however, I believe the ending is emotionally satisfying—for one of the characters at least. Twisted is erotica. I have never called it a romance, and I never will. It has an element of romance: individuals falling in love and struggling to make their relationship work, but the optimistic ending doesn’t happen.
Actually, I can’t find a definition of erotica. I saw ‘HEA optional’ in a publisher’s guidelines once, but I have no idea where it was written. But I like it that way. I like the freedom writing erotica gives me. I can write the story from my head or from my heart, and it doesn’t have to fit anyone else’s definition.
Twisted isn’t a happy book, but The Devil Made Me Do It is. I could call Devil an erotic romance, but since it’s a short story collection—not a novel—it’s been labeled couples’ erotica. Each of the stories has a couple struggling to make their relationship and their sex life work, and their struggle leads to an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending—all the elements of romance. But since sex is the central focus of each story, it’s called erotica.
So if you’re looking for happily-ever-after, be aware that you may not find it in erotica. Sex does not always lead to love, but sex can lead to some highly satisfying emotions. The optimism is up to you.