So Where’s the Erotica?

First, I’d like to thank all the authors who’ve responded to the post about self-publishing. I will start posting about your books and I’ll let you each know when the posts are up. I’d rather spread them apart, so each author has their own time frame. But I’ll be doing at least one or two every week.

On to the erotica title above. I will admit that I often cross a few lines when it comes to writing erotica. I do have my own lines that I won’t cross, but I honestly believe that when people are buying my books they are buying them partly because of the erotica. And one of my biggest concerns is am I letting them down if there isn’t enough erotica in the book. So I try to conceive what might happen in real life, from an openly gay man’s point of view, and I take it from there. I write mostly about gay men. Gay men are highly sexual people, in spite of what some people would prefer to believe. And if an opportunity arises in the storyline where I think an erotic scene is going to work, I do it. I prefer the erotic scenes to have a romantic impact for the most part. But in books like AMERICAN STAR, it just doesn’t work out that way until the end. Other books are different. The romance is there from the start, like STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM AT THE PLAZA, and the need for too much sex is not there. But there’s no way to judge these things, especially if the story is taking different directions I didn’t plan. I’m not one of those writers who control their characters. My characters control me, and I try to listen to them.

I also think sex is an emotional experience. Sometimes more emotional than others, but even in the most casual circumstances there is, in fact, emotion. I know there are others who would disagree with me, but this is my interpretation and I don’t want to let my readers down. I also don’t have any serious sexual demons in my past. I was never abused or bullied by anyone. And I think this allows me to view sex with a little humor and objectivity.

The reason why I’m posting about this today is because I’ve been reading books lately that are classified as erotic romance…or erotica…and I’m not seeing any actual erotic scenes in these books. If the storyline is good and the writing is solid, it may or may not make a difference to the reader. But for me, I’m usually left wondering what the author was thinking when he or she was writing the book. Do they think five lines of pg rated sex is actually erotica? I’m not joking about this either. I’ve seen it happen.

I know there are different opinions about this. And I know that the amount of erotica in an erotic romance varies from author to author. And there’s nothing wrong with less erotica. I’ve been working on a historical f/m/m romance for the past year that has far less erotica than I’ve ever done before. The storyline just didn’t call for a lot of sex. But I’m going to at least make it clear to the reader that it’s light erotica. So they know what they are buying.

I know from experience that readers and book reviewers will always slam authors for writing too much sex. Some feel it is their moral and ethical duty. Others feel they’ve cornered the market on romance and emotion, and don’t consider good sex part of romance and emotion. But I’ve never once heard of a reader or book reviewer slamming an author for not having enough sex in a book. Which means that if your book doesn’t have enough sex, you’re never going to know it.

Extra Cover Copy for The Virgin Billionaire’s Dream House

If you check out the cover copy that was released with THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE’S DREAM HOUSE on retail web sites, you’ll notice it’s not as long as it usually is. It’s good cover copy. It covers most of what has to be said. But publishers often condense and tweak the original cover copy authors send them and I always like to post the original unedited version of my own cover copy here on the blog.

I think it makes a difference. I think people who read e-books are reading more and spending more money. I know I am. And I budget and plan for my next book. And before I buy it, I want as much product information and as many details about it as I can get.

So here’s the unedited version. It might not be shorter and tighter. It might not sound as happy-go-lucky as a new Jennifer Aniston movie. But it will give you more detail about what’s inside the book. Below that is the publisher’s cover copy.

Now that Luis and Jase have reached a point in their lives where they can start spending more time in Alaska with Jase’s family, Jase decides to build his dream house on the property next to his father’s. He hires an architect he’s known for many years, has plans drawn up for an ultra modern house, and they plan to spend the entire summer in Alaska with the whole family.

Only Jase is so obsessed with his dream house he insists on having it completed in three months, which everyone else thinks is completely unrealistic. And though he promises Luis he has everything under control and that he’s hired an excellent general contractor in Alaska, Luis still seems hesitant about the project. But Luis goes along with Jase in order to keep him happy, hoping that if they need any help with the construction they can depend on their best employee at Cider Mill Farm, Cory.

But Cory hates to fly, he’s having troubles with his boyfriend, and he refuses to go to Alaska. So Jase, Luis, Hunter, and Camp fly out without him to begin one of the most intense, emotional adventures of their lives. On the day they arrive, they discover Jase’s ninety year old grandmother, Isabelle, is dating a man twenty years younger. Then they find out the contractors Jase has hired aren’t even from Alaska. Luis winds up getting roped into taking a three month cooking class with Isabelle at the local high school because her new boyfriend is the instructor. And poor Hunter still doesn’t know where he’s going to school in the fall.

When Rand and Rob, the surfer twins Luis and Jase met on their long weekend in California, show up unannounced, all four of them take off for a long weekend in Denali in a motor home. But the trip turns out to be a life altering experience for Luis and Jase instead of just a reunion with good friends. They come face to face with the hard, cold realities of life and death in more ways than one, and their wonderful summer adventure turns into something unexpected and far more emotional.

There’s no telling whether or not the dream house will ever be completed, not even when they finally persuade Cory and Luis’s brother, Gage, to drive out to Alaska. And when so many things change so fast, Jase isn’t even sure he cares if the house is completed.

Will Jase be able to handle the fact that he might not be able to finish his dream house? And will the bonds of love he’s been building be strong enough to get him through all the challenges he winds up facing in Alaska that summer?

Jase and Luis have been through a lot -a nude campground, an evil twin, fashion shoots- and now they are ready to put down roots and build a home. And what better place than Alaska, where they will be surrounded by Jase’s family!

Jase throws himself into the planning, hiring an old friend to be the architect to help him design a hip, ultramodern house. Only Jase is so obsessed with his dream house he insists on having it completed in three months, and though he insists he has everything under control, Luis is still hesitant about the project.

But Luis goes along with Jase in order to keep him happy, so Jase, Luis, Hunter, and Camp fly out to Alaska to begin one of the most intense, emotional adventures of their lives.

With a host of dramatic new challenges threatening the life he’s worked so hard to build – and the bonds of love he’s created – Jase may find his dream house crumbling into sawdust.

In this hot seventh installment in Ryan Field’s best-selling series, we’ll find out whether Jase’s dream house is really a house of cards.

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